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Open Source vs. Closed Source Website Options

When you set out to build a digital solution — be it a website, some software, an online application, or a mobile app – your journey will begin with a deluge of decisions. Some of these will be simple, or even fun to make. Others involve making weighty choices that will drastically impact wide-reaching aspects of your overall strategy.

One of the first and most important decisions you’ll need to make about your solution is what tools you will use to build it. Should you use something free and flexible, or buy something turnkey in-the-box? In the development world, this decision starts with a single choice: Open Source vs. Closed Source (or Proprietary) Software.

The debate over open vs. closed source has been raging for years. At Blayzer, we have helped many businesses small and large sit down to examine the benefits of an open vs. closed source solution. Here is some information and advantages on Open and Closed Source, to help you make a smarter business decision on content management.

Open Source

Definition: Software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

  • Portable, scalable and cost-effective
  • Freedom to explore, modify & redistribute
  • Collaborative and community-driven
  • Control – You own and control the code.
  • Flexibility – You can shape the code and add/subtract capabilities to fit your needs.
  • Low Cost – No license fees! Build extraordinary solutions at an affordable price.
Examples of Open Source Web Software:
  • LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Magento
  • Open Cart
  • osCommerce
  • ZenCart
  • Prestashop
  • Ubercart
  • Android
  • Sencha Touch
  • Bootstrap
  • OpenStack
  • Ruby on Rails
  • MongoDB
  • jQuery

Closed Source

Definition: Software for which the original source code is not shared with the public for anyone to look at or make changes to.

  • Owned by a person or organization. You pay for the right to use it.
  • Sometimes trials, demos or “lite” versions are offered for free, but you’ll almost always have to pay for the full version.
  • Low Maintenance – You never have to fix components when something goes wrong.
  • No Obligations – You don’t have to share modifications back to the community.
Examples of Closed Source / Proprietary Web Software:
  • Squarespace
  • Weebly
  • Wix
  • Sitecore
  • Shopify
  • Volusion
  • BigCommerce
  • NET
  • DotNetNuke
  • Kentico
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • iOS
  • SiteFinity

Professional developers will have a pre-determined preference (and probably lots of well-formed opinions). Here at Blayzer, we are proponents of Open Source because it allows us to build and customize specific functions to fulfill our clients’ individual business needs.

Now that you are better informed on the advantages of Open Source, you can now make an educated decision on which one is better for you. If you found this information useful, or if you want to learn more about the Open Source services that we provide, contact us and we’d be happy to assist!