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Today, if you want to build your own website, app, business tool, or software, you essentially have two choices. First, you can hire a freelancer or development team to bring your idea to life for you. 

While this option can save you some time, it won’t save you any money. Chances are, you’ll need to dish out at least a few $1,000s to create just the simplest app or website — and more complex applications can run into the $100,000s. Yikes. 

Luckily, there’s a second option: Create your own app, website, tool, and more using no-code programming. If you’re wondering about no-code programming or have no clue what it is, read on. 

In this article, we’ll explain no-code programming and how you can use it to build your next software application.

The Breakdown of No-Code Programming

Gone are the days when you needed to be fluent in a programming language like Java, C++, or Python to create your own app (we’ll refer to websites, tools, and software as “apps” for simplicity’s sake). No-code programming, a technology that emerged in the early 2010s, makes this possible. 

Instead of entering thousands of lines of code, a no-code programming platform, or more commonly just called a no-code platform, lets you create your app like you would put together a slide deck. 

Leveraging a drag-and-drop interface, a no-code platform lets you create your app by moving pieces around a screen with your mouse.   

Here are the parts of a no-code platform that you’ll use to assemble your app:

  • The building interface: This is the entire interface that appears on your screen, including the building canvas and the editing dashboard. It has all the necessary buttons and building tools to create your project. 

    The building interface also lets you access help documents and tutorials if you need guidance. 
  • Building canvas: Smack dab in the center of your screen is your building canvas, which is like your app’s living blueprint. You’ll be able to see all the edits and changes you make live on the building canvas. It will appear as the virtual screen of a desktop, tablet, or phone device.
  • Editing dashboard: Usually on the left-hand side of your screen, this is the app-building platform’s main toolbox. It has all the buttons and functionalities you need to create your app. 

For instance, the editing dashboard lets you add pictures, forms, elements, and integrations, change colors, and more. 

While each no-code app-building platform will have its own unique layout and style, all no-code app-building platforms have one commonality: You don’t need to know any traditional programming language or technical concepts to build your app.  

Benefits of No-Code Programming

Even folks with coding experience flock to no-code app-building platforms. This is because using a no-code platform to build an app is much easier than coding one. Additionally, non-techies choose no code for the following reasons: 

  • Accessibility for non-technical users: If you can set up a social media account, you can make an app using no-code programming. Some platforms, like Adalo, are simple and intuitive enough that you can build your app right after signing up. 

    Others will require you to watch a few tutorials to get the hang of the platform. But the point is this: You’ll need no coding experience or technical knowledge to use a no-code app-building platform. 
  • Faster development times: In some cases, you can build a super simple no-code app, like one for taking orders from a food truck, in just a few hours. You can release your app to the internet, which people can find on their browsers. 

    Some no-code platforms, like Adalo, let you publish your app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: We can’t emphasize enough how much money you’ll save when you go the no-code programming route. Most no-code app-building platforms cost around $40/month to build, publish, and maintain your app. Compare this to the typical prices that developers would charge, which will be at least a few $1,000s.  
  • Encouragement of innovation and creativity: When you choose a no-code app-building platform, you can let your creative juices flow! You won’t need to communicate your ideas with anyone — it’s just you and the no-code app-building platform you choose. 

Most app-building platforms are super powerful, so you won’t need to worry about feeling constrained. You’ll be able to use your own pictures, select any color in the color spectrum, connect various integrations, and more. 

Ultimately, you can create a professional app with no-code programming that looks and feels exactly the same as one made using a traditional programming language.  

Getting Started: How No-Code App-Building Platforms Work

As we stated earlier, most no-code app-building platforms consist of a building interface with a building canvas and an editing dashboard. On your building canvas, you can drag, drop, move, and resize pictures, text boxes, and other elements

Don’t be worried about difficulties getting started building your app! Most no-code app-building platforms come pre-packed with the following tools to really get the ball rolling: 

  • Fully loaded premade templates: An excellent no-code app-building platform will come packed with premade templates containing all the components for making most types of apps. For instance, many no-code app-building platforms have templates for almost any kind of app: E-commerce, restaurant, social media, and more. 
  • Components: These templates will have premade screens (the app's pages), elements (buttons, forms, etc.), and a premade database for storing your app’s information. And yes, most no-code app-building platforms let you move these components around, change their colors and sizes, or delete them if you don’t want them on your app. 
  • Integrations and API connections: Use a no-code app-building platform's integrations feature to connect to third-party applications, such as your QuickBooks account, Google Sheets, Stripe, Zapier, and more. 

These integrations let you take data from external, third-party accounts and plug it right into your app. For instance, you can take revenue data from your QuickBooks account and use it for a CRM app with a profitability tracker. 

Many no-code app-building platforms come with APIs (Application Programming Interface). These tools are like wires embedded into your app that connect to other apps around the web. 

You can use these to harvest live data, such as live weather updates from NOAA, which you can directly display on your weather app. 

 

Popular Use Cases for No-Code Programming

The number of applications you can create with no-code programming is nearly unlimited. If you can think of an app idea, there’s probably a no-code programming platform with which you can create your idea. Here are a few use cases:

  • Building websites and blogs: Several no-code website builders are available to suit the needs of any business, organization, or individual. You’ll find no-code website builders for simple one-page websites, blog-centered websites, or websites that emphasize aesthetics.  
  • Creating mobile and web apps: You can use no-code app builders to create apps that your users can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. For instance, you can make a social media app for people interested in mindfulness, a weather conditions app for your local ski area, or a simple delivery app for your restaurant. 

