June 20, 2024
10min read
No-Code Tools

A Complete Guide to No Code App Development

Traditional coding methods are redundant, expensive, time-consuming, and tedious. No-code app development, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. It is cheaper & faster, comes with fairly customizable features, and has an easy UI. Read this simple and complete guide to get a good understanding of how it all works.

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App development has always seemed like a daunting prospect with terrifying coding lines and a pinch of maths. But not anymore. With no-code app development, you can make any app that your business desires with minimal resources and faster results – everyone can be a developer! 

No-code, aided by the development platforms, is the future of development which no longer requires an IT professional sitting in front of the desk and coding for hours on end. It is now a simple matter of drag-and-drop interface hosted by innumerable platforms. You can customize and be a part of the process to personify your vision.

Seems quite interesting, right? If you’re now hooked by the prospect of no-code, then read on to find everything about no-code app development, its intricacies, and how it’ll help your business grow! 

What is No-Code App Development?

No-code development is the process of developing applications without writing any code. The process is assisted by no-code development platforms enabling citizen developers to build apps. Creatives and business users leverage the drag-and-drop pre-configured blocks capability of the platform to code a customized, enterprise-level, and fairly advanced app according to the business requirements. 

The platforms essentially create a visual environment where individuals with no coding knowledge can build a fully functional app with less effort.

Also read: What Is No-Code

No-Code App Development: Top 5 Benefits 

Here are the five reasons why you should use no-code platforms for app development.

1. Cost-effective

As an indie hacker who’s just starting out, you would not need to invest in extensive resources. You’d save a lot of time and resources or cost to build an app. However, custom coding undoubtedly offers more security and control over your application.

2. Self Development: UpSkilling, ReSkilling

According to a report by Gartner, the IT sector is facing a huge shortage of developers. They predict that by 2022, the demand for app development will surpass the ability of the IT sector to deliver them by five times. In such circumstances, no-code helps reduce the burden on the industry by enabling the citizens to take development into their own hands. 

You can use the easy UI of these development platforms to develop the app of your choice with minimum hassle. 

3. Faster Development and Delivery

No-code is disrupting the age-old pattern of hiring high-end developers to build applications. IT and business sectors realize the potential of using no-code for developing and delivering faster. The citizen developers, with an array of pre-set templates, snippets, forms, etc., can now roll out the app of their choice in no time. 

4. Effortless Customization

Since no-code platforms with pre-set templates, the citizen developers won’t require hours of coding to make any customization. With the simple drag-and-drop interface, any changes in the background or frontal end can be made within minutes. 

5. Promote Digital Transformation

With the pandemic and shift to a digital age, companies and businesses had to rethink their entire tech strategy. In response to this surging demand, no-code emerged as the savior. It provided these businesses with core technology to quickly innovate and adapt to changing times.

How Does No-Code Application Development Work? 

No-code application development is quite similar to writing down what your app needs to have – the cool logo at the top, business information at the bottom, social media links, forms, etc. 

Through no-code app development, you can do exactly that! Just pick and drop the elements across the application’s interface where you want them. When we say no-code, we do not mean that the app is code-free; the coding part of these elements had already been done by these platforms. 

However, while developing your application, it's crucial to consider security measures, especially in the digital landscape. One effective way to enhance security and protect your data is to download a VPN (Virtual Private Network). By encrypting your internet connection, a VPN ensures your online activities remain private and secure from potential threats.

What Kind of Apps Can You Build with No-Code?

The types of apps you can build with no-code platforms are:

- Marketplaces

Marketplace apps serve as the online presence of traditional marketplaces like food or grocery stores. Big marketplace apps include Uber, Airbnb, and DoorDash. While they may seem like apps with complicated structures, they’re pretty straightforward at the core. You may use platforms like Bubble.io to build marketplace apps

- Ecommerce Sites

Simple eCommerce sites like Raylo can be made through no-code development. They’ll help your sellers, list products to sell while the consumers can purchase them. With Glide, you can build eCommerce sites and a lot more.

- Back Office Applications or Internal Business Tools

You can improve your office’s internal operations through a no-code back-office module. It can help remove redundancies and give proper functionalities to administer data better for internal use. Pory can help you build some internal tools.

- Mobile Applications

You can customize the front end of the mobile applications through no-code development. You can make a web-based application with full access to every web browser element. Bravo Studio allows you to create various lifestyle and event-based apps among others.

- Data Products & Listing Directories

Listing apps include networking or job apps like Indeed or LinkedIn and real estate apps like Zillow. Their primary requirements include listing and search functionalities. No-code is commonly used for small niched apps. You can use Softr to build resource directories.

- Dashboards

Dashboard apps like Salesforce are excellent for keeping track of analytics and statistics. You can use no-code tools to create customized dashboards (similar to Salesforce dashboards) to suit your specific needs. 

- Messaging

Messaging apps can include anything from forums, private chats, group chats, and much more. Apps like Waitext can be made through no-code platforms, or you can customize or add features to your larger app. 

- Social

While highly complex apps like Facebook or Instagram cannot be built through no-code tools, social features can be added as a subsection to your already existing app. 

