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Open source is used in a variety of applications and is responsible for some of the world's most popular creations. Some of the most well known pieces of open source software are the GNU Image Manipulation Program, also known as GIMP and the audio recording/editing software used by thousands all over the world, Audacity. Open source software is not merely limited to creative software however; it is also available for a variety of other applications, such as web browsing Firefox or even the Open Office collection with a word processor and other office applications such as presentations,databases and spreadsheets. Open source software is even seen in the world of eCommerce, for example Magento Community Edition. Open source software has a wide range of advantages over closed sourced proprietary products; here are ten benefits to open source eCommerce.

1. Updates For Everyone - With closed source projects, you have to report a bug to the support team and wait for it to process through their systems and hope that eventually somebody fixes it. With open sourced programs it is a lot simpler, if you encounter a bug you can fix it.

Having such a large amount of programmers constantly looking at the source code allows for better detailed and faster updates. This results in the program having a much better user experience because many of the software's updates are created by the community for the community.

With so many users offering potential updates, many maintainers (the people who decide which updates are added) have a vote system. This is similar to a peer review system used for many pieces of academic literature where members of a community self verify which additions should be added and which should be discarded.

2. Security - Many view open sourced software as a more secure option. The source code is visible to all and anyone can modify the code and submit an update. This means that any errors that were made by the original authors can be swiftly fixed. With so many programmers looking at the code without needing to ask permission, they can fix and upgrade the software, making it far more resilient to attacks.

Some businesses think that keeping the code locked away makes it safer. However, with as ZDnet writes, “If I look at how people break software, they don't use the source code."

3. Learning - For people looking to learn to code, using open sourced software can provide numerous learning possibilities. You can read the code and understand why it works the way it does, then make a change to the code and understand why it now works in a different way. The community nature of open sourced software allows people to share their mistakes, allowing people to learn from others and grow as a community.
Thanks to Linus's Law, “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" the more programmers looking at the code, the easier and quicker issues will be to identify and fix, which results in better educated programmers who produce more updates for users.

This great learning opportunity allows for better products in the future because more people are educated in how the code works and can produce future updates or even fork from the source and create a new platform based upon what they learned from the source.

4. Customisation - Open source eCommerce is very flexible; programmers can re-shape the platform however they wish. Such customisation is incredibly beneficial to any business.

This allows you to tailor your platform to the exact needs of your business. If you need something to do X Y or Z, the program can be edited to do that.

5. A Vast Collection Of Third Party Plug-Ins - Open source programs open have a plethora of add-ons, plug-ins and widgets available. If you're sat thinking “this feature would be great" chances are there's a third-party extension that can help make your life easier.

6. Free Yourself From Vender Lock-In - By using open source software; you free yourself from vender lock-in. By being locked to a vender, you're restricted to the vendor's requirements, prices, timetable and packages. The vender limits how you can use the product you're paying for.

Open source frees you from this; you're in control of what you want to do with the software and you can make it work for you.

7. Upgrade On Your Own Time, Not Your Vendor's - When you use proprietary software such as Adobe Flash Player or Microsoft Windows, you're on an infinitely progressing treadmill. As they make changes and updates, they increase the system requirements, meaning you have to update both your software and hardware when they say so. Some will often force updates meaning that if your hardware can't run the new update you either have to choose to between finding new software or upgrading your hardware.

With open source, you can choose when you upgrade, not the vendor.

8. Trust - With proprietary software, you have nothing but the vendor's word to trust. With open source software, you can see the source code for yourself. It can be very scary for a business to put their source code out there in the open for the world to scrutinise. It opens them up to a lot of criticism, but out from this criticism comes a chance to grow and make their products better.

9. Cut Costs - In comparison to proprietary eCommerce software, open source software is often much cheaper. So in addition to the previous eight great benefits to using open source eCommerce software, we can pass the savings onto you meaning you get much greater value from your money.

10. Support - With proprietary software if you have a problem, you have to contact their support team. With open source, there are a plethora of programmers who have access to the code who can help you with your problem. Their assistance is only a forum post away.

Open Source eCommerce Is The Future

With the current trends within software development, open source software isn't just going to be an option, but the norm. Current security trends are making people very cautious about what they download. Having the source code available for inspection is a great way to remove that concern.

Many great pieces of software used by thousands of people are either open source or forked from open source software. A great example is Google Chrome, which forked from Chromium.

Open source offers many great benefits beyond the ten mentioned above, like translation. The government of South Tyrol developed a version of Open Office in their local language, which has only approx 30,000 speakers. Such a small number of speakers would be far too low for any commercial software to make an investment, but with regards to the speakers of Ladin, this update was very important to their culture.

Protection Should Your Vender Shut Down

From time to time vendors shut down, they could go bust or they could decide that they no longer wish to support the software. When this happens you can be completely locked out of your software. This can result in you having to find a new piece of software, learn the how the software works/ find people who can use the software.

With open source, the code could be picked up and development could be carried on by another business, or it could be kept alive by a thriving community with a genuine interest in the software's survival.

Why Go Open Source For Your eCommerce Solutions?

We feel that open source gives a great experience to both you and your customers.

You have the safety of knowing your platform is save from vender lock-in, you know your eCommerce store is built on a platform that is constantly monitored and upgraded by thousands of skilled programmers and your users enjoy high quality freshly released features.

If you're interested in improved security, rapid bug-fixing and a wide range of support. Choose open source.

Why Choose Code Media For eCommerce Web Design?

We have over 15 years of web design experience. Just like open source software, once we have designed and built your website, it's yours. You can host it yourself, or we can host it for you. Our job is to make the whole process of designing a website easier for you.

Not everyone has the expertise needed to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them with open source software. Not everyone can take the time to learn new programming languages to implement features or fix bugs. That is why we are here. Thanks to open source, you're free and can move your platform anywhere you want, without being locked in with provider.

If you have any questions about open source eCommerce or you're interested in a quote, give us a call today on 0118 380 1001 or email us at


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