RW8,9,Elements, Classic - Out of touch & Confused!

Hi All,

Some of us aren’t connected 24/7.
I spend my summers up north in the bush. I only use RW in the fall and winter months.

So you can imagine my surprise when I check my emails and see a blurb about RW Classic.
Further investigation on the official RW forum led me to even more confusion. Now it seems that forum is in read only mode - which led me to this forum.

So I’m asking if someone could please spare a few minutes and explain to me what happened to RW?
Was it sold off? Developers go crazy? Stacks 5 won’t be supported in RW in future versions? What the hells is Rw Elements, Classic, etc?
I’m throughly confused and can’t seem to catch up. I see on the Canadian Apple App Store that RW 8 is $139!!!
WTF happened to their price structure? I’ve been using RW since version 3 and have watched the upgrade pricing slowly climb over the years but this is quite the jump (I already own RW8 btw). Just can’t believe the staggering jump in price.

Please help! Thorughly confused!


RW decided they need a more user friendly way of creating websites. This leads to a RW version which will support Elements. A drag and drop interface for elements like images, etc. Of course this is a competition to Stacks. So it looks like this upcoming version of RW will not support Stacks or Stacks will not support this upcoming version of RW.

For all the Stacks users, there is version of RW which does work with the stacks plugin. This version is named RW Classic. This version will be supported in the future as well. So you can still use this one with Stacks. It works very stable for me.

What you see in the App store is not an upgrade price, but the price for the latest version if you buy it new. The update prices are cheaper of course. See Upgrade RapidWeaver

The new forum is available at: RapidWeaver Forum | Learn How To Build Better Websites | RapidWeaver Forum

Isaiah will offer a complete independent app based around Stacks sometime later. This version works with all stacks and will be a competitor to RW.

So for now, you can still use RW and stacks and continue to built/update your sites and decide later if you continue with RW classic, use the new Stacks App or use RW Elements.


Of course, there was a hell of a lot more drama than in Jan’s explanation, but he got right the technical essence of the whole situation.

Most of us here are continuing using RW8 and waiting for StacksPro app from Isaiah to be released. Confusion – yes, but no need for a panic.


Yeah, I did not want to open that can of worms :-)


I’d like to add that, unlike RW8, RWClassic is a subscription based model. You pay per year to keep getting updates. If RWClassic will still work after you stop paying is a bit unclear, as Realmac’s site contradicts itself on this point.

You’re of course free to keep using RW8: RWClassic does have improvements over RW8, but in my opinion they’re not world changing. If you decide to stay on RW8, do make sure you’re running RW 8.9.3 and not 8.9.4, as the latter has a really annoying pop up that nags you into upgrading to RWClassic. As far as I can tell, that nag screen is the only difference between 8.9.3 and 8.9.4 too.

Lastly, Realmac keeps hinting that RWClassic will work with macOS Ventura (released later this week), which suggests that RW8 will not, but so far RW8 works flawlessly on my Ventura beta install.



Hi All,

Thanks for replying!
Ok I will not panic. I have spent a lot of money over the years on stacks, so yeah, was getting worried.
I already upgraded to 8.9.4. oh well.
I do have an older Mac mini running Mojave, so if there are compatibility issues with Ventura, I guess I could always fall back to that. Not a fan of subscription based models at all! will stick with RW8 and wait and see what the StacksAPP will bring.

Thanks again people for clearing up my confusion. :-)


@oldskoolrw While there’s not a lot of clear definative information around right now, the situation should be a LOT clearer within 6 months. That’s not too long to be patient and then make a decision re: RW or Stacks app or something completely different. We are all making guesses right now … I’m sure some of those guesses will be correct, but which ones? :) So best not to worry and revisit this question in 2023.


Everything is calm now. I realized I can still work fine with RW8 and my frameworks. @isaiah is working on Stacks app, and it seems he i$ in peace with Dan. I will buy his app when it is ready because I will need Stacks to keep working on my sites for long years to come and he better than no one is the best guy to keep that happening! Also, I recommend checking out Blocs just because it’s like a next generation RW with an iPad app in full capacity that lets you build a website with it. These devs are not playing around, so keep an eye on them.


I did check out Blocs. Look pretty slick. I see there is lots of goodies included but also many that are not included, that requires purchases. However, with all the stacks I’ve invested in over the years, I feel It simply wouldn’t be in my best interest to start all over again.

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If you’re like me, like thousands $$ invested (not exaggerating) then I understand the feeling. However, Things are going to change, and you need to be prepared. @isaiah is working on a great option for that change, it will also be a new learning curve. You can download Blocs for free, and learn how to use it. What would you do if Rapidweaver suddenly stop support for stacks in the next update, and you can’t update your websites no more? Wait for someone that come up with a Stacks friendly solution? (that won’t happen, but it’s a good example of a worst case scenario) Why Blocs and no Webflow or Wix? Very close to Rapidweaver in usability and No subscription, plus 90% of add-ons are free! Mostly the ones that cost money are tutorials and specific features you don’t need to start working. Did I mention iPad Pro app as a bonus?

