Category Archives: internet

10 Essential WooCommerce Plugins for Managing Your Store

What makes WooCommerce such a compelling eCommerce platform is that, just like other WordPress plugins, it can be extended to perform more and more tasks. For example, complex functionality (advanced reporting, rewards programs, etc.) that used to be reserved for high-end SaaS providers is now within everyone’s reach.

Even so, shopkeepers don’t always need something complicated. In fact, they often need to add more basic functionality that makes life easier for both them and their customers. And plugin authors have excelled at extending WooCommerce in this area, as well.

Here are 10 plugins that you can use to build the WooCommerce store you’ve always wanted:

WooCommerce Wallet

WooCommerce Wallet is an interesting solution for shops who want to allow customers to keep a balance on hand.

Customers can deposit funds, earn cash back and even request a refund. The plugin also allows for partial payments which could be handy for big-ticket items. Site admins can directly add funds to a user’s account from the back end, as well.

WooCommerce Wallet

WooCommerce Ultimate Reports

WooCommerce Ultimate Reports serves a very important need. It generates a variety of reports to help you make sense of your sales. You can view reports for product variations, taxes, inventory, and coupon use, along with various profit types.

Overall, there are 55+ reports included. Data can also be exported to XLS, CSV and PDF formats. Finding trends and analyzing data isn’t a strongpoint of WooCommerce out-of-the-box, so adding it in is critical.

WooCommerce Ultimate Reports

XL WooCommerce Sales Triggers

While XL WooCommerce Sales Triggers doesn’t add big-time functionality, it does specialize in adding the little details that help to drive sales. Many of the seven included sales triggers are staples of major eCommerce retailers.

The Countdown Timer, Stock Alert and Potential Savings encourage action. The Most Recent Sales Activity, Guarantees, Best Sellers and Satisfaction Rate increase consumer confidence. They may be little things, but they can add up to something big.

XL WooCommerce Sales Triggers

WooCommerce Ultimate Points and Rewards

WooCommerce Ultimate Points and Rewards enables you to set up a rather sophisticated customer rewards program.

You can reward customers based on their purchases, referrals, posting comments or just for signing up. As an admin, you can assign cash value to points and customers can then redeem them via a coupon. Various settings allow for tweaking the program to meet your specific needs.

WooCommerce Ultimate Points and Rewards

WooCommerce Products List Pro

While WooCommerce looks great by default, creating a custom product layout can provide a huge boost to UX. WooCommerce Products List Pro provides an attractive and highly-customizable product listing table for your shop. You’ll be able to create custom lists and filter products in numerous ways.

Choose which product data you want to display with your listing. A simple Shortcode can be generated so you can display your lists anywhere. Developers will like that the plugin includes several hooks and filters for even further tweaking.

WooCommerce Products List Pro

WooCommerce Product Variations Layouts

Taking custom layouts one step further, WooCommerce Product Variations Layouts makes variable products much more attractive. Variable products require the user to select options – think of a T-Shirt with multiple sizing and color options.

Their default layout consists of boring old HTML select boxes. This plugin lets you display them in a more visual way. Choose from Table, Grid, List or Boxed layout. The result is better usability and maybe even better sales.

WooCommerce Product Variations Layouts

WooCommerce Support Ticket System

If you’re running an online shop, then you need to think about how you want to handle customer support. WooCommerce Support Ticket System is a clever plugin that integrates both orders and customers with support tickets.

Also included is Pay Per Ticket, which allows you to sell blocks of support tickets for premium service. Tickets can include front-end formatting via TinyMCE and customers can even upload attachments.

WooCommerce Support Ticket System

Stock Synchronization for WooCommerce

Stock Synchronization for WooCommerce allows for automatically synching product inventory from an outside source.

This provides a whole lot of convenience for shops that sell in multiple places with the same inventory. Syncing occurs through a remote CSV file (Google Drive, Dropbox and password-protected files are supported). Set synchronization to run hourly, daily or twice daily.

Stock Synchronization for WooCommerce

WooCommerce Simple Bulk Discounts

Offering bulk purchase discounts is a great way to create loyalty. With WooCommerce Simple Bulk Discounts, shopkeepers can create custom percentage or fixed bulk discounts.

Discount rules can be set on a per-product basis. You can even assign bulk discounts based on a user’s role. For example, you might set things up so that only registered customers have access to a deal.

WooCommerce Simple Bulk Discounts

ARG Multistep Checkout for WooCommerce

ARG Multistep Checkout for WooCommerce enables you to customize and enhance the checkout process.

The multistep process can do wonders for UX and can be customized to achieve the look you want. The tabbed layout is responsive and is ready for tweaking. Colors, button and label text can be easily changed. Specific steps can be hidden if desired.

ARG Multistep Checkout for WooCommerce

Power Up Your WooCommerce Shop

If you’re using WooCommerce to power your online store, you have an almost unlimited selection of additional functionality to choose from. The plugins above are only a small sampling of what is available.

No matter what type of shop you run or the type of features you want to implement, chances are that there is a WooCommerce extension out there to make it happen.

Original Article:

Top 15 JavaScript Plugins for Extending Your Web Forms

You can add tons of cool features onto your site with JavaScript. But there are so many libraries and plugins to choose from, it can be a drag finding the best options.

If you’re designing custom forms like user signups/logins, contact pages, or settings pages, these plugins can add some extra dynamic features to jazz up your static input fields.

JCF Forms

jcf javascript forms

One of my favorite JS form plugins is JCF Forms created by the team at PSD2HTML. The cryptic JCF acronym stands for JavaScript Custom Forms and it lives up to its name.

You’re able to customize default select menus, range sliders, input fields, upload forms, pretty much everything you’d need in a form.

This is totally free and built on jQuery so it should be no trouble to setup. You can also find more docs and info on the official GitHub repo if you want to learn more.

iCheck

icheck plugin boxes

Checkboxes and radio buttons are a staple of web forms. But they’re also the toughest to customize, and the default styles look very bland.

