RapidWeaver

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iWeb always used to be the best way to make a simple, yet functional website on a Mac without the need to learn how to code. However, with no major release since 2009, it’s now largely out of date, so various other companies have been stepping up, releasing replacements to the app. RapidWeaver, by Real Mac Software is one of them. While it serves to replace iWeb, it also seeks to improve upon it, with more advanced templates to help you create stunning websites.

One thing you can’t complain about is the lack of features, as it’s packed full of fantastic tools. You can add lots of features such as blogs or photo albums using the app, and the smart publishing, which only publishes the changes made, is brilliant. The included themes are also really nice, providing something for everyone. Everything is also made easier by the code snippets tool, which enables you to save frequently used code and input it into the website quickly. With an automatic navigation bar and the ability to add tracking tools such as Google Analytics or LiveStats, it’s got everything a website owner would need.

The best part of iWeb was the simplicity. It allowed even the most computer illiterate of users to create nice websites within a few minutes. Anybody could use the themes provided, add their own texts and images, with fantastic results. RapidWeaver carries on in this spirit. All you need to do is choose a theme, add in specific pages and then add in your own images and text. It’s incredibly easy. Even things such as WordPress can be difficult to set up, but this is easy from the start, right until the very end. Thankfully, even though it is simple, everything is still powerful and beautiful.

Compared to iWeb, this is much more powerful. It’s really easy to customise everything, such as the themes. It’s also much better if you need to manage your web hosting, with the app allowing you to manage folders and documents that are used in your website. You can then reuse documents on different pages, whereas iWeb would upload an additional copy, meaning that RapidWeaver saves you space. This might sound complicated, but it’s all done in a way so that it remains easy. Even if this isn’t enough, it’s also got the small touches, such as the ability to save the same FTP details for use across projects or an automatically created site map.

One of the best things about RapidWeaver is the add-on’s store, which provides extra themes, plugins and extra stacks available. Usually, for third party software, the lack of support is useless, and apart from the features built in, it’s difficult to get extra functionality. However, the RapidWeaver store ensures that this app has plenty of support. You can get extra such as a cart system, making RapidWeaver perfect for a store; integration Blogger or Tumblr or even an add-on for comments. This allows RapidWeaver to transform into something really powerful, so that it can suit everyone’s needs. Best of all, most of them are good value.

While the app isn’t that expensive, it can seem expensive compared to alternatives such as WordPress. However, for the price, you do get a fully featured app, that can create some powerful and attractive websites. This means that it is still good value for money. Even so, you do need to be careful, as it can become very expensive if you need to buy a lot of add-ons in order to get a website looking the way you want it to.

In conclusion, RapidWeaver is a fantastic app that allows anyone to make a great website. It’s powerful, with all of the features you will need, and has a great store that enables you to add a lot more features to the app. However, it’s quite expensive, especially if you want to add a lot of third party expansions. It’s certainly the best tool currently available on the Mac.

Rating: 4/5

Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rapidweaver/id402477569

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