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The Reason We Ditched Bubble (spoiler: it's about SEO)

Hey Everyone,

About 6 months ago, I lost my Tech team, and as a Founder, I had to deliver. I knew none code, so searched the web on what I could do. In less than 2 weeks, I learnt Bubble and built my MVP just in team of the sheduled Launch.

Fast farward to today, I’ve built 3 apps I’m happy about:

  • Techandthecity.eu , an online tech event platform with livestream rooms

  • joinapp.tk , an online marketplace for University events and Organizations

  • theunivation.com , a Startup Dashboard app, that works like a Business Model
    Canvas where you can build your idea into blocks, but also Incubators can use to run their programs.

After much friction with Bubble and developing 3 MVPs, I came to the conclusion: SEO in Bubble is an absolut and disgraced failure. Our 1.000+ event app daily visitors, had literally 0% visits from Google Search. Our other apps were and still are not searchable - despite all work in SEO settings, custom HTML and event Paid plugins to add structured Snippets.

So because a business, let alone a startup, without millions in funding, grows organically, or dies, we are taking our apps off Bubble. We’re first taking TheUnivation.com Landing to webflow - which in test did an amazingly well. Just in 3 days, all pages were crawled and even new blog posts started appearing on Google. Then we’re sheduling the Event platform and the Joinapp.tk.

I wish I could stay here. Cause it’s pain to spend so many hours redesigning. Bubble still has a little crappy design, an uneasy visual editor, and sites are a bit laggy compared to Webflow sites, but none of it was a real problem. SEO is. Bye bye Bubble,
p.s. Thank you Eve for the best support I’ve ever received online! Truly the best.

How would you compare your ability to “build anything” to Webflow. Bubble allows for such a wide building ability.

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I always advice my clients to separate :

  • the front website (for SEO, blog, etc) with Strikingly, Umso (ex Landen) or Webflow
  • the Bubble app with all the required login, workflows and so on, on a sub domain (like app.domain.com) .

Then you get the best of everything. No compromise.

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Agree that if SEO is a key strategy to separate the landing page from the app so you can optimize it, regardless if your app was built in Bubble or traditional code (easier to hire a marketer to edit a webflow site than edit code).

The tricky part is with discovery applications like the Event App. Bubble can be good if those organizers can drive good traffic to the events, but if you rely on SEO to fill the events it likely won’t happen unless you get good backlinks, since those are usually more important than fast paste speed

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As someone who HATES developing on Wordpress I ironically always recommend anyone who’s scaling SEO to build on Wordpress and keep their application bubble sided under a subdomain like “app.domain.com

For a few reason:

  1. rarely will your actual app need to benefit with SEO rather just for functionality.

  2. Wordpress has amazing SEO plugins like Yoast

  3. Wordpress has plugins for Content automation via RSS feeds to automatically generate AI written blogs to scale SEO insanely quickly.

  4. bubble isn’t ideal for SEO in a timely manner nor scaling SEO but can build applications quick, cheap, and easy. So if you keep the app on a subdomain it’s perfect.

  5. the majority of GOOD SEO agencies are familiar with Wordpress so when you hire someone to scale your SEO strategy they will not need to learn something less familiar like webflow.

  6. My favorite SEO agency https://twiz.io are rockstars with Wordpress.

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For me, Webflow and Bubble (webflow for landing/marketing pages) and Bubble for the app is a match made in heaven. Wordpress and Bubble, same thing.

100% agree, SEO doesn’t matter for the app

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Exactly! The local events had not only links from press sites, but also from their affiliated University’s official site, but still no improvement.

Cause Webflow can still be used as an app builder with plugins (memberstack+airtable+zappier).

If we could find a way to use Webflow (or Webflow Exported html code) as Front End + Bubble as a back end, this was truly the best no-code tool. @eve is anything like this possible or planned for the future?

Have you looked into prerender?

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Wow! Does it exists? Cool idea, tried for my bubble app but never completed their caching.

Contact their support team =)

Do you have experience with that service? As I understand, it relies on middleware that must be installed on the server, so it’s unclear how that would work with a Bubble site, unless the Bubble platform were to support it directly (which might be a nice paid feature to offer on certain plans).

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Yeah the SEO side of things is a big issue.

Webflow is a good strategy.

if your App isn’t public or doesn’t need heavy SEO, you’ll be fine.

If it does, then it’s a major issue.

There’s a bunch of hacks to get this into a good place, but still not keen on the solutions.

Well this isn’t good news for us and seems to confirm one of our largest fears. We’ve built a site that displays 1,00’s of searchable courses and had plans to build a niche online directory - both of which require SEO to “work”.

Just so we’re all on the same page, this part is not working as intended?

image

I am open to moving the marketing pages to Wordpress. Will not move my app from Bubble though (I love this platform).

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Bubble’s SEO fields are totally useless.

Just force Google to Index each page.

If you can lift and shift your site from Bubble to Webflow just like that, then you chose the wrong platform in the first place.

I recently saw a tweet from someone saying how they had moved everything to Softr. Now I love Softr and in a lot of ways it is better than Bubble. But my main Bubble sites can’t go to Webflow or Softr or Glide or Adalo … because they just don’t do what I need to be able to do.

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Re: Bubble and SEO, is it just a page speed issue, or is it something else? I just ran the google lighthouse test on one of my blog article pages and got this, which doesn’t seem so bad…

Desktop: 72 performance / 100 SEO
Mobile: 27 Performance / 97 SEO

Re: Webflow, agree with @NigelG It’s a very different platform.