Our world is moving forward with cloud-based service models offering quick fixes to common business problems. No code platforms offer solutions ‘as a service but often fail to impress businesses that are built to scale.
Understanding the drawbacks of no code will help you better understand when to use them and switch to custom software solutions as needed. Startups usually begin their journey with a limited runway, so no code solutions may look like an easy option to rely upon in their early days.
Read more to find out when to use no-code solutions and when to get expert help from development teams.
- There are limitations to no-code platforms that are often detrimental to product development teams.
- While they can be used for MVP development and other limited applications, no code solutions are often inadequate for full-fledged product development.
- No-code apps are usually limited by scalability, security, lack of code ownership, and much more.
1. Templates run the show
The biggest limitation of no-code platforms is the templates they provide to build products/services for their users. Normally, users get a drag-and-drop functionality to mix and match elements to build the required feature.
By default, the templates have a range of features to use, and any feature that isn't in one template can be borrowed from another. The problem begins when there is a particular function that you need but is not available on the no-code platform.
While you can build features by getting source code permission from the no-code provider, working on an already structured codebase is difficult. Furthermore, it will require you to know advanced coding, which takes away the need to use no code in the first place.
2. Not an easy learning curve
No code platforms are best suited for applications that aren’t extremely complex in nature. While they are extremely well suited for MVP to small-scale applications, building a full-fledged application from scratch requires a significant learning curve.
As you are also limited by what’s allowed within the platform, you may have to compromise on some features to ensure your application doesn’t become too complicated to build.
For business owners and early-stage startups who are looking to build feature-rich software in the near future, it’s best to either go for a low-code option or build customised software altogether.
One other drawback of no-code platforms is the seemingly boxed UI they provide with blocks of features and functions that users can add during app development. This limits the design possibilities for the app and may render a commonplace design that not many users may like to use.
3. Limited security
While no-code applications are generally safe, you have little to no control over the code within your applications. This means, that security issues will arise. And relying on third-party services with data security can prove to be a costly mistake if you’re thinking of scaling in the near future.
No-code platforms are ideal for businesses that are limited in their complexity of operations. Simple applications that require just a set number of features come under this category and are served best using pre-written code.
For companies that prefer a much more in-depth digital transformation, it is always suggested to go for custom software development. Through this, you get the leverage to add custom features and functions to scale as required.
4. Creativity takes a toll
No-code applications usually come with limited UI and design choices that render them to be basic apps which may not garner enough customer attention. While this can be adequate for in-house processes, presenting an interface for users to engage with requires serious design thinking, which is often a limitation for no-code applications.
No-code platforms generally provide options to add features through custom code, but that’s generally provided by low-code platforms too. This in itself makes companies rethink the viability of no-code solutions and move to either low-code or custom solutions altogether.
5. Vendors decide on app progress
Your primary bottleneck will always be the app or tool you use most of the time. No code application vendors could become your biggest bottleneck if they are slow to integrate the latest features into their platform.
Such a scenario where you are limited by the features and functionality provided by your vendor is called vendor lock, which is a troubling phase for any tech startup. No-code platforms can be invaluable assets while building MVP and during the initial phase of the business. But it’s always better to move on to customized software solutions once you are ready to scale your startup.
Furthermore, working with a no-code vendor usually grants you reduced access and zero ownership of the source code. This lack of control makes it difficult to quickly add custom features by in-house developers.
6. Not the cheapest solution
Empirically speaking, no-code solutions are much more economical than hiring developers to build custom software. But when we consider the product quality, things seem a bit out of place.
While no-code solutions do provide value for money, their subscription charges can be easily covered by a development team that can design a custom-fit product that’s market ready. It usually takes more effort to drag and drop features to build something that customers actually love to use.
There is also the problem of learning curves that are associated with every no-code platform. While they all look like pick and drop features, their process flow can differ significantly, and usability is also quite different from one app to another.
7. Not the most scalable option
Subscription models are not exactly the best option if you are considering scaling up in the future. While no-code platforms help you get off the board with only the essential features and tools, they can get inadequate when the user count exceeds a threshold.
The real limitation comes in when user demands exceed the level of service you could provide. This is one of the prime reasons why businesses move on to either a low-code or a custom solution after they get enough users to scale.
Feature-rich no-code applications are slowly gaining popularity on the app market, but it is unsure whether they can keep up with the pace of your feature requirements.
One benefit while using no-code solutions here is the development of citizen coders who can build simple systems for their day-to-day operations. Everything else requires substantial coding, which is often reached when the requirement is too much to handle by in-house teams.
8. Limited support and maintenance
Once you choose to go with a no-code vendor, support is limited to whatever the subscription model provides. There is also a lack of priority support in such platforms, so any bugs or shutdowns will be entirely dependent on the vendor.
Having customer software solutions guarantees prompt maintenance and priority support, which are crucial for continued customer satisfaction.
Currently, every paid user for no-code platforms gets the same customer support and is fairly limited to the features they already have on the system.
Thus, make sure that your no-code application doesn’t become a bottleneck to your business’s scalability.
9. Unfriendly Migration and integration
No-code applications often come with pre-built components that users are okay with until they plan to migrate. Pre-built components are often incompatible with other platforms and may render your app migration a nightmare.
Pre-built applications always have lots of interconnected code. Thus, migrating from one platform to another might not work as smoothly as you may think. Bugs can show up seemingly without reason, and decoding bugs could become bigger hassles than going for custom software development in the first place.
It goes without saying that third-party integrations within any no-code platform fall under the discretion of the vendor. You can request these integrations, but it will take considerable user requests for the vendor to work on developing such integrations.
10. Time to market limitations
Business solutions are always timebound and choosing platforms falls under a well-curated timeline. Comparing development speeds will always show no-code solutions as the quickest option available. But this always involves a sacrifice of product quality or customisation.
With the time spent on new software adoption and building sustainable systems with no code platforms, development teams can build simplified MVPs that can then be scaled indefinitely. Therefore, it is better to take future challenges into account when you decide to choose a software solution.
Even with these drawbacks of no-code software, there is no doubt about its practicality. They can come in handy at key moments in your business cycle. But certain product development ventures outgrow the feature and functionalities that even some of the best no-code applications can offer.
Thus, custom application development teams are advisable when you have gathered enough users to scale. By this, you will have enough user research data to drive design and easily provide on-demand services.
If you are in the market searching for the best way forward, talk to us today for a free consultation and we’ll help you decide on the right path to developing your idea.
1. Are no-code apps any good?
No-code apps are suitable for companies that are still building MVPs or are beginning their digital transformation. With scalability a prime requirement for businesses these days, it is better to go for custom software that could change and accommodate complex business requirements and still perform well.
2. What does no-code mean in software?
No-code simply means that users wouldn’t require to code anything to add functionalities to their application. Instead, the platform would already have packed code snippets of functionalities into easy-to-use drag-and-drop features which non-coders can use to develop solutions quickly.
3. What are the limitations of no-code?
The primary disadvantage of no-code platforms is the lack of scalability. Furthermore, since your operations run within a third-party platform, your data security, speed, and versatility will all depend on the no-code platform.
4. Can we make software without coding?
Well yes and no. If you are a non-coder, you can use no-code software to build applications. This doesn’t mean that there is no code involved. Every function you drag and drop on your user interface is a code snippet that works within the platform. By moving around these features, you are actually making changes to the underlying code of your application.