Working with a web designer gets you a sleek and beautiful website — something you couldn’t create on your own. But what happens when you want to tweak and update your pages: to change a subheading or upload a new logo? That can be tricky to do yourself, unless your site’s been built using no-code development.
Coding isn’t easy to learn. It can take 3-6 months just to grasp the basics — and that’s simply too long when your business is ready to launch.
That’s what made the recent introduction of no-code development all the more exciting. With these intuitive platforms at our disposal, it just got way easier and faster to create stunning digital experiences. Better still, brand and business owners can take control of the on-going maintenance of their sites without the help of a professional.
Let’s start with the basics — what is no-code (and low code) development?
No-code frameworks allow people without a tech or coding background to develop, publish and maintain a website or app. Where digital development once required programming expertise and many, many lines of written code, no-code frameworks use visual elements to power the building process.
Drag-and-drop interfaces play a major role in no-code development. See a block or module you want on your homepage, drag it into the template, type in your copy and hit ‘save’. It’s as simple and flexible as that.
The most popular no-code website builders today are Webflow and Squarespace, but more and more no-code tools are popping up each day.
‘Low code’ is another term you may have heard. As the name suggests, low code tools work to limit the amount of coding that the developer has to perform. They work by enabling the user to quickly adjust the coding, but you still need to know how to code to use low code tools.
How does no-code development help brand owners?
So what does this actually mean in practice?
And why am I — a professional web designer — promoting a way of working that makes my clients less reliant on me in the future? There are lots of reasons, really.
For one, the advancement of no-code development means that website creation can be approached with far more flexibility than we’ve ever seen before. Armed with no-code tools, website designers can undertake the entirety of their client’s brief — including both the design and the development of the platform — all in one go.
Designers just became developers, without the steep learning curve of learning to code.
That helps speed up time to market and get your products or service in front of paying customers faster than ever before.
But no-code development pays off once your digital experience is live as well. As we hinted at above, no-code builders like Webflow are easy for clients themselves to maintain. You can A/B test different homepage headlines, make changes to your product descriptions, update your ecommerce imagery, and much, much more all within a few seconds.
That changes everything for brand owners, who would once have had to wait days (or weeks) for their programmers to make these updates for them.
Better still, you’d never know that no-code websites have been built any differently to other digital experiences. They can look just as good, and work just as well. And that’s where professional designers like me come in.
How to use no-code web development with your design partner
No-code website builders provide a selection of free and paid-for templates to use within your website design. These templates can be adapted and customised to any degree you choose.
That’s why, to get the most out of no-code development and create a truly unique web experience, hiring a professional design partner is still a sensible decision.
Here’s how the no-code web development process works with a designer like me:
We’ll start the project as any other design project starts: with a discovery phone call to better understand your business and the brief
I’ll then go away and come up with an estimate for the work (remember: no-code development is quicker versus from-scratch development, so you get your website faster!)
Once everything is agreed, I’ll start designing UX wireframes — colourful illustrations of what your website could look like, based on your mission and values
Next up, it’s time to build your website in Webflow. It’s possible that Webflow would have a design template that closely resembles what we’ve dreamed up, or it might require more customisation to get where we want it to be. Either way, I’ll then set to work creating your website using the no-code tools
Lastly, when your website is ready to go live, I’ll give you everything you need and hand over the reins to you. You can maintain your own website with just a few clicks — but I’m always here if you need me.
Other ways to use no-code development in any business model
No-code development is by no means limited to website creation.
Businesses in all sectors are adopting no-code tools to digitise their operations and make them more efficient.
A platform like Zapier to link one app with another
Customer analytics solutions like Mixpanel to stress-test your on-site calls to action — and then make the changes yourself, by hopping back into Webflow!
No-code web development is the (faster) way forward!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of the world of no-code development. As you can see, it offers a huge amount of potential at all stages of your website’s lifecycle.
With no-code at your fingertips, you can get the sleek, stylish and highly-designed web experience you’ve been visualising, while also having a site that you feel empowered to control. After all, no one knows your customers like you do — so you should be in the driver’s seat!
About the author
I’m Stefano, a freelance web designer and Webflow expert — based in Italy, but working across the world. I help marketing teams and creative agencies tackle complex digital design challenges, and create engaging experiences that their users love.