Legacy CMS: Signs Your Website Needs a Revamp - IntexSoft
March 23, 2024 • by Andrew & Anastasia

Legacy CMS: Signs Your Website Needs a Revamp

E-commerce development

This article explores the critical signs that indicate a need for updating or overhauling a legacy Content Management System (CMS). It offers insights on improving operational efficiency, team morale, and user engagement through CMS updates, backed by illustrative statistics and a case study on successful digital transformation.

In the rapidly advancing digital world, leveraging a Content Management System (CMS) to its full extent is non-negotiable for maintaining competitive advantage.


Surprisingly, recent statistics reveal that only 20% of marketers feel they are fully exploiting their CMS capabilities. This discrepancy signals a widespread challenge: many organizations are hindered by legacy CMS platforms that stifle their digital strategy’s effectiveness and efficiency. With the pace of digital transformation showing no signs of slowing down, the ramifications of operating with an outdated CMS are increasingly detrimental, affecting everything from operational costs to market competitiveness.


Understanding when your CMS requires an update or a comprehensive overhaul is paramount. Let’s explore the critical indicators that signal the need for modernization, enriched with the latest data and insights.



Keeping it up-to-date becomes too expensive or simply impossible


The escalating operational costs and diminishing compatibility of legacy Content Management Systems (CMS) serve as a stark indicator that modernization is overdue. Organizations find themselves dedicating a significant portion of their IT budgets—up to 30%—to maintain these aging systems, a challenge compounded by the need for manual intervention in content production, management, and distribution.


The 2023 Content Management & Strategy Survey highlights this issue, with 78% of respondents reporting scalability problems due to a lack of automation, and a mere 13% benefiting from fully automated systems. This situation necessitates the integration of modern automation tools like AI-driven content optimization, automated social media sharing, and advanced analytics, which may require substantial customization and lead to incompatibilities with existing CMS frameworks.


The drive toward digital efficiency has catalyzed a 25% increase in CMS modernization investments in 2023, signaling a shift towards platforms that not only reduce long-term costs but also enhance adaptability. Yet, the introduction of new tools or platforms, such as Marketo or HubSpot, often poses technical challenges and escalates development efforts, further straining IT departments.


These departments are left to manage the growing technical debt and inconsistencies resulting from patching older systems to meet current technological trends. This trend is exemplified by the significant portion of the United States’ federal IT budget—approximately $74 billion in 2024—allocated to sustaining legacy systems, emphasizing the urgent need for a strategic overhaul to alleviate the financial and operational burdens of outdated CMS technology.



Negative Impact on Team Morale and Productivity


A legacy CMS may prevent your developers from applying cutting-edge programming languages and development tools. In the end, your IT staff is confined by the parameters of the platform itself, which means that adding another SEO tool or a user content personalization feature might not be feasible.


According to This Developer’s Life podcast, many IT specialists see themselves as an extension of their code. If the code does not work well, the developers might wonder whether they are good enough as professionals. This potentially hurts their self-esteem and jeopardizes productivity. 


Similarly, your content team has to deal with outdated templates and repetitive postings of the same material or wait longer on content uploads and bug fixes to continue their work. Such things lead to antagonistic relationships between the content manager and the CMS, decreasing efficiency and morale.



It causes errors and poor experiences for both administrators and visitors


As more and more people produce more and more content out of multiple distributed locations, managing production and user roles become a challenge for your organization. And with manual input and updates, your content becomes even more prone to errors, which is critical when there exist strict legal or regulatory requirements. 


Content redundancy may also become an issue if your team has to create multiple entries of the same posting that are all stored in your CMS. This makes your content harder to track in order to edit or update. As a result, your aging system may be contributing to an increasing number of errors that can harm your business. 


Eventually, high maintenance costs compromised productivity, and growing discrepancies all significantly reduce your content’s value. Spending an extra half an hour on every video upload or waiting for days to get a bug fixed will only drive up expenditures.


Furthermore, legacy systems can cost you return visitors, leads, or customers, which might be even more expensive to fix. Research says it only takes 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. And if your content looks unappealing to visitors because of old templates or by being displayed the wrong way, you’re in trouble.



It prevents you from introducing new technologies and reaching out to new audiences


Many legacy systems were designed before smartphones and the IoT became mainstream. They are poorly compatible with today’s technology, such as AR, VR, and the endless variety of devices connected to the internet, like smartwatches, kitchen countertops, and screen-touting kiosks at shopping malls.


This takes UX issues to another level: legacy systems are simply not capable of representing content across all the possible devices and platforms efficiently. In addition to increased maintenance and content creation costs, you are losing those users and customers who interact beyond browsers — they’re headed straight toward your competitors. 


Aging CMSs can also undermine your SEO efforts. If your CMS’s code has gone through multiple modifications over the years (such as an introduction of a custom module, for example), chances are that some of the aspects that are key to SEO growth (say, page speed) are significantly affected. Visitors won’t appreciate this either, and this aspect might be especially true for the mobile version of your website. 


As a result, sticking with a legacy CMS both costs you more and prevents you from realizing your earning potential.




But wait, there’s a solution — legacy system modernization


To avoid excessive spending while successfully boosting your content and team productivity — and attracting more users in the process — you should consider legacy system modernization. According to the Avanade report, businesses can increase their revenue by at least 14% by modernizing their CMSs.


It can be done in several ways. In some cases, UX/UI audit and code review might be enough to significantly optimize your content management. Addressing the technical debt and code inconsistencies will help you get rid of the most common bugs while simultaneously boosting the productivity of your content team.


Sometimes what you need is to extend your system’s functionality. Each CMS can be augmented with a variety of modules and plugins, such as SEO tools, marketing analytics, or user personalization features. 


Bear in mind, though, that legacy system modernization is a continual process, which means that UX/UI audit, code review, and feature extension must be ongoing to keep your CMS up to date. And  — at some point — these maintenance works will no longer suffice. When this occurs, you can either upgrade your CMS to the latest version or migrate to a new system that is geared more toward your content production and business needs. Take a look at our services to learn more about application modernization.


At IntexSoft, we can help you with modernizing legacy CMS and other systems through a thorough code review and system functionality extension. We also provide UI/UX audit services to optimize both your CMS and your website. And if these are not enough, we will assist you with seamless platform migration or upgrading your current CMS to the newest version. 


Thinking of modernizing your system? Drop us a line!

Written by



Head of Dev Department


Marketing Manager


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