I admit it: I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I love web design. Put that together, and you’ve got many dozens of websites being produced for almost the same purpose – with each new revision replacing the last. This is the never ending cycle that is Blue Pyjama’s website. The latest tool that I’ve been trying is RapidWeaver from RealMacSoftware.
RapidWeaver is a halfway house between iWeb and raw HTML coding. RapidWeaver has over 40 professional themes that look really cool. There are business themes, school themes, blog themes and more! RapidWeaver has a plugin architecture that allows you to purchase more themes for your site. RealMacSoftware advises that you keep one theme for your whole site but allows you to have specific themes for each and every page.
Once you’ve set a theme you then have to add content. You do this by clicking “Add”. You are then prompted to specify a type of page; HTML, styled text, Blog, contact form, download page and more and of course you can install more using plug-ins. If you have even a vague knowledge of HTML I would advise choosing and HTML page for the majority of your content because A. it will follow the CSS styling that your theme provides and B. you have so much more control over everything from the point size to the colour of links (w00t go HTML – yes, I am a web designer).
RapidWeaver allows you to nest pages inside pages to create structures like “About Me>>My Dog>>My Dogs’ Friend” and have content on every page in the hierarchy. This is useful for me because I can do things like “Applications>>iPhone>>iDoku”. This doesn’t work in all themes so make sure that you do some testing before you go live.
A great part of the Application is “Snippets”. You can jot down snippets of text, HTML or images that you use frequently on your website and just but clicking on your snippet, have it inserted into wherever you are typing. Example: “123 Cars speaks Martian and Saturnus [space languages]. We are open on Tuesdays until 4pm”. This would be really tedious to type over and over.
RapidWeaver 4.2 sells for $79 (62€) from RealMacSoftware. I really like this application and encourage you to try it.
The web site that I’ve been testing RapidWeaver on is http://beta.bluepyjama.com. Your feedback on that site is much appreciated.