How to Build an MVP Without Coding (or a Developer)
You’ve got a great idea for your new startup.
You’ve talked to potential customers to validate the idea. And based on the feedback so far, you’re optimistic that your new startup can succeed.
You’re ready to build and launch your minimum viable product (MVP). You’re excited about getting a real product in front of your customers.
There’s just one problem: you can’t code. And you don’t have a technical co-founder or developer onboard to help you build your MVP.
You probably already know how hard it is to find a great technical co-founder. And hiring the wrong developer could turn out to be a costly mistake.
So what do you do? How can you successfully build and launch your MVP?
7 Ways to Build an MVP Without Coding
The good news is that there are several tools available that can help you build an MVP without coding.
In this post, I’m going to show you seven different ways you can launch your MVP without writing a single line of code.
1. Landing Page
Do you just need a landing page and a way to capture email addresses?
Maybe all you want to do at this stage is to validate how many people are willing to provide their email address for your product when it’s ready.
Or maybe you’re launching a ‘concierge MVP’ where you’ll manually provide the service, just like Groupon’s founder did when he launched with a one-page site.
There are a lot of options when it comes to landing page software. I can’t cover them all here. So I’ve picked two that solve the problem in different ways.
LeadPages is a leading drag and drop page builder. It’s focused on helping you to generate leads and sales via the web, email, text messages and social media.
LeadPages comes with hundreds of mobile responsive landing page templates. Or you can create your landing page design from scratch.
You can quickly add opt-in forms to your landing pages and integrate them with most of the leading email marketing services MailChimp and AWeber.
And LeadPages provides built-in A/B testing capability, so you can test and optimize different landing pages.
QuickMVP is designed to help startups validate their MVP as quickly as possible.
The tool is built for learning, not optimization. What the means is that it will help you figure out if people want your product, but it won't help you optimize your landing page, run A/B tests, etc.
QuickMVP provides a landing page builder, integration with Google Adwords and a place to keep track of your customer interviews.
You can build your landing page, set up Google Ads and start running your tests without ever leaving QuickMVP.
Maybe you need a website for your MVP instead of just a landing page.
You might want a content management system to help you build a site like Medium. Or you might want eCommerce capabilities so that you can launch an online store.
Here are two ways for you to build a website without writing any code.
Webflow is an entirely visual way to build websites.
Its tools let you easily create dynamic and responsive websites without any coding.
Webflow also provides a content management system for your website. So you can build anything from a blog to sites like IMDB.com.
Webflow is used by several major companies including Adobe, Yelp, and Intuit.
Weld.io is an alternative to Webflow. The company calls it the ‘Keynote for websites.'
You can create your website from their existing templates, or you can design a new website from scratch. The interface is visual, clean and easy to use.
Weld.io will create a responsive website which you can publish in minutes.
It also provides ‘smart objects' which let you add all kinds of functionality to your site e.g. contact forms, Google Maps, and even an eCommerce store.
3. SaaS Application
If you're building a SaaS application, then you're going to need a lot more functionality.
You'll probably want users to be able to register for a new account, enter their credit card information, signup for a paid plan, manage information in a database, etc.
And you'll want to provide specific functionality in your application that helps your users solve a particular problem e.g. maybe you want to build a helpdesk application for them.
Bubble is a visual programming tool that lets you build web and mobile applications without coding.
Web or SaaS applications built on Bubble are mobile responsive, so they'll also look great on a tablet or mobile device.
With with the integrations offered in Bubble, you can send emails, process credit card payments, use Facebook login, connect to APIs, setup a database and more.
With Bubble, you could build applications such as a real-time voting app, a video-sharing social network, a Craigslist-type marketplace, etc.
It's a powerful tool that lets you visually create your SaaS MVP app.
4. Mobile App
If you want to build a mobile MVP app, then you'll be interested in this next product.
Configure.IT is a full stack development platform for building iPhone and Android apps at the same time.
It provides a drag and drop interface to help you create your mobile app. You can choose an existing template or make your own design.
Once you’ve designed your app using the drag and drop tool, you can integrate the back end with a database to store information.
For example, if you were building an IMDB type mobile app, then all the movie information e.g. title, genre, description, cast, photos, etc. would be stored in a database
And when you’re done building your MVP mobile app, you can preview how it's going to look and work on different mobile devices.
And Configure.IT will also help you deploy your iOS and Android app.
5. Game App
If you want to build a game app, then you're going to have very specific requirements.
There's a lot of complexity in creating a video game. You've got to consider graphics, gameplay, sounds, characters, etc.
Fortunately, the next product makes building a video game enjoyable.
GameSalad lets you easily create games without ever writing a line of code.
It has an easy to use drag and drop interface. You choose graphics from the library and place them where you want (or you import your images).
Then you add behaviors to the images or objects i.e. what will they do when they appear on the screen, what happens when the user touches the screen etc.
And then when you’re ready to go public, GameSalad lets you publish your game with a click of the button to multiple platforms and stores including Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, Kindle, etc.
According to GameSalad, they have a community of over 750,000 developers from 189 countries. Their users have published over 65,000 games, including over 80 top 100 hits in the US App store.
6. Online Course
Are you launching an online course as your MVP?
Then you're going to need the right tools to create your online course site, signup students, accept payments, provide the training content, get reports on how students are doing, etc.
You can do all of this by publishing your training course on sites like Udemy.
But if you want to build your training course as part of your site and you’re confident that you can get traffic to your site, the following product might be just what you need.
Teachable helps you turn your existing knowledge into a course.
You can create your online course website easily with their tools, and it’s fully optimized and responsive on mobile devices.
Teachable makes it easy to create new modules and lessons for your online course. And you can even add functionality like quizzes, discussion forums, student feedback, etc.
In addition to your online course, Teachable will even let you build your blog. And you can host the entire website on your domain.
Additionally, Teachable provides a comprehensive dashboard so you can see things like lecture completion rates by student, revenue information and more.
7. Facebook Bot
Last year, Facebook opened up its Messenger app, so that third-party companies could create a bot capable of interacting with people through chat.
The cool thing about Facebook Messenger is that it uses natural language processing. That means you can create a bot that understands conversational language.
And you can set up the bot to automatically reply to conversations from your users.
How do you go about building a Facebook bot?
You can go the Facebook Developer site and learn how to create one yourself which requires coding skills. Or you can use the following product, which requires no coding.
ManyChat allows you to create a Facebook Messenger Bot for your business in minutes, without any coding.
They have a visual interface which makes it easy for anyone to build a bot.
And once your bot is set up, you can welcome new users, send them content, schedule posts, set up keyword auto-responses (text, pictures, menus), automatically broadcast your RSS feed and much more.
What's Your MVP?
It used to be hard to build an MVP if you didn’t know how to code or didn’t have a technical co-founder or developer on board.
But these days, there are numerous tools available that make it easy to build an MVP without coding.
If you're willing to spend the time learning how to use one or more of these tools, you might be surprised how quickly you can build and launch your MVP yourself.
What are you going to build? Let me know. Or even better, share a link to your MVP in the comments.