Hi HMM - I’m still deep in the exploration process: right now I’ve purchased Blocs/Solis and Pinegrow. I am also taking a serious look at RapidWeaver via tutorial videos on Youtube.
All 3 of these options in varying ways, have revealed to me a real need to know more about website coding, and frameworks, perhaps mostly at the conceptual level or in actuality in order to control the apps and therefore the outcome on the screen.
While in varying degrees the three apps I’m currently exploring allow for non-coding experience, and market themselves as non-coding apps in varying ways and to varying degrees, in my learning curve with each I feel knowledge of coding is invaluable to understand each one’s UI. Blocs, for example uses ‘classes’ for CSS, which is a solution to add code without coding in the strict sense, and my sense is that this can become quite cumbersome to manage over time to achieve a personal look and function, and does require understanding what ‘classes’ are; and I sense it will become a frequently needed UI tool to do things ‘outside the box’; and while I can see a correlation to ‘layer states/styles’ in Photoshop or other similar appearance control UI functions in a range of ‘design’ apps, this is not necessary in Muse in order to control appearance and functionality and location of elements on the page (though ‘styles’ can be saved and reused), and this is significantly augmented by 3rd party ‘widgets’ (such as the ones I’ve mentioned as ‘wish list’ items).
In a large way, 3rd party ‘widget’ makers for Muse, spans the gap for non-coders to give us more design power, by packing into widgets the functionality while using the primary UI approach for styling the widget. Blocs has opened it’s API and this is promising. I actually wrote to QooQee and mentioned this to them, encouraging them to explore Blocs & Pinegrow.
My end goal is to be able to replicate what my current website has, and be able to make changes down the road with the equivalent freedom, control and independence Muse currently provides me.
Since I have 2 years to cut the cord with Muse, I have plenty of time to see how all three apps, or any others that may arrive on the scene, evolve to meet my personal needs.
My guess is I am in a minority position, in that I am not a web designer/developer, but rather due to having an architectural design background and therefore comfortable with using CAD and other ‘design’ software, and un-interested in using a premium ‘template’ website service (WIX, ect.) or something like Wordpress to make my one and only website, I like learning what I need to (and having fun doing it).