Keeping up with the latest design trends is a challenge. It’s always been that way. But these days, changes come more frequently. This is thanks to the rapid pace of digital design technological advancements.
If it weren’t for the tools that allow us to keep pace, it would probably be a hopeless situation. The problem is, you still have to find those tools. The fact that they’re constantly flooding the market doesn’t make it easy. Most web designers don’t have the time or inclination to test out every new tool that appears over the horizon.
We’ve found 15 we consider the tops in their respective classes, and we’d like to share our findings with you. One or two of these top tools and resources should help you keep pace. You can also deliver better products than you ever thought possible.
We’ll start with:
Elementor is the industry’s best website builder. Simple, Powerful & Flexible. Now you can customize every detail without code. With over 2 million active installs and over 4,500 5-star reviews on WordPress, it is by far the most popular page editor out there. What Elementor does for you is to give you a solid website-building foundation on which you can create virtually anything, and do so without complications, limitations, or constraints thanks to its super-clean code.
Elementor works with any theme and with any plugin. As such it gives you virtually unlimited design flexibility. It won’t slow down your site – a characteristic of all too many page builders. And, it’s powerful drag and drop editor enables you to quickly create pages and websites without ever having to resort to code.
You can dig into Elementor’s library of super useful widgets to build pages from scratch, or if you prefer, start with one of the 100+ pre-designed Elementor templates.
You’ll find a few nice surprises as well; like the Pop Up Builder, the Advanced Forms feature, and Scroll and Hover animations.
In short, with Elementor you can create pages and websites easily and in ways you never could before.
2. AND CO from Fiverr
There are many software applications you can use for creating invoices, but few if any do as much of the work for you as AND CO from Fiverr. AND CO creates invoices for you automatically based on your project terms, contracts, and time tracking—all of which are available in the one app.
AND CO’s invoicing feature integrates perfectly with your project management workflow, enabling it to automatically create invoices when a project is completed or a milestone has been reached.
You’ll be alerted when clients view your invoices and when they’re paid, or when the system thinks it’s time for you to invoice again. Plus, you can set up an online ‘PayMe’ page to allow clients to pay you via credit card, ACH, and PayPal, and deposit the payments into your bank account. You can also set up recurring invoices so that clients who are on a subscription plan have their credit card charged automatically on a recurring basis.
AND CO is an invoicing software that lets you spend less time on invoicing and more time on doing the work you love. Read the rest of this entry »
Creating a single-page website should be easier than building an X-page website. Right?
In fact, the opposite is true. Getting your message or messages across using multiple pages requires some effort. This is if you’re going to get it right. Getting your message across on a single page requires more than “some” effort. It can be a genuine challenge.
It’s really a matter of putting a lot of good information into a small space; without cramming or crowding.
These 5 critical elements are designed to guide you through the process. You’ll find where white space can be your friend. You will see which navigation types engage visitors, and which scare them away – and more.
5 Critical Elements that Can Make or Break Your Design
#1 Identify the GOAL and Work Toward It
Kicking off your design effort before identifying your one-page website’s goal? It is a classic example of putting the cart before the horse. Set the goal first, and then plan and create a design that will achieve it.
There may be an occasional (read that, rare) exception when a one-page website is designed to satisfy more than a single goal. In general, you want to stick to a single goal for your one pager, and a single goal only.
What is your goal? Is it
– to sell something,
– to present a portfolio,
– to announce an event,
– or, something else?
If you have a firm goal on mind, your project will stay on track. You’ll avoid doing dumb things like designing a page that takes forever to load. Forever being anything > 10 seconds.
This website features a cool interactive effect above the fold that’s been carefully designed so as not to drag down the load speed.
Be Moving 3
This Be Theme pre-built one-pager tricks you by featuring a static image that appears to be dynamic; thereby avoiding a load speed issue.
Think Pixel Lab
Tiny animated items liven up this page’s illustration without slowing anything down.
Be Product 2
Try avoiding fancy stuff. A page’s fresh look may be all you need to make a great selling point.
Here’s an excellent example of the power of large engaging images and sliding panels.
