The Applecado blog

The Truth About Bespoke Websites


Myths about Bespoke Web Development

In case you didn’t know; at Applecado we create entirely bespoke websites, eCommerce and online systems (we also like coffee, cake, cars, amongst other things!). We hope to share the benefits of, and how this approach is the right way for many of our clients.

If you’d like to read more from our blog on bespoke development, take a look at these two in particular:

Bespoke vs. ‘Off the Shelf’ Websites

eCommerce platforms: Off the shelf or Bespoke?

However, we know from years of talking with clients that some people are wary of commissioning a custom software solution, and we want to discuss some of the perceived problems and why we think bespoke solutions are a viable option.


Perhaps the biggest misconception around bespoke software/web design/development is that it must cost more.

There may well be a greater up-front cost when creating a custom content management system or web-app, for example. First, that’s not necessarily the case, but more importantly – over the long-term, you may find that a well planned, built and supported custom solution can actually be cheaper.

[Anecdotally, there are several projects we’ve quoted for where bespoke development was cheaper than off-the-shelf platforms, and better met the needs of the client.]

If there is an off-the-shelf solution that does exactly what you need it to do, that’s great, you will probably find yourself saving money with this approach, at least in the short term. However, the costs add up if you need to customise with extra subscriptions or licences for extra functionality.

Tied In

Some worry that they will be tied in to an agency or developer, and that no-one else will be able to work on their project in the future.

Find out what their technical approach will be, and what their answer is to this is – they should understand you need to protect yourself and your business for continuity if the worst happened.

We write using PHP, and the Symfony framework. PHP is one of the most-popular programming languages on the web, it is powerful and flexible, and pairing it with a framework like Symfony ensures that web development is structured and maintainable, standards-compliant, and secure. Symfony has been constantly improved over the last 10 years, and has been trusted by big names such as TED, BBC and Yahoo.

Ensuring your developer/agency are using well established languages and known frameworks should go some way towards ensuring good quality web development.

Good quality code is:

  • clear and logical, making it easily-adoptable
  • maintainable
  • efficient
  • testable and robust
  • documented
  • flexible
  • long-lasting
  • and, secure.

We want to maintain happy long-term relationships with our clients and their projects, but at the end of the day we write our platforms with clean and logical, compliant code and architecture that any decent developer would be able to adopt if needed.

To conclude

Sometimes purchasing an off the shelf package can be the right solution for your site or app, there is also a substantial advantage to commissioning your own. Online software that has been written for you and your company is often smaller, faster, and tailored to work for you and around the way you need to work. It will often last longer as it has a greater flexibility to grow with you as your needs change as well, which can give you better value for money over time.

Get in touch

Whatever stage you’re at right now – looking to launch, or grow your company, we can help you get there. We’re more than happy to help, so just give us a quick call.