Hipster Weaver

In December 2015 Hipster Weaver posted a Coming Soon teaser in the RapidWeaver Community Forums which generated a lot of interest and messages of support from third-party developers. Last week Hipster Weaver launched and I was not disappointed!

The Hipster in question is longtime Weaver Jon Hawkins, now a new developer in the RapidWeaver Community, developing Project Themes (projectname.rw6) based on the Foundation Theme & Stack Packs by Joe Workman, as well as other stacks by third-party developers such as Big White Duck.

With nearly 10 years experience using RapidWeaver for his business Jon has watched the software, when combined with Stacks, mature into a very powerful extensible developmental platform. Back when he began it was heavily Theme based and offered the user very little freedom to create their own masterpiece unless they were into developing Themes themselves.

However, with the introduction of Joe Workman’s Foundation Theme, and other ‘build from scratch’ Framework systems, his eyes were opened to a whole new side of the software he loves using. “As one of the main beta testers for Joe Workman and Big White Duck,” Jon told me, “it was working closely with these developers that made me realise the hard work and thought that goes into making their respective products. As I shared their passion for RapidWeaver I felt that I too could offer something new to the Community which would complement their products and add even more power to the user.”

What is Hipster Weaver?

Jon says that Hipster Weaver was created to assist the user transitioning from RapidWeaver Themes — with limited customisability — to the freedom of Foundation Framework Themed Projects, where ready-made projects using Foundation give the user complete freedom to change any aspect of the design without the usual restrictions of third-party Themes.

Scared to take the plunge? Don’t be. Jon says he’ll be providing new vlogs continuously to support and show how easy it is to manipulate the project files, alongside Live video chat support in the Hipster Room starting February/March 2016. The official announcement of the Hipster Room will be displayed on his website nearer the time.

What is a Hipster Weaver Project Theme file?

When you use a RapidWeaver third-party Theme you drop in your content, hit Preview and then the site appears as the Theme author dictates, often with very limited customisability…

If you use Foundation or any other Framework-type blank-canvas Themes and drop in your content, no styling or formatting is applied. You then have to build out the layout and styling of the website from scratch starting with a blank canvas. Obviously this takes you a lot longer but yields a higher reward as you have complete freedom over the design and layout. The only drawback to having complete freedom over the design and layout is you don’t have the ease of making projects lookgreat with a single click.

Now, though, with Hipster Weaver, you do!

The project file is already set up for Layout and Style with sample content, using Foundation and some third-party Stacks, and made into a slick, nice looking site. All it needs is *your* content. And this very neatly bridges the gap between the ease of a Theme and the freedom of a blank canvas Framework using RapidWeaver.

 

 

Blast, Quad & Vortex are beautifully styled, totally customizable pre-built Project Themes for use with Joe Workman’s Foundation Theme, Foundation Stack Packs and some other Workman and Big White Duck stacks.

 

Blast Project Theme | HipsterWeaver | $5Blast

The Blast Project Theme is a pre-launch signup-page styled Project which offers you an immediate ‘launch imminent’ page for your client’s new website… and one that is elegantly impressive! Hipster has taken all the hard work out of starting a project from a blank canvas for you… and delivers it with instant style.

Blast cleverly uses Joe Workman & Big White Dick stacks (listed below) to create a really cool landing page with a video background and signup area that displays upon video completion. This page can also be used to launch your site from, by adding a simple Enter Site button which links to the rest of your website when you have finalised development and published.

We think Blast is a great way to save developmental time and increase profits with the $5 Pre-built Blast Project Theme. A few minor adjustments and you can use this for any client’s website pre-launch or landing page.

Blast Project Theme Requirements & Recommendations:

Joe Workman Products
—Foundation Theme (Free)
—Foundation Start Pack $59.95
—Foundation Add-on Pack 1 $29.95
—Eclipse $19.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)
—Post Office $24.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)

Big White Duck Products (Donation-ware)
—Sections (Free)

 

QuadSnap

 

Quad Project Theme | HipsterWeaver  | $15

A clean and elegant responsive solution to the synthetic 5 page website. By ‘synthetic’ I mean that Quad is a 1 page project that looks and functions like a 5 page website. First page is the navigation system with teaser information separated into 4 unique quadrants, each quadrant linking to a full screen modal page containing more information based on the quadrant header text/image and teaser content.

Quad uniquely uses Joe Workman & Big White Dick stacks (listed below) creating a wonderful synthetic 5 page layout.

Can you make it into a 3 x 3 grid to give you the illusion of 10 pages? Of course you can… but then you run into possible pageload time issues. Can you add other pages to the Project instead of using the Modal Model? Of course you can, the Project is completely customisable and limited only by your imagination. However, I’m not sure I would use Quad for more than its designed use which is ideal for clients who don’t have much content but want a modern, elegant, clean and responsive web presence.

Once again we think you can save a lot of developmental time — and naturally increase profits! — with the $15 Pre-built Quad Project Theme, and combined with a few minor adjustments you can use this for *any* client’s website that wants an online presence yet has little content.

Quad Project Theme Requirements & Recommendations:

Joe Workman Products
—Foundation Theme (Free)
—Foundation Start Pack $59.95
—Foundation Add-on Pack 1 $29.95
—Font Awesome $4.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)

Big White Duck Products (Donation-ware)
—Sections (Free)
—Header Plus (Free)

 

 

Vortex Project Theme | HipsterWeaver | $25Vortex Final

A crisp and modern responsive solution with a 5 page layout with its own custom Menu Stack. The Vortex Project Theme is what clients typically think a website should be — multiple pages, multiple navigation levels with a ‘predefined’ yet customizable Theme.

