Building and launching web applications can be complex and time-consuming. Entrepreneurs and developers need a platform that offers an intuitive interface, scalable infrastructure, and robust hosting capabilities. This article explores the capabilities of two leading platforms, WeWeb and Bubble.io, shedding light on their features, scalability, support systems, hosting options, and overall suitability for different development projects.
Bubble is a versatile platform that allows users to build web and mobile apps with advanced features and customization options. WeWeb focuses on front-end development, it allows you to connect to the backend of your choice and export your code. Choose Bubble for full-stack app development or WeWeb for front-end website creation with the freedom to connect your preferred backend.
Both platforms aim to empower users with a user-friendly and intuitive experience. Bubble provides a visual development environment where users can visually design their applications, create workflows, and add custom actions using a drag-and-drop interface.
Similarly, WeWeb offers an intuitive page builder that allows users to visually design their front end using drag-and-drop elements, making it accessible for non-engineers and simplifying the development process.
Bubble has a steeper learning curve, especially for creating custom workflows and actions, but benefits from extensive documentation, tools, and community support.
WeWeb, on the other hand, offers a more intuitive page builder, particularly for non-engineers and those familiar with no-code platforms like Webflow.
Bubble.io provides a comprehensive platform that allows users to build both the frontend and backend of their applications. It offers a visual development environment where users can design the frontend, define data structures, and create workflows without the need for extensive coding. Bubble.io supports a wide range of functionality, including user authentication, database management, and integration with third-party services. Additionally, it offers a marketplace with numerous plugins that extend the platform's capabilities even further.
For a more detailed understanding of what Bubble offers, check out our in-depth guide on Bubble.io's capabilities and limitations
While Bubble.io offers a more comprehensive solution for full-stack development, WeWeb excels in front-end design and integration with various backend systems.
WeWeb provides a visual interface for designing the frontend of web applications and offers advanced business logic capabilities through no-code workflows, actions, and formulas. With built-in actions, branching, splits, and a native debugger, users can create intricate workflows and test them for efficient process management. While it does not handle the backend directly, WeWeb allows you to connect your frontend to the backend of your choice, and this flexibility enables you to leverage the power of different backend services.
Bubble.io has a vibrant and active user community that actively contributes to the platform. The community frequently adds new templates, plugins, API integrations, and features to Bubble's catalog, expanding the capabilities of the tool. Members of the community are known for their supportiveness and willingness to assist others. Users often offer free assistance and provide step-by-step guides to help fellow community members, creating a helpful and collaborative environment.
WeWeb has a very helpful community too. Their support forum is a valuable resource where users can seek assistance, and the response time is often prompt, with users receiving help within hours. The WeWeb community is known for fostering a positive environment where users can share their experiences, exchange ideas, and help one another navigate the platform effectively.
WeWeb focuses on providing scalability and flexibility by separating the frontend and backend components of an application. This allows users to build applications with unlimited users, backends, workflows, and web functionality. With this approach, WeWeb ensures improved performance and the ability to handle increased demands efficiently, it enables users to widely expand their applications.
Bubble.io offers a comprehensive set of features to support app expansion within the platform itself. It provides scalability options for the database and server capacity, allowing users to handle increased traffic and user demands. Bubble.io also supports custom code integration, enabling developers to extend the functionality of their applications as needed. The platform aims to create fully functional and scalable apps without the need to migrate to other solutions. Bubble.io can handle up to 1 million users while maintaining performance. However, it's important to structure the app correctly to ensure scalability and optimal performance.
WeWeb has many price tiers for different project sizes and collaboration needs. WeWeb divides its offering between project plans and workspace plans.
The introduction of workspace plans and their separation from project plans has allowed WeWeb to create more affordable options for smaller teams and projects. Furthermore, code export, specifically Vue.js code export, is available for every annual plan, making it easier for users to export their code for further customization or use outside of the WeWeb platform.
Project Plans: suitable for teams or individuals working on a particular project and provide options to meet different project needs and budgets.
