DesignM.agWeb Design Resources - Tools for Designers http://designm.ag Articles and Resources for Web Designers Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:10:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 20 of the Best Tools and Resources for Web Developers http://designm.ag/resources/20-of-the-best-tools-and-resources-for-web-developers/ http://designm.ag/resources/20-of-the-best-tools-and-resources-for-web-developers/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:57:16 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=118431

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Looking back 8 years it’s difficult to believe how much the Internet has changed in such a short period of time. Compared to webpages that used to take a good 5 minutes to completely load, today’s 3G reaches lightning speeds. The Internet has spread and developed incredibly fast, managing to attract billions of users over time. You can find anything online these days. You can make your shopping online, pay your bills, order things from overseas and keep in touch with your friends from other continents. If you can think about it, it probably exists on the Internet already. Having an eye catching website is crucial and this has led to great pressure on web developers and designers who constantly have to be on top of their game, reinvent themselves and stay ahead of their competition. If you’re one of them, then this article is for you. We’ve put together a list of the 20 most helpful and interesting web development tools that will help you in your work and possibly get you out of a creative rut. Animatron 1

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Looking back 8 years it’s difficult to believe how much the Internet has changed in such a short period of time. Compared to webpages that used to take a good 5 minutes to completely load, today’s 3G reaches lightning speeds. The Internet has spread and developed incredibly fast, managing to attract billions of users over time.

You can find anything online these days. You can make your shopping online, pay your bills, order things from overseas and keep in touch with your friends from other continents. If you can think about it, it probably exists on the Internet already. Having an eye catching website is crucial and this has led to great pressure on web developers and designers who constantly have to be on top of their game, reinvent themselves and stay ahead of their competition. If you’re one of them, then this article is for you. We’ve put together a list of the 20 most helpful and interesting web development tools that will help you in your work and possibly get you out of a creative rut.

Animatron

1

Having an attractive and memorable design for your website is essential if you want to keep your customers coming back. Animatron is the perfect application to use if you’re looking to add stunning animations to your website. With this tool, you can design HTML5 animations that will run seamlessly on any device and any operating system. Traditional software alternatives for creating animations are expensive and can be complex to use, but Animatron is the complete opposite: it’s not only fit to be used by web designers and developers regardless of their experience, it’s also affordable, with plans ranging from free to $20/month.

Animatron is the perfect tool to use if you’re working with a team, as well; its seamless collaborative editing allows you to work with multiple users simply by sending a link to your project’s URL. You and your team members can work on the same project at the same time, and you’ll be able to see how modifications are affecting your work in real time. All this is possible because Animatron is a browser-based tool, which means that all your work is saved in the cloud and is instantly accessible from any device with an Internet connection after you log in to the site. When you’re done with the designs, all you have to do is export them to HTML5 (or video, GIF, or SVG) and your animations are ready to go.

WPJobBoard

2

The WPJobBoard plugin was specially designed for WordPress and it allows anyone who does not know HTML, CSS, PHP or any other programming language to create their own job board website. This ingenious plugin can be effortlessly implemented into your existing WordPress site within minutes. WPJobBoard helps you by automatically sending email job alerts and RSS feeds to all your users. This way they are kept up to date and periodically reminded of potential jobs. Another cool feature of WPJobBoard is the user friendly drag & drop editor which gives you the possibility to add, delete or rearrange your fields just like you want them. Also, listing new jobs is almost child’s play with the intuitive editor which guides you through everything. By filling out the forms on the screen your new job post will be online in a second. And if you need help with anything, you’re guaranteed an answer from their support team in less than 24 hours.

Original Mockups

3

Original Mockups is the website to visit for all your mockup creating needs. Whenever you are starting a new project and need to touch base with your client on the look and feel of their website, this is the place where you should go. Forget about investing time and money into printing and photography as you have before. Original Mockups offers you the possibility to create any mockup you might need, from fliers or labels, to mobile apps and websites. By using the services offered by Original Mockups you will be able to create an elegant and visually attractive mockup in no time. The Original Mockups editor relies on Adobe Photoshop to help you drag and drop your elements within your design and arrange them as you see fit. Original Mockups will take care of keeping your files organized and it will allow you to transform your previous flat dimensional designs into photo-realistic presentations.

