Why WordPress is the Best Website Platform to Use

So you have decided to create a blog, publish a portfolio, run an e-commerce site, or something in between, but you’re not sure how to begin? Sometimes it can feel like there are endless development applications that seem complicated, limited, or can get expensive. My advice for those with limited experience is not to bother with other web platforms and to make  a beeline straight for WordPress. Here’s why… Continue reading

Logo Design Tips

Website logo – what do logos do for your business?

Selecting a great brand logo allows your business to stand out from the competition. I imagine a great logo to portray the uniqueness of the organization, attractive but also meaningful. And by meaningful, I mean that it promotes a message, an emotion, an overall mission of the company. More than a drawing, symbol, or mixpot of colors, a logo should embody the quality and values of your company.

While logos cannot speak in communicate of words, it can definitely communicate in terms of presence and character. Let’s move on to the necessary steps for putting together an expressive website logo. Continue reading

The Best Color for Call-to-Action Buttons

How do you make users click a specific button more often? This is a popular question that has many debates in the world of web design, especially for websites searching for higher conversion rates. For this article today, we talk about which is the best color for call-to-action buttons like buy now, add to cart, confirm, accept, sign up and other popular wordings for buttons.

Green vs Red - button color

How does our brain understand colors and how does it affect us?

Basically, colors are visual information interpreted by our brain. And these colors can be associated to feelings, memories, experiences and smells. There have been numerous studies on different fields of science that try to explain and the way colors effect human behavior.

Some studies have shown that the human eye is more sensible to the yellow and green tones, while our eyes initially get the colors red, blue and green and the comprehension of the other colors is a function of our brain that mix the primary colors to create all the other colors we see.

Some other studies have linked the colors with different activity areas of our brain to explain how the colors affect us.

The effect of colors on the brain

By studying how colors affect human behavior, we can make better decisions when developing our websites. It would be smart to notice the negative aspects of each color and decrease or completely avoid while maximizing the positive effects of color.

Some basic tips about color use in web design:

  • Keep a clean interface and use only the needed elements.
  • Avoid unnecessary elements or redundancy on your interface.
  • Give your button a privileged look.
  • Don’t create traps to capture clicks of your users, be objective instead.
  • Don’t use too much different colors in your interface, the trend is simplicity.
  • Use combinations of shadow, light and contrast on your buttons, but without exaggerate.

 

3D Effect

The 3D effect (bevel) is a great way to decorate your buttons or make them more obvious. It works to guide the users regarding the current state of your button (normal, hovered or pressed).

normal-vs-hovered-buttons

Here we have an example of a button in its normal state and then on its hovered state.

The idea behind the 3D effect is to mimic a real life button, just like our keyboards for instance, where when you press a button it goes down.

While in a hovered-state the user would automatically notice that this button is active and can be pressed. If you’re developing an application you can include a third option, the pressed state that works to indicate the user that the button was pressed and no further action is needed, unless it requires a follow-up of rapid actions (it might happen in a game for example).

 

Color In Controls

Use different color combinations to make your action buttons stand out from other page elements.

Sometimes applying inverse color values will do the trick. Pay close attention to the image bellow.

control color dominance

On the left image we can see that the red circle suppress the green one, because red is clearly strong than green on this situation, since red is warmer.

However, on the right side we can see the opposite effect. The blue color acts like a background to the orange color, because orange is warmer and the blue takes a secondary role on the composition.

The explanation here is that warmer colors seem to be closer to us, even though the sizes of the elements are the same. Use warmer colors to make your buttons pop out at the eyes.

 

Contrast

Contrast can be the definitive resource to make your button look attractive. It has the power to make items pop out of the screen and catch users’ attention, while still falling within your color scheme and layout style.

ui contrast

On the image above we can see two different uses of contrast. On the left side the contract draws the users’ attention to the button. The deeper gray in relation of the background makes the text looks less important than the button, while the button itself is the clearest and brightest of all elements.

On the right side, the text is the first element in the whole set hierarchy. Notice that the button is almost fading out on the background.

The first option is the best to call users attention and direct the actions to the button. While the second option would be suitable only if we wanted to suggest that the text content is very important and that it shouldn’t be skipped by the user (for example: agreement forms).

