WordPress is seen as the ultimate website building platform for a reason. Its design team was determined to create a perfect website builder. They wanted to create a builder that allows web designers to tweak and adjust their sites any way they want. Thanks to WordPress, users do not have to work around restrictions or limitations.
It’s not simply the WordPress building platform that can make life easy for a typical designer. It’s also the tools and services that are either compatible with WordPress. Some of them have been specifically created for use with it.
It’s the growing number of these tools and services that makes life exciting for designers. It does so by giving them the ability to continually advance the art of building a better website.
This article presents 10 of the top WordPress tools and services.
Elementor is an excellent example of the thinking that led to the creation of WordPress: open source, developer oriented and created with the best coding standards in mind. Its creators’ goal was to produce a tool that would let you build anything you want, without restrictions and without coding.
The degree to which they’ve succeeded can be measured in terms of its popularity. Starting with a handful of users when first released two years ago, this free, open source page builder now boasts a user base of over 1 million active installs – a major milestone that has never been achieved. The Elementor live frontend editor enables its users to create stunning websites, while offering a super-fast experience and workflow. It also works with any theme or template. You can build a website from scratch, use one of the 130 designer-made templates in Elementor’s library, use your own template, or import a template.
Elementors recently introduced series of advanced features and integrations takes website building to a new level. At the same time, its user’s favorite features have either been retained or enhanced.
Brizy is another free website builder that will enable you to visually build websites with a minimum of effort. No designer or developer skills are needed to use Brizy, nor is there any need for code.
What its users seem to like most is its ease of use combined with its friendly UX. Despite the wealth of tools and options available to designers and developers, Brizy’s user interface is clutter free and free of distractions as well. All the options are right there where you need them.
Designers have a library of more than 4,000 icons and both designers and developers will appreciate the 150-premade blocks that help to get a project underway. Developers can even create a page on Brizy’s website and save and use the HTML for any purpose, for free. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s an awful lot of dull, unattractive websites out there that are in dire need of upgrading or total redesign. The owners of those websites are either unaware of the problem or hesitant to ask how much redesign would cost. Web designers would of course welcome the work, even though most would prefer spending their time designing websites from scratch since it would often be quicker, easier, and therefore more lucrative.
There’s a difficult, time-consuming way to redesign a website, and there’s also a fast-forward way using pre-built websites that can do the job just as well, and usually better.
Be Theme, with its collection of 350+ pre-built websites can show you the way, starting with the following examples.
Here are 7 different ways to make an otherwise dull and uninteresting website really sparkle and take on a modern, trendy look and feel. Use Be Theme’s pre-built websites as the fastest way to implement any or all these approaches.
Express Redesign #1: Make a Run-of-the-Mill Website Dynamic
When you stop to consider that the average visitor takes about 3 seconds max to decide whether to spend more time browsing a website, a dynamic homepage is one way to convince a visitor to stick around to see what the internal pages offer.
It’s important to place dynamic images, videos, or animations above the fold as shown in the 3 following examples or they may never be seen.
If your choice is a video, be sure to place the Play button front and center or at least presented in a way that invites the visitor to click on it.
Now that you have a dynamic home page, the next step is to ensure the rest of the visitor’s journey will also be appealing.
Express Redesign #2: Refresh the Color Scheme
Refreshing a website’s color scheme is one of the easiest improvements to make and doing so can often create the greatest impact. Not only the look of a website can be improved but its feel can as well. A website featuring a friendly look and feel is always good for business.
This redesign approach can easily be accomplished with a pre-built website, and by doing so you can often take the visual change to a whole new level. Since Be Theme’s collection of templates covers more than 30 different industries, picking the one for given industry type ensures your new color scheme will be current with the latest industry trends and user expectations. Read the rest of this entry »
You might be building a website for your own needs and doing all the work yourself. In this case, you may think there’s no need for a collaboration tool to smooth out your workflow. Still, having one or more extra pairs of eyes looking over your work can be beneficial.
It’s a different story for the design and development teams. There, quality communication and collaboration are often obligatory. This is especially if budget overruns and missed deadlines are to be avoided.
There’s a host of different collaboration tools available. Some are better than others. But the key is to find one that fits in with whom you intend to collaborate and how you plan to go about doing it.
We’ve rounded up several of the best collaboration tools on the market, one of which should be perfect for you.
