The thing about WordPress (and other open source products) is that we’re still just scratching the surface of a wave that is changing the world. Open source software and the whole ‘cloud computing’ paradigm are having a profound effect on the industry.
Open source software is now more than just a credible alternative to mainstream software; it is rapidly becoming ‘the’ mainstream. Budgets have taken a massive beating and for many, developing a website, hiring a graphic designer, buying Adobe Creative Suite or investing in any other commercially available technology has become just too expensive and too darned complicated. But open source software answers all of these issues because it’s powerful, intuitive and ‘free’… and how can you compete with free?
WordPress is at the forefront of the ‘open source’ revolution because it epitomizes all that ‘open source’ stands for. It empowers anyone to become a true part of the social media phenomenon. With WordPress, you can develop a fantastic website and blog; you can maintain it yourself, you can accommodate many contributors and vast quantities of materials; you can incorporate or share with an amazing assortment of social media sites such as Facebook, Biznik, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and more. You become part of a global community that is expanding every day.
By utilizing WordPress, and 3 additional open source products, anyone with a little training and a lot of enthusiasm can get online with a site that they couldn’t have dreamed of just a few short years ago. The combination of WordPress, NVU (for HTML), Gimp (for graphics) and Filezilla (for transferring files) is a one stop shop to building professional, multi-user, multimedia websites and blog without any develop costs. And for many, WordPress and a well chosen theme is all they need.
You have to understand that WordPress is not just a ‘free’ alternative to the commercial products. It may be free but it is way better than just about anything available; which is why it is so widely used by major corporations and government bodies alike. ‘Paradigm shift’ is an overused term nowadays but it is completely apt for what’s happening in the whole ‘cloud computing’ / ‘WordPress’ development culture.
The individual is empowered like never before because he or she has access to exactly the same tools as the richest of companies. And when the penny truly drops, books, training, consulting and ancillary services will sell by the bucket load because the only cost in getting online (for websites, blogs, databases, eCommerce systems and much more) will be the cost of learning.
From my experience, many total novices learn enough in just a few hours to appreciate that by using WordPress, they can be empowered to do something that they would have previous thought of as ‘extra-ordinary’.
The acceptance and integration of Open Source software and WordPress into mainstream business is becoming more significant every day. Hundreds of millions, if not billions of instances will find their way onto people’s browsers. Cloud computing (viewing and processing through a browser) opens the door to everyone. It doesn’t matter whether they are using a Windows laptop in a coffee shop in Seattle, a MacBook in a glass office block in San Francisco or a Linux netbook in Nigeria. They all access the web, have equal access to WordPress and can benefit from all that free ‘open source’ software offers them. All they need is a way to learn how to use it.