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The 6 Biggest Misconceptions About Custom Software

Creating custom software is a difficult topic of discussion for many businesses. It requires a great investment of both time and money. However, building your own software can significantly improve your business’ productivity and ability to help others.

So why do many companies hesitate to embark on the custom software journey? We’ve encountered 6 big misconceptions about custom software. Understanding the truth behind these misconceptions will help you make better-informed decisions for your business.

1. You need to have a full-time developer on staff.

While you might think that having a full-time individual or team of developers in-house is better, it’s often impractical. In reality, it doesn’t guarantee that quality work will be done. Recruiting, managing, and running a development team is a unique skill set on its own.

Many companies also find that quality is increased when working with an outside development team. Having an objective, professional opinion from beyond the boundaries of your team may help you steer your plans into a better direction for your overall project.

2. You have to know how to code to manage a software project.

Having some knowledge in coding is useful to commission a software project, but it’s not the deciding factor for a project’s success. Managing the details of a development project and a development team is different from being a non-technical leader or member in a project team.

Skilled software development companies have the expertise and experience to work with you and help you achieve your goals. That being said, it’s important to choose a partner whom you can trust.

3. You need to have every detail figured out before you hire a software development company.

You do not need to have every tiny detail figured out before hiring a software development firm. You should, however, have a solid idea of what you want to achieve with your project. A software development agency can bring everything into perspective by translating your goals into smaller, actionable tasks. Furthermore, a good developer or development team will spend time to learn about and understand your project aims, allowing them to make suggestions and recommendations you may have never thought of on your own.

4. “I don’t need software.”

Regardless of what type of company you run, when it reaches a certain size, there will be a place for custom software. You’ll need software to optimise and streamline existing processes and procedures. When done right, custom software can help your business reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase your ability to support others in your socially-minded community.

If you’re still a small group, you may not yet need anything custom to effectively run your organisation. A trustworthy developer will only build custom software when a client truly needs it; your developer should talk openly with you about secondary options that you may have. Sometimes, the alternatives are a better fit than an expensive software project.

5. “We can just build it ourselves with WordPress.”

The cost of custom-built software is a common concern among many businesses. You might think it’s okay to use some free, non-custom software for your business. Often, free software options are ideal for short-term solutions. You want to build a sustainable company that can grow and thrive for the long run, and custom software may be the tool to get there.

That being said, WordPress may be a smart option for you. If you have the skills and time to do it yourself, then using a platform like WordPress may be a good route, too. However, the important point is to not underestimate the costs of “free” software — especially in terms of time. Also, building the software badly or using the wrong approach at the start will lead to a failed project or at least an expensive recovery process. Take every angle into consideration before taking this option.

6. It’s good if it looks good.

Prettily designed software is not the same as software that is designed for the user. But great-looking software with poor functionality or user experience is a big “no-no.” In the end, it’s all about making the tiniest parts of the software fit together perfectly while making it easy to understand. When you’re developing your project, be sure your nice-looking custom program or website really works.


It’s easy to fall for these misconceptions about custom software, especially when you have little or no experience in the field. A unique software solution can be expensive, yet its long-term benefits undoubtedly outweigh many costs. After reading the realities behind the myths surrounding custom software, we hope you will feel more empowered and informed to make important decisions for your non-profit or socially-minded business.

Have you been considering the place of custom software in your organisation? Do you want to improve your business by utilising the power of custom software? Contact us today to address your needs and turn them into reality.

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About the author

Barry O'Kane

Barry is the founder of HappyPorch. With 20 years in the web development industry as a programmer and agency owner, he has a preternatural ability to decipher the systems and processes code that holds many teams back from achieving their goals. Partners say Barry gets to the root of issues quickly and makes it downright easy to deliver good work.    

While he's unbelievably grounded, it's not uncommon to find him sailing through the trees as he paraglides his way round the world.