- Project Management

No-code is also a great option for developing project management and task management apps. It can be specially tailored to suit your industry's and workflow's specific needs or could be added to your old app. 

- Shopping Carts

If you have an app and wish to add a shopping cart or payment method to it, use no-code development. You can integrate the already existing payment apps like PayPal and Stripe into the app. For the Bubble.io platform, payment integration is carried out through plugins or custom setups. 

Also read: What Can You Build with No-Code

For more, watch the following video on 'what can you build with no-code', along with their uses and functionalities:

What is a No-Code App Builder?

No-code app builders, as the name suggests, are platforms to build or develop an application, without coding of course. They allow the users to create one without prior knowledge or coding expertise. While the first use-case was originally created for teammates who didn’t have coding knowledge, the app builders, today, can enable just anyone to create their own fully functioning app. 

Top 10 No-Code App Builders

  • Bubble: Bubble is one of the most popular app-building platforms that use a visual-based programming language to create apps with zero coding knowledge. It deploys the applications independently, so you won’t require a separate web server. 
  • Adalo: Adalo is a development platform centered on front-end development. It can be used to create both mobile apps and web-based applications. The platform allows front-end development using the drag-and-drop features, while the backend operations are created through the Adalo Actions feature. 
  • Glide: Glide is one of the easiest and most accessible platforms to create any application. It allows a default customization feature to beautify your app (it lacks total design freedom) and can be used on both web and mobile. 
  • Softr: Softr is one of the easiest platforms to use and build professional web apps. It has a unique approach to building apps – a modular lego-like building experience and special business logic. This implies that its creation process is more like putting lego pieces together instead of going pixel by pixel. 
  • Thunkable: Thunkable, the app builder born at MIT and Google, can be used to develop native iOS and Android applications. Its colorful and attractive UI promises to create a positive experience during the development process. The platform comes with many pre-built components like forms, animations, and other features found on apps. 
  • AppSheet: AppSheet is another popular no-code platform that supports the creation of functioning apps. It lets you capture an image, scan a barcode, log locations, apply logic, send emails, and much more! It is a multi-platform in real-time and posses process automation and machine learning. 
  • BettyBlocks: Shorten the time it takes you to build an app by using BettyBlocks as a platform. With its intuitive UI, you can simply drag and drop fonts, images, and other any other element or combine it with the JS framework of your choice. It has duplicable app features and is 100% dependent on the cloud-based system. 
  • Bravo Studio: Bravo Studio is your answer if you want a platform that helps give your app the prettiest look on the internet, with a proper design tool assisting you. You can easily incorporate designs of popular apps like Figma into your own native, fully functioning app. 
  • Stacker: Stacker has a very slick, easy, and quick UI that will work with your pre-existing data sources. It even lets you build colleague or customer portals. The platform best works for businesses that are not too fussy with customizations. 
  • Fliplet: Fliplet works on one principle – give as many templates as possible to reduce the development time and make unique curation possible. The platform also offers innumerable components that go right with the templates. 
Also read: No-Code Vs Low-Code: An In-Depth Comparison

Key Features No-Code App Builders

1. Inexpensive Development Process

Traditional methods of coding are extremely expensive and not feasible for all businesses. Even the process is very methodical and takes time to develop. On the other hand, no-code is easy to make and fast. Some estimates even suggest that the cost to build an app reduced by up to 74 percent.

2. Faster Shipping of New Products/Features

With less time spent on coding, no-code platforms enable the creation of new innovations that were never seen before. New markets can be hit, expansion can occur, and massive projects can be completed within minutes, all thanks to no-code platforms. Any teammate can take control of the project and finish it without overburdening other staff. 

3. Increased Collaboration

There had always existed a silo between the technical and non-technical departments of the company. However, it will no longer be the case with a no-code introduction. It’ll lay down a common ground of goals and achievements that they can explore collaboratively. 

4. Growing Capabilities

To succeed in the ever-growing competition, businesses must stay agile and focused and build their work quickly. And no-code tools will help you keep up. The development methods allow faster implementation by just anyone with knowledge of using computers, not even coding itself. It has created a new sect of developers called citizen developers, who are regular people using no-code platforms to develop applications. 

5. Increased ROI

With more people working efficiently on a project, the returns are always more, and the impact is massive. With continued application of no-code, the ROI is, of course, going to see an increase. 

The Future of App Development is No-Code 

It is quite evident that the future of app development lies in the hands of no-code tools. With growing demand, owing to digitalization and insufficient software developers, increasing number of business owners are turning to no-code development to fulfill their software development. The no-code movement is already in full momentum.

By integrating non-developers into creating apps that resemble professional work and by aligning business with IT we’re already closing the gap in the app development sector. In the long run, businesses can expect high returns and the ability to make changes according to their needs. 

In the future, it won’t be a surprise that the majority of owners have already turned to no-code – it saves money, is easy to use, and builds just as good as traditional coding. 

Read more about how no-code application development is the next big thing.

Also read: The Future of No-Code

Written by Aastha Kochar, a freelance writer at Shnoco.

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