is a simplistic, word processing-style format web authoring software.
is terrific for first time or inexperienced users because it requires NO HTML or script experience.
makes sites that use frames or don't use frames.
uses pre-designed TEMPLATES that you can personalize/customize.
blank page templates you build totally on your own
borders are easy to add, take away, modify.
tables are simple to insert adjust and layer. (tables hold text and images in place)
allows easy insertion of animated gifs, images, sounds, music, file downloads, etc.
easy to open new windows with links
hover tooltips on links and images are simple
Dynamic menus are easily made from groups of pages (called sequences). If you add a page, it automatically appears on the horizontal or vertical link listing. Delete or move a page and the listing changes.
has one-step publishing (uploading) to the web host of your choice using the built-in FTP
is used for personal and business sites
is used by novice and experienced professional users that sell websites
the site map is built-in (used in designing) and can be seen from every page if you choose to publish it.
has a design window that allows two pages horizontally or vertically for easy designing
simple to add/delete pages, change formats for multiple pages with a couple clicks.
built-in simple photo display template (I choose not to use it)
built-in form builder for simple forms
built-in spell check (you have to remember to use it - no misspeling corectionz on the fly!)
CSB 5 offers a few more options:
tables that adjust (assign % of page) so they stretch or shrink to fit window sizes.
graphical buttons (rollover image effect)
link Colors are more versatile, rollover, set to text color, turn off underline (on rollover)
password protected pages
put code into head section of pages
file naming (web page name) is faster
some basic clipart (looks like icons for linking)
more form options
edge line publishes
new color palette with eye dropper
new thumbnail wizard for photo displays
CSB offers far more to folks with the desire to look past the simplicity!
So much more can be worked into your CSB created web pages to make the website fully dynamic. Many of these things are free, or low cost and can be implemented with a bit of patience and some assistance from the discussion board (at the beginning):
Flash (Swish, etc),
rollover menu buttons,
DHTML dropdown menus (like All Web Menu),
CSS style coding ,
supports many extensions: cgi, asp, php, etc.
accepts cgi and perl scripts
Why do I still recommend CSB? SEVERAL reasons:
Try it! CSB a free 30 day trial that is FULLY functional including publishing (you can try it and publish to a SUBDIRECTORY of your regular website and no one but you will know while you test it out - unless you link to it)! After 30 days if you do not like it, don't pay for it. It stops functioning. Most programs that do give a trial give 14 or 21 days and disable some functions until paid. GlobalSCAPE treats us better. (And when they have offered upgrades, the registered owners have gotten reduced cost to upgrade). License even allows for the program to be loaded onto a desktop AND a laptop PC for the same person so you can work on the site while away from home! (but not 2 desktops like office/home).
Learning curve: EASY to manage, even for folks that type with 2 fingers. It is MUCH easier to learn than Frontpage and Dreamweaver. (I have never tried Fusion or Web Studio 4 and can not compare it). We have had MANY people post that they dumped other software because this program actually made making the website pleasurable due to far less stress and frustration.
Portability: You can move your site to a new host with very little hassle. Simply add a new host in the setup and publish (upload) again. Took me less than 2 hours to completely move my site to its current home, including the registration time!
Allows Imagination! Because the program does the easy stuff for you, it is deceptively simple to use. Confidence is gained quickly and people believe they can do more with their sites because they are not struggling with the basics! Not many programs give you that feeling of confidence. I have seen it time and time again on the discussion board.
Allows total customization! Don't want a website that looks like everyone else's? Don't want a template, or maybe you want to make one of your own? CSB supports that too! This site is not made with a template. The main section is layered tables. I have some subdirectories with frames, some without to give different results.
Compact files. The tlx file that holds the design, images, sounds, etc is compact and portable.
Compare to ONLINE site builders:
CSB = CHOICES because it is PC-based
ONLINE =NO CHOICES (Trellix & others)
|HTML code can be inserted for special effects, slideshows, flash, menus, more.
