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Popular Design News of the Week: December 23, 2019 – December 29, 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. Creating a Checkbox like it’s 2020   9 Web Design Trends for 2020   4 Essential Steps for Building a Website   10 Websites with Inspiring Micro-Interactions   Top Landing Page Design Trends You Should Follow in 2020   10 Things I Learned About SEO in 2019   Top 10 Logo Design Trends for 2020: Insights And Examples   Is Web Design Easier or Harder than it was 10 Years Ago?   React: Designer’s Guide to the Terminal   Creative 404 Page Designs   6 Design Factors Behind a Truly Successful Website   The 9 Best Interactive Design of the Year   UX Starter Crash Course   Iarcade: Free Arcade Script   How to Test Readability   Best Data Visualization Projects of 2019   5 Tips for a Great Presentation of your Design Projects   Guide to Email Automation Management   Color Theory and Contrast Ratios   Online Image Color Picker for Designers   3 Underused CSS Features to Learn for 2020   15 Illustrations to Share Winter Beauty and Christmas Magic   Manrope – Free Sans-Serif Variable Font   6 Steps for a Better Product Design Workflow   Winter Wonderland: 40+ Illustrations of Christmas and Winter   Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News. Source p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;} .alignleft {float:left;} p.showcase {clear:both;} body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

The 10 best real estate website designers to hire in 2020

Buying or renting property is exciting but also intimidating, especially for first-timers. As a real estate professional, you’re always thinking about what your clients want, what they need and the challenges they may face. And before you even meet them in person, they will have made assumptions about you and your services from what they find on your website. When you hire one of the top real estate website designers, you hire somebody who can translate the conversations you have with clients into an unforgettable website design that works. By that, we mean a website that’s at the top of your target market’s searches and connects with exactly the type of clients you’ve built your career serving. Below, we selected the best real estate website designers to hire for your web design. How to get the best real estate website design
— A premium real estate web design by AneleyYou’re probably familiar with the concept of hiring a freelance web designer. And in most cases, that’s a great way to get a fantastic real estate website. We offer two ways for you to hire a freelance website designer: Design contests Commissioning designers directly A concept you might not be as familiar with is design contests. Here’s how they work: you submit a brief describing what you’re looking for in a website. This includes your color palette, the content you want to showcase, your target audience and your specific niche as a real estate professional. Then, designers from around the world enter mockup designs based on your brief. You choose the one you like best, then work with its designer to refine the mockup into the perfect design for your website. With a design contest, you only pay for one website design—the winner you choose. Design contests are a great way for clients to see a lot of different interpretations of their briefs. If you need ideas and you want help developing your website’s overall look and feel, a design contest is the way to go. Learn more about design contests here. But if you already have a pretty solid idea of what you want and all you need is a designer to put it all together (and maybe make a some great suggestions), you can get to your completed website design a lot faster by working directly with a designer. Search for designers here. The 10 best real estate website designers to hire in 2020
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The 13 best logo makers and logo generators to try in 2020

A logo maker is a fast and easy way to get a logo design for your business. It’s also the cheapest! But before making a decision on speed and price alone, let’s review all of your options for a quality design. There are four ways to get a logo, from the most expensive to the least: Work with a design agency; Work with a design freelancer one-on-one; Launch a logo design contest; Use an online logo maker. Working with design agencies is typically out of the price range for startups. We might be biased, but we think that running a logo design contest is the best way for entrepreneurs to get unique, quality design for a reasonable price (starting at $299). Working with a freelancer is also a good option if you have a very clear idea of the style you are looking for, and more experience working with and vetting designers. >> Check out our article on logo design cost to learn how much you should be paying. However, if you’re bootstrapping your company and just starting out, you may not even have $300 to spend. That’s okay—this is where an online logo maker or logo generator comes in handy. But not all logo makers are created equal, and to help you get the best design possible, we’ve put together this list of the top logo makers of 2020. What is a logo maker?
— Logo makers—sometimes called logo creators or logo generators—are simple-to-use, web-based applications that help you to create a logo in minutes. For some you input the name of your business, select an icon or font from a stock library and pick custom colors to match your brand. Others are more free-form, presenting you with a blank canvas and a set of icons and tools to build your own logo. The pros and cons of using a logo maker A logo maker canvasPros: Logo makers are the least expensive option on the market to get a logo. Most are free to use, but many require you to pay to download the files if you actually want to use them. That cost is usually around $5-$60. Logo makers are available 24/7, meaning you can get a logo exactly when you need it. Logo makers are fast! You can have a completed logo in a matter of hours (or less, depending on your level of perfectionism). Logo makers are getting more sophisticated and easier to use all the time. Cons: Logos created on logo makers are are generally generic-looking. Logo creators require the user to have some design sensibilities; logos are...

