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The tanking of Softpress Freeway created a ton of orphans - thousands of users who wanted a powerful, flexible and expansive WYSIWYG web development app (which Freeway was) and a modern app that moved gracefully forward with the times (which Freeway did not). If you didn't mind the finicky responsive tools, Freeway out performed the competition in many ways.

 

This means that there is an enormous void out there for a truly powerful and modern web development app that one can learn without requiring a degree and which has a ton of expandability and headroom for advanced users.

 

It seems to me that Affiniy is the ideal company to develop such an app - something that would leave all WYSIWYG web apps in the dust. (How about in 2018?)

 

There is a gigantic void in this area and nothing that truly fits the bill.

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Serif have made it quite clear that they have no plans to add a web development app to the Affinity suite. You might like to take a look at Sparkle as a possible alternative.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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I have a copy of everything out there, including Sparkle, RW, etc., etc., but there are no traditional WYSIWYG apps that have the power of FW.

 

Like many others out there in the business world, I'm one of those who has to handle web as well as other creative/marketing tasks and on a restricted budget, which means I can't allocate thousands of dollars a year for web designers, yet I have to manage sites that drive millions in sales (go figure - it's the conservative nature of many businesses when it comes to web). There are a lot of apps for creating websites, but the apps for designing truly robust sites are not particularly friendly to non-specialists.

 

Pinegrow (which is more or less visual) is an app that has a ton of potential but it is heavily focused on coding, it has an everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink interface, and tweaking items visually is very quirky. And unlike the popular WYSIWYG apps out there, it does not just generate the code, but it is 100% editable. If I were a major code-head I would jump to Pinegrow in a flash.

 

It appears that there will be a long dry spell before someone comes out with a WYSIWYG web design app for creative professionals.

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Pinegrow (which is more or less visual) is an app that has a ton of potential but it is heavily focused on coding, it has an everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink interface, and tweaking items visually is very quirky. And unlike the popular WYSIWYG apps out there, it does not just generate the code, but it is 100% editable. If I were a major code-head I would jump to Pinegrow in a flash.

 

Yes, I rather suspected that Pinegrow was unlikely to be what a former Softpress Freeway user was looking for! Have you tried Adobe Muse? (Disclaimer: I haven't personally used Freeway, Sparkle, Pinegrow or Muse.)


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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Is there any option that is similar to Adobe Edge (the app that got rolled into their Creative-Suite-Crapola)?

If you are talking about Edge Animate, you betcha. Tumult Hype is a fantastic app - It fully supports JS and is very powerful for beginners and intermediates who are not up on JS. I am a major fan.

 

Here's a site that uses a lot of Hype - An inline responsive site created using Freeway with page content either alternating vertically between Freeway content and Hype content, or in many cases, having Hype content on a layer over a background placed in Freeway:  http://mobile.lightbenders.com. The Hype content is fully responsive and works great on all sorts of websites.

 

I come from a background in Macromedia Director (big brother of Flash, used mainly for game development) and am used to intense control over everything. As a Flash replacement, Hype tends to set the bar. The shortcomings: limited control over content loading (can load individual elements by scene if desired) and they have not yet released a version that supports a shared resource folder (though rumor has this as being in the works). These are not deal-killers by any means. I've used Hype for everything from  animated buttons to elaborate interactive animations. It can even be used for creating entire websites, if desired (but due to the tendency to get carried away with cool content I shy away from using it as a full-blown web design app).

 

You can also use it for creating iOS apps and widgets (I've used it for creating interactive content for iBooks Author, including exploded product views, slide-shows, etc.) It also has a live-connect feature so that you can sync your iPad or iPhone so that they display the project live as you design it for instant testing.

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I used to use Freeway. It has its quirks (quite a many), but I suppose demand for responsive sites was the last nail in the coffin.

 

I think it is not just possible to make professional tool which can handle all demands there are for web development. It is just too complicated and varied as technology. Seems that tools available try realistically be part solutions and using them takes expertise as you must make tools fit together.

 

If you need just simple sites ("visit card sites") you can use some simple tool, there are a lot of them available. I have played with Blocs, which produces quite beautiful pages, but has a lot of quirks and limitations and user interface is not at all simple. Possibly something like Mobirise would be a free alternative (any opinions?)

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There is a gigantic void in this area and nothing that truly fits the bill.

 

Have you seen Webflow? Mind you, knowing html and css is recommended though, it's a visual tool for web designers who know what they're doing.

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I used to use Freeway. It has its quirks (quite a many), but I suppose demand for responsive sites was the last nail in the coffin.

I set up a responsive template document in master pages with a range of elements that I turn on and off by breakpoint and that removes the headaches. The capabilities are still pretty darned good, plus I use Hype for the cool stuff.

 

Last week I received a note from one of the people behind Softpress who said that there would be some news in the near future. I assume that is in regard to the disposal of company assets, which includes Freeway. I would imagine that the app is in the process of being sold and, if so, perhaps it will be bought by someone who is willing to spend the time to bring the app up to date and not end up passing through a series of owners that focus on facelifts. We've seen what sometimes happens – examples being how a series of companies turned such apps as Ray Dream Designer (Carrara) and Retrospect into the messes that they became.

 

Re: Blocs – it's good for basics and, for a consumer or mom-and-pop business that needs a web presence without any special capabilities, it is a decent choice. but the company is a one-horse operation and the app has the feel of being a personal pet project (How many users actually need to display images framed in an iPhone or Apple Watch?). Hopefully the author will recognize what needs to be done to make it competitive but it may take years before this happens.

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Have you seen Webflow? Mind you, knowing html and css is recommended though, it's a visual tool for web designers who know what they're doing.

It is an interesting app but potential users need to review things carefully. The subscription fee is $420 per year (plus additional costs) for serious users. If you want to use their tools to promote a web design business you could end up paying $120 a year just to replace their logo with your own and there are a lot of other fees that can be piled on. Regardless of capabilities, this is clearly designed to drive revenues for Webflow. I will take some time to seriously evaluate the platform.

 

One thing that most WYSIWYG web design apps have in common is that they offer permanent licenses and I respect the people behind these companies because of this. The same goes for Affinity. When Adobe went to a subscription basis, it left us (my employer and many of my friends) cold because of the issue of intellectual property. From our perspective, the structure of a complex PS doc or project in Premiere or AE (and I tend to do some elaborate work) constitutes intellectual property and for us, the notion of allowing Adobe to require payment to have access to this property is problematic. The upside is that this is what brought many of us to Affinity in the first place. I continue to use Master Collection CS but am transitioning to Designer and Photo. My experience with these apps is why I would love to see a web design app from Affinity.

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Re: Blocs – it's good for basics and, for a consumer or mom-and-pop business that needs a web presence without any special capabilities, it is a decent choice. but the company is a one-horse operation and the app has the feel of being a personal pet project (How many users actually need to display images framed in an iPhone or Apple Watch?). Hopefully the author will recognize what needs to be done to make it competitive but it may take years before this happens.

T_Y,

 

As someone who recently started playing around with Blocs, I agree with your comments. I came from GoLive and then Dreamweaver but I didn't need all the power (nor the subscription) so I decided to try something else. I tried Rapidweaver but it is worthless unless you shell out a fortune for a ton of extras that should be included but aren't. Blocs looks promising but as you mentioned, it isn't without faults. The templates are okay but rather lacking in my opinion (I also wondered who, other than Apple, would be using iPhone description pages?) I hate the assets in Blocs. I know it is supposed to be a feature but instead it is a huge time waster. Also, you can't delete things using the delete key? It does super simple sites well but it needs a lot more work to be worth the $80 price. If the developer was like the developers here, I might be more positive but it is just one guy (and while he is nice, I worry that he can't keep up and he lacks vision). My major problem with the program isn't flexible enough to handle anything beyond the templates provided. I hope that the developer continues to improve it. Until Affinity releases their own (which is highly unlikely) I will stick with it, at least for a while or until I find something better.  

 

Hokusai

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I came from GoLive and then Dreamweaver

 

Same here, but I actually started out with Adobe PageMill, which was a great starter app for the time, then went through the GL > DW route.

