SiteSpinner Review, June 2, 2005
I've been living in a cave -- obviously! Until being asked to write this review, I had not heard about SiteSpinner, the WYSIWYG/website creation tool that is making a huge splash in the web development community. SiteSpinner has the great features of the big software packages such as DreamWeaver and FrontPage, but without the superfluous baggage and inflated price tag!
Since I live in a cave, I had no expectations whatsoever when I started up SiteSpinner for the first time. Then I noticed, this software looks quite different from what I expected. Hey! It's logical, simple, and easy to use. Am I really looking at a program that does everything I was doing with Frontpage? (That is, up until I got tired of FrontPage's cumbersome nature and started writing html by hand.)
SiteSpinner, in fact, would be a super way to build a website easily without prior knowledge of html. SiteSpinner is packed with useful information about building websites. There are plenty of tutorials included that will help you get started. You can find even more information in the Virtual Mechanics User Forums. The tools are cleanly laid out, and well-labeled so you know what they do. (My pet peeve is when I have to spend precious minutes figuring out that some odd-looking icon represents a particular tool!)
Everything in SiteSpinner is so intuitive - for example, you can zoom in with left click and zoom out with right click. It's just a natural way to do it. If you click on a tool, for instance, to put grid lines on the screen, then it's very easy to deselect the tool, and remove the grid, for example, simply by clicking again on the tool
It just flows. You can do tables just by drawing rectangles on the screen - how cool!
SiteSpinner looks deceptively simple, but in fact SiteSpinner includes many advanced features and tools that should cost a lot more than they do! You can do special effects, like mouseovers. SiteSpinner's page editor lets you choose link colors, special effects, and music. You can set up metatags, title and other important information so that the search engines will be able to properly index and find your webpages.
SiteSpinner has an ftp utility for uploading your webpages, or you can simply "publish" them on your hard drive, selecting the default page extension (like html or shtml etc) and then apply this to all your pages if you want.
SiteSpinner lets you set the link colors for visited, selected, unvisited, or even hover. You can set a page to redirect is a number of seconds too.
A really cool SiteSpinner feature is the way you can choose background fill colors -- even SVG gradients with really amazing special effects like radial, cylinder, linear, or solid fill. You can even do some really fancy things like transition effects for Internet Explorer. Do some free form drawing of polygons or use the standard square, rectangle, circle type tools for drawing interesting forms on your webpage.
SiteSpinner will import images very easily and you can use the intuitive sizing tool to adjust the image to any size you'd like.
I was particularly amazed and impressed with the fact that SiteSpinner includes Scalable Vector Graphics(SVG). SVG is an XML-based language for Web graphics that is being promoted and advanced by Adobe. Although it hasn't reached the penetration that Shockwave Flash (SWF) has in web design, SVG lets you design Web pages with high-resolution graphics and sophisticated features like transparency, animation, filter effects, gradients and embedded fonts! The XML specification is so pervasive, and a growing number of Adobe products support SVG.
As I noted before, SiteSpinner does include advanced features like SVG gradients. Not only that, but with SiteSpinner these features are really quite easy to use.
Yes, it's no wonder that SiteSpinner is getting such good press. As James Coates noted in the recent Chicago Tribune article. SiteSpinner is quite literally "running circles" around the competition!
The Great Mind Review Team
Great Mind Inc