Cybersecurity should be at the core of your design before you consider any other elements of your site. Hacking is a serious problem, especially if you collect sensitive data. Your customers need to know they can rely on you to protect their personal information.
About 64 percent of companies have experienced some type of web-based attack. From the smallest business to the largest corporation, all are at the mercy of hackers if they don't put some security measures in place.
A hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds and impacts one in three Americans. With those statistics in mind, put your site users at ease by implementing the following security measures into your website designs:
One way to protect your customers is to limit the amount of data you collect and store online. Collect only what is an absolute necessity for you to complete an order. If you don't need their birth date, then don't ask for it. Minimize the information so if the worst happens and you do have a security breach, the hackers get less information than they otherwise would.
Some sites collect all types of information in an attempt to market to their users. While there is value in knowing the names of your customers' children and their ages, this also puts them at risk. This type of information is often used to gain access to sensitive accounts with qualifying questions.
About 75 million sites use WordPress as their content management system (CMS). Unfortunately, if not appropriately secured, it is vulnerable to hackers. Take the time to secure your WordPress site.
Those are some basic things you can do today to protect your WordPress site. You should delve a bit deeper into the topic of securing your WordPress site and close off any backdoors that allow hackers to gain a foothold.
The default database prefix is wp-. Hackers are well aware that most people will stick with the default settings. You can throw them off and hopefully drive them away by changing the prefix you use for your database. Changing your database prefix isn't complicated, but you should always back your site up before making changes.
Changing your prefix protects you from SQL injection attacks. There are plugins you can install that allow you to quickly change your database prefix without a lot of PHP knowledge, such as Brozzme DB Prefix or iThemes Security.
The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now requires website owners to list clear policies on how they protect user data and how they use that data — even if you don't live in the EU. If you have even one customer who falls under GDPR, you must be compliant. You've probably noticed that some sites have privacy policies that are so complex you'd have to be a lawyer to understand them.
Don't do that to your site visitors. Keep your language clear and readable, so site visitors understand what you plan to do with the information you collect and the measures you have in place to protect them. Keep privacy policies simple and to the point. It's probably easier than you think to get GDPR compliant, but it is essential to pay attention to this aspect of your security plan.
One way hackers gain access to websites is through your devices. No matter where you're working, upload files via virtual private networks (VPN). A VPN lets you remotely upload files without using a public network that might be vulnerable to attack. A VPN works similarly to a firewall to encrypt and protect your data from hackers.
If you are working in a public location and using their guest internet access, secure your device by choosing a public location in your Wi-Fi settings. Limit who can see your device to avoid a situation where another patron gains access to your files and thus to your website.
Let's say the worst has happened and a hacker gained control of your site. They've infiltrated every single file and you have no idea how to fix the problem. If you back up your site frequently, this is less of an Armageddon scenario than if you don't. There are programs you can install that run backups on a regular basis and many website hosting companies do their own nightly backups.
No matter how many safeguards you install, there is a possibility hackers will overtake your site. However, if you have a complete backup, then it isn't as much of a problem. You simply work with your hosting company to find the way they entered your site, secure it and wipe out the old data, uploading your backup in its place. Your site is only down a fraction of the time it would otherwise be.
One of the biggest challenges as a designer is getting into the habit of backing up your work every time you make the slightest change. It's easy to forget this step and lose hours of work because a hacker takes over your site. Either set up automated backups or get into the habit of doing one each time you finish changes.
The most beautifully designed site in the world isn't useful if it gets hacked. Consider the backend of your website's design to prevent hackers from getting in. Make your site user-friendly, but also consider the type of information you collect and how you can keep it safe for those who entrust you with it. Cybersecurity is just another element of web design that makes your work better than your competitors'.
Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Let’s face it!
There is a lot more to colors than meets the eye. If anything, 85% of the shoppers base their product purchase decisions on product color. And, as it turns out, some of the world’s top-notch brands are very particular about their color choices, whether it’s Coca-Cola with its fiery fire-engine red or Pepsi’s with its predominant blue.
In fact, if you look at their logos, you will see that both these companies have interestingly used their choicest colors to stand out and build their brand identity.
As per a research, “Color increases brand recognition by 80 percent.”
The point is: Big companies don’t simply wing it when it comes to choosing colors for their websites or products. Conversely, they are strategically chosen because colors, powered by different attributes, attract shoppers to the product or site. Not to mention, colors alter consumer behavior well.
Now, with the internet providing a level-playing field to all, not just big brands, every small and big website are significantly focussing on getting their websites colored in a correct way.
However, here’s the rub:
There are no fewer than 10 million colors that a human eye can witnesses. I repeat 10 million colors.
