RapidWeaver 4 is here!

It's an exciting day in the RapidWeaver Community as RapidWeaver 4.0 has been released! I'll be working hard to produce brand-new RapidWeaver 4.0 video tutorials for all of our subscribers who are upgrading. RapidWeaver 4.0 introduces an entirely redesigned user interface, and the majority of the new videos will focus on getting you acquainted with this redesign. There are also some new features that will be covered as well.

All that being said, a majority of the existing RapidWeaver video tutorials are full of information that is relevant to the new version as well. Since version 4.0 is Leopard-only, it's important to me to support both 3.6 and 4.0 users with the tutorials, so be on the look-out for new 4.0 tutorials coming soon!
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Lesson 6 Complete

Lesson 6 is now complete and available to subscribers, covering some advanced features offered in RapidWeaver. This concludes what are considered the "core lessons" -- but many more tutorials will be coming soon, including RapidWeaver 4 video tutorials. Lesson 7 will also be coming in the near future, and then the focus will begin on 3rd-party plugins, so there is much, much, much, much more to come!
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RapidWeaver 4 is Coming

If you haven't already noticed, the RapidWeaver 4 countdown has begun. RapidWeaver 4 will be available to Leopard users in less than 24 hours from now, and RapidWeaver Classroom will be producing all-new RapidWeaver 4 video tutorials for those who will be upgrading to version 4.0. All of the changes that have taken place with this version will be covered and these tutorials will start to appear within the first week of the release. Lesson 6 is still the priority at this point and will be available to subscribers by Friday.

It's an exciting time for the RapidWeaver community and I look forward to providing these tutorials for both RapidWeaver 3.6.x and RapidWeaver 4 users! Stay tuned for more soon!
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Lesson 5 Complete

Hope all of our U.S. subscribers had a great Memorial Day! I spent most of mine playing catch-up after being away last week. I've produced all the video tutorials for Lesson 5 and they are now available online to subscribers. This lesson takes you through the process of building a website from start to finish and basically summarizes all the previous lessons to this point, as well as incorporating a lot of new information as well. Lesson 6 will be coming along in the next couple of days as well, so things are back in full swing around here!
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Spring Break

I will be away on a short vacation starting Tuesday, May 20th, and I will return at the end of the week. I should be able to check emails but I may not respond immediately as I normally would. Next week you should expect to see Lessons 5 and 6 available to finish-off the "core lessons," and that will bring the 60-day promotion to an end.

As always, check-out the RapidWeaver Support Forum for questions that may come up as you work with RapidWeaver!
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BlocksBox Tutorials

I've put together a couple of video tutorials for the amazing BlocksBox theme from Jonas Themes, and a few more will be available soon. These videos can currently be viewed here, and in the future I will add them in the high-resolution version to subscribers of RapidWeaver Classroom.
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Lesson 4 Complete

Lesson 4 is now complete and available to subscribers. This lesson consists of 6 videos which cover the more advanced functions of editing content through RapidWeaver's Format menu.

Lesson 5 is next and things will start to get really fun! I'll be going from start to finish with a website, from preparation to publishing and covering most all the necessary areas of RapidWeaver with a real project.
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Say Hello to Hi-Res

The MacBook has spent most of its day re-encoding all of the videos presently available to subscribers. The web server is now receiving all 750MB of that data, and late tonight the video tutorials will be made available at a new 960x600 resolution.

There will be a small amount of time when the video tutorials are unavailable, and that time will be between 11pm-12am CST. The down-time shouldn't last more than 10 or 15 minutes, but it's important that I communicate that in advance. Enjoy the new high-resolution tutorials!
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Some Changes in the Classroom

It's coming up on two weeks since RapidWeaver Classroom launched, and I've been listening to the feedback I've received from subscribers and others who have visited the site. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and for that I'm greatly appreciative because it lets me know I'm doing some things right. Of course I'm not going to do everything right initially, so I must be prepared to make changes if I'm convinced they are in the best interest of the site and its subscribers.

So, with that being said, I am currently making one change and considering two others. The change I'm currently working on is the resolution of the video tutorials. Right now they are at a resolution of 512x320 and I will be increasing that to 960x600. I will be re-encoding the existing videos this week and posting the new ones in this higher-resolution format. At nearly double the resolution the file sizes will also double, but it looks like a majority of my traffic is on high-bandwidth connections, and with Fast Start enabled for internet streaming the videos can be started before the entire clip has downloaded. I hope this is a welcome improvement and I'd appreciate your comments on this change.

