The question of whether to use a ready-made solution or build something bespoke is a recurring discussion during web design projects. It can be difficult to decide where to draw the line when developing custom solutions. But the fact of the matter is, every website that exists today uses something that’s already been built by somebody else.
The difficulty that both business owners and web developers are faced with is assessing whether a pre-existing solution already exists, and whether it is the right solution for this web development project taking into account it’s scale, complexity and uniqueness.
As a leading web design agency our own success is rooted in that of our clients’, so every single decision we make on a project is intended to further their business to some degree. Sometimes this requires the creation of bespoke software, other times it involves leveraging existing third party solutions.
An existing solution could mean anything from a content management system (like WordPress or Drupal), an e-commerce platform (like WooCommerce or Shopify), third-party software (such as plugins, libraries or apps) or even reusing elements of a previous bespoke solution. None of these solutions are necessarily bad, as long as we properly consider the options throughout the project and ensure that we ultimately remain goal-focussed.
Considerations in Web Design
In software terms, we consider the following criteria in order to remain focussed on the desired outcome of the project:
Features – does it do everything you are looking for?
Learning Curve – is it straightforward to use?
Cost – is there an upfront, monthly or ongoing cost attached?
Licencing – does the licence supplied cover your intended usage?
Reliability – is it tried and tested?
Customisation – will it require extensive customisation?
Longevity – will it be useful for the period you need it?
Extendability – can you build on top of this in the future?
We aren’t shy when we discuss the merits of third party solutions with our clients, as they aren’t always paying us to build a service entirely from scratch. Our clients are looking for the most robust and suitable way to meet the goals of their business, and we think our goal-orientated, client-focussed methodology is the best way for them to achieve this.
Diverge Digital is a leading web design agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne, who work with clients from all over the UK and beyond. If your business needs to do more online, contact us today for a chat.