No-Code

No-Code vs Low-Code: Similarities, Differences, Use Cases and Tools in 2022

by
Jon Reilly
,
August 10, 2022

No-code tools allow business users with no coding skills to create the applications they need, without any help needed from developers. Low-code tools simplify the process of creating applications by automatically generating code based on input from the user, but some coding skills are still required.

Less than half a percent of the world's population can write code. That means that for every two hundred people, only one can help create the software applications we increasingly rely on. This is a serious bottleneck, and it explains why there's so much interest in no-code and low-code platforms. 

These tools can also be used to optimize business functions like marketing and HR, and fix operational inefficiencies. If you’re running any sort of business, it’s important that you understand how no-code and low-code work, the difference between them and how you can apply them to your business. 

This is what we’ll tackle in this article - we simplify no-code and low-code, explain the differences between the two and show you how you can easily integrate it in your business processes and simplify your workflows.

What is no-code and low-code? What is the difference between the two? 

The concept or agenda behind no-code and low-code is the same - they simplify the process of development for apps, websites and software. Here’s how they work and the main differences between them.

A no-code platform has zero user-facing code involved. What this means is that whoever is using the platform does not need to know anything about code, as there is no point in the user experience where they would need to interact directly with code. 

Instead, they use relevant UI to enable the user to build and configure custom applications. This could include drag-and-drop builders or blocks that the end-user can use to add features.

For example, in WordPress there is the Block Editor, which follows a similar concept - it offers “blocks” for the users to choose from to add functions like paragraphs, images, links, quotes, CTAs, and so on.

The WordPress Block Editor, a no-code web design tool.

Low code platforms are typically used by people with some coding experience who want to create custom applications quickly without needing to write too much code. They typically use point-and-click interfaces, which allow users to build applications using pre-built blocks of code that they can customize as needed.

For example, in WordPress again, there is the “Blocks” system which also allows coders to add their own code into the backend and create their own advanced blocks.

Even IT teams and professional developers can benefit from no-code development platforms, to streamline time-consuming activities like DevOps and API management for more rapid application development. 

In fact, Gartner projects a 23% increase for the global market for no-code/low-code application platforms, driven by the increase in remote work. Forrester explains that low-code platforms can empower “citizen developers” to build new applications.

Why should you use no-code or low-code in your business?

No-code and low-code platforms are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes for a variety of reasons. These platforms typically require less time and money to create fully functional websites than traditional web development, making them an attractive option for businesses looking to save on development costs. 

Additionally, no-code and low-code platforms allow users with no coding experience or skills to create websites which would otherwise be impossible for them due to their lack of technical knowledge. This makes these platforms ideal for businesses that want to quickly create prototypes or MVPs without having to invest in hiring a team of developers.

At Akkio, we recommend no-code for businesses that want to quickly create prototypes or MVPs without sacrificing quality or features. After testing and experimenting with many no-code AI tools, we found that they lacked a balance between ease of use, performance and features. That’s why we built Akkio - a no-code AI tool that is end-to-end, with fast, free training to get results quickly, and a deep and effortless integration ecosystem. The best part? You can try it for free. 

Before we dive into Akkio, let’s take a look at the types of no-code and low-code platforms available, and examples of each.

Types of No-Code/Low-Code Platforms

There are low-code/no-code solutions for every type of project imaginable. Here are 10 industry verticals and no-code/low-code provider examples:

  1. Web Development: Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Webflow
  2. App Development: AppSheet, Glide
  3. Gaming: GameMaker, Unity 3D
  4. Newsletters: Mailchimp, Substack
  5. Analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel
  6. Artificial Intelligence: Akkio
  7. Blockchain: ForkChain, VoltusWave
  8. Data Visualization: Tableau, Looker
  9. IoT: Axonize
  10. AR/VR: PlugXR, XR.+

No-code and low-code platforms democratize the process of building digital products, making it possible for anyone with an idea to bring it to life without learning to code.

If you’re a non-technical founder with an idea for a digital product, no-code and low-code platforms are the perfect way to get started. And if you’re a developer, these platforms can help you build prototypes and MVPs faster and easier.

Let's explore a few tools in each aforementioned category, so you can get a better idea of what's out there.

Web Development

Is your web development team struggling to keep up with the pace of change? Are you looking for ways to accelerate development cycles and reduce time to market?

If so, you're not alone. Traditional web development needs HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages to function. But there's a new breed of development tools that don't rely on code—no-code or low-code platforms.

There are many benefits to using no-code/low-code platforms for web development. They can help you:

  • Reduce development time and costs: No-code/low-code platforms are much faster and cheaper to use than traditional coding languages.
  • Increase collaboration and productivity: These platforms make it easy for non-technical team members to participate in the development process. That means more people can work on projects at the same time, which can boost productivity.
  • Improve quality and reduce errors: With no code to debug, there are fewer chances for errors. That can lead to higher-quality products being released faster.

