Not everyone is a web-coding whizz, or wants to learn the intricacies of HTML, CSS, PHP or other web-based programming languages. Xara Web Designer 9 is aimed squarely at those who prefer to design websites using desktop publishing tools, where what you see on-screen is what you expect to see with the finished design. Over recent years, Web Designer has built into a powerful, user-friendly tool that – a few quirks aside – makes designing websites as simple as putting together magazines, newsletters or brochures.
At first glance it looks beginner-friendly: pick a template, import your text and graphics, and build your site page-by-page at a time. But that does Web Designer a disservice, because if you delve deeper, you’ll find it has all the tools you need to design more complex sites that are attractive to look at, easy to navigate and bursting with support for all the latest technologies, from Flash-based animations to interactive widgets.