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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Incomedia WebSite X5 Professional 12 Review

As a software developer by trade, I go between two extremes daily as far as creating web sites. At work, I'm creating the web site and have total control over what and how everything is done. When blogging, I use Goggle's environment. That is an easy to use enclosed environment for helping anyone create a blog quickly and maintain it, while giving up some control over the flexibility you have with the blog's abilities. My blogging environment is designed for the non-technical user. As a technical user, I can certainly use it, it is just a little simple for me. The other major blogging platform is from WordPress. With WordPress, you're given more control of your web site. How you design it is up to you. You can use their tools, or your own. The Incomedia WebSite X5 web builder software I got to try out is more for this last type of user, or even for an environment where you need to create the web site for a small company or online store totally separate from any blogging platform. Basically, you have total control over your environment, but still no programming skills required.

Immediately while starting to create my first project, I noticed a small detail: the messages show UK English spelling of words. This isn't a big deal for me though some people might not be so accepting of it, thinking words were misspelled. 
To get started, you pick from one of over a thousand template designs. This sounds more complicated then it actually is as the templates are broken down by category, and you can always change it later if you decide you need/want something new and different. Template categories include Web Portal, School and Education, Photography, and Fashion, among many others. You can also choose between a vertical and horizontal menu design. When creating a new project, be sure to select the Enable responsive website option on the Responsive Design tab. Almost everyone wants their site to be responsive to all the different devices that can be used to access your site. If you forget, you can always come back later to change.
After choosing a template, you can review all the different CSS styles that will be used for the item elements. The package doesn't use the term CSS or style sheets but effectively that is what they are doing. Things like font, text color, mouse over behavior. You don't need to change anything here typically as the chosen template should define all these so they match in with design, but you can customize them if you so choose. Then, you design the different pages via drag and drop, text here, image there, video somewhere else, more text. It is the design of the what in each area first before you add the actual content. There is also a stats and SEO setup page for attaching your Google Analytics tracking ID and any custom HTML/CSS/JavaScript code that needs to go in the header or body. At any point, if you're curious about what you have, you can press Preview and see what you've created so far.

If you find your design needs some graphics, you have access to a library of over 400,000 royalty free photos. I'm constantly searching for graphics to use in my postings and this is a big time saver. There are similar categories available from when you were picking templates and you can use text search, too. Once you find an image, there is a basic image editor available that allows you to crop and rotate among some other operations. Warning, some images are PG. When searching for a leg, I ran across a woman with her boob sticking out.

Need a web store? You do get e-commerce integration and tools like an email form available for customer feedback. And, WebSite X5 comes with a year of hosting if you so desire to use.

Here's a tutorial video to show you around tool and to help you get a better understanding of its features.

The WebSite X5 package from Incomedia comes in three version. A home version for $19.99, an evolution version for $75, and their professional version for $199. The latter two have demo versions available. (WebSite X5 version comparison) The product is currently in its 12th release. I got to try out their pro version.

Overall, a good package to help the less technical create their own web site that displays well across desktops, tablets, and smartphones. No programming skills required yet easy to use to get that site that adapts to the requested screen size. Give it a try today. You can try out the demo version of WebSite X5 for free. And follow their Facebook page to see what else is going on with Incomedia WebSite X5.

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