RapidWeaver 4 Review

Simple website-creation tool RapidWeaver is back with a full point upgrade. We last reviewed the application at version 3.5 and were impressed by its intuitive but powerful collection of page-building features. Now, with a simpler interface and streamlined workflow it beats just about any entry level site builder on the market.

The core features are all still there. It enables users to build sites with bespoke, updatable pages using bundled templates. Blogs, photo albums, podcasts and contact forms can all be created with a click or two. Now, with a substantially revamped interface, it’s made even easier.

The formatting bar is a welcome addition, making text and page content easier to style and position.

A simplified Site Setup dialogue also benefits from the redesign, with site publishing now streamlined and bug-free. Meanwhile, there are larger previews in the themes section and a more integrated look and feel, thanks to RapidWeaver 4’s Leopard exclusivity.

That’s right, it only runs on Leopard, taking advantage of Quick Look and Core Animation features to give you visual feedback when browsing through media or uploading finished files to your server.

A small disappointment came when we inspected the package’s themes. Little has changed here since version 3.6. There are four new styles to pick from, but the overall quality is variable and one or two layouts are now beginning to show their age.

OUR VERDICT

RapidWeaver competes with online services like Blogger and MySpace, rather than other web-authoring tools. If we were in the market for a fun and frivolous home page, we know that we’d pick this desktop option every time.

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