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Posts Tagged ‘design’

5 Keys for a Successful Site Redesign

Design ImageThe time has come and it can’t be put off any longer. You need to update your site’s look (and hopefully you have more than five hours to do it in).

Whether your existing theme isn’t compatible with newer versions of your content management system (CMS), your layout isn’t isn’t capable of keeping up with what you want to do next with your site or your existing look has grown too dated, the decision to redesign a site is never easy.

Not only is it a great deal of work to create a new theme, but your readers, even if they don’t realize it, have likely become familiar and comfortable with it. As Facebook has shown us repeatedly, even small changes can lead to user revolts if you take your visitors out of their comfort zone.

So you do you prevent a site redesign from taking on a life of its own and becoming either a technical or a user nightmare? Obviously, planning is key but how you plan and what you plan is the difference between a relatively painless transition to a disaster that sets your site back months or years.

With that in mind, here are five of the biggest keys to focus on when you’re looking to redesign your site. Read More

Categories: General
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How to Be a Great Blogger in 5 Not-So-Easy Steps

Ribbons ImageIf you’re taking the time to start or maintain a blog, you probably want it to be good. You certainly don’t want to invest your time, energy and effort into creating something that’s mediocre or outright bad.

But blogging isn’t easy, in fact, it is incredibly difficult, requiring seemingly endless amounts of creativity, dedication and patience. This says nothing about the disparate areas of knowledge you have to have including design, writing and promotion just to find and keep an audience.

But quick fixes are very appealing. Everyone wants to know what one thing they can do or series of steps that they can follow to make their blog a big success. However, if it were so easy, every blog would be a success and it there wouldn’t be millions of abandoned sites littered all over the Web.

In short, while there are some great, easy tips that can help, none of them will make you a great blogger on their own.

However, there is a series of steps you can follow to become a better blogger. Unfortunately, none of the steps are easy and no blogger does all of them perfectly.

But, if you want to know the truth, here are the steps you need to follow to build a good blog and become a great blogger. Just don’t assume any of them can be done in a weekend, let alone an hour. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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What Haunted House Sites Can Teach Bloggers

The Mortuary LogoHalloween is less than a week away and it’s officially crunch time for all things horror-related. If you celebrate Halloween, there’s a good chance that you are either looking to or already have checked out a haunted attraction in your area.

But while haunted houses and other haunted attractions can be a good and scary time, they’re also businesses. Like most businesses, they need to have a Web presence to promote themselves, pass out critical information and, most importantly, interact with potential customers 24/7. Also like most businesses, haunted attraction sites have a particular style associated with them.

This style is determined by a large number of factors including the nature of the business itself, especially how seasonal it is, what customers are usually looking for in a haunted attraction and the relatively limited number of design firms that work on these sites.

However, in that style there are a lot of great lessons for other webmasters, including bloggers. While this is definitely a broad generalization, as someone who has visited dozens, if not hundreds of haunted attraction websites, not counting the site for the one I operate, I see a lot of things that these sites do right and a lot of things they do wrong.

As such, here are my lessons that everyday bloggers can glean from haunted attraction websites, including both the things everyone should emulate and the mistakes to avoid. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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15 Awesome WordPress Home Pages

WordPress, which was just released in version 3.2, has always been at the forefront of creative design and we continue to see many great WordPress designs. Too often WordPress designs are immediately recognizable because of the linear, blog home page. For this entry we looked for greatly designed home pages of sites using WordPress.

OctavoDesign

Artdog

The very bright and colorful homepage of octavo designs is all about scrolling. Not only does the main image scroll down when hovering over it, the whole home page does scroll horizontally.
If you don’t believe this site is made with WordPress, check the source code. Read More

Categories: Blog Design, WordPress Themes
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Blogging Pitfalls: How to Create or Find Your Blog’s Identity

Very quickly, if I visit your blog, will it stand out and be memorable to me? Will it separate itself from any of the sixty blogs created in the last minute? What about any of the more than 86,000 that will be created today? What about the more than half a million created this week?