So, with a million colors swarming before the eyes, I daresay picking and choosing that one right color, to form the base of your website, is not an easy job.
And, mind you, you cannot simply wing it as there’s so much at stake...among others, your website’s bounce rate, conversions and more depend on colors.
I know what you are thinking now:
How to pick the starting color (dominant color) for your website with so many to choose from?
Here, I walk you through simple tips and tricks on choosing the starting color for your website.
#a. First off, make the most of what you already have. That is, use the color of the existing logo as your starting color.
Never mind competitor’s colors. In fact, you need to delete competitors’ colors from all your color schemes.
#b. Look at your target audience. The website color of an IT company will be diametrically opposite to that of a real estate company. So, it’s paramount to think about the users who will be using the site and the kind of emotions you want them to go through while browsing your site. Should they be excited, serious and so on?
#c. Think of the words you frequently use in your conversations with regards to your brand. See, if you can connect those words with any of the colors.
Finally, stay away from stereotypes. If the website is meant for bridal wear, look beyond the white and cream shades. Because it is said that clichés tend to undermine your credibility.
Some of the colors you can start experimenting with include red, green, blue, pink, yellow, and so on. For more ideas on website design and colors, consult top web design companies.
Now, let me elaborate in detail the above-mentioned three points for selecting the starting color of your website.
Remember: The starting color of your website will be your brand color, maybe forever. So, choose something that your brand invariably associates with. A color that your audience fancies the moment they think of you and even nudges them to check your site.
Like, I mentioned before, the moment you think of Coca-Cola, nothing but a conflagration of fiery red floods your sights. If you think about it for a moment, you will realize that Coca-Cola’s starting color (popularly referred to as the dominant color) stems from its logo.
So, if you are finding it difficult to arrive at the starting color of your website, don’t worry and do just one thing: Go by the logo color.
Again, if this seems difficult for you, you can go by the other methods as well:
If the logo thing doesn’t help, simply take a break from your web designing activities and reflect on your brand and the kind of customers you want to linger on your site.
Should they be a really young crowd? Or should you be targeting highly sophisticated ones with huge disposal incomes? Or should they be gender-specific - geared toward male or female? Or should you focus on a specific age group?
Also, what sort of emotions you want them to experience while seeing your site?
You need to find answers to all these and more, before narrowing down the starting color of your website.
You can also take cues from other websites and see what they are doing. Most often, sites tend to play safe and go by conventions. For instance, if you check an organic product site, subtle colors like light green, light blue and occur yellow are commonplace over bold colors like red, purple and black.
In short, consider the emotions and personality of your target audience before deciding the starting color of your website.
When it comes to gender, for instance, if your website focuses only on women, might as well go by their favorite color:
As you can see from the above images, blue is liked both by men and women. So, it’s one of the safest bets as far as your website color goes.
No wonder, most-visited social media sites like Facebook and Twitter use blue prominently in their logos and campaigns. But then, there’s nothing like one-size-fits-all in terms of a website color. It chiefly depends on the feelings you want to convey to your visitors.
Think of the words you frequently relate your brand with. Then connect these words with various available colors.
Check out this color emotion guide to nail down the starting color of your website.
Tips to use the starting color on your website
There’s a general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to using starting colors:
Use them only in specific spaces where you want your visitors to pay attention.
# Phone numbers
# Contact forms
# Signing up of a newsletter
Basically, starting color is supposed to be used in those spaces that need to pop out.
#2. Choose Accent (Complementary) Colors
Once you have nailed down the starting color of your website, finding complementary or accent colors will become easier. However, as the name suggests, they are complementary colors and should not to be widely used in websites. So, use them only in your call to action buttons, quotes, subtitles, information boxes and more. These colors help highlight the attention-worthy parts of your website.
However, here’s the rub: Blending various colors is not easy if you haven’t understood the color theory well. And, who knows, you may have to go through several trials and errors, before arriving at your perfect accent colors.
Tips to use complementary colors on your website
Accent colors are primarily used for highlighting secondary information on your web pages. The content, though not important, has to stand out. Nonetheless, there’s a limit to using accent colors, max 1 or 2. If you plan to use many accent colors, it might create several focal points which might confuse the visitors.
#3. Choose your Background Color
Your website visitors should feel at home while browsing your site. So, bold colors most likely will have an opposite effect on them. And, even blase background could prove to be a bad choice as your audience might overlook the crucial points you want them to focus on.
But then, it’s also nice to choose your colors depending on your industry you belong to. For instance, if your brand is into cosmetics, you might enjoy a free hand in terms of choosing your colors. You can either experiment with either with subtle colors or opt for alternative bold colors. Bold colors like red are known to drive visitors in colossal numbers.
