Sparkle vs. Wordpress

I use my downtime and push through to finish my company website.
While looking at what the competition is doing and still try to perfect my path as Webdesigner I come to uncountable web designers who offer WordPress.
I know Sparkle does not have a CMS function and realised that all my previous clients before did not have time anyhow to learn a CMS backend.
I know all those disadvantages of WordPress because I used to work with it for many years and I am very confident that when a prospect comes along and wants WordPress CMS functionality that I probably will lose that prospect.
I just wanna hear from others, what do you tell you, potential client, why Sparkle and not WordPress despite Sparkle does not have the CMS ability.

Don’t get me wrong, this post is not against Sparkle, I am more determined to Sparkle than ever, just want to hear what others think about it.

Thank you in advance.

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Hello @MiWe.

Allow me to share my thoughts in comparing Sparkle and WP not from someone who does web work for others but from someone who created and maintains their own.

I too first started down the WP road. I can program but choose not to. In particular with web work, I want large results quickly. So coding for web work at my level was not going to produce the results I wanted in the time I wanted them.

In the WP world, one decreases time for results by using building blocks (aka plug-ins), either provided by your host or purchased. And this is where my interest in WP went down and my interest in Sparkle went up.

I felt that WP was nickel and dime-ing me to death. Projections on monthly costs were more than I wanted to spend to operate and maintain my non-commercial site.

Sparkle provided me with (and this is key) what I needed. This included most of the functionality I sought. The lack of a CMS does at times hamper me. An example is the ability to tag content. However to date, I have been able to come up with workarounds.

The bottom line is it is best to start with goals and back out requirements followed by what is needed to fulfill the requirements be it tools, processes, and skills. One should avoid going in the other direction as it often leads to not achieving the goals.

I hope this helps.

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Letting a client dictate your design tools is a common trap for web designers. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let a client dictate your design tools/apps. You have to focus your clients on what they want to achieve. They are paying you to determine what is the best way to get to their goals. If they knew what and how to do it they wouldn’t need you. If using Sparkle doesn’t enable you to meet your client’s goals, then you need to use another App.

There is no one design app to build a website, not Wordpress and not Sparkle. Wordpress and Sparkle only get you 30% of the way to a finished professional website, at best. Wordpress, like Sparkle, is just a container. A typical Wordpress website site uses at least 20 plugins, including CMS functionality. Nearly all content and design work is done outside of these Apps.

I have moved half my client websites out of Sparkle due to its severely constrained and terrible device/fixed layout workflow. For example, the maximum device width in Sparkle is 1200. The minimum for desktop browsers today is 1400. Every new client and existing client site revision wants/needs the desktop above 1400. Also, the 5 device layouts in Sparkle are fixed. More and more I need to have the flexibility to adjust those layout widths. If Sparkle doesn’t change its device layout structure, I will have to stop using Sparkle sometime next year. Every content creator I talk to is up against the same limitations.

In the end, if a client demands a tool you can’t or won’t use, you have to have let them go. If a client controls your tools, they control you. That’s a nightmare, low paying business relationship.

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I agree somewhat with @thetravelhikelife! In the end a client has come to you for your expertise. They have a need/problem and you have the solution and therefore they do not dictate your tools. And if they do then you are aloud to say sorry unable to help you!

I also initially fritted about not having a remote CMS but then I sat down and did my homework. Having had a lot of clients with a lot of CMSs (not WordPress because I refused to use it) it became very apparent that in 98% of the cases they were asking me to update their site. Also to maintain a CMS and keep it up with security patches was just an absolute drain!

So I did not see Sparkle as a disadvantage and just jigged my business model.
Also the security of Sparkle is a massive advantage especially in today’s times where hacking is rampart! Hackers don’t bother with straight html (aka static) websites!

Sparkle has more growing to do no doubt, but nowadays I only push out 1200, 768, 320 websites. No need to complicate things! :slight_smile: …

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Sheesh. I’m at 1700 for desktops, and 700 for smartphones in portrait. I’m debating the tablet landscape at the moment. The 1200 in Sparkle is definitely a limitation, therefore I’m using a different program.
Since my sites are non profits only, I do have the advantage of playing with Mac and Window programs. I’m waiting for Sparkle to make adjustments in static numbers and smooth out the workflow between variants.

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That’s good design thinking…

I use of all 5 device breakpoints as Safari on MacOS use 3 device layouts, Safari on iOS uses 2, and iPadOS uses all 5 device layouts. Given the ability to design specific layouts would greatly improve design workflow and the user web experience in all versions of Safari.

I’ve found the same regarding CMS’s…It’s far cheaper for the client to have me update a website than build a full CMS. The security and privacy holes in the big three CMS’s; Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress are as big as their price tags.

For clients truly needing a CMS the best route is with Apple, believe or not. If a developer has an iOS/iPadOS/macOS App, Apple will host the related website for almost free. In addition, Apple provides the API’s and hosts a database/CMS in addition to a CDN to distribute content worldwide. After a web designer/content creator goes down this route the first time it becomes apparent that a good website benefits even more from an App too (designing for an App allows you to do way more than any browser).

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the biggest letdown for me on Sparkle is the accessibility of it, besides all the technical outdates around which we already know it faces. I’ve moved almost all the websites for clients i’ve made to another platform (with a substancial and interesting partner program). Sparkle is not ready yet to fulfill as a professional tool and relies on a very outdated client-professional system aka “the webmaster concept” or “your client doesn’t need to know how to manage their own stuff”.

Tools are made to help or achieve something - they can go either forward or backwards in the technology timeline. Websites are one of the most important pinpoints on branding and marketing of today businesses standards, it’s a constant interface between a business and their clients. That’s the shine of Wordpress, Webflow, Wix or Editor X - they’re accessible and they go with the flow. The cost is higher because the value of the interface you’re generating is higher, as a website is not only a “website” anymore. If that doesn’t matter to you, then it’s fine - it does for businesses.

For my personal website, it’s great, because I won’t be changing stuff so soon. But my client needs to be able to modify their stuff on the go, with their own team. All I do is the start kick, teach them off and they get going along with the strategy we’ve developed. Therefore I cannot sell Sparkle for them.

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In the end I pick my clients! …

I don’t focus on large businesses or corporations. I don’t focus on government (cough cough corporation) or NGOs and I stay away from all the alluring shiny things!!!

My clients are small to medium ethical business owners who need a big helping hand in getting them branded, marketed, and online and they have no time to learn another massive part of staying in business… That is what they are paying me for!

Sparkle on that level suffices. Sparkle gives me total control over the how when and where and has massively reduced my labour in the security department in maintaining a website!!! And knowing what is going on in the world at this moment I have my client’s back. When your remote building platform gets hacked or breached you are left with an empty screen!

I know the “modern way” is to take everything online. Even Windows11 for business (and then to the average user) is going to the “cloud” and you will need an internet connection and a browser to use it. Think where that leaves you?

Duncan fully knows Sparkle isn’t for everyone, but for the ones that it is it is a great product and I know will only get better as the months roll on! :slight_smile: …

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Thank you for everyone’s input, I am overwhelmed with those responses.

My take away is:

  • as Duncan said, Sparkle is not for every client.
  • don’t let you dictate from your client
  • CMS is not always needed
  • cannot have only one program
  • if client really wants WordPress so they need to go somewhere else, I won’t touch WordPress anymore

Made lots of thoughts the last weeks, I want to go the way to help the little ones, small to mid businesses, non profit companies and business starters. I believe I can help them lots more than the bigger ones and I don’t won’t get big as well.
With my programming background I can serve the niche out there.

I have observed Sparkle for a long time, jumped on board and left it again disappointed, thought there is better out there. I can back with version 3.x, Sparkle has improved a lot.
Out there is a lot cloud based, shiny, and cheaper at the first sight. I always missed the visual freedom I had with Sparkle. I found a cloud based visual builder similar as Sparkle but far far less options, even if you wanna have a hover effect, you need to code it in, Sparkle has it already build in. They don’t want to listen my needs, then I went back to Sparkle, where I feel confident with.

I am confident I can make Sparkle work for my future client, can see that @greenskin can make it work as well.
It needs to have a different approach, that’s why I wanted to hear others here.

In regards CMS I have the option integrate a CMS in Sparkle or go to a Russian cloud based “visual free” system what I have tried in 2019, but stopped it lack of Englisch training material.

Yes that’s my plan.

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I would suggest Wordpress is not for everyone either (in different ways).

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I would suggest Wordpress is not for everyone either (in different ways).

I think we all agree with that, I meant rather Sparkle is not for every client, that’s what you mention in a post couple days ago.
I didn’t want to make Sparkle bad in any shape and form, please don’t be offended.

No worries never offended. I am fully aware of what the market situation is. I also understand how designers trying to please their client can end up with tunnel vision, ignoring obvious deficiencies in Wordpress.

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Once the website for a police museum I built with Joomla was hacked. With a lot of trouble we could restore it. Since then I fully focus on and work with programs that build sites off-line.
Everything online will be hacked one day, so I fully agree with Greenskin, if possible stay off line and I am happy with Sparkle for the 6 sites I built and maintain with it.

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