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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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Make Your Content Pop in RapidWeaver

It's sometimes difficult to allow web content to stand out from the rest of the page and still have said content look attractive. Underlines, frames, shadows, background colours, blatant flashing or jiggling sections – we've seen it all and find it just a little boring.

Popper is a new stack from STH [Shaking The Habitual] that will allow you to overlay / underlay / frame / decorate your content almost any way you please. The stack itself has just two settings Framer/Divider and Height, if Divider has been set. If Popper is set to Framer, you'll see a stacks container for the content that is to be framed, you'll also see a stacks child for the first part of your frame. Closer inspection reveals that the initial child is 200px wide and 160px high, and because your content doesn't yet have any padding, the child stack is actually top-left behind your content, so you'll need to decide exactly where to position your Popper child stacks.

You have options to set dotted (round or square) or chequered patterns. You can set the pattern height and width, the distance for the pattern repetition, the colour (of course) and the zIndex (extremely useful if you wish to layer the child stacks and create your own, more complicated patterns).

Have a text that you need to highlight? Add a frame to two corners. Have an image with a mundane background? Make it pop by overlaying a pattern. The STH Popper demo page has dozens of examples.
The simple example below was created using a single Popper stack with four child stacks around the text stack, then a Popper stack with two child stacks used as a divider.

Popper – Shaking The Habitual
Get creative with Popper!

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Portal - Online Partials for RapidWeaver

Your website has standard Headers and Footers and sometimes contains elements within a page that change on a regular basis; Special Offers, for instance. As an experienced Weaver, you probably use Stack's Partials so that when you make alterations to a single element, your site will automatically update everywhere that a partial is used. The problem is that if your partial contains an image that image will be downloaded each time you load a new page that contains that image.

Enter Portal from Joe Workman. Portal is a set of two stacks and a theme. The theme is important and MUST be used for your Portal In stack pages. It ensures that your content is correctly saved as .php elements and can be imported with the Portal Out stack.
The Portal Out stack then outputs your Portal content on every page that it's required. As a simple mnemonic, just remember that with the IN stack, you're putting content into the Portal, with the OUT stack, you're requesting data out of the Portal.

Instead of publishing your complete website (as is often necessary when using Partials), you only need to publish your altered Portal IN pages to ensure that all of your content is automatically updated. And the added advantage is that any images contained within a Portal page are cached so that they don't need to be reloaded. This is a game changer!

Using Portal is conceivably simple: build a Portal IN page that contains the content that needs to be repeated (using the Portal theme). Add a Portal OUT stack to a page that needs duplicate content and define the page that you wish to import. Publish.
Remember that you are using .php and that whilst RW can now render .php pages, you need to preview your Portal page before you can preview the imported pages.

Portal works with any theme, but there's a bonus for Foundation users. the IN stack has a setting for Foundation so that, if you use Foundation specific stacks on your portal page, you will not see the message that you haven't used the Foundation theme (remember, you MUST use the Portal theme for everything to work).

Partials – Great, but old hat! My future websites will use Portal instead!

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Layouts in RapidWeaver

A few years ago, 1LD released a stack called Pure Grids. I was disappointed when it and all other 'Pure' stacks disappeared from their site because it was one of the best grid/column stacks available at the time. However, 1LD just released a grid stack that might just be even better – Layouts.

Layouts is a single stack that lets you build grids with unlimited numbers of columns, but it comes with built in stacks for Columns, Rows, Headings and Text. Layouts is flexible enough to build complete pages with relatively little effort. Gutters and row spacers are added automatically so that your layout is evenly spaced, but every setting remains fully editable. All of the elements can easily be reshuffled when need be.

Layouts creates 2 dimensional grids similar to Flexbox. This means that a grid element can not expand into the row below it as is possible with CSS Grids, but hey! CSS Grids are too possibly complicated for the majority of Weavers anyway!

A grid element – with a single mouse click – can be transformed into a Column, Row, Heading, or Text. You can, of course, add any of your favourite stacks to a Layout Column or Row; the height of each Layout element can be set up to 100% of the screen height and it goes without saying that your Layouts will reflow to fit any viewport width – there are advanced settings which allow you to define breakpoints for each device.
You'll find that Layouts is pretty amazing…

To go through each of the settings would take up more space than is available here, so if you decide that Layouts is for you, be sure to study the RW8 demo page that is included with the stack! Layouts works equally well with RW7 and there is a detailed tutorial available here.

Layouts – One Little Designer

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rjh web design

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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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