Softr is a no-code web app builder that helps you create front ends for your Airtable data, like websites and online communities. But depending on what app or interface you want to build — or where your data is currently kept — Softr may not be the right tool for you.
To help you find the right tool, we look at 3 Softr alternatives:
- Stacker: You can use Stacker to build helpful business applications like CRMs, customer/client portals, project trackers, resource directories, and more. Unlike Softr, you can sync your Stacker account with Airtable and Google Sheets (or use Stacker as your database). All of this is done without writing code or using designers and developers.
- Ycode: Ycode is a no-code tool that you can use to build websites and other web applications. It has popular templates for making a marketplace or job board. It relies heavily on a visual editor, and some coding experience is likely a plus.
- Webflow: A no-code tool that you can use to design, build, and host your website. You can also use Webflow’s workspace plans for assigning roles and tasks to individuals.
We built Stacker to let you create helpful web apps that make it easier to manage clients/customers, tasks, projects, teams, workflows, and more.
Specifically, we wanted to make it simple for people who have data — in Airtable, Google Sheets, or in any form — to build a custom front end where they can customize permissions for different users who need to access their data. We wanted all of this to be easy to do, so you could build these apps without being a designer or developer.
Here are just some of the applications our customers have made with Stacker:
- A portal that 15,000 early-stage startups log into to check for deals, resources, and credits (read the full story here).
- A CRM that a social media marketing team uses to manage their accounts (read the full story here).
- An internal workflow app that lets employees update their progress on a task (read the full story here).
Again, all of this was done without having to use a developer, designer, or pay for web hosting.
With Stacker, You Can Bring in Data from Airtable and Google Sheets (or Use Stacker as a Database)
You can sync your Stacker account with data from Airtable and Google Sheets.
When you set up your account, you can pick where you have data. Let’s say you were running key operations in your company out of two or three different Airtable bases. One for your view, one for your account managers, and one for your clients. You’d sync all of those Airtable Bases into one Stacker account, which will become your one source of truth.
(Below, we look at how you can set custom permissions and tightly control what each user can see and edit.)
Whatever changes you make to your data on the front end — such as updating a customer account — are reflected on the back end, where you keep your data.
You can also sync data from different platforms. For example, if you’re running a CRM out of Airtable but have a separate lead gen form that leads to Google Sheets, you can connect both sources to your Stacker account. And you can import data from an Excel file by contacting our support team after you’ve signed up for your free trial. You can also integrate Stacker with your Salesforce account. Plus, we’re working on other integrations that will go live in the future.
Now all of your data is in one place, instead of different spreadsheets or separate tools. You’re eliminating how many different screens you need to work with, reducing double work and potential mistakes — all while increasing security.
FYI: You can also use Stacker as your database. If you’re looking to reduce costs by moving away from Airtable or just want to use one tool, you can use Stacker as a database and a front end for your data. To find out more about using Stacker as your database, get in touch with our support team.
Set Advanced Custom Permissions (Control Who Sees What)
One of the most important features of building a front end for your data is being able to set specific user permissions. This is true whether you’re building an applicant tracker, an internal tool, a CRM, or any other type of app.
When you use Stacker to build out a front end with your data, you gain control over what each user can see and edit. By setting these granular permissions, you can have all of your data in one place (such as one Airtable Base or one Google Sheet) and only let users see what you want them to see.
For example, let’s say you were using Airtable to track job applications. You’d have it set up so external users can apply via a form in Airtable, and once their data is submitted, it goes into your database with every other applicant.
Then, you’d have your recruiting team go into your Airtable and leave comments on each application, such as which ones they want to pass on, which ones they want to move to the next step, and so on. You’re dealing with a lot of sensitive information, and with this method, you can’t easily share the candidate’s application status with them.
But with Stacker, you can sync all of that data up with your account and build a front end that looks different for your internal users (recruiters) and external users (applicants).
- Your recruiters will see applications you want them to look at, relevant information (like questions on the application, resumes, etc), and you can conceal information you may not want to share (such as salaries).
- Your applicants can log into a portal you made with Stacker and check the status of their application, without seeing any other candidate’s personal information or notes left by your team.
Create Easy-to-Navigate Layouts
When you start building your first web app with Stacker, you can pick one of three templates to help you quickly build your front end:
- Applicant tracker
- Project tracker
- Customer tracker
You can also skip the templates altogether and build your front end from scratch by picking tables and setting your own layout:
Whether you’re using one of our templates or building your own, what you’re doing with Stacker is taking data that’s presented in a more traditional spreadsheet format and making it easier to navigate while setting more advanced permissions that control what each user can view and edit.
