If you’re building a website from scratch on an Apple computer, there are a few things you can do to better your building experience. Sure, the Mac store has plenty of room for improvement, but when you know where to look, there are a select handful of Mac applications that can change the way you approach website design—especially if you’re a beginner. Whether you’re starting modestly with a niche news site, a simple travel blog, or a full-fledged e-commerce site, these Mac apps will help you reach your goals quicker.
Fluid allows any website to be transformed into a, well, fluid desktop app. This can be very helpful for website users who find value in your site. Otherwise, it’s not uncommon for your website to get lost in a long list of bookmarked tabs, which may or may not be forgotten. The best part is, using the Mac Fluid app is easier than ever. Once you’ve typed in your credentials, you’ll get a popup that asks you to open the app.
Just like that, you’ve got a desktop app based off of your website within minutes, and the file will appear automatically in the “Applications” section with your logo as the desktop app cover. Once the application has been developed, you can make custom changes to alter the way it functions and make it an even better app.
Just this July, Fluid’s developer announced it would be launching Fluid 2.0. With the new upgrade, users could still access the application for free, but could also pay a one-time $5 for an upgrade that allows them to create custom scripts, allow their apps to enter full-screen mode, and more.
Sparkle is the Mac app that wants to make it easier than all the others to build websites. The interface is designed much like Pages or Keynotes, which makes the user feel as if they’re putting together a presentation instead of building a website. But for many users, this is exactly the appeal: to build a user-friendly site in a way that’s most familiar and intuitive.
Once you open the app, you’ll see a wide range of creative tools that are seamlessly organized and easy to use. Drag and drop features like text, video, audio, images, and more. You can even create special effects like “blurred” sliding text with just the click of a button. Other features include the ability to access Google Web fonts without doing too much legwork, integrate with PayPal and Google Analytics.
If you prefer to work on the fly and don’t want to have to struggle to make changes, this could be a good choice. For instance, the most popular web building platform—WordPress—requires that you install a child theme if you want to make some design changes, and that wouldn’t be necessary with apps like Sparkle. Of course, this all depends on your personal preferences. Check out some designs made with the program.
If you already some knowledge of programming languages, Blocs is likely a great option for you. Once you’ve purchased the platform, you’ll have access to a huge library of blocks of code that make piecing together a fully-fledged, intuitive site as easy as snapping a few Lego pieces into place. With each snippet of code, Blocs has eliminated much of the guesswork. The foundation is already there, and you can continue building on top of it, customizing as you go.
The program is also just as fast at reacting to your programming choices as you are at making them: for example, if you just added a new page, Blocs will automatically incorporate it into the navigation for you, eliminating a few steps on your behalf. If you prefer to build a site that’s clean and simple, Blocs is a good choice.
Take a look at some of the best websites built with Blocs to give you an idea of what this Mac application is capable of. And if you’ve designed your own Blocs template, you can also submit the design for inclusion.
There’s a reason why so many people trust Mac’s EverWeb application to help them build websites. Like Blocs, it’s helpful if know some HTML and CSS to work with this one, although the appeal of the system is that it’s drag-and-drop. While it may be a little more complex than Blocs, it does offer more customization and freedom. You
can start the web-building process by using one of the many available tried-and-true templates or starting from scratch. Unlike some of the more popular web design platforms, EverWeb allows you to draw your own images, boxes, texts, shapes, and other elements directly onto your page, which opens up doors to design how you please with less restriction, and some agencies don’t neglect this.
Additionally, while many other platforms charge to use certain e-commerce capabilities, EverWeb comes with a free pre-built PayPal widget that makes it easy to set up basic online stores. Other widgets include navigation menus, images sliders, and galleries.