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2021. Why are blogs impossible and rich text editor / image resizing STILL a problem?

First of all, I want to say I love Bubble, so this post doesn’t come off as overly aggressive or trite. I’ve been a consulting in the tech / startup space for almost 20 years. I remember when an MVP cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and exponential technologies like Bubble have allowed this to occur on a fraction, of a fraction of the price. Further, the ability for people like myself to be able to build and ship products without having to traditionally code is insanely useful.

Given Bubble’s leadership in the space, and their recent Series A round of $100 million, I believe I’m in the right space. I have personally recommended Bubble to six different people who I know are recurring, paid customers.

However, and this is a big however, the time is far, far overdue for the Bubble team to provide the community with a blog and rich text editor solution. The sheer amount of forum posts of new(er) users who build their core product and go to build a blog as an afterthought, only to hear the veterans of the forums say in unison paraphrasing: Yeah, that’s Bubble’s biggest drawback, womp womp, is far too high. It’s incredibly frustrating to so many people. We need a solution, and honestly, Bubble needs a solution as part of their long-term strategy if they aim to be a leading competitor in this space.

:stop_sign: Not a “let someone else figure it out for us” solution where we are required to fend for ourselves, hunting through and endless amount of forum posts and poorly made plug-ins that take our money and still leave us all disappointed.

:stop_sign: Not an “assumed solution” where we would outsource to other platforms (wordpress, squarespace) or websites (Medium) that sacrifice our SEO or inbound marketing opportunities.

:stop_sign: And not a “pre-emptive solution” that would be an pre-built addon, or template which requires being a part of the decision making process prior to launching a new project (an unreasonable idea for new users who aren’t aware how templates work).

Every company needs a blog.

No matter if you’ve launched a SaaS product, a B2B, a B2C, a marketplace, an eCommerce storefront – blogs are a requirement and have been for some time. Content is going to be the driving force for most (if not all) of these products and ventures created on this platform to take flight. I would argue it is in the best interest of Bubble’s long term strategy to enable their users with the tools they need to grow – thereby creating a “poster child” of stories where Bubble is the reason for success.

I understand that there are a multitude of blog platforms out there – both internal and external solutions, but the existence of such platforms doesn’t allow perpetual escapism from the management of Bubble from solving this rudimentary, paramount and ongoing need.

I propose a few options, and welcome the rest of the community here to propose their own.

  • If a blog “creator” is difficult to be made, then a generic Bubble version needs to be a hard-coded, automatically built-in component for all projects. As if it were a template that could just be added. The Index page has certain elements that cannot be changed. The blog page could be a same way, activated or de-activated at each users discretion.
  • If instead Bubble’s roadmap is to consistently allow users to build what they want custom – then we need more tools in order to make this happen. As I type this message, I’m using a basic, rich text editor that is significantly better than anything found in the builder. In fact, If I make an image into this post, it gets resized as the screen size changes – something that nobody has been able to solve in any post I’ve seen.
  • If neither one of these are viable options, then solve this by having an outside solution white-labeled and built in as a temporary measure until this gets resolved. Something that gets nested under the URL, separate from the builder. Hell, make it a second builder of sorts. Spitball idea: partner with a company like Strikingly, or similar and integrate two separate “Bubble” and “Blog”. Offer users a discount for both.

As I mentioned in this blog post, I’m happy with this platform as a whole – enough to make investments here of both my time and money. My future is attached to your company in many ways, but quite simply: this can has been kicked down the road for far too long.

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+1

Even if it’s just a medium integration, whitelabeled with a /blog path.

I’ll take anything at this point.

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To start off I gotta say I didn’t read your novel completely, however they just got funding people gotta stop using that as a reason to fix “issues” that personally pertain to them or small groups.

In my honest opinion, there are incredibly robust ways to build rich text including drag and drop, markdown, and multiple rich text options. I understand it’s not native but nor is the majority of super useful plug-in. Bubble is community driven so if you can’t do it ask the community and if they can’t assist you then hire a developer.

For URLs:
Setting up URL structures and all for blogs is very easy even without plugins

In retrospect I could build a full drag and drop blogging platform inside bubble as if it were a medium clone in under a week with full UI, tell me another platform you can do that? Just need super basic functionality with drag and drop and URL ability? I could likely have it in under a day. It’s not hard and all functionality you need is present.

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I was just thinking to start the blog for our platform and I was wondering how to do it bubble!

So glad I found your post before attempting and losing time!! :upside_down_face:

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It is not a “small issue.” Blogs are becoming a necessity now for small businesses to get discovered.

The problem isn’t building the UI. The problem is hosting on a /blog subdirectory with the necessary metadata, structured data, and everything that helps Google crawl and index better.

Bubble themselves are using Ghost for their blog, and are using a reverse proxy to host their blog on a /blog path. They set it up for themselves, but are not offering that capability to their users. I know it’s a huge undertaking to offer that for every customer, but it’s needed (especially if they don’t want to build a native blog).

