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Cost-benefit: Learning bubble vs using Wordpress

Hi bubblians,

I’ve just completed several tutorials on here and I like bubble. Its definitely easy to use. Having come from a background with some knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript, I fin that the workflow and styling features are easy to learn and everything seems straight forward so far.

I’ve played around to see what else I can do which led to me to think about the cost vs benefit of learning bubble itself. Essentially, if I am limited by plugins and the features that are built in bubble, then the difference of bubble over Wordpress seems to be the number of plugins/features that bubble has over Wordpress.

The fact that you can’t add custom code to bubble may even may that the limits for bubble are probably even more restrictive than relying on Wordpress plugins + some code hacking.

I’ve only had a few hours on bubble so I might be totally wrong but I don’t feel motivated to explore further yet (I’ll probably come back to it) but I was wondering what everybody else on here thinks? What do you see as the benefits of learning bubble?

Thanks in advance!!!

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I find doing anything complicated in Wordpress to be extremely difficult. In Bubble, I can create pages that work exactly how I want them to work much more easily. I think if you look at some of the user examples like the fellow who built Twitter, I think that would take an enormous amount of time to do in Wordpress. That said, I’m just a dabbler at this point so I can’t offer anything but that opinion. Even so, I find bubble much more fun to use, which for me is reason enough to keep learning.

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Currently in the process of moving from WP to Bubble for one of my projects. Definitely not looking back.

Here’s the only use-case where I think WP might make sense relative to Bubble: you’re not picky about design (ie, you’re OK with a template and tweaking it, and putting up with the template becoming incompatible with subsequent Wordpress updates…sigh) and your website is mostly just for viewing (ie a blog or portfolio) rather than an app where users can do lots of different things.

But even in this use case, I’ve found Wordpress to be exasperating – you need to install plug-ins for really simple features – and even then, they may not work in the precise way that you’d like.

Essentially, if there’s a problem in Wordpress or someone on my team wants a new feature or something to look different, I have to cross my fingers that there’s a forum post or a plug-in that will handle it…otherwise I will spend a lot of time hopelessly trying to locate and edit code. If they have this request for something in Bubble, I’m pretty confident that I can just go ahead and implement it, and probably with no need for code. That makes a world of a difference in time and mental energy.

Bubble requires a little more upfront investment – you need to invest some time to create your own publishing back-end, a categories/tags system, and to be thoughtful about creating user permissions if you want different publishing rights. But I think it’s well worth the long-term customization benefits.

Happy to comment more specifically depending on the use case you have in mind, too.

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I used to use WordPress. Not anymore! I had a client that didn’t want to pay the $20 because WordPress is “easier” and cheaper. it’s now costing them 3 times that to maintain the site because it got so complicated to maintain and change codes that they have to pay a professional to do it for them.

I’ve learned to do things in Bubble in a few months that I struggled for years in coding. Learn Bubble, it’s worth it.

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I came to Bubble from Wordpress (trying to build something using BuddyBoss) via Java and Appery.io. None worked that well. different reasons. Maybe people just stick with what works for them.

My previous startup built our MVP on Wordpress, and it worked well. 6 developers had to be involved. One pretty much full time on WP. That was 3 years ago, reckon I could build what we built back then on Bubble. Not easily, but it wouldn’t need a whole dev team.

Still have WP sites, but that is mostly blog stuff. Slowly moving to Ghost.

The fact the someone even mentions Bubble in the same breath as something as hugely massively influential as Wordpress … well that shows how far this whole #nocode thing has come.

I will say one thing though, building stuff quickly on Bubble is so much more fun than WordPress. I just build things for a giggle in Bubble, don’t see that many people doing that on Wordpress (or Drupal or Joomla etc).

But if it works for you … go for it. Who knows what the future will hold, build on stuff that works for you. Nothing I can say matters.

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Possibly not relevant, but I never figured out WP. I’ve had big problems getting my head around Bubble, for sure, but it’s enabled me to build something pretty amazing given that the last time I wrote code was in the last century.