Tips to use background color on your website
# If you are running a content heavy website or an eCommerce website, keep your background neutral or use shades of white. This is because the focus should be on the content of the site. And a white background might just draw more eyeballs to your content.
# For a corporate website, you can try you using less intense shades of your starting color. Bold colors might overpower the other key elements of the site. The background color should stay in the background. It shouldn’t overwhelm the visitors.
# For sites that are into fashion, beauty, restaurant, and other similar industries, you are free to experiment with most of the colors. There is no actual rule of thumb to follow as to what background image or colors are ideal for creative sites. For all I know, you can use all the colors of VIBGYOR or create magic using black and other bolder looking colors. The only point that you need to bear in mind is that your color shouldn’t overpower the text. Content should invariably be the king of your website. To ensure balance between colors and content, speak to the top content marketing agencies, directly.
Putting it all together
By now you know that you can’t simply wing it when it comes to website colors. You need to go by your audience tastes and liking, because that’s only the way to establish connections with your audience. More importantly, your accent colors should be carefully chosen and not randomly applied.
Follow the above 3 steps to create a beautiful color coordinated website. Also, don’t forget to use color combination tools if you are still a novice in terms of selecting complementary colors.
But then, always remember, colors shouldn’t overshadow the content. Never ever.
How do you choose the starting color of your website or product? Go ahead! Share your experiences below.
Author Bio: This is Jennifer Warren, a Content Consultant with GoodFirms, a review and research platform for eCommerce development companies, digital marketing companies among many others. I enjoy humanizing technology through inspirational content, devouring best sellers, watching war movies, and running behind my sunshine sons.
Verbal vocabulary, just as much as visual, is a key to storytelling. Whether you are an artist, designer or in the marketing field, expanding your vocabulary gives a special spice to your narrative, but also develops an intellectual and sophisticated language for professional communication.
English is a world spoken language, and the new era of technology is reshaping the language structure every day. E-content replacing books; blogs and vlogs trending in the virtual world, using the slang of the language and draining the word bank syllable by syllable - creates an alert for seeking new inspiration in the beautiful and rich English language.
A solution for introducing the variety of English language back to our lives could be a modern adaption of an old fun for the whole family game. Remember the Scrabble? It is a game where two players expand their creativity and vocabulary. Simply mind challenging and competitive game you can play all day long.
Yes, Scrabble is back in the game!
Curious about this adaptation? We can tell you more! Scrabble World Finder Guide is a new platform with an extraordinary dictionary of English words. With it's elegant and simple design, it is also an example of a stylish website in 2018. What this website offers is an ability to quickly find the word you were looking for by simply writing all the right letters in the search box. And just like in the Scrabble game, it generates the maximal length of the word you could result with the letter input, as well as all the words created by the combination of those letters.
For example, for your input "SILEBL" it generates 40 words for you, such as "LIBELS", "BELLS", "ISLE", "BIS" etc. This feature is creatively called Scrabble Cheat on the website.
Among other features, you can search all the words that start with a letter of your choice and choose the length of the word (Words With Friends). You can also be specific whether you are playing Scribble for the US, UK, or if it is game with worldwide rules.
What is particularly interesting about this platform is, as we mentioned, that is it a practical dictionary. In fact, for every word you discover on Scrabble World Finder Guide, there are one or few explanations to the both - word meaning and its practical use.
There are many benefits into playing the Scrabble game. It improves your spelling, expands your vocabulary, develops your analytic and mathematical skill, and it never gets boring, especially if you're playing it with friends.
Readers of COLOURlovers and professionals in your industries, it's time to step up your game, engage your both hemispheres into this creative research, and have absolute fun while playing and exploring!
Check it out by following this link ---> scrabblewordfinderguide.com
Nobrow. They published one of my comics and it pushed me to jump into self-employment.
I worked on a comic for them called "Jeff Job Hunter" while I was unemployed, and it helped me to find freelance work.
I got a variety of work off of the back of projects I made with them.
As you start to make a name for yourself, a lot of people want your time and attention, but without paying for it.
It's learning when to step away and when you can tell someone is trying to string you along and waste your time.
There still are hardships, to keep consistent money coming in.
I'm too trusting of people. Especially with freelance, give someone an inch, and they'll take a mile.
You need to have contracts written out to protect yourself. Good communication with a client is very important. Some can be very difficult to get a straight answer out of!
Yes, it was definitely worth it. It's extremely rewarding to be creating things to your best ability every day and pleasing clients, as well as fans.
It feels good to make people happy.
