Have you been putting off a website project for some time right now? Do you feel like you don’t have the necessary tools or resources to do it well? Now it is high time to get that site designed and up and running,
It doesn’t matter what it is you may have been lacking. The options on the following list of tools and resources will satisfy your needs. At least one of the offerings should be just what you need. More than likely, several will prove to be helpful.
The same applies if you have the tools you need, but you’re simply looking for new ways to build better websites. Here you’ll find tools and resources that can be fast, efficient, and user-friendly. All can be used by beginners and experts alike – so, no more procrastinating!
If you need to create a low-fidelity prototype to share yourthoughts as to the direction you’re headingwith teammates or clients,Proto.io is just the prototyping tool for you.
If what you needto create is a high-to-ultra-high prototype that features the look and feel of the real thing on any PC or mobile device, the solution is the same – Proto.io.
Designers, entrepreneurs, developers, and project managers can all benefit by having this excellent prototyping tool. The latest version, Proto.io 6, has been redesigned to make it more intuitive and easier to use.
This latest version features such niceties as single-click sharing, new state transitions, interactive design patterns, and a new app for iOS and Android that offers enhanced experiences of previewing your prototypes on mobile apps.
Gestures supported include tap and double tap, tap hold and tap hold release, touch, swipe (left or right, up or down), pan, right click, and mouse over. Proto.io also gives you the options of uploading information from Sketch, Photoshop, or Dropbox.
SITE123 has all the web-building features you’d expect to see in a premier WordPress theme, such a rich choice of responsive designs, a WYSIWYG editor that displays changes as you make them, and an intuitive interface that enables you to arrange and customize design modules in the dashboard.
There’s a pair of useful features that you won’t find in many of the popular website building tools that might prompt you to give SITE123 a closer look.
One is a built-in app market that allows your customers to integrate external applications in to their websites, thus boosting their usability. These external applications could consist of analytics tools, live support chat, booking, and more.
The second feature is a multilingual tool that allows you to create a website in the language, or languages, or your choice – a great idea for a client who serves a global market.
Designers who turn to Xfive.co for web development services eventually conclude that this company not only provides quality service and support, but must be a fun place to work as well. Xfive.co, formerly XHTML, has been up and running for just over 10 years. They are an Australian-based company, with offices in Melbourne, San Francisco, and Krakow.
The Xfive brand is typified by high fives all around for a job well done, which is all the time. That’s the company culture. They care about you as a customer, and they prefer to work with you as a partner. Microsoft, Twitter, and eBay are among the many thousands of clients, which also include startups and small business, and individual and freelance web designers.
Do you or your client have a well-established or a startup? If your answer is positive, then I bet you strive to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones.
In today’s business environment, a carefully constructed, optimally-planned website is essential. If you hope to make the search for clients a successful one, chances you need a high-quality website.
The following WordPress themes are designed to give you the necessary website-building tools. The themes listed were chosen not just by chance. They are perfect for the creation of the websites for startups or small businesses. More specifically, they aim to help increase sales and revenue.
As you browse through this list, you’ll more than likely find more than one theme that will serve you well. Deciding which one to use will be a breeze. Since these are all premium themes, it’s highly unlikely you’ll regret the choice you make.
How is this theme good for startups and small businesses?
With Be Theme, there’s more than one answer to that question. There are over 260 reasons why this theme is a great choice for building a startup or small business website.
Be Theme is responsive, WooCommerce ready, and loaded with page-building options and special effects. You can have a website up and running in a few, short hours, and you won’t have to write a line of code.
The core feature is the large selection (260+ and growing) of pre-built websites. Each is professionally designed, and most of them are multi-page. In addition to providing users with excellent layout concepts, these pre-built websites have the functionality you’ll need embedded in them.
It only takes a single click to install a pre-built website, after which you can put Be’s Muffin Builder and Options Panel to work. If you choose to start a page from scratch, the Layout Configurator and Shortcodes Generator provide the needed tools. Read the rest of this entry »
The need to manage huge amounts of website data can become a formidable task. One you generally don’t look forward to. It’s just not numbers either. Statistics, labels, categories, and other important data types often come into play.
