Bubble Time #1, the transcript

It was Bubble Time ! This monthly event is dedicated to sharing knowledge and best practices concerning the Bubble platform. Did you miss it? Don’t worry, we transcribed it all for you.

1) Does Bubble offer all the necessary features to have an efficient SEO?

SEO is quite a big question on Bubble. The thing is, Bubble has not been built especially for SEO, basically because SEO is about a lot of technical points. However, all technical purposes can be achieved on Bubble. For example: H1 to H6 tags are enable inside the platform; there is also the possibility to implement meta tags for all the pages that you built on Bubble. Also, you will be able to dynamically configure descriptions, titles, images etc. But, I think that SEO is not only a technical issue. It mostly has to be used correctly, depending on the business needs and the targeted metrics.

2) What about technical SEO? (robot.txt, sitemap, minification CSS/JS, AMP, etc.)?

At this stage, you cannot do minification CSS/JS on Bubble and I agree, this is one of Bubble limitations. However, sitemap and robot.txt can be used on Bubble and are highly customizable. To do so, you just have to go on the settings, upload your sitemap and you’ll have the complete custom sitemap you wanted inside Bubble. You can find a lot of help on the Bubble forum about this specific topic and how to implement it.

3) What are the best tools to connect analytics?

You can plug analytics very easily on Bubble thanks to the many plugins available in Bubble. If you want more analytics, you can use Segment which is a very smart tool and easy to use on the basis that you will have only one end-point to push all you data and it will root between all your analytics tools. Otherwise, you can use Google Optimize combined with Bubble, which is currently in beta-testing phase and they will release it soon. This is the best analytics tool to me.

4) What are the differences between No-Code and Low-Code approaches? In other words, what are the limits of both No-Code and Low-Code development?

When you come to Bubble, “No-code” and “Low-Code” brings to an interesting debate because Bubble is mainly, and sometimes only, seen as a “No-Code” environment. At Cube, we think a bit differently because we experimented that the real power of Bubble is about its “Low-Code” environment. Indeed, using the no-code part of Bubble allows you to gain a significant amount of time during the development, but having the possibility to implement your own code with a really few limitations make the whole environment an awesome and flexible programming platform. This is, what we think, the bridge between traditional programming way and the “no-code” capabilities.

5) Is it possible to build a native app on Bubble io?

Well, it is possible to build a web application on Bubble that you can wrap into a native app and you can do it without a single line of code. The only important thing is to build your web app the right way, after that, it is possible to transform it on native app and the result is very similar to a pure native one.

6) How do you monitor your application?

To monitor your server and the capacity you have on your application, Bubble already do it for you thanks to the Logs part, where you visualize all the usages of your application. About the business indicators, it depends what are your needs. For instance: monitoring user experience is easy with Hotjar tool to follow the way your users are using your app and understand their frustrating and blocking parts within the app. Also, you could be interested in monitoring other kind of data, such as the number of researches whether you have a marketplace, or if you would like to know which items is the most active and save the search result of your search criteria in the database. The most problematic question is more about: what do you want to monitor?

7) Is it possible to scale?

You can scale on Bubble but, the same way as for a lot of other subjects, you have to do it the right way. The way you build your app will influence the way it scales and sometimes, the slowness is due to wrong initial development on Bubble. Many applications had already scaled on Bubble with thousands of users every day. Bubble has been built on AWS servers to be able to scale and their business model is “you pay as you grow”, so they really aim to scale apps.

8) How do you manage database migrations (updates in a specific table for example)

With the Bubble database connector, you can connect external databases with no limits. Otherwise, if you would like to do migrations like DevOps would do, it is possible to contact Bubble directly and they can probably do it for you.

9) How to connect to 3rd party payment system? Is there a specific pricing plan?

Bubble team has built a specific plugin for Stripe inside the editor but you will not benefit from a specific Stripe pricing plan with it.

10) Can I export my code with Bubble?

No, you can’t export Code from Bubble because their current business model is to provide an engine with their own code. It is a really interesting question because it shows how Low-Code has been modifying our traditional look to what really matters in launching an innovative Product. Nowadays, owning the code is no longer the main value while you are developing your app. The real value is about a good user experience, the way you defined it and how your final users are enjoying it. The idea is much more about creating traction with quick and effective iterations, which leads to scale and success, rather than owning a code that achieve no markets and which is therefore worth nothing but time consuming.

11) What is the most practical and efficient way to integrate a blog on your Bubble site? If we have several content writers, is the best solution to plug in with a WordPress type CMS trough API?

