Did you know that you don’t need to know how to code to get that app you’ve always wanted to make up and running? To kick of the spring 2022 semester of the Venture U business seminar series, Max Mirho, host of EntrepreNerd, spoke on the topic of no-code solutions for entrepreneurs.
During his seminar, Max shared examples of apps and businesses that he has started without ever having to write a single line of code. He ran several demonstrations of the tools that you can use to do the same! He began by defining what it means to be no-code based and what it means to be code based. Some popular and well-known examples of no-code tools for websites in particular are WordPress, Wix, and SquareSpace. Basically, any tool that can help with building apps without code or building websites without code is no-code.
The first website builder that Max introduced us to was Carrd.co. He described it as the simplest, cheapest website builder out there. He ran a quick demonstration by building a “link in bio” website, which is one of those websites that influencers or every day users will put in their Instagram bio. Each button on the single page website takes the user to a different social media platform or website. The whole demonstration took about two minutes, which goes to show how easy Carrd.co is to use. Some of the websites that he’s used Carrd.co to build are walkunder.com, redflagtees.com, and zoomking.carrd.co.
Webflow is the second website builder Max showed us. In his words, it’s “like Carrd on steroids”. It’s overall better for SEO and the Google SERP and it has better design functionality. Webflow can also handle animations better than Carrd.co can. The website even offers a course on how to use the builder. Any entrepreneur can use the “University” link on the website to learn how to use the builder. Max says that “you basically become an intermediate web developer after just two weeks of learning, to the point where you could even open your own web development firm”, which is an impressive feat. Webflow is also extremely affordable.
Web App and Mobile App Builders
Glide is the first web app and mobile app builder we looked at that provides no-code solutions for entrepreneurs. Glide is like the Carrd.co version of an app builder and it has a great free tier. It’s a great platform for building data focused prototypes and the average user could learn it in a day. One of the drawbacks of Glide is that the finished product can’t put in the app stores, but you can send it to people directly or through a QR code. Overall it’s a super helpful tool for building apps without code. Max’s own example of an app using Glide is his new project called Stay Safe Queen.
Adalo is what Max describes as the “Wix” of app builders. It’s made for mostly mobile apps, not web apps, and the free tier is not quite as expansive as Glide’s. It is easy to use though and the app store connections work for this program, which is definitely an upside. The paid form of this builder is great and it takes the average person 3-4 days to learn.
Thunkable is an example of a builder with a little more learning to do. It has its own logic and is for mobile apps. It could take more than 1 week to learn how to use this builder program.
Bubble is like Thunkable, in being more complicated, but Bubble takes the cake in this realm. It has been getting more popular because of how heavily they’ve been advertising, but Bubble can be hard to learn. It’s similar to programming itself, which makes it easier for actual programmers to use. It is, however, very robust: 99.5% of ideas can be built using Bubble according to Max. Bubble also has GREAT resources to build clones of any app you could imagine like Instagram.
Zapier is the top tier of no-code building and the last program that provides some no-code solutions for entrepreneurs. It connects apps to other apps and is used to create automations that some software is incapable of doing independently. For example, if you needed your app to send an email out to the user, you could connect your app to Gmail if the program you’re using can’t natively send emails. With Zapier, you aren’t held back by any limitations. It helps make connections of functionality and seal the top layer when building apps without code.
Extra No-Code Tools & Payment Tools
When it comes to extra tools, or ways to make processes easier in the long run, Max presented viewers with a gold mine of no-code solutions for entrepreneurs. Printful was the first and it is a tool to print custom objects like t-shirts and hats. He uses Printful to produce the t-shirts for one of his businesses. He gets roughly a $5 cut from this tool. It can be added to websites to increase functionality.
Gumroad is a payment tool and is perfect if you have 1-2 things to sell. It has a payment portal for ecommerce websites. Tools like Stripe or PayPal are also very strong, especially for a more selling focused project, and both have good payment infrastructure.
Beyond simply payment tools, there are plenty of resources out there to help when building apps without code. Beyta is an easy platform, which Max built using no-code tools, that has templates for app building. Airtable is described by Max as “Google Sheets on steroids”, it helps create reports and has great databases.
Coda is a workspace tool that you can use to create shortcuts for yourself when building your app. You won’t always have to go back and remember that whole process for building again, you can use Coda to keep track of your commonly uses processes as you work through no-code solutions for entrepreneurs.
Webscraper is a tool for building apps without code that can be used to pull info off of websites. Cloakist can turn a google doc into a website. And finally, Hunter is a plugin that can be used to find the contact or email of any important person on a website. An easy comparison would be like how the popular plugin Honey finds coupons, Hunter finds contact information that will be useful to you.
Tips On No-Code Solutions for Entrepreneurs
App stores are saturated and it’s very hard to get found on them, so having access to putting your app on the app store isn’t necessarily as big a benefit as some might think. The app store is not a marketing strategy, you have to create a marketing strategy.
When it comes to the issue of no-code vs code base building, Max believe no-code to be the superior option. “If you can do it with no-code, do it.” Building apps with code can take longer and it can be harder to build code from the ground up. Scale is not an issue, you can build out any app without having to touch code. You can also add code to no-code apps if necessary, so these tools don’t hold you back in that regard.
Max Mirho provided our young entrepreneurs with advice, many resources, and some new abilities to further elevate their skillset as they prepare to set out into the real world. You don’t want to miss our next Venture U seminar! Click here to sign up today!