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Turn multipage into native app -- need suggestions and maybe some pro help

I’ve spent the past few months building an app for mobile, but realize now that I made some serious rookie mistakes and need help. First off, I built on a fixed (mobile) page size vs responsive, but more importantly, it’s extensively multipage which is taking far too long to transition and will not feel at all native at the rate it’s currently loading (even with a wrapper – I’m planning to use BDK).

I started rebuilding as a single page app and am mystified as to how anyone would keep such a thing organized. Plus, each page I’ve tried to copy over has resulted in 100 errors to fix. My app has dozens of pages and a pretty complex data structure, and is nowhere near fully built out yet. (It’s a collaboration platform and information management system for family caregivers.)

I’d be so grateful for any suggestions on how to address this challenge! (And am also open to hiring help to make it happen sooner rather than later.)

I’m also curious to know if pages load dramatically faster once an app is live.

Thanks,
Rachel

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Hello @rachel3

I recommend you read my post (if not already done). At first, I made the mistake of putting everything on one page and the result was unacceptable due to file size and was too slow on phones. Using Jasonelle (“free wrapper”), you don’t depend on anyone to update your app.

I also built from the beginning in phone mode format (responsive). So my website and app are the same. So easy to update. Only one app.
You’re on the right track.

10 min. to build a free iOS / Android native app with Bubble :large_orange_diamond:

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Sounds like your app is perhaps not a good use case for SPA. I have built an app using BDK and I started off down the SPA route but switched to just using multi page.

Single page is great for something where content fits into a fairly static structure. Think Instagram or twitter.

If you have a collaboration app with lots of bells and whistles, I’d just go for multiple pages and not chase the SPA hype.

Regarding responsive, where are your users using this? If it’s heavily mobile, make the pages mobile first. Bring that width down to say 320-380px and build the UI to that scale.

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Thanks Dan. My application definitely seems better suited to a multipage structure, but the loading time lag is really problematic. How did you deal with that when you decided against SPA?

I suggest using the reusable element approach. In that case, you can build out a smooth SPA even a complex one. Just keep elements structured without any duplication stuff.

A quick note about SPA and Data Sources.

  1. When a user opens a page, the Bubble system makes and initializes data from your DB.
  2. When this user refreshes the page, the Bubble again reinitializes searches.

So, using the SPA method, you avoid Step 2.

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Hi @JohnMark. I’ve seen your posts and it looks like you have a really interesting solution, but not so accessible to those of us who are not coders.

In any case, whether I went with something like Jasonelle or BDK, it seems the loading time issue would be the same, no? Any suggestions on how do you deal with that particular challenge?

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Yes, same engine. It took me some months to rebuild my app. Not an easy task.

Thanks @lottemint.md. That’s the route I was exploring for a SPA version, but it seemed to complicate things in terms of passing information/actions. I’m also feeling a bit overwhelmed with the bajillion error messages getting spawned by my attempts to convert things in this way.

Just to clarify, you went from a SPA to a multipage? When you shift between pages, does it load like a web page? This is the issue I’m looking to address.

I am seeing that transitioning in either direction (single to multi or reverse) with a large app is going to be a major undertaking. I’m just trying to sort out the pros and cons before going this route and looking to see if there are any ways to get around this.

Ideally, when you build an app, the good way is to divide your structure by, let’s say, components that you will use.

The Bubble supports the reusable component approach called reusable elements. That really helps a lot to keep your project clean without any duplicate stuff and pages with tons of workflows which slows down the editor. The editor works much faster when you’re using reusable elements.

You can pass data directly to a reusable element or you can use a Page’s parameters as sources.

A bad thing, that it’s not an easy way to use this one when you already have an existing app. It takes time to rebuilt things.

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Yes. It load the first time (3-4s) and than it’s faster between pages (1-2 sec. buffer). Price to pay right now. Bubble focus on speed, and they are reaching a great job.

Yes, I’m familiar with reusable elements and have many of them in my original build. I think the whole thing has perhaps gotten more complicated than is helpful at this stage of the game. I may need to go back to the drawing board. Thanks.

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