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Wappler User Feedback: Chad McComas

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First is Chad McComas, one of our lovely Wappler Ambassadors. See what’s on his mind:

 

As the CEO of an agency, I’ve always had to ask myself how we can become more efficient, cut overhead, get new employees onboarded quickly, and keep pushing quality forward. Where web design & development is concerned, this has always been a thorn in my side.

To understand this, you should know that I’ve built over 2,000 websites since 1996. My clients have included micro-businesses, Inc. 500 corporations, and even the Fortune 500. In that time, I’ve used a vast number of web builders, written novels of PHP, HTML, and CSS, and spent a lot of time finding a way to meet all the goals we need as a company.

This has gotten easier as we move forward in time as there are more and more web builders popping up. There are many options available today and you would think I’d be happy about this, but I’m not. In truth, I find it all very frustrating.

For instance, at its core: WordPress is very simple and does a very specific thing. If you need anything above and beyond that though, you’re going to need plugins, themes, and theme-builders. On the surface, this sounds fine, but, it introduces a lot of inherent problems.

First off, there’s the issue of plugins and themes. Remember that every time WordPress is updated, the plugins and theme generally need to be updated too for security reasons. If the item is no longer maintained by the developer or the developer isn’t staying active with their cycle – this can seriously lead to your website not working, getting defaced, redirecting to phishing websites, spreading malware, or worse. And this is serious business because it seems that every time a system – that requires independently developed add-ons – is updated; It gets one step closer to failing.

Another issue is licensing. You can easily spend a small fortune on a website just getting all the plugins you need to do the job right. This is compounded by the fact that every plugin has a different licensing scheme, a seemingly arbitrary pricing model, and worse: Just because you bought a lifetime license doesn’t mean the plugin will continue to be maintained.

Let me step back for a moment and point something out here. Content-Management-Systems are extremely limited by nature. Consider that even robust theme builders like Visual Composer have a slew of additional plugins you can buy to add more functionality. In other words – plugins have plugins (and I’ve seen plugins of plugins have plugins too!).

These systems have a very limited scope of what they can do. To further prove this, consider that it is considered “best practice” to have plugins for standard things such as SEO, site speed, and security. To be clear: You need plugins to add standard functionality to these systems.

Don’t get me wrong; WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other content-management-systems have their place. With a few minor exceptions, I just don’t think they are right for professional developers and designers.

That begs a question: What about online builders? There’s Wix, Weebly, Shopify, and a growing list of other online builders. How do these stack up? Well, the issue with these should be apparent. They are severely limited in what they can do, and sure, they have add-ons just like any CMS does, but you’ve already seen the problems that creates.

That leaves me with three more programs: Webflow, Pinegrow and Dreamweaver.

All three of these are the best option out there compared to everything I’ve mentioned thus far. Webflow and Pinegrow have a very streamlined interface that gives complete control over your CSS. In addition, Webflow allows you to create CMS items whereas Pinegrow allows users to design WordPress themes. Neither program allows truly dynamic content though. And as an aside – I really don’t like Webflow’s pricing model.

Dreamweaver, on the other hand, was headed in the right direction and then Adobe seemed to make some nonsensical decisions. First, they dropped a lot of important features from Dreamweaver and now, Adobe seems to have no real roadmap for web development in sight.

They tried Edge Reflow and Muse. Both seemed geared towards the same demographic as Pinegrow and Webflow, so it is a little curious that neither program became a serious investment of Adobe. Instead they dropped them rather quickly.

Their current offering outside of Dreamweaver is Spark Page. This seems to be an answer to the rise of the unqualified-expert. In other words, it seems that Adobe is trying to appeal to a mass audience with limited software rather than developing a superb program for a qualified audience. And as I said, their dropping major features from Dreamweaver and STILL not reinstating them is just a disaster.

That brings me to Wappler. Specifically, where does Wappler fit in this giant cobweb of builders and does it finally meet the call for a web building program that does everything well? The answer is yes, but let’s look at why this is a little deeper.

First, consider that a CMS is really just a CRUD application, right? You can create, read, update, and delete content with the added benefit of making it look pretty. As we become more and more reliant on the internet, we need the ability to innovate the way the web works – and dynamic content is where that is happening. Dynamic content is critical.

Wappler breaks out of the mold of these systems and allows the user full control over dynamic development. In fact, I cannot think of a single mainstream website that couldn’t be built with Wappler. This is incredible power to be had and the fact that it simplifies all this power is amazing.

Second you also have a very powerful CSS designer, as well as Framework 7 and Bootstrap 4. And none of this is limited or stripped down either. You are getting full-blown capability in Wappler to do what you want and to top it all off – you don’t need a single plugin to do it. In fact, let me put it this way: Every system or program I’ve ever used – I can do what that system specialized in with Wappler. And when I had to hand-code entire sites before because there wasn’t a solution available – I can do that also. This is fantastic and one thing I really love about Wappler is that it generates clean code that is not only secure, but that follows best practices as well.

Wappler also has a very fair licensing model, and more importantly, a very dedicated team that is active with their community daily. This last part is important because they listen to what their users say. If you want to see an addition put into Wappler or have a great suggestion, there is a strong likelihood that it will see the light of day.

What you should take away from this is that Wappler is a new program and already it can do significantly more than everything else out there. As I said, Wappler is also updated regularly with the intent of evolving rather than just bug fixes, and often these updates include user input.

If you want a program that can take your development to the next level – while cutting down on costs and improving efficiency – then Wappler is a great choice for you and your team to move forward. While there is a learning curve to the program, which should be expected, once you start to see how Wappler works, it will open an entire new world for you.

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