Thankfully the iCheck plugin is super easy to setup and customize without much JS knowledge. This works on jQuery and comes with a handful of pre-designed themes you can edit with ease.

But aside from looks, this plugin also supports keyboard inputs, 32 custom options and almost a dozen callback methods to handle user behaviors.

Parsley.js

parsleyjs library

If you prefer vanilla JS then you might like Parsley, a free JS-based form validation library. This is totally free to download and it’s one of the most complete plugins made for data validation.

Parsley is unique in that it doesn’t require complex regular expressions to get it working. It comes with built-in validators for all types of inputs like phone numbers, credit cards, addresses, and emails.

Check out the examples page to see if Parsley could be right for you.

FloatLabel.js

floatlabeljs plugin

I don’t mind placeholder text but I vastly prefer the FloatLabel.js technique over anything else. This creates a placeholder for default fields but moves the text just above the field once it’s focused & filled in.

This way you can add information to the field with ease and still keep the form label in clear view.

Note that this is a jQuery plugin so it does require a copy of that library. But setup is pretty simple and you can follow the instructions from GitHub to get this running smoothly.

Tooltipster

tooltipster plugin

Complex forms do well with tooltips guiding the user along the way. That’s the beauty of Tooltipster, a free jQuery plugin that lets you add tooltips anywhere on the screen.

You can define these tooltips based on user behaviors like hover, click, focus, or while entering text into a field. You can also customize their styles and animations while connecting these tooltips into Ajax requests or callback methods.

Flexselect

flexselect plugin

If you don’t like the default HTML select menu style then take a look at Flexselect. This free jQuery plugin restyles all select menus into dropdown panels tied to input fields.

These can blend much nicer into a typical layout, and they do feel easier to use.

Note the setup is a little tricky because this plugin has a couple of dependencies, but it’s also flexible enough to customize and restyle to your liking.

Fort.js

fort.js plugin

Some web sites display progress bars at the top of the screen to show completion of a form. This is more useful on lengthy forms where the user might want to know how soon they’ll be done.

With Fort.js you can quickly add this effect to your site with just a few lines of code. The plugin is totally free and works with any number of input fields.

Also check out the live demo to see how this would look on a real page.

Switchery

ios switchery plugin

The classic iOS-style switch redefined toggle inputs. Those original on/off switches got a redesign in iOS 7 which led to libraries like Switchery.

This free open source plugin lets you create on/off toggles in the same style as iOS 7 inputs. Each switch works on a checkbox where the user clicks to either check(on) or uncheck(off) a setting.

You can spice up any settings page or profile page by swapping out simple checkboxes for these on/off toggles.

jQuery CC Validator

credit card validation plugin

Ecommerce shops have to deal with credit card validation and handling sensitive inputs. Data security is a whole separate topic but this jQuery CC Validator is by far the best plugin for validation.

It’s totally free, and open source, running on top of the jQuery library. It’s super easy to setup, and the live demo shows just how much you can do with this incredible plugin.

Rangeslider.js

rangeslider js plugin

One of the newer features in HTML5 is the range input. This lets the user slide an input bar and select a range of numeric data.

But the default style is pretty basic so plugins like Rangeslider.js have grown in popularity.

This free jQuery plugin works as a polyfill of the HTML5 range slider. For browsers which don’t support it, you’ll still get the classic range input, so this is perfect for all web & mobile browsers.

BS3 Datepicker

bootstrap datetime picker plugin

You can find tons of free Bootstrap frameworks out there for awesome web templates. And the same goes for plugins that add functionality onto the Bootstrap library.

One such example is the BS3 Datepicker made for custom web forms.

There is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution for date picking. But this plugin offers a genuine interface that most people will understand how to use even at a glance. Plus it’s fully designed around the Bootstrap styles, so it blends right in.

Flatpickr

flatpickr plugin

If you want a datepicker that’s a little easier to setup check out Flatpickr. This free plugin uses pure JavaScript to create a full date/time picker with tons of optional features.

The demo page is a great place to check out and see what this thing can do. It uses a simple JavaScript animation along with a basic drop shadow effect to blend into any layout.

Anyone who needs a date/time picker with lots of room for customization will get a lot out of this plugin.

jQuery File Uploads

jquery file upload plugin

Handling user file uploads is by far the most complex form task. You need to create an input that works on all devices, but also accepts specific types of files and knows how to process them on the backend.

This plugin fits nicely with other libraries like jQuery and Angular so it’s really the best choice for anything related to file uploads.

Just note this does take some effort to configure so you’ll need to know your way around JavaScript.

Ideal Forms

idealforms plugin

In the newest version of Ideal Forms 3 you’ll find a host of great features like auto-form validation and custom form designs.

These designs include checkboxes, radio buttons, input fields, calendar UIs, and even support for 3rd party plugins.

The setup process is very lengthy but gives you dozens of extra form features with one library. Take a look at the GitHub setup guide for more details.

jQuery Autotab

jquery autotab plugin

Last but certainly not least is the jQuery Autotab plugin by Matthew Miller. This lets you define a certain length for any form input so it’ll auto-tab onto the next form once completed.

It works best for fields that require a set number of characters like phone numbers or birthdays. Check out the live demo to see how this works and if it could help to extend your web forms.

Original Article:

How to Eliminate Endless Client Revisions? 260+ Pre-Built Websites Will Help

The problem might be you, or your client, or the tools you’re using. Chances are, it’s a mix of the final two; since you’re an experienced, knowledgeable website designer. But what can you do about it?

Here’s a practical solution.

Be Theme Will Deliver Exactly What Your Clients Need – Time After Time

The solution lies in a WordPress theme that’s a Top 5 ThemeForest best-seller – Be Theme. The secret of Be Theme‘s success is based on its many powerful core features. But, it is due in large part to its 260+ pre-built websites you can access with one click.

It’s easy to find one (or more) of these pre-build websites that’s a perfect match to your client’s needs. This is irrespective of the niche or industry involved. It’s quite possible to have a fully responsive (and revision-proof) website up and running in about 4 hours.

