Newbie to RW from Dreamweaver

Hello all. I’ll try to keep this as simple and short as possible, and any advice or direction will be most helpful for me.

Been using Dreamweaver since I designed my site in 2006. Now am forced to make a decision - continue with DW at a 30$/month subscription (which I don’t want to do), or get onto a new software such as RapidWeaver.

This is my current site:

Now, I’m not looking to copy it exactly in RW, but I’d like to know if RW is a program that will allow me enough flexibility to mimic some features of what I already have in my site. For example, I have another app that I use to create image galleries that I upload, then I use DW to modify my pages with my links to those galleries. In other words, RW won’t force me to have to create image galleries within it? Hope I’m clear enough on my question :slight_smile:

And as for adding images to pages as I already have throughout my site, can I do that in RW? Or are the page presets too remade to allow for anything like I’m doing now?

As I’ve said, I’m all for redesigning my site entirely for the fact of not wanting to continue paying for DW, but I’d still like to know just how flexible I can be with RW.

Thank you all for reading this and for any help you can offer! :smiley:

Hi Paolo and Welcome,

I think you’ll find RapidWeaver very flexible. To get the most flexibility you’ll want to get the Stacks 4 plugin. With the stacks plugin, you can install all kinds of “addons” also called stacks. A little confusing terminology.

As for gallery type stacks, there are quite a few that allow you to load remote images (once you loaded from another FTP application). RapidWeaver slang for this is called “warehousing”. Some will even build the gallery from a directory on the server.

You can also put resources like images directly in RapidWeaver, and you mix both ways if you want or need too.

There’s a lot to RapidWeaver, I’d suggest you start out with the Free Trial of both RapidWeaver and Stacks 4. Take it for a test drive and see what you think.

RapidWeaver doesn’t allow you to directly edit the HTML code as DreamWeaver does. You can add HTML into a page, as well as add Javascript to a single page or sitewide. You can also override the CSS by page or site-wide, which comes with the hundreds of themes available for RapidWeaver.

Have a test spin and then come back to the Forum with questions as often as you like.


Thank you for the quick reply, Doug!

I just downloaded Stacks 4 and quickly just tried it out on a sample page. Seems pretty cool, but I’ll just need to rethink how I approach my page design.

DW and RW are both WYSIWYG apps, but DW approaches it differently it seems. But as I’ve said, I’ll force myself to learn something new and redesign my site, not to have to perpetually pay for DW, as much as I’m used to it. I don’t make money with my site, I use it primarily as a means of storing a web portfolio of my work that I can direct people to for viewing my images. So I want to be able to create and maintain one at the lowest cost possible. Hence buying an app :slight_smile:

So, if I get what you’ve said, I’d be able to continue working similarly to my existing site, which would be great. I’ll need to start playing with RW and stacks and see how it all works together.

Thanks again!


There’s a lot of video tutorials available to help with the learning process.

Once you’ve made up your mind to buy, my advice is to take your time. You can easily spend a small fortune on all the cool stacks and stuff available.

Feel free to ask questions here if you want to know how do do anything specific. You can also ask general questions about what might do a specific task.

You’ll get a lot of useful information and opinions from other forum members before you buy.

I’d already watched a couple of starter videos the other night, and rewatched a few times lol.

I’ll dedicate a bunch of time in the coming days to try out some sample pages using different features. Hopefully I’ll get a handle on RW quickly enough.

I appreciate your advice and your open offer to ask whatever I want - it’s fantastic that experienced people like yourself are willing to give your time to help others like this.

Thank you!

Welcome. Doug has given you a lot of good info.

Looking at your website, it’s probably time you redesigned it anyway. Your site is what’s now referred to an a non-responsive site. What that means is that as you view the site on different size devices it’s always the same layout and same size, just scaled down for smaller devices and not using all the space of larger windows.

When you redesign your site, use one of the newer RW7/8 themes and not the old “classic” ones included for continuity with older versions. Those were non-responsive too. By using a responsive design approach you can make your site much more useable on everything from phones to large desktops. As you work in RW, use the simulator window to get an idea of how it will look and work on different size decides.

I think you’ll enjoy RW once you get a bit more familiar with it.

Hello Don! Thanks so much for your input, it’s very welcome!

Yes, I’m all ready for updating and modernizing my site. Plus, I’m planning to do away with a lot of the content anyway - I’m going to simplify it by eliminating a couple of the pages and streamlining the remaining info/content.

It’s cool to think that the new design will fit itself on various devices and screens, something I wasn’t adept enough at allowing when I worked on DW. I’m not a programmer in any way, which is why my existing site is so simple and structured.

I look forward to experimenting and learning in the coming weeks and, hopefully, be able to figure things out on my own as much as possible. However I’m really glad to have you guys to help guide me when (I’m sure) I’ll get lost at some point, haha.

Thanks agin for your time in checking out my site, much appreciated! :smiley:

Welcome to RW, Paolo! I think you’ll find it does everything you want – and much, much more which you haven’t even thought of yet. I found it quite a steep learning curve when I started but it’s very easy to use once you get the hang of it. Many of us have been using it for a good few years and have found nothing else as good. It’s good you’ve got Stacks; it’s really essential.

