After recently enrolling in MIT’s “No Code AI” program, I’ve been wowed by the technology that allows non-coders like myself to build a platform from scratch without the technical know-how.
And while there may be initial concerns about how the best no-code development platforms can affect coding and engineering jobs, I find this will be more useful for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are looking to scale but don’t have the capital to hire in-house developers.
If you’re looking to build an app, website, or artificial intelligence solution with zero coding skills, here’s a breakdown of the industry’s leading no-code AI platforms.
What Are The Best No-Code Platforms?
Here’s a quick list of the top performing no-code builders on the market. Keep in mind, there are quite a few more out there, but they didn’t quite yet hit a good enough performance.
Best No Code Platforms
No Code App Builder
Bubble has been one of the leaders of the industry when it comes to no-code platforms.
If you’re looking to develop an iOS or Android app, but don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to hire a team or agency, then Bubble is a great place to start.
Bubble’s User Experience & Features
As someone who has no coding skills, I took Bubble for a test drive and found it very intuitive and easy to use. They give you step-by-step prompts to walk through what you need to do. Their drag-and-drop features make it easy to build a landing page in under an hour.
Bubble’s Features, Pros, & Cons:
If you’re looking to launch one app, then the cost is very affordable, starting at $29 per month.
If you’re an entrepreneur with an idea or small business, then Bubble is a great way to get started and scale your business without breaking the bank.
No Code App Builder for Internal Workflows
Are you struggling with centralizing all of your data and communication for your Team? Airtable’s goal is to help you create a no-code app and platform that will centralize all business workflows.
Think of Airtable as a super version of an Excel or Google Sheet that is completely customizable to your business. You can create workflows for your sales or production teams that store data for you (such as a Customers name, product, imagery, etc) but can also trigger an action like sending an email.
Some uses for Airtable include:
Airtable User Experience
During my trial, I decided to see how it could best help with a content and editorial calendar.
You can quickly start by importing Google Sheets or any other program. Here’s the overall dashboard:
Overall, it is a great tool to create workflows to automate communications between freelance writers, create trigger emails, and just automate the workflow specific to my needs. And this is just one very specific use case.
Airtable Features, Pros, & Cons
From large corporations to SMBs, here are the ways Airtable can connect to help automate your business:
As you can see, the pricing can really increase depending on how many people are on your team. You need to pay for each person that has editing permissions.
If you’re looking for a no-code app that stores and automates your internal business workflows, then Airtable is a fantastic tool to use to automate and increase productivity.
No Code Custom Website Builder
Webflow is a powerful no-code platform that enables users to create stunning websites, E-commerce sites, and blogs without the coding knowledge needed. However, you may be wondering why Webflow instead of all the other applications such as WordPress or Shopify.
Webflow differs from its competitors in that it allows you to customize nearly every part of your site to meet your brand’s vision. For products like Shopify, you’re much more limited to the templates that they offer (which can be good or bad, depending on your needs). This allows you to build a site without code but with nearly the same capabilities.
Webflows User Experience (Dashboard)
I would consider Webflow a mix of website designers like Shopify or Squarespace meets the customization of WordPress. It really merges the no-code website-building experience but gives the user a bit more control.
Webflow’s Features, Pros, and Cons
It’s completely free to use and build your website, with the nicest part being you don’t have to pay until you’re ready to launch your site.
Overall, if you’re looking for a no-code website builder that gives you the freedom you’re looking for as if you were a coder, Webflow is a great option.
4. Google’s AppSheet
Google No Code Building Platform
AppSheet, part of Google’s Cloud Platform, is a powerful no-code development platform that enables users to quickly create enterprise-grade mobile and web applications. As you would expect from the major tech giant, their data collection and analysis allows you to rapidly develop robust applications for your Team.
This app is suited for internal business workflows, similar to what Airtable offers.
AppSheet User Experience & Dashboard
To get started, you’ll need to first connect your data. This can include Google Sheets, dropbox files, Salesforce, etc.
From there, I synced my Google Sheets and chose a template named “project manager,” and the dashboard looked like this:
It’s pretty standard for a basic app and doesn’t take much time to learn.
AppSheet’s Features, Pros, & Cons
Google Appsheets is one of the most affordable of those on the list.
If you’re looking for a quick and affordable no code app builder for internal workflows, this is a great option (especially for smaller businesses).
For Budget-Conscious Startups
Knack is a no-code application builder that makes it easy to instantly create powerful web and mobile applications without any programming knowledge.
Like many of its competitors, you can create a user interface (UI) that perfectly fits your business needs. You can create workflows, trigger actions, and even create graphs to make actionable insights.
Knack User Experience & Dashboard
It has a very minimalist and easy-friendly experience, one of the best I would say when it comes to creating an app.
Knack’s Features, Pros, & Cons
They have one of the best pricing so far, as they don’t count “per person” access like the previous ones I’ve discussed.
If you’re looking to create a user-friendly database for your clients on a budget as a startup, then Knack is a great, affordable option.
Nicest User Interface
If you’re looking for a more basic app builder for any internal business process like product management, then Glide should be on your radar. Whether you’re creating a public app or a private app, they have you covered with one of the nicest user experiences of the bunch.
