A couple of years back, most websites and applications available on the internet rely on well-versed developers who had to spend if not hours, days’ worth to code. People who don’t have a deep understanding of the technicalities of creating a program have to hire or outsource developers. As technology becomes more advanced, anyone with computer and internet access can transform their ideas into an actual product. In the present day, it doesn’t have to take a whole department to build a website or an application.
Low-Code and No-code development opened opportunities for people to start and build their own business online even if they have little experience in programming. Before anything else, it should be clear that these methods do not eliminate writing codes but rather operate alongside a Graphic User Interface (GUI) where users can drag and drop functions, use templates, create flow charts and logical sequences without having to write thousands of codes from the ground up.
Both development tools provide a visual environment that makes the coder’s life easier by shifting the complexity of coding to focusing on the critical parts and functionalities of an application. Through these tools, citizen developers or even people with no programming experience who want to build something out of their ideas can build sophisticated applications and websites with ease. It means you can stay away from having to do the tedious task of coding and bring any digital product to reality.
If you are wondering where to start and what “no-code” and “low-code” actually means, here’s a discussion that can help inform your decision on which one to choose.
What is No-code development?
While it sounds counterintuitive that you can build an application without a code, the term-suggest no-code is designed to help you build an application without having to write a single code. No code tool can be a great place to start especially if you are new to programming. Instead of coding, you build fully functioning applications by using prebuilt and predesigned templates and functions that you can easily drag and drop.
Using no-code development helps developers get on a much faster path to get a working version of their app or website leaving more time to focus on more challenging problems that the project or the business has. Easing up on the technical area of a business would be beneficial particularly in start-ups where time and resources are still limited. No-code also revises and updates faster by simply adding or removing functions as needed. There are several no-code tools available for different types of applications you want to build such as Bubble, Glide, and Adalo. If you are to build a website consider checking tools like Webflow and Dreamhost.
While no-code provides a fairly straight-to-the-point approach and is far less expensive than having to hire a programmer, its templates and built-in functions may pose limitations to a start-up that wants to create more complex and custom applications. If you are looking for a specific feature that the available no-code tools don’t have, you may consider hiring an experienced team of developers to finish the project for you.
What is low-code development?
Low-code development shares the same benefits as no-code have – ease of creating and revising projects and low cost, they slightly trade a difference for added flexibility. If no-code tools limit your options as to designs and functions, low-code might be a good alternative to solve this problem. Low-code is gauged to support designing an application while still allowing traditional coding. While this requires some knowledge in programming, it is still relatively faster than having to start from scratch.
Similar to no-code development, low-code also uses visual representations to build an application. It may be necessary to have assistance in learning and writing supplementary codes to bring the application to full functionality. Online communities and learning platforms offer tips and tutorials about the tools they are using that can help start-ups get in the game. Platforms such as GeneXus, Zoho Creator, and Visual Lansa are a few of the no-code tools that can help you from set-up to deployment.
Which one to choose? No-code or low-code?
Having to know the benefits and challenges of no-code and low-code development, begs the question of which is a better option especially for start-ups. The answer lies in the complexity of your goals, how quickly you need to get it done, your budget and resources, and the skill set of your team.
For example, if the need to develop an application has to be done urgently you can do it yourself using a no code tool with simple functionality. This solves the pain points of traditional coding which is usually time and resource-consuming. However, this will have limitations and will most not likely work with complex projects.
On the other hand, if urgency is not a concern and you are willing to spend more time to build and curate your application, consider using a low-code tool. You will be able to customize your app with unique features using basic coding while being able to deploy it relatively quickly.