Archive for the ‘Website Design’ Category

Tips for Basic WordPress Theme Customization

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

In the past we talked about some of the most important HTML and CSS tips for WordPress newbies. Today I’d like to expand on that a bit more generally, talking to new blog owners about the types of things they can do with free (or even premium) blog themes to make them appear more unique. After all, no one wants to use the same old design being used on dozens or hundreds of other WordPress blogs. (more…)

5 Things Your Ex Can Teach You About Web Design

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
exes

Credit: BigStockPhoto.com

Are you a professional Web designer? If so, we have a few business tips for you today. And do you know what? They’re things you could’ve already learned from your ex! (I bet you never thought your ex-girlfriend — or boyfriend — knew a bit more about business than you.)

Sure, some designers already have a handle on these freelance design issues. But many don’t. So let’s explore some things you might have heard during a break-up that apply equally to your Web design work. (more…)

Why Its Better to Avoid Web Templates With a Lot of Stock Images

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Years ago, when I first started working online and long before I learned how to design my own sites, I relied heavily on Web templates. I loved them. They made my life easier and they were an affordable option for a new start-up. Over time I came to realize that the most attractive Web templates were also often the most problematic for a new site owner — they relied too heavily on images (stock images to be exact). Today I’d like to talk about how stock images can pose problems for new site owners, and why designers might benefit more from creating less image-intensive designs.

What I Mean by “Stock Photos”

I want to be clear. When I’m talking about stock photos in Web templates causing a problem for the webmasters using them, I’m not talking about images that make up the basic site structure (like buttons or navigation link backgrounds). I’m talking about those creepy corporate smiling faces and very niche-specific photos so many designers love to use.

Most often I see these types of photos used in headers of Web templates. However, I’ve seen a few with stock images peppered throughout. Let’s look at why adding them might not be the best idea.

Why Stock Photos are a Problem

There are a few reasons stock photos can be a problem for people using a Web template. But first, let’s look at a common target market for these templates. Yes, some more experienced site owners still like to use templates and just customize them for their own use. But many Web template users (whether buyers or users of free templates) are new to managing their own websites. (more…)

How to Make Any Designer the Designer of Your Dreams

Friday, March 12th, 2010

It isn’t always easy to find the right designer for your projects, whether we’re talking about Web designers, logo designers, ad designers, or any other type. But is that really designers’ faults? In many cases, no. It’s ours (as the buyers).

Let’s assume that we’re not talking about newbies, but truly competent and experienced designers here. They can get the job done. So why does your designer not give you exactly what you want? Simple. Designers aren’t mind readers. Problems with design projects can easily stem from a lack of communication (from both parties), but especially in cases where the buyer takes a “I’ll know what I want when I see it” approach.

As a writer I deal with the same thing on the service provider side. As a client of designers I know I’ve caused my fair share of problems too — it’s why I do much of my design work myself and simply outsource the coding these days. It’s not that I don’t trust the designers I know. It’s that I know myself — I can’t always visualize exactly what I want from a design and sometimes I can’t express what I want well enough to help a designer visualize it either.

Many buyers don’t come to this realization though. They expect a design professional to magically be able to figure out what they want and give it to them. Now don’t get me wrong. Not all buyers are like that. My point is just that even if you are fussy about designs like I am, there’s still hope. You can not only find the right designer for your project, but you can help any competent designer be that “right” designer. It starts with you! (more…)

The Most Important HTML and CSS Tips for WordPress Newbies

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I know that some of you are probably designers yourselves, or are at least somewhat familiar with CSS and WordPress theme styling. However, I usually work with writers. Many of them love WordPress for hosting either blogs or professional websites, but they often aren’t sure how to make simple CSS and HTML changes to improve their designs or alter a free theme they’d like to customize.

I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers outside of the writing community with the same problem. They use themes out-of-the-box not necessarily because they want to but because they don’t know how to change things. With those WordPress or CSS newbies in mind, let’s take a non-technical look at some quick HTML and CSS tips and tricks a new WordPress user can use to improve their blog design. Note: I’m not a designer — these are meant to be practical tips to help non-coders work around common WordPress design issues on their own. I do not claim that they’re necessarily the best solutions in all cases. If you’d like to share other methods, please do so in the comments.

1. Replace your blog title with a logo

By default, your WordPress theme might include a blog title link in the header, but to customize and brand your site you want to replace it with a logo. Here’s how to do that. First upload your logo image and have the URL / address for the file on-hand. Then go to the WordPress templates editor in your admin panel and find header.php. You might see something like this:

<h1><a href=”<?php echo get_option(‘home’); ?>/”><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></a></h1>

That code adds a link to your home page (with the text of your blog title). On my business site, this is what the site name looks like without a logo: (more…)

CSS Hosting Design. New Trend In Hosting Business.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

We are all used to the look and feel of the hosting websites that seem to have been designed in this same style for ages now. Since there’s lots of important info that needs to be placed on the home page, the home pages of the hosting websites usually look crowded and sometimes even like a mess and all this info gives a feeling that hosting is something very complicated. Most of us are familiar with the GoDaddy hosting company and the first glance at their website makes me think that I will never make it.

