All posts tagged “Site”

Enhance your site with with the ultimate guide to JavaScript

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The internet as we know it wouldn’t really work without JavaScript. Over its 20-year history, it’s grown from just a language for browsers to power some of the web’s most powerful frameworks and libraries, from AnglarJS to jQuery. This all-new handbook from the makers of net magazine rounds up everything you need to know about JavaScript. There’s 27 practical projects for you to get your teeth stuck into, and over four hours of exclusive tutorial videos.

Creative Bloq

This site shows how speed and efficiency should be done

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Fasetto is a centralised service that allows users to share any type of file between any device on any platform – no internet access required. The supporting website was designed by Naomi Atkinson and developed by Harry Roberts, who have very differing approaches to web projects.

Creative Bloq

3 site designs that will make you drink more tea

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Jordan Simpson, Caroline Murphy and Alex Pate Tea. It’s hard to imagine life without a cup of the walm-and-calming, particularly if you hail from an island in the North Atlantic, just off the north-west coast of continental Europe. There, it’s cold and it rains a lot.

Creative Bloq

New site is like Behance for indecisive designers

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Desinion is a new platform that allows designers to give and get feedback, opinions and even statistics on their design concepts. Yes, we know you can do that on sites like Behance and Dribbble.

Creative Bloq

New BBC site is a digital sandbox for new ideas

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The BBC has long striven to be if not at, then at least quite near to the cutting edge of digital media, rolling out services such as iPlayer and being quick to embrace the latest online technologies to keep its web offerings fresh.   Its latest launch, BBC Taster, follows these traditions; described as a new home for its experimental ideas, it’s an online digital playground where the BBC can test out new stuff and get feedback.

Creative Bloq

Is Minimal Design the Best Strategy for Your Site?

One of the buzzwords of modern marketing or design work is “understanding your customers.” Before you jump on board with a trend or design style, it’s good to research how consumers or clients in your industry respond to it. One particular trend that has dominated the web for several years is minimalism. So, if you’re considering a minimalist redesign, let’s take a look and see if it’s the best strategy for you and your site.

Why Minimalist Design is All the Rage

Modern minimalism has been around for over 80 years. Several decades of lavish design and skeuomorphic hyper-realism supplanted the postwar minimalist movement, but it has once again become a mainstream trend. The most common elements include:

  • Letting a handful of visuals convey your larger message (“less is more”). Videographer Cedric Vella does this by featuring just his name and title, three informative links, and a calming background image above the cut of his one-page website.
    Videographer Cedric Vella
  • Cutting anything that distracts from your main point or purpose — only leave an element in place if your design makes no sense without it.
  • Making every detail fit your theme in the way it communicates your message. Eleonora Zorzi’s digital design page has very few elements, but they each fit her personal brand — structured and creative at the same time.
    Eleonora Zorzi digital design page
  • Using sparse, carefully selected colors. Minimalist design usually includes one or two highlight colors, which draws the viewer’s eye.
  • Providing as much direction with your white space as with your words. Separate text into sentences or small paragraphs, and spread these out in the order and direction that you want them to be read.

All of these things lead to design that many users appreciate because it’s fundementally easy to use. Additionally, so many user’s lives are full of clutter that a bare-minimum design aesthetic feels very refreshing.

Pros and Cons of Minimalism

As with any fad, minimalism has some inherent downfalls. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution; some businesses need more visual content or intricate design because of the nature of their work. A minimalist approach wouldn’t fit sites like Square Circle, the Hard Rock Hotel brand, or SensiSoft, for example.

Trimming all content down to bare bones would downplay the impact of Square Circle’s bold ad work, eliminate the lush details sought by Hard Rock Hotel guests, and fail to
illustrate the adaptability that SensiSoft brings to the advertising world. Minimalism can also make you unsure about whether you still have too much content, or be so austere that your message is unclear to visitors.

There are, however, well-documented advantages to using minimalism for the right endeavor:

  • Faster load time — there aren’t multiple photo and video files that take forever to load.
  • Ease of navigation — it’s hard to get lost when there aren’t many places to go.
  • Lack of ads — highly appreciated by most visitors, especially those in a hurry.
  • Less server strain.
  • Centrality of content — all distracting elements are eliminated.
  • Responsiveness — easier to optimize for mobile browsers.
  • Aura of importance — not cluttering up the page lends your site an authoritative mystique.

