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Choosing a no-code backend builder can be confusing. But luckily, you’ve arrived in the right place. 

For over 10 years, I’ve reviewed, recommended, and personally used several no-code backend builders. I also created a website, NoCode.Tech, that’s dedicated to educating non-techies about no-code tools. 

In this article, I’m going to introduce my 4 favorite no-code backend builders.

The 4 Best No-Code Backend Builders

  • Xano, the best overall no-code backend builder. 
  • Backendless, the best no-code app builder for developers.
  • Zapier, for limited but simple backend building.
  • Airtable, the most truly non-technical backend builder.

What is a No-Code Backend? 

A backend is a crucial part of any app - it’s where the app’s information is stored, and all app’s logical decisions are made. For instance, on a social networking app like LinkedIn, your profile data, such as your job history, location, skills, etc., is stored in a database on the backend. 

During a common LinkedIn search for electrician jobs in your area, the backend executes the search (or executes an action). It does this by combing through all the electrician jobs on LinkedIn’s database and narrowing them down to the ones in your area. 

In this way, the backend is akin to the “brain” of an app, bringing the data from the database to the user’s screen. 

A backend has three components:

Logic/Functionality: A backend communicates with the user and transports information. The backend executes the following tasks: 

  • Listens to user requests. 
  • Sorts, retrieves, and displays the data on the user interface (like my LinkedIn example). 
  • Saves information to the database.
  • Makes calculations.
  • Connects to services, like a 3rd-party application.
  • ..and many more.

Integrations: In order to get the most out of your backend, you’ll want to connect to 3rd party integrations. These integrations, or “add-ons,” will execute specialized tasks in your backend, giving it more power and flexibility. 

For instance, if you have an online store, you’ll want to integrate your backend with payment platforms like Stripe or Square to receive money and keep track of revenue. 

Database: The database is the “library” that holds all the data crucial to your backend. This includes user information, profiles, images, and more. Having a database with ample space to hold all of your data is crucial. 

If you lack the space, you won’t be able to collect more data, so your backend - and the entire app - will stop working. The way your data is organized (structured) on the database is also extremely important, as it will directly affect how quickly data can be brought to the user interface. Slow delivery can result in slow loading times as your user navigates through your app.      

What is a No-Code Backend Builder? 

A no-code backend builder is a tool that allows you to build your very own backend using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Here are some things most no-code backend builders have in common: 

  • They allow you to create logic, workflows, and decision-making with a simple point-and-click interface. 
  • They let you execute technical tasks, like building APIs, without using coding or programming. 
  • They store data, and most support a user login. 

Some no-code backend builders require users to have a technical background, while others can be used by tech-averse people almost right out of the box.    

Why Use a No-Code Backend Builder? 

Even for developers or those with just some technical knowledge, a no-code backend builder is a fast way to create your own backend without spending (too many) painstaking hours typing in lines of code. You’ll be able to scale your backend to accommodate, at the very least, a few hundred users. 

As a bonus, no-code backend builders come packed with premade features and integrations. You can also integrate your backend to other no-code tools like Adalo, Softr, Webflow, and more. 

What to Look For in a No-Code Backend Builder

  • Functionality: A no-code backend builder must be super powerful. If you’re using a dedicated backend builder, it should be more powerful than an all-in-one platform that includes an app builder and a backend builder (like Bubble and Adalo). 

    A no-code backend builder must be able to build a backend for any application. It must allow for changes, updates, and prototyping, all with the flick of a switch. 
  • Hard Bits Done For You: A no-code backend builder needs to take away the challenges of traditional development if it's worth using over a full no-code app building tool.

    The tools on my list solve common problems for you: They’re already hosted and scalable, they come with databases built-in and connected, they make it easy to work with user accounts and they have security and compliance built-in from the get-go. 
  • Escape Hatches: No matter how powerful a no-code backend builder gets, sometimes you just need to run a little code to get over the last hurdle.

    Companies that make no-code backend builders recognize these limits and provide you opportunities to escape” by allowing you to use code to build out specific features you need.  
  • Scalability: While being able to grow your backend is crucial, your backend should also be able to handle lots of users and the actions they request. 

    You’ll need a no-code backend builder that doesn’t break down when your app is running and will handle anything your users throw at it.

#1 The Best Overall No-Code Backend Builder

Xano

What is it? 

Xano is a no-code backend builder designed for creating backends rapidly and at scale. It’s Turing-Complete, meaning you can build anything on Xano.

Why do I like it? 

While the tradeoff for all of Xano’s power is a bit of a learning curve, it comes packed with everything you need to scale your backend to accommodate millions of users. 

And the best part: Instead of paying developers gobs of cash to build a complex backend, you can do it yourself at a fraction of the cost with Xano.   

Who is it best for? 

People with some IT background will find Xano useful. This is because Xano shows users all of its programmatic functions. While you don’t need to be a full-stack developer to use Xano, you do need to have some idea of how computers work.  

Pricing

You can build out your backend starting at $85/month. For those who want a more powerful backend with super-high scalability, HIPAA compliance, and the ability of your team to work on projects together, you’ll need to level up to the $199/month version.  

