It's never been easier to build a simple 'no-code' app
14 years ago I started my first business lovediscounts.com and spent £10,000 on an agency to build a website for me.
The website wasn't complicated and I was stupid. That said, 14 years ago you did need some skill to build a web app so the spend wasn't completely unjustified.
Safe to say that business failed pretty quickly once the money dried up and I realised that I didn't have any customers.
So goodbye money but a lot of lessons learnt.
A couple more failed businesses, normal jobs, time off of the rails, partying, alcohol and a family later, finally 2 years ago I decided to set up shop again.
Since starting I've done a bit of everything which you kind of have to do when you're starting out but never quite found the sweet spot.
But over the last couple of days I've starting building stuff again.
The ideas are coming back. Rather than always being head down in the business, it's been good to think of what would be cool to build.
The good bit? Turns out these days it doesn't cost £13,000 to build a site or app.
It's a lot cheaper.
2 days ago I stumbled across MakerPad started by Ben Tossell. MakerPad is a community, resource and education site focussed on no code applications.
It comes with a ton of resources, a slack group and templates for projects Ben has built. It also has some great discounts on the tools that make building no-code apps simple to build.
First thing I wanted to build was a job board and Ben already had a template for it built in Webflow. A good start.
Free trial for Webflow while working on two projects, template tweaked into a Manchester Tech focussed site and we had a starting point.
Next up the board needed to be able to accept incoming jobs for posting.
Using TypeForm I got a form setup in 30 mins which took the information in and posted it to a Google Sheet.
Next, I wanted to be able to send those details into the CMS in Webflow.
This is where my favourite tool of all time Zapier comes in.
Using Zapier you are able to connect a Google Sheet with Webflow and that's the boring data input done for you.
New Row Created, Zap, New Draft Job in Webflow.
Next up I want to have a record and a to-do item for when this happens.
I next built a Zap to create a card in Trello with the job details on, then send an SMS to my phone. Plus a message to Slack for luck.
Lastly, companies would be submitting different size logos via the form so I hooked up FileStack to pull the image out, resize and send it back.
This happened right after the form was submitted so it hit the spreadsheet with the right dimensions.
Apart from the manual checking of jobs before putting them live, the site pretty much runs it's self.
Quick domain name purchase, £15. Hosting package on Webflow, $20 and £20 for TypeForm and we've got a live app.
Head over to www.techjobsmanchester.co.uk and take a look.
£177 + 5 hours work (this includes joining MakerPad).
Next up to rank the site, get some traffic and sell a few featured job postings.
A good saving on £13,000.