Features

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.

It comes in 2 versions, Web Designer and Web Designer Premium; Premium offers advanced web and graphic design features - find out more below!

Why Web Designer?

Web Designer is unlike any website creation tool you've seen before - here's some of the reasons why:

There is no easier solution

Traditional web authoring tools are really just HTML editors, originally designed to create text layouts, providing few graphical capabilities. Yet it's evident that the 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.

Web Designer treats web page design just like print page layout. You can either create your own page and site designs from scratch with the powerful page layout and design tools or simply 1) pick your design from the templates 2) customize it with complete freedom 3) publish. What you see on the page in Web Designer is exactly what you get on your site - and absolutely no HTML or Javascript skills are required!

Read on to find out more about Web Designer, but don't forget to check out some of the sites created by existing Xara users in our Website Gallery.

A one tool solution

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! 

Total design freedom

Web Designer gives you total design freedom - using drag and drop you can literally place anything, anywhere on the page. And things which are normally difficult to achieve in HTML are a snap in Web Designer - for example text with curved edges, text or graphics at an angle, text flowing around objects - no problem! 

WYSIWYG

Whether you customize one of the bundled templates or create your own graphics or animations, it's genuinely WYSIWYG - what you see in Web Designer is exactly what you get on your website. 

Quality results guaranteed

Web Designer's templates are created by top professional designers, so the quality is guaranteed. But of course you can customize the color, text, images, size etc to create your own personal look without any loss of quality. It's the best of both worlds! 

Clever stuff

But we have some clever tricks too, to make things easier for you - here's just a few of the things that will save you time and trouble:

Liquid text flow around objects; easy mouseover, thumbnail and pop-up creation; automatic adjustment of photos to the correct web resolution; one-click change of site wide theme colors and shades; automatic color matching of imported objects such as buttons; a concept of 'repeating objects' such as headings and button bars - edit one instance and they all update; buttons and text panels that automatically stretch as you change the text; smart automatic repositioning of objects and resizing of pages as you add new text; font embedding which frees you from the restriction of 'web safe' fonts.

Compatibility

Working with industry standards is vital, so Web Designer sites are W3C compliant, cross browser compatible (IE 8+, Firefox, Safari, Chrome) and XHTML, CSS standards based.

It can also import a huge range of files types for vector graphics, image and text including PDF, RTF, RAW, PSD, TIFF and of course JPEG, PNG, GIF. Premium offers some extra import formats (SVG, ODP, PPTX).

Mobile Device Friendly

Websites made with Web Designer are ready for the latest iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. We‘ve invested significant effort in esuring that all our templates and features work with mobile devices.

Together with our embedded HTML 5 player technology for video and audio integration this means that you can create state of the art website projects which work across all platforms and browsers with minimum effort.

Sites created in Web Designer are also touchscreen compatible.

Web Designer also offers a Responsive Web Design feature (see below).

Xara in the cloud

BETA: Hot off the press and only available to v11 users!

Xara Online Designer offers an ultra-simple way to view, edit and update the text or images of your Xara website using a web browser on any computer or tablet (yes even a Mac or Android tablet!), from anywhere in the world, and to re-publish the website. Perfect for collaborative editing, for commercial designers who want to give clients limited access to text editing, or for anyone who needs to edit their site remotely. Find out more.

Create Websites

There is simply no easier, quicker way to create a website. Full stop. Here's how:

Choose a design

Pick your page design from the bundled templates, all created by professional designers so that quality is guaranteed. There are pre-built, ready linked multi-page sites, or you can build your own site from the page layouts offered in co-ordinated theme sets. We've got all the layouts you need (eg home, products, photo gallery, news, store etc).

Then you can customize the pages with complete freedom and absolutely zero loss of quality!

See the web page templates

Customize as required

Use simple drag and drop to position things on the page as you wish; enter your text (spell checker included); drag and drop any new items such as text panels, headings or extra buttons from the templates in the Designs Gallery, or import your own, or create new images with the drawing tools; set up links on your NavBars and menus; drag and drop your own photos (photo editor included if you need to crop or adjust brightness, contrast etc); customize colors with the simple one-click theme color editing.

For extra impact, adding mouseover effects, thumbnails and photo pop-ups & slideshows is simple. 

Add widgets to your site

And it's a snap to add widgets to your site, such as Google Maps, Facebook Like and Twitter buttons, Picasa photo albums, Flickr slideshows, YouTube movies, forms, news feeds and many, many more...

What's more the Designs Gallery includes a collection of popular widgets that can be just dragged onto the page you're working on (find out more in our Widget Guide).  Note:  Premium has a larger selection of widgets including photo and content slideshow widgets, interactive chart and graph widgets, and e-commerce widgets such as Paypal.

Add videos, music, PDFs

It couldn’t be easier to add external files. Simply drag and drop the MP4 or FLV movie files, MP3 audio files or PDFs on to your page and position them as required. All the work to display and play them will be done automatically.

Note: If Flash isn't available, the integrated audio and video players use the HTML 5 capabilities of the web browser to play the audio or video where the browser supports it eg latest smartphones or tablets.

Publish

Check your design in the browser preview and then simply click on Publish.

You can take advantage of the completely free 500MB web hosting offer included with Web Designer (Web Designer Premium includes a free one year upgrade to 2 GB) which offers ultra-simple upload. Or you can use regular FTP upload to other hosting companies.


We told you it was easy! 

