It’s been fifteen or more years since the first time I tried to build a website. Back then, there was only three ways to make your website; Learn HTML, pay someone to do it, or to use a tool provided by a web hosting site like Angel-fire or Homestead. The last of those options would work, but it wasn’t always secure, options were limited, and themes were either pitifully slim, or non-existent. Another pitfall of the old internet based site builders, especially in the hay-day of HomeStead, was the inability to save your progress locally. If the site went down for maintenance while you were in the middle of your latest and greatest update to your webpage at three in the morning after picking just the right Spice Girls lyrics to use in a mocking tone to describe your ex girlfriend and you are about to hit publish when you get the dreaded error 404; Apica’s Load Testing Tool is a way around these problems. It was even worse if you did manage to hit publish, and it’s doing the “I’m working here Jack, leave me alone and go get some coffee and a bagel” dialogue box, and then your dial-up connection dies on you. Ah yes, those were the days of ripping out hairs and fits of rage with AOL’s name on your lips. Thankfully today there is a better way.
RapidWeaver, made by RealMacSoftware, is easy to use and quite functional. RapidWeaver has more than one method of making websites, so you can pick and choose what you feel the most comfortable with, or the ones that fit your needs. You can pick from a default number of themes, forty-seven themes in fact if memory serves, and you can, with no knowledge of HTML or other web-based programing languages, change the color of the text, it’s position, or any other element you want. With RapidWeaver, if you poke around on the internet for a little while, you can find a wealth of more themes, plug-ins, and random bits of HTML code that can really make your website stand out.
RapidWeaver is the best, most powerful tool I have found to build websites on the Mac to date. I have used iWeb in the past, and while I like iWeb for it’s simplicity, it lacks the power and range of options that RapidWeaver is capable of. I was going to try and have a good website built up and ready for you, my readers, to preview what RapidWeaver really can do, but to be honest I haven’t been able to find the time nor the inspiration necessary to do so. On the plus side, it’s a good thing that this review is a little behind. Apple recently confirmed that iWeb is about to be dead. iCloud, so it seems, will not let you do web-hosting like you could if you were a mobile-me customer in the past, which is a shame. Not only is that one of the only reasons most people really liked mobile-me, but it’s also a shame because that is one of RapidWeaver’s killer functions; the ability to publish to your mobile-me web hosting account. Fortunately, there is a fair amount of tutorials online for mobile-me customers to make the transition to other web-hosting sites.
If you decide to take the plunge and buy RapidWeaver, I can personally guarantee you that you will find it to be easy to use, and worth every penny you pay. Whether you use FTP or SFTP, you’re covered. And if you’re like me and plan on making Apple suck it for another year and get every penny out of your Mobile-Me account, you’re covered too. Bottom-line is – for my money – It’s RapidWeaver, or nothing. Also, if you act soon, RapidWeaver 5 is available through the Mac AppStore for $59.99, a twenty dollar savings over buying it online at the RealMacSoftware website.
App receives a 9 out of 10 possible points.