We’ve tested a fair few web design services and programs in the past, but I’ve got to say that this new Artisteer package has taken the genre to a completely new level. On the face of it it looks like any other DIY page designer, but what makes this one absolutely terrific is the kind of design help you get from the options available on the menu.
Spend no more than a couple of minutes hitting the Suggest Design button and you’ll quickly see what I mean. The program makes intelligent decisions not just about layout options, sidebars, header graphics etc, but also throws in some excellent component choices regarding colour themes, typography and suchlike. I’ve never seen software this clever.
Now before you rush off all excited, we’ve got to state that this is not a web page editing program in any way. You can’t add text, alter links or do anything specific with the designs that it throws up. All you can do with the program is generate an almost infinite number of designs at the speed of light, tweak them to your heart’s content in terms of layout, colours, fonts etc and then output/export the code to import into WordPress as a theme you can use immediately. It also spits out generic web site layouts, but it’s the WordPress theme side that is really stunning.
You can insert your own header graphics and logos, tweak the navigation bar exhaustively, choose from a huge selection of layouts, sidebars…well you get the picture.
Now one thing that’s guaranteed is the fact that the resultant code will be kind of gnarly, and from a cursory glance it certainly looks that way. Compromises always have to be made in this type of code generator, just look at Dreamweaver code for a good example. But nevertheless, for someone who needs to get a fast WordPress theme up and running for themselves or Auntie Maude, it’s just about perfect.
Produce design, export files, upload to a server and import as a new WordPress theme. Superb. Sure it’s not going to dent the appeal of getting a really professional theme done by a ‘proper’ designer, but it may cause problems to the offshore theme machine guys who pile them high and cheap. The home version costs $49.95, which could pay for itself in about 10 minutes in the right hands. Lovely.
Artisteer is the first and only Web design automation product that instantly creates fantastic looking, unique Website templates and Blog themes. Design awesome WordPress Blogs and professional Websites in Minutes. Easy to Use. No need to learn Photoshop, CSS, HTML or other technologies. Export as WordPress Theme or CMS Template…