When Is It Time to Abandon a WordPress Plugin?

One of the biggest reasons to love WordPress is the sheer number of available plugins. It seems like, no matter what type of functionality you need, there is at least one plugin that can do the job. But it’s no secret that plugins can sometimes outlive their usefulness. As both our needs and WordPress itself change, we can find ourselves looking for better options. That can mean moving on from a plugin that had previously served us well. Still, it’s not always the easiest decision to make. Sort of like an athlete that’s past their prime, we can let plugins hang around long after their best days have come and gone. So, how do you know when it’s time to ditch a plugin and start fresh with something new? The following are a few telltale signs to watch out for. It Hasn’t Been Updated in a Long Time Think of a WordPress plugin as a living thing. If it’s properly cared for, it will flourish. If not, the results won’t be nearly as good. Those of us who build websites with WordPress would ideally like to see that a plugin is updated at least on a semi-regular basis. That shows that its author is still actively involved, adding new features and fixing bugs. That’s never been more important, what with WordPress moving to the Gutenberg editor and PHP 5.x being phased out. If a plugin hasn’t been actively maintained, then it’s likely to fall short of being compatible with either of these major changes. Plus, there could be serious concerns regarding security as well. Now, that doesn’t mean that a particular plugin has to be updated weekly or even monthly. Depending on its purpose, that may not be necessary. But you will want to look for, at the very least, a couple of updates per year. Anything less than that and you might as well give it one last hug goodbye. Updates Routinely Break On the opposite end of the spectrum are plugins that, while continuously maintained, have become functionally unreliable. Updates are released frequently, but it’s usually because the previous ones have wreaked havoc on a number of websites. This is frustrating, as you have a plugin that (at one point) did what you needed it to do. However, an over-aggressive developer has managed to cause as many problems as they have solved (if not more). Depending on your personality, you may be willing to show some patience in this situation. Sometimes it actually pays off, as even a quality...

10 Amazing Examples of CSS & JavaScript Animated Logos

Take a peek over this gallery of 10 incredible examples of custom logo animations for unknown entities and world-famous brands alike. 1. Flowers SVG One of the hottest animation trends on the web is SVG animation. It’s a growing topic of interest and this flower logo animation is a great example of SVG in action. The icon & text of the logo has been created inside an <svg> tag in the HTML markup. Then sequential animations are controlled through CSS and automated on pageload. This requires a number of SVG-specific CSS properties like stroke-dashoffset which pushes outline motions in sequence to create this brilliant animated effect. 2. Carbon LDP The Carbon LDP logo is fairly detailed and complex. But developer David McFeders took this to another level with his animated Carbon logo built on CSS/Compass. Every piece of this code is easy to customize from the logo size to the animation speed. It’s built in pure CSS and made to loop endlessly. And even though the letters are made of a single PNG image you can always reverse-engineer that design with your own custom fonts. 3. Binary Lab Binary Lab’s animated logo is one of the more complex animation effects in this list. It pulls numbers from a flask and fades them in & out of view above the logo. The animation itself is controlled through CSS. But this pen also relies on the TweenMax library for adding repeating digits and custom alpha transitions. All-in-all a very creative use of CSS and JavaScript for modern web animation. 4. Pure CSS3 Stack Overflow The Stack Overflow logo is one of my favorites because it’s simple, yet recognizable. And this snippet animates the Stack logo icon using nothing but pure CSS3. This is by far one of the most impressive pure CSS animations I’ve seen. The final output really does look like the official logo and the animation feels smooth in every major browser. Anyone who loves pure CSS/SCSS animation will adore this snippet. 5. Monster Energy Logos Tim Pietrusky animated this series of Monster Energy logos using SVGs and well-spaced CSS transitions. His code is free to study and replicate on your own if you want a similar fading effect on logos. All of the animation timing is controlled directly through Sass which makes this a pure CSS animation. But you can alter variables to change the speed, fade colors, or pretty much anything else. 6. Subvisual The...

