How did you make this website? -with RapidWeaver 7 of course!

I have personally reviewed each major version of RapidWeaver from 5 onwards and it brings me great pleasure to present you RapidWeaver 7. RapidWeaver is a popular web design app for MacOS by UK software company RealMac Software. Version 7 is a major update that brings a lot of exciting new features & refinements that makes it a worthy purchase and a no brainer upgrade.
RapidWeaver 7 Welcome window
For those who have never used RapidWeaver let's start from the beginning: How do you make a website? With web design you have three main choices: 1. Either hard code a website with HTML… 2. Use an online website/blog builder such as WordPress… 3. Or use an app such as RapidWeaver that lets you create and publish your own site. The HTML route is very unforgiving as you will need to learn how to code and is certainly not plug and play. If you go the WordPress route you will be live in minutes but you pay the price with frustration of limited design options or paying over the odds for themes and website upgrades. For the vast majority of Mac users I recommend RapidWeaver as it offers the best way to build a quick website/blog with powerful customisation, features and add ons.
RapidWeaver 7 Theme prebuilt interface
Building your first simple website in RapidWeaver takes just a few minutes. There are plenty of prebuilt themes and features to explore and learn which provide a very useful starting point to learn the app. After choosing one of the prebuilt websites change the look and feel of the site by selecting one of the 50+ built in themes. There are Master & Individual Page Styles for keeping a site design consistent in appearance yet edit on a page by page basis. Add your own content and then Preview your draft website as a desktop viewer or a mobile device such as iPhone or iPad. Once your website is ready to put online you can export to a FTP publisher in app. The publishing part is the only potentially tricky part for new website designer as it requires buying a web address (.com ~£10/year or a free .tk for example) and find a server to host your website (free hosting or paid ~£2.50/month). Personally I used godaddy.com to buy the domain name NU-GADGET.com and I then hosted the website on a free server 000webhost.com. Once you have a domain name & hosting ready return to RapidWeaver and enter the details into the Publish window. The first time you publish will take the longest as your entire website will be uploaded. Every publish afterwards will be faster as RapidWeaver intelligently only uploads content that was added or edited.
RapidWeaver 7 Addon Theme community marketplac
Returning RapidWeaver users will want to know if version7 is worth the upgrade. RapidWeaver 7 boasts a revamped, modern and cleaner UI that is very pleasurable and easy to use. Features I particularly enjoy in the new version are the Banner image browser that includes optimal image dimensions and can edit for whole website or page by page basis. Another great feature is the new website Health Check that provides advice on improving your website for Search engine discovery for example. The metadata and code interface has been redesigned and is much more clear and functional. The Live Preview mode is significantly faster than the previous version so the interface feels a lot more functional for previewing quick edits. Importantly the migration from RW6 Projects to version7 was very smooth and I had no errors or changes to my website when migrating. It is worth checking that your existing website theme is supported in the new version and download the updated theme if available.
RapidWeaver 7 Health Check feature
RapidWeaver 7 includes many MacOS native features such as Save & Versions and Full Screen Mode that makes it feel like an Apple quality app. There is a new file backup feature that allows you to package up you Project as a Portable Document and take all of the website resources & content with you for migrating or using multiple Mac's. There are speeder & more reliable FTP uploads which so far feels like a great improvement for me. Also with Publishing you can automatically backup and upload a .rw project file to your FTP for safe keeping (although the backup & upload did not seem to work for me on my free hosting).
RapidWeaver 7 Code CSS Head Body Metadata
There are 4 new Responsive themes that come free and built in with the new RapidWeaver release. The four themes are designed by Realmac, Elixir Graphics, MultiThemes, and Yuzool. To put that into perspective four premium quality themes cost ~£25 each if bought through the Addon/Theme marketplace. Each of the themes are professional in appearance and have many customisation options that you can delve into and make your website your own. The themes were built with mobile in mind with responsive interface and design. If you are looking for new themes for RapidWeaver then upgrading to v7 is worth it just for this.

My main gripe is that there is still no native iOS companion app for RapidWeaver. In my opinion a mobile companion app would be a useful upgrade for me for basic functionality such as updating blog entries on an iOS device. There are ways to update your blog remotely using third-party Addons and blogs that use WordPress but this is far from ideal. I'm still hopeful this could be a feature that we shall see in a future release.

Overall RapidWeaver is still the best MacOS web development app I have used. From humble beginnings using Apple's iWeb, there is no turning back with the themes and depth of RapidWeaver. NU-GADGET was made with RapidWeaver 7 and Voyager theme, please post your favourite themes and add ons in the comments below!
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