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WYSIWYG site builder and HTML page editor review

I started out building web sites using the much reviled Microsoft FrontPage. In fact, if it wasn't for FrontPage, I may have bypassed getting into ecommerce altogether. It was simply a good tool, especially for novices wanting a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web site building software package. 

It's now over 10 years since I first fired up FrontPage and up until now I've still been using it in conjunction with plain text editors for scripting and some other bits that FP doesn't handle too well. 


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However, FrontPage is no longer (replaced by other more expensive Microsoft products) and support for it is shrinking daily. It used to be that web hosts running non-Microsoft server software could run FrontPage extensions too through special extensions kits - but they stopped being updated years ago also and increasing numbers of non-MS web hosts are now ending their support for FrontPage features.

WYISWYG web site builder alternatives

Now the FrontPage party is drawing to a close, what alternatives are there in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) html editors and web site builder software applications?

A lot of web site hosts are also offering online page builders - these are usually ok for very basic sites; but they have very, very little flexibility and it can be a real mess once you outgrow them to switch over to something else. 

For desktop applications, there's always Dreamweaver, but that will set you back anywhere from $320 to $500. It's also not a great package for people new to web design to start with as it can be quite confusing.

An application that has impressed me greatly is XSitePro website design software - not just for its WYSIWYG page builder; but some of the additional tools that will be very handy for novices and seasoned designers alike. When testing the application, I read *none* of the documentation (of which there's plenty, it's very well supported) and was able to figure things out quite easily. I like the application so much, that I'll be using it to create sites in the future - farewell FrontPage ... it's a bittersweet moment :).

XSitePro features

Boy, this is where it gets hard - there's so many very cool features :). However, unlike some other full featured WYSIWYG web page builders, they are well laid out in XSitePro. Even if you get stuck, there's a 1500 page manual to refer to, a bustling users forum where you can ask questions and a 24/7 support system.

Here's just a small selection of features:

  • Intuitive user interface and wizards
  • Project based web site design and management
  • Hundreds of professional templates (or create your own)
  • Extensive image library (professional images)
  • Automated link management 
  • Forms wizard
  • Fantastic menu design options including breadcrumb trail
  • Standards compliant code (a rarity with WYSIWYG editors)
  • Flexible, very advanced layout control
  • SEO analysis to help improve your search engine ranking
  • Easy integration of video and audio
  • Spell check and thesaurus
  • Color picker
  • Great right-click menu - not so much clicking around
  • Flesch Kincaid scoring of page content ("readability")
  • Site preview tool
  • Two click publishing
  • Site cleanup - detects orphan pages
  • Auto generation of Google SiteMap
  • Backup and restore
  • Global find and replace 
  • Powerful source editor - edit HTML directly if you wish
  • PayPal, AdSense, Amazon integration
  • Useful snippets library
  • RSS feeds wizard
  • Widgets galore
  • Popup wizard
  • Mobile device wizard - create a handheld friendly version
  • and much more. Download XSitePro web design software today - save $100!


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For affiliate marketers, XSitePro has some great features such as easy addition of AdSense code and a built in affiliate program manager. The way this works is that you can list all the affiliate programs you're participating in for each site and store information about the programs you're running. If you've ever worked with multiple sites and tons of affiliate programs, you'll probably be able to understand how this could be very convenient. Additionally, you can add those affiliate links to your content with a single click.

Another little feature I really liked is the "web site notes" function. How many times have you been working on your site and thought "hmm.. x is a good idea, must remember to do that"... and then promptly forgotten. By hitting a couple of keys, XSitePro will pop up a notes window where you can jot your thoughts down.

XSitePro 2 discount

The team at XSitePro are currently running a special offer - a $100 discount. You can pick up a copy for just $197. Additionally, you'll get a bonus pack of 50 templates to add to the 200 templates that are included with XSitePro 2. XSitePro 2 comes with over 4,000 clipart images, and you'll also get an additional 9,000 images as a special bonus! By the way; you can buy with confidence - XSitePro comes with an iron-clad 30 day money back guarantee.

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
Tutorials, web content, tools and software.
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In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.

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