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June 22, 2021

The top 15 no-code tools and apps (2021)

Written by Alexandre Benyekkou


You may or may not have noticed, but we’re in the middle of a no-code ‘boom’.

It’s been gathering pace for a few years — increasingly, more software and tools are released that help us create websites, build apps, and make ideas come to life quickly, with no developers and no coding.

Which is a great thing.

But with all this choice and such a high quality of no-code platforms to choose from, how can you be sure you go with the best no-code tool for your needs?

To avoid confusion — and help you steer clear of analysis paralysis when faced with too many tools to choose from — we’ve put together this list of the top 15 no-code tools used by both the Makerpad team and community.

We know these tools inside out and our community trusts them too, so you can be sure they’re among the best out there.

Let’s go!

-- Disclaimer: this list was compiled using a survey and listening to our community. It's not definitive, and there are way more than 15 top tools in the no-code space. We'll be continuously adding to this list! --

Best no-code website building platforms

1. Webflow

Webflow is a favorite no-code website builder of startups, indie makers, and fast-growing companies. You can build professional, responsive, and custom websites in a beautiful visual way with no code. 

What makes Webflow different is the ability to have full customizable control over the content, layout, functionality and, crucially, the design of a website. This removes one of the biggest pain points traditionally experienced between designers and developers — no more waiting for a front-end developer to implement a designer’s wishes.

Webflow is an ideal no-code platform for early stage startups or SaaS companies that want to build an advanced website for their services or products. The visual design and code are not separated, which makes it a powerful in-browser design tool to launch your idea or product with a very neat and professional look. 

Easy to use and intuitive, Webflow has a CMS-based database functionality. You can create everything from landing pages to ecommerce stores, and it offers a wide range of integrations with third parties. 

If you are looking to launch a website for your business that can evolve easily as you grow, and you don’t want to be limited by design functionality, Webflow is definitely a contender of choice. 


Why we love Webflow

  • You can customize pretty much everything without needing to know how to code
  • It’s a design-first tool
  • Awesome CMS functionality, especially when combined with Jetboost


2. Squarespace

Up next on the top no-code tools list is Squarespace — a drag-and-drop website builder lets you quickly and easily build visually beautiful, image-led websites.

Unlike Webflow, Squarespace is relatively simple, making it suitable for beginners. It offers less advanced features, but this makes it the ideal choice if you need a visually striking landing page — say for your blog or portfolio — with a shallow learning curve to get it up and running. With a robust library of award-winning templates, you can build an entire site very quickly.

You can also send email campaigns directly from the interface. 

Squarespace is also an ecommerce platform, so if you are a professional artist looking to market your talent, this may be the best no-code tool for you.

The CMS is easy to use and offers everything you would expect from it: domains, hosting, galleries, analytics, and 24/7 support, all in one place.

For anyone wanting to create a beautiful design- or gallery-oriented website, with the added bonus of selling products or services and communicating with your customers, Squarespace is highly recommended.


Why we love Squarespace

  • Beautiful, minimalist template designs
  • User-friendly interface, including an in-platform assistant to offer help as you build
  • Great additional features like events and ecommerce


3. Bubble

No ‘top no-code platforms’ list would be complete without Bubble. It is without a doubt one the most advanced no code platforms currently available.

With Bubble you can create and launch almost any kind of website or app, including SaaS platforms, marketplaces and CRMs, all without code.

The learning curve is a bit steep, but once you’ve mastered Bubble, the possibilities are endless. It allows full freedom of design and capability, and Bubble’s drag-and-drop functions will enable any creative ideas to come to life. 

It includes full database functionality and, unlike Webflow, Bubble offers a complete range of back-end possibilities — which makes you feel like a coder, without being one!

If you’re looking to build complex web apps or extend your apps with external APIs, Bubble is the best and most complete no-code choice.

Why we love Bubble

  • Everything is completely customizable — from relational data to visual design and everything in between
  • Great for building marketplaces, SaaS, and social networks
  • Ideal for building progressive web apps (PWAs)


4. Carrd

The promise of Carrd is quite straightforward: “Simple, free, fully responsive one-page sites for pretty much anything.”

