Think Secret is reporting that iWeb 2.0 is due for some major enhancements in its v2.0 release, which is expected to be released in early 2007.
As a Mac user, I’ve recently experimented with the premiere release of iWeb. Results can be seen here: toddandjulie.ca. Overall, iWeb is quite easy to use and extremely intuitive. But, it definitely does have some shortcomings. For static content, iWeb is fantastic. It easily creates a static site, complete with picture galleries, podcasts and video files. That’s all fine and good, but products have been doing this sort of web development for quite some time now.
Some of the items that I found limiting include (but aren’t limited to):
- No code editor window – or at least if there is, I have yet to find it.
- Inability to customize the navigation bar – To add an external page to my site, I had to build a dummy page in iWeb, then manually update the dummy page using an external text editor (due to the lack of code editing in iWeb 1.0).
- Inability to create robust photo galleries – the best iWeb could do, as far as I could tell, was make a single page photo gallery that would contain all of the pictures that you’d want to post. I had to create a “photos” landing page, then create a bunch of subpages that contain photos by search criteria. And, these pages are all static which means the pics can’t be sorted by date, theme, etc. Disappointing, since there are plenty of tools out there that provide great photo publishing options.
- Site updates – iWeb provides some slick publishing functionality when you publish to a .Mac account. Incremental site updates alone are almost worth the price to pay to get a .Mac account. Re-rendering the entire site each time you make changes is quite time consuming, especially if there are plenty of pictures and videos in the site in question. iWeb re-renders the complete site if you publish to an external folder (the only other option if you don’t publish to .Mac). This is more of an annoyance than a barrier to use though… but, it is a bit Microsoft’ish in terms of trying to convince you to use Apple’s proprietary hosting platform.
There are some other minor annoyances with the product, but these are the main ones that I noticed.
Think Secret is suggesting that Apple is working on some dynamic content capabilities for iWeb 2.0. Things like:
- Smart Albums – ability to control the display of photo galleries, along with some dynamic presentation options.
- Flickr integration – ability to pull in content from Flickr (and maybe others)
- Google AdSense integration – yet another winner
- Themes – this alone would make the product a worthy upgrade
This functionality would be great, as dynamic content generation is definitely lacking from iWeb 1.0. Hopefully Think Secret is right about the features that Apple is working on for the next release. Only time will tell though…