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An Open Letter to Bubble! We Need a solid plugin store


#1

Hey Bubble Team / Users and Plugin Builders,

@Bubble

We all know the effort it takes to make a fantastic app like Bubble. But I fear like many plugin builders here that making a living on the bubble platform is not only challenging but at the current time difficult.

I want to devote more time to build on this platform, develop and help others do the same, but like many of you I am faced with obstacles that need the support of the Bubble team. So here is my list of suggestions and I hope that all of you give it your +1

  • Create a better way for users to explore plugins.
    This is a no-brainer for me. Something similar to the shopify app store with ability to add more images, descriptions and larger texts or event some essential support documentation :pray: We need a store that promotes purchases and allows customers to discover whats new, to help them think of the possibilities and improvements they can have if they purchased a plugin.

  • Ability for users to demo the plugins in their apps
    Being able to see a wanted plugin is nice. But having users try it out in their app is better :smile: We need the ability to grant demo access to users automatically like a “Try” option that’s risk-free and promotes self-discovery and which does not require a pro account. This will hopefully encourage sales for the platform and give something back to the builders.

  • Ability to sell licenses per app
    This is a quick win. Although I understand the logic behind the monthly subscriptions, I still believe some plugins need to be a one-off sale per app. users should also have the ability to transfer the license.

  • An improved plugin builder
    The current plugin builder and method of testing can be significantly improved. I face a lot of challenges when I am working on big projects. The HTML editor keeps resetting locations; I can’t re-organize my actions or options, I can not collaborate with other people, I can’t revert to an earlier published version, auto-complete needs improvements, general syntax highlighting and checking… I can go on and on. So far I am using a VS Code and JSFiddle then having to copy my work and adapt it to bubble.

  • Testing plugins
    Alright, here is another challenge! :angry: When testing plugins I always need to remove the plugin element or action from the app and re-add it to see the changes I have made come to life. This is even when I click the go to test app button and reload the editor

  • Pushing updates
    Many of my users are complaining that I have not fixed something, although I did. But are required to uninstall, reload the app and reinstall the plugin to load the changes I have made. This is even after having updated to latest version.

I know everyone is working hard to make bubble better, and i know that you guys will successed. But a having a proper plugin/theme store will allow Bubble to move forward to achieve so much more. It will also support us the developers to be loyal and create far more.

As for the community, please +1, comment, and show your support for this.


#2

NEWS week email of new plugins. Free trial.
One major point for buyer: If a plugin is removed from his creator, that plugin must stay to the buyer (last version of it).


#3

Great points. I’d really love to see a more complete plugin and templates store, with categorisation and documentation, rather than the single long list we have now, it would make the whole thing feel more like a complete ecosystem.


#4

You have some valid points and ideas, I would like to see the builder improved especially a live test environment that ties to a new app per plugin. If you create a new plugin, there is a matching test app only accessible through the builder that under no circumstances will allow access until any and all changes are matched to your latest code. Im a bit tired of creating variables through out my code and changing them or a console output throughout just to make sure what i am seeing is a reflection of the builders current standing, This alone will give new builders at least one reliable tool to trial and error with and at the same time provide us all with some more trust in the builder itself rather than adding more time by using github to write, the builder to pull and then another whole app outside of the dev environment that then needs to be mucked with before loading that app into a running - still have to make sure its the right version of code - app.

I could go on for days about a lot of things on the subject but one thing i cannot get past is the reluctance to embrace any other form of payment structure for the commercial store, As a full time builder, I want to know that every user has the ability to find (in app plugin store), purchase (not just people that have purchased a package, how many of you pay while your app is being built during its initial feature finding/building stages or while building an MVP?? ) and benefit from the addition. Personally I think per app licensing is the way to go, however I feel that this should be tiered so that each update of a certain caliber should slightly increase the price for people that have not ever bought a license previous. this will give incentive for users to get on board knowing its at its lowest price when published, provide incentive for the dev to improve the product knowing that a quality improvement or requested/needed feature update will increase the price and i mean lets be honest, if the whole claimed 116,143 app builders had access to a one off purchase available even in a free app (bubble still claims 25% of a plugin sale so they are not missing out) then the plugin developers would actually have the funds required to put tools down every now and then and provide the same helpful insight into the builder as we all do with app editor.


#5

Great points guys. What I want is to become a full time developer for bubble. I have did several apps for companies and people but I want to focus on plugins.


