Nonprofit techies like to say that open source software is free the same way that the first few paragraph on a new website are free. If you want to read more than a couple of stories, you have to take out that credit card.
In other words, the stories aren’t free at all and neither is there really free software. It requires an investment of time and sometimes money to get started.
There will be maintenance costs along the way to keep it running. You’re also likely to have false starts or feel growing pains that can affect productivity. It’s even possible you don’t really like your new, free software and now have to invest in switching back.
It’s important to go into any new software decision with your eyes open. Here are three ways to look at cost before choosing new “free” software.
Beware the shiny object syndrome, which is especially tempting when the software is free. You can get yourself in a lot of trouble chasing the newest, most exciting software. Do your research and ask yourself these and other tough questions. Then, if you’re satisfied with the answers, you’ll be ready to jump in and get good value from your new software.
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