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Lunch » Tags » Software » Reviews » Serif WebPlus Essentials » User review

Web Design Help for the Novice

  • Aug 26, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
This software isn't going to let you make a totally custom website for yourself with no skills, talent, or training. It absolutely will let you make a nice, functional website with the same level of tech skill required to use common programs like MS Office or Photoshop Elements. If you're an artist with limited tech skills, you can probably still make yourself a wonderful site. Often, programs claim that you don't need to know any HTML, and that's only true if you don't care what your site looks like when you finish, but this program lives up to its promise.

The interface is clear, simple, and familiar. The icons and tools are the ones you already know if you're fairly experienced with a computer (the paint bucket, pencil, cropping box, linking tool, etc.). You can open a new file and start from scratch, dragging and dropping text and images onto the page right where you want them. You can use a pre-made template, and there are additional templates available from Serif if your interest isn't represented already. You can also use a basic theme or template and customize it.

Once you've opened your site, you have a wealth of options to set it up the way you want it to be. You can add pages, rename them, and move them around. You can put in photos and text, change your color scheme, and organize page elements in many different ways. You can even put in a shopping cart, a blog, or a forum. When you finish, you can let WebPlus set you up with a domain and put your site online for you, or save your files and upload them at a site you already own.

I like the fact that you can set up your navigation just the way you want it -- you're not stuck with pre-set options, and you can easily link pages up in any way you care to. I also like the color scheme selector, which lets you choose from a variety of pre-defined plans or a very broad range of alternatives. A lot of tasks are automated for you, but you have plenty of choices, and can even get into the code and do exactly what you want if you have the knowledge.

If you don't have the knowledge, though, you can do without. As a web professional, I see lots of poor quality websites made at home with loving care and software like Dreamweaver that is really designed for pros. Web Plus is a much better alternative for people who are making their own sites in order to save money or for fun.

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About the reviewer
Rebecca Haden ()
Ranked #392
I'm a full time web content writer, working for companies and organizations from a goat farm in Oklahoma to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. My specialty is writing for both search engines and … more
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Wiki

WebPlus Essentials makes designing and publishing your website easy – no HTML knowledge required! It really is quick and easy for anyone to get a website up and running in no time at all. Thanks to the 'what you see is what you get' (WYSIWYG) user interface in WebPlus Essentials, there's no complicated HTML programming to master. Simply drag and drop objects from the QuickBuilder Bar onto your page to create your website – it’s that simple! There are on-screen ‘How To’ guides that can walk you through tasks step-by-step while the handy Learning Zone contains videos, tutorials, access to the community forums and the extensive knowledge base. Add your own pictures and words to the customizable templates in WebPlus Essentials and publish your website live online in minutes. If templates aren’t your style, start with a blank page and design your page with the powerful tools in WebPlus Essentials. You’ll also find intelligent navigation bars that will automatically update themselves when the structure of your site changes – it’s just another way that WebPlus Essentials makes designing websites easy. You can create different types of websites and host content on WebPlus Essentials websites. Stay in touch with friends and family with a personal blogs or show those holiday photos in a photo gallery (use the built-in PhotoLab to make sure that the photos on your web page are at their very best) and even make money from ...
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