Hiveage

4

As a freelancer or small business owner you have to handle everything from delegating tasks, keeping in touch with your clients to generating invoices and sending bills. Hiveage is here to help you manage your bills from one or more businesses. With Hiveage you can accept payments using PayPal Pro, Stripe, 2Checkout and a host of other payment gateways. This way you’re sure that anyone, anywhere can pay you for your goods and services. Creating expense reports and sending them off is easier than ever with Hiveage. It records all your outgoing payments, allows you to delegate billing responsibilities quickly and easily, and helps you edit your tax, discount and shipping options to comply with local regulations. What is more, Hiveage Free comes integrated with Paypal Standard payment gateway so it doesn’t take any commissions on the payments you receive from your customers. Hiveage is modular, which means you choose what you buy by selecting those tools you really need for your business.

Themify.me

11

If you’re looking for a way to create an elegant and attractive layout for a WordPress site, try Themify.me. Themify Builder is the perfect tool for creating a responsive layout without having to write one line of code. The Builder tool offers you a drag and drop feature that allows you to add objects (text, videos, galleries, shortcodes, sliders, photos, tabs, posts, maps, etc.) to the page and arrange them as you see fit. Also, you will benefit from a live preview in which you will be able to see how all the alterations you make affect the layout as a whole in real time. In addition to all of this, every aspect of your layout that you need to manage can be handled from this tools options panel, therefore, even the less tech savvy clients will find this tool easy to use. In addition to all of this, Themify.me will also take care of making your layout responsive. When you’re done designing your layout, the Builder will make sure that it is fully compatible with all devices from laptops to mobiles or tablets.

ShrinkTheWeb

12

If you are working as a web or mobile application developer you probably have to juggle with millions of screen shots every day. Luckily for you, ShrinkTheWeb is here to make your life easier and leave you more free time for the really important stuff. ShrinkTheWeb automatically captures, shrinks, crops, saves, uploads and displays screenshots with a single line of code. Or you can also do all of these by using an existing plugin. ShrinkTheWeb is the most reliable website screenshot platform available out there at the moment due to its unique features. It offers full-length previews, custom size previews, URL to PDF conversions, inside page previews and private label service. You have everything at your fingertips directly from the ShrinkTheWeb platform which guarantees its users unmatched reliability. Amongst its previous clients you’ll find Symantec, Technorati and Microsoft. ShrinkTheWeb’s unlimited scalability will make sure your links are more visually appealing for your readers with minimum of effort.

MotoPress

7

 

MotoPress Content Editor is a plugin that transforms the default WordPress editor into an intuitive composer that helps you customize your page with just a few mouse clicks. The plugin works with any WordPress theme and is very easy to install, so you’ll be ready to go in a matter of minutes. The drag and drop system makes it really easy for you to customize your design without having to write any code. MotoPress Content Editor also has built-in content elements such as sliders, buttons or videos that will help make your website look good. In addition to this with MotoPress Content Editor you can create responsive and mobile ready layouts and even customize the theme with your own shortcodes for a more personal and original design. Besides all these great features, the team at MotoPress offers professional customer support and regular updates. To find out how MotoPress Content Editor works and explore all of its other great features, check out their website right now.

Framebench

8

If you want your projects to run smoothly and be a success, you know the key to this is communication. Framebench is a cloud-based online collaboration and feedback platform that will help you and your team as well as you and your clients get connected, share assets and receive feedback. Everything will be automatically documented for further access. “TableTop Sync” is a great feature Framebench offers that helps everyone online see every activity as it happens. In this way, any change you make will be seen in real time by others. Having everyone in sync will make sharing and reviewing videos a lot easier and less time consuming. Plus, Framebench has intuitive magazine page like flipping, which means anyone can quickly browse through ideas and immediately give you feedback. Another great feature Framebench provides is the Mail Markup in Gmail that allows you to annotate, markup, comment and send without the need to download any attachment.

Froont

9

Creating HTML and CSS without coding is now possible with Froont which helps you design responsive websites visually and speeds up website prototyping. This new platform is ready to beat the competition through its intuitive interface and user-friendly features. Cloning projects, copying different responsive layouts and filling them with your own content is just a few clicks away. Whether you decide to start your project from scratch or choose a design from other users, Froont enables you to browse through hundreds of fonts from Typekit System fonts or Google, rearrange or even delete the elements you may find useless, choose your own cover and edit the colour scheme of the header and sign up section. The useful library of Froont remembers what your favourite items are, so your job will be even easier on your following projects. At the end, Froont allows you to share your designs with your clients or collaborators just by sending them a link.

