There are two main approaches to web design: on the one hand, there are professional-level applications that provide complex tools for generating dynamic, database-driven sites. Meanwhile, programs aimed at novices generate static sites quickly and easily. XSitePro 2.0 falls somewhere between the two, generating content dynamically from a user's input that is then output as a HTML pages.

The starting point for XSitePro 2.0 is a Project, a means of organising any number of individual websites. Creating a basic website structure, the next step, takes only a few moments using one of the many templates provided. These templates are generally of a high quality: there is always a slight danger that such designs can look rather too similar to others across the web, but XSitePro 2.0 also makes customising each section extremely easy.

Changing the look and feel of your site is simple with XSitePro 2.0's stylesheets. There's a slick interface and you don't need to code directly (although the opportunity is there if you dig around a little). This is certainly much easier to use than in applications such as Dreamweaver, although someone with a more advanced knowledge of web programming may find this a little restrictive.

After creating the site, individual pages can be modified via XSitePro 2.0's what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) page editor that also provides an HTML option. Publishing itself is generally straightforward via FTP, although the complete novice will probably require a little help in setting this up. Getting a good-looking site up and running within minutes is very simple.

So far, so standard, although this is one of the most pleasant to use interfaces for web design that we've encountered. Where XSitePro 2.0 really stands out, however, is by applying this ease of use to a wide range of additional features which, if coded by hand or created using Dreamweaver would be considerably more complex. Wizards handle such things as creating a version of your site for mobile users, navigation menus and search engine sitemaps, as well as multimedia, search engine optimisation and PayPal buttons.

XSitePro 2.0: Specs

  • 1GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 300MB hard-disk space, Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
  • 1GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 300MB hard-disk space, Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher

OUR VERDICT

XSitePro 2.0 is one of the best applications we’ve seen for aiding novices in creating professional-looking websites. But that needs to be borne in mind: this is not really a program for professionals themselves. Although it can create such things as scripts for search pages, XSitePro 2.0 handles page generation for you rather than being a tool for complex dynamic sites.

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