Which of These Web Builders Would be Best for Me?

by KeithH
30 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
  • |
Hi. I am just learning to design my website. I used to use a Weebly builder. Now, I have grown to purchasing my own web builder to build my own sites. I have purchased Serif WebPlus X6, Xara Designer Pro X, and WYSIWYG Web Builder 8. I have been trying to learn them, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

I would like your advice on which you think would be the best to use. I am just learning them all, so it is hard for me to put my all into all three of them. I need to focus on one and learn.

Thanks
#builders #web
  • Profile picture of the author WPCHARLIE
    Just my two cents:
    For the amount of time you are spending learning 'builders', it would be more fruitful to learn WordPress simply for its larger online presence and usage. You may find it far easier to build sites with WordPress rather than learning via a builder.

    And if WP is not your thing, I recommend learning basic HTML and CSS. They're get you much further along in your future ventures.
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  • Profile picture of the author vgvetter
    Originally Posted by KeithH View Post

    Hi. I am just learning to design my website. I used to use a Weebly builder. Now, I have grown to purchasing my own web builder to build my own sites. I have purchased Serif WebPlus X6, Xara Designer Pro X, and WYSIWYG Web Builder 8. I have been trying to learn them, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

    I would like your advice on which you think would be the best to use. I am just learning them all, so it is hard for me to put my all into all three of them. I need to focus on one and learn.

    Thanks
    Keith,
    That's exactly my story! Started with FrontPage using XARA for the artwork about 10 years ago. When Xara came up with a web design package, had to try it... But they don't believe in tables, a fact that I can't live with. Tried Serif, but at that time had to host on their site, and many of the features were tied to their hosting. Next came WYSIWIG, and really liked it, and have several sites running on it today.

    But, try as they may, each of these programs had it's own special set of limitations that kept us from easily developing a satisfactory end result. Tried Joomla about three years ago, but got lost. Recently, just by virtue of shear presence on the net, decided we would be missing out if we didn't take a closer look at WordPress..

    My conclusion at this point is that WP is state of the art, is limitless in it's capabilities by virtue of themes and plugins available (both free and premium), and can generate outstanding sites with minimal coding proficiency (If you're code oriented, much the better). Believe we are on the right track with WordPress.
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    • Profile picture of the author timmor29
      Originally Posted by vgvetter View Post

      Started with FrontPage using XARA for the artwork about 10 years ago. When Xara came up with a web design package, had to try it... But they don't believe in tables, a fact that I can't live with. Tried Serif, but at that time had to host on their site, and many of the features were tied to their hosting. Next came WYSIWIG, and really liked it, and have several sites running on it today.
      If you like WYSIWYG then I would recommend using Exai.com, a WYSIWYG website builder.
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  • Profile picture of the author msu
    Like vgvetter said WordPress is almost certainly the best way forward for you. It's become an industry standard, which means you'll always be able to find a theme or plugin to do what you want.

    Plus, the learning curve - even if you've never used it before - is small.
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  • Profile picture of the author xtrapunch
    You don't need to buy any web design software. There are many good FREE applications.

    * Kompozer
    * Nvu

    You will have to use HTML coding if you want to design like a pro. So stop searching for the 'right' software. Learn HTML/CSS. Use any TEXT EDITOR such as Notepad++, BlueFish (Ubuntu) to create websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimPiazza
    Keith, I'd go back to Weebly and learn to customize their templates with HTML/CSS editing. My reason for this suggestion is that you can get some remarkable and dependable results rather quickly, and can satisfy customers.

    Then, in your extra time, dive into Wordpress. Start with a basic theme and learn to modify it the same way you did with Weebly. When you are ready to dive deeper, get a framework like Ultimatum to develop your own designs, and learn how to evaluate plug-ins for usefulness and reliability.

    I started building websites in 1993 and I love Weebly for certain small biz clients. I can quickly customize and enhance a template, and spend almost no time messing with coding or layout. They end up with a site they can maintain themselves. Of course, I white label it to my brand. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author lsargent
    Let me preface this post by saying I'm a huge advocate for learning HTML/CSS. It will take some time to figure out, but I've been where you're at.

    When I first started out, I really liked: 90 Second Website Builder - Drag and Drop Website Builder

    It's basically just like building pages on a canvas, so if you're used to playing around with photo editors, this can be a nice fit for you. And they offer a 30-day trial without a credit card, so it's a pretty easy choice just to check it out.

    Now I haven't use this software in years as I switched to manipulating prebuilt dynamic css templates for static sites, but when I was using it before, it would publish your coding with all inline styles and tables, which if you're editing the html code directly to make changes, can be a nuisance to quick find where you need to be in the page because this method adds so much extra code to the page.

    But, you can save templates and quickly make changes with the software and republish updated files to a folder, or directly to your server.

    I STRONGLY recommend learning HTML/CSS, or even taking some fo the considerations for use of wordpress. But, if you don't want to use wordpress, are looking to build a static site, and are short on time to get something up and live, I think this is a good suggestion.
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  • Profile picture of the author MONEYDON
    Out of the list you had i would say u missed the easiest and best which in my opinion is X-Site Pro. I learned that first then moved on to Wordpress. That is what worked for me, i learned how a website actually worked with X site then moved on, but what worked for me may not work for you. But as far as Site builders X site beats them but wordpress is the industry standard. Good Luck
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    • Profile picture of the author Joni D
      Originally Posted by MONEYDON View Post

      Out of the list you had i would say u missed the easiest and best which in my opinion is X-Site Pro. I learned that first then moved on to Wordpress. That is what worked for me, i learned how a website actually worked with X site then moved on, but what worked for me may not work for you. But as far as Site builders X site beats them but wordpress is the industry standard. Good Luck
      I too bought XsitePro 2 for affiliate marketers,(long learning curve but I like it) but Google loves Wordpress, but just be aware you will be tempted to buy plugins, templates, and more plugins and more templates, and could get costly. So start out small and make some basic purchases to get started. Remember Youtube for how to videos because you don't have to buy a bunch of courses, just search in YT and you will more than likely get all your training free.
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      • Profile picture of the author pauljeff
        Hiya, just wondering if there's a limit to how many websites you can make with XSitePro or Wordpress? I want to make loads! Which one is best?
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        • Profile picture of the author benf
          Hi Paul,

          With XSitePro you have a desktop application that you can use to create as many websites as you wish. Hundreds if you like. And we have many customers that do this.

          One of the many great features about XSitePro is that it has a project manager built in so that you can manage many websites at the same time. It also has a neat import and export feature where you can archive off websites to .XSE export files, and when you want to update the website you can import the .xse file, update the website, publish the changes, and if you like archive the website again.

          The .xse files hold all the content, images, and optionally the publishing details, so you get the whole of your website packaged up in to one easily transportable file. Now try that with a WordPress website!

          One of the current trends is to have loads of small, quality sites that have links to your main website, gaining all that Google love. If you create websites like these in a database driven web designer ( WordPress, Joomla, Durpal & all) you will need to keep re-visiting the sites to make sure that they are up to date and hack proof. Simple .html websites like XSitePro creates do not have this problem, you can publish and forget! If these sites are on free html only hosts, you do not even hare to pay any monthly fees either.

          Ok, I may be biased here, but really this is a no-brainer!
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      • Profile picture of the author disenchanted
        Originally Posted by Joni D View Post

        I too bought XsitePro 2 for affiliate marketers,(long learning curve but I like it) but Google loves Wordpress, but just be aware you will be tempted to buy plugins, templates, and more plugins and more templates, and could get costly. So start out small and make some basic purchases to get started. Remember Youtube for how to videos because you don't have to buy a bunch of courses, just search in YT and you will more than likely get all your training free.

        I also have XSP and then ventured down the WP path.

        Those hidden costs for WP niceities will add up.
        By the time I had all the "unique" WP templates, plug-ins, etc, my investment was over $200.

        It is best to define your needs, then see what WP offers for free and what features require a paid plug-in.
        Then add up your costs, budget for the purchases (if necessary) then get out there and .....
        "Start building some sites!"
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  • Profile picture of the author wemakelogo
    Try Aptana best HTML editor
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  • Profile picture of the author weboasis
    One good option for Wordpress and Joomla templates: Artisteer.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrFume
      I reinforce this-Artisteer is not promoted widely, but if you want to create your own Wordpress themes with features you like, and also for Static HTML sites, Artisteer is fabulous.
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      • Profile picture of the author wyatt2011
        Originally Posted by MrFume View Post

        I reinforce this-Artisteer is not promoted widely, but if you want to create your own Wordpress themes with features you like, and also for Static HTML sites, Artisteer is fabulous.
        I think I'm theme challenged. I have problems with every one that I choose. I get stuck and I never get it finished or get it to look the way I want. I may try this. I heard about them some time ago but I also heard that they don't convert well. I know they now have a WP version, but has anyone else heard this also.

