Top 13 no-code and low-code app builders money can buy

You’re probably in one of two situations:

Either you’ve had an app idea you think will change the world, or you have a specific business use case for building an app.

And from either point of view, you don’t want to create an app from scratch, given the time and cost investment.

Well, you’re in luck.

We’ve compiled two lists of the best no-code app builders and the best low-code app builders so you can make the best decision for your business.

First things first though, let’s cover some of the basics to ensure an app builder is what you need 👇

What is an app builder?

An app builder is a platform that allows businesses and individuals to quickly and cost-effectively build web and mobile apps on their chosen web and/or mobile operating systems (Android, iOS). No-code app builders require no coding experience to use while low-code app builders require developers.

Top 5 app builder benefits

Whether you choose a no-code or low-code app builder, the benefits are essentially the same. With an app builder, apps will be 👇

  1. Cheaper to create
  2. Faster to complete
  3. Easier to design
  4. Easier to update
  5. Easier to manage

The difference is who’ll reap those benefits—someone without coding experience, or a developer/development team with it?

Low-code app builders vs no-code app builders: Which is best for me?

It depends.

If you’re an entrepreneur or an SMB, no-code options are preferable. This is because with a low-code solution, you’ll likely have to outsource development, and spend time and money you don’t have.

Enterprises, on the other hand, have the option to pursue either avenue, depending on what best fits their use case.

For example, a no-code app builder would be the best choice if there was limited time to deliver the app and it was focused on a small campaign.

A low-code app builder may be better suited for a larger project – say to enable digital transformation or build an online store.

Top tip

Platforms operating on a SaaS model may appear deceptively cheap, as they don’t always account for hidden costs. Be sure to check for additional fees when speaking to your chosen app builder.

What is the best app builder?

The 13 best app builders on the market right now are:

1 – Builder.ai | 2 – Bubble.io | 3 – AppMachine | 4 – AppSheet | 5 – Honeycode | 6 – Webflow | 7 – Appy Pie | 8 – BuildFire | 9 – Appian | 10 – Appeon | 11 – OutSystems | 12 – Pega | 13 – Mendix

The first 8 on the list are no-code platforms while the final 5 are low-code platforms. Scroll 👇 or use the menu 👆 to navigate.

1 – Builder.ai (no code)

builder ai
builder ai

Typically, no-code app builders focus on business workflows and scaling internal operations.

With them, you can build web apps for desktop and mobile web browsers, but there’s no ability to deploy natively. Web and mobile apps are also based on pre-built templates.

On the other hand, Builder.ai is an AI-powered platform that leverages a developer network to build custom apps with unlimited flexibility for customers.

This gives you the speed and sophistication of low-code at the cost of no code. Here are Builder’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Easy to build any app, regardless of complexity or tech expertise
  • AI matches you to a dedicated specialist chosen according to your project requirements, meaning you get support throughout the whole app-building process
  • Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pricing model means there are no hidden costs and you don’t pay for anything you don’t need.
  • Aftercare warranty with Builder Care for updates, bug fixes & infrastructure monitoring
  • Can be used internally and externally
  • No lock in

Cons

  • Not for developers
  • Not operating on a SaaS pricing model

Pricing

PAYG model means you only pay for the features and delivery time you need. Or you can choose a pre-packaged app which costs £295 per month over a fixed 24 month period.

2 – Bubble.io (no code)

bubble io
bubble io

 

Bubble.io is a no-code web app builder promising to build apps “better and faster”. It leverages a point-and-click web editor to achieve this, and follows a simple 4-step app building plan (Prototype, Launch, Iterate, Scale).

Bubble is capable of building anything from an MVP to a fully functioning app, according to positive G2 reviewers. That said, it can be difficult to find developers who are Bubble literate, which can delay project delivery.

Here are Bubble’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Simple UI
  • Highly customisable
  • Community helps troubleshoot any issues

Cons

  • Doesn’t build and deploy native apps
  • Requires some technical expertise which isn’t ideal for entrepreneurs or SMBs
  • No infrastructure monitoring and manual bug fixing required
  • Locked in

Pricing

Paid pricing plans start at $25 per month if you pay annually. Monthly plans start at $29 per month.

