Migrating from Squarespace to Rapidweaver + Foundation

I’m planning to migrate a personal photo project that will eventually have a couple thousand images from Squarespace to Rapidweaver. You can see it here — The Swiss Avenue Project — if you’d like to get an idea of what I’m trying to do with it. Presently, it’s very raw and has some duplicates, several low-res images, as well as some images that will end up in the rubbish bin. But I’m far along enough now that I wanted to see what it’s going to look like.

The problem is, Squarespace on mobile devices is not very responsive…or intuitive. Hence, my decision to move the site to Rapidweaver. I used to use RW for all my websites — eons ago. But it just didn’t seem to have the tools for the kind of galleries that I want, so I moved on, eventually landing on SS.

My question is this: Can I create something that looks as good as the current version in SS in RW AND is completely responsive on mobile devices? And owing to the size of the project (2000+ images) can I also build something that will load quickly without overloading the user’s browser? I suppose learning about image warehousing is in my future.

The short answer is ‘yes’. There are several stacks-based galleries that will do what you want and I’m pretty sure they all have warehousing options.

I’d recommend taking a look at:

  1. Gallery 3 from Instacks
  2. proGallery from Stacks4Stacks
  3. Photo from Nick Cates Design

There are probably more.

Good luck!



Photo Stack by Nick Cates is brilliant, it gives you loads of options and the ability to prevent images from being copied by drag and drop from your site.

I’ve just looked at your current site and the Swiss Avenue Project image at the top of the home page took ages to load on my computer. When I examined that image in Photoshop I can see it is over 10MB which is really slowing your page load time. If you do a “Save For Web” in Photoshop or use an app such as JPEGmini or an online image compressor you will speed the page load time up immensely.

Good luck with your transition to RapidWeaver, Rob is right in that this is the right app for your project especially seeing as you already have some experience of using it. You didn’t mention what version of RapidWeaver you used before? If it’s anything before v7 (and Stacks 3) I think you will amazed at how it has moved on.

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David, thanks for the heads up on the logo image. This is what happens when I fail to take the time to do it right.

I believe the last site I built of any significance was done with RW 5 or, maybe, v. 4. It’s been awhile. I just upgraded to 7 and look forward to see what new goodies the RW developer community has come up with.

I’d say that you definitely can. Rob mentioned some excellent gallery stacks. If you already own Foundation, you could even consider a project to get you started more quickly - something like http://hipsterweaver.com/photographer/ might work well.

With 2000+ photos, I’d also suggest breaking your site up into different pages or at least different galleries (I think all of those photo stacks can create galleries of galleries, by the way)

I second the stacks that Rob mentions and use them in my sites. If you are not familiar with how to knock down file sizes to put on the web, just do a bit of research. You cannot upload photos or images from your camera. Images should not be more than 500K, even if they are 1200 ppi wide. Warehousing is the solution, but file size adjustment is absolutely necessary. Here’s a rough workflow for you to consider:

  1. Batch open images in Preview and reduce dimensions to 1200 pixels wide, 96 ppi resolution.
  2. Run the folder of images (or however you are grouping them) through JPEG mini.
  3. Then run them through Image Optim.

Your goal is to get these images down to well under 500 K each, preferably under 300 K.

Agree with Rob (@robbeattie) he has some great stacks listed.
Might want to look at this post on Warehousing:

Styling and thumbing is a no brainer for RW. However one thing you should be aware of is the resources and computing power you will need to host this website using RW. RW is self-hosted. SquareSpace uses some pretty powerful servers and throughput to make the website load as fast as it does.

I don’t want to talk you out of anything but you need to be aware of the limitations and make sure you have them covered. There are plenty of people here with great ideas to make this happen. I am sure the recommendations will range free to pretty expensive.

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Jason, I agree about breaking up such a large collection of images into separate galleries is a good idea. That said, I also want to give an overall impression of living on Swiss Avenue in Dallas (the subject of the portfolio).

Jody, I suppose I’m beginning to show my age. When it comes to viewing images on the Interweb, I much prefer to see them on a large desktop display. My traffic comes from desktops, primarily, split at roughly 70/30. Even though this ratio will undoubtedly change over time, I’m not yet one to change my style of photography to suit the mobile user.

Thanks for the tip, Jody.