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How Open Source Web Development Is Beneficial

By admin June 17, 2014
Blog, Web Development 0

As the use of computers has exploded, writing “code” has become almost like a basic literacy requirement. More and more people are now familiar with writing code, whether it’s for software development, web development and even Android or iPhone development. As a result, open source web development has exploded and they are many reasons for the explosive growth in web development.

Open Source Software
The trend in software development clearly points towards growing adoption of the open source paradigm. The obvious examples of extremely successful open source software include the Linux and Android operating systems.

In terms of software development, an open source product like Linux has become widely popular — particularly among tech-savvy computer users — on account of its technical robustness versus proprietary operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows.

An open source OS also means that technically knowledgeable users are able to tweak an OS to their unique requirements. The open source nature of Linux has meant there are multiple distributions of it including those based on Debian, Red Hat/Fedora, Ubuntu, and so on. Many of these bewildering variety of Linux distributions are free or open source.

This has been possible because Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for Intel x86-based PCs. Linux is now available not only for PCs but servers and mainframe computers as well as supercomputers.

Similarly, Google’s Android mobile operating system platform has seen spectacular success with wide adoption by smartphone makers such as Samsung. Any smartphone company is free to take Android and indeed to tweak it if they wish. No wonder Android-based smartphones outsell iPhones by three times. So, it’s no wonder that open source is the way to go when it comes to web development.

As a matter of fact, thanks to HTML pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee — who kept the source code of web pages as well as HTML free and open — open source development is embedded into the heart of web development. HTML standards are developed though wide deliberation and consultation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and keeping the Web open and free has always been one of the concerns of the W3C.

Benefits of Open Source Web Development
Taking a cue from open source software development, there are many open source web development tools and platforms which have become extremely popular and successful. The Web is practically full of websites that use free open source web development platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and many others.

Each of these platforms come with distinct advantages and disadvantage. For example, some are easier to use while others require more technical finesse. Each platform comes with a variety of extensions developed primarily by third-party developers. Many of these extensions or add-ons are free of cost and are developed by individuals who are just out to help people.

Extensibility
When a platform is open source, it leads to an explosion of development using that platform. For example, there are thousands of templates and extensions available for the WordPress platform and there are thousands of plugins, add-ons and extensions for Joomla, Drupal that extend the capabilities of Joomla and Drupal based web development.

cost Reduction
Of course, by definition, these platforms are completely free to use — so no need for those license fees that users in the desktop world might be otherwise familiar with.

Reliability & Support
With the vast adoption of these open source platforms and the reduction in the cost of computing hardware, open source web development is pretty much a global phenomena occurring in hundreds of countries across six continents. Hence, there are countless experts on each of these platforms ensuring quick troubleshooting and fixing in case defects are detected. There is also a wide community of users and developers of these platforms; hence, there is no dearth of online support forums to help the new comers and those who might be having some trouble. The interesting thing is that you would be shocked at how helpful these people are in web forums to new or even seasoned development professionals. If you have any problem, more than likely there is a solution or someone can help you find that solution

Offshore Web Development
With the global nature of the Web and with seamless globalization in many areas of economic activity, offshore web development has become commonplace and beneficial. Open source web development also has led to greater use of offshore web development as experienced professionals on all these platforms such as WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart and many more are available in offshore locations such as India. Offshore web development translates into considerable cost savings for small and large businesses in Europe and the U.S. A typical offshore developer is approximately 20% of the cost of a developer in the west for example. If you are able to find a good offshore development partner, it can significantly reduce the cost to your business.

Summary
Open source web development is truly beneficial for everyone. It is like a community of individuals and businesses helping each other out. Imagine if all these open source CMS systems such as WordPress, Magento etc. were all charging licensing fees. It would be much more difficult for smaller companies to enter the market as well as there wouldn’t be so many extensions for all these open source solutions. If you need any help with any of your web or software development, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital Group.

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