WebPlus X6 Software Review – Part 2

webplus-x6-review-2

Part 2

Part 1 can be found here

Quick Build tab
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We said WebPlus is now easier than ever and this is one great reason why – with the new Quick Build studio tab, drag and drop site building simplicity has been expanded to include social networking widgets, YouTube videos, rollovers, blogs, forums, form objects and lots more!

Thoughts: In a hurry to create a website? Is this the first time you’ve ever used WebPlus and are you overwhelmed by the hundreds of tools everywhere? If so, the new Quick Build tab may be of use to you. The large, attractive buttons can be quickly dragged-and-dropped onto the page to insert the associated object. The buttons included

This feature is a major upgrade from the Quick Builder tab introduced in WebPlus X4 and has a wide range of tools and objects that can be easily added with one click. Because of my personal workspace habits in WebPlus, I probably won’t be using the Quick Build tab often as it’s just as fast for me to select the needed tools via a toolbar or dropdown without needing a large icon to drag-and-drop. Your opinion certainly may differ.

See this feature:

Pictures in the Asset Manager:

Asset browser and manager
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WebPlus X6 includes an efficient, attractive way to browse, search and manage graphics, text and other design content so you can find what you need for your site designs, whether it’s ready made content supplied by Serif or your own content. Save Asset Packs so projects contain all the files associated with a site design.

Thoughts: If you’ve ever enjoyed using the Asset Manager in PagePlus, you’ll find the Asset Manager helpful. Replacing the Gallery, The Asset Manager can hold more than just images. It can hold buttons. It can hold sliders (and is also the only way to add new sliders). It can hold backgrounds. It can hold page content. The Asset Manager will be extremely useful for those of you who need to save specific object layouts. It will be a huge timesaver for those who need to reuse the same objects throughout many times throughout the same site. With a quick drag-and-drop, any of the assets can be immediately added to the site.

You can create and save your own Asset Packs. Simply click the ‘Save As’ button and your assets will be saved as .wpack files which can then be transferred to a different computer. You can also get inspired by looking through Serif’s included Asset Packs.

This new feature is many times more useful for storing site objects than the old Gallery. It’s fast, efficient, and works as expected. It will save you time on any project. This is another very welcome feature addition to WebPlus X6.

See this feature:

Pictures in the Asset Manager:

Backgrounds in the Asset Manager:

Page Content in the Asset Manager:

A look at the Asset Browser:

New designs and graphics
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We’re helping improve custom site design for novices and enthusiasts with new templates to use as starting points, and stylish new graphics assets. These are modern, colour schemed, customisable, and can be added by drag and drop. Everything from WebPlus X6’s theme layout templates is available within graphics packs, and there are new categories of ready-made graphics to enhance your designs.

Thoughts: The new templates are fresh and stylish. There are a total of 10 brand new desktop templates, with 20 updated templates from older versions of WebPlus. Thirty templates have an accompanying mobile template.

Overall, Serif has included an attractive set of templates which will be helpful if you need a quick template for your new website.

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A well-designed new template:

Cleaner workspace
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WebPlus X6 benefits from a reworked workspace! It’s cleaner with less clutter and its menus and commands have been given a rethink, so popular settings and tasks are where they belong. Buttons are now available in 3 sizes for clarity and the workspace is even more customisable than before, so you can easily make WebPlus work the way you like.

Thoughts: Did you ever wonder why Site Properties was under ‘File’? Did you also wonder why the right-click menu for many objects was cluttered with various tools? If so, you’re not alone. I did too. In WebPlus X6, Serif has completely reorganized much of the interface

Many of the icons have been replaced with freshly redesigned versions that are much more pleasing to the eye. I personally found the default theme a bit harsh on my eyes, so, via Tools > Options | Studio, I changed the Color Scheme from ‘Slate’ to ‘Grey’.

One (and perhaps the only) minor annoyance I found was ‘Flip and Rotate’ was located under ‘Format’. In PagePlus X6, it is located under ‘Arrange’, so this new placement seems a bit odd.

Overall, the new interface is much more pleasing to the eye. The labels for tools have been placed in much more logical places. WebPlus stays out of your way and lets you focus on your website.

See this feature:

A redesigned right-click menu:

Improved SEO and Webmaster tools
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We know that while WebPlus needs to be easy for those new to web design, there are some customers who create lots of sites for business, with slightly different needs from the average project. SEO is enhanced to support Google and Bing webmaster validation files (also used by Yahoo!), and it’s now possible to de-brand the HTML output so the code does not identify WebPlus as the generator. We’ve also added ‘REL=nofollow’ support for hyperlinks to limit the reach of search engine bots.

Thoughts: By allowing you to validate your site with Google and Bing, WebPlus just made it one step easier for you get your website fully SEO’d. The new validation tools can be found under Site Properties.

The ‘REL=nofollow’ tag can be added under the redesigned Hyperlink window.

While these changes are minor, they will be a very welcome addition to any webmaster.

See this feature:

Bing validation:

Redesigned Hyperlink window:

And more
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These headlines aren’t the only changes, upgraders and new customers can also benefit from:
• New – Site Structure View for an easier way to visualise and restructure your site.
• New – New Site Wizard helps getting started on blank sites with a template and colour scheme.
• New – Colours toolbar gives quicker access to site colours, scheme colours, and tints.
• New – Multi-picture backgrounds, ideal for independent headers and footers.
• New – There’s now an easy way to add Flickr and other automatically-updating, live-feed photo galleries
• Improved – The Object tab operates in two modes, so selected objects can be highlighted or edited.
• Improved – Panels can now be dragged around the page by the viewer, so they never obscure important information.
• Improved – Forms are enhanced with a new date picker and support for custom backgrounds.
• There’s still more to discover! Drawing tools, navbars and interactivity are just some of the other areas that have been enhanced in this release!

Thoughts: Serif went above and beyond and enhanced many things which make WebPlus that much easier to use.

Adding multiple backgrounds is extremely simple – you will be able to create complex, layered designs without any additional HTML or CSS.

The new Site Structure View is incredibly helpful for enhancing organization techniques. I did experience one bug where I was unable to zoom past 250%, which may be an issue for some users. The zooming did seem a bit choppy when zooming a site of just a few pages. Otherwise, the functionality of the Site Structure view was as expected.

You can now finally remove the annoying WebPlus generator tag.

Overall, there are many minor changes that make WebPlus which greatly enhance X6 but are beyond the scope of this review.

See this feature:

Multiple background images:

Site Structure view:

Overall performance and stability: After installation, WebPlus opened quickly. After a cold boot, WebPlus loaded in about 3 seconds. After about 10 hours of intense use, I didn’t experience a single crash. In previous versions of WebPlus, I experienced many crashes (usually one every hour or so), especially during Auto Save or during Preview in Window. It seems that Serif has fixed, or at least greatly stabilized WebPlus as a whole. Obviously, this is a relatively short period of time, but WebPlus X6 seems extremely stable compared to X5. This alone has made the X6 upgrade extremely attractive to me.

 

Conclusion

While installation WebPlus, I pondered upon the many users here that have heavily complained of new releases due to bugs. In addition, many members seem to hesitate from purchasing on release day due to the fact that they want to wait for multiple patches to come out that will fix the release issues.

Pushing past the marketing hype, the new features in WebPlus X6 are actually quite useful and noteworthy. While they won’t change your life, they will surely speed up the time you spend in web design. The mobile site feature is a bit of a disappointment (and perhaps one of the only disappointments), as it will continue to be a considerable amount of work to convert a desktop website to a mobile website.

It seems that Serif has really ironed out many of the bugs in WebPlus X6. It is certainly more stable than X5 with its latest patch. In my humble opinion, I would say that Serif has done a fabulous job with their launch of X6, and if you think the features I highlighted would be of use to you, I would definitely consider an upgrade. If WebPlus X5 was good, then WebPlus X6 is amazing. It works quite well and will undoubtedly improve your web design experience.

If you have any further questions about the new features or interface, please don’t hesitate to post below and I would be happy to update the review with further information. I hope to develop this review a bit more, further explaining the new features and enhancements.

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About the author
Brian is a long time user of Serif software and provides excellent help and advice on the Serif Forum.

2 Replies to WebPlus X6 Software Review – Part 2

  1. Matt says:

    Great two page article, i am using WebPlus X5 at the moment and are seriously thinking of moving onto WebPlus X6 as i have found and stated in your post X5 does crash a lot which does become annoying in time. After reading your article i am in favour of an upgrade, thank you for your honest and straight opinon.

  2. Bruno Soares says:

    Hello Everyone

    The software is very good. I have used it for just over two years and worked out with him a few websites. (http:// http://www.laborcopiadora.com.br and http://www.lbasolutions.com.br).

    I particularly do not use the templates that I create it all comes at Fireworks and then care for Webplus making some changes too.

    But in most recommend to all …

    Bruno

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