Introducing the new Boutique theme for RapidWeaver

Based loosely on the Longitude theme; but featuring a drop-down navigation bar at the very top of the page, embedded web fonts, an integrated RapidSearchPro search box and optimised for the new RapidCartPro plugin. Boutique is ideally suited towards the construction of e-commerce websites. A bountiful array of theme style and colour settings allow you to build a website that looks like your own! Read More...

Introducing the ViewportText stack for RapidWeaver

I frequently get asked by RapidWeaver users what addons or techniques I would recommend for responsive text. Commonly when we're talking about 'responsive text'; we're referring to the ability for text size to scale, to fit different screen sizes (just as an image or video would). For example you may have a subheading in a page that you want to display on a single line, at quite a tall font size. While that heading may look satisfactory on desktop-sized screens, the text may look too large on smaller mobile devices. Alternatively you may wish to have an image caption scale at the same proportion as the image itself.

Many web designers like myself now build exclusively on a 'mobile-first' principle; for many reasons already emphasised. So the ability for text to scale responsively may be an important consideration in some of your projects.

Unlike images or video, you can't just scale text using em or percentage units of measurement. A relatively new unit of measurement got invented called vw (in this example not an abbreviation for Volkswagen, but an abbreviation for viewport width). Viewport width simply works by calculating font size as a proportionate measurement of the screen (browser window) width. So if for example you set font size with a vw value of 1.00, that would be equivalent to 1% of the viewport width. CSS tricks put together a brilliant article all about viewport width text. Viewport width text is part of the CSS3 specification.

On paper, this new viewport width property sounds perfect. But there are some potential issues to give careful consideration towards when using viewport text:

  • On large cinematic monitors, how do you prevent text scaling up to infinity and becoming too large?
  • What happens to text when the page is printed or saved as a PDF?
  • How do web browsers (like Internet Explorer 9) handle VW sizing when they have zero support for it?
  • Does line height scale at a similar proportion to the text size, to prevent the tops and bottoms of letters getting cut-off?

Responsive text stacks already exist for RapidWeaver. However some of these don't fully address the issues mentioned above. And typically I only want to recommend addons to my theme customers which are free and which I can fully endorse myself!

Released last week, the new ViewportText stack is a stack element I have coded entirely myself. It uses pure HTML and CSS, with no dependency on any client-side markup (like Javascript or Flash). So this stack is remarkably simple and reliable in its construction. In other words, there's not much to go wrong...

Using the ViewportText stack, you can choose to apply viewport width font sizing on content placed inside the stack or elements elsewhere in the page. As well as being able to set the viewport width and line height of text, you can specify a stop-point for text to no longer scale at, and a maximum font size thereafter.

The 'fallback' font size setting provides an additional safety net for older web browsers that do not support viewport scaled text (like Internet Explorer 9). Likewise the font size can be set for print and PDF output too. An optional animation setting also allows your text to animate in size, when the browser window width changes.

With practice, the new Viewport Text stack is remarkably easy to use and compliments a modern 'mobile first' design workflow absolutely perfectly. The introductory video provides a complete walk-through and explains how this stack works. ViewportText is compatible with most stacks and RapidWeaver themes, including all ThemeFlood themes, the Blueball FreeStacks system and existing stack elements like FontStack.

More information

UltimateGallery theme for WeaverPix (sneak preview)

A sneak preview of the new 'UltimateGallery' theme I have been developing in recent weeks for the RapidWeaver WeaverPix plugin. Currently code-named 'UltimateGallery', this theme is intended as a replacement to the defunct Ultimate Gallery stacks.

By using WeaverPix, UltimateGallery is able to source images from several different locations, including your computer, Picasa, Flickr, 500px, Dribbble and a WeaverPix warehouse.

The lightbox is optional. Clicking an image will either open the full-sized version of the image (if no custom link has been set). Alternatively the link you set in WeaverPix or the warehoused will be used, if one is provided.

The UltimateGallery theme has been expertly designed and developed. It's easy to use, highly automated and gives professional results. Lots of scope to further customise the galleries with custom CSS markup.

This is a temporary link to download the latest version of the theme:
The link will expire a few weeks from now.

MixingDeck 1.1.0 released

The original MixingDeck stack has proven to be incredibly popular with many RapidWeaver users. I've seen individual users put it to good use and I've even seen record companies make use of it in their websites. What started out as a weekend project grew into one of the most popular audio and video stacks for RapidWeaver.

Picture of the MixingDeck stack for RapidWeaver

MixingDeck comprises of a playlist you setup, in the format of an HTML unordered list. Each list item is a link to an individual audio or video file. Clicking one of these playlist links loads the audio or video file in the player above. This system means that multiple audio or vide files can share the same player controls. You can construct a playlist comprising of a mixture of audio or video files, in any order you prefer.

This new 'version 1.1.0' update does much the same as previous versions. It looks the same and it will function the same. A difference however is that I spent time completely re-writing the underlying source code for MixingDeck. This latest version has better performance, improved browser compatibility and more consistent handling of audio and video between different web browsers. Altogether, MixingDeck is now a very solid plugin.

Important! You will need to update your playlist markup with a small modification, after applying this update. I've already taken time to document this change in detail on the MixingDeck website. Due to the change required to the playlist markup, this update will need to be manually downloaded and installed on your computer.

As before, MixingDeck is provided free of charge. If you find it of use, please make a contribution.

Shortly I also hope to begin development on MixingDeckPro. This will be a separate paid version of MixingDeck; boasting significantly more features and many customisable options. Now is the perfect time to file your feature requests! You can email me direct with any ideas you have.

Introducing ExtraContent Plus

As the name suggests; this stack is an extended version of the normal ExtraContent stack, with the addition of several extremely useful features for power users! ExtraContent Plus helps keep your workspace in RapidWeaver neatly organised, and includes some special markup to improve ExtraContent performance and provide a safety-net in rare instances where users arrive at your website without Javascript support. ExtraContent Plus works with both RapidWeaver 5 and RapidWeaver 6; and is compatible with a majority of third-party addon themes (including all ThemeFlood designs).

Please click here for more information about the ExtraContent Plus stack, including setup documentation and the download link. ExtraContent Plus is generously provided as a free stack element, and contributions are encouraged if you find this stack useful in your work.

Dusk updated to version 1.2

A free update with the following changes:

  • Subtext now hidden on sidebar block and split navigation layouts
  • 20 beautiful brand-new example banner images (in addition to the existing 15 images supplied)
  • Fixed a bug whereby ExtraContent 24 was duplicated twice
  • Optimised images used for the lightbox
  • New option to disable the breadcrumb links in the footer
  • Updated jQuery 1.x and 2.x to the latest versions
  • Updated Font Awesome icons to version 4.3
  • Updated Bootstrap to version 3.3.2

A picture of the Dusk RapidWeaver

This is a free update for all existing users. For more information about the Dusk RapidWeaver theme, please click here.

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.