I am a weather hobbyist and have maintained a website about New England USA weather for the last 20 years.
I am not a professional web programmer like many of you are. Yes, I have built a website for a friend here and there, but I am far from a pro.
For the past 20 years I was using Adobe’s Dreamweaver 6, their last stand alone version before they moved everything to CS and subscriptions.
Why? It was available at the time, and I owned the software (or thought I did, more on that later), so I just stuck with it.
Over the years it became increasingly apparent that my site was not keeping up with times, and could not be viewed satisfactorily on all of today’s devices.
Also, I am running Mojave on a new iMac I bought in 2019, and since this older version of Dreamweaver will not run on Big Sur, I have not been able to migrate to the new Mac OS.
As a sidenote: I despise subscription software. Yes, I know developers need to make money to stay in business and keep developing, but I could not possibly “subscribe” to all of the software I own. It just isn’t possible.
When I moved to the new Mac, I needed to re-enter my Adobe Dreamweaver Serial number. This number, used for more than 10 years, was suddenly no good. After many calls with Adobe, explaining, AND showing a receipt for the software, they insisted it was pirated and they would not activate the software. After looking at their subscription pricing, I could not believe what it would cost me to move to dreamweaver CS. Again, I am NOT a business. My site is a labor of love. Besides, the entire episode with a greedy Adobe refusing to acknowledge a valid receipt, a receipt they had acknowledged for more than 15 years prompted the deletion of ALL adobe software on my Mac. I will never own another piece of software made by adobe…but I digress.
So I resolved to move on. I went off and looked at every web programming package I could find. My criteria was, would it be easy to learn? I went to Rapidweaver, and ultimately purchased Foundations. In fact, I even purchased some add ons, but I was not happy with the general confusion, of Rapidweaver, Foundation, add ons, and how all of these moving parts pulled together. I think Joe Workman and his people are trying to add more “flow” to how all of these things work together, but it just did not seem like the whole thing was well organized. I briefly looked at Foundry as well. I sent questions out to the Foundry people, who never replied….and while the workman people did reply, it took lots of time to get a reply.
One day in the not too distant past I was trading msgs with a fellow on the Foundation boards, explaining how difficult it was to get started with foundation and he mentioned Blocs!
Blocs….I had purchased Blocs Version 3, but never did take a hard look at the application.
Speed forward: Today I have successfully rewritten my Weather Site and launched it here, using Blocs: RichLefko.com
I am sure my site could be better, but for me, this site is never really finished, it is just a beginning, a start, a place to keep improving from.
Now, I won’t say that Blocs is the be-all, end-all, but I will say, I was able to grasp the basics and apply my past knowledge to get to this point.
I want to also note that that Eldar Gezalov and his Blocs Master course helped to move me in the correct direction. I would urge anyone considering diving into Blocs, to take Eldar’s course. It was a tremendous help to understand the mechanics of the application. I’d also like to publicly thank Eldar for replying to my numerous e-mails at the start.
There are things I do not like about Blocs, like how it manages graphics (I wish I could just navigate to folders on my Mac for example) and while the documentation is really very good, there are gaps. For a non-programmer like myself, the documentation is everything. For example, I can not get my head around using a “Header Carousel”? There is no documentation I could find that explains it. I guess you regular programmers understand this Bloc, but I don’t.
The forums here are very good. I applaud all of those who help people like me. Answers come fast and that is light years better than the other places I have tried.
I wish we had more developers like Whittfield Holmes, whose Bric “Tab Anything” I used all over the site. Frankly, we need more people like this and more brits that do cool things.
In the end, I wrote this post because I believe in the Blocs platform and I am sure there are others, like me, wandering around looking for a web building solution.
Blocs is easy to use, easy to learn, and it comes with most everything you would need to design a decent site and get it up and working, all in the one package.
Thank you all…