Creating a blog site using stacks


(Simon) #1

I’m a little tired of blog cmses and hosted blogs. I know Rapidweaver fairly well and would like to create a blog that is created using stack pages. RM has not updated the blogging functionality of RW for quite some time and with Typed.com live, I’m not sure how on the cards a revamped blog page will be.

All this has set me to thinking how I can create my own blog using RW using stacks pages. I’m not after anything fancy. I’m interested in the components needed, the site structure and how feasible it will really be.

Items the site should contain are:

  • archive
  • tags
  • search
  • disqus comments
  • standard front page with most recent blog posts
  • rss feed
  • posts to be written in markdown

Looking forward to some good ideas!


(Robert Ziebol 🖖🏼) #2

Joe Workman makes a stack called Tumblr, which you can integrate your Tumblr blog into a stacks page. It does not do all that you want, but I am not sure there is a stack out there that will do all you want.

There is also RW/Writer by BlueBall designs that can be used with Stacks pages and Armadillo by Nimblehost, but I do not believe that those two can do all on your list either.

Joe is working on a Blog for his TotalCMS system that should be out by the new year, so if you can wait, that might be the option to go, as it will have ALL of what you want, including the markdown, which will be the hardest one to fill with the rest.

Good luck in your search.


(Simon) #3

I’m currently using the Tumblr stack. However, I don’t want a stack, I want to use stacks pages to create my own blog with RW…


(Jannis from inStacks Software) #4

But you need a backend (server side scripting, datastore) for your blogs.

This can be done with TotalCMS, Armadillo, TubmlrStack, Blog Stack for Typed.com, RW/Writer, Yourhead Cloud, … you name them.

There is no Stacks only blog possible if you do not want to reopen RapidWeaver all the time for blogging.


(Jonathan Head) #5

If I understand correctly what you describe, it sounds like you want to create a separate Stacks page for each blog post, as opposed to using the built-in Blog page in RapidWeaver. And then display those posts (separate Stacks page) as a single Blog, and just manage the “posts” via RapidWeaver, correct?

Assuming that is indeed what you’re wanting to do, I don’t think this is feasible with how RW currently works. It might, might, be possible to figure out some kind of workaround using Partials in Stacks 3, but you’d be working against (as I understand it) how RW was designed to be used, and would have to compensate accordingly (like hiding the relevant Stacks page “posts” from the site navigation, etc.).


(Simon) #6

That’s exactly what I’m looking for. The difficulty with the stacks that import other blogs is that they duplicate the feed. The problem with the built in blog is that I cannot make use of any of the stacks.

Automating a system would be difficult as it would require some form of scripting, with which I’m not familiar. I was looking at creating different stacks pages, one for tags, another for an archive and update with each blog post. This is a small private blog. The site can grow slowly. I was just wondering if someone had already done this and had some advice.

I find it really sad that RW has these wonderful stacks that allow just about every sort of functionality, but no way of integrating it with the blog page. It would be superb if you could produce a fully fledged blog using all the stacks available.


(Jannis from inStacks Software) #7

Maybe you tell us what you are missing in the available solutions so that you think about creating yet another one.


(Mathew Mitchell) #8

This conversation is starting to get confusing. The OP stated:

I’m a little tired of blog cmses and hosted blogs.

It seems for a person getting “tired” that the OP is willing to pour a LOT of fairly usefulness energy into a potential solution (at best) with little discernible advantage to existing solutions. For example, Armadillo is a wonderfully functioning blog that plays well with RapidWeaver. There are other options as well. But it’s hard to reply to the OP because I have no real idea of why he is “tired” of the other solutions.

I realize the OP wants to use almost any stack with a blog. While I understand this as a hope/dream/fantasy, I’m not sure what he’s truly trying to accomplish. Every stack has limitations, especially in terms of incorporating other stacks.

At any rate, as @instacks mentioned, if the OP can tell us something very specific/concrete then perhaps some more useful ideas can be generated.


(Simon) #9

I’m certainly not trying to replicate or create another solution. I’m trying to use RW as the solution although with the power of stack pages.

At the moment there are two alternatives with RW

  1. Use the blog page. This is not a desired solution as no stacks can be used and the blog page has not seen any enhancement in a long time.
  2. Use an external blog and import the blog into your site. I don’t like this either. Armadillo (which I have used) requires a database and external setup (although I need to add it is not a blog import). Tumblr blog and a few other stacks simply show a feed on your site that duplicates the original site with your theme applied.All too much overhead for my liking.

Why am I tired of CMS’s? CMS’s have a large overhead. I’ve used Wordpress (Drupal/Joomla…) for years, but in the end it is becoming too cumbersome to maintain. Updates, plugin updates, security, etc. All in all this takes a large chunk of time. On a shared host the database driven sites also tend to render a lot slower. In the end I would prefer a solution that works with RW without needing external input such as a CMS.