I would have told myself to stop making comics a few years earlier when interest started to fade. I'd also tell myself not to do favours.
Don't treat clients like friends. You have to treat it like a business. When you start being friendly, people walk all over you.
Keeping all of that in mind, you can have a very happy, healthy career.
Don't work for free. There will always be work around the corner. You may think this is your big opportunity and you won't work again, but it's not true.
Your time is the most valuable thing you have, so be vigilant and plan how you want to build your career, and what you want to do. Basically, work smart, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by planning well.
Always focus. Don't try to think too much like an artist, but more like it's a regular job. Just focus on doing the best you can, and if there are imperfections, it doesn't matter, move on. As an illustrator, you want to make a living from this. You're not setting out to make masterpieces (unless of course, you want to create personal artwork in your own time).
What have you learned from Jack's experience COLOURlovers? Has it been useful? Is there something similar that you've experienced you'd like to share with the community?
Searching for that right image for your creative project can be tiresome. You put in a lot of time, patience and dedication, and when you finally find the perfect one, it is copyrighted and you cannot use it for your client or your friend’s commercial project. On the other hand, even worse, the resolution is so bad that you can barely see the shapes as soon as you zoom. Sounds familiar?
Well, struggle no more; you have come to the right place. Today we list ten of our favorite photo directories whose photos you can use stress free. They are all high quality and free from copyright restrictions. They all fall under the CC0 – creative commons license that allows you to use them without the previous permission of the photographer for both commercial and personal projects.
We list them in no specific order, as they are all special in their own way. Tell us which one is your favorite!
Unsplash is fueled by a community of generous photographers that give away their high-resolution photos free of charge. The site’s main values are sharing, caring and creating. Even the big companies like Squarespace, Medium, Slack and Trello use these photos. On Unsplash you can find different categories of photos ranging from landscape to business and food photography. Alternatively, you can explore their curated collections.
All of the photos you find here are high-resolution images placed under sixteen curated categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you are searching for.
If you are searching for royalty-free stock photo database, you have come to the right place. Kaboompics is currently a photo directory containing almost 6000 images, with more than 80.000 users visiting it every month. All the photos are presented together with a 6-colours palette that is generated from the image itself followed by HEX codes and ready to be used instantly. A great thing you find on Kaboompics and do not see on many other photo directories is the data about the details of how the photo is taken: aperture, ISO, exposure and the lens type. These options and their blog can be of great help to everyone learning photography.
Stocksnap’s photos will surprise you. You will be able to find various imagery from animal photos to business and fashion. Many already have applied filters so if you like them as they come, you can use them without additional editing.
Besides by using the search bar, you can search through images by categories, number of views and downloads, date or how a photo is trending and you can see the most favorite photos on the directory.
Ryan McGuire created and curates the awesome directory that is updated once a week with creative, fresh images. Gratisography is very specific in its content as all the photos are unpredictable, quirky and funny. You can search through six categories (animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical) or subscribe to get weekly bundles. He also offers bundles containing an unpublished bonus photo which you can buy for as low as 5$ to help him cover his expenses.
Pexel is a directory with a goal to empower the creators giving them the freedom to use not only CC0 licensed photos but also videos. They currently have over 40,000 photos and upload around 3,000 high-res photos per month. Another awesome thing you can find on Pexels is the design break, a website that helps designers take five and amuse themselves by stumbling upon random inspirational stuff: watch topical videos, discover new websites, guess colors and much more.
If you are blogging about food or you need high quality photos of food for a cookbook for instance, you can find those on Foodies Feed. There are plenty of food images to choose, whether you are searching for indoor or outdoor images, with or without people in the shot. The website was founded three years ago and it had more than 1 million downloads since.
“Free pics. Do anything. Make magic.” is how the founder and main contributor, Jay, welcomes you to the site. You can choose from various content, including videos and quotes. Seven new photos are uploaded every Thursday.
Bucketlistly is actually a platform where you can list your bucket list goals and become inspired by the goals of other travelers, but its photo gallery is still an invaluable asset with more than 5000 images shot at different locations around the world. It is the go-to photo directory for travel bloggers, travel companies and guides. You can search by simply clicking on the world map or selecting the country tags below it.
And last but not the least, Life of Pix is a platform that promotes one photographer/collaborator each month on social media and website. This directory, besides offering royalty free high quality photos, lets you be a part of a big community of photographers: customize your public profile to create an online portfolio, follow favorite photographers and have a look at all the photos you have liked.
It also offers CC0 video content.
Let us know which one you like the best. Is there any other CC0 directory you would like to add to the list?
