Quarkly – is an online service that combines the functionality of a website builder, a graphic editor, and a typical IDE development environment. It makes it simple to build website layouts or applications from scratch offering several ways to handle the development process. Users may either benefit from an intuitive drag-and-drop interface or dive deep into the source code editing. In fact, the tool delivers instruments required by both web designers and programmers.
At the moment, Quarkly is available in the beta version. Using the tool will cost users nothing. They will get a chance to test all benefits of responsive editing that is good for beginners, or open the code editor to create unique applications and page mockups with all details automatically synchronized.
There is still much work to do. It is yet unclear what niche the product will mainly target or how much it will cost. However, the service looks very promising as a better alternative to using graphic and web design editors separately.
1. Pros and Cons
Quarkly introduces a symbiosis of responsive editing tools and full access to the source code. It helps users build websites and apps. However, you should not expect a fully-functional project. With this platform, you may only create a layout or a web interface without a built-in CMS or backend tools.
| ✔ A free online service for graphic/web designers and programmers.|
✔ Full control over the source code.
✔ Responsive editing with all changes synchronized.
✔ Ready-made blocks to create an intuitive web interface.
✔ Support for integrated Google Fonts.
✔ Easy-to-use interface with no special skills required.
✔ The opportunity to publish and test the app on Netlify.
| ✘ The product is currently in beta testing. It is unclear what niche it will target or what price it is going to have in the end.|
✘ Source code editing will require some web design and programming skills to create a logically connected structure for the interface.
✘ You do not build a ready-to-go site. You get the only layout.
2. What Is It Good for?
It is pretty hard to define the target audience, as Quarky does not target a specific niche at the moment. What we can say for sure, the tool will certainly meet the needs of professional web and graphic designers, front-end developers, and coders. The system comes as an advanced building instrument with an idea to combine cloud facilities and IDE environment making it easier for professional developers to create websites and apps.
Besides, the platform will work great to meet prototyping needs. Despite the fact it comes with a collaborative feature to let several specialists work on the same project, it is still hard to say whether it can meet the needs of corporations that require integrated tools for improved development workflow. On the one hand, it makes the programmers’ work faster. On the other hand, the system is currently using React components without support for other frameworks, which may also be a problem for development teams
In the end, we expect Quarky to become an advanced tool for handling all stages of the development process from prototyping with detailed project specifications, designing, building, deployment, and testing. The platform has all tools gathered in one place to complete each of these stages without using separate services.
3. Ease of Use
Although Quarky was designed with a focus on professional developers, beginners will still be able to use this tool. It comes with an intuitive interface and user-friendly building tools. Using the system does not mean you are supposed to work only with the source code. The product has a drag-and-drop functionality with simple ways to create a site layout from scratch using pre-designed elements and locks.
The only question is why newbies would ever want to use Quarky considering the fact it is not an all-in-one solution? On the other hand, the tool is free to use making it possible for amateurs to pick up some skills, experiment with design ideas, etc. Whatever you choose, you may do it free. The software is currently available at no cost. All you need is to sign up.
Users will have only two options to complete the registration process. They may use either a valid Google or Github account. There is no chance to sign in with an email and password, which is strange, as on the next stage the system will still ask you to indicate the email address to let the development team stay in touch.
This looks a bit confusing. Nevertheless, the signing-in procedure is very fast without the need to confirm your account, indicate the project type, or complete other useless manipulations.
Creating a New Project
Now, you are inside the Quarkly dashboard where it is possible to start a new project. Here you will see the list of all edited layouts with a chance to go back and continue from the last edit or start building a new project from the blank. Just give it a name and enter the control panel with all needed building and design tools inside.
The dashboard looks quite typical. Of course, with so many instruments inside less experienced users may need some more time to figure out how everything works here. However, you will quickly find the needed option. To start the building process, you need to choose to form a list of readymade blocks. The collection consists of the About sections, FAQs, contact forms, covers, footers, menus, social icons, etc.
Each block can be edited separately. What’s more, with Quarkly, you will be able to put an element inside a block. For example, we already have an About section on the website but still want to insert an additional image or text container. We simply select it from the list and drag-and-drop it to the needed area.
Every section comes with a separate control panel to change styling or set specific properties depending on your background. Users will be able to change typography, change the block positioning, set borders, add effects, etc.
