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How to build a low cost MVP

building an MVP
really cool image that has absolutely nothing to do with building an MVP

What is an MVP?

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. It’s a way in which you learn more about your concepts place in the market without spending loads of time and money. A good MVP can help you determine if your product is a unicorn or a white elephant. With a well thought out MVP you can determine if your concept has the correct features required to make you money.

As a web development Agency manager i find a lot of customers start by building all the features they “Think” their users will want. This is not often the case. What actually happens is they end up building a lot of useless or sub-par features that no one uses.

Is Low Cost the same as Cheap?

When building an MVP one of the fundamental considerations is cost. Low cost is the objective but people end up with cheap. This is because people don’t realise that “Low” cost does not mean “No cost” and cheap is well, pretty cheap. Cheap is what you get when instead of getting someone to build professionally you attempt to build it yourself DIY, even though you have never written a line of code in your life. How hard can it be you say to yourself. So you spend 3 months learning to code in python two months learning basic CSS and HTML and finally emerge as an inexperienced two bit developer. You see, low cost costs you money, cheap cost you both time and money and gets you zero viable results

When looking for a developer don’t automatically sign up with the cheapest. If cost were the only consideration in building websites the internet would be a graveyard for half baked, poorly thought out, incomplete and abandoned MVP’s

How do you determine your core features?

Core features

So you have found the lowest cost option, now it’s time to determine which features are absolutely essential to your project. This is my approach. First of all, list all the features that are nice to have. Out of that list remove all the features that are not “core” or needed in the very first iteration. For example you’re building a web app that allows people to send invoices to each other, the ability for people to pay for the invoices is a core function, adding on a payroll module is not. Strip the application down to its most basic form, build it fast share, take feedback and build again.

Design with a purpose

Great design that delights is at the heart of a great MVP. There is a difference between good design and great design. Good design happens when you hire a designer and then flood them with your own ideas. Great design happens when you hire a designer, share your ideas, and give them the creative freedom to turn your ideas into a stunning concept. Easy enough, you would think right? trust me for many, this is Rocket Science.

Great design is not simply about the aesthetics. To achieve it you need to communicate your ideas clearly to your development team and give them the space to do what they do best.

Finally…

  • Remember the “minimum” in MVP. Strip it down to only the most useful features then reduce it to only the absolutely necessary. Keep it simple but still viable.
  • Low cost does not mean “No ” cost
  • Find a great team of developers, communicate clearly, then let them get on with it

Web Development Roadmap in 2021

  • You can make a six-figure salary.
  • You can make websites for your business or friends
  • You can own your agency of web development

 

The above points are a few benefits worth your time to learn web development in 2021. So the answer to your daunting question if learning web development in 2021 is a  good career choice is a big YES!

Web development has come to stay and is going nowhere. In fact day in day out, it feels as if web development came yesterday because the reality is, it has come to stay. Web development is undoubted, the biggest branch of computer science with a huge ecosystem. But the question is, how does one get started? Does it require a strong Mathematics background? NO! Does it require a huge sum of money? NO! Is it meant for some category of people? NO! So what is required of one to become a web developer? I  know you might have heard of many misconceptions about the requirements to be a web developer but the truth is none of the above questions holds true. It only requires you to have a personal computer and be committed to learning. Everything else needed to learn web development is free on the internet and I will walk you through how to get them online in the subsequent sections.

The three core skills needed to become a web developer in 2021 are HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These are not the only skills needed but they are what you need to know in order to land your first web developer job or put a website together. First, start with learning the fundamentals of HTML. You can spend at least 4 weeks learning this. HTML is basically the layout of every website out there. So you now understand why you can’t be a web developer without this skill? After knowing the basics of HTML, move to more advanced features of HTML like semantic HTML and get your hands dirty there too. Mind you, the secret to becoming a good web developer is practice. Don’t just watch videos or read blog posts but try to implement what you have read or watched by jumping into your code editor and type the code line by line. This is what I mean by get your hands dirty. After you are comfortable putting up a layout of a website in HTML, it is time to jump into CSS. CSS is what you need to style your sites. All the beautiful sites out there you have probably seen is achieved by CSS. You can learn HTML and CSS for free at http://freecodecamp.org 

CSS they say is easy to start but difficult to master. This is not to discourage you but to tell you that even the pros sometimes hustle with CSS so spend a fair amount of time learning CSS. Don’t be in a hurry to finish. Remember in programming slow is fast. The aim is to understand the concept so I can’t actually give you a time frame to spend on CSS because everyone learns at a different speed. After a fair amount of time learning CSS, jump into Javascript. Take Javascript as the soul of a website. Javascript is what makes your website dynamic. It is what makes your websites respond to your interactions on the web page. You can’t be wrong spending ample time learning Javascript because the possibilities with Javascript on your plate as a web developer is endless. You can also learn Javascript at https://freecodecamp.org or https://www.youtube.com/user/programmingwithmosh. By the way, I’m not affiliated with the links I share. These are just the trusted sources I know can help you learn by practice

After learning these three skills, it’s time to put them together and build projects. You could get inspirations and designs from https://pintrest.com. Building projects help you sharpen your skills and also makes you stand out in front of employers. You can also join web development communities on Twitter and discuss your progress with other people in the community. Twitter is a nice place to be if you want people to share your progress with and they are ever ready to support you. Do follow @teamalfy and @TuanekaLtd on Twitter for similar posts like this. And don’t also forget to follow me on Twitter @Realumarzak.

TeamAlfy Live web development conversation

This post is a live development feed from our slack dashboard.

 

Costs Of eCommerce Websites In Ghana

You might want to have a fair idea of how much it costs to launch and manage an eCommerce website in Ghana after taking into consideration all factors that go into building and managing an eCommerce platform.

Domain costs

For a standard .com domain (ideal for an online shop), that will usually cost between GHc100 and GHc200/year.

If you prefer a .com.gh domain which is more expensive, you could be looking at somewhere between GHc250/year.

Some prefer a newer and more specific .store domain. These can cost somewhere between GHc300 and GHc600/year.

Do note though that domain name costs are yearly.

Online Payment Methods In Ghana

According to a survey by Wopedigital, the majority of eCommerce sites offered at least one online payment method, 52.1% to be exact.

Of the sites that offered online payments, 84.2% offered a single option whilst 13.2% offered 2 options. Only 2 sites (2.6%), shopayamorrison.com, and yevuclothing.com offered 3 or more online payment options.

Which online payment platforms are the most popular in Ghana?

The answer was quite clear. Some eCommerce sites processed their payments via SlydePay. PayPal, Flutterwave, expressPay, and Hubtel rounded out the top 5.

We came across 17 payment methods in total which you’ll find below listed in the order of their popularity:

  • SlydePay
  • PayPal
  • Flutterwave
  • expressPay
  • Hubtel
  • Shopify
  • The Teller
  • InterPay
  • Jumia Pay
  • GlobalPay
  • MIGS
  • Paystack
  • Amazon Pay
  • Stripe
  • Asoriba
  • iPayGH
  • eTranzact

You might notice from the list that some payment platforms listed aren’t available to Ghanaians. PayPal, Shopify, Amazon Pay, and Stripe are all payment methods you can’t sign up for from Ghana.

The sites using them might have someone based outside the country to help them with that. Or the owners opened the account when they traveled abroad.

 

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