After the web 2.0 stream and during the last year some of developers started rethinking the usual approach to design of the hosting website. The clean CSS style with the 2.0 accent was obviously their aim. Nowadays CSS and web 2.0 approach to hosting website design is the new tendency that is getting stronger and stronger. Just think about it, if we find the website with the large fonts, lots of white space, clear icons and big buttons convenient, pleasant to the eye and easy to understand, why don’t we apply same concept to hosting website design.

I’ve prepared some CSS hosting designs that I personally like. Each one has it’s own unique style and stands out from the crowd. Follow the stream and be one of the first to join, as this is the key for success.

Littleoak Hosting

Website: www.littleoak.net

little_small

Hostnexus Hosting

Website: www.hostnexus.com

hostnexus

Virtualspirits Hosting

Website: www.virtualsplits.com

virtual (more…)

The Worlds Top Hotels (and Their Web Designs)

Friday, April 17th, 2009

There’s a so called gold list of the best hotels in the world that Condé Nast Traveler releases every other year. Here are the hotels they recommend for 2009: http://www.cntraveller.com/GoldList/2009/. These are their selections for hotels all around the world that have the best rooms, service, food, locations, ambiance and design, and leisure facilities.

They have winners in several categories: best for ambiance/design, best for facilities, best for food, best for location, best for rooms, and best for service.

Since we’re mostly interested in the design aspect of the hotel rankings, we decided to turn our attention to the hotels chosen for the best designs — not the hotel interior/exterior, but the website design. Having reviewed several websites, we thought it would be nice to make some kind of a contest not just for design and look, but for the website usability as well. IMHO, the most luxurious hotels should pay more attention to their online presence. (more…)

The Charming Colors of Spring: 42 Website Designs for Your Inspiration.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I love spring, that’s possibly the best time of the year to enjoy the life. Not cold and not hot, very colorful, very emotional and tender. That’s the time for the new hopes, time to start something new, time to reborn. Every season of the year has it’s own colors. In our todays selection of websites we tried to show what colors give the spring feeling. The websites are not necessarily about flowers, something related to nature or spring. These are the websites designed for absolutely different spheres of business but for some reason they remind that spring is here because of the colors used in design. They are fresh, a bit muted, with greens like the color of grass and trees, with blues like the blue soft sky after the gray nasty winter, with pink and violet like the flowers.

Enjoy! And let the spring spirit fill our soles!

www.cindyli.com

cindyli

www.eco-card.co.uk

eco-card

www.albertlo.com

albertlo

www.mint.com

mint

www.sprintbio.com

sprint_air (more…)

Common Elements of Luxury Web Design in Top Luxury Brands

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

What is luxury? Is it diamonds, expensive stylish clothing, the best cars, expensive watches and accessories? Or is luxury the feeling these things bring you — the feeling of wealth, certainty, or style? When it comes to website design, is there some definite style that gives the feeling of luxury — something that we could call the luxury style? We’ve done a bit of research looking into Web design for luxury brands, but we’ll leave the judgments up to you. Which website do you feel best represents the luxury lifestyle?

______

Let’s start with the best 10 luxurious jewelry brands. The research was conducted by the Luxury Institute, and we’ll study the websites of just a few brands.

Number 1

Harry Wilson Jewelry — Website: www.harrywinston.com

This site features simple, strict and minimalist black, white, and gray design elements with a “rich” beautiful font. Light flash effects enhance the beauty of the showcased jewelry and you can almost smell the luxury. Even if you replace the jewelry photos with something else, the luxurious feeling will stay with you.

harry-wintson_2

harry_winston33

(more…)

Web Templates V. Custom Web Design

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Custom web design is pricey yet desirable. A website designed from scratch especially for your online purposes is the ideal for many webmasters. What many fail to realize however, is that there is a much better solution to customized site design. Using a web template can generate a tremendous amount of savings and still be customized to suit your specific needs.

Custom Web Design
A quality web designer is highly skilled and knows that his services are worth a great deal. His rate can be very high for custom work, which is a deterrent for many starting new websites. He might also be unreliable. Many designers are pulled in many directions; they have their own websites to build as well as client work.

You pay a high price for a designer that may be hard to speak to when you are ready for a status check or have questions. In addition, the final product does not always meet your expectations. It can be extremely difficult to explain to another person your vision of colors, fonts and layouts. In today’s global marketplace, the difficulty of explaining your ideal design is complicated further by language barriers. The finished product, once it meets your expectations, will cost plenty of time, frustration and dollars. (more…)