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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Package
Like most recent web design packages this one tries to cater for everyone from beginner to advanced and it mainly succeeds, it is the latest upgrade in the series and builds and improves on previous WebPlus offerings, it is worth mentioning that there is no X3 version and the series went straight from X2 to X4 which is Windows 7 compatible together with XP and Vista...
Published on 10 Jan. 2010 by Bob

versus
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded from WebPlus x2
I was delighted with webplus x2 and thought webplus x4 was a step up. In some ways it was in that it gave everything that x2 did and a bit more...but, yes always a but. WebPlus x2 worked well on both Windows XP and Windows 7 ultimate. My first problrm is that x4 will not allow flash gallery thumbnails to be viewed. This is a nuisance as it doesn't allow for instant...
Published on 2 Aug. 2010 by Richard D300


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Package, 10 Jan. 2010
By 
Bob (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Like most recent web design packages this one tries to cater for everyone from beginner to advanced and it mainly succeeds, it is the latest upgrade in the series and builds and improves on previous WebPlus offerings, it is worth mentioning that there is no X3 version and the series went straight from X2 to X4 which is Windows 7 compatible together with XP and Vista.
On a beginner level there are a number of complete templates where all you need to do is add text and away you go. This is fine if a template suits your needs and you like the design. There are other templates available in the resources pack, at additional cost and if you do not find the one you like in this Serif supply extra template packs. At this level you can have an up and working website hosted on the Serif server in only a few hours (hosting is currently free using the suffix ".webplus.net" but the documentation does not state if this free hosting is indefinite)
At the next level Serif provide a number of themes which are essentially outline web pages which contain to photographs or text but have appropriate frames to populate. This gives more flexibility than templates but needs a little more work however one of the advantages of X4 is that as you add or remove pages the navigation buttons automatically link the pages so you do not need to keep track of basic linking although you can always change the links.
At a more advanced level you can do pretty well everything with X4 including adding your own scripts and HTML pages or snippets.
If you do not have a host that allows server side scripts then Serif have an ingenious arrangement where you can use "smart objects" on their server even if you do not host with them, among these smart objects are Blogs, Forums, Hit Counter, Resource Booker (this allows for online booking of hotel rooms etc etc)
Among the many things this version of WebPlus can do are the ability to import Word format text and open office format, the ability to import RAW format pictures, inclusion of YouTube videos, podcast feeds, 2D/3D filter Effects, Tables and Calendars, Database Merging including .mdb, dBase and the ability to create photo database using EXIF fields. Remote content management which allows content to be updated from a remote computer that does not have X4 on it. Access control including CAPTCHA, Google Maps, Google Analytics and Google AdSense together with all the usual ecommerce arrangements.
Overall a great package which caters for most needs although to use some of the advanced features there is a fairly steep learning curve. There is comprehensive documentation supplied with the package with more being available on line from Serif's web site. This documentation is also available in printed form in the "User Guide" and the "Resources Guide" this software comes in a number of packages so check if either of these books are included if not they are available separately but the resources guide is rather expensive.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drag & drop simplicity. Sites are cosmetically great, but there are some limitations, 8 July 2010
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Unless you have specialist needs, or are going to build a massive site (with many thousands of pages), you will be delighted by WebPlus X4, for sure.

WebPlus X4 is great software for amateurs, to produce websites that (on the surface) look like they have been designed by professionals. [aside: for people familiar with Apple computers, this is a bit like iWeb]. It does deal with graphics very well, allowing easy placement on any spot on the page, a feature not found in some other products. A lot of stuff is intuitive - if you are familiar with Word and PowerPoint, this will be a breeze to use.

The tutorials provided on the website & the customer support is fantastic. I had a few queries which were answered very quickly. Really, their FORUM is an amazing and friendly place - you will get all the help you need; no question is 'too stupid'.

The software is very stable on my Windows 7 nettop. Be sure to download the very latest software updates!

Serif also bundles 18 months of webhosting, for 'free' (i.e. it's included in the price of the product). For me, this makes it a killer deal. (The hosting itself is easily worth [] quid!)

GEEKY STUFF:

I would only recommend this software to beginners. I'd advise coders to stay away (or be prepared to change their habits!).

It is not trival to edit the (HTML) code with other software, such as Dreamweaver. WebPlus x4 writes all web page styling (CSS) in the source for each page, instead of putting it in one or a few CSS files, as is standard today. This can result in slower page loads for visitors and provides less flexibility. There appears to be redundant code. In the real world, I don't think this is something the vast majority of people need to worry about.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded from WebPlus x2, 2 Aug. 2010
By 
Richard D300 (Denbighshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I was delighted with webplus x2 and thought webplus x4 was a step up. In some ways it was in that it gave everything that x2 did and a bit more...but, yes always a but. WebPlus x2 worked well on both Windows XP and Windows 7 ultimate. My first problrm is that x4 will not allow flash gallery thumbnails to be viewed. This is a nuisance as it doesn't allow for instant reference for when you want to add, delete or move an image. This is also true if one wishes to use the new website wizard to construct a new website, no thumbnail images are viewable. I know it's not me doing something wrong as I can see all image thumbnails within the PC folders and that applies even to RAW images as I've downloaded the correct CODECS.

I had trouble in uploading my website repeatedly, in fairness Serif got me through this by telling me to set my firewall to allow Serif applications, however despite promising to get back to me regarding the absence of thumbnails, they have not and that's really annoying.

Serif WebPlus x2 states it is Windows 7 compliant, but the loss of thumbnails which were ok on XP means it is not totally compliant. Would I recommend it, well probably to someone who is fairly competent with PC's. Overall it has done what I wanted, but involved fiddle fixes and time, so some important issues remain unsolved. I would be very annoyed if I had paid more than I did at Amazon. Maybe someone reading this knows the answer to my thumbnail problem, Serif certainly don't!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fabulous!, 4 July 2010
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've read that people seem to think this is no good for pros's! I don't think that is true, this product is so good and very adaptable I would challenge that people with no previous website building experience can easily use it as well as people who are already into website design. I do agree that joining the online serif forum will provide boundless information and advise on when you do find niggles. You will then kick yourself at how easily your questions are answered. As with all new software you learn by doing. It is quite simple to have a good looking website with your graphics and pictures involved. Trust me.
There are plenty of professionally-designed templates included with this program, so you can put together your site almost entirely by clicking and dragging your items, you also have the freedom to adjust the positions of all elements on a page and to design a site from the background up. Don't be daunted by doing things wrong, that is how you learn! This software offers autonomy in design, background and features.
It can be used to launch a small business, everything is online these days and no-one stands a chance if they don't have an online selling site.
If like me you have pages at freewebs, tripod etc, this will be a piece of cake and for the price it is well worth it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 24 Jun. 2010
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've previously used other web design products such as Dreamweaver and Frontpage, but thought I will give this product a go. I had never heard of it before, but the box boasted some impressive features. Some of these included 18 months free website hosting, which is a real bonus, and also a range of tools that would suit small businesses (Paypal integration, online booking systems etc).

I installed the software with no problems on to a Vista machine. Once installed I opened the program and had a look at the interface. It is easy to use if you want the basics, however if you want to delve a bit deeper to use some of the advanced features I would recommend you read the help files.

After a couple of hours I had a very good looking basic website completed, which I was able to customise or expand as per my requirements.

I feel this is an excellent product as you can use it without much knowledge to make a very good website, however if you have a bit more technical knowledge and expertise you can use it to make some very impressive websites. It's suitable for both beginners and more experienced IT users. The interface is straightforward and easy to use. I would highly recommend buying this if you want to create a website but don't know where to start, or even if you are a small business wanting some advanced website features.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product (so far)!, 5 Jan. 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Hi -

At this stage, I review WebPlus x4 with a little caution as I am yet to actually publish my new website. But I am very very pleased with my progress (not knowing any HTML) and just how professional it is looking so far.

This is an excellent product and I would suggest that it is under-priced! This is targetted at people that have absoolutely no website build technical knowledge, but do know what they want and the content. Don't get me wrong, it is an incredibly complex piece of software - but be patient with yourself and take it slowly and you will get great results. I have 3 pieces of advice for anyone looking to buy:

1. Do buy the excellent Resource Guide and work slowly through the well-written tutorials - I would suggest that without doing this, you don't stand a chance.
2. Build your first website using one of the templates that come with the software and alter it. I found that by doing this I moved along quicker, but I was also able to see how the designers had put pages together and was able to replicate some of the actions.
3. Understand that it does have quirks. I found the user forum on the Serif website invaluable and found most of the answers to my questions there - would recommend you join as soon as you get the software, there is a huge community of experienced users out there.

So far, I am very impressed - now the work is down to me....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and complicated, 7 July 2010
By 
Peter R (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I've recently set up a business and have been looking all over the place for creating a simple, but stylish website. Key for me is the e-commerce aspect due to wanting to sell photos online.

I earlier tried WebSite X5 Evolution 8 (PC CD) which I found simple and easy to use although not particularly flexible and it didn't fulfill my e-commerce needs (although it's e-commerce capabilities would suffice for most businesses looking to sell a reasonable number of products and product options online). I had also tried Wix, Clikpic and Photium. Out of those 3 only Wix was relatively easy to use.

So I thought I would give Serif WebPlus x4 a go. It is slightly more expensive than Website X5 but it is immeasurably more powerful. However, with the exponential increase in power also comes an exponential increase in complexity.

Where Website x5 was clean and easy to use, Webplus is like using Photoshop versus Picasa. Its user-interface is based around the default MS Office 2007 colours and style, so at least to those who use MS Office it will look familiar. However, even in spite of that, opening it up for the first time does put fear into the user because there are so many buttons and options etc.

Webplus has so many options within it. There is the option of enhancing photos within the program itself, you can add a blog, forums, forms, buy-it-now links on different products and so on.

If you want, you can start with using a template to help you develop a website. But even with a template, it isn't intuitive to make changes to adjust the template to your specific needs. No doubt these things are possible, but you need to dig deep and into forums to find how to make the changes.

There are detailed tutorials but you need to read and do the tutorials at the same time. One of the things that really frustrated me was that I couldn't figure out how to change the font and colour of the menu bar! With just about every other program one might use, this is probably the simplest thing to do. But not with Webplus x4. I spent an age hunting around to find out how to make the font lighter and didn't get an answer - even from the 'help' section! Infuriating and makes you wonder how complicated the rest of the process is going to be when a simple font change is this difficult to undertake!

The e-commerce section here was also considerably more complicated than that on Website X5 as well and I didn't feel that it was more powerful. For most purposes Website X5 will suffice.

I have to say, that eventually I decided I preferred the ease-of-use of Website x5 or wix.com over the complexity and power of Webplus x4.

If you are a small business owner looking to set up a website then the chances are that you don't really have a huge amount of time. And time will surely be demanded of you by Webplus x4. This is not quite up with Dreamweaver but in terms of learning required and time taken, it isn't far off.

If you are looking to set up a home-business and want a nice website then I would recommend Website x5. it is much easier, cheaper, you can have a nice, professional looking website in a couple of evenings time if you are someone who is comfortable with computers. Webplus x4 will demand too much of you (as it did me).

If you are not much of a computer person then definitely stay away from Webplus X4. even if you feel you have the time to give.

hope that helps.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for beginners!, 16 Jan. 2011
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What an absolute bargain this software is! I'd researched through lot's of different programs before settling on this one as it seemed ideal for me. I'm fairly computer savvy but not at all technical with HTML codes etc, so before I realised they did such software the idea of creating my own website would have been out of the question! But this makes it an an achievable dream if you only have even basic computer knowledge.

this can be as technical as you want it to be, it ranges from beginner to the advanced as for beginners you can basically pick your template and edit as needed, for the more advanced user you can customise everything, write your own codes and layouts etc, but for me, I selected my layout and customised as much as I could using the tools in the software and it looks amazing so far! It is not yet published as I have more to add yet but to update on my progress this is ideal, easy to use and with a lot of patience and creativity you can create something that looks absolutely professional at a bargain price!

