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Magix Website Maker 5 review

Julian Prokaza
14 Jun 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
5
inc VAT

It won't teach you anything about how the web works, but Website Maker 5 is unrivalled for ease of use

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Specifications

Serif WebPlus X5 makes it pretty straightforward to put together a web site with just a smattering of technical knowledge, but Magix Website Maker 5 goes a step further. This website creation application requires no web knowledge at all and launching an online presence requires nothing more than the ability to click a few buttons and enough imagination to overtype dummy page content with the real thing.

Although Magix Website Maker 5 comes as a boxed CD, there’s nothing to actually install — the disc simply contains a digital copy of the printed manual, some tools and a launcher that leads to the Website Maker 5 web site. In reality, this is actually a cloud-based web creation tool and the service can be accessed from any computer using nothing more than a web browser and an internet connection.

Magix publishing

Magix Website Maker 5 is a cloud-based tool that can be accessed using any Flash-enabled web browser

First the bad news; both Magix Website Maker 5 and the web sites it generates are realised wholly in Flash, and this has some usability implications. Biggest of all, this means that published web sites can’t be viewed at all on devices like the iPad, but nor do they behave like ‘normal’ sites when Flash is supported — text can’t be resized or copied, for example. optimising your site to be found by search engines is also a serious problem for Flash-based sites, but such complaints miss the point of this application.

Magix Website Maker 5 isn’t a serious web design tool, it’s a fun and friendly way to put stuff online for people who don’t give two hoots about standards or how web sites work. Better still, the application works on any computer with a Flash-enabled browser, and we tested it on Windows, Mac OS and Google Chrome OS with equal success.

Magix templates

Over 150 templates are included, all split into categories to suit different types of website

To make a site users can start from scratch with a blank page, or with one of over 150 different templates. As with Serif WebPlus X5, starting with a blank page means lots of dragging and dropping of predefined elements, but the process here is more akin to working with PowerPoint crossed with Paint, rather than the DTP-like approach of Serif WebPlus X5. The emphasis is on creating one or more above-the-fold ‘screens’ rather than vertically scrollable pages.

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