Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Gravity Warsaw Sets a High Bar for Design Agencies (AOTW#4)

gravity warsaw

We wouldn’t exaggerate at all if we said that Gravity Warsaw is out of this planet! There’s no better way to judge a design agency but based on their website. Gravity Warsaw’s website is what every design agency should look like. Original, creative, mind-blowing. Get on the spaceship and enjoy the ride.

Although the idea of this article is to promote an agency a week, meaning their work mainly, we cannot ignore the way Gravity Warsaw promotes itself. The spaceship theme in a Universe that awaits to be explored via design-related means sets a high bar for all the design agencies. “The action” takes place in 2157 where they interfere with “some kind of new form of life.” Join the battle and start the war against mediocrity and normality. The guests on their spaceship are businesses that need help to become a bright start in the Universe of thousands and thousands of businesses and companies. How do they do that? Let’s find out!

gravity warsaw

Who are they?

Gravity Warsaw is an agency that specializes in design and development of logo branding, helping companies define their graphic identity. The agency promises to give their customers a market presence through high-quality websites.

Everything became dead and still? Surrounded by silence and darkness? If you feel your business came to the dead point, it means it’s the highest time to let us help you. Our team will lead your business back on track, and it will start to shine like the brightest star of the Solar System.

gravity warsaw

Who are their clients?

Basically anyone who needs a hand to make their name known. Gravity Warsaw has worked with important brands such as Porsche, McDonald’s, Nike, Adobe Systems, and many others. And now, they want to work with you, too! Contact them or stay updated with their work on their blog, on Behance, and Dribbble.

Work by Gravity Warsaw


gravity warsaw




Nike Air

Here at Webdesignledger, we want to make your work easier and provide you with lots of daily snippets of inspiration.



Read More at Gravity Warsaw Sets a High Bar for Design Agencies (AOTW#4)

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/gravity-warsaw-sets-a-high-bar-for-design-agencies-aotw4/

Freebie Alert: Free Photoshop Actions from FixThePhoto

Free Photoshop actions are files with saved Photoshop steps that are aimed to perform certain photo retouching techniques. They can be extremely useful when you find yourself performing the same steps over and over on a photograph.

FixThePhoto offers a collection of free Photoshop actions that includes portrait, vintage, wedding, and cross processing actions bundles. Photoshop actions for portraits has free bundles for newborn photography that you can use to enhance the child’s reddish skin and make the colors warm and pastel.

Here you will also find Photoshop actions that improve male and female images made indoors/outdoors: make skin smooth, eyes bright, teeth whiter or add eyelashes. A big range of color settings including rich, grainy b&w, bleach bypass, and some heavy casting effects. Great for experimentation.

free photoshop actions

If you deal with fashion photography, you can download free PS actions in vintage, sepia, retro, and dramatic effect. Make the colors vivid and pop in several clicks. If you design wedding cards, envelops or invitations, wedding Photoshop actions will be very useful. Different B&W, matte and pastel effects are ready to improve your projects and give them a professional touch.

All these free Photoshop actions have helped many creative and beginning designers realize their craziest projects and now can be useful for your works. All these photo retouching freebies empower you to design like never before. Don’t waste your time repeating the same steps to achieve an effect – use these Photoshop actions free for personal and commercial purposes.

Create beautiful designs with FixThePhoto.

Get the free Photoshop actions here.

Find more freebies here.

The post Freebie Alert: Free Photoshop Actions from FixThePhoto appeared first on SpyreStudios.

from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/freebie-alert-free-photoshop-actions-from-fixthephoto/