Simply duplicate the page you like, rename it, put it in the menu system where you want it and, like magic, you have an instant multi-page, multi-level website that looks outstanding straight out of the box, with full site-wide or per-page customisation capability.

Once again Vortex efficiently uses Joe Workman & Big White Dick stacks (listed below) creating a wonderful 5+ page layout that uses a new feature of Stacks 3, called Partials. There are 4 strategic Stack Partials (Styles, Menu, Header & Footer) for reuse on other pages in the Project Theme, so you have a base when adding a Stacks page instead of duplicating an existing page to assist with keeping of the project Style.

Without a doubt you can save developmental time and increase your profits with the $25 Pre-built Vortex Project Theme. Give it a few tweaks and minor adjustments and you can use this for any client that wants a stylish online presence with quite a bit of content.

Vortex Project Theme Requirements & Recommendations:

Joe Workman Products
—Foundation Theme (Free)
—Foundation Start Pack $59.95
—Foundation Add-on Pack 1 $29.95
—Foundation Add-on Pack 2 $29.95
—Moving Box $24.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)
—Post Office $24.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)
—Font Awesome $4.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)

Big White Duck Products (Donation-ware)
—Sections (Free)
—Header Plus (Free)
—Vortex Menu (Included with Project Theme, not available for separate purchase)

 

 

Limitations (as I see them):

  1. I don’t know how many levels deep the custom menu stack goes (it shows 2 levels in the Vortex Project Theme but may go more) as the documentation for it were not available at time of review but Hipster says he is on it with a vlog and tutorials being made available on Hipster Weaver shortly.
  2. If I were to change anything on the Vortex Project Theme, it would be to add another Partial for the main content area to retain consistency across the site.
  3. Hipster could also have used the SEO Helper stack for SEO optimization in this Project Theme. You can add it yourself though in the Styles Partial.
  4. Hipster could have used the Structure stack for SEO optimization in this Project Theme. You can add it to each Partial quite easily yourself.

 

General Overview:

For the best support from Hipster and to view the intended design, vision and effects of the Project Themes, it is highly recommended you purchase the ‘required & recommended’ stacks for optimal project use with minimal fuss. Not only do you get a totally functional project, you have purchased some stacks that you can use with other third-party Themes as well… a win-win for any webdesigner with multiple clients!

If you don’t have all the required and recommended materials, it could get a little expensive to start, but on the other hand, the price Hipster is charging for development is extremely cost-effective and its reuse value has the potential to be highly profitable. If you think about it, $5 for a launch page, $15 for a 5 page site and $25 for a full 5+ page site that’s already styled and laid out… means you can deliver more to the client for less, which is a great deal by any standard!

Realmac Software
—RapidWeaver® 6

YourHead Software
—Stacks 3

Joe Workman
—Foundation Theme (Free)
—Foundation Bundle $99.95 (Save$19.90 from individual pack purchase, recommended)
—Moving Box $24.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)
—Post Office $24.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)
—Eclipse $19.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)
—Font Awesome $4.95 (Optional, you can use another developers similar product)

Big White Duck (Donation-ware, if you like and use their products, please support them with a donation!)
—Header Plus (Free)
—Sections (Free)

 

Review Summary

To gain more insight, information on Hipster Products and Product Tutorials, Hipster has vlog’s on his website at http://hipsterweaver.com/vlog. He promises there will be many more and further custom Framework based Project Themes created on a regular basis for Purchase.

Editing is easy once you have the required Foundation Theme and associated stacks… Configure the site settings, replace/add your own content (video, text, images), change some style colours as desired or not, configure the Post Office stack or replace it with your own mailer stack, configure your RapidWeaver Publishing Credentials for your site, preview, make slight adjustments and publish. Done.

I applaud Hipster for delving into this style of Theme to allow for something pre-built but totally customisable. There aren’t currently many third-party Stacks or Plugins that don’t work with Joe Workman’s Foundation Package and if there are, he works with the developer to try to get them working on an ongoing basis.

I heard through the grapevine that if demand dictates, Hipster may delve into other Framework style Project Themes… but in the meantime, give Hipster Weaver a try — I’m totally satisfied with the products and recommend them to you with no reservations.

 

Cautions & Caveats:

  1. Make sure you keep the Foundation Theme and it’s stacks up to date as Joe updates them quite frequently and we all know that he has big plans for Foundation in the future. As an aside, Keep ALL your software, Themes, Stacks and Plugins up to date!
  2. NEVER work on the original file from Hipster Weaver, always work on a duplicate! Store the original zip file somewhere safe for future reference should you botch things up and have to start fresh.
  3. NEVER apply a Foundation/Stack update to a working project file, ALWAYS do so on a duplicated project so that you can verify everything is working prior to publishing. This isn’t specific to Foundation but to ALL Themes, Plugins and Stacks.
  4. Support for the individual Stacks (including the Vortex Stack) are done through their respective owners. Hipster Weaver will support the project file itself and assist you in understanding how it works, what to change, what to add and if you have any issues with the third party stacks used in his Projects he can help you a bit there but may defer you to the developer.

Disclosure: I personally purchased Blast and Vortex, I was given Quad for review by Hipster. I have no affiliation with Joe Workman, Big White Duck or Hipster Weaver at the time of this review other than being a purchaser and user of their respective products.

Angus MacPheep

Angus MacPheep is the man behind the mask, the ghost in the machine. Don’t be fooled by his suave good looks and reckless disregard for convention — he’s the real driving-force behind RapidWeaver Central, a madly intuitive aesthete who makes inspirational leaps of faith and conjures pixel-perfect design magic from the uninspiring ether. He’s also a real hit with the ladies.

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