In 2018, Work with the Best Resources For Designers & Developers

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The learning process to keep up with the latest web technologies can take up lots of time. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to put these new technologies to work. The more you know the better of course. But plenty of people out there are busy developing the tools you need to keep abreast of technology.

This is as good a time as any take an inventory of your computing tools to see which are obsolete. You may find yourself discarding a few old favorites. But when you first have the chance to put the replacements to work you’ll have no regrets whatsoever.

Check out these 15 best tools and resources. One or more of them could not only make your day but help make 2018 the year your business takes off.

1. Elementor Page Builder

Elementor Page Builder

There’s a reason why Elementor is the #1 page-builder. There are several in fact. This open source frontend page builder makes it ever so easy to visually create spectacular websites without any need to code. Elementor works on any theme, it’s developer friendly, lightning fast, pre-built with beautiful templates and creative design elements. Elementor is also free.

Elementor became the most popular website-building tool in a very short time, already surpassing 900,000 active installs in under two years.

Elementor surpasses its alternatives in terms of ease of use, superior workflow, and excellent performance. These advantages explain how Elementor grew so fast.

The most popular feature that makes Elementor shine above the rest is its visual form builder that comes included with built-in 3rd party integrations to most marketing automation tools and CRMs.

Another notable feature is the theme builder that lets you easily design your header, footer, single post and other dynamic parts of your site.

2. Mobirise Website Builder

Mobirise Website Builder

In today’s world, a website must be device friendly if it is to be successful. It makes sense then to invest in a website builder that specializes in building mobile-friendly websites – like Mobirise.

Mobirise is also great to have on hand for small projects like landing pages, portfolios, promo sites, or small to medium websites. Mobirise’s drag and drop functionality makes it simple to work with and there’s no need for coding.

Mobirise is an offline application so you’re not tied to any specific platform, you have complete control over your web-building projects, and you can host your website wherever you choose. The Mobirise package is chock-full of trendy blocks and templates (1,200 of them) plus large selections of icons, fonts, and free images.

Best of all, Mobirise is free for both personal and commercial reasons and without restrictions. Over 1.5 million Mobirise-built sites are currently active.

3. Amelia – Enterprise-Level WordPress Appointment Booking Plugin

Amelia - Enterprise-Level WordPress Appointment Booking Plugin

Amelia is a WordPress plugin from Elite Envato author that automates your booking activities 24/7 and gives you complete control over your appointments, your schedule, and those of your employees. Clients or customers can make appointments any time of the day or night.

Amelia is easy to install and easy to work with as no special training is necessary. The colors and fonts of its frontend elements can be customized to match your WordPress theme or your corporate brand.

An important advantage this plugin offers both your business and your customers is it eliminates call waiting, phone tag, and back and forth emailing to set up an appointment or get things straightened out. Customers and clients can book an appointment in seconds on their smartphone or computer.

Amelia supports group bookings, and automatically sends email notifications to participating parties whenever an appointment has been booked, cancelled, rejected, or is pending.

4. is a central platform from which teams can manage their tasks down to the finest details. This team management tool can serve a team of 2 or a widely-dispersed team of thousands equally well. encourages team collaboration and project transparency, it is a proven productivity booster, and provides team management solutions for both technically and non-technically-oriented teams.

5. Nutcache


This business-oriented project management application is equally well-suited for web designers and developers and project managers that subscribe to Agile processes and principles such as Scrum and the use of Kanban boards. Nutcache will help you collaborate and conduct your work more efficiently from project estimating and budgeting to expense management, time tracking, and final billing.

6. Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

You’re bound to be impressed (as will a client) with Uncode’s portfolio-building features and functionalities that enable you to achieve awesome results in a relatively short time.

With Uncode, you don’t have to start a portfolio-building project from scratch, and you don’t have to resort to coding to achieve pixel-perfect results thanks to Shape Dividers, Slides Scroll, the powerful Gallery Manager, and a host of other cool features.

7. Themify Ultra

Themify Ultra

Whether you have a single project, or dozens of them for dozens of different clients makes no difference. With Themify Ultra you can handle them all. This multipurpose theme’s host of pre-designed layouts, customizable mega-menus, WooCommerce support and multiple other features including the portfolio post type plugin will ensure that you can build any website for any client.

8. Houzez


Building a website for anyone in the real estate sector can be a genuine challenge unless you have exactly the right tools. Houzez is a real estate WordPress theme that has every function and feature you need to satisfy the most demanding client.

