The best no-code tools for beginners

Plenty of platforms say they're right for beginners, but which ones actually are?

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If you’re new to the world of no-code, you’ve landed in the right place. While plenty of no-code tools promise they’re ready-made for those starting out, some are definitely more intuitive than others. 

For most people, using no-code tools is a journey. You start off getting to grips with one tool, which helps you understand how computers actually work and how data moves. From there, you'll progress to another no-code tool, learning more and building increasingly complex apps. Before you know it, you’re a no-code specialist and giving it the big one to whoever will listen on Twitter. But you’ve got to start somewhere – here’s our selection of the no-code tools that are perfectly suited for those starting out. 

1. The database tool: Airtable

What it does

Airtable is an online platform that lets you store, share and collaboratively edit info in a database. From those databases, you can then build collaborative apps. 

Why it’s good for beginners

  • Airtable is a bit of a gateway drug for no-code. If you know how to use Excel, then you’ll be able to get to grips with it as it centres around the spreadsheet mentality. There’s just a few more things you need to learn. 
  • It’s also a pretty good educational tool. By using Airtable, you can accidentally educate yourself on how databases actually work. 
  • It has plenty of scope. Once you’re used to it and ready to see what it can do, you can then create automations and apps with interfaces. 

What they won’t tell you

It’s first and foremost pretty pricey – and Airtable’s interface can be a bit overwhelming to get your head around too. It’s not a place to really build apps – if you want to do that, you’ll need to combine it with another no-code tool. 

2.The automation tool: Zapier

What it does

Zapier is the simplest no-code platform for setting up automations – meaning when something happens on one platform, something else happens on the other. It can connect loads of different things together, including Google Docs, Slack, Notion.

Why it’s good for beginners

  • The logic that Zapier uses is very simple to get your head around
  • Zapier has a whole load of super accessible educational content and materials which are really easy to follow and implement. 

What they won’t tell you

If you want to do anything complicated, in terms of the logic you use when you’re creating your automations, it’s not the one. It also obviously requires you to use other no-code tools and platforms to function – it’s not a standalone platform. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to connect things to get the result you want. And, lastly, it’s expensive.

3. The website builder: Carrd

What it does

Carrd is the simplest website builder that’s out there. It basically lets you create pretty simple and rudimentary websites and landing pages. 

Why it’s good for beginners

  • It’s ultimately very simple and straightforward to use. Pretty much anyone can start creating something. 
  • It’s ideal for those looking to set up something quickly. Particularly if you're looking to understand interest or uptake in an idea – eg, a landing page that collects email addresses. 

What they won’t tell you: 

It’s only really suitable for something quick that you want to throw up – if you try and go beyond the basics, it quickly becomes quite difficult to use. If you struggle with Carrd, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not able to use no-code tools.

4. The versatile tool: Glide

What it does

Glide is a pretty versatile no-code tool that lets you turn spreadsheets and data into easy-to-use apps. It can create web apps and mobile apps. 

Why it’s good for beginners

  • It’s easy to get started with Glide – and there are some great templates to make use of. 
  • It introduces certain no-code concepts that are especially important, like logic, without going too far into the weeds. 
  • It creates pretty aesthetically pleasing apps – something which isn’t always the case with no-code tools. 

What they won’t tell you

It can be pretty limited in terms of what you can actually build – it’s great for simple ideas, not complicated ones. It can also only make progressive web apps, which means apps that work more like websites rather than apps you can put on an app store. And finally, Glide’s internal database is pretty difficult to use.

5. The mobile app builder: Adalo

What it does

Adalo, like Glide, is a versatile tool that’s good for creating web apps and mobile apps. It can make native mobile apps that feature on app stores, unlike Glide. 

Why it’s good for beginners

  • Adalo’s platform is pretty simple to get your head around – the database is easy to use and to get to grip with how it works. 
  • The logic you can implement in Adalo is very rudimentary. That means it's pretty hard to get lost in it. 

What they won’t tell you

Okay, the onboarding experience is probably not the easiest. But once you understand the platform and play around with it, it becomes a lot easier to use. However, it’s quite hard to make a good-looking app on Adalo. It doesn’t quite have the slickness you’d expect.

6. The business app builder: Stacker

What it does

Stacker is a web app builder that lets you build customisable apps to support your business – whether that's client portals, CRMs, dashboards or internal tools.

Why it’s good for beginners

  • Stacker gives you a useable app straight out the box. That means you don't have to do too much thinking or designing.
  • It's particularly strong if you already have your data organised well in spreadsheets or in Airtable databases. You can quickly import it and make your own app.

What they won’t tell you

With Stacker, there are limits as to what you can actually do. There's also not a huge amount of support documentation, though there are a lot of people behind the scenes who can help you out.

7. The web app builder: Softr

What it does: 

Softr essentially takes the data you’ve got in Airtable, and turns it into web apps, websites or client portals. 

Why it’s good for beginners: 

  • It’s easy to get started with Softr. All you have to do is use the drag and drop interface to start building your first app. 
  • There are also a lot of good templates you can make use of. 

What they won’t tell you: 

It’s a bit harder than they make out to really start building with – you do need to give real thought to your app layout. You also need to be using Airtable. It’s ultimately not great for building internal apps for your business, but more suited to public-facing apps.



About the Author
Duncan Griffiths Nakanishi

Duncan is lead editor at NoCode.Tech. He's a writer and editor with 8 years experience working in the media across business, culture, lifestyle and tech.


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