Custom Web Programming vs Third Party Applications

There are more and more third party solutions available now to help you manage your website and your business.

Examples: Inventory databases, Online catalogues, registration databases etc.

Custom web programming can still be a better option over third party services for several reasons:

  • Custom solutions can be tailored to your specific needs
  • Reduced monthly overhead from avoiding multiple service fees from multiple third party service providers by integrating all your application needs into one service (usually bundled with web hosting)
  • Better ongoing technical support
  • You potentially own the software to use for the life of your website/business and you wont be affected by the success of third party ventures or change of services.
  •  You can get a custom platform fully tailored to your needs. Similar to the one we did for this site where you can buy youtube views. They said that our custom approach saved them over $3000 in the long run.
  • One backend: If you have all of your applications under one roof there is no need to remember multiple logins and web addresses to access your applications.

Things to consider when looking at custom web programming vs third party applications

  • Exception: Email/Newsletter Lists (mail lists etc.) – Email  applications are very specialized. Delivery rates are critical, therefore the technology required to ensure optimal delivery rates must be cutting edge to navigate sophisticated SPAM filtering that now hinders the legitimate intentions of the modern mail list operator. This is where we say “Go with a third party”. Providers like Constant Contact specialize in this niche and it is worth the additional overhead to use a third party for this service.
  • Exception: Payment processing (Paypal)  - For new businesses, keeping start-up costs down is critical. Paypal is an excellent plugin shopping cart system option for third party payment processing with unlimited hosting if you want to save significant money and cut down on development time on a shopping cart system.
  • Reputable established web developer - If you choose to go the custom programming route, make sure the web developer is reputable and established. Determine how long have they been in business and if their client base mainly local or global. Doing business with developers overseas can be risky if you don’t do your homework. Ask for references from long term clients. You want to make sure that your web developer will always be available to support the software for as long as you run your website/business.
  • Costs – Paying for custom software development will cost more up front  compared to using a third party services. Development costs will vary greatly from developer to developer especially on a Windows VPS. A reputable developer will charge anywhere from $50 -$100 an hour (roughly). If you host your website with the web developer you potentially wont pay any additional monthly fees on top of the hosting so there is usually potential to save in the long run.
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2 Responses to Custom Web Programming vs Third Party Applications

  1. Lance says:

    Great post. Especially the point you make about mounting monthly fees. Now that Google is charging for their business apps service (which I still think is worth it), per user, we are seeing our monthly costs mount as we add on a $5 service here and a $10 service there.

    Lance B.

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