Since its inception in 2012, Bubble.io has been at the forefront of the no-code app development movement, consistently innovating and refining its platform. Now, with over a decade of experience, the platform has matured significantly. But the question remains: Is Bubble.io the right choice for no-code app development in 2023?
Although the platform's reputation as a potent and user-friendly tool may grab your attention, you may still be skeptical about whether it lives up to its claims. Can Bubble.io accommodate the growing needs of a business as it expands? Will it allow for customizations and integrations to meet my specific requirements?
The answers to these questions are promising. To determine if Bubble.io is the right choice for your specific project, it's best to read about Bubble.io in further depth. In this review, we will thoroughly investigate Bubble.io's capabilities, features, usability, and more.
Bubble is a well-established no-code platform with a supportive community and a commitment to continuous improvement. It offers a drag-and-drop editor, robust workflows, and a flexible database to create sophisticated applications without writing code. The platform is suitable for entrepreneurs, business owners, and aspiring developers, but it requires dedication to master its full potential. With strengths including its scalability, security, and ready-made integrations, Bubble.io provides a solid foundation for building and launching web applications quickly.
With a remarkable trajectory in the no-code app development space, Bubble.io has gained recognition for being a very versatile platform. However, it's important to note that it comes with a steeper learning curve compared to some other no-code platforms such as Glide.
The visual interface and drag-and-drop features make the initial stages of app creation accessible and straightforward. Yet, as projects become more complex and involve intricate workflows and database structures, users may encounter a higher level of complexity that demands a deeper understanding of Bubble's functionalities.
One key aspect that distinguishes Bubble.io is its excellent integration capabilities. The platform seamlessly connects with various external services, APIs, and data sources, allowing users to build feature-rich applications that interact with multiple tools and platforms.
Since Bubble's focus lies in providing a robust set of backend features and a wide array of integrations, a platform like Webflow results more suitable for front-end design and offers more flexibility in its customizations.
Unlike platforms such as Flutterflow or Adalo, Bubble does not currently offer native app support for building iOS and Android apps. While Bubble allows you to create powerful and responsive web apps, it requires the use of wrappers for app store deployment, and some native functionalities like cameras, GPS, and push notifications may not be accessible.
Bubble requires a deeper level of engagement and understanding to achieve complex and sophisticated outcomes compared to other no-code platforms. It might be deceiving for casual users who think it will be completely easy and straightforward. However, for aspiring developers eager to embark on their software development journey, Bubble.io might offer an exciting pathway to dive into app creation.
On the other hand, for business owners, learning enough about Bubble.io to understand its capabilities can be a strategic move. Gaining insight into the platform can help them effectively communicate their project requirements and vision, and then hire freelancers or agencies to bring them to life.
Bubble.io promotes smooth communication by allowing up to 40 collaborators to work together on your application simultaneously. You can control each collaborator's degree of involvement with customizable permissions and access privileges.
The real-time collaboration tool allows you and your team to track changes being made in real-time, allowing for more effective teamwork. Furthermore, it is simple to give feedback since users are able to make annotations over the app, adding comments, tasks, and suggestions as needed. This promotes an active exchange of ideas and makes it simpler to collaboratively review and develop an app.
Bubble.io offers an exceptional level of customization. The visual interface allows users to design their apps by dragging and dropping elements onto the canvas. This intuitive "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) approach ensures that you can precisely control the look and feel of your application.
Beyond visual design, Bubble's true power lies in its Workflow Editor, where you can define the functionality and behavior of your app. There are many pre-built actions and conditions to choose from, and they allow you to create complex and dynamic workflows that respond to user interactions and deliver great user experiences.
Additionally, Bubble.io provides full control over the app's data structure through a customizable relational database. This enables you to design personalized data categories, specify attributes, and set up connections between them, to ensure efficient data management.
So, we covered the three basics: design, logic, and database management. In the next section, we'll be taking a closer look at custom code, which is another essential part of Bubble's customization capabilities.
