RapidWeaver 5.2.2 review

Title: RapidWeaver software version 5.2.2

By Linda McNeil
Company/Producer’s name: Realmac Software
Online address: http://www.realmacsoftware.com/
Technical support #(for software): http://www.realmacsoftware.com/support

Subject(s): website development,
Interest Level: x_Business x_all ages _x_anyone interested___
Price: $ 79.00
Copyright: 2011 (new version 5.3.1 coming out for better integration with Mt Lion)
Hardware requirements: Requires Mac OS X 10.5+ (compliant with Mt Lion)

Description of program or book:
RapidWeaver is a website development application for the MAC. The program provides you with all of the tools you need to quickly and efficiently publish websites without learning any code or html. However, customization is possible for those who want to add variations with the addition of plug-ins, CSS, and other advanced tools.
The RapidWeaver 5 program comes with more than 40+ great designs and themes (more available for various prices online). The themes include a wide variety of page types (all of which link nicely with your iPhoto library) that can be incorporated into the website. The program very efficiently organizes and categories your pages with a sitemap so that publishing online is very simplistic. There is built in support for FTP & SFTP uploading of sites.

Strengths:
1. RapidWeaver focuses on simplicity over flexibility. You get all of the tools needed to create a wide variety of page formats including blogs, photo galleries, videos, slideshows, podcasts, etc.
2. RapidWeaver has posted a wide variety of online video tutorials for getting up to scratch. I found the best tutorial was done by Screencasts online. However, these tutorials also created a weakness in that there were not enough of them available unless you spent more money.
3. The ability to work in different modes (edit and preview) made the interface easy to navigate.
4. Publishing a site was very simplistic and easy. (See comments)
5. Drag and drop functionality is definitely a plus.
6. Automatic navigation with broken links a thing of the past.
7. Indefinitely expandable- third party plugins are numerous.

Weakness & Limitations:
1. RapidWeaver’s focus on simplicity over flexibility was a drawback to anyone who didn’t know html or CSS because you had to go with the canned themes.
2. Themes packaged with the program were basically similar. For anyone who wanted something different the themes must be purchased from outside sources, many of which were suggested to readers.
3. Manual could be more user friendly
4. Sometimes I was unable to find an undo feature and ended trashing/starting over.
5. Hard to find work around when I wanted to modify a design to meet my
needs.

Comments:
I had all of my content available when I started to review this application for our usergroup. I spent a few hours viewing the tutorials and the user manual. For the most part I gathered a general understanding of the application’s intricacies with the available free materials. I would have really liked having access to the paid tutorials in hopes that the questions still remaining would be answered.
I also spent more time than I wanted perusing an appropriate design theme. I liked parts of one and different parts of others. Finally I settled down and created a site for my content.
When I went to upload it to my host site which allows subdomains, the trouble started. I spent many hours troubleshooting the potential problem. I even brought it to a usergroup meeting for others to see what wasn’t correct. Finally I gave up and switched themes but not content for the site. Uploading with the new theme went through very easily. I concluded that the previous theme had bugs in it. Immediately after that I created another simple site with RapidWeaver5 and uploaded it without any problems.
New users who need a website setup quickly will find this a good WYSIWYG application that allows drag and dropping within the navigation sidebar.
Even though I had some trouble with a buggy template, I was pleased by how easily it created an uncluttered website (www.lindamcneil.com) with one click publishing. Personally I would have preferred more clearly defined ways to mold the themes to my needs. However, I do appreciate the lower learning curve with RapidWeaver5 than Dreamweaver who constantly changes their user interface arrangement.

Ratings:

*Excellent

good

*Average

Weak/Acceptable *Poor
Ease of installation:

*
Format or size of book:      NA
Ease of use:(reading)

*.5
Documentation:

*.5
Product support:

*.5
Packaging:                        NA
Index:
Graphics:

Sound:

QuickTime usage:

Color:

Overall rating:

Appropriate for: _x__Business _x__Education _x__Personal

May 2012 Meeting

Tuesday May 29th, 2012 Meeting at 6:30

RapidWeaver

Rapidweaver

MacBUS
will present a demonstration of
RapidWeaver 5

How to create a website without knowing how to use HTML

Say Hello to RapidWeaver 5

RapidWeaver makes it ridiculously easy to create stunning websites on your Mac. Whether you’re building your very first website or your fiftieth, RapidWeaver provides you with the know-how to quickly publish websites to be proud of.

No matter what you want to build – be it stunning online photo-slideshows straight from your iPhoto library, a company website or your own blog – RapidWeaver lets you do it with a minimum of fuss.

Code-Free Creation

RapidWeaver comes with 11 built-in page types – from blogs to sitemaps, photo albums to contact forms – so you can start work on every page in your site from the get-go. All without needing to know a line of code.

Simply choose the pages you need for your project, select a theme – customising it using the included variations – and add your content. That’s all there is to it!

This months meeting will be held at the
Giant Food Store
The center has wireless Internet connections,
a cafe serving breakfast, lunch and
dinner,and plenty of free parking.
315 York Road 2nd Floor Conference room
Willow Grove, PA 19090