The possibility of building an app without coding is welcomed by startups, small businesses, and global enterprises alike. No-code development is on a roll, with more than 70% of apps expected to be developed with no-code technologies by 2025. It has become a solid alternative to traditional coding that offers 2,000+ thousands of visually-interactive tools.
The question is, which are the best no-code tools suitable for your business. Despite the convenience of the code-less approach to building apps, non-technical builders can be overwhelmed by the immense number of tools available. It takes experience and sound knowledge in app development to know which tools would serve a specific app well.
Our team has been heavily involved in building different types of no-code apps. We've tried different kinds of no-code tools, and we know which are the better ones for your project. We'll show you our top recommendations based on functionality, ease of use, trustworthiness, and affordability.
Read on and check out our recommended list of top no-code tools.
What is a no-code tool?
No-code is a descriptive term for modern app development methods that don't involve coding. Instead of writing codes, app builders use no-code tools consisting of relatively simple, user-friendly elements to build a perfectly functional app. For example, app developers used to write complex algorithms for a payment gateway, but they can now place a payment gateway by simply dragging the respective module to the app.
Businesses and developers alike are thrilled by the prospects of using no-code tools. Technically, a no-code tool is still powered by programming codes, but they are hidden beneath the visual object. Therefore, developers can quickly build an MVP by integrating various no-code plugins or templates, and businesses can launch the finished product in record time.
No-code tools have shifted the app development landscape, perhaps permanently. Prior to no-code technologies, only professional software developers are capable of building apps. The app-development process involves dozens of programming hours, UI design, and sessions of debugging. Now, non-technical users can build an app from scratch by using various no-code tools in a GUI-driven environment.
By integrating various no-code tools, you can introduce feature combinations into an app, including:
- Analytics Tools - gain actionable insights from user-generated data.
- App Builders. - for building simple to highly-complicated, multiple-sided apps.
- Automation Tools - seamlessly automating business processes and workflows.
- Customer Support Tools - ensuring customer happiness.
- Databases - securely store, modify and manage data.
- Design and Logo Design Tools - create visually-appealing graphics and logos.
- Domain Tools - find and register domains for digital products.
- Early Stage User Platforms - enroll initial subscribers to your services.
- Enterprise Tools - helps small and medium enterprises to scale their operations.
- Forms & Survey Tools - create and automate survey form submissions.
- Internal Tools - tools that help to automate tasks within an organization.
- Landing Page Builders - build high-converting landing pages.
- Marketing and PR Tools - scale marketing campaigns with data-driven automation.
- Mockup Generators - create high-quality mockups without graphic design skills.
- Name Generators - provide a list of AI-generated names.
- Newsletter Platforms - design, publish, and send newsletters.
- Online Course Platforms - create, host, and manage e-courses.
- Online Store Tools -set up your own online store.
- Operations Tools - streamline business operations with integrated tools.
- Outsourcing Platforms - connects to 3rd-party outsourcing marketplaces.
- Payments Platforms - build payment gateways without writing codes.
- Podcasting Tools - provide all the tools a podcaster needs.
- Portfolio Creators - create professional and impressive portfolios.
- Productivity Tools - simplify and optimize time-efficiency
- SEO Tools - boost website ranking and increase search traffic.
- Sales Tools - empower sales teams with lead generation and CRM features.
- Social Media Tools and Social Plugins - improve engagement from social media users.
- Stock Photos or Videos Platforms - provide vast libraries of creative assets.
- Usability Testing Tools - gather data and analyze user behaviors.
- Video Editors - create stunning and engaging videos.
- Web App Builders - build, test and deploy web applications.
- Website Builders - design, customize and publish websites.
Who Uses No-Code Development Platforms
No-code removes the traditional barrier of entry to developing apps. Literally, anyone can use no-code platforms to build an app. The immense benefits of no-code tools, such as cost-efficiency, scalability, flexibility, and intuitiveness, have made the technology favorable across all sizes.
Generally, there these business groups have shown tremendous interest in no-code solutions.
Founders need an express route to take their ideas to the market, and no-code tools are ideal answers. They use no-code tools to visualize their idea, validate them against users and present a visually-appealing product to potential investors. No-code tools' drag-and-drop capability allows them to easily modify the app according to continuous feedback and evolving requirements.
Top executives in large enterprises are continually optimizing their business processes. Instead of expanding in-house IT teams, they leverage no-code solutions to automate and simplify internal workflow. They can introduce features like gamification and visualization by adding readily-available plugins instead of building them from scratch.
No-code platforms are also gaining a foothold amongst corporate organizations that intend to expand their existing products or services. Product managers turn to the best no-code tools to extend their software team's capacity by skipping the tedious coding process. Also, they can explore new ideas without exceeding budget limits.
Small and medium businesses
Company owners in this group have neither the startup's flexibility nor the financial war chest of global corporations. Therefore, they must resort to ingenious ways to retain their edge in competitive markets. No-code technologies couldn't arrive in a timelier manner to boost the productivity, efficiency, and financial bottom line of entrepreneurs in this category.
By using no-code tools, entrepreneurs can improve service delivery, introduce new products, explore emerging markets and engage customers more efficiently. They can release, maintain and improve digital products without investing heavily in in-house programmers. This allows them to channel additional budgets into other parts of the business.
Best no-code tools worthy of considerations
While there are more than 2,000 tools, you don't need that many to build most types of apps. From our 8 years of development experience, these 3 platforms are sufficient for almost any app idea.
Webflow: the best for websites
Webflow is an intuitive, visually-interactive no-code platform for building websites. It allows users to focus on the front-end website design instead of worrying about the programming elements.
Building a website couldn't be any easier with Webflow. The no-code web builder provides dozens of pre-design templates, where users can customize or use them as they are. Users can also save changes made to the design elements and reuse them in subsequent projects.
Webflow is constantly expanding its features and capability. You can build a business webpage, lead generation landing page, or e-commerce store with the available tools. At the moment of writing, Webflow indicates that it will support membership sites with secure login features in the future.
Sommo has used WebFlow in our projects, including.
- GiftCloud (website) - a gifting-as-a-service platform where users can order and send brand-fitting gifts to corporate clients.
- Remotion - an online platform that hosts team-building games to foster close working relationships.
- Sommo website is also proudly built by WebFlow.
Webflow is affordably priced with two different plans. Its site plans, ideal for content-driven websites, range from $12 -$36 per month, while e-commerce plans start at $29 per month. Webflow also offers a free starter plan for users keen to explore its no-code design tools. Note please that in addition to the website, you’d need to pay for each account that can edit the website.
Since its launch, Webflow has gained positive responses from users and investors alike. More than 3,500,000 users have signed up to Webflow, and investors committed a further $140 million in Jan 2021, bringing its valuation to $2.1 billion.
We have every reason to believe that Webflow will remain a prominent solution in the no-code ecosystem.
Bubble: the best for functional web & mobile apps
Bubble tops our no-code recommendation list for those who want to build web applications. Bubble takes away the complexity of programming and allows you to develop a functional web app without coding skills. The platform offers a responsive environment that enables the development of various types of solutions, including marketplaces, SaaS, social networks, and more.
We found Bubble a good fit when developing most of our apps for several reasons.
- Bubble allows our team to streamline changes, notes, comments, and tasks on the projects.
- In simple steps, we can integrate Bubble-native or external databases, such as MySQL and MongoDB.
- Bubble makes integration with external APIs easy.
- Our team can choose, customize and reuse thousands of Bubble plugins and templates.
- We can refer to hundreds of standard use-cases and workflows.
- Despite its no-code concept, Bubble allows modifying the underlying functionality with custom codes when necessary.
- Our team can bring a pixel-perfect design to life without investing in costly graphic elements.
- Bubble provides security features, including extended permission and user management.
- Bubble allows SEO optimization, such as editing the meta-data on the web apps.
- We can safeguard our projects and keep track of changes through features like backups, historical logs, versioning control, and managed CI/CD environments.
Sommo uses Bubble to develop these apps.
- Upside - A cloud solution that empowers companies to manage employee benefits programs.
- WeShyft - A web app that provides organizations with environmental, social, and governance monitoring capabilities.
- Visory Club - This app connects businesses with professional advisors in different disciplines.
- Real Estate Agency - A visually-engaging Bubble template lets users build a web app with a real estate theme.
- Collab.me - Another Bubble template that allows users to create an influencer marketplace.
For such a powerful tool, Bubble is priced affordably for different types of users. As Bubble apps are hosted on its platform, users pay monthly for the editing tools and cloud computing resources. These are the fee structure on Bubble:
- Personal - $25/month.
- Professional - $115/month.
- Production - $475/ month.
Bubble also offers customized pricing options for dedicated hosting, agency subscriptions, education, and nonprofits.
Bubble's popularity amongst developers was influenced by its bustling community, vast marketplace, and extensive resources such as guides, boot camps, and tutorials. The platform boasts more than 1.6 million users as of April 2022 after Bubble strengthened its position with $100 million in funding in the previous year.
As a testament to the Bubble's reliability, scalability, and functionality, apps built with Bubble have enjoyed tremendous progress in their own rights. Dividend Finance raised $365 million in funding and was recently acquired by the Fifth Third Bank. Meanwhile, Beelango, an interactive Bubble educational app, has attracted more than 100,000 active learners.
Glide: best for "turning spreadsheets into apps"
Glide might seem slightly off-the-road as far as no-code tools are concerned. After all, you don't always stumble on solutions that allow you to turn a spreadsheet into an app, and Glide does precisely just that. Without programming skills, you can convert a spreadsheet and the macros and formulas into a fully functional app.
You can upload spreadsheets from Excel, Google Sheets, or Air Table or use one of the many templates on Glide. Once you've customized the visual layout and style, your spreadsheet is ready to go live. Publish the spreadsheet-turned-app on Glide and share the link with fellow users.
Glide has made building in-house applications for internal business processes more accessible, particularly for sales, administrative, procurement, and HR departments. In fact, the first app that we've built with Glide is an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) app. The app allows team leaders to set and track key performance goals amongst members.
What surprises many Glide builders is the tool's ability to create engaging apps beyond business applications. For example, we use Glide to build a feature-rich Swipe & Match dating app and group chat app. This article describes our approach to building a private-chat app with Glide and its versatility for non-technical users.
Glide's pricing for users starts with a free plan and upgrades that cost from $25 to $249 per month, with the upper tiers catered for business and enterprise users. To date, more than 500,000 users and companies have subscribed to Glide. The no-code platform has recently announced a $20 million Series A funding to expand its offerings further.
The emergence of no-code tools offers cost-efficient alternatives for businesses. Whether it's building a simple website or a full-fledged e-commerce solution, you can leverage top no-code tools to aid you. No-code tools are generally user-friendly, reliable, and easy to learn.
With that said, some entrepreneurs might not have the time to build an app from scratch, even with access to the best no-code tools. In such cases, you'll want to seek professional assistance from tried-and-tested no-code agencies, particularly one with experience in your industry.
Talk to our team to learn more about building and scaling digital solutions with no-code tools.