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Show Notes:

Welcome to the Rediscover Your Brand™ Podcast presented by ArtVersion Creative Agency. Tune into Podcast 42 for more on open source platforms. We are going to discuss:

  • What open-source platforms are
  • Compare them to closed source platforms
  • The benefits of utilizing open-source platforms
  • And Open Sourced Platforms in the long-run

Transcript:

You are listening to Rediscover Your Brand™ Podcasts brought to you by ArtVersion Interactive Agency.

Welcome to the Rediscover Your Brand™ Podcasts. I’m your host Mike McCormick and, you know, for the past couple of weeks we decided to take that path down the Internet way. 

And you know, we started out that way. We left it for a little bit and then we came right back. And it’s been pretty good. You know we’ve been talking about a lot of different strategies that will help your company and your business grow. And what you can do to get yourself out there. More platforms that are useful for organizations that you might not have thought of in the past.

10 years ago they released social media like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus. Those things weren’t around when we really needed them before in the past, but they’re around today, so why not utilize something? That’s why I covered a lot of those strategies and we kind of moved on with that. And then you know, for a while our main focus is straight on talking about the mobile web.

The mobile web is such an exciting and fun topic. We talked about all the different platforms where you can utilize it, why it’s important, why you gotta, you know, just go out there and keep doing it. We talked about having those interactive brochures on the mobile web but we didn’t talk about the Internet. It came through and we had a lot of mobile stuff in there. All these advances are great and they’re awesome and they’re fun and they’re exciting. And that’s what I wanted to talk about those different things that were, you know, going on with the web and the mobile web. Now today I want to continue that same Internet focus that we have been talking about now for awhile.

And that we have been going with and that we have been pushing forward with. But this one is focused mostly on your website in this topic that I’m going to talk about today. It’s one of the most extremely important topics that I will talk about. You know, it goes along with your whole Internet being an especially different. And it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s going to be really cool. Today we’re going to talk about open source platforms now when there’s a ton of open source platforms out there and I can talk about every advantage and disadvantage of each single platform and go on for hours, possibly days, because there’s so many ones that are out there that are fun and useful and exciting, and the tools that are just built into these things that you can realize.

I mean, I could keep going and going, but honestly that wouldn’t be fun for anybody and it wouldn’t be fun because that would take out all the adventure that you guys are always looking for when you’re looking for how tools are utilized. That’s why I always leave that door open and I want you guys to go out there and I want you to see for yourselves how to utilize them. So I’m going to make it a little simple. For today, I’m going to focus my intention just an open source platforms as a whole. You know, I may discuss some of the larger aspects of them and some larger things that you know you can utilize with the open source platforms, but I’m not going to go into full detail on, you know, talking strictly about WordPress or Drupal or Magento.

They give you guys that open fields of finding the one that best suits your needs, that best fits your website. The type of site that you’re building in.

Like I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again and I’ll keep on saying – you know your target audience because when you’re building your website alone and you’re putting all your information out there, you’re going to want to know what your target audience is looking for. And that knowing what they’re looking for is going to help you create that awesome user interface which is going to create the awesome user experience, but you gotta have that back-end.

That platform on the back-end is going to help you out a lot more in the future when it comes to knowing exactly what your target audience wants. So knowing that applying that you’ll be able to find the best platform for you. So you know we’re going to keep it pretty simple today. Basically I’m going to tell you what open source platforms are. I’m going to compare them to closed source platforms because that is the really big concept that’s out there. Today is open source and closed source platforms. Especially so you know how to utilize them. What comes down to what your host is going to choose for you. Or can you choose it yourself?

You know I’m going to talk about a couple different benefits. There are two open source platforms, and then I’m going to really look into open source platforms into the future. If we were to judge 50 years ago what our future would be like today, we probably would not have seen the advances in the mobile web and social media and the different email platforms that are out there today. I’ll talk about why open source platforms are the best for you. You know your long run material, the long run stuff that you’re going to need.So you know that’s pretty much the stuff that we’re going to cover today, and it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting, so let’s get the ball rolling. And let’s get this thing started.

So let’s talk about what are open source platforms. Basically, open source platforms are your back-end on your website. Having them being open allows you to go in anytime you want change anything you want on them. A lot of times you know they provide a lot of plugins for your website, so you can add multiple things without having to figure out the code for yourself. Or you know, trying to hire somebody to write the code for you, because those codes are already written as plugins for you open source platforms that are really usually pretty simple. I mean they may come to the point where anybody in your organization, when need be, can log in under account that’s created for them and go in and edit the content that’s on your site or add new stuff. Just have fun with changing different things on your website.

