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137 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2011
First understand the following is my opinion based on my failed attempt to use Serif WebPlus X5. I wanted a product to replace my old FrontPage. When testing Serif "free advance software" it did everything I wanted a package to do.

Before purchasing the product I asked if the product is one hundred percent stand-alone for development on my PC (does not require any interface to Serif). I was assured that it was. I develop off-line in a remote area of Thailand and only go on-line when I am ready to upload a site. I also told them BEFORE I purchased I wanted a product that had no requirement for me to be "married" to the product developer!

When reading about the features and functions Serif advertises the ability add code for log-in and counters (etc) - they call this "Smart Objects", code that results in data needing to be retained. I asked the same person in customer service, that assured me the product did not require any interface to Serif to develop and use, if the product had these capabilities which I was assured that it did.

If you use a "Smart Object" you have to go on-line with Serif to register it - that is register the html page you develop! Why, because they keep the data on their server!! You cannot keep you own data on your own selected host! You cannot control your own data, you cannot maintain your own data - the data you collect is at Serif! You need to go to Serif for YOUR data! They also say if your usage is too high you need to purchase additional storage from them! You CANNOT develop code or host your internet site without being attached to Serif if you use a "Smart Object". Let me repeat; No counters, No commerce, No "anything" that results in data being stored without a "marriage" to Serif! No using all of the awesome capabilities advertised about the product without being MARRIED to Serif.

Then, when asked for a refund the answer was NO - I waited more than 7 days to ask for it! 7 Days! Why not just give the taillight guarantee (when you can no longer see my taillights the guarantee is over). Who can review all the products features in 7 days?

They "lie" (in my opinion this is the right word as it is the only word I know that describes not telling a truth) about their capabilities and when caught tell me that I SHOULD PURCHASE the "Smart Object" feature and function FROM SOME ONE ELSE, features that were advertised with no statement about needing to be on-line with Serif to develop and host your developed site. Features I thought I paid for when purchasing their product!

The Serif product is really an awesome product and will be perfect for you IF you want to be married to a development company and have them CONTROL YOU and to CONTROL YOUR DEVELOPMENT by making you be on-line with them in order to develop and host your sites. Why would a company develop such an awesome product and then ruin it by thinking that it is good marketing to CONTROL their customers!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2011
I have quite a bit of HTML and site building experience using site creation utilities. Because of this experience, I am not satisfied with the contratints of verizon or network solutions standard web site solutions and authoring tools. Serif offers more control for those of us in the gap between novices and professionals.

After you purchase any Serif product, if you chose to register, you will receive sales calls to cross sell you on the rest of the Serif suite of products. If you plan to go the Serif route, get Page Plus and Photo Plus. The funny thing is, Web Plus provides a better graphics editor than either Page Plus or Draw Plus. So, when I want to create an object, I make it in Web Plus then transfer to Photo Plus to make a .jpg. Basic functionality available in one, such as the ability to fill in a background using similar clicks and commands, should be available and work the same in all three.

I could live with the quirks, especially for the price.

What I cannot live with is support that tells me to read the manual or go on line to find the answer after I have already checked the manual and searched the knowledgebase and found no answers. Especially for a function that worked previousely. Pay close attention to the Serif suport policy.

I purchased four products out of the suite and paid for the upgrades to the next version of each. For this, I expect a vendor to toss me a bone and help with some support. I am now looking for another software package to fill my needs.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Let me preface this with a caveat. I'm not a professional web designer. I wouldn't want that job for the world. But, I was designing my own website, DailyRhymeTime, for release in March, and I knew exactly what I wanted my site to do and interact with my potential customers. Here are the things I felt were of prime importance:
1. Quick loading Multimedia (Music) while my customer looked around.
2. Ability to enforce my site's structure through MENU's
a. make the button's the way I wanted them to look
b. keep buttons out of sight until needed
c. provide this while giving me clear directions on designing instructions.
d. give me the ability to jump around in my design process without loosing what I have completed.
e. Let me preview where I am in the design process in several web browsers.
3. I'm a poet and my poetry can be any length, so, I needed text boxes with automatic SCROLL BARS. Something so simple to add in WebPlus X5 but missing in so many other products.
4. I need a recognized storefront partner, PayPal, to handle all my transactions, yet work seamlessly with the design software.
5. Ability to make pictures hot spots for navigation as a shortcut for customers.
6. Embed everything in the site while keeping my site's footprint under 100 Mb!!!
7. Do all this for under $100.00!!!

