Curtains is an animated splash screen for your more informal site. As you can see below, upon loading the site an overlay appears which will slide out of view to reveal the page below.
Curtains is simple to use, but first you'll need a suitable image – so off you trot to Photoshop, or your favourite image editor and divide your image into two halves.
In Photoshop this is simple – drag a vertical guide into your image and you'll find that it will magnetically anchor itself to the centre of the image when it arrives there.
Hit 'C' for crop and crop the either the left, or the right half with the help of the guide. Save the cropped half and undo the last action – repeat the process for the second half.
When saving, set the jpg compression to around 4, or 5, then drag the images onto ImageOptim, JPEGmini etc, to further reduce the size.
You are now ready to drag Curtains into your Stacks page. Drop it at the top of your page so that it can load as the first stack. Now drag the left and right 'drapes' that you just created into the image wells and you're finished. Or not quite…
… In the stack's container, you'll see an intro text. Replace the text with your own greeting.
Start Delay sets the time that the splash screen will be displayed before the Headline fades and the curtains open.|
Fade Speed and Slide Speed can be set independently.
Cookie Expiration. It's often annoying to see the same animation every time you return to a website. Cookie Expiration can be set to n days (default), or changed to hours, preventing Curtains from reappearing during the defined period of time.
Asynchronous Mode. If async is set, the Curtains script is executed asynchronously with the rest of the page, i.e. the script will be executed while the page continues the parsing. If async is not set, the Curtains script will be executed when the page has finished parsing.
Overlay Style. The default setting is CSS Gradient. The Options are Dragged and Dropped, or Warehoused images.
Tile Images to Fill Drape. If your images are smaller than the page, they may be tiled.
Text Colour, Text Shadow Text Size, Bold Curtain Text and Italicised Curtain Text are all self explanatory.
Curtain Shadow is activated by default.
Now you're set to go!
Why the Curtains Icon is a shower head, I can't say, but Curtains is a free stack and you don't look gift horses in the mouth!
You can watch the animation above again by reloading the page.
Now for something entirely different…
You may (or may not) have wondered about the dummy text in the animation above. I'm going to tell you about it anyway!
When building a new website, whether for yourself, or for a client, it's an advantage to be able to see what the layout will look like when filled with various text formatting and images. LorumUtility will assist you by quickly adding dummy content to your page.
Now, as every standard text, or paragraph stack already contains some form of Ipsum text, I asked myself why on earth I would need a stack that does exactly the same, but is otherwise useless?
Because LorumUtility is extremely versatile.
When you drag LorumUtility onto a Stacks page, you will simply see the word 'Paragraphs' in edit mode and when you switch to preview, you will find five paragraphs of the standard and complete Lorum Ipsum text (seldom beginning with 'Lorum Ipsum').
You can choose between 14 Ipsum Dictionaries, ranging from Bacon Ipsum to Yorkshire Ipsum. Cockney Ipsum is sadly missing, but here's Cupcake Ipsum:
Marzipan halvah caramels carrot cake sugar plum bear claw chocolate bar jujubes croissant pie liquorice macaroon sweet roll brownie dessert tootsie roll icing pastry muffin fruitcake tart donut cheesecake candy canes oat cake gummies soufflé dragée tiramisu gummi bears topping sweet cookie lemon drops caramel corn pudding apple pie powder biscuit danish chocolate cake candy ice cream toffee jelly wafer jelly-o cake chupa chups jelly beans gingerbread sesame snaps cotton candy lollipop cupcake applecake chocolate bonbon marshmallow soufflé apple pie sweet caramels brownie sugar plum biscuit bear claw cupcake danish applecake cake caramel corn tart lollipop marzipan!
But LorumUtility doesn't stop here. It doesn't just allow you to add n number of Paragraphs, but also Blockquotes, Headers, Images (CSS and Photos), Ordered and Unordered Lists, a Paragraph with n words, a Sentence with n words, or n number of words without punctuation.
LorumUtility Formatting will allow you to set the Colour Definition, Font Definition – Inherited, or Custom, Font Size, Paragraphing – Size; Inherited, or Custom and the Text Alignment.
If you are pressed for time and need to demonstrate a new website layout, LorumUtility will allow you to do so speedily and efficiently. You can effortlessly generate a variety of different content elements, with the option to either use the styling inherited from your RapidWeaver theme, or experiment with custom styling applied to the written content. There is no limit to the number of LoremUtility stacks that can be used on the same webpage.
Enter Agent from Joe Workman. Agent is a .php based stack that queries the device being used and only delivers the data that you've determined suitable for that device's browser, drastically improving performance on mobile devices.
Agent is accompanied by Agent URL, a stack that provides either/or options. Agent URL allows you to add optional content to your page that can be viewed when the user requires it. Product information, for instance, or location information, FAQs – or even language versions.
For example: You deliver an app that can be used under MacOS, IOS and Android. Agent can detect the device being used to view your page and display a download button for the app intended for said device.
Or you have a business that caters to English, German and French speaking clients. You can place buttons on your page with options to change the page language. The neat part is that the URL query is persistent. If your visitor sets German on one page, the German language versions of you pages will be loaded when he/she moves on to the next page and the language [/location/product] preferences will usually be remembered when your client returns to your site.
Not only does Agent query the device being used, but it can also be set to query the browser type, allowing differing elements to be displayed on a multitude of specific browsers, permitting you to display a message for users of IE, for instance, that certain elements on your page will not work as intended and to please install a decent browser.
Agent is straightforward, but you will need to spend a couple of seconds interpreting the logic. The first stack settings will help you test your logic – they are preview settings and allow you to set the Device, Platform and Browser for the RapidWeaver preview. The Agent Rules are simple too; Hide, Show, or Both.
Both? When you choose Both, Agent automatically adds a child stack with IF TRUE and ELSE settings. I.E. IF this page is viewed on mobile device, display stack one, ELSE display stack two.
The Device Rules give you the options Mobile, Tablet, Desktop and Bots. The activated buttons determine which devices your content will be displayed on – not to be confused with the visibility buttons in other stacks.
Agent's Details give you options for the Platform and the Browser being used to view your pages.
Agent URL is the stack that will allow you change your page content based on user preferences. Add the stack to your page and in the settings panel, you'll find Action – show and hide settings, Rule settings, Key, Value, a Set as default value checkbox, Persistence and Preview options.
Let's say you wish to add an option for a second language. Drop your default text into an Agent URL stack and add a Key such as 'lang' or 'sprache', then a Value, e.g. 'en'. Set the checkbox to Set as default value and activate 'Session'.
Now add a second Agent URL stack with your second language. Set the Key to 'lang' and the Value to 'de' (for German). Make sure that Set as default value is deactivated and activate 'Session' once more.
You will need a button with the URL value ?lang=de and one for ?lang=en to swap languages. This value is passed on to the browser when clicked and the language of your choice will be displayed. The Session setting ensures that the preferences are carried over to the next page that your user visits.
Check out Joe's instruction video for a more detailed description.
Agent is a game changer! It will streamline your website by delivering just the information required for each device/browser combination and will serve optional content.
Go forth and make those websites more efficient!
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