What Is The Difference Between Low-Code And No-Code?

Lauren Buchanan Updated on October 28, 2022

What Is The Difference Between Low-Code And No-Code

No-code and low-code have become buzzwords of late as more people begin to take note of the many advantages these platforms have to offer. But what exactly do no-code and low-code refer to?

No-code and low-code platforms are alternatives to traditional manual coding. They use visual, pre-coded elements to speed up application development.

The terms are often used interchangeably but, as you’ll learn in this article, they are not the same thing. While they share many similarities, there are fundamental differences that set no-code and low-code apart.

Read on to discover what these differences are, the core features of each platform, and how no-code and low-code can help you build an online business of your own.

What is No-code?

No-code solutions are programming platforms that use visual, drag-and-drop elements to help users who don’t have any coding experience build functional apps.

Because the platforms are digital, there is of course code and software running in the background, it is just hidden from the user.

No-code platforms break down the barrier to entry for entrepreneurs who want to enter the SaaS industry but don’t have the technical skills required to custom-code an application.

That said, while no-code offers simplicity and efficiency, the capabilities of the platforms are fairly limited. There are very few integration options available, so the projects created via these platforms are usually simple, stand-alone applications.

What is Low-code?

Low-code platforms sit halfway between no-code and fully-fledged manual coding.

They offer users the best of both worlds, with easy-to-understand visual interfaces and drag-and-drop capabilities, as well as the ability to manually code and customize your applications.

Low-code platforms help to remove much of the repetition of traditional coding and increase the speed of development. Pre-written, templated lines of code are available at the click of a button, meaning developers don’t have to rewrite basic lines of code over and over again.

Whereas no-code platforms typically require deployment to the service provider’s public cloud, low-code solutions offer flexibility with private cloud or on-site deployment.

Low-code solutions are also more malleable than no-code, offering scalable architecture and open APIs for reusability and longevity.

Some low-code platforms also come with a comprehensive library of next-generation tools, allowing users to take advantage of things like artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, and voice and facial recognition.

Target Audience

No-code platforms are aimed at non-technical users who don’t know how to code. These people are often referred to as citizen developers. They have the motivation to create applications but lack the technical skills to do so without the aid of IT-approved technology.

No-code platforms are best suited to aspiring SaaS founders who want to create a prototype for a project before presenting their ideas to IT professionals to build out further.

Low-code platforms, on the other hand, are aimed at professional developers. In this case, users are not relying on the platform to help them with coding, they are leveraging the templated coding features to help speed up development.

Low-code is a great solution for business owners who want to reduce the time it takes to launch new applications, or cut down on the number of developers they need to hire. It also allows users to integrate technology like AI, blockchain, and voice recognition without the need to hire industry specialists.

Use Cases for No-Code and Low-Code Applications

While no-code platforms may not be robust enough to create complex applications, they are ideal for collecting, configuring, and presenting information.

Data export/import capabilities and configurable interfaces allow you to create accessible databases and transform information into useful visualizations, grids, statistics, and templates. This is a great solution if you wish to create applications such as:

  • Listing directories
  • Dashboards
  • Appointment scheduling apps
  • Basic reporting tools

Apps and platforms that were built using no-code software include:

  • Comet: A marketplace where IT freelancers can connect with potential clients who need qualified tech and data experts for specific projects.
  • Scrapbook: A database that contains useful growth strategies for eCommerce and SaaS businesses.
  • Rebel Book Club: A subscription-based digital book club with a global community of members.

The ability to add custom code into low-code applications means that you can create a much wider range of projects. This makes it more suitable for entrepreneurs who want to create enterprise-level applications and platforms but don’t have the budget to hire a full team of developers.

When it comes to the type of applications you can build using low code, the possibilities are almost endless. Here are some popular businesses that were built using low-code:

  • Qoins: A financial app that helps people tackle their debt and improve their financial habits through financial coaching.
  • Makerpad: An educational tool that teaches entrepreneurs how to kick-start the tech side of their business by building no-code apps and websites.
  • BloomTech: Formerly Lamdba School, The Bloom Institute of Technology is an online coding course that allows students to defer payment for the course until after they’ve secured a job in IT.

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Low-Code and No-Code

As you can see, while both no-code and low-code platforms use visual elements to increase the efficiency of app development, the similarities end there.

It’s also important to note that different no-code and low-code platforms offer different features.

Some platforms blur the lines between no-code and low-code. They offer users the ability to build apps without any code, but the option to add custom code remains available. Different platforms might also be more suited to specific applications, favoring community-building features over modernizing legacy IT systems, for example.

The following table breaks down the main differences between standard no-code and low-code platforms.

What Is The Difference Between Low-Code And No-Code

Can You Build a Valuable Business Using No-Code or Low-Code?

If you’re concerned that building your application using no or low code may affect the value of your business when you decide to sell, then worry not. Cutting back on code won’t eat into your profits.

In many cases, using no-code or low-code platforms will widen your buyer pool, as buyers are less likely to need specialized programming skills to maintain the business post-acquisition.

The value of low-code-based businesses was proven by one of our recent sellers. While running a successful eCommerce business, the seller identified a gap in the electronics niche and came up with a clever app idea to take advantage of this opportunity.

The only obstacle in the seller’s way was their inability to code. After taking a crash course in coding and leveraging the tools available on low-code platform PhPFox, the seller was able to turn their idea into reality.

The seller built the business with the intention to sell it and achieved a $1390,000 all-cash exit after listing the business on the Empire Flippers marketplace.

This is only one of several no-code and low-code success stories we’ve witnessed on our marketplace. Buyers don’t discriminate against apps built on these platforms, and neither should aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs.

It’s Never Been Easier to Build a Successful SaaS Business

No-code and low-code platforms aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, Gartner predicts that low-code will be responsible for over 70% of app development by 2025.

As the SaaS industry continues to grow, opportunities are ripe for entrepreneurs to get in on the action. If you have an idea for the next great app, no-code and low-code platforms provide everything you need to transform your idea into a profit-generating business.

If an established SaaS business is more to your tastes, then browse through the quality SaaS business for sale on our marketplace.

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