FileTree updated to version 1.2

Sunday 29th August 2021

Changes in this update include:

  • Adds a checkbox to toggle the display of hidden directories and files in the outputted file tree list.
  • Drops support for PHP 4.
  • Increases the recommended PHP version to version 7.4. PHP 8.x is preferable.

This update is available via automatic updates in RapidWeaver or you can re-download it from the product page.

If you enjoy using FileTree, please don’t forget to give it a ”thumbs up“ and write a short review about it on the community addons website. This only takes a couple of moments to do, but greatly helps with promoting the stack to other potential users.

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MiniCookie 2.3.0

Friday 27th August 2021

A happy summer bank holiday weekend to you all! Or just a regular weekend, wherever you may be. Those of you who are members of my Discord chat room or have been in communication with me via email may know that I have been very busy working on another sizable update to the MiniCookie stack.

This update actually started around Easter, before version 2.2.0 was released in June. This latest update focuses on adding a couple of user-requested features, fixing a couple of minor quirks and boosting the feature set to see-off the copycat rivalry!

This update has been many hours of coding and testing. I hope it’s everything you want. The full list of changes are as follows:

  • Further improvements to the display of consent and multi-consent popups in RapidWeaver edit mode.
  • Added a new checkbox option to omit MiniCookie from display on printouts or when you save a webpage as PDF.
  • Added some clever options to allow certain tracking cookies to auto-renew. For example, if someone dismisses a consent popup with an expiry of 7 days, then comes back to your website after 5 days, we can automatically reset the expiry date for another 7 days out into the future.
  • Added some information to forewarn that some web browsers (namely Safari 15) now cap cookie expiry dates to a maximum of 7 days.
  • Only display the ‘placement’ setting for supplementary links, when the configuration is set to 'get user consent (default)’.
  • New CSS loading animation effects for the consent popups.
  • Added the option to change the popup position to 'modal’ which displays a popup in the dead-centre of the screen.
  • Fixes a problem whereby checkboxes might be out of alignment with labels, when using the “Source” theme framework.
  • Fixes a problem of the consent popup shadow rendering too hard in Microsoft Edge, specifically on Surface tablets.
  • Fixes an issue in some Brandon Lee themes of scrollbars appearing within consent popups. Possibly already fixed by Brandon Lee before this update was published?
  • Addresses a possible issue whereby the JS Cookie Plugin might conflict with themes or stacks using an older version of the same plugin.
  • Changes to some of the informational tooltips, to make things easier to understand.
  • Consent popups and multi-consent popups now support ARIA roles, titles and descriptions. Excellent for improved website accessibility.
  • A couple of other minor changes to the underlying source code, particularly towards compatibility of future PHP versions.

Thanks to everybody who participated in the public Beta and gave constructive, meaningful feedback. It was all of great help and your input directly influenced this release.

MiniCookie 2.3.0 is a free update for all paying customers. You can update using automatic updates within Stacks / RapidWeaver. Or grab a copy from your Paddle account.

If you are new to MiniCookie, then all you need to know is that this single stack can confidently handle practically every part of privacy law compliance in your RapidWeaver websites (not just cookies). A free trial version of MiniCookie is available, along with a sample project file to open and play with.

I have completed courses about GDPR, so I’m well-versed with the legal requirements website owners need to follow. I have been able to combine this knowledge with my coding expertise.

Learn more…

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Monday 7th June 2021

MiniCookie 2.2.0

Changes in this free stack update include:

  • The outline border style applied on focused buttons is now more pronounced.
  • Checkboxes within the multi-select consent popup now receive tab focus styling.
  • New checkbox and colour picker option to apply a window shade.
  • Further accessibility enhancements; like taking and returning tab index focus from the popup.
  • Minor improvements to the display of the consent popup in Stacks edit mode.

Learn more…

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Formulate updated to version 1.3.0

Wednesday 26th May 2021

This is a free update for existing users and adds the following features:

  • Bootstrap 5 compatibility, while maintaining backwards compatibility with Bootstrap 4.
  • Improves the display of submit buttons on certain new iPhones.
  • Ability to submit forms to Formspark.io.
  • Ability to submit forms to SheetMonkey.io.
  • More custom options for submitting forms using GET or POST methods. Really useful for processing forms using your own custom code.
  • The submit button now carries a name attribute, if you need to more reliably determine which form in your website was submitted.
  • Support for the new Date/Time Local input, which is steadily gaining support in different web browsers.
  • A new custom input, so that practically any custom form input can be added to Formulate.
  • Improvements to the range slider input; to add support for steps and a numerical output to the right of the range slider.
  • Some input types now have support for additional attributes like autocomplete, disabled, readonly, spellcheck and value.
  • New ‘Password’ and 'Search’ input types. Although of limited use to average users, these could be “make or break” for users building highly sophisticated forms with custom backend processing.
  • We now validate against pasted content, along with content a user has manually typed in the form fields.
  • Expanded the choice of style options available, for custom form styling.
  • New 'Honeypot Anti-Spam’ input type to use in conjunction with Formspark or a custom PHP form handler.
  • Improvements to select menu styling, to match the same select inputs that Bootstrap 5 uses.
  • Optional reset button, as requested by a user.
  • Changed the ordering of some stack settings and updated some of the informational tooltips.

This update is available via automatic updates in Stacks and RapidWeaver, to all customers of the Formulate stack.

If you like using Formulate and you appreciate the time that’s gone into this update, please don’t forget to give it a “like” and write a short review about it on the RapidWeaver Community Addons website.

Click here to learn more about Formulate and to download a free trial version.

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Expiry stack updated to version 2

Saturday 3rd April 2021

This is a major update for Expiry, which brings a new editing interface and an expanded choice of customisable settings. You can install Expiry v2 alongside v1.

Expiry is a fantastic stack to use if you want to add some basic “time control” to blocks of content in RapidWeaver. The AdvancedPublisher stack remains a good upgrade if you need even more control.

Please donate if you find Expiry useful and don’t forget to give it a “like” and write a short review about it here on the RapidWeaver community addons website.

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Introducing the new VideoStack

Friday 26th March 2021

A need recently arose to create an extremely simple, HTML5 video player, to support self-hosted MP4 video files. This new stack encompasses all the normal HTML5 video tag attributes. Plus it includes a couple of more specialist features like chapter, subtitle and ExtraContent support.

VideoStack uses the standard web browser media controls. What’s nice about these standard video player controls are that they work straight “out of the box” and support all the basic functions you could want; like play, pause, skip, volume, mute, fullscreen, download, picture-in-picture, Chromecast, captions and subtitles. VideoStack is lightweight, flexible and works practically anywhere.

This could be a good stack for a novice RapidWeaver user to settle into using, as a precursor towards some of the more sophisticated video stacks I sell. But if you do prefer to stick with using VideoStack in your websites, please make a donation to help compensate my time and ensure the stack can be kept available for the long term.

With the Covid-19 crisis deepening in many parts of the world, more and more companies and organisations are needing to permanently shift towards an online presence. Video is becoming an indispensable part of many websites. My hope is that the VideoStack becomes another useful tool in the overall “RapidWeaver toolbox”; towards helping people make this important transition.

Learn more…

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Introducing the new Underline stack

Friday 12th March 2021

Boasting a total of ten effects, the aptly named Underline stack is great for making prominent, block level links underline with beautiful animation effects. This stack would be perfect to use below blocks of written content as a call to action, links positioned as a horizontal navigation bar or a table of contents within a theme ExtraContent container. This novice-friendly stack has a basic array of settings to achieve all the essentials. Links can be set to page anchors, other webpages or external websites. Custom attributes can also be applied in instances where extra code needs attaching to links.

Underline will work with most, but not all RapidWeaver themes. Some themes already apply complicated styling to links, and these styles may override the code or options that the Underline stack uses. Underline stack works with nearly all modern web browsers.

Learn more…

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Introducing the new CookieCutter stack

Friday 12th March 2021

A need recently arose, whereby I was working on a website for a private client built with RapidWeaver and Stacks. We needed to get some images cut-out as simple shapes to place at the top of some text box columns. A quick search online revealed that the CSS clip-path property was the easiest way to accomplish this. No stack seemed to exist that could do this already, so I made one!

CookieCutter is extremely simple to use, with a bare minimum of settings. You can use images dragged and dropped into RapidWeaver or source images from somewhere else like your Resources or a warehouse location. I provide a choice of over 30 “preset“ shapes. The custom shape option does as its label suggests and allows you to supply your own CSS clip-path code.

The benefits of CookieCutter and the CSS clip-path property includes the ability to make non-destructive changes to your images (the shape can be changed or removed entirely in just a click of a mouse). This method also means you don’t need to worry about using image editing software (like Photoshop) to generate big PNG files. Search engines and social media platforms see the original, unmodified image. Same with older web browsers that lack CSS clip-path support.

CookieCutter is provided for free download. But at the very least, please give it a “like“ and write a review about it here on the RapidWeaver community addons website. And if you can afford to, please drop me a small donation. Free addons still cost me time and money to provide the community!

Learn more…

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MiniCookie updated to version 2.1.0

Wednesday 3rd March 2021

This update is free for existing users and includes the following changes:

1. Checkbox option to add an optional supplementary link (e.g. ‘More Options’) to the consent popup, displayed alongside the existing 'accept’ button.

2. New side panel left and side panel right popup positioning, to create tall consent popups like https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ have.

3. Improvements to the display of checkbox consents on newer smartphones.

4. Added a 'max width’ setting in the popup style settings, which is applicable to some of the popup positioning options.

MiniCookie is a single drag-and-drop solution to help you overcome all the technical and legal challenges of making a RapidWeaver website compliant with international privacy laws. Backed by fast and friendly expert support. You can download this latest update for MiniCookie in the updates window, in Stacks/RapidWeaver.

If you have found MiniCookie useful, please give it a “like” and/or a quick review here on the RapidWeaver community addons website.

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Gateway updated to version 3.1.0

Tuesday 2nd March 2021

Changes in this update include:

  • Some improvements towards the positioning and display of popups on smartphones, when lots of content needs to be included in a Gateway popup.
  • When the positioning is set to Modal Popup, a new checkbox option is shown to center the modal in the middle of the screen.
  • If the window shade is enabled, there are some additional new settings to display an extra close button in one of four corners of your webpage.
  • A few other minor bug fixes and general improvements.

This update is available to all version 3 users via automatic updates in RapidWeaver / Stacks. The product page for Gateway is available here.

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RWML update to version 2.3.0

Tuesday 2nd March 2021

RWML (RapidWeaver Multilingual) remains one of the best packs of stacks for creating multilingual websites in RapidWeaver. It works great, whether you’re building separate “mini sites” for each language or offering options for website user to toggle the display of translated text and other content on a page-by-page basis. A very flexible set of stack elements to make multilingual websites quicker, easier and more reliable to create.

The main change to happen in this RWML update is support for a brand new language switcher. It’s called the “Popup Picker”. This new language switcher works like a modal popup, which greets the user when they first arrive at your website:

The purpose of this new popup picker is to ensure the website user makes their language selection, before they can continue any further. This could be a convenient system to implement; like in examples where you have page elements (such as a cookie popup message) that cannot otherwise be easily translated into multiple languages, owing to screen space or technicality constraints.

By design, the text “hello! - please select your language” alternates in a loop between each language your website supports. The buttons are purposefully big and bold to make language selection easier on a touch device or computer. Superbly well designed and implemented to exceed the highest usability standards.

As you’d expect, almost every aspect of the modal popup and its window shade can be customised to match your existing website.

A bonus feature is some extra cookie tracking. Once the website user has made their language selection from this new popup, they won’t be nagged again for a predetermined length of time! Of course, you can still provide existing language switching options, so a user can easily change their preferred language later on.

This RWML update is a free update for all existing RWML 2.x  users and is available to install via the automatic updater in Stacks / RapidWeaver. The new popup language switcher stack is available for use in your Stacks Library.

More information about RWML is available here on the product page. Please consider giving RWML a “thumbs up” or reviewing RWML over on the RapidWeaver Community Addons website, if you enjoy using it.

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TopBox updated to version 5.1.0

Tuesday 2nd March 2021
The three main changes in this free update include:
  • New options for cookie tracking, so you can determine if a website user has viewed and closed your TopBox.
  • Adds support for the Lbry.tv video platform. You can embed video from this new service directly into TopBox, by taking the URL from the iFrame embed code and appending &autoplay=1 onto the end of the URL. Use a video iFrame in TopBox to display your video. Lbry.tv is an interesting new video sharing platform that’s pitching itself as an alternative to YouTube.
  • Improvements to the playback of YouTube content on smartphones.

This is a free update for all existing TopBox 5.x users, available via automatic updates in Stacks / RapidWeaver.

TopBox is possibly the most sophisticated lightbox / modal window effect available for RapidWeaver. All its documentation, working examples and a free trial download can be accessed here.

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Introducing the new RatingStack

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Customer ratings are a valuable asset on many websites, especially during these difficult times with more businesses switching to online sales.

RatingStack is a free complimentary stack designed primarily to use in conjunction with the CommentsStack. However if you don’t have the CommentsStack, it is still feasible to supply a datafile in the same prescribed format, for RatingStack to use.

The purpose of RatingStack is to take user submitted ratings and produce attractive written narrations, bar charts and star scores to display on your websites. Therefore you can easily convey to website users which products or services are the highest rated.

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Introducing Charts v3

Wednesday 9th December 2020

Formally developed by SeyDesign / Nimblehost, the Charts stack has received a major update this past weekend. To check if you are eligible for a free update, you can login to your Paddle account to see if Charts is listed there. For everybody else, the latest trial version and purchase links for Charts can be found on the product page. Charts is included in the Black Friday promo.

Charts is a handy little stack if you need to convert a CSV spreadsheet file into basic line charts, bar charts, pie charts, scatterplots, area charts, meter gauges or doughnut circles. These can be useful to visually display simple data on websites or webapps. A wide choice of style options within the Charts stack allow you to customise the generated charts and graphs to match your existing theme or corporate branding.

As before, the Charts stack works from a CSV file you supply. Most spreadsheet software can generate CSV files. This offers a quick method towards getting your axis labels and datasets loaded into Charts; with zero code required. Charts does all the hard work for you, to convert your CSV data into beautiful charts. You can either use CSV files added as resources in RapidWeaver or link to CSV files already stored on your web hosting account.

Changes in Charts v3 include:

  • Generated charts can now be previewed in RapidWeaver.
  • Fixed a problem that resulted in bar and line point labels missing.
  • Greatly improved the handling of multiple Chart stacks, when they are configured differently to each other on the same webpage.
  • Fixed a problem, whereby graph axis labels would always get shown on the pie and doughnut chart types, where one was not needed.
  • New options to specify a maximum width or height, in your preferred units of measurement (e.g. %, px, rem, vw, vh).
  • All colour pickers now support RGBa colour opacity.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing a thick black line to be rendered under chart canvases in Foundation 6.
  • Requested by a user, the starting angle of doughnut and pie charts can now be customised in degrees.
  • Updated some stack setting labels and informational tooltips, to make setup quicker and easier.
  • Dropped support for Internet Explorer 8 and less. These web browsers have been officially obsolete for some years. Few people use these browsers anymore. This has the benefit of greatly reducing the amount of code everybody else has to load.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Meter Gauges to vanish if a chart further up the page had more than 8 data points and labels enabled (yeah - I had hours of fun trying to find and fix this one)!
  • New background colour and font size options for chart legends.
  • Reorganised and regrouped a few of the stack settings, to make things easier to find.
  • As requested by a user, it is now possible to rotate both x-axis and y-axis ticks, on bar and line charts.
  • Support has been added for Area Charts. These can be accomplished by using the existing Line Chart type, and selecting the Area Plot checkbox (in Line Chart Options).
  • New stack icons and a few other tidbits of information required by newer versions of Stacks and RapidWeaver. Rewrote the buggy ’&&’ operator conditional statements.
  • Added the ability to toggle the chart box shadow effects on and off using a single checkbox option.
  • Cleaned up ‘edit mode’ to display less information about Charts. Important messages are still displayed if something is configured incorrectly.
  • New number box to change the sizing of point labels on bar charts.

Perhaps the biggest feature of all is that Charts is now fully responsive. This means that generated charts or graphs will scale-down to fit tablets and smartphones. Therefore removing the need to create multiple charts for different screen sizes. I know this has been a frequent user request for many years! Major technical hurdles had to be overcome, which meant rewriting a large portion of the underlying codebase and reconnecting all the settings. Charts will now redraw each time the screen is resized or changes orientation.

The product page for Charts has been updated with all new documentation. I have also put together a RapidWeaver 8 project file you can download. This contains several real working examples of Charts that you can experiment with. These tests work with the free trial version of Charts and the paid version.

Charts v3 will identify itself as a new stack and can be installed alongside older versions. Given the magnitude of changes, it will not attempt to convert or update older versions. This newest version of Charts has a bright orange and white icon.

Also of note, I have updated the LineGraph stack too. This one is a good option if you are only interested to making responsive line graphs (including area charts and scatterplots).

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Stacks plugin 50% off

Sunday 29th November 2020

50% off the Stacks plugin and other Yourhead Software plugins. See this page for the coupon code, links and T&Cs:

https://post.yourhead.com/w/lmB837ZF6892yskxKk0fyBhw

I think this is the biggest discount that has ever been offered on the Stacks plugin, so it makes it an excellent buy.

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Introducing Gateway v3

Saturday 28th November 2020

This is a major update for Gateway. If you are eligible for a free upgrade, you can download version 3 of Gateway from your Paddle account here. If you are updating from an older version, Gateway is available to buy on my website here.

Gateway was originally devised as a method to display popup alerts or messages on websites (complete with cookie tracking). It still excels at this task. However the premise of Gateway has shifted slightly in recent years, in that it also allows the setup of “off canvas” boxes and sidebars that can be toggled open and closed. Particularly useful for creating mobile / app-like websites. So Gateway is very much a stack with a lot of potential uses!

Changes in this version include:

  • Dropped support for Internet Explorer and other older web browsers. Therefore resulting in a smaller, faster, leaner and more optimised codebase, which adds less weight to webpages.
  • Removed some of the seldom-used features and settings, to make the stack easier for novice users to configure and to reduce support burdens.
  • Secure tracking cookies are now supported, plus cookie paths and cookie domains. A perfect compliment to MiniCookie.
  • New transitional effects, to subtlety show and hide Gateway stacks with elegant fading and sliding. These are carefully implemented to promote better accessability and reduce the risk triggering photosensitive epilepsy amoungst some website users.
  • Improvements to compatibility, for when Gateway is used in themes and frameworks from other companies. Like Foundation 6, Foundry, Source, etc.
  • A new and expanded choice of basic style settings, covering alignment, font styles, positioning and colours. All colour pickers support RGBa opacity.
  • More options to choose the positioning of Gateway stacks on a webpage. For example, use the new left or right options to create beautiful slide-out sidebar panels, without needing any custom code.
  • Additional flexibility towards creating your own close buttons or links. Any content placed inside a ‘Gateway Close Button’ sub-stack works to close Gateway.
  • Overhauled the user interface. Cleaner, fresher, easier to find your way around. Regrouped and reorganised settings into a more convenient list. New tooltips on quite a few settings.
  • Minor “under the hood” changes towards Gateway stacks previewing and publishing slightly quicker in newer versions of Stacks. Removed some deprecated Stacks API stuff.
  • Tested and ready for jQuery 3.