As your organization grows, and as you advance with your company, things do change, trends change, so you’re going to want to have that ability to keep going in. And that’s what open source platforms offer for you. So really, having the open source platform is basically the back end of your website. The front end of your website is what the user sees, what the user does in the front end. You know you need a strong back end to have a strong front end. The front end covers the whole design aspect, but the back end allows those you know plugins those links.

All the fun stuff on your website happens because the back end there, so that’s the really cool part about it is you get to have all these fun little things. It’s like you know you want to have certain toolbars and certain things that move in a certain way. Well, you know you want your front end to be visible that way. Well, your back end will be able to control how everything works that way from your back end through the design. And that’s the cool part about it. You know you have the front end, and you have the back end. Controlling stuff on the back end will allow it to push forward to the front end, creating that one of a kind award winning first-class user experience that we’re all looking for. And that’s the most important aspect. Having an open source platform will allow you to do that.

Now to go on, I kind of want to compare them to closed source platforms because you know, closed source is kind of a thing that’s out there and it’s one of those things that a lot of people don’t know that you can control so much. You know Drupal and Magento. All of these are fun and a lot of people don’t see it like that. I’ve got a couple of friends out there and you know here and there I’ve been talking with them about all this stuff and they thought that WordPress was only useful for blogs, but it’s not. It’s used for everything. They didn’t know that a lot of these back-ends you could do that, especially the ones who own their small businesses. They have small websites and they pay their hosts to also control everything. So they didn’t know that they were able to change things in, you know, really change the design anytime they wanted to add and implement new stuff. Change how certain things on their small business with their ecommerce sites work and how they can view things they didn’t know because the closed source platform doesn’t allow you to do that. And when it’s closed source, you can’t.

It’s your company. To what extent do you want to take it? Do you want to pull so you know it’s your business? What extent are you going to go to? Allow somebody to control everything that you can have on there? And that’s why you know when you compared to open source it, you know there isn’t really much to compare. One is closed in, you know you’re pulling in giving and taking. How much are you going to give him this month so they can let you do more? And that’s what it really comes down to. With an open source, it’s like, you know it’s my website. I own everything. I control it. I don’t have to worry about anything really happening. Anything bad happening? You know if it does happen, I could go in and change it. You know I don’t have to wake up one day and be like something’s trending and I call up, you know, the controller, the host, because we’re all going to have hosts you know somebody’s got to host the domain name for us too.

For it to be out there, but you want to pick a host that allows you to have that open source behind it, and that’s the one aspect that it comes down to. And you gotta really think about it because if you had that host who allows you to do whatever you want, whenever you want, your company is going to achieve more. If you have a host that you know they control every little aspect of what you do when you wake up that one day and something is really trending and something is really hitting and you really gotta push it out, ’cause it’s going to. You know, it’s the one small balancing factor. I don’t want to put anybody in that position but say it’s a small balancing factor and this small balancing factor can extend you further out than you ever existed in, you know on one hand, but if you don’t do it, it’s not really going to do much, but you really want to do that and you wake up in that closed source platform when you call, and you’re trying to get through and you’re trying to get it done. And they just won’t budge.

I think I am doing what I really want to be doing right now if my organization is pushing that because there are so many other aspects that can be pushing my organization. But you know, there’s these controllers who are not. So when it comes down to it, if you have a closed source platform right now, you might really want to rethink your host. You might want to find a new host. It’s kind of hard when you’ve got everything already established. When you’re trying to advance your business all the time and you know you want to do more, you got locked into account. 

And that’s the other cool thing. Open source platforms don’t ever lock you into a contract. There’s nothing there. You know you don’t like it. Today you get up and leave tomorrow. You don’t. Actually, you know you don’t like it today. Get up and leave today, because nobody’s going to stop you or tell you what to do. You know you could jump from one open source platform to another, and it’s no big deal. It’s not like you’re locked into anything and you can do as much as you want because there’s nothing that’s blocking you. And unlike a closed source platform where you’re going to be locked in, you’re going to be locked into every single second that is going to be there.

