Review: Apple iWeb makes ‘pegging out your claim in cyberspace ridiculously easy’

“Sticking to its policy of making complicated things easy, Apple has provided us with the means of creating our very own website with the least possible strain upon the brain,” Garry Barker writes for The Sydney Morning Herald. “We speak of iWeb, the most recent addition to the iLife suite of applications, which makes publishing a website, organising a podcast, doing photocasting and blogging – in short, pegging out your claim in cyberspace – ridiculously easy.”

“Web veterans have been heard to sneer a bit, saying iWeb is like having training wheels on your bike, partly because the application offers templates they say could make your site look a bit production-line,” Barker writes. “On the other hand, why sweat your way through the dark and arcane corridors of html, podcast and blog syndication if you don’t have to?”

“However, as with most things produced by Apple’s designers, the templates are beautifully done with built-in effects such as feathered edges and transparencies that would otherwise be hard to do. There are 12 themes, each with six variations, ranging from webpages to podcasts and blogs. Just click on the one on which you would like to build your site by adding text, pulling in pictures from iPhoto or video clips from iMovie. Templates can be mixed in the same page,” Barker writes. “The iLife ’06 suite applications are integrated and give you access to all the tools on your Mac. Thus colours, backgrounds, type fonts and sizes, brilliance and contrast in photographs and much more can easily be changed… iWeb is a desktop application from which you publish your creation to .Mac, just by clicking the Publish button on screen – no laborious coding to worry about. Thereafter, it can be viewed by anyone or passworded to keep it within the family… In short, iWeb is loads of fun for ordinary folk who want to get their stuff up on the web, to communicate and build an online community.”

Full article here.

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19 Comments

  1. What good is a blog without comment capabilities? And once you start blogging, how big do these pages get since the blogs are hardcoded rather than stored in a database?

    I’d like to know how compliant the code is. I’m sure its better than the junk thats produced from Front Page but how clean is it? Is it still table hell?

  2. iWeb needs work but the most work is required on the bits most people won’t see or care about – the underlying generated code. The interface is good, which I think is the most important thing, at least in a first generation product. I’d rather it be easy to use but produce valid and viewable (albeit messy) code, than create perfect code and me a total pain in the arse to use. Because of course if it did the latter very few of the people it’s aimed at would use it.

  3. I have to agree. As a podcast host (self-promo ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” /> :http://thewarondemocracy.com), I had been using Libsyn to distribute my podcast and to host my website. After several page formatting issues and a couple of emails to Libsyn support over 2 weeks, I gave up and gave in to iWeb. 1) iWeb is EXTREMELY easy to use. One thing that Apple does brilliantly is making their software user-friendly. Personally, I don’t possess a great deal of knowledge about HTML coding and I found that if I wanted to tweak my website, it was really time consuming using Libsyn. With iWeb, it’s all pretty much intuitive.

    2) To make use of the full functionality (and ease) of iWeb, I found that it’s best to have a .Mac account. The design is basically drag-and-drop. And publishing is done with ONE CLICK. And updating my page is a breeze. I couldn’t ask for more!

  4. iWeb’s code is surprisingly clean… CSS-based layouts, not tables (amen!), and at least the couple of samples I tested validated cleanly.

    The templates are very decent-looking; the downside of that is that they generate a lot of graphics for some of the text, to get the fonts used in the design. Still, they’re not huge graphic files, and the resulting look is probably worth the extra bandwidth for the graphics.

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