Creating a graphically rich
website from scratch is easy with the Site Wizard. You begin by choosing
a template, choosing or modifying the structure, then selecting from
the more than 200 themes that come with the package. A theme is a very
powerful way of controlling all the graphic elements of a site, from
the page backgrounds to the buttons, banners, and flash elements, and
have them look good together. If you are not sure which look you like,
go ahead and choose anyway, because it's a snap to radically change
the entire look of your site later by simply selecting another theme.
Add Your Data, Create
Once you have the framework in place, you can begin adding your own
data. What photographers will find especially useful is the way that
Namo can quickly and efficiently put galleries of photographs up on
the web. It uses remarkably sophisticated code to create things like
from your picture. All you need to do is click on tools/create photo
album, then point to a folder of images. In seconds all the images are
thumbnailed and placed in a table. When a visitor clicks on a small
image a full-size image pops up. Depending on which options you choose,
this could be in a separate window, or in an image swap window on the
same page. Want drop shadows on them? Just check that box--it's
one of 17 image thumbnail treatments you can choose from. Building a
series of good-looking photo galleries is amazingly easy.
Namo also sports some useful image manipulation tools. While it won't
substitute for Photoshop, you can adjust brightness and contrast, blur
and sharpen, rotate, crop, and re-size images. You can also image slice,
which can help prevent image theft from your site.
Web Design Aids
One of the frustrations many first-time web page builders run into is
the limitations on web design layout. The original HTML design specifications
only thought people would need left, center, and right justified text
and pictures. Namo's Layout Table feature makes positioning as
easy as drag and drop.
If you are familiar with HTML, the integrated source editor will make
your life a bit easier. It includes a very cool tool to clean up the
dirty code that usually occurs when you bring in a Microsoft Word document,
and will check any code for compatibility with major browsers and HTML
Creating a website is more than building a few good-looking pages. Your
visitors will need to navigate your site to find all your great images
and information you have to show them. Namo helps by building sites
with a "navigational structure" similar to the way Microsoft's
FrontPage does. This allows you to easily create dynamic menus and button
bars that will ease your visitor's travels around your website.
And if you add or move pages, all the buttons and navigation bars automatically
update, which is a tremendous time-saver for anyone building a constantly
changing site. This is all part of Namo's Site Manager, which
also does hyperlink verification, synchronizing your local copy with
the remote site and global search and replace.
As an added bonus, this version includes a vector graphics editor. Vector
graphics are usually much smaller files than the usual bit map graphic
files used on the web, which is great. But the SVG (Scalable Vector
Graphics) format is not read by many browsers on the market yet, so
this is not as neat a feature as it seems at first glance. SVG is supposed
to be incorporated in the next generation of browsers, and when that
happens it will be very useful. For now, it's better to stick
with Macromedia's Flash, which Namo also uses to create eye-catching
Sometimes it's the little things that help a website stand out
from the other three billion pages on the Internet.
Cool effects like Smart Buttons and Flash Buttons add dynamic graphics
up your site.
Need A Database?
For those more adventurous, Namo also features a Database Wizard so
you can produce database-driven documents, and fully supports cascading
drop-down menus, scrolling text, and simple animations.
Namo's WebEditor Version 5.5 is not without its problems. We did
come across a few instances where items were mislabeled, or things just
didn't work as they were supposed to. But those were easy issues
to get around. Perhaps it's a sad commentary on the state of PC
software, but we were pleased we only came across a few problems.
Namo has produced a great tool for those who want to show, and perhaps
sell, their photographs on the web. But remember, it takes more than
a great web design program to create great websites just as having a
great camera doesn't necessarily produce great images. What Namo
does do well is let you expand your creativity and imagination from
photography to the web.
For more information on WebEditor Version 5.5, visit Namo's website
Chris Maher and Larry Berman
are photographers, writers, and web designers, specializing in image
intensive photography sites. For more information visit their websites