I maintain two websites, one is a very simple “landing page” for anyone who might be searching the web for me or one of my immediate family. The other is slightly more complex with some of my pictures, a little about me and an RSS feed from this site. Both were created using iWeb from the Apple iLife ’09 suite for Macs. This is a very simple, WYSIWYG editor that allows you to make quite good looking sites quickly. It works especially nicely with Apple’s MobileMe service.
However, it does have a few quirks and limitations. For example, if you want a “favicon” (the little logo that often appears in most browser bookmarks) you have to add it manually every time you change a page. Also, it does not play nicely with Google search (so people are less likely to find your site) and there is no way of integrating a e-commerce system if you want to sell anything. I was hoping that the recent refresh of iLife would address these but sadly it did not. So, next day, I bought a coopy of Rapidweaver by RealMac Software.
Rapidweaver is a web site creation tool, for Macs, that has a very good reputation and a strong developer community creating new themes and functionality. I had previously played with the demo and been a little put off – it was not as intuitive as iWeb – but now I have reached the stage where I want more capability in my websites and in any that I develop for others.
So, over the last few days I have been using with Rapidweaver to recreate my existing website, but with an improved look and feel. There have been a few false starts and some frustrations as I figured out the best way of doing certain things and getting certain effects. However, it is now finished and published.
There are things that I don’t like about Rapidweaver: for example there is no easy way of making the same change in a theme’s settings to multiple pages at the same time, unless you change all of them; or perhaps I have not yet figured it out. On the whole it provides a major upgrade in my ability to create good looking websites. Now all I need are some customers.