Welcome👋🏼. This is the
No Code Wiki.
I've started this as a way for Makers to help out other Makers. What are the resources, insights, and decisions behind why different no code tools are used to make and launch a side project?
Hi👋🏼, I'm Michael.
The maker of this site.
I'd like to invite you to join us.
Contribute! Add your insights and get featured in our weekly newsletter. Because No Code Wiki has Maker commentary that is relatable and easy to understand. And it needs more voices.
Already know which tools to use?
Check out the No Code Wiki below to find out exactly how Makers like you and me think about each tool to help you make yours.
How To Get Started
People who find this page helpful have already received a recommendation for which no code tool to use.
Its a free tool created to help makers think about creating customer value first, then work backwards from there to find which no code tools are best to make it.
Makers find this helpful because the stacks used by dozens of Makers fuel the recommendations for your idea. Imagine being able to ask a bunch of awesome Maker’s what they would recommend to use to make that thing you want to do. That’s what this tool does.
A tech stack is commonly referred to what layers of technologies integrate to form something like web application.
A no code stack is the same thing but refers to three layers that integrate together to make a functioning no code app.
The parts are referred to as the (1) front end, (2) back end and the (3) value to the user.
This wiki is organized around the concept. You will need a no code tool at each layer to make your no code app.
Easiest thing to do is use the no code tool generator as a starting point.
It’s free and it recommends your best starting point saving you time trying to figure it out.
Then use those tools to make something.
To find out more about the tool use this wiki to look it up.
Now pick your stack! If you’re not sure where to start – try the no code tool generator thing I created. It gives you a recommended stack based on what the best makers used to launch their side projects.
Front end – website: carrd.co , form: typeform
Back end – Plumbing: Zapier, Logic and data: Zapier
Value to your user: Twilio
The no code movement is remarkable because it gives the power for anyone to create working applications without using code.
As a no code maker, you’ll need to know how to connect these tools together for it to work. Each tool will have a wiki to show you insights shared from awesome Makers.
Front End refers to what tool(s) will your user interface with like a landing page or form.
Back End refers to what tool(s) will the data and logic be to connect your front end to some type of value output to the user.
Value to User refers to what tool(s) deliver the value that your app creates to the user.
No Code Wiki
Select a tool👇🏼.
Or select a layer of the stack.
🔩Automations aka “Plumbing”
🔥Robust visual programming apps that do it all
🛒Marketplace / eCommerce
Tools for the front end layer of the stack
Simple one page website builder
An Absolute Delight to Use – Highly Recommended – Carrd is a tool used by many Maker’s in our list and is pretty much hands down the fastest and easiest single page builder out there today. An extreme generous pricing and very super user friendly experience. This is every Maker’s dream go to product when launching a side project. Don’t take my word for it. Just check out Carrd Maker @ajkin’s mentions on twitter.
Multi-page Website builder
One of the popular website builders out there – however, stay away if possible. It is a website builder that has more complexity than carrd and thus more time to learn. However, if you are looking for more variation in templates and have more robustness in mind than a single landing page, Squarespace is not your best best. My recommendation would be to use WordPress or if you are just focused on building a blog, Ghost.org is a great place to start. I would venture over to SiteBuilderReport.com to see a full breakdown of all types of website builders.
Multi-page Website builder
Maker commentary and recommendations coming soon…
Single page web page and back end system
Highly Recommend – sheet2site is a very intuitive and easy to use website sheet. It is best for quickly making a professional looking website, using a google sheet as a back end CRM.
This is what I recommend if you are looking to get creating for the first time. Everything feels simple, familiar and straightforward. Mainly because the back end is Google Sheets which should bring instant familiarity. I would say this is your best bet to get going as fast as possible.
Customer service is second to none with either immediate responsiveness or same day customer support. The documentation is also very well written and easy to follow. Finally there is a suite of brand new features offered just released that help you create in real time and add or subtract customizations with a click of a button.
Single page web page and back end system
Airtable Users Rejoice, this App Builder is Recommended for You – Table2site – is a very comparable tool to sheet2site, however instead of built with google sheets as a back end, it uses Airtable.
Some projects might be easier to implement if you use Airtable because Airtable functions as a better back end than Google Sheets. If that sounds like another language to you, it means that if you are using a CRM to store information to display in your website, Airtable was created to better handle that. To read more about Airtable, scroll down.
Table2site syncs seamlessly with Airtable. That’s the advantage here. Table2site also has a slick front end that is intuitive and easy to use. Can’t go wrong with Table2site or Sheet2site. It really comes down to what are you more comfortable with using for your backend?
Fast and Minimal, Gets You Going with Zero Wasted Time – Google forms is a very intuitive and easy to use web app builder for making a professional looking but very vanilla form. Let’s just say it gets the job done. And if you are looking to create just an MVP version I would start here, its free to use and fastest setup and implementation time will get you momentum you need when creating the first version of your product.
Typeform has radically made it easier to empower Makers to create dynamic forms without code. Despite its price, its worth it. It is my go to for any no code project.
As a Maker you must figure out if you need a complex form or a simple one. Because Google forms is free and integrates well with google and other products, if you just need a simple way to gather a user’s information use that. However, if you are trying to add any complexity like formulas, or calculations, Typeform can do wonders.
You may be asking why would I need all that complexity? I’ve built two products that rely heavily on Typeform to assign values to answers. I could then send those values by Zapier to Airtable or google sheets. Once they are sent there I can “program” my “database” (Airtable or google sheets) to calculate a response that is customized. Much like an actual application.
Tools for the back end layer of the stack
Form builder and back end database
Airtable is much closer to working like an actual database and allows you to update previously existing records within the table as well as have an automated calculations and logic apply to newly added rows. These rows are often pieces of information input from a user on a form like Typeform. Airtable is much more flexible in creating new outputs of data than G sheets.
Gives You Superpowers – Airtable is similar to google sheets but more like a database that allows you to truly store your information and have it accessed to display or calculate an outcome. It’s a foundational piece for building an application without actually having to know how to code.
It is built more like how a database functions, while google sheets is built more like, well, a spreadsheet. Airtable is magical because it empowers users to a have a tool that works like a database without hiring a developer.
Commonly used back end base
G Sheets is commonly used as a no code database. To keep and store your user information. It’s closest comparable is Airtable. And when you must have a CRM or some type of no code database to recieve information and send information the decision is often between using G sheets and Airtable.
Fast and Familiar – G sheets is the choice back end system to use because of essentially everyone is familiar with spreadsheets.
Pros – Instant familiarity because is essentially a spreadsheet. Integrates seamlessly with other google products, very reliable instant connections between G sheets and Gmail and the easiest to create calculations or other information for your app.
Cons – Not a true database. Meaning it lacks core functionality like being able to automatically return a result to the user when a new entry is created into the g sheet. I talk more about this in my blog about why Airtable works better in automated calculations than G sheets. But sheets performs better when creating calculations.
Connects your no code apps
Integromat compares to Zapier. Both do very similar type of functions like send and receive information like an API.
Currently, I am working to review and use this product. At this time I cannot offer any opinion about this product. I have heard it is comparable and better than Zapier in many key measures. I’ll be providing a comparison review of Integromat and Zapier so that you may be able to decipher easily which product is best for you.
In the mean time, here is a recent Maker review from KP:
Connects your no code apps
Parabola is a drag and drop tool to process data and create an output with it. It’s an insanely powerful tool to be able to use and pull data from files, API’s and databases.
I personally have not used Parabola in any of my no code applications. I will be highlighting them in a future app. In the mean time there are some insights and tips from other no-code Makers in the Parabola review below.
Connects your no code apps
Zapier replaces what API’s do. Because they are actual API’s created for you.
Zapier is not a database or CRM in the sense like G Sheets or Airtable is. Instead
Zapier is the glue that will send or receive information between applications and essential to making an app.
Makes it all possible – Zapier is the glue that puts it all together. If you are using Google Sheets or Airtable, it is essential that you pass information using Zapier. Integromat can also be used but is less powerful, not having as many API connections.
In the Zapier wiki below you will see notes about using Zapier and Zapier email.
Real time searchable list in Webflow made easy
Jetboost.io is a great no code solution, to add into your Webflow site. If you are wanting to create an on page, real time search and filtering list. This is the best tool available. In real time it allows your users to search for anything within your sites CMS list.
Makes it Easy – Jetboost.io is the solution I wish I had when building out techstack.sideprojectstack.com. I was fiddling for hours trying to create my own filters. Without knowing how to code I spent 2 weeks wasting my time trying to figure it out on Webflow. Frustrated I had to shut it down and cut bait. This is the solution I wish I had. Personally I have tried it, and the step by step instructions are very easy to follow.
The Maker of this product does a good job with documentation and directions to follow if you are comfortable and familiar with Webflow. If you are Webflow newbie, be patient while installing, I cannot say that you will quickly be able to implement on your side. It is not as simple as dropping a code snippet into your site.
But you should be able to install within a reasonable time and for a product this slick and useful, you will be able to provide your users a great experience. Chris, the Maker of this product also provides great customer service and will help you succeed as well.
Real time searchable list in Webflow made easy
A secret weapon if you need to scrap data and don’t know how to code – Import.io is a tool used by the group who created Car Values in our side project stack list. It allows you to extract data from the web which is complex and typically involves using a developer. That’s the superpower that import.io enables you. Instead you can use import.io to do that for you and send that data into a google sheet or airtable to then surface back to the user. You can read more about how the team at Car Values did that in our Side Project Stack list.
Most popular robust no code app builder
Bubble is a heavy weight no code tool that lets you build complex web applications. It’s much heavier to use and larger ramp up to learn. I haven’t launched an app with Bubble nor done more than explore with the app builder. It is similar to Webflow and Photoshop as far as technical complexity, feasibility and steep learning curve.
I’d recommend to see if you can use tools with less of a learning curve to create an MVP and validate your idea. Once you can verify your product and increase your confidence in what you’re building, then spending the significant time investment of building with Bubble would be beneficial.
