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🔌 Essential Bubble Plugins for your NoCode SaaS app - Issue #7

James from NoCodeSaaS
James from NoCodeSaaS
Hey there!
If you’ve started building an app on Bubble, it’s likely you’ve taken a look at the plugin store.
One of the huge benefits of building on the Bubble platform is the rich ecosystem of unbelievably powerful plugins.
And while it might take a while for them all to load (👀) there is usually a plugin to do what you’re looking for.
In this issue I’m going to cover some of the most powerful plugins I’ve found which I rely on for my own #nocodesaas app, UserLoop.
Before we dive in, a word of caution on plugins.
Plugins are very powerful but there are a few things you should bare in mind before starting to install plugins to your app.
Performance Impact
Each plugin will affect your app’s performance in different ways. Some add a header to every page which loads in a ton of external Javascript which could slow your page down.
I recommend only using plugins where you absolutely need one - try to avoid the temptation of installing a ton of fun plugins which actually don’t deliver customer value.
Unless the plugin is critical to your users - skip it and keep your app as lean as possible!
Plugin Support
There is a huge range in the support levels provided for different Bubble plugins. Some are amazingly well maintained and supported, others are never touched, buggy and out of date.
When you install a plugin to your app you are accepting a certain element of risk - if a plugin developer chooses to stop supporting a plugin and even remove it from the store, you’re left with an unsupported component of your app which is likely to break in future.
I’ve learned this the hard way, it’s a nightmare having to replace a plugin in your app when a developer abandons the project so act with caution.
Plugins for critical API services.
Your app might want to interact with external API services, perhaps something like Slack, Postmark or in my case Shopify.
I strongly recommend against relying on plugins for these connections.
Having a plugin which you don’t fully control or understand operate critical parts of your app is pretty risky.
Use the API Connector for these services whenever you can.
You’re then fully in control and can update and control all the API calls your app needs independently.
You’re not relying on a plugin developer to update a plugin every time a new API call is released or you need something specific to your use case.
I’m going to cover this topic in much more detail in a future issue. Mastering the API connector is one of the things you can do to give yourself Bubble superpowers!
That said, let’s cover some of the incredible plugins available on the Bubble Plugin store that I rely on for my app!

ApexCharts.js examples in Bubble
ApexCharts.js examples in Bubble
If you’re building a SaaS application, it’s likely you will need to add come element of charting or graphs to visualize your app’s data.
The ApexCharts.js plugin from developer Thimo is the most powerful, flexible and well supported chart plugin for Bubble.
You can visualize just about any data you want in professional and highly customizable charts.
There is also excellent support available through this thread on the Bubble forum.
These charts have been a game changer for my application and are well worth the price!
Some ionic toggles in the UserLoop app settings
Some ionic toggles in the UserLoop app settings
The official Ionic Elements plugin from Bubble is an essential plugin for any SaaS app. It offers a set of highly optimized components such as check boxes and toggles which are deeply integrated with Bubble and allow you to create beautiful controls for your users.
I use the toggles throughout my application, their ability to ‘auto bind’ to your data is particularly powerful.
This means I don’t need to build workflows to enable or disable a specific data field whenever a user tries a toggle, it’s all handled natively.
Opening a new window using a workflow on a button
Opening a new window using a workflow on a button
Sometimes you want to open a new window when a user is sent to a new link, rather than directly within the main Bubble window.
This simple plugin lets you open a new window using a workflow when a user clicks on a button - super handy for opening previews like in the example above!
Table Grid plugin in UserLoop
Table Grid plugin in UserLoop
This is another ridiculously powerful plugin from Thimo. I’ve recently implemented this in my app and it has been a game changer.
It allows you to display grids of data to your users very quickly and easily and incorporates a ton of useful features.
  • Search
  • Pagination
  • Sorting
  • Ability to run workflows from clicking on a cell / column
  • Display images or dynamic labels in columns
  • Download csv of table data.
Uppy Webcam Plugin
Uppy Webcam Plugin
If you want users to be able to record video from their webcam or easily upload groups of images or videos this plugin is really handy.
It comes with a ton of workflow options to let you manage how images and videos are handled and has a very slick UI which works well on both mobile and desktop.
It’s likely your app will be working with lists of things in some way. These can be often quite tricky to handle in Bubble if you want to manipulate them in some way.
This is an extremely powerful plugin allows you to reverse, iterate over or process lists of things on Bubble.
The plugin is very well supported and there is a constant flow of updates.
One downside to Bubble is how updates to your app are handled. Every time you push an update a huge grey banner is shown at the top of your app telling users they need to refresh the page to continue.
Long term, I’m hoping Bubble address this in the core platform.
For now though, you can use this plugin on pages to automatically refresh them when you update your app, meaning users don’t have to see the confusing page refresh bar.
The Craigslist of nocode
SpaceDesk
SpaceDesk
Bubble expert Neil Pierce is working on a new platform called SpaceDesk which is aiming to be the ‘craigslist for nocode’.
It will contain a directory of nocode jobs, projects, events and newsletters (like this one 😜) so will be a must for any nocoder.
Thanks for reading!
I hope you found this issue useful, I’d love to hear what your favourite Bubble plugins are, drop me a reply!
As always I’d really appreciate it if you share this newsletter with your friends or on Twitter, it makes a huge difference and spreads the word of #nocode to more people.
You might notice the newsletter now has its own domain! All past issues are now living at https://nocodesaas.app
I have something quite special lined up for next week with a really inspirational sucess story from the community, so stay tuned for that!
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James from NoCodeSaaS
James from NoCodeSaaS @jamesdevonport

If you're thinking about building a SaaS product using no-code or visual development tools - this newsletter is for you!

Every Friday I'll be sharing practical tips and advice on building a SaaS app using the Bubble.io platform.

From how to structure your database, to implementing 3rd party APIs, we'll touch on everything you need to know to get started and scale your app to thousands of users.

I'll be using my own Bubble app as an example. I'm currently building UserLoop.io - a Shopify App designed to help store owners automatically survey their customers and get more reviews.

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