Custom vs Packaged Intranet / Extranet Websites

Over the years we have built custom intranet / extranet websites for companies that need a Content Management System (CMS) website to track and share data between employees.  These websites are different from other websites in that they do not have a public portal, they are a secure internal website for employees of a company or organization.

Today we decided to look at the pros and cons of creating a custom intranet / extranet using a company such as ourselves (Darkstar Media) or buying an out of the box solution such as Microsoft SharePoint.

Lets start with the out of box solution (eg. SharePoint)

Pros Cons
  • Can be implemented quickly
  • Many built in applications
  • Possible easy integration into operating system (Windows)
  • Framework is in place
  • Upgrades and add-ons offered with low cost
  • High licensing and user costs when you expand
  • Restricted to software limitations
  • Have to use workarounds to accomplish some tasks (i.e. change your companies work flow)
  • Not intuitive for users, training costs
  • Need certified technicians to expand functionality

Next the Custom Solution

Pros Cons
  • Built to exact and specific company needs
  • Wide range of programmers available to develop and expand Intranet
  • No licensing fees
  • Easy to Brand
  • Pay for only what you need
  • Access to more Open Source Applications with easy integration
  • Higher up front cost
  • Code development can be under documented
  • Takes a long time to develop
  • No upgrades unless asked for

At Darkstar Media we would be happy to discuss your intranet goals and discuss how we could implement a custom or out of box intranet/extranet solution for your business. Please call us at 416.450.5439 or fill out either out contact form or quote request.