Good news for all of you visual types out there. You get more and more website builders with the approach to build beautiful, even pixel-perfect websites without touching the code. Moreover, you get clean and well-written code. The good thing with this approach is that you can get creative directly, potentially even skipping the omnipresent graphics applications such as Sketch and Figma.
Graphite promises to be a nextgen web design suite where you can focus only on the creative part. It allows you to design just as you would in Figma or Sketch with layers and for responsive layouts you get grids or if you need you can also use absolute positioning. And best of all, it can also help you save time because it lets you make bulk adjustments and make custom presets so that you can reuse your components.
According to its changeling, Graphite is a very young service and was launched in 2021. When you scroll through its roadmap on the homepage you see features it has planned or already added.
Pros and cons of Graphite
Graphite is an online website builder that allows you to create websites. It’s a cloud-based, design tool that you access via your browser and is free to use (currently). But this can change in the future.
- Forever free plan (for now)
- You can export the source code (HTML and CSS)
- You can use SVG files
- Easy to use
- No integrations
Who is Graphite for?
Usually, website builders tend to be marketed to beginners or users who are less technical, Graphite goes after web and graphic designers as well as front-end and web developers.
It will appeal to freelancers and design studios alike because Graphite includes tools and features for you to quickly publish a website. It also gives you a way to maintain the visual consistency of your websites and asset management so that you have your images, icons, etc in one place.
For the frontenders, an upcoming feature will allow you to integrate your data from a headless CMS with your website.
How easy is Graphite to use?
In contrast to the gorilla in the website builder for designers’ room Webflow, Graphite has a very nice and easy to navigate user interface. If you know Figma and similar applications, it’s a breeze to work with Graphite. And even if you’re not familiar with graphics suites, it’s easy to use.
Thanks to its hybrid approach you can easily create a grid system (so that your layouts look good regardless of the screen size) or use absolute positioning to place your elements.
You may think since Graphite targets professional developers and designers that it comes with a learning curve. Even if you’re a complete novice, it’s a breeze to use it. With the visual editor, you get a lot of flexibility.
Design and templates
Since Graphite is quite a young service, it doesn’t have yet a full templates gallery to boast. Still, you get 4 templates so that you don’t have to stare at a blank page.
How easy is managing your ecommerce store with Graphite?
Graphite’s mission is to give web designers a robust and versatile toolkit. Managing an online store is not included in its mission. Don’t worry though, because you can embed custom HTML into your website. This means you can embed a service such as Ecwid or Cartloom.
What marketing tools does Graphite provide?
Graphite compares to graphics applications such as Figma, but instead of a mockup of your website design, you get a fully rendered web page that shows your design faithfully. You can compare it with a static website generator so it doesn’t have tools for you to publish a blog.
Although Graphite can be compared to Quarkly in that it caters to professional designers, it doesn’t offer any integrations. Later, the integration with a headless CMS will be launched.
Since you can embed custom HTML, you can add a Paypal buy button or otherwise rely on the integrated payment options of Ecwid or Cartloom.
All websites hosted on Graphite are encrypted with an SSL certificate.
This is probably Graphite’s weak point but can be overlooked since it only started in 2021. Currently, you’ll have to do with a knowledge base or ask your question in the community forum. Fortunately, Graphite has a ticket system so that you can get support.
At the time of reviewing Graphite, the service was completely free to use. This can change in the future.
Is Graphite the right solution for you?
If like working in Sketch or Figma and love the idea of skipping handing over the mockup to a coder, Graphic is a nifty tool. Its visual editor is uncluttered and easy to use and gives you a fully responsive web page. Even better, you can export the source code and publish your (static) website wherever you want.
If you like the idea but prefer to work in a team, check out Quarkly.