It’s been clearly stated by industry and web standards that a modern, up-to-date website is critical for a company to stand out against competitors online. Content Management System (CMS) software is the key factor to support the on-going initiatives that today’s modern website requires.

For many years, enterprise companies and large corporations alike boasted on their adaption for proprietary, paid CMS software to run their website. This type of CMS software is created from scratch by a developer and usually requires a large licensing fee to use. In a proprietary CMS, the underlying source code is private and not freely available to modification, unless done by the licensing developer. However, in the more recent years an unconventional type of CMS software, open source, made it’s way to the market and has changed the way business websites are being developed, designed and managed.

What is Open Source?

Unlike commercial propriety CMS software, open source is just that – open to all. The underlying source code is made public and readily available for the community of developers using it to modify and customize as they see fit for that specific project. Because no website is made or used equally, customization is a huge benefit for businesses, as open-source allows their website to be as unique as they need it to be to set themselves apart from the rest.

Additional benefits of choosing an open source CMS are:

Higher Quality Development. When a developer knows their code is open for the hundreds of thousands of active community members to use and judge, they are more likely to produce higher quality development than someone who can hide their work under a commercial license. Also, many developers in an open source community are there to get their name out and showcase their expertise, so they are consistently finding ways to innovate and provide the best solution.

Freedom. When you choose a proprietary CMS, you are at the mercy of that developer and their licensed software. When your website needs changes or updates, you may be left waiting for days or weeks at a time. And when you’re ready to move on to another vendor, there is a good chance you’ll have an extremely hard time finding someone who knows how to work on your site. With open source, there are an abundance of developers who can quickly pick up where another left off and so on and so on.

Security. Rather than relying on one single proprietary developer to catch security issues, the entire open source community is responsible and held accountable for security matters. Since there are hundred of thousands of community members located across the world, not only does it mean more eyes to pick up on security issues, but there are always eyes on it. So if someone on the east coast is sleeping, someone on the west coast is already making moves to fix it.

Flexibility of Customization. With plugins galore and themes for every occasion, the options are unlimited when it comes to open-source CMS. Gone are the days when a website would be redesigned just to sit for a few years and start over. Today’s modern website requires consistent ongoing updates and changes across many different departments of an organization so having the flexibility to make these day-to-day changes quickly is crucial to your website’s success.

Cost Effective. Because open source doesn’t require any licensing fees like proprietary CMS do, this cuts down the cost of your website project exponentially.

With majority of the software systems that businesses use everyday like SugarCRM, Dropbox, and Salesforce running on an open-source platform, wouldn’t it make sense for your website to run on it as well?