What is Bubble? Startup Success with No-Code Apps

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What is Bubble? Startup Success with No-Code Apps

What is Bubble? Startup Success with No-Code Apps

Nicolas Jacobeus
January 24, 2024

In an era where digital transformation is not just a buzzword but a business imperative, Bubble emerges as a beacon for startups looking to innovate without the complexities of traditional software development. Like other no-code tools, Bubble empowers companies, particularly those without a technical background, to transform their visions into functional digital products. For startup founders in particular, saving time and optimizing resources is critical. Bubble offers a user-friendly platform that simplifies the creation of online applications, eliminating the complexities of traditional coding. 

Bubble’s appeal lies in its ability to make app development seem so easy, therefore making it more accessible to a broader range of visionaries. This article will delve into the benefits of Bubble, highlighting how it stands as an indispensable tool for startups. By offering a platform where ideas can be rapidly prototyped and iterated, Bubble not only accelerates the journey from concept to market but aligns perfectly with the needs of non-technical founders who are eager to see their ideas materialize without the complexities of coding.

Table Of Contents

  1. Understanding Bubble's No-Code Platform
  2. The Advantages of Bubble and the No-Code Revolution
  3. Building and Designing on Bubble
  4. What does a Bubble agency do and when should I hire one?
  5. Why Choose Our Agency for Your Bubble Development
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding Bubble's No-Code Platform

What is Bubble?

In the past, building a web or online application required a large amount of traditional coding processes to get your idea off the ground. Not only did you need to have an extensive background in coding, but outsourcing coding help was expensive due to the niche skillset it provided for non-technical startups.  

Bubble was founded in 2012 as a revolutionary no-code platform that changed the landscape of app development. It is a tool that allows individuals, regardless of their technical background, to easily build and customize web applications. The platform's intuitive drag-and-drop interface and visual inputs allow for the creation of sophisticated, scalable apps without writing a single line of code. 

The Advantages of Bubble and the No-Code Revolution

One of the primary advantages of no-code tools is their ability to rapidly develop and deploy products, often taking as short a time as just a few weeks. This rapid development cycle allows businesses, especially startups, to quickly gather user feedback and iterate their products. With tools like Bubble, testing, and refining business ideas are completed briskly, allowing you to be that extra step ahead of competitors.

No-code platforms also offer businesses greater control over their applications and maintenance over time. So instead of outsourcing developers to make small changes here and there, you can easily and immediately modify your overall design and content.  

The scalability that no-code provides is another enticing factor for companies wanting to build an application, as it allows you to take your product from an existing MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to a fully-fledged solution for an established customer base. 

The user-friendliness of no-code also bridges the gap between the roles of internal teams, as anyone can contribute to the app development process with a platform like Bubble. 

Another benefit of no-code is the cost-saving potential. You won’t need to spend money hiring a skilled coding specialist if you go for a Bubble or no-code agency. You also won’t have the added costs of subscription fees or purchasing specific software required for coding. A tool like Bubble has pre-loaded templates, APIs, and third-party solutions that basically do all the work for you.  

Additionally, Bubble's reliability and scalability ensure that applications not only launch quickly but also perform efficiently as they grow. This combination of speed, reduced costs, reliability, and user-friendliness positions Bubble as a key tool for startups seeking to innovate rapidly and effectively in the digital landscape.

What Bubble Builds Well

Another standout feature of the Bubble tool is that it helps you create a wide range of web applications, ranging from simple prototypes to complex, feature-rich platforms. 

Its strength lies in its flexibility and scalability as it allows users to build anything from fully operational e-commerce sites for product listings to booking apps similar to Airbnb, marketplaces, community sites, and so much more. The platform also supports integrations with third-party services which enhances its functionality and allows you to create highly customized solutions that stand out from the competition. 

Bubble's robust community and plethora of available template options also aid in your product’s development process, another reason why Bubble is an effective tool for bringing ideas to the market.

What Bubble Doesn't Build Well

While Bubble is a highly useful platform, it also has its limitations. It may not be the best fit for companies looking to create highly complex, computation-intensive applications. Examples of this might be an advanced gaming platform or apps requiring extensive data processing capabilities. 

Additionally, while Bubble makes room for a large amount of customization, there may be design constraints and less flexibility compared to what you might have with custom-coded applications. Users can build their own plugins and connect to their own APIs but this will still require traditional coding skills to execute. For users with no coding background, they will ultimately be choosing from the same third-party APIs, templates and plugins that you are. 

