I’ve watched Rapidweaver grow from a simple home page design application in version 1.0, to multiple page designs and added capability in version 2.0 (and that strange Lite vs. Pro thing). Version 3.0 is worth a strong look if you want a simple way to create more complex web sites.
Sites. Not just the home page. The folks at RealMac Software have managed to add more options, more capability, AND make Rapidweaver easier to use. That’s right. Easier. Click, click, click.
But if you don’t know anything about the underlying code of a web page or a web site, you’ll find yourself making web pages and sites within minutes of trying out Rapidweaver. It’s that easy.
My first web page took all of 20-minutes and included a Home Page, a Weblog, links to other sites, links to some music made on GarageBand, a photo album page (built in integration with iPhoto), and a Movie page (can you tell which dancer is me?).
It’s all done with clicks and drag and drop (except the music, the movie, and me dancing). If you’re a .Mac user, you can publish your web site to your .Mac home directory so it’s accessible via the Internet.
Style in a web site is important so the basic version of Rapidweaver 3.0 comes with over 30 well-designed themes. Horizontal buttons, vertical buttons, photo and logo, colored backgrounds. You click, you choose.
Better still, Rapidweaver also has dozens of very inexpensive 3rd party themes available.
Want to do a weblog? It’s tough to do it much easier than with Rapidweaver. Need to pull in photos and create your own online photo album? Rapidweaver does that, too. Don’t worry about linking to each of your web site’s pages. Yep. Rapidweaver does that, too.
I don’t mean to gush with praise. Rapidweaver isn’t without a few blemishes, but the maturity from versions 1.0, 2.0, shows well in 3.0. RW is not for every web site designer. It’s targeted for someone who wants to create a nice looking web site, web log, or attractive web pages in minutes, not days.
The proof, as they say, is in the clicking. In 20 minutes I put together a full web site (except for the Greeking text). Click Here for version #1 of my site using Rapidweaver. Then click on the tab buttons to see the different looks for each page.
Can you tell which dancer is me in the movie?
Version #2 of my site needed an entirely different look and feel. Using the RW themes, I had a completely different looking web site but the same content. Total time of uprade? About 3 minutes. Click Here for version #2.
The final version was much the same. Click, click, click. I had a whole new web site. Different color scheme, different buttons, different everything except the actual content, which stayed the same. Click Here for version #3 of my Rapidweaver web site.
In 30-minutes I produced three different web sites. This is a great tool for “proof of concept” requirements. Same content, many faces. Click Here to view all the details from the RealMac Software site.
I said that Rapidweaver wasn’t without blemishes. There’s a few. I’d like to be able to put more than one QuickTime movie into a single page. I’d also prefer to be able to put content into “regions” or containers, which can then be dropped into various locations of a page Theme.
I also had a problem with the “styled text” page where making some text “bold” caused a whole paragraph to become bold.
Frankly, that’s high end stuff, though. Do you need to know HTML to make nice looking web pages? No. It helps, because you can add some nice touches. Check out my pages on the links above. Let me know what you think. Three web sites in 30-minutes.
Not 30-minutes each. 20-minutes for the first one, just a few minutes each for the other two.
Do you build web pages or web sites? If you’re into Dreamweaver or GoLive then you’re five or six levels above Rapidweaver. And about 10 or 20 levels above it in cost. What tools do you use to build your sites’ pages? Share your comments, thoughts, and experiences with other readers. Click on the Comments link below.
I almost forgot this: Themes are important in RW. 3.0 comes with a few dozen but it’s better to have dozens or more to choose. I have most of those from RapidWeaverThemes which integrate nicely with RW. Some are a bit gaudy (there’s no accounting for taste…) but a bunch are excellent. They’re the best of all the Themes for RW.
Themes will give your site a fresh, new look, with minimal effort. RapidWeaverThemes also has a ButtonBuilder applications and some classy looking Flash themes. Themes are, generally, NOT expensive. The latest 10 Pack is very attractive and will cost you just $4.95. Click Here for the RapidWeaverThemes site.