NetObjects Fusion 7.5
Knock out a site in double quick time
Review by urban75 for Internet Magazine, May 2004
Specifically targeted at the small business user and developers who aren't interested in wading through dark forests of HTML code, NetObjects offers a fast and easy way to build, manage and update an attractive web presence.
The program works differently to all the other editors on test, laying out the pages with its own propriety code which is then converted to HTML/CSS for publishing to the web.
This means that authors can lay out pages in a true WYSIWYG fashion, dragging images and text around the page with gusto, leaving NetObjects to worry about all the tricky coding stuff.
A selection of toolbars serve up components and elements that can be directly plonked on to the page and stretched, moved or tweaked to suit. These include navigation bars, banners, images, interactive tables and text boxes.
You can preview your pages as you go along, or view the HTML code that will be generated by Fusion at the end of the design process. However, you can't directly edit the HTML, but you can drop in your own code which Fusion won't fiddle about with.
The Asset Manager keeps track of all your frenzied dragging and dropping, and you can use it to automatically update all the pages on a site if you make any changes to links, navigation bars, file names etc,
The Site View offers an interactive view of the site structure, and if you want to shuffle around your page order or create new pages, Fusion will automatically add and amend links and page names for you.
Complete novices can be up and running in double quick time thanks to the 'New Site Wizard' which serves up a choice of layouts and graphics, leaving the user to simply populate the empty, pre-formatted pages.
An enhanced Photo Gallery builder tool makes it a cinch to output professional looking galleries.
There's also a huge range of site templates and design templates on offer, and unlike many rival packages, some of them are really rather attractive (although there's always a chance that your competitor may choose the same one!)
In line with its business-centric approach, Fusion also offers a wide range of e-commerce 'add-ons' to create 'shopfront' websites, although these require a small monthly or annual fee. There's also database support for technologies such as ASP and Cold Fusion.
For small businesses looking to create a professional-looking, ecommerce-enabled site with the minimum of fuss, Fusion may well prove to be the most attractive solution.