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The Truth about WordPress and other Open Source Systems

The popularity of Content Managment Systems (CMS), such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal continues to increase. These Content Management Systems are open source and can be implemented for free, but beware. This deal is too good to be true and you will eventually pay, be it with money, time, or resources.

Most of the inefficiencies of open source software are not straightforward or easy to recognize. Open source CMS software usually promise to deliver an easily updatable website that can be working within a few hours. Another reason why these systems are popular is because anyone can search the internet to add free modules or plugins to the software to add extra functionality. However, companies like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal don’t advertise their downfalls, which include the following:

  • Most open source software has a limited number of free designs to choose from. This means your website design is most likely being used simultaneously by other companies.
     
  • Open source software is freely available on the internet, exposing the blueprint for software where attackers can see it and exploit vulnerabilities. The blueprint for Global Reach's SiteViz is not open to the public so it is difficult to attack.
     
  • Anyone with enough software development knowledge can create a module or plugin that could be compatible with the open source software. This means there is no universal coding or quality assurance standard, and therefore no assurance that the software can be fixed at reasonable cost if it breaks.
     
  • To try and enhance security or fix bugs within the system, open source software is often upgraded with new versions. If a user upgrades their website, there is no guarantee that the newest version will be compatible with the older version. This can result in a website that does not display properly or an administration section that does not function properly.
     
  • If a website administrator has problems with the open source system there is no support team readily available for help.

Global Reach combats all of the regular pitfalls of open source software by having an experienced development team that can update any code we have created and apply security updates, creating a seamless transition to more secure software. Our experienced design team can provide a custom design that matches current company branding. None of our code is available to the public, making our websites more secure than those developed with open source software. If you have more questions about open source systems, please contact us.

Definitions:

CMS (Content Management System) – a computer program that allows people to publish, edit and modify website content without having prior development experience.

open source software - computer software with its code made available to the general public or developed in a public, collaborative manner.

modules and plugins - software that is incorporated with an existing website to add extra functionality for the website administrator.

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