Custom applications can do some amazing things. Using vast libraries of code almost any functionality can be built into a bespoke piece of software, designed to fulfil any business goals or provide digital services or products. They are built by custom application development companies like Laracle.

There are some distinct advantages to taking a custom approach to software and application development. Whilst there are ‘off the shelf’ packages which are designed to fulfil business needs, there are almost always drawbacks to these when considered in contrast to custom application development.

The custom applications that Laracle build benefit from:

 

  • Improved Efficiency - designing an application specifically for a purpose streamlines it, removing potentially unnecessary elements.

  • High Scalability - Built for you alone, a well-designed application will scale up as your business does.

  • Smooth Integration - By taking a custom approach, the software can easily be integrated with any existing platforms used by your business.

  • Increased Security - If you handle sensitive data, greater security measures can be deliberately implemented to prevent malicious attacks.

  • Better Productivity - Build in workflows that are common to your business, freeing up staff time.

 

All this is possible because the application is built entirely to your specification. At Laracle, we are able to implement any feature required into our custom software.

application graphic

How are these custom apps and websites made?

 

Well, they are made in a pretty similar way to webpages, so we shall start our journey there. 

The internet has grown from small, simple websites, almost entirely written in HTML to complex, dynamic, cloud hosted applications, written in a number of different languages (to see just how far it’s come, here is a snapshot of a website from 1991, and no, it’s not broken!).

To break down what’s new since 1991, let us examine how a web page is built, in a (hopefully) simple way. A basic knowledge of how webpages are designed and built, will be key to understanding why choosing the right company for custom application development services is important. It gets tricky pretty fast.

The physical content of a page (i.e. the words on it) is written in HTML. Not strictly a coding language, Hyper Text Markup Language simply displays text and images. By itself, it does not style the text at all, as shown in the 1991 example above.

As the internet became more widely adopted and more accessible, the technologies that power it grew. A new language was created to style the text displayed, called Cascading Style Sheets or CSS for short.

These cascading style sheets control the layout and appearance of multiple pages at once. CSS tells your browser how the information contained within HTML should be displayed. 

Although CSS can be written alongside HTML in the same document, this can cause some pretty confusing code, so they are often placed in their own, separate document, referenced at the start of the HTML file. 

CSS allows for an amazing level of custom design: font, size, weight, bold or italics, all of these are decided by the CSS. It’s not only that though, CSS is also responsible for where and how on the page the information appears. This means it deals with the positioning, size and placement of both texts and images, giving the page or software application a bit more….style!

Now to the interactive part, as that’s what our custom application development services are all about. While CSS does have some reactive programmability, most of the time, when a website responds to an action on it (a click or scroll of the mouse for example), it’s down to a “true” programming language. On the web, or in the custom software development done here at Laracle, these are most commonly JavaScript or Php.

Programming languages allow computers to make decisions, based on rules that are determined by the team that wrote the code. They make websites or custom software interactive, responding to events that happen while they run. It’s how simple online games are made, how video streaming websites are made interactive with clips showing on hover and so much more.

Putting all these together gives the “front-end” of a website or application, so called because it’s the front of the website that a user visits, just as physical stores have a front to them. The “back-end” of a website refers to information (data) stored on the server, like usernames or passwords which are stored in databases so that code can interpret them.

With this brief tour of how websites and custom applications are created, we have also seen how mobile applications are created too!

Whilst our description may seem fairly straightforward, to create the modern, responsive and dynamic projects we see today, custom application development companies need to write thousands and thousands of lines of code to incorporate the business’s needs into the program. Without the right team or software development company, even creating simple pages can soon become an overwhelming amount of code.

That’s where frameworks come in. Frameworks are essentially code libraries. In a lot of applications, code can be reused. Frameworks are vast libraries of that code which can be called upon to reduce the need for typing out repeat lines. This saves time and reduces the file size of the overall application.

smartphone

Model View Controller

 

Popular frameworks for Javascript and Php are called Vue and Laravel respectively. They also use a software design pattern “Model View Controller” or MVC. This is a pattern designed to make it easier to handle large amounts of code by splitting it based on what it is designed to do. It’s why we at Laracle use them in our development.

The Controller sits at the front of the architecture and receives requests from the browser. It then talks to the Model part of the code, which is the backend database. When the Controller receives the information that it needs, it communicates with the View, to decide how to display this data to the user. Once the View has told the Controller, it displays the information in the browser or the app accordingly.

It can be a little difficult to understand the MVC pattern, but if you want to know more about it, this article has some great examples.

The main takeaway is that the View and Model never communicate with each other, only with the Controller. This prevents overlap of programming logic and conflicts within the application itself.

 

MVC and Frameworks

 

This is why at Laracle we specialise in those two frameworks: Vue JS and Laravel. They help us develop powerful applications and mobile software with any custom feature built into them. The code is neatly organised and both technologies are well known, meaning code can be worked on by developers in the future, after it’s initially been written.

Vue JS is considered one of the fastest and most powerful frameworks for JavaScript out there. It is open source, with a large community behind it already. It speeds up front end displays with its library.

Laravel is the most popular Php framework and helps speed up back-end functions like login authentication and caching.

As you can see, we take our development seriously at Laracle, constantly analysing and staying on top of modern technologies to build the best custom web applications we possibly can.

 

A little more about Laracle

 

We were founded by two friends and try to keep that small business attitude in everything we do. We are available to chat, with two offices in the UK, one in London and one in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Since our small start, we’ve worked hard and are proud to have grown, working with some huge names in business. Companies like Holland and Barrett, Dogs Trust, The SSE Arena and PepsiCo have trusted us with their custom application development solutions.

We believe in creating an accurate, honest time frame for all our projects. We start by listening to your needs and understanding what our clients want from their bespoke software. Then we can deliver it, on time, as promised. 

At Laracle, we provide a full package when it comes to our custom application development services. Of course, we have our own expert full stack developers, but we also are an in-house team of content writers, UI designers and SEO experts.

We don’t outsource any part of our projects, meaning we keep full control of your application, from start to finish. It allows for better quality control, and keeps us accountable to our timeframe.

 

Wrapping Up

 

Our service always starts with a conversation. We believe we can only develop the perfect application for your business if we have truly listened to your needs.

We develop custom applications for websites and mobile. As more of the world moves to mobile browsing, it’s important to choose a software development company like Laracle that builds responsive applications for mobile, tablet and desktop.

You can see some case studies of our work here, but remember, these are just a couple of examples. The beauty of custom applications is that they can truly be anything you need them to be.

Get in touch with us today to start the conversation about our custom application development services.

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