Although open source dating software has become popular, it is important to highlight some possible downsides to draw an objective conclusion.
Have you been considering open source dating software to reach a specific target audience? If so, this method offers a number of benefits. First, it is a cost-effective and flexible option that can be upgraded or downgraded. However, a handful of possible drawbacks should still be mentioned to fully appreciate the big picture. Let us take a closer look.
Support for Open Source Dating Software
Many professionals and novices have raised concerns that there is a lack of customer support options associated with open source dating software. In other words, there is no digital “safety net” in the event that a coding or interface issue arises, forcing users to tackle problems without external aid. This concept will be examined in greater detail throughout this article.
Potential Source Code Problems
Let’s imagine for a moment that you wish to access the source code to make modifications or improvements. Some companies may not be comfortable releasing this data, which can cause problems when prompt upgrades are needed. This situation can impact the end-user experience in the event that the software in question is not functioning as it should.
Possible Compatibility Issues
While this is not a common concern, it should still be mentioned from a technical point of view. There can be times when the OSS (open source software) runs into snags in terms of compatibility with legacy systems. Should this occur, it can be tricky to find the right solutions; particularly if you are unable to contact a support specialist.
Too Many Interfaces
This next scenario is especially relevant regarding open source dating software. Since these bundles can be available in numerous iterations, it can be tricky to know which platform will offer the most benefits to customers. If the wrong one is selected, client satisfaction could very well be jeopardized.
Also, switching between different user interfaces when a website has gone live is an extremely daunting task. Any downtime will ultimately impact the experience of your members.
A Lack of Consistent Digital “Road Maps”
Let’s also remember that it can be tough for a dating-oriented firm to appreciate the ways in which open source software is able to achieve strategic objectives. Examples include obtaining a greater number of clients, increasing online exposure or accepting additional payment methods in the future. Unfortunately, lesser-known developers are not always able to provide such strategic insight.
Documentation and Similar FAQs
Not all open source dating software is equipped with the proper documentation. This could be the result of poor planning or simply due to the fact that such digital support methods died in development. Therefore, it stands to reason that you can have difficulties troubleshooting issues in the event that a problem arises along the way.
Potential Concerns with Accountability
If you discover a problem with your open source dating software package, in many cases, it can be nearly impossible to contact an accountable stakeholder. To put it simply, there might not be anyone who will address potentially serious concerns. Once again, you could very well be forced to rely upon in-house methods to solve the problem (if possible).
What About User-Friendly Issues Associated with Open Source Dating Software?
Another common problem cited by many firms involved with online social communities is the fact that the coding and scripts associated with open source dating software can be tricky to comprehend. This is even more relevant when referring to novices who might lack the experience required to quickly adapt.
Additional In-House Training
It is logical to mention this point after the previous section. Assuming that coding and script are difficult to understand, dating firms could be required to provide additional in-house training to their staff members. This can prove problematic if you happen to be governed by a limited budget or should you be quickly approaching a fixed launch date.
A Lack of Core Features
There are several additional variables that should be present within an open source dating software package. These include:
1. Unique profile templates.
2. Secure user authentication methods.
3. A bespoke messenger service.
4. The ability to support a host of different photo codecs.
Unfortunately, not all open source bundles are equipped with such amenities. You could, therefore, be inadvertently sacrificing a fair amount of functionality.
Issues with Security
Another concern which may be present within some open source dating software bundles is a lack of SSL encryption. Not only could this result in personal details becoming compromised, but a growing number of clients are refusing to register with dating websites that do not offer this advanced level of authentication.
A Lack of Compatible Mobile Apps
While it is always important to develop a mobile-responsive dating site, the large majority are also investing heavily in bespoke mobile applications to cater to the needs of those who are on the go. Unfortunately, some open source dating software packages do not provide this level of functionality. This can dramatically impact the appeal of the entire service being offered.
Ownership and Marketing Issues Associated with Open Source Dating Software
Open source dating software can suffer from problems regarding direct ownership when the coding and script are owned by more than one entity. This means there is often no means to effectively market the service and a marketing budget might not be available. Thus, word of mouth could be the only way for users to learn about the dating service.
Unavailable or Outdated Drivers
Drivers are critical in terms of functionality. A dating service rife with bugs and similar issues is obviously unappealing to the end-user. It could be difficult to come by drivers intended for specific devices due to the spurious nature of some open source dating software packages. This is obviously a massive disadvantage from the perspective of the average user.
The Potential for Coding Vulnerabilities
This problem has actually existed since the very inception of open source code. There can be times when a coding error could inadvertently result in a “back door” that may be exploited by hackers and similar individuals. As open source dating software is not as heavily vetted as bespoke packages, this is always a slight risk.
Malicious Coding Concerns
In certain situations, an individual (such as a third-party hacker) may intentionally embed a segment of malicious code and exploit this scenario at a later date (such as once a site has registered a certain number of followers). As a result, personal details may be at risk of being stolen or otherwise compromised.
It is already obvious that one of the main advantages associated with open source dating software is the fact that it is much cheaper to implement when compared to software as a service (on-demand software). Unfortunately, this is not the entire story.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you have experienced one of the issues mentioned throughout this article. As a result, you could very well require the help of a third-party to rectify any issues. This may actually cost more in the long run when compared to a one-time payment associated with a bespoke coding project.
A Lack of Plugins and Themes
The majority of open source dating software bundles come equipped with a specific number of templates, themes and plugins. However, what if you wish to obtain additional options? You might run into compatibility problems when downloading such packages from third-party providers.
Once again, cost could likewise come into play in the event that a bespoke plugin needs to be created in accordance with open source coding requirements. This might very well require a great deal of time and money.
Compatibility Problems with Future Coding Upgrades
To be clear, many open source programs, such as Mozilla Firefox and LibreOffice, are compatible with the majority of systems and plugins. However, we need to remember that these are massive community-sponsored projects. The same cannot always be said when referring to open source dating software, as this tends to fall into a more niche category.
This could result in problems should the coding and script suddenly be updated. To put it simply, certain systems or widgets might suddenly fail to function as they should. This can be further compounded in the event that the problem itself is not easy to diagnose due to a lack of in-house expertise.
More Time Needed to Solve Customer Issues
Another possible drawback associated with open source dating software involves the pitfalls that might result in the event that a client has a technical issue (such as login problems or the inability to access a messaging service). Assuming that a bug is present, you are essentially on your own.
There are two options in such a scenario. The website owner could place a repair request within the open source community. The other choice is to outsource such a concern to a third-party coding specialist. Unfortunately, the first recommendation might not produce viable results and the second can prove to be quite costly (particularly on short notice).
Hiring New Staff Members with Open Source Competencies
Assuming that you are running a dating site governed by a limited budget, the chances are high that you will not be able to afford to hire and train additional in-house staff. Unfortunately, this might be the only option if you hope to tackle the challenging script issues that are sometimes associated with open source dating software.
Open Source Dating Software: An Objective Conclusion
To be clear, this article was not meant to besmear open source software in any way. It is instead intended to provide an objective analysis in regard to its possible drawbacks. Some of these are more concerning than others. Their impacts will depend upon your dating website as well as what you are looking to achieve.
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