Clients often want to have a website having all the bells and whistles of a 3rd party template system.
3rd party systems include real estate websites and online shopping carts. What can be a good start for the budget weary business person; getting locked in to a system could end up causing you headaches in the long run. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of software ownership. Also see: IDX Feed Integration Real Estate
Customization and Feature Enhancements
In a custom option, you can have any level of customization. In 3rd party application, you have to work within the existing framework. Any future customization must be within this framework boundary, hence unforeseen limitations.
There is NO problem of version upgrades as you and your web developer control and adhere to the original code base. When a 3rd party application upgrades, you may *loose customization performed as there is the possibility of changes in the code structure, class’s methods and database.
Scale and Security
In custom option you can add more layers for security and performance tuning when application grows making it easier to handle a large user base when required. In a 3rd party application you are constrained by the database and coding structure of any 3rd party application, having certain limitation for capabilities. This is one of many unforeseen* risk factors. You also need to concern yourself that the application you have chosen does not fall out of favor among companies and developers essentially leaving you driving an Edsel.
Initially the cost is higher, but future enhancements and customization costs are usually nominal. PLUS – you own the software. Want to change web hosting? – No problem. Want to sell your website? No 3rd party contracts or conflicts to worry about.
Initially a 3rd party application is less expensive but need for additions of custom features requires that you hire a professional from the respective 3rd party solution’s partner program. This can be costly.
Source Code Availability
You may request or will be provided with the full source code of the application. Most 3rd party application, you may NOT have the source code of application or in some cases you must pay an additional cost. In any case the source code is usually proprietary unless it is considered an open source code base.
Custom features can be made available or developed whenever required. With a 3rd party application You could add features when released or upgrade the version with new feature. However this poses unforeseen rises for programming conflicts and errors.