Pre-purchase question on recreating my existing site


(Steve) #1

Hi gang!

I am previewing RapidWeaver 6 to purchase as part of the MacUpdate $55 bundle, and have a few questions. I’ve also watched the ScreenCastsOnline two-part tutorial, which makes using RapidWeaver pretty nice.

A bit of history: I first started web publishing in 1995 using Adobe PageMill. What a horrible HTML tool that was! Didn’t follow any convention, and filled the page with garbage code. After a year of fighting PageMill, I switched to the then new Optima Systems PageSpinner, a raw HTML editor with a few templates and tools to plug into the page. Sort of a BBEdit light. I’ve been using PageSpinner for the past 16 years, and my pages have been pretty rudimentary, with very little scripting, CSS, etc. Pretty much a 1996 HTML 101 class level.

Four years ago, I started building a much more complex weather-related site, with menus on each page, scripts, local templates filled by a weather application before publishing on the web, CSS, etc. Much of this has been copy/pasted from various sources as well as templates from the weather software community.

Some of the content goes directly to the server after editing HTML (I’m currently manually FTPing it using ForkLift), and others go to a local watched folder after HTML editing to be populated by the weather software and automatically FTP’d to the server.

Can RapidWeaver do this? I currently don’t have a header/footer, and each page’s menus are copy/pasted to each HTML page when I make changes. I think CSS can do this, but one line of the footer would have to go through the weather software to get populated, or else I’d need to change it with every software update. (It currently polls the software version and populates the HTML page. I think I’ve attached an image of my file structure in Forklift.

Please take a look at http://www.avon-weather.com and let me know if this looks like something that RapidWeaver can help with. I understand that I can’t import my file structure into RapidWeaver, which is what I was hoping to be able to do. PageSpinner has not been updated in a few years, and it has its shortcomings. I’m not excited about learning an entirely new way to create pages after all this time, though, either. I’m definitely on the fence!

Thanks so much for plodding through my ramblings,
Steve

Oh, and before I buy RapidWeaver v6, am I buying right before a major release, where I’ll soon have to upgrade?


(Ric) #2

Simple answer yes.

I ran a Vantage Pro 2 years ago. I dabbled in a basic html site and used the Davis templates and WeatherLink (tried both Windows and Mac versions).
It looked a lot like your site.

Having got into RapidWeaver for my buisness site I produced a RW based weather site using first WeatherLink for Mac (that crashed a lot) and then Lightsoft Weather Center.

I’ve not had a site running for a couple of years but you’ve actually re-kindled the idea so I might have a play over the Christmas break.

@willwood - Will Woodgate, who is a revered RW developer of themes and stacks, has a weather site running Trixology’s WeatherCat. It’s more basic than yours but you’ll get the idea:

http://willwoodgate.com/weather/

There’s more station info at:

http://willwoodgate.com/weather/weather-info/

The only caveat using RW is that you can expect to pay a lot more than the basic price to add ‘add-ons’.
I certainly recommend the Stacks add-on and then you’ll want to purchase various 3rd party stacks. It can even get a little addictive.
Having said that Will Woodgate produces a good number of ‘free’ themes and stacks that are probably enough to produce a high quality site. Certainly enough to whet your appetite.

Feel free to message me if you want more info. Maybe I’ll upgrade to WeatherCat, dust off an old Mac and get my station reporting our beautiful Algarve weather to the world again :upside_down_face:


(Steve) #3

Thank you @ricinport

You will find WeatherCat very familiar, as it is build by the same developer (Stuart Ball) as LWC was. It is far, far more feature rich than LWC was, including social media posting and sending data to several agencies. And LWC users get WC at half price (contact Stu directly on the Trixology forum.)

I looked at @willwood source code for the weather pages. It looks very much like pieces of mine. If all I’d be doing is copying my current raw HTML into a RapidWeaver HTML page, I’m not sure I see an advantage. I also don’t see a method to send some of the published pages to local folders (to be processed and populated by WeatherCat) and some to my hosting server. So if all of that is also manual, again, RapidWeaver doesn’t seem like it would help.

I have a couple web sites for my hobbies, and run a site for a local British car club, so I could see using RapidWeaver as a tool to refresh those aging sites (one done around 2005 and the others in the late '90s.) But I was hoping to use it to create a fresh, modern look for my weather site. Maybe my use is just too out of the norm for RapidWeaver.

Thanks for your input, Ric!
Steve


(Steve) #4

Not as much input as I thought my request might get, but I went ahead and bought the MacUpdate bundle that included RapidWeaver. Thanks @ricinport for your reply.

Steve


Rapidweaver 7 for $12! .... really!?
(Ric) #5

@Avon-Weather

I’d suggest RW will serve you well with your hobby sites. So well worth the money on that alone.

I’d also suggest RW will probably benefit your weather reporting too.
Certainly you’ll be able to easily build a far more attractive visual experience than the html route.
However I’d bet that integration can also be done once you get the hang of RapidWeaver’s workings. There’s not much that can’t be done with the use of add-ons these days.
You will certainly be able to automate the html and I’d have thought WeatherCat does the local folder transfers before sending to the web server. I can’t see why there would be a need for publishing to the web and then backwards?

I’ve asked Trixology for an upgrade discount from LWC. I’ll get my Davis up and running, build a starter RW site and start reporting to the web. We can probably compare notes on how best to get some good looking and highly data rich sites live for the public’s appreciation :grin:


(Steve) #6

Thanks, @ricinport I mentioned to Stu that you might contact him, and he said he’d got a discount request. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Join the forum, there are a lot of friendly, helpful folk on there. I’m “Steve” on the Trixology forum.

See ya there!