I've worked in tech for a while now, but I'm a muggle — I don't have that wizardry they call coding. Honestly, I often feel hampered by that fact.
So, I've been digging into no code. From what I've found, it has become a viable option, and it's getting more advanced every day.
Here's what I've gathered. Hope it's helpful!
What does no code mean?
In short, it's a way for non-technical people to "create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional computer programming." Essentially, you drag and drop instead of coding.
And according to a Forrester report, the industry will grow to $21.2 billion by 2022. So yeah, it's kind of a big deal.
Who is no code for?
No code is for the muggles among us, but I've actually come across some developers who use it (though they're more likely to use low-code). It's also being used widely by companies that hope to inspire "citizen development", which is when business roles (and others) develop and deploy their own apps for internal use.
If you're unsure of whether no code can handle what you're trying to build, check out the features and templates of relevant platforms (there are plenty in the list below) — this should give you a good indication. You can also reach out to their support. Or you can do what I did a few months back and ask for help in the no code group on IH — people were super helpful.
In the meantime, maybe a good old fashioned list of pros and cons will help you decide.
No code pros and cons
- Makes building online businesses more accessible to the rest of us
- No training required
- Cheaper than hiring a developer
- Faster (arguably)
- Less risk — particularly for MVPs
- Easier collaboration between non-technical founders and technical founders
- There will be inherent limitations with every platform — these can be difficult (sometimes impossible) to get around
- Less customizable
- Not ideal for overly complex projects (yet)
- There can be security risks
A couple of no code tips
- Start with a pilot project with a limited scope so that you can gain an understanding for the platform and its limitations.
- Be thorough with requirement gathering — even more so than if you were coding. You need to know the platform can handle it before you invest in it.
Top no code platforms and tools
This is a rapidly growing market and there are lots of players, so it can be tough to get a handle on what's what. To get you started, I curated a list from my own experience along with a bunch of best-of lists.
Web app builders
- Bubble.io: Probably the most popular nocode tool for building web apps. It has a super solid template library that'll be invaluable when you're starting out.
- Budibase: Allows users to design and build Saas applications and internal tools. It's a mix of Airtable, Webflow, and Zapier
- Ycode: A full-stack visual no code web app builder
- Shopify: This one is such a household name that it doesn't really seem like no code. But it's a fast way to set up an e-commerce website without code, so there ya go.
- Retool: Build internal tools super quickly. I've never built a retool app, but I've used plenty and they work like a charm.
Mobile app builders
- Thunkable: A drag-and-drop mobile app builder. In the end, you'll create native iOS, Android, and mobile web apps.
- Appy Pie: Create native apps for iOS and Android, and publish them too.
- Good Barber: Build any type of mobile app without any technical experience. Boasts over 500 features.
- Glide: Build apps from Google Sheets. It's quick and free (until you get to a higher volume).
- Lumavate: A mobile app building platform specifically designed for marketers.
Combo app builders
- AppGyver: Build apps that work on all devices — mobile, desktop, browser, TV, and more.
- Appery.io: Primarily for mobile apps but works for web apps too. It's a no code platform, but developers are able to tweak the code as they see fit.
- Betty Blocks: Create web, mobile, and back office applications with this privately owned company.
- Stencyl: This one is specifically for games — iOS, Android, HTML5, Windows, and Mac.
- Webflow: A popular and versatile website builder that can also handle some app logic. And they have a visual CMS too.
- Squarespace: Another popular website builder with beautiful templates, and a number of useful tools.
- Carrd: A website builder that is tailored to landing pages and one-page sites.
- Umso: A quick and easy website builder designed for startups. Best for landing pages and one-pagers.
- Universe: Fast, minimalistic websites. You can launch a website in minutes.
- Airtable: A popular spreadsheet-database hybrid for data management.
- Parabola: Connects and automates data-related tasks and workflows.
- Knack: Build online databases and apps without coding. Then manage and analyze your data.
- Stackby: Similar to Airtable, this brings the power of spreadsheets, tables, databases, and business APIs into one place.
- Zapier: A popular platform that allows users to integrate different apps and automate processes.
- IFTTT: Allows you to use conditional (if/then) statements in order to automate tasks. Simpler than Zapier, but less robust.
- Automate.io: Build simple bots to automate processes between multiple apps.
- Integromat: Connects apps and automates workflows in a few clicks.
- Nintex: Process management and workflow automation.
- Quixy: Build internal apps and automate workflows with enterprise-grade applications.
Forms and surveys
- Typeform: A popular tool that allows you to collect information and send it to many other applications.
- JotForm: Easy-to-use form builder for generating leads, distributing surveys, and collecting payments.
- Outgrow: Simple no code tools that help you acquire qualified leads — recommendations, quizzes, chatbots, giveaways, calculators, and more.
- Involve.me: Allows you to build, design, and integrate interactive content for acquiring, converting, and retaining. Includes lead pages, quizzes, payment pages, calculators, surveys, and so on.
- Stripe: Hugely popular payment service provider, and it integrates easily into apps. Technically low code, but they recently released a no code option.
- Payhere: A way to collect payments quickly, with no code at all.
- Buy Me A Coffee: A great way to get donations as a creator.
- Obviously.ai: A data science tool that provides a simple prediction experience.
- Mixpanel: Customizable and easy-to-use product analytics tool.
Misc no code tools
- Notion: An all-in-one workplace where you can collaborate, track tasks, and do… well, just about anything. And that includes building products — I've seen indie hackers sell products created with notion alone.
- Memberstack: Allows you to add memberships, user accounts, and payments to websites.
- Mailchimp: A popular email marketing tool with lots of nocode integrations.
- Voiceflow: Allows you to build voice apps, which is a fast-growing market.
- Landbot: A simple no code chatbot builder.
- Userguiding: A tool for creating user onboarding experiences — product tours, user guides, onboarding checklists, and more.
Happy (no)coding 🚀