Sivoxi Company

A comprehensive analysis comparing unique development methodologies.

Demystifying No-code, low-code and custom development. sivoxi, development methodologies.
As businesses expand into the digital space the need for development has grown dramatically. Custom development, low-code development, and no-code development are three distinct methodologies, each offering a unique balance of varying factors. Gartner predicts that 65% of all app development will be low code by 2024. This prediction forecasts a dramatic shift in the development world. It's clear that low-code and no-code solutions are on the rise but what are they?


Custom development refers to the traditional approach of
building software applications from scratch using programming languages,
frameworks, and libraries. This approach requires a whole team of

Low-code development involves using a visual development
environment that provides pre-built components, templates, and tools to
simplify the development process. Users do need to write some code to deploy
and customise software.


No-code development takes simplicity a step further by
allowing users to create applications without writing any code. It relies heavily on visual interfaces, pre-built
templates, and automation. These applications are usually limited by templates
and out-of-the-box features.


So which one is right for your business? They
differ in complexity, speed, flexibility, and the level of technical expertise
required. Below we’ll compare these options in the most crucial criteria. 


Development Time

Custom Development

The development time for custom development varies greatly based on project requirements. These projects often require a substantial investment of time and money. From architecting the application to writing and debugging code, with this approach clients can generally expect to wait 6-12 months before being able to launch their application. These timeframes may vary depending on the complexity of the platform. Custom development is best suited for projects where innovation and intricate functionality are paramount.


Low-Code Development:

Low-code development significantly accelerates the development process. With pre-built components and drag-and-drop interfaces, developers can quickly piece together applications. Development times are significantly reduced at the cost of some flexibility. This approach is ideal for projects with moderate complexity that need to be delivered within relatively tight timelines.


No-Code Development:

No-code development is the clear winner in terms of speed. With user-friendly visual interfaces and templates, individuals without coding expertise can swiftly create basic applications and automation. Although no code development allows for rapid development it has very limited flexibility often restricting its users to simple applications. No-code development shines when rapid prototyping or automation is the primary goal.



Price Differences

Custom Development:

The cost of custom development can vary drastically based on several factors. These projects often come with higher costs due to the need for a highly skilled team. Custom solutions are typically tailored to unique requirements. This personalisation comes at a premium. More complex applications with intricate features will generally require more development time and expertise, thus increasing the cost.

Low-Code Development:

The cost of low-code development can also vary drastically depending on several factors. Low-code platforms offer a faster development process compared to custom development, but there are still variables that can influence the cost. While low-code platforms simplify development, customization beyond the platform’s built-in capabilities are likely to incur additional costs. They might also involve licensing fees for using the platform. These fees could be offset by the reduced development time.

It’s important to note that the cost structure of low-code development is often different from custom development. Instead of paying for developer hours, you’re paying for platform usage and services provided by the platform provider.


No-Code Development:

No-code platforms are usually the most cost-effective option. They don’t require a team of skilled developers and therefore businesses are able to save on development costs.

No-code platforms often operate on a subscription-based model. The cost can vary based on the features and capabilities offered by the platform.

Some no-code platforms might have limitations on the number of applications you can create. The number of users who can access your applications may also be limited. If you exceed these limits, you might need to upgrade to a higher tier. More complex or specialized functionalities might require that the project transitions from no-code to low-code or custom development.

No-code development can be an attractive option for smaller projects that don’t need specialized functionalities. It’s essential to consider the platform’s limitations and ensure that your project aligns with the platform’s capabilities.


Expertise Needed

Custom Development:

Custom development involves a range of expertise to successfully design, develop, and deploy software applications. Software developers require extensive coding knowledge and expertise to create and implement code successfully. Skilled developers are needed to architect, implement, and maintain the software application.

Custom development also requires front-end development, such as UI designers. They create visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces that match the application’s requirements and branding. Front-end developers then implement the UI design using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They ensure that the user interface is responsive across different devices.

Other expertise in custom development include. Database Management, Back-End Development, Testing and Quality Assurance to name a few. This approach is suitable for projects demanding advanced technical skills.

Low-Code Development:

Low-code platforms bridge the gap between coding and non-coding expertise. This method still requires a certain level of technical expertise. The skillset needed is often less specialized compared to traditional custom development. Developers need to be proficient in using the specific low-code platform they’re working with. This includes understanding the platform’s interface, components, and features.

Having a basic understanding of user interface design principles helps in creating visually appealing and user-friendly applications.

