NoCode and LowCode Frontend constructors

The best free frontend development tools, their benefits, and disadvantages for web designers and developers.

NoCode and LowCode Frontend constructors

Every web application needs a frontend, even if it doesn't involve complex backend mechanics or user data. A well-designed interface can be useful to the user, making interface design one of the most popular categories in the world of NoCode development. Visual elements are easy to understand, so you don't need to come up with abstract representations for them – simply use standard drag-and-drop mechanics.

It's worth noting that larger Frontend builders often acquire features of FullStack solutions over time, such as backend and database operations. Bubble and Directual, for example, have these features. Conversely, some database tools acquire interface capabilities, as seen in Retool and Budibase. We covered both approaches in our article  "How to choose a full-stack website builder".

In this article, we're focusing on tools where interface creation is the primary task and users don't need to perform any tasks related to data storage and processing. To narrow the list further, we'll only be looking at tools that offer a free plan so you can test them out.

Webflow

Webflow is a web design and development platform that allows users to create responsive websites without writing any code. In addition to web design tools, Webflow also has a content management system and is a hosting platform.

Audience: web designers and developers who want to create professional-looking websites quickly and easily.

The workspace of most frontend projects resembles graphical UI editors like Photoshop and Figma, respectively. One of the most popular ones, Webflow, is no exception.

Benefits:

  • marketplace of ready-made templates for various tasks;
  • high level of customization without knowledge of the code, each component is decomposed into the simplest components: like boxes nested inside each other;
  • built-in SEO optimization control;
  • ready-made solutions for Ecommerce.

Disadvantages:

  • in comparison with website builders Webflow turns out to be much more complicated for the direct creation of the site;
  • Most of the available Webflow templates are paid;
  • relatively expensive tariff plans.

TeleportHQ

TeleportHQ is a collaborative development platform with a low-code approach: the interface can be drawn and the generated code can be completed together with the developers.

Audience: heterogeneous teams looking for a simple tool for collaborative discussion and quick web design tweaks that can be quickly integrated into a modern frontend framework.

Benefits:

  • An unlimited number of shared users;
  • ready-made adaptive templates;
  • Free code export to React, Vue, Next, Angular;
  • project hosting on the TeleportHQ subdomain;
  • simple import from Figma;
  • Google Fonts support.

Disadvantages:

  • The free version has only 10 MB of Assets per project;
  • the code of the application modules is opened independently of the preview, it is difficult to compare the code of different elements of the application.

Tilda

Tilda is a website builder, which allows you to launch full-fledged Internet projects with attention to typography and design without the involvement of specialists.

Audience: startups looking to get a quick return on a website.

When creating a web page on Tilda, ready-made blocks are used, the settings of which can be changed

Benefits:

  • block mechanism for editing pages;
  • 200+ templates of ready-made pages;
  • Built-in CMS for customer tracking;
  • clever presentation of visual content: animation elements, full-screen photos, galleries, combinations of photos and text;
  • built-in image editor;
  • multimedia support, embedding video;
  • With Zero Block, you can make your own blocks with any filling;
  • automatic support for AMP pages;
  • search engine optimization;
  • payment acceptance through PayPal, Stripe, Cloudpayments and other platforms.

Disadvantages:

  • The settings of each page change individually;
  • restrictions on the size of files uploaded to the site;
  • complicated connection of your own backend.

Framer

Framer is an interactive website prototyping tool. You can use it to create entire marketing sites and landing pages, online campaigns with quick online publishing.

Audience: designers with little development experience and developers with little layout experience.

Benefits:

  • the design is immediately transferred to the site;
  • A large number of tutorials and video instructions on working with the system, there are examples of work in the form of a gallery;
  • simple import from Figma;
  • easy integration with other services;
  • There is a marketplace with ready-made website templates for different tasks;
  • you can add custom code to the head and body tags.

Disadvantages:

  • weak link between code and design: adding custom JavaScript code requires independent work - the code itself is not validated in any way, there are no tools inside the platform for automatic writing.

Plasmic

Plasmic focuses on maximum convenience for all participants of the project creation: developers, designers and business representatives.

Audience: Developers who want to create and scale products faster and integrate with other applications.

Benefits:

  • Seamless integration with NoCode products;
  • clear and flexible visual editor;
  • Headless CMS with its own API;
  • built-in A/B testing, targeting and audience segmentation;
  • you can describe your own components;
  • simple project publishing with CI/CD pipelines.

Disadvantages:

  • a relatively young product, changing conditions rapidly. For example, we, at the time of writing, have not been able to test it in its entirety.

Versoly

Versoly focuses on fast pixel perfect layout of online projects.

Audience: the same as Plasmic: Designers, Developers, Marketers. But the platform is positioned on a narrower range of products: landing pages and CMS-driven websites.

Benefits:

  • Rapid creation of landing pages with a large number of ready-made blocks, components and templates;
  • Built-in metrics on page load speed;
  • advanced built-in code editor;
  • there is an option to customize the interface: NoCode, Designer, Advanced UI.

Disadvantages:

  • The desire for the simplest solution for everyone limits the ability to quickly create complex products.

Ycode

Ycode is a visual development platform for web projects for designers and agencies.

Benefits:

  • advanced editor;
  • the ability to work with components;
  • preset templates;
  • built-in CMS;
  • ability to work with triggers similar to NoCode applications;
  • SEO optimization.

Disadvantages:

  • The platform implies building quite ambitious solutions, so it is not very suitable for small tasks.

Startup

Startup by Designmodo focuses on the landing pages.

Audience: small business projects that want to quickly make themselves known on the Internet.

Benefits:

  • more than 150 ready-made blocks;
  • you can export the entire site;
  • high site load speed;
  • file storage system;
  • built-in code editor.

Disadvantages:

  • limited niche application (landing pages).

Conclusion

Let's dish out some personal takeaways from our exploration of NoCode instruments for crafting a user-facing interface.

If you're a designer, the top picks for website design tools are Webflow and YCode. For developers, TeleportHQ is the way to go, while managers will find Tilda to be their best bet. For teams with a mix of roles, TeleportHQ and Framer are both solid choices. If you're looking to create a landing page, Versoly or Startup from Designmodo will do the trick. But for bigger projects that require a CRM system, we recommend checking out Webflow, Tilda, or Framer.

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