10 Best Directory Website WordPress Themes

WordPress is a versatile platform. If you are thinking of creating an online directory then WordPress offers a collection of great themes. Whether you are looking to list a business, classified adverts or events WordPress themes has it all. Some of the features that are built into these themes include Google Maps integration, front end submission forms, and monetization options. If you are a business owner, you would want to promote your business, products, services and get maximum exposure for your business. In this article, you would find over 20 versatile and responsive WordPress themes that can be customized to suit your requirements. Browse through these great themes to find the perfect theme that fits your needs and enables you to build a professional online directory. 1. Directory Engine Directory engine is a directory theme built by the Engine themes team. The quick start guide that is integrated into this theme will help you walk through the site building process and you will be able to set up your site in no time. You are able to build your own custom page by dragging and dropping content blocks into the layout. Blocks include modules such as reviews, latest places, featured places, and categories. You can also drag and drop them into the sidebar and easily build your own page without having to write a single line of code. One of the best features of this theme is that you are able to browse the listing by exploring the map, searching the directory, or filtering them using the categories. Directory engine is mobile friendly. To conclude this theme comes with a pre-built drag and drop builder that lets you create your own layout, includes all the features you would expect from a directory theme and is beautifully designed. 2. Cuisine If you are looking to create food-based directory listing then cuisine is the theme for you. The best part about this theme is that it comes with two options- with or without google maps showing your listing. Some of the category pages showcase a google map listing too. You can choose not to enable this option if you are not interested. Users, however, usually like to see the listing along with the markers. This enables them to learn more about different establishments and eateries. Each individual listings contain a lot of information about each entity – including all the details about the restaurant. Not to...

9 tips to improve user experience

A designer is like an architect that builds a website’s foundation and makes it aesthetically pleasing for users. From the moment of a website concept’s birth, designers must consider user-friendliness and how each little element comes together in the eyes of the consumer. There are dozens of elements that play into the overall feel of a website for the end user, and user experience (UX) is impacted by all the parts—big and small. Around 88 percent of consumers state they’ve had a bad mobile experience on websites, and 30 percent won’t return to a site after a bad UX experience. Similarly, in a brick-and-mortar store, the user experience impacts the overall impression the customer has of your brand and whether they want to visit your store again. Clearly, user experience has a crucial impact on the success of your site or store, so it’s important to get it right. The tips in this article will cover the first steps of planning a website and then take you through some more advanced strategies for improving user experience. Creating a great user experience is a complex process, but it’s worth the effort. Illustration by OrangeCrush.1. Do your research — Before you sketch out any ideas for a UX design, study your brand. What are the company’s primary mission and core values? Once you understand this, you’ll better understand your business’s typical customer. Creating a user-centered design is difficult if you don’t know who you’re designing for. Once you know your target audience in general, dig deeper into internal data and create a buyer persona. Look at what geographic locations visitors come from and other details such as what type of device they use when accessing your site. Study internal data as well and poll current customers for details about what drives their purchases from your brand. Once you’ve gathered all the data on your typical customer, create buyer personas that represent their features. You may wind up with more than one buyer persona. Filter site changes and user-friendliness through each persona. Once you have an idea of your buyers, take a look at competitors and their audience. Take notes on what works well and what doesn’t, so you can repeat their successes and learn from their failures. Understanding your buyers allows you to address their pain points and better meet their needs in your website copy and design. 2. Design for user...

