This is a guest post by Junaid Ali Qureshi (a digital marketing specialist who has helped businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig).
Your website should reflect you
We live in an era of digitalization where the Internet has taken over our lives and woven itself into our everyday routine whether we like to believe it or not. We use it for our personal use or business growth. It is safe to say that all of us have access to the internet. Each and everything is connected to the internet or is either done on the internet. Nowadays, businesses are thriving and reaching new heights of prosperity, all thanks to the internet. The internet has been evolving and thus the digital marketing has changed, throughout the years. The thing is that it is rapidly turning into an essential part of our lives as well as, of the brand business. The digital marketers or anyone who works on or around the internet know how important it for your website to be unique as well as up-to-date. In the world of digitalization, you cannot simply go online, share, and be recognized by your targeted audience. It is rather hard to get where you want to than this, with your audience. One of the most powerful tools today is that your website should be the reflection of your work. We are all well aware that digital marketing moves hard and fast. One also needs to master the tricks and secrets of digital marketing that will surely mesmerize the audience advertising companies in Dubai help your website to reach its targeted audience and give you the desired results.
The thing is when it comes to innovative web design; it’s safe to say that the users are the greatest source of inspiration. Whether it is building off a fully customizable template, or creating their site from scratch. Statistically, about 40% of the people are just not going to be good at innovating whereas, the 5% are born with the instinct. There are things that they do and ways that they think that is intuitive. There are a few things one can do to help reach the place of experimentation and think out of the box; this article shares a few of the techniques by which you can bring innovation to your web design. Here goes:
Start with a blank canvas
You always need to start with a blank canvas always start with a blank slate. Don’t even set the background color to white, black or any neutral color; you may not know if that’s the color you want to go with yet, so you need to keep your ideas open. Try not to restrain yourself to starting at the top of the page layout or starting with a wireframe layout. In this way, your website will have a unique layout. You can always find sudden inspiration for a fantastic way to display the page. For a change, create the product and then challenge yourself to a new solution. So, instead of curbing your ideas around these restraints, build the idea and find a way to make it work around the problems.
You need to make sure that you can empathize with your consumers and what they demand of your website. It all starts with empathy. Truthfully, strategic design thinking only has one single goal that is, to understand and solve a problem for its consumers and in order to understand and then solve the problem, one must start by empathizing with the people who are experiencing that problem. The essence of this evolution turns out to be the first principle of design thinking-empathy.
The thing is empathizing with your consumer allows you to better understand their needs; in turn giving you the tools to meet those needs and give them the desired results. These innovations are a direct result of the design thinking model one can follow. Taking the first step of empathizing with their customers gives the insight needed to serve the consumers in a new and unique way.
Provide unique constraints
The third most important thing to bring innovations to your web design is that you need to put innovation at the heart of your strategic plan, plus tout and convey it in every message possible. However, if you are fighting a mental block or finding struggles then you need to take advantage of your newfound freedom because one of the best methods for generating some unique ideas is to bound yourself and give yourself some restraints but the thing is you do not want to slap on the same old limitations you always face; instead, you must give yourself some clever limitations and see how you can bend the rules in order to play with your design.
Another thing is that you should also consider the question of intellectual property. You can divide your knowledge between the projects you want to protect; the pieces on which you’ll build the value-capturing part of the business and the other one, the knowledge that you are going to put into the public domain.
Collaborate with others
The most important thing is to collaborate with others. You can share your ideas and hear others’ ideas in order to make a great design. Partnering up with another designer can be helpful, fun, and inspiring. The thing is working as a member of a team can be wonderful for you and a wonderfully frustrating experience. On one hand, when dedicated experts come into the specialized areas of a websites’ production, it will often yield better results in less time, especially if you are suffering from a block. On the other hand, communicating your own thoughts and ideas with another person can be a challenging as well as tiring. Designing based on another persons’ work and experience is a great way to force creative results based on the unpredictable efforts of a different designer with limited restrictions.
Once your website is unique and stands out from the rest. Advertising agencies in Dubai advertise amazing websites in return you need more consumers and more exposure. The thing is to go from idea to a successful innovation. It requires a great deal of support, hard work, and collaborations. When people are surrounded by positivism, constant communication, and encouragement, they can find it in themselves to try, fail, rise and then try again.
The following material was provided by Helen Miller (TemplateMonster). We thought Web Professionals should be aware of this new marketplace.
TemplateMonster has over 15 years of experience, and offers a ‘boundless ocean’ of wordpress themes and 60,000 templates holding the promise of making users’ lives easier and more enjoyable. Having the right business wordpress theme can jump start any project and save you a tremendous amount of time and effort. As of now, TemplateMonster has become a digital marketplace and welcomes talented vendors from all over the world.
So, what’s the idea behind the digital marketplace? That’s simple as that. This marketplace is the right place where even a beginner can start earning their first $1,000 with the focus on what matters. Starting a business is challenging, but the digital marketplace opens a new world of possibilities. For more experienced web developers this means a way to a more recognizable and reputable business with an income up to $10,000. It still makes sense if you’re looking for opportunities to increase your revenue streams and to earn extra money. How about earning up to 70% commission from each sale of your digital product?
Why is This Important to Web Professionals?
Important thing is that both beginners and professional web developers can benefit from becoming a vendor on TemplateMonster digital marketplace. Simply put, this marketplace is a huge platform that gathers together the most skilled and talented professionals from the web development industry in a single place. What’s more, depending on the earnings a vendor wishes to get, he can sell either exclusive or non-exclusive products. So, if you’re a professional web developer willing to go any length to achieve your goal, get up to 70% commission from each sale for your exclusive products. Here’s a head’s up for you – it’s worth doing it for the long run.
Top Reasons to Become a Vendor on TemplateMonster Digital Marketplace
Everything in this world has a reason and that reason has a purpose. With a great purpose to help gifted web developers to succeed, there’s a number of reasons why to join the digital marketplace. Since it offers a leeway for gaining the attention, getting a wider customer reach, and making your name more recognizable for the audience, don’t waste your valuable time and become a vendor today.
