Why I did not choose Cwicly for my next big project…

Since a couple of months now I am struggling with the idea of getting this post out or keep my thoughts to my ‘safe’ self. Even when writing this I still have doubts but maybe somehow this writing and well thought comments by other users will provide the Cwicly team some insights which they might not have been aware of and may slow down the adoption of Cwicly. So… let’s get this started!

About me (relevant version)
Although I graduated in Public Relations, I am a full-time (Dutch) web designer/developer since 1996 so equipped with ancient stuff like html, CSS, SASS, PHP etc. Not an expert on all of these but I get around. I build or helped building more than 300 websites with various techniques/languages/systems. Currently I am focused on WordPress and familiar with builders like Elementor, Bricks and more lately Cwicly.

What is Cwicly to me (present)
In my opinion Cwicly is the best thing that has happened to WordPress in the last few years! In it’s almost two years of existence it managed to amaze professional web designers on an unprecedented technical level. I totally agree with the direction it’s heading: Gutenberg based is the future.
The Cwicly team is highly motivated, responsive to the community and helpful in any way. I really like the way the instructional videos became even more professional. I enjoy seeing a passionate Louis on a live stream while he shares some insights, functionalities and future directions. It makes me feel connected.

So, what’s the ‘problem’?
When building a website for a medium/large company they (management) are not focused on all the good technical stuff provided by the builder of choice. I don’t even bother telling them anymore because they expect me to make the right decision for them.
In deciding for a client which direction to go (concerning a ‘builder’) a few questions amongst obvious others* need to be answered:

  1. Will the builder still be around in a few years?
  2. Will we run into technical issues while building the website and will this cause any delays?
  3. Is it maintainable by other web designers?

In all honesty these are the answers I would give to my client with Cwicly in mind:

  1. I sincerely hope so but cannot give any reassurance. Cwicly apparently has only one developer although a ‘side-developer’ is mentioned in one of the videos. This might be a continuity issue.
  2. It might be. But I can probably work around any issues we encounter.
  3. Yes, but you might be searching a little longer to find a skilled WordPress/Cwicly web designer because Cwicly is not as adapted as a few other solutions.

These answers ‘force’ me (with pain in my heart) to suggest a more well-established solution for now.

Any questions you might be asking:

Why is this only a problem with bigger projects?
A smaller website can be rebuilt (other solution) in a few days to a week when any problems arise. You don’t have this escape with bigger projects.

You mentioned technical issues in point 2. What kind of issues are you referring to?
I started to make my third website now with Cwicly. While making these sites I ran into a number of issues, some also reported as bugs. They are not ‘life-threatening’ and I managed to work around them which resolved in two happy clients. While figuring out workarounds for one day while making a website in four days is no problem at all it will be a problem with bigger projects and bigger challenges.

Are you aware of the fact that Cwicly is around for only two years now and ‘bugs’ are part of the deal?
Sure! And even more I praise the community for addressing the issues and the Cwicly team for their speed of solving them. But fact is there are still a considerable number of issues at the moment. One of my concerns is that Cwicly keeps adding more functionality (I love it!) but with this invites more bugs. I suggest hitting the pause button on new functionality and focus on bugs and overall stability.

Why writing this post?
My hope for the future is that we all can use Cwicly with confidence for ANY project. With this writing I hope to open a discussion about other factors besides technical ones. So I invite you to get a cup of coffee, think about this for a while and share your thoughts.

Regards,
Peter

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4 Likes

Hi Peter,
I entirely agree with your post.
Cwicly is awesome and head in the right direction.

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These are all very valid points @Xonbu.com. My personal view (and I guess hope) is this:

  • The recent price changes are being introduced as a push towards making Cwicly as a company more scalable and more sustainable
  • The addition of Tailwind integration gives Cwicly a real USP that could attract a large number of customers, whilst also making Cwicly easier to style / use for those not familiar with the platform

I’ve only been building with Cwicly for 6 months myself, but the way the team communicate and innovate gives me the confidence to take a calculated risk towards using them more and more going forward

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Hello,

Same feelings out of my recent short experience

Great architecture & team vs raising expectations that does not help as there are many areas that are slow to improve

  • small team
  • bugs / limitations slow to resolve
  • no ecosystem / extensions (like in bricks builder) - that could address limitations

Love cwicly but needs time / resources vs our current needs or competition

Tasos

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This is one of the reasons why I chose Cwicly. I do not like working with a tool that can not fully work without another tool. In that case, there’s a greater chance of an error somewhere. I saw in Cwicly a self-sufficient tool and with the connection of Tailwind will be simply incredible. When basic things have to be solved through other extensions, it seems strange to me.

