Rapidweaver Is It For Me? Help Appreciated - Want To Move From Wordpress


(TopHat) #1

Hi there RW comminity.

I’m trying to figure out whether Rapidweaver is right for me, the reasons why I want it to be, but the reservations I have. If anybody could help and advise that would be great, so as not to be a burdern I’ll try and engineer the post to give a simple closed answer such as Yes or No, ha ha hopefully, lets see…

Backstory

To set the scene I’ll give you the backstory of my working pattern. I used Rapidweaver, many years ago, when it was in its infancy. It was really good, was very impressed, but work required me to use Wordpress. I design websites first creating a visual mock in Illustrator etc and then build the site based on the finalised mock. To get the website being built exactly how I want it to look I use Beaver Buider to apply Google Fonts, custom header, top bar, navigation, page layout etc. It works well.

Why do I want to change? I’m doing more self-employed work and don’t want to be a web maintenance person, updating plugins, resolving conflicts, backing up MySql databases etc, especially want to move away from MySql databases, I have good technical knowledge, but focus on design first and foremost. When a MySql database breaks or website migration needs to occur, it is a headache for me. I also want to move away from Wordpress and Beaver Builder as I can’t obviousy work offline (without setting up dummy server and then migrating etc).

I like the idea of Rapidweaver, have downloaded the demo, downloaded installed Foundation theme, downloaded and running Stacks. I like that website can be devolped offline and then uploaded, it can be moved to new webspace simply by re-publishing. The only downside I can see is that I can;t give the client there own news/blog page, but that can be worked around if needed, maybe a social feed instead or TotalCMS.

Where I Am With Rapidweaver/Foundation/Stacks

So… I’ve been playing around with the demos and have realised that with Wordpress a lot of functionality can be sources that free plugins (even free version of Beaver Builder where limitations can be worked around). With Rapidweaver my total costs I’m looking at so far seem to be adding up constantly, these are:

Rapidweaver 79
Stacks 39
Foundation Theme (Free)

If I want to add custom navigation then I can use Magellen (I think it is called) but will require Foundation Site Style part of starter pack, so another 99.

My first question is:

Can I make websites look exactly how I want with repsonsive view choices in the design using just:

Rapidweaver
Stacks 3
Foundation Theme
?

To make websites look exactly how I want with repsonsive view choices in the design should I be buying all of the following:

Rapidweaver
Stacks 3
Foundation Theme
Foundation Starter Pack
?

Am I likely to need other plugins to be purchased to create custom headers, navigation, page layouts, incoporate Google Fonts globally?

It’s not really a question of cost, if for roughly £200 I have a good design solution for offline development of webpages then great, it’s more a case of am I missing something, will I need to be buying more third party products and find the ‘suite’ of products I need is getting out of hand?

Sorry it is a bit wordy this post, but have tried to encompass everything in neat questions that would help future potential users playing with demos wondering the same thing as me from the transition from online editing/MySql Wordpress to offline web design app. With regard to how to do these things with the plugins I will figure it out, I’m handy at that, obviously Foundation Site Style isn’t a demo so this is where I have hit a brick wall, just need to know if what I am asking is doable.

Many thanks


(Doug Bennett) #2

Unless you’re going to code html by hand you would need the foundation stacks, the bundle being the Best Buy $ 99.

That’s depending on what you want to do. There’s tons of addons that do different things. There’s different themes, plugins and stacks available to do different things. To use any of the third parties “stacks” you need the stacks plugin.
You have conventional themes as well as the “frameworks” like Foundation and Foundry. The foundation free theme might be confusing as you really need the stacks to make it work. Both come with a lot of stacks to do most of what you need.


(Peter Danckwerts) #3

As @teefers says, you’ll really need the Foundation stacks to get the most out of the Foundation theme, but with those, yes, you should be able to make a site look pretty well exactly how you want it to look.

Of course, you may want some more stacks, such as those for a CMS. I use Armadillo but many people swear by Joe Workman’s Total CMS, and there are many other options.

I gave up WordPress because I could never get sites to look exactly as I intended and my sites loaded really slowly.


(TopHat) #4

Thanks Peter, that answers and confirms my suspicions, I know what you mean that add-ons can go on and on depending upon what I want to do, but the core functionality is really the key and what the appropriate tools are for that. It certainly has become a much bigger beast (in a positive way) has RW over the years.

Thanks again,

Ben


(Paul Russam) #5

This is a RW/Stacks/Foundation site https://www.dma-ni.com
It obviously makes use of many other stacks, the primary ones being JoeWorkman’s TotalCMS and FontPro, BigWhiteDuck’s SectionsPro and BluePrint suite.
Most of the content is driven by TotalCMS.


