We were delighted to hear today that the Whitehouse has made the sensible decision to switch to open Source software for their own content managed web site, using Drupal as their system of choice for the new official Whitehouse web site.
Drupal is an excellent content management system, and like other open Source products its code is freely shared by the developer community that made it, meaning that web designers and developers like us can use all its fantastic technology for our clients sites.
Interestingly a number of the Whitehouse staff appear to be slightly confused as to exactly what their new software does, or how the open Source movement works, but none the less they have the web site, it looks great, works even better, and is a clear statement of the ongoing success and growth of the open Source community.
So why is open Source so good that the Whitehouse has chosen to use it?
- The source code is free to use.
- It has been developed by thousands in a well organised developer community, so it is of a very high quality.
- No need to re-invent the wheel - when you can use well written code that already does 99% of what you need.
- The open Source communities have each built many extensions which can be added to it, so you can easily grow and extend your site with shopping carts, galleries, forums and much more.
- The software is not specific to a single developer so you are never held hostage. It is unbelievably common for web site owners to want to leave their developers, or lose touch with their developers, and have no way of continuing maintenance on their web sites. With open Source you just go to another member of the large worldwide community.
- open Source code is easily customisable, so if you want to build new functionality that does not yet exist, then a good developer can do that for you.
There are many different types of open source software, but some of the most commonly used ones (there are a number of examples in our web site Portfolio) include Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress, openERP and SugarCRM to name but a few. Great names I know, but they mean high quality content managed, interactive web sites for businesses and other organisations, at a fraction of the cost of just a few years ago.