Anyone use Xara Designer or similar website builder programme?

Started Apr 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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BlueTrain
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Anyone use Xara Designer or similar website builder programme?
Apr 21, 2013

Not sure if this is the right place for this discussion, but couldn't see a better alternative!

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations on software for designing websites? I'm particularly interested in Xara Designer (or the Pro version, which also seems to have flash slideshows included)

At the moment my photography website is built on clikpic, a web-based design and hosting solution. I pay about £40 a year to have my photos hosted on their server and they provide some semi-tailored site that has some degree of flexibility, but frankly its cumbersome and  although you can tweak their templates to some extent, the results always look a little 'off the shelf'

I have some (limited) experience of Dreamweaver, although I no longer have the software, so I have been trying to re-design my site from scratch using KomPozer (a freeware WYSIWYG editor) but to be honest I dont really have the time for learning html programming to the standard I would need to be able to produce something similar to what Clikpic offers.

So on the one hand there is clikpic which has an annual fee, limited flexibility and is fiddly.

On the other there is KomPozer, which is free (notwithstanding hosting costs), much more flexible, but would take me a long time to get good enough to code a good looking site.

So i'm thinking that Xara or similar may be a good compromise between the two. I can create a better looking website than the templates I have available on clikpic but dont need to understand html to the same extent as using Kompozer. And although there is a cost involved, its a one-off cost for the software rather than an annual renewal fee.

If anyone has used this software and has any experience i'd be grateful to hear.

How difficult is it to learn? How much flexibility is there with the default templates you start with? What kind of results could I expect? Are there any alternatives that you would recommend over Xara?

I dont need to produce anything too whizzy, just a site to showcase a portfolio of work, with contact form, maybe a flash slideshow, basic text pages for a blog, etc.

Many thanks

Tom

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