Useful Free Software for Web Design Beginners

When it first became available to public, and for some time after, internet was a one way street for most people. You could use it to find information but aside from leaving comments and participating in online communities on forums, the great majority of users were not able to claim a piece of it for themselves. One needed to be quite knowledgeable to make and maintain a website. However, situation has changed drastically. Even though you still need a lot of knowledge and talent to make a great website that both looks good and performs impeccably, basic websites and blogs can be made by just about anyone with enough determination, the most rudimentary knowledge of web design and just a little bit of money. If for some reason you wish to create such a site and need some help, we can recommend some amazing free tools that will enable you to do just that.

WordPress

Chances are, that even if you are a complete beginner in the field, you have already heard about WordPress, however, it would be remiss not to mention it here all the same. WordPress is a content management system which was streamlined so that it is very easy to use, but it still offers everything that you might need for your pet project (which is not to say that it is not good enough for making more professional websites). People mostly use it to quickly make, often quite good looking, blogs, but, with some effort, you could make a more than decent site for your business. One of the best things about WordPress is that it is open source, meaning anyone can view its program code, which in turn means that a huge number of people have been making add-ons and improvements, which are also mostly free. If you find it lacking in options you might consider giving Joomla a try. It is free as well, and the fact that you need to be a bit more proficient in web design to use it also means that you can do much more with it. (more…)

How to Use Google+ to Boost Your Site Traffic

Google search has always been the great equalizer in website traffic. Because of Google+, the more attention and authority you have with other people the more traffic you get. To drive traffic to your site you need to connect through this relatively new social media platform.

How Google+ changes the search game

A critical type of Google search–”personalized search”–essentially makes Google+ the new Google search engine. This happens in a couple of ways. If, for example, you’re following a Google+ page related to your profession and you search for a related keyword, that page will appear higher in your results. If you share a page you’ve published to your site on Google+ and someone you’ve circled searches on something related to your post–on any Google product–your page will rank higher.

Given the enormous popularity of Google products, not having a Google+ profile may be detrimental to your progress in the Modern Age. Google+ needs to be one of your main social media marketing tools, and soon. (more…)

Finding the Best Web Hosting Provider in 5 Steps

When it comes to setting up a website, one of the critical factors to its success is finding the right web hosting service for your requirements. Now, it isn’t quite as easy as being able to say a particular web host is the best out of all of the hosts in the market. This is because the host can only be the best depending on your set of requirements; such is the range of different packages and features each host offers.

We’ve pulled together some tips to help you throughout the web hosting selection process:

Step 1 – Planning

A good starting point for finding the best web host is to define your digital marketing strategy and scope out the website requirements that support your strategy. By doing this right at the beginning, you minimise the risk of selecting a web host that won’t be able to support your future website needs. So make sure you know from the start which direction you expect your website to go in. Do your homework and look at websites that are similar to the type of site you are looking for and when you’re choosing your host, make sure that it has the capability to support that kind of website and the features you want your website to have.

Step 2 – Research

Once you have your planning stage completed, move into the research phase. This is the bit where you find as much information as you can about the different web hosting options available. You can get information about which features each host offers and their pricing structures on their websites but probably the easiest and quickest way of gathering the information is to find a reliable comparison table. When we say reliable, we mean an authoritative website or editor that is an expert in the field of web hosting. (more…)

Busting the myths of cheap web hosting

When building and hosting your own blog or website was becoming all the rage 10 years ago, cheap web hosting managed to earn itself a bit of a poor reputation in some quarters.  But today, in 2016, things are a lot different.

The stigma of experiences people had of cheap web hosting back in the early 2000s still exists with some people today, although the reality is that cheap web hosting is now an incredibly high-performing and competitive market.

cheap-web-hosting

Due to the number of companies out there offering cheap web hosting, it is no longer enough for providers to offer a poor service with little support.  In fact, quite the opposite.  With online reviews of cheap web hosting providers freely available, and with the marketplace said to be worth millions of pounds a year, the pressure is on for companies to provide a high-quality produce.

So, here are some of those myths that still exist today about cheap web hosting. (more…)

30 Tools that no Designer can live Without

Designers are extremely busy people. Fact. Not only do they have to make time to find inspiration for their next project, manage feedback, attend meetings, and communicate with their clients, they also have to find the time to actually sit down and do the work.

Let’s not forget the time and effort they have to put into mocking up an idea, creating a visual for sharing or keeping abreast of modern design trends. The role of a designer is so much more than just ‘colouring in’.

To ease the workload of time-poor designers, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best software, apps, tools, skills, websites and resources that no designer can live without. Each of these tools has been carefully selected for its ability to help you streamline your work, find inspiration easily, show off your amazing design skills, and make collaboration easier.

We’ve broken the guide down into the 10 key areas so you can instantly find what you’re looking for — you are busy people after all. Check it out and feel free to let us know if we’ve missed any off the list.

hardware

Hardware

If you’re serious about design, there are some essential pieces of kit you will need. We have listed the top 3 pieces of hardware for designers below. (more…)

5 Tips for Great Blog Web Hosting

One of the major considerations for running a successful website nowadays is not just finding the right price but a host that also provides good blog coverage in their package.

Blogging is an integral part of marketing if you want a boost of traffic to your site and add to your online reputation with good, relevant content. According to Business.com over half of consumers who purchase online havesaid that a good blog is a contributory factor in whether they decide to buy or not.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that many small and medium size businesses are investing more of their marketing budget. The trick from the very outset, though, is to find a good web hosting company that delivers what you need.

Here are just five things to ask before you sign on the dotted line with any hosting service:

1. Do You Need a Separate Blog Site?

The expert opinion on this will usually say that your blog should be part of your main website. The reason for this is that most businesses only have the resources for one blog site and keeping it as part of your online presence (in other words as http://mysite.com/blog) helps to improve overall SEO.

Web Hosting

A separate blog site basically needs to develop its own SEO, although it can be beneficial in a small way by providing inbound links. Initially, if you are setting up one blog then keep it in-house, as it were. If you later have the resources for other blogs these can be developed as independent entities.

2. What Blogging Software is Available?

Most hosting sites now provide different blogging software that is available as part of their packages at the click of a button. That means you can download something like WordPress, B2Evolution or Nucleus all of which are reasonably rich in features and are easy to use. The most popular blogging platform is WordPress and this has a wide range of add-ons that you can use for free.

3. How’s Your Hosting Service with Uptime?

When you’re searching for a host one of the most important aspects is uptime – that is, how much time your site is going to be available to users. This is normally quoted as quite high on most hosting sites so it’s worth checking out independent reviews that have taken a closer look at this kind of performance. Also look for a host that guarantees service – the last thing you want is users getting frustrated because download speeds are too low or your run a social media campaign and your site is undergoing unscheduled maintenance when they arrive. (more…)