10 creativity exercises to train your artistic mind

When you want to build muscle, you lift weights. Want to get faster? Run sprints. Want to increase your flexibility? Stretch. Want to get more creative? Same idea. The best way to get those juices flowing is with some good, old-fashioned creativity exercises. Creativity is a muscle. And, like any muscle, it needs exercise. If you’re struggling to connect with your muse, consider this new workout plan. Illustration by OrangeCrushWhether you’re stumped on how to design your new logo, need inspiration for your next series of paintings, or have to work through your writer’s block, we’ve got 10 creativity exercises designed to target your core artistic muscles. 1. Schedule a block of free creative time
— You’re not always in control of when creativity strikes. And when you put parameters on creativity—like “I have to design a logo for this client in the next three hours”—the added pressure can make it hard to get inspired. Design by Daria VTry scheduling time just to be creative. Think of it as your creative “free gym” time. By setting aside a chunk of time where you’re free to create without any expectations, deadlines or client work, you take some pressure off and allow space for creativity to strike in new ways. Set aside a few hours every week to explore your creativity without any parameters. And don’t feel like you have to keep things design-focused—anything creative goes. You could spend time doodling in a notebook or sketching out a new illustration. Step outside your creativity comfort zone, too. Play music. Take a movement class. Write a stand-up routine. Do whatever you can to let loose and be creative without any barriers or expectations. Taking the stress and anxiety off your creative muscle can be just what it needs to get back in action when you’re feeling uninspired. 2. Set a creativity timer
— Sometimes, strict boundaries can stifle creativity. But other times, they can actually spark creativity. Design by MicheleSet a timer for five to ten minutes, and challenge yourself to create something—a design sketch, a small painting, a poem, a new idea, you name it.  The tight deadline can help you find new and interesting ways to develop your art. It’s like seeing how many squats you can do in a minute. As you see that clock ticking down, you’ll push yourself harder and, in this case, you’ll be more creative. 3. Go for quantity over quality...

Is Social Media Hurting Your Web Design Business?

Social media is an interesting thing. As web design professionals, it can be a great opportunity to share your work and get in front of prospects who might otherwise never find you online. But for as much good as social media can do to propel your marketing efforts, it has the potential to be just as harmful to your business. Social Media Mistakes That Can Harm Your Web Design Business CareerBuilder surveyed over 1,000 people involved in the hiring process for organizations last year. What they found about the relationship between hiring and social media is quite startling. Even if you’re not applying to work full-time for someone else’s company, hiring managers are likely to go through a similar process when evaluating you for a freelance position. So, pay close attention to these statistics: 70% of hiring organizations research candidates using social media; 57% of hiring managers have chosen not to pursue a candidate because of what they found on social media; 47% of organizations won’t contact a candidate if they have no online presence. Basically, companies are looking for a reason NOT to work with you. So, you must tread very carefully when using social media marketing. Here are some things to avoid: 1. No Online Presence It’s funny. Use social media the wrong way, and prospective clients will rule you out as their next possible freelance designer. But don’t use social media at all, and the same can happen. There’s a delicate balance you must strike. In order to stop losing work because you don’t have an online presence, avoid the following: Staying away from social media at all costs; Creating profiles on social, but never posting anything; Creating profiles on social, but leaving your profile incomplete, inaccurate or outdated. Check out Elizabeth Matthews Design’s Facebook page for an example of what to do: 2. Too Much of an Online Presence Too much time spent on social media can hurt you as well — especially if you’re taking part in irrelevant conversations. If you’re pointing potential clients to your branded social media pages, then you better be engaging in conversations that fit with your niche. Remember: clients are looking at social media to get a sense for your professionalism and expertise. They aren’t trying to hire someone who hops in and out of social media 20 times a day. (How would you get your work done in that case?) So, keep...

Effective Use of Gradients in Design

Nothing looks nicer than a good gradient in a design. Gradients can completely transform a website color scheme from mundane to gorgeous, and you’ll often find them in the centerpiece of a site’s design. Looking for some inspiration for your own backgrounds and banners? Take a look at these beautiful blends. Gradient Banner Dazzling is barely enough to describe this stunning banner. A gradient made of opposite colors is bound to be striking, and the way the strong lighting in the background reflects off the model just makes this a fantastic example of great gradients in design. The HR Manifesto This page makes abundant use of gradients, from the animations and the background as you scroll down, to the various banners and illustrations peppered throughout. The cool purples, blues and pinks blend together perfectly thanks to the colorful style. Grabient Landing Page Obviously, a site designed to generate gradients would know how to utilize them effectively. The banner on the right is an instant eye-catcher, and the same color scheme is used to draw attention to the logo/homepage link as well as the call to action button. D25/Video Production The effect here is super subtle, especially at the beginning of the page. But as you scroll, you’ll stumble upon a huge background image overlain with a pretty blue to red color palette. It then naturally flows into a big red text box, which is sure to grab attention. Centexus Landing Page Smooth gradients can give a page a clean and elegant look. Professional doesn’t have to mean blacks and whites – add a splash of color and see what happens! This is a landing page that would definitely make conversions. Ninety Nine Seconds Game Prototype This game has a strong concept, its artistic style just as much so. Various abstract levels can be explored and discovered, each sporting a beautiful blended background. There’s even a gradient generator for this purpose. It all comes together to make an app you won’t easily forget. DIY Course Landing Page The beautifully designed landing page opens with vibrant blues and purples that cleanly fade to white as you scroll. Who needs a hero image when you can create a “hero gradient” that naturally transitions into your feature list? Natoni Landing Page Effective gradients can be simple and subtle, or flashy and gorgeous – all that matters is that it’s done well. This...

