The answer to that question is maybe! When I bought XSitePro at the beginning of May I had gone through a very frustrating few weeks trying to design several websites. Even more frustrating because I was designing sites for customers and myself 5 years ago but dropped out because of other commitments. I decided to start up another Internet business earlier this year and couldn’t wait to get my own site up and running again. That was when my frustrations started. OK the sites that I designed before weren’t exactly top of the notch professional; they were sort of like the Grandma Moses of the Internet. But, they were attractive, easy to navigate, well visited and different! Using my old html editor FrontPage I expected to have a site up and running quickly but found that I had forgotten most of what I’d known about using FrontPage for building sites. What I did remember was that initially I struggled to build a site even after learning html because I don’t understand ‘easy to understand instructions’. This time round I was having the same old problem. I persevered and was getting somewhere but then I decided to buy the latest Macromedia package and have a bash with Dreamweaver. Doh! it might be wonderful but I didn’t have a clue where to start even after reading the instructions. I turned back to FrontPage with a mental note to myself to try again when I had more time. A friend told me about XSitePro and I was curious enough to take a look at their site. It wasn’t long before I regretted splashing out on the Macromedia package, but I couldn’t justify another spend so I regretfully left the site armed with a free affiliate link. During the next week I kept going back and drooling over what might have been. The $197 asking price grew smaller with every visit until click …I finally reasoned that I had earned as much as that in overtime in my day job the previous week and if I could design sites more quickly and easily it would pay for itself. After downloading XSitePro I couldn’t wait to get started. I worked my through the tutorial which has you building an opticians site and was totally pleased and relieved to find that I understood the tutorial and that my practice optician site was as it should be. Next I decided to design my own site and took a look at the website and sales letter templates provided. A good selection but I must admit to thinking that although eminently usable they were a bit boring to me. I have found since that there are several sites offering some stunning XSitePro templates for sale at very reasonable prices. I made up my own design for my first XSitePro effort and managed to express my old cheerful style quite easily and much quicker than I would have done with FrontPage or Dreamweaver. As with both of those site builders XSitePro is a What You See Is What You Get editor and as with both of them I find that you do need basic html knowledge to build effective sites. Courses are freely available on the Internet. Time Saving Differences I couldn’t believe how quickly I was able to add Google AdSense ads to my pages. All I had to do was initially add my AdSense id to the software and then after that right click wherever I wanted the ads placing. I was given a choice of ad sizes and colours to enable the ads to integrate with my site and there they were. Much better than trawling through the AdSense site every time I wanted to place ads. Another timesaver is the Affiliate Wizard, you add your affiliate links and thereafter a couple of clicks and your links are on your web pages. Optimisation for the search engines is excellent for an impatient bod like me. Every time I add an image I’m reminded to include an image alt keyword. When a page is finished I click on the SEO page and I’m told what I still need to do to improve optimisation. I might have missed an image alt keyword, or I might not have included the main key word enough in the text, or not enough words in the body. A few minutes and the page is fully optimised and a chore that I didn’t completely understand before is done. If I want to change the look of my site it’s easily and quickly done on every page at once and I don’t have to figure out style sheets. I can create pop ups, pop unders and pop ins with a few clicks, add redirect pages, add scripts and lots more useful things. The Verdict I love working with XsitePro and am really glad that I gave into temptation and bought it. I find it easier and quicker to work with than any other html editor that I’ve used and I’m always pleased with the results. I’m sure that it will have it’s limitations but I haven’t found any yet. The only downside is the not so hot templates, but everything else makes up for that in spades. I don’t get excited about XsitePro but I am delighted with my investment.
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