Open Source Web Development

The Picture

Imagine if you will, trying to buy a car, it looks slick, shiny, fast, the salesman wants you to have it as bad as you do. But you’re a smart buyer you want to check things out before you lay the money down. But the salesman won’t let you see inside! Won’t let you look under the hood. You have no idea what the vehicle can actual do or if it can do anything. I feel the very same way with commercial software. It cost half a grand for the Operating System to run a computer, another half grand for some decent graphic design software, and however much for a legitimate HTML editor. From this and, of course from the title, you can tell that I am focusing on software for web development, but many principles discussed here can be applied to all software. So many stores sell on the web, it’s a hassle free environment, and so many people buy from the web because they know they can buy anything. So a web page may be something you really want, but you’re going to want to get what you paid for, or heaven forbid it being an investment….more out of it than you put into it. Read on!

Why Open Source

The reason Web Development is a such a huge industry is because it is a business that has everything all other businesses don’t have. Accessible from millions of locations, in every country that has plumbing, AND….theoretically it can be manufactured, maintained, changed, or destroyed from any internet capable computer (included phones, and hand helds). The biggest upside to anything Open Source is the cost of the software, you cannot compete with free. The cost of a website is pretty high when you go through a company, which takes their cut and then assigns it out to one or two employees that do all the work. But that company has to buy software to run right? Of Course! But what does a company do when an Open Source product is better then the ones it is currently using? Do the people on the inside of the company prefer to use the same software, usually not until they have had that software pounded into their head, and even not then if it costs a lot. So why Open Source, is it the cure all? You still have to work, have hardware to run it on and so on and so forth. But then you can pay just for the time of an employee, you can try different solutions. And since we are speaking about web development, we can look at the amazing content managers that are Open Source such as Joomla, or PHPNuke where anybody can put the content in.

Big Companies and Open Source

So knowing that Open Source is free and it’s freelancers and underpaid programmers that work on this with the occasional paid employees and projects that have sponsors, who benefits and who does not from the Open Source movement? I will readily let you know that I benefit extremely from all the free software that is out there in my own freelance web design, like I explained above, the software to edit graphics and HTML code is expensive, I could not imagine also paying for the FTP (File Transfer Protocol, use to upload files to a server) client. Now it is a given that all us little people save tons of money, but now who does it hurt? I was doing a little research and found that a lot of companies that were beginning to embrace Open Source solutions such as IBM and Novell, also any smaller company providing a service and struggling to become larger. The larger companies like IBM don’t mind that the programs are free because they are making hardware and if people don’t have to spend as much on software they would spend a little more on the hardware. Novell wouldn’t mind because they can make the code flawlessly integrate with the Operating Systems that they can see all the code for. The only software company that is hurting (I’m sure I could find more if I looked) is Microsoft, funny to me it seems that Microsoft would put so much money and time into their gaming console when it specializes in its operating system. At first I though it was another piece of the market that Microsoft wanted to dominate, but now knowing how prevalent Open Source is becoming, it was actually a brilliant idea that will give them something to live off of when people eventually switch over to Linux or any other free OS.

The Internet in All We Do

The reason this article focuses on Web Development along with Open Source is that we spend so much of our computer time on the internet, if it were not for music I think I wouldn’t need a large hard drive at all, I only have a few gigs of applications at any given time. But if my computer cannot connect to the internet I feel stranded! I mean, I got to check my e-mail (the two different online accounts that I have), edit or just view my website, chat with my family in Canada and friends that still live an hour or so south of Salt Lake City, and make web pages for other people. So the internet is critical for myself, and that is why I need Open Source products, I could never afford to buy high end software and then make a web page for as little as I do.

This Concludes this Broadcast Article

Thanks for reading and please give Open Source a chance, if you are using Google you can type in Linux, Joomla, SourceForge, or Open Source and you can find all that free software for Linux and Windows. Enjoy!

Why You Should Not Engage A Web Developer

When I first started my web designing business five years back, I didn’t have any experience, customers, money or any clue about building websites. For my first attempt at a dynamic website I bought a book on ASP programming and with the help of the book I built my very own simple content management system. It was really difficult. It took me almost 2 months and cost about $10,000.

