RapidWeAaver does what it says - makes website creation easy; drag-n-drop with Page and Media Inspectors and Preview button to see how it will look prior to posting to the website. It is especially useful for doing updates, as it performs all the publishing processes automatically at the click of a button (Publish) and pushes only the changes you made up to the website - so it is fast too. RapidWeaver has many template features built-in for Movie, Photo, Text, HTML and such for doing all the typical type of website work. An Version Update was available to bring RapidWeaver 3.x to Version 4 free of charge (by download) so I have the latest version of a very flexible, user-friendly tool, at a very affordable price. Bravo RapidWeaver - Well Done!
I am also pleased to report that purchasing a small Mac (Mac-Mini) to run the RapidWeaver on was the best computer investment I have ever made. Mac is by far, more intuitively user-friendly than a PC with Windows. Though I've worked with a PC (WinXP and WinME and Win3.1) for over 15-years and know alot of the ins and outs, trying to use a new program from scratch is natural on a Mac - they've designed the interface and operation to work in the sequence and way humans think, rather than making people learn how Micorosoft programs require you to do things. Bravo Apple and Mac!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The web site development software that does it all.May 12 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
RapidWeaver is the one I use. I started with iWeb - to limiting, then Dreamweaver - to complicated, finally RapidWeaver - just right. Let me start by saying in a half hour I built my first website using RapidWeaver. It was a very basic site for my family. I used the stock RapidWeaver program pages and created a very nice site that included a contact page and a photo album.
I next moved on to much more complex projects. RapidWeaver is theme based, but the only limitation is your creativity and ability. They make it very easy for you to use your developed graphic skills. The addons that are available are awesome. The community forum for support is the finest I have ever seen. I have been a Macintosh user for over 20 years, RapidWeaver is my favorite program. RapidWeaver is that good.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Very Good "Next Level" Web Design Software for MacMarch 14 2010
Andrew R. Hamilton
- Published on Amazon.com
An Overview of Rapidweaver Features
Rapidweaver 4 by Realmac, is billed as a complete, advanced, user-friendly web design app out of the box. After using this software in version 3 for 6 months and version 4 for 3 months I would have to say that Rapidweaver 4 is "nearly" complete, beginning to intermediate in capabilities, and somewhat user friendly.
Rapidweaver 4 is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) design platform for Mac users (Mac native app) that enables a beginner to create sites from the 40 included design themes or for an intermediate designer to create one from scratch using HTML, PHP, or CSS. I find that I can even add html within each theme that allows for a bit of "side by side" design.
The Themes of Rapidweaver 4
The 40 themes cover a variety of uses and uselessness. There are primarily great blog looking themes, a couple business themes, and a few "hobby" style themes. To get really cool and more original themes, additional theme addons will need to be purchased. The text and text style of each theme can be modified somewhat easily and some themes offer modification of header images, color, and texture look. However, to really drill down into the artwork color and size precisely, an additional plug in (RW Multi Tool) will need to be purchased (get used to that phrase!).
Rapidweaver 4 Page Types:
Rapidweaver ships with 10 different page types that can be used to create your website. The most commonly used style is the "Styled Text" page, which incorporates the look of the theme in header and side bar(s) but is customizable in the body using text, images, or video.
The second most important page style is the "Contact Form" which I absolutely love. It is easy to set up and somewhat easy to customize to accomplish a very professional contact form for businesses.
The other page styles are: Blog Page, File Sharing page, iframe, html (to create or import a page from html), Movie Album, and Quicktime (which both seem to accomplish the same thing), and something called an "Offsite Page".
The 10th page style is the worst of the bunch: Photo Album page using iPhoto - first of all, iPhoto is miserable photo management software to begin with. It was bad under Tiger (10.4+) and is even WORSE under Leopard and Snow Leopard (10.5+). But that is a different review.
The photo album page in Rapidweaver 4, works? with your iphoto library and, like iphoto, offers NO customization of handling or appearance and always looks hokie and hacked together. To put decent photos together in a photo album page style...are you ready for this? You will need to purchase an additional plug in.
Another page style that is missing from the basic set is called the "Site Map" page style. Every professional site should have a site map (not so important for personal sites) and if you want to build a site map quickly and easily, you guessed it, you will have to buy an additional plug in. The plugins are usually about $10-15 so they are still reasonable but it seems that so many are needed that the price of the software can nearly double just with functional plug in buys.
A person can easily add keyword, description, and title meta tags to each page of their design quite easily. I found that I could also quickly and easily add my favicon and Google analytics code to my entire site by pasting the code in a pre-determined box in the site set up menu.
The Rapidweaver 4 Interface:
Nothing special, and that is an understatement. It looks like the developers at Realmac are stuck in 1997 and don't realize that many serious computer users today have systems utilizing dual screens. When Rapidweaver first opens, it is a big single bulky blank screen with a few unintelligible buttons along the top. Once you select the "Add" button, a selector window pops up with a list of the pagetypes you can create. It disappears once a style is selected which keeps it clean for single monitor users but is annoying for people with monitor real estate to spare.
The button bar at the top is customizable like the standard OS 10 windows which is nice. However there are a couple critical design menus that need to stay open constantly but "disappear" after a modification is made. This would be the "page info" and "setup" boxes. They used to remain open in version 3 but that feature has regressed in version 4.
The main window is annoyingly designed for one screen as well in that it requires toggling back and forth to see a preview and the editor menu. Unlike Dreamweaver, Photoshop, or any other design app, there isn't a feature to customize your window layout. It would take nothing at all to put a feature in like this but now in version 4 they seem to be going backward to "pull down" menus for functionality.