Building WordPress Websites With Zurb Foundation or Bootstrap: Comparisons and Starter Themes

WordPress is super versatile. You know that. I know that. But sometimes this can be an overwhelming prospect. How on earth will you get your site up and running? What platform will you use? Zurb Foundation and Bootstrap are two options but which is best? Here, we offer up some side-by-side comparisons as well as suggestions for starter themes to use for both Zurb Foundation and Bootstrap. With all the info on the table, you can plan your site’s launch ASAP. Your Web Designer Toolbox
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DOWNLOAD NOW Comparison articles Take a look at these comparison articles to get a sense of how these two platforms stack up. Should You Use Bootstrap or Foundation? Bootstrap vs Foundation Compared: Who Has an Upper Hand? Foundation 6 vs Bootstrap 4 Bootstrap vs Foundation: Which One is Better? Foundation WP Starter Themes If you’re thinking of getting started with Foundation, you should definitely consider using a WordPress starter theme. The following are all solid options: JointsWP JointsWP is a nice starter theme for Foundation that’s blank and ready to be molded into whatever you’d like it to be. Rich Modern Foundation 6 WordPress Theme Rich Modern is another Foundation starter theme that offers a basic template on which to build your WordPress website. TotalPress TotalPress is another starter theme that’s actually based on the Underscores theme. With it, you can create any type of layout you want. WP-Forge WP-Forge is a basic starter theme for Foundation but it’s so flexible you can use it to build any kind of site you want, with the latest features, too. Reverie Lastly, there’s Reverie, a stylish starter theme for Foundation that’s mobile friendly and includes custom menus, captions, and pagination. Bootstrap WP Starter Themes If Bootstrap is more what you prefer, then we have some Bootstrap starter themes for you as well. These are all well reviewed and nice to look at, too: UnderStrap UnderStrap is a Bootstrap starter theme that’s responsive and includes theme options for heavy customization. Sage Sage is a WordPress starter theme based on Bootstrap 4 that makes it easy to write stylesheets and Sass for your site without complicated backed customization. Bootstrap WordPress Starter Theme The Bootstrap WordPress Starter Theme is actually a tutorial for creating a...

Metatags 101: A Simple Guide for Designers

One of my mottos in life, and in business is this: “If Google tells you to do something, you better get it done.” And when it comes to using HTML meta tags for SEO, none of us should be messing around. That said, you know how it is with Google search. The algorithms are always changing and what Google deems important one year easily falls by the wayside the next. Which is why some of the meta tags you might run into are nothing more than legacy remnants of what Google used to care about. This guide will help you focus on the meta tags you absolutely need to use and what you can do with them. What Are HTML Meta Tags? The head of a web page contains a lot of information about the content found there. This is where you’ll find your HTML meta tags along with any CSS or JavaScript links that apply to the page. Here’s an example of how the looks for a recent WebDesigner Depot post about CSS libraries: You can glean a few important details about the page just from this snippet: The (meta) title The meta description The meta content type and viewport These are all meta tags. Most of the time, they’re written in HTML as a name/value pair. For instance <meta property="og:title" content="15 Best CSS Libraries for 2019 | Webdesigner Depot" /> Essentially, meta tags are nothing more than data about your web page’s data. They never show up on the page. They’re just in the background, waiting for search bots to detect the HTML and use it to improve the page’s search result. They’re also useful for browsers, RSS feeds, and social media platforms that feed these details (and display the content) to users. Which Meta Tags Do You Need to Use? One could argue that all meta tags recognized by Google and other search engines are worth using. But like with everything you do in web design and development, you should pick your battles wisely. So, rather than spend your time filling your web pages with every meta tag possible, familiarize yourself with which ones are available and which of them are worth using. Title HTML sample <title>5 Ways to Beef Up Your WordPress Security Today</title> What does it do? This indicates the name of the page. Do you really need it? Yes, this one is non-negotiable as it tells search engines what the name of the page is. This tag comes in handy if you want to tailor your title specifically for search results, too. So, let’s say...

