How To Build An App Without Code. Here's What You Need.

by Tom Osman.
March 26, 2019

Did you know it's possible to make a mobile app using just a Google Sheet?

I didn't until recently. But when I discovered GlideApps, my mind started racing.

For a long time, it was hard to build anything of real substance unless you knew how to code.  This was until companies like Squarespace came along and lowered the bar to entry. Building an app without code seemed a long way off.

The introduction of high-quality web site building software led to the average site being of a lot higher quality.

But now we have a whole new suite of products and communities built around no-code applications.

Building functional applications and taking it to market now has a very low barrier to entry.

Here is a breakdown of some of the best no-code products out there.

Carrd

Carrd Home Page
The Carrd Homepage. Simple Responsive Sites

A perfect tool to let you put up a site in as little as two minutes for an extremely low cost.  It's also super simple to use so even the biggest technophobe could create a website about fearing technology in 5 minutes.

If you are looking to and a front facing information page with a few buttons then this is what you're going to want to go for. Carrd makes using a custom domain really easy also so you'll be up and running in no time.

This is easily integrated with TypeForm so simple apps that take in information and take payment can be made quickly and easily.

Coda

Coda Home Page
The Coda HomePage - A Doc as powerful as an app.


"A doc as powerful as an app"

Coda lets you create a doc that grows with you is feature rich that makes creating an app easy.

Want to build a simple "to-do" or productivity app then this is your go-to for sure. There are also a bunch of templates to choose from to make your life even easier.

Perfect for internal business apps or directories.

GlideApps

GlideApps Home Page
The Glide App Home Page - Create A Mobile App From A Google Sheet


In simple this tool lets you create a mobile app using just a Google Sheet. No joke.

Start by opening a new Google Sheet and input some of the data you want to display on the app and in close to real time the browser-based builder will render it for you on screen.

Using GlideApps I built 'The Saddleworth App', a community project in just over a working day or so (most time was getting data to input).

Create a listing app, job board or employee database using drag and drop only. It will even let you edit items on the app and change it in the Google Sheet in close to real time.

Upgrading your membership to pro lets you remove the GlideApp branding but please note you'll need an Apple Developer license to get it in the app store.

But, you can get the app on your phone using a download link.

Bubble

Bubble.is Homepage
The Bubble App Hompage


If you fancy taking your 'no-code' web app building career to the next level then head on over to https://bubble.is.

More complex than any of the others we've mentioned so far, Bubble will enable you to build complex sites + web apps all with no code.

If you spend some time playing around with the tutorials and have a decent grasp of if-this-then-that logic you'll be just fine.

Unless your idea for a web application is very complex than with enough time spent in Bubble you should be able to produce something great.

Webflow

Webflow Home Page
The Webflow HomePage - Design. Build. Launch.


Sitting at a middle ground between tools like Squarespace, Wordpress, Bubble and Carrd, Webflow zallows you to build high-quality sites with some functionality.

Building in Webflow allows you to have a CMS attached which means you can take in and store data of customers or clients.

Also, Webflow gives you much more control over the design side compared to Bubble. If you are a stickler for design and don't need the in-depth functionality of Bubble then Webflow may be a good option for you.

Can take a little bit of getting used to but the Webflow University video tutorials do a great job at breaking down key areas to walk you through it.

In fact, our website is built using Webflow - www.thegrowthpeople.io

The Growth People Homepage
The Growth People Home Page

Now that we have taken care of the core 'no-code' app building apps (a mouth full), here are some add-ons that will really power your app and link everything together.

'No-code' Add Ons

TypeForm lets you build powerful, intuitive forms and also take payments using their native integration with Stripe. This also has lots of other native integrations with other popular apps.

Typeform Home Page
The Typeform Homepage

Zapier is a makers dream product. This pretty much lets you link anything to anything. Want to send information from a Google Sheet to MailChimp to trigger an automated email? Create a Zap for that. Did someone sign up on the website? Have Zapier send that data to your CRM, create a task in Trello and notify the team member responsible for following up a Slack message or email if not online.

Zapier Home Page
Zapier Homepage - Connect your apps and automate workflows.

Zapier does all this with ease.

With these two tools, a basic MVP of anything you want to build can be created if the idea is not too complex or requires unique functionality.

Moving away from tools, one thing that will go a long way to helping you or anyone finally create and launch that product is, belonging to a community.

MakerPad is a community created and ran by serial maker Ben Tossell and is a brilliant place to start if you think this 'no-code' thing might be for you.

MakerPad HomePage - Learn to build powerful application without code.

It's full of tutorials, template and guides to help get started and is backed up by an active slack channel. Additionally part of the one-time membership fee includes discounts on many if not all of the tools above. This makes creating things quickly and at low cost really easy on the wallet.

You'll be grateful for the discounts later as once you get going you'll find yourself working on lots of different ideas and projects.

Lastly, other things I have found useful is following and connecting with other makers such as Pieter Levels , author of the brilliant book 'Make'.  

Make Book Homepage
Make - Bootstrappers Handbook

So the only question to ask is what are you going to make first?

Is there an app that you would love built for your business or project? Let us know below.

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