Workspace Plans: designed for collaboration across multiple projects simultaneously within a team or organization. They provide features related to real-time collaboration, dedicated support, and the ability to adjust the number of app editors and the level of support required.
Bubble offers a range of pricing plans that allow users to choose the one that best aligns with their app development needs, user base, and budget.
WeWeb hosts its infrastructure on AWS (Amazon Web Services) in Northern Virginia. Every project built with WeWeb is deployed on AWS Cloudfront, which is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that ensures efficient and fast content delivery to users.
Bubble offers a comprehensive hosting solution as part of its platform. It takes care of the entire deployment and hosting process, including server maintenance, infrastructure management, and operations. This allows users to focus on design and development without worrying about server setup or software installation.
Bubble also offers a dedicated hosting plan where your app is hosted on an isolated infrastructure separate from other Bubble customers. This dedicated hosting provides enhanced reliability and the ability to scale as needed, ensuring optimal performance for your app. It's worth noting that while Bubble manages the hosting process, it does not allow for self-hosting on private or on-premises servers.
WeWeb offers a comprehensive knowledge base and documentation that cover various aspects of the platform. Their documentation provides step-by-step guides, tutorials, and examples to help users understand and utilize different features and functionalities. They also offer video tutorials and webinars to assist users in learning how to build applications with WeWeb. You can also participate in the WeWeb community forum, which allows users to ask questions, share insights, and learn from each other's experiences.
Bubble.io provides learning resources to help users get started and become proficient with the platform. Their documentation includes detailed guides, tutorials, and reference materials that cover a wide range of topics, from basic concepts to advanced techniques. The Bubble Forum serves as a community hub where users can ask questions, find answers, and share knowledge with fellow Bubble enthusiasts.
In addition to their extensive documentation and community resources, both platforms offer dedicated academies to enhance the learning experience. Bubble.io provides the Bubble Academy, and WeWeb the WeWeb Academy, both specialized learning hubs with a comprehensive suite of learning and building resources designed to empower users with the knowledge and skills to succeed on the platforms.
With WeWeb, you have the ability to build Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). This means that WeWeb offers compatibility across different operating systems and devices since PWAs can be accessed through web browsers, eliminating the need for platform-specific development and installation from app stores.
Bubble.io does not natively support the creation of downloadable mobile apps. To make Bubble apps compatible with mobile devices, users have to rely on third-party wrappers. The first option is to wrap the Bubble app into a native mobile app using third-party tools or services specific to iOS or Android. This allows for the creation of downloadable apps for each platform, ensuring compatibility with different operating systems. However, this approach requires additional effort and resources to develop and maintain separate versions of the app.
Alternatively, Bubble apps can also be wrapped into Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Users can access Bubble apps on their mobile devices through web browsers without the need for installation from app stores. However, it's important to note that PWAs may have certain limitations in terms of accessing specific device features and functionalities.
WeWeb offers integration capabilities through its built-in API plugin, making it easy to connect with third-party tools like Stripe or Auth0. This enhances the functionality of web applications built on WeWeb. Additionally, WeWeb allows you to link to any tool of your choice using its API plugin, providing flexibility in integrating with external services.
Bubble.io's API Connector is a crucial feature that enables seamless integration of external APIs with Bubble applications. With the API Connector, developers can easily connect to and interact with various external services, and they also have the ability to create their own plugins to add connections to non-supported services. Bubble.io offers a wide range of options, with nearly 1000 different plugins available in the market. These plugins cover various functionalities, such as analytics services, payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, and tools for managing transactions with third parties.
Both Bubble.io and WeWeb prioritize security and have implemented built-in security measures to protect user data and ensure privacy.
WeWeb places a strong emphasis on security by prioritizing secure connections through the use of HTTPS and SSL when integrating with external data sources or third-party services. The platform supports user authentication through native plugins like Auth0 and XANO and custom authentication systems. WeWeb provides guidelines for securing databases or APIs and implementing proper access controls.