With this software you get a whole 18months of free hosting! What a bargain, it is purely worth it for this bonus!! I couldn't recommend it more, for beginners it could not be simpler, for advanced users it can be as advanced as you like, plus for everyone that hosting deal is perfect!

Great, easy to use, makes creating your own website do-able and simple! I couldn't ask for more.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Serif!, 3 Feb. 2010
By 
Kevin Thomson (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Quite simply incredible value for money. No HTML code writing is required and the software allows you to create websites quickly with drag and drop features. If you can use MS Word then you can use this software. I've been using it for a while now and it hasn't crashed once and doesn't appear to have many annoying quirks often found in software. I think Serif have a hit a great niche here; for people who don't have time to learn HTML it's perfect. Although easy to use, Webplus 4 has a rich and extensive feature set that makes sure the designer is never limited by the software. Of course the software won't make your website for you and if you're looking for such software you'll be looking for a long time. Some time and effort is required learning the software. The point is not that it will make web pages for you but that it allows YOU to makes web pages easier than any other software I've used.

The addition of Google analytics is most welcome as I use it in all my websites and now I don't have to insert it manually.

The software won't let you change the HTML code it has generated but you can insert additional HTML or Java snippets either hand written or pulled from the web. I've added Flash, Java, widgets, YouTube, extra HTML code without any problems.

I found the inbuilt FTP equally as easy. Input the account details and updates no problem.

Some users express concern at the amount of code the software generates but I've never noticed any performance issues with my pages.

My only complaint is that too many pages displayed in Internet Explorer have a yellow exclamation mark and "done but with errors" text, which can only be the fault of Serif as Serif generates all the code and this happens on pages I haven't added code snippets to. For someone running a professional website this doesn't look good. However the page always displays and functions properly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners, but even Pros would find this software useful!, 22 Jun. 2010
By 
Mr. Graham Cummings (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If a product ever deserved the tag 'excellent value for money', this is the product. This software is primarily aimed at beginners, or people who don't want to get involved in the (X)HTML code required to build a website. Don't concentrate on the negative reviews of this product, there's more than enough in this package to build a fully-functional website without any prior knowledge of HTML or any coding language. In fact, with the included templates and images you don't even need to know much about graphic design either.

Installation
------------

Installation is dead simple, and the only thing you really need to concentrate on is entering the serial number correctly. The included resource CD (with extra goodies) is also simple to install

User Interface
--------------

The software is really simple to use and is remeniscent of Microsoft Office, so the interface should feel familiar to those users. If you use the included template wizards, you barely need to do any construction of your site at all. Most things are automatically configured for you. I was also very impressed by the UI layout chooser. You can lay out the user interface in several different ways to suit whether you're a site designer or graphic designer, and I was really impressed by this functionality.

Features
--------

The software is feature-packed. You can easily add all the good stuff such as Flash navigation and video, YouTube video, and much more. What I thought was fantastic too is the Google Maps wizard that allows you to set up a map for your contact page.

All of this is a piece of cake to use, and I think anybody could pick up this software and use it, especially if you follow the excellent tutorials too.

Although this software is aimed at beginners, I think professional users could find uses for this software too. I am speaking as a web developer of 6 years in ASP.Net VB. This software makes a breeze the tedious and boring work of choosing colour pallettes, setting up styles and so on.

I think it makes a fantastic prototyping tool to use before you get heavily involved in creating an enterprise-class application (I would create a HTML prototype in this software and then swap the unwanted components out with my ASP.Net Code), so you could at least show your customer a decent working framework and absorb stylistic changes before getting involved in the hard graft of development work.

As I say, this software is exceptional value for money, and although I wouldn't recommend it for serious, enterprise-class use, I would more than heartily recommend it for beginners and people who want to do quick prototypes of their site. Well deserves five stars.
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WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC)
WebPlus X4 - Slim case (PC) by Serif (Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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