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Would love to see a web builder similar to WebPlus. I discovered WP at ver 4, I believe. After that I had every ver of WP and PP. Also, I bought, if my memory serves me right, DrawPlus and Photoplus. Great products, but I got hooked up on WP. There was nothing like that on the market.

Still, nothing like WP exist today on the market. No nonsense Drug-and Drop WYSIWYG on the desktop. Make it on your computer, upload and the site will run and run fast. No security worries, no plugins, no databases. A blast from the past, indeed.

 

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Hello,

I don't think we will see anything similar anytime soon from any company.

I work in web development for almost a decade now. Even with my limited experience (compared to some veterans from 20y+) I don't see any reliable way to create a webpage using such program, and it to work on the multitude of browsers and screen types. Unless it's a very simple page, with no functionality whatsoever, but then you won't need a program like that.

However, there are some web builders like wix.com which do most of the job you would otherwise need developers to do. They take care of a ton bs, but they tie you up with them.

In the distant past, when I studied HTML, a simple notepad and ftp would suffice to create a website, and there wasn't anything much beyond that. Now, well... only to setup the development environment may take a day. With all the possibilities the modern web allows, the complexity has risen fiftyfold, and it's still going. For each thing that gets simplified, ten others emerge. Also, companies like Google are in position to force certain direction to the whole web development, some of which do help, in general, but increase the complexity further.

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On 6/10/2019 at 3:45 AM, gm10 said:

Still, nothing like WP exist today on the market. No nonsense Drug-and Drop WYSIWYG on the desktop. Make it on your computer, upload and the site will run and run fast. No security worries, no plugins, no databases. A blast from the past, indeed.

Not entirely true: Xara Designer Pro / Xara Web Designer exists, and does exactly that.

But for the sake of a web developer's sanity I'd say Pinegrow would be a much better choice with good human readable code output. Not quite as much freedom as drag and drop, but close enough.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2019 at 9:06 AM, arcador said:

 

WebPlus was not meant for web developers. It was not used by pro developers. It was for a small business owners that needed a web site without being ripped (raped) by crooks with no skills. These days abuse is much worse than it was in 2010 when I bought my first webplus. 

>multitude of browsers and screen types
Chrome is enough. It will cover more than 90% of the market. Even Microsoft switched to Chrome these days. As for the screens - the page length is no longer important. Scrolling down is expected. As for the width - a page doesn't need to be wider than 1000px or narrower than say 700px. It's possible to have a few versions of static pages in that range and serve pages according to the screen width of the visitor. I believe one of the hosts (Wix or Weebly) does exactly that. They even build everything inside browser window. And they have millions of happy users. Granted, not the top of design art. But it let millions of people to be free from abuse. And they are happy with look of their sites. 

Another thing about Affinity web builder. It would make the suit of tools much more complete. After buying wp4, I bought every following ver of webplus and pageplus after that. Also, I bought photo and draw programs some versions. Again, IMO there is a place for a desktop web builder, esp. as a part of the suit.

 

 

Edited by gm10

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Posted (edited)

It's possible to have a few versions of static pages

Actually it's being done anyway. First you build "responsive" wordpress site. Then they tell you to enable cache that saves static pages. Why don't we provide static pages from the very beginning just like webplus does?

A new web builder wouldn't need a blog with all that posts vs pages stuff. In webplus I had a NEWS page. Whenever I had an occasional blurb to share, I'd put it at the top of the page. Exactly what blogs do without all the complexity of the underlying software. This is more than enough for the most of the users. Not everybody is a "prolific" blogger, influencer, etc. 

Again, it's not about Webplus vs Wordpess or whatever. This is about a product that does not exist in the market and would be in demand.  Just KISS and "they will come".

P.S. XARA has just as many 1 star reviews as 5 stars.

Edited by gm10

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Adobe had a good attempt with Muse, but here's the problem: the web and its tech evolves too fast for any tool that decouples the design view from the underlying html/cs/js. Muse had its own design view, as had Webplus. So does Xara. All of them work up to a certain extent, but for the developers  it is a constant race to keep up, even if they care.

As for Xara Web Designer's reviews: you can tell people's expectations and skill sets are all over the place where web page development/building is concerned. Some except simple templates, others full visual design control over the page elements similar to a DTP app. It is difficult to please this crowd. Also, Xara Designer Pro (as opposed to Xara Web Designer) not only includes all the web export stuff, but is also similar to Affinity Designer as a vector illustration app with page support.

I recall users of Muse (for example) kept asking for more features they'd seen used on 'forward thinking designed snazzy looking' web pages, and at some point Muse just became an elephant. Impossible to maintain by the developers.

That is why so many web page builders now rely on a design view based on html/css/js. Pinegrow is a good example. Or look at WordPress and the variety of visual web page builders like Elementor or PageBuilder. With Elementor there is no need to deal with posts at all, and just work with pages the way you envision. But usually this comes at at a cost of design flexibility/freedom.

