As you certainly have already noticed, video content streaming platforms are becoming more and more popular online. Speaking of platforms that make money, furthermore, video content streaming apps look like the greatest money-making opportunity of this decade.
Many programmers have noticed this but think that a video content streaming app is too complicated to create, the competition is just too high, and they'll never manage to make real money with the Netflix clone apps they have created.
It's true that the competition is very high, but you can always find a niche where you can find the audience your product needs (and vice versa). Regarding the complexity of the process of starting to build a Netflix clone, there is actually a new frontier of coding and programming that can make this type of huge project reach developers like you! It's no-code. In this article, we'll guide you through the creation of your Netflix clone using no-code tools without actually having to write any code! If it seems impossible, know it is not, and keep on reading!
What is a Netflix clone?
Before discussing how to build a Netflix clone, let's make it clear what a Netflix clone is. If you're familiar with Netflix, one of the world's major movie content streaming platforms, it's easier to understand. A Netflix clone is a web app that, just like Netflix does, provides users with a database of movies (or TV series) that they can watch whenever they want. Just like Netflix does, Netflix clones can require a monthly fee: this way, with a few dollars per month, users can access a wide archive of movies, and you'll be monetizing your Netflix clone web app.
Can Netflix be cloned?
We are speaking about Netflix clones in this article (and it's the same when you encounter this term on the web) to refer to platforms that work just like Netflix. Of course, nobody can legally hack Netflix, provide access to the Netflix clone platform, and get paid for it: this isn't what we're speaking about here.
In this article, and whenever we speak about Netflix clones, we speak about legal platforms, where you can legally put video content and movies at users' disposal and that you can monetize legally. So, can you create a Netflix clone? Can we create a video streaming app and monetize it? Yes, we can create a Netflix clone 100% legally. Now it is time to find out how.
What is no-code?
There is still one more preliminary information that we need to share before moving on to our step-by-step guide on how to create a Netflix clone. We've spoken about creating a Netflix clone without using code, but how is it possible?
No code is the solution. No-code is a new approach to coding that is making it possible for more and more people to start building their own web and mobile app, including a Netflix clone. No-code means just what you are imagining: the possibility of creating a platform as complex as a Netflix clone without writing code and using programming language but using a visual interface provided by a no-code tool.
Besides providing a visual interface, no-code tools provide pre-build elements that the developer can assemble to obtain the desired results. As you can easily guess, with no-code platforms, programming becomes available to more and more people, and the costs of new app developments become lower and lower. As you're about to discover, these aspects become extremely important when you start building a platform as complex as a Netflix clone.
There is more than one no-code tool available out there, and the choice between them is more important than you think. The quality of the no-code you choose affects the quality of the Netflix clone you are building. What you want from your no-code app is that it can provide you with full control over what you're building; always remember that a no-code tool should enhance your creativity, not limit it!
What makes you understand if a no-code tool allows you full control and freedom over your creative process? Access to sourse code!
One of the most recommended no-code apps in the market today is AppMaster, and one of its fortes is just this. While it generates backend code automatically, it also guarantees access to it. You need to look for this in a no-code app when you're building your Netflix clone or working on any other project.
Step-by-step guide on how to build your Netflix clone without coding
Get your no-code tool
As we've just discussed, if you want to create a Netflix clone app without coding, you need a no-code tool. Let’s get to work. In this section, we'll analyze each step that will bring you to the creation of your Netflix clone.
Shape the user interface
How will the user browse the content available on your Netflix clone platform? Well, there will be a home page with the most famous content and a dynamic page preview that will appear once the user clicks on specific content. You'll also need an admin portal that you and your team will use to upload content to the Netflix clone platforms.
So, the home page, preview page, and portal are the three elements that make the very first rax draft of your Netflix clone, and you'll build up from there.
If you think of Netflix, you can think of it as a database of movies. Each of them is categorized by name, description, genre, and more. So, of course, if you're building a Netflix clone, you need a content database.
Creating a database on no-code tools like AppMaster is easy: you can use pre-built database templates and then start building it by listing data types and adding the necessary fields. For example, you can set up Content and your Data Type and then add the following fields:
- Movie or TV show
- Movie or show title
- Movie or Show Description
- Thumbnail image
- Content file
It would help if you also had another database. If we go back to Netflix, on one side, we have a database of available content; on the other, we have a database of users. So, the second database you need is the users one.
