I absolutely love Bubble. I really do. As a career Java and DevOps engineer, I absolutely LOVE the Bubble concept because it allows me to build a badass UI without having specific framework and frontend skills, while leveraging my technical prowess to harness what Bubble can do.
But the plugin’s are killing this platform. There are simply not enough, and the ones that are there are sabotaging this platform. They either have no support, don’t function, or are ridiculously overpriced. @ZeroqodeSupport is among the worst. $70 for a SCROLLBAR. What in the holy hell is this?? Maybe, just MAYBE, I’d pay a few bucks, one time. But $70?? Just no. Oh, right, I can always SUBSCRIBE to a scrollbar for $7/month. This is downright insulting. I have no idea whether @ZeroqodeSupport produces anything of value, nor will I, because that is absurd.
This community needs to send a message to plugin devs that Bubble is still too new and is not yet established enough. Plugins need to be AWESOME and FREE. Not one or the other. Whether Bubble likes it or not, plugin devs have a much bigger influence on the perception of this platform. And this, not scalability or performance (because those can be improved by Bubble), is what will define Bubble’s future.
I generally agree with you (aside from the Zeroqode bits), but a couple things:
- Bubble takes a % of the plugin price, and the scale at which people purchase plugins makes it hard to justify the time and effort to build the plugins in the first place for many developers.
- Originally, plugins could only be purchased by subscription. This was later amended to include one-time purchases
- Plugins can absolutely be free if the developer so chooses
- Plugins often get broken when the platform upgrades, so there is a decent amount of maintenance, support, and overhead to keep the plugins working well
How would you propose to see things change? As someone with a dev background, what would compel you to release and maintain a ton of free plugins that advance the platform? The Bubble team is always listening, so whatever ideas you have will certainly be heard.
Tbh why not create your own? The Basic laws of economics teaches us that competition, more often than not, leads to a fall in price. I’ve seen this topic one too many times and instead of people aiming to take it upon themselves to offer cheaper solutions that can potentially ignite more competitve prices, complaining seems suffice.
Let’s take @gaurav for example, his plugins are maxed at $16 (one time payment) or $4 a month and honestly I always aim to use his plugins over any other overpriced alternative.
[EDIT] To add to my initial point, I understand that not everyone is tech literate, but if you’re an experienced Java and DevOps engineer, surely you could see this as an opportunity to price them out and make a little side income as well? It’s a MARKETPLACE at the end of the day - Bubble has little control over the prices that it’s vendors choose. I’ve been saying for a while now that @ZeroqodeSupport are literally milking Bubble (in terms of plugin solutions) and all everyone is doing is complaining.
Development is very often a labor love. The compelling reason should be the desire to support the growth and expansion of the Bubble ecosystem. Am I suggesting plugin devs should build these for free? Damn right I’m saying that. And they should be open source for others to contribute and maintain. No differently than the wealth of traditional open source libraries available to web developers. I suggest Bubble change this incentive model. Drop the % cut and drop the plugin pricing model entirely. Encourage an open source community driven approach. Then, when Bubble is well-established, maybe they could offer a cut of the subscription revenue based on install base and ratings.
Yeah, I get that perspective, and it’s one I agree with. I think my point is this: the ecosystem will evolve that way if people like you do exactly what you’ve described. I also think it’s fair for developers to charge for plugins if they want, but there’s nothing that stops anybody else from building the same thing, or better, then releasing it for free.
I agree that $70 dollars is insane for a scroll bar. But I think plugins in Bubble are extremely useful, and are definitely cheaper than hiring your personal dev. I personally haven’t had very many problems with plugins in bubble.
I was thinking about how plugins could be priced based on the size of the bubble app. A dynamic pricing structure.
For example, the $70 scroll bar. A personal plan would only have to pay a fee of lets say $10. As the app scales and hits the professional plan they would have a certain amount of time to pay an upgrade fee of like $20 before the plugin stops working on their app. Then as the app continues to scale and hits lets say 8 units of reserved capacity, they have to pay another upgrade fee, and so on, until they end up paying the whole $70.
Just a thought, because it doesn’t seem completely fair to me that a small app with ~20 users pays the same plugin price for a large ~1000 user app that produces plenty of revenue.
I’m curious to hear what others have to say about a dynamic pricing structure.
The number of users has nothing to do with capacity, unfortunately. You can have 8 units of reserved capacity and only have 10 users if you built your app poorly, so the scaling pricing based on plan size isn’t likely to correlate to revenue of any sort.
Exactly my point! People like you need to do more and talk less (no offence) but if you’ve got a wealth of skills in programming, release plugins and sooner than later, @ZeroqodeSupport will have to lower their prices
Yeah true @andrewgassen . Like I said, I don’t think its completely fair a small app pays the same as a large app. But then again, I don’t think there’s very many large apps on Bubble, and it’s not like plugins are way too unaffordable.
This aspect of the Bubble platform is being, in my estimation, way underestimated. A software or service can thrive or die simply by the strength of the integrations and ecosystem. The concept of addon subscription models almost never works. The Jira and Salesforce marketplaces are good exceptions. However, their marketplace integration are far more sophisticated and far cheaper.
Simply put, IF user appeal and user base expansion is desirable, then this plugin business model needs to be abandoned entirely.
Unaffordable? This should not be the focus. If Bubble wants to expand its user base, it absolutely needs to appeal to everyone giving it a try. I’m willing to bet Bubble’s own internal retention metrics will reveal the weak ecosystem is at play more than anything, including performance.
I totally would, if I was a developer
I use Bubble because I don’t write traditional code.
I’ve contributed to plenty of platforms in my career where my development skills were applicable. Clearly you didn’t read my opening line. Java and infrastructure development don’t apply to user interface addon development
I know, I’m agreeing with you. I was referring to @radarcg who is a “Java and DevOps engineer”.
Fair enough - I’m not a tech wizard so I wouldn’t know this but one would assume that it will be relatively easy to adopt coming from a programming background?
I don’t see a problem with people creating plugins and charging money for it. After all, Bubble does market towards non-technical people. Making plugins cheaper would make people more likely to use them.
Maybe plugins should be free to use on a hobby plan, just so users can evaluate them, and like you said appeal to everyone giving it a try.
I’m certain we would not have nearly as many plugins as we do without the money incentive for plugin developers. Like @mukhtar007 said, more competition will lead to a decrease in prices.
Its a fair but wrong assumption. But let’s assume it true. Having been a developer in a growing, thriving community supporting the growth of an ecosystem, I would absolutely contribute as a Bubble plugin developer. However, I’d still be writing this post, and would be expressing the same concerns. The incentive model of the ecosystem is misguided and undervalued. It is going to take A TON of contributions from the broader development community before Bubble will be adopted as a viable application platform.
My sense is that Bubble is viewed as nothing more than a novelty concept tool. It has FAR more potential than this, if it can grow its ecosystem.
This is just not correct. Every single major platform used in the industry has free, professional-quality de-facto open source libraries. Bubble can (but doesn’t yet) attract this sort of community of developers.
Key word there is major. Bubble is still small. There is a much greater number of people coming to Bubble to make money, than people coming to Bubble because they love coding and development.
I guess the thing I don’t really understand, but I do appreciate, is why free and open source libraries are made in the first place. Is there a motive? Someone who loves coding and wanting to help a large number of users, makes sense to me, but Bubble doesn’t quite have a large number of users yet.