Is it Worth Upgrading your Rails Application?

Gavin Terpstra
February 23, 2021

Beyond the hype of new features and promises that your application ‘performance’ will significantly increase, there remains one big question:

Is it worth spending thousands of dollars upgrading your Rails application? So, despite the hype, what are the reasons you should upgrade? I think there are three good reasons:

  1. If your software is currently in use and is on a Ruby or Rails version not covered for new security releases.

  2. If you are currently having the application developed or you are planning on adding new features.

  3. Stay on the upgrade path to minimise expenses long term.


First, the Rails security maintenance policy is quite explicit on what is covered. (It’s here for reference.) If you have out of date versions your software may be open to hacking. This could be varying degrees of vulnerability, but a hack can mean your clients lose confidence or in extreme cases can bankrupt your business.

Second, when software is under development, you make it easier for your developers by running more recent and proven versions of the software - common tasks become easier and faster to accomplish.

Third, it’s much easier to do small upgrades once or twice a year (that might only take a few hours) than falling behind resulting in a huge expensive multi-version upgrade every 5 years. Our CodeCare service is great for regular incremental upgrades!

Even if only to improve the look and feel of your website, newer versions of Rails have better workflows for Webpacker and other frameworks you need to implement to achieve the new look and feel you’re after.

And, for a last word, upgrading to Rails 6.1 will more than likely recover the ‘lost time’ performing the upgrade in with ‘saved time’ implementing new features.

Contact us to find out more or to get an estimate to upgrade your app.