Joomla is one of the largest open-sourced Content Management Systems (CMS) with an active community. It’s no surprise that updates are frequently released to improve the user experience and to patch security vulnerabilities. The community is constantly improving Joomla and you will need to update your site.
First, it is important that you backup your site and store those backups off of your server. You never want to upgrade your Joomla site without having a restore point. Cloud Files is an excellent option to store backups to ensure they are safe in the event that something happens during an upgrade. For more information, be sure to check out my previous post on backing up Joomla.
The first thing that you will want to upgrade is the Joomla CMS itself. You can refer to the backend of your Joomla control panel to find out what version you are running. You should compare that to the current version on Joomla's official site, which will be the version with the latest and greatest feature set and security patches.
You also will need to update your Joomla template and components. The template is the overall look at feel of your Joomla site. Whether you used one that was available for free, or you paid for a custom theme from a store like Joomlashack; it is important to get the latest version. You also want to update your components — those mini applications that make your Joomla site truly customized. Doing this ensures your template and components are “hardened” against any previous vulnerability.