Top Five Tips for Beginning Web Designers

One of the easiest ways for beginning designers to set up a site is with a web-building template. Depending on the type of site you plan to create, templates are designed to suit a wide variety of needs. Whether you plan to set-up an e-commerce site or a fashion blog, the choices that you make will depend on your specific requirements. The following five tips can help you get started.

1 – LocateWeb Templates

Most sites today use templates; some are extremely complex, while others feature easy to use tools. Sites such as Top 10 Compared offer ideal resources for beginning web designers. It helps to compare popular templates, see what other users have to say and decide for yourself which formats meet your needs and web-building skills. Once again, website building templates vary considerably and they are generally suited to a specific range of sites.

2 – Choose the Best Template for your Site

Once you have compared several website templates, you will need to choose a template that is right for your site. Many web-page templates deliver great results, specifically designed for novices. The right template can be extremely simple, yet it can deliver professional results. While both experienced and beginning web-designers use templates, newcomers to the web-business often benefit by using tried and proven resources.

web design

3 – Use your Template to Save Time

Templates provide streamlined tools for creating attractive web pages. Very simply, the majority of sites follow a basic navigational system. They include navigation tools, contact and copyright details, and branding strategies, such as company logos and slogans. What will differ from page-to-page are specific contextual elements, images and content. A well-crafted template will save time, offering flexible setups for each of your pages.

4 – Take Advantage of Template Benefits

Allow your template to take care of many of the details. While no system is foolproof, top web building templates include HTML requirements. Regardless, you will want to check for consistency. A website that flows from page to page will assure visitors that your site is legitimate and that you are providing quality products and/or services. Selecting the right colors, graphics, font sizes and content are just some of the ways that simple details can encourage visitors to stay on your site to look at what you offer.

web design

5 – Use the Best!

Once you have selected a template, pay attention to all of the details. There are many benefits to using a predesigned web-building template. Just remember to select a program that is suited to your specific requirements. Moreover, try to avoid overdoing it. Generally, too much of anything can be overkill. Select the very best images, and match your navigational system and add-ons to specific design elements.

While many web-builders want to design a web-template, selecting a premade template offers many distinct advantages. Therefore, if your time and experience are limited, a ready-made web-building template may be the perfect option for you as a beginning web designer.

10 Useful iPhone Apps for Web Developers and Designers

These 10 iPhone apps for web developers and designers offer great flexibility to work with. The iPhone is a device that is capable of doing just about anything and with the availability of good number of highly useful apps; it is now possible to achieve most of desktop computing on a mobile that can easily be carried around in your pockets. These powerful apps are a boon to web developers and designers, as you don’t always have to lug around your laptop for taking care of every small bit. The convenience of working through your phone in your hands is what makes these apps impressive.

1. Caliper

This is a simple, yet highly useful app which enables you to measure objects with quick precision. You can even measure images placed on the screen or close by in inches, pixels, centimeters, etc. Quick measurement is achieved with the multi-touch facility.

2. Color Expert

With this tool, you can create grand color palettes with the help of its color wheel. You can even obtain colors from sliders, swatches and photos. It lets you find the right colors by searching through web safe, HTML colors or Pantone.

3. FontShuffle

With this app, you can browse over 650 font styles or simply give your iPhone a shake to get a result of new font mix. You can search for about 24 typefaces that are similar in list, search by category and more.

Useful iPhone Apps for Web Developers

4. WebDeveloperBible

This app provides easy reference for HTML entities, conversion of RGB to HEX colors and much more. This is a free app that comes very handy for web designers and developers.

5. Developer’s ToolKit

This app combines different tools like color wheel, scientific hex calculator and ANSI UTF 8 character set. You can browse the character by symbol type, name and Unicode value.

6. HTML Colors

With this app, you can choose colors for web and preview for fun or for ensuring you got the right combination. It’s easy to obtain the right combination for foreground and background colors.

