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Web Hosting Guide For Beginners To Help You Find The Best Hosting Provider!

When launching a website, one of the most important decisions that you have to make is selecting  a good web hosting company for hosting a website, for which you have worked hard to design and develop. While the importance of selecting the right CMS and hiring a good designer is outlined in every other technology blog or magazine nowadays, hardly anyone talks about the importance of a good web host. That’s why we have prepared this web hosting guide, that will help beginners and experts to choose a good host. As good web hosting provider is not just important but also indispensable. After all, you wouldn’t want your visitors to find your site offline 9 times out of the 10 visits that they pay to your website, would you?

Best Web Hosting for Designers? We recommend BlueHost!

Yes, that’s right. While the allure of earning big bucks by getting others to click on links is tempting, I have ensured that this article is totally unbiased – trust me, this article does not contain affiliate links because 1WD knows the importance of a proper web host.


Table of Contents:

  1. Web Hosting Guide For Beginners – Things To Consider when Choosing a Web Host
  2. Things You should NOT Consider when Choosing a Web Host
  3. Web Hosts You Should Consider
  4. Taking the Next Step: Picking a Content Delivery Network
  5. 10 Best Web Hosting Services Reviewed!
  6. 6 Tips Before Registering a Domain Name
  7. Everything You Need To Know About DNS
  8. Which Is The Best Managed WordPress Hosting For Professionals?
  9. 9 Great File Hosting Services Reviewed
  10. Backup Solutions for Designers and Developers
  11. Bonus: MySQL Guide for Beginners

Web Hosting Guide For Beginners – Things To Consider when Choosing a Web Host

Here at 1WD, we have taken upon ourselves to help you find the ideal web host. In this article I shall be discussing the things that you need to consider, plus the things that you do not need to consider (or, in other words, things that need to be avoided), and then finally wind up the discussion with a small round-up of some major web hosting providers. And, most importantly, unlike the zillions of web hosting related articles that you’ll find on the internet, this one does not have any affiliate links.


The Basics

Everyone knows what shared hosting is, VPS, and reseller hosting packages. Just in case you don’t, simply do a Google search!

Always do your home-work before finalizing a web host

Always do your home-work before finalizing a web host

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What matters is picking the ideal hosting package for you. If you have a personal blog or a small website, shared hosting will suffice. But you should consider a dedicated server or a VPS if you have a large website that generates a good deal of traffic. Also, make sure you have ample space and bandwidth in your plan. The worst thing that can happen is to see your website growing, and then noticing that there isn’t enough room for it to grow anyway. Plus, a good web host will allow you to easily upgrade from one plan to another as, and when, the need arises.

Bandwidth v/s Disk Space

Assuming that your main website runs Drupal, and you also host your blog using WordPress on a sub-domain, and your kid is experimenting with Joomla! on another sub-domain, your website space will still be within 300 MB. Add another 1.5 GB for media like photos, and you can have a decent sized small website within 2GB of space. Of course, if you are running a huge website, 2 GB will not suffice. However, even in this case, bandwidth is of greater importance.

Never under-estimate the bandwidth!

Never under-estimate the bandwidth!

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Long story short, the less bandwidth you have, the less traffic your site is capable of handling, period.

Know Your Web Host

Hosting a website can be like purchasing a home – you don’t want to purchase it from an unknown vendor. Make sure your web host has a good reputation, and some noteworthy clients (we take a look at this later on in this article). A good way to assess your host’s skills is to drop a test support ticket – say, inquiring about a package that you wish to opt for, etc. BEFORE you actually buy their services. You can assess the host’s overall support abilities by looking at the response that you get.

Not the kind of tech support one would hope for!

Not the kind of tech support one would hope for!

Image Credit

Here is what I did:

Dropped this support ticket to two different hosting firms (not a fake ticket, by the way, I actually needed Ruby on Rails):

Hey,

I was wondering if you offer Ruby on Rails on your shared hosting packages? I need to run an RoR based CMS, and I can’t afford the bigger packages. I’ll just opt for the 1 GB shared hosting package.

Thanks!

The response from Host A:

Hi,

Yes, we have Ruby on Rails.

Host B:

HelloSufyan,

Yes, we offer Ruby on Rails, and shared hosting or dedicated, all our servers offer 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24×7 support.

Let me know if you have further queries.”

Wow! I got two emails! Let’s bug them further. Another (legitimate) query:

Hello,

Many thanks for your reply.

Can you please comment on the discounts, if I purchase hosting in bulk, say for a year?

Also, I am not very good with RoR, so if I ever run into trouble with my CMS, will you help me?

Thank you.

And, the replies:

Host A:

Hello,

You can look up our discounts’ section <URL>.

Sorry, we do not provide support for third-party software.

Host B:

HiSufyan,

Of course, we have discount coupons and promotional packs. If you purchase a year’s hosting in advance, you can get 20% off directly, and then use the coupon code <CODE> to get an additional 40% off for the first year! More info can be had at our blog <URL>.

Sadly, we do not really provide support for third-party apps, but if you tell me the CMS that you will be using, I can give you more info about their forums and docs, and see what I can do for you.

Thank you.

I refrain from commenting further. Both of them have similar services, but the tone of support staff evidently shows that I should be opting for Host B.


Things You should NOT Consider when Choosing a Web Host

This section will help you understand where you should never compromise when choosing you web hosting company. Make sure to read it thoroughly.


Read Reviews Online Using Google Search

Do this: go to the Hosting Recommendations page at Drupal.org

Now, check the links to each web host. What did you see?

Yes, all of those links are affiliates, wherein each sale pays a small fee to the recommending site. Drupal.org is just one example – all across the internet, hosting reviews are all about affiliate links. This is why certain firms score well in hosting reviews (owing to heavy affiliate commission), but fare badly in overall user service.

Not the best way to search for a web host

Not the best way to search for a web host

While this does not mean that ALL reviews on the internet are fake, but you should think twice before blindly trusting one.

Go UNLIMITED!

You know how it goes – for a given fee, you can now have unlimited web space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited everything in web hosting. Sounds like a deal, right?

In reality, there isn’t any such thing as ‘unlimited’ in web hosting. Seriously, is there a hard disk with unlimited space?

Remember: Everything under this sky is Limited.

Remember: Everything under this sky is Limited.

Image Credit

These unlimited promises are based on the assumption that the websites hosted on any given server will not use more than a stipulated percentage of the resources, and thus, the server space is oversold with each website being given the promise of ‘unlimited’. Actually, the web hosting firm restricts you to using a given amount of system resources, and if your website crosses that, it can be taken offline, or temporarily disabled. All of this is mentioned in the Terms and Conditions. While this does not mean that all web hosts that offer unlimited hosting are evil, in general, ‘Unlimited’ is a marketing ploy that you shouldn’t really fall prey to.


Web Hosts You Should Consider

Now, we take a look at some of the best web hosts out there.

I’ve divided this list into two parts: Hosts for bigger projects, and hosts for smaller/medium-sized projects. The former consists of web hosting providers that specialize in VPS and dedicated hosting, while the latter is primarily shared hosting. Of course, such  demarcation is often blurred — shared hosting providers do offer VPS to their clients. Yet, many times, a good VPS hosting provider fails to be a good shared hosting provider, and vice versa. 


My criterion for this list has been simple — I have avoided online review sites, for reasons mentioned above. Similarly, any web host that specializes in affiliate links first and hosting second has not been considered — as a result, this leaves out BIG hosts such as GoDaddy and Bluehost. I do admit that certain users have had a good experience with both GoDaddy and Bluehost, but in general, their servers are super-oversold and the good reviews on the internet are mere affiliate gimmicks. 

I have also kept room for ‘exceptions’ — Unlimited hosting is generally something not to buy into, but I’ve included HostGator on this list. Why? Because they seem to be managing Unlimited promises really well, unlike most of their competitors. 

Another thing that needs to be stated is that certain awesome hosts for shared hosting packages (such as HawkHost) failed to make the cut because of minor reasons (support ticket responses taking longer than others, blog not being updated regularly, and so on).

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that I’ve avoided talking about pricing in this list, reasons being: (a) all bigger hosts seem to have a more-or-less identical pricing structure; (b) all smaller hosts seem to be running some sort of promotion almost all throughout the year. Still, for the sake of clarity, a VPS with 1 TB of bandwidth will cost you approximately $50 per month. Speaking of shared hosting, well, you can get roughly 20 GB of bandwidth for $4.50 per month, without any promotional discount. 

Bigger Projects (such as Managed/Unmanaged VPS)

Bigger projects require big budget hosting. A shared hosting package will not suffice if your website gets millions of views and thus, dedicated or cloud is the way to go. Following are five of the most preferred and trusted hosting providers when it comes to big-level hosting, such as VPS. I’ve also tried to include one example of a heavy traffic website hosted by each of these, and, since you are reading 1WD, there is a good chance that you are a designer/developer, so I’ve ensured that such examples are strictly design-related websites.

Media Temple

Media Temple

Media Temple

Media Temple is arguably the de-facto standard when it comes to VPS and other big-budget hosting packages. They are known for their rock-solid reliability, and serve many big names out there. For instance, SpeckyBoy uses Media Temple.

ServInt

ServInt

ServInt

ServInt is another well known hosting provider for heavy traffic websites. Apart from managed hosting solutions, it also offers cloud-based hosting for JAVA applications. WordPress Lift uses ServInt.

Rackspace

Rackspace

Rackspace

Rackspace offers Hybrid Hosting solutions (such as dedicated cloud servers) along with managed and cloud hosting for sites that are traffic-intensive. Blogs such as Spoon Graphics and Six Revisions use Rackspace.

Web Hosting Buzz

WebHostingBuzz

WebHostingBuzz

Apart from Dedicated and Reseller hosting, WHB also offers Shared solutions, though it is more well known for its high-end offerings. Inspired Magazine uses WHB.

HostGator

HostGator

HostGator

Alright, I admit: earlier I told you to stay away from Unlimited Hosts as these are mostly oversold. However, HostGator is perhaps the only Unlimited Host that manages overselling well. They hardly have an over-stacked server, and provide good support to users. HostGator is used by the likes of WPTavern.

1stwebdesigner Recommends Bluehost

Do you want to know why 1stwebdesigner recommends Bluehost? We’ve written a short review about Bluehost and the conclusion is just they’re great!

Firehost

Firehost

Firehost offers secure cloud hosting with servers located both in US and Europe. It offers great set of features such as enterprise-level protection from DDoS attacks and managed backups (14 days). FoxyCart, the e-commerce solution, trusts Firehost for its hosting needs.

Smaller Projects (such as Shared Hosting)

What if you are just planning to launch a hobby site, or a small personal portfolio that does not require a VPS? Well in that case, shared hosting will suit your needs. In fact, if you are using services such as Blogger to host a blog, but need advanced features without burning a hole in your pocket, you can always find solutions with shared hosting providers (most of them offer 10 GB bandwidth for as little as $3.50 per month). Ideally, a good shared hosting package will suffice for small projects with little traffic, as well as medium-sized sites with as many as 200k unique hits. However, with Shared Hosting, often times web hosting firms tend to have over-stacked servers, thereby resulting in slow websites. Following are some hosts that stay aloof from such practice for their Shared Hosting servers (click on the screenshots for links to websites):

Stable Host

StableHost

StableHost

Unique Aspects: Excellent support, competitive pricing.

MDD Hosting

MDD Hosting

MDD Hosting

Unique Aspects: Great infrastructure, good plans.

Host Nexus

HostNexus

HostNexus

Unique Aspects: Offers both Linux and Windows hosting, good support.

Speedy Sparrow

Speedy Sparrow

Speedy Sparrow

Unique Aspects: Excellent support, mind blowing pricing.

HostNine

HostNine

HostNine

Unique Aspects: Good pricing, especially if you are migrating from another host.


Taking the Next Step: Picking a Content Delivery Network

So, let’s say you’ve picked the ideal host, setup an awesome website, and are gaining visitors as we speak. Congrats! The next crucial debate that we come across often is: Do I opt for a CDN? If so, which one? 


To begin with, if your website is generating loads of traffic, a Content Delivery Network can help you distribute the load across multiple networks, instead of hosting the files on a single server. Also, the above mentioned bigger web hosts come with special CDN features in many of their plans. However, if you wish to pick a CDN yourself, the following are some of the choices you should consider:

CloudFlare

CloudFlare

CloudFlare

CloudFlare comes with both Free and Paid plans. The Free Plan gives you basic CDN services and security features such as hotlink protection and browser integrity check. If you want more, you can opt for the Pro Plan at $20 per month for your first website ($5 per month for every extra site).

MaxCDN

MaxCDN

MaxCDN

MaxCDN does not have a free plan, but their pricing is pretty simple: $39.95 per month for 1 TB. You get features such as real-time reports and free Shared SSL.

Amazon CloudFront 

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is one of the most reliable (and most expensive) CDN services out there. For a US-based plan, you’ll have to pay $120 per month for one TB, and so on. However, Amazon CloudFront is one of the most reputed CDNs, and is definitely worth the money. Also, it works well with WP plugins such as W3 Total Cache.

To Conclude…

With that, we come to the end of this web hosting advice piece. Which web host do you use for your website? Are you satisfied with the service that you’re offered? Is there scope for improvement? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments! We already have talked about some web hosting services, but still, we wanted to give you a more in detail look of them.


10 Best Web Hosting Services Reviewed!

Every website requires hosting in order to be live on the Internet. Designers and bloggers are well aware of its importance; they use it to establish their brand and business. It is also helpful to stay connected with existing and potential audience. Choosing really good web hosting services can be as important as the information available on your website. If the server of your web host goes down any time, it can hurt your business or even destroy your hardwork. It is very important for designers to choose a web host that makes their work uninterrupted. There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a web host provider. Some are free and offer very limited features while others charge you little but offer unlimited features. I would recommend you to use price-based web hosting because they provide you more facilities than those free or cheap service providers.


1. Bluehost

bluehost

Bluehost is one of the leading web host service providers. Due to their excellent WordPress hosting, they are officially recommended by WordPress. It can easily manage large traffic without slowing down your website. Bluehost offers:

  • Shared hosting – best for those designers and bloggers who are not expecting millions of hits monthly
  • VPS hosting and Dedicated hosting – best for business purposes that need more server resources. You can get all the help that you want with trained experts ready to help you 24/7.
  • Reseller hosting – best for people who are in web hosting business. You can purchase the reseller hosting and use the allocated disk space and bandwidth to host your client’s websites.

Here are some important features of first two options as they are suitable for designers and bloggers. Bluehost ‘Shared’ hosting offers many features such as:

  • Unlimited domain hosting
  • Unlimited hosting space
  • Unlimited file transfer
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Free domain name

You can get these features and many more included in the plan for only US$3.95/month. On the other hand, ‘Dedicated’ web hosting is expensive but offers more server resources such as:

  • 2 x 2.0 GHz CPU
  • 4GB available RAM
  • 500GB storage (mirrored)
  • 5TB bandwidth
  • 3 IPs
  • Free domain
  • 24/7 support
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Standard dedicated hosting solution will cost you US$74.99/first month.

We also made this quick video showing how you can get started super fast and have live WordPress website in 10 minutes!

2. WP Engine

wp-engine WP Engine is a professional web hosting service for WordPress. WP Engine gives you an interruption-free hosting server with the ability to handle pressure. Don’t worry about getting hacked because it’s hacker proof. A strong and lighting fast customer service makes this a very strong candidate for your website hosting. With its WordPress experts, you can feel relax about any issues that come to your website. WP Engine is considered a very good option for designers and bloggers who are looking for a Web host provider in a reasonable price. WP Engine offers all these plans and pricing with a risk free 60-day cancellation. If you are not happy with the services or platform, you can simply cancel within 60 days and get a full refund of your money. Some of their offers include:

  • Daily backup
  • One-click restore point
  • A high quality security
  • Automatic caching
  • One-click staging area
  • Risk-free 60-day cancellation

Currently, WP Engine is providing a personal plan for US$29.00/month which offers:

  • 1 WordPress installation
  • 25,000 visits / month
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • 10GB Local Storage

Other plans include:

  • Professional plan with same features as personal plan but more server resources starting from US$99.00/month.
  • Business plan with same features but more server resources than professional plan to host large business websites starting from US$249.00/month.

3. Media Temple

media-template Media Temple offers a world-class hosting experience especially for designers and bloggers. It doesn’t matter how big your website is, Media Temple can handle it for you. It is the complete value for money. There are plenty of options and plans offered by Media Temple that vary in price, features and capability. Every plan offers an upgrade version so that you never stop growing. Plans that are offered by the Media Temple include:

  • Grid: shared web and cloud hosting
  • DV Managed
  • DV Developer
  • DV Enterprise
  • Helix Private Hosting

When we talk about designers and bloggers, the best plan to choose is the Grid. The Grid is the ideal package for WordPress integration with many benefits for the beginners. Some of its features includes

  • Host up to 100 websites
  • 1TB monthly bandwidth
  • SSD database storage
  • 100 GB storage
  • 1,000 email accounts
  • 24/7/365 live support

All these features are available in US$20/month. It is easy to use and can be upgraded whenever you think it’s time. Other offered plans are: DV Developer for US$30/month and DV Managed for US$50/month.

4. Arvixe

arvixe Arvixe is a well-known web hosting company for developers, designers and bloggers. The best thing about Arvixe is its reliability, quality and affordability. There are many plans offered by Arvixe for developers and designers including:

  • Personal Plans
  • Business Plans
  • Reseller Plans

There are also VPS and dedicated servers that are based on Windows and Linux platform. If you are looking for a simple tool to handle the all the heavy traffic on your website and making sure that website remains online all the time, use Arvixe. With its superior Shared hosting, designers and bloggers can feel relax about handling their websites traffic and growing further. It offers different features including:

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Unlimited e-mail Accounts
  • Free domain
  • Free site builder
  • Free online store
  • Easy control panel
  • 24/7 US-based phone support

All these features cost you just USD $4/month only. With no hidden fees, you also get a 60-day moneyback guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform. Other plans include:

  • Business hosting for USD $22/month
  • Reseller hosting for USD $20/month
  • VPS hosting for USD $40/month.

5. HostGator

host-gator HostGator is one of the top web hosting sites. It is famous for its award winning 24×7 customer support, which many designers and bloggers prefer. It is very affordable too. It offers different server plans including:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Reseller Hosting
  • VPS and Dedicated plans

It is designed to work perfectly with both beginners and professionals. The process of coming from another host can be very difficult but with HostGator it is very easy to switch host. When you are coming from another host, it offers:

  • Free domain transfer
  • Free file transfers
  • Free database transfers
  • Free script transfers

Features that HostGator offers for its users include:

  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • Easy control panel
  • One-click script install
  • 24×7 technical support
  • 4,500 free website templates

You can get all these features in only US$ 3.96/month. Other plans include:

  • Reseller hosting starting from US$19.96/month
  • VPS Hosting starting from US$15.96/first month
  • Dedicated servers starting from US$139/first month

HostGator offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a 45-day money back guarantee as well.

6. Go Daddy

go-daddy GoDaddy is one of the most well-known website hosting companies in this industry. Every designer and developer knows about it; it is the number one choice for designers. The service offers many plenty of facilities for the beginners and experts. GoDaddy knows how important your website is for you so it takes all the care for it. Everything from file manager, domain manager and database manager is exceptionally great and very easy to use. You can get all the help that you need from its 24/7 customer support available at phone or e-mail. However, managing millions of domains makes the support a little slower but the support team is always quick to respond and the complaints are resolved usually within 24 hours. Features that GoDaddy offers for its every plan include:

  • Free domain with annual plan restrictions
  • Free email addresses
  • One-click install of 200+ free applications
  • Unlimited monthly bandwidth
  • 1GB storage MySQL Linux and 200 MB storage Windows SQL databases
  • Flexible, easy-to-use control panel
  • 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection

Although these features including many more are available in every plan but prices vary in terms of storage and hosting number of websites.

  • You can host a single website in US$3.99/month with 100 GB storage
  • For unlimited website hosting and unlimited storage you have to pay US$ 4.99/month
  • Other plan includes hosting WordPress/Blog starting from US$6.29/month

7. Eleven2

eleven2

Eleven2 is a highly recommended web host provider due to its service quality, support, hardware, features and uptime. It is very affordable and mostly preferred by designers and bloggers as shared web hosting. It offers a free Site Builder to help you out in creating a fully featured website in few minutes. You can easily manage your site with its standard cPanel tools and features that help you to manage your site easily. With their customer support, they are available 24/7 to help you out. They also offer a unique feature of live chat with which you can chat with experts live about your web hosting matters. It is truly the hosting done right. Eleven2 offers feature according to their different plans that are monthly and yearly based. The standard S-200 plan is available for US$10/month and includes:

  • 250GB Storage Space
  • 20,000GB monthly bandwidth
  • Unlimited domains
  • Free instant setup
  • SSL Certificate +$69.99/yr
  • Dedicated IP +$4/mo

The only difference is in the prices when the plan is taken with yearly package. Other plans include:

  • S-300 for US$20/mo with 500GB Storage Space and 40,000GB Monthly Bandwidth
  • S-400 plan is available for US$40/mo with 999,999GB Storage Space 999,999GB Monthly Bandwidth

8. Fatcow

fat-cow

Fatcow is a very good choice for designers and bloggers that have little capital or are launching the website for personal purpose. Its features and plans can keep your website running all the time. People find it very reliable and friendly. Fatcow makes sure that their every customer gets uninterrupted website connection with the help of server backups every day. The customer service is highly reliable and available on the toll-free help lines 24/7. You can also communicate with them through e-mail. Fatcow also offers tutorials and FAQ library for its users as well. Different hosting solutions that Fatcow offers include:

  • FatCow Plan
  • WordPress hosting
  • Domain parking
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Domain registration
  • Free Farm-Fresh icons

Features that Fatcow offers include:

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 90% up-time and speed
  • Free domain
  • Unlimited MySQL database
  • Unlimited domains hosted
  • Unlimited POP mailboxes

All these features are available in the lowest price ever which is US$ 3.15/month. Other plans include

  • WordPress hosting starting from US$3.75/month
  • VPS servers starting from US$19.99/month
  • Dedicated hosting starting from US$119.99/month.

9. InMotion Hosting

inmotion-hosting InMotion Hosting is very famous among small and large sized businesses. Whether it is website hosting or blog, they can do anything for you. InMotion is very famous due to its award winning technical support and an uptime of 99.9%. They handle every growing business need, from a small business to an enterprise level. InMotion ensures a better speed and high service availability with multiple data centers. It offers a feature called ‘Max Speed Zone’ to VPS and Business class plans with which users that are near to the data centers of InMotion can enjoy browsing six times faster than anyone else. InMotion makes sure that you get uninterrupted connection with your users with their 24/7 customer support availability. WordPress hosting is highly optimized for bloggers and offers you some great features to make your blog grow. InMotion Web hosting includes:

  • Business class hosting
  • Cheap hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated servers
  • Reseller hosting

Features that InMotion offers include:

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE 1-click installer with 310+ applications!
  • FREE cPanel & WHM server management tools
  • FREE $300 advertising credits
  • FREE domain name

There are plenty of others features included in the plan and it is available for US$5.99/month. Other plans include

  • VPS hosting starting from US$29.99/month
  • Dedicated hosting starting from US$119.99/month
  • Reseller hosting starting from US$13.99/month

10. TMDHosting

tmd-hosting

When you are running a popular site or a blog, you need various marketing tools and knowledge. TMDHosting makes it easier for you to run a website or a blog.

  • With a guaranteed 99.9% uptime in all the hosting plans, it gives you the best hosting experience
  • It offers a 30-day money back warranty in case you are not satisfied with the platform.
  • TMD also provides hosting for open source applications including; Joomla Hosting, and Magneto hosting etc.

The advantage that TMDHosting has on its competitors is the quick customer support. With 24/7 available support, your inquiries are resolved within 15 minutes. It also offers top level assistance with the latest technologies available. For starters, TMD hosting gives step-by-step tutorials to help you out in any web hosting matter. Daily promotions are updates on the site with lowest price plans for the customers. Hosting services that TMD offers include:

  • Web hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Dedicated servers

Different features that TMD hosting offers include

  • FREE domain forever
  • CloudLinux-powered servers
  • UNLIMITED space & traffic
  • Multiple PHP versions
  • UNLIMITED MySQL

Many more features are included with the package. The web hosting plan is available for USD $2.85/mo. Other plans include:

  • Reseller hosting starting from US$11.95/mont
  • VPS hosting starting from US$35.95/month
  • Cloud hosting starting from US$44.95/month
  • Dedicated servers starting from US$229/month

Wrap up!

Each web hosting service is highly recommended for you if you are a designer or a blogger. However, I would recommend you to have a close look at each plan to decide which is best for your purpose.Customer support is sometimes the only difference between an ordinary service provider and the best. Before leaving, please tell us about which web host are you using for your website? What is your satisfaction level with your web host provider? Also, if you would like to add some points for any service provider or if you want to share your thoughts, feel free to do it by commenting below.

You got your hosting selected, however what about domains? The next section covers what you should be watching out, before registering domain name.


6 Tips Before Registering a Domain Name

There are many things a web designer has to think of when designing a website. Moreover, if he has full responsibility, he has to come up with a good domain name as well. Although many think it is not so important, the domain name is as important as your company name, the website or the Facebook page. Having a good domain name will many times not only bring you more traffic, but also make your webpage easier to remember – and this brings traffic too.


Finding the perfect domain name is not easy in today’s web. Many of the domains which you could think of using are either used by another company or bought for profit by individuals or even other businesses. Web professionals often spend more time finding the right domain name than designing an identity or a website.

Branding

Branding is a very important concept for a business. Every company has a brand, which represents their name, logo, color schemes and visual identity. However, not all of them are branded. The difference is in the brand awareness. A company with a brand awareness relies on their customers’ ability to recall and recognize their brand in different conditions and link them to their brand elements. It has something to do with clients being satisfied with a product and recognizing the products. It is the difference between Coca-Cola and a no-name Cola company. Or the difference between Apple and a Taipei-based unknown tablet producer.

Ten years before it was not the case, but today if you have a company and want a powerful brand, basic knowledge of domain names is very important, as it is similar to your office address. It is where people can find and get in touch with you.

Extensions

The three most used extensions in the world are .com, .net and .org. A domain name with one of these extensions might seem ideal for any kind of business. Going for a free international domain such as .tk might not be so successful. It happens many times that visitors can’t remember your website, so they try the name and these three popular extensions. This is what I also do most of the time, as I assume a company I would be interested in doing business with, or a website I would be interested in visiting would have one of these three extensions. The three top extensions got so popular that, as I just said, visitors just expect companies to use them.

Some domain names providers offer the option of buying all three at a discounted price. Having all three of them with your brand name will be very useful for you in the future – this is a very intelligent move that will put you in pole position.

Another advantage of using all three (or one of the three) is that they are very cheap to buy. The support for them is also all over the place and it it more difficult to find a provider which doesn’t sell them than one which does. Now I am not saying you simply have to own one of these three. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg has one of the coolest domain names ever: www.ma.tt. Yes, he has a Trinidad & Tobago domain, but  it fits his name perfectly. If you can find something intelligent like that, go for it. But think of the fact that people who don’t know too much about the web don’t even realize there is something else besides .com, .net and .org.

This section should be food for thought. However, choosing the domain extension should be one of the easiest task in creating a powerful brand. But wait, there is much more to follow.

Location

Talking about extensions, location is something else you might want to think of. It depends a lot on your business and its purpose. It depends a lot on the audience, market and their behavior. If you have a Danish company targeting only Danes, having a website ending in .com would make no sense, when the option of having a .dk extension is easy to spot. All countries have their own domain extensions. TLDs (top-level domains) are obviously not the only ones available.

Using a country-code TLD is mostly for companies and individuals in the respective country. Wikipedia has a long and complete list of worldwide TLDs. It is easy to notice that some of them require either having a company registered in the country or at least a permit of residence, therefore registering them might not be so easy if you look at coming up with a trick as Matt did.

It is also an option for the ones targeting nations not using an English alphabet, like the Asian or Arabian countries; or Russia. Those are called IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) and you should only use them to supplement a .com address (or any other TLD); otherwise it will get confusing for visitors whose main language is English or whose alphabet is the one we use in Europe or America.

Hacks

We talked about them a bit earlier. Hacks are those smart things you can do to integrate the domain extension into your domain name. Surprising or not, there are even tools out there on the web that can help you find possible combinations. Domai.nr is probably the best one to use, as it gives you very many options at a simple search. People decide to use hacks not only because they are cool, but mostly because they are very close to finding the right domain name for their company, but it is taken. This is so frustrating and it will happen so many times when you search for a domain name. Finding the right domain name for you is not going to be easy, therefore you might want to look into hacks.

Before buying

Great, now you found your domain and are ready to buy it. No, you are not! Something is missing. You need to make sure your domain name does not create legal issues. Make sure it is not similar to the one of another company doing the same business as you do.

Microsoft vs. MikeRoweSoftis the most popular dispute regarding domain name infringement. This happened almost 10 years ago and was a huge case in the media, when the young web designer Mike Rowe was disputing his domain name with the American giant because of the domain name’s resonance.

Applying for a trademark is something huge companies do, as they know their websites will be popular by default, but this is really expensive to go for. If you are just in the beginning, you might want to protect your name some other way and leave purchasing a trademark for later down the road. Some technique you could use is called bulk purchasing. Many individuals prefer to buy lots of domains with different extensions, but the same name, and redirect all of them to the main website.

WHOIS services

A mistake many individuals make is registering their domains under a WHOIS privacy service. This is a very dangerous technique, although it seems like it is a helpful one first time you hear about it. What happens if you register your domain under a WHOIS privacy service is that your contact details are hidden. Instead, the fields are filled in with the name of your provider. Why is this dangerous? Because according to ICANN policies, is the name in the WHOIS details that owns the domain.

This means that if your website gets hacked, you have little chance of proving the domain was actually yours. If their name is in the records, it is actually them owning the domain you paid for. So even if you want to protect your name, I don’t advise you to do it by using these services, as it is very dangerous.

Conclusion

Having a good domain name can also improve the user experience on your website. Even if today many of a website’s visits come from search engines and referrals, having an easy to remember domain name is always going to be helpful. They are likely to reduce the percentage of people forgetting how to find you.

Keep in mind that top-level domains can help you in search engine results. A .com will always be indexed faster and better than a .ru. Spending time to think of all details and find the right domain name is something that will take a lot of time.

Is there a specific way you search for a domain? Have you ever paid for a domain through an auction? Do you think the domain name matters?

Well you know a lot more than you knew before, but we are not finished yet. Our guide is more then just what you read until now. Let’s take a look at DNS.


