I have sent in a support email that has been returned back to me marked as 'FIR'. What does this mean?

FIR or further information required indicates that you have submitted a support request but failed to provide an acceptable level of information with your email. Therefore it has been rejected and sent back to you again. For example, you might have discussed a technical or compatibility matter about a stack, but you may have failed to provide a link to the test page or a link to download your RapidWeaver project file. Alternatively your email might be lacking other essential details like the name of the stack in question or its version number.

When requesting support, it is of paramount importance to always include useful and relevant information. A link to a test page published online or to a downloadable copy of your RapidWeaver project file is nearly always a mandatory requirement when contacting any RapidWeaver developer for support. Taking a few extra minutes to carefully compose a well-written email will save you from many wasted hours of delays in receiving a response. Please have consideration for the developer you are contacting and understand that RapidWeaver developers receive large volumes of support emails every day.

A typical email you send to a RapidWeaver developer requesting technical support should always comprise of the following information:
  1. Name of the stack(s) your email relates to
  2. Version number of the stack(s)
  3. Version number of RapidWeaver and Stacks being used
  4. A link to your test page or a zipped copy of your RapidWeaver project file (clearly indicate what page your enquiry relates to)
  5. Clear information explaining what support you require. Basically enough written information or screenshots to clearly illustrate topics and provide enough material for us to replicate things

Please remember that support is prioritised for ThemeFlood theme customers and customers who've purchased stacks from the website. If you have already made a contribution and are requesting help with a free stack, please mention this on your email so it can be prioritised! Furthermore, please ensure that the email address you require a reply sent to actually exists and our email address has been whitelisted.

What are the system requirements for these stacks?

It is easiest to work on the assumption that all stacks provided through Stacks4Stacks require RapidWeaver 6 and Stacks 3. This is the newest version of Stacks and has introduced numerous performance and feature set improvements. Upgrade pricing is available, so if your computer is compatible, you should definitely consider updating to RapidWeaver 6 and Stacks 3. Details can be found on the Realmac Software and Yourhead Software websites.

If you are still a user of Stacks 2.5 and RapidWeaver 5, then a large proportion of our stacks should still work for you. We have made a concerted effort to remain backwards-compatible with older versions of Stacks. But please read the stack pages carefully and take note of any that have been marked as only working with Stacks 3 or later - these stacks definitely will not work in older setups. Additionally we do not provide any support for Stacks 1.

Where can I find documentation for stack elements?

Every stack available from Stacks4Stacks has it's very own product page on this website. Product pages provide a description of what the stack does, working examples of the stack and setup details. This information has previously proved to be more than enough documentation for most users. To save time and money, we do not provide documentation in the form of PDFs. Video tutorials are occasionally provided for some stack elements, but not all. Our stacks are designed to be as simple as possible to pick up and use, while at the same time providing lots of configurable options for power-users.

All stacks can be accessed from the homepage of the Stacks4Stacks website. Simply click the links shown, and you'll be taken through to the product pages. You can also access stack product pages, by clicking the support or info links in the Stacks plugin itself (these are shown in the Stacks library, when you select a stack element).

What stacks do these stacks work with?

I provide no warranties or guarantees, regarding the compatibility of stacks provided through this website against addons from other RapidWeaver developers. At the end of the day, I have zero control over the code that a RapidWeaver theme or another addon is pulling into a page. Neither can I foresee what a future update to a stack or other addon might bring into a page. It is only feasible to conduct limited tests, and exclude the majority of third-party stacks from testing. Therefore it's solely your responsibility to test different combinations of stacks together. Before buying new stacks, you absolutely must use the free demo versions provided, to test combinations of stacks and RapidWeaver addons together, before purchase. I do not provide free support for stacks by other developers, neither am I obliged to fix problems caused through misuse of stacks or other addons being used in a page. All purchases are final, so if you choose to ignore the obvious warnings and free demo versions, then unfortunately that's your loss and you've only got yourself to blame!

Why do I have to pay for some stacks and not others?

Simple stacks are provided free of charge; they always have been and they probably always will be. No point in trying to sell code that already exists and is easily available online! The more complicated stacks require a small payment, to compensate towards ongoing development, support and updates.

The free stacks normally carry a credit / attribution in the source code, which is visible if you view the page source code. Typically this attribute displays my name and an advertising link back towards my website. If you want to have this attribute removed, then you can opt to pay a small fee (via the contribute links at the bottom of every page of this website).

How do I purchase stacks from this website?

For paid stacks (stack elements requiring purchase before you can use them without demo restrictions) click on the 'Add To Cart' buttons, shown immediately under the stack information (towards the top, in the orange box). This will take you to the checkout.

Enter your email address and click on the green Continue button. Next you will need to choose your country from drop-down menu and enter your postal or zip code in the box. Then click the green continue button. The final stage is to choose between paying with PayPal or paying using your credit card. All payments are handled securely by a company called Paddle.

Once payment has been completed, you'll be emailed a download link for the stack and a full receipt / invoice. If you don't receive these after a couple of minutes, please carefully check your spam or junk mail folders. Follow any additional instructions emailed to you for installing or publishing the stacks. It's strongly recommended that you keep a record of the purchase details; because proof of purchase is often required when obtaining future support or updates.

