No-code and low-code platforms provide businesses with visual tools to develop software easily without the need to write large amounts of code. These platforms typically include some form of drag-and-drop tooling within their editors to help users design applications quickly.

These platforms are perfect for both developers and non-developers, as both user groups can leverage these platforms to develop apps quickly. Though they sometimes offer less customization and functionality than manual coding, low-code tools enable users to build apps quickly and without the procedural delays of conventional development.

Why Use No-Code Development?

No-code app development offers several advantages to companies, especially those with increasing demand for custom applications.

The no-code app development process empowers more team members to get involved in the app development process. Using no-code tools, non-technical team members can create simple apps that solve specific problems and increase their efficiency. No-code development also results in fewer bugs, since these platforms usually contain quality control measures on the back end.

Let's take a look at some of the advantages of using no-code and low-code platforms.

Advantages of No-Code Platforms

No-code platforms have several benefits, with the most prominent one being enhanced development agility and speed. As a user, you can express your app's desired features in the form of high-level objectives. Once you organize these ideas, the no-code platform makes use of a blend of algorithms and libraries to create the database of the application.

These platforms can mitigate the risks related to rogue or unsanctioned programming such as shadow IT. Engineering departments don't have to worry about non-technical users building apps without oversight, because the theoretical "damage" they can do is limited by the constraints of the platform.

No-code platforms are very useful for companies that lack skilled developers. The only knowledge that no-code user must have is the workflow of their particular team.

Disadvantages of No-Code Platforms

When it comes to no-code platforms, there are certain risks as well. One of the main drawbacks is the limitations when it comes to customization. Moreover, no two platforms are the same. As a result, you need time to acclimate yourself to the no-code platform in use.

As the user of a no-code platform, you will likely be unable to access all of your app's source code. Hand-coding can help solve several problems associated with coding that might not be possible with no-code platforms. With custom coding, you can create functionalities to suit your requirements, and you can achieve this in the most efficient way that you find comfortable. This, in turn, reduces the size of the completed application and can boost performance.

No-code platforms can also constrain your app's versatility as they translate high-level ideas and workflows into the application code. Some intended functionalities of the app may be too complex for the platform to handle.

What is the Role of a No-Code or Low-Code App Developer?

A low-code or no-code app developer needs basic technical skills to create applications. These developers are not limited to any specific area of expertise. With the help of no-code web app developers, companies can develop versatile solutions in the area of web development, database management, etc.

It can be helpful for no-code developers to have at least general knowledge of web development, database management, and security. However, the basic appeal of these platforms is that they do not require highly skilled developers to produce quality applications.

Skills Required to Develop on No-Code Platforms

Creating applications using a no-code platform is not a task restricted to merely IT professionals. An individual with zero coding skills can usually develop applications using these platforms without much hassle.

These platforms provide several tools for users to develop productive and user-friendly apps. No-code platforms include a wide array of third-party services, personalized tools, extra data, and security right out of the box.

Now, let's have a look at some popular no-code development platforms.

No-code Website Builders

Squarespace

Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder that is often used as an alternative to WordPress. It is one of the leading website builders for all types of websites, and it offers most of the functions and features of WordPress. It is a relatively new addition to the field of no-code website building software. It not only serves as a website builder, but also as a hosting platform that users can use for a monthly fee.

Squarespace is a viable option whether you need a simple blogging website or a complex business platform. Due to its striking default site templates, it is one of the most popular site builders among photographers, bloggers, and other creatives. With this website builder, you can also upload your preferred designs which helps you give your template a customized look.

When it comes to backend design, if you’re well-versed with Blogger, WordPress, or any other similar platform, then you can use Squarespace as well. On Squarespace, navigating things is very easy.

Moreover, this website builder provides an array of optional plugins, apps, widgets, etc. However, it has a closed ecosystem, which causes problems with certain on-page SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO.

