no code vs low code

9 MIN READWhat the Low-Code vs No-Code Landscape Looks Like in 2021

If you’re looking for a fast turnaround on app development (whether mobile or web), then you’ve probably experienced the no-code vs low-code debate.

» FREE DOWNLOAD: Launch Your Own Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with This Easy-To-Follow 12-Step Checklist

This has led to a heavy dependence on software development, taking months or even years to materialize into a usable product.

Software is responsible for powering the majority of processes today.

This is the exact problem no-code and low-code services solve.

Why Are Low-Code & No-Code Important?

Low-code and no-code platforms allow users to cut down on the development time of new applications and programs. Developing custom or personalized software used to be reserved for large corporations, but these platforms have changed the landscape.

Now, businesses of all sizes can afford to create their own personal solutions and in much less time.

No-Code vs Low-Code: Which Is “Better”?

Is no-code or low-code a better option for your business? The straightforward answer is that it depends on your use case. Each service offers different advantages and costs depending on how much you want to invest.

pricing page from Glide
Glide pricing tiers both for end-users and enterprises

Certain low-code services may require users to have a good understanding of coding.

However, low-code solutions allow the programmer to build the application in much less time. This can save you a considerable amount of money, as well as maintaining a shorter development time.

No-code solutions are exactly what they sound like. It’s a complete service that can construct an application with zero code required.

You will still need to think about how you’d like the program to look and act, and it will take time to put the whole thing together.

But you won’t need to have prior knowledge of coding or software development. 

What No-Code Platforms Are Meant To Do

No-code platforms are an all-in-one solution for building applications with no prior coding experience. These platforms provide the tools and framework that you need to take a program from an idea to reality without using any code. This can be an incredible cost saver and drastically reduces the amount of time and effort required.

The downside is that no-code applications can be somewhat limited when compared to a fully designed program. They may also lack the full and complete customization options you might otherwise get from traditional development.

Airtable's 25 automations limit
With AirTable you have a limit of 25 automations per base and you can create up to 25 actions per automation

No-code platforms offer a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows users to piece together a program without a single line of code.

When Does No-Code Become an Absolute No-Brainer?

No-code platforms aren’t there to fully replace software development. Instead, they offer a more cost-effective solution for those that don’t need overly-complex functionality.

Simple task automations or applications that require basic functionality are perfect no-code candidates. However, if you need something with more advanced features that may require a framework, platforms like Glide can also integrate with MySQL databases to achieve more conventional use cases backed up by the reliability of a decades-old technology.

How Low-Code Fits Into the Bigger Picture

Low-code is a combination of no-code and traditional software development. Platforms offer a drag and drop type interface, but they also allow for some level of coding as well. 

Additionally, low-code tends to be more malleable, meaning that it’s easier to scale and grow with the business. Open APIs allow the program to be edited as needed so it can be built to suit both cloud and on-premise applications.

The Difference Between Low-Code & Traditional Development

Interface from a low-code technology
Glide interface makes it really simple and easy to develop an app

Since low-code platforms allow for coding, it can be similar to traditional development in terms of the robustness of the project.

But low-code platforms provide a considerable amount of support, framework, and architecture to the programmer. This expedites the programming process considerably and even provides services that turn a multi-person job into a job that one person can handle.

Traditional development offers the most flexibility and customization at a bigger price tag and longer development time. Developers are able to choose the framework, code, and supporting applications, which gives the ultimate freedom to design and program an application.

4 Popular Low/No-Code Platforms & How They Work

There are several excellent low/no-code platforms currently on the market:

Low-Code Platform: Glide

Home page for Glide
Glide is a prime example of a low-code platform that hugely streamlines cost of app development

Glide allows users to create their own app in an easy-to-use drag and drop editor. The platform offers both no-code and low-code usability so users can use it how they want. 

The apps can be used on iOS, Android, desktop, and can even be browser-based. The platform uses Google Sheets as a backend which can allow for easy data syncing and tracking. For users who need more, the Enterprise plan offers full SQL integration.

Overall, the platform is very simple and easy to use. 

The interface is user-friendly and the learning curve is almost nonexistent. In fact, Glide proclaims that certain apps can be made within 5 minutes. The platform also provides several templates which are pretty much pre-made apps that just need to be plugged in. This can cut down on time even further, and guarantees that you have a functional app in record time.

» Example of app built on Glide: First Look

No-Code Platform: Adalo

Home page for Adalo
Adalo is another example of a low-code app builder

Adalo is an all-in-one no-code tool that stores all of your app data in a single place. 

While Glide relies on Google Sheets for storage, Adalo offers a number of different options. 

Adalo is focused on providing features and flexibility to its customers which can raise the learning curve. While Adalo offers more options, it also means that it’s more complex when compared to competitors like Glide.

Low-Code Platform: Bubble

 Home page for Bubble

Bubble is certainly a low-code option as it offers a wide variety of options and features, but it suffers when it comes to ease of use. 

The platform can be quite complex and the learning curve is pretty steep. 

However, if you can stick with it then you will be rewarded with an in-depth tool that provides considerable functionality beyond a simple template. 

Bubble offers a lot of integration options and can scale quite well due to this. 

The platform provides a plugin that allows users to integrate with other third-party backends which can add additional capabilities.

No-Code Platform: Carrd

Home page for Carrd

Carrd is a very basic single-page website designer. It provides all of the basic functionality anyone would need to create a simple and straightforward single-page website. The platform makes it incredibly simple with a drag and drop editor and numerous pre-built templates. 

It also allows you to add additional functionality such as audio, widgets, forms, and buttons.

» Example of website built on Carrd: LowCode Agency


If you’re curious to know more about how these types of platforms compare, we’ve written a full breakdown of Glide vs Bubble looking into the details of how they work.

Get Your Own Low/No-Code Application Developed

Although the no/low-code movement is meant to help non-technical users create their own solutions, it’s still not that simple to design an app that’s functional and that provides a great experience to the end-user.

LowCode Agency home screen
LowCode Agency works to get you a highly-functional (and beautiful!) Glide app in just a few weeks

It’s important to make sure you don’t start investing in a technology which may be either over-or underkill for your specific use case.

Making this decision isn’t always simple, especially since some of the platforms hide their biggest limitations behind hours and hours of upfront work.

That’s where agencies like LowCode Agency can help you understand whether a low-code platform is the right choice, and what the investment for a completed app looks like.

Tell us about your project and we’ll guide you in the right direction!

Originally published Jul 31 2021

app development cost calculator
What is low-code and no code?

Low-code and no-code are terms that describe how much coding a project will require. A no-code platform allows users to create their own program or application with little to no programming experience. Low-code platforms can provide similar functionality with the addition of snippets of code that can be used to integrate custom APIs or more complex features.

Why is low-code and no-code important?

Low/no-code platforms are essential for a future that allows everyday people to create and build their own apps. Without these platforms, in-depth programming knowledge and a considerable amount of time is needed to create programs in a world where everyone needs one.

What’s the need for a no-code/low-code platform?

No-code/low-code platforms expedite the programming process by providing an easy-to-use platform for non-programmers. People with little to no programming experience can build their own apps by simply dragging and dropping different tools and widgets.

Is low-code better than no code?

While low-code offers customization and features that no-code platforms don’t, the right choice comes down to what your exact needs are. If you need a basic app that tracks information, then no-code is a perfect choice. If you need advanced features, low-code is a better alternative.

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