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[New Feature] Templates

Hello,

This is one is probably more for new users, though experienced Bubblers can find what is below interesting as a contributor: Templates! We’ve resisted to do this for a very long time: templates: We were worried that offering templates might prevent users from learning Bubble. We’re now at a stage where the product and the community (here!) is mature enough to start having templates for users that want to start faster on Bubble.

As of today, users can use/buy templates when starting a new app. The way it works is quite straightforward. If you go to https://bubble.io/templates, you’ll be able to see what is already there (see more below to contribute there).

You can see the different templates there and add them/by them. Once this is done, you’ll be able to pick a template as a base in the New Application popup.

You can also start setting templates. This works similarly to plugins, you go to bubble.is/your_plugins, and can create a new template at the bottom of the page. Creating a template means creating a new app or picking an existing app that will be turned into a template, and editing a template is like editing an app and deploying it to live. The live version will be the one users will use as a base when they start a new application.

You are free to set a price (though we don’t recommend going crazy there…) and once you’ve registered as a seller with Stripe, you’ll be able to get payments (and hopefully get rich on Bubble!).

As usual, let us know how things go.

16 Likes

Love the idea. What about those that are in countries that can’t registet for stripe?

Raymond

Unfortunately there is not much we can do at this stage about that, that’s more a question for stripe (i think they have atlas or something like this).

1 Like

Not a huge fan, to be honest.

I like the idea of a centralized marketplace for plugins and templates. I don’t think it should be so closely associated with the bubble platform’s core, however.

First, who supports the purchase of one of these templates? The template seller or the bubble.is team? I think it’s fair to assume it’s the template sellers responsibility for support, updates, managing feedback and all the other maintenance tasks that are apart of the template/plugin selling business. Unlike other major template marketplaces (Envato comes to mind) there’s nothing that clearly distinguishes who or where any of this support is coming from (or if it even exists). As a use case, if a customer were to buy this template and they need support - refunds, detailed instructions, a forum for detailed reviews and so on - where would they turn? Who’s responsible? @josh and @emmanuel ? [email protected]?

A forum thread posted a few months ago comes to mind: Issues with Bubble Partner

Another thing is how to scale something like this? Who’s doing the quality checks? I mean, for example the plugin system as it is today. It’s been somewhat of a discouraging direction for me personally. While I appreciate the effort and direction, the “add plugin” feature in bubble has been a mess ever since it was opened up. Some of them are decent looking, a lot of them are not. One or two doesn’t even do anything.

I understand it’s in it’s infancy, but the way it is now isn’t sustainable in my mind. Nothing said about the future of these templates or plugins brings into light terms of service or any other quality control.

What’s to stop me from buying airdev’s [insert clone template], copying it and then posting it for half the price, for example? Or because they have an AirBnB clone for sale, am I allowed to post my own AirBnB clone for sale? How do I distinguish it from Airdev’s? Where is that line drawn? Speaking of which, does AirBnB (or twitter or uber) have a problem with us profiting off their app architecture? Now that I think of it, exactly how close of a clone is this AirBnB template? There’s nothing much said about what it can actually do.

I don’t mean to be a naysayer - I think it’s a step in the right direction. I understand that copying apps from Airdev’s account to the buyer’s account is a pain in the ass. This feature certainly removes that friction. There’s just a lot of red flags going off now that actual money is involved and I think it prudent to consider the implications.

9 Likes

I do agree that at some point some clearly defined rules and oversight should be in place, along with making sure that the templates/plugins adhere to a certain level of completeness and functionality, but I welcome the addition of the templates/plugins and look forward to trying to build a few for the community.

2 Likes

These are great points. To some of them:

  1. we haven’t drafted terms for people that build plugins/templates for the community (but will if it appears we need to), but to your questions, the after sale service should be done by the plugin/template maker, as they’re getting paid for it.

  2. We want the Bubble Ecosystem to be open, and regulated by the community. That’s why ratings are critical. I know we’re at the beginning, so it’s not only working as it would on a more permanent regime, but that’s the idea, and it worked well with many platforms. Now if you see some templates or plugins that you think don’t do anything, and shouldn’t be on the platform, please report them to [email protected] (we’ll add a link to that to the rating box).

  3. regarding IP, we’ve added some warnings when people clone a template and start to distribute it. Any users signing up to bubble has agreed to our TOS, that mention very clearly the the IP they put on Bubble should be theirs. So if we found someone not respecting that, we have a few ways to handle it, from suspending the app to closing the account, etc. I have faith in the community though :slight_smile:

  4. The template aren’t as central as you think to Bubble. While it’s a page on our main app, you can very well never see it if you don’t go there, and we don’t plan on making it a step for new users.

3 Likes

Great feature!

I believe Atlas is simply a $500 service where Stripe incorporates a C corp and starts a bank account. They offer a few other features like AWS credits, and whatnot, but the list of available countries is still the same as detailed here.

1 Like

Since nobody else brought it up, I’ll be “that guy.” Does this mean Bubble is on the hook for 20% of the support, since Bubble’s commission is 20%? Like, maybe if someone’s template is supporting a lot of people, and the template creator needs support, answers/fixes would happen faster? Something like that?

Thanks for taking the time to address my concerns. I’m truly not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here. I love the idea of empowering Bubble power users to earn through redistribution of their assets. That said, the way it’s set up now leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

To me, fundamentally, bubble is a programming platform. I pay the company Bubble for access to the editor, certain tiered features such as collaborator seats, version control and the hosting and runtime environment my app lives in.

Plugins are a part of this programming platform. I guess that might be where I start to get the bad taste with the current way things are set up. Very few (if any) of the crowd sourced plugins available are written out of the good of the programmer’s heart. Scrolling through the in-editor add plugin feature is a whirlwind introduction to every bubbler’s side project MVP mill. To be frank, it’s full of marketing and sales pitches.

For me, it’s distracting and slightly disheartening when I’m trying to understand how I can integrate this plug in to the application that I’m building, and instead of helpful information, I end up at another bubble partner’s 30 day MVP pitch. I just don’t think it belongs where it is.

I’m thinking to the newcomer it might feel even worse. It’s almost like “see what we can do at [email protected]? You could have all this too!” follow “site page” link > land on mvpmill’s landing page > finds no useful documentation > considers giving mvpmill money because this is haaard

Isn’t that, in a sense, defeating the purpose of Bubble? There is a place for paid bubble solutions, but is that place in my bubble editor?

The rating system isn’t effective - I mean, look at the ratio of installed custom plugins to reviews. There’s literally none that aren’t more than a test review, certainly nothing objective or useful. Star ratings sound like it’d be an effective means of self regulating quality, but the truth is there’s not enough variety or experience to make any kind of comparison.

To sum my opinions up, I support user generated sales. I think it should be done on a platform removed from the main bubble app. There should, at the very least, be filters within the editor which hide plugins that aren’t developed by bubble internally. There should also be clear indications that inform prospective template buyers that their outlet for support lies solely with the developer of the template among many other clear terms. And most importantly, I’m fearful that bubble itself having blurred the lines of bubble as a platform and bubble partners offering their service, has the potential to cause resentments that spill over into the community as a whole.

5 Likes

Hi @emmanuel - if you remember our previous emails, you probably realise this is great news as far as I am concerned!

I have been looking at Bubble with the specific purpose of building business solutions for sale (at the moment I do HR, CRM and Time Recording as Sharepoint Apps which are sold on Microsoft’s app store and written in Access Web Apps). I have been looking for a new platform and came across Bubble.

I am now part way through developing a CRM App on Bubble but was struggling to see a route to market and this could be a start.

@skylershelton - I can sympathise with some of your concerns about this but I think Emmanuel’s response is pretty sound - this gives Bubble the capability to expand their ecosystem through partners (which Microsoft have always done) and enables businesses like mine to provide some standard solutions so that customers can focus on those aspects of their requirements which are unique to them. Meanwhile Bubble’s usage grows and they can focus on improving the platform - which is their area of expertise.

Next Steps

Having said all that, I would like to see this as a start only. With most app stores there is an approval process before an app can be listed - in the case of Microsoft’s store they test the installation process and check basic operation. This process usually takes 24-48 hours from submission. I would like to see this for Bubble templates in time. Beyond this, the rating process would then sort out which apps and app suppliers are worth considering. In the short term, I think Bubble are right to make the process fairly low friction from a suppliers point of view - they need to encourage people at this stage.

