Two New Joe Workman Stacks Tutorials Added

Happy Thanksgiving week to all of you who are in the U.S. This latest updates comes just in time for the holiday break. I’ve added two new stacks tutorials -- Expose and Share It -- both from Joe Workman.

The Expose Stack tutorial is found in the Lightboxes category of the Add-Ons section, and it is a highly recommended solution if you are looking for a lightbox to display content on your website. It is very flexible in that it can display most any kind of content, and its style is highly customizable. It also comes with the Expose Image Pro stack, which is designed specifically for displaying photos. This detailed tutorial runs about 15 minutes in length in order to cover every setting for these stacks.

The Share It Stack tutorial is found in the Blogging & Social category of the Add-Ons section. The stack provides sharing buttons for a variety of social networks, and it is also highly customizable. If you would like your website’s visitors to share your website with their social networks, then the Share It Stack may be worth considering.

I’d also like to make a brief mention of the launch of the new website for my business, Websmith. This website advertises my web design, RapidWeaver consulting and membership site development services. It uses a responsive design to optimize the layout for all devices, and of course it is built with RapidWeaver. If you are interested in learning more about responsive design, there is a category of tutorials dedicated to that topic here at RapidWeaver Classroom.

Check back soon for details on more new content!

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Two More Responsive Layout Tutorials Added

This week’s update adds more content to the growing Responsive Layout category of the Add-Ons section. Tutorials for the Fit Text and Responsive Embed stacks are now available there.

Joe Workman’s Fit Text Stack makes headings (or any text with large fonts) responsive, resizing the text at different break points for better presentation on smaller devices. If you are developing a responsive website, then this stack is a must-have for use with your content headings.

The Responsive Embed Stack is a free stack from Pressure Designs, a newer RapidWeaver developer who is featured here at RapidWeaver Classroom for the first time. This stack takes embed code from a third-party, such as YouTube or Google Maps, and makes the embed responsive. It’s easy to use and does a great job of making embedded content responsive.

If you haven’t already noticed, responsive design is a big deal now, and so I will continue to focus on creating training that will make responsive design as easy (and fun) as possible. Check back next week for more new content!

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Three New Stacks Tutorials Added

This week’s update includes three new Stack Element tutorials: the Post Office and Locker stacks from Joe Workman, and the Playr Stack from Stack Maniac.

The Post Office Stack is a very impressive stack that creates a sign-up form on your website. The sign-up form is used to collect information from your website visitors -- mainly name and email address, though it also includes a couple of customizable fields. This information can be stored in a database on your server, or Post Office can connect with 3rd-party email newsletters services, such as MadMimi and MailChimp. Post Office is highly customizable and also includes a stack called PO Box, which can be used to present content after a visitor submits their information through the Post Office form. So for example, if you are wanting to provide a free download after someone submits their email address, then the combination of Post Office and PO Box can do it. This tutorial can be found in the Forms category of the Add-Ons section.

The Locker Stack is a great utility stack that lets you keep stacks content on a Stacks page without it being displayed in Preview mode or published. This can be helpful when you are actively developing some portion of the page, but need to publish other changes to that page without publishing everything. It basically hides content from Preview and publishing, and also lets you make notes about the work you are doing. This tutorials can be found in the Utility Stacks category of the Add-Ons section.

Finally, the Playr Stack creates a simple, clean video player for your videos. It is easy to use and very customizable. This tutorial can be found in the Media category of the Add-Ons section.

I hope you that these new tutorials are helpful as you develop your websites with RapidWeaver. Check back next week for an update on more new tutorials!

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New Responsive Layout Tutorials Added

Today’s update includes 3 new tutorials covering responsive layout stacks: Responsive Layout Stacks, Fluid Image Stack and Floaty Stack. All of these tutorials can be found in the newly added Responsive Layout category of the Add-Ons section. The Responsive Layout Stacks and Floaty Stack can also be found in the Content Layout category, and the Fluid Image Stack can also be found under the Photos category.

Each of these stacks is very helpful when you are developing a website using a responsive theme. In fact, I highly recommend all 3 of these stacks for anyone developing a responsive website.

The Responsive Layout Stacks allow you to create responsive columns, and includes a 2, 3, 4, and 5-column stack, as well as a Show/Hide Stack that is very cool.

The Floaty Stack is a responsive version of the built-in Float stack, and allows you to make floating content responsive.

Finally, the Fluid Image Stack is a must-have for creating responsive images and photos on your website.

In other news, the Grad School curriculum was updated last week, receiving the same responsive redesign as the Classroom members’ area. Production of new tutorials is now back in full-swing, so you can expect to see weekly updates posted in most cases. Check back next week for another update on new tutorials!

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Font Awesome Tutorial & Redesign News

I have released a new “How to…” tutorial on adding Font Awesome icons to your website. This new tutorial can be found in the Continuing Education section of the Classroom curriculum, and runs about 15 minutes.

Font Awesome is a collection of over 300 icons that are technically fonts, so they can be styled like fonts in any size or color. Some 3rd-party RapidWeaver themes have started including Font Awesome, but many themes still do not, so this tutorial will walk you through two different methods of integrating Font Awesome. One method is very simple, while the other is quite advanced, but either way the tutorial provides all the details you’ll need to have success with integrating Font Awesome.

I’m also excited to announce that RapidWeaver Classroom is undergoing a complete redesign! It’s hard to believe that it has been 2.5 years since the last major design update, but I’m certainly not taking on this redesign project just because some amount of time has passed. I believe that Responsive Design is not just the newest trend in web design, but a design solution that is here to stay, and I want RapidWeaver Classroom to be an example of what Responsive Design can achieve. While the tutorials have been compatible with mobile devices for quite some time, the website itself is still static across all devices, and that is going to change with this new redesign. With a new responsive layout, you will find the website easier to navigate on your iPhone (or other smart phone) and iPad (or other tablet).

A responsive layout isn’t the only new feature that is coming with the redesign of RapidWeaver Classroom. I am also taking this opportunity to restructure the entire Classroom curriculum. Since the start of RapidWeaver Classroom in 2008, add-ons (plugins and stacks) have been grouped by developer. This was useful when the collection of add-ons was small, but it’s now clear that add-ons need to be organized by function -- so a redesign of the members’ area will include this new structure. You will find categories of add-ons such as layout, photo, media, light boxes, e-commerce, etc. Each category will include both plugins and stacks, and I will also be including the developer name alongside the add-on.

In addition to everything mentioned, I will be adding more useful resources such as a glossary and project checklist, a feedback and tutorial request area, and I am testing the integration of a search function that could provide another useful way of filtering through all of the available tutorials. I am very excited about all the benefits that this redesign will bring, and my goal is to launch it first for members sometime in the first half of October.

If you have any good ideas for a useful addition to this next version of RapidWeaver Classroom, please let me know! Thanks for taking the time to read this more lengthy update, and I look forward to sharing all of this progress with you soon!

Thanks for your support,

- Ryan

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PrivateEyes Parts 2 & 3 Tutorials Added

Note: If you are a subscriber to our email updates then you may not have received a notification of the last RapidWeaver Classroom update featuring the PrivateEyes Stack. If you did not receive information on that update then you can read about it here.

Parts 2 and 3 of the PrivateEyes Stack tutorial series have been added to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum. While Part 1 covered how PrivateEyes can be used to password-protect content, Parts 2 and 3 focus on how the stack can be used to hide and reveal content on a page using links. This functionality can be very useful in situations where you want to present a lot of content without cluttering the page. You can sort content by topic or category and have that content appear and disappear as different topics are selected on the page.

Next week I will be posting a new tutorial with information on how to add Font Awesome icons to your website. I am also working on a major redesign of RapidWeaver Classroom that will bring a lot of new functionality and organization to improve your experience with the service. I am still weeks away from completing it, but I look forward to sharing it with you soon!

Thanks for your support!

- Ryan

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Start of New Series Covering the PrivateEyes Stack

I have been spending a lot of time with the PrivateEyes Stack from seyDesign, and am glad to finally present the first tutorial for this amazing stack. PrivateEyes is very unique in its ability to hide and password-protect content on your website. Prior to the release of PrivateEyes, you needed to use the Lockdown Plugin if you wanted to protect content or web pages with a password. Of course having this functionality in a stack is tremendous when most of us build our websites using the Stacks 2 plugin, so PrivateEyes is a great alternative for a Stacks user who needs this kind of functionality.

Now I am typically able to cover the functionality of a stack in a single tutorial, but PrivateEyes is a bit more complex and does a number of different things, so I thought it would be best to cover this particular stack with multiple tutorials. I have released Part 1 this week, which discusses a couple of different methods of password-protecting content on a page, and a run-time of nearly 20 minutes guarantees a lot of detailed instruction on how to use this stack for that purpose. The next tutorials will build on the information presented in Part 1, to show some other ways that the stack can be used -- those tutorials will be released late next week.

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- Ryan

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New Stack and E-Commerce Tutorials Added

There’s a first time for everything, and this July I got a cold -- yes, in the summer -- and lost my voice in the process. After about 2 weeks of recovering my voice, I’ve finally been able to record and post a couple of new tutorials. The first covers a great new stack from Elixir called Flat Button, which produces stylish buttons and offers a lot of flexibility. The Flat Button Stack can be great for creating a call to action on your website.

I’ve also added another “How to…” tutorial about adding a PayPal button to your website. If you have very simple needs for accepting payment on your website, then you can bypass the available RapidWeaver add-ons and manually create payment and add to cart buttons through PayPal, and then add those anywhere on your website. One specific use for this is if you invoice clients for services and want to provide a method for them to pay through your website.

I am excited to be able to record new tutorials once again, and I have a lot of new content planned in the coming weeks. There are always plenty of new stacks to cover, but I’ll also be taking an in-depth look at the new RapidSearch Pro plugin, and discussing how to manually integrate custom fonts into your website, using resources such as Font Awesome and Google Fonts.

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WeaverPix and Joe Workman Tutorials Added

I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a great 4th of July holiday and weekend! Today I have posted two weeks worth of updates -- two more tutorials on the WeaverPix plugin, and two new Joe Workman Stacks tutorials. I had the WeaverPix tutorials recorded to post a week ago, but some sickness in my family delayed the editing and posting of those videos, so my apologies for missing the updates that week. Below is a brief summary of these latest updates.

The first new WeaverPix tutorial walk through the use of 3rd-party photo services -- Flickr, Dribble, Picasa and 500px. You can host, update and delete photos from any one of these services and have WeaverPix display them on your website. Between adding photos directly to WeaverPix, warehousing them on your server, or hosting them with one of these 3rd-party services, WeaverPix offers so much flexibility in how you manage your photo galleries.

The second new WeaverPix tutorial demonstrates how you can use a WeaverPix page to provide navigation to other pages of your website. For example, if you have a number of galleries on your website, then you can use WeaverPix to create navigation to those galleries, using thumbnail of photos as links. It’s easy to set up and this new tutorial will walk you through the process.

Finally, I have added two new Joe Workman Stacks tutorials -- Houdini and Infobar. Houdini is a great utility stack that lets you move stacks content into other content areas of your website, such as the sidebar or footer. Infobar makes it easy to add a notification feature to your website, so if you need to alert your visitors of some important information then this stack might be a great solution for you.

