You know the ones.

When you go to see your web developer or IT guru, and all these terms comes spitting out faster than Usain Bolt smashing the 100 metres. Again.

But if you are looking for a new website design and site development, what does it all mean to you?

To be frank, there are technical references that really, are not necessary for you to understand in the world of web design. However, we would like to explain one piece of jargon which could very possibly save you time, money, and years off your life – and make sure that your website design and web structure is well placed for the future.

The main terms to be wary of are ‘closed source’ and open source’.

They pertain in this case specifically to web development services and construction, and the coding or source code used to build websites.

OK, here are the definitions:

CLOSED SOURCE: Computer source code that is not shared with the public for anyone else to make changes to, or look at.

OPEN SOURCE: Source code which is free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense or distribute.

Blah blah blah right? Wrong.
Technically, either is fine, depending on your requirements. In fact, ongoing study has been done since 2006, with the results showing that there is no difference in quality between the two.

(We work on open source, and you can see a selection of our sites here.)

Where it does matter is at your desktop, when you are managing your website. When you are getting your next website built by your chosen web design company, it is vital to understand these terms.  Then you can make a considered choice.


Here’s the difference:

If a developer suggests building your website in their own developed code, remember these things:

  • Everything you want a visual change undertaken, you will have to call them.
  • Every time you want to tweak, tinker or adjust your website, you will have to call them.
  • In some cases, every time you want to edit text, you will have to call them.
  • Want customisation? It’s gonna cost you.
  • Need support?  Make sure you trust the developer, because they are the only ones who know how this piece of software works.
  • And every time you call them?  You’ll get a bill.

Additionally, it will take time, and we all know that time is the most precious commodity of them all.


When a developer suggests using open source for your website, understand that these are the benefits:

  • Quality: open source packages have been created by thousands of developers, not a small team.
  • Having a public profile means that the developers understand what the customer is looking for, and more appropriate developments and improvements are created.
  • Developers can take pieces of code and customise it to suit.
  • Need to change something and your original developer isn’t available anymore?  Don’t worry, there are thousands of developers who can help you out without any trouble.
  • Need support?  Open source software offers a world of support through online groups and forums.


Everyone’s situation is different, and business owners need to make the right decision for themselves.

However, if you don’t want to be held hostage for large amounts of money, if you want to have control over your site, and have thousands of developers on your team, then it’s open source, all the way.

If you would like any help at all, or need more information about how to design a website perfect for your business, then please get in touch.

Click here.