I scored RapidWeaver 3 a few years ago from one of the MacHeist nanoBundles, but I never did anything with it. I was already heavily invested in iWeb. I managed several websites with it and it looked like it was going to be too much of a pain to port all my stuff over manually from iWeb to RaidWeaver.
I never even looked a version 4. I continued to use iWeb. The more I used it, the more it seemed stale and outdated. Not to mention that iWeb can’t even provide some of the basic features we’ve come to expect from websites nowadays. Like lightboxes and alt tags, for example. You have to publish your site and then hack the code after the fact. Such a pain when making small changes to the site, because you have to add all the extras back in by hand each time. I’ve tried apps to automate the process, but it’s still time consuming. I need an alternative. Something more powerful.
I decided to give RapidWeaver another look. I was thrilled to discover that version 5 had been released, and it looks awesome! I downloaded the trail and took it for a spin.
It’s orders of magnitude better than iWeb. Just the built-in functionality alone tops iWeb. The real kicker is the unbelievable amount of 3rd party plugins and themes that are available. There’s almost an unlimited number of extras that you can add on. After exploring RapidWeaver’s add-ons section, I’m convinced you can go broke buying plugins and themes.
I just couldn’t see myself paying $80 bucks for it. I’d go for $39.99 or $49.99, but $80 seemed a little steep. Needless to say, it never bought it. Plus, I’ve always had it in the back of my head that one day Apple would release an “iWeb Pro”. But that doesn’t appear to be something they’ll ever do. They very rarely update iWeb as it is. The last version of iLife didn’t include anything new for iWeb.
I’ve also wanted the new version of Toast since version 10 is growing a little long in the tooth. I’ve experienced a few locks up. Sometimes it’s impossible to exit the application. I eventually have to launch Activity Monitor and kill it. It looks like they added a bunch of cool features to version 11. I wouldn’t mind trying it out. Again, not for $99 bucks.
The Spring 2012 Mac SuperBundle is a pretty sweet deal! RapidWeaver 5, Toast 11, and 7 others for only $50 bucks! To tell you the truth, I don’t even really care about the other 7 apps that come with the bundle. Actually, one is a 500 font pack. I’ll use that. You can never have enough fonts. The other stuff seems trivial compared to getting RapidWeaver 5 and Toast 11 for $50 bucks.
I could do a whole writeup on the both of them, but I’ll spare you the reruns. There’s probably a ton of reviews out there already. One thing’s for sure, I’m going to be really busy over the next few weeks cutting and pasting 8 years worth of content over to RapidWeaver.