Introducing QuoteSlider - a brand new stack for RapidWeaver

A dedicated slider stack intended specifically for animating a sequence of quotes, reviews, testimonials and other short extracts of content. QuoteSlider is developed to the highest standards and boasts a comprehensive array of customisable settings. This stack is ideally suited towards quick setup and deployment in a variety of different projects. Fully responsive and retina-display compatible. Compatible with most RapidWeaver themes and all major web browsers.

QuoteSlider stack for RapidWeaver

Click here for a 10 minute overview video. Documentation, a free demo version and purchase link can be found here.

Filter 3 released

This is the third major update to be released for the popular Filter stack in recent years. This latest version brings a couple of exciting new features, significant performance improvements, new settings and a more streamlined setup.

This is a free update for all existing users, but will require manually downloading and installing alongside your existing version of Filter. The significance of some of the changes implemented in Filter 3 has meant it has been safer to package and distribute this as a separate stack element. You can request an update by contacting me (proof of purchase required). If you have lost your download link or are interested in using Filter for the first time, you can purchase it directly from the Stacks4Stacks website. Click onto this page here.

The product page for Filter gives a complete overview of what this stack does and how it works. A free demo version is available to download and install on your computer before purchase. The entire Stacks4Stacks website can also be downloaded so you can see how to get Filter working.

Filter 3 for Stacks

Introducing Waterfall for RapidWeaver 6.

A good example of RapidWeaver developers collaborating together and leading the way with innovative solutions to common problems! Waterfall is a brand new RapidWeaver plugin developed by Nimblehost; with the purpose of enabling support for automatic updates, for RapidWeaver themes installed on your computer. It works very similar to the automatic update mechanism already found in the Stacks plugin. Today sees the first public Beta of Waterfall become available.

Many theme developers already have different notification and update mechanisms in place for theme updates. Some send out updates by email, some publish RSS feeds of updates, others work on a "come and get it" basis. Some don't do updates at all! The truth is, it can all be a little confusing sometimes. Waterfall aims to provide a standardised 'update centre' for themes within RapidWeaver, where version tracking and updates can take place effortlessly.

Waterfall is a RapidWeaver 6 plugin that can be purchased from the Nimblehost website. Once installed on your computer, you can add a copy of it to a RapidWeaver project. In RapidWeaver edit mode, Waterfall will check all your installed RapidWeaver themes; to see if updated versions are available. If updated versions of themes are found, Waterfall will provide the option to download and install the newest versions for you. Previous versions of themes are safely backed-up and archived within your RapidWeaver addons folder; meaning that nothing is permently deleted or overwritten. Likewise any duplicated or renamed themes you've created will be left untouched.

Waterfall theme update tracker for RapidWeaver

The screenshot above shows what Waterfall will look like if an update became available for Ocean, working on the assumption you had Ocean and other ThemeFlood themes installed. We've generously included waterfall support in both free and premium ThemeFlood RapidWeaver themes.

As of 10th January 2015; all themes you purchase or download from ThemeFlood include Waterfall support. So with the Waterfall plugin purchased and installed in RapidWeaver, you'll be able to get notification and instant access to theme updates 24/7.

For any ThemeFlood themes obtained before 10th January 2015, Waterfall may not work. This is simply because the themes will be missing the necessary 'bits' needed to check for updates. But all is not lost; you simply need to re-download the themes again from your Paddle locker or contact me direct via email (with proof of purchase) for the updated themes (with Waterfall support) issued to you.

We hope that Waterfall will provide a quick and convenient method for customers to keep themes updated and always have access to the latest versions. Lots of other publishing platforms like Wordpress and concrete5 have long-provided support for automatic theme updates, so it's great to see RapidWeaver finally gain the same functionality, albeit through a third-party addon.

Black 2.0 Released (a free RapidWeaver theme)

Fresh out of the workshop comes Black. This ever-popular free RapidWeaver theme has received an extensive overhaul and rebuild in recent weeks. Updated for both RapidWeaver 5 and RapidWeaver 6, Black is a brilliant little theme ideally suited towards blogs, personal websites, photography galleries and portfolios.

