NetObjects Fusion 11 review
New support for modern web technologies can't hide the fact that NetObjects Fusion is showing its age
Review Date: 4 Aug 2008
Reviewed By: Tom Arah
Price when reviewed: £130 (£150 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
These days, every business is expected to have some sort of web presence, but the average user can't be expected to get to grips with mark-up languages such as HTML and CSS, let alone recent web technologies such as Ajax and XML. This is where NetObjects Fusion comes in.
Around ten years ago, NetObjects Fusion's clean interface - clearly split into separate task-based views, each offering just a couple of large graphical commands - was a model of streamlined simplicity. Nowadays, that simplicity has been lost, obscured by toolbars, tabbed panels, smaller icons and more.
Worse, whenever you load the program, you're now greeted by the ugly Online view, which is primarily designed to promote domain, hosting and marketing services. Ignore the hard sell and you can get underway by hitting the Site Wizard button, which lets you choose from a range of 68 preset designs. However, many haven't been updated for years. If you don't want your website to have a retro 1990s feel, you'd be well advised to check out the range of more modern online Web Templates - each of which costs $30 (£15).
Once you've chosen your basic design, you structure your site in Site view. This has always been one of NetObject Fusion's greatest strengths, as it lets you add and organise the pages of your site visually, leaving the program to create all the necessary navigation as text links or graphical rollovers. To reorganise your site, simply drag-and-drop your page icons and the navigation automatically updates.
Once you've finished with Site view, double-clicking on your icon - or now multiple icons - opens your pages as tabs in Page view ready for editing. Creating a layout is simple, as you just drag out text boxes onscreen as you would in a wysiwyg DTP app, leaving the program to take care of the necessary code when you come to publish.
The downside of this approach was always that it inevitably led to some ugly and inefficient code reliant on nested tables and transparent GIFs. Disappointingly, it still does - at least by default. However, there's now a new option to take advantage of CSS-positioning and semantic XHTML during output - though this is so well hidden that most users are unlikely to come across it. The resulting code isn't just cleaner, more accessible and quicker to render in modern browsers, it's also more search-engine friendly.
After you've created the basic layout for your page, formatting your text is simple, using the Word-style toolbar or Text Properties panel. You can also quickly add images with the Picture tool, converting to JPEG or GIF, resizing and cropping as necessary.
Layout, text and images remain the foundation of each page but, over the years, NetObjects Fusion has added support for a host of other web objects through its component framework. Some of these, such as guest pages, password protection and video holders, are clearly useful on occasion, as is the new support for Google Sitemaps and Analytics, and the ability to incorporate RSS feeds. However, NetObjects seems most excited by its new range of tacky Flash components, which include animated pseudo-3D letters, numbers and symbols.
- Will Android Wear work with iOS?
- Amazon loses $170 million on Fire phone
- Photos: Information Age revealed at the Science Museum
- Surface makes $1bn for Microsoft in three months
- Facebook Rooms to give anonymity to iPhone users
- Google buys Oxford University AI startups
- Microsoft Kinect SDK 2 brings apps to Windows Store
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Windows 10: two-factor authentication coming to every device
- What is Google Inbox?
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office