Do I have to pay VAT on purchases from the Stacks4Stacks website?

As of 1st January 2015, if you're resident in any one of the 28 EU member states, you'll be required by law to have VAT applied to the purchase of any digital downloads or electronic services you buy online. The amount of VAT you will be charged varies; based on which country you are purchasing from and the VAT rate your government has set. This is a global trade / taxation law that all sellers to Europe are legally required to comply with, including all sellers outside of Europe. There are no exceptions.

If you purchase a digital download or e-service without paying the correct amount of VAT, both you and the seller are liable to prosecution for tax avoidance. The rules have been introduced to stop companies syphoning profits out through tax havens and to create a level playing field for all online businesses.

To avoid the obvious problem of customers falsifying their country in the checkout (to get the lowest price and VAT rate), all customers will see and pay the same (gross) price for purchases from the Stacks4Stacks website. Depending on where you purchase from, we'll absorb any applicable VAT costs ourselves and pass this tax back to your country via the VAT-MOSS system. Additionally you'll be issued with a full purchase receipt / invoice, which you can use to claim-back any VAT paid (if you're a VAT registered business or a charity / non-profit exempt from paying VAT).

If you're a European resident, take particular care when buying any digital downloads or electronic services from other companies. Because taxation has switched from 'place of supply' to 'place of purchase' you're liable to ensure the correct amount of VAT is being paid. Be rest-assured that any purchases you make from Stacks4Stacks or ThemeFlood fully comply with the new legislation and exceed all requirements.

What are these stacks licensed under?

RapidWeaver addons obtained from the Stacks4Stacks website are designed for use with the RapidWeaver platform. Any usage beyond use in RapidWeaver may be construed as unlawful. RapidWeaver addons obtained from the Stacks4Stacks website may not be redistributed in their original format or any other addon or template format. You may use an addon to develop a web site for profit, provided all credits within the code remain intact, even if said addon has been modified. The extent of modification which nullifies Stacks4Stacks's right to credit will vary, but in short, no original graphics may remain and the overall layout and file structure (including the list of properties) must vary sufficiently to demonstrate evidence of applied intellectual process.

Where can I view terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions can be accessed from this page. The terms and conditions page provides information about the Stacks4Stacks website, sales policy, refund policy, compatibility and support and our privacy policy. Your use of the Stacks4Stacks website and our stack elements requires that you accept all the terms and conditions presented.

How can I contribute?

Please follow the 'contribute' links at the bottom of every page or click here. There are numerous ways you can contribute to the Stacks4Stacks project; ranging from 'word of mouth' through to the purchase of small gifts or monetary donations. Every contribution helps directly and ensures we can continue to provide many free or low-cost stack solutions to you.

How do I install new stacks?

After downloading stacks from this website, you should see a yellow lego brick icon. Double-click on the icon and follow the on-screen instructions to install the stack and restart RapidWeaver.

RapidWeaver stack installation

If you see a standard blue OS X folder ending in .stack instead of a yellow leg brick icon, then firstly confirm that you have the latest version of the Stacks plugin installed on your computer. Download and reinstall the Stacks plugin again from the YourHead software website. If problems persist, contact Yourhead Software for technical support.

How do I get updates?

Updates for stacks are handled using the Sparkle update mechanism. If a newer version of a stack is available, a little notification message will be displayed next to the stack, in the Stacks library. Use the pull-down menu and select Install Update(s). Follow the onscreen instructions to read what has changed in the update and any special instructions. As always, it's strongly recommended that you backup all projects and RapidWeaver addons, before commencing an update. After an update has been applied, republish your website.

Sparkle is not very reliable and does not always work. So for free stacks, you can re-download and install them again to assure you are running the latest versions. For paid stacks, your download link always points to the latest version of the stack. Expired download links can be re-activated on request. Please get in contact with proof of purchase attached to your email.

Please note that the free demo versions for paid stacks are excluded from automatic updates, to reduce bandwidth consumption.

Why does Stacks4Stacks not list stack elements on the RapidWeaver Community / Addons website?

In an effort to keep time and costs to a minimum, Stacks4Stacks has opted not to list any stack elements or display adverts on the RapidWeaver Addons website. Generally most of our customers go shopping for new stack elements via a search engine or via word-of-mouth on the RapidWeaver forums. We don't believe there is anything to be gained from listing our stacks on the addons website at the present time. You can also find all our stack elements listed on the StackCentral website; which is a fantastic free resource.

How do I get help and what are the support limitations?

If you have questions relating to any of the stacks provided on this website, please make use of the contact details provided on the contact page. This is by far the easiest and quickest way to make contact if you have questions or comments about any of the stacks featured here. Please do not cross-post the same questions to both me and other support channels like the RapidWeaver forums (duplicates will just get marked as spam and deleted without a reply).