If your blog is going to succeed, it has to stand out and be something other than “Just another WordPress (or other blogging system) blog”. Doing that, however, isn’t very easy not because it’s difficult to give your site a custom identity but because, with so many other sites out there, it can take a lot of work to give your site something that no one, or almost no one else, has.

However, if you don’t do it, you risk your good work and your energy going to waste, getting lost in the endless and faceless crowd that is 99% of all blogs created. For your site to succeed, it must have a “face” and a unique presence, something you’re not going to get without rolling up your sleeves and getting a little bit dirty with your theme, logo and your domain.

It might be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it isn’t half as scary as having millions of twins out there, ready to take your blogging identity in a heartbeat by sheer accident alone.

Read More

Categories: Blogging: How To
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Blogging Pitfalls: 7 Ways Your Blog May Impose On Your Visitors

Road ClosedImagine, for a moment, that you were invited over to a friends house to watch a movie or catch up on their news. However, instead of giving you what you went for, they bombarded you with advertisements you didn’t want, practically shoving them in your voice and begging you to read them.

Then, when you get past the ads, they start annoying you with irritating sounds and distracting movement, anything to get your attention away from whatever it is you visited for. Then, when you finally turn to leave, your friend does everything they can to prevent you from going. This includes locking doors, rearranging the furniture and everything short of handcuffing you to a wall.

This person, almost certainly, would not be your friend much longer and it is even more unlikely you’d ever go back to their house. At the very least you’d consider this a bad experience and, at worst, it would feel like a form of kidnapping.

However, as extreme as this example sounds, it’s exactly how many websites treat their visitors. Sadly, many webmasters don’t see their visitors as guests in their virtual home, but rather, like sheep meant to be shorn and exploited as much as possible.

But while we can all recount the terrible experiences that we’ve had with sites that have tried to trap and bombard us, there are other, more subtle ways a webmaster can impose on a visitor and they can be just as deadly to earning trust.

Unfortunately, many webmasters fail to realize that they are doing it and some are left wondering as to why so few of their visitors ever come back. Read More

Categories: General
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Multi-colored Titles Plugin by PixoPoint

Add Span Tags to Tiles: a rather interesting plugin by Ryan Hellyer of PixoPoint. The plugin does little but what it does might be useful designers and fans of technicolor sites. Read More

Categories: Linking, WordPress Plugins
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Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Need to Know HTML & CSS

Keyboard ImageIt wasn’t that long ago that starting up a website required a great deal of expertise, time and commitment. There was a reason that those who created sites in the early days of the Web were stereotyped as “dorks” and “nerds”, it was because you had to know HTML, the ins and outs of site construction and at least a decent amount about how the Web worked just to get a basic site off the ground.

However, for Web development, the march of technology has been toward simplicity and ease of use. Blogging and Web publishing in general are both more approachable than ever. Not only can one set up a Facebook account in minutes but they can do the same with a WordPress.com account or a Tumblr blog as well.

In short, anyone who wants to publish a blog can easily do so and almost no experience is required, just the ability to fill in a short form and write some new content.

But this doesn’t mean we’ve gotten away from HTML and CSS being a requirement for creating a successful site. Not knowing these languages can be very detrimental to your site and not only keeps great content from finding the audience it deserves, but can actually cripple your site in ways you can’t predict.

Simply put, if you don’t know HTML and CSS, at least to a minimal extent, you are holding your blog back and gambling with its future.

Read More

Categories: Blog Design, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tips, WordPress Themes
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154 Free Monochrome Developer Icons

WPZoom released a free set of icons for designers and developers. The icons are designed by David Ferreira and available in .PNG, .AI and .PSD format. The icon set features most common icons, also social media buttons, and is rather complete for most uses. A preview of the set posted below.

The set can be downloaded for free at WPZoom.

Categories: Blog Design, Linking
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Business Logs

BusinessLogs is Splashpress Media’s popular design studio. In the game since many years already, the crew is responsible for popular designs such as Freelance Writing Jobs, ForeverGeek and Search-Plugins.com.

Categories: Directory
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