Here’s an example of a CRM template being used in Airtable:
It has all the information you need for a CRM — client account info, sales rep info, etc. — but it's presented in the more traditional columns and rows format, which isn’t the easiest layout to navigate. Plus, to give someone on your team access to this Airtable, you’ll need to give them access to all of it, which isn’t usually something you want.
In contrast, with Stacker, you can make your CRM easier to navigate by creating more specific, tailored views that show only relevant information that the user has asked for.
You can set these permissions to apply at the table, record, and field level. For example, in the image below, you’ll see a kanban board view of a company’s opportunities broken down by status:
When a user clicks on a specific account, it opens up a new interface with all information specific to that client. (This can only be seen if they are given access.)
Here again, you can set custom permissions. So, if you wanted to conceal certain types of contact info, you could.
By gaining more control of your data, Stacker lets you:
- Create tools that your entire team can use without worrying about privacy issues.
- Create tools that are easier for your users to navigate because they’re not overwhelmed with info that isn’t relevant to them.
Ready to build something useful for your business? Start your 30-day free trial today.
Ycode is a no-code platform that relies heavily on using a visual editor. You can use one of their templates or start your project from scratch. There's a lot to Ycode, and for some users, its high-level of customization might come with a steep learning curve, especially if you’re not familiar with some coding basics like HTML and CSS.
You can use Ycode with your data in Airtable, or you can just house your data within Ycode.
Ycode has four different pricing plans.
- Free: Ycode doesn’t offer a free trial, instead it offers a lightweight free plan. On Ycode’s free plan, you can create an app with 10 pages and 100 database entries. You’ll want to look at the paid plans for any project larger than that.
- Basic: The basic plan is $9 a month and it comes with your own custom domain (i.e. no Ycode in the URL), 100 pages, and 2,000 database entries.
- Business: The business plan is $29 a month, and on this plan, you can also use your own code (if you want) to add more functionality to the apps you build with Ycode.
- Enterprise: The Enterprise plan gives you unlimited pages and database entries, but for pricing details, you need to contact Ycode for a custom quote.
Webflow is a no code app that’s mostly known as a website builder and an alternative to WordPress, but it does have other use cases, which we discuss below.
Webflow has 4 different pricing site plans:
- Starter: Webflow’s Starter plan is completely free, but it only comes with enough space for 50 CMS records and 1GB of bandwidth.
- Basic: The Basic plan is $15/month, and is not for tools like a CMS. Instead, it’s aimed at building a simple, low-traffic website, like a personal blog or a low-traffic landing page. On the Basic plan, you can get 25k unique visitors a month, a custom domain (i.e. no Webflow in the URL), and 5GB of bandwidth.
- CMS: The CMS plan is $20/month. On this plan, you get a custom domain, enough space for 2,000 CMS items, 200GB of bandwidth, and editor access for 3 users. If you’re using Webflow to build a blog or website, this plan lets you grow to 100,000 visitors a month.
- Business: Webflow’s business plan is $45/month. At this point, you get 10,000 CMS items, a 400GB bandwidth, and 10 guest editors. Plus, your site can handle 250,000 monthly visits.
You can also reach out to Webflow for a custom quote, with a custom limit on bandwidth and guest editors.
Webflow also has workspace plans, where you can assign roles, tasks, and set permissions.
There are three plans to choose from:
- Free: On the free plan, you can manage up to two unhosted sites. You only get one seat, which means only one person can use this workspace. This free plan is really to see if you like working with Webflow, or if you just need a one-person resource directory or project tracker.
- Core: The Core plan is $28/month per seat. On this plan, you can have 10 unhosted sites, up to 3 collaborators/editors, and you can set billing permissions — which means you can make sure only people you select can see billing or subscription information.
- Growth: The Growth plan is $60/month per seat. Here, you can have as many unhosted sites as you want and give 9 users editing/collaborator access. You could only set permissions for the billing details on the Core plan, but here you can set permissions throughout your site.
You can also reach out to Webflow for a custom quote based on your needs.
Above, we covered 3 Softr alternatives, including our no-code tool, Stacker. You can use Stacker to take your data — from Airtable, Google Sheets, Excel spreadsheets, Salesforce, and more — and turn it into a useful application. For example, our customers have built CRMs, project trackers, applicant trackers, asset/inventory trackers, portals (and much more) all without writing a line of code.
For more information on building web apps without needing to code, check out: