Blocs (current version 4.2) – is a software used to create websites in Mac OS (10.10 Yosemite and higher). This is a unique niche product, the major goal of which is to provide Mac users with a premium web building tool. There is no separate product version for Windows. The target audience is Mac users only.
Blocs is a downloadable software used to create promo websites, landing pages and portfolios. Apple ideology is in the basis of the product: according to the major idea, a user has to get aesthetic pleasure from working with the application. Quality and extensive functionality of the program contributes to this objective.
When it comes to Blocs positionaing, user impressions and experience come first. The majority of users understand that if web designers have notably invested into the development of interface design, then the rest of the features will be also provided on a decent level. Can this statement be applied to Blocs? That’s not quite clear yet. So, let’s make the detailed analysis now to find that out.
1. Pros and Cons
The major Blocs advantage is the unique design and presentation of the visual editor. Distinct definition of the target audience – Mac users – contributes to the benefits of the service. It is clear that the app was created from scratch, without any copying of external services. However, there are some advantages, which are more or less significant.
| ✔ An opportunity to create an unlimited number of website templates;|
✔ Compatibility of templates with several CMS;
✔ An opportunity to save the themes of separate web pages;
✔ An option of editing the features of element classes in the graphic interface (Class Manager panel);
✔ Responsive template design;
✔ The comparative simplicity of editor use;
✔ Stylish interface;
✔ Quality FAQ.
| ✘ High cost of a published website;|
✘ Complicated website publication scheme for newbies;
✘ Absence of the integrated FTP manager;
✘ Almost complete inefficacy of using the program without CMS.
2. What Is It Good for?
The platform appears to be a powerful web design tool developed for users with no coding skills. In reality, it may take newbies some time to get used to the website builder. At first, it might seem quite complex and confusing. The good news is that it really does not require technical skills, as all the coding takes place in the background, while users get a chance to focus mainly on visuals, site or page structure, content, and other baseline elements.
As for the project types, the platform leaves enough flexibility and freedom to create a fully-featured small business site, a professional portfolio, or online representation for individual entrepreneurs. It offers enough tools to launch eCommerce projects and lets online merchants establish a solid online presence. It is perfect for creative minds who want to showcase their works in the most appealing and stylish way. The system will work out for cafes and restaurants, retail, freelancers, agencies, etc.
3. Ease of Use
The latest Blocs 4.2 version has received a couple of minor updates. Users will appreciate an updated Bootstrap 5 framework, improved translations to German, a language selector finally added, Js and CSS combined to be used as a single file when exporting, and some other slight refreshments.
The building process has become much easier if compared to previous software versions. An average user might need several days to create a ready-to-go website with all necessary features included. Blocs combine ready-made elements and block libraries to be adjusted to an empty website canvas.
Users will have access to a collection of page elements that include headers, forms, images, and more in addition to custom structure blocks that include empty columns, on-page spaces for images and text content, etc. Moreover, the new version comes with support for HTML5 reserving much space for professional coders and web designers to create unique site layouts.
While Blocs is the website building app, it comes as downloadable software. To get access to its features you need either buy a full license or opt for a free trial version. In both cases, the system asks to provide some personal info. When the signing-in process is completed, you will be able to download and install a chosen software version.
Website Editing Process
As we have mentioned earlier, the software offers ready-made canvases that are easy to modify and change. Users may add empty columns as well as spaces for images and texts. Another way is to use blocks and elements libraries. Here you will find collections of page elements and sections to be added with a click. Blocs 3 features drag-and-drop functionality making it easy to change the elements positioning.
The great news about the new software version is that now you have the entire website hierarchy indicated in the left sidebar. You may reach any section or element with ease instead of switching between different screens as it was in the previous version. The same is with dropping new bricks to the page. Simply pick the one and drag it to the space needed. Here we have tabbed content boxes, image galleries, audio players, headers, contact forms, social media buttons, etc.
The platform comes with the CSS class editor. Users are free to modify blocks and elements styling ensuring they look and run great on different devices despite the screen size. In addition, the system delivers total control over page source code, to support HTML5. Experienced coders will appreciate programming flexibility while newbies can benefit from features like ScrollFX controls. We will discuss both a bit further in our review.
Еру Blocs 4.2 app was developed as a website and page builder. It does not provide hosting facilities. You will need to take care of it yourself. The good news is that the new version is supported by some simple and yet popular CMS platforms. They include Cushy, Pulse, October, and some others. It ensures seamless integration of the website files with the content management system as well as its database.
4. Features & Flexibility
The Blocs app might be a good pack for both newbies who only start figuring out how the system works as well as professional coders looking for a chance to create their unique layouts. The software features may also be divided into two major groups. The first group is for users who do not want to dive deep into the editing process. The second one is for more creative-minded people.
Built on Bootstrap 5
Programmers and coders would be happy to learn that the new Blocs version was developed on Bootstrap 5. The framework comes with support for different devices including smartphones and tablets. Users are free to implement various dimensions to each element or section making it look good on different types of devices despite the display sizes, carriers, etc. All your website pages will run well despite the breakpoints.
Support for HTML5
We have already said a few words about this feature. It was designed for beginners who want to make their websites look a bit cooler. The idea is to add different effects to some of the website elements when scrolling the page down. They may include fading-in or animation effects. The control panel lets you implement each of them with ease. Simply pick the element you need and choose the way it will look like when scrolling down.