7. CSS Cheat Sheet

This app is highly useful if you are learning CSS or need a reference sheet. You can easily search or browse through by category. CSS Cheat Sheet provides background examples, descriptions, borders, values, font families, typefaces, classifications and more.

8. Source Viewer

You can view a website’s source code with the help of this app. It also provides other facilities such as link extraction, syntax coloring, image collection, etc. You can also save bookmarks, open URLs or email them and much more.

9. WordPress

With this app, you can use WordPress easily through your phone. You can create content and edit on your website, even when offline. It includes tags, previews, photo integration, categories and other such functions supported by WordPress.

10. iBlogger

This is a blogging app that supports different platforms such as WordPress, TypePad, Xanga, SquareSpace and ExpressionEngine. Blog installation can be managed easily, as it supports important features like links, tags, photos, etc.

The 10 Best Web Design Podcasts for Aspiring Web Designers

Referring to the best web design podcasts promise to provide students as well as seasoned professionals in the field of web designing. It comes with latest information on new techniques to help with their web designing projects.

1. The Web Ahead

The Web Ahead

The show hosted by Jen Simmons comprises of solid discussions regarding everything related to web design. The discussion covers interesting and advanced topics which tries to keep things simple so that beginners can also benefit.

2. UIE Brain Sparks

UIE Brain Sparks

This is a professional web design podcast that focuses on interaction and usability design. Jared Pool is the host of the show and big names like Cameron Mall, Luke Wroblewski and others have turned up at the show.

3. The Big Web Show

The Big Web Show

This podcast is 5by5 co-hosted by the co-founder of The Web Standards. It covers many areas including content strategy, art direction, web publishing, web technology and typography.

4. The Rissington Podcast

This humorous and informal show is hosted by John Oxton and Jon Hicks. Different questions related to conducting interviews and web designing are answered in the session. The show promises entertainment as well as important knowledge about different aspects of web designing.

5. Shop Talk

shop talk podcast

It is one if the newest web designs podcast which consists of two hosts – Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier. Apart from some horrible jokes, the show delivers answers to different questions and even dispenses advice. Topics covered generally comprise of JavaScript, CSS and HTML.

6. Rookie Designer

This weekly podcast is hosted by Adam Hay who is a graphics designer. This show is perfect for beginner designers however the content covered can prove beneficial even for professionals.

7. The Industry

The Industry

Adam Stacoviak, Jared Erondu and Drew Wilson are the host of the show and several topics are covered. Guests are called to the show and discussions are generally related to preprocessors as well as Google+ redesign along with some other major events.

8. Boagworld

Marcus Lillington and Paul Boagare the creators of this podcast and it happens to be the longest running podcast related to web design in the entire world. Apart from being educational, it is definitely entertaining and full of fun.

9. Web Design TV

This is not only an audio podcast and consists of videocasts that lasts for fifteen to thirty minutes. Detailed information is offered on web design projects as well as different applications like Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop.

10. Unmatched Style

This podcast includes interviews that are conducted face to face and generally does not require thorough attention to the visual. There is a lot of content available for aspiring web designers to listen to and watch to gain in-depth knowledge of different technologies.

Most of these best web design podcasts help to keep web designers up to date and educated about the latest web designing trends as well provide them with a detailed insight into the world of web designing.

Top 10 Tools for Freelance Designers

Freelance is not an easy job as designers need to take care of different things starting from invoicing clients to creating their own web presence. Abiding by the top 10 tools for freelance designers have what it takes to make their jobs easy and simple in different ways.

1. Free Agent

Freelancing requires taking care of client invoices, personal finances, tax records and much more. The Free Agent tool helps freelancers to take care of accounting part of their operations by providing cloud based and online documentation of finances. The tool comes with an initial thirty day free trial.

2. WordPress

Designers get the opportunity to showcase their work with the help of this top tool for designers and get instant recognition in the industry. This is a highly preferred platform for the purpose of blogging among millions of users throughout the world.

3. Basecamp

This tool is widely popular in freelance industry mainly because of the fact that it provides an ideal blend of project management and collaborative communication. It helps designers to boost productivity, enhance client communication as well as produce satisfactory end results.

