I heart RapidWeaver

Of all the hip features RapidWeaver has to offer, the best might be that it’s free.

A relatively new Web design application created for Macs by British company Real Mac Software, RapidWeaver incorporates many of the cool things Mac-lovers know and adore about Apple products: it’s clean and sleek with eye-popping design, and, of course, ridiculously user-friendly. It literally takes three mouse clicks to create a page, add a theme and publish a professional-looking site to the Web.

Undoubtedly the most attractive feature for novice Web publishers is that RapidWeaver does not just excuse your ignorance of HTML with an annoyed sigh. Rather, it lovingly embraces it. Without knowing a single line of code, you can add zippy little photo galleries, blog and movie pages, and you can upload files to share. Even better, it all works seamlessly with Mac OSX applications like iPhoto and iMovie.

For those who dream about coding pages from scratch, RapidWeaver didn’t forget about you. You have the option of creating pages in HTML, XHTML or PHP.

The design window is blessedly unclogged by distracting rows of buttons, fields and boxes. If you want to create a new page, click the plus sign in the lower left corner. To delete a page, click minus. Click the appropriate button on the top left, and a drawer of more than 20 themes pops out. You can also toggle back and forth between “edit” and “preview” modes.

To publish your site, you need only fill in the site path, FTP address, username and password. RapidWeaver also makes it just as easy, if not easier, to upload directly to a .Mac account.

If you do indeed grow to love RapidWeaver and decide you want to create more than three pages, you’ll have to fork over $35. But that’s really not much compared to the stress-free experience and ease of use that come bundled free of charge.

About Erica Ogg

Erica is a second-year Master's student in print journalism at USC's Annenberg School for Communication.