Monday, 25 June 2018

Nick Misani: From Japan to a Fulfilled Dream DOTW#6

Nick Misani
Today we have the honor of having Nick Misani with us,
an amazing designer and great letterer from New York, whom we admire very much.
Webdesignledger: Nick, at Webdesignledger we’ve been very impressed with your work and we decided that we want to get to know you better. Tell us what are five things you want people to know about you when they first meet you. 
Nick: Well, first off, thank you very much for your kind words and thanks for your thoughtful questions! Okay, my five things are: (1) I’m a freelance designer/letterer living in NYC. (2) I was born in Northern Italy, where I also grew up. (3) I’m fascinated by historical design, decorative arts, typography, and ornament, while also nurturing a somewhat closeted love of extreme minimalism. (4) I have a (not altogether uncommon) type A cocktail of perfectionism, insecurity, ambition, and desire to please. And (5) I’m vegan and gay, both important parts of my identity and both aspects that are strongly reflected in my political views. 
Webdesignledger: We read on your blog that you lived in Japan, a country that has a lot to offer. How has that experience influenced your work? What made you leave Japan and move to New York?
Nick: I lived in Japan for a period while I was in high school. I left Japan because the exchange program that facilitated my stay came to an end. My move from Osaka to New York wasn’t direct, however: I first returned to Italy for a year or two, then to upstate New York for college, and finally down to NYC to continue my studies and to start working in the field. Japan has such a rich visual culture and I’m sure living there has influenced my work in many ways, though it’s hard for me to pinpoint one in particular.
Nick Misani
Webdesignledger: Tell us about your workshops in Chicago, New York City, and Boston. How did they go? Do you find teaching about Art Deco Lettering more satisfying than the work itself?
Nick: Chicago, NYC, and Boston were the last three stops of a workshop tour that has taken me all over the States and as far as Australia over the course of the last 10 months. I think they’ve all gone well. I love to give tons of individual attention to my students, which provides real value to the attendees and gives me the opportunity to talk meet a lot of people and connect with them one-on-one. Students seem to leave happy after the intense, 4-hour session and I haven’t had any complaints for far. Both teaching Art Deco Lettering and creating it are equally satisfying to me. 
Webdesignledger: Walk us through your Fauxsaics collection. What are your favorite illustrations?
Nick: I really enjoy the illustrations where I experimented with different tiling patterns, like the Kansas City piece—with it’s alternating of square and irregular tiles—and the Saratoga Springs piece—where there’s lots of movement happening in the background. Among my favorites are also Milan, San Diego, London, and Paris. 
Nick Misani
Webdesignledger: Every designer has at least one project that he/she is very proud of. What is the project that has the most emotional value to you, that helped you express your style the most?
Nick: One of my favorite recent projects was a book cover for a series of short stories by Josh Weil called, The Age of Perpetual Light. I was inspired by the bold graphic shapes and airbrushed gradients found in Art Deco poster design, but wanted to create something a little more mysterious and evocative to reflect the title. The author was keen on trying on option with Edison bulbs, so I immediately knew I wanted to do create type from the incandescent filament and really have fun with the distortions and reflections in the glass. I’m attached to this project because it’s an example of an occasion where the sketch was fairly conservative, but I chose to push myself a bit farther. That, coupled with a very supported editor and author made for a really fun and exciting designing experience. 
Webdesignledger: If you could choose the era you were born in, what other century would you choose design-wise?
Nick: It’s a tough question to answer. On the one hand, I’d be tempted to say somewhere between La Belle Epoque and Art Deco. I love that a desire for modernity lived alongside traditional crafts. That said, moving to that time period would also mean dealing with two World Wars and very few rights if you’re not a straight, white, Christian man. Ultimately, I’m pretty happy with the time I’m in: I get to choose the historical style I want to work and do so with the aid of a computer in the comfort of my 21st century apartment. 
Nick Misani
Webdesignledger: Being your own boss comes with many responsibilities. Do you use a certain time or project management software to make your workflow smoother?
Nick: I use Trello to keep my projects more or less organized and also keep a master spreadsheet on Google Docs. I do my invoicing with Quickbooks, but I work with an accountant for the heavy duty filing and itemizing of expenses. I’m also represented by an artist agent, who helps with outreach and managing clients as they come in. 
Webdesignledger: Describe your creative process. What are the major steps? Do you follow a certain routine?
I can’t say I follow a rigid routine. I get up rather early, around six, and after eating and walking my dog, I pretty much get right to work. The process itself also changes depending on the client or project, but it usually starts with a sketch on my iPad Pro which is either finished in raster or vector.
Webdesignledger: Are you currently working on a project? How is it coming together?
Nick: Yes. I usually have around 4 to 6 projects going at the same time, which often include a mix of book covers, mosaic illustrations, traditional lettering, and upkeep work. One project I’m working on at the moment is quite different. I am making a (real) mosaic out of tiny vegetable cubes. I’m a bit nervous, since I’ve never done anything like this, but also excited by this new experience.
Nick Misani
Webdesignledger: What is something new that you learned as a designer in your past experience (jobs & internships)?
Nick: Before going full time freelance, I was the senior designer at Louise Fili Ltd, a very small studio in NYC that specializes in historically-inspired typography and lettering. At LFL, we often worked from primary sources (old type specimen books, original ephemera, vintage posters, etc) and gradually I learned how to really look at a historical piece and decide how it can be used in a modern application. Reference material, especially when there is a lot of it, can get overwhelming, so being able to take it apart and evaluate which elements can be used for a specific project has been very useful.
Webdesignledger: What advice would you give to a new lettering artist/illustrator?
Nick: Don’t worry too much about finding a voice, just follow your passion and interests and do lots of experiments and your voice will develop naturally from that journey. It’s advice I often forget to listen to myself. 
Work by Nick Misani:

