Tripod users get free authoring tool

The Internet teems with one-click Web publishing tools that let you create a simple site to call home. The only problem with these just-add-water Web sites is that most are one-size-fits-all, and look and feel about as homey as a Winnebago.

But that's all about to change for Tripod members. Portal powerhouse Lycos and software maker Trellix are giving people who register at Tripod the ability to build better home pages without having to get advanced degrees in HTML. On Thursday Trellix announced its is offering its flagship $US69 Trellix Web 2.1 software free to Tripod users.

Trellix makes site-building software geared to small businesses and consumers. The company's mission is to put site-authoring and publishing ability into the hands of almost anyone.

"Whether people are buying a new PC, need a place to park their Web site, or just want a home page, we want Trellix to solve any missing pieces of the puzzle and send you on your merry way," says Eric Sall, Trellix vice president of marketing.

Lycos will market the Trellix software as Trellix Web -- Tripod Edition. The 11MB program will be available from the Tripod home page for free. It is set up to automatically register new Tripod users and allow them to publish and maintain Web pages on Tripod without using complex FTP programs.

Trellix Web -- Tripod Edition is not compatible with any site-hosting server other than Tripod, Sall says. The $US69 version of Trellix Web posts to any host. The Tripod solution is completely free -- free software and hosting.

Dynamic content

Trellix is also adding dynamic page elements called Web Gems to Trellix Web. Web Gems let Tripod page builders link to real-time weather forecasts from Weather.com and maps, courtesy of MapQuest.com. There are 11 Web Gems to choose from, including links to affiliate e-merchants such as Amazon.com. The e-merchants offer home-page authors small financial incentives for sending customers to their shopping sites.

Trellix Web - Tripod Edition comes with prebuilt content, including eight templates, 18 Web page designs, 100 clip-art images, and 85 animated GIFs. Trellix says it has added new ease-of-use features, including "one-step publishing," which saves users from having to know FTP commands, and an intelligent update feature that lets you easily manage your site once it is live.

Last week Trellix inked a deal with Hewlett-Packard to bundle an HP-branded edition of Trellix Web with consumer PCs. Trellix hopes to generate revenue with its licensing deals with PC hardware and peripheral makers, partnerships with companies such as Prodigy, and splits on ad dollars with Lycos, Sall says.

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