Serif Webplus X2 web design software - Review

Serif Webplus X2 web design software - Review

Pros: Plenty of tools for attractive design; ecommerce tools; uses CSS

Cons: Geared towards static content

Bottomline: Works best when creating static sites and would suit those with a design background

Manufacturer: Serif

Web design falls into one of two camps.

The first type designs the entire site, including content and design, in one place, the other designs a select few templates and relies on content management software to put articles in place.

Webplus falls firmly in the former camp, but this does not mean that it passes up on the latest design possibilities.

We were pleased to find that layout uses CSS, not tables. This helps keep the layout of the pages as simple as possible, making them more accessible to mobile browsers and visible to search engines.

The formatting information set with CSS is embedded in each page, which is a slight disappointment as using an external style sheet helps keep file sizes down.

Several master pages can be created as templates, helping to keep a consistent look across a site. The site manager tool is also useful for planning, and navigation bars can be created automatically.

The design heritage is clear from the ability to link text boxes together to flow copy from one to the other.

There is even an automatic flow tool for creating as many boxes as are required on following pages. There are also plenty of attractive text tools with effects, including flowing text along lines.

There is a blog tool, but it can only be updated from within Webplus and is rather inflexible in design, as is the RSS viewer.

You can also insert HTML code fragments, which will come in handy when using tools that require small snippets of HTML, such as Google Analytics.

Ecommerce is supported for accounts with Paypal, Romancart and Mals, and HTML forms can be inserted for reader feedback.

Webplus would suit sites with relatively static content, but if you frequently update or have several contributors, there are better options.