Please see the product page for the updated documentation and a free trial version for download.

I have also published a sample RapidWeaver 8 project file to download, that demonstrates some of the things possible with Gateway. These examples are ready to copy and paste straight into your own website, if you prefer.

Until 1st January 2021, Gateway is also included in my 40% Black Friday promo. Details of that can be read here. Just pop your coupon code in the box if you want the discounted price, as shown here.

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Introducing ProGallery v3

Friday 27th November 2020

ProGallery v3 features a revised user interface, more content sources, improved thumbnail layouts and 10 different lightbox configurations. Many feature requests have been added, in a hope to “bridge the gap” caused by other notable gallery stacks being discontinued in recent months.

Key features at a glance…

  • Improved documentation. Added a couple of topics that were frequently asked about and deleted other parts that weren’t needed any more.
  • Native lazy loading of thumbnail images, for newer web browsers that support it.
  • Added the option of a simple ‘live search’ box, displayed above the thumbnail grid. Good for letting users quickly filter a large collection of thumbnails.
  • DeviantArt has been added as a new image source. A popular image sharing platform with photographers, animators and digital artists.
  • Google Sheets has been added as a new image source. This allows you (or a client) to maintain your database of gallery images or video in spreadsheet format, from Google Docs.
  • If no lightbox is enabled, you can now set the thumbnail links to open within a new tab or browser window.
  • Six thumbnail grid tooltip styles to choose from, in addition to the browser default title tooltip style. Available in the ‘No Lightbox’ configuration.
  • Eight new lightbox plugins have been added. Each one truly unique in its presentation and functionality.
  • More style options for thumbnail items, thumbnail images, titles and captions.
  • Additional thumbnail layouts. Take your pick from beautifully modern and responsive grids, columns, flexbox tables and lists. Including a level 3 CSS masonry grid layout. All layouts promote excellent SEO and accessibility standards.
  • The new ‘custom’ thumbnail layout has been added so that yourself or another developer can use custom CSS code to create totally bespoke thumbnail grid layouts, using the existing ProGallery HTML. This gives ProGallery almost limitless capabilities.
  • New CloudFront data source. This is similar to the existing CSV source, but requires less setup configuration (e.g. enter the link to the storage location only once). Works for CloudFront, S3 and similar file warehouses.
  • New YouTube playlist data source. Using the official YouTube Data v3 API, this allows you to pull-in any public YouTube video playlist. Video thumbnails are used in the thumbnail grid, and clicking a video thumbnail reveals the embedded video within a compatible lightbox.
  • Lots of minor ‘under the hood’ tweaks and optimisations. Publishing is faster. ProGallery only uploads the essential code and other assets as-required by particular thumbnail layouts and lightboxes.

Not forgetting the most important feature of all - the best possible support. Email if you need help deciding if ProGallery is the right choice for you or you want help setting up your first gallery using ProGallery. Plus this update is FREE for existing v2 customers, available via your Paddle account.

Who is ProGallery intended for? Any discerning RapidWeaver user (of almost any skill level) who wants to create an accessible and professionally presented gallery of photographs or video. ProGallery provides a logical process for creating immersive galleries to be proud of. The vast choice of settings lend themselves towards maximum creative freedom.

Learn more…

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Black Friday

Friday 27th November 2020

40% off all themes and stacks.

Use the optional coupon code blackfriday at the checkout (watch how) if you want this discount.

Owing to the reduced income and difficult lockdown predicaments many of us are trapped under, this year the promotion is slightly different and will run continually until 1st January 2021.

Plenty of brand new and freshly updated addons for you to go and explore too! Some exciting things including…

Have you purchased something from me at full price sometime between 1st January 2020 and 27th November 2020? I don’t want you to feel disappointed seeing it on offer today. Please forward a copy of your purchase receipt via email and a covering note. I’ll gladly send you a 100% coupon code for MouseReveal, LoremUtility, ActionHost and Torrent (a combined total of stacks and themes worth $75).

Plus, have you been made redundant or considering changing your career as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic this year? I have 50 copies of the Exposure theme up for grabs, on a first come first served basis. A great theme for building your own “personal brand” webpage, to get the attention of future employers or clients. And lots of other uses besides. Please email me for a special coupon code if you are interested. All I ask for in exchange is you write a review about the theme or share a link to what you have made with the theme on social media.

