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How To Choose The Perfect No-Code Platform

by on February 24, 2021
No-Code Checklist Feature Backendless

The No-Code development space is taking off, with new tools coming available seemingly every day. What that means, however, is that there are many players jumping in that lack staying power.

The “Best No-Code Platform” community on Quora created an 8-Point Checklist to help you easily discern which No-Code (or as we like to call it, Codeless) development platforms are duds and which ones are here for the long-haul.

This article is not about differentiating between features. Every app has different feature needs. Exploring the features section of any platform you consider should always come first.

This article is about vetting services to be sure you’re working with an established, well-supported platform with the longevity to support your app for years to come.

No-Code Platform Checklist

Do They Tell You The Price?

First things first, find your way to their website. Look for a PRICING link. If you don’t see it at the top, it may be at the very bottom of the page, where all the other site links are listed. Sometimes you may have to step through their menu bar to find the pricing page. If you see REQUEST A DEMO instead of pricing, then you know the price is likely to be outrageous, and only affordable to well-funded development teams.

Can The Platform Scale With You?

If they do have their pricing tiers listed, the next most important thing to ask yourself is this: Does this price include UNLIMITED USERS or will you have to PAY PER USER? When you see pay-per-user, this could mean that this technology is not designed for your app to scale. Even if the technology can support your growth, the platform will likely become way too expensive as you grow, forcing you to change platforms in the future.

Is It Regularly Updated?

This is important. Click on their BLOG link. Check how often they post updates. Are they talking about new added capabilities? The WORST thing to see are blog posts with no dates. This tells us that they are no longer actively posting and may not be actively developing; they may well have given up. At best, it means their updates are sporadic and sets off alarm bells about how frequently the platform is updated and maintained. You can also look for their Release History to see how frequently they’re releasing new feature and bug fixes.

Do They Have A Forum?

Next is the all important FORUM. Look for a Forum. If they don’t have a forum, this either means the technology is too buggy or the developers aren’t interested in supporting their product. If it wasn’t buggy, a forum would allow the existing user base to support new users and save a lot of support costs. But if the platform is buggy, they can certainly keep this from the public by not having a PUBLIC FORUM.

Does Anyone Use The Forum?

Then you should look and see what kind of TRAFFIC is happening on this forum. Ideally, you want to see at least a dozen posts a day. Not two or three a week. Look to see how long it takes before questions are answered. Ideally they should ALL be answered promptly. Even better: are more experienced users chiming in and helping the newbies?

Is The Forum Welcoming?

Try this. If all else looks good, go ahead and join the forum. Post some questions, even if you haven’t even taken the time to get hands on for evaluation of the platform quite yet. See how well you are treated. The way inexperienced newbies are treated will tell you a lot about how easy or difficult it will be getting up to speed on this new platform. You will also find out if there are any gatekeepers – users that make communities toxic or uninviting.

What’s Been Built With The Platform?

One more item to check, and maybe the most important: They better have a GALLERY of apps. These are all the production apps that users have completed that are now available in various app stores. How many are there? There should be LOTS!! If not, this tells us one of two things. Either, for some reason, developers are giving up before completing their projects, or the platform is immature and long-term reliability may be an issue. Not good! Also ask yourself, are these production apps simplistic OR are they serious and admirable projects you might want to emulate?

How Fast Is The Platform Itself?

Oh! Last but not least. This is only important once you’re actually developing your app. When you make some changes and press Preview, you want to see your app working… QUICK! No longer than 10 seconds. Otherwise, they are probably using outdated technology.

1 Comment

I’d add: for those who want to build public facing websites/applications the possibility to have clean URLs and search engine friendly HTML is essential.

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