Website Design Software
How XSitePro Compares...
For years now, I have been an avid Dreamweaver user (and I don't think any tool is going to pull me away from Dreamweaver, either). That being said, XSitePro makes a fairly good "run-for-the-money" here.
I first learned about XSitePro from some of my other internet marketing friends who were starting to use it. Now no offense to my internet marketing friends, but most of them know nothing more than copying and pasting links in a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) Editor when it come to website design. So to hear that they were building websites themselves kind of opened my eyes (especially when I saw the sites and they looked pretty darn good!).
I decided to check out XSitePro myself (still, fairly resistant to any type of new website tool change).
The first thing that caught my attention was the price: $297 (it is now on special for only $197!). Very reasonable (especially since Dreamweaver costs about $400).
Let me explain really quickly that XSitePro (much like Dreamweaver) is a software program that runs on your home computer. This is different from content management systems (CMS) like a Wordpress blog or SiteBuildIt / SiteSell. With those tools, the sites are developed in your browser online (like through Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Opera). With web development tools like XSitePro and Dreamweaver, you have unlimited control to how your site will look and be managed.
One thing that I liked a lot about XSitePro is how it walks you through the site building process step-by-step. When you first start, it asks you the simple, but important questions like your site name, description, keywords, etc.
From here, is my favorite part: The Templates. This is where XSitePro really impressed me. You can first choose your template type:
And notice that the templates look GOOD! They are professional, graphical and very clean looking. (You can customize them rather simply under the Page Layout Manager, but it is not required in most cases). But the best part is that they not only give you the template, but they will provide an entire web site structure (including article pages, resource pages, news, etc.).
This removes some of the complexities of structuring your site and essentially GIVES you a canvas to simply start adding your content (whether it be text or media). You can very easily add or remove pages with a click of the mouse. (Again again, they spoon-feed you through each step).
Beyond this, there are so many other cool features of XSitePro. One that I particularly liked was its Page Analysis tool. For every page that is created, you can run a quick analysis which provides you any error information AND content analysis (including an SEO Report!):
Other features that are mostly "point-and-click" include the ability to generate HTML Sitemaps, XML Sitemaps (for Google Spiders), Robots files, RSS Datafeeds and more.
If you want to add Google Adsense, simply put in your account number and embed it with a click of the mouse.
And for affiliate marketers out there, there are some great affiliate link management tools and link cloaking functions that are built in. (The Amazon affiliate network is built-in, similar to the Adsense plug-in!).
There is a whole page of these other features and options:
So there is one part that still is a little "scary" for most, and that is the uploading process (that is getting your website from your computer onto your "server"). Having a server costs as little as $5/mo (you can read more about servers at my Hosting Reviews page). Once you choose a hosting company (server), they will give you the details to fill in the following form. You do that once. Then, all you need to do is select the "Publish Your Site" button. It is fairly simple.
That is it! I even created an ENTIRE XSitePro site in this example within 5 minutes and you can view it here: XSitePro Example.
If you are new to web design in general, you really have two options: You can choose an CMS (like I described above) which is a lot of web-based design. These are easy to manage but can be rather lacking in customization, scalablity, and transferability. Also, you are rather limited in the number of sites you can have with CMS. (Setting up multiple sites within on domain can be tough). As you can see here, I was able to put that entire XSitePro test website as a "sub-site" to TheWebReviewer.com.
This is one reason why I will continue to use XSitePro. It will allow me to create fast, professional websites very quickly. Dreamweaver doesn't offer templates like this. Creating new sites like this with content management systems would take too long or they are not available. I especially like XSitePro for affiliate marketers, small business owners (like people who run brick-n-mortar stores looking for a web presense), Adsense page developers, and beginner website developers who want a bit more control and understanding of their website.
Great web development tool for ALL skill levels (even "newbies").