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Most templates and maybe plugins on Bubble should be labeled, "Buyer beware: training wheels and non-production ready template."

Evidently, this is my first topic, and even though I have five months of full-time Bubble study under my belt, reader beware, this is an infant’s way of thinking out loud. All the superstars, volunteers, and foot soldiers who have been here for years, I hereby observe all due protocols and ask that you forgive my ignorance in advance.

Shouldn’t most templates on the Bubble marketplace be labeled, “Buyer beware, this is a training wheels template that is not ready for production?” For example, why would someone publish a template that has a follow system feature and design the database in a way that puts follow and following fields under the user data type? If I bought the template to learn how to build my own social network that hopes to have a drop in the ocean 4,000 users, am I not set up for failure every time I query the user data? My seniors in the game, how about someone publishing a social template that is devoid of any scheduling of API workflows? Would this pass a real-world test?

After taking the $29 per month video tutorial of a Bubble superstar who I will not name and investing two weeks of my life (80 hours), I had no knowledge of backend workflows. To my surprise, that instructor uploaded a short YouTube video and revealed that on his platform, his sign-up process has 12 steps that he takes care of with backend workflows. I was furious. You use API workflows to schedule 12 other things after a user signs up, and you did not even mention what scheduling an API workflow is in your tutorials? I am disappointed in all the Udemy and other platform Bubble courses that I have taken.

Why do people publish courses that do not pragmatically imitate real life? Do they fear that explaining backend workflows will be too much for the mental capacity of these newbies or it would be prohibitively too long? I laugh when I see advertisements for boot camps; they sound like jokes to me. I should come and learn how to build the logic of apps that neither can I optimize for speed and performance on a site that I would present to an investor or one that I would deliver to my client only to find out that I was way over my head? Please let’s think of the unintended consequences that will arrive when we supposedly train people to go out there in the real world.

Why are there so many social-related templates that do not care to solve monetization problems like letting the user create an advertisement that will show up in the newsfeed within the repeating groups? Isn’t that a real-world use case? Or $150 to $350 is too little for that? Then charge the amount that you believe is okay but deliver something that is real-world use case ready and is ready for battle. For crying out loud, you can almost never find a social PHP script on codecanyon that does not come with such a solution as default. These scripts cost between $64 and $100, by the way. If you are going to charge between $99 and $350 for templates, shouldn’t you do some market comp? Is the pricing system on Bubble marketplace due for disruption? If a social PHP script that cost $64 let users both create self-serve advertisements (not Google Adsense) and shop exist on codecanyon, then maybe the allure of our no-code might end up not that strong. But what do I know?

@josh and @emmanuel congratulations on your $100 million raise. Thank you for conceiving and slaving for this much-needed disruptor called Bubble. As your huge fan and user, here are my unsolicited two cents: When I am thinking of founding a social community, I will be looking at Bubble (and other no-code platforms), Themeforest (codecanyon) , and WordPress (peepso, for example) on the direct competition side of things to say nothing of your indirect competitors like Upwork and Fiverr. Please let’s put more standardization on the templates and tutorials. I am mindful that you have to be careful so as not to make it illiberal and heavy-handed, but please strive to strike that balance that will make Bubble look great. For example, every time I buy a script on codecanyon, I take it for granted that next to the details tab, I am going to find exhaustive review and comments tabs. If you look at even the bestselling or most installed templates on Bubble, you will be hard-pressed to see anyone who has bothered to leave a comment let alone a review. This forum is amazing in terms of the insights one can glean from it. I think you should try to duplicate whatever execution on your part that made this forum alive in your marketplace in general.

Please correct me if this is a wrong or unethical move: shoutout to @AirDev and @eren for their body of work. @vlad, I know your primary focus is on your agency, which is the golden goose. We your fans with tiny financial pockets would appreciate it if you charitably send some attention our way maybe once every quarter or two. I see that you are trying with your tutorials revamp, but honestly, your tutor could use more simplicity in his approach. Can he also slow down and not assume he is talking to fellow superstars? My seniors, I would like you to give shout-outs to template and plugin authors who are pushing the limits of Bubble that I have definitely missed.

I am open to being enlightened that all I said is trash. I am open to being schooled and educated on these subjects that I clearly know nothing about. I almost forgot, please somebody school me on the relationship between backend workflows and security.

