Questions about custom web application development? Check out our roundup of frequently asked questions below!

What is custom web application development? 

The practice of creating a customized, web-based application from the ground up. 

Why would a business need a custom web application developed? 

Even within the same industries, business work in very different ways. Oftentimes, a particular software package won't meet 100% of a company's needs, forcing them to sacrifice functionality and use an off-the-shelf product. Custom application development affords complete flexibility, and can be tailored to work intimately within a very specific workflow. Another benefit is that a custom application can be used integrate multiple software systems that may not support these integrations natively. This can significantly improve a business's efficiency. 

Once a company has decided custom web application development is a fit for them, what are the common missteps made? 

The largest issue we we see with these types of projects is a lack of business requirements gathering, and documentation. This is an essential step in evaluating the pros and cons of every potential situation, and serves to evaluate business workflows, employee roles, and all necessary requirements before any coding begins. Although it necessitates more time upfront, completing a formal Business Requirements Documentation project will make the process run much more efficiently, and will ensure a more successful final product. 

Is it a good idea for a new startup to always outsource software/application development? 

Not always. Our recommendation for businesses just getting off the ground is to prioritize features, and start with a small build to handle the core necessities. Alternatively, existing off-the-shelf solutions can be utilized in the short-term. Keep in mind, custom application development can take over at any point. 

How do you decide whether to hire developers or outsource development for a relatively complex web-based application? 

This is generally dependent on the abilities of your internal staff members. Custom application development requires specialized skills including project management, user interface design, and complex programming. If in-house staff members do not possess these skills, outsourcing development to a firm specializing in these areas might be a good fit for you. 

Are there benefits in building a mobile native application instead of a web-based application, if it still has to communicate with a remote server to work? 

If a custom application is solely to be used on a mobile device, a native app may make more sense. If the application will be used on workstations, tablets, and smartphones, a web-based application is probably a better choice. 

Should custom web applications include a CMS (content management system) for the client to use after the web development team builds the site?

Generally, an interface is required to interact with custom applications. However, in some cases, smaller projects and integrations may not require a user interface, and instead run silently in the background. 

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