So, what’s the cut for a vendor?
Once you become a vendor, you get one account for selling both exclusive and non-exclusive products. (In comparison, on Theme Forest vendors can sell either exclusive or non-exclusive products.)
It takes 12 hours for a digital product to be reviewed, 1-3 days for more complex digital works. (2 weeks is an average time on ThemeForest.)
No limitations on the number of products to upload or send for review at once. (On ThemeForest, a vendor can upload 1 product to one category at once.)
With a ’Quick Start’ a vendor can earn higher commission from each sale faster.
With the ’Ticket System’ a vendor can get quick responses from the Review Team.
The ability to assign more than 1 category to the digital products.
No location restrictions. Net15 payments should be enough.
How to Become a Vendor on TemplateMonster Digital Marketplace
Here are 4 basic steps needed to become a vendor on this digital marketplace.
Sign in the author application. Here, you need to specify what types of digital products you create and whether you’d like them to be sold on the marketplace.
Get in touch with the personal manager. No worries, the personal manager will take care of all the organizational issues, clarify the details about the files you submit and the way you’d like to cash your earnings.
Once the product page is designed, you’ll receive an email notification.
Start earning money. Receive earnings from the themes sod on a monthly basis.
Why Does It Matter Now?
Start with the experience and interests you can’t get enough. Become a vendor on the digital marketplace to make more money and receive top rankings from the clients. However, it’s important to note, your earnings directly depend on the quality of the themes you sell. That’s right. The better the product you sell, the bigger the chance to earn more income. What’s more, each item can be rated and commented by a client. This may leave the more positive feedback and higher ratings.
Don’t waste your valuable time and promote your themes. Here’s a head’s up for you – TemplateMonster is known for its seasonal promo campaigns and discounts. Thus, if you’re really serious about making money as a professional web developer, decide whether you want those discounts to be applied to your digital products or let them stay available at the regular price. Still, you can promote your digital products through multiple venues like a personal blog, social media, affiliate program, or site. Choose your way to winning the battle for attention.
Since TemplateMonster digital market accepts both exclusive and non-exclusive digital products, the vendor is responsible to decide whether to sell it exclusively at TemplateMonster and get up to 70% commission from each sale, or on other sites also and get 40% commission maximum. That’s an issue worth thinking about, isn’t it?
Besides, take time to learn the types of digital products allowed submit to the digital marketplace.
Why Should a Web Professional Take Advantage of These Offers/Opportunities?
If you’re a professional web developer, you have no room for error. Take a chance to expand your client base and boost your earnings. Once you become a vendor on the digital marketplace, a team of marketers, designers, and coders will review your digital product. If built properly in accordance with the requirements explained in the ’Vendor Agreement’, you’ll be suggested with the lowest and the highest cost of the digital product. However, as a vendor, you can adjust it within a 15% price range.
The best part is that in case you face any hurdles, your personal advisor will never leave you alone. With your personal advisor, you can get rid of all that worries.
If you’re passionate about what you do and excited about how you do it, get involved and become a vendor. With the human desire to grow, there’s always room for improvement. Taking advantage of the opportunities the digital marketplace offers can enhance your career and achieve your leadership goals.
The bottom line is that you have a choice. Grab the moment to get involved in TemplateMonster’s staggeringly powerful collection of beautiful website templates. Take your business to new heights.
This guest post was created by Helen Miller (Marketing Manager at Template Monster). Many thanks to Helen for making this available to our readers.
Not all the content of an HTML page is visible to end users. Metadata that reside in the webpage’s header is visible to search engine crawlers (and others who view the source code). Nevertheless, it’s still important for you as a part of the on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In this article I give a brief characteristic of the most frequently used metatags and determine their role in on-page SEO in 2017.
What is Metatag?
Metatag is an HTML tag that is situated in the webpage’s header and provides crawlers with the information about the information, presented on the page. Metadata is meant to specify post description, author, date of publication and other relevant information that’s useful for crawlers.
Notwithstanding the fact that all modern browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and IE, support metatags, not all the metatags are actually attended to by the search engines. The reason for this is that Internet space has evolved over time, and some metatags that were abused by spammers in the past, are now ignored by crawlers, and do not affect your page’s ranking.
What are Most Used Keywords and How to Optimize for Them?
In this article, we’ll speak about the three most important metatags, such as Title, Description and Keywords metatags. Let’s look into them one by one and determine their optimal length, examine their examples and go for tips on how to optimize for them to maximally boost your on-page SEO.
Make Your Statement: Title Tag
Title tag is not metadata per se, although it’s specified in the website’s header. Title tag is visible not only to crawlers, but to website users as well, which makes it double important. First of all, people searching for a certain keyword see what’s specified in your title tag on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). For this reason, your title used in the title tag is also referred to as a SEO title. Secondly, SEO title appears in your browser window’s header on the tab that stands for opened page. Lastly, it gets displayed in social networks when your post gets shared.
SEO title is very important in decision-making process of potential website guests. It’s the boldest text displayed in your SERP entry. Moreover, crawlers do attend to it and will display your website’s page based on the keywords that your SEO title contains. The closer the keyword to the beginning of the title, the more likely it’s to be displayed.
How Does It Look from Inside?
Title tag is added to the head part of an HTML page and typically looks like shown in the following example:
CMS engines tend to make your life simpler (which is not always desired) and form the SEO title automatically based on the provided page title. This is often not what you desire. To get the desired, optimized SEO title, you’ll have to resort to one of the useful (in many ways) SEO plugins, e.g. Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
With this plugin you get an opportunity to point a SEO title that’s optimized for certain keywords and boost your on page SEO by this.
How to Optimize Your Title Tag?
The main tips that concern your title tag optimization are the following:
Length: the optimal length of a title tag is 50 – 60 characters (including spaces). Do not exceed this limit as your title will be cut off by search engines. Do not be too concise: use your chance to use your limit of 50 – 60 characters to the fullest.
Placement of a keyword: your focus keyword should be shifted to the beginning of the title; then come the least important words.
Use unique title tag: your title tag should be unique for every page on your website. Do not duplicate your title tags for max SEO impact.
Mind relevance: watch out you title tag’s relevance. If Google or other search engine would deem your title tag irrelevant, they’ll replace it with an automatically generated one that would hardly be as good as your coined one.
Avoid keyword stuffing: if your repeat your keyword over and over or stuff your title with multiple keywords, search engines would penalize you for such a practice, so avoid it.
Make your article title different from SEO title: this is your extra chance to rank for different keywords with one post.
Let’s now review an example of how these tips can be used in practice:
In our case the focus keyword is ‘best burgers in London’. The SEO title of an article was optimized in the following way:
This is a very well-optimized title as it starts with the focal keyword that is then followed by a very appealing headline that uses ‘buns’ instead of ‘burgers’ to avoid repetition. The SEO title fits into the maximum length of the title tag, so the title is not cut off on the SERP.
To learn more about how to optimize meta tags in WordPress themes, check out the following video-tutorial by TemplateMonster, one of the leading template providers on the market:
What Your Article Is About: Description Metatag
Description metatag is used to provide a brief description of your page’s/post’s content to crawlers, so that they know what your page/post is about. A well-written description is often displayed by search engines on the SERP, so users may read it and make a decision whether to open your website based on it. If a search engine finds your meta-description not good enough, it will replace it with text snippets from your article on the SERP.
Google has recently stated that it does not rank pages for keywords used in the meta-description. However, it’s still important for your on page SEO as it does tell the search engines what your content is about (and helps them make a decision whether to crawl the page further), and, if displayed, influences user’s decision making process on SERP, thus, influencing your click-through rates.
How Does It Look in HTML?
Description metatag has the following look in HTML:
How to Optimize Description Metatag?
Follow the tips below to get a concise and informative meta-description:
Length: limit your meta description to no more than 155 characters. Search engines can display only a limited number of words on the SERP. If your meta-description is longer than this, it will be cut off in the middle of what you have to say. I bet this is not a desired result.
Include a CTA: if you want your description to work better for you on the SERP, add a short CTA (Call To Action) to it. ‘Read more’ or ‘Find out more’ would suffice.
Use a unique description: go for a description that has not been already used, otherwise you may run into serious duplicate content issues and your content will be ignored by search engines.
Include keywords anyway: although Google doesn’t rank for keywords in meta-description, they are highlighted in bold on the SERP. This means that users will pay more attention to your SERP entry if you include a keyword to your article. See an example below:
They Are Still There: Keywords Metatag
I may say that currently Keywords metatag is passé and is completely ignored by search engines (except for Bing that looks on them just with the purpose of penalizing spammy websites). How did this happen?
As keywords are the core of search on the net, Keywords metatag became an easy abuse target. In the past, website owners, eager to boost their SEO rank and traffic, ‘stuffed’ absolutely unrelated (but popular on the net) keywords for their article. For instance, they inserted ‘Rihanna’ as a keyword to a page about spare parts and fooled search engines by this.
At present, search engines got wiser, and completely abandoned Keywords metatag to avoid all sorts of ‘keyword stuffing’.
How Does This Metatag Look in HTML?
Keywords metatag has the following appearance in an HTML document:
How to Optimize for Keywords Metatag?
There is no need to care for this metatag any more. Some SEO experts say it’s totally OK to leave it out completely, others advice to still go for a couple of keywords, ‘just in case’. It’s up to you whether to provide keywords in this metatag or not, but don’t ponder over this question too long.
To boost your on page SEO, its important to pay careful attention to such page head elements as title tag and meta-description. Make sure you use your focal keyword in these elements and keep close to the max length limit for the elements, but do not exceed it. Regarding Keywords metatag, it’s kind of passé, so the need for its even minimal optimization is dubious.
If you want to learn more about SEO optiomization of a website, get hold of the following insightful free e-book:
WebProfessionals.org (aka the World Organization of Webmasters) has a 20 year history of supporting practicing professionals and those that teach. To better support practicing and aspiring Web professionals including teachers we are working to keep web-related occupational classifications up to date. At the request of the U.S. Department of Labor, we will continue to support the O*NET (Occupational Information Network) initiative as an important and primary source of occupational information. O*NET. Prior efforts have culminated in better classification of both web adminstrators and web developers (at the O*Net site).
O*NET is now taking steps to create the occupational classification – Search Marketing Strategist
Why is this important?
* Results will help support Web professionals everywhere
* Teachers and schools that teach Web professional topics need a guide to focus their curriculum strategies
* Students need an integrated career pathway program that is based on web-based science and technologies and that maps to employer demand
What we need from you:
Participation from industry professionals in the following study.
U.S. Department of Labor Study – Search Marketing Strategists
Description: Employ search marketing tactics to increase visibility and engagement with content, products, or services in Internet-enabled devices or interfaces. Examine search query behaviors on general or specialty search engines or other Internet-based content. Analyze research, data, or technology to understand user intent and measure outcomes for ongoing optimization.
You are considered an Occupation Expert if you meet the following criteria:
At least 5 years of experience with the occupation. Includes those who are now supervising, teaching, or training IF you have at least one year of practice during your career.
Currently active in the occupation (practicing, supervising, teaching and/or training) and based in the U.S.
If you meet these criteria and are interested in participating as an occupation expert, please email or call Tammy Belcher at the O*NET Operations Center at RTI International (the O*NET data collection contractor) 877-233-7348 ext. 119 or tbelcher (at) onet.rti.org and provide the following:
Name/ # years of experience
Address with city and state
Daytime phone number
Do you have at least one year of practice in the occupation and are you still active?
Indication that you are a Web Professional
Process and Participation Incentive:
A random sample of experts responding to this request will be invited to complete a set of questionnaires (paper or online versions available). $40.00 in cash and a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Department of Labor will be included with the questionnaires.
We encourage you to consider helping to keep information about your profession accurate and current for the benefit of our colleagues and the nation. Thank you very much for your support.
The following article was written by Helen Miller. Helen Miller is a freelance author who is always inspired to write on web-design and web-development up-to-date subjects. Helen has a great interest in IT sphere and always has fresh ideas to share. She also cooperates with TemplateMonster.com. If you want to be aware of the latest tendencies in web-design follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
If you are reading this article, you might already have your own blog. In case you are only thinking of launching the one, you can browse WordPress blog themes developed by TemplateMonster and choose one that fits your style.
Running a blog is relatively simple, there are millions of the existing resources out there, but making your blog really popular is rather challenging.
We believe that the best way to run a successful blog is:
To write high quality posts that people like. Choose a niche you are interested/expert in and help people solve their problems.
To engage your audience on social media and respond to their queries.
To answer your audience questions in the comments section.
To connect with other bloggers, try guest posting.
To invest in your blog design like a good theme.
To grow your subscriber list by using social media.
To submit your blog to search engines, the likes of Google, Yahoo, Bing.
We can continue this list with many more items, but the topic of the blog post suggests that Top 7 Popular WordPress Plugins for Successful Blogging must follow. So, here they are, hope they will help.
P.S. Please check out this link that will be useful if you are serious about your decision to become a famous blogger. 10 Ways to Earn Money and Become Rich on the Internet – this is a free eBook highlighting the following aspects: The Launch of Your Own Online Business, Money Making Practices That Require Your Skills, Participation in Online Projects.
WordPress is technically quite a good platform for SEO right out of the box. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further. This plugin is written from the ground up by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast to improve your site’s SEO on all the required aspects. But that’s not all; while this Yoast SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, more on that below, it first and foremost helps you write better content. Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download time via the integrated features like content delivery network (CDN).
The only web host agnostic WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework recommended by countless web developers and web hosts. Trusted by numerous companies like: AT&T, stevesouders.com, mattcutts.com, mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, makeuseof.com, kiss925.com, pearsonified.com, lockergnome.com, johnchow.com, ilovetypography.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com and tens of thousands of others.
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against the global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
Major features in Akismet include:
Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.
Jetpack keeps any WordPress site secure, helps to increase traffic, and engage your readers.
Traffic and SEO tools Jetpack includes: Site stats and analytics, Automatic sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and WhatsApp, Related posts, Search engine optimization tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com
Stop worrying about data loss, downtime, and hacking. Jetpack provides: Brute force attack protection, Downtime and uptime monitoring, Secured logins and two-factor authentication.
Add rich, beautifully-presented media — no graphic design expertise necessary: A high-speed CDN for your images, Carousels, slideshows, and tiled galleries, Simple embeds from YouTube, Google Documents, Spotify and more, Sidebar customization including Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds, Extra sidebar widgets including blog stats, calendar, and author widgets.
Create a connection with your readers and keep them coming back to your site with: Email subscriptions, Comment login with Facebook, Twitter, and Google, Fully-customizable contact forms, Infinite scroll for your posts.
The plugin has an entire team of Happiness Engineers ready to help you. Ask your questions in the support forum, or contact them directly.
Easily create and add forms to WordPress. Fields are easy to add, remove, and re-order. The contact form will let the user send emails to a site’s admin, and also send a meeting request to talk over phone or video.
Features: easy form edit, multiple forms, confirmation emails, no templates to mess with, and an option to redirect visitors to any URL after the message is sent. Includes Google reCAPTCHA and Akismet support to block spammers. Spam is no longer a problem. You can add extra fields of any type: text, textarea, checkbox, checkbox-multiple, radio, select, select-multiple, attachment, date, time, hidden, password, and fieldset.
You shouldn’t hire a developer to add Google Analytics to your website with MonsterInsights, a complete Google Analytics for WordPress plugin that’s EASY and POWERFUL.
MonsterInsights allow you to connect your WordPress website with Google Analytics, so you can see how visitors find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back. Simply put, the plugin will show you the stats that matter.
With almost 15 million downloads, MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
At MonsterInsights, user experience is #1 priority. That’s why it was made to be extremely easy to connect and view your Google Analytics reports from inside your WordPress dashboard. Its tracking settings and workflows make MonsterInsights the most beginner friendly Google analytics plugin in the market.
Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.
New features include: 404 error monitoring – captures a log of 404 errors and allows you to easily map these to 301 redirects, Custom ‘pass-through’ redirections allowing you to pass a URL through to another page, file, or website. Full logs for all redirected URLs, All URLs can be redirected, not just ones that don’t exist, Redirection methods – redirect based upon login status, redirect to random pages, redirect based upon the referrer.
Existing features include: Automatically add a 301 redirection when a post’s URL changes, Manually add 301, 302, and 307 redirections for a WordPress post, or for any other file, Full regular expression support, Apache .htaccess is not required – works entirely inside WordPress, Redirect index.php, index.html, and index.htm access, Redirection statistics telling you how many times a redirection has occurred, when it last happened, who tried to do it, and where they found your URL, Fully localized.
Do you consider this brief compilation of Top 7 Popular WordPress Plugins for Successful Blogging useful? Are you going to install any of them on your blog? Did you already try out any of the above plugins. Please drop us a line at the comments section. Your feedback is highly appreciated.
This article was written by Abid Ullah. He is Director of Search at Marketing Wind. He is an experienced SEO Outreach expert and advertisement specialist. His interests lie in Digital Marketing Management. He is an internet marketing enthusiast and his specialty is in search engine optimization outreach and content marketing.
At Miami SEO (part of Marketing Wind), we work with web professionals regularly Based on our analyses, we have created a list of 5 indispensable skills web professionals must know in 2017. If you are an aspiring web-professional, then look below and invest in learning these skills in 2017.