That wraps up the updates for this week. I will be away for family vacation this coming week, but still plan to get some more updates posted no later than Monday, July 15th, so check back in about a week for information on these new topics.

Thanks for your support!


Two More WeaverPix Plugin Tutorials

This week’s update bring two more tutorials to the new WeaverPix series. If you haven’t had the opportunity to view last week’s WeaverPix tutorials, then I highly recommend spending some time viewing these four videos. WeaverPix is a very powerful image gallery/slideshow solution, and these two new videos go into more detail on what makes this plugin so great.

The third video in the series, Using WeaverPix Themes, details the process of selecting the best theme for your photo gallery. Many of the WeaverPix themes are responsive and work in responsive RapidWeaver themes, and this topic is discussed as well.

The fourth video, Adding Warehoused Images, discusses a different way of adding photos to your website, using a web-based admin area for managing your images. This option provides a lot of flexibility for managing and updating the photos on your website without the use of RapidWeaver. The video walks through all of the setup and details for using the warehousing option.

WeaverPix offers even more ways of adding and managing photos, and so next week’s update will discuss the use of 3rd-party services -- Flickr, Picasa, 500px and Dribble. Check back late next week for more information on the next update.

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New WeaverPix 3 Series of Tutorials

WeaverPix 3 Slideshow Plugin RapidWeaver
New tutorials covering the WeaverPix 3 plugin have been added to RapidWeaver Classroom. This is an outstanding solution for image slideshows or photo galleries on your website. It is extremely powerful and flexible, and you’ll simply have to see these tutorials to get an understanding of all that it can accomplish.

The first two of a whole series of tutorials on WeaverPix 3 have been posted to the Classroom curriculum. WeaverPix can do so much that I will be producing more tutorials over the next couple of weeks in order to cover all of its features.

If you are looking for a solution for displaying images or photos on your website, then I would highly recommend giving WeaverPix 3 a serious look. While so much focus has been on building pages with the Stacks 2 plugin, this is a case where a dedicated plugin can be very beneficial. WeaverPix 3 is very impressive, and I look forward to completing this entire series of tutorials so that you can see how powerful it is. So with that being said, check back late next week for more tutorials in this series.

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Three More Stacks Tutorials Posted

Last Friday I posted an update that brings three more Stack Elements tutorials to RapidWeaver Classroom. I have released tutorials for the FormSnap Suite from Yabdab, and the Masonry and SuperBox stacks from seyDesign.

The new FormSnap Suite tutorial covers what might be the most flexible contact form solution for RapidWeaver. The FormSnap Suite is a collection of stack elements that allows you to build a very flexible contact form on a Stacks page. Since the form is built with the Stacks plugin, you have all the layout flexibility that Stacks offers. If you are familiar with Yabdab’s FormLoom plugin, then you might consider this a Stacks-based version of that form.

The other two stack element tutorials cover Masonry and SuperBox, both from seyDesign. Both of these stacks produce fantastic image galleries, with thumbnails and full-size images displayed in a lightbox. Masonry produces a layout of thumbnails similar to Pinterest, and presents the full-size image in a lightbox window overlay. SuperBox takes a different approach and generates square thumbnails in a tight grid, and then produces the full-size image in a very unique manner. You’ll have to watch the video to see how unique of a stack it is.

Production of weaverPix plugin tutorials is already underway and those will be published later this week, so check back here for more information.

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New Stack and How to… Tutorials

I’ve updated the Classroom curriculum today with two more tutorials. One tutorial is for the Rotatr Stack, the latest stack from StackManiac. The Rotatr Stack rotates through any type of Stacks content, so it is very flexible in allowing you to present a lot of different kinds of content in a single content space on your web page.

The second tutorial has been added to the How to… lesson of the Continuing Ed section, and it is about creating a placeholder menu item in your website menu. With thanks to Joe Workman for creating an easy-to-use snippet, you can prevent a menu item from linking to its own page. This is great when you want website visitors to skip a top-level page to go directly to a sub-page. The most common use for this is when you are working with a theme that has drop-down menus. The required snippet is provided as a download on the How to… lesson page.

Check back next week for more tutorials on Yabdab stacks, and I will also begin to release a series of tutorials on the excellent weaverPix plugin.

Thanks for your support!


Lots of Updates to Share

It’s been a while since I posted here to the public RapidWeaver Classroom Blog, but there has been a lot going on and almost too much to share in a single blog post, so I will briefly summarize the updates here and if you want more details you can view the Members Blog that is available to subscribers.

Website Upgrade

RapidWeaver Classroom moved to a new hosting server earlier this month. I am very happy to be with Javabean Hosting and RapidWeaver Classroom has never been faster!

Along with the server move, I have updated the members area to improve navigation throughout all of the tutorials, and there is now the option to view and search the full listing of tutorials on a single page.

New Tutorials

A number of new tutorials have been posted to the Classroom curriculum in the past 6 weeks…
  • SEO Tutorials: I highly recommend that everyone view these latest tutorials -- Google Places for Business and Geographic Targeting
  • Elixir Stacks Tutorials: Four new tutorials on great Stack Elements from Elixir.
  • StackManiac Stacks Tutorial: A new tutorial on the Viewr Stack.
  • Yabdab Stacks Tutorials: Two new tutorials on stacks from Yabdab.

Upcoming Tutorials

I am producing more stacks tutorials for release on Friday of this week. I am also developing more new content for the Strategies section, as well as full coverage of the weaverPix plugin, a very impressive photo gallery option for RapidWeaver. Tutorial releases will be coming very regularly now that the server move is complete, and I will continue to post about updates here, so check back often!

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Two More FreeStack R Tutorials Available

RapidWeaver FreeStack Responsive Tutorials
I have added two more tutorials to the FreeStack Responsive Theme series: “Creating a Website Layout” and “Blogging”. The Creating a Website Layout tutorial walks through the use of some of the FreeStack R Stacks to build the layout of a website. The unique characteristics of responsive websites require that layouts be developed in certain ways, and so the tutorial discusses some of those special requirements.

The Blogging tutorial discusses how a blog can be added to a website built with the FreeStack Responsive Theme. Since all pages in a FreeStack R website need to be based on the Stacks 2 plugin, that reduces the blogging options that are available, and this is important to understand when considering a website built with this theme.

With 7 tutorials totaling just over 1.5 hours, most of the information you need to know about the FreeStack Responsive Theme is now available in this series. I will consider future additions based on your feedback, so please let me know if you find any information that is lacking.

View the FreeStack Responsive Theme Tutorials -- You will need to be currently logged-in to be taken directly to the tutorials page.

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New FreeStack Responsive Theme Series

RapidWeaver FreeStack Responsive Tutorials
I am very excited to announce the release of a new series of tutorials covering the FreeStack Responsive Theme from Blueball Design. This is a brand new responsive version of the immensely popular FreeStack Theme, which makes it possible to build the entire layout of a website from the ground up using the drag-and-drop flexibility of the Stacks 2 plugin.

This FreeStack R Theme is responsive, meaning that it will optimize your website for all devices -- computers, tablets and smartphones. Responsive themes became a major trend last year, and it looks like it will be a lasting trend that radically changes how websites are developed. If you haven’t already viewed the series of tutorials on Responsive Themes, then I highly recommend viewing those for a better understanding of what “responsive” is, and how it impacts the way websites are developed.

This new series of FreeStack R Theme tutorials is being released in two halves, with the first half consisting of 5 tutorials spanning just over an hour of time, so you can be assured that the training is very detailed. These first five tutorials include an introduction, details on theme styles, two tutorials covering every stack that comes with the theme, and finally a tutorial on building menus.

I am planning to release the second half of the series towards the end of next week. The primary focus of this second half is the creation of a website layout using the theme and its stacks. If you have viewed the original FreeStack Theme tutorials then you can expect a similar format with these new tutorials.

In addition to all of this, I also have Elixir Graphics stacks tutorials that are almost ready for release. Check back for more information on these during the second week of March.

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Two More seyDesign Stack Tutorials Added

Two more seyDesign stacks tutorials have been added to the curriculum. Last week brought ZipBar and Slinkee to RapidWeaver Classroom, and this week I have added ZipList and MegaMenu tutorials.

The ZipList Stack creates an expandable list of content, and is a great solution for an FAQ, glossary, or simply to provide more details on items in a bulleted (or numbered) list.

The MegaMenu Stack is a very unique stack that can be especially beneficial when used in conjunction with the FreeStack Theme. It creates a menu with drop-downs that can contain descriptive content. While it is a great option for a main menu, it can also be used as a split-navigation menu in the main content of a page, or simply as a method of anchoring links to other areas of the same page. The MegaMenu tutorial will demonstrate a number of uses for the stack.

Check back next week for tutorials on stacks from Elixir Graphics -- another long-time RapidWeaver theme developer who has jumped into Stack Elements development in the past months. Also, as mentioned last week, tutorials on the new FreeStack Responsive theme are under development, so expect to hear more news on that very soon.

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New seyDesign Stack Tutorials

I am glad to have added tutorials on seyDesign’s stacks to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum. Many of you may know seyDesign for their excellent RapidWeaver themes, but they have been producing Stack Elements for some time now and I am creating tutorials for each of them. I’ve started with tutorials for ZipBar and Slinkee, which both offer methods of presenting a lot of content in a small amount of space. ZipBar creates a carousel-like effect, and Slinkee offers an accordion-style menu. Both are great stacks with a lot of flexibility.

I will be producing tutorials on the rest of seyDesign’s stacks over the next couple of weeks. In addition, a new series of tutorials on the FreeStack Responsive Theme is currently under development. This is a very exciting release, and you can learn more about it by viewing this overview video.

Check back next week for more details on new tutorials. Not a RapidWeaver Classroom subscriber? Join now!

Two New SEO Video Tutorials Added

There are two new tutorials that have been added to the SEO series -- Cruftless Links and Google +1.

The tutorial on crustless links discusses a different way of structuring the files and folders on your website. The “File and Folder Structure” tutorial in RapidWeaver Lesson 5 discusses how to customize your file and folder names in the Page Inspector, and this new Cruftless Links tutorial expands on that topic. I’ve placed it under the SEO section because descriptive URLs can be helpful for SEO.

The Google +1 tutorial discusses how the +1 button can indirectly influence your website’s placement in Google search results, and how it can lend credibility to your website as well, in a similar way that Google Authorship does. The button is easy to implement and this tutorial discusses those details.

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SEO Tutorials Updated with Google Authorship

RapidWeaver SEO Google Authorship Video Tutorial
Google Authorship has the potential to significantly impact the effectiveness of your website's listings in Google search results. This new Google Authorship tutorial will show you what Google Authorship can do for your website, and walks you through how to set up Authorship on your website. The tutorial is found in the Strategies > SEO section of the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum.

I highly recommend that everyone implement this as shown in this new video tutorial. The click-through rate (CTR) -- the number of clicks your website receives in Google search results -- is likely to increase if you correctly set up Authorship, by creating a Google+ profile and linking it to the content of your website. When this is done correctly, Google will (in most cases) place your Google+ profile picture alongside your website's listing in search results. This provides instant credibility to your website and makes people more willing to click on your link, opposed to others that do not have a photo listed.

