Today I'll be taking a look at a service called XHTML Slicer that takes the hard work out of web development by doing all the coding for you. XHTML Slicer is ideal for busy web designers who want to be productive and outsource the tedious XHTML/CSS work as well as the casual Photoshop tinkerer that isn't up-to-date with all of the modern CSS techniques and browser compatibility tweaks.
How It WorksFirst, you send XHTML Slicer any templates or PSD files of the website design along with a document detailing what the project is and the specifics of how the website should work. XHTML Slicer can work with the following file types: Photoshop PSD (Preferred), Fireworks PNG, Illustrator AI as well as PDFs, JPG/JPEGs, GIFs or TIFFs. Once that is all done, you pay half of the price (350 USD for a one day turn around, 200 for a 3 day turnaround) upfront. Then XHTML Slicer goes to work checking to see if your design will cause any problems and if not, proceeding to slice your template into valid XHTML, CSS and optimize it for SEO.
Once the slicing has been done, you can view the progress and ask for any revisions before the website is browser tested with Firefox, IE6/7, Safari and Opera. Then you get to see the finished product and pay the remaining balance. Fortunately, if you find any problems at all with the newly-sliced pages within 3 days of the work, XHTML Slicer offers free technical support.
QualityWhile I have not personally used XHTML Slicer's services, I did go through their portfolio and have a look at their XHTML and CSS. True to their word, markup was valid and they code with the XHTML 1.0 Strict Doctype rather than the easy way out with XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
Examples of XHTML Slicer's CSS and XHTML markup.
From the portfolio websites I have analyzed, code is neat, well organized, structured and commented on. As far as other code comments goes, XHTML Slicer makes use of IE conditional comments to utilize IE version-specific CSS depending on the browser viewing the website, rather than resorting to IE hacks. However, I did not see the use of any title tags for links which is good SEO practice and adds relevancy to the pages the link goes to. Although that might have something to do with the fact that not all clients know exactly which links will be going where when they order slicing. Regardless, just mention the use of title tags in your order and I don't think they'll have a problem including them.
On the other hand, XHTML Slicer made use of meta descriptions and keywords to gain the upper hand with search engines. As a comparison, many of the other slicing services I have been around don't take particular consideration to SEO when creating these web pages.
CompetitionXHTML Slicer is not the only slicing service on the Internet. A quick search online will find you more than a handful. However, not all of these services have the same price/time ratio and many of them advertise a certain price which keeps increasing depending on layout options (fluid/flexible, header stretch, Safari/Opera compatibility, code comments etcetera).
After having looked at other similar slicing services, I would trust XHTML Slicer with any slicing work I might find myself with. I encourage you to check out other services first and see if their price and code quality comes close to what it would with XHTML Slicer. For example, XHTMLized charges 339 for a 3 day turnaround slicing of 1 page and CSS Sage charges 345 for a 7 day turnaround slicing of 1 page, whereas XHTML Slicer charges 200 for the same work with a 3 day turnaround. The choice is yours.
Disclosure: This was a paid review.