Some providers allow Webgems, some do not
|publish to any host
one host with the editing software
|portable-host service drops, can move site intact, easily
STUCK even when service drops, if you move you start from scratch.
|building for someone else: can build multiple sites on multiple hosts
building for someone else: second site must be with same host/provider.
|can edit offline (great for dialup or limited access accounts) go online only to publish.
must be online to edit
|does not hand-feed. Very few wizards to walk you through. (Saves A LOT of time in the long run!)
|wizards are used to automate tasks
(at first this is helpful, over time it just takes way to long to do some things!)
|TONS of pre-made design templates
no picture frames or borders
|selection of frames and borders for images
table border options are limited
|larger selection of table border options
|no built in shopping cart, but any service can be used. assistance available on the board.
|built in shopping carts
|extensive support options (see below)
NONE offered. Many folks wander to the CSB discussion board for assistance because they have no-where else to go!
|CSB can do everything in the long run that online builders do PLUS you have the ability to publish to ANY webhost, free or paid sites as long as they allow FTP (which is built into CSB).
Support: Here no other program can currently compete!
GlobalSCAPE has a basic term of support, 60 days, when you register the product. (I have never bought the annual maintenance though it is also available)
They have a $25 per incident support program. Usually this type of support is not necessary.
Online Discussion Board: I can not stress enough how valuable this resource has been. Users share ideas, offer suggestions, and assist with problems, request help, get and give support. It is a site populated by adults that use decent language and kindness as a matter of course. Once in a while you get a bad seed, but they do not stay around as they find the post does not get the kind of response that they want. CSB tends to attract adults that respect each other and support each other. The GlobalSCAPE board is outstanding and rare (having dealt with many support forums). It MAKES the product so much BETTER!
OLD Online Discussion Board: Years of posts on the Trellix and CSB products for a searchable archive of valuable information! New board created 6/1/05. All posts before that point were on this board.
Unofficial websites designed to assist fellow users:
KW: http://www.csbsupport.com/ the original & best CSB advice (novice to expert level)
Mine: http://www.samisite.com CSB/Trellix resources and personal site
Curtis: http://www.cmg02.com/webmasters/ CSB and general web site resources
What's the downside? There are limitations. (some see them as positive features!)
CSB is NOT an HTML editor. You build your website using a WYSIWYG interface that looks like a word processor. During the publishing process, the pages are translated into HTML. Unless you specifically insert code into your page in the design process, you will never deal with HTML! For people that do not want to touch HTML, this is a benefit, not a drawback. For techy types, developers with the a need to tweak code, CSB is not the program for them!
It is often suggested that folks have a HTML editor if they choose to work with code that you want insert into your pages to create slideshows, etc. CSB has a small window for inserting code that does not make it easy to edit so most of us edit in Notepad or an editor before we insert code. A free editor will do.
The "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) interface is nearly accurate. There are times the final page looks a bit different that the design window, but is very close most of the time.
No simple drag and drop for placement of photos/text. Use of tables to align is best alternative.
CSB is not photo software. If you want framed images, you need to do that outside the software and insert a finished picture into the page. The down here is that some folks can't use or do not have photo software and expect the web building software to do it. But on the upside, if you get in the habit of properly preparing the images before inserting them, the website loads faster. Builders (especially the online type) that do too much of this type of thing do not optimize images well and the site visitor pays the price.
CSB has limited FTP functions built-in.
CSB has no built-in scripts. You must write them, find them online or books. CSB has some differences when dealing with scripts that require you to modify before use. This site and others are dedicated to showing folks that it can be done, but may need some tweaking to do it!
CSB renames images. CSB stores images that are placed into the pages. When the file converts to HTML during the publishing process, the image names are changed to a numbered code. (Example: cat.jpg becomes ce23563.jpg) Good side: it's great if you do not want someone searching for cat images and taking your photos from your site, or having photo harvesters (spiders that crawl the web) taking your images for display/download on other sites without your permission. Bad side: You do want people to search for cat images or search engines to find cat images on your website. You can overcome this partially by using the tooltip to give a description of the file. Read more here.
Blandness! CSB often creates sites that look alike and are bland when no effort is made to tweak a few of the the templates. Note: This is the most often comment made by reviewers! No software can give someone color sense, common sense, imagination, or abilities, skills and talents they do not have. It is possible to make very dull, boring or even very ugly websites with any web building software, even the most expensive elaborate software!
Templates! People who use templates say they want more! GlobalSCAPE is offering a few more with the new CSB 5.
