Foundry / Foundation / UIKit / Bootsnap / Blueball Freestack: Which Framework to choose?

Just today, Adam from Elixir came out with a system called Foundry which seems to be really similar to Foundation: a free-form-theme with a wide array of stacks to cover most content types and functions. Has anybody made up his/her mind on the differences or advantages of one over the other? Just wondering…

1 Like

I doubt anybody has had a chance to try Foundry and thoroughly test it at this stage, so it would be very hard to tell. I had a quick look on the site but I just don’t know enough about it to really form an opinion. I am generally happy with the capabilities of Foundation.

Having had a good look at the Foundry site and watching some of the videos I have come away very impressed. For an initial realise it is well presented and clearly a lot of though has gone into how it has been implemented. The videos are superb and it comes with some demo sites.

Foundry appears to offer more features (Glide, Jumbotron, Slide Nav, Card Pack Flow, Rainbow bar, etc.) and to provide some of those features in Foundation, you would need to add Jack, Target and Glider so that makes Foundry about half of the cost of Foundation. The Foundry Gallery and Accordion are very usable.

One thing I didn’t see was warehouse image support and it looks like the breakpoints (just as they are in Foundation) are fixed.

Foundry appears to create instantly recognisable Bootstrap sites and Foundation sites are also instantly recognisable, so which one you choose may be influenced by the default appearance of each one. I think Bootstrap has a sharper more coherent design and looks more current, which you would need to style Foundation to achieve the same look (remove shadows, bevels, etc).

Foundation however, is very mature and has had many updates over the last 2 years and also has great support and several dedicated forums in place. BWD’s FoundationPlus stacks take Foundation to a new level and really enhance it so that is a big factor that may influence the decision. Having said that, if you are familiar with Foundation, you will instantly recognise Foundry and feel at home with it (judging by the videos).

Looking forward to finding out more about Foundry.


If you already own foundation or ui kit, you don’t need foundry. All these free form theme/stacks (foundation, pure, bootstrap, freestacks, ui kit and now foundry) do the same thing, there may be some stacks that are exclusive to each framework other than that they are the same product just rebranded by the developer. Now that every one has a “framework” in their product catalog, hopefully we can have original stacks in development rather than duplicates.


Bootstrap and Foundation are quite different but also have similarities, but the implementations are not all the same. The devil is firmly in the details more than ever with Frameworks. They all promise everything but you often realise that you can’t do something or you can do something much better with a 3rd party stack instead of the more basic standard one. Foundry seems to have everything covered with good versions of all of the elements.

I would agree that if you have one then you probably don’t need another.


Absolutely. I had a chance to play with Foundry yesterday. And I have to say, never have I seen such meticulous detail put into anything. It has been extremely well thought out, in a way that makes it very intuitive to use for the end user, what ever their level of design skill. An hour playing around with the set, and you will have a good grasp of what you are able to achieve and how. I’d highly recommend it to anyone sitting on the fence about trying a freeform theme / stacks set.

I think the price point is also very realistic. Well done Adam.


Just to add another Freeform theme building option, there’s always the Blueball Freestack theme. I only ever use that one now to build all of my sites as it gives me all the flexibility I’ve ever needed so far. :slight_smile:


Of course there are differences in the detail…my issue is that it looks like developers are looking for a framework and create the same product. We now have foundation, 2 bootstrap based products, ui kit, pure and the original freestacks. That’s not innovation, that’s saturation of a product. I am NOT bashing this product, if you don’t have a freeform stack/template take a look at it, there are some unique stacks. My comment is that developers should push rapidweaver/stacks to its limits rather than having more of the same


Picked it up yesterday and am now using it to create a new site. Loving it so far. I know that it’s similar to other build “packages”, but for some reason I find it easier. Kudos to Adam, as with all of his products, top notch job!


Wohooo…wouldn’t have guessed this would become so hot so quickly :wink:
My first impression after having watched the videos is that a lot of settings seem to be a tad easier. I find Foundation and esp. the BWD stacks relatively badly documented. Many of the hover-texts don’t work or are wrong, the doc portal only gives rudimentary explanation. This might be better / easier with Foundry. Plus the basic settings seem to be really polished, as always with Adam’s stuff. I think I will give it a try.

1 Like

The BWD stacks are not part of Foundation so the 2 are not the same. The BWD FoundationPlus stacks are an optional Pro enhancement that adds a level of power unavailable anywhere else and add a lot of missing pieces of the puzzle. If you are familiar with Foundation and decide to download a BWD Pro version (for free) you really should know what you are doing. The support documentation for the BWD stacks is amongst the very best and just to clear here, BWD do not charge a penny for their stacks so it’s not correct to say that they are “relatively badly documented”. Most BWD stacks also have downloadable project files and additional support information.