How to Design for Long-Form Content

Our attention span has significantly decreased over the last 10 years. Users are no longer interested in reading lots of content. So how do we make or design a long form that is effective and successful? Long form content in conjunction with good UX design can solve this issue. Users tend to like a good story and long-form content is a great way to create an immersive and engaging experience. In this article, we will share a few examples of long-form content that are effective and engage the user while communicating the message. By balancing, space, text, imagery, and various other features, we are able to transform a long-form content informative and a visually pleasing read for the user. 1. Space Use white space to make your long-form content less overwhelming. Incorporating plenty of white space will help make your content more scannable and accessible. You could try adding space between the content and edge of the screen (for all device sizes), between lines of text and in between paragraphs, around imagery and other visual elements. 2. Use Illustrations Long forms, when paired with illustrations, can create an engaging form. Illustrations, when paired with text, can be used to create content that communicates a brands message in a compelling way. This technique works really well when you are working with fiction or any other text that lacks a clear visual representation. 3. Placed Imagery Placement of an image is important when designing a long form. Most long-form usually have a design formula in place. There is a hero image, intro text, large image, subheading, and main body text. It should be designed to be simple, the content should flow well and there should be a good play between the text and the images. The design should also look great on different devices- this means that the reading experience shouldn’t be compromised when switching from a desktop to a mobile device. 4. Intuitive scrolling Users like to scroll, so ensure that your scrolling actions are designed to be intuitive. If you are looking into incorporating interesting and unconventional effects, make sure to design it such that they are able to use them easily. Scroll experience on a long-form content should be seamless and users shouldn’t have to think about it. 5. Use timelines/milestones Using milestones on a long-form content can give a user a sense of...

17 Plugins, Tutorials, and Resources for Gutenberg

The WordPress community officially has Gutenberg fever. While there has been some grumbling (and not without some cause), the blocky little editor that could, has gone mainstream. People have been building, writing, collating, and generally just adapting to the changes, and I’m here to show you some of what they’ve done… Enjoy! Plugins As is usual, the WordPress community has gone wild, and has already developed loads of plugins for the new editor; we can’t possibly list them all. Besides, so many of them add pretty much the same new blocks, or very similar blocks, so I’ve decided to list only the ones that caught my eye. For more complete lists, see the “Authority Sites and Directories” section below. Block Gallery A photo gallery plugin that does what it says, and doesn’t come with a thousand other blocks. What more could you ask for?   Block Options for Gutenberg Block Options for Gutenberg allows you to show or hide blocks based on a number of factors, including: What device is being used to view the site; Whether the user is logged in or not (great for calls to action, perhaps?); Based on field values in Advanced Custom Fields; And based on custom conditional logic you might set up yourself. Coblocks There are already lots of plugins that aim to turn Gutenberg into a full-on page builder, but Coblocks is the one I currently have my eye on. Sure, they’ve got plenty of layout options and features, but they’re mostly kept light and simple as opposed to overly animated. They seem largely style-agnostic as well. They don’t use JavaScript on the front end when they don’t have to, and they provide quite good controls for custom typography. Overall, I’m quite impressed. Disable Gutenberg Disables Gutenberg. Doesn’t expire in 2022. ‘Nuff said. Google Maps Gutenberg Block While this one not the only plugin that provides a map block, it’s one of the few that only provides a map block. Again, does what it says, and doesn’t bloat the menus. I’ll be a fan of these single-purpose block plugins until there aren’t quite so many of those “ultimate block collection” plugins. Gutenberg Manager The Gutenberg Manager plugin allows you to enable or disable Gutenberg for posts, pages, or custom post types as you see fit. Basically this allows you to use another plugin in its place for some content types (such as a proper page builder plugin), without disabling...

