||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2009)|
|Stable release||5.3 / June 26, 2012|
|Operating system||Mac OS X v10.6.6 or later|
It uses user-selectable templates to define a website's complete appearance. This enforces consistency in the website's appearance and function, although some may see it as too constraining.
The software can use third-party templates, and technically skilled users can also create their own. There are also plugins, which add new features to the application.
RapidWeaver can generate pages of different kinds, such as styled text, weblog, contact forms, image galleries, Flash slideshows and podcasts; it also has a built-in FTP uploader and integration with iPhoto and MobileMe.
The RapidWeaver workflow
RapidWeaver is modal, insofar as it is in either editing or previewing mode. Every page plugin has its own interface displayed in the Edit mode that allows users to change its content via typical Mac methods, such as drag-and-drop. Changes can be previewed in the Preview tab, which uses Apple's WebKit to render pages (the same rendering engine that Apple's Safari uses).
The pages are organized in an outline in a pane on the left of RapidWeaver UI. The structure of the outline reflects the structure of the web site (including the parent-child relationship for nested navigation). A site's navigation information can be changed by dragging and dropping pages within the outline.
RapidWeaver can also publish entire sites by transferring files from the user's computer to the web server.
Plugins included with RapidWeaver
- Contact Form
- File Sharing
- HTML Code
- Movie Album
- Offsite Page
- Photo Album
- Styled Text
One of RapidWeaver’s notable characteristics is its ability to use site themes that simplify the website creation process for the user. There are a large number of third-party developers who create themes for RapidWeaver.
Impact of Stacks
Stacks, from YourHead.com is a RapidWeaver add-on. It is an extremely versatile web layout tool that places the focus on fluid web design. Stacks uses hierarchical nesting to place elements into a complex layout.
Stacks has revolutionised the way that websites are built in RapidWeaver and has become an indispensable tool for creating professional websites. With Stacks, building a website is comparable to using Lego bricks. Each stack is a drag-and-drop 'Lego brick'. By enabling drag and drop page formatting (e.g. adding multiple columns) it enables non-technical users to develop sophisticated websites.
After installing Stacks and creating a new RapidWeaver Stacks-page, the Stack Elements library contains 15 standard stacks for positioning images, text, headlines, columns, grids, floating images and quotes. 16 building blocks in all – enough to allow the novice to produce a professional looking website quickly and easily. There are, however a further 18 'Templates' containing combinations of stacks, for instance 3-columns stacks with headlines for each column, or floating quotes which text will flow around.
A standard RapidWeaver page has a single column. Using a Grid stack, a Stacks page may have up to five columns, allowing unlimited design options. Each stack has its own settings in the HUD panel, which will allow you to set background colour, borders, margins and padding. Many stacks have extra settings for width, alignment and more.
Dozens of third-party developers have produced over four hundred stacks to date, with further stacks being released every week. Stacks are available for everything imaginable, from embedding Google Spreadsheets or Google Maps to complete 'freestyle' themes.