Be App 4
A dry, lengthy technical dissertation is a poor way to promote an app. A cool presentation like this one will do the trick. Read the rest of this entry »
Some WordPress users dismiss multipurpose themes. They do so under the assumption that a theme that promises to do everything, can’t do it.
They’re on the lookout for a single-purpose theme that will be just right for the next project. That’s OK, but they’ll end up spending a lot of extra time and money. There are multipurpose themes out there that will get the job done.
High-quality multipurpose themes like those described below are flexible and highly customizable. They are capable of handling anything you can throw at them. Some even have special or unique website-building features.
Plus, many multipurpose themes and all of those described here are responsive. They are intuitive to use and require no coding.
“Jack of all trades and master of none” doesn’t apply here.
So, why not check the following premier products out?
We’ll start with:
1. Be Theme
BeTheme puts a quick end to the argument that although multipurpose websites can do almost anything, they can’t to some things particularly well.
Browse the list of Be’s 40+ core features. There’s insufficient space to list them all, but they include the new Header Builder, the Muffin Builder, a Layout Generator and a Shortcode Generator.
Couple these with Be’s library of 400+ customizable pre-built websites, and you’ll see why this WordPress multipurpose theme is so popular. Its pre-built websites cover 30+ different business sectors and niches and virtually every website type or style.
Whichever pre-built website you choose to start a project (you can also start from scratch if you wish) will have the foundation for a super-friendly, high-quality UX embedded right in it.
The shortcode generator and other core features give you all the flexibility you need to build one responsive, SEO-friendly website after another.
If you already have your content close at hand, there’s nothing to stop you from building a website to your exact specifications in as little as 4 hours.
When you have a WordPress theme that enables you to build the unbuildable, you’re in pretty good shape. That’s exactly what Jupiter X can do for you, and especially so if you’ve tasked yourself with building a new look blog single page, portfolio list, or blog list.
Jupiter X also allows you to build your own headers and footers, a feature not all that many WordPress themes offer.
This amazing theme’s Shop Customizing feature lets you customize elements in your WooCommerce shop that you’ve found to be off limits when using other WordPress themes; elements like carts, checkout pages, and the like.
Want to build a popup, create a special form, or construct a menu that’s a little out of the ordinary? No problem with Jupiter X.
This scalable, and user and developer-friendly theme has a sterling background. It’s a makeover of Jupiter, a theme by Artbees, a member of Power Elite Envato wall of fame. Read the rest of this entry »
Software companies have long worked to produce products that are as bug-free as possible. They knew that doing so will save them money in the long run, and create greater user satisfaction as well.
These same companies have been slower to recognize one crucial thing. It is that working to prevent usability issues from the outset can bring similar results. After all, design changes are almost always quicker, easier, and far less expensive to make. This is when compared to the development or post-deployment changes.
Let’s take a look at some UX and UI tools and resources that can save you a ton of time and expense.
You’ll find Mason of great value any time you’re responsible for maintaining post-deployment software. It’s also a great tool to have whenever there’s a need for a quick design change or adding a new feature whether you’re in the design, development, or post-development phase.
Mason’s approach may seem radically different in some respects; but it makes good, common sense.
This UI/UX tool provides teams with a visual front-end feature building capability that enables them to quickly and economically create app features without having to rely on wireframing, prototyping, or coding. The features can then be seamlessly integrated into existing product codebases.
What you’ll experience are drastically shortened development and deployment cycles. Clients are pleased to get quick responses to their needs rather than having to wait for the next deployment cycle, while teams are able to keep their development activities focused on larger or more complex projects, since Mason takes care of most of what a developer would normally be charged with doing.
There are many facets to a good design, and one of the challenges web designers face is keeping everything organized. This is where UXPin shines. UXPin is a cloud-based design and collaboration app with which teams and individuals can perform visual, interactive design tasks, create simple or complex wireframes, and design a prototype that perfectly mimics the real thing.
Everything, including team collaboration, is done from a single platform. Teams can collect feedback, share information, get approvals, and check specifications transparently and in real time. UXPin stores and secures all your design assets, components, and documentation in the cloud.
