The Risks and Benefits of Open Source Software for Online Publishing Systems

WordPress open source software systems pros and cons: flexibility and innovation versus chaos and waste, which will you choose?

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains how open source software systems can actually hinder growth if you’re not careful with selecting your service providers.

Quick Strategy Tip of the Day from Don

nl-donWordPress and other open source software used to create open systems on the Internet offer publishers the opportunity to innovate at a rapid pace or plunge their business into chaos.

We recently onboarded a new Gold Member whose legacy WordPress system had been hacked into almost unrecognizable pieces. There was no documentation, no code repository, no development environment, and no staging environment… Only a slow and crash-prone production system.

The system had been built by one group of engineers then maintained, modified and enhanced by others over the years. The resulting system, which drives about half of the organization’s new business revenue, was both slow and unstable. Search engine traffic was declining and email capture rates were down. Revenue was flat and new business initiatives were difficult to implement based on the state of the code and the associated business practices.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Each year, we onboard more and more new Gold Members who have experienced the above scenario. The rise of open-source software and open systems over the past two decades has led many publishers down the path to chaos, instability and revenue stagnation. Ironically, this is often happening to a publisher who was an early adopter of a multiplatform strategy and who has experienced significant growth in revenue in the past.

Fortunately, our business practices have evolved much faster than the business practices that are associated with an individual publisher or media organization. Because we are a cooperative that includes 21 publishers and more than 70 premium media brands, we’ve been able to invest in infrastructure, code repositories, documentation and other open system frameworks that allow us to maintain order, efficiency and innovation.

At its best, an open system offers a publisher the opportunity to add new revenue streams and marketing channels easily and quickly. And when the system is being maintained as part of a group of systems using the same and similar revenue generation models, the cross system synergies can drive innovation and revenue growth at an amazing pace.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you leverage the Mequoda Haven CXMS and the world of open systems in a safe and well-supported environment, let’s schedule a time to chat about your business and how we can help you grow.


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