Which these kind of boil over into the benefits. So let’s go on and move on to the benefits right now. Really quickly, there’s so many benefits and I want you guys to go and see them for yourselves. But really, when it comes down to things that are trending, things that are new, things that are exciting, these are the benefits you really have to open your mind to.

Open source platforms are updating constantly. The plugins are always changing, they always know it’s going to be trending. They’re always going to know what people want and they’re doing it. They’re providing what people are looking for and they’re giving you the plug in so you don’t have to go out and write the code. But on the other hand, there’s a couple of open source platforms out there that you know you do have to write the code for. But if you’re

working on WordPress or Drupal, you’re gonna be going to have those plugins already built in for you because they’re already thinking about it because they are the bigger picture and they want you guys to have everything there. But on the other hand, say you know you got an inhouse coder, you know you got a guy who can code and who can make it unique. One of a kind. Nobody else has seen it on any other website. That is another thing that other open source platforms will allow you to do. Completely awesome to everything you’re looking for and that’s really cool that you can do that. And that’s a huge benefit right there in the second bite.

If you own everything, you control everything, and that is huge. I’ve said it before a couple of times already in this podcast and I’ll say it again. But the fact of the matter is that you control everything that you do. How exciting is that? You know you don’t have to worry about any contract fees. You don’t have to worry about anything going wrong. And on the other hand, you also know you can have your own design in-house or you can go out to an agency and if there’s something you don’t like, you can redesign it, which is also cool. Creating that bigger user interface, that better first class award-winning user experience that we all want. We all want our companies to have that on its websites. And even in the mobile world you can control how you create your applications, how you create your mobile websites, how you create your responsive site.

Especially, you know a lot of these pretty much open source will allow all of them. You know all the open source back ends will allow for responsive web design. How exciting is that? And that’s really awesome that you can have that. Especially since responsive web design is going to be the next greatest web design platform that’s out there, it’s going to be that pushing factor that everyone is going to need. And, you know, but it’s going to be a little battle getting there, but it is in having platforms that support that is going to be really exciting to you.

And I’ll say it again, you control everything the second your target audience decides that they’re looking for something a little different. You can jump on that without even thinking. You could just give them what they’re asking for, and that’s the cool thing about it is knowing your target audience. It’s what I’ve said so many times in the past, but when it comes to an open source platform, it really gets applied. 

So that’s the one cool thing, and you know, there’s a ton in tools and you can do so many different things and you can strictly edit whenever you want. You can have a blog or a podcast and you can write on it as much as you want. You could talk with them as much as you want. You don’t have to worry about different things and trying to. They allow you to add links whenever they want you to. You can add different, you know scrolls at the top. You can add, you know, a different media content. You can add multiple pages. You could go back and take pages out and you can have a so much fun with that. And those are a ton of the benefits right there. And when it really comes down to it, a lot of the benefits are just endless. This is also one of the biggest things that I like to tell people is that these open source platforms are free. You don’t have to pay a single dime to be using them.

Sometimes they’ll charge you for upgrades on plugins or they’ll give you a plugin for download, but really, what’s a dollar in today’s age for a plugin that’s going to change your whole user experience. And it’s going to make everything 100 times better, so that $1 is going to bring in 1000 times as much. You know, even 100,000 times if you’re a larger organization. So I mean they may charge you for the plugins because you don’t have to write the code, but on the other hand, if you don’t want to pay that, you know $1 that they charge a lot of them.

So it comes down to being really cost effective because you’re not locked into a contract that doesn’t allow you to do anything. And that’s what you really gotta think about is you could be stuck in the contract today with your closed source platform and you’re kind of stuck. You’re locked in, you can’t do anything and you’re paying every single month for. 

This back end you really aren’t able to use or you can control your own website. You can have an open source platform. And when you need certain plugins, they might charge you here in their forum, but there is minimal charge. Besides if you’re only paying for that specific plugin at that time, once it’s bought it’s yours. It’s not anybody else’s, it’s yours. So that’s what it comes down to. You’re not paying to use the back end of your own website.

And why should you have these extensive contracts, these extensive fees? So you have those that is just probably the highest end benefit you can go. There’s so many more out there and I want everybody who’s listening to just go out and adventure. Find out what you need and what’s best. I mean, it comes down to whatever your type of website is. If it’s ecommerce, you might want to try one. If it’s a blog site, you might want to try another. You want to see really which ones provide the best back end for you with some pretty cool plugins. They all have really cool plugins, but you’ll just check them out, see what plugins will really excite you and what’s great for your organization. What’s good for your target audience is knowing your target audience is always the most important thing when you’re talking about the web because they’re the ones who are going through your experience that you’re presenting for them. 