Determining whether the pros and cons are of more weight depends largely on the kind of business your site represents. Beta testing on a core group of loyal users is one way to gauge how your customers are likely to receive a complete minimalist redesign of your site.

How Using Minimalist Design Can Affect Your Business

If you are in ecommerce, minimalism can definitely be a design asset. The loading and navigation speed of a streamlined site makes the casual shopper more likely to buy, whereas you can lose 4 out of 10 visitors because of a slow-loading page. Consistent design and an understated, professional appearance also make viewers feel better about doing business with you. With simple, intuitive use being important to 76 percent of surveyed web users, minimalism can be a safe default option.

leading companies like Apple have made minimalism the standard for design

Others argue that since leading companies like Apple have made minimalism the standard for design, many people forget that there are other, equally viable ways to make technology beautiful. Many consumers middle-aged and older find minimal design ugly — they appreciate well-placed details and cozy spaces with more than ‘two pieces of furniture’.

In addition, minimalism’s simple appearance belies the intense design process required to get it right. This makes for many badly designed “minimalist” sites.


If you think minimalism will appeal to your target demographic and enhance the aesthetic of your business, go for it, as long as you consider the following:

  • Run many tests before you fully commit to your site’s new look.
  • Implement changes gradually; this can sometimes make people more comfortable with the updating process. (Include a notice in your blog or newsletter to avoid confusing your visitors.)
  • Accept honest feedback. If you realize that your sleek redesign is less of a hit than you hoped, be willing to add back in a few of the older elements that your customers appreciated.
  • Don’t use good design — minimal or otherwise — as a substitute for strong marketing and customer service.

How has minimalism figured into your business? Share your stories with us!

The post Is Minimal Design the Best Strategy for Your Site? appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.

Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

Arts Recommendations from The Mirror Cube: A site dedicated to music, film and artistic happenings, as recommended by an array of working artists

Arts Recommendations from The Mirror Cube

Perhaps no one knows the music, film and art scenes better than those within them. Communities form and flourish, and engage other active creators. Highly collaborative art leads to highly connected scenes with an escalated awareness of what’s working……

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E-Commerce Site Design Mistakes You Need To Avoid At All Costs

Nowadays, so many companies use online stores in order to make more money. The truth is that this is a perfect option that is available for so many companies that need to increase profits, with a store that is open at any moment of night and day. At the same time, your company can reach global markets without call centers and mailing.

E-Commerce Site Design Mistakes You Need To Avoid At All Costs

The problem is that it is not at all easy to design an e-commerce website as you may believe at first glance. You cannot just use a shopping cart software system and expect to end up with great sales.

Online retailers make so many mistakes every single day. The great news is that every single mistake is avoidable. You just need more planning in most cases. Take a look at all the e-commerce site design mistakes that are mentioned below and you will improve your customer experience.

Improper Product Information

Whenever you are in a brick and mortar establishment, you can take a look at what you buy, read label information and basically interact with what you want to buy. This is not possible through online shopping.

A well designed e-commerce website has to do all that it can in order to improve the shopping experience. You surely ended up on sites that have short product information pages or that simply have zero information about what you are about to buy.

Whenever the customer does not know specifics, he/she will try to find that information somewhere else. You will only end up making sales when you have a low price tag.

Always try to offer as much information as possible about the products you sell. This includes materials, dimensions, weight, size and practically everything that is of interest for the possible buyer.

As a simple example, if you sell clothes online, you will want to mention colors, sizes and types available, together with a high quality size chart, thickness or weight. Try to always use descriptive words instead of technical terms.

No Contact Information

The customer wants to know what company they deal with before credit card information is offered. The important thing is showcasing the fact that there is someone that can actually take care of a problem in the event it appears. In the event that the site does not offer such contact information or it is hidden and the customer cannot easily find it, a sale is less likely to be made.

You need to be sure that contact information is really easy to be seen and is visible on all website pages. Make sure that it is in the header, right on the top of the sidebar or in the footer region. If possible, try to offer more contact means like an email address, mailing address, phone number and contact form. That is particularly important in the event that you sell something that is technical by nature.

