We all know how important apps are nowadays; whether they help businesses communicate with their client-base, accelerate automation and innovation, allow organizations to grow, or simply aid people in their personal lives, apps are all around us.
The mind-blowing thing is, it’s now easier than ever to build apps and software. You no longer need to spend millions, wait months and hire several developers to build your own app. It all comes down to low code/no code. Jaw-dropping apps, tailored to your needs and aesthetics, are at your very fingertips – you don’t even have to write one single line of code to make your app.
What’s tricky though, is figuring out the best way to create your app. It’s difficult to shuffle through all the different low-code/no-code platforms out there to figure out which will get you your dream app. Here at LowCode Agency, we’re experts in low-code app development, and we’ve built hundreds of apps. That’s how we’re able to help our community find the best solutions out there.
Today we’re going to try and compare Softr and Glide, which are two low-code app development platforms with their own set of tools, specificities, advantages and disadvantages. We’re going to be discussing which is the best low-code platform between the two, and what they both do an excellent and terrible job of, respectively. Let’s go ahead and get going.
Softr – Overall presentation
On the Softr website, a brazen claim is clearly displayed: “the easiest, fastest way to build a professional web app on Airtable. Zero learning curve.” Softr promises a simple yet powerful way of building apps and websites, all from the same easy to use interface.
Softr’s main selling points
A focus on member-only websites
The first thing you see when browsing through the “product” section of the Softr website, is the membership feature. There seems to be a focus on creating member-only websites. Membership websites are useful for businesses or users that need a private portal, for example:
- An interface for members of a club.
- A website for an association.
- A website for a non-profit organization.
- A website for private classes/coaching.
- A website for a fanbase community.
Softr claims to provide a “premium” experience for members, with user accounts that people can sign into easily, profiles that people can fill out, content with access restricted to different types of members, different types of membership plans, profile management, and premium content which members have to pay for to get access to.
Another apparent feature on the Softr landing page is the ability to accept payments easily. There’s a native Stripe integration which means Softr websites and apps can accept credit card payments, which can be recurring or on a one-time basis. There’s also the option to add Paypal and Gumroad checkout buttons to your website or app.
With Softr, you can also have the ability to create custom check-out pages with personalized messages and information, using logos and brand colors. They also offer the option to apply coupons and discount codes when checking out.
Strong SEO efforts
Softr seems to be big on SEO – there’s even a section dedicated to it on their landing page. They boast the ability to make sites accessible and easy to find through relevant image alt-tags and meta-tags. Lists are SEO optimized, which means you can rank high in the keywords included in your website. Softr also allows for integration with lots of analytical tools for SEO, like Google Analytics, HotJar, and Fathom so that users keep track of organic traffic.
Softr divides its pricing into four different levels: free, starter, professional, and business. Let’s see exactly what comes with those four different packages.
It’s also worth noting that Softr offers an Enterprise plan, though its price isn’t disclosed on the website, which includes SAML SSO, advanced security and controls, a custom contract, and a dedicated account manager.
Glide – Overall presentation
Glide really is one of the leading low-code/no-code tools on the market. It’s a tool that allows the easy creation of a mobile or web app: users can choose a template and import data from a Google Sheet, an Excel spreadsheet, or from scratch (which they call Glide tables). You can then edit your app or webpage until you’re happy with it.
Glide’s main selling points
Spreadsheets to apps in minutes
Glide gained popularity since its launch thanks to how easily it transforms spreadsheets into apps. It has now grown a lot since only being able to source its data from Google sheets, but it has kept its focus on seamlessly creating apps out of spreadsheets. This is great because it allows users to optimize existing tools – no need to spend hours sourcing data and information to create an app, you can simply import whole files full of the important info you want in your app.
An extensive template library
Glide’s template library is among the largest on the market. There are now over 400 app templates available in their library – which means users can choose from many different options that will most likely fit their needs. As they so rightly claim, “there’s an app for everything!”
2 products: Individuals & Starters and Business & Enterprise
Recently, Glide came out with a new payment scheme and also a new feature: Glide Pages. The difference between the two is pretty straightforward: Glide Apps is a tool to create seamless PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) and Glide Pages is a tool that allows you to make web pages. This could be anything from portals and gated content pages to dashboards and directories.
Glide has three products: Starter ($25/mo) for individuals building a few small apps, Pro ($99/mo) for teams building apps for many public & private users, and Business ($249/mo) for businesses building many large apps for employees & customers.
*Features depend on chosen plan
Softr vs Glide: the pros and the cons
Alright, so now that we’ve gone through Softr and Glide separately, let’s take a deep dive into their specific advantages and disadvantages. Let’s help you find out whether or not you should go with Softr or Glide for your app or web page project, according to what your needs and priorities are. We’ll be going through each criterion separately and figuring out who does it best.
Glide definitely does integrations and data sources really well. There are three data sources available with Glide. This means you can choose from Airtable, Google Sheets, and Excel to source the information you want your app to contain. The more data sources a low-code/no-code app has, the easier it’s going to fit into your current workflow and habits. You won’t have to spend hours transferring data onto your app, which is obviously a huge advantage.