Unlike many other landing page builders, Carrd only lets you build one-page websites. It’s a minimalist approach to website creation that has you launching a fully responsive site often in a matter of minutes. You can get a lot done on their free plan too — ideal for making a personal profile page or an email capture page quickly and without fuss. 

Though Carrd is certainly the ‘lite’ option for website building, sometimes, less really is more. 

Beyond what’s included in Carrd’s free plan, you can upgrade to access more advanced features such as domains, branding customization, forms, payments, and analytics.

If speed and simplicity are important to you, go check out Carrd!


Why we love Carrd

  • Simple enough even for total beginners
  • Delivers on its mission: Build simple, free, fully-responsive one-page sites for pretty much anything
  • Template library just makes us happy :)

🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for website builders go to…

Softr

Universe

Shopify (for eCommerce)


Best no-code database and productivity tools

5. Airtable

Founded in 2012, Airtable has cemented itself as one of the top sheet-based no-code tools.

It’s essentially a very advanced version of Google Sheets (with some special sauce thrown in).

Typically, spreadsheets can quickly become disorganized and messy, and keeping a tight hold on all your formulas can be a challenge. Meanwhile, building databases from scratch can sound (and be) daunting, and often requires knowledge of coding languages like PHP and MySQL.

This is where Airtable comes in: it is a spreadsheet-database hybrid that helps you create and organize databases with the same functionalities as a spreadsheet, but the power of an easy-to-use online platform.

CEO Howie Lui aims to make Airtable “software’s version of Lego, providing blocks to let any business build do-it-yourself custom software cheaply and quickly.”

Once you’re in Airtable, you organize your data in rows and columns just like in a spreadsheet. But you can use and compare that data just like in a database — best suited if you need to organize large amounts of information. 

As mentioned above, what makes Airtable even more powerful is the release of their Blocks feature. With Blocks, you can add on modular apps to further your workflows beyond just sheets.

If your projects contain database information, and you’ve yet to unlock the power of Airtable, we highly recommend you give it a go.  


Why we love Airtable

  • It can power pretty much anything that’s data-based
  • Relational fields ⚡️
  • It’s a spreadsheet, but it looks and feels like an app


6. Coda

Coda is an online collaboration platform that helps you create or gather all of your documents, in one place.

Think of it like Google Docs and Trello under the same roof, allowing you to streamline your operations and improve your online workspace. Instead of having your business split across many different documents, spreadsheets and apps, Coda brings it all together, so all your data is dynamically integrated into one centralized platform.

It’s similar to Notion in that it’s built around blocks, such as tables and buttons, that you stack up like bricks as you work.

From an ease-of-use point of view, Coda has a pretty shallow learning curve. It feels like you’re writing in a Google or Word doc, but with the ability to add any dynamic or interactive blocks as you go — such as tables, spreadsheets with formulas, and more.

If you're looking for an all-in-one, centralized document organizer with robust integration options, Coda could be a great option. 



Why we love Coda

  • Intuitive to use
  • Databases within documents makes it versatile and ideal for almost anything
  • Great community of users


🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for database tools go to…

Google Sheets

Causal

8base


💡 New to no-code? You might like this: The ultimate no-code cheat sheet.



Best no-code tools for building apps

7. Glide

With Glide, you can create an app from a Google Sheet in just a few minutes, with no code! It converts spreadsheets into beautiful, easy-to-use apps offering a clean and simple user experience. 

Something to note: unlike some other mobile and web app builders, Glide isn’t a drag-and-drop editor. It reflects only what is in your spreadsheets, with a library of templates to choose from or the option of a blank slate. However, if you already have your data and you’re looking to launch an app quickly, Glide should be your tool of choice.

Glide is the perfect no-code tool if you want to build simple apps quickly for a project or build a prototype. You will be able to launch the app on iOS and Android, and even accept payments through your app. 

What’s more, Glide has one of the lowest learning curves of our no-code tool list. 

 


Why we love Glide:

  • Turn a Google sheet into an app in minutes
  • Integrates with Zapier for seamless app automation
  • Gentle learning curve

8. Adalo

Adalo is an online software that helps you build real native mobile apps, with absolutely no code. 