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You start off by saying you didn’t read it, then offer a rebuttal to points not contained within it.

Then, you say that a blog is something that pertain only to SMALL GROUPS (keep that word in mind, we’ll get back to it). Here’s a few statistics for you.

  • In 1999, there were 23 blogs on the internet. (Webdesigner Depot)
  • In 2020, the number of blogs on the internet crossed 600 million. (Growth Badger)
  • There were 31.7 million US bloggers in 2020. (Finances Online)
  • Adding a blog to your existing website can increase traffic by as much as 434%. (Tech Client)
  • Over 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing. (Neil Patel)

Next, you say you could build a full medium clone “in under a week”, and blah blah “in under a day”. The “It’s not that hard guys, wtf” attitude is not helpful to anyone. Are the rest of us lowly plebians supposed to say congrats?

I said in the post that you didn’t read, “new users”.

You joined April 2nd 2019. Your stats say you’ve read 25.6k posts. You damn well better be able to build almost anything in under the week – and bringing the irony full circle, you don’t realize you, Chris, an obvious Bubble super user, ARE THE “SMALL GROUP”. Perhaps the smallest group. The out of touch 1% of the 1%, and yet you’re speaking on behalf of the 99%.

You would think with all those posts that you’ve read, you would have seen just how big a problem this has been, how requested it has been, and for how long it has been a problem.

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Thank you, and agreed. Literally anything.

image

I just like to remind people that bubble has never stated that it simple to build complex functionality or any functionalities for that matter they just say it’s simple to make the website and then you don’t have to do it using code. You guys do know that there’s probably better alternatives that you could use for your blog that will carry nice SEo and that are a much cheaper and potentially free alternative (saltcorn/octoking ) to using bubble in the first place. Bubble is not your best option for a blog although you could use it for a blog. Your best option would be to use bubble as a web app platform and to save your blog for a blogging platform that makes your seo super easy like Dorik.io/carrd/Wordpress

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I’ve build the functionality similar to what blogs are. Using free rich text editor plugin. Why this is not enough?

This is not a rhetorical question. I’m genuinely curious.

I’m a newbie/intermediate user of bubble. I wanna understand what’s the issue here so that I don’t promise anything non-doable to my clients in the future.

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@gio.kakhiani , While there are a wide variety of issues when it comes to Bubble and blogs, the largest problem is content creation for a blog post.

Using a rich-text editor, one can add images in-line, but the images are not resized / responsive when page width changes.

Which means, the alternative, is to make one “blog content” page using structured, dynamic image and text fields. As such, you have to partition your blog content when its being created, to have body text start and stop, then an dedicated image for each specific “slot”, per se, then another text start and stop, then another dynamic image “slot” and so on.

Thus, your content must always adhere to the strict formula for the page.

For example, if you you make a dynamic page that is (top to bottom) Text, Image, Text, Image, Text – you could make a post builder that uploads “text 1, image 1, text 2, image 2, text 3” and pushes it to each “slot” dynamically. For posts that are exactly identical each time, this is fine.

You could even go a step further to say “collapse image 3 when image 3 is empty”, and “collapse text 4 when text 4 is empty”, etc…,

You could also, as a solution, make a repeating group, as one Bubbler did here.

As an example:

has a format identical as

However, if any other post format were to exist, it could not be on the /blog-post/ url string – it would have to be on an entirely different designated page, with an entirely different name, with entirely different designated “slots”.

And even if you did take the time, to make multiple page format *types * a list of all blog posts could not appear in a single repeating group list of “blog posts”, because you couldn’t merge them as they are all of a different data type.

Hope that answers your question. I wasn’t trying to rant, just wanted to be thorough.

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“However, if any other post format were to exist, it could not be on the /blog-post/ url string – it would have to be on an entirely different designated page, with an entirely different name, with entirely different designated “slots”.”

This is simply wrong, this is why this entire post is far from valid.

You can accomplish multiple formats at the very least 3 different ways off the top of my head. I hope one of them points you in the right direction.

drag and drop builder / rich text editor /markdown that exports HTML so the entire page or whole page minus maybe a header or sidebar is built by user.

build a blog editor that allows multi column/multi row

create templated formats like you said need different pages, use a user data field to determine which template is showing all on same page

For you initial response, bubble is a no code application builder, if you want an out the box blog solution go to Wordpress, squarespace, webflow, etc. if you want a website builder use Wordpress or webflow. Bubble is made for less restrictive building.

The majority of users actually host their app on a subdomain and website and blog on webflow/Wordpress as they are quicker to build.

There are a multitude of higher quality features that are needed to make bubble better and competing with Wordpress over a blog builder so a small handful of users who build blogs on here instead of a different front end can do it out the box. For example: their redesigned responsive engine, css flex box, updated plug-in store, file systems for easier plug-in builds…ya know…things that are related to bubbles actual application building software and not a basic web /blog builder like you’re looking for that can be found using 1000s of other apps

I’m more than willing to help you build what you’re looking for on bubble, feel free to send me a message, however there’s no use in making a platform rant post when what you are looking to do is possible rather you need assistance doing it.