What’s more is that UXPin reduces both design and development time while ensuring consistency of design from one product to the next. This “must-have” tool is powerful in efficiently managing multiple projects at once. Read the rest of this entry »
Website building tools have been around for quite a while. Their functionality and ease of use have improved year by year. Their features have continually been added or enhanced.
The latest generation of these tools has witnessed significant improvements in their capabilities. These include visual frontend design technologies. The ability to incorporate features in websites that required coding is also there.
Professional web designers seek out the best and brightest of these newer tools. They know that they will save time, effort, and money by doing so. Beginners will profit as well, but often face the problem of not knowing what to look for or where to look for it.
6 popular and top-rated website and page-building tools are highlighted in this article. They should make the search much easier for beginners and professionals alike.
That said, let’s get started.
Elementor is the #1 WordPress website builder, Elementor will give you complete control over every page on your website using a beautiful front-end visual editor.
If you want to design any WordPress site without a developer than Elementor is the perfect choice, with over 2 million active installs worldwide there’s very little Elementor can’t handle.
Elementor is packed with powerful features built to supercharge your workflow: Theme Builder, Marketing Widget, Visual Form Builder, Header & Footer builder are just of the features, that set Elementor above other builders.
Other features include a Countdown Timer, Star Ratings, Reviews, WordPress Custom Fields Integration, a WooCommerce Builder, and with Version 2.4, the Elementor Popup Builder.
There’s undoubtedly more to come.
Now you can do the development, marketing and design simultaneously, save production cost and time and design better looking websites faster than ever before. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you built a one-page website before? Then, you already know some of the challenges involved. Although, not necessarily how to overcome them. If you haven’t, and you think the task should be far easier than building a multiple-page site, you’re in for a surprise.
It takes a great deal of planning to successfully stuff a whole lot of information into a single page. You need to do it in a way that won’t scare visitors away.
The one-page website-building guide presented here is centered around 5 critical design elements. Depending on how they’re used, or not used, they can make or break your design.
Hint: Have you ever lost your way while scrolling through a long-form one-pager? Then, you’ll more than likely take these 5 critical elements to heart.
5 Critical Elements You Need to Be Aware Of – and Heed
#1 The GOAL: Identify the Website’s Goal and Work Toward that Goal
Maybe you have A concept in mind for a cool one-page website. But until you define the website’s goal and what you intend it to accomplish, your concept will remain just that.
Before you even think about starting the design process you need to have a goal in mind. Is your goal to:
- To sell something
- To present your portfolio
- To announce an event
- Or something else entirely?
Having done that, you can start working on a design that won’t chase visitors away before they take the action.
What will drive them away? Slow page loading is one culprit. Be careful not to use special effects like parallax that often slow things down.
This website’s interactive effects were chosen because they won’t drag down its page load speed.
Be Moving 3
This BeTheme pre-built one-pager’s seemingly dynamic image is actually a static image.
Think Pixel Lab
Another example of where tiny animated items liven up a page without slowing anything down.
Be Product 2
This pre-built website is a good example of how a page’s fresh look alone can make a sale.
Large images and sliding panels can engage users without affecting website performance.
Be App 4
You don’t need a long-winded technical discourse to promote an app. A genuinely cool presentation like this one will do the trick.
#2 TEXT: Keep It Minimal & Make It Easy to Read
You need to keep text to a minimum on a one-pager if you also want to keep visitors engaged.
Rely on bold headlines, short paragraphs, and bullet lists. This is instead of clunky blocks of text. The latter serve no purpose other than offering visitors an excuse for leaving.
This page is so entertaining you’ll want to go through it twice.
Be Tea 3
An example of what neat organization can accomplish.
All the key information is above the fold; bullet lists help keep the message concise.
Another example of how large attractive images can be selling points when accompanied with appropriately-placed text.
A website for a vehicle with the stature of a Mercedes can focus more on high quality imagery and less on text. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re always trying to do things faster and better and accomplish more in less time. That’s good, but it’s easy to become obsessed with trying to figure out how to go about boosting our productivity.
If we’re not careful, our obsession can become stressful and counterproductive. The digital age has given us many excellent tools to work with. But it has brought with it more tasks to do and less time to do them in.
