No-Code Tools: How to Pick the Right Platform

Given there are so many no-code tools out there, how do we make sense of them all? When analyzing a tool, we find it essential to  look at several key dimensions:

  • Learning curve: how much effort and time does it take to learn the tool to the point where you can build something high-quality with it?
  • Functional flexibility: how far can you push the no-code tool in terms of functionality? What’s possible and what’s not?
  • Extensibility: if you need to connect your product to other things (e.g. payment platforms, databases), can you do that? 
  • Platform lock-in: if you build your product using this tool, how locked are you to the continued use of the tool?
  • Scalability: can the tool handle 100 users? What about 10,000? 10,000,000?

No-Code Tool Flexibility vs. Ease-of-Use

One guiding framework that we like to use when choosing a no-code tool is flexibility vs. ease of use. Every tool maker has a tradeoff to make: how powerful to make the tool vs. how easy to make the tool to use. And that tradeoff always exists because in order to make something more flexible, you usually have to make it harder to use. So as a good rule of thumb, simple products should be built with simpler tools, while more complex problems require more flexible tools.

There are tons of resources out there that analyze the hundreds of different no-code tools that now exist, so we don’t go into detail on each one. However, below we offer a quick overview of some of our favorite tools to build with.


Airtable is a no-code tool that combines the functionality of a spreadsheet with the power of a database. It's designed to help users organize and manage various types of data in a flexible and customizable way. With Airtable, you can create custom fields, design your own views, and collaborate with others in real-time.

Here are some common use cases for Airtable:

  • Project management: Airtable can be used to track tasks, deadlines, and progress across different projects.
  • Content planning: you can use Airtable to plan and organize content for blogs, social media, or other marketing campaigns.
  • Event planning: Airtable can be used to manage guest lists, schedules, and other details for events of all sizes.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): Airtable can be used to keep track of customer information and order history
  • Inventory management: you can use Airtable to track inventory levels, orders, and shipments for businesses of all sizes.

Here are some limitations of Airtable:

  • Limited UX capabilities: while Airtable does have the ability to build various interfaces, those interfaces need to follow a particular structure and they have a lot of limitations.
  • Limited reporting: Airtable doesn't have advanced reporting capabilities, which can make it difficult to generate complex reports or analytics.
  • Limited automation: Airtable does have some automation options, but they may not be as robust as some other tools on the market.
  • Cost: Airtable charges a per-user fee, which may end up being cost prohibitive when lots of users need to use a particular tool.


Zapier is an automation tool that connects various web applications and allows users to automate workflows between them. It's designed to help users streamline repetitive tasks and improve productivity by automating manual processes. With Zapier, you can very quickly create custom workflows, or "Zaps", that trigger actions between different apps, without requiring any coding knowledge. Think of it as a connective tissue for the internet – when one thing happens somewhere, it can do something else somewhere else. It’s also commonly paired with Airtable.

Here are some common use cases for Zapier:

  • Lead generation and management: Zapier can be used to automate lead capture from various sources, such as forms, landing pages, or chatbots, and route them to the appropriate sales or marketing teams.
  • Social media management: Zapier can be used to automate social media posting, scheduling, or monitoring, by connecting various social media platforms with other tools such as Google Sheets, Trello, or Slack.
  • E-commerce management: Zapier can be used to automate various e-commerce tasks, such as order processing, inventory management, or shipping notifications, by connecting e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce with other tools like Gmail or Zapier's own built-in tools.
  • Productivity and collaboration: Zapier can be used to automate various productivity and collaboration tasks, such as task management, file sharing, or team communication, by connecting tools such as Asana, Google Drive, or Slack.

Here are some limitations of Zapier:

  • Limited integration customization: while Zapier provides a wide range of integrations, some may have limited functionality.
  • Lack of advanced data processing: Zapier allows you to do basic data manipulation but you’ll quickly run into limitations if you need to do anything more complex.
  • No interfaces: Zapier is purely a backend tool and you’d need to connect it to other tools in order to expose data to users in an interface.


Webflow is a website builder and design tool that allows users to create responsive websites without code. It's designed to help users create professional-looking websites with a drag-and-drop interface and a range of pre-designed templates and components. With Webflow, users can also customize their websites using CSS and HTML and integrate with various third-party tools.

Here are some common use cases for Webflow:

  • Website creation: Webflow can be used to create custom websites for businesses, portfolios, or personal blogs, with a wide range of pre-designed templates and components.
  • Landing pages: Webflow can be used to create custom landing pages for marketing campaigns, with features such as A/B testing, form submissions, and analytics.
  • Content management: Webflow can be used to manage and publish website content, with features such as CMS collections, dynamic lists, and multi-language support.

Here are some limitations of Webflow:

  • Learning curve: while Webflow is designed to be user-friendly, it can still take some time to learn the more advanced features and customization options, especially if you have no prior experience with website design or development.
  • Limited customization: while Webflow provides a range of customization options, some may require coding knowledge or advanced design skills.
  • Limited integrations: while Webflow does have some integrations with other tools, it may not work with all of the apps or services that your organization uses.
  • Limited backend functionality: Webflow does allow you to have a simple CMS for building blogs, etc. but anything with more complex backend functionality (e.g. full web apps) aren’t possible.


Last, but very much not least, is our favorite platform, Bubble, which is a tool for building custom web applications. The reason why we love Bubble is because of how flexible the platform is. There are very few limitations when it comes to the kind of a web application that you want to build – almost any UI, functionality, and integrations are feasible.

Here are some common use cases for Bubble:

  • Startups: Bubble is very commonly used by startups, for either just their initial product MVP or for their production version, depending on the product requirements.
  • Two-sided marketplaces: marketplaces are one of the most commonly built applications on Bubble. That’s because it’s easy to build common marketplace features like browsing, search, messaging, payments, and more.
  • SaaS tools: Bubble is a great tool for building subscription-based software, in both B2B and B2C markets.
  • Internal tooling: companies from SMBs to enterprises use Bubble to build tools to support their various internal processes, integrate with their existing systems, and process/analyze data.

Here are some limitations of Bubble:

  • Learning curve: because Bubble is such a flexible tool it also takes a while to master it to the point where you’re able to build production-grade applications.
  • Mobile: Bubble allows you to build mobile-responsive apps but not native mobile apps, so if you’re looking to build something that needs native features (e.g. Uber with real-time location), it’s not going to be the best fit.