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10 Online Courses To Become A Better Web Designer

Whether you’re first entering the world of web design or own a well-established agency, one thing applies to all: you can always learn more. That’s what makes online courses so fabulous. You can learn at your own pace and pick and choose the topics you want to delve deeper into. Instead of having to hunt around for great web design courses to take, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite online courses. Each of the following will help you to become a more solid web designer, expand your skill set, and/or improve your business direction. Your Web Designer Toolbox Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW UX & Web Design Master Course: Strategy, Design, Development Become a real expert in web design by taking this master course on Udemy. Instructor Joe Natoli walks you through UX principles for creating better web designs that work for visitors and customers. Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course: Build 23 Projects! Here’s another great course on Udemy. The instructor this time is Brad Hussey and he breaks down all the details of what it takes to become a full-stack developer. This covers it all from front-end design to back-end programming. Web Design for Beginners: Real World Coding in HTML & CSS If you’re new to the world of web design, you’ll greatly benefit from this web design for beginners course by Brad Schiff. It shows you how to create HTML5, CSS3, and responsive design in real-world examples. Grow Your Web Design Skills This fantastic online course on Pluralsight is an obvious choice for expanding your web design skills. User Experience for Web Design Another course you might want to consider is this breakdown of user experience in web design put together by Chris Nodder. It’s just under two hours long and aimed at beginners, but even pros could use a refresher now and then. Introduction to Web Design and Development Here’s another beginner-level course, this time a full intro to web design and development. It consists of about three and a half hours of instruction that offer in-depth exploration of topics you need to know to advance your skills. Web Design: Efficient Workflow For creating a better workflow for running a web design agency or business, this mini-course is a sure bet. Creating a Responsive Web Design: Advanced Techniques Responsive design...

10 Best WordPress Backup Plugins of the Year

A backup plugin isn’t something you just look at and purchase. There are overwhelming numbers of WordPress Backup Plugins available for your WordPress website. You need to consider many factors before choosing the ideal WordPress plugin to back up your business or personal website. However, investing in the right backup plan is always an investment. Sometimes, a free WordPress backup plugin with limited features may be sufficient, but not using any plugins to back up your website could prove to be way more expensive. There are different features to look out for, to better understand your requirement and choose a website backup plugin accordingly. The different kinds of backups generally available are Database backup, Complete backup and Schedule backup. Database backup plugins let you only backup for WordPress database. The complete backup plugin would allow you to backup the entire website, your database and all WordPress files. Finally, scheduled backup allows the user to schedule and plan their backup automatically. Earlier WordPress plugins would allow you to store your files only on the local server. With the improvement in technology and security, the good WordPress backup plugins allow you to store your backup to Dropbox, Google Drive and other remote locations. Now that we know what we can expect from a WordPress Backup Plugin, let’s have a look at the best WordPress Backup Plugins for the year. There are both free and premium plug-ins in this list, and you can choose according to your needs, preferences and budget. Please note, these plug-ins are not listed in the best to worst order – they are simply numbered so it’s easier to keep track. You can pick any one of these backup WP plugins that you find best suits your needs. 1. WP Time Capsule: WP Time Capsule is one of the ideal WordPress backup plugins if the user wishes to backup just their recent files and not the entire website. It allows the user to back up to their favorite cloud storage sites like Dropbox, Amazon S3 and Google Drive. The best advantage of WP Time Capsule is that it doesn’t consume many resources on the server as it doesn’t compress and zip the backup files. For using this backup plugin, the user needs to register for a WP Time Capsule account and install the free plugin. Connect this plugin to the cloud apps like Dropbox to send the backup files to the user...

