Category Archives: Web Design

Comparing Hosting Plans

When it comes to comparing quality hosting plans it’s very important that you pick the right plan to suit your website style and for the greatest value. Here are some top tips and recommendations for website designers and owners on picking and comparing the right hosting plan.
Check customer reviews:
Through review websites you can check through a number of customer reviews on the top hosting providers for your country. Finding a few different options with a good track record and many customer reviews can help guide your path as well as help you to learn about any difficulties that other people might have experienced working with one individual Host.
Bandwidth allowances:
Checking into your bandwidth is very important. Ultimately if you use up too much bandwidth on your hosting plan this could mean that your website will go down or that you could incur some nasty charges that will drive up the cost of your website hosting. Look into different bandwidth allowances or find a page that compares them. Some providers like Hostgator also offer up unlimited plans.
Dashboard support and scripts:
If you have a pre-created website it’s important to ask any hosting service the type of script support that they have available. Some hosting providers will help you install WordPress worries some may not even allow you to install WordPresswebsites if you have one prebuilt.
Customer service:
Customer service is a big part of hosting, learn more about uptime and the types of customer service that you might have available to you and your company before committing to any individual host. Most companies offer 24 hour phone support and e-mail access but some do not.
Cost:
Hosting costs vary wildly base on features, support options, and hosting plan performance. It is good to compare hosting costs and ensure that you are able to find the best deal for your money. Be mindful that the least expensive option is not always the best.

Hopefully these tips will help you find the best hosting package for your own individual or company website today. 

How to choose a web designer to create a perfect online persona for your business

Unlike earlier times, every organization now is required to create and maintain two personas – the real and the virtual. As vital it is for businesses to build and sustain a perceivable enterprise to attract their target audience, it is equally vital for them to fashion an interesting and workable online presence, one that would build their brand, reach out to audiences, help strengthen customer relationships and expand their client pool.

The website for any organization is thus as important a gateway to growth and development as the other components of the business. Present scenario and customer preferences call for increased e-commerce, easy access to information on products, quick navigation and unique branding and marketing techniques that would ensure that a business stays on top of the audiences’ mind in spite of stiff competition. Choosing a web designer therefore becomes a challenging yet extremely important task. If you are looking to hire a web designer to strengthen your online presence, here are few pointers on how to bet on the winning horse.

Decide on your needs

Does your business need a complete online persona creation or are you looking for someone who can accomplish a specific task alone? Even though many web designing firms have branched out in recent times, they still undertake specific tasks as requested. If you are looking for a A-Z online services organization that would help you with everything from web designing, online marketing and branding, web and mobile application creation, e-commerce management, web hosting etc. you might want to look at sites like Boost One Web that provide overall services to customers. If your needs call for specific services like web design alone, then target those organizations that offer design services as a specialty. It is always sensible to choose companies that offer multiple services to avoid scouring for help in future.

Queries and responses

While picking any web design firm, it is crucial for you to listen to the questions they pose as that will give an insight on not only their competence but also their interest in knowing about your organization. It is important for any web design firm to have a deep knowledge of the business they are designing a website for. If the right questions are not asked at the right time, chances are that they are not competent enough to detail the website to suit your needs.
The next part involves you asking the right questions. Do your homework and look into their previously designed websites. Question them on the technologies they use and how compatible they are with up and coming techniques. Do they have experience with WordPress, Drupal ,etc.? Have they worked on similar businesses like yours before? Are they equipped to provide you a responsive, all-device-compatible website? Are they competent enough to understand and provide you with necessary graphics? Do their design ideas mirror your business ideals while ensuring unfussy navigation to customers? Are they equipped to provide you with SEO or lead generating web content? Do they provide maintenance services post launch? Do they give access to the source code for your future editing purposes? How about registration and copyright? These are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself and the design firm before picking out one.

Price Tag and Testimonials

Though price should not be ‘THE FACTOR’ in deciding on a web designer, enough research should be done to ensure that you are paying the right price for the right services. Too much for too little work is bad enough but too little for too much work might also mean a lot when it comes to competence levels. Testimonials and referrals are sure to help here. You can either request the design firm for references or do a background check yourself and ensure that you are making the right choice for your business. From sticking to delivery commitments to pre and post-delivery customer service, ensure you get the data you need to make an informed decision.

Contracts and the written word

Regardless of how the testimonies turn up, it is always better to get every decision made on website design, services to be rendered, delivery dates, quotes etc. on paper. Written contracts should reflect all decisions made to safeguard your interests in future.
Spending quality time in identifying the right web design firm will certainly ensure that you do not waste your resources on the wrong business partner. Happy hunting!

Best Free Fonts for Print and Web Design

Choosing the right font for what you are trying to present to your customer / visitor can be a hard task and sometimes takes a lot of time to find just the perfect typography – and in most cases the font you want is not free – well not in our case. We have prepared the selection of great looking fonts that will attract your consumers and get their attention and to top it of – totally free of charge. Just browse through and get your perfect font.

 
 
http://www.losttype.com/special/?name=ribbon
 
 
 
http://www.losttype.com/font/?name=ranger
 
 
 
http://kunalrdeshpandey2k.deviantart.com/art/Sketch-Block-268045334
 
 
 
http://uppertype.net/fonts/molesk.htm
 
 
 
http://fonts.4thfebruary.com.ua/serifiqo-4f/
 
 
 
http://www.google.com/fonts#UsePlace:use/Collection:Cookie
 
 
 
https://www.behance.net/gallery/Construthinvism-Free-Font/2436695
 
 
 
http://fontm.com/lorena-font/
 
 
 
https://www.behance.net/gallery/Nomed-Font/2459957
 
 
 
https://www.behance.net/gallery/Antechamber-%28Free-Typeface%29/2380284
 
 
 
http://www.dafont.com/ve-vastagurly-display.font
 
 
 
http://lalitkala.deviantart.com/art/Ananda-Neptouch-Free-Font-264488845
 
 
 
Hope you have found any of those nice looking fonts to be of use!

Today’s Hottest WordPress Design Trends

If you’re a webmaster, you know how quickly a web design can start to look dated. If visitors to your site see an obsolete looking website, it sends a message that you’re out of touch with the latest trends, and if you’re not willing to put the time and effort into making your website look great, they won’t bother to look at it. That’s why you’re always better off having your WordPress themes done professionally, and then making sure that you keep up with what’s hot and what’s gone out of style before your potential customers start rejecting your website out of hand.
Here are a few design trends that are hot in WordPress-based web development right now:

Mobile Ready Themes



Mobile Ready Website
More and more people are browsing the web from mobile devices and tablets, and that trend is likely to continue. Many well-established bloggers and niche websites are stubbornly resisting this trend, but smart webmasters and savvy businesses understand that if you don’t have a responsive website, you’re dooming yourself to a smaller and smaller potential pool of visitors with every passing month. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “responsive,” it means that it automatically resizes itself depending on the screen size of the device that it’s being viewed on. WordPress themes have been at the forefront of responsive design, so users are becoming accustomed to seeing them, and in the not-too-distant future you’ll seem like a dinosaur if your site isn’t viewable on a smartphone screen. WordPress estimates that over 60 percent of new WordPress themes are now responsive. According to Pew Research’s Internet Project, over 60 percent of all cell phone users are currently going online on their device, double the amount from just four years prior. Don’t miss out on these potential customers or readers because your site isn’t viewable for them.

Bold Fonts Are Pushing Graphics Into The Background

Bold Fonts
Not too long ago, almost everyone looked at the Internet through a widescreen monitor. If you came across a website that had big fonts on it, it would seem amateurish, or like a large-print book for the elderly. With today’s responsive layouts, just the opposite is true. Users with smartphones and tablets aren’t going to look at your website at all if it’s entirely written in Times New Roman with 12 pixel heights. It’s annoying for mobile users to continually have to resize text constantly, so larger text and less iconography are becoming standard on more and more websites. According to Smashing Magazine, 16 pixels is now the smallest typeface webmasters should consider. It’s not just mobile users that are becoming used to bigger typefaces, either. Deskbound Web surfers don’t mind being able to sit back in their chair and read your site instead of hunching over to see Arial 10.

Death To The Drop Shadow!

Drop Shadows are Dead
It wasn’t too long ago that cutting-edge web designs featured lots of drop shadows, 3D graphics, wallpaper backgrounds that mimic wood grain or book bindings, rounded corners, and lots of gradients. Now you’re much more likely to see perfectly flat looking designs that rely on interesting fonts and layouts but with lots more whitespace and cleaner and simpler feels. This trend reaches its ultimate examples with super-minimalist designs. The days of Flash splash pages are long gone, and designers of text heavy sites and portfolio themes that are supposed to showcase the site owner’s work, not the web designer’s work, are letting the content carry the site, and getting out of the way. If there are a lot images on a site, using images for navigation just adds visual confusion. Even the venerable New York Times realized that its online pages looked too busy, and redesigned accordingly.

