Certain brand names may be synonymous with the no- and low-code revolution, but other alternatives — like Bubble — are worthy of consideration too.
Bubble is a powerful tool for building web apps without the need for code. In situations where users are a little more dev-savvy, Bubble allows them to bring their ideas to life using custom-coded elements as well.
Offering a broad range of capabilities and the scope to build more complex apps versus other platforms, it’s no surprise that Bubble has skyrocketed in popularity.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Bubble for no code and low code.
Bubble for no-code and low-code: an introduction
Bubble has its origins back in 2012 when Josh Haas decided a platform was needed to prevent startups from being so reliant on software engineers.
Josh spotted this gap in the market when he noticed a complete mismatch between the number of businesses needing an engineer and the number of engineers offering their services. Armed with this insight, he began working on Bubble.
Bubble was developed to help non-technical startup founders build their ideas without the need for coding knowledge. The ability to build a fully functional app without code has seen Bubble sign on more and more users since its inception.
For Melbourne-based product professional Dave McManus, Bubble changed the landscape for him. He said, “I had tried learning to code about five times…but I would always get bogged down by syntax errors and give up…I felt excited and empowered when I discovered a tool that not only enabled me to build apps, but made it easy…I was able to get up and running quickly and keep up the momentum.”
How does Bubble no-code development work?
Bubble’s no-code platform couldn’t be easier to use.
Because Bubble is browser-based, you don’t need to install any software or download any resources. Simply open up your browser, log on, and start building your app idea. Bubble’s visually-driven drag-and-drop UI editor and powerful built-in workflow tools make building apps easy and intuitive. Simply select, drag, and drop options and templates from the database into place.
When you first use Bubble, you should take advantage of its training features which include interactive lessons, video courses, and ‘How To Build’ tutorials.
Bubble is subscription-based and comes with four different service levels. This includes a free version that has all the core platform features to get you started on building your app.
Beyond that, Bubble’s price plans are as follows:
- Personal - $25/month
- Professional - $115/month
- Production - $475/month
Bubble’s no-code features
Bubble’s packed-out feature list will get you building no-code apps in no time. Here are some of Bubble’s main features:
UI building tool
Bubble’s UI building tool lets you easily drag and drop visual elements such as text, images, videos, maps, icons, and other elements into the canvas. Bubble’s visual elements have responsive design, so they’ll look good across multiple devices.
Bubble deploys and hosts your app for you. This saves you extra money and streamlines everything into one place.
Bubble lets you use and create plugins for greater customization and functionality. Want to let users log in to Facebook through your Bubble app, for example? Simply use the Facebook plugin to include the option on your page.
Bubble lets collaboration flourish with shared access for up to 40 people. Because Bubble is accessible in your web browser, there are no limitations like needing an office computer with it installed. All you have to do is log in and pick up where your coworkers left off.
What are the benefits of using Bubble?
It’s fast and easy
Learning code is a laborious process. Traditional coders spend months learning the basics, and even then they only have an entry-level understanding. Bubble’s no-code tools let you instantly design and develop ideas with intuitive controls.
Perform updates and changes along the way
Bubble lets you dive straight back into projects at any point, meaning regular updates and tweaks never have to be a hassle. Having this ability prevents the need to hire programming experts and IT support, saving your business money.
Speaking of budget. Having access to a web development tool in your browser negates the need for expensive on-premises infrastructure. With a small subscription fee, you’re ready to go!
Does Bubble work with low code?
Yes. While Bubble primarily serves as a no-code platform, it also lets you run custom code. This is ideal for times when you need to go beyond Bubble’s visual elements to add custom features of your choosing.
Think of Bubble as a no-code platform with the ability to enhance your app with low-code. For some users, that can be the deciding factor between Bubble and other strictly no-code alternatives.
Does Bubble have any limitations?
For all of its benefits, Bubble does have some limitations. Let’s take a look.
Develop complex algorithms
Bubble’s visual programming isn’t intended for developing complex algorithms.
As a workaround, developers can write custom algorithms on other platforms and pass this data through an API like a machine-learning algorithm to get results in Bubble. Generally speaking, however, Bubble has never been about complex algorithms, so you should be okay.
Apps built on Bubble can only be used on Bubble. This means you can’t export Bubble applications as code to be used elsewhere. While you could export any custom code enhancements you’ve made, you’d have to start the project from scratch if you left Bubble. But then again, you might be happy never to leave!
Bubble no-code and low-code examples
Bubble is being used to build thousands of sophisticated no- and low-code web apps. The possibilities are seemingly endless for what you can build with Bubble, let’s take a look at some examples.
Bubble lets you build innovative and unique marketplaces for buying and selling online. With features like Repeating Groups and a built-in user sign-in system, building a multiway marketplace with listing pages is an achievable goal for anyone.
Social media network
Fancy yourself as the next Mark Zuckerberg? With Bubble, you can build a whole social networking platform from scratch.
Check out Bubble’s ‘How To Build’ series to learn how to make social media apps like Instagram and Facebook with no code.
Bubble lets you build the perfect booking app to simplify bookings for both you and your customers. You can create a custom booking portal that delivers quotes and automatically manages payments for you. And, as a bonus, Bubble has built-in analytics and database metrics so you can monitor performance levels and customer behavior.
Bubble web apps can also be adapted to mobile devices using the responsive editor before either wrapping your app as a native mobile app or a progressive web app (PWA). Take a look at this Bubble guide for more information.
Bubble: final thoughts
Bubble holds a lot of potential for creatives and entrepreneurs who want to build sophisticated and powerful applications without knowing code.
While Bubble does have a learning curve, its intuitive design and ease of use mean you’ll pick things up along the way once you start building. Plus, as we mentioned above, Bubble’s tutorial content takes some beating. Take a read of this guide, for example, and get inspired to develop your first Bubble web app in 10 days.