Even so, if you’re seeking to incorporate functionalities from other languages, Bubble.io offers a clever solution through its support for APIs. By utilizing APIs, developers can communicate with external languages and platforms, allowing them to "call" and integrate external services, data, or functionalities into Bubble apps.
Optimizing for search engines can be a complex and ongoing task, influenced by various factors such as high-quality content, relevant keywords, inbound links, and more. While Bubble.io provides tools for the technical side of SEO, achieving search engine traffic requires continuous improvement.
To ensure SEO compliance, Chrome's integrated audit tool highlights specific criteria. Bubble apps generally handle many of these automatically, including mobile-friendliness, HTTP status codes, indexing, and valid hreflang and canonical tags. However, Bubble users can further optimize their apps by setting up titles and descriptions for all pages, adding alt tags to images, and customizing robots.txt and 301 redirects when needed.
For more details and in-depth information, check out the section on SEO in Bubble's documentation.
Bubble.io offers over 1000 templates geared at a wide range of enterprises and application cases. These templates cover popular categories like CRM, marketplaces, project management, and more. Some templates are free, while others cost between $5 and $300.
The templates provide an excellent base for your project and like any other Bubble app, you may completely personalize them to meet your particular needs. However, it is key to remember that any additional customization beyond the initial design of the template might call for your own effort or the assistance of a developer. If you need help, learn how to choose the right Bubble agency with our comprehensive guide. The template authors may not provide extra customization services.
To guarantee a smooth development process, use templates that have detailed documentation. This documentation saves you time, since they provide essential insights into the structure, functionality, and customization options of the template, saving you from having to study it yourself.
Web apps are the primary focus of Bubble's capabilities, making it the ideal platform to create feature-rich and responsive web applications. Its constantly growing plugin library, integration-friendly platform, and support for custom code provide developers with the tools and flexibility needed to build versatile and powerful web apps.
While Bubble's expertise lies in web apps, it currently lacks native support for building iOS and Android apps. However, users can explore workarounds like wrapping their web apps into Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) or native apps through third-party tools.
PWAs behave like native apps on Android and iOS devices, allowing easy installation on the home screen. Combining Bubble with tools like progressier.com, developers can create PWAs that offer almost native-like functionality.
It's essential to consider that while these wrappers offer app store presence, some native functionalities such as camera access, GPS, and push notifications may have limitations.
Scalability is a strong suit for Bubble, and it's one of the reasons why it stands out as a reliable platform. Bubble is designed to efficiently manage growing data sets and handle increasing user traffic without compromising performance.
Remember that to ensure successful app development, focusing on some best practices is essential. Building a solid database structure and design plan from the start will make your app easily scalable and maintainable as it grows.
When it comes to reliability, Bubble.io has a strong track record. The platform is built on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly secure and reliable hosting infrastructure. AWS is known for its robustness and ability to handle high volumes of traffic and data with ease.
Bubble.io has invested in optimizing its platform to provide a smooth and responsive user experience. While performance can vary depending on the complexity of the app and the amount of data being processed, Bubble.io's focus on performance optimization means that users can generally expect apps to load quickly and respond efficiently to user interactions.
A quick note: While Bubble.io offers a great starting point, remember the importance of focusing on some best practices. Building a strong foundation with a robust database structure and design plan will make your app easily scalable and maintainable as it grows.
Learn more: Bubble Scalability and Best Practices
Bubble.io offers seamless integration capabilities with a wide range of commonly used third-party tools and services. Some of the key integrations include:
Bubble.io supports integration with various payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and Square.
You can integrate your app with email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or SendGrid to manage email campaigns, notifications, and user communication.
Bubble.io enables you to integrate your app with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Bubble apps can offer users to log in via social accounts and interchange content.
Integrate with Google Analytics or other analytics tools to track user behavior, monitor app performance, and gain valuable insights to optimize your app.
