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Creating applications using no-code platforms has become a more cost-effective option for many businesses. No-code tools have also made it easier for non-technical professionals to become developers themselves.
In this article, we will explore two capable no-code platforms that you can use to build your next app: Bubble and Glide.
Both of these platforms allow users to create mobile and web applications without having to write a single line of code.
However, which of these two platforms is the best?
What is Glide?
Glide is a no-code platform that specializes in converting spreadsheets into easy-to-use applications.
Glide co-founder David Siegel found that most businesses start off with spreadsheets as a business tool to track information. He wanted to leverage the effectiveness of mobile apps with the ubiquity of spreadsheets.
Hiring a mobile developer for your business may take weeks to months of planning and development. With Glide, converting a spreadsheet into a fully-functional app takes only a few minutes.
Users can either start with an existing spreadsheet or choose one of the many templates available.
The existing spreadsheet could either be a Google Sheets document or an Excel file. The ability to use spreadsheets makes it incredibly easy to understand how the underlying database of your app works.
Glide templates cover a variety of possible applications such as a simple e-commerce store, a restaurant directory, or an inventory tracker.
Each of these templates uses a sleek user interface that makes your application look professional from the start.
Glide Key Features
The most popular feature of Glide is its Glide Apps platform. The feature allows users to convert a spreadsheet database into a fully-functional application within their browser.
Glide Apps, once published, can be shared using a QR code or URL. New users can visit Glide Apps without having to install any new software on their phones.
Glide also allows you to create Glide Pages. Pages allow you to create fully-featured web applications. While Glide Apps is focused on mobile interfaces, Glide Pages are best for desktop users.
Both Glide Apps and Glide Pages use a similar toolset, however, the Glide team recommends trying out the former first when learning.
Glide provides users with a variety of built-in actions that they can apply to their app. For example, you can add an action that opens a link, creates a notification, or even add a new row to the database.
Glide even allows users to create a webhook action that sends data to third-party applications. If you need to use multiple actions in sequence, you can also define custom actions that consist of multiple basic actions chained together.
Glide provides so many templates for users who want to get started right away with their application. While many of these templates are free, Glide also allows Glide creators to sell their templates to other users who want to copy their templates.
Glide App Pros and Cons
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using Glide to build your next no-code application.
- The platform provides seamless integration with Google Sheets spreadsheets.
- Glide offers a variety of free templates you can use to jumpstart the app development process
- Glide includes over 40 different kinds of components that cover almost any type of use case.
- Users can consult a comprehensive knowledge base if they want to know more about a particular feature.
- Glide may not be viable for use cases that require over 25,000 rows. It may sound like a decent number of rows for business applications. However, the number of rows will surely add up once you start introducing more tables into your project.
- Glide is primarily a no-code solution, with few opportunities to add custom code to your application directly.
What is Bubble?
Bubble is a no-code platform known for being highly capable of supporting complex software projects. Similar to other no-code tools, Bubble uses a visual programming environment to allow users to create their ideal website or application without having to write any code.
Bubble has been called a full-stack platform since it offers great support for customizing your application’s front-end and back-end aspects.
Bubble offers its own database solution rather than relying on outside applications such as Airtable or Google Sheets. However, no-code builders can also connect to these external services through the powerful API connector plugin.
While Bubble users often struggle initially with the steep learning curve, the platform does provide an in-depth walkthrough behind the core features. Users who want to know more can visit the official Bubble Academy to find resources such as tutorials, videos, and sample applications.
Bubble Key Features
Infinitely extensible through plugins
While Bubble already comes with a long list of core features, the platform truly shines when you consider the number of plugins available to you. Plugins range from custom visual elements and styling to specialized components that make it easier for users to input data.
Bubble allows developers to set up a reliable user management system. Users can sign up, login, and log out using OAuth 2.0 providers such as Google, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Real-time editor updates.
Bubble’s application editor allows for real-time saving and multi-user editing. This means that more than one user can modify a Bubble app at the same time and each change will be saved automatically.
Bubble allows developers to import Figma projects into an existing Bubble application. This feature is incredibly useful if The names of Figma elements will carry over to Bubble. Bubble will also try to match the style of each Figma element natively in Bubble.
All Bubble application has two versions: a live version and a development version. Applications can have multiple development branches that can be merged later on. After making changes to the development environment, users can deploy the application so that changes will reflect in the live environment.
Bubble App Pros and Cons
- Bubble is able to support more complex use cases while still being a no-code platform
- Extensive plugin ecosystem and community support
- Version control allows you to test the app before deploying any new changes to the live version
- New users will have to endure a steeper learning curve than many other platforms.
- No native apps for mobile
Glide vs Bubble
In this section, we’ll compare how Bubble and Glide measure up in different categories.
Both applications come with plenty of core features, but Bubble is certainly ahead when it comes to functionality. This is mainly due to how much control Bubble gives the user for both the front-end and back-end of the application.
Bubble also comes with an extensive ecosystem of plugins made by both the Bubble team and the Bubble community. These plugins allow users to create almost any type of web application.
Ease of use
When it comes to ease of use, Glide is the clear winner. This is because Glide’s interface is much simpler and the platform offers an abundance of templates for users to get started quickly.
Bubble contains more features but requires much more effort to master.
Glide’s main database option is Google Sheets. However, other options are also available to the user. Glide Apps can also use data from Airtable databases and Excel files accessible through Microsoft OneDrive or SharePoint. Users may also choose to keep data exclusively in Glide using the Glide Tables feature.
Bubble stores application data on its servers. Their back-end database offers full database functionality, Users may also use available integrations to allow for external file storage. For example, Bubble users can integrate their app with Amazon S3 to handle storage.
How much you’re willing to spend on building your application is often a key factor in deciding which platform to choose from. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how Glide and Bubble differ in pricing.
Glide’s Starter plan for individuals costs $25 a month and allows users to create up to five projects. Glide’s Pro plan starts at $99 a month and includes unlimited projects and up to 10 editors.
If you’re planning on creating larger applications, you may need to subscribe to Glide’s Business tier, which costs $249 a month. This plan allows for up to 10,000 public users and 1 TB of storage. Glide also includes an Enterprise solution that starts at $799 a month if the Business tier is still not enough.
Bubble offers three main paid plans: Personal, Professional, and Production. The Personal plan gives users basic server capacity. If the capacity is exceeded, the app will be rate-limited and requests made by the application will be slowed down. Upgrading to a Professional account will unlock 3 units of reserved capacity, while a Production plan unlocks 10 similar units.
The Personal plan costs $25 a month and includes the ability to remove Bubble branding from the application. The Professional plan costs $115 a month and allows users to collaborate in the same application. The Production plan costs $475 a month and increases the number of collaborators to 15.
The no-code platform that works best for your project will depend on the type and scale of your project.
If your project requires only basic CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) commands, then I highly recommend you start with Glide. I also recommend the Glide platform for users new to no-code technologies.
If you’re interested in a more advanced no-code solution, then I suggest trying out Bubble. Bubble’s vast array of plugins gives users a lot to play around with. While Bubble requires a bit more time to learn, the amount of functionality it offers makes it the best option for applications with more complex specifications.
Which of these platforms do you think is the best no-code tool for you?