    You’ll also be able to release your apps on the web, so users can access them using their desktop, phone, or tablet browsers. By releasing it to the app stores and the web, you’ll have a larger potential audience for your app.     
  • Developing e-commerce stores: Exponentially grow your brick-and-mortar’s target market by offering your products on an e-commerce website or app, which you can craft using your fingertips and the power of no-code. 

    Most no-code website and app-building platforms include payment and delivery integrations, allowing you to sell your products to customers outside your area code. 
  • Automating workflows and business processes: If you’re looking for a tool to boost your business’s operations, look no further than no-code. Most no-code app builders allow you to create tools that execute inventory management, CRM, and sales/marketing processes with just a few clicks.
  • Designing databases and managing data: Use a no-code database management tool to gather, organize, structure, and interpret your business data the way you want to see it. Most no-code database management tools come with powerful analytics features that enable you to see hidden or unique trends within your data.  

Key No-Code Platforms

No-code platforms vary by ease of use, cost, scalability, and other factors. To date, at least several hundred no-code platforms are on the market. Here’s a short list of some quality no-code platforms:

  • Adalo: Adalo is a no-code app-building platform for creating web apps and native mobile apps that users can download from app stores. It’s one of the easiest no-code programming tools available today but doesn’t sacrifice power. 

    Use Adalo to create nearly any kind of app: A CRM tool for your business, an app to list your rental properties, a delivery app, and much more. Because of Adalo’s blend of power, ease of use, and flexibility, it’s the app builder that we recommend the most.  
  • Webflow: If you want a powerful platform to create your next personal or business website, check out Webflow. It focuses mostly on power and design, giving you pixel-by-pixel control over your website’s appearance. 

    While Webflow has the power to build nearly any type of website, its content management system also works as a database, which you can use to create client portals and SaaS tools. 

    In fact, you’re currently reading this article on a Webflow-built website.  
  • Bubble: Launched in 2012, Bubble is one of the very first no-code web app builders to hit the market. Today, Bubble boasts a super-powerful building interface that accommodates the needs of nearly everyone – there’s no web app you can’t build with Bubble. 

    While Bubble provides immense power, it comes with a steep learning curve. However, Bubble has a thriving ecosystem that is rich with resources like tutorials, developer-made tools and plugins, and expert guides to help you learn the complex building interface.  
  • Noloco: Noloco is a no-code programming platform specifically designed to make internal business tools. While you won’t be able to make public-facing apps like those for your restaurant or e-commerce stores, you can craft sleek CRM pipelines, accounting tools to enhance your bottom line, project management apps featuring charts and Kanban boards, and more.   
  • Bravo Studio: Are you a Figma designer who wants to turn your graphic design projects into one-of-a-kind native mobile apps you can publish in the app stores? Then Bravo Studio is made for you. Bravo's unique building interface gives you unparalleled design freedom, letting you add your own personal touch to every pixel of your app. 

With Bravo, you’ll be able to create apps for both internal and external use cases. For instance, you can make apps for e-commerce stores, inventory management tools, and more. 

However, you’ll need to fully grasp Figma before you can get started with Bravo unless you want to learn two platforms at once!

No-Code vs. Low-Code: What's the Difference?

Sometimes, you’ll find an app-building platform that isn’t fully no-code programming. Such a platform is known as a low-code programming platform. 

A low-code platform functions a lot like it sounds: While it doesn’t require you to write line after line of code to create your app, you will need to know the logic behind app-building, technical concepts, and some level of coding proficiency to use it. 

Low-code platforms offer a bigger punch in terms of power and flexibility than no-code programming. Here’s where low-code can have an advantage:

  • Scalability: For larger organizations that need to scale their app to reach an audience starting in the 100,000s, a low-code platform provides the tools necessary to meet the needs of a monumental user base.  
  • Security: When you build with a low-code platform, you can patch in your own authentication processes and set up sophisticated user permissions. 
  • Complex logic: Some organizations must build out their own way of processing and organizing data. A low-code platform allows for this, as you’ll have the power to add your custom code when making your app’s backend, which is the part of your app that executes tasks and “thinks.” 

In most cases, organizations with tech-savvy development teams use a low-code platform to create apps, tools, or websites. Large Fortune 500 companies usually need low-code platforms to scale their internal business apps and keep their data secure. 

Additionally, low-code building platforms are best for apps that handle sensitive data, such as those that host financial accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, or personal information. Though some no-code platforms do offer security strong enough for financial institutions, like Blaze.

Adalo: Our Favorite No-Code Programming Platform 

Sold on no-code programming, but not sure which platform to choose? As we said earlier, Adalo is the no-code app-building platform we’ve recommended more than any other. You should give it a go, too. 

Adalo has one of the most generous free versions of all the no-code app-building platforms. Not only will you be able to get fully acquainted with Adalo’s simple drag-and-drop functionalities, but you’ll also be able to publish your app on the web and accept payments with its Stripe integration for free. 

You won’t need any coding or technical knowledge to use Adalo. Its building interface is powerful enough to breathe life into nearly any app idea: Create a booking app for your salon, an inventory management system for your business, a fitness app for your personal training app, and more. 

When you finish building your app, publish it on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store so your users can easily download it to their mobile devices. With Adalo, you’ll find the perfect balance of power and simplicity. Sign up to Adalo today for free.  

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