I understand the irony that I write this in the topic plugin for WordPress )))

  1. It is difficult to answer this question, but so far Cwicly looks like an active product. There are plugins that look like slowly dying.
  2. Bugs are everywhere even Webflow regularly crashes, perhaps bugs in recent updates were caused by the desire to release tailwind for the new year (guess). Also, if you send error messages quite actively check and fix them (at least so feel)
  3. if you have worked with Webflow or Bricks you will quickly master and Cwicly. Even if you have the experience of Figma and the basic understanding of CSS then it will be quite easy to understand the work. Especially in the finished project where there is an example.

In addition, there is documentation that answers most basic questions.

I hope the price hike was just confirmation that the team is growing.

5 Likes

thanx xonbu i have quite the same coming-from and thinking-about, good to get reflected by this.

What i would like to know is three things:

  • are columsn to be deprecated? i see some major bugs in here and never heard of a roadmap for this
  • the UX navigatior module…this must work more stable and precise…i personally can not work with this…layers at least some must be choosable at once and those mouse bugs and inserting speed must be enhanced, we dont have time to struggle with that essiential one
  • parameters which are not able to combine must produce an UX error message / hint…now its more try and error usability…no time for this in complex projects
  • integration of direct WP Queries and PHP Snippets…so we can get rid of Code Snippets…even if its good…would be good to have that feature inside UX Editor etc…

best wishes
timo

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I just wanted to comment that I think Cwicly is reaching a point of maturity that may be a tipping point. I think Cwicly will start to catch on more creating a positive feedback loop that will help it grow.

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Yes, agreed one hundred percent.

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For some basic use by clients/editors they are probably fine, although they have known limitations (like not being able to delete/add blocks directly from the navigator, etc).

For templating and developer use, they are mostly redundant now that we have Grid layout on any block.

From my view there are only two things that are must haves for this:

Fix the drag preview positioning:

Add support for multiple selection:

Other than that I don’t see any stability issues.

Which parameters are you referring to?

I have no concerns about the future of Cwicly. It has a solid foundation, good development, and a great vision. It doesn’t require anything extra to work, and it’s deeply integrated in the core WordPress editing worflow.

If you’re a control freak like me, and want to have control over every aspect of your projects without needing to code anything, this is a great tool to use.

That being said, like many things in life, you should consider using the tools that fit your workflow and needs better.

Its OK if a tool doesn’t fit for a specific project. It’s OK these tools are all different from each other, even if they have the same goal. It’s OK and definitely a good thing to have options. It’s OK to use different tools. Sometimes another builder will make much more sense to use, and that’s completely fine. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, or lesser of a tool. :slightly_smiling_face:

Just my point of view. I’m just happy to be in a position to have so many flavors to choose from. 7 to 8 years ago this wasn’t possible. We’re living great times! :muscle:

3 Likes

Hi ST,
thx, you are right but for “stability” i mean the drag and drop behaviour and feeling could be more speedy, the drop could be more stable either, sometimtes its not dropping properly and just re-layering onto the former position too…some other editors are more stable here, please check the usability, speed and fine-granulated usability of this tool, its awesome and by far the best UX ive ever used within an browser-based tool: https://tabular.email/

Tabular EMail is mind blowing usability…i asked them to built an WP Site Editor :wink:

Here while being in “drag” state its even possible to use the mouse-wheel to quickly scroll to another area onto the screen, also automatically while hovering the layers the screen scroll synchronically…its really pixel perfect…that is what i expect in 2024 for Wordpress Site Editors…until now no one is able to deliver this…even if the market has a really huge potentiall…so why its possible for a small new start up with ver< less user base and ver<y less potential to built this by their own?

best wishes
timo

Yes, that is the bug I raised here:

So, based on that, there is only one stability issue with the navigator that needs to be solved.

hmm for me there are following stability issues:

  • drop sometimes doesnt work
  • mouse is always far away from choosen layer…sometimes more fare, sometimes lesse
  • placement of inheritance is hard to accomplish
  • no feedback if action is not valid
  • no scroll and drag synchronisouly
  • fast up and down actions are not possible (for people with ADHS for example)

cheers

I might have to disagree with you there. I have to design far to many HTML Email Marketing campaigns. Tabular relies far too much on background images which is incompatible with many versions of Outlook on PC. HTML email design must be very basic, table based, contrary to a Gutenberg enhancement tool like Cwicly that builds fully functional websites with dynamic content. To compare the two with no correlation I believe isn’t relevant.