Some drawbacks of Squarespace include:

  • Lack of support for mobile
  • Expensive
  • Insufficient marketing tools

Skills and knowledge required to use Squarespace

  • Basic web UI/UX principles
  • Basic knowledge of web hosting
  • Optimizing visual assets for the web
  • Writing and publishing content in an online text editor
  • Assembling an online inventory and e-commerce checkout flow
  • Basic tracking and analytics integrations (no custom coding)

Webflow

Webflow is a low-code site builder intended for desktop and mobile web design. It includes hosting, a CMS, and some e-commerce features. Webflow's key advantage is that it provides reusable classes that automatically adjust the styling of elements based on the screen's size, enabling users to apply one site design across all platforms.

Webflow's CMS enables you to design multiple pages at once. It also enables users to create landing pages rapidly and reliably.

Webflow's HTML, CSS, and JavaScript customization is completely code-free, as users can drag-and-drop elements onto a canvas, apply styles with text prompts, and customize styles with a dedicated styling panel for each CSS class. It is possible for a user to build a fully functional website with Webflow without writing a single line of code.

Webflow comes with several free and paid templates. These templates are compatible with all website types and are mobile responsive. Moreover, it offers certain e-commerce functionalities as well. You can add products easily to your website by filling a form mentioning the images, details, and other options about products.

Skills and knowledge required to use Webflow

  • Knowledge of the structure of HTML element trees
  • Knowledge of the relationships between parent and child elements
  • Knowledge of how CSS classes work
  • Knowledge of basic styling such as width, margin, and padding
  • Basic understanding of modern CSS and JavaScript features like flexbox and CSS grid
  • Basic tracking and analytics integrations (no custom coding)

Wix

Wix is another famous website builder used by more than 100 million people across the globe. With Wix, you can easily build a professional website without the usage of code. It is a solid option for developing various types of websites ranging from personal portfolios to small websites for business.

It has an easy-to-use editor along with a side menu to add apps and images. Wix has a searchable knowledge base to help you reuse some of its pre-built components. Moreover, it backs up your website automatically.

Wix is essential a combination of an AI platform and classic template website builder. It consists of more than 500 templates and a drag-and-drop editor.

It also offers domains for free and allows you to manage and monitor your website’s performance from a single dashboard. Lastly, Wix also supports e-commerce modules. Online retailers can subscribe to this module and develop an e-store for their products. Wix supports direct payments with PayPal wallets and credit cards.

Skills and knowledge required to use Wix

  • Basic web UI/UX principles
  • Basic knowledge of web hosting
  • Optimizing visual assets for the web
  • Assembling an online inventory and e-commerce checkout flow
  • Writing and publishing content in an online text editor
  • Basic tracking and analytics integrations (no custom coding)

No-Code App Builders

Appian

Appian is a process and workflow management platform intended mainly for enterprise-grade business. Specifically, Appian's cloud platform offers a fast way to develop and deploy custom apps for businesses. The platform provides full-stack automation, which includes the following processes:

  • Automate routine tasks in a workflow and integrate systems without APIs
  • Design, execute, manage, and optimize complex processes with intelligent business process management (iBPM)
  • Automate collaborative work and exception handling
  • Integrated AI from Google, AWS, and Azure
  • Quickly define simple or complex business logic and execute it automatically
  • Unify your data into a single interface with zero-code integrations (not migrations)
  • Integrate with enterprise systems such as Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, DocuSign, BluePrism, and more
  • Integrate with other third-party systems via zero-code, low-code, and industry standard connectors or build your own with custom APIs

Skills and knowledge required to use Appian

  • Detailed understanding of workflows to be automated
  • Familiarity with specific methods within the Appian app builder
  • Ability to visually structure business logic
  • Knowledge of how to configure third-party integrations
  • Potentially configuring custom API integrations
  • Organizing and visualizing data from various sources

Bubble

With Bubble, a non-technical user can design, develop, and launch a full-stack web app without writing code. Bubble helps you develop multi-user apps for mobile and desktop platforms. These apps can range from very simple to very complex.