Cashboard

10

If you’re a freelancer or you have a small company and you’re looking to get organized, Cashboard is what you need. Cashboard is a cloud-based tool that helps you manage projects and bill your customers easily. What’s great is that you can track the entire process by listing tasks, assign them to the members of your team, setting deadlines and getting paid. Also, you can even make an estimate before you even get started by adding details such as the type of tax, bill by the hour or by prices and send it to your client. Cashboard is fully integrated with payment processors such as Stripe or PayPal. In this way, it enables your customers to pay invoices online. Furthermore, you have full control over every detail of your project and you can also let your employees have access to the project and generate estimates, invoices and reports, as all of these are very easy to do. To top it all off Cashboard offers a 14-day free trial with monthly or yearly plans so you can see for yourself how it works.

Metricfire

5

Track and graph performance metrics and statistics from your applications with this simple and infinitely useful tool. Metricfire provides you with all the information you might need about the performance of your applications. What’s more, the information Metricfire gathers is completely independent of your code, therefore, in case of a critical crash when everything stops working, you’ll be able to access metric and statistics within Metricfire nonetheless.

Hostoople

6

When it comes to web hosting, Hostoople has been voted the best Windows reseller hosting service of 2014. With its team of highly trained professionals who are at your disposal for technical support 24/7, Hostoople is the smartest decision you can make when choosing hosting for yourself or for your clients, due to the fact that Hostoople offers you the option to resell their services to your clients. Within this service, you will find anything you need regardless of the kind of website your are putting up. If you’re making an e-commerce website, Hostoople has tools like CubeCart, osCommerce or Zen Cart. If you’re currently designing a blog, you can make use of tools like WordPress or OpenBlog. Not to mention they will also offer your top notch content management tools like Joomla! or Moodle. And, all of this comes in addition to their core features that encompass unlimited MYSQL databases, free premium website builders and more.

WPHelpDesk

13

WPHelpDesk promises efficiency in handling costumer tickets and lightning speed reply processing. This WordPress plugin allows you to effortlessly start your online help desk. Within seconds you’ll have user friendly tools at your fingertips that will enable you to sort your tickets and quickly reply to your customers. Since WPHelpDesk was especially created for WordPress, the platform’s users can incorporate it in their site themselves, without resorting to professional help. The clients contact the provider and submit their problems by only filling in some standard fields. This way the provider is able to immediately pinpoint what the issue is and address it accordingly. WPHelpDesk will send you notices if someone else from your company wrote a draft on a specific ticket you’re working on. You can also check who else from your team is viewing the ticket. Before storing emails, tickets and messages in the database WPHelpDesk applies special hooks and filters to keep your information safe.

KonstantInfo

14

Konstant Infosolutions offers a full range of eCommerce development services that help to boost your business and take your company to a next level. Being the image of your company, your eCommerce website must be one of a kind, memorable and work flawlessly. And when it comes to eCommerce development, Magento is one of the most popular choices because it has a large number of modules, components and SEO friendly features that developers should always use for greater functionality and versatility. The team at Konstant Infosolutions has a lot experience in the field of eCommerce and knows that the purpose of magento development is to aid your business’ growth. Konstant’s certified Magento developers create functional, SEO and user friendly eCommerce websites that also have beautiful designs and manage to offer competitive pricing at the same time; which is one of the reasons they manage to attract and keep so many happy clients. So why not check them out?

Stamplia

15

If you’ve ever had any issues with creating or managing email templates for yourself or for your clients, Stamplia is the tool that will make your life a lot easier. This tool is created to help you adjust your email templates in order to be assured that the result is both elegant and functional. By using Stamplia, developers will be able to create a diverse range of templates for their clients straight from within the tool’s editor and forget about all the hours they used to spend in order to give their clients options. In addition to this, by using Stamplia you are assured that your email templates will be compatible with a varied range of email providers like MailChimp, CampaignMonitor and SentGrid and that you’ll automatically be promoted to these provider’s clients. What’s more, Stamplia is now in Beta, which means that developers can acces it with 5 free templates right now.

Macaw

16

Macaw is the tool that perfectly combines image editing and code generation. By using this elegant and intuitive tool, you will be able to manage your images in an environment similar to Adobe Photoshop and let Macaw generate all the HTML and CSS code you need. This tool could truly be the beginning of the end of coding.

RIU

17

Responsive Image Uploader (RIU) is a free WordPress plugin that solves one of the biggest challenges that developers and content administrators face these days: dealing with responsive images.

Making images scale and crop correctly for responsive web design can be a tedious task, dreaded by most front-end developers – or anyone who wants to have a fully responsive website. If layout and text are more flexible, images tend to be very “stubborn” when it comes to responsiveness. There are issues with size, aspect ratio, focus etc. Fixing everything takes a lot of time and effort, and the result won’t be perfect.

