SaaS Platform Development: Custom vs Template

SaaS platform development requires detailed planning, which is impossible without proper expertise. At the same time, creating a solution of this type is very tempting, given that by 2021 the SaaS platform market will reach $278 billion.  One of the main decisions to be taken is to decide whether you want to create your platform with custom functionality and design or use a ready-made template. Although it is always better to work with professionals, many companies try to use templates, as they allow them to create a web application without hiring a designer and creating any code. But is it really the best option? Let’s take a look and figure it out.

Custom SaaS-platforms

Custom SaaS-platforms are created mainly when the business owner wants either a specific functionality, or to implement the idea, reliably protect the data, adjust the business logic to the architecture. All these functions can’t be provided by SaaS-platform development using template. To develop this type of SaaS-platforms, you need to find an experienced development team that specializes in creation of custom solutions. 

Pros

  • By developing your own platform, you can make it as unique as possible, while integrating some features that may not be possible with templates, such as enhanced security measures or advanced technology implementation. In this case, the platform will be completely built around your business logic and meet your specific business objectives, needs and requirements. 
  • The custom SaaS-platform can grow with your business. This means that if you make any changes to your business in the future, you can always contact the company that developed it for you to change its design or functionality. In addition, the custom SaaS-platform implies a wide range of scalability options if needed.
  • It is possible to get all services at once from one developer company. There is no need to spend on third-party contractors saving time and money. Moreover, a company with an integrated approach can also provide personnel training, which is also an undeniable advantage. 
  • A custom SaaS-platform developed with the right approach is more convenient for search engines than a template. This means that it can have a higher rating in search engines than a template-based one. This is very important for any business that wants to gain leadership and increase conversion on the Internet.
  • A custom SaaS-platform has a higher level of reliability and support options than one that is built from ready-made templates. This is because it was created by professional developers and if there are any bugs or problems they can always fix them.
  • When developing a custom SaaS-platform, it is possible to introduce new technologies, such as AI or blockchain. This can become a serious competitive advantage.
  • A custom SaaS-platform will include the branding of your company using design and UX, which are unique to your firm. This makes the business truly outstanding.

Cons

  • SaaS-platforms developed from scratch are usually more expensive than those created from templates. This is because they are customized to fit your business needs and require professional expertise. 
  • The process of individual project development takes much longer than creating it with a template. Any changes in the platform may take some time. You’ll have to rely on the time and availability of your developers.

SaaS Templates

There are many good solutions for quick and cheap SaaS-platform launch. Such solutions are usually developed with the help of so-called ‘templates’. This means the code, design and layouts are mostly preassembled with limited configuration and basic text and image editing options. In WordPress (the largest platform for web publishing) and other CMS, they are sometimes called themes.

Pros

  • Developing the SaaS platform using a template requires much less time, effort and resources than a custom solution. Everything is already done for you and you can spend more time on design and content. Many such ‘construction sites’ have a library of pre-prepared themes that can be used instead of creating your own. Thus, the appearance of the platform can be updated almost instantly. 
  • By developing the SaaS platform with templates you can stay relatively calm regarding security issues. Template construction platforms usually have a fairly large community of developers looking for bugs together, and releasing fixing patches afterwards. Updates are released on a regular basis and can always be downloaded and installed.   
  • Such software often includes the ability to apply an adaptive theme, thus ensuring that it is easy to use on all devices, whether it be tablet, smartphone or PC. 

Cons

  • When using the template, you do not have the ability to create a complete, functional IT solution. Usually, designers have rather few functions, and their quality leaves much to be desired. You can also forget about any competitive advantages. 
  • Often the payment may vary depending on the required storage, server resources, number of pages. Such conditions can multiply the total cost of the product in the long term.
  • Despite the regular release of updates and patches, platforms with templates still remain vulnerable to cyber attacks. While security patches are constantly being released by template developers, it may take some experience to install such patches. If you can’t do it yourself, you will have to hire a professional web developer.

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So, let’s sum it up. If you want something small and further development of your SaaS platform isn’t part of your plans – you can use a template solution. However, if you want a truly quality product that takes into account all your needs, requirements, business features and in general you want a complete and secure piece of software – contact the professionals and then you can get a truly powerful solution.