If you haven’t hopped on the no-code platform train yet, you should consider doing so. Gartner has predicted that by 2025, organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies to develop 70% of their new applications. In late 2021, Forbes reported that no-code and low-code tools are disrupting the software development industry, as no-code platforms like Webflow and Bubble generated millions of dollars in seed funding. One thing is apparent: no-code platforms are the next big thing in software development, and they’re here to stay. Over the next few years, many individuals, teams, and businesses will turn to these platforms to bring their best ideas to life.
Read on to learn:
- What a no-code platform is
- The benefits of no-code (hint: learning how to use a no-code platform is a lot easier than learning a new programming language)
- How no-code platforms work (and what makes them so easy to use)
- And nine of the best no-code platforms out there that you need to know about
Are you ready? Settle in, and let’s dive into the world of no-code!
What is a no-code platform?
A no-code platform allows non-programmers to create applications through a graphical user interface (GUI) instead of coding languages. They’re known for their drag-and-drop functionality, pre-built templates, and ease of use because they require no code writing. No-code platforms are on the rise (in fact, we wrote about the no-code movement, and if you aren’t up to speed, pause here and give it a read before we dive into platforms.)
No-code development platforms are a type of rapid application development (RAD) software, and there are tons of different no-code platform categories out there. You can do just about anything with no-code platforms, and they’re particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses that don’t have a lot of resources on deck or small budgets. Some of the most popular no-code platform categories are automation, CRM tools, eCommerce, integrations, payments, portfolios, websites, and more.
What are the 4 benefits of no-code platforms?
To sum it up, no-code platforms offer time and cost savings. Here are four of the key benefits of using no-code applications:
1. You can bring an idea to life super quickly.
No-code apps help satisfy the desire to bring ideas to life quickly. Since users don’t need any coding skills, a user could build a website in a few hours. There’s no need to learn how to program or spend time finding an expert to outsource the work to (unless you want to). In the rapidly evolving digital transformation space, no-code programs provide solutions at much faster rates than before.
2. They’re incredibly easy to use.
Drag-and-drop functionality opens new doors for non-technical individuals. Building applications and developing any sort of software program was formerly inaccessible to those without formalized knowledge and coding experience. No-code apps changed the status quo, and regardless of background, people can quickly pick up most no-code apps because they’re user-friendly. This means that teams can address backlogged work and high-priority items dispersed across many individuals, moving things along quicker.
3. They remove the dependency on technical expertise.
Don’t get us wrong — there’s a time and place for technical experts, software developers, and engineers. These specialized skill sets are great to have, and individuals with these skills can add a lot of value to teams. At the same time, no-code apps help benefits sustain their projects long-term without having to depend on a skilled programmer. Future legacy maintenance is less significant (which also means cost savings).
4. No-code platforms provide autonomy.
With less outsourcing for things like websites, apps, and other tools, in-house teams can truly own and fully understand their own tools and systems. This is particularly valuable for growing teams (a legacy team member can get new team members up to speed quickly) and for rapid troubleshooting when tools don’t work correctly.
How do no-code platforms work?
Many no-code platforms provide building blocks and templates for users. With a foundation in place, an individual (no matter how non-technical) can drag and drop elements around to customize the interface to their liking. It’s that easy! The platforms provide “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) components to quickly assemble a solution. You don’t have to touch the code or, in some cases, can touch it very minimally (low-code tools) to create incredible digital products.
9 no-code platforms to consider
Below we rounded up a list of nine of the best no-code platforms, listed alphabetically. They are some of the most popular no-code tools currently on the market that businesses love. We included various types (check out a solid list of types of no-code platforms here) to fit different needs, business sizes, and industries.
Airtable is a platform that enables people and teams to build customizable workflows and business processes. You can bring your data sources and information together in one place, utilize different views, create custom interfaces, and leverage the power of automation. Some of their popular templates include a Content Calendar Template, Product Roadmap Template, and a Gantt Template for project management and planning. There are hundreds of integrations available through Airtable’s API, so you can connect many other apps to the tool for seamless use.
There are a few different plans and pricing options based on the size of your team. As of May 2022, small teams and individuals can use Airtable for free. And larger teams or organizations can sign up for the Plus ($10 per seat/month annually), Pro ($20 per seat/month annually), or Enterprise (pricing available upon contacting the sales team) plans, depending on business needs and preferred features.
2. Appy Pie
Businesses use Appy Pie to create mobile applications, websites, NFTs, automation, chatbots, and graphics. The idea behind Appy Pie is that there’s a customizable solution for everyone, whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, or student.
They cover a wide range of website categories, ranging from wedding websites to NFTs, and eCommerce to real estate. The pricing options for building a website through Appy Pie are fairly straightforward and cheap. As of May 2022, the START plan costs $18/month and is ideal for personal project use. The GROW plan costs $36/month and is for small businesses.
Keep in mind that there are pricing plans for each of Appy Pie’s offerings. The pricing reflected above is only for the Appy Pie Website Builder. If you’re looking for something specific, you’ll want to check out the pricing page for that product. For example, chatbot plans range from free to $15/bot/month, and automation range from $12-$75/month billed annually.
3. Betty Blocks
Betty Blocks is a no-code application development platform for citizen developers — otherwise known as employees creating applications for consumption by themselves or others — to build powerful business applications. Thanks to the User Interface Builder drag-and-drop functionality, it’s incredibly fast, and users can process and manage their data in various ways. And Betty Blocks integrates with popular enterprise-grade systems like Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, and more. The platform has been recognized by Forrester and Gartner for its capabilities.
