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iWeb is languishing, unchanged since iLife '09, and although it’s compatible with Mountain Lion, it’s obvious that Apple have given up on producing a web design app. Other applications offer similar features, but not many offer iWeb's flexible, WSIWYG design features, which work like desktop publishing, letting you put objects and text boxes anywhere on the page. Dreamweaver ($399 standalone, part of Creative Suite 6 bundles starting at $1,899, and part of Creative Cloud from $49/month, www.adobe.com) is expensive and can be complex, but Flux, by the Escapers, hits the sweet spot between flexibility and price.
If you’re more of a designer than a coder, you'll appreciate Flux’s interface. The UI can be a little intimidating when you first open it, with menus at the top, bottom, and side of each page, but once you start using the app, it doesn't take much time to understand how things work.
Although you can do everything you need from the main interface, you always have access to the code.
You can import existing sites into it and alter them (including sites designed with iWeb), although some pages didn't import properly. Flux appears to have problems with blog posts, for instance. Flux can't handle pages built with frames, either, since the <frame> tag isn’t supported in HTML5. But most of our pages loaded flawlessly.
Flux is remarkably easy to use. You can start small, creating pages by placing images wherever you like, along with text and a few links. As your experience grows, you can add buttons that change when you mouse over them, animated menus, and "master" elements that give your site a consistent look and can be easily updated in unison. You can preview your site right in Flux by sending the page you’re working on to any web browser on your Mac.
It’s definitely not as simple as iWeb, but it's just as flexible. We love how it lets you lay out your pages visually while still generating compliant code. Of course, if you’re a code junkie, you can access and modify it directly from the coding window, something iWeb lacks. You can even write the entire page from there if you want, or paste in code from another site. The autocomplete feature offers you options as you type, suggesting a list of possible images, for instance. This is a great timesaver.
The bottom line. Flux offers the best of both worlds: a great visual canvas where you can position your page’s elements as you want them, and a powerful coding environment when you want to lift the hood up and get your hands dirty. It's even a worthy competitor to Dreamweaver, but for much less money.
OS X 10.6.6 or later
WSIWYG design. Uploads to FTP and SFTP sites. Caters to a range of expertise, from neophytes to code ninjas. Excellent documentation and tutorials.
Interface seems complex, especially at first. No graphic design features. It helps if you're comfortable with some aspects of coding.