Bubble.io also prioritizes data privacy and security. The platform ensures that all data transmitted remains private through encryption. It is built on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly secure hosting platform. Bubble.io offers dedicated plans that come with free SSL certificates, enabling secure communication with app servers over HTTPS. These measures contribute to maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of user data within Bubble.io applications.
WeWeb and Bubble.io both offer robust collaboration features that support team projects. In WeWeb, multiple team members can work on the same project simultaneously, promoting seamless collaboration and enhancing the development process. Similarly, Bubble.io enables multiple users to collaborate on a single application, making it an ideal choice for team-based projects.
WeWeb empowers users to extract, transform, and deliver data from various sources, including Airtable, REST APIs, and in-house databases. Unlike other platforms, WeWeb allows you to build on top of your preferred data source, giving you the flexibility to connect to any backend. This approach offers two significant advantages. First, it caters to users who start with a simple website but later require more complexity, avoiding the frustration of integrating data within a single platform. Second, it acknowledges that many users already have data in third-party tools and prefer not to duplicate it in a separate SaaS solution. By decoupling the frontend from the backend, WeWeb follows best practices for modern web application development, offering scalability and reversibility.
Bubble.io provides a built-in database that offers database scalability and server capacity, essential for successful app development. When working with Bubble, it is crucial to establish a solid database structure and design plan from the outset. Bubble.io also provides point-in-time recovery, allowing users to recover data from any specific moment. Furthermore, Bubble.io utilizes Amazon's RDS automatic backups for restoring data in case of a complete loss of the database server.
WeWeb takes performance optimization seriously and offers features to enhance application speed and responsiveness. The platform employs advanced technologies like pre-rendering static pages and utilizes AWS infrastructure to ensure stable and scalable environments. WeWeb also emphasizes the use of modern front-end frameworks like Vue.js, which can contribute to better performance and user experience. While performance considerations and the need to manage your own backend are factors to keep in mind, WeWeb can help you create efficient and responsive web applications.
Bubble.io also prioritizes application performance and provides the infrastructure to support speed and responsiveness. The platform runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly scalable and reliable hosting platform. The platform also incorporates caching mechanisms and CDN integration to optimize content delivery and minimize load times. Bubble.io allows users to scale their infrastructure and adjust server capacity as needed, ensuring that applications can handle increased traffic and maintain optimal performance.
Overall, both WeWeb and Bubble have powerful workflow automation capabilities, allowing you to streamline processes, automate actions, and create sophisticated logic within your applications.
WeWeb provides no-code workflows, actions, and formulas, that let you easily define and automate complex processes. WeWeb supports branching and splits, enabling you to add complex logic with true/false and multi-option splits. This flexibility allows you to customize the flow of your application based on different conditions or user inputs. WeWeb also provides a range of built-in no-code actions, including social logins, file uploads, for loop iterators, and CSV downloads.
With WeWeb, you can take advantage of advanced features such as a built-in shopping cart, integrations for payment processing, and order management, making it a suitable choice for businesses looking to sell products online.
Bubble.io incorporates leading e-commerce technologies and best practices, allowing you to focus on your business and its web storefront without worrying about the underlying technology. Bubble.io offers a scalable infrastructure, customizable design options, and integrations with other CMS platforms like Squarespace and WordPress. It also supports seamless integration with popular third-party payment options such as PayPal, Stripe, and Plaid providing flexibility for handling transactions on your e-commerce platform.
In terms of SEO, Bubble.io offers a comprehensive set of features to manage various SEO settings, including meta tags, customizable URLs, sitemaps, and more. This allows users to easily control how search engines perceive their Bubble applications and enhance their visibility in search results.
WeWeb, on the other hand, offers built-in SEO optimization tools as part of its platform. These tools enable businesses to optimize their websites for search engines. With WeWeb, users can implement SEO best practices, such as meta tag customization, URL structuring, and other techniques, to enhance their website's visibility and attract more visitors from search engine results pages.