Note that Google Authorship doesn't automatically improve your website's placement in search results. It's still important that you follow the other SEO guidelines in order to improve your website's rankings, and your success with SEO will always depend on a number of factors, many of which are out of your control. Even so, implementing Authorship is certainly worth the effort and I highly recommend doing so.

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CartLoom 3 Tutorials and a New "How to…"

The CartLoom tutorials have been completely re-done to reflect all the changes with CartLoom 3. One of the major changes is the official CartLoom 3 Stack, which is detailed in this new series of tutorials.

When the CartLoom 3 upgrade was announced, it was also announced that the CartLoom plugin was being dropped. This is no longer the case, and a new CartLoom plugin is currently in beta. Once the final version of the plugin is released, I will be sure to cover it and that tutorial to the CartLoom series. While I much prefer the CartLoom Stack, a new plugin is great news for existing CartLoom users who built their product pages with the previous CartLoom plugin.

I am personally very impressed with CartLoom as an e-commerce solution, and I think anyone looking to sell products online should strongly consider it. If you want to know more about the new features in CartLoom 3, you can read the article here.

A new tutorial on creating multilingual websites.

I have also added a new tutorial on how to build a multilingual website with RapidWeaver. The tutorial covers the use of multiple RapidWeaver project files to manage each language version, and how to work with RapidWeaver’s Site Setup and Publishing Settings to ensure that the individual files plays nice with one another once published. This new tutorials is found in the “How to…” section, under Continuing Ed in the main menu of the members’ area.

A different kind of addition, just in time for Christmas.

I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! It will be a bit different for me this year, as my family will be expanding with the birth of a baby girl just before Christmas. I love being a father to my 2 year-old son, but I expect things will be forever changed with a little girl around! We are very excited to meet her and have her around during this holiday season.

As always, I (and my family) greatly appreciate the tremendous support and I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and great new year!


FTP Tutorials Updated

I have updated the FTP tutorials found in the Continuing Education section of the curriculum. The previous FTP tutorials were several years old and used an outdated version of Transmit, the FTP application that I use and recommend. These new tutorials cover the content in the previous tutorials, as well as some new information, such as a quick and easy way to get the full URL of any file on your server.

Understanding how to use FTP is very important for anyone doing website design. It’s not an overly complicated topic, but it’s one that has the tendency to intimidate people. The FTP tutorials explain how to connect to your server with FTP, and how to upload, move, delete and archive files on the server.

These new FTP tutorials have also been added to Lesson 9: Web Hosting in the RapidWeaver section of tutorials. Since web hosting and the use of FTP go hand-in-hand, it made sense to make these tutorials available in that section as well.

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New Google Webmaster Tools Series

A new series of tutorials covering Google’s Webmaster Tools is now available as part of the Strategies section. Webmaster Tools is a very important resource for anyone operating a website. It allows you to submit a sitemap to help Google index your website, it displays errors such as broken links and missing pages, it provides suggestions on how to optimize your pages for searches, and it even notifies you of malware in the unfortunate event that your website is hacked.

In addition to the topics above, these new tutorials will also show you how to submit updated webpages to Google, so that new content will be indexed much faster. This can be very useful after you have published updates to your website.

Check back next week for an update on more new tutorials.

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5 More StackManiac Tutorials Now Available

Following-up on last week’s introduction of StackManiac to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum, I have posted 5 more tutorials: InstaViewr, OldBrowsr, RefinedSlidr, RefinedSlidr Warehouse and Socializr.

InstaViewr: Share your Instagram photos on your website
OldBrowsr: Redirect visitors using older versions of Internet Explorer
Refined Slidr: Stylish image slider
Refined Slidr Warehouse: Stylish image slider that uses warehoused images
Socializr: Let your visitors share your site to social networks

Tagging Stack Element Tutorials

I have begun “tagging” tutorials in the Stack Elements section. This means that you will find a brief description of a stack’s function alongside the name of the stack. Many stacks are named in such a way that their function isn’t obvious, so these tags should be helpful as you browse the tutorials and decide which ones to view. These tags will be found on the individual tutorial pages for each developer. At the moment, all of the StackManiac tutorials are tagged, and I will be adding tags to the others developer pages soon.

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New StackManiac Stacks Tutorials Are Here

In a return to Stack Elements tutorials, I am pleased to add a new developer to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum. StackManiac has been producing some outstanding Stack Elements for the Stacks plugin, and I have begun adding tutorials on these stacks to the curriculum. StackManiac has also joined a growing list of developers who offer discounts to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers, and a discount code for 20% off is now available in the members’ area.

The new StackManiac section of tutorials launches with three stacks: AudioDeckr, FancyViewr and GrayScale. AudioDeckr provides a sleek, stylish audio player that supports HTML5 and responsive layout. FancyViewr is one of my favorite image lightbox stacks, and GrayScale creates a nice hover effect for static images.

I have already recorded tutorials for five more StackManiac stacks, and I will have those edited and published to the website next week, so check back soon for more!

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Freestack Theme Tutorials Now Available

I am very excited to announce the release of a 2-hour, 11-part series of tutorials on the Freestack Theme from Blueball Design.

The Freestack Theme is a theme that is specially designed to allow you to create the entire layout of a website with the Stacks 2 plugin. It is essentially a blank theme, providing you with complete control of every element of your website. You control the placement, style and content of every element of your website, and it is all accomplished using the highly flexible Stacks 2 plugin.

This series of tutorials takes an in-depth look at all of the Freestack theme styles and included stacks, and walks through the creation of a website layout using the theme.  Specific functionality such as menus, headers, blogging, contact forms and e-commerce solutions are covered as well.

There are still more Freestack tutorials to come, including tutorials on the available Freestack add-on packs. Look for more information on these updates in October.

Finally, Blueball Design is also offering a 35% discount on the Freestack bundle. This discount is good for 3 days, expiring at midnight on Sunday, September 30th. Discount code: freestackrwclasstutssale

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New Tutorial Added and Big News

I wanted to take a moment to post an announcement about a big update to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum that is coming this month. A detailed series of tutorials on the Freestack Theme will be made available to subscribers soon. If you aren’t already familiar with Freestack, it is a theme that is specially designed to allow you to create the entire layout of a website with the Stacks plugin. Since it effectively offers unlimited potential, developing a series of comprehensive tutorials has been quite a challenge, but I believe the result will be a very beneficial resource for anyone developing a website with the Freestack theme.

This series of tutorials will be released by the end of September, but in the meantime I’d like to share a new tutorial on the Bigfoot Legend Stacks from RapidWeaver Central. Bigfoot Legend is a bundle of Stack Elements and Template Stacks, making it a very unique addition to the world of Stacks add-ons. The goal of this bundle is to quickly and easily build tall, stylish footers in a website. It is especially effective with ExtraContent-supported themes, but can be used with any theme. The Stack Elements themselves can also be used independently to accomplish other purposes. For example, the list of features on the Home page of RapidWeaver Classroom was created with a stack that is included in this bundle.

Check back soon for the release of the Freestack Theme series!

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Lesson on Web Hosting Added to Curriculum

I have added a new lesson to the RapidWeaver section of the curriculum. Lesson 9 covers topics related to web hosting, and includes 3 tutorials to start, with more to come.

We all know that web hosting is required to put our website online, but web hosts provide a lot of features and functionality, and much of it can be confusing. Lesson 9 will cover a variety of topics that are common to web hosting providers. The basics of setting up a hosting account are covered, and an overview of the cPanel software -- the most popular control panel solution -- is covered as well. There’s even a RapidWeaver plugin from JavaBean Hosting that is discussed in one tutorial.

The next addition to Lesson 9 will be a tutorial on domains. There are a lot of questions about domains -- how to move them, redirect them, change name servers, add multiple domains to an account, etc. This tutorial will aim to clear-up a lot of questions about this subject. Check back soon for more information on that tutorial, and others!

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New Series of Tutorials on Responsive Themes

I am very excited to release a new 3-part series covering responsive RapidWeaver themes. Responsive themes are a new trend in website design, brought about by the increased use of mobile/handheld devices for browsing the web. Responsive themes will help you build a website that functions well on any device or screen size, so it’s essentially like having a desktop and mobile website in one!

There are some limitations to how you build a website with a responsive theme, so that information is addressed in these tutorials. It’s very important to understand the limitations in advance, so that you can make an informed decision about the use of a responsive theme for your project.

A number of 3rd-party theme developers have begun producing responsive themes for RapidWeaver, so I have listed those developers on the tutorials page as well. A majority of those developers also offer discounts to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers!

These new tutorials can be found under the RapidWeaver section, under “Bonus Material: A Focus on Themes” -- you can also view the full curriculum listing here.

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"Experiments" added to Google Analytics series

The Google Analytics series of tutorials has been updated with a new tutorial on Experiments. Experiments is used to test different versions of a web page’s content, to see which version is the most successful in converting visitors to customers. This feature was a part of Google’s Website Optimizer, but is now integrated into Analytics. This new tutorial replaces a previous one called “Testing Content”, which was located in the Effective Design Principles section.

Using Experiments to test content can tell you a lot about what content works best on your website. I do highly recommend that everyone view the Effective Design Principles section before conducting an experiment in Analytics, because the content of that series can help you better understand the types of content to test.

A quick note on responsive theme tutorials
A tutorial on responsive themes was slated for release this week, but I am pushing that back until next week. As I’ve researched the topic and done some hands-on work with responsive themes, I’ve come to realize that the topic needs a series of videos, instead of just one. There is quite a bit involved with using these themes, and so I want to be as thorough as possible in the training I create. This is a really cool and exciting topic, so I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and findings with you all! Check back next week for an announcement.

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New Tutorials on the Mobilize Plugin

Mobilize Plugin
Two new tutorials on the Mobilize plugin have been added to the Add-Ons section of the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum.

The Mobilize plugin will redirect your website visitors to a mobile version of your website when they are viewing your website with a mobile device. Mobilize uses "mobile detection" to determine what device a visitor is using, and will send them to the appropriate version of your website based on that detection.

Mobilize does NOT create a mobile version of your website, but in these tutorials we will look at how to create a mobile version with RapidWeaver, and the relationship between a mobile and “desktop” version of your website.

Mobilize is a great solution for those with an existing website, who want to add a mobile version and have visitors using mobile devices directed there. If you are building a completely new website and want to include mobile compatibility, then using a responsive theme is another possible option, which prevents the need to develop two separate websites. The topic of responsive themes will be addressed next week with a new addition to RapidWeaver Classroom, so check back here soon for more information.

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WP-Blog Plugin Tutorials Now Available

New tutorials on the WP-Blog plugin have been added to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum, and are available to subscribers now. The WP-Blog plugin allows you to integrate a WordPress blog with your RapidWeaver website. This offers you the flexibility of blogging with the WordPress platform through your browser, while integrating the blog with your RapidWeaver website, achieving a consistent look and user experience.

