A web application is a website or a feature of a website that asks a user to perform a specific task. You use them all the time without even realizing it — when you buy tickets, when you fill out an online form, when you create an online account with a specific vendor pretty much anytime you use a website to do anything other than read information.

What is a custom web application?

Web applications are ubiquitous these days, but many are developed with a one-size-fits-all mindset. The broader the application the more times it is downloaded… at least that’s the strategy. The reality is that businesses don’t thrive in a cookie-cutter environment. You may be selling the same products or services, but something about your company must be unique if you’re going to set yourself apart from the competition and grow.

A custom web application is a web application that’s developed specifically to meet your particular needs. Just like a custom suit is tailored to fit you, a custom web application is tailored to fit your company.

What does a web application developer do?

In the context of business customization, a good web application developer will spend time listening to you and asking questions with the goal of understanding your company and your desires as well as possible. With this newfound understanding, they will use their experience and knowledge of what widgets and plugins are currently available to determine if they need to build the app from scratch or tweak something that already exists.

Ultimately, a web application developer uses a combination of linear thinking, coding, and knowledge to create a tool that performs to your specifications.

What are the advantages of developing your own web app?

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “There’s gotta be a better way” or “I wish this software could…” you’ve already arrived at step one of building a custom web application. Customizing your website to function precisely the way you want it to is simply a matter of finding people with the proper skills and understanding of what you want. The list below serves as the proverbial tip of the iceberg as far as possibilities go, but perhaps it will provide the inspiration you need to take the leap.

Reporting

“But can it be integrated with…” That’s one of the most common questions web developers hear. It makes sense. You’ve invested time and money into certain systems already and you don’t want to just throw it all away. However, some “off the shelf” APIs don’t work with other softwares. With some coding know-how and the right tools, a developer can make a custom app that integrates with the APIs you need it to integrate with.

Picture API integration providing you with essential data that shows up in a dashboard with other essential data. Now you’re starting to understand the potential of custom web apps.

Dashboarding

“But I have all the analytics I need. What I need is a way to compile all the analytics in one place.” Fair enough. Google Analytics, social media analytics, CRM analytics, email analytics, Quickbooks numbers, point of sale reports… You’ve got charts and graphs coming out of your ears.

What if you could see and interpret all of that data in one window?

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Good news: it’s possible. Developers can create a custom web application that does that, not only for you, but for your sales team, too.

API integration

“But can it be integrated with…” That’s one of the most common questions web developers hear. It makes sense. You’ve invested time and money into certain systems already and you don’t want to just throw it all away. However, some “off the shelf” APIs don’t work with other softwares. With some coding know-how and the right tools, a developer can make a custom app that integrates with the APIs you need it to integrate with.

Picture API integration providing you with essential data that shows up in a dashboard with other essential data. Now you’re starting to understand the potential of custom web apps.

Real time communication

Email inboxes bog down. Phone calls are on the endangered species list. What does real time communication in the 21st century look like? SMS notifications. Text messages. Notifications from web apps. In a day and age when we have more means of communication than ever, it can often be more difficult to reach someone when you need them. A custom web application could help users prioritize which messages need immediate attention and which can wait for a more opportune time.

Employee accountability

What about an unbiased way to monitor employee performance? A custom web app could track billable time, progress toward goals/quotas, as well as calendar appointments. It’s not a CRM or a project management AI; it is (or could be) a custom web application.

Incident management/risk management

Let’s narrow that down into some specific applications (pun intended). Incident management, whether it be IT or job site incidents, is a beast to manage in a spreadsheet, and spreadsheets don’t allow for privacy when shared with all personnel. A custom web app could. In fact, we’ve done it.

Automation

What does all of this mean for you? Simplified and automated business processes free employees to spend time using their minds and skills to move your company toward expansion.

Conclusion

You can use a wrench to hammer a nail, but it’s not the best tool for the job. Similarly, you can use a one-size-fits-all web application to gather business data, but it may not be the best tool for the job. Let an Ardent developer chat with you about custom web application possibilities. It doesn’t cost you anything to have a conversation. If we don’t think you need customization, we’ll let you know.