See how easy it is to install Be Theme with this cool 40-second video:

Here Are 10 Beautiful Be Theme Templates Web Designers Will Love

For clients who sell online courses: Be eLearning

For clients who sell online courses: Be eLearning

Here’s a clean, well-structured website that’s an ideal choice for an online learning business of organization.

Be eLearning provides an excellent match for filling the needs of a client who is attempting to establish an eLearning platform.

For small business owners: Be Craftbeer

For small business owners: Be Craftbeer

Any client in the business of selling a handcrafted product should be more than pleased with a website design based on this pre-built website. Its large, attention-grabbing images are accompanied by some ingenious JavaScript effects, and eye-popping navigation and CTA buttons.

For interior designers and architects: Be Tiles

For interior designers and architects: Be Tiles

It often takes a somewhat unique website style to effectively showcase a client’s visual offerings. This pre-built website, Be Tiles, can easily serve as the basis for an interior design agency’s or architects’ website.

The elements necessary to create a stunning portfolio are easily available.

For clients working in creative industries: Be Artist

For clients working in creative industries: Be Artist

A website design for an artist or creative type needs to showcase that person’s work in a way that spotlights the creativity involved. The image or images would be provided by the client, but it’s up to the web designer to present them in a way that captures the attention of a visitor.

Be Artist makes that happen.

For clients working in the catering industry: Be Burger

For clients working in the catering industry: Be Burger

The food may be mouth-watering delicious, but most food service and catering websites tend to be rather bland in appearance.

This pre-built website, with its clean structure, easy-to-order forms, and images that are good enough to eat, will help you deliver a website that gives your client a definite edge over the competition.

For clients in the fitness & wellness industry: Be Sports club

For clients in the fitness & wellness industry: Be Sports club

This Be Sports Club pre-built website’s dynamic appearance is a perfect fit for the niche it represents. It’s modern, interactive, and features attention-getting special effects in its interior pages.

This is another example of a pre-built website that will enable you to deliver a product that’s not revision prone.

For clients in the travel and lodging industry: Be Hotel2

For clients in the travel and lodging industry: Be Hotel2

When you design a website for a client representing a hotel or destination resort, the best way to ensure that your client will be completely satisfied, is to submit a design that practically compels visitors to phone in to make a booking.

Be Hotel2 has the ingredients to make that a reality.

For restaurant or bistro owners: Be Restaurant

For restaurant or bistro owners: Be Restaurant

Very few eating establishments can boast of a website that has the appeal of this one. This pre-designed website is intended for clients representing anything from a Michelin-rated restaurant to a local café or neighborhood bistro.

It’s attractive, versatile, and features a stunning slider effect.

For your IT clients: Be VPN

For your IT clients: Be VPN

IT companies and teams prefer well-structured, carefully organized content in their websites. Those in the know, also like their websites to include a human touch.

Be VPN accomplishes all the above; an example of the innovative designs characteristic of Be Theme pre-built websites.

For clients who sell luxury products: Be Car

For clients who sell luxury products: Be Car

A client who sells luxury products will want a website which design befits the brand. In other words – a website that conveys a sense of luxury and elegance.

Be Car accomplishes this with its powerful hero image and a clean, modern look. It also features a clever use of white space and well-organized content blocks.

How Does Be Theme Rid You of a Ceaseless Stream of Client Revisions?

In summary, Be Theme accomplishes this in many ways, including these five:

  • The 260+ library of pre-built websites make finding a perfect match for a client’s needs an easy task;
  • The pre-built websites are easy to customize! You can easily surprise a client by delivering a complex website. The package includes text, images, video, and special effects, and in as little as 4 hours.
  • Your theme is a ThemeForest Top 5 best-seller! So, you know you’re working with a premier design tool – that will be reflected in the final product.
  • It’s easy to find a pre-built website that can be adapted to satisfy the most demanding client. It will also reduce the number of potential revisions to near zero.
  • Each pre-built website is crafted to meet the standards of the industry it addresses.

Conclusion

Finally, you can say to yourself, “enough is enough”! Simply select a tool that will keep revisions from piling up from this list.

It will be an easy task to pick a pre-built website that’s a perfect match to a client’s needs. Remember, you have more than 260 of those to choose from!

You’ll save a ton of time that you used to spend on an unending stream of revisions. The Be Theme’s one-click installer will save you another ton.

How does building a perfectly awesome website in 4 hours sound?

Original Article:

Why Too Much Design Hurts Positive UX

While opinions from strong voices do a lot for a design, there are times when they actually impede the process. Ideas that come too late, are too complex/simple, or are contextually wrong will slow down the process and create more problems than they fix.

Julie Zhuo, product VP at Facebook, calls this “avoiding the camel.” It refers to the oft-cited notion that “a camel is a horse designed by committee.” In other words, you can expect a lot of odd humps and occasional spitting when you get 50 opinions in a room about a particular product.

This is interesting coming from Zhuo, who heads up product development for a website rooted in collaboration, opinions, advice, and criticism. So, here’s her caveat: there’s a difference between designing a horse by committee – which leads to the wrong outcome, a camel – and using true teamwork to create the best outcome possible.

Designing in isolation can be just as harmful to product development as getting too many opinions – if you’re expecting to emerge from an ivory tower with the perfect product in hand, think again. So how can you effectively toe the line between designing by committee and taking on a project alone?

The “Root” of Design Problems

The biggest challenges in designing by committee come in three forms:

  • A well-intentioned flurry of opinion may come from the wrong level.
  • Committees offer their opinion at the wrong time (for example, when it’s too late).
  • A stakeholder or other party may offer their opinion without background or context for why your team made certain decisions in the first place.

Why Do We Have “Design By Committee” in the First Place?

Committees are a mainstay in the corporate world. In a competitive business environment, businesses operate on the notion that the more eyes on the product, the less likely they will launch a product with a fatal law. It seems like sound logic – until we look at it in a practical application.

Designing by committee more often leads to too many mixed opinions – and a steady stream of finger pointing that encourages not collaboration toward a common goal but a lack of substance. When we elicit feedback from focus groups, consumers, and our great aunt Shirley, all we get is a lot of confusion. More often than not, designing by committee leads to a lot of features – but no core intuitive user experience.

We say when you have too many cooks in a kitchen, all you get is a mess. Yet, there are five star kitchens all over the world that produce stunning works of art that tantalize our taste buds – and they’re working in teams. How do we know what’s too many and what’s an art-worthy team?

If we had to highlight one, it would be that it’s a team of experts working collaboratively. A sous chef may offer a saucier an opinion about gravy, but they both went to culinary school and share similar expertise. You’ll notice they’re not giving taste tests to other patrons as they wheel their dishes out the door.

When Feedback Is Helpful – And How to Ask for It

Feedback can be helpful – at the right time and by the right people. Rather than “designing” by committee, here are some suggestions for getting clients, co-workers, and management involved in a manner that’s collaborative, not detrimental:

Collaborating with Management

When eliciting feedback from management, take the following steps:

  • Use data. Chances are, you’re going to butt heads with management about how certain features should work. In this case, data is your friend – use both quantitative measures, such as behavior data, and qualitative metrics like market research to drive your position. Data wins arguments and will allow members of management to make informed opinions that might translate into useful feedback.
  • Share early and often. One of the worst positions to be in is going down one path, and management telling you you’re totally off base. Here, you only have two options: throwing away all your old work (a waste of time and money) or trying to work all of management’s new requirements into your existing product (which can result in a sloppy effort). While it may be difficult to show what you know are rough iterations of your work, get into the habit of showing your work to management early in the process. It’s much easier to say, “How does this look to you? Am I headed in the right direction?” than it is to backpedal when management thinks you’re completely off the mark. This simple step helps your team stay aligned with management’s objectives.
  • Start with a broad scope. It’s much easier to explore multiple options in the beginning, showing many possible approaches and their pros and cons. Instead of presenting to management in a “yes” or “no” fashion with one idea, you could ask, “which is more intuitive to the user, A or B?”

Talking to Coworkers

If there’s one committee you can’t avoid, it’s your fellow workers. The key to effective collaboration with your coworkers is eliciting multiple perspectives from the onset. For example, while you may be thinking about intuitive design components, engineers may have trouble implementing them in a way that makes sense to a user.

If we think back to our restaurant example, we know an artful dish comes from collaboration between experts of different components – a chef designs a meal, a sous chef helps carry out the order, a saucier makes hors d’oeuvres and sauces, the line cooks prep the individual components, and so on. Together, this activity translates to a meal on your table – and you can bet they’re talking it out throughout the process.

Your digital product is no different. You can learn a lot simply by talking to different departments and seeing how well your vision will translate into reality. From there, you can make necessary tweaks that will develop into an intuitive, quality product.

Working with Clients

Clients are a necessary, but sometimes frustrating, part of the design process. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Take “the customer is always right” with a hefty grain of salt. In other words, give the customer what they want, but not necessarily everything they ask for. Don’t fall into the trap of letting the client design a product for you – remember, they hired you for your expertise and willingness to do what they cannot. One diplomatic way to accomplish this is by bringing a conversation back to the problem you’re trying to solve for them. Keep the emphasis on aligning the product with its goals and outcomes, not creating new solutions at each meeting.
  • Don’t go on the defensive. At the same time, you don’t want to shut down a conversation by repeating what you said, over and over again. If a client proposes something that runs counter to your idea, say, “it sounds like something isn’t working here for you. Where do you think we can improve?” This guides the conversation back to the current designs and away from thinking up new solutions on the spot.
  • Guide the conversation. It’s much easier to start a conversation with “today we’re looking for feedback regarding the site’s navigation,” then trying to keep a conversation on track later on. Try to minimize distractions and you’ll avoid confrontations down the road.

Balance Committee Thinking With Smart Help

Having several minds working on a project isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When executed correctly, a collaborative effort can lead to a good outcome. Knowing how to talk to key stakeholders in your project can make all the difference.

Original Article:

10 Inspirational Examples of Colorful Graphs & Charts in Web Design

Graphs and charts are some of the most visually complex and difficult elements for designers to execute to a high standard. The range of different elements and requirement for cohesiveness make it all the more impressive when a great example is included in website design.

Some of the best examples incorporate plenty of color for visual differentiation, clean connecting lines and shapes, and easy-to-understand axis. When designed to a high standard, the results can have a dramatic impact on the overall visual design and user experience of the website.

Lab Board

Lab Board uses a beautiful consistent selection of colors, subtle gradients, and large drop shadows in their dashboard design.

Lab Board

SE Ranking

SE Ranking shows off their graphical user interface dashboard via the homepage. The graphs are simple and easy to understand, using a selection of light colors which complement each other perfectly.

SE Ranking

Dropbox Transparency

Dropbox’s Transparency web page highlights some interesting data on how many government requests they receive. The graph is designed beautifully with great color selection and separation, and a clearly defined key to match.

Dropbox Transparency

Shoplo

Shoplo’s website is impressive in its unique use of background elements and bright multitude of color throughout. The graphs used in their dashboard follow this trend using subtle gradients and strokes to outline data trends to the user.

Shoplo

Stripe Connect

Stripe Connect uses Gantt charts to illustrate how their platform can speed up several aspects of payment processing. The design is much simplified and uses a selection of brand colors to differentiate each aspect within the chart.

Stripe Connect

Appfigures

Appfigures’ tools present many challenges in the fact they have to often display an enormous quantity of data at once. They have solved this issue beautifully by incorporating transparency into the vibrant graph background colors.

Appfigures

CA Technologies

CA Technologies keeps it simple for the graphs within their website. It uses a blue stroke with an underlying gradient which fades out to the x-axis. The simplicity makes it extremely easy to understand and fits perfectly with their brand direction and user interface colors.

CA Technologies

Median for Mac

>Median for Mac’s website focuses on a screenshot of their Mac application with is almost entirely graph and chart based. The graph and chart designs are simple and keep the colors within those of the Median brand.

Median for Mac

Unamo

Unamo uses line graphs within their search engine optimisation software. The lines are plotted with circular strokes and use a beautiful on-brand, three-tone color system of green, purple and blue.

Unamo

Tapdaq

Tapdaq’s homepage also uses line graphs within the dashboard preview. The blue and purple line strokes compliment each other beautifully, while the fade-out gradient brings attention to the axis and overall volume of data.

Tapdaq

Original Article:

Uncode – The Pixel Perfect Theme for Creative Professionals

Are you one of the designers who work so much on client work that you don’t have time to design your own portfolio?

There’s nothing wrong with having plenty of assignments. Your inability to present yourself as a true professional makes it more difficult for you to bring in better and more lucrative work. You should have an eye-catching and engaging portfolio

If you don’t have the time or the skills to write code and create a portfolio, there’s one theme already out there for you.

The Theme in Question? Uncode.

Why take the time and effort to create a run-of-the-mill portfolio, when you have Uncode? It’s a pixel-perfect, creative WordPress theme to help you build a breathtaking one?

You don’t have to worry about writing code, or staring at a blank canvas hoping for a burst of inspiration. Uncode has what you need, including templates to help you get your effort underway. Then, it’s a matter of uploading your content and hitting “Publish”.

Better yet, the latest release, Uncode 1.6, offers a host of brand new features.

Uncode’s Exciting New Features

The team behind Uncode put Version 1.6 together. They did so with the intent of making it easier for creative professionals to showcase their own work. In this way, your portfolio won’t have to interfere with the work you do for their clients.

Here’s a sampling:

WooCommerce Single Product Features

Uncode’s integration with WooCommerce is nothing new. Still, the team added support for WooCommerce 3.1 to ensure you won’t encounter any issues with the plugin.

Custom designed options for product pages have also been added. They include a product zoom option, product carousel and stack layout modes. Besides those, they also added a custom width layout control.

More Design Options

Creatives will love the new Layout Management Options. Along with some clever off-grid options, they include shadow control and border radius. All in all, these options expand your layout-building possibilities to almost anything.

The Post Module Lateral Thumbnails Options will appeal to bloggers, photographers, and marketers. They have the ability to create unique blog styles and impressive portfolio and product layouts.

The Centered Mobile Menu option makes it easy to create a menu that mimics the mobile devices’ overlay style. With this and the above options, Uncode ensures your portfolio, blog, or online shop will always look great on mobile devices.

You can define your grid ‘By Matrix‘. What does that mean? The variations you choose in the Single Block tab will apply to positions within the grid rather than to specific elements. This is an interesting feature. When you’ll add a new element, all the existing ones will automatically shift to compensate without altering your current layout.

If you’re a photographer, the Justify Gallery Layout is something that you’ve been expecting. It’s an elegant solution for professional photography sites that was inspired by Flickr and the Google Images search layout.

A lot of people have been asking for a grid that fits the screen perfectly. And now, it is available. The Fluid Metro layout helps you build a layout that fits the screen perfectly.

Buttons galore! Looking for a specific button type? Uncode has it; whether it’s a “ghost button” a classic, flat, colored button, or a button requiring custom typography.

Uncode’s Horizontal Drop-Down Menu Options give you extra control over shadow drop-down and mega menu options. Their features allow you to animate the drop-down’s input.

Uncode’s Time-Tested Features from Earlier Releases

In this case, time-tested features consist of those that have helped convert more than 24,000 ideas into reality. These features have naturally been retained, and some have undergone continual improvement.

Visual Composer is universally popular, as is WordPress. Uncode has tailored the former, and enhanced some of the features of the latter. In this way, there’s virtually no limit on what you can do with either.

The theme’s use of Content Blocks only makes organizing your content easier. It also allows you to incorporate show-stopping media in your website.

Uncode’s large array of templates enables you to find the one that you need. Then you can customize it to produce a website, blog, or photography gallery that is engaging, eye-catching, or in some way truly unique. If that doesn’t happen to be the case, you can easily create your own template from scratch.

You have 6+ Menu Style Options to choose from. This gives you the opportunity to play around and see what makes the most sense, or lends itself best to a great-looking website. Each of these styles is simple, intuitive, and make it easy for users to navigate to where they want to go.

The Adaptive Images feature takes the worry out of how your images will appear on your website, irrespective of the device being used. Your visitor’s screen size is automatically detected, enabling your website’s images to be appropriately re-scaled to display correctly.

Finally, one of the features creative professionals appreciate is Uncode’s cool selection of Blog and Portfolio Layouts. It can be fun to try them all out; after which you can choose a favorite and run with it. Don’t worry if you should change your mind; you can change your layout any time.

So, what is It that Makes Uncode the Perfect Theme for Creatives?

One reason is that the entire theme was designed from the beginning with the needs of creative professionals in mind:

  • The tailored version of Visual Composer enables you to build any layout without writing code.
  • Multiple design options are in place that allow you to achieve precisely the website look you want.
  • Special blog and portfolio options are in place to showcase your work.
  • A centered mobile menu showcases your website on mobile devices.
  • A generous customers showcase that gets you inspired and saves you time.

Conclusion

If you’re a creative professional who has struggled to get your work to stand out from the crowd, Uncode will help you solve that problem. And get more clients too. With Uncode, you can build a beautiful portfolio, start a blog in a few short hours.

Everything you need is there and ready to be used: special layouts, beautiful design, and other options, and amazing customer support to top it off.

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10 Powerful All-in-One iOS Mobile App Templates

Building a mobile app for iOS is a great way to increase both brand awareness and sales. But, it can be expensive to hire a developer and time-consuming if you’re not intimately familiar with the build process.

That’s the beauty of all-in-one app templates. They come with popular features built right in and many are quite easy to customize. Templates are available for a wide-array of uses, as well.

Note that some templates require that you have access to a computer running Mac OS X, among other tools. Please see each template’s description at the link provided for a full requirements list.

Woopy

woopy is a universal (works on both phones and tablets) listings/chat app template for iOS. It allows users to register and post classified sales ads.