Let's look at a few platforms in this space.

WordPress

Launching in 2003, WordPress is one of the earliest and most popular no-code/low-code platforms. Instead of coding, WordPress uses a simple interface that lets you drag and drop modules to build pages. It comes with a range of plugins and themes to help you extend its functionality and customize its appearance. Plus, it's free to use, though you can pay for features like easier payment collection, plugins, and premium themes.

Over the years, WordPress has become more powerful and flexible. It can now be used for everything from small websites to large eCommerce stores. If you’re looking to modernize an outdated front-end, then WordPress could be a powerful solution.

Wix

Wix is another popular no-code/low-code platform that launched in 2006. Like WordPress, it offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface for building websites. But Wix takes things a step further by also providing access to a range of tools and features that make it easy to create professional-looking sites without any prior experience.

One key difference between Wix and WordPress is that Wix is a proprietary platform—that means it's not open source like WordPress Core. That means you'll have to pay for a subscription to use it, but in return, you'll get access to premium features and support.

Shopify

Shopify is a no-code/low-code platform that's specifically designed for eCommerce stores. It launched in 2006 and now powers over 1 million businesses in 175 countries.

Shopify is easy to use and comes with everything you need to create a professional online store. It offers a range of ready-made themes and plugins, plus it integrates with all the major payment processors. Plus, if you need any help, Shopify's 24/7 support team is always on hand.

The downside of Shopify is that it's not as flexible as some of the other options on this list. For example, if you want to add a blog to your store, you'll need to use Shopify's built-in blogging tool—you can't easily integrate an external blog like you can with WordPress. 

Weebly

Weebly is another no-code/low-code platform that's similar to Wix and WordPress.

Like the other platforms on this list, Weebly offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface for building websites. It also comes with a range of features and plugins to help you extend its functionality. Plus, it offers a free plan so you can try it out before deciding whether to upgrade to a paid subscription.

One key difference between Weebly and the other platforms on this list is that it doesn't have as many ready-made themes and plugins. That means you'll need to be more hands-on when it comes to customizing your site. But if you're looking for a platform that's easy to use and gives you more control over the design of your site, Weebly could be a good option.

App Development

The majority of Internet users today engage with applications on a daily basis. We use apps to book taxis, order food, check the weather, and stay in touch with our friends and family. With the ubiquity of smartphones and the availability of high-speed Internet, it's no wonder that the app economy is booming.

There are two main ways to develop an app: traditional coding or no-code/low-code solutions. On Android, the former involves writing code in Java or Kotlin; on iOS, it's Objective-C or Swift. Traditional coding is the more difficult option and requires a greater investment of time and resources. It also comes with the risk of errors that can be costly to fix.

In short, building and maintaining even simple features involves reinventing the wheel each time.

No-code/low-code solutions, on the other hand, allow you to develop an app without writing a single line of code. These platforms provide a visual drag-and-drop interface for creating apps. They also come with a wide range of built-in features and templates, so you don't have to start from scratch.

AppSheet

One of the most popular no-code/low-code app development platforms is AppSheet. AppSheet is a cloud-based platform that runs on top of Google Sheets, Forms, and Drive. It has many prebuilt app templates that you can customize to your needs. AppSheet’s pricing starts at $5 per user, per month.

GoodBarber

Another popular no-code/low-code platform is GoodBarber. It's used by major brands like Siemens, Levi’s, and Fox. GoodBarber provides a drag-and-drop interface for designing your app's layout and user experience. It also offers a wide range of features, including push notifications, in-app purchase support, and social media integration.

GoodBarber costs from $25 to $200 a month, depending on your needs and the complexity of your business applications.

Gaming

COVID-19 proved to be a powerful catalyst for the already exponentially-growing gaming market, which is expected to exceed half a trillion dollars in revenue by 2028. The pandemic has driven an increase in gaming due to increased free time and a need for social connection while physical distancing. This surge in popularity presents an opportunity for businesses to enter the market or expand their existing game development capabilities.

There are many different approaches to game development, but one potential solution is no-code/low-code platforms. These platforms allow businesses to develop games quickly and efficiently with little to no coding experience required. Additionally, they offer a high degree of flexibility and customization, making them ideal for businesses that want to create unique gaming experiences.

Unity's "Adventure Creator"

Unity is a popular no-code/low-code platform for game development that offers a high degree of flexibility and customization. The platform includes an "Adventure Creator" which allows businesses to quickly create point-and-click adventure games, and beyond, without any coding experience. Additionally, Unity provides a wide range of assets and tutorials to help businesses create more complex games.