Fortunately, we have project management, time-tracking, prototyping, and workflow streamlining productivity tools. They give us more time to attend to the tasks we love and were hired to do. Or, the tasks that require knowledge skills, intensive focus, and careful thought.
We’ve carried out some in-depth research activities. This is in order to present what we believe to be the top productivity apps going into 2019. These go with the 5 top productivity tips designed to make you more efficient.
That said, let’s dive right in.
Mason is a different type of design tool. It enables you to skip steps you thought to be important if not mandatory, it allows you to take other steps immediately that you typically had to wait before taking, and it makes digital product maintenance far easier and less time consuming than you might have thought possible.
In short, instead of calling Mason different in its approach, it’s not much of a stretch to call it radically different.
This productivity tool’s frontend feature building and editing capability and visual interface allows you to create precise software features for websites, apps, and almost any other type of digital product. Once you complete your design in the visual builder, it’s ready to be handed right over to production or product maintenance, and with pixel-perfect accuracy.
Teams can build front-end experiences with lightning speed, they can avoid the overhead costs associated with prototyping, QA inspections, and the documentation often required by developers, and they can often skip the development phase as well since Mason handles the HTML/CSS coding.
Radically different? We think so.
Mobile and web app designers, developers, and product managers alike have found that this prototyping tool meets their every need, whether it involves wireframing and mockups, high-fidelity prototyping for user testing, or rapid prototyping design techniques.
Proto.io is a handy, time and labor-saving productivity tool you can use from the conceptual stages of web and mobile app design all the way to final approval and design signoff.
The Dashboard helps you maintain a full overview of your projects and users involved with your account, promoting collaboration among team members. Proto.io’s Editor does most of the work involved in constructing a prototype, while the Player lets you see what you’ve accomplished on your browsers and assists in user testing.
The latest version of Proto.io features an easier to use and more intuitive UI, new transitions and interaction design patterns, and improved user testing integration. Read the rest of this entry »
WordPress plugins provide an ideal way to add and extend functionality to WordPress. There are thousands of free and premium plugins available from the WordPress directory. The website niche your website represents determines the plugins you want to use. There are some that every website or blog designer will need to have.
The premium plugins you pay for will generally come with greater support. They are much more likely to be compatible with other plugins.
The top tools and plugins like the ones we’ve listed here can take your website designs to the next level. They can translate into more satisfied users, more conversions, and less work for you.
If you own a business that relies heavily on a clientele that calls in for appointments and you want to streamline your booking process, give your business a boost, and realize an almost immediate ROI, Amelia appointment booking for WordPress is for you.
Amelia is designed for health and fitness clubs, gyms, beauty parlors, and spas and salons; or any other businesses where clients and customers call in to make bookings and appointments.
Managing a large number of bookings can be time-consuming and error-prone when done manually. With Amelia, reservations can be made 24/7 and made to fit your employee’s skills and schedules. Amelia takes care of cancellations and re-scheduling, sends out reminders of pending appointments, and customers are never placed on hold when making a booking.
This booking and appointment automation tool will save you a ton of time and is guaranteed to keep your clients and customers happy.
While a given website design may not involve data tables or charts, if you’re a professional web designer, or even fairly new at the game, you’ll eventually have to have a table/chart-building capability in your toolbox.
And, if large amounts of complex data are involved and you need to create a table or chart that is responsive, interactive, easily editable, accurate, and a definite attention-getter, a DIY approach probably won’t cut it, nor will most table-building tools currently on the market.
This is where wpDataTables shines – 20,000 happy customers can’t be wrong! This premier WordPress plugin is by far the best of its type as it provides you with an all-in-one solution for managing and presenting large amounts of data. wpDataTables fully supports MySQL, MS SQL, SQL database, and all other common data types and formats.
Insofar as presenting your data is concerned, you can fully customize a table’s design. Besides, wpDataTables’ conditional formatting features enable you to color code and highlight essential information at the columns, row, and individual cell level. Read the rest of this entry »
If you haven’t already, it would pay to check out the WordPress CMS. Same goes for the seemingly unending number of supporting themes. The WordPress CMS is the most popular website-building platform of its type on the market. Choose one or more of its supporting WordPress themes. Then, your ability to consistently put award-winning websites in place increases dramatically.
