Migrating from WordPress.Com to Self-Hosted WordPress

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/migrating-from-wordpress-com/

WordPress.com is a limited version of WordPress run by Automattic. Here, you can create a blog or website in moments without worrying about hosting and managing your WordPress. However, to use many more complex plugins and functionality, and to have the full breadth of customization you desire, you may at some point decide to use […]

Continue reading %Migrating from WordPress.Com to Self-Hosted WordPress%

Your Site without JavaScript

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/calibre-your-site-without-javascript/

This post was originally published on calibreapp.com and reposted here with the author’s permission. If you’re interested in taking Calibre for a spin, you can start a free 14-day trial today.

There are plenty of reasons why the presence of JavaScript (what it does, how it works, and how heavy it is) needs to be considered a little more thoughtfully.

Web traffic today is made up of more than 50% mobile devices, of these devices, many operate under extremely volatile network connections—loading scripts alone in less than 10 seconds is nigh on impossible in many situations.

If you’re working on a single page app, with no reasonable content-only fallbacks, this can be far more damaging than you may think—users will be watching a white screen, with partial content, for a long time.

According to Google’s DoubleClick, when comparing sites that load in 5 seconds to sites that load in 19 seconds, the faster sites had 70% longer average session lengths, 35% lower bounce rates and 25% higher ad viewability than their slower counterparts.

Performance is important, there’s no doubting that, but what common negative impacts does JavaScript have on our sites? How are we currently evaluating performance?

Let’s Have a Brief (but Constructive) Look at the Cost of JavaScript

When commonly auditing the performance impacts of JavaScript, we look at:

The number of render-blocking scripts present on the page
How long scripts take to download, and the amount of data transferred

But what we’re often missing is what happens thereafter…

Once the device has downloaded the scripts, they must be parsed, converted to bytecode, compiled and then executed.

Parse and compile time are two reasons why the same site that works great on your $3000 MacBook, feels kind of janky on a 2-year-old smartphone.

Chrome parse/compile times on a regular desktop browser, verses a low power mobile device

The above graphic compares Chrome parse/compile times on a regular desktop browser, verses a low power mobile device. This graphic is taken from Addy Osmani’s excellent article titled “JavaScript Start-up Performance”.

Ouch.

Let’s say, as an experiment, that we removed all scripts to establish a performance baseline, to answer the question “Just how fast could this be?”.

Calibre exists to make it trivial for teams to have better visibility to more areas of performance and user-experience, so in the spirit of that, you can now run a direct comparison of your site with, or without JS—as a Test profile.

Calibre App: testing with and without JavaScript

💥Now you’re testing with and without JavaScript

I enabled the ability to disable scripts, and run a few test runs against popular global news sites, both with, and without JavaScript.

Continue reading %Your Site without JavaScript%

Fresh Resources for Web Developers – July 2017

Original Source: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/designers-developers-monthly-08-2017/

Having been maintaining this series for a few years now has allowed me to witness the progress in web development. There are a number of tools that were so popular only a few years ago but not so much in the recent times mainly because they failed to gain meaningful adoption. While there are web development resources that retain their popularity even today.

Click for More Resources

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background-image: url( “http://media02.hongkiat.com/thumbs/related/tag-fresh-resources-developers.jpg” );
}

Click for More Resources

Find our entire collection of recommended resources and the best web design and development tools available.

So here we have put together a number of useful resources that are worth a try. We have a JavaScript library to create Bot chat, an open source e-commerce platform, and a couple of CSS libraries. Let’s move on to see them in details.

MuzzleApp

Created by the same developers behind CodeKit, Muzzle is a macOS app to avoid you from embarrassment. It will turn off all notification when screen sharing. Muzzle works by automatically setting macOS “Do Not Disturb” mode when screen sharing or apps such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Slack is started.

MuzzleAppMuzzleAppFractures

A collection of CSS classes that allow you to quickly create a webpage prototype. Fracture is based on Atomic design where styles are split into tiny pieces – leaving small footprint. Instead of bringing full-fledge styled components, it introduces classes like radius-1 to to style an element with small corner radius.

