No-code and low-code development platforms are revolutionizing the way businesses build apps. The drag-and-drop functionality of low-code and no-code technology allows people with little to no knowledge of coding languages to turn their vision for an app into something tangible.
This is huge for startups with limited resources for app development, as well as many types of businesses that don’t have internal development teams to build their apps for them.
So, what’s the difference between no-code and low-code development, and which one should you be using?
No-code VS Low-code: What’s the Difference?
What is no-code development?
No-code platforms allow you to build an app from the ground up using drag-and-drop technology, similar to how drag-and-drop web builders let anyone build a site without needing to write any HTML.
As the name implies, there is absolutely no coding necessary to create a web-based app or software program using a no-code platform. This means that anyone with an idea for an app can get started designing a prototype right away.
No-code software builders don’t only let you build prototypes, though — they allow you to launch multiple iterations of fully functional and scalable apps.
It’s important to note that no-code development does have its limitations and is not a replacement for traditional code-based development. Rather, it is a way to make building and testing apps more accessible to everyone.
What does low-code mean?
Low-code is similar to no-code, except that it does require some basic knowledge of coding to use. Low-code platforms let you build apps that are somewhere in the middle between traditionally developed apps and no-code apps.
Since low-code platforms do allow you to code in addition to offering drag-and-drop features, they offer more flexibility for customizing the apps you build with them.
Low-code is a good solution if you want to build something without the limitations of apps built with no-code platforms but don’t have the skills or resources to code an app completely from scratch.
Who Should Use No-code Platforms?
No-code development is ideal for businesses that aren’t traditionally tech-savvy and may not have access to internal development teams.
For example, banks and other financial institutions can use no-code platforms to quickly and easily design apps that help improve the digital customer journey in banking.
The financial services industry has been notoriously slow to transition to digital, and the lack of internal IT teams has been one of the key challenges of digital transformation in banking. No-code platforms help bridge the skill gap and make it much easier to build functional financial apps with limited resources.
No-code app-building is also a great resource for companies who wish to quickly make internal apps for use in different departments, which don’t necessarily have to be polished and perfect.
Even if your company does have an IT team, you can have individuals within each department who know exactly what functionality they need in an app to build the app using no-code technology. This can free up resources in your IT department, so they can be used where it’s absolutely necessary.
Who Is Low-code Development Right For?
Low-code platforms can be a great choice for people just starting out with coding. They allow you to practice coding, but you can fill in gaps in your knowledge using the visual drag-and-drop functionality of low-code technology.
You may also choose to use low-code development to simply get things done faster. Even if you have a development team, it can still take a lot of time (and money) to code apps from the ground up. By allowing your developers to use no-code technology, you can launch apps much more quickly and at a lower cost.
For instance, whereas programming an app the traditional way can take weeks or months, building an app with low-code development can take just days or even as little as a few hours.
Someone knowledgeable with code will be able to manipulate low-code platforms very efficiently to get apps from the drawing board to testing in an incredibly short amount of time, meaning they’ll have more time for other, more complex programming tasks.
Choosing Between No-code and Low-code Platforms
Do you have any knowledge of coding?
If you have zero knowledge of coding but you want to build an app, then no-code development is the way to go. However, if you do know how to code, are learning, or want to learn, then low-code platforms might be the better choice for you.
How much flexibility do you want?
Though no-code platforms offer the fastest and easiest way to build apps, they also offer the least amount of flexibility in the design. With no-code technology, you are limited to purely visual, drag-and-drop design. You cannot enter any code to customize apps you build with these platforms.
If you want a more customizable app, especially if you foresee the need to add more complex functionality down the road, then low-code development is probably the better option for you.
Will others be collaborating on app development?
Before choosing no-code or low-code, you should also consider who will be contributing to the app development. If it’s just you or one other person who knows a bit about coding, low-code may be suitable.
However, if you anticipate that others, who don’t know anything about coding, will be collaborating on your apps as well, you should probably stick to using no-code platforms that anyone can work with.
Low-code and no-code platforms are disrupting the programming industry and making app development more accessible to anyone with an idea for an app. Whether you’re exploring ideas for your next startup or you’re looking for ways to easily build apps for internal use in your company, both no-code and low-code development are options you should consider.
If you don’t know the first thing about programming, are comfortable with visual design, and don’t mind limited customizability, no-code development is a good way to go. If you do know how to code a little bit and want more flexibility, using a low-code platform is an excellent middle ground between traditional development and no-code development.