Rapidweaver - what do I need and where does it end?


Now I realise the “what do I need” portion of my title is a “how long is a piece of string” question but having spent the past forty eight hours looking at the options for extending Rapidweaver I am just getting more uncertain where my money should be spent. Part of my problem is that I don’t know what problem I want to solve, so feel free to give me your opinions.

My daughter is a student reading Art and Design at university and decided that she wanted a web site to display her portfolio. She decided to create a site using Adobe Portfolio and seems pleased with the results. However, I can see that the Adobe product could be quite limiting in the long term so wonder how I can duplicate the style of the site using Rapidweaver.

Here is her site : https://madeleineknight.myportfolio.com/

The key issues were and in some cases are : aligning text with graphics which is hit and miss, using four images used as fancy buttons at the bottom of each gallery page and the use of a specific font/typeface throughout the site.

Trying to reproduce the site using Rapidweaver presents me with a learning opportunity and some challenges.

I have no idea which theme to start from and suspect that it probably does not have a great influence so I’m experimenting with the new themes that come with Rapidweaver version 8.

I don’t anticipate that aligning text boxes with graphics will be a problem as Rapidweaver offers many options especially from within Stacks which I have purchased.

I believe that fancy image buttons require a stack such as Big White Duck’s sectionsbox https://www.bigwhiteduck.com/stacks/sectionsbox/. (Thanks to Rob for pointing this out to me in another post)

The use of fonts reveals the dilemma that the Rapidweaver ecosystem presents. Most themes only offer a default theme font with no obvious method of changing it. However, it is possible to use styled text in many regions but this soon becomes quite hard work.

A better method is to use a line of CSS on each page e.g. * {font-family: arial, tahoma, sans-serif} (please note I am only repeating what I have discovered on the web). Another as yet untried option is some form of font control through the use of stacks. Joe Workman sells one for (gulp!) $50 or the new to me (double gulp) Foundry stack includes a font selection option in its collection of stacks. I have no idea which is best suited to the task and downloading trials only goes so far in the hands of a novice.

Now I realise that I don’t need any tools, Rapidweaver included, to create a website, apart from a text editor, a web browser and some ftp software but the right tools make the job a lot simpler. So I wonder given that I have am only creating sites for my own use what extras to Rapidweaver would you recommend as must haves ?

best wishes


Use a framework solution like Foundation 6, that should meet all your requirements and a page as you have linked it should be easy to build

Hi Simon,

I’m using RW for a few years now. I am, like your daughter, a (former) art student. I invested hundreds of Euros in templates and stacks along the way. Recently I purchased Foundry by Elixir Graphics and found out I should have done this much earlier. Foundry, along with Potion and Thunder, gives me the freedom to design, align, use the fonts of my choice… just the way I like. I don’t buy themes anymore since I start from a blank canvas. I’ve rebuilt a few older sites in Foundry and they look just as I intended.

Maybe you should check this out on the Elixir website for yourself.

Another option is Joe Workman’s Foundation. It’s a similar package where you have a lot of freedom in designing websites. Joe Workman is very respected developer and his products are top (I have quite a lot of his stacks). For me, and this is a personal opinion, is that the learning curve of Foundation is higher than Foundry’s. But both options are very solid.

Hope you find a solution that suits your needs.


ps. I checked your daughter’s site. Looks very clean and nice, but it takes a long time to load which is a disadvantage in the world of websites. Anyway, nice work.


You’ll want to look into the Stacks plugin from YourHead Software whichever way you jump. It’s the essential addon for Rapidweaver.

After that, I’d also consider Source, a ‘micro-framework’ which less expensive than the others mentioned here, yet has many of the same advantages. The basic version which includes a blank theme and 13 stacks is free.

Just to muddy the waters a bit more, you could also look for a theme that includes the kind of fonts you want to use on the site and has a similar feel to your daughter’s existing site. Themes are by their nature, more restrictive, but if you find one that works, it’s a really quick way to build a site.

Have a look at https://archetypon.net/themes/


Thanks all of you for your replies. I should have mentioned that I do have a copy of Stacks4 which is so far largely untried. I think that I will follow your advice and investigate some form of Framework to use within Stacks and I think that I will start with trying Source as this from their web site seems to describe me, plus the price is right :

You want to see what is possible with Stacks before committing to one of the larger frameworks. Source is easy to learn and offers a great playground for you to test out building sites using a freeform framework for FREE! You might even find that it is all that you need!

Also Panans’s comments rang true :

I can quite imagine buying a theme or other extra which does 98% of what I want and then having to spend again to gain the final 2%.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions which have been a great help. Now I should try and produce a site.

best wishes


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Hi @skids

Definitely worth giving Source a go. Hundreds of people have found that does is indeed offer all that they need to build their webpages - you can see some testimonials here.

I still surprise myself with how much I can do with the included stacks. It is very seldom that I have to use a third-party stack and when I do it is for the likes of a specialised slider or gallery stack (that I would choose to use even if using a framework that included their versions of these).

And remember too that there is a full (and completely free) video course that takes you through the building of your first webpage with Source. Find out more.

Any questions let me know.


Hi Stuart,

I have just installed the free version and was wondering if I should buy the add-on pack, but I’m probably better off watching some of the tutorials first.

I’ll report back here as I doubt that I am the only Rapidweaver user who is overwhelmed by all the options and to some extent the terminology.

best wishes


Thanks for this very helpful start.


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