WordPress has many pluses, but it’s not necessarily the most glamorous platform to work with. Still customize it with themes and plugins to fit a designer’s needs has made it the most popular CMS.
Plugins are great to have access to when you need to embed certain functions into your websites. There are a great many to choose from, and you can even have one developed that is customized to fit a particular need.
The main problem with plugins is the sheer number that are available. When you look for one to fill a special need, you may come across several that seem to fill the bill. Finding the best of the lot can be a challenge. To make life a little easier, we’ve chosen some of the best WordPress plugins out there that you can use to add key functionality to your websites.
wpDataTables provides a host of data management functionalities. For instance, tables you create with it can be made editable. Editing in wpDataTables is no more difficult than editing in Excel, and the tables can be very large. wpDataTables can work quickly when confronted with large amounts of data. All the data management functions associated with a given table are handled by the MySQL server.
The tables you create will be natively responsive, so you needn’t be concerned as to how they will display on various device types. Furthermore, the tables you create can be used as sources for creating charts. Just as the tables themselves are editable, the charts can be changed in real time to reflect up-to-date data and results.
A truly beneficial feature of wpDataTables is the ability to highlight cells, rows, and columns of data, in relationship to their content. By visiting the website, you can view the full range of this plugin’s features and capabilities.
Content Timeline is a handy WordPress plugin to have if you want to display content in a sliding timeline. Content Timeline is responsive, and since it’s fully customizable, you can drag and drop to sort, add, or delete items of content as you like.
Should you need to edit an item in a timeline, you can edit it in its own window. 12 customizable Card Layouts are included to add a cool look to your timelines, or you can create a card from scratch.
Features you can easily incorporate into your timelines, include Swipe functionality, sorting by year, month or category (great for timelines of your posts), and dynamic loading of new posts. Content Timeline even makes it possible to display your posts in a slider. Users have given this plugin nearly solid 5-star ratings. Read the rest of this entry »
Looking for the right WordPress theme can be a chore if this is your first attempt, or if you’re not exactly sure what you should be looking for. The economics are such, that premium themes are usually no more expensive than those having somewhat less to offer.
It’s worth noting that today’s typical user isn’t simply looking for a website. He or she is looking for an experience. That is what the following WordPress themes can help you achieve with your design efforts. Why we have listed them as the “Best for 2017”?
They have the following key characteristics in common:
– They feature aesthetically pleasing designs. That means they have staying power.
– They produce SEO friendly results. Your websites should get their fair share, or more, of traffic.
– They are easy to customize. You have the flexibility you want, and you’ll save heaps of time.
– They offer top-quality support; levels of support you have every right to expect.
If you’re looking for a premium WP theme that’s loaded with features, easy to use, and capable of producing any website type or style, Be Theme fills the bill on all counts.
Be is popular, and it’s the biggest WP theme on the market. It’s packed with the features and capabilities you need to give your clients precisely what they want, and their customers the experiences they seek.
Highlights include the fast and efficient Muffin Builder 3 and Visual Composer page builders, plus an options panel, shortcode generator, and 200+ shortcodes that enable you to design to the minutest level without any need for coding. You’ll also have header, grid, and portfolio options galore to work with.
The feature that really defines Be, and accounts for much of its popularity, is the selection of 230+ pre-built websites. These professionally designed websites are modern, they are customizable, they contain the elements required to create an engaging, user-friendly UX, and they serve as concepts and starting points for you design activity. Read the rest of this entry »
This article will be interesting to all Monstroid fans, all curious nerds who want to be the first and know about all innovations and inventions taking place in web design and development field, and just to thrifty entrepreneurs who never pass by a lucrative bargain.
2016 was a special year for TemplateMonster.com. The guys improved their products considerably, so now they match even higher quality standards. The team made deeper niche analysis, totally overhauled Cherry Framework, developed their own WordPress plugins, and switched to the GPL license.
Monstroid 2 can be called a result of all these as well as other positive changes.
This product combines the best practices of company work and makes an outstanding start for 2017.