Everything You Need To Know About DNS

DNS. Three letters that can make or break your website. A fault with DNS and your website can go down for 24 to 48 hours. What is DNS? From where does this 48 hour delay come from in the age of super fast Internet and high-speed technology? Why hasn’t the ever evolving technology replaced the age-old DNS and the frightening 48 hours delay? This discussion will shed some light on most of the queries about DNS. I hope that you will see DNS from a completely different perspective after this write up.


What is DNS?

That is the customary question that we got to answer when we are discussing something as vast as DNS. Basically, DNS (Domain Name System) is responsible for translating human friendly website URLs like www.1stwebdesigner.com to computer readable IP addresses like 148.68.30.27 (just an example). You know, our mind cannot remember combination of such digits so we devised a system which helps convert these IP addresses to English names and vice versa.

Please understand that DNS isn’t a localized system where all the IP addresses corresponding to every website present on this planet is stored. If that was the case then an unimaginable amount of care would be required to keep such a huge database working. Also, having a localized DNS would be against the distributed character of the Internet.

Rather, DNS is a distributed service which is actually a collective group of name servers (which we call as “nameserver” in Internet lingo). These nameservers constantly refer to each other in order to stay updated with the changes that are rolled out every now and then. The process sounds simple but it is quite complex.

So, every website has a nameserver?

Well, technically speaking, yes! Though it’s a different case that one nameserver will be used for multiple websites. Otherwise, we would end up having 100 million nameservers for 100 million domains – which makes no sense. Like, I host a domain of mine on DreamHost.com. So, they give me nameservers like ns1.dreamhost.com, ns2.dreamhost.com and ns3.dreamhost.com. Now, DreamHost is giving these nameservers to almost every client that they have. So, these three nameservers basically have almost all the IP address to URL details of every DreamHost client.

A basic flow of request on the Internet

When you type Google.com in your browser then a lot of stuff happens behind the scenes before you get to see the Google homepage. The image below tries to explain the flow of request.

Let me try to make it bit more clearer:

  • When you visit a website URL via your browser then Windows will look for the corresponding IP address stored in the nameservers of your ISP.
  • If the IP address is found then the request is directly sent to that IP address henceforth reducing the execution time.
  • If the IP address is not found locally then the request is sent to the cloud of Internet and your browser waits for the virtual world to do its job.
  • Every website has a nameserver associated with itself. Henceforth, that particular nameserver receives that request and sends it to the respective IP address.
  • If that nameserver does not have the IP address details then it communicates with other nameservers and they with others. The request flows in the Internet till correct IP details are attained.
  • Once the IP address is known then the request is sent to the particular IP address and data is served.

What is “48 hours delay”?

Usually, when you are about to change the nameservers for your domain or when you are hosting a fresh domain then your hosting company will tell you that it might take up to 48 hours for the information to be updated. Technically speaking, they are correct. It might take up to 48 hours for all nameservers on this planet to connect with every other nameserver and keep themselves in sync. You see, it’s a huge virtual world out there. But, my personal experience says that it usually takes less than 24 hours for the global update to complete. Still, you should consider the 48 hour delay in your time plan before you make any changes.

The below image via Wikipedia will give you an idea of hierarchical DNS, organized into zones, each served by a nameserver.

How and when does caching occur?

Nice question. You got the information for Google.com request that you had sent some time back. Now, that information is saved in the local ISP’s nameservers so that next time your request isn’t sent to third-party nameservers. But, after a stipulated time period these nameservers contact other nameservers so that their information isn’t outdated. This is where the term TTL comes into play.

What is TTL?

TTL (or Time To Live) is the time period that comes in along with the IP address info. This time period information is sent by the third-party nameserver along with the IP address. The value is usually in seconds and it is more like a suggestion from the third-party nameserver that you can stay away from me for X seconds and still stay updated. Come back after X seconds and I will pass on the latest information.

Usually the TTL value is 12 hours or 24 hours. This can be set to a custom number as and when required to reduce traffic.

Other types of DNS lookups

Once DNS started to serve the IP address lookup (as discussed above), then it was time to expand. DNS was later on used for other type of lookups, two of which we will discuss below:

  • A Record – A Record lookup is something that we have already discussed. The IP address lookup is actually the A Record lookup for DNS.
  • MX Record – MX (which is acronym for “mail exchanger”) is used for email address lookups. Usually when a tool tries to send an email to mail box related to your domain then it will look for MX record of your domain. This MX record will have another domain (something like mail.yourdomain.com) as its value. Now the A Record for this MX record will be checked to get the target IP address.
  • CNAME Record – CNAME (stands for Canonical Name Record) is actually an alias for another domain name. This comes in handy when you want to use your own domain and data from another website. Like, during the ancient Internet Age (when blogspot.com was luxury), blogspot.com had a feature (they still have it) where you can use your own domain (yourdomain.com) instead of using the bogspot’s sub-domain for your blogspot hosted blog. In this case all that Google would do was ask you to change the CNAME of yourdomain.com to your blogspot’s sub-domain and the job is done. Whenever one would visit yourdomain.com then the data from your blogspot’s sub-domain will be delivered although the sub-domain won’t be visible in address bar.

Other usage of DNS

Other then the three lookups that I discussed above, DNS can be used for many other functions like:

  • As I discussed before, domain names and nameservers do not have a one-to-one matching. This gives the hosting companies the chance for shared hosting and save a lot on money invested. Here, multiple domains can result into one IP address. This means one machine can host many websites. Additionally, one domain can point to multiple IP addresses. This helps in redundancy and high availability.
  • The DNS system can be used to save and share IP addresses of blacklisted email hosts. Such databases are available for free in order to fight spam.
  • These days software makers save the version of a software in the DNS database. This way the client machine connects to find out the latest version of the software available. It connects to the software maker’s server only if a new version is available. This helps in reducing the requests that client machines get.

We talked about a lot of hosting services. How about specifically WordPress hosting. Read on!


Which Is The Best Managed WordPress Hosting For Professionals?


Do You Want A Fast WordPress Hosting? What is The Best WordPress Host For Professionals?

Hi there! For this #EspressoMonday episode, we will go in-depth with a question focusing on web hosting.  If you have been wondering about where to host your WordPress site and some of the most important factors regarding what a good web hosting site is, then this is for you. Let’s have another great day learning beyond just web design.

What are you waiting for? Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in.

Web design and web hosting go hand in hand. You can’t design a website without a reliable and fast hosting service. It would be like building a house without a ground to build it upon, which is impossible. Like looking for land which will provide a solid foundation for your house, looking for a good web hosting service works similarly. Therefore, the web hosting provider you choose can either be a blessing or curse for you because it can either help you build a solid foundation or give you a headache for failing to deliver what it had promised. Thus, this question we’re going to tackle today is one of the dilemmas most web designer often encounter.

What WordPress Hosting Service Do We Recommend?

The question seems easy to answer but the choice you make will greatly affect your website. Therefore, it is not child’s play where you play “Rocks, Scissors, and Papers” or “Eenie Mini Miny Moo” and then choose the website hosting provider randomly.

Most often than not, the next questions that follow are:

Do you host your clients’ websites yourself? – It reflects the uncertainty on some web designers whether they are doing the right move/decision or not.

Do you use web hosting sites, such as GoDaddy, etc.?

Whats your advice on web hosting in general? What are the pros and cons of web hosting your clients sites?

While a lot of good web host providers offer dedicated hardware and virtual private servers, you need to figure out which web host meets your needs you need to consider these five important points:

  • speed,
  • flexibility,
  • support,
  • security
  • can you make money by handling hosting for your clients? Affiliate program?

Web Hosting Service Speed

Website hosting affects the speed of your WordPress website. How fast is your website host?

How?

There are many kinds of website hosting to choose from, the cheapest of which is “shared hosting.” In this type of website, various website files from different companies are placed together on the same server.

What does this mean to you and your website?

You can already guess that when a certain area is congested, there’s sure to have a traffic jam. The same goes with shared hosting. Because thousands of other websites share the same space, they share the same resources as well. When the server gets a lot of traffic, the websites in that server receives less resources than it should making it very slow.

Another type is a dedicated website host where you don’t share your rented server with other websites. However, this type of web hosting is not a practical solution for some businesses. Another option are virtual private servers or VPS which are affordable but provide dedicated resources but there are also certain restrictions.

If you want reliability and speed, the best hosting plan choice is – fully managed hosting service.

So what do you do?

WP Engine Fully Managed WordPress Hosting Comes To The Rescue

Here at 1stWebDesigner, we recommend a very amazing web and WordPress hosting called WP engine which you can access here. One of the best things about this tool is when you sign up or create your account, they will let you choose a server you’d want your website to be based upon. This means that you can use a server based in any part of the world, such as the UK, Japan, or any additional US server. The tool has three international data centers you can choose from which best suits your audience.

Another option the WP engine gives you in terms of speed is the “No Caching Plugin of the BIG-IP system and the content servers.” option which ensures the smooth performance of your website, especially when it becomes bigger.

WPEngine proves its speed

It is a fact that when  a website becomes filled with data and information, it gives a spotty performance. With the “No Caching Plugins” option, however, your website speed is taken to new levels using new levels with multi-server clusters which include in-RAM caching.

To explain what RAM caching does in simple terms, this feature reduces the traffic load to back-end servers by taking the stress off of the BIG-IP system and the content servers. This is especially useful when the object on a website is  is under high demand, if the site has a large quantity of static content, or if the objects on the site are compressed.

Another option is the EverCache, which makes your website scalable and much faster. It caches all the elements, CSS, HTML, and all the images you need to ensure that your website runs fast. WP Engine takes care of all these making it much easier for you.

WordPress has even written an article called “Disallowed Plugins” which lists all the plugins which are incompatible with their custom caching environment. Every time WP maintenance scripts see these plugins being used, they are automatically removed from your install.

These “disallowed plugins” include: WP Super Cache, WP File Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WordFence.

Flexiblity is taken care of at WPEngine

1. How Flexible is WPEngine?

In terms of flexibility, WP Engine offers every single account unlimited data transfer as well as CDN or content delivery network, which serves content to your end-users with high availability and performance. In layman’s terms, it allows your website to load in lightning speed no matter where your website visitors are. This works especially if you want real-time streaming of your content.

The best thing about WP Engine hosting when it comes to flexibility is their plans. WP Engine offers various plans, each with their own limitations. The good thing, however, is no matter what your plan is, your account will never get frozen. For example, you only get the Personal Plan which can handle up to 25k visitors, even if you exceed that number they will never stop your account. Instead, you will automatically be upgraded to the next plan; thus, you won’t have to worry about your website going offline.

Flexible plans for your pocket

You will also be notified about this change immediately. In case you don’t want it, you can just cancel it. You can also get a refund in 60 days if your business fails.

Ever so famous 24/7 support

2. Is WPEngine Support Any Good?

Website host providers have different systems for their support. Some use a ticketing system where you can submit your complaint and they will give you a ticket to follow-up the solution. Others use a wiki-page where you can search the solutions for a problem you encounter. WP Engine has all of these types of support 24/7.

They also have a live chat support where you can talk with their customer support about any problem that may arise. In short, they give you a 24/7 support no matter where you are. You can find that on the upper right corner of your account once you log in to your WP engine account.

WPEngine’s own staging area

3. How Secure And Safe Your Site Is With WPEngine?

When it comes to security, WP Engine has a system called “Staging” to ensure that your website is protected lock, stock, and barrel.

Imagine that you have messed up your CSS or installed an incompatible plugin that wrecked havoc on your database. It happened all live for your readers to see. These are the times you wished you had backup.

Every time you’re going to make a scary change to your website or blog, “Staging” is a feature which allows you to click the “snapshot” button which makes a complete copy of your blog and set it up in a separate, safe area. You can play with anything you want; nothing’s live. Only when you’re ready to make it live do you touch your main site.

The best part – you have it at no additional charge.

Easy way for you to earn

How You As A Web Designer Can Generate Passive Income From Hosting?

This is regarding the question if you host your clients’ websites yourself.

The answer is a resounding YES – you must do it.

That is because your clients want to know and feel that you take care of them. They don’t want to do all the steps or the dirty work. They don’t want to worry about the technicalities behind their websites. What they are concerned of is the result and they pay you.

If you want to generate more income, WP Engine also takes care of this through their affiliate program which gives you payouts on hosting referrals. In fact, it has one of the highest payouts compared to other affiliate programs. They pay their commissions monthly but the best thing is that you belong the league of popular brands, such as Foursquare, Buffer, and Geekwire, which are also using the WP Engine Affiliate Program.

Conclusion

WP Engine is one of, if not, the best fully managed web and WordPress site hosting services. Not only do they offer you speed, flexibility, security, and support, but it also helps you earn more. The best part is it is used by a lot of big name companies which means it is a trusted brand.

You can use other web hosting service providers, just make sure that they have these five elements to give your website the optimum performance it needs.

Hosting, however isn’t limited only to websites, so we are continuing with file hosting services reviews.


9 Great File Hosting Services Reviewed

It really doesn’t matter what are You doing – there are time for everybody, when You need to upload files, share with them online or just keep somewhere You can always get those files from. In my early days I send my files to e-mail and that’s my way of file hosting. Now there are a lot more options, to choose from and the best way is to choose some file hosting service, so You don’t need to keep those files on Your own server and get better download and upload speed too. I made great list of 9 the most known free file hosting service sites You can choose from – choose the one which fits You the most.


1. Media Fire

media-fire

This service offer a bunch of free, great options and unlimited storage but only 100MB per file.

media-account

2. ADrive

adrive

One of the best services offering 50 GB free upload!

adrive-account

3. File Savr

Free service without registration required, files are kept forever as they are being downloaded and upload size is 10GB. Very good and fast service as I tested it.

file-sav

4. File Dropper

Very fresh designed site without any annoying countdown timers or blinking, aggressive advertisements like in MegaUpload or Rapidshare, upload size is 5gb without registration required.

file-dropper

5. FileDen

Also very user friendly and clean website offering 1GB upload size, but also fast download speed. My favorite one actually because of simplicity.

fileden

fileden-account

6. FileQube

Upload size is 2GB and service is totally free, one file size is up to 150mb and a lot more nice features as web file manager, different widgets to make Your life easier etc.

fileqube

7. Send U It

senduit

Fast, easy service with two simple steps – upload file up to 100mb and send to friends private link for download. Only thing it expires quickly, You can set expiration up to 1 week.

8.  Easy Share

Pretty great resource allowing You 4 different ways to upload files – web upload, FTP upload, upload with Easy Share software and remote upload – very handy.

Maximum file size per upload is 100MB and unlimited storage and no registration required if You want to just upload file, however for managing files and uploading files from FTP, I suggest to register. Very good service and completely free.

easy-share

9. zSHARE

The last service I will review is zSHARE  with unlimited upload, but 500mb per file, no registration required and it’s completely free!

There is no limit how long files are kept on the server, but if files are not downloaded for more than 60 days are automatically deleted.

zShare

Please share with file hosting services You use too, if You know any. Hope You enjoyed this list!

We have come a long way and you are almost set to go, but don’t you ever forget about backups. This is something everyone should be doing regularly. Check the list below for the best options.


Secure Yourself: Backup Solutions for Designers and Developers

Nowadays every thing is digital – whether it’s your photos, music or any other personal and business documents, everything is stored on the digital media, it’s our present and definitely it’s future!

Apart from its advantages it has several disadvantages too and we will look at pros and cons right here to provide you with solution!


Some main risks to important data are:

  • Technical Malfunction or Error
  • Catastrophic Events
  • Espionage or Sabotage

These risks can be avoided by taking regular backups. Taking backup is a main principle of data security. You have two options for backup purpose, one is remote backup and the other is online backup. Using remote backups you still got many problems and risks to your data, you have to use lock safes, strong boxes, or other security measures to make them secure.

This is the reason we prefer online backup rather than remote. By using an online backup service you can secure your data with a very little cost as compared to the cost you would have to bear for the security of remote backup.

This method is also very fast, setup and installation process is a matter of downloading a software and just install it. You can easily search the data you want to recover: you don’t have to go through a whole bunch of cabinets to find your desired backed up data.

So looking at the importance of the online backup, today we have covered top 5 services which provide backing up services at very low-cost and offer very admiring services.

1. DropBox

Quick Look:

  • File Sync
  • File Sharing
  • Online Backup
  • Web Access to all data
  • Mobile Device Access
  • 2GB Free, Paid packages starts from $9.99 / month

Dropbox is all in one tool for Online backup, File sync and File sharing and my personal choice. Unlike other applications which only sync files or put file online or tackle only backup, Dropbox is an application which provides all of these features in the single application.

Cost

Using File Sync feature of Dropbox you get 2GB of online storage for free which is to be increased to 100GB by getting pro plans. You can sync any type of file or of any size. With support of Windows, Mac and Linux applications it is the most comprehensive solution so far. Following is the chart of its cost and space provided.

After installing the Dropbox, these will be a folder in you’re “My Documents” named “My Dropbox”. Any file copied or moved in that folder will be uploaded to the servers of Dropbox and will be synchronized, and your can also access them from any computer from with Dropbox installed and from the Dropbox website using your username and password. N ow instead of using emails for sending some files you can use Dropbox which makes the process of transferring files very easy and unproblematic. If you can large number of files which you have to send to clients or coworkers then simply add them in public folder, copy the link which is publically accessible, give it to your co-workers or clients and you can have them download the files and documents. You can also make shared folders and invite other people to view the content which make Dropbox perfect for large business organizations with large number of employees.

Photo Gallery

Another great feature of Dropbox is built-in Photo Gallery. You can drag the photos in “Photos” folder and they will be available online for viewing in Photo Gallery of your Dropbox.

Dropbox also supports iPhone, iPad and Android based devices which is most important thing nowadays. You can access your Dropbox, view files and folders, download files, take photos and videos and sync them to your Dropbox, share links to files and export your files to other applications using these applications for your mobile devices. In the end we would like to say that Dropbox is 1st priority if you want to have Online backup solution because of its diversified features. Some may think it is bit expensive but we say if we account its performance and services then it is not much expensive. We use DropBox here on 1WD and we highly recommend it to you.:)

2. Mozy

Quick Look:

  • Safest Backup service
  • Unlimited space
  • 100% automatic
  • Staring from $4.95 / month

Mozy is the second backup storage solution that we are reviewing. In security Mozy gets a perfect score. It is considered as the most secure online data backup service as Mozy use 128-bit SSL encryption to ensure it is not intercepted. It also uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption to prevent someone from getting to your data on the Mozy’s servers. MozyPro also uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, making it the most secure service of online storage and backup solution.

Mozy uses different levels of security and privacy policies to get you data secured. Using Mozy you can get very large amount of control over what kind of backups should be taken and when. You can set up these setting once and then the rest is duty of Mozy. You can set automatic backups and choose to upload your important files on daily or weekly basis. You can also manage the memory usage of the Mozy which will help you to avoid your computer being slowed down. You can download your file and documents from any computer without installing the application on that specific computer. After the initial backup, Mozy only backs up new or changed portions of files, saving bandwidth and ensuring future backups are super fast. It automatically recommends important files to back up, you can select or deselect from them. You can also create a schedule as to when you want your backups to be performed.

Cost

It provides two plans, one is MozyHome and other is MozyPro. Following are the pricing of both the MozyHome and MozyPro.

MozyHome Price

MozyPro Price

Mozy supports Windows and Mac but it do not supports any mobile devices like iPhone or Android, while other services have specially designed applications for this purpose. We think it is computer backup services that’s y they didn’t added this feature but in coming 2 or 3 years this feature will be compulsory and to remain in the market, Mozy should focus on that loophole. Mozy is best choice for people who want extreme security of their data in a low price. This was designed as backup services but now it is 1 of the best online storage of your files with very co-operative help and support department. It has very easy to use interface. In short, Mozy is a best service for backup solution.

3. Carbonite

Quick Look

  • Unlimited Backup Capacity
  • Completely Automatic
  • Secure and Encrypted
  • Easy File Recovery

Carbonite is very easy to use and installs quickly. After installation you can choose automatic process for storing only your desired files. Selecting a file for backup is extremely easy, you just right-click a file then select Carbonite and it will automatically store to the service for you.

Carbonite backup service encrypts your data twice on your computer and then stores them encrypted on their secured data servers, making them virtually impossible to be misused. Carbonite offers unlimited storage space, automatic scheduled backups, remote access to your files and much more. You can restore your stored files from anywhere and from any computers. You can configure automatic backups to perform backups on daily basis; other options are also available like hourly basis backup.

It provides double encryption and redundant storage all files are sent via SSL connection and the Carbonite team members cannot see your files making your data extremely secure.

Cost

  • Five-Year Subscription for $199.95
  • Three-Year Subscription for $129.95
  • Two-Year Subscription for $99.95
  • One-Year Subscription for $54.95

Carbonite is a very good backup option for those who need remote access to their files and unlimited storage in a very reasonable price which is less than $5 per month (yearly subscription). It is also good for lazy people who forget to back up their data manually: totally automatic.

4. SugarSync

Quick look

  • Remote access
  • Supports Mac and Windows
  • Customer Phone Support
  • Sync as many computers as you want
  • 30 Days Free Trail. Pro Packages starting from $4.99 / Month

SugarSync is a great way to store, share, and mobilize your files and data. It really is a comprehensive solution for online storage, online file sharing/collaboration, and multiple computer syncing.

SugarSync offers features of backup, sync, sharing files and remote access to your data from anywhere where internet is available. Apart from these, it offers very interesting advance features. It is very simple but powerful tool. You just have to select files to sync then you can take rest: now its responsibility of SugarSync to do what you have suggested it to do. You can share your files with family, friends and co-workers. SugarSync runs in background and is fully automatic.

Cost

SugarSync offer its services as low as $4.99/month. It has the following Complete Tariff Plan.

SugarSync offers very flexible sharing, it mobilize your files and data. You can access your data not only from your computer but from anywhere in the world using internet and your cell phones. You can send a secure link of your files to friend or co-worker: no need to attach documents in email or other portable media. It saves five previous versions of file so you can easily revert them if needed.

5. IDrive

Quick Look

  • Keeps deleted files for 30 days for free
  • 128-bit SSL encryption
  • Works behind firewalls
  • Saves up to 30 versions of file
  • 2GB Free, Pro Plans Starting from $4.95/month

IDrive offers everything you will want to see in an online backup service. Using IDrive you can manage your multiple accounts through a single account. You can set it to work through a connection via proxy connection also. When you install IDrive for the first time, a default selection of most commonly backed up data including Documents, Pictures and Videos is created with a random after hours schedule. You can customize the selection and schedule afterwards. It automatically recognizes the modified parts of files or folders and backs then up after every 10 minutes. IDrive performs reliable backups of pen/locked files like Outlook files, QuickBooks, MS-Excel and others. You can drag-n-drop files for restore from your online drive to the local system.

Cost

IDrive provide 2GB for free and in case you need more storage space then you can upgrade to Pro version. The tariff of IDrive Pro is as follows

IDrive retains and allows you to restore the last 30 versions of a file and the old version are stored of free means it will not cost you your purchased web space. You can login via any browser to your account to access the data, restore data and view log reports. IDrive uses enhanced security with 128-bit SSL encryption on transfers, 256-bit AES encryption on storage with a user defined key. That key is not stored anywhere on IDrive servers. It transfers only modified files which can be very handy if you don’t have unlimited bandwidth connection.

That is all for this review. You feedback, comments, suggestions are always welcome and it is a way for us to know what are our weak points and loopholes.

Which application do you use for backing up your data?

Oh and if you are interested in WordPress backup solutions and some other important fixes, just download our e-book that you can see on the left side.

To end this long article we have a bonus for you. A great MySQL guide.


MySQL Guide for Beginners

A database is an essential part of most websites. From simple blogs to complex e-commerce websites, everything is being driven by a database. If you are a web developer, you definitely know a lot about MySQL.


  • Is the most popular open source database system
  • Uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to manipulate information inside the database
  • It’s free, very dependable and fast
  • It has several application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Easy to use to develop software or applications

This article is a MySQL guide article that tackles how does the program works and what it can do for both users and programmers.

Read more

ColoursEncourage

Best Colors For Websites That Increase Engagement and Conversions

Choosing the best colors for websites you design is crucial for your online success. Regardless, whether or not content is king, this is something that is just as important!

The book’s cover counts too…

I know, I know, everyone likes to say don’t judge a book by its cover, but how else are you planning to grab someone’s attention other than with a fancy cover?

Obviously, once you have someone’s attention, you can leave the rest to content. It’s all about web design colours and how you manipulate them.

To find out your real opinion of someone, judge the impression you have when you first see a letter from them.

-Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer


Table of Content:

  1. You Make a First Impression Only Once
  2. Right Website Colors Stimulate Human Senses
  3. A Guide To Improve Your Website’s Readability Through Colors
  4. Color Chronicles

You Make a First Impression Only Once, So Choose Best Colors For Websites You Design

There is always a one particular step you would like your website’s visitors to take. It is a step you are always concentrating on the most. It could be your subscribe button, it could be the follow button, or even the buy button.

Whatever that call-to-action button is, always remember that whether people will click on it or not depends on how you make them feel while they are on your website.

Read on, to find out about the five most popular colours used in web design to always leave your website’s visitors warmly welcomed, deeply engaged and even irresistibly intrigued.


1. Pinterest has Pinned Loads of Red

Without a doubt red is considered the hottest colour. If you check out Pinterest’s colour palette, you will notice straight away that red is their primary colour.

Red, often associated with love,  is such a strong and dynamic colour that it can make you feel very passionate about anything positioned closely around this colour.

This colour is often seen in clearance and sales promotions, as its intensity creates a feeling of urgency.

Even though this intensive colour can leave your visitors excited and encouraged, always be careful. Too much red can turn them off at once.

Use red in your colour scheme just to accent your web design. Blend it in a colour mix of white, grey, light blue or silver.

This Is How You Should Use Red

I Bet You Did Not Know

The human eye sees red when it looks at light with a wavelength between 630 and 700 nanometers.
Light just past this range is called infrared, or below red, and cannot be seen by human eyes, although it can be sensed as heat.

Wikipedia

Great Use of Red Colour Palette by  jimjim421

10 Associations With Red

  1. Blood
  2. War
  3. Fire
  4. Masculinity
  5. Passion
  6. Seduction
  7. Anger
  8. Force
  9. Energy
  10. Courage

Red Coordinates

Hex Triplet: #FF0000
RGB: (255, 0, 0)

2. Amazon Loves the Strength of Orange

Orange is warm and energizing, but not as intense as red. Orange feels more warm than hot.

Full of energy, this vibrant and friendly colour invites people to do something, rather than making them feel pushed or forced to do so with urgency.

Orange is sometimes considered aggressive, in the way it encourages a call to action, like buy, subscribe, sell or follow.

I recommend using orange if after visiting your website you want to leave someone feeling stimulated, cheerful, creative, and full of enthusiasm.

This is how You should use Orange

I Bet You Did Not Know

Web colour orange, defined as FFA500, is the only named colour defined in CSS that is not also defined in HTML 4.01.

Wikipedia

Great Use Of Orange Colour Palette by manekineko

10 Associations With Orange

  1. Optimism
  2. Determination
  3. Fire
  4. Warning
  5. Autumn
  6. Religions
  7. Endurance
  8. Compassion
  9. Halloween
  10. Organism

Orange Coordinates

Hex Triplet: #FF7F00
RGB: (255, 127, 0)

3. Facebook’s Blue Makes Us Feel Safe

You will find many business and corporate websites use blue tones. This colour makes us think about something secure, safe, dependant and full of experience.

Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that every business who cares how they leave their customers feeling in the long term prefers to use blue.

Blue creates completely opposite feelings to red. Blue calms us down and you should not be worried about using too much. You can easily splash blue all over your web design.

This is how You Should use Blue

I Bet You Did Not Know

A survey taken in Germany and published in 2009 found that blue was the favourite colour of 46 percent of male respondents and 44 percent of women.

Wikipedia

Great Use Of Blue Colour Palette by entitydesigns

10 Associations With Blue

  1. Trueness
  2. Friendliness
  3. Magic
  4. Boys
  5. Ice
  6. Royalty
  7. Winter
  8. Police
  9. Sky
  10. Water

Blue Coordinates

Hex Triplet: #0000FF
RGB: (0, 0, 255)

4. Groupon has Some Green Collective Power

Feeling very optimistic right now? Let me guess – You have been looking at something that is green? Maybe it was just a green plant you were looking at, as that would definitely calm you down and make you feel optimistic.

Anyone who is associated with green living or environmental movements will more likely use green at least in some part of their design process.

Have a look at a $100 bill. It is green! Websites like Groupon have a lot of green in their brand, as they are directly dealing with money.

Green is very refreshing and relaxing, leaving people with a feeling balanced and inspired. It represents balance and harmony in a design

This Is How You Should Use Green Color

I Bet You Did Not Know

In some languages, including old Chinese, Thai, old Japanese, and Vietnamese, the same word can mean either blue or green. There is no natural source for green food colorings which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Wikipedia

Great Use Of Green Colour Palette by Skybluue2u

10 Associations With Green

  1. Money
  2. Greed
  3. Growth
  4. Envy
  5. Nature
  6. Spring
  7. Health
  8. Youth
  9. Grass
  10. Hope

Green Coordinates

Hex Triplet: #00FF00
RGB: (0, 255, 0)

5. Yahoo! Splashes a Lot of Purple on their Logo

Purple is very often described using words like imagination, creativity, dignity, nobility and abundance. Stronger shades of purple are more related to spring and romance, whereas darker ones are associated with luxury and wealth.

Purple is used in a variety of beauty, fashion and lingerie products, because purple calms and soothes more than any other colour.

It is also considered to be more feminine and romantic than masculine. When looking at anything purple, many people feel that it appears to be artificial, because of the fact that this colour can be found in nature very rarely.

Just like red, people can find purple too strong and overpowering, making them feel forced, or pushed, to take a certain action. So it would be very wise to pair purple with other colours like black or white.

This Is How You Should Use Purple Color

I Bet You Did Not Know

In April 2007 it was suggested that early archaea may have used retinal, a purple pigment, instead of chlorophyll, to extract energy from the sun. If so, large areas of the ocean and shoreline would have been colored purple; this is called the Purple Earth hypothesis.

Wikipedia

Great Use Of Purple Colour Palette by Miaka

10 Associations With Purple

  1. Wealth
  2. Royalty
  3. Nobility
  4. Sophistication
  5. Romance
  6. Artificial
  7. Exotic
  8. Spirituality
  9. Luxury
  10. Feminine

Purple Coordinates

Hex Triplet: #800080
RGB: (128, 0, 128)

I THINK YOU DESERVE A BONUS!

No! I am sure you deserve a bonus – So here is my list’s number 6 for You! 😉

6. 1WD’s Clever use of Monochromatic Colours

Usually monochromatic colours like white, black, dark grey and light grey should be used as a backdrop in designs with already established brighter and stronger accent colours.