Unlike Glide, which relies solely on Google Sheets to build your app, Adalo offers more advanced features and customization beyond just the data you put in a spreadsheet. 

Components are the building blocks in the Adalo editor, where you use drag-and-drop to add, remove, or swap components and design your app. You can also use database components too, if you need.

Beyond Adalo’s offering, your app can integrate with many other tools and software, including Stripe to take payments. Once ready, you will be able to publish both on the Apple Store and Android, and on the web. 

The UI on Adalo is great — it’s an easy tool to navigate and learn, especially as it offers a slide deck view which most of us are familiar with. 

If you’re looking to build a real native app just like a developer would — minus the coding of course — Adalo will be the best no code tool for this! 



Why we love Adalo

  • All the features and components
  • Dynamic actions, like access to user’s device camera/photo library
  • The user-friendly design interface

🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for app-building tools go to…

Bubble

Array

Appypie


Best no-code EMS (Email Marketing Software) & newsletter tools


9. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the world's largest marketing automation platforms to grow your business.

The grandfather of EMS platforms (founded in 2001 — time flies!), Mailchimp can sometimes feel a little old school, especially if you’re well-versed in more modern no-code tools. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a reliable and robust tool. It’s also easy to learn and use, even for the most non-technical email marketers. 

Mailchimp offers all the basic features you need for emailing, and more — such as landing pages and pop ups to capture leads. It is really good for ecommerce (the Shopify integrations are superb, for example) and has one of the highest number of integrations with other tools on the market.

If you are new to emailing, or if you want to have a solid marketing tool to build a relationship with your audience — including reporting and analytics — Mailchimp should be your go-to no-code tool.

The pricing model is based on the number of contacts in your list however, so you should consider whether it is financially the right fit for your business. 


Why we love Mailchimp

  • Loads of templates with a drag-and-drop design interface — even beginners can create beautiful emails in minutes
  • Powerful audience segmentation , rules, and reporting 
  • Extra features like forms and a creative asset AI assistant (i.e. a bot can design on-brand images for you)

10. ConvertKit

ConvertKit, another popular EMS, positions itself as the best emailing tool for creators and bloggers.

One great feature is ConvertKit’s visual automation workflow builder. With this tool, it’s super easy to visually create an email sequence, adding steps and conditions based on specific triggers, actions and events.

ConvertKit is the minimalist’s email marketing tool. Unlike Mailchimp’s comprehensive (100+) template library, ConvertKit is built around the theory that plain text emails are the communication format of today.

Besides templates and visual sequencing, with ConvertKit you can also easily segment your audience and communicate with them depending on their behavior.

If you’re looking for marketing automation software that can trigger the right message, at the right time, to the right subscriber, then you’d be wise to consider ConvertKit.

 

Why we love ConvertKit

  • Easy-to-use trigger-based sequencing
  • Landing pages and forms make lead generation (and communication) easy
  • Neat automation suite


🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for email marketing & newsletter tools go to…

Hubspot

Ghost

Constant Contact


Best no-code automation tools

11. Zapier

Zapier is, beyond any doubt, one of the world’s most well-known no-code tools. If you’ve ever used tools on this list (or one of more than 3,000 others), chances are you’ve come across Zapier to synchronize tasks between them. 

Described as “the glue of the web”, Zapier allows you to automate any tasks between tools, saving you hundreds of hours of manual and repetitive work. 

They claim more than 1.8M individuals and businesses and integrate with more than 3,000 apps. That means that you can connect and automate almost anything, having your operations on auto-pilot 24/7. 

This is personally one of my favorite tools. If you need to automate your business and/or make your tools work flawlessly with each other, Zapier is the first tool that should come to your mind!

Why we love Zapier

  • It has the most comprehensive list of tools and integrations
  • User-friendly interface
  • Gentle learning curve


🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for automation tools go to…

Integromat

Tray

IFTTT


Best no-code survey tools

12. Typeform

Used for building ‘people-friendly forms and surveys”, Typeform has overhauled the traditional, bog standard form and turned it into an experience that’s “made for humans”.

Using slick designs and an interface that’s pleasing to use, Typeforms helps you create forms that encourage higher engagement and completion rates than typical survey software. There are advanced features on offer too, such as conditional logic — which displays questions based on respondents' answers. 

You can use Typeform to build quizzes, surveys, forms, and polls, or to get feedback, do research, and generate leads. What’s more, with the recently added VideoAsk integration — which helps you create polls and forms through videos — creating a unique and interactive experience has never been easier.

If you’re looking to impress, and/or enjoy higher engagement rates on your forms, Typeform is where it’s at. 

Why we love Typeform

  • Easy to use, even for total beginners
  • Lots of integration options to connect with other tools/platforms
  • Advanced options for the more experienced user

🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for survey & form tools go to…

Formstack

involve.me

JotForm


Best no-code membership tools

13. Memberstack

Creating a community has become an important strategy for businesses that want to grow, and create an ecosystem of growth. Build a community and you’ll have an evergreen (hopefully) ecosystem of brand advocates and people that continue to grow your business for you.

There are many no-code membership tools out there, so of course a list of two is by no means exhaustive. But Memberstack is what is used at Makerpad, hence why it’s #1 on this list.

Memberstack lets you build member-only websites, dashboards and web apps quickly and easily. Once you’re set up with an account, it won’t be long before you’re adding user logins and member payments to your website or tech stack, without needing developer input.

But beyond simple memberships, as your community grows and becomes more loyal, you may want to create exclusive circles or tiers. With Memberstack you can set up membership levels and restrictions, creating members-only pages and content if needed.

What’s more, Memberstack is white-labeled, so you can style the user account screens to look like part of your existing website.

It easily integrates with Stripe for payment handling and collection, too.

If you are looking to add a membership area to your website or app, with or without generating revenue from it, Memberstack is the ideal tool.

 

Why we love Memberstack

  • Integrates easily with other no-code tools, especially Webflow
  • Gentle learning curve
  • Great styling options for a frictionless, on-brand user journey

14. Outseta

Outseta is the Swiss Army knife of no-code membership tools. It is the only all-in-one platform integrating subscriptions, billing, email marketing, support, CRM, and reporting tools.

Unlike Memberstack which specializes only in memberships, Outseta helps you manage your entire business using the same login. You can handle your members, their payments, your client database and communications, and customer support and live chat, all under the same panel. The context of your client is entirely not lost in between all the tools you would normally have to integrate together but use separately. 

Outseta also integrates well with Stripe making it easy to grow your revenue. 

Whether you’re building a SaaS or membership-only website — if you need an all-in-one solution (and who doesn’t?!) to manage not just memberships, but also your client database and communications, Outseta will be a smart choice for a quick launch to market. 


Why we love Outseta

  • It offers lots of functionality in one place, saving you from ‘over-tooling’
  • Ideal for building SaaS platforms
  • Awesome customer service


🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for membership tools go to…

MemberSpace

Gumroad

Pico

Best no-code community tool

15. Circle

Just as the name suggests, Circle is a community building tool. It offers a forum-based platform where you and your community can digitally meet, exchange and grow together. 

Circle goes beyond the standard forum format, though — you can create different spaces for private or public discussion, interest groups, and exclusive spaces for your premium members, if needed.

Circle can be white-labeled too, so whether you run memberships, courses, coaching, podcasts, newsletters, or you have a brand or startup, you can make your community forum slot perfectly into your website or other current online experience. 

What’s more, if you’re a Facebook group owner or manager of a community on another existing platform, you can easily migrate your people to Circle for a better organized space to turn them into lifetime fans. 

And if you're looking to start your own community from scratch, this tool-path will help you. 

Why we love Circle

  • White-labeled option
  • Very quick to set up
  • Great stats and analytics tools to better understand your community

🏆 And the honorary runner-up awards for community tools go to…

Discourse

Tribe


There you go – our list of the top 15 no-code tools you can use to build apps, websites, membership businesses, automations and more, without coding.

Of course, this list is definitely not exhaustive, and it was tough whittling it down to 15!

Whenever you’re building a project, always explore the market and your options to be sure you’re using the right tool for you. If you’re not sure what the ‘right’ tool is, we recommend just diving in with any tool and taking it from there. If you come up against roadblocks, then you know it’s time to switch and try something new.


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