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When to Know If a Custom Online Application Will Work for Your Business

Posted Thu, January 12, 2017 by Julie Short
When is off-the-shelf software or a typical SaaS app going to do the trick and when do you need a custom online application? It might seem that there’s a simple answer—you only build what you can’t buy. But the reality is much more complex. In fact, even with a huge array of ready-made solutions, many businesses are still spending money regularly on custom development. In 2013 (according to a survey from Forrester), enterprise class organizations spent roughly the same amount on bespoke solutions as they did on packaged applications. Of course, having a big budget in the first place makes it easier to justify investing in a custom app. For small to mid-sized businesses, it can be a little more difficult to define when there’s a need that can be most effectively met by a tailor-made piece of software.

Here are five ways to know when a custom application can be a wise investment:

#1 You Only Need a Limited Scope to Accomplish Your Goal

Maybe you need a specific piece of “Best of Breed” functionality to make your business run better—but you don’t want to buy an entire suite of software from a major vendor just to get that one bit you need. The big names in the industry are well known for piling up the licensing and maintenance fees, locking in customers with long-term contracts, and forcing upgrades for their products. With a custom made product, you build only what is required to solve your actual business problem, your costs are limited, and you maintain control over the software.

#2 You Want Added Functionality for Competitive Advantage

At the other end of the scale, you might need an application with rich capabilities that simply aren’t provided by the SaaS vendors or traditional software suppliers serving your sector. Being the first in your industry to build a better application can put you ahead of the pack in productivity, innovation, and market share. These are especially exciting projects, and it makes sense to invest in a solution that your competitors can’t access.

#3 You Require Smarter BI for a Brighter Future

Business Intelligence is one of the most rapidly growing areas for custom development. Depending on your business model, you might be pulling data from a variety of sources from ERP to CRM, E-commerce, customer facing apps, and more. Being able to create a strong self-service dashboard and reporting system that compiles, displays, and interprets data from your unique data sources can be a powerful tool for predictive analytics. The more niche your industry is, the greater the chances that you’ll want a custom BI application.

#4 You Deserve Software That Truly Promotes Efficiency

Workflow automation is a prime example of when a custom online application can beat the socks off of an out-of-the-box application. The inner workings of your business will never map exactly onto a generic piece of software. Rather than adjusting your workflow to meet the capabilities of an application, it makes more sense to build an application that suits the way you do business.

#5 You Can Link the Custom App Directly to Revenue

Sometimes, the ROI on building a custom online application is obvious. If your existing software is causing you to miss out on opportunities, it makes a lot of sense to upgrade with a custom app that helps you capture more revenue. That could be one that adds functionality requested by customers, ensures repeat business, helps you cross-sell or upsell high dollar products/services, or attracts more of the ideal clients your company needs to be more profitable year over year.
Whether it’s an internal business application or a consumer-facing portal, a data-base driven app or a mobile solution, WebRevelation is ready to help grow your business with customized solutions. Learn how we can integrate with your legacy systems, build out new capabilities, and drive more value for your business. Contact us for a consultation today.
Posted in : ERP , CRM , Business Strategy | 
Tags : custom online application


7 Things That Are Easier With a Custom Content Management System

Posted Mon, June 6, 2016 by Julie Short

Lately, we’ve been sharing some of the benefits of custom content management systems. First, we looked at three specific functionalities that are easier to achieve with the CMS than they are with WordPress and similar platforms; then, we looked at advanced programming, marketing, and design features that are easier to achieve with custom programming.

Today, we want to take a look at some specifics. Here are seven things that are easier to accomplish on your website when you’re using a custom content management system:

#1 Online Registration

Want to bring attendees to an event and have their registration information automatically added to an off-line database? A custom content management system that integrates with existing software might be the perfect answer.

#2 Event Management

Even beyond registration, other parts of event management – like equipment inventory, scheduling, and session capacity – can all be effectively overseen with the right content management system in place.

#3 Recruiting

Sometimes, bringing the right people into your organization is every bit as important as gaining new customers is. But, the recruiting process can be time and paperwork-intensive. With a custom content management system, you can automate many hiring tasks, saving yourself time and money.

