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How Important Is Source Code Access for Membership and Directory Websites?

Ten years ago it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars for someone to develop a membership management software for their website and business.

Paying a dedicated developer a fortune was the only option when trying to start a membership-based website. However…

Hiring a developer has become a thing of the past!

We now have countless website building softwares and services available that allow the average Joe to start their own website without needing any technical expertise.

These tools are helping to make entrepreneurship mainstream. It’s now easier and cheaper than ever to launch your own directory and membership-based websites by using an established and reliable membership management software and website builder.

First, let’s cover the basics…

What Is Source Code?

Source code is the foundation of every website or web application. It contains all of the instructions that tell the website how to run and what tasks to complete. Any time an update is installed, a bug is fixed, or a design element is altered, it is the source code that has been changed.

Types of Website Builders & Management Software

How much access you have to the source code depends on the company that developed the software you’re using to build and manage your website. Some website builders and membership management software offer full source code access while many restrict large portions of it — but for good reason. Even if you are not a developer, it’s important that you have some access to the code than manages your website’s services.

With access to the code, you can get support from third-party sources and you can implement your own customizations to better help you run your business. Source code access gives you more control over your website without needing to completely rely on the company who developed the software.

Drag and Drop Website Builders

Easy-to-use website builders often include intuitive drag and drop functionality. This makes building and managing your website incredibly simple which is why these options have become extremely popular within the past few years.

While these services are praised for their ease-of-use, it comes at the price of limited functionality. Drag and drop website builders are designed to work for as many objectives as possible. This means that while these options may be good for more generic purposes, when it comes to the specific intricacies of your website or service, these builders most likely won’t have a suitable solution.

To get around this problem, if they allow any access to your website’s source code, you could hire a developer to program the specific functionality that you need. However, this probably wont be possible at it goes against the purpose of a drag and drop builder. So although you’ll be able to easily set up pages, you’ll likely be locked into working within the drag and drop environment.

Downloadable Themes & Installable Software

Solutions that require you to download software and then install it on your own servers are slowly being phased out in favor of SaaS solutions. Software that is downloadable and installable often offers lots of functionality with complete control over the source code.

This would typically be a good thing, however, these products rely on you being able to completely manage and update them yourself – a task that can be overwhelming for the majority of organizations. This means that you are responsible for software updates, security, hosting, troubleshooting and programming. As technology and security demands evolve, these solutions may often times become outdated or obsolete if not updated regularly.

SaaS Solutions

Software as a service (SaaS) solutions are quickly gaining in popularity as a perfect medium between drag n’ drop solutions and downloadable software. SaaS platforms are, by definition, true all-in-one solutions that provide both the hosting for your website as well as the management software to help you operate the site and run your business.

Because SaaS platforms don’t require you to download and install any files, you access the source code of your website through cloud-based admin panels. In addition to this, because SaaS solutions manage your hosting and security, some parts of the source code may not be accessible because the company will manage those updates for you – which is a huge relief for many customers.

One of the most popular SaaS solutions is – deemed the #1 platform for building eCommerce websites. And there’s good reason for this, too. Because, while they provide users with enough access to customize… Shopify still hides a small portion of the source code in order to take care of all the hosting, security, and software updates for their millions of users. This is the perfect combination of convenience, piece of mind… and creative freedom for users.

Recently, SaaS platforms have opened up even more access to source code that website owners need in order to add custom features, remove unwanted elements, and further customize stock themes. You have access to all the essential components needed to customize your site, while the SaaS platform manages updates and website security behind the scenes. SaaS solutions are proving to be easy to use and scalable solutions for many organizations.

When deciding on the type of website builder and membership management software that you are going to use for your business, it is important to consider the level of source code access that you need today and what you’ll need in the future as well. Switching from one platform to another is very costly so choose a scalable solution that can grow with your organization’s needs.

The Elevator Pitch:
Why Choose Brilliant Directories

We'll make it short and sweet:

  • We Know Membership Sites — We've taken care of all the heavy lifting so you can focus on growing your membership community and getting users signed up.
  • Access to Expert Support — We know you have questions... Our dedicated support team works 'round the clock to quickly resolve any technical issues.
  • Trusted by 20,000+ Websites — With over 10 years of experience, we understand the unique needs of online membership communities.
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Can't recommend Brilliant Directories enough!

I chose Brilliant Directories because it had everything I needed when I was looking to create my membership website. The support and community inside Brilliant Directories is a great help, and you have access to literally thousands of other BD website owners who all come together to share their experiences, tips and help. If you are looking to create a directory, I can not recommend Brilliant Directories enough. No matter what you are wanting to do, there is a theme suitable for your needs!

David V. — Denmark Read More Reviews

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