22 Apr 2011

5 things I want to see in iWeb 4.0.0

15 Comments Blah blah

I was going to call this post ‘An open letter to Apple’ but then thought against it. Who can tell what they are thinking over in Apple and cards are kept so close to chests that it is uber difficult to second guess the next big thing that will appear from Apple HQ. Like many of you I was disappointed when iLife 11 came out and there was no update to iWeb; not even any new themes. I remember watching screen-casts of Steve Jobs singing the praises of Safari 5 and how it was the world’s most super browser, but I could never understand why their web design app was lagging soooo far behind. So here is my list of what I would like to see in the next version of iWeb.

I want to stress too that this isn’t a whimsical post. I have thought about this long and hard, and of course I have the benefit of the feedback from almost 4000 daily visitors to help me decide on the best features that should be included, so here I go.

An iPad Version

It was a while ago that Patently Apple mentioned in one of their posts that they had found evidence in an Apple patent that there was to be an iPad version of iWeb; quite frankly I can’t wait. If Apple does bring a version to the iPad it can only mean that iWeb for the Mac is getting a redesign too, unless they aren’t planning to let the 2 apps sync with each other.

If a version of iWeb does appear for the iPad then I can see iWeb’s user base increasing. Wouldn’t it be fantastic when you are away somewhere and you have the ability to post things to your iWeb blog? Even being able to do it from Starbucks would be brilliant too.

A new folder structure

This has got to be one of my biggest bug-bears when it comes to iWeb. Yes, yes, yes iWeb creates neat and tidy websites with images in the right place and CSS in its place too, but why not create one big folder for images and one big folder for CSS and another for scripts (I could go on). Why is this of benefit? Well if you are adding extra bits to iWeb, such as the Nivo Slider for example, there is no searching for the correct page relevant folder to add the code to, they are go in the same place.

Lose the ‘Domain’ file too

Why oh why as iWeb users can’t we edit regular web-sites? Dare I say it, Frontpage users can! I would love to be able to edit the pages that you get from saving your iWeb to a folder, just like a regular web designer does. Not only that but I would like to be able for other people to edit my iWeb site too, so they can download the files via FTP from my host edit and republish all from their Mac without me having to compress and e-mail the domain file to them; hell we could even edit at the same time.

I know the Domain file is an ideal way of having iWeb back-up your iWeb site for you so that you never lose it and you always have the most up-to-date version on your Mac, but it’s a bit archaic don’t you think?

Where’s the CSS3?

If Safari is so damn good let us iWeb users make iWeb sites that look just as good on it! Apple claims that Safari is the best browser available, and many (including me) would tend to agree with them, but why, when it comes to making sites that look good and feel modern do we not get the tools to match the browser. It’s like asking someone to hang the Mona Lisa on their living room wall and then giving them a hammer and nail made of cheese to put it there.

It shouldn’t be so difficult to add HTML 5, CSS3 or even JQuery elements to iWeb, which leads me on to my next request;

I want to see the code too

This for me is a biggy. I admit that the HTML Snippet is a neat idea and a really simple solution to adding bits and pieces to your iWeb site, but if I could see the code of the page that I am actually editing then that would be even better. I could add bits of code to the section without having to save to a folder first, I could add tracking codes to my footer section without having to save to a folder first (do you get where I am going with this?). Not only that but the code will actually be on the page I want it to be on, not on another page which then happens to open up within a pseudo-iFrame on the original page. Please, please, please let me edit the code within iWeb.

I can think of many other things that I would like to see in the next version of iWeb, such as better navigation bars, more options for the Photo pages and even more themes, but this list above is, for me, the most important.

What do you think Apple should change within the next version of iWeb? Do you even think there should be another version? Leave a comment and let us know.

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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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15 Responses to “5 things I want to see in iWeb 4.0.0”

  1. Reply RO says:

    Compliments, I agree on all points. And I would aspect a seamless importfunction for the existing iWebsites.

    Great artikel, greetings, Ro
    The Netherlands

  2. Reply Thierry says:

    Tim, back in November 2009 I send this message to Apple Feedback in hope they will show on Ilife 10 that was rumored, Ilfe 10 never made it as well as an update to Iweb. These are my requests for an update of Iweb 4.0:

    My feedback I sent to Apple developers:

    Dear apple developer,
    I have been using Iweb for over a year now (please see what I created here: http://www.wesdotphotography.com/Home.html). I loved and enjoy creating this website for my parents’ in law pictures and Iweb as made it a almost painless experience. I’m not a website designer, I understand little of html, css or any other web language coding but Iweb can almost make you forget about that. Now if I’m sending you this feedback is because Iweb (I’m using IWEB09, from ILIFE09 as well as IWORK09) as some shortcoming that I will love to have solve. I totally understand that you may not even read this message but I think if we (your customers) do not provide feedback you will not know what problems we encounter.

    So, here to the fun part:

    1.0IWeb publish to mobileme or any ftp server that you may choose, that is great but we should be able apply any metadatas we would like before publishing.

    2. I would love to be able to apply Goggle analytics (or any other code like statcounter) to each of my pages inside of Iweb before publishing. Right now I’m force to publish to a folder and use third party like IWEB SEO tool from Rage software or MassReplaceIt to apply any change I want.

    3. Be able to use Paypal or other merchant third party baskets so people can buy my products (why not using an Apple merchant basket to integrate into Iweb). Paypal buttons work great with html snippet but it will be even better if they could be integrated directly into Iweb.

    4. Allow RSS feeds to work even if we do not use mobileme hosting, right now I’m using feedburner, it works great but I must replace the link http://www.wesdotphotography.com/Wesdotphotography/blog/ by http://www.wesdotphotography.com/Blog/ this extra Wesdotphotography in the middle does not allow me to access my blogs entry using RSS readers. I think if I could use the RSS function in IWeb it will work better.

    5. Why not leaving the search function available in the blog section accessible regardless of the hosting company? actually this search function could be available for the whole site, not only blog.

    6. Please give us more icons to use, I’m force to dig around in the web to find icons that suit my needs, if Apple was providing some, all Iweb created site will show some uniformity that people will identify better (look at this page: http://www.wesdotphotography.com/About_Us.html) I have several icons on the top that are not that pretty and do not look consistent with the quality looking of Iweb.

    7. Please, please make an effort to produce website that look better in Internet Explorer, we all agree that IE is a terrible browser and my site look great in Safari, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Camino, the problem is that they account for 60% of the browsers out there (74% as of March 2011), IE is still used by 40% (25% as of March 2011) of people out there: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp Look at my home page using IE and I was forced to put a message urging people to switch.

    8. I like your slideshow feature in Iweb but I can not use it because I can not put a paypal button underneath each picture the slideshow display, so I’m force to use a blank page for each of my picture, so far 240 pages (300 as of April 2011), it is a lot to maintain.

    9. Please allow us to create dropdown navigation bar it look so much prettier that the bar I’m using right now (check here http://www.wesdotphotography.com/Tools.html for a sample of a bar I will love to have implemented).

    10. In you slideshow how about allowing a zoom funtion like litebox or fancy zoom.

    11. Better integration of Iwork and Iweb, I tried to create a slideshow in keynotes and integrate it into my home page in Iweb, I could not figure it out.

    12. Contact page (or forms) I use Google Docs for that: http://www.wesdotphotography.com/Contact.html it works fine but I’m sure Apple could implement something similar and better designed.

    13. Forums, here is my forum page: http://www.wesdotphotography.com/Comments.html as you can see not very popular, I know mobileme as a forum (discussion) option it will be nice if this option was available for third party hosting.