RIU is a quick and easy fix to this problem. With RIU, you upload a photo, choose an area and point of focus you want, and the plugin will always maintain that specific AOF and POF fluidly as the screen size changes. Download RIU from WordPress, install it, and you’re ready to go. It blends with your WordPress gallery and it’s very easy to use. Check out this short video tutorial to get a better idea of what RIU can do for you: http://bit.ly/1p8E838.

Launchlist

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Launchlist is the perfect tool to help you make sure that all your code for a new website is clean and bug free before deploying it online. This tool is dedicated to pre-launch website testing and it knows how to make it as effective as possible. Among the features it offers you are: creating a launch list (where you’ll keep all the tests you want to run on your website), managing the project with Launchpad (where you’ll find all the recent active checklists), customizing the template of each of your projects, the possibility to collaborate with your team mates and more.

Flowdock

19

 

Flowdock is the tool any team of developers needs in order to make their collaboration as easy and fruitful as possible. This tool is available for desktop, mobile and web in order to make it as accessible as possible. While using Flowdock you can be assured that you will be able to easily manage the important points in your project, have your activities be completely transparent and communicate with teammates regardless of time-zone or tools employed differences.

Context.io

20

Context.IO is an app that takes care of syncing email data across IMAP so you don’t have to build, scale and maintain the infrastructure yourself.It takes the pain out of syncing email data with your app so you can focus on what makes your product great. Context.IO makes email data accessible through a simple REST API, all you have to do is write code against this API and you’re ready to go.

 


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30 Stunning New Bootstrap Themes & Templates http://designm.ag/resources/bootstrap-themes-templates/ http://designm.ag/resources/bootstrap-themes-templates/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:12:59 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=118302

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There’s no denying that Bootstrap has become the most popular framework for front-end web development... and for good reason. The framework is feature-rich and enables web designers to easily create fully responsive layouts for web pages. As Bootstrap becomes more and more popular, the quantity and quality of themes & templates is increasing. This is great news for you! By using a ready-made Bootstrap theme, you can jump start the development process and save yourself hours of coding time. This gallery contains 30 stunning new themes & templates built off the Bootstrap framework. They span a wide range of categories to cover all of your needs. Go ahead and take a closer look.  

Dragonfly - Responsive Business Theme

dragonfly - responsive business theme

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There’s no denying that Bootstrap has become the most popular framework for front-end web development… and for good reason. The framework is feature-rich and enables web designers to easily create fully responsive layouts for web pages, facilitated by the 12 point fluid grid system.

As Bootstrap becomes more and more popular, the quantity and quality of themes & templates is increasing. This is great news for you!

By using a ready-made Bootstrap theme, you can jump start the development process and save yourself hours of coding time. Using a premium theme or template has several advantages including a high standard of quality, no risk of malicious code due to review processes, and technical support from theme authors.

This gallery contains 30 stunning new themes & templates built off the Bootstrap framework. They span a wide range of categories to cover all of your needs. Go ahead and take a closer look.

 

Dragonfly – Responsive Business Theme

dragonfly - responsive business theme

 

Boom Admin – Dashboard Web App Template

Boom Admin - Dashboard Web App Template

 

Easy – One Page Template

Easy - One Page Template

 

Srikandi – Responsive Admin Template

Srikandi - Responsive Admin Template

 

Writer – Modern Writing Platform

Writer - Modern writing platform

 

Flat Dream – Responsive Admin Template

Flat Dream - Responsive Admin Template

 

Flatter – Mobile First Flat Admin Theme

Flatter - Mobile First Flat Admin Theme

 

Nogoli – Awesome Responsive Theme

Nogoli - Awesome Responsive Theme

 

Proctor – Admin & Frontend Template

Proctor - Admin & Frontend Template

 

VANTE5 – Multipurpose Bootstrap Template

VANTE5 - Multipurpose Bootstrap Template

 

Danish – Personal Blog Template

Danish - Personal Blog Template

 

Semi-Pro Bootstrap Portfolio Theme

Semi-Pro Bootstrap Portfolio Theme

 

Perfect Admin – Bootstrap Admin Template

Perfect Admin - Bootstrap Admin Template

 

MIA One – Page Agency HTML Template

MIA One - Page Agency HTML Template

 

Nakula – Responsive Portfolio Theme

Nakula - Responsive Portfolio Theme

 

Papel – Single Page Portfolio Theme

Papel - Single page portfolio theme

 

Amber – Responsive Multipurpose Template

Amber - Responsive Multipurpose Template

 

PixyWEB – Responsive One Page Template

PixyWEB - Responsive One Page Template

 

Ascend – Premium Startup Template

Ascend - Premium Startup Template

 

MYXVIP – Multipurpose Bootstrap Theme

MYXVIP - Multipurpose Bootstrap Theme

 

Start – Responsive One Page Template

Start - Responsive One Page Template

 

Agenzio – One Page Responsive Theme

Agenzio - One Page Responsive Theme

 

Arillo – Responsive Real Estate Theme

Arillo - Responsive Real Estate Theme

 

Firely – Parallax Coming Soon Template

Firely - Parallax Coming Soon Template

 

microStore – OnePage ecommerce Theme

microStore - OnePage ecommerce Theme

 

sideWaze 240px & Up Wrapper

sideWaze 240px & Up Wrapper

 

SimpleApp – App Landing Page

SimpleApp - App Landing Page

 

Xolo – Minimal Coming Soon Template

Xolo - Minimal Coming Soon Template

 

Wilford – Responsive Agency Template

Wilford - Responsive Agency Template

 

Bluewaves – Responsive Admin Template

Bluewaves - Responsive Admin Template


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Want to be a great designer? Start with these resources and tools http://designm.ag/resources/want-to-be-a-great-designer-start-with-these-resources-and-tools/ http://designm.ag/resources/want-to-be-a-great-designer-start-with-these-resources-and-tools/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 06:17:56 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=118241

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You’ve probably noticed that no two projects are alike - nor are there two web designers with the same skills, preferences, and opinions. However, despite their uniqueness, chances are most designers have one thing in common: They all think they know the best resources for online materials for their websites.! Today I’ll be sharing with you the tools that every good web designer needs to be successful, from web builder templates to images, stock photos, fonts and icons, all the way to project management tools, Photoshop to HTML conversion services, and even e-commerce solutions. So sit back, relax, and learn what awesome tools are available to you, most at little to no charge. Website builders ALLYOU allyou

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You’ve probably noticed that no two projects are alike – nor are there two web designers with the same skills, preferences, and opinions. However, despite their uniqueness, chances are most designers have one thing in common: They all think they know the best resources for online materials for their websites. Today, I’ll be sharing with you the tools that every good web designer needs to be successful, from web builder templates to images, stock photos, fonts and icons, all the way to project management tools, Photoshop to HTML conversion services, and even e-commerce solutions. So sit back, relax, and learn what awesome tools are available to you, most at little to no charge.

Website builders

ALLYOU

allyou

The perfect website builder can be hard to come by. When you are designing your portfolio, you’re looking for a way to let your creativity shine through, without all the complications of HTML coding. With this in mind, let me urge you to try ALLYOU. On their site, you’ll find web-building templates that are both professional and stylish, not to mention easy to use. Their company was founded in 2011 and they’ve been producing quality templates ever since. Their site is also very easy to navigate; it won’t give you any trouble. Unless you really want to take a ride on the HTML roller coaster, you’ll find everything you’re looking for here. Their drag and drop editor makes modifications easy and seamless. And unless you need to upgrade to their “Carbon” or “Titanium” services, their site is 100% free to use – how about that?

Wix

wix

If you’re looking for an always fresh face on the website builder scene, check out the rapidly growing Wix. Their site is incredibly easy to use and their templates are very attractive. Their cloud-based tools will allow you to maximize your creativity without having the headache of dealing with complicated HTML coding. One of the best things about them is that they work with a large number of 3rd party developers and can offer you plug-in’s like social media, e-commerce, contact forms, even email marketing.

Moonfruit

moonfruit

Some sites are more difficult to learn then others, but well worth the extra effort. Such a service is Moonfruit. It takes a little bit to get the hang of it, but once you’ve invested some time learning how to use their service, you’ll be glad you did. With their templates you’re able to create some fantastic web pages for your clients. Additionally, they offer some great unique features not found on many other sites, like SEO calibrating and other tools for your website needs.

WordPress themes

X Theme

x theme

When you are looking for the best WordPress themes online, there’s really only one destination: X Theme. Their service is first class – they offer superior versatility – better than anyone else around. No matter what type of website you’re looking for – a blog, professional website, online shop or personal portfolio, you can build it with X! Although there are many options for WordPress themes out there, this is one you don’t want to miss. X Theme is one of a kind – with features such as “stacks” which basically lets you create an unlimited number of designs. Once you select their site, you’ll start by choosing the best template for you and going from there. They also have a fantastic live editor that allows you to see changes to your template in real time as you work – perfecto.

Template Monster

 TM (3)

There’s no larger selection of website templates around then what you can find on Template Monster – they have over 46,000 templates. There’s no way you won’t be able to find what you are looking for on their site. As earlier as May 2002, they have teamed up Magento, Drupal, WordPress, PrestaShop, Joomla, WooCommerce, and many more.  Additionally, their templates are available in a wide variety of formats – HTML, CSS with built in flash, or Photoshop templates. They offer you two options for using their templates: First, you can setup an account with a limited use license, or second, you can buy the exclusive rights to your template. Until today, more than 1 million clients bought from them.

CrocoBlock

crocoblock

Before we go on, there’s one site we would be remiss if we left out: Crocoblock. They offer a fantastic selection of WordPress themes, over eighty, all response and at a price of $0.65 each. Additionally, their service is incredibly easy to use. No matter what you are looking for build – portfolio, blog, you name it – they have the right template and features for you. What’s also great about Crocoblock is that they are constantly updating their site with new and useful tools like built-in SEO functions, widgets, and short codes with integrated plug-ins.

Hosting

HeartInternet

hearthinternet

Now that you’ve found the right solution for building your website, its time to find the right service where to host your website. For a first rate hosting company with industry experience, look no further than Hearthinternet. They’ll provide top of the line hosting for your website, email, and applications. No matter how big or small your company is they have the right hosting solutions for you. Also, their service is among the best out there – you’ll get experienced customer service 24/7 with Hearthinternet. Additionally, none of their labor is outsourced – their entire team is based in the UK.

Pixeno

pixeno

When it comes to hosting companies, there’s one more name you should know: Pixeno. They offer the highest quality of hosting services for the most affordable prices. You can check them out with their no money down, thirty-day trial to see if they will work for you. They also have a re-seller program that can accommodate clients big and small. Their web hosting service comes with a hosting manager and CPanel to control your hosting functions. Their company is also rapidly growing. Although they are currently based in the UK, they are expanding into the US in the near future. Enter the promo code “DESIGN15” into their site and receive 15% off their service.

Design deals

Mighty Deals

mightydeals

When you’re looking for a deal, you want a mighty deal, right? That’s where they come in. Their deals are second to none. Their service only requires you to sign up for their newsletter to use – then they will email you their excellent offers. Their offers range from 50% to even 90% off lots of great goodies for web developers. You can find offers on things like web development lessons, websites templates, fonts, and more. Hurry though; their offers are only available for a limited time.

Medialoot

medialoot

Although free is the best, sometimes you have to put down a little money for something good. One of those things worth your hard earned cash is the service you can get at Medialoot. For only $14 a month – or $99 a year – you can take advantage of everything they have to offer. They have a ton of excellent resources – you won’t be disappointed. Their selection is huge. They have a large selection of all types of goodies, from web, UI, vector and illustration kits, mobile friendly design kits, tons of icons, fonts and Photoshop add-ons. Lastly, if you enter MEDIATLOOT7 at checkout they will give you 7 days of unlimited free access.

Font resources

UrbanFonts

urbanfonts

When you are building a website, there are many important elements to consider. Images, layout, enhanced features. It’s quite a long list. One element you never want to forget, however, is a good font. There are few things quite as important as this, which is why you need great resources like UrbanFonts. They have over 8,000 free fonts in their gallery, and if that’s not enough for you, they also have a huge selection of premium fonts available for an additional fee. Check them out today!

WhatFontIs

whatfontis

Have you ever found the perfect font for your website but had no idea where to download it? Can anything be more frustrating than that? When you are stuck in this bind, look to WhatFontIs to save you. Their service is super easy to use and very effective. Simply enter the fonts URL location or upload a simple screen shot onto their site and they will find your font or something close to it faster that you can say hello.

Vector resources

Shutterstock

shutterstock

Just as important as a good font is a good image. And sometimes a good collection of images can be really hard to come by. Shutterstock is one of the best sites around, and I personally have been using them for quite some time. Their site is constantly being updated with new high quality vectors, so you should definitely bookmark it.

Vector Open Stock

vectoropenstock

The only other name you need to know in images is Vector Open Stock. Their site has over 7,000 vector images waiting for you. Most of their items are available license free (which means you are free to download them and use them however you see fit), however, some are restricted under the Creative Commons License. An interesting element of Vector Open Stock is their social networking element. Within their site, you’re able to like users whose work you enjoy and even follow them, so you can keep up with them on their latest work.

Stock images

Unsplash

unsplash

When you are looking for good free stock images, a good source to look into is Unsplash. You’ll save yourself a lot of time going right to one of the best resources on the web. They have a robust selection of content for you to utilize and enjoy. Fortunately, they are always adding to their site so you will never run out of images to work with. And best of all, their images are license free, which means you are free to use them wherever you need.