Glide User Experience
I love Glide’s dashboard, as it’s much more visually appealing and easier to manage than Bubble’s. How it works is that you attach a sheet to the site. For instance, this Excel sheet can have a list of products you’re selling or services that you’re providing.
Once you connect the sheet, it will create an app in minutes.
Glide Features, Pros, & Cons
Glideapps is most arguably one of the easiest and enjoyable no-code app-building platforms on the market. If you have basic needs with a limited budget, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Comprehensive App Builder
Backendless is another no-code app development platform that can help you create apps for your business with no technology required. As its name implies, their goal is to cover everything you could possibly need on the backend of your app such as cloud code, caching, security and user management.
This allows you to spend less time sweating the small stuff, more time on expanding your business.
Backendless User Experience
One of the things I love about Backendless is its user experience. Their dashboard is extremely intuitive and makes it easy to update or add anything you need.
Similar to Bubble, they offer a drag-and-drop feature so you can easily move elements around on your page.
They have the Backendless Program, Backendless Pro, and Fully Managed Options. Upgrading to the Pro version will allow you to move it to the Cloud, so that you can work on it anywhere, anytime. The Fully Managed option gives your company a devoted cluster.
Backendless is great for those looking to create simple apps and who are a bit more tech-savvy. They have powerful features, but at the same time still offer an easy-to-use platform.
If you’re willing to put in some extra effort and money, then Backendless definitely has the ability to deliver something special.
Most Integrations Available
Code2 is an all-in-one software development platform that provides a customizable app for all of your business data. From creating internal business apps for data collection and analysis, Code2 equips developers with the tools necessary to rapidly develop robust applications in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional coding methods.
With built-in features for integration and other add-ons, Code2 makes it easy for users to see all of their data (email marketing, business operations, supply) in one nice easy app. This way, leaders can spend more time making decisions than bouncing between data.
Code2’s Features, Pros, & Cons
Ultimately, Code2 is a no code internal workflow app builder like Backendless and others, but much more affordable and minimalistic.
While their platform includes hosting, they will be releasing self-hosting and enterprise options in the near future. Overall, it’s an extremely affordable solution.
If you’re a startup looking to eliminate multiple data silos within your workflows, then Code2 is a great option to look into.
What Is a No-Code Platform?
A no-code platform is a powerful and intuitive tool that allows individuals and businesses to quickly create digital products without needing any coding knowledge. With these platforms you can create mobile apps, websites, eCommerce stores, custom databases to centralize company data, and more.
Benefits of No Code and Low Code Development Platforms
Previously, no code platforms were simply not capable of meeting the requirements of businesses. But with the technological advances made in the last few years, it’s estimated that 70% of tech solutions will be made by no-code or low-code tech.
Limitations to No Code or Low Code Applications
No code platforms are extremely powerful and versatile, but they do have their limitations.
For example, they may not be suitable for applications that require more complex functionality or specific requirements. They may also be limited in their customization options and integrations. If you have one of these needs, it may be best to hire a developer with the necessary skills and knowledge to create the application.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the difference between low code and no code tools?
Low-code development platforms are designed to help developers quickly create applications with minimal coding. They provide pre-built components and tools that allow developers to build applications more efficiently with less resources than if they had coded the entire application from scratch.
No code platforms, on the other hand, eliminate the need for any programming knowledge whatsoever. With some investment into learning a specific platform, anyone can do it.
Should you hire a builder or use a no/low code development platform?
It really depends on your budget, timeline, and expertise. If you have a limited budget and want to quickly launch an app or website without needing to hire additional experts, no-code platforms are the way to go.
If you’re looking for something more customized or complex that requires a higher degree of technical skill and knowledge, then hiring a builder is likely the better option. A good builder will be able to provide you with the exact functionality and features that you need for your project.
What kind of applications can be created with a no-code platform?
No-code platforms can be used to create a wide range of applications, including websites, eCommerce stores, mobile apps, and internal business databases such as CRMs. No code platforms are particularly useful for entrepreneurs and small businesses that don’t have the resources or budget to hire a team of developers.
How easy is it to learn how to use a no-code platform?
No code platforms are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, so it’s very easy for beginners to learn how to use them. The drag-and-drop functionality makes it simple to create applications and websites, while the pre-built components can help speed up the process even further. Additionally, many no-code platforms offer tutorials and self-paced video bootcamps that can help even the most novice of users get started quickly.
How secure are no code platforms?
No code platforms are designed to be secure and reliable. Many of them offer features like role-based access control, data encryption, two-factor authentication, and more. Additionally, most no-code platforms provide regular security updates to ensure their users’ applications remain secure. However, be sure to check it out with the platform you choose.
Will no code or low code platforms replace coders or engineers?
No code and low code development platforms are designed to help developers create apps faster, not replace them. While they can be used as a solution for entrepreneurs and small businesses that don’t have the resources or budget to hire an IT department (for instance, for a website builder or to automate workflows). If anything, these tools will allow companies to scale and then reach the point of being able to afford professional developers in the future as their building applications get more complex.