Freeway vs Rapidweaver vs iWeb

Hello,

I run a small design consultancy comprising of a team of 3 people, and amongst other things, we design and build websites.

I’ve just stumbled across Freeway as I’ve been looking for an app fill a nice gap in our design tools (I’ve also been looking at Rapidweaver). We build numerous sites each year, and currently use a combination of Dreamweaver and iWeb, depending on the clients/ site requirements.

We use iWeb for it’s simplicity and speed, but it has it’s limitations, hence why I’m posting here.

I’ve searched this forum for some comparisons between the 3 apps, but couldn’t find anything that was relevant/ up to date. I’d be really interested in hearing peoples views if you’ve had experience of the latest versions of these apps.

I’m very impressed by the slickness of Rapidweaver. It seems like a very polished and in some ways flexible program. My main issue with it is this - we never use themes, even in iWeb. We do pretty complex design work in illustrator, then export to photoshop before finally creating the necessary artwork. From what I can tell, no matter what combination of plugins you use with Rapidweaver (Blocks with Blocksbox theme) you don’t get the same easy layout flexibility you get with Freeway. Is this the case?

I guess my main criteria for looking for a new app is to find something that is quicker than Dreamweaver, and that enables us to easily create compliant sites with editable meta data, good quality code, rollovers (easily) and forms. We also use some javascript code for rotating images in some iWeb built sites that we code in Dreamweaver after exporting the site - do you think this would be possible to do from within Freeway?

Sorry for the epic post, and thanks in advance for your input!


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I’m sure many here would agree that that Freeway is very simple to
use, yet very powerful to create pretty much what ever you need as
regards very simple sites to complex dynamic web sites. Freeway’s
real gain is where you can create a site very rapidly to a high
standard. You can just drag and drop your illustrator on photoshop
files right onto the page and run with it. It also has javascript
effects you mention right out of the box.

David Owen ::
Freeway Friendly Web Hosting and Domains
http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk

On 12 Jul 2009, at 3:34 pm, Oli O’Connor wrote:

Hello,

I run a small design consultancy comprising of a team of 3 people,
and amongst other things, we design and build websites.

I’ve just stumbled across Freeway as I’ve been looking for an app
fill a nice gap in our design tools (I’ve also been looking at
Rapidweaver). We build numerous sites each year, and currently use
a combination of Dreamweaver and iWeb, depending on the clients/
site requirements.

We use iWeb for it’s simplicity and speed, but it has it’s
limitations, hence why I’m posting here.

I’ve searched this forum for some comparisons between the 3 apps,
but couldn’t find anything that was relevant/ up to date. I’d be
really interested in hearing peoples views if you’ve had experience
of the latest versions of these apps.

I’m very impressed by the slickness of Rapidweaver. It seems like a
very polished and in some ways flexible program. My main issue with
it is this - we never use themes, even in iWeb. We do pretty
complex design work in illustrator, then export to photoshop before
finally creating the necessary artwork. From what I can tell, no
matter what combination of plugins you use with Rapidweaver (Blocks
with Blocksbox theme) you don’t get the same easy layout
flexibility you get with Freeway. Is this the case?

I guess my main criteria for looking for a new app is to find
something that is quicker than Dreamweaver, and that enables us to
easily create compliant sites with editable meta data, good quality
code, rollovers (easily) and forms. We also use some javascript
code for rotating images in some iWeb built sites that we code in
Dreamweaver after exporting the site - do you think this would be
possible to do from within Freeway?

Sorry for the epic post, and thanks in advance for your input!


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The nearest comparison I could make would be between Apple Pages and QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign.

In the former, there is a strong reliance on templates created by other people, professionally done and very nice to look at, but limited nonetheless to whatever comes with the application or the add-on template. In the latter, there is the dreaded blank canvas. RapidWeaver and iWeb are Pages for the Web. Freeway is QuarkXPress for the Web (even down to aping quite a few of its keyboard shortcuts).

Using Dreamweaver as a design tool is pretty much like using Word to lay out a magazine. Sure, you can do it, but it’s like swimming upstream over the Hoover Dam sometimes. Dreamweaver is an excellent production tool if you have a finished design and have already worked out the kinks in all the various browsers. You can produce lots of pages that look alike, and have all the links work, etc.

Where iWeb and RapidWeaver will soar is if you need to show the same content in a wide range of layouts, say to an indecisive client. Freeway has templates, sure, but they are basically finished pages that you fill in with your content, not the sort of chameleon layout-switchers that the other two employ. Once you’ve opened a Freeway template, switching to another one involves re-entering all your content again.

But where iWeb and RapidWeaver fall down is when you need to do something that’s completely custom. If you don’t know how to create one of their templates, you’re sunk. There’s no such thing as a blank page you can start with and build up to reach your own imagination of the final product. RW has this “blocks” feature (a third-party plug-in that allows additive design) but it’s not the same thing as being able to draw anything you like anywhere you like and get that translated into valid HTML.

Walter


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