Use of the WP-Blog plugin requires that you install the WordPress software on your server. The software is available for free through, though many web hosting providers have WordPress available as a quick install through the control panel. In this series of tutorials, I show both methods of installing WordPress on a hosting server, and walk you through all the details of setting up and configuring the WP-Blog plugin.

The WP-Blog plugin is a great alternative to RapidWeaver’s built-in blog page, so if you are interested in the flexibility of blogging outside of RapidWeaver, then WP-Blog is worth a look. RapidWeaver Classroom also provides tutorials on a couple of other blogging alternatives, such as the RapidBlog plugin and the Tumblr Stack from Joe Workman.

This is just the start of new content coming to RapidWeaver Classroom in July. Check back soon for more information on new tutorials!

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New Tutorial on using 301 Redirects

I’ve added the tutorial “Using 301 Redirects” to the SEO lesson under Strategies. 301 Redirects are useful in several situations:
  • You are changing the filename of an existing web page.
  • You are updating your website and consolidating multiple pages into a single one.
  • You are eliminating a page but still want inbound links to direct to an existing page.
301 Redirects ensure that your website’s visitors arrive at active, existing pages on your website. They also ensure that inbound links remain valid, even if you remove the original pages those links pointed to. This is especially useful and important in regards to SEO, because you don’t want search engine links to reference missing pages. On account of the SEO implications, I decided to place this tutorial under the SEO lesson.

This information is not crucial for brand new websites that are being built, but it can be helpful to understand the concept when it comes to future changes that might take place with your website.

There is much more to come in July! Subscribers can find out more about upcoming content in the Members Blog.

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"Strategies" comes to RapidWeaver Classroom

I am very excited to announce the addition of Section 401: Strategies to the RapidWeaver Classroom Curriculum! Two brand new series of tutorials -- Google Analytics and Effective Design Principles -- accompany this new section, and the SEO series has been moved to this section as well.

This new section has been named “Strategies” because its content discusses how we can be strategic in the development of our websites, in order to make them successful in accomplishing our goals. A variety of different topics will be covered in this section, many of which will extend beyond the “RapidWeaver world”.

As of May 2012, RapidWeaver Classroom has been providing training to RapidWeaver for 4 years! The primary focus has been instruction on how to use the software and its add-ons, but with Strategies, the focus will shift to how we can effectively use the tools that we have. For example, the Google Analytics tutorial “Creating Goals” demonstrates how to use FormLoom 2 and/or PayLoom 2 to track the success of a goal created in Google Analytics.

I think this is an important shift in focus for RapidWeaver Classroom, and while I will certainly continue to create new content covering RapidWeaver add-ons, there will be a lot of future additions to the Strategies section.

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FormLoom 2 and DateLoom Tutorials Added

DateLoom Video Tutorial
FormLoom 2 Video Tutorials
New tutorials on the FormLoom 2 and DateLoom plugins from Yabdab are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers.

The DateLoom plugin creates a highly-customizable calendar on your website. You can post entries to the calendar directly through RapidWeaver, or you can import a Google calendar(s) and add/edit entries from anywhere using a browser. Imported Google Calendars can be styled with FormLoom 2, which provides themes to improve the default Google Calendar look.

FormLoom 2 improves on the original FormLoom plugin, providing much more flexibility than the Contact Form page that comes with RapidWeaver. One of the most impressive features of FormLoom 2 is the ability to customize the layout of a form on your website. You can build a form with multiple columns and even break-up a form into different sections. FormLoom 2 is very impressive and I recommend all RapidWeaver users to take a look at what it has to offer.

Overall, there are 6 new tutorials that come in at just under an hour, so you can expect a lot of detailed training on these plugins!

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RapidLink Plugin Series Now Available

RapidLink Video Tutorials
The RapidWeaver Classroom Curriculum has been updated with a new series on the RapidLink plugin from Omnidea. RapidLink is a companion plugin to RapidCart 3, which makes it possible to sell digital products and distribute links to buyers. Once a purchase is completed from RapidCart 3, RapidLink will generate an email to the buyer, providing them with a link to download the digital product.

This new series consists of 5 tutorials, detailing everything you need to know about using RapidLink to sell digital products.

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RapidCart 3 Series of Tutorials Now Available

RapidCart 3 Video Tutorials
I have released a new series of video tutorials on the RapidCart 3 plugin from Omnidea. RapidCart 3 is a great e-commerce solution for RapidWeaver, and this latest version of the plugin brings about a number of improvements and enhanced functionality. This 45-minute series of video tutorials details every part of the plugin so that you will know exactly what it has to offer. These tutorials are available to subscribers now, under the Plugins section of the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum.

There is a companion plugin to RapidCart 3 called RapidLink, which lets you offer digital downloads for purchase through RapidCart 3. I will be producing tutorials for the RapidLink plugin next week, so check back for details on that release.

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37 Doobox Stacks Overviews Available

The RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum has been updated to include overviews of all stacks currently available from Doobox. These 37 videos will provide a quick overview of each stack’s functionality and features. The range of functionality across all of these stacks is tremendous, and most anyone is likely to discover at least a few that they would consider “must-have” add-ons for their Stacks library.

If you haven’t noticed already, the immense popularity of the Stacks and Stacks 2 plugins has led to a massive increase in the frequency that new stacks are released. In order to stay as up-to-date as possible, I will continue to release these short overview tutorials for Stacks add-ons. Many of the stacks are so simple that a quick overview will provide enough information. Others will benefit from full-length tutorials, and I will produce those following the release of an overview.

While Stacks and its add-ons have made a very important impact on website development with RapidWeaver, I don’t want that to be the only focus of the training provided by RapidWeaver Classroom. I will be releasing some other plugin tutorials in the coming weeks, along with some other topics to be announced in the near future. Check back soon for more details!

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Doobox Overview Videos

Doobox has commissioned RapidWeaver Classroom to produce quick overviews for use on the Doobox website, and I have made them available as part of the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum as well.

These overviews are 2 minutes or less in length. Some of these stacks are so simple to use that the quick overview will provide all the necessary information. Others will benefit from more detailed instruction, and so full-length tutorials will be produced for those stacks in the coming weeks.

Doobox has created some outstanding stacks for Stacks 2, so be sure to check out these quick overviews to see them in action!

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Stacks 2 Goes Final -- Tutorial Updated

Stacks 2 Video Tutorials
Stacks 2 exited its public beta stage this week and is now available in its final form. If any of you have been waiting, now is the time to grab Stacks 2 and see what all the excitement is about!

One major change that occurred during the beta period is how Stacks handles images. Initially, images were not saved directly into the RapidWeaver project file, but they are now. The “Stacks Media Library” tutorial found in the Stacks 2 series has been updated to reflect this change. This basically means that a portion of the tutorial was eliminated, as that information is no longer valid.

Now that Stacks 2 is officially released, you can expect to see future Stacks add-ons tutorials produced using Stacks 2! Stay tuned for more updates.

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2 More Stacks 2 Tutorials Available

Stacks 2 Video Tutorials
I have added two more Stacks 2 tutorials to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum. The first of these details the Stacks Media Library, and contains some very important information on using images in Stacks 2. The other tutorial discusses some miscellaneous information, and includes details on the updating of 3rd-party stacks in Stacks 2. Let’s just say that Stacks 2 has delivered a huge improvement in how it updates stacks add-ons!

Stacks 2 is currently still in beta and it can be downloaded here. I can speak from experience though and say that it is very stable, and I have already published updates to RapidWeaver Classroom using Stacks 2!

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Stacks 2 Public Beta and Tutorials Available

Stacks 2 Video Tutorials
It is a very exciting day as the Public Beta release of Stacks 2 has been released! Stacks was a “game-changing” plugin for the RapidWeaver community, and Stacks 2 promises to take things to a new level with some very exciting new features.

Along with the Public Beta release of Stacks 2, I have published Stacks 2 tutorials to the curriculum here at RapidWeaver Classroom. There are currently 5 tutorials available, running just under an hour in length, and there will be at least 2 more tutorials published later this week.

Also, for this week only, these tutorials are available for free to the public, along with a contest to win a FREE Stacks 2 license. You can find more information here:
Free Stacks 2 Tutorials and Contest

Finally, please keep in mind that this release of Stacks 2 is a beta, so please take precautionary steps and back-up any projects that you will be using with Stacks 2. Check back here soon for more details and important information regarding Stacks 2!

Lockdown Plugin Tutorials Now Available

I have updated the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum with a new series of video tutorials on the Lockdown Plugin from Loghound. Lockdown makes it easy to password-protect pages on your website. Protected pages will prompt for a username and password in order to view them, and you create these credentials with user accounts in the plugin. You can add multiple user accounts and have each one access specific pages, or even have multiple accounts all access the same content if you wish.

Lockdown is a great solution for password-protecting content for clients. A photographer can password-protect clients’ photo galleries, or a web developer can provide previews of a website in progress that is viewable by the client with a username and password. These are just a couple of examples of how Lockdown can be used.

This series contains 5 video tutorials for a total runtime of just under 30 minutes. Check back soon for updated tutorials on RapidCart 3!

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Hunter and Hippo Stacks from Doobox

I’ve updated the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum with two new tutorials covering the Hunter and Hippo stacks from Doobox. The Hunter Stack is an awesome solution for filtering content on a page by category, and the Hippo stack creates a styled content area with buttons that load new content when selected. Both stacks provide a lot of functionality and flexibility, so check them out to see if they might be a helpful solution in your project!

You can expect to see many more updates on Doobox stacks in the next several weeks, so check back soon for more details!

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Page Lime CMS Series Completed

I have completed the series of tutorials on the Page Lime CMS and those tutorials are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. This 45-minute series details how to use the Page Lime CMS, along with Joe Workman’s Page Lime Stacks, to create content that can be editable through a web browser using the Page Lime service. Even better, content edited through Page Lime is not overwritten when changes are published through RapidWeaver!

A total of 7 tutorials are now available. If you got a head-start and began viewing these tutorials during the past couple of weeks, you will want to revisit the 4th tutorial “Setup and Configuration” -- that specific tutorial has been updated with more important information.

The coming weeks will consist of new tutorials on more Stacks add-ons, along with some plugin updates as well, so check back soon for more!

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New Series on Page Lime CMS Stacks

I am very excited to announce the addition of a new series of tutorials covering the Page Lime CMS Stacks from Joe Workman. Page Lime is a content management system that integrates with RapidWeaver using Joe’s Page Lime Stacks. Content created with these stacks can be edited with a web browser via the Page Lime CMS. Even better, content edited with Page Lime will not be overwritten by RapidWeaver if the page is re-published!

This is an excellent solution for editing content without needing RapidWeaver. If you design sites for clients, then you can integrate Page Lime to allow your client to make changes themselves!

This new series is available in both the Joe Workman Stacks section and in the CMS section of tutorials. There are currently 4 tutorials available and more will be added in the next several weeks. Once the series is completed, it will be a very comprehensive resource for training on both the Page Lime system and the Page Lime Stacks.

Check back soon for more news on the Page Lime series!

