Jumsoft iWeb Themes
Price: $9.99 or all ten themes for $69.99
Requirements: iWeb 2 from iLife 08
As a long time user of iWeb I have become somewhat jaded with the themes that Apple supplies with their easy to use website creation program. So much so that I did a series of articles on how to use it and make your site look anything OTHER than yet another iWeb site. It’s relatively easy to do so, cut this piece there, add a little here, not entirely unlike gourmet cooking but with a Betty Crocker Easy-Bake oven.
This is not to say that Apple’s own themes aren’t beautiful and iWeb can make using them not only simple, but quite pleasant to look at. After awhile though, when you start seeing the same themes applied over and over again, whatever the message the creator is trying to convey can be lost in the dullness of repetition. As I stated, you can take those same Apple themes and make them look different, but the same methods used to do so must be applied again and again to keep the theme consistent within the site. My series of articles explained how to take some of the grunt work out of it, but I won’t pretend it doesn’t take extra work beyond that of just selecting a new page.
So, what to do? There are companies that will sell you new themes but installing them and having them easily work within the framework of iWeb isn’t something that the average person who just wants to make a website will want to tackle. Enter Jumsoft.
Jumsoft is a European company with dedicated people that have difficult to pronounce names for my uncultured American tongue. That notwithstanding, what they do is show a great commitment to the Mac platform and support for some of the wonderful productivity programs available, some exclusively, for our preferred OS. These include Rapid Weaver, Pages, Keynote, and Aperture amongst others. Mostly along the lines of applied themes to help users of these programs get started, or to provide a framework for them to get their message or content out without having to worry about the front end. If this was all they brought to the table, we would do a polite golf clap, give them a cookie, and be on our way, but Jumsoft decided to do a little more work than that. With every iWeb template, they also include an installer so that when you open iWeb and create a new page or site, the Jumsoft template you purchased is included along with Apple’s templates. No fuss, no muss, use the template just like any other.
The templates themselves have the necessary pages for each type of iWeb page. Movies, pictures, podcasts, blogs, they are all there. Some are in my opinion more attractive and useful than others, but there is a wide variety in which to choose from. You can purchase each one separately for $9.99 each or buy them all (10 actually) in one pack for $69.99. My only complaint about the themes is that some elements are fixed in width and cannot be altered so if you decide that you want a site to wider than what is standard for that theme, those elements cannot be changed to accommodate.
Here’s the bottom line. If you use iWeb on a regular basis, you need to take the time to go to Jumsoft and see what they have available. They have great looking themes and have made it drop dead simple to add them to iWeb. Simplicity is the cornerstone of a program like iWeb. Jumsoft seems to understand that and have made the necessary strides to continue in that vein. I would have given them a 5 out of 5 if it wasn’t for the fixed elements in some themes so ½ point removed for that.