Introducing Sparkle 3: Big Sur UI, M1 optimization and 50+ new features

November 19, 2020 in Web Design (E)

[] Florence, Italy - Independent development team, River SRL today is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of Sparkle 3.0.2, a major update to their visual web designer for macOS. Sparkle's all-in-one nature allows anyone to easily build beautiful, profitable websites, without the setup complexity of using multiple tools, or using canned templates.

Sparkle has a beautiful, redesigned user interface that fits right in with the new macOS Big Sur design language, and is a Universal2 app optimized for the exciting M1-based Macs.

In times of social distancing and sales depression, downtime can become opportunity. Sparkle introduces tools to help offline businesses move to online commerce. Sparkle integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Snipcart, Ecwid, Paddle and Gumroad, to add payments for products and services. Further it integrates with for property booking, Calendly and for appointment booking, and Opentable, The Fork and Quandoo for table booking.

Sparkle's new blogging feature adds a fast workflow, to quickly put words on a page and let people subscribe to your site. New in Sparkle, the SEO Assistant gives an immediate, contextual tip, to help solve many search engine optimization issues quickly and easily. A final highlight in the over 50 new features in Sparkle 3 is the ability to control motion parallax for many elements in the page, to add whimsy and liveliness to the site.

"Selling products or services on your own site often feels like a daunting task, many people simply give up," says River SRL co-founder Duncan Wilcox. "Sparkle's all-in-one design cuts through the complexity by integrating design, animation and SEO with commerce tools, each step builds on the knowledge created for previous ones, and everything comes together as a cohesive whole."

Sparkle's all-in-one design is not skin deep. While the free-form canvas and animation whimsy can be hilarity inducing, under the hood Sparkle is generating seriously tight, optimized code, that aces performance tests and challenges hand coded templates used in Wordpress and other design tools.

Features Include:
* Fully freeform canvas - Perfect for visual thinkers
* Drop in images, videos, MP3 music, downloadable files, and more
* Access to hundreds of web fonts
* Visual contact form creator
* Ability to design for desktop, tablet, and smartphone screens
* Live preview of the site on computers and mobile devices
* Built-in integration with Stripe, PayPal, Snipcart, Ecwid, Paddle and Gumroad commerce providers
* Built-in integration with, Calendly,, Opentable, The Fork and Quandoo for property, appointment and table booking
* Top notch SEO and SEO Assistant
* Instagram image and gallery integration
* Twitter and Facebook sharing
* Built-in Google Maps generator
* Analytics and Tag Manager
* Site verification, robots.txt, and sitemap.xml all built-in
* Generated code is optimized for Web Vitals
* Built-in incremental FTP capabilities
* Native macOS Big Sur interface
* Universal2 app, optimized for Intel and Apple Silicon Macs
* Close integration with other Mac apps
* Much more

Sparkle allows anyone to create landing pages in just a few minutes, and get their business online shortly thereafter. The app is the perfect way to test ideas, focusing fully on content and layout without worrying about arcane HTML and CSS layout code. Sparkle's freeform layout means anyone can create a website, without being constrained by a template, or worrying about the results looking just like everyone else's WordPress template-based website.

Users love Sparkle:

"It's as if I've been writing with a piece of coal on the wall of a prison cell. Now I'm using Sparkle and feel like I'm liberated, and out in the world with a full set of artist tools." - Sparkle User

"We used to create comps in Photoshop for developers. With Sparkle we have our sites up and running in hours rather than weeks." - Hossein Farmani, Founder and Curator, The Lucie Awards, IPA - International Photography Awards

"We use Sparkle to create hundreds of quick landing pages to test our marketing strategies, Sparkle has saved us many hours of development time." - David Tera, Director of Marketing, IDA - Int'l Design Awards.

"I have tried out many different tools to create websites, but none of them can top Sparkle." - Philip Amour, Product Designer

What's New in 3.0.2:

New interface to work more effectively
* a redesigned, understated, sharper UI
* new look for macOS Big Sur
* new Sparkle icon
* SEO assistant and health check: insights to optimize your website
* layers view
* 6 new template designs
* template picker when creating a new website
* option to import entire website
* editing of a multi-selection
* options to apply changes to all images in a gallery
* ability to drag and drop a page between project windows
* options to collapse sidebars
* new device layout state settings for faster responsive design workflow
* integrated links to documentation
* QR Code to open preview on mobile
* Microsoft Edge and Brave browser preview support
* passwordless, key based SFTP authentication
* copy current page URL and RSS URL to the clipboard
* character count for page title and description
* preview of the cookie banner, and its effect, on all pages
* text replace

New features for a better website
* a built-in blog with automatic index generation
* custom post content for the index and RSS
* automatic RSS generation
* mega menus (using in-page popups with button hover)
* full screen mobile menus (using fixed position popups with animation)
* modal banners, offers, etc (using modal popups with timer or scroll based display)
* payment buttons (PayPal, Stripe, Snipcart, Ecwid, Gumroad, Paddle)
* property booking (Houfy)
* calendars (Houfy property calendar, Calendy and appointment booking)
* table booking (Opentable, The Fork, Quandoo)
* parallax effects
* box background filters
* contour shadow for images with transparency
* full-width video
* typewriter effect (via smart fields)
* countdown text (via smart fields)
* counter text (via smart fields)
* insertion of math formulas (via smart fields)
* extraction of photo EXIF information for standalone photos and galleries (via smart fields)
* page title, date/time, code fragment (via smart fields)
* AdSense
* audio and video player controls and layout customization
* global and per-page developer settings
* 150 new built-in fonts
* Lottie animations
* ability to designate a reply-to field in the contact form
* activate after consent for analytics
* gallery image description
* text citation

New optimizations to make your site perform better
* optimization for new "Web Vitals" metrics
* automatic perceptual image optimization for jpeg and WebP images
* better PNG image compression
* SVG optimization
* parallelized image compression on multi-core Macs

"When Apple announced Big Sur and Apple Silicon chips in June we were almost ready with Sparkle 3, we didn't expect such a revolution." shares River SRL co-founder Daniele Trambusti. "The interface needed a big refresh to embrace the change, but we absolutely wanted to be ready for the new M1 chip. It has been a real challenge to be ready in such a short time, but we did it!"

Sparkle Free is a full-featured app, and allows users to publish a single site, consisting of 3 pages, with "Made with Sparkle" branding on the pages. Sparkle One allows publishing of a single site with no page limit or branding. Sparkle Pro allows publishing unlimited sites, the ability to export site to disk with no page limit and no branding. Sparkle One is available as a one-time $49.99 USD purchase. Sparkle Pro is available as a one-time $119.99 USD purchase. Multi-User licenses, subscriptions and additional developer tools are also available.

System Requirements:
* macOS 10.9 Mavericks or later
* An Intel or Apple Silicon based Mac
* Optimized for macOS 11 Big Sur
* 102.5 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Sparkle 3.02 is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Graphics and Design category. The app is also available from the Sparkle website. Purchasers of a Sparkle license in 2020 can upgrade to Sparkle 3 features for free. Purchasers prior to 2020 can get a 50% discount in app. Expanded capabilities are available as one-time purchases. Redeem codes are available to journalists upon request. Contact Duncan Wilcox for more information.

Based in beautiful Florence, Italy, River SRL is a new privately funded company founded in 2011. With a passion for user interface design and utility, River brings five years of Cocoa development experience to the iPhone platform. Copyright 2011-2020 River SRL. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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