i'm about to put up a stock photography website, and have been talking to a few web developers. now one thing has come up that i can't seem to get a full grasp on despite my efforts at searching on google.
at the initial meetings,
one developer says that he will use open source programing because it works well and is the best option for my budget.
however, another one has stated that he thinks that open source is not a good idea because its easy to get the source scripts and from there hack into my site and go crazy taking photos, and other confidential account information.
so now i ask, is open source a good way to go when starting an e-commerce site like a stock photo website? or should i go a different rout?
any suggestions or thoughts that i should address with other web developers would be greatly appreciated as well.
Thats the beauty of open-source. You have the source!
Take as many ideas and features you like from it, give credit and then modify it to an extent that its unique to your site only.
Make sure the part of the site that handles financial transactions is given higher priority in security. Perhaps take a different billing system from another open source software and integrate it into your current software, change a few things and secure the rest - your done!
Edit: make sure you use a software that has been actively maintained for atleast a couple of years.
If you're worried about Open Source because malicious people can find weaknesses in the source code, you should also remember that "good" smart people (who also depend on the app like you do) can also audit the source and fix problems.
As mentioned above, if you go with a project that's been around for a while then many of the standing vulnerabilities have likely been reported to sites like Secunia. You always have the option to apply a patch yourself without waiting for the project/vendor.
That said, there are plenty of Closed Source vendors with reliable code and frequent updates. It's more about the people and their experience/attitude than the licensing model.
Jeff Standen, Chief of R&D, WebGroup Media LLC. - LinkedIn Cerb is a fast and flexible web-based platform for business collaboration and automation. http://www.cerbweb.com/