8 Websites To Find Free Creative Commons Icons For Design Projects

It doesn’t take much work to find free icon sets online. While they’re useful, they aren’t always the best option for finding specific icons. That’s where free icon resource sites can help. These websites curate icons based on license (Creative Commons or premium/commercial). Below I’ve curated a nice list for anyone who wants to quickly find specific CC icons on the web. Your Designer Toolbox
Unlimited Downloads: 500,000+ Web Templates, Icon Sets, Themes & Design Assets
DOWNLOAD NOW Iconfinder If you spend any time searching for icons, then you’re bound to stumble upon Iconfinder. This is the premier destination for any icon you could ever need. It operates like a search engine, where you type in an icon style or glyph (like “magnifying glass” for a search icon). You’ll then see results with a mix of commercial and free options. But if you look deeper into the search settings, you can filter the results to view just free or just paid options. You can also set the icon sizes and a few other search criteria. No doubt that Iconfinder is the best place to start if you’re looking for free icons. If the icon is out there online, Iconfinder has it indexed. All the Icons, Fonts, Web Templates & Design Assets You Could Ask For
DOWNLOAD NOW Noun Project On the Noun Project website you’ll find a curated list of over one million icons and counting. This site also works like a search engine, where you can filter icons based on keywords, styles and glyph shapes. For example, you can search for a mail icon and find some pretty clean results. But The Noun Project isn’t completely free. They do have an optional pro plan which gives you access to far more icons. Thankfully, their free icon library is still large enough to be worth a bookmark. FindIcons FindIcons is an icon-only search engine and it features one sweet interface. As you start typing you’ll notice auto-populated search results based on existing tags. This can help you find exactly what you’re looking for very quickly. There’s also a filter menu on the side that lets you select how many icons to display per page, icon colors, styles and license. This one is definitely worth saving if you need a high-quality search engine exclusively for finding icons. Flaticon There’s a lot to say about the flat design trend sweeping the industry. One sure thing is that if you’re...

How to Stay Focused and Productive as a Freelancer

For some freelancers, churning out work and keeping focused comes easy. For others, it’s a living nightmare. If you find yourself struggling and wasting hours on social media, all hope isn’t lost. Before you give up on freelancing and go back to that office job, try these tips to get back on track. Establish Structure Many people choose freelancing for its freedom. What’s better than waking up at noon and working in pajamas? But just because you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder or a tight schedule doesn’t mean you don’t have deadlines to meet. Don’t let your laziness get the best of you. You’re allowed to make your own structure, so design a schedule that works for you! If you want to have a 30-minute coffee break in the morning, then feel free – just make sure that you do start working on those terms. Don’t let 30 minutes turn into an hour. A lack of discipline is the downfall of many freelancers. Work with Your Energy Cycle Every day has high and low points, and this cycle is different for everyone. Some find it easier to start right away, and struggle to focus as the day goes on. Night owls may need to spend the afternoon relaxing and ride on their nightly burst of energy. Figure out when you feel most active and put those times to use. Save your recreational time for when you’re feeling lazy. If you work best in the morning, don’t get up and waste that potential energy on video games. Change up your routine if you must. Rest and Reward The best way to get motivated is to use positive reinforcement. If you force yourself to work without a break, you’ll only begin to dread your job. Our brains aren’t wired to sit still and stay focused for hours on end. Break your work into smaller tasks. When you hit those milestones, take a break to do something enjoyable. Wrote 1,000 words? Play your favorite game for a while. Finished up a webpage template? Treat yourself to some ice cream. Even if it’s just to get up and stretch your legs every 30 minutes, make sure to give your brain a break. You may find it easier to take frequent mini-breaks throughout the day, or work for hours and take longer rests. Just don’t reward yourself unless you’ve earned it. But it’s also important to know your limits. When these small breaks stop working, take a long shower or do something that requires little mental energy. Get relaxed, then get back to work....

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