Throughout December, I am working on updating and re-releasing some of the most popular former @nimblehost  themes, starting already with Creamy and Mirage. These timeless theme designs will gradually be making an appearance on the ThemeFlood website. Beautiful themes to work with. So please keep checking back to monitor the progress of these releases. Check your Paddle account to see if you’re eligible for these free updates.

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QueryDisplay v2 (major update)

Friday 25th September 2020

Since its first release, QueryDisplay has proven to be an essential stack for anybody dealing with query strings in RapidWeaver generated websites. QueryDisplay allows the display (or hiding) of stacks, based on what’s shown in the browser address bar, as a query string. Normally after a question mark:

A prime example of its use could be with the Sentry password stack. Once a user has logged out, you can send them back to a login page, with a query string appended onto the page address like this:

https://example.com/login-form?status=loggedout

In this example, the query string has a key / value pair of status=loggedout

With that, we could detect and then easily display a message to the website user, telling them that they are logged out. This is just one of many potential uses.

Even outside of RapidWeaver, query strings are a common method of communicating data between webpages and conditionally displaying things. Query strings can make a website altogether more dynamic and intelligent. If you are looking for a fun project, it is even possible to build a 1-page website that uses query strings to alternate the content shown!

Version 1 of QueryDisplay relied upon a fairly hefty Javascript library to read and interpret query strings. This library was not updated much. I wasn’t super-happy with it. At times, it was quite limiting and sometimes threw false results. The user interface also originated from a time when stacks were a lot more primitive.

I learnt that reading and processing query strings is something that modern Javascript can do. As you know, I am a huge fan of working with the likes of CSS, HTML and Javascript in their purest, rawest forms. Through some experiments, I found that QueryDisplay could be rewritten in significantly less code; while increasing the number of tests possible on query strings.

So here it is! QueryDisplay v2 not only has a new codebase, but the user interface should be far easier to work with too. This is by-far the best version of QueryDisplay yet.

Using QueryDisplay is not massively difficult. Add the stack to your page. Place some content inside of itself, which you either want shown or hidden. In the stack settings, choose the type of conditional test to execute from the select menu:

Enter the key / value pair to test against. From this point, QueryDisplay will work:

Owing to this being such a large update, QueryDisplay v2 requires a manual download and install. Older v1 stacks will be left intact, unchanged. Going forwards, use the new QueryDisplay v2 stacks. I have already updated the demo project file for Sentry to include some newer working examples of QueryDisplay v2.

As ever, I thank you if you are using QueryDisplay with my own stacks, like CalcStack or Sentry. But if you are taking QueryDisplay to use with addons from other developers, please consider making a donation. Donations directly help ongoing user support and updates.

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ZipList updated to version 3.2

Friday 25th September 2020

If you are in the market for a better toggle / accordion stack for RapidWeaver, then take a closer look at ZipList. Compatible with Stacks 3.5 and above, plus all mainstream web browsers and devices.

ZipList has existed for several years. It’s a perfect stack to create a list of items that can be toggled open and closed; complete with a smooth animation effects and an ability to scroll active items into view. ZipList does not have dependencies on heavy Javascript libraries (like jQuery UI), making it quick and reliable to deploy in almost any website you build with RapidWeaver. Lists are marked-up using simple HTML description list syntax, so this is good for SEO too.

Version 3.2 is available today. The primary focus of this update is to expand on the choice of options you have for creating anchor links.

What are anchor links? Simply put, they are dynamic or permanent links you can assign to each ZipList item. A quick and convenient way of linking users directly to particular ZipList items; therefore these items open and show first, when a user comes to the webpage.

You now have more style and colour settings, including the ability to style anchor links as rounded buttons:

There is also an optional input box to write a message you want ‘alerted’ to the user, when they click one of these anchor links:

This is a good space to display a little message, telling the user that the link is copied to their clipboard.

ZipList 3.2 is available through automatic updates in Stacks / RapidWeaver. If you are are new to ZipList or upgrading from an older version, ZipList is available to buy on the Stacks4Stacks website for just $15:

https://stacks4stacks.com/ziplist/

If you enjoy using ZipList, please don’t forget to give it a thumbs-up or write a short review about it here on the RapidWeaver community addons website:

https://rapidweavercommunity.com/addons/stacks/ziplist

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MiniCookie updated to version 2.0

Monday 14th September 2020

MiniCookie has proven to be a vital stack for a lot of RapidWeaver users wanting to comply with important privacy legislation. In some instances, this stack has provided a lifeline to enable people to continue using RapidWeaver to build websites.

This stack does NOT just do pretty privacy popup messages to make your website look vaguely compliant! It is a sophisticated stack to safely quarantine third-party scripts and services. It puts website users in total control of what they want to load. Plus convenient options to view and manage tracking cookies and local storage data that your website has generated. In other words, MiniCookie ticks all the boxes!

It’s called “mini” because it has a small codebase that adds very little extra weight to your webpages. MiniCookie was coded exclusively for RapidWeaver, so it works in harmony with many other stacks and knows how you prefer to build websites in RapidWeaver. It is not a pay-per-domain or subscription based service you have to keep renewing.

A video has been published here, where I walk you through the complete stages of making an average website built with RapidWeaver fully compliant with all relevant privacy laws. Starting with understanding the basics of privacy compliance and adding a privacy policy page. Then adding a MiniCookie stack as a Partial to display attractive consent popups. We deploy some conditional displays to quarantine Google Analytics tracking, YouTube embeds, Trip Advisor widgets and a map. The setup of a cookie table is demonstrated. And to complete the work, we adjust the opt-in system to use checkbox categories and comply with the more stringent German privacy laws.

MiniCookie v2 is a major update, but an update that is TOTALLY FREE for existing users. You can download and install version 2 using automatic updates in RapidWeaver or from your secure Paddle account.

Noteworthy changes in version 2 include:

Secure Cookies
Tracking cookies you create, modify or delete can now include the option of the path, domain name and a checkbox to set the cookie securely. This can limit the scope of the cookie to “secure” channels - like a specific website domain that uses HTTPS. This makes your cookies more secure and can also help users delete more stubborn cookies (like Google Analytics). It’s definitely recommended that after you updated to MiniCookie v2, you go-through your websites and provide a domain name and opt to use secure cookies. Some web browsers (like Firefox) will soon start displaying messages about potentially insecure cookies.

Checkbox Consent Popups
A new multi-select consent popup. This is an expanded version of the existing consent popup. This new popup type complies with forthcoming German laws and allows the user to opt-in to different types of services - like functional cookies, social media and website analytics. Good to use in more complex websites, where you need to differentiate between different types of cookies or other services. Therefore the user has a lot more control over what they see; compared with the normal opt-in / opt-out messaging. You have the freedom to devise and add as many categories as you want.

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Sentry Support
Some minor changes have been made to add support for the new Sentry password stack. MiniCookie is able to create, modify or delete your password protection cookies used by Sentry.

Save Form Data
Ability to save form data as local storage. This is a useful addition on modern contact forms, if you want users to save form data between sessions on their computer. I added this setting to assist a user of a custom purchase order form stack I made, so customers could enter common data (like their name and contact details) only the once. Thereafter, the web browser automatically enters it into the form each time.

Cookie Table Improvements
Cookie tables have been overhauled. The presentation of these tables should be improved in more frameworks and the delete buttons work harder to delete stubborn cookies (like Google Analytics). These tables remain an innovative method to provide website users with a complete, self-updating, list of all the cookies your website has set. With the addition of easy options for users to delete cookies.

Code improvements
Some quite radical changes have been made to parts of the underlying code base. You won’t notice any difference in how MiniCookie looks or works. But this newer code goes some distance towards improving the overall efficiency of the stack.

If you have questions about MiniCookie, please get in contact by email. The sample project file on the website has been updated to include more examples of MiniCookie. If you like using MiniCookie, please write a review and tell others on the forums about your experiences using it.

Learn more…

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Introducing the new Sentry stack

Wednesday 5th August 2020

Sentry provides a quick and sophisticated method towards password protecting individual webpages or groups of stacks on webpages.

Designed and built exclusively for RapidWeaver, Sentry uses a powerful system of tracking cookies and server-side PHP code to regulate what content a website visitor is able to access on your website.

Starting with the login form, this is professionally designed to integrate with your existing website and fully compliant with all accessibility regulations.

Then you can change the configuration of Sentry to protect either an entire webpage or single-out individual groups of stacks in a webpage you want protected, from users who are not logged in. If you need to protect multiple webpages, simply make Sentry a Partial, and add it to each webpage you want locked.

Furthermore, you have options in Sentry to create custom logout buttons. The ability even exists to forcefully logout “idle” users who have not interacted with a webpage for a predetermined length of time!

As you can hopefully see, Sentry offers some innovative and exciting prospects for adding basic password protection to any website.

As always, you have a free trial version of Sentry to download and practice with on your computer.

I have also made a sample RapidWeaver 8 project to download. This demonstrates many aspects of the stack. If you like pet bunny rabbits, you’ll love this little test site even more!

These should hopefully provide an excellent insight for you to test Sentry; to determine if it’s suitable for your requirements. But as always, if you have any other questions, please email me, and I’ll be happy to guide you and provide friendly, expert advice.

Sentry is a one-time purchase and you can use it freely on as many websites as you want.

For the month of August 2020, enter the optional coupon code lovesentry at the checkout to take 30% off your Sentry stack purchase. Watch how.

Wasn’t there previously a stack called Sentry? Yes! This was formally developed by Nimblehost and worked as a CMS / page locking setup. In recent years, the original Sentry stack sold in very few numbers. Presumably because there are so many other CMS stacks on the market nowadays. This new Sentry stack is repurposed to focus solely on the task of password protection.

