Open Source Free Software De-Mystified

by : Jared Alberghini

Did you know that the most powerful software and web applications are all free? Yes that's right, just about every commercial software or web application you know of is most likely available as a free Open Source project/clone.

"Why haven't I heard of this Open Source stuff???" There is good reason for not seeing advertising for open source software in ppc search engines, if you had a free product, you would not be likely to pay for top advertising spots, or even worry about your search engine placement. Open Source projects rely on word of mouth and the fact that it's free, well you all know that 'FREE' is the most viral form of advertising. Also, the open source community is a tight group of developers and programmers who often exchange links, so if you don't know the right places to look, you can spend days and weeks searching out the top open source applications.

Don't worry though, this article has a list of the top open source applications, as well as links to the top open source search engines.

"But I always thought you had to be a techno-geek to install or use these applications?" This is the way it used to be just a few years ago, but times have rapidly changed in the Open Source world, and the focus is now on more userfriendly, step by step installations and control panels, so you don't need to know much of anything to get these apps up and running.

Now, the only downfall of an Open Source application compared to a Commercial application... NO DIRECT SUPPORT. However, as in all web based communities, there are hundreds of thousands of people using these applications, and there are always community support forums where you can get help from veteran users. Community Support can often be ten times better than the commercial support a Commercial company may offer.

"So how do I find these Open Source Applications?" Luckily for you, I have been working in this field for several years now, and would like to save you the time of searching to find the best places to look.

The following list is also available at as well as many other links/resources dealing with the Open Source Community.

The mother of all open source application search engines is where most if not all of the top projects are located:

Here is a list of the top Open Source Web Applications:

CMS - Portals

CMS - Blogs

CMS - e-Commerce

CMS - Groupware

CMS - Forums

CMS - e-Learning

CMS - Photo Albums

CMS - KnowledgeBase

CMS - Customer Support

As you can see, there are many choices so the thing to do next is a bit of research by taking a look through a few and finding one that suits your exact needs. There is really no wrong choice, it's all a matter of preferences and the features that you are looking for.

Happy Open Sourcing!

Copyright 2004 by Jared Alberghini -