Newbie Questions

(NeilUK) #1


I’ve just bought RapidWeaver and I’m a bit confused.

It seems that I’d need to buy Stacks 3 if I want to build better sites. I’ve been using WordPress for years, but I’d like to build sites without WordPress from now on.

I’m looking at buying Stacks 3, Foundation and Rapid Cart 4 for now. Would those cover all bases?

Also, what’s the best way of allowing clients to update or just blog on their sites? Or am I better not building client sites with RW?

Sorry if I shouldn’t ask here, but I’d appreciate any advice.


(Jason Bostick) #2

I (personally) would say that Stacks is as close to a need when it comes to being able to build sites how you want them. Similarly, if you want some more freedom in what you can do with your sites, then one of the “frameworks” is a good investment.

The main ones right now are Foundry, Foundation, and UIKit (there are a couple of others as well, but those three seem to be the most prominent). I am partial to Foundation (mostly because it’s the most mature and integrates really well with Big White Duck stacks, which I use a lot) but the others are well-loved by others.

RapidCart Pro is a great way to get a nice looking store setup quickly, though be aware that your client can not edit it themselves without Rapidweaver. The new Cartloom 4 might be a good option for a client who needs to update their store on their own (without Rapidweaver) but it comes with ongoing costs. I’d say most editable online stores will come with some sort of ongoing cost though, it seems…

For clients wanting to blog or update a site themselves (without Rapidweaver) I’d say the three most popular would be Total CMS, Pulse CMS, and Armadillo.

And you absolutely should feel free to build client sites with Rapidweaver. I would say that E-commerce can be a bit trickier for being able to build something and hand it off completely to a client but otherwise, go nuts.

There are some good sales on right now as well for a lot of Rapidweaver stuff, so it’s a good time to pull the trigger.

(Rob Beattie) #3

Hi and welcome to the forums.

I’d say that Foundation, Stacks 3 and Rapidcart would be enough to set up for building sites with e-commerce. However, it’s my understanding that a client will not be able to update a store that’s created with RapidCart unless they own a copy of Rapidweaver, so you may need to look elsewhere for a shopping solution if that’s important to you.

For client blogging, there are a few options.

  1. Armadillo - this requires an SQL databased but allows different people to log into a browser and update a blog
  2. RW Writer - this is a subscription-based stack (maybe a set of stacks, not sure) which again allows you to blog from a browser
  3. Pulse CMS includes a blog but I’m not sure how sophisticated it is
  4. MicroBlog is a stack from Stacks4Stacks which lets you incorporate a Tumblr blog into your website and is incredibly easy to incorporate into a Rapidweaver site.
  5. RapdiBlog is a plugin which lets you incorporate a Blogger blog into your site but its future seems a little uncertain, based on what the developer has said. Still works great for some people.

There are several Content Management Systems out there. Total CMS from Joe Workman includes a blog but has a $99.00 a site cost which some people find a bit off-putting. EasyCMS is a scaled back version of this (still has tons of features) but doesn’t include a blog.

As well as having a blog element, Pulse is also a content management system and is less expensive. In addition, there are stacks like Kuler Edits and Sentry which allow much simpler editing of text and pictures.

(Jason Bostick) #4

I’d also add that, whichever framework you end up going with, I’ve found that purchasing a Project or two is worth the investment. These are pre-built sites that you can swap out for your text, images, colours, etc. Aside from being a quick way to produce a site, I’ve found them useful teaching tools alongside developer videos/tutorials.

Foundation, Foundry, and UIKit all have Projects and I believe most if not all have a version that is pre-built to incorporate one of the CMS solutions (and there’s a few e-commerce ones floating around too).

(Doug Bennett) #5

I would suggest you go slow at firt, as you can end up spending quite a bit on add-on’s.

Stacks you should look at and offers a free demo version you can try before you but:

Once you start with stacks ther are a number of add-on developers that have free and demo versions you can try out.
here is a couple places to check out some free demos:

(NeilUK) #6

Many thanks to Jason, Doug and Rob for your detailed replies.