WeWeb offers the capability to export your application as a standard Vue.js app, allowing you to self-host it on your organization's premises. This provides you with greater control over data security and ensures compliance with your organization's policies. However, migrating your project from WeWeb to another platform can be challenging due to differences in architecture and functionality. While you can export and self-host the frontend code of your WeWeb project, moving your business logic to another platform may cause compatibility issues and potentially render your project inoperable.
In the case of Bubble.io, it's important to consider that the platform does not support code exporting or transitioning to other no-code platforms. If you decide to switch to a code-based development approach or another no-code platform, you may need to start from scratch. Bubble.io is a proprietary platform, which means that migrating your project to other platforms can be challenging. It's important to be aware of this potential platform lock-in when considering Bubble.io and evaluate whether it aligns with your long-term goals and potential future needs for adaptability and scalability.
Checkset is a SaaS platform built using WeWeb. It aims to enhance the review process in the construction industry by providing a reliable workflow and effective communication channels. Leveraging the power of WeWeb's no-code platform, Checkset enables independent reviewers to identify documentation gaps and ensure quality assurance and quality control. With its flexible features and intuitive interface, Checkset streamlines collaboration between reviewers and project teams, reducing risks and avoiding costly mistakes. With WeWeb's flexibility and extensive features, this SaaS platform was able to create an industry-specific solution that addresses their specific needs.
QBrio is a website that wants to bring moving musical experiences for people, helping listeners discover moments that evoke a frisson, a powerful emotional response. It provides tools for both listeners and creators to find and create these impactful moments. The site selects seven daily clips from a collection of 10,000 moments that have received the most comments from platforms like YouTube, Last.fm, and Reddit. Users get to explore and enjoy seven different frisson-inducing musical moments every day and rate them. Built with WeWeb, QBrio shows how the platform can be utilized to build innovative and immersive websites and provide an engaging experience for users.
Cuure, a business focused on selling personalized food supplements, chose Bubble as its primary development platform to build a fully personalized and customized experience for its customers.
The team at Cuure dedicated their efforts to optimizing operations and developed a logistics center software using Bubble. This software supported the personalization of orders, including product selection and printing custom instructions for each order.
Their strategy paid off as revenue grew significantly, surpassing €100,000 per month. In July 2020, Cuure secured a €1 million seed round, fueling its continued growth. While Cuure has evolved into a hybrid system, they remain committed to Bubble as their foundational technology.
GoodCourse, a microlearning company, utilized Bubble as its primary development platform to modernize EdTech. Co-founders Chris Mansfield and Omar Mughal recognized the need for better online learning tools in a mobile-dominated world with higher learner expectations.
Bubble provided GoodCourse the flexibility to iterate quickly and adapt to evolving trends in the learning technology market. By utilizing Bubble's API connector for integrations with Twilio, PostMark, and Sertifier, they developed a TikTok-style tool that offers fresh ways for modern learners to thrive.
Their platform tracks engagement and learning outcomes, enabling organizations to understand what resonates with learners and adapt to their needs. With Bubble's support, GoodCourse raised over $1 million and joined Y Combinator's W23 batch, solidifying their position as innovators in the EdTech space.
Explore more: Bubble app examples
WeWeb excels in providing a user-friendly interface, flexibility in component integration, and the ability to export code for more customization. It offers a comprehensive set of features for building web applications and empowers users to create tailored solutions.
On the other hand, Bubble.io offers an all-in-one platform with extensive scalability options and a supportive community. It handles hosting and server maintenance, making it convenient for users. However, being locked into the platform and limited flexibility in backend development may be a drawback for some users.
Using a combined frontend and backend solution, such as Bubble.io, can be advantageous if you prefer an all-in-one platform that simplifies the development process. This can be beneficial for projects with relatively straightforward requirements. Alternatively, using WeWeb and separating the frontend and backend can offer more flexibility and control over your application's architecture. This approach allows you to use specialized tools and technologies for each layer, leveraging the strengths of different frameworks and programming languages.
Ultimately, the choice between WeWeb and Bubble.io depends on individual preferences, project requirements, and the level of customization and control desired.