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When it comes to choosing an engine for affiliate networks, the question arises: opt for a ready-made solution or work on a custom-developed one? We interviewed Maxim Kupriyanov to understand the advantages of turnkey platforms over independently crafted engines, particularly in terms of costs.

Each option has its pros and cons

Upon initiating your affiliate network, the prospect of a custom solution seems tempting. After all, your product is unique, and the requirements are diverse. The apparent advantage lies in the ability to implement everything you envision since you’re in control of the development. However, appearances can be deceiving.

We decided to start with Keitaro, but realizing the need for flexibility, we wanted to create our own custom solution. In the process, it became apparent that a comprehensive implementation requires numerous systems synchronized with each other. Issues piled up like a snowball. 

It’s not only technically challenging but also financially, as businesses continually bear direct and indirect costs. Then, our friends introduced us to Alanbase, and things took off,”

shared Maxim Kupriyanov.

A quality ready-made platform typically comes with a robust support team that can easily tailor features to your needs, sometimes at no extra cost. External APIs are also readily available.

One argument in favor of custom engines is platform exclusivity. However, in reality, this is a plus. Such an approach enhances network security and process confidentiality. Distributed access, being a complex and costly feature, often results in single-level access for webmasters in custom solutions, with any misstep leading to offer and data recovery issues.

When Will You Start Earning?

The primary advantage of opting for a ready-made engine for your affiliate network is the speed at which you can start monetizing.

Ready-made platforms allow you to start working immediately, meaning SaaS affiliate networks pay off faster,”

emphasized Maxim Kupriyanov.

While a ready-made solution requires some customization to meet your needs, the process is incomparable to the challenges of developing your own variant. Typically, setting up a SaaS platform takes around an hour, including reading the instructions.

Also, consider the deployment speed, customizable statistics, cohort analysis, smart goals, and convenient work with familiar payout models. Alanbase provides instances for iGaming, E-commerce, and Mobile, facilitating a smooth transition to the turnkey platform.

Developing a custom affiliate engine may take at least half a year (according to 80% of surveyed Alanbase clients who switched from custom solutions). Creating a fully functional product may take up to three months, including custom tweaks.

Counting the money

Choosing a ready-made platform eliminates the need to maintain a team of developers, making ready solutions more affordable both at the start and in the long run. Let’s compare the expenses between the two solutions for creating affiliate programs:

A ready-made solution can be acquired for $1302 per month (Alanbase’s “PRO” plan for six months), allowing you to start work immediately. Costs for six months won’t exceed $10,000, even if conversions exceed 250,000. In other cases, expenses are unlikely to reach $8,000. The remaining funds can be invested in network promotion!

How will potential issues be addressed?

Developing a custom engine for an affiliate program may expose developers to various problems, such as software malfunctions or billing shutdowns. There are other risks, including potential deception by advertisers, bans before payouts, traffic theft, difficulties in finding reliable partners, and fraud. Ready-made solutions come with professional support to address these issues.

If your lead platform developer leaves, the existence of your affiliate program is at risk,”

warns Maxim Kupriyanov.

A new specialist would need time to understand the specifics of a particular system. In contrast, a ready-made platform relies on the support of a professional team, ensuring continuity and support you can always count on.

In conclusion, are ready-made solutions more advantageous and appealing than custom ones? Let’s list the pros and cons, and you can draw your own conclusions.

For more case studies, guides, and valuable content, join the Alanbase Telegram channel! If you’re looking to scale your business, fill out a demo request with our manager to get closer to Alanbase’s functionality, and afterward, grab a free 14-day trial to experience the platform hands-on.

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