But I’ll move on from those benefits because I really want you guys to adventure and I really want you guys to learn them for yourselves. That’s why the door is open and you know I can give you a brief look into what the larger benefits are. But there’s so many smaller ones that you really have to go adventure out and see I mean the smaller ones. They create more of a larger benefit In the long run than some of these larger benefits that are out there that I went over.

Let’s talk about your website in the future and let’s see about what. Where do you see your website in the future? That’s one you know topic that a lot of people see. Where do you see your organization? Where do you see the internet going and where do you see your website? And technology grows and we grow with it because we have to grow with it. And if you don’t grow with it, you know you should start growing. You should start adapting more towards it, and I know sometimes you know being in early adapters not the best, but it’s better than being a late adapter.

You gotta be on the ball and you gotta learn about it. You gotta go out and educate yourself and you gotta find out what is out there and what is going to be needed. And that’s why we’re here. We’re here to always educate you guys so you guys can find out what the best is and when it comes into the future you know it’s so hard to tell these days like I said. 50 years ago, nobody would ever think that social networking was going to be the largest thing that the mobile web was going to overcome. PCs living alone that people would have PC’s in their houses. When we look at all these aspects and all these different things. This is where we really gotta, you know get down, get deep and we gotta you know talk about these aspects because we don’t think about them as much as we thought we would. 50 years ago, even 20 years ago, you know 10 years ago things started getting implemented, but you know, 10 years ago nobody thought that the mobile Internet would take over PC’s and that will be this largest thing that it is becoming today. So when it comes to the future, it’s one of those aspects that we really don’t know. 

But when it comes down to open source platforms and closed source platforms, open source is probably the best for the future because it allows for the futuristic longview look that you can see, and it allows you to depth to it if you have a closed source platform. I’ve said this a ton of times. You’ll be locked into that one contract. You’ll be locked into certain things you can do in certain things you can’t do in. Like I said before, you know when certain things just you know they become. The big thing then there trending out there doesn’t allow for you in your contract to do that.

And with them, they’re going to allow you to adapt to it. And all these people who are building these backends that are open source are adapting as they grow. So in the long run you gotta think about what’s going to be the best for your business, what’s going to allow you to adapt, what’s going to allow you to push forward, and that’s the open source platform way of doing it. That’s why I said we never know what’s going to happen in the future, but we have to pick the best option that is out there for our organizations. I’m not here to judge anybody. I’m not here to tell you guys what to do or what not to do, but I am going to say that open source platform are better than closed source platforms when you’re talking about the future.

Open source platforms are the way to go when you’re thinking about the future because they allow you to adapt. They allow you to grow. They allow you to figure out what you’re going to do next and what you’re going to do in a year, what you’re going to do in two years. Even what you going to do tomorrow, a week or in a month. You know the short term future comes faster than the long term future, but having these ideas set in motion is just that’s the one thing the open source platform backends allow you to do. And then they allow you to change your front end whenever you want to, which is also better for the future, because we do grow.

If I was doing this podcast two years ago, I would probably never have said anything about responsive, because responsive is still kind of a new platform. But this is today. Open source platforms allow for responsibility. That’s why you see a lot of these companies who haven’t changed their websites in almost a decade, haven’t changed in over years because they’re locked into contracts and they can’t. But you know, the design aspects and how you can build things. And you know how HTML5 wasn’t even around five years ago.Here appear an array of web tables, web capable devices, but a lot of those websites who are out there control the back end that they’re utilizing.

And it’s one of those things that’s hard to think about, but why not just go with the platform? You know that allows you to adapt, allows you to grow and allows you to be happy. So you really gotta think about your options and think about what you’re doing when it comes down to that. Open source platforms are really exciting and they’re really fun, but the thing I want you guys to get out of this is that you’re not locked into any contract. They’re very cost effective. They allow you to adapt and allow you to grow. They allow you to do anything you want, and most of all they allow you to own your website. So that’s why open source platforms are as cool as they are.

Well that’s about it for episode 42 of the Rediscover Your Brand™ Podcast. I’m your host Mike McCormick and this has been brought to you by ArtVersion Interactive Agency. You may contact us on Facebook, Twitter or our website. Thanks for listening!