I’m not going to argue this topic. Making a blog in Bubble is a widely known and highly discussed weak point. There are many, many, many posts outlining it.

So basic that we can’t have one?

You have my full endorsement to take over this post and do a write-up on how you use the above method to have responsive, dynamic images with an HTML export, using the same page and same “blog” data type.

Literally being referenced in a post just 4 hours ago.

Fully responsive, can fully build the pages yourself or implement a template, URL Structure that can go multiple levels deep, SEO friendly. Not pretty but built in 30 min to get the point across, there isn’t a restriction.

Using a dynamic sitemap you can populate everything to be SEO friendly, Personally i’d still opt for a webflow/wordpress front and bubble backend app but what you’re tripping about is totally possible

Plugin is a drag and drop builder i have on store, however i have 4 other private ones and same thing can be done yet a bit more complex using rich text editors.

Dynamic image will simply use the merge tag function In the builder to pull from database as well. (HTML export is there because that’s how we display on page in first place that will maintain all raw HTML including SEO data, hosted images, etc)

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Thanks, I understand what you’re struggling with. I think the best solution would be to create a Blog Builder. Where users will be able to create custom structured pages. They’ll add a text element enter the sorting number. They’ll add an image element enter the sorting number. And that’s it.

If this is exactly what you meant by Dynamic Page Builder, my bad. Ignore this :slight_smile:

Blogs are completely possible. Having Structured data in Bubble is completely possible. Having a dynamic URL for blogs is completely possible and having a dynamic layout is possible.

@design.agx you may be interested in a template I built. It is a robust Content Management System and has all the essential ingredients for a Blog and SEO.

I would say that providing a Blog as a built in feature is a bit much. Bubble already provided us all the tools we need to create our own, or to have it hosted elsewhere. I personally would rather see Bubble work on helping the performance of the apps improve so that the SEO tools that have been created are that much more valuable as google wouldn’t reduce our scores based on slow page load speeds.

Using my Blog Builder, this is not an issue

Using my template this is not an issue because each Blog is dynamically formatted during its creation and the edit features to ‘move position’ of different components (images, H2, H3 and paragraphs) make it incredibly easy to structure each blog uniquely based on the content and your desired approach to display.

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A blog and its articles/posts is just another data thing with its types. The same as if you were creating an app that issues multiple jobs, tasks, etc. The same way one would go about creating a job page with all its dynamic data, you would create a blog page with all its dynamic data.

I fail to understand what the complaint is. Bubble is an App builder and the less it interferes in how items look, the better in my opinion. This is not Wordpress.

And unless i’m mistaken, even a Medium-like text editor can be built by grouping together bubble’s states, multiline input, and by making your own buttons with regex commands in them.

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Is that :grapes:.js?! Nice work!

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This is awesome @boston85719 – seriously nice work. :clap:

Shame most people won’t be able to use it.

Like I said in the beginning of the post.

Most new users don’t know this until they’re already well into their build. Blogs typically an afterthought.

Just look at @design.agx 's response. He already has the platform and now is thinking about doing the blog.

Everybody who has an existing Bubble app can use it. The red underlined section is poorly written, or at least not easily understood.

What it means is, you can not take an application you have created and then buy a template and simply ‘merge’ the template into your application. You would need to perform an integration.

So everybody who has a Bubble application can integrate the blog builder template into their application.

It takes me 3 hours to fully integrate the template into a user’s application. It is not a complicated process, but it is time consuming because there is a lot to the template in terms of functionality. It took me about 2 1/2 weeks to build it, so the time to integrate is considerably less than the time it would take to build from scratch.

Integrating any template into any application is possible. All that needs to be done is copy over the templates database design structure, copy over the visual elements, and copy over the workflows.

That is what is great about integrating the blog builder template. The new user can focus on trying to build their app and then when they get to the point of needing a blog, they will have become experienced enough in Bubble to integrate the template easily on their own.

Actually, most of my templates are ‘building blocks’ in that they focus on a single feature that can easily be integrated into an existing application.

It is like my messenger template.

Most users don’t realize they would need a fully responsive design for messaging until they have built their own chat function and realize the design is not as responsive as it should be for mobile users. They can quickly integrate the template to get the design and features.

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Boston85719 is an expert Bubbler with a decade experience as an educator. Real name Matthew, he has been actively building SaaS apps, marketplace apps, scheduling apps and more for clients, himself and for sale as templates.

As an official Bubble Bootcamp Instructor, he leads Bubble Bootcamps on a regular basis.

Always willing to offer advice via the Bubble Forum, Matthew also offers Private Personal and Group Training Sessions.

Through his site, NoCodeTrainer, Matthew provides a range of tutorials with editor access to help you jumpstart your Bubble development.

Always accessible you can send Matthew a private message via the forum or send an email directly with your requests.

Be sure to checkout the Stripe Integration Course when you are ready to integrate Stripe payments to start monetizing your application via product sales or subscriptions.

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