A Look at SynthaSite

The final free web page building tool I know about is SynthaSite. This will end the series about free online web building tools that include Weebly, SiteKreator, and Webnode.

I’ve been writing corresponding how-to articles about each of these tools for eHow. If you are interested in exploring these sites from a personal use prospective and want to see screen shots and step by step instructions, visit my eHow page.

To summarize the free online tools, I found Weebly to be the easiest and most beginner friendly. Weebly has a huge array of widgets to add Google maps, RSS feeds, Flickr images and other content to a page. I found the site for today, SynthaSite (still in Beta), to also be very easy for a beginner. But SynthaSite has some features that would appeal to someone with a bit of knowledge of both HTML and CSS. Therefore, it was my favorite among the four. None are perfect and none come close to achieving results anything like you would expect from a professional designer and developer.

SynthaSite is free for everything. It uses a drag and drop interface. You drag text areas, images, and columns into a page. There are many page designs to choose from. The pages are posted free with a URL leading to a subdomain at synthasite.com. Or you can choose to download the pages and publish them elsewhere.

Each thing you add as a widget to a page opens up a Properties panel where you can do some CSS if you like. Right now it’s only setting top, right, bottom and left margins for text and images. Although I think the Properties panel should offer a way to add alt text to an image, it does not. To be fair, none of the other sites I tested let you add alt text either. But SynthaSite’s more sophisticated options with its Properties panel would work well for this, and seems like a logical addition to the interface. SynthaSite has an HTML widget that will accept any HTML (and inline style rules) you might want to add that way.

Since I went ahead and published a demo test site, I was able to do some testing. SynthaSite did much better on HTML and CSS validation tests than the other sites tested in this series.

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5 thoughts on “A Look at SynthaSite

  1. Hi – I read the last part of your info regarding free web building. Since I didn’t read the rest, please advise on the following. I had heard that SynthaSite had a direct Trojan virus connection. Also heard that Weebley had several crashes (not good) this summer. SynthaSite also supposedly is rigid, regarding the templates.

    Do you know much about Microsoft Live Small Business? We are seeking a “free” hosting site, and want something that doesn’t require us to have those annoying ads, and that has lots of flexibility in building the pages.

    APpreciate it and look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks,
    Bram

  2. I don’t know about the problems you mentioned with the sites.

    Finding anything free that really meets your needs and is flexible is next to impossible, in my opinion.

    I would not advise you to try to run a business using one of the free sites. I know people have done it, so there are always exceptions. Some of the free blogging tools might be a better option for a business site, but to be really flexible it needs to be a self-hosted blog.

  3. I’ve never tried synthasite, but I HAVE read all of your “free website creator” articles and I noticed you are missing a very popular one: webs.com/freewebs.com
    It is a very easy interface, allows for some customization with HTML and CSS. It does include advertise, however, you can pay to have the advertising remove and have other features.
    Also, I’m not skilled at web design, but even I can tell that all these free site builders are very limited tools and are only reccomended for begginers.

  4. Randomreader, I’ll take a look at freewebs for eHow. The articles about free web building tools are very popular on eHow. I’m always looking for more of these sites, however, I think you got the URL wrong.

    Thanks.

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