We really enjoyed working with Lwebg. It’s always nice when you get the results you would expect from a larger design firm, along with that feel-good level service you get from a small business… Truly “the best of both worlds.” As a small to mid-...
So What Does Open Source Mean and Why Is It Important?
Believe it or not, there are people out there that have a large amount of altruism flowing through their veins. In our capitalistic society, such concern for others isn't very common but fortunately for Internet users, there are a number of web developers that consider making a better Internet higher on their list of priorities than personal gain and were it not for them, the Internet wouldn't be nearly as much fun and affordable.
Simply put, something that is Open Source has been uploaded to the Web and made so that anyone can download a copy and use it...for free. There are tons of Open Source materials online and each one represents the fruit of hundreds of hours of work and then given away to help make the world - and the Web - a better place.
Probably the best known Open Source program is WordPress, first released on May 27, 2003 by founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as a fork of b2/cafelog as nothing more than a free blog. When WordPress was made available for download, hundreds and then thousands of other talented web developers - in a loosely constructed Developer Network - began working to improve it and uploading their modifications to the Web - also at no charge to anyone - until it has become one of the most common tools for building websites on the planet. Today, WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a dynamic content management system (CMS) based on PHP programming language and MySQL database. It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet's "top 1 million" websites and as of August 2011 manages 22% of all new websites. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet. As of December 2011, version 3.0 had been downloaded over 65 million times.
Since then, there have been dozens of new platforms introduced to the world as Open Source programs, including Joomla, Magento, Firefox, osCommerce and our favorite ecommerce system, Drupal.
Open Source refers to programs that are free to download. The opposite of that is Proprietary Software.
Proprietary Software is essentially something you have to purchase. There aren't many real differences to the end user or customer between the two, at least initially, but the differences grow as time passes by.
Quite a few ecommerce web design and development companies create their own software or ecommerce and other end uses and the advantages to those proprietary software programs is that all a customer has to do is provide the information needed to go in the empty spots, i.e. pictures, text, logos, product descriptions, skus and prices, etc. And it doesn't cost nearly as much as a custom developed website.
The downside to using Proprietary Software is that from the moment you sign on the dotted line, you're tied to that web development company. Outside developers normally can't do a thing with this kind of software; they can't make substantive changes and they can't move it to another server, because more often than not, all the data is shared in one giant database.
So if the company goes out of business, the owner retires or gets hit by a bus, whatever...you're stuck.
We've found that most of our clients prefer "owning" their own website, rather than "leasing" their website.
More to come on this subject.