        Angela :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author NXmarketeer
    wow man! big mistake to use software for this kind of work! invest ONLY your time on wordpress and HTML/CSS (I would also suggest HTML5 which is the future) and prevail!
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    • Profile picture of the author KeithH
      Hi everyone,

      I thank each of you for your advice and help with my question. Many of you seem to be advising to go with WordPress. I guess I never put too much thought into that program, probably for my preconceived thoughts that it was really a blog and not a website program. I will look more into it now though.

      As far as all the coding with CSS and HTML, I am so clueless, as I am very new to learning this stuff; so, I will have to wait for that until I get farther along with my learning.

      I also heard a few people mention XSite Pro. i looked into that briefly at one time. They did not have a trial, and it was a little expensive for me, so I did not get a chance to purchase it. If it really made building sites really easy, then I might give it another look though.

      Thanks again everyone for your help.

      -Keith
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      • Yes at first WP was a CMS for the blog but this time we can use wordpress for various purposes such as :
        • eCommerce (many online shop use WP today)
        • Company Profile (with or wothout blog)
        • Landing Pages
        • Membership site
        • etc
        I think is very easy to learn WP because it's tutorials, themes and plugins are everywhere and most of them are free (except the premium stuffs )!
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      • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
        Originally Posted by KeithH View Post

        Many of you seem to be advising to go with WordPress. I guess I never put too much thought into that program, probably for my preconceived thoughts that it was really a blog and not a website program.
        Sorry, don't listen to idiots saying WordPress (WP) is a "designing tool". It is NOT!

        It is a CMS = Content Management System, that has been started as a blogging tool. To change the "look"; i.e. the layout, the design, the 'appearance' of you content published via WP... you still need XHTML/CSS knowledge. Anybody saying otherwise is either lying or is completely ignorant about WordPress.

        Of course you can pick a ready-made WP theme (in WP lingo the template files for a certain design are called a theme), and forget the rest.

        P.S. I think all those "web making programs" you bought... were wasted money. Learn basic HTML and some CSS - and you can make websites with Notepad
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        • Profile picture of the author Brandon Martin
          I'm going to join in the comments urging you to learn HTML/CSS and a little javascript and PHP. You can do this at W3Schools.com. Typically, this is done in tandem with real world editing of Wordpress themes or HTML templates in order to start making money online. You'll learn by doing. You can use any text editor but three of the best are: Sublime 2 ($ ), Notepad++ (free), and Dreamweaver CS6 ($$$). I'd stay away from full PHP development environments like Aptana, because, in my opinion, that's too much complexity with too little reward.

          If you'd like to use a premium "framework" theme with Wordpress, I can see that making sense for you. I recommend Headway 3, which is available at Headwaythemes.com or iThemes Builder, which is available at iThemes.com. Both of these themes will allow you to lay out your site using their GUI rather than CSS floats. Layouts with floats are one of the more intimidating subjects in CSS and most people learn to stylize elements long before they master CSS page layout. You still should know CSS fairly well to make these themes more tailor-made.

          Good luck.
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        • Profile picture of the author Yuma
          Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

          Sorry, don't listen to idiots saying WordPress (WP) is a "designing tool". It is NOT!

          It is a CMS = Content Management System, that has been started as a blogging tool. To change the "look"; i.e. the layout, the design, the 'appearance' of you content published via WP... you still need XHTML/CSS knowledge. Anybody saying otherwise is either lying or is completely ignorant about WordPress.

          Of course you can pick a ready-made WP theme (in WP lingo the template files for a certain design are called a theme), and forget the rest.

          P.S. I think all those "web making programs" you bought... were wasted money. Learn basic HTML and some CSS - and you can make websites with Notepad
          Well said.

          I'm moving away from CMS (like Wordpress, Joomla) as they're too slow and cumbersome (think of the resources that plugins alone when calling upon the databases). There's talk in SEO quarters that Google are rewarding sites that load...FAST! A simple static html page is the best choice, plus you can incorporate shopping carts, gallerys, etc with simple, cheap scripts! Just like WP really, but without all the bloat.

