Programmer to WYSIWYG: Where to begin? CMS versus Blank Template or

Building a site for a friend who’ll be using it to document her travels over the next year. Normally use Dreamweaver, Hype 3.x Pro, and other elements for development. As she doesn’t code, RapidWeaver seems perfect as she can simply open her MacBook Air, make changes, then FTP them up to Namecheap.

Don’t want templates as they seem less personal, I believe content and function are both paramount. Ideally, I want to create an original site that she can easily use on the road. I’m deciding between a blank template versus a CMS such as Total CMS. I have purchased the Stacks 3 bundle with Accordion, Blocks, Collage, and Flow as well as the Foundation Starter Pack and Packs 1 and 2. Considering Foundry and other add-ons for custom fonts, social media linking/sharing, “Contact Me” template/section, and design elements.

A CMS seems great yet I’m concerned it may be limiting. I’ve begun developing elements such as an HTML5 intro using Hype 3.5 Pro, images, etc that I hope I can drag and drop into RapidWeaver. Definitely need to use a rollover effect in which an image web object changes on mouse over to another web object and reverts back to the original image on mouse out to indicate a link to that page, preloading to ensure they are displayed quickly. Some suggested “Big White Ducks” and “SectionsBox”. Here’s a link to a site that uses the mouseover effect I’m emulating:

For Hype elements, some recommended the free Builder stack to paste the generated JS, CSS and HTML code into the required boxes. Autoscaling the site based on detected device/browser is also important. I attached a quick rough draft of the first page to get an idea of what I’m attempting with RapidWeaver (It’s not at all to scale and simply acts as a layout).

Would Total CMS be the best option for creating such a site or should I work off a blank template? Thanks for all your help, I greatly appreciate everyone’s advice!

Since you have foundation already, I would start with that. Also BigWhiteDuck has an unbelievable collection of stacks that work with foundation available for free -donation encouraged.

That will get you a long way to what you want. Total CMS will add the ability to make changes outside of RW and also has a nice blog engine with tons of options. There are others also.

But it looks Loki you probably have what you need, you just need to play a little and learn what the stacks can do.


Hi, You have a very clear defined vision. I would not go the way to update the blog with RW. With a nice blog and cms system, you (she) could edit the post with her smartphone and could upload photo from it.
I made a Foundation project for such a need. A Foundation project has the advantage that you can change every detail in RapidWeaver for your needs. Maybe this would be an option:

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The concept of CMS within RapidWeaver is really more of a Remote Content Management System. So if your friend is comfortable using her Mac with RapidWeaver, then she doesn’t need any CMS. Also in the context of RW, CMS is just allows changing text and images of pre-defined areas of a page all specced out by you the designer. CMS in RW doesn’t allow full remote design capability.

However, from what you have said, Foundation or just a blank theme will do what you want but make sure to get the BWD stacks. You don’t need Hype as BWD’s SectionsPro animation will do what you want and pretty much everything else too.

I think there are 2 important issues to consider however.
1 You and your friend will both need to become familiar with using RW to make this work well and I wouldn’t underestimate this. Friend or not, you may end with the responsibility if things go wrong.
2 The cost of 2 sets of RW, Foundation & stacks per Mac will run into $100’s for both of you. Plenty of lower cost alternatives though.

So maybe a CMS solution where you develop the design and specify which bits she can “update”, is the best solution.

Certainly plenty for you to consider.

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Excellent! Thanks everyone for the pointers. You confirmed aspects I wasn’t completely sold or clear on while providing great advice. I’ll probably use a blank template to play with which may or may not become the basis of the site as Foundation could be useful. I’ll check out SectionsPro as well as the other tip for animation(s). She’s not a novice with tech, she comes from a music background and has used Logic and many over suites. When we first got together she quickly understood how Hype 3.x Pro worked using a timeline, much like Logic and Final Cut Pro. A CMS could be helpful as all she will be doing is updating text fields and images. Very basic but she’s been learning on her own as well and we’ve been screen sharing a lot as we develop (although I’m 2 weeks behind due to work and such).

Someone made a point in another thread regarding licenses. RapidWeaver allows for use on 2 Mac’s and I did write to clarify if that meant within one household or 2 systems and apparently 2 systems. However, she does have her own purchase license. Of course she’ll be paying for whatever additional elements once it’s completed. She’s holding off until it’s done so she won’t have to buy more than necessary.

Thanks so much for the pointers! You’ve helped a great deal and given me the confidence to dive in and get it done. :slight_smile: