It's time for another update on my journey of building GoKiddo and it has been an eventful few weeks.
If you missed Part 3, you can check it out here.
3, 2, 1, Launch... Right? Well, no.
I finished building all of the features I needed to launch GoKiddo and then BAM, Bubble.io burst my bubble by announcing that they will be making changes to their pricing structure which will have a significant impact on everyone who makes use of their platform to build web applications.
I am not going to go into too much detail about exactly what this entails, but in summary:
- They are moving from a capacity plan i.e. how many people can use your app at the same time (if you need more capacity go to a higher plan)
- To a pricing structure that charges you per action that a user takes on your site.
Why does this make a difference?
For GoKiddo to be succesful, the site needs to have a lot of traffic. All of these users will take a lot of actions (each time they view a page or click on a button), which will become 10-20 times more expensive with the new pricing structure.
Due to this, the new pricing structure makes it impossible to use Bubble.io for building GoKiddo. This leaves me with no choice - I need to find another way to build GoKiddo.
This sucks. I was in a mini-depro for a few days after I realised that all the work I did in the last month has essentially been wiped out by a single pricing change.
Come to think of it, if this was possible - was it really such a good idea to build GoKiddo on Bubble in the first place?
Platform Risk & Vendor Lock-in
I learned a major lesson about vendor lock-in and platform risk during this process. Yes, Bubble makes it extremely easy to build a web app. But at what cost?
If you want to take your application/code and leave the platform/vendor, can you? No.
I would ask anyone considering using any platform to build a business: to what extent are you locked into using the service/vendor and can you "leave" if you want to?
After I recovered from my pity party, I started scouring the interent for other solutions to my problem. My criteria is:
- No vendor lock-in
- A strong community
- Affordable pricing structure
After extensive googling, I found 2 open-source software frameworks which meets the above criteria.
Both these software frameworks allow you to code in a single code base and publish it to the web AND the Apple & Android App Stores (which was not possible to do with Bubble.io, which could mean this whole debacle may be a blessing in disguise)
The problem is, I am not that great at coding
Luckily, I don't have to be
Luckily there are platforms which allow you to build an application "visually", while the platform writes the real code behind the scenes.
This left me with one last choice. Which platform do I choose? It was a really difficult choice to make, but in the end it won't make much of a difference.
Both platforms make use of open-source coding languages and if you are unhappy with them, you can take your code and leave and hire real developers to continue working on the project.
I decided to go with Flutterflow, seeing that they are backed by Google (I like Google more than Facebook), their pricing is better, their community is stronger and they have better capabilities with web applications.
Here I go again
So now I will start building GoKiddo from the ground up. Luckily I have a much clearer idea of what I want it to be after building it on Bubble.io and hopefully the second time is much easier.
In the end, this should be a much better solution, because when I am done, users will be able to access GoKiddo from the web and download a native app to their Apple or Android device (which will allow me to send them push-notifications and keep them coming back for more).
Thank you for reading
If you made it this far, thank you for reading these newsletters. I hope by writing them, I can encourage at least one person to pursue an idea they have and who knows, maybe make the world a little better.
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