I have never been a big fan of open source platforms to support my clients on. However, when you talk with an open source fan chances are they will tell you that software developed using the open source model is the best way to go. I often wonder if this fan is an actual software developer recommending that, because if they are not the person using this type of platform for their website may be in for a huge surprise.
I took apart an article supporting open source platforms and pointed out a few things that need to be better thought through before going in this direction.Why, because I am not a developer. I would rather know that my clients, my business are in good hands by having a team that stands behind the technology.
- Article Statement "The benefits of open source software are many, varied and, by now, well-known. It's free to use. Website Mentor Response: When is the last time you were really able to have something for FREE? Nothing is really free, unless you know what the heck your doing. When something breaks your going to have to pay for it. Also, what if your trying to do something in your website and don't know how? Well, your going to need support and that typically is not free either. Yes, you can go to an open forum but how long before you get an answer and how accurate is the information your receiving?
- Article Statement: You can customize it as much as you want" Website Mentor Response: Sure you can customize software, if your a developer if your not you will need to pay someone to do this for you.
- Article Statement "Having many sets of eyes on the source code means security problems can be spotted quickly" Website Mentor Response: First issue I have with that statement is security problems. Your running a business on this platform, your handling private information such as financial, medical and more and you are open to security problems? I hope your a developer and know what to look for before it is to late.
- Article Statement "Anyone can fix bugs" Website Mentor Response: Anyone, really because I can't, I am not a developer. I know nothing about writing code, fixing bugs other then using Raid bug spray on them and most users of a website no nothing about this either. A large majority of websites are run by just your average Joe, Office Admin, Volunteer etc. They are not tech people, they are not geeks and are not developers and know nothing about writing code to fix a bug on the website application.
- Article Statement "You're not locked in to proprietary standards. Finally, you're not left with an orphaned product if the vendor goes out of business or simply decides that the product is no longer profitable". Website Mentor Response: True, but this is why when I started my business I looked for a platform that has been established for many years. The 3Nity.Com platform has been around for over 15 years. When I spoke with the creators of this platform, yes I was able to speak with them they advised what the strategy would be if there every came a time to move on. This made me 100% comfortable in using this platform to support my business and my clients businesses on.
I will end my rant by saying, most smaller businesses will choose an open source direction for the website, usual because they want to be able to manage it. It is well known that with most proprietary platforms now a days that you can manage it yourself. Do they come with some type of small monthly licensing fee? Yes, but honestly this cost is 3 times less then most people's cell phone bills, weekly eating expenditures and more. I would rather have piece of mind paying a small monthly fee in having this type of security, support etc rather then paying unknown developers $1,000's when a malicious attack happens bringing my business to a screeching halt an opening myself and my business up to private information being accessed.
I would love to hear your thoughts.