• Price When Reviewed: 154.95 . 86.95

  • Pros: Lots of functionality under the hood; some decent built-in components; possible to get reasonable results — if you’re patient.

  • Cons: Utterly useless import function; awkward and occasionally non-intuitive interface; lacks direction; spits out nasty code.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 5 out of 10We rate this 5 out of 10We rate this 5 out of 10We rate this 5 out of 10We rate this 5 out of 10 We rate this 5 out of 10

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The jury’s out on the built-in time-saving components. We put together a decent Flash gallery in minutes, but it was worse than those created by lower-end applications, and although the AJAX widgets (accordions, tabbed panels and so on) did their jobs satisfactorily, they were fiddly.

Perhaps the most damning aspect of NetObjects Fusion 11 is that despite its claims to generate semantic, standards-based code, most of what we got was littered with problems, and even the cleanest code we managed to produce had dozens of unnecessary inline styles and a severe case of ‘divitis’. We were also disappointed to discover that NetObjects Fusion didn’t seem capable of importing previous (and simple) standards-compliant Web sites we’d created – sites that neither Dreamweaver nor Expression Web had the slightest difficulty dealing with.

But our main problem with NetObjects Fusion 11 was hinted at right at the start of this review: it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Beginners and home users won’t make use of most of the features and NetObjects Fusion’s price-tag means they’re better off checking out a cheaper rival, such as WebPlus 10.

Layout designers are unlikely to be impressed by the overtly template-driven approach and office-application-style interface. And professionals are still better catered for by Dreamweaver or Expression Web, both of which offer superior workflow, scope and output, although at a higher cost.