Take a look at our website, 1stwebdesigner – 1WD. We use a little bit of orange as it’s a strong and bright accent colour – but only in a good combination with dark grey and light grey. And white, of course (what colour is our website’s background?)

Just like birds will always fly, black will always represent modernity, mysteriousness, elegance and power. Whereas grey is a neutral color, representing something very calm and invisible, like shadows.

If grey can sometimes look dirty, then white will create the opposite effect. White represents cleanliness openness, simplicity and minimalism.

This Is How You Should Use Monochromatic Color

I Bet You Did Not Know

In digital photography, monochrome is the capture of only shades of black by the sensor, or by post-processing a color image to present only the perceived brightness by combining the values of multiple channels.

Wikipedia

Great Use Of Monochromatic Colour Palette by munsteri

10 Associations With Monochromatic

  1. Power
  2. Elegance
  3. Space
  4. Softness
  5. Heaven
  6. Peace
  7. Innocence
  8. Pessimism
  9. Depression
  10. Boredom

Monochromatic Coordinates

Black:
Hex Triplet: #000000
RGB: (0, 0, 0)

Gray:
Hex Triplet: #808080
RGB: (128, 128, 128)

White:
Hex Triplet: #FFFFFF
RGB: (255, 255, 255)

What Is Your Favourite Colour?

How does your favourite colour make you feel? We have look at top 5 colors. Now let’s see what colors do to our human senses and how colors can be mixed in a website color sheme.


Right Website Colors Stimulate Human Senses

Colors can stimulate and excite people, increase their appetite, make them feel warm or make them feel tranquil. More about this in this section. There are also some great examples to inspire you.


Red simply makes you excited according to those who study chromodynamics. Coke’s website is red – it gives you a feel of a lazy, hot summer day – just when you feel the need to drink Coke.

Image Source: StockLogos

There’s more to colors in web design than just the emotional factor. People tend to gamble more under red light conditions than under blue light. This is the main reason behind cities like Las Vegas using a lot of red lights. Colors have impact on performance. Red lights make people act quicker and feel more powerful, which is not always beneficial, while blue makes people think more before acting. There is a reason STOP signs are red – you need to act right away and stop the vehicle you drive, otherwise you are in danger.

Mixing Colors

Mixing colors is beneficial if done the right way. Mixing very complementary colors is also something people do, but it should only be done occasionally. It shouldn’t be overdone because it has a bad effect on people’s eyes. You can think of a black website with pink text. Now that’s an image I would like to get out of my head as soon as possible :).

There is a very good trick behind using complementary colors together. Drawing a thin neutral white, gray or black line around the two colored shapes will make the eyes see both colors separately. Just look at the Pepsi logo below: red and blue are separated by not only a thin layer of white, but by a quite big one. This white shape blends red and blue better then if they would be placed right on top of each other.

Image source: Pepsi

Colors and Cultures

Moreover, colors mean something else in different parts of the world. While red means luck in China, it means a lack of it in Germany. Huge corporations with lots of financial resources will use large amounts of money to study the effects different colors have on different cultures, before entering a new market. Many think it is impossible, but clients can be lost because of using the wrong colors.

And while huge corporations usually hire experts to do this research for them, the results are not always good. Every designer (and every person in general) has a tendency to like colors or combinations of colors and to use them in different situations because it’s what they personally like. I myself love red and black together, pretty obviously because I’ve been supporting Italian outfit A.C. Milan for almost ten years now. This is not such a good asset when working with colors is your way of earning a salary. It is crucially important for designers to tear all their personal favorites apart and only focus on the clients and their needs.

Colors for a Website

Picking a color for a website means much more then picking your favorite color and turning it into a layout. It means picking the right color in order to get the desired response from your audience. If you know your audience well and figured out which color works best for them, you are already halfway there in the creation process. It is also quite unlikely to pick a color that will fit every visitor of your website, therefore it is even more important to be able to determine which color and tone works best for most users you target.

According to different sources, half of the people visiting a website don’t come back because of the color of the design. The first thing people need to recognize when they see your site are the brand colors. If you have multiple colors and they can’t see the most dominant, it means you should consider a redesign.

  • If you have a blue color scheme, people will likely give you a better response when in a good mood. If you want a clean, white design, it’s fine too. But if you want to make it exciting, use bright red or orange here and there. White and green work great together, and if you want to be stylish and modern without using intense colors, go for white and gray. Such a combination illustrates something glamorous, sleek, fresh and clean. Just look at the classy example below.

  • If you like darker shades, pretty much everything works well with black as long as black is not the dominant color. A website with a black background can be fancy and look good, but is not easy to read. The two simplest combinations you can go for are black and white or black and a bright gray. Although a very powerful contrast, black and orange work really well together, but might require white for balance.
  • If you want to combine both black and white with a color, then they work really well with blue; make sure white is dominant, otherwise you need a very bright blue to dominate. Don’t give black a lot of emphasis in this combination. You can see a good example below. The second example is quite poor and shows how this combination can be put into practice. Not only is the design outdated, but the colors make it even more difficult to bear.

  • Black and white work very well with red too, but make sure red is not dominant, as then it gets too powerful and creates an unbearable contrast with black. You can see two good examples below.

  • A third combination I would recommend is black, white and green, and you can see down below why.

Image source: Website Templates Online

Okay, we have gone trough the suitable colors for websites schemes and how to mix them. Did you ever consider that colors can also contribute to readability of your website? No. Then you are going to love the next section.


A Guide To Improve Your Website’s Readability Through Colors

Colors exist not only to make your site look pretty. Colors have a more important function – to make your site usable. This is why a designer must always think of readability first and beauty second when choosing the colors for a site. We will also talk about tools to use, so stay tuned.


When you think about the number of available colors, it looks easy to pick a bunch of them that go well together and are readable. If you stick with classic background colors, such as white (FFFFFF), or very light gray (F5F5F5, FAFAFA, FCFCFC, etc.) and foreground colors such as black (000000), or very dark gray (080808, 050505, 030303, etc.), or the lightest/darkest pair of the main color (i.e. red, green, blue or whatever color you are using) on your site you might wonder why readability is an issue at all. However, sooner or later you will get fed up with these classic combinations everybody is using and you will want something fancier.
This is where your problems start. These fancier combinations might be pleasing esthetically but in terms of readability they are not necessarily winners. Of course, nobody says it is impossible to find good combinations outside the group of frequently used ones. With the right tools I will mention in this article finding colors with good readability becomes much easier. However, before we go to the tools, let’s review some of the basics of colors and readability.


Color brightness is determined by the following formula:

((Red value X 299) + (Green value X 587) + (Blue value X 114)) / 1000
Note: This algorithm is taken from a formula for converting RGB values to YIQ values. This brightness value gives a perceived brightness for a color.

Color difference is determined by the following formula:

(maximum (Red value 1, Red value 2) – minimum (Red value 1, Red value 2)) + (maximum (Green value 1, Green value 2) – minimum (Green value 1, Green value 2)) + (maximum (Blue value 1, Blue value 2) – minimum (Blue value 1, Blue value 2))

The rage for color brightness difference is 125. The range for color difference is 500.”

These formulas might look pretty cryptic and hard to understand but when you use a tool that calculates the values for you, for instance the Colour Text Legibility tool, or the Colour Contrast tool, you easily get an answer if the colors you have chosen pass the test or not.

However, unless you feel like reinventing the wheel and hunting for color combinations with good brightness and difference, you can stick to the safe choices that have already been developed for you, such as dark text on a light background.

The Golden Classics: Dark Text on a Light Background

All equal, dark text on a light background provides the best readability. Of course, it depends on which colors you choose but the highest readability ratio is achieved when you use black on white:

Black on White

As you see from the screenshot above, readability varies depending on the font size (and obviously the font itself) and a good tool will tell you if the combination you have chosen is good for titles only or for both titles and body text. Generally, the larger the font size, the more readable it is. Don’t count on this too much because as you know, for body text 10-14 is the most used size (i.e. is relatively small), which means that for body texts you won’t be able to use a color that is readable for titles.

Black on white isn’t the only great combination. If you want to see more examples of excellent to good contrast when you use white as a background color, check the first table in this article.

White backgrounds are pretty common but sometimes you will want more color. For instance, some very pale shades of red, green, yellow, blue, etc. make great backgrounds when used with black or another very dark foreground color. These combinations are not as readable as when you use black but still the ratio is good. Here are some examples of combinations where the background color is different from white and the foreground color is different from black:

For Differing Background and Foreground

Ivoryblack (#292421) on lavenderblush1 (#FFF0F5)

Midnight blue (#191970) on ghostwhite (#F8F8FF)

Sgi gray 12 (#1E1E1E) on mintcream (#F5FFFA)

One small trick many designers use to make a page more readable (and more pleasing to the eye, too) is to employ gradients for background. A gradient of white and a very pale shade of any other color works best. Well, you can’t measure its brightness and contrast using the readability formulas but if the two colors that constitute the gradient separately have good readability values, when combined, the result is even better.

The Intricacies of Dark Background

Dark backgrounds can be very depressing – not only because dark colors are traditionally related to bad things in life, at least in the Western cultures but also because they are a lot of pain to choose a readable foreground color to go with.
The problem comes from the fact that even if your contrast values are good, this doesn’t make it easier to read the text. White on black might have the best ratio but it causes eye fatigue pretty soon. As Pabini Gabriel-Petit writes, “On a black background, the high-chroma colors yellow (#FFFF00), green (#00FF00), cyan (#00FFFF), and magenta (#FF00FF) provide the best contrast.”

Dark Background Choices

If these color combinations, no matter how readable they are supposed to be, give you the feeling you are back in the 80s or early 90s when monitors were green and the text was orange, you are not alone. I have never used such an antique monitor, so I am not able to tell from experience but always when I land on a site with a dark background and light text I have to read, I get the feeling it is a time machine that takes me back two or three decades ago and my eyes are the first to object.

OK, dark backgrounds might be cute but when I have to read a 2,000+ word article (and the comments under it), this makes me cry – literally! Some sites that care about their users (and their users’ eyes) provide ways to switch colors, so if you don’t like the default dark background, you are not forced to watch it. Additionally, there are many ways to override the default colors a site uses but I’d rather visit sites that use readable color schemes than spend my time fine tuning the colors.

Probably I go to extremes, but I will personally never recommend to use a dark background with light font for sites with lot of text to read – I feel this is a usability sin #1. For other types of sites – i.e. image galleries, or even corporate sites where there aren’t 1,000+ word texts, dark backgrounds aren’t a no-no.

Those Tricky Colors That Fit Nowhere

After I discussed the two most common scenarios – i.e. dark on light and light on dark, the only thing left is to discuss all the other color combinations you can think of. These color combinations include the majority of colors but for one reason or another, you can use them neither for background, nor for text color because no matter how masterfully you combine them, either the contrast is low, or the combinations aren’t esthetically pleasing (or both).

Of course, this doesn’t mean these colors are useless. Not at all – they are great for headings, especially with larger font sizes, and for emphasis, as seen from the next examples:

Red 3 (#CD0000) on seashell2 (#EEE5DE)

Blue 4 (#00008B) on cornflowerblue (#6495ED)

Colors have a huge effect on readability. This is why you need to choose them wisely so that they not only create esthetically pleasing combinations but also make it easier for users to read the text. Text is an integral part of any site and we shouldn’t punish visitors for coming to our site by using hard to read color combinations. This is where we are going to show you some great examples of websites that uses bold color combinations to catch viewer’s attention.

Be Inspired with These Bold Colored Websites

Big and Bold – one of the growing means nowadays to catch the viewers’ attention. Bold colored websites are fast becoming a trend because of its ability to catch the attention of the readers due to their size and boldness.

How do designers achieve this? In the present trends, if you want to make a blindingly unforgettable statement, you need a few things:

  • A saturated color scheme which is bright enough to catch one’s interest without blinding him or her
  • An awesome and probably mind-blowing image (a photograph or a graphic illustration)
  • A uniquely remarkable tagline.

Those, however, are not easily achieved. To attain a beautiful, bold color design, you need to think it through. You also need some design skills and a great deal of guts.

Because there is no single general rule in choosing colors for your design, I will just lend you some inspiration! This is to help you exercise your creative muscles because colors, as discussed in a lot of design blogs, are important to web design.

So, to cut the chase, I present you the examples of beautifully done bold color scheming designs. I hope that it will somehow shed us some inspiration on how to use these colors effectively.

Abby Putinski

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-abby

andCulture

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-and-culture

Artem and Julia Wedding

beautiful-examples-of-bold-wedding

BarCamp Omaha

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-barcamp

Caramel Budgie

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-caramel

Collision Labs

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-collision

Connect Mania

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-connect-mania

Dangers of Fracking

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-dangers-of-fracking

Dear Mum

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-dear-mum

do a backflip

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-do-a-back-flip

Dropify

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-dropify

Verde

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-verde

Every Last Drop

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-every-last-drop

Flow Media

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-flow-media

Gloo Sticker Albums

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-gloo

Gum

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-gum

Hy

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-hy

jorgeATGU

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-jorge

Kick My Habits

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-kick-my-habits

Lets Yep!

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-yep

Netlife

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-netlife

Nineswiss

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-nineswiss

Pixilate

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-pixellate

Rainbow Nursery

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-rainbow-nursery

Sailthru 2012 Annual Report

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-sailthru

Sánchez Romero Carvajal

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-sanchez

Squarespace

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-squarespace

Studio MPLS

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-studio-mpls

Tapped

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-tapped

The Basement

beautiful-examples-of-bold-colors-the-basement

The Design Files Open House

beautiful-examples-of-bold-the-design-files

Think Big

beautiful-examples-of-bold-think-big

Tornobambino

beautiful-examples-of-bold-tornobambino

TriplAgent

beautiful-examples-of-bold-triplagent

WDG

beautiful-examples-of-bold-wdg

Will Fernandes

beautiful-examples-of-bold-will-fernandes

Xylem Digital

beautiful-examples-of-bold-Xylem-Digital

YCN Studio

beautiful-examples-of-bold-ycn

Bold and big, these websites are genuine examples of designs that focus on the subtle and little things: colors, fonts and placement. These little things result into drastic effects in a design. Yes, this is a dangerous move for a designer. It might even result into the viewer being too shocked because of the bold colors, but the designers took the risk and look what they have gotten! You have seen now a lot of color combinations and bold websites. As we want you to get as much as possible out of this color orientated article we are going to focus on some blue color combination in the next section.


Color Chronicles

This section will be about some great colors that can really fire up your website. We are including a brief description of every color included and some of great pallets that you can use.


Brilliant Blue

Blue is one of the three primary colours and as such is also part of the chromatic spectrum. It is a cool color which covers a relatively wide area of the spectrum, ranging from cyan to a more violet tint. It also meant trust and is widely used for government like  website designs.

Characteristics


According to its proper theory, blues are considered far colours, meaning that they seem to expand whatever shape they fill; a room, for example, will seem larger if painted blue, rather than yellow or orange.

It is easily perceivable by the human eye, given that blue colours present a wavelength between 440 and 490 nm. All three types of photosensitive cells respond to this range, albeit to varying degrees. On the other hand, the inclusive nature of the name means that some shades are (literally) easier on the eyes than others. Nevertheless, blue is a common sight in top favourites.

Symbolism


Although present in living beings (mushrooms and frogs, for instance), generally it has more inorganic and abstract associations.

One of these is the sky. Light tones give a sense of open space and freedom, an overall calming effect. Using light blue backgrounds in web design can make a site look friendlier, but large backgrounds have the risk of becoming dull. To avoid this, take inspiration from nature: the sky is much more appealing when the Sun creates a sort of gradient, rather than when it’s more or less one solid colour.

featured-trondheim-omgivelser-helene-rojas-nagel

“Trondheim omgivelser” by Helene Rojas Nagel

Next is the sea (or water in general). As a symbol of life and vitality, it also represents versatility; you can find it nearly everywhere, filling different shapes in different states. Although it is colourless in small quantities, in reality water has a slight blue tint that becomes more obvious in large quantities. While the image of a still body of water can be considered peaceful, remember that it can just as easily turn into a source of turbulence.

Blue is also a powerful corporate colour because of its association with stability and confidence. This is also why many IT companies prefer to use it in their visual identity, trying to combat the (to a certain degree) volatile nature of technology. Of course this all depends on the company’s philosophy, profile and desired image, but reliability seems to be the most wide-spread.

Some of the more negative associations are cold and melancholy. Less saturated shades remind of murky skies on cold days, while brighter shades closer to cyan have a frostier feel to them. Also, save for eye colours, the presence of blue on the human body is an indication of something wrong. This can be both physical and mental, hence the expression “feeling blue”.

Combinations


Bright, electric shades of blue create a fantastic effect when combined with dark, ash brown. Although it dominates and gives the overall composition a cool feel, at the same time it manages to generate energy. It works well with dark metallic colours as well.

Together with teal or mint green it creates a natural, watery scheme that is also very fresh and inviting. Of course, there must be some balance and hierarchy between the two colours; otherwise they will compete with each other if they have the same intensity.

Using blue for less important details in orange or yellow schemes can cool down the design and take away some of the glare. While traditionally, orange is blue’s complementary, combinations with yellow will have roughly the same effect.

Palettes


01. Complementary blue by tudor.girba

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02. Swimming Sports by julievonderropp

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03. Sunny Shores by twinklebunnytoes

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04. Sea Foam by louisan

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05. Lilac Bathroom by nightzdragonz

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06. Leviathan by matthepworth

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07. Bleu Blanc Rouge by kuler

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08. blueberry pie by elsabartley

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09. Nautical Cruise by thecolorcat

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10. Giant Attack Robot by stevereed.m

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Make Everyone Jealous with Green Themes

Green is a complementary colour that results from the combination of yellow and blue, taking on many of the latter’s characteristics while still retaining its own features and symbology. Interestingly, in many languages, the name itself has its roots in words describing growth, freshness, youth and grass


Characteristics


Green is a tranquil and peaceful colour with soothing properties. The word which best captures its essence is “balance”; neither too warm, nor too cool, calming but still vibrant, easy yet not too easy to perceive. Although present in minerals (emeralds, for example), it is mostly an organic colour.

Studies suggest that the colour improves the ability to concentrate and aids in reading comprehension. In Denmark, during exams, the desks are covered with green tablecloths to help the students focus and to try to relieve some of the stress.

Although no longer accurate, the term “green room” comes from the fact that the waiting room was literally painted green. It was said to relax the performers’ eyes before they would have to face the lights on stage.

Symbolism


Naturally, it represents everything organic, especially the plant world. Now it has become the number one colour for the environment and causes dedicated to preserving or saving it; it has also extended to eco-friendly products and services (the term “green energy” comes to mind).

Going deeper into the topic, it is a symbol of life and fertility. This can come either from the more obvious source of green (plant life) or from water which can occasionally take on greenish shades. Through extension, it can be a symbol of new beginnings, just as tiny sprouts on dark soil let us know that spring is on its way. Saying that someone is “green” means that they are new or inexperienced.

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photo by Martin Lõugas

On the other hand, it can also represent the exact opposite: illness, death and decay. It is probably an analogy to the fact that anything green and visible on the human body is toxic, therefore a sign of sickness. Green mold is also a sign of decay.

There are also some figurative associations, such as luck or envy. A four leaf clover traditionally brings good luck and is presumably the source of the connection. The ancient Greeks believed that envy was caused by excessive bile which would normally give a person a pale green complexion.

Combinations


As mentioned in the previous article, its complementary is red and the theoretically ideal proportion is 50-50. However, the pair should be used in less vibrant shades and as accents rather than main elements in order to avoid a Christmas feeling. Another way would be to use orange instead of red.

For an earthy mood, brown is the obvious choice. Darker and less saturated versions of both give a more somber feeling; keeping the dark brown but coupling it with a vibrant (but not default RBG!) green allows you to place emphasis on elements without adding too much glare.

Blue and a more bluish green make for a nice watery combination, but like with red, a proper hierarchy should be used. Using just the two will make the visuals hard on the eyes and you definitely don’t want that! Both of them work great with dark grays and provide great contrast and emphasis.

Palettes


01. Botany Greens by julievonderropp

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02. Freshaliciousness by whoneycutt

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03. After Vacation by whoneycutt

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04. Peachy Green by books4me22000

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05. Lime Light and Shady by whoneycutt

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06. Elderberry by julievanderropp

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07. Vintage Light by nlarroyo1

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08. Green Accent by reinderdevries

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09. Lettuce carrots and cucumbers by mohdakram12

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10. Turtle by rbb2008

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Set Your Website on Fire with Red Color

Red is part of the primary triad, but it is also on the opposite side in a few senses. Unlike blue, its name is much less tolerant and only a few colours have the luxury of being included in the category. The exclusiveness is present at a biological level, as well: only one of the three types of receptor cells is truly sensitive to the wavelengths characterising red. If you really think about it, just slightly tinting something red will most probably warrant a different name.


Characteristics


Being a warm colour, it tends to be more invasive and will make a room appear to be smaller than it actually is, but when used well and in darker forms, it can lend itself to a cozier environment.

As mentioned, red is somewhat more difficult to perceive and this is because it has the highest of wavelengths. As its wavelength increases, it also nears the edge of what is called infrared, which cannot be perceived by the naked eye.

Colour therapy suggests that exposure to red raises the blood pressure, thus having an invigorating effect. Without going too much into the subject, Eastern philosophy associates red with the adrenal glands and, by extension, with the emotions produced by increased adrenaline.

Symbolism


Naturally, the things associated with it vary with every culture, but there are some general symbols with which we can all agree. In no particular order, these include heat, fire, passion, courage, danger, love and energy.

featured-rose-martin-lougas

photo by Martin Lougas

It is a very human colour which is why it has emotions associated to it. Demanding activities, whether mental or physical, and strong emotional responses imply increased blood flow therefore creating a very straightforward connection with red: blood.

Delving deeper into the human aspect, warmth and energy can be derived. Strangely, the general idea of flames being red has long been rooted, even though orange would be more appropriate. Perhaps it’s because it triggers much stronger feelings which are better represented by fire and we also tend to remember and associate extremes. Warmth and heat also suggest life, but from an inner perspective.

Red is a very powerful symbol for danger because of its immediate perception and adrenaline-related qualities. Stop signs and stop lights are examples of its daily uses. In part because of this, large quantities of bright red can be overbearing so it should be used sparingly.

Combinations


Given its overall effect, for a balanced result it’s best to either tone down a predominantly red design or use it in smaller quantities to bring more life. This mostly concerns bright shades; while darker tones can still be imposing, they are still more tolerable. It should be noted that it tends to conflict with strong cool colours and will warm up more passive colours like browns.

Its complementary is green and theoretically it should be used in a 50-50 proportion for a harmonious effect. In order to avoid a Christmas impression, their interaction should be kept at a minimum and a third colour should be introduced to keep them in check by dominating quantity-wise. Another solution is to use less bright variants.

As an attention-grabber, it works well on darker backgrounds such as dark grey, ash brown and even black. The contrast is effective even with darker or vintage tones of red. On the opposite side, it can be successfully used on white backgrounds in more minimal designs, but once again with a bit of caution.

Palettes


01. TOOL Remix by whoneycutt

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02. Sea Serpent in Horrible Peril by sethbenson

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03. Shark Attack by kristi

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04. Fire Dragon and Charthouse by mark

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05. Herzin by maya-kido

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06. Oil Flame by rickomoreira

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07. Vintage Poster by robertkubas

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08. Court of the Crimson King by carle

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09. Water Cherries by spongebobgirl949

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10. War on Water by cgriffith

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Bold Brown

To start off, brown is not a colour in itself, rather it is a range of composites. It can be obtained in a variety of ways which can all result in many shades, depending on the quantities used. In essence, it is a mixture of the three primary colours that has a low level of cyan, but it can also be red, orange, yellow or rose with varying quantities of black and white.


Characteristics


Although they stem from warm colours, the lack of brightness makes empirically categorizing browns a bit tricky, as it also depends on what they are associated with. Theoretically, they are warm, but as a rule of thumb, the more saturated they are with their base (red, orange or yellow), the warmer they are. Adding black or white makes it a cooler shade, but it stays warm. Unsaturated shades are considered near neutrals.

They are best used as a supporting elements given their capacity to enhance others. Dark shades of brown are excellent as replacements for black, as they emit the same rock-solid stability, but are not so overwhelming or imposing. This can also reduce the sharpness of the contrast and make reading text much easier and relaxing.

Symbolism


It is a natural colour, organic and inorganic, with ties to earth, wood and even animals (think of fur). In general it brings the feeling of stability and order, as well as security and homeyness.

wood

photo by Martin Lougas

It could also be said that browns are more human. Skin tones can, more or less, fall into the spectrum and brown eyes and hair are some of the most common physical traits worldwide. There has also been a study that noted a possible connection between brown eyes and facial features which give the perception of dominance.

However, through extension, natural can also signify roughness, and stability can turn into stubbornness. When used excessively, they can make things dull and lifeless, although, ironically, brown can be a symbol of life. Tan or beige without a counterbalance reminds most people of stretches of arid sun-scorched ground.

When representing life, vitality or fertility, inspiration should be taken from nature itself. Earth (soil) alone does not mean life, but it provides the means for it to flourish. Trees protect themselves through dark (or sometimes light), thick bark, hiding their more vital parts. This all means that it should be given, as mentioned previously, a supporting role when aiming for a natural effect.

Combinations


Taking note of the previous points, when combining browns with other colours, they serve as catalysts while still keeping their warmth, but also taking some characteristics from the shade it supports. This leads to surprising and interesting overall effects.

For an earthy and natural effect, green is the best option, although the result can be quite different depending on the shade. With bright green, it will give your design energy and make it more eye-catching, but minty green will result in a cool and vintage look. On the topic of vintage, less saturated browns and pastels are the best options.

Dark brown will definitely make yellow pop, probably not as much as pure black, but the softer and less aggressive contrast makes it much more pleasant to look at.

Light shades (cream, beige, etc.) make pink appear much more feminine, and purple more royal or noble if you will. They are also good substitutes for white in most situations.

Palettes


01. Moss Rose by robertnbrown

palette-01-moss-rose

02. Boerne by aschroeder

palette-02-boerne

03. Red & Brown by shiz0-media

palette-03-red-and-brown

04. Sunny Day by koralute

palette-04-sunny-day

05. Herbs and Spice by whoneycutt

palette-05-herbs-and-spices

06. India Brown by jakob

palette-06-india-brown

07. Elegant brown by aakash.bits

palette-07-elegant-brown

08. Touches of color by jennifer

palette-08-touches-of-color

09. Chocolate coffee by njayendra

palette-09-chocolate-coffee

10. Coconuts and bananas by riopelle

palette-10-coconuts-and-bananas

 

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UI-Concept

100 Best Mobile App Design Collection: Ultimate Guide

With so many mobile (Android or iPhone) apps being released in such a short period of time, designers need to really create apps that stand out. In this roundup we’re sharing 50 beautiful mobile app designs with excellent UI experience in mind. Also at the end of the post you’ll find some more resources to follow top mobile app design trends.

Mobile apps are even changing the way we design anything nowadays! Everybody is pushing to higher resolution with new retina displays (iPad3) and I believe whole web will get super beautiful and sleek soon enough!

UI Concept

But before it happens we can inspire from these high quality inspirational mobile app designs. It doesn’t matter for which platform you create a design; you can transfer experience from mobile to web, from web to tablets!  As you can see even print and web is not so different now. Big typography, textures, images are used everywhere!

Only one big difference in my opinion is touch screens – for mobile and tablets you need to put big attention in UX, usability. Make sure buttons are easy to click; you effectively use touch controls to swipe, expand, minimize with your fingers.

If you are designing mobile apps yourself, I would strongly encourage to download a lot of these apps on your mobile, tablet and play with them!

1WD is passionate about helping the community by sharing information and resources that will make you become a better web design professional. This post is no different as we present you various UI design concepts for mobile screens we have gathered from Behance.

It is no surprise why everyone is going mobile since responsive design has been in the forefront and design isn’t exclusively for the web anymore. Take a look at these different mobile design concepts to give you inspiration and more knowledge of UI design, especially for mobile devices.

Even if you are just designer not developer, you need to plan whole experience with your design. OK, now off to the inspirational part – enjoy this mobile UI inspiration with best mobile application designs in one place!

Which is your favorite mobile app by design and usability? Leave your feedback in comments.

1. Arles Festival App Design Concept

The interface need not be flashy, just the basics the user often looks for

The interface need not be flashy, just the basics the user often looks for

Clarity is one of the essential elements of a good UI design.  It should not confuse your users nor give them a hard time figuring out how to use your interface.

And you can find that in this app designed especially for the Arles Festival, which has around a hundred thousand recorded visitors annually since its inception.

Images on top of artists' name tell a lot about each item

Images on top of artists’ name tell a lot about each item

arles

Boxes and fonts are finger and eye-friendly

Angelique Calmon and Juliette Lima collaborated to create this mobile app design with a simple and straightforward interface which leads you only to the most important information about the festival.

arles 3

Good user interface does not have information overload

Clicking each category leads you to more information. However, it does not give too much, just enough overview to let users know what they are. Even the information for each artist and exhibit doesn’t overload on they whys and whats, just a few sentences to help your users decide whether they want to see it or not.

arles1

The sitemap tells you when and where the event is

2. Eda.ua – Food Delivery iPhone App

This mobile design version for an existing website is designed by a group of designers from Ukraine. The app has both an iOS and Android version with a very friendly UI designed especially for the food delivery business.

Edu.ua implements all the functionality of the food delivery service in Ukraine

Edu.ua implements all the functionality of the food delivery service in Ukraine

In order to meet usability standards, the designers conducted an intensive market research and took note of various offbeat ideas. Then, they created and tested an interactive prototype with over 100 wireframes to ensure that the app design meets needs of the client’s business.

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The app has flexible filters and smart searches

The mobile app contains hundreds of restaurants all over Ukraine, so the developers put flexible filters and smart searches to enable users to find what they want in restaurants.

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Ordering food is done in 5 easy, uncomplicated steps. Great app design inspiration.

To make it much easier to order food, users are guided into 5 easy steps which include: searching restaurants around the city, checking their menu, looking more specifically into the dishes  before placing the order, confirming their order and proceeding with payment and delivery options.

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The app gives detailed information about each dish

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The app also has a reward point, very good UI. Well done.

With these steps, the users are saved the hassle of worrying what type of dish they ordered and the ingredients that go into each dish. This is especially helpful for those who have some specific dietary requirements.

3. Workout Book Mobile Design

The Workout Book was designed by Yalantis Mobile and Vitaly Rubstov out of their desire to find a workout app with no frills. Unlike other workout apps, the Workout Book easily records your workouts and lets you see all the necessary information at a glance right on the home screen.

