[vimeo 32169934 w=430 h=269]
Passyunk Square-based web development shop P’unk Avenue is angling for broader adoption of its open source web platform Apostrophe with last week’s launch of a hosted version.
Launched in 2009, Apostrophe, the company’s open source content management system, is built on Symfony and has, until the new launch, been for larger builds hosted elsewhere. With ApostropheNow.com, users can grab free and cheaply hosted options, meant to make the framework more flexible, said P’unk Avenue Geoff Di Masi.
“Think Apostrophe and WordPress,” said Di Masi, referring to the blog framework turned online publishing giant. “Apostrophe and WordPress are both open source projects. With both projects, you can still build a site using the code that we have open sourced on our .org websites. Similarly, we now both offer hosted versions on our .com sites.”
The new hosted version is meant for small businesses, student organizations, political campaigns and others seeking simple, good-looking web presences, said Di Masi, also a co-founder of coworking haunt Indy Hall.
There is a free version, in addition to cheap hosted versions at monthly rates of $9, $19 and $29 respectively. The free version will push live a user’s site at yoursite.apostrophenow.com, but all the paid plans come with the option for a custom domain, said Di Masi, a compelling and simple add on.
Di Masi isn’t shy in arguing that Apostrophe is a better choice than market leader WordPress, pointing to options that the free Apostrophe has that its WordPress counterpart doesn’t, like a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface without need for backend editing, CSS manipulation and simpler social media integration. In fact, he even made a list showing the differences, which you can see here.
Why is this the right step for an established 11-person shop with big university and business clients?
“Over the years, we have been improving Apostrophe based on client feedback with the goal of making it easier and easier to use while adding features that people requested. We have always thought it would be great to make Apostrophe available to more people,” he said.
Adding: “We imagine that designers and front-end web developers will be able to build a business using Apostrophe. They can do the design, build the theme and then pass ownership of the site to their client. We hope this will be a great revenue opportunity for freelance designers and front-end developers.”
P’unk Avenue, which focuses nearly all of its development on builds for Apostrophe and Symfony, will continue to update the new hosted Apostrophe option, Di Masi said.
“I really believe that building a website should be as easy as making a phone call. Publishing on the web has real power,” he said. “We hope that Apostrophe opens up that possibility to more people.”
Watch the product video intro here.
[vimeo 32169934 w=430 h=269]