Unreal Engine 4's "Blueprints" system

Unreal Engine 4 is another popular no-code/low-code platform that enables businesses to develop high-quality 3D games. The platform features a "Blueprints" system, which allows businesses to visually design and script game logic without writing code. Additionally, Unreal Engine 4 provides access to a wide range of tools and resources that can help businesses further customize their games.

Buildbox

Buildbox features a "drag and drop" interface that makes it quick and easy to create games without any coding experience. Additionally, Buildbox offers a wide range of templates, assets, and tutorials to help businesses further customize their games.

Newsletters

Once upon a time, creating a custom newsletter meant learning HTML for design, languages like PHP for dynamic content, and having a MySQL database on the backend to store all of your subscribers. But that's no longer the case!

Nowadays, there are plenty of platforms that allow you to create newsletters without having to touch a single line of code. And while some may argue that this makes newsletters less custom and more "cookie cutter," we believe that it opens up the opportunity for anyone to create a beautiful, engaging newsletter - regardless of their technical skills.

SubStack

Substack became a household name in the pandemic, amidst the rise of the creator economy. It's a free platform that allows you to start a newsletter with zero coding required. You can easily import your existing blog posts, or write new ones directly in the Substack editor. And if you want to get fancy, you can use HTML to customize your design.

But Substack isn't just for writers - it's also great for businesses who want to start sending regular updates to their customers. With Substack, you can segment your subscribers and send different content to different groups. For example, you could send product updates to your customers, and behind-the-scenes content to your fans.

Revue

Revue is another great option for those looking to start a newsletter with no coding required. It's similar to Substack in that it's easy to use and has basic HTML customization options. But where Revue shines is in its integrations.

If you're already using a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to manage your social media accounts, you can easily connect Revue and repurpose your content across multiple platforms with just a few clicks. And if you're using WordPress, there's a Revue plugin that makes it even easier to get started.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a tool that's specifically designed for email marketing, and it has a wide range of features that make it perfect for newsletters. With ConvertKit, you can easily segment your subscribers and send them targeted content. And if you want to get really granular, you can use ConvertKit's tagging system to track which topics each subscriber is interested in.

But the best part about ConvertKit is its automation features. With ConvertKit, you can automate your newsletter from start to finish. For example, you could set up a welcome series for new subscribers, or an automation that sends out new content as soon as it's published on your website.

Analytics

If you want to understand how people are using your product, you need analytics. Analytics platforms provide data that helps you track user behavior, understand what’s working and what’s not, and make data-driven decisions about your product.

Google Analytics is the most popular analytics platform in the world. Google Analytics lets you track website and app usage, understand where your users are coming from, and track conversions. Google Analytics is free to use.

Mixpanel is another popular analytics platform that’s often used by mobile apps. Mixpanel lets you track user engagement, understand what features are being used, and track conversions.

Artificial Intelligence

Employee attrition has skyrocketed during a relentless "tsunami" of resignations. Churn, too, has spiked, as consumers contend with sky-high inflation and a potential recession. Generating leads in the first place is increasingly challenging in an ever-noisier and more competitive marketplace.

What if any business metric, from attrition to churn to conversion, could be easily and quickly improved with a new technology? And what if that same technology were accessible to organizations of any size, without the need for a large staff of highly trained engineers?

Enter no-code/low-code AI. No-code/low-code AI is a new class of application development platforms that enables citizen developers to quickly build and deploy applications using machine learning with zero or minimal coding. These platforms allow organizations to rapidly prototype and deploy AI applications with little or no IT involvement.

No-code/low-code AI is particularly well suited for time-sensitive, mission-critical applications where traditional software development would be too slow. For example, an insurance company might use no-code/low-code AI to quickly develop and deploy an application that detects fraud in real time.

Akkio

Akkio is a fully no-code/low-code AI platform that empowers citizen developers to quickly build and deploy AI-powered applications with zero or minimal coding. Akkio is purpose-built for the enterprise, with robust features and capabilities that meet the needs of the most demanding organizations.

Akkio is particularly well suited for time-sensitive, mission-critical applications where traditional software development would be too slow. For example, an insurance company might use Akkio to quickly develop and deploy an application that detects fraud in real time.

With Akkio, there's no need to hire expensive data scientists or specialist engineers. Akkio makes it possible for any business user to quickly develop and deploy AI applications.

The benefits of no-code/low-code AI are clear:

  • Quickly prototype and deploy AI applications with little or no IT involvement
  • Reduce the time, cost, and risk associated with traditional software development
  • Empower citizen developers to build AI applications without the need for data science expertise

If your organization is looking to quickly develop and deploy AI applications, Akkio is the platform for you.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology is often hailed as a transformative force that has the potential to upend traditional business models and create new ones. But while the underlying blockchain infrastructure is still in its early stages of development, a new class of no-code/low-code platforms is emerging that is making it possible for non-technical users to build decentralized applications (dApps) with little or no coding required.

