Spreadsheets are easy to use, but they can be very cumbersome. Databases are much more structured in comparison, but they require complex scripting skills to manage.
That’s where Airtable comes in. It’s a low-code hybrid that combines the accessibility of a spreadsheet with the functionality of a database. It enables you to store vast amounts of complex data without having to learn a programming language like SQL.
But what happens when you need to share this data with a large number of people within or outside your organization? There’s one way you can make Airtable even more accessible for end-users.
Glide Pages is a no-code web application development tool that lets you turn your Airtable databases into public or private websites in a matter of minutes. All your information and integrations work just as intended — only now, you can access your business data in a much more visually appealing and easily navigable way from the device of your choice.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. In this tutorial guide, we’ll take you through the steps needed to turn your Airtable base into a fully-functional web app with Glide Pages.
Why Use Airtable?
Spreadsheets are great for organizing information in a pinch. But, they’re boring to look at and very difficult to navigate. What’s more, since all your information is displayed in a single continuous sheet, storing vast amounts of data can put a heavy strain on your computer’s resources.
Compared to spreadsheets, databases are much easier to navigate because they sort data according to separate fields in a highly structured fashion. You can quickly access the information you need without having to look through endless streams of columns and rows. But, there’s a caveat here too. Databases require you to know scripting languages like SQL to properly administer them, making them inaccessible to people from non-technical backgrounds.
Airtable is a spreadsheet-database hybrid that combines the best of both worlds to create accessible databases that look just like spreadsheets. While a basic understanding of SQL is still appreciated, it’s by no means necessary to use the fantastic capabilities of Airtable.
But, Airtable is a lot more than just a visually appealing database manager. With hundreds of templates to choose from and the ability to invite teammates as collaborators, it provides everything you need to be a one-stop solution for all your small business or enterprise data workflows.
Turning Your Airtable Into a Website
So, you want to turn your database into a website. Let’s start by talking about why you may want to do that. Web apps are extremely lightweight software applications that you can view and access using your browser. They enable you to view, organize, and manipulate data without having to touch your backend database. With the right web app, you can:
- Display crucial data in a much more attractive visual format.
- Have your website stay in sync with your database at all times.
- Manage and restrict access to information based on user roles.
- Adapt information for viewing on any device with any screen size.
There are a few ways you can go about turning your Airtable data into a web app. Use the built-in share functionality to offer a basic web preview of your databases, hire an expensive developer to build a web app for you, or learn to build it yourself with powerful no-code tools and a little bit of elbow grease.
Using the share button
Airtable enables you to embed a preview of your base onto any web page that supports iframes. You can do this for public-facing websites as well as internal wikis for your organization. However, it’s important to note that iframe embeds are not editable and the only way to make changes to your base is to log directly into Airtable.
To embed a base, click on the “Share” button at the top-right of an open base on Airtable. Up next, click on the dropdown that says "Create a shared link to the whole base" and choose “Private read-only link”. This will allow you to access an embed button next to the dropdown that you can use to copy-paste the embed code onto your website. Airtable also lets you share a specific view of a base instead of the whole database by creating a view for sharing.
Hiring a developer
If you’re not satisfied with the embed functionality and want to use your database as the source for your website instead, you can learn to code it yourself or hire a developer to do it for you. Either way, it helps to know a little about Airtable and SQL.
Airtable.com is, at its essence, an SQL database with a UI on top of it. Developers can use the REST API to retrieve data from an Airtable database and display it directly on your website. Doing so will allow you to both read and modify information from your database using your website. However, this is a complicated process and will require an understanding of HTML, CSS, and SQL. If you’d like to hire a developer or agency to do it for you, they can put up a pricing of anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, or even more, depending on the nature and complexity of your website and the skills of the developer.
Using a no-code platform
Using a no-code app builder is arguably the easiest way to convert your Airtable database into a website or web app. Glide Pages is a no-code development and design tool that allows you to turn your spreadsheets and databases into web applications in a matter of minutes.
To begin, start a new project with Glide Pages and choose Airtable as your data source. From there, it’s just a matter of copy-pasting your Airtable API key to Glide. This will allow you to choose from all the databases linked to your Airtable account and use them to create your web app automatically without any kind of programming knowledge. You can then use Glide to further customize your Airtable website using simple drag-and-drop.
Glide: The Best No-Code Web App Builder for Airtable
Whether you’re looking to build an online directory or an internal app, Glide is a no-code spreadsheet-to-app builder that lets you easily convert your databases into interactive websites and web applications. Just plug your spreadsheet or database into Glide and watch it turn all your data into a professionally-designed website in minutes!
How does it work? Glide lets you create mobile and web applications with your database as the source while generating all the complex code behind the scenes. Your database always stays in sync with your web app so that any changes you make to your website are easily reflected on Airtable, and vice versa.
Ready to get started building your Airtable website with Glide? Sign up for a free account to see how it works!