The Workout Book is a no-nonsense straight-to-the-point workout app

The Workout Book is a no-nonsense straight-to-the-point workout app

workout 3

Each workout has a color tag to let you easily track your workout

Create your own workout with just a flick of your fingers and press save. Customize, set the day, and the targeted area you want to work on. Each workout has a color tag so you can easily look over them and monitor what you have missed.

After you have finished your workout, just do a few taps and you will be able to see the summary of your workout including the weight you’ve carried and the reps you’ve done for each targeted area.

workout 2

The app uses common mobile patterns

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Plot the type of workout you will focus on for the day or for the week.

What makes the Workout Book’s UI stand out is its use of common mobile patterns making even first-time users feel at home. Despite the commonness, the designers translated their own creativity into the app matching users’ expectations.

Review your workout between rests.

Review your workout between rests. That’s how simple, good app UI design should look like.

4. Fantasy Leagues App Design

Whether it’s soccer, basketball, hockey, or American football, you can be sure to find fans – from kids to adults – engaging in fantasy leagues and creating their own dream teams. In fact, fantasy leagues have generated billions of revenue all over the world.

fantasy 1

The Fantasy League mobile app is banking on the popularity of this hobby

The rules are pretty simple, and all you have to do is an app which allows you to navigate and monitor your score and stats easily.

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Team standings are easy to find and access

The Fantasy Leagues app shows a promising future in the world of sports app because of its simple and easy to understand interface. Swipe between pages to build a team, adjust your line-up, and view game stats.

fantasy 2

Swipe between pages to swap teams and players

The app has news feeds for both teams and specific players. The information on each page is short but concise  providing you with the latest news and updates.

fantasy 5

View player statistics and compare them with each other on one page

Another feature allows you to see how your current game fares well as well as team and player standings. In case, you are not happy with your line-up, you can easily swipe and sort players. Placing them in categories according to their positions makes it easier for you to put “who” in “where.”

fantasy 3

Get more in-depth information about your favorite player

There’s also a trash talk feature which works like a Facebook status. Write what you think or feel about a certain player and post it for others to see.

5. Change – Help Make It iPhone App Design

Change is a simple app designed by Linus Lang with an ambitious mission – to help bring change in your community, specifically the people who live in it.

To me it looks like one of the best designed apps from the collection. Read on.

change1

Simple mobile UI navigation, ambitious goal

It tells you the exact location and distance of a person who needed help from your location. The choices are simple and easy – a pop-up will appear and you can choose to view or cancel.

change2

Change wins in both UI and UX

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The mobile app encourages “mindful” giving with enough information

If you choose “View,” you will be directed a more detailed profile of that person. If you want to help, you can click “Donate” and type the amount you want to give. Then you can share it on your Facebook profile to inform and encourage your friends to help as well.

change4

Know a person’s exact location

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Track how many you’ve helped and how much you’ve given

You can also track how many people you’ve helped, the amount you’ve given, and the money available in your virtual wallet which you can give as donations.

6. Public Transportation iPhone App

The Public Transportation iPhone user interface app is designed by Docagan Ese Altunsu to specifically help tourists and citizens of Izmir to easily navigate the public transportation of the city.

pt1

The colors, tiles, and font size all show a good UI design

It shows the shortest route where you want to go in Izmir as well as the approximate arrival time of a public transport – bus, ferry, or metro – near your area.

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The app shows you the type of transport passes by your location

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It also shows you the shortest route possible

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Type of transport is color coded so that you easily know where to look for.

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It is even friendly for those who have poor eyesight

7. Squiryl Social Loyalty App Design

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The icons are as cute as the name of the app

Designed by DHHN Creative Agency, this is a social loyalty mobile app design which allows you to accumulate points every time you shop and dine at participating stores and restaurants.

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Flow is simple and easy – done in three easy steps

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View and swap your rewards easily

With this app, you can use redeem vouchers and freebies as well as swap them with your friends. It is a good tool for businesses that wants to connect more to their customers to establish loyalty.

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The integrated QR code scanner makes things much easier

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The app has undergone 3 revisions before finalizing everything

8. Swing iPhone Music App Design Concept

Swing is an iPhone music app designed by Enis Danis with a simple and easy to use interface with only four, big navigation keys – News, Listen, Artist, Video. The “News” section has bigger windows than the “Listen” category. The news is displayed with their headlines and arranged according to their dates.

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The red and black color scheme characterizes the app – fun and funky

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There are only four categories strategically placed at the top

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Each page category is presented differently leaving no room for confusion

If you want to listen to music, your playlist appears and you can scroll down to search for more songs. Then, start listening by tapping the “Play” icon. Your “videos,” on the other hand, will display on a full screen.

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The tiles are big enough to give a teaser to the more detailed information

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Videos are played full screen by default

9. Lift – Self Improvement iPhone App Design

Lift is a self-improvement and coaching app of Lift.do, now Coach.me. Designed by Leigh Taylor, it is geared especially for people who are goal-driven or for anyone who wants to be more productive.

Don't be fooled by the inbox zero icon

Don’t be fooled by the inbox zero icon

The app’s main page has an indicator to show how much of your goals for the day have been achieved.

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The color and the mobile design already energizes you

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Encourage and be encouraged

As you tick each finished task, the indicator shows it until you achieve Inbox Zero – goals accomplished. Aside from that, you can also check what your friends are doing and be encouraged if they are doing well, or you can encourage them if they need one.

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Monitor your friends’ activities as well and spur each other up

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It also gives you tips to help you reach your goals

You can also get tips how to achieve your goals. The app also flashes some encouragement to lift your spirits in order to keep going.

10. Weather Tile App

The Weather Tile is an iOS app which got its inspiration from Windows 8 apps so when you glance for the first time, you might think it is a Windows phone. Navigating the app is simple and interesting because of its pastel colors.

See, we saved the best for last, hope you will find fresh inspiration to design your own mobile app after going through this article!

The weather app got its inspiration from Windows.

The weather app got its inspiration from Windows.

On the main page, you can find your current location and the weather as well as the key cities in the country making it easier to navigate between locations.

Tablets have bigger tiles than phones

Tablets have bigger tiles than phones

If you click a tile, you will get an overview of the weather for the whole week. You can favorite the location so it appears on your main screen.

You can favorite locations and they will appear on your homepage

You can favorite locations and they will appear on your homepage

The icons automatically change as the weather in that location changes. You can also share it immediately on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Mobile has become the choice of many people when performing their online activities. Therefore, it is advisable that you should consider getting a mobile version of your website. You can get inspiration from these examples or some tips how to create one.

Before we show you more mobile design app inspiration. We created an awesome bonus for you. We invited mobile app design expert to share the biggest mistakes and best tips he knows when designing a mobile app. Read on!

Presenting.. 1stWebDesigner Flat Web UI Kit  ($9)

Based on your feedback we also created web UI kit especially for 1WD readers. We also ensured it’s very affordable, so you can start creating awesome web, mobile and UI designs and concepts today! Check it out!

Over a hundred elements and components in PSD, AI, EPS and Sketch format.

Over a hundred elements and components in PSD, AI, EPS and Sketch format.

7 Crucial Mobile App Design Tips To Create The Best Mobile App Design

Mobile application design and development has been ‘the thing’ as of late. With the growing prominence of smartphones, more and more applications are developed. It’s like, we have an app for everything, right?

What makes it even more amazing is that this year, the projected number of smartphone users will be 1.75 billion. This staggering number resulted into 2.6 million apps in app-stores (iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows phones combined).

If there is one thing certain about these huge statistics, it would be that mobile application development and design is a big and newly-discovered gold mine to plow. There are a lot of opportunities waiting for developers as mobile apps continue on growing as the age of smartphones conquer the market.

store-wars

Having said so, we go to the topic of the day. You may have raised your eyebrows when I said that app development is still a relatively new and untapped gold mine. You may have thought of going to the app design and development battlefield.

But, before going to the war, let me brief you with some of the things you should avoid doing.

While you’re at it, you might want to look into previous articles:

1. Cramming Too Many Items within the Screen

This is a friendly reminder to app designers. You are designing for a smartphone screen, not a 1366 x 768 desktop monitor. It only means that you have limited spaces to put content.

Do not try to put everything in one place. Trying to compress information within a small screen will be tantamount to suicide. You need to understand how to use elements properly  to your advantage.

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7 Tips to Keep Mobile UI Clean in Your Mobile Design

  • When in doubt, page it out. Use swipe-able pages to put all the content you want without cramming the pages.
  • Make sure elements are tappable. Reserve enough spacing for the user to interact with the element. Remember, you are dealing with non-tactile devices most of the times, so using small elements is a no-no.

Preserve tappable control sizes to around 44×44 points.

  • Facilitate focus by elevating important content or functions. The most important items should be placed on the upper left half (for left to right cultures) of the screen.
  • Apply balance and visual weight to make readers understand the hierarchy of element importance. Larger elements are perceived to be more important than smaller ones. You may also want to enlarge CTAs and buttons so that the users can understand that they are tappable.
  • Align elements properly. It makes your app look classy and professional.
  • Use relative sizes. Texts shouldn’t be scrolled horizontally and images that are of utmost importance should be large enough so that the user won’t go into troubles of zooming.
  • Be consistent. Preserve one brand of design in your app. You wouldn’t want to confuse the users, right?

2. Using Illegible Fonts In Your Mobile Apps

best-app-ever

Legibility of texts supersedes other concerns. If you create an app that nobody can read, it will be worthless. Typography has always been a major concern in any field of digital design. Make sure that fonts and the text can be understood properly.

3. Mobile App Design Readability

When we speak of ‘being understood properly’, we mean that the texts should always be readable.

  • Proper use of proper font faces, sizes, colors
  • Use of understandable words, good grammar and superb copywriting

A lot of apps sometimes disregard texts, but mind you, they are important because they are the main delivery agents of the messages of your apps.

7 Mobile App Design Tips to Improve Readability in Your UI Design:

  • Always prioritize the content when tending to text-size adjustments. Not every text falls into the hierarchy of importance. Normally, when users select a large text size, they to make the content easier to read. However, they don’t want everything in the app to be larger.
  • Make sure that all fonts are legible. If you can’t read it, don’t use it.
  • Never use a font size lower than 11pt. Always put in mind that users may adjust the accessibility text sizes and app font-size should still be 11pt or higher even if they do.
  • Headlines and Body texts can use the same size. You can add some distinction on the font weight.
  • Use only two weights, regular or medium. Never use bold or light-font weights.
  • Use simple words. Never add fancy and highfalutin words. Follow basic app copywriting guidelines.
  • Be sure to be direct in instructions. Users don’t want to read your novel, buddy.

4. Be Careful With Colors When Designing Your Mobile App

Colors play an important role in app design. Some app designers tend to just choose the color they want and then design the app. That is a wrong practice. Colors should always help and enhance interactivity and visual continuity in every app.

When choosing the colors for your app, make sure that they jive together. Here is one article which can help you with color combinations.

Over-the-top-colorful-outfit-in-green-purple-mirrored-sunglasses-with-reading-glasses

Focus on color contrasts in different circumstances. Some inexperienced app designers usually make mistakes by not putting enough contrast in the navigation bar background and the bar button tiles. This makes the buttons difficult to distinguish.

4 Tips For Picking Good Colors When Designing a Mobile App :

  • Use colors with at least 50% contrast differences. Then test the results on a device under different lighting conditions such as indoors and outdoors.
  •  Try looking at the app in grayscale (or desaturated) form. If you have difficulties in differentiating the interactive and the non-interactive elements, then, you need to increase the contrast between them.
  • Never use the same color in both tappable and non-tappable elements. You should always keep in mind that UI elements that need interaction should always be different from elements that don’t. Make your users know where to tap.
  •  Colors should always enhance the flow of information. Never use it as a distraction.

5. Bad Ad Placements In Mobile App Design

full-screen-ads

Now, let’s talk about ads. As developers and designers, we would love ads. They make our apps earn without sending the burden to the users. But for regular users who have no idea about mobile app design and development, ads can be very irritating bugs in the UI. Some ads just pop out and shazam!, you’re redirected to the App Store. Now, this is common mistake for new app creators. So, what do you do?

  •  Never use pop-out ads. These are the advertisements that just pop over the entire page. This disturbs the proper flow of information and could distract with the user tapping on the interactive CTAs.
  •  Place ads on creative places. Usually, ads are placed in the least important part of the screen. Normally, a small portion of the lower part of the screen is set for ads. You may want to free up a small space there.
  •  Some ads, especially in games, give bonuses to the players. I guess this, too, is creative.

6. Making the User Wait On Your App

loading

Nobody wants to wait. But some apps need a few moments to load. But you have to be careful about this. Splash screens are risky elements to place in your app.

They are normally annoying because you are accessing the content while someone is waiting for you or the device. If you place a splash screen, make it is short as possible. While you’re on it, make it creative.

7. Too Many Mobile App Notifications

notify

As the designer, you want your app to be noticed and used by people, right? So you might think that you should always remind them that you haven’t used the app in a while? Right? Have you thought of this?

Well, if you are thinking about even doing this, don’t. Notifications, unless they are essential to the users, turn the latter away from your app.

Think of t like this: no matter how nice you try to be, there’s always this one guy who thinks you’re best friends and sends you emails about his life every single hour. Do you even like that random guy? Hell no, right? Then if you don’t like annoying people constantly reminding you, begging for your attention, don’t put them in your apps.

4 Good Tips For App Notifications

  • If your app is a game, provide bonuses for users who regularly check your app out.
  • Try to design a better app. Improve your errors; make it more exciting.
  • Be nice with the ads. Don’t clutter the pages.
  • And lastly, follow the guidelines stated in this article.

Or else, you might end up falling prey to this app-blocker setting.

Final Thoughts On Designing A Mobile App

App design is not a walk in the park. Like web design, it has its pitfalls. If you continue to keep on committing these mistakes and not even learning from them at all, then you won’t be any good at all. Remember that you should learn from these mistakes and create a better app next time. Happy designing!

45+ Most Popular and Useful iPhone Apps  For New Mobile Design App Inspiration

iPhone has gained popularity rapidly and is a must have gadget for nearly everyone now. Even I, an old clumsy Nokia owner, have finally realized it. iPhone is not your typical phone you pull out only to make a call. It can do much more than that. And with over 350 000 apps it would be silly not to fully use the potential this phone’s offering. But which apps to choose and which are worth the money? It can be rather frustrating to pick the right ones for you in all that mess.

This article is here to help you and presents 45+ of the most useful, efficient and awesome apps to keep you on top of the edge every time you use your iPhone – be as productive as possible wherever you go. The apps collected in this article range from advanced bookmarking services to simple photo effect tools. These fantastic apps will help you increase your productivity greatly and get the best from your iPhone. You might ask if you can afford all that? Don’t worry, most of these apps are actually free or at a ridiculously low price for the value you get.

Organizing iPhone Mobile Apps

These apps will help you to organize your notes, photos, bookmarks and synchronize them across your computer and other compatible devices. The USB flash era is over – DropBox is the new ultimate service for transferring files quickly and efficiently.

1. Evernote (free)

Evernote-useful-iphone-apps

Evernote for iPhone lets you create notes, snap photos, and record voice memos that you can then access any time from your iPhone, computer, or the web.

2. ZooTool ($1.99)

Zootool-useful-iphone-apps

Zootool for iPhone makes it easy to bookmark, organize and share your favorite images, videos, documents and links from all over the web.

3. Dropbox (free)

Dropbox-useful-iphone-apps

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your iPhone and iPad and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the go.

4. inClass (free)

Inclass-useful-iphone-apps

inClass, the amazing student organizer, is here to help you survive school. No matter how complex your school schedule is inClass will help you keep track of all your courses and even alert you before class so that you are never late again. Not only that, but it will help you keep track of your tasks by reminding you that one is due soon, so no more procrastination.

Business iPhone Mobile Apps

Take your business with you in your phone. These apps will help you track, manage and take care of your finances and business.

1. Mint (free)

Mint-useful-iphone-apps

Personal finance tools from Mint. Track, budget and manage your money on-the-go. Sign up for a Mint account, add your online banking accounts and access your personal finances — all from your iPhone. Get started for free.

2. Billings Touch (free)

Billings-touch-useful-iphone-apps

Billings Touch takes the Apple Design Award winning time tracking and invoicing experience from the Mac and puts it in your pocket.

3. Outpost 2 ($19.99)

Outpost-useful-iphone-apps

If you use Basecamp, you use it because you want to be productive. You use it because you want a simple solution to what once was a big problem for you. Now, you can use Basecamp on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad just as you’ve always wanted to.

4. MiniBooks for FreshBooks ($14.99)

Minibooks-useful-iphone-apps

MiniBooks puts the popular web invoicing software FreshBooks in the palm of your hand. Manage your clients, send invoices, run timers, and record payments, all while on the go. Plus, MiniBooks fully synchronizes with your FreshBooks account, so you have access to your account even when you’re off the grid. All this for less than FreshBooks’ monthly subscription fee.

5. Scanner Pro ($6.99)

Scanner-pro-useful-iphone-apps

Scanner Pro transforms iPhone into portable scanner in your pocket. It lets you scan multipage documents, email them and even upload to Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk or any other WebDAV enabled server. Evernote integration is there too.

Task Management Mobile iPhone Apps

To-do lists, RSS readers, project management, brainstorming – keep track of your everyday life in your pocket. These amazing apps will help to get things done right.

1. 42tasks (free)

42tasks-useful-iphone-apps

42tasks is a tasks management and collaboration app, with cloud synchronization. The 42tasks app will boost your productivity. You can organize your to-do lists and tasks, assign them to other people, share projects and view custom reports.

2. Remember The Milk (free)

Remember-milk-useful-iphone-apps

Take your to-do list anywhere with this feature-packed app; never forget the milk (or anything else) again. Remember The Milk (RTM) for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad connects with the popular online service of the same name. With millions of users worldwide, Remember The Milk is everywhere you are: from mobile to the web to apps including Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter, and more. Learn more at www.rememberthemilk.com

3. Springpad (free)

Springpad-useful-iphone-apps

Springpad is a free application that lets you quickly and easily save ideas and information you want to remember on the web, on your iPhone and on your iPad.

4. Instapaper ($4.99)

Instapaper-useful-iphone-apps

Save web pages for later offline reading, optimized for readability on your iPhone or iPod touch’s screen. Featured by Apple and critically acclaimed by top blogs, newspapers, and magazines.

5. Things ($9.99)

Things-useful-iphone-apps

Things is a beautifully focused and amazingly intuitive task manager. Other to-do applications either oversimplify or are too difficult to use. Either way you are not getting stuff done. Things instead has the right balance between ease of use and powerful features.

6. Quickie to Do ($1.99)

Quickie-useful-iphone-apps

Fastest to-do list in the store, perfect for ad-hoc, spur of the moment lists. Simple and efficient, a pleasure to use.

7. LocationMinder ($1.99)

Location-minder-useful-iphone-apps

LocationMinder allows you to set reminder alarms that trigger based on location. Even when the app is not running, you will receive the reminders when you reach the area. Designed specifically to work with a new technology in the iPhone 4 for very low power consumption and high accuracy.

8. Wunderlist (free)

Wunderlist-useful-iphone-apps

Wunderlist makes it downright simple to organize your daily life. Just create a list and start filling it with things that need to be completed. Keep track of your more important tasks with reminders and notifications.

9. Reeder ($2.99)

reeder-useful-iphone-apps

Google Reader client with dozens of useful features.

10. MobileRSS (free)

mobilerss-useful-iphone-apps

MobileRSS is a fully-featured Google Reader client for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. We’ve built a ton of powerful and exclusive features onto an elegant and familiar design platform which makes reading the news fun again. We think you’ll like it! This free version of MobileRSS has ads which can be removed by upgrading to the ad-free MobileRSS.

Most Useful Designer Mobile iPhone Apps

Are you an author on Envato marketplace or just need quick access to your FTP server? These apps will suit designers, developers and other creatives who just love to paint on their phone.

1. cliqcliq Colors (free)

Cliq-colors-useful-iphone-apps

Colors is an easy-to-use color picker for discovering, converting, and managing colors and palettes.

2. WhatTheFont (free)

What-font-useful-iphone-apps

Ever seen a great font in a magazine ad, poster, or on the web and wondered what font it is? Whip out your iPhone and snap a photo, and WhatTheFont will identify that font in seconds.

3. Leaflet ($1.99)

Leaflet-useful-iphone-apps

Leaflet is an iPhone app designed for Envato marketplace publishers. Keep track of all of your account related information including comments, earnings breakdown, statement list and receive push notifications for both new sales and comments. You can also respond to comments and view individual statement entries all in one beautifully designed interface.

4. FTP On The Go (1,59 €)

Ftp-useful-iphone-apps

An FTP client for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

5. Zen Brush ($2.99)

Zen-brush-useful-iphone-apps

Zen Brush is an app that allows you to easily enjoy the feeling of using an ink brush to write or to paint. It allows anyone to easily perform fluent strokes while not compromising on the fascinating texture of a real ink brush. Create works that radiate the right atmosphere by choosing the best background template from our large collection.

Photography iPhone Apps

Picture can save a thousand words. These apps will help to keep your memorable pictures safe, share them with your friends and enhance them with cool effects right in your phone.

1. Instagram (free)

Instagram-useful-iphone-apps

3.75 Million users love Instagram! It’s a free, fun, and simple way to make and share gorgeous photos on your iPhone.

2. Adobe Photoshop Express (free)

Photoshop-express-useful-iphone-apps

Adobe Photoshop Express software lets you use simple gestures to quickly edit and share photos from your mobile device. Enjoy having your photo and video library right in your hand — without wasting your device’s valuable storage space.

3. Photopod ($0.99)

Photopod-useful-iphone-apps

Take all your photos from Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Tumblr and Dropbox everywhere you go, on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Find the photos you want to see in seconds, edit and crop them or instantly upload the photos you just took with your iPhone to multiple networks without the need to open a new account.

4. PhotoSync ($1.99)

Photosync-useful-iphone-apps

PhotoSync will transform your photo handling forever. It‘s the first app that makes wireless transfer of your photos/videos from or to your computer and other i-Devices – a breeze. PhotoSync also transfers to Dropbox, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, SmugMug and FTP. You need never use a cable again.

5. QuickShot with Dropbox ($0.99)

Quickshot-useful-iphone-apps

QuickShot simplifies the process of uploading photos to Dropbox. Every picture you take is immediately uploaded without the need for any additional actions. It has all the familiar camera features found in other apps, plus a few not found anywhere else. Queue multiple photos, upload photos in the background, and access all of the standard camera functionality from QuickShot’s simple interface.

6. Camera Plus (free)

Camera-plus-useful-iphone-apps

Camera Plus is a free camera app for your iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G and iPod touch to capture photos instantly with some great controls, add cool effects and share them with your Facebook, Twitter or Flickr friends on-the-fly!.

Social iPhone Apps

Twitter and Facebook aren’t the only social networks out there. Play photo games, write diary, listen to thousands of mixes straight away from your phone.

1. Piictu (free)

Piictu-useful-iphone-apps

Part photo game, part social camera, piictu is a fun + simple way to talk and play with piics from your mobile phone.

2. Momento ($2.99)

Momento-useful-iphone-apps

Momento is a unique diary/journal writing application which provides a quick and easy way to privately record moments throughout your day. Connect with popular web services, such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Foursquare, Gowalla, YouTube, Vimeo, Digg and Last.fm, to collect and display your online activity as part of your diary.

3. 8tracks Radio (free)

8tracks-useful-iphone-apps

8tracks is handcrafted internet radio — a “social” alternative to Pandora. Featuring hundreds of thousands of mixes created by people who know and love music, the 8tracks iPhone app gives you easy, free and mobile access to the best collection of playlists on the web.

4. Skype (free)

Skype-useful-iphone-apps

Call, video call and instant message anyone else on Skype for free with Skype for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

5. Path (free)

Path-useful-iphone-apps

Path is the simple and private way to share life with close friends & family.

6. GroupMe (free)

Groupme-useful-iphone-apps

Free group messaging with anyone you know. Works on any phone.Now works over data—no text plan required.

7. Spout ($0.99)

Spout-useful-iphone-apps

Introducing Spout, the newest way to enjoy news, messages, tweets and comments; delivered to your screen as a beautifully rendered up-to-the-second display of social content.

8. Bump (free)

Bump-useful-iphone-apps

Bump makes sharing with people as simple as bumping two phones together. Just pick what you want to send, then hold your phones and gently bump hands with another Bump user. And now, you can message with your friends who aren’t near you – just add them as a friend inside of Bump and start messaging immediately — it’s kind of like a long-distance “virtual bump”.

Other & Misc iPhone Apps

All the other fantastic apps that doesn’t fit in any other category. Check out Ben the Bodyguard trailer to find out what I’m talking about.

1. Fast ($1.99)

Fast-useful-iphone-apps

Fast is an innovative writing system that will save you time when typing your sms, mail, or more generally any text. The feature that differentiates Fast from other writing systems is that Fast learns from what you write, and updates itself by drawing from your vocabulary.

2. Ben the Bodyguard (3,99 €)

Ben-bodyguard-useful-iphone-apps

Ben protects photos, contacts, passwords and other sensitive stuff on your iPhone or iPod touch. He’s your own personal security expert. Peace of mind on the go with a distinct attitude and opinion. Ben’s guarantee — “Your secrets are safe with me.”

3. Gas Cubby ($4.99)

Gas-cubby-useful-iphone-apps

Gas Cubby is the ultimate tool for tracking gas mileage and vehicle maintenance. Whether you’re a hypermiler, or just want a reminder to change the oil, Gas Cubby will save you money and keep your vehicle operating at its peak.

4. blip.me (free)

Blip-useful-iphone-apps

blip.me is a fun, useful, and free way to turn your mobile phone into a push-to-talk walkie-talkie.

5. Find My iPhone (free)

Find-phone-useful-iphone-apps

Find My iPhone is free for anyone with an iPhone 4, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch (iOS 4.2 or later required).* Just sign in with your Apple ID on your qualifying device and turn on Find My iPhone to allow you to locate it. Then use the same Apple ID to turn on Find My iPhone on your other iOS 4.2 (or later) devices including iPhone 3G, 3GS, or iPod touch (2nd generation or later). Find My iPhone is also included with a MobileMe subscription.

6. Rowmote Pro ($4.99)

Rowmote-useful-iphone-apps

Rowmote Pro is the ultimate wireless remote, trackpad, and keyboard. A gorgeous universal app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, with everything from a multitouch trackpad to full extended keyboard support, and with no-configuration control of dozens of the best Mac applications, it is a must-have for any home media center or presentation.

7. Free Full Screen Private Browsing (free)

Full-screen-useful-iphone-apps

Finally, you can view all your websites privately and in full screen for free. This is the simple, no frills web browser you’ve been waiting for.

8. Where (free)

Where-useful-iphone-apps

Join more than 4 million people who rely on Where everyday to answer the question, ‘Where should I go next?’

9. quiQR ($1.99)

quiQR iPhone app is a Real-time QR code reader and creator.

Quiqr-useful-iphone-apps

History In Mobile UI World:  40 Best Mobile Design Apps From 2012

Since we updated this article recently, we still have some mobile app designs left from 2012. Check how the mobile app design world looked in 2012. Look how far have we come in just a few years!

1. Camera Genius

Camera-genius-mobile-app-designs

Camera Genius is a camera iPhone mobile application that significantly increases standard functionality. It has separate focus and exposure areas, picture editing tools and effects, social network sharing features and more. Great idea to blend SLR with phone and the UI design is nice and clean.

2. Istid

Istid-mobile-app-designs

Overview of the shops selling good quality ice cream. The usability and typography are great.

3. Jauntly

Jauntly-mobile-app-designs

Mobile website of Jauntly – a simple goal setting web application. Simple design with a beautiful color scheme.

4. ChowNow Tip

Chownow-mobile-app-designs

Tip screen for the forthcoming ChowNow mobile ordering platform. Crisp design with a gentle touch of texture.

5. Wieden + Kennedy BlackBook

Blackbook-mobile-app-designs

Browse employees alphabetically. Awesome contact list.

6. Nike Fuel+ App Concept

Nike-fuel-mobile-app-designs

A new concept for Nike Fuel+ app. Fine contrast and vibrant colors.

7. Moodswings

Moodswings-mobile-app-designs

Moodswings helps you add and track your daily mood through time and location. Check how people in your neighborhood are feeling and understand the reasons behind your mood swings. Good concept brought to life with a beautiful design.

8. MemoCards

Memocards-mobile-app-designs

MemoCards is the ultimate flashcard app for language learners. Excellent design that combines both usability and creativity.

9. Grocery List

Grocery-list-mobile-app-designs

Make shopping easier with ordered lists.

10. Quote Roller

Quoteroller-mobile-app-designs

Quote Roller for iPhone lets you access your QuoteRoller account from wherever you are. Lucid and neat web app’s transfer to mobile.

11. AirCasette

Aircasette-mobile-app-designs

AirCassette is a unique cassette player application for iPhone and iPod Touch. Creative design but the functionality lacks a bit.

12. Meernotes

Meernotes-mobile-app-designs

Another to-do list app yet this one really feels like a notebook in your pocket.

13. Mingle

Mingle-mobile-app-designs

Mingle is the new, fun way for professionals to network anywhere they are. Modern and glossy interface which might not go with the app’s goals.

14. Sudoku

Sudoku-mobile-app-designs

The best sudoko app for iPhone. Tough game but at least you have a beautiful interface.

15. I Do Lists

Lists-mobile-app-designs

I Do Lists is a list creating app. But it’s for lists of things that “I do” rather than things “to do”. It combines good graphic design with ease of use.

16. RaceSplitter

Racesplitter-mobile-app-designs

RaceSplitter is an easy-to-use, yet powerful race timer, that allows you to time a race or training session, and get splits and relative standings while out on the course. Clean interface and great functionality.

17. Billings Touch

Billings-mobile-app-designs

Billings Touch is a part of a unique time tracking and invoicing solution called Billings Pro. Clean and crisp design makes it easy to keep an eye on your money and projects.

18. Ogorod Stuff

Ogorod-mobile-app-designs

Ogorod Stuff is a great way to share pictures of your clothes, gadgets, vehicles and all the other stuff that you use everyday. I don’t see the point of this app but you got to admit that the design is neat and refined.

19. TV App

Tv-mobile-app-designs

TV Show tracker app idea with glazed and pixel-perfect interface.

20. WoooBee

Wooobee-mobile-app-designs

WoooBee is a location based service, where you can share the hottest spots in town with your friends and receive discounts. Beautiful color scheme with pixel-perfect elements, yet it looks like the functionality of the app won’t be that great.

21. Probki.tv

Probki-mobile-app-designs

Blogging app for those who are unlucky enough to spend their lives in traffic jams. Clean interface with a touch of retro.

22. Arla Köket

Arlakoket-mobile-app-designs

A cooking app with trendy design and great color accents.

23. Air Dictate

Airdictate-mobile-app-designs

An iPhone app that uses Siri’s speech to text to dictate text to your Mac. Luxurious look with a nice touch of texture.

24. iPhone Restaurant App

Restaurant-mobile-app-designs

A restaurant app concept with a warm and cozy look.

25. Jet Lag

Jetlag-mobile-app-designs

Suffering from jet lag? Flying between timezones may cause your biological clock to run amok making you feel tired and disoriented. Jetlag App helps combat these feelings so you can enjoy your trip and be alert all day long. Minimal design with a nice color scheme.

26. Italian Challenge

Italian-mobile-app-designs

Deepen your knowledge of Italy by answering more than 1000 questions that this app offers. Attractive design with cool illustrations.

27. UN News App

News-mobile-app-designs

The UN News Reader is a free mobile news application for quick and easy access to all stories from the UN News Centre. Perfectly aligned elements and plain design.

28. redpepper

Redpepper-mobile-app-designs

Mobile website of an advertising agency. Bold and engaging design, a great transfer from the web version.

29. Bosquet

Bosquet-mobile-app-designs

Your new favorite Forrst app? The appealing design might help make it.

30. My Seeen

Seeen-mobile-app-designs

A movie app concept with clean, pixel-perfect, detailed design.

31. tmn wallet

Wallet-mobile-app-designs

With this service customers can purchase products in vending machines, catering spaces and custom food delivery services using just their mobile phones. Clear and bold.

32. Mountain High

Mountain-mobile-app-designs

The official Mountain High app for your next ski and snowboard experience. Bright and rich interface with bold accents.

33. Readability

Readability-mobile-app-designs

Readability turns any web page into a clean view for reading now or later on your computer, iPhone or iPad. It’s all about simplicity and the reading experience.

34. Red Stamp

Redstamp-mobile-app-designs

Email, text, tweet, facebook, and paper mail personalized photo cards, notes, invitations + announcements right from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The app itself is very simple but those photo card designs are awesome.

35. Snapguide

Snapguide-mobile-app-designs

Snapguide is a simple, beautiful way to share and view step-by-step how to guides. The good looking design and usability makes creating a guide fun.

36. crouwelclock

Crouwelclock-mobile-app-designs

Clock made from kick-ass typography.

37. Calvetica

Calvetica-mobile-app-designs

A super simple calendar app using Helvetica typography that looks worlds better than inbuilt.

38. robick

Robick-mobile-app-designs

Robick is an audio player for listening to music deeply. change and visualize the way you listen to music.

39. eBoy FixPix

Fixpix-mobile-app-designs

Tilt your iPhone to explore eBoy’s mind-boggling art and find the right angle to solve the puzzle. Graphics by the Eboy artists.

40. SKTCH

Sktch-mobile-app-designs

SKTCH is a generative drawing application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Instead of adopting traditional “brush” based drawing, SKTCH is about presets, created by a number of digital artists around the globe. In this app, you’re the designer.

Want more?

Mobile UI Patterns

Ui-patterns-mobile-app-designs

Website showcasing various mobile UI design elements.

app.itize.us

Appitize-mobile-app-designs

app.itize.us is a painstakingly curated presentation of the best produced and designed iPhone and iPad applications available for download via the App Store.

They Make Apps

Theymakeapps-mobile-app-designs

Home of the finest mobile app makers.

Meer.li

Meerli-mobile-app-designs

Meer.li is a place where exceptional mobile designers connect, show off their designs and promote themselves.

What’s your process when you design mobile app? How do you go from creation to release stages? Mobile application design is not easy, but very rewarding. Best of luck!

Aware of some more awesome mobile apps? Share with us in the comments!

 

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50 of The Easiest Website Builder Collection in 2016

Looking for a place to create a free website?  There are plenty of resources that allow you to create you own website, blog, wiki, or social community without having to know any programming language.

These free (mostly..at least starting options) website creation sites allow you to easily create a site, customize the design, add content, and have your own domain name.

It is crazy how many people don’t even have a website even as freelance web designers. If you don’t know where to start – start here! Start by having online presence and establishing your own branding.

Create your own website TODAY!

Create your own website TODAY!

If you aren’t ready yet or cannot afford to have your own domain and website, take a look at 50 of easiest website builder tools and be online in less than 2 hours! (I am not kidding).

Free website builder versions are not the best starting point, but it is still good starting point (usually you can easily upgrade if you like them). Downsides is that you don’t really own your content or don’t have really full control over your website until you get your own domain and hosting. So free versions have their limitations, but hey – it’s better to start!

Introduction

At 1stWebDesigner we are driven to helping you succeed in establishing and developing an online presence so you can achieve success with your online business. Needless to say, you’re going to need a kick-ass and professional-looking website to get you started.

These days, there are tons of products and services that make it easier than ever before to get your website up and running in just a matter of moments. Yet, we keep hearing the same excuses people have been using for years as to why many aspiring business owners don’t have their website live on the Internet for the world to see.

Some of the most common reasons we keep hearing include that they have no coding knowledge, they’re unable to afford paying professional web developer rates, or they simply don’t have the time to create and maintain their own business website.

Fortunately for you, at 1stWebDesigner we like making it difficult for our readers to say that they can’t get their online business venture started TODAY. This is why in this post we’ll be reviewing the top website builders currently in the market.


What are Website Builders?

Whether you want to start an online business or you are just looking to create a blog site to attract a like-minded audience, having a visually appealing and user-friendly website is crucial if you want any chance of success.

Website builders are exploding in popularity precisely because they enable users to create websites without you having to know how to code or be a talented creative designer. In fact, Website Builders do not require any technical knowledge at all.

Although each package comes in different sizes and flavors, website builders typically include WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) builders that let you create your website by dragging and dropping website elements into the content area.

Thus, these awesome products make it almost impossible for people to have an excuse for not setting up their “virtual storefront”. We love them because they look great, they are easy to use, they cost little to no money AND they enable aspiring business owners to get started right away.

website-builder-webflow

Webflow is responsive web design tool, builder for designers. Just enjoyed how they present themselves.


Picking a Website Builder

Like any new buzz-generating tool in the market, website builders have led to the rise of hundreds of copycat products that are just trying to capitalize on popular trends. More often than not, they are just awfully cheap versions that come littered with spammy ads and should just be avoided at all costs. Easier said than done, right? Right.

Knowing how to pick a quality Website Builder can be tricky since many advertisers will use similar marketing materials that sound great but the actual product ends up coming up far short of what was promised. In the end, they can turn out to be major headaches (especially the free versions) that end up costing more time and potentially more money than you ever anticipated.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you so in this piece we’ll be highlighting what we feel are truly the best Website Builders currently in the market today as well as some that are not quite up to par. Choosing a quality website builder that fits your unique needs and style is important to creating a great looking website that can help promote your brand and grow your business.
So without further ado, let’s take the 1WD tour of our top 50 Website Builders.


Easiest Website Builder, Editor’s Choice: Wix

Wix has earned a reputation for having some of the most beautiful websites on the web. They provide gorgeous templates and a huge amount of features that let users create beautiful and interactive websites.

Wix is one of the easiest website builder tools

Wix is the easiest website builder we recommend as our top choice.

Wix have separated themselves from the rest, because they are definitely the easiest website builder tool available nowadays. It is one of the most advanced solutions for people without any coding experience to build powerful and good looking site easily and fast.

Here is a little demo of what other people thought when using Wix, sure it’s promotional video, but it showcases Wix best features – check them out.

Whenever I have non-technical friends asking where and how they could build website easily – I always refer them to Wix website builder. Check them out and you will thank me later.

More Insights on What Wix Can and Cannot Do

For some, having a ton of features can be a great thing, but for others, the sheer variety of options can feel a little overwhelming. This may scare off many potential new users, particularly the ones with little-to-no technical skills, who may just go elsewhere for their website project needs.

That’s a big shame because Wix really is one of the best site builders out there. Their interface is actually very easy to use and the templates look polished and professional. On top of that, the Wix Technical Support team is truly one of the company’s greatest assets.

Website Editor

Unlike most other blank canvas editors Wix’s editor is very user-friendly and intuitive. That is, if you’re willing to take the time to learn how to use it. As mentioned before, Wix packs in a jaw-dropping amount of features. Some people may find the quantity a little daunting while others may feel that Wix may have gone a little overboard.

That being said, it shouldn’t take anyone more than half an hour to learn the basic tool functions. Learning the basics is all you need and before you know you’ll be dragging and dropping elements around your canvas like a pro and without any limitations.

Wix features a highly functional WYSIWYG editor that lets you drag and drop your website elements anywhere you want and without limitations. Don’t let the amount of features scare you away, Wix has one of the best all-around editors of any website builder today.

Working with Media Files

Having to upload your images and video files each time you want to use them in a different section of your website is tedious, annoying, and come on already, it’s 2016! Seriously. Yet, that’s what most run-of-the-mill website builders make their users do.

With Wix, however, you can simply upload your files once and they get saved into virtual folders which you can then reuse as many times as you need to. In addition, Wix even lets you use media files from your favorite social media sites, like Facebook.

Wix’s Aviary Editor gives users full photo enhancing and editing capabilities including adding borders, animations, and setting videos to auto-play and many other options.

Websites powered

When you have over 73 million registered users, out of which 1.6 million are paid subscribers and 45,000 are joining the service daily, then its pretty safe to say that you’re a hugely successful company.

Pricing (Monthly)

Wix is focused on targeting the widest possible audience their services and products. This is why they offer multiple pricing packages that can cover a wide range of budgets, which is a good thing for consumers.

The pricing options are as follows:

If the free version of Wix is simply not doing it for you, there 4 different premium plans that you can avail of.

  • FREE: This option lets you try out the service at no cost and without any bothersome time limits that pressure you to upgrade to the paid subscription services.
  • Connect Domain ($4.08/mo.):  This package includes 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage. You also get free hosting, access to premium support and the ability to use your own domain
  • Combo ($8.25/mo.): The Combo package packs a mighty one-two punch combination by giving you 2GB of Bandwidth and 3GB of storage. This plan also eliminates the Wix ads on your site and gives you free domain registration and a customized favicon.
  • Unlimited ($12.42/mo.):  As the name implies, you get unlimited bandwidth, 10GB of storage, all of the benefits of the previous plans, a form builder app, and a site booster app.
  • Ecommerce ($16.17/mo.):  Power up your online store with a whopping 10GB of bandwidth and 20GB of storage. This plan includes all of the benefits of the above plans.

All premium plans include a $125 value Ad voucher.

Number of templates:

Wix offers over 500 beautifully designed templates that are all available even to WIX Free users. They feature the latest design trends and are fully responsive. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or have no design skills, the templates will make a good impression with their polished, professional looks.

Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t allow you to swap your templates unless you are willing to restart your whole project. This can be a major pain if you’re already in the middle of a design and feel the need to swap for a better template.

In addition, users do not have access to modify the HTML/CSS codes which can limit your customization options.

SEO Friendly (Rate)

In terms of SEO optimization tools, Wix is not much different from its competitors. You get tools that allow you to optimize your basic SEO functions such as keywords and descriptions. In addition, Wix provides useful tutorials and tools that help analyze SEO data.

Mobile Friendly

On most websites, the desktop versions look quite similar to its mobile view which works pretty well in most cases. Wix’s mobile editor, however, lets you design the mobile version of your website separately from its desktop version.

Simply tap the smart phone icon and your screen will switch to mobile view. This gives you greater to control to rearrange your content without having to worry about messing the desktop view.

eCommerce Tools

Wix features surprisingly good eCommerce capabilities. They offer over 500 professionally designed templates, their awesome drag and drop builder and even offer a support database and team, including live Phone support.

Wix does a great job at providing you with all the standard features you need to successfully run an online store. However, Wix’s App Market is what makes them standout among other website builders.

The App Market has over 260 apps that help extend your online store’s functionality and provides lots of advanced customer service and business tools.

Customer Support

Wix provides the bulk of its Customer Support service via their forums. Users can post their questions which the support staff will try answer as quickly as possible. Fortunately, their response time is remarkably fast and they are very helpful. Users can also search the archives to look up previous responses to their issues.

If you need a more direct contact, their Help team can be contacted via email and phone support. Users that are on the Premium packages get access to the VIP Team. Wix definitely know how to cover all their bases which definitely adds to an overall positive client experience.

Blogging

Wix offers basic but effective blogging features including post scheduling and Featured Posts. Getting your blog all set up and ready is as easy as pie with Wix. Users are given a choice of 6 layouts where you can add photos, galleries, video, and text. Your blog content can be easily shared on social media sites and allow reader comments as well.

Membership Creator?

Wix does not currently support granting different permission types for membership sites. However, don’t be surprised if this feature will be available sooner or later since they are always adding new features and capabilities.

Email Service

Wix does not currently offer email accounts for your domain names. Although you are able to use 3rd party applications like Google Apps, those services still charge separate monthly fees which slightly bumps up the monthly charges for your Wix website.

The Last Word

There is no doubt that Wix offers a compelling website builder package which should have a place among your top 5 choices. Yes, there are cheaper option out there, but Wix hands-down offers the most beautiful templates out of all its competitors.
We also appreciate the flexible pricing options that offer monthly payments whereas most other builders only offer annual subscriptions.

You can check out Wix here.


Note: If you are a bit more technical and want to take a step further, we recommend you going with WordPress CMS and use Bluehost as hosting, since they make it super easy for you to setup website just by few clicks!

In fact we created a simple step by step video to show exactly how to have your own website in around 10 minutes!

This is the cheapest option we know to have your own professional website. You could go with Wix, Tumblr, WordPress free website, but this will NOT look professional. Especially if you need to brand yourself to your clients or followers, you need to have professional website.

Also if you are freelancer, having online presence will easily help you charge more as clients will respect you more.

Without further ado, check out this step by step video how to make your own website. If you want to watch video on Youtube, here is the link. (using our link you get 50% off)

Here is the discount link mentioned in the video.

Disclaimer: Discount is immediately activated when you click on it and yes..we do receive commission if you decide to buy. But I still use Bluehost + WordPress for all my new projects and I would never recommend something I haven’t tried or am not using myself.

 


2. Weebly

The words “free and easy” seldom go hand-in-hand with “quality and value”. Yet, this is exactly what Weebly has been able to achieve with their fantastic website builder service. Weebly is proof that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg in order to get a quality website.

webbly-website-builder

Webbly website builder

In fact, you don’t have to pay anything at all and you will still get the tools and services you need to create a solid website to get your online business started. Eventually, we think that users will inevitably feel compelled to upgrade to paid subscriptions in order to unlock yet many more features that will help power their growing business.

While many companies make the mistake of thinking that their product is good enough as is, Weebly is a company that is not content to just sit on their laurels and enjoy their success. They are still running their company in “start-up-mode” and continue to provide updates on a regular basis to demonstrate their commitment to providing quality and innovation in the web industry.

Weebly’s latest update to their service, known as Carbon, features even more tools, responsive templates and a totally revamped user interface. Best of all, they still manage to keep everything simple to use, yet powerful enough to create complex websites.

Websites powered

Over 30 million websites are currently powered by Weebly. That’s more than 2% of all the websites on the Internet! It’s a powerful testament to the great quality and usability of their product and technical support services.

Pricing (Monthly)

Weebly’s current pricing packages are as follows:

  • Free: Everything you need for a high quality site. Create unlimited pages and host your site for free.
  • Starter ($8/mo.): Connect your own domain, remove Weebly branding, and get expanded site stats.
  • Pro ($12/mo.): Professional multimedia features, powerful site search, and password protection.
  • Business ($25/mo.): Fully integrated eCommerce and all available features. The complete package.

Unlike most other web-builders, Weebly’s Free package lets you create as many pages as you’d like. There’s also no time limits on this package so you can stay as a free user as for as long as you’d like.

Eventually, however, there will come a time when the minimum requirements just aren’t enough for your growing business. The paid subscription packages will give you more advanced tools to work with as well as access to premium technical support services.

In addition, your domain registration is free during your first year when subscribing to any of the paid packages.

Number of templates

The design of your website can have a material impact on how much website traffic it can potentially generate as well as its conversion rates. Fortunately, Weebly is incredibly flexible and makes it super easy for newbies and experts alike to get the right template design for their project.

Weebly has a collection of over 70 beautiful premade website templates that you can choose from so you can get started immediately. If you have a preferred template from a 3rd party provider, Weebly lets you import it seamlessly onto their platform.

Do you like to design your own templates? No problem! Weebly’s editor enables users to completely customize their own templates by using HTML & CSS.

SEO Friendly (Rate)

SEO-conscious users will be pleased to know that Weebly places a high priority on making sure your website ranks well with the search engines. The Advanced Setting tab allows users to define standard settings Page Title and Description as well as the ability to add Alt Text to your images.

The Settings area also enables users to easily configure important settings such as 301 redirects so you can redirect traffic from the old site to your new one.

E-Commerce Tools

Weebly’s eCommerce tools provide a great way for users to set up their online stores quickly and easily.  Although not as robust or as deep as a dedicated eCommerce website builder, it is quite impressive when compared to most other drag and drop website builders in the market.

Weebly’s eCommerce capabilities are really ideal for smaller online stores. Their easy-to-use basic features allow you to customize sales receipts, add custom product descriptions, add social sharing buttons and even lets you customize your own Storefront page so you can highlight current store promotions.

Weebly uses excellent shopping cart technology that lets shoppers see how many products they have in their cart and accepts the most common forms of payments including PayPal, Stripe, credit cards and more.

Overall, a solid package for a small online store.

Customer Support

For a company that spends much of its focus on creating a product that is super easy to use, you would almost think that offering customer support would be more of an after-thought. Fortunately, that assumption couldn’t b further from the truth.

Weebly provides phone, email and live chat technical support to help you get unstuck with your issues, or to get expert guidance on your website project.

Membership Creator

Weebly’s offers a straightforward Membership Creator that while it is simple to use, it gives you everything you need to create a membership site such as an online course for students. The membership gateway gives you total control of what pages your registered users are given access to.

Email Service

Although they do not offer a direct email service, you can get email accounts with Weebly through Google Apps. It’s not the cheapest nor the only option to get an email account, but it is a reliable one.   

The Last Word

Weebly is easy to use and has lots of great features that will encourage even the most technically-challenged users to get their first website online. Free packages are great for starters and the more premium packages will impress experienced web designers. Weebly is definitely a top choice.


3. Squarespace

From the moment you land on their homepage, you can already see the superior level of quality that has made Squarespace a standout among the other website builders. The visual aesthetics are nothing short of stunning and refreshing.

squarespace-website-builder

Squarespace

On print, the company seems to offer everything you could possibly need to create a great looking and fully-functional website. In practice, however, the user experience may sometimes feel overwhelming and confusing.

Nevertheless, Squarespace does feature an impressively powerful website editor and gorgeously designed templates. It is easy to see why so many people choose this premium service.

Whether you are looking to create a blog, website or online store, let’s touch on the feature highlights that still make Squarespace one of our top picks.

Website Editor

The user interface on Squarespace’s editor uses a clean and minimalistic design. On one hand, it is truly impressive how Squarespace’s simplistic look and feel belies how powerful and refined its website editor really is. That is no small feat by any means!

On the other hand, however, the minimalism probably goes a little too far and can leave users a little confused about some of the editor’s functions. Sometimes you’ll see an icon and have no idea what to do with it. Just be prepared to do some playing around with the editor as not everything is clearly labeled or made obvious.

Fortunately, users have on-demand access to an extensive library of Help Videos that can explain a lot of the not-so-obvious functions of its editor. These tutorials do a great job at guiding you step-by-step through the very basics to the more advanced levels of the website creation process.

Still, I just wish the tools were a little more self-explanatory rather than having me dig through videos to find out what they do.

Overall though, if you have the patience and endurance to overcome its learning curve you will find that your efforts will more than pay off. Its awesome editor has come a long way from its previous clunky iterations. The current one, affectionately called Squarespace 7, is definitely the best one so far.

It provides a straightforward way of pointing, clicking, dragging & dropping Blocks to create the content on your website. The consolidated editing and preview panels lets users easily see their changes in real-time. Best of all, you don’t have to touch a single line of code.

Websites powered

Squarespace currently powers over 1.8 million websites. Granted, these may not seem like the eye-popping numbers that other popular builders like Wix or Weebly boast. However, Squarespace does set itself apart by only offering paid subscription services.

Any way you slice it, that’s still quite an impressive chunk of customers especially when you consider the fact that they are paying a slightly higher premium than other services.

The value received, of course, more than offsets the higher costs and hence gives Squarespace a more prestigious and credible status over most other builders whose user base may include a significant amount of free accounts.

Website Performance

Squarespace is able to offer fast and reliable cloud hosting thanks to its web hosting provider, Peer1, In addition to the hosting services, Peer1 also provides Squarespace with scalable, high-performance IT infrastructure and colocation services.

Pricing (Monthly)

Squarespace offers the following pricing packages:

  • Personal: $12 month-to-month, or a $96 annual fee.
  • Business: $26 month-to-month, or a $216 annual fee.
  • Student Pricing: Students receive a 50% discount off their first year with Squarespace (applicable only to new accounts).

Even though Squarespace only offers paid subscription services, they do offer customers a 14-day risk-free trial. This gives users ample opportunity to fully explore the features and services without having to commit to Squarespace.

Number of templates

Squarespace’s professionally designed templates make it easy to get your site looking the way you want it to. Customers get 25 expertly-designed templates that are clean, intuitive and highly customizable. They are perfectly fine to use out of the box but they also give you the flexibility to fine-tune for your individual website needs.

All templates come mobile-ready and you even get a “Mobile Preview” mode so you can see how your website will look across multiple screens and devices.

SEO Friendly

Squarespace produces pages with clean HTML coding that makes it easy for search engine to index your site. In addition, they offer you the ability to customize your page address to make to more SEO-friendly.

 eCommerce Tools

Whereas most website builders have a hard time effectively implementing and supporting the wide array of features that are typical of an online store, Squarespace actually provides pretty robust eCommerce capabilities. Of course, Squarespace has to be different from everyone else so they call it “Commerce” instead.

Commerce functions are conveniently integrated into their platform and are ready to use out of the box with all their templates. This helps to make setting up your online store quick and easy.

Commerce does, however, have a major chink in its armor. They do not offer PayPal integration on its platform which can, and has been, a deal-breaker for many potential customers. Instead, they use Stripe as their payment processor.

Although Stripe in increasing in both popularity and availability in countries around the world, it is still very much limited in terms of size and user base when compared to PayPal.

Commerce may work well if you want to integrate your online store with your blog website. However, it is difficult to recommend Commerce as a stand-alone solution when you can be paying about the same price for a dedicated eCommerce solutions provider like Shopify instead.

But hey, at least Squarespace has the same no-free account policy that Shopify does!

Customer Support

One of the ways Squarespace has been able to develop such a fantastic reputation is because of their excellent customer support team. From helping you with basic set up questions to more advanced topics like migrating your old WordPress website into Squarespace, customers can count on top-notch assistance from real professionals when they need it the most.

In addition to a having a comprehensive Knowledge Base, Squarespace also offers 24/7 email support as well as live Phone Support during regular business hours.

Blogging? yes/no

Setting up a professional-looking blog on Squarespace is quick and easy. It uses a polished, clean design and a solid, reliable platform. Although using Squarespace as a blog platform requires a paid account,  the quality and usability of its interface and customization options are truly impressive.

Membership Creator?

Squarespace currently has no membership creation service. However, they do offer a Newsletter tool that lets you collect customer email addresses on the checkout page of your online store.

Email Service

For a company that prides itself as providing a premium service to its customers, its a little strange that Squarespace does not provide email hosting services. Yet, it is not a rare occurrence amongst other web builder companies either.

Last Word

Squarespace may not be as simple or as straightforward as many of the other popular website builders out there, but it is still among the most popular choices out there. Of you are serious about creating a high-quality and professional-looking website, then Squarespace is an excellent choice.

Their Help Videos can help turn willing newbies into pro-builders and their technical support team is top-notch for when you get stuck. Yes, you may pay a little more than other services, but the value you get back more than offsets the higher costs.


4. Jimdo

Jimdo is known for being more of an eCommerce-oriented website builder service that combines great usability, a low learning curve and affordable pricing. Not looking to build an online store yet? That’s fine too because Jimdo has all the tools and features you need to create a great looking website for personal or business use.

One of the great features that Jimdo is known for is its excellent technical and multilingual support services. So if you’re targeting an international audience, you’ll definitely be in good hands with Jimdo.

jimdo-website-builder

Jimdo

Website Editor

Hands down, Jimdo’s website editor is one of the fastest that we’ve come across. It uses an organized and intuitive with drag and drop functionality. One potential gripe for many users is that there is no live preview of changes you make to your website. Instead, you make the change and see it live on your website.

Websites powered

Jimdo is headquartered in Germany and has a significant global presence with 15 millions sites worldwide.

Pricing (Monthly)

Jimdo’s pricing packages are as follows:

  • JimdoFree: Unlimited time period, Jimdo domain name, 5 store items, social media integration, 500MB minimum storage, Google maps and much more.
  • JimdoPro plan ($7.50/mo.): Includes a custom domain and email, more technical support access, no transaction fees, 15 store items for your store and much more.
  • JimdoBusiness Plan ($20/mo.): Unlimited products, discount codes, flexible shipping costs, PayPal integration and much more.

Number of templates

Up until recently, Jimdo’s website templates were nothing to brag about. Thankfully, the company has been listening to their customers and their hard work is starting to show off.

Jimdo offers over 130 pre-made templates that can be customized to your exact specifications thanks to HTML/CSS access. Some of the newer templates even include special features such as full background slide shows and videos.

If you prefer to bring in your own 3rd party templates to your Jimdo website, you will be glad to know that the process is seamless and efficient as well.

SEO Friendly

Pages on Jimdo already come  SEO-optimized so you can get ranked on those pesky search engines. While Free users have the option of modifying global SEO settings, premium users can optimize at the meta tag level.

Mobile Friendly

Creating mobile-friendly websites with Jimdo is easy and hassle-free. Instead of heaving to create a whole separate mobile website, Jimdo’s mobile editor re-sizes and adjusts your main page to ensure it is 100% responsive.

Another great features is Jimdo’s iPhone app which enables users to create their website right on their smart phones. Hello!

eCommerce Tools

There is no denying that Jimdo’s eCommerce capabilities are definitely its strong suit. They feature all the tools you need to carry out effective eCommerce operations such as discount codes, tax rate calculations, tracking inventories and orders and much more. Special features include their popular Tag system that help display related items as well as cross-sell particular products.

Among the other website builders out there, Jimdo’s eCommerce capabilities are definitely in a class of their own.

Customer Support

Jimdo lets users click on a question mark icon that will open up their support center screen. There you will access to well-documented and organized FAQs and articles, In addition, user can find more resources via Jimdo’s YouTube channel where they will find a fantastic set of video tutorials.

If you’re a person that prefers talking directly to support teams then you will find life with Jimdo a little frustrating. For starters, you can only contact their support team via an email form. If you’re a Free user, your wait time for a response may take a couple of days while premium customers have a 24 hour turnaround time.

Blogging

Setting up your blog may feel a little more tedious than on most other website builders. For example, you can write and manage new posts but to actually add them to your page you need add it via the Blog Display element. Thank you for the unnecessary extra step, Jimdo.

That being said, Jimdo’s blogging capabilities are especially useful for creating content marketing that will help draw traffic and increase conversion rates while helping reduce advertising costs.

Membership Creator

You can apply password protections on individual pages or on your entire site. Although blog posts cannot be password-enabled, you can designate specific areas to have different passwords with limits based on your subscription package.

Email Service

Even though they used to offer a Newsletter tool, Jimdo now only lets users use 3rd Party services like MailChimp for your newsletter needs.

The Last Word

Jimdo offers a solid, easy-to-use platform that small and medium-sized business owners can set up a fully functional online stores without having to hire a professional tech team. Its blogging and online store capabilities really mesh well together and does a great job at providing a consistent and positive user experience.


5. Webs

Webs is responsible for the creation of more than 50 millions websites worldwide. Not to be confused with Web.com, Webs originally started their operations in 2001 when they were called Freewebs. That also makes them one of the longest running free site creator services in the market.

Their breadth of experience and dedication to quality and service make Webs a reliable choice for your web-building needs. Webs may not feature most of the flashy modern tools that are popular with today’s site builders, but we love the fact that Webs is easy enough that just about anyone can use it to create a great looking website in no time.

webs-website-builder

Webs

Website Editor

As expected of a company that has been in operation for longer than most site builders have existed, Webs provides an excellent and intuitive user interface. The layout is clean and intelligently designed so users won’t be distracted or overwhelmed by the other features.

Webs has two main options for building pages:

  • Normal Pages: Includes 6 page layout designs for regular pages.
  • Specialty Pages: These are basically pre-made templates that can be used for blogs, online stores, videos and much more.

Users have the options of combining normal and specialty pages to create a wide variety of website designs while still being able to keep things simple.

Websites powered

Webs powers over 55 million websites which is impressive when you consider that besides being around for a long time, the company is still among the most highly ranked site builder services today.

Pricing

Webs pricing plans are as follows:

  1. Free: Although Free for unlimited amount of time, you will see Webs-branded advertising banners. But then again, its Free forever!
  2. Starter ($7.99/mo.): Unlimited pages, password protection, premium themes, no Webs ads
  3. Enhanced With 1-year contract ($16.99/mo.): Advanced Web stats, Custom email address, $100 Ad Credit
  4. Pro With 2-year contract ($34.99/mo.): SEO Booster, Online eCommerce Store, Unlimited Storage, mobile website

All premium plans include a 30-day money back guarantee.

Number of templates

With over 450 different mobile-friendly templates in over 20 different industries, Webs collection of templates is sure to have the look you need for your site. Most of the themes are offered free of charge, while others required paid subscription membership to access.

Fortunately, Webs allows users to switch templates at any time without having to start over.

SEO Friendly

Webs provide standard SEO optimization tools to edit titles and descriptions of your website. Optimizing meta tags and such will require paid subscription memberships. You also get an internal traffic tracking tool to view website visitor data such as page views and traffic sources.

Mobile Friendly

Webs ensures your website will be mobile-ready and features several easy-to-use tools. Although Webs does not technically use responsive design, your pages are automatically made mobile-friendly so it can look great across mobile devices and screens.

eCommerce Tools

Webs offers a pretty solid eCommerce platform suitable for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Although the Free plans allow you to add PayPal buttons virtually anywhere on your site, the Premium really help unlock deeper eCommerce functionalities for your business.

