"Pretty much everything you need to get started is provided for the first time designer. There is an excellent set of PDF tutorials as well as access to video ones."
Web design is an increasingly accessible area for all these days, which is just as well when you consider how much more important it is becoming.
Serif WebPlus X4 is a complete all-in-one package that claims to let you build professional quality websites quickly and easily. Retailing at £80, it positions itself as a product that provides you with all the tools of a professional web-designer.
However, it also wants to be as accessible as possible without being too simplistic. In other words it is aimed at everyone from the local business looking to build their own small site to professional web-designers as an alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver.
What we like best
These are ambitious aspirations that run the risk of trying to please everyone but pleasing no-body, so it is with genuine respect that I say well done to Serif for just about pulling it off.
As a novice web-designer myself I was impressed with WebPlus’s ease of use. From the quick and easy installation to the excellent range of tutorials and resources available from the minute you access the user interface.
Pretty much everything you need to get started is provided for the first time designer. There is an excellent set of PDF tutorials as well as access to video ones.
There is a great choice of templates which you can choose from and modify with your own text and images or you can build a site from scratch using the Quick Builder bar, which lets you drag and drop your chosen elements onto the page.
What we like least
There are a few minor issues such as the fact that you cannot register without calling up Serif, and this isn’t so much of a problem for me personally.
One of the things which impressed me was the fact that someone with little or no experience could quickly have a site with Flash navigation bars, while the scope for editing text, adding 3D banners and image editing all within the programme has to make this product superb value for money, so kudos to Serif.
Web design is however, an endlessly deep and complicated subject so make sure that you set aside time to invest in learning – obviously you’ll get back as much as you put in. Fortunately Serif has made this process easy.
NEW: Update sites with the click of a mouse with the latest Quick Publish feature
Available as an upgrade
Download or CD
Microsoft Windows XP - Windows 7
- Pentium PC with DVD/CD drive and mouse
- Microsoft Windows XP (32 Bit) – Windows 7 OS
- 512 Mb RAM
- 749 Mb free hard disk space (855 Mb with Resource CD installed)
- 1024 x 600 monitor resolution
- Optional requirements – Windows-compatible printer
- TWAIN-compatible scanner and/or digital camera
- 3D Accelerated graphics card with DirectX 9 (or above) or OpenGL support
- Internet account and connection required for Web Publishing and accessing online resources
- Adobe Flash Player 9.0 or above to view Learning Zone resources (Startup Wizard)
- Additional disk resources and memory are required when editing large and/or complex documents.
Serif has developed WebPlus X4 to be a significantly upgraded product from the previous WebPlus X2, adding some excellent new features to an already impressive set of web site maker tools.
The programme comes with a range of professionally designed templates, making it possible to either create a new site just by the simple process of click and drag or produce something completely original from the bottom up.
You can make the most of Flash navigation bars and GoogleMaps, whilst importing support technology to produce other creative effects is also made easy.
Working with images, such as image cropping and manipulation, is made simple by the integrated PhotoLab, while video from YouTube can be imported to your site with ease.
Once your site is up you can access and make changes from any Internet connection. You will also receive 18 months free site hosting, with 250MB of Web space and 2GB bandwidth, included in the price of the software.
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