CSB has some limits due to its design. It currently will allow you to insert CSS style coding, but does not write it. Menus are all simple link lists. Anything beyond that must be made elsewhere and inserted. Tables will not allow image background and are set to pixel size only, no % assignment (which can adjust with window size). Again, you can get around this by inserting code to do it! CSB5 will offer % adjustment but still no image in background of table.
It is not "professional" software. It is not designed to create extremely elaborate sites, or highly technical sites. That type of site should be built with Dreamweaver or Flash, etc. CSB is designed with the small business and personal user in mind. (Though it is used by site builders that are professional and are paid for services, it is not the best choice for large corporations!). It will never compete with Dreamweaver.
Like most programs it has it's quirks. Known issues that can be aggravating. Most have work-arounds. None would keep me from purchasing the software.
UPDATE!!! 05/05: GlobalSCAPE is asking registered CSB users to complete a survey (here) with the idea in mind of updating the program for one more version!
UPDATE!!! 06/05: GlobalSCAPE officially opened the NEW discussion board and archived the old board posts.
UPDATE!!! 11/05: GlobalSCAPE opened the new CSB5 BETA section on the forum. The program is being updated. DOWNLOAD THE BETA, TEST IT, GIVE FEEDBACK.
UPDATE!!! 04/7/06: GlobalSCAPE officially released CSB5!
UPDATE!!! 06/9/06: GlobalSCAPE announces that the program has been discontinued!
Where does CuteSITE Builder fit into the market? (still just my opinion here...)
Online builders - lowest rung - personal use - no experience with anything else -limitations!
CSB, FrontPage - pc-based, CSB html is less bloated, costs less, better support, $70 vs $150
Dreamweaver, Flash - professional level software, steep learning curve, very expensive
Final assessment: the price of the software, the ease of the program and the user-to-user support make this program terrific for it's class.
-Samantha Conway, a CSB user - not a GlobalSCAPE employee or consultant!
You did not pay for this review. It is worth what you paid!
OTHER VIEWS MAY ALSO BE HELPFUL:
CuteSITE Builder is the latest version in the Trellix line of PC-based software.
Here are other users opinions of CSB:
"Dreamweaver is a wonderful program, similar to CSB in that it's first layer is uncomplicated and you can work in the WYSIWYG window and watch the html code being generated in the html window, or the other way around. It's hard to get started though and not that intuitive. I originally got CSB with the intention of getting the basics up and running fast and then switching to DW. I planned to use DW after the basics were done. Thing is CSB is doing everything I want. Only thing missing is that in DW when I insert html code the preview window shows what the code is doing. In CSB you have to publish to make sure it works. Not a big deal at all.
Frontpage is a mess. I have a couple of sites I maintain that were written in front page and they are a pain. Frontpage Extensions are the politically correct name for "try to translate this weird Microsoft non html command into something a web browser (Explorer only) will understand". Looks like I am going to have to totally rewrite them. "
- Jim Slagle, CSB user, from the CSB discussion board
"Nice website! It's very clean and easy to navigate through. This has to be a really weird coincidence but not only did I get photoshop and dreamweaver, but I just couldn't stand all the hoops I had to jump through to get started on a new website...I like CSB/Trellix better (it's so quick to get it up and running!)...and I'd rather work with painter than photoshop...and I'm in Florida...hmmmm...wonder what's in the water in that state : )"
- Genny, CSB user, from the CSB discussion board, in the CRITIQUE forum, March 2005
I also have Dreamweaver and Frontpage. But, I love how easy Trellix works. [pc-based Trellix]
- TechnoSpeeder, Trellix user, from from the CSB discussion board
CONCERNING THE ONLINE TRELLIX: "Now that they've gotten the online Trellix version, I've used it to set up a couple of small, simple websites for my family and an informal group I belong to --utilizing some of the free space I have available there. Yes, the templates are fun to play around with (especially on the family site) -- but other than that the program is cumbersome and limited. Just inserting an image takes a (...have to count) eight-step process, utilizing several different screens. Many of the navigation options I rely on for my main site just aren't available with the free version. I'd never use it for building anything other than a "fun" website that I could reconstruct at the drop of a hat if necessary. If your content or your navigation needs are more important than a "pretty background"--I'd say forget it. "
- tgshaw, CSB user, from the CSB discussion board