Create a Great User Experience
As a web professional, you already know that user experience is essential. This means when creating a site, you need to build an excellent interface and great user experience. Avoid user experience errors. Review your efforts with those who will be using the site and confirm the site is not only usable, but is easy to navigate and understand. Have you ever visited the Amazon online store? It is among the best online retailer stores on the Internet. They have used a variety of features and user interface elements that make purchasing and browsing seamless. As it is an e-commerce store, they have made sure the purchasing and delivery system is spot on. Just with an input of delivery information, you can confirm your order and get done with the process that easily. Try to offer your consumers a similar fluid experience so that they stay on your website for a longer time.
This is a must in 2017, many companies are processing payments from their sites. You must protect the site from hacking, SQL injection, and user requests that could be considered as spam. If you are uncertain whether your site is secure, hire a qualified professional to review your site and identify/ resolve any vulnerabilities.
It has always been important to learn Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). In 2017 web professionals can also use editors that do not require detailed HTML knowledge. Nevertheless, if you want to be a professional web designer and have professional web design skills for long-term and an in-depth understanding of your work then you must learn HTML and understand semantic markup. HTML is source to streamline your lifestyle and business line. Not learning how to use HTML will leave you behind in the web designing and development process. You’ll miss out on easy-to-use visual HTML building tools, latest updates and on ways to enhance your blogging techniques. HTML helps a lot when it comes to formatting your blogs, pasting content from word to CMS, while making a guest post and during content formatting. As the content is worldwide known as the king of web and marketing, who wouldn’t want to learn a coding program that helps in putting the content into limelight?
Search Engine Optimization is not just about content. It depends greatly on the functionality of a website. As a web designer you should know Search Engine Optimization so that you can build a SEO friendly website which has the chances of getting ranked high in search engines. If you are a beginner, you can search about SEO. The web provides a series of SEO learning tutorials and videos. The official Google SEO tutorial is a good place to start. Moreover, the marketing team of the company can carry out conferences/ webinars with the leading SEO experts who can guide through how to do search engine optimization and how to make your website fully optimized for Google and other search engines. Another way to learn more about SEO is to experiment and see for yourself the results that different practices produce.
Basic CSS knowledge is essential; it is important to make sure that you know how to create CSS files from scratch. The CSS (cascading style sheets) is actually a styling sheet language. Through this you can give an effective style to your website along with the use of HTML. It makes the web page more appealing and easily manageable. Thus, learning CSS is a sure shot success key and web professionals must spend their time on it.Learn the new features of CSS-3 as well.
It is preferable to have the knowledge of the web server you’re launching your website at, to name your website properly and to understand secure FTP. This knowledge about the web server helps you find out how well it works with the operating systems, how capable it is to handle the server-side programming and about its security characteristics. Moreover, the knowledge gives you an insight of the search engine and site building tools that it comes with.
Web development is a broad category which also includes web-design and web-optimization, the above skills are taken from all aspects, but in some cases, you might only be focusing on web-designing which will require different skills than web-development. So, pick your category and decide whether you want to work on one aspect or all aspects and start learning.
The U.S. Congress repealed the FCC broadband/ Internet privacy rules established in the latter days of the Obama administration in late March, 2017. President Trump signed this repeal on April 3. Untouched, those rules would have gone into effect later this year. Those rules were an outgrowth of the Federal Communication Commission’s battle to protect net neutrality. You may be asking yourself – why does this matter, what will this change, and how will you and your clients be affected.
What you need to know:
Although most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have said nothing has changed, they are free to change their policies at any time going forward. Consumers will not have a choice (to opt-in or opt-out).
It will be much easier for ISPs (think AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and similar corporations) to track your specific browsing history across all devices.
If an ISP decides to intercept search requests, they could send results from their own marketing databases (instead of the results someone might expect).
There is also a risk that such “injection” could be hijacked or compromised by malicious individuals. These large databases of consumer information would also be prime targets for hackers.
Previously, if you didn’t like the amount of data collected by a corporation (for example, Facebook), you could simply choose not to use their services and select some competitor. That will no longer be an option since your ISP will be the one tracking all your access (potentially).
There will not be any filters regarding your browsing history and how it can be used. You will have very limited control over what is shared with others (or sold).
Why this is important
In a nutshell, this is game changer (particularly in the U.S.). Up to this point, individual sites collected data (and used it to target ads). As a general rule, if a service appears free on the WWW, you are likely paying for it with your personal data. Facebook would be an excellent example of this. Using this company an example, Facebook wants you to visit Facebook so they can mine the data you share and can then sell targeted ads. These sorts of ads are likely to generate more revenue for the advertiser. That being said, each company wants to keep the data they collect about you to themselves. Frankly, information equals power these days. The more a company knows about you (and your browsing habits and searches), the better they can target ads.
That being said, there are limits. Most of us have smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices. Trying to identify the common visitor across all these devices is a lot easier when the Internet Service Provider can be involved. One can no longer opt out by choosing an alternative company (perhaps DuckDuckGo instead of Google or Bing for Internet searches, for example).
Those of us who have been alive much longer than the WWW understand that limits were set in place for other technologies. For example, phone companies could not collect specific information that you were calling a physician or attorney and then target you with ads for similar types of services. The previous rules likened much Internet traffic to be similar to telephone traffic (and under the same guidelines).
You will have less control of how your online history is used
With the elimination of these Internet Privacy rules, more of your online history will be available to more companies and you will have less control over how it is used. In addition to now being able to collect vast amounts of information from their customers, each company can use said information to provide targeted ads or can sell the collected data to others. Each company is free to change their policies at any time. That is why this is such an important change.
Undoubtedly, some of your customers will have questions. More sophisticated customers will have detailed questions. At a minimum, we recommend mentioning these main points:
Internet Service Providers are able to change their policies at will. There is now much less oversight by the FCC and FTC.
It is likely there will be more tracking/ recording of your browser history and this data may be used for more targeted advertising. Much more data is likely to be collected (and shared or sold). As a consumer, you will likely not have the option to either opt-in or opt-out of such data collection. Many do not have the luxury of being able to easily select another ISP.
