Opensource vs. Proprietary Platforms for Websites: Why Opensource is a Better Option

Opensource vs. Proprietary Platforms for Websites: Why Opensource is a Better Option

Opensource vs. Proprietary is probably not the most common question we get. That’s because most people don’t actually know there’s a difference.

At Back9 Creative we understand, that as a business owner, choosing the right platform for your website is really Important!

With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which platform to build your website on. If you choose to use a web design agency, like us, they’ll possibly specialise in one system or another. For example, at Back9 we specialise in Custom Websites and Custom App Development. And as a client who wants to update your website, then we recommend the open-source WordPress CMS – which is opensource.

But having said that, should you go for a proprietary platform or an open-source one? In this article, we will delve into the differences between open-source vs. proprietary platforms for websites. And why we believe that open-source is a better option.


Proprietary Platforms

Proprietary platforms are built and exclusively owned by a company, which means that the code is closed to the public. This generally limits the access for developers. This means it can make it less dynamic and slower to respond to changes in the market and customer needs. Simply put, it’s like having a car that you cannot get under the hood to finely tune for better performance. And Website speed and Maintenance are a crucial parts of realising success online in this digital age.

With proprietary platforms are a much more do-it-yourself solution. But some agency’s and feelancers do still use the. So it is important to understand how much and what you are paying for if using a website company’s services. These Platforms, often referred to as ‘Website Builders’ include the likes of Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Expression Engine. With these companies, you don’t own the platform. You are simply paying a license to use it and house your content.

OpenSource Platforms

In contrast, open-source platforms are built collaboratively by communities of developers around the world. As a result, it has the advantage of an extensive community of developers continuously improving the software. That means they’re often fixing bugs and security vulnerabilities quickly, making it more resilient to cyberattacks. By being open, it also means that there is a greater range of plugins and integrations that can be used to improve website functionality too. And when compared to proprietary platforms that tend to only work with their own products this can be a huge benefit.

Personalised & Customised Experience

Customer engagement is vital for any online business. And open-source platforms enable the developer to tailor the website to be a more personalized experience. With its open-source code, developers can customise everything from the content management system (CMS) to the design and the customer journey. Proprietary platforms usually offer limited scope for personalization. Furthermore, they’re frequently only customizable with add-ins and plugins that require permission from the vendor. Oh and generally at an additional cost!

Opensource vs. Proprietary for Website Maintenance

The cost of service and maintenance could be another factor influencing your decision-making process. Generally, proprietary platforms come with a premium price tag, regularly incurring licensing fees and annual maintenance charges. When using open-source platforms, it is free to use, but some services such as hosting may still have a cost associated with them. Nevertheless, the development and maintenance of the site itself can be cheaper in the long run.


Finally, open-source platforms offer more significant incentives for sustainability and longevity. Fundamentally, if the company that created the proprietary platform ceased to operate, there would be no more customer support and no longer any maintenance. However, developing communities within the open-source sector continue to evolve and evolve, ensuring your website will have an extensive support system for years to come. This is even more so if one chooses from the plethora of open-source CMSs such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla.

When it comes to choosing between opensource vs. proprietary platforms for websites, it is worth considering the differences discussed in this blog post. While vanilla proprietary platforms can offer a more secure and limited environment, an open-source content management system (CMS) can offer far more flexibility and scope for customization, which can lead to a more personalized experience for your customers. With the added benefit of very little financial overhead and ongoing community contribution, the open-source route offers the sustainability and versatility that can be vital to your online success. Ultimately, the choice depends on your long-term business goals and whether customizability, affordability, and sustainability align with the outcomes you want to achieve.

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