The reason I want to use stacks pages is because they do make life easy, with the benefit that I can simply create the page and upload without having to be concerned about database backups, plugin updates, security etc.

Hope that makes sense.


(Aaron Marquez) #10

Going to pipe in and say that I believe what the OP is wanting is: the ability to create blog posts with the stacks/plugins he’s purchased. That way he has the ability to use an animation stack, pull quote stack, etc, to create “rich” and “beautiful” blog posts. The blog posts would be constructed with stacks versus pure text, HTML, or Markdown, etc.

As @nimblehost mentioned, this isn’t currently possible in an effective or efficient way. You’d have to create a page for each blog post, etc.

Would be a neat stack/plugin though :wink:


(Simon) #11

Many thanks! It’s been a long day and perhaps my thinking isn’t as clear as I’d like it! But that’s exactly what I’m looking for!


Reasons to use or not to use the built in Blog in RW
(Rob Beattie) #12

You could create several blog page types using your chosen stacks and then save them as Partials in Stacks 3, then re-use them as and when. That would take a little of the donkey work out of things.


(Gabrielle Vickery) #13

If you ONLY use Rapidweaver for blogging and you have no intention of blogging remotely, then the built in blog option page would do it, wouldnt it?

I’m having a similar issue. I never want to blog outside of Rapidweaver so would love to use the inbuilt blog page. But it seems limited. How can you get it to look as if it belongs in your website (ie with the styling around it). Can you bring it in with a pluskit page? Doesn’t sound sensible. I may have asked that before.

I don’t want to pay for a hosted blog service because this blog is just for a hobby.

I’ve tried Joe’s Tumblr stack but so far have been unsuccessful in getting it to work.

I’m stuck.


(Will Woodgate) #14

Blog Enhancement Kit?

It’s free / opensource and it works with all of my themes. Might work with themes by some other companies too. It hooks straight onto the existing RapidWeaver blog page type to add several additional features.

Most RapidWeaver themes already style the RapidWeaver blog page type to make it match the rest of your existing website. A lot of addon themes have style settings to control aspects of the blog like colours, font styles and spacing.


(Gabrielle Vickery) #15

Thanks for that Will, you’ve just reminded me why I can’t use the built in blog page for my site. I’m using the Blueball Freestack theme, which I love…but it doesn’t allow for the use of the built in blog.


(Charlie Lockhart) #16

Hi Everyone,

Have you had a look at RW/Writer? Should offer exactly what you have been asking for using stacks on a Stacks page. you can find out more details here: RW/Writer

It’s a full featured blog stack tied in with the RW/Writer web app that you can log into and make a blog post from anywhere using any device. Its a very popular blog option for Stacks users that is dead simple to setup and implement.

Anyway, just wanted to make you aware of it as an option in case you might be interested.

Best,
Charlie


(Gabrielle Vickery) #17

Yes I’ve looked at that, but because this website is a hobby rather than a business I’d rather not spend regular money on it if at all possible.


(Simon) #18

Hi Gabrielle,

In the end I didn’t sort my website using Rapidweaver. I got pretty far with creating a blog structure, the problem is you end up with too much that you have to maintain that a blog automatically does.

The problem with the built in blog page is that you cannot use any stacks on it. This is a serious limitation in my view. I’m also not sure if it’ll ever be updated to include stacks. The good news is that Nimblehost’s Armadillo CMS stack has really matured. Armadillo does require a little server knowledge and by that I mean you would need to know how to set up a mysql database, your host should help you set this up. Once set up you can use Armadillo for blogging and other pages. The beauty is that you can actually include pages from Armadillo on any stacks page in your Rapidweaver site. This really is good news. This really makes creating a blog in Rapidweaver great. I used Joe Workmans Tumblr stack which worked great, but never liked having two sites with the same content.

I’m going to use this on one of my sites soon.


(Gabrielle Vickery) #19

Thank you for your input. Yes I did try Armadillo a few years back but the frustration in getting it to actually install properly completely put me off it. Every time I’ve tried since, I’ve failed.

I wish I could get Joe’s Tumblr stack to work. I’ve emailed support to ask for help.


(Charlie Lockhart) #20

Hi Gabrielle,

I understand. We tried to keep the RW/Writer subscription cost as low as we could to help RapidWeaver Stacks users out and still stay viable long term. The subscription cost is less than $2 a month for a full featured easy-to-use blog on a Stacks page.

The FreeStack Responsive theme has a Tumbler stack included with the theme that offers the basic Tumbler blog features you can try using, but it is not as full featured as some other Tumblr blog stacks are.

Best,
Charlie