Now you have an idea in your head. But how can you bring that idea into reality? What No-Code tools will empower you to build that kernel of an idea into a blossomed tangible business in the universe?
Prelude: Clarify Your Idea
Before I jump into the recommendations, I would like to ask you to think through your business model and operations of the app.
Regarding business models, think “how would my product/service make money?”. Is it a business that earns revenue from transactions or does it earn money from ads?
For operations of the product, think “how would my product work?”. Do I need to build a place for a community (for eg. similar to Facebook) or just a website that sells physical products?
The main takeaway from this is - the tools must match with the purpose of the app and business model.
This is easy. For a landing page, you only need one page. So, my recommendation is Carrd.
Carrd is appropriate for a static single-page site. Many users build landing pages with it to sell digital or physical products. Funnily enough, it is also popular Kpop fans, who build fanpages.
You may also need to stack it with a database and a API service. (More on that in part 2)
However, if you’re a marketer, you may need to build a landing page with A/B testings and many more features. For this purpose, you can use Unbounce Instapages and Leadpages.
If you want to build a website or a blog, I would suggest Webflow.
Webflow is a website builder that gives the user 100% freedom. You can change everything and you can do it visually.
It also has CMS which is useful to bloggers. What does this mean? You don’t need to change each page of a blog post. You only create one page that will be used for all blog posts. Webflow is smart enough to change the contents of the page according to the selected posts.
One underrated aspect benefit of Webflow is the lack of maintenance involved compared to Wordpress. It is common for Wordpress users to use many(!) plugins. And these plugins need to be maintained. If the website owner doesn’t maintain the plugins, the website may be down on the internet or it will have a subpar performance.
The main drawback to Webflow is that it has a steeper learning curve than other famous website builders such as Wix and Squarespace. But Webflow has recently released templates that will be very helpful to non-designers. Now, non-designers will only need to select the templates according to the purpose of each section.
Aside from Webflow, special mentions to Squarespace, Wix and Wordpress.
If you want to build an app and a website, Bubble is a no-brainer. This no-code tool gives you complete freedom — its limit is your imagination.
Many founders have used Bubble to build their vision. It not only works as a prototype but also a working website. It continues to act as a platform for many companies.
Look at the diverse businesses you can build with Bubble:
Job board for designers - Goodgigs
A platform for remote workers - Teeming
Trading platform for financial investments - OhMyGeorge
Online survey tool - Sprrkly
(The examples are included in here).
However, there is one downside from the freedom - it is very difficult to design a Bubble website. It requires you to measure your designs like an architect and systemise your Groups of objects on the Bubble canvas
Another notable web app is Adalo. The learning curve for Adalo is not as steep as Bubble and it is much easier to design. So, beginners will have an easier time here than Bubble.
However, there are limitations to what you can build on Adalo - this is because they are much younger than Bubble. But don't sleep on them, they are growing rapidly so I suggest taking a look at Adalo too.
Online courses platforms
Both these websites let the creators upload their videos and PDFs. It is seamless and simple to get going. Unlike the other services above, I have not used these two. So if you have any experiences tweet me at @nocodersclub.
This is a no-brainer. It has to be Glide.
If you have used Google Sheets before, then building in Glide will be familiar to you. Glide uses Google sheets for its database. This means your app will pull all its data from the previously-mentioned Google Sheet.
It’s surprising the types of apps that can be created. A few apps created:
(For more info, check out the use cases here)
The platform is intuitive to a first time app-creator. But if you do get stuck, the tutorials are clear and helpful. And the customer support button is there on the page, right where you need it most.
If you want to build a more powerful app, Adalo is there for you. Yup, the previously mentioned Adalo can be used as a mobile app. The design will be similar to the web app design but obviously on a much smaller screen.
There are many no-code e-commerce platforms out there but the most famous I would argue is Shopify.
Setting up a store on Shopify is straightforward and they have good documentation should you have any questions. There is usually a question mark if there are anything remotely technical to do.
One of the strong points of Shopify is that they have many apps to help in running your store. This would include marketing, sales analytics, inventory management, etc. But these apps are not free and would add up to your expenses.
(Note: There are many Shopify “gurus” out there so do your research on who to listen to.)
I actually waited for a few days before posting this. I wanted to check out this relatively new and exciting e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, I was not able to get access by then. The platform is Elliot.
Many articles have been written in the past few months about Elliot taking on Shopify. And I, like many others, love a good David vs Goliath story.
There are two things about Elliot that captured my interest: its pricing and its features.
The pricing (listed at the time of writing) is 1% of revenue. That is VERY low if you compare it to the incumbent. I honestly have a hard time on how it can survive but I hope it does for the benefit of all of us.
It also has features that would have been a paid app in Shopify. And as I’ve mentioned above, the cost of all the apps you use in your store adds up. So it’s great for a new store owner as they can use the capital for marketing, inventory or staff.
Interlude - A Conclusion to Part 1
As I was writing this, I realised that the post was getting too long. So I’ve split it in two with part 2 coming in a few days time.
If you do want to keep up with blog posts, do sign up for the newsletter below. And if you do have any questions, tweet me at @nocodersclub.
I’ll see you soon!
Hi! I'm Luqman Z.A. I love reading on self-improvement, self-care and business. I also love world literature (One Hundred Years of Solitude is hands-down the best work of fiction). I'm also a certified Chartered Accountant. (snore, i know)