They are very enamoured by webflow. They haven't given Pinegrow a good whirl, and Pinegrow is much more than a mere "Bootstrap builder".
Here are the primary differences and commonalities between Webflow and Pinegrow, how they compare to Muse:
Things that Pinegrow does better than Webflow
- Pinegrow is a desktop app. Webflow is not - you are dependent on the browser.
- Pinegrow is available both as a perpetual license (a copy you own without having to pay rent) as well as a rental service ("subscription").
- Pinegrow not only offers Bootstrap-based pages and building blocks, but also Foundation, and Google Materialize ones. And plain old html is also supported. Webflow doesn't offer you any choice here - except their own.
- both offer pre-built page components. Pinegrow has many more than Webflow (static ones, that is: no server-side options).
- Pinegrow allows the user to work simultaneously in as many web views as is required. Display the large version alongside the mobile version, for example. This is not possible in Webflow.
- Pinegrow's user interface is adjustable: move panels to either side of the interface, keep things open or hide specific panels. Create your own custom workspaces. Open a new window for a new document.
The user interface in Webflow is COMPLETELY static: nothing can be adjusted. Nothing can be tailored to your particular workflow preferences. Take it or leave it in Webflow.
- Pinegrow's GUI is far more forgiving and flexible in general. It is easy to duplicate elements, add links, and much more with onscreen controles, and the styling panel offers far more support for the latest CSS tech (at the expense of having to learn the basics how these CSS controls work).
- Pinegrow's CSS controls are much more stream-lined compared to Webflow, which are rather clunky compared. Just try out the drop shadow controls. And panels close automatically, and refuse to stay open or active. No such issues in Pinegrow.
- Pinegrow Pro offers master pages, recyclable components, editable areas (which means your clients can make changes to content themselves, similar to Dreamweaver's editable areas), and partials. It's somewhat similar to Muse in this regard.
- Pinegrow is distinctly more mobile-first in its way of thinking because of the Bootstrap, Foundation, and Google Materialize front-end frameworks, which are developed on this basis. Instead, Webflow seems to start with the desktop version, and then the user works his/her way down to the mobile version. This can be argued about, but most will agree with me that a mobile-first approach tends to be preferred.
- Lots of pre-built Bootstrap-based layout components. Build a page in minutes, then change all the styling visually.
- Pinegrow easily integrates with any code editing environment. Atom, in particular, is a nice combo: live updates in both while the user works on a layout.
- Pinegrow's page structure is lightyears ahead of Webflow's page structure panel. For example,
- working with and designing for responsive pages is far ahead of Webflow.
- Pinegrow affords much more freedom to the user, but at a cost: the app is moderately more complex to learn compared to Webflow.
Things Webflow does better than Pinegrow
- interactions allow the user to add all sorts of animations and triggers in Webflow. While Pinegrow has built-in framework interactions (Bootstrap, Foundation) such as modal dialogs, sliders, etc. it cannot compete in this area with Webflow.
- Webflow supports easy server-side components and includes a content management system (CMS). Pinegrow does not - it can be used to build Wordpress themes visually, but this still requires WP theme building knowledge on the part of the user.
- No parallax controls in Pinegrow.
- Webflow doesn't require much knowledge of html or css, if at all. Pinegrow offers visual controls for just about everything (more than Webflow), but it is linked more to the underlying technology. While no knowledge of html and css is required in Pinegrow, it still helps.
- webflow is server oriented, and provides an editor for site owners. While Pinegrow can be used as a content editor for clients as well (a special client mode with editable regions is offered), it does require the client to purchase a desktop copy of PG. Webflow is all-in in this regard.
- webflow integrates seamlessly with their other services.
- Webflow will offer e-commerce services soon too. Pinegrow is front-end focused only (meaning: static page-based sites, similar to Muse).
- The GUI is static and very simple. Much simpler than either Pinegrow or Muse. At the expense of control.
- Webflow offers server-side functionality that just cannot be replicated in either Muse or Pinegrow without hiring a savvy back-end developer or doing it yourself.