Last week we launched a dynamic CMS based website for a client and it took us one day and cost $299.

Back in 2006, it was rather difficult to build a website and you pretty much had to be a web developer to do it. Open source programs hadn’t yet taken off. Most of the websites were custom programmed by the web developers. If at all they used a CMS, it would be the ones built by themselves. Either way, you had to be a programming geek if you wanted to build your own website.

Thus many businesses didn’t have dynamic websites at all.

Thankfully the times have changed…

These days it is not really necessary to be a programmer to build a website. After my initial foray into ASP, I tried to find an open source system that I could use; that is when I discovered great systems like Joomla! and WordPress that could be used for back end client websites. I never looked back once I started using these open source systems.

I do have programmers on my staff, however there is no programming required for an average small business website. At least for people like me who are using open source systems like Joomla! and WordPress it isn’t required. All the programming work is already be done for you.

This is the reason why you don’t have to be paying a web developer to build your website. If you are paying for developing small business websites:

1) They either haven’t been using the free systems available and are still stuck in the dark ages coding the site by hand or
2) They are using their own CMS which makes it harder for you to move on if you want to.

Standing Out

While it is rather simple to build a website these days, it is not easy to build a good one. In fact you can argue that as it is really easy to build one, the task of building websites in lots of cases is put back in the hands of the business owner.

Hence there are a lot of self-built websites of average quality in the sea of small business websites. When you combine this with the number of legacy websites online from back in the day, it paints are really grim picture of the quality of sites online. Here lies the opportunity.

The opportunity

In the good old days, you just needed to have an online presence, but now the opportunity is in having a websites that stands out from the numerous average websites with a website that works properly.

So who should you engage?

Now the question is if you don’t want to engage a web developer, who should be responsible for building your website. Building a website requires a lot of different skills, some that can be provided by yourself and some by your provider. Below is a list of ingredients that are required for building a great website.

YOU

You are the most important ingredient for building your own website because:

1. One can design a great website only around a goal and you are the only one who would be able to express the strategies for your business.
2. Great websites will give the visitors exactly what they are looking for. You are the only one who will be able to know what your customer wants and how to pull their strings.
3. You will have to exhibit something unique. You will be the person who knows what is unique about your business.
4. You will have to work out a plan with your provider to generate traffic and lots of traffic will come through your own efforts.

Your Provider

1. You have to make sure that your provider is a good designer because great websites will look good.
2. Your provider needs to be flexible and open because you will need CMS that is easy for you to maintain.
3. Your provider needs to know about web promotion and help you to generate traffic to your website.

Using the services of a web developer to build website is close to over. If you wish to take the present opportunity you will need more.

The Essentials Of Web Development And Internet Design

The main focus of web development and internet style is having a setup plan and understanding the purpose of the task at hand. A good developer will have an understanding of both internet development and web design. The first thing they should take into consideration is the audience they want to attract. Then they can apply the technical side to what it takes to put those kinds of attracting components onto the site. This is known as technical communication. There is always necessary analysis and good planning involved for a developer to do their job properly.

Good developer will have a feel for just what the site users will be looking for and will be drawn to once they arrive at the site. A good strategic plan should be created before the project begins as far as implementing the technical necessities. They need to be innovative in their approach to holding the interest of the audience.

They also need to keep in mind that there can be a wider scope of visitors to the site than just ones for the specific product. If you want a site for selling computer parts, you could attract visitors from many other types of audiences. So the developer needs to careful not to alienate any other potential buyers when they develop the site.

They need to have the specific goals and objectives of the site clearly defined in their minds. They would then have to research and find the proper domain information for the site. The domain is how people will find the site once it is up and going. It should be relevant to the subject matter of the site. And the developers should develop the site around this subject matter and create a style that will make this attractive to the projected audience.

Once the design is finished, the developers need to install all the boundaries of the technical structure they have mapped out for the site. It should have specific and well established boundaries. They may take their first project prototype and use it for analysis and testing before they decide to make it available to the general public.

A net developer may utilize such technical applications as Java scripts, applets, CGI, or HTML. These would correspond with the software used for creating the hypertext structure of the site. Then once the site goes public, it can be advertised and begin the job of drawing traffic. This can be done by posting on other sites and linking to forums and blogs.