Support Interruption

I will be away beginning Tuesday, April 27th and will return on Wednesday, May 5th. I will have very limited access to email during that time, so I will reply to any support issues once I return. Note that our FAQ provides a lot of information, so please have a look through those topics if you have a question. If you have a general RapidWeaver-related issue, remember that the RealMac Software Support Forum is an excellent resource and wealth of knowledge from the RapidWeaver community of users.

Our series on CMS will continue with new tutorials shortly after my return.

New Tutorials on DooBox Stacks Now Available

I have released 3 new tutorials on stacks available from DooBox. Each of the following stacks is covered:
  • Doo-Corners - Easily add rounded corners to your content in Stacks
  • Doo-Columns - Create up to 4 columns with increased design flexibility
  • Doo-Code - Add a feature that allows code (or other text) to be copied with the simple click of a button
These screencasts are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. Not a member yet? Join now!

Be on the lookout for future tutorials on more great stacks from DooBox!

New Series on Choosing a RapidWeaver Theme

I am happy to announce the release of a new tutorial series called “Choosing a RapidWeaver Theme.” This series is comprised of 5 screencasts that total about 45 minutes -- discussing how to find themes, along with tips and strategies to use when looking for the best theme for your project. With the release of this series I have re-organized the curriculum listing a bit, placing these tutorials just below the lessons for RapidWeaver, along with the ExtraContent and BlocksBox tutorials, since these are all theme-related screencasts.

Subscribers to RapidWeaver Classroom can now view this new series. Additionally, several more screencasts have already been produced on another topic, so another new release is coming very, very soon!

A Note on Backups

I have been without Internet access at home/work for the past 7 days. After calls to my ISP over the course of the week, technicians have been called out and they have been working on the issue today. As I write this I am hopeful that service will be restored before the weekend begins, and that I’ll be able to publish this post I am writing now. It’s really been a perfect storm of issues that has caused this long outage, and when I lost service last week I never would have imagined that I would be disconnected this long. Needless to say I can’t wait to be back online!

So what’s the point of blogging about this? As I put the loss of Internet service in perspective, I considered what it has cost me, and what it hasn’t. I’ve certainly lost quite a bit of productivity over the course of the week, but at the same time I haven’t actually lost any work. My computer didn’t crash, my hard drive didn’t fail, and my web server didn’t go down or lose my website files. But what if one of those things did happen?

Let’s consider the chance of a major issue with your hosting server -- where all of your website files are published. Your hosting provider has an issue with the server, which takes your website offline, and the end result is actual data loss. Your website files have been permanently lost due to a hardware failure. This is bad news, but the goods news is that you built your website with RapidWeaver, and since RapidWeaver is a desktop application, your project file serves as a backup of your entire website. As soon as your hosting provider gets the server back up and running, you simply re-publish your website and things are back to normal.

This is a rarely considered strength of using RapidWeaver over an online CMS such as Wordpress. Your work is done and saved locally on your computer, so you don’t have to depend on the reliability of a machine somewhere else to keep your files safe. So you are secure with a backup of your website on your own computer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be making back-ups yourself. If your project file(s) only exist on one hard drive, you should have an additional drive to backup to, or at the very least a USB flash drive. Ideally you have a second drive with Time Machine configured to make regular backups automatically. The outstanding PlusKit plugin also has a backup feature that you can use to make backups of your project file as you work. You can never be too careful, and so a combination of automatic and manual methods might be a good idea.

Finally, if you manage assets of your website directly via FTP (a.k.a. warehousing), then you will want to make manual backups of those files and folders by downloading them to your computer. Since you are managing these outside of RapidWeaver, you don’t have the safety of them being included in your project file. You likely have the files locally on your computer anyway, but in case of emergency it would be helpful to have all of those files together in a folder that is an exact duplicate of the folder of assets you had published on your server.

New Series on Content Management Systems

I am happy to announce the launch of a new series of tutorials on Content Management Systems! As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I have been researching different CMS solutions and I have now begun to produce screencasts on the subject. The launch of this series begins with 3 video tutorials, which are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. More tutorials will be released in the coming weeks, with the goal of providing the most comprehensive coverage of options available to RapidWeaver users.

Once again, if you have any experience using a CMS with RapidWeaver, please comment here and let me know your thoughts. I have developed a list of solutions (see previous blog entry), but am open to other options and I am interested in personal experience with any of them.

Not a RapidWeaver Classroom subscriber? Register now for access to these, and 170+ other RapidWeaver video tutorials!