The ability for the average consumer to build a standards compliant Web site that is visually pleasing to readers while taking advantage of applications like Apple’s popular iLife suite is not as easy as it may seem. Some people choose to build sites themselves, but for others, having an application like
RapidWeaver from RealMac Software makes all the difference.
“The main RapidWeaver interface is very simple to use,” Daniel Counsell, the application’s developer, told MacCentral. “All of the advanced features are hidden away in a floating pallet — we find this gives users a gentler learning curve than trying to present them will all the options in the main window. Users can build a whole site without the need to open the page inspector. It’s only when they want finer control over page names and such that they need to look at this.”
With the latest update released today, RapidWeaver 3.2 allows users to dig even deeper into building their Web site. While RapidWeaver integrates with Apple’s iLife applications, allowing users to do tasks like easily drop and position pictures in their site, the new version has also added many advanced features.
“Our first priority with RapidWeaver was to make sure it played nice with the iLife suite and .Mac,” said Counsell. “We pretty much got that down in the last version, so when it came to developing RapidWeaver 3.2 we really started to focus more on improving the Blogging feature set — for example we’ve just added categories and greater control over the RSS feeds & Podcasting.”
In addition to being able place photos on your Web site, RapidWeaver now gives users access to a built-in media inspector so you can re-size, flip and rotate photos. A new theme system also allows users further customization of the Web site templates included with the application.
“One of the main things the more advanced users are excited about is the streamlined site output and better control of how the site structure is set up,” said Counsell. “I also think all level of users will appreciate the new image editing features. They are absolutely awesome, giving the user full control of the size and orientation of an image.”
A page inspector allows you to change and modify the way pages are set up. For example, you can specify file, path and folder names, set the format and compression for images, add and remove meta tag information and associate extra files with each page and many other tasks.
Among other changes RapidWeaver 3.2 includes Smart Publishing; One Click Flash Slideshows; Live PHP Rendering; Multiple Themes Per Site; Custom CSS Support; and Improved Podcast Support.
“Design is very important and we’ve made some massive changes to the way the templates are implemented,” said Counsell. “We got a lot of feedback from our users saying, ‘I love this template, but I wish the sidebar was on the other side’ or ‘Why is the width of my site fixed, I want it to resize with the browser.’ We looked long and hard at how we could give our users these options without over complicating RapidWeaver. We came up with Theme Variations — you’ve really got to use it to appreciate how slick it is. Users can now mix and match theme options to get the perfect site — these include color, size and layout to name just a few, and not only that but each page can have a different theme or variation, It’s one of the new features we’re really, really proud of.”
RapidWeaver 3.2 is available from the company’s Web site and costs $34.95.