The 10 best law firm and lawyer website designers to hire in 2020

The best law firm and lawyer websites are websites that demonstrate their firms’ commitment to their clients. They communicate confidence, tenacity, legal expertise and in some practice areas, compassion and foresight. In others, it’s all about reassuring visitors that the firm won’t stop fighting until justice is served. The best designer for your website is a designer who can translate this confidence into font choices, images, graphics and functional buttons. When you need a website, don’t settle for anything less than a design that communicates your firm’s personality perfectly. Hire one of our top lawyer website designers to create a website that works as hard for you as you work for your clients. How to get the best website design for lawyers
— A high-quality, professional law website by AneleyThere are two ways to work with designers on 99designs: starting a design contest and working with a freelance designer directly. If you already have a pretty clear idea of how you want your website to look and feel, you can save yourself a ton of time by working directly with a website designer who can deliver what you need. Take a look at our top picks for law firm web designers or search our platform to find the designer who speaks your dialect of legalese. If you’re not totally sure how you want your website to look or if you have some general ideas, but want to see multiple designers’ takes on the website that works for your firm, host a design contest. With a design contest, you submit a brief outlining what you need in a website, what colors and other design choices appeal to you and any specific details you need designers to consider. Then, designers from around the world submit their spec designs, giving you the opportunity to scroll through them and choose the one you like best. Once you pick a winner, you and the designer work together to take it from awesome to perfect. The 10 best lawyer and law firm website designers to hire in 2020
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Adobe Photoshop CC 2020: Features and Uses

Adobe Photoshop has been and continues to be the best software for designers to use to date. While there are many Photoshop alternatives available in the market for free or lower cost, they are usually targeted to beginners and limited by their functionality. The success of Photoshop as a designing tool makes news around it very important. Adobe also recognizes the need for continually pushing new features for its users to enhance their designing capabilities even further. Keeping this in mind, we must talk about the new update that Adobe is rolling out for Photoshop named Photoshop CC 2020. Below is a list of confirmed changes in this updated Photoshop CC 2020 version to give you a clear idea about what you can expect: 1. Improved accuracy for Auto Selection: Adobe Photoshop has a select subject command that has been improved significantly. It is due to Adobe Sensei – the name they’ve given to their artificial intelligence system which should allow Adobe Photoshop to analyze an image. This would allow the software to guess what the user wants to select. When put to the test, this feature works decently even with a car that has a complex background. It isn’t entirely perfect, but it’s way closer than it ever has been. This is undoubtedly the right first step towards this approach. 2. Selective Selection changes and improvements: It was earlier known as Refine Edge and is now called Select and Mask dialogue. This feature always has had a quick selection brush. In addition to this, there is a new tool which enables the user to select the object they want to isolate. Once you make a rectangular selection on the object you want to isolate, Photoshop would itself find the subject in that confined area. This would ease the process of separating one person from a group in a group or crowded picture. This feature would particular be helpful in situations of having multiple backgrounds, unintentional characters or noise. 3. Improvements in Properties Panel: Properties panel has been the go-to panel for checking the location of the current layer for many version updates. This year with Photoshop CC 2020, they have enhanced this feature by many folds. They have added context-based additions that depend on the current tool type and the selected layer.  Properties Panel now also accommodates Quick Actions for useful features like removing a...

