open source vs closed source
  • 29 February 2020
  • Chetaan Chauhan
  • 2


It’s critically imperative to know what are the difference between the closed source code and open source code web-to-print solution before purchasing any web-to-print solution for your online print business.

When you make up your mind to take your print business online you will start searching the best web-to-print providers.  But before doing that you must first research and study about what is closed source code and open source code software. What are the pros and cons and then select the best type which suits to your current business and is also should be futuristic.

Based on the selection of type of source code you should start searching the best web-to-print solution providers available in that segment.

Both open-source and closed source have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s just take an overview of both.

Open Source Code Web-To-Print Solution:  The open-source code means the code that any computer programmers who have access of that code make the changes in that code.  The code is openly placed in the public domain to use and make the changes and enhance the code as per their requirement.

e.g. of open-source platforms

1. Magento

2. WooCommerce

3. OpenCart

The web-to-print solution provider have developed the tools and modules which is essential for print business and they are integrated on the open-source code platform and have developed a complete platform for online print business and printing companies.

It is very important to note that the source code of the tools and modules developed by the web-to-print solution provider will not be accessible, it will be encrypted. 

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Closed Source Code Web-To-Print Solution:  These are specialised web-to-print solution provider software/It companies.  They have developed their own software which covers the most required aspects or features for the printing business and printing companies.

The source code of any module/feature is not accessible to you even if you have purchased their licence version. 

If you want to make any major changes then you have to ask to the web-to-print solution provider, which may or may not be chargeable depending upon the feasibility of the changes you have requested.

Let’s Discuss Few Major Differences:

  1. Security:  As far as the security is concerned, your client details are secured in both closed source code and open source code since multiple layers of security with a unique user ID and password of your backend/Admin is provided.  You can also purchase a security extension of open source and integrate it on your printing website and can make it more secure if you want.
  • Pricing:  Pricing is a major difference here.  Since the closed sources web-to-print solution providing company have developed their own platform it will be more costly.  While the open-source web-to-print solution would be little less costly as the majority of the modules are freely available.  The major part of the price will be of their tool and also incorporating their tools on the open-source code platform.
  • Availability Of The Source Code:  As far as the open-source code platform is concerned, the general source code of the platform is available to the public freely.  However, the source code of the tool/module integrated on the open-source platform will not be accessible.

Closed source code platform, nothing is accessible to anyone except the developing team.  All access rights are only with the web-to-print solution providing IT company.

  • Usability:  If you purchased a web-to-print which is on open source code platform and you want to integrate for example a SEO tool or a security tool/extension on your website then it can be easily done even by yourself with very little knowledge of computers/website/e-commerce.

However, if you have purchased a web-to-print solution which is on closed source platform then you have to ask to your solution provider which they will check the feasibility and will develop that feature particularly for you and it would be costly.

  • Upgrading The Solution Version:  The open-source web-to-print solution providing companies will upgrade the version of their tool and not the whole platform.  So if they upgrade the version of their tool, they will charge you a minimal amount for upgrades even if you have purchased their subscription plan. This is because you are using open-source platform and you may have integrated some extensions or made changes as per your need.  So to accommodate the new version with those changes they ask for the charges.

While for closed source code web-to-print solution provider will not charge anything for upgrades if you have purchased their subscription plan. 

However, they may also charge you for upgrades if you have purchased their licence version.

  • Types Of Purchasing Plans:  You will find the subscription plans and licence plans from both types of web-to-print solution provider companies.  Select the best suited plan as per your business need and market analysis.
  • Getting The Support: Both the open-source code and close source code web-to-print solution providers companies provides support based on the type of the plan you have purchased with them. You need to check their support policies before making a decision.

Last Important Words:  In the nutshell, first you pick the right type of platform, open-source code or closed source code and then you seek the right option from that.   Each of the platform is having its own merits and demerits.  Open source platforms are no more a security concern. 

You can integration the third party application on your website such as:

CRM: Zoho, sugar CRM. 

Fulfilment Partners: SanMar, 4Over.

Cloud Storage: Dropbox, Google Cloud

Print MIS: InSoft Automation enfocus Switch

Accounting software: Quickbook, webpos

Live chats: Zopim, Koyako

Email Marketing: SendFox, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign etc.

Marketing Applications:  Addshoppers, Yotpo

Shipping Applications:  Fedex, DHL

Payment Gateways: Paypal, Master card

Image library: Pixapay, Instagram.

On open source code platform any product can be created and you can easily convert your offline printing business to a complete online e-commerce printing business.

You can also check out Hostinger for your hosting needs.

Also Checkout: Which is the best Web-to-print Solution?

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