Sandvox Pro 1.5 review
Not every website needs dynamic code or tweaking by hand – so not every web-authoring tool needs to be Adobe Dreamweaver. We have to note though, there are an increasing number of blogging tools, social networks and publishing services that make personal web pages seem a little antiquated. Still, as long as there’s a web to build for and path less travelled to follow, there will be room for programs like Sandvox.
Aimed at web novices, Sandvox is a template based website building application, with drag and drop elements and WYSIWYG page building features. Creating sites isn’t just easy; it’s insulting to those who like to sweat over pages of hot code. Once you’ve configured a few preferences you can choose File➝New Site, pick a template, add some content and publish in moments.
Ease of use is foremost here. A media browser gives you access to images and other files on your local machine, ready to drag and drop into place. Pages can be based on existing templates, including embedded YouTube files, RSS templates, contact forms and links.
The ‘Pro’ version even allows you to work with raw HTML – though, to be frank, there are tools like Coda available if that’s what you want.
To add dynamic elements, Sandvox provides you with ‘Pagelets’ – snippets of script that can be dropped into your layouts. These include a hit counter, Amazon integration and Flickr links.
Working with Sandvox is sublimely simple – and there are advanced features if you really need to get your mitts on the code below your pages. But the package is let down by poor design – which is crucial in a tool that aims to make design accessible.
It’s not just the bundled templates either: The overall feel of the software is clunky and chunky, especially when compared with slicker, similar tools like Rapidweaver. At a tenner more than Sandvox, Rapidweaver’s the better choice.