TemplateMonster gives you a brilliant opportunity to try out this multi-purpose WordPress theme before the official release. Pre-order it for a reduced price now, and they’ll send Monstroid 2 alpha version right to your mailbox. Want to pre-order Monstroid 2 right now?Click here.
To view its live demofollow this link.
No doubt online stores are forcing out the ordinary shops out of business. However the abundance of the former on the web makes the competition extremely tough. So deciding to launch your online store you should take into consideration lots of details to make it more appealing for the customers than the stores of your competitors. If you think that the most important thing is sleek catchy design, you are wrong. It is important, but far not paramount. The main thing for your website to be popular is to be customer-oriented and user-friendly. If it takes hours to find the item needed or the buying process takes too many steps, or your store looks broken when browsing through mobile devices no one will pay attention to your cool animations, parallax scrolling or trendy design. You should always think of your customer. If you focus on selling your product you will gain nothing. If you think of what your customers want, they will feel it and appreciate it. There are lots of eCommerce templates to choose from: Magento, OpenCart, responsive PrestaShop themes, WooCommerce, etc. Each of them has its own peculiarities, but all of them are user-friendly and easy to work with.
For this roundup we have hand-picked 20 bestselling eCommerce templates of this winter, which are excellent examples of client-oriented websites. All of them are provided by one of the world’s leading template providers, TemplateMonster. This is not just a brand. This is a guarantee of professional approach in everything up to the tiniest detail. The themes are extremely feature-rich, making it easy to create a user-friendly and fully functional website. Sleek up-to-date design corresponds with all latest tendencies and trends. Being highly flexible each of the themes can be adjusted to your needs and goals.
StoreFlex – Multipurpose OpenCart Template
StoreFlex is a successful solution for any eCommerce project. Its stunning design is supported by powerful functionality creating a perfect combination for any website. The template goes with clipart for 20 product types, which enables you to use 10 different topics in one pack. StoreFlex is extremely flexible. Use intuitive layout builder, experiment with varied skins and color schemes to give your website a unique look. Full RTL support and multi-currency makes it easy to expand your business to international market. Lookbook presentation, promo banner, deal of the day, smart product filtering and other features make the template extremely functional and user-friendly.
Magetique is not just another Magento template. It is the most comprehensive theme that runs on Magento 2 and boasts impeccable design and advanced functionality. It comes with 5 layouts to fit specific needs of niche business. More than 20 Magento extensions aim to facilitate your life and make the browsing experience more user-friendly. Instead of using endless dropdowns, make use of powerful mega menu, which allows you to arrange all you categories, add banners, images, etc. Parallax scrolling and video integration will add dynamics to your website and help to present your products in an original way. Read the rest of this entry »
As a freelance web designer, you no doubt enjoy working to your own schedules. And not having to commute to work, or a boss that likes micromanaging are also good perks.
You work hard to improve your skills, and to keep up with the latest trends. As a result, you have little difficulty in finding clients and good, well-paying assignments.
It’s not uncommon for freelancers to take on so much work that, as far as their ability to deliver high-quality work on time, time after time, the wheels start to come off. If you’ve fallen into the trap of working longer hours, but you are still missing deadlines, and even losing a client or two on occasion, read on.
There are ways to quickly resolve your situation.
There’s only one person capable of improving your productivity; that person is you.
To find the solution, you must pinpoint the problems and understand their causes:
Wasting hours installing WordPress themes? Solution: use a better tool; working with this popular theme takes only minutes.
Wasting time working with difficult clients? Solution: There are plenty of easy to work with clients out there.
Not prioritizing tasks? Solution: Brush up on your time management skills.
These problems can stem from a common cause – your mindset. You may have nurtured a habit of forcing your way through difficult situations, rather than working to avoid them. Turning things around is not hard to do; the solutions are there. Read the rest of this entry »
Black Friday is a super time to take advantage of bargains in household items and consumer electronics. But what about bargains for web designers?
As it turns out, web designers haven’t been left out of the picture. You can see from this selection of design aids, UI kits, stock photos, and WP themes. There is, in fact, something here for just about everyone.
The driving force behind Black Friday is to get shoppers into the stores. It’s not much different with online stores. But web designers often benefit by looking where they haven’t looked before.