Tools for Freelance Designers

4. FreshBooks

Freelancers who are starting to establish themselves in the freelance industry require an efficient tool for billing or invoicing solutions. This tool allows designers to create tailor made invoices and even offers a host of other features.

5. Zopim

Communication is a vital aspect of a freelance job as it helps to convey proper message between the freelancer and the client and vice versa. The Zopim tool helps designers with live chat support which is essential in case of instructional information, real time chat as well as broad technical support.

6. Google Web Fonts

This is another tool for freelance designers that help them to add amazing fonts to a website in a few easy steps. The work process gets improved to a great extent with the Google web fonts.

7. Toggl

Toggl is a time management tool that assists designers with proper monitoring of their tasks and time spent on them during a day. Clear and easy to interpret reports are made available by the tool.

8. Adobe Creative Cloud

This tool offer designers with a wide range of features that includes InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Photoshop and much more to assist with different tasks.

9. ShutterStock

By paying only $ 199 every month, designers can get access to a huge range of stock photography. Stock photography is considered as a crucial part of an outstanding design.

10. Balasmiq

This wire framing tool allows designers to create UI concepts and mock-ups. The tool allows designers to work with developers, clients and product managers in real time.

The top tools for freelance designers with their host of features, simple operations, and effective design allows designers to get their work done quite easily. It dedicates majority of their time towards creating stunning and eye-catchy designs.

Top 10 free UI kits for web designers

The web is filled with some great UI design examples which might make one believe that the task is pretty easy and attractive. But the thing is that it is possibly the biggest challenge faced during any web designing project. The top 10 free UI kits for web designers remove the pain one generally associates with UI designing.

1. uikit

This lightweight modular framework is developed in LESS and includes great many handy components such as tooltips, modals, buttons and navigation bars. It also features a solid grid network underpinning the layout.

2. Almost Flat UI

This nice and simple certainly lists it among the top free UI kits for web designers. The UI has been based on Foundation framework. This results in providing the designers with refined functionality, without asking them to develop their own aesthetic approach or to implement SASS. The kit also includes some handy and useful widgets as well including CSS panels, tabs and breadcrumbs, tooltips and alerts.

3. YAUI Kit V2

A brainchild of Hugo Darby-Brown, this UI kit includes a collection of useful widgets that focuses mainly on the user inputs instead of simple content display. Its style is chunky and big, which gives a pleasant anti- thesis to the present fashion for flat, minimalist design.

free UI kits for web designers

4. Bootflat

This open source free UI kit for web designers is based on the Bootstrap framework of Twitter. In this Bootstrap extension, one will find all types of standard features here. This comes in addition to some unique themes embracing the design aesthetic. For flat- design lovers, this is the ideal UI kit.

5. INK v2

It focuses on responsive design and layout, while integrating a set of important elements that reformat automatically so as to fit the screen size of the user without asking them to do any kind of mechanics themselves. An important alternative approach to the layout of grid is used by this UI.

6. Brick

Developed by Mozilla, this free UI kit for web designers comprises of a varied range of components designed by keeping in mind modern web applications. Underpinning the Plug-n-Play fundamentals is a healthy cross platform network.

7. MetroStyle Web UI

It replicates Microsoft’s Windows’ design aesthetic and applies it with its functional yet simple set of grids, styles and widgets. It is a clean option only if one is searching for a system that is easy to pick up.

8. Flatby UI

A product of designer Dennis Schipper, this is certainly among the top free UI kits for web designers which deliver a simple approach in developing a website. It follows the same model as that of Bootstrap, so it might be easy for those who have used Twitter’s kit. Content can be easily tweaked and designers can see how their page might work with different kits.

9. Futurico

A handy collection of UI elements can be put into an active page layout. A minimalist aesthetic is there in this UI kit, with some great visual flourishes and versatile functionality like sliders and tabs.

10. Pure

It is a collection of responsive CSS modules that is enormously code light while delivering a fascinating range of unique elements and styles. Built on Yahoo’s YUI Library, it offers a great deal of maturity and stability, besides having the ability to download only the parts that one might need.

15 Best Photoshop Plug-ins for Web Designers

Adobe Photoshop is great application but functions even better when complemented by certain plug-ins. The best Photoshop plug-ins for web designer are great tools for webpage designing. These plug-ins facilitate the developers by simplifying the process of designing and providing them with easier options to carry out their tasks in a very quick time.

1. Atlas CSS

Atlas CSS plug-in helps in instant creation of CSS style sheet. Users have to enter all required icons in the folder.

2. CSS3PS

This cloud-based Photoshop plug-in is available for free. It makes conversion of layers of Photoshop into layers of CSS3 a much easier and faster process.

3. Cut & Slice me

Cut & Slice me is a free plug-in that enables users to export the assets to different devices within seconds. It trims excess pixels to export in PNG format or lets the designer specify the size.

4. Divine

Divine eliminates all coding and slicing botheration. It allows web designers to download their WordPress themes right from Photoshop.

5. Enigma 64

Enigma 64 is an essential plug-in to export Photoshop layers to extremely optimised images. It facilitates encoding of image to Bse 64.

Photoshop Plug-ins for Web Designers

6. Expanding Universe Managing Screen Resolutions Toolset

It is set of tools by Expanding Universe for management of screen resolution and is available for download. Its utmost significance is in this age of responsive web design-demand.

7. Guide Guide

Guide Guide helps in the creation or selection of pixel-accurate baselines, midpoints, rows and columns document with just a click.

8. No More Banding

This Photoshop plug-in for web designers converts document into 16-bit and applies new layer to the top for fixing all banding in it.

9. Pano Warp

Pano Warp is a great Photoshop plug-in especially for the designers who want lens correction features on a webpage. It is useful in the adjustment of horizon focal length height. It offers the fabulous panorama settings that make website-heading images look amazing.

10. Pixel Proliferation

Pixel Proliferation is a great Photoshop plug-in for web designer who wants a seamless solution to preview PSD on any screen size.

11. Skeuomorphism

Skeuomorphism is the plug-in that transforms PSD layouts to flat designs and keeps the web design in trend.

12. Subtle Patterns

Subtle Patterns is the plug-in for numerous great readymade background patterns available for download to save time of web designers.

13. Super PNG

Super PNG is an essential Adobe Photoshop plug-in for using PNG files. It is available for free and supports PNG format more comprehensively than that included in Photoshop plug-in. It provides control in handling alpha channel.

14. Web Font Plug-in

Web Font Plug-in keeps difficulty with web font at bay. This Photoshop plug-in facilitates easy installation and use of any Google web font from Photoshop.

15. Web Zap

Web Zap plug-in provides additional functionalities and tools to Photoshop in order to assist web designers in their UI and mock-up design workflow.

25 Best Tattoo Fonts for Designers

These best tattoo fonts for designers cover everything- from illustration and graphic design to app and web design. Fonts play an important role in designs these days. Selecting the best font helps in making the design much more artistic, creative and unique.

1. Prison Tattoo

This style is experimented regularly by an array of designers worldwide. The fonts are fun and playful and can be downloaded easily for personal use.

2. Rose Tattoo

Featuring just capital letters, rose tattoo font is perfect for eye-catching straps and headlines.

3. VTKS Tattoo

Consisting of both capital and lower case letters, this font is a combination of new and old tattoo typography.

4. Cute Tattoo

A lot of typography experiment can be done with this font.

5. Extra Ornamental No. 2

The approach here is quite fancier with its attention to detail, shading and swoops.

25 Best Tattoo Fonts for Designers

6. True Love

Inspired from old school typography, the available glyphs include numbers, letters, dot and dash.

7. Blessed Day

Coming from designer Billy Argel, this popular style font is free and can be downloaded easily for personal use.

8. Original Gangsta

This font is a bit meaty in style and is available freely for non-commercial and personal use.

