So several months ago after ditching my weebly add-on for my hosting provider I saw this software. I thought it was great and being under the impression to fully build a good site without anything extra for $99.99… Well, Trying to build the site from scratch isn’t as easy as it is depicted and even rapidweaver’s own “projects” include extra software / themes… So what do I really need to rebuild and expand my website. How much is this really going to cost me? My website for reference if anyone needs to look at it is http://www.hotmodz.net (name pending change)
Expect around $300 - €400.
I’ve spent a lot more and most of it was buying unnecessary code snippets (stacks) that seemed like a good idea at the time but then never got used.
The usual suggestion is RW7, the Stacks plugin and then the building blocks that are stacks.
There’s not a lot wrong with your existing site. Unfortunately it’s generic and I’d suggest dull.
Stacks will fix that but, as I stated, it’s easy to get carried away adding superfluous visual effects at the expense of the real content which is your product and services.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with RW over the years, the latter mainly because it’s a bit buggy due to it’s plugin dependance as a platform. However, using it has propelled our business from a struggling purveyor of furniture in a very difficult market to a prosperous international retailer.
I’d like to think that most of it was my hard work and dedication to getting our business online but I have to give RapidWeaver equal credit for helping me do it.
So, my advice is, allow $500 for RW associated investment and consider it capital purchase of a major business asset, just like a works vehicle or specialised tools, or in your case (ironically) a high spec. computer.
Dedicate a huge amount of any spare time you have to developing your business through your website.
Then, come back here in a year or two and tell us how much it was worth it and how little the $500 now seems in comparison.
After buying RapidWeaver I soon realised that to really take advantage of its capabilities, I needed to buy some extras. These extras make it easier to build any kind of site you like with extra functions.
So I bought Foundry, which enables you to build any kind of layout with complete control. That costs $84.95. For me, Foundry has a been a game changer. There’s also a similar product called Foundation, but I don’t have any experience with that. You only need to buy one of them.
I also bought RapidCart in order to build an ecommerce site €59.95.
In order to use any of the above you’ll need to buy Stacks ($49.95). You need Stacks to be able to use the many other stacks that can extend RW’s functionality.
The other option is to just buy a theme. There are 100s out there, such as https://nickcatesdesign.com/, https://themeflood.com/, http://onelittledesigner.com/, https://elixirgraphics.com/themes and many other great themes.
RapidWeaver has also helped me grow my business, so I see it as an investment.
My advice is start small and start simple. There is plenty that RapidWeaver can do straight out of the box. The standard version of RapidWeaver you buy is more-than capable of building and publishing a decent website. It will help you learn all the fundamentals that go towards building better websites. There is far more at stake, than just making a website look pretty on your screen.
Don’t be under the impression that you have to go out any buy dozens of extra addons or blank theme frameworks, to make this thing work. Otherwise RapidWeaver will just become time consuming, expensive and extremely frustrating for a novice. Some of the posts on this forum are testament to those who’ve tried and failed - either through being too ambitious with their plans, becoming overwhelmed by the technicalities or by letting their wallet get the better of them.
Google can be your best friend. Use it to research questions you have and seek-out the many hidden (sometimes free) addons that exist; like themes and simple code snippets. There are some real treasures out there.
Then once you’ve got-up-to-speed with the basics, you can start to explore adding some more advanced functionality to your website and feed your website building addiction even further. At this point you can start to invest into specific addons for specific tasks or projects. There is an ever-growing choice of addons for RapidWeaver. Or complete ‘website building kits’, where you’ve got a combination of themes, stacks and project files to work with. These forums are a good place to ask for advice and recommendations on safe buys.
Websites are not built in a single day. It is totally normal to do phased releases of websites and continue to revise sections of websites. @timmytoad appears to change his website every time I look at it! A healthy website is one that’s constantly evolving and changing.
If you absolutely do want some extra functionality straight out of the blocks, then Stacks is a worthwhile investment that grows with value. This will grant you a more free-flow page layout approach and access to a lot of free stack elements to empower your websites.
Nice site by the way and a good foundation block for you business
@willwood as usual has some wise words. Stacks is an essential. Will himself has produced some excellent themes, some of them free – see https://www.themeflood.com – which are very flexible and built on BootStrap so that you can add many features by just adding a snippet of code.
I appreciate everyone’s responses. I don’t mind spending money I’m not a cheapo but I like to be conscientious about what I spend. I’m not really a business right now. I’m starting out with 1 solid client with about 7 others that are every now and then clients. So, I’m pulling money from my own income and would like to think smart about it… Before I came to the forum to post this question I saw the two biggest add-ons talked about were Stacks and Foundation… I think I get the gist of what Stacks ( suggestions would be nice like a top 5 or 10 list of a mix of free/paid apps) is but what is Foundation, what does it do, what are the benefits, and how will it help me out?
Hiya Will thanks for the plug, you must be the only Visitor to my web site LOL.
Although it does feature high up the list if “timmy toad” is searched for -)
For them that dont know my current “work in progress” site is at http://timmytoad.net/
the prototype is at http://timmytoad.org.uk/ the contents of each is slightly different, particularly the Photo pages, these two sites are using Nick Cates “Forward” theme.
Foundation is a theme/stacks set (there are a few others like it) that gives you a blank slate to start with and lets you design the site the way you want it. Foundation is based on the frame work Foundation by Zurb and Joe has met with the Zurb guys many times. Foundation is currently at version 1.7.4 for the theme and 1.7.14 for the stacks. Joe has his own community and there are a lot of users on there who are very knowledgeable about Foundation and willing to help at any time.
Does anyone know some good “Premium” Stacks for building a website? Also, what about the “Freemium” stacks since I have a trial to try out of Stacks?
Thanks for the information @zeebe… Do you have any stack recommendations
… and great client support of Will, he’s always sorting me out. Great work, great guy
I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to these things so have never got round to getting Stacks or the blank canvas themes that get mentioned. There are some amazing themes out there that are responsive and give you so many options that for a relatively simple website such as yours and a bit of CSS found on the forum they would do the job perfectly without having to spend hundreds.
I would suggest exploring some of the themes that are out there and think how they would look for your site before investing the time and money to go to the next step. For some it is certainly going to be worth that investment, for others perhaps not so much.
It has gotten a bit more expensive over the years, but I still like it. I recommend stacks, and do almost everything with it. There is a lot you can do without spending a lot. I haven’t kept tabs of what I’ve spent, and some things I bought are no longer useful. I started with RW after buying my MacBook Pro and getting rid of everything Microsoft.
I use “Simple Blue” theme (free), which gave me the sidebar menu I wanted and a way to do things I wanted. It is also responsive, which is something you should do to your site to make it automatically work nicely on phones and tablets.
There are also a lot of free stacks, and I have a combination of free and paid ones for different purposes.
My sites are for my business and car restoration hobby. I really spend little time on the site except for things like the conversion to responsive, dedicating my time to running my business or working on the cars. You can see here, some of the simple things I’ve done with RW. http://widman.biz/