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The Rise of No-Code and its Benefits to SME's

Demand for software is now at an all time high. With global demand exceeding that of the supply of coders, the development of no-code platforms is helping businesses not only escape their reliance on software developers, but empowering them to explore new, exciting no-code platforms to plug the gap. Hence why we're on a mission to become the leading no-code digital marketing agency in Wales (just to start.)

The future of coding is no coding at all.

The above quote is from Chris Wanstrath, CEO of Github. For those of you unfamiliar with Github, it’s a platform with over 50 million programmers. So his opinion holds quite a lot of weight around this discussion. Not convinced? How about some figures:

Forrester conducted a market study and expects the market for low-code development platforms to increase to $21.2 billion by 2022, up from its 2017 valuation of $3.8 billion.

Now this isn’t to say that coding is going to become non-existent in the future, no-code platforms themselves are run on code, it’s the user interface that’s codeless/low-code. What we do expect, is for rapid growth and development for software developments. Particularly for SME’s where the necessity for custom coding within software is often not required, and its no-code alternative can be used instead.

The accessibility of such platforms means that businesses can hire/build software at a fraction of the price compared to coding from scratch. This allows organisations to grow their business either externally through customer facing software, or internally with bespoke CRM systems.

What is No-Code?

No-code development platforms are tools for building software applications without coding (hence, no-code). It’s a fantastic way for non-technical business users who want to build their own applications, bridging the gap between idea and product. The no-code industry comprises of various platforms all of which have different functions, whether it be website development, web applications, mobile applications etc, there’s a platform with a solution.

No-Code & Low-Code

So, No-code is exactly what it says, 0 code needed. However, there’s also something called low-code, which is exactly that, it uses very little code. Is there any point in this? Absolutely. We’re not on a crusade to destroy the coding industry, not at all. In fact we’re strong proponents that the greatest assets for SME’s in particular, is a blend of no-code platforms with the addition of code (low-code). This blend allows for not only greater customisation of applications that you wouldn’t get through no-code alone, but can also add greater powers and expansions to your application.

The argument for Coding

Coding needs no argument, there will always be a market for coding. Coding is what propels technology into the future and adds greatest benefits to everyday life. If you’re reading this, you’re doing so because of the beauty of coding (unless a friend has printed this article off and sent it in the post to you.) What we instead believe is that the possibilities of coding shouldn’t be limited to those that know how to code, ideas shouldn’t be left as just ideas anymore, with no-code platforms you’re able to build such platforms, coding experience or not.

The benefits to No-Code

The main benefit to no-code is the ability of rapid deployment. From ideation to product, with no-code platforms you’re able to speed up the process that would on average take a coder much longer. It also allows for the design and development to be done in harmony, rather than by two separate teams, therefore creating a reduction in costs.

Our Top No-Code/Low-Code Tools

Web Design

  • Webflow - Our go to platform for designing and developing websites. Their intuitive, powerful platforms enables rich, interactive sites to be built in record time. Their platform comes with a range of unique design abilities, whilst bridging the gap between drag and drop and coding. Their CMS collections feature mean creating and updating blogs, jobs and more are done with ease.
Webflow web-design platform
Webflow CMS in action
  • Carrd - build simple, fully responsive 1 page websites with card. This is a great platform for photographers, professional networkers or job seekers who want a simple, easy to use site displaying all of their work, contact info and more.
Carrd, simple one-page websites
  • Editor X - launched by parent company 'Wix', Editor X is their advanced version of the original platform. Editor X is essentially similar to Webflow, however it's still in its infancy stage so their are many features lacking compared to its competitor. Nevertheless, it's still a great platform to use compared to sites like Wordpress.
Editor X, visual drag and drop design platform
  • Wordpress - the most famous of all the web-design platforms. Whilst we are advocates of wordpress and its capabilities, we tend to stay away from it where we can. The need for consistent updates to plugins allows for data and security breaches across a lot of sites, resulting in lower search rankings and compromised sites and a poor User Experience.
Wordpress, the most common web design platform for SME's

