The Ultimate Guide To Graphic Design Basics For The Creative Eye

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/mEdezLumZIU/the-ultimate-guide-to-graphic-design-basics-for-the-creative-eye

?If you have a creative eye and think you might enjoy working in art, a job in graphic design may be the best route for you. Learn everything you need to know, from the history of the industry to graphic design basics and design principles. We’ll show you how you can become a graphic designer […]

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8 of the Best Design Handoff Tools

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/best-design-handoff-tools/?utm_source=rss

A Roundup of the Best Design Handoff Tools

Design handoff (before it was even called that) was a complicated, frustrating, and often disastrous task. Way back when, Photoshop was the only tool available for screen design, and converting a design to code was called “slicing a PSD.”

Oh, the days.

Slicing a PSD was the developer’s responsibility, which was quite frustrating because developers understandably didn’t want to work with design tools. That being said, designers had to manually write out design specs for every layer in a Photoshop document, which often resulted in inconsistencies and heated discussions with developers. This set designers and developers on a path of war that even today we’re not ready to joke about.

But eventually we were introduced to Sketch. Thanks to its extensible API, developers were able to build apps that could analyze and interpret design documents completely. Today, design handoff tools have become a must-have in every design workflow, with almost every screen design tool integrating with (or providing its own) design handoff solution.

What Do Design Handoff Tools Do?

Design handoff tools have three main objectives:

to help designers export their designs from [insert tool here]
to help developers inspect and implement said design
to facilitate feedback and collaboration between stakeholders

The design handoff workflow often looks like this:

The designer mocks up the design in a screen design tool.
The designer sends the mockups to a design handoff tool.
Stakeholders look at the design, and make comments if needed.
The designer fixes any issues, then sends an updated version.
The developer then inspects the finished design, layer-by-layer.
Design handoff tools translate each layer into code, and the developer can then use this code as the basis for developing the app or website.

Without design handoff, developers are left with only one alternative: guessing. Guessing can result in inaccuracies — for example the wrong colors being used, or an interaction behaving incorrectly — which in turn impacts user experience.

All handoff tools work the same way, but they don’t all support the same platforms or your screen design tool of choice. If you don’t use Sketch, for example, Marvel isn’t going to be all that useful to you as a design handoff tool.

Let’s take a look at the best design handoff tools that are currently available.

Zeplin

Zeplin has been leading the charge on design handoff since the concept was first realized, integrating with Sketch and Photoshop, and more recently Adobe XD and Figma. Designs synced from any of these tools can be translated into CSS, Android, Swift, Objective-C or React Native code, which includes the styles of each layer and any assets that have been marked as exportable.

The Zeplin dashboard

This functionality is standard for design handoff tools, although with Zeplin being the first (or at least one of the first), the user experience of their app is almost unrivaled.

And as with all other design handoff tools, commenting features are there to aid feedback and collaboration.

Platforms: Web, macOS, Windows
Pricing: Free Plan, $17, $26, or $122.40 (/month)

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What’s New for Designers, July 2019

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2019/07/whats-new-for-designers-july-2019/

It’s hard to stay focused this time of year. With vacations coming up (or having recently passed) it’s easy to get distracted from work-related tasks. For that reason, this month’s roundup is full of design tools plus a few design diversions that you can have fun with.

404 Illustrations

Have you ever wanted to create a cool 404 page but didn’t have the time or inspiration? 404 Illustrations takes all the work out of it for you with funky and trendy illustrations for lost website users. Each illustration comes with a cute description as well and they are free to use. The designers promise more illustrations in the future.

Spotlight

Spotlight is a lightbox gallery library that’s lightweight, easy to run, and has no dependencies. It literally runs from the download without additional JavaScript, HTML snippets, additional CSS resources, images or assets, and no additional handling of dynamic content.

Eva Design System

Eva is a free and open-source design system that’s adaptable to your needs and team. It works with Sketch and provides symbols and style configurations. The system allows you to design and code using a quick process that can eliminate repetitive work.

Screenzy

Screenzy is a tool for creating and editing screenshots quickly. Just paste an image or URL and use on-screen settings to adjust the image, add text or choose from one of 5 pre-set options.

Drag and Drop Sticky

Scott Kellum created a cool drag and drop sticky note element with no JavaScript. It works as a textarea element and as you move it around, technically you are just resizing a the textarea and the “note” follows.

Freezeframe.js

Freezeframe.js lets you pause animated gifs and then reanimate on a hover, mouse click, touch event, or another manual trigger. The new version of this tool no longer uses jQuery and functions thanks to modern JavaScript.

Space Shooter

Space Shooter is a fun pen by Andrew Rubin that’s a good distraction when you are trying to work through a design problem and a fun bit of inspiration. You can build something like this. Why not make a game? Fork it and play around.

Pika CDN

Pika CDN is made for packages written in ES Module syntax, that runs natively in browser. Use it to distribute more modern, unminified packages that uses a proprietary package builder, putting everything into a ready-to-import JavaScript file. The tool is free and a pro version is on the way. (Sign up to get notified when it is ready.)

Swipemix

Swipemix will help you design better layouts and collages on Instagram. It allows you to sequence images with easy templates in just a few minutes from an app on your iPhone.

Source Wireframe Kit

Source Wireframe Kit helps you prototype faster with more than 500 blocks that can be moved, combined, and adjusted into a complete design system. Everything is grouped into categories to help you work faster and you can use it with Sketch, Figma, Marvel, or Invision to bring prototypes to life.

Hubcap

Hubcap is a free screen recorder that works without installing any software. It works with Chrome or Firefox and allows you to record a screengrab and share it instantly. You can record up to five minutes and Hubcap will store if for up to 2 weeks at no cost.

Brutalism Web Kit

Brutalism Web Kit is a collection of artboards to jumpstart website projects using this design trend. It includes 70 styles and works with free tools including Google Fonts.

Ant Design UI Kit

Any Design UI Kit is a collection of components for Figma based on the React UI library. It includes 2,100 components, 630 icons, 140 customizable styles, and 43 screens, making it one of the biggest component inventories for Figma.

Anggada

Anggada looks like it could be inspired by the title characters in recent Aladdin movie release. It includes a full character set that’s most appropriate for display use. The demo version is free and the full font is available from the typeface designer.

Basier Mono

Basier Mono is a modern style monospaced typeface with a free and family (premium) download option with square and circular shapes. The typeface is also packed with cool alternates, fractions, and supports multiple languages.

Bright Salkiy

Bright Salkiy is a scrawling script with thin lines that has the look of an elegant signature. The free version is for personal use only and includes a full character and number set.

Cataclysmo

Cataclysmo is a bold, tall slab serif for display use. It includes an uppercase-only character set and numbers.

Nairi Amber

Nairi Amber includes a regular sans serif, italic sans serif, and script character set for personal use with the free version. Each character set in the family works well together with a wide stance and rounded letterforms. The script is somewhat more compact.

Rise of Kingdom

Rise of Kingdom is an uppercase serif typeface that would be a great display option. It has a somewhat whimsical feel with tall letterforms on the thin side.

Source

p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
.alignleft {float:left;}
p.showcase {clear:both;}
body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

Is Dribbble Worth Your Time?

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2019/07/is-dribbble-worth-your-time/

The online community has been around since 2010 and is one of the top platforms where designers can share work, or shots, and get feedback.

The invite-only community is a showcase of portfolio projects and personal artwork for digital graphics and user interface design, illustrations, animations, and pretty much any other design work you can think of.

Dribbble Pros

If you want to be inspired, Dribbble is the place for you. There’s so much good work to browse through, comment on, and engage with. It’s a good mental distraction if you are working through a design problem of your own.

The community is huge and the company reports that the number of users nearly doubled last year. In 2018, designers uploaded 1.2 million shots, that got 35 million likes, and 1 million comments. Best estimates put the number of users at 4.5 million worldwide.

