Personalizing or Customizing the Web?

The interactive and dynamic nature of the web has been able to diminish the communication gap between a marketer and the end customer. This is the age when the customers can give their feedback to the marketers and can expect an instant reply in return.

Recently, I was just learning about the different approaches used by the web marketers to woo the customers and it was then that I realized that there is a lot of buzz about the personalization and customization on the web.

Now, what is personalization?

Personalization basically means providing user specific data or information. The websites can be personalized depending upon two things:-

  • Implicit personalization wherein the customers’ likes, dislikes, behavior, habits, time spent in viewing a particular type of page etc. is the main factor. This means that based on these factors, the web marketers serve the desired information platter to their customers.
  • Explicit personalization, where the information is collected from the forms and questionnaires filled by the customers during the registration process.

Magnon International

This is a screen shot of iGoogle. When you sign in your gmail account and search for news, apart from the general news, Google recommends specific news to its gmail users based on the web search history of each and every user i.e. the genre of news that the user reads like sports news, sci-fi etc.

What is customization?

Customization means the ability with which the users can make some amendments in the page layout or change the look of the web page as per their needs.


This is the Facebook business page of Magnon International. This screen shot is an example of customizing the web where Facebook users can customize their business pages according to their choice.

From the above mentioned explanation, we can derive that:-

  • Personalization depends on the interests and behavior of a single individual.
  • Whereas, customization is based on the interests of a group of people or we can say that it depends on behavior, attitudes etc. of like minded people.

Thus, both personalization and customization go hand in hand. Since, the marketers are stressing on both personalizing as well as customizing the web, there is only a hair line difference between the two terms. The basic motive is to involve the users and to enhance their online experience.

I am sure you too have something to say, please feel free to share your thoughts on this.

-By Neha Gulati


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One Response to “Personalizing or Customizing the Web?”

  1. hi,
    Thanks for the details.
    It was nice to have details about “Implicit personalization ” and “Explicit personalization”.

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