Softr’s only data source is Airtable, which can be quite restrictive depending on what you usually work with. If you’re used to using Airtable however, this won’t be a problem for you.
Glide only integrates with 4 different tools:
- Google Analytics
This may be a disadvantage for you if you’re used to having a complex and layered workflow. If you’re not planning on integrating much, this won’t be an issue.
Softr, on the other hand, has many integrations. You’ll be able to integrate your Softr app(s) with anything ranging from:
- Google Analytics
- Fathom Analytics
- HubSpot Chat
- Buy Me a Coffee
- Facebook Pixel
- Google Tag Manager
- Iubenda Cookie Solution
- Airtable Form
- Google Maps
- Google Calendar
- Pexels (Stock Photos)
- Font Awesome (Icons)
Glide is actually the gold standard for responsiveness. If your app is responsive, it will be much more user-friendly, and just overall more seamless to use. Professional app and software developers know how important responsiveness is, and low code/no code allows users to achieve a responsive app without having to write code. However, it is important to keep responsiveness in mind when choosing your tool.
Unfortunately, Softr doesn’t yet make very responsive apps. This is paradoxical because they make PWA (Progressive Web Apps), which are designed to run smoothly on all devices. If your priority is for your app to be responsive, we don’t recommend going with Softr for the time being.
Custom actions and automation sequences
Glide has some really strong custom action and automation sequences available. You can create a huge number of combinations of actions throughout your app or webpage. This will allow you to end up with pretty much any automation sequence you may need. Some examples of actions you can couple up as you please include:
- Add row
- Compose email
- Compose text message
- Copy to clipboard
- Dial phone number
- Go back
- Link to screen
- Navigate to tab
- Open link
- Set columns
- Open web view
- And many more…
Glide also lets you set up what they call conditions, which are basically different scenarios within your automation sequence, which trigger different action sets. Glide really has a powerful automation feature.
Softr definitely hasn’t shown a focus on strong automation options, it doesn’t even mention automation or action sequences on its website. It’s not the best option if you’re going to need complicated automation sequences.
Quality of design
There’s a really good amount of design freedom on Glide. Obviously, design and aesthetics will most likely be an important deciding factor when choosing your low-code/no-code tool. We know how important it is to be able to fully enjoy using your app without being bothered by poor design. Glide has definitely understood that too, and with its layout tools, themes, and custom design elements, great app design is achievable.
In our opinion, Softr doesn’t do design as well as Glide does. There aren’t as many personalization options, and it’s harder to produce something truly aesthetically pleasing. It may be a question of personal taste though, and we’ve made dozens of beautiful Softr apps, so don’t let this discourage you.
One important thing to mention though is that Softr offers more list layout views. It has a video list layout view which Glide doesn’t have, so if you want your app to have lots of lists, this is something you might want to consider.
As we mentioned previously, there are over 400 Glide templates available to choose from. This means that you’ll probably never even need to start from scratch because there is so much available.
Though there are fewer templates available on Softr, they do include some quality ones, ranging from:
- Client portal
- Sales CRM
- Employee directory
- Investor portal
- Inventory tracking system
- Applicant tracking
- Paid member-only courses
- and more…
All in all, Softr does have a solid selection of client portals, internal tools, dashboards, marketplaces, online communities, resource directories, and websites.
Glide is honestly really good at security. Depending on what you want your app to do, and especially if it involves payment and sensitive information, security has to be a really important focus. Glide apps are pretty safe and secure.
Glide published a video discussing their security measures not that long ago, so feel free to check it out if you want to learn more about how secure your Glide app will be.
There isn’t actually much documentation available on Softr’s security aspects, so it appears as though security isn’t one of their main concerns. Glide is definitely more reliable on the security site, so keep that in mind if it’s important to you.
Another winning point for Glide is forms. It does a great job of offering options for creating custom forms. There are even quite a few form templates available that could help you.
Softr’s forms aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as Glide ones, and there are fewer personalization options, so unfortunately they aren’t a winner on the form side.
Complexity to build
All in all, Glide has quite a soft learning curve. It’s pretty straightforward and though it has powerful features, it’s quite easy to use. We definitely think Glide apps are less complex to build than Softr ones.
Though they claim to require “0 learning curve” on their website, Softr apps are actually quite complex to build, and therefore more expensive because they take longer. If speed and simplicity are your focus, definitely go for Glide and not Softr.
Softr vs Glide: who wins?
It really is difficult to choose between two low-code/no-code tools. It all depends on perspective, and focus. If you’re looking for an app that integrates with many different tools, definitely go with Softr. However, if you want an app that’s 100% aesthetically pleasing and has a high quality of design, go with Glide.
It really is up to you to decide which tool you want to use. Here at LowCode Agency though, we can definitely help – we’ve built hundreds of apps with both tools. We’ll be able to tell which is best according to your needs and considerations. Go ahead and book your very own free discovery call today. Together, with your great ideas and our experience and expertise, we can build your dream app!
Jesus is the founder of Low Code Agency: a low-code development agency that allows small business owners to get their mobile and web apps done fast and cost-effectively while maintaining quality.