You can set up many other regular features such as shipping options and more with just a few clicks with makes this a great choice if you need a simple store to start out.

Customer Support

The Customer Support service is just about as typical as it gets with other website builders. Free users can looks through FAQs and tutorials while paying customers get greater access as you go up the membership packages.

Fortunately, the support community forums are a great asset for all kinds of users as most, if not all, issues and questions are usually already answered and can be looked up quite easily.

Blogging

Webs provides standard blogging features including the ability to assign categories and schedule posts to be published at specified dates. It’s a little annoying that you don;t get the option to moderate comments before they get published. Overall, however, it gets the job done.

Membership Creator

Its good to know that Webs already includes a membership services feature on their site builder. That means you don’t have to go through the hassle of trying to install a 3rd party system that could just cause delays and further complications down the line.

With Webs membership services you can manage your member accounts and take advantage of features like Facebook integration which enables users to log in directly with the Facebook accounts.

Email Service

Email accounts are available for the Enhanced and Pro plan subscribers. The Enhanced package lets you have up to 3 Webs.com log ins and with the Enhanced plan you can get up to 25 separate log ins.

The Last Word

Webs is a solid, reliable and easy to use site builder thats especially great for small businesses and entrepreneurs. We especially enjoy the fact that basically anyone can use this service to get the online business started immediately at a very affordable price.


6. GoDaddy

GoDaddy has gained a wide recognition thanks to its TV commercials and focused marketing strategies. While many people say its a service that you either love or hate, we tend to focus on how this service can help to get your online business going, and in this regard, GoDaddy provides a commendable service.

For starters, they are THE largest domain name registrar in the world with 60 million domain names under their management and out of which 13 million of them are premium customers. They offer comprehensive site builder tools and world-class customer support services.

godaddy-website-builder

GoDaddy

Feature highlights:

  • Easy to use website editor with lots of great features and photo-editing capabilities.
  • Anytime money-back guarantee.
  • World-class customer support team.

Website Editor

If you like the Wix website editor (the #1 site builder on our list!), then you’ll definitely feel at home with GoDaddy’s editor. Its photo-editing capabilities are simply top-notch! It is surprisingly (almost shamelessly) similar in terms of its features and usability. But hey, if you’re going to imitate someone, you might as well imitate the best!

Pricing
All pricing packages include free domain domain registration.

  • Personal ($5.99/mo.): Includes 1GB of storage and 150GB bandwidth, but doesn’t include any mobile sites.
  • Business ($9.99/mo.): Includes mobile version of site, 10GB of storage and up to 5 email addresses.
  • Business Plus ($14.99/mo.): Includes SEO tools and an SSL certificate along with a storage limit of 50GB and 1TB bandwidth.

Templates

Themes are free when you subscribe to their monthly plans,. The Personal Plan offer templates in 50 styles, while the Business plans give you a choice of 300 template designs. Make sure you pick a template you really like because switching templates with GoDaddy means you’ll have to rebuild your page from scratch. Ouch.

eCommerce Support

GoDaddy offers various (as in over 300!) online store templates and special Page Help features that provide How-to tutorials on setting up your pages. Gain important customer insights with cool reporting tools. Be aware, however, of the high transaction fees.

Customer Service Support

GoDaddy’s Customer Support Services are pretty much unrivaled by its competitors. They offer 24/7 Phone Support, Live Chat and Email Support. They will even show your wait time to reach one of their expert, knowledgeable staff. A true model for other web-building sites.


7. WebNode

Creating websites that offer multi-language support is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. WebNode supports over 20 languages and will keep adding additional ones over time. In addition, their website editor is very easy to use and can be a great solution for small and medium-sized businesses.

webnode-website-builder

WebNode

Feature highlights:

  • Offers multilingual support for over 20 languages.
  • Easy to use website editor with great drag and drop functionality,.
  • Hundreds of customizable design templates

Website Editor

WebNode’s editor uses a ribbon interface that’s very similar to what can be seen on Microsoft Office software. Its a great way to provide users with lots of features without overloading their senses. Functions like changing the template or editing the header are now just a click away.

Dragging and dropping elements feels very smooth and responsive and you can also use common keyboard commands like Delete within the editor. Overall, Webnode has a nice and easy to use package that users will enjoy.

Pricing

  • Free: 100MB storage, 1GB bandwidth,
  • Mini ($6.95/mo.): 300MB storage, 3GB bandwidth,
  • Standard ($13.75/mo.): 1GB storage, 20GB bandwidth
  • Profi ($24.85/mo.): 4GB storage, Unlimited bandwidth

Although the Free version is real basic, it’s always a great option that lets you try out the builder and upgrade later.

Templates

Users get access to hundreds of stylish and professional looking templates with a good range of customization options. Templates can be swapped with others without losing your work. Also, templates offer multimedia support so you can add photo galleries or YouTube videos.

eCommerce Support

Starting your online store with WebNode is pretty painless and quick. The platform supports multiple payment methods including PayPal, detailed store stats, product import/export and more. We found the eCommerce capabilities to be rather restrictive under the Personal plan.

Customer Support

WebNode does not offer Live Chat or Phone Support, but they do offer a FAQ section as well a customer support forum. You do have the option of emailing your questions to the support team and they answer back pretty quickly. Hopefully, they won’t redirect to the FAQ section.


8. 1&1

1&1 is a large corporation that spends loads of money on advertising for both TV and print. As a result, they’ve amassed over 500,000 paying subscribers, most of which are small businesses. Unsurprisingly, their monthly fees are a bit higher than most other website creators.

Overall, we like 1&1 because they offer clients an easy to use editor, great customizable template designs and excellent online store capabilities.

1&1-website-builder

1&1

Feature Highlights:

  • Top-notch customer support.
  • 100% optimized for mobile.
  • Over 200 Industry-Specific Design Templates.

Website Editor

1&1 offers an intuitive editor that’s easy to use and support drag & drop functionality. Images can be easily re-sized and cropped and you also get a handy “undo” button for when you get a little too carried away. It’s a great editor that any newbie can pick up and start using really quickly.

Pricing

  • Basic ($6.99/mo.): 50 design templates, 10 pages
  • Plus ($9.99/mo.): 200 design templates, 500 pages
  • Pro ($14.99/mo.): Expert Mode (CSS/HTML), 1&1 Image Library and more

Although 1&1 does not offer a Free package, they do have a 30-day money back guarantee.

Templates

The templates are pretty diverse and have a polished look that is suitable for many kinds of businesses. They are mobile-ready and can be customized to fit the needs of your project and match your brand. In addition, 1&1 offers great web apps that help boost engagement with your visitors.

eCommerce Support

1&1 lets you easily upload your inventory of products with their automatic import/export feature. The online store set up and management is very flexible and easily integrated with other systems. 1&1 supports up to 20,000 products in over 2,000 different categories. For such robust online store capabilities 1&1’s prices seem very affordable (dare we say cheap!).

Customer Support

1&1 offers an extensive customer support service. They have a well-documented FAQ section organized by categories of advice. Their staff can be reached by phone, email and even on social media channels like Facebook and Google+.

Are you pressed or just want an expert to handle the design? Try 1&1’s MyExpert package and get the expert assistance you need to get your online store up and running in no time.

1&1 offers all the resources you would expect of a large corporation except they don;t make you feel like you’re just another number.


9. SiteBuilder

SiteBuilder provides the perfect blend of usability and great design to make one of the simplest and most intuitive site builders out there. Whether you are a total newbie or a veteran web designer, SiteBuilder offers a great set of tools to create your website and/or online store.

sitebuilder-website-builder

SiteBuilder

Feature Highlights:

  • Huge selection of pre-made templates.
  • Fantastic SEO options.
  • Unlimited bandwidth.

Website Editor

This drag & drop editor is simply a breeze to use. It’ll make newbies feel empowered and veterans will appreciate the professional design and intuitiveness. Although the editor is packed full of great features, the design is still clean and non-distracting so you can focus on getting your work done right.

Pricing

  • Free: free domain, template and use their editor for free, but you get Ads.
  • Personal ($9.99/mo.): No Ads
  • Pro ($12.44/mo.): Email setup
  • Premium ($14.99/mo.): SEO Tools, Priority Support

The price packages are not the clearest which means you have to really read into the details before paying and then realizing certain features weren’t included.

Templates

SiteBuilder has one of the largest selections (over 1,000) of pre-designed templates of any website builder. Despite the number of templates, SiteBuilder manages provide users with professional looking templates that create eye-catching visuals.

Instead of using filler “Lorem Ipsum” text, SiteBuilder offers users tips and shortcuts on how to use their editors.

eCommerce Support

SiteBuilder provides standard eCommerce functionality like order management, payment receipts, and order tracking tools. The online store is easy to setup and start selling products online.

Customer Support

Users will find a robust FAQ section and some really great online tutorials to help them when they get stuck, Support staff can be contacted as well via Phone or email. Too bad they don’t have a Live Chat option, though.


10. Sitey

Sitey provides the kinds of features that you would expect of top-notch website builders: tons of templates, awesome editor and affordable pricing.

Sitey focuses more on providing great usability and innovation rather than trying to be very complex. From what we’ve seen, the results are definitely encouraging. What a great overall package!

sitey-website-builder

Sitey

Feature Highlights:

  • Image, Blog & Social Plugins
  • Customizable Themes and Templates
  • Awesome Drag ‘n’ Drop Builder

Website Editor

Sitely provides a user-friendly interface that caters to newbies who are just starting out. As such, it really feels like they make everything as clean and straightforward as possible. Their drag & drop editor couldn’t be easier to use. It even lets you save and publish the site directly from the editor.

The Help Feature on the editor was a nice surprise. It actually “detects” when Users may be having some difficulties so it will provide recommendations and tips on how to resolve certain issues. How cool is that!

Pricing

  • Free: great for a trial run or for small businesses.
  • Starter ($9.94/mo.): free domain and hosting.
  • Pro ($14.94/mo.): SEO Tools and Mobile Design
  • eCommerce ($22.44/mo.): email assistance, priority support and the ability to accept payments.

Nice range of options and Free package to try out the service.

Templates

Sitey provides users with a boatload of over 10,000 editable templates. They all come designed with a specific business and purpose in mind. They have covered all their bases with this huge collection of great looking templates.

eCommerce Support

Sitey offers a strong eCommerce platform to help you grow as an Internet retailer. The eCommerce plan gives you 24/7 access to Sitey’s customer support team.

Customer Support

Customer service varies depending on the plan you are on but the eCommerce plan is the only one that provides round the clock support. They a well-organized FA section and dedicated billing and technical support for any inquiries.


11. Network Solutions

Network Solutions helps remove the complications and high costs of building a full website for your business. With a comprehensive set of tools and features at your disposal, Network Solutions has what you need to establish your online presence and grow your website traffic.

Their pricing packages are competitive and are ideal for small and large-sized businesses.

network-solutions-website-builders

Network Solutions

Feature Highlights:

  • Over 200 fully customizable templates.
  • Easy to use website editor with auto-save feature.
  • Excellent customer support service

Website Editor

Network Solutions provides a very easy to learn website editor that will enable users to turn their visions into reality. The website editor is very easy to use and will allow you to customize the look and feel of your page without touching a single line of code.

The auto-save feature removes the risk of losing your work in progress. Click your way to a great looking website with Network Solutions’s cool website editor.

Pricing

  • nsWebsite Small ($6.95/mo.): 5GB of storage, 50GB bandwidth, 2GB file sharing, 1 free custom domain and 10 email boxes.
  • nsWebsite Large ($9.95/mo.): 300GB of storage, 3000GB bandwidth, 2GB file sharing, 1 free custom domain and 2500 email boxes.

Pricing packages include customizable templates, drag & drop editing, free image gallery, 24/7 customer support and a 30-day limited money-back guarantee.

Templates

Clients get a choice of over 200 professionally designed templates that are fully customizable. In addition, Network Solutions provides a cool Setup wizard to provides step-by-step guidance from design to development.

eCommerce Support

Network Solutions offers full eCommerce store capabilities for an additional $7.89 per month. You can create a full catalogue of products and are given a wide range of shipping options and payment methods, including PayPal.

Customer Support

Network Solutions offers a comprehensive set of resources to help business owners with virtually all aspects of their website design process. Their support portal helps customers get in touch with expert support staff via telephone for assistance on common issues including hosting, email setup and general site creation questions.

In addition, Network Solutions offers a robust FAQ section where you can find the answers to the most common types of problems customers face.


12. Sitelio

Sitelio’s main goal is to provide customers with the simplest way to create their website whether it is for personal use, or for business. Not only do they provide their customers with great tools that help speed up the process, they are also committed to making sure your website performs well. Sitelio is great for beginners and experts alike, and is especially ideal for blog-like websites.

sitelio-website-builder

Sitelio

Feature Highlights:

  • Top-notch customer support.
  • 100% optimized for mobile.
  • Comprehensive blog capabilities.

Website Editor

Sitelio’s website editor offers customers a versatile editor that makes it easy to create quality websites from blogs to online retail stores. The editor uses large buttons which are carefully laid out on the top portion of the screen making it easy for users to click on without the unnecessary distractions. The drag & drop tools helps you move and align features anywhere you like on your page.

Pricing

  • Beginners ($10.95/mo.): Free domain, free hosting, free Ad credits.
  • Most Popular ($22.95/mo.): SEO and the ability to take payments.
  • Next Level ($27.95/mo.): Email assistance and Priority Support.

Although the prices are a little higher than most website builders, you do get quite a bit of features that are normally part of higher-priced subscription packages.

Templates

Sitelio has a wide selection of themes with the option of either adding a blog section to a website, or to choose from a number of blog-only template designs. You can customize the layouts and can use a free image gallery that comes included with the themes. Sitelio will give you the tools you need to get your website setup quickly and looking great.

eCommerce Support

They offer a great set of eCommerce tools and features to get your online store up and ready in as little time as possible. Their Priority Support feature gives users fast access to the support they need, when they need it. A great all around online store platform.

Customer Support

The Customer Support service offered by Sitelio is great. You can get in touch with them round the clock and get assistance on anything from hosting issues to website issues. Agents are always online and ready to help you. In addition, you can also get support via social media like Google+ and Twitter.


13. iPage

iPage has gained a reputation for being a very budget-friendly website creator service with very respectable tools and support. The company is run by industry veterans who have a wide breadth of expertise and experience. Ipage provides a great package for beginners and experts and has been growing popularity since its launch back in 2009.

ipage-webiste-builder

iPage

Feature Highlights:

  • Budget-friendly price packages.
  • Uses the Weebly Web builder tool.
  • Over 200 Industry-Specific Design Templates.

Website Editor

The Weebly Web Builder tool obviously brings in the awesome tools and features of one of your top website editor picks. The tool enables you to select templates, edit images, create additional pages and much more. It’s awesome to use. You can even include widgets and media files easily and seamlessly. Even with no experience, you can create some surprisingly good looking websites.

Pricing

  • Essential ($2.00/mo.): unlimited disk space, unlimited transfer/bandwidth, unlimited domains allowed and much more.

iPage regularly has sales promotions offering prices as low as $1.00 a month. They really know how to deliver unbeatable value.

Templates

Interestingly, iPage does not offer their own templates. Instead, they have 3rd party scripts and web builder tools, like the Weebly Web Builder Tool, that offer hundreds of templates. The import process is pretty seamless, but may irk those users who prefer to have everything in an in-house package.

eCommerce Support

eCommerce store capabilities are clearly an area of strength for iPage. Every plan includes great eCommerce packages including a free iPage online store, a choice of 3 shopping carts and the ever-

useful PayPal integration. Payments are secured thanks to the SSL certification. A solid, reliable eCommerce package all around.

Customer Support

iPage customer service is handled by knowledgeable staff 24/7 who take the time to make sure all your questions are answered. Their is a page located in the control panel that is dedicated to all support-related issues including a well documented FAQ, user guides and interactive walk-throughs. They definitely got everything you need.


14. Moonfruit

Moonfruit has been gaining popularity in recent years due to their company’s commitment to use customer feedback to keep improving their own operations and product offerings. They offer lots of great templates and you can also monetize your website through Google Adsense.

Moonfruit does a fine job of providing beginner-level users the right tools and features so they can set up their small business websites and stores easily.

moonfruit-website-builder

Moonfruit

Feature Highlights:

  • Fully customizable templates.
  • Powerful and flexible website editor.
  • Great multimedia integration.

Website Editor

Becoming proficient in using Moonfruit’s editor won’t take you long. It’s a powerful tool and its features are laid out in a way that users will find convenient and not overwhelming. The controls freel very smooth and responsive and is just a joy to use.

Every element on the page has its own customization box which provides CSS styling features broken down in ways that make sense to non-coders. Its a refreshingly deep level of control that enables you to really hone the look and feel of your website.

Pricing

  • Free: Unlimited bandwidth and 20MB of storage, 15 items shopping cart.
  • Starter ($12.00/mo.): 1GB of storage, 50 items shopping cart.
  • Plus ($20.00/mo.): 5GB of storage, 150 items shopping cart.
  • Max ($35.00/mo.): 10GB of storage, 500 items shopping cart.

The packages are pretty well-balanced and prices are kept at competitive levels.  

Templates

With a library of over 100 professionally made templates, Moonfruit’s template offerings are solid and can fit the needs of a wide array of businesses. They contain eye-popping visuals and a lot of them have social media integration features that will help boost visitor engagement.

The use of multi-layered templates makes customization easy and powerful.

eCommerce Support

Get your online store up and running today with Moonfuit’s online store platform. They offer many features and in-depth tutorials that will help you get started selling products and services online. The plat form offers PayPal integration as well as widgets that can extend your store’s functionality.

Customer Support

Moonfruit’s Customer Service team are every newbies dream come true. They are courteous, knowledgeable and willing to help you in any way they can. Veterans will feel they have the exert support they need when things get tough. Although they don’t offer phone support or live chat, their response times are crazy fast.


15. Cubender

Cubender is a little different than most other builders in that it is based on flash technology. Don’t worry, it works quite well on iPhones and iPads. Cubender offers a good selection a templates and supports eCommerce functionality. The graphics are quite aesthetically pleasing, really one of the better-looking web builders out there.

cubender-website-builder

Cubender

Feature Highlights:

  • Gorgeous templates.
  • Powerful and highly customizable editor.
  • Full set of features.

Website Editor

This has to be one of the most awesome-looking website editors in the market. If you had to imagine an editor with futuristic look, then Cubender would fit the bill quite nicely. How well does it work, though? Pretty darn good actually!

Cubender’s editor makes editing simple and turns normally tedious tasks into simple ones. If you’re just learning how to use it, don’t be discouraged if it takes you at least half an hour to learn the basics. But once you get than hang of it, you’ll be surprised at how powerful the editor actually is.

Pricing

  • Venus ($9.95/mo.): 500MB storage, Premium Support.
  • Earth ($13.95/mo.): 1GB storage, Your own domain.
  • Saturn ($18.95/mo.): 2GB storage, Mobile.
  • Jupiter ($28.95/mo.): 5GB storage, Shopping Cart.

Cubender is a high-quality product and provides great support. They deliver great value at very affordable prices.

Templates

Granted, Cubender may not have a 1000 template library, but the ones they do offer are definitely worth your consideration. They have stunning graphics and a sublimely polished look that’s sure to impress your visitors. The templates are highly customizable and can be swapped easily.

In addition, you can add all the widgets you want and include all sorts of media file formats.

eCommerce Support

The Jupiter plan will enable your website to have eCommerce capabilities suitable for small businesses and entrepreneurs. You get all the features you need to start selling your products and services online. The shopping cart technology works well and accepts Stripe as the payment method.

Customer Support

Barring the fact that they do not offer any SEO help or Live Chat, the Customer Support service at Cubender is decent. I guess they make up for their shortcomings with a robust FAQ section and a pretty active user community where you can get the bulk of your questions answered in a short amount of time.

For more personalized help, you can also contact their support team via email and Phone.


16. IM Creator

Many website builders have the standard functions and features that enable users to create at least bare-bone websites quickly. But IM Creator lets you build professional-grade websites with a lean interface and stunning visuals.

We love the fact that it lest you jump right into creating your site without making you have to learn all the details of its capabilities.

im-creator-website-builder

IM Creator

Feature Highlights:

  • Top of the line web design tools
  • Responsive design templates.
  • 100% Free for students, artists and non-Profits.

Website Editor

IM Creator uses an ultra-flexible drag & drop editor that allows use to move elements like images, text boxes and menu bars to literally anywhere you need to without any restrictions. Its one of the few editors that truly offers users full creative control over the placement of your content.

Pricing

  • Free: Unlimited hosting, use your own domain, eCommerce.
  • Commercial Use ($7.95/mo.): 200 design templates, 500 pages.  
  • Pro/Resellers ($250.00/yr.): Unlimited licenses for your clients, reseller control panel, white-label.

Pricing are meant to be as simple as possible with the Pro pack being geared more towards web design agencies. Straight to the point just like we like it.

Templates

Templates have a polished and professional design and are loaded with images. The templates are also well-organized into a variety of categories that make them easy to search and match according to your style or line of business.

Although the templates offered by IM Creator give you total freedom to customize as you wish, using the pre-made templates and customizing them with your own template is a huge time saver and is one of the great benefits of using IM Creator.

eCommerce Support

We would have loved to see what kind of online store capabilities IM Creator would offer to their users. Unfortunately, they don’t offer any eCommerce tools so this builder won’t do you any good if you’re looking to sell products online.

Customer Support

IM Creator uses a ticketing system where you can submit your questions and expect to receive a response within 12 hours. A great feature about the ticketing system is that it allows you to attache file such as image attachments or screenshots to help provide more relevant information about your queries.


17. eHost

eHost have earned a solid reputation as one of the best hosting companies in the world. They have unrivaled up-time in their servers, first-class customer service and dirt-cheap pricing. Fortunately, they have kept true to their high standards as a website builder service.

They offer tons of great looking templates, free domains and 24/7 technical support when you need it.

eHost-website-builder

eHost

Feature Highlights:

  • Free domain for life.
  • Host unlimited websites.
  • World-class customer support service.

Website Editor

You would think that a company that is primarily known for their hosting capabilities probably won’t have a top-notch website editor. Well, we’re happy to report that eHost in fact offers a truly awesome website editor that newbies and pros alike will enjoy using.

Pricing

  • Basic ($5.50/mo.): Free domain name, email address, marketing tools and more.
  • Ecommerce ($10.49/mo.): Extra eCommerce tools.

eHost offers customers tremendous value and service at a great price.

Templates

eHost offers 1,000’s of templates so you can find the right look that will give your website a professional look and will help promote your brand. Templates use a lean and clean design to give your site pages a fresh and modern feel. Customizing them is as simple as making a few clicks.

eCommerce Support

eHost everything you need to set up your first basic online store. It has PayPal integration, shopping cart functionality and more. Upgrading to the eCommerce packing unlocks many more features suck as tax calculators and multiple shipping options.

Customer Support

Customer have 24/7 access to eHost’s expert support staff via email, phone and Live Chat. Clients won’t have to deal with long wait times and slow responses. Response times are quick and very thorough.


18. Webydo

Webydo is a cost-efficient and code-free web builder that gives designers a more efficient creation process. It was built by designers, for designers. In this case, the 2 co-founders actually created this program for their own needs. Although it may be a little difficult  for newbies to use, experienced designers will love using Webydo as a way to maximize their productivity.

webydo-website-builder

Webydo

Feature Highlights:

  • Fully customizable and great looking templates.
  • 100% optimized for mobile.
  • Ideal for web designers.

Website Editor

The editor may seem overwhelming for beginning designers but the more experienced ones will find it a total joy to work with. That begin said, the editor is more design-oriented than it is for functionality.

Other than that, its a solid drag and drop editor with a minimalistic design. It’s great, IF you can use it.

Pricing

  • Pro ($25.00/mo.): A great starting point for budding designers.
  • Team ($45.00/mo.): Best fit for designers who create multiple websites.  
  • Agency ($125.00/mo.): Branded sub-domain, professional training, 10 team members and more.

Each package comes with a free 30-day trial.

Templates

Webydo offers 3 choices: pick a pre-made design, pick a layout with the structure you like, or start from scratch. Fortunately, Webydo’s templates allow a high level of customization thanks to the excellent website editor tool.

The templates are mobile-ready and have great visuals to make a great impression on your website visitors. In addition, they all feature social media integration capabilities as well.

eCommerce Support

Although Webydo has no eCommerce functionality in-house, they do offer easy integration with Ecwid systems which have their own pricing terms. Fortunately, the Ecwid widget lets users buy your products without leaving your site.

Customer Support

Webydo offers an active and friendly user community as well as a great support team to help answer your questions and provide guidance. Webydo also offers a comprehensive video Knowledge Base. The support team can be contacted either by Phone or via a feedback form.


19. uCoz

uCoz has the features and functionality that give popular CMS platforms like WordPress a good run for their money. Ucoz is a unique site builder that targets both end users and web professionals. They offer a choice of a DIY editor or a full-professional editor.

uCoz-website-builder

uCoz

Feature Highlights:

  • MySites Mobile App.
  • 100% optimized for mobile.
  • Create your own templates or buy pre-made.

Website Editor

uCoz has a user-friendly control panel instead of a drag and drop editor that you’d expect to see in any modern-day site builder. At first glance, the platform was seem a little daunting and overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, we think you’ll be surprised by its clever design and flexibility.

Pricing

  • Free: 400MB storage, custom domain.
  • Minimal ($2.99/mo.): 1GB storage, basic antivirus.
  • Basic ($5.99/mo.): 2GB storage, automatic backups.
  • Optimal ($7.99/mo.): 10GB storage, free templates when paying for 12 months.
  • Shop ($9.99/mo.): 10GB storage, free templates when paying for 12 months.
  • Maximal ($15.99/mo.): 20 GB storage, free templates when paying for 6 months.

Templates

uCoz offer users the option designing their own theme, select one of their Free themes, or purchase a Premium theme. All templates are 100% responsive in design and can be easily swapped for another at any time.

eCommerce Support

uCoz offer customer many options to help them set up their online store. The Maximal and Shop packages feature full blown eCommerce capabilities including Goods management to import and export products. PayPal is supported as a payment method.

Customer Support

The Customer Support platform provides multilingual support for 16 languages. They use a ticketing system via their active community forum. In addition, they have a comprehensive set of video tutorials.


20. Yola

Yola features a unique horizontal bar at the top of the page that includes all the buttons you need to create your site and adjust your setting. Yola uses a clean and very simple design which reduces the risk of distraction for the user. If you’re looking for a straightforward editor, this is as basic as they come.

yola-website-builder

Yola

Feature Highlights:

  • Top-notch customer support.
  • 100% optimized for mobile.
  • Over 200 Industry-Specific Design Templates.

Website Editor

Yola’s editor looks a bit outdated by today’s standards and takes a bit of time in getting used to using its features. For instance, the drop and drag motions don’t work quite as well as you’d expect them to. It’s like the elements go to predetermined imaginary boxes inside the editor.

All in all, however, once you get over the initial learning curve, it’ll start making sense and then you could work more fluidly.

Pricing

  • Free: 3 pages, 1GB bandwidth, 1GB storage
  • Yola Bronze ($5.95/mo.): Unlimited pages, unlimited bandwidth, 2GB storage
  • Yola Silver ($12.95/mo.): No Yola branding, premium style templates
  • Yola Gold ($16.66/mo.): Full-site search optimization scans, Yola Business Directory listing

Templates

Not quite the nicest templates, but we’ve seen much worse too. You do get a wide selection of templates, which can be swapped with each other at any time without having to redo your work.

eCommerce Support

Yola’s eCommerce capabilities holds its own with the competition. Users get features like real-time shipping quotes, online shopper profiles and accepts over 20 payment methods. Not a bad package to get your online store started right away.

Customer Support

Yola features a dandy Help tab which includes important go-to places like the community forum, help center and training webinar. Yola’s expert support staff are reachable via email and Phone as well.


21. DudaOne

DudaOne is the simplest way to convert desktop sites to fully-responsive mobile sites via their cool automated conversion process. Don’t worry, DudaOne also lets you easily create your responsive website from scratch too!

duda-website-builder

DudaOne

Feature Highlights:

  • Responsive website builder.
  • Developer Mode gives full access to the HTML/CSS of a site.
  • Code-free WYSIWYG editing.

22. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is the ultimate eCommerce business solution for serious business owners. It is a little pricey and its huge amount of features may be overwhelming for beginners. However, it is a powerful platform with 24/7 customer support and they offer a 15-day risk free trial.

bigcommerce-website-builder

BigCommerce

Feature Highlights:

  • Comprehensive set of eCommerce tools right out of the box.
  • BigCommerce has processed over $5 Billion in total sales!
  • Leverages social media channels to boost sales.

23. Strikingly

Strikingly lets you easily create the best looking one-page websites. Period. It does NOT, however, allow you to build multi-page sites.

strikingly-website-builder

Strikingly

Feature Highlights:

  • Best one-page site builder in the market.
  • Features Blogging and eCommerce capabilities.
  • Automatically produces mobile-version of your site.

24. Virb

Virb is a very simple site builder that lets users focus on their content rather than worrying about their design. Seriously, they don’t even give you a drag & drop editor! That being said, their designs do look great and their websites are responsive and super easy to build.

virb-website-builder

Virb

Feature Highlights:

  • Transparent pricing: Just $10 a month. That’s it!
  • Verb websites come fully-responsive and SEO-optimized.
  • Free 10-day trial.  

25. FatCow

FatCow’s website editor offers customers a very fun and incredibly easy to use website editor that’s perfect for small and medium sized business. It’s limited features do become more noticeable for larger businesses. But if you’re looking for a quick and price-friendly builder for your online business, FatCow should definitely be on your radar.

fatcow-website-builder

FatCow

Feature Highlights:

  • Comes free with FatCow Web Hosting Plan.
  • Ideal for small and medium sized online businesses.
  • Affordable and easy- to-use web building solution.

26. BlueVoda

BlueVoda is a great for those users who have with little to no experience. The editor is easy to use and has powerful features. While its nice not having to deal with Ads popping up on your website, BlueVoda’s lack of support options, other than some online tutorials, is even more annoying. But then again, it is Free and pretty simple to use.

bluevoda-website-builder

BlueVoda

Feature Highlights:

  • Easy flash integration.
  • Hundreds of professional looking templates.
  • Easy- to-use web building solution.

27. IdeaHost

IdeaHost is an ideal one-stop shop solution for those who are looking for a solid builder and reliable hosting services. Free users are limited to 6 pages, but the premium packages are dirt-cheap and come with unlimited bandwidth, a free email address, and a free domain name for the first year.

ideahost-website-builder

IdeaHost

Feature Highlights:

  • Thousands of ready-made templates.
  • Free domain registration.
  • 24/7 customer support.