Especially when bargains on high-quality products are the rule, as is the case with these Black Friday specials.
ThemeFuse has a selection of over 30 high-quality WordPress themes to choose from. On Black Friday only, any of these themes can be yours at a 40% discount. These themes are exactly what designers and developers look for when they are called upon to create original websites for their clients; and called upon to do so on short notice.
These themes cover all the common website types, including presentation websites, blogs, e-commerce websites, and portfolios. Theme topics range from business, children, and automotive, to travel, food, health & beauty and everything in between. Their flagship theme is called The Core, a multi-purpose WP theme that comes with more than 20 demos already created that can be imported with 1 click.
You can test drive any of these WP themes before you purchase. This includes the Black Friday discounts. Just be sure to make the purchases you want before the deadline has passed. You’ll like what you see in the original and creative theme designs, and you’ll appreciate how easy they are to use.
Millions of stock photos and videos at a 50% discount may be difficult to imagine, but that is what Dreamstime is offering on Black Friday, and through Cyber Monday. Dreamstime’s inventory is highly organized.
The Smart Advanced Search system guarantees that it won’t take you any time at all to drill down to your favorite subcategories and topics, and pick out a few choice images at a bargain price. You have 20,000 RF images that you can download for free along the way.
Dreamstime draws upon professional contributors who add thousands of fresh files every day. Once you’ve sampled what this stock photo resource offers, you’ll be tempted to become a regular customer.
You can be assured that quality will never be an issue, since Dreamstime has been a media provider to 95% of the Fortune 500 companies.
Proto.io is regarded throughout the web design community as an industry-leading prototyping platform for designers representing all experience levels.
Black Friday through December 2 has been set aside as an opportunity for you to purchase an annual subscription to this premium design tool at a 30% discount. The promo code is BLACKFRIDAY2016. This Black Friday special is available to both new and existing customers.
Design teams and freelancers alike work with Proto.io to enhance the workflows of their design processes from the wireframe and mockup phases through to user testing their high-fidelity, interactive prototypes. Proto.io is extremely easy to use. No coding skills or special technical skills are required on your part.
Here is your chance to purchase a premium design tool at a special Black Friday price. Start with a free trial and then upgrade using their promo code until December 2.
Web designers have for a long time looked upon Visual Hierarchy as a source for purchasing high quality design tools. On Black Friday, you can join many of these same designers in choosing VH’s top selling products and other useful items at up to 60% off the regular price!
VH is also a marketplace where web designers and developers can sell their own products, so you are always assured of finding items that are not found anywhere else. Black Friday is your chance to purchase anything from UI Kits to fonts and mockups at bargain prices.
Themify is celebrating Black Friday through Cyber Monday in a big way. Promo code BLACKFRIDAY opens the door to a 50% discount on all Club memberships, WordPress themes, and plugins. There will also be a drawing in which 10 Master Club memberships will be given away for free.
Although the 50% discount does not apply, if you elect to join the Lifetime Master Club, with all its benefits, you can do so for only $249; a savings of $150. Use promo code BLACKFRIDAYLIFE to take advantage of this special offer.
Yep, these are some great deals!
There are Black Friday bargains here for new and old customers alike. This is an excellent chance for you to buy high-quality stock photos or other media items at half price. Or quality WordPress themes or website theme templates at large discounts.
If any of the businesses offering these promotions are new to you, give them a closer look. You might just decide to opt for something newer and better that what you’re using now; and at a bargain price.
A team leader’s role is to take a group of people who have diverse yet complementary skills, and variable degrees of experience, and mold them into a cohesive team. And make them work together toward a common objective.
These same skills that can do so much when given proper direction can just as easily undermine the chances of a project’s success. If that direction is not there.
A good choice of project management and collaboration tools can play an important, and even a key role.
The right tools can make workflow proceed smoothly. Make the design process as a whole more transparent, and encourage collaboration among team members.
Freelancers can also benefit by having the right project or task management tools on hand.
Even the best tools can’t do everything. Team leaders need to get their teams working together with a common purpose in mind. Following these guidelines will help make that happen.