Hand-drawn illustrations add personality and depth to websites by bringing the digital world in conjunction with the physical. I love seeing hand-drawn illustrations on internet because it adds a sense of character to the page itself. These sites are some of my favorites that feature hand-drawn illustrations.
Just Dot: I love how this website combines the trendy chalkboard element with hand drawn graphics and a sketched font.
Bowtie: features a completely hand drawn background with hand written fonts and other styles of typeface. I love the colors and interactive layout of this site as well.
Bootb: this site utilizes a hand written type face as well as hand drawn doodle frames to create a friendly landing page. I like the different colored frames on the black background along with hand drawn buildings.
Denise Chandler: this designer's site features an awesome hand drawn image that has been animated, as well as, a variety of quirky and cool hand drawn fonts.
Carsonifide: uses fun text bubbles and hand drawn graphics to highlight the important parts of their site.
Tennessee Education: I love all of the cool hand drawn doodles that are found throughout the site. This site really brings education to life by adding hand drawn elements on top of writing paper.
Products from Creative Market to help you enhance your site with hand drawn elements and illustrations.
The key to making a website or blog with hand drawn illustrations is to combine hand written or drawn fonts along with intricate hand drawn images, lines, and vectors. Creative Market, offers a variety of hand drawn elements to help you create an amazing website like the ones featured above.
This guest post is written by Alex Black. Alex writes for printing company Print Express. In his spare time he enjoys studying graphic and web design and works on his Photoshop skills. You can follow him on Twitter at @iamalexblack.
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As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. When you’re marketing a product or service, if your landing page doesn’t make a great first impression then it’s unlikely that visitors will return, much less use your product. Good landing pages show off the product, sell it’s benefits and do a good job of leaving the visitor with the impression that it’s well designed. Great landing pages, on the other hand, do all this and also stick in your memory – they stand out and are remarkable.
Of course, this is much easier said than done – how do you create a landing page that’s remarkable, and memorable while still being beautifully designed instead of garish? One of the ways in which you can do this is to focus on creating a tastefully bright, vibrant and colourful design. Use a bold, daring colour palette – or use subtle, muted colours but with bright, impossible-to-miss contrasts on the buttons you want users to click (like the “sign up” or “try the demo” buttons).
The use of colour in landing pages is an art form in itself, and we’ve brought this collection of designs together to help give you some inspiration for your next landing page project. We hope you find the collection useful and entertaining.
Viximo is a company that works with developers to get their games published online. The landing page stands out instantly by using big, bold illustration and the muted colour palette grabs attention without being too garish.
Howdy COLOURlovers! We've had a great time browsing through all of your colorful website design entries for the past week. It's like you guys know a thing or two about color. ;)
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This contest was brought to you by our friends at Squarespace. Squarespace's mission is to provide creative tools that power the future of the web. From designers creating the next generation of web and mobile experiences, to anyone managing their own online presence for the first time, Squarespace provides elegant solutions that set new standards for online publishing. By focusing their efforts on the fusion of design and engineering, they strive to create long-lasting products that delight and surprise their customers.
This is a friendly reminder that the entry period for this contest ends TODAY at 6pm Pacific. Which means now is the time to go vote for your favorite designs! Voting will remain open until this Sunday, September 23rd, at 10pm Pacific, and we'll be announcing the winners here on the blog on Monday, September 24th.
I'm sure everyone knows that having an impressive resume can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether or not you land a spot at your favorite company. With so many resumes hitting employers desks these days, the first step is to get your seen by the right people to give you that fighting chance.
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It goes without saying that some employers might not jump at the chance of having a resume sitting on their desk in the form of a milk carton, but the up side to such a resume is that you are sure to get noticed.
It doesn't take drastic actions such as that to impress your new potential employee, but creating a clean, well-designed, and easy-to-read resume might be all it takes to get them to notice you and consider you a candidate.
With so many people on the hunt for a job these days, adding a bit of personality often times give your potential employers enough reality about who you are. And if they like what they see, you could jump ahead to round to.
This is also a great time for you, especially as a designer, to show off some of your skills right then and there.
Just like with business cards, your first impression has to be something worth looking at. I have always been a fan of the sewn business card, but this resume with a sewn detail on some awesome fabric is another cool way to stand out and show off your personality a little more.
Do you have the whole package? Show it off with more than just a piece of paper.
Of course, landing a job really comes down to the right fit for you and the company, and a resume isn't 100% going to be the deciding factor, but presenting a well-prepared and unique resume gives you the best fighting chance at getting your body of work seen by the people who could be your future employers. Giving them something something to talk about and something that they don't see dozens of times in a given day will at least come as a breathe of fresh air and something they will definitely remember.