Beware Too Many Mouse Clicks

Stay away from themes using to many mouse clicks to navigate
If you’re choosing a WordPress theme for your website, remember that an increasing amount of users are going to be viewing your site using touchscreen devices. It’s foolish to continue relying on mouse clicks for all the navigation on your pages. To make it easier for everyone to navigate your site, look for ways to allow touches, swipes, and taps to move around your web pages. Users that are viewing your site using traditional desktop arrangements won’t mind using their mouse to click on links and commands that function well on touchscreen devices, but mobile users will soon get tired of navigating around your site if you ignore them. Look for designs with easy, clear, and big navigation. Users without mouses like image galleries that automatically cycle through their component images, or allow users to navigate with a swipe as well.

Scrolling Beats Clicking

One Page WordPress Websites
Since scrolling is much easier on smartphones and tablets than desktops, look for single-page websites to grow in popularity. If you’re got a site with lots and lots of pages that require users to navigate with mouse clicks, you might see users leaving when they reach the bottom of the first page. Hardcore salesmen have used one-page sites for years to keep users from leaving their pages until they’ve reached the end of the sales pitch, and if you want people to keep reading, you should do the same. Just look at the popularity of sites like Pinterest and Tumblr that allow almost infinite scrolling to see where the market is heading.

Simple Steps To A Killer Business Website

Here are a few tips on how to make a killer business website! Small business owners should know by now that’s it’s essential to have a website. But many small businesses still stubbornly resist having an online presence, or just settle for the bare minimum, little more than a glorified business card with a URL.

Consumers Look Around Online Before Almost Every Purchase



Shop Online

It’s unwise for businesses to ignore the importance of a nicely designed and up-to-date website with a handsome theme and lots of content. Retailing Today found that 81 percent of consumers go online before going to the store to purchase major items. That was a 20 percent jump from the year before. For items like appliance, flooring, furnishings, bedding, electronic devices, jewelry, lawn and garden equipment, glasses, and many other items, shoppers spent an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase. If your website doesn’t have rich content presented in an up-to-date template, or worse yet, if you don’t have a website at all, chances are you’re going to miss out on a potential purchase.

Small businesses should view investments in Web presence as equal in importance to any other kind of infrastructure cost. It’s unlikely that a business will be able to survive in a connected world much longer without it.

A well-designed website give potential customers a sense of professionalism about a company, and many businesses that are run on a shoestring manage to show the world an Internet face that rivals the biggest corporations. The Internet can serve to level the playing field if you use it correctly. Here’s how to proceed:

First, You Need A Name




Get a nice domain name

You might have read that all the good URLs are already taken, but it’s really not that hard to find a web address that’s short and descriptive for your business. There are many low-cost registrars of domain names available and you can use their search functions to tinker with a variation of your brand name or business focus to find an unused one. Try to avoid dashes or numbers in your URL, because these can be confusing when spoken aloud. You can purchase a domain name and hosting for your site from the same company to save billing confusion. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out how little it costs. It’s common to keep a domain name and hosting costs to under $100 pr year.

Get A Template

CMS platforms and development tools
With many beautiful and responsive templates available for any website, and the easy integration of commerce into all the major Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Google’s Blogger, there’s no reason for a business owner to hesitate to develop a solid web presence any longer. The need for in-depth knowledge of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets and other arcane knowledge of web design is a thing of the past. Pre-made templates overlaid on top of constantly updated CMS utilities now offer even the least web-savvy person a user-friendly back end where entering information is as straightforward as typing an email.

All the prominent CMS offer users lots of add-ons for specific needs, so if you want users to sign up for newsletters, take a survey, or include you on their social network, it’s easy, and either free or low cost to add them later.

If you’re going to venture into online retailing, you can find instant ecommerce plugins for all CMS types that make order taking and inventory management a breeze. Utilities like Shopify offer dedicated pages for commerce that integrate with your existing templates for an easy and seamless combination of information and sales on the same website.

Getting Found On The Internet

Just getting your website up and running doesn’t guarantee that anyone will look at it. Like a brick and mortar store without a sign, traffic passing by doesn’t know what you’re about, or even that you’re open. You’ve got to advertise a little. Put as much content on your site as you can manage, up date it often, and then tell everyone you’re there.

