Open Source

Expert Data Systems offers IT support to various non-profit organizations.  One way we help these organizations lower their IT expenses is by setting up and supporting Open Source software.   Read more about Open Source software here.

Many applications are available as Open Source software.  Our most common offering is the CMS.

What is CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System.  In the old days, all of the web site’s content was stored in static HTML pages. Adding a page meant creating a new file, copying the layout from another page, and then adding content.  If you wanted to add a new item to the menu, or add a banner to every page, you had to manually change this in every page (most likely you’d have to reach out to your webmaster to do that…).

CMS tools allow non-technical users to update the text, images and documents on a website without having to learn HTML. Using a Web browser, users access, edit and upload content on the website using the familiar text editing commands found in software like MS Word.

CMS solutions are increasingly popular to simplify website management.  Many non-profit organizations choose Open Source CMS due to the lower costs associated with acquiring, installing and maintaining the system.

Most common features of a good CMS:

  1. Page authoring and publishing
  2. Multilevel user permission (set certain content for members-only etc)
  3. Calendar
  4. News publishing
  5. Discussion forum
  6. Online Chat
  7. Photo Gallery
  8. Polls

Ways that we can support your organization:
While Open Source CMS will allow your organization to independently manage your site’s content, you may find that you could use IT support for:

  • Evaluating the right software (there are literally 1,000’s of CMS software out there)
  • Hosting, installing and configuring the site for your initial use
  • Training and support

We’d love to provide your organization with this kind of IT hand holding. Our non for profit rates are very reasonable, and you will find that using us to evaluate, install and run an Open Source CMS will dramatically reduce your IT costs.

Lastly, we’ll let you on a little secret:  This entire site is running on an Open Source CMS.  We used WordPress, one of the most popular CMS / web site authoring systems out there.