Confusing Checkout Processes

Such a design mistake is really damaging. You have to make sure you avoid it at all costs. It is your responsibility to be 100% sure that the checkout process is as simple as possible. If that is not the case, the customers will not really go through many steps in order to hand over credit card data so that an order is complete. If there are many steps that are put in front of the interested shopper, he/she can end up leaving without actually completing a purchase.

A perfect checkout process should include only one page that would allow the consumer to verify the order and then enter shipping and billing information. Then, a confirmation page is necessary so that it is known that the offer was submitted. If you add other steps, you just end up putting obstacles in front of making sales, thus causing lower profits for your company.

In the event that there is a need to include more pages, you have to make them really easy to be filled out and quick. If possible, combine pages whenever you can and use column layouts in order to separate sections on the same page. This makes everything appear shorter.

Make sure that you do not force the interested customers to get an account in order for a sale to be made. When customers have to sign in or create accounts, this is a huge obstacle placed right in front of a sale. Capturing customer information is never as important as actually getting the order completed. You do not want to lose customers and this is exactly what happens in the event that you force the account option.

The good news is that this is really easy to be fixed. You can always offer the option to sign up for an account after the ordering process is complete. Offering the possibility of saving account information with the purpose of making the next orders easier to be placed and managed is exactly what helps you. There are many customers that will opt to actually save information and will not be driven away because of the fact that you want them to have an account first.

Improper Search Engine For The Site

It is a guarantee that you ended up on an e-commerce site and you used the search engine feature, all to find out that the results are not as great as they should be. Use the search engine in your site. Does it give you accurate results? Try to think as a potential customer and not as someone that actually knows what products are available in the online store.

In the event that the customerknows what he/she is looking for, the search feature will be utilized instead of going through filters or categories. Do try to make sure that your search feature works well and that it includes as many filters as may be necessary in order for results to be refined.

When a search is conducted and many products are returned, as is the case with larger e-commerce websites, making a choice becomes difficult. Contrary to what you may think, this is not a positive thing. Many potential customers simply go away as they do not want to go through all the results.

Your e-commerce software needs to include a very good search engine. Alternatively, try to use some plugins that will extend functionality. In an ideal setting, the ecommerce search feature needs to let the user to search based on keywords and the refine the results based on site categories, together with standard criteria like low price, high price, new item, popular item and so on.

Small Product Images

As already mentioned, the consumer will not be able to physically handle products that are available for sale before the order is placed. With this in mind, you have to improve the shopping experience. Having really small product images reduce effectiveness. You need to be sure that you either offer a large image or the product page includes a feature that will allow the user to click on images for zooming purposes.

Site visitors basically need to be able to see a very large image at a high resolution. It is a very good idea that you opt for images that would enlarge to a resolution of a minimum of 1024X768 pixels. At the same time, try to offer at least 3-4 images of the product you sell. If possible, put the images in a live example, without relying too much on digitalization.

When you only have one product image, you basically end up making sure that sales are not as high as they could be. Try to offer images of the products sold from various angles. For instance, images in different colors, on the back, the sides, on the front or detailed shots of some of the features that are presented. That will drastically increase the possibility that someone will shop.

Just include more images. In most cases you need 4 to 5 images. This is what is ideal. However, make sure that enough views are offered so that the consumer can feel comfortable and realizes what is gained.

Improper Customer Service Options

This is quite similar to the problem that we mentioned with contact information. Your potential customer needs to find it really easy to find a way to get in touch with you in the event there is a question or a problem. If the customer can receive help fast, this will help them. Offering an email address option is not the only thing you need.

Try to offer some sort of ticketing system. At the same time, include a good FAQ section so that all the common questions can be offered. Make sure that you include the return policy there, together with replacement items when they are needed.

Few Payment Options Available

So many e-commerce sites out there simply offer MasterCard and Visa. Some only allow customers to pay with the use of PayPal. This is not a good idea. In the past we were forced to only use that but now we can so easily offer various payment options, thus allowing many customers to get what they need.

Try to use a good payment service, one that will let your consumers to pay with the credit cards, electronic checkout, PayPal and anything else you could offer. When it comes to making an online payment, offering many opportunities automatically builds trust, which is something you need.

