19 May 2009

Why use iWeb for blogging

32 Comments Blah blah, Tips and Tricks

Over the last few weeks I have been asked a couple of times whether or not iWeb makes a good blogging tool. The term ‘iWeb Blogs’ is also becoming more and more popular in my stats for search engine terms used to find All About iWeb. So here is my take on whether or not you should use iWeb as your blogging tool of choice.

Let’s face it, iWeb does have its pitfalls. There are many pros and cons to using Apple’s web design application and a lot of them apply to the blog included within our favorite web-site building tool.

Why Choose iWeb for your Blog

There are many blog design tools available to even the most web un-savvy user, from WordPress to Tyepad, Blogger to (ahem) MSN Spaces, and they all have their merits; they all have their foibles too.

To answer the question I asked above you have to ask yourself why use iWeb to build a web-site at all? There is, of course the fact that it is free and came ready installed on your Mac. There is no doubt that it is one of the easiest web design applications I have ever used. You can get some really beautiful looking sites from it and that really has to be its main selling point or me; ease of use.

When you create a blog in iWeb, initially a lot of the difficult work is done for you. iWeb automatically creates a blog homepage for you with snippets of each of your articles on it along with images; it also builds your blog archive which is another huge time-saver.

Physically designing the blog is also a piece of cake. The drag n drop functionality of the Mac makes building a beautiful, eye-catching blog simple; you are limited only by your own flare for design. Of course you can use one of the default themes, but you want to stand out right?

What about all the extras you can get with other blog platforms?

One thing that other blogging platforms have over iWeb is plug-ins. With WordPress, for example, there are hundreds of them, all designed to make the WordPress users life easier when it comes to blogging. As a WordPress user myself I have to say that sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

In my experience any of the plug-ins I have used with WordPress I have had to download, extract, upload to my host server and then configure in WordPress’s control panel. What is the difference between that and downloading, for example the JS-Kit comments javascript and putting it into a HTML Snippet in iWeb?

There are not many things that you can do in WordPress that you can’t do in iWeb. Polls, comments, RSS, site search, tag clouds, stats, social networking, SEO are all there and available on the Internet for free. For the majority of the time they are easier to integrate into the iWeb blog too.

So there must be a down-side to using iWeb as a blogging platform.

Well there are a few, the inability to log-in from any Mac (or PC) in the world and add a new post like you can with a lot of modern blogging platforms. And if you haven’t got a computer you can use your iPhone or iPod Touch. With iWeb you are stuck on the machine that has iWeb on it. The problem persists if you want to pre-write your posts for publishing at a later time. If you carry your MacBook with you everywhere that may not be a problem; if however, like me you have an iMac that’s a non-starter.

There are limitations too, to the layout of the blog home-page. The extract only has a few different layouts, picture on the left, picture on the right etc.. but with a little imagination this shouldn’t be too restrictive.

I get asked loads of times how to re-create categories in an iWeb blog, and this seems to be almost ‘a be all and end all’ decision for prospective bloggers. There is a work around though as I mentioned in my iWeb questions of the week post.

The final point that may put some users off is the fact that the blogging widget doesn’t work in some versions of Internet Explorer. A downside obviously as it is the world’s most popular browser, however things are improving with IE7 onwards.

So would you use it?

In summary, iWeb is a fantastic blogging tool. Not the best, but very good none the less. Its ability to get a professional looking blog published to the Internet quickly and simply without having to know CSS or PHP is a real bonus. It has many pros and not many cons.

If I was starting this blog all over again and knew then what I know now I would do it in iWeb. Yes the fact that I couldn’t write posts from anywhere would annoy me at first, but I could just write an e-mail to my account on my iMac and then copy/paste the text into my blog later.

What do you think of iWeb as a blogging tool? Do you use it regularly and if so what gets you down?

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AllAboutiWeb (AAi) is your one stop shop for everything iWeb. We provide tips, tricks and more to get the most out of your iWeb website. Follow us in twitter at @allaboutiweb
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32 Responses to “Why use iWeb for blogging”

  1. Reply Ultan says:

    Great Post!! I can’t wait for the next! 🙂 I really enjoy visiting this site. Its even in my favorites bar! 🙂

  2. Reply michael says:

    i am using I Web 09 for my website as well as blog–i have no problem with it. I’m about to make a fairly long trip and I have been doing my site on my macpro—i’d like to blog whaile i’m away–is there any way i can transfer everything over to my macbook pro?

    mike

    http://www.michaelfierman.net

    • Reply All About iWeb says:

      Michael,

      Thanks for your comment. yes, it is easy. Open finder go to Library/Application Support/iWeb and copy the ‘domain’ file that you find in that folder into the same location on your MBP. When you open iWeb on your MBP it should all be there as if you designed and built it on your MBP.

