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Your Facebook Page Live In RapidWeaver

The rules that govern SEO state that a social presence will heighten your rating on the search engines. As such, most businesses have a facebook page. I hate Facebook, but I have a page all the same. Some time ago, RWtuts introduced a Facebook stack for RapidWeaver. Marvin just sent me a copy of the new version – Facebook Pages 2. I just took a look at it and I think a lot of you will like it.

Facebook Pages displays a live facebook page on your RapidWeaver Stacks page, which is great because instead of having to search for your facebook page, your visitor can see your latest posts directly on your homepage without getting distracted by all the cute kittens and clever dog posts. And, he/she can like your page directly from the homepage and/or access the Facebook page directly by clicking the link provided.

I know that a lot of clients are going to like Facebook Pages and the great thing is – it's simple to set up; there are only a few settings, but some of great options. And it updates instantaneously.

facebook pages
Stack settings.
The only setting that you need is the name of your facebook page. Finished.
However, you do have some options. You might, for instance, wish to set the Width, Height and Alignment of the stack. A word of warning – don't set the width wider than the container it is in, Facebook Pages is not fully responsive and it can overflow.
Enable Small Header will reduce the height of the page header (active in the screenshot above).
Hide/Cover Header image deactivates the header image and leaves just the page logo visible.
Hide Call To Action Button will hide a CTA button, if you have on your fb page.
Show Facepiles will activate/deactivate the images of those that have liked your page.
Finally, you can decide which page tabs you would like visible within the stack – Timeline, Messages, or Events, or different combinations of each.

Facebook Pages will only display, well, facebook pages. It will not display personal pages or timelines, so if you want your visitors to see your cute cat, or how intelligent your goldfish is, you'll need to create a page to do so.
I can see this stack becoming very popular – even without those cute pets.


File Manager For RapidWeaver

There aren't many stacks that you can simply drag to a page, publish the page and have done with it. FileMan from Stacks4Stacks is, however just such a stack. And it's useful too!

FileMan, as you might guess from the name, is a File Manager for RapidWeaver. It has many uses that aren't immediately apparent.

FileMan creates a PHP database on your [client's] website. The database may optionally configured to allow file uploads, downloads and/or deletion.

Simplest scenario: you have a number of documents that you want to make available online. Drag them to your FileMan folder via FTP and they will immediately be accessible to anyone that can log in to the File Manager page.

The next possibility is a flat CMS solution. Let's say you have a warehoused client gallery, or slideshow online and your client wishes to swap out the images on a regular basis. Once the client has been instructed how to create the images accordingly, he/she could log in to their FileMan warehouse page, delete the old images and upload the new ones.
The same applies to text files (or whole HTML/Markdown pages) that are linked to DropCMS (Free download from Stacks4Stacks) boxes, or PDFs linked to the recently reviewed PDF Viewer.

FileMan couldn't be simpler to set up – as stated above, drag the stack to a Stacks page, upload the page and you're done. As soon as you access your new page, FileMan will create a PHP database and you can begin uploading files. You may, however, wish to do a little configuration first:

Stack Settings
FileMan creates a directory outside of the RapidWeaver project. Directory Path will be the name of said folder on the server (refresh your FTP browser view after accessing the FileMan for the first time).
Login Password. Enter the password that will be used to access the FileMan Directory. Permissions – Read/Write, or Read Only.
Next the stacks panel has a number of options: Add Sample Files these may be deleted via FTP if the option Allow File Deletion remains checked before your initial upload. Allow Creation Of New Folders. Allow Direct Links allows files to be downloaded directly. Allow File Uploads allows the user to upload.

Disallowed Files contains a list of potentially harmful files that may not be uploaded to the server. You may add your own definitions to the list.
The remaining FileMan settings are for the localisation strings that you may wish to alter.

It remains to be said that FileMan – a free download, BTW – can be inserted into an iFrame and lightboxed – as demonstrated below.



Tom Thumb

An iFrame is used to display an external page, or part of an external page within the current page. But what if we change the concept of an iFrame and turn it into a widget; an iFrame that displays a thumbnail of a webpage. Now you can turn your iFrame into a live portfolio, a weather widget, or, or… are there are any limitations?
Suddenly an iFrame has a lot more scope.

Live Thumb

RWExtras' Live Thumb is just such a stack, it displays a thumbnail of your website and its size is limited to the width of the stacks container you drop it into. Its height can be determined in the settings panel. Oh, and if you click on the thumbnail, you are automagically transferred to the page in question.

So let's take a look: First you'll need a URL for the page to be displayed. Next you will want to set the Height of the page in proportion to its width. The higher you set the percentage, the more of the page you will see displayed. The default setting is 100% which results in a square thumbnail – ideal for most responsive sites (and it is the mobile view that will be displayed in narrower columns).

There is just one more setting; Scale Amount sets the amount that the thumbnail will be scaled by. You have four choices: 100%, 75%, 50% (default) and 25%.

I can see a wide range of possibilities for Live Thumb!

Talking of thumbnails, we usually associate them with miniature sized images that we can click to view the full-sized image. The next stack is just such a stack.

Master Gallery

RWE's Master Gallery is a stack that places a row of thumbnails on your web page and allows you to view each of them in a size that is dictated by their containing stack. I won't use the term 'Lightbox', because we have come to accept that a lightbox opens a separate window to view the images. That's not how Master Gallery works. It is, however, an appealing alternative to other carousel stacks.

The Nitty Gritty: If you drop a Master Gallery stack onto your page, you'l find the typical Stacks 3 + button which allows you to add an image. You may choose between a Single Local Image, or a Single Warehoused Image. If you choose Local, you can drop an image into the stack settings' image well. If you choose Warehoused, you can set an URL to the image. You will need both a preview and the full sized version of your image. Below the image well, you can enter an Image Title (for SEO purposes) and an Image Caption.

Add as many images as you wish your slideshow to contain and then click the Master Gallery container stack to set up how it displays your images.

You have a number of options, the first being Configuration. Here you have a choice of Carousel, or Full View. The default setting, Carousel, displays a row of thumbnails with the first image displayed in full resolution below it. However, two buttons are displayed above the published stack, which will show or hide the carousel. Full View hides the carousel when the page is first loaded. The Carousel can then be viewed by clicking its button.

To navigate through the images, you can either click on an image in the carousel, or advance the main image, one image at a time, by clicking the arrows provided.
You now have the option to display the View Buttons top right or top left of Master Gallery. The Button Colour may be set to Light, or Dark.
Master Gallery's Border Radius is set to 10px by default and suits the stack well. The default Thumb Size is 65px. Depending on the number of images your gallery contains, or the width of the container stack, you may wish to alter this setting.

Now follow the Full View Padding and the colours for the Thumb Border in its Normal and Active states and the overall Colour Scheme. The default Colour Scheme is set to dark grey. Neutral, but not to everybody's liking. You'll want to match the scheme to your site's colours.

The Image Captions are displayed below the main image and can be set to italics.

Master Gallery is a simple carousel stack to set up, with no bells, or whistles such as auto advance, but hey! I've had the auto advance function criticised on two sites because images advanced too quickly, or not quickly enough.
I rather like Master Gallery for its simplicity and I'm sure many users will agree with me.


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