An obvious solution is to invest in a data management tool or plugin. Unless what you buy is intuitive to use, you may have to put everything else on hold while you figure out how it works.
wpDataTables is so easy to use, that you might be fooled into thinking that this plugin can read your mind to see what you want done. That’s not really the case of course. Still, with wpDataTables you can organize any amount of data into interactive, responsive, and easily editable tables and charts. And you can do this without any need for coding whatsoever.
1. Exciting New wpDataTables 2.0 Features
wpDataTables 2.0 brings more than 20 new features to the table, along with major improvements in many of the more popular 1.0 features – in response to what customers have asked for.
The wpDataTables team improved the plugin, not only by the addition of new features, but by fixing several small bugs, and doing what was needed to make this easy-to-use tool, even easier to use. Read the rest of this entry »
As a web designer, you should also devote yourself to managing the accounting affairs of your business. You may feel that you’re in a strange territory.
You may or may not be a “numbers person”. But, there are various tasks that you need to do. For example, submitting quotations and invoices. You might also have to provide information on discounts, and even track the time spent on various tasks. This seems far from what you do best – design.
Time tracking and invoicing go hand in hand; and having a good method for tracking your time, will save you time. By investing in a high-quality, easy to work with time tracking app, you find you have more time to do what you do best. You will also have more leisure time as well.
There’s plenty of time tracking, invoicing, and other project and business management software products on the market. Here are 10 of the best; guaranteed to give your productivity a definite boost.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based, intuitive invoicing app designed for use by small business owners. It is an effective tool for freelancers as well. FreshBooks does more than collect the details you need to include in your invoices. You can add your brand’s color scheme and logo; thereby giving each invoice a unique, professional look. When you submit an invoice (via email), this app informs you whether your client has seen it; obviating the need for a follow-up query.
FreshBooks even goes a few steps further. In fact, it has numerous features that will help you streamline the business side of your work. You can set it up to receive online payments, you can check the dashboard for an overview on how your business is doing, and late payment notifications can be automatically sent out. You can even use the FreshBooks mobile app to take pictures of receipts on your phone to better keep track of your expenses.
One more thing; FreshBooks also manages your invoice time tracking needs.
It’s human nature to forget when you did some of your past activities. This is especially bothersome when trying to track time. In such cases, no wonder why Timely has become one of the best-loved time tracking apps on the market. Its new feature, Memory, automatically tracks every file you work on, the start and end times of your tasks, the websites you visit or apps you use. All this information is organized and presented in an intelligent timeline.
Memory by Timely can tell you what you work on and for exactly how long. It also captures all you do in Trello, Gmail, Office365/Outlook Calendar, Github, etc. Best of all, no one, including your boss, a colleague, or anyone else but you can see your timeline. Read the rest of this entry »
Your website’s performance depends largely on the hosting service you’ve selected. If the service turns out to be inadequate, you may have to put up with slow page loading or capacity issues. Even downtime more than what you’re able to tolerate.
More and more business owners are becoming aware about the need of creating quality content.
Few of these owners understand the impact a hosting service can have on their website’s performance and uptime.
It’s natural to take pricing into account when selecting a hosting service. Still, pricing should always take a back seat to performance. It should never be the primary driver behind making a selection.
There are plenty of options hosting companies that would like to offer their services to you. This week, we’re going to take a close look and 5 of the very best.
SiteGround has grown from a 3-person startup in 2004 to a hosting company that currently employs over 400 people in five data centers located on three continents. They are pioneers in the art of developing own advanced web hosting security solutions. The result is extreme data and website protection that guarantees 99.99% uptime. SiteGround have also developed their own backup system that creates backups with minimal resource usage which allows rapid restore in times of need.
Their always run the latest software on their servers (Apache, PHP, MySQL etc.) and provide the latest speed and performance technology: SSD drives, NGINX, hhtp2, PHP7. On top of their in-house WordPress caching solution – the SuperCacher manages to improve a website’s performance. Their platform is built on top of the cutting edge LXC (Linux containers) technology. The overall effect from a customer’s standpoint is exceptional performance and stability.
