CommonPlaces: Leveraging Open Source for Web Development

Ben Bassi, President and CEO
Back in the day, search-engines recognized and kept track of ‘potential’ customers filling out a company’s contact form and sent the data via a contact imaging system. This was sufficient then, not anymore,” observes Ben Bassi, President and CEO, CommonPlaces—a nationally recognized digital agency specializing in web development, inbound marketing, and online strategy. The CEO’s observation holds true considering, in today’s day and age, it’s all about convergence of systems. From sales force and marketing automation to search-engine optimization and customer support systems; there are myriad back end systems in place today. With the amount of data available from these systems, it’s imperative for digital agencies to integrate them into the web development platform. This enables extraction of usable information and creates user-friendly dashboards for clients.

The company uses a series of frame-works in delivering Web Development Services from design to development such as open source content management systems (CMS), mobile sites, eCommerce, and Responsive websites. CommonPlaces delivers custom web applications—taking the business of the client, shifting it online and automating the back-end processes for them. The company heeds special attention to online security. Every in-house developer with CommonPlaces is professionally trained in web security— scanning for vulnerabilities, a necessity while developing and customizing newer web based applications.

“We treat web development with traditional software development practices and methodology, applying best practices utilizing established solutions, platforms and languages,” assures Bassi. The company works on a development environment, which includes a software repository with version control and staging servers. As a result, the clients are assured security, redundancy, and quality. These custom solutions are delivered in a highly effective platform—open source—be it CMS or web design, the software is community tested, fully supported, and free of charge.The open source software ensures that the CMS web design and development team begins coding with free code and the ability to further customize them to meet client requirements.

We treat web development with traditional software development practices and methodology, following strict best practices for solutions, platforms and languages we develop

CommonPlaces leverages open source platforms such as Drupal for CMS, Magento for eCommerce and Django for data-based applications.

Considering the requirement for specialists in open source web development landscape, CommonPlaces devotes upto 25 percent of each of their developers’ time on training. “We have built a knowledge-based sharing and collaborative system where we help one another become specialists in our respective domainsto help complete projects successfully,” reveals Bassi. One client that benefited from this methodology of CommonPlaces was Epsilon Agility Harmony, an Alliance Data company. Epsilon offers unique digital marketing solutions that strategically combine rich data, analytics, creativity and technology. CommonPlaces were required to design and develop Epsilon's website in an attempt to launch the client's online presence for new product offerings. The digital agency developed the website to be responsive across all platforms, wherein the users were able to navigate seamlessly through its content while leaving it flexible enough for future additions and growth. According to the CEO, Epsilon was thus able to effectively communicate the values of their products and image the company wished to project, seeing an overall growth of upto 300 percent.

Moving forward, CommonPlaces has expanded to Orlando, Fl and has plans for a third location. “We are expanding down the east coast now. We’re also evaluating a few new-generation platforms to provide newer capabilities and prototyping them so as to leverage these capabilities to our customers down the road,” Bassi concludes.


Manchester, NH

Ben Bassi, President and CEO

CommonPlaces is a nationally recognized digital agency specializing in web development, inbound marketing, and online strategy