Weavium Stacks Roundup (Part 2)

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Searchable FAQ

$20

As its name suggests, this is an easy way to add a list of frequently asked questions to your website that displays a searchable accordion with plenty of styling options.

Set up is simple. Just drag the Searchable FAQ stack onto a Stacks 3 page and you’ll notice it already includes a Searchable FAQ item stack. This behaves like an accordion element, with a collapsed header which when clicked, slides open smoothly to reveal a drawer underneath; and since this drawer is a Stacks container, it can include all sorts of content like text, images, slideshows, lists, even stacks like Doobox’ Montage 2 which displays a masonry grid of images which can be opened into a lightbox/slideshow. This flexibility makes the FAQ stack useful for displaying all kinds of information. 

You can set a heading (or question, if you like) for each FAQ item, together with an icon from popular icon sets provided by Font Awesome, Material and Ionic, choose from one of 15 included fonts, use the theme font or set up a custom one; and there’s also lots of control over the spacing of the FAQ headings, their radius, max width, padding, borders, shadows and colour schemes. In fact, the stack gives you everything you need to make it blend seamlessly with your chosen theme. 

In addition of course, the stack also allows you to search inside any of the content contained inside the FAQ items, courtesy of the search panel provided at the top of the stack. This is a live search too, so as you start to type the text string you’re looking for, the various items will open and words will begin to be highlighted. The stack is also clever enough to search elements like picture captions in order to find text strings, so in some circumstances could be used to create a searchable gallery of images. 

Searchable FAQ is a superbly useful, easy to set up stack which makes light work of providing fully searchable FAQs for websites, products, services, facilities and so on, and should be in everyones’ Stacks Favourites section. 

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Slidetastic

$19.99

Slidetastic stack allows you to create slideshows that can feature images, images with a title and caption overlay, or slides made up of the stacks of your choice; this combination makes it a handy and versatile way to present different kinds of content.

At its heart, Slidetastic is a slider. Drop the main stack onto the page, add a sequence of Image slides, drag images into them, preview, and you’ll have a neat, simple slider with left and right arrows which you can advance by clicking forwards or backwards. If you’d like images with captions, drag a Slidetastic Image Slide into the empty slot, drag an image into the image well in Settings and it’ll appear with an overlay title and text which can double click and then edit. It’s also possible to mix and match slides with captions alongside ones without.

Slides can be set to loop, autoplay and you can dictate the number of slides that are displayed at any one time, depending on the screen size; in this way you might have two slides displayed at once on a large desktop machine and reduce that to only slide for tablets and below. There are two breakpoint settings as well, one for Tablet and one for Mobile. Slides can have rounded corners, you can add spacing between them to create interesting effects, and add a background colour as well. Navigation arrows can be positioned top, middle or bottom, and you can define their colour, size, the size of the icon inside, radius, spacing and so on; there’s also an option to display dots as well (or instead of) as arrows. Captions can be displayed on a semi-transparent overlay or below the slide itself in a separate box, and Slidetastic includes 15 fonts for both the title and the description, together with the ability to control their size on different devices, colours, and spacing. 

There’s also an interesting feature – dubbed ‘experimental’ – which lets you display an odd number of slides at the same time and only have the one in the middle display fully, while the ones either side are faded out. It’s an interesting effect which could be useful for presenting content where you want to focus on one slide at a time, while letting visitors know there are more in the sequence. 

As a slider with or without captions, Slidetastic works a treat (though we’d like to see at least a fade transition – currently the only choice is ‘slide’) but it’s the ability to add other stacks-based content that makes it so versatile, especially when you’re working with stacks that already constrain their content so you don’t have to concern yourself with slides of uneven height. Thus, Weavium’s own free Image Card stack works well, as does 1LD’s Author Card stack and Stacks4Stacks’ StandOut stack – all of which could be used to display staff biographies, rooms in a B&B, products for sale – in short all manner of other content. 

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View More

$14.99

View More is a feature panel stack that starts out small but expands with a neat animation when clicked to reveal more Stacks-based content. Again, the stack author has taken a lot of care in producing useful examples of how View More might be used on its site, which gives purchasers an excellent head start on how they might deploy the stack on their own websites.

Drag the stack onto the page and by default, it’ll display an icon (as with other Weavium stacks there’s a choice of popular icon sets) slots for a title and short description, an empty Stacks slot, a Close button and a Proceed button. Replace the title and description text with your own, replace the icon (or use your own image, if you like) add some Stacks content and you’re pretty much done. When your visitor clicks the View More button, the stack will animate open and display the rest of the content; click Close and it will fold gracefully away.

You can change the label of the View More, Close and Proceed buttons to suit your own content – the Proceed button is configured to action either a link (perhaps to a contact form) or execute some Javascript. Alternatively, if you don’t want your visitors to take action, it’s possible to hide the Proceed button entirely.

View More offers considerable control over the way your content looks. There are 15 included fonts (and the option to call a Google font instead) and you can define the width of your text, its emphasis, weight, size and spacing; you can set the size, colour, background, radius, padding and spacing of all the buttons; and you can configure the colour of all your sections, the text inside them as well as the clickable links.

The content you choose to display inside the View More stack is up to you; Good examples on the Weavium site show maps, sliders, bulleted lists, animated charts (using the company’s own Bars stack) accordions and embedded video; it would also be good for a small contact form

The View More stack looks great on everything from big desktop displays right the way down to small iPhones – it works surprisingly well on small screens, so long as you don’t go overboard on the content you place inside the stack – and at this price is highly recommended.

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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