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Is a Custom Or Low-Code App The Right Choice?

The ease of use and rapid turnaround times make low-code development a tempting offer for all kinds of companies. However, are custom-coded apps the better choice?

Elizabeth Moss

By Elizabeth Moss

BairesDev Business Development Executive Elizabeth Moss is responsible for partnership growth, increasing profitability, and customer acquisition.

10 min read

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Mobile apps have exploded in popularity in recent years because of their reliability and convenience. Organizations of all sizes use these solutions to expand their business and unlock market reach like never before. 

However, companies looking to build an app for their business must face a major decision before development ever begins: opt for a custom app or a low or no-code app. The battle between custom and low code apps has been on for a few years, and it’s unlikely that the debate will end anytime soon. The best way for companies to prepare for such a choice is by taking the time to learn exactly what they’d get with either option and what this means for the future.

What is Custom App Development? 

Custom app development is a process that requires a high degree of hand-coding. It involves building software from scratch for a specific set of users, functions, or organizations. 

The Advantages of Custom Code App Development 

The benefits of custom code apps include:

  • Highly Customized: A custom app is superior because it requires a team of professionals to build a powerful app from scratch. The customer can work with the development team to build virtually any feature and realize any integration that they may need. The end product will be an app that is specifically built to address specific needs of an organization.
  • Security Concerns: Customized solutions allow businesses to have their security built into the software. Hackers generally find it easier to penetrate low-code apps, but with a custom app, the risks of a data breach drastically decrease. 
  • Flexibility: Another benefit of having a custom app is that companies can ask the dev team to further enhance the features whenever required. The needs of the business may change from time to time, but they won’t have to worry since their team can incorporate those changes easily.
    In contrast, low-code apps aren’t that flexible as they make the app live at the mercy of the solution provider or platform. The company must wait for them to make the kind of changes that their business needs on a global scale.
  • Property Rights: With a custom-made app, the customer and dev team are in control of every part of it. They might need a third-party solution at some point, but the hiring company has complete rights over the app, which they can protect and sell as a proprietary tool.
    With low-code apps, the client isn’t completely in control as they must comply with the rules of the provider. Failure to do that may lead to sanctions, but this isn’t normally something to worry about with a custom app since the client owns every part of it.
  • Return on Investment: A popular argument against custom software is that it’s expensive to build since it requires hiring a professional team for the job, but this option gives good returns in the long run. For example, companies won’t incur any license costs because they own the software.
    Also, the client can rely on support services to fix the issue quickly and get the software up and running should issues arise. In contrast, the support from non-coded website developers is pretty limited and generic.
  • Compatibility: If an organization is using several other tools, it makes sense to go for a custom app solution so the dev team can easily integrate it to the larger digital ecosystem in which it’s deployed. Unfortunately, these functionalities aren’t buildable in a low-code app. 

What Is Low-Code App Development? 

As the name implies, low-code software development refers to the process of using minimal code to build an app. It replaces hand-coding with automated code generation so developers can use drag-and-drop functionality to rope in the required choice of features in the app. 

Advantages of Low-Code Development 

Low-code development has a number of benefits, including:

  • Less coding: Low-code development is a huge attraction to people with little or no background in tech, as they can build their app with minimal coding. For example, anyone can simply create a user interface by directly dragging graphical elements, like buttons and texts, into a graphical editor. Almost anyone has the ability to build a low-code app using any low-code platform.
  • Increased productivity and speed: Another benefit of low-code development is that it makes it simple to translate an idea into an app rather quickly. Most low-code platforms have the capability to deliver a functional app in days, unlike custom apps that require months to build. 
  • Easy to understand: Traditional codebases are rather difficult to understand for non-development personnel which means debugging takes a lot of time. Low-code development, on the other hand, is simple and easy to grasp for virtually anyone. As a result, it’s easier to identify mistakes in the app and fix them.
  • Variety of Applications: Low-code apps may act as a part of larger businesses. For instance, they may help to provide a relational database in Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets to manage things like marketing campaigns, projects, events, and so on.

Verdict: Custom App vs. Low-Code Apps 

Both custom and low-code apps have their attractions, and deciding on which is the best choice depends on a number of factors that are more or less particular to the client. However, a custom app offers more benefits to any business than a low-code app in the long run. 

With a custom app, dev teams and clients won’t feel tied to a platform when they want to customize their app in the future. Plus, businesses should go with a custom app developed for them if their business handles sensitive information as they can integrate system security with custom applications. Each option comes with its own pros and cons, which means companies must choose based on their specific, unique requirements at hand.

Elizabeth Moss

By Elizabeth Moss

Business Development Executive Elizabeth Moss helps support and grow BairesDev by forming strategic partnerships, increasing profitability, and aiding in customer acquisition. Her previous work experience includes success at tech giants such as Adobe and Jalasoft.

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