On this subject, we like to say that it is better to not reinvent the wheel! That is, if something exists and has succeeded in the past, it is better to use it and connect it to Bubble rather than developing it again with no added value. For your Blog example, today, so many powerful platforms exist that it is more interesting to plug Bubble directly on it. However, templates exist on Bubble to create blogs if you really want to, but I would not recommend them. It would be better to have a solution like Medium to host your content, where you can use their CMS and manage your content as long as you want to. The best way to do it is to split them: your website on Bubble and your blog on sub domain on another solution like Medium that hosts it a better way than Bubble does because it has been built for this.

12) Is there another way that Google optimize to do A / B testing?

I don’t think there is another way better than Google Optimize, or it may be a dirty way! I really think that Google Optimize is the best way to do A / B testing because it has a built in module in Bubble.

13) When is it better to use Bubble rather than other No Code and Low Come solutions such as Adalo or Glide?

Adalo or Glide enable anyone to develop native apps but you are quickly limited to customize your project with specific API connections for example. It depends on your purpose and your business model. If you need an app to check if your leads would be interested in your solution or not, Adalo or Glide are perfects to grasp the market temperature. But if you need an application to scale, with a managed data base or complex features specific to your project, you will find some limitations on those no-code tools.

14) How much time do I need to allow to get familiar with Bubble?

It depends on the intensity you put in the learning part. Indeed, depending also on what you need to achieve, I think that you will need at least 3 to 6 months to have a good level on it and more than one year to understand and control all the possibilities of the environment.

15) How do you see Bubble’s future? I mean in the Low-Code sphere?

Low-code came to life 20 years ago and was very limited to specific workflows and process. We have seen the No-Code sphere grow and reduce the programming time each year but there was no tool able to really be an alternative to traditional language. With Bubble and its smart bridge between “No-Code” and “Low-Code” environments, we are entering a really different paradigm for entrepreneurs. They are able to launch ambitious and complex applications 10 times faster than before. In the next years, after its first 6.5$ million Seed, Bubble will certainly rise more money and will be even more powerful that it is. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Bubble counted 400K Bubblers and today, they gained +25% users to reach the impressive number of more than 500K Bubblers. Also, we have seen a real evolution between the first Bubble apps of the last few years and the current apps in 2020: designs are better, plugins are more secure and robust, the user experience is much more Product oriented and professional. We really think that Bubble will be the WordPress of tomorrow: smarter, more flexible and with a huge community of Bubblers, gathering the best no-code and low-code platform on the market.

16) Is it possible / How do you work with a Team?

This is a question that we have to deal with here at Cube because our developers work often on the same project. For this, you can have collaboration and Bubble is evolving each day to improve versioning. Today, you may have a development version, a pre-production version and finally the production live version like you would have in traditional programing process while you can have two people developing at the same time within the same app. The last save wins but Bubble is continuingly saving your development to prevent from overwriting other developer’s version. Sometimes, we merge two versions that were in parallel Bubble and that’s the magic thing.

17) I have an application project and I would like to implement a machine learning algorithm. Is this possible?

This is one of the main limitations, you cannot develop complex algorithms such as machine learning on Bubble. However, thanks to the Bubble API, you can plug a machine learning brick to Bubble that is hosted on another cloud server like AWS, OVH or Azure. You can also connect Bubble to a solution that do it for you, No-code solutions manage deep learning, machine learning even blockchain algorithm.

18) Can I do unit or integration tests?

No you can’t, some people are trying to do so. Bubble has been made to be error proof, you can always find bugs on the basis that it is a digital platform, but, if you manage well the workflows logic (“if this, then that”: it works like magic!), it will not bug and that’s really impressive.

19) Is there any alerting system? (by email, push or whatever)

Yes, you can configure it by yourself or use already existing tools to monitor performance and analyzing where problems may happen. If you build your own secure system, for instance if something happens, I want to receive an alert email, notifications or whatever else. You can also use the alert system on your browser to inform your users that something is happening.

20) What was your most challenging project or feature you worked on with Bubble?

A product has been seen in the Bubble App of the Day “Makezu.io”, the thing that was hard in Makezu was that the back-end was really huge and many workflows have to be connected to each other in Bubble, but also to an external algorithm that we plugged in the Bubble architecture. We had to connect to Twitter API and this is a really complex connection that implies a lot of things. Many error systems happened, and we had to manage them but Bubble allowed us to understand and get the control on the global system to fix the problems and find out the best way to strengthen the whole architecture.

That’s all, Folks ! Next event on October 29th.