3 reasons why Open Source is so very awesome

The mission of Yoast is ‘SEO for everyone‘. With our plugin, our online courses and our blog we try to make SEO understandable for everyone. We believe that every website -large and small- deserves a fair chance to pop up in the search engines. We strongly believe in our mission. Open Source is an important aspect of our mission. It’s one of the core values of our company. In this post, I’ll explain why we are Open Source Fanboys (and -girls).

What is Open Source?

Open Source software is software that’s developed within a community. Everybody can use, alter and distribute the code. People are encouraged to participate and to improve the software project. WordPress is, as you probably know, an Open Source CMS, just like Joomla, Drupal and TYPO3 are Open Source CMSs.

3 reasons why Yoast loves Open Source

For us, Open Source is the only way to go. But why is that?

#1 Open Source is the way to new knowledge and new solutions

We believe that Open Source is the best way to get new innovations, and real solutions to the problems we face. Two heads are better than one: the knowledge of two or more people combined will always exceed that of one person alone. If people -especially people from different backgrounds- cooperate on a project, the project will benefit. Working together on a solution, simultaneously or not, will lead to better solutions. In short: we should stand on each other’s shoulders; we should take advantage of each other’s merits and talents. That’ll lead to true innovation.

#2 Open Source is not wasteful

Lots of developers around the world are working on solving the same, or similar, problems. That’s a waste of talent and skills. Why should every school have a different website? Why would every hospital need a different website? I understand that the design of those websites needs to be unique, but the backend and the functionality of these websites should be pretty much identical. It’s such a waste that so many developers are working on similar projects without working together.

We shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. If we’d do things the Open Source-way, we would share our knowledge about the invention of the wheel. Make other people benefit from our wheel. And let other people improve upon that wheel.

#3 Open Source is an equalizer

Open Source projects invite everybody to participate. Everybody. If you want to contribute to WordPress, you can do that. What company you work for doesn’t matter. It does not matter where you live. It does not matter how much money you have, or what you look like. Everybody has their expertise, and your talents will be recognized in the Open Source community. At Yoast, we really love that aspect of Open Source. It’s very inclusive. It offers chances to everybody, whether they have (some) programming skills, love translating, have superb organizational skills, or a great sense of community to get others involved. Everyone can contribute!

In short: Open Source should be the standard

As I’ve shown, both Open Source and WordPress are very important to Yoast. We do our part to contribute, and we strongly believe that Open Source is the best way to achieve awesome new solutions. In our opinion, Open Source is far less wasteful than closed source projects are. And, we love that Open Source is an equalizer. All in all, Open Source fits perfectly with our mission ‘SEO for everyone‘, and we hope that people will see the merits, so we can keep working on new solutions and innovations together!

Read more: ‘Why there’s only one model: the open source model’ »