Softpress Systems has released Freeway 5.5 Preview, a free evaluation version of its upcoming paid-for upgrade to the web-design products, Freeway Express and Pro. Preview versions of both Freeway Express and Freeway Pro are available from the Softpress web site (http://www.softpress.com).
According to Softpress Managing Director Richard Logan, alongside Freeway’s extensive existing feature set, Freeway 5.5 has a range of new functionality including:
° Freeway Showcase: Showcase offers even absolute beginners thousands of fully-customizable options so that they can effortlessly build professional, feature-rich galleries and slideshows from scratch in just minutes, he says. You can import images for use into the application via drag and drop from the Finder, or from iPhoto/Aperture libraries displayed in the app itself), or by direct import. A variety of appearance and layout options are available including borders, shadows, reflections and more. Freeway Showcase supports common web image types as well as TIFF and native Photoshop files.
° Relative page layout (Pro-only): Users can create complex CSS layouts that respond appropriately when content on the page changes in size or is added/removed dynamically – without needing to learn CSS.
° HTML email generation: The Create Email Action allows users to design emails and newsletters with fewer restrictions. When the page is published, Freeway will convert it into “email-friendly” HTML that can be opened up in Apple Mail, or dropped into a sending service such as MailChimp or Vertical Response.
° Site search (Pro-only): You can add search facility to your sites. With no server-side technologies used, this effective search functionality can be used on all sites, purportedly even those hosted on MobileMe.
° Search engine sitemaps: The Site Mapper Action will keep search engines up-to-date by automatically generating Google-friendly XML sitemaps, and Yahoo! URL lists, each time you update your site.
° Amazon affiliation: This connects your site with Amazon sites that will pay you cash for all sales originating from your site. Amazon USA, UK, France, Germany and Japan are all supported.
° Improved upload: Freeway now supports secure uploads through SFTP and FTPS, in addition to existing upload methods (FTP, MobileMe and File Copy).
° New templates: New and improved templates — all of them free. The preview version includes three new templates; more will be included in the release version.
Freeway requires Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) or above, and runs on both Intel and PowerPC Macs. Freeway 5.5 Pro and Freeway 5.5 Express are both available for pre-release purchase from the Softpress Store. Full versions of Freeway 5.5 Pro can be purchased for US$229), and Freeway 5 Express is $69. Pre-release upgrades from earlier versions of 5 to 5.5 are offered at prices starting from $25 for Express or $49 for Pro. Those who qualify for education, senior or non-profit discounts will receive a coupon for a full 20% off any listed Freeway price. For discounts on multi-seat installations, contact sales.