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Handwringing

WebDesign RapidWeaver

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#1 Chris Crawford

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:38 PM

I write not so much to ask a question but to gather advice. I bought WebDesign in 2005 and was quite happy with it for years. However, in 2010, I felt the need to step up to something more... I don't know, more SOMETHING. I felt that WebDesign was getting a bit long in the tooth and I thought that one of the newer website managing programs would be better. So I researched the various packages and ultimately decided upon RapidWeaver. I bought that program then spent days converting my website (which was quite large -- over 500 pages of material) to RapidWeaver. Lots of copying and pasting later, I had my spiffy new website, and I must admit, it did look good.

I also liked the convenience of an almost-WYSIWYG editor, and I also liked being able to insert links a tiny bit faster. The themes were loads of fun, and I finally decided on a simple, clean theme. I won't go into the details of my long journey with RapidWeaver, but things started to turn sour when I bumped up against some REALLY bad UI design mistakes, and the unresponsive attitude of the RapidWeaver people. I would spend hours preparing a document that precisely described the design mistake, described how it should behave instead, and even outlined the data structures and code necessary to correct the problem. They were quite polite but never addressed a single one of my complaints in their new version, 5.0.

So I stewed. RW does have some wonderful traits, but if you want to do something that it wasn't designed to handle, it really fights you -- and its design is not general-purpose. Basically, RW is designed for website designers putting together small websites for small businesses. It does that very well. It doesn't do anything else.

Maybe it was the August heat -- the same thing that triggers riots in hot cities. I decided that I had had enough of fighting RapidWeaver. So I spent two weeks researching website management software, trying out lots of demos, and finally came back to WebDesign. After all the rigamarole, WebDesign is starting to look like the best solution to my problems. I realize that I can obtain many of the benefits of RW by just using a little CSS, which I had previously eschewed.

But jeez, converting BACK to the open format of WebDesign (as opposed to the closed format of RW) will take a LOT of work. So I wring my hands and pace, wondering, "What to do? What to do?" I don't mind crawling back on my hands and knees, begging forgiveness for my disloyalty (I'm not proud) but I don't want to waste a large amount of time converting back to open format.

The answers to a few questions will greatly help. Is there any automatic way to include the breadcrumb trail for any HTML page? I used to do that manually but it's so easily done in software that I wonder if it's now available in WebDesign.

How broad is the collection of plug-in goodies usable with WebDesign -- or does it rely on generic goodies that can be used on any open-system website design?

Does RAGE intend WebDesign to appeal to a particular market? If so, what kind of users do you consider to be right down the middle of your target market?

Oh, some background information: I'm an old, old programmer (I wrote a lot of FORTRAN code in my student days, but now I use Java). I'm happy with HTML but certainly no expert -- nor do I need to be. My website is a huge tree of text essays, perhaps 700 pages total. There's very little snazziness to it: mostly text, some imagery, even one page with some links to YouTube videos. No blog, no catalog, no checkout, no forms to fill out, just lots and lots of dull, dry text in a huge tree structure. My page layout is about as plain and simple as it can get: a background color, a title, a subtitle, a bunch of text with maybe some images, and a breadcrumb trail at the bottom.

I realize that most people here will advise me to go with WebDesign and ditch RapidWeaver. That, I think, is what I *want* to do, but I need something more than a hunch to make the commitment.

Thanks for any help.

#2 Jeremy

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:14 AM

Hi Chris,

Currently, there is no feature in WebDesign for a breadcrumb trail. It's something that we are considering adding in the near future.

A particular market, probably nothing specific. We've put a lot of effort into WebDesign over the years that we think it can be used by anyone really. A very advanced coder, to even a non-techie who has been using RapidWeaver or iWeb to build their websites. The best thing to do is download the demo and try it out and see if it is for you.

Do you mind sending me an e-mail through our support system?

http://www.ragesw.com/support/




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