Monday, June 30, 2014

Using Xara Web Designer to create your art web site

I just finished uploading my redesigned art web site. I had used Microsoft Publisher since 2001 to create my web sites because I am not an html coder and wanted something that worked like a print page-layout program. I had used Publisher for print publications for years before that. Publisher fit the bill for website creation, too. But, with their 2010 release, Microsoft ended the website-creation feature. They touted Web Expressions as a substitute. It was designed for professional web developers, not for someone like me, so I continued to use my 2007 Publisher version, but knew that it was just a matter of time before its html technology became obsolete.
I have been researching website-creation software ever since 2010. None of them had the features Publisher had as far as what I deemed as important and what was as easy to use. I wanted software that resided on my computer, too, not a service that was web based. Those are always too slow and clunky, in my experience. I finally found what, for me, is the perfect program: Xara Web Designer 10. It has a lot of similarities to how Publisher worked, but it is technically up to date and has way more features. Because of my experience with Publisher, the learning curve for Xara Web Designer was less for me, though I still have a lot to learn about its myriad features. My newly redesigned art web site has functions I could only dream of creating with Publisher. I started out using one of the included free templates, and then customized it. Check out my website by clicking on the image below. One of the best features was one that all artists need: a good image display function. When you click on the thumbnails on each of my artwork-category pages, they enlarge automatically and display information about each work. 
I can now put Microsoft Publisher to bed for good. It was great at the time, but Xara has saved the day. Now on to redoing my handpainted jewelry web site and my portraits web site.
Home page for, designed using Xara Web Designer 10


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