We’re always looking for ways to improve the return on investment that you’ve made in your web site. One of the critical areas is the selection of software to build and run your web site. When we evaluate software to use on your site, we ask, does the software program, package, or system:
- allow you to access your data and information freely, or does it lock you in to a proprietary vendor solution?
- support modification and customization, or is it a proprietary solution that only the vendor may modify, if at all?
- comply with industry-wide accepted standards?
We prefer software that, whenever possible, allows you free and unfettered access to your data, plus extensive customization, all while complying with well-established industry standards.
As it turns out, there’s plenty of top-tier software available that meets these criteria. It’s called open source software, because the code is open and accessible. Often, these open source software packages are also available at lower cost than their proprietary counterparts.
How low is the cost? Most of the time, it’s free.
Here are some of our favorites that we use to build Web Sites That Work:
Web Site Hosting
- Web Server: Apache
- Server side scripting language: PHP
- Database: MySQL
- Content Management System: Joomla & WordPress
Web Site Development Tools
- Writing, Graphics, Spreadsheets (Office Software): OpenOffice and NeoOffice (Mac):
read more about this free replacement for Microsoft Office.
We use these tools all the time, and recommend that you give them a try as well. All of the software listed above is free, so you can download any package you are interested in and try it out on your computer to see if it works for your requirements.
For the latest on open source software, see Neil’s Open Source Blog.