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XSitepro review XSitePro2
Ever since college days, I had always used Dreamweaver for all my web building needs. Dreamweaver is a great web building tool. It's good for web design and for programming complex websites. As a guy who really knew how to build websites, there was no other tool that I would use. I wouldn't have traded my Dreamweaver for any other web building software out there.
As a webmaster, it's only natural that later I discovered affiliate marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Combining the two, I build simple mini-sites and use SEO strategies to drive highly targeted traffic and generate sales commissions.
It's a fantastic way to earn passive income.
Of course with SEO, a lot of research needs to be done. You need to know about the keywords that people are using on the search engines. And then, you need to know the competition. And of course, you also need to know how to build your website in the right way that is appealing to the human visitors, maximize profit and attract search engine traffic.
I had no problem using Dreamweaver for all of my sites. Well, that was until the day I received an email from my Sri Lankan friend, David.
The Day When I Was Late On My Bills...
A few years ago, I was a little behind on my bills. To make a quick buck just to solve that problem, I offered to design new web templates for only $50 each. About a dozen people took up my offer. That was more than I needed.
But one guy wrote back to me and his email really caught my attention.
David wrote, "Can you create web templates for XSitePro?"
I accepted that challenge. As a pro web designer, I knew all the HTML tags and I knew how to use them. How hard could it be? Not to mention that I did need the money.
So I wrote back, "If you can send me the output files of a website done with XSitePro, I can do it for you."
David sent me a bunch of files and I started to study the anatomy of an XSitePro website.
At first my intention was only to understand the anatomy of a website created with XSitePro. When I understood this, I could create the graphics needed for the template. I could send David the template, and David would send me payment. But my initial intention led me to something more. I was really amazed with the code generated by XSitePro.
As I said, I build mini-sites and earn from affiliate programs. Applying SEO strategies, your website needs to be built in a certain way. You need to pay attention to a lot of details, from having clean HTML code, layout structure, navigation menu, all the way to the look and feel of the website itself.
What I discovered from an XSitePro-generated website, the HTML code, the layout structure, the navigation menu, the supporting files are all right on the money. It's the perfect SEO website for promoting affiliate programs.
I Thought, "There's Nothing XSitePro Can Do That Dreamweaver Can't!"
I finished my design work for David and collected my fees. However, having looked at what XSitePro can do, I was curious. With the balance I have after paid my bills, I picked up a copy of XSitePro and had it installed on my Windows XP.
I had a picture of what I thought XSitePro was going to be. Though I was impressed with the code generated by XSitePro, I expected that my Dreamweaver can do everything that XSitePro can, and there would not be a reason why I should get this – at least not for me.
I thought it was going to be a simple, nothing new, just another website building software, built around a well-thought marketing message.
If things went to my expectations, my plan was to exercise my rights for a refund. Seriously, that was my plan. By the way, I am a pro web designer who is an expert with Dreamweaver...
I got the software, got it installed on my Windows XP and started exploring it.
So, did it meet my expectations?
Well, yes and no.
I figured that what XSitePro can do, there's nothing that my Dreamweaver can't do. I was right about that. But here's the problem. XSitePro does it so much better, faster and more efficiently... So much better that XSitePro is leaving Dreamweaver in the dust.
I want to be clear that all I am about to tell you about XSitePro, I am referring the ability to build a website that any Internet marketers would want to build. The websites created with XSitePro are search-engine friendly, human-friendly and designed to help you make money. When it comes to that, XSitePro is full of surprises and Dreamweaver can never beat XSitePro, hands down.
With XSitePro, I can build my affiliate sites much faster. You can expect to cut your website development time in half, maybe more. And your website will be optimized, ready for both search engine and human visitors.
Putting all that together, I believe XSitePro is more of a content management system rather than a website builder. I will explain more below...
All right, I am going to give it to you, feature by feature. There's so much that you can talk about when it comes to XSitePro, so I am going to cover those that I love the most about XSitePro. And you will start to see how this software will work for you.
Multi-Page Creation Wizard... Based On Your Keyword List
Let me start with one little aspect. When building a search-engine-friendly website to promote affiliate programs, you start with your keyword research where you end up with a bunch of keywords. Each of those keywords will later become articles. And you would create one web page for each article.
Previously with Dreamweaver (or any other website builder), you would first create your search-engine-friendly HTML template, and then copy and paste that file multiple times while renaming it to the keyword list you have. You would end up with a bunch of files with names like "basketball-cards.html", "basketball-trading-cards.html", "basketball-trading-cards-value.html", "topps-basketball-trading-cards.html", "fleer-basketball-trading-cards.html" and all the rest.
But let me tell you that copying, pasting and renaming HTML files one after the other is tedious and boring task.
I wish I could just drop a list of keywords and get all the HTML files created.
And you know what? XSitePro can do just that!
In XSitePro you can add pages and each page will be a HTML file. And there's a tool called the Multi Page Creation Wizard. With the Multi Page Creation Wizard, you can just load a file that contains all of your keywords, and your pages will be created for you. All of your new pages will be created according to your page layout (or template) settings.
