Drag-and-drop app builders. Why are they better than developers?
8 minute read
Written by Liam Donoghue, Marketing Executive
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If you wanted to build an app 8 years ago, chances are you’d need to hire an expensive developer or learn how to code. Both of these options are big drains on your money and your time.
But in the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of the no-code, app builders. These platforms offer business owners and individuals the chance to create their own apps in a fraction of the time.
They use a pre-existing framework and widgets to allow users to move features and images around an empty app and construct one as they see fit. These drag and drop app builders are great for people who are building their first mobile app and need a helping hand to get their vision off the ground.
Passion.io is a no-code, drag-and-drop app building platform. We specialize in e-learning mobile apps. So if you’re a coach, expert, or teacher looking to monetize their skills online check out our pricing page.
Not a coach? Don’t worry you can check out our list of drag-and-drop app builders suitable for any business idea here: The 7 best app maker platforms for any business idea
Drag-and-drop app builders – advantages
There are many advantages to using a drag-and-drop app builder that go beyond simply not having to write a line of code. Drag-and-drop app building platforms are powerful tools that can help you scale your business quickly and cheaply. We’ve listed the main advantages below:
No development team
Unlike traditional app development that requires you to work with a development agency or freelancer, app building platforms let you get hands-on and create an app yourself.
This means you have 100% control over your vision. You don’t need to brief a team or work with people who might not share your passion for your app. Bringing a lot of other people in on your idea can also lead to conflict and other team members trying to stamp their own mark on your product. Building an app yourself avoids this issue.
Quicker than a development team
Using an app builder also means you won’t have to wait whilst an external team builds something for you. You can set your own deadlines and work at your own pace.
Communication is the biggest drain on your time when working with external developers. Briefs and revisions can eat away at your productivity and cause a simple project to become a nightmare.
Cheaper than a development team
The average cost of a simple app can climb into the tens of thousands! Don’t believe us? Check out this article we wrote about the cost of app development. A simple app could cost upwards of $100,000 and that price doesn’t include the continued maintenance and updates.
Freelancers and development teams are out of reach for most startups. But you can get around this financial block by using an app building platform. Most drag-and-drop app builders have several feature-based pricing bands for users. So you have the flexibility to choose a price that works for you. A subscription to an app builder platform can be in the range of $80-$5000 a month so show around.
Passion.io has a very competitive monthly subscription. If you’re looking to build an e-learning mobile app check out our pricing to see if we suit you.
Easy to grasp User interface
Drag-and-drop app builders are easy to learn and even easier to master. They are built for beginner app developers so are geared towards people with little technical knowledge. This makes them super intuitive and easy to use.
Subscription model means you get constant support
Most drag-and-drop app builders operate on a subscription basis. This means you pay monthly to use their platform. This also gives you access to their support team and platform updates for no extra cost.
If you’ve hired a development team or freelancer each app update or support ticket could cost you extra.
Drag-and-drop app builders – Disadvantages
There are some disadvantages to drag-and-drop app builders. They can be tempremental if you don’t stay on top of your admin and when you’re the only person working on the app builder you’ve got no-one to turn to if things break. We’ve listed them below.
The builder can be limiting
Using an app platform doesn’t give you the flexibility of working with an app development team. A developer can build you a bespoke app from scratch. They aren’t constrained by the limitations of the drag-and-drop tools. This is really useful if you have a very complex app that needs a lot of unique features.
The easy solution around this problem is to research the right app builder platform for you. Most drag-and-drop app builders focus on serving one niche or business type. If you find an app platform that is designed for your business model you’ll find that the builder isn’t limiting but liberating.
Say, for example, you want to build an e-learning mobile app. It’d make sense to use Passion.io. We’ve created a drag-and-drop builder for this very purpose so all our features are geared towards making an amazing coaching app. Check out how:
No-one will help you market your app
Using a drag-and-drop app builder is a solo mission. What you see if what you get. A platform to build an app. When you partner with app agencies they will often factor app marketing and promotion into their fee. Or at least mention it to you when they produce a roadmap for your app.
If you’re happy to do your own marketing then this isn’t a problem (If you’re using a drag-and-drop app builder to create an app, then marketing it will be easy). But if the thought of scheduling Facebook ads, email marketing, and ASO sends a cold shiver down your spine it might be worth investing in a professional…
Or using our resources to research your marketing strategies.
Need some app marketing tips? Check out this article: 8 tips for getting more app sales
Drag-and-drop app builders are a great way to create an app quickly and cheaply. If you’re new to app development, or you don’t need an app that’s super complicated, an app-building platform can give you a solution immediately.
If you need your app to have various features and a lot of complexity it may be better to look for other solutions. Just make sure you thoroughly research all your options. You’ll be surprised at how powerful drag-and-drop app builders are.