Stack Recommendations

Hello,

I am seeking opinions. I have used RW since 7 & only to create my own portfolio site. Just something to get myself up & going, as well as established as I started selling content to 3rd parties as stock. I currently own RW8, Stacks, Play, Squash, & Accordion.

I am wanting to broaden my horizons with new capabilities to do the following (in priority order):
Requirement 1: More customizable site layouts
Requirement 2A: Digital Content Shop
Requirement 2B: Digital Content Preview (low res & secure from theft)
Requirement 3: Digital Content Delivery (after purchase)
Requirement 4: Security & Compliance
Requirement 5: Online Locker /Account for purchasers
Requirement 6: Contact / Support

For Requirement 1, I think I am going to go with Foundation Bundle for $99.

For Requirement 2A & 3, I am leaning toward Rapid Cart Pro 4. I am not sure it can do Requirement 2B. Mainly video & audio files, perhaps zip files for template products.

For Requirement 4, I am not sure if I will need Cookie Jar or not. But also wanted to make sure content could not be swiped/downloaded. If I can not meet this requirement, then I will simply do low res/water marked preview files. Image safe perhaps is an option, but I dont know if it works for audio & video or just images.

Requirement 5, This is low priority. In fact, I am not 100% sure I even want to do this. I do not want to sell subscriptions. Mainly because I do not want to take on liability with CPNI related issues.

Requirement 6, This might just be a 3rd party online system or I will just get a completely separate email I can use.

About me: I have been in the IT field for over 20 years, but the last time I developed COBOL was en vogue. Dont judge! LOL. I would like to NOT have to learn CSS, HTML5, JavaScipt. But if I must, I must. I would just rather focus on my product to sell. Yet, I feel anything I learn is something I can always use in the future. But just wanted to know my preference.

So my ask is if the products I am looking to invest in are wise moves. Are there alternatives I should consider? I noticed there is a section to work with a fellow Rapidweaver user. So that may be a good way to go to collaborate with someone.

Thank you in advance to anyone who has input.

Chad
http://exposedpixels.studio
(FYI - I have been trying to insert a mp4/webm animation into my banner with mixed results. So scroll & you can see the rudimentary site I have now).

Before you start a buying spree, remember that there’s a growing opportunity to get better options for less or no money.

The main example is the free Source framework, its accompanying set of free stacks, optional paid stacks, ready-made projects and even an academy with courses that teach you not only how to use Source itself, but also how to design websites. And Stuart the developer is one of the nicest and most helpful of all developers.

Currently, Source is the leanest and fastest (by far) of all available themes and/or frameworks. I suggest you give it a try. It is really a joy to use, especially when you can compare it with other clunky and slow frameworks and themes.

This should be your first step, in my opinion. Later, you can start thinking about buying specialized stacks. The three essential places where I get my stacks are Big White Duck (free/donationware layout and utility stacks); S4S (many free/donationware and paid stacks—all with free demos) and inStacks, with the essential Poster stack, among others. These developers are also among the most helpful ones.

3 Likes

For requirement 1:

I agree 100% with Rob @Rovertek. In the “regular coding world” (folks that code in HTML, CSS and JavaScript) tradition frameworks like bootstrap 4, UIKIT and Foundations are becoming less popular. With the latest browser supporting technologies like Flexbox and CSS grid there’s not necessarily a need for all the bloat these frameworks carry.

I honestly don’t know if you should call “Source” a framework in the traditional sense. It’s extremely lightweight and uses the latest browser technologies like CSS grid and FlexBox. It just the “basics” no Sliders, modals, accordions or the like included. Just a handful of stacks that allow you to build the house that holds everything.

My advice would be to give Source a try before you buy any of the other frameworks out. The basic product is free and the addon stacks are a lot less expensive then a lot out there. If you’re going to go with any of the traditional RapidWeaver frameworks like Foundation, Foundry, UIKit, Platform, etc then use what’s included with the framework.

Most RapidWeaver users that are using these adapted frameworks end up using them simply as a blank canvas. They end up picking their favorite carousel , accordion and even navigation stacks and adding them to the framework.
That’s great other than the frameworks have all those features built in. That means most of the overhead and page weight is already being loaded.

For requirement 2, 3, 5:

Don’t know exactly what you are selling, where you are located (taxes, VAT, etc.) number of products or volumes you are expected.
So it’s hard to say exactly what would work best. If you’re strictly digital and you need to collect VAT then Paddle might be a consideration.
Cartloom and Ecwid also should fill the need as well. RapidCart Pro’s support in the past has been sketchy at best but has gotten better lately. Most of the other options are more expensive with monthly fees, but it is a store. Still cheaper than brick and mortar.

requirement 4:

Compliance is dependent on location. EU has different laws than the US. The US also can vary from state. Security is a concern for everyone.

requirement 6:

Again not knowing how much support you think you need a support email might be enough.

Also keep in mind that a lot of the RapidWeaver developers have sales (black Friday stuff) starting in less than a month.

So if you’re not in a hurry you could save a bundle by waiting.

2 Likes

Been reading up on Source. Very nice bundle. May lean that way.

Do any of the e-commerce options mentioned handle digital deliveries? Like after payment email download link(s)?

About my e-commerce plans:
Located in Kansas. I am working on license & details with local authority / resource.
Content; video, audio, images, possibly graphic templates.

The retail of digital files is really difficult nowadays. There are lots of legal and taxation obstacles to overcome. Your best option might be to partner with someone like Paddle.com who become the merchant and deal with all the complexities on your behalf. Plus they offer things like order-lookups and subscriptions. Expect to pay higher transaction fees as a result, but at least you will be 100% compliant with every current and future legality worldwide.

I agree with @Rovertek about the need to be resourceful and spending money wisely. The RW add-on marketplace is a very crowed place, and not all the offerings or service necessarily meet perceived expectations.

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any of the e-commerce options mentioned handle digital deliveries? Like after payment email download link(s)?

I’m no expert but Cartloom has a plain that does. Many of the US based (no VAT collected) RapidWeaver developers use it. It also has a prior purchased look up function.
There’s a free account that lets you play around with it before you sell anything, if I remember it doesn’t let you try out the digital delivery stuff but it’s been awhile since I tried it.
https://www.cartloom.com/
Ecwid also offers digital options,

Paddle works a bit differently as they are the merchant and take care of the collecting and paying of taxes and VATS. It’s however mostly for software developers not “video, audio, images, possibly graphic templates.“

I’m no tax expert but technically you are supposed to collect and pay countries taxes like VAT. Since you’re US based other countries have no way to enforce or collect these taxes.

There’s other options out that you might want to have a look at as well, you might have to copy and paste some code snippets but worth a look:

https://getdpd.com/

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Wow, you all rock! I will look into these options! Always great to have options.