irst things first. The phrase no-code, in almost all circumstances means "Less code" or "Low code" and this is especially true when your project requires integrations of any sort. Throw in some conditional logic or special animated effect, and you'll almost certainly need to add some custom code.
But no-code has been a game changer for us
We started working with no-code back in early 2018 and built our first Webflow site. Moving from WordPress over to Webflow was like a breath of fresh air. In an instant we'd saved a day a month in terms of site maintenance (no need to update plugins) and were able to build out a powerful and flexible database structure without writing a line of code or spending anything on developer costs.
Best of all, we could design without limits. No more checking what the WordPress theme could do. As designers, we had a blank canvas to design any site we could imagine. Add to that, the built in animation controls and within a few hours we had some slick looking pages.
Webflow was one of the early pioneers of no-code and in the past five years a whole industry has grown at an unbelievable pace. Businesses, such as Bubble.io, Stripe, Zapier, Make, Mailchimp and Airtable are all shaking up the market. Each product is powerful in its own right, but when combined can provide clients with a world class solution at much more affordable prices. For example, web applications that may have cost six figures just a few years ago can be built on five figure budgets. Smaller projects, that maybe edged into five figures are now four figures and so on.
No code democratises and lowers the barriers of entry
Webflow and Bubble provide the base toolsets for Sandlebridge to built rich web applications at a fraction of the cost of traditional development. But there are other benefits too:
- API connectors that allow us to integrate with payment processors, accountancy software and marketing tools
- Faster time to market - think MVPs and Prototypes to test the market
- Lower testing and de-bugging costs
- Hosted solutions, where someone else takes care of server architecture and environment
- Scaleable and fast-loading
Nothing is perfect.
Project budget are never perfect. Developers aren't perfect. No-code isn't perfect. So what drawbacks do you need to consider?
- You might not be able to achieve 100% of your custom requirements (is 95% good enough to justify cost/time savings?)
- The technology is rapidly evolving, so the integration you need today may not be available yet
- To some degree, you're tied into a proprietary platform (though migrations and APIs can help you move your site later if you need to)
- Some suppliers haven't much experience in no-code, low-code, so you need to choose carefully. Your project isn't somewhere for a newbie to 'cut their teeth'
- It's not a magic bullet, you still need to invest time in the brief, the design and UI.
What can you build with a no-code tech stack?
It wouldn't be an exaggeration, to say almost anything is possible. In the past few years we have created software-as-a-service web applications, membership sites, eCommerce and more all with low code approaches. We even launched our own membership CRM, built on the Bubble.io stack and a marketing site to promote the CRM that was built on Webflow. This combination allows us to market the CRM from a traditional website built on Webflow, and sign the user up to a CRM plan via Stripe. Once they are signed up, the CRM they utilise for their business is built on Bubble.
Choosing the right tools for the job is critical. And this is where experience really counts. A web agency that's been there before on similar projects can carefully guide you through the no-code maze. Can help set expectations, indicative budgets and best practise approach.
If you would like to learn more about how no-code can be used to power-up your business contact Phil Holt.