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Gogolito's avatar

RapidWeaver for pro web dev?

Asked by Gogolito (3points) September 6th, 2008

I’m thinking of trying RapidWeaver in a commercial environment. As a designer in an advertising agency I often get called on to create websites without any web dev budget, simpler sites mostly, but still painful for a designer. Anyone think it’s robust enough to handle a pro site?I’ve only used Dreamweaver in the past, and hate the continuous learning curve every version, so I’m a little curious to know if RW is worth the effort. Tanks in advance!

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9 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

I use RW 4…even though there are a lot of snazzy and polished templates, the editing of the code is still the same as would be in any HTML editor feature (as in DW), so in the end, it becomes a lot like DW…

That said, anyone who is doing personal web publishing would appreciate its simplicity and “iWeb-like” user interface. Plus many of the add-ons are rather sophisticated, use php and javascript, without the end user needing to know anything under the hood beyond installing plug-ins. To really get to understading customization, eventually you get around to moving code around in the interface…so either way, some coding knowledge becomes par for the course (at least understanding basic CSS and html tagging).

Also, if your clients intend on maintaining their own sites afterwards (as in you designing a one-off site, for them to maintain), they would need RW, plus all of their plug-ins; my experience is that there is a learning curve to understanding where all the tools are installed on the computer (Library/AppSupport/Rapidweaver), while other assets like banner images (customizing) are not always intuitive, and require add-ons like the RW MultiTool. This is where iWeb IMO trumps RW for “non-techy” user-types.

If I were in your shoes, I’d look into taking a DW course online to advance your skills set. I have been looking into doing this myself with a self-paced online course through (not a plug).

Just some personal perspectives from a current RW user.

Gogolito's avatar

Thanks sndfreQ for the rapid response : )
I strongly agree with your view that some coding knowledge is essential.
A good point, and one I hadn’t considered, was the handing-off of a site to a client with even less knowledge of DW than me. ouch!
We have a Lynda account at work and will grit my teeth and wade out a little further into DW land!

tWrex's avatar

I would go and download aptana unless your coding is really bad. I don’t like DW, but I haven’t liked it since version 4. The handing off of a site can be a lot easier for a client if you code it using standards and correct semantic markup (ie, you separate style and content through style sheets and include files) or you can use a CMS like wordpress and then the client will love you!

Here are some wysiwyg alternatives:
openwysiwyg <- never used it but it looks nice.
amaya <- it’s put out by the defacto standards people so it’s gotta be good… It’s actually halfway decent and does make things easier.
nvu <- This is actually a really good editor. I’ve used it on all 3 platforms and it runs swimmingly. Unfortunately their site seems to be down, so yeah.but you can grab the file from cnet It’s number 5 as far as web editors go according to cnet…
kompozer <- This is the bugfix for nvu. It’s just as good as nvu if not better.
trellian <- looks like frontpage (eek!), but should get you where you need to be.

Again, I would go with Aptana because it will force you to learn, AND it has built in ftp AND loads of extensions and plugins that can and will make development easier ( anyone?). And almost every app I listed is open source. Trellian is freeware, but not open source. =)

sndfreQ's avatar

@Gogolito-right on!-btw Welcome to Fluther! No problem for the “rapid” (pun) response…feel free to PM me if you have any follow-up Qs.

@tWrex: Wow-some good stuff there friend! I’ll have to check out some of those resources myself! Thanks :)

tWrex's avatar

@sndfreQ Np. I consider myself to be an open-source guru and web-dev is where I’ve been making my money for the last 5 years (although I’m now leaving that field) so I try to help out where I can.

Gogolito's avatar

@tWrex: have looked at most of the apps on your list except Aptana, and wow, it looks great! Just downloaded it and will play with it over the next couple of days. Sure do appreciate your to-the-point insights… great place, this Fluther is!

jrpowell's avatar

You might want to take a look at

It is web based and pretty damn good. And the first two weeks are free to play with it.

Gogolito's avatar

@johnpowell: SS looks way badass! thanks : ]

crisedwards's avatar

I am not a fan of RW. It’s too boring. They want to make extra cash on selling you themes. It’s just not robust enough for even basic dev work and I would not recommend it for a pro user. If you are feeling uncreative, then, by all means, get RapidWeaver. If you are actually a creative person who wants the best tool for the job, get Panic Coda (Mac Only, sorry). I threw Dreamweaver in the trash once I got Coda. That’s my 2 cents.

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