Nocode on Netlify with WeBase

Technology

Introduction


Netlify was built to empower developers to deploy websites without worrying about servers.  Developers focus on building and Netlify will handle running the site.  Brilliant!

But why should this privilege be reserved for only those who are familiar with the git push command?

This is an important question.

Wouldn't it be nice if anyone could enjoy the global infrastructure of Netlify to run a blazing fast site, even if you are not a programmer?  Instead of git push, how about click publish?

Today this is a reality and the purpose of this article; but before we dive into the details let's zoom out and talk about software.

The Software Development Market and the Advent of NoCode


It has now been a decade since the seminal "Why Software is Eating the World" article.  Every company, to some degree, needs to be a software or technology company today to be successful.

This reality has led to a massive surge in demand for software developers.  Unfortunately it takes time to become an effective developer and the demand for developers has outpaced the supply.

Developer bootcamps are one answer and they are helping some but again, becoming a proficient developer takes more than 12 weeks.  See Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years.

Another solution to this problem is software itself.  Why not create software to create software?

Enter NoCode platforms:  tools that allow you to build things that traditionally have required a programmer.  I tend to think of NoCode tools as falling into one of three categories:

  1. Websites or custom "views" - Webflow is the current darling here but in my opinion it is still too hard to use for beginners as its approach is strongly correlated to CSS.
  2. Custom data models - the leader in this space today is Airtable;  they've build a nice data modeling tool but you need other tools if you want to customize the UI
  3. Integrations and automations - the leader here is Zapier; it excels at automating integrations between applications without needing a coder.

One of the challenges with this space is that you nearly always need to stitch together multiple tools to accomplish anything meaningful.  There isn't a clear winner that can do even two of these while also claiming any degree of ease of use.

Until now! :-)

WeBase + Netlify


WeBase is a no-code platform that allows you to build beautiful websites and custom applications without writing any code.

WeBase is one of the few tools that solves both 1 and 2 above in a single tool.

You can use WeBase to create custom data models and customize the web pages that host any custom data.

The beauty of this kind of platform is now the marketing team does not have to rely on the IT department to make changes to the website.  And the operations team can now just add or edit fields in the data model if there is a change to a process that requires new data for an internal tool.  Or if you want to start a digital agency or create a SAAS application you can do it without needing an expensive developer.  This really is brilliant!

And you want to know the best part?  Now you can deploy WeBase websites and applications to Netlify and instantly have your site running on global infrastructure.  All with a point and click visual interface.

How it works


Head over to WeBase and let’s see how fast we can get a website up and running on Netlify.

After signing up you will be presented with a screen to create a new application.

webase-new-app.png 318.47 KB


For this demo we’ll create a simple website.  I’ve picked the “Shipped Software” template and given it a name of SimplSites which corresponds to the custom domain we’ll use for this site.

After creating this website you’ll be taken to the site editor where we can make changes to the site.  In this demo I’ve updated the team section toward the bottom of the page to make it more “Netlify inspired”! 

webase-edit-page.png 481.28 KB


After you’ve made a few edits, click the red “publish site” button so we can start to see the magic of deploying a “no code” website to Netlify.

webase-publish-netlify.png 278.88 KB


From the dialog click the Netlify button to connect WeBase to your Netlify account.  You’ll see this screen next:

webase-netlify-authorization.png 183.11 KB

Click Authorize and now WeBase will be able to push web applications and sites to Netlify’s global infrastructure.  Note that this step assumes you have a Netlify account.  If you don’t then head over to https://app.netlify.com/signup and create a free account.

After you connect Netlify to WeBase, you’ll be returned to your site to complete publishing.
If you want to publish your site to a custom domain, check the “Publish to a custom domain” and enter your domain.  For this demo I’ll add www.simplsites.com which is a domain name that I own.  After you enter your domain name and click “Next”, you’ll see the screen above prompting you to update your DNS servers so Netlify can manage your domain.

Here is that next step when a domain is hosted on GoDaddy:
After I’ve saved these settings in the GoDaddy DNS Management console we are all set to publish our site to our custom domain.  It may take some time for the DNS changes to propagate but we can still publish our site to the Netlify subdomain until that happens.

Back in WeBase, click the “Publish” button and the site will be deployed to to Netlify on the subdomain:

webase-website-on-netlify.png 168.83 KB
The published site will open in a new window.  If you are not using a custom domain or are waiting on DNS to update, the site will be deployed on a netlify.app subdomain as shown above.

Back in WeBase you can check to see if your DNS settings have completed propagating from the Publish modal visible by clicking the “publish site” button.

After DNS setup is fully complete you’ll see the following dialog.  Now your site is ready to be published to its own custom domain.

webase-netlify-setup-complete.png 226.8 KB

Click “Publish” again and you’ll see the site one a nice and secure custom URL!

We’ve just scratched the surface of what you can do with this integration between Netlify and WeBase but I hope we’ve given you a taste of how nice it can be to use a No Code tool for editing and Netlify for hosting.

If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them!  Please feel welcome to reach out to harris@webase.com