          I'd stay away from XSitePro. Just visit the forums and you'll find out why (always a good idea to visit the forums prior to buying a product). Seems like the software is no longer supported. You might want to check out WYSIWYG Web Builder 9. Simple to use, and a free 30-day trial to boot!
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  • Profile picture of the author W86
    Hello guys, I'm new here and would like to work with a website creation software, which is cheap and easy to use. I tried using several free software and wordpress, but i wasn't satisfied. Any good ideas?
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    • Profile picture of the author katied772
      One that has not been mentioned is SBI. I started with this program and highly recommend it for one site. It taught me so much. They also have a built-in keyword tool and excellent tutorials. Their forum is without a doubt one of the greatest resources available. Lots of activity, with someone always available with help. It costs 30.00 per month and that includes hosting. I reluctantly left SBI because to do more than one site, it can get costly. I so wish they would have a multiple site price. I'm actually considering rejoining with one site, simply for the resources.
      I switched to XSite Pro when I left SBI. It also is a great tool, though pricey at about 300.00 I think. Lots of features and ease of use is great.
      I now mostly use WP. So many people were saying how it's the way to go with all the features and themes, I decided to switch. And, it is fully featured and many developers are continually creating new plugins for it. However, I am currently experiencing an issue after updating to the latest version and my site has pretty much been not functioning for about a week and I cannot figure out the problem. I have help questions out in this forum as well as WP forum and the forum for my theme, but no help that works. I miss the instant help I always received from both SBI and XSite Pro.
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      • Profile picture of the author W86
        Thank katied772 for this information. I'll try these. During my research I also found this one: web to date 8 (todate.com). also seems very professional.
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      • Profile picture of the author serryjw
        Originally Posted by katied772 View Post

        One that has not been mentioned is SBI. I started with this program and highly recommend it for one site. It taught me so much. They also have a built-in keyword tool and excellent tutorials. Their forum is without a doubt one of the greatest resources available. Lots of activity, with someone always available with help. It costs 30.00 per month and that includes hosting. I reluctantly left SBI because to do more than one site, it can get costly. I so wish they would have a multiple site price. I'm actually considering rejoining with one site, simply for the resources.
        I switched to XSite Pro when I left SBI. It also is a great tool, though pricey at about 300.00 I think. Lots of features and ease of use is great.
        I now mostly use WP. So many people were saying how it's the way to go with all the features and themes, I decided to switch. And, it is fully featured and many developers are continually creating new plugins for it. However, I am currently experiencing an issue after updating to the latest version and my site has pretty much been not functioning for about a week and I cannot figure out the problem. I have help questions out in this forum as well as WP forum and the forum for my theme, but no help that works. I miss the instant help I always received from both SBI and XSite Pro.
        Putting money aside, which do you like better SBI or XSP?
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  • Profile picture of the author dlman1999
    I used to manage an offshore software development team and we developed everything on our proprietary framework and for over a year I fought with the team about converting over to WP and it ultimately cost me my company. I would spend thousands of dollars to develop what I could get for free in the form of a plugin for WP. See if you can get a refund on the software and start looking at RESPONSIVE WORDPRESS THEMES. Responsive WP themes are already setup to adjust the viewers display for smartphones and tablets.
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  • Profile picture of the author gamerightnow
    Learn HTML5, CSS and PHP, make your websites in Notepad++ or any other text editor with colored markup. Buy designs from ThemeForest for example, or make your own in Adobe Photoshop.

    It's the only way to ensure you have websites that are built the way they should.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin McNally
    Wordpress is probably the best choice as you can have a site up and running in no time. However, I do prefer html sites mostly and Dreamweaver is a great option but does have a learning curve.

    If you are looking for a What you see is what you get Program and have a budget then XsitePro is the way to go, lots of built in templates and you can add custom templates. I am bias as I have used it for years but having no web design skills I would be lost without it !

    I have heard SBI ( Site Build It ) is very good for beginners also but the annual payment would put me off that one for the moment as all the others are free or one time payments.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dessie Miller
    I would say Weebly and Templatetoaster is a good choice to learn designing. Using such builders you may get an idea how the source code is being generated. You can also learn to design by doing manual coding. For that, you have to learn HTML, CSS and some JavaScript.
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