If you have an excellent idea for a startup but don't have the technical skills or resources to build it yourself, consider hiring a Bubble agency. Bubble is a no-code platform where you can create web and mobile applications without writing code.
A Bubble agency is a team of experts who can help you design, develop, test, and launch your minimum viable product (MVP) using Bubble.
But how much does it cost to hire a Bubble agency? And how to choose the right one for your project?
In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more. We will explain what services are included in the cost of hiring a Bubble agency, what factors affect the quality and cost of MVPs, what is the typical cost structure of Bubble agencies, and how to compare them based on pricing and quality.
By the end, you will better understand how much it costs to hire a Bubble agency and how to make an informed decision for your startup.
What is a Bubble agency?
Unlike a traditional agency, Bubble agencies don't use any coding language like C++, Python, Go, Java etc. They rely solely on visual programming to build applications.
What's the benefit of that? For one, the speed of development is breakneck. McKinsey estimates that no-code tools reduce development time by 90%. It does not mean that you're getting a sub-par product.
On the contrary, the quality of a no-code application may beat a coded solution in some instances.
Another benefit is the reduced risk. When building a new product, you're unsure of the market demand. No-code tools like Bubble help you build the MVP to test and validate customer demand before investing resources.
Related: What is a Bubble agency
What services are included in the cost of hiring a Bubble agency?
Every Bubble agency offers different services based on their specialisation and team. However, some services are crucial.
Wireframes are like sketches of your app. They show you how your app will look and where things will go. For example, a wireframe of a shopping app might show you where the search bar, the product images, the cart button, and the checkout button will be. Wireframes help you plan your app and make sure everything fits well together.
User stories are like sentences that describe what your users want to do with your app. They help you understand your users' needs and goals. For example, a user story for a shopping app might be: "As a customer, I want to browse products by category so that I can find what I'm looking for easily." User stories help you prioritise your features and create user journey documents.
Related: How to write user stories for your Bubble app
High-fidelity designs are the final designs of your app. They show you how your app will look in real life with colours, fonts, images, icons, and animations. For example, a high-fidelity shopping app design might show you how the product images will change when you swipe them or how the cart button will bounce when you tap it.
It is an optional service, and some Bubble agencies may not offer UI support. In such a case, you can ask the agency if they can refer you to a UI designer, or you can hire one separately.
MVP development is like building your app with Lego bricks. It includes creating the UI, business logic, database architecture and integrations. The one service every Bubble agency will provide no matter what.
For example, an MVP development of a shopping app will involve creating the UI of the search bar, workflows to find products that match your keywords or how the checkout button will connect to your bank account, charge you money and save the information to the database.
Bug fixing is about finding and fixing mistakes in your app. It makes sure your app works well without any errors or problems.
Bug fixing helps you make your app smooth and secure and is often an overlooked service. It is a red flag if any Bubble agency doesn't factor in bug fixing when scoping the timeline and budget!
What affects the quality and cost of MVPs?
The design of an MVP should be simple yet functional.
It should convey the product's core value proposition and encourage users to try it out.
If you're looking for a custom design, it might hit your budget on a higher note. You'd have to hire a designer, either in-house or from outside the agency, which further increases the cost.
For a cost-effective option, consider using paid design systems temporarily and invest in a designer once your product is validated.
The functionality of an MVP should be minimal but sufficient to solve a specific problem. It would be best if you focused on delivering one or a few key features that differentiate your product from competitors and provide value to customers.
The more features you want, the more pricey it will get.
Our advice: it's better to build a solution that covers all of the use cases for a specific problem rather than going for a few features that simultaneously try to solve too many problems.
Remember, quality over quantity!
The complexity of an MVP refers to how difficult it is to develop, test, deploy, maintain, and update it. Technical challenges, integration issues, compatibility issues etc., may influence complexity.
A complex app will increase development time, the risk of errors or bugs and the need for testing — increasing the budget required.
Testing helps ensure the app works as intended. Testing may involve different methods, such as unit, integration, system, user acceptance, and beta testing.
And testing can improve performance and usability but also require more time, resources, tools and expertise.
Skipping out on testing is a warning sign that you might be working with a less-than-professional team. Don't make the mistake of cutting corners - invest in a team that values quality and attention to detail.
Skill level of the development team
The skill level and experience of the development team can influence both the quality and cost of MVPs.
A skilled and experienced team can deliver a high-quality product faster and with fewer errors than a novice or inexperienced team. However, a professional and experienced team will charge higher rates than a novice or amateur team.
