F2 vs. F3 - which is easier for a novice?

Dear All,

Tech novice here just trying to make a few personal sites. Been struggling a bit with Foundry 2. I see Foundry 3 is now available, and it seems like something of a ‘new animal.’ So I’m wondering, would the new F3 be easier for a novice to deal with? Or should I just stick with F2 and slug it out?

Thank you,

Hi Scott,

Which aspects of F2 are you struggling with?

F3’s modularity is massively powerful, and can create some stunning sites, but with great power comes some complexity - although unlike certain stack frameworks, it’s still written for us ‘normal’ folk, rather than techies.

I’d suggest you check the documentation and videos, which will give you a flavour of how it all hangs together - Adam’s support, documentation and videos are best-of-breed (for both F2 and F3) - I still lean on them heavily.

As with any “Which would be best for me?” query, it’s impossible to give a definitive answer, but if you detail your specific struggles here, there’s a good chance someone will point you in the right direction, or chip in with a solution for you.


Thank you Mr. Jackson, for your kind, thoughtful, and perceptive response.

It was 13 or 14 years ago that I first put together my sites using Elixir’s RW Themes. There were a lot of Themes to choose from then, but Adam S’s work resonated best with me, and worked out well. It took me a little time to ‘get’ how it all worked, but once I did, it was fun and pleasing to be creative and cobble things together.

Flash forward to now and those sites are obviously ancient, non-responsive, and soon my host may discontinue the old PHP version support. Another thing I don’t really understand, but I’m under the gun to update and create new sites.

So what am I finding difficult about Foundry 2? Well, things are just a lot more complex now as you write, I’m older, and somehow I’m just not ‘grokking’ the whole thing. Maye it’s beyond me at this point. I’ve viewed nearly all of Adam S’s tutorial videos, some several times, and tried to kind of A-B-C put things together along with Adam in his vids. Still, a few specifics might be:

-Confusion about margins, Containers, spacing/placing things. Sometimes he uses a Container, sometimes not… I don’t understand what is easiest and/or best. And why.

-Fonts. I believe I can always fall back on the sort of ‘safe’ internet fonts, which is fine, though they’re not particularly stylish. It might be nice to use Google fonts or similar, but then it just seems overly complicated for me…? Maybe I should just crawl before I try to walk.

-Dealing with trying to make things look good on various devices, computers/tablets/phones etc. So many different sizes of phones. Just when I think I have a stack that looks good on everything, checking the different phones, nope. Text wraps around weird or something. So I have to try this and that to find a happy medium, and it’s tedious and frustrating. I imagine that’s life now, this is just the way things are, whether using F2 or F3 or some other program.

That’s what comes to mind at the moment.

I’ve looked at a few F3 tutorials, but will have to do more research on those, as you suggest.

So again, I guess my question comes down to is: Is F3 somehow easier to use or more coherent for the novice ‘drag-and-drop’ type of user, or is it even more complicated than F2?

Thank you Mr. Jackson, Mr. Shiver, and All.

Happy Saturday!

Container in Foundry 2 is used to contain content so it does not extend further than a set amount. In Foundry 3 I’ve renamed this functionality to Max-Width. So maybe that will help in understanding what the two tools do. They simply set a maximum width for the content inside of them.

Sometimes you need this, sometimes you do not.

Google Fonts are pretty easy to use with the Foundry Typeface tool. Select your Google font and add it as shown in the tutorials. Here’s a link to the Foundry 2 documentation page with all of the F2 Typeface tutorials:


You can then select that font in various locations throughout Foundry. This is exactly the same in Foundry 3, but with more areas where your Typefaces can be applied.

This is just part of making a responsive site. Things are fluid in nature. You cannot ever get every single pixel exactly where you want it. There are too many variations in devices, screen sizes, etc.

If you’re interested in learning a bit more about Foundry 3 I’d suggest watching the videos on the Getting Started page – especially the “Creating Your First Site” tutorials.


Thank you, Mr. Shiver, for kindly taking the time to respond and explain about these various items of interest with Foundry. Very much appreciated.

As you suggest, I will dig into the documentation and tutorials and see about gaining a better understanding of Foundry 3.

Peace and Blessings,