Should a Web Page Have a Single CTA?

Does adding multiple CTAs to your web pages just confuse your users? That’s a heavily debated question in the digital design space. Some web designers believe that multiple CTAs give visitors more choice on how they convert. Others feel that leads can only handle a single CTA at a time without getting overwhelmed and abandoning ship. So, what’s the truth? Well, that depends. Every consumer has unique browsing habits, and different people act uniquely depending on the situation. That means that how you choose to use CTAs will depend on a lot of different things, including the client you’re working with. While it’s true that multiple CTA buttons could lead to decision paralysis for leads, there’s also a chance that an extra CTA could keep someone moving further down the buying funnel if they’re not yet ready to purchase. Perhaps the question isn’t “Should a web page have a single CTA?” but “When and why should a web page have just one CTA?” Defining the Marketing Call to Action Let’s start simple, by looking at what a CTA actually is. A call to action is a button or link that tells the user on your website what to do next. When a potential customer scrolls to the bottom of your landing page or home page, they might see a CTA telling them to “Create an Account”, “Buy Now”, or “Download Here”. CTAs are all about one thing: action. The website simply uses the CTA “Start” on its homepage: Regardless of the end goal of your CTA, the goal is always to drive conversions. For instance, you might be encouraging: Awareness: “Learn More”, “Find out how” Consideration: “Download Now” Decision: “Contact us”, “Book a Demo” Retention: “Become a Member”, “Sign up Now” Advocacy: “Share your Thoughts” The most important thing to remember about CTAs is that every one of your marketing assets should have one. Without a CTA, you’re not pushing your customers to the next stage in their buying journey – which means that you have a roadblock on your path to conversions. Think of it this way, WordStream found that a single CTA in an email increases clicks by 371%, and sales by up to 1617%. You want those kind of results for your web pages too! Different Web Pages Require Different Numbers of CTA Just because every web page should have a CTA, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to use the same strategy for everything. Each asset in your digital portfolio, from your...

18 Best Minimalist WordPress Themes for Minimalistic Websites

The main intention of using a Minimalist WordPress theme is to put the focus on the content your website has to offer instead of the design elements used to create your website. Here, the design elements act as a means to enhance your content and not as an end product for people to admire. The main challenge is to make the website look stunning without relying on heavy design elements. Minimalist design practices have been present for a long time. However, they haven’t always got the best exposure in previous times. Thanks to the concept of flat and material design, designers saw the potential of minimalism. Minimalist design practice is now considered to be ageless as it doesn’t rely on any graphic trend that might be popular now but might diminish in value later. Hence it is a safe bet. Generally, people confuse fewer elements with easy. However, this is not the case. Developing a website design with minimum elements increase the weight each element that is used carries. It makes the designer make some thoughtful implementations and sacrifices for the design to stand out truly. It is the right time to capitalize on this trend and create a minimalistic website for your blog, website, magazine, portfolio or any other purpose. Thanks to these Minimalist WordPress themes, you won’t have to do everything from scratch. They come with many customization options and pre-installed layouts that should easily suit your requirement. Here are 18 of the best minimalist WordPress themes to choose from: 1. Uncode: Unocde is a great minimalist WordPress Theme. It is a multi-purpose and responsive theme. The theme has plugins for WPbakery Page Builder that allows easy customization. It also comes with other important plugins like Revolution Slider and Premium Layer Slider. Uncode is a sleek website that can be tweaked upon as per preference, and be ready to go live in seconds.  It has demo websites and page templates to choose from.  Uncode has support for WooCommerce as well that makes selling products through your website very easy. It is a retina-ready template that means you can view the content on any device with optimization. 2. Soledad: Soledad is an elegant WordPress magazine and blog theme website. The template is powerful and flexible. The attention given to the details is visible in how great the template looks. It uses minimalist design...

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