By Mona Bushnell, business.com Writer | Updated Jan 20, 2018
BuildFire is one of a growing number of app-making software programs for people who want to create apps but don't want to worry about the intensive coding. If you've considered creating an app for your business but dismissed it because you were intimidated by the coding aspect of creating an app, BuildFire truly is one of the easiest ways to quickly create and launch your app. In addition to its DIY app-building platform, BuildFire offers custom app development.
You can view all our recommendations for app makers and development solutions on our best picks page.
With its DIY app-building platform, BuildFire offers three plans: Basic, Professional and Business/Enterprise. The Basic plan lets you create an Android, iOS, or progressive web app, and the cost runs $59 per month. The Professional plan costs $149 per month, and with it, you can build an iPad app and Android template, plus you get RSS-based push notifications, geofence push notifications, and plugin access settings. The Business/Enterprise version, which is really best suited for large organizations, costs $499 per month. In addition to the monthly costs, if you plan to offer your app on either the App Store, Google Play, or both, there is a $99 annual fee for Apple, and with Google, there is a one-time $25 fee. For our review, we evaluated BuildFire's mid-tier Professional subscription plan. Unlike some services where you – not the app builder – submit the app to both Google and Apple, BuildFire will submit the app to both marketplaces for you.
BuildFire's interface is uncluttered and simple to navigate. The click-and-edit navigation eliminates the need for any coding, giving you the tools necessary to build a comprehensive app regardless of whether you have any coding experience or not. We were able to create a professional, quality app for our fictional business relatively quickly.
When you first start designing your app, you can choose from different themes designed to suit several types of industries. The industry selection list is among the most extensive we saw of the app builders we evaluated. It offers 15 templates, some not typically seen in app builders, like amusement parks, stockbrokers and sports teams. It also integrates with a multitude of programs, from shopping carts to chat software to reservation managers. One drawback to this app maker is that it does not let you put in your website URL to automatically populate your mobile app with the content there.
The first screen on the dashboard is essentially a getting-started wizard. It provides a tutorial for every tool. And while the number of tutorials might seem excessive at first, the education BuildFire provides doesn't become overwhelming.
The app you create can be compatible with iOS, Android, and you can even create a progressive web app as well. Like its native app templates, you can choose from several different templates designed for small businesses, e-commerce, restaurants, real estate and more.
With this app maker software, you can create user groups in your app, which builds a social networking experience unique to you and your users. You can then share relevant news and information to a localized group that will be most receptive to that information. BuildFire is also compatible with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which means that you can create a fully integrated experience between your app and social media accounts.
In addition to its subscriptions, BuildFire's engineering team can work with your small business to design and launch an affordable custom app. You'll work with their designers to design the features you want on your app.
As mentioned earlier, BuildFire offers a lot of tutorials. You can watch many videos to help you troubleshoot various aspects of building and launching your app. If you run into issues along the way, you can reach customer support through email. However, getting a response can take time. The company doesn't offer phone support.
BuildFire offers a fast, easy, no-code way for small businesses to quickly create and launch a native app or PWA. If you're creating an app for the first time or are looking for a truly easy, no-code app builder, BuildFire is a great choice. For businesses wanting to create an affordable, custom app, BuildFire's custom app-building servicers are worth looking into.