Easy WebContent web-page editing service

Easy WebContent web-page editing service
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Easy to use, affordable, great for novices

Cons

  • Previews in Firefox come out compressed, can't create or edit CSS files

Bottom Line

The average human being who has no Web design experience but who can use Microsoft Word will find working with Easy WebContent a breeze. It's well worth the price to avoid the learning curve of expensive products that offer more than you need.

Would you buy this?

NOTE: This product has a monthly fee of $9.95

The Easy WebContent website-editing service more than lives up to its name. And it's inexpensive.

It is a rare but unalloyed pleasure to try a product or service for which you have only modest expectations, and find yourself blown out of the water. Easy WebContent, an online service designed to take the fuss out of editing Web pages, is that good.

In fact, Easy WebContent is a $9.95-per-month service that's better than most stand-alone Web-design applications we've used over the past 10 years or so.

Easy WebContent isn't designed to compete with an Adobe Dreamweaver-scale product; it's meant to help average mortals update Web pages. And in that market, it has no rival.

Online services such as Mr Site use template approaches that restrict what you can do with your site; Easy WebContent comes much closer than its template-oriented competitors to being a Web design application.

Easy WebContent's target market is people who don't want to learn underlying HTML; many "simple" Web page applications don't require you to use HTML either, but they tend to rely on piles of custom JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets that make pages uneditable – except in that software, so you can't reuse them if you decide to switch to another application.

To upload new and revised files for your Web site with Easy WebContent, you just enter the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) settings that most Web hosts provide. The service doesn't help you create a site – it's really for editing existing pages you've already designed or had a designer create. Nor does it include any e-commerce tools.

To get started, you set up an account with Easy WebContent and enter the FTP log-in information for one or more Web sites that you want to manage through the service. The service retrieves an index of all the files in each hosted site, broken down into separate File Manager lists for each site. Easy WebContent lets you edit Web pages without changing the Web server's configuration. Most users, especially those using basic hosting services, have no access to Web server settings that more-elaborate products require, including installing special scripts.

The File Manager has just three links per HTML file: Edit, Preview, and Delete. As in an operating system file list, the file type, size, and last modified date are all shown. Click Edit, and what you see is what you get (Wysiwyg) on-screen editor appears.

We found it easy to revise existing copy; add tables; resize, flip and crop images; and even add forms. (The forms produce simple e-mail results, but that's fine for most purposes.)

Although you can't create or edit CSS files – which define the appearance and formatting of type and layout throughout your site – the styles we had previously defined for a site appeared in the pop-up menu, making it easy to apply those pre-existing styles to new elements.

As a result, the software is appropriate for a site in which a designer constructs a complicated format but less-tech-savvy people are responsible for updating the pages. The designer need only provide instructions to editors on which styles to use where.

The site supports several browsers. In our testing, the only glitch we saw was in how the software previewed a page in Firefox. The live graphical editing displayed fine, but the preview of the finished page was compressed into a thin horizontal frame in the middle.

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