#6

I support this. As a non-coder, I’ve found Bubble to be a tool bordering on revolutionary, but I do believe its true future strength lies in allowing the community to push new features while the Bubble team focus on stability, scaling, security, etc.

The linear growth of Bubble is amazing, but once it reaches exponential growth, that’s when it will really take off.


#7

I think this is essential for Bubble to keep growing. It cannot keep up with the demand for new features and request and should, in my opinion, be primarily focused on:

  1. Improving Bubbles core functionality, performance and stability
  2. Develop and implement features the plugin community cannot provide

I also feel Bubble is at a crossroads here and opening the floodgates to plugins might feel a bit daunting. Especially when you have the @jarrad’s of the world taking Bubble’s possibilities to its limits. I do think, however, that these developments and these people are fundamental to Bubble’s success in the future.

I hope the Bubble team is able to find a way to safeguard the system while at the same time not discouraging users from creating and profiting off of plugins.

And that brings me to my final point (and let me be clear on the fact that 1. I’m no plugin builder, 2. am not fully aware of the policies/agreements between Bubble and plugin builders): What mechanisms are in place to ensure Bubble is compensating or safeguarding user’s work when it comes to plugins that are being implemented into Bubble’s core functionalities?

I can imagine users being discouraged to create plugins that will become part of the Bubble default ecosystem, making their plugins obsolete. At the same time I can also see users stop maintaining plugins that a large part of the user base comes to rely on. Will Bubble have the right to take over those plugins at that time?

Bubble must be facing some tough decisions at this point! Seems their baby is very rapidly growing up :wink:
Although there must be a lot of stress involved with these developments, I cannot see this but a compliment to the product and a good sign overall moving into 2018 and beyond!


#8

Great ideas, everyone!

We definitely think that having all those would greatly improve and expand the possibilities and value that Plugin Builders can add to Bubble Ecosystem!

At the same time I think Emmanuel and Josh also fully understand the need for these improvements and the whole idea of plugins marketplace - that’s why they have launched it in the first place :).

We should not forget that it’s still in beta and has not been officially launched, I guess they are still working and testing things and we probably should be a bit patient here. I can also imagine that we all have to understand that creating a plugin store of decent quality is an extra effort that will have to be accounted in everyday’s routine of Bubble team plan - I would even say that this can easily be a full time job for more than one person!

Anyways , we took a quick glance at Bubble roadmap and it seems that the plugins are quite high in their list (see the screenshot below).

It may not be very detailed but we all seen very often that they usually deliver more and sooner than they promise, so hopefully we will see improvements very soon :slight_smile:


#9

They may very well understand, they may even have a vast amount of statistical data to back the decisions to date. but so does government. Its still important that we are loud about what we feel we each need, to be able to move ourselves and progress our skills, each time I get thrown by bubble pushing a feature totally left field and not shown on the road map bubble themselves say its due to users wants/needs. This alone says that they also understand what a user decides is needed no matter how trivial it may seem to others, is worth deviating from the road map to make happen.

Another thing to take into account here is a lot of the requested additions hold a common theme, its not cosmetic or even new features - its stability and reliability, I spend at-least 8 hours per day in the plugin builder and I cant help but feel that there is a better way for bubble to help us show plugins to the bubble world and share the rewards rather than having to build privately and create a “this isn’t working for bubble scenario” because they are not getting their rightful piece of the exchange.

anyway its just my 2cents, i just want to convey that im not being a spoiled brat, I just dont want to find myself with 1000’s of hours of what is fairly bubble specific code to find its become nothing like what i need as a full time integrator.


#10

I would like to support the idea of buying a one-off license for a plugin rather than being locked into a monthly subscription, per app. This would end up being a pain to manage and would encourage me to get someone to build a plugin rather than purchase from the marketplace.


#11

As a buyer of Plug-ins, it’s especially painful to test a plug-in when on a yearly plan. I tried to use the monthly rate for the plug-in, thinking I would test it then un-install it. I’d have been fine paying for a month to try it out. But it turns out Bubble charged me for 12 months which was way higher than the buy-once price … and then it didn’t automatically refund me for the rest after I uninstalled. I had to bug them and they did eventually give a full refund.

But, this should be easier. The alternative, I guess, would be to try it on a site with a monthly plan, but then I wouldn’t be working with the same design or data. I could copy my yearly app into a monthly app, but now I’m paying for a month of bubble site AND and a month of the plug-in.

My two cents …

Kirk


#12

Never knew you could be charged for the whole year. Wow


#14

here here. I agree too