Beyond Templates

The capability to provide ‘templates’ should be just the start. Templates, by their nature, are difficult to support because they are generally modified by customers and it’s hard to differentiate between an issue in the original from an error made by a user. Also, being a template, it is almost impossible to see how you could provide updates and fixes to customers (again because they are modified). For this reason, templates are really purchased ‘as seen’.

When I started with the Access Web Apps, this was the situation. Apps could be supplied by the store but couldn’t really be supported. The solution came with a process to supply apps ‘locked’ so that customers could NOT modify them - this was accompanied by features which enable a developer to simply produce a new version and the platform would make the necessary changes to the customer’s app and schema. There is also the capability to build a special ‘macro’ (workflow in Bubble parlance) which only runs on deployment of the app and which developers can use to move data if a schema change requires it.

I now sell these apps as either fully supported ‘locked’ apps - or as templates.

I would like to see this capability with Bubble eventually - this could then lead to Bubble becoming a full PaaS solution similar to platforms like Salesforce - but maybe targeted at smaller businesses (i.e. not so corporate and EXPENSIVE).

My guess is that I have about a month’s more development work before I would consider my first (CRM) app ready for publication - but it is certainly something I now plan to do.

5 Likes

I think the Bubble team should explore as much as possible. See what’s popular, test certain ideas. They are a startup and as such should take these risks and at least see where it takes them.

If a service like Wikipedia can exist and be co-policed by the general public, anything is possible.

5 Likes

I hear you concerns, and we’ll be careful as the platform grows. It is early days, so we don’t have much plugins/templates yet. That’s why ratings don’t apply yet too much. We’ll definitely make sure that useless and bad stuff don’t show up in search results too high when we get there.

In the meantime, again and to everyone, please report anything that you think shouldn’t be there, that will help us 1) keep the platform healthy 2) refine how to figure this out automatically / programmatically.

7 Likes

I really appreciate people reading and replying to my posts - I know they’re heavily opinionated and long. If money wasn’t involved, I would have kept my silence on the whole matter and taken the same stance I’ve had - wait and watch.

Some of the plugins, such as the GoShippo API, have been extremely useful to me. There’s no denying the value of crowd sourced plugins. I’m fully onboard with the general sentiment of “it’s an experiment worth pursuing”

To a degree, I’m aware of the collective experience the bubble community has. From a developer community standpoint, bubble has to have one of the more diverse, in terms of background and expertise, in all sorts of different fields. For me, it’s an enlightening and humble experience, grokking what you all have to say. Bubble’s in good hands.

One thing I know for sure - Bubble was thriving before I discovered it, and it’ll continue to do so, with or without little ol’ me around. I’m glad I was allowed to voice some moderate concerns of mine, and am sure that J&E will continue to work with the community to shape their fantastic product in an upstanding and productive manner.

–Happy Holidays all! :christmas_tree::smile:

5 Likes

Quick clarification : Airdev doesn’t sell a AirBnb clone (or any other clone for that matter). @skylershelton is probably referring to a different firm.

1 Like

That’s correct, Skyler refers to us as most of the current templates (including AirBNB) are built by Bubblewits.

Thanks,
Levon.

Founder at Bubblewits - Bubble Certified Partnera


http://bubblestore.io – a place to buy Bubble templates for landing pages, e-commerce, workflows, APIs etc.
http://iambubble.com - one page Bubble demo
http://builtonbubble.com - Collection of apps built on Bubble

I thought I would be able to create a template from an app I’m currently using in production. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this would take my existing app down, and convert it into a template instead of making a copy. How do I revert it back to a regular app and get it back online? @emmanuel

I came across a thread with a similar issue. I believe what they did was revert to a backup, which converted the template back into an app. Try it out on a test app/template before you apply the method to your primary app.

1 Like

I guess you can simply create a new app using that template

Thanks,
Levon.

Founder at Bubblewits - Bubble Certified Partner


http://bubblestore.io – a place to buy Bubble templates for landing pages, e-commerce, workflows, APIs etc.
http://iambubble.com - one page Bubble demo
http://builtwithoutcode.com/ - Collection of apps built on Bubble

Restoring an old version did the trick.

For the Bubble team, I think it might be more intuitive to make a new copy, instead of changing an app into a template, or explain that an app will be converted into a template during the setup process.

1 Like

I just purchased a template- how can I merge it into my existing app? It doesn’t make sense to me that you wouldn’t be able to do this.