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Artisteer is a WYSIWYG web design program, specficially geared toward designing and coding dynamic templates. It's an excellent program for those who are just getting into web design as it creates unique templates and allows designers to sell the custom templates, provided they do not use any photos from the stock library provided in the program. It can be considered a Joomla template maker as the Standard version of the program allows exportation of designs as Joomla 1.5 templates. It requires no advanced knowledge of HTML, CSS, ASP.NET, PHP or MySQL, making it very easy for anyone to use.
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Artisteer features an interface much like the Microsoft Office 2007 Suite, so those familiar with using that program will be a step ahead when it comes to learning how to use Artisteer.
It includes design suggestions, several templates and photos to use in creating custom headers, and many visual elements such as graidents and glares to enhance the designs. Users have control over colors, layouts, icons, widget placement, and header design.
The only issue with the program is no custom backgrounds can be uploaded into the program to completely customize the appearance of the themes created with it. A Joomla template maker should allow the user to have complete and full control over all design aspects.
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As of the date of this article, there is a Mac Beta version of Artisteer, limiting the use of the program to Windows based users. There are plans to develop a Linux version of the program by the end of 2009. Free upgrades for a year are available when you purchase the program, and there is plenty of customer support available.
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Artisteer is available in two versions:
Home and Academic: This version of the program is $49.95. It supports exporting WordPress themes and standard HTML templates. It's a very basic version of the program and works well for those who only need to focus on WordPress and HTML templates.
Standard: This version of the program is $129.95. It supports exporting WordPress themes, standard HTML templates, Joomla 1.5 templates, Drupal version 5 and 6 themes, ASP.NET applications and allows to export to ColorCharge Studio. The Standard version program offers much more than the Home and Academic version, and is suitable for most web developers who want to save time or learn additional skills in a shorter period of time.
There is a free trial of the program available directly from the Artisteer website. It is fully functional, but any exported themes are covered in watermarks. Removing Artisteer watermarks requires purchasing the program. In purchasing the Home and Academic version, the ability to export everything except WordPress and HTML templates is removed. Unlike other programs on the market such as Dreamweaver and Photoshop, this program has not seen programmers attempt to "crack" it and pirate it.
An upgrade from the Home and Academic to Standard costs $80 or the difference between the prices of the two versions.
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We do not claim to represent Extensoft or its products. Artisteer is a trademark of Extensoft. This is strictly a review of their product to assist web designers and developers in their decision whether or not to use the program. Logo is credited to Artisteer and Extensoft.