Open Source Vs Commercial CMS
Any business or individual contemplating the purchase of a Content Management System in order to create a website in today’s environment is faced with a dilemma: should they purchase a commercial CMS, which will be quick to deploy, have a dedicated support team (and very likely a maintenance contract) but can cost a lot of money; or should they use an open source CMS, which is usually free of charge but offered without warranty and is still regarded by many as an inferior product. So which is best?
Open source software has been one of technology’s “movers and shakers” over the last 10 years and is now finding favour with many industry sectors, including governments. The traditional software house now finds itself running to stand still, with open source alternatives competing on virtually all levels and dominating on price. There are many, however, who still believe that open source products are not suitable for commercial applications, a theory without any substance but one that commercial software manufacturers are keen to uphold.
The number of open source content management systems now available is large and shows no signs of shrinking. The best-known alternatives are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and CMS Made Simple, but there are many new products coming onto the market all the time. Examples of these include Hippo CMS, Tomato CMS, Automne CMS and Gazelle CMS – there are currently in excess of 200, but most of these will have little, if any, support and many will have no documentation to speak of. The more established brands, on the other hand all have strong support communities, particularly the larger ones. Joomla for example has one of the largest forums on the Internet and WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform accounting for a massive 12% of all websites globally.
The thing that reassures most commercial customers about a CMS, apart from the maturity of the brand, is the fact that there is a team of developers at the end of a phone to not only give support, but to act as a middleman between themselves and this technology that they know nothing about. An open source CMS on the other hand can leave them feeling isolated and unsure of where to turn for assistance should that be necessary. What many commercial customers fail to recognise, is that the developers upon whom they are relying may well be using an open source CMS to develop their website anyway, and done properly, nobody would know.
One of the great benefits of open source software is its availability at little or no cost, and this is something that commercial developers have been quick to exploit. In fairness, most will be quite open about the fact that they are using free software and will pass those cost benefits on to the customer. Some CMS platforms like Drupal and Joomla are quite complex to set up and develop to the customer’s satisfaction, so any agency undertaking this work has every right to charge commercial fees for it. Where things can get a little tricky is in the e-commerce arena; individuals attempting to add shopping carts or electronic payment gateways should be very wary. In these cases it can be comforting to know that the assistance of the professional is only a phone call away.
D, John Millard is a web designer and Internet marketer from England. His FREE 5 Day Article Writing Course is available by visiting Netresult Web Design.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=D._John_Millard
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5045669
Jonathan Camp runs Micro Update Ltd a Professional Web Design, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Mobile Application Development in Devon. He has been actively involved with the IT and Web Services areas for over 30 years. He is a PRINCE2 Practitioner and manages a very technical team at Micro Update. The business is built on the ethic of providing a practical solution for local businesses in Devon.