Web design tips: Reasons why most do-it-yourself website design are not successful

As you already know, in the last few years a lot of tools were created in order to help improving someone’s work in designing websites (along with other fields of activity over internet). It’s seems very easy to install a Joomla, Drupal or WordPress on a server, to configure it, to select a proper theme and to write some content in order to have a website running allright and looking nice. It many cases it would be do-it-yourself website, meaning you can do all of these without any help from a professional. Some web hosting companies offer some services on a server and some software packages that generate websites for a very fair price (from the client’s point of view).

But being able to do it yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t need help from somebody working in the field. The packages that generate websites are cheap, but usually they are not complete: they are offering only the minimal options for a website. If you, as a client, want something else or something more, you will soon find the limitation of such packages as a bad thing. On the other way, big free packages such Joomla, Drupal or WordPress have to be configured properly and sometimes that can be very tricky for somebody that’s using them the first time or does not have intensive experience with them. They also offer only limited options, but the good thing is that this kind of free products created around them a community and the users created addition scripts that allows you as end-user to improve your website with a lot of efficient solutions. The problem is the big number of third party solutions (there are hundreds or thousands of plugins and components for each system) and you have to lose some time to search the best ones for you. If you don’t find what you are looking (as templates, components or modules) you have to hire a professional to do the job for you and you are back to square one.

Webdesign Web design tips Reasons why most do-it-yourself website design are not successful /Dan-Marius.ro – my slice of internet / Oradea, Bihor, Romania.

Open source versus license versus custom software

Logo Open Source Initiative
Image via Wikipedia

The debate about open source software versus licensed software is so old that I don’t think I can bring something new and relevant to that. It has been said almost anything that could be said and both side has it’s “fanatics” that are sure that their way is the best way to do.

The open source software is a computer software that is available in compiled form (when necessary) and in source code form, some copyrights reserved for the creators of the code are provided under a software licence that permits users to study, change, improve and sometimes to distribute the software. Some open source licence are gathered under the Open Source Definition and others are available within the public domain.

All the rights to a software code is reserved to their creators, that rights are changed when the owner gives them up (open source code) or sell the code (based on a legal contract to create custom software or just to buy an already existing piece of software). A licence is a legal instrument governing the usage or redistribution of the software, a typical licence grants an end-user permission to use one or more copies of the software in ways where such a use would otherwise constitute copyright infringements.

As a software engineer, a webdesigner and an end-user I had to deal with open source and licensed software as well. Usually I rely a lot on the open source software (Linux distributions, Open Office and others, including several tools to get work done), but there are moments when I pay gladly for the licences (I still need a copy of Windows to test stuff, there also are a lot of software that deserve their money several times over).

From my personal point of view, the best part of these two distinct ways to deal with the software code is that you can start a project from scratch (and get your money when delivering to the customer), but also you always can get the open sources and start customizing them to fit the requirements (it’s faster, but you are selling a service, not the code itselft and there are not so many financial benefits from that in a single project). Either way, the client gets what she/he wants and everybody is happy (or they try to be). That’s why I say that the licence software as we know it is slowly dying, nobody will be interested to buy something that does not have attached a period of support and maintenance or even improvements (as a clause in the development contract). This might stop the opposition to the open source software as they (the open source and the licence software) will emerge into services, not just some delivered code.

The article is here and here.