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Updating vs Upgrading

update vs upgrade

We get this question a lot as these two similar words can be easily confused: Updating vs Upgrading. A lot of people feel these words are even interchangeable when they are not at all. Let’s start by looking at the key differences:

  • Updates are usually free. Upgrades can sometimes cost money.
  • Updates are more frequent “bug” fixes or security related fixes. Upgrades are less frequent major releases with new design, features, or whatever major changes the developer wants to make.
  • Updates are usually shown as a point release (e.g. 8.5.1). Upgrades are usually shown as a major release (e.g. 8.0).

Now that we have that down, let’s look at when we should be doing this updates and upgrades. Just because you got a notification doesn’t mean now is the best time. I know many of you are eager to get issues fixed or enjoy new features which is a totally normal feeling. It still doesn’t excuse you from taking proper precautions:

  • Backup everything! The database, the documents, the media, and all that is near and dear to your business or your heart. You should already be doing this regularly or you risk losing it all. We offer data recovery and as you see it can be a very expensive ordeal.
  • Check your other software updates. For instance if I was about to upgrade to Yosemite I’d check all the software I use for compatibility and for updates specifically for enhancing it for Yosemite. The hard way to check this is to look at every piece of software you use and review their release notes or contact their support. The easy way is to check out a site such as Roaring Apps to see if others reported issues.
  • Check your devices. Is that old scanner or printer still supported? Best to check with the manufacture for updated drivers and software.
  • Check your specs. Make sure you have the required amounts of memory (RAM), free space, and processing power. If you don’t or you cut it close the overall performance of your computer will suffer. It may be time to consider a hardware upgrade such as installing a SSD or even upgrading to a new model. If you have a Mac and not sure what you can do feel free to reach out.
  • Ask yourself, “Is this a production machine and would I lose money every hour it was down?” If you answered, “Yes,” then consider hiring a professional.

Finally it’s time to consider any costs associated. Be wary of demo upgrades forcing you into the next paid version, but keep in mind good software should cost money. Have a budget in mind and use it. Don’t cut corners by staying on the original version to save money thinking you won’t eventually be phased out. Think back to Netscape Navigator and reflect on your decision to stay with your software forever while the rest of us plow forward.

Now that we covered the bases it’s time to update or upgrade. Safe downloading and updating out there!

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