Do Open Source Website Builders Work for Small Businesses? Understanding open source and its alternatives
Open source software has become a trendy solution across a variety of industries, from data analytics tools to databases and web browsers. Similarly, open source website building software exists, most famously, Wordpress. Because Wordpress and other open source options have grown in popularity, many small businesses use these DIY tools to build their websites.
Like anything, open source environments have their strengths and weaknesses, and are an excellent solution for certain enterprises. But are open source website builders the best option for creating small business websites, or does a better option exist for building a robust online business platform? Let's take a closer look.
Understanding Open Source
Open source software is designed for public use, which means it can be manipulated, altered, and improved by developers working in the environment. Allowing something to be altered by developers often yields innovation and creative solutions, and also fosters collaboration and transparency. Plus, many people applaud these solutions for being "free."
The Hidden Costs of Open Source Solutions
Many organizations have embraced open source environments, and use them to build their technology infrastructure, but they are most successfully employed by large, tech-driven enterprises like Google and IBM. These large businesses have massives staffs of programmers who can do maintenance on the software, and manage any security issues.
Chances are, if you're a small or even midsized business, you don't have that wealth of resources.
The struggle with open source website builders is that nobody truly owns them. This means that issues pop up and maintenance is constantly needed. Often, it requires small businesses that lack technical expertise to hire a pricey website developer to update and maintain their site.
Moreover, a website builder like Wordpress requires the addition of third-party apps to incorporate popular business tools, like payment processing, onto the site. These third-party apps, as well as the open source environment introduce security risks. In fact, there have been multiple cases of Wordpress getting hacked or being struck with a virus or bug, which has caused massive headaches for small business owners as their websites are affected and often go offline.
The Solution? A Website Building Platform
An alternative to a DIY, open source website building tool is a website building platform. With a platform, all the software's backend technology is updated and secured behind-the-scenes, so small business owners never have to worry about website maintenance or security.
Plus, the platform integrates business tools like payment systems, discount readers, appointment schedulers, calendars, and more. Downloading and maintaining third-party apps is never an issue.
Finally, a website building platform like Ocoos offers the help of a full-service concierge, who works with small business owners to understand their goals, and builds a website for them that addresses these needs. Business owners always have access to their site to make changes as needed. If questions arise, 24-hour, US-based phone and online support is available.