Understanding Custom Web Integrations
Published by Spinutech on September 9, 2020
When you’re working with a website developer to create a website, you’re sure to have many requests. From managing SEO keywords to social media tags, a content management system can do nearly anything you want. But when you’re looking for more unique functionality, such as displaying locations on an interactive map or pulling dealers from an API, a custom integration is necessary.
How do custom integrations work?
Since a custom integration is “custom” by nature, an experienced website developer is needed to implement the code. Developers work to understand your current website functionality and how they can create the best solution for your business. Custom integrations replace a manual or outdated task and typically save you time and money. The best part? You won’t even know it’s there. If implemented properly, website integrations work seamlessly in the background.
What are APIs?
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow your website to integrate with other systems or services. Many third-party services provide APIs for custom web developers to use (e.g. internet payment services like Stripe and Authorize.net provide APIs for payment processing). In other cases, we create custom APIs to integrate the websites that we create with other systems.
Sometimes also referred to as a web service, an API is essentially a bridge between disparate systems and can be employed to automate data exchange or create a more seamless experience between your website and third-party services (e.g. single sign-on is a common example).
Examples of custom integrations
You name it and chances are it can be done. Custom integrations are there to streamline your daily business operations and to improve the user experience for visitors to your website.
- Interactive Mapping Tools. Mapping tools are ideal for companies looking to list multiple business locations or create an interactive experience for users looking to create a hiking or bike route. Map and geolocation APIs can be used to implement directories or location searches (e.g. “find a store”).
- Collecting Online Payments. Our payment integrations allow users to submit online payments safely and securely through your website.
- Event Registration. Our sophisticated event registration system supports registration for simple and complex events including those for which online payment is collected.
- Ecommerce. Have a product to sell? Online shopping is a must in 2020. Integrating ecommerce for your customers to use without visiting your store in-person can increase sales.
- Internal Systems. Many of our clients utilize complex internal systems which often contain data that their website must display or otherwise update. APIs or web services allow data to flow between systems in real-time and without manual intervention. Examples include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), inventory, and customer service systems.
- Third-Party Services. It’s not uncommon to rely on third-parties for some of your website’s functionality. We commonly integrate the websites that we build with email marketing systems (e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, etc), learning management systems (LMS), and chat widgets.
- CRMs and Association Management Systems (AMS). Many organizations use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to track prospect and customer interactions. We also work with a lot of associations that use Association Management Systems (AMS) to track membership data. Custom integration might include updating a CRM with data entered by a user via a lead generation form or a new member applying for membership on an association website.
- Accounting Systems. Websites that accept online payments for the purchase of products or services can be integrated with accounting systems like QuickBooks to eliminate time-consuming data entry and reconciliation. We’ve integrated e-commerce and association websites with several accounting systems for our customers.
Seamless integration of your website with other systems and services will make your website user-friendly. Paired with great web design, custom integrations can make your website stand out and give you a competitive advantage.
Link up your systems
A content management system (CMS) is central to the success of your website and is the foundation for custom integrations. Spinutech’s development team has created a best-of-breed custom content management system that we call Spinternet. Our solution has evolved over the past two decades and is at the core of most of the websites that we build. Since we created the system, we are constrained by very few architectural limitations and have great flexibility to tailor the solutions that we build to the needs of each client -- including the ability to support custom integrations with disparate systems.
If you’re looking for a web design and development partner, we’re here to help. Let’s get started on streamlining your business processes.