Best No & Low Code App Builder Alternatives (Zoho, Kissflow, Bubble)

Best No Code App DevelopmentListen, if you’re searching for the best no code app builder alternatives for visual development you’ve found help…

Here’s why:

A while back I had an idea for an app but I was stuck because I’m not a developer.

Sure, I can hack HTML, CSS, and Php for WordPress but when it comes to creating 100s of lines of code for an app, I’m lost.

So I did what most people with an idea for an app do, I started Googling all the different phrases that I thought would help me to find a way to create a web app without writing code.

I Googled terms like best visual app builder, easy app creator software, app maker, and 100 more phrases looking for a development tool that didn’t require writing code.

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No Code Low Code Alternatives

At first, I thought Bootstrap would work because it looked like the simplest visual coding solution available.

So I downloaded the newest Bootstrap toolkit and some free coding tools like Visual Studio Code and I got started.

But before long, I was frustrated and stuck – there was too much for me to learn. And too many plugins and editing tools that required even more time and research.

My frustration grew and I hadn’t even gotten to the hard stuff like setting up a database or writing GET and PUT statements.

Literally, most of my time was consumed by just learning about all the different coding tools and frameworks that existed – my app was still just ideas.

Bootstrap is amazing, but it wasn’t the visual development experieince I was looking for…

So after about a week of spending all my free time building a work environment so I could hack on Bootstrap, I pivoted.

Introducing No Code Visual Development

Look, I thought visual development meant easy – but I was wrong.

Then I thought – hey, what if I searched for no code app development?

BLAM! – That small tweak to my search made all the difference…

Come to find out a lot of platforms are right under our noses that offer no code and low code app builders.

Now I was on the right track.¬†Here’s the article from G2Crowd¬†I read first about no code and low code platforms that got me fired up.

Most of the names on the list were new to me but I did recognize Zoho.  And I already had an account with them so I began my initial testing with Zoho Creator.

After playing around a bit, Creator looked OK, but I wasn’t ready to start paying a monthly subscription for something I wasn’t sure would work.

No need to rush because there were more than 2 pages of platforms to choose from so I decided to review a few more.

These are just a few app builder alternatives from the list…

No Code Versus Low Code

Hmmm… then I noticed another difference between these platforms – no code versus low code.

Honestly, I could probably get by with low code, but I decided to narrow¬†my options further and see what no code was like, first…

After a few more minutes of comparing no code app builders, I discovered Bubble.is.

A weird domain name, right?

I almost passed it up because it’s a silly domain name and doesn’t sound credible. But I went ahead and created a free account on Bubble anyway and went to work.

After a couple of hours of watching their tutorials, YouTube videos, and creating simple apps with Bubble, I felt I had found the best no code app builder alternative for visual development to get me started with a proof of concept for my app idea.

Also, as an FYI in case you’re wondering, I have yet to review any low code platforms because Bubble seems to do everything I need. The link above for G2Crowd has reviews and ratings for each platform if you want more details.

No Code App Development Platforms

My problem was solved – I had found a visual development platform that didn’t require any coding.

Albeit, I still don’t like the silly domain name. But here’s some good news I found out – once you create your app on Bubble, you can publish it with a custom domain that you own.

And if you pay for the personal subscription (~$14/16 per month), you can customize the meta descriptions so all your search descriptions don’t promote Bubble.

Bubble.is

Build Your MVP Fast and Cheap with No Code

If you’re like me and you can’t stop thinking about your idea then Bubble’s no code platform might be a way to get you started without having to spend months waiting – and hundreds [or even thousands] of dollars on developer costs just to get a demo app.

Even if all you do is use a free Bubble account to create a minimum viable product, MVP, so you can have it rewritten by coders, you still come out ahead.

Look, before I decided to write my own app, I researched what it would cost for an MVP on Elance and other sites. I found out it’s not cheap and worst of all, I was worried once my idea was shared with anyone, they would copy it.

At least with a no code platform like Bubble you can get the basic app working yourself and do testing to see if the idea is any good before you pay a small fortune to have it developed on a framework like Bootstrap.

No Code App Builder PROs and CONs

Now, there are Pros and Cons to consider before you go full speed into using any of the no code or low code platforms.