Set up a user as the data type, and then add - at least - the following fields
- Type of subscription
Upload Content page
It is now time to start building the core of your Netflix clone: the content itself. Once you've set up the databases you need, you need to start uploading content. However, there is a preliminary passage that is highly important.
Before starting uploading content, you want to create the backend portal (something users will never see) to upload and manage the content that is going to be streamed on the Netflix clone platform. With this content management portal, you create the workflow that is going to power your Netflix Clone.
The Admins of the Netflix clone shouldn't only be able to upload content through the backend portal. Still, they also need to be able to manage it, meaning that it should be a backend tool that allows them to structure the content by relevant fields across the movie and content library. What you want to build with your no-code tool is an "Upload content" page where you can fill all the fields you set up in your database and add content to the library.
Now you've created all the managing "tools" you need, but your users need to be able to browse through the content. You need to build a content display dynamic page. First of all, what does dynamic mean? In your Netflix clone platform, you'll have a preview page (or description page) for each of the available content.
This doesn't mean that you need to manually create one description page for each content that you've uploaded. On the contrary, you need to create one content description page that automatically customizes according to the content it is referred to. In this sense, the content display page is dynamic because you create a sort of template that is modified according to some parameters (in this case, according to the movie or content it is referred to).
This might seem complicated to build, but with a no-code tool, the task is easier: you can use the specific feature designed for creating dynamic pages, set up what are the dynamic elements, link these elements to your database field, and it's done.
The logic behind this passage is the following: you are saying to your Netflix clone that, for example, in the Image Preview field, it needs to display the content of the database field called "Image Preview." The software will check the database for each content and show the IMage Preview associated with each movie.
If, instead of having dynamic pages, you worked with static ones, you would need to create one content description page for each movie and specify what data should be shown in each field of the static page.
On the front-end side, you also need a content search page. It is the one that users will use to search for specific content. However, in this case, more than a specific search page, you want to create a search bar that allows your users to search content by title.
With your visual coding tool, you can start building your search tool by adding a search bar and setting it up. There is no need to provide many fields; the title is usually the one that counts. The no-code tool will provide some options to customize your search bar; the most important one is the one called "field to search." Here you want to set up a "title." The code will compare the content typed by the user with the title field in your database and provide the results.
At this point, your Netflix Clone is already working:
- You have a database of available content.
- You have your backend tool to keep uploading and managing content.
- You also have the front-end tools that allow users to use the Netflix clone, which means navigating through the content, visualizing the content description, and streaming the content.
However, there are more features that you can add if you want to bring the Netflix content you've just created to another level.
A Saved list
Netflix is the perfect example of a video content streaming platform, and that's why we keep taking that as an example. One of the features we all use on Netflix is the Saved Content list: when you stumble into content that you'd like to watch, but later, we save it on our list so that we can easily find it when we're actually going to watch it.
You can also add the same feature to your Netflix clone to make it more usable. The best way to implement this feature is by adding a workflow triggered when the user pushes the Add to my list button. Workflows are a series of actions that result from a trigger. In this case, the trigger is the click on the Add to my list button, and the workflow is the following: the current content is added to the users' watch list.
We've gone through every essential aspect you need to implement when you start building your Netflix clone app, but we've left at last the most important of all: the playing content feature. Your Netflix clone will, of course, need a video content player.
Some no-code tools allow you to use plugins in your app-building process. Plugins are third-party pieces of software that you can use on your project. If you browse through the available plugins, you'll certainly find the video player that can work for you. Despite these plugins coming from the outside (they can be programmed and provided by an external developer). When should you choose to use a third-party plugin? Whenever you're searching for a specific feature (or features) that the native video player may not have.
How much does it cost to start building a Netflix clone?
In our guide, we've broken down the complex task of starting to build your Netflix clone into manageable pieces. It doesn't mean that suddenly starting building a Netflix clone has become easy. It is still a complex project, made easier by the fact that you're using a no-code tool, but still complex. Complexity is always one of the major aspects that affect the price of a service. So, how much does it cost to start building a Netflix clone?
The truth is that if you don't use a no-code platform and hire a developer who doesn't use it, the process will be so long and expensive that the service will be extremely expensive (at a dozen thousand dollars). But one of the many advantages of using no-code tools is just this: to reduce the costs of programming. Whether you start building our Netflix clone or hire someone to do it that uses a no-code platform like AppMaster, in both cases, the costs will be extremely reduced, and this is one more reason to start building your Netflix clone without code!