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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
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    82

    Default Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    I build simple small business websites using Xara (Designer Pro). One of the companies I contract with has 4 other designers using Designer Pro or Xara Web Designer Pro (based on my suggestion as an alternative to Weebly). It works great for 70% of our business. It provides fast development and nice looking results.

    PROBLEM: I also am a partner with ecwid for eCommerce. ecwid is fully responsive, it does not play nice with Xara variants. I need to find an alternative web development tool to use when Xara and a third party don't play well together. The typical eCommerce site will only be a few pages (maybe 3-5) with one of those pages as the "container" for the ecwid store. Not really looking to replace Xara, rather another tool in the box.

    General Criteria: Desktop-based preferred, primarly Windows but cross-platform would be a mild plus, as one of our designers prefers Mac. Must allow me to insert a snipet of HTML code on a page for the ecwid store. Will publish to our own servers so don't want a "total solution" that is a web builder and hosting platform all together. Affordable, as it is another license/subscription out of my pocket in addition to Xara, JotForms, Storyblocks, etc... I use Xara primarly because it is easy to use and fast. Not interested in a complex product with big learning curve.

    I have briefly looked at Coffeecup Site Designer, Website X5 Pro, Mobrise, WYSIWYG Web Builder but not fully vetted any of them. Your experience could save me much time.

    Suggestions greatly appreciated. I have 4 sites pending that I need to build to house eCommerce.

    THANKS!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    Take a look here, specially made for Xara software: http://www.xt-cms.com.

    I'm not sure how much development is still done on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    Thanks, Boy,

    I have briefly looked at xt-cms. Actually seems like a very cool extension to Xara website (when the need arises). But what I am looking for is a new web development program that will work with ecwid (already a partner and customers using)

    Last night about 2:30 I finished a very rough test using WYSIWYG Web Builder 14. The site is fully responsive, and the ecwid store displays and resizes at all browser widths. And it is very affordable at $60. Reviews are very high. AND at 1am I sent a support questions - got an answer back from the developer by 2:30. Not looking forward to the learning curve of a new tool, but necessity prevails.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    If your going to learn web builder 14 why not just learn wordpress?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    An update on the search (for those that are interested). Any additional feedback or comments are still greatly appreciated.

    Mobrise - can't test without spending the $60 for the <html> add-on. Development seems stupid easy. Very mixed reviews. Read several comments about your published site being loaded with links and ads for the products. It is FREE but loaded with opportunities to BUY add-ons. Hard to identify the actual cost of using it going forward.

    Webflow - nice reviews. Have to use Chrome for the development - I don't want to use Chrome. Prefer not to use a hosted / subscription service. If I didn't have my current bias to Chrome and hosted/subscription, this might be a good alternative. Cost for Unlimited unhosted projects is $42/mo.

    Website X5 Professional - built a working site with the demo and the ecwid shop page works fine. Not so good reviews for the product or support. It does what I need. It is no WYSIWYG. You add objects as you walk through a 5 step build process but can't see them until you preview or publish. Cost for the perpetual license is $229, and the lower end version might work for me at $79.

    CoffeeCup Site Designer v3 - I really want to like this one. I have played with earlier versions and watched few videos. Doesn't look like a quick development tool. I think this could be an excellent tool but with a pretty steep learning curve. I might explore this one a bit more. Cost for the perpetual license is $189 - $349 depending on the package of tools purchased.

    WYSIWYG Web Builder 14 - This might be my choice. I built a working site with the demo and the ecwid shop page works fine. The entire site is nicely responsive at all browser widths. Created the site this a blank page and then using several "blocks" instead of a full template. The program appears to be robust with substantial capabilities. The UI looks very dated, not appealing at all. There are just TOO MANY tools on the sidebar so you have to scroll to find them all. SUPPORT - I had a question at 1 am and sent an email using the contact form. I got a reply from the developer at 2:30. (did you hear that Xara and Magix? a support reply in less than 2 hours!) I had already made some setting changes that got what I wanted to work. Cost for the perpetual license is $59 and includes updates for a year. No subscription for content, some are included, and there is a market to purchased additional content from the developer and others.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    Quote Originally Posted by behzad View Post
    If your going to learn web builder 14 why not just learn wordpress?
    Well that should be an option to consider. I think I have seen some of your post regarding wordpress. Don't you use wordpress plus another tool?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    You can use wordpress and DIVI, or Beaver builder. Ton to learn, compared to xara's simplicity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Canada
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer


    Right. It all worked great in the day of one size Xara sites. Variants changed/broke them working together. And all my customers want their store on mobile and desktop.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: Alternative - Addition to Xara Web Designer

    I make one desktop/laptop/tablet size and another for mobile. It works great. Not sure what you talking about. Click on https://xara.ecwid.com/

    and resize your screen to a small one, it works fine. I know you do not like chrome, but go to that link and right click and then inspect, at the top select mobile resolution. Works for me.

 

 

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