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All of the random thoughts that we have.

Template or Custom Solution when having a system designed

May 7, 2017

When our clients approach us, usually they have an idea in there head of what they want, and how they want the product to operate / look, whether this be a website, CMS package or anything else.  The biggest problem we then face is having the client decide if they want to go down the prefabricated ‘template’ path, or have us custom design them a solution, both have their advantages and disadvantages and these will be discussed below.

Custom Designed:

Having a solution custom designed for you is usually the best option, it allows complete control over the design and development of the solution and allows you to alter and change anything during the design phase before it goes to a finished product.  Clients opting for this type of approach usually are buying for a long term solution, so having a perfect ‘fit’ is a must for them.  Additionally, scalability / expandability can be built into the initial system allowing for future proofing and quicker deployment if additional features are needed down the road.   Custom designed solutions do have drawbacks though – universal maintainability cross business is not guaranteed as a custom solution may be very complex and abstract from pre-fabricated alternatives, furthermore, some plugins (small addons) to sites may not work correctly in a custom solution depending on the requirements of the initial project.

Template Based:

These type of solutions are typically the cheapest and easiest to build, maintain, and replace.  There is not a large investment of time / money in a template based system and therefore can be swapped out and replaced if needed.

Template Based solutions are typically best for small scale operations or projects where unique specifications are not required; a big limitation of Template Based solutions is that they are just… template based, there is limited customizability.

Limited customizability alone is the biggest drawback to Template Based Solutions.  These types of solutions will typically only let you update certain aspects of the template.  In the case of a website, you may only be able to update the color of a button, not now it looks, or the font of a text area, not how big it is or swap out the text for a picture of movie.

So which is best?

Well, that depends on the situation, and the situation depends on your needs, and your needs depend on your goals.  We will work with you to understand what you are trying to achieve and how you imagine the solution that achieves that.  We are experts when it comes to Systems Analysis and Design, so why not give us an email and see what ASIT Group can do for you.

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