Newbie after advice


(Bill Francis) #1

Hi all,

I have been using WebPlus 8 and I’m thinking of moving to RapidWeaver as it’s for a Mac. I am looking for suggestions/recommendations that I can explore. I want to have a website that will take deposits/payment instalments/full payments (I have Paypal and WorldPay Zinc accounts) also a contacts page and some sort of booking system for a PhotoBooth.

What do you suggest/recommend in the way of, I think they are called stacks?.

Any advice is greatly received.

Regards

Bill


(klaatu) #2

@LBBooth

First of all a big welcome to the Rapidweaver community.

Rapidweaver is, in my head, a bit like the circus big top. By itself its cold, the seats are hard and there can be a bit of a faint pong about it. However, once you get through a couple of payment gateways, which I’ll get onto, you’ll find yourself mesmerised by what you see going on before you. By then you won’t mind quite so much that there is the odd leak in the tent.

The key to RW is plugins and in that space the king is Stacks. How anyone gets anything done in RW without it is is a puzzle to me. So I would absolutely factor the cost of Stacks into the RW outlay.

You can get it here:
http://yourhead.com/stacks/

Now, with Stacks installed into Rapidweaver, you can then create pages of type “stacks”. This is where the magic starts and the world where building visually, while fine tuning settings via an inspector is the way work gets done. And pleasantly powerful it is too.

You’ll also want to think about a decent quality theme. I can recommend themes by Nick Cates, ThemeFlood and Elixir.

Have a nose around here:
https://rapidweavercommunity.com/addons

Now, if you are only ever going to make one or two sites then maybe a standalone theme will serve you fine. However if you think you will need more power then give serious consideration to investing in a ‘framework’. The two which I am aware of and have worked with are Foundation ( by Joe Workman ) and Foundry ( by Elixir ). Foundation is based on the Foundation framework and Foundry is based on Bootstrap. Both can take you a very long way to becoming a self sufficient designer/producer of quality websites.

These frameworks typically come with a special theme which sets up the baseline structure and initialises dependencies along with a suite of stacks (note the smaller ‘s’ which denotes the individual elements available to you to compose your content).

You can also use other stacks from other vendors to augment your designs and content - compatibility, party due to the carefully designed underlying architecture and dependency governance imposed by the Stacks plugin itself which takes a great deal of the sting out of that area.

I should mention that you’ll also get an ‘html stack’, so there is nothing at all stopping you from pasting in the html needed to render any of the supported elements from the relevant framework, I sometimes do that.

There are also blank themes which you could use, some of which are free. So you could build up your page using stacks from potentially lots of different vendors and experiment to see how far you can get then buying individual stacks to fill in any gaps.

There are now many solutions to most of the challenges which used to face Weavers. I’m talking about Contact Forms / CMS Systems / Shopping Carts and even booking calendars.

It is generally easy enough to integrate third part code ( from Eg PHP Jabbers or CodeCanyon ) into your projects too. So even if there is not a perfect stack or plugin for your needs it’s often possible to source something and integrate it. How much of an appetite you have for doing that depends on your own proficiency, but help is usually available.

Best advice is to take your time, plan what you think you will need and ask lots of questions. Once you start getting into buying stacks and themes it’s hard to stop; it’s addictive. So instead think carefully about what you really do actually need, research it as much as you can then, if you are anything like me, end up buying everything anyway :wink:

Best of luck and I hope you enjoy the journey!


(Bill Francis) #3

Hi Klaatu

Great answer and thanks for the links. I will digest what you wrote and try and understand it all in plain English :slight_smile: I am trying to get my head around Stacks etc but I think I am starting to understand it.

When using WebPlus 8 I also bought Neil Judge add ons but I’m sure they will not be written for Mac.

Cheers Bill


(Rob Beattie) #4

One thing to remember Bill is that if you’re coming from WebPlus, Rapidweaver will take a bit of getting used to. WebPlus uses the DTP-style model of web design and is pretty WYSIWYG. Rapidweaver on the hand, does everything in Edit mode and you have to preview to see what your pages look like. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of, but it can be a bit jarring to begin with.

As @klaatu says, the key is the Stacks plugin, which supports 100s of widgets for taking payments, displaying accordions, sliders, videos, columns, feature boxes, animations and so on.

Best of luck,

Rob


(Bill Francis) #5

Cheers Rob thanks for the info.

Regards

Bill


(system) #6

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