Why Bubble Over Other No Code Platforms
In recent years, no-code app builders have been gaining significant traction in the app development market. These powerful tools are loved for their ability to help you build applications (web or mobile) quickly and at minimal cost – with little or no coding skills.
Maybe you’re in the market for a technology tool that can meet your app development needs, and perhaps you’re still looking to decide on the best platform. Chances are, you’re a little hesitant about committing without first fully educating yourself on the various options. You might wonder, for instance, what if I commit to said platform and it just isn’t right for my app?
Considering this is a decision that affects the fate of your business, it’s certainly one that should be made with care. One way to make certain of your choice is to test out the different platforms on offer, but this is a time-consuming venture. The other is what you’re currently doing…
Over at No Code Academy, Bubble is our no-code tool of choice, and in this article, we detail why we prefer it over the other no-code tools in the market – and why, maybe, you should too.
Advantages of Bubble Over Other No-Code Apps
A robust no-code web app builder, Bubble comes packed with multiple advantages. In this article, we’ll examine these advantages:
- Extension and integration
Bubble is a powerful full-stack development tool. Meaning, it boasts all you need for the hosting and development of the features for both the frontend and backend of your website or app.
Bubble’s power can be seen in the number of customization options provided by the tool. You have a blank canvas when it comes to building your app’s User Interface to create new pages or customize existing ones from a template using a drag and drop editor. This includes everything from regular pages to forms with autofill functionality, images, video backgrounds, etc.
Text and images can be customized to display user-generated content, app-wide styles can be defined, and designs can be made both stylish and responsive.
That said, Bubble’s most impressive customization features can be found in its backend programmatic features. Bubble’s powerful backend is designed to handle conditional statements, with an ability to implement logic-driven workflow customization that grants a level of wizardry to non-coders that is hard to rival.
For instance, you could implement a logic that says a user can only access this content if they’ve signed up for the premium plan. Or, you could set up a series of events that are triggered only if certain dates have passed or a user meets a certain criteria, such as possessing a certain number of in-app bonus points or being a member of a company to view an employee list.
Users are also able to define and design their own data structures, implement real-time functionalities, set up and manage user accounts, and control how – and which – data is seen by users.
Ultimately, we find Bubble capable of handling very customizable logic workflows for a variety of use cases, making it hard to find a scenario where Bubble is not the appropriate tool at least at an MVP level of your first version of the product going out into the market.
Extension and Integration
One of Bubble’s most impressive features is the level of feature extension it allows via plugins and API calls. Coming out of the box, the plugin community provides features like user signup and authentication with Google, Facebook, or Apple. But it doesn’t stop there.
Whatever features don’t come ‘native’ to the platform are provided via plugins and Bubble’s API connector. Users, for instance, can set up their website for payment receipt and management via Stripe and Braintree. You’d also be able to send customizable, transactional emails to your website users, and add features not directly provided by Bubble to your app via the plugin marketplace.
While this plugin marketplace is relatively small (when compared to those of platforms like WordPress), the options provided via the marketplace are powerful and versatile and growing every day. Make no mistake, a pivotal key to our argument of “Why Bubble?” is what WordPress is the world of websites, Bubble will be and already is this to the world of app development.
Speaking of impressive features, Bubble’s API Connector is as brilliant as they come. Designed as a plugin, it is Bubble’s way of allowing you to connect your site to almost any custom API you desire.
It lets you send API calls with parameters, headers, and a body, and receive JSON responses from 100s and 1000s of services around the web. This allows you to extend your app’s functionality by implementing custom features outside of Bubble and managing the data and users from within your Bubble app.
Considering the features packed by the Bubble editor, its pricing plans are quite good when compared to other tools on the market whose entry level plans come in at $99/mo or $100s/month like Betty Blocks. .
The Bubble pricing plan features a free plan with highly limited features. You can then go live with the first version of your platform for $29/mo or enjoy its most powerful plan – capped at $475 per month. Except you’ve got a ton of users on your platform, however, you won’t be needing the most expensive plan. And, if you do need it, congratulations! You’ve launched a successful app.