Read More at Nick Misani: From Japan to a Fulfilled Dream DOTW#6

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/44490-2/

Thursday, 21 June 2018

5 Reasons Why Stock Photos Are Essential for Web Design

Stock photos might not seem exciting at first glance but they’re actually valuable tools to impress and entertain website visitors. For example, posts with an image are more likely to be shared on Facebook — which can increase the number of people who visit your site. This means that your content and any products or services you’re selling are available to more potential customers. Your stock photos are absolutely an essential part of your web design and should be closely vetted and considered before you choose one to add to your site.

Small Investment, Large Impact

Stock photos don’t have to be an investment that break your budget. They’re available at all price points, from free to very expensive. The more expensive ones are often custom work or images that are only sold to a certain number of people. While individualized images can be an asset to your site, they aren’t strictly necessary. There are millions of stock photos online and thus no doubt that you can find one to suit your purposes. Don’t just check out the large stock photo sites either; you can locate relevant, high-quality pictures on smaller sites too. Just make sure you read the licensing terms for each stock photo you choose.

Grab Attention and Increase Visit Time

Images on your page might help you keep people on the page longer. The length of time someone spends on your website is important because it not only gives them more time to explore, but it increases the chance they’ll remember you later. Since part of the process for buying products or services is simple searching, it’s good to make an impact that lasts even after a person closes their browser. High-quality, interesting images can help you make that impact.

It’s all about engagement. People can scan through search results and a list of websites quickly. You want to make sure they pause when they open your site and images can help you get that essential pause so that they don’t navigate away. This doesn’t mean that you should inundate your page with images; a few well-selected ones are going to make more of an impact than choosing many and making things too busy. You want your page to look uncluttered and cohesive.

Images Resonate with People

Since humans can identify images quickly, using them can also help transmit a message about your site or the business it represents. According to MIT, people keep processing an image even after they see it. That means that if you put an image on your site, it’s making a longer impact than text might make — especially because it takes time to read and absorb text.

People like pictures and using stock photos to add more to your site will just make it better for your visitors. Make sure you vary them and don’t repeat images on every page unless it’s a design choice. Signing up for an account at a stock photo site like DepositPhotos can help you keep track of which images you’ve used.

Images Help Visual Learners

Some people just don’t process text as well as images. Offering a mix of text, images, and other media can help people with every learning style use your website and take away a positive impression. Pairing images with text can help stimulate people’s’ long term memories and in that way keep your website in their minds for longer than if you used text alone. This is especially important since 65 percent of people learn visually. Making your website more accessible to every visitor is a good way to reach the widest audience possible.

Images Improve Your SEO

Every time you put an image on your site, you give yourself another chance to appear in search results. Major search engines don’t just search text — they also perform image searches. When someone performs one, they might get a result from your site, click on the result, and then be able to view your site.

The trick is to use the right metadata when you’re adding photos to your site. You want to make sure it’s descriptive and also relevant to what people interested in your niche will be searching for. Images can also appear in your listings and help enhance them and increase engagement. According to Search Engine Land, customers are much more likely to react with businesses who have images attached to their search results.

Stock photos are completely essential when you’re designing a website. Whether you’re selling a product, promoting a service, or simply trying to find a following on the web, stock photos can help you attract and keep site visitors. Not only does using stock photos make the page more interesting and shareable, but it can also make you more visible in search results. Since there are stock photos available at every price point, there’s no reason not to dive in and start using stock photos to enhance your website today.

The post 5 Reasons Why Stock Photos Are Essential for Web Design appeared first on SpyreStudios.

from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/5-reasons-why-stock-photos-are-essential-for-web-design/

Monday, 18 June 2018

Kadie Smith Finds Her Passion For Design During a Career Day in High School (DOTW#5)

Designer of the Week

We’re super excited to continue our series of interviews “Designer of the Week” with

an amazing and passionate designer, Kadie Smith

Designer Kadie Smith

Webdesignledger: Kadie, at Webdesignledger we’ve been very impressed with your work and we decided that we want to get to know you better. Please tell us five characteristics you want people to know about you when they first meet you.
Kadie: Thank you! If I were to meet someone for the first time, I would want them to know that I’m sincere, a good listener, observant, enjoy brainstorming creative ideas, and love collaboration.
Webdesignledger: When did you discover your passion for design? What originally made you want to become a graphic designer?
Kadie: I found out I was passionate about graphic design when shadowing a family friend who owned a branding agency for career day in high school. The thing I loved most about graphic design was the visual organization and editing process. I never quite felt like a pure artist, but as a designer, I loved creative problem-solving and that it was rooted in an understanding of communication.
Webdesignledger: Your agency offers a wide range of design (branding, logo design, brand development, marketing graphics, brand experience, creative direction, lettering, illustration, layouts). Which of these branches offers you the most satisfaction as a graphic designer?
Kadie: I find the most satisfaction (personally) in the branding process. I enjoy building a personal relationship with new clients and walking through the whole evolution of the brand from start to finish. In this process, design becomes an opportunity for my client to express their dreams and ambitions and translate their passion for their business in their style and visual communication. From there, my team and I get to play and see just how far we can extend a brand’s experience and create opportunities to add a personal touch to the brand’s growth and development over time with different visual elements.
Webdesignledger: What are the top three fonts you love and use the most?
Kadie: My favorite go-to fonts are Coromant, Gotham, and Garamond.
Webdesignledger: Every designer has at least one project that he/she is very proud of. What is the project that has the most emotional value to you, that helped you express your style the most?
Kadie: My favorite project to date is Bossladies Magazine. Chelsea came to me right after Volumen One released and she unexpectedly built a large following. We worked for a year together putting together issues two and three as our friendship and mutual trust grew. After issue three, Chelsea gave me the green light to rebrand the magazine and I had never felt such a personal connection to a branding project, having worked with the client for so long before getting to start the process. It became an extension of my own style since I had come to identify so closely with the heart and mission of the magazine, and was the most rewarding experience I’ve had in a branding project.
Webdesignledger: We love the way you organize your portfolio and take time to give all the details describing your clients’ business. We understand that the designer-client relationship is important to you. Have you ever disagreed with the client’s feedback? How did you handle it?
Kadie: I have! I think almost every designer has at one time or another. When I was just starting out, I felt so personally tied to my designs that I had a hard time understanding feedback and became really disappointed if the project went in a direction I wasn’t excited about. Now, I first take time to try to understand the root of the feedback – is it a misunderstanding? different style preference? fear? My role as a brand designer is to communicate my client’s vision for the company, not to create my own version of their business, so I try to keep as much of my personal bias in check as I can. Sure, I want the end result to be beautiful, but I also want it to resonate with my client and give them passion and confidence to take ownership of their brand. If I feel like their feedback is rooted in a genuine lack of understanding or fear of taking a risk, I try to work through those fears and uncertainties with them as a co-collaborator. If it’s merely a different style preference, I do my best to execute their style and vision for the brand as best I can!
Webdesignledger: If you could choose the era you were born in, what other century would you choose design-wise?
Kadie: Design-wise, I would love to be in the Art Deco era! I love the typography from that period in design and still take so much inspiration from the way they pushed the limits of traditional letterforms.
Webdesignledger: Being your own boss comes with many responsibilities. Do you use a certain time or project management software to make your workflow smoother?
Kadie: Asana has really helped my team workflow, but personally I am still so old school and just use my Moleskine planner! I need to be better at being more digital (my project manager would love it if I was!) but I’ve found I always gravitate back to pen and paper.
Webdesignledger: Describe your creative process. What are the major steps? Do you follow a certain routine?
Kadie: I do have a creative routine. I start with extensive time in the discovery phase, asking lots of questions, researching ideas and putting together mood boards, meeting with my client, and making sure I understand their style and brand message as best I can before designing. Once I start designing, I try to keep the options pretty minimal to help with decision paralysis. I spend time explaining why I’ve developed each concept and how I see it developing. Once a design concept/direction is selected, I build it out and refine the design, adding mockups and additional visual elements to create a full experience. Then we start the revision phase to further refine and perfect the design to make sure it’s ready to launch!
Webdesignledger: Are you currently working on a project? How is it coming together?
Kadie: We are currently working on several projects! This month, we’re working on branding for a children’s clothing brand, an interior design firm, a fertility specialist, a travel agency, a financial firm, an elementary school, and an app for wedding photographers, as well as some packaging and illustration projects. We stay busy, but we have fun!
Webdesignledger: What is something new that you learned as a designer in your past experience (jobs & internships)?
Kadie: I have learned so much about discipline, creating buffer in timelines (at least 40% for all the unexpected mishaps and creative blocks!), and the importance of forming relationships in the design and local community.
Webdesignledger: What advice would you give to a new designer?
Kadie: I would tell a new designer to work on lots of different projects before settling in on the type of design they want to do. And then keep experimenting! Reach outside of your comfort zone to try different creative hobbies to spark your inspiration. Often it’s when I’m painting, collaging, or sewing that I’ll think of a solution for a logo or come up with a color palette for a client. Develop a broad skill set and form lots of relationships – go to events and conferences, reach out to designers you admire online, and join online groups and forums. There’s so much out there that you can use to grow as a professional designer if you put yourself out there!
Webdesignledger: Thanks for letting us get to know you and we wish you best of luck!
You can stay updated with Kadie’s work on the following platforms:
Instagram: dropcapdesign

