Pinegrow Community Support Forum

Should I Buy ...?

Bootstrap Studio is the most well designed visual builder I’ve used. It’s not as powerful as Pinegrow. You can’t edit the HTML within the program. There’s no built-in HTML editor, and no way to link an external editor (like Visual Studio) the way you can with PG. We’ve been requesting this for some time now, so the devs are thinking about it. In BSS, you can’t view more than one page at time. It doesn’t support multiple monitors. You can’t use your own fonts (only Google fonts, though the devs are supposedly addressing this in an upcoming update.)

Because of the way it saves the website project (a single, compressed JSON file) BSS doesn’t allow you to import things like PDFs or Videos (they could potentially make the file too large.) You have to put them on your server and link to them. It allows you to link to CDNs, and import css and js, but HTML can only be imported as placed custom code. Imported HTML is not customizable through the visual tools. In this regard, Pinegrow is far more powerful.

Basically, with Pinegrow, you can bring in any website or template and customize it. With BSS, you more or less have to build your site with the program. BSS exports standard HTML and CSS files which can be edited in any program (like PG) and it produces is 100% clean, semantic code. This, IMO, is the biggest benefit of the program. To my knowledge, of the visual builders on the market, only Pinegrow, Webflow and Bootstrap Studio are producing clean, semantic code.

BSS doesn’t offer master pages, but rather “linked components” which is actually as good if not better then master pages. A component that is linked across the site can be edited from any page, and will update across the site. Nor does BSS offer CSS Grid tools (it is a Bootstrap builder afterall) but the devs have stated they will consider adding support for CSS grid if there is enough demand.

One thing I will say about both programs… the developers are small teams who are fiercely dedicated to their users, as well as to updating and improving their programs. This is something I’ve ONLY found with Pinegrow and Bootstrap Studio. Got a problem with an Adobe product? You might as well be shouting into the abyss. They’ve still got bugs in their software that I reported to them ten years ago.

I’d say BSS updates their program more often, and they are more interactive with the users on their forum. We often have in-depth discussion with them about features we’d like to see, and they really take our suggestions to heart. I’ve already seen a few of my suggestions end up implemented in updates. This is not to say the PG devs are unresponsive, because they’re actually excellent. Both developers are quick to fix bugs. BSS wins on price, but PG allows you to do a lot more.

Personally, I use both Pinegrow and BSS to build all of my websites. The two programs are somewhat similar. If you learn PG, it’s easy to learn BSS. But at the end of the day, both programs require you to have a working knowledge of CSS and HTML (and to a lesser extent, javascript.) I don’t think we’ll ever see another true visual builder like Adobe Muse because at the end of the day we’re still stuck building websites using languages that were created almost 30 years ago. Ideally, we would be better off completely scrapping HTML and CSS, and doing the entire web over using something more modern, but that’s obviously not going to happen anytime soon. Maybe when A.I. becomes sufficiently advance to build websites for us.

Anyway, I digress. The best thing to do is download the trials and try each one out.

i was looking hard at BSS as i didn’t really want to learn code… but just as much i wanted to make my next version of my website modern by using CSS grid (that’s how i’ve always wanted to do it, just never had the tools).

so now that i know the lack of access to the code as well as the one-way nature of the BSS design flow (similar to TemplateToaster), then i’m sure i made the right decision.

the more i learn about CSS and classes, the more value i can see PG has to offer.

now about those damn pop ups.

If you’re only interested in building a single website for your own needs, you might be able to get by purely with a visual builder, assuming you don’t want to do much customization.

For people who are really that code-aversive, I’d normally recommend a platform like Wix or Weebly (even though I personally hate them) because they really cater to the “drag-n-drop-I-don’t-want-to-code-at-all” customer.

If you want to build websites for a living, or want to really be able to customize your own site, learning (at minimum) HTML and CSS will go a long way. They really are not that difficult since they are not true computer languages, but rather mark-up and styling descriptions.

That’s not to say they can’t get very complex (especially CSS) but they don’t require any specialized programming knowledge. It’s mostly a matter of memorizing tags and rules, understanding the “cascade”, and learning the syntax. If you don’t mind going to Google a lot, you don’t even need to memorize CSS rules, you can just look them up as needed.

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Take a look at Coffee Cup.