Unfortunately, web design using template based software such as iWeb, RapidWeaver and Sandvox is dying a death since none of these apps seem to be capable of building mobile websites suitable for iPhone etc.
Having a mobile websites is now essential for just about everyone since surfing the net on cell phones is a huge growth area. I'm sure one of the main reasons that Apple dropped iWeb is that it can't produce websites that are suitable for portable devices.
Most websites will look fine on the iPad since its screen width in landscape is wider than most websites.
The problem is with phones and the increasing numbers using them. Here's a stat from mobithinking.com
Many mobile Web users are mobile-only, i.e. they do not, or very rarely use a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Web. Even in the US 25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only.
• Still think you don’t need a mobile site?
Mobile friendly designs are optimized for touch and user friendly input types. One of the big problems is the navigation. How many pixels are between the items on your navbar? If you answer less than 40, you are creating problems. A 40-80 pixel finger isn’t going to hit your 20 pixel link effectively and requiring visitors to zoom in and scroll isn't exactly user friendly.
Here's the difference...
Media requires a differrent approach for mobile sites - especially slideshows which should allow finger swiping.
Another consideration is that most mobile users are surfing via cell phone networks. Try downloading the average iWeb built site that way and see if you still think its compatible.
I'm no programmer but I can't really see why iWeb could not include a couple of "mobile" templates. Is it that difficult to adjust sizes and layout of buttons etc. to suit?
When I use an iPad, I sometimes get directed to "mobile" versions of sites and always go back to the "main site" as the mobile versions are too limiting in many cases.
iPad is not the problem due to its screen size. Its phones that need thinking about as a lot more people use them.
You can make navigation and other links fingertip sized.
Contact forms should use the special input types for launchng the various keypads on iPhones. A better alternative is to use an email button that launches the visitors email app since this requires less typing on their part.
The main thing you can do is optimize everything you can. Optimize images before importing them into iWeb, use mobile movie formats and so on. Running your files through an optimizer application before uploading to the server is essential.
Use a slideshow rather than a banner and choose one that allows for finger swiping though the images if possible. Stop all movie and music files from preloading by using an HTML5 player, with or without flash fallback, by adding the preload attribute.
In an earlier post I wrote:
In any one, you do something that seems reasonable (like import a graphic into a pre-sized box) and all **** breaks loose! It's so frustrating.... I've just spent three evenings trying to re-size a .PNG file to fit the box in one of the above, and have now given up!
In the spirit of fairness, I think I should add an update! The software giving me the problems was Freeway Express .... I finally sent an email to their support, and got an instant acknowledgement, followed by a very detailed email from a support guy the next morning.
The problem was me (of course!). I was using a template, and hadn't noticed that this particular template had a "pass through" check box ticked on the graphic holder in question, which means the graphic comes in as original. That is why it wouldn't auto-size! That's the trouble with templates... you have to check very carefully what the designer has done. At least with Freeway you don't have to use templates....
So, I'd love to stick with iWeb, but as it seems to be going to the big software house in the sky, I'm probably going to get Freeway from the Mac App Store for the same price as iLife 11 in a box.
Good luck with your searches!
I really enjoyed reading your thread regarding the future of iWeb and options available after it ceases to exist. I literally just finished my first iWeb site. I love the iWeb interface. I came from WordPress hosted on Go Daddy.
In your discussion, the term 'on-line web builders (OLWB)' was used frequently to describe a set of alternatives for iWeb.
Would WordPress be an example? If not, how would an OLWB differ from WordPress? How bout the other resources you mentioned?
As much as I found iWeb to be incredibly intuitive, highly aesthetic and easy to drag & drop, I do not want to make a life with it if it is likely to become obsolete. Unfortunately, from your comments, I got the sense the landscape is pretty barren when it comes to iWeb like approaches to web design. Now, I feel I am back to where I started. Go back to WordPress.
WordPress hosted by Go Daddy works well, plus GD's support is superb. The downside is the amount of coding experience required compared to iWeb. The aesthetic look iWeb provides, plus the simplicity of drag & drop building also trumps WordPress. But, if it is going to become obsolete, I may be better off investing my time coming up the xhtml and css learning curves than riding a dead horse. Bummer!
In any case, thanks for the discussion and the information.
The answer to that question is yes and no - http://wordpress.com is an example of an online website builder, however, if you have used WordPress on GoDaddy, then this will be http://wordpress.org and is an example of what is known as a Content Management System (CMS), and is like Joomla and Drupal, meaning that you have to have a domain name and hosting as you have with GoDaddy and you simply install WordPress.org directly onto your server at GoDaddy with a database - GoDaddy will install this automatically.
If you use a CMS, then you can install it at source on your server and create your whole site using it.
Online website builders are exactly that - you do everything online and they are mostly published on the servers of the company, as is the case with WordPress.com - it is free, but when you publish, your site is published to the WordPress servers and you can then pay extra to add your domain name to the site if you want to. If you want a free website like that, then it is great, but if you want to use a domain name with it, then I suspect that registering a domain name and purchasing some hosting and then using WordPress.org is the better way to go.
I did't try this one, because i am using dreamweaver, but i really would like to give it a try!
free, and open source, can it be better?
Check it out, maybe it is what you are looking for.
Yes, I built my first website on WordPress.Org hosted by Go Daddy. I have my own domain names (two linked to the same site). The only reason I switched was I could create a more aesthetically appealing site design in shorter time with iWeb. I am certain I could ultimately achieve the same on WP, I would just have to invest more time and effort to learn the programming languages - which are pretty daunting based on a couple of months exposure.
For others considering a switch from iWeb, I would say the combination of WP and Go Daddy are very good. Go Daddy's customer support is amazing - they are always easily contacted, very supportive, and extremely knowledgeable. In fact, in my experience they provide the best customer support I have ever experienced on the web. When I called them to help me switch from WP to iWeb the walked me through the FTP process in about 10 minutes, all on-line having me execute each step so I could begin to learn the process. They also made sure I made a backup copy of my WP site so I could migrate back if I wanted to.
So, now I have two options: iWeb and WP. As much as I am attracted to iWeb I'm thinking I will be better off biting the 'learning curve' bullet and moving back to WP.
I don't know the answer to that question. I built a WordPress site, then built an iWeb site. They were always separate sets of documents I swapped them via Go Daddy. I did not enter the WordPress site or use WordPress tools while iWeb was published on the internet. I suspect you would have to rebuild your site as a WordPress site.
Today, I swapped back to WordPress. The process was straightforward.