Lack Of Related Products

Whenever you visit a brick and mortar store, you will see items that are similar being grouped together. This makes it really easy for you to buy something else than what you initially wanted or buy more items. The same thing needs to happen online. For instance, if you sell a mobile phone, you may want to include related products like a battery or even a micro USB cable.

The e-commerce platform needs to include product description pages, as already mentioned, and related products. The platform that will allow you to choose exactly what related products are added will offer you a huge advantage since people can easily notice various connections that are basically not identified by software.

Improper Navigation

It is horrible to look at an e-commerce site and not find what you are looking for. This is frustrating and you do not want to have customers that are frustrated before they even find what they are looking for.

If your navigation is confusing, without categories or with merchandise that should not even be included in some categories. Some of the sites have categories that do not have a product in them or that only have a couple listed. In this case, a category should not even be considered.

You need to consider your site’s navigation elements and the categories. This should be done even before you start designing your site. Every single category needs to include a good number of products. The alternative would be to group the small categories into larger categories. The aim is to make it really easy for the customer to go through the site and find what they may want.


On the whole, if you do not know much about what e-commerce modifications you need to make in order to increase your sales rates, you need to seriously consider professional help. The work that a professional can do is always better than what an in-house department can and the investment does make sense.

The best e-commerce website is the one that manages to offer a great buying experience. This is the most important thing at the end of the day. You need to actively put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. See what they would like or what they would hate. Fix the bad elements. If possible, try to get some information from customers through a survey so that you can see what they do not like. Do not just replicate a site in another niche since there are surely unique elements that should be added to your e-commerce site.

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15 Premium WordPress Themes To Create Any Site In 2015

How would you like to earn more money in 2015? If augmenting your revenue is a top priority, then you need to change the way work gets done. I am about to suggest over a dozen WordPress themes that are guaranteed to shorten the amount of time you spend for each of your client’s projects.

In this list are a new generation of powerful themes. Their design quality can pass the scrutiny of any web designer and they come with a range of useful features, features that matter – you’ll find yourself wondering why you haven’t come across them sooner. Well, it’s not too late. There’s never been a better time than right now.

X Theme

X theme comes with multiple complete designs. Choose from any four existing Stacks: Integrity, Renew, Icon and Ethos. They are open for customization, so you have the option of ensuring that no two sites featuring the same Stack will look exactly the same. You can fit in your customizations and preferences using its live editor.

The Stacks also come with more than 30 awesome demos although some of them are still in the "in working progress" stage (hey, we’re only 2 weeks into the new year). But not to worry, X Theme 3.0 has just been released and it comes with 15 free WordPress plugins per license for most of your website building needs.


Want to be in control when it comes to choices in designing your project? Try BeTheme. This is one already popular responsive, multi-purpose theme for WordPress probably because it looks gorgeous and well, it comes with a ton of great features. For starters, it has more than 70 demos, and you can install any of them with just one click.

Pick a unique layout to better represent your client’s project, and then wow them with plenty of integrated goods like MailChimp, Yoast and bbPress. BeTheme receives updates on a weekly basis and has more than 200 shortcodes to fall back on.

Qards (Plugin)

Already installed a theme, but want to change it? You don’t have to redesign the whole website from scratch. Just reach out to Qards, the fantastic page-building plugin. It gets along famously with all known themes. Grab this handy plugin and apply modifications without touching a single line of code.

To use Qards your only job is to upload the website content, and piece cards (hence the name) together until you get the look and feel you desire. To change the cards, just use the in-line editor. When you’re done, what you’re left with is a brand-spanking new responsive website.


This is a theme from Elegant Themes that lets you build sites by dragging and dropping modules, rows and columns. You can do this in the Divi builder. Although you don’t need to code to build with this theme, you can use CSS to further modify any of Divi’s 18 modules you want to include in your design.

Divi also comes with more than 20 pre-made layouts (all with real beautiful header options) perfect for those who don’t want to start from scratch or who want to be inspired from an existing layout. Your final outcome is also responsive and is certified secure by the Sucuri team.