 

The Best Decision…

The best decision is always to think of the big pictue, viewing your whole interface and layout as an unique combination and product. Your buttons will surely have a direct influence on the user’s experience inside your website or applications, so chose wisely and guide the user towards the whole process, the whole time, but never forget the other page elements.

There are several online tools where you can test your buttons’ color combinations. But always remember to develop your skills and never rely only on these free tools.

Besides colors, there are many other elements that can increase your conversion rate like: typography, responsiveness, speed, organization of content, and more.

Keep in mind that each project is unique and use your intuition just as well as your technical knowledge. Don’t stick to standards like a robot, but also follow your gut feeling.

5 WordPress Plugins for Website Management

Ask any blogger to name a trouble-free web-based software program that assists them in managing their website and you will most likely hear WordPress. Now, there might be several of you who would be new to this term or might be wondering what makes WordPress such a popular choice.

Part of what makes WordPress so popular besides it’s excellent ease-of-use and features right out of the box are it’s unparalleled community support and number of plugins. I’ve put together a list of some popular plugins to help you manage your WordPress blog:

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WordPress vs Joomla – 2013 Comparison

WordPress Or Joomla – Which One To Choose As the CMS for your website?

Both WordPress and Joomla have served some of the greatest websites on the internet. However, there is a certain level of debate over which CMS stands out – WordPress or Joomla? It used to be that WordPress was more of a simple blogging platform whereas Joomla was a more powerful, more extensible functionalities, built to run ANY type of website.

Some people argued that WordPress was too simple and limited to the blogging platform. Others argued that Joomla was too bloated, slow-loading, with a high learning-curve. Both of them had a large selection of quality themes and plugins, and large user communities and mindshare.

As time went by, WordPress started to become more powerful, picking up even more themes and more plugins. People started to enjoy its cleanliness. Leaving the high functionalities to the plugin-developers and people who would add the code later. People were becoming very creative and it got to the point where you could see entire e-commerce stores built on WordPress.

Joomla, on the other hand, went through several phases of re-writing the entire framework from the ground up to make it more efficient. Naturally, there were adoption issues and compatibility issues with many of the older themes and extensions. Many people, like myself, ultimately jumped ship to WordPress during this phase.

You could say both CMS have evolved to become more like the other but overall, I would say WordPress wins the battle in terms of design, ease-of-use, functionality, and efficiency of code. Continue reading

How to Choose a Web Designer

How Do You Pick A Competent Web Designer?

Before we set foot into discussing the search process for a web designer, let’s get to know what web designing actually is. Web design can be defined as the various tasks and methods involved in creating a web page or a complete website. There’s the visual aesthetic aspect which is the graphics design part (the frontend aspect)…the layout, colors, buttons, images, text and typography. And then you have the coding, programming, functionality, and backend administration aspect. Basically, you a multi-skilled and experienced web designer to deliver a complete website experience for the user.

The web design process is a complicated one so make sure you know what you’re info:

  • logo design
  • wireframing and page layout mockups
  • theming, coloring
  • mobile responsive design
  • content, copywriting, typography
  • coding, programming, customization, hacking Continue reading

Best Shopping Cart Plugins for WordPress

WordPress has become the web’s premiere publishing platform for businesses large and small. Freelancers, international news organizations, and everyone else in between use it to enhance their web presence, reach out to new people, and streamline online economics. As such, it features a variety of plugins to facilitate transactions for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. These plugins perform a challenging task, as each must allow seamless connection between a company and its customers. The best WordPress shopping cart plugins are those that reduce complication for both businesses and consumers. Additionally, the best WordPress shopping plugins must also protect user data, accurately update information, and connect with a variety of payment options. The top tier plugins for the job are listed below. Continue reading

5 Website Design Tips

Super helpful tips to help you get the most of your website. I use examples for WordPress but you could apply the same theory to any website design.

 

1. Use a professional theme

A nice theme makes your company look good AND has helpful features and functions to make designing your website that much easier. Please not that professional doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay for it. There are some really good free ones out there.

Benefits of using a professional website theme:

  • Better designed, makes your brand look better
  • Better coded, loads faster, ranks higher on Google, compatible with more WordPress plugins
  • Easy customization features. You can change colors, layouts, fonts, and other aspects without having to code.
  • Great support. Helpful forums or blogs showing you how to make customizations and troubleshoot common problems. Continue reading