Which No Code Tool Should I Use?
If you’ve just heard about the “No-Code Revolution”, you’d think no-code development is a new concept. It isn’t. The no-code movement didn’t begin today. It’s a movement that’s been around since the rise of information technology, as people sought to simplify the process and tools of software development, making it more accessible to a wider variety of people.
To achieve this aim, no-code tools enable the development of applications and websites without the writing of code. It is a quicker, less expensive way to build apps, with a much lower entry barrier. This makes it accessible even to non-tech persons who can become “citizen developers”.
So, rather than write every line of code needed for your new application, no-code tools allow you to build full websites or simple pages by dragging and dropping your desired features/components. Today, a variety of apps have been created on no-code platforms, including online marketplaces, delivery apps, etc.
This has led to a buzz and excitement in today’s no-code movement as the capabilities of no-code tools continue to expand. Although this is a great development, it also means you’ve now got a ton of no-code options to select from. As with choosing whether to go no-code or traditional for your project, choosing the right no-code tool is a critical decision that should be made with caution.
Note that your choice of a no-code platform is going to be dependent on the purpose for which you need the platform. For instance, while some no-code tools excel for web applications, others may serve you better for simple automations.
In this piece, we’ve taken the time to identify the highest rated no-code platforms. We’ve also highlighted what each platform is best used for so you can identify the best option for your use case.
Top 5 No-Code Tools
With the growing list of no-code options with very specific use cases, ranking no-code tools is not a very straightforward process.
For this ranking, we’ve considered factors ranging from the level of customization and flexibility the tool affords you, as well as its ease of use, amongst others. This ranking also recognizes the variety of use cases for no-code tools, and tries to capture tools across different niches.
Keeping that in mind, here’s our top 5 favorite no-code tools.
1. Bubble – The Best No-Code Tool for Web Apps
Bubble is hands down the best no-code tool on the market. It excels at building powerful, high functioning websites, internal tools, and web apps. What’s more, it does all this while removing all of the barriers to development you’d face with custom development.
To do this, Bubble provides you with all the features you’d need for full-feature websites like Facebook or Airbnb. It also handles your hosting and deployment, making app management a lot easier. And, there are no limits to how many users, how much traffic or how much data your website can manage, provided you upgrade your plan as app usage scales.
To put it simply, Bubble offers no-code possibilities that most other platforms cannot match at this time. It enables developers to achieve software complexity without coding. That said, it’s also some ways from the easiest no-code platform to learn and master.
- Flexibility: Bubble offers you near-custom flexibility levels when it comes to customization. You can create your dream from scratch using the Bubble editor, or select from a wide variety of templates ranging from full apps to single pages. It provides limitless customization options that make it possible to build a completely unique app on the platform.
- Power: Bubble is a very powerful no-code tool with all the features you need for your new app. You can integrate just about any service thanks to its custom API integration tool. It also features a very active plugin marketplace with extensive plugin options to extend the performance/features of your app.
- Community: Bubble features an extensive community of users. These users develop the custom plugins available in the plugin marketplace, thus providing features not originally available on Bubble. They also share tips and tutorials, and offer support to other users on the Bubble forum.
- Unified Database: If you are planning a platform like Airbnb that offers access via a Mobile App or Website, Bubble’s ability to feed all the platforms from the same database solves a lot of development problems. It keeps your data in sync across multiple backend databases without any hassle.
- Funding: Despite bootstrapping the company for seven years, Bubble has managed to close two rounds of funding that injected invaluable cash into the tech. The first was a $6.5 million seed funding completed in June 2019, followed by a $100 million Series A round completed just over 2 years later. This massive investor support for an already high-performing platform is a show of faith that’s only going to ensure the platform continues to improve.
- No game support: Bubble may be a robust platform, but it cannot be used to develop the kind of graphics or logic required for gaming platforms. If you’re looking to develop a game, you’d need to look elsewhere.
- Complex algorithms: While Bubble has continued to expand to implement increasingly complex logic, there remain limitations around developing custom algorithms. For instance, you cannot build complex algorithms like Google or Facebook’s algorithms using Bubble.
- No direct support for native mobile apps: The Bubble platform is built primarily for the web. While it works excellently on the mobile web, you’d have to look outside of Bubble’s official ecosystem to implement native mobile apps. Thankfully, with third-party tools like BDK Native Apps, Codeless Academy, or ZeroQode you can get external support to convert your web app into a mobile app. The Bubble team also has plans to build for mobile, which should be possible with their recent raise.
- Learning curve: Bubble is an easy-to-use platform once you’ve gotten comfortable with how the powerful tool works; particularly when compared with learning to code. Unfortunately, with the flexibility and power it provides for customization comes a steep learning curve.
2. Webflow – Responsive, Visually Appealing Web Design
Webflow is no-code’s answer to dynamic frontend design. Built to supercharge your design, Webflow enables you to design and build a fully responsive website without writing a single line of code.
Like other prototyping applications, Webflow allows you to sketch out a prototype for your project, box by box. But you wouldn’t have to build an actual website differently as your prototype is already infused with the code needed to make it into a website.
Like Bubble, Webflow can be difficult to work with for first-timers. This is hardly surprising as Webflow comes packed with a ton of functionality for maximum customization. Once you get a hang of it, though, it is an excellent choice for development.
- A wide range of templates and customization options makes Webflow a designer’s paradise
- Great for attractive, responsive, and visually dynamic websites
- Excellent support for ecommerce and dynamic content building
- With $140 million just raised in January 2022, we can only expect even more growth from the platform
- Limited backend capability with more focus on design than development and custom functionality
- Steep learning curve for non-tech persons
3. BuildBox – No-Code Solution for Game Development
Buildbox has to be one of my more surprising finds diving headfirst into the world of no-code. This is a drag-and-drop game engine that empowers anyone to create high quality games. Absolutely no coding knowledge is required to use this app.
BuildBox offers game developers everything they’ll need to create a fairly complex game from within its software. This includes the creation of multiple worlds, addition of smart assets (2D or 3D), effects and animations, and customization of your workflow as desired.
BuildBox also ships games to both desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) platforms. Unfortunately, game development has to be done on a locally installed app, meaning collaboration isn’t a possibility.
- Creates 2D or 3D games for Android or iOS without coding knowledge
- Implements decent workflows and gaming logic
- Add smart assets into your game
- Struggles with extremely complex logic
- Customer support can be improved
- Learning curve is steep for new users
4. Airtable – A New Way to Manage Data
If you’ve sometimes wished for a platform that marries all of the best features of a spreadsheet with the best features of a database, then Airtable is your answer. This cloud collaboration service brings you all of the features you wished your spreadsheet had.
Airtable boasts an intuitive interface that immediately shows you what’s going on. Fields are similar to that of a spreadsheet, but you can select different field types for different data types – text, images, drop-down lists, phone numbers, checkboxes, etc.
You’ll also be able to create a full-fledged database with columns and sorting options. Collaboration with others is easy, and its data can be integrated with both traditional and no-code solutions.
- Build intuitive spreadsheets and leverage each one as a database
- Connects with hundreds of apps and services and enables programmatic access to your content
- Easy to share data and collaborate with others
- With an $11 billion valuation and $735 million raised in its last round, the company has lots of room for growth
- Priced on a per-run basis which can get expensive for heavy users
- Unlike other no-code tools, airtable databases cannot be published directly to the end-user, as third-party apps/services are needed to make its data useful
5. Adalo – Simple No-Code Tool for Mobile Apps
If you’re going the mobile application route for your product, Adalo makes for a great development choice. Primed for mobile development, Adalo is surprisingly easy to use. It makes prototyping your desired app super easy and fun.
Like other no-code platforms on this list, Adalo leverages drag-and-drop functionality for app building. It also supports enough integrations to extend your app’s functionality. Most importantly, it enables you to push directly to Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
- Very simple to use without being overly simplistic
- Publishes native apps to both Google and Apple stores
- Integrates nicely with other tools
- Excellent customer support for users
- A small ecosystem means there’s little support outside of official channels
- Feature set is fairly limited for complex actions/logic
- Compared with competitors, its $8 million raise is very modest and ultimately places some limitation on what the company can provide for platform functionality
Choosing A No-Code Application for Your Needs
If there’s anything you should take away from this piece, it’s that no-code tools tend to specialize. There’s other tools like Zapier which is used for workflow automation, Voiceflow for voice app development, and Scapic which brings AR (augmented reality) for product display into a no-code tool.
So, before deciding on which no-code tool should serve you best, you must be clear on what you’re trying to build. Of course, you also need to select the best no-code tool within your chosen category, as there are plenty of options in each category too.
For users looking to build a web app that would also include a mobile app, you really can do no better than Bubble. This powerful, highly customizable, and secure platform is a cheaper, faster, and more efficient way to build.
Wondering how to get started with Bubble? Take advantage of our extensive Bubble course library today and begin building Silicon Valley’s next big startup on Bubble!