Building websites has always been considered a preserve for experienced developers with coding skills. However, thanks to no-code web development platforms, anyone can design and launch their websites without learning how to code.
This post looks at the differences between Softr and Bubble. Read on if you’re wondering which one you should use to create your first website.
What we cover
Softr is a no-code platform that allows users to create functional websites, portals, and web apps from their Airtable and Google Sheets. You can create any type of website, including CRMs, landing pages, blogs, portfolios, and eCommerce sites.
One of the most unique things about Softr is that it doesn’t require coding skills. The platform gives you a visual editor, where you customize the front end of your website, as Softr generates the code for the back end.
Softr also provides more than 30 integrations, including Stripe, for payments. Additionally, Softr has hundreds of free templates that can greatly reduce the time you take to develop a website.
Apart from being a web development platform, Softr also offers hosting services, which allow you to create and launch your website on the same platform. It also gives all its users a free custom domain.
Bubble is a powerful point-and-click no-code web development platform. It allows users from all markets to build fully customizable web apps and workflows ranging from complex marketplaces to SaaS products and simple prototypes.
Bubble also gives you a visual editor for your front end. It is set up intuitively, making it easy to program whatever you need for your apps without actually coding.
Bubble and Softr are similar in many ways. Let’s look at some of the most common similarities between them.
Softr and Bubble are ideal for people who are interested in web development but don’t have the time to learn how to code. Both platforms give you full control over your website or app’s design and functionality without forcing you to code it.
A background code generator matches every change you make to the visual editor. Therefore, your site is based on HTML/CSS, just as it would be if you coded it from scratch.
Businesses have to buy various software for their daily operations. It’s, therefore, a plus if they can get free subscriptions on some of that software.
Softr and Bubble offer free plans alongside their paid premium plans. While the free packages are limited in functionality, they offer core platform features.
Therefore, if a company only needs a basic website or app, it can take advantage of the free plans and reinvest the capital it would have used on subscriptions.
Similarly, if you’re a beginner and don’t know which platform to use, you can use the free plans to learn about the platforms and introduce yourself to web development.
Bubble offers more than 1000 building blocks for different types of apps. Softr also offers hundreds of free templates to help you create a website quickly.
These templates and building blocks are excellent for beginners who don’t want to start creating their websites from scratch.
Zappier allows you to connect your website, app, or portal to more than 5000 apps, including Gmail, Hubspot, Slack, Facebook ads, and more.
Softr and Bubble integrate with Zapier, allowing you to connect your websites to any apps or services you need.
While Softr and Bubble are quite similar, they also have a few differences that can help you distinguish them. Let’s look at the main differences between them:
Softr and Bubble have a wide range of features. However, Softr has more features overall.
Bubble is a powerful web app builder that allows you to integrate APIs and change/manage data models. The platform also allows you to customize your app’s UX.
Additionally, Bubble allows you to collaborate with over 40 team members and work on your application in real time.
Alternatively, you can secure and password-protect your app and work on it alone until you’re ready to share it with the world.
Softr has a straightforward interface that gives you access to everything you need to design your website.
The main menu is side-mounted on the left, with each menu breaking down into more advanced menus. This gives the user interface an organized look and leaves more space for the working area.
There’s also an advanced menu on the left which allows you to edit your design’s features, styles, and visibility.
While Bubble’s user interface is functional, it’s cluttered. It’s full of customization and app development features, which can be pretty intimidating for a beginner.
However, the dozens of features and options are handy for experienced developers.
Softr is pretty straightforward to use; therefore, it’s easy to learn. Anyone without coding experience can create a website with Softr after watching a short Youtube tutorial.
In contrast, Bubble is a bit technical and has a steep learning curve. If you’re unfamiliar with how websites or applications work, you might need to learn about APIs and other integrations.
Softr has hundreds of free professionally designed templates, which range from blogs, team wikis, sales CRMs, donation trackers, and much more.
You can add your data to these templates and use them as your website’s design or customize them to fit your desired aesthetics. The templates are also optimized for web, mobile, and tablet displays.
While you can use templates on Bubble, they’re not available natively on the platform, so you have to get them from the community marketplace.
Bubble and Softr offer free basic plans to help beginners familiarize themselves with the platforms. However, these free plans have all the basic features you need to create a website or app.
That said, they also have paid plans. Let’s look at what they offer below.
Apart from the free basic plan, Softr also has:
- The starter plan for $24 per month: offers a few more options such as custom code and 1000 records on Airtable.
- The professional plan for $65 per month: Ideal for companies that need custom apps with advanced features.
- The business plan for $165 per month: Best for teams that need powerful collaborative tools.
Apart from the free plan, Bubble also offers:
- The personal plan at $25 per month: Ideal for beginners who want to create functional apps with custom domains.
- The professional plan at $115 per month: Best for freelancers and professionals who want to use advanced features.
- The production plan at $475 per month: Best for organizations that want to utilize collaboration features.
- The custom plan at a custom price: Best for large companies that need custom features like a dedicated server.
On the other hand, Bubble only offers 24/7 support for its paying customers. You can also read answers to frequently asked questions on Bubble’s FAQ page.
Softr has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating from 132 reviews on G2. Many positive reviewers appreciate its user-friendly interface and ease of use. Some also liked the wide range of features available on the free plan.
Bubble has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating from 90 reviews on G2. Some of the positive reviewers liked the free plan, while others enjoyed the feature-packed user interface.
That said, some of the negative reviewers complained about its steep learning curve.
Recommendations Based on Usage
Let’s now look at how Bubble and Softr compare based on how you’d use them.
Although Softr gives you more options on the types of websites you can create, they are simpler than what you can build with Bubble.
Bubble has advanced app development tools that let you create responsive web and mobile apps from scratch.
You can integrate APIs to allow your apps to request permissions from their hosts and add various plugins to increase the platform’s features.
On the other hand, Softr allows you to build simpler sites like blogs and portfolios.
Softr has tons of blogging and SEO features, such as the ability to change the metadata of your pages. It also allows you to add categories to your blog page and integrate with SEO tools like Google Analytics.
In contrast, Bubble focuses on building portals and web apps and offers a few blogging and SEO features.
You can use Zapier integrations like WooCommerce to create a functional eCommerce website with Bubble. However, this might often require an additional subscription.
Softr, however, integrates directly with Stripe for seamless payments.
It also gives you advanced eCommerce features, such as:
- Ability to create custom memberships.
- Advanced authentication options (Google sign-in, SSO, Magic links, Sign in with SMS, Sign in without a password, and more.)
- Paywall (one-off and recurring payments.)
- Billing and user management.
Softr is perfect for building portfolios. It offers tens of free professionally designed portfolio templates which allow you to create an impressive portfolio in minutes.
The platform allows you to build your portfolio from scratch and show off your design skills.
While you can design a portfolio from the ground up with Bubble, it doesn’t have ready templates.
Softr allows you to add custom CSS/HTML code to your websites. This is especially important if you want to add some designs you’ve already coded.
To add custom CSS/HTML code on Bubble, you need to use third-party plugins, which might lead to additional costs.
It’s extremely easy to create a mobile app with Softr. The visual editor has an easily accessible view tab that shows you how your app will look on different displays, including web, mobile, and tablet.
While Bubble offers the same feature, you must dig through the menus to access it.
Pros and Cons Summary Table
|More affordable plans||Limited customer support||Advanced app development features||Steep learning curve|
|Advanced SEO features||Essential integrations||Limited blogging and SEO features|
|Over 30 integrations||Free plan||Expensive|
|Intuitive user interface||Well-featured user interface|
|Easy to learn and use||24/7 customer support|
|Unlimited customization options||Advanced collaborative features|
|Advanced eCommerce features|
|Custom CSS/HTML code|
Softr and Bubble are excellent no-code web development platforms. However, Softr offers more features at a lower price.
The platform’s free plan gives you a custom domain, while the paid plans give you advanced features like Stripe integration.
That said, each platform has a specific use case.
Softr is a great option if you’re just getting into web development and haven’t learned how to code. It introduces you to the basic structure of a website and allows you to test your creativity by customizing different websites and apps.
The custom domain that comes with the free plan is also a great opportunity for you to launch your first website.
While Bubble advertises itself as a no-code web builder, you need to understand how code works to maximize its features. It’s, therefore suitable for experienced developers who want to create robust sites without having to code everything from scratch.