The timeframe for development is another factor that affects both the quality and cost of MVPs.
A shorter timeframe may require more resources, such as developers, to complete the project on time.
On the other hand, a more extended timeframe may allow more time for testing, improvement etc., but may also increase maintenance or opportunity costs.
This requires a delicate balance.
What is the payment structure of Bubble agencies?
Different Bubble agencies have different payment structures. Some agencies may even work with a combination of payment arrangements.
The hourly rates of Bubble agencies may depend on their location, experience, skills, reputation, and demand. According to some sources, the average hourly rate of a Bubble developer ranges from $25 to $150. However, some agencies may charge higher or lower rates depending on their quality and value proposition.
Are you wondering about the cost of hiring a Bubble agency for your MVP? Let me fill you in on a little secret. While some agencies charge hourly, others offer fixed fees for projects. Sounds great, right? But hold on - this pricing model requires a detailed scope and specifications for your project. So, make sure you're clear about your requirements before jumping right in.
This approach lets you get quotes for individual deliverables rather than the entire project. You'll know exactly what you're paying for and can budget accordingly. It's like setting mini-goals along the way to your ultimate goal - smart, right?
The longer the project takes to complete, the higher the cost will be. It is best when you want to test the water with an agency before committing.
Related: How to Successfully Collaborate with a Bubble Agency
What factors affect the cost of hiring a Bubble agency?
The agency's experience can affect its quality of work, speed of delivery, and reputation.
Hiring a Bubble agency with experience in building with Bubble ensures higher standards, faster turnaround times, and positive reviews. However, hiring a less experienced Bubble agency may result in lower quality, longer delays, and negative feedback.
An agency with a reputation will command a premium. The premium is for reliability and trustworthiness. In comparison, a new agency will want to improve its portfolio and have more happy clients.
Both are correct; you shouldn't be wary of new Bubble agencies.
Steer clear of agencies with a shady reputation. Do they care about delivering quality work if they can't even explain their past mistakes or resolve issues? Don't take any chances with your startup – choose a trustworthy Bubble agency.
The portfolio of the Bubble agency can showcase its previous work, skills, and capabilities. For example, a Bubble agency with a diverse portfolio of successful projects using Bubble demonstrates its versatility and expertise.
A rich portfolio of work indicates that the agency can handle various challenges and provide creative solutions that fit your needs. With their expertise, your project can benefit from their experience and best practices, translating to faster and smoother delivery. Choosing the right agency reduces the risk of wasting your time and money while gaining a valuable partner in your app development.
It's worth noting that not all Bubble agencies may have a portfolio on their website. In that case, consider requesting samples of their work.
Related: How to hire a Bubble agency
How much does a basic MVP cost with Bubble?
Based on some assumptions, let's do a calculation to illustrate the budget for creating a SaaS with a Bubble agency.
- The MVP is a SaaS app that allows users to create and manage online surveys and quizzes.
- The MVP has a simple but attractive design and user interface.
- The MVP has features such as sign-up/login, survey/quiz creation, editing, distribution, analysis, reporting etc.
- The Bubble agency charges $70 per hour. The average hourly rate for a Bubble developer is $60-$80 per hour. However, this rate can go up to $120 per hour for highly experienced developers or complex projects.
- An average-complexity MVP is possible within 6 - 10 weeks or 270 - 450 working hours. Based on the $85 hourly, MVP costs will range between $18,900 and $31,500.
This is an estimate based on some assumptions. The actual cost may vary.
Are there any hidden costs?
When hiring a Bubble agency, you should be aware of some potential hidden costs that may increase your overall expenses for building an MVP.
- Bubble fees: Bubble is not free to use. You need to purchase a plan based on your requirements. Additionally, if you want to scale up your app or use dedicated servers, you need to pay extra fees that vary depending on your usage and configuration.
- Third-party provider fees: Although Bubble offers many built-in features and plugins to help you create your MVP, you may still need to use third-party providers. For example, you may need to use third-party providers for payment processing, email marketing, SMS notifications, video streaming etc. These providers may charge fees based on their plans, features, and usage.
- Maintenance and support fees: After launching your MVP, you will need to maintain and update it regularly to fix bugs, improve performance, add new features etc. These tasks may require ongoing assistance from the Bubble agency that built your MVP. However, the agency may charge additional fees for maintenance and support services.
Related: Building with Bubble
The cost to hire a Bubble agency is an investment in your business, and you shouldn't compromise on quality to save some money. Find an agency with a proven track record, expertise, and excellent communication skills to ensure that you get the best possible results within your budget.