Many tools treat collaboration as an extra, although necessary activity. Your team goes about its business and uses the collaborating tool on an as-needed basis. With Mason, product design, build, deployment and collaboration are managed from a single platform.
Mason’s front-end-as-a-service capability offers a better way to build, not only in terms of its drag and drop building-block approach, but also in terms of how easy it makes it for teams to interact and keep all the data and information in one secure place and available on demand. Collaboration couldn’t be easier.
Mason disassembles and reassembles digital products. By doing so, design and development are much easier to control, and the deployed products are much easier to maintain or modify. Non-tech types can make minor changes to a product and avoid having to repeat the deployment cycle in doing so. Read the rest of this entry »
What does it take to have a decent portfolio? You will definitely need the right tools and a fair amount of creativity. Extra creativity isn’t something that someone can easily come up with. But there are some top-of-the-line WordPress themes that can help you. They are to some degree portfolio oriented. so they can take up the slack.
So, the good news is that you don’t have to be a web design wizard. You also do not have to be brilliantly artistic to create an amazing portfolio. Here are the themes that can lead the way in helping you create an amazing portfolio to showcase your work. They will present your products in a way that will encourage users to stop and study.
Multi-purpose, blazing-fast, and very powerful compared to other WordPress themes are all apt descriptions of Porto. This Bootstrap4-based WordPress theme features a speed optimized wizard for producing the excellent site performance that makes it a better choice for your next eCommerce or portfolio website design.
Porto’s popularity over the past several years comes as no surprise as its authors have made it a point to follow the latest design trends, adhere to the best coding practices, and continuously make improvements in all aspects of this theme’s design.
Porto is 100% mobile responsive. With a host of demos and design options, it provides the ultimate in eCommerce and portfolio website functionality, it features Visual Composer and Revolution Slider, and it’s compatible with tons of plugins. Other features include header, menu, and breadcrumb options, and page and post layout configuration options and settings.
Porto features a variety of blog and shop pages in addition to its 19 portfolio pages, and there are some amazing ways in which you can put sliders to effective use in your home pages, portfolios, or blog posts.
With its 350+ pre-built websites, the largest selection on the market, and the wide-ranging and comprehensive variety of features it places at your disposal, BeTheme is an ideal choice for creating any type of portfolio website you have in mind, or any other type of website for that matter.
Be’s Muffin Builder and its powerful Options Panel working in combination with a variety of header options, shortcodes, design elements, grid and color schemes and many other options, settings, and special effects make it easy to build a portfolio website in as little as 4 hours. All you need is your ideas and your content. BeTheme takes care of the rest.
Be is responsive and SEO friendly and you don’t have to worry about coding as none is required. The documentation you’ll receive and the support you can expect are both reflective of Be’s belief in helping its customers. Read the rest of this entry »
Taking appointments might seem like a minor task. After all, it’s simply a matter of picking up the phone or answering an email.
The reality is that doing so takes a lot of your available time. It also takes away your business’s money. In addition, managing those appointments can take up even more time and cost you more money.
Manually taking and managing appointments can also be a source of problems. Appointments can’t be made during non-business hours. If you happen to be away from the phone it could cause a potential client to lose patience and look elsewhere.
Another problem — people sometimes forget an appointment.
Put a flawless automated booking specialist like Amelia in place. Like that, you can avoid all these problems.
1. What is Amelia?
Once you install Amelia, you’ll wish you had something like it years ago. Amelia is the brainchild of Code Canyon’s best-selling wpDataTables’ Elite Author. The latter is credited with more than 17,000 licenses sold.
It was created with businesses in mind that depend on bookings and appointments. These are businesses like coaches, consulting firms, gyms and fitness clinics. Spas and beauty parlors are also in this list.
For it to be put to use in businesses like these the system must be easy to install and require no special training. That’s precisely the case with Amelia, and once set up, it’s 100% automated.
Clients can book appointments 24/7 from their computers and smartphones. They will be able to do so with just a few clicks. You will be in a position to view and manage your and your team’s appointments. You can set your own calendar from one impeccably organized place.Read the rest of this entry »
Trying to keep up with new technologies is a never-ending story for web designers. One would think that in doing so many if not most of those designers would eventually give up the chase.
That seldom happens, however, and for a good reason. There are plenty of amazing tools to cope with these challenges. They are created by other designers out there devoting their time and efforts. to this.
If you’re feeling the pressure, it might be time to take stock of your computer tools. Throw out any that appear to have lost their effectiveness!
