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Hello. I have quite a few websites all created with serif webplus, a program which I absolutely LOVE. I have recently  had to swallow the bitter pill of realising that I will need to switch to another program. I am really hoping that that program will be Affinity publisher. Is it possible to make websites with it? If not, have you any plans to make this possible in the near future? If still not, please tell me what to do. I am extremely good at using webplus and so would need something as similar as possible. What program could replace it without too much pain and suffering on my part? I have absolutely no idea of how to choose one. It was the perfect web building program - I am beyond gutted that I am going to have to go elsewhere. :57_cry:

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WebPlus should work into the future just fine. There is no compelling reason to switch right away.

Serif has written they have no plans (at least at this time) to produce anything that can build web sites.

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26 minutes ago, Annother said:

I am extremely good at using webplus and so would need something as similar as possible. What program could replace it without too much pain and suffering on my part?

I presume you want to get away from being restricted to building static sites, with the provision of a mobile version involving twice the work to build and maintain. Take a look at the 30-day trial of WYSIWYG Web Builder from Pablo Software Solutions: you design the basic layout and set a few breakpoints, and the software does much of the donkey work to create an adaptive website.

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34 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

I presume you want to get away from being restricted to building static sites, with the provision of a mobile version involving twice the work to build and maintain. Take a look at the 30-day trial of WYSIWYG Web Builder from Pablo Software Solutions: you design the basic layout and set a few breakpoints, and the software does much of the donkey work to create an adaptive website.

Thats a flash from the past Alfred, I can remember helping my sis do her website with this app, I had to go and take a look see and while browsing through: http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/introduction.html

I noticed this... 

Quote

Mobile design
WYSIWYG Web Builder also includes a dedicated mobile web site design tools. These tools are based on jQuery Mobile.
http://wysiwygwebbuilder.com/mobilewebdesign.html
Unfortunately jQuery Mobile has not been updated since 2014, so this method may become obsolete in the future.

I'm surprised an app like WYSIWYG Web Builder aren't moving forward and using better tools for what is a very important aspect of website design.

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17 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

...I'm surprised an app like WYSIWYG Web Builder aren't moving forward and using better tools for what is a very important aspect of website design.

They've moved/are moving from jQuery to a Bootstrap method and the Layout Grids (or break points using standard pages, your choice). At least that's what I can ferret out.

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You have several options open to you, with (1) being the closest to WebPlus in regards to workflow, to (6) being the least similar:

  1. Xara Designer Pro or Xara Web Designer (Premium). These offer a way of working that is closest to Webplus: completely visual, and pretty much a regular Publisher type layout application, which converts directly to a working website. Responsive pages are also possible.
  2. Sparkle. Not as flexible as either WebPlus or Xara, but no code in sight. And generates quite acceptable code. Around $99 for the pro version. Mac only.
    https://sparkleapp.com/
  3. Wappler. Still completely visual, although works with blocks. Also supports full database-driven websites. Free version, up to 49 euros per month for the full version. Service based, no full license, unfortunately.
    https://wappler.io/index
  4. Pinegrow. The next step "up" from a typical visual design tool which actually works directly with html and css code, and outputs human readable code that actually is quite clean. The workflow is different though. It is column and row based, and the html and css code is accessible and directly exposed to the user through its interface. Basic knowledge of html and css is preferred. $99 for the pro version, which is really needed for multi-page sites.
    https://pinegrow.com/
  5. WordPress. The upcoming v5 version will include the new Gutenberg editor, and introduce easier visual editing of content. Or download a visual editor plugin such as Elementor. Free for the most part.
  6. Learn to code html and css properly, in combination with a grid framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation. Free!

Xara Designer Pro was up for grabs for $15 a while ago through a Humble Bundle, but that deal is sadly over. $99 for the Web Designer Premium version, or $299 for Xara Designer Pro.

Personally, I feel Pinegrow is THE best visual WYSIWYG web page editor on the market today, but it does require some html and css knowledge. If the prospect of coding puts you completely off, then try option (1), (2), or (3). All have free versions or a trial (Xara).

