iWeb is a template-based WYSIWYG website creation tool developed by Apple Inc.. The first version of iWeb was announced at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 10, 2006 as part of the iLife ’06 suite of digital lifestyle applications.. The latest version was released as part of the iLife ’09 suite on January 6, 2009. iWeb allows users to create websites and blogs and customize them with their own text, photos and movies. Users can then publish their websites to MobileMe or another hosting service. In addition to its ability to publish to MobileMe, iWeb integrates with other services, including Facebook, YouTube, Google AdSense and Google Maps.
Overview and features
iWeb allows users to create and design websites and blogs without coding, and includes a number of Apple-designed themes, each of which has several page templates with coordinated fonts and colors. Users can customize these pages by replacing placeholder text and by dragging and dropping their own photos and movies into the document. Templates include blog, podcast, and photo and movie gallery pages, as well as standard “Welcome” and “About Me” pages.
iWeb integrates with other applications in the iLife suite. The iLife Media Browser is a list of all the music, movies, and photos stored in iTunes, iMovie, and iPhoto. Content can be dragged from the Media Browser window and placed in the open page. Local files can also be dropped directly into the page.
Nine interactive “widgets” are included with iWeb. Among other things, these widgets let users embed YouTube videos and Google Maps, include a countdown timer and add RSS feeds.
iWeb features built-in support for publishing to MobileMe, a suite of online applications developed by Apple, and to other third-party web hosts with FTP. Once account information is entered, users simply click a button to publish their entire website. iWeb can then publish updates to the user’s Facebook profile to notify others of changes to the website.
iWeb is currently in its third version, and has a limited feature set and some unresolved bugs. Some limitations include:
- Separate CSS files are created for each page, rather than a single stylesheet for the entire site.
- There is no option for more advanced users to directly edit the HTML code of templates. HTML support is limited to small snippets that can be included with the page.
- Password protection is not supported on non-MobileMe user websites.
- Users are limited to the built-in templates, as there is no standard way to create new templates.
- Comments on blog pages are not supported on non-MobileMe user websites.
Several applications which let users extend the functionality of iWeb have been developed.
- iTweak — An all-around tool for implementing search fields, hitcounters, contact-forms, favicons, Haloscan commenting, password-protection for non-MobileMe sites and several other minor things.
- iMap — A sitemap creation tool which also supports the addition of Meta-Tags.
- iWeb SEO Tool — A free tool that lets you prepare an iWeb based website for search engines.
- iWebBuddy — A tool to manage several domain files for iWeb and the addition of Mint or Google Analytics hitcounters as well as the modification of RSS feeds.
- iWebSites — iWebSites can split, fuse and manage several domain files for your iWeb site.
Additionally, designers have developed additional iWeb templates: