MAGIX Website Maker MX is an easy-to-use tool for creating stylish Flash-based websites, even if you've no previous web design experience.
While you must download and install a local component to use Website Maker, it actually runs in your web browser (IE, Firefox, Opera and Chrome are supported). The site creation process works much like any other tool, though. So you browse a lengthy list of attractive site templates, each of which comes with multiple pages and built-in navigation, and choose one you like. Then you replace the default text, images, music or videos with your own content. And finally you publish the site and share it with the world.
This generally works quite well, as there are lots of customisations available. Would you like to create a thumbnail photo gallery, for instance? Website Maker comes with ten different gallery styles - but that's just the start. You can also present your images in animated filmstrips, or choose from one of 18 "photo tables", where your thumbnails are scattered attractively across a variety of backgrounds. Just find an option you like and it's ready to use in a couple of clicks.
There's even more configurability elsewhere. If you'd like a Flash media player on your site, for instance, there are more than 80 options available. And your site can easily be customised with many other components: music players, contact forms, guestbooks, visitor counters, embedded Google maps, YouTube videos and more.
This new version of Website Maker extends the franchise with even more web design power. The Image Slider helps you to create professional slideshows; your site can play HD videos (H.264) with the new players; and revamped page navigation tools make it easier than ever to build the site you need. While the ability to add custom HTML code means you can extend your site with Paypal buttons, YouTube videos, interactive maps - just about anything you like.
The package includes one domain (www.your-name.com, for instance), five associated email accounts and 5GB of online hosting space, so that could be enough for many purposes. More space is available should you need it, though, and Website Maker MX now also allows you to publish to other hosts if you prefer, so you've plenty of web development freedom.
Note that the trial download here is for the free version of MAGIX Website Maker MX. The free version is limited to 500MB of free web space, only one email address, no web domain and includes adverts.