WordPress doesn't require coding either, but you do need either online hosting, or a local webserver to run it on.

PS many online visual website editors have vied for attention since the demise of Adobe Muse. All of these only work online in a browser and require a subscription/monthly rent. I would avoid these myself

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11 minutes ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

You have several options open to you

Sparkle is Mac-only, but Wappler looks interesting. Although I like what I’ve seen of Pinegrow, I noticed that Wappler’s feature comparison chart has rather a lot of ‘No’ entries in the Pinegrow column!

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17 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

Sparkle is Mac-only, but Wappler looks interesting. Although I like what I’ve seen of Pinegrow, I noticed that Wappler’s feature comparison chart has rather a lot of ‘No’ entries in the Pinegrow column!

Wappler is subscription based, Pinegrow offer a Onetime Payment option with 1 year of free updates and I quote...

Quote

Pay once and use forever. Comes with 1 year of free updates. After the first year you can keep using your current version or renew to continue receiving free updates.

What it doesn't say at Pinegrow is if the renewal is at a discount or you pay the full price again in which case its more akin to an annual subscription. 

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1 hour ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

Sparkle is Mac-only, but Wappler looks interesting. Although I like what I’ve seen of Pinegrow, I noticed that Wappler’s feature comparison chart has rather a lot of ‘No’ entries in the Pinegrow column!

Most of those are related to the lack of database/server connectivity. Pinegrow does have a similar project manager as Wappler, although Wappler can use FTP to connect with your webhost folder.

I did try out Wappler, and the GUI is still very VERY behind compared to Pinegrow. For example, in Pinegrow the same page or different pages can be viewed for various devices simultaneously, side by side. The interface in Wappler is almost completely static, and panels cannot be moved around. The styling controls in Pinegrow are far more user friendly and better exposed for CSS than the ones in Wappler.

It is one thing to compare and cherry pick base features between applications, but an altogether different thing to actually experience how these are implemented, and how the overall workflow and GUI respect the user's preferences. Pinegrow is light years ahead of Wappler in terms of configuration. And supports a live connection with Atom and MS Visual Studio Code for code editing. And many more things related to front-end development which are unavailable in Wappler.

The main difference between the two is that Wappler can connect to live data in a database, which Pinegrow cannot. However, Pinegrow does support direct WordPress theming in the WP edition, which allows for quick WP theming, and via WordPress data does become live. Wappler does not support WordPress. Via WordPress a tremendous library of free and commercial plugins for just about any requirement opens up. While Wappler allows the user to create their own custom database functionality, in comparison the WP ecosystem delivers just about any database functionality you would ever need. And WordPress delivers a user-friendly back-end interface out of the box, while in Wappler you would have to develop it yourself (and you'd never be able to match it on your own).

Pinegrow's WP edition supports custom data bindings through the Advanced Custom Fields WordPress plugin (which then pretty much delivers what Wappler delivers). But getting this far with the WP edition requires a good understanding of how WP theming works. Wappler is much easier to understand and learn in this respect.

So it really depends on what your needs are. Pinegrow is a much more mature application, in particular for front end development and its interface and workflow is quite flexible and adaptable to users' preferences, and Wappler offers custom database connectivity, but as an application still needs a lot of growing up in my opinion.

In short, don't rely on those cherry-picked feature comparison lists from either side. Test for yourself, and allow for a week of testing for each product.

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Thank you all very much for your replies: I am most grateful for all of your comments. I was particularly pleased to read your comment, Mike W: "WebPlus should work into the future just fine. There is no compelling reason to switch right away." My situation is this. I have used various webplus versions for years and years. Last month my computer went wrong and had to be replaced. I then realised, to my horror, that I did not have the webplus x7 program disc. (Ithink I bought it online). Nor could I find any way of getting hold of it again as it was no longer supported. In desperation (and with huge relief) I managed to buy a copy of webplus x8 on amazon.

