Pinegrow Community Support Forum

Purgatory for newbies

#1

I have a basic understanding of HTML/CSS coding and was a complete wiz at Lingo back in the days of Macromedia Director. Being a right-brained creative, I started off with web using PageMill, then gnashed my teeth through GoLive and DW, finally finding a fantastic oasis with Freeway. As FW couldn’t keep up (then recently went toes-up) I’ve been frantically searching for a WYSIWYG web app that has the power of FW but does a better job of responsive.

There are a lot of apps out there that are not ready for prime time. So far, Pinegrow looks to have the greatest potential of them all, but coming from my level, I’ve found the interface to be a real head-basher. Every time I’ve tried to create something beyond a string of blocks I’ve hit a wall.

Example - I dropped in the basic image-and-menu header block, swapped out the logo for my own, then spent half an hour trying to set the size and failed. I’m used to doing this in a couple of seconds. I crawled up and down the interface, set the size in the Properties pane, but nothing. I then set the min size and got a stretched logo and with no idea how to actually scale it. When trying to do really basic things, such as setting the attributes for h1, p, etc. (which should also be simple) I hit another forest of spider webs and gave up.

I have no doubt that codeheads absolutely love Pinegrow. I can certainly see its potential. As creative director in a corporate setting (in large manufacturing company too cheap to hire a web specialist) I need a solution that I can personally implement for all our corporate sites as well as for creating and personalizing template sites for our local dealers.

As I plan on making a huge commitment to this, I naturally need to know that UI is a top priority. Using the competing app, Blocs, as a comparison, they have an easy interface, an easy way to quickly set attributes, etc., but the thing is extremely underpowered and is not really going to be a contender for another couple of years. Pinegrow, on the other hand, has a tremendous amount of power and substance, but has tire-blowing speed bumps for newbies.

A key consideration is the enormous untapped market of potential customers who need more power than the amateur apps out there - people who need Pinegrow but who also need a UI that gives them some sort of a leg up. How high on the priority list for development is user-friendliness for those of us who do not dream in code of the Lady in Red?

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#2

:nerd: Agreed, I am just hoping and trusting that the UX and UI of Pinegrow, gets retooled and further polished overall in the coming Version 3. Plenty of areas in general can be refactored regarding those standpoints, to further increase the power and productivity of the app, allowing users to more easily harness its features and capabilities. The core app is wonderful, but those areas could use some serious genuine love.

You had me laughing with that comparison until I got to the ‘underpowered’ portion. There is no comparison concerning flexibility and development between the two. Blocs App is easy to use but lacks a tremendous amount past that single aspect (as it matures perhaps things will improve further). Pinegrow lacks very little in way of true development abilities, but as you stated could be made a lot more user friendly (UI / UX) (for new users or designer mindsets) to more easily leverage those powers and help in expanding its customer base tremendously, by doing so.

Again, I’m hoping Pinegrow Version 3 brings big updates in these UI/UX areas, not sure how much the developers wish to disclose at this point however, but hopefully they are strongly committed to these areas of the app going forward.


If you are still looking, not afraid of code and like Bootstrap, check out ‘Bootstrap Studio’. It seems to firmly sit somewhere between the ease of use of Blocs App and the developer power spectrum of Pinegrow. Certainly one to keep an eye on regardless. But if Pinegrow can get the UI / UX improved as I mentioned above then it will be all anyone needs, and have many more users. :wink:

#3

TYCD, you need to understand WYSIWYG doesn’t mean its easy as “drag and drop”, if you want that type of editor then PInegrow would need to start introducing proprietary coding, or dumb down the software to cater for people who have no interest in learning about html/css.

Its better to learn about the basics of what you are trying to achieve, it really isn’t difficult and i’m saying this as someone who knew nothing about coding before I touched PInegrow, yet I can now do anything required when creating a html/css website, in particular experimenting with css.

I don’t want Pinegrow to make things easier, as I would hate for PInegrow to turn into a simple drag and drop editor, such as Mobirise (take a look at that software and all the issues it has).

The best tip I can give, is create a website from scratch, say drop in an image (such as your logo), make sure all css rules are deleted and experiment with width/height, adjusting the attributes and you quickly learn how to set up the website (your way).

If you’re looking for software that allows you to quickly drag and drop elements then Pinegrow isn’t the right software for you.

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#4

Thanks for the response. Frankly, I had been hoping to find something that includes the ease and power of Freeway but which is a grown-up modern app. The block-based bootstrap and WP approaches are highly popular but there is a rigidity to this that takes getting used to. An example of what I am used to is to doing is to bring in a png, set it as a layer, and put it wherever I want, including overlapping two containers (such as a great-looking piece of stylized script text and placing it over the bottom of a div with a full-width image and overlapping the top of a div with text content. This can certainly be done in code but with Pinegrow I wouldn’t know where to start.
This kind of thing is my own challenge, which has to be dealt with while juggling tons of other stuff as corporate CD. Committing to mastering an app starts with the decision as to which app to bet on and hoping that the investment in time will have the optimal payoff vs a competing app. Again, my problem. Just mulling over how much of my 50-hour work week to wager. As stated earlier, Pinegrow has a ton of potential and there’s a lot to like.

#5

If the OP has an issue changing the logo in Pinegrow then I wouldn’t recommended Bootstrap Studio, as I own both and while Bootstrap Studio is powerful, you need to get dirty and learn about coding. Its common sense really, why isn’t your logo the size you want? Well Pinegrow isn’t forcing your logo to be stretched, its the rules assigned to the logo.

Don’t be scared of deleting rules or even butchering your website and start deleting, PInegrow is even kind enough to have an undo feature!