You probably don’t want to go down the entire list of WordPress themes currently on the market. That would take weeks, if not longer. This is time better spent getting your 2019 website building off to a quick and rousing start.
Check out our short reviews of 15 of the best WordPress themes currently on the market. They should make your search easy. It can take a little time to select among top-quality candidates, but it’s time well spent. Finding just the right theme to fit your needs is essentially guaranteed.
That said, let’s get on with it.
1. Be Theme
There’s nothing wrong with building a website from scratch using code – if you’re quite capable of doing so. Even then, as a seasoned website builder, you’re likely to take advantage of any website-building tool or template you can get your hands on to shorten your workflow and produce a better product.
A case in point is Be Theme. It’s library of 400+ pre-built websites can be a Godsend for top-tier professional designers and beginners alike. Be is loaded with powerful core features, including the aforementioned pre-built websites you can install with a single click. There are 40, and they include the Muffin Builder, Layout and Shortcode Generators, shortcodes, design elements, a new Header Builder, grid systems, a powerful Admin Panel and on and on.
Be is responsive, SEO-friendly, retina ready, and above all fast and reliable.
And, if you don’t feel like coding, you don’t have to. It’s not necessary, and this WordPress theme you’ll be able to deliver quality websites in hours, to the absolute delight of your clients.
Bridge is a highly popular creative WordPress theme that has tons of design options, and the flexibility that goes along with it allows you to create exceptionally beautiful websites to showcase your creative talents and instincts.
With Bridge’s more than 376 and counting premade websites, it’s no problem to find a perfect match for virtually any business niche or website type to get a web design project off to a roaring start. You can even pick and choose design elements from multiple demos and drag and drop them into place with the ever-popular Visual Composer page builder.
There are plenty of other features included in this package that’s designed to make your website-building experiences easy, fun, and problem free – including the ability to get a website up and running without having to rely on writing even a single line of code.
Efficiency, diversity, and creativity are three characteristics the developers of Brook, the multipurpose creative WordPress theme, have emphasized since day one. The result is a premier dedicated website-building theme that brings equal advantages to both professionals and beginners alike.
Brook is capable of serving any purpose, due in large part to its 30 professionally designed and crafted homepages addressing a wide range of business types and sectors. Brook is also noted for its squeaky-clean code that enables users to create fully responsive and fast loading websites.
Moreover, there are plenty of stunning features that would take users by storm namely one page navigation, one page menu, mega menus, infinite scrolling, off canvas menus, full-width image and video background sliders. More are awaited to be explored in Brook.
In addition, the package includes a nice selection of powerful plugins that are integrated into the theme. They include but are not limited to the WPBakery Page Builder, WPBakery Clipboard, Revolution Slider, Font Awesome 5 Pro, WooCommerce, MailChimp, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s that wonderful time of the year. We get together with family and we eat too much. We also come across some deals in WordPress space that are simply too good to pass up.
You don’t have to stand in line (did we mention it’s supposed to rain) for hours on end either. After this, you barely have energy enough to rush to the aisle with your Black Friday deal.
Are you looking for deals for designers and developers? You can get the deal you want from wherever you happen to be sitting. This is a deal that includes tools and discounted themes, classes, and more.
Any of the following could be just what you need to get you settled firmly into the holiday spirit!
1. Elementor Page Builder
Elementor’s plans are already a good deal. At 25% off, we’re talking about a very, very good deal when you take into account everything this web design tool has to offer. That’s your Black Friday bonus. There’s another bonus you get with Elementor that isn’t tied to any special promotion.
You’ll appreciate that extra bonus when you start creating websites with Elementor and find you can build what you want without getting “stuck” in a theme’s design. You’ll never have to write code either.
Elementor features crazy-fast performance, it works with any template, and you get all the benefits of live, frontend editing. Your workflow will speed up significantly, and even more so it you opt for the Pro version with its visual form builder, form integrations, menu builder, and custom CSS features. Elementor is developer friendly too!
The basic plan for this open source page builder is free, but this is a great time to take advantage of one of Elementor’s souped-up plans which you can get at a discount. Read the rest of this entry »