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The HYPE Around RapidWeaver

As a regular reader of my RapidWeaver reviews, I sure that you remember that the last time I used a theme was back in 2012. There are, however, developers that still eek out a living by developing themes and there are enough of those developers to suggest that the majority of RW sites are built by Weavers that prefer the convenience of a prefabricated theme. After all – it's so simple: tweak the theme's settings to suit your design requirements then add the theme to each of your pages. Conformity guaranteed!

Michelangelo from Multithemes is one of the developers that delivers high quality and highly customisable themes. His latest creation, HYPE, is no exception. There are so many options for customisation that I shan't even attempt to go over them. Suffice it to say that if you deploy HYPE, you most certainly won't be disappointed.
There are 16 different web fonts available for title, slogan and Headlines, accompanied by web-safe fonts for your content. Animated Social Icons come as part of the deal, as do animated FA Icons. However, what immediately jumps out at visitors to Michelangelo's demo site, are the animated SVG headers. There are 16 different options to animate each page's title/slogan combination and the animations are so riveting that admirers have already enquired if they will be available as a stack!

Hype – Multithemes
I spent a couple of hours exploring HYPE's customisation options and if you're going to deploy the theme, you'll want to do the same. Whilst the default setup is attractive, there are so many options that HYPE can be almost anything you want it to be. However, you can rest assured that however much you tweak HYPE, it's always going to look good with the RW standard pages (assuming, of course that you're not colourblind) and that the theme will play along equally well with Stacks pages. That animated header will ensure that your pages will POP and two ExtraContent areas secure your pages' flexibility!

If you prefer the convenience of a prefabricated theme, but want extreme flexibility, then I highly recommend taking a look at HYPE

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New LUX Theme for RapidWeaver

It's been a while since I reviewed a RapidWeaver theme and even longer since I actually used one. Today, I realised why that is…
… when I design a website, I first choose a colour scheme that has some relevance to the site's subject or the client's CD*, then I choose fonts that I feel are appropriate. I usually have a rough layout in my head, which I will then refine as I go along.
Themes such as the new LUX theme from Multithemes are aimed at RW users who may be less creative, or who want to spend less time concentrating on the page structure, users who want to quickly put a site together and publish their content. And that's good; if that weren't possible, there wouldn't be so many good sites online.

Multithemes LUX won't, however, allow you to switch your brain off entirely. Once you've decided on a colour scheme (25 different elements beg your attention), you then need to choose from one of fifteen headline fonts and five fonts for your content. You then have the option to include a background image for each page (tiled, or as a cover image) and then there's an option for an (actually ten different) HTML5 animation overlay, which can be used as an overlay for the background image, or for one of the optional colour backgrounds.

Remember Extra Content? ExtraContent came about when a handful of 3rd party developers got together to address the need for more content spaces in RapidWeaver.
While the content area and sidebar are ample space for the vast majority of RapidWeaver users, there are some who want more flexibility to add content in ways keeping with todays modern web designs.
LUX comes with an Extra Content stack and three options for its positioning 1) Below the Header, 2) Below the page content 3) Within the Menu dropdown.
Which brings me to the navigation menu. The menu is just that: Top right is the word "Menu" with a Plus button. Clicking either opens a navigation overlay which is either just over 50% of the page width or, optionally (Nav Wide), approximately 95% of the viewport width. Extra Content 3 is positioned below the navigation bar that appears, so it's feasible to add a map of your location to the menu, along with company details.

LUX – Multithemes

LUX is a theme with a straightforward, very clean design that is enhanced by an unusual, but very useful navigation and some interesting animations for each page load. The animations are only displayed once on each page so they are subtle rather than overbearing. LUX has been tested and found compatible with all modern browsers. The theme can be customised with dozens of options, allowing you to create, your very own individual site.

Criticism: I only found one point: I can choose from 15 different Google fonts for my headlines, but only have five standard web fonts for the content – the standard web fonts don't always harmonise with the header fonts.

Trivia:

  • An icon font is embedded into LUX (as are social icons). I found it amusing that the navigation arrows are called 'Carrots' and the carets are called 'Arrow-Triangles'.
  • I was annoyed by the fact that I was unable to open the demo project. After 250 Beta versions of RW 8.1, I have refused to upgrade and still use RW 8.03 – sadly the new version is not backwards compatible.

*CD = Corporate Design: The standardised design elements that are associated with a company's visual appearance.
Not to be confused with:
CI = Corporate Identity or corporate image: the manner which a corporation, firm or business presents themselves to the public internally and externally.

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Percept for RapidWeaver

In March 2018 One Little Designer released Splash, a theme based on their new Modular framework. You may remember that Modular is a two-headed beast that's half modular framework, half theme. 1LD just released 'Percept' a new theme for the Modular framework that utilises the power of both stacks and themes for ultimate control!