This particular brick helps advanced users to input the piece of the HTML code. From now, Blocs 3 users will have a chance to change the way the checkbox looks like. Apart from a traditional version, there is also a mobile mode that results in a modern look. In addition, you may set either vertical or horizontal checkbox stacking.
Local Network Preview
A great feature for all Mac users who benefit from a local network connection. It lets you preview the way your site looks like in different devices connected to the same network as your laptop powered by Mac. Not only you will be able to preview all pages, but also edit some of their elements right in the browser.
Users get full control over the icons with a chance to change them thanks to a newly developed Icon brick. First of all, you need to choose from a selection of ready-made icon blocks. Then you may replace the pre-set icon with your own as well as adjust 5 of the available fonts to make it look more catchy.
Layer Tree Options
As we have mentioned earlier, Blocs 3 depicts the page hierarchy with all the elements and sections in the same window with no need to switch between modes. At the same time, a layer tree ensures a fast overview of all elements you have on the selected page. From now, you may also access different options to process layers. They include deleting, collapsing, duplicating, and other operations assign color keys and other points to arrange all layers in the most effective way.
Generally, Blocs functionality is on the medium level. Its major advantages are interesting design and original presentation of standard features. They are enough to design appealing business websites, even those that don’t accept online payments. The app requires hosting and sometimes CMS that will be compatible with it. Blocs itself is not an individual working unit. The key downside is that the software is available only for Mac users.
5. Design & Templates
The system does not offer ready-made templates on default. However, users may opt for paid templates delivered by Blocs. There are 36 layouts currently available in the templates section on the official website. They are sold as packages. The price will depend on the number of websites you want to create. Each theme has a preview mode and detailed description that contains the build date, framework used (currently Bootstrap 5), requirements, latest updates, version, etc.
Experienced coders will appreciate the ability to create a site from the blank using a set of dedicated programming tools we have discussed earlier. The dashboard has a preview mode to check how the site looks on desktop, mobile, or tablets.
Moreover, the system has CSS styling options to change elements’ dimensions and let them meet mobile users’ demands. The class editor is able to adjust the same palette colors across different elements to make them look well on different devices as well. The navigation bar will be automatically generated in accordance with the screen dimensions.
6. Customer Support
Blocs provides users with a sufficient number of customer support options, including forum, Vimeo channel and Knowledge Center. All of them feature decent quality, especially FAQ and video tutorials. You can contact the developers via the online support desk, while the recent news are available in the official blog or Twitter channel.
All the tutorials allow using the search filter option. They are detailed and structured into categories. The quality of tech support is ok. To get in touch with it, you should be a registered Blocs user. By the way, there is no live chat and email communication option here. There is only the ticket system you can make use of.
7. Plans & Pricing
Here you will not find traditional subscriptions or plans. The system offers lifetime ownership for everyone who decides to purchase the license. Fortunately, there is a free-trial period that makes it possible to test some of the baseline features and make up your mind if the platform is worth buying. As for the prices, the latest Blocs 4.2 version will cost you $99 with the native Mac app, different editing modes and content managers included in the pack.
However, the package is only good in terms of the building process. It does not let you launch a fully-feared website with optimized content or instruments to sell online. At this point, you might want to have some extensions and buy a Blocs Plus package with SEO, Store, Image Editor, integrated custom WP themes, Class Library management, and some other great features. Also, note that this price does not include Tax, which will be automatically dedicated during the purchase. It all makes Blocs 4.2 a bit overpriced.
8. Website Examples
After we have examined the system in detail and learned about all of its features, it is time to look at some of the live website examples built using Blocs.
Mr. Zakaria – web design and programming
Hair Story – an online beauty salon and shop
John Russel Jones – graphics and design
10 The Strand – a hotel
Lemon Cook – online recipes
Cost Lawyers – cost industry legal specialists
Blocs is a good niche product. It works well for launching business websites with a small number of pages, such as promo websites, portfolios and landing pages. If you approach the web development process wisely, the websites will be appealing and functional. Regardless of the pleasant interface and general positive impressions from the working process, this application is not the best choice for an average user.
Blocs can be considered a stylish HTML web page editor, which requires extra tools to publish a website. It is inconvenient to use it independently. When working with CMS, the situation changes for the better, even though, it’s not possible to call this scheme convenient and cheap. You will have to master the FTP manager, hosting set up and CMS itself. This is quite overwhelming for a person willing to create the first website, isn’t it?
Here arises the question: why use Blocs, if this is so complicated? Maybe, it makes sense to choose a more suitable website builder and stop making simple things difficult? Anyway, it is much simpler and more affordable to use a quality cloud website builder with a WYSIWYG editor. You will get hosting, templates, bonuses (like a free domain name or something like that) and, what really matters, a single interface for the entire web building process. It’s also more convenient to make the payments here – everything is found in the same interface.
Just like any other desktop web building application, Blocs cannot compete with renowned cloud website builders. It is not about the quality of the product. It’s about its type: the app requires more technical skills to be used to the advantage as compared to website builders and it also ensures similar result. So, why make things complicated? Unfortunately, Blocs is initially a lost case for the prevailing amount of users.