FracturesFracturesCSS DB

This shows you the list of the progress CSS features and their current stage to be implemented as a new standard. Now you know nesting CSS selector is currently on its way to be the standard.

CSS DBCSS DBPreact

Apache has recently announced to disallow ReactJS and similar projects that are distributed under Facebook BSD+Patents license to be included in Apache’s product. If your product has been affected by this license, consider Preact that’s a drop-in replacement for ReactJS and is licensed under a more permissive MIT license.

PreactPreactPell

Pell is a JavaScript library to build WYISWYG editor. By default, it comes with the common buttons like the Italic, Bold, Underline, and the Headings with more will be added in the future. Built with ES6, Pell requires no dependencies library like jQuery, is small in size, yet it is maintained to be compatible with IE9.

PellPellMarkvis

Markdown is limited to particular syntaxes. It adds the ability to include chart in your Markdown content. If you are not sure what Markdown is, check out our post on Writing Web Content with Markdown.

MarkvisMarkvisMoment PHP

Moment is a PHP library to manipulate dates similar to Moment.js for JavaScript. Using the library, it is easy to get, for example, the current time in in the other timezone and formatting date based on your locale.

Moment PHPMoment PHPTonik

A WordPress starter theme built for modern PHP. It utilizes Namespacing, custom templating, autoloader, Webpack, and a bunch of other goodness of modern web development.

TonikTonikAwesome Guidelines

This is a list of coding standards of various programming languages including C, Javascript (of course), PHP, Ruby and even Visual Basic. It can be a great resource to keep your code clean and tidy.

Awesome GuidelinesAwesome GuidelinesBotUI

This is the era of Bot. This JavaScript library allows you to create a conversational UI. I do think having Bot could be a better replacement of traditional ‘Form’ and serves a more natural experience to your users.

BotUIBotUIReaction Commerce

Open source CMS for commerce hasn’t changed much for years with most of them built on top of PHP. ReactionCommerce aims to change that with the latest web technology stacks. It is built using JavaScript and is an event-driven CMS providing real-time experience. It comes with the features like order processing, payments, shipping, analytics, etc to allow get up and run an e-commerce site quickly.

Reaction CommerceReaction CommerceTinyReset

A modern CSS resetter with minimal footprint. TinyReset is a good alternative to the legendary reset.css by Eric Meyer.

.TinyResetTinyResetMartinet

Martinet is Command Line Tool to build static website with modern tools like Webpack, TypeScript, Pug for templating, LESS, and NPM. It is designed so that we don’t have to worry on the site configuration. Simply follow the convention and run martinet, your website will be up and running.

MartinetMartinetBillboard

BillboardJS is JavaScript to build interactive data visualization based on D3.js. There is an array of visualization types you can build with this library including line, bar, pie, doughnut, and see the demo page for more details.

BillboardBillboardSVGI

SVGI is a Command Line Tool that allows you to lookup SVG elements or SVG files. Once installed, you will get access to the svgi command line where you retrieve list of Nodes on the SVG, the size, and the elements hierarchy.

SVGISVGITimeStrap

Another interesting open-source platform on our list after ReactionCommerce, TimeStrap a time tracking an invoicing system that you can host anywhere just like WordPress. A good alternative for those who prefer to manage invoicing on their own system rather than using external services.

TimeStrapTimeStrapSlate

A tool to create static single page for APIs documentation. Slate is used in many popular projects such as WooCommerce, Travis-, CoinBase, and even NASA.

SlateSlateFontJoy

A tool to generate great font pairing. Press the “Generate” button to retrieve new font combinations infinitely. What’s interesting is that this tool generates the result with Machine or Deep Learning. I’m not sure how that exactly works but if you’re curious check out this page.

FontJoyFontJoyCoolHue

Gradient makes a comeback to the web. But this time, with CoolHue. The tool has a great collection of beautiful gradients since web colors have improved so much as compared to the last 10 years. It is now common to see websites featuring gradients on every corner of their page.

CoolHueCoolHueFrontPress

FrontPress is a front-end framework that utilize WP-API and AngularJS. It is a great starting point if you want to create a headless CMS with WordPress, something I’m very much looking forward to.

FrontPressFrontPress
E-Commerce Design Resources: The Ultimate Round-Up

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E-Commerce Design Resources: The Ultimate Round-Up

E-commerce design requires much of the same design knowledge and skill as any other type of web design.…Read more

Sass Functions to Kick-Start Your Style Sheets

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/sass-functions-kick-start-style-sheets/

Sass Functions

Sass has a number of built-in functions to help you set up the styles for your project a lot quicker and easier.

Let’s dive into a few of them!

The Darken and Lighten Sass Functions

Possibly two of the best-known functions in this list, I’m going to count these as one because they do the same thing, but in different directions.

As the names suggest, darken and lighten will darken and lighten a color by a certain percentage respectively. You could use them on a button’s hover state or throughout a site to create hierarchy. Here’s how:

[code language=”sass”]
$main-color: #6dcff6;
$darker-color: darken($main-color, 20%);
$lighter-color: lighten($main-color, 20%);
[/code]

The second argument in these two functions takes a percentage value by which to darken/lighten a color. This way you don’t have to look up the hex for a slightly lighter color every time you want an easy interaction state. For example, you could do this:

[code language=”sass”]
.brand-button {
background: $main-color;
}

.brand-button:hover {
background: $lighter-color;
}

.brand-button:visited {
background: $darker-color;
}
[/code]

Which compiles into this:

[code language=”css”]
.brand-button {
background: #6dcff6;
}

.brand-button:hover {
background: #cdeffc;
}

.brand-button:visited {
background: #0fafee;
}
[/code]

Using these functions means that you could create an effective color palette that can remain consistent throughout your project. If, for instance, you have highlight and inactive state colors based off of a main brand color and your client decides to change their main color midway through development (it happens more than I care to admit…), you only have to change one value and see it cascade throughout the rest of a site.

The Opacify and Transparentize Sass Functions

Still sticking with colors, opacify and transparentize make colors more or less opaque respectively.

Continue reading %Sass Functions to Kick-Start Your Style Sheets%

Designers: Endless Client Revisions Got You Down? 260+ Pre-built Websites Are The Solution

Original Source: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/designers-endless-client-revisions/

(This branded content is brought to you by Be Theme)

When you think your client is finally satisfied, here comes another revision request. This time, it’s because he’s just come across a font he believes better fits in with the company brand.

That would be acceptable, except it’s the third time it’s happened! You find yourself stuck with the same project for a few more days, instead of moving on to the next one.

There are a couple of things you can do about it:

You can use a tool that gives your client exactly what he wants early on;
Use the tool that allows you to make changes easily.

Here’s one that does both.

Be Theme delivers what your clients need – the first time.

Be Theme offers a selection of more than 260 pre-built websites. Thus, it’s not hard to find one that’s a perfect match for your client’s needs or niche.

These pre-built websites are completely customizable. Moreover, you have a wealth of design options to work with. So, it’s easy to a make a change in the unlikely event of needed revision.

Even better, you can respond to your client’s request for a website in as little as 4 hours.

See how easy you can install Be Theme by watching this cool 40-second video.

10 Be Theme template examples that can get the job done.

Be eLearning

For clients who sell online courses.

This attractive pre-built website provides a great starting point to build a website for a client with online courses to sell, or is creating an eLearning platform. Although plenty of white space is used its design, Be eLearning supports a large amount of content.

Be Craftbeer

For small business owners

A client who is selling handcrafted products will want a website that features attention-getting images, like this one in Be Craftbeer. Its structured, well-balanced design, cool JavaScript effects, and clever display of buttons should please even the pickiest client.

Be Tiles

For interior designers and architects

Be Tiles lays the groundwork for a client wishing to showcase visual effects; the type of website often associated with architectural firms and interior design agencies.

Give the client a few examples of stunning portfolio styles, and you’re not likely to be bothered by revision requests.

Be Artist

For clients working in creative industries

Be ArtistBe Artist

A client who has high standards and exquisite tastes, can be difficult to satisfy, as he or she will expect the same in the website you deliver. Be Artist will put your fears to rest.

Parallax scrolling and neat JavaScript portfolio filtering effects allow you to display the client’s creative talent in exceptional ways.

Be Burger

For clients working in the catering industry

Be BurgerBe Burger

Here’s your chance to design a website for a client in a catering or food service business that stands out from the crowd in this highly competitive niche.

Mouth-watering images, easy-to-order forms, and a simple menu structure should satisfy any food service client.

Be Sports club

For clients in the fitness & wellness industry

Be Sports clubBe Sports club

This dynamic and interactive pre-built website is a perfect match for the niche it represents. Clients owning or representing a sports club, fitness center, or health and wellness center, will like this modern design, with its clean lines, clever parallax effects and attention-getting animations.

Be Hotel2

For clients in the travel and lodging industry

Be Hotel2Be Hotel2

Be Hotel2 illustrates how large cover images, and well-designed galleries showing spacious hotel rooms and other amenities for guests, can trigger a desire on the part of a visitor to pick up the phone and book a room.

You can build a complex website like this in 4 hours.

Be Restaurant

For restaurant or bistro owners

Be RestaurantBe Restaurant

You don’t see many websites for restaurants as charming as this one. Be Restaurant2 was designed from scratch to meet a variety of needs.

It will serve equally well as a basis for an upscale restaurant’s website, or for a client who owns a small, neighborhood bistro.

Be VPN

For your IT clients

Be VPNBe VPN

This website is modern, clean, and well-structured, which is what an IT team or company will expect from you. Be VPN’s corporate look isn’t hurt one bit by providing a friendly, human touch. The juice glass looks like it belongs where it’s been placed.

Be Car

For clients who sell luxury products

Be CarBe Car

This pre-built website has elegant and tasteful details coupled with intuitive design. It offers everything a client selling luxury items might expect in a website.

A hero image surrounded by plenty of white space is an excellent way to shine a spotlight on a luxury product.

Summary

How does Be Theme eliminate those bothersome client revisions?

You have the largest number of pre-built websites on the market. This makes it a no-brainer to find one to match your client’s needs.
With Be Theme, it’s possible to deliver a complex website with text, images, and the works. It will take as little as 4 hours of your time.
The fact that Be Theme is a Top 5 ThemeForest best seller speaks for itself. This theme ensures the quality your clients will see in your deliverables. Thousands of designers and developers agree with this fact.
The pre-built websites are customizable and easy to work with. This makes them easily adaptable to any client’s needs.
The designs are beautiful, intuitive and come with well-structured content. The functionality is embedded in each pre-built website along with other features.
Conclusion

No more time wasted working on revisions that tend to pile up in your inbox. All that’s required of you is to meet your client’s needs the first time around.

This will not be hard to do when you have 260+ themes and the Be Theme 1-click installer to work with.

You may still get a request for a revision now and then, but you’ll never again see them in the double digits. Besides, with Be Theme, you can make the most demanding clients happy with your initial works.

Cinemagraphs: A Moment In Time

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/K-CBv-BdHAg/cinemagraphs-moment-time

Cinemagraphs: A Moment In Time

Cinemagraphs: A Moment In Time

aloa
Aug 15, 2017

When you take a photograph you capture a moment in time. Karl Lagerfeld says the beauty about it is that the moment is “gone forever, impossible to reproduce”. And he’s right. When you’ve encountered a wonderful moment and you took a picture of it you’ll remember that moment forever. 

But sometimes a still frame is not the right representation of a situation. For example when you’re capturing movement. That’s why Apple invented Live Photos and Instagram stole “Stories” from Snapchat. People resonate with short but accurate moments they encounter in their life. 

A cinemagraph tries to capture the stillness of a photograph and the action of movie. It differs from a usual movie by having a steady fixed part in the image and bring attention to small and moving details like fire, water or hair. The term was created by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, the most prominent representative of this technique, whose work you’ll find in this article.

Cinemagraphs


Cinemagraph by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck


Cinemagraph by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck


Cinemagraph by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck


Cinemagraph by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck


Cinemagraph by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck


Cinemagraph by Shanedoesthis


Cinemagraph by HEBEJesus


Cinemagraph by Black Bird


Cinemagraph by Salwa Saeed


Cinemagraph by Salwa Saeed


Cinemagraph by Kevin Burg & Jamie Beck


Cinemagraph by Unknown


Cinemagraph by Ann Street Studio


Cinemagraph by Ann Street Studio


Cinemagraph by Daria Khoroshavina


Cinemagraph by Julian Douvier


Cinemagraph by Julian Douvier


Cinemagraph by Daniela Lapa


Cinemagraph by Apricot Berlin

Online resources
Easy to use application for MAC to create your own cinemagraphs
Great iOS application to make your own cinemagraphs
Wonderful video compilation with stunning cinemagraphs
Getting started tutorial and valuable advices to begin

 

cinemagraph
kevin burg
jamie beck


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

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/EmHvKW6HXXU/

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?


Top 15 JavaScript Plugins for Extending Your Web Forms

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/AjdzTVj2GNo/

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.


Top designers reveal their first paid commissions

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/C-MJMlPTxIc/top-designers-reveal-their-first-paid-commissions

For new designers and graduates, once you've made a beautiful online portfolio and perfected your creative resumé, it's all about landing your first paid commission or design job. 

How to transform a design internship into a job

There are a multitude of ways to get that first design commission. And – as we'll see – a multitude of ways those commissions might turn out. 

Here, top designers look back on their early days in the creative industry. They reveal how they got their first commissions – and what they learnt from them. 

Whether these early paid jobs are fond memories or recurring nightmares, they all show that even the most successful designers had to start somewhere, and that every experience is a chance to learn.

01. Simon Manchipp

Simon Manchipp, executive creative director and co-founder of SomeOne, had an early start in the world of paid design – aged just 14. "Like many of my generation, I was entranced by all things computer. They were new. Odd. Expensive and quirky. I loved computers," Manchipp tells us.

"I’d noticed that the local Currys electronics shop in Reigate, Surrey, had a pretty terrible window display – a sorry affair of four TVs lined up in the window, stuck on the BBC. All night." 

"As I cycled past I thought this was a desperately wasted promotional opportunity, and so went about my first ever creative pitch."

Manchipp approached his first client in an interesting way

"I wrote a program, in BASIC, on my rubber-keyed ZX Spectrum, which sent robotic men walking across the screen carrying promotional messages, like ‘Computer Games £1.99’,  ‘VHS Tapes on sale' and the winning: ‘ALL TV’S 20% OFF’." 

"The following Saturday I walked in armed with a cassette tape holding the data. I secretly loaded it up on the shop's demo computer, while my brother distracted them by trying to loudly play a new shipment of stylophones."

"Once up and running on screen, I politely asked to speak to the manager. When I explained that this could be a way to advertise his wares, all night, on the high street, for free, he loved it." 

"He asked me to create a series of ads that would run over the next three months. I would turn up as they opened, get briefed, dash home, code it up, dash back and have it installed ready for the evening." 

"Sales went up. Everyone was delighted. My parents were mystified."

SomeOne London, which Manchipp co-founded, has won awards for its branding work for huge names

"I was 14, so I couldn’t be legally paid. I negotiated a hard line and instead got paid in computer games and tech. By the end I had all the latest games and duplicates for friends who had helped." 

"I knew I wanted to do more of this kind of thing – something I loved, and got paid for. From then on, everything started to click. Commercial creativity was forever in my blood."

Manchipp's bold approach certainly paid off, and perhaps helped sow the seeds of confidence that led him to set up SomeOne in London.

02. Oisín Hurst

Oisín Hurst, creative director at wondr.io, found that an early paid commission provided a steep learning curve.

“A long time ago I designed a buttermilk carton for Tesco," he says. "It was one of my first packaging design pieces, created in an FMCG agency sweatshop in Dublin, where I was employed as a designer. I designed it on the flat keyline and didn’t think to mock it up."

"So I never spotted the offending shapes. To be honest, I didn’t give it a second glance. Why would I – it was buttermilk – what could go wrong?"

Neither Hurst nor his senior colleagues spotted any issues with the shapes in this design

"Not only did it get past everyone, it sat on the shelves for about seven or eight years before anyone – including myself – noticed. Now every few months it pops up on my Facebook and Twitter feeds to remind me how fallible I am. But I’m glad it does." 

Here are three lessons Hurst learnt from his buttermilk commission:

Own the end result – good or badEverything matters – the little details and the smaller jobsDesign in context – specifically the consumer, audience or customer’s context. This is especially true when designing digital experiences.

Hurst is now creative director at wondr.io in Dublin, which has won awards for its beautiful website

Hurst learnt a lot from this formative experience, proving that the odd mistake is indeed more valuable for learning than success after success. He is now producing stunning designs at digital agency Wondr.io.

03. Jamie Kelly

Kelly’s first design commission – for a friend – was paid for in drinks

Jamie Kelly, creative partner at Brand Up North, won his first commission through a stroke of luck…

“My route into design wasn't the most orthodox," he says. "After graduating from Liverpool School of Art I found myself in the world of print sales – an experience that's still one of my most valuable. I did this for two years, and although I enjoyed it, I had that burning desire to go back to my passion." 

"Luckily, at the same time I decided this, a friend of mine set up his own print sales business and asked if I would look at his identity."

Kelly’s design is still being used 10 years later

"The fee was predominantly libation-based. I of course agreed, and took what was a good brief with some clear direction. The result was an identity that hit the brief, was on trend – at the time – and pleased all four directors." 

"At this point, I was essentially a graduate designer, not understanding the power of a proposition or positioning to help shape a business and its identity. I also wan't remotely a master of my craft. But this didn't matter: they loved it, therefore I loved it."

"The business is now in its 10th year, doing very well and they still use the same identity. It's emblazoned across their livery, offices and machines." 

"This inspires me, because although I would change many things looking back – my approach, my rationale and the construction – it's still being used with pride. This is all I can ask for from any of the work we do here at Brand Up North: has it helped the business and are they proud of it?"

Now creative partner at Brand Up North, Kelly has led big branding projects for the Co-op, Brother UK and more

"10 years later I'm working with the same business on a new offering they have, where I can apply the past 10 years' learnings and hope that I have the same response, with the same longevity and result."

Kelly's successful early commission shows that seizing opportunities – even jobs for friends – is key to gaining valuable opportunities. Although we advocate getting paid in money for your first commissions, not beer.

04. Kyle Wilkinson

Kyle Wilkinson, founder and creative director of Wilkinson&Co, got his first commission by using his initiative and reaching out locally.

"Like a lot of early projects, they didn't come to me for this one – I contacted them touting for work," recalls Wilkinson. "I called a local charity to see if I could help out with anything." 

"Luckily, its old agency had sold up, so the charity was on the hunt for a designer to create a campaign for its upcoming charity event, the Midnight walk."

Wilkinson approached a local charity for work when he landed his first commission

"The event invited women of all ages to dress as cowgirls and walk 10 miles at midnight to raise money. I jumped at the chance to design for it and went down an illustrative route, as it was to be used on a lot of different mediums, of all shapes and sizes. It was even printed onto pocket mirrors."

"I remember learning a lot about managing a client, which was something I had very little experience of. I learnt what to say, how to get across ideas and so on."

"It was a steep learning curve, as with most things, but invaluable and acted as a foundation to build upon over the years. Looking back, I actually don't mind the design too much."

Wilkinson now specialises in creating bespoke display typefaces, typography, imagery and visual identities for brands and publications at Wilkinson&Co

Contacting local charities and businesses is a great way for new designers to gain some early experience. Though Wilkinson's style on his Instagram feed and website has developed, that early chance to work closely with a client to create something they love is invaluable.

Share your first commission by commenting on our Facebook page or Facebook group, or Tweet us with the hashtag #FirstCommission.

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Get more from your mentor

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CreativeBloq/~3/_UhgUrsIhpc/get-more-from-your-mentor

For all the books on design and creativity, there’s no substitute for having a stream of mentors in your life – either as a creative student, intern or new designer. 

I learned this lesson while studying at London’s School of Communication Arts. Despite being called a school, it doesn’t have any teachers. Instead, it has a network of over 1,000 mentors, who all donate a couple of days a year to share their knowledge with the students.

I spoke to the school’s dean, Marc Lewis, about what you should look for in a mentor, and how you can best build a powerful working relationship. Here I share tips from both of us on how to get the most from your mentor.

01. Be there in person

Never underestimate the value of face-to-face meetings

Think about closing your laptop and getting out into the world and meeting people. You’re not going to meet like-minded creatives and potential new contacts while sat at home all the time.

When I wanted to meet my current boss, Andy Sandoz, I called the office where he worked, saying that it was the half-term break, and rather than work at home in my pants, did they have a free desk I could use? I ended up with a desk for a week, where I met a bunch of brilliant creatives before finally, at the end of the week, one of them introduced me to Andy.

02. Kiss a lot of frogs

“Every frog might be someone’s prince(ss),” says Lewis. “My advice is that creatives need to get themselves into situations where they can meet lots of interesting people.” 

When you start searching, do so with an open mind. People don’t always need decades of experience to teach you something. Creatives who are newer to the industry can often empathise more with the stage you’re at and could also offer you more relevant advice.

03. Check your motives (and theirs)

Make sure you and your mentor have the same goals in mind

It’s always worth checking what you actually want from a mentor before you go looking. Although mentors can open new doors, you shouldn’t be angling for a job offer or a big name that you can drop into conversation. 

Lewis also recommends asking the same question of potential mentors, “The role of a mentor is not to ask, ‘What’s in it for me?’ or, ‘What’s in it for us?’ but ‘What’s in it for you?’” he says.

04. Act on advice

You’ll get the most from your mentor if you act on the advice they give you

The people you want to talk to are often short on time, which forces you to prioritise what you want to ask them. ‘What would you do if you were me?’ is often a great question that forces your mentor to empathise with your current position. 

And if you trust that they have your interests at heart, act on their advice, however difficult or uncomfortable to hear, Lewis says. Then give them feedback, tell them how it went and ask them what they suggest you do next.

05. Expand your network

Lewis says, “Mentoring is fluid and you should be constantly on the lookout for new mentors who can help you on your journey.”

Once you have a solid rapport with a mentor, it’s always worth asking if they know anyone they think you should meet that could help you. Not only does this help to grow your network, but receiving a personal introduction will carry a lot more weight than emails and cold calls.

06. Challenge your mentor

Your mentor could often do with some advice themselves

You should always feel able to challenge your mentor’s advice. “There is no ego in the room when I engage with one of my mentors, and debate is encouraged,” says Lewis. 

“I find that when I am challenging advice, I am really asking myself the important questions in pursuit of the right answers. Mentoring is not about one person telling another what to do, it is about working things out together. It should be active, not passive.”

07. Keep them in the loop

Your mentor wants to feel like the time they spend with you is helpful, so let them know what happened next. Some form of contact every month is enough to let them know how you’re getting on. 

And it doesn’t have to be all about you; if you see an article or news story you think is relevant to their interests, share it!

08. Give thanks

The School Of Communication has postcards you can send as thank you letters

It’s important not to abuse the generosity of a mentor. Lewis says that School of Communication Arts is built on a model of reciprocity: “I believe that giving thanks is incredibly important. All social transactions should be fair, and ideally should be win-win.” 

Handwritten notes feel much more personal than an email, and showing thanks is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship.

This article was originally published in Computer Arts issue 264. Subscribe here.

Related articles:

How to transform a design internship into a job50 brilliant design portfolios to inspire youTop designers reveal their first paid commissions