Pros and Cons of Using a No-Code Platform
3 years ago
Have you ever dreamed of creating your own application? Well, good news! You don’t need to be a techie or an IT graduate to build apps nowadays. All you need is a ‘no-code’ development platform.
The term ‘no-code’ might sound like a contradiction. After all, programming drives every form of technology. But thanks to no-code builders, non-tech savvy people can now generate sophisticated software on their own.
Just like any system, it has its fair share of advantages and flaws. Here’s everything you need to know about no-code builders.
What is a No-Code Platform?
As the name implies, no-code allows you to build an application without writing a single line of code. It’s trendy among business users who don’t have time to study programming or the budget to hire a developer.
No-code platforms are pretty easy to use. Most of them operate using a friendly UI with drag-and-drop functionalities to add and remove the features that you want. But what exactly can you do with such a system?
Suppose your company suffers HR management problems. The hiring process consumes a lot of time, yet you still end up with incompetent employees. This is where a no-code platform truly shines. You can use it to create a tool that filters applicants, create directories, and automatically onboards new hires.
How Does No-Code Work?
When you think about it, making a business software without programming knowledge sounds like a dream. Like, how can you even run a system without a single line of command?
Well, that’s the magic with using no-code. The developers have already written the code and installed it on the platform as a feature that you can add and remove. Thanks to this, users can innovate and make full-fledged apps on their own!
No-Code vs. Low-Code
A close cousin of no-code, low-code platforms basically do the same thing but with some extra spice. People with zero coding knowledge can utilize no-code. The features are already pre-built into the system, and you just tell the app what you want it to do.
On the other hand, a low-code platform enables you to tell the app how you want things to be done. You can do this by adding bits of code yourself (some are provided by the devs) or asking the developers themselves to finish building the rest of your app.
Simply speaking, no-code is great for users who don’t want to bother with programming and just want to straight-up build an app. If you want more flexibility and achieve your desired functions, a low-code platform would be the best option.
The Pros and Cons of a No-Code Platform
What Makes it Great?
Business have been using no-code platforms to handle certain tasks in their departments. Use cases range from something simple as data entry automation to more complex functions like sales pipelines. Here are some of its pros:
Most no-code builders are used to create task managers and project management apps. These tools enable your team members to automate repetitive tasks, keep track of progress, monitor weak points, and ultimately stay on top of things. All these can save valuable time and energy that help increase your organizational performance.
For developers, coding is the most painful part when it comes to creating software. They have to overcome obstacles and fix bugs, which often means long hours of trial and error. Luckily, you don’t have to go through this grueling process. With a no-code builder, you can build a functional system in minutes. All you need to do is drag and drop the built-in modules. And some touch of creativity, of course!
Hiring a team of developers to build an app can cost a fortune. This won’t be a priority if you’re still a startup looking to break even or you have other more essential commitments. No-code builders will solve the problem. They allow you to create your own app minus the cost that comes with hiring developers. Provided you take time to master the learning curve, you might even be able to build multiple tools for your business.
When building an app on your own, it can be difficult to change a feature you’ve already implemented. This means rewriting entire paragraphs of code. But with no-code builders, you just have to adjust the element you want to change using the platform itself! The developers have already programmed this, so you don’t have to deal with technicalities to make changes.
No-code builders are awesome because it doesn’t keep you in the dark. Encountered a bug or technical issue? Contact the developer. Want a specific feature in future updates? Tell the developers. Got a suggestion to improve user experience? Send some feedback. Having support to help you out is one of the most significant advantages of these building platforms.
Now, For the Not So Great Things
So much for the good news. Let’s talk about no code's flaws. Pretty much most of them ultimately boil down to personal preference. You can’t expect to do everything without the source. Still, here are some of the compromises you’ll have to make.
With no coding knowledge, you’re most likely to rely on rigid templates prepared by the platform for you. These things are convenient at first when you know nothing about how things work yet. But as you use the tool for everyday use, you’re going to realize that several limitations. If you want a specific feature that’s not in the app yet, you’ll have to contact the developers and wait for them to add it.
When using a no-code platform, you’re at the mercy of the developers. If the software gets hacked, you can’t do anything but wait for the devs to sort things out. On top of that, the app requiring access to some of your system’s functions can be an issue. But still, most no-code programs have proven to be trustworthy and infiltration-proof. Just make sure you do your research before giving it access.
You Don’t Own the Source Code
Another big disadvantage to no-code app builders is not having access to the source code. What does it mean for your company? Well, you won’t be able to bring over the tools you’ve built to another platform. That’s why it’s essential to talk with your team over which platform to choose to avoid regrettable decisions in the long run.
Although you can create various tools with no-code, any system you come up with depends mainly on the modules provided by the devs. It will be impossible to improve your app without their permission or involvement. This means you can't generate faster algorithms, create new designs, or add new features by yourself.
Examples of No-Code Platforms
The moment you open Bubble, you’ll be greeted by a friendly interface filled with shapes and colors. This platform allows you to create and launch a software minutes after development. All you have to do and drag-and-drop the plugins, and voila! Congratulations on building your first app.
When it comes to automation, Zapier is the best choice. Founded in 2011, the app quickly became popular since it allows users to integrate various other platforms into their workflow. Whether you need to introduce Slack, Discord, QuickBooks, or Google Sheets, you can count on Zapier to allow integration.
Out of millions of website-building platforms, Webflow stands out with its highly customizable workspace. The simple UI with lots of flexible templates. Plus, the drop-in features add a touch of finesse. Everything adds up for an effortless experience to get your site up and running in no time.
WordPress is a household name in website development. Almost 30% of modern websites use this platform. Anything from eCommerce stores to travel blogs to personal blurbs can benefit from its highly visual interface. You can install a wide range of plugins and design your website using a few clicks.
If you’re looking to build an app for your business but don’t have the budget for a dev team, no-code is the way to go.
But take note that it’s not for everyone. If you wish to innovate further or customize your tools, low-code would be a better choice for you.
Curious about low-code? Learn more about this no-code alternative here.