The last five years have seen the rise of open, free and popular CSS+HTML5+JS frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation Zurb and Ink for creating mobile responsive apps for a variety of SPAs (Single Page Applications) to larger multi-page websites. It should not be a surprise that each of these free frameworks has generated a number of libraries of free and premium themes and templates to give your app development a quick start.
Shown below is the StartBootstrap library:
There are similar themes/templates for Foundation Zurb, Ink and other JS frameworks.
These theme libraries are very similar to WordPress or Joomla theme/templates so it should not be a surprise to see a tool like Mobirise appear which, in effect, delivers a Bootstrap IDE.
Mobirise allows you to build your own theme template and website in drag and drop fashion with immediate frontend WYSIWYG feedback.
We can testify Mobirise certainly delivers very fast website design and development.
Like other CMS and JS frameworks, Mobirise provides basic free and premium templates which web developers then cut/paste to modify:
Mobirise is WYSIWYG to the core while traditional tools resemble the MS Visual Studio approach:
WYSIWYG or Traditional Approach?
There are benefits to each development method. The WYSIWYG frontend, interactive approach favors development speed and immediate design resolution. The traditional approach does give finer control over both the the UI component functionality and refinement of the UI styling. but the Mobirise template approach certainly delivers fast results.
The following photo-promo website was designed and delivered using Mobirise in less than a day including all the photo refinements:
So if you need to deliver a small to medium size website, Mobirise can help deliver quick results that can be refined with traditional tools like NetBeans or WebStorm. So the question now is – how far can Mobirise take you and at what cost?
First and foremost Mobirise is a free, standalone app that runs in Windows and Mac and delivers responsive, mobile apps using Bootstrap 3 and 4 codebase, with the free app coming with two free theme templates which provide a core set of blocks including hero image, image slider, text block, and image testimonial blocks.
To get the full range of blocks for Mobirise, users can buy a selection of individual blocks or packages of several blocks as seen in the screen shot below:
The prices roughly correspond to those paid for premium WordPress plugins and themes. The big difference is that these themes and extensions can be used in an unlimited number of personal and commercial websites. Support is through a forum and updates to the themes and extensions may incur an added cost.
See the video below to see the full range of themes and blocks available:
According to Mobirise: “Mobirise is perfect for non-techies who are not familiar with the intricacies of web development and for designers who prefer to work as visually as possible, without fighting with code. Also great for pro-coders for fast prototyping of small customers’ projects.”
This is the UI IDE revolution that has strongly impacted CMS tools like SquareSpace, Webs, Weebly, and most importantly WordPress. IDEs for WYSIWYG PageBuilding, Slider Creation, and Gallery Generation make it possible to deliver effective, mobile responsive websites in record time and lower costs.