Easy-to-use web design program gets mobile-friendly revamp
Serif's low-cost web design program is aimed at individuals, clubs and small businesses who need an Internet presence and fancy doing it themselves but don't know how to code. The latest version adds several significant new features. There's a new Site Structure view that displays pages such as family tree and makes it much easier to visualise and navigate around larger sites. There is also support for mobile sites and more sophisticated-looking animated banners. A small but significant improvement is the ability to add Facebook Like buttons and other social-networking features more easily.
The core of the program stays much the same. A range of powerful, easy-to-use DTP-style tools let you construct web pages such as those in a newsletter and then add the necessary web bits: links, navigation, slideshows, rollovers, pop-ups, news feeds, galleries and more.
X6 is even easier to use than its predecessor. There is a new site wizard to help beginners get started while we're pleased to see that Serif's tidied up the workspace and added a new Quick Build tab which lets you access X6's various web components more effectively. Just drag and drop social media widgets, Flash objects, forms, shopping carts and more out onto the page to add them to the site and then customise them. The only thing missing is more templates for an even easier start.
X6 now includes a neat way to add multiple images to page backgrounds which makes it easier to create more professional-looking elements like headers, footers and logos. Behind the scenes it's now possible to set up both Google Analytics and Google Adsense which means you can track visitors to your site over time and include targeted adverts respectively. Both are potentially important additions for business users.
Support for mobile devices is significant but involves creating alternative pages - or completely separate sites. This lacks the elegance of modern, so-called responsive designs where pages adapt automatically to display optimally on whatever device is viewing them. Even so, with so many people using portable devices to access the Internet these days, it's a welcome step in the right direction.
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Easy to use website builder adds much-needed support for mobile devices, Google Analytics, Adsense and better social media integration
Easy-to-use; can create mobile-friendly sites; Google Analytics and Adsense support
Mobile-friendly pages must be built from scratch; could always use more templates
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