No-Code/Low-Code vs. Custom Software Development

No-Code/Low-Code vs. Custom Software Development

16 December 2022 • 13 min read

Applications with little or no code are becoming increasingly common in response to widespread digital transformation. Acumen Research and Consulting predicts that the global low-code platform market will reach $159 billion in 2030, compared to $16 billion in 2021.

While no-code/low-code solutions disrupt the tech industry, traditional software development is here to stay. Want to know which dev approach is best for your business? And how do these two differ? Keep reading this post.

Softermii can consult you on these questions, having profound expertise in building custom software for over eight years. We’ll help you choose between low code platform and custom app development by explaining each approach’s pros, cons, and characteristics.

No-Code & Low-Code Development

Let’s analyze low code vs. custom development, starting with the first approach that now drives the IT sector.

So what is low-code development? It’s a method of software development that involves minimum coding. Developers leverage specialized tools that allow building apps using simple drag-and-drop features and graphical interfaces. Yet, you may still need to write some lines of code in this dev approach.

Speaking of no-code development, it’s just as it sounds. Citizen developers with no programming knowledge and experience can use no-code platforms to create the software from scratch. Again, it involves leveraging drag-and-drop capabilities and visual interfaces.

Benefits of Low-Code Development

Low code vs custom development

You may think that no-code/low-code development is effortless. While that is true for the most part, these dev approaches can bring many more benefits. Here are the main ones:

Easy-to-Implement App Changes

Now, you don’t need to dig through many lines of complex code. Using low-code platform tools allows you to adjust your application readily. For this, you can use the user-friendly graphic interface.

Accessibility

Low-code development requires little or no programming skills. It makes this approach accessible even to non-technical experts.

Saved Money

In low-code development, you only need to pay for access to the low-code dev platform to leverage its tools. You also don’t require a dev team to build your app, saving significantly.

Faster Time-to-Market

Another advantage of low-code development is speed. You can create an MVP of your product at a lightning pace and launch it on the market immediately.

Reduced Risks

You don’t need to invest much money in creating software from scratch, building your infrastructure, or hiring an engineering team. Thus, low-code development reduces risks. In addition, such dev platforms hold onto the tech industry’s highest standards and advanced data protection methods.

Issues & Limitations of Low-Code Development

Although low-code development may offer significant advantages like reduced expenses and time-to-market, it still has some limitations. Let’s look at them in greater detail:

Limited Customization

Since you are using pre-made tools to build your app or website, you have limited options for customization in low-code development. For example, you will likely fail to make complex multi-functional enterprise software.

Security Limitations

Although platforms for low-code development are driven by top industry standards, they still have limited security capabilities compared to custom development. Plus, you don’t have access to the source code, so you are unaware of its weaknesses and bugs.

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Over-Complicating Workflows

Low-code tools allow you to develop a prototype or MVP application and launch it quickly. However, you will face challenges in improving and scaling your software after that.

Where Is Low-Code Development Used?

Using a low-code dev approach, you can build the following software solutions:

  • Simple mobile apps and websites
  • Operational dashboards
  • Employee portals
  • Back-office apps
  • Business process automation tools for accounting, sales, marketing, and more
  • Supplementing existing business solutions’ functionality

The Average Low-Code Development Cost

Low-code development is a truly cost-effective option. Typically, you buy access to the platform with a monthly subscription, which can be as low as $25.

Custom Software Development

Choosing between low code platform and custom software development may be challenging. You need therefore gain a deeper understanding of these two approaches. Let’s now look at the second, more traditional one.

Custom software development involves creating software from scratch. Here, you have no pre-made elements or drag-and-drop features. This approach requires experienced developers who will take on the development process planning, code writing, testing, and deployment.

Benefits of Custom Software Development

Low code or traditional software development

Custom development suggests creating digital products with a high level of customization. You can get the application with particular features that you need. There are many advantages of this approach, and here are the main ones:

Customization

We’ve mentioned that you can develop whatever software solution you and your customers require. You have no limitations in terms of technology, features, and design.

Flexibility

The following benefit follows from the customization possibilities. It’s the increased flexibility of the development process. Unlike the no-code/low-code approach, which is less agile, that is not the case with traditional software development.

Full Control

Another advantage of custom software development is complete control over your digital product creation. You supervise your dev team and make any changes as needed.

Quality

Custom-made software is usually of higher quality than that delivered using a low-code approach. Firstly, this is because top-notch industry professionals carry out the development. Plus, you build a digital product according to your and the customers’ requirements, fully satisfying the established objectives.

Security

Because with custom software development, your team writes the code. You have complete control over the security of your digital product. The same cannot be said about the no-code/low-code approach, where you don’t have access to the source code.

Ongoing Software Support

You can easily update, fix bugs, and add new features to your software by seeking the assistance of your software support team. In this way, your custom digital product will always be up-to-date.

Issues with Custom Software Development

Even though custom software development has a lot of advantages, you need to be ready for some limitations. Here are the main ones:

Time-Consuming

Creating a top, highly customized solution takes a lot of time. Typically, it requires about half a year to build a simple application with basic functionality. Still, the wait is worth it.

Costly

Compared to no-code/low-code development, the custom software dev approach is significantly more expensive. In addition, project costs are constantly changing, especially as new product requirements emerge.

When Is Custom Development Best Suited?

A custom software development approach is suitable for creating complex, feature-rich apps with high flexibility. Thus, if you require a one-of-a-kind scalable solution that corresponds to your and your customers’ needs, custom dev is your way to go.

Average Cost of Custom Software Development

The cost of custom software development varies between $40,000 and $250,000. The price of your digital product may change during the development process and depends on the number of integrated features, the size of your team, the chosen tech stack, etc.

Low Code vs Custom Software Development

Now that you’ve learned more about each approach to building digital products, you can compare them. So let’s sum up no code apps vs custom software development.

You can see the main differences in the table below:

Characteristics

Custom Software Development

No-Code/Low-Code Software Development

Fundamentals

Custom software development evolves with your business and customer requirements. It is suitable for building any digital products.

Low-code software development is best for business automation solutions and simple mobile and web apps.

Budget

You need from $40,000 to $250,000 for custom development.

You need about $25 per month for low-code development.

Timeline

Custom software development usually takes six months and more.

Low-code software development may take less than a month.

Flexibility

Custom software development allows for endless customization.

Low-code software development enables limited customization.

Migration

Custom software is easy-to-migrate.

Low-code software is difficult to migrate and integrate with third-party tools.

Security

Custom software development offers top-notch security.

Low-code software development enables partial control over security.

Support

Custom development allows for ongoing support from your dev team.

Low-code development doesn’t offer ongoing support.

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Low code or traditional software development: the choice is yours. We hope that we have helped you gather your thoughts and decide on an approach right for your business.

Low Code Apps vs Custom Software Apps: What We Recommend

Even though no-code/low-code software development is a hot topic in the tech sector, it’s not always a viable approach to creating digital products. You will potentially face many limitations on your way and end up turning to custom code development.

Softermii praises the custom software dev approach for its increased flexibility and countless possibilities. You can easily create any product: from complex healthcare solutions to eCommerce platforms.

As a company providing custom software development services, Softermii, based on its experience, justifies that this dev approach allows you to create unique, secure, scalable, and performant digital products. Check out some projects our agency delivered.

Esthetic

No-code and custom development

Esthetic is a web and mobile retail platform for female underwear. Our team has developed it from scratch. We aimed to build a one-of-a-kind marketplace on an automatically scalable and secure cloud infrastructure. We also aimed to deliver numerous handy features, making the buyers’ shopping experience smoother.

Our team handled various feature integration. The marketplace’s core functionalities include AI-powered content personalization, an effortless checkout system, payments, a loyalty program, special offers, multi-warehouse support, worldwide shipping, and admin CRM. We also implemented auto-scale secure infrastructure on Amazon Web Services.

Expedipay

No-code apps vs custom software

Expedipay is a mobile and web application we delivered for our client in the mobile banking sector. This app is an e-wallet solution that enables P2P transfers. Our team aimed to bring innovation to the legacy banking system.

As a result, we developed a user-friendly app with a modern-looking interface. Our team also created a mobile wallet that enables adding card lists and making fast and secure payments. Another feature we implemented is a live chat so users can contact the support team anytime. Finally, we enabled P2P money transfers, accessible within a few clicks.

If we were to choose between no code and custom development, we would pick the latter. Only custom software like Expedipay could reach over 13,000 downloads in the first three months and facilitate over 1,350,000 money transfers.

PractiCall

No-code apps vs custom software

PractiCall is a mobile and web high-load video-conferencing app. On top of that, this platform enables streaming, virtual events, messaging, and recording. Our primary goal was to distinguish our product from competitors like Zoom by delivering cutting-edge features.

Thus, our team has implemented numerous competitive features like high-load audio and video conferencing, end-to-end encryption, automatic multilingual subtitles, live chat, screen sharing, breakout rooms, and an admin panel. We also made PractiCall a highly scalable and secure app.

Our team had significant achievements already in the first quarter, with over 20,000 monthly active users and more than 120,000 audio and video calls.

If you still need clarification about custom software development, look at our portfolio. There, you’ll find numerous feature-rich projects with distinct designs.

Final Thoughts

Low-code software development has drawn the significant attention of non-tech specialists and companies undergoing digital transformation. While it’s a cost-effective and fast dev approach, it has some limitations that hinder potential business success.

Custom development is another case. It allows for delivering highly customizable, scalable, secure, and quality software according to your requirements. Deciding between low code platforms of custom software development, we suggest you choose the latter.

And if you’ve already decided to opt for custom software, Softermii is at your service. Leverage our extensive experience delivering numerous bespoke digital products and build your own. Just contact our dedicated team and communicate your ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What startups use no-code development platforms?

Here are a few: Ungated Media journal and social network, Dividend Finance solar loans and finance platform, and Makerpad no-code platform.

Is low-code development more promising in the future?

We see some tendencies toward low-code development’s increased adoption. Yet, we expect it to become more sophisticated and customizable in the future, and, for now, custom dev takes the top position.

When should you choose custom development instead of low code?

Comparing no code and custom software development, the latter best suits businesses that deliver digital products to their end customers. Low-coded apps are better for internal use.

Can I move from low-code to custom-build architecture later?

Low-code-built apps are difficult and time-consuming to migrate to another architecture. Therefore, it’s best to decide on your dev approach beforehand.

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