Black RapidWeaver theme

Free does not necessarily mean a compromise on features. Black is built on the Bootstrap responsive framework; and includes other upgrades like Font Awesome icons, the Nivo lightbox, responsive image scaling, FitVids, retina.js (for retina image support), FreeStyle banners and 10 ExtraContent containers.

Black can be obtained from the ThemeFlood website.

And... We're Back!

A follow-up message to say that the Stacks4Stacks and ThemeFlood websites have largely returned back to a normal operating state. There are still a few links being changed and snippets of documentation being edited, but for the most part everything is back to normal. If you're about to embark on new RapidWeaver projects for 2015, now is the ideal time to stock-up on new themes and stacks.

I've switched shopping cart providers to a new company called Paddle. The checkout process should be a lot faster and more pleasant now (no need to enter the same information twice and get redirected between different websites). Also if you're purchasing from Europe, everything is "good and legal" from a VAT perspective. As of yesterday, it's now a legal requirement for digital downloads and electronic services sold to EU customers to include VAT (at the rate set where a customer is buying from). Everyone has to comply, regardless of where they're selling from. I can confirm my online businesses meet these new requirements.

A few changes have taken place on the ThemeFlood website to simplify the website. Both free and premium themes are now listed on the same page. The old 'resources' page is now gone. The support page has been reorganised to bring the most popular links further forward and the old user guide is now gone. As of October 2014 when RapidWeaver 6 came out, I've setup a Wiki for all theme-related documentation.

A couple of the free themes like Darkness, Pixie and White will be updated and reinstated on the website over the next few weeks. I've decided to cull a lot of the free themes because many of them had not received any updates for several years and were showing their age. We'll probably retain about half a dozen of the most popular free themes and get them updated to a very high standard and released.

Speaking of free themes, both the Basic Blue and Blank themes have received significant updates and have been re-released today for download. These themes are now fully responsive and include a lot of expert features and functionality usually only associated with premium themes. Things like Nivo Lightbox support, Font Awesome icons, Bootstrap, FitVids and retina.js.

In the coming few days I'll be releasing major free updates for the Filter stack and the Lookup stack. Meanwhile the Media theme and Dusk themes will also be getting updates shortly.

Advance notice of website downtime and some changes ahead to my theme and stack sales

A quick post to say that the Stacks4Stacks and ThemeFlood websites will be offline periodically 11.59PM GMT 30th December 2014 until 11.59PM GMT 2nd January 2015. There may be periods when parts of the websites don't work or appear very slow. There may be some broken links and other general weirdness going on. Be rest-assured that normal service will resume soon, so please don't bombard me with tweets or emails!

This week has been chosen to do this essential work, because statistically it's one of the quietest weeks of the year; therefore the impact will be minimal. A lot of people are offline for the holiday season and sales are typically slow. There are a few major changes happening to the backend of the websites and some subtle changes to the way some of my addons are listed and priced.

New global trade and taxation laws coming into force on 1st January 2015 require VAT to be charged on all digital downloads sold to European customers. The amount of VAT applicable depends on where the customer is buying from. All traders worldwide are legally required to collect the correct amount of VAT for every purchase and send it back to Europe via a system like VAT-MOSS every four months. As much as I detest the new law, I do not wish to expose my loyal customers to tax avoidance and the risk of being prosecuted for buying something and not paying the correct amount of tax on it! So therefore I'll be fully complying with the new law. Buying from me will ensure every transaction is handled ethically, quickly and securely.

The cost of some stack elements will be increasing. This is basically so that I'll be able to absorb the new VAT costs of up-to 25% if you're buying from some European countries. Plus all the other normal, associated costs with handling payments and selling digitally. So you can expect to find the stack elements currently listed for £5 will be increasing to £10 each. Bundle discounts will be temporarily suspended and reviewed. A number of free RapidWeaver themes will be cut from the ThemeFlood website over the coming weeks; although several new or updated designs will be added in their place.

If you are a VAT registered business, charity or non-profit in Europe, you will be able to claim back any VAT you pay on my RapidWeaver themes or stacks purchased from me. So potentially you can claim back up-to 25% on every purchase. When you buy from me, you'll be issued a full invoice and purchase receipt. This will provide you with sufficient evidence and details for submitting a refund claim to your local tax authority or department.

Some free updates for some popular RapidWeaver themes and stacks are planned for release sometime in the next few days. I do also have many other exciting ideas for other RapidWeaver addons to develop and release in early 2015.

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2015! Laugh

First sneak-peek of the Flood RapidWeaver theme running in Concrete5

Hello and Happy Holidays! I published a video a few weeks ago; in which I demonstrated how to install the concrete5 publishing platform locally on your Mac using MAMP. In recent weeks I've been working on a project to convert the Flood RapidWeaver theme over for use in concrete5. I've published another video today in which I provide an illustrated walkthrough of the Flood theme running in concrete5.

[Click here to view the full-sized, 1080 HD video on YouTube]


Key features of the converted theme
  • The theme is distributed in the form of a package, making it remarkably easy to install and activate
  • Support will be added for automatic updates for themes purchased and installed from the marketplace
  • Includes several page layouts like full width, left-sidebar, right-sidebar and 3-columns
  • Numerous local and global (site-wide) content areas supporting various blocks, stacks and content, including WYSIWYG editing
  • Fitvids, lightbox, Font Awesome icon and Bootstrap support as standard
  • All CSS markup in the theme is handled using the LESS preprocessor, as used by many web development experts
  • Support for Bootstrap grid layouts, including variable-width columns with drag-handles
  • Numerous style, font and colour settings (including Google Web Font support), and a box for custom CSS markup
  • Integrates really well with lots of different addon concrete5 blocks and plugins; including blogs, e-commerce, media galleries and social media
  • Like the RapidWeaver version, Flood is fully responsive, mobile / tablet optimised, with mobile-first page rendering
  • Lots of scope to further extend and modify the theme for individual personal or commercial projects

The theme is very nearly complete, so I'm pleased to announce the availability of a free public Beta version today. You can temporarily download the Flood theme for concrete5 using this link:

This will give you a .zip file, which will uncompress to the theme_flood folder package (as shown in the video) ready for installation. The theme goes into the packages folder, of your concrete5 installation. Automatic updates are not presently supported.

When the theme is complete, it'll be available for sale through the concrete5 marketplace. There are a few minor things remaining on my 'to-do' list; such as some preset styles and provision for content swap (bundled dummy content and pages provided with the theme). After this public Beta test period, I'll be submitting the theme to the peer review board, who are a group of volunteers responsible for final testing and approving concrete5 addons for sale. It's hard to speculate a release date, but a release in Q1 seems feasible.

Why concrete5?
I already use concrete5 in several big projects for private clients. It's an open source publishing platform that's evolved a great deal in recent years. In my eyes, concrete5 has a bright future and a clear roadmap ahead. I can do things like build multilingual websites and setup complex functionality which I can't ordinarily do in other publishing platforms very easily. The clients I've built websites for (using concrete5) have enjoyed the freedom of taking control of their content and updating their sites at any time, from just about any location. This is my first step in branching-out theme development operations to support other publishing platforms. As well as concrete5, the Dusk theme has been working in Wordpress recently and I have plans to convert or build new themes for Statamic and Ghost too (the latter of which I'm a founding investor of). So 2015 is going to be an exciting year ahead.

If you've downloaded this theme and have any questions, comments, feedback or bug reports; please contact me direct via email. I'll be continuing to pickup my emails at least daily throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Please feel free to relink to this blog article or share the video elsewhere.

All things RapidWeaver 6

In case you didn't hear, RapidWeaver 6 has been released today. RapidWeaver hasn't had any major updates in two-and-something years, so this is definitely welcomed news by many and a very exciting update to see! It will be interesting to see how this update is received by the public and what further updates Realmac Software might decide to introduce over time. In the meantime, there are several things I want to talk about today in this blog post. Read More...

An update on the updates!

Stack updates

Tonight (Tuesday 7th October) I’ve published updates for all the free and paid stacks available from Stacks4Stacks (excluding free demo versions). While slightly inconvenient, these updates have been required; in order to include new icon sizes and extra property list strings. Both are required for future versions of RapidWeaver.

The next time you launch Stacks in RapidWeaver, you may get lots of update notifications displayed. The updates are not essential in the short term, but within the next few weeks it is advisable to ensure all your Stacks4Stacks stack elements are up to date. This will ensure the best possible speed, stability and compatibility with future versions of RapidWeaver and Stacks going forwards.

If you have questions or problems with any of the updates, please contact me direct with the details. Undoubtedly the update servers will be working overtime during the next few days, so there may well be temporary outages from time to time!

It's taken me several days to get all these updates prepared and available to you. The choice to include these new icons and property strings was certainly not my own! However all add-on developers will be required to do the same thing over the coming weeks. It seemed sensible (in my eyes) to get these updates out into the public domain as quickly as possible.

These updates add no noticeable changes to the way the stacks look and function right now. The system requirements remain unchanged from before. These stacks will all function perfectly well under Stacks 2.6 and RapidWeaver 5.3; and I do not foresee those system requirements changing anytime soon.

Once again, if you're using stacks from Stacks4Stacks, please take a few minutes to leave comments about them on the StacksCenter website or the RapidWeaver forums. In order to keep our prices low (and free in many instances) we avoid paid advertising and pushy affiliate links. Instead we rely on word of mouth from people like yourself to share knowledge of our stacks and give honest recommendations. There are many other ways to contribute towards the project too and I'm extremely appreciative of everyone who has already made contributions.

Theme updates

Updates have also been prepared for ThemeFlood themes in recent weeks. These include updates to things like jQuery, Bootstrap, Font Awesome Icons and underlying frameworks like CoreKit and RAFT. In many instances brand new theme style and colour settings have been added to themes. Several themes have now gone mobile first; providing terrific performance and compatibility on many different devices. We've also added built-in support for other features like lightboxes and responsive video scaling. There are some really exciting new things in these updates.

These theme updates will get gradually released over the next couple of weeks. As always updates will be totally free of charge for all existing users. You will be able to get these latest versions using your original download links or by providing me with proof of purchase. Updates will be publicised in various places, including this blog, the RapidWeaver forums, Google+ and through my Twitter handle (links to these can be found in the sidebar on this webpage).

If you have any feature requests for these themes, please ensure they are with me before Friday 10th October 2014! All feature requests will be considered and as many as possible will get included, where feasible. Now is the ideal opportunity to provide your feedback and influence these updates.

There are a couple of brand new theme designs which have been completed and are ready for release. Details of these will follow shortly. My plan is to get all the updates for existing themes completed and distributed first. Feedback from the Beta testers about these new themes has been incredibly encouraging, so it may be wise to save your money until these new themes are available!

ThemeFlood website update

Alongside some page refreshes the theme user guide is going to be converted into a wiki. I've decided to go-down the wiki route, in order to make the user guide easier to manage, quicker to search, and more reliable to link to specific topics. It will also mean that other people (beyond myself) will be able to login and update it with new information or amendments. This will be important, as we begin to support multiple versions of RapidWeaver. Lots of additional topics will be added to the new support site; together with some new video content. It should prove to be a fantastic resource for many RapidWeaver users, of all abilities.

Introducing the new Player stack

The ultimate HTML5 audio and video stack for RapidWeaver! Player has been designed and developed in collaboration with industry experts. This stack allows you to embed self-hosted audio or video files within your webpages. Player provides extensive options to customise the appearance and behaviour of your media player; especially important if you want an audio or video player to match an existing RapidWeaver theme or corporate branding.

Player stack

Completed Player stacks are fully responsive, search engine optimised and printer friendly. Lots of extra features are supported; like poster images, preloading, looping, subtitles and ending redirects. The video below provides a good introduction to the Player stack.

For more information about the Player stack, visit this webpage. This page hosts all the documentation about the Player stack, some working examples and a free demo version you can download to experiment with.