Silex v3 in 2023
Silex website builder next version aims bridging the gap between no-code, static tech and free software, subscribe to the newsletter and be part of it
Silex website builder v1 was released as open source in 2009, awarded and downloaded a million times, then Silex v2 in 2010 was an online (open source SaaS) tool as well as a desktop installable app. It is time in 2023 for the v3 to rise. Every major release means a major rewrite with new tech, a new paradigm.
Today I’m aiming at a free and open source alternative to Webflow and WordPress Elementor/Divi, and it will be hackable, self hosted, producing websites that are faster to load, greener, better at SEO.
Silex v3: no-code meet static
I have been the developer behind all versions, I wrote 99% of the code and I have hold the vision from the start - and 2009 was before Wix, before no-code.
Today I envision Silex as the bridge between 2 worlds: no-code and JAMStack (static). It will offer as a free and open source software all the key features of Webflow with these components:
- A drag and drop web design tool, showing all the CSS features in a class-based style manager - that is the no-code part and it will be based on the GrapesJS framework. This part is today’s Silex v2 scope, and will still be useful by itself for smaller simpler websites
- An integration with any headless CMS - such as Directus or Strapi, to visually design your website with real data. More generally import any api (no-code spreadsheets like nocodb or airtable, shopify, WordPress…). For this I considere using Contentlayer. This includes collection pages, loops/repeaters, dynamic properties
- Integration with static site generators: components which transparently generate snipets of templates (ejs, liquidjs, twig, …) so that we can create Jekyll or eleventy layouts
That is the plan, in that order.
The Ambassador program
I am creating a small group of ambassadors. Here are the ambassadors goals:
- Become a Silex champion
- Make sure Silex becomes a useful no-code tool
- Grow the community and make Silex a sustainable open source project
Please apply for a seat at the new ambassador program: email me or ping me in the forums
I’m a fan of no-code in general and Webflow in particular, I admit it ! But their pricing is a bit off and I want to be able to make sites with static / JAMStack technology
I also like being able to host websites and the app on my (green) server and have the code of my sites versioned with git.
I want to be able to invite any number of users without worrying about the cost, why would it be more expensive to have people accessing the website I am working on?
I will never again accept to have a tool of mine decommissioned or updated to a new version, making it impossible or painful for me to continue working on a client website. I want to be able to revert to a previous version, and to keep a per-website apps versions.
And finally I need to be sure that anything is possible with the tool I use for my clients. Whether I want to edit something in the UI, white label something or change the whole CMS for another product. This is me working on my tool, I don’t want to be charged more for my own time.
Open source gives you all that.
My other motivations
- Silex Labs or other NGOs need free tools
- Internet 2000 need a self hostable hackable tool to create green websites
- No code has serious alternatives for everything but Webflow:
Get on board
- Share and like Silex on Facebook, share and follow us on Twitter
- Recommend on AlternativeTo
- Rate Silex on ProductHunt, give it five stars on Trustpilot
- Donate to the non profit organization and help us keep the lights on
Apply for a seat at the new ambassador program (email me or ping me in the forums)