Read More at Kadie Smith Finds Her Passion For Design During a Career Day in High School (DOTW#5)

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/kadie-smith-finds-passion-design-career-day-high-school-dotw5/

Duda: The Best Adobe Alternative

Adobe is Closing Business Catalyst and Muse. Might Duda Be a Worthy Alternative?

If you’ve been using Adobe’s Business Catalyst (BC) or Muse to build websites, you’re in a bind. Adobe announced that they are shutting down Business Catalyst and Muse after years of operation.

Typically, agencies that use Business Catalyst also integrate Adobe Muse into their workflows to streamline the development and management of websites. So this end-of-life announcement came as a shock to the thousands of businesses using the tools, as both platforms are getting squelched at the same time.

For Business Catalyst, Adobe gave the final deletion date to be March 26th, 2020 (although they later shifted it to March 26th, 2021 after some of their customers requested that the timeline be extended). The company also stated that users have until June 18th, 2018 (later extended to August 27th) to upgrade trial sites to paid, while new trials will no longer be available after June 18th, 2018.

For Muse, the shutdown process already commenced with the final feature improvement release on March 26, 2018. Adobe said they will continue to offer technical support to all active Creative Cloud customers until March 26, 2020. It seems the company will likely deliver compatibility updates for Mac and Windows OS, or fix any bugs that might crop up when publishing Muse sites. But it’s obvious that service quality will fall drastically after Adobe stops support for the software.

Adobe closes down

For the record, Business Catalyst is an all-in-one Content Management System (CMS) for building and managing websites. It integrates sales, ecommerce, content, and marketing features and was acquired by Adobe in 2009.

On the other hand, Adobe Muse is a website builder that allows users to create fixed, fluid, and adaptive websites without having to write any code. It was launched by Adobe in 2012.

Now, following this imminent shutdown, businesses and web design agencies that are using the platforms would have to find alternatives before the deadline. In fact, it’s recommended that you do ASAP.

One reason being that, migrating a site could take longer than anticipated — budgeting, planning, execution, fixes, etc. — especially for businesses with multiple websites and/or a huge amount of data; thus, you don’t have to wait until the last minute.

Another is that this announcement could mean the two tools are only going to attenuate in performance and customer service going forward, until they’re finally snuffed out.

Even Adobe encourages customers to download their data and migrate to other systems well before the deadline. They said all BC servers will be taken down (on March 26th, 2020 2021). This means the data of all its customers will be deleted and won’t be available for download after the service end date.

This is why you should find a new solution immediately.

But wait, what great alternatives are out there?

As a web design agency looking to provide a phenomenal service to your clients, you need a design and development platform that’s equally phenomenal to support your vision. Adopting a less than stellar platform can only result in unnecessary pains for you and your clients, which can ultimately kill your agency’s brand reputation. And so to help you find your next web builder, we’ve looked into why Duda could be your best shot for replacing Business Catalyst and Muse.


Introducing Duda

Duda is a software suite for creating optimized websites, primarily for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers responsive website and mobile builders, with the flexibility to access scads of cutting-edge web design tools you won’t find on platforms like Squarespace or Wix.

Instead of focusing entirely on the site building experience, Duda also provides digital agencies the technology needed to incorporate branding into their projects, initiate team collaboration, automate certain workflows, and streamline client communications.

In a sense, Duda could be everything a web design agency will ever need to build beautiful sites at scale.

How huge and trustworthy is Duda? It’s currently being used by over 12 million websites at the time of writing this, and has partnered with companies such as Google, AT&T, Yahoo!, Intuit, and OpenTable.

How Duda stacks up against Business Catalyst and Muse

While Muse is built specifically for creative designers who need a “design-focused” platform for building sites, Business Catalyst is designed primarily for agencies to build fully functional and scalable business websites.

It’s safe to say that both Business Catalyst and Muse pack some of the most useful features for web design agencies.

However, Duda does measure up pretty nicely against the two tools when it comes to features that are game-changers for agencies.

To help determine if Duda is right for you, let’s drill down into some key features of each platform and also compare to see how they stack up against each other:

Business Catalyst’s features are built around its core areas of offerings, which are content management, eCommerce, events, digital marketing, blogging, customer database (CRM), membership site management, etc.

With these features, agencies can create different types of sites for their clients, including blogs, event websites, membership sites etc.

Also, without the need for custom coding or configuration of third-party systems, BC allows agencies to build online stores clients can use to sell both physical and digital products, with integrations for billing, shipping, discounts, vouchers, referrals, and automated recurring orders.

These sites can be managed from anywhere, as BC allows access to its Admin Console on any device.

On the other hand, since Muse is specifically aimed at professional designers, its features are typically design-based.

In short, if you’ve used any related graphics software like Photoshop in the past, you will find Muse’s UI convenient and intuitive because of their similarities.

Muse is open-ended. This means you don’t get any ready-to-use templates or themes, but are provided with a blank canvas. With that, you’re free to design your website from scratch, anyhow.

Muse also has an integration capability for styling a blog from any popular blog service, including Tumblr and WordPress.

Compared to Business Catalyst and Muse, Duda packs a bunch of features which any web design agency will find delightful. Here’s a run-through of some of them:

  • Optimized communications: After publishing a new website with Duda, you can easily push a “Welcome Email” to the respective client to notify them that their site is live. If you want the client to manage the site from their end, you can also include the login credentials in the email. Also, Duda’s “Statistics Digest” tool lets you schedule regular analytics reports to your clients, which helps your agency to be perceived as a detail-oriented team that delivers value.


  • Fully white label-able platform: With Duda, you can incorporate custom branding elements into your backend’s admin interface. Some of the elements include the logo, text colors, buttons, and background images. This alone can boost brand loyalty and impress your clients, as they’ll be working with a team that “has its own custom-made proprietary platform.”


  • Smart content collection tools: One area web design agencies find themselves struggling is appropriating existing assets from clients; they’ll often have to chase after clients for files and content. Duda solves that problem with its “Content Collection Form,” making it effortless for clients to submit images, files, and important business details in an expedited process. You can also import assets from another website by using the “Import Content” module.


