Website Designer

What Plugins Are Helpful For Business?

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WordPress is a valuable tool that businesses can use to create a blog or even a website. However, the most basic version of WordPress doesn’t provide all of the features a business needs to create a fully functional website. In order to create a more advanced website, businesses can install some of the many plugins WordPress offers to increase functionality.

What Plugins Are Helpful For Business?

Beneficial WordPress Plugins

Some of the WordPress plugins that are most helpful for businesses include:

· Broken Link Checker: Checks the website for broken links and images.

· WordPress Live Chat: Adds a live chat box to the site that the business can use to communicate with users.

· WPtouch: Transforms a desktop website into a mobile version in a matter of minutes.

· 404 Redirected: Eliminates 404 pages from the website by redirecting users elsewhere when a page isn’t functioning properly or doesn’t exist.

· ShareBar: Incorporates a toolbar on the page that allows users to share content via social media websites.

· Contact Form 7: Allows users to contact the business using a simple online form.

· Ninja Pop-Ups: Allows a business to create its own pop-ups that will appear to users at times the business designates.

· Google Analytics: Keeps track of search traffic, page views and other valuable information the business can use to gauge the effectiveness of its website.

· Related Posts by Zementa: Places a footer on the webpage that directs users to related articles or pages on the site.

Are these Plugins Necessary?

The plugins listed above may not be appropriate for every business website. However, by incorporating a selection of these plugins, a business can transform a basic WordPress blog into a full-service website with a professional appeal. For example, the incorporation of WordPress Live Chat and Contact Form 7 make the site more engaging to users by encouraging them to connect directly with the company. Likewise, social plugins like ShareBar encourage users to share website content with friends, which increases their level of involvement and invites other users to visit the site. Furthermore, adding other plugins like Google Analytics allows the business to evaluate and increase its website traffic, while plugins like 404 Redirect and the Broken Link Checker can be used to prevent malfunctions and keep the site running smoothly.

The importance of a Good Foundation

Although adding these plugins to a website can increase its appeal to users, the site won’t be a success unless it’s built on a solid foundation. Websites that malfunction frequently become inaccessible on a regular basis or load slowly will drive users away before they have a chance to enjoy the benefits of any installed plugins. For this reason, it’s essential for businesses to choose a reputable Web hosting company capable of managing all of the site’s traffic with minimal downtime.

To thrive in today’s world, businesses need a high quality, professional website capable of answering users’ questions and encouraging them to connect with the company. By building a WordPress site on a solid foundation and adding the right plugins, businesses can enjoy all of the advantages of a full-service website.

Why You Should Develop With Joomla

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Why You Should Develop With JoomlaJoomla! is an award-winning content management system (CMS) with more than 35 million downloads, thousands of extensions and designs built on an open source platform. With advantages like that, it’s easy to see why the software is so popular.

A major advantage to using a CMS is the ease-of-use. There’s almost no technical skill required to build Web sites and powerful online applications. The software is incredibly user-friendly and mobile ready, and since it’s open source, makes a great solution for almost any business, from the largest corporate enterprise to the smallest personal web page.

Joomla can be used for almost any type of web site: corporate Web sites or portals, corporate intranets and extranets, online magazines, newspapers, and publications, e-commerce and online reservation systems, government applications, small business web sites, non-profit and organizational web sites, community-based portals, school and church web sites or personal or family homepages.

As Rackspace’s Joshua Hatfield says, “You can customize Joomla into anything that you need it to be. There are thousands of templates, components, plugins and modules that help you make your site unique. Whatever you need to do, you have the ability to do it.”

Who uses Joomla in the real world? Joomla is behind businesses of every size, shape and kind, from MTV Networks to IKEA, eBay, General Electric and Citibank to McDonald’s restaurants to Outdoor Photographer magazine.

Joomla is designed to be easy to install and configure, even for novice users. Many Web hosting and cloud services providers offer a single-click Joomla installation option, which can help get your site up and running in no time.

“Whether you run a Windows or Linux environment, you are able to deploy Joomla. Within a matter of minutes you can get your Joomla site up and running, ready to serve up your content to your users,” Hatfield said.

And since Joomla is so easy to use, it can significantly shorten the sales and delivery cycle for Web designers or developers whose clients need a site fast.

Joomla also offers a wide variety of specialized functionality, most of which are free under the GPL License. You can check out the list of available extensions here, in the Joomla Extensions Directory.

Since Joomla is based on PHP and MySQL, you can use it to build almost any kind of applications, from inventory control systems, data reporting tools, application bridges, e-commerce systems, reservations systems, powerful communication tools and more. And since the framework is open, anyone can use, share, and support the software. To find out more information on leveraging the Joomla framework, visit the Joomla Developer Network.

Joomla also has a proven history. It branched off from the Mambo project in 2007 and has been steadily growing and attracting its own devoted following ever since. “In that time it has evolved into a very advanced and stable CMS that is used in schools, corporate intranets and small businesses, among others,” Hatfield said. “If you need a website, Joomla will be there for you.

And if you’re worried about support, consider this: Joomla has a dedicated, passionate community of users and developers who are constantly working to improve the software, offer support, and add new and improved functionality. Should the free support not meet your business’s needs, there are paid support services available from third-party consultants, developers, and designers.