Everything about Dribbble has a community feel, for the time being, it’s very un-Facebook

Dribbble is more than just an online community. Dribbblers in different locations get together for meetups and design networking. They literally happen all over the world, or you can host one in your location. It makes the design-based peer network social IRL.

Everything about Dribbble has a community feel, for the time being, it’s very un-Facebook, even as it expands. It’s simple and authentic.

There’s something great about a design platform that is designed well. Every page is simple and stunning. Projects are easy to see, thanks to consistent previews. Usability is obvious. From the first login, everything about Dribbble is easy to understand, find, and explore.

You can get feedback from other designers. Feedback from your boss or clients or design team is great, but what if you want to know what a wider community thinks. This is the place to test out a design.

Dribbble has expanded to include job listings – real gigs from some reputable companies – and even mark your profile as available for hire. That allows others to seek you out. One the same note, you can sell designs and digital goods, which can be a nice supplemental income.

The theme of the site hasn’t changed since Day 1 and it’s cute and endearing. Basketball fans can appreciate it for sure.

Dribbble Cons

Dribbble can be a major distraction. There’s just so much to look at, and then there are the rebounds, which will have you asking if you really just spent 3 hours enhancing someone else’s original animation concept.

Uploads are somewhat limited. While Dribbble eliminated the 400-pixel by 300-pixel rule late last year (thank you!), the maximum size for uploads is 10 MB. You don’t have to use a specific aspect ratio, but will be asked to crop for the preview to maintain design consistency across the network. Plus, you can still upload downloadable versions if you like.

The invites. It seems like a cool idea and maybe it was in the beginning, but are invites really necessary 10 years later? If someone doesn’t play by the rules kick them out.

It can feel a little like a high-school popularity contest

It can feel a little like a high-school popularity contest. There are bloggers out there with tips for what time to share your shots to get the most likes. Seriously? No thanks.

Some days Dribbble seems bigger than the rookie designer just starting out. It’s totally cool that designers from Apple and Airbnb are posting, but it can also be intimidating. If you are new to the platform, or design in general, try not to compare. Do your thing, find your niche, and be you in the community.

Dribbble is not the best place to keep a portfolio, although it is getting better. You can, but it can be a little tough to explain and share. (Do you really want a potential employer to see all those comments or a project you were just experimenting with?) So, you’ll probably need Dribbble, plus another platform to host a portfolio.

There are little ads everywhere. Dribbble needs a revenue source to survive and thrive, but some people are turned off by it. (If you are one of those people, you can upgrade to a paid plan.)

If you really want all the features of the network, you have to pay. It can be worth it if you are using it to sell good or get work (or ads drive you crazy). Dribbble Pro is $12 per month or $60 annually.

I’m on Dribbble … Kind Of

My name is Carrie, and I am a Dribbble lurker.

I have been on Dribble almost since the beginning. And I haven’t posted anything. That doesn’t mean I don’t value it, I’ve been looking at other designer projects for years love to see what’s out there, but just don’t have time to do more.

For me, Dribbble is all about inspiration and anticipation. So many of the shots are glimpses into experiments in design and can even be a predictor of trends.

I have go-to designers that I like to peek in on, but mostly I like to browse

I have go-to designers that I like to peek in on, but mostly I like to browse. What’s been uploaded recently, what’s getting a lot of attention, is there a technique or aesthetic that’s starting to emerge frequently?

I’ll also admit to getting called out for my Dribbble lurker status. Can you be a “real designer” if you aren’t using the platform regularly? Am I washing an invitation by not creating new, and regular shots?

Whether you are on (and are a frequent contributor to) Dribbble or not has nothing to do with your status as a designer. It’s all about time, project needs, and whether that feedback is something you crave. It’s like almost any other social network. You get from it what you contribute.

So, if you have the time and want to be a Dribbbler, go for it. And if not, that’s OK, too. (Let’s not judge each other because of a peer network.)

Conclusion

There’s nothing wrong with trying to get that coveted Dribbble invite, although with so many designers on the platform, invites aren’t as hard to get as they once were.