20 Best New Portfolios, February 2019

Welcome back, Readers! It’s February, and I don’t think I have a single pink or chocolate-themed site anywhere in the mix. Ah well… I really shouldn’t have typed that. Now I want to either eat some peanut-butter and chocolate goodies, or base a design on that color scheme. I probably will. Anyway, we’ve got a generally mixed bag of portfolios for you to check out, with a number of aggressively monochromatic designs in there. Enjoy! Note: I’m judging these sites by how good they look to me. If they’re creative and original, or classic but really well-done, it’s all good to me. Sometimes, UX and accessibility suffer. For example, many of these sites depend on JavaScript to display their content at all; this is a Bad Idea, kids. If you find an idea you like and want to adapt to your own site, remember to implement it responsibly. Rob Weychert Rob Weychert’s portfolio may not be new as such, but I just found it… and probably should have found it sooner. He used to be a designer at Happy Cog, and is now at ProPublica, so you should expect earthy tones and fantastic typography. He sells his expertise mostly through his client list and his extensive blog, using the “go look at my work, it’s super famous” approach to marketing. Well, it works. Platform: Static Site (as far as I can tell) Transatlantic Film Orchestra The Transatlantic Film Orchestra do exactly what you think they do. Music for video. And on their website, they do it right: no music plays when you load the site. All you get is a calm, dark, and monochromatic one-page portfolio. I do particularly like the implementation of the audio players, though. The Morse code, the grainy photos, it all works. Platform: WordPress Ramon Gilabert Ramon Gilabert’s portfolio brings us a calming and classic minimalist design combined with some beautifully-used SVG graphics. Mind you, it’s a little confusing when you click on the “social” link in the navigation, as the social links are practically hidden at the bottom, on the right, and on their side. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful and charming design. Platform: Static Site Charlie Gray Charlie gray’s portfolio is full of cinematic-looking photography and Hollywood celebrities, so this layout that feels like a cross between a magazine layout and a PowerPoint is actually right on the money. I’d almost be disappointed if a site like this wasn’t loaded down with a bit too...

9 Best Free CSS Flexbox Tutorials

Every modern website needs to be mobile friendly. You can accomplish this by using responsive techniques, one of which is the CSS flexbox feature. Flexbox lets you define layout elements as flexible boxes that can adjust based on the container. So you can decide how much room a certain element should take up, where it should move when the container is resized and how to arrange that content accordingly. If you’ve never used the flexbox property before it can be really confusing. This list is here to help you come to terms with all the major flexbox methods. From there, you’ll be able to implement this powerful layout feature into your own projects. Your Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW Flexbox Froggy I’d argue that this is the best tutorial for complete beginners who want to get their hands dirty. Flexbox Froggy is a free open source coding game where you learn the ways of the flexbox…froggy. You progress through various levels – with the first few being super easy. They introduce the absolute basics of flexbox and teach you the fundamental properties. From there, you’ll move through 30+ levels that get increasingly more difficult and will push the limits of your knowledge. This game is great even for experienced developers who want a recap of what flexbox can do. You can skip ahead to the later lessons if you need more challenging work, so it’s perfect for all developers. What The Flexbox What The Flexbox?! may sound like a weird trivia game show but it’s actually a great way to learn. This is a free set of video courses built by developer Wes Bos. He takes you through everything related to flexbox properties, including resizing containers and how to create fully-responsive interfaces from scratch. The videos require an email address to sign up, but the course is totally free. The best part is that these videos teach practical examples you can follow along with to learn the ropes. I still think one of the best ways to learn is to build real projects and this course does just that. CSS-Tricks Guide If you prefer a written tutorial, then have a look at this CSS-Tricks guide. It covers pretty much everything you’d need to know, starting from the absolute basics of flexbox. You’ll find plenty of visuals along the way explaining flexbox terminology,...

Popular Design News of the Week: February 4, 2019 – February 10, 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. Top Logo Design Trends in 2019   Meet the Chameleon Menu   Top 12 Web-Based Color Tools for Web Designers   Netflix Rolls Out Brand New Ident for all its Original Material   5 Reasons no One Visits your Website (and How to Change that)   An Introduction to CSS Exclusions: The Future of Complex Web Layout   Linked: Plagiarism Never Gets Old   Nintendo & Designing Humanly   Welcome to the Bold and Blocky Instagram Era of Book Covers   Life Without Google (Fonts)   Figma Fonts Playground System   Hands-on with the New Gmail for Android (and iOS)   Constraint Layout (for Designers)   Some Interesting Ways to Choose Color Palettes   Why are You not Designing your Day-to-day Experience?   CodyHouse Typography Editor   Sketch 53   Can’t Unsee   Apple is Removing ‘Do not Track’ from Safari   Leveraging Mental Models in Product Design   The End of the Celebrity Designer   The 7 Deadly Sins of User Research   Web Design 3.0: When your Web Design Really Matters   Why Isn’t the Internet More Fun and Weird?   How to Rebrand a Fashion Label   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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20 Apr 2019