#4 Polls and Surveys

When you’re looking to get beyond simple polls and surveys and trying to glean real information from customers and visitors, a custom content management system could be the answer. That’s because the coding is easier to work into your website and update, and the results can be automatically downloaded and real-time.

#5 Document Management

If you have thousands of online and off-line documents to keep track of – along with ongoing updates and revisions – using a CMS that’s “off-the-shelf” might not be your best choice. A custom CMS can help you keep track of these files and allow you to share access with visitors when needed.

#6 Staff and Membership Tools

Because a custom CMS can take advantage of integrated encryption and membership areas, it can be a great way to control the flow of access from one part of your website to another. That can be perfect for offering special features to staff and membership.

#7 Blogging

Although WordPress was practically built for blogging, the interface it uses for adding new content isn’t always easy or intuitive for its users. With a custom CMS, you can make it easier to publish text and images in a way that’s easy for readers to see and search engines to find.

Most of these functions can be achieved with a WordPress-based website, or one built with another common CMS. If you’re looking for lots of power with a minimum of coding and alterations, though, working with a custom platform might be your best choice.

Talk to the WebRevelation team today to see how we can help with custom content management systems and other advanced design and marketing features.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Business Strategy | 
Tags : CMS , Custom CMS , easier content management


Do You Need Advanced Custom CMS Applications?

Posted Thu, July 2, 2015 by Julie Short

In an earlier post, we looked at some of the top-level advantages of using a custom content management system instead of WordPress or the other more popular options. To be sure, custom CMS setups aren’t for everyone, but for companies that can use them they are invaluable.

Today, we want to go a little bit deeper and explore the way a custom CMS can work with a few advanced website applications. In other words, we want to take a look at the way the right programming can help you accomplish more with your web presence.

Here are a few ways that a custom CMS might add more power, and profitability, to your business website:

Back-End Functionality

If you need your website to perform advanced functions behind the scenes, or to integrate with off-line databases, scheduling apps, or other business tools, a custom CMS might be the answer. That’s because your content management system can be programmed with advanced encryption, file-sharing, and other features that make it easy for you to integrate different pieces of existing software (including custom applications that have been developed specifically for your company) in a way that makes them easy to use together.

Advanced Marketing

In the same way, a custom CMS may be able to power advanced marketing tools that allow you to segment customers, dynamically control advertising budgets, or draw contact names from online sources and use them in print marketing campaigns. Certain types of functionality are easier to build into a custom content management system, especially if they are imagined from the outset. If you’re looking to unlock the power of advanced Internet marketing, consider starting with the way your website is organized.

Design Integration

Although WordPress and the other popular content management systems are a lot more versatile than they used to be, there are occasions where companies want to use design features that are better-suited to a custom CMS. If you are wanting to achieve an unconventional aesthetic with your new website, or want to experiment with different layout types, using a custom CMS might be a good way to implement these ideas without having to sacrifice functionality in different parts of your website.

Sometimes, the decision to choose a custom CMS isn’t about aesthetics or the user interface – it’s about getting all the backend and marketing power you can from your new website. Have you looked at your options for creating a new website that makes your business more profitable?

If you have questions about content management systems – or web design and Internet marketing in general – why not speak to the WebRevelation team in Oklahoma City? In just a few minutes, you can set up a free consultation where we’ll be happy to review your current website and answer any questions you might have.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Business Strategy | 
Tags : CMS , custom content management system


3 Benefits of Using a Custom CMS

Posted Thu, June 25, 2015 by Julie Short

Deciding to implement a content management system into your new website is an easy call – doing so makes it easy for you to add and update pages while maintaining a consistent look throughout every part of the site. Figuring out which content management system to use, however, can be a little tougher.

Obviously, there are a lot of popular options, such as WordPress and Drupal. But, lots of business owners overlook the advantages of a custom CMS, usually because they are working with a web design team that isn’t familiar enough with them to spell out the benefits.

That’s too bad, because having the right CMS can make a huge difference on the usability and profitability of your website. And, getting one that’s publicly available isn’t always the best choice.

To help you understand why, here are three benefits of using a custom CMS that you might not have known about:

#1 It Can Be Tailored to Fit Your Needs

As the word “custom” implies, this type of content management system can be shaped, designed, and programmed to meet the needs of your company. That means you don’t have to worry about a “one-size-fits-all” approach to web design, but instead can take advantage of the features that matter to your organization (and ignore the ones that don’t). The result isn’t just better functionality, but often cleaner code that isn’t cluttered by things you don’t need. Doing away with extra chunks of code could make your website run faster and more smoothly.

#2 There are Fewer Online Security Concerns

Hackers and cyber criminals love common content management systems, like WordPress, because so many millions of people use them. They only have to find one weak point in the content management systems security and they can suddenly access millions upon millions of different websites at once. On the other hand, with a custom CMS, there isn’t nearly as much incentive for thieves to spend time breaking in. That makes them more likely to move on than bother trying to crack the security on your website.

#3 It Makes it Easier to Update Your Website

One of the biggest advantages of having a custom CMS is that the interface can be designed for simplicity. In other words, we can make it so that adding new pages, or updating your content, is as simple as using a program much like Microsoft Word. That might not seem like a huge deal, but if you’ve ever struggled to keep your website up-to-date, you know how important it is to have a system that’s easy to use and master. What’s the point of having a CMS if updating your website is a chore?

If you’ve never considered using a custom content management system, now might be the perfect time to take a closer look and see if it’s right for you.

Looking for the very best in business web design and Internet marketing? Talk to the team at WebRevelation in San Antonio, Houston or Dallas today!

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Business Strategy | 
Tags : CMS , custom CMS , content management


3 Reasons to Look More Closely at Web App Development

Posted Wed, January 7, 2015 by Julie Short

For the average business owner or marketer, “custom app development” seems like something for only Fortune 500 companies and high-volume e-commerce sites. Simply put, they tend to think of it as something they don’t need and couldn’t afford.

However, we frequently come across new clients who could profit or benefit from web app development and just don’t know it yet.

Could you be one of them? It’s possible. Here are three reasons to look a little more closely at web app development this year:

1. Web apps increase the power, functionality, and usefulness of your website. While there are more apps and plug-ins available to web designers and developers than ever before, sometimes you just can’t get something that does what you need – or the way you need it – from an existing product. When that happens, modifying an existing app, or having one developed from scratch, can be the perfect answer.

Custom web apps can help with things like databases, polls, inventory, marketing, transaction security and encryption, and so much more. Each of these increases the functionality and value of your website.

2. Having a custom web app developed can often help you earn or save money in other areas. Business owners are often turned off by what they imagine the costs of web app development to be. That’s easy to understand, but it can hide the potential for bigger opportunities.

As with any investment, web app development can be well worth the small hit to your budget if it helps your company reach more customers, get real-time updates from suppliers, streamline financial transactions, or improve your bottom line in any one of dozens of ways.

3. Web app development is more affordable than a lot of business people would imagine. Speaking of budgets, it’s worth pointing out that custom web app development doesn’t cost nearly as much as business owners and executives tend to imagine it might. Even having a new piece of software written from scratch doesn’t need to be a major expense, or something that holds up the development of your website.

Five or ten years ago, web app development and custom programming were expensive, technical, and time-consuming projects that really weren’t worth the trouble unless you had a huge website that needed dozens of complex or industry-specific features. Now, though, businesses of all sizes are getting in on the act… and they’re finding that it’s a lot easier and more effective than they ever imagined.

How can WebRevelation help you improve your business through Internet marketing and technology services? Call or email our team today to find out.

Posted in : Websites , Business Strategy | 
Tags : webapps , affordable , custom


How houzz.com can be a benefit to home builders

Posted Fri, November 23, 2012 by Julie Short

Houzz.com  is an online idea book for decorating a room to building a custom home.  Users select from over 800,000 photos of ideas that they like with the benefit of keeping them in one location.  As a home builder, you can increase your exposure, build your brand, and communicate more efficiently with clients using a visual ideabook. is an online idea book for decorating a room to building a custom home.  Users select from over 800,000 photos of ideas that they like with the benefit of keeping them in one location.  As a home builder, you can increase your exposure, build your brand, and communicate more efficiently with clients using a visual ideabook.  This power point slide is how to get started.

 

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : houzz , idea book , home builder , custom home


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