PROS / The templates are highly customizable with drag-and-drop functionality, and a preview feature lets you see what your site will look like live.
CONS / The software only includes 25 built-in templates, though you can download more from the web.
VERDICT / With excellent design capabilities and a user-friendly interface, WebPlus is a great choice if you want to build an intuitive, professional site without the inherent hassles and learning curve of website design.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about website creation software here.
WebPlus X6 seamlessly bridges the gap between advanced and novice web design. This software guides you in creating a website, even if you have no knowledge of HTML. You can build any style of site you have in mind by dragging and dropping elements like text boxes and customized graphics to the page you are designing. There is no coding involved, and the interface appeals to beginners and pros alike. This website creation software does lack the large number of templates you find on other products, but its design capabilities make it a worthy competitor.
While the software’s templates cater to beginner users, its feature set panders to the creative and tech-savvy types. For starters, the software allows you to create your own unique site without the use of the template. You can choose preconfigured art or button shapes for your webpage, or use the included freehand tool to create your own shapes and text formats.
Aside from the ability to design a website from scratch, the website creation software allows you to implement rollover graphic effects and apply page transition effects. WebPlus also supports shopping cart integration, scripting languages and various types of multimedia, including flash, audio and video.
This isn’t, however, to say that beginners won’t find the software accessible. In addition to its advanced functionality, the software also provides a range of convenient features that enhance the overall usability of the application. You can drag images and text boxes and drop them anywhere on a site page, making it easy to maneuver and position the page elements exactly where you want them. The software also provides layout guides, such as page margins, to use as a visual aid while designing the site. WebPlus also features a spell-checker and a convenient find-and-replace function.
One convenient feature we found was the preview option. When selected, your site in its current state will appear in a new browser window. You'll be able to see what it looks like, and all the links and buttons will work as though the site were live.
Other key features offered by WebPlus are meta tag creation and social media integration. Meta tags make your site more searchable through search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. These tags are based on keywords that represent your site and any products you offer. WebPlus also lets you add live feeds from sites like Facebook and Twitter, so your visitors see the latest news or photos. You can add Like buttons and even insert a social bookmarking panel to connect with sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon.
Compared to the hundreds, and even thousands, of templates some programs offer, the 25 templates WebPlus offers feel somewhat limited. However, all of them are professional looking, and you can add your own creative touch with drag-and-drop functionality. This software has animated banners you can drag onto your page, as well as widgets that let you add polls, feeds or videos. It also includes countless graphics you can edit.
While you can create your own custom navigation buttons, you can also opt to select the navigation/theme tool and choose from a variety of preset button, menu and toolbar styles to create a site that is cohesive and easy for users to navigate.
WebPlus X6 offers an impressive array of graphic imaging tools, including a large graphics library and the ability to edit photos directly in the software without the use of a third-party application. The website creation software allows you to crop and resize images without distortion.
The cropping capabilities of WebPlus are a step above those of other web building software that we reviewed. Not only can you crop an image with the standard square cropping tool, you can also select an irregular cropping tool to trim your image in a variety of shapes. This can come in handy if you need a circle, oval or another non-standard image shape.
The only thing WebPlus doesn’t have in terms of graphic imaging tools is a gallery of online images that you can download. However, we feel the software’s built-in library of graphics should be more than sufficient for most, if not all, users.
Website creation software often has an inherent learning curve, but WebPlus X6 is as user-friendly as it is functional. Intuitive with simple navigation, the software is easy to use and makes quick work of a once difficult and tedious design process.
Like many of the other website creation applications we reviewed, the software’s ease of use is a direct result of its “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface. Website creation software with a WYSIWYG interface displays your site during the editing process exactly as it will appear once it is published online. This type of interface also enables easy on-page editing.
WebPlus comes with a range of with help and support options. One of our favorite support options is the detailed step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish common website design tasks, such as how to set up navigation or add media content. You can access further information and guidance in the software’s built-in help section.
WebPlus also supplements additional resources online. Serif, the software’s manufacturer, provides an online support portal that contains a community forum, product news and a knowledgebase. While there is ample information and resources within the support portal, it can be difficult to navigate and find information that’s relevant to your inquiry. There’s plenty of useful information, but we’d like to see a more intuitive organization that makes the support portal easier to navigate.
Serif offers customer support for WebPlus X6 through email, telephone and an online ticket system. You can submit a ticket for both customer service and technical support inquiries.
Whether you are well versed in website design or not, Serif’s WebPlus X6 is an excellent choice when it comes to website creation software. WebPlus may not have as many website templates as some of its competitors, but the software is only lacking strictly in terms of numbers. WebPlus delivers notable customization, rich features, helpful support resources and other capabilities that far outshine the software’s minor shortcomings.