October 26, 2021

Nicepage site builder made my jaw drop

 

In the early days of the web, text only pages were all that existed. Somewhat later images were added to some pages, which gradually evolved into the media rich bootstrap method of website building that allowed to place text boxes, images, tables and videos on fixed grid positions. Meanwhile at this point in time (October 26 2021) the 5th version of Bootstrap has been released which includes minor updates and possibilities compared to the previous version. The type of websites in the first days of the Internet was called Web 1.0. Bootstrap sites are Web 2.0 type sites and now it is possible to build Web 3.0 type sites that allows text boxes, images, videos, tables and shapes to be placed anywhere on the page and even on top of an other object, making overlapping of objects possible. No more restriction of having to place objects within the coercive matrix of the bootstrap grid; just place, resize and scale objects anywhere you want, without writing a single line of code.... In addition, you are free to determine the object's rank along the Z-axis. It is the web designer's dream, because it allows them to focus on exciting esthetics instead of dull coding. 

The program that makes all this possible is called  nicepage . Just draw elements anywhere on the page and move, resize, scale, reshape and reorder in the Z-axis, determining which object is above or below the other. Nicepage's UI is very intuitive and contains loads of functions that are absent in the programs of the competition. Discovering nicepage was kind of a gift from heaven to me since MobiRise suddenly made it impossible to add blocks, which is kind of a crucial function in web design. On the forum mods simply wrote: 'Yeah we know it affects some users', without offering any solution whatsoever (....). For website builders that work for clients this is disastrous - they are stuck and cannot make changes their customers require. It basically makes the program totally useless. After watching a few videos on Youtube that explained the features and use of nicepage I was won over and bought nicepage. Mind you it costs a one time fee, which includes free upgrades for the period of one year and you own the program for life. Below you see the first attempt of rebuilding my home page, which allowed to incorporate subtleties that are impossible or at least excruciatingly difficult to make with Bootstrap based editors (which makes a ton of CSS coding necessary). So, for non-coders such as me, nicepage most definitely is the way to go.


Rebuilding my home page in nicepage



Update November 1 2021 - Nicepage features
I uploaded my website that was created in nicepage. Still learning and checking for errors although I think most of the major ones have been corrected, but fine tuning will be done in the time to come - editing for mobile devices, the adding of links, SEO etc. A few features of the program that make it pleasure to work with:

  • Export to local directory, WordPress, Joomla and via FTP runs very fast. Integrated FTP function is quite useful
  • The structured nature of the program saves a lot of time - site wide changes (in Menu, Header and Footer) can be made in a flash
  • Numerous prefabricated types of grids can be inserted to any Block and then be resized (or not) to the designer's liking
  • Images can be made to fill a grid area in a block with one click or be scaled to the desired size manually with an accuracy to the pixel or be cropped to the designer's preference
  • The option to edit the site for all sorts of devices works flawlessly - objects can be edited for each device (including hiding objects for a particular device) without affecting the design for other device resolutions
  • The artistic freedom - without any coding - that the program offers is simply stunning. Web 3.0 is a dream for creative web designers. Unrestricted positioning of objects and possibility to change their order in the Z-stack among the most useful features
  • The positioning and sizing of objects can be carried out manually or with the properties panel with pixel precision
  • The interactive guides are a great asset that helps edit a lot faster, on the fly, manually
  • Text formatting is non-restrictive - colour, bold, italics, underlined, hyperlink insertion all are possible
  • Hyperlinks can be made to visit URL's, write e-mails, make telephone calls and be linked to files to be uploaded
  • Alignment can be applied to blocks with all objects in it or to individual elements that may have a different alignment compared to other elements in the same block
  • There also is an outline view which is useful when locating and editing objects in a complex lay-out in which many objects are stacked in the Z-axis. In this view the ranking of objects in the Z-stack can be changed by dragging objects up or down - images are named 'images', text blocks are represented by a capital 'T' and the first two words of the text, lines are named 'line', cells are named 'Cell' and grids are named "grid' - a consistently logical syntax
  • When copying text from other documents that contain links, the hyperlinks are automatically copied as well (not all web editors to this) - a time saver in many cases
  • The program has plugins for WordPress (12 widgets so far) and Joomla, which greatly enhance its usability for more advanced WordPress users and designers working with Joomla
  • Nicepage has thousands of prefabricated templates (9000+ and counting), blocks and elements which can contribute to speed up the building process significantly
  • Most images (those merged into the grid background) in a site created with nicepage aren't downloadable right off the bat; it requires some knowledge, which most visitors probably do not have.....
  • The program's User Interface is very intuitive, logically structured and offers extensive editing functionality
  • The User Interface text can be set to 10 different languages
  • Previews can be opened in an internal Quick Preview, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Edge
  • Projects can easily be exported quickly
  • With many functions, that can effortlessly be applied, that nicepage's competitors do not have, the program is miles ahead of the rest

Nicepage UI on my monitor in an earlier stage

Conclusion
One thing is for sure, I will never return to using MobiRise and Pinegrow, since the former program all of a sudden was unable to perform a key function and the latter crashed my site beyond repair. These are flaws that can seriously harm the business of web designers and their clients, so consider these matters before purchasing a web editor that you want to use professionally or just to create your own beautiful site that you must update frequently.

In some articles I read negative reviews and comments, but I urge people that are interested to try the free version to arrive at an opinion of their own. Either writers of negative articles and comments haven't given the program a serious try, know zilch about web design or they have little or no experience with other web designing applications to compare nicepage with. For newbies to the program, there is a Youtube channel that has excellent tutorials on the program's functions.

Sure, a program capable of building complex web 3.0 websites, that its competition can only match with extensive coding, requires some effort to master its default functionality, but that does not mean its interface in unintuitive; it just requires getting familiar with, which is a whole lot easier than writing the code necessary to achieve complex web 3.0 lay-outs. Those who claim its UI is difficult to learn, just haven't bothered to dive into the new approach that nicepage offers to designers who hate to spend loads of their time coding because they prefer to focus on the creative aspect of creating websites.

Or perhaps they are just hired by the competition to submit negative reviews and comments - not a conspiracy theory, just concealed common corporate practice on today's web. Because the competition is well aware of the fact that their products are way behind of what nicepage is capable of. When potential clients find out about the superb features of nicepage, the back lagging companies may see their sales drop like a ton of bricks, so while trying to catch up with the more advanced functionality of nicepage they will do anything they can, to keep web designers away from nicepage or scare them away by publishing intentionally made up bad reviews. And by the way, I'm not paid by nicepage to write all this, I just wanted to give my honest opinion with regards to this program, so that designers will be able to build next level pages without any coding at all for a very affordable one time fee, which includes the option to make useful plugins and themes for WordPress and Joomla.

Bottom line: If you liked Bootstrap, but gradually became annoyed by its constrained object positioning, as a result of which you find yourself coding as a madman to work around those limitations in order to build Web 3.0-like websites, I am confident that you will absolutely love nicepage's Web 3.0 functionality. In the past I have worked with Dreamweaver, Bootstrap Studio, Pinegrow, Pingendo, Macaw, Mobirise and several online programs, so I think I'm capable of comparing the old school apps with the new breed of programs of which nicepage is the first, so far (November 2021) the only one and therefore the best. Considering its huge number of features, I guess it will be quite difficult to come up with something better.