Full disclosure: I am writing this topic in my own enlightened self-interest. I am a Nigerian born American who wants to build a Bubble-centric learning social network for about 4,000 Nigerian undergraduates. As an educator, I have to respect the time-tested values of standardization and simplicity if I want to properly onboard these students onto Bubble.

Simplicity, someone once said, is evidence of the most advanced teachings. I have a vested interest in Bubble making simplicity and standardization gains as the coding world is riddled with a lack of standards. Thanks for reading the writing of a guy who knows not what he is talking about, I beg your pardon for my ignorance.

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This is something that I cover in my Stripe Integration Course.

This course was setup for real world use. Providing the student the ability to learn a lot more beyond just the APIs necessary to use Stripe. Little pro tricks in their for how to convert data from an API provider to be recognized properly by Bubble, how to paginate through API data and more.

I would say that as an educator, there is a need to decide on who is your target audience when designing the course, and the strong likelihood is that the courses you have come across were probably designed to be for a beginning and the more advanced topics of backend workflows might not have been suitable.

I taught English as a second language for a decade, and the topics covered regarding the English Language courses were graded according to the students level. In a beginner English language course, it wouldn’t be appropriate to cover topics like Past Perfect Continuous grammatical structures. Bubble is a language of it’s own, and I think the same applies here.

From what I have seen offered by others, there are not too many courses designed to be for intermediate or advanced users…very well could be due to the market demand; seems pretty slim and probably not worth the investment for the educator to create such courses. You can however find many tutorials that do cover some advanced topics or provide those little gems that only a true Bubble expert can provide.

I personally don’t see any way that Bubble can try to standardized 3rd party products. Tutorials are created by individuals or companies who are completely separate from Bubble as an entity. In regards to templates, that would just restrict the number of templates available. Some templates might be created to be more of a visual template and don’t have all the workflows setup, others may be trying to strike a balance between functionality and price.

If you want to take a look at some templates that are very robust in their functionality take a look at these.

I built all of these templates to be completely functional applications. In fact, the Skillup template is the template version of my own application I built for my own use, so it has all the advanced functionality that an expert would put into their own applications.

The main issue as to why template developers will not put as much effort into the development of a template is that Bubble restricts the price of a template to $500 or less. If Bubble were to lift that restriction and allow a developer to price templates above this, then you will start to find more templates that are completely functional applications ready to go out of the box.

Of course though, templates are built my individuals or companies who need to decide how they want to invest their resources (time) in return for payment. Building a template, if built out just like a real app, would take a considerable amount of time, that could have been spent building an app for a client paying thousands of dollars.

In the end, tutorials, courses and templates are products sold by 3rd parties. As with the purchase of any product, Buyer should Beware and due their own due diligence. In regards to templates, the Preview function of the template should be utilized and the potential purchaser should spend the time required to play with it and see the functionality it has before making a decision.

I advise all of my students not to buy a template to learn from it as a beginner. They are not learning tools for the most part. I do recommend to install a free template that has some functionality you are looking to implement as a learning resource, but there are not many instances where it makes sense to buy a template to learn from it.

Same for me. I just chopped it up to a topic that wasn’t covered. I would have been disappointed if it were advertised as covering backend workflows and it didn’t. In my case the course didn’t advertise covering the topic, so it not being covered was not an issue for me.

I actually didn’t start to use backend workflows until about 6 months into my time on Bubble, and still didn’t understand the best use case and ways to utilize them until a year or more later.

I’ve got 3.5 years and still learn something new everyday. Whether that be from other experts who have left gems of knowledge on the forum that I came across when I was searching for such related topics or from me attempting something new after theorizing on the impacts and testing it out.

One of the best parts of Bubble for me, is the challenge and coming up with a way to solve a complex issue or coming up with a simple way to solve a system wide issue.

As you continue to develop your Bubble skills, perhaps you can tackle some of the issues you discussed in this post.

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A little confused what your main displeasure and possible solution/discussion is here to help fix it?
After reading quickly I found displeasure with a Template not having enough advanced logic, and then displeasure with a Course that was using advanced logic. Neither of which is wrong but can both be used for different use cases and Bubble skill levels (or speed which is often more important).

