The promise of no-code is significant. Create apps and websites without ever having to learn how to code. It opens up development opportunities for more people using a GUI (Graphical User Interface) rather than dealing with the nuances of coding.
In other words, don’t worry about the code that makes things happen, just drag and drop elements where you want them. It lets you visualize what things look like to the end-user.
For years, the industry has moved towards low code. Platforms such as WordPress, for example, allowed just about anyone to build robust, feature-rich websites by using pre-built templates and plugging in widgets and tweaking code. It required little to no coding knowledge to use some of the basic templates, but also allowed more tech-savvy users to customize it fully. It’s why 39.7% of all websites – and 64% of websites that use content management systems – are built on WordPress platforms.
Another platform embracing the no-code philosophy is Webflow. You can create full-blown websites, including eCommerce stores, with no coding necessary. Grab a template, drag and drop elements, and you’ve got a responsive website in no time. If you prefer, you can start from scratch and customize every element to turn it into a working product. When you place an element and customize it, the code to create that element is written for you. When you’re done, you publish it and all the technical stuff happens behind the scenes.
If you want to see the impact the no-code movement is having in development circles, Webflow just got another $140 million in a Series B round from Accel and Silversmith (returning investors). The new funding puts Webflow’s current valuation at more than $2.1 billion, according to TechCrunch. The latest round also included Capital G, the venture group fund from Alphabet (parent company of Google).
The Benefits of No Code
Besides not having to learn or write code, there are other significant benefits that are fueling the no-code movement.
- Increases the number of people that can develop products
You’re no longer limited to tech teams and developers since anyone with an idea can bring it to life. You can create more projects without tying up developers or having to wait while they work through other projects. In a traditional setting, business teams might come up with an idea and then ask IT teams to create it. When everyone can turn an idea into reality, it streamlines the process.
- Decreases the time to market
You can still use the rich functionality you need, but you can also create things in a fraction of the time. This decreases your time to market without sacrificing quality. It’s kind of amazing if you think about it. By automating the code build, you may be able to accelerate the development cycle by as much as 100X versus doing it manually.
- Aligns goals
In a traditional development cycle, there can be a disconnect between what business leaders want and what developers give them. It may be miscommunication or failing to be specific about what functionality is needed but things often get lost in translation. No code environments quickly create prototypes so it’s easier to make sure it’s what everyone wants.
- Gives greater flexibility
Without getting overly technical, no code makes it simpler to deal with data. Because no code is schema-free, you can store data without having to work in relational databases and make sure you’re integrating data in the structure required. Also, if you need to change something, you just change it. You don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to mess up the code or cause dependencies to break. It just works.
- Is cost-efficient
Complex coding is expensive. You need teams of highly skilled, highly trained, and highly compensated engineers. No code allows you to expand the pool of people that can create projects. It also reduces the maintenance required to modify, fix, or update code. For legacy projects, this often means reverse-engineering what someone else may have built. With no code, there are ongoing legacy maintenance costs.