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What is RapidWeaver?

Webmasters who love to design sites using the simple, popular, and elegant Mac operating system (OS) owe it to themselves to check out RapidWeaver. RapidWeaver was created by the award-winning, independent, UK-based developer Realmac Software.

RapidWeaver is a Mac-only site design app that integrates seamlessly with OS X, allowing for instance the program to pull images directly from a user’s iPhoto library. The app has been rated and reviewed positively by publications such as Macworld and MacUser.

RapidWeaver’s intended purpose is to provide a unified product that fills the gap between very basic, beginner-level Web design programs and advanced software that is intended for professionals. The interface is key to this plan, and it executes this plan by combining simple themes and drag and drop elements with the ability to alter websites easily and create beautiful pages based on custom code.

Features and Benefits

On one end of the extreme, RapidWeaver allows users to build pages without having any knowledge of code. To accomplish this, the app comes pre-loaded with a number of “page types” such as blogs, photo albums, and contact forms. From the moment you start working with RapidWeaver, the user is guided on the complete web design journey with its intuitive design of basic prompts, steps and visual cues.

Within minutes of getting started, a user can be building a website. These page types are customized using pre-built, Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) themes that may be easily customized. More than 40 themes are included with the app, while more are available from Realmac’s Addons page.

The preinstalled and optional themes making building a design easy. Additionally, for the user that has a number of resources stored on their own system, RapidWeaver comes with a drag and drop functionality that allows instant integration into the site design. Additional site functionality may be added using plugins, a number of which – including a site map creator – are built right in to RapidWeaver. Many more are also available from the Realmac website.

Another handy, out-of-the-box function of RapidWeaver is its navigation automation. The app will generate your website’s navigation menu, then automatically update it whenever you make changes, meaning broken links are a thing of the past. In addition to this full feature set is native support for GoSquared LiveStats and Google Analytics.

RapidWeaver for Mac is a popular way for the budding designer to put out a great looking professional website with ease. With its What You See Is What You Get (WSYIWYG) interface and easy to learn web-building experience, it has a lot going for it in this vein. While it is heavily oriented towards beginners, it has the capability to build very advanced websites as well.

In this way, RapidWeaver surprises a lot of people because it has a lot more depth than shows on the surface. One can launch a simple site in well under an hour, but can take on more advanced work as well. It works great for the type of person who is looking to build a site, but doesn’t have the time to get into the mechanics of Web development.

While users need know no code to get full functionality from RapidWeaver, the app doesn’t penalize users who do know code, which allows savvy designers to set Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) right next to the program’s Rich Text Formatted (RTF) content. Finally, all the code RapidWeaver generates is fully compliant with Web standards and easily indexed by search engines.

When Choosing a Host...

RapidWeaver offers one-click publishing to the Web via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Secure FTP (SFTP), so make sure your hosting supports them. Once you have the credentials and your FTP in place, it is extremely easy to publish on any hosting service of your choice that supports FTP.

The only other requirement is a Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or newer, with OS X Mavericks both fully supported and highly recommended. In late 2014, Realmac Software released its latest version of RapidWeaver, version 6. It included a number of new features, a newly redesigned interface for OS X Yosemite, and in another interesting development, pulled it from the Mac App Store, choosing to stick to their own web store for the time being.

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