When I loaded it, it immediately showed me a scary warning about smart objects being discontinued and website security. Here is a section:

"A lot has changed over the last 10 years and the web has moved on. Hit counters and iframes are now frowned upon and server side administration has improved to the point that it's now possible for novice users to setup more modern forums, blogs, form submissions etc, all with ease and much improved flexibility. Security concerns are leading to all websites to need to move to https hosting in order not to be marked as insecure.

The code generated when WebPlus exports the HTML of dynamic SWR objects does not allow them to be served up by secure (https) sites whilst being hosted on our SWR servers."

I read the message very quickly  (keen to look at my new version of webplus!) - did not entirely understand it, and experienced panic. My websites must be secure. Having read it more slowly now (had to reload the program on another computer as I could not find the message anywhere...), I am thinking that maybe I can stick with webplus. I do not use smart objects. I do not know whether I use iframes as I don't know what they are....

Do you think it would be safe for me to continue with webplus?  Will it be able to use https if I don't use the smart objects?

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34 minutes ago, Annother said:

Having read it more slowly now (had to reload the program on another computer as I could not find the message anywhere...), I am thinking that maybe I can stick with webplus. I do not use smart objects. I do not know whether I use iframes as I don't know what they are....

Do you think it would be safe for me to continue with webplus?  Will it be able to use https if I don't use the smart objects?

Iframes are called ‘document frames’ in WebPlus.

It’s perfectly safe for you to continue with WPX7 or X8. Since you don’t (and can’t now) use SWR ‘Smart Objects’, there should be no problem using HTTPS.

Please post any further questions about WebPlus here.

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Thanks for your insights @Medical Officer Bones Do you also have an opinion on Coffee Cup RSD or the upcoming Nicepage (Artisteer successor)?

Of all these programs is there one which lets you handle a 30+ pages site as a single document? Similar to the Xaras DTP-ish approach,  but with a smarter responsive design concept? And is there one program among the ones you which lets you create multilingual websites with the same ease as in e.g. Wordpress?

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@hifred I believe Sparkle saves single project files, and the now defunct Adobe Muse shares that same approach. As you mentioned, Xara saves the pages as one file too.

The question you would have to ask yourself is whether this is a good approach or not. Html, CSS, Javascript: these are all open human readable files, and the entire point of the web is open technologies. When relying on a closed file format like Xara, Muse, or Sparkle you become entirely (or mostly) dependent on that software to manage the site, and all three write rather abysmal code that cannot be handed over to a programmer in good conscience: they would have to start all over, because it is entirely human unreadable.

I suppose it is fine when dealing with simple sites with a simple structure, one-pagers, or flashy portfolio sites. But if the design must be integrated with a content management system (CMS) and/or database driven content with a server back-end, or even be converted to a mobile app... Well, let's just close with this: it is a Very Bad Idea to rely on pure visual web page building tools that 1) are unable to work directly with (existing) html files, 2) rely on a proprietary file format, and 2) output code that is only machine readable and a mess.

Tools such as Muse, WebPlus, and Xara all work with a separate design layer which must be converted to web code. This is hard to maintain (by the developers), hard to keep the design layer updated with the latest web technologies (which often change on a yearly basis or more often), and that custom design layer cannot hope to emulate an actual web browser output, so the so-called WYSIWYG view is only an approximation of the real thing (can't test javascript right in the view, for example).

No wonder Adobe and Serif had to throw in the towel with Muse and WebPlus: the web goes too fast to keep up with such a proprietary tool with an abstracted design layer. It's unmaintainable in the long run. Muse had become an obese dragon of an application.

Not to mention the hardships related to designing and testing responsive layouts in these kind of tools. And I am not even mentioning the trouble and frustration related to one-file file corruption issues, and thereby losing the entire site. That is to say, a versioning/file backup feature should be either integrated and/or it should be compatible with the tools you use for web site creation. A single-file approach for web development is (sorry) just a really bad idea, and adds one more unnecessary layer between the output and yourself. That is not how web pages work. and it is a severely limiting workflow anyway.