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PunBB Forum Series and X-Ray Stack Tutorial

PunBB Forum
I am excited to announce the addition of a series of tutorials on installing and customizing a PunBB discussion forum and integrating it with your RapidWeaver website. This new series of tutorials is now available as part of the Grad School curriculum, as the steps involved require some knowledge of HTML and CSS, which is covered in Section 101 of that curriculum. The PunBB tutorials walk you through every step of installing the forum software, customizing it to match the look of your RapidWeaver website, integrating it with your RapidWeaver project file, and administrating the forum.

I’ve also published a tutorial on Joe Workman’s X-Ray Stack to the regular RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum, and this week I will be starting a series on Joe’s PageLime stacks for use with the PageLime content management system. This will be an exciting series to demonstrate the potential uses of PageLime for remotely editing website content without the use of RapidWeaver, so check back soon for more information on these tutorials!

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New RSS Stacks Tutorial Available

I’ve released a new tutorial for RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers on the RSS Stacks from Joe Workman. There are actually 7 RSS Stack varieties, and all of them are covered in this new tutorial. If your website has a blog then I highly recommend viewing this tutorial, as it is likely that you will find a good use for one of these RSS stacks on your website.

More Joe Workman tutorials are coming soon, along with a new update to the Grad School curriculum as well. Check back soon for more details!

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CartLoom Update and More from Joe Workman

CartLoom Plugin Tutorials
This week brings several updates to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum. I have added 2 new tutorials to the CartLoom e-commerce series: “Selling Physical Products” and “Shipping Rule for non-U.S. Sellers.” This unofficially concludes the series on CartLoom -- I say “unofficially” because there is always a chance of future additions once I receive your feedback on these tutorials. The total run-time for this series is just under 90 minutes, so rest assured that there is a lot of detail covered in these video tutorials.

Joe Workman Stacks Tutorials
Joe Workman released the Liftoff Stack this week, and a new tutorial for that stack is now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers as well. Liftoff creates a very cool countdown clock that is great for product launches or other big announcements for your website, so check out this latest stack from Joe! More great Joe Workman stacks tutorials will be available next week as well, so check back soon for more details as the list of Joe Workman tutorials continues growing.

If you’re not a subscriber to RapidWeaver Classroom and want to view these and 100’s of other video tutorials, sign-up here!

3 New Tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks

Joe Workman Stacks Tutorials
This week brings 3 new tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. I’ve added tutorials for Comment Stacks, the Scroll Stack and the Tumblr Stack. Each of these stacks offer some pretty awesome functionality for your website.

If you are a photographer or artist, or have a need to feature images on your website, then I encourage you to check out the Scroll Stack. Joe’s Comment Stacks make it easy to add commenting to any page -- not just a blog -- so you can give customers the ability to review or comment on your products, or simply create an informal discussion board on any page of your site. Finally, the Tumblr Stack is a powerful stack that offers a completely new option for blogging in RapidWeaver. Personally, I’m quite tempted to switch this blog over to Tumblr after having played with Joe’s Tumblr Stack! Happy

Joe continues to develop awesome stacks for our RapidWeaver toolbox, and I will continue bringing tutorials on his products to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. Next week I will be expanding the CartLoom series with tutorials that detail the process of selling physical products with CartLoom. Among other things, these tutorials will address tax and shipping calculations for physical products being sold online. Check this blog next week for more information, or you can subscribe to the blog feed at the top of the blog sidebar to the right.

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CartLoom E-Commerce Series Underway

CartLoom Plugin Tutorials
I’ve published the first 6 video tutorials of the new CartLoom series here at RapidWeaver Classroom. CartLoom is a web-based e-commerce solution that offers a lot of flexibility in selling both physical and digital products through your RapidWeaver website. CartLoom has a ton of features and can integrate with RapidWeaver through either a plugin or a stack.

This series of tutorials will detail how to utilize the CartLoom service and how to integrate its shopping cart with your website in RapidWeaver. These first 6 tutorials provide a good overview of the CartLoom backend and both the plugin and stack, but more tutorials will be added to this series over the next several weeks in an attempt to thoroughly cover different scenarios for how the service might be utilized.

4 More Joe Workman Stacks Tutorials

Joe Workman Stacks Tutorials
I've updated the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum with 4 new tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks. Two of the tutorials are brand new: HTML5 Video and RSS Feed Stacks. The other two, Lightbox and MovingBox, were previously available but I have refreshed them as the versions of those stacks have changed significantly since the original tutorials were created.

The HTML5 Video Stack is a great solution for presenting video on your website while maintaining compatibility with iOS devices. I actually use this stack in the header above to present the “2-minute Overview.” The RSS Feed stack is free and allows you to make RSS feeds available on any page, through the address bar of Safari. The Lightbox and MovingBox stacks have received some great updates, and Lightbox is easier to use than it has ever been before, so I highly recommend you take a look!

I will be working on more of Joe's stacks this week, along with the first tutorials for a new series on CartLoom.

3 New Tutorials Now Available

This week’s update to the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum includes 3 new tutorials. The first of these, “The Resources Macro” can be found in Lesson 6 of the RapidWeaver 5 curriculum. This is a slightly advanced, but important element of RapidWeaver’s Resources feature, and I would highly encourage everyone to become familiar with it, especially if you are using Stacks add-ons in your project. In the case of certain Stacks add-ons, the Resources macro is used to reference the location of your file in the stack’s HUD, so it is pretty important to understand how the macro is used.

The other two tutorials released this week are the Power Grid and Like It stacks from Joe Workman. Power Grid is a great solution for creating tables on your website, and Like It makes it very easy to add social networking widgets to your pages.

Next week will bring more Joe Workman stacks, so stay tuned!

3 More Joe Workman Tutorials Available

We continue with new Joe Workman Stacks tutorials this week, as the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum has been updated with tutorials covering the Cycler Stack, Mask Stack and Totem Stack. Cycler and Totem create awesome content sliders, and Mask makes it easy to create rollover/mouseover effects for images, or to hide and reveal content.

More Joe Workman Stacks tutorials will be made available next week, as I continue to produce content covering all of Joe’s available stacks.

4 New Tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks

Now that the redesign of RapidWeaver Classroom is complete, a lot of work is underway to produce and publish new content for the curriculums, and we start this week with 4 new tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks. The stacks covered in this update are Flash Embed, Google Maps, Image Safe and HTML5 Audio. These are some exciting new stacks from Joe Workman, and over the next several weeks you will become acquainted with all of Joe’s offerings, as the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum gets updated with every Joe Workman stack available!

New ExtraContent Series Now Available

I have published a new series of screencasts on the ExtraContent feature found in some 3rd-party themes. ExtraContent has become more popular in 3rd-party theme development, and the feature offers increased flexibility in how your content is displayed inside the layout of a RapidWeaver theme.

Some tutorials discussing ExtraContent in specific themes have been available here in the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum, but I felt it was necessary to cover the topic in a more linear way, as is the norm for series of tutorials here at RapidWeaver Classroom. This new ExtraContent series will take you through the different methods of utilizing this feature, and each video tutorial works with a different ExtraContent-enabled theme, so you will be able to see a number of different examples of how ExtraContent is enabled in these 3rd-party themes.

There are currently 4 new tutorials that take you through the ExtraContent feature, and at least one more will be added to the series in the near future.

For more information about ExtraContent, or to see walk-through videos I have created for specific ExtraContent-enabled themes, please visit

2 New Screencasts Now Available

I have updated the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum with two new tutorials. The first is in response to a common question I receive, that until now was not addressed in the curriculum. This question involves the use of a RapidWeaver website to build an email mailing list, and whether or not RapidWeaver is capable of creating HTML emails to send to a mailing list. This new “HTML Email Newsletters” tutorial addresses these questions, and can be found in Lesson 8 of the Section 101 curriculum. I discuss a couple of different solutions, including the one I use for RapidWeaver Classroom.

The other tutorial discusses how to create a splash page in RapidWeaver, and involves a special theme and a few customizations to make it perfect for this purpose. This “Create a Splash Page” tutorial can be found in the “How to...” lesson under Section 301 of the curriculum.

New Lesson Added to Core Curriculum

I have added an 8th lesson to the core RapidWeaver 5 curriculum. Lesson 8 under Section 101 discusses a variety of subjects that are important for anyone designing a website. This lesson starts with 4 new tutorials: Measuring Space, Resizing Images, Finding Images, and Setting Up Web Hosting. These are all important topics to supplement the prior lessons, and I will be considering more topics to include in this lesson, so please leave a comment here if you have any requests!

Lesson 7 Updated for RapidWeaver 5

Lesson 7 of the RapidWeaver 5 curriculum in Section 101 has been updated with new tutorials using RapidWeaver 5. These tutorials are primarily targeted at advanced users, or those familiar with HTML and CSS code, as they deal with theme modification. These tutorials provide an overview of the structure of a RapidWeaver theme and the specific files that are involved with making modifications. If you are interested in the information provided in these screencasts, but are not familiar with HTML and CSS code, then you might find the Grad School curriculum useful.

The updating of Lesson 7 marks the completion of the original RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum, using RapidWeaver 5. At least one additional lesson will be added to the “core curriculum” in the coming weeks, detailing many additional topics that any website developer should be familiar with. Not every topic will be directly related to RapidWeaver, but knowledge of these topics is important and should be very helpful when building and publishing any website.

Thanks for your continued support! Happy

New Tutorial on the Styled Stack

I’ve released a new screencast on the Styled Stack from Joe Workman. This is an awesome stack that very well may replace the plain Text Stack that is bundled with the Stacks plugin. The Styled Stack creates a content container for your text that can be styled in a number of ways -- rounded corners, drop shadows and background images are all available to this stack. Joe has done an awesome job of addressing some common requests all in one stack! Check out the tutorial under Section 202 of the curriculum, in the Joe Workman section.

On another note, Happy Thanksgiving to all of our U.S. students! I hope you all enjoy the holiday and are able to spend good time with family. Don’t stay away too long though, as some very exciting things are right around the corner, so stay tuned! Happy

New Tutorial on the El Sexy-o Stack

Last week I released a new video tutorial on the El Sexy-o Stack from El Stacko, but I mistakenly forgot to update the blog here with that information. Nevertheless, the El Sexy-o Stack screencast can be found in Section 202, under the section for El Stacko stacks. El Sexy-o is used to create a unique lightbox-effect for image galleries and other types of content on your website. It has some cool features and flexibility that makes it unique, so check out the screencast for more information!

Tutorials on Dispatch Stacks and Link Inspector

Two new video tutorials have been released to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. One tutorial covers Joe Workman's Dispatch Stacks -- these stacks provide an upload feature on your website, so that visitors/customers can upload files to you via Dropbox, Amazon S3, MobileMe or your web hosting server. The other screencast covers Link Inspector from CosCulture -- this plugin checks for broken links on your website and is especially useful for larger sites and those with many external links.

The Dispatch Stacks tutorial can be found in Section 202 under the Joe Workman section, and the Link Inspector tutorial is located in Section 201 under "Miscellaneous Plugins."

Check back next week for new stacks add-ons tutorials!

New Tutorials on the Gyro and Tabulous Stacks

Two more Joe Workman Stacks, Gyro and Tabulous, have been added to the section of Stacks Add-ons in the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum. Both stacks offer outstanding features and eye-candy for your RapidWeaver website.

Look for many more Stacks screencasts to appear in Section 202 of the curriculum over the next several weeks.

New Tutorial on the Valet Plugin Manager

A new video tutorial has been released to subscribers, covering the Valet Plugin Manager. This is a unique add-on that lets you enable and disable the 3rd-party plugins you have installed for RapidWeaver. This is great for troubleshooting purposes and for improving the performance and stability of RapidWeaver, and I consider it an important tool for all RapidWeaver users -- especially those who work on multiple projects.

7 New Tutorials on Stacks Add-Ons

7 new screencasts have been released that cover stacks from ElStacko and CosCulture. These screencasts have been added to a new section of the RapidWeaver Classroom curriculum: Section 202: Stacks Add-Ons. This new section will be exclusive to 3rd-party stacks that are released for the Stacks plugin.

The following 7 screencasts are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers:
  • ElStacko: El Book-o Stack
  • ElStacko: El CallBox-o Stack
  • ElStacko: Exposer Pro Stack
  • ElStacko: Sidewinder Stack
  • CosCulture: DragZone Stack
  • CosCulture: Image Roundabout Stack
  • CosCulture: Notifications Stack
RapidWeaver Classroom has also partnered with ElStacko and CosCulture, who have both begun offering exclusive discounts to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers! Current subscribers will receive more information on these discounts soon.


2 New Video Tutorials Now Available

Two new screencasts have been released to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers today. The first covers the symTune Image Slider plugin from SymfoniP, which replicates the look and feel of the image slider in the iTunes Music Store. It’s provides a great way of featuring content on your website, and offers a really slick presentation of images.

The second tutorial release is located under the “How to...” lesson in Section 301, and it walks-through the process of splitting a RapidWeaver website into multiple project files. This is great to understand when building large, or media-intensive websites.

These tutorials are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. Not a subscriber? Register now or learn more about RapidWeaver Classroom!

New Tutorial on the Speech Bubbles Stack

A new tutorial covering the Speech Bubbles Stack from Joe Workman is now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. This is a pretty awesome stack that creates speech bubbles with rounded corners for your content. It’s very easy to use and accomplishes something that was once more complex to achieve -- I know from personal experience, having added speech bubbles to RapidWeaver Classroom, and trust me when I say that it wasn’t nearly this easy! Thanks to Joe for another great stack, and I’m sure most of us can find good use for it in our projects.

New Tutorials on DooBox Stacks

Two new tutorials are now available that cover the Doo-Daily and Doo-Spin stacks from DooBox. Both of these stacks allow you to add dynamic content to your pages, either by having different content load randomly with each visit, or by having content set to appear depending on the day of the week. These new tutorials are available now to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers.

New Tutorial on the symMedia5 Plugin

A new tutorial is now available covering the symMedia5 plugin from SymfoniP. This is an outstanding plugin that allows you to add both video and audio files to a single page, and have them play in a single player, with a nice scroll bar to navigate through and play the added media. In addition, this plugin supports HTML5 video playback, and if you aren’t familiar with the significance of HTML5 video then you will learn a bit about that as well in this tutorial.

This is the first tutorial on a plugin from SymfoniP here at RapidWeaver Classroom, though there is a FlowBox Stack tutorial available. SymfoniP has been producing some great RapidWeaver plugins for mixed media (photo, audio, and video) -- so they all will be covered in the coming weeks.

Two New ExtraContent Theme Walk-Throughs

In the past week I have produced a couple of walk-throughs for new RapidWeaver themes. Flame, from Elixir Graphics, and Havnit, from seyDesign are both ExtraContent-enabled themes with some phenomenal design and flexibility. These walk-through videos are available in both the members’ area and on the Curriculum page, under the ExtraContent section. I have also re-worked that ExtraContent section to include all the tutorials I’ve produced for ExtraContent themes -- currently there are 3 each for both seyDesign and Elixir Graphics.

In other news, production of tutorials for the symMedia5 plugin from SymfoniP are almost complete, so look for those additions to the members’ area early next week.

4th Tutorial Added to CMS Series

The 4th tutorial in our CMS series is now available online to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. This CMS solution involves Pulse CMS, which is the first full-blown Content Management System to be covered. I have chosen to start with Pulse CMS because you host it on your own server alongside your website, which is a great advantage because all of your content exists on one server, opposed to some of it existing on another server that you have no control over.

In advance of viewing this Pulse CMS tutorial, I recommend viewing the “Working With an FTP Application” lesson, which can be found under Section 301 of the tutorials. This lesson will get you comfortable with publishing files to your server via FTP, which is required to install Pulse.

More CMS solutions will be covered in the weeks to come, alongside a variety of custom stacks and even a few new RapidWeaver plugins.

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!

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!

6th Tutorial Added to the CDD Series

I have published the 6th screencast to the Complete Design Demonstration series -- this tutorial demonstrates how the Learn More page was created. The most unique part to this page is the use of a free Table Stack created by Phil Warrender.

There are still a couple of screencasts left to go in this series, and I am working on quite a few new tutorials for custom stacks as well, so check back soon for more!

5th Tutorial Added to the CDD Series

A 5th tutorial has been added to the Complete Design Demonstration series. This video demonstrates the creation of some features of the members' page. Specifically:
  • Adding 5 columns of images and text to an ExtraContent area
  • creating anchors
  • linking text to video that displays in a Lightbox
This tutorial demonstrates the use of snippets for ExtraContent and the Lightbox stacks from Joe Workman. It is a lengthy 18-minute video with a lot of information packed-in! Look for more tutorials in this series to appear next week.

A New Series on Designing a Complete Website

I am very excited to begin offering a new series that incorporates much of what is taught here at RapidWeaver Classroom. The Complete Design Demonstration series takes you through the process of designing a website from start to finish, using many of the different 3rd-party plugins and theme features such as ExtraContent. In this first C.D.D. series, you will see how many of the pages here at RapidWeaver Classroom were developed, using 3rd-party plugins such as Stacks, PlusKit, Carousel, Accordion, and EasyTube Gallery.

This series is best viewed after you have made your way through all of the RapidWeaver and 3rd-party plugin tutorials, so that you are familiar with the interface of the different plugins. The purpose of this series is to demonstrate the usage of plugins and other features in a real-world scenario, and to break-down designs that are seemingly complex into something much more simple.

I have published the first 4 videos (45 minutes) of this series to start, and more screencasts will be added in the coming weeks as I demonstrate how to build a majority of the pages found here at RapidWeaver Classroom. You may also notice that I titled the series with a number 1, as my intention is to create multiple series over time that demonstrate the usage of different plugins and strategies.

I hope you enjoy this new series and find it helpful as you explore how different plugins can be used in your own projects. There will be more to come soon!

2 New Joe Workman Stacks Screencasts

2 new tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks have been released today. Tutorials on the MovingBox Stack and Link & Anchor Stacks are now available. Joe has been generous enough to offer the Link & Anchor Stacks for free, so visit his website to download the stacks and view his other incredible offerings.

5 New Tutorials on Troubleshooting

I have published 5 new screencasts on troubleshooting RapidWeaver issues. This is an important series because RapidWeaver, like most software, can have issues that result in lost work and/or great frustration. I may add additional troubleshooting tutorials in the future, so if you have any tips that I’ve left out then please let me know.

Next week will see new custom stacks tutorials from Joe Workman, so stay tuned!

New Tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks

I am happy to announce the release of 3 new tutorials on Joe Workman Stacks. Joe Workman has been developing for the Stacks plugin for some time now, and a couple of months ago I produced a tutorial on 13 Video Stacks that were developed by Joe. Today’s release adds 3 more stacks to the curriculum, and I have separated Joe’s stacks into their own section, whereas before all custom stacks tutorials were located under the Stacks plugin listing.

The following tutorials are now available:

Lightbox Stack - Easily add a Lightbox effect that displays any type of content.

Translate Stack
- Allows visitors to read your website in any language.

Curtain Call Stack
- Provide your visitors with a unique presentation of content -- especially great for video or special promotions.

Of course you can expect to see coverage of many more Joe Workman Stacks in the future!

New Tutorial on the FlowBox Stack

A new video tutorial covering the FlowBox Stack has been released to subscribers of RapidWeaver Classroom. This is an outstanding stack that provides a lightbox-type overlay for displaying video, images, and even other webpages. It is quite flexible and so the 18-minute video goes into detail of all the different ways content can be presented inside the FlowBox.

This is the first screencast on a SymfoniP stack, and you can bet that there will be more to come!

FaqMaker Tutorial Now Available

I recently published a new video tutorial on the FaqMaker plugin from Loghound. This plugin has actually been around for quite a while, but I have recently rediscovered it myself and made it a part of my toolset. FaqMaker provides some great flexibility in creating a highly functional -- and even creative -- FAQ for your website. FaqMaker can utilize anchors or even a Lightbox to provide information to your visitors. Most websites need an FAQ of some kind, so FaqMaker is a great solution for this purpose.

This screencast is available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers and can be found underneath the section of Loghound plugins. Enjoy!

PayLoom 2 Tutorials Now Available

yabdab software has releaed an upgrade to its popular PayLoom plugin, now available as version 2.0, and RapidWeaver Classroom covers this latest release with 2 new video tutorials. This upgrade brings some major enhancements to the plugin, including an on-page shopping cart and unlimited product options that include price overrides.

With this release, the previous version of PayLoom is no longer available, but those tutorials will remain available for anyone who owns that version of the plugin.

New weaverPix Tutorial Released

I have added another tutorial to the weaverPix plugin section. This tutorial demonstrates how to customize weaverPix to produce a really nice-looking slideshow. You will see how it pays-off to take some time tweaking settings to get things just right. In this example, a slideshow is created that mimics the feature found on the Home page of the iTunes Store. weaverPix has a lot of flexibility and you will see another example of that in this latest screencast.

New Tutorials on the weaverPix Plugin

I am happy to announce that RapidWeaver Classroom is now covering plugin releases from another fantastic RapidWeaver plugin developer, Greg Barchard. Our first tutorial release covers the weaverPix plugin, which provides a very flexible Flash slideshow feature to your RapidWeaver projects. There are two tutorials on the plugin and you will surely be impressed with the options it provides over the Photo Album plugin's Flash slideshow feature.

Be on the lookout for more screencasts on Greg's projects in the future!

New Tutorial on Table Stacks

I have released a new tutorial today that covers the excellent Table Stacks from Phil Warrender. There are two table stacks, available for free, and these really provide great flexibility in presenting content on your website. This screencast is available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers, and can be found under both the Stacks and "Working with Tables" sections.

RapidCart 2 Video Tutorials Added

I am happy to announce the release of 3 new video tutorials covering the excellent RapidCart 2 plugin. This is an update to the RapidCart plugin that has already received the RapidWeaver Classroom treatment. RapidCart 2 adds a ton of enhancements that really makes it stand-out as an exceptional e-commerce plugin for RapidWeaver. You can enable multiple payment processors, such as PayPal and Google Checkout, and there is a lot of flexibility and customization options for your e-commerce page in RapidCart 2.

