Rapidweaver vs Freeway Pro vs Sandvox

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by sparkie7, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. sparkie7 macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #1
    Which is the better WYSWIG application? Also which is the most user-friendly, easiest to learn with the best feature set?

    Thanks for any suggestions/recommendations in advance :)
     
  2. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #2
    My vote goes to RapidWeaver for DIYers. Easy to use, best template integration. But a few advanced things about Freeway Pro 5 - it produces valid standards compliant code plus it has iPhone template support and professional level back end design tools. So I suggest FP5 to professional developers for features useful to them but bells and whistles to anyone else. Both products are great choices for code development along with design. Sandvox comes in regular and Pro. I am not impressed with the regular version, might as well use iWeb. It has a pro version which is excellent from a designers perspective, plus the final code is SEO optimized which is nice. But it lacks in overall advanced features found in FP5. You may have noticed I cannot rate one product better than any other, they're really somewhat different targeted to different audiences in my opinion. Hope you found this useful, anyway.
     
  3. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #3
    Excellent. Thanks for your feedback.

    Because I want to invest in learning just one application and hope I will 'grow' into it as my skills expand - would you suggest that Freeway Pro 5 is a better route to go than RapidWeaver?

    Is FP5 just as easy to learn as RW?

    Thanks for your advice. Its much appreciated
     
  4. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #4
    If your goal is to professionally design and develop, and venture into the world of code scripting (server side) and efficiently invest your time and money via only one app, I have no choice but to recommend the one with the most features presented in what I feel is the most professional way. That's FP5, of course. This means you'll be looking things up alot in the beginning and learning how to make "bells and whistles" become valuable tools, but it'll pay off in the long run.

    If it'll make you feel more confident, it's like a graphic designer buying Adobe Photoshop (top end/expensive) -- it's not the easiest to use until you learn the terminology and start using it. Suddenly, in a few weeks it becomes very easy to use and you learn why certain features and tools are located in certain menus, etc., and how to quickly do advanced image editing clients appreciate. DIYers have different needs than pros and they would might appreciate a different interface suited for novices, not expensive top end s/w.

    But for the record, I'd never recommend a top end product for any weekend warrior (who codes extensively) - clearly RapidWeaver is the way to go if you're in that class. So I'm justifying a pro as someone who does this for a living and codes to web standards as well as client requirements.

    Man, this is wordy, probably too much info, but you asked so I explained. Wait for some more opinions - don't go by just one recommendation on anything, ever!

    -jim
     
  5. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I used Freeway Express to make my two websites, very happy with the learning curve and what the software allowed me to do. I chose FWE after trying a demo of Rapidweaver first, I just didn't really get on with that program. I'm no web pro, but I did want to have a go at designing my own site and generally I'm happy with the results I got. I've not used Freeway Pro, so I can't pass comment on the extra features it has.
     
  6. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #6
    Jim, Charles - thanks guys.

    Looks like I'll be checking out Freeway Pro 5 out. I was in the past using Dreamweaver and its considered a at the top of the tree in terms of pro-web apps, but kind of find it difficult to get the hang of it. Probably didnt give it enough time to learn it. Some apps are more intuitive than others and can be picked up rather quickly. DW isn't one of them for me. So hopefully FP5 has that but also the power and expandability without getting limiting.

    I'm a pro designer/photographer and not a coder/web developer. What I need is a visually driven web building app without all the techie code stuff. I hope FP5 meets this.

    From both your feedback, it seems RW is just a bit 'junior' like Photoshop Limited edition LOL

    Thanks again for your advice chaps :D

    PS nice sites Charles. Some great work. I really like the fade-in & out images on the homepages. Is that using javascript? (instead of flash)
     
  7. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #7
    Now that you clarified what you'll be doing, at least try the demo of RW before discounting it. You're not into coding, mostly designing, and RW might be sufficient for your specific needs (template system, nice WYSIWYG mode). I was trying to tell ya go with FP5 if you want to expand your skills over time into development as well as design on a professional level. FP5 has all the techie code stuff, actually. You'll be using Adobe PS for your graphics anyway, or something similar high end, right? RW should fit the bill for the rest in your situation now that I know more.
     
  8. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I agree with Jim, and recommend trying out both programs using their 30 day trials (fully functional) first. You have nothing to loose and after using one or the other for a while you may find a clear winner that fits your needs. Any pages you develop in that time will still be functional once you pay up and get the full version of whichever app you decide upon.

    I too tried Dremweaver years ago, and can only imagine it has become even more complex since. Far, far too much for my needs, I didn't even consider it when making my purchasing decision.

    Thanks for the feedback Sparkie7. Yeah, the image fades were done with Javascript - easily implemented using Freeways 'actions' (little plug-in bits of code - some are free and some you pay a small fee for). I'm not a fan of Flash websites - I usually find the navigation of them confusing and they make my Macbook's fans go beserk!

    I'm now thinking of upgrading to FWP because FWE does not have a HTML view/editor built in (I have had a play/look using Smultron though), and it's something I think I'd like to have a dabble with in the future. There is no price penalty for upgrading from Express to Pro - you just pay the difference of the initial purchase price.

    Good luck, keep us informed with how you get on... Looking forward to seeing your site and photos.
     
  9. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #9
    Thanks guys. I'll bury my head in both and see which suits. Will keep you posted :D
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    I've tried all three and found the RW worked best for my needs. I only toyed with freeway but I gave sandvox a good look and found it not as flexible or powerful as RW.

    You can't beat the number of themess and plug-ins available to RW and the fact its so easy to produce great sites that have relatively clean (SEO compatible) code.
     
  11. veshman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    #11
    helpful thread, thanks!

    I used to make web pages in the ancient days...96 - 2002 or so, using GoLive and DreamWeaver and some others....now I just need a simple, quick, attractive static website...

    Looks like I'll try Rapidweaver first, then maybe FW5 or Sandvox if I feel like I need more / or different.

    Bhavesh
     
  12. milatte macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #12
    I have been playing around with Freeway Pro for some time now and finally got round to finishing my site.

    If you want to keep things simple it's great. It takes a bit of playing with and finding 'actions' to do some smart stuff but I would highly recommend it.

    See what you think of mine.

    Chris.

    www.benandchris.com
     

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