When you are done with editing, it is time to go live with the project. As stated earlier, Quarky is not an all-in-one solution letting you instantly go live. Users CAN go live, but to do so they are supposed to have a valid Github account. At this stage, you need to complete the following steps:
- Specify the layout structure (either React App or Gatsby Project).
- Log in using a Github account (with a Google account, you may only do the editing).
- Connect to the Github repository.
- Connect a domain.
This fact makes the system pretty complex for beginners who will hardly appreciate the idea of dealing with Github and deployment repositories on their own.
4. Features and Flexibility
While being a web design and building tool, Quarky delivers features that are focused on the building process. It comes with a powerful code editor, intuitive interface, a collaboration feature, SEO settings, flexible development environment, and many other functions. We will review some of the most important ones.
A Powerful Code Editor
Experienced users will have full control over the source code. They can add custom scripts and components as well as change the entire code structure wherever they want. This fact ensures design freedom in case you want to go further than using custom elements and blocks.
Responsive editing makes it possible to set screen dimensions and customize the layout depending on the display size of the audience you want to target. A perfect feature for those who create mobile-friendly apps and interfaces.
Every time you add a new element or make changes, you automatically generate a page structure or data tree with all pages, layers, and components in one place. In other words, your custom-made abstract syntax tree introduces the source code.
Each page comes with a fixed selection of different properties and general settings. Here users may set the URL address and add a favicon. Besides, there is a chance to upload separate icons depending on the OS or device your target audience uses. It is possible to add Win 10 or Apple Touch icon, change the background color, etc.
Quarkly has a potentially powerful blogging feature. Developers will be able to incorporate any page structure with additional SEO settings. They include not only baseline options with editable meta titles and descriptions but also alt text for images, and Open Graph attributes.
In these settings, it is possible to add script codes. However, they will work only on already-published websites. So, you will not have a chance to see how they are displayed before going live.
A great feature for those who mainly work with the code. The system comes with a built-in tool to check the code and identify errors. You will see them right here in the editing box with malware code pieces highlighted making the programming process fast and convenient.
The feature is not fully available at the moment. The idea is to let users share access to the same project with their teammates. Right now, you only need to send an invitation link to the one you want to have working with you. Later, developers promise to add access rights and colleague work revisions.
5. Design & Templates
As stated earlier, Quarky makes it possible to insert elements inside pre-designed blocks. In other words, users can work with multiple payers and combine them in a single page element. For example, you may choose a baseline block primitive and locate buttons, images, or texts inside of it by simply hovering the needed element.
The builder uses so-called quarks (this is actually why it got its name). They come in the form of more complex objects that may already contain a working functionality such as maps, social buttons, menu bocks, etc.
Needless to say, each site layout is 100% responsive. You may adopt the current design to any screen dimensions to check how the structure will look like on an iPad, laptop, Full-HD desktop, iPhone, or Galaxy smartphone with different screen dimensions. Choose the one you need and have the layout automatically customized to your requirements.
6. Customer Support
Despite the fact Quarkly does not have a Live Chat feature or phone to contact the support team directly, users will benefit from a comprehensive knowledge base with dozens of video tutorials, detailed documentation, and a chance to contact Quarkly specialists via email.
If you require instant help, there is an Ask community with experienced users and platform specialists ready to answer any question in real-time mode. Join a growing community to ask any question online or search it using a simple navigation bar.
7. Plans & Pricing
The platform is currently free. However, it is not for long. With a growing number of users, they will definitely establish subscription fees. The question is how affordable they would be. Nothing is known about the Quarky pricing policy and approximate plan costs.
Quarkly is a promising tool for experienced web designers and programmers. It comes with a powerful editor that ensures full control over the source code. Users will appreciate the ability to work with multiple layers as well as integration with Netlify to deploy and test the interface or application. In the future, the platform may suit big development teams with its collaboration feature and a combination of cloud and IDE development environment. The system is supposed to reduce the time providing all needed tools within a single product.
On the other hand, there is much work to do. We do not know how much it cost and what functions it will get in the long run. It is unclear how beginners will benefit from it despite intuitive interface and drag-and-drop functionality. Should they wait for the system to be complete or should they better look for simpler and ready-to-use alternatives? They are to decide.