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Review: iWeb ?09

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:00 AM

Post your comments for Review: iWeb ?09 here
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#2 User is offline   cal_gecko 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:09 AM

Great write up, explaining all the new benefits of iWeb 09! The addition of FTP upload to our own site is EXACTLY what a lot of us were waiting for. This alone was the only reason I upgraded to iLife 09.. didn't care about the iPhoto updates, don't use Garageband, don't use iDVD or iMovie..
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#3 User is offline   alansky 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:17 AM

Hopefully, Apple will add more features useful to professional web designers as they go along. Dreamweaver is an extremely designer-unfriendly program, powerful though it is, and there are many, many web designers who were formerly print designers rather than programmers and who have absolutely no interest in learning to code websites by hand using html--which, to a print designer, would be like having to learn Postscript to create a simple brochure.
There are, of course, other alternatives like RapidWeaver, Freeway, etc. that are making their own contributions to easing the arcanity (is that a word?) of the web design process. The popularity of these programs just proves the point that there is a substantial market for easy-to-use, WYSIWYG web design software that isn't stuck in the simplistic world of blogs and photo galleries.
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#4 User is offline   meta 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:17 AM

Will it do paragraphs yet?
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#5 User is offline   roddymckay 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:32 AM

The FTP is a good concept but very poorly implemented. Take a look at the iWeb '09 user's forum to see the problems it is creating.
iWeb is notorious for producing large file sizes which are slow or impossible to download on PCs running Internet Explorer. The fact that some means of optimizing these files has not been included is an inexcusable oversight.
Virtually none of the user requested features have been implemented.
Rather than providing useful and essential features, the developers seemed to have dumbed down the application.
I found this comment by one reviewer very disturbing.
"With the rise of social networking services, such as FaceBook, Flickr, and Twitter, we have to wonder if the very concept of the personal web page is becoming irrelevant. Why go to all the work of building a custom site when you can upload photos to Flickr communities, write on your friends' FaceBook walls, and Tweet your opinions and thoughts from moment to moment? Given that iWeb has received only minor improvements this year, Apple may be asking the same question. We wouldn't be too surprised to see iWeb quietly put out to pasture with the next version of iLife."
Apple should be asking the question, "Why don't we fire our iWeb team and contract out development to somebody who is capable of implementing the features that users want and will test the application thoroughly before inflicting it on the paying customers?"
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#6 User is offline   jmincey 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:51 AM

For me, the lack of SFTP is always a deal-breaker even in more modest web packages like this one.
Jeff Mincey
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#7 User is offline   flybynight 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:28 PM

The fact that blogging cannot be done remotely (only on the main machine) is just plain unforgivable. You would think it'd be easy to let people add blog entries on the me.com page and/or with an iPhone app. If people can enter comments online and they sync back to the computer (or photos to a web gallery, etc), why can't blog entries work that way? Crazy!
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#8 User is offline   spinoza2 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:34 PM

?Virtually none of the user requested features have been implemented.?

Boy, I'm really glad Apple is not using you for advice, my experience with iWeb has been the opposite of yours. I used Dreamweaver since it first came out in the 90s, and migrated most of my Web work from CS3 to iWeb over the past couple of years as I learned how good it was for quick and intuitive Web design. It's easily the best piece of software I've encountered in the past few years, it's what Dreamweaver should have become before being taken over by Adobe.

I've had none of the problems you mentioned. I find iWeb to be a powerful Web design package that is unbeatable for ease-of-use, sophistication, and reliability. There are minor gripes, but I'm willing to let them go because of the trade-off advantages (such as using Javascript for navigation bars instead of html).

Like all Apple software, iWeb is designed to be out-of-the-box easy to learn and use, but it also has the power to develop sophisticated and data rich sites as one learns to use all its features. The integration with iLife and Leopard is unsurpassed, and the one-click publishing to MobileMe is incomparably easier than other Web hosting services.

I haven't had a chance to pick up and try iWeb 09 yet, but I'm sure it's just a further refinement on the existing platform. It's good to hear they haven't changed much, but rather only added improvements.
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#9 User is offline   n4hhe 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:05 PM

If it can not generate Javascript-less websites then it is a toy.
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#10 User is offline   johnsaxon 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:49 PM

I too, have had nothing but great experiences with iWeb since it first came out.. I'm a professional photographer and used to slog for hours through Adobe GoLive to try to put up my own website; unbelievably complex and difficult. With iWeb I quickly and enjoyably created a much better site. I'm not kidding myself that people finding my site on search engines is going to make me rich and famous overnight. That's like the internet version of having a big Yellow Pages ad, like AAA Plumbing.
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#11 User is offline   asmetana 

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:17 PM

One person mentioned a lack of SFTP but it does indeed support SFTP, as well as 2 other means of secure transfer. The ability to upload individual pages/updated pages, and few distinctions between the MobileMe hosted features and independent servers are significant.
Personally I'm torn--on one hand the ease of putting together a functional and attractive site with iWeb (or RapidWeaver for that matter) is enviable but I'm not a fan of the site being built within a shell and then exported out to HTML. For that reason it will be hard for me to let go of DreamWeaver where you can create and managed HTML/PHP/ASP/et al. pages straight up. For me this is important because I edit pages from multiple computers and don't want to have to manage the distribution of the shell file.
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#12 User is offline   maflynn 

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:06 AM

Great review, touched upon the salient features of iWeb09 and gave me a good feel to determine if this is right for me.

I am on the fence of iWeb09 however, I was hoping to see the addition of sub-folders, right now, you can only have one page under the site. Not a problem for some small personal sites but I'd like to add something a little more comprehensive.

I've been using rapidweaver which is an excellent tool, but the ease of use for iweb is what I really want, especially because it integrates so well with other apple products, like aperture. Right now if I want a picture gallery in rapidweaver, I need to export pictures out of aperture and keep them in a finder folder for rapid weaver to use. This has in affect doubling the storage requirements of my photos that I publish. iWeb is much better integrated with apple products that this isn't a problem. The drag and drop features that iweb have and ease of creating a web page is also a plus. The lack of flexibility especially in terms of created a hierarchical website is disappointing.
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#13 User is offline   hayesk 

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:12 AM

maflynn said:

Great review, touched upon the salient features of iWeb09 and gave me a good feel to determine if this is right for me.

I am on the fence of iWeb09 however, I was hoping to see the addition of sub-folders, right now, you can only have one page under the site.


Huh. You can add as many pages as you like under a site. Am I missing something?
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#14 User is offline   hayesk 

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:13 AM

n4hhe said:

If it can not generate Javascript-less websites then it is a toy.


What a ridiculous assertion given that every web browser can execute Javascript.

What you seem to be saying is "This product doesn't meet my needs so it is a toy." If it doesn't meet your needs that's fine, but saying that it doesn't do something that 99.9% of the web browsing population doesn't even care about is ridiculous.
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