Search Engine Optimization

Now you have a great looking site and you’ll want to get the word out! Web Designer helps you achieve search engine success by making it easy to add the essential titles, descriptions and keywords, by site or by page.

Advanced users can add HTML code to the body field, and in Premium you can also add HTML to the head field, automatically create XML sitemaps and easily embed Google Analytics web analysis tool to measure your success.

Responsive Web Design

With Web Designer you can create multipe variants of a site - eg desktop, tablet, mobile - which are exported as a single HTML file, so that your site will dynamically change layout in response to the screen size of the viewer.

Example (The Vue theme with desktop, tablet and mobile variants)

Does your website pass the Google mobile-friendly test? If not, you need Web Designer! 

Create Web Graphics

If you need individual graphics for your existing page, Web Designer is the tool for you

Use professional templates

Web Designer also includes template designs for individual graphics, from buttons, NavBars and headings to text boxes and speech bubbles! Again they are all created by professional designers and can be customized to fit your site in seconds.

These individual graphics can be exported in the standard web formats such as GIF, JPEG, PNG for use on existing websites, or they can be added to any page being created in Web Designer.

See some more examples of the templates.

Or create custom graphics

If you don't find a template to fit the bill, no problem, Web Designer includes comprehensive, intuitive and powerful drawing tools from our award winning illustration software Xara Designer.

So you can create your own graphics from scratch and either add them to the page being created in Web Designer or export them as JPEG, PNGs or GIFs. 

Rapid Website Prototyping

Design website prototypes with unrivalled freedom, no HTML skills required.

Fast prototypes for designers

For designers, Web Designer offers unparalleled design freedom. It's perhaps the fastest website prototyping tool around, even for websites created from scratch. As a designer you don't need to know anything about HTML, but you'll have complete freedom to design websites as simple or as complex as you need, with an actual working HTML result, rather than just a 'fake' static mock-up. 

Design without compromise

You don't need to compromise your design just because this is a webpage.

Web Designer supports transparency, even grad transparency (for graphics, photos and text); it has full, automatic alpha channel support for things like soft shadows, anti-aliasing and semi-transparent objects; and if you include things not supported by HTML (let's say rotated text) it automatically converts them to optimized web graphics. 

Web Designer Premium

The Premium version of Web Designer offers plenty of extra features for the pro user.

Single Page SuperSites

We're all used to the idea of websites presented as separate pages, where you have to click a link to navigate from one page to another. Web Designer Premium offers the option to present your whole site as one single, fast scrolling document using scroll or swipe to navigate. Or you can present one page at a time in the traditional way, but with super-slick animated page transitions triggered by scroll, swipe or click.

Example 1  a Supersite with transitions. It's also responsive to both browser width and tablet orientation

Example 2  a vertically scrolling Supersite (without mobile or tablet variants)

Animation Effects

Web Designer Premium makes it easy to add a wide range of animated effects to the layers and page links in your website. You can add animated transitions to any page link or pop-up layer in your web pages. Perfect with Supersites and presentations!

Example 1 (a Supersite with transitions. It's also responsive to both browser width and tablet orientation.)

Example 2 (a Supersite with transitions, optimized for tablets with both portrait and landscape variants (with Scale to Fit selected)

You also have a wide range of animation effects on mouseover, click/tap and on reveal (for example objects that slide or fade into view as you scroll down a page)

Example 3 (on reveal - buttons on photo heading slide in from right and left, circular photos fade in, Headlines slide in from right and left, and quotes fade in)

Sticky Objects

These are objects that you can 'stick' in place as the page scrolls underneath. A good example is the NavBar which you can stick to the top of the page as viewers scroll down, so they can still easily navigate to other pages without having to scroll back up to the top. In Web Designer 11 Premium any object can be stuck to any position on the page.

Example (with NavBar and logo stuck to the top, social buttons stuck to the left and a footer stuck to the bottom

Stretching Backgrounds

Website designs with no obvious page boundary are now very popular, and in these sort of designs you'll commonly see a page background that covers the entire browser window and stretches to fill the browser width. In Web Designer 11 Premium you can make any rectangle or image stretch to fill the browser window, either horizontally or vertically.  

Example (the top photo stretches across the whole width)

Extra Widgets (ecommerce, charts, photo sliders)

Web Designer Premium includes a larger selection of Widgets in the Designs Gallery, including resizeable photo and content slideshow Widgets to make your site more dynamic, plus a selection of interactive chart and graph widgets.

See examples of photo & content sliders and charting widgets

Premium also includes a choice of e-commerce Widgets and a neat 'embed a website' Widget - perfect for embedding blogs, microsites and other sites within your page.

Website presentations

With Web Designer Premium you can easily create web-based 'slide-show' style presentations, that your website visitors can step through using the keyboard arrow keys. Plus you can apply animated transition effects as each step and page is displayed.


See the presentation templates
Example Presentation with transitions

Flash & GIF animation

Web Designer Premium is one of the easiest tools for creating truly efficient Flash animations, which you can export as .swf or add to any page being created in Web Designer.

Advanced graphics features

Web Designer includes many customizable graphic templates of course, and a good set of basic drawing tools, but Premium includes a range of additional graphic creation tools for those who wish to create their own graphics from scratch. These include freehand and quickshape drawing tools, bevel, mould and 3D extrude.

Premium includes other extra features for power users, such as support for Retina graphics, embedded fonts (so you aren't just limited to the so called 'web safe' fonts) and direct integration of Google Fonts. There is also a 64 bit version giving maximum performance for large, content rich sites.

You can find out more about the extra features in Premium here.