These tools cannot be integrated well in a team environment at all. So, unless simple static web work is what you do, and you are not involved in a team (you're working on your own), and you don't mind running the risks of depending on a proprietary design app and file format, then one of these tools might fit the bill.

Anyway, long explanation to tell you that I think, that unless you are making very simple static sites, it is better to stay well away from such tools, and only choose tools that work directly with the html, css, js, less, sass, etc. files themselves. You should be able to open an existing web page or site in these tools, and be able to edit the code in a visual environment which is based on an actual web browser view.

And this workflow is compatible with a team, as well as a file versioning workflow (like Git(hub)). Pinegrow keeps an automatic local file history, and all changes are recorded.

For me that means Xara, Muse, Sparkle, online solution like WebFlow and the like, and WebPlus are always going to limit you in some way. Wappler is better, but doesn't allow for CSS frameworks outside the ones they support directly, and that leaves Pinegrow for me and my frontend development work. But it is possible to combine both Wappler and Pinegrow in your workflow, because in the end they both work directly with the actual web files. And in a good human readable way, so anyone with a bit of html and css skill will be able to open the code in a code editor and make changes. I can open a Wappler website directly in Pinegrow, and continue to edit it. Can't do that in Muse, Sparkle, WebPlus, Xara, etc.

In short, even if Pinegrow would met its demise in the future, those Pinegrow-built sites are fully editable with other open tools. Compare that to Muse or WebPlus users.

 

 

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Thank you Officer !
With a similar mindset one could of course also (correctly) state that a purely commandline based photo editor can run operations on images a lot more efficienty and that all sorts of recent AI developments could get implemented a lot quicker too. Still most people here would not want to learn image editing that way :o).

There's great value in editing visually, also for Web-Work,  there's a learning curve advantage in transfering eding concepts from one familiar area to another* – it helped me a lot that my 3D rendering program uses the same concepts as a real world camera (and that's of course not at all how a renderer works internally). An important factor is frequency of use – what's easier to memorize after months of pause: A GUI or abstract text snippets? Even when willing to learn coding there's a lot of decisions which visual editors have already taken out of your hands: What fundamental principle do I use (bootstrap/foundation or anything fancy new) What are the advantages of each one – one needs to be competent enough to answer all this and to separate relevant from irrelevant... Can I solve all my problems with my own code? Or will I have to embed third party code anyway, because it was silly to code up a complex slider myself?

Finally one could state that most of all this fundamental stuff doesn't really matter anyway - as one needs smoking hot content + awesome SEO + all sorts of social media + paid marketing to actually succeed online. That all being said – of all editors discussed I also found Pinegrow most attractive conceptually. But it doesn't take long and the narrator has lost me, even in dumbed down demonstration videos. Doesn't look like a product intended for the casual user to me.

*here DTP

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3 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

A single-file approach for web development is (sorry) just a really bad idea, and adds one more unnecessary layer between the output and yourself. That is not how web pages work. and it is a severely limiting workflow anyway.

The single file editor I know (and no more use) Xara only lets you edit in a single graphics file with features similar to Master pages and such. The output html obviously deals with all pages separately.

 

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On 11/9/2018 at 11:26 AM, Annother said:

My websites must be secure. 

For that rarely anything better than good solid code AND very solid hosting/server handling knowledge.... Is my preference over anything else, also for full control on aesthetics. And for flexibility.

Edited by SrPx
That was too much text

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I`m planning to leave Hosteurope because of the usability of their backend interface, the quality of their spam protection and because of the grade of willingness to help with problems that occurred recently.
So I need a new hosting company in Germany and I tend to give Hostovita
https://hostovita.pl/ssl/ a try. Does anyone have any experience with them? Or have an other recommendation?
Some years ago I went with Uberspace, but That was too nerdy for me, since I am no command line wizzard at all.

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names.co.uk are a great service for my sisters website: whispersonthewing.com their service is good and the cPanel is the full version not a cut down bespoke mod like some hosts have.

I also have several people I know that I have created websites for that have SpiralHosting Their service is excellent.

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