1) Constantly clarify team member roles. A lack of clarity or overlapping roles can only lead to confusion, oversights, and a duplication of effort.
2) Explicitly state responsibilities. Making the entire team, or even a small group, responsible for an action seldom works. Define and assign responsibilities at the individual level.
3) Identify who handles each decision. This can be done at an individual or on a group basis. In the latter case, how a decision is to be reached must be made clear.
4) Constantly review team and project goals. Doing so ensures everyone will stay focused.
5) Assign specific tools for specific functions. Don’t mix them up.
The following tools were selected because they will meet almost any team’s or individual’s specific need or needs.
Sharing ideas without interrupting your workflow should not be complicated. This is where Wake shines. An example: Capture ideas or information in your notebook or on your whiteboard with Wake’s iPhone app, and share it with others. Instantly. The iPhone app also allows you to stay up-to-date on project happenings when you’re away from the office or on the go.
You can also upload and share screenshots, sketches, etc., without having to interrupt or leave your Illustrator, Sketch, or Photoshop session. If you want to share animations or videos of your prototypes – it’s no problem.
Wake makes the design process more transparent for all parties concerned. You can share information publicly, or share it privately to a selected few. You can use Wake to show everyone what everyone is working on.
Sign up for a free 30-day trial and see if Wake is the right solution for you or for your team. Several plans are available, ranging from a $22/month starter plan, to a Pro Custom plan for heavy users.
InVision’s prototyping, collaboration, and workflow capabilities are integrated within a single platform. This design-driven project management platform makes it possible for design teams and freelancers alike to prototype, share, review and modify, and user test their mobile and web products.
With InVision, you can upload a design file, and add animations, gestures, and transformations to create a high-fidelity, interactive prototype within 5 minutes. InVision also simplifies your feedback process by allowing team members and stakeholders to seamlessly comment on your designs in real time.
You can manage project screens and statuses from a single location, and notify team members when changes in status have occurred.
2 million designers have used InVision, ranging from freelancers and small design agencies, to large companies like General Motors, Nike, and Apple. Ask for the free trial that allows you to work with a single prototype, while you learn more about InVision’s features and functions. Read the rest of this entry »
Best of Themes is a showcase website where you can browse thousands of free and paid themes quickly, so you can focus what matters. We had always the problem of finding a matching theme to our product. The current process is amazingly time consuming and consists of going to each theme provider, clicking on each theme and checking the demos; mind you only themeforest has 8000 themes only for wordpress. One can do probably 20-30 trials before giving up and picking up the most common ones.
So, to solve the problem they made this platform, a curated collection of free and commercial themes added daily, with a screenshot of their most important pages together for both mobile and desktop to quickly browse through. Today we have 936 Themes, 14548 pages indexed, and total of 16443 screenshots on the platform.
If you are reading this article, you most likely have worked with a tech company or startup. You’ve noticed that this niche has its own rules. And you probably had to answer some hard questions. What’s the audience’s main treat? What’s the suited design style for tech clients? Do web design trends matter in this domain?
We gathered some answers to those questions that will help you in the future. We’ve also analyzed ten tech related pre-built websites. Using them will save you valuable time.
When Designing for Tech Companies, Following Current Trends is Essential
The educated Internet user will quickly decide if your website is hot or not. Trends are not only a matter of fashion, but using them transmits a message of freshness and coolness. Here are some of the most important trends that you should follow when designing for tech companies:
– Use Flat Icons – Drop the shadows, skip the gradients, and avoid the clever special effects. In other words, go “all Apple”. It’s the best way to engage your tech client’s clients – simple is best.
When working on a tech-related website, it’s all about fine touches.
– Use Bold Colors. You may have your favorite color schemes, but be prepared to let them go. Bold colors are hot for these types of websites. Look for color combinations that are fresh, dynamic, but not too noisy.
– Work on Your Own Data Visualization. Using data-driven elements needs to be your goal. Tech clients feel a need to communicate various types of data on their website. With data driven elements you can work on your own visualization schemes and not those that involve working with other software.
– Typography. in-browser fonts that are built for all screens, to be precise. Needless to say, an expressive, typography font should be delivered to all types of screens. Read the rest of this entry »