TL; DR: WebSite X5 is an offline software package for Microsoft Windows environments that allows the easy creation of websites, blogs, and online stores. The product was engineered by Italian software firm Incomedia for users who do not possess in-depth programming training and prefer to work visually. The package offers more than 100 templates and other types of content to help users get started as soon as they start it up. Web hosting space and email accounts are included with the WebSite X5 license, so entrepreneurs can get up and running quickly after a build.
Around 30 years ago, only 15 websites were available online. The first site, built by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1991, is still live. Today, there are nearly 2 billion websites available worldwide, and according to the Internet Live Stats counter, that figure continues to increase rapidly.
One of the main factors driving that proliferation has been the democratization of website building. Most modern entrepreneurs can launch websites themselves.
But that wasn’t always the case. Years ago, a small business owner needed to contact a website specialist to build a site, often for a steep fee. By the 1990s, website consultancies that could manually build business websites were earning a small fortune. And many developers only needed to know their way around website creation software packages — including Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage.
Then, WordPress launched in 2003, and the entire website building landscape changed.
While WordPress is the clear leader among content management systems, it has plenty of competition in the democratized website builder market. WebSite X5, which has more than 1.5 million users worldwide, is one of those platforms that has thrived.
WebSite X5, from Italian software firm Incomedia, is an intuitive offline application that allows anyone to create websites, blogs, and online stores. The software caters to entrepreneurs who lack in-depth programming skills and prefer to work visually rather than struggle with code.
“WebSite X5 stands out from more traditional website builders because it is easy to use, versatile, and complete in terms of the features it provides,” said Federico Ranfagni, Founder and CEO of Incomedia. “An additional attraction is that it is also useful for professionals working on quick-turnaround or low-budget projects.”
Five-Step Plan Helps Novices Master Site-Building Basics
WebSite X5 offers all the components a website builder needs to get an engaging website online through its two paid versions — Evo and Pro.
Each package is based on a five-step procedure. First, users create a new project by entering the required basic information and customize the template to suit their needs.
Then, they design the site map by adding pages they require at launch. In the fourth step, users drag and drop text, images, videos, and other components to flesh out the website. Finally, users can publish their website directly through the hosting service included with the WebSite X5 license.
WebSite X5 provides a library of more than 100 component objects and millions of images along with its customizable templates. Its packages offer built-in website optimization for mobile devices. They include advanced SEO tools to leverage tags, sitemaps, and structured data.
“The idea behind WebSite X5 came in 2000 when someone came to Incomedia with a particular request,” Federico said. “The client said he needed a website but didn’t know where to start.”
At that time, most website builders required users to have some programming skills to achieve good results.
“We came up with the idea of providing something different: a tool which could help any user put together their website in a visual way and with no coding knowledge.”
Tracking Trends to Meet Modern User Requirements
WebSite X5 developed successive iterations in line with website design trends, according to Federico.
“The internet is ever-changing and dynamic. The web — and indeed the methods of experiencing it — have changed drastically in the last 22 years,” said Federico. “Just think about the website features that were once obligatory but aren’t seen anymore. For example, the attention devoted to animated GIFs. For a while, they were very popular, but then website builders started to realize that they led to pretty slow websites — especially in the pre-broadband era.”
Once smartphones became primary web access devices, websites with more toned-down designs that improved page load speeds became the norm.
That also presented a new challenge for the WebSite X5 development team.
“WebSite X5 has to keep up with those developments and adapt to the new graphic and functional trends without losing its traditional simplicity of use,” Federico said. “Of course, the Incomedia team must develop potentially difficult functions while making it easy for our users. When it comes to deciding what new features to include, it’s a matter of getting the balance right. At Incomedia, our guiding principle is to keep things straightforward.”
Guiding principles notwithstanding, WebSite X5 offers an extensive set of features. And it develops each component to fulfill the needs of users.
“The core idea behind it, however, has always been simplicity,” Federico told us.
Hosting Features Include One-Click Website Launch
WebSite X5 recently implemented an integrated hosting service in keeping with its commitment to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need.
“With one click, our users can now upload their projects online without having to be concerned about issues such as FTP or database parameters,” Federico said.” This functionality makes the export phase of a website a piece of cake for anyone.”
The benefit of that approach is that users can build a website with autonomy at an affordable price.
The WebSite X5 development team also considers trends in the market because it is crucial to keep up with constant changes in the market.
“We combine that approach with an analysis of the feedback we receive from our customers. We want to know what they expect and which functions they need so we can integrate their requests into our development plans.”
WebSite X5 comes in two standard editions: WebSite X5 Evo and WebSite X5 Pro.
Evo’s feature set includes 100 customizable templates, unlimited pages and projects, a drag-and-drop builder, and a basic online shopping cart.
WebSite X5 Pro adds digital product sales, the ability to manage discounts and coupons, customer registration, and advanced SEO and website analytics. Prospective users can try WebSite X5 Pro free for 15 days after they register.
Both bundles include web hosting via HOST.it, but WebSite X5 users are not bound to the offering.
“They can use any hosting service for sites created with WebSite X5. But why give up all the advantages offered by the hosting service included?” Federico said.
Incomedia also supports its user community with a regularly updated blog and a comprehensive series of WebSite X5 video tutorials on its YouTube channel.
Intuitive Tools and Built-In eCommerce Components
WebSite X5 distinguishes itself from other website builders with its easy-to-use and comprehensive feature set, including hosting.
“There are value-added features I would cite that attract people to our product,” Federico said. “First, users don’t need to code. They just use WebSite X5’s drag-and-drop tool to organize their content and build their website. Second, Pro easily integrates eCommerce functionality with Facebook and Instagram. Now you can offer the same service and make sure that customers are notified when you send them a tracking link.”
And WebSite X5 has recently introduced a new field: the SKU (stock-keeping unit) code. SKU is a scannable barcode often seen printed on retail product labels that allow merchants to track inventory movement. Now, entrepreneurs can use the SKU as a search key while working in WebSite X5 and an online store. In addition, WebSite X5 includes it as structured data for page SEO optimization.
“We will continue to improve the software’s existing features and introduce new ones by integrating complementary services which could be useful,” Federico said. “For instance, we will continue with the eCommerce ethos that we started back in 2000. As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a real boom in online sales, and we want to make sure WebSite X5 users can take full advantage of that.”