Overall I do think there should be some stronger QA and filtering through the marketplaces, and I am sure there will be one day, but for now there likely is some buyer beware since Bubble is such a new ecosystem.

Hopefully this discussion will turn into a productive conversation that focuses on ideas to help better system

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Whew… that’s one heck of a long post when the main point of it (a point with which I agree, by the way) is right there in the title and is just common sense… buyer beware.

I dig that @gf_wolfer used the word ecosystem because I have been using that word a lot these days when I talk to folks about Bubble and about the, well, ecosystem that is spinning up around it. It has been fascinating to watch it unfold over the past 3.5 years, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

As with any ecosystem, there are going to be some not-so-great parts that evolve (e.g., buggy plugins, sub-par templates, agencies that don’t deliver, etc.), and I believe it is always on you (i.e., the buyer) to do everything you can to understand and avoid those parts. I remember my first (and only) experience with using a template. Trying to figure out what the developer(s) had done so I could customize it was a nightmare, and I never thought for one second that it was Bubble’s fault. I also think it’s kind of crazy that we see things like subscriptions to training content that cost more than the Bubble platform itself (Personal plan). But, do I think it’s Bubble’s job to question stuff like that? Nope. I can simply decide not to interact with those parts of the ecosystem if I personally don’t like them, trust them, agree with them, etc.

Anyway, like Geoff said, I’m sure Bubble will eventually put some resources toward trying to ensure the quality of things like templates and plugins. However, even if they do, I will never stop thinking that it’s on me to vet (as best I can) anything I am buying, and I will never blame Bubble if something I buy doesn’t meet my expectations.

Best…
Mike

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For the record, I was not laying any blame on Bubble; I was just suggesting that they improve the feedback system of the marketplace. Bubble’s marketplace already has the right foundation, which could be better if part of the new raise is invested into building a feedback system similar to Airbnb’s. Bubble’s template feedback system can also use the same design that is present here on the forum. The forum is designed to incentivize people to contribute constructively by awarding a myriad of badges. You are even given an incentive to reply to someone. Every move is rewarded. What would this framework look like engagement-wise without the incentives?

Airbnb’s marketplace, for example, is also intentionally designed to “force” someone who never leaves a rating after purchase on other platforms to become a rater on Airbnb. From the moment you check out of a listing, you are pretty much bombarded with reminder emails for the next 14 days that will force a review out of you. I have bought three templates so far from Bubble, and I do not feel like Bubble cares that I leave a review. To be fair, the invoice email includes this final sentence, " And don’t forget to leave a review to help the author with feedback!" But students of Lean startup would agree with me that there is a huge difference in conversion between me getting that 2nd email two or three days later informing me that my review would help other prospective buyers and not getting one.

@mikeloc and @gf_wolfer , thank you so much for being gentle with me as I assume (which will get me in trouble) I should be grateful for the things you could have said to me that you did not say. I am sorry that my write-up is unnecessarily long and lacked clarity and coherence. I still don’t know what I was thinking when an amateur like me decided to ask questions in the big league, let alone give my unrefined opinion. You guys should probably report me to my college composition professor, but again, please do not as I am clearly still riding on training wheels. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

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Wow! @boston85719 I am profoundly appreciative of your reply. I have to do justice to your brave and disarming response. Pardon me that I will be delaying my response to your piece till first tomorrow (it’s 11:46 pm here in Valencia, Spain). I saw some things quickly on your website, and I am already impressed.

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@boston85719, I just bought your Stripe integration course, thank you very much for sharing. I am grateful to you and everyone who has created learning materials in this ecosystem. Thank you so much for your long and unusually kind response to my topic. You made this amateur feel welcomed in the ecosystem. I also would like to thank every person whose presence has contributed to building this Bubble ecosystem all the way from @josh and @emmanuel to the tutors and template authors. If I have seen this far, it’s because I have had the privilege of standing on the shoulders of you giants.

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Thank you for your purchase. I hope you find it valuable. Please feel free to reach out if you run into any issues or have questions.

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Let me add to this that the same goes for paid templates at times and services that sound too good to be true. Still trying to find the right ways to learn, understand and be able to use Bubble to it’s full potential.

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Thanks for your response @swayampravodg, welcome to the Bubble community.

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