      I hope that helps,

      Tim

  3. Reply michael says:

    thanks very much- i’ve learned a lot from your site–keep up the great work!

  4. Reply Why use iWeb for blogging | All About iWeb | Mac Affinity says:

    […] Go here to read the rest: Why use iWeb for blogging | All About iWeb […]

  5. Reply iWeb for blog + libsyn for podcast audio says:

    This is a great post! I’ve been thinking about this question a few months myself (I’m one of those many people who asked about ‘how to do categories in an iWeb blog’ 🙂 Not having any experience using WordPress made the comparison pretty sketchy in my mind, so reading how the two compare really helps!

    Here’s a question.

    How do I post show notes for a podcast as a blog, but have the podcast audio files be hosted elsewhere, by say, libsyn.com? 🙂 I like libsyn’s flat fee for storage and unlimited bandwidth because then I don’t have to be concerned about storage and bandwidth via my iDisk. But I’m more familiar with using iWeb as a blogging tool. Any way to incorporate the two?

    Thanks so this supremely helpful site!

  6. Reply Charmian says:

    I chose to use iWeb for my website because of the blog feature. I don’t use is as a blog per se, but as an easy means to post a monthly update. My old website software was a nightmare to update and the blog feature makes it so easy.

  7. Reply Martin says:

    Hi, great page it is very useful. I was wondering, since I want to place some feature in my iweb blog, but I don’t know how. As you say: “Polls, comments, RSS, site search, tag clouds, stats, social networking, SEO are all there and available on the Internet for free.”
    I wanted to place a blogroll, a tag cloud and a categories menu (as you have). I’m searching in the web but I couldn’t find anything, can you help me please?
    Thank you very much in advance

  8. Reply Martin says:

    I’m sorry I forgot. Other hing I wanted to place in my blog is the delicious, facebook, twitter mini icons. Thanks!!!

  9. Reply Luiz Siqueira Neto says:

    “but I could just write an e-mail to my account on my iMac and then copy/paste the text into my blog later.”

    You can send a mail to you and use AppleScript to update your iWeb Automatically.

  10. Reply Dan says:

    I am new to macs (and, for the most part, am loving them, btw) and to iWeb specifically, and I had a question for you. I want to make a small family Web site that will include a blog. Frankly, a WordPress blog will do the trick, I know, but I like the prospect of having something that anyone in the family can easily edit.

    That said, the inability to post from off site is a real stickler for me. So my question is this: would it be possible to store the site file in Dropbox or something like it that can be accessed from anywhere, and then just update the site from any computer with iWeb on it?

    If you are not familiar with Dropbox, it is at getdropbox dot com, and is a multi system syncing solution (and one of the better ones). I am not sure how the file structure works and whether something like this would be possible. What do you think? Any other creative ways to blog from the road?

    I think that should make my point. Let me know what you think if you get a chance. Great site btw. Good for newbies like me.

  11. Reply Dan says:

    “You can send a mail to you and use AppleScript to update your iWeb Automatically.”

    As a new Mac guy who wants to consider all methods of remote posting, I would love to know what is meant by this. If this is a good alternative, perhaps a how-to would be prudent.

    Thanks!

  12. Reply Dan says:

    And one more time…I just thought of services like logmein.com and am wondering if that kind of remote access might be the answer for remote iWeb editing and publishing. I don’t know a lot about it yet, but wanted to throw it out there for people more informed than me to consider.

  13. Reply Neil Martin says:

    I do love iweb, but I’ve noticed that you can’t moderate the blogs comments before they are published, do you know of any way of doing this using iweb?

    Great site by the way it really helped me get my web site together

  14. Reply Mary Rothschild says:

    I built my site on iWeb, but am beginning to think it looks homemade, mostly because of my un-tech savvyness. In any event I have a wordpress blog I set up last year that I am thinking of using for the updates/landing pages/blog from here on out. Question: I have a hunch it is against the rules to post to both. Yes? If so, I’ll just post a link to the wordpress, which since I travel a lot will be easier to update. Thanks

  15. Reply tony says:

    I see it is easy to use iWeb, where do i put it I don’t want to use MobleMe for the site & the blogging portion is not supported on Godaddy so I’m stuck.
    –tony

    • Reply All About iWeb says:

      Tony,

      Thanks for your comment. What do you mean the blogging portion is supported on Godaddy? I know there are hundreds of iWeb users using them as hosts with no problem. If you really don’t want to use MobileMe or Godaddy I can recommend the host I use and that is Meirhosting.net. They have excellent packages and their support is fantastic. I have never had a problem with them.

