Welcome to the New RapidWeaver Classroom!

As you’ve probably noticed, RapidWeaver Classroom looks quite a bit different! I am very excited about this new design and how it will benefit visitors to the site as well as subscribers. Everything has been re-built from the ground-up, and was a 3-4 month process from start to finish. A very special thanks goes out to Adam at Elixir Graphics for his help with the theme design, and if you like the design then you should check-out his latest Prism theme!

RapidWeaver Classroom members will notice that the membership areas not only look different, but are completely re-organized as well. The entire listing of tutorials on a single page has been removed, in favor of separate pages dedicated to specific lessons or topics. This format allows for the addition of a written overview for each lesson, as well as links to 3rd-party sites and other resources later down the road. All-in-all, this format offers a lot of flexibility for the addition of features and improvements in the future, whereas the previous layout was busy and limiting. I hope you will find that the new layout is functional, accessible and an improvement over the prior version.

Another improvement to the membership area is the use of a new “lightbox” for displaying the video tutorials. This new javascript box allows you to navigate between tutorials without having to close the window and click on a new link, and it includes a full-screen button as well. This is another great improvement in usability that I am excited about.

Finally, another major improvement that is a bit more behind-the-scenes is the move to Amazon S3 for hosting of the video content. This change brings these great benefits:

  • 720p HD Video: Higher-resolution videos means everything is clearer, especially with full-screen viewing.

  • iPad Compatibility: Every video tutorial in both curriculums is completely compatible with the iPad.

  • Faster download speeds: Amazon’s servers are super-fast, and its CloudFront technology replicates the video content to servers across the world, so subscribers in other countries will experience faster downloads.

  • Awesome reliability: Extremely high uptime percentages means that the chances of unavailable content is extremely low.

Apart from all these exciting changes, this month marks the 3-year birthday of RapidWeaver Classroom! A lot has happened in the past 3 years -- to think that the site began with one curriculum of just 50 videos, and now offers over 300 videos spread across two curriculums! One thing that hasn’t changed though is my commitment to RapidWeaver and to you, and doing all I can to educate and empower you to build great websites. Thanks for all of your support these past 3 years! I am excited about these new changes, and many more great additions that are already in the works!
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