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What's Serving Up Your Website?

There are 3 major components in any restaurant:

  • A well running kitchen or back of house,
  • A vibrant front of house with its systems and connection to the back of house
  • And the guest experience.

Join us on a culinary adventure as we explore the connection between a restaurant to the primary components that power a website and specifically a Concrete CMS website.

*Please note, this article does not cover all components of a website such as other libraries, plugins etc. that may be part of a website with its own updates & releases (you can think of these as ingredients for your website).

1. The Kitchen (the website's programming language)

The kitchen (or back of house) is the engine that runs any restaurant, without it, there is no restaurant. This is the same for the website's programming language. In fact, there is a team that is continuously building and developing this important base. The Kitchen (or programming language) is the engine that is required for the other systems to work on top of. In the case of Concrete CMS and other open source content management systems like WordPress, the coding language that powers the website is called PHP.


Please note: while we will focus on the Concrete CMS platform, much of the content would apply to other large content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal however the specifics timing of releases would be CMS specific. There are other websites that will differ in what powers the website.

Maintenance Schedule (PHP):

PHP (aka the kitchen) has its own update cycle to keep up with technology and security. If the same cleanliness standards and dishes come out of the kitchen in 2023 as it did in the 1930s there is likely going to be some issues and the restaurant likely won't exist. Technology just may speed up the required maintenance schedule a bit.

PHP's Model:

  • Major Release is like releasing a New Menu, this will require work from the front of house to learn and apply.
  • Minor Release is like releasing a new entree or side-dish, everything should run quite smoothly.
  • Patch Release is like a tweak to a dish, maybe it was too spicy for the majority of guests and adjustments need to be made.

2. The Front-of-House (the Content Management System)

The front of house is the crucial connection between the kitchen and the guest experience. Systems need to be in place for the restaurant to run and function smoothly and effectively. The content management system (in this case Concrete CMS) is built on top of the PHP language to provide that warm welcoming experience with features such as a patio or live entertainment. When the Kitchen (the programming language) releases a major release the Front-of-House (the content management system) requires some time to adjust and incorporate the changes. They also have their own maintenance schedule as they tweak their own systems and add their own features.

Maintenance Schedule (Concrete CMS Specific):

Concrete CMS has the indicated they will be moving to the following structured release model:

  • Major Version Releases (ex. 8 to 9)
    This occurs when there are substantial improvements and innovations. This typically requires a staging website or local development copy to be set up to ensure the changes do not break any custom code or blocks that have been developed. The ease of this transition often depends on the level of custom systems integrated with the code.
  • Minor Version Releases (ex. 9.1 to 9.2)
    Concrete is looking to release these on a biannual release schedule. These updates may introduce new features and enhancements but typically are completed without breaking any existing functionality.
  • Patch Versions (ex. 9.2.1)
    Concrete is setting out to release these on a monthly basis (as required). These typically include bug fixes and minor improvements.

*As a new major version is released the previous major version will typically receive an ESM (expanded security maintenance) for the last minor version release of the major version. Patch releases will continue for security and stability for “typically at least 3 years” according to the following post:

3. Front-end Framework (ex. Foundation, Bootstrap etc.)

The guest experience starts as they enter and interact with the restaurant, they see the restaurant layout which may be adjusted if outside dining opens, they view a menu and place an order, similarly, the front-end framework is the layout of the website, it adjusts based on the screen size and often provides design standards for menus, forms and interactive elements such as buttons.

Maintenance Schedule (Bootstrap Specific):

Bootstrap also releases its own updates which also follows the Major, Minor and Patch releases.

  • Major (ex. 4 to 5)
  • Minor (ex. 5.2 to 5.3)
  • Patch (ex. 5.3.1 to 5.3.2)

Its Long Term Support Plan (LTS) provides at least 6 months of support after a major version is retired, followed by 6 months of critical bug fixes and security updates.

View their past & upcoming release schedule on GitHub

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