When considering Bubble as your platform, it's crucial to think of the vendor lock-in aspect. Investing in Bubble means you are investing in a long-term solution for your app creation, and it might not have the exact features you might want as your products scale and evolve. Transitioning away from Bubble could also require a complete rebuild due to its proprietary nature which prevents you from exporting your app onto another platform.

However, Bubble's terms and conditions do offer some reassurance, as they promise to open-source their platform if they ever go bankrupt, allowing you to re-deploy the app by yourself. Moreover, rebuilding your app from scratch is less costly and technical as you have technically already built the first version.  Given that apps typically have a lifespan of 5-7 years, the risk of a vendor lock-in might be less significant than it appears, especially when considering the platform's current suitability and the evolving needs of your product.

Startups looking to create highly specialized applications with unique performance requirements might find these limitations to be a downfall. However, for the majority of users, especially those typically pursued by startups and non-technical founders, Bubble can be a robust and practical solution.

Building and Designing on Bubble

Bubble Core Features

Building an app on Bubble is like putting together a digital puzzle where you decide how each piece looks and works. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to how you can create an app using Bubble:

  1. Start Your Project: First, you need to set up an account on Bubble if you are not an existing user already. Then you can start a new project to begin creating your app.
  2. Designing The App: Bubble has a visual editor that acts like a digital canvas. This lets you design your app's pages by dragging and dropping different elements onto the screen. These elements can be icons like buttons, text boxes, images, and more. You can move them around and resize them in any way you choose.
  3. Setting Up Your Database: Your app will need to store and manage data, like user information or product listings. In Bubble, you can set up a custom database for this. This will act like a digital filing system where your app can keep and find all the information it needs.
  4. Creating Workflows: Workflows are the rules that tell your app what to do when users interact with it. For example, you can create a workflow that says, "When a user clicks this button, show them a thank you message and save their order details". You easily set these up in Bubble using simple, logical steps.
  5. Testing Your App: Bubble lets you preview your app to see how it works and make sure everything is running smoothly. This is like a test drive for your app, where you can check and iterate certain components that you are not satisfied with.
  6. Going Live: Once you're happy with how your app looks and works, you can publish it. This means your app goes live on the internet, and people can start interacting with it. 
  7. Continuous Maintenance: While you're focusing on building your app, Bubble is doing a lot of technical work in the background. It turns your designs and workflows into real web code, setting up servers to host your app, and making sure your app is fast, up-to-date, and secure.

These easy setup steps and features collectively position Bubble as a versatile and powerful platform, making it ideal for users wanting to create a wide array of web applications.

Comparing Bubble with Traditional Development

Traditional software development requires a deep understanding of programming languages and software engineering principles. It also often requires a team of highly skilled developers and takes a significant amount of time to build even the most basic application. In contrast, Bubble simplifies this process immensely. 

The table below outlines the differences between Bubble as opposed to Traditional Development:

Feature Bubble Traditional Development
Coding Skill Requirement No coding background is required. Uses a more visual interface for app creation. Requires a deep understanding of programming languages and software engineering principles.
Development Speed Offers a significantly faster development time. Ideal for quickly validating ideas, testing markets, or launching MVPs. Slower development process, often involving more time even for basic applications.
Team Requirement Can be used by individuals or small teams without technical expertise. Often requires a team of developers with specialized skills in coding.
Flexibility and Iteration High agility to adapt and iterate based on user feedback or market changes. Less flexibility for rapid iteration and scalability, and changes can be time-consuming.
Suitability for Types of Applications Well-suited for a wide range of web applications. Better for highly specialized, computation-intensive applications.
Cost Efficiency More cost-effective, reducing the need for a large development team. Typically involves higher costs due to the need for more skilled developers and a longer development time.
Market Entry Enables rapid market entry, aligning with the fast-paced startup ecosystem. Slower market entry due to longer development cycles.

What Does a Bubble Agency Do and When Should I Hire One?

Leveraging help from a Bubble agency can be a game-changer for startups grappling with time constraints and the need for professional app development. A Bubble agency leverages the Bubble platform to its full potential by creating custom and scalable web applications for clients. 

These agencies usually have a wealth of experience in no-code development and have expertise with Bubble in particular. Agencies can navigate the platform easily and turn your ideas into reality much quicker than if you were to tackle the project internally. Agencies ensure that your project is completed promptly and with a high level of quality and professionalism, which is crucial for startups looking to test their product in the market and launch before their competitors do.

