© 2012 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Web site creation should be fun and easy. Last year I did a review of Sandvox’s Version 1, which did just that. Recently, Version 2.7 was released with a host of improvements and features. In this article I shall concentrate on some of the improvements. If you want more overall detailed information on the software benefits you can see my previous review that explores the original program in depth. http://bit.ly/dFTmw0
(TIP: Sandvox 2 uses HTML 5 to ensure compatibility with ios devices, such as iPhone, iPod Touch, MAC and Windows computer platforms. )
Sandvox’s system requirements have three options. Sandvox 2.2 runs on MAC’s OS 10.5, if you have OS 10.4 you’ll need to use the original Sandvox 1.6. If you have an Intel MAC you will want Sandvox 2.7, the most up-to date version and what we tested for this review. It supports English, French, German, Italian, Spanish (Brazilian & Portuguese), simplified Chinese and Japanese.
(TIP: You can use this software to create as many web sites as you wish. If, however, you are building a web site for someone else, and they wish to maintain it, they will need to purchase their own copy of Sandvox. )
The general construction template is very similar to Version 1. It’s based around the simple concept of drag, drop and publish. There are multiple new designs as well as the ones from the previous version, with many more available on line from third party designers. Once you have started working with a selected design it is possible to change the design without loosing the content, however, some rearranging of verbiage may be necessary. As is always the case, not all subject categories are represented, something that can be rectified with a custom design feature. This feature would be more for designers and developers and not the average user. http://bit.ly/263Zft
A new Inspector, a common MAC design tool, provides for better control making it easier to adjust layouts, add features and characteristics. You can now apply these changes to a single object or the entire web site. A new Photo Gallery offers a gallery style view with only one click in the Inspector window. You can easily add links to Facebook, Twitter, blogs and a comment section.
(TIP: Sandvox automatically organizes your site and page content in such a way that aids search engines to find the most important content. This is an invaluable tool in guiding people to your site. To make the most of this feature register your site with GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS, http://bit.ly/oGe6PP )
Sandvox 2 has added what they call Flexible Objects. This feature allows you to quickly add blocks of text, images, movies, and Quick link to Amazon that includes using your affiliate tag. You can feature YouTube videos, RSS feed selection and incorporate news and/or weather content from other web sites. You can insert raw HTML to add custom features. All these extras make your site look current and alive. Sandvox claims over 60 major new features and improvements, too many to highlight here, but that’s what makes the Sandvox software so attractive.
As always, Sandvox offers a number of short tip links including a seven-chapter screencast. They are helpful, however, what’s missing, that was available with version 1, is an optional step-by-step CD. This CD walks you thru the process in creating a web site. The nice thing about this was that you could play the CD along side the template as you were developing your own site. When the disc was finished, your site was completed and ready to upload. Since Sandvox’s concept is to make the web site creation simple, so even the novice can use it, this is a much-needed tool to ensure that you utilize all the features and get the most from this powerful program. Presently, you may have to dig a bit to find all but the most-used features that are available.
Sandvox 2.7, 2.2 or even 1.6 software offers the easiest way to create professional looking web sites at a very low cost. Version 2 is so feature packed that you would be hard pressed to find anything else to compare it to. You can actually create and publish a five-page web site in under an hour with no prior experience. Whether you are an HTML pro or just a novice, Sandvox makes creating a web site fast, easy and fun, too. This may be your incentive to step up to a MAC! Remember, a MAC can run Windows, too.
Available on line
For ordering and more information go to: http://bit.ly/P1f0M
GADGETEER’S RATING: *****
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.