As with Splash, Percept allows content pages to be either standard RapidWeaver, or Stacks pages into which you can add any content of your choice, including the Section and Slider stacks that come with the theme. And just in case my review in March was unclear, this means that YES, with the help of the Modular Header and Footer pages, by using the Modular Conditional stack, you can add any stack you wish to the default RW pages such as the photo album or blog.

Percept is great looking theme. One, or more Percept stacks are inserted into your Header page. By using the Condition stack, you are able to define which Header is then inserted into each page and the Percept stack gives you the possibility of configuring each of the inserted Headers. The same is, of course, true for the Footer page. I mentioned the Modular Section and Slider stacks in March, so I don't need to go over them again.

A lot of thought has gone into Percept and I have to say that I'm more impressed by it than I was by Splash, partly because it is straightforward without the gimmicks. It's ideal for the presentation of photographs or portfolios without the distraction of the permanently moving wave that Splash displays.

Percept comes with a starter project that already contains the necessary Header and Footer pages and is already set to use .php as the default setting. PHP is necessary to ensure that the Header and Footer are loaded into each of your pages. The starter project makes the initial setup a little simpler.

Percept – 1LD

If you want to use the RapidWeaver default pages alongside Stacks pages, but wish to customise them, 1LD's Modular concept is a great way to go. Percept is just the second of, hopefully, many themes that are yet to come. As I said last time it doesn't have the steep learning curve that some frameworks have; it can be used with standard RW pages or with Stacks pages, but it is flexible enough to build even the most complicated page.

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Presentations With RapidWeaver

If you've always wanted to publish keynotes, such as product presentations or training documents, then InStacks' new StageDive might be the very thing you've been looking for. Dubbed "Online presentations and slideshows for your next keynote" StageDive is an interesting take on Single-Page websites.

StageDive, as its subtitle denotes, is a theme/suite of stacks aimed at building presentations. The advantage over building your presentation with Keynote© or its Micro$oft equivalent, is that you can build your presentation with the app that you use every day – RapidWeaver.

StageDive arrives with its own dedicated theme and a suite of five stacks. The theme automatically adds the default formatting and the navigation to your presentation. Everything else can be designed just as you please. StageDive will allow you to place almost any stack on the page, including 3rd party navigation, or galleries.

The default stacks are: StageDive – the base stack which automatically adds the first child slide, Fixed Position – allows you to place floating stacks such as buttons in the corners of your slide, MediaPlayer – integrates video and audio, Slide – standard child stack and VerticalContainer – arranges slides vertically.
The difference to a standard webpage is that a) Upcoming slides and speaker notes may be may easily be viewed and b) The next slide may be called via the space bar.

StageDive – InStacks

Stack settings
Theme – Choice of nine themes plus 'Theme Builder' (not yet available)
Transition Style – Six transition effects
Transition Speed – Default, Fast, Slow
Centre Vertically – Active by default
Navigation Controls – Active by default
Controls Area – Bottom Right, Edges
Progress Bar – Active by default
Bar Height – px
Page Number – Deactivated by default
Timing – In seconds
Image Border – Deactivated by default

Slide
ID
CSS Class
Background – Theme Default, Custom Colour, Image, Video
Transition Style – Six transition options
Transition Speed – Default, Fast, Slow
Speaker Notes – Deactivated by default

StageDive is ideal for online presentations and if you're actually giving a keynote and have a second monitor, the possibility to view upcoming slides and slide notes is perfect.

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When you sign in to comment, RWNinja will provide your email, first and last names to DISQUS. That information, along with your comments, will be governed by DISQUS’ privacy policy. By commenting, you are accepting the DISQUS terms of service.
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Journal for RapidWeaver

Jochen Abitz has released yet another Total CMS project – Journal. Once again, the project displays dynamic content from the Total Blog stack and once again the project is well executed and the ideal starting point for your next CMS project.

If you take a look at the Journal demo pages – Photography, Travel and eJournal, you'll find that the Photography and the Travel Journal categories may be navigated via the large slider images (JW's Moving Box) at the top of the page, whilst the simpler eJournal demo displays a list of articles with the slider toggled to 'off'.
The About page displays an info panel with a single image and there is a Contact and a Disclaimer page. Each page has a search button above the menu bar with which the content can be explored.

As with previous Rapidpages projects, Journal's contemporary design is down-to-earth, focusing on content rather than flashy presentation, making the project ideal for displaying a portfolio, or a travel blog without distractions.

Journal – Rapidpages
The blog content is divided into Categories, e.g. Paris, or Architecture and subcategories, e.g. Day One, Day Two; or Buildings, Interior. The admin pages (five in all) are clearly layed out and Jochen has thoughtfully provided explanations for their usage. Each admin page has a sidebar menu that allows you to move from one page to the next and the slider and images may be toggled on or off when not needed.

Journal is another great starting point for Total CMS newbies (setting up the blog can be confusing), but it's also an ideal solution, if you're looking to build a client site.

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