Making & Selling Glide Templates

August 2020

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The template store helps businesses find pre-built apps that they can copy and customize in minutes. You can find many different types of templates built by members of the Glide community, but you can also submit and sell your own templates in the store.

A well-built template can provide a tremendous amount of value to a business that buys it, but your app needs to be carefully thought out to be successful.

We’re going to walk through several topics that relate to producing well-built templates. We’ll go through:

 
  1. Coming up with your app idea
  1. Setting your app apart
  1. Template guidelines
  1. App info and support

Coming up with a template idea

A well-built template can help someone get inspired, to focus their content into a clearly defined format, and get up & running quickly.

You may already have an idea for a template that you want to make. If you don’t, the easiest way to start is to visit the template store and get a sense of what’s already there. This might spark some ideas right away, but it will also give you a great idea of what already exists and where there might be some gaps.

Alternatively, you do some research by speaking with businesses. Nearly all businesses face challenges every day that could be helped by well-organized apps, so building apps for businesses and professionals is also a great strategy.

 
Talk to businesses about how they work and particularly, how they use spreadsheets to help you develop new template ideas.
 

If you’re speaking with business owners, bear in mind that they might not know how an app could help them. If this is the case, asking them how their company currently uses spreadsheets is a great start. From this, you can learn how they work and how you could build apps to replace or enhance their workflow.

Setting Your App Apart

If you’ve found a template idea that serves a unique need that doesn’t exist in the store yet, that’s great. But if there are similar apps already in the template store, you need to think about how to distinguish your app from the others.

 

This could be through:

  • Beautiful design
  • Advanced data editor logic
  • Super specific target users
  • Great onboarding

Beautiful Design

 
COACH by Martyn Bromley makes great use of images, components, and layouts.
COACH by Martyn Bromley makes great use of images, components, and layouts. Check it out here.

Creating a charismatic and recognizable design and layout can help distinguish your template from ones that already exist. This can be achieved with Glide’s layout tools, themes, custom design elements, or great images.

The more design work you can do upfront, the more attractive and useful your template is going to be for customers. Even if they don’t use the images and designs in the end, you want to inspire them with how beautiful an app can look.

Images

A good template should tell a good story. In other words, it should be filled with quality dummy data & images that help the user understand how it works. Glide gives you easy access to royalty-free Unsplash images from right within the data editor. This makes it straightforward for you to fill your app with high-quality images – for free.

The Unsplash picker in Glide's Data Editor, where you can search thousands of royalty free images.
The Unsplash picker in Glide's Data Editor, where you can search thousands of royalty free images.
 

Good use of layouts

The tiles & cards layouts offer a huge range of design options that allow you to make thousands of different layout combinations (over 20,000). Both of these layouts also let you use overlays – a beautiful way of showing extra information in list layouts.

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Good use of components

There are over 35 different components you can use in your template. While you definitely won’t need to use all of them, some often get overlooked.

 
  1. The basic table component neatly presents information in a compact table. This is usually preferable to lots of separate text components that take up a lot more room. In the image below the Length, Level & Rating are all neatly grouped together by the basic table component.
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  1. The text component gives you many more formatting options for text style and alignment. Using this component in different ways can suddenly make text appear more attractive – especially if you choose the right font for your app!
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  1. Charts! Everyone likes a good graph… and whilst you might not think your app needs it, it can be worth considering. Each chart has a number of carefully thought out color themes that can bring a lot of life to a screen.
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App Icon

When your app is submitted, the app icon will appear in the template store. Instead of using a simple emoji, you might consider designing your own custom app logo for the template. This is another thing that can really set your app apart from others when customers are browsing.

 
Five examples of famous app icons with compelling designs.
Five examples of famous app icons with compelling designs.
 

Design Elements

With a bit of work, you can also learn tools like Figma or Canva to develop simple design elements that enhance your app. For example, in this app, we have an image that blends seamlessly into the app's header – creating an unusual shape.

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Lower down in the screen, we can see an abstract shape that acts as a separator between the content. Simple elements like this can set your app apart and give it a professional edge.

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Advanced Data Editor Logic

Making templates that utilize the power of Glide’s Data editor is another way to make your apps unique and desirable. For example – you could create custom calculators, inventory management or location and tracking apps - all of which would use features of the Data Editor that new users may not easily build themselves.

An example of the Distance column that calculates the distance between two locations, one of which can be the user's current location.
An example of the Distance column that calculates the distance between two locations, one of which can be the user's current location.

Specific Target User

Rather than designing a huge template that does everything, templates designed for a specific target user or use case are often very successful. For example, you could do this by making a conference app specifically for doctors, a production diary that’s tailored for filmmakers or a project planner that’s particularly useful for event organizers.

Each of these app ideas is specifically tailored to one target customer. By doing this, your app’s design & functionality will be more cohesive and your template will have a clearer value over other templates that the customer is looking at.

Jesus Vargas's Salon/Spa Booking app is a great example of a template that targets a specific customer type.
Jesus Vargas's Salon/Spa Booking app is a great example of a template that targets a specific customer type.
 

Demo Video

When you submit your template, you need to provide a video demo. The clearer you explain your app here, the better your customer will understand your app and know if it’s right for them.

If a customer watches this video and still can’t work out what your app does or how they could use it – they probably won’t buy it. But if you explain your app well and show off its main features, customers are more likely to buy it if it’s right for them.

A good demo video is well structured, so it probably makes sense to write something down first before recording it. This could be a full script - or just an outline.

You can use screencast software like Loom, Screenflow or Camtasia – but there are many others. If possible. If you're doing a voiceover, make sure to use a good microphone. Bad microphone quality impacts on your video.

Martyn Bromley and Jaime Berrill both have some good examples of demo videos.

Template Guidelines

There are a number of things that will prevent your app from being accepted to the store. To avoid this, make sure your app meets the following guidelines.

 

Standalone

Templates should be self-sufficient, standalone apps. This means that the app works on its own, without the need for any other apps or services. For example, an app designed to be used in conjunction with a second Glide app (such as a companion admin app) or a service like Zapier won’t be accepted.

In other words, your app should work immediately after someone copies it, with no additional setup outside of Glide.

Google Sheets

Whilst Glide Apps can utilize the power of Google Sheets functions, all computation needs to be done in Glide’s data editor. That means no formulas or scripts in the sheet. This helps with performance and understanding for new users.

The Google Sheet should also have clear formatting and, if appropriate - instructions.

Dummy Data

Make sure your template uses fake or ‘dummy’ data. For example, if you’ve based the template off of one of your own or a client’s app – strip the data of any private or personally identifiable information.

Make sure the images you use in your app are royalty-free. Apps that use copyrighted images will be refused.

Non-copyrighted Elements

Templates can’t have any copyright-protected elements in them. This means no images, images, video/audio, or other material that another person or company has copyrighted. The best way to avoid this type of material is to use digital assets that you create or to use assets with a “creative commons” copyright license.

App Info & Support

The submission wizard when you submit your app to the template store.
The submission wizard when you submit your app to the template store.

When you submit a template, you’ll be asked to provide the app Name, Description, Category, and Video.

The description should be a one-sentence description of what your template does. For example,

Use this template to build a list of small businesses in your city offering delivery and/or curbside pickup of groceries.

Users of your template will be able to contact you to ask questions. The better you make your video, the less likely you’ll have support questions.

If you need to update your template, just re-submit the same template to the store. We’ll recognize it’s a duplicate and approve the latest version of the template.

 

 

We're at the beginning of a big shift in the way businesses use and develop their own custom apps. Templates are one of the biggest ways to help this shift.

Submit your template today. We can't wait to see what you build!

 

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