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Bubble API with Webflow?

Hello everyone!

I’ve been using Bubble for a few months and I love how easy it is to get something up and running quickly. It really shortens prototyping time, and I’ve recently been toying with the idea of using it for a production app.

While I adore the backend features, and the API specifically, I’m not a fan of the drag-and-drop builder that comes with Bubble. Even after spending some considerable time with it, I just don’t find it as intuitive as other WYSIWYG builders like Webflow. Responsive layouts are especially finicky to get right.

That got me thinking: has anyone had any experience using Bubble to back a site made in a tool like Webflow? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience. What were some difficulties you faced? Was it worth leaving behind the Bubble editor (which to be fair, makes it really easy to hook up various elements to your data and change things dynamically)?

I’m new to Bubble and playing around with this idea as well. It would make me insanely happy if they were strongly integrated…or the same tool :slight_smile:

I’m sure you could power a Webflow site somehow with a Bubble app and make it do some impressive things if you are able to code. But if you can already code I’m not sure if there would be much of a point in trying to create a hybrid ‘Bubble / Webflow’ app.
If you are ‘low code/no code’ which I am, initial impression is not looking suuuper smooth.

Have been playing with the Webflow API for a few days and found out that when you post a new CMS collection item into Webflow for the time being you can’t include any of its reference fields. Webflow API apparently does not support it. That feels very limiting. Found a workaround by sending the reference field after creation using ‘patch’. I’m not really sure why they would allow that and not with post. But it works. You also cannot create new CMS collections via the API. This was my first time really trying to work with an API so take that with a grain of salt. I’m going to continue playing around.

Password protecting pages or CMS collections for specific users is not possible with Webflow. You can only set one shared password for all. You can have user specific passwords with other services but those don’t seem very flexible or easy to automate/manage through a Bubble app. All that is already super simple to handle in Bubble if you publish everything with Bubble.

I’ll definitely use Webflow for my app’s actual website and content/blog etc, but am really not sure about the rest yet…

The only reason I want to use Webflow is that I strongly prefer it as a design tool. That being said, the interfaces you can design with Bubble are like haute couture compared to what can be made with similar ‘no code’ tools like Knack.

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Very true. I have worked in Knack as well for about 4 years and built a Knack app that a rather large company uses to run their business. The interface is horrible.

Most of the UI issues I run into in Bubble would never be problem with Knack because I just don’t expect Knack to come even close to being able to do that kind of stuff. lol

Sorry, @patrickluzny, I know this is off topic of your question. I haven’t messed with the Webflow api so I can’t help you there. But welcome to Bubble!

I totally agree, and that’s kind of the boat I’m in. I know how to program what it is I’m trying to do currently, but it detracts from the whole goal of LCNC solutions. I can prototype really quickly up until that point, and it would be great to keep that momentum going in this project and in future ones.

The thing is, a lot of API calls can be grouped together into a few categories. Even just being able to integrate the CRUD functionality (i.e the Data portion of the Bubble API) would be enough for a lot of use cases I can think of. And I’m thinking that if these calls tend to follow certain patterns, then you could develop a tool or methodology which could basically wrap the Bubble API and allow it to easily be used with other design tools.

No worries! I don’t mean to come across as overly critical of the Bubble editor; I know it’s leaps and bounds ahead of many other tools out there. I’m just of the opinion that there are a ton of design tools on the market, all with their own (likely subjective) benefits, and Bubble could benefit tremendously from a solution where users of all those platforms (Webflow, Duda, Carrd, etc.) can turn here in order to transform their static sites into full-fledged web apps.

No worries there. I’m a huge Bubble fan but Webflow’s design canvas is leaps and bounds above Bubbles. If only Bubble’s function and Webflows design tools could be merged.

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People have certainly used Webflow for the “front end” of their app linking via API to Bubble data, with a Bubble based admin system.

Do you know of anyone who has been able to restrict specific Webflow pages so that they are only viewable to specific bubble app users? That is something I am having a hard time figuring out how to make possible with a Webflow “front end”.

We have used webflow for various projects. For now though, webflow offer a so-called CMS API. It lets you programmatically add, update, and delete items from your webflow CMS Collections. So all in all, for what we saw, you cannot (yet) directly plug to an external database, aka Bubble data API. You would need to map your webflow CMS structure exactly as your bubble DB, and post new items everytime a new items is created in bubble…not really worth it (and certainly really expensive).

For now Bubble and Webflow can work well together when you use webflow as a support for an extra feature for your bubble app (e.g a user generated listing page) and/or want to use advanced design capabilities of webflow (landing pages).

For now Bubble and Webflow can work well together when you use webflow as a support for an extra feature for your bubble app (e.g a user generated listing page) and/or want to use advanced design capabilities of webflow (landing pages).

Hey, I’m curious how to do this? I.e, combine Webflow and Bubble for different sections of your website? I love Bubble but something like Webflow is more simple for dynamic landing pages…