29 Aug 2008 3 pm eastern

SiteAssist Professional

Released Wednesday, August 27th, SiteAssist Professional creates entire CSS-based websites in minutes. Since that sounds ridiculous and impossible, I’ll say it again: the product creates websites in minutes, with clean markup, and nicely optimized CSS.

The software package includes 14 designs, each with 12 color schemes. You can customize everything and save your own designs. SiteAssist Professional works with Dreamweaver templates and imports from Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor and CSS Menu Writer .

While I wouldn’t use SiteAssist Professional to design sites for my clients, I would definitely use it to quickly mock up good-looking, standards-compliant, interactive walk-throughs. It’s also great for pro bono or friend-and-family work—any time you need to create a viable website without spending a ton of time.

The product lists for $199.99 but is available for just $149.99 during a two-week introductory special.

[tags]css, software, tools, siteassist, webassist[/tags]

Filed under: CSS, Standards, Tools

19 Responses to “SiteAssist Professional”

  1. Calvin said on

    How much did they pay you to write this post?

  2. Dave S. said on

    I love it when people jump to the immediate and obvious conclusion that when I write about a product, I couldn’t possibly actually *like* it or the people behind it, and I surely must have been paid to shill… don’t you?

  3. Marko said on

    This can’t be good when You’re locked within 14 templates even if You have the freedom to change the colors or other parts of design You’re still locked within 14 frameworks. Me not to change CSS? No way! Thanks but no thanks.

  4. Joseph Lowery said on

    Marko – you overlooked the part where Jeffrey writes

    SiteAssist Professional works with Dreamweaver templates and imports from Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor and CSS Menu Writer.

    If you’ve got a Dreamweaver template, you only need to make sure there are 3 editable regions: one for navigation, another for content and a third for the footer links. If you’re working with CSS Sculptor layouts, these will be included already. One of the coolest things about the program is that you can after you’ve applied a template design, you can quickly go in and try another one and all your added content will be preserved.

    Not sure what you meant by “Me not to change CSS?” but just to be clear, you can modify the CSS for any kind of site created with SiteAssist Professional.

  5. Alan said on

    Released Wednesday, August 27th, SiteAssist Professional creates entire CSS-based websites in minutes

    Oh no, my decade+ of HTML/XHTML/CSS experience has been instantly commodified!

    While I wouldn’t use SiteAssist Professional to design sites for my clients, I


    (from my tongue, in an undisclosed location somewhere in the vicinity of my cheek)

  6. Josh Stodola said on

    This post promotes feed unsubscription.

  7. Nic Barajas said on

    It’s a very interesting idea, although for those who are already getting into the industry without any “true” financial investment (see: pirated Photoshop and a laptop bought by their parents), it kind of hurts their ability to succeed, I think. (Although I guess there are those who see starting in freelance as a mistaken path.)

    If that had been around four years ago, the bad website I had made for my childhood church could have been done in a quarter the time for the same amount of money, with significantly better results. Which I would actually be glad about, but I worry about the ability for young web professionals to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when seasons professionals can knock a site out using this in short order — speaking of course as one of those young web professionals.

  8. John Walsh said on

    I love the negativity in some of the comments. How much did they pay you, this post promotes unsubscription, etc.

    I think it’s a great product. Like you said, it’s not something I’d use on my client work, but it looks great for a quick thing that needs to be thrown together if there are any budget/time restraints.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Marko said on

    @Joseph Lowery: As a designer I still can’t find myself starting a project thinking about some templates. I feel closed inside them although I can change everything later, but it doesn’t fit in my design process. Still, great product for someone who’s starting with web design or like John Walsh said with witch I disagree.

  10. Marco said on

    While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I think this post makes me want to unsubscribe I do think this post sounds a bit dubious coming from a standards advocate such as Mr. Zeldman. Therefore, until he comments and states otherwise I’m just going to assume this is a ‘sponsored post’.

    Looking at the code examples produced by this tool I’d say it’s possibly better than what other automatic tools produce but I still wouldn’t use this code on anything including pro-bono work and friends and family work. The fact that it appears to be limited to a certain set of pre-made grids doesn’t help either.

    If time or money are a constraint I’d rather use one of the tons of cheap PSD-to-XHTML services that are out there these days. You’ll probably get a better result and at least it’s human made.

    Just my 5 cents.

  11. Adam said on

    LI elements with BR’s after them? The code didn’t feel particulary semantic to me when I looked at the sample.

  12. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Wow. Some of you people are surprisingly nasty-minded. I’ve never written a sponsored post. I never even heard the phrase “sponsored post” until you wrote it. Shame on you.

    No product can replace the skill of a web design and development professional; no automation tool will ever write markup as beautifully semantic as you or I might write on our best days. But this product could be useful to web design pros who need to build walk-throughs or quickly put together a working site for a client with no budget (such as a family member), and the company that made it has integrity.

  13. Marco said on

    Excuse me but I completely fail to see any part in my reaction that I need to be ‘ashamed of’ to be honest. Likewise I fail to see any part in it that would justify calling me ‘nasty-minded’. You could instead just have ‘stated otherwise’ since I left that option wide open. Any particular reason for this hostile reaction?

    P.S: The fact that the company behind this product has integrity doesn’t really have anything to do with the whole matter. Nobody including the people who wrote comments more hostile than mine suggested otherwise. I don’t think the code this tool produces is more ‘useful’ than the code produced by any other tool for ‘no budget’ productions. If it’s just to show other people a concept pretty much anything will do fine.

    I’ll now go sit in a corner and feel ashamed!

  14. Nathan said on

    A little more than a year ago I only knew HTML. Now I’m working with PHP, CSS, and JavaScript as well.

    And you know what? CSS is the hardest part. So many rules, all affecting each other, supported differently by different browsers, often with unforseen results. So unlike scripting, which is “do X, then do Y.”

    I love the idea of cross-browser standards. I hate fiddling with rules for hours to make things work. If there are tools to speed up this part of hand-coding, I say bring them on.

  15. Nils Hendriks said on

    @Marco “Any particular reason for this hostile reaction?”

    Marco, your assumption that this was a sponsored post seems hostile in itself, because you doubt the author’s integrity. So don’t be surprised when the author directs you to that corner of shame :-)

    My 1 cent.

  16. Andrew Boardman said on

    I, for one, am going to have a look at it. It sounds perfect for nonprofits I sometimes help who literally have no budget. Thanks for the tip.

  17. Which HTML WYSIWYG tool do you recommend? - Stack Overflow said on

    [...] Zeldman recently linked to a new solution. I think it still requires Dreamweaver, but if Zeldman’s endorsing it, the standards support is likely quite good. [...]

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