Thank you Peter! I’m hoping it will be the answer I’m looking for. And I get it when you say steep learning curve. I’m finding it a little disheartening and frustrating right now as I delve into the unknown, but I’m hoping to come out much better and much modernized in the end.

I’ll ask questions as I need without trying to be too burdensome :slight_smile:

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Welcome! With Stacks combined, you can’t go wrong :+1:. Additionally, the site can use some checks too like adding a security certificate (https) and SEO, you might consider some tooling in that area as well like a specific stack (there are a couple of them) or external crawlers like There is also an awful lot of knowledge on this forum, so you are good to go!

Thank you Eric! The https feature sounds interesting, although I’m not familiar with how/what to do for it. I’ll worry about putting a new site together then I’ll see about further features. :slight_smile:

I’ll give you a heads up… I just started with RW about a month to two ago… I’m a newbie by all considerations… but I’m making two great sites, already achieved my goals… I have responsive sites that look very modern and have excellent SEO… search engine optimization… to be FOUND when people do a google search, that is the final touch you’ll put on it once you got it done… with RW these days, what’s going on is this: RW comes with built in themes and you can buy them too… various people make themes, those are cool. But what many of us do is work exclusively with Stacks and start with blank pages. Stacks are basically objects, like, a box of columns, is one stack, a box that contains text, is a stack, some stacks just hold other stacks… in truth they are chunks of HTML code that will be put in your page for you… adding a stack is adding some code that does something… to build a page you use lots of stacks together… they nest, they go inside each other, so like I have on this website:

a two column stack governs the overall page… note that there is info down the left side, and then there’s info down the right side… those are simply two columns of a columns stack… you set how many columns in the pallet… then inside each column I’ve put a lot of other stacks… like notice the two download buttons that are together… that’s a “button group” stack… note my social site buttons… those are one stack, that does that automatically… you’ll find RW is a lot Easer than DW… which is complex… RW is really just combining pre made things and adding your text… Gallery Stacks… you’ll choose one ultimately, and use it, and it will automatically make your grid and Lightbox that people view images in… it’s just a stack… most of us buy either Foundation or Foundry… both of these are basically sets of commonly used stacks… both are called Frameworks because they have site wide settings and architecture, that their many stacks work within… Foundry is like 40 stack types… that button group is one of the Foundry stacks, ie, objects… RW is object oriented, you deal with the many objects you have placed on the page… many stack types hold other stack types and make up interesting pieces of your page… you can achieve just about any arrangement of columns and grids that hold text and images nicely, neatly, and RESPONSIVELY, meaning it will break at breakpoints and show on phones correctly… that’s important nowadays… phones are used more than desktops, so “mobile first” is how you design websites now… taking into account the look on a mobile, building up to desktop, not the other way, RW does this for you automatically these days if you go with responsive themes or Foundation or Foundry… RW has extensive hooks for other developers to develop things for RW, add ons, stacks… STACKS is itself a product, that allows for more stacks… you have to buy STACKS the product, from your head software, capitalize that, then with their STACKS framework in place, you buy OTHER stacks that go into Stacks… it’s a bit confusing at first only because the name is overused… being a programmer I prefer the term objects… For example I use RW, then I added Stacks from YourHead, then I added Foundry from Elixir, and with Foundrys MANY stack types I am able to create the page I showed you… check out this page for a bit more done:

The two sites are quite similar, true, that’s not wrong, I just want both website names, as those are the names of my software, Goravani Jyotish Studio… so anyways… everything you see on these pages is made from Foundry stacks, objects, and from OTHER stacks I found for free or purchased… most stacks that you purchase are really inexpensive, common prices for stacks including $10, $20, $40 for big ones… all of the RW reality is inexpensive… there’s a cash layout at first, but then you own it, thank god… I too turned away from DW because of rental ware realities… I hate it… I also dont like how much you have to deal with code in DW… RW is not drag and drop where you like… you have to build your page with stacks or themes… but I think you like structure… it’s structured… but if you are creative you can make quite fluid interesting combinations of things… note my blog… on… that is just one stack called Poster… that is sold by one of many add on developers… they support their products themselves, most are great about it, this forum is great, it’s easy access and VERY helpful… I got up and running in RW very fast and feel I am able to do almost anything now… I’m really pleased with the complexity I can bring forth, easily, and how it is all responsive, modern, clean… and there’s a stack for SEO called SEO Helper… that helps you rank higher in google searches… again for when you’re done with your site, you do that to it, it’s super simple and works… if you Google “RapidWeaver stack (whatever)” you can find stacks for most things… like Rapidweaver stack SEO" will bring up that stack I mentioned… you can search for stack for any page element and find it… Foundation and Foundry both have the most of what you need, then you add others if you need them… like XYZ developer might have a COOLER GALLERY than what comes with Foundation or Foundry… so you might go for that single purchased stack additionally… and plug it in… you dont do code, you just place stacks… or you work with themes… those are kind of two separate ways to go… RW comes in “theme mode” so to speak… that’s built in… stacks is an add on that breeds many other add ons, but its cool and very predominant. Hope this introduction has helped. Every single thing you see on my pages is some auto stack thing… done for me by a stack… easy to implement…

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I just want to make it clear that you can use Stacks with a theme-based site. Many, many people do.

