Netobjects nPower 1.0
- Simple and fairly easy to use
- Editing functions limited, not as effective as other options
Users of Fusion will find it appealing, but everyone else should pass.
Price$ 95.95 (AUD)
In recent years web-development software makers have recognised that a lot of software is just too complex when it comes to updating content - the very task that will take up most time and effort once a site is up and running. The trend towards simplifying online workflow was started by Macromedia's Contribute, but NetObjects has seen the value of providing a similar package to support its main web designer, Fusion.
nPower is intended for the majority of users who wish to add text and images to a site as easily as possible. Once a version of a site has been created in Fusion that is compatible with nPower, users of the latter can open it online and quickly modify images, text, links and tables. This process is very simple and fairly easy to use, which is great news to those who are easily confused by such programs.
The editing capabilities of nPower are fairly limited, but this is intentional. Too much detail simply confuses many people, creating a bottleneck for sites where modifications have to wait until an expert can intervene. In this case, the program can be used by those with little to no previous experience in the field.
Once a site is retrieved, pages can be added or moved, and the style of pages modified using the SiteStyle dialog. Actually, this is probably one feature that could be a little dangerous in an application such as this one. While the decision to simplify adding content is one that nearly every web manager would welcome, enabling inexperienced users to change the look and feel of a site could be trickier - even if it is a managed process. The decision to release nPower is a smart one on the part of NetObjects and the good news for them is its only real competitor is Macromedia Contribute; which is more than double the price of nPower. To be honest, though, it is not as effective as that program and you really do get what you pay for in this case. We think it will appeal only to organisations that already use Fusion, so the rest of you should look elsewhere.
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