Muse-like Tools for Fast Website Development

Adobe’s new  Muse  website design tool has garnered attention as Adobe invades the website design market. The tool has some real attractive features but also some big gaps as seen in the preview here. So this post looks at two tools that have occupied the same space and their features. First, there is Xara Web Designer Premium 7 which has a powerful graphics engine, precise rendering and  great templates. But like Muse Xara Web Designer is light on  grids, and form support, plus database/server connectivity. See our review here for impressions on the earlier version.

Another website design tool  worth considering is XSitePro which also has a strong templating system, a wide range of widgets,  and a whole cartload full of customizing tools. Here is an overview:

Note the strong set of templates and WYSIWYG Design

What particularly caught our attention is the in-place editting. the many customizable regions on these templaes, and the WYSIWYG editing preview preview capability. Here is a rambling review of those capabilities in XSitePro:

This gives a good feel for what XSitePro is capable of [go here for more details].

Here is screen shot of the site created:

Go here to see the live SavvyShoppingUSA website.

Summary

There are already some very good Website Design and Creation tools available as rivals for Adobe Muse. As our coverage of Adobe Muse continues, there also will be more detailed comparisons with these two and some other website design and customization software that emphasize ease of use at a low cost. The trick is to get enough features and robust code generation in these web design systems. Also the availability of 3rd party templates and widgets is like ine iPhone and iPad model, an ever more attractive feature.  So it will be very interesting to follow developments in this category of web development tool that caters to graphic designers and auotmated website generation. The race to the top is still wide open as missing features like forms/server connectivity,  HTML5 graphics and mobile support get added to the products.

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