PicJumbo

picjumbo

One final source of images you should be sure to visit is PicJumbo. They have some of the most unique and creative photos online. You will be sure to find what you are looking for on their site, their work is really top notch and doesn’t look generic at all. The majority of their images are free, but if you can’t get enough, they also have a premium option which gives you access to even more content.

Project management

Azendoo

 azendoo

Ever feel overwhelmed by your web projects? Feel like you just can’t keep track of all the elements you need to balance to deliver a successful website? Look to Azendoo to solve your organizational problems. Their service is awesome. They have two versions for you to work with. You can access their paid version, which comes with extended storage and some advanced features. Or you can use their free version, which has fewer features, but should be well equipped to handle most projects. Azendoo is very versatile and will sync seamlessly with other 3rd party programs like Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote, further making their service more enjoyable and well thought out.

Casual

casual

We know web designers don’t make the best project managers. It’s nothing to worry about, especially when there are services like Casual to save the day.  Casual will meet and exceed all your expectations for project management – it’s really just that good. Once you dig into their site and get familiar with their service, you’ll realize that Casual is really geared towards the creative mind. One of their best features, their “Mindmap” feature, will be your favorite. It really allows you to map out your project and have an excellent visual of it in its entirety.

Icons

Picons.me

picons

If you are looking for the best selection of icons on the web, look no further than Picons. Their selection is unmatched. For your large or small projects, they will be a great source of premium vector icons for you. Their icons are perfect for any application – website, mobile app, print materials -you name it. A large benefit of their images is that they were all made in Adobe Illustrator, which means they are vectorized. Best of all, they offer the majority of their icons for no charge. And to keep up with their latest deals and designs, you can follow them on Twitter.

Roundicons

roundicons

One more name you have to know in icons is Roundicons. If you need it, they have it. Their selection is really unparalleled to anything else online. Their icons range in style and format – they’re incredible flexible. Additionally, they can be used any way you like because they are all under an extended license. Another great feature is that if they add icons to a set you have already purchased, they email you the new icons, at no additional charge.

PSD to HTML services

Direct Basing

 directbasing

Once you’ve built a fantastic website in Photoshop, why would you want to take the time to convert it to HTML? Let me tell you, you wouldn’t! That’s where services like Direct Basing come in. They are without a doubt one of the best sources for Photoshop to HTML conversion companies available – their service is unmatched anywhere else. Their team can convert websites made with WordPress, Joomla or Magento e-commerce. Also, while they are converting your site, they will optimize it for search engines and ensure it works well on all the different browsers – internet explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. And they turnaround is simply impressive.

XHTMLized

xhtmlized

When you are looking for a PDS to HTML conversion service (and not only), you want one that’s had some experience in the industry. For a name you can trust to convert your site, look no further than XHTMLized – one of the best sources for conversion around with 10 years of experience both as front end and back end developers- they really know what they are doing. When you sign up with them, your property and data are protected by a non-disclosure agreement. You’ll be on a first name basis with the service team at XHTMLized – they will take good care of you.

E-commerce solutions

Shopify

shopify

There’s really only one name in e-commerce you need to know: Shopify. I’m a big fan of Shopify myself and have used them for many of my projects. Their service is first rate – it won’t let you down. Not only is it of the highest quality, its also easy to use and incredibly affordable. Their templates are beautiful and easy to navigate. All your online payments and shopping needs will be handled professionally and smoothly through their robust system. Best of all, you can even try Shopify out for seven days before you pay a dime, just to make sure their service will work for you.

WooCommerce

woocommerce

If all you need is to plug in an excellent e-commerce add on to your WordPress website, then Woocommerce is the service for you. Their free service will build in an excellent e-commerce solution right into your site, enabling you to open your online shop up quickly and professionally. Regardless of the type of shop you need – clothing, movies or video games – they will have an option for you.


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Introduction to Responsive HTML Newsletters with Zurb Ink Framework http://designm.ag/resources/responsive-html-newsletters-zurb-ink/ http://designm.ag/resources/responsive-html-newsletters-zurb-ink/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 04:56:48 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=85240

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The learning process to create an efficacious newsletter is often tiring and difficult. But as you get more comfortable with newsletter design these ideas become simpler and easier. You'll always need a solid understanding of design principles when creating e-mail notices or newsletters. But you also need to know how to code newsletters in a manner that's best suited for most e-mail clients.

zurb ink newsletter framework template

I'd like to introduce Ink by Zurb which is a responsive newsletter framework. The basic template uses standard HTML tags for creating single-column or multi-column layouts which naturally respond to screen size. It's all fairly easy to understand once you've spent a bit of time playing with the code. I'll provide a quick walkthrough of the design process and how to use the framework.