SEO process
First, help yourself with free and easy methods of online publicity. Put your web address on all your correspondence and your stationery and business cards. Every email you send should have not only your return email, put your URL on it. Search Engine Optimization is asophisticated business these days, so you can hire a SEO company to draw attention to your website, or you can spend money on advertising using utilities like Google Adwords to send search users to your website for as little as a few pennies per click.

Business owners need to stop thinking about websites as a large, complicated, and potentially expensive undertaking and start thinking about how they can leverage an online presence into an important revenue stream. It’s a very rare website that can’t cover the costs of developing it, and a well designed website is bound to expand an existing customer base and grow your business in ways you can barely predict before you get going. Amazon once only sold books, and look how that turned out.

What’s New In Web Design For People That Aren’t Web Designers

 

Web design is getting to be a complicated business, while at the same time its becoming easier than ever for webmasters to handle. That’s because the complexity of web design is making it almost universal for websites to use pre-made themes designed by professionals. It’s just too difficult for a business or opinion website to handle their own back end while still producing the goods, services, or content that makes the site worth visiting in the first place.
While out-of-the-box templates take care of a lot of the complex and sometimes dreary work that goes with creating an attractive website, it’s still useful for webmasters to understand at least a little on what’s going on behind the HTML scenes so they can choose a template that will give them the most attractive website. Here’s a look at some web design trends that can affect a visitor’s opinion of your site now, and in the near future.

Beware Hover Buttons

Cascading Style Sheets were a boon to web designers that wanted to make websites more interactive and attractive. Designers invented an interesting class of commands that made holding a cursor over an element reveal hidden content. Making single elements do multiple things was a great and innovative use of everything on the page, and users reacted enthusiastically to discoveries of little Easter Eggs of information. Hover buttons, when new, had a measurable effect on users, and they encouraged users to click on elements of the page. Now there’s a problem.
Hover Buttons
Hover Buttons

Hover functions are intimately tied into the use of a cursor, and while the cursor is far from dead, it’s certainly on life support on mobile and tablet platforms. Touch sensitive screensreally don’t have much use for anything to do with the hover command, and so its usefulness is diminished. In addition, if you’re relying on hover commands to impart essential information, you’re essentially breaking the functionality of your website for users without a mouse.

Designers are beginning to pick up on this, and a few are actually defining hover commands as bad practice in web design, and more are likely to follow suit. Designers that like hover commands for information are, at the very least, encouraged to avoid using them for vital information or navigation commands. It will never be bad practice to offer more information, but hiding it in places where it’s not easily accessible is a waste of time. Beware hover commands. Even sites devoted to hover commands like Pinterest warn against their overuse.

If You Don’t Know What The Mobile Web Is, Don’t Worry; It’s Dead Anyway




Mobile Web

Many webmasters aren’t even familiar with the term Mobile Web. When smartphones started making big gains in Internet browsing market share, some cutting edge developers decided that the end of the world for desktop browsing was at hand, and started designing website themes strictly for handhelds. Mobile Web sites are meant to run in tandem with a traditional desktop site. Running one website is getting to be a lot of work for any business that wants to stay up to date with best web practices. Running two is a recipe for disaster. It relies on detecting the platform of the device that’s visiting the web address to display the correct version of the site, and everyone knows how that goes. Even people that have never heard the term Mobile Web knows what it looks like when you get a mobile version of a website on your desktop, or end up scrolling endlessly just to get past a header and navigation if your mobile phone gets the desktop version.

Of course so-called Responsive Designs for websites are the answer to this question nobody’s asking anymore. Businesses need to concentrate on the usefulness of the content, and never worry about the configuration of the website on different platforms. It wasn’t too long ago that web designers had to optimize themes for every browser version under the sun to make it display properly. Mobile Web is like a return to those bad old days. Business Insider says they’re dead because of the emergence of apps, anyway.
Savvy web designers know that if a business truly needs more than one version of their website, it’s only because different content needs to be displayed on them, not because the same content needs to be displayed differently. Separate content needs require separate, stand-alone sites.

Flash Is Dead. Long Live Things That Look Like Flash



Adobe Flash
Flash is dead

A few years back, web designers fell in love with splash pages that used Flash to draw viewers in with moving pictures of some sort. The novelty of it was enough to excite visitors – for a while. Pretty soon whoever was in charge of the Search Engine Optimization for the site noticed it was killing the site’s page ranking, and as rich media on the Web got more common, it lost the wow factor pretty quickly anyway. Websites got more restrained and businesslike, and everyone forgot about Flash.