3  AppMachine (no code)

appmachine
appmachine

AppMachine helps businesses build their own apps and resellers build apps on behalf of their customers.

The platform claims it’s suitable for both beginners and pros and follows a 3-step app building process (Scan website, Build and design, Publish and promote).

AppMachine’s primary use cases are for businesses in the sport, music, hospitality, travel and educational sectors.

Here are AppMachine’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Useful 3rd party integrations
  • Responsive customer service

Cons

  • Limited to apps on mobile devices
  • Limited design customisation options
  • Requires technical and design expertise
  • No infrastructure monitoring and manual bug fixing required

Pricing

Paid plans start at $29 per app per month when billed annually. For monthly billing, plans start at $39.

4  AppSheet (no code)

appsheet
appsheet

Google AppSheet is a no-code app builder that helps simplify work. The platform provides 4 different ways to build an app, including:

  1. Connecting data sources (Excel, Google Sheets, etc)
  2. Copying sample apps
  3. Using add-ons for Google Sheets, Forms or Excel
  4. Starting from SPEC

G2 reviewers praise its ease of use, but say it’s a challenge to build more complex apps. Here are AppSheet’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Ideal for collecting and analysing data, plus automating workflows
  • Simple UX

Cons

  • Limited to mobile apps
  • Low-fidelity software means it’s tough to build app sophistication
  • Complex user experience means entrepreneurs and SMBs need support
  • No infrastructure monitoring and manual bug fixing required

Pricing

Paid plans start at $5 per user per month.

5  Honeycode (no code)

honeycode
honeycode

Similar to AppSheet, Honeycode is designed to help you build as many apps as you need to make workplace processes more streamlined.

Currently in the Beta phase, Honeycode allows you to configure apps so team members only see the data they need to and is customisable on web browsers and mobile devices.

Early adopters say there’s room for improvement on the UX side, while praising the ability to build and share apps quickly.

Here are Honeycode’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Ideal for enterprises building custom spreadsheet-powered applications for processes like inventory management, internal workflows, survey management, to-do lists

Cons

  • Only available in the Amazon US West (Oregon) data centre region
  • Can’t connect directly to external data source (e.g. SQL database or Airtable)
  • Low-fidelity software means it’s tough to build app sophistication
  • No infrastructure monitoring and manual bug fixing required

Pricing

Paid monthly plans start at $19.99 per user per month.

6  Webflow (no code)

webflow
webflow

Webflow is a no-code platform that helps you “design, build and launch” custom web apps.

With it, you can export working HTML, CSS and Javascript and get new sites live in weeks while staying true to your original designs.

G2 users praise how Webflow bridges the gap between design and front-end development, but also mention a steep learning curve when first using the platform, making it less suitable for entrepreneurs and SMBs.

Here are Webflow’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Ideal for building responsive websites using drag and drop
  • Help centre resources help you get the most out of the platform
  • Allows developers to spend more time on design and less on implementation

Cons

  • No ability to create native mobile apps
  • Experienced designers needed to navigate platform
  • Experts required for custom projects costing up to $10K
  • No infrastructure monitoring and manual bug fixing required

Pricing

Paid plans start at $12 per month and are billed annually.

7 – Appy Pie (no code)

appy pie
appy pie

Appy Pie helps you build no-code mobile apps, web apps, chatbot apps, and workflow automation apps.

G2 users praise the platform’s customer service, but suggest that it isn’t very customisable.

Here are Appy Pie’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • DIY drag and drop functionality
  • User friendly for non developers

Cons

  • Low-fidelity software means it’s tough to build app sophistication
  • Limited, pre-made selection of templates stifle creativity
  • Outdated UI design options
  • Training required because of poor tutorials

Pricing

Paid plans for one app per month start at $16.

8 – BuildFire (no code)

buildfire
buildfire

BuildFire is a DIY mobile app builder for Android and iOS apps.

G2 users praise the platform’s customer support, but also mention hidden costs and poor customisability as negatives.

Here are BuildFire’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Drag and drop app building as well as custom development options well for SMBs
  • Simple UI

Cons

  • Limited templates and customisation options
  • Users unable to add specific functionalities
  • You don’t own the code
  • Locked in

Pricing

BuildFire’s DIY app development plans start at $159 per month and are billed annually, while their fully managed services start at $5,000 per month.