The other product you may like is Sparkle, which comes close to those visual web builders of old. But it is Mac only. And uses a proprietary format, so again a de-coupling from the web

And visual web building tools are generally meant for small static web presences only anyway.

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I feel like I keep kicking a dead horse. Anyway, one more time.

>And visual web building tools are generally meant for small static web presences only anyway.

This is exactly what I keep begging about. When I used webplus for my own business site, I had the home page PR4. One more page (the most important for me) also had PR4. And a couple of other pages had PR3. Some of us been around long enough to remember PR. I knew exactly where to put keywords, tags, how to direct link juice, etc. AND I DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW CSS, HTML, WHATEVER. Now I have a morass made of Wordpress, theme, Elementor, dozen of plugins, gadgets, etc. I DON'T NEED THEM ALL. I VAGUELY UNDERSTAND NOW  WHAT I AM DOING. SERIF, PLEASE, GIVE ME BACK MY STATIC PAGES.

The only plugin that I used back then was amazing Statcounter. It would give me each visitor's path. Page by page. For each visitor I knew exactly what was the search phrase, where the visitor landed on my site, where the visitor left my site. I could see if the visitor found what he was searching for and how much time he spent reading each page. I discovered so many mistakes in my site with Statcounter. And I didn't need to know HTML, CSS etc. Serif had an option in the menu to insert  the code. As simple as that. Now Google shoves upon me its Google Analytics which is nothing more than shredded statistics not telling me anything at all. Google Analytics is good for developers to impress clients. It's totally useless for people like myself.

These days Google separates local small business sites from the rest of the crowd. It treats local sites completely differently. I am talking about GMB. Some of those business at the top of the search results have very rudimentary sites, basically a few static pages. and they made it to the top. Google uses completely different set of criterias for local sites. We don't need HTML, CSS, blog. And there are millions of us.

By the way, I knew things started going wrong way for webplus when Serif tried to introduce blog in webplus. 

Anyway, as a part of the Affinity package, a simple web site builder would be well worth the investment. It would attract back many old users and bring new ones. Serif, can you hear me?

 

 

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On 6/10/2019 at 11:45 AM, gm10 said:

Still, nothing like WP exist today on the market. No nonsense Drug-and Drop WYSIWYG on the desktop.

WYSIWYG Web Builder (from Pablo Software Solutions) offers, as its name suggests, WYSIWYG web building. Like WebPlus, WWB can’t create responsive sites; however, it can do the next best thing which is to create adaptive sites. You can try it out for free for 30 days.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Hi Alfred,

In another thread that was started after this one, so it's fairly recent, Patrick said: "We are not working on a Web developing tool, but we have not ruled one out."

I am hoping that after Publisher is out, the next project might be exactly that - web developing tool. At least it makes sense. PagePlus was so similar to WebPlus that I bought PP almost immediately after getting WP. There was virtually no additional learning curve. I might wait a bit. I hope that history repeats itself. Besides I need a photo editing program too. Would be another learning curve to avoid. I had all three of them in Serif version. 

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5 minutes ago, gm10 said:

I hope that history repeats itself.

The history of WebPlus is that it started out as nothing more than the web-building portion of PagePlus. Prior to WP9, PP and WP could open each other’s files, but once WP started acquiring web-only features the two file formats became incompatible. I can’t help thinking that Serif would have a hard time maintaining the tight integration of the Affinity apps if they were to add a modern (read: adaptive/responsive capable) app to the suite.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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I don't expect web publishing and desktop publishing formats to be compatible, but GUI can be very similar. The reason I mentioned them together is that, I hope, that large chunks of code can be re-used. Also, many decisions, like GUI, have already been made. 

I hope that Serif won't get involved in feature chasing. They should remember 20/80 rule. 20% of efforts/resources delivers 80% of results. Don't try to please everybody, esp. bloggers. Let them use Wordpress. Just have a good showcase to show what the software can do and what the limits are.

Adaptive/responsive claims by others are mostly deceptive. "Responsive" WordPress, for example, expects users to use cache to save static pages once they have been generated for the first visitor. So, let's generate them in advance and we wouldn't need SuperCache plugins.. All that matters these days is the page width. The length no longer matters. There's no such a thing as above or below the fold.

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2 hours ago, gm10 said:

I don't expect web publishing and desktop publishing formats to be compatible, but GUI can be very similar.

The problem is, if the web publishing format isn’t compatible it won’t fit in with the rest of the Affinity suite. The wonderful thing about the current set of apps is that you can create text on a path in Designer and then edit the file in Photo, or you can add a live filter in Photo and then tweak the settings in Designer. And now we no longer need a local copy of Publisher in order to edit a multi-page document created in Publisher.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Thanks for the explanation.

Still, it appears that solutions used in Publisher can be re-used for text editing in the web app. Image resizing solutions from Photo can be re-used for image resizing in the web app, etc. It's not like building from the ground up. And with all difficulties in the coding, the GUI's can be very similar. It matters a lot when switching platforms. Anyway, let's wait and see. In the mean time I am sticking to Wordpress. :(

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