For example, if you do decide to use Bubble:

  • Will Bubble be around a few years from now or once your app is up and working? (Risk)
  • Will¬†Bubble cost too much to have your app hosted on their platform if you start to get a lot of users? (Cost)
  • What are the security risks for storing user and customer data in Bubble’s environment? (Security)
  • And what training is available? (Support)

Look:

I was more concerned about Bubble going away than getting too much traffic to my app because I was creating an app that only I would use. My traffic would be low and the personal account or even the free account was good enough.

Security is definitely a concern too, Andrew and Gaby both discuss known security flaws that allow data to be accessed by using “view page source” from the browser. FYI, there are a few best practices that you’ll need to follow that secure your app while it’s being created and then, once it’s published.

Also, I noticed finding good training resources was another challenge. Unlike Bootstrap which has hundreds of websites and blogs dedicated to them, Bubble only has a few and I was spending a lot of time on their forum looking for answers.

Listen, all the low code and no code platforms have their Pros and Cons to consider and the biggest Pro for Bubble is that you can get your idea going with no code very quickly.

For me, I was able to get my app up and running in a couple of weeks in my spare time.

Planning Your No Code Development Project

Here’s a quick plan to get you started if you think Bubble will work for you.

 

Step #1. Before you pay for a personal or professional subscription, start with the free account. Take Bubble for a spin and see what you can do with all the visual elements, free plugins, and free themes.

 

Step #2. If you like Bubble or want to get more training then probably the best free training is going to be Gaby’s YouTube Coaching Bubble channel. She also has paid training that will cost you¬†around $476 if you get her basic fast-track training¬†plus the additional API lessons.

 

But other than a few random YouTube videos that weren’t as good as Gaby’s, I wasn’t able to find any other Bubble video training except for Andrew’s Udemy course for $11.99, which shows you step by step how to create a web app without coding.

 

I bought a Udemy course to help me after I finished all the free lessons. Then I ended up buying the fast-track training, too.

 

Look what’s covered in the Udemy Bubble No Code Training…

Best No Code Training

Step #3. Before you get serious about creating your Bubble app, you’ll need to plan out your app or you’ll find yourself having to do a lot of rework.

 

My suggestion is to wireframe your idea as much as possible. I made the mistake of designing my first app on the fly and it kept changing because I never had a visual plan for what it might look like before I got started.

 

Next, think out the data structure because you’ll start running into annoying Bubble errors caused by your data structure not jiving with the type of data you are using in the elements and workflows.

 

Watch Gaby Make No Code Application Development Look So Easy…

 

Start Building Your No Code App with Bubble

Now that we’ve covered the basics it’s time to get started.

Go ahead and create your free Bubble account, watch the tutorials, watch the YouTube videos, and build a few simple apps.

Then, when you’re ready to dive deeper, you can buy the Udemy training or Gaby’s Fast Track lessons.

If you’re still not sure about no code or low code platforms you can always check out Bootstrap because it does have a lot to offer…

Or, like me, you can learn how to use visual elements and build workflows in Bubble. Here’s the link to my first app.

Best No Code Low Code App Builder

No Code Development with API Data

One final feature about Bubble that is worth taking a look at is how easy you can build an app that uses API data.

Bubble makes accessing and then displaying data pulled from an API without needing unique DevOps skills easier than anything I’ve ever seen.

And best of all, there’s no coding required to build searches, lists, adds, or updates using GETs, PUTs, or Edits.

All the work is done visually.

What’s Next for No Code?

It’s been about a month now since I created my free Bubble account and the interesting thing I’ve noticed is I’ve started to see other no code and low code development platforms everywhere.

At work, I’ve seen spam emails about no-code business solutions and when I played with Zoho Creator it seemed designed more for business application development than a web app like mine.

Also, from what I can tell, at this point, there isn’t a standard between these platforms and it will be interesting to watch as time passes if Google or Microsoft decides to buy out the best no-code app builder. If that’s the case, Bubble might get a name change soon…

Better yet, a new career field may soon be dedicated to no code and low code application development.

Please feel free to share your no code or low code thoughts, preferences, and a link to your app in the comments below so our readers can see samples of what the alternatives can do.

Discussion

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