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Whether you're launching on Product Hunt or just sharing that first link on the Bubble forum, when you're launching your Bubble app you want it to go as smoothly as possible. Here are my five essentials for a smooth Bubble app launch. All things that you should know about and should make sure that you understand before you start getting real users onto your Bubble app.
Domain names and DNS
First of all we're going to start off with DNS and domains. You'll need to purchase a domain and that can be a bit daunting to begin with so I'd recommend maybe posting a comment or getting in contact or looking through the Bubble forum just to see what other people have done before. But depending on what you buy it's going to be anywhere between like $10 up to $20 unless it's a premium domain which means that someone else already owns it and you're effectively buying it off them. When you've got the domain you're going to need to update the DNS records and Bubble does provide you with a little bit of a guide here but effectively if you're unsure what DNS is it's well worth just watching a few YouTube videos on the topic. It's basically like a an old-fashioned address book that is attached to your domain telling when people arrive you know if they arrive app.yourdomain.com what should happen which server should they go to.
Should I use my root domain or sub-domain?
Also bear in mind that your Bubble app can be on your root domain like example.com or even www.example.com even though that's technically a subdomain or you could have it like out on an actual subdomain like app.example.com and that can be very popular if you need to have a marketing page for your Bubble app and you'd have your marketing site on your your root domain and you'd have your Bubble app on a subdomain and that basically means that your hosting is completely separate. You can have your marketing site you can build that with WordPress, Webflow, Squarespace but your Bubble app is of course on the Bubble tech stack and that can be on your subdomain. So that's DNS and domains.
Right privacy rules is my second thing that you should check and you should understand. It cannot under or overstate rather it is your responsibility to ensure that your users app data is protected. A misconfigured or poorly understood privacy rule could result in all of your users email addresses being exposed to anyone to skim off your site to scrape and you know that could be a rival of your business and you don't want them to be emailing all of your users let alone depending on what part of the world you're in you fail to protect their data. I would dare say that that is breaking GDPR to put all of your users email addresses out there publicly. So the best thing you can do is test test test and ensure that you've got different roles in your app that give different levels of permissions for example like a marketplace with our buyers and sellers. Make sure that you have run your app so many times and you are checking that data that should be protected is not leaking to users or even to public freely accessible on the web when it shouldn't be.
Email and transactional emails
So back into this tab here when you've added in your domain name, Bubble open up a section here which is asking for a SendGrid API key. SendGrid is a email service and it's one that Bubble have built in and they've got an integration here in the settings tab and that is fairly essential for like the system level emails. For example password resets, magic link logins, email confirmation. Now off the top of my head password resets and magic links can be generated and then sent through a third-party transactional email provider, more on that in like 30 seconds. But the fact is that Bubble have engineered most of the send email commands or kind of this yeah the system emails through using SendGrid. I don't think that you can send a email confirmation email at least using Bubbles built-in email confirmation you know current users emails confirmed yes no that has to go through SendGrid. So even if you intend on using a third-party transactional email provider it's well worth just having that SendGrid API key added in there because otherwise you have a much higher chance of the emails that you send your users ending up in spam and also they're likely to be sent from an identity that is kind of like your app name at Bubbleapps.io rather than your actual domain name it just isn't gonna look professional. As for other emails, transactional emails, we've got a whole heap of videos on them including using the API connector to connect to the likes of Postmark and more recently loops.so. We're big fans of both of those services as well worth checking them out and they're ideal solutions for if you're building like a CRM and you're wanting to send email campaigns if you want to send notification emails because you've got some sort of social network going on yeah they offer much more customization much more freedom than you get with SendGrid and the default built-in send email workflow action that you get in Bubble so check out those videos that's well worth it.
Copy database to live
Database push to live so when you launch your app remember that you've got at least two separate versions of the app you've got what is termed main in here but it's under the sub header development and then you've got your live version and basically everything apart from the database is completely isolated no wrong way around the database is completely isolated between the two versions so you have and get that right your your development version has its own database and your live version has its own database now I'm talking about the content of the database the structure of it that's when you make a change to your your dev version you push it to life and that pushes your database structure your option sets everything and workflows everything in design tab everything and back in workflows that gets migrated or pushed to live when you when you deploy but the contents of the database doesn't however I've worked with people where their app is some sort of archive and they've begun building their archive in dev version and they've got a lot of data there and they want to migrate it to live well that's where you get this option here copy and restore database and you can copy development data to live and you can do that either for all types or a particular data type just remember that that is going to overwrite when it arrives in the live database so that's database pushed to live.
Check your inbound webhooks
Then lastly API workflow endpoints so if I was getting data in from a third-party service let's say stripe that's a I'd set up a stripe webhook so I could say stripe try a webhook and then to illustrate my point I'm just going to change this to detecting data and detect data okay so this is my Bubble apps URL but it is my version tests endpoint and also it hasn't got my own domain name in there if I have my own domain name in there that's going to replace everything left of my mouse here but I'm still gonna have version test in there and I'll have version live and I will have it without that version test segment what I'm getting at is that when you've got incoming data coming into your app you need to set up a webhook that inbound data in the third-party service lets you yeah that lets you stripe in this example so stripe will need to send data from that your live stripe account to your live Bubble app that means removing version test here but in order to test it you'll need a webhook in your stripe test account to send through to your your Bubble test version so I'm just pointing out that the different versions of your Bubble app have got different endpoint URLs and if you don't add in the live version then you might end up getting live data in your test database or it not working at all bear in mind that stripe is a payment provider apps in particular they will have a live version a test version but if you were say using a audio transcription service and it sends you a notification when the transcript is complete then you'll need to make sure that that is being sent to both your world it's being sent where you want it whether that is the live or the dev version of the webhook so there you have it that is my like my top five essentials for going live for pushing your app live a Bubble.
If you're learning Bubble you need check out our website because we've got hundreds of Bubble to tutorial videos and tips just like this which you can only access on our website by being a member and right now we have a really exciting opportunity coming up called the Planet No Code Mastery program. Find out about that unique opportunity time is running out you'll need to apply basically in the next few days to to be be excited for that program but it is pretty much the the most all-inclusive package that we can imagine putting together so that is well worth checking out.