Bubble.io supports integration with cloud storage services like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage, enabling you to store and retrieve files efficiently.
Integrate with Google Maps or Mapbox to add location-based features, such as displaying maps, geocoding, and route planning.
Popular CRM platforms like HubSpot or Salesforce can be integrated to manage customer relationships and automate marketing processes.
If you don't find a pre-built integration for the specific tool or service you require, don’t worry! Bubble provides the flexibility to build custom integrations using its API Connector.
You can extend your app's capabilities and leverage AI features on your Bubble apps through the Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, an integration that opens the door to a multitude of opportunities for your app's development. This integration supports GPT-4, ChatGPT for interactive conversations, and DALL-E for generating images from text descriptions. These models can fuel applications to draft documents, code, deliver personalized experiences with real-time content generation and chatbots, and much more.
AI can also work in the background, for example, to optimize resource allocation through server load predictions. You could develop a smart assistant that is able to anticipate the user's needs and make context-aware suggestions, or power it with sentiment analysis to interpret the user's reactions and respond accordingly.
Bubble.io offers a lot of support and resources to assist users in their app development journey. Their in-depth Manual provides explanations for every component of the platform and it's a valuable resource to explore. But don’t get started here! The official documentation is more suitable for consulting when you have specific concerns or need detailed information about specific features. If you’re a beginner looking for a solid foundation, we recommend exploring the interactive tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions to build apps using a point-and-click approach. These tutorials are an excellent way to get started and grasp the basics of the platform effectively.
You’ll find all the resources you need gathered in the Bubble Academy. Apart from the manual and tutorials, it includes a video library with how-to guides and short videos, covering topics like creating card components and understanding layouts and responsiveness.
For personalized learning, you can connect with coaches that are ready to help you understand all you need about the platform. Additionally, many experienced Bubblers have created online resources (some of them free, and others paid) in various languages, to help others learn Bubble and build applications. Additionally, users can engage with the active user community through the Forum. Many experienced Bubblers are eager to share their knowledge and help you find solutions to the challenges you encounter. It's also a great resource to search for answers, as you might discover that someone has already solved a similar problem in the past.
Bubble.io's pricing model is based on a consumption metric called "workload units." These units measure the computational resources used by your app for various actions like workflows, file uploads, page loads, APIs, and data operations. Unlike traditional performance ceilings, Bubble.io doesn't limit app performance when reaching the plan's workload limit. Instead, customers are charged for any overage, ensuring uninterrupted performance. If users prefer not to incur overage charges, they can choose to turn off auto-scaling. This new model allows for flexible app scalability without compromising performance.
A basic plan ideal for testing your project or minimum viable product and for apps with small-to-medium user bases.
For projects that involve a little more development and more complex functionalities.
For large projects with high workloads.
There’s also a free plan available, which offers an excellent opportunity to explore the platform (with limited functionalities) and build your app without any cost. Additionally, Bubble.io provides a custom plan tailored to suit the needs of projects that involve sensitive data or require specialized support. For more information about this plan and its pricing, you can directly contact their team.
For a more detailed exploration of what Bubble can and can't do, be sure to check out our comprehensive article on Bubble's Capabilities and Limitations.
Bubble.io prioritizes data security by utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly secure hosting platform compliant with certifications such as SOC 2, CSA, and ISO 27001. AWS RDS's AES-256 encryption ensures data is encrypted at rest, enhancing data protection. However, it's essential to note that Bubble.io is not HIPAA compliant, so sensitive health-related apps should not be built on the platform.
Dedicated plans include free SSL certificates, ensuring secure communication between your app servers and users over HTTPS. Remember that to further protect private API keys, Bubble.io recommends using them only in designated API Connectors marked as "Private" or within API Workflows to prevent unauthorized access.
Data recovery options include point-in-time recovery, allowing users to restore data from any desired point in time. Users have control over data retention periods and can increase data storage capacity as needed. Additionally, Bubble.io employs Amazon RDS automatic backups in case of complete database server loss, ensuring data integrity and disaster recovery.
