When you set out to build an app or create a website, your first thought is usually, “Where do I find a developer or IT person?!” 🤔
And once you do set out to find someone that can help, the next thought is often about how much it may cost, or whether your idea is worth the cost at all! (hey, while you’re at it, check out our blog that helps you think through your app idea!)
Hopefully somewhere along this journey, you might have come across no-code. No-code helps fill the gap between your AWESOME idea and the need to hire a developer (or learn how to code yourself). In short, you can use no-code to build software without coding!
This means that non-developers, those with no background or training in tech, aspiring entrepreneurs, non-technical founders, basically ANYONE can build completely unique apps without needing to code or hire someone that can 🎉
But you may be wondering… what can you build with no-code tools? Are they legit? What’s the catch?
We’re here to answer your questions about building an app without coding.
LET’S GO 👏
What is no-code?
No-code is the art of creating a unique solution to a problem that could have been written with code, but instead it’s built using visual methods – without coding. You can use no-code to build software like native apps, web apps, websites, and more!
Most no-code tools use a visual drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to put your idea together. In fact, there are plenty of tools with pre-built templates that you can customize based on your needs (here, check out some of Adalo’s amazing app templates!)
How does no-code work?
Traditional coding is done through programming. This is a fancy word for using text and/or numerical languages that take time, effort, practice and training to learn. In fact, here’s an indication of how long it typically takes to build an app from scratch with coding.
No-code on the other hand enables people with little to no coding or programming skills to build software easily and quickly. In fact, you can build an app within hours using a tool like Adalo.
What’s the difference between low-code and no-code?
Forrester came up with the term "low-code" in 2014 for platforms that allow developers to code applications more easily – like no-code, a lot of it happens via a drag-and-drop interface, and then some code is required to complete the finished product.
On the other hand, no-code is usually used by people who do not necessarily know, or need to know, any programming languages to build software.
What can I build with no-code?
Let’s start with our favorite, shall we? You can build a no-code iOS or Android mobile application and launch it on the Apple Store or Play Store. The database can be as simple as a spreadsheet; you can add database configuration and interactions automatically. Many no-code app building tools let you integrate with existing APIs, and you can customize the individual components for your app.
No-code websites have changed the game, and they’re only getting better. You can build almost any kind of website using no-code, and customize it to do all kinds of things! From eCommerce, to membership sites, to
Web apps are essentially websites that look, feel, and behave like a mobile app. No-code web apps let you build a website using the same drag and drop method, or customizable templates. You can integrate with other plug-ins or services to make your website function the way you need it to.
Workflow & Automation
No-code can help you streamline and automate manual, repetitive tasks and workflows to make time-consuming work much easier and more efficient. For example, you can set up an automation that sends a notification to a specific Slack channel whenever someone mentions your brand on social media, or subscribes to your program.
Many marketing tools that we’re familiar with are based on no-code. These platforms can help you manage ad campaigns, send out monthly newsletters, track social media analytics, manage content, create sales funnels, and much more!
Making money is easier thanks to no-code! You can use no-code tools to generate and send out payment links, get invoices, and manage recurring payments. Your entire customer experience improves when you streamline your payment gateway.
No-code tools have become extremely popular in the world the subscription-model businesses. They enable you to create a membership/subscriber function that lets premium subscribers pay for specific content or interactions.
What are the benefits of no-code?
No-code applications cost far less in terms of resources and because it lets you build much faster, saved time translates into saved money too!
No-code empowers people from any background and skillset to build software that solves problems. It encourages creativity with innovation.
Test your ideas
The great thing about no-code is that you can test your ideas and improve on them without having to invest heavily in it. Rather than spending time and resources on finding the right developer and building your idea, you can focus on refining the true value of your idea and solving a real problem for your target audience.
Improved productivity is a wonderful byproduct in a world where building software is built faster and automation makes work more efficient.
Anyone can use it!
The biggest and most impactful benefit of no-code is the fact that pretty much anyone can build no-code software! You don’t need technical experience, or knowledge about coding, or thousands of dollars to spend. It empowers the 99% of the world that doesn’t know how to code to build solutions to solve problems!
What are some of the challenges with no-code?
Tools may have their own learning curve
Any tool takes a bit of time and effort to master. If you’re looking to build a complex app, it may need paid components. Fortunately, the no-code community is a resourceful place to begin. You can find assistance, tips, and ideas on no-code forums (including our very own Adalo forum!)
Some customization options may be limited
When using a tool to build software of any kind, you’ll need to keep in mind the functions you need. In some cases, you may be limited in your selection of customization options, however as no-code tools evolve and become more powerful, this is becoming less common. Make sure you do your research before choosing a no-code tool (more on that next!)
How do I choose the right no-code tool for me?
You’ll never regret the time you spent researching on the right tool! There are lots of options to choose from, and lots of factors to consider. Here are some of the main ones:
Figure out what features you need
When you know what features you need, you can choose the right tool to help you build it! Be as specific as you can when thinking through this. We wrote a helpful blog on this to help you demystify your MVP.
Do you plan to scale?
While you may not be able to predict the uptake of your app at the very beginning, you may want to plan for it. Check out if the pricing for the no-code tool includes unlimited users or if you’ll need to pay per user.
What is customer support like?
You’ll want to figure out how effective their customer support is in case you run into any roadblocks along the way. Is there a forum or help center you can reach out to to submit a ticket? Are the responses quick and consistent? You’ll also be able to read reviews online to find out about support.
Check out the price
This is important! Most tools work on a monthly subscription fee. Do a little comparison and see what fits your budget. Remember, you always want to plan ahead when choosing a no-code tool!
Take a look at templates
In all likelihood, you’ll be able to benefit from a ready-to-use app template, and many tools have a bunch of these set up to help you build faster. Browse through them and see which ones may work for you (bonus: they’re often free to use too!) At the very least, templates may give you some inspiration for design or functionality to help you bring your idea to life! Here’s a glance at the Adalo templates!
Check out what’s been built!
No-code tools often showcase the products built on their platform. This can range from small businesses, fun apps, micro-communities, and more! See what’s been built using the tools you’re evaluating – do they seem impressive to you? Is there any feedback from the makers? Do you see anything similar to what you’re looking to build? All of this will give you an indication of whether you’re looking at the right no-code app building tool for you! Here are some showcase apps built on Adalo that we’re CRAZY impressed with 😍
Is no-code complicated to learn?
Like any skill, most no-code tools take a bit of patience, practice, and perseverance to master. Think of the first time you tried something new – it’s quite the same. The great thing about no-code is that you can always find help online. Check out our blog that lists some communities and learning platforms for no-code.
If you’re looking for help to build your idea on Adalo, you can always work with an Adalo Expert.
Here’s a piece of advice from Adalo CEO and Co-Founder David Adkin:
“No-code is less about mastering a tool, and more about learning to become a problem-solver or product designer. Now it’s possible to build an app, but you need to think a step further to design a great solution to a problem.”
Will no-code replace developers?
We had to end with the one question that we get asked really often! The short answer: No!
No-code platforms are built on platforms using code. Coders are still needed to build, maintain and better no-code platforms like Adalo. The no-code movement has, in fact, made developers even more valuable now!
Developers now can focus on more complex, nuanced problems that require a knowledge of coding to solve. As the barrier for building technology gets lower, it gives more people the tools to solve problems, create unique solutions, and create opportunities. And when MORE people can innovate, everyone benefits!
If you would like to learn more about Adalo and our solutions, check them out here!
We know there are many ways to bring your app idea to life. You can work with an Adalo expert that has the skills and know-how to help you with everything from creating a brand-new app to debugging and optimizing your existing one. Learn more.