  • Access control and permissions: Duda offers a unified tool for managing account permissions for both clients and team members. Business Catalyst has a similar feature, which allows administrators to set and control each admin user’s level of access.


  • Repackage and sell your custom-branded Duda portal: Duda goes beyond helping you build a masterly web design environment to letting you repackage the platform as your own resellable self-service web design portal.


  • Widget builder ecosystem: Duda comes with a built-in, drag-and-drop widget builder which you can use to add custom interactive experiences for users.


  • Assignable, dynamic, modular sections: Duda provides dynamic modular content ”Sections” that serve as the building blocks of your website.



Of course, these aren’t the only features/benefits Duda has. In fact, there are a wealth of them. These ones are specifically handy for web design agencies, even though Duda also supports digital publishers and hosting companies.


The news of Adobe’s impending closure of both Business Catalyst and Muse may pose a threat to your business, if you’ve been using their systems. But the end of life for those tools doesn’t have to spell the end of your business.

If you make the right decision, not only can your business pull through the challenge, but can also thrive as it emerges on the other side.

Using the information provided, you should be able to determine whether Duda makes a great alternative for the soon-to-be-defunct platforms.

Read More at Duda: The Best Adobe Alternative

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/adobe-closing-business-catalyst-muse/

What is Z-Index and How Does It Work?

Elements on a web page can stack for a variety of reasons. With basic CSS positioning tools, it’s possible to stack elements on top of one other with negative margins, floats, and other tools. Even without specific position, elements stack, with div stacking on backgrounds on table cells stacking on tables. But default stacking is difficult to control, relying on hard-to-remember natural stacking rules and the order of elements within the DOM. This controls the way objects are painted on the canvas of the web page, and the order in which they’re processed. In order to stack elements more effectively, we should use the CSS property Z-index. This specifies rules for object stacking.

What is Z-index?

Z-index is a CSS property that is used to organize elements in terms of relative depth. If you imagine the viewport as a two-dimensional plane, you could call the height “X” and the width “Y”, just like in mathematics. If you add a third line for depth coming “out” of the screen, you could call it Z. It’s very similar to settings like “Send to Front” and “Send Back” found in applications like Word and Photoshop. It allows for positioning overlapping elements on virtual layers, just as you might do in Photoshop. Higher z values are closer to the top of the stack of objects, while low values are closer to the bottom of the stack objects

With z-index, you can control how elements stack without your web page, allowing you to override default stacking behavior. This allows you to overlap elements with precision instead of luck. Elements on the same z-index level will interact with their x and y coordinates, but elements on different z indexes are ignorant of one another. This means that you can have multiple layers of objects that “stack” without moving one another around, allowing for easy pop-overs, pop-unders, sliders and more.

How Does Z-index Work?

The value you set for z-index is arbitrary. You can give an object a z-index of 5000 without setting another other z-index values. This would ensure that it will almost certainly appear on top of other objects. Z-index can also be set with negative values, allowing you to specify objects as “always behind” other objects. You can think of these z index specifications as adding to or subtracting from the element’s default z-index value.

You can also set an “auto” value for z index. This takes the z-index from any parent properties. The box does not establish a new local stacking context. A stacking context is based upon a variety of factors, which are explained in part below. The stack level of the generated box in the current stacking context is the same as its parent’s box.

Like many CSS properties, child elements always taken the Z-index of their parent objects through inheritance. Further, nesting plays a big role. If an element B sits on top of element A, a child element of element A can never be higher than element B.

Stacking context is also determined by parent and child element relationships. The z index you set only applies within the parent element. If you have one div inside another, for example, you might find that stacking doesn’t obey the z index rules you set. This is often do to other positioning rules or parent-child relationships. Check out the example below to see how that works.

Note that the z index of DIV #1 is lower than the z index of DIV #4, yet #1 appears on top. This is because #4 is stacked within its parent DIV, inheriting its properties.

Here are some examples of how you might set z-index in your CSS:

/* Keyword value */
z-index: auto;

/*  values */
z-index: 0;
z-index: 3;
z-index: 289;
z-index: -1; /* Negative values to lower the priority */

/* Global values */
z-index: inherit;
z-index: initial;
z-index: unset;

How Does Z-index Stack With Other Positioning Rules?