Great workflow or MVP validation tool
Real in Application Functioning App – Ability – Coda is a tool used by many Maker’s that gives them superpowers to create a functioning app. Popular for making basic internal team workflows if you need to quickly create and test your hypothesis for an MVP. This is your product.
However I am severely disappointed they have not created a cleaner user interface, also known as display. This lack of clean interface is a huge missed opportunity. If Coda develops this, look out.
II found the experience clunky and cumbersome to use. I still recommend the product because it can give you superpowers. But there are other simpler solutions out there using tools linked together with Zapier.
Make an app from a Google sheet
Glide is a great way to turn a spreadsheet into a mobile app.
Quite honestly I don’t have much experience with it. I’ve spent limited time using it to help another Maker build an app with it and found it cumbersome to use.
However, I don’t believe it is fair to evaluate unless I fully use the tool and make something with it. I’ll be documenting extensively using Glide in a future no code app and will highlight below.
Below are some key insights from Maker’s who have already made and launched with Glide.
Powerful no code websites
Most Robust, Higher Learning Curve – Webflow is a very is a dream if you are a designer, or have a lot of time on your hand to learn how to use their website builder.
If I had to describe Webflow and distill it down into one word: Photoshop. Extremely elegant, powerful amazing websites and apps can be built with no code. However, I’d recommend building an MVP with a simpler stack first to validate your idea.
Tools for the layer of stack that delivers value to the user
Email integrates with many no code tools
The Standard for Most Makers – Mailchimp is a tool used by many Maker’s in our list and is pretty much ubiquitous among anyone sending emails. I’d recommmed this tool because of its generous freemium option and really useful app that helps you track early insights.
However I would say that the dashboard to use Mailchimp is extremely confusing and quite a let down considering how massively popular this tool is. As a current product manager, I would make numerous changes to the flow of their dashboard. It takes too much time to figure out how to set up a basic list and the sign up form that comes baked into the offering is absolutely dreadful.
Free and integrates well with Zapier
Reliable and fastest way to get started with no cost – Gmail is a tool I used to create Side Project Stack. I highly recommend it because of its reliability and familiarity. I did not have to learn a new tool. Because creating and launching is all about speed, its best to leverage the tools you already know and are free.
In my stack I connect Airtable to Gmail via Zapier to deliver the output of creating your custom stack. Gmail gives you a superpower because it syncs so reliably with Zapier and other tools you can create any type of email template.
Go to chat service for no code Makers
Popular way to build an audience and send outputs to users – Telegram is used to send messages via the application Telegram, but your users must download Telegram. Most popularly used among the younger demo or technology heavy demo this is a niche product. However, if it fits your niche like the slipper fits Cinderella’s foot, this is your tool to add to your stack.
Go to text message service for no code Makers
Sign up for the newsletter on this one – Twilio is used to send text messages. I will be looking to launch and document for everyone the making of a product that uses this product. If you would like to make sure that you don’t miss that check out the sign up for newsletter form just below this section. Also reach out to me on twitter and let me know you would like to see it! @michaeljnovotny.
Twitter used for user acquisition
Twitter. Normally used for user acquisition or retention strategy. It can be used as a part of your product.
Seeing how Makers use this tool in their stack is insanely helpful if you’re looking to leverage Twitter for your product. Check it out:
Easy email form builder
Coming soon. Upscribe is my go to form builder plug in for use with Carrd or other website builders.
Hire assistants to do jobs
Maker Generated Project in our list used Fancy Hands – Fancy Hands has been used to implement for Maker Levels.io that he used for a project called Taylor. You can check out more about it on our Maker list of projects.
I have yet to try this product but look for a future project using it and my reviews of it. If you would like me to try this product out, reach out to me on twitter @michaeljnovotny
Free tier + segmented email automations
Niche email list builder product for makers and creatives – Convertkit is a tool used by many Maker’s and one in particular who created Makerpad.co. I have used this product before and felt it much more user friendly than Drip and much more technically consistent.
Creating an email product is hard. And often with email products there are a lot of issues. ConvertKit has great customer service and is hyperfocused for Makers which helps us out because our needs are being addressed and the app is adding features that will benefit the Maker movement. I would strongly recommend this app, it is a little bit on the pricey side, not free compared to Mailchimp.
I would suggest after you have an idea of what your product is and what value it delivers to switch from Mailchimp to ConvertKit. Start free and don’t pay until you are sue what you are building. I’ve made the mistake of letting the monthly payment to this continue while I was still on square one of figuring out what the heck my product offering was. Mailchimp is great because of its freemium base level offering.
Best no code marketplace builder
Superpowers on Fleek – Sharetribe I don’t even know what on Fleek really means, but who cares, it feels appropriate. Because this tool allows a no code Maker to literally transform from Clark Gable into Superman. This product changed my life as a Maker, because it allowed me to launch my first side project, an online marketplace @localtown .
The product allows you to do so much from an actual two sided marketplace, take payment, allow user account sign up, and more. This is the product also used by Studiotime.io. Look for a full blog about this product soon, but for now check out their website for more information.
The guys and gals at Sharetribe are very friendly and helpful and will do whatever it takes to help you get going. They are invested in making you successful. There is no better feeling than knowing someone has your back as a solo maker.