With Betty Blocks, you can take advantage of a free trial or upgrade to a Standard or Enterprise plan with more capabilities. Pricing models are user-based, but you have to reach out to the sales team for specific pricing information.
Jotform is an online form builder that makes it easy to create robust forms for collecting data. Nonprofits, small businesses, enterprises, and educators turn to this tool for information-gathering. There are limitless customization options and a full suite of integrations available so you can create the form you want and make it look the way you envision. Popular use cases include application forms, contact forms, booking forms, and survey templates. Jotform also offers online payment capabilities and secure forms.
Jotform offers five pricing plans ranging from Starter to Enterprise. As of May 2022, the Starter plan is free, and a sales representative can provide Enterprise details if you reach out. The three plans in the middle range from $24-$75/month billed annually and include 25-100 forms depending on which plan you choose. Not sure if Jotform would work for you? See how this small business leverages the tool.
Who doesn’t love an email newsletter? With the no-code tool Mailchimp, you can build your audience in no time. Marketers have chosen Mailchimp for their email newsletters for years. With award-winning customer service, 250+ app integrations, and trusted pros to work with, it’s no surprise that the well-known brand has transformed and grown into a full-service marketing partner. Today, you can not only use MailChimp for newsletters, but you can also take advantage of new service offerings, including social posting digital ads, shoppable landing pages, websites, and more.
Pricing varies based on the services you need. There are four pricing plans for the full marketing platform, and cost fluctuates depending on the number of contacts you have. You can also choose from one of three pricing plans under website and commerce or purchase a transactional email plan.
Notion is a no-code team management tool that provides one workspace for teams. In Notion, users are able to connect teams, projects, and documents for quick reference and seamless workflow integrations. There are thousands of free pre-built templates ranging from PR media trackers to database templates and learning calendars to nonprofit donation management. With an extensive template gallery, you can find a template for nearly every use case. The best part? If it isn’t quite perfect, it’s super easy to tailor Notion templates to your specific needs.
You can download the Notion app for Mac and Windows or review your tasks using the iOS or Android mobile apps. Another perk that sets this app apart? There’s a global community of experts who are constantly creating new templates and hosting events so you can make the most of the tool. The platform is free for individuals, or $4/month billed annually for the Personal plan and $8/month billed annually for the Team plan. An Enterprise option is available for organizations; you just need to reach out to the sales team for more information.
The realm of online shopping wouldn’t be the same without the no-code platform Shopify. Businesses across 175 countries use Shopify and have generated $200 billion in sales using the tool. You can start an online business, turn your retail store into an online one, and transfer from any eCommerce platform to Shopify. The platform includes various ways to sell (like through marketplaces, for example), built-in marketing tools, and insights to help you grow and transform your business. Over 6,000+ apps integrate directly with Shopify through the Shopify App Store.
And you don’t necessarily have to have a web designer’s eye because there are custom templates and free themes to choose from across a range of industries. Other noteworthy features include an easy-to-use back office for payment and customer management, omnichannel selling, and inventory management (to help make your life easier). You can get a 14-day free trial to check out the features and functionality for yourself before committing to the Basic ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month), or Advanced ($299/month) plans.
With Webflow, anyone can build a website, optimize it for growth, and scale a business — all without knowing how to write a single line of code. You can build SaaS websites, eCommerce stores, portfolios, and more across a wide variety of categories. Like other no-code platforms, Webflow provides a template library for you to choose from. Then, using the drag-and-drop user interface, you can customize a template to your liking. And if you do know how to write a line or two of code, you could use this platform as a low-code development platform and tinker on the backend.
What’s nice about Webflow is that you can create a professional website without a large budget, which can be valuable for startups and other small businesses. Sign up for Webflow on their homepage, and explore additional pricing plans and options as you go, including the Enterprise version.
If you read our blog posts regularly, you’ve probably seen us mention Zapier a few times before. This easy automation tool allows you to work faster and more seamlessly across 4,000+ apps. Automating your workflows makes your day-to-day more efficient so you can focus your energy on the work that truly matters. Although you don’t need programming skills to automate your work, Zapier offers a quick-start guide, Zapier University, community, and support to help you grow your automation skills. Other highlights include multi-step Zaps for your more complex automation, if/then logic customization, conditional filters, and the ability to build apps and integrations.
Zapier offers five pricing plans for individuals and large companies alike. Plans range from free to $599/per month billed annually as of May 2022. Explore the different options to find what works best for you.
What’s the best no-code platform?
Only you can decide what fits your needs best, but remember that the tools we’ve listed may have different functionality and capabilities. (So it may not always be an apples-to-apples comparison across features and pricing). To figure out which no-code platform is best, we recommend following these steps. First, identify your needs. If all you need is a website, Webflow is a great choice. If you’re going to build an application, website, and chatbot, look into Appy Pie since it offers all three.
Once you’ve identified your needs, research no-code platforms starting with our list above. Read no-code development platform reviews and compile a list of tools you’re interested in. Then, take advantage of free trials and free product versions so you can explore your options and find the no-code solution you like the most.
Going forward: the future is no-code
Citizen developers use no-code platforms to quickly create websites and other applications without having to know how to code. They use drag-and-drop functionality, which makes it easy for individuals to learn how to use them, create what they want fast, remove technical barriers, and provide more autonomy and control over the solution. There are tons of no-code platforms out in the market to meet your needs — no matter your business size, industry, or business needs. Hop into the world of no-code today to find out how truly easy these tools are to use.