Custom Web Application Development vs. Off-the-Shelf

April 19, 2022
Posted in Web Apps
April 19, 2022 Lexi West

Custom Web Application Development vs. Off-the-Shelf

Web Applications are an exceptionally broad category. At their core, however, they are simply this: an app that’s accessible from any browser, on any device.  

They don’t require downloads, like a mobile app or desktop app, so they take up very little space.  They can connect to complex backend architecture and other software programs seamlessly when built correctly. They won’t work offline and the UX will vary slightly depending on browser and device type, but they get the job done. That said, you may be faced with budget constraints and considering whether you can buy an off-the-shelf solution. Let’s dive in here to help you work through the conundrum of “Buy vs. Build”.

Buy vs. Build

The primary question you should be asking yourself is this:

Does the purpose of the application DIFFERENTIATE YOU and SET YOU APART?

If you answered NO, look at off-the-shelf solutions. There are TONS. Need a CRM? Salesforce. Need accounting? QuickBooks Online. Need an eCommerce solution?  Magento. The list goes on.  We can help you integrate and implement off-the-shelf applications via custom API development using scalable and secure architecture practices. Heck, we’ll tell you if we think that what you’re asking for can be best served by an existing solution.

However, if you answered YES, then you’ll need a strategic partner to help build your “uniquely you” web application. We will likely still end up integrating your custom web app with existing SaaS application solutions, such as billing, eCommerce, and logistics.

Developing a Web Application

Web application projects follow our core process, starting with Strategy and Discovery with Product Managers and our client-facing Developers at the table, choosing from technologies best suited for your needs with UX, security, and scalability prioritized every step of the way.  Critical aspects we consider for web apps are:

  • Mobile-Friendly Interface
  • Push Notifications
  • Security
  • Admin Panel/CMS
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Live Chat (if appropriate for your business)

See also: Web Application Case Studies

About Us

HSTK (Haystack) is a custom web application development company with hubs in Indiana and Arizona. With product management muscle built into every project we ensure your goals are aligned with the outcomes. Our client-facing developers make it easy to communicate and interpret your visions so you build it right, the first time.  We’re a friendly and collaborative crew, so feel free to reach out anytime for a no-pressure conversation about your project idea.

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