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

@joeworkman When I said more features this was what struck me when I read through the Foundry features and watched some of the videos. I was expecting to see a basic Framework with maybe some cool stuff. As an intensive user of Foundation, I found myself acknowledging that there were quite a few features I liked that Foundation didn’t have (and I wished it did!). I am comparing basic out of the box Foundation to Foundry here BTW.

As I said too, one of Foundation’s great strength is that it has been well supported and developed over the last 2 years but for an initial release, Foundry is very impressive, so imagine where it will be after a further 2 years of development.

I am all for healthy competition and I think there is now a great new choice for RW users who want to use a Framework, as there is for those who just want to build with a Blank Theme.

I am also looking forward to Foundation 6 (you will implement custom Breakpoints won’t you) but that is some way off.

RapidWeaver has never looked so good.

1 Like

I too bought Foundry and also have Foundation. I’ve only spent a few minutes with it so far, but I’m liking what I see a lot. I especially like that they offer complete starter themes which Foundation (aside from their one demo from back in 2014), does not. As is typical of Adam at Elixr, even the starter themes look beautiful. Great work!


The Foundation demo project has a Samples folder that contains 7 different unique design ideas. These have been added to the demo project over the past couple of years. I decided to include them all in one download instead of separate files. The demo project is the exact project that I use on I have obviously made small updates and tweaks to that site since 2014. It got a big overhaul last year with the Stacks 3 launch as well. So that demo project is a living document. The download gets updated automatically if I ever make any changes or updates to it.

All of the demo sites that I build for every one of my products uses Foundation. I make every single one of these projects available for download for free form my doc portal. Here are a few nice ones…

There are also a great selection of amazing Foundation project designs by other as well. There are currently 17 available project themes from these 3rd parties. I know of at least 2 more that are working on releasing some of their designs for the community as well…

The popularity of “project theme” files has definitely grown over the past year. When I release Foundation 6, I will definitely make sure that I have a selection of nice project files to help users get started as well. Maybe I could curate all of the project files that I have now in one place. I have a ton of them.


To say that Andrew @ BWD doesn’t document how to use his stacks maybe the most STUPID thing I’ve ever heard. He works his arse off on some of the most in depth documentation around, add that to the demos he does for all his stacks and tireless support on this forum and weavers space.

Oh yeah and for FREE.


I’ve been using Rapidweaver for a long time now…very lightly on and off, and always dreaming about doing more. I have Foundation but haven’t found the time to get into it…slightly intimidated actually.

I remember when Freestacks was the big player in free-form themes and it ruled the roost. Then Foundation came along. It seemed to me that it kind of saved Rapidweaver from becoming stagnant against Wordpress and others. The excitement Foundation generated was palpable in the forums.

There are always people who prefer standard themes as they are much easier and quicker in terms of creating a site. And there will always be people, most who make sites for a living, who will crave a blank slate. Thanks to the developers at Realmac for the Rapidweaver software, Isaiah at Yourhead for Stacks, and countless other developers and users, there is a vibrant community around a great option for creating websites. In fact, many are able to earn a living because of all the moving parts that work together.

Stick around long enough and you get a sense about which developers do excellent work and do all they can to provide good customer service. Most are good, some are hit and miss. I’ve had great experiences and bad experiences, and after bad experiences, I just steer clear of those developers’ products.

The growth over time of the Rapidweaver ‘system’ has been really amazing overall…with only a few valleys along the way. Congrats to everyone who has contributed. A special shout out to those developers who have provided ‘free’ stacks and themes and who have given so much time and dedication to helping Rapidweaver users. Special mention goes to Andrew Tavernor (Big White Duck) and Will Woodgate (stacks4stacks). (Will also has paid stacks and themes.)

There’s always room in the Rapidweaver universe for more. So glad to have the considerable skills of Joe Workman (Foundation), Lucas Tsolakian of Archetypon (UIKit), and Adam Shiver of Elixir (Foundry). A thread such as this is great for those who are new to free-form blank frameworks and have the money for only one system.

Thanks to all who contribute kindly and informatively to these discussions. All thoughtful discussion is appreciated more than you might know.


Thanks Joe. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing where to download these. Can you please provide direct links to the downloads, or more info about where they are?

They are part of the Foundation Demo Project file, they are at the bottom of the list of pages under Samples, or the far right of the menu.

1 Like

You can also go to his doc portal (, click on a stack - Target for example ( - and there are links to demo projects there.


Just like jabo-stick said… head over to my doc portal. Its a pretty extensive site that has all of our documentation and Faqs for all products. Here are a couple of examples from the sites that I listed above…

You should see a download link there for “Demo Project”. These project files are also included with the product when you purchase the corresponding project.


Got it, thanks! However, this is the first time I even knew about this and so perhaps others have missed out as well. Might be good to make it more obvious that they exist? Anyhow, thanks again!



So … I used Foundry today. No muss, no fuss, pretty simple single page site, but even with a new (short) learning curve was able to complete it in just a few hours. The only stack that I used outside of the Foundry package was Vegas by Doobox for the banner :


Very nicely done site.


Just to add my two cents. I’ve been on the fence for a while too including not using a theme. I like the direction the three main folks in this space are taking in terms of breaking from classical themes.

Navigation is well done in Foundry but for the record I haven’t used Foundation, though I have many Workman, DooBox and other solutions.

One thing to consider though is the implications that these kind of stack framework tools work best with 100% stack based pages. Since I also use other plugins and other pages from RW7 (e.g. blog). You need to account for those kind of design issues. Sure we can talk about other blog approaches and dealing with other plugins, but if you’re converting an existing site make sure you’ve thought it through.

If you don’t have either Foundation, Foundry or UIKit it could be a tough choice as they all seem fairly similar at first glance. All are more than capable of building beautiful websites which will depend on your skills unless you just rehash a pre existing template. I already have Foundation and have been using it for a couple of years now so am comfortable with it but am finding out new ‘tricks and tips’ all the time from the various forums. I also have UIKit which I bought for the flexible menu system that enables you to add pretty much anything into the menu including images, feeds, buttons, headers etc. UIKit doesn’t have the number of options that Foundation has but that doesn’t hamper the product and can make it easier to make sites as you don’t spend quite as much time tinkering. Foundation also has Big White Ducks free stacks which are the icing on the cake and add some great features, some are Foundation specific and some can be used in any theme so we all win with BWD. Support wise I think they all are fantastic and cannot be faulted.


I think @blueballdesign FreeStacks theme is still very much updated - I follow him on Twitter and he’s actively putting time into it. It’s a great blank theme.

@blueballdesign congrats Charlie and continually updating it all that time 🍸🏆

— Michael Frankland (@yuzool) July 15, 2016


Foundry is solid, beautiful and made/backed by @Elixir who has always made the best themes for RapidWeaver since I started weaving in 2005. Hands down. A few came close, but no cigar.

Foundation is well-known and has its advocates and is a great product, no questions about that. But call me spiritual or a looney but there’s something serendipitous about Foundry. It just feels nice in RapidWeaver.

And it works 100% with Pulse CMS out of the box without any config or specific changes needed.

:tada: Congratulations Adam - I salute you! :raised_hands:


Building a first website with any blank theme, and this famous quote will really resonate :slight_smile:

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.”

― Sidney Sheldon


Although if you look at my $20 Templates, all based on blank themes, you will see what can be achieved in a ready made solution ready for a first time user.


Foundry used to build the RealMac website. Impressive.


Here’s an example of Foundry, I used for my personal website this afternoon, with a couple of our own stack thrown in of course :slight_smile:

2 1/2 hours, start to finish.


@Doobox Nice example. Sweet.

1 Like