Software

RapidWeaver 7 simplifies web development for Mac designers

For 12 years Realmac's RapidWeaver has proven capable of building a range of sites. Find out how version 7.0 improves on the web design app's features.

Image: Realmac

For Mac users, it can be a challenge to choose a web development program because there are many capable options, including Blocs, EverWeb, and Sparkle. The solution I'll focus on is the RapidWeaver app, and several of the new features in the recently released version 7.

No web design experience needed to use RapidWeaver

RapidWeaver has enabled building a variety of websites, from small, simple blog sites to more complex pages possessing integrated e-commerce components. Realmac, the application's developer, designed the website-building app to generate search engine-friendly code. The platform assists in building sites compatible across a broad range of popular web browsers.

The 900+ prepackaged themes, add-ons, and program plug-ins from a variety of providers exponentially extend RapidWeaver's ability to integrate numerous elements—everything from fresh template designs and fonts to email forms, shopping carts, and Content Management Systems (CMS)—seamlessly within a website without having to code these components from scratch.

Such features and functionality deployed with the app over its 12-year history have resulted in a vibrant user base, the benefits of which include many third-party templates, add-ons, and plug-ins as well as a healthy support community, forums, tutorials, and podcasts. Thus, new users do not need to be web design experts or even particularly experienced using web development tools or HTML to begin designing and publishing effective, professional-appearing sites.

SEE: Job description: Front-end developer (Tech Pro Research)

What's new in RapidWeaver 7

Version 7 of RapidWeaver, released in late May 2016, introduces several new features to further simplify and empower website development.

A new SEO Health Check provides a mechanism for confirming a site's search engine readiness. Banner images can now more easily be added to an entire site or select pages. Mac designers can also more easily manage multiple website publishing locations, thanks to tweaks to the program's publishing engine.

A new live external preview, a refined user interface, and enhanced workflow routines simplify developing, editing, and testing site content. Working offline is easier, too, thanks to support for storing custom add-on folders on the desktop, and the ability to easily transfer files between multiple Macs for later use, if need be.

RapidWeaver turned an eye toward website safekeeping, too. The updated program includes the ability to back up project files to a local server. New themes, automatic CSS, and JavaScript tuning for improved site response and faster FTP performance round out other improvements packed in the version 7 release.

Cost

RapidWeaver costs just $99. Each standard license is valid for use on two Macs. A five-Mac license runs $189, while upgrades are $59. And free trials are available, so Mac professionals have nothing to lose if they're in the market for a well-supported web design app that simplifies the website development process and wish to give RapidWeaver a try.

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