In the early days of the web, building a website required a team of developers working for months on end. Today, with website builders and pre-built templates readily available, anyone can create a website with little more than a few clicks. But what about businesses with more specific needs? Is custom web development still necessary in 2023?
The answer is not a simple yes or no. While custom development has many benefits, including improved functionality and greater flexibility, it also requires a significant investment of time and money. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of custom web development and take a closer look at how the landscape of web development is changing. We’ll also examine the role of website design and the emerging technologies and trends that may impact the need for custom development in the near future. So, whether you’re a business owner, a web developer, or simply someone interested in the future of the web, read on to learn more about the role of custom web development in 2023.
- What is Custom Web Development?
- Benefits of Custom Web Development
- Drawbacks of Custom Web Development
- Changes in Web Development Landscape
- Industries and Businesses Best Served by Custom Web Development
- Importance of Website Design
- Emerging Technologies and Trends
- Role of Web Developers
- Examples of Successful Custom Web Development Projects
What is Custom Web Development?
In the early days of the web, businesses had few options when it came to creating a website. They could either build it in-house, which required a team of developers with specialized expertise, or outsource the project to a web development agency. With the rise of website builders and pre-built templates, it’s now possible to create a website quickly and easily, often with little to no technical knowledge required. However, businesses with specific needs that can’t be met by these out-of-the-box solutions may still turn to custom web development.
Benefits of Custom Web Development
There are numerous reasons to consider custom web development for your next web platform. Some of the most common reasons for businesses to decided to drop the templates or website-builders are:
- Improved functionality and design – With custom development, businesses can create websites that are tailored to their specific needs. This means that they can include features and functionality that may not be available with pre-built templates or website builders.
- Better User Experience – Websites that are tailored to a business’s unique needs can provide a more intuitive and seamless experience for users. This can result in increased engagement and conversions.
- Greater flexibility – Businesses have greater control over the design and functionality of their site. This means they can make changes and updates more easily than with pre-built templates or website builders.
- Enhanced security – Ensure that the site is secure and that sensitive information is protected. This is particularly important for businesses that deal with sensitive customer data, such as financial institutions or healthcare providers.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of the benefits, but it does cover the majority of the reasons our customers have chosen CodingIT as their preferred vendor.
Drawbacks of Custom Web Development
While custom web development has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Some of the challenges of Custom Web Development can be:
- Goals of the Website – Before deciding on whether custom web development is needed, it’s important for businesses to define their goals and objectives for the website. This includes considering what the website will be used for, who the target audience is, and what the desired outcomes are. For example, a business that wants to sell products online may require custom development to create an e-commerce platform that integrates with their inventory management system.
- Budget – Custom web development can be expensive, so it’s important for businesses to consider their budget before deciding on whether to pursue custom development or use pre-built solutions. While custom development may be more costly upfront, it can provide a better return on investment in the long run by providing a website that is tailored to a business’s unique needs.
- Timeline – Custom web development can take longer than other development approaches, so businesses should consider their timeline before deciding on whether to pursue custom development. This includes considering when the website needs to be launched, how long the development process will take, and how long it will take to make changes or updates to the website in the future.
- Trusting the wrong provider – it must be said…. Not everyone who is a web developer or who has a wealth of experience in web development is a perfect fit for every project. Ensure your chosen provider understands your goals, niche, and customer base.
Changes in Web Development Landscape
The landscape of web development is constantly changing, and this has had an impact on the need for custom development. In recent years, there has been a rise in website builders and pre-built templates through providers like Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy. These solutions allow businesses to create a website quickly and easily, often with little to no technical knowledge required.
However, there are still many businesses that require custom web development. This is particularly true for businesses with unique needs or requirements that can’t be met by pre-built templates or website builders. For example, if you are a magazine publisher, you would want a similar experience to be present on your website as what readers can find in the pages of our magazine.
Additionally, the rise of new technologies and trends, such as artificial intelligence and voice search, may create new opportunities for custom web development in the future. Things like chatbots have evolved tremendously over the last few years and require a bit more expertise to leverage to their fullest extent.
It could be extremely beneficial to meet with a professional web developer regarding the expectations of users for your industry or niche to ensure that you are making the right decision for your business!
Industries and Businesses Best Served by Custom Web Development
While any business can benefit from custom web development, there are certain industries and businesses that are particularly well-suited to this approach. For example, businesses in the healthcare or financial industries may require custom development to ensure that their website is secure and that sensitive data is protected. Personal Identifying Information (PII) is a hot button issue in today’s world and these businesses cannot afford to have an infected plugin or security flaw in a website builder be the reason for a data breach
Similarly, businesses with complex requirements, such as e-commerce sites or booking platforms, may benefit from custom development. Everything from the layout, color palette, desired functionality, and customer journey must be carefully considered to ensure high engagement with users. With custom development, these businesses can create a website that is tailored specifically to their unique needs, including features such as inventory management or online booking systems.
Finally, businesses that require a high degree of branding and design may also benefit from custom web development. With custom development, businesses can create a website that is consistent with their branding and that provides a unique user experience.
Importance of Website Design
The design of a website is an important factor that can affect user engagement and retention. Some would even argue that it is the most critical part of a user’s first impressions as it sets the tone for the rest of their experience on your platform.
Custom development can provide businesses with greater control over the design of their website, allowing them to create a unique and visually appealing user interface. Custom development also enables businesses to incorporate design elements that align with their brand identity and messaging.
However, custom development can also impact the design process. Designers may need to work closely with developers to ensure that the design is feasible and can be implemented effectively. Additionally, changes to the design may require additional development work, which can impact the timeline and budget of the project.
Emerging Technologies and Trends
The world of web development is constantly evolving, and new technologies and trends can impact the custom development process. We have already written about the web development trends of 2023, but here is a short summarization:
- Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots – chatbots paired with machine learning being applied to better serve customers all over the web.
- Voice Search – global voice recognition market is projected to grow by $27.16 million by 2026
- Mobile First Development – According to The Drum, Mobile accounts for 65% of all e-commerce traffic and we expect web design and development to be geared to further accommodate this trend
- Single Page Applications – a website or web application that dynamically rewrites the page content with new data from the server when the user scrolls the page.
- Progressive Web Applications – term used to describe the technology that allows users to install a website on their mobile device like a usual mobile application.
Other emerging trends that are not included on this short list are virtual and augmented reality and the Internet of Things (IoT). These new technologies and trends can provide businesses with opportunities to create unique and innovative websites that stand out from their competitors. However, they can also require additional development work and may impact the timeline and budget of the project.
Role of Web Developers
It should go without saying that professional web developers play a critical role in the custom development process. Custom development projects typically require a team of developers with expertise in various programming languages and technologies, on top of talented designers to interpret the client’s vision. Web developers are responsible for translating design concepts into functional code and ensuring that the website works as intended, users stay engaged, and everything functions without a flaw.
Despite the proliferation of machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to make the process easier, ChatGPT being an example, web developers are still serving a critical function that will not be easily replaced. They, as human beings, possess a deep understanding of what is and is not possible, how we like to receive information, and who the ideal audience is. Safe to say, they are in no danger of being replaced by a text generator any time soon!
Examples of Successful Custom Web Development Projects
There are many examples of successful custom web development projects that showcase the benefits of custom development. One such example is Airbnb, which required a custom-built platform to connect homeowners with travelers. The website features a unique search functionality and booking system that is tailored to the needs of the business.
Another example is the website for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The website required custom development to create a unique user experience that showcases the museum’s exhibits and events. The website features an interactive map that allows users to explore the museum and learn more about its exhibits.
In conclusion, the need for custom web development in 2023 depends on a variety of factors. While pre-built templates and website builders have made it easier than ever to create a website, businesses with unique needs or requirements may still require custom development.
Custom development provides many benefits, including improved functionality, greater flexibility, and enhanced security. However, it also has some drawbacks, including higher cost and longer development times.
As the landscape of web development continues to evolve, it’s important for businesses to consider their specific needs and requirements when deciding whether to pursue custom development or use pre-built solutions. Whether a business chooses custom development or not, it’s clear that having a strong online presence is essential in today’s digital age.
Not sure if you are a fit for custom web development? No worries! Reach out to the team at CodingIT to get a FREE audit of your website and learn whether it could be a fit for you!