These new screencasts are available to subscribing RapidWeaver Classroom students. Enjoy!

New Screencasts on Integrating Video

Two new screencasts have been produced and both involve ways to add video to your RapidWeaver website. The first screencast covers the new EasyTube Gallery plugin, which provides a great way of displaying videos from YouTube. The second screencast covers a bundle of Video Stacks, to be used in conjunction with the Stacks plugin. There are 13 stacks in all that can be used to embed video from YouTube, Viddler, Flickr, Vimeo, QuickTime and Twitter-related video services. These two screencasts are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers.

While on the subject of add-ons for the Stacks plugin, these add-ons or “custom stacks” have really taken off over the last couple of months. I’m really excited about this as these stacks are providing all kinds of functionality that is very easy to implement. As a result I will be producing more screencasts on what I consider to be the best of these custom stacks, so expect to see more tutorials in this area very soon!

How to... Create Anchors Tutorial

I have released a new tutorial in the “How to...” lesson. The tutorials covers the creation of anchors. An anchor is used to link text or an image to another location on the same webpage. It’s great for an FAQ, or for a long page divided into sections. This tutorial is specific to RapidWeaver 4.0, which allows you to add custom attributes in the Add Link panel. It’s very simple to do and can be very handy!

How to Accept Registration and Payment

Today I’ve added a new free RapidWeaver tutorial on how to accept registration and payment through your website. Using the right combination of plugins, you can provide a process by which a visitor completes a registration form and then is presented with a method for paying. This is a great solution for events that require registration and payment, such as conferences, classes, etc. The tutorial presents several different methods of accomplishing this, from using the basic Contact Form page with a PayPal button, to a FormLoom page that redirects to a PayLoom page. See the video embedded below, or visit the Curriculum page for this and other free tutorials. Enjoy!


New "How to..." Lesson of Tutorials Added

Today marks the release of a new lesson of “How to...” tutorials at RapidWeaver Classroom. These tutorials are found under Section 301 in the RapidWeaver Curriculum, and it’s an area that will be added to very consistently in the future. I love teaching new 3rd-party plugins as they are released, but it’s important to cover different methods of accomplishing needs, and so that’s what I hope to address with the “How to...” lesson. Three new tutorials have been produced to kick-start the lesson, and these cover:
  1. customizing a header
  2. creating a sign-up form
  3. accepting payment or donations through your website
For quite a while I have been accepting feedback from RapidWeaver Classroom students, and as part of the feedback I ask what types of tutorials they would like to see in the future. This is one area where these types of requests may be fulfilled, so I’m excited to hear what all of you are wanting to learn and I will do my best to satisfy as many request as possible!

New TabLoom Tutorials Now Available

It’s been a busy week that has culminated in the release of video tutorials on 3 separate RapidWeaver plugins. Yesterday saw the release of tutorials covering GoogaLoom and RapidCart, and now there are new tutorials available for the TabLoom plugin -- YabDab Software’s latest offering. TabLoom provides a great method for organizing a lot of content on a single page, by breaking the content into separate sections inside of a nice, tabbed interface. A total of 3 videos are available on TabLoom -- combine those with the 3 others released yesterday and that’s a total of 6 new screencasts this week totaling close to an hour of new training!

With the TabLoom and GoogaLoom tutorials now available, RapidWeaver Classroom is up-to-date on all the current offerings from YabDab Software. The goal of covering all major RapidWeaver plugins at RapidWeaver Classroom is getting very close to completion, so check back often for announcements on more new tutorials coming soon!

New Screencasts on E-Commerce Plugins

Several new screencasts have been published on the GoogaLoom and RapidCart plugins. Both plugins provide e-commerce solutions for RapidWeaver. GoogaLoom comes from Yabdab Software, maker of the “Loom” plugins, including PayLoom and FormLoom which are already covered here at RapidWeaver Classroom. GoogaLoom differs from PayLoom in a few ways, the most obvious being that it utilizes the Google Checkout system instead of PayPal. Another unique benefit to GoogaLoom is that it supports digital products for download.

RapidCart is another e-commerce plugin for RapidWeaver, and it is from omnidea. RapidCart utilizes PayPal as well, but it also boasts some really nice eye-candy, in the way of animations and a built-in shopping cart feature that keeps visitors on your page until they go to checkout. It’s a very nice implementation with a unique style, and I’m happy to have it included here as a part of RapidWeaver Classroom.

More screencasts are on their way very soon, as in less than 24 hours, so stay tuned for another announcement!

New Stacks Tutorials Now Available

Last week I updated the RapidWeaver video training library with all-new Stacks screencasts. Now you may be confused because there were already Stacks screencasts there before, but those were ones created by YourHead, and now that they have received the RapidWeaver Classroom treatment, I have replaced the YourHead versions with my own. So you will now receive the detail and explanation for Stacks that you are used to getting with the other plugin tutorials! Thanks to Isaiah at YourHead for letting me post his video tutorials until I had completed them myself.

Speaking of Stacks, did I mention that it is the greatest plugin I've ever used?! Now that's completely my opinion, but I absolutely LOVE this plugin! As an aside, this new RapidWeaver Classroom design is done almost entirely with Stacks. So what are you waiting for? Go watch the new tutorials on this awesome plugin!

SEO Tutorials are Free for Everyone!

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a topic of such frequent discussion that I felt the new SEO tutorials here at RapidWeaver Classroom should be available for free for everyone to view. The SEO tutorials are now available for viewing in both the subscribers' area and for free on the Curriculum page (scroll to the bottom of the page). Note that the free videos are hosted by Vimeo in HD, but enrolled students should watch them in the subscribers' area to view them in a bit better quality.

Feel free to leave comments here on these videos, and let me know what kinds of questions I did not address. SEO is such a huge topic that it could certainly warrant more video instruction in the future.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tutorials

I have added a new set of tutorials covering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with RapidWeaver. There are a total of 7 tutorials covering many different aspects of SEO, and this is an important topic for anyone building a website. It's also a controversial topic, with many conflicting thoughts and opinions on how to best optimize your website for search engines. Part of this is because SEO is a constantly changing science, with search engines becoming smarter and modifying their algorithms in order to produce more accurate and valid results.

I have attempted to cover all of the major, valid SEO strategies and make a point to explain the strategies that are most valuable, in addition to including ones that may or may not have great impact. It's certainly an interesting aspect of website design, but it's also very important and so I encourage everyone to go through these new tutorials and execute some of the strategies yourself!

SiteMap Screencasts Added

New video tutorials covering the SiteMap plugin are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. There are 5 tutorials on the subject, and I have gone into great detail to cover all aspects of the plugin. In addition, viewers will learn how to submit the generated sitemap to Google and Yahoo! in order to improve SEO. Sitemaps are important and I recommend all websites have them regardless of the overall size of the site. The SiteMap plugin makes creating a sitemap a breeze, so check out the tutorials to learn more!

RapidBlog Screencasts Added

New screencasts have been added on the excellent RapidBlog plugin from RapidBlog syncs with Google's Blogger to allow remote blog posting from anywhere. It's a great solution for those who need to blog outside of RapidWeaver. These tutorials are now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers.

New RWmultitool Screencast Added

The RWmultitool section has been updated with a new screencast covering the full version of RWmultitool. This full version provides a lot of features not available in the free, Lite version of the application. This screencast is available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers only.

Stay tuned for new tutorials coming next week!

RWmultitool Screencast Added

I have added a new video tutorial covering RWmultitool Lite, the free version of this great tool. RWmultitool allows you to easily modify images in a theme without needing to modify the theme directly, and without needing a graphic design application like Photoshop.

The full version of RWmultitool will be covered in future screencasts, so stay tuned for more!

FormLoom Video Tutorials Now Available

I have added a new series of screencasts on the excellent FormLoom plugin from yabdab software. FormLoom is a more powerful contact form plugin for RapidWeaver, and it includes a lot of great features to offer flexibility that the built-in Contact Form plugin doesn't include. There are currently 3 FormLoom screencasts available and one more will likely be produced in the near future. Current RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers can immediately access these tutorials for viewing!

New Carousel Screencast Added

I have added a new screencast today to the Carousel lesson, covering the creation of a custom Carousel Style. Carousel allows you to create your own style using images for the background and buttons, so if you are comfortable with creating these graphics then you can have a very custom carousel to display on your website.

Stay tuned for more soon on the GoogaLoom and FormLoom plugins.

Carousel Screencasts Added

New screencasts have been added covering the great Carousel plugin from YourHead Software. There are currently 3 tutorials available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers, and one or two more are likely to be produced in the near future. Check back often as new video tutorials are added weekly!

Stacks Screencasts Added

I am pleased to announce that 5 new tutorials have been added for the new Stacks plugin from YourHead Software. This is a first for RapidWeaver Classroom as these tutorials are produced by Isaiah himself! He did such a great job that we wanted to make them available to all RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers and visitors -- so these tutorials can be viewed publicly from the Curriculum page or from the members' area.

I am likely to produce our own RapidWeaver Classroom tutorials on Stacks in the future, but for now these tutorials provide a great overview of the plugin, along with some specific uses. Thanks to Isaiah for the screencasts on this great new plugin, and for all of his contributions to the RapidWeaver community!

Accordion Screencasts Now Available

New video releases continue today with the introduction of the Accordion plugin from YourHead Software. Two Accordion screencasts are now available and one or two more will likely be added to conclude that series. Accordion is a very useful plugin, and we use it right here at RapidWeaver Classroom to present our FAQ. Enjoy!

PlayMore Theme: Another ExtraContent Screencast

Another ExtraContent tutorial has been released, detailing the new PlayMore theme from seyDesign. PlayMore offers three ExtraContent areas that provide all kinds of flexibility for presenting content. Thanks to Adam Merrifield at seyDesign for his outstanding RapidWeaver themes!

ExtraContent Screencasts and a Promotion!

A new feature called ExtraContent is appearing in newer 3rd-party RapidWeaver themes, and RapidWeaver Classroom has you covered. A new category of screencasts has been created to show you the benefits of this feature and how you can utilize it for more flexibility in your website designs. The first screencast in this series covers the excellent Gotem theme from seyDesign, and there will be more tutorials made available soon.

Speaking of seyDesign, a new promotion is currently underway for RapidWeaver Classroom members and new subscribers. New subscribers will receive a coupon code for 50% off all seyDesign themes until February 15th, and current subscribers will receive 20% off all seyDesign themes. Current subscribers can find the coupon code in the members’ area of RapidWeaver Classroom. Thanks to Adam Merrifield at seyDesign for partnering with us for this promotion!

More than 100 screencasts!

At some point in recent weeks RapidWeaver Classroom passed a major milestone of over 100 RapidWeaver screencasts! There is now over 14 hours of RapidWeaver video tutorials available! Still, there is much left to be done and 2009 promises to be HUGE as there are plans to produce another 100 screencasts by the end of the year, and hopefully much more.

