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3 software options for building an open content subscription website

It’s not an online editor’s job to tell you how to create a website…but I do consider it my job to provide you with as much relevant information on that topic as I can.

At the Mequoda Summit East 2011, the Mequoda System Strategy Workshop introduced the entire 49-steps to building an online business to a crowd of people interested in content marketing and online publishing.

One slide that caught my attention discussed the hours associated with building websites. Don Nicholas, CEO of Mequoda Group, detailed options for a software strategy that was pretty straightforward – and very valuable for anyone who wants to build an online business.

Choosing your software strategy

How will you take your legacy media content online? Do you have an existing website that you’ll adapt to successful strategies for online publishing, or will you be starting from scratch?

During the Mequoda System Strategy Workshop, three different types of software solutions were discussed:

LAMP Core: This is a group of free, open source software. It’s an acronym for Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python. All of these components are put together to create a working general-purpose website. In order to have a custom website designed off the LAMP Core specs, an average of 4,600 hours are needed.

WordPress Core: WordPress has become a popular blogging platform over the years, especially due to its large community of architects and designers. Building a custom WordPress Core system is quicker than going the LAMP Core route, mainly because many plugins are already available throughout the community. The average time it takes to develop one of these systems is 2,700 hours.

Mequoda Framework1: We use Mequoda Framework1 for building client websites. Framework1 consists of an evolving set of best practices developed and tested throughout Mequoda Gold Member Systems. Developing a Mequoda Framework1 system takes the shortest amount of time, around 960 hours.

One key piece of advice for all online publishers using an outside service provider, do not look for estimates. Instead, get real numbers on what the project will cost and how long it will take. The number represented in an estimate will always go up.

For those of you considering a new website, or an upgrade to an existing system, take a look at our Building Subscription Websites free white paper for ideas on the direction you may want to go. Building Subscription Websites includes information on the nine most profitable subscription website types.


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