A guide to finding the right no-code developer to build your app

A guide to finding the right no-code developer to build your app

As no-code’s popularity for building apps faster and cheaper increases, so does the supply and demand for no-code developers. 

Just do a search for no-code developers and you’ll be met with a long list of hiring platforms where individual freelancers and agencies market their services.

Like any complex service offering in a competitive space, identifying and assessing which no-code developers are best at balancing quality, speed, and support can be tricky. So how can you sort through the options and find the best developer to build your app?

Below, we’ll cover the following topics to help you understand your options, assess different vendors, and hire the right no-code developer for your needs and project:

Why hire an external no-code developer

While you can learn to build with different no-code development platforms on your own, the ease of learning and using a no-code tool can vary. A good rule of thumb is that the more versatility and customizability a platform offers, the longer it will take to learn and build proficiently. For example, a no-code tool that focuses on a specific use case (e.g. Shopify for e-commerce or Webflow for websites) will be easier to pick up than a tool that can produce virtually any modern app configuration (e.g. Bubble). 

For many startups, venture studios, and existing businesses that need complex, customized experiences, taking the time to learn a tool like Bubble just isn’t an option. Instead, they’d rather outsource development to external no-code developers to launch faster, focus on other areas of the business while things get built, and get input from experts who have already built successful products.

Where to find no-code developers

You can start your search for a no-code developer in a few ways:

  • Online Freelance Platforms: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr have a pool of freelancers proficient in no-code development. You can post your project, review profiles, and hire based on skills and past projects.
  • No-Code Development Communities: Join online communities, forums, and social media groups dedicated to no-code development. These communities are great for networking and finding no-code experts.
  • No-Code Development Platforms: Some no-code development platforms have directories of certified experts or agencies. Check the official websites of these platforms to find no-code developers. For example, if you’re looking for a Bubble-specific developer, check out the Bubble Agencies page. It’s the best central authority of Bubble developers for hire – ranging from solopreneurs and single member agencies to larger development shops with multiple employees and expertise in various aspects of application design and development.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn allows you to find no-code developers by using relevant keywords in your search. Connecting with them and discussing your project can lead to potential hires. You can also go a layer deeper and investigate the backgrounds and experience of individual developers or agency team members.

Pro tip: Once you’ve found vendors that interest you, you can search validated customer references on sites like Clutch, G2, and FeaturedCustomers. These sites provide reviews, case studies, testimonials, and customer videos to help you make better purchasing decisions.

How to evaluate different no-code developers

The landscape of both freelancers and no-code agencies is varied – with a handful of established and reputable vendors and a long list of fly-by-night outfits thanks to no-code’s promise of making custom software development 10x faster and less expensive. Below, we’ll tell you more about how to know who to consider and specific ways to evaluate them. 

Freelancers vs. agencies

A key question you must answer early on is whether to hire a freelance no-code developer vs. agency. This will all depend upon your project’s requirements, business needs, in-house skill sets, budget, flexibility, and timeline. 

Generally speaking, agencies are a great option if you are non-technical and software development is fairly new to you. They will take care of everything with their own resources, guiding you from project start to finish with minimal time investment on your part.

If you have experience with software development, as well as the know-how and time to scope, design, and project manage your own product, freelancers can work well for you. Freelancers offer a flexible way to complete specialized projects (or elements of projects) with a smaller budget. 

Below are some common reasons we’ve heard for working with one versus the other:


  • Less expensive
  • Sometimes more nimble
  • Direct relationship (less red tape, fewer handoffs)
  • Potential to hire the individual onto your team

Within our own freelancer service model where we offer vetted Bubble-specific talent on a fractional basis, we’ve seen clients choose this route when:

  • Their budget is small and limited 
  • They want more control and involvement
  • They have the time and technical expertise to manage a freelancer’s tasks and responsibilities
  • Their project is small
  • They need more selective services
  • They want to augment their existing team


  • Better equipped to deliver larger, more complex projects
  • Expectations for a higher degree of professionalism and continuity 
  • Typically more experience to draw on, more centralized knowledge/tools to bring to bear
  • Less risky – less likely to go away, accountability at the company level, can transfer to another person
  • More specialization with a team (PM, design, dev, QA, etc.)
  • More process, easier to follow along vs. needing to manage everything

In comparison, clients who opt for our full-service agency model have mentioned these reasons for choosing a team over a freelancer:

  • Their budget is medium or high
  • They have long-term, ongoing service needs
  • Their project is complicated with multiple phases
  • Their product needs a broad area of expertise
  • They have little to no software development expertise and experience
  • They don’t have the time to manage the process (i.e. need a low-maintenance, full-service operation)
  • You need fast-paced, high-quality product delivery to meet a deadline

No-code developer evaluation criteria 

After you’ve decided between freelancers vs. agencies and found some vendors that interest you, you’ll want to identify whose claims you can trust and look for subtle differences in process/offerings that might be a better fit for your exact situation. To do this, you can start by evaluating them with the following list of criteria and questions: 

1. Vendor Profile:

  • Experience and track record: How many years have they been in business? How long have they focused on no-code app development? What platforms are they skilled in? Do they have case studies and attributable reviews to show?

    In an emerging space like no-code development, new agencies (or quasi-agencies) and freelancers are popping up all the time. To trust the claims they’re making on their website, it’s important to see that they’ve been around for at least a few years and built up a credible track record. Because no-code is relatively young, a good frame of reference for experience is:

    - 5+ years = Very advanced/experienced, low risk
    - 2-5 years = Solid experience, not too risky
    - <1 year = Riskier, so make sure you really trust the individual/s first
  • Cases like yours: Do they have case studies like yours? Can they show that they’ve built similar types of applications and worked with clients close to your specific company size (e.g. startups or enterprises)?

    This is relevant because each app type has its own set of typical design/feature questions and conventions. A no-code developer or agency that’s already been through this type of build (especially with clients similar to you) will know what to ask and what to do. If you’re a startup, they’ll know how to help you think lean and launch quickly. If you’re an enterprise, they’ll be familiar with how to serve your security, scaling, and support needs.
  • Location: Where in the world are they? Do they operate off-shore vs. local vs. distributed around the globe?

    This matters for language and timezone differences. For example, you may want to work with someone in your timezone for real-time calls and feedback, or someone in a different timezone to take advantage of schedule. Note: for agencies and developers that work more asynchronously, this matters less than for vendors that require many meetings.
  • Employees and staff: Can you find and research the profiles of people who work there? Are they pure no-code developers? Or have they had different roles, such as consultants or business managers? This can help you understand the context from which they’ll approach your app build, both technically and logically.
  • Price point: How are they priced in comparison to other options? It may be a bad sign if they’re significantly less or more expensive than what others are offering for the scope of your project. It’s all about finding the right value.
  • Language around outcomes: What expectations are they setting? Do they speak from a point of specific experience and confidence? Or general puffery, hype, and over promise? This matters because the outcome of service work also depends on you, so the right agency will be balanced in how they address that.
  • Lead time/availability: How fast can they get started? Too quick (e.g. they can start anytime) might be a bad signal that they are desperate. However, too long (e.g. they’re booked up for 6 months), shows they’re unavailable. Generally, finding someone who can start the process within a week or 2 to get a plan together is good.  

2. Vendor Process:

  • Vetting and scoping: How detailed are they in defining your no-code app’s features and design upfront? Are they asking the right questions about your product and needs? Or are they pushing you along too quickly making promises without first understanding what your project entails?

    Detailed upfront planning and communication is the only way to accurately calculate the effort and how much it will cost to build your software. If a developer or agency doesn’t dedicate enough time to this step, your project is likely to go over budget, miss deadlines, and be substandard.

    Pro tip: be sure to check if they charge you for up-front scoping and discovery, as it should be included.
  • Design and development: Do they do it bespoke every time? Or do they have an established system they use?

    Either can be good depending upon your needs. If you value speed and a fast launch, go with a no-code agency or freelancer with a robust design system in place. If you need something truly bespoke, go with a vendor that spends over 50% of the project on design and discovery. Just note, this can also be more expensive.
  • Launch and support: Is their work considered done after your app launches? Do they discuss ongoing support to tackle your product roadmap over time as needs evolve? This piece is often overlooked or discounted to cut timeline and cost, but it’s critical for them to talk through the plan and long-term options for tackling future tweaks and add-ons.
  • Team structure: Is a single person handling all elements of your project or is there a team for continuity? Having a point person for team accountability and management is important and can save you a lot of headaches during the build process.
  • Fixed vs. capacity-based pricing: Do they work on a time + materials basis with hourly rates? Do they offer guaranteed fixed pricing? Or do they instead give detailed estimate ranges with contingencies?

    Obviously, the more certainty you can get the better – unless you’re looking to optimize flexibility and define things as you go. However, if they work on capacity-basis, it’s important to truly assess their ability to deliver the project on time and on budget (this is where trust and examples are key).

    Pro tip: we recommend you keep the “Rule of Pi” in mind: anytime you’re promised an estimate of what something costs or how long it will take to complete, multiply that by 3.14 to get the actual estimate.

Summarizing the points

In summary, finding the right no-code developers, whether freelancers or agencies, can be done if you focus on these 4 key criteria:

  • Their portfolio: Who have they worked with? Can you see that they’re established and have built up a credible track record? Can they show that they’ve built similar types of apps and worked with clients close to your specific company size?
  • Customer testimonials: How satisfied are their clients? What feedback is there about what it’s like to work with them?
  • Their approach/process: How will they tackle your project? How detailed are they in defining your app’s features and design upfront? Are they asking the right questions about your product and needs?
  • The way they talk about your project: Do they speak from a point of specific experience and confidence, or general puffery, hype, and over promise?

By defining your requirements and taking time upfront to select a vendor that provides the experience, expertise, transparency in process and pricing, and services you need, you can build a no-code app that delivers a great return on your investment.

Start your project right with Airdev’s no-code developers

Whether you’re looking for a freelancer or agency to launch a custom software product in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional developers. Airdev can help.

We are a Bubble Gold partner, providing highly skilled no-code developers, designers, and product managers, available either as a full-service team or as individual vetted freelancers. Click here to learn more about both of these models.