Joe Workman’s Foundation theme and accompanying stacks for Rapidweaver have deservedly won a faithful following among those users who prefer to ‘roll their own’ websites, rather than sticking to someone else’s pre-designed template. There’s a potential problem though – at the last count, the full kit comprises over 60 stacks, and that’s not counting any of the Big White Duck stacks which are also designed to work with Foundation. The result? We reckon that it’s easy to get turned off by the apparently steep learning curve required to get the best out of Foundation.
That’s where Hipster Weaver comes in. Instead of selling a theme, the Hipster sells a project file, and the idea is that once downloaded and copied (so you always keep the original safe) you’ve got a full-blown website populated with boilerplate text, images, icons, buttons and navigation which you can replace with your own. In this way you can get a jump start on creating a Foundation-based website, and can learn some of the basics as you go along.
The project includes six pages and although a number of elements are repeated – the contact form, Sections stack with fixed background, banner header and so forth – there are also a decent number of variations which you’ll be able to use as the basis for your own layouts; we particularly liked the use of the Reveal lightbox for the grid-based products and services section, the ‘pill’ setting for Foundation’s image stack which produces a nice circular frame and the two column contact form page which is beautifully simple and very effective.
To start we created two copies of the project file and ran them side by side so we could see how our changes affected the original and could always revert back instantly if something went wrong. We think this would be a great way for a beginner to really get under the skin of Foundation and get a sense of what a powerful and flexible way it is of producing websites.
There’s a handy instructional video on the website which explains the basics of changing the project’s contents but we’d have liked a little more detail – particularly on recommended image sizes for the Sections’ backgrounds; it woud also have been nice to see one or two more of Foundation’s stacks being used – the Orbit slider maybe, or Clearing Gallery.
That said, we think this Professional project approach has real legs, and at this price point is an excellent way for Rapidweaver users to get acquainted with Foundation and a selection of its associated stacks; or just to produce a good-looking, responsive corporate-style website in double quick time.