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The Quick Review: iWeb ‘09

January 29, 2009

Two days, two apps. I’m on fire. Not literally though, so don’t send the fire department.

iWeb ‘09 is the third incarnation of Apple’s simple Web site software and to be honest, not a lot has changed since the first time I used it in version 1. Sure there are more themes available, but they’re all still fairly locked down. Sure there are widgets for YouTube and Google Maps, but simple things like counters won’t work in the page unless you use Apple’s MobileMe service ($99 per year).

But then again, this is me speaking as someone who has their own personal blog set up and actually enjoys fiddling with Custom Style Sheets. Most people just want a site that works and iWeb can do a fantastic job of that. Photo galleries are as easy as dragging an album of photos onto an album page in iWeb. That’s it. It’s also relatively easy to set up a nice look for a blog or a podcast or just to start from scratch with a blank page.

I’m disappointed in the lack of new themes for iWeb 09. Leaf Print and Fine Line both look nice and profesionalish, but there’s no pizazz or real creative spark emanating from them. When even the 1.1 release had six themes, it’s disappointing to see a major release with so little added in that regard.

I personally probably won’t make much use of iWeb 09, but if you’re just getting started or want a quick way to show off your photos to friends and family and even a few business contacts without a lot of fuss, it might be worthwhile for you.