I’ve been swatting away at a revised version of our web site using Macromedia Contribute. This is an easy way to update existing web sites. I use this to do monthly updates for our local consulting group as well. A revelation, yesterday, however, with Contribute; The program does not keep more than a single copy around of a particular file. That is, if you edit a web page, it downloads a local copy for editing, and then when you make your changes and post those changes to the web site it deletes the draft on your local disk.
I suppose this wouldn’t be a huge problem, except as I was creating my revised web site, I was trying to hoe out the folder on the web server, and I deleted all of the newly posted revisions as well as all the old stuff, and I ended up with…nothing.
This violates the unwritten law of backups, which is, “if you don’t normally back things up, at least have two copies of everything that you aren’t backing up stored on different machines.” So, I lost a couple hours work.
Other than that minor problem, I like Contribute very much. Being graphically challenged, I used a template that came with the program. Contribute doesn’t require you to use html code, and in fact, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t allow you to get at the code. The templates look OK, better than anything I could come up with on my own, and for my business purposes, (and maybe 90% of all other businesses and non-profits), they are good enough.
Not bad for a $135.00 program.
Alternatives: NetObjects Fusion which is what I’ve used for a million years, and which appears to be chugging along. Microsoft FrontPage which comes with several versions of Office, so maybe you already own it.
Contribute does include a Rollbacks feature, which is turned on in the Administer Website dialog. You can indicate how many drafts of each page should be kept, and then rollback to any previous draft using the File > Actions > Roll Back to Previous Version menu item. The Rollback dialog shows you a list of previous drafts, and includes a preview, so you can see each draft before picking the right one.