XSitePro Gets More and More Expensive…

It’s been a while since my last post.. some personal issues have kept me occupied, but since then my views on X Site Pro have taken a bit of a nose dive.

Actually, that’s not fair. X Site Pro is great; Intellimon however..

Intellimon is the company behind X Site Pro, run by Paul Smithson. What I’ve discovered since buying X Site Pro is that Intellimon doesn’t just handle the web design software. They also deal in email mailout managers (XMailPro) and training courses (Complete Guide to Website Building) – both high ticket items which prices near $200. XMailPro is actually the private label version of AWeber, the popular email marketing service.

Whilst it’s great that Intellimon can come up with such a good (can’t comment myself on anything except XSitePro – but the testimonials seem to show lots of genuine satisfaction) products, but I sort of get the feeling that I’ve bought into a string of sales letters. Every now and then I get an email ‘from Paul Smithson’ (yeah right, it’s an autoresponder) discussing another training aspect, but now the focus is definitely on directing me to the Complete Guide to Website Marketing.

As a Site Build It veteran, I appreciate the ‘all-in-one’ training/tools/tips/talk – even for an annual subscription. Each time I’m whiping out my card for yet another hefty Intellimon purchase, I get ‘buyers angst’.

Am I being unreasonable?

</rant>

XSitePro Bonus Packages are Rubbish!

If you’ve bought expensive software, membership programs and e-products online before you’ll understand the bonus culture that circulates around the high ticket items. At $197, X Site Pro attracts enough attention from both it’s raving users and external affiliates to populate Google with plenty of bonus offers.

Get wise to this. You can typically land yourself with thousands of dollars (currency of the net) worth of goods, but remember that there ‘worth’ stated by the vendor means nothing compared to what it is worth to you. Find the best bonus package you can and get more for your money.

I’ve collated a substantial stash of PLR (private label rights) material over the last year and to be frank, most of it is trash. You can do better getting regular free advice from the experts at ProBlogger than buying ‘Build a Blog Empire’ or sign up to a free account at SEOmoz than waste hours looking at a SEO video course. And you literally can waste hours with PLR material – I have!

bonuses

PLR leaves a bitter taste in the mouth – and most of it is circulated again and again. So when looking for bonus packages, I was looking for something unique… and it was pretty disappointing. Everyone seems to be offering all the same stuff.

  • Free xsitepro headers
  • Extra XSitePro templates
  • Bumper Graphic Packs
  • PLR e-Books
  • Membership to resell stock sites

Some of this has appeal, but if you know where to look, you can get most of this free. My advice though is don’t bother and plunge your time into building your own long term business and ideas!

xsp-cheat-sheet-smallSome users however were offering a free course called the XSP Cheat Sheet, written by ozzie James Schramko to aid specifically X Site Pro webmasters with ranking at Google by giving them step-by-step instruction. I had a look at this and the case they make is quite convincing…

…but that does beg the question, what kind of help does X Site Pro give themselves on ranking well? Some of the reviews talk about the on-page optimization facilities, but link building and off-page optimization is more and more important these days.

Also, if everyone is promoting X Site Pro because it creates such gorgeous sites, why then insist on extra headers and templates? I know some people find it limiting being stuck with only a finite number of templates, but the video demo clearly showed how customizeable each aspect was.

I also use Site Build It (lots!) and I really appreciate the ‘all-under-one-roof’ concept whereby you’ve got full tutorials without the need to buy extra stuff in – even if it is a subscription service. There is a ‘Resources HQ’ for some third-party applications but otherwise it’s all there in the Action Guide, Tips and Techniques HQ and forum.

The Action Guide is even open to the public, so why not get X Site Pro users looking at that – ‘Days’ 7, 8 and 10 are particularly relevant.

Regardless, the XSP Cheat Sheet looks important, so if I can’t pick it up in a decent bonus package I’ll buy it and post a review.

…And also piece together an amazing (relevant) bonus package!

One wonders why Paul Smithson and Intellimon (creators of XSP2) doesn’t buy the rights to XSP Cheat Sheet or indeed piece together there own guides. X Site Pro 2 looks good on it’s own, but the bonus structure shows there’s clearly something missing regarding advice on marketing their “gorgeous” websites – for newbies, this could be an expensive concern.

Once I’ve found a good enough bonus package, I’m buying though – and then the story can really begin 🙂

Sneak peak inside XSitePro

Getting a look at the inner workings of a community you’re about to buy into is always great. X Site Pro have set up a message board for users (and non-users) to discuss X Site Pro, technical issues, internet marketing etc.

There’s also a ‘Knowledgebase’ where users are offered practical support and tutorials on specific questions like ‘Can I add audio to my site?’.

Both of these I found via the ‘Resources’ section on the main website – but the interesting stuff took a bit more digging. You can find the full guides available online at http://www.xsitepro.com/help/. The guides are also available as books to buy separately – http://www.lulu.com/content/2818525. Reading through a couple of articles, I discovered you can export X Site Pro files out onto Dreamweaver and Frontpage.

XSitePro allows you to create a Web site and then export it in its entirety in a folder structure that can then be loaded by most Web page editing packages such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver.

Unfortunately, FrontPage and Dreamweaver do not have the ability to be able to export and import in a single file in the same way that XSitePro can. To get round this XSitePro will put all the necessary files in a folder of your choosing. It is then an easy enough process to load FrontPage or Dreamweaver and import this.

This can be useful if you have a colleague that doesn’t have access to XSitePro and needs the files in a non-XSitePro format. It also means that when you use XSitePro you are never tied down to the one piece of software as you can quickly move anything you create from XSitePro into any other appropriate software.

When I get around to learning Dreamweaver, maybe I’ll be able to use a few shortcuts; but also potentially use X Site Pro for my Site Build It websites? The possibilities are endless.

A couple of gripes however…

Testimonials mean nothing if you can’t verify them; what’s to stop anyone from writing a series of raving user stories and posting them on their sales pages. Looking through the message boards, I can see there are countless happy clients, but it would be nice if they gave a link to the sites of the person giving the testimonial. Perhaps this could create some stick (free links for testimonials?!) – so a straight rel=”no follow” could fix that.

Also, the screenshots are pretty useless. You can see the software, but you can’t see the details. Something basic such as a pop-up slideshow showing screenshots in there true resolution – or even better – an interactive flash tour showing you around the different parts.

XSP ScreenshotThis image is copied and pasted from the ‘Screenshots’ page without the resolution changed. There’s nothing wrong – I just want more </rant>

Regardless, I hope to buy X Site Pro when I get back from a trip this week.