Exciting New Tools for Designers, February 2020

Are you starting 2020 off on the right foot? How about keeping up with those resolutions to learn or try something new? Either way, you’re in luck. This roundup is packed with new tools to help you through projects or learn new tricks to enhance your skillset. Here’s what’s new for designers this month. Calcolor Calcolor is a color tool that provides deeper information and meaning for every color in your palette so you can make better color choices. The tool has a contextual description for every HEX color code. You can use it to create and save digital color palettes or find better options for colors before you get too deep into the design. Invisible Line Editor Invisible Line Editor is a tool that helps you align text in a specific manner. You can click and drag to center, justify, or right- of left-align text. You can even download text and share. If nothing else, it is fun to play with to see how blocks of text might look in different alignments. YourStack YourStack, which is in public beta, is designed to help you share your favorite products with others. It’s a neat concept for reviewing tools and products. Plus, it has a nifty design that’s fun to peruse. FlowMapp Personas Tool FlowMapp’s Personas Tool helps you better understand your target audience by building distinct user personas. It’s deep mapping in a premium tool that can help create better design experiences. Kinetic Slider Kinetic Slider is a fully customizable WebGL slider based on PixiJS and Gsap. It creates an effect that lets you swipe to navigate between slides, include regular prev or next navigation, use a background or cursor displacement effect or background to titles RGB split effect. Learn CSS Positioning Learn CSS Positioning is an interactive article/game/tutorial to help you make the most of how CSS positioning works. Developer Ahmad Shadeed did an excellent job with this tool and presentation. It’s an amazing learning tool that’s actually fun to use. LambdaTest LambdaTest is an automated scheduler for screenshot testing. You can set specific time intervals and the tool will take screenshots of the desired URL. Results go to your inbox. It’s a good way to monitor websites. Remote Stash Remote Stash is a database of tools for contractors, freelancers, and remote workers to help increase productivity when you don’t work in an office with other people. Tools are sorted...

This Week In Web Design – February 7, 2020

We’ve made it through the first seven days of February 2020, and there have been a bevy of web design and development articles published this week! We’ve rounded up all of the web design news, tutorials, inspiration, and, well, roundups, that have been written this week into a nice, neat package here for you to peruse. We hope you enjoy this edition of “This Week In Web Design”! And be sure to check back every Friday for the latest articles of the week. 10 best places for finding beautiful free icons The is the top 10 websites for downloading icons. This is a must bookmark post for future reference when working on design projects. Finding the Real Value of Social Media for Web Designers A few years ago, social media was the apple of every marketer’s eye. It was supposed to boost our businesses and provide a whole new level of engagement with potential customers. So, how’s that working out? Product Hunt Year in Review for Web Designers: 20 Picks To help you find the best tools for working as a designer, we’ve narrowed down the list to the 20 best items for web designers on Product Hunt’s best featured products of 2019 list. How to Get Freelance Clients and Increase Your Workload This article will identify some of our top strategies for anyone wanting to learn how to get freelance clients right away. 3 Essential Design Trends, February 2020 Designers are embracing big, bold concepts with oversized elements, bright color, and even a little rule-breaking. Here’s what’s trending in design this month. Your Web Designer Toolbox Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW Building a Headless WordPress Website with GatsbyJS We’ll take you through the process of using a headless WordPress installation to create a static website. For this, we’ll utilize GatsbyJS, a React-based framework that can work in tandem with WordPress. How to Draft a Design Brief for Successful Projects A thorough design brief is going to guide the upcoming project to the right goals as well as be a great back-up document in case the project blows out of proportion. How to Create an Online Course with WordPress and LMS Plugins Creating online courses in WordPress is easier than ever with the help of some amazing LMS (Learning Management Systems) plugins. It’s a great business model, considering the low...

What makes a meaningful company culture?

Company culture can mean something different to everyone, depending on which company you’re talking to. With some of the world’s top companies leading the way, there has been a lot more discussion around what exactly company culture is and what value it has. We’re going to take a look at some of the more meaningful approaches to company culture—beyond the fridge of beer and ping pong table—and share some insights into what company culture means to us at 99designs. Every organisation has its own company culture. It is reflected in the way people in an organisation work together and treat each other. Illustration by AndresEs.Company culture is a lot more than perks, though it is of course nice to have catered lunch. If we dig deeper into what workplace culture really means and how it can be nurtured, we need to talk about communication style and tone, trust, responsibility, vulnerability. Then those material perks are a visible extension of that—though of course perks lose their value without the deeper culture behind them. Why does company culture matter?
— Your company culture matters because by establishing your values and mission, you will attract the right people who vibe with what you want to achieve. In this piece proposing that company culture should be treated like a product, Emma Brudner, the Director of People Operations of travel management app Lola.com says, “When culture isn’t defined and you’re relying on an assortment of perks to fill the gap, you always have to keep up with what your competitors are offering.” Brudner goes on to say that a product that relies on “meaningless bells and whistles” to stand out won’t last long in the market, and the same can be applied to your company culture. When you’re relying on an assortment of perks to fill the gap, you always have to keep up with what your competitors are offering. - Emma Brudner, Director of People Operations Lola.com If you value finding the right people to be part of your team, your company culture is what will help you stand out in a sea of companies offering the same old perks. Brudner also makes a great point that company culture can help with internal processes, to define things like management practices or employee training and development. Design by migoibonmat“There are no shortcuts,” BambooHR CEO Ben...

