I am relatively new to RapidWeaver and web design in general. I threw myself in at the deep end and currently have three projects for three different businesses in the works. I currently have foundry and uikit and a couple of 3rd party stacks which I haven’t really used. Some nav stuff from 1ld and so forth. The only one I’ve really come to use is limelight for making full screen mobile nav because there seems to be very little in that department and limelight does the job very well.
My first completed website which was made for my own business venture; exmoorgardens.com, was done using uikit with no 3rd party stacks to my recollection. I’m very happy with how it came out (I’m sure the more experienced will not be impressed with the poor seo and project size however)
I found uikit to suite me better than foundry did with the potion and thunder pack, as it gave me a higher level of control and the big stand out for me was the navbar in uikit which is highly curatable. I couldn’t achieve that with the built in nav stacks in foundry and had to resort to making my own and the result was a bit of a trainwreck.
Since one of the businesses that I’m doing a website for is covering all my costs, I have the ability to experiment and find out what stacks and frameworks best suite myself. I like everything I do to be very minimalistic and visual in its presentation and increasingly I’m having to start investigating 3rd party stacks to go with either uikit or foundry depending on which one I decide to draft my 3 projects with to achieve various different results.
So my question is, what stacks should I proceed with. I’d like to give source a try as I think manually curating things is going to be the best way forward for me. I haven’t yet tried foundation, that could be another avenue for exploration. I know that source will require the purchase of additional 3rd party stacks so what specific stacks or developers should I turn to to fill those missing gaps? One of the sites for a publishing company will also require an ecommerce aspect that will have about 1400 products on it. I’ve experimented with rapidcart pro and didn’t like it for this application as the employees at the company need access to the back end and rapid cart doesn’t seem to offer this. what platform would be best suited for this large catalogue of physical items?
Finally, my biggest issue has been getting a navigation stack from a framework or third party that I like and or has enough manual curation. I didn’t like foundries and although I will praise uikits as the best I’ve seen, the cart icon or a button with no text and the cart icon, doesn’t space evenly with the rest of the nav items. if I then add text to the button with an icon, the icon is not horizontally aligned with the text. as far as I’m aware the offcanvas nav won’t go full screen either which is annoying as I prefer that style for my designs. From what I’ve read on this, limelight is the answer. I’m sure @tav will be sick of people asking at this point as I’ve seen posts from three years ago on this topic, but I have heard about a menu stack he has been working on that would address all my issues with annoying little foibles with the nav stacks I’ve used.
Not sure what you mean by “manually curtaing things” but your exmoorgardens.com would be a very straight forward simple build using Source and BWD’s Limelight.
You are asking about what stacks to use, yet you have 2 full frameworks full of stacks. This highlights one of the drawbacks of using frameworks full of stacks to do everything, in that the included stacks may not work the way you want and you end up requiring additional 3rd party stacks. At best, you are not using the framework code already loaded to your page and at worst you are adding unknown amounts of additional files that will add more code to your page and might cause problems due to oudated versions of code, etc…
Regarding your navigation requirements, your navigation that was causing your issue on your first site would be a 5 minute build with Source and it is a little known secret that the Source Nav was created by Tav, so it doesn’t get any better than that.
IMHO the best approach if you cannot achieve everything that you want in a full framework of stacks, is to use Source with a small number of stacks that are the very best available from the very best developers.
E.g. Most of my sites are 100% Source but if I need to use the following I would use:
Slider/Synced Slider/Gallery/Poster launcher - SPLIDER
Tabs - STH FAQ stack
Animation beyound the comprehensive inbuilt Source animation - STH’s Animation stack
Modal/Gallery builder/Mega menu builder - BWD LIMELIGHT
Product/Blog with on the fly page generation - Poster2
Fully featured Gallery to read a remote folder of images - Instacks Gallery
Regarding your future eCommerce site with 1400 items, IMHO this is way beyond a RW solution using what is available today, to build such a site with the type of user experience and backend requirements needed for such a site. As a RW user you should quickly feel at home with using Elementor Pro to build a WP site using one of the many shoping plugins. However, prepare yourself for lots of negative WP comments from the RW community.
There are many not just one but the first to be released is almost ready. It will be a Source friendly version of MagicGellan but with a new name.
For e-commerce the Ecwid plugin for Axyn/Ricardo might be worth a look. Will of course depend on how the you want the e-commerce system to integrate (I don’t think Ecwid or Cartloom support Royal Mail integration).
Uikit offcanvas will open fill screen with a bit of CSS, as here Profession: UIkit3 Template By Caffeine Injection
Also you can use uikit modal as well as offcanvas for a mobile menu.
Limelight is brilliant, easily the best modal stack out there, but uikit can do a lot, you just need to experiment.
This is the custom CSS needed to make the Offcanvas modal full width.
The left: -100% bit is there to make it slide in from the side smoothly. If you are not using the slide-in option, you can remove it.
@pmjd is correct, Ecwid doesn’t support Royal Mail currently, but they are already on top of it, as one of the developers of Ecwid chimed in another forum. As for the 1400 product Ecwid would handle them with ease, and the Ecwid Stacks would give you a many customization options.
Let me know if I can help answer any questions.
It will require Royal Mail and DPD integration. I know that adobe offers and e-commerce solution but id imagine it would require a fair amount of code to integrate that with an rw site
Great post and welcome to the RW community. Have to say @Webdeersign’s response is one I would endorse entirely.
Source sounds perfect for you because it is designed to be used with 3rd party stacks. My experience with it so far has been excellent.
For your forthcoming e-commerce site, I would also agree that a WordPress option would be good. In my business we use WP and WooCommerce for all of the substantial or complicated e-commerce solutions and despite being a dyed in the wool Rapidweaver fan, I think it is the best way to go. Having said this I hear good things about Ecwid integration with RW so it is also a good option but will require a subscription which WooCommerce doesn’t. Another thing to keep in mind regarding WP is that the back-end does require frequent updating of theme, plugins and the core installation; sometimes these updates cause issues and a roll back to an earlier version may be required. Finally WP sites are never as fast as RW sites. We have WP optimised hosting using the Litespeed Apache drop in but there is still no comparison.
Another Nav option is Stacks4Stacks offering - anything from Will is worth a look. Gator | Stacks4Stacks
Probably no need to mention @tav stacks as you already appear to know how good his stuff is!
As far as a full framework, Foundation 6 is a work of art and allows great flexibility for navigation layouts. It’s a learning curve for sure but there isn’t much you can’t do with it. I cant comment on any others as I split between Source and F6 for my work.