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20+ Essential No-Code Tools for Startups

20+ Essential No-Code Tools for Startups
Written by
Aaron Marco Arias
Published on
May 29, 2023

The rise of no-code tools has revolutionized the way startups operate by empowering non-technical founders and teams to build and scale their businesses quickly.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best no-code tools helping fast-growing startups streamline their processes, boost productivity, and drive innovation with minimum or no code.

We’ll cover:

  • What's a no-code tool 
  • The impact of no-code tools for startups
  • Our selection of the best no-code tools for startups
  • Website development tools
  • Workflow automation tools
  • Mobile app development tools 
  • Database and backend management
  •  Design and Prototyping Tools
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
  • Project Management and Collaboration Tools

What's a No-Code Tool Exactly?

No-code tools are applications that allow users to build and deploy websites and applications and automate business processes without writing code. 

These tools empower marketers, entrepreneurs, and professionals from various fields to take control of their operations, save time and resources, and bring their ideas to life without relying on development teams.

However, most no-code tools also allow technical users to work with custom code, but they reduce their development workload to a minimum. This approach is usually referred to as low-code instead of no-code

The Impact of No-code Tools for Startups

Adopting no-code tools can have a huge impact in your startup’s workflow. 

These platforms allow teams to develop and implement products and services more quickly, removing some of the friction and costs associated with scaling. 

By democratizing software development, these tools enable startups to be agile, scalable, and competitive, ultimately increasing their chances of success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

These tools help in many different areas, including design, sales, and even development. Because businesses often build themselves around the tools they use at work, their use has an impact far beyond their focus area.

In summary, no-code tools empower startups to:

  • Overcome resource constraints
  • Accelerate development
  • Reduce costs
  • Foster innovation

20+ Essential No-Code Tools for Startups

In this section, we’ll share our selection of over 20 essential no-code tools for fast-growing startups.

We’ll divide our pick into seven categories:

  • Web development
  • Workflow automation
  • Mobile app development
  • Low-code database and backend 
  • Design and prototyping
  • Customer relationship management
  • Project management

No-code web development applications

No-code website development tools (or no-code website builders) are tools that allow people with no technical skills to build a website with little to no-code involved. 

They are primarily used as a way to develop and design quick and easily scalable websites when you lack the coding knowledge required for a more traditional approach to web development. These tools replace the conventional coding experience with drag and drop interfaces and intuitive project navigation. 

If you’re looking for a no-code web development application for your next website, we recommend checking out:

  • Webflow → A versatile and SEO-friendly low-code solution for startups
  • Framer → A limited but performant option that integrates with React components

The benefits of no-code website development applications for startups

The benefits of using a no-code web development tool include:

  • Cost-effectiveness - Startups often have limited budgets and need to make every dollar count. Adopting a no-code/low-code approach is usually more cost-efficient than hiring a developer.  
  • Efficiency - Often, startups need to launch their online presence quickly, to start testing their assumptions. A traditionally coded website can take a lot of time to go live, so no-code website development tools appear as a surefire way to go to market fast.
  • User-friendly interface - Designed with non technical users in mind no-code, website development tools are a no-brainer for small teams that may lack technical expertise among their ranks. Additionally, this ease of use can empower marketers and salespeople to work on their company website directly and leverage it as a key business development asset.

Building with a no-code tool

Looking for an example of a startup that found success implementing no-code website development tools? Look no further. As a low-code agency, we use Webflow on our own website, and it’s our main tool when developing our clients’ marketing websites. 

This approach provides us with key competitive advantages, such as:

  • Speed-to-market
  • Client ownership over the final product
  • Iteration speed and cost

Workflow automation tools

A no-code workflow automation tool is a software solution that enables users to automate and streamline business processes without coding. These tools typically provide visual interfaces, drag-and-drop functionality, and pre-built workflow templates to simplify the automation process.