The major differences in pricing plans are determined by the number of servers available to you, as well as other features such as the length time into the past it stores backups of your app and database, the number of collaborators allowed, number of development versions, and more.
In summary, Bubble’s pricing plan is simple and straightforward and it is quite affordable considering the many features it unites under one platform. In the traditional development world, you would need to pull together many tools yourself.
Let’s talk about speed — speed of development is a major advantage that no-code apps enjoy over traditional development methods. Bubble, like most no-code apps, allows you to take your product from development to market very quickly.
Because of Bubble’s visual editing environment, once familiar with the tool, prototyping your app is something that goes quite quickly. We recommend this route because as the architect of your app, it is helpful to know each and every nuance for how your app will be built before you begin fleshing it out.
However, it’s also worth mentioning that it is possible to utilize a template, which will allow you to put together a website or web app in less time. The downside of this approach is, you lose out on developing an intimate knowledge of each part of your app.
The upside is that with minimal effort, by customizing an existing template to your needs, you may reach the finish line of a launched app quicker. Should you go this route, you simply choose from a number of pre-made design templates, and begin customizing your pages, videos, images, text boxes, and database. You can also reach out to the template creator to speed up your build-out process.
It should be noted, though, that taking advantage of the full suite of customization options available on Bubble does require a learning curve. This is no surprise, as you’re still building software with all the logic-based conditionals, database fields and user interface designs that come with the territory. Compared with traditional app development methods, however, the learning curve isn’t nearly as steep.
Frequently Asked Questions
A number of hesitations are common amongst those trying to decide whether Bubble is the best no-code platform for their needs. Some of these are highlighted below:
1. Can I use Bubble for a startup MVP?
Yes. The term ‘MVP’ refers to a ‘minimum viable product’. This is the most trimmed-down version of your app idea, that gives users a general sense of what they might be able to accomplish by using your software or app. Think of it as the no-frills version of your app.
For an MVP to be successful, therefore, it doesn’t need to be sophisticated. In fact, something as simple as a landing page or an app prototype can often pass for an MVP so long as it successfully demonstrates your app’s core idea.
The advantages of going this route are numerous.
One, you’re out in the market and can immediately begin gathering valuable user feedback. As a co-founder of Constant Contact told me once in a workshop, you want complete strangers seeing your product for the first time to do you the favor of answering two questions, “do you see the value in what is being provided?” and “would you pay for it?”.
Next, you gain a lot of momentum by releasing something into the wild. In the ups and downs of an entrepreneurial venture, this is the energy that gives you a boost and tailwinds into the next phase of the project.
Of course, within reason, you want basic functionality to be there, but working in stealth for years to make the product perfect prior to launch is not ideal either. When it comes to decisions such as these, trust your gut.
2. Can Bubble serve my integration needs?
It depends. One of the main advantages of Bubble is that its functions can be extended via custom APIs. This means you can build your own API, or pick up any third-party API and plug it into your Bubble website.
Whatever API you wish to connect has to be compatible with the API connector. This can be easily determined by going through the API documentation, and comparing it with the API Connector documentation specifications.
Unfortunately, the above doesn’t apply to banking-specific or health-specific integrations. Bubble isn’t PCI or HIPAA compliant, meaning it isn’t compliant with laws relating to the storage of sensitive data. Be sure to consult with a legal expert if you’re building a health or banking related app.
3. Can I put my app in an App Store?
Yes, you can, and we have a course explaining how to do just that. Sign up to access the course and we’ll show you step by step how to go from Bubble to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Building an app is never an easy process. To succeed at it, every decision must be weighed carefully and judiciously. This includes the choice of the no-code platform to use.
One reason we love Bubble so much is that it brings together all of the features we need for a powerful website, while simultaneously reducing the work involved in achieving that level of detail. It can be extended heavily, is affordable when compared to others, and helps you bring your product to market quickly.
With the Bubble community growing quickly, and the in-house Bubble team constantly expanding, we’re certain that all of Bubble’s already great features will only be improved upon in time to come.