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No-Code vs Low-Code Development

No Code Guides

The combined low-code and no-code industry is estimated to be worth over $50 billion within the next 5 years and has changed development forever. In an age where traditional developers are costing more and more, whilst being hard to track down, the idea of platforms that allow a wider pool of people to develop new tools is an attractive one.

Gartner estimates that by 2024, 65% of all applications will be built using no-code or low-code platforms, in part because traditional development methods and resources cannot keep up with demand.

Many people, including industry experts, struggle to split these two approaches but there are clear differences, less so in the interfaces but more in their wider capabilities and the long term power they provide. Let us start by explaining the difference between low-code and no-code development.

What Is The Difference Between Low-Code And No-Code?

At their heart, low-code and no-code development have the same goal, taking the complex world of product development and making it more accessible. They are platforms that allow people to build basic to complex apps via a visual interface, with the big added benefit of being Platform as a Service (PAAS) based, so you won’t need expensive infrastructure.

Both platforms have drag and drop interfaces, they give you the ability to build your brand into the app and have options to connect with external data sources.

But this is where the similarities end.

A no-code platform, by its very definition, means building an app without adding any code. They tend to be used to create slightly more functional apps, for example, they are hugely popular for those looking to build an MVP.

Pure no-code platforms come with very little ability to customize the apps, meaning those using them will rely more on a templated approach with less flexibility on how the app will look and the functionality it will have. These people don’t have a large development team and want the platform to make decisions for them - best practice is built into the templates.

As a result of the simplicity, the training needed to use a no-code platform is far less than low-code. Finding no-code developers will be far easier, as a result, making it faster to kick off a project. That said, finding low-code developers is still a hundred times better (and cheaper!) than finding traditional developers.

Increased Complexity

As we move into low-code platforms, we start to see an increase in complexity and the options available to users. Clearly, this starts with the ability to add custom code, where the use of low-code developers becomes important. 

The advantage is that these developers come far cheaper than traditional ones, will be experts in the platforms and help you get the job completed much faster.

The possibilities when it comes to connecting with other technology and data are also greatly increased with a low-code platform. Your options will be greater, as will the array of things you can do with those external sources. This is definitely where hiring cost-effective experts in the platforms become a necessity.

One other significant factor between the two options is portability. Whilst not the case with all platforms, as a general rule it is easier to move your app around if using a low-code approach, whilst this is much harder (and often not possible) with no-code platforms.

Of course, the benefit of no-code to this lack of customisation is that as the platform gets upgraded, your app is automatically backwards compatible. With low-code where you have built custom code on top, you have the additional work of ensuring it's still compatible when a platform is upgraded.

In many ways, the difference between the two can be summed up by the chief goal of the platform. With low-code, it is about speeding up development without too much compromising, with no-code, whilst still very fast, its primary goal is the ease of use. On a more practical level, some define low-code as solutions that cover 90% of the coding needs.

Looking for no-code app developers? We can help. We can build any app or website you need quickly and for under $10k. Book a free call to talk about your project!

Which One Is Right For You?

Ultimately two factors will help you decide whether you need a no-code or low-code solution; the level of sophistication you need and the team you have to build it.

If you are looking to build relatively simple internal apps or are focused on building an initial MVP, then a no-code solution should cover your needs. You’ll be able to hire a couple of no-code experts and build out your app quickly and relatively cheaply.

However, if the needs are more advanced then you might be better served selecting a low-code approach and working with someone like WeLoveNoCode, where we have hundreds of experts ready to help you build your app.

If you already have a development team in house, then it is likely you’ll pick a low-code solution because they will be able to take the platform and build custom code on top to fit your exact needs. Even then, you have the option to supplement that team with good external contractors so that you are not slowed by your resources.

Use Cases For No-Code

Ultimately a good platform can be adapted to fit the needs of the business but no-code does work best for some specific use cases. Here are a few of them.

Minimum Viable Product

In many ways, the core reason for the rise of no-code was the ability for entrepreneurs to build out an MVP quickly, so they were fast to market and could get the attention of investors. With the help of a couple of cost-effective no-code experts, most businesses can have their product idea live within a couple of weeks.

Reporting and Dashboards

A very popular use of no-code is to build internal interfaces to report on performance. It is well set for collecting data from different sources and building that into an app that has a dashboard for people to access.

Landing Pages

One of the original uses for no-code platforms was building landing pages and simple websites. A platform like webflow is perfect for creating a landing page, it contains templates for multiple needs, so whatever your objective, you can build out the perfect page to drive traffic.

Use Cases For Low-Code

The use cases for low-code are more evolved and fit closer to specific requirements but they do cover some general themes.

Internal Productivity

Its greater capability means it is often used to build productivity apps for internal teams, allowing greater operational efficiency.

Managing Multi-Data Sources

Applications like simple banking apps utilise low-code platforms to pull in data from different sources (databases, APIs, cloud services etc…) and aggregate them to allow the user to access their information in one place.

Data Visualization

Increasingly businesses are looking to display data in compelling and easily consumable ways, so apps that can collect different data and output this in visual ways are a popular use of low-code.

Blurring The Lines

One very interesting point is how platforms class themselves. Many low-code platforms will also list themselves as no-code platforms and for good reason. Many of the leading platforms nowadays will offer the ability to create an app without any code at all. It’s a good way to start and attract customers.

However, they then offer the ability to start making changes and to access the code to evolve the app, essentially taking you into a low-code solution. This is where utilising good no-code experts becomes so key. Places like WeLoveNoCode are perfectly placed to help you in that transition and provide the cost-effective developers to create your perfect app or website.

Ultimately, the future of development is moving towards these no-code and low-code solutions are a startingly pace, with the eco-system around them growing exponentially. With the advantages they bring to modern businesses (speed, flexibility and cost) they are ideal and solve one of the great resource problems of the technology era, a lack of traditional developers.

If you are looking to join the no-code revolution and need support getting started, we have the skills and no-experts to help that happen. Get in touch and let us help build any app or website you need quickly and for under $10k. Book a free call to talk about your project!