There is a plethora of Content Management Systems designed for wide spectrum of uses and niche segments. Many Content Management Systems are developed as proprietary but a large number of these applications are available under open general license as well.
Features of Open Source applications
Open source CMS enables building of a large team of developers by offering an open code to the public at large. This also helps build a diverse user community that can contribute to the development of CMS application.
Large pool of dedicated developers is the most important strength of these open source CMS applications. The growing number of open source applications confirms viability of these projects in spite of few downsides.
Organizations are increasingly accessing these open source applications to cater to their needs of always updated and stable platforms for running their business operations. Open source CMS offer wide range of benefits to users:
- Free license
WordPress - leading CMS offering in Open Source segment
As far as open source CMS applications are concerned, WordPress in the undisputed king that rules over half of the global website population. It does have very humble roots since it was developed from a small yet popular platform that was designed for blogging.
We can go on listing wide assortment of factors that have contributed to popularity of WordPress. It offers large volume of third party plugins, thanks to thriving online marketplaces and a bursting network of individuals and enterprises offering support for the WordPress platform. Users of the platform can also access tons of themes from established developers. Then there is always an option to select WordPress.com for more intense use cases.
There cannot be an iota of doubt about huge contribution of developers in the success of WordPress. These developers across the world have not only been tasting success with WordPress but also earning handsome income. Individual developers make money by way of plugin and theme development as well as managed hosting. Extensive adoption of WordPress platform has facilitated many companies make millions by supporting the platform.
Distinct benefits of open source applications
Crowd sourcing is a distinct attribute of open source software. This feature is responsible for number of advantages offered by open source including accountability, freedom, flexibility, and cost efficiency to name a few. These advantages are not available with proprietary solutions. Secondly, open source software solutions are backed by cutting edge technology and have long term feasibility. The developers including individuals and organizations are encouraged by noble values of volunteerism and collaboration among others.
Since a significant proportion of open source applications are available for free distribution, cost efficiency has always been the most compelling benefit of open source applications. One however needs to understand the subtle difference between free as in kittens and free as in beer. Open source applications are free as in kittens and these must be maintained, supported, and updated on regular basis for assured performance.
Then comes the most sought after advantage of flexibility, which is absent in closed proprietary applications. Organizations need to be bothered about vendor lock-in while using open source solutions because any developer can modify, extend, or alter the application by acquiring familiarity with the source code. It also grants enterprises a long term capability. This is especially true in case of software applications that have been adopted extensively.
These open source applications are consistently being reviewed by development shops along with an extensive network of other developers. The resulting process of peer review provides guarantee of accountability as well as security since any security gaps are indentified and fixed instantly.
Development of open source software is backed by commonly shared values such as community participation, volunteerism, and collaboration. Developers are driven by passion to create quality applications that are free and can be easily accessed by organization and individuals.
Monetization in open source CMS
Among all sources of monetization, the commonest source is to provide support services. This can be understood by looking at some companies such as Umbraco that are engaged in offering support packages on monthly basis. This assures the users about availability of a robust support system for their products. It is found that the monthly support packages turn out to be more affordable than engaging an on premise support staff.
In the absence of sound support facilities, even the most useful applications face the prospects of being phased out. Joomla can be considered as a prime example of this phenomenon.
Last few years have witnessed proliferation of open source CMS applications in terms of adoptability and popularity. Many organizations have finally appreciated the immense value of globally dispersed developer communities. This kind of renewed interest in open source solutions is helping wide array of vendors who are growing phenomenally. However, in order to stay ahead of the competition, the vendors need to acquire flexibility as well agility.