I am so excited to finally be able to share Foundation 6 with you today. A lot of blood sweat and tears went into getting it released in 2019.
Foundation paved the way for how so many of us design websites in RapidWeaver now. We can design websites with Foundation today that we could only dream of 5 years ago. But it’s time to shake things up again because I know that we can do better.
Foundation 6 starts an entirely new paradigm of designing websites with RapidWeaver. I believe that it will define how we build the next generation of websites with Stacks and RapidWeaver for years to come.
Foundation 6 Framework
F6 uses the latest version of the Foundation Framework. This framework is used by over 300,000 developers worldwide alongside large brands such as Apple, Adobe, Disney and many more. They choose it because of its power, flexibility and performance.
The F6 stacks ship with every component from the framework. It contains all of the basics that you will need to build a solid website.
Need for Speed
I have spent an excruciating amount of time agonizing over the performance of the F6 stacks. I am glad to say that they are faster in every way. The features detailed below all will build the full story on how all aspects of building a website are now faster.
- The entire design process has been streamlined. This make the overall time to build and maintain sites will be drastically reduced.
- Working with F6 inside RapidWeaver is most cases 10x+ faster in both Edit Mode as Preview. Gone are the days of jumpy edit mode interfaces and waiting for your page to preview.
- Your published sites will be lean and mean. The size of your webpage’s HTML can be reduced up to 70% or more.
Swatches are arguably the biggest new feature in F6. They are the driving force behind the new design workflows. Swatches allow you to centralize all of the styles throughout your entire site in one place.
This is important because it ensure that all of our layouts and styles are consistent on every web page. It also means that you now have one place to edit our styles. This will save a ton or time going from page to page adjusting sizes and colors.
Less is definitely more now
You may expect that in order for something to become more powerful and flexible, it needs more settings. F6 definitely debunks this myth.
You will notice that most F6 stacks only have a handful of settings. This is one reason why they are so fast to use and preview. The good news is, these are all that you need. Why? Because of swatches!
Traditionally if you wanted to change styles (e.g. background or font sizes) inside of a stack, settings would be added to said stack in order to do that. But now that we have a background swatch there is no need for background settings inside other stacks. You simply add a background swatch to the page with your styles. Then you assign that swatch to as many stacks as you want using a class (sort of like a key).
Swatches are so easy to use that you won’t be asking for CSS help anymore!
Published Code is Sexy
I am proud to say that web pages made with Foundation 6 will be virtually indistinguishable from websites that were hand coded. There is up to 70% less HTML. This will definitely boost your Page Speed scores!
Not only is the HTML super clean now, all of the code exported by the Foundation is super optimized to ensure that its the smaller size possible. It takes up less space than a single average image on your site.
Accessibility is becoming extremely important with all of the legal actions take against some companies recently. We need to ensure that our websites can be accessed by all people.
Foundation 6 does all of the heavy work behind the scenes to ensure that our sites are accessible. This is especially true with Forms.
There are over 160 stacks under the hood inside F6. That is a lot to learn. In order to speed up the learning process and help you build sites faster, I am supplying a set of pre-made templates for free!
At launch there are 15 different templates with different layouts, form setups, menus and more. I plan on release more free templates over time. I have at least 10 more on my todo list that you should get soon. The templates stack will update just like any other stack.
If you make a template for F6 that you think would benefit the community, send it over and I would be happy to help ship it for you.
So much more
There are so many more features to go over. There is just too much to list. Here are some notable updates.
- Forms got a really great overhaul. There are a bunch of new fields and layouts to make them more powerful. As I said before, F6 forms are fully accessible.
- Forms can now send as many different emails as you want, to as many email addresses as you want. Markdown support for the email template was added as well.
- Columns can now have centered content!
- All columns now match the height of their sibling columns out of the box.
- Column ordering is now super simple
- Markdown is now the text engine of choice!
- Menus are very not opinionated at all. They can be easily styled to blend into your sites style.
- The new Menu Builder is a great way of building your own custom menus.
I wrote up a very thorough overview of the various costs for Foundation 6. You can read it here… Foundation 6 Pricing
What about the addon packs?
Foundation 6 is all one stack now. You get everything that Foundation 1 had (and more) in one stack.
Will Foundation 6 override my Foundation 1 stacks?
Foundation 6 will install as a completely new stack set. Therefore, Foundation 1 & 6 will happily live inside RapidWeaver together.
How can I upgrade my existing F1 sites?
However, you cannot mix F6 and F1 stacks on the same site. If you want to upgrade your site to use F6, you will need to rebuild the website using Foundation 6.
How will this affect my existing websites?
Existing projects that use Foundation 1 will continue to function without issue. You can still use and maintain site built with F1 as you can today. Nothing will force you to upgrade the site to the new version.
Where are the docs?
Right now, the best place to learn Foundation 6 is through the live streams that I have done over the past 3 weeks. You can watch those in the tutorial tab on the Foundation product page or on my YouTube channel.
Make sure that you post questions on the new Foundation 6 space on the Weaver’s Space Community.
I have started recording shorter niche videos about each stack and core concept in F6. I plan on having the first batch of those posted asap.
Over the holidays, I will start working on a new version of foundationstacks.com. This will have the full documentation and demos about everything F6. I didn’t want to make you all wait 3 more months to get F6 in your hands just so that I could build this site.