Deciding when to hire a Bubble agency is a strategic decision that you must ultimately make when you have the budget for it and when you find an agency that aligns with your project’s vision and end goal. Here are a few things to consider before hiring a Bubble agency: 

  • Project complexity: If your app development involves intricate functionalities, hiring a Bubble agency might be a better choice. Agencies often have a team of experts with the skillset and capabilities to handle complex projects.
  • Resource Availability: If you lack the online tools or in-house resources for the project itself, a Bubble agency can provide end-to-end services that further relieve you of the management burden.
  • Project Timeline: Agencies can allocate a dedicated team to your project that, in combination with the no-code, will speed up development. If you have a tight timeline, an agency might be more appropriate.
  • Long-term Goals: If you see the need for ongoing maintenance, tracking, and updates, agencies can provide continued support as your project grows in the market. 

Why Choose Our Agency for Your Bubble Development

At Belighted, our 15 years of software experience go beyond the no-code landscape, with a deep foundation in traditional coding that complements our understanding of the Bubble platform. This blend of expertise ensures we're well-equipped to address any specific needs that may arise beyond Bubble's capabilities and aligns closely with the unique challenges and aspirations that startups have. Our commitment to delivering fast, scalable, and user-friendly solutions is enhanced by our ability to integrate traditional coding solutions when necessary, ensuring your project is not only professional but also fully tailored to thrive in the market.

Choosing Belighted for your Bubble development needs means partnering with an agency that not only has extensive experience but also a proven track record of success. Our portfolio showcases a diverse range of successful projects, highlighting our ability to cater to various industries and needs. We've worked with innovative startups and established companies to deliver customized solutions that drive growth and efficiency. As an example, we've developed dynamic e-commerce platforms, interactive educational tools, and comprehensive CRM systems, all utilizing the power and flexibility of Bubble. Our client success stories stand as a testament to our ability to transform ambitious ideas into reality. With Belighted, you're not just getting a service provider; you're gaining a partner dedicated to elevating your vision and producing the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are examples of apps built with Bubble? 

Bubble has successfully helped many no-code applications get off the ground, including marketplaces, productivity tools, social networks, and e-commerce stores for a variety of industries. Their portfolio includes apps such as:

  • TicketRev
  • Teach for America
  • Playground IEP
  • AwareHealth
  • BalancePro

What features am I able to build into a Bubble app?

With Bubble, you can integrate a wide array of features into your app. This includes user authentication, database management, responsive design for different devices, API integrations, and custom workflows for automating processes. Bubble's flexibility allows for the creation of complex functionalities like payment processing, real-time messaging, and dynamic content generation. The platform's extensive plugin library further expands the possibilities, enabling you to add specialized features as needed.

How scalable is a Bubble app?

Bubble apps are highly scalable and can comfortably scale up to 100k daily users. The platform is designed to manage varying levels of user traffic and data processing needs. As your user base grows, Bubble's cloud-based infrastructure can accommodate increased demand, ensuring that your app remains stable and responsive. This scalability makes Bubble suitable for startups that anticipate growth and need a platform that can grow with them.

As an example to showcase this, is a pioneering no-code talent platform connecting founders and businesses with expert no-code and SaaS professionals. Before Codemap, founder Sasa Janicijevic experienced the high costs and extended timelines of traditional coding with his first startup. He then embraced no-code, leading to the successful launch of Codemap on Bubble. Their platform boasts over 5,000 successful project matches and serves thousands of vetted no-code experts & teams registered on their platform. 

Are Bubble apps safe and secure?

Yes, Bubble apps are safe and secure. Bubble places a high priority on security and provides several built-in features to protect your data and users. This includes secure hosting, regular updates to address any vulnerabilities, and the ability to set up role-based permissions within your app. Additionally, Bubble complies with GDPR and other data protection regulations, ensuring that user data is handled responsibly.

Is Bubble only for websites?

While Bubble is primarily known for web application development, it's not limited to creating just websites. Bubble can be used to build complex web applications with functionalities similar to traditional desktop or mobile applications. In 2024, Bubble is introducing native app capabilities (Bubble Mobile) which broadens its utility for mobile app development (iOS or Android), a limitation that users have experienced up until this point.

Ready to build your software product? Contact us!