Another area I'm researching is the handling of payments. PayPal is currently set to handle payments and subscriptions, and my experience with PayPal has always been great. That doesn't necessarily mean that better options don't exist, so I've been looking at other options to see how they compare with the system currently in place. Once I have made a decision to stay with PayPal or switch to a different payment processor I will be adding two more subscription types: 6-month and 1-year options.

Again, I really do appreciate the feedback I receive, so please take a moment to comment on this post with your views. Thanks to everyone for your support!
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Lesson 3 Complete

It's an exciting day in the RapidWeaver Community as RapidWeaver 4.0 has been released! I'll be working hard to produce brand-new RapidWeaver 4.0 video tutorials for all of our subscribers who are upgrading. RapidWeaver 4.0 introduces an entirely redesigned user interface, and the majority of the new videos will focus on getting you acquainted with this redesign. There are also some new features that will be covered as well.

All that being said, a majority of the existing RapidWeaver video tutorials are full of information that is relevant to the new version as well. Since version 4.0 is Leopard-only, it's important to me to support both 3.6 and 4.0 users with the tutorials, so be on the look-out for new 4.0 tutorials coming soon!
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Recommended Supplies

I've updated the Supplies page to include links to resources that complement RapidWeaver. Recommended web hosting, theme and plugin developers can be found there. I've also included a link to digitaLife productions, my business website, where I have a page with information about RapidWeaver consulting and training that I offer. So if you are wanting some one-one-one training or consulting to go along with the RapidWeaver screencasts here, then contact me through that website and we'll get something setup!

New video tutorials should arrive tomorrow, so check back to stay updated.
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Lesson 2 Complete

Lesson 2 is now complete in its entirety and available for viewing in the members' section. The Blog and Photo Album pages are very feature-rich, so the length of those videos is a bit longer than normal as I wanted to cover all the important aspects of these pages.

Lesson 3 will be coming soon and that will cover some really important information on styling the theme itself to give your website a more customized look and feel. Keep track with the progress here and more info on Lesson 3 will be made available in the coming days!
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Answering Questions

I've added a Frequently Asked Questions section to RapidWeaver Classroom. This will hopefully address most of the common questions that may arise, and it's available through the Questions? page and in the members' area as well.

It's always funny doing FAQ's because the general idea is to have the answers to the questions ready before they are asked. So it requires thinking from an outside perspective, which is something that's needed when it comes to website design. Since you are generally creating a website for strangers to see, it's important to develop the navigation and content in a way that is best for them. It can be easy to leave out important information because of your own familiarity with the subject, while a new visitor might be completely lost because of the lack of details.

If you can't quite get the outside perspective personally, then it's a great idea to have friends or family unfamiliar with the site and its content to look things over just before making the website public. They'll generally be able to point out what is missing or inadequate.

So yeah, there's a new FAQ, and there's a little nugget of information to go along with it. Happy
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Some Lesson 2 Videos Available

Videos for Lesson 2, RapidWeaver Page Types, are becoming available in the members section of the site. Roughly half of this lesson will be available by the end of the day, with the rest going online tomorrow -- then on to Lesson 3!

Welcome to all of you who have already registered for the video tutorials. The special 60-day offer will last a little while longer, but don't hold-out too long if you haven't yet registered!
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Welcome to RapidWeaver Classroom

A big hello to the RapidWeaver Community! After over 2 years of building websites with this great application, growing my knowledge in the Forums and contributing there over the past year, I've finally found a new way to contribute with this comprehensive resource of video tutorials. I'm really excited to provide this as a resource for new RapidWeaver users, and even for the ones with some experience who are wanting to go a bit more in-depth.

I'll be launching this site at the same time I'm producing the first set of videos, and with that will be a special offer for those who register early. If you didn't notice on the homepage already, those who "pre-register" will have access to the video tutorials for 60 days opposed to the 30 days that will eventually be standard. I'll be publishing videos very frequently for these next 3-4 weeks, and then consistently after that and I doubt I'll ever really stop. The plan is to have around 50 videos available by the end of May. Here's to hoping my web host is ready with the bandwidth!

If you'd like to keep-up with the release of new content here then be sure to subscribe to the site's RSS Feed. There are many, many plans for video tutorials beyond the ones currently listed on the Curriculum page, so stay-tuned to this blog for more information!
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