28. WebFlow

WebFlow is not for beginners but it enables experienced designers to quickly create solid websites that can be ported over seamlessly to WordPress or other platforms. Users have access to edit HTML/CSS  for total customization control.

webflow-website-builder

Webflow

Feature Highlights:

  • Full access to modify HTML and CSS.
  • Professionally-designed themes.
  • 24/7 customer support.

29. Volusion

Volusion offers a full suite of eCommerce tools to set up a fully-powered online store. It’s great you’re looking to get set up quickly but don’t have the technical background nor any coding knowledge. If you get stuck at any point, you will have access to their 24/7 support team.

volusion-website-builder

Volusion

Feature Highlights:

  • 14-day free trial period.
  • Everything you need for a fully setup eCommerce business.
  • 24/7 live customer support.

30. Shopify

Shopify is the king of eCommerce website builders. Although it doesn’t allow you to create a regular website, it is hands down the best way to build a fully-functioning online store. You will need to overcome the initial learning curve, but it will definitely serve to help you make the best online store you can.

shopify-website-builder

Shopify

Feature Highlights:

  • Beautiful and professional designs.
  • Comprehensive eCommerce tools and capabilities.
  • 24/7 customer support.

31. Mobirise Web Builder

If you’re looking for a 100% free website builder solution with absolutely no strings attached, then Mobirise has got the goods for you. Designing your page is easy as pie and consists of dragging and dropping blocks on your page, you get preview buttons to view your site ion tablet, mobile or desktop views.

One feature we really like is that Mobirise is based on the powerful and responsive Bootstrap 3 framework. Relax, you don’t need to know how to code and best of all you’re be welcomed into the thriving Bootstrap community.

mobirise-web-builder

Mobirise

Feature Highlights:

  • Sites made with Mobirise are 100% mobile-friendly.
  • Based on Bootstrap 3 Framework.
  • Sites can be hosted anywhere.

32. Jigsy

Jigsy will make veteran web designers feel comfortable with the tools and features they offer. Novices will feel encourage by how easy and flexible Jigsy’s web editor works. It’s clean interface invites you to get right down to building your website instead of trying to figure out the UI.

It was a bit disappointing to find out that unless you’re a premium subscriber, you’re not eligible for getting any customer service support (not nice!). But then again, we’re sure Jigsy is easy enough to use you’ll figure out how to overcome any potential hurdles you may face.

jigsy-website-builder

Jigsy

Feature Highlights:

  • Try Free package before committing to premium subscription plan.
  • Flexible and easy to use website editor.
  • Social media integration.

33. WebsiteBuilder.com

No website builder list would be complete without a company called WebsiteBuilder.com, right? It’s a great service that offers plenty of professional website designs absolutely for Free. Utilizes a code-free and super easy to use web editor that will help you get up and running fast and for Free!

Although it is Free, you’ll have to deal with the banner ads, but its a small price to pay if you want an easy way to get started today.

website-builder-com

WebsiteBuilder.com

Feature Highlights:

  • Your own Free domain name and Free business email.
  • Includes Free SEO tools.
  • Seamless eCommerce integration.

34. Ezweb123

When you sign up for ezweb123’s Free account, you’re already being taken to the design aspect of your website. In just a matter of minutes you can have your website live on the web for the world to see. You do get Ads (we saw that one coming) but you also get video support and, picture galleries and 20MB of storage. Not bad!

ezweb123-website-builder

Ezweb123

Feature Highlights:

  • No technical skills required.
  • Free domain and email.
  • 30 day money back guarantee.

35. WebEden

Even if you’ve never even seen what a line of code looks like WebEden offers customers a quick and easy way to reach their online business goals and create your website. WebEden offers hundreds of great looking templates (so don’t worry if you’re not exactly the creative type) and an easy to use interface.

WebEden also offers a complete set of helpful tutorials that cover everything from web development to publishing.

webeden-website-builder

WebEden

Feature Highlights:

  • Well-rounded set of online tutorials.
  • Paid consultation services to boost traffic through search engines.
  • Absolutely Free!

36. One

One has earned its reputation as a budget website builder that’s perfect for a small business or an entrepreneur. The editor feels fast and responsive and users get 24/7 access to the Live Chart support team. It’s a bummer they do not offer online store capabilities. At least not yet.

one-website-builder

One

Feature Highlights:

  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • First year of Starter package is Free.
  • Live Chat Support 24/7.

37. Voog

Voog offers users the ability to easily create a great looking site with solid multilingual support. Voog is one of the smaller builder services available, but if having a unique domain name and limited storage capabilities aren’t a major concern, then Voog makes a great and easy to use choice to hit the ground running and quickly.

voog-website-builder

Voog

Feature Highlights:

  • Great multilingual support.
  • Responsive and mobile ready.
  • Completely customizable templates.

38. Zoho

Zoho lets you create beautiful websites for free and gives users unlimited access to their various site building tools. The interface is clean, intuitive and easy to navigate. Its easy to use website editor and library of well-designed templates make this an ideal site creator for small businesses.

zoho-website-builder

Zoho sites

Feature Highlights:

  • Built-in HTML/CSS editor for advanced users.
  • Unlimited bandwidth, pages, galleries and slide shows.
  • Professionally Crafted Themes and 100% Ad-free.

39. OnePager

For those looking for the small and beautiful one page website that won’t force upon you a ton of features you’ll never use nor need, OnePager make it easy to get your website going within mere minutes. OnePager lets business owners get their website up without the hassle and complications of hiring an expensive web agency.

The editor is very straightforward and the templates allow you to include any kind of media file format you want. One page awesomeness and no nonsense.

onepager-website-builder

Onepager

Feature Highlights:

  • Website editor is simple to use and simple to understand.
  • Includes 16 Themes and are completely responsive.
  • Choice of 15 elements.

40. bOnline

bOnline is able to help businesses quickly get a website and also get found ion the Internet thanks to their automated process that takes advantage of local SEO. Choosing a template is easy (they all look great and professional) and the builder uses a drag and drop interface. True to their name, bOnline helps business grow their brand online efficiently.

bOnline-website-builder

bOnline

Feature Highlights:

  • Automated Local SEO tools.
  • All plans offer a domain and hosting with unlimited pages and mobile designs.
  • Ideal for small businesses.

41. WebStarts

WebStarts offers one of the best-structured and simplest website editors in the market. WebStarts will look a little familiar to Weebly users especially with their toolbar icons and color palettes.

Templates use a modern design and are responsive from the get-go. The editor makes customizing your website painless and simple. Although you get access to modify HTML/CSS, its perfectly for those non-coders as well.

webstarts-website-builder

WebStarts

Feature Highlights:

  • Add your own custom domain name.
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices.
  • Ecommerce capabilities with PayPal support.

42. NuBook

Nubook uses a clever, clean and easy-to-figure out design. It allows users to easily change the theme designs with just a few clicking motions. You get to use a simple drag and drop editor that you use to switch between your pages and your themes. We like the design and how easy it is to use. The large number of templates is a great feature as well.

nubook-website-builder

Nubook

Feature Highlights:

  • Hundreds of pre-designed pages.
  • Visual page editing.
  • Templates let you add video, audio, maps, and more to your pages.

43. BuildYourSite

From the moment you land on BuildYourSite’s homepage, you are already being given a friendly greeting from one of their Live Chat reps offering to answer any questions you have It’s almost as if they were already waiting to begin handholding you and is what sets their support team apart from the rest of the crowd. BuildYourSite offers an awesome editor, great templates and a full-money back guarantee.

buildyoursite-website-builder

BuildYourSite

Feature Highlights:

  • Pick from 4,000 Industry-based Designs.
  • Affordable, Do-It-Yourself Website Design.
  • Top-notch customer support service.

44. RocketSpark

If RocketSpark’s homepage looks a little simple and basic, don’t worry. This is a company that appreciates the importance of basic design and that works and increases usability. The builder tool is highly intuitive and easy to drop and drag elements in block style.  In addition, RocketSpark offers some great online store functionality.

rocketspark-website-builder

RocketSpark

Feature Highlights:

  • Ecommerce website builder features.
  • Live preview screen.
  • Mobile websites are crated automatically.

45. SimpleSite

SimpleSite is for business owners who want to set up and grow their business online, not fret over the details they don’t need to know. In fact, this web-based builder that claims that you can get your website up and running in as little as 3 steps: choose a design, write your story and pick your website name. It works!

simplesite-website-builder

SimpleSite

Feature Highlights:

  • Personal Domain Name.
  • Your own online store.
  • Design, backgrounds and colors.

46. SnapPages

SnapPages main goal is to help its customers make their website in the easiest way possible. Users get the option to follow video tutorial on each step of the page creation process. The editor has tons of features that give you total control of the process.

snappages-website-builder

SnapPages

Feature Highlights:

  • Drag-and-drop HTML5 page editor makes building your website a snap.
  • Professional and customizable theme designs.
  • Simple blog setup with spam filtering.

47. StartLogic

StartLogic enables users to deign and upload their websites within a matter of minutes. The user interface is nice and clean so as not to confuse users. The editor allows you to effortlessly modify the pre-made templates to let you create the look and feel you want.

startlogic-website-builder

StartLogic

Feature Highlights:

  • Lightning-fast hosting.
  • Secure website protection.
  • 24×7 Expert Support (plus chat!).

48. VistaPrint

VistaPrint has successfully integrated their printing business with their website creator business. The results have been well-received and is a great bet for small and medium businesses to expand their reach online. Featuring am editor that is simple enough for anyone without experience to use yet packed full of features that even the pros will enjoy using.  

vistaprint-website-builder

VistaPrint

Feature Highlights:

  • Search Engine Optimizer.
  • Your own online store.
  • Social Media Integration.

49. WebPop

WebPop is one of the most innovative web builders in the market. They offer tons of great looking and highly customizable templates and a highly intuitive browser-based IDE. It may not be ideal for beginners but those who have some development background will really get a kick at how easy and productive this will make your work flow. Definitely one to keep on your radar!

webpop-website-builder

WebPop

Feature Highlights

  • Browser-based IDE.
  • Flexible template engine.
  • An open platform.

50. SiteZulu

You can tell SiteZulu takes a lot of consideration into the design of its products, Luckily for customers, this translates to an awesome user experience. Tasks that are normally tedious are all of a sudden made so simple thanks to SiteZulu’s editor that lets users simply snap-on object onto the canvas. Sites are SEO-optimized and responsive in design. A complete package.

sitezulu-website-builder

SiteZulu

Feature Highlights:

  • Simple to build websites without writing a single line of code.
  • Simple drag and drop interface.
  • Awesome image editor.

51. Google Website Builder

Did you know recently Google released a beta version of their own modern Google Web Designer?

It is for more advanced users as it requires some designer skills, but it allows you to create brilliant HTML5 based designs and even motion graphics that look beautiful on any device!

It is a beta version still, but it’s free and you can download it now!!

Play with it and come back, share in comments what do you think 🙂

google-easiest-website-builder


The Benefits of Using A Website Builder

The sheer variety of products and services available in the market can make choosing one particular service over another a daunting task. After all, your website will be the face of your business on the Internet.

This list will hopefully give you a helpful overview of the different options available to you. Pick something that aligns with you individual style. If you like getting technical, check those builders who include tons of features.

Likewise, if you just want to set something nice up and just go, then check out a few of those one-page services that just get straight to the point.

Most importantly, have a lot of fun. You are building your online business and are just a few moments away from getting online

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Tips for Web Designers to Make Your Clients Happy (It’s Not What You Think)

Web design is a fascinating and profitable career field, but its practitioners often have to deal with various issues, ranging from working with difficult clients to coping with various interruptions. Web designers also need to keep up with industry trends if they are to keep up with their competition.

Some issues designers encounter:

  • Meeting deadlines – The more successful you are, the more clients you will attract, making it more difficult to produce quality work while meeting deadlines.
  • Computer Glitches – These are often more annoying than anything else, and they seem to happen at the most inopportune times.
  • Difficult Clients – Working with or trying to communicate with overly-demanding clients can be a trial.
  • Using Sub-standard Tools – Some design tools are either overly complicated or underperforming, hurting productivity.

These issues can’t always be avoided, but there are tips and techniques you can use to mitigate them and become a better web design professional.

How Busy Designers Can Work Smarter instead of Harder

Image source: Be WordPress Theme – Accountant Pre-Made Website

Tips and techniques don’t guarantee perfection, but there is always room for improvement and ways to make your workdays more productive. Useful techniques can range from allocating your time wisely to learning to take a deep breath and keep your cool when everyone else is panicking.

Attention to Detail is important in almost every profession if an outcome is to be a success. Follow directions to the letter. Check for errors constantly. Use the carpenter’s “measure twice, cut once” approach, and always look for areas of possible improvement – including your own skill set.

Proper Business Etiquette helps keep a team together. If you’re a team player you need to understand the basic rules of business communications, how to receive feedback, and how to keep a basic perspective on what is happening around you. If you’re an individual contributor, you need to show respect and courtesy to those you communicate with.

Using Tools that are Meant for the Job can be as simple as using a theme that does not require coding, using one that is compatible with or uses powerful plugins, or using one that features easily editable and customizable pre-built websites that let you focus on design rather than on technicalities.

How Working with Pre-Built Websites Will Benefit You

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170+ Ready to Use Pre-Built Websites

There are many reasons why more and more designers are making Be Theme their WordPress theme of choice. Several of the principal ones are outlined here, but you are encouraged to look into what this theme has to offer in greater detail.

Be is Designed and Built with Quality in Mind

High-quality tools produced better products. It’s as simple as that. This theme’s clean code enables a designer to proceed from the initial design steps to product delivery in one continuous, glitch-free operation. The secret lies in the way in which the different core features seamlessly interact.

Be’s Architecture Features Complexity the User does not See

Be Theme’s architecture is complex, but its user experiences simplicity. Be is an extremely flexible theme that is delightfully easy to use. Be Theme’s architecture enables user to build any website, including blogs, one page sites, and eCommerce sites that even the more specialized themes cannot match. This is due in large part to the large (170+) selection of pre-built websites.

The seamless way in which its core features work together, and Be’s one-click-at-a-time approach to website building, will quickly turn a novice into an expert. The productivity enhancing possibilities this theme offers will impress the advanced designer as well.

The Pre-Built Websites

While the list of valuable features is in itself impressive, what many users like most it the selection of pre-built websites. These serve as foundation pieces upon which the designer can build almost anything. They are modern, tasteful, and beautiful, and can not only be used to quick-start a project, but they can serve as conceptual designs and idea generators as well.

Check out this video and see how easy it is to install and edit a Be Theme pre-made website

The examples shown here are but a few of the many wonderful pre-built websites this premium WordPress theme offers:

Kindergarten

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Welcome to Our KinderGarten

Media

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Image Of BEMEDIA’s Header

Painter

5

Marcus Beniques, Based in Spain

Digital

6

Digital Forever Header

Club

7

a New Way of Nightlife

Extreme

8

Just be Extereme

What Many Like Best about Be Theme is Its Design Quality

As any of its users will tell you, there’s a lot to like about Be Theme. They like how the pre-built websites enable them to design websites of the highest quality, they like the selection of core features that makes work easy, and they like the flexibility Be Theme offers.

Nearly 40% will tell you what they like best is the design of the theme itself, and how the quality of that design is reflected in the products they produce. Nearly as many users cite customizability as being what they like best about Be Theme.

For example:

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Be Theme’s Key Features and User Support

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Build Your Website Easily

You will find building websites easy and enjoyable when you’ve made Be Theme your WordPress theme of choice.  There’s the popular Muffin Builder 3 page builder, which in combination with the Muffin Options Panel makes building customized webpages a snap, whether you are starting with a pre-built website, or starting from scratch. If you are a long-standing user Visual Composer, you have the option to use that page builder as well, or you can use both.

Should you elect to start your page building from scratch, you have an excellent selection of grid layouts, header and footer options, and the Layouts Configurator to work with. The Shortcode Generator allows you to place demo elements anywhere on a page, and Be’s selection of shortcodes speeds up the entire design process.

The selection of flat, grid, and masonry lends itself well to the creation of product pages, portfolios, and blogs. Be Theme is Responsive, it is SEO and Retina ready, and WooCommerce compatible as well.

Best of All

If your coding skills are getting rusty, or if you’ve never touched a line of code at all, there’s no problem. You can easily create an entire website without any need for coding whatsoever.

If you do need help, or have a question, you can rely on the support team for prompt assistance and detailed explanations. You’ll also find the user manual and video tutorials handy when you are first getting started.

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Be Theme is a premium WordPress theme in every sense of the word. It features more pre-built websites than any other theme, and it offers a greater range of website design possibilities than any other theme.

If you choose this time-saving theme, you will discover that you can indeed keep an ever-increasing number of clients happy when you deliver beautiful websites well within schedule.

Check it out, try a demo, and browse the 170+ pre-built websites.
You will definitely like what you see.

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50 Best Web Design Books You Should Read in 2016

Learning is constant. As web design professionals, you have to be constantly in the know about the latest trends and technologies in web design. Aside from those skills, you also need to develop other aspects of your life in order to achieve a good work-life balance in order to succeed.

50 best web design books

That is why you might be surprised that a lot of these books in our list don’t just focus about web design, but also about business, self-improvement, and more.

Here is our list of the best web design books from 2016 to draw inspiration as well as learn important principles from. You might have read some of them while others might be new to you. Pick one or a few of them from the list, sit in your favorite chair, or go to your own private space, and get ready to learn and be inspired.

1. Steal like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative

This is a simple and quick read about getting inspiration and coming up with ideas. The book also tells you that inspiration is everywhere and creativity is for everyone, not just for the genius or multi-talented. It says that creativity doesn’t necessarily mean being original, but a combination and collaboration of existing ideas and turning them into novel forms.

 

2. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Steve Krug tackles web usability and the interaction between humans and computers, stating that a website should allow users to accomplish what they want to do as easily and directly as possible. He also gives very helpful tips how a simple tweak can enhance a website’s usability.

 

3. LinchPin: Are You Indispensable? 

A linchpin, according to Seth Godin, is someone in an organization who is indispensable, valuable, and irreplaceable. This book teaches principles and ideas how to become a linchpin by becoming an artist who does emotional work. By emotional work, he explains, is work that matters to you, work that you are willing to sacrifice all other alternatives. When you do this, you become passionate and accountable to the choice you made.

 

4. Where Good Ideas Come from

Steven Johnson states that all useful inventions are good ideas. Then, he uses them to stimulate his readers’ minds by asking where these good ideas come from and what kind of environment breeds them. He identifies seven key patterns that result in genuine innovation. What’s interesting is his section on errors which lead to accidental innovations and inventions, such as the computer. One brilliant takeaway was his reminder about “being right keeps you in place, and being wrong forces us to explore.”

 

5. Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

Susan Weinschenk talks about how various website features affect the user’s brain. She stated that our buying decision is greatly influenced by our unconscious – based on our emotions and automatic triggers. This insight greatly helps a web designer how they should design the website, and how they should combine and incorporate all other features that will influence the consumers’ unconscious and increase conversion.

 

6. Everything I Know

Paul Jarvis needs no introduction in our 1WD community, and we know that his ideas are golden nuggets not only to web designers but to almost everyone. The book reflects his personality as he combines different interesting anecdotes in his freelancing career with practical tips and ideas to help you conquer your fear and reach your highest potential not only as a person but also as a web design professional. He also challenges his readers to embrace vulnerability, be true to yourself, and settle for nothing less.


7. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

It’s not really about web design, but about leadership. Simon Sinek answers the question why some people and organizations more influential, innovative, and profitable than others. He used several examples of people who stand out – the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs, and Martin Luther King were just a few. They are no different from others, nor are their ideas, but why did they stand out? One reason Sinek gave was their ability to inspire and motivate others. If you want to stand out as a web designer, this is a must read for you.

 

8. Mobile Design Book

This is a book by designers for designers. If you are also into mobile app development, then this is a good read. The book talks about mobile design principles that make apps successful. it’s not limited to operating systems, as web design is evolving, we’re having responsive design, not an option but a must, principles in the book will help you understand how to design websites for smaller screens

 

9. Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty

A comprehensive guide about design principles and elements, from the purpose of design to color. David Kadavy used “hacker” as a reference to a “renegade group of entrepreneurial-minded people who are changing how we work, live, and interact. He adds that a hacker strives to learn in order to achieve his vision, is curious, and is entrepreneurial, just as we often encourage members of the 1WD community.

 

10. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

One of the goals web designers want to achieve for their clients is to increase website conversion. In this book, Nir Eyal helps you achieve that by teaching you to look at underlying patterns in technology and how they are utilized to hook us. Once you become aware of these patterns, you can incorporate them into your design to enhance user experience and increase conversion.

 

11. Choose Yourself

How often have you made mistakes as a web designer? Mistakes are inevitable, and they are necessary. When it comes to mistakes, James Altucher is no stranger to them, using them as examples in this book to encourage his readers that these are normal and feeling like a failure at some point is also normal. However, when you begin to choose yourself for success, when you’re honest and open about the real you and your authentic passions, you jumpstart your success.

 

12. The Smashing Book #4 – New Perspectives on Web Design (Smashing Special eBooks)

If it’s from Smashing Magazine, it must be something good, right? Right. This fourth eBook installment talks about the mistakes most websites make and a solution for each of them. The content is easy to understand and provides priceless input about web design perspectives.

 

13. The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

This is a very old book written 25 years ago, but its content and principles remain relevant even until today. Don Norman talks about the relationship between design and human interaction. He also gives important lessons on the concepts of discoverability, affordance, signifiers, feedbacks, mappings and constraints.

 

 

14. Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions

This book provides information how to create great user experiences. Bill Scott and Theresa Neil were instrumental in designing UX for Yahoo and Netflix for years, so they know what they are talking about when they say UX. Here, they present more than 75 design patterns for building web interfaces that provide rich interaction. So if you’re looking for practical tips or just inspiration, you can start with this book.

 

15. The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

This book is another easy read and is ideal for those who are starting out as web designers. On the other hand, it can serve as a refresher on the basics of web design with topics that tackle color, typography, imagery, and texture. It also includes a lot of examples to make each point easier to understand and apply.

 

 

16. Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

Running out of inspiration? Creative workshop is full of exercises for practice and exploration to help you discover which processes work best for you. It is perfect for budding designers as well as for those who’ve been in the industry for a long time. Design agencies can use this to provide a challenge for the team.

 

17. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization

As we often say here on 1WD, you are not just a web designer, but also an entrepreneur. This mindset is very important if you want to succeed and last in the industry. As a web designer, your clients are important, especially their loyalty. Why? Because loyal customers are less sensitive to price competition, more forgiving of small glitches, and, ultimately, become “walking billboards” who will happily promote your brand.

 

18. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

Tim Harford boldly declares that there is no such thing as ready-made solutions.  He said that even expert opinion isn’t enough to help you tackle your problems. In short, we have to re-learn everything we know about solving problems – we need to ADAPT. This book tackles different issues we face in the present world and explains the  necessary ingredients for turning failure into success. If you want to survive and prosper not only as a web designer, but in everything, this is a must-read.

 

19. A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web 

Already a popular figure in the web community, Mark Boulton created a no-nonsense guide for designing websites using the principles of graphic design. Boulton explains the  academics of typography, layout, colour theory and grids. For each theory he shows when and how this applies to the web, and even when to be crazy and break the rules to make it even better. Just make sure you learn the rules before you break them.

 

 

20. Universal Principles of Design

This is a great reference book written by William Lidwell. It is accompanied by images and explanations to help you better understand a lot of design concepts and principles, from the 80/20 rule to 100 different design concepts. The book has been translated to 16 languages.

 

 

21. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

Most books about CSS and HTML are boring, even to web design professionals. Jon Duckett takes a fresh approach to make the book interesting without watering down the essential information  you need to know about HTML and CSS. This is a good investment for those who really want to know about coding.

 

22. The Elements of Typographic Style

Want to know more about typography? This book by renowned typographer Robert Bringhurst gives you more insight to the beautiful art of typography. He explains the history and theory of typography along with practical examples. He also introduces new innovations and techniques in font technology, making this a must read for anyone who wants to integrate beautiful typefaces to their websites.

 

23. Responsive Design with WordPress

This book by Joe Casabona is  for those who are trying to learn how to create repsonsive themes and plugins. A good read for those who are learning WordPress for the first time.

 

 

 

24. Bulletproof Web Design

Dan Cederholm, the author of Web Standard Solutions, brings yet another easy-to-read book on web design problems  and offering ways how to solve them. Then, he delves deeper by pointing out the weaknesses and strengths of each solution, and offers a solution that follows the best practices. If there is no clear-cut solution to a certain problem, he candidly tells his readers and allows them to decide for themselves.

 

25. The Laws of Simplicity

John Maeda writes in the premise that “simplicity is sanity.” He explains the 10 principles of simplicity which applies to almost any aspect of life, especially to product design. He advocates few buttons, few features, and few distractions while providing practical solutions and strategies to optimize the power of simplicity.

 

 

26. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy

If you have or are thinking to have a web design agency, this is a book to help you identify what good strategy is. The book says that most organizations don’t have good strategy because, in the first place, they don’t have one. Instead, most organizations have visions, or mistake financial goals for strategy, or have a hodge podge of conflicting policies and actions.

 

 

27. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness

The book title says it all. From time to time, each of us needs a little nudge to make wise and better decisions. You might think that the book is irrelevant to you as a web designer, but you’ll be surprised to find that there’s more to it to help you as a web design professional.

 

 

28. The Tipping Point

This is another book that is not directly related to web design, but will surely broaden your perspective as a person and also great lessons you can apply as a web designer. One of them, as the title suggests, is how little things make a difference. Malcolm Gladwell also discusses how things become very difficult and reach a tipping point, but suddenly things turn around and start taking off.

 

29. Rework

Rework has received both good and bad reviews and both camps give “candid” reviews about the book. Reviews aside, the book draws some real-life experiences from the group that created Basecamp. They talk about changing how businesses are run and the tools they use to achieve the work. It also emphasizes that you can basically start a business by maximizing free tools available on the Web. A must-read if you’re looome tips about building your business.

 

30. Made to Stick

Ideas come and go but there are some ideas stay with us for a long time. Why do these ideas stick? This is the question asked by Chip and Dan Heath in their book. They continue to explore the idea how to make ideas stick in people’s consciousness. This is the same question web professionals, social media experts, and business owners ask themselves. This is the right book to find the answer to such questions.

31. Rocket Surgery Made Easy

This is another book by Steve Krug and some sort of  a follow-up for his Don’t Make Think book. Here, Steve Krug discusses how to test any design, find the most important problems,  and provide the easiest solution for that problem. It encourages teams to test early and regularly so they can spot and fix the problem immediately while it is still manageable.

 

32. 100 Things Every Designer Should Know about People

Why do we design? This is the question that Susan Weinschenk tries to build upon in this book. She explains the real reason why we do what we do as web designers. That is to elicit response from people whether it is to buy more products, subscribe to an email, or read an article. She also explains how people see, feel, hear, and think as opposed to how designers undergo the same thoughts and processes.

 

33. Content Strategy for the Web

Content is king and good design with poor content makes a bad website. Furthermore, better content means better business. If you want to learn more how to create good content, this book offers a step-by-step of the production, process, implementation, and maintenance of your content.

 

 

34. Winning without Losing

The authors discuss the most common paradox of our times – working in the comforts of your home with just a click away, but working longer hours than necessary. They show us how to build a business and turn it into something sustainable and widely recognized while having a happy personal life on the other side. A very practical book which helps you identify and get rid of things that waste your time.

 

35. Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing

The book talks about the shift of the American economy from being a manufacturing one to becoming service-oriented. So what does it have to do with you as a web professional? The book offers a lot of wonderful, if not revolutionary, insights on not just being the best in your chosen field, but re-defining what best means. It also resonates with what we often talk about here on the 1WD community about selling to them relationships and not just your expertise.

 

36. Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

It’s a good reference book to get insight about user experience. It is not a book about UX but the principles it has can be used to help you improve that. It serves as a comprehensive bridge between marketing and decision science showing that understanding consumer behavior is the springboard to creativity.

 

 

37. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

A national bestseller by Robert Cialdini, Influence is the product of his research about influence and persuasion. Written in a casual, easy-to-understand tone, each chapter is filled with interesting information and practical examples about reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment. The book comes with a promise that you can even influence the most resistant audience after reading it.

 

38. Logo, Font & Lettering Bible

Author Lisa Cabarga challenges her readers why they should settle into using others’ logos and typefaces when you can create your own. The book includes how to create innovative logo designs, design your custom-made fonts, and develop an eye for quality logo design and lettering.

 

 

39. Color Messages and Meaning

It is one of the most comprehensive guides to the science of color. The boo teaches you about color combinations and principles to help you create an effective design. Each point has relevant examples to help web design professionals from various levels of experience design better.

 

40. No Logo

The book is an observation to modern marketing trends, especially by big brands. Naomi Klein talks about how super brands have become more ubiquitous and taking over almost all public spaces including toilets, school curiculla, neighborhoods, and more.

 

 

41. The Truth About Getting Things Done

How do you succeed and achieve all your goals? The book answers that question by providing simple home truths including focusing on your time, make the most of your environment, and  how to adopt a winning mindset. It’s simple, plain, and powerful.

 

 

42. Designing for Performance: Weighing Aesthetics and Performance

Web designers are often faced with this dilemma – aesthetics or performance. The decision affects the website performance and load time. This is the problem the book addresses as it focuses on understanding of how page load time works, and what we can do to improve it and make the best overall user experience.

 

43. Responsible Responsive Design

This book teaches you how to turn a critical eye on your designs as you focus more on developing new contexts and features as well as speedy and lagging networks. It also teaches you how to tune your design to performance and serve the right content across platforms.

 

 

44. Professional Website Performance: Optimizing the Front-end and Back-end

The book says, and we agree, that for website development to become effective, it requires optimum performance from both web browser and server. Unlike other books in this list, you might want to take time digesting awesome information you find here. Some of it deal with load balancing and scaling while some explain how HTML, CSS, JavaScript works in the browser and how we as developers can take advantage of that for optimization purposes.

45. Prioritizing Web Usability

The author, Jakob Nielsen, is considered as one of the leading experts in web usability. He also talks about the importance of your homepage and the average time users spend on it and what can be done to improve the user experience.

 

 

46. Letting Go of the Words

Another book that emphasizes on the importance of good content. Janice Reddish, the author of the book, is a linguist by training and has been helping people build websites that couple good design and well-written content. So here is an expert that knows what she is talking about. The book offers great tactics and strategies to help you have good conversations throughout your website from beginning to end.

 

47. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

The book consists of two parts – the first part consists of theory and the second part is filled with practical examples which helps you use information architecture effectively. It is a must read for web developers who especially build large websites.

