It took a little while to find my way around Freeway, but then the last time I designed a Web site was around 1995… in TeachText. After a couple of hours, including a few excursions into the Quick Start Guide, things started to come together. By the end of the day, I felt pretty confident, and able to get my head around what was going on in the background. Rollovers, are a breeze: simply add the action, and set what you want to happen in the Actions window. The Master Pages layout mean that you can change the whole site by adjusting just one page. One thing you should understand is that Web sites are inherently complicated. Freeway makes things as simple as they can possibly be, but you’ll still need some understanding of how sites work. Once you get to grips with the basics, it’s easy to add features and functionality to Freeway Express. There is the obvious upgrade to Freeway Pro 3.5, which will give you access to more high-end features. But there’s also a new way to add features to Freeway: FAST Packs (Freeway Advanced Site Tools). These sets of actions (there are two so far) add new actions to your graphics or navigation capabilities. The first two are out now, and there are more planned. One thing to point out is that Freeway doesn’t give you the chance to edit code directly. Hardcore coders probably won’t like this, but from my point of view, it’s a good thing. I have built a Web site in code only, and I can do without ever seeing code again.
If you’re looking for something inexpensive to build Web sites, then Freeway Express offers unbeatable value. If you come from a desktop-publishing background, that would help – but it’s by no means essential. The £49 price-tag will let you try Web design to see if it’s for you, and if you like it you can add features later.