Mobile Apps

  • Glide - simple, yet effective. Create a mobile app from a Google Sheet in 5 minutes for free. It doesn't matter if you're a spreadsheet wizard or not, their platform comes with a ton of pre-built apps that you simply need to put your own data into and you've got yourself a mobile app. Create an employee directory, issue reporting app, or track inventory, all with no-code.
Glide, build apps from spreadsheets. 0 Coding required
  • Adalo - the no-code platform allows users to make visually stunning apps. It differs to Glide in that it's perhaps more advanced with their database and customisation possibilities, but doesn't compromise on it's ease of use and intuitive design, both client and agency side. Some great examples are the ability to create an appointment booking app, or an estate agency app.
Adalo, if you can make a slide deck, you can make an app
  • V.One - turning out to be one of our favourite no-code app developing platforms, this relatively new company gives you all the tools needed to build an app your business can make best use of. Similar to both Glide and Adalo, V.One has all the same capabilities but a sleeker user interface, their capabilities of a membership gated app are something we're interested in utilising at some point.
V.One - a fast emerging no-code app building platform

Membership & Communities

  • Memberstack - create gated content only members can see on Webflow with the Memberstack API. The platform's seamless integration works perfectly with Webflow with 0 coding needed. Their sign-up system allows for a beautifully designed and inherently trustworthy payment feature using Stripe.
Memberstack allows you to create gated content only members can see on Webflow
  • Circle - Circle is the best way of creating a modern community platform. Their platform allows for businesses to designate specific community chat rooms and dashboards for all of their members to engage with one another. If you want your community to be gated by payment, you can integrate it with membership platforms such as Memberstack. If you're a community leader or your business models revolves around mentoring, we'd highly recommend this platform.
Circle.so allows for communities to be as engaging online, as in person
  • Servicebot - sell membership and allow users to self service their subscription plan. Servicebot allows integrations with mobile and web apps (with Webflow coming soon), allowing you to get payment for your services without sending an invoice, as well was users being able to manage their subscription all online.
Servicebot takes care of payments and subscriptions for you.

Web-App

  • Bubble.io - build bespoke web applications all without code. Yes, really, Bubble's application allows you to build your own software whether it be a real estate listing site or an online marketplace. See how Kappa built an online workout community below:
  • Stacker - turn your spreadsheets into web applications. If you're already using Airtable then this is the perfect way of turning your database into an app for either in-house use or a customer facing application.
Stacker turns spreadsheets or databases into web applications seamlessly

Automation

  • Zapier - turn manual, repetitive tasks into bespoke automated workflows with the best automation software on the market. Zapier allows you to transfer data, create triggers and more for specific tasks. Send custom automated emails to new leads, or create a new data entry on form fills.
Zapier integrates with thousands of systems.
  • Integromat - transform or transfer data with a visual data flow to see exactly the automations you have in place. With inegromat, you're able to see exactly how your automations are set-up, plugging into hundreds of platforms, like Gmail, Google Docs, and more.
Integromat's beautiful data visualiser for automations

Database

  • Airtable - a spreadsheet app on a mission to overtake excel as the go to system for businesses to create spreadsheets, or their very own database. We at doubleu use Airtable for just about everything, including; Lead management, tasks management, forecasting, expenditures and a CRM. Some use cases could be for estate agents lead and property management, management of projects and asset management.
Airtable is much more than spreadsheets.
  • Notion - your all in one workspace for notes, tasks, wikis and databases. No more lost documents to the server never to be found again. Collate business info, docs and resources all in one place for team members to easily access, creating a streamlined and coherent workforce. Management projects, dedicated tasks to team members, and just generally be more organised.
Notion keeps all relevant information in one place, for all your team to access.

Forms & Surveys

  • Typeform - changing the game in forms as a whole. Typeform allows you to create engaging forms, surveys, and interactive experiences that feel fun for the user, whilst looking beautiful and generating more responses. A few key features are their logic jumps (jump users to a different question based on their previous response) and data recall (recall information previously submitted to create a unique experience.) Check out ours to see how we use it, here.

Why we love No-Code

We're probably like a lot of you reading this, full of great ideas but no way of implementing them because we don't have the knowledge required to build a platform with code. So we're all in on no-code, we believe it's going to excel businesses through internal systems or customer facing applications that can drive sales, or increase engagement. If you're interested in how no-code can help your business, or have seen an application above you think is a great fit for your business, contact us for a free discovery meeting about all things no-code. Why not use our typeform contact form to get things started.

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