This was copied from a piece of notebook paper I wrote on before buying anything. I wasn't able to meet my requirements after reading and doing my research from searching Google, Amazon, and ASK. I had to get out there and try products. I tried 5 of the best recommended ones and lucky for me, Serif was one. I won't name the others but if you do your due diligence you'll know who.

Serif met, or exceeded, all my requirements right out of the box. I used one of their examples as my starting point, but chopped it up to make it into what I needed, what I wanted. And, after being made to jump through so many hoops in the other programs, I knew I'd found the one. Everything seemed easy to do.

It played my MP3's, used my JPG's, accepted my cut & paste (Ctrl-C & Ctrl-V) text from out of MS Word, all while looking the way I had imagined it should. I was building my site, inch by inch. I was able to preview my progress and verify it worked, incrementally, step-by-step. When I screwed up, it was easy to fix. (did that alot)!

I kept waiting for the 'other shoe to fall', you know, something requiring a professional to come in to fix. WebPlus X5 was number 5 on my list of programs to try. I wish I had tried it first.

But then, I wouldn't have shown so much confidence in doing this review with this recommendation: Make Serif's WebPlus X5 the first one you try and avoid the hassle I had.

It took me awhile, but i found the right one. I hear it's on sale for $10 off. What a deal!

If you like some other program, that's fine for you. I tried 4 other 'BEST' web-design programs and found them lacking something, wanting more, needing extra HTML programming to do what Serif's WebPlus X5 did easily, right out of the "box", er. download.

I don't often give 5-star recommendations, but Serif's WebPlus X5 deserves it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2011
If you want to use templates, this will be the best purchase you could ever make. Extremely easy to use. You will be up and running same day.

If you like to build your pages from scratch, this is also a good choice. You are semi-limited. You will have to get use to the software. I find myself using the help a lot. I feel like the program has more to offer than I can figure out on my own.

The tutorial videos are a great starting point. Wish they had more video on the more complex features.

It is capable of some picture and clip art editing and creating. Doesn't created the clearest end result. I think purchasing serif's photo plus would eliminate this problem.

Only complaint would be you choose your page width in pixels. I'd like to be able to stretch the page to 100% of the screen.

Overall great product! Great for newbie web designer!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
I'm forced to re-create my website since Microsoft is abandoning Office Live Small Business.

I decided to use standalone web SW vs. various hosted site builders. (ie I want portability so I'm not tied to a specific host and I don't want to use templates).

I evaluated Webplus X5, Web Easy 8, Web Studio 5 and XSitePro.

Webplus X5 wins hands down. It has a lot of capability once you venture beyond template wizards. This capability is not always intuitive and there's definitely a learning curve with this SW. Fortunately Serif has some good tutorials and an excellent discussion forum where other members answer questions very quickly. At 5 starts I might be a little generous but I'm happy with my results.

I'd rate them as follows on a scale of 1-10:

Webplus X5: 9.0 (very capable once you go beyond templates, full featured but could be more intuitive, at $29.95 a real bargain!!)
Web Easy 8: 7.5 (what you see is not always what you get)
Web Studio 5: 6.0 (Easy to use but lacks capability)
XsitePro: 1.0 (this SW is a joke, very, very basic)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2011
I'm a sophisticated end user and I do know a couple programming languages but for some reason I just never had the desire to dig into HTML. However, I have had the need to create several small websites for one reason or another. I used MS Publisher - which was a complete kludge for putting together websites. Don't get me wrong it did other things fine just not websites. What it did do was to create simple sites and for that it fulfilled my need. The sites look crappy and dated though. I thought so many times 'Why isn't there a simple stand-alone WYSIWYG website creation app' for me. Of course there are about a zillion web based web apps that try to rope you into their services. I didn't want that though - I wanted something that would create nice looking, clean and uncluttered HTML code. WebPlus X5 is a complete knock-out here. Not only does it create clean code (just view the source in your favorite browser) but it allows you to add a complete set of sophisticated controls like galleries, videos, forms, the list is endless. Like other reviewers I am just scratching the surface but I was able to migrate our kludgy old non-profit animal rescue site over to a sweet looking professional website in about two days. We do a lot of adoption events, etc. and the ability to create awesome, simple, professional galleries just blew me away. Literally minutes vs. hours. If you want to create professional looking, cleanly coded websites then WebPlus X5 is the way to go.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2011
With a little basic knowledge of working your way around a computer I created a 26 page web site in two days. Once it is hosted and on the web i will post it here so you can see what you can create. I know I am scratching the surface and the site could be cleaned up to look and opperate better, but a multi-layered web site was pretty easy to create.

The help feature is great. No matter what my question I found a very imformative help section that guided me through the process. Many questions I had were answerable through a very helpful video, no more than 2-3 minutes a piece, on the subject in question. Serif has made the process of designing a website as painless and easy for novices as possible.

I was worried that since they did not have religious templates to guide me or work from, the church web site I designed would not look right. I was wrong. The predesigned templates on the program were a good starting point and were quickly edited and redesigned to make my site look professional and original. In most of the 26 pages I never used a template and just designed on the fly. It was easy and a lot of fun.

I highly recommend this product.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
if you need to add social media features, forms or e-commerce and tons of other features, another words half of the features mentioned on their advertisements, you have to subscribe hosting services from Serif company for the rest of your life. Regardless you have an your hosting account or not , you have to pay monthly fee to Serif to use these features.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
I've been looking for a wysiwyg site designer for quite awhile. I've tried 3 others & wasn't impressed. Read many reviews & eventually tried Kompozer (free & great if you know HTML). Also tried Coffee Cup Visual Site Designer (good but very basic). Some of these other programs work well if you know HTML or if you just want to use a template & are satisfied with the basics.
If you are a little more particular & want that specific look that stands out & catches your eye then you need to design your site from scratch & definitely need Serif Webplus X5. The customization available with the program is nothing short of amazing especially considering the price. I was surprised at the number of drawing tools & the ability to control & customize fills, transparencies, etc.
If you are familiar with the basics of graphics design for print, you will easily adapt to this software. If you've used desk top publishing software or used advanced features in your word processor to design & layout advertising, this program works very similar. It takes care of the HTML for you behind the scenes.
The 320 page paper manual that comes with it is very detailed. If you want to see the details of the software before you buy it, go to Serif's website & download the manual. You will get a good idea of what the software is capable of. Just remember webpage design is different from print design. Do some reading on the internet to understand some of the differences. The forum on Serifs website will answer just about any question you can think of.
I've only found two negatives with the program so far. If you aren't familiar with basic layout & design & want to use a template that you can customize, then Webplus is a bit disappointing here. There are not that many templates & quite honestly most are uninspiring. The other shortfall is that this program uses a fixed width page design. It is the thing that I suppose takes the guess work out of alignment & display issues with different computers & browsers. However, it is good to know this up front. You can not adjust the width of your web page in any way shape or fashion. You can adjust the pages length but not the width. You need to use a page border to compensate for various computer video card resolutions & monitor display sizes.
I'm not a person who is easily impressed. However Serif WebPlus X5 really gives you quite a bit of bang for your buck!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2011
The search function as of this date does not work at all. When you construct a website with a lot of products or text and you need to find something to change it, you are left to searching without a computer search function (very time consuming).
Other than that the product is five star. Once they get this bug fixed, I will be more than pleased with the product. Everything else is great.
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