A Look at Top Flat File CMS Options

When we think of content management systems (CMS), we often think about popular offerings such as WordPress and Drupal. Both rely on a traditional MySQL database, where a website’s content and settings are stored. However, not all systems work this way. A flat file CMS, for example, eschews the need for a database server. They store site data in a simple text file. This cuts down on latency and can vastly improve site performance. It also opens the door for more customized data structures, easier portability and the ability to scale. Today, we’ll introduce you to some of the more popular and intriguing flat file systems. They vary in feature sets and range anywhere from free to a few hundred dollars. Read on to find an option that fits your needs. Statamic One of the most well-known flat file systems, Statamic is based on the popular Laravel PHP framework. It offers a full suite of features, from built in forms, powerful media management and version control via git. Manage your site through a well-thought-out dashboard (you can even access updates and maintenance features via the command line). There is also a library of third-party themes and addons that allow you to extend site functionality. We should note that Statamic is commercial software, with a single site license running $199 USD. This entitles you to unlimited support and updates, however. And the software will run on virtually any server that can handle PHP. If you want to try it out first on a local environment, a free trial is available. Kirby Kirby is all about customization. For example, while an installation includes a templating engine based on PHP and HTML, you also have the ability to replace it with just about anything you want. But it doesn’t stop with your standard design and development. The CMS also allows developers to customize the admin panel to reflect the needs of the site itself. Things like the admin layout, permissions and fields can be added via files called Blueprints. You’ll also find some unique features, such as the ability to use Markdown (extended via KirbyText), version control and a built-in REST API. True to form, Kirby will also work with other data sources – including databases. Note that Kirby is also commercial software, with licenses running €99 per site. But you can try it for free on your local server. October CMS Like Statamic above, October CMS is based...

31 salon, stylist & hairdresser logos that will make you look your best

How do you tell customers about your hair salon before they’ve even booked their first appointment? It’s simple: find the perfect logo that sums it all up. In fact, a successful stylist logo makes as many statements as the haircut or dye job itself. Mastering hair salon logo design is all about the right balance of personality and purpose. Be it a quirky hipster spot, an upscale spa or a no-frills barbershop, the logo should support and enhance the overall mission of the salon. Below, we’ve gathered ideas and inspiration for great hair salon logos. Along with making an impression about the shop and its services, a well-designed logo can be an outstanding business tool. Use it wisely. What makes a good hair salon logo?
— When designing a logo for the beauty and grooming industry, it’s important to seriously consider who your customer will be. Are your customers looking for a boutique salon experience? Do the customers come to the salon not only looking for a hairstyle, but also looking for relaxing spa services? Is your salon aimed at bold, daring customers who come in looking for purple dye, half-shaved haircuts or even a mohawk? These are the questions to ask yourself before getting a logo design, as it should speak to the type of customers who will be the patrons of the business. A vintage salon logo design by Naomi TheresiaThink about the many places where a salon logo can exist. It illuminates the storefront. It decorates the wall of the shampoo area. It adorns a website, business cards, T-shirts and other promotional ventures. With so many places to make an appearance, it needs to make the right impression. In addition to speaking to the target customer, a salon logo should be just that: obviously a salon logo. Literal elements like scissors, a comb, a spray bottle or the silhouette of a head can go a surprisingly long way in emphasizing the purpose of the business as a whole. Amazing logo ideas for hairdressers, hair salons and stylists
— Playful and quirky salon logos You’re serious about style, but your logo doesn’t have to be. Actually, some of the most effective beauty industry logos are playful by nature. Bold colors and cartoonish figures can enhance the relatability of the salon. After all, it’s a place where the customer is constantly engaging in conversation with the stylist. This should be a place where everyone feels welcome and...

Internet Censorship is Here: How Far Will it Go?

Within hours of the recent mass shooting at a New Zealand mosque by a far-right terrorist, the country’s authorities were scrambling to ensure a sickening video the murderer streamed on Facebook was barred from the nation’s screens. Due to the nature of the Internet, the task of removal proved very difficult. But eventually, the government succeeded — using controversial tactics usually associated with Internet censorship by authoritarian regimes. For some, the action of one highly democratic nation was a worrying reminder that Internet freedom should not be taken for granted. For others it was a triumph of taste and decency over a Wild West online community that still refuses to accept regulation while simultaneously failing to take responsibility for its actions. a billion Internet users are barely aware that Facebook and Google exist Versions of this debate are being played out around the world, as authorities, online companies, journalists and web professionals try to strike a balance between free speech and protecting Internet users from highly offensive — and potentially also subversive — content. The spread of “fake news”, alleged attempts by foreign powers to meddle in elections, and the age-old difficulty of defining what should be permitted in a free society, are all part of this debate. With the technology and the excuses for Internet censorship already in place, it’s a debate that will shape the future of the Web. Or should that be ‘futures’, plural? Full Censorship Can Be Achieved In China, a billion Internet users are barely aware that Facebook and Google exist. Authorities have no difficulty in ensuring unpleasant content is not seen on the search engines and social media boards that are available there: The Christchurch video was blocked just as effectively as disturbing footage of the Tiananmen Square massacre is, because the Chinese government has built a system of highly effective controls on the Internet known as “the Great Firewall of China”. Officially called the Golden Shield Project, China’s system of Internet controls has made fools of the experts who said that the Internet could not be tamed or censored. Jon Penney, a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Toronto’s Citizen Lab, told Open Democracy recently that although China’s technology is not yet fully understood by the west, it is: …among the most...

Popular Design News of the Week: May 13, 2019 – May 19, 2019

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.  The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week. Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news. Polypane: The Browser for Responsive Web Development and Design   PHP Isn’t the Same Old Crappy Language it was Ten Years Ago   Does Anyone Use Social Sharing Buttons?   What’s up with the New Facebook App Logo?   CSS Grid Based Website Builder   Is ‘The Fold’ Still Relevant in Today’s Scrolling and Skimming Culture?   Google Fonts is Adding Font-display   Animating CSS Grid Rows and Columns   46 Form Design Best Practices   5 Things to Be Mindful of When You Design Filters   Things that Come Back to Haunt Web Designers   Cut your Forms in Half   Design Notes: A Free Resource Library for Product Designers   Material Design Guidelines for Dark Theme   I Wrote the Book on User-friendly Design. What I See Today Horrifies Me   How Design Boosts Conversion   From Zero to Hero: Look at Hero Images in Web Design   Free Online Tools for UI/UX to Try in 2019   How to Choose the Best Static Site Generator in 2019   3 Big Mistakes I Made as an Illustrator and How You Can Avoid Them   Will You Get Sued for Using Old Adobe Apps?   The Flexible Future of Branding and the Death of the Logo as We Know it   Site Design: Lusion   Why is Pricing Design so Hard?   I Turned my Designer Interview Task for Google into a Startup   Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News. Add Realistic Chalk and Sketch Lettering Effects with Sketch’it – only $5!

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Free High-Resolution Marble Texture Backgrounds

Elegant and beautiful, marble textures make a great background for a variety of projects. Marble always brings an air of exquisite polish to a design, with its lustrous look and visually pleasing patterns. And when it comes to these backgrounds, you’ve got a lot of options. Do you want something smooth and shiny, like a refined countertop? Or a look more rocky, imperfect, and natural? Or maybe even a colorful, out-of-this-world texture inspired by marble’s distinctive patterns? We’ve collected examples of each, so you can choose the texture that best fits your design. Whites, grays, browns, vibrant colors and soft pastels, rough textures and shiny patterns – there’s a little bit of everything here! 10 Marble Textures Vol.4 Paper Marbling Textures Vol.2 by Aurora Prints & Goods 5 Marble Textures Vol.1 13 Free Marble Texture Backgrounds by Alex Clem 6 Marble Textures Vol.2 Paper Marbling Textures Vol.4 by Aurora Prints & Goods 10 Marble Paper Textures by Ari Bintara 6 Marble Textures Vol.3 Paper Marbling Textures Vol.3 by Aurora Prints & Goods 18 Ink Marble Paper Textures by ArtistMef Paper Marbling Textures Vol.1 by Aurora Prints & Goods Space Marble Backgrounds Set by ArtistMef Looking for More Marble Textures? If you’re searching for even more textures beyond the free options above, you’ll want to check out these selections below from Envato Elements. Each is available via their subscription-based service. 12 White Gold Marble Textures Modern Fluid Non-Seamless Marble V.3 Patterns 10 Marble Textures Smooth Marble Backgrounds Marble textures come with so much diversity. There are simple and elegant bright textures, natural cracked stone backgrounds, colorful displays, and surreal creations inspired by its unique patterns. But all share that smooth, polished style that make it a great element in your creations. When you’re making a website, designing merchandise, or creating graphic designs that require a beautiful and subtle background, try out one of these marble textures. Posters, banners, presentations, or website backgrounds – you’ll soon see just how versatile a marble texture can be.

