News

Template for RapidWeaver 5

posted by Veerle Pieters
08 December 2010

Last Friday Realmac Software, Ltd. released a big update to one of its products. I'm talking about RapidWeaver 5, the application that makes it easy to create a web site on your Mac. I've had the pleasure and honor of creating a theme for this new application.

What Does RapidWeaver 5 do?

HTML codeRapidWeaver 5 is a Mac application that lets you create a web site by hiding away the technical aspect for you. An app really geared towards beginners or people that have no interest in learning how to code. It isn't a HTML editor as you can't open HTML files directly and look at the code, however you can create a page with your own code by inserting a HTML page from one of the 11 built-in page types. By using this type of page you can use HTML, XHTML or PHP to create virtually anything. Most people will use the predefined pages such as Blog, Contact Form, File sharing, iFrame, Movie Album, Offsite page (Redirect the user to an external URL), Photo Album (works with your iPhoto Library and you either use a CSS based gallery or a interactive flash slideshow), QuickTime, Sitemap, or Styled Text.

Add-ons

If you want something that isn't included it is highly likely you'll find it in the add-ons section. You can extend the application with Themes, Plug-ins, and Stacks.

Stacks

StacksLike I mentioned above, Realmac Software added a special section specifically for Stacks. As I understand it, Stacks is some kind of extension that is created by YourHead Software. With Stacks you get powerful, visual page layout features right in RapidWeaver. Stacks features its own third-party plugin system that allows designers and developers to add new layout tools, also called “stacks.” These stacks can add everything from multi-columned pages, to animated image galleries, and file upload tools for clients. I've downloaded Stacks and had a little play with the demo and it sure is a fun and fast way to create a page. It takes out all the complexity that CSS usually brings and tucks it away from the user. Via the Inspector you control items like color, border, margin, padding, etc.

Web standards

According to the site all code generated by RapidWeaver adheres to published web standards, ensuring that sites look great in all popular browsers - and RapidWeaver themes are built using CSS, making it easy for code-savvy users to completely customize their sites. From the little amount of time that I played with the application that statement seems to be true. Much better code than iWeb for example.

What else is new?
  • Projects Window: The all-new Projects Window keeps your recently-opened projects along with handy links in one convenient place
  • Bookmarks Manager: The all-new Bookmarks Manager allows you to easily save and quickly re-use publishing details across multiple projects.
  • Site Resources: Adding resources to your site (such as PDFs) has never been easier: just drag in resources and organise them from within the RapidWeaver sidebar
  • …more new features on the RapidWeaver features page

I didn't have time to test every new feature and go deeper into the application to test out how far you can go with custom styling or what is possible if you start from scratch. As with any new big update there are a few rough spots left that will be solved with a future point update. I've had the beach ball of dead two times when I've tried to change things in the Page inspector and had to force quit the application to get out of it.

My Theme

For the design of this theme I was thinking of creating something that looks colorful with a touch of cuteness. I thought if I use one of my typical illustration styles for the header it would give the site a nice eye-catcher. And so I came to the idea of drawing some kind of suburban landscape with a few houses, roads, a bridge and a city skyline in the distance to the right.

My Theme in RapidWeaver 5

As I was working on the design gradually, starting with the header, I was using a rather neutral blue for the sky, but after I was adding in the footer which uses this taupe color, I figured to experiment a bit more and see how things would look if I turn the blue sky more into a more teal blue. The combination of these 2 together with the dark top navigation bar made it more interesting and stronger. I added more cuteness by adding my own tiny icons for things like tags, icon for the author, comments, tiny tree icons for list of archive items in the footer etc.

RapidWeaver 5 is available now with a free demo that requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later (it’s also been submitted to Apple for its upcoming Mac App Store). A single user license costs $79, and existing owners can upgrade for $39. If you just bought RapidWeaver 4 after November 1, you qualify for a free upgrade to version 5.

Comments

There are no comments on this article.