You need to see where any gaps in your ability to take new challenges head-on may be. Then, invest in some of the latest best tools and resources.
The tools and resources presented here are designed to streamline your workflow. They can definitely add additional creative spark to your projects.
This open source WordPress page builder is lightning fast, developer friendly and works on any theme. Its live frontend editing feature allows you to create stunning websites without any need for coding.
Elementor has been a hit from the beginning, amassing a user base of more than 900,000 in less than two year. Elementor 2.0 is the newest version and includes exciting new features like the theme builder. You can use Elementor for free.
This page-builder is extremely easy to work with. While its features include a comprehensive library of pre-designed templates, Elementor will work with your own saved templates. You’ll be able to use them again and again and share with others.
Form Integrations, the visual form builder, a menu builder and custom CSS are among the most popular features.
With most WordPress themes the ability to create mobile-friendly devices is treated as an option, albeit a necessary one, or just another feature. Creating mobile-friendly websites is Mobirise’s specialty. You can build awesome device-friendly websites, small websites, landing pages, or portfolios, all without coding, and without any cost to you. Mobirise is free.
There’s a wealth of features and tools to work with too. You’ll find 1,200+ trendy blocks and templates in the package, along with nearly 8,000 fonts and icons and 500,000 free images.
Mobirise’s drag and drop functionality is easy to work with, and since it’s an offline builder, you’ll have total control over your design, how you build your website, and how and where you host it. Mobirise can be used for both personal and commercial reasons without restrictions. Read the rest of this entry »
The only thing certain about technology is that it is constantly changing. The same is true with Internet design. The preferred way to present information has become through graphics. This trend is giving graphic designers a field day. However, at the same time, it requires them to constantly invest in new tools and resources. In the end, they have to keep up with the competition.
Collaboration via business trips and over the phone is becoming passé as well. This is another area in which designers require the latest in collaboration-assisting tools. They need to do so if they are to meet ever more stringent project deadlines.
The good news is that most of these new tools are both easy to work with and affordable. So, this might be a perfect time to shed some old favorites that aren’t really getting the job done. See what 2018 has to offer.
Mason allows you to build, edit, and manage your front-end experiences from a central platform—all without the need for code. It enables your team to do the same, thereby speeding up collaboration and making it more efficient.
Once you’ve incorporated a Mason feature into a website or app, downstream clients, developers, or marketers can edit it when needed, avoiding the need to initiate a new development cycle. Since these features, consisting of pre-coded blocks, are designed and developed with reusability in mind, you’ll never find yourself wasting time reinventing the wheel.
Mason offers solutions for experiences ranging from user login to password reset to social sign-in to content feeds and more—front-end experiences virtually every web product needs. And, they’re insanely secure: Data is sent directly from a client’s server to your own via encrypted transactions, so you and the client are the only ones that will see your data.
The pre-packaged solutions Mason provides address common product requirements and are completely customizable; create a fully branded login flow and deploy it, live inside your app, in literal minutes. In addition, this modular content will make page management much simpler for every page you create. Mason’s modular content is a win for you, for your team, and for your users. Try it free today!
Working from a single platform can have its advantages but doing so is not without limitations. Since Mobirise is an offline builder you’re not tied down to a platform, you have total control over your work, and you can host your site anywhere you choose to.
To see what Mobirise can do for you, simply visit the site and download your copy. It’s free for both personal and commercial use. Everything is drag and drop with no coding required, and since Mobirise is built around a Bootstrap 4 or Google AMP framework, your websites and apps will be lightning fast and 100% mobile friendly.
This is an ideal tool for creating small or medium-size websites, portfolios, landing pages, and promo sites. Since it’s so intuitive to use, it’s perfect for non-techies as well, for anyone who prefers a visual approach to design, and for fast prototyping. Read the rest of this entry »
Web designers have a full plate when it comes to trying to keep up to date with the latest trends. This is especially true in 2018. These days, several different approaches to web design have surfaced.
It takes time to acquaint yourself with each of these trends. This is the time you would rather spend doing actual design work. You can stick to the tried and true and ignore the latest trends. The problem is you run the risk of having the competition leave you in the dust.
With each emerging trend, the competitive bar is raised a bit higher. This makes your work that much more difficult.
The good news is there is a WordPress theme that has always kept up with the latest creative trends. It incorporated them into its selection of more than 330 professionally-designed pre-built websites.
