Having an idea for a new product or service can be extremely exciting. The temptation is to immediately go about raising money to build the application, or to setup the business before you even know if there is a potential customer base for your idea. Unlike the startups in Silicon Valley, most of us do not have millions of pounds worth of investors money to create and test awesome ideas to see which one is the next Facebook.
This is where validation is essential and helps avoid costly investment into an idea that could crash and burn. We will cover two methods to validate your idea with WordPress:
- Sales page/landing page for pre-orders to gauge demand
- Creation of a minimum viable product
You can build as many pages as you desire in WordPress and you do not have to present them in the main menus. This means you can easily create an informational page with a PayPal link within minutes. Then distribute the link through the channels you have available to you. Job done!
There are a range of excellent visual builders out there to allow you to create unique landing pages that can look and feel completely separate to your WordPress website if you desire.
Both come pre-loaded with excellent landing page templates as well as email capture facilities if you want to capture data of potential clients. Both are building with content flexibility in mind, and Thrive Content Builder especially has built with the main aim on empowering people to build landing pages that convert.
Both are an excellent low cost solution to services such as LeadPages, and you can still then benefit from the other features on your WordPress site such as e-commerce etc. What we have done is create a new “Post Type” called “Landing Pages”, where we create all our landing pages to keep them separate from the main WordPress pages list.
When making the validation landing page, you might want to take a pre-order payment to ensure that people are willing to part with money for your idea. Does your idea actually solve a problem they have, and is there a market for it? Remember, your friends will be kind, telling you how great your idea is, however actions do speak louder than words, and a pre-order is a pretty good indicator of intention.
The least time intensive is going to be setting up a PayPal link as per “the quickie” option above. However, if you want to capture more information during the process then you can utilise an existing WooCommerce installation to take payment, or alternatively, using Gravity Forms, create the form you desire and link it up to PayPal so the user is taken through the questions you want to capture and are then processed through PayPal.
Of course this all assumes you can accept PayPal for your business, however if you check out services from your payment processor then it is very likely they offer a direct link option, or WooCommerce will have a gateway solution for you.
Prototype / minimum viable product
If your idea involves an online web application then you could look to develop a working prototype. We cover this in a lot more detail over here. The premise is, you can use a range of excellent plugins for WordPress to rapidly create a prototype of your online software, and start charging for it’s usage out of the box. You have quickly created the basics, and are able to begin generating income to fund future development. We also offer help on staying on track with the minimum viable product here.
This method can also be used as a research and development springboard as you receive feedback and ideas from your growing community. In our opinion, there is no reason why you should move your development outside of WordPress, but if and when you decide to do that, you can export the data from WordPress and into your newly built platform that was funded in all or in part by the community paying to use the prototype.
You can easily accept subscriptions payments for your online web application through ProSites by WPMU or by WooCommerce and their Subscription add on. Or again, if automating the process right now would be too time intensive due to your payment gateway, then look at accepting orders via a form, then manually taking payment and setting up their account.
Have you created some awesome landing pages? What tools did you use in WordPress? Have a prototype example you want to show off? Share in the comments below.
If you are looking for some support in creating landing pages, or in developing a prototype or minimum viable product, we are here to help. Contact us for a no obligation quote today.