Software Review: Xsitepro Total Site Management Software
It's not very often I get excited about a software program, but today I'm so excited I just had to tell you about Xsitepro, the top tool for Internet marketers. In particular, those who have been using HTML applications programs like Dreamweaver and Frontpage to produce their Internet media will find this program revolutionary in that it can at least halve your time for site development.
In 1996 while studying a Master's degree in multimedia and online learning I learnt about HTML which seemed like a backward step after using and teaching word processing and programming in Pascal and DBIII+ (do you remember these?). MS Word and Wordperfect, even Multimate, were light years ahead of this HTML stuff. I remembered wondering why on earth anyone would design a programming language so simple and so time consuming to format. Shortly after, I was to find out why it was kept simple and I stumbled across Dreamweaver and Frontpage HTML generators. For years I've used both programs to produce my HTML email templates and Internet site pages.
I've become fairly proficient using either, but as I have a preference for Dreamweaver, I've used that most often. In fact, just during the last few weeks I upgraded my site adding additional links, changing the banner heading, putting in some jump menus and generally making it more user friendly. Just after I finished a colleague brought my attention to the most innovative, useful, purpose-built software for Internet marketers I have ever seen - Xsitepro. And I've seen and purchased dozens.
After reading every word of the sales blurb and watching the on site video "7 Reasons Why You Need Xsitepro", I decided I had to get a copy. As I usually do, I give software a good test run before the trial period or guarantee runs out and if it's not suitable I uninstall it and request a refund.
No refund here. Xsitepro was easy to download and installed without a hitch. It comes with an excellent tutorial and an extensive user manual in Adobe PDF format, both of which are accessible from the Help menu. After working through the short tutorial, which steps you through building a site for an optometrist's store, it was very simple to get the program up and running. The user interface consists of tabs in a logical arrangement from left to right; start a project, enter the website description and keywords, project name, copyright information and any notes and click the next tab headed 'Page Layout'. Here, as the name suggests, you set up your standard page layout dimensions, graphics, menu and other features. It's a cinch.
In the next tab, 'Web Pages' you enter your content in much the same way as you use a word processor - it's all what-you-see-is-what-you-get (wysiwyg) and very easy ... point and click for font sizes, to embolden, underline and so on.
Now, I have to tell you, I was blown away by the sheer common sense concept behind this program (Why didn't I think of it?). It does almost everything an Internet marketer could want quickly, efficiently and professionally. If, like me, you are creating several sites selling different products or services and you intend to create numbers of additional sites, this is a product that will save you so much time you'll wonder what to do with yourself.
Some of the excellent time-saving features included in Xsitepro are:
An affiliate link storage facility so that when you want to place an affiliate link you just right click and select and bingo, the link is in place
Point and click to install Google Adsense advertisement codes
Automatically break a long page into multiple pages and place navigation
Install a breadcrumb menu (obviously named after the Hansel and Gretel fable) that shows users where they are eg, Home -> Services -> Tooth Pulling and allows them to click on links to return to previous pages
Automatically create site maps in alphabetical or hierarchical view or links pages
Search engine optimization
Templates for articles, sales and product pages
... and much, much more.
This program has you creating multiple sites within hours and publishing them using the FTP interface included. All of the graphics and associated files are placed in a folder so you don't have to hunt for them later.
On the downside, if there is one, it takes a while to adapt to the way of working in Xsitepro. For example, working in tables in Xsitepro is quite different from working in tables with Dreamweaver. But, when you work out the differences you can move along quickly building, resizing, placing borders, colouring and inserting or deleting tables. The program has excellent flexibility and nothing has been missed.
I was disappointed with the number of typos and other errors in the manual which were more numerous than I would have expected of such an excellent program, but it didn't detract from the instructional value of the content and is something that will no doubt be rectified in a future upgrade. It had all the appearances of being rushed together to meet a publishing deadline.
The price for Xsitepro surprised me by being much lower than I thought could reasonably be charged for such a top application. And with the price come numbers of free upgrades.
If you are doing what many Internet marketers are - including me - and building multiple streams of income using stand-alone themed sites, Xsitepro will be the best investment you could make to build and grow your business.
This is a once-in-a-million software program that is set to change the face of Internet marketing. The concept is both brilliant and remarkably simple.
Published June 2005. Copyright Robin Henry 2005.
Robin Henry is an educator, human resources specialist and Internet marketer whose firm, Desert Wave Enterprises, helps individuals and businesses improve their performance by using smart processes, smart technology and personal development. He has a number of tertiary qualifications including a Master of Education degree majoring in education technology and online learning. He lives at Alice Springs In Central Australia. Visit www.dwave.com.au/xp">here to read more about this program.