What does this even mean… [quote=“therealmf, post:10, topic:8646”]
Wohooo…wouldn’t have guessed this would become so hot so quickly

Really??? Haven’t been on the forums before?? :wink:

Sounds like you have use neither product, so this is just an assumption on your part.

Guess you have not been to his site lately…

1 Like

Lol…it’s not hot or cold, as stated before customers take a look at Foundry.

1 Like

I agree, on most what you all said here so far. Another choice for people. I have never used Foundry, even though it sounds like some devs got to test it for their stacks, we did not. I have no clue about anything about Foundry, so I can not comment on that. What I can say is Foundation is highly developed, constantly updated, well supported and continuously moving forward. Has a great user base who is always there to help you out, plus has great developers behind it making stacks and project files. Take a look at all of them out there and make your choice.

1 Like

That’s actually funny, Robert…you were the one who asked me to re-supply the UrStrom website I have made. One of the sites I used Foundation and BWD stacks for. So, yes, I have been working with both. Ask Joe about the hover texts, I already informed him weeks ago. Many of the texts that appear when you hover over a ui element in the stacks panel are generic and/or incorrect.
I am totally thankful to BWD for all those free stacks and indeed I don’t want to bang on someone who supplies so much for free. But my feeling is that while the site writes a lot about the stacks, it doesn’t really explain how to implement things. Maybe that’s just my dumbness.
Oh, and Robert…you may wanna ask Dan and Ben, for how long I have been a part of the RW community. I won’t tell you as it might hurt your feelings. Just a hint: take competition sporty. Joe has so many excellent products, he can stand a competitor joining the game with something very interesting.


Now you’re making this hot. My point is not about competition, competition is great…it’s about innovation, new ideas.

1 Like

I would really like to see a comparison between code rendered by Foundry compared to code rendered by Foundation. Although owning Bootsnap I bought Foundation just two weeks ago and wonder if I would jump onto the next Framework

Sorry if I do not remember every ticket I look at.

Did you miss the wink, it was a joke. :wink: Oh, and I have been around a long time too, been using RapidWeaver since version 3, been on the forums about as long.

Did you miss my 2nd post after my replies to you??? You asked Foundry vs Foundation. I gave my response to it, saying competition is good and then highlighted the good points of Foundation, since, as I said, I have not used Foundry. Never once have I said a bad thing about Foundry or it being a competitor. I am good friends with Adam and use to beta test (yes, while working for Joe) for him. He left me out of this one, which I understand completely.

1 Like

Lots of passion in this thread…

I don’t see Foundry as saturating the market at all. I could be wrong but Bootsnap, Pure, and Freestack are no longer in active development. So that leaves Foundation, UIKit and Foundry. While Freestack was the first stack based theme, I feel that the popularity and power of Foundation has lead the market to where we are today with stack based themes. I think having 3 options for users is a great thing.

Saying that Foundry has more features is misleading. Does it have different features? Of course it does. Foundation currently ships with twice the number of stacks (109 at this moment, including child stacks). As many of you know, I tend to add a lot more detailed settings for users than most developer do. Those extra settings give more flexibility and power. Foundation has been out for 2 years now. It has a lot more features than it did on day 1.

For fun, I just looked up that Foundation has received 71 updates since its launch 116 weeks ago. That averages to an update every 9 days. Pretty awesome. :slight_smile:

Obviously, Andrew Tavernor (Big White Duck) has been an amazing help to the Foundation community. He has developed some stellar stacks that have helped countless users take their sites to the next level. Not to mention the copious amount of time that he spend supporting users. We are lucky to have him.

I do not think that all Foundation sites are instantly recognizable. The same will apply to Foundry sites as soon as people start getting used to using it outside of its box. There are 64 websites submitted to the RapidWeaver Community site that have been built with Foundation. There are 54 available on Weaver’s Space gallery as well. I don’t think that many are instantly recognizable at all…

For the most part I am pretty happy with the level of documentation for Foundation. There is a ton of video and FAQs. Of course anything can be improved upon. I think that the settings for the most part of very intuitive. There are over 3000+ websites built using my Foundation stacks. It makes me happy to see so many people choose Foundation to build their websites.

This brings me back to my first point. Competition is good. Foundation will get better. A LOT BETTER. I have learned a lot about building a product like Foundation for RW. The next major version will be awesome. I will be able to make bigger changes than I ever could with an incremental update.

The future is bright…


Thanks @joeworkman, I can scrap my draft post now. :smile: