About WebFlow, WIX, Editor X (discussion)

Hi Sparkle community,

I would very much like to hear your opinion about WebFlow, WIX (and if possible “Editor X”)
Also like to know from those who moved away from them and started using Sparkle (but also the other way) and why.

Looking forward to your reactions :slight_smile:

I love using ReadyMag and find it very creative, but come back to Sparkle. Sparkle always seems much more useful to me.

Webflow is rapidly becoming standard for professional web designers for the flexibility and possibilities - bad thing about it is the forced Webflow-CMS only. Great tool for professionals who need that kind of power and flexibility. I would use it with clients if they have a nacional payment gateway in my country.

Wix have been around for a while. Great for not web designers, also good for professionals but not as flexible. That’s why they’ve released Editor X so they can compete with Webflow directly since there’s isn’t anyone else doing this kind of power+flexibility for web dev. It’s really good, but not there yet.

Sparkle isn’t pro-ready as of now, but it have a lot of potential to get there if it desires to, but i’d rank it in the same area as of Wix - its a “do it yourself tool” for non web professionals.

That’s my take on it :slight_smile:

And what draws the line between professional and non professional in your view?

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I used WiX for a few years, even when they launched the “X” upgrade. What frustrated me the most is that just like many other web-design apps is that you’re limited to the building blocks they supply and, can only work in the fashion WiX dictates. And, that since it’s on online-only web-based tool you’re stuck waiting for things to update in the background, based on their server response time.

And tech support from WiX?? Truly non-existent. Every time I called to get help it was, “let me put you on hold to ask my team…”. Meaning, the people that answer the phones have no clue how their own software works, they have to msg an expert and wait for a reply. Really???

Sparkle may or may not be a “pro” tool when compared to the old-school apps like Dreamweaver, but those tools are also extremely difficult to learn. Even Blocs, the closest competitor to Sparkle is also non-intuitive despite their claims of being simple and fast. And it’s NOT free flowing, you’re locked into how the “blocks” perform and you can’t “think outside the bloc” as it were. haha

Working with break-points is still a struggle for me and learning the proper way takes some practice, but others have mastered it and it works well. For whatever reason my swiss-cheese brain has difficulty processing the in’s and out’s, so my design/s just avoid it altogether.

What I like most about Sparkle is:

  1. It’s a “real” app that lives on my system. So there’s no waiting to see how things look or operate. Drag-n-drop and test it immediately in preview mode. Perfect.

  2. It’s a free-flowing design tool. You’re not locked into a specific mode of how things get put together. Want to throw a bunch of stuff together to see what happens? Sparkle will let you. It’s true there are some limitations to whats possible and, there’s always a few minor features that get suggested (and often applied to updates), but in all it’s the most logical, intuitive and easy-to-use web design tool I’ve come across thus far. It’s iWeb on steroids - times x10.

  3. Need help? Post a question and you’ll get responses quickly. Often times from Duncan himself. Try getting that kind of support from anywhere else!

  4. If you have expert-level web-code knowledge you can easily plug that into Sparkle, if you’re a code monkey, which I’m not. And is the main reason I chose Sparkle - I don’t want to be!! I have a job…

  5. Like the old Apple campaign from years ago, “It just works”.

Unless you endeavor to learn deeper software with tools that require being a code-monkey I think it unwise to choose anything other than Sparkle.


I am a non-pro but when I was desperately searching for a downloadable non-coding web design software after iWeb had disappeared, I looked extensively at all of Sparkle’s competitors and was incredibly disheartened. Unfortunately I hadn’t stumbled across Sparkle until right at the end of my search when I’d all but given up hope. Within a few hours I had made a new site for my church in Singapore and I’ve never looked back.

I still look at competitors now out of a general curiosity. But I don’t believe there’ll be anything that even comes close to Sparkle and with its blogging capability now built in, I’d never consider any other software. One thing is for certain, I’d never get the kind of support that’s available here. For that alone, Sparkle is worth it’s weight in gold!


As always in these Pro versus Consumer debates, whether software, cameras, Macs / PC
it’s what you create that matters, not the tools or how you do it.

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@Euan ,

Unfortunately i have to disagree with you, tools may matter a lot.

It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to create - a piece of furniture, a painting, a sculpture, etc, as long as you use the proper tool(s).

There’s an expression for that: "Use the right tools for the job"

I usually use the following expression:
"It’s all about having the right tools and understand how to use them in the right way"

On the other hand how advance the tool may be, it doesn’t necessarily mean the easier it will be to create a “masterpiece” - that’s a misconception a lot of ppl make!.

And btw,
this discussion (or exchange of experience) is NOT about Pro vs Consumer


Alright, so I guess the question consumer/pro question isn’t good?

What are the ways in which other tools you all are familiar with are better than Sparkle in ways that are meaningful to you, and that hence let you build a better website?

This thread is interesting for me as I try to decide between Sparkle vs an online system (likely Webflow) to build out my site. I’m not a professional and things have changed a lot since I last built a site over 10 years ago.

Sounds ideal for my needs, but I’m interested to hear more from @primo as to why Webflow isn’t “pro-ready” in his opinion. What can’t it do? In what areas does it fall short?

Sparkle and webflow are extremely different. Superficially you might believe their marketing that webflow is visual. It might be more visual than hand coding HTML, but in absolute terms it is very definitely not.


For me the need is key. If you build one site for you, all tools using templates are fine. But if you start a business like me with different clients having specific needs and layout request SPARKLE is the only reliable software. Plus the level of security embedded in the pages created his 100 times better than other tools.

When a new customer calls me, the first thing I do is test his site with LIGHTHOUSE and I am always surprised to see all the bugs and security flaws in the site made with other tools compared to the one I made with SPARKLE.


I’m assuming you mean Sparkle instead of Webflow?

I know most people don’t have experience working in a web agency, but dependency itself is a big factor when working with multiple clients between multiple collaborators. See, the Adobe suite for example have been successful for 25+ years in the design and creative industry because it end product is generated in a format used worldwide on that specific segment, and you can even access their own format documents (.psd and .ai which are basically .pdf renamed) with other tools.

When you’re working with a multidisciplinary team, you have structures and scales of projects that goes by supervision on every step. Websites are architected by information architects which goes into a production pipeline until it reaches completion and maintenance, getting through the branding, UX, UI, marketing and engineering/development teams - these steps must be as designed by the info architect.

Sparkle can’t yet reproduce 100% of fidelity from a designed file to its canvas, and instead you need to adapt to its forced margins and some breakpoints and content control setup limitations, which you can bypass using the developer tools but also it would defeat the point of Sparkle (that is to not code)

Sparkle is a great tool, don’t get me wrong, and it can be very pro oriented. Since i started using it two-ish years ago for smaller projects, the tool has evolved in an incredible way that i’ve been considering recommending it to my engineers. Also, it is build to help solo-preneuers who don’t understand much of the web to build their websites, and can be used by agencies, but since it generates a own proprietary file (.sparkle) it gets hard to be maintained by a big agency, therefore the (wrongly) classification of “non pro”

I’ll link some inspirational big agency websites which some you can do in Sparkle and some not:

Scepter & Sword (this not so much because of the horizontal scrolling, but who knows someday)

Ferrumpipe < How this website was done by Cuberto Agency

Kikk Festival (2021)

Bot | The first wine with LOL inside. (these animations and interactions would be incredible)

Put your kitchen operations on autopilot - use Hyphen

Home | Amuse-Bouche


Keep in mind, these websites are built as an experience and some aren’t designed to be SEO or sales oriented, which every creative type website truthfully sucks a lot in just because of the sheer amount of stuff there is in it. Some are even laggy in some older systems.

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Interesting thanks! I understand the canvas width objection, but the project file format not so much. Sketch, XD, Figma and countless other tools have proprietary file formats, not to mention cloud stuff like webflow which doesn’t event have a file, what’s true is that for web coding the lowest common denominator is HTML, and HTML is simply not rich enough to build a project file format, particularly one that spans more than a single page. But anyway website review can happens with published HTML, which Sparkle does do.

The small/medium web agencies I have seen use wordpress templates, and lightly customize them, so they don’t need to code them (which would be too much work for the price they charge). A large agency will likely have in house coders, and website prices easily going from the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes Sparkle is not aiming at that.

That said some quick commentary on the websites you posted:

  • horizontal scrolling says it all… what’s the point? they even have to put a massive mouse cursor override to explain how to scroll…
  • and guess what, no horizontal scrolling on mobile, because it feels too awkward and there’s no mouse cursor!
  • a loading animation? in my book this means they blew it, don’t really care how much of an “experience” it is, hate it with the force of a million suns
  • several of the effects seem to be doable with play-on-scroll video, by creating an appropriate video, something we also do on our current homepage
  • the website alters mouse scrolling and feels very stuffy
  • this looks well implemented but maybe it’s the particular visual style I don’t really care for, not really impressed
  • it does have some nice visual effects, but nothing to call home for
  • navigation affordances seems to have been lost, not quite clear what’s a link and what not
  • it appears page transitions are the next big design thing, they feel rather clunky here
  • again a loading “intro”, meh
  • the parallax while moving the mouse quite frankly feels like a novelty that wears off really quickly
  • the animations maybe are on brand, but it feels extremely overdone
  • this too alters mouse scrolling and feels very stuffy
  • again a loading “intro”, :man_facepalming:
  • some nice effects and layout that can’t quite be done in Sparkle, but otherwise pretty straightforward?
  • again a loading “intro”, ah well
  • nice design but overall a pretty straightforward layout?
  • this too alters mouse scrolling and feels very stuffy
  • this looks pretty great, very nice photography and clean design
  • this would likely not make sense to build in Sparkle, but because of the product database that drives the site, rather than because Sparkle is that far away from being able to replicate the look exactly

Honestly I kind of feel sorry for the companies that spent money on the novelty sites. So “not web” in feel and interaction, and ultimately not that interesting either. And as you say, looking at lighthouse scores doesn’t even begin to make sense for these.

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That’s true, but those are collaboration tools - Sketch even lose its place within the design industry for lacking the online collab structure Figma implemented and XD run fast to catch it (Sketch just implemented this feature while Figma had it when it launched in 2016-17 if i recall it right)

About the websites, as you’ve noted, they’re not for everyone and some are kind of a over statement just to have a web presence, but they aren’t useless either. I do understand that Sparkle (and yours of course) philosophy is to be original and creative, and that’s really what I want and expect - to be able to do the most creative website that illustrate my client’s brand, desires and public (and most of the time we are able to with Sparkle)

And i do agree, pre-loaders are just unnecessary (if you analyze you’ll see some of those are plain timers and aren’t even loading anything, check it out lol)

But those layouts structures and horizontal scrolling and whatnot are important just for being another way to interact with the web. If we were to be functional 100% of the time, we wouldn’t be using the sneakers we use today since the bland leather boots would do the job just fine (I suppose? never used one, but its a figure of speech of course)