9 – Appian (low code)

appian
appian

Appian is an enterprise-focused app builder, helping customers build workflows that improve business results.

It’s particularly useful for companies in the customer experience, operational performance or global risk management and compliance sectors.

G2 users praise Appian’s ease of use, while some express concerns about its scalability. This is because only experts are able to leverage it effectively.

Here are Appian’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Intuitive UI
  • Drag and drop functionality

Cons

  • High cost to build basic apps
  • Limited ability to customise UX and UI
  • Enterprise accounts are expensive with average monthly cost between $2K – $3K
  • Hidden costs for developers and 3rd party tools
  • Users have to manually fix bugs and errors

Pricing

Monthly, with paid plans starting at £1.54 per user per month.

10 – Appeon (low code)

appeon
appeon

Powerbuilder by Appeon is designed to simplify the building of data-driven business applications.

It offers client/server apps, installable cloud apps and C# REST APIs to help achieve this and is one of the oldest players in the space.

Here are Appeon’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Ideal for converting old enterprise apps to Windows and cloud apps

Cons

  • Average yearly cost per developer is $1595 and you’ll need a team of developers to complete a project
  • Hidden costs for developers and 3rd party tools
  • Users have to manually fix bugs and errors
  • Locked in

Pricing

Prices start at $895 per developer per year.

11 – OutSystems (low code)

outsystems
outsystems

OutSystems is a full-stack app development platform.

It leverages AI to help developers build a wide range of apps, including mobile apps, web apps, portals, voice/chatbot-powered virtual assistance apps and many more.

OutSystems is robust enough to support enterprise use cases, with G2 users praising the speed of development and integrations.

On the other hand, users find customizability limited and the price point high.

Here are Outsystems’ main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Small learning curve
  • Community helps troubleshoot issues

Cons

  • Can’t build complex systems because of low code limitations
  • Limited UI and UX customisation options
  • Costly for non-enterprise customers
  • Locked in

Pricing

Paid plans start at $1,500 per month and are billed annually.

12 – Pega (low code)

pega
pega

Pega is an app builder aimed at mid-market and enterprise companies with BPM, RPA and CRM use cases.

With the platform, which unifies artificial intelligence, intelligent automation, and customer engagement capabilities, you can build both simple and complex apps to help aid digital transformation.

G2 reviewers praise Pega’s customizability, while some mention customer support can be lacking.

Here are Pega’s main pros and cons:

Pros

  • Speeds up development process
  • Training materials provided to shorten learning curve

Cons

  • Complex UI
  • Limited integrations
  • Locked in

Pricing

Paid plans start at $35 per user per month.

13 – Mendix (low code)

mendix
mendix

Mendix is an enterprise-focused app builder which prides itself on delivery speed.

In its own words, the platform provides “an integrated, comprehensive set of tools and platform services for the entire app lifecycle, from ideation and development, through deployment and operation”.

G2 users say Mendix delivers on its promise of speed, while it’s also possible to build the complexity of your apps. Integrations and UI, on the other hand, are mentioned as points of improvement.

Here are the main pros and cons of Mendix:

Pros

  • Intuitive UI
  • Reusable widgets making app building simple

Cons

  • Limited scope for customisation
  • Locked in

Pricing

Paid plans start at $50 per month for 5 users.

Conclusion

Depending on your use case, the answers to the following questions should help you choose the perfect app builder for you business 👇

What is the best no-code app builder?

Builder.ai is the best no-code app builder because it’s capable of building any kind of app; simple or highly sophisticated. The company’s AI make projects cheaper by automating repetitive tasks, while the platform is bundled with professional services from Builder’s network, meaning you don’t need to find specialist developers.

What is the best free app builder?

Ironically, the best option to create an app for free is to use a paid platform. Many providers offer free trials, which may allow you to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) without paying. And if you need to build complexity once your MVP is completed, you can.

This will be more difficult to achieve on a free platform, as you’ll be working with templates that can’t be customised.

And there we have it! You’re ready to get your app building journey started today. 🚀

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