I wish I loved Sandvox

You can use any font you like as long as it’s the default or you’re willing to painfully override it manually everywhere.

My first cut of our twins website was done with Sandvox, but I quickly ran into the same problem I always run into with Sandvox, i.e.

  • Most of its themes either suck or have obvious flaws (e.g. lame fonts)
  • It’s very fiddly to fix the simple flaws in a theme
  • Even the best themes have dumb and annoying problems (e.g. CAPS in menus)
  • The home page is inflexible and retarded
  • iPhoto integration is poor
  • You can’t do any theme customization inside Sandvox, it’s basically use the theme as isor hack undocumented code; not surprising there’s basically no third-party support out there
  • There’s no way to do obvious low-level html styling inside text boxes, e.g. you can’t put in bullet points without resorting to raw html. Once you have raw html in text fields, they become buggy
  • The html in the themes isn’t very good. Clickable widgets, in particular, have very peculiar “hotspots”.

Nothing says “kid’s website” like tiny fonts in badly chosen colors. And bath toys!

If you just want to toss together a reasonably attractive website on the Mac without hand coding it, your options are RapidWeaver, SandVox, and iWeb. Of the three, iWeb is the most flexible, RapidWeaver probably has more to offer power-users, and then there’s Sandvox.

Originally, Sandvox had the advantage of not being iWeb 1.x. iWeb 1.x produced extremely heavy pages, had lousy browser compatibility, and basically sucked. iWeb ’08 fixes all of iWeb 1.x’s obvious flaws, and has the advantage of Apple-quality page templates, flexibility, and quite a lot of power under the hood. In the meantime, Sandvox has basically stood still.

If you could just tweak the CSS to reduce the whitespace and fix the default fonts, this theme might not suck.

If Sandvox had user forums (the lack of which is pretty despicable for an indie program) I would be ranting my complaints in them.

So I find myself using iWeb, marveling (most of the time) at just how damn good it is, and occasionally lamenting its flaws.