Users can upload up to three photos and a 10 second video description for each item. Buyers and sellers can also chat with each other directly through the app.

woopy

Mokets

Mokets is a mobile ecommerce app that makes selling your products easy. The template comes with a product and data management back end that can be accessed through a web browser.

With support for multiple shops, each one can have its own administrator. Customers can register for an account and like, review or favorite products within the store. Stripe payment gateway is built in.

Mokets

BeoNews

BeoNews will turn your WordPress website into a native iOS app (Android support is also available). Utilizing the WordPress REST API, this app template will grab the contents of your website and display it using React.

The app can handle your site’s multimedia content and supports both Facebook and Google social login. Push notifications can be created through your website using a plugin.

BeoNews

Store Finder

Store Finder is aimed at anyone who wants to help users find multiple locations via their mobile device. Stores, restaurants or any organization with more than one location can benefit.

Locations can be added without the need to release an updated version of your app. You can add images, contact information, social sharing and reviews to each location. The recently added Routes feature will guide customers right to your front door.

Store Finder

Radio Play

Radio Play will take your mp3, pls, m3u, aac or other compatible audio stream and allow listeners to tune in through their iOS device.

The app will display scrolling song and artist info, allow listeners to share songs on social media and works with AdMob mobile ads to help you generate revenue. Plus, it’s universal, meaning the app will display on iPads as well as iPhones.

Radio Play

My Social Network

My Social Network could be a great solution for those who need to set up a small, private network of friends or colleagues. Features like real time messaging and post feeds are there to help teams communicate. But there is also the ability to send ‘gifts’ to friends and make in-app purchases.

So whether for fun or business, you have the functionality you need. A web-based admin panel lets you control user accounts and posts. Also included is a public-facing website that can be used as an alternative to the iOS app.

My Social Network

ChurchYangu

ChurchYangu is an app template with the aim of helping churches live stream their services to iOS devices. The app can be fully customized and comes with detailed documentation.

Graphics are included to help you achieve the look you want. Videos can be brought in from outside services such as YouTube or Vimeo. Audio files can also be embedded.

ChurchYangu

Notepad

Notepad provides an easy way for users to take notes on their iOS device. Users can take notes with text, video, audio and photos. There’s also a password protected mode, notifications and notes can be shared via social media.

The app can be customized with your branding and includes PNG/PSD files. This could be an interesting template for organizations looking to personalize it towards internal note-taking. Sales calls, maintenance visits, etc. would be an ideal use.

Notepad

SuperView

SuperView is a solution aimed to bring your single page web application to iOS. It can be customized via a single configuration file. The app template features responsive HTML5, push notifications, social login, an offline mode, in-app purchases and geolocation functionality. AdMob is also integrated, allowing for further monetization.

SuperView

Pro Shot

Pro Shot is a photo editor app template. Users can take advantage of powerful features like tint, temperature, custom text, stickers and exposure – all of which can be done in the live camera view. There are lots of other filters and adjustments available as well.

Photos can be easily shared via social media. It’s a universal app and will work on iPads as well as iPhones. Allows for in-app purchases and supports AdMob to help you bring in extra cash.

Pro Shot

Save Money and Time on App Development

Whether you’re looking to bring in some passive income or better promote your brand, the templates above will help you achieve your goals.

Since they already have many of the most vital and popular functionality baked in, you’ll only have to make a few relatively small customizations to match your brand. The cost and time savings of this approach will do wonders for both your budget and your sanity.

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Tips to Boost Your Site’s Conversion Rate Using Images

It comes as no surprise that image content is a powerful, indispensable tool for making an ordinary website more attractive for your visitors. Not everyone knows how to use images to increase conversions, whether that means opt-ins, subscriptions or sales.

Here are some tips that can boost your conversion rate using images

Consider Using a Mascot

Mascots help define your marketing and branding themes. They give your website visitors and customers a symbol to associate with your business.

These characters come with a personality with a life of its own, creating a strong image in their minds, and subliminally create emotional attachments for anyone coming across your website.

If you have an idea for a character but lack the design chops, there are plenty of designers waiting to hear from you!

Give Your Images a Human Touch

If you’re selling items for human consumption or use, consider showing actual people using them. Be sure to choose your models carefully, as compatibility with the product is vital to selling the image you’re trying to convey.

Avoid using stock photos in this case; if your customers recognize the model, it could do your business more harm than good.

Think out of the Box

Realize that your customers want to see something out of the ordinary, something that exclaims that you have an imagination, or that you’re simply better than the competition.

As far as images are concerned, this could mean anything from having rotating images to incorporating more interesting photographic techniques.

High Quality Images are a Must

There are far too many websites that skimp on quality when it comes to the images they use. Everyone has their reasons and excuses for not going the extra mile, but they suffer in the long run as their visitors have to continuously zoom in or squint at the screen to see details.

Make sure that you incorporate images shown in full size by default, and have clickable thumbnails for easy selection and navigation.

Incorporate Product Images in the Search Window in Your Site

This not only enhances the way your visitors digest your site, but it also saves them plenty of time. Research has shown that a good proportion of online shoppers prefer to type in the name of a product only as far as it takes for image-based search results to show up.

Draw Attention to Products

This can be accomplished by having a number of arrows pointing to your product, but there are more clever ways to get this done. If you have actual people in your photos, make sure that they are interacting with the product.

They could be doing any number of things with the product, from using it, eating it, or looking in its direction. The effect is a subtle, yet powerful one.

Try Images That Can Be Fully Rotated

As mentioned above, having rotating or rotatable images can work to your advantage.

Products that are expensive, oddly shaped, or simply novel in design or concept are best experienced from all angles, and if you’re the one to provide this feature, more power to you.

Offer Alternate or More Detailed Views

This is crucial for items that aren’t monochromatic and dull in shape at the same time, which means that any item can benefit from having multiple views. If you showed a closed Swiss army knife on your website, chances are you’d have a hard time moving any.

