Why You Should Use Low Code Tools to Build Your SaaS
3 min read
I wanted to dig into some common criticisms against using low code for SaaS.
Why low-code and not no-code?
No-code tools are great for many things, and I use Webflow for the frontend of my websites all the time. But I haven't found any great no-code tools for building web or native apps. Either they don't scale well, or aren't financially sustainable for one reason or another.
Go entirely no-code if you can. But I've found that to create a really great SaaS app that performs unique functions out and stays sustainable at scale, you'll need at least a little code. But I'm sure that varies depending on the project.
What's wrong with coding everything?
Nothing is wrong at all with code. A little code is great when you need it. However, research has been done that shows that bugs increase with lines of code. The simplest way to have stable software is to write less code. The easiest way to write less code is to use mature no-code tools.
Relying on no-code tools for certain things can take a lot of pressure off of developers. It can allow designers to make their own design revisions, marketers to make their own SEO tweaks, and business owners to edit their own business logic. The less time developers are spending on problems that have already been solved, the more time they can spend on the problems your SaaS is trying to solve.
Also, as your SaaS grows, you will likely need to start outsourcing some things. Outsourcing to a copy writer who can edit a Webflow or WordPress site is much cheaper than outsourcing to a copy writer, as well as a developer who needs to implement the changes.
Tactically applying code only where necessary can make the difference between a good product that solves its users needs and a bad one that has elegant code but no users.
What about the overhead?
No/low-code tools are pretty cheap these days, especially tools for website development and user management. A lot of them even have generous free tiers that will get you through the early stages of your SaaS without paying a dime.
So when should I use code and when should I use no/low-code?
Only use code to work on the actual problem your SaaS is trying to solve. Don't code infrastructure, billing, account management, and your marketing site if you don't have to.
Ask yourself if it can be no-code without sacrificing quality of your core product or an increase in overhead. If it using a no-code tool doesn't affect either one of those things, use a no-code tool.
How to pick the right no/low-code tools
When choosing the right tools for the job, always consider the editor as well as the end user. Webflow is a great choice if the editor for that part of the project has design skills, but a terrible choice for working with a developer documentation site that requires syntax highlighting and would only ever be edited by a developer.
For example, the DesignSync.js website is on Webflow, since we may have to pass control off to an marketing agency or freelance designer. But the developer docs are built with a developer tool called Docusaurus. Since I know they would only ever be edited by a developer, it would likely take a developer longer to edit if it was in Webflow.
Ideally, the most boring tool you can pick for the type of person using it is the best tool.