When it comes to creating a product, non-tech startup owners often face the dilemma of choosing between building software from scratch or utilizing pre-built scripts. This debate has been extensively discussed in the article Analyzing Non-Technical Aspects in the Open Source vs. Building from Scratch Debate, where I have supported and witnessed startups and SMEs making informed decisions based on the pros and cons of each approach. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guideline for building an application based on pre-built scripts, using the example of creating a social media platform.
Values from Pre-Built Scripts
Before delving into the step-by-step guide, it is crucial to understand the immense value that pre-built scripts bring to the development process. These scripts provide a solid foundation with pre-existing functionalities, significantly saving time and effort. In fact, many pre-built scripts already encompass approximately 80% of the required features of a particular application, meaning that developers only need to focus on developing new plugins or components to differentiate their products. The most significant advantage is the ability to launch a minimum viable product (MVP) with minimal resources. It is astonishing to realize that an MVP can be developed and launched within just 1-3 months by leveraging pre-built scripts. We have developed tens of projects in that method last 6 years.
Step 1: Planning and Conceptualization
Begin by clearly defining your objectives and target audience. Understand the purpose and scope of your social media platform. Identify the key features you want to incorporate, such as user profiles, news feeds, messaging, and content sharing, event management, video-learning environment,etc.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Pre-Built Script
Define criteria to choose a pre-built script that aligns with your requirements. Consider factors such as cost (license and renewal fees), extensibility (built-in features, plugin ecosystem, customization ability, and scalability), support (community support, reviews, and service-level agreements), budget for development, technology compatibility, and time constraints. Shortlist potential candidates that meet your criteria and compare them before making a final decision.
Step 3: Installation and Configuration
Download the script and follow the provided installation instructions. Configure the script based on your server requirements and desired settings. Now, the default script almost works and you could touch on it to determine what to keep, to remove, to enhance, and to customize (build more).
Step 4: Customization and Branding
Tailor the appearance and user experience of your social media platform by customizing the theme, color schemes, and layout. Add branding elements such as logos and graphics to create a unique identity.
Customizing function and user experience are also important to make the site differentiated and unique.
Step 5: User Registration and Management
Set up user registration and management functionalities. Define the registration process, including required information and verification methods. Implement user roles and permissions to control access levels and user interactions.
Step 6: Content Management
Enable content creation and management features. Provide options for users to use or act on the application. Incorporate content moderation tools to maintain a safe and engaging environment.
Step 7: Privacy and Security
Ensure the security and privacy of user data. Implement necessary measures such as password encryption, secure connections, and user privacy settings. Regularly update the script to address security vulnerabilities.
Step 8: Testing and Quality Assurance
Thoroughly test your application (both web and mobile if any) to identify and resolve any bugs or issues. Conduct usability testing to ensure a seamless user experience. Seek feedback from a group of beta testers to gather insights and make necessary improvements.
When you use a new script, maybe you don't understand it fully. You may need support from the provider to use it effectively.
Step 9: Deployment and Launch
Once you are confident in the stability and functionality of your application, deploy it to a live server. Make the necessary preparations for a successful launch, including implementing marketing and user acquisition strategies.
In the ever-evolving landscape of product creation, non-tech startup owners face the critical decision of choosing between building software from scratch or utilizing pre-built scripts. This article has explored the value that pre-built scripts bring to the table, highlighting their ability to save time, effort, and resources in the development process. By following a step-by-step guide, non-tech startup owners can leverage the advantages of pre-built scripts to build their applications successfully.
By clearly defining objectives, choosing the right pre-built script based on defined criteria, customizing and branding the platform, implementing user registration and management features, enabling content management, ensuring privacy and security, conducting thorough testing, and deploying the application, non-tech startup owners can navigate the development process with confidence.
With the using pre-built scripts, non-tech startup owners can achieve remarkable milestones, including the development and launch of a minimum viable product (MVP) in a remarkably short time frame. This approach empowers non-tech startup owners to make informed decisions aligned with their business goals, budget constraints, and growth potential.
Embrace the power of pre-built scripts and witness the transformative impact they can have on your product development journey. Empower your non-tech startup with the ability to create innovative and successful applications by leveraging pre-built scripts effectively. I'm proud to accompany startups and SMEs to build such applications. #PreBuiltSuccess #BestTek #future #softwaredevelopment
Common pre-built scripts
Here are just popular pre-built scripts to help you imagine built-in features. When you search for 'pre-built script' for a particular purpose. You could find a lot of other candidates.
- WordPress: A popular script for building websites and blogs.
- Magento: An e-commerce script for creating online stores and managing product catalogs.
- phpBB: A script for creating online discussion forums and community platforms.
- Joomla: A versatile script for building websites, blogs, and complex web applications.
- Drupal: A powerful content management system (CMS) script for creating websites and managing digital content.
- Laravel: A PHP framework script for developing web applications with elegant syntax and robust features.
- Shopify: An e-commerce script designed for creating and managing online stores with built-in marketing and sales tools.
- WooCommerce: A script that integrates with WordPress, adding e-commerce functionality to websites and blogs.
- phpList: A script for managing email campaigns and newsletters, facilitating effective communication with subscribers.
- phpFox: A social networking script for building social media platforms with customizable features and user interactions.