#6

Thanks. No problems on that front. It’s basically a UI issue. I’m used to sitting down, cranking out a ton of style sheets with responsive subsets, then getting down to business. The best CSS editor UI I know does not display every attribute under the sun but lets you chose what you want and hiding the irrelevant (example - twirl a Character entry in a list, then click on font, color, size and the three will appear in the edit window (essentially building the scope of the sheet as you go, ready for quick editing), then do the with paragraph, etc… It has a menu for your breakpoints where you step through them, tweaking things based on the original - powerful, fast and easy. Need an h1? Dupe the sheet, name the sheet h1, then change the weight, size, spacing. It has a distinct nod to right-brain thinkers. Many apps have you scroll through everything possible, 95% of which may be irrelevant to the desired style.
Such right-brain efficiency is usually seen in amateur apps, with pro apps tending to take a strong left-brain approach. There is a difference in balance between lateral thinking vs linear. I’m into the ability to telescope the complexity.
To use an analogy, it is like being able to see every person in NYC from a birds’eye view versus seeing the buildings, then working down to the floor, office, and specific individual. I do not need to scan past every person working on that floor to find the one I need, but if I do need to, all I have to do is turn a door handle.

#7

True.

However, it seems like Bootstrap Studio with the latest release is easing that a bit for users by releasing the ‘UI Components’ as ‘starting points’ in the last update with more to come. As well as improving their documentation and video tutorials. Bootstrap Studio is in it’s infancy as an app yet is still already pretty polished and feature rich and seems to have a solid development path. It’s an extremely promising app.

Creating a Website with Bootstrap Studio - Video Tutorial (Even includes how to size the logo :wink:)

I too own both apps.

Your priority should be learning to understand code and coding from scratch. Then it becomes irrelevant what app you use and you then have all the power you need regardless of app going forward. Both Bootstrap Studio and Pinegrow will help you with this endeavor. The investment in learning will pay for itself in the end.

#8

TYCD, fair enough! I may have jumped in there and assumed you was looking for a drag and drop editor! Personally I prefer having to wade through irrelevant information, for the reason I’m using Pinegrow to learn about html/css overall, while designing websites.

I did encounter the issues you had (re the logo), yet unless I was lucky, It was a case of delete css rule, create my own and job done! Sounds like you’re more then capable, you just have to take a week off from work, sit down with a few cans, load up Pinegrow and soon you be a Pinegrow master :grin:

#9

To be fair, if anyone has an interest in web development and bootstrap, for the cost involved, Pinegrow and Bootstrap Studio shouldn’t empty your bank balance, $75 - he may as well purchase Bootstrap Studio, just for changing the logo lol

#10

In an ideal world.
I like the idea of taking a week off to master it (considering HTML, HTML5, JS and Pinegrow, two months would be more like it). Being in charge of everything in marketing and creative, time options are limited.
The way things are going with mid-sized businesses, overburdened one-horse departments appear to be the way of the future. Some companies are too cheap and short-sighted to hire dedicated web talent, leaving the web work to in-house creatives and marketing folk.
Here’s a recent site, which I did for one of our local dealers - slow loading due to animations done with a HTML5 app having limited loading control - but a decent site for a local business:
http://mobile.lightbenders.com/index.html

#11

Hi @TYCD have a read of this it might help provide you with quick and easy access to the css rules controlling whatever element you have selected at any time.

#12

If Batman (Bruce Wayne) of Gotham City fame needed help, where does that leave the rest of us mere mortals. :wink:

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#13

Thanks.

When I need an ally, I can always rely on The Tick.

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#14

Enjoyed the exchanges here - especially the last part (on batman). Haha… had a good laugh. :slight_smile:

Anyways, i can seriously identify with the struggle (mine is definitely more than just images due to my limited knowledge of CSS and HTML) and I wonder how version 3 will look like.

#15

Man!! how I laughed out loud at that. so much so, that a mere LOL doesn’t do it justice! :slight_smile:
and yep, I think a few of us get just where your coming from. The thing is , PG does a Ton of things, allows you to access everything and change /create anything. but, it plays buy the rules! that is it adheres to all the recommended ways and best practice of correctly using BootStrap, Wordpress theme creation etc, with its loops and Voodoo.

This means, it does things THAT way, with correct responsive design principles, so, it often drives me mad as, it does things right. Well,I’m an amateur and I don’t now HOW to do things right so I flounder too. Now! If I too, took /made/found the time to get to grips to all the web voodoo that PG played by the rules of, then IM pretty sure Id be flying (quirky interface not withstanding etc) so the long and the short of it is, yeah a, magic, psychic WYSIWYG editor that just KNOWS what I want and then creates it … would be amazing, the holy grail even, but alas, it would more than likely Spit out Crud code that would barf at responsive screen sizes , and go bezerk if it was crammed into a WP theme -

SO I really should at least meet PG half way and find the time to LEARN the technologies that it oh so well manipulates. and Yep, I too, was a learning Sloth and was app hunting in an endeavour to bypass the learning thing when I came across PG. However, I realised that this really was an awesome tool and that the only thing that was stopping me making real headway (no pun intended) with it, was my own lack of commitment to learning the underlying technologies (ummm, er and possibly some quirky interface scream sessions… did I just say that? oops)
SO, at the end of the day, yep, a nice simple dumbed down draggy droppy , go the the shoppy kind of app is great fun to just be creative and stuff, but …youll soon be staring at the wall sockets in frustration or paying loads more for add ons simply to get desired effects.
Thanks for reminding me that I really need to get my finger out and learn more!

and also, there are quite a few bods on here who are pretty good at this now and freelance, you can check out itsmeleo in the slack channels or anyone else who does that to fly through some stuff and assist you maybe.

Just not me, Im dumb :slight_smile: