• No coding needed
• Create effective web designs from scratch
• Easy to use
• Customizable templates
• Best for users with experience of desktop publishing software
• Mac use only
This easy to use website design package from Softpress is suitable for all Mac users – from complete beginners who want to set up a quick and easy website, to the more experienced web designers out there. The Freeway 7 software is simple and attractive and we think it represents decent value for money.
Mac users only – this web design software application is not for PCs. The level of specialism ends there, however, because the software is suitable for all levels of web creator from beginner blogger to the experienced user who is seeking good design capabilities.
With a design package based on popular desktop publishing software, you create your website by using selection tools and drag and drop functionality. We looked at Softpress´s offering to see how it fares against the web design competition.
Setting up the Freeway software is easy. You download and pay for the package on the website (either the Softpress site or the Mac App store) then go through the step by step process to install the software on your Mac. If you prefer, you can order the software to be delivered on CD. There are upgrade options available if you have an older version of the Freeway Express software.
With Freeway you create your own site by using the layout tools, then drag and drop your content – text, images, etc – where you want it. You edit your content, then click on the publish option for the software to add the code and make it web-ready. Finally check what you have put together in a range of different web browsers, and you’re ready to go.
There are professionally designed templates inside this software package that you can adjust and edit, and you can also start from scratch if you have an idea of how you want your website to look – many users have reported that starting from scratch is the best way to go with this software. If you’re not comfortable going it alone, we like the fact that practically everything in the pre-designed templates is customizable, which gives you a flexible way of creating what you want. You can also use the master page system to save aspects of your site that don’t change, for example your logo and title of the site at the top of the page.
The software isn’t packed with extra features but it does give you the capability to create automatic picture galleries and slideshows. Freeway provides other features too. Add Twitter and Facebook buttons, upload Google Maps, and integrate Google Ads or Amazon Affiliates if you want to make some extra money.
You an also add Flash videos, movies, and audio clips into the Freeway design process. For images, there is a built-in image optimisation feature that helps you get the best from your photos and logos.
Search engine optimisation
The Freeway program has features to enhance the search engine optimization capability of your website. The web design software package provides accessible and nicely search-engine-friendly CSS navigation menus. The program produces websites that are able to be recognised by the major search engines, increasing the number of people who visit your site.
There are no ecommerce features offered within this web design software.
Freeway doesn’t provide or offer a hosting and publishing package. The software is for designing websites and you’ll need to look elsewhere for web hosting.
Freeway is integrated with Google Analytics so you can take advantage of a simple way of checking for information on the people who are visiting and using your website.
Ease of use
The drag and drop functionality makes Freeway simple to handle. Because you don’t need to use a line of code, this package is particularly suitable for Mac beginners.
However, if you have never used a desktop publishing package before it may take you a short time to get acquainted with the process and the way of creating pages. Persevere and once you have mastered the basics you’ll be confident at creating your website. This software shouldn’t cause you any design headaches.
Help & support
We don’t think you’ll need to call on them that often because the program is simple to use, but if you do get stuck the Freeway software has support options attached to it. Look through the FAQs, browse the video tutorials and the step by step instructions, and download technical manuals to answer any queries you have.
You can also ask questions in the forum, or contact the Freeway Support Team. There are phone lines open 16 hours a day but they are charged at premium rate – as an alternative, email is free and the technicians resolve to answer queries within one business day.
Freeway 7 is the full package - design-focused with useful features and an attractive interface. The selection and creation tools may be a little difficult to understand if you are not used to working with Mac desktop publishing software, but once you have got the hang of it you’ll find it simple to create good looking sites for business, leisure or personal use.
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