      Tim

  16. Reply Felipe says:

    Hey Tim,

    Your site is FANTASTIC. I’m in the process of creating a blog for college cooks, as I’m one myself and there seems to be a real lack of support targeted to dorm cooking. I started to get off-put by iWeb, but you’ve shown me that it is more than possible to have a quality website through the trusty mac.

    Do you have any links for great looking iweb sites that revolve around blogging? The links you’ve shared are great, but I think the blogging element of iWeb is a little weak. It’d be interesting to see how “professionals” have worked around the limitations of the blog summary, archive, etc.

    Thanks in advance! And keep up the great work!

    Cheers,

    Felipe

  17. Reply Shauna McCullough says:

    When I use the bog application in my iweb 09 it doesn’t work unless i publish it to mobileme. Why is that? As there are other users here that have it working on their website for example : http://www.michaelfierman.net

    How come it doesn’t work on mine?

  18. Reply Karen says:

    You have such great info here! Thank you. I am really trying to figure out how I can have a blog page that scrolls like wordpress or blogger. I love that I can arrange photos–usually 5 or more on each entry. I am thinking about manually archiving by adding a new blog for each year and then a new entry for each month and label it with the month name.

  19. Reply GogoPop says:

    Hi Tim,
    I just found this site and really like your blog. I am a huge iweb fan (been using it since the beginning) and have used it to design several websites. My one complaint is the layout and that it is restricted to the middle of the page. I am suggesting it to a friend for blogging but my concern is if you want to put ads on, that takes up the limited space available. Is there a way around this somehow that I haven’t found? I am working in the ’09 version now and maybe there is a setting I don’t know about?
    thanks

  20. Reply Timothy Arends says:

    WordPress vs. iWeb vs. blogger. It’s hard to make a choice because there are so many different options, but I guess too many choices is better than too few. In any event, it looks like iWeb has become a very capable web publishing platform.

  21. Reply Susan says:

    I’m new to Iweb.. and when someone goes to make a comment on a blog another window opens and it’s confusing.. what’s happening?

  22. Reply Summer says:

    Hi! I am new to IWEB. Is there any way to track who or how many people subscribe to my blog? Do you have a recommendation for how to do this?

  23. Reply barry young says:

    if u want to allow comments on ur blog- which i very much do- iweb tells me i caan only do so if i publish to mobile.me . is there no way i can blog thru iweb and get comments using network solutions or any other hosting service.

    also, mac is ending mobile.me in june 2012. ill that include website hosting as well as email?

    good article btw

  24. Reply love my mac, but..... says:

    Hello Tim, compliments on your blog!

    Now that the MobileMe has ended and we have moved….. I have moved all of my iWeb sites to GD hosting. I need to write a blog and am curious as to what is the best route to go? Are we able to use iWeb properly for blogs? I am already having a heck of a time with SEO on iWeb. In fact, I found you through my search for SEO help for iWeb since everyone I know is telling me to switch to another platform.

    I am quite mac loyal……love my mac, as I said but these are issues that are making my business hard to get tracked.

    Excuse my ignorance on the subject

  25. Reply love my mac, but..... says:

    Hello Tim, compliments on your blog!

    Now that the MobileMe has ended and we have moved….. I have moved all of my iWeb sites to GD hosting. I need to write a blog and am curious as to what is the best route to go? Are we able to use iWeb properly for blogs? I am already having a heck of a time with SEO on iWeb. In fact, I found you through my search for SEO help for iWeb since everyone I know is telling me to switch to another platform.

    I am quite mac loyal……love my mac, as I said but these are issues that are making my business hard to get tracked.

    Excuse my ignorance on the subject and I appreciate any direction you may be able to offer.

    Cheers,
    Lynette

  26. Reply Ron says:

    Will Google Blogger/Blogspot host a blog created on iweb?

  27. Reply Aaron H. says:

    This is a great reference and a well written blog.
    I was hoping there would be some way to host a blogging platform on my own domain, which would be better than having a subdomain with blogspot or wordpress etc. This would help in terms of seo for my site, as well as be much easier to post from anywhere. BTW, I love using iWeb for my site!

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