Introducing Foundry – the free-form framework for RapidWeaver
I am extremely excited to get to introduce something totally new today that is unlike anything I've offered in the past. This new addition to the Elixir family is called Foundry.
Foundry is a free-form framework for RapidWeaver that is super simple to use, but is powerful enough to build some truly amazing, responsive websites.
A little background: I started this project more than a year ago. I began building it because I wanted to create a tool for beginning RapidWeaver users all the way up through veteran users. Something that would let users build sites in a modular fashion, with drag-and-drop ease.
I started out using a pretty popular framework for its basis, but as time went on I found that I was having to do some pretty convoluted things to get a product that was both powerful and drag-and-drop simple. I fussed around with it for quite some time, but never got it to a place where I felt it was accessible and useful to all levels of RapidWeaver users. So I abandoned it after having sunk months of work into the project and decided to take a short breather.
A month or so passed and I regrouped a bit and dug back in, this time focusing on the Bootstrap framework as a basis for the underlying core elements to build around. I found that things just started to click. I didn’t need to create convoluted processes or code and I could design some stacks that really were easy to use for all levels of users. Why hadn’t I started here?! I thought.
Flash forward to today, after much design, development and beta testing…
Today I get to present to you Foundry. Foundry is a huge suite of stacks that presents you with almost infinite possibilities. You’re able to use a huge selection of modular components, in the form of stacks, to build some spectacular websites. Let’s take a look at a few highlights and answer a few questions as well.
- Infinite Possibilities. Use the large collection of responsive stacks to build your pages from the ground up, scrutinizing each detail. The sky’s the limit!
- Drag-And-Drop. Foundry makes it easy to get the look and feel you want with drag-and-drop simplicity.
- Iron Clad. Built around Bootstrap, the web’s most popular responsive framework.
- No Code Necessary. Create modular, mobile first pages without needing to write a line of code.
- Integrated. Foundry’s stacks all just work together, for a seamless experience.
There is a lot more to learn about Foundry. Be sure to head on over to the Foundry site and check it all out. We’ve got a nice introduction video (which I’ve also included below), along with extensive documentation, tutorial videos, and more.
A little Q&A time
Here’s a few “getting to know you” questions and answers about Foundry.
Q. Are there multiple add-on packs for Foundry?
A. Everything you need for Foundry is all included in the base pack. We don’t break things up into multiple packages. No one wants to have to buy multiple products to get all of the cool, fun base tools. Is that to say we’ll never have addon packs? No. We may put out some in the future, but we will also be adding directly to Foundry itself as well as time goes by!
Q. Can the Foundry stacks be used outside of Foundry?
A. No, these stacks are all based around sharing a base set of code, which is contained within Foundry. Using these stacks outside of that environment will yield less than desirable results.
Q. Drag-and-drop ease, eh? Is it really that simple?
A. Yes, it is actually. The modular approach of Stacks, and Foundry, make it easy to build both simple and complex pages within RapidWeaver, no matter your skill level. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran blacksmith, or a new apprentice, you’ll be hammering out sites in no time.
Q. What are the requirements for Foundry?
A. You’ll need a few things to use Foundry. First, and foremost you’ll need RapidWeaver version 6.0 or higher. You’ll also need the Stacks plugin for RapidWeaver. We’ve leveraged some special API enhancements in Stacks, so you’ll want to make sure you’re using Stacks v3.1 or higher. Beyond that, Foundry provides the theme and stacks you’ll use to construct a beautiful site.
Q. Do I have to start with a blank canvas?
A. While one of the goals of Foundry is to allow you to build your site from the ground up, we know it is often intimidating to be faced with a blank canvas. We’ve been there. It can be tough sometimes to have infinite possibilities staring you down. So we’ve created some pre-built project files to get you started.
At launch we’ve got two free, straight-forward pre-built project files for you to download. We’ve also have to more complex project files that you can purchase currently. Dive in and change them to your liking. Adjust the settings of the different stacks, rearrange things, and provide your own content. These pre-built projects are a great starting point to get your creative juices flowing.
Don’t see an answer to your question above?
Head on over to our new Foundry community forum and post your question there. Someone will be glad to answer your question. Heck, it may already be answered there!
On the Foundry site I’ve included a documentation section. Each stack in Foundry has its own page so you can see what each stack can do, as well as use those individual pages to reference their options and settings when building your site. You can also dig through the pre-built project files to see how we’ve gone about constructing some of our layouts as well.
The Foundry site also includes several tutorial videos to get you started and to teach you a bit more about Foundry. We’ve covered several topics already, from the super simple on up, and will be adding more videos as time goes on.