Some of the teachers in my school want to build their own web sites. Even in the information age it’s easier said than done.
For Mac users I recommend a classy Mac app that brings 21st century web site bells and whistles to a site. But it gets you there in pure point and click, drag and drop style. In other words, if you like Apple’s iLife iWeb app, but find it sophomoric, you’ll like my favorite web site builder.
All That Glitters Is Not A Web Site
Or try any one of dozens of places to build a personal site for no cost.
Or, grab your Mac and RapidWeaver and skip all those problem areas and revert to what the Mac does best—drag and drop, point and click.
First, start by selecting a theme—a web page style, design, layout. Over three dozen are included in RW. Then, think about what pages you need. An About page. A page with photos, like a photo gallery.
Or, add a blog, or a page with movie clips. Whatever the kind of page you want, RapidWeaver sets it up and ready to go with just a click. Photos, images, music, movies, can be inserted just using drag and drop. RW comes with 10 different kinds of pages.
Change fonts and styles like a word processor. Crop and enhance photos. Even drop in Google AdSense ads to your web pages.
Navigation links are handled automatically as you add pages. Sub-pages—pages linked below other sections—are also drag and drop, and the links stay linked. Use a floating navigator of tools to change background colors, fonts, add links to other sites.
RapidWeaver lets you set up not one, but multiple web sites. Once you’ve added content and you’re ready to publish your site to the web, RapidWeaver makes that part easy, too.
A couple of clicks will upload your RW web site to Apple’s MobileMe, and keep it in sync. Built-in is FTP support so you can upload your site or sites to a web server automatically.
The RW app is built around WebKit, which is the engine that runs Safari. So, as you’re shaping your web site you can see exactly how the pages will look on the internet.
RW isn’t a walled garden, either. There are hundreds of site layout designs (themes) available, and many, many more plugins which create different kinds of pages and add more functionality. But it all works the same way. Drag and drop. Point and click.
RapidWeaver isn’t cheap, but you can try it out for free. You could build the same kind of web site using just a text editor and not pay a penny—after you’ve learned all the code needed to add those lovely bells and whistles.
If you’re bored with iWeb and want more—but don’t want to learn all the code that makes a web site go—RW is a good choice. The negatives? The choices can be utterly overwhelming, so start slowly, and build one page at a time.