In an HTML page, z-index can interact with other positional rules based on their stacking context. The list below, cited from the MDN documentation on stacking context, specifies how objects stack together based on their criteria, starting at the bottom of the stack. It’s a complicated policy, which is why z-index is often set at extreme values for only some objects.

You might also like the following posts:

Using CSS Pseudo-elements and Pseudo-classes like ::before and ::after

Coding Buttons in CSS

3 Features Every CSS Navigation Menu Must Have

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from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/what-is-z-index-and-how-does-it-work/

Saturday, 16 June 2018

WordPress Plugins: How To Talk Clients Out Of Hoarding Plugins

When you first connect with a client, it’s natural to be agreeable in order to build rapport with them. You’re going to be working closely with them for a while, and you need to earn their trust as well as their confidence. Especially when you’re working with a high paying client. Being too agreeable, however, can be detrimental to the project.

During the first phase of any web project, clients often make requests that go against best practices. Some requests even go against the client’s own goals. However, clients don’t always know this. They’re relying on you to produce a final result that meets their requirements, and you need to tell them when their requests will work against them.

One of the most common requests clients make is for adding too many unnecessary plugins to their WordPress site. Most clients see plugins as a harmless way to add cool features to their website. They don’t always know plugins come with security risks, and having too many of them will slow down their website’s performance.

Understand your client’s perception might be misguided

Keeping the client’s perception of plugins in mind, it’s no wonder they don’t want to pay $3,000 for a core customization or a script created from scratch. In the client’s mind, there’s already a plugin for everything, and most plugins are free. Why should they pay?

The truth is, plugins are a wonderful way to add functionality to a WordPress site, when used in moderation, and when they’re regularly updated. For instance, these WordPress plugins are extremely useful and are regularly updated. Caching a WordPress website makes it load dynamic pages faster; XML sitemaps are essential for communicating with search engine spiders, and automatically fending off spam comments is vital for every blogger.

However, clients don’t usually know the difference between a rockstar plugin like Akismet, and a flash-in-the-pan plugin being sold on the Warrior Forum as a WSO.

Get in your client’s world and speak to them from their perspective

If you’re going to help a client understand why customization is the best solution, you’ve got to get in their world and address them from within their perspective before you can explain further. This means speaking to them as if there’s a possibility that you’ll install the excessive amount of plugins they’ve requested. You have to get into their world in order to skillfully guide them out of their misperceptions.

For example, don’t try to tell them all the technical reasons a large number of plugins will be bad for their website. If you try to tell them it will make their website slow, they’ll point you to another website using a bunch of plugins they think loads fast. If you tell them ten plugins are a security risk, if they’ve never been hacked, they’ll think it can’t happen to them.

Despite our best efforts, facts don’t always change people’s minds. The New Yorker published an article that explains this phenomenon in-depth. If your client has no technical background, you’re not going to win with technical logic. It will only seem like a theory to them. You need to be specific.

Show your client how their request won’t work

If your client requests a hoard of plugins, from the get-go, you need to show them exactly how their requested plugins won’t accomplish their goals. Drop the conversation about website performance and outdated security holes. They won’t hear you.

Instead of discussing the plugins, the first thing you want to do is redirect the client to have an in-depth conversation about their ultimate goals. Find out exactly what features they want in as much detail as possible. Don’t let them tell you about what they think the plugins will do for them. Get them to tell you what they actually want.

Once you’ve established what they want, let them know you’re going to look at each plugin to find out if it will fit their needs. Even if you know the plugins like the back of your hand, you need to convince the client you’re looking out for their needs. If they’re going to trust you, they need to have the experience of you doing in-depth research on their behalf.

When you research the plugins, look for bugs, conflicts, and problems to document for the client. Once you’ve generated a list of what’s wrong with the plugins, document why a customization won’t have those problems. This document will be your reference point to sell your client on a customization. Not because you want to make more money, but because it’s what’s right for the project.

The biggest secret to getting through to clients is to get them to trust your judgment. Once you accomplish that, you can talk a client out of any bad decision.

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from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/wordpress-plugins-how-to-talk-clients-out-of-hoarding-plugins/