Cwicly has developed at a rapid pace. The integration of features is like no other, we actually get a say and the Dev team of @Louis and @JohnD are extraordinarily receptive. Their engagement is pivotal to the success of Cwicly. @Araminta is phenomenal in addressing user issues. More patient than I would be.

Yes there are bugs, but not of core features, most bugs are exposed by a very complex task and are quickly addressed. I have used many other tools (I will not mention names) that have the most frustrating bugs which take months to be addressed. Costing me hours of production time. I have built several complex websites with Cwicly and not encountered any such issues.

The fact is there are many good tools out there. Its like the motor car market. We have options. Different tools that accomplish the same task appeal to different people. Cwicly is on the most powerful tools associated with Wordpress. It gives you complete control. But you are required to invest the time within which to learn it.

@Timo I agree there is an issue with the navigator that needs to be addressed. But the tendency to label discrepancies as bugs in other cases I believe isn’t productive. I understand you have legitimate concerns.

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Before we enter a discussion about a single technical issue just a recap so far.

We all think Cwicly continues to head in a well chosen and good direction. Most of us are pleased with the technical functionalities although some stuff can be more pollished. We’ve seen bugs been taken care of in combination with active communication from the Cwicly team. This is a real convidence boost. The Cwicly team seems to be working around the clock.

Like @David said, Cwicly is reaching a point of maturity. I totally agree and this is one of the main reasons for starting this post. At this point people are concidering using it for bigger projects and those people have to take other factors in consideration. So not ONLY the previously mentioned technical issues. I sure hope you are right and they will grow and start to attract more developers. Only one developer is a risk for major projects. What happens if that developer for whatever reason (hopefully a pleasant one) is unable to continue this project? It happend to me in another case and that had huge concequences. I learned the hard way…

@zeinnicholas, you are aboslutly right. We’re living great times when it comes to ‘builders’. I only wish Cwicly was a valid option for this project. It will probably be in the future.

Thanks all for your responses so far and giving the Cwicly team something to think about. And, most of all, huge thanks to team Cwicly!!

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I trust this tool and team behind it 100%, which I stated various times in multiple topics and platforms in the past 2+ years, so I won’t give further input here.
95% of the concerns which were posted here are absolutely irrelevant to me.
The few things left apply to any other product too, so, irrelevant either.

What I want to add here is, who knows what will happen tomorrow?
No one.

Tomorrow could be the day when Elementor gets acquired by Squarespace, pulping it and migrating everything to their own platform.

Oxygen is dead, Zion is dead. But that didn’t happen unexpectedly.
No one will lose projects suddenly.
If you want to be on the safe side, there is only one solution. Go fully custom.
Products, whether digital or physical, have a life span. That’s the nature of it.

I just hope they won’t sell this tool (that was my exact thought when I discovered it, as I intuitively knew I found something special) or Louis won’t/can’t continue for whatever reason.
For me, it’s the vision that fills Cwicly with life.

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Having a low overhead is a positive, not a negative, for early-stage startups. (a high payroll is what usually puts most businesses out of business.) As long as Louis can handle all the development by himself (and bring in external help just for specific cases), there is absolutely no reason to grow the team. (just for appearance purposes.)

Regarding other criticisms regarding the ecosystem when compared to other builders, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, because Cwicly is already an extension for the block editor. (so it’s already part of the biggest ecosystem in WP.)

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All of these four points seem to related to the same bug I already linked to and will likely be resolved when the bug is fixed.

On Mac with chrome-based browsers this works completely fine, I haven’t tested on other configurations.

We can only base our decisions on which tool is right for our projects based on the information we have available.

From my perspective the pertinent factors are:

  1. Cwicly delivered an innovative integrated solution in a way that many people wanted within an industry of “bolt-ons”, which demonstrates great awareness and good business sense
  2. They have a track record of responding to customer feedback
  3. They have constantly improved their product over time (and done so rapidly)

Based on these points (as well as others that have already been mentioned), it was an easy choice for us to use Cwicly for our projects.

5 Likes

Hi,

ok

hmm on my Mac and Chrome this doesnt work, neither with FF, i mean while you keep an element dragged on some UX you can also at the same time use the mouse-wheel (mac mouse touch wheel)…this doesnt work here. We have the latest iMac27 and iOS.

best wishes
timo