Words from the company:
Xara Web Designer is unlike any web design software you will have seen before; an easy template based solution that gives you total page design freedom, no HTML skills required.
Traditional web authoring tools are really just HTML editors, they are designed to create text layouts, providing few graphical capabilities. And yet it's evident that the vast majority of modern websites are of a graphical nature. We believe you should have complete freedom to include anything - text, graphics, photos - anywhere on the page, using just one tool. And you shouldn't need to know, or even see, the HTML that goes into creating your site, any more than a car driver needs to know how an engine works.
Templates include individual web graphics, complete pages and even pre-built multi-page sites.
You only need one program for creating graphical websites - from design to publishing - and that's Web Designer.
Web Designer includes customizable web graphic, webpage and website template designs plus tools for creating your own designs, for photo editing (an integrated ultra-fast, non-destructive photo tool), and for advanced text layout. The Designs Gallery also includes a collection of Widgets. Site upload is covered too and there's even a free web hosting offer!
I started designing web sites way back in 1995 using stolen coding from other websites and redesigning them. Along came various simplified programs to assist in the coding so I did not have to steal and redo the coding for web pages. Then Microsoft introduced Front page and that page designer was a "what you see is what you get" type of a design program but the coding was very heavy.
After a while more serious programs came out with high curve learning requirements to use the coding made available in the program such as Adobes Dreamweaver. Progress changes things at a rapid rate and here comes the latest Xara Premium version 9 and we are back to the basics desktop publishing capabilities with a much lower curve for learning to use the program and yet given the tools to take it much further with the latest techno inserts tying your pages to face book or tweeter and so much more.
The program gives you quite a few templates to use as predestined sites where you simply fill in the text and pictures and logos or to design your own as a wysiwyg and insert some templates as well as put your own ideas together to create a wonderfully original web site.
I feel that technology did a 360 and we are back to a great program, easy to use, intuitive and affordable for the average person interested in a good tool to design a web site. I definitely recommend this program to any and all who want to get into web design.
As an after thought, the main thing that I miss is getting a manual in booklet form describing all the action. New technology has cut costs so much that our pastime of holding and reading a manual is a thing of the past along with getting a boxed copy of a program; It has to be downloaded. I guess it is faster in getting the program but I personally still like to hold the box and display it proudly on my software shelf.