Rapidweaver Classroom | From $14.97 for 30 days
Rapidweaver Classroom is a website which features 100s – yes, actually 100s – of video tutorials on Rapidweaver (both version 5 and 6) along with other subjects of interest to anyone who uses our favourite web development program – including themes, individual plugins and stacks, Stacks itself and more general how-tos on important subjects like e-commerce, optimising for search engines and even the basics of web design. It’s the brainchild of Ryan Smith (who also delivers all the tutorials) and has been going from strength to strength since 2008.
There are two membership levels. Classroom includes more than 300 video tutorials while Combo adds around 50 more Rapidweaver-related topics and 60 advanced programming tutorials including ones that cover HTML and CSS, as well as lessons on subjects like how to build a membership-based website and how to integrate a PunBB forum. Both schemes offer memberships that last 30 days, six months, or a year, and given a 30 day membership is under $20.00, you can try the service out for very little cost. The ability to drop in and out in this way makes Rapidweaver Classroom very attractive for newcomes to the program and you could easily learn how to navigate your way around Rapidweaver 6, Stacks 3 and – for example – the complex Foundation or Freestack themes in 30 days.
Of course, other video tutorials are available – individual developers have them on their own sites or hosted on YouTube and Vimeo – but some of these can veer towards the sales end of things, rather than walking you through the features in a methodical fashion. In addition, RealMac has a range of video offerings on its new Community site, some of which are free, others paid-for. Where Rapidweaver Classroom shines is in the consistent quality of its presentation, the organisation and detail of the courses – there are 20 tutorials on Foundation alone, that’s over four hours of classes – and the range of topics covered.
The world of Rapidweaver moves fast and there are new addons being released every week. Where an entirely new version of a product comes out – perhaps a stack that’s Stacks 3 only or has a significant bunch of new features – then expect to see it covered at some point in Rapidweaver Classroom; however, point updates of stacks where a bug is squashed or a feature subtly refined won’t attract a new video.
The Rapidweaver Classroom is nicely designed, responsive and easy to navigate. Those tutorials that relate to products deemed significant are indicated by a little star and although we’d like a way of indicating which tutorials have been viewed (and have tutorials listed alphabetically rather than – presumably – the order they were recorded) everything makes sense, and it’s a real bonus having all of your tutorial content under one roof like this.
While we wished all Rapidweaver products came with documentation so fabulous that video tutorials like this were a pleasant but not entirely necessary icing-on-the-cake, that’s not the case; so in a not-so-perfect world, Rapidweaver Classroom serves a valuable purpose and the pricing structure is excellent, inexpensive and flexible, so you can just drop in for a month and catch up on major new Rapidweaver-related releases in a cost-effective and informative way.
So if you’ve ever struggled to understand a theme or plug, stack or concept, check out Rapidweaver Classroom – the answer may only be $20.00 away.