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As a company, your presence online is just as important as your physical presence. It serves as your storefront, an easy access information page where clients can see what your products are, how much they cost and make a decision on whether or not they want to purchase it. It seems natural then that people would want to build their own websites and apps particularly to minimise costs.
This guide will elaborate on how you can build a website and an app, relatively quickly and by yourself.
Most people think you need patience, skill and knowledge to build an app or a website. This is of course true if you want to build a professional, carefully designed webpage with dedicated support. However, it’s not cheap to hire a developer to build an app for you, even if you hire someone with sub par professional experience.
The more complex a mobile app or web page you need, the pricier it will get. As such, looking for ways to build your own digital space on your own time might be a sound alternative. Thankfully, software tech is evolving at such a rapid pace that building your mobile app or putting out a website without prior coding knowledge has become a possibility.
These methods are called no code, the aim is to make the building process as simple as possible through click and drag methods. Nowadays, these methods offer dynamic widgets, extensions and cover the wide variety of features a small business would need.
In the previous paragraph, we’ve already mentioned 3 different programming languages, it’s easy to feel lost and incompetent when trying to create your own website or app. That’s mostly why no code is an attractive solution. These websites host your website so you don’t have to deal with the technicals.
Most services offer very basic functionalities for free, you’ll have to pay a slight fee to get access to web hosting, specific customer service, customised domain name etc… For most early stage businesses, this option is by far the most cost effective.
The same goes for mobile app builders, the sector has grown exponentially in the past few years. Even 4 years back you’d struggle to have a static app, today, these builders create fully interactive applications, you can load a store in your app, activate push notifications, include videos and tons more.
The hardest part of it all might now be choosing which service you’re going to pick. Typing “no code website” or “no code app” on your search engine will already give you a dozen promising results. We’ll go through the most famous ones and their strengths.
Wix is one of the best options you can pick, it's incredibly cheap, the most expensive service is 35$/month. Designing uses both drag and drop for ease of use and design assistance if you want some professional help. You can also find a scrolling feature with a front plane and site background. There also exists a mobile version, making it ideal for small businesses, bloggers and people who aren’t experienced in design.
Wix does suffer from a smaller selection of e-commerce services and changing your templates means you have to redesign your entire website.
Weebly owns more than 25 million websites across the web. It provides a great way to start for individuals or small businesses. The service has a few unique features making it suitable for developers. It also includes free themes such as Portfolio, Blog, Event and Business. Each element is categorized and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and imagining.
Weebly particularly shines thanks to its e-commerce capabilities, the free version is quite extensive and the mobile version is quite easy and useful. Integration of third party services is beginner-friendly.
However, the website lacks an undo button and the image editor is quite pale when compared to what other websites offer.
Designmodo is a great resource for startups, one of its distinguishing features is the ability to create email newsletters within a few clicks. Building your webpage is quick and looks cool, you’ll also find templates making the design process even faster. The overall user experience is great, the websites are fast and look good. Adding to these qualities, it’s quite cheap at 21$/month.
With these in mind, the service does lack customization and flexibility, the websites are also static which can be a problem depending on what you have in mind.
The same services also exist for app creation, let’s take a look at the most famous one.
This service uses visual building blocks and has already helped more than 3 million individual creators to build their app on android and iOS. Once built, your app can also be accessible in a web browser like a regular website thanks to Progressive Web Apps or PWA.
The process is pretty straight forward, you select a topic such as Social, Multimedia etc.. You then have access to building blocks that make sense with your topic.
App development is still behind web development and your app won’t be perfect but it’s a start that should cover only the most basic needs.
Creating your own app or website seems quite hard but no code solutions offer easy, accessible ways to create your initial website. They might seem limited in features or a bit rough but you’ll have a functioning result in no time. A great alternative for early stage business.