You built a website that was designed with your audience and business in mind. It has the key elements needed to provide a great user experience, which helps to boost your reputation and credibility. But as time goes on, you may still learn of new solutions that can improve your site’s features.
If you’re not familiar with website integrations, then you may find them to be just what you need to enhance your site’s functionality. Let’s take a closer look at what website integrations are and why you should consider them.
What Is Website Integration?
Website integration is the process of connecting a third-party app to a website. For example, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool can be integrated directly into a website and share data from one system to the next. This enables the website owner to use the application features without building a CRM into their site from scratch.
To break it down further, let’s compare it to an interface between two pieces of hardware. Say the third-party app is your friend’s smartphone. You want to transfer data to their phone from your computer (the website), which requires a special cable (or integration) to complete.
Once connected, you’re free to transfer files to and from the devices on demand — no need to purchase additional tools or modify the devices in any way. This saves you time and money and achieves your goals. Website integration works in much the same way.
Why Use a Third-Party Integration for Your Website?
There are many reasons why you may want to use a third-party integration for your website. This is especially true as new applications arrive that are designed to enhance your site in countless ways.
The purpose of third-party app integrations is to simplify the evolution of your online business. For example, you may want to adopt a more secure payment platform designed to handle large volumes of payments. You can find a third-party app that offers the features you’re looking for. If there isn’t one available, then you’ll have to hire a programmer to build the code into your site from scratch. This may be an ideal option if there’s no turnkey option available and you really need it to improve your website.
You can find all sorts of third-party applications that add functionality and features to make your website’s user experience better (and your role as webmaster easier).
What Are the Benefits of Using Website Integrations?
Some website integrations are simple, and others are more advanced. The overall goal of third-party integrations is to offer website owners the opportunity to grow and expand their operations quickly and easily.
They can also provide other benefits, including:
- Enhance your offering to customers (and meet their demands).
- Save time (integrations are a quick fix compared to developing from scratch).
- Simplify processes (turnkey integrations are typically designed to be easy to use).
- Add customizations (some integrations are customizable, so you can add and remove features as needed).
- Ensure compatibility with your site (third-party APIs are made to work with most development technologies).
Deciding to integrate a third-party API all comes down to your business’s and website users’ needs. Chances are, you can find an application that suits this purpose.
How Can I Integrate Software Into My Website?
Think it requires technical experience to perform a website integration? Not always. It depends on the method you use. Here’s an overview of five website integration methods you can use today.
Add a Simple Link
The simplest way to integrate something into your site is to add a link. In this case, you’re redirecting users to a site to access the resource. For example, you can add a link to a payment portal for customers to complete transactions. Or you can link to a calculator or other tool your visitors will find useful.
Use iFrame to Embed Code Into Your Site
Some website integrations are as simple as copying and pasting code into your website. For instance, if you’re looking to embed an image, video, or even a blog post, you can do so with an HTML iFrame tag (<iframe> </iframe>).
Find a Plugin
Plugins are designed for non-technical users to quickly add features to a website. For instance, a plugin can enable to you add an email marketing tool like Mailchimp to capture leads for your nurturing campaign. You can enhance your website with all sorts of plugins, such as shopping carts, payment portals, and more.
Build Custom Integration Using an API
An API (application programming interface) enables a programmer to integrate an application or software directly into your website. Custom programming is still required to connect the API with your site and control how it works. This is different from a plugin because it’s customizable. It’s an ideal option if you’re looking to use a tool but want to add and remove elements from the application to suit your website’s needs.
Create a Custom Integration Without an API
Maybe you’re in the market for a tool that can gather valuable data about your customers, competitors, market, etc. If there’s no API available, then you’ll need a custom integration. With this option, a programmer will create a scraper, which is a script or program that mimics a website user and downloads data from a site. It’s an excellent solution if you’re looking to gather lots of data.
Need a Website Integration for Your Business?
If you need third-party integrations to improve your website, then you have two options. You can do it on your own using simple options, such as adding a link, iFrame, or plugin. Or you can hire a developer to perform a custom website integration with or without a pre-made API.
If you decide to do the latter, Orpheus is here to help. We have a team of software developers and designers who can assist you with website integrations, no matter how simple or complex.
Reach out to our experts today to see how we can make your website better for you and its users!