With a no-code workflow automation tool, users can:

  • Automate repetitive tasks
  • Integrate different applications or systems
  • Create customized workflows to streamline their operations and prevent knowledge silos

In this category, we recommend checking out:

  • Zapier → A leader in its category that recently deployed interfaces and AI-powered features
  • Make → A cost-effective solution for multi-step workflows
  • Unito → Ideal to keep databases in sync

How automation can streamline repetitive tasks and improve productivity

Here are some of the benefits of implementing no-code workflow automation tools:

  • Automated task execution - With a no-code workflow automation tool, you can automate repetitive tasks that would otherwise require manual effort. And the fact that these solutions require no coding allows those who own the workflows in question to take control of how they’re automated. 
  • Streamlined workflows - No-code workflow automation tools allow you to design and optimize workflows visually. You can map out the steps and dependencies of a process, ensuring smooth and logical progression. By streamlining workflows, you can eliminate unnecessary steps, minimize bottlenecks, and ensure efficient task execution, ultimately saving time and improving productivity.
  • Preventing human error -  Manual tasks are prone to human error, which can lead to costly mistakes or inefficiencies. No-code workflow automation tools minimize the risk of errors by automating tasks based on predefined rules and conditions.
  • Rapid scaling - As your business grows, no-code workflow automation tools provide the flexibility to scale your operations without incurring a linear increase in manual effort. The automated workflows can handle increased volumes of tasks, data, or interactions, allowing your team to handle higher workloads without sacrificing productivity or quality.
  • Preventing data silos - No-code workflow automation tools can be used to prevent data silos by integrating different systems and applications. These tools allow for seamless data flow between various platforms, ensuring that information is synchronized and accessible across the organization. By automating data transfers and updates, you can eliminate manual data entry and reduce the risk of inconsistent or fragmented data. This promotes collaboration, improves data integrity, and enables a holistic view of your business processes and customer interactions.

Automating with no-code tools

In late 2020, we worked with an e-learning startup to develop a solid inbound conversion funnel. 

One of the greatest setbacks we found was that their onboarding process required tons of manual data entry. The team justified this workflow due to the median age of their audience and their hyper-sensitivity to friction.

The company was already trying to automate nurturing, onboarding, and cross-selling processes through a development team. But this team was slow and inefficient, failing to understand what the sales team really needed or how to make it work for the end clients. At the end of the day, they were very far removed from the pain points that sales were experiencing.

We helped this company transition into low-code workflow automation tools and start implementing them across client-facing teams. This gave them full ownership of their processes and resulted in fast, more scalable, and more precise customer relationship management.

Mobile app development tools

Team quote

No-code mobile app development tools allow users to build mobile experiences using little to no code. These tools are characterized by:

  • Offering pre-built templates for the user to adapt to their needs
  • Having a drag and drop interface
  • Providing basic integration with databases, APIs and no-code workflow automation tools

No-code mobile app development tools are often used to:

  • Develop internal apps 
  • Create simple experiences through REST APIs

Some popular examples of these types of tools are:

  • Bubble → No-code web app development platform for building digital products
  • Softr → Limited but useful tool for building directories and portals using Google Sheets or Airtable as a backend
  • Google AppSheet → Interact with your data through a simple interface and automate workflows
  • Adalo → A powerful platform for building responsive apps
  • Glide → A platform for building internal tools, with a powerful GPT integration
  • Retool → An enterprise-level platform for building internal, data-powered tools, created with developers in mind

Advantages of using no-code tools for mobile app development

Using a no-code tool for building a mobile app (whether internal or external) brings several benefits, including:

  • Faster development - No-code tools significantly accelerate the mobile app development process. They provide pre-built templates, drag-and-drop interfaces, and visual editors that allow you to quickly assemble app components and functionalities. With no need for coding, you can create and deploy mobile apps in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional development.
  • Cost-effectiveness -  It’s much cheaper to develop an app using no-code tools than through hiring developers and creating internal teams for the purpose of developing and testing the app. 
  • Reduced maintenance and updates - No-code tools typically include built-in functionality for app maintenance and updates. With traditional development approaches, maintaining and updating an app may require extensive coding and testing.
  • A smoother learning curve - No-code tools are designed to be user-friendly and require minimal technical knowledge. They often provide tutorials, documentation, and community support to help users navigate the development process. 

A word from our team regarding no-code app development

According to Facundo, our Head Strategist:

“Although in projects where the client requests a highly personalized web experience, a low-code tool does not allow capillary control at a technical and design level, they are flexible enough to offer a satisfactory output, with all the benefits of greatly reducing dev time. This makes the process more predictable while opening it to constant iterations and allowing collaborative work between the development and design teams.”

