One question we get often from Mac360 readers is how to enhance Apple’s iWeb to make it do more than it does. It’s not that iWeb is crippled.
Well, yes it is. iWeb is not designed to be a full-fledged web site development tool. It’s designed to keep Mac users in line to pay for their annual .Mac account fees.
Or, so it seems. iWeb is a part of each new Mac and the latest edition to the iLife suite of applications. In true drag and drop simplicity, iWeb lets the average Mac user build a very attractive web site with plenty of bells and whistles and with little to no knowledge of XHTML, CSS, databases, FTP protocols, and so on.
iWeb is drag and drop, cut and paste, type until your fingers hurt simple. The resulting web sites look great, with Apple’s graphic and design know-how built right in.
So what’s the problem? Once Mac users learn something then they want to do more. iWeb doesn’t do more. At least, it doesn’t do anything more with much ease and plenty of difficulty, thanks to Apple’s cradle-to-grave closed system for .Mac users.
But what if you like iWeb, you know iWeb, and you still want more from iWeb? Welcome to the iWeb Buddy System, a collection of utilities which make iWeb work better, if only a little better.
First on the list of must-have utilities for iWeb addicts is, ta da!! iWeb Buddy.
This great little utility lets iWeb users escape from the world of .Mac.
By default, iWeb thinks all your web sites will exist on a single domain name. One site for dad, one for mom, one for little Billy, and one for his big sister Sally. Thanks a great idea for members of Apple Utopialand, but not necessarily for the rest of us.
iWeb Buddy lets you add as many sites and domain names as you want (within practical reason; confusion sets in at about a two or three dozen). Publish one of your sites to Apple’s .Mac. Publish another site to a web site host somewhere else.
iWeb also messes with the RSS links and has no statistics. iWeb Buddy adds the appropriate RSS feed links so readers can always find you, no matter which web site was created in iWeb. The links are directed back to a feed tracking system such as Feed Burner.
Statistics? iWeb says, “We don’t need no stinkin’ statistics!” Actually, you get a web page counter, but that’s about it. iWeb Buddy lets you set up your web sites using the free Google Analytics or the popular Mint statistics software.
As you might suspect, Google’s is free and easy, Mint costs money and is more complex. Both have great looking stats.
iWeb Buddy also lets you add the popular social bookmarking links to your iWeb site. Google, del.icio.us, Digg, Technorati. They’re all there and just a click away.
Among other buddies for iWeb is Multisite for iWeb. It does one thing similar to iWeb Buddy—it lets you manage multiple web sites using iWeb, but not much more. You’re still in charge of figuring out how to upload your sites to a host server.
Looking for free utilities? Easy iWeb Publisher lets you drag and drop upload your iWeb site to a web host’s server.
iWeb is a great way for the average Mac user to build an attractive web site, but it doesn’t make nice-nice outside of the non-Apple ecosystem for Mac users. From our perspective, iWeb Buddy is a great addition.
Update – Marcus Zarra, the developer for iWeb Buddy, is offering Mac360 readers a 10-percent discount. Click Here to visit the iWeb Buddy store, and enter the code, MAC360 to receive the discount. Hey, every little bit helps, right?