The Bottom Line
Contribute is a WYSIWYG editor for people who have no interest or need to learning HTML. It can connect directly to a blog to give you more editing features or to an existing website to manage the pages there. Contribute works best when working with a site created using Dreamweaver templates. Contribute also provides version control and authoring information that is not included in Dreamweaver. Contribute can also edit XML files and has built-in ecommerce functions to add simple shopping carts and stores to your website.
Target Market(s): small business owners or newcomers to web design
- Very easy to use once you get into the site — just a few steps to edit an existing site
- Lots of templates for creating new pages, or it can connect to pre-built Dreamweaver templates
- There is a built-in browser you can use to surf to exactly the page you want to edit
- Built in support for Subversion version control as well as project management roles and permissions
- No technical knowledge is required to edit web pages and blogs or Mobile Me sites
- Setting up a site the first time can be difficult for a newcomer to web design
- It crashed whenever I tried to send a page for review
- You can only edit one file at a time, but it does save your work if you change pages mid-edit
- No access to the HTML or CSS code
- Uses inline styles and @import external style sheets
- New features include: XML editing, predefined content types, drag and drop images, Flash, and PDF files, cross-browser preview, edit dynamic sites like on WordPress or MovableType, and Subversion support.
- WYSIWYG editor that makes it easy to connect to existing websites and blogs as well as to Mobile Me sites.
- Connect to your site with FTP, secure FTP, local network, or WebDAV as well as to blog sites like Blogger, WordPress or TypePad, as well as Mobile Me.
- Edit and create new content on existing sites and blogs.
- Use in combination with Dreamweaver templates to manage a site created by a professional web designer that can be edited by a newcomer without wrecking the design.
- Edit images inside Contribute — crop, rotate, brightness, contrast, and sharpen. Plus add image maps quickly and easily.
- Add videos and other multimedia to your site quickly and easily.
- Use free templates included in Contribute for new web pages.
- Version control (with Subversion) to help keep mistakes to a minimum.
- Give team members different roles and access levels to control who can edit what on the website.
Guide Review - Adobe Contribute CS5
Adobe Contribute CS5 is a great tool for its audience — small business owners and newcomers who don’t want to learn HTML to build a website. It makes it really easy to manage a website. All you have to do is edit the content or add new content and Contribute handles getting it onto the site, making sure it stays in your site’s format, and even notifies other people on your team if necessary. And since it has a web browser and multi-browser preview built-in, you can be confident that your site will look the way you want it to look.
I love that Contribute now lets you edit XML files. It’s really easy to add and edit XML in Contribute because it treats the XML like a web form. You just fill in what you want the fields to say.
If you're using Contribute on Windows, you can view your pages in up to three browsers simultaneously to see how your pages compare on different browsers. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the Macintosh version.
Contribute makes it easy to collaborate on your websites with version control using Subversion software as well as roles and access controls to keep your site running smoothly. There is a feature where you can send your changes to another team member for review. However, Contribute crashed whenever I tried doing that.
Another feature that is really useful is the blog editing. While you might find it difficult to connect to an existing website if you’re not familiar with FTP, connecting to a blog on Blogger or WordPress is as simple as knowing your URL, username, and password. And once you’re connected, Contribute gives you much more powerful WYSIWYG tools for managing your blog than come with the blog engines by default.
Score: 130 42%
Reviewed: October 13, 2010