Joomla is the most popular open source CMS currently available as evidenced by a vibrant and growing community of friendly users and talented developers. Joomla’s roots go back years and, with over 200,000 community users and contributors, the future looks bright.

Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from holistic veterinary care to data center technology and occasionally blogs for cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.

Hiring For Website Design: Defining Your Purpose First

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Hiring For Website Design: Defining Your Purpose First

photo credit: liforte.com

With the help of the Internet, a lot of businesses have been able to start up and make a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time. However, those businesses couldn’t do that without successful websites. There is a lot of information available about what makes a website successful – including what color scheme you should use. What having a successful website really entails is designing the site with a purpose and making sure that what you do on your site reflects that purpose. Deciding on your website’s purpose is often the most difficult part.

In the past, websites were created to provide information. With Google searches and forum sites everywhere, customers no longer need to visit your website to figure out what your business does. They often find that out elsewhere. Your website should exist with the purpose of converting your customer and showing what makes your business different from your competition. And your web design should reflect what your specific conversion goals are.

Conversion

It’s a word that business owners use a lot, but narrowing down what it means can be a challenge. That’s because a conversion means different things to different businesses. For example, if I own a restaurant, a conversion from my website  is reflected by someone who visited my site and then chose to come to my restaurant and purchase a meal. If I’m an online retail business selling soap, a conversion for me is someone ordering a bar of soap directly from my site.

Conversions also don’t have to have a strong end goal like a purchase or visit. Maybe you’re a new business and you just want to get the word out about your brand. A conversion in that case might just be having someone visit your site or share it.

What you want from your site will influence how it’s designed. It’s essential that you’re able to communicate your goals for your site to your designer. This information will get you a much better site than just deciding you’d like a specific sort of logo design or font style.

Mobile Design

No matter what your goals are, though, you should look towards responsive design. This means making your website mobile-friendly. You can see mobile design in action by visiting some of your favorite sites and making your browser bigger or smaller. If the site doesn’t change based on the size of your browser, that site isn’t using responsive design.

Your site needs to be mobile friendly because more and more people are researching businesses from their smart phones. An eMarketer study showed that a rapidly increasing amount of American’s media consumption time is spent on their cell phones. If your new design isn’t designed with mobile users in mind, you could be losing out on a lot of business.

Coding for responsive design itself can be tricky, but there are some basic design principles you can keep in mind to make the transition to responsive design as easy as possible. Remember that your design needs to be simple. A simple design is easier to adjust to different sizes. Also, keep your content (text and graphic) to a minimum. If you don’t need it, delete it.

When you visit your designer, know exactly what you want your website to accomplish–whether that’s purchases or visitors. Have a simple design concept in mind to give your designer an idea of what it is you’re looking for. If you’re really not sure, your designer can help you come up with a design that will be easy to convert for mobile.

Best Guidelines to Make Your Professional Web Designing Skills Exceptional

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Every kid is a designer on his or her own. With so many editing tools available on the internet, using the techniques of blending, layering, and filtering on the images are on the fingertips of the people.

You must remember the first time you were put up with the Photoshop project. You must have used sophisticated styles and numerous geometric shapes to decorate your graphics. With time, the improvements become more evident when you go through the rapid phase of upgrading and discover other use of the basic tools.

Once you know the fundamentals of net style and photo editing, you will not only limit yourself with the relatively small amount of shapes in your favorite image editor, but you instead start to conceptualize all your professional ideas and design concepts.

Sometimes when you are stuck with all the ideas in your head and do not find a loophole to cut loose, you start to lose the confidence in yourself. At other times, people reach their creative halt, from where there is no moving forward, while they see their colleagues make wonders. You may question, what has differentiated them from you and their capabilities to produce outstanding work? The answer is simple. If you are stuck with stagnant designs, then here are some things that you should know to contemplate a professional web design on your own.

  • Learning Till The Very End:

Many people believe that once they are successful in making a design, they have mastered the skills. However, this is not the case. You should always thrive to survive, even If you have excelled in the field, as there is always some room for improvement.

Try something new. Do not wholly depend on the books. Develop trial and error techniques to learn new skills and improve your designing capabilities. If you have come up with a semi-decent design, try to come up with several ways to further enhance it.

  • Do Not Make Haste:

One major difference between a good designer and a mediocre is that a mediocre will try to get the work done in the minimum time possible, while a creative website designer will take time to develop an amazing work.

Often the clients provide with squat billable hours to create a design, which damages the self-esteem of the designer and results in the production of poor work. However, what you need to know is that poor work brings more bad clients your way. So instead, you should make most from the client’s work and develop a strong portfolio to standout in the market.

  • Gathering the Negativity From Others:

Another thing, which is becoming a hurdle for you, is your workplace. Yes, it is true, if you are stuck with people who do not bring out good designs, you adapt to the situations. If you want to improve, look for the competition and struggle your way to the top.

  • Find Your Motivational Factor:

Ask yourself, why you need to create a good design and what is it worth? Find your ambition and get out of the rut you are drowning in. Make yourself comfortable with the work you do and find pleasure in it to succeed.

In the end, the most important thing for you to remember is that a good designing technique cannot be found in the books or over the internet, it is your own effort that will make you go till the end and accomplish something worth striving for.