Features

  • You can find several pre-made backends on Xano’s Marketplace if you want to save time or get an idea of what a professional backend looks like.
  • If you find yourself in over your head when building your backend, you’ll be glad to hear that Xano’s super helpful support team is available 24/7 and is almost always willing to book an impromptu Zoom call. 
  • Xano integrates nicely with Adalo and Bravo Studio, so if you’re building an app with these platforms, you’ll be able to up the ante on what they can do using a Xano-built backend.  

 #2 The Best No-Code Backend Builder for Developers

Backendless

What is it? 

Backendless is a no-code backend and full web and mobile app builder that requires technical knowledge to use. 

Why do I like it? 

It’s battle-tested - Backendless has been used to create backends for major companies like Kellogg’s and Dell and world-class educational institutions like the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. Backendless is an excellent choice if you’re developing an enterprise-grade backend. 

Who is it best for? 

People who have a solid technical background but want to build an app faster than they can program will be right at home with Backendless. Large-scale enterprises will also benefit from Backendless’s ability to accommodate scaling. 

Pricing

Backendless’s Scale Plan starts at $15/month. While this may seem cheap, add-ons can get expensive, starting at about $20/feature. Visit their site for more details. 

Features

  • If you’re a hardcore tech lover, Backendless will have you smitten. It comes with a full package of technical features you can use interchangeably, like Codeless Logic, The Backendless Core Database, and many more.  Pick and choose how much of each feature you want. 
  • Backendless excels for use cases where security is paramount. The platform integrates with 18 authentication providers, including Auth0 and Okta. It also has robust security features. 

#3 A Platform for Limited and Simple Backend Building 

Zapier

What is it? 

Known for its ability to integrate over 6,000+ services, tools, and APIs into your app, you can use Zapier to build limited and simple backends using Zapier Tables and Zapier Paths.  

   

Why do I like it? 

Zapier’s backend builder is very easy to learn and relatively simple to use, making it a great choice for non-technical people. It also has an eye-watering number of integrations with 3rd parties - you’d be hard-pressed to find a service that doesn’t support Zapier.

Who is it best for? 

If you want to get started building a brand new backend and prefer your and aren’t ready to scale up, Zapier is a good choice. And if your technical knowledge is limited, you’ll find that Zapier is the easiest backend builder on this list. 

Pricing

Zapier’s pricing starts at $19.99/month. But if you want to scale, you’ll need to purchase additional add-ons, which can get expensive fast. 

Features

  • Zapier puts your team on the same page with its Canvas feature. This will enable your team to work in sync on workflow design and other tasks that are crucial to your backend. 

#4 The Most Non-Technical No-Code Backend Builder

Airtable

What is it? 

Airtable is a truly no-code backend builder that stores, manages, and structures data in the form of a spreadsheet.  

Why do I like it? 

The low learning curve of Airtable’s interface makes it an attractive choice for anyone who wants to build a backend quickly. Platforms like Adalo and Stacker integrate with Airtable, allowing you to supercharge the front end of your app with a powerful backend. 

Who is it best for? 

Anyone - tech-head or tech-averse - will find Airtable’s spreadsheet-like interface intuitive and easy to start using right from the get-go. 

Pricing

At $20/month per user, you can get up to 50,000 records in your database. If that’s not enough, go for the $45/month per user plan, which gets you up to 125,000 records. 

Features

  • Airtable comes with an automation tool that lets you set a predefined trigger that will initiate any time a user executes a certain action. This feature can help you reduce manual tasks.    

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the Best No-Code Backend Builder?

While it’s got a bit of a learning curve and requires a semi-technical background, Xano is the best no-code backend builder. You can build your backend to whatever scale you like, create more or less any feature you can imagine -  and you’ll have quick access to quality technical support every step of the way.  

What is the Cheapest No-Code Backend Builder?

Backendless is the cheapest no-code backend builder at $15/month. But beware - if you want to add more features, you’ll have to pay per feature, which can add up to a hefty amount. 

I always recommend Airtable for those who are on a budget. It’s only $20/month per user, and it has enough features and functions to build a powerful backend. 

What is the Best No-Code Backend Builder for Beginners?

Since beginners aren’t looking to scale and are more concerned with building out basic features, I usually recommend Zapier. Zapier is the easiest-to-use app-builder on my list, making it best for beginners. 

Airtable is a little bit more difficult to use than Zapier, but it’s still quite intuitive. If you’ve never built a backend but have lots of experience using Excel or Google Sheets, I recommend you give Airtable a shot first.  

What is the Best No-Code Backend Builder for Developers?

If the idea of sitting in a closet for 14 hours building out a backend brings bliss to your soul, give Backendless a go. You’ll be able to customize your backend to a T by programming in as many lines of code as you prefer.

And when you want to build out portions of your backend quickly and without code, you’ll be able to use the drag-and-drop interface to do so. 

Want More than Just a Backend? Build Your Next App With Adalo 

Are you also itching to build a powerful native mobile app with a gorgeous user interface? Then look into Adalo.

Adalo is a no-code mobile app builder that allows you to craft mobile and web apps. Its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface is super easy to use - even folks without coding or technical knowledge can start making attention-grabbing apps immediately after signing up. 

Adalo is packed with over 5,500 integrations, including connections to no-code backend builders like Airtable, Zapier, Xano, and Backendless.  

Use your custom-crafted backend to power your professional-looking app made by Adalo. 

Sign up to Adalo for free today.