Have you ever wanted to build a website or app but weren’t sure where to start? One solution is to use low-code or no-code tools to get things done. As Forbes puts it, “No-code is the future of software.”
Gartner predicts that low-code/no-code (LC/NC) tools will power more than 70% of new apps by 2025. That’s a 45% increase compared to 2020, when fewer than 25% of apps were built on LC/NC platforms. This trend enables citizen developers to create fully functional websites and desktop or mobile apps without coding.
Low-code and no-code solutions can streamline web development, creating new opportunities for startups. Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) can reap the benefits, too. Innovative companies like Makerpad, Plato, Comet, and FiveTeams use LC/NC platforms to build and manage websites, create landing pages, automate processes, and get more done in less time.
But how does this technology work, and what’s the difference between low-code and no-code? Most importantly, how can it benefit your business? Let’s find out.
The Rise of Low-Code/No-Code Platforms
Traditionally, companies hired programmers to build and manage their websites and other online assets. However, this option is difficult to implement because of the tech talent shortage, the rising costs, and the challenges of hiring people.
The average wage of a computer programmer is around $93,000 per year, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You may not be able to afford to pay that much as a startup or small business.
Alternatively, you could hire someone on a contract basis, but that’s expensive, too. Most programmers charge at least $45 per hour, depending on their skills, location, and project requirements.
Given these aspects, it’s not surprising that companies of all sizes use low-code and no-code development tools like Glide, Bubble, or ApplePie. Gartner estimates that by 2024, more than 80% of IT products and services will be built by people outside the tech industry.
In this digital era, you can build your restaurant app, membership website, or online store without writing a single line of code. Organizations can also use Notion, Airtable, Typeform, Zapier, and other no-code platforms to create databases, web forms, or custom workflows.
All in all, LC/NC tools are disrupting the software industry, fueling innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, this technology is cost-effective and easy to use, allowing the average person to create websites and apps within hours.
Low-Code vs. No-Code: What’s the Difference?
Choosing between low-code and no-code development platforms depends on your programming skills. Also, it’s important to consider the complexity of your project, among other aspects.
Generally, low-code platforms require some programming knowledge, explains Harvard Business Review (HBR). For this reason, they’re often used by software or web developers who want to do things faster, smarter, and more efficiently. These tools also allow for better problem solving, leading to higher productivity and innovation.
- Apian, for example, enables users to develop business process management apps, databases, and intuitive interfaces. The platform also offers powerful tools for workflow automation, data management, document processing, and other operations.
- Kissflow, a popular low-code platform, features over 400 pre-built templates for enterprise apps, case boards, and web forms. Big companies like Pepsi, HubSpot, SEGA, and Comcast use this tool to automate business processes, streamline collaboration, and manage complex projects.
On the other hand, no-code platforms appeal to citizen developers, including those with zero programming knowledge. These tools enable users to develop software programs and services up to 10 times faster than traditional programming.
If you’re a marketer or salesperson, you can use no-code tools to create databases, manage cold outreach campaigns, or set up workflows for lead generation. Some examples include Phantombuster, Zapier, Datanyze, and Parabola.
Most companies use no-code development platforms to build websites and apps. These platforms have visual interfaces with drag-and-drop modules, giving you full control over the final result. As a result, they work best for those who want to create basic but functional apps and web pages.
For example, Glide features hundreds of ready-made templates you can customize with just a few clicks. As a result, users can build event tracking apps, budgeting apps, meal planning apps, messaging apps, and much more without writing code.
These platforms may require some technical skills, but that’s something you can learn pretty quickly. Most developers provide step-by-step guides, interactive tutorials, and ongoing support, making it easy to get started.
The Benefits of Low-code/No-Code App Development
Low-code/no-code platforms can benefit companies of all sizes, from startups to global organizations. HBR notes that this technology allows users to digitize and automate processes, build complex apps, and reduce human error. Plus, it’s highly scalable and less expensive than other web development solutions.
As discussed earlier, most enterprises use LC/NC development platforms to build apps and websites, but you can also leverage these tools to gather insights, automate data entry, create professional product photos, or develop and test prototypes.
Other applications may include:
- Digitize legacy data
- Automate marketing activities
- Filter job candidates
- Streamline collaboration across teams
- Improve internal processes
- Accelerate digital transformation
- Create reports, graphs, and diagrams
- Create web forms, newsletters, and live chat apps
Professional developers use these tools to automate repetitive tasks and save time. But even if you don’t know a thing about coding, you can still build fully functional apps on no-code platforms like Glide, Strikingly, or AppSheet.
Zoho Creator, Microsoft PowerApps, and Oracle APEX have even greater capabilities but require technical know-how.
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of low-code/no-code development platforms.
Cut Operational Costs
Low-code and no-code platforms eliminate the need to maintain legacy code and hire software developers, leading to cost savings. These cost savings make them ideal for startups and SMBs on a limited budget and for content creators, bloggers, and freelancers.
As your business grows, you may need to hire a developer to improve the apps built by your team. For example, you might want to add new features or turn your app into something bigger. However, LC/NC platforms can eliminate or reduce the cost of end-to-end development.
Decrease Time to Market
Building a conventional website or app can take weeks or even months. If you’re starting a business or launching new products, you can’t afford to wait that long.
Low-code/no-code development platforms make getting your site up and running easier, reducing the time to market. Plus, you can use these tools to create a one-page website or landing page and expand it over time.
Test Your Ideas before Jumping All In
Low-code/no-code tools allow startup founders and entrepreneurs to test their ideas on the cheap.
If you’re launching a new product or service, you can build a temporary website on Glide. This temporary site would allow you to test your minimum viable product (MVP) before jumping in. By doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of your target customers and their interest in what you have to offer.
Automate Time-Consuming Processes
Companies big and small use LC/NC automation tools like GeneXus, Zapier, Landbot, and Perfecto to streamline time-consuming tasks.
Landbot, for instance, enables users to create chatbots and automate customer service. Zapier can automate your work across over 5,000 apps, while GeneXus features powerful tools for faster software development.
Enjoy Greater Autonomy and Flexibility
Imagine hiring a developer to build your website or app and then realizing you’re unsatisfied with the results. It could take him weeks to redo the whole thing—and the costs would increase, too.
Low-code/no-code tools provide more autonomy and flexibility, allowing users to make changes on the go. Since most platforms have a drag-and-drop interface, you can make edits with just a few clicks.
This technology facilitates growth and innovation. Plus, you can build websites and apps on your terms. You’ll save time and money. You’ll be better able to focus on business development, launch new products, and allocate resources where it matters.
Drive Innovation without Coding
More than 65% of IT experts use low-code development platforms to accelerate digital transformation. No-code development technologies are slightly more limited, but they still have perks. These tools enable companies, big and small, to build fully functional apps, optimize their operations, and cut costs.
The low-code/no-code movement enables everyday people to sell products online, test their ideas, and bring their visions to life. Simply put, it reduces the barriers to entrepreneurship.
This technology may not be as powerful as conventional software development, but it’s perfect for content creators and SMBs. When used properly, it can improve your workflows and business processes, reduce the time to market, increase employee productivity, and drive innovation.
Anyone can use these tools to work smarter, from IT departments and HR teams to bloggers and graphic designers. Additionally, low-code and no-code platforms allow entrepreneurs to play an active role in software development.
Thanks to this technology, you no longer have to rely on others to build and manage your website. It takes seconds to change the colors or fonts, create landing pages and web forms, add content, or switch to a different template. The best part is that you can experiment with new ideas and make adjustments as needed without blowing your budget.