Why enterprises should build web experiences at scale in a visual environment.
You don’t do bookkeeping in literal books anymore — you use spreadsheets. You don’t have data centres anymore — you’re storing data in the cloud. It’s time to stop coding your enterprise’s websites by hand, too.
You should embrace no-code web design and web development for your enterprise’s websites because it opens up opportunities that traditional hand-coding doesn’t: the ability to iterate and launch best-in-class websites, beautifully built by team members with and without developer backgrounds alike.
Outdated, bloated web development processes don’t scale
Modern enterprises need their web presence to do a lot: Showcase products, interact with leads, protect their brand image, and achieve business goals. Oh, right — they have to keep customers happy, too.
Ever since the world’s first website was published in 1991, enterprises have relied on coding practices that require highly skilled web developers to produce these high-functioning websites and web apps their customers demand. Billions of websites later, though much has changed since then, we’re still using HTTP, HTML, and CSS just like we were 30 years ago.
Traditional web design and development as a practice is a blend of science and art. Stakeholders provide direction and content, and visual designers mockup ideas and then hand them off to web developers to code. This means that every time a change is made by a stakeholder or visual designer, it has to go through more coding, too. Often, developers are the only ones with edit access to websites and apps, so request and approval processes get in the way of moving quickly. And if you want these edits to be responsive, meaning adaptable to both desktop and mobile browsers? It can take even more time.
Designers and marketers have laundry lists of improvements they want to make to their websites, but there’s simply too much meticulous coding work standing in the way of those small improvements and holding you back. You can only innovate at the speed with which you’re able to validate ideas. Relying on developers or freelancers to manually translate design files to code in time is inefficient and expensive.
Traditional coding slows down innovation — and comes at a price
When it comes to iterating and producing top-tier websites, enterprises have told Webflow it used to take anywhere between four to five hours (billed by an expensive freelancer, of course) to months to push a simple change live. That’s just time faster competitors can use to experiment quickly and get ahead. Consumer trust and interest are fickle, too: You only have 50 milliseconds to make a good impression on your website. The clock on your website is constantly ticking.
Antiquated web-design processes hinder marketers from responding to consumer responses as they happen. In an age when a single poorly done tweet from a global brand can explode into six o’clock news headlines, enterprises can’t afford anything but real-time marketing across all of their web presences.
Less than 1% of people are developers, but almost 100% of your customer base will visit one of your websites. How are you empowering your whole team, and not just your developers, to make that user experience great? Web-based businesses can solve more problems faster with platforms that teams like marketing and customer success can add to, experiment with, and launch autonomously without a line of code.
Enterprises have been using no-code visual abstraction since the ’60s — think spreadsheets, not lines of code, for sorting information — but their web development process hasn’t caught up with the times yet. Learning to code takes a lot of up-front investment, and everyone who needs access to your websites can’t learn to code fast enough to keep up with demand from consumers. No-code development is done on graphical interfaces that sit on top of code and don’t require technical knowledge to use.
Launch faster with no-code — without compromising on cost or security
Traditional coding’s shortcomings have led to a boom in software-enabled no-code solutions, where, with a little training and a password, nontechnical staff can begin iterating on a website.
Laela Sturdy from investment firm CapitalG (an investor in Webflow) shared in an interview that traditional tech platforms can’t keep up with digital transformation demands, especially with so few technical workers at enterprises’ disposal. The solution? No-code development platforms that more nontechnical team members can use:
Low-code/no-code tools have stepped in to fill this void by enabling knowledge workers — who are 10x more populous than technical workers — to configure software without having to code. This has the potential to save significant time and money and to enable end-to-end digital experiences inside of enterprises faster.
No-code and low code help people create and update websites visually instead of through code. These tools help enterprise teams solve some problems without needing a developer’s help, said Sheryl Koenigsberg, head of global product marketing for Mendix, in ZDNet, “while ensuring that anything they build goes through a centralised process for quality and security.”
This boom of no-code solutions should excite you for a lot of reasons, including:
- No-code platforms have the potential to massively multiply and bring forth more people with the ability to build for the web who couldn’t code before.
- These will be people in your company you wouldn’t have thought of as “coders” in a traditional sense, who will be able to step up and own new initiatives.
- These will be new hires from diverse backgrounds bringing a fresh perspective to your work, making your user experience better.
- These will be people with exciting, interesting, revenue-generating ideas for your websites.
No-code enterprise solutions reduce your information technology total cost of ownership (TCO) as well — defined by Gartner as “hardware and software acquisition, management and support, communications, end-user expenses and the opportunity cost of downtime, training and other productivity losses.” Iteration and editing takes time.
So does launching new websites, an almost constant project for any large enterprise. The TCO of enterprise websites skyrockets with the exponential cost of hands-on updating from specialists.
When you can build rich, professional experiences without code, you waste less of your developers’ time and save on contractor bills. However, no-code doesn’t mean developers go away. Quite the contrary. No-code just means their jobs become less repetitive and menial. Reduce pressure on your development and IT teams, who, instead of being constantly available for bug fixes and edits, will be freed up to work on complex problems and create your next industry-defining product.
Original article by Webflow can be found here:
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