Welcome to our RapidWeaver review!
Like many existing brands out there, RapidWeaver CMS is a code-free website builder developed exclusively for Mac. RapidWeaver for Mac boasts the latest macOS technologies in a “build anything” setup. It claims to give users complete control over the design and development of their site – without needing to write a single line of code.
Let’s see if RapidWeaver for Mac holds up to scrutiny in this RapidWeaver review.
RapidWeaver CMS is developed by Realmac Software in 2002 with a fully remote team based in the United States, England, and Sweden. They specifically design apps for macOS, and RapidWeaver is their flagship web design software. As their “what you see is what you get” WYSIWYG website builder, RapidWeaver for Mac came even before iWeb from Apple and remains operational after two decades.
Ease of Use:
For this RapidWeaver review, let's evaluate how user-friend the platform is.
Usually, when an app is macOS-specific, the word “powerful” comes to mind, but not “easy”, am I right? Well, consider RapidWeaver CMS an exception. It creates stunning websites without requiring high-level technical skills or the ability to write code. With a well-organised interface, even a beginner can use it – it's “point and click” simple. And if you're hesitant to try it the first time around, there are several YouTube videos to guide you.
However, if you're more used to drag-and-drop builders like other RapidWeaver alternatives and are not in the mood to try out something new, then you'll probably find the experience wobbly. In addition, those who aren't used to MacOS might find it tough to find their sea legs.
Features and Flexibility:
Next up on our RapidWeaver review: features.
You need to understand that RapidWeaver CMS has all the tools you need to create a great-looking and functional website. With its rich and diverse template selection, editor, FTP Engine, and live external preview, you can also customise your pages so that you get the website you have always wanted.
RapidWeaver for Mac also has SEO-friendly settings so that you won't have to worry about users not finding your site on the search engines.
Other neat built-in features with the new RapidWeaver 9 include:
- Resources Manager – this feature lets users access their media library as well as look for free stock photos via Unsplash.
- Device Simulator – this device simulator lets users preview what their site looks like on various Apple devices, such as iPad or iPhone.
Themes and Templates:
Another great feature of RapidWeaver for Mac is its attractive themes and templates. The platform has at least 50 templates available on its site. This might be a modest number compared to other RapidWeaver alternatives, but various third-party providers also offer premium themes at a price.
RapidWeaver CMS runs on template-based design. Aside from templates that simplify your task, Stacks are also available to let you do virtually anything with your site.
You can edit content and elements on your page with Markdown or rich text formatting. Adding images is also made easier with the Resources Manager where all your media files are located. You can also access free stock photos through Unsplash through this manager.
In addition to that, you can even preview using Simulate mode to let you see how your site appears on several Apple device screens.
3rd Party Integrations:
In this RapidWeaver review, we appreciate the extensive range of add-ons available. You can install more than 1,500 add-ons to add functionality to your website. They come at a price, though.
Unfortunately, RapidWeaver for Mac doesn't have free built-in hosting as some website builders and RapidWeaver alternatives do. They recommend ChilliDog officially as their web host.
There is no built-in auto-backup feature like other RapidWeaver alternatives. However, you can install add-ons that perform automatic backups.
SEO and Mobility:
One of the most important requirements in a website builder is that it's SEO-friendly. It has to help your website get found in search engines. So in this RapidWeaver review, let's look at features dedicated to SEO.
Unlike some RapidWeaver alternatives, most of RapidWeaver CMS's SEO features come as add-ons. You can edit meta tags, perform an SEO Health Check, and insert social media tags. In addition, it also performs an XML sitemap to facilitate the indexing of your site so that search engines can find them. For additional SEO tools, you need to install add-ons such as:
- Total CMS
All RapidWeaver CMS templates are mobile responsive. With the help of the Simulate mode, you can get a real-time preview of your site when seen on the screens of various Apple devices.
Unfortunately, in this RapidWeaver review, you can't build an online store directly through the platform. You need to buy an add-on package from third-party providers if you want to set up an eCommerce site. This is where the platform performs poorly compared to RapidWeaver alternatives where the eCommerce functionality is site-embedded.
Still, a positive thing is that you have a selection of add-ons to enhance your website's capacities. We recommend Ecwid as the quickest route for you to set up an online store via RapidWeaver.
Support and Resources:
This is also another area where the platform doesn't quite keep up with RapidWeaver alternatives. There's a limited number of support channels when you need help with technical issues. There is no telephone support at all. You can only email the developers or browse through their website content. There is a user manual, video tutorials, and FAQs section. Moreover, you can join the RapidWeaver community forum to share your thoughts and exchange concerns with other users.
What about RapidWeaver cost?
There is a RapidWeaver download that's free, but can only be used as a demo version.
If you want to upgrade to the latest version RapidWeaver 8, you need to shell out some dollars. However, this is a one-time fixed payment, so you need not worry about subscription fees and limitations such as the number of websites.
Free trial/refunds/money-back guarantee:
There is a demo version of RapidWeaver 8 that you can download. However, you can only add three pages or less to a project.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
To wrap up this RapidWeaver review;
What is it best for?
Best for Mac users whose target market or client base use Apple devices. It's ideal for those who want a simple website that's elegantly made. In our opinion, while it can be easy for designers, novices will be a tad intimidated by it. We feel that advanced designers are the ones who can maximise the potential of the platform.
What is it not best for?
Non-Mac users and those who are on a budget will consider paid add-ons burdensome. Since most of RapidWeaver's functionalities are not embedded in the site, it can strain your budget. Moreover, those not used to macOS technologies may find it difficult to use.
If you're not clicking with RapidWeaver for Mac, then you can check out RapidWeaver alternatives.
RapidWeaver vs Blocs. If you are a power user in need of more sophisticated web design and work with Bootstrap, Blocs is the better choice.
RapidWeaver vs WordPress. Users who want maximum design flexibility and a website development tool that works for Mac and Windows should consider WordPress as CMS instead.
RapidWeaver vs Squarespace. Squarespace is known for the most stunning designs, but at more affordable rates in comparison.
All things considered in this RapidWeaver review, we feel that it runs in the middle of simple and complex as a website builder. It's not entirely a walk in the park to use, but it's not that difficult, either. You can create a stunning website but face the reality of costs with add-on packages you need to generate more functionality.
We still recommend that you do your due diligence and research other alternatives to really arrive at the best decision.
Is RapidWeaver for Mac free?
You can download RapidWeaver 8 for free from the website, but it will limit you to only three pages max per project. To remove limitations and create an unlimited number of pages and an unlimited number of websites, you need to purchase an upgrade.
Does RapidWeaver have a built-in online store function?
Unfortunately, no. You need to purchase an add-on package like Ecwid to set up an online store via RapidWeaver.
That’s all for now:
If you've read our RapidWeaver review up to here, we are grateful. Remember always to keep abreast of the latest developments on online services and tools like website builders, eCommerce, and other articles, such as the ones below;
- SnagIt Review
- Joomla Review
- OBS Studio Review
- Weebly vs WordPress
- 5 of the Best Landing Page Builders
Please share any comments below!
Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie is our Chief Editor. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.