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New RapidWeaver Blog Concept

For many years, I used the RapidWeaver blog plugin. It only took a while, before I wished it was more flexible. There isn't a lot that you can do with it – except write blog posts, of course. Jannis at InStacks has a new stack online that changes that. Now you can turn your blog page into whatever you please – FAQs; Product Page; Photo Gallery…
Poster's possibilities are almost endless.

Poster is a suite of stacks that blends in with any RapidWeaver theme. Foundation compatibility has specifically been added and, because Poster is based on Stacks and is not a plugin, its potential is only limited by your imagination.
You can build a standard one up/one down blog page with, or without a summarised introduction; or you can build a grid of summaries and, when you click on 'Read more…' a new stacks page will open. The new page can contain whatever you like – Responsive Slideshows; Lightboxed Image Galleries; Responsive Video – if you have it in your Stacks library, you can most likely use it.

Poster
Poster (it seems to be currently fashionable) is another soft release. It is available online but the webpages are still under construction and Jannis is still implementing RSS capabilities. Other than that it's ready to go – and I'm hooked already.

When you drop Poster onto a Stacks page, you will find a pre-formatted post with a Poster Item containing a Header and a Main Content area. The Main Content consists of a Text box with the blue button to add child stacks. The child stack options include Text; Markdown; HTML; Image; Poster Social Share Buttons; Poster Read More (a child stack that is only displayed once the Poster Item is opened) and Poster Back. Once you have added any of the options, you can drag them within the Poster Item to position them where you want them and you can format the child stacks just like any other stack.
Optionally, you may drag in any other stack from your library. A sub-header for instance, a slideshow, a video; a 'Buy Now' button; its entirely up to you.

Below the Poster Item is a second button to add your next post. Once you've added a second post and preview your page, you'll find that clicking a post title or the 'Read More' text will open your Poster Item as a full page – using the same layout that your main page uses. No surprises there – that's how blogs usually work. So let's get down to the nitty gritty…

The stack settings for the main Poster stack let you set the number of Items Per Page, below which is a checkbox to Display Pagination – if you're writing a blog. or building a storefront, you will probably have more Post Items than you'll want to display on a single page, right?
Next you can set the page Layout. The standard setting is One Column, but you can also set Multiple Columns (Flexbox) and display up to four columns of content. Four columns are impractical on mobile devices, so selecting Multiple Columns opens up a further set of settings which allow you to define the number of columns to be displayed at each of four breakpoints.

The Date Format has a choice of five settings. I'm not sure if it's intentional, but one of those settings is in German and displays the month name in German when set. If this is intentional, a few French, Spanish and even English users etc. may be a little miffed that their language is missing. The other date formats are all numerical.
The time format can be set to 12, or 24 hour format – it is Hidden by default.
The Title Header can be set to H1 through H6 and the Metadata can be displayed above, or below the Title, or hidden.

The Poster Item Styling provides format overrides for just about everything on the page – you'll probably spend a while playing with these settings; I did. I wish other blog solutions had them!
The Social Share Button Settings are also interesting. The Alignment needs no explanation, but the Design may be either Thin, as in the screenshot above, or Square (with white icons on a square background). The Color Style offers the options Colorful and Custom. Setting Custom allows you to change the default grey to any colour that suits your overall page design. The standard Font Size is set to 1rem.

The Poster Texts are all editable so that your navigation may be localised. Then follow Poster Tools, with settings for Responsive Video; Reveal Items on Scroll – a neat transition effect that animates the Poster Items as they appear on the page; Lightbox Animation – with two transitions and Disqus Name for Disqus comments.

The final setting is Poster Edit Mode and may be set to developer mode when the stack preview is not available in RW6.

So now we come to the Poster Item Settings – no, we're not done yet – These include the Item Title and the optional Slug name which is used for the Item permalink. If no Slug is set, the Item Title will be used for the permalink – again; something that's missing from most other blog solutions.
Display Date is activated by default. For a storefront or a gallery, you might want to deactivate this. The date has a default of January 1st, 2017, 07:00 – don't forget to change it for each Item!

An External Link may be set for each Poster Item. It will display after the Item Header.
An unusual, but handy feature is the option to set a Header Content. This is (by default) a text content that will appear above the Poster Header Text. The Header Content may be supplemented or replaced with any stack you wish.

The next option – Summary Content – will display a summary of your content on the main page that will then be replaced by the main content when the Poster Item is loaded.
Enable Lightbox will activate a lightbox on the Poster Item page, allowing images to be displayed fullscreen – with an optional Caption. The next setting enable Disqus comments.

Categories + Tags allow you to set up five categories and/or tags for each Poster Item. Both the Categories and the Tags may be used to sort posts once published.

Both the 'Read More' and the 'Back' texts are optional and may be deactivated. As both are editable in the main stack settings, they may also be replaced by FontAwesome icons.

The final settings option is Hide Content. If your blog page is getting too long in edit mode, each Poster Item may be hidden and will only display the title.

I wrote that Poster is a suite of stacks. You will probably want each and every Poster Item to look the same on your page; or perhaps you want more than one standard Item design. If either is the case, drag a Poster Item onto your page and add any, or all of the Poster Back; Poster Read More and Poster Social Share Buttons into your Item, add the stacks that you otherwise require and, when you have finished moulding your Poster Item, create a Partial Stack which you can then drag into the main Poster stack as often as it is required!

Poster takes advantage of the built-in RW Blog Plugin CSS classes, so that it will adapt to any of the RW standard themes. But, as already mentioned, it also offers specific settings for Foundation.
Just like the standard RW blog, there is no CMS and no Database, so zero setup necessary. It is Stacks based, so that you can design your pages as you want them and it is extremely versatile. Even though the RSS capabilities are still in Arbeit – in preparation – I wish it had been available years ago!

BTW "No CMS'?. I tested Poster with a simple CMS solution – Sentry – and it works perfectly; each entry can be edited without problems!

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