SiteGround’s customer support team is available 24/7 with literally no hold times, and it helps resolve questions that go beyond web hosting. There is no coincidence that their overall service is officially recommended by WordPress.org. Read the rest of this entry »
Freelancing is not always a bed of roses. Freelancers enjoy more freedom in terms of their work habits, but that freedom can come with a price. They often face challenges that office-bound workers tend to avoid. More specifically, distractions and occasion lapses in discipline and self-control.
If these challenges are not faced head-on, a lessening in productivity can result. And this can lead to extended work hours, reduced income, or both.
Today, we are offering tips designed to help a web design freelancer meet and overcome these challenges, while enjoyiing a boost in productivity.
Tip #1) Get your projects off to a quick start with the latest Be Theme pre-built websites.
Don’t start from scratch like these guys who invented a new way of designing websites.
Be Themes’s pre-built websites make it possible for you to turn out work of the highest quality, and save a ton of time in the process. You can, for example, skip wireframing, prototyping, and best of all – coding.
This Craftbeer pre-built website features large, attractive images on every page. A parallax effect ensures that the emphasis is always on the product. The Muffin Group team knows how to attract customers. It shows!
eLearning has become super popular the last few years. If you have a business in this rapidly growing niche, depending on a so-so website would be a shame. This pre-built website design is fresh looking and easy to navigate.
This pre-built website looks as if its designer had a degree in architecture. The product is front and center, and the unique value proposition stands out clearly against the semi-dark background. Read the rest of this entry »
Multipurpose WordPress themes are typically quite versatile and flexible. Using them you can create any type of website, ranging from corporate and e-commerce sites to blogs and agency portfolios. Specialty themes also have their place. Sometimes they are a better choice for creating a specific website type or filling a specific need. You’ll find excellent examples of both types here.
Be Theme, the biggest WordPress theme ever, is packed with too many powerful and useful features to mention here. The short list includes a superb collection of 250+ stunning, customizable pre-built websites to act as excellent starting points for your design projects. Pick one, install it with one click, and let Be’s Muffin Builder and Options panel take it from there.
Did you know it’s possible to build a ready-to-go website in 4 minutes! Click here to find out how working with Be Theme can make that happen.
If you want to start a page from scratch, the Layout Configurator will get you started. Be is not only big in terms of its 250+ pre-websites, and its core features (40), but also in terms of the virtually unlimited variety of design options it provides. This premium WordPress theme is easy to learn, and easy to use; but should you have a question, or need a little assistance, Be’s world-class support team is there to help.
Pro is the most advanced website creator for WordPress. If you’re a pro, Pro is for you. If you’re not a pro, but aspire to be one, Pro is also for you. Pro can be described as powerful, modular, scalable, fast, optimized, extensible; or all the above.
Features include a trio of powerful, interconnected builders (Header, Content, & Footer). You can build simple to exceedingly complex header styles with ease.
You can rely on Pro’s drag and drop interface, optimized workflow, and other powerful content-building features to help you realize your website layout potential. As far as the often- neglected footer is concerned, this amazing multipurpose theme makes it oh so easy to create a footer that is a thing of beauty.
Pro is easy to use, but fasten your seatbelt. It’s a game changer!
The Core is big. It’s 20+ themes in 1, and growing. This multipurpose WordPress theme is packed with cool features, including the Advanced Visual Builder, plenty of shortcodes, multiple slider, header, and footer options, and 700+ fonts. And, that’s just for starters.
Its 20+ hand-built website demos addressing a variety of business and industry niches. Demo content is easy to auto-install, and when you purchase The Core, new demos will be yours to use, as they appear.
The Core is responsive, retina ready, and WooCommerce ready as well. There are plenty of animations you can use to add zing to your sites; you’ll find many uses for the custom Google Maps feature; and, there’s even a module for saving your work in the event of a system crash.
UI Design – UX Design: Tightly Coupled, But Not the Same
User interface (UI), and user experience (UX), are both critical elements in website design. The two terms are often confused, and are even used interchangeably by some; but they are not one and the same. Sure, it’s important to understand the differences between these two design elements when selecting tools to incorporate their features and attributes into your websites. Yet, many premium website and mobile application design tools take both into account.
The two can be summed up thusly:
The UI is a website’s presentation, and focuses on its look and feel. UI design is digital in nature, and may even involve coding in those cases where the boundary between design and development has become blurred.
The UX gives the website life, with a focus on usability and customer satisfaction. UX design is more closely related to market research. It does not involve digital techniques or coding.
More than a tool, InVision is a complete digital product design platform, with features and capabilities tailored to each stage of the design process. Brainstorm with Freehand, a limitless whiteboard for creative exploration. Test your UI with real users and get real-time, live feedback. Share your screens and prototypes with your entire team for centralized commentary, and integrate it all with your favorite tools to create a seamless, efficient workflow.
Clients, team members, and stakeholders can comment directly on your prototypes for clear and actionable feedback; then, any changes you make will automatically sync across everyone’s account, so you’ll never work on an old version ever again.Read the rest of this entry »
The old Be prebuilt-website installer got the job done, but it wasn’t entirely free of issues. Installing a website was easy, but the actions you had to take before doing the install were not all that user friendly. Quite simply, neither the UI nor the UX were the best.
The old Be pre-built website installer lacked some important features.
Searching for a pre-built website was manual and cumbersome; and you had to move back and forth from the presentation page to the admin area to zero in on the website you wanted.
The old website installer didn’t tell you ahead of time which plugins you might need for a given pre-built website; or which ones were already installed.
Insofar as importing a pre-built website was concerned, it was an all-or-nothing affair.
Muffin Group fixed all of that before releasing their new pre-built website installer.
Muffin Groups new Be pre-built website installer.
The new installer works like a charm.
Now you can view thumbnails of all 250+ prebuilt websites in the admin area. No more scrolling, or checking back and forth. To preview or select a pre-built website, just click on its thumbnail depiction.
The new filtering feature allows to search by category from the admin area. Filtering by category lets you quickly zero in on candidate pre-built websites, so you can preview one or more before making a final choice. This will be a great help as the number of pre-built website continues to increase.
The new installer tells you which plugins you’ll need for the pre-built website you’re about to install; so it will perform exactly as in the preview. It will also tell you which plugins are already installed, and give you the opportunity to install any which are not – a real time saver.
Without a lot of effort on your part, there are several things you can do to increase your productivity.
Apps have been created for a nearly unlimited number of different uses. Whatever an app is used for, it often makes a given task easier. No matter what your line of work, an app exists that can make some facet of that work easier, and make you more productive.
For the web designer, there’s an app in this listing that speeds up workflow by making prototyping faster and more efficient. Project leaders will find apps that can perform mundane or repetitive project or task management activities, do time tracking, or make collaborating more efficient.
There are also things you can do to boost your productivity by changing your everyday work routine.
Active Collab is a one-stop-shop project management app for designers and design teams. With this app, you will spend less time managing your projects and more time delivering results.
Active Collab has a flexible project overview. You can lay your projects out on a Gantt-like timeline, and then organize your tasks as you would cards on a Kanban board. It lets you centralize your team collaboration activities in one place, making it easier for everyone to stay up-to-date.
With many available integrations, Active Collab can easily pull information from other apps. This means that your team members are not restricted to using a certain set of tools. You can also include clients and give them access to your design projects. Thus, they can see what you’re working on, eliminating hundreds of email exchanges that slow you down.
Active Collab has proven to be valuable to more than 200.000 users.
Have complete control over your work, keep track of time spent on tasks, generate custom reports, and invoice your work in a few seconds. Try it free for 30 days!
Wake is the fastest way for designers to share work with their team. Quickly share work, see what your team is working on, and keep the conversation going. With Wake, you can upload and share sketches, screenshots, or other work, without ever interrupting your Photoshop, Sketch, or Illustrator design flow.
For example, you can use Wake’s iOS app to capture notebook or whiteboard content and instantly share it with your team. The app allows you to share and see project feedback on the go.
This ability to share work without interrupting workflow makes the entire design process more transparent for your entire team, even those outside of design. With Wake, work can be shared publicly, so everyone knows what everyone is working on; or shared privately with selected individuals or stakeholders. Read the rest of this entry »