When I first started in the website development business more than 11 years ago, programming options essentially revolved around Microsoft Windows. I worked on a Windows ’98 machine and performed my testing on a Personal Web Server (PSW). My first database was built in Microsoft Access. For a spare-bedroom operation, all was well with the world…until my business began to grow.
By February of 2002, Einstein’s Eyes had evolved into full-fledged web hosting company, and I was now purchasing hardware on which to grow my modest Windows empire. However, as I continued to set up more sites and add more users, I noticed a lot more Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) Open Source clients, and my eyes were opened.
Open Source was spawned in government laboratories during the 1960s and has developed steadily over time. Its toolbox is much more flexible than Windows, especially in the areas of web development, domain administration, security and email. Where Microsoft offers upgrades to accomplish the same results, added costs are always involved, and usually on a per user basis. Open Source solutions, on the other hand, are entirely free – and they don’t require configuring from scratch.
For instance, to send an email from a website using Open Source, a simple PHP script is all I need. With Microsoft, I’d have to buy a script, or work with an installed object that isn’t really transparent. Microsoft’s pre-written scripts are always protected, rendering them inflexible, whereas Open Source scripts are widely available and supported by a passionate, avid community of programmers always ready to share insights and expertise. What a refreshing difference!
In my opinion, Open Source technology is clearly the better technological solution, especially for the money. As a business owner, I can make more on an Open Source solution, even as I lower my cost to customers. It was win-win all the way around.
So, after a few years of living in both worlds, I shut down our Microsoft capabilities and migrated wholeheartedly into the Open Source world. Apparently, I am not alone. By domain count, Open Source servers outnumber Windows servers 2-to-1. IBM, Cisco, HP, Oracle and Sun all use Open Source technology. A quick review of the busiest e-commerce, forum and auction sites on the Internet reveals that Open Source, not Microsoft, is behind the curtains. With Open Source, I can:
- Create sites economically, without incurring overhead.
- Tap into a knowledgeable and eager support community, ready to share.
- Find an ample talent pool of programmers familiar with the technology.
- Build websites that are stable, reliable and scalable.
- Manage email flexibly, securely and with greater control.
Best yet, my customers save money and improve support, thanks to the popularity of Open Source.
If you are in the process of building a website, changing hosting companies or upgrading your current Internet assets, consider the merits of Open Source, and contact us for insights. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!