Where Ideas Take Shape

RapidWeaver 8 Debuts Redesign, New Responsive Themes, Unsplash Support, and Improved Plug-In Management

RapidWeaver by Realmac Software got a significant update today. Starting from scratch or with one of over 50 Themes, RapidWeaver allows users to create highly-customized websites by offering a wide array of tools and properties that can be tweaked. The app also supports third-party plug-ins and Themes that can be used to extend the app even further.

RapidWeaver may remind you a little of iWeb, but the similarities end with the drag and drop, template-driven approach. The depth of RapidWeaver goes well beyond what iWeb could do before Apple discontinued it.

With version 8 released today, Realmac has redesigned RapidWeaver to give it a more modern look that’s in step with other recently-released Mac apps. The redesign is more than skin-deep though. RapidWeaver has also added state restoration. That means the way you set up the main window and any preview windows is preserved between launches of the app. Instead of leaving a project open for days because you don’t want to lose your window setup, you can close it, and when you reopen the project later, everything will be like you left it.

The update also adds five new Themes that can be adapted to work with many different types of websites. The new Themes are based on Bootstrap, a popular front-end component library for building responsive websites. The advantage of RapidWeaver though is that you don’t need to know anything about Bootstrap. The app allows users to create sites without diving into code, but it also makes it easy to get to the code when you want it.

So you know exactly how those new themes and others will look on different screen sizes, RapidWeaver includes a simulation mode that previews your site in iPhone, iPad, iMac, and MacBook Pro configurations. The simulator supports both portrait and landscape modes, multiple simulators can be open at once, and as you edit your site in the main window, the previews in the simulator update automatically providing immediate feedback on changes.

RapidWeaver supports royalty-free stock photo service Unsplash.

RapidWeaver supports royalty-free stock photo service Unsplash.

RapidWeaver now supports Unsplash, a popular royalty-free stock photography site. Unsplash’s images are built right into RapidWeaver’s Resources window, which also houses images on your Mac. From Resources, you can use the search field to find images for the site you’re building and save them locally in a project’s resources folder, copy the photo’s URL, and more. It’s a handy addition that allows you to stay within RapidWeaver where you’re building your site instead of leaving to search Unsplash’s website.

Realmac has added other features too. The company says RapidWeaver is fully compliant with the European Union’s privacy law known as GDPR. The app can also generate social media tags and has a new plug-in manager to help keep your third-party plug-ins under control.

RapidWeaver is a sophisticated app with an in-depth feature set for making custom websites. I have only been trying the app for a short time and have primarily concentrated on the new features, so this isn’t a review. That said, I’ve been impressed in the limited time I’ve had to use the update and would consider it the next time I update my personal website.

RapidWeaver is available directly from Realmac Software for $89. Existing users can upgrade for $69, and anyone who buys RapidWeaver 8 by August 28th gets an additional $10 off. Realmac also offers a free trial if you provide it with your email address.

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