For additional information, you may wish to review this FAQ regarding what happens as these rules are cancelled.
For those who wish to pursue more privacy, here are some of the things you can do today:
You might also want to introduce some Internet noise (a tool which loads random sites so your actual searches are obscured by large amounts of nonsense searches). This latter tool certainly will not protect your privacy; it will only generate additional “noise” which will obscure your actual search interests among a larger amount of random searches.
[updated Sept. 18, 2017] You might also want to review this online privacy guide. They provide a number of good suggestions.
The bottom line is that there will be more data available for marketers. While this may be a plus for Web marketers, this is a giant step backwards for privacy advocates.
This has the potential to allow much more focused ads as big data and predictive analytics are brought to bear on an ever increasing amount of consumer information. If one is in marketing, they need to remain aware of consumer concerns.
Practicing web professionals should leverage this change as an opportunity to inform and educate their customers/ clients regarding what may be collected and how best to deal with this new reality (perhaps recommending using a VPN and plugins like those mentioned above).
Our colleague, Colin Cieloha, American author and content marketer at Skilled.co recommended the HTML5 canvas cheatsheet developed by his company (and embedded below).
Colin writes about everything that will draw his attention with a focus on the mobile and e-commerce space. When he is not writing he is spending his time traveling the globe and snowboarding. You can follow him on his Twitter at @ColinCieloha or on Linkedin. We asked Colin a number of questions about this resource. Details are below.
Become a Canvas Master with this HTML5 Cheat Sheet by Skilled.co
Why is it important for web professionals to know/ use this cheat sheet?
It saves time! Instead of having to remember all the coding or search for individual codes, an HTML cheat sheet provides all of the most used codes in one easy place. There’s a lot to be said for having all of that extra effort minimized, the common codes are just a click of your bookmarks away. This is convenient for those freelance designers that are in a time crunch as this allows them to complete their work faster and reach deadlines.
Why should they be focused on canvas now?
Canvas technology is amazing because it’s super easy to use. For example, Canvas can draw colorful text to help your message pop on the screen – and you can even animate it! HTML <canvas> objects can move, too, whether it’s just a few bouncing balls or an intricate animation that tells a story. For designers interested in gaming software, the <canvas> element is a brilliant choice for building characters, worlds, and then setting it all into motion.
The <canvas> element runs into some trouble with older browsers, however, and may not be supported. Canvas is, however, supported in all recent versions of all major browsers, so as long as your browser is updated, Canvas should work just fine. Canvas’s default size is three hundred pixels by one hundred and fifty pixels, width and height respectively, but is customizable. You can adjust the size of the canvas by using the HTML height and width property in the program.
With Canvas, function names are short and easy to recognize, unlike functions written in CamelCase. Identifiers in CamelCase often require lowercase where it would be more convenient to use all caps. For example, acronyms. It’s much easier to identify a function, if acronyms like HTML or SQL are written in full capitalization, but CamelCase sometimes negates this convenience.
This causes a serious headache for designers when two acronyms need to be side by side in a line of script: “parse DBM XML” would become “parseDBMXML” or when the function starts with an acronym, like “SQL server” (which the designer would be forced to convert to “sQLServer”). Even if a programmer considers acronyms lower case words and writes “oldHtmlFile”, “parseDbmXml” or “sqlServer”, it causes a mess because it makes it difficult to discern if it an acronym or not. Best case scenario, the designer wastes time. The worst case scenario, they make a mistake and now must comb through complicated lines of script to amend the problem.
Hopefully this sheds light on the massive benefits of the Canvas cheat sheet. Using this cheat sheet will save you time and help you to become a more efficient programmer, web designer, or even help you gain more solid experience as a beginner in this field. I encourage you to go check out Skilled.co‘s Canvas cheat sheet below and begin to create using their helpful, easy to read codes. Have fun creating and I hope this saves you more time!
This article was written by Junaid Ali Qureshi. He is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.
Learning web design techniques and tricks is easy. No matter whether you have the right skills or not in the start; by repeating and learning from the mistakes and polishing the weak areas you can easily step up a notch and fall among the highly experienced and professional web designers. The problem that many web design experts encounter here is the challenge to keep up their good reputation and to improve the skills they already have.
Do you have a lot of projects lined up? Every professional web designer does. The real question is whether you have different, innovative ideas for each of them or not? Wouldn’t using the same web design techniques on each project make your style monotonous? This is something every design expert worries about. To help you get through this transitional phase with ease; we have compiled 5 essential tips that help to rejuvenate the web design skills of every expert.
There are several tutorials and videos through which you can learn how to advance your web design skills level; but, every designer needs some instant tips as well. These tips help them achieve goals earlier than expected. One thing is assured; these tips are no shortcut to success but merely the best techniques used by experts worldwide.
The 5 tips that will help you improve your skills are as follows:
Always sketch a rough design of your web before working with the tools. Have you ever seen an architect work? He lays down all the plans on a sheet of paper, reviews them, goes through them again and again, gets the approval of the client and only then proceeds to the next step. The number one tip here to improve your skills is to adopt the routine of making a rough draft of the website you are planning to develop. Once you have made a rough sketch, you can make changes if needed or move towards developing the final website. If you aren’t comfortable with the pen and paper idea, you can use various prototype building websites and apps to get a view of the rough version of the website.
Stay in touch with the latest style guides. Make sure you have your own style guide or you follow a well-written style guide to design the web page. This will help you build the website in a uniform fashion. Keeping in view the template of the website and the effect you would like to add or not; you can either improvise the pre-written style guide or make a new one. Try to make an exquisite design that differentiates you from the other competitors in the market. Large font size is in fashion these days. Try to use it in your template and make some space for typography as well.
Upgrade, expand and re-evaluate your web tools. Web design is not simple at all. You have to use several tools to achieve the effect you are trying to present. It requires using old as well as new tools to bring an innovative idea into a real form. Tip number three states that you need to upgrade your web tools. Make sure you are using the latest version of the web tool and get its updates on regular basis. Add more tools to your toolkit and experiment with new ideas. Only then you can bring versatility to your work. Our company offers new tools and features every now and then. It is the job of the web designer to incorporate them properly into the website using their skills to gain maximum benefits.
Keep your SEO knowledge up-to-date. We have seen that this tip has been repeatedly offered to the readers on different platforms but the truth is, no matter how much we try to escape it, SEO rules and regulations are the standards that every website has to meet. Thus, strengthen your grip over the SEO guidelines. Use SEO optimized keywords, headings style, high-quality content and other linking features to stay in the game. Practice merging SEO techniques in your work project to revamp your skills to a better scale.
Pick catchy and original images for your web page. A web page is defined by the images, content and its style. You need to make it perfect to get a better ranking and to impress the clients. Many web designers use free Google images that are available (but that’s old news now). You need to go for the options other than this to improve your skills. Try investing in premium stock images or create an image from scratch appropriate tools. You can also capture high-quality photographs and combine them with your own sketches as well.
As web designers, we are already familiar with all these tips. However, it is always good to review these basics periodically. Make sure you follow them and you’ll see positive results within no time!
We had the opportunity to communicate with David Braun (co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com) recently. TemplateMonster is a marketplace featuring 46,000 templates for many different types of websites.
Why should Web Professionals care about this?
TemplateMonster can save you time
Templates exist for major platforms (WordPress, Drupal, and much more)
This means you can speed your workflow
David Braun is a co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com. This company is the oldest and the most experienced on the market in this area. We invited David to talk and provided some questions for our discussion.
David Braun, co-founder and CEO of TemplateMonster.com
What is TemplateMonster.com from your point of view?
TemplateMonster has become a marketplace now. It features 46,000 pre-designed templates crafted for different types of sites, business niches, and engines including the most popular platforms: WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, PrestaShop, and Moto CMS. Our aim is to meet the requirements of as many customers as possible. We offer plenty of cool stuff apart from the ready-made templates. For instance, landing pages, plugins, email templates and many other products. 100k people are visiting the site every day. A team of 427 geeks is working for TemplateMonster. Their joint efforts let TemplateMonster reach $15M in revenue.
Why should web professionals care about companies like TemplateMonster?
Because it’s beneficial for them. Cooperating with TemplateMonster frees their time, speeds their workflow, and lets them earn much more money.
Today all business owners understand how important it is to promote their services/products online. But not every entrepreneur is ready to pay for custom design, hire a developer, and create their online presentation from scratch.
They want to get their website within a reasonable budget, they want it to be quality, to look good, work flawlessly, and don’t wait for ages before their project will go live.
Web design agencies can cater to all these needs if they use our templates.
Tell me about the history of the company and how it was launched.
TemplateMonster was founded in 2002. Can you imagine that: people around the globe used our products when you knew nothing about Facebook and YouTube. We watched the evolution of the web and were proud to contribute into it. Hundreds of thousands websites you see today were built on the basis of our templates.
How everything started… I had been working at a custom design studio then. We tried our best to deliver top-quality products, but, unfortunately, most of our potential customers considered our services too expensive for them.
One day, I saw a designer who used a ready-made template to simplify and speed up his job. That was the moment when an idea to launch TemplateMonster crossed my mind. Eventually, this idea started to turn into a successful business.
Our company has held a leading position in the market for almost 15 years. Of course not all days were fine for us. We survived the rainy ones when something went totally wrong with our products. We got negative testimonials. And the bitter truth is that some of them were true. However, most of them referred to our outdated templates. What did we do? We just removed them from our marketplace.
They say “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. And even negative feedback can be useful. We thoroughly analyzed it and took the right turn. We got deeper understanding of what our customers need, and gave it to them.
Thanks for sharing your history. Why should one rely on a template?
Both entrepreneurs with little to no development skills and professional developers use our templates. All our customers get their benefits from our products.
The best thing about templates is that TemplateMonster’s customers see the final result, a ready-made product before paying any money for it.
Templates save time, money, efforts, nerves, whatever, and guarantee satisfaction with the future website.
What are the advantages of this approach instead of coding all by hand (or using Foundation or Bootstrap or other frameworks)?
Entrepreneurs get independence from designers, coders, and other professionals who sometimes overrate their work and don’t meet the deadlines. They don’t need to spend hours and hours searching for a responsible, skillful freelancers who may design something that they may be disappointed with in the end. As I have mentioned above, at TemplateMonster you see the final result at once. In other words, you see a ready-made product you are paying for. All you need to do is just replace the default content with your own.
Suppose you are just getting started and have no idea how to install the template, add your logo and other content, change colors, etc. You think only about the ways to generate more revenues and have no desire to mess with all those things.
So, you want to skip installation, customization or, say, integration with Google Analytics. Then, contact our Service Center. Our trained professionals will take care of everything and deliver you a ready-to-use site within 24 hours. Some tasks are completed even faster, i.e.: we install the template and plugins within 3 hours. There’s no issue members of our Service Center can’t cope with.
As to the coders knowing Bootstrap and other frameworks. Developers who are able to build sites themselves pay money for our products because it is advantageous for them.
With the help of our templates, developers considerably speed up their working process. They deliver more projects and earn more money respectively. We have a vast choice of templates in stock, which means that anyone can find the theme that meets the requirements even of the most picky customers. Creating something from scratch simply makes no sense if our marketplace offers so many ready-made designs. It’s like reinventing the wheel. Smart developers prefer to customize something here and there and deliver the website to the customer as quickly as possible.
I would like to tell you about the project we have launched not so long ago. It gives developers from all over the world an opportunity to get an official certificate from TemplateMonster that proves their skills. They just need to complete a course and then pass a final test (or pass the quiz at once) at our Certification Center. Having a certificate from a globally recognized web design company is a great way to improve your online image and look more credible for the customers.
Besides, having the certificate from TemplateMonster lets you get into Web Studios Catalogue, which gives a heap of additional opportunities.
You raise good points about certification. That is why Web Professionals has been certifying web designers, developers and more for so nearly 20 years.
What are the disadvantages of using a template?
Ok, you caught me;). It’s a tricky question, but I will answer it.
There is an opinion that using a template you fall under the risk to be unoriginal. If you’re going to use a template, then the chances are that you’re not alone, that’s the truth. But what is your chance of seeing a similar website on the Internet among millions of websites if you have bought your template from a marketplace like TemplateMonster with its terrific choice especially after customization? To my mind they are next to nothing. However, if it is crucial for you to be the one and only owner of the design, you can buy it out.
The quality of available templates varies, but in some cases, you might find the choices are rather basic. Some templates rely on you to fill in most of the gaps, and may have a poor set of graphics or visual elements. Frankly speaking I don’t see a big problem here as filling the template with your own content makes your website unique.
Using a template is unchallenging. Relying on templates to put together your projects, means you don’t get the benefits of learning the ins and outs of the software you’re using. But don’t you think that this is the essence of the template – to speed up and simplify the process of website launch? Not all entrepreneurs want to learn to code, design, and so on. They just want to get their benefit from the brand new website asap. A template gives them this possibility. In case they want to study everything that was left behind the scenes, they can sign up for one of our free educational projects (like “Your web studio in 61 days marathon“) and make up leeway.
Templates are naturally designed to help you get the results as quickly and easily as possible, but in many cases the customization options can be limited, restricting what you can do with your files. That’s why it is important to read the template’s documentation carefully before the purchase. Don’t want to read? Watch the short video from our playlist on YouTube. Don’t want to watch the video or can’t find the relevant one, ask the support manager. They are always available to answer all your questions and help to choose the right template for your purchase. Don’t worry, the guys will work until you are 100% satisfied.
What other products/services do you offer?
2016 became the year when our team focused on developing flagship templates. They are much more multi-faceted compared to our regular products. Let me explain the things with using flagships on the example of WordPress templates. Of course I can’t help mentioning the recent release of Monstroid2 – Multipurpose WordPress Theme. It’s not an ordinary template, it’s a whole toolkit to build an online magazine, business site, personal portfolio, web store, whatever. You can create a complex portal combining several types of sites into one as well. Supposing you want the impossible from a single template: to present your company, plus share some interesting info with clients and sell products at the same time. It’s hard to believe, but using Monstroid2, you can build a business site, add blog and store functionalities to it. Monstroid2 is a one size fits all solution for all the needs you may have.
Here’s how it was. At first we created a flagship for WordPress because it’s the most popular CMS in the world. But then we decided to develop flagships for all popular engines: Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop, etc.
But that’s not all, we didn’t forget about the guys who don’t use any CMS at all. You can find new flagships among HTML5 templates. You already know that it’s one of our goals to meet the needs of everyone who comes to TemplateMonster marketplace.
Please note that we don’t charge more for flagship products. You can get any of them for the price of a regular template. Considering professional 24/7 support that we provide for a lifetime, our flagships are the best deals you can find on the market today.
It also should be mentioned that the users can figure out everything by themselves, without professional help. Every template comes well documented. The instructions guide the users through all ins and outs of using it. There are also numerous detailed tutorials at our Help Center and Startup Hub for those of you who are just at the start or want to learn how to handle their template by themselves. What’s more, we run a blog to share a lot of educational content with our audience, particularly, free eBooks, webinars, tips, tools to become more productive, and much more. At TemplateMonster, you won’t just learn how to build beautiful and functional websites lightning-fast, you’ll learn to enjoy the job.
What differentiates you from the competition?
The cost and value of our products comes to my mind first. Our prices are not higher than the ones of our competitors. If you want to save, just search Google and you will always find promo codes to reduce the price by 10%-40%. We always offer great discounts on Christmas, Independence Day, and other public holidays.
Sometimes you find out that the price for this or that template is a bit higher, but, remember about the value we provide. All our customers get more goodies as bonuses to their templates. For example, all our products, except for GPL WordPress themes, are delivered with HD images shown in the demo. It’s a good opportunity to save, as there’s no need to buy stock photos. At TemplateMonster, you can also benefit from free professional technical support.
How long are your templates supported?
TemplateMonster is the only website developer that provides this service for a lifetime without charging any extra payment now. Our competitors provide it for free only for a limited period.
I don’t think it’s fair. Some people don’t use the template straight away. It’s your right to decide when to use the product you paid for. But with a time limit on free support, you’ll have to pay extra money to get consultation, say, in half a year or stay on your own with your issues.
This is not our method. We are ready to help our customers any time at TemplateMonster (the same day, in a week, in a month, in a year, and so on). What’s even more important, our team of experts works until it’s over. Every customer should be absolutely satisfied.
Though, words are not a weighty argument. Thanks to our unsurpassed customer service, we entered the top three of web design companies per the TrustPilot rating. Do you believe this bullet-proof resource with verified customers reviews? So many people can’t be under a delusion.
Here is a video to prove my words.
David, what happens with a purchased template as web technologies continue to evolve?
It’s a good question. You need to update your site regularly and redesign it from time to time if you don’t want to look outdated. Trends are changeable, you’d better not miss the moment when your site starts looking rusty. Customers never take your seriously if your corporate web presentation looks outmoded.
I also recommend you to check how user-friendly your site is in terms of navigation, readability, and other essential aspects. It’s very important to test how it works on smartphones and tablets all of us use to browse the web on the go. Your site must adjust to all modern mobile devices, otherwise you will lose clients. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you can forget about high SEO rankings. Google doesn’t like such kind of sites.
BTW, flagships owners may not worry about the matter. Their websites will serve them for many years to come as regular updates are included into templates packages prices.
Thank you very much, David. You provided lots of thought provoking information for both practicing and aspiring web professionals. Have any more questions for David? Ask them in the comment section below.