    I think this is it, if Iweb could contain part or all off this features next release date (may be january 2010) I will be very excited to upgrade.
    Thanks for reading me again.
    Thierry
    http://www.wesdotphotography.com
    http://www.auxbonsplants.fr

    One more, please create simple template of html5 feature we can use so we can display our pictures, videos and music using this modern language and we can all dump Flash.

  3. Reply Isabel Villavecchia says:

    Thierry, longing to have iWeb with all your wishes come true.
    And thank you so much for all your help and investigation.

    Isabel

  4. Reply Isabel Villavecchia says:

    I ment Tim, but also congratulations for your list Terry

  5. Reply Dr. George says:

    Great Post!

    2 Things I would love to see:

    1) The ability to open and edit iWeb from more than one computer (as well as the iPad).

    2) Enhanced blogging capabilities.

    Add these two, and I will be thrilled.

  6. Reply gui says:

    Finally people who understand me!
    iv been using i web for 2 years now and since the beginning iv been using this website and i have no web design experience at all but Tim, your amazing and have taught me so much! a proof of this is my own website! check out. guiks-pt.tk
    im really glad people have the same feelings towards i web improvement as i do!
    thanks and lets hope they do something about it!
    Greetings from Portugal,
    Gui

  7. Reply Jamie Wilkinson says:

    I have jut created a corporate site for my publishing company through iWeb – see link; http://eljays44.com/eljays44/Welcome.html let me know what you think

  8. Reply Thierry says:

    Dr George,
    I hope it happen, I do not own an iPad but I hope that Apple will update Mobileme and it will allow us to update website directly from the iPad. If it happen this way I’m sure (like mentionned Tim above) we will see an update to iWeb.
    Let’s hope.
    Thierry

  9. Reply Anthony Pitassi says:

    we can only hope that this happens. I would pay triple price if they offered an in depth version as described.

    Why not compete with dreamweaver and go all out with a WYSYG editor along side a full code view editor.

    Imagine the revenue for apple and the income graphic artist with basic code abilities could make feeling more confident in providing a more universal website editable by any web designer in any web design program and generated from iWeb2012.

    Its a win win

  10. Reply Dr.Girlfriend says:

    I’m no coder – not for want of trying I might add – and what I would LOVE to see in iWeb is the easy placement of simple things such as anchors, alt-tags, rollover buttons, banner slideshows, auto-fading images: the kind of things standard on most websites these days.

    The absolute icing on the cake would be the ability to easily work on multiple sites – and the uploading of multiple sites on the MobileMe account. I have several domain names and tons of space on my MobileMe account – but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to upload more than one site at any one time.

    I know most (if not all) of these things can be done by enterprising tweakers and/or the use of scripts or other addons, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask Apple to make them native to iWeb, is it?

  11. Reply Lafe Taylor says:

    I’ve been an iWeb user since 06′ and I also do “real” web development. I use iWeb for smaller clients that don’t need a CMS.

    With that said, the features that I would like to see added to iWeb, would be more CMS oriented in nature.

    I would like to see:

    1. iWeb, have customized headers and footers that can be styled with CSS or the ability to custom the design once and have it update everywhere.

    2. the ability to have universal modules that u edit once and it appears on every page. i.e. Footer, sidebar, headers, etc…

    I also agree with some of Thierry’s list as well.

    http://isaacmurphy.org is the site that I’ve built using iWeb. Currently it’s the only iWeb set I have up and may be the last unless better updates are made available.

  12. Reply Paul says:

    Hi,
    definitely an IPad app for developing on the fly.
    Decent compression algorithms to reduce page size
    Consideration of SEO and analytics code

    Id love to be able to blog on the run http://www.solidwoodtoybox.co.uk
    Without worrying about compression efficiency

    Cheers

    paul

  13. Reply Robyn says:

    I think Tim should just get a job over @ Apple and head the iweb department.
    Then all of us iwebbers would be in a much better world.
    Cheers Robyn
    PS. Love your work Tim

  14. Reply Angel says:

    Iweb does most of already is mentioned. Look at our site http://www.wholesaledigitalprint.com

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