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App Builder vs. Custom Development: Which Is Best for You?

app builder vs custom development

Mobile applications have become an integral part of our daily lives, revolutionizing the way we communicate, work, and entertain ourselves. With the increasing demand for mobile apps, choosing the right development approach has become crucial for businesses and individuals looking to enter the app market.

In this article, we will explore the two main approaches to app development: using an app builder and custom development. We will delve into the advantages of using an app builder over custom development and why it might be the right choice for you.

Understanding App Builders

App builders are platforms or tools that enable users to create mobile applications with no coding knowledge and skills required. These platforms are packed with various features and functions. It makes app development easy and thus enables everyone to create their own app. Some key features of app builders include:


App builders are a much cheaper option compared to custom app development. So, app builders are good alternatives for users and small businessmen with a limited budget. When using an app builder, there is no need to spend a lot to develop a beautiful app that will attract your customers.


The User Interface of app builders is created with usability in mind, allowing you to use it regardless of your technical background. Most app builders provide a very user-friendly interface. Enabling you to create your app’s layout and functionality with as little effort as possible.

Quick deployment:

An app builder is a very useful tool if you want to launch your app rapidly. Using an app builder, you can develop a complete mobile app within minutes, while it would take weeks or months with custom development.

No coding required:

The biggest upside of using an app builder is that you don’t need any coding skills to develop your app. The app builders provide ready-made templates and components. You can use these to build a fully functional app just by dragging and dropping your desired elements on the screen and editing them.

App builders are a much better option as compared to custom development. From cost-effectiveness to user-friendliness and quick deployment, app builders, as opposed to the traditional app development approach, turn out to be a game changer.

Exploring Custom Development

In custom app development, you have to create a mobile app from scratch. You need to design it with unique specifications and functions yourself through coding to satisfy particular needs. Unlike app builders, which typically provide pre-built templates and various components, custom development requires the design and coding of every application part, including the user interface and the back-end functionality.

Highly customized solutions:

Another benefit of custom development is the level of flexibility it gives to the end user. Now you can be sure that everything in your app is in your own hands: you can fully customize it and add as much uniqueness as you need to make it a solution that fits your needs and requirements.


The apps that are made specifically for the user’s needs are more scalable than those that are built using an app builder. Custom development will make it simple to add new features and functions to your app as your business grows. This way, your app will be up to date-and remain relevant to your business needs.

Advanced features:

Custom designing provides you with the flexibility to incorporate the advanced features and functionalities that you would not get in the off the shelf solutions. Whichever it is between the integration of third-party services, advanced analytics, or complicated algorithms, custom development allows you to design an app that can really be considered as the cutting edge.

While custom development gives you a chance to be in charge of everything and to work on the things that you need precisely, there are also some issues that custom development can bring. Custom-designed applications are usually very costly and time consuming to create as compared to those that are built using app builders.

However, custom app development requires many technical skills & resources, which is less accessible to individuals and small business entities who may have limited budgets. For companies that are looking for a highly customizable and scalable solution, custom development might be a suitable solution for them.

Using App Builder for App Development

The app development using an app builder gives you an easy and friendly way to make apps even for the person who has never written a single line of code. Therefore, these platforms usually present a variety of templates and design options available for users to customize in accordance with their requirements.

It allows you to develop an app using a drag-and-drop interface. You can add elements like navigation menus, buttons, forms, and media content without writing any line of code. Moreover, the app builders make the process of publishing apps fairly simple for the users. They can get their apps published swiftly to app stores.

It is this quick launching capacity that makes this particular approach very relevant to businesses that are looking to introduce their apps in the market as soon as possible in order to interact with their target audience. In general, app building with an app maker is the cost-effective, rapid, and easy way to develop mobile apps.

Custom App Development Process

Custom app development is a slow process which involves understanding of the client’s necessities, goals, and target audience through an in-depth study. The first step is to come up with a great idea to a point where you can clearly visualize the functionality, design, and user experience of the app.

Coding the application according to the selected design and approved specification takes place in the development phase of custom app development.

This stage involves the cooperation of developers, designers, and testers to make sure it is a high-quality app. Then, the created application is subjected to extensive testing that aims to discover and fix any bugs or problems.

Ultimately, when the app is developed and approved, it will be released to the app store, and users will be able to access it. However, this method would require months or years to launch a single app along with thousands of dollars required to hire the developers.

Things to Considered While Making the Choice

In a decision between app builders and custom development, there are certain factors that should be taken into account in order to have a choice that meets your intentions and limitations.

coding and app builder comparison table
Budget considerations:

Generally, app builders are more affordable than creating an app using custom development. This makes app builders a good choice for individuals & small businesses who have a limited budget. On the other side, custom development will be very much costly as compared to app builder because of the deeper level of customization and sophisticated expertise.

Timeline for development & deployment:

The time to market is fast for app builders, and it can be a very long process if you choose to do it the custom way, which may take about six months to complete. In case you want to release your app for urgent needs, an app builder will work faster.

Complexity of app requirements:

App builders are perfect for creating apps that are not sophisticated and do not require any custom features. Creating a custom application might be a better option if your app has some complicated requirements or it involves integration with other systems.

Level of customization needed:

App builders cannot support as much customization as a custom-built app does. In case you need an app highly specialized and composed with particular functionalities and features, custom development is the right path.

Conclusion, Final Verdict

Many aspects of app builders and custom development must be taken into account to make a final decision. App builders provide many benefits such as budget friendly, short duration of launch, and ease of use. These platforms offer a suitable option for people and SMEs who are keen on the creation of basic to moderate apps without having to learn the coding aspects.

However, the advantage of custom development is that it allows for higher levels of customization and scale. Therefore, it is a more appropriate solution for businesses with highly specialized app requirements. Though custom development is probably more costly and time-consuming than ready-made solutions, it offers the flexibility to create a solution that exactly fits your needs, being 100% customized.

According to the mentioned factors, selecting an app builder will be more suitable for individuals and small companies with a low budget and low app requirements in most of the cases.

However, it might be a good alternative for those businesses with more sophisticated requirements and the financial resources to commit to custom solutions, as it offers greater flexibility and customization possibilities. However, the right approach to choose from is solely dependent on your specific needs, budget, and the time frame for your app development and deployment.