No Code, Low Code, and Yes Code: What’s the Difference?

Are you all about low code or no code tools? Or are you more of a 'yes code' person or company? In this Thunkable blog, we explain different coding methods.
Written by
Elizabeth Ventresca
Published on
October 24, 2022

No code and low code development tools have revolutionized the way individuals, businesses, and agencies build applications to overcome the barriers of traditional coding. With the popularity of these tools continuing to rise, “yes code” has emerged as a counterargument in this ongoing discussion, saying that a traditional coding approach is the best method of development.

Spoiler alert: There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between no code, low code, or traditional coding. It all depends on your project goals! Keep on reading to learn more about each development type, its advantages and disadvantages, and examples to help you make the right decision.

What is No Code?

No code software is exactly what it sounds like: tools for building applications without a single line of code. These tools enable users to build fully functional websites, native mobile apps, and more without any prior experience with coding languages. Using drag-and-drop elements to customize designs and functionality, anybody can learn coding concepts. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of No Code

No code tooling is amazing because it empowers anyone to become a developer (just ask the Thunkable users at emotional health platform Wave). Instead of waiting on budget or headcount allocation to start a project, a non-technical person can get started with no experience. Another perk of no code is speed. Quick fixes can be done on the fly to speed up review cycles, and pre-built components like navigation bars add functionality in a fraction of the time it would take to code the same feature. Even experienced developers can make use of this tooling by quickly building and testing an idea before applying any coding to the project.

While no code platforms are excellent in many cases, there are some disadvantages compared to their low code and traditional code counterparts. If a functional element is not provided, it will be more difficult to custom build the feature in a no code solution. If your project requires many complex capabilities, another method may be more suitable. Additionally, if your project requires rapid scalability, like working with large amounts of user data, some no code platforms can present limitations.

Examples of No Code Platforms

As big believers of the no code approach, we use a variety of platforms to build websites, automate processes, and, of course, build apps! Here are a few that we love.

  • MailChimp
  • Notion
  • Softr 
  • Webflow

What is Low Code?

Low code platforms strike a balance between no code and traditional development. You can build applications without having to write a lot of complicated code and have more options for customization. This makes low code solutions a great choice for people who have familiarity with coding and want more control over their project without having to completely delve into traditional development.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Low Code

Because low code is the sweet spot among the three development types, the pros and cons also fall somewhere in the middle. These tools typically combine visual elements with coding to help developers build solutions fast. While build time is still quicker than traditional coding, no code still wins in time to market. Similarly, you can achieve more complex functionality with low code, but maximum customization is achieved with traditional programming.

Unlike no code tooling, prior experience is a prerequisite for using a low code platform. While a non-technical employee may be able to use some of the tool, a project will still need to be passed onto developers, thus lengthening the process. Pricing and resource needs also begin to increase with the use of low code platforms. For example, if you’re interested in adding customized features, you may need to hire a few more skilled engineers to help.

Examples of Low Code Platforms

Looking to optimize the design and functionality of your website, online storefront, or internal tools? Check out the following low code platforms.

  • Retool
  • Salesforce Lightning
  • Shopify
  • WordPress

The Case for Yes Code

While no and low code tools offer advanced solutions suited for all sorts of ideas, we can’t deny that traditional coding will always be an integral part of the world of software development. In fact, our mighty team of coders at Thunkable work hard at programming so our hundreds of thousands of users don’t have to. While the future of software development continually evolves, traditional coding will always be here. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Coding

Traditional coding allows for complete customization paired with technical experience in a programming language: JavaScript, Python, and C, to name a few. Unlike no and low code, developers do not have to worry about the issue of scalability with traditional coding. If you have a skilled team of coders, the sky’s the limit! 

Unfortunately, the boundless nature of traditional development comes at a cost. Coding is not only complex but also time consuming, which might be an issue for those looking to get their project done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Multiple parties, slow turnaround times, and back-and-forth discussions can extend development time by months. The technical needs also require experienced professionals who can write complex code, driving up the cost greatly.

Which Method of App Development is Right for You?

Now it’s time for you to decide: which method of development is right for you? That depends on your goals for your project. You may want to consider:

  • When does the project need to be completed?
  • How much budget can be allocated to your project?
  • How does the potential development method fit into your existing tech stack?

As previously mentioned, there is no right or wrong way to handle application development! It’s up to you to evaluate your needs and choose the best solution.

For projects where you’re looking to get a solution deployed quickly with minimal overhead and little to no coding expertise, a no code platform is probably your best option. If you have the technical resources and are looking to deliver a slightly more complex solution, low code is worth a look. If you’re working on a complicated project with ample time and enough coding expertise, perhaps take a look at traditional development.

No Code Platforms for Mobile App Development

The accessibility, functionality, and ease of use of the no code approach make it compelling for delivering top-notch solutions quickly, whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced programmer. That’s why our team is bringing a no code experience to the world of mobile app development.

With Thunkable, it’s never been easier to build no code apps for Android, iOS, and the mobile web without coding. If your team is already using no, low, or yes code approaches for databases, websites, or other infrastructures, easily extend these solutions to native mobile apps with Thunkable. In no time, you’ll be creating and launching fully customizable, native mobile apps. See why Thunkable is the best no code app builder for your development needs!

Monthly Newsletter
The latest Thunkable releases, tips, Creator stories, and no code news, delivered every month!
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Written by
Elizabeth Ventresca

Related Resources

What Will You Create?

Ready to take your first steps towards developing that amazing idea? Get started on your app for free.

Start for Free
Personalized Onboarding