Sentry is a free update for existing users of the previous Sentry stack (if you purchased or updated after July 2017). To see if you’re eligible, login to your Paddle account and look to see if Sentry is listed there.

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QueryDisplay  updated to version 1.1

Wednesday 5th August 2020


A free update for all existing users. Changes in this update include:

  • New icons.
  • New subtitle.
  • Added a missingURL string for newer versions of stacks.
  • Calling libraries and templates using the newer dictionary strings in Stacks 3 and later.
  • Updated the jQuery for version 3.x
  • Freshened up the editing interface, to make the notations easier to read in ‘code format’.
  • Edit mode notations can now be toggled on an off in the stack settings.
  • Added support for optional anchor tags. This will be useful for future versions of the Sentry stack.
  • Updated the viewing macros, used by Stacks.

You can either update within Stacks / RapidWeaver or grab the latest version from the product page.

Stay tuned for a major new stack announcement later today!

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Introducing Droplet v2

Saturday 1st August 2020

Droplet v2 is a combination of over 30 hours work to totally rewrite the underlying codebase for improved speed, compatibility and reliability. Several new features you are sure to benefit from have been added in Droplet v2…

  • Experimental audio, photograph and video capture direct from mobile devices like the iPhone.
  • More language translations for different interface elements.
  • Simple email notifications for uploaded files, via a choice of ‘mailto’ or 'PHP mail’ methods.
  • Lots more new style and colour settings to adjust. New border styles. Colour pickers support RGBa transparency.
  • Refreshed the stack settings and setup interface. Changed the ordering and grouping of some settings.
  • Automatic image re-sizing and re-saving, for images you are uploading. Great to use with ProGallery.
  • Ability to change the file uploader icon and make it animated.
  • File chunking for large uploads, meaning big files are split into smaller upload packages and restart if the upload is interrupted.
  • Integration with the updated Sentry password protection stack, so you can keep your uploader more private.
  • Critically important compatibility changes with forthcoming web browser updates, like Microsoft Edge.
  • More precise control towards limiting the file types and sizes that can be uploaded with this stack.
  • Optional CSRF security tokens, to restrict where and how files are uploaded.
  • Several other great new additions, towards making this the best possible file uploader stack.

Droplet v2 can be downloaded here. The product page has been updated with a new demo version and more documentation.

I also want to talk a little about pricing and addon revenue in general. Droplet v2 contains enough features and functionality to demand a $50 USD price tag any day of the week. A comparable file uploader for other publishing platforms is easily into the $400+ USD price bracket (take a look at the concrete5, Drupal or Wordpress marketplaces as an example); and probably do a fraction of what Droplet does, with no decent editing interface to speak of!

I know some people use Droplet with some of my existing paid themes and stacks. Droplet compliments these really well. For example, it works great with ProGallery. So it would be shame to go cup-in-hand for more money off these loyal customers. But at the same time, I cannot shrug-off the time and effort that have going into this huge update. It was extremely hard to decide whether to make this a mandatory paid update for everyone, or continue offering it as before on a donationware basis. I decided the latter, owing to the hugely difficult economic situation many are in.

For sure, there are lots of people who have downloaded Droplet and use it with themes or stacks from other companies. I see this often when people ask me for help setting up Droplet for them. In these scenarios, I get zero revenue. Compounded by the fact that the whole Covid-19 situation has seen RapidWeaver addon revenue seriously impacted. A couple of notable developers have already made exits from RapidWeaver addon development this year.

My hope is that you appreciate the time and effort that have gone into making Droplet v2 a seriously sophisticated file uploader stack. If you do, please consider making a small donation for this or other addons I make. Pay whatever you think the addons are worth to you personally. The contribute page is here. Every donation helps and is appreciated. I reply in person and thank everybody who donates (if you provide an email address).

This is a gentle reminder that users need to appreciate, respect, understand and support addon developers equally. For RapidWeaver to survive beyond 2020, there needs to be a healthy diversity of different addon developers giving back to the platform. Perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a more even-distribution of revenue between hard-working developers.

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Introducing the new CheckMate stack

Wednesday 8th July 2020

A useful stack to categorise and sort items, based on checkboxes.

An unlimited number of items and checkboxes can be added to your CheckMate stack. Each item can comprise of text, images, purchase buttons, links or other basic content.

A wide choice of style and layout settings are provided. These let you effortlessly change the appearance of your checkboxes, labels and CheckMate items.

Optionally you can move the checkboxes elsewhere in your page; like to a column, an ExtraContent container or theme sidebar.

CheckMate is seamlessly compatible with all major web browsers and devices, including touchscreen smartphones and tablets.

Perfect for building portfolio showcases, inventory lists, product comparisons, simple web stores and much more.

A lightweight codebase written exclusively for RapidWeaver ensures CheckMate is both reliable and optimised for faster loading. CheckMate is also compliant with all applicable accessibility guidelines.

Learn more…

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