Review: Snappages

Website Builder: Snappages
Pros: easy to use Flash editing interface; published site in HTML, not Flash;
Cons: limited mailing list and marketing options; Custom Domain and Search Engine Optimisation not available in all packages
Price: Snappages Personal is free; the Pro package, which includes a Custom Domain and Search Engine Optimisation, among others, costs $8 a month; a Developer package, which includes Full CSS Control and Project Management Tools, is available for $30 a month
Ideal for: Personal website

Like Wix (see our review), Snappages uses a Flash-based sitebuilder. But unlike Wix, Snappages publishes any site created with the service in HTML. This means page load faster and have a greater compatibility with different browsers, especially on tablets and smart-phones.

After we sign up for the service, we’re guided through a wizard-like setup where we have to enter our website name and homepage title, then select and modify our template.

The next step in the setup wizard is to create a number of standard pages by indicating what type of site we would like to build. We choose a Business site, and so Snappages suggests we add a Home Page, Services, Contact Us, About Us pages, as well as a Blog.

Once these pages are created, we get to the page from where we can edit and manage our site.

The concept of Snappages is based around apps, short for applications, which allow us to edit and to extend the functionality of our website.

Straightforward apps like a Web Page app, a Themes app and a Blog app let us create and edit our web pages, edit the theme we chose for our website or maintain our blog, respectively.

A advanced app like the Photos app allows us to upload, edit and organise photos into albums that can then be embedded into the pages of our website, either individually or as photo galleries.

The Calendar app lets us create and manage events, which we can post on our site or use it as a private calendar.

The Friends app is as close as Snappages comes to creating mailing lists. With it, we can manage contacts, or Friends, and keep them updated on changes we make on the site.

Lastly, a Domain Names app helps us buy and maintain a custom domain.

Editing our pages with the Web Page app is extremely simple. First we pick a page we want to edit. Then, by clicking on any content block, we open a pull-down menu with 3 options; Edit, Duplicate and Delete.

Content blocks that are currently being edited are highlighted with a drop-shadow.

We can also add new blocks to our pages by dragging them over from the Web Blocks tray on the left of the screen.

More advanced Web Blocks are Widgets, which include a Google Maps Widget, Twitter Updates and Follow Widgets, a PayPal Button Widget, as well as Add This and Google Adsense Widgets.

Final words
Though Snappages produces decent websites, we found that the editing interface often gets in the way of quickly editing a page, with too many clicks needed to move around and make changes.

Having said that, for a Flash application, the Snappages editor feels quick and stable.

Snappages does not have the necessary options to attract bloggers or business owners who are serious about their business website.

But if you are looking for an easy-to-use tool to create your next personal website and have a lot of fun doing that, Snappages might be right for you. 

To sign up for your free Snappages trial,
click here.

If you use or have used Snappages, we would like to hear your experience in the comments below.

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