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Portal - Online Partials for RapidWeaver
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Portal - Online Partials for RapidWeaver

Your website has standard Headers and Footers and sometimes contains elements within a page that change on a regular basis; Special Offers, for instance. As an experienced Weaver, you probably use Stack's Partials so that when you make alterations to a single element, your site will automatically update everywhere that a partial is used. The problem is that if your partial contains an image that image will be downloaded each time you load a new page that contains that image.

Enter Portal from Joe Workman. Portal is a set of two stacks and a theme. The theme is important and MUST be used for your Portal In stack pages. It ensures that your content is correctly saved as .php elements and can be imported with the Portal Out stack.
The Portal Out stack then outputs your Portal content on every page that it's required. As a simple mnemonic, just remember that with the IN stack, you're putting content into the Portal, with the OUT stack, you're requesting data out of the Portal.

Instead of publishing your complete website (as is often necessary when using Partials), you only need to publish your altered Portal IN pages to ensure that all of your content is automatically updated. And the added advantage is that any images contained within a Portal page are cached so that they don't need to be reloaded. This is a game changer!

Using Portal is conceivably simple: build a Portal IN page that contains the content that needs to be repeated (using the Portal theme). Add a Portal OUT stack to a page that needs duplicate content and define the page that you wish to import. Publish.
Remember that you are using .php and that whilst RW can now render .php pages, you need to preview your Portal page before you can preview the imported pages.

Portal works with any theme, but there's a bonus for Foundation users. the IN stack has a setting for Foundation so that, if you use Foundation specific stacks on your portal page, you will not see the message that you haven't used the Foundation theme (remember, you MUST use the Portal theme for everything to work).

Partials – Great, but old hat! My future websites will use Portal instead!

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