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5 Tips for building with Bubble

Aug 10, 2022
10 min
Bubble is an awesome tool for building your app. Like most no-code development tools, it allows you to build very quickly, cost-effectively and apply best practices using their great templates.

Bubble is an awesome tool for building your app. Like most no-code development tools, it allows you to build very quickly, cost-effectively and apply best practices using their great templates. It’s not just non-technical people that love to use Bubble, developers are flocking to the tool that avoids repetitive tasks like logins and registrations. They get to focus on adding value and utilizing the excellent custom code abilities within Bubble. 

But it’s not just a case of signing up for the tool and magically producing an app that could transform your business. Doing your preparation is critical, a little time spent at the start will save days of wasted development, so we thought we would help you get going with five tips we believe will ensure you make a success of Bubble app development

1. Design Outside of Bubble

Bubble is so good at developing your app quickly that many people make a big mistake right at the start. They just want to get going and thus jump straight into Bubble and start building out their designs. This is a mistake. Bubble does a lot of things well but allowing you to design a great app is not one of them,

Tip one is therefore utilizing a tool we love, Figma. It is a fabulous design tool and you’ll find it much easier to test out new ideas. Once you have completed all the iterations you need and settled on a final design, then copy it into Bubble and then you are ready to go. We promise, this will save you a lot of time in the long run.

2. Planning Makes Perfect

Preparation is the key to building a good app. Those that jump in and make it up as they go along will waste time and produce a highly inefficient app, with the data structure being the most important to plan at the start.

Too many people begin the build and add data types and fields as they go along. Unfortunately, one of the leading reasons your Bubble app will have a slow performance is a poorly structured database. A database is the foundation of your app, so take the time to plan in advance what data you need and how it should be structured. A good data framework will save you time and improve performance.

3. Never Make Security an Afterthought

Most understand that security is important and one area you should never compromise on best practices. Unfortunately, we see so many Bubble apps where people have clearly looked at adding these best practices after building the app. This is a bad mistake.

Privacy rules are the best way to ensure your app's data is secure from bad actors, so our big tip here is to set up your privacy rules in advance. When this is left until later it can lead to lots of bugs within the app. By building this in at the start, you take ownership of your security and ensure it is tight at all times.

4. Consolidate workflows

One tip that is relevant to everyone, particularly for first-time Bubble app builders, is stopping to consider what workflows will be needed inside your app. We see so many different apps with duplicate workflows or just the slightest tweak on each one. If you plan your workflows in advance of building the app, this can be avoided. 

The reasons to avoid this issue are many. Firstly, it affects performance, excessive workflows bloat your app. Secondly, it adds significant effort to maintain over time, as each duplicate workflow needs attention when updating the app. Finally, it opens your app up to increased bugs, the more workflows you have the greater the likelihood that bugs will appear.

So our tip is to plan your workflows before you start, consolidate them into either a single custom workflow on the client side or a backend workflow on the server side.

5. Implement Smart Naming Conventions

Our final tip is about good preparation that is maintained throughout, implementing naming conventions. So many owners build their first app themselves, it's one of the great things about Bubble that it enables this to happen but if you are successful then it is likely that over time you’ll have other people helping evolve the app.

What might make sense as you are building will not be logical to someone else or potentially even to you in 6 months' time! We see design tabs with buttons and groups all named the same. Databases that have a plethora of fields with names that don’t describe what they do. This means anyone else getting involved will waste hours uncovering what they mean - all time you are paying for.

So don’t leave a mess for future you to unravel or pay thousands to developers to sort before they can even begin upgrading your app. Implement a smart naming convention from the start and leave clear guidelines on how to maintain these through the evolution of the app.

We hope that was useful, both the individual tips and the overriding theme that a good Bubble development is all about taking a little bit of time at the start that will save days or months further down the line. If you are looking for a team that can help ensure all of this happens and help develop a first class app that will work for your business for years to come, then we’d love to talk to you.

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