Web designers have to deploy their finished work in a web browser so perhaps it makes sense to move the design tools themselves to the browser too.
That’s the thinking behind BuildorPro, which claims to be the first browser-based, web design and development environment with built in HTML/CSS tools. Or, for seasoned web designers out there, think Coda or Espresso but in the cloud. The app, from London-based startup Buildor, is currently in closed invite-only Beta but we have 300 invites to give away.
Aside from a HTML/CSS editor, BuildorPro can be used to visually mock-up quick web design prototypes but with the advantage that they are actual web pages – remember, the whole thing runs in a web browser – retaining proper web font rendering, liquid layouts and the like. However, that’s not to confuse the app with a WYSIWYG web page builder like Weebly or Yola, or something as bloated as Dreamweaver (do people really still use Dreamweaver?).
Instead, BuildorPro is aimed at professional web designers and developers as a replacement for existing tools used to write the HTML and CSS markup for new web pages or managing the mark up of their existing web sites. And, as already alluded to, because the app itself runs in a web browser, the results of that markup can be previewed instantly, as live, instead of the back and forth often associated with desktop tools or the complete mismatch sometimes displayed by the likes of Dreamweaver. That’s the argument anyway.
Another neat and potentially time saving feature of BuildorPro is the ability to pull in and edit a site’s existing markup. Anybody who has used a tool like the Firefox add-on FireBug will know how useful it is to edit markup in realtime but with BuildorPro you actually get to keep any changes you make. Again, that has the potential to speed up the process.
Buildor is founded by Bart Milner and James Law who are bootstrapping the company. In terms of revenue model, once BuildorPro exits Beta it will become a subscription-based service, though pricing is yet-to-be announced and it’s possible that there may be a free version of sorts or some kind of freemium offering.