Now HTML5 lets rich media make an appearance on websites again without breaking usability or lengthening load time much. If you’re like me, the first time you saw PayPal’s little sign-in page theater projects, you knew the web would be full of websites that would follow their lead to reintroduce rich media to static webpages.

6 Tutorials Every Modern Web Designer Should Read

When we are talking about being a true web designer it’s important you are always up to date with all the latest trends – and with everything evolving with a speed of light in this department it’s hard to keep up, so we have prepared a few tutorials to help you evolve and maintain that quick pace we are in – this tutorials will make your life a bit easier 😉 .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Great Resources for Web Designers and Developers

 

Everybody loves tools that make our lives easier and save us time and thus money. We have prepared a compilation of great resources for you to use.

 

 

Whether you want it or not, your site is going mobile – every day. Use Ghostlab to make sure all your users get the same neat experience – whatever operating system, browser or smart phone they are using. One site – one experience.
 

RulerGuides is a JavaScript library to build a ruler on a website and add guidelines to it. Like in Photoshop where we can create guidelines by clicking on the ruler and dragging it anywhere on the canvas. It also provides some hotkeys for toggling the rulers, and saving or clearing the guides.
 
 
 
 

With BlendMe you can access the collection of vector assets for free! Search thousands of assets, including popular icon packs, without leaving Photoshop or Illustrator. Drag assets into your current composition and use them in the original format.
 

 

 
The easiest and the fastest way to create custom and high quality code for your WordPress project using the latest WordPress coding standards and API’s. Currently there are more than 15 APIs that you can create with this tool including Post Type, Taxonomy, Post Status, Shortcodes, Different Generators and Sidebars.

5. KeyPress

 
 
You have probably seen sites that use keyboard shortcuts or key combos right? Take Facebook as an example; hit L to like or unlike, ? to search, 1 to go to the homepage. If you want to use similiar functions, you can use Keypress, a simple, yet useful JavaScript library for capturing keyboard input.
 

10 Great Color Combination Tools for Designers

One of the most important aspects when designing a website for you or your client are certainly colors – being able to select just the right tone of each color you are using to match the other color is essential – it could turn your visitor to buyer or it could drive them right away. So what if you don’t know what colors work with others and what don’t? Well no worries we have prepared a collection of a few great combination tools to use and save you some time and nerves.

1. Adobe Kuler

Adobe as one of the leading designing software solutions has it’s own tool and it’s a nice tool – there are a lot of preset color rules you can choose from and even save them for later use very useful.

This isn’t a new kid on the block so you can’t go wrong with it – a lot of options. Don’t have ideas? Use their random function – and when you are done just save your scheme ID for future use. It also has a lot of export options.
The application allows users to experiment with color combinations, examine them under the aspect of accessibility guidelines and to create custom color palettes.
Contrast-A checks color combinations for sufficient contrast and displays the results as well it displays the results for normal vision and simulates the colors and results for different types of color deficiency. 
This great tool is a must – superb for checking foreground and background color combinations of all DOM elements on your website and determining if they provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits.
Pictaculous serves as a great tool it lets you upload your image and analyze its colors and gives you color pallete that goes with your picture. Quite handy don’t you think?
The heart of this site is the Combo Tester, which allows web designers to see how different color combinations work together. It also has some other tools such as the library that contains hundreds of color swatches, along with their hex colour values and ComboMaker tool to create and share your own web design colour and see what others are making.
ColorExplorer is the bomb color pallete tool – online toolbox for working with color palettes. With ColorExplorer you can quickly and easily create, manage and evaluate color palettes for use in graphic design, web designs, layouts, and much more.
Color Hunter is also one of those essential tools as it allows you to upload your images and view the different colors that it consists of. You can also browse through different parameters such as search term or hex color.
Want a simple yet effective tool to get hex code or see what hex code looks like? Look no further as it can’t get more simple than that. It even gives you few color scheme options such as : complementary, triade, analogic and tetrade.
Are you without color pallete inspiration? Well this tool is just that – color pallete inspiration tool. Designs displayed go beyond the generic 3 colored dots, and attempt to portray the possibilities in palettes. Steal colors. This handy tool makes palette piracy easy and fun.