The Bubble editor includes some of the following features:

  • Helps you build out logic and determine what happens as users navigate your application
  • Chats, news feeds, and other real-time interactivity enabled by a library of visual elements
  • Design, search, and export data structures
  • Set up accounts and enable log-ins with passwords or any OAuth 2.0 compatible provider, including Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google.
  • Included user management system
  • Extend your Bubble app with JavaScript plugins or connect to any API with a no-code API connector
  • Choose from custom solutions in Bubble's plugin marketplace or create your own plugin for the no-code community

Skills and knowledge required to use Bubble

  • Basic web UI/UX principles
  • Basic knowledge of web hosting
  • Knowledge of data structures and data relationships
  • Ability to visually structure business logic
  • Understanding of various user permissions
  • Potentially some JavaScript to configure API connections
  • Knowledge of REST API conventions

Mendix

Mendix is low-code platform that is designed to support large-scale enterprise organizations. With this platform, you can develop and improve web and mobile applications constantly.

Mendix emphasizes the fact that the platform can help make anything you can imagine, from enterprise-grade apps that help factories run smoothly to simple tools to save you time.

Some key features of Mendix include:

  • Data consolidation to enable cross-team collaboration
  • Common visual models to foster seamless business-IT collaboration
  • Visual tooling for frontend and backend software development
  • Automation and abstraction tools for professional developers
  • Integrate with any system, data source, or cloud service to build powerful solutions
  • Database management (some SQL knowledge is beneficial)
  • Create a tailored IDE for every developer

Skills and knowledge required to use Mendix

  • Basic knowledge of UX/UI
  • Familiarity with specific methods within the Mendix app builder
  • Detailed understanding of workflows to be automated
  • Ability to visually structure business logic
  • Knowledge of how to configure third-party integrations
  • Advanced customization may require HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Potentially configuring custom API integrations
  • Organizing and visualizing data from various sources

Quick Base

Quick Base is another low-code platform for application development. It helps non-technical business users automate workflows and streamline operations with drag-and-drop tooling.

With Quick Base's low-code development platform, you can:

  • Generate actionable, personalized insights across systems
  • Unify workflows across multiple teams within a single platform
  • Assemble cross-departmental apps with standardized security

Quick Base Pipelines enable you to quickly connect data, integrate your systems in real-time, and orchestrate automated workflows using simple business logic. You can integrate your app with third-party services via pre-built integration channels or leverage Quick Base's powerful and modern APIs to develop custom extensions the traditional way.

Skills and knowledge required to use Quick Base

  • Detailed understanding of workflows to be automated
  • Ability to visually structure business logic
  • Knowledge of how to configure third-party integrations
  • Potentially configuring custom API integrations
  • Organizing and visualizing data from various sources
  • Ability to map user roles and permissions

OutSystems

OutSystems is another enterprise-oriented tool that helps users build, deploy, and manage applications.

OutSystems can integrate all of a company's external enterprise systems, customized apps, and databases. It advertises use cases ranging from legacy modernization to workplace innovation to customer experience transformation.

Skills and knowledge required to use OutSystems

  • Basic knowledge of UX/UI
  • Familiarity with specific methods within the OutSystems app builder
  • Ability to understand a hierarchy of visual elements
  • Detailed understanding of workflows to be automated
  • Ability to visually structure business logic
  • Database management (some SQL knowledge is beneficial)
  • Knowledge of how to configure third-party integrations
  • Potentially configuring custom API integrations
  • Advanced customization may require HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Organizing and visualizing data from various sources

Crowdbotics

Crowdbotics is a low-code app builder that provides drag-and-drop visual tools to assemble full-stack applications. These visual tools generate real React Native code for frontend components and Django code for backend components. In this respect, Crowdbotics is more "full-code" than it is "low-code" – your application even gets its own dedicated GitHub repository that you can access and edit at any time.

Key features provided by Crowdbotics include:

Skills and knowledge required to use Crowdbotics

  • Basic knowledge of UX/UI
  • Ability to understand an HTML element tree
  • Understanding of how frontend interactions should interact with backend data
  • Basic knowledge of data structures and relationships
  • Knowledge of how to configure third-party integrations
  • React Native and Django literacy (optional – available to pro developers)
  • Understanding of GitHub version control

Most Low-Code Tools Require Only Minimal Coding Knowledge

We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of no-code development platforms. There are many different kinds of low/no-code development tools out there to help you develop a site or app without writing any code.

If you're interested in building with the Crowdbotics App Builder, you can get started today.

If you'd like to hand off your application development to a vetted team of professional developers, Crowdbotics can help with that. Just reach out and let us know what you want to build.