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EasyButtons for RapidWeaver

Just out of interest, I went through and counted the button stacks in my RW Stacks library. I have twelve different button stacks – not counting those that are linked to a specific framework, theme, or have a specific function in a form etc. The collection has grown gradually over the years as developers managed to convince me that "this new button stack is the one-and-only-never-buy-another".

On the Marathia EasyButtons Page, Jeroen simply states that EasyButton is a very versatile stack to create all sorts of links that look like buttons in a grid layout. Now 2019 has only just begun, but I'll be bookmarking the statement for my understatement of the year contest. 'Versatile'. EasyButtons delivers more than 100 configuration options. Yes, one-hundred! And it automatically configures itself to a grid, if you add more than one child stack.

EasyButtons is a 2D button without highlights and without shadows. It can easily be configured as a ghost button, but can just as easily be configured as a coloured button with fill, frame and font colours that change on hover. It's the hover effects that make EasyButtons different:

Basic, 2D, Background, With FA Icon, Border, Shadow & Glow, Speech Bubble and Curl – These are just the Transitions. Each transition then has a bag full of configurable effects.
No, I shan't be listing them here. Just let me say that if you need the buttons on your page to look and act differently to those of your neighbour, then EasyButtons makes it possible.

EasyButtons – Marathia Stacks

It's not just the hover effects, though, that make EasyButtons versatile. As mentioned above; if you add more than one child stack to the main stack, EasyButtons forms a grid of buttons which can be configured horizontally or vertically, so that you could also build a simple menu bar of your own (sans dropdowns, of course).

Stack settings
Space Between – Horizontal, Vertical
Direction – {Grid} Horizontal, Vertical
Align – Left, Right, Center, Justify
Width – Auto, Fixed, Fluid, Responsive
Full Width Below – px

If you're quick, there's a 25% available when you add EasyButtons to your cart using the discount code EB25OFF.

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Conditional Content in RapidWeaver

Get relevant information to your users by displaying content in response to a visitor's input. If this sounds like AI, don't get too excited. RW can't yet predict what your customer is going to type, but you can; and with Text Detect from 1LD, you can provide targeted information to specific visitors.

Text Detect is a stack that can conditionally display additional content on a web page, based on the words or phrases that a user type into fields. You could provide targeted information for sales, support, or even provide additional fields or links to select users.
Let's take the example of a sales site and the simple question "Which product are you interested in?"

Text Detect – One Little DesignerThe answer is predictable. Logically, the user wishes to know more about one of the products mentioned on the current page. With Text Detect, you can add an HTML text area to your page for the customers reply, then add Text Detect Pop-ups with the relevant information.

Text Detect – One Little Designer
The information may be presented in one of five different ways for each Text Detect stack on your page. Inline (as above), Chat Bubble, Lightbox, Fixed Top or Fixed Bottom
The Text Detect Pop-ups can be set up to detect entries from a list of words and or phrases. The query can be formatted as case sensitive (or not) and partial word matches can be activated. In the example above, if I'd typed in "I'm interested in PlusKit" a different Inline window would have opened in place of the Stacks info simply because 'plus kit' was entered as one of the terms to be detected.

Text Detect is an interesting addition to the RW Stacks collection. It will save you time by identifying common enquiries beforehand and supplying predefined answers. You can add most 3rd-party stacks to the pop-up content and place Text Detect inside a 3rd party form to add custom messages.

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Srcerer for RapidWeaver

The buzzword for a few years now has been Mobile First, but how much do you really care about your mobile visitors – those that pay for their internet experience by the kilobyte?
Previously, we've seen stacks that automatically produce an image of reduced size for mobile devices. Even today we have stacks that allow the manual addition of a second image that is loaded for mobile devices, but none of the solutions to date have been truly optimal.

I have two websites online that display a full page mobile optimised image on desktop devices for a couple of seconds until the browser recognises the fact that I'm on a desktop computer and replaces the image with the higher resolution version. Not really optimal.
I previously had a stack that produced two versions of an image and loaded the low-res image on mobile devices, but, more often than not, the low-res would display on a tablet in portrait mode. Not really optimal.

What if there were a solution to load and display an image that has been optimised for each breakpoint? Well, actually there is now a stack that can do that – Srcerer from Shaking The Habitual!

Srcerer queries the browser width when a page is loaded and can deliver up to eight different images at various sizes with each image optimised for each screen width it is being viewed on. Srcerer even takes Retina displays into consideration and will deliver an optimised 2x image.
Using Srcerer means that your site's visitor only downloads (and pays for) the image that has been optimised for her/his device.

This does, of course mean that you are saddled with extra work for your site. You will need to produce, optimise and link the eight separate images manually, but there's workarounds for that too. Srcerer will automatically generate the code for linking to a folder of optimised images and an app called Retrobatch (a super efficient node-based batch image processor from Flying Meat Software) will allow you to program a workflow to automate the process (Stuart will even supply a pre defined workflow), However a Photoshop Droplet can do the same and it's even possible to resize the images via Preview.

Now personally, I'd be happy if this were the limit of Srcerer's abilities. But Stuart wasn't ready to stop programming there and has added properties to the stack that other image stacks simply don't have; Srcerer can produce cards with seven different shadow effects, Srcerer can add image captions, hover effects and blends and it can even add parallax effects. What more would you want from an image stack?

Srcerer – Shaking the habitual

Stack settings
Stuart has given detailed descriptions of each of Srcerer's settings on the homepage, so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel, but instead would recommend that you take a look at the Srcerer product page.

Srcerer is not only the most advanced stack to date for delivering optimised images for each viewport, but it is also an otherwise extremely versatile image stack that I can highly recommend!
Until 9th November 2018 you can get a 25% discount with the code: sth-ninja-srcerer

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Limelighting in RapidWeaver

When 'PopView' was launched as a BWD beta a little over 16 months ago, it instantly became one of my favourite stacks. Unfortunately, I personally helped delay its release by asking too many questions and making too many suggestions.

PopView – never an especially cool name – eventually morphed into "Limelight" and was tested by others, who also had questions and suggestions and so the launch was delayed again and again until we had a stack that is almost entirely different to the one that saw the light of day. But that's just the way with BWD. An idea is born, then it is tested and re-tested until finally – and only when Andrew has decided that it is ready – it is sprung upon an unsuspecting public.

Twelve months ago Limelight was already the perfect stack for lightboxing anything – anywhere. It can display text/image combinations; it can display Google maps; it can display iFrames; heck! it can display anything and everything with lazy loading – i.e. instantaneously!

When Limelight finally received its production name, I built two pages in anticipation of its imminent release: Galleries and Tabs, but then other testers joined the fray and numerous other changes took place.

Limelight – Big White Duck

So what happened along the way?

Rob: Hi, Andrew, I have twelve images which can all be viewed within PopView/Limelight. It would be cool, if I could navigate from one image to the next.
Andrew: It's supposed to be a simple lightbox, not a slideshow!
Rob: Well that's a shame. How about the Google Maps – they take an age to load?
Andrew: Let me look into that…

Two days later and "Limelight" can navigate between images in a lightbox and Google maps are lazy-loading. I.E. if either an iFrame, or a Google map is called via a Limelight lightbox, it can be set to preload with the page and can be viewed instantly when a Limelight stack is opened.

Limelight is a lightbox stack. It will change the way you perceive lightboxes – it's the most flexible lightbox available.
Limelight comes with its own launcher and visibility stacks and can easily be launched by adding a Class to a link. It also arrives with Limelight Bar, which can add buttons or tabs to your lightbox.
You can have a Limelight that covers your page, as with regular lightboxes, or have it open within a SectionPro or a Blueprint. Limelight stacks can be nested so that one, or more can open within another*. I could probably go on for hours, but I'll let you make your own discoveries…

Limelight is without a doubt my favourite, the most flexible lightbox available. No matter what I want to display, it's there instantly. Hardly a site goes by without me having to plant a Limelight firmly within its pages. Most of the rjh-store is based on Limelight.

After numerous Limelight beta iterations these two pages have been completely rebuilt: Galleries and Tabs demonstrate some of the capabilities of Limelight and feature nested Limelight stacks.
You can receive a download link to my gallery projects free of charge, you just need to contact me.
The Tabulated content will be available in just a few days…

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Gator – 'New' Navigation for RapidWeaver

Several ThemeFlood themes have a rather special navigation bar which several users have requested be ported-over to Stacks for use in other themes such as Foundry and Foundation. Will Woodgate has complied with this request and released Gator.

Themes all have their own navigation menus built-in, but blank themes typically do not include a flexible menu. There are a number alternative navigation stacks available, but they all have their pros and cons.

A website's navigation system is possibly the most important aspect of any site design. If end users are faced with a navigation menu that's difficult to use, they will often navigate away to another website. A menu should look and feel as if it were an integral part of a completed web design; rather than giving an impression of something that was added as an afterthought!

Gator is derived from the same menu code that ThemeFlood themes have been using in for over 10 years, so you can be sure that it is tried and tested. This stack is expertly developed and includes a number of features never seen in other navigation stacks before. Particular emphasis has been placed on ease of setup, durability, user accessibility, responsive behaviour and flexible styling.

Gator – Stacks4Stacks
Gator can take the navigation links most RapidWeaver themes generate. Alternatively you can use our HTML markup as a template for custom-building your own menu structure. Menu types like tabs, nav bars, vertical blocks and even a simple multi-column mega menu are all achievable using Gator.

Common navigation problems Gator can provide a solution for include:

  • Support for multiple levels of subpages.
  • Configure the mobile / desktop breakpoint to avoid display issues.
  • Essential accessibility features for website users with disabilities.
  • Ability to hide the menu in print and PDF output.
  • Subtle mouseover animation effects for a more professional feel.
  • Quickly add additional content before or after the parent links.
  • Toggle between a horizontal or vertical navigation menu on desktop.
  • Restyle the menu to match existing theme styling or branding.
  • No irritation of having to click parent pages to reveal subpages.
  • Change link alignment within a few clicks.
  • Safe incorporation of optional Font Awesome icons, next to link text.
  • The hamburger mobile menu button is clearly marked 'Menu'.
  • Modern markup and intelligent layout with CSS Flexbox.
  • Easily handles long subpage links that span multiple lines.

Settings for Gator are split into 6 groups, ordered conveniently for experts working from a mobile-first principle:
1. General settings
2. Accessibility settings
3. Mobile menu settings
4. Desktop nav bar settings
5. Drop-down menu settings
6. Additional content

If you've tried other stacks but are looking for something different then take a look at Gator. This is a navigator stack that won't disappoint. A fully functioning free demo version is available for download. This free demo will help you experiment with all that Gator can do.

Beyond the standard set of style options provided in Gator, much can be accomplished by placing Gator inside other stacks such as 'sticky' bars and help is available for simple CSS modifications you want to make.

Gator is also available as a free variant for use in premium ThemeFlood themes, such as RWSkinz.

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rjh web design

265 Moo 2
Mae Na Toeng Nai, Pai
Mae Hong Son
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We design websites and print-products for small businesses at reasonable prices. We specialise in Responsive Web Design.

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