So as always, drop by the blog here once a week or so to stay updated with the latest, or check out the Curriculum page to see what’s new!

iWeb to RapidWeaver Screencast Tutorials

I am happy to announce the addition of free tutorials in the iWeb to RapidWeaver section of the website, which has been created recently to help iWeb users transition from iWeb to RapidWeaver. These iWeb to RapidWeaver tutorials will cover some of the basic steps that are recommended in order to rebuild an iWeb website in RapidWeaver. There are currently 3 video tutorials available, with a couple of additional ones to come soon. These free tutorials are hosted using the Viddler service, and the high-quality versions will soon be made available to subscribers in the members’ area of RapidWeaver Classroom.

Tutorial on Shadowbox Now Available

I have released a new tutorial for RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers covering Shadowbox with video. Shadowbox is a javascript box that is similar to the Greybox that has already been covered here, but it provides a bit of a different visual effect and it is increasing in popularity as a method of displaying video. In addition to the video tutorial I have provided the necessary Shadowbox files for download, along with a set of snippets to simplify the setup.

More screencasts are coming soon, including coverage of the new GoogaLoom plugin. Stay tuned!

Collage 2 Screencasts Now Available

Three new screencasts covering the Collage 2 plugin have been added to the members’ area of RapidWeaver Classroom. Collage 2 is a fantastic plugin from YourHead Software that is exclusive to RapidWeaver 4.0, while the original Collage plugin is still available for RapidWeaver 3.6 and earlier. Collage 2 has a multitude of uses, so check-out the Collage 2 screencasts to learn more!

New PayLoom Screencast Available

I have published one more screencast for the PayLoom plugin that shows an example of how multiple PayLoom pages can be used in a project to sell multiple categories of items. It also shows a working, online example of PayLoom pages and their interaction with PayPal for shopping cart and checkout functionality.

Look for Collage 2 screencasts to begin appearing next week!

PayLoom Screencasts Now Available

Hot on the heels of our Greybox tutorial comes two new screencasts covering the PayLoom plugin. PayLoom lets you easily create an e-commerce store on your website that integrates with PayPal. You really can’t ask for a simpler way to add products for sale to your website. One more PayLoom screencast will be added soon.

You will also notice the Collage 2 logo has been added under the 3rd-party plugins section. This plugin will be covered next, so keep an eye out for more information!

New Tutorials on Javascript Boxes

A new set of RapidWeaver screencasts are being added to the Continuing Education section, covering the popular javascript boxes: Greybox, Lightbox and Shadowbox. These javascript boxes are very trendy at the moment and add an impressive feature to your website. Whether you want to display images, video or other webpages, these video tutorials will take you through the process. It’s a bit more advanced than prior lessons, so along with the screencasts I will be providing snippets for download along with each tutorial.

The first screencast for this topic is now available, covering how to show a video in a Greybox, and more will be released in the coming days. Also watch for a screencast or two covering the PayLoom plugin.

New Tutorial on FTP

A second screencast has been added on using an FTP application to manage your website assets as an alternative to RapidWeaver’s built-in Assets panel. It is a brief tutorial that will be beneficial to those building websites with many assets, such as audio and video files.

I’ve also updated the Curriculum page and the Members’ area with estimated viewing times for each lesson. You can find those estimates below the title for each separate lesson, and eventually I plan to include the running times for each individual screencast.

Keep an eye out for new plugin tutorials and screencasts covering more 3rd-party themes!

New Tutorials on Using an FTP Application

A while has passed since the last video tutorial update, but today brings a new release with many more to follow soon. The latest release is a part of the “Continuing Education” series, and it covers the topic of using an FTP application to publish your RapidWeaver-created website. I consider using an FTP application to be an important part of the website publishing process, and it helps with managing and troubleshooting a website. At least one more screencast will be added to this topic in the coming days, so check back soon.

In addition to these new tutorials, more 3rd-party plugin tutorials will be appearing in the near future, so keep an eye out for more details!

New Tutorials Available on Working with Tables

New video tutorials on working with tables in RapidWeaver have been produced and are now available to subscribers. There are currently three videos on the topic that cover different methods of building or placing tables into a website designed with RapidWeaver. This is the first of many lessons to come that fall under the category of “Continuing Education” -- these will be tutorials on various topics that RapidWeaver users should find useful.

Production of 3rd-party plugin tutorials will continue, but I will be going back and forth between these various topics and the lessons covering plugins. Stay tuned for more to come!

PlusKit Tutorials Complete

I worked extra hard today and completed the remainder of the PlusKit screencasts. There are a total of 8 video tutorials and they are all available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers.

So what’s next? Well, I have some ideas that I’ll be tossing around and I expect that some new tutorials will start appearing late this week or early next week. There’s much more to cover!

Two More PlusKit Tutorials Online

I’ve added two more PlusKit tutorials to the subscribers’ area today. One covers the Backups feature of PlusKit, allowing you to create incremental backups of your project as you save and make changes. The other is a big one, and probably the most popular feature of PlusKit -- importing pages. If you’re not sure that PlusKit is for you, make sure and check out the Importing Pages screencast!

The remainder of the PlusKit screencasts will be made available early next week. Everyone have a great weekend!

First PlusKit Tutorials Available Now

PlusKit screencasts are now in production and the first two have been made available online to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. These first video tutorials cover the Lightbox and Fancy Zoom features of PlusKit, which provide a very cool way of displaying full-size images -- perfect for a website photo gallery. These can be added with some advanced coding with javascript, but PlusKit makes it simple to add this effect to any or all of website’s images.

The full curriculum for PlusKit has been added to the website, and the rest of these screencasts will be appearing tomorrow and early next week. Of course I will post another update here as soon as more tutorials are online!

PlusKit Tutorials Coming Soon

RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers can expect the next round of plugin tutorials to be made available soon. The next plugin to be covered is PlusKit from Loghound. PlusKit is a very useful and powerful plugin, and I’ll make sure that you learn how to use it! Watch for these tutorials in the coming days...

Free RapidWeaver Video Tutorials Now Available

I have released some free RapidWeaver video tutorials for visitors to view without a subscription to RapidWeaver Classroom. Now that the video training library has been built-up with over 10 hours of video tutorials, I felt it was time to share some of the resources with the entire RapidWeaver community. These free tutorials can be found linked throughout the Curriculum page, and as more tutorials are produced I will make more of these screencasts available for free.

These free RapidWeaver video tutorials are streamed using the Viddler service and are at a lower resolution than the video tutorials available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers, so subscribers will want to login to the site and view the high-resolution versions in the subscribers’ area.

Blocks Plugin Tutorials Complete

All of the Blocks plugin tutorials are now complete and available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. There are a total of nine tutorials detailing all the features of Blocks. It is an outstanding plugin and I encourage all subscribers to go through these to see the potential of what can be achieved with Blocks.

More 3rd-party plugins will be produced soon and an announcement will be made in the coming days on what the next plugin will be. As always, check back often for updated information.

More Blocks Tutorials Available

Three more Blocks plugin tutorials have been made available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. These tutorials cover some of the different types of blocks that can be added with the plugin.

The goal was to have all Blocks tutorials complete by the end of the week, but I didn’t take into account that Friday is July 4th (Independence Day), so I will try and have as many as possible available by the end of tomorrow -- it may not be all of them, but it should come close!

First Blocks Plugin Tutorials Available

RapidWeaver Classroom’s coverage of 3rd-party plugins begins with the Blocks plugin from YourHead Software, and the first video tutorials for Blocks are now available to subscribers. There are three tutorials to get you started, and the remainder will be released by the end of this week. For those of you who have not used the Blocks plugin, you’ll quickly see why it is a favorite amongst the RapidWeaver community!

3rd-Party Plugin Tutorials

Production of video tutorials for 3rd-party RapidWeaver plugins has begun and subscribers now have access to two new tutorials that provide an introduction to 3rd-party plugins in RapidWeaver. The Blocks plugin from YourHead Software will be the first plugin covered, and those tutorials will appear over the course of the next week. A listing of those coming tutorials will be made available soon -- I have currently decided on ten inidividual video tutorials, but that number could potentally increase, so you can be guaranteed there will be a lot of information on this outstanding plugin!

RapidWeaver 4 Video Tutorials Complete

Lesson 2 for RapidWeaver 4.0 is now complete, consisting of four video tutorials covering the updated features in the new version. This completes the tutorials that are needed to cover Rapidweaver 4.0, the remainder of the tutorials for version 3.6 will also apply to version 4.0.

You may have also noticed that the BlocksBox tutorials I put together for Jonas Themes are now included in the subscribers’ area. Those of you interested in designing your own theme might want to consider the BlocksBox theme in combination with the excellent Blocks plugin from YourHead Software.

Speaking of the Blocks plugin, I will begin producing video tutorials for the available 3rd-party plugins, and Blocks is first on the list. Stay tuned for more info on this soon!

Lesson 1 for RapidWeaver 4 Complete

Lesson 1 for RapidWeaver 4 is now available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. This lesson covers all the basics of the software and covers the updated interface. There will be a few more videos in the coming days covering the new features with this version, and then it’s on to 3rd-party plugins!

Some RapidWeaver 4 Videos Available

Production of the RapidWeaver 4.0 video tutorials is underway and I’ve posted several of the Lesson 1 videos to the subscribers’ area already. The remaining tutorials for version 4.0 will be made available early next week.

Following the release of the RapidWeaver 4.0 tutorials, I will begin the extensive task of covering the 3rd-party plugins. So there is much, much, much more to come!

Lesson 7 Complete - on to RapidWeaver 4

Lesson 7 is now complete and available to RapidWeaver Classroom subscribers. These five tutorials will provide you with the knowledge that is necessary to understand how theme modifications can be made to further customize your website. The completion of Lesson 7 should bring you to a point where you understand the functions and structure of RapidWeaver, its plugins and themes, in order to successfully create a complete website with RapidWeaver. The learning doesn’t end there, though! I plan to cover all 3rd-party plugins, which further extend the capabilities of RapidWeaver and offer some very useful, unique and impressive functions for your website.

So what’s next? Well, you may have heard about a little something called RapidWeaver 4.0. RapidWeaver Classroom will bring version 4.0 users up-to-speed with what’s new in the latest version of our favorite application. Not every part of the application has been changed, though, so many of the current 3.6 tutorials will be still be completely relevant for version 4.0 users. Instead of re-doing all seven lessons with RapidWeaver 4.0, I will be covering all the changes that have been made to the application, and then move on to tutorials for the 3rd-party plugins.

Some Lesson 7 Videos Available

The first three tutorials in Lesson 7 have been published and are available to subscribers. Lesson 7 covers the modification of themes in RapidWeaver, and delves into much more advanced areas such as CSS and HTML modification.

There are entire books and websites dedicated to CSS and HTML, so while I can’t cover it all my hope is to get you familiar with the file structure of the RapidWeaver themes and give you a peek inside the stylesheets and HTML documents to start understanding how things work.

I encourage any of you who are making custom modifications to give it a good shot -- trial and error is a great way to learn. If you aren’t having success then the RapidWeaver Support Forums is a great resource with many helpful people. Of course, my one-on-one RapidWeaver Consulting and Training is also available to anyone who would like personal assistance.

The remainder of Lesson 7 will be available soon!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!

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!