Show different features in action, different points of view, close ups of some of the key features of the product. According to Salehoo, the more you can tell your shoppers about the product they’re looking at – without doing any actual telling – can mean the difference between making a sale, or watching them walk away.

Show Validation

Validation comes in many forms, but they serve a singular objective: to make the buyer feel comfortable and encouraged to take the desired action.

By having a celebrity endorser or an everyman character using a given product and actually enjoying the experience, you convince your visitors that the decision to buy is the wise one, and by far the best decision they’ve made all day.

Use Free Stock Images If Necessary

Sometimes you have no choice but to scour the internet for stock photos. However, one thing about free stock photos is that you must be careful about choosing the right ones. Being careful requires making sure to apply good taste and judgment in making your decision.

Free stock photos are accessible to everyone, and that means that the photos you choose for your product may be used by a competitor, or by another eCommerce merchant for an entirely different product, or by a blogger for an article that has a completely different context for the image.

Remember It’s About Them, Not You

Choosing images that resonate with your customers is key to increasing your conversion rate, and this means that you have to put your ego aside. Think about what your customers want to see and how they’d want to feel about shopping at your eCommerce site. Remember that they couldn’t care less about what your needs are – quite frankly their goal is to meet their own.

Keeping these tips in mind, what’s your secret to getting the most out of the images on your website? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

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12 Trends of 2017 Web Design To Make Your Website More Engaging

Web design can be a tough nut to crack. There are so many aspects which go into the making of a good website, that it can get difficult to put it all together.

However, having a well-designed, user-friendly website is crucial to your business. In this digital world, websites serve as the first point of contact for any customer. This means, your website has to present a persuasive case on your behalf. A good website can intrigue a user, make you look professional, and even help convert a random user into a customer.

According to a study done by Adobe in 2015, if people are given only 15 minutes to read a content, or engage with information on a website, two-thirds of them would engage with the website that is beautiful.

Similarly, 59% would opt to engage with a website that is aesthetically pleasing, instead of engaging with a website that is simple to look at. These and more stats point out the importance of giving time and attention to your website design. In this article, we are going to present 12 simple ways that can help you make your website more engaging.

Add a Coming Soon Page with a Countdown to Pique Curiosity

So you are a new business and you are working on your website? But that shouldn’t mean you web URL should not be live already!

Your business marketing should start way before your actual website and business is launched. And the best way to do this is through a coming soon page. A coming soon page with a countdown keeps people hooked, and it also directs your users to a specified date in the future when they can expect your website to be up and running.

You can also use such a page for introducing new sub-pages or product pages. Don’t wait till you’re ready to make it ready, just let your users know you’re working on it and something great is coming their way through a captivating countdown timer!

Add a Video Background

Do you know what is impossible to ignore in a website? A moving element. It is human nature to focus attention on anything that moves – it captures your attention right away. The best way to use this to your advantage is with the help of an eye-catchy video background. A video background can be a very subtle and elegant addition to your website that grabs attention right away.

Video backgrounds instantly make your website look very contemporary and modern, and they add an element of interest that is not possible with static images.

According to Food Blogger Pro, they managed to improve the conversion rates of their landing pages by 138% by adding a well-put together video background! Isn’t that amazing?! However, beware, a video background is a tricky thing and it must be done in the right way to come off as aesthetically harmonious.

Add a Slider with Ken Burns Effect

Ken Burns Effect is a videography technique where a static image is panned and zoomed at different intervals to make it look like its moving. It is a very clever technique that can convert your stash of digital photography into amazing animations.

Adding a photo slider with a Ken Burns Effect can give your homepage a great new look. It is especially mesmerizing to watch!

Add Buttons with Background Textures

Adding textures to your clickable buttons can greatly enhance the look and feel of your website. Buttons with textures stand out and direct the user towards important clickable actions.

This is especially helpful for websites that utilize flat design, where it is impossible to distinguish a clickable button from a non-clickable one. Using textures can give your button a different look which helps people orient better. This improves the overall performance and navigation of your website.

Customized Login Page

True, login pages are used by your team or staff, but is that a reason to compromise on quality and finesse? Making login pages fun for your team can give them the much-needed inspiration they need to meet your business goals, which will in turn feed into better results for your customers.

Personalize the login pages with your company’s logos, fun messages, backgrounds and more. Not only does this look professional, but it also feels great.

You can also customize the login pages of your customers. Many online businesses have accounts for customers to help them track orders and save information. Having a personalized look for customer login pages comes off as modern, professional and cool.

Try Out a Different Menu – Circular for Instance

Want to add a special oomph factor to your homepage? Go for different menus. If you thought drop down was the only way, try out circular menu systems and see the appeal. Compared to the conventional drop down menu, the novelty of the circular menu is going to win over your users.

Give Special Effects to Stock Images or Product Images

According to Hubspot Stats, content with images is shared 40 times more than content without images. Similarly, content with images is more likely to be read and remembered compared to content without it.

When you understand the importance of images for your website, and the massive appeal they hold, it is also important to understand how to present them in the best possible way. There is nothing wrong with enhancing the appeal of your images in Photoshop. Add interesting filters, tweak the contrast and brightness and add any other special effects. These will help grab the attention.

Show Modern Hover Effects

Adding hover effects to websites is the latest and hottest trend. Hover effects look cool and delve out important and pertinent information in a very interesting way.

For instance, if your user is hovering over an image, your hover effect text can state the name of a product or some other relevant information.

You can also add interesting greetings or any other messages with hover effects. This will instantly make your website look trendy and professional.

Captivate Your Audience with Animation

Whether it is a GIF animation or any other kind of animation, there are a million ways to use these to grab the attention of your users.

You can use animations on homepage sliders, or use them to narrate important processes and procedures. For instance, if you run a test-prep business, use an animation to show how the test-prep procedure works!

Add Audio Effects

Add nice background music and recorded audio clips. You can also add soothing nature sounds or any other relevant audio effects that can grab the attention of the users. For instance, if you run a car showroom website, an audio effect or a car zooming by would look cool. Similarly, you can use many other relevant audio effects.

