No-code and Low-code: What's the Difference?

Data Literacy
Future of Work

At first glance, it’s easy to confuse low-code and no-code. But when you understand their differences and capabilities, it gets easier.


The difference between low-code platforms and no-code platforms are the end user:

  • Low-code platforms are aimed at developers
  • No-code platforms target business users

By 2024, as much as 65% of application development will be done on no-code/low-code platforms, according to a Gartner Magic Quadrant report. It’s important to know the differences between these two types of platforms so you can choose which direction to go in. 

Let’s explore them both in detail.

What Does Low-code Mean?

Low-code platforms typically require more technical knowledge, and require some coding. To make sure the developer has the control they need, coding is still an important part of the development process.

In 2014, Forrester came up with the term “low code.” Their definition said:

“Low-code platforms enable rapid delivery of business applications with a minimum of hand-coding and minimal upfront investment in setup, training, and deployment”

Think of low code and no code like a reaction to the rise of coding. Right away, no code and low code fixed some of the problems of coding and creating with agility.

  1. A great, experienced coder is hard to find and expensive for SMBs.
  2. Non-technical teams that are unable to code have to refer to coders for technical tasks.
  3. A coder’s task list get backlogged with simple requests
  4. The coding process takes a long time to complete and non-technical teams can’t afford to experiment due to coders being backlogged. 

Instead of writing tons of code, users can use visual programming and drag-and-drop features. This totally democratizes technology and puts it out of the hands of a few coders.

Big names like WordPress and Squarespace allowed anyone to build websites regardless of background. This was incredibly useful for freelancers and SMBs looking to get started with a site. The same usefulness soon translated to other spaces like email builders, design and prototyping tools, and alas AI.

Now Webflow, Figma, Notion, and Airtable advance the no-code space and are essential for starting businesses as they allow founders to move with agility.

The Pros and Cons of Low-code 

Low-code platforms provide skilled developers the ability to work smarter and faster. They aren’t bottlenecked by repetitive coding or duplicating work. Instead, they leave the grunt work to the low-code tool or platform.

Other benefits include:

  • Speed
  • More resources
  • One–click deployment

The disadvantages of low-code is that you do still require technical skills. So, if you only have a smattering of development knowledge, most low-code platforms will be difficult to master quickly.

What Does No-code Mean?

No-code development, on the other hand, is a type of web development that allows non-programmers and programmers to create software using a graphical user interface, instead of writing code. 

No code creates the best and easiest user experience possible, abstracting away from technical details. Because of this, no-code platforms are easier and faster to use, because they make the technology effortless for everyone.

No-code machine learning process


The term “no-code” is polarizing. For some, it’s a buzzword; for others, it can be a marketing technique. No code is also accompanied by an expanding community of builders, early adopters, and experimenters who want to do all the things like scale and compete. 

For small to medium businesses, it’s a lifeline where they can do amazing things with limited resources.

TL;DR: The Difference Between Low-code and No-code

Low Code: Accessible to any user with limited coding knowledge. For example we're a no-code tool, but offer a low-code API where you can integrate data predictions into your app with one-line of code. Our low-code API is slightly more technical and easy to implement with programming knowledge.

No Code: Accessible to any business user. The only learning curve is the tool onboarding and how to use the tool in your tech stack.

Related reading: Reasons to Master No-code AI


Benefits of No-code Platforms

1- Internal Efficiencies

With no-code, organizations can work well without IT interference. 

2- Fast 

Compared to conventional coding methods, no-code solutions reduce the development time, since developers don’t need to hand-code each line of code.

3- Flexibility

No-code allows businesses to keep up with the changing market, which reduces the loss of money and time. Developers can also integrate any change easily and enhance functionalities in the applications whenever required. This fast process helps businesses provide better experiences for their customers.

4- Reduction in Cost

A big benefit of no-code platforms is their cost-effectiveness. Because no-code platforms don’t require the same effort needed in conventional coding, it allows companies to optimize and automate workflows and processes by developing applications at the enterprise level.

The Best No-code Tools

Now that you know the difference between the two, let’s explore the kinds of things you can do with a no-code platform. 

No-code platforms help businesses to automate tedious, repetitive, or complex tasks ranging from processing data files to managing data pipelines, cloud deployment, API management, and more. It helps non-technical teams to take development and automation into their own hands.

For instance, you can use no-code platforms to:

  • Build websites
  • Develop products
  • Manage projects
  • Workflow automation

Here are just a few of the best no-code tools in the industry today:

For Product Development: Bubble

Bubble has been the pioneer of the no-code industry for a while, and they are vocal about it. 

Wherever Bubble appears, talks of the future of development and how no-code will help exist.

Over 700,000 people use Bubble to create Web products, they “build better and faster” thanks to the no-code platform. Completely powered by GUI elements, which you can refer to as Visual Programming. Without writing a single line of code, you can create your local Airbnb and start going big.

With many integrations and plugins and templates, Bubble is here to help redefine product development.

For Website creation: Webflow

Wordpress has been no-code for years, and doesn’t limit you with “themes” and “templates.”

With Webflow, you can create the website that you would normally ask a HTML developer to make for you, all the colors and the shapes and animations you want in your website, you got it!

With a more responsive website, and an easier editor, Webflow is the product for those who don’t need more than a great website.

For tool integration - Zapier

Zapier is absolutely amazing with more than 2000 apps to integrate and countless integration possibilities that you can automate workflows with. 

With Zapier, you can enable different apps to work together in a simple manner, as if they were intended to work together in the first place.

As their motto goes: “Anyone can build workflows with a few clicks”...

For predictive analytics - Obviously AI

We may be a bit biased here, but there’s a reason we’re number one in the industry.

Data scientists estimate that deploying an AI Proof-of-Concept takes 1–2 months, and Deloitte estimates it takes "around 12 months" to launch a machine learning project.

Obviously AI makes it possible to deploy AI in minutes instead of months, allowing data scientists to rapidly build models and experiment, instead of getting stuck in the weeds.

Deloitte's research also showed that traditional machine learning projects cost from US$250,000 to a whopping US$20 million.

By drastically decreasing both time-to-value and costs, no-code machine learning is a no-brainer for this list.

Why Make the Leap to No-code?

Analysts at Gartner estimate that the low-code market grew 23% in 2020 to reach $11.3 billion, and will grow to $13.8 billion in 2021 and almost $30 billion by 2025. 

Gartner also forecasts that low-code application development will account for 65% of all application development activity by 2024, mostly for small and medium-sized projects. 

Meanwhile, the experts at Forrester project about half of firms today use a low-code platform, but this number could rise to 75% by the end of 2021.

Summary

The most important thing no-code tools do is democratize technology. We don’t take “democratize” lightly.

What we’re envisioning is making data science effortless for everyone. Packed in that sentence is a more inclusive AI space that minimizes the skills gap and puts the superpower of AI into the hands of everyone. 

We recently analyzed how much the average data science team costs to build. We even broke down the cost/benefits analysis of traditional machine learning to compare them to no-code machine learning.

Read more in our blog post about how much a data science team costs.






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