Weavium Stacks Roundup (Part 1)

Bars

$14.99

Bars is a stack that allows you to create animated responsive bar charts in a Rapidweaver Stacks page – that means information which previously might have been relegated to a dull table of text can now be presented in a much more attractive and engaging way.

Just drag and drop a Bars stack onto your page, fill in the title and description and start adding statistics. You can set a minimum and maximum chart range, the direction of the animation, as well as its speed. On the desktop, bars are displayed vertically and will switch to horizontal at a breakpoint defined by you. To add new bars, just click the ‘+’ sign at the bottom of the stack in Edit mode and off you go.

There are plenty of ways to style your charts. You can define the title and description size, padding and alignment, set each bar’s height, thickness, gutter, padding, radius (to produce attractive rounded bars) along with its value size, offset, prefix/suffix (so you can include currency symbols, for example) and vertical/horizontal alignment; there are 15 fonts built in, or you can also use a custom Google font. Add the ability to colour every element in the chart (including either solid colours or gradients for the background) and you’ve got a powerful but simple way to present data that’s eye-catchingly clear. Individual bars support a range of different icon sets – including Font Awesome, Iconic and Material Design – as well as a whole selection of custom colours so you can jazz up your charts to make them really stand out. These icons also make Bars very flexible and means it can be used to display statistical information, or sales figures, or market penetration, or anything that has a relevant icon.

We’d love the ability to force charts to display horizontally (instead of just re-orienting at a specific breakpoint) and also a link to the list of supported icons and their syntax – but apart from that, Bars is the best way to display attractive, animated bar charts in Rapidweaver that we’ve seen so far. It’s an excellent stack.

Flex

$19.99

Flex is a responsive accordion stack which adds a lot of layout flexibility and some clever animations that make the headings expand with a pulse as you hover over them, and spin the ‘close’ icon attractively when you’re finished.

It’s a pretty catholic stack so your content can include all manner of other stacks. We tried text, images, buttons, slideshows, tabbed stacks, maps, an Instagram feed and even Doobox’ excellent Montage 2 stack, which displays a grid of images which can be lightboxed – all of them worked well.

Flex allows you to define the maximum width of your accordion, set two breakpoints (these come into their own when you drill down a bit and start setting the sizes of different elements like titles and icons depending on the device being used to view them) header and content fonts, padding and whether your titles, content, icons, headings and so forth should share the same colours – there’s also the option to colour each accordion item individually. There are plenty of options for making the content stand out as well, including the ability to define background colours, gradients, set a picture as the background and so forth.

Flex also supports a wide range of icons – including Font Awesome, Ionic, and Material Design – and behaves very well on smaller screens, wrapping title text neatly onto two lines, for example.

One of the other things we like about Flex is the range of interesting layout examples included on Weavium’s site which show it being used in a variety of different ways for a variety of different purposes. We occasionally feel that some stack developers suffer a bit of fatigue when it comes to showcasing real-world examples for their stacks, but the ones here really show off just some of the many different ways you can use Flex.

The Rapidweaver world’s not short of accordion stacks, but there’s enough different going on here to make Flex one of the ones you should be considering.

Job Board

$19.99

Job Board is a searchable filter-style stack that’s been specifically set up to advertise job vacancies and comes with ‘slots’ where you can define the job name, the type of job (for example full or part-time) how the salary is paid and so on. Each vacancy can be ‘favourited’ by your visitors and then, using the Favourites button at the top, they can display only those jobs that they’ve ticked. Job Board also includes a live search bar at the top where you can enter keywords and phrases like ‘Full-Time’ or ‘salesperson’ or ‘internship’ and so on – which will filter out any jobs that don’t include those text strings.

Each individual job stack also includes an empty Stacks well into which you can drop other stacks, which can be used to illustrate the job or include more details about skills and qualifications required or any benefits associated with the job. These extra details are displayed in a drop-down panel when visitors click on a ‘reveal more’ button to the right of the stack and the whole thing behaves impressively on a range of different-sized screens. Like the other stacks here, you get loads of control over how your job board looks in terms of fonts, colours, padding, text size and so forth and there’s also a clever ‘countdown’ element where you can specify the number of days left before the advert is closed to new applications. Each job item also has an ‘Apply Now’ button which can be set to open a visitor’s email program or take them to another page on your site. All in all, it’s a slick stack that’s very easy to use.

In addition, with a bit of ingenuity, this could be used to list and advertise other things – special offers, goods for sale and so on. That’s because each job category (Full-Time, Part-Time, Internship, Temporary) has a text field associated with it, so you could change the Full-Time text field to ‘As new’ and the Part-Time text field to ‘Good condition’ and then, when setting up the individual items for sale, choose the relevant category – for example, Full-Time – and the stack will display the text field you associated with it – for example, ‘As new’.

It will be very surprising if Weavium doesn’t develop Job Board so that it becomes easier to adapt the stack to list things other than jobs – most of the hooks seem to be in place and it would make the stack tremendously flexible. And while we’re on the subject, we found that Job Board also works with Joe Workman’s EasyCMS stacks, so you could set up a board for client and they’d be able to update the entries themselves from a web browser; pretty nifty.

Job Board is a super stack, very easy to use and capable of handling much more than simple vacancies.

Quick Menu

$19.99

Quick Menu adds a small sticky menu to your Rapidweaver page which can be positioned left or right and at the top, centre or bottom of the page; there are also options that allow the menu to appear when a visitor scrolls to a certain point on the page (and it’s also possible to make the menu disappear again when they scroll on down).

The stack is designed to link to other pages on your website or to specific content sections on the page, making it a versatile way of adding navigation to your websites – either in addition to the theme’s navigation or – in the case of a blank theme – as a replacement.

You can have multiple Quick Menus on the same page and they can be set to be always visible, or to appear at a specific scroll point, or be visible between two markers (there’s an included Marker stack for just this purpose); it’s also easy to configure the menu colours, icon size (as with other Weavium stacks, three popular icon sets are supported) text size, padding, radius and so on.

The menus themselves are neat little pillars with icons on them – hover over one with the mouse and then menu text slides out gracefully with a pleasing animated effect. Obviously you can link menu items to specific pages on your site but you can also link to anything else – perhaps to build a Sharethis-style social media menu that links to Facebook, Twitter and so on. There are also a selection of useful built-in presets like ‘Scroll to top’ and Scroll to bottom’ and ‘Scroll to Marker’.

Quick Menu includes a View All option which, when selected, displays the full menu in a modal overlay – again you’ve got control over how this displays on the screen so it’s easy to match it to your chosen theme. It also supports ‘hidden items’, a feature designed mainly for mobile devices whereby some menu items are hidden from the standard menu dock but revealed when you select the ‘View All’ button.

In use, Quick Menu worked well across a range of different themes – though despite our best efforts we weren’t able to get the Display Between Markers feature to work. That aside, this is a clever, mobile friendly, space-saving way to add extra navigation to your pages.

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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