One reason for asking today was I noticed that a few sales are on, but I’m still unsure about building client sites without a reasonably priced CMS. I also noticed in a couple of earlier threads I read that some people think that RW will slowly die without a CMS. This is probably due to that fact the WP is very easy to hand over to clients for them to be able to add posts and pages themselves.

Since finding RW, I’ve been excited to get started because I’ve had enough of WP to be honest.

I guess I could always build the $99 for the CMS into the initial price.

Anyway, I’m impressed with the community so far and the welcome I’ve had. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from this forum.
Thanks guys

(Jason Bostick) #7

That’s what I would do. From experience I can only comment on Total CMS, but you can make a CMS interface that is SUPER easy to use/manage and that has the clients branding. I think you can justify the added cost with that sort of customization and user-friendliness and without the paranoia that might come with a WP site.

(Pat Reynolds) #8

For simplicity, it may be best to get started in building your first website in RW with a ready made theme, possibly with Armadillo for CMS. There are so many themes to choose from. The easiest frameworks are Foundry and UIkit. You could try with one of these these and then maybe include Foundation in the mix when you have a grip of the basics. The stacks plugin is essential. You will find that all of the developers of themes, stacks and plugins are responsive and friendly. Its a great community.

(Linda Johnson) #9

I’ve been experimenting with a new cart in both RapidCart Pro and Cartloom4 (beta). Even though the Cartloom beta is still being tweaked I’ve decided to go with that as all the backend stuff and online admin is already setup. All I have to do is drag an icon onto my RapidWeaver page for the whole cart or an individual products and the cart appears on the page. All the updates are done in the browser. The online layout is plainer than RC but after weeks of trying to set up the payment methods and special numbers, databases etc. I gave up. With CL a client can do all their own updates and admin. This is what the CL cart looks like so far:

(Gary) #11

Kind words Steve. Yes the complete set of Paddy stacks are included with the Templates & Projects at no extra cost. The difference with the Webdeersign solution is that the Projects require Foundation stacks but the Templates do not requite Foundation or Foundry stacks.

Very sophisticated slick looking sites or simple easy to build sites can be built with just a blank theme.

All you need are Stacks and some freely available “donationware” stacks mostly rom BWD. If you are using the BWD I would really encourage to stop off at the BWD site and buy Andrew a coffee or two.

P.S. Don’t forget that the Webdeersign 50% SALE ends at midnight GMT today.

(NeilUK) #13

Thanks to you all for the replies and advice.

This is really a great community.

Unfortunately, I missed the RapidCart sale so I might give that a miss for now. At the moment I’m looking at buying Stacks, which seems to be essential, and Foundry. Foundry seems to have pretty much everything.

I think Foundry would eliminate the need to buy any other themes, is that right?

As for Cartloom, it looks really good, but I don’t need any payment or delivery options for the client site I’m doing at the moment. The client is only dealing with cash on delivery, which Cartloom might not like as they take a commission, unless I’ve missed something.

Once again, thanks to you all for the help.

(Jason Bostick) #14

Basically yes. Foundry acts as a blank theme with a package of stacks that let you build your page out the way you want to.

Just a quick note on terminology (you may have gathered this already, but just in case):

Rapidweaver comes with the ability to add a number of different page types (styled text, html, contact forms, etc) to your website project. A theme will come with the styling and layout for all those different page types.

Stacks (note the uppercase ‘S’) is a special kind of Page Type that you can install in Rapidweaver that enables the use of a whole bunch of other elements – also called stacks (note the lowercase ‘s’) – such as all the components that come in the Foundry package.

As an aside with your e-commerce component – if you’re still interested in Rapidcart, you can purchase a gold membership on the Rapidweaver Community site. It costs $25 per month (but you could cancel after a month) and it comes with access to a bunch of tutorials that you may find of use, as well as a handful of add-ons (including a few themes and an older version of RapidCart, which may suit your needs). Something to consider…