If you have time and enjoy the interaction, Dribbble can be a good use of resources and effort. But it’s OK to lurk too.

Just play with it in moderation and don’t let comments or shots overwhelm you. When Dribbble stops being fun, you should probably move on to something else. If you haven’t joined yet, now might be the time to ask your favorite co-worker for an invite.

 

Source

p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
.alignleft {float:left;}
p.showcase {clear:both;}
body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

A Look Into: CSS3 2D Transformations

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/css3-2d-transformation/

The Transformation module is a tremendous addition in CSS3, it takes the way we manipulate elements on a website to the next level. There are some experiments that really amaze me, examples such as…

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Freelancers: 5 Ways To Lose Your Clients

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/ways-to-lose-your-clients/

Clients are a feared group of people who freelancers depend greatly upon . Some clients are incredibly easy to work with; they say what they mean and mean what they say, and they never pay late….

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15 Fun and Inspiring Examples of CSS Animation

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/wqO5MiuT-Ks/

CSS is a powerful coding language that can give style and personality to HTML. CSS animations, in particular, are created by transitioning between various CSS configurations over a period of time.

There are a lot of extremely practical cases for CSS animation, such as the ability to animate HTML elements without the use of JavaScript or Flash (although some do utilize JavaScript).

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at 15 lighthearted CSS animation projects to give you inspiration for your next endeavor. These are going to be practical applications that have a certain level of whimsy and fun to them. Hopefully, they’re just as fun to work on!

Google’s Game of the Year

Google’s Game of the Year

The Game of the Year animation for Google looks like a fairly simple CSS animation. It features the title text falling slightly, and the elements bumping into each other. While there is plenty of code that went into this, the core is animating the rotation of the elements after a delay.

Cascading Solar System

See the Pen
Cascading Solar System! by Tady Walsh (@tadywankenobi)
on CodePen.

The author of cascading solar system obviously has an eye for humor, naming his project so that it also can be abbreviated as CSS. This is an impressive but unassuming animation that models the solar system in 2D. The orbits use a scaled rotation speed so that they’re all accurate to their real-world counterparts.

Gooey Menu

See the Pen
Gooey Menu by Lucas Bebber (@lbebber)
on CodePen.

Menu animations are a pretty common use of CSS, and this gooey menu is no exception. This has plenty of small details, including a slight increase in size when hovering over the button, and then the bouncy, gelatinous animation when the menu expands.

Each individual button then highlights when hovered over. It is also a special treat to notice the subtle details. Take note of how the hamburger menu symbol collapses into an X and transforms back when you close the menu again.

Flying Birds at Fournier Père et Fils

Flying Birds at Fournier Père et Fils

This winery’s homepage features an animation that involves two birds flying across the screen. The process of applying this animation is actually fairly straightforward.

The first layer of animation is to animate the birds flapping their wings, which works much like a flipbook. The second step is the animated vertical and horizontal path that the bird follows, in order to make the speed and flight path look natural. This is done through keyframe animation. The best part is, this can be replicated across any number of birds, you will just need to vary the timing a little bit.

Ball Loading Animation

See the Pen
CSS loading animation by Patrik Hjelm (@patrikhjelm)
on CodePen.

This loading animation is another simple one. It is a vertical line of seven circles that swing back and forth horizontally in a seemingly random pattern.

In terms of CSS code, each ball has its own short few lines of animation. Each ball has the same code except for the length of time that it takes to move side-to-side. This creates a variation between each element.

The rest of the code defines the keyframe points, so really it’s just selecting two keyframe points and varying the amount of time it takes for the circles to travel between them. While straightforward, this is often all you need for a loading screen!

Submarine

See the Pen
Submarine with CSS by Alberto Jerez (@ajerez)
on CodePen.

This CSS exercise features a little red submarine roving the ocean. It has several simple animated elements that come together to make a very pleasing looking loop. This is a lot of keyframing and elements linked to each other, but it’s a fun inspiration for your own CSS projects!

