For a really long time, the only people who could build websites were the tech-savvy. You had to know a fair amount of code and do all of the work of creating the functionality your site needed manually. Then came platforms like WordPress, and pretty soon, user-created sites were cropping up all over the Internet. Thus, the no code movement was born.
Now, the no code movement has been typified as more than just a PaaS category, but as a mission-based business model that’s leveling the playing field for small businesses and less technical players.
What is the No Code Movement?
The no code movement is a sector of web tools that make building apps, websites, and automations easy for people with absolutely no coding knowledge.
Sometimes called ‘low code’ or ‘visual development’, the no code movement represents an industry innovating on the heels of a mission: to make technology accessible to everyone.
Over the years, an array of tools and platforms have been developed to meet the market need for development tools that don’t require coding experience. These no code development platforms (NCDPs) have risen to the task of handling everything from visual web development, to no code form integrations, and even no code app development platforms.
In 2019, WebFlow hosted the No Code Conference in San Francisco, California, featuring industry speakers from platforms like Asana and Atlassian. Makerpad, an online community that plays host to a wide array of educational resources on the subject, now hosts over 180 tutorials and a community of over 1,500 members who grow and innovate in the space.
The no code movement has taken hold, and now, web development is officially anyone’s game.
But What About the Developer Job Market?
We’re a community of small business owners and developers here at Hostdedi, which puts us in the unique position of seeing both a benefit and a drawback to the no code movement.
While this new array of platforms and user-friendly tools enable small businesses to get a leg up on a shoestring budget, it also means that developers are being cut out of that process in some cases.
However, in spite of the availability of these tools, the web development industry is still predicted to grow at a rate well above average. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, web development from 2019 to 2029 is predicted to grow at a rate of 8%, thanks in large part to the massive growth of the ecommerce sector.
In addition to the strong demand for ecommerce developers, the demand to develop NCDPs is also providing job security to counteract the market share those platforms are simultaneously taking.
3 Benefits of the No Code Movement
It’s not just another SaaS gimmick – the no code movement is addressing some very real problems. Here are the Benefits of the No Code Movement:
1. Reducing the Developer Backlog
When you’re working on an app, even small changes in copy and design have to be fed into the development team’s queue. More often than not, that queue is already backlogged with bug and UX fixes that trump a minor change to branding.
With no code app development platforms, more team members can now work within the development environment, reducing the burden on developers to make minor changes to content.
2. Reducing Costs for Small Businesses
The average app can cost between $20,000 and $70,000 to develop, depending on the complexity. With no code app development platforms like Bubble, the costs can be as low as free, and as high as $500/month for developer accounts working on multiple applications.
3. Speeding Up Technological Inclusivity
It’s no secret that the tech world has struggled with inclusivity for a long time. There have been enormous pushes to diversify the industry, including coding classes for women and underserved communities, but the pace for the change that NCDPs can bring is much faster, empowering anyone with an Internet connection and a willingness to learn to go from idea-to-app in record time.
Drawbacks of the No Code Movement
Dependence on NCDP Platform
Like anything that makes starting a website or building an app easier, there are tradeoffs. In the case of NCDPs, the biggest one is your dependency on these platforms to keep your business going.
For example, if the form building tool you’re using suddenly goes out of business, you have a broken link in your system, and you’ll need to deploy a fix that may not work with your other integrations.
Another reason an NCDP may not make sense is that they’re not always scalable. While no code platforms are excellent, low-cost ways to validate an idea, ultimately as that business grows, it may require more robust solutions that require custom coding.
You can think of it like the use case for WooCommerce versus Magento. While a WooCommerce store is more user-friendly to build for someone without coding expertise and is incredibly scalable, it’s not the most practical ecommerce platform for enterprises who require extremely high-performance sites and a lot of custom development.
In short, no code development platforms work for a business until they don’t, at which point hiring a developer to build a custom solution may be required (but also, a lot more realistic given that you have an operational business at that point).
No Code Development Platforms We Love
Bubble is a no code development platform that empowers people with zero coding experience to build custom applications.
Zapier is an automation tool that allows you to connect different apps and set up event triggers to automate parts of your business and work, with absolutely zero coding.
Convert Pro is an email opt in and lead generation plugin for WordPress sites. We love it so much, we’ve included it with our Managed WooCommerce plans at the Creator level and above.
Beaver Builder is a visual building tool for WordPress sites that allows you to create customizable drag and drop designs – no coding experience required. It’s another one of our favorite WordPress plugins, and is included with all of our Managed WordPress/WooCommerce plans at the Creator level and above.
Mailchimp is as user-friendly as it gets when it comes to email marketing. Using this user-friendly tool, you can design custom email templates and automate campaigns that sync directly with your website.
Sharetribe is a no code development platform that allows users to create a dynamic marketplace site, without having to code a custom solution.
Typeform is a no code form creator with a beautiful user experience. Using this tool, you can create custom forms that sync beautifully between your website and CRM.
Decisions is a workflow automation tool that cuts hours out of your day by automating parts of your business for you.
There are plenty more no code tools to choose from, including n8n, Saltcorn, Rintagi, OSBP, or ManyChat.
Empowering Small Businesses with No Code Platforms
The No Code Movement is more than just a business model for platform developers. It represents another step in diversifying and democratizing the tech industry.
The no code movement isn’t a threat to the web developers and agencies Hostdedi serves, but a way to expand opportunity to serve small businesses who can use these tools to create their own success story.