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The learning process to create an efficacious newsletter is often tiring and difficult. But as you get more comfortable with newsletter design these ideas become simpler and easier. You’ll always need a solid understanding of design principles when creating e-mail notices or newsletters. But you also need to know how to code newsletters in a manner that’s best suited for most e-mail clients.

zurb ink newsletter framework template

I’d like to introduce Ink by Zurb which is a responsive newsletter framework. The basic template uses standard HTML tags for creating single-column or multi-column layouts which naturally respond to screen size. It’s all fairly easy to understand once you’ve spent a bit of time playing with the code. I’ll provide a quick walkthrough of the design process and how to use the framework.

First Steps

I would always recommend designing a simple mockup of the e-mail in Photoshop or another graphics editor. This will help tremendously when coding into HTML/CSS because you know where all the graphics should be located and how to fit the text accurately. If you don’t have a design try winging it or creating something with bare HTML.

You can download Ink right from their website and this includes everything you would need. The examples are pretty basic yet they give you some idea of how the structure works. But more important is how you setup the code.

Ink uses a grid system with 12 columns along with a fixed 580px centered container. This is naturally responsive down to any smaller screen size. Since everything is created using tables it’s important to follow the same column/row structure. Take a look over the grid documentation to understand a bit more.

By following along with this structure you can ensure the whole layout will be responsive even on tiny screens. Work within these boundaries to craft your layout first, then customize the color scheme afterwards.

Images and Buttons

The purpose of a newsletter is usually to lead visitors onto some part of your website. This could be a specific blog post or even a landing page. Maybe you’re selling some new products and hope to garner a few sales.

Either way you’ll probably want to include a few buttons and/or images within the e-mail. Thankfully Ink has a few default buttons you can use or customize. The colors and hover effects are very simple to ensure full compatibility. But don’t be afraid to change up these color schemes to match whatever you need.

css button designs ink newsletter template

Additionally some designers may prefer using images in place of button links. Since most CSS3 properties will not render in e-mail clients, a glossy gradient button image would be the next best solution. It’s just as easy to setup images within your newsletter but they will need to be hosted on your website or another trusted server. You should add the width & height attributes directly onto the img tag so it will display in a fixed amount of space.

You’ll also be happy to know that retina images can be used in place of regular images. This means you design the image at twice the view size, then setup width/height attributes to accommodate. A 200×200 square image should be designed at 400×400 to achieve the clearest visibility.

Image widths should also be set to match however many columns you need. They will resize for responsive widths but Ink provides a standard column size chart with exact widths based on how many columns the image fits into.

Inline CSS Styles

Inside the Ink .zip file you can find ink.css which is added into the boilerplate using a link tag. But most e-mail readers need inline CSS because they restrict externally-linked resources such as stylesheets. Ink allows you to write CSS in the external file to keep everything separate and easier to code.

However once you have a polished newsletter design you’ll need to incorporate the Ink CSS as inline styles. This is as simple as copying & pasting all CSS into a <style></style> tag and double-checking that it still looks good. Although this may seem like a simple step it is essential if you expect a uniform design supported by most e-mail clients.

zurb ink newsletter css inline application

Ink provides an online webapp called CSS Inliner which can do the work for you. But it requires that you host the CSS externally and this webapp automatically copies the code for you. But I honestly don’t think it’s necessary when all you really need to do is copy/paste all the code and then remove the linked stylesheet.

Design Testing

At this point you should have a newsletter design that’s clean and looks nice. Everything should be naturally responsive and the styles should be inline along with the HTML. Before sending this out with a service like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor you might want to test the design first.

Both of the previous services offer a testing feature which you can utilize. They allow you to input e-mail addresses and send out a few copies just for practice. The big names you should consider are Outlook 2003/2007/2010, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. It’s not going to be possible to test everything so just try your best.

ink hero newsletter template outlook 2007 litmus

An online service Litmus can provide screenshot previews of your newsletter in many different e-mail clients. You don’t even need to own the software to get a rendered picture. But this does cost money so it’s not a solution for everyone.

Thankfully the Ink framework was developed with the greatest amount of support in mind. If you can test a small handful of the online services along with a couple desktop programs then you should have confidence in the rest. Ink will save you hours of time worrying about rendering issues, and starting with a template is always easier than starting from scratch.


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