Advanced Website: What is the difference between apps and custom widgets?

The information in this article is relevant only for Pro users at this time. For information about booking websites for Lite users, refer to the Guesty Booking Engine

While there can be differences based on what an app or custom widget is trying to accomplish, widgets built with our widget builder are not necessarily better than widgets built by our App Partners.

Third-party scripts

Simply put, there is not much of a difference between an app and a custom widget in terms of third-party scripts. Most widgets, whether custom or an App Partner’s, will likely use third-party scripts in some way.

Here are some examples of when third-party scripts are necessary:

  • A custom widget that uses a library for sliders, layout, CSS, icons, etc.

  • Connecting to Google sheets or Airtable.

  • A custom widget that calls an API on a hosted server.

What our standards are for app partners

When we look at integrating an App partner, we look at the following:

  • Customer experience. We assess how easy is it to use, its flexibility, if it will integrate with Guesty’s APIs in a way that make sense, and what value it adds.

  • Security. The App Store model has security baked into it. It’s not like WordPress. Apps have limited access and are restricted from most things that can hurt your site. We also vet Apps for security.

  • Compliance. Apps need to have a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. They need to be a company which will stick around and support customers. They need state GDPR compliance.

  • Integration model. We evaluate if the App supports our App Store integration model and related activities.

The bottom line

Guesty's App Partners meet and/or exceed our standards for security, compliance, and customer experience. Apps also extend existing functionality and features. For detailed information, see App Store Overview.

What value do apps provide

Using an app rather than developing a custom widget could potentially save time (possibly money) and enhance efficiency. Whether an app or custom widget is used, it will likely need to be maintained and supported. If you use an app, it is the responsibility of the app’s developers to maintain and support it and any widgets it may have. However, if your team develops a custom widget, they will need to maintain it.

Apps also go through a stringent QA process by the Guesty team to ensure they function as expected and meet our standards.

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