Part of my day job is to build and manage web sites and to help owners create content for their sites. How many ways can you build a web site? What does it cost to build a web site?
Sites can be coded by hand, line by line. That gets expensive. Sites can be created using many free online content management systems. Free but not so easy. Or, use your Mac to point and click, drag and drop to build a site.
Old School, Meet New School
Designing and building a complex, state-of-the-art web site became an expensive effort.
RapidWeaver 5 (RW5) brings the latest web site bells and whistles to the point and click, drag and drop world that Mac users know and love.
If you know what you want your web site to say and do, RapidWeaver makes it easy with simple to use building blocks.
Select And Click And Write
Forget coding. With RW5 you build a site piece by piece as a project. Select from a few dozen well-designed themes. Each theme has point and click configuration for width, color, fonts, styles, and pages.
Pages? RW5 does 11 page styles. Blog, Contact Form, File Sharing, Code, iFrame, Movie Album, Photo Album, QuickTime, Offsite Page, Sitemap, and Styled Text.
The floating tools palette gives you control over header, footer, fonts, color schemes and styles, page names—even mixing and matching theme designs within a site. The built-in media browser gives you drag and drop access to photos from iPhoto, movie clips, music, and Safari bookmarks.
Adding content is merely writing what you want, where you want it to go. Blog headlines and articles. Sidebar information. All the elements can be moved around and place on any single page or on every page.
RW5 Community Help
RapidWeaver makes complex web sites as easily as they can be. And web sites can be very complicated to set up and manage. Fortunately, there’s a large community of add-on products for RW5.
These include hundreds of well-designed themes—web site styles beyond those included in RW5.
Plug-ins provide additional functionality to each site you build.
Sites can be uploaded to a remote server or MobileMe with a click using FTP or sFTP. Viewers to your site can be tracked using a couple of tracking tools which can be added to RW5. It even generates site maps. One for search engines. One for your readers.
Building a complex web site with photos, blogs, movies, slideshows, and other modern site bells and whistles does not get any easier than in RW5. While RW5 is easy to use it is not easy to master the numerous options. That requires diligence, patience, and practice.
If you’ve outgrown Apple’s anemic iWeb and want more control without delving into the intricacies of code, RapidWeaver is a good choice, provided you don’t mind your site living within the confines of someone else’s idea of site design.