which one is it?_

According to Wikipedia (link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software), ‘open-source software (OSS) is computer software that’s released under a licence in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose.’

Also, ‘open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. Open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration, meaning any capable user is able to participate online in development, making the number of possible contributors indefinite. The ability to examine the code facilitates public trust in the software.’

GitHub is the most widely-used open source community.

HubSpot states that ‘GitHub is an online software development platform used for storing, tracking, and collaborating on software projects.’

And, ‘it enables developers to upload their own code files and to collaborate with fellow developers on open-source projects. GitHub also serves as a social networking site in which developers can openly network, collaborate, and pitch their work.’

So Why Open Source, Then?

It’s Cheaper.

By making software open-source, anyone can download the source code to be altered for their own use. Most SaaS companies charge to use their software, whereas open-source projects are completely free.

Use It How You Wish.

Unlike most SaaS (‘software-as-a-service’) platforms, open-source projects give you complete customisation capabilities, enabling you to customise the platform how you wish. You can remove things, add things, or change the use of it entirely.

Support Is Available Online.

GitHub enables users to track bugs, submit feature requests, and gain access to user guides, feedback from other users, alterations of the software, and more. Often, GitHub projects will be updated from time-to-time, ironing out any bugs, making your life easier.

First-to-market Technology

Often, open-source projects are ahead of their time, meaning that you can gain access to technology that either doesn’t exist yet, or that typically comes with a hefty price tag. Often, Open Source is a first port of call for many developers who require a quick fix/solution.

The Downsides

However, open source projects aren’t perfect, either. As with most things in life, they come with their own downsides, as well as upsides:

There May Be Bugs.

This is especially apparent if you’re using a new piece of technology. In most cases, user testing and feedback hasn’t been collected yet, so you can expect your fair share of bugs. You can either fix them yourself, or submit a feature request, and wait/hope for an update.

Support Can Be Limited.

Whilst GitHub enables users to track bugs, submit feature requests, and gain access to user guides, feedback from other users, alterations of the software, and download updates, there’s no number you can call to get an instant fix, unlike most SaaS businesses.

It May Not Be Suitable For Your Use Case

If you’ve manipulated the technology to fit your needs, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get support or download a latest update for that type of specification, leaving you in the dark. You may have to fall back on an in-house software developer or agency.

It Isn’t Always User Friendly

Not every piece of open-source software looks good, feels good, or has a good UX/UI, which might result in you having to engage in significant work to make it usable for internal or commercial purposes.

An Open Source Example:


Although you’ll have to pay to host WordPress online, the actual technology itself is completely free, and customisable how you wish. You can even download WordPress themes (here and here), and plug-ins (here). And you can build your own themes and plugins. However, not every theme or plugin is free.

It’s always good to get help.

Just because open source software is free, you may still need a hand.

At Wirebox, we’re experts when it comes to open source software. We’ll be sure to build something that fits your specific requirements, and we’ll be on hand to help.

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