(Robert Ziebol 🖖🏼) #6

The Big White Ducks stack will take any theme and make it that much better. They are free, but if you can donate it is appreciated. get then here


(TopHat) #7

Thanks Teefers/Paul/Zeebe/Peter, really appreciate the feedback. I think to be honest I am pretty much swayed now. I get the idea now that Foundation really is a blank starter and the stacks for Foundation are a requirement.

Paul that site looks great, really great, with just the only what I can see as fumbling around with RW/Stacks so far the potential to create sites how I want is actually more in-scope than the Wordpress worflow I’ve been working with, just need to obviously get more familiar with the software.

Just on side note Paul, I use Tumult Hype, a piece of software I really like, it can be a bit of a pig with Wordpress, regarding your icon animations are they HTML5? I’m guessing they are, did you have to code them in to integrate or is their a plugin that caters for adding in HTML5 animation used there the site you created? I’ve had a fleeting glance at plugins for HYPE/HTML5 animations, but not seen anything that stands out as saying “Use this”, but then again I am only just familiarising myself with the RW Universe.

Thanks chaps


(Paul Russam) #8

Animations are one of the many many features of BigWhiteDuck’s SectionsPro.
What you see there are layered SVG’s with each layer having an animation (move, scale, rotate, opacity etc) applied.


(TopHat) #9

Thanks Paul, that is a cracking idea they have implemented, thanks for the info, I’m really looking forward to getting my head in to some development work.


(Barrie McDermid) #10

At the risk of confusing things, it would also be worthwhile checking out Foundry and the themeflood and stacks4stacks sites.


(Dave) #11

Here’s another site < https://www.scdiag.com >, @TopHat, that is almost entirely built with Foundation, the add-on packs, Big White Duck stacks (totally free, but donations are very appreciated), FontPro (required since the fonts are Typekit) and Switcher (just $20.00). I use Switcher for my tabs/accordions because it is so incredibly versatile.

You mention that you will be using Google Fonts - the base Foundation Styles will incorporate them without any additional cost.

You also mention that you’d like to move away from maintenance / MySQL admin stuff…and that you’re familiar with TCMS. TCMS is one of the few add-ons that are priced on a per-domain basis (the software confirms that a license has been purchased, or it quits functioning after 30 days). Priced this way, it’s a bit expensive compared to other stacks (which are, for the most part, buy once and then use in as many sites as you’d like). But, the upside is that TCMS is a beautifully functioning CMS that works without MySQL - and will allow you to offload the maintenance/updates to your client. In addition, you can reformat the areas, so that they can’t override your design by using ugly fonts/sizes/colors/etc.

I converted from Dreamweaver to Rw many years ago, and haven’t looked back. There are some features that it offers that RW doesn’t (e.g., inline CSS), but the learning curve for RW is so much easier.

There used to be a showcase site for sites made with Foundation (but I don’t see it on my dashboard today) - if it’s still up, I’m sure @zeebe can point you to it. It’s a pretty amazing collection of gorgeous sites.


(Robert Ziebol 🖖🏼) #12

Hey @dave and everyone. Yes, Joe does have a designs page normally up at the Weaver’s Space Community page, but with Joe redoing his main site (coming soon) I believe he is going to be moving it to that and it is currently down. It will return.

The Inspiration Page on the RapidWeaver Community Page use to list the theme of the site, but for some reason they removed that info. Of the first two page of sites, here are the ones made with Foundation:

Page One has these sites:

http://lemon-3d.be

Second Page there has these sites:

http://www.hoermann-klosterbaeck.de

https://www.birnbaum-consulting.de

http://www.physio-zeller.de

https://www.kosmetik-rathausapotheke.de

http://juliaknoechel.de

http://gimmepawdogwalking.com

So of the first 24 sites listed, 10 of them are Foundation.


(Barrie McDermid) #13

You could also look at this stack - not many people seem to be talking about it as I expected, but it could be very useful for you.

https://www.yabdab.com/stacks/wordpress


(TopHat) #14

Thanks Bazza, that really is very useful, a good solution/other solution for a blog/news page.


(Brad Francis) #15

I’m a little like you, as I’ve been in IT since 1982 and designing websites “hand coded” since 1995. I purchased RapidWeaver 7 in Aug 2017. I have also purchased a heap of 3rd stacks, both Foundation and Foundry. My favourite is without question is Foundry and Nick Cates stacks with a “non subscription, non database CMS”. They all are ROCK SOLID, easy to use, fast and work every time month after month with no further attention/maintenance.

Joe Workman Foundation stacks are okay, but Joe continues releases bug fixes day after day. This concerns me big time. I’m not into updating my stacks and regenerating all my website when there is yet another bug fix.

The only other stack I can HIGHY RECOMMEND is BigWhiteDuck. They are a little harder to use, but are rock solid and you can almost create anything you can image. Best of all, they are Donation Ware!

Cheers
Brad


(system) #16

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