 

With Freeway currently in limbo, new licenses are not currently available (although you can probably buy a license and software on eBay). In any case, I have found Freeway to be an excellent app and, while trying everything else I can find, I am still using FW for my web work. While it can be very powerful, it can also be extremely easy: Draw a box anywhere on the screen, click in it and start writing. Go to the Styles pallete and use drop-down menus to create all your styles, then apply them by selecting the desired text and clicking on the style name. Draw another box, select it, then draw another box inside it to create nested content or you can drag a photo into a text box, set it to float and off you go. You can also drag photos right onto the page and adjust them as you like. You can also draw a text box, click on the layer and place it over a photo or whatever. Creating menus can be handled automatically. The only issue I have is that the responsive setup is a little quirky but it does the job. Here's an example of a Freeway site I created.

 

As for the limitations of Blocs, there are other options available. They work differently but they do a good job.

 

If Blocs wants to grow up and actually become a means of earning the author a living, the guy needs to gather some investors, hire a programmer to assist him, and get to work. I have an idea that pulling together $150K or so for development and marketing in exchange for a share in the company would make an enormous difference. Otherwise, Blocs will never be anything more than a hobby for evenings and weekends until he becomes bored or people jump ship for something better.

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Regardless of capabilities, this is clearly designed to drive revenues for Webflow.

 

 

 

Sure, it's a professional tool that should make you money using it.

 

One thing that most WYSIWYG web design apps have in common is that they offer permanent licenses and I respect the people behind these companies because of this. 

 

 
Considering the ongoing security issues in the web world, I don't mind paying a subscription if this means that the shit I'm using is properly maintained. 

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Str2,

 

You sound like a "subscription apologist" or maybe I'm misunderstanding your post? 

 

Hokusai

 

Don't you find the mantra like promotion of permanent licenses toxic from a webdev perspective?

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Str2,

 

No, I don't. As long as the price isn't ungodly high, I think it is just fine to use perpetual licences. I despise subscriptions for software. I don't have any software subscriptions and I stay as far away from them as possible. I can understand why some people would like them but to be forced to use them is unacceptable. 

 

Hokusai

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It seems to me that Affiniy is the ideal company to develop such an app - something that would leave all WYSIWYG web apps in the dust. (How about in 2018?)

 

There is a gigantic void in this area and nothing that truly fits the bill.

 

the development of a web app requires a different kind of work, you must follow the development of several tecnologies. Apple erased iweb for this reason
Maybe is better than Affinity team works only on the current suite. Or we must wait a couple of USD millions of gain to see a new project :)
 

Skills vs Time

 

if you are a professional you can use more than one software, some Knowledge HTML, CSS and abit of javascript are required.

A new interesting tool to make site is also HYPE PRO version 3,  (fully WYSIWYG) AD & AP + Hype = powerful tools and work floor extremely customizable.

I founded  this portal for Hype, with a lot of free contents and info.

http://www.hypedocks.com

 

If you don't like the code ( any kind of code) and you have no much time you can use RapidWeaver ( + stacsk plugin and a decent Template). RW is not WYSIWYG but is the most powerful software for non developers with a rich list of tools. 

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Sure, it's a professional tool that should make you money using it.

 

 
Considering the ongoing security issues in the web world, I don't mind paying a subscription if this means that the shit I'm using is properly maintained. 

 

 

Not all web designers are jobbers or with agencies; generating their bread-and-butter income from creating dozens of sites a year for paying customers. Many of us are with in-house departments of mid-sized or small corporations, with only a few sites to manage. These days, there are thousands of such companies who may still be struggling with overcoming the impact of the tough economy of the past decade, and who are so focused on product and sales that marketing is treated like a poor relation - and they set their budgets accordingly. This is particularly true in the manufacturing sector. 

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I don't know if this suggestion will be to...basic for you but try looking at "Everweb". It's a drag and drop app but is actually very comprehensive in its application and in my opinion a very capable piece of software and developing all the time.

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I don't know if this suggestion will be to...basic for you but try looking at "Everweb". It's a drag and drop app but is actually very comprehensive in its application and in my opinion a very capable piece of software and developing all the time.

 

Thanks. I'll see how far it tips toward advanced capabilities.

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