Here are examples of how Be Theme has put 8 recent trends to good use.
How Be Theme Has Put Current Design Trends into Practice
Design Trend #1: Illustration & Graphic Art
Custom art is the current rage in website design and is expected to continue to be so for some time to come. Designers and their clients have taken vintage watercolor illustrations to heart. This is due to the feelings of comfort and relaxation they generate. These are coupled with a sense of nostalgia.
The use of bold fonts plays an important role. It helps to get a message across without taking anything away from the illustrations.
Design Trend #2: Light, Shadow & Smoke
There is much that can be accomplished in the art of creative design. You can experiment with light and shadow. When you’ve achieved the look you want, add smoke to the mix and see what happens. Typically, your design will take on a completely different look.
“Time is money” may be a business cliché, but its truth is not to be denied. How you use your time when working for a company can influence your salary and your job security. How you do so if you are self-employed can impact your earnings.
One way to use time most efficiently is to schedule tasks and track the time spent on them. Another way is to automate recurring tasks instead of performing them manually. You can automatically prepare and send invoices, for example. Time used efficiently usually translates into time saved and increased productivity.
Somewhat ironically, the best way to save time and/or use it more efficiently and effectively is to back off a bit. It is better to put forth a little less effort, instead of simply working harder.
That is precisely what the following apps will enable you to do. 1. FreshBooks
Small, service-oriented businesses will find the FreshBooks app a particularly useful tool to use for expense management, time tracking and invoicing activities.
FreshBooks has proposal-generating capabilities that really improve productivity as they provide a framework where project outlines, timelines and scope can be detailed. These proposals can then be automatically converted into invoices with a single click. Having an established format and style within such a framework is a big timesaver, and with FreshBooks changes are easily made whenever necessary.
Expense tracking is another common small business need. FreshBooks makes it easy and takes the process a step further with the ability to take smartphone photos of receipts that are stored in the user’s database for expensing and adding to invoices. Expense and time tracking functionalities create output that is easily added to invoices. These invoices are personalized with your logo, color scheme, custom terms and conditions and more. It takes 30 seconds or less to prepare and easily send an invoice from directly in the FreshBooks app. Once an invoice is sent, you will receive an alert when the recipient views it. Read the rest of this entry »
Success breeds success. It’s an adage, but recent scientific studies have shown that once you achieve some success, more is apt to follow. That’s also true of WordPress, the premier website and blog creating platform.
WordPress’s popularity continues to grow. More web design entrepreneurs and companies are turning out more themes and plugins. WordPress happily supports these.
You might even be tempted to say that WordPress has become too successful. This can happen when you realize there are thousands of themes and plugins to choose from. Some are better suited to your needs than others, but you really don’t have the time or patience to try them all.
We’ve chosen 9 of the best on the market to help you out. Pick one, two, or all nine. Be prepared to be amazed at the design features you can easily incorporate into your website.
The data management tasks involved in building a well-structured, easy-to-comprehend table or chart can be formidable. This is especially so when you’re dealing with large amounts of complex data. You not only need to know what data to present, and how to present it, but how to come up with a result that is precisely what users need and are looking for.
wpDataTables is a best-selling WordPress plugin that does all the difficult work for you and does so in minutes instead of hours or even days. You should be prepared to be amazed at the power and flexibility this premier plugin brings to the table. wpDataTables accepts data from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats, and produces colorful, responsive, and easily maintainable tables and charts without any need for coding on your part.
This is a must-have plugin if you work with large amounts of statistical, scientific, or financial data, if you have a product inventory or catalog to manage, or if you simply have large amounts of data you need to keep organized.
LayerSlider is a premium multi-purpose animation platform that can do much more than simply add pleasing slider effects to your websites or blogs. With this versatile plugin, you cannot only create sliders from a variety of different layouts, but you can generate slideshows, animated popups and page blocks, image galleries, and even landing pages and complete websites.
LayerSlider is device friendly, so your image galleries, sliders, slideshows, etc., will be displayed correctly on desktops, tablets, and smartphones alike. Insofar as slide layouts are concerned, you can choose among full width, full size, hero scene, and OS native fullscreen.
Thanks to the visual drag and drop editor, neither coding nor special technical skills are needed to put into play everything LayerSlider offers. You can expect excellent support, extensively-detailed documentation, and regular updates over the product’s lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »