Eight Common Web Design Mistakes

Web design is a tricky business if you’re fairly new to it, but with a reasonable amount of common sense it’s not hard to design something that’s quick, clear, and enjoyable to look at and use. Nowadays a website is as important as a storefront, if not more so – especially as traditional stores situated on main street continue to decline as the new millennium wears on. So with this new-found reliance on websites as the front end of a good company image, we’ve provided eight common web design mistakes for you to note down and avoid, should you wish to take on the task of designing your site yourself.

1. “Minimalism is the solution to everything.”

Image Source: Stock Vector Illustration by Shutterstock

There are websites so cluttered that it’s hard to understand how to use the site on anything that isn’t an IMAX screen. But at the other end of the scale are sites where there’s so little on the page that you begin to question the use of the real estate available to you. A home page shouldn’t look like a hoarder’s closet, but it should certainly have a menu, features, and generally feel populated. Try to find the line between “clean” and “barren” in your design approach – less isn’t always more.

2. “Plugins, widgets – must have more!”

Common Web Design Mistakes

Image Source: Stock Photo by Shutterstock

On the other end of the spectrum are those web designers who feel that the more plugins that offer useful features on any given page, the better. Now, plugins really can make a website a lot more useful for the user. Things like social sharing buttons, options to change font size or site theme, and even nice little chat widgets in the sidebar (unless the chat is dead for months at a time, which’ll look terrible to new visitors) can improve a site’s appeal. But stuffing the site with little feature-packed boxes and other additional functionality can not only begin to feel claustrophobic, but it can actually affect the site’s performance, which is the last thing you want to do.

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Free WordPress Theme for Hotel

We are ready to gladden you with the fresh freebie from the professional designers. Free WordPress Theme For Hotel – here is off-the-peg solution for your hotel business that will help you say a warm welcome to your visitors online.

Pleasant to eyes white and orange color combination will cheer up your visitors, and make the time spent on the site pleasant. Of course, you can easily change this color scheme into the one you need. Use the jQuery slider to place the images of apartments to engross the visitors’ attention. To announce hot offers and events, feel free to use the featured blocks in orange color below the slider. If you have Flickr account, place the link in the footer section. Your visitors will easily book whatever room they need just visiting the Booking page of your site. If you still have questions about the way this theme looks like, follow this link to see its live demo.

Free WordPress Theme for Hotel:

To download the whole package of this template, visit the Free WordPress Theme For Hotel download page at TemplateMonster and type an email address that you want the free template package to be delivered to (don’t forget to uncheck the newsletter subscription checkbox in case you’re already subscribed, otherwise you may not be able to download the zip file). Feel free to use this template for your business, but you cannot resell it as a template.

Download Free WordPress Theme For Hotel with PSD files (64,5MB)

IMPORTANT NOTICE:TemplateMonster does not provide support services on free templates – including this one. We only provide support for the products that are being purchased from TemplateMonster. Our free templates are produced according to the latest web standards and we’ve been trying to make the process of working with them as easy as possible, so for people with minimum web development experience it should be easy to work with them. However, if you don’t have any experience, we recommend you to refer to the tutorials or community forums on how to work with platforms that each respective template is made with, or to hire someone to do the job for you.

Ways to Make Your Joomla Website Search Engine Friendly

Undoubtedly, Joomla is a powerful content management system with number of in-built rich functionalities. There is myth in industry that from search engine point of view Joomla is not as good as WordPress or Drupal. In-fact all CMS’s including Joomla, Drupal, WordPress or any other can be good for SEO. Google doesn’t really consider how you build your website but looks for what ultimate HTML output is. If you follow best SEO practices for link building, content, and the interlinking of web pages, Joomla is great. If you are a Joomla Expert, you need to take care of SEO considerations while development of a website. Hereinafter you may find some tips to make your website SEO friendly.

Image Source: Photo by SEOPlanter

1. SEO Friendly URL:

First and most important thing you need to pay attention is to optimize your web page URLs. Your URLs must be keyword rich and informative. Joomla’s SEF extension is available to help you in getting right URL.

2. Unique Meta Data:

If you do not put Meta data to a page then details will be retrieved from Global Configuration. It might cause duplicity and not good for your website health. Besides, there is no sense of using same Meta data for different pages because every page is unique and has its own requirements. Joomla expert SEOs must need to use unique Meta Title and Description for each page.

3. Set Title as H1 Tag:

Using H1 tag as article title decorator is a nice idea from SEO point of view. Use your top priority keyword in H1 tag as it is a vital on-page ranking factor.

4. Customize 404 Error Page:

If you have website in Joomla then it might use default 404 error page. It is not recommended by SEO specialists to use default 404 page. Go for a customized 404 page with links to important pages of your website.

Image Source: Photo by SEOPlanter

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Things You Need to Know about CSS3 Gradients but Were Afraid to Ask [Tutorials]

In order for you not look through the Internet trying to find pieces of information about CCS3 gradient tutorials we’ve decided to unite most essential info in a single place. Gradients are very useful in creating website layouts, CSS3 – desired feature often used and, of course, useful in the design and layout.

In graphics software for digital image editing, the term gradient or color gradient is used for a gradual blend of color which can be considered as an even gradation from low to high values, as used from white to black in the images to the right. Another name for this is color progression.

This is what Wiki says about gradients. If by chance you’re just starting with CSS here are 35 websites that will help get through your learning. So let’s get back to our subject matter – CSS3 gradients. Basically there are two types – linear and radial. We’ll consider both types to understand specifics of their usage.

Linear Gradient

Linear gradient is the one which changes the color from one to another in proportion between two points in a straight line. This is the easiest way – here is an example:

div {/*-prexix-linear-gradient(first color, last color);*/
background: -moz-linear-gradient(#FFF, #000);
background: -ms-linear-gradient(#FFF, #000);
background: -o-linear-gradient(#FFF, #000);
background: -webkit-linear-gradient(#FFF, #000);
}

This is a simple example of a linear gradient that starts with white and ends with black.

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Lest consider a bit complex example and change the direction of the gradient. In CSS syntax direction is called point and has five values: top, bottom, left, right and center. Accordingly, in the direction you should mention two values – the first is “from”, and the second – “to.” There is one BUT- if only one value is mentioned the second by default will be center.

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Easy Beginner Tips For Taking Photos

If you are in the +35 age group, then technology has probably overtaken you due to the sheer speed at which our electronic gadgets are advancing. One such example are digital cameras, which have made leaps in technology… but even though the camera specs may seem impressive, it’s a whole new ball game, when you actually take it out of the packaging, and want to start taking pics.

Image Source: Stock photo by Shutterstock

Then we either look at the instruction book or read the online instructions, well, that’s if we have enough patience, as everything can seem to be just too overwhelming. So to avoid being overwhelmed by modern photography technology, I have put together some great beginner tips for taking pics, and to virtually bypass any techy headaches you may be having.

First thing to remember is that you now own a Digital Camera, so you can take as many shots as you like… after you just select the best pic, and erase the rest. Just make sure that your camera has a large enough memory card to store all the photos you want to take, as one of the most important reasons to have a large memory card is so you can shoot photos at your camera’s highest resolution. If you pay a premium price for a 50 megapixel digital camera, you should get your money’s worth and shoot at 50 megapixels. Once you have moved the photos to online or offline storage, the camera will be ready once more to take more great pics:)

It goes without saying that you should at least take a look at the Camera Manual, so you are able to recognize all of those symbols found on the camera display… I’d suggest you begin with just the auto-settings, just to build up your confidence at taking photos, and then begin to explore some of your camera’s special features.

Image Source: Stock photo by Shutterstock

For close-up shots, a common setting on digital cameras is the macro mode, so have a go a shooting flowers or insects, and you will begin to see some really amazing fine details. You just need to activate the close-up or macro mode on your digital camera and explore your world in finer detail, and you’ll be rewarded with fresh new images that are unlike anything you’ve ever shot before.

You also want to get into the habit of using the viewfinder… This may seem trivial, but there are often times when taking just a small pause before taking a pic can go such a long way to improving the final outcome. So just quickly check that everything’s in the viewfinder that you want to be included in the final picture.

Now that really is a perfect tip for any form of event photography when you just want to include either your family or friends in a shot. Another problem to overcome in any form of event photography are fast action shots, and you’ll likely notice that there’s a delay between the time you can take one shot and the time you can take the next. This is rather annoying, but the good news is that many cameras on the market today have buffers which allow you to continue shooting during the processing time.


About the author

My name’s Mike Chase, and I hope you are already feeling inspired, and desperate to get out there, and start using your digital camera without feeling frustrated. Click here to read more of my Easy Beginner Photography Tips

Library for the Library: 10 Free jQuery Books

Times changed and age of massive home libraries passed. No, it doesn’t mean people have lost appetite for knowledge – the thing is the form of getting information has become different. Nowadays nearly the whole Babylon library can be placed in a small piece of plastic. Instead of accumulating heap of paper all of us (maybe, except some literary geeks) download files and use e-book devices for comfortable reading.

However, for web designer the first library is jQuery. This useful software is developed to ease the client-side scripting of HTML. Of course this JavaScript library doesn’t mean collection of books, but in case you would like to master it, you’ll need to gather a certain jQuery library meaning the original one. The books I offer to check below should become a starting point for jQuery cognition. All of them are totally free and can be downloaded in no time.

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jQuery for Dummies

Free jQuery Books

If you are starting from zero, this book is exactly what you need to check. Easy-to-read jQuery for Dummies acquaints a beginner programmer with basic about developing a website with the help of jQuery.

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jQuery Fundamentals

Free jQuery Books

This fresh e-book is more advanced than the previous one. The value is increased by a plenty of practical examples. The authors concentrated on the way of resolving the most common problems that could occur while using jQuery.
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Free WordPress Law Company Theme

Good reputation speaks much louder than any words in the law business. You gain it due to excellent practice and good marketing. A solid website is an important part of the latter. Take advantage of Free WordPress Law Company Theme and set up a site with ease.

