Website Creating Software
Website X5 is available either as the Evolution or Compact version. Both titles offer WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) functionality but the latter version does not provide access to the HTML code that is created by the software. This review is based on the Compact version which is aimed at the home user.
I was not expecting any problems, apart from the wait while the 38MB of code was downloaded from Incomedia's web site, and none occurred but that situation was soon to change. Initially I installed Website X5 on my normal workhorse machine running Windows XP. Everything seemed fine as the program loaded smoothly and I was able to click on various links for updates, tutorial and online assistance that appeared on the opening screen.
However this was the limit of what I was able to achieve. While there were buttons for moving to the next stage or accessing the standard Help feature, there was no response from the program whenever I clicked on them. In fact the only way I was able to exit the program was through the use of Windows Task Manager. Removing and re-installing the program did not help.
Switching to a Windows Vista system brought far better results as I was able to access the program's website creation features. Thinking I may have hit upon a case of software that worked on Vista but not XP (rather than the other way round as sometimes can happen), I also installed the product on my Windows XP laptop (yes I accept that I should only have installed the product on a single system but my excuse was that the additional installation was purely for testing purposes with the second version being removed almost immediately) and again no problem was encountered although I did have to change the default font size from large to normal. I am at a loss to explain why Website X5 objected to working on the first system.
Website X5 uses a wizard-led approach as it takes the user through five basic stages required for the creating of a web site. Stage one involves defining general settings. Options are available to add a title with author recognition; include appropriate keywords; decide whether a vertical or horizontal menu style will be used; plus select from a range of templates that have been categorised as Abstract, Geometry, Nature, Panorama and Themes.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of the site's appearance and content brings us to Stage two and three where you can specify levels and sub-levels before inserting content into a page. Website X5 allows you to work with containers that can be positioned on the page using drag & drop. Containers are available that can hold text, images, image browser, flash animation, video/sound, and a slideshow. You can then link content to the relevant container using standard Windows protocols. Stage four is concerned with more advanced settings that deal with popup menus, scroll bars, text style and the main level menu. The final stage gives you a choice of whether to upload your creation to the web or save it to disk.
For those with little or no experience of working with HTML, this XHTML package provides the means to create an attractive web presence. What you might loose in individual creative design, you gain with the ease of use of this product. It is probably best to regard Website X5 as a web site creation tool rather than a web site design product. You can try out the program on a trial basis but this does restrict you in the number of templates and some of the program's features such as uploading or saving your site. This product has been priced at £29.99.
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