If you find a theme that has the navigation and look you’d like for your site, you may be better off building the site with that theme. You do not need to start with a blank canvas and use a framework theme to use Stacks.

I still recommend getting and using Stacks for your site’s content. It gives you much more flexibility in laying out the site’s content even with theme-based sites.


Wow, thank you Don! You’ve given me a wealth of details and information! And the more I work in RW, the more I’m understanding everything you’re mentioning.
DW, I find, was similar to Foundation in that you started with a blank page and put in custom content. Given I’m new to RW, I’ve decided to start with a theme and build up from there, using stacks 4. I’ve made my home and contact pages so far. It’s very simple, but the built-in functionality is great. My colour palette is very understated and simple - blacks, greys and some yellow and white text.

My main need is that I can create pages with text I can link to external galleries that I create with another app called jAlbum. The skin I use for these galleries is dynamic, like the RW themes, so they’ll be flexible on various devices. If I can get this first modern site done this way, then eventually I’d like to get Foundation and build the next one up from scratch and really customize the whole thing.

I’ve looked at your sites and I tried to imagine your structure through RW. It’s overwhelming to me as I’m very new, but I do understand your explanation of your setup and elements used in making your pages.

Thanks again, I appreciate your input :slight_smile:

If I get a chance I’ll post screen grabs of my pages thus far.

One of the reasons that I decided to go with RapidWeaver was that it had a robust community of developers who could actually make some money developing stacks.

As near as I can tell these are relatively small organizations staffed by owner-operators. It doesn’t take a lot of revenue to keep a low overhead business alive so this makes me confident these entrepreneurs will stay in business and keep developing.

I have already had two monster size organizations orphan the software I use. First it was Apple iWeb that threw in the towel. More recently it was Adobe who decided to jettison Muse. Given the proliferation of canned website builders like Wix or Squarespace for how long do you think the bean counters at Adobe will continue to make a business case for Dreamweaver?

The people who stepped in to pick up the slack for Muse make a very good case about how much company resources it took just to keep updates viable on old operating systems. The argument they make is that these funds are better invested developing new features. All of that makes sense. It’s the fine print in the user agreements that bugs me.

If you look close at the contracts you sign with these organizations you will see that they own the copyright to every word or image you put onto the sites that they host. They can sell this intellectual property to anybody they want to. Anybody they sell the company to can also sell this intellectual property to anybody they want to.

They also own all the data they can harvest about anybody who visits your site.

You made a good choice going with a GDPR compliant company.

I understand you fully, very valid points.

I’m loving RW8 and am happy with my decision and purchase. I am more than willing to support the little guy, so to speak, and allow them to flourish at something they love doing, and do very well :slight_smile:
And I had no idea about Wix and so on…very scary. Besides, I looked them up and you still need to pay monthly if you want anything more than the most basic web package they offer.

Now, I have a basic question about RW8: how does it save all the pages and page content?
What I mean is, with DW I created a batch of folders to hold images, layout elements, buttons… I created, that I’d upload mirroring the hierarchy I have on my local drive.
With RW8, I drag and drop and that’s it - so how is that image stored?
So far I’ve created two web pages and saved them in a folder named Web Pages, within a main folder named for my website. Am I doing it correctly?

Thank you!

Like yourself, Paolo, I am also a total newbie.
I am so dependent on the graciousness of the people who participated in this forum (and on this thread) that I am certain I wouldn’t be using RW without their patient tutelage.

I too am curious about where RapidWeaver lives on my iMac.
Whenever I do a search it just presents the most recent file and launches without telling me where it actually resides on the hard drive. Would be good information to know.

RW saves the layout, content and publishing settings in the project file you create. This file is essential and contains all your hard work.

When you drag and drop images, they are either stored within your project file, or they are linked to the original file where you dragged them from. Which it does depends on an advanced setting in your site’s settings. In the left-hand inspector (under your pages) you’ll find an Advanced group. In there is a setting for Site Resources. The default should be “Copy into the document”. This is the safest, and what I’d recommend. That way everything for your site (including images) are all saved in your project file. If you use “Leave” in place, it just created a link pointing to the original file you dragged. RW will not be able to re-publish that file if you ever delete it. It may also have a hard time finding it if you move it.

I don’t quite follow this. Most sites should just need a single RW project file. One website = one project file. Each page is added in RW and appears in the left-hand inspector.

When you save a new RW project, it should show a dialog where you can choose where to store it on your hard drive. If you even forget, you can right-click on the project’s name in the RW window title. You’ll get a dropdown showing the complete hierarchy to your project file. This is an OS X feature and works in any app, it’s not RW specific.

Thank you Don. Here are a couple of pics of what you’re referring to but relative to my site.

One pic shows the dialog I get when I launch RW and the other shows my page hierarchy.

The reason I asked about this is because I plan to create my image galleries with another app and link the gallery’s index.html file to the text link on my RW page. Therefore I need to keep these elements relative to one another when I upload onto the server.