Blocs: what do people think?

I’m wondering if anyone out there has done some design work with Blocs 4? It seems like it has continued to develop nicely … but this is only an outsiders perspective.

It would be particularly useful to hear any pros/cons of Blocs relative to RW.

Thanks in advance for any insights folks can provide.

2 Likes

Previously, I had bought Blocs 3 but never used it.

This year, I bought Blocs 4 as well as Eldar’s training videos. The jury, in my estimation, is mixed. There were certain aspects of Blocs that were infinitely more elegant and intuitive than RW, but there were other aspects that should have been easy, but were in fact way more clumsy, way more difficult, and which required an unseemly and inordinate amount of coding.

I also found Blocs Customer Support to be somewhat temperamental. I was informed on one occasion that what I was asking assistance for, a simple enough procedure on RW but seemingly impossible for me with Blocs, was beyond the tech’s pay grade and inclination to respond. This left a very sour taste in my mouth.

I reverted to the known craziness of RW.

I used Blocs 3 for a while. After a learning curve, I really liked it. I even had a few templates for sale for Blocs, which sold “OK”.

It’s very different to use to RW, but after a while, I found it far more intuitive to use in terms of “the right way” to build out a website. I said at the time for a lot of RW users who want to build fairly simply websites it was a better option than RW. In the end, stopped with it as it lacked the stacks eco-system that RW has/had.

I always found the support excellent.

1 Like

@IvoryBlack and @TemplateRepo Thanks for both of your inputs. This is all very good to know.

Without thinking about it consciously … being able to replicate those aspects of the Stacks eco-system that I use would be of primary importance. Hmm … it seems for me that WordPress will remain my #2 development tool: it really has improved a lot in the past few years.

The weakness of RW, Blocs, and Stacks for me has always been the single developer model. Something goes wrong with one of them then the whole thing crashes down.

But WP is no different, it has a load of third party devs who make all the fancy stuff, no?

Blocs suffers less from this though it you just want to make fairly simple sites, as it can all be done with the default tools, so need no addons.

Maybe also get a look at Pinegrow. I really like it. You can drop in various templates to get you started, or just build from scratch using the pre-built elements (drag and drop) or just codde it all yourself.

I dpn’t do a huge amount in the website arena now, maybe half a dozen client sites this year, I’ve moved into a new area with my main business. But, if websites still figured highly, I’d be putting my learning time in to Pinegrow, not another system like RW/Blocs etc. And certainly not WP! I spent a month this year “learning it”, and hated everything about it! Horses for courses.

@mitchellm with Blocs you’ll also be able to use Repository and a great CMS 😉

2 Likes

I spent some time time using Blocs3 and also RW/Stacks with Foundry, and I was very impressed with how slick the whole Blocs experience was. What I found was that trying to use 2 became difficult switching between the 2 and frustrating because each one had strengths and I would often feel that I wish RW could do what Blocs could do and vice versa.

What changed for me was when Source was released in Aug 2019 and I was finally able to do everything I wanted to do with RW/Stacks/Source, and stopped using Blocs and others. I now pretty much do everything with just Source and a handful of stacks.

I do keep an eye on Blocs (now Blocs4) and it has grown in focussed leaps and bounds while RW has just stagnated with nothing new happening for years. As frustrating as that is however, for me, RW7 is nothing but a front end to Stacks and by using the right stacks it works well enough. All the current development for RW is coming from just a few smart Stacks developers. In a way this negates the single developer dependency of RW because there is no ongoing development that we can see other than keeping up with new versions of macOS. RW’s dependency is Stacks, so as long as Isaiah, Stuart and Norm don’t get on the same flight, we should be OK.

The new feature that Blocs4 can create a Wordpress template may draw me back into blocs when I next need a WP solution, but at that point I would evaluate Blocks against Elementor or whatever WP system I need to gain access to. Also the video based Blocs Academy is amazing and shows what can be done when you work hard at something.

If you are a seasoned RW Stacks user having invested $100’s in expensive frameworks and stacks and then invested the time to learn how to use RW, then Blocs or using any other Web App will mean throwing away all the RW stuff and relearning everything.

If you are new to building web sites then RW would be a very hard sell over Blocs4 especially with the quality of help in Blocs. Blocs has everything needed to build a modern website without any further purchases.

1 Like

What’s “Source”? Not heard of it before.

2 Likes

Thanks for all the responses. I believe I’ve heard about PineGrow before but will look into it a bit more.

To be fair, currently I’m completely happy with my setup: RW, Foundry (with add-on packs), Repository, and a few other stacks. I create course websites and the combo all works great.

But I’ll have a bit more free time starting in January and I figure it’s always useful to explore alternative approaches just in case.

1 Like

It would be great to hear which tasks you found troublesome when using Blocs.

Also apologies if you didn’t get a reply, I reply to most tech questions but occasionally some of my reply’s bounce and don’t get through.

1 Like