5 Common Design Mistakes That Disappoint Users

Designing an interactive interface or a website is not an easy feat. You have to analyze everything about your audience, in the first place their behavior, and then implement thorough planning. New technologies are making it easier but they are also making the users more tech savvy and hard to impress. Glossy images and hover effects are no longer impressive to users. Neither are animations or gifs – especially when everyone can make their own in just a few steps with their phones. So, how do you go about creating a great experience for your users? How do you make them happy and keep the conversions coming? This is only getting harder if you make mistakes in your design in order to impress your audience. So, without further ado, here are some of the mistakes designers commonly make in order to amaze visitors: 1. Innovating Too Much Design, in itself, is a creative endeavor. Designers are artists in their own respect and they always seek to express themselves through their work. They are always innovating and making sure that their designs stand out in the sea of other designs. But if we are talking about designing a perfect interactive experience for your users, innovation might not always be the best choice. It might not be good for the niche or even that specific website. Users need to feel comfortable when visiting a website. They need that familiarity in the ways that they work with a website — you know, the common navigation patterns. They are very used to this and going off track in order to be clever or unique can only harm you, especially if you go too far. For instance, you may have a great project in mind, some gamification methods for example, however, if you stray too far into the unknown the user will stumble onto your website, see the thing and just walk away because they won’t know what to do with it. Especially so if they are seeking just some basic information. 2. Confusing Navigation This is a mistake we see all too often. So many websites start out as great experiences and then mess everything up with poor navigation. Some go for strange navigation places where users won’t think to look. And yet the biggest problem users have is not that — it’s all the weird names for common pages. So, instead of the simple and sufficient “home, about, contact, blog” pattern, you get “our universe, the theory of an artist, follow your stars, always...

How to make an animated GIF in Photoshop

A GIF, or “Graphics Interchange Format”, is a compressed image file format that allows for animation. There are many ways to create a GIF, but Photoshop is fast and easy, with built-in tools for image manipulation and animating. Just like classic animation, an animated GIF is made up of a series of still images played sequentially to create the illusion of movement. Find a GIF off the internet and drag it into Photoshop, and you will see the separate frames that make up the animation. These frames are what we’re going to build in this tutorial in order to animate a killer banner ad GIF. Learn how I made this GIF! Photo via graham wizardo.Without further ado, here’s how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop. Step 1: Set up the dimensions and resolution of your Photoshop document
— Set up your document ahead of time. Even if your only ambition is to create a shareable GIF for your friends on social media, letting the size of your photos or video dictate the size of your document might make the file larger than you need it to be, which translates into a poor quality GIF. In general, somewhere in the region of 600px-800px is fine for a square image. Set up the dimensions, resolution, and color mode of your Photoshop documentDimensions For this project, we are working with a banner ad GIF, which has standard sizing guidelines. I chose the 720×300 layout. Make sure your units are in pixels. Resolution To keep the file size as low as possible, a resolution of 150 is fine. I went with 300 since I know my GIF isn’t going to be that big. Make sure your units are in Pixels/inch. Color mode Finally, animated GIFs are made for the screen, so set your color mode to RGB color. Press Create to open your new document. Step 2: Import your image files into Photoshop
— Making a GIF from still images Go to File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack and select the Browse button in the Load Layers window that comes up. This brings up the Finder/Explorer window where you can browse for your files and select all of the ones you need. When you’re finished, click Open and then OK in the next window. The files will be imported into a separate document, from which you can select all layers and drag them into your working document. Making a GIF from video If you are converting a video into a GIF, go to File > Import > Video Frames to Layers. Step 3: Open the timeline...

