Yet Another Site Redesign
May 01, 2016 11:44 AM
That's right. We updated our site yet again.
It's been very frustrating finding a web site publishing system that is crazy fast AND easy to use. Over the years we've tried several systems, but I think we're now would the right solution for us.
In the past, we've tried Drupal, Wordpress, FileMaker with FMWebFrame, and EverWeb, and even coding our own as a Xojo Web App. On Friday, my friend Tim Dietrich suggested RapidWeaver.
Drupal was the first content management system we tried. It was amazing until we moved to Wordpress. Drupal worked well but seemed a bit convoluted compared to Wordpress. This was years ago, so it might be better now. We were running Wordpress on GoDaddy and the performance was really bad. Eventually we were moved to a faster server, but Wordpress was still slow for us.
I then learned about FMWebFrame. It's simply incredible but it requires FileMaker Server which has gotten incredibly expensive since version 12. On top of that sometime FileMaker Server's web publishing just stops out of the blue. It's ridiculous how such an expensive server can be so buggy.
Since we've been using Xojo to develop Desktop, Web, and iOS apps, I met Paul, the developer of EverWeb at the Xojo 2015 XDC. He super nice and his EverWeb app is amazing. It's like Apple's iWeb back in the day. Just about everything is drag and drop which I love when developing websites. I love GUI's. I rebuilt our site and then found out I had two problems. One was Blogs with RSS wasn't supported and the other was pages were not responsive. As Paul suggested, you can create blog posts, but you just have to manage an RSS feed separately. I found EcoFeed on the App Store that seemed to do the trick. EverWeb also has the ability to create Standard and Mobile pages to make site works nicely on all devices as well as keeping Google happy. I just found that I don't have the time to update two pages for every page on my website. I was torn as I really like EverWeb, but I needed a Blog/RSS and responsive pages.
As I said above, Tim told me about RapidWeaver on Friday. I spent some time looking into it, tried out the demo along with Stacks and was super interested. Stacks is an add-on to RapidWeaver that gives you the ability to drag and drop a variety of stacks to your page. There are stacks for just about everything. I found that I would need RapidWeaver for $90, Stacks for $50, and then individual stacks to use in Stacks for about $15 each.That made it a bit expensive compared to the alternatives. So a bit the bullet and I found that I'm incredibly happy to spend that money. RapidWeaver along with Stacks seems to be inseparable. As far as I found, everything you add to your site with Stacks is automatically responsive. Essentially, every stack that you add to a page becomes a an html/css DIV that can rearrange itself depending on the width of the device. So now I just worry about the wide version of our site and the mobile version works automatically. Our site passes Google's Mobile-Friendly Test with flying colors! We also created a fun 404 error page: http://campsoftware.com/ThisIsALinkToAPageThatDoesNotExist
Over the next few weeks, we'll be bringing our past blog post back into this feed. we'll set the dates to be on their original dates all the way back to 2010.