There are many advantages to using open-sourced technology for constructing your website(s). One of the biggest advantages is price, as it is possible to use software that is developed to be shared, that is basically free, with donations accepted, usually one-time and very small compared to commercial software. Another advantage is versatility and adaptation, as the software shared within the community continues to develop and improve over time. With open-source, the features possible are literally limitless, and every developer to welcome to improve upon someone’s plug-in, allowing you the opportunity to write in features specifically for you.
The disadvantage with open-source solutions are not ready out of the box, and require some experience to really get the most out of what they have to offer. There are many features available within the community, but some are certainly better than others, and not all of them will everything you desire. So there is a fair amount of experimentation and testing that goes into finding stable plug-ins that do what you expect.
There are open-source designers and developers, however, that can do the necessary work to establish a site with useful and stable features. They have done this experimentation to a high degree and can offer packages that allow the website owner to take control of their site once it is designed and configured by the developer. These sites will cost more up front for the website/business owner, but will cost less in the long-run vs. a packaged website product from a large, national company.
Once a site is built, there may be other features that can be added later on. Website owners may learn how to add additional plug-ins to their site, or may ask their original developer to install the new feature. There would be a charge for installing the feature, but again, no other fees endure upon the life of the site. All costs for development can be one-time expenses as the site increase in size, features, or both, as long as the day-to-day updates can be taken care of by the owners of the site.
At Outward Image, we strive to ensure that all the sites we build are easy for the owners to edit, especially those areas they designate as crucial for the better functioning of their core business. A website should be an aid to business, and any site that is useful, is usually one in which the content is updated regularly.
So don’t get trapped in paying “low” monthly fees to a large website company. Get the versatility of an open-source designed and built specifically for you. The extra expense at the beginning will be offset in no time by a lack of those monthly fees. And you will end up with a more custom, fitting solution to your specific business.