bubble io vs glide

13 MIN READBubble vs Glide: Which No-Code Tool Is Best for Your Business?

The question of Bubble vs Glide can be “quickly” answered when you consider robustness and complexity of a no-code platform versus ease-of-use and simplicity respectively. 

Glide allows you to launch your app in a matter of minutes, if you’re okay with choosing from a wide array of design templates and working with a cookie-cutter style.

» TRY NOW: Estimate How Much Your Dream App Would Cost with a Simple Calculator

Bubble allows you to go beyond templates with a more complex drag-and-drop editor, but it comes with quite a learning curve. With the help of a tutor or a pre-built template, you can become familiar enough with the Bubble editor—the equivalent of Photoshop in the no-code world.

However, Glide can also help you create beautiful apps from scratch without having to compromise on brand authenticity and original design.

Plus, with the help of a no-code app developer like LowCode Agency and some thoughtful brainstorming, a Glide app can be just as powerful as a Bubble one.

Why Compare Bubble.io & Glide Apps?

The global low-code development platform market is predicted to generate $187.0 billion by 2030, rising from $10.3 billion in 2019. Businesses worldwide are recognizing the benefits of getting internal apps quickly, without being required to hire a full-time programmer. 

This makes the space a lot more accessible for small businesses looking to get their feet wet with internal apps and software and move towards operational excellence. That’s why platforms like Bubble and Glide are being analyzed under a microscope more and more lately.

Full Comparison of Glide vs Bubble

Bubble and Glide are two highly reputable no code mobile app building platforms that offer businesses a more cost effective option compared to launching directly into a native app store, and the app can be equally as functional. Both applications have similarities: 

  1. They have a free plan option, though you will contend with branding issue;
  2. Both allow you to build a web app without needing to learn how to code;
  3. They both offer easy-to-use templates for a variety of use cases;
  4. Both allow for integration with Stripe, the de-facto internet billing software.

With drag-and-drop interfaces that make for a strong experience for users who don’t know how to (or don’t want to learn how to) code, Bubble and Glide are great options to get your app ready to go in a matter of weeks, not months or years, with huge savings as part of the deal. 

Bubble vs Glide Part #1: App Design

glide vs bubble io the former has a really good user experience
Glide has a clean and easy-to-use visual development interface

Glide offers a swath of templates suited to many common business processes (i.e., sales, human resources, etc.). Choose a template, connect a spreadsheet, tweak and launch. 

Voilà!

But templates aren’t the only option with Glide. You can start an app from scratch, although you may need the help of an experienced no-code developer like LowCode Agency in the process.

Bubble allows you to build apps with a more complex drag-and-drop interface that gets beyond the limitations of templated design, but with a learning curve that needs to be overcome.

glide io work interface
Bubble’s interface is less polished than Glide’s but very powerful

Bubble offers a sea of “How To” resources to help you quickly understand how to use their interface. Once you’re familiar with it, you have full control over the design of your app. 

With Bubble, you can enhance the robustness of your app by integrating templates from 3rd parties that can boost the functionality of your app. 

The same can be said for Glide.

(More on this towards the end of the comparison)

Bubble vs Glide Part #2: Database Integration and Functionality 

google sheet to use with glide apps development
Creating a database in Glide is as simple as organizing a spreadsheet

Google Sheets is the primary database technology used by Glide because of its simplicity, allowing only for CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) interactions.

That can be limiting to some companies who aspire to offer more functionality. That’s why Glide offers full SQL database integration with their Enterprise plans in case that’s what you want.

Google Sheets is the primary database technology used by Glide because of its simplicity, reliability, and close-to-real-time performance.

Bubble also allows you to build web apps with the confidence of knowing you can integrate full database capabilities that allow you to handle real-time conditional situations and an ability to connect to any Application Programming Interface (API) system.

Glide leans more heavily towards a 100% no/low-code scenario whereas Bubble is ok with implementing some level of code within the workflow, making more of a low-code solution.

Bubble vs Glide Part #3: “How To” Resources & Tutorials

bubble io academy learning resources
Bubble.io has a ton of resources to offer to learn how to use their tools

The increased complexity of Bubble is supported by the many resources that they offer. There are video lessons, as well as interactive, guided lessons that let you work in a “sandbox” environment allowing you to test the functionality of Bubble’s web app capabilities. 

Glide offers just as many video tutorials, and they lend themselves well to users who want to practice working within Glide apps as well as learn about the broader concepts surrounding it.

Although the interfaces are easy to interact with, building a fully responsive (mobile & desktop) app with either Glide or Bubble is still a good amount of work so you’ll want to consider hiring an extra pair of experienced hands.

Bubble vs Glide Part #4: Scalability

In terms of scalability, both Glide and Bubble have something to offer. Glide connects so easily and reliably to Google Sheets that it promotes that as one of its main selling points. 

Glide can also be used with its own database platform that can scale to hundreds of thousands of rows, or you can connect it to a MySQL database that keeps your data updated in real-time, and does so securely.

Bubble also offers its own database and is robust enough to connect to a wide array of common databases allowing you to store and work with 100s of millions of records if need be.

Bubble vs Glide Part #5: Look-and-Feel

The reason Glide is the first choice for newcomers has everything to do with the fact that the visual development experience is smooth and user-friendly. There is a high level of interactivity with Glide meaning a very low learning curve and a fun development experience. 

Bubble? 

A bit more complex, but intriguing to those curious about how app coding works. 

The editor offers a powerful point-and-click environment stocked with the latest design trend icons allowing you to build a fully customizable web app ranging from simple MVPs to complex applications that host SaaS products and even very large eCommerce applications.

The reason Glide is the first choice for newcomers has everything to do with the fact that the visual development experience is smooth and user-friendly.

Though more customizable than a Glide app, with Bubble you can easily spend hours creating your app and find out that it may not be the best flow for your users. That’s a lot of time and money wasted a business can’t afford, so in many cases Glide may be the better choice.

Bubble vs Glide Part #6: Ease-of-Use

glide apps vs bubble io various style options
The way Glide Apps shows content is through your database entries

Glide is without a question the easier of the two primarily because the interface is very friendly to beginners who aren’t interested in having to learn how to code.

The interface is easily navigated, allowing for users to create an app from a data sheet with a click or two and the ability to preview your app just as fast.

Glide is also the more cost-effective choice of the 2 with minimal maintenance costs

bubble io vs glide apps true drag and drop experience
Bubble.io is a true drag-and-drop tool similar to Adobe Photoshop

Bubble is definitely the more complex of the two, and for those who are genuinely interested in how code tools work, Bubble is the more appealing of the two, particularly because you can work easily with a drag-and-drop functionality while following programming-style rules. 

The wide range of options and the 100s of tiny tool icons circling the interface can be overwhelming to someone who truly wants to build in a no code environment.

Bubble vs Glide Part #7: Backend Technology

With Glide, your Google Sheet functions as your backend database so you are only allowed CRUD interactions (create, read, update, delete). However, users can also connect a third-party database or software like a CRM or ERP to the GSheet, which in turn goes into Glide. 

Bubble offers backend capabilities, but on a case-by-case basis

However, Bubble also offers a useful API Connector “plugin” that allows you to work with third party backends, making it as extensible as you want it to be.

Bubble vs Glide Part #8: Third-party Integrations

Bubble has built-in plugins with apps such as Airtable, Audio Recorder, Blockspring and many more. With Glide, you are able to connect with more than 3,000 apps through Zapier.

Should You Use Bubble.io or Glide Apps?

lowcode agency home page for app development
LowCode Agency works to get you a highly-functional (and beautiful!) Glide app in just a few weeks

As you understand more about Bubble vs Glide, you’ll be able to determine which of the two platforms suits the needs of your business best. Are you a tech-savvy founder looking for just enough complexity? Choose Bubble. For everyone else, Glide is the de-facto choice.

It should be pointed out that building a no-code app by yourself, and building one that achieves the goals of your business are two very different things. If after exploring no code options you still feel like you could use some guidance, you can fall back on an expert provider.

Are you a tech-savvy founder looking for just enough complexity? Choose Bubble. For everyone else, Glide is the de-facto choice.

LowCode Agency has developed Glide applications for years with the specific intent of solving internal business problems. 

You may be surprised to know that, unlike traditional development agencies, working with LowCode Agency will run you as low as $2500 for the whole app, and built in only 2-3 weeks!

That’s the benefit of working with a no-code platform that streamlines the process and a provider whose expertise allows for efficiency and quality in app design. See how much your own app would cost with the super-simple calculator linked in the image below.

Originally published Feb 19 2021

app development cost calculator

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bubble.io any good?

Bubble.io is an excellent resource for no-code web app design if you’re willing to deal with a bit of a learning curve when building a new app with only core functionalities.  

What is the best no code app builder?

Glide and Bubble are ranked among the top no code app platforms. Determine what features your app needs to offer and make your choice between these two based on whether you value simplicity and ease of use (Glide) over personalization and design features (Bubble.io).

Can you build mobile apps with Bubble?

Bubble is meant to help you build a Progressive Web App, or PWA in short. It’s a mobile app that works via web browser but that has the same functionality of a native app.

Is Glide better than Bubble?

Glide is the easier of the two to use for building an app. Bubble’s drag-and-drop interface may merit the use of tutorials. Your business goals should be carefully considered before deciding which of the two to use. Let’s have a chat and figure out which is the best platform for you.

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