Looking for a modern, minimalist and multi-purpose theme, say for your new startup? Brand.ed has you covered. Bold, striking and fast, this WordPress theme has all the basic elements you need for building a site with modern stylings. It comes with a Live Customizer which lets you preview your changes as you make them.

You will also probably like the horizontal parallax effect – perfect for constructing narratives – as well as it’s layered slider – perfect for site navigation. It also comes with its own icon set and a pretty awesome portfolio sorter you can check out in its demo.


Want to start a restaurant website but not really sure what you need in restaurant website design? Just get ROSA. Perfect for featuring delicious delights, ROSA comes with beautiful menus and OpenTable reservations but what it does best is highlight high-resolution photos with its enchanting parallax scrolling and typography animation features.

These features also make it a great theme to use for photography sites or sites that feature full screen image galleries. Plus, it comes with a WooCommerce plugin so you can set up shop and start selling once it is up and running (and all you need is one click to get started). Responsive, translation-ready and SEO-friendly, ROSA is an exquisite theme you should check out.


Looking for a professional-looking, clean-cut theme? Here’s one for new businesses that want to start out strong in the new year. Highly customizable, Kallyas comes with plentiful custom page designs, site features, unique styles, and most evidently, a barrage of slider options that raise interaction levels and impress visitors.

The page builder is also beyond reproach, and Kallyas comes with extensive documentation, and should you need it, top-notch support as well. Customize to your heart’s content and play around with shortcodes and color themes.


Want to take over the online shopping landscape? Then let’s get a Royal WordPress theme up and running. Royal contains more than 30 themes for the e-commerce or corporate look and another 30 or more single-page and coming soon (landing page) variants.

All themes are WooCommerce- and WPML-ready, carries 6 plugins (including Visual Composer, Slider Revolution and Live Chat) worth $ 119, and are fully optimized. All future updates are free and reviewers sing praises of the team’s prompt support.


Here’s another e-commerce WordPress theme that you will love, mostly because of its flexibility and easy-to-design features. This theme lets your buyers peruse your shop Pinterest style and lets them find their products easily with advanced search options and a good product filter.

It features parallax scrolling, great fading and scaling transition effects, custom backgrounds for each menu link, promo pages for special-priced products, plenty of animation effects, and support for multiple languages and currencies. If you want to further customize the look of the theme, you can do so with custom CSS.


This is a theme for magazine, blogs or review sites, and it comes with plenty of customization options. It carries the FameThemes options panel, custom pre-made page templates, custom-built widgets (for your visitors’ social media fix) and shortcode generators.

The theme is also optimized for SEO and high page speeds. And all the themes available have also been localized for easy translation. Codilight has cross-browser compatibility so it works well on all modern browsers (and IE8 and above).

More Beautiful Themes

Want more themes? Here are 5 more.


This is one for online portfolios or for fashion blogs. Choose from 16 visual-laden themes and plenty of image slider options such as galleries, carousels, flex sliders, full screen sliders, floating sidebars and more. Fully responsive, Oshin also has the parallax scrolling effect, video backgrounds and is WooCommerce and WPML ready.


Sell your goods online on any of the 5 theme versions WooPress has to offer. Responsive, modern, WooPress comes with plenty of features an e-commerce site needs: product sorting options, price filters searchbar, product suggestions, slider, nested navigation and shopping cart amongst others.


Opus makes picking a theme very easy. There are 14 retina-ready themes to choose from, and you can go with minimal, full screen, with parallax, without parallax, boxed, single-page, creative or professional to create your company blog or portfolio site. You can further customize this with any of its 100 shortcodes.

Circle Flip

Still can’t find any of theme to suit your needs? Then try any of these flips from Circle Flip. They have ready themes for hosting sites, magazines, medical facilities, hotels, schools, lawyers, engineers, online stores and more. All themes showcase a very distinct flat design and you can make the changes you need in their user-friendly page builder.


With more than 27 themes built for businesses, agencies, medical, restaurants, magazines and portfolios, Specular is already interesting enough to check out. But if you need more incentive, try out their online page builder, without fronting any payment first. Make sure the theme can create your final vision before you seal the deal

“911, My Site Has Been Hacked!” How to Identify and Fix a Website Security Breach

Being hacked is the nastiest thing that can happen to a website owner. How to avoid this go find in the blog post.