July 14, 2015
Have you got that perfect business idea for an online web app but you’re not sure how to prototype, how to test the idea, or how to validate it at low cost? Then perhaps you should consider utilising WordPress. WordPress is a lot more than just a content management system where you can manage your blog posts, pages. WordPress has the power to become a online database application, web app and beyond.
WordPress has been developed with something called custom post types baked right in. What these are are data sets that you can create to manage specific groups of information. For example “Contacts” or “Leads”. These datasets can be expanded with fields of information and linked together to form a multi-relational database with custom fields unique to your business needs or product. For Example: “First name”, “Last Name”, “Job Title” etc.
There are a plethora of online plugins that you can utilise to quickly and easily create online database applications with WordPress without the need for one line of code. For example, check out the Pods Framework. With Pods you can create multiple data sets to which you can add custom fields of many different types (text input, checkboxes, select menus and more).
Another example would be a combination of Advanced Custom Fields and Custom Post Type UI. With Custom Post Type UI you can create the post types (data sets) and with Advanced Custom Fields you can create all of the custom fields you require as well as and relate them to each data set that you need to.
#GeekAlert: For those who don’t mind experimenting with a little code, then a great way to link posts types is by using Posts 2 Posts. Using Posts 2 Posts you have the option to use WordPress loops to output your related data in a more flexible manner.
The outcome of using these tools to develop your web app or to prototype your idea could be a back office CRM where you’ve created a contacts database and related those contacts to some opportunities or leads. Another usage application could be for stock control, where you’re managing the stock of a warehouse. You can even go down as far as creating a data type for the bins within the warehouse, etc. Or how about managing your service department creating job tracking system and assigning staff tasks? There is no limit to your creativity.
What you’re getting is the benefit of using the already in existence WordPress admin user interface which is user friendly and easy to use and you’re using visual tools to create database applications (web apps) and prototypes within hours rather than days. The output is a (usually) bug free, easy to use platform for your business (unless you got in under the hood and started experimenting with code). #Geek
We have recorded a short video for you here on YouTube showing you how to create a “Contact Database” using WordPress and the Pods Framework.
Check out the links below to the different systems that we’ve recommended in this blog post and let us know if you’ve used this method to prototype an application, or even to build a real day to day application.