Posts Tagged ‘RapidWeaver’

For a while now, I have been trying to figure out if I wanted to maintain more than one website/blog and recently came to the conclusion it would be better to concentrate on one instead of spreading myself (and my musings) out across numerous sites or blogs.  With this decision came the tough part of the process.  Figuring out how to accomplish the task of merging all my entries and pages into one “blogsite”.

Many of my musings were simply the same posts on different sites, so i knew there would be some duplicates to be weeded out, and also a few that were really not (to quote Elaine from Seinfield) “spongeworthy”.  By that i mean, they were either dealing with issues specific to the blog taken from or not interesting enough to be part of the mass merging of entries.

Part of the problem was trying to get all my old posts from the www.thatcomputerguy.org website which was recently redone with RapidWeaver into the http://www.thatcomputerguy.ca website which is created with WordPress.  WordPress has the ability to import a lot of information in various formats from numerous other blogging programs, but not one specifically for importing the info from RapidWeaver.  A little poking around on the web pointed me to a plug-in for RapidWeaver called RapidBlog.  This plug-in gives you the ability to blog from anywhere using a Blogger account (once its all set up that is.)  The nice thing about this was that my WordPress site (www.thatcomputerguy.ca in case you lost track) has the option to import from a blogger account built into it.  Woo and Hoo i say.

I did the importing the long way, kinda.  I had already imported some of my other WordPress blog entries (yes, another blogsite -that’s 3, and then blogger was the forth) into the Blogger account prior to using RapidBlog and manually syncing it to the Blogger account, which resulted in a number of duplicate blog entries when i imported into the .ca website.  Most of the entires worked fine, some were missing images or tags, but nothing so far that i couldn’t remedy, i’m a pack rat when it comes to digital information and had retained many of the images used in the posts just-in-case.  Even if I had not done that, its a simple process to copy the images from the other blogsite and insert them into this one.

I’m not big on change for changes sake, but i am taking the time to tweak the layout , the info, and the entries a bit as the merging occurs.  It was good before, for the time i did it, it made sense and i liked it, but as with anything a fresh coat of virtual paint on your website can revitalize it and possibly renew interest, or as with a house, make you not want to move just yet.  Time will tell, as i seem to be a bit of a cyber-nomad when it comes to my web presence, thankfully its much easier to pack up virtually and relocate or change – no boxes or moving trucks involved and i don’t have to bribe friends with pizza and beer to get help.

TCG

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Well,… i finished the importing and recreating of all my old blogs on the weekend. It was an arduous experience, but i wanted to make the switch complete, so i muddled through the monotonous task of copy-clipping the text, the images, etc and reformatting to try to match the original layouts. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and wanted to keep all the entries available so with the help of a lot of coffee and a bag of candy i muddled through.

I have to say, i’m pretty pleased with the results. Now that all the data is in place i can spend a bit of time tweaking it, but it shouldn’t be nearly as difficult exercise as what is already done. The “Publish Site” ability build into RapidWeaver is one of my favorites – a simple thing really, but it removes those extra steps of exporting to a file and the need for a FTP app to upload your changes to your site, and anything that saves me time and effort is, to paraphrase that former jailbird martha, a good thing.

Feel free to nose around and check out the BLOG ARCHIVES and let me know what you think, i’m always up for good constructive criticism, and yeah i know i need to change the Titlebar, i just have to get my creative hat on for a bit and create the new one. I have so many hats on right now i can barely keep my head up somedays.
tcg

As i’ve mentioned, i was comparing iWeb to RapidWeaver and eventually decided to take the plunge and switch over to RapidWeaver. Well, let me say that process is proving to be time consuming. There is no Export Feature in iWeb that will allow me to transfer the previous entries into RapidWeaver, not that RW has an import feature either. As such, i am in the process of copy all the entries and recreating them in RW, i may weed out a few along the way, but i like to keep all the past entries available in case someone is looking for an answer is curious about a topic or subject i have previously mentioned.
So,…. looks like a long day/night for me of copyclipping. The point i am making with all this is, if you are toying with the idea of starting your own website, consider the differences in the programs carefully. iWeb is great for what it does – makes a website simply and easily, but its not using html code like other programs do – its mostly image based, and also does not use CSS so when it comes to changing down the road, you, like i, am forced to rebuild the site from scratch.

I am treating it like a learning experience, i like to try out all new software and give it a fair chance. iWeb has had its chance, and served me well, and now i’m moving on, and up some would say, to RapidWeaver.

tcg

New website layout

Posted: October 28, 2008 in website design
Tags: , ,

PART TWO:

I’ve taken the time to learn the program, Rapidweaver, well, i guess i should say MOST of the program – there are tons of little tricks i’m sure i’ll pick up along the way, but suffice to say i have learned enough to redo this website and feel good enough about the results to take it live.

As i mentioned earlier, there are a few parts of the program i am not all that crazy about, but there are workarounds and the add-ons, either by the developers themselves or the free ones that can be downloaded from the developers website are quite good and make the app even better and easier to use. I’ve never been one to like using HTML, but i know enough of it to be able to play with the code to make parts of the add-ons look the way i want them to.

As with anything new, there is a learning curve, and in comparing RapidWeaver to Apple’s iWeb, there are good and bad about both app, and advantages to each. One thing that i’m still struggling with in RW is the lack of a good thorough inspector that works with all parts of the pages. That is one thing Apple did well, and better in my opinion, their inspector lets you see all the parts a little easier than using the menu the way RW does. But, as i said, that is just a minor thing and entirely based on the way i like to design, others may not agree.

I’ve only had the program crash on me once – and it locked the file so that i could not save once – no matter where i tried to save it to (insert ARGH here, and a few expletives). Thankfully i had saved a couple minutes earlier and had not done too much since. it might have been due to TimeMachine saving the file at the same time i was trying to overwrite it – not sure. And i miss “copy text style” and “paste text style” that are options available in iWeb. I use those so very often and haven’t come across a good way to do the same in RW.

All in all, its a fairly easy to use and learn program – do yourself a favour and read the manual. i know, i know – you are saying “what? read the manual? nah” but seriously, after struggling along for a while i broke down and did and learned a couple of things that really helped me make the most of this app.

tcg