Reviewed by David Savage
What is Incomedia Website X5 Evolution? Website X5 Evolution is a software package to easily create your own website or blog with a few mouse clicks and no programming or coding skills required, which is great for me so I couldn’t wait to try it.
I have a laptop that runs Windows XP and a desktop PC that runs Windows 8.1, so I decided as it was new software to install it on the Windows 8.1 PC. My theory was as it was new software the most up to date operating system would be best to install it on. This is where my problems started, but I must stress that this was in way a fault with the Website X5 software but a configuration problem with my Windows 8.1 installation – Microsoft have decided to change simple tasks into complicated functions. I should have stuck with the Windows XP laptop for a straightforward install without any problems.
As I said the installation didn’t go smoothly. I am running Windows 8.1 with .net framework 4.5 but the Website X5 software needed .net framework 3.5 installed. Not a problem I thought as the Website X5 installation has a built in function to go online and download the necessary files, this failed due to my Windows settings disabling the .net framework 3.5 functions. To solve this I had to enable the .net framework 3.5 option in the control panel and make a change to the group policy settings (this is one reason I do not like Windows 8, everything has been made much difficult, Windows XP is straightforward). Please note that these were the settings I found on my Windows 8.1 installation, others people’s installations may be configured differently so that you do not have this problem, but it is easy enough to solve if you do.
Once the changes were made the .net framework was downloaded and the installation took about 10 minutes to complete. I was now ready to start playing with the software.
The Website X5 Evolution software is absolutely brilliant. Within minutes I had designed a very basic but functioning website. In 5 easy steps I had a 4 page site with text, graphics and menus all of which actually functioned.
On opening the program you are greeted with a start page where you can watch the video tutorial (recommended) which is very informative. The tutorial lasts about 12 minutes and will get you on your way. Me just wanting to get stuck in I watched the tutorial AFTER making my website, but then the tutorial gave me tips on how to change colours, templates etc…
To get started on your website, just click start and in 5 easy steps you will be finished.
Step 1: You can then create a new project or edit an existing one. When creating a new project you have some general settings like website name, website address and description. You can then pick from over 1500 templates (or if more adventurous design your own), which you can customise with you own text, images, videos, etc…
Step 2: Create your site map – your Home pages and any pages that you want to add after that. By default it is set with the Home page and 3 sub level pages, but you can increase/decrease these.
Step 3: On the left side of the screen is a box split into 4 where you drag the icon of what you want into each box, so for example if you wanted a picture top left you would drag the image icon on to the top left box, double click it and add your image. There are 12 available objects to use – text, image, table, gallery, video and audio, e-mail form, social network, guestbook, map, flash animation, product list and HTML and widgets. Just drag the icons to where you want them and double click to add or edit content. You do this for each page.
Step 4: This is advanced settings to add features like main menu, drop down menus, advertising messages, blog, RSS feed, shopping cart and more. Just pick the feature you want and click next to add the content you require.
Step 5: Now your website has been designed all your need to do is upload to the internet via a FTP connection, export to disc (saves to a folder) or export the project (again saves the folder so you can work on it again. Before you choose an option there is a preview button at the top of the window so you can try your website to see what it looks and how it functions.
Website X5 Evolution comes with an FTP engine for easy publishing to the internet and also includes web hosting, email addresses and web space (for 1 year).
I haven’t published my website as of yet as the more I play with the software the more tweaks I am making and perfecting my design.
Overall, apart from my initial installation problems, which as I said were a Microsoft Windows problem NOT the fault of the Website X5 software, this software is very easy to use with the need or understanding of programming or coding skills. Once my operating system as configured properly the installation was simple and fast and I was ready to go with 10 minutes and had built the very basics of a website within minutes. After watching the tutorial video I gained as insight into how to customise the colours of the templates and create my content.
Incomedia’s Website X5 Evolution is a great piece of software for anyone wanting to create their own website or blog site. With over 1500 templates to choose from there with be something for everyone or you can always design your own.
Another bonus is that it can be installed on 2 pc’s with the same licence so I can have it on my desktop PC and laptop and create as many websites as I like (I would just need to purchase the domain name but these are fairly cheap).
I would highly recommend the Website X5 Evolution software. It is an inexpensive way (only £59.99) of creating your own sites and very, very easy to use. If fact, because it is so easy to use means I am always tweaking and adding new bits to my design which is why I haven’t made it live yet!
So if you want a website for your business or just a blog site for personal use then you can’t go wrong with this ingenious piece of software.
Note: Only Website X5 Evolution 10 includes webspace. You are free to sign up with the web provider you prefer, however WebSite X5 Evolution 10 also includes registration of your own domain name and 30GB of web space for 12 months, at no extra cost.
Minimum System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8. 1GB RAM, Screen Resolution 1024×768
RRP: £59.99 (Website X5 Evolution 10)
For more information, to try a demo or to buy Website X5 visit www.websitex5.com.