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New LUX Theme for RapidWeaver

It's been a while since I reviewed a RapidWeaver theme and even longer since I actually used one. Today, I realised why that is…
… when I design a website, I first choose a colour scheme that has some relevance to the site's subject or the client's CD*, then I choose fonts that I feel are appropriate. I usually have a rough layout in my head, which I will then refine as I go along.
Themes such as the new LUX theme from Multithemes are aimed at RW users who may be less creative, or who want to spend less time concentrating on the page structure, users who want to quickly put a site together and publish their content. And that's good; if that weren't possible, there wouldn't be so many good sites online.

Multithemes LUX won't, however, allow you to switch your brain off entirely. Once you've decided on a colour scheme (25 different elements beg your attention), you then need to choose from one of fifteen headline fonts and five fonts for your content. You then have the option to include a background image for each page (tiled, or as a cover image) and then there's an option for an (actually ten different) HTML5 animation overlay, which can be used as an overlay for the background image, or for one of the optional colour backgrounds.

Remember Extra Content? ExtraContent came about when a handful of 3rd party developers got together to address the need for more content spaces in RapidWeaver.
While the content area and sidebar are ample space for the vast majority of RapidWeaver users, there are some who want more flexibility to add content in ways keeping with todays modern web designs.
LUX comes with an Extra Content stack and three options for its positioning 1) Below the Header, 2) Below the page content 3) Within the Menu dropdown.
Which brings me to the navigation menu. The menu is just that: Top right is the word "Menu" with a Plus button. Clicking either opens a navigation overlay which is either just over 50% of the page width or, optionally (Nav Wide), approximately 95% of the viewport width. Extra Content 3 is positioned below the navigation bar that appears, so it's feasible to add a map of your location to the menu, along with company details.

LUX – Multithemes

LUX is a theme with a straightforward, very clean design that is enhanced by an unusual, but very useful navigation and some interesting animations for each page load. The animations are only displayed once on each page so they are subtle rather than overbearing. LUX has been tested and found compatible with all modern browsers. The theme can be customised with dozens of options, allowing you to create, your very own individual site.

Criticism: I only found one point: I can choose from 15 different Google fonts for my headlines, but only have five standard web fonts for the content – the standard web fonts don't always harmonise with the header fonts.

Trivia:

  • An icon font is embedded into LUX (as are social icons). I found it amusing that the navigation arrows are called 'Carrots' and the carets are called 'Arrow-Triangles'.
  • I was annoyed by the fact that I was unable to open the demo project. After 250 Beta versions of RW 8.1, I have refused to upgrade and still use RW 8.03 – sadly the new version is not backwards compatible.

*CD = Corporate Design: The standardised design elements that are associated with a company's visual appearance.
Not to be confused with:
CI = Corporate Identity or corporate image: the manner which a corporation, firm or business presents themselves to the public internally and externally.

Comments

EasyButtons for RapidWeaver

Just out of interest, I went through and counted the button stacks in my RW Stacks library. I have twelve different button stacks – not counting those that are linked to a specific framework, theme, or have a specific function in a form etc. The collection has grown gradually over the years as developers managed to convince me that "this new button stack is the one-and-only-never-buy-another".

On the Marathia EasyButtons Page, Jeroen simply states that EasyButton is a very versatile stack to create all sorts of links that look like buttons in a grid layout. Now 2019 has only just begun, but I'll be bookmarking the statement for my understatement of the year contest. 'Versatile'. EasyButtons delivers more than 100 configuration options. Yes, one-hundred! And it automatically configures itself to a grid, if you add more than one child stack.

EasyButtons is a 2D button without highlights and without shadows. It can easily be configured as a ghost button, but can just as easily be configured as a coloured button with fill, frame and font colours that change on hover. It's the hover effects that make EasyButtons different:

Basic, 2D, Background, With FA Icon, Border, Shadow & Glow, Speech Bubble and Curl – These are just the Transitions. Each transition then has a bag full of configurable effects.
No, I shan't be listing them here. Just let me say that if you need the buttons on your page to look and act differently to those of your neighbour, then EasyButtons makes it possible.

EasyButtons – Marathia Stacks

It's not just the hover effects, though, that make EasyButtons versatile. As mentioned above; if you add more than one child stack to the main stack, EasyButtons forms a grid of buttons which can be configured horizontally or vertically, so that you could also build a simple menu bar of your own (sans dropdowns, of course).

Stack settings
Space Between – Horizontal, Vertical
Direction – {Grid} Horizontal, Vertical
Align – Left, Right, Center, Justify
Width – Auto, Fixed, Fluid, Responsive
Full Width Below – px

If you're quick, there's a 25% available when you add EasyButtons to your cart using the discount code EB25OFF.

Comments

Conditional Content in RapidWeaver

Get relevant information to your users by displaying content in response to a visitor's input. If this sounds like AI, don't get too excited. RW can't yet predict what your customer is going to type, but you can; and with Text Detect from 1LD, you can provide targeted information to specific visitors.

Text Detect is a stack that can conditionally display additional content on a web page, based on the words or phrases that a user type into fields. You could provide targeted information for sales, support, or even provide additional fields or links to select users.
Let's take the example of a sales site and the simple question "Which product are you interested in?"

Text Detect – One Little DesignerThe answer is predictable. Logically, the user wishes to know more about one of the products mentioned on the current page. With Text Detect, you can add an HTML text area to your page for the customers reply, then add Text Detect Pop-ups with the relevant information.

Text Detect – One Little Designer
The information may be presented in one of five different ways for each Text Detect stack on your page. Inline (as above), Chat Bubble, Lightbox, Fixed Top or Fixed Bottom
The Text Detect Pop-ups can be set up to detect entries from a list of words and or phrases. The query can be formatted as case sensitive (or not) and partial word matches can be activated. In the example above, if I'd typed in "I'm interested in PlusKit" a different Inline window would have opened in place of the Stacks info simply because 'plus kit' was entered as one of the terms to be detected.

Text Detect is an interesting addition to the RW Stacks collection. It will save you time by identifying common enquiries beforehand and supplying predefined answers. You can add most 3rd-party stacks to the pop-up content and place Text Detect inside a 3rd party form to add custom messages.

Comments

Make Your Content Pop in RapidWeaver

It's sometimes difficult to allow web content to stand out from the rest of the page and still have said content look attractive. Underlines, frames, shadows, background colours, blatant flashing or jiggling sections – we've seen it all and find it just a little boring.

Popper is a new stack from STH [Shaking The Habitual] that will allow you to overlay / underlay / frame / decorate your content almost any way you please. The stack itself has just two settings Framer/Divider and Height, if Divider has been set. If Popper is set to Framer, you'll see a stacks container for the content that is to be framed, you'll also see a stacks child for the first part of your frame. Closer inspection reveals that the initial child is 200px wide and 160px high, and because your content doesn't yet have any padding, the child stack is actually top-left behind your content, so you'll need to decide exactly where to position your Popper child stacks.

You have options to set dotted (round or square) or chequered patterns. You can set the pattern height and width, the distance for the pattern repetition, the colour (of course) and the zIndex (extremely useful if you wish to layer the child stacks and create your own, more complicated patterns).

Have a text that you need to highlight? Add a frame to two corners. Have an image with a mundane background? Make it pop by overlaying a pattern. The STH Popper demo page has dozens of examples.
The simple example below was created using a single Popper stack with four child stacks around the text stack, then a Popper stack with two child stacks used as a divider.

Popper – Shaking The Habitual
Get creative with Popper!

Comments

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