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Apple iWeb 1.0 review

Keep it simple with Apple's iWeb

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Our Verdict

An excellent tool for beginners and those who only use Apple apps, but limited for pros

For

  • Very easy to use

    Excellent templates for blogs/podcasts

    Integrates well with other iLife apps

Against

  • No expansion capabilities

    Can only FTP to a .Mac account

    Layouts are fixed width

As you'd expect from one of Apple's consumer apps, iWeb is very easy to use and requires no knowledge of HTML or any other technologies. Starting with one of Apple's attractive page templates, you build up your web page by replacing elements in the template with your own text, images and multimedia files.

It's a good approach for beginners, since it means you're almost guaranteed an attractive web page by the end of your work. Site management is equally easy, with iWeb automatically adding and maintaining hyperlinks where appropriate.

For those who need something more, there is some degree of customisation available. You can drag elements around the page, getting them to overlap and cover others. You can style text in almost any way you like and iWeb will work out what combination of HTML, CSS and graphics are needed to replicate the look you've created.

iWeb integrates with other Apple technologies very well. There's the standard iLife media browser for accessing your photos, videos and audio tracks. There's also built-in support for publishing to your .Mac web space. True to form, iWeb has support for the latest blogging, podcasting and videocasting technologies, such as those built into other iLife apps.

But also true to form, iWeb's ease of use and integration is also one of its limitations. If you want to stray out of Apple's preordained enclosure, there's no way to do it, short of exporting the pages to another program. Fluid layouts, Flash movies - that's for other people...

iWeb is new to the market and it has such a wealth of cutting-edge features that it should be forgiven for at least a few of its flaws. For beginners, it's great. For everyone else, there are better choices. Rob Buckley