Website X5 Pro 13
Joe checks out a new release from Incomedia
• Price: Web Site X5 Professional 13 £149.00, Web Site X5 Evolution 13 £49.99, Web Site X5 Start 13 £ 14.90 • Manufacturer: Incomedia • Website: www.websitex5.com • Requirements: Windows XP or later, 1 GB RAM
The internet is constantly changing with new developments that make our lives more informed, more entertained and easier to shop. These changes are mainly driven by websites all vying for our attention and of course our business. This means the websites themselves need to incorporate the latest eye catching designs to make your mouse finger pause just a moment longer.
Incomedia is one of the companies that help us mere mortals hit this constantly changing target, with web design software that’s powerful, easy to use and more importantly embraces the latest technology. The company produce three versions of its web design software, Start, Evolution and Professional. This review is based on its professional version, which along with the other two, has just been updated to version 13.
If you’ve ever dabbled in website design, you’ll know there are three approaches that design programs normally adopt. The first is the original method that entails a good knowledge of HTML code, and is not used that much today, because it naturally takes much longer to complete. The second is the page layout method, where you place each element on the page you're creating. Or thirdly, the method that Web Site X5 adopts is by using frames where you compose your images, text or other content before they’re added to the page. To see how it’s going so far you simply click on the preview button. While this is not exactly intuitive, the program does walk you through every step, and I’ve found this approach makes for very efficient (so smaller file size) coding. In some ways I guess it’s an advantage if you’ve had no experience of other web design products.
There are a number of new additions to the program but possibly the most important of these is the move to full 64 bit; this has greatly improved the speed and consequently the usability. The developer claims a 50% increase. While I don't have the means to confirm that figure, the increase is certainly noticeable.
One of the most impressive features new to this release is Parallax scrolling, an eye-catching effect that many of the top sites are currently using. It scrolls the sites main content over a background that scrolls at a different pace to the content, giving almost a 3D effect. In some ways to complement this, it's added sticky menus to your arsenal, so while your content is scrolling the menus stay fixed and is always available.
If you’re short on ideas or need some fresh content, X5 has it covered. With over 700,000 royalty free images to choose from, and lots of prebuilt forms that cover everything from emails, to product catalogues, you’re sure to find enough data to get you started.
I think most people would agree that possibly the most difficult thing to do when creating a website is getting it noticed by the various search engines – what’s generally known as SEO (search engine optimisation). Well, the code created by this latest version of X5 gets your site indexed very quickly; all you need to do is add a few lines of text using the Object Title feature and X5 does the rest.
Finally, if you want to give the program, a try, you can download a fully working (time limited version) from the company’s website. After purchase, you also get the free registration of a domain of your choice, plus 15GB of web space for 12 months, unlimited emails and a cloud drive service for synchronising files on all your online devices. Joe Lavery
Usability and capability have both been improved by this update
The quick preview option shows how your project is developing
With over 1000 templates to choose from, it shouldn’t be difficult to get started