The visual aspect is the key point of your online presentation, and this theme offers you a corporate style that is a perfect fit for a law firm. The wise arrangement of content blocks will help you present even a great amount of content in comprehensive way. The implementation of jQuery slider in the upper part of the theme is aimed at presenting the featured information in the most efficient way. The full scale background image complements the design idea of this theme, making it more visually attractive. Free template live demo shows you the way your future site based on this theme will look like. Download this template, add a bit of customization, and set up a powerful site for a law firm.

Free WordPress Law Company Theme:

To download the whole package of this template, visit the Free WordPress Law Company Theme download page at TemplateMonster and type an email address that you want the free template package to be delivered to (don’t forget to uncheck the newsletter subscription checkbox in case you’re already subscribed, otherwise you may not be able to download the zip file). Feel free to use this template for your business, but you cannot resell it as a template.

Download Free WordPress Law Company Theme with PSD files (56,1MB)

IMPORTANT NOTICE:TemplateMonster does not provide support services on free templates – including this one. We only provide support for the products that are being purchased from TemplateMonster. Our free templates are produced according to the latest web standards and we’ve been trying to make the process of working with them as easy as possible, so for people with minimum web development experience it should be easy to work with them. However, if you don’t have any experience, we recommend you to refer to the tutorials or community forums on how to work with platforms that each respective template is made with, or to hire someone to do the job for you.

2012 Movie Posters – Unconventional Typography Review

2012 was rich on new productions; some of them were really worth seeing. How many times did your forget about your pop corn and coke cause your heart sank at the sight of thrilling action unfolding on the screen? Good quality movies made our nights bright; they gave us energy and strong emotional experience. Especially striking moments were the point of friendly discussions with colleagues and relatives. The most amazing, tangled psychological plots made us recollect all details again and again in order to entirely understand their hidden meanings.

As to movie posters, they also lived up to our expectations. We’ve made a brief survey recently and searched out some outstanding examples, able to stir up a powerful initial interest to the movie. Designer’s tricks applied at posters development strike with their variety and creativity. Their typography is catching and uncommon. By the way, typography was the subject of our special interest and main criterion of choice. The posters were carefully selected to shake-up your inspiration and give you many new fresh ideas for online projects. It’s a common fact that content presentation is the key point in web design, that’s why web developers never stop their experiments with fonts and typography. So, here are movie posters with the most unconventional winning typography solutions, created in 2012.

Please, drop us a line which of them seemed really impressive to you!

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The Imposter

movie typography posters

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The Rift

movie typography posters

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Malcolm

movie typography posters

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jQuery Floating Menu Plugins – Keep Your Menu at Hand

Nobody will prejudice the fact that navigation is utterly important for any website. Poor navigation is a frequent reason of website abandonment. A simple, user-friendly menu can become a real benefit of your online project and increase its conversion rates. Have you ever noticed how irritating it might be to scroll back to top to make the next click? This issue is especially relevant to content rich websites with extra long pages. Firstly, when the user scrolls down, he/she is absorbed by the presented information, but when the page is over, your thorough reader should make all the long way back with one single purpose to proceed to another page. Do you think the visitor really deserves it?

Isn’t it a smart solution to make your menu “stick” to the top of the window, for instance, to be constantly in handy position, right before visitor’s eyes? If you like the solution and can’t wait to apply highly convenient “floating” menu in your designs, we’ve got great news. Below you will find a collection of free jQuery floating menu plugins, waiting to be used on your websites! Download them straight away and let your customers enjoy your thought out navigation.

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Floating Menu

Floating Menu plugin creates a sticky, floating menu widget from any WordPress custom menu using jQuery. It can handle multiple floating menus on each page; the location of each tab can be set from the widget control panel. Menu can also be activated on mouse over or click.

jQuery floating menu plugins

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hcSticky – jQuery Floating Sticky Plugin

hcSticky is a cross-browser jQuery plugin with the help of which you can make any element on your page float. It is used for sidebars on long pages, which prevents the users from watching empty spaces as they scroll down, and for floating top menus.

jQuery floating menu plugins

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Meanings of Colors Across Cultures

Colors and cultures – that’s what you should mind while creating designs. Choosing the color scheme of your work, keep in mind the meanings of these colors across countries where your targeted audience is located. The variety of researches that show similarities and differences between cultural understandings of color meanings will help you work out the correct color scheme of your project and communicate your messages in the right way. For example, red color means passion and excitement for the West, but at the same time it evokes feelings of danger and caution at the Middle East. Understanding colors can be quite tricky, but the aim of this post is to provide you with the latest articles that will explain the key points of  meanings of colors across cultures.

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Color and Cultural Design Considerations

Colors have a variety of associations within North American culture alone, and can mean something radically different to Japanese or Middle Eastern readers, where color meanings are frequently much more specific and defined.


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Meaning in Color

In fact, finding meaning in colors is very much a continuation of the cross-cultural process, where the culture you grew up in will undoubtedly effect the associations you instinctively make when viewing a particular color.


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