Content management system (CMS) software is available in two options.  The first is through paid options which are often commercially packaged and available through several means both online and offline through software vendors.  The second is an option called open source, which means that the software can be coded and compiled by capable users free of charge.  This means that the open source CMS can be expanded upon and customized as needed by the community of designers and coders, making it a versatile and possible equivalent to a commercial option.

Advantages of open source CMS software

Cost – Open source CMS software is available for free from a variety of different locations.  This means that a wide variety of options will be available with the software and the software can be tested with a capable server or hosting option without the need to worry whether or not the software can be returned after a purchase.  Free CMS software means that the software can be used and discarded without a financial risk involved for the user.

Performance – Many of the CMS software options are able to work at the level or greater than that of available commercial options.  They are able to be stable and perform well even under high server strain and a variety of other factors which could cripple some paid options.  Since open source CMS options are often ported and standardized for use on various platforms they have a broader scope than many commercial options as well.  Consistency of the software from updates helps to ensure that any problems that are found and can be easily fixed.

Safety – The use of an open source CMS option makes it possible to know what is happening with the code.  Developers can distinguish when there are failures within the code which can cause damage and produce the appropriate fixes.  In a paid CMS option, the client will not have access to the code because it is closed source.  This can make them vulnerable to bugs in the code and would have to wait for the developers to release a fix before they are in the clear.

Support – Most open source CMS options have communities of developers and users which have a wide range of experience with the particular version of the software being used.  Any problems which a user may run into may have already been addressed and support can be found through these communities.  Official support may also be available through email from some developers as well to help resolve issues with the software.

A user who plans on using open source CMS software also needs to understand the needs of their application.  Businesses can use them to save money while a more involved user can completely change the way that CMS works with their usage.  Open source CMS options can have their benefits which make them great to use as an alternative to a commercial CMS product on the software market.

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