To avoid support emails being bounced back to you as FIR (further information required) at the very least you absolutely must include a link to your published page live on the internet that your enquiry relates to. We are not telepathic and cannot see what is on your computer screen! To identify and help resolve common problems, we need a live web page to view and run diagnostic tests on. Failure to provide a link to your test webpage or a sandwich file download link will simply result in long delays in providing you with an answer. A few simple details provided on your part can make things far quicker and easier for all involved.

We only provide free support for the stacks featured on this website. We are not obliged to provide free support for stacks by other companies or answering "x works with x but not with x" type questions. If you need help getting particular combinations of stacks working together or support in using stacks from other companies, then this work will be billable at a standard hourly rate, plus the cost of required addons from other companies.

Where can I report a problem with this website?

If you've found a broken link, a typo or other mistakes, please get in contact via the contact page. We will attempt to resolve any problems as quickly as possible. Some of the free downloads are stored on other websites like DropBox. Therefore if these services go down, it may inadvertently break some of the links on this website too.

What's the best 'blank' theme to use these stacks with?

If you're looking for a totally blank RapidWeaver theme to use Stacks4Stacks stack elements with, consider using the free 'Blank Theme', available from ThemeFlood. This theme has been around for several years and now includes support for Bootstrap and Font Awesome Icons. The blank theme also has a basic selection of style and colour settings (for things like the background). Because it’s a responsive RapidWeaver theme, it's right up there with the best. Many users on the RapidWeaver forum have frequently stated what an impressive theme they've found this one to be. If you've not tried it before, download it now!

All Stacks4Stacks stack element have undergone testing, to ensure they will print or save as PDF correctly. A lot of other developers never bother testing this aspect of their stacks, which means the print output can be extremely disappointing. We have instead adopted a process of detailed testing, to ensure stacks will print or save as PDF correctly. In quite a few instances, extra CSS code has been added, to improve the overall print output and remove unnecessary elements. Another sign of the quality and high standards we strive towards.

What are the limitations with free demo stacks?

We have always provided free demo versions of all stack elements, so that you can fully evaluate any of the paid stacks before purchase. This way you know exactly what you'll getting, before purchase. In demo stack versions, the words 'Demo Version' will be permanently shown below the stack element and cannot be switched off. The free demo versions are excluded from automatic updates. Demo stacks may also have other limitations applied, like time-outs, watermarks or restrictions on the number of stack elements or items that can be nested within.

Needless to say, if you want to have these demo restrictions removed and continue using the stack, you need to purchase it from the website! You will be given a download link via email to a new, fully-unlocked version of the stack, without any demo restrictions, whatsoever. You'll also be granted a license and permission to use the stack in personal or commercial websites, plus access to free updates and customer support.

Any instances of stacks setup using demo versions cannot be 'unlocked'. You will need to delete demo versions from your computer, before installing the full purchased versions. Please bear this in mind, before committing many hours of work and building large-scale page layouts with demo stacks. Demo stacks are provided purely for quick evaluation purposes only. No serial numbers or licence codes can be used to unlock free demo versions. This is the way the Stacks plugin works (and always has done), with regards to addon stack elements and demo versions.

What is the "one effect per-page" rule?

This is an idea that has been preached for many years, including by many RapidWeaver developers and web developers far beyond RapidWeaver. It especially holds true in any sort of modular web publishing platform. The idea behind this concept is that quality webpages should have no more than one special effect per-page. By special effect, we mean some sort of animation effect (like a slider or text effect).

Multiple stacks of all the same kind are often fine to use together on the same page (unless otherwise advertised). So you could go ahead and have multiple TogglePlus or TopBox stacks running safely on the same page. Problems start to occur when you go for a cocktail-mix of multiple (and different) animated stacks on the same page. Problems can quickly (and often unsuspectingly) arise in various different forms. Normally right before an important deadline.

Firstly (and usually most obviously) multiple animation effects on the same page can be a serious distraction for end users. Things flashing up, changing colour or sliding around the place looks cheap and proves to be both distracting and irritating. The days of cheesy GIF animations are largely over. Users will quickly click-away from websites they do not like or trust.

Another issue is that the more special effects you add to a page, the more bandwidth and processing power required. Things may well look great on your shinny new quad-core computer. But give consideration to people viewing your website on older computers, tablets and smartphones (which typically have significantly less processing power and graphics capabilities).

Finally (and often most seriously) multiple animation effects can easily conflict with one another and break. The laws of web design dictate that an element must be available in the page (in the browser DOM) before it can be manipulated (like have styling or Javascript applied to it). If something else is hiding or moving that element for its own purpose, you're quickly going to hit problems. And these sorts of problems may only effect some web browsers and not others (due to the way different web browsers handle the fetching and loading of pages). What might look great in Safari or Firefox could be a train-wreck in Internet Explorer, and vice-versa.

Like all rules, nothing is cast in stone and there are perfectly legitimate exceptions to the above. But beyond one effect per page, you have to know what you're doing, understand the risks and accept any consequences arising. So it's wise to listen to the experts. KISS (keep things stupidly simple) is a wise rule to follow when building new web pages. Concentrate on content first, only animate if essential to the function of the page, and animate in moderation. Less is more.
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