Low-code developers should understand how to structure and model data within the platform’s environment. This might involve setting up tables, fields, and relationships. Low-code developers design the logic and flow of the application using visual tools provided by the platform. Understanding how to create conditional statements, loops, and triggers is essential.

Low-code development enables individuals with varying technical backgrounds to contribute to application development. This approach is particularly suitable for projects where speed and ease of development are prioritized. Low-code developers don’t need the same level of expertise as custom developers. Having a solid foundation in the platform’s features and underlying concepts is still essential.

No-Code Development:

No-code development is designed to be accessible to individuals without a technical background. As a result, the expertise needed for no-code development is minimal. No-code development focuses on utilising visual interfaces and pre-built components.

Much like low code, users need to become familiar with the specific no-code platform they’re using. This includes understanding how to navigate the platform, select components, and configure functionalities.

No-code development involves creating logic through drag-and-drop interfaces. Users need to understand how to connect different components to create workflows and interactions. Users should also know how to create data structures and manage data within the platform.

No-code development is designed to empower individuals without coding skills. It allows all users to create functional applications, automation, and workflows. While no-code developers don’t require the same level of technical expertise as traditional developers, they still benefit from having a solid understanding of the chosen no-code platform’s features and capabilities. Allowing them to leverage the platform’s tools effectively and produce meaningful results.



Custom Development

Custom development offers the highest level of customization. Developers have complete control over the design, architecture, and functionality of the application. You can create highly specialized features tailored to specific requirements. Every aspect of the application can be tailored to the specific needs of the project. This is essential for projects with unique requirements that can’t be met by off-the-shelf solutions.


Low-Code Development:

Low-code platforms offer a balance between no-code and custom development. They provide more flexibility compared to no-code platforms, allowing developers to add custom logic, integrate with external services, and create more specialized functionalities. However, they might have limitations. Developers work within the framework provided by the platform, which could restrict certain advanced functionalities or specific design choices.


Low-code development is suitable for projects that require moderate levels of customization and functionality but can still benefit from the efficiency gains of using pre-built components and visual tools.


No-Code Development:

No-code development platforms prioritize simplicity and ease of use over deep customization. You can create applications quickly using visual tools and pre-built components. The scope of customization might be limited to what the platform provides out of the box. These platforms are great for rapid development, but highly specialized functionalities might not be achievable without transitioning to low-code or custom development.


No-code development is ideal for creating simple applications, prototypes, and automation that don’t require highly specialized features. It’s suitable for scenarios where speed and ease of development are more important than intricate customization.


Property Rights

Custom Development:

Custom development offers the highest level of control over property rights. Since the application is built from scratch, ownership of the application’s IP is typically clear and defined by the contract between the client and the development team.

Data ownership is usually defined by the project agreement. Clients often have full ownership of the data generated and stored by the application.

Low-Code Development:

Low-code platforms and ownership rights might be outlined in the platform’s terms of use. Depending on the platform, you might have more control over the application’s IP compared to no-code platforms. Some platforms might have specific clauses regarding ownership and data usage. It’s important to carefully review these terms before starting a project.

Data ownership might be subject to the platform’s policies. It’s essential to review these terms to understand how data is managed.


No-Code Development:

Similar to low-code development, property rights can be influenced by the platform. Since these platforms usually provide the underlying infrastructure, there might be limitations on ownership and data usage. The ownership of the application’s intellectual property (IP) can be governed by the platform’s terms of service. Some platforms might retain certain rights to the underlying infrastructure or components used to build applications.

Data generated and stored within the application might be subject to the platform’s data usage policies. Users should carefully review these policies to understand who owns the data and how it can be used.


It’s crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of the chosen platform before embarking on a project. While no-code and low-code platforms provide convenience, their terms can impact the ownership and usage of the application and its data. Custom development, on the other hand, offers more control over property rights, making it suitable for projects where IP ownership and data control are significant concerns.


In the realm of software development, the choice between custom development, low-code development, and no-code development is not one-size-fits-all. Each approach comes with its own set of advantages and trade-offs. From development time and cost considerations to expertise requirements and customizability.

By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision. Aligning your project’s unique needs and goals with your chosen platform’s capabilities. Whether you prioritize speed, customization, or accessibility, there’s an approach tailored to your specific requirements.


If you are interested in creating custom software for your business or brand, feel free to contact us via our website


Alternatively feel free to send us an email at:


Or call us at +27 60 803 9067 Mon-Fri: 08h00-17h00 CAT.


Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter

We’ll make sure you don’t miss out

    You may also be interested in...