How to Deal with Confrontational Feedback

Sadly, some clients can be just as sensitive, and triggered as online trolls; You recommend an update to a logo they designed themselves (even though you didn’t know that at the time); You disagree with their suggestion that paying for backlinks is a legit marketing strategy; You ask them to clarify what “I don’t like it” means in response to the mockups you delivered. Before you know it, they’re providing irrelevant feedback, slinging insults at you, or poo-pooing every action you take. It’s not really professional or fair, but it is what it is, and now you’re left having to deal with it. I recently had someone respond to an article I wrote, calling the design concept I was proposing “evil” and “s***”. It’s not like that hasn’t happened before. I’ve had my content written off as “stupid”, “pointless”, and once had someone feel the need to tell me they wouldn’t read an article I wrote because dating apps (the subject of the piece) only cater to “the attractive 1% of the population”. It’s not just trolls that will direct illogical and unfair criticisms at creatives either. I managed web design and marketing projects for years, and encountered a number of clients who were more than happy to personally attack our team, or voice unhelpful feedback when they weren’t satisfied. So, today, I want to look at how web designers, and creatives in general, can more effectively handle unfair or unhelpful criticism of their work. Wherever your unfair or negative criticisms come from, keep the following in mind before you respond to any of them: 1. Understand Where the Negativity Comes From Let’s be honest: People are super sensitive these days and it’s very easy to “trigger” highly emotional and volatile responses. Social media is partially to blame for this as it makes it easy for people to hide behind their screens and avatars as they spew hate speech, abusive comments, and generally try to stir up trouble. You also have to consider the state of the world — on a global scale as well as the personal worlds we build for ourselves. I think it’s a lot easier for some people to nitpick about something trite or something that goes against their personal beliefs than it is to deal with real problems in the world. This doesn’t justify or excuse any unfair comments made of your work. But it helps to understand where the underlying anger, jealousy, or nastiness is coming from....

How to create an awesome brand experience

Brand experience encompasses pretty much every aspect of the way consumers experience your brand. Basically, it’s a pretty big deal. To really understand what makes a brand experience a successful one, it’s important to see how experience relates to other key branding elements like brand identity and brand voice. In this article, we’ll do just that and offer some great tips for creating your own irresistible brand experience, too! The brand experience embodies everything there is to know about a brand. Illustration by Fe Melo.Table of contents
— What is brand experience? What are the elements that create a successful brand experience? 6 steps to creating an awesome brand experience Discover your purpose Focus on storytelling Be consistent Find opportunities for engagement Place experiences over sales Adapt and evolve What is brand experience?
— Every interaction with customers contribute to the overall brand experience. By hadynoody.The best way to understand brand experience is to break it down: “brand” is the company, as perceived by the world. Your brand defines why you are in existence, your raison d’être. “Experience” on the other hand describes how you live and grow. Therefore, brand experience quite literally describes how the brand is experienced by potential and existing customers before, during and after any and all interactions, throughout its existence. Very philosophical, I know. How is brand experience different than user experience? Brand experience is a larger concept that contains user experience within it. Part of brand experience is creating a memorable user experience that is in line with the entirety of the brand experience. The most well known brands that exist today place strong emphasis on brand experience. Apple is an obvious example. From the retail store, to the packaging, to the interface, all the points in which we interact with Apple are curated and harmonious with the overall brand experience.
Elements that create a successful brand experience
— The brand experience is the key to customer loyalty. Illustration by Fe Melo.The internet has changed the way we interface with brands. Our interactions with the brands we love—and with new ones—have become much more complex than ever before. Previously, we only came in contact with a brand through print, radio or television advertisements—and then with the product...

The best and worst fonts (and why they’re good or bad)

Fonts are one of the most important design choices to make when developing your brand identity. The best fonts leave you feeling like you’ve made an instant friend while the worst fonts are like a stranger who won’t leave you alone. With the best fonts, your design can be a work of art. Illustration by stormyfuegoLuckily these days, you’re no longer limited to the fonts preloaded in Microsoft Word. There are thousands of good typefaces available to download online and a world of talented designers creating custom fonts as unique as the brands that use them. Not every font is a good one. In fact, there are a ton of bad typefaces out there that are boring, illegible and just plain ugly. This isn’t just our opinion: there are scientific reasons why some fonts look beautiful and others leave us cringing. To help you find the perfect font for your project, we’re going to walk through the best fonts and worst fonts along with what makes them effective (or not). Some of the best fonts
— Didot Bodoni Garamond Futura Helvetica Mrs Eaves Baskerville Akzidenz-Grotesk Clarendon Gill Sans Verdana Frutiger FF Din Proxima Nova Uni Sans What makes a good font?
— By thisisremedyEven though they can look vastly different from each other, the best typefaces have a lot of the same things in common. These include: Even kerning Consistency Balance Legibility Kerning Kerning is the space between two characters. Too little space, and the font is unreadable because the letters are smushed together. Too much space, and it’s hard to tell whether the space is meant to separate letters or words. Uneven amount of space from letter to letter? It just looks awkward and ugly. Futura and Helvetica are two examples of fonts that are very easy to read because of their even kerning–whether the letters are bold or skinny, their arrangement gives the reader the sense of clean spacing. Futura is a clean typeface with even kerningConsistency Consistency means all the letters, numbers and any other characters used maintain the same look. If a font’s letter “A” has serifs, we expect its B to have serifs too, and so on from there. Similarly, if a font has thick letters with soft, rounded corners but that style doesn’t extend to its numbers or punctuation, the font feels inconsistent and even incomplete. Mrs Eaves has a consistent distribution of hard edges to rounded cornersBalanced fonts A...

The Best Printing Services For Your Freelance Business and Clients

Whether you are a freelance web designer, developer or any other type of business, you will need printing services to promote, publicize, and communicate your brand. Business cards, stationery, stickers, brochures, and flyers are just some of the items businesses need printed, and when you’re looking for printing services it can be difficult to find a place that provides creative and unique solutions. Until now. In this post we’ll look at a printing company that will help your business of any size stand out from the rest. Print Peppermint is a diverse team of creative professionals that provide refreshingly creative print services and more, including logo design, business card design, T-shirt design, and many more graphic design services in-house. They can design what you need printed for you, or you can use one of their several online tools to do it yourself. Pricing is affordable and both their products and customer service receives outstanding reviews. What Makes Print Peppermint’s Printing Services Stand Out? For starters, they are a business run by creative professionals (like you). They understand what creatives need and want to help them represent and promote their business in a way that is unique. They hand-proof every single order, no matter how large or small. And they support their products with a 100% money-back quality guarantee. Want to kick your business cards up a notch? How about die cut, spot UV, square, plastic, foil, embossed, or letterpress business cards? Print Peppermint printing services include all of these options and more. Check out some examples below. How about sending your clients stickers of your logo in a thank you card so they can help build your brand awareness by letting it be seen on their laptop, bike, phone, or car bumper? Print Peppermint can print the stickers and custom greeting cards to help you accomplish this, with stickers in many shapes and sizes printed on durable weather-resistant vinyl. Eco-Friendly Printing Services Unlike most print companies, Print Peppermint prides themselves on choosing green alternatives. They use environmentally responsible papers, inks, and coatings, and recycle waste materials. Utilizing soy-ink, which also allows for brighter, more vibrant colors than petroleum-based ink, they endeavor to make their process as efficient as possible. Exceptionally High Quality Paper and Materials...

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