9. Scriptina

Coming from the house of Apostrophic Labs, this is one of the most popular designs. Typeface includes a set of numbers, lower and uppercase letters and special characters.

10. Champignon

This is the perfect font for those planning to infuse words of wisdom or a song verse into their tattoo.

11. Angilla Tattoo

This design comes with 357 characters and can be downloaded freely for personal use.

12. Los Angeles

This font evokes memories of LA botched drug runs and drive-bys.

13. True Man Tattoo

These dingbat tattoo fonts are available mainly for personal use.

14. Brother Tattoo

Coming from Mans Greback, this style is perfect for sayings and quotes.

15. CM Tattoo Dragon

This style is inspired from the poster of the 2011 film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and has become famous ever since.

16. Tattoo Ink

The letters here feature both angle fill and scratch fill effect.

17. Delinquente

This beautiful script font is suited perfectly for sayings and quotes.

18. Shit Happens

Ideal for text tattoos, this design is the most downloaded on Fontspace.

19. Canterbury

This set includes both lower and upper case letters, 0-9 numbers and special characters.

20. Tribal Tattoos

These fonts are still massively popular and include a set of special caharcters, lower and upper case letters and numbers.

21. Tattoo Lettering

This style gives a cartoon-feel to the design.

22. Drunk Tattoo

This handwritten and casual typeface is coming from Xerographer.

23. VTC Nue Tattoo

Free for using non- commercially and is easily amongst the most sought-after designs.

24. Lupus Blight

It is a delicate take on a heavy and bold design.

25. Ink in the Meat

This is another popular font coming from designer Billy Argel.

Top 5 FTP Clients for Web Designers

The popular FTP clients for web designers are convenient to use when transferring huge files. It is very important for using the trusted and the popular FTP clients as they are life savers when it comes to a quick download, working on the web or running a home FTP server. Listed here are some of the renowned FTP clients for web designers.

1. WinSCP

This is a free FTP and SFTP client for Windows. WinSCP, supporting both SCP and SFTP protocols, is lightweight and fast while still supporting the advanced features such as remote text editing. Plain text file can be opened by WinSCP in any text editor the user chooses. Moreover, every time the user saves a file, the changes get saved and uploaded transparently to a remote server. Three portable versions of this client are also available in addition to the standard package.

WinSCP

2. FileZilla

FileZilla

This is an open-source and free FTP client for Linux, Mac and Windows. Of all the FTP clients, this one is amongst the most extensively used and is recommended highly for amateurs. Not only is FileZilla easy to use, but can be installed within the blink of an eye. FileZilla is available in many Linux repositories including Ubuntu, Debian, Parabola and Trisquel. 5 stars were awarded to this client by cNet.com back in 2012 but a certain section criticised it for storing the passwords and usernames as plain text files.

3. Transmit

Transmit

This fast and sleek FTP client is designed mainly for Mac OS X. At the very beginning, this client used to be known as “Transit” but was changed because there was already a product by that name. Users are allowed to transfer huge files using SFTP, WebDAV, FTP and Amazon S3 servers. The interface of this client is quite professional, inviting web designers to use it for free. Powered by the Twin Turbo engine, it allows designers to upload files at 25x faster rate.

4. SmartFTP

SmartFTP

This FTP client is used mainly by intermediate web developers and designers. For beginners, the features of this client might seem to be quite overwhelming, but the interface can be learned and adapted over time. This FTP client is recommended mainly for website maintenance and publishing. It is extremely functional for uploading and downloading images, compressed files and documents.

5. Cyberduck

Cyberduck

This is an open-source and free FTP client which apart from WebDAV and Amazon S3 supports almost every transfer protocols. This client also supports Growl, remote editing and Quick Look with the chosen text editor of the user. This is the perfect client for those Mac users who are quite disappointed with FileZilla and are also not looking forward in shelling out cash for Transmit.

Most of the above ones do a pretty good job, however FileZilla is still recommended especially for the new developers.