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QuickSite

QuickSite.gif (4160 bytes)

Type of Program: Small Business Site Developer
Supported Platform: Windows 95
Company Name: Site Technologies
Version: 3.0
Price: free to try/ $49.95
Installed size: 13M

Download/Homepage

If you're aiming to set up an electronic storefront for your small business -- and fast -- QuickSite 3.0 hits a bullseye. This popular web authoring toolkit is packed with essential web-commerce tools that'll organize your entire website and give you product cataloging, web advertising/promotion, online order-entry, and reporting features that make sales and site management a snap. While there are templates and features great for personal web site creation, QuickSite's web-sales and promotion aspects hone it down to be a lean, mean commerce machine. And if you're looking for the ease of WYSIWYG editing, QuickSite's got it --just check out the alternatives, such as FrontPage 98, and you'll see that QuickSite offers more management, editing, and development features at a fraction of the price. And you don't have to be a web guru to use it.

The moment you launch QuickSite, it starts you with the Site Architect. What's an effective site without good web page organization? The Architect allows you to select from existing site layout plans, or lay out something custom to suit your needs. Organize web pages into one or several "projects," or site plans -- and whichever project you actively select will appear on the Active Project View, a very slick tree-style viewer that displays page hierarchy and information about each existing page nested in the project.

To accommodate various user levels and work styles, QuickSite offers two editors: the WYSIWYG++ Layout Editor (which is like using a paint program) and the HTML Editor for working directly with code. You can import text and documents from external programs, and I found it worked beautifully with Office 97 files (I used Word with Internet Assistant and Excel), plus imports from several other HTML editors. You can select either QuickSite editor as your default, or work certain files in one, others in the second. Just keep in mind these editors function independently so, for instance, if you create a page in the Layout Editor, it'll reopen in that editor in subsequent work sessions.

QuickSite's new Reporting System gives you an at-a-glance view of all your site/page components, which is a must if your site is growing or often revised. A full project listing helps you locate resources, with cross-referencing, so you can reuse rather than re-do page components, such as images; determine creation dates, table cell contents, orphans, file sizes, HTML sources, number of pages under construction, and overall site statistics tracked by component-type.

Commerce tools include a Catalog Builder, which allows import of your existing product database (like from Excel or Visual dBase) plus easy creation of your online catalog and setup of your electronic ordering system (without complicated CGI scripts or anything). You can launch a site and be handling web orders in no time, without a huge support staff -- a real plus for small businesses. The Site Promotion Wizard ensures you get listed with the top 10 search engines -- just enter the information requested by the Wizard, a few clicks, and you're done. And why not generate a little income right on your site with AdStream Rotating Banners? This feature lets you run up to 5 rotating ads in the frame, in your selected sequence and time.

Resident QuickSite Libraries give you a head-start on page development, with forms, tables, templates, pages, and graphics there for the using; you can use Add-In Libraries to bring in and manage externally created web components too.

QuickSite's development support includes URL checker, spell checker, "HyperSite" FTP uploader, "Dueling Browser" tester for simultaneous Netscape/Explorer validating (if you have both browsers installed), Cascading Style Sheets, LiveX/ActiveX/Java support, easy insertion of multimedia, radio buttons, design elements, and more.

There are so many more neat features of QuickSite, that if you've read this far, just download the fully functional 30-day trial and see for yourself. Maybe if your sales volumes were in the multi-millions, or you want super advanced HTML features, you'd want to look at a higher-end product, but let's be honest. If you're just starting out or within your first year of online business, you'd be hard pressed to outgrow QuickSite before you'd long recovered your investment. And I know, I'm not talking much about home users, and QuickSite is perfectly suitable for personal sites -- but its commerce and site organization features really make it a Top Pick for the small business. Especially for this price. Support is offered to registered users, and the resident Help files and Wizards make QuickSite very pleasant to use. I sure had fun with it.

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Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell rjaye@mail.inforum.net
ICQ # 9407183


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