Mobile website builder
If you’re hunting for easy to use web design software to create a personal or small business site, Serif’s product may be a good match for you. They released the newest version of their WebPlus X series suite in November, 2015. Less of a major revision and more of a refinement, X8 mobile website builder builds on the last versions and adds a few new toys and templates into the mix.
The full package is easily downloaded for a one time fee of $119.00. This simplifies the purchase process for new users, especially since other products tend to have several plans from which to choose. And if you’d like to try it out before buying, there is a WebPlus Mobile-Friendly Edition that will give you the bootstrap lightbox gallery, basics to design and upload a website. You’ll be missing some features and templates, but it gives you an idea of the program’s depth.
Because X8 is marketed to the less technical crowd, the software has relatively easy controls. Changing elements in templates is as easy as adjusting a few options, or dragging and dropping them into place. The same is true for text, videos, and almost any other media content you need to add. And while the number of dialog boxes and tabs within might feel a little intimidating, Serif does a respectable job of breaking things into logical groups.
Can a newbie friendly web building suite keep up with trends? What about the new responsive design expectations for mobile sites? WebPlus mobile website builder does give you the option to create multiple sites, displaying the one that fits the device being used to view the page. The problem is new users may not understand that they need to do this, nor will they necessarily understand the dimensions and other specifications used by the multitude of mobile devices. It’s clear Serif isn’t quite staying current with it’s technology if it’s requiring builders to do so much more work to make their sites mobile friendly.
For basic mobile websites with attractive templates, WebPlus X8 delivers. Newer builders will find the controls fairly intuitive, the price reasonable, and included responsive templates more than sufficient for most small businesses. But mobile sites? Those are a downside, but we expect the next revision or two to address this. For now, Serif’s web builder is the clear favorite for the nontechnical DIY crowd.