Until now you’ve had to be a Photoshop expert to design custom XSitePro templates. No longer. I’ll show you how to create beautiful designs for XSitePro websites without Photoshop, and without having to possess one grain of artistic ability. Ultimately, XSitePro web sites are all based on panel graphics, the trick is to create a beautiful website image to start with. Here’s how it’s done.
The mechanics of building templates for XSitePro are determined by the architecture of the software itself. The standard XSitePro template includes a header panel, left and right panel, a footer panel and the main panel. So no matter what path you take you need to end up with graphical elements that align with the main panels.
The only method that allows for the precision fit of these graphical elements is to slice an existing graphic into discrete panel components and then reassemble them inside XSitePro. No matter what you do, that part remains constant.
So the problem then becomes, not so much how to do it, but how to make the initial graphic. If you are not a Photoshop expert then you have very limited options, and even if you are a Photoshop expert, do you want to be spending all of our time designing templates or building internet marketing sites?
I recommend studying the full step by step guide showing how this is done from scratch, but here is the essential point. Use the right tool to build a template.
I use a tool that generates beautiful custom website templates to start and then slice it into images that match the main XSitePro panels.
Not only does the tool create beautiful, contemporary looking templates, but it helps you design the templates by providing design suggestions in a fully interactive Office 2007 like interface. It’s slick, powerful and so easy to use that it can make even the worst graphical designer look great. Trust me, I know!
I start with a basic design template and then proceed to customize every feature imaginable; backgrounds, colors, header graphics, footer graphics, gradients, rounded boxes, sheets, fonts, widths, height, layouts – absolutely everything. I can start with any of the dozens of base templates and have a beautifully designed template ready in less than an hour. I can save the design and create variations of it for various reasons – seasonal, events, holidays etc. The ability to customize your templates is boundless.
An amazing feature is its ability to use any graphic image for the header, but then it can overlay it with really cool semi transparent graphical elements like glare effects, swirls, gradients and other image profiles. It even has a bunch of royalty free photo objects that you can use when creating the header giving it yet more professional polish.
For those that have trouble with color coordination it also provides color themes that you can apply to the whole design giving it that professional quality that all of us recognize, but few of us can do properly.
I call this the “What You Want Is What You Get” approach to design.
The end result is a top quality, beautiful and professional looking custom website template.