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RapidWeaver

Although the preceding applications focused on alternatives to iWeb for blogging and podcasting, RapidWeaver is an overall iWeb alternative. It enables you to create all manner of web pages and content including blogs, movie and photo albums, specialized contact and file-sharing pages, and basic web pages that can be used for any purpose. Like iWeb, RapidWeaver includes a number of themes and templates for pages. Although it is a bit more restrictive in terms of modifying pages from its templates than iWeb, it does include a theme inspector that can be used to permanently modify its themes as well as allow more flexibility with individual pages. Also like iWeb, it automatically generates a site navigation menu on all your pages.

Like Blog.Mac, it also includes the iLife Media Browser for easy access to your digital photos, music, and movies. Likewise it includes support for generating podcasts as part of its blog pages and has built-in support for Haloscan comments on blogs. However, like Blog.Mac and Podcast Maker, it does not include support for recording the audio content of a podcast.

RapidWeaver is a great website tool for many users. Although it doesn’t offer the full range of iWeb’s drag and drop modification of template elements on a page, it uses a much smaller resource footprint and its forms-based navigation and data entry may be more intuitive for many users than iWeb. It also generates much cleaner and easier to edit HTML code than iWeb does, resulting in smaller file sizes and faster downloads of your site by visitors (as well as making direct-code modifications easier, if you are so inclined).

Like the other tools mentioned above, RapidWeaver supports easy publishing to .Mac or an FTP server. It also enables you to publish only files that have been updated since the site was last published. This feature is built into iWeb only when uploading to .Mac, which is one of the headaches of using iWeb (particularly when a site has more than a handful of pages) to create and publish sites for later upload by FTP.

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