31 architecture and architect logos that go beyond the facade

If all the world’s a stage, an architect is a set designer. In any community, the architecture sets the tone. Think of an iconic skyline or a charming downtown—they’re defined by their architecture. So it follows that an architecture logo, too, sets the tone for its brand. A modern geometrical architect logo by giyanWhen you’re looking for architecture logo design inspiration, ask yourself what kind of brand reputation you want to build. Are you a brutalist who prides themselves on strong, imposing buildings lined with row after row of neat, identical windows? Or are you a home creator who designs warm, inviting houses where families make decades’ worth of memories? Take a look at how other architects and architecture businesses in your niche communicate who they are with these amazing logo ideas. What makes a good architecture logo?
— You don’t want a McMansion logo: bland, trite and exactly the same as every other logo on the block. Even if your firm designs for tract housing developments or commercial suburban settings, your logo should communicate the value you deliver—not stereotypes about the kind of work you do. So how can you do that? Logo design on business cards by RedLogoThink about exactly what your firm delivers and the qualities it prides itself on. Do you focus on LEED-certified buildings? Are you a design-build firm that handles every step of the client’s project, from drafting the initial designs to laying the final brick? Don’t just think about the concrete deliverables, think about the abstract value you provide. Communicate that you’re trustworthy, dependable and the absolute best choice for clients in the niche you serve. You can reference the value you deliver directly in your logo with images like protractors and drafting compasses, or you can take your logo in a more abstract direction that uses colors and shapes to communicate your brand’s personality. Your logo should be emphasis and extension of your talent and art. With an architecture logo, like any other kind of logo, direct references to your industry make it easy for viewers to know what you do. But you don’t have to limit yourself to this type of logo; a few strategically placed shapes or skyline-evoking lines can tell prospective clients that you’re the architect for them. Inspiring ideas for architecture logos
— Architect logos that measure twice and design once...

5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins to Improve Your SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy. If you have a website, then SEO is the technique of getting the best rankings on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) organically for your desired search terms. If you have a WordPress website and you want to optimize it, then you should install relevant SEO plugins. These plugins will help you to boost your website rankings. Here is the list of 5 must have SEO plugins for your WordPress website. 1. Premium WordPress SEO Pack: The name itself suggests that this SEO plugin comes with sturdy features and tools to enhance your website ranking. This plugin is certainly worth the price. It has the ability to provide customized SEO support to different website pages. In fact, it also manages the order of pages on the SERP. Additionally, there is a feature to improve the look of social media postings. It is compatible with other plugins like Squirrly SEO, WooCommerce and WordPress Multisite. In addition, this plugin also has an option for on or off page optimization. Key Features:
• Facebook Planner to post on Facebook.
• Monitoring of 404 errors if the visitors find this error on any page.
• Manages the insights for page speed on desktop and mobile screens.
• Image optimization with Alt tags and Title attributes for SEO friendly images.
• Backlink Builder to find other similar website options for creating links to your website.
• W3C Validator to help you with the regular checks for schema markup for posts, pages, and custom classifications.
• On-page SEO to update your website page with post-preview or admin top bar.
• Pattern SEO to set a perfect pattern for each post type and custom post type.
• Supports the Open Graph Markup and Twitter card support with Social Optimization. 2. Yoast SEO Plugin: Yoast SEO plugin is one of the best options for free SEO WordPress plugins. The numbers for Yoast plugin are very impressive. It has more than 5 million active users along and 4.7 out of 5 user rating with more than 15K reviews. This plugin doesn’t stop at just improving your website’s on-page SEO, it has more to offer. In addition, this SEO WordPress plugin also takes due care of technical optimization of your website. It has a range of features to cater to your website’s SEO needs. Thus, it is also known as...

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May 26 2019