Remember, the purpose is to engage your clients at levels of their senses. So while you are engaging their eyes, also tap in and engage the ears. This will provide a more holistic sensory experience that is bound to tickle the emotions.

Add a Flip book Rather Than a Traditional Product Catalog

You must have already come across this wonderful feature. A flip book is a mock, animated version of a real book. It appears just like a real book. You can see images and text on the book pages, and when you click on the page, the page turns over with a very realistic swoosh, just as if it were real!

A flip book is a great way to showcase your products. Instead of having a boring, static catalog in the form of a pdf, go for an animated flipbook. A flipbook is not only more interactive as the user gets to click and roll the pages, but it is also better to look at. And the best part is you can also introduce appropriate audio clips at appropriate places in the Flipbook.

Add a Unique Pricing Table to Show Comparison

Want to convince your customers to prefer you over your competitors? There is nothing like giving them something to compare with. Often when people view your products and prices, they cannot place it in a framework and see where you stand.

However, if they are provided with something to compare with, they can better assess the value of the products and services that you offer. This is why it works when a brand, that has a promotional sale going on, writes the sale prices along with crossed off original prices. This gives people something to compare the sale price with, and thus something to assess value against, and help make the decision.

Give your users a chance by adding a unique and creative pricing table that shows off the difference in price along with the difference in features and services. You may even use the pricing table to point out the difference between the different packages you offer.

All of these ways will help improve the overall look and feel of your website, enhance its performance and help convert visitors into leads. So, what are you waiting for? Spruce up your website now and expect amazing results after that.

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10 Free Breadcrumb CSS Snippets For Web Projects

Breadcrumb trails clarify the organization of a website and give visitors a way to browse deeper into categories. They’re also great for schema data which can greatly affect your SERP rankings too.

But designing a custom breadcrumb setup from scratch is no easy task. That’s why I’ve curated a bunch of free breadcrumb designs that you can repurpose for your own sites. They come in many different styles but they can all help visitors navigate the site better and clarify your content.

Thick Breadcrumbs

This creative thick breadcrumb design comes from Albanian coder Gerta Xhepi. She built this entire breadcrumb style with pure CSS using free Font Awesome icons.

Because these colors are so subtle you could fit them into pretty much any website. And the icons are built using font files so they’re scalable without any quality loss. Everything is setup using pure CSS so if you like this design and want to replicate it, the settings are easy enough to tweak.

Flat CSS3 Design

Flat design is still going strong and it’s one of the easier design styles to pick up. If you’re creating a website using flat colors then check out this flat breadcrumb design made with pure CSS3.

The arrows are built with some basic CSS hacks and the entire pen runs on Sass for easier editing. You can quickly change the blue background or the green hover state by altering one Sass variable.

This pen uses the Bootstrap library which also includes Font Awesome icons so this is yet another scalable breadcrumb chain you can take with you onto any project.

Bright Colors

Alternating colors are tricky to pull off unless you know exactly how many levels you’ll use in a breadcrumb navbar. This example does it right with some really cool effects and color choices that blend perfectly into the layout.

I really like these breadcrumbs for drawing attention and encouraging user interactions. But they might be a tad distracting on a content-heavy page like a blog post.

These would fit perfectly into an eCommerce shop on a product page, or maybe a company website where the color scheme needs to stand out.

Fluid Step Nav

A practical use for breadcrumbs is in a step-by-step checkout process. This typically highlights an active breadcrumb along the way so the user can see which step they’re working on.

This fluid navbar created by Adrian Pelletier is a brilliant example of this effect. It uses gradients to create an illusion of depth on the page while also encouraging visitors to click and advance forward.

Rounded Crumbs

The most surprising part about these dynamic rounded breadcrumbs is the custom animations running purely on CSS.

Each little breadcrumb has its own icon pulled from the Font Awesome library. These icons are easy to scale and they create the structure of the entire breadcrumb.

On hover you get more details with an expanding label. It’s a very unique effect and not something you find on many websites!

Pixel-Perfect Breadcrumbs

Typically when I think of breadcrumb designs these examples are closer to what I imagine. They’re pretty simple and clean with numbers for progress steps and custom hover events.

Each arrow is built using pure CSS and the breadcrumb elements fit together perfectly.

If you don’t like the colors you can always change them to match whatever project you’re building. That’s why open source code is so valuable because there’s so much you can do with it.

Reverse Arrows

Most breadcrumb arrows point from left to right but in this pen the arrow direction is reversed, even with content flowing LTR.

Notice how the last breadcrumb in the list is highlighted to let the user know it’s the final position. This is an excellent way to distinguish between crumbs that are linked/clickable vs. which one is currently active.

If you like this mirrored arrow design then definitely try reworking the code to see what you can do with it.

Highlights

Most breadcrumb menus feature hover states where you can click links to browse back through categories or previous pages. It helps to create a link-style design for these breadcrumbs including custom hover states.

You’ll find a couple nice examples in this pen featuring a dark and light version. Believe it or not the numbers in each section are generated automatically in CSS. This grants you a lot more creative control to build scalable breadcrumbs for any system.

I also like the overall shape of each panel and the drop shadow effects which really stand out against the lighter background.

Custom Separators

When you see a blog or content site with breadcrumbs you’ll mostly see very basic links with clean separators between them. This is a great style to use and if you’re looking for a place to start I recommend this pen created by Stas Melnikov.

These breadcrumbs are very stylish and super easy to customize for any website. Plus you can change the spacers to suit your personal design choices.

Credit Card Checkout

Checkout pages use breadcrumbs and progress steps to encourage customers to complete the whole process. This checkout UI created by Jessica Patzer is a fine example of breadcrumbs in the real world.

The interface does use a bit of JavaScript to create the fading effect on each input placeholder. But this isn’t related to the breadcrumbs or much of the interface so you can easily recreate this sucker with a bit of HTML and CSS.

All of these pens should help you plan and build simple breadcrumbs for any website. But if you’re looking for more examples be sure to browse around and tinker with other snippets.

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