Getting Started: Buying and Trying XSitePro

Yesterday, I found a great bonus package that promised customized-to-order templates (as opposed to one with the XSP Cheat Sheet, so I’ll have to shell out for that this week…) and so I’ve ordered and downloaded the software. I’ve been so engrossed, I forgot to post – anyway, here’s the story in screenshots 🙂

Downloading-small

Downloading…

getting-startedsmall

Getting installation wizard started with XSP…

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So it begins! –  Template Selection

You get a confirmation email, written from Paul Smithson who is the founder of Intellimon – the company behind X Site Pro 2. The download takes quite a while, especially after adding the bonus graphical files as well.

None the less, I was able to install and unlock the software within minutes of purchasing, and with the help of the getting started video I started playing around with the software.

First impressions; it’s a pretty simple and intuitive layout – “nice and organized” as Mr Smithson says. I was able to find my way around and within moments had established a ‘Project’ and added a ‘Website’ within in that. Selecting templates took moments, although I was still downloading the bonus graphics at that point, the selection was impressive (more so that the SBI stable I’ve used so far online!).

The feature I’m pretty keen on is the WYSIWYG editor, which appears under the ‘Webpages > Design’ tab. This is very similar to Microsoft Word in layout, but after a few tinkerings and preview it doesn’t always hold the formatting when you try and preview it. A tad annoying perhaps, but I’ve only been using it a couple of minutes. WordPress.com is perhaps slightly smoother.

I’ve only browsed through some of the features so far, but a couple of things which have already caught my eye:

  • SEO advice: In the page analysis tab, XSitePro will scan your copy and make suggestions, the detail of which is far more specific than anything else I’ve seen. SBI’s Analyze It is less comprehensive and detailed, but it does go on to explain the reasons for recommendation – a blend of the two would be ideal!
  • Mobile Site Wizard: I could set up one of my sites in mobile format and even preview it on a (bad) BlackBerry graphic. Neat feature, and as an avid iPod Touch user I can understand the demand for this!
  • Site Search built in – I’ve previously used Google Adsense for Search on my sites and set to search only my site. This feature however looks more professional without ads, and some of the templates embed it into the header which is extremely useful.

Twill be fun looking through more of the tools and getting my site online; already chosen my host!

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