Learn more: Is Bubble.io Secure? A Review and Best Practices
Bubble.io is an excellent fit for entrepreneurs looking to build Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) for their startup ideas. The platform allows them to quickly prototype and validate their business concepts without the need for extensive coding knowledge. Entrepreneurs can focus on refining their app's features and user experience, gaining valuable feedback from early users to iterate and improve their products. Check out our guide to building a no-code MVP to learn more.
For small business owners, Bubble.io offers an accessible and cost-effective solution to create custom web applications to streamline their business processes. They can build solutions for managing inventory, customer data, online ordering systems, and more, tailored to their unique business needs. For more insight into the possibilities, read our article on What Type of Apps You Can Build with Bubble.
Bubble.io provides a stepping stone for those interested in software development but not yet ready to delve into full-stack coding. Aspiring developers can gain hands-on experience in app creation, learn about data handling, and familiarize themselves with workflows, bridging the gap between no-code and traditional coding.
Larger corporations can leverage Bubble.io for rapid prototyping and testing of new ideas or features before committing extensive resources to full-scale development. This agile approach allows them to iterate quickly and validate assumptions with minimal investment.
OceanAir is a booking application designed for purchasing tours, activities, and holiday packages in the Middle East. Shifting from a PHP-based website, OceanAir chose to migrate to Bubble because the platform lets them adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of the tourism industry. Now they can keep pace with rapid experimentation and iterations. Utilizing Bubble, OceanAir successfully launched its app, and it earned four global awards in the TripAdvisor Best of the Best 2020.
MaidManage, developed using Bubble, offers a streamlined solution for housecleaner businesses. The app focuses on generating accurate estimates of service costs, integrating a rate calculation formula with customizable features for personalized estimates. Then, they can be easily sent to clients via email. MaidManage is a comprehensive platform that also includes detailed client information, a convenient calendar for efficient booking management, and a seamless payment process through integration with Stripe Connect.
As a result, MaidManage has significantly increased the accuracy of estimates by 30% and reduced the time spent on manual calculations and paperwork by 25%, enhancing productivity and client satisfaction.
StowShare provides a user-friendly platform for finding nearby and cost-effective storage solutions. Traditional storage options can be expensive, distant, and restrictive, but StowShare enables users to discover available storage spaces from local hosts or become hosts themselves, bringing storage options closer, more convenient, and budget-friendly. With a simple search and a few clicks, users can reserve the space they need.
The creator of StowShare chose Bubble due to its ability to rapidly develop a minimum viable product (MVP), making it the ideal solution to bring this innovative concept to life fast.
Interested in seeing more examples of what can be built with Bubble.io? Explore other Bubble app examples to discover the versatility and power of this no-code platform.
Bubble has a growing user base of over 2 million users, and it is committed to keep on pushing the boundaries of innovation and convenience in app development. They are taking proactive steps to address users’ concerns about the platform's capability to support apps as they evolve and mature. The company is dedicated to ensuring the long-term success of its platform, and they are actively working on bolstering security, compliance, and performance, particularly for enterprise-level applications. You can read about every upgrade they make to the platform documented monthly in their releases section.
The team behind Bubble is interested in researching and expanding the capabilities of AI, and they believe it will play a pivotal role in the future of development. Their vision for the future includes the ability to describe an application concept to AI, which would automatically generate a fully functional no-code web app.
Following a trend seen in many tech companies, Bubble is hosting events to highlight their innovations, offer insights, and foster a strong sense of community engagement. These events provide a platform for networking, learning, and collaborative opportunities among individuals passionate about no-code development. For instance, they recently organized the Bubble Developer Summit, where they shared many announcements and hosted the Bubble Awards to celebrate the accomplishments within the Bubble community. Looking forward, they are preparing for the first BubbleCon in October.