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Almost 3 years in WordPress and it went for me to a 2 options dead end -

  1. Get along with WP development (something I can’t modify or influence in any significant matter)
  2. Find a static CMS - like Jekyll or Grav (brings freedom and speed, but needs coding)

I just couldn’t help so many information and effort it’s needed to run a good and healthy WordPress site. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but the search for speed - and as a former system admin I enjoyed having my own Digital Ocean server, with NginX, and such … but then came PHP 7, then another update, and it goes on and on forever…

Paying a managed host helps a lot (but it can be expensive), but then I got stuck in WP development - when there isn’t a plugin for what you want, it’s no joy.

Bubble is a completely new experience - I got more done here in 20 days than in years in WordPress, so I can focus entirely on content/app creation and business.

I’m not going back any soon :slight_smile: .

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Lets just say thank heavens for Bubble… I hate WP with a passion, try Bubble, its a no brainer…

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Wow that sounds cool. So over at airdev.co, they built “notrealtwitter” using bubble, it almost sounds like you’ve built “notrealwordpress”, may I ask, how long did that take you? And how is the migration from WP coming along?

Thank you!

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@kfhwdd, I think both have advantages and disadvantages.

Bubble is awesome for building the backend with no code and somewhat OK with building the frontend. It’s lacking many of the things I take for granted when it comes to designing the frontend. Simple things like being able to specify percentages, margins, or padding do not exist and make it difficult to produce a quality looking site. Bubble is trying to make everything easy for those that have no technical experience, but I feel they are alienating a key user base at the same time (the web designer/developer) who have spent decades with certain features that are being left out of the product. Bubble is very useful for creating an MVP, but not so sure it’s ready for investing tons of time creating long term products unless the interface is very simple.

The other issue is vendor lock in – there’s no way to leave Bubble and take your code to another host – although the Bubble team has said if they were ever going to shutdown they would release the platform as open source. I feel that’s wishful thinking though – anything could happen to change that comment in the future.

Wordpress on the other hand is open source, can be run on your own hardware or any number of managed hosting providers, has a very large ecosystem, and is scalable (not sure how scalable Bubble is at this point). You can more easily design an interface to your exact specifications, but you most likely need to know HTML, CSS, JavaScript along with PHP and SQL to build all of it. It’s tried and tested, and even though you’ll find many people that love or hate it, it’s running some very large sites on the internet (TechCrunch, The New Yorker, Wired).

All that said, I’m hopeful that Bubble will continue to listen to our feedback and improve the product to the point where the frontend designing part of the system becomes level with what many of us professional/semi-professional designer/developers are used to.

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This is a darn good answer - very informative. Thanks @Kfawcett!

I think that you’re right about the lack of frontend styling capabilities but I think that these might be the easiest of things to improve upon in the future. I can already think of a good improvement which is to have themes and templates like WP. Obviously additional features that support detailed styling like margins/padding would need to be included as well.

The vendor lock in is understandable because at the end of the day, these guys need to make money to continue developing what is a very ambitious project!

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I would say give it time. They seem to be introducing features very rapidly. A couple years I believe and most things will be available to us.

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I second that. And WordPress fronted customization is still one of the majors obstacles to no coders/designers.

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Hmm…it really depends on what “wordpress” means to you.

The wordpress site that I’m migrating is a simple content blog, so there isn’t much mystery or complexity there. I think creating the basic blog itself (the frontend and the publishing backend + pages) took under an hour, and then maybe add 1 hour for playing around with the layout. Most of the time I’ve spent on the project so far has been for non-core-wordpress features (that were not in the original blog to begin with), like a database of speakers (we run speaker events) or custom forms integrated with Zapier – those took me maybe 2 full working days, mostly because I didn’t have experience previously with those aspects of building on Bubble and integrating Zapier, and also ended up just playing around with random features :stuck_out_tongue: I definitely agree with @NigelG when he says that building on Bubble is just fun, there’s so much to explore.

As @Kfawcett and others have alluded to in this forum, Bubble is in the earlier stages of handling design, so it might be more frustrating versus being able to draw up a CSS stylesheet etc., but they’ve been very responsive to users on this front as well.

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In my opinion, it really depends on what you want to achieve with your site. For a simple static site or a blog, you can’t go wrong with WordPress. But if you are looking for more of a web app with interactive functionality, then Bubble appears to be the better option (although I just got started exploring it).

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