Create stylish, feature-packed websites, no HTML experience required
Xara Web Designer MX Premium 8 is a template-based design tool which makes it quick and easy to create quality websites.
Browse the program's Designs Gallery, for instance, and you'll find 40 professionally-produced multipage web designs, each of which has several colour schemes available. And if you open one of these, and replace its default text and images with your own, then you'll have a fully working website: it really can be as easy as that.
Reopen the Designs Gallery, though, and you'll find plenty of other ways to enhance your site. Like buttons, heading, navigation bars, photos, icons, and a huge clipart collection (more than 3,000 items). Just drag and drop an item onto your page and customise it to suit your needs.
If you'd like to add some interactivity to your site then you'll appreciate the program's widgets. You can embed YouTube videos on your pages, photo slideshows, media players, contact forms, PayPal buttons, news headlines, RSS feeds and more. And new this time is an excellent chart widget which uses mouseover events to display more details about its figures (see how it works on the Xara site).
And as this is the "Premium" version of the program, it includes plenty of extra features that you won't get in the standard editions. There are tools to create presentations, animations (Flash and GIF) and sitemaps, for instance. You get many more photo options, including the ability to manipulate your photos with Photoshop plugins (there are 40 to get you started). Text styles make it far easier to adjust the appearance of text across your site, in just a click or two. And there's a screen capture tool, HTML 5 video support, more import and export options, more themes and content in general, and even your choice of top level domain name, free for a year, which you can use with the program's free hosting to get your site online.
Review by Mike Williams.