Publishing with Rapidweaver 4
This function works pretty well but has its "glitchy" moments. Once you have finished designing your site and are ready to publish it to your domain. You can either select "publish" from the pull down menu or you can customize the toolbar above the main (only) window by adding the publish 'button' for a shortcut. It will then ask you for your ftp information and away you go! Rapidweaver chokes on large files and will utterly seize up. Apparently, Rapidweaver designers, as I've previously pointed out don't quite understand that we live in the 2010's and big files are a part of life for website design, however, as long as you keep the file under 85mb you should be OK. This causes a problem for video producers like me that have to ftp files for clients to approve
The software allows you to "republish all files" and has a second choice to just "publish site" neither of which are clear as to what function the command is actually carrying out. That is an annoying change with version 4 as version 3 used to have "publish site" and "publish changes to site" which made it clear what was being sent up. This becomes a problem when you find that Rapidweaver is constantly republishing large files that you already have online, whether you want it to or not.
Another publishing glitch is if you have a blog page registered with Technorati, you will get an error code EVERY time you try to ping Technorati with changes to your blog. Just get used to it. There is no getting around it.
One nice feature for iweb users is the ability to publish to your MobileMe account as opposed to your ftp address. Lastly, if you are clueless as to the first step about launching or hosting a site, realmac offers website hosting which works with Rapidweaver. Keep in mind, this is very similar to buying a bag of popcorn at the movies. You will pay a fortune and receive a fraction of what you could buy "on the outside".
I haven't yet had issues with Rapidweaver that I couldn't rectify (or live with) myself and when I have had weird issues like I mentioned above, there is a large forum on the realmac site and a thriving Rapidweaver community throughout one or two of the internets. The manual is in PDF form and is basically just a glorified brochure with a glossary. It did help me get started and work through some very basic issues but if you want to REALLY get into this software, don't look to the manual.
Rapidweaver 4 Bottom Line:
Yes, I know I have bagged on this software for 3 pages but I do like what I've done with it so far (examples: [...] etc) It is software that is heads and shoulders above iweb and Sandvox, is not as advanced or difficult to learn as Dreamweaver, and, in my opinion, has an overall cleaner and more professional look than Wordpress. Its chief competitor is probably Freeway by Softpress. Freeway is twice the price of Rapidweaver but when you add all the obligatory plug ins on RW the price difference is drastically reduced.
Overall for the price, Rapidweaver is worth every penny so far, despite the glitches and interface shortcomings.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Potential buyers, check the factsDec 16 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
As ramito mentioned, it's important to know which version Amazon is selling. I have version 3.5 and it required a paid upgrade to 3.6 or the current 4.2.1 version. I also have this latest version only since it was included as part of a Mac software bundle. RapidWeaver is no longer a $50 program, since its price increased to $79. Upgrades from 3.5 are $30. This is without considering additional expenses for Themes, Plugins, Utilities, etc.
For $79, I would strongly recommend that potential buyers take a look at Sandvox Pro by Karelia, or Freeway Express by Softpress. Don't base your purchase decision on how this compares to iWeb, since pretty much any program is superior to iWeb. I use Freeway Pro, and if I didn't I would seriously consider Sandvox or Freeway Express before buying RapidWeaver.
On a positive note, the RapidWeaver community is indeed helpful and RapidWeaver is a popular application. It's just overpriced considering the available alternatives and the expense of Add-ons as mentioned before. Amazon's price of $42.49 is definitely more attractive than $79, but still not something I would pay for this program.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Definitely NOT a WYSIWYG web app.March 12 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I've read some reviews of RapidWeaver in which the app is described as WYSIWYG. It is not. You essentially plug in your text into a word processor and headings in dialog boxes, then toggle over to see how things look once they are plugged into the selected template. There may be ways of altering templates (I gave up on RapidWeaver before investing that much time), but from what I've read, they're work arounds or require supplemental software. RapidWeaver may be great for people who are satisfied with others' designs, or who are willing to invest additional time and money to work around its limitations. There are a lot of third-party templates out there though. Freeway Pro is a good WYSIWYG web designer, but there seems to be a real paucity of templates for those who like to have somewhere to start. I understand that iWeb has drawbacks, but I do not agree that any of the "middle-ground" apps are so much better, including RapidWeaver. The world awaits a truly WYSIWYG web design app for the rest of us. Hopefully Apple will get with it and make iWeb what it has the potential to be. Or, if Adobe was smart, they would reintroduce PageMaker as a middle-ground application.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Best Single User Mac Web Site CreatorMay 12 2008
Kelly M. Spore
- Published on Amazon.com
I've been using Rapidweaver for several years now, ever since Don McAllister of ScreenCasts Online demoed it on his vidcast. The product was so amazing and filled my need so well, I actually swayed me over the edge to make the switch back to Mac. For years on the PC I had searched for web creation software that gave me power and ease, but nothing was availble. This amazing product changed all that, but it was and is Mac only. So I switched. It wasn't the only reason, but it was the final reason.
The program is theme oriented with lots of choices and custimzations. The program comes with lots of themes, that are added to each time they update the product. Each update also comes with new and useful features.
The program is nearly as simple as iWeb and 10 times more powerful. Updates have been regular and each well worth the time to download. At less than $50 it's extreamly useful and easy to cost justify. I believe I've paid for one update, but even that cost was low.
The user community of the product is just as amazing and the software creators regularly chime in when needed. THere is also a thriving 3rd party market for this program, creating plug-ins and themes. The Themes are configurable and if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty you can configure them far beyond their original foundation. The program works with your own domain, or with .Mac. So publishing is one touch simple. IF you want a blog, it's really easy to create. Want to add photos or videos to your site, that's easy too.
I'm a very happy user and highly reccomend this product to any Mac user.
All I can say is GIVE IT A TRY, YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED.