This morning simple site builder Synthasite has a new and improved user interface that's different from any other site creation tool I've used. There are still themes to choose from, and widgets to drop in, but the site building tool has received a far more polished feel that I think new users will be a little more comfortable with.
The biggest change users will notice is that the tool now scales to the entire width of your monitor. Everything is still drag and drop, but now each element also includes right click contextual menus to tweak various bits of metadata or options.
Having just looked at Wix a few weeks back, there are definite similarities between the two, although I found Synthasite's theme directory to be more straightforward. There are now 60 different themes to choose from, and most have color pallets that you can pick to further tweak the look of your site.
Also new with this morning's redesign are some widgets you can plug into your page, like a new Flickr gallery builder that will put together a pretty svelte looking photo collection from your Flickr photo stream. Photos uploaded to your Synthasite account can now be edited within the tool using photo editor Picnik.
One thing to note is that the service is not using Amazon's S3 storage service to host the blogs like many other simple site hosts do. Instead it's using its own server farm that's located in the same part of the world. Synthasite's CEO Vinny Lingham tells me that he'd eventually like to move to a hybrid solution using several server solutions at once to make sure sites won't go down even if one server cluster does.
In the coming months the service will be expanding to cover niche sites like resumes, specialty blogs, and portfolio sites.