The evolution of website builders

Are Bootstrap-based website builders really lagging behind current web design trends? Unfortunately it’s true. And every day this lag becomes more and more noticeable and obvious. Let’s try to understand in detail why this happens.

At first, webmasters edited the content of web pages in text editors. Text editors still allow you to edit HTML code today. At best, such editors had convenient coloring and automatic code formatting, as well as error highlighting. The first stage is connected with the transition from text editors to visual ones.

Switching to Bootstrap

The second transition is related to the development of blogging systems like WordPress and Joomla, as well as theme creation tools like Artisteer, in which people have developed millions of themes. But over time, the designs made by Artisteer became obsolete.

Several popular website builders have been released, as well as plugins mainly for WordPress, such as Webflow, VisualCompuser, Elementor, Divi and others. Most of them are based on Bootstrap. However, they are well suited to work in Web Design 2.0.

What do they lack to be suitable for Web Design 3.0? Mostly because website builders and plugins based on Bootstrap do not have free positioning and layers. In addition, they do not offer the simplicity and ease of use that all available graphic design tools have and that web designers need.

Recently Bootstrap has changed the illustration on the main page. As you can see below, the illustration depicts layers. Maybe Bootstrap is working on layering and free positioning.

If white space is required, then designers usually add blank cells and rows in modular grids. To create element overlaps, you must specify negative margin values. This turns the process of web design, which should be fun, into a difficult and boring job.

We are currently seeing a move to Web Design 3.0. And it is gaining popularity even right now. Unfortunately, most popular website builders do not allow you to create modern websites.

We believe that urgent action needs to be taken to continue the development of web design. In doing so, steps must be taken in the right direction. There are many options for how you can simplify the creation of sites and give more opportunities for creativity, but not all of these options are good.

The impossibility of creativity

It’s hard to believe, but it turns out that often developers are moving in the opposite direction. Some newer tools, such as Wix ADI, GoDaddy Site Builder, and Mobirise, offer users only a fixed set of ready-made blocks or templates where only text and images can be replaced, but the layout cannot be changed.

Do developers really want all sites to look the same? Does this provide an opportunity for creativity and is this how web design development should be?

It’s true, such tools are usually easy to use as you can’t “break” the design. Perhaps some users are willing to trade the ability to change the design for the ease of use of the tool.

Our goal is the simplest website builder, which at the same time provides maximum freedom for creativity. We need a real revolution in website building tools.

Website builders have stopped developing

Why aren’t new tools being created that the web design industry needs so much?

Complexity. Website builders are complex systems that require significant investments and a lot of time to develop. You also need a great idea that can change the web design.

Monopolism. It is very difficult for new tools to enter the existing website builder market. The current tools have a large user base built up over the years. New tools are difficult to communicate to a large number of users.

Passivity. Developers and users who use website builders are very passive. Changes are always associated with certain risks and additional efforts. And people prefer not to change anything, because they think that it will always be the way it is now. Please don’t be inert!

Progress can’t be stopped

The design doesn’t stand still. No one can stop development. Nevertheless, the new always meets difficulties along the way. Our shared goal is to support Web Design 3.0 innovators to change the web.

For example, electric vehicles continue to take over the market despite huge resistance from oil monopolies and conventional fuel car manufacturers.

It may seem that current web design 2.0 and popular website builders are the only alternatives. But this is far from true. Our task is to give a chance to something truly new. Together we can spread the word about web design 3.0 and next generation tools!

Going beyond modular grids

As already mentioned, web design 3.0 requires free positioning and going beyond modular grids. The unique arrangement of elements makes the whole design unique. This is quite different from using two-, three-, and four-column designs, which all look alike.

Free positioning makes web design unique. In the picture below you can see a comparison of element positioning. For web design 3.0, it is very important to have free positioning.

These features are standard for graphic design tools. In the third part, we will discuss how we can use these features in practice to make pages according to Web Design 3.0. Free positioning and overlapping elements are gaining popularity in all areas of design.