Houzez’ features include everything from advanced search capabilities and listings format options to the new custom fields builder and search composer. In addition, the team behind this theme is known for its high-quality customer support.

9. Salesmate


Salesmate is a customer relationship management plugin that you can integrate with your WordPress site to engage and capture leads to add to your sales teams and increase your sales.

This CRM plugin will help you keep your leads organized, tag leads having special views, talents, or characteristics, and moved them through the sales cycle to where you can communicate with and respond to them quickly and easily.

10. 34,000 Icons Full Bundle by

34,000 Icons Full Bundle by

This is your chance to download the world’s largest collection of icons all wrapped up in a single bundle. These 34,000 icons are royalty-free and consist of flat icons, solid icons, full icons, doodle icons, and most other icon types you’re ever likely to run across.

The icon bundle comes with a commercial use license and is yours for a one-time payment. Be sure to use coupon code R1200FFALL for a 20% discount.

11. Stockfresh


This up-and-coming stock photo agency has already amassed several million hand-selected photos and vector images at competitive prices. This makes Stockfresh a wonderful resource to have for your stock photo and graphic images needs.

Stockfresh is currently working to extend their super selection to include themes, fonts, templates, and other design aides. Check their website for special checkout discount prices.

12. PhotoBlocks Grid Gallery

PhotoBlocks Grid Gallery

Creating a pixel perfect, attention-getting gallery to showcase your work couldn’t be easier if you make Photoblocks Grid Gallery with its visual drag and drop builder your gallery-builder of choice.

Photoblocks is responsive, so your gallery will be scaled up or down as needed, no matter the screen size. Photoblocks offers a variety of hover effects and social sharing icons.

13. Beamer


Churning out emails, newsletters, and other methods of announcing promotions, new products or services and the like can be a hassle. Why not turn the problem over to Beamer?

It’s simply a matter of inserting this online newsfeed application into a website’s “What’s New?” section together with an accompanying menu item or icon. Beamer customers have reported over 10x more user engagement compared to other announcement methods.

14. The Web Designer YouTube Channel

The Web Designer YouTube Channel offers high-quality video tutorials on a variety of subjects relating to your day-to-day web design activities. You can view and learn from subjects ranging from UI and UX to WordPress and typography, and everything in between.

You’ll also find videos featuring design tips and actual design examples. Go to the landing page for more information on a service that can help your business grow.

15. Portfoliobox


This online website builder was designed with photographers, designers, artists, and other creative professionals in mind. Portfoliobox is flexible and easy to use, no coding is required, and it’s not theme based.

All templates offered by Portfoliobox are free of charge. With the free plan you’re allowed to host 50 images, 10 pages and 10 products.


Pick one or more of these 15 top quality tools and resources. You’re likely to notice improvements in daily web design/development work performance! You will see smoother workflows, increased sales, or some combination of the above.

These top-quality items are either free to try, completely free, or affordably priced. Each of them represents a cost-effective investment. Also, each in its own way will help you cope with the latest tech changes.

Project Rush: Adobe announces all-new video editing app

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Today creative software giant Adobe reveals the latest iteration of its Creative Could service. As you would expect, some of the company's most popular apps have seen some significant updates, but the big news about town is Adobe's all-new, video editing app Project Rush.

6 best laptops for video editing 2018

Video dominates the internet – you know that, we know that, Adobe knows that, which is why its been busy working behind the scenes to develop a new tool that reimagines how we create and share online video. 

The Adobe blog describes Project Rush as "the first all-in-one, cross-device video editing app that makes creating and sharing online content easier than ever'. The integrated desktop and mobile solution means the days of not being near your PC no longer means you can't make video edits – your smartphone will now give you the access you need, providing simplified editing, colour, audio, and titling at your fingertips. 

Not only does Project Rush harness the power of Adobe's Premiere Pro and After Effects, it also features a direct sharing functionality – optimised across all channels – which makes it possible to share content on social media even faster.

While there's no official release date for Project Rush at present, Adobe will be sneak previewing the software at VidCon US, the conference for those who love and make online video, in the next couple of days. In the meantime, if you can't wait to get your hands on Project Rush, you can apply for the beta and then let Adobe know what you think. 

We're impressed with what we've seen of Project Rush so far, and keen to get our hands on the new software, so watch this space for updates and reviews.  

Below are more details of some of the other apps affected by the latest CC update. Want to sign up? Make sure you check out these top Adobe deals first. 

Adobe Spark Post for Android (Beta) 

Adobe Spark Post on smartphone screen

Adobe Spark Post is now available to Android users too!

Adobe Spark Post is a free online social media graphic design software that enables you to add text, apply filters, resize, crop, and rotate photos. Adobe Spark Post was previously available on iOS devices and the web, but Android users will be pleased to learn that, as of today, they can finally join in the party. 

Lightroom CC

Lightroom interface open with image of mountain

This latest release of Lightroom CC includes additional new features to both the desktop and mobile apps

The latest iteration of Adobe's image manipulation software Lightroom CC will be able to synchronise both presets and profiles, including custom-created presets, and third-party presets and profiles between Lightroom CC for Windows, Macintosh, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, as well as on the web. 

This gives users access to any preset purchased on any device, enabling photo editing anywhere and everywhere. This release also includes additional new features in the Windows and Mac desktop apps and iOS and Android mobile apps, two new Technology Previews, and an update to Lightroom Classic.

Adobe XD

Following the Adobe XD May release, including the launch of the free XD CC Starter plan, Adobe is updating the platform with Overlays and Fixed Elements (see video above); improvements to viewing, interacting and collaborating with shared prototypes and Design Specs; a new math calculations feature; and design feature enhancements.

Read more:

Edit videos with Adobe Premiere Pro CC95 top Photoshop tutorialsThe 60 best free Photoshop brushes

Micro is The Terminal-based Text Editor You’ll Love

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Web development has changed a lot over the years. Just a decade ago the terminal wasn’t needed to build websites. Nowadays it’s practically a staple with Gulp/Grunt, npm, and version…

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Web Design: Beautifully Designed Home Pages

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Web Design: Beautifully Designed Home Pages

Web Design: Beautifully Designed Home Pages

Jun 18, 2018

Matt Wojtaś shared a set of beautifully design website home pages and shared on his Behance profile. I believe most of the work was done as a concept and personal exercise, however, there’s a lot to love about them, especially the editorial design look precisely translated to web design. I particularly, like the way typography and imagery superimpose each other. I know it would be very hard to be able to make it work dynamically and without a highly curated photo selection, still, it looks great. Another thing I like about some of the designs is the way he played with colors. He creates a good division of content by breaking the screen into sections. Again, I’d love to see how they would scale to different screen sizes. 

For more information about Matt make sure to check out his website at

Web design


web design

Monthly Web Development Update 6/2018: Complexity, DNS Over HTTPS, And Push Notifications

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Monthly Web Development Update 6/2018: Complexity, DNS Over HTTPS, And Push Notifications

Monthly Web Development Update 6/2018: Complexity, DNS Over HTTPS, And Push Notifications

Anselm Hannemann


We see complexity in every corner of a web project these days. We’ve read quite a bunch of articles about how complex a specific technology has become, and we discuss this over and over again. Coming from a time where we uploaded websites via FTP and had no git or anything comparable, now living in a time where we have a build system, transpilers, frameworks, tests, and a CI even for the smallest projects, this is easy to understand. But on the other hand, web development has grown up so much in the past 15 years that we can’t really compare today to the past anymore. And while it might seem that some things were easier in the past, we neglect the advantages and countless possibilities we have today. When we didn’t write tests back then, well, we simply had no test — meaning no reliable way to test for success. When we had no deployment process, it was easy to upload a new version but just as easy to break something — and it happened a lot more than today when a Continuous Integration system is in place.

Jeffrey Zeldman wrote an interesting article on the matter: “The Cult of Complex” outlines how we lose ourselves in unnecessary details and often try to overthink problems. I like the challenge of building systems that are not too complex but show a decent amount of responsibility (when it comes to ethics, privacy, security, a great user experience, and performance) and are working reliably (tests, deployments, availability, and performance again). I guess the problem of finding the right balance won’t go away anytime soon. Complexity is everywhere — we just need to decide if it’s useful complexity or if it was added simply because it was easier or because we were over-engineering the original problem.


The upcoming Safari version 12 was unveiled at Apple’s WWDC. Here’s what’s new: icons in tabs, strong passwords, as well as a password generator control via HTML attributes including two-factor authentication control, a 3D and AR model viewer, the Fullscreen API on iPads, font-display, and, very important, Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0 which is more restrictive than ever and might have a significant impact on the functionality of existing websites.
The headless Chrome automation library Puppeteer is now out in version 1.5. It brings along Browser contexts to isolate cookies and other data usually shared between pages, and Workers can now be used to interact with Web Workers, too.
Google released Lighthouse 3.0, the third major version of their performance analyzation tool which features a new report interface, some scoring changes, a CSV export, and First Contentful Paint measurement.
Chrome 67 is here, bringing Progressive Web Apps to the Desktop, as well as support for the Generic Sensor API, and extending the Credential Management API to support U2F authenticators via USB.
We’ve seen quite some changes in the browsers’ security interfaces over the past months. First, they emphasized sites that offer a secured connection (HTTPS). Then they decided to indicate insecure sites, and now Chrome announced new changes coming in fall that will make HTTPS the default by marking HTTP pages as “not secure”.

Desktop PWA in Chrome 67Desktop Progressive Web Apps are now supported in Chrome OS 67, and the Chrome team already started working on support for Mac and Windows, too. (Image credit)


In “The Cult of the Complex”, Jeffrey Zeldman writes about how we often seem to forget that simplicity is the key and goal of everything we do, the overall goal for projects and life. He explains why it’s so hard to achieve and why it’s so much easier — and tempting — to cultivate complex systems. A very good read and definitely a piece I’ll add to my ‘evergreen’ list.
Heydon Pickering shared a new, very interesting article that teaches us to build a web component properly: This time he explains how to build an inclusive and responsive “Card” module.


Cool Backgrounds is a cool side project by Moe Amaya. It’s an online generator for polygonal backgrounds with gradients that can generate a lot of variants and shapes. Simply beautiful.


Ben Frain shares some useful text editing techniques that are available in almost all modern code editors.


As security attacks via DNS gain popularity, DNS over HTTPS gets more and more important. Lin Clark explains the technology with a cartoon to make it easier to understand.
Windows Edge is now previewing support for same-site cookies. The attribute to lock down cookies even more is already available in Firefox and Chrome, so Safari is the only major browser that still needs to implement it, but I guess it’ll land in their Tech Preview builds very soon as well.

DNS Over HTTPSLin Clark created a cartoon to explain how you can better protect your users’ privacy with DNS over HTTPS. (Image credit)


The ACLU discovered that Amazon now officially teamed up with law enforcement and provides a mass-face recognition technology that is already used in cities around the world.

Web Performance

KeyCDN asked 15 people who know a lot about web performance to share their best advice with readers. Now they shared this article containing a lot of useful performance tips for 2018, including a few words by myself.
Stefan Judis discovered that we can already preload ECMA Script modules in Chrome 66 by adding an HTML header tag link rel=“modulepreload”.


It’s relatively easy to build a loading spinner — for a Single Page Application during load, for example —, but we rarely think about making them accessible. Stuart Nelson now explains how to do it.
Paul Stanton shares which accessibility tools we should use to get the best results.


JavaScript has lately been bullied by people who favor Elm, Rust, TypeScript, Babel or Dart. But JavaScript is definitely not worse, as Andrea Giammarchi explains with great examples. This article is also a great read for everyone who uses one of these other languages as it shows a couple of pitfalls that we should be aware of.
For a lot of projects, we want to use analytics or other scripts that collect personal information. With GDPR in effect, this got a lot harder. Yett is a nice JavaScript tool that lets you block the execution of such resources until a user agrees to it.
Ryan Miller created a new publication called “The Frontendian”, and it features one of the best explanations and guides to CORS I’ve come across so far.
The folks at Microsoft created a nice interactive demo page to show what Web Push Notifications can and should look like. If you haven’t gotten to grips with the technology yet, it’s a great primer to how it all works and how to build an interface that doesn’t disturb users.
Filepond is a JavaScript library for uploading files. It looks great and comes with a lot of adapters for React, Vue, Angular, and jQuery.
React 16.4 is out and brings quite a feature to the library: Pointer Events. They’ll make it easier to deal with user interactions and have been requested for a long time already.

The FrontendianInspired by the parallels between basic astrological ideas and push notification architecture, the team at Microsoft explains how to send push notifications to a user without needing the browser or app to be opened. (Image credit)


Oliver Schöndorfer shares how to start with variable fonts on the web and how we can style them with CSS. A pretty complete summary of things you need to consider as well as possible pitfalls.
With the upcoming macOS Mojave supporting a ‘dark mode’, Safari will begin to automatically set the background color of websites to a black color if no background-color is explicitly set. This is a great reminder that browsers can set and alter their default styles and that we need to set our site defaults carefully. I’m still hoping that the ‘dark mode’ will be exposed to a CSS Media Query so we can officially add support for it.
Rafaela Ferro shares how to use CSS Grid to create a photo gallery that looks not only good but actually great. This article has the answers to many questions I regularly get when talking about Grid layout.
Marcin Wichary explains how we can create a dark theme in little time with modern CSS Custom Properties.

Work & Life

Anton Sten wrote about the moral implications for our apps. A meaningful explanation why the times of “move fast and break things” are definitely over as we’re dealing with Artificial Intelligence, social networks that affect peoples’ lives, and privacy matters enforced by GDPR.
Basecamp now has a new chart type to display a project’s status: the so-called “hill chart” adds a better context than a simple progress bar could ever do it.
Ben Werdmüller shares his thoughts about resumes and how they always fail to reflect who you are, what you do, and why you should be hired.

I hope you enjoyed this monthly update. The next one is scheduled for July 13th, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you like what I do, please consider helping me fund the Web Development Reading List financially.

Have a great day!

— Anselm

Smashing Editorial

Best Examples of Great Logo Fonts

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How important is it for a company to have a great logo? It could mean the difference between years of success and failure. Today we can recognize companies just by looking at their logo alone. The golden arches will always represent McDonald’s, even if the name isn’t present. The “swoosh” logo lets us know that a shirt or […]

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Motion Design: Hidden Treasures: Bauhaus Dessau

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Motion Design: Hidden Treasures: Bauhaus Dessau

Motion Design: Hidden Treasures: Bauhaus Dessau

Jun 15, 2018

Sebastian Onufszak, LAFKON Publishing, Jürgen Branz and Stephan Bovenschen shared a lot more information on the process behind the beautiful Adobe project Hidden Treasures: Bauhaus Dessau. Below you can see five motion design clips for the Adobe project. They were screened on the largest media wall in Europe during the #FutureOfDesign event with Scott Belsky on June 13th in Hamburg. Commissioned by Faktor 3.

The #AdobeHiddenTreasures fonts were directed by Erik Spiekermann and Ferdinand Ulrich.
Review and production by Adobe Originals (Dan Rhatigan and Ernie March).

The fonts are available via Adobe Typekit. More about the #AdobeHiddenTreasures project here.

Design & Art Direction: Sebastian Onufszak
Animation: Benjamin Stephan, Christoph Haag, Sebastian Onufszak, Stephan Bovenschen
Sound Design: Jürgen Branz
Agency: Faktor 3, Peter Stützkowsky
Client: Adobe, Daniel Vargaz Diaz, Katja Dollinger

Color Code

Quote Charts

Projection on Media Wall

Film 01: Typeface “Xants”

Film 02: Typeface “Reross”

Film 03: Typeface “Alfarn”

Film 04: Typeface “Joschmi”

Film 05: Typeface “”

15 Famous Movie Posters to Inspire Your Next Project

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The poster for a feature film helps to sell the movie itself. It works as a single-frame trailer to capture the potential viewer’s attention. That draws them into the excitement of the plot.A great poster can be a subtle image that leaves the viewer guessing about the secrets of the movie, from the most famous […]

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Brand Identity for The Clifford Pier Singapore

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Brand Identity for The Clifford Pier Singapore

Brand Identity for The Clifford Pier Singapore

Jun 14, 2018

It’s booked! We will be heading down to Singapore for our yearly vacation, nothing cooler than exploring designers, artists, and photographers based in this beautiful country. Let’s take a look at the work of Foreign Policy and their Brand Identity for The Clifford Pier. I took this particular project because the design truly reflects the colours from Singapore after watching so many travel videos on the subject. As they quote: “Collaterals with color palette in sea-foam, coral and Caspian blue; classic postage stamps accented with tropical flora and fauna”.

Sharing an entity with its heritage, The Clifford Pier draws from its legacy as a bustling port in Singapore during the 1930s. Ginger flower motifs pay homage to William Farquhar who was fascinated with local botany during his time on the island. Collaterals with color palette in sea-foam, coral and caspian blue; classic postage stamps accented with tropical flora and fauna, along with architectural elements, are reminiscent of the glorious voyages that set sail from this historical landmark.

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Brand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier SingaporeBrand Identity for The Clifford Pier Singapore

brand identity
graphic design

Self-hosted Cloud Storage: Nextcloud vs. ownCloud vs. Seafile

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Are you planning to build your own Dropbox-type cloud storage for your team or business? Though there are various self-hosted cloud solutions for creating a private cloud yet all of them will not fit…

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