Namo WebEditor Suite 2006 offers a complete set of programs for complex Web site design at a reasonable cost. This bundle includes an intuitive page editor, a vector graphics app, and utilities for screen capture, GIF animation, and image slicing. Getting started in Web site design can be costly and confusing, but we found Namo to be a time-saving tool, especially for beginners. Still, WebEditor might not satisfy those used to Macromedia Dreamweaver 8's supersize toolbox. However, Namo is easier to use than Microsoft's FrontPage 2003 and more powerful than freeware programs, such as Google Page Creator beta.
Adding content is easy. Enter text directly or import it via the File menu or the Site Library. You can import graphics and flash animation by dragging them from the Site Library.
Namo also adds plenty of functionality for HTML coders. Working with Namo is straightforward if you've used a Web editor before. If you haven't, Namo ships with a good selection of wizards and more than 200 templates that you can tailor to your own needs. The designs aren't inspired, but they are free. Starting with the Site Wizard, you can build a basic site in a few minutes, then drag and drop text, images, and multimedia files onto the pages.
We found one annoying quirk with this technique, though: dragging and dropping some Microsoft Word files resulted in strange word spacing. However, if we opened the Word file and cut and pasted the text into Namo, the content appeared fine. Unfortunately, we found that many features were buried deep within drop-down menus and dialog boxes.
The Site Wizard contains a nice selection of themes, letting you inspect each one and view a preview in your Web browser.
New to the 2006 version is the ability to add text and line art to images without having to load a separate editor--convenient for simple edits. For more complex vector graphics, you can use the included WebCanvas vector-based graphics. This vector graphics toolset is easy to grasp, making it a snap to whip up buttons and banners, and some of the tools are built into WebEditor.
A few short tutorials in the Namo folder help you get started, but the program assumes that you have a basic knowledge of Web design. Beginners should supplement the program with a good introductory design text. Namo WebEditor 2006's support Web site offers a searchable knowledge base, as well as free user forums. But you must register to access the phone support, which some users found difficult to reach even during weekday hours.