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I decided to move to Pinegrow when all this kicked off. Now that I have successfully converted my first site from RW to Pinegrow, I thought I’d share my experience in case anyone else is thinking of making the move.

It uses the Bootstrap 5.2 framework. I’ve managed to build the complete site with Bootstrap in Pinegrow. The site is extremely fast loading and comes through clean with the html validator which none of my RW stacks sites do. SEO is pretty easy

Pinegrow’s interface takes a bit of getting used to but allows you to change just about anything. The bootstrap components and blocks are drag and drop pretty much like stacks. You can build the whole site without the need to code, although coding knowledge (html/css) is helpful. I can also create my own reusable components.

I’m very happy with the result and am now in the process of converting all my sites.

Pinegrow is similarly priced to the new RW pricing, but comes with everything you need to build professional sites. I’m happy not to have to faff with managing stacks and knowing I have a fixed annual cost without needing to shell out for other frameworks and features, although I appreciate that this would be necessary if I needed a CMS.

Congratulations. Do you have a link to share what you created?

There are several regular users here who would highly recommend Pinegrow, but only for those with the abillity to use and understand it. Most Weavers would be stumped with it and not be prepared to invest enough time in it, IMHO.

I used to renew my Pinegrow subscription, but stopped, becasue I found it to be not as productive and quick to create a site, as using Stacks with Source (CSS Grid). I was itching to jump ship until Source appeared and rejuvinated Stacks for me. Also, I realised that Pinegrow and RW don’t really compliment each other and what you like about one will frustrate you with the lack of that feature in the other one.

Interesting you chose Bootstrap 5.2 as Pinegrow now supports Tailwind according to thier recent mailshot. (Bootstrap 5.2 bizarrely, can’t get it’s act together on implementing proper CSS Grid).

BTW Your HTML Validator link is labeled as an experimental tool and when I tried it, it flags up font-optical-sizing as “does not exist”, when it clearly does exist. Checking your site with Google’s PageSpeed Insights/Lightouse will give you a solid report on how well the site is built and performs.

You will still be subject to the same main issue with Pinegrow as Stacks users are. If Stacks users don’t choose the best framework and stacks, use best practice, they will not create a well built fast site and the same will be true with Pinegrow to a lesser but same extent. With great power comes great opportunities to mess things up and I found that debugging a Pinegrow page can become very time consumimg.

The Pinegrow templates are brilliant though and I love the enthusiasm of the Pinegrow team with their constant drive forward and smart decisions.

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Yes, it’s taken my somewhat longer, but a lot of that was a learning curve. I found actually producing a site to be helpful. The hardest part is always about learning how best to do things in the software rather than bringing old workflows.

Bootstrap has a greater block and component library. Also, with not need for jquery in Bootstrap 5 it was a pretty easy call. I may try out the other frameworks on my other sites.

Yes, there’s some argument on validators. They are helpful though in flagging up issues.

I agree with you. I do like the fact that with Pinegrow all the code can be edited for every page. I think drag and drop builders obscure a lot of code and make it difficult if not impossible to create proper page structure.

Debugging has been really easy with the code editor plus the check for html errors feature and check broken links feature.

I’m finding that I’m actually enjoying using Pinegrow. It’s made creating websites fun for me again.


Thank you for the writeup on Pinegrow.
Looked at this software a year ago, but with the “Interactions are not available with one time payment.” I did not even bother looking a further.

As RW is now subscription; and more expensive at that; the Pinegrow subscription with Interactions is cheaper. It also means no extra costs for stacks and plugins; those do mount up.

During the hiatus with RW and Stacks earlier this year, I evaluated Pinegrow and came away with the sense that it’s a good product. Nonetheless having now got to grips with Stacks and created my first stack, I realise Stacks offers something really important which competitor products currently don’t get near too. Because while it’s easy to think of Stacks as something that simplifies web development (‘a drag and drop builder’) — which is really just an extension of the idea of RW as a ‘no programming needed’ environment — the ability to create templates for HTML, CSS, JS and PHP, with form-based controls with which one can input into those templates (which is basically what Stacks is) gives us a really powerful productivity tool.

My sense is that RW/Stacks (and Stacks Pro, when it comes) doesn’t really cut it as a simple web builder — there’s too much complexity there for that, too much to have to figure out, too much which can go wrong. But as a template-augmented web development environment, it’s superb. We can benefit from the time and effort stacks developers have put in to figuring out the best way to code something, and the APIs for the products they leverage, so we can concentrate on design and content. But if we need, we can access the code — it’s only a control-click away — and RW’s site and page level code panels let us include the css, js and php we need.


Blocs 5 was announced yesterday, with new features being debuted daily on twitter. Release should be very soon.

Now hopefully StacksAppPro before the end of the year.

Did anyone hear news about RW Elements?