 

 

48. Big Brand Theory

The Big Brand Theory looks into different successful global brands and dissects each element and feature which makes the brand successful. The author’s examination of each branding concept is multi-faceted and does not focus on only one area giving you useful insight about branding.

 

 

49. Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop

The book presents the use of grid which the learning designer can use to utilize elements once thought as simple and static in ways which add dynamism to your layouts. Although not a radical book, Making and Breaking the Grid is full of ideas regarding the most powerful aspects of communication design.

 

50. UI is Communication

A lot of designers will agree that User Interface is one tricky activity that requires an understanding of different concepts. The author provides a lot of exercises to emphasize each point.

 

 

 

 

And a Bonus Mention!

It can be tough building a solid and stable base of clients, but it’s what is most crucial for any web design business. There are many resources out there, some out of date, some relevant, others still bogus, but finding one book that will say it all is what will make or break your business.

And we have that in the form of our latest book, “Never Run Out of Projects Starting Today!”.

Never Run Out of Projects Poster

There are still a lot of books you can benefit from to make you into a well-rounded web professional. How about you? What have you read so far? Share it to our community….

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In 2016 We’ll STOP Writing about Web Design. This Is Why!

Yes, we’re leaving web design industry, not entirely of course, but the general web design so we can focus on something more precise and current. We’ll explain everything in the article, but first let me congratulate you with Year 2016!

One more year has passed, we really hope your year 2015 was awesome – full with amazing experiences and growth!

If you have just started with web design – congratulations, you took a big leap of faith to become a creator.

If web design is your life-long decision, cheers to being committed and passionate throughout all these years. Web designers are shaping online world and making it better – an important role to play.

Wishing you even bigger growth and achievements in 2016!

What can you expect to find in this article?

We will be reviewing the best content published in 2015 on 1WD, share what we learned together with you. Also we are making a big decision to change our focus to WordPress, and we will explain reasons behind it.

This is becoming a yearly tradition, look what we predicted and promised last year.

We will be inviting 1WD readers to start fresh together with us this year. Let’s start over, question all our previous decisions, improve and then focus again.

If you are subscribed to our mailing list already, awesome – if you are with us, we will be inviting you to rejoin our mailing list to show you are still interested in receiving news, freebies and awesome updates from us.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, then read on to understand exactly what we will be offering and if you would be interested in joining us.

Note: Below is the new signup form, in case you come from our existing email list and just want to rejoin and be done with it quickly. But we do encourage to read full article, especially if you are long-time 1WD reader.

GET EXCLUSIVE WORDPRESS TIPS

Enter your email to join with 1WD in 2016. We will send you only the best content as well as special subscriber only tips to supercharge your WordPress website!

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, so we know the email you entered is indeed yours.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Please read this article carefully, we will be sharing it with all our email subscribers. If  you don’t subscribe again on email signup box at this page, you will never hear from us again, we will retire existing email list in 2 weeks, around January 15, 2016.

Want to find out what will 1stWebDesigner commits to deliver to you in 2016?

Want to find out what will 1stWebDesigner commits to deliver to you in 2016?

Top 10 Articles From 2015: 1stWebDesigner’s Hall of Fame

On 2015 1WD published 119 articles, that’s a new article every 3 days. We experimented with a lot heavier focus on helping freelancers to learn crafts and arts of running a freelance business. While we had some good response, it wasn’t enough to be just focusing on it.

Then we started talking more about web design trends, UI, UX and mobile design, which also showed random results. All in all, now in review we understand we didn’t focus enough to give any of these efforts true results.

When you think 1stWebDesigner – what’s the first thing, you would say it’s about? If I think about it myself – I would say random topics about web design. What we are missing here – is strong focus, but we’ll talk about it later when discussing our decision to focus on WordPress.

But now, without further ado, I present the 10 of the best and most popular articles from 2015 on..random web design topics:

1. Learn Web Design From Scratch: Ultimate Resource For Every Upcoming Designer And Freelancer

It is a thorough web design guide (11,000 words) for everybody starting out. In that guide we organized all the best articles that we have published over 8 years of our existence, to provide with easy to follow step by step  resource, that could be used to kick-start your graphic design, web design, coding or freelance skills.

Guide is also always easily accessible by using “Start Here” button in header.

I won’t go so much in depth describing other top articles, but here are the top ten.

  1. 80+ Free Web Design Resources You Thought Didn’t Exist – a handy list of free online design resources, that anybody will find handy.
  2. What Are Top 7 Graphic And Web Design Trends in 2015 To Look Out For? – are you aware in which direction design world is heading? Even if you are not applying these trends, it’s important to know about them.
  3. What Are Web Designers Best Sources For Inspiration? – plain and simple, never again you will complain about lacking inspiration.
  4. 55 Best Premium WordPress Themes From 2015 You Will Love – thorough collection of the best themes available in the marketplace.
  5. Learn How to Build A Website 10x Faster Using WordPress Premium Tools – become a productive designer, don’t miss out on being effective instead of being busy.
  6. Most Common Visual Content Mistakes and How To Fix Them – an awesome guide with actionable tips to help you create better websites starting from today.
  7. 50 Cool Responsive HTML Templates & CSS Templates – don’t start from scratch, save time using amazing templates!
  8. How to Use Image-Focused Design to Increase Conversion – images are taking very important role in every web design, understand how to use this trend to deliver results.
  9. What Programming Language Should I Learn in 2015? – looking to improve your coding skills? Find out the best language to learn in 2016.
  10. 60+ Of The Best And Most Popular WordPress Plugins: Ultimate Toolkit – add powerful functionality with few clicks and no need to know any coding. Save your time and use what awesome WordPress community has already created before you.

Hope you enjoyed checking out these articles, but what else is there?

More than 100 various videos, interviews and tutorials available on 1WD Youtube channel!

More than 100 various videos, interviews and tutorials available on 1WD Youtube channel!

Committing To Videos And Podcasts

In 2015 we heavily experimented with video and podcast content to understand if you enjoy it and maybe even prefer video over text. Remember #EspressoMonday? 🙂

Here are top 3 most popular videos, you can watch:

If you missed it, 1stWebDesigner is also on iTunes with 25 podcasts already available, where James interviews smart and successful people. You can easily pick their brain and learn why they are one of the best in their field.

There are interviews with people like Brian Hoff, Paul Jarvis, Paul Ryan, Brent Weaver, Chris Coyier, Jairek Robbins and more.

Oh, if you are not on iTunes, still the most interviews are available on 1stWebDesigner Youtube channel.

Right now we have stopped a bit with these efforts (restarting in 2016), because we truly wanted to review what worked and..what didn’t work. We want to invest time in creating type of videos, that are valuable to you.

1stWebDesigner Moves Focus To WordPress

Okay, so this is a biggie. Let’s face the elephant in the room.

Since the creation of 1stWebDesigner we have been writing about random web design topics and while it seemed to work years ago, it’s not where we want to go. Our goal is that you start coming to 1stWebDesigner, because you know that’s where you’ll find the best non-technical tips to improve your WordPress website.  So whenever, you have a WordPress related challenge or need the best trusted themes, plugins – the first place you would want to visit would be 1stWebDesigner.

We won't be afraid to give up good to go for the great.

We won’t be afraid to give up good to go for the great.

Previously we tried to be a place where you learn web design, a place where you learn how to become a freelance web designer. But web industry is moving to less and less coding – you can satisfy most client needs quickly, by using website builder like WordPress. I say website builder, even if WordPress is CMS. Right now, themes have become so powerful, that they are used as page builders.

We recognize this. There are basically two paths you can take as a web designer – you become a hardcore programmer or you become a hacker.

I am not saying one or another way is better. But for us hacking things together has always been closer path. But for hardcore programmers, or ones who want to become such, there are far better places to learn those skills:

  • Team Treehouse – learn Ruby on Rails, how to build an app and far more.
  • CSS-Tricks –  our friend Chris Coyier is an awesome guy to learn from how to build modern websites
  • Tympanus Codrops – if you wan to learn awesome animation and cool-looking jQuery, HTML5 effects (like this), Codrops is the best place to learn.

In fact, Codrops just published their yearly review article, collecting all the best resources and tutorials they published in 2015. Why not give them a try?

A Look Back at 2015: Round-up of Codrops Resources .

A Look Back at 2015: Round-up of Codrops Resources .

So What Exactly, 1WD Will Be Focusing On?

In short we will be focusing on WordPress tips for entrepreneurs, business owners.

This will be very valuable for you as a web designer, because you will not be selling your coding skills anymore. You will be selling the results you deliver to your clients. You will create, not only beautiful, but also converting WordPress websites, that bring visible results.

This is our motto as well.

This is our motto as well.

For example, we’ll help you to find and build:

  • the fastest WordPress themes, that improve user experience and conversion because of fast loading speed
  • amazing WordPress plugins, that deliver specific functionality like adding security, loading speed, shopping cart, membership website
  • common WordPress mistakes, that can be solved by few clicks in WordPress admin or simple WordPress plugin

We bet on WordPress, because we love the direction Matt Mullenweg is leading WordPress to. Watch this video to clarify.

Public stats, WordPress has decided to share.

Public stats WordPress has decided to share.

Just two years ago WordPress was used by 20% of the web. Right now WordPress powers 25.5% of the web. It’s still growing quickly, and there are no signs of stopping. If you want more impressive numbers behind WordPress growth and influence, read this WPMU article.

Did you know WordPress is used by 30.3% of the top 1000 websites and that in October, 2015 29.7% of all new sites are using WordPress?

We love and have used WordPress in all our projects for past 8 years, why not focus on it? It is important to always do the work you love and it will reflect in outcome.

It's important to do the work you love and are passionate about.

It’s important to do the work you love and are passionate about. (If you like these quotes, we have more here).

Reviewing Premium WordPress Products

Everyone who is professionally involved in this industry or for that matter any other industry must have the business growth mindset which basically translates into: “In order to earn I have to spend.”

Every successful person will tell you that in order to grow their business and earn, they also had to spend money. They had to invest either in their education, tools, solutions, contacts or assets.

There are times, when you can find awesome free WordPress tools, and whenever we will find them, we will let you know. However we will be also focusing on finding the best tools there are in the market, test them and uncover their pros and cons.

There are over 40,000 free WordPress plugins and so many premium ones - how to know which ones to trust?

There are over 40,000 free WordPress plugins and so many premium ones – how to know which ones to trust?

Also our goal is to ensure that we find out what tools other WordPress experts and business owners use, so we always keep you in loop about handy simple techniques and time-saving tools. We want 1stWebDesigner to become source, where you find in-depth, unbiased reviews on some top themes, plugins, WordPress related services in the market.

Hope you are as excited as we are!

1stWebDesigner in 2016: What Can You Expect

We will start this year by cleaning our past articles, right now there are 1200 of them. Many of these articles are outdated, so we will either update or delete them, to have between 200-300 awesome articles in the end.

We won’t be deleting previous font roundups, logo design or coding tutorials, but we won’t be creating any new articles on these topics. Over the next 3 months, 1stWebDesigner should be clear from clutter and ready for full focus on WordPress.

Don’t be confused when seeing new non-WordPress articles popping up as recently published. It will just mean, that we have republished this article, we took from archives. These articles will be old top performing posts, that we have updated, rewritten or merged together from 5-10 average articles.

This is how clean and fast 1stWebDesigner website will feel like :)

This is how clean and fast website should look like.

But after we are done with cleanup works – we will put full focus on WordPress. When we are done in March, 2016 – 1stWebDesigner will be faster, cleaner and filled with ONLY top quality content.

On this note, if you would like to help us, we need some additional help to get this done sooner. If you are from Europe and looking for contract type of work to help us with cleanup works, please email us to hello at 1stwebdesigner dot com.

Rethinking Email Strategy

Over years we have been collecting emails with a promise to keep you updated about web design news, trends and top level content we publish at 1stWebDesigner. In 2016 we want to serve you even better. For that reason, we will be switching from Mailchimp to ConvertKit to ensure better experience for you.

With ConvertKit we will be able to see what kind of content emails you most engage with. Based on this information, we will be able to personalize the emails we send to you. For example if you are a business owner, you will be much more interested in interviews with other successful business people, compared to a list of premium themes.

With ConvertKit we will be able also to create an awesome targeted autoresponder series, where every few days you will receive actionable tips on how to improve your WordPress website. We spend the time to research, all you need to do is spend a few minutes to review that advice and decide if that’s applicable to your work.

Making a decision to move to ConvertKit.

Making a decision to move to ConvertKit.

Sounds cool?

Alright, since we don’t want to email anybody, who doesn’t want to receive anything from us, we will be asking everybody who wants to join the list, join here. If you don’t resubscribe during the next 2 weeks, you will not be receiving anything from us anymore.

I really do hope you decide to stay or join us. Here is the signup box:

GET EXCLUSIVE WORDPRESS TIPS

Enter your email to join with 1WD in 2016. We will send you only the best content as well as special subscriber only tips to supercharge your WordPress website!

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, so we know the email you entered is indeed yours.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

What are your thoughts? Suggestions for 1stWebDesigner?

We would love to hear from you – what do you think about direction we are taking? What are some articles you would love to read on 1stWebDesigner about WordPress?

Do you think we are going completely wrong about this or maybe you are excited about the changes?

P.S. If you have been 1WD reader over past years, would love to read how 1WD efforts have helped you? What were the most valuable things you learned from 1WD? Did you have a bad experience along the way? – help us solve it. We are listening!

Truly yours,

James & Dainis, founders of 1stWebDesigner

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Extra WordPress Theme: Is This The Best Magazine Theme Yet? [Review]

When Elegant Themes announced they would be delaying the shipment of their Extra Magazine Theme, our hearts sank.

Finally, after what has seemed like an eternity of sleepless nights we have finally gotten our hands on Elegant Theme’s brand new Extra Magazine theme for WordPress.

Extra Theme by Elegant Themes

Extra theme delivers the goods by shaking things up a bit.

Now that we have had some hands-on experience with this highly anticipated theme, we are confident to say we believe that Extra will revolutionize post-based websites in ways that no other theme has been able to achieve so far.

For this reason and much more, this review of the Extra Theme is a must-have for any serious WordPress blogger and website owner. The wait has definitely been worth it.

Highly Customizable Home and Category Pages

One of the biggest challenges that content providers like blogging sites face is the ability to have multiple layouts for different authors with varied content in a streamlined fashion. Unfortunately, most of the current models are clunky at best, and provide a highly distracting user interface.

The Divi Builder allows you to build custom category layouts.

The Divi Builder allows you to build custom category layouts.

Here again, Extra delivers the goods by shaking things up a bit with a magazine-style layout that gives users total control of their index page instead of having to deal with those annoying pre-built category pages.

This gives users the potential the ability to create homepage and category pages from scratch including being able to make unique layouts for every category on your blog site.

For anyone that’s been in the blogging business long enough and has been putting out tons of content online, we’re pretty confident you’re going to love what Elegant Themes has done here.

Even though the Divi theme really did go above and beyond what people were expecting at the time it was released, Extra manages to surpass even our expectations with their impressive customization options that allow for user-tailored feeds which enable better social interaction that increases user engagement.

Diverse Layouts and Responsive Grid Systems

One of the main factors that enables Extra to offer such a rich and diverse set of layouts is due to their solid, responsive grid system. Grid systems help make websites appear less cluttered and consistent while giving the users a lot of flexibility to customize for their own needs.

Make no mistake, Extra is not your typical grid-based WordPress theme. The Elegant Themes team really did their homework by fine combing the minute details from the ground up to deliver an impressive and incredibly intuitive user experience.

Multiple Header Options and Effective Navigation

A common complaint that users had with the Divi theme was that its header had limited options when it came to making customizations. This was important because the header can have a significant impact on your conversion rates.

Clear navigation and lots of other fabulous header options.

Clear navigation and lots of other fabulous header options.

Today’s online visitors have notoriously overloaded attention spans which makes it crucial to be able to capture and retain their attention within the first few seconds of them landing on your page. Headers help organize your content in a way that reduces information overload and thus the risk of them bouncing away from your page.

Here are just a few of the options that the Extra headers offer:

Primary and secondary menus, Social media integration, Various custom links, Logo orientation option, Unlimited Color Choices, Easy logo placement capabilities, Advertisement placements.

Fortunately, the Extra theme addresses the common complaints that Divi theme users shared and packs in even more powerful features that give you total control of the look and feel of your header.

The new and improved Extra Theme header options include the option to have two menus at once, social media and ads, and the refreshed modern look and feel you’d come to expect from Elegant Themes.

Rating Systems to Keep Your Readers Engaged

Any respectable blogging site will understand the value of having an easy-to-use star rating system for their readers. It’s a great alternative for those visitors who may want to provide instant feedback on your articles without having to go through the trouble of sharing or posting a comment on your blog articles.

Extra comes with two rating systems to keep your readers engaged.

Extra comes with two rating systems to keep your readers engaged.

In order to provide a greater user experience for their users, the Extra Theme will come with two different rating systems. One system will enable users to add a product rating while the other features a user rating system.

So whether you prefer to just point and click or prefer to leave your thoughts in print,  the Extra theme has you covered either way.

Add eCommerce with WooCommerce Integration

If you’re looking to start a business selling products online then Extra has certainly got some of the best state of the art technology and functionality features we’ve seen on the market.

Extra theme's WooCommerce supported eCommerce product page.

Extra theme’s WooCommerce supported eCommerce product page.

Setting up and integrating your eCommerce store to your existing blog has never been easier. In addition, Extra comes 100% compatible with WooCommerce so you can take your online selling potential to the next level.

Extra theme's product view with Add To Cart button and description.

Extra theme’s product view with Add To Cart button and description.

Setting up our own store with our own 1stWebDesigner products was not only a piece of cake (in terms of speed and simplicity) but also very empowering experience.

As you can see in the images above we were able to customize it just the way we want to see it aligned within our brand guidelines.

Create a Media-Rich Experience with Post Formats

One of Extra’s main focus areas is being able to provide their users with a media-rich experience unlike anything currently out on the market. Judging by the sheer multitude of post formats they offer, they aren’t being shy about it either.

Create a media rich experience with Post Formats

Create a media rich experience with Post Formats

Extra offers numerous post formats including articles, audio, galleries, videos, maps and more. In addition, their Monarch plugin will allow users to seamless integrate social media with their content.

You Can Still Use Extra with Your Divi

Just because Elegant Themes has created the excellent Extra theme, it doesn’t mean you have to forget about Divi. After all, hen it came out, Divi absolutely dazzled us with its rich features.

Just Drag & Drop to build your pages visually

Just Drag & Drop to build your pages visually.

Good thing the folks at Elegant Themes have recently released the Divi Builder Plugin to take Extra’s already amazing functionality a step further still.

The Divi Builder plugin is basically a drag and drop builder that enables you to create beautiful and advanced layouts with custom theme wrappers. Enjoy the power of Divi while still keeping control of your header, footer and content wrapper sections.

The Ultimate WordPress Experience

The team behind Elegant Themes really outdid themselves this time by creating a real masterpiece with their new Extra Magazine Theme. They have given tons of new features that give users near-absolute control of the look and feel of their websites.

GET YOUR EXTRA THEME NOW

P.s.Whether it’s the ability to easily integrate eCommerce and WooCommerce to your blog, or create incredible and unique home and category pages, the Extra Magazine them offers blogger and business owners the ultimate WordPress experience.

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MyThemeShop Review: Your Ultimate WordPress Premium Themes Provider

Whether you want to build your business or your personal brand online, your website is one of the most critical elements for your success. That is why it is very important that your website will be able to reflect the personality you want to convey to your visitors.

In this MyThemeShop review you will find out why you should be using this website for all your website building needs. We’ll share this premium WordPress theme provider pros, cons and benefits of using.

MyThemeShop has premium WordPress themes that give your business an edge

MyThemeShop has premium WordPress themes that give your business an edge

When it comes to websites, WordPress themes have been one of the primary choices because you literally have hundreds of options  whether it is free or premium. Although free WordPress themes are good, premium themes have an edge in terms of features, support, and development. And among these premium theme developers, MyThemeShop is in the forefront in offering premium WordPress themes with outstanding designs and features.

There might be other WordPress theme developers in the market who deliver outstanding themes as well. So what makes MyThemeShop any different? For starters, it has 98 themes and 19 plugins making it a marketplace of its own. But the real whopper is that MyThemeShop has more than 300K of satisfied users.

Are you an agency or an organization? Are you planning to set up an online store? Are you a blogger? Are you an online publication? Whatever the purpose of your website is, MyThemeShop has a variety of themes in four major categories – Magazine, Blog, Business, and WooCommerce themes.

Aside from this plethora of WordPress themes and plugins, here are other reasons why MyThemeShop is your go-to place when it comes to Premium WordPress themes & plugins.

All Themes are Fully Responsive

Responsivesness is important these days as people are using different kinds of devices and platforms. But what does it mean to have a fully responsive site? This simply means that your site and all its features will work perfectly across all devices, such as mobile phones, desktops, and tablets. Therefore, it is very important that your website and its content display correctly across devices, platforms, and browsers.

All themes on MyThemeShop are 100% responsive so you don’t have to worry wherever your visitors view them. Rest assured, all themes will provide a great user experience to whoever will visit your website.

Video Tutorials

It is very helpful if  a theme has full documentation. But it is even more helpful if there is a video walkthrough, especially during set up. MyThemeShop has provided step-by-step video tutorials that will help you not only during the setup, but also through different phases of your website development whether it be changing your website layout or setting up your featured images. With these tutorials, you will never feel lost or alone in every step of the way.

MyThemeShop videos are not just tutorials but a source to know more about WordPress

MyThemeShop videos are not just tutorials but a source to know more about WordPress

What’s great about this videos is that they are like mini-lessons where you can learn more about WordPress and each of the themes.

24/7 Customer Support

What’s a featured-packed theme with extensive documentation if there’s no customer support? Fortunately, MyThemeShop has a team of dedicated customer support who are ready, willing, and able to answer your concerns and questions should you encounter any problems along the way. But what makes the customer support standout is that it has been localized to ensure that wherever your location is, there is a support team that you can reach who speak your language and within your time zone.

Powerful Options Panel

Setting up your website becomes even much easier with the powerful options panel in each theme. You don’t need to go through various code changes and configuration when you customize your website.

Setting up a website has never been easier

Setting up a website has never been easier

Through this feature, you will be able to copy the demo theme and incorporate it to your website.

No Need to Learn Code

One of the greatest challenges in web design is learning how to code. Codes are already a source of headaches to the well-versed web developer, how much more if you are a newbie? To address this issue, MyThemeShop has included shortcodes in all their themes so that even a beginner can start building their website even with little or no coding knowledge.These shortcodes will help you create and customize different elements, such as CTA buttons and contact forms, without a sweat.

Unlimited Color and Background Options

Everybody loves unlimited options. All MyThemeShop themes have unlimited color and background options. Whether you want to have a more interesting background or use a color palette that matches your brand and personality, you have the freedom to do so with just a few clicks.

All MyThemeShop themes have unlimited color and background options.

All MyThemeShop themes have unlimited color and background options.

All themes allow you to use the options panel so you can customize the colors and create your own unique color combination. As for the background, there is an extensive stock of images you can use as a background, or you can upload your own image.

More than 600 Google Fonts

Typography is another important element of your website. The typeface you use can also contribute to the success and failure of your brand.

mythemeshop-typography-options

Typography can contribute to the success or failure of your website

With more than 600 Google fonts in each theme, you have an extensive choice whether you want a serif, sans serif, or even a decorative font. Browse the font library until you find the perfect match that will reflect your company’s brand.

Lightweight Social Sharing Option

Marketing and promotion features in various social media platforms is another must have for any business. MyThemeShop has lightweight social sharing plugins which allow you to easily share your content, products, and services to your favorite social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and more.

Lightning Fast Themes and Plugins

How important is page speed? Very important! In fact, it is very critical to the success of your website. According to the Official Google Webmaster blog, the speed of how your website loads results in happy customers and better user experience. Most of all, it saves you money because it cuts your operating costs.

MyThemeShop understands the importance of page speed that’s why it has designed all its themes and plugins with clean and compressed codes to ensure fast loading. In fact, its fastest theme, Schema, has beat the Genesis framework not only in terms of speed but also in nearly every aspect. Another theme, Magazine, has garnered a 95% score out of 100 in the PageSpeed test.

Wait.. there’s more!

Famous Bloggers Prefer MyThemeShop

If the reasons mentioned above do not convince you, perhaps Matthew Woodward and ShoeMoney founder, Jeremy Schoemaker will convince you. What do they have got to do with it, you might ask. They are just one of the many famous bloggers and websites that use the themes and plugins from MyThemeShop. Listen to what they have to say:

Matthew Woodward, Founder of matthewwoodward.co.uk, a no-nonsense SEO & Affiliate Marketing company. His blog has been one of the top blogs in the industry including one of the Top 75 Marketing Blogs by Unbounce Award.

matthewwoodward

The guys from MyThemeShop were kind enough to re-develop the current theme from the ground up. This means at long last the site will be fully responsive and won’t look rubbish on mobile devices – this has to be the #1 complaint from the past few months and I’m happy to finally address it.
It also takes advantage of modern coding standards like HTML5 & CSS3 along with all of the latest schema markup for articles, comments, reviews & more baked into the core.
On top of that it is super lightweight, for example the homepage is now only 512KB compared to 988KB with the current theme.

Jeremy Schoemaker, CEO and founder of ShoeMoney Media Group and NextPimp.com as well as the co-founder of AuctionAds service. Jeremy uses the Magazine theme of MyThemeShop.

jeremy schoemaker
My SEO drastically improved, like double the amount of traffic.

 

 

Jeremy is a personal trainer and Founder of StudentsFitness.com, a website dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle to students.

 
studentfitness
The themes are affordable and very high quality

More Reasons to Choose MyThemeShop Themes

As extensive as their list is, there are more reasons why you should choose MyThemeShop themes:

Clean and Clear Code

The codes are not only well-commented, but they are also clean to ensure faster loading. To ensure that your website runs at maximum speed, the codes are even compressed. A faster loading website is very important because just a minute of delay will make your visitors abandon your site immediately, making you lose revenue.
Furthermore, the codes are also clean and readable so it’s easy to edit and customize by your developers and webmasters. A clean code ensures the speed and dynamism of your website to whatever changes will be made that will make your business competitive in the global market.

SEO Friendly

Another advantage of having a clean code is that it increases your search engine visibility. Aside from that, a clean code means that there are no barriers that will hinder the search engine crawlability of your site. Even the design of each theme has put the latest search en gine guidelines in mind to further boost search engine rankings.

Easy to Set Up

Aside from the options panel, all themes have a one-click installation feature which allows you to load any pre-built layout and design. All you have to do is customize the content and you have in you a beautifully and well-designed website.

Top 5 Most Popular MyThemeShop Themes

1. SociallyViral ($69)

As the name suggests, SociallyViral is designed to increase your social shares and make your content viral. This is made possible through features, such as full social integration, subscription box, and 4 different types of loading effects. It is also AdSense optimized which enables you to see higher CPCs and RFMs.

Great theme optimized for social media focus.

2. Schema ($69)

Schema is one of the fastest loading and SEO premium themes from MyThemeShop. It has the best features of the various themes combined including the custom options panel and its pixel perfect design. It also has rich snippets making it a very SEO-friendly theme. Other standout features include voting functionality, ad management, and built-in review system. So if you’re looking for a theme that guarantees high page ranking and ad earnings, Schema is the theme for you.

Schema has the best of all worlds

3. PointPro ($69)

Stunning look and awesome performance – that’s what PointPro is all about with its stunning layout and responsive design. The theme features a number of headings and sections so you have a wide range of options to choose from. One of its outstanding features is the “Projects Page” which showcases your best works. Other features include unlimited colors and backgrounds, custom sidebars, and an off-canvas mobile menu.

PointPro showcases your best works

4. Video ($69)

According to Cisco, 69% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2017 will be generated by video. And to help you utilize the power of video, social media, and content combined, the Video theme is a perfect choice. As the theme suggests, it is optimized for video with different homepage layouts and post layouts. The theme has low bounce rates to ensure that your visitors stay long enough to convince them with your content.

Videos account for most of the traffic online

Videos account for most of the traffic online

5. OnePage Theme ($69)

OnePage is a business and portfolio theme known for its Drag and Drop homepage layout as well as its clean handwritten code. Some of its notable features include a dynamic menu which follows the user making it easier to navigate through pages, font icon integration and arrow key functionality to the slider.

The Drag and Drop feature of OnePage make everything as easy as 1-2-3!

Top 5 Most Popular MyThemeShop Plugins

1. WP Review Pro ($39)

One of the most outstanding features of the WP Review Pro plugin is its ease because it doesn’t need code knowledge to install and set it up. All you need to do is install and configure the settings manager. The plugin also features customer comment and review as well as star ratings. But the best feature is its compatibility with all themes.

Create different types of rating systems using Review Pro

2. WP Mega Menu ($39)

Want to create amazing and beautiful menus in your website? The WP Mega Menu plugin lets you do just that without doing any configuration. What more, it is compatible even with the latest WordPress version  and ready to install in just one click. There are 3 different layouts and multiple loading effects to choose from, while background and color options are unlimited.

Make awesome menus that will wow your visitors with this plugin

3. WP Subscribe Pro ($39)

Building your subscription list is a very important aspect of every online business in order to boost conversion and traffic. This plugin ensures that you have the necessary tools and features to do just that. Some of its key features include popup triggers every time a visitor will leave your site, integration with AWeber and MailChimp, and cookie expiration.

Manage your subscriptions with WP Subscribe Pro

4. WP Notification Bar ($39)

This plugin displays custom alerts and notifications for your visitors and readers informing them regarding the latest going-ons in your website. This allows them to view immediately any promotions or new blog posts which leads to higher conversion. The plugin is equipped with unlimited notification bars, newsletter box, countdown timer, and text only notification bar.

Inform your customers immediately with the latest projects and promotions using the WP Notification Bar plugin

Inform your customers immediately with the latest projects and promotions using the WP Notification Bar plugin

5. WP Google Translate ($39)

The Information Age has removed geographical and language barriers, which means any person from all over the world can access your website and read the content you put out there. With the WP Google Translate plugin, you won’t have to worry whether your readers understand your content or not. The plugin can translate your site into more than 80 languages.

WP Google Translate has more than 80 languages

Conclusion

The only downside (if you can call it that) to MyThemeShop is the extensive options for outstanding themes and plugins leaving you confused which work or not. However, this should not deter you knowing that all of them deliver what they promise to do giving you value for your money.

You cannot deny the fact as well that popular companies, like ShoeMoney have been using one of its themes. In fact, MyThemeShop boasts of more than 300K satisfied users. What more both of its plugins and themes are fully loaded and functions in utmost quality.   The codes are all well-written and  secure so that it is easier for you to check and modify the codes.

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