Building an admin panel can be one of the most time and resource consuming things a company has to deal with that doesn’t directly affect their product development or customer-facing features. Whether it’s just for displaying data or handling it, managing inventory, or using more advanced features like approval processes and collaboration tools, admin panels can be difficult to properly put together for your own business logic.
With admin panel templates, this burden can be alleviated. These pre-built packages are there to make sure you have an easy and steady start, and have an admin panel ready to go in a few seconds. There are a plethora of choices when it comes to admin panel templates — but do they really provide enough value for you to be worth using, or do you need a more customizable, low-code solution that also brings the ease of use premade templates have?
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 5 reasons why you need more than just a simple admin panel template. Let’s get started!
It might not be specific enough for your needs
While admin panel templates, by default, are a great way to get a general tool going for your app or business, one of its biggest caveats is just that: its generic nature.
With these templates, you get the equivalent of a boilerplate code: a tool that is (in most cases) fit for a number of general applications, but one that is not specifically made for the purpose you need it for. They usually contain a pre-packaged assortment of functionalities grouped together, but should you need anything other than those, you will find yourself developing and putting time into a tool that was supposed to eliminate the need for that same development and effort.
When you look at the alternatives, low-code admin panel solutions usually come with the same ease of use benefits as these templates themselves: it’s easy to get started with them, they contain a lot of general functionality out of the box, but they also accommodate the needs of your own app and business. Setting up a tool like Forest Admin allows you to create custom functions that would take weeks to develop otherwise, and all with the same ease as general admin panel templates.
Pre-built templates are hard to customize and build upon
Now that we’ve noted that the biggest issue of admin panel templates is their general nature, we also have to consider the other problem you might be faced with, should you decide to invest into developing functions based on them. You’re going to be basing it all on generic code that you aren’t familiar with.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is an often overlooked fact of templates that are used by thousands of developers. Generic templates such as these are great for setting things up quickly and providing a generic codebase that you don’t have to touch, but once you do, it might all come crumbling down on you.
Considering the various architectures these solutions can be built with, integrating your own code will require you to conform to the practices of someone else that didn’t have your use case and business logic in mind at all. Even worse, you could end up finding that the reliable codebase you just used for your quick setup isn’t as bulletproof as you had hoped, and you’ll spend more time debugging and figuring out how to make it work than actually further building upon it.
Low-code solutions are already aimed at eliminating needless coding to begin with: but they also provide a better alternative when it comes to customization and building further functions. Many great solutions in the market come with pre-packaged advanced features that target specific needs, and many others, like Forest Admin, go out of their way to make coding custom features as easy as possible with features such as Smart Actions and Smart Views.
They are not as cost-effective as you think
There are many admin panel template solutions out there, from free to paid ones. Regardless of whether you use it for free, or pay a thousand dollars for it, you might soon realize that the initial price was indeed, too good to be true.
Once you reach the inevitable limits of your template, you’ll be faced with one of the biggest problems of admin panels in general: developing an admin panel isn’t a picnic in the park for a business’ finances.
You might think, “I’ll just have my devs rig it up”, but the truth is, your developers are paid employees, whose daily hours will go towards a project that doesn’t actually further your product, but instead patch a problem that could have been avoided. Research shows that companies spent over $300 billion in 2020 on internal apps like admin panels alone — and they’re only growing.
Luckily, low-code internal tool builders like Forest Admin charge only a nominal monthly fee that is appropriate for your business size, so you can scale your admin panel setup as you scale your operations. If you’re interested in how much it all costs, check out our pricing page!
Their user experience and design leave much to be desired
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — but what are you going to do when your employees flinch at the thought of using your clunky, unintuitive UI that came with your free admin panel template?
While it may seem like a matter of vanity at first, the usability of an admin panel actually affects all of your employees using it. An interface setup that makes it twice as hard for them to handle data and customers isn’t going to inspire great work in your company — not even considering the off-chance of something major going wrong because of it.
In contrast, low-code admin panel solutions usually come with true and tested user interfaces that are customizable (without coding a single line) to fit your needs, whether functional or aesthetic. They also offer you multiple options for smart layouts and views that can cut precious hours from your daily operations, and make your business more streamlined in general.
A lack of support and reliability
Last but not least, it’s important to consider that when using an admin panel template, you’re lacking two crucial things that might come back to haunt you any day: reliability and support.
When it comes to reliability, you have no promises or assurances when it comes to admin panel templates, other than other reviews by fellow users. Even then — a generic codebase that is not fit for the specific purposes you’ll need to use it for is prone to failure, and will most likely need more debugging than if you had built it yourself, especially over time.
Of course, when there are problems that affect your operations like this, sooner or later you will need troubleshooting and some assistance with fixing them. Would it be your own, custom-built admin panel, you could assign your developers, yet again, to fix it for you — but pre-built tools don’t come with any help, and your developers aren’t going to be well-versed in them right off the bat to be able to fix them without investing significant time and effort. Anything can go wrong, and when it does, it could mean significant delays in operation, and large amounts of money lost.
Luckily, when it comes to low-code tools, you get the best of both worlds: dedicated engineers who are familiar with the code and your specific setup as well, there 24/7 to help you with whatever issues you’re having. Companies offering these usually sign service-level agreements with their clients to ensure that the solution they provide is available all the time, and even when there are problems, they dedicate resources to find and fix them right away.
Ready to see what a low-code admin panel solution can bring to your business? Check out Forest Admin, and sign up today for free!