Pingendo is a free, visual page builder site, letting you use Twitter Bootstrap design elements to build professional-looking pages. You construct a page using prebuilt sections and elements in the visual editor, then replacing the placeholder text and images with your own work. You can preview your site as it’ll appear on a phone, tablet, or full desktop monitor (yes, it’s responsive design by default!), and switch to a code editor for deeper development.
Since Twitter Bootstrap is such a popular front-end design library, the page designs created instantly look modern and fresh (just like everyone else who’s using Bootstrap!) It’s a good way of bridging the gap between basic skills and a professional looking site, at least.
Experienced Bootstrap developers might turn their noses up at it for its simplified interface — there’s still no substitute for the freedom you get from coding something yourself.
Beginning designers, though, who want to dip their toes in the water of the most popular front-end development standard will find it to be a supportive tool in exploring Bootstrap’s best options with a minimal learning curve. I’m always interested in finding tools that help people learn complex skills with the least amount of friction, and this is a great environment for getting familiar with Bootstrap-based front-end development.
What I like about it is that you can quickly drag and drop large layout elements into your page and customize them visually. You can drop in a navigation bar, a hero carousel, a three-column layout, and a nice footer section and you’ve got yourself the skeleton of a nice landing page in a minute flat. From there, it’s just a matter of customizing the text and images to say what you want it to say.
In some ways, this approach is a return to the original Dreamweaver/Kompozer approach — it’s just a visual WYSIWYG editor that produces HTML coded pages in response to your visual commands. This is coming at a time when people are again looking for alternatives to CMS-based sites, turning to static site generators for their enhanced security and page-load speeds. The simple act of writing up a page and posting it online without a complicated databased-powered system behind it makes more sense now than ever, and in that environment, Pingendo might be a good tool in your toolcase!
I decided to write about it, mostly because I always end up forgetting the name of it! Is it Palringo? No. Voxengo? Nope, it’s Pingendo. Even if they named it Smuckers, it would still be a pretty nice tool for building good looking single page sites quickly and easily.
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