Build a Website with Rapidweaver for Mac
- Students need a mac computer
- Rapidweaver from Realmac Software
- A budget to purchase addons, web hosting and domain registration
- No previous web building experience is required
Web design as a life-skill
In today’s world, the ability to build and manage your own website is a life-skill that can revolutionise your business if you have one, or open up amazing doors of opportunity, enabling you to share your passion with the world. It is a skill that I learned when I wanted to launch my first business, and it proved to be the key to my business success, giving me a huge advantage over my local competitors.
Who is this course for?
This course is for you if you own a mac computer and want to build a website using Rapidweaver. Rapidweaver is the best web design software for Mac. It makes web design easy and accessible for the amateur. Importantly, you don’t have to learn to code. I will show you how to build a website with the drag-and-drop simplicity of 'stacks'. This course is aimed primarily at those who want to build and manage websites for their own use. That includes:
Business owners who want to attract more customers
Self-employed workers like Plumbers, Electricians, Artists, Authors, or Entrepreneurs
Anyone with a hobby or passion they want to share with the world.
Or it might be that you’re an employee of a small business and your boss has asked you to make a website.
As I said at the beginning, in today’s world, being able to build a website is an important life-skill. The applications of it are limitless.
What you will be able to do at the end of it?
This is a beginners course that requires no previous web building experience. At the end of this course:
You will be able to build and publish a simple website
You will understand important considerations in choosing a domain or web address for your business
You will understand key elements that make a website convert visitors into customers
You will know how to find whatever addons you require to meet your particular website needs
You will be able to spend your website budget wisely, identifying the addons you need without wasting money on ones you'll never actually use
You will know where to find tutorials on advanced Rapidweaver topics in order to take your skills to the next level, including integration of eCommerce solutions, Content Management Systems (CMS), and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Should you wish to start a new career building websites as a business, this course could be the start that you need.
How is the course structured?
There are 8 sections to this course:
Start building using Rapidweaver's built-in page types
In this section you'll gain an overview of Rapidweaver's interface and tools, and learn how to add several built-in page-types. These pages will be replaced in a later section after adding the Stacks plugin, so web building will only be taken to a very basic level in this section.
Choose a Web Hosting company
I'll guide you through a list of top recommended companies.
Choose your own Internet Domain
I'll guide you through various important considerations to help you choose the right address for your website.
Manage your hosting and domain, and publish your website
You may choose a different hosting company to me, but I'll give you a brief tour of the control panel for my web hosting and demonstrate how to obtain your publishing details and input them into Rapidweaver's publishing settings.
Enhance Rapidweaver using Addons
The reason Rapidweaver is such a powerful web building solution is that it provides a platform for third-party developers around the world to create their own addons. There are now over 1,000 addons available and in this section I guide you through the various different categories to choose from.
Continue Building using Stacks
This is the longest and most detailed section, in which you will follow me step-by-step as I create a new and better website for my plumbing business. If you keep apace with each lesson and build your own website, by the end of this section you will have a website of your own sufficient for many types of business use.
In this lesson I will show you how to extend your Rapidweaving skills further beyond the scope of this beginners' course. I will introduce Search Engine Optimisation. I will show you where to find courses and addons for advanced topics like integrating eCommerce solutions and Content Management Systems. I will give you an overview of graphics and video apps that you may find useful in your web building projects. I will show you why building your own website gives you such an advantage over your competitors who mostly outsource their web design. And I will give you an overview of strategies I have used to advertise my business and attract visitors to my website.
Course Support Page
Throughout the course I refer you to my Rapidweaver support page on a website that I have created as an informative support to my Udemy students. This page contains a detailed description of 'All Things Rapidweaver', together with a multitude of links to help you find all the tools you need to excel in your Rapidweaving skills. I also refer you to the Rapidweaver Community website where you can find the most comprehensive library of addons as well as to the Rapidweaver Forum. If you have questions about any of my lessons I encourage you to message me via Udemy and I will try to answer your questions or add Q&A Videos if appropriate. For general questions about Rapidweaver or specific addons, I encourage you to contact the specific developer, or make use of the Rapidweaver Forum where you will find enthusiastic users only too eager to answer your questions.
What are the requirements?
Rapidweaver is a mac-only web design app, so you need:
to own a mac computer running a recent version of Mac OS X
to purchase Rapidweaver from Realmac Software. It costs £79.99 GBP, but you can also download a free trial version to start with. This course was made with Rapidweaver 7 which is very similar in layout to the newly released Rapidweaver 8. You can learn about its new features and refinements by visiting Realmac Software's website.
to buy web hosting from a hosting company and register a domain so that you can publish your website. Prices vary according to company, but start from about £20 for the first year.
to buy the Stacks plugin from Yourhead Software, which costs about $50. Without this, you can build a good website with just the Rapidweaver app, especially if you know a bit of html. Stacks is such a revolutionary enhancement that I would recommend this as a must-have for most users. It enables you to build your website with the simplicity of drag-and-drop stack elements and no coding expertise.
a budget for additional addons. As much as possible, I show you addons with a demo version that you can 'try before you buy' in order to help you make best use of your website budget, and avoid wasting money on addons that you won't actually use. A recommended website budget will depend on your particular requirements, but it is certainly helpful to have another two or three hundred pounds or dollars to spare. If your budget is tight you can create a website within your budget and improve it with more addons as and when additional funds become available. In addition to the searchable addons library at Rapidweaver Community, on my own support website I have created a RWstacks page that is my own searchable stacks library. You can filter stacks by several categories, including price, and pick out the free ones if you're on a tight budget. This page is a work in progress, so is not yet as complete as the one at Rapidweaver Community, but I hope you will find it helpful.
- Mac users who wants to build and manage their own website
- Business owners who want to attract more customers
- Self-employed workers who want to market their products or services
- People with an interest or passion they want to share with the world
- Who I am and how building a website has helped me
- Open Rapidweaver and Add a Styled Text Page
- Site Settings
- Add Various Built-In Page Types
- Page Inspector - Sidebar, Code and Styles tabs
- Page Inspector - General tab, Navigation and Meta Tags
- Questions and Feedback
- Best Value Web hosting company
- Rapidweaver vs. Wordpress
- Best Small Business Hosting and Web Host Location
- Availability, Price and Domain Extension
- Additional important factors to consider
- Log in to your hosting to access your publishing settings
- Exploring your hosting Control Panel
- Overview of types of addons for Rapidweaver
- Themes and Responsive web design
- The Stacks Plugin
- Third-party stacks
- Make a final decision about choice of theme
- Rebuild the home page using stacks and configure the main content area
- Configure the page footer
- Add a Static Banner
- Enhanced banner options
- Add video to the sidebar
- Add reviews using partials
- Choose a website colour scheme
- Add hyperlinks
- Add Social and Like It Buttons
- Add a Gallery page using Stacks
- Add a Blog page
- Add Google Analytics
- An introduction to SEO
- Overview of courses, addons and apps to extend your Rapidweaving skills
- The Evolution of your Website
- Attracting visitors to your website
After a 17 year career as a school mathematics teacher, I became self-employed in 2011 when I retrained as a plumber and launched my plumbing business, 'Hamish the Plumber'. Realising that I needed a website, I decided to learn how to build my own, rather than pay a professional to make one for me. That decision rapidly gave me the advantage I needed over my local competitors. My business took off quickly, and within two years I ranked as Google's top plumber for my city. Another year later, I featured in all the British newspapers, on the radio and on billboards as part of a British government campaign, modelling the line 'Business is flowing now that customers can find me online'. Research had shown that 40 percent of sole trader businesses in the UK still had no website. Impressed by my plumbing website, my Google ranking, and my 5-star customer reviews, a government department headhunted me to help British businesses 'Do More Online'.
My experiences led me to the conclusion that running a profitable plumbing business is as much about good marketing as about good plumbing. While running my business, I have actively tried to learn all I can about successful online marketing, and have spent more money sharpening my marketing skills than I originally spent retraining as a plumber. Because in my plumbing business I market my time, which is not a scalable commodity, my marketing skills have outgrown my plumbing business. Creating online courses on Udemy is a return to education that allows me to share the skills and experiences I have learned through five years of running a 5-star rated business. It also combines my long-term hobby of tinkering with my mac computer.
I grew up in Scotland. As a 14 year old studying at Fettes College, Edinburgh's top private school, a career's test recommended plumbing as a possible match. My father was infuriated, exclaiming 'I expect you to be more than a plumber'. I went on to gain a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bristol University, one of England's top universities, followed by my teaching certification as a secondary school mathematics teacher. I taught mostly in the country of Yemen, returning to the UK in 2009. After a further 2 years' teaching in England, I decided it was time for a change. Thirty years had passed since that careers test when I actually retrained as a plumber. Five subsequent years of running a successful plumbing business have proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle, enabling me to find my calling.
Now as more than a plumber, 'Build a Website with Rapidweaver' is my first Udemy course. An effective website that converts visitors into customers should be the centrepiece of any effective business marketing strategy. In this course I share the skills that propelled my plumbing business success and made me a model for British businesses to follow and 'Do More Online'. I look forward to creating additional courses on marketing-related topics in the future.