Database and backend management 

Team quote

No-code database and backend management tools allow users to create databases and manage sets of data without writing code. These tools provide intuitive interfaces, visual editors, and pre-built functionalities to simplify the process of creating and maintaining databases and backend structures. 

If you’re looking for this type of tool, we recommend checking out:

  • Airtable → It wasn’t conceived as a no-code backend, but it’s often used as one. Airtable is versatile, reliable and easy to integrate.
  • Xano → A powerful no-code backend with a reasonably generous free plan
  • Wized → A tool that turns your Webflow website into an API-powered web app

Benefits of using no-code databases and backend management for startups

Here are some of the benefits of adopting a no-code backend: 

  • Rapid development - No-code database and backend management tools significantly speed up the development process. With these tools, you can quickly create databases, define data relationships, and configure backend functionality, enabling faster app development and deployment.
  • Time and cost savings - By utilizing no-code database and backend management tools, you can save time and reduce costs associated with traditional development approaches. These tools eliminate the need to write and maintain complex backend code, reducing development time and minimizing the resources required. Additionally, they often provide hosting services and cloud infrastructure, saving you the hassle and expenses of setting up and managing servers.
  • Flexibility and customization - No-code database and backend management tools offer flexibility and customization options. You can tailor the database structure, define data models, and configure backend logic to match your specific requirements.

A word from our team regarding no-code database and backend management tools

According to our co-founder and Creative Director, Aaron:

“No-code backends spare non-technical creators the pain of having to learn how to set up and manage conventional databases. Plus, tools like Airtable (which weren’t conceived as back ends but can be used as such) give creators the possibility to develop unique, fully customized content production workflows.”

No-Code Design and Prototyping Tools

Team quote

No-code design and prototyping tools bridge the gap between non-technical design teams and developers. These tools empower startup marketers and designers to take an active role in the design and prototyping process, allowing them to transform their ideas into tangible, interactive prototypes without relying solely on developers or coding skills.

Traditionally, design teams would draft wireframes and mockups, only to pass them off to developers for implementation. This handoff often led to miscommunication, delays, and limited creative control. However, with the rise of no-code design and prototyping tools, the dynamics have shifted. Now, startup marketers and designers can directly translate their visions into interactive prototypes, bypassing the dependency on developers and accelerating the product development cycle.

Looking for the best option for your team? We recommend checking out:

  • Figma → The most extensible and versatile design tool in the market, with an extremely active ecosystem of plugin creators
  • Sketch → The no-code prototyping tool for Mac-powered teams
  • Adobe XD → Creative Suite’s alternative to Figma

How no-code design tools can expedite the prototyping process

No-code design tools can expedite the prototyping process through:

  • Collaboration & feedback - No-code prototyping tools facilitate collaboration among team members, including designers, developers, and stakeholders. With these tools, multiple team members can work together in real-time, making edits, providing feedback, and iterating on the prototype collaboratively. This fosters a more inclusive and efficient design process, where everyone's insights and expertise can be incorporated, leading to better end results.
  • Rapid iteration - No-code prototyping tools enable rapid iteration by allowing designers to quickly make changes and experiment with different design variations. Since these tools offer visual interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality, designers can easily modify elements, rearrange layouts, and test different interactions without the need for complex coding. This iterative approach saves time and encourages exploration, leading to more refined and user-centered designs.
  • Interactive prototyping and testing - No-code prototyping tools empower designers to create interactive prototypes that closely mimic the intended user experience. By adding interactive elements, transitions, and animations, designers can simulate the product's functionality and user flow. This enables usability testing and user feedback early in the design process, allowing for valuable insights and the identification of usability issues or areas for improvement. Interactive prototyping enhances overall product quality and user satisfaction.
  • Collaborative design system creation - No-code prototyping tools support the creation of a collaborative design system. Design systems provide a centralized repository of reusable design components, styles, and guidelines, ensuring design consistency across various screens and interactions. With no-code prototyping tools, designers can easily document and organize design assets, create design patterns, and share them with the team. This promotes design system adoption, facilitates efficient collaboration, and accelerates the design process.

A word from our team regarding no-code design tools

Our UX Lead, Julieta has some words regarding her experience using these kind of no-code tools, particularly Figma:

“Figma is my favorite no-code tool. I use Figma for the entire design thinking process. It allows the design team to generate project ideas, create user flows and information architectures, as well design low, mid, and high-fidelity prototypes collaboratively. We also use Figma for stakeholder documentation, basic animations, and more. I love Figma because it enables seamless collaboration among teams, it's intuitive (even for those without design experience), and has a big community that shares valuable resources to optimize teams' workflow. It allows us to focus 100% on meeting each project's strategic goals.” 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

Team quote

No-code CRMs are the norm nowadays. You’ll be hard pressed to find a startup that has not adopted one yet. They are used to:

  • Manage relationships with customers and leads in a centralized way
  • Streamline marketing efforts, sales efforts and customer service 

With a no-code CRM, teams can take full control over their platform without the need for development intervention. 

If you’re looking for a powerful no-code CRM, you should check out:

  • Overloop → A simple platform to automate and manage multi-platform outbound sequences
  • Attio → A fully customizable, lightweight CRM for everything from fundraising to link-building and sales
  • Close CRM → A cross-platform CRM for fast-paced sales teams

How no-code CRMs help startups manage customer relationships and sales pipelines

No-code CRMS offer:

  • Quick implementation - No-code CRMs provide startups with the possibility of being adopted as fast as possible, their nature as cloud base software, the pre-built templates and the customization options that these tools provide allows for a rapid implementation in almost every company imaginable. 
  • Automation and efficiency - No-code CRMs allow startups to automate repetitive tasks and streamline processes, such as lead management, customer onboarding, and follow-up communications. By automating these workflows, startups can increase operational efficiency, reduce manual errors, and allocate their limited resources more strategically.
  • Data-driven decision making - No-code CRMs provide precise information about customer behavior, sales performance and marketing efforts. They can be seen as a hub of truth for those areas, a sort of no-code database that also functions as the organizer for the company's efforts.
  • Collaboration and team alignment - Startups often have small teams working closely together. No-code CRMs offer collaboration features that allow team members to work collaboratively. By centralizing customer data, communication history, and tasks within the CRM system, startups can foster better teamwork, ensure consistency in customer interactions, and align their efforts towards a common goal.   

A word from our team regarding no-code CRMs

According to Gonzalo, our Head of RevOps:

“No-code CRMs have proven to be versatile and scalable tools for managing relationships with clients and leads. We have worked with various of them, from Hubspot, to ActiveCampaign, and even some tailored-made to our needs. But overall, I feel that the value of these tools lies in their ability to provide new ways of being used when the time comes. Their value lies in their ability to grow with your needs, so to speak.”

Project Management and Collaboration Tools

Team quote

No-code project management and collaboration tools allow teams to track, plan and collaborate on projects without coding. Some of their main characteristics include:

  • Timeline milestone tracking
  • Task tracking
  • Real-time collaboration with precise access management 

Looking for a no-code project management platform?

We recommend checking out:

  • Notion → One of the most celebrated knowledge management & project management tools on the market
  • Asana → An easy to use and extremely scalable project management tool for teams
  • Fibery → A tool for building your own, custom project management platform without coding

No-code project management tools’ impact

No-code project management and collaboration tools offer:

Centralization - No-code collaboration tools offer centralized spaces for communication and documentation, fostering better organization and knowledge sharing. Team members can easily access project files, design assets, and project histories, preventing knowledge silos. These tools serve as repositories of project-related information, making it easier to onboard new team members or revisit previous discussions. 

Versatility -  Tools like Notion take a DIY approach, allowing teams to build their own project workspace without coding.

A word from our team regarding no-code project management and collaboration tools

Our Head Content Strategist, Sol is a big fan of Notion:

“Notion is my go-to management tool. It is versatile enough to centralize many different processes in an orderly fashion. I can document protocols, plan content calendars, create resource banks, assign tasks, and track them. All in the same place. In management, it’s very valuable to be able to do all that in a single platform and not have it become a mess.”

Key Takeaways

No-code tools have become indispensable for fast-growing startups as they offer a cost-effective and efficient way to build and scale businesses without coding knowledge. By leveraging the power of these no-code tools, startups can:

  • Accelerate their growth
  • Increase productivity
  • Focus on their core competencies
  • Give team leaders full ownership of their workflows
  • Improve cross-team communication

A Strategic Marketing Team, Powered by Low-Code

In this post, we shared our favorite no-code tools for startups. Low-code tools empower us to stay in control of our design, content production & strategic planning processes, scale our operational capacity, and keep everyone on the same page.

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