July Roundup

BrowserUpdate Stack | Marathia | £FREE

The BrowserUpdate stack from Marathia alerts visitors to your site when they’re using an out of date web browser by displaying a message, that slides down from the top of the screen, containing a button which allows them to update their browser (or ignore the message and continue). Keeping your web browser up to date is good practice because it’s more likely to be secure, and it’s also more likely to support and display the increasingly sophisticated content deployed by Rapidweaver’s various stacks and plugins.

BrowserUpdate currently supports IE/Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera on desktop PCs and Android devices (though not iOS devices yet) and you can define how old each browser needs to be before it’s displayed, as well as tailoring the text of the message, the font used, text and button colours, shadows and so on. If the drop down message isn’t enough, you can add any stack you like inside BrowserUpdate and have that display instead; or you can direct visitors to another page where you might display links to the most up to date versions of popular web browsers. BrowserUpdate is a useful free stack which encourages good web practice and is recommended.

DonateStack | Stacks4stacks | £FREE

The DonateStack from Stacks4stacks is a quick and simple way to allow visitors to pay money into your Paypal account. It takes seconds to set up and is designed to help websites gather donations for fundraising events and good causes – and maybe even stack developers who generously produce free stacks for the rest of us.

When you drop the stack onto the page it appears as a single field where a visitor can type in the amount they’d like to contribute and then submit it to the associated Paypal account; no other payment methods are supported. You can set a default contribution, together with minimum and maximum amounts, choose a currency, as well as styling the colours for the border, button and backgrounds. There’s an option to add address fields as well as defining a page where contributors will be directed after they’ve made their donation so you can thank them. DonateStack is free but if you find it useful, you should consider making – you know – a donation…

FileMan Stack | Stacks4stacks | £FREE

The FileMan stack also from Stacks4tacks offers basic file management for Rapidweaver websites for free. All you need is for your server to be running PHP 5.6 or above and to have Stacks 3 on your machine. Add the FileMan stack, take note of the default settings for where it’s going to set itself up and the password (or change them to suit yourself) and publish the page.

Then you navigate to the login page for the file manager – for example http://www.mysite.com/file-manager/ and you’ll be asked for a password. Type it in and the file list will be displayed. From here you can upload and download files as well as deleting them. You can also create new folders on the server and access them from the same screen.

So what’s this useful for?

Well, let’s say you run a restaurant where the menu changes once a month. You could create a button that lets visitors download the menu and then use FileMan to upload the new version whenever it’s ready; so long as it has the same file name as the previous menu, the button link will continue to work as the menu is updated. Similarly, you could use it for warehousing single images, or a for a slideshow using something like Freestyle 2 which supports warehoused images, so you can update pictures by simply replacing old ones with new ones that have the same name. You could use it for swapping files between website visitors and all sorts of other applications.

Obviously, when you’re moving or deleting files on a web server you need to be a bit cautious but S4S offers good advice on the product page for best practice and this is a terrific little stack and well worth a donation to the author.

Rob Beattie

Rob Beattie is a freelance copywriter who designs sites using Rapidweaver. He's been reviewing computer hardware, software and web services since 1981. Yes...that long. And he's also the author of 101 Things to Do in a Shed, Fishing: A Very Peculiar History, and The Bluffer's Guide to Fishing.

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