Circles Loading Animation

See the Pen
Animated – SVG Loader by Steven Roberts (@matchboxhero)
on CodePen.

Simple loading screens are one of the best ways to show off CSS, and these concentric circles are no different. The code is pretty quick and simple, essentially telling the circles to ease in and out of rotation at different intervals.

Since the shapes don’t actually change size, and just rotate around, it’s a pretty straightforward exercise in CSS! And it makes a great addition to any website.

Moving Background Mask

See the Pen
Animated – Background Mask by Steven Roberts (@matchboxhero)
on CodePen.

At first glance, you might not realize there is an animation going on here. But look closely, and you’ll see the colored background slowly gliding down. This is an extremely subtle effect, but sometimes that’s what CSS is all about!

At its core, this is using masking as you might see in a photo or video editing software. It only displays the image on the masked layer, and moves the image along a path.

Flat Design Camera

See the Pen
Flat design camera with CSS animation by Damien Pereira Morberto (@damienpm)
on CodePen.

This flat design camera image has a clever concept around it. Press the camera button, and it takes a picture! Well, sort of. The images are predetermined for this code, but the potential for more is there.

This CSS project has several small moving parts, such as the flashing red light on the left side, and the animation of the entire asset as the camera “prints” a photo. Overall, this definitely has some practical applications for any photo-related app that might access a user’s webcam.

Pulse Animation

See the Pen
Animated – SVG Pulse by Steven Roberts (@matchboxhero)
on CodePen.

This is another simple but effective CSS animation. And that’s a trend here! Some of the best uses of CSS are straightforward and simple. No need to get overcomplicated with it.

This one just sends out a few circles that fade out when they expand to their fullest. It’s pretty easy to come up with and to replicate. So, this is a great place to start for a simple CSS project if you’re looking for inspiration as a newcomer to the language.

Bubbling Up

See the Pen
Animated – SVG Bubbles by Steven Roberts (@matchboxhero)
on CodePen.

This bubble animation is made up of a few elements and animations. The first level of animation changes the bubble opacity and makes the image move vertically, so it looks like the bubbles rise up out of nothing.

The second level of animation creates a wobbling effect to make the bubbles look more alive and natural. This makes great use of keyframes, which really make CSS animations look smooth.

Google Now 3rd Party Apps

See the Pen
Google Now 3rd Party Apps by Paweł Kuna (@codecalm)
on CodePen.

This animation is inspired by another designer’s concept that was made in After Effects, but this one does it just with CSS! It’s a cute flat icon pack that pops into existence and slides out. This CSS code makes heavy use of keyframes and timing the different elements as they pop in.

It’s basically just the same code for each icon, but time-adjusted appropriately. This is great inspiration for making something that is simple overall, but is complex when you put all the pieces together.

Hamburger Menu

See the Pen
Hamburger Icon CSS3 ONLY Animation by Dawid Krajewski (@DawidKrajewski)
on CodePen.

Don’t let this simple hamburger menu fool you, it’s actually quite complicated. This doesn’t use any HTML or JavaScript and is entirely made in CSS.

What makes this complex is the fact that it doesn’t use HTML, so all of the shapes in this animation had to be created within CSS alone. From there, there is a lot of keyframe animation to construct the transformation between shapes. This should get you inspired to ditch the traditional HTML and try something different!

Perspective Split Text Animation

See the Pen
Perspective Split Text Menu Hover by James Bosworth (@bosworthco)
on CodePen.

This animated menu looks simple on the outside but can make a big impact on any website. When you hover over the area, the text changes perspective to follow your mouse. When you hover over a specific block of text, it gets split in half.

The animation uses some different techniques to achieve these goals, so it’s a great inspiration as an exercise for practicing some advanced CSS skills.

Floating Ghost

See the Pen
ghost by Beep (@scoooooooby)
on CodePen.

Let’s end with something fun! This adorable ghost just floats up and down, indefinitely. The image just eases in and out, up and down, and the shadow underneath expands and contracts. This simple animation is versatile and can be used as a loading screen or just about anything else!

A Moving Inspiration