Pinegrow and Webflow compared to Muse
- Both Muse and Pinegrow work as a desktop app, and no online connection is required outside the odd license verification while you work on stuff. Webflow is ONLINE ONLY. Your files are hosted online and you export html. In short, webflow is a closed online ecosystem over which you as a user have little control.
- Muse's website overview screen to organize your site: in either WF or PG this works differently. Pingrow just works with a local folder, displays this file structure, and you have full control, just like Muse over your local files.
- Muse allows the user to "draw" elements in the page layout. Pinegrow and Webflow are far more rigid in this regard. As a matter of fact, the workflow is completely different. You will lose that freedom when making the switch. You will have to re-educate yourself.
- Muse feels a lot like a traditional graphic design oriented layout app, while Pinegrow and Webflow feel "blocky", and are less forgiving.
- Muse generates abysmal code. It is not meant to be human-readable. Pinegrow does an admirable job, and the front-end code can be easily handed to a developer for PHP to be integrated and CMS integration.
- Simply put, Muse affords the designer far more direct layout freedom than either Webflow or Pinegrow. But Pinegrow comes much closer to that freedom than Webflow does, in my opinion. At the cost of complexity, of course.
- Muse has all sorts of widgets and interactive controls. Webflow doesn't offer nearly as many, but has good interaction choice. Pinegrow is more limited in this regard, and builds on existing frameworks, although it does expose all of CSS's eye candy options, including transitions, transforms, and so on. But actual custom interactions must be handled by a developer.
- the overall GUI design in Muse and Pinegrow is far more mature compared to Webflow (in my opinion). Muse offers a standard Adobe interface, while Pinegrow offers similar panels and in both the GUI can be adjusted to the user's preferences. No such thing in Webflow.
- Neither Muse nor Webflow offer much in terms of code-editor integration. With Pinegrow code is not hidden if required, and the designer and developer can both work with Pinegrow on their individual level. The developer doesn't need access to PG, though: the code is human-friendly. Webflow's code seems quite good too, although it is non-standard (Bootstrap, Foundation, etc. are all standardized frameworks, so a developer will be familiar with these).
- Muse and Webflow hide the underlying code to the user at all cost. Pinegrow embraces existing code, and an exported Muse site can be opened and edited in Pinegrow (with some small caveats: you can't change the interactions visually, for example, and some elements may shift around a bit).
- This means that (very) basic HTML and CSS skills are encouraged in Pinegrow, while in Muse and Webflow this is not the case.
- if you need to go beyond static pages, and require advanced server-side things, and have NO interest in hiring either a coder, doing it in Wordpress, or by yourself, and hate code, Webflow is your only choice here. Neither Muse nor Pinegrow offer server-side functionality. Wappler might become another option in the near future.
All in all, it depends on your personal situation which tools work for you as a Muse alternative. To be honest, there is nothing exactly like Muse on the market.
I'm finished with Adobe! As a student its already very expensive but the amount of other students i know that just used cracked versions is unbelievable but not me! I pay for Adobe, £21 /month and i always manage but hearing them release a statement regarding them discontinuing Muse really does irritate me seeing as its one of the best pieces of web design software on the market and yet Adobe gives up, now they are causing Muse-Themes to have a much more negative tone towards Adobe also so please change ur mind before it's too late! I pay every month because I thought Adobe were one of the best creative companies around that treats their customers with respect but ever since the announcement of EOL for Muse, my perception of Adobe has changed and for me Adobe has until April the 2nd to bring back Muse or some kind of program that does almost everything Muse does otherwise I am leaving Adobe forever!
That PDF and research reads more like propaganda by Webflow, than an accurate study of what is available and features offered.
Their switch decision almost seems predetermined from various inaccurate verbiage and exclusions in that What Next PDF. Which ends up making it not being very impressive or accurate research that they did.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they reached out to Webflow once they knew of the Muse EOL or vice versa, to directly form a new working partnership. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they are financially sponsored by Webflow now in some way.
WebFlow may very well be a viable alternative to some, but that is not as accurate of an assessment as they wish for it to appear.