After that, you just need to put in content.
Pages, Menus and Breadcrumb Links...
Talking about Pages, organizing your pages has never been so easier. XSitePro is also your content management system. I can make a page as a sub-page to another, move it up and down the list, add new ones and lastly delete those that I don't want. I like it that I can organize which page goes where, and the navigation links will follow.
That's not the only thing it does when it comes to Pages and Links. When I build websites, I like to have breadcrumb links as well. Breadcrumb links are the links you see on top of the title of the page, which indicates how far in the website you are.
If you are in a sub-page of a page, then you would see links for the parent page and the home. Having breadcrumb links is the part where you make your website human-friendly.
With XSitePro, you can create breadcrumb links easily. You just organize your pages any way you like and your links will be generated automatically. Just use the Breadcrumb Trail tool to turn it on or off.
Well, didn't I say that XSitePro is more like a content management? ?
Here's another feature that I really like in XSitePro.
If you have been building affiliate websites like I have, I am pretty sure that you will be opening each file, go through the header codes to change some of the META information like the keywords and descriptions. The META information is important for search engine rankings.
Having to open, edit and close one file after another just to edit a few lines of code makes me sleepy. That's why I like using XSitePro for this. I can just select the file that I want to make changes and all the META information will appear, ready to be edited.
An Important Huge Improvement - Silos...
I have been applying this strategy in my SEO before they came up with the term Silo. Back in 2004 (I think), Dan Thies of SEOFastStart.com had a book about SEO that he gave away for free. In that book, Dan uses the term keyword hierarchy to explain about grouping your content and putting in a hierarchical manner.
This is where you would have a page, with sub-pages. It is kind of like having an index page for a category and then deeper details into that category with individual pages and articles.
Today, with further research, Charles Heflin of SEO2020.com introduces a more scientific approach to this, and calls it Silos.
To implement Silos, the important thing is to have your linking structure right. You don't list all of your web pages on the main page. Instead, you let search engine robots crawl deep while discovering new links that get them even deeper into your site.
Search engines are a lot smarter now. And when they start to discover that previous web pages they crawled are a much bigger and broader topic of the current pages they are crawling, your website will start to be identified as a very tight niche. This will help you rank better in the search engines.
Better implementation of Silos is done by having the right URL structure. You would want your URL to contain your main topic, followed by folders and then articles.
Here's an example of a good URL Siloing...
Do you see what I mean? Of course you would have other related web pages in those folders and sub-folders.
Now, here's the huge improvement Intellimon implemented in XSitePro version 2.
In XSitePro version 1, all of your files and web pages resided on the main root folder. However, now you can arrange your content in sub-folders by using the Siloing Tool. Arranging your content, files and folders while making sure that the links don't break used to be a difficult task, even with some mature web design software. XSitePro makes this process a lot easier.
Now with XSitePro2, you can take advantage of this SEO strategy that not many websites use properly.
More on Search-Engine-Friendly Website...
XSitePro is packed with a huge collection of tools to help you build a better website for better search engine rankings. It could take me hours, maybe days to explain each and every one of these.
But just to give you an idea how XSitePro2 will help you optimize your website for the search engines, here is a list of tools that come built-in:
- Google Map Generator, to create a sitemap specifically to be submitted to Google.
- Site Map Generator, to create your general sitemap for human visitors and search engine robots.
- Robot.txt Generator, you specify rules for the search engine robots.
- Website SEO Analysis, analyses your web pages for better search engine ranking.
- RSS Feed Generator, generates RSS feeds for your website.
- Social Networking Links, generates links for social networking sites.
- XML Syndication, generates XML version of your website content.
Flexible Layout Template Design
When it comes to design and layout, XSitePro is not as powerful as Dreamweaver. You can really get creative with Dreamweaver, but XSitePro sites are built using a template layout system.
Though XSitePro has its own template system, it's good enough to create stunning websites. The template system is actually a good thing. It simplifies the website creation process for newbies. Newbies now are able to create a good looking website, flexible enough to have content presented in a number of different ways, without having to go through a time-consuming learning process (you know how difficult and challenging HTML can be).
In fact the default installation of XSitePro itself is packed with hundreds of good looking website templates to get you started.
The templating system in XSitePro allows you to build websites with either a left side bar column, a right side bar column, both side bar columns and no side bars at all.
This may be a limiting feature to a number of new web designers. But if you really understand how this works, you will be integrating layout designs you never thought possible. When I first created the template for Cookie-Crazy.com for Bonnie Lowe, many XSitePro users were amazed. It didn't look as though was done with XSitePro at all. I keep getting emails asking how I did it. But now, many web designers have learned how to do it.
The new templating system that comes with version 2 - XSitePro2 - is even more powerful. In version 1, the template is set as a global setting. That will make all the web pages use the same template. However, starting in version 2, you can overwrite the template setting in individual pages. With that, you can use the main template for most of the website, and probably use a different template for a certain pages, or maybe a category.
I love this. In fact, I had been waiting for something like this since version 1. My idea was to have use a main template, and then use a different template, which reflects categories in the website. Now that can be done with the rollout of version 2.
What's even greater is that XSitePro version 2 is improved with a number of new extra graphics. You can create boxes and frames from a wide range of designs. You can use their graphical menu Wizard for more attractive navigations. You can choose from a huge selection on buttons for order buttons, form buttons, links, etc.
Let me just tell you that you won't run out of ideas with the XSitePro2 designing system. All those tools are easy to access and use. From your WYSIWYG web page editor, right-click on the mouse and you will a list of extras you can put on your website.
XSitePro is created to help you make money. And XSitePro makes it really easy for you. And I mean, really easy. Apart from the website builder feature, XSitePro is packed with a few tools that will integrate money making programs into your website.
If you sell products on the Internet like ebooks, software, short reports, you can easily create a PayPal button to collect payment. Just follow through the Wizard and you will be selling in minutes.
Apart from that, there are a number of advertising programs that you can stick on your website. Whatever your website is about, I am sure there are some books that you can recommend on that topic. It's good that XSitePro comes together with wizard applets to create your Amazon, AdSense and Oxado ads for your website.
With Amazon, you have the option to choose either the Product link, Self-Optimizing link or the Recommend link.
Enhancing Visitors' Experience with Multimedia
The Internet is getting faster and faster for everyone all over the globe. And video and audio has been proven to increase response and sales.
You don't want to be left behind by your competition. However, putting an audio or video on your website is not as easy at it seems. Even for a web programmer like me, I prefer something that I can throw and is guaranteed to stick. I remember the time when I wanted to put a short MP3 audio on my website. Though I found a free open source solution, it was not easy to get it on my website. I had to open this website, that website, copy some code, change some settings, upload some files... it worked, but it was messy.
With XSitePro version 2, you can now put audio and video on your website with a lot less mess, and a solution that you know will work. The audio player comes with a number of playback buttons in different colors. Just choose the one that suits your website.
A Mini Version of Your Mini-Site...
The mobile phone is getting smarter and smarter every day. Even I use my mobile phone (Nokia N95) to access the Internet.
A new feature in XSitePro version 2 will allow you to easily create a mobile version of your website. This will optimize your website for viewing from mobile devices. I think this is a great feature addition as more and more people are going mobile every day.
Of course you don't have to create the mobile version of your website. But it's there if you want to.
What XSitePro CANNOT Do...
All right, you've read about all the good stuff about XSitePro. Well, not all. I can go on for days.
But XSitePro2 is not all good. When it comes to building affiliate sites, direct response sales letter websites, corporate websites, search-engine-friendly websites, XSitePro is best – hands down.
But there are things that XSitePro cannot do.
It boils down to what you want to do and what XSitePro is designed for.
XSitePro is a website building tool. It only builds websites, specifically static websites.
Some people may get the wrong idea about what XSitePro is. Before you get ahead of yourself, let me clear the air on that.
XSitePro is not designed to help you blog. It's not a blogging tool. Also, while you can build a huge website and pack it with a lot of content with XSitePro, I wouldn't recommend XSitePro if you want to build a portal website.
A portal website would normally invite members to participate and interact with each other. XSitePro is not a portal solution nor is it membership website solution.
One more thing that XSitePro is not designed for – shopping carts. Well yes, you can design an e-commerce website, put up PayPal links for each product and upload your website, all done with XSitePro. But I believe other tools like ZenCart or OS Commerce do it so much better.
And further more, you can't use XSitePro to design themes for other website platforms. WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, Mambo, and other popular website platforms all have their own template systems. You can't design a template for those solutions using XSitePro. You would still need to use Dreamweaver or any of your other web design software for that.
So those are the things that Dreamweaver can do and XSitePro can't. But there a lot of things that XSitePro can do, and it takes a while to get it done in Dreamweaver. An obvious example is all the website navigation links. You normally have to create navigation links manually, and you would have to check those links are correct yourself. Furthermore, you would need to update all of your files one by one to get those navigation links into the web pages.
That's just one area where Dreamweaver falls short. But of course, like I said, it boils down to what each tool is designed to do.
If you want to build profitable websites quickly, sites that will attract search engine rankings, and are appealing to human eyes, then XSitePro2 is your tool.
If you want to train yourself to become a web designer and a professional programmer, then Dreamweaver is the best tool on the market.
To Get Or Not To Get... That Is The Question...
DON'T get XSitePro2 if you want...
- a blog
- a portal
- a membership site
- a shopping cart
- a forum
- to design themes for WordPress, Joomla, Mambo, etc...
- to do heavy programming and custom solutions
DO get XSitePro2 if you want...
- to build and manage your corporate website
- to build and manage your personal website
- to build and manage your clients' websites
- to build content websites for online revenue
- to build search-engine-friendly websites quickly and easily
- to build direct response, sales letter websites and sell your products
- to quickly build virtual real estates (VRE)
- to build a squeeze page and build a mailing list
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