NetObjects Fusion 10 review

Reviews
Published 
18 Jan 2007
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
137
inc VAT

Too inflexible for professional developers and too complicated for absolute beginners.

Specifications

Website design without the need for complex coding.

Fusion 10 is claimed to be suitable for everyone from novices and business men to designers and developers. It adopts a DTP-style approach to website design, in which you create the screen you want and leave Fusion 10 to come up with underlying code.

It's a system that works well, whether you create a standardised site using a wizard, or individual pages from scratch. In either case, the built-in templates ensure a consistent and professional appearance to a site and the use of ready-made styles for individual objects speeds up the design process.

A site is stored as a single file that contains all the information and supporting resources necessary to create it. When the time comes to upload it to the web, individual files and assets are extracted and sent via FTP, which saves running a separate FTP program. It's slick and convenient, but setting up the FTP parameters might be a bit beyond a total web novice.

Sites are very easy to manage and update. They can be viewed in flowchart and outline form, and when pages are moved to new positions the hotlinks between them adjust automatically. It's also very easy to create an online store with shopping baskets and credit card handling, and to apply Flash effects to picture galleries and other objects without having to understand Flash programming.

Fusion 10 looks much slicker than version 9 and it's great to be able to customise the workspace and apply skins to the interface. In most situations, the new version feels slower than its predecessor though, and we waited almost an hour for a feature-rich 60-page site to be generated. Snippets of HTML code can be inserted, but the complex formalised code generated by Fusion is almost impossible to work on in an HTML editor, so experienced site developers could feel constrained by the program's one-size-fits-all approach.

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