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How to build your own software products

Before you start building any software or app, it’s essential to make sure you clearly define what you want it to do.

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If you’re considering building your software or app from scratch, you don’t necessarily have to hire a developer or a team of developers to do so. 

These days, there are plenty of tools out there that allow you to build software and apps with little to no knowledge of coding. 

For entrepreneurs and startup founders looking to launch their ideas on a shoestring budget, such tools are the perfect way to get started.

They’re also ideal for affordably building internal software products to help with productivity and workflow optimization at your company.

How to build software and apps from scratch (without developers)

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Define your idea and goals

Before you start building any software or app, it’s essential to make sure you clearly define what you want it to do.

Therefore, this will help guide you in choosing the right tools for building your software solution from scratch without the help of developers.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself — and answer — before you get started:

  • What problem are you trying to solve with your app or software program?
  • Who are your target users?
  • How will your solution help solve the issues of the users?
  • What features and functionality does your app need?

Answering these questions will give you a clear direction to go with your software or app. 

Remember that your answers to these questions can (and should) change over time as you develop your app. Therefore, they provide an essential foundation for building your solution.

Use your answers to these questions to brainstorm ideas and draw up user flows for your software solution before you start building it.

It can also be beneficial to make design mockups of how you want your app to look.

Incorporate a ready-to-use rich text editor

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If you want to allow users to input and edit the text in your software or app, a ready-to-use WYSIWYG editor is just what you’re looking for. 

A pre-built WYSIWYG editor enables text editing within user input boxes and can be blended seamlessly into your product by changing its design and features — without the need to code a text editor from scratch.

However, you can also code on top of the ready-to-use editor as your idea grows and you need more customization and functionality. This is a perfect choice if you foresee hiring developers down the road.

Essentially, a ready-to-use rich text editor can be as simple or as complex as you like. Furthermore, they are incredibly affordable, especially compared to building a text editor from the ground up.

WYSIWYG-rich text editors are ideal for creating solutions like content management systems and email and messaging platforms.

Additionally, you can use it for customer relationship management software, learning management systems, workflow and collaboration apps, internal and SaaS apps, and more.

If you are already working with a developer, you might consider using an out-of-the-box text editor. Therefore, it will save them time and make your budget go further.

A developer can start with the pre-coded rich text editor and easily add more code to make it fit your solution perfectly.

Use a low-code or no-code development platform

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Low-code and no-code development platforms use drag-and-drop technology to let you build mobile and web-based apps, software, and more without coding them from scratch.

These platforms typically offer pre-designed templates that you can choose from to get started.

You can add or remove features, change the appearance, and customize the functionality, simply by dragging and dropping elements.

If you know a little code or are working with someone who does, you can easily customize products built with no-code developers by altering or adding to the core code.

Like the ready-to-use text editors mentioned above, no-code and low-code apps and software solutions can be built on top by developers as your company grows and your needs evolve.

Apps and software platforms built using no-code development tools will already be functional on various desktop and mobile operating systems.

You don’t have to worry about hiring developers to code a version for each OS.

Launch an MVP and start iterating on it

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Once you’ve chosen the tools to build your software, it’s time to create a minimum viable product (MVP).

This is the simplest version of your app you can make with enough functionality to be useful to your target audience.

After you launch an MVP of your product, you can start collecting feedback and iterating on it (using the same code-free development tools) to improve its features and functionality.

When your software gains some traction, and you’ve made several iterations, you may reach a point where you need to add some code.

Moreover, this will help build the features and functionality you want. This is when you might consider bringing a developer on board. 

Hiring a developer at this point will be significantly more affordable than hiring developers. Since you already have a functional product with some code to build on top of.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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