Make a website easily with a template-based program
There are two basic categories of website creation programs: the kind which starts with a blank page that the user fills with text, graphics, menus and links, and there’s the template-based type, in which most of the design is already done and the user just changes the words and pictures.
The first is usually more complex, more expensive and suited to advanced users, with programs such as Adobe’s Dreamweaver or Serif Webplus X2, while the second includes programs such as Incomedia’s Website X5 Evolution 8.
It comes with a printed manual and an irritating requirement to ‘authenticate’ the software before we could run it, which involved entering a 38-digit unlock code.
The program is template-based, with 1,400 of the templates supplied. You can modify these by changing the colour and adding your own graphics.
Menus are added automatically and a site map is used to provide a visual aid to the structure of the site. The page layout uses grids of cells into where page elements, such as text, pictures, slide-shows, audio and video clips can be loaded. Support for Youtube videos is also included.
If you are used to working with a page design program either for print or the web, this simpler way of working may take some getting used to.
None of the objects added are shown as they are made. They only show up when you hit the Test button that draws the current page.
The same applies to objects when they are edited. This can be annoying, but it is still a simple way of putting a site together.
Most of the extras you might want, such as RSS feeds, sound and video are available and there is a shopping cart system, complete with Paypal payment support, if you want a site that will sell things.
There is support for blogging, too, and the program can handle feedback from web surfers, with the ability for readers to post their comments. There is even a fun, though slightly gimmicky, page-peeling effect for adding adverts to your site.
Unlike some other systems, such as Mr Site, there is no need to rent space on a specific server to host your site. You are free to upload to any service you like and the program has built-in FTP software to handle the transfer.
Read more reviews
Simple but effective website design, though the lack of a visual content editor can make things fiddly Good points Very easy, template-based design; plenty of designs to choose from; support for blogging, Youtube and shopping carts; free choice of host for finished site Bad points Not always easy to see what you are doing; manual lacks explanation of some terms
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