Best Visual Website Builder for macOS?

Software Folder | BUSINESS

Is ‍Sparkle ‍3 ‍Really ‍the ‍New ‍Gold ‍Standard ‍in ‍Mac ‍web ‍Design ‍Apps?


What is Sparkle?

Sparkle, the free-form visual website builder for macOS


The team at River SRL, a privately funded company, founded in 2011, are busy working on Sparkle from the beautiful Florence, Italy, as we speak…


Sparkle is a simple to use visual website builder because it works in a way that most people find natural. There are no requirements for the user to execute any HTML coding. However, if you really need to, you can (You knew that already). 

Anyway, what you may also find interesting about Sparkle is how quickly you can pull something together, with or without using a template.

Choose a Template or Create from Scratch

In this example, I have used one of the prebuilt templates and have customised it to work with my own graphics and colour ways.

choose a template

Choose a Template

sparkle dream team

Start Editing

dream team sf

Customise and make it yours…

Viewing the screenshot above, you can get a good idea of what to expect from Sparkle, in terms of what it will readily allow you to do. Note that to the left of the screen you have a panel for adding, deleting and navigating through your web pages. You also have a Layers options…

Now, to the right of the screen are all the typical features for SEO and ‘identifying’ your pages with a meta title and description. Describing what your pages are about is obviously important for web search engines, and Sparkle makes it an effortless experience for even those less familiar with the basic SEO regime.

Indeed, from the Sparkle dashboard you’ll find that just as with macOS Pages and Keynote, in fact, most graphics software for macOS, the panel to the right, from which you can edit and ‘style’ the items on your page. The panel, in the case of Sparkle, consists of 3 tabs;

Style = fonts, text, colours, etc.
Arrange = placement; positioning and sizing of items, etc.
Page = page title and description, etc.

Unlocking all the Sparkle Features.

There are lots of other features locked away from the free version of Sparkle. However, producing something functional is easily within reach. In fact,  if you are familiar with macOS Pages or Keynote, then you’ll feel quite at home with Sparkle

Here is a list of Sparkle features you can have access to with a paid account:

features sparkle 900

For Efficiency

• a redesigned, understated, sharper UI
• new look for Big Sur
• new Sparkle icon
• SEO assistant and health check: insights to optimize your website
• layers view
• 6 new template designs
• template picker when creating a new website
• option to import entire website
• new device layout state settings for faster responsive design workflow • integrated links to documentation
• editing of a multi-selection
• options to apply changes to all images in a gallery
• ability to drag and drop a page between project windows
• options to collapse sidebars
• QR Code to open preview on mobile
• Microsoft Edge and Brave browser preview support
• password-less, key based SFTP authentication
• copy current page URL and RSS URL to the clipboard
• character count for page title and description
• preview of the cookie banner, and its effect, on all pages
• text replace

For Performance

• optimisation for new “Web Vitals” metrics
• automatic perceptual image optimisation for jpeg and WebP images
• better PNG image compression
• SVG optimisation
• parallelised image compression on multi-core Macs

For Better Website…

• a built-in blog with automatic index generation
• custom post content for the index and RSS
• automatic RSS generation
• mega menus (in page popups with button hover)
• full screen mobile menus (using fixed position popups with animation)
• modal banners, offers, etc (using modal popups with timer or scroll based display)
• payment buttons (PayPal, Stripe, Snipcart, Ecwid, Gumroad, Paddle)
• property booking (Houfy)
• calendars (Houfy property calendar, Calendy and appointment booking)
• table booking (Opentable, The Fork, Quandoo)
• parallax effects
• typewriter effect (via smart fields)
• countdown effect (via smart fields)
• counter effect (via smart fields)
• insertion of math formulas (via smart fields)
• extraction of photo EXIF information for standalone photos and galleries (via smart fields: exposure time, f-number, ISO speed, focal length, date/time, flash, camera model, lens model)
• (via smart fields) page title, date/time, code frag… 
• AdSense
• audio and video player controls and layout customisation
• global and per-page developer settings
• 150 new built-in fonts
• Lottie animations
• can designate a reply-to field in contact form
• activate after consent for analytics
• box background filters
• full-width video
• contour shadow for images with transparency
• gallery image description
• text citation

Preview and Publish.

Now here is what you get when you preview your completed layout. Sparkle hasn’t deviated from the meaning of trial, so you will need to purchase an upgrade to publish your web pages to disk.

sparkle preview

Sparkle Conclusion

Sparkle in some ways positions itself as a generic website builder for independent creative professionals and small businesses. It provides a near to immediate means of accessing monetisation tools and other essentials without the need for any html coding on the users behalf.

This is great for graphic designers, photographers, musicians, film directors, and other creators looking for a standalone website design software solution, that they can immediately familiarise themselves and start building something tangible.


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