This is a major development because it lowers the barrier to entry for dApp development, which in turn accelerates the adoption of blockchain technology by businesses and organizations.

Traditionally, complex "smart contracts" written in programming languages like Solidity were required to deploy a dApp on a blockchain. But with no-code/low-code platforms, all that is required is a graphical user interface (GUI) and some basic drag-and-drop functionality. This makes it possible for non-technical users to build dApps without any prior coding experience.

The Bunzz no-code/low-code platform makes it easy for anyone to create and launch a dApp. Bunzz also has built-in support for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols, which allows users to easily create dApps that offer lending, borrowing, and other financial services.

Data Visualization

Data visualization platforms enable you to turn data into beautiful visualizations that help you understand complex concepts quickly and easily. Data visualization platforms are used by everyone from businesses to journalists to academics.

Tableau is one of the leading data visualization platforms. Tableau lets you create interactive data visualizations with ease. Tableau also offers a wide range of features, including mapping, analytics, and collaboration tools. 

Looker is another popular data visualization platform that’s often used by businesses. Looker lets you create beautiful data visualizations and dashboards with ease. Looker also offers a wide range of features, including collaboration and data insights. 

IoT

The Internet of Things is a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items that are connected to the internet and can collect and exchange data. IoT is a rapidly growing industry with a wide range of applications, from smart homes to connected cars.

Losant is one of the leading IoT platforms. Losant enables you to quickly build and deploy IoT applications without writing any code. Losant also offers a wide range of features, including device management, data visualization, and rules engine. 

AR/VR

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two of the hottest emerging technologies right now. AR and VR are being used for everything from gaming to training to retail.

XR Plus is a no-code creative tool for making AR, VR, and metaverse applications, including features like dynamic QR codes, embasement marketing, geolocation, and AI-generated content.

No-code and low-code platforms are changing the way we build digital products, making it possible for anyone with an idea to bring it to life without learning to code. These platforms provide a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built blocks of code that you can use to build anything from simple websites to complex enterprise applications.

So if you’re looking to build a website, app, or gaming platform without any coding skills, no-code and low-code platforms are the perfect solution for you.

No-Code/Low-Code Similarities and Differences

The debate between developers and business people about whether no-code or low-code development platforms are better for creating software isn't new. It's been going on for years, with each side arguing passionately for their preferred approach. But as the platforms have matured and become more sophisticated, the lines between them have begun to blur.

Similarities

Let's first look at the similarities between no-code and low-code platforms.

  • Both approaches aim to make it easier to create applications without needing to write significant code from scratch.
  • Both no-code and low-code platforms typically offer a visual interface that makes it easy to drag-and-drop different elements to create an application.
  • Both types of platforms can be used to create a wide range of applications, from simple tools to more complex ones.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the key differences.

Differences

  • No-code platforms require no coding skills at all, while low-code platforms still require some coding skills. 
  • No-code platforms are sometimes seen as more limited in terms of flexibility and customizability than low-code platforms, since they usually don't allow for much customization beyond what's already available in the platform. 
  • Low-code platforms generally take longer to learn than no-code platforms, since they require some understanding of code. However, once you know how to use a low-code platform, it can be faster to create apps with it than using traditional coding methods.

Which approach is right for you will depend on your needs and preferences. If you have no coding skills and you need to create applications quickly, then a no-code platform might be a good option. If you're looking for more customizability and you already have some coding skills, then a low-code platform might be a better choice.

How can you apply no-code to your business?

In recent years, no-code platforms have become increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. No-code platforms offer a way for businesses to build and launch applications without the need for coding or IT expertise. 

Akkio is one such no-code platform that offers a wide range of features and integrations that make it easy to build custom AI applications without code. For example, finance teams can use Akkio to predict fraud or forecast sales, sales and marketing teams can use Akkio to predict conversions or churn, and product teams can uncover customer insights.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. With Akkio, businesses can easily uncover valuable customer insights and turn their employees into no-code machine learning experts. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Get Started With Akkio

In this article, we've explored the tremendous versatility of no-code platforms and how businesses of all sizes can benefit from them. We've also highlighted Akkio as a leading no-code AI platform that offers an easy-to-use visual interface and a wide range of features. 

So if you're thinking about applying no-code to your business, there's no better time than now. With its low starting costs, easy learning curve and great scalability, no-code is the perfect solution for businesses of all sizes. Try a free Akkio account today and see for yourself how easy it is to build custom AI applications without code.

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