I am very happy to announce that I have completely revamped my RapidWeaver online store. You can check it out at http://joeworkman.net/rapidweaver/
To celebrate the new design, get 15% off anything in my store with the code redux15 at check out. The offer expires Sunday, August 18th PST.
As you will notice, all my products have been sorted into categories. This makes it so much easier to find the product that fits your needs. Its also much easier to find bundles and free stuff.
My old store page still exists for those that may prefer that. Just click on All Stacks in the sidebar. The search/filter feature has been temporarily removed as that stack is still in the works.
I have integrated Searchpath site search on the main store and category webpages. This is a really cool service that you should check out.
On the bottom of the category pages, there are featured tutorials and videos that will help you get the most out of the stacks that you probably already own. We jam pack our stacks with tons of features and we want to help you realize their full potential. These tutorials are displayed at random every time the page is loaded.
On the product pages, you will notice that you can now share your favorite products over App.net, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also clearly see the requirements for each stack. Now if you add a product to your cart, you will notice something else very cool. A new lightbox, Expose actually, will appear below the shopping cart. This contains suggestions for other stacks that you might like. And if the product that you just added to you cart is apart of a bundle, we inform you about that as well so that you can save some money.
The best part of this redesign? Everything you see is a stack… E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! While my site is done 100% in RapidWeaver, I had a ton of custom code. My main products page and all of my product pages were all custom work. This isn’t the case anymore. I got fed up with having to tell people that some cool widget on my site was custom code and not a stack that they could use. This is why I spent copious amounts of time developing everything that I wanted into a stack that anyone could use.
None of these new stacks are available for sale yet. I built a lot of new stacks and will release them one at a time as I polish them up for consumer use.
You may be shocked that I put so much work into something and I have not changed my theme! There are a few reasons why I did not change my theme…
I really love my theme (Atom by Elixir) and was not quite ready to give it up yet. I think that my site is still very elegant and current. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
I did not feel that I had the time to go through an entire website redesign. If I were to change themes, then I would have to rethink all my page layouts, colors, buttons, images, etc. That is simply more time than I felt that I had, especially when I really like the current look of my site.
Now even if I wanted to change my theme, would I go responsive? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, I think that responsive sites are awesome. Responsive and mobile sites allow you to engage your customers while they are on the go in a way that is customized for their current viewing experience. So why wouldn’t I want that? In short, it does not fit into my business requirements.
Lets think about what my business is… I develop and sell RapidWeaver add-ons and Mac apps. Both of these require that my customers own a Mac desktop. Customizing my site for mobile devices does not get me any benefits. I don’t have a physical location, so customers don’t need to navigate to where I am. Since all my products require a desktop, chances are people are going to purchase things while they are on their desktops. This is so that they can download and start using them immediately.
So really, the only thing left is presenting data in a customized way on mobile devices. Would that be nice? Sure, it would be. However, since users and pinch-to-zoom or double-tap-to-zoom in on content, I don’t feel that users are losing. If someone is look at my site on a mobile device, I feel that it’s a temporary look at a product or blog post. Asking them to zoom in to read content (if they must) is not a bad thing. If they user sees what they like, when they get back to their desktop, they can go back online and purchase the product or review that back again in more detail.
Now I obviously do sell responsive products. Therefore, on product pages that I feel that I need to display their responsive nature, I do have small responsive demo sites built for each individual product. I then link to that responsive demo from the main product page demo area.
Just to recap… I think that responsive sites are amazing! However, they do require extra thought and time to implement properly. Therefore, you should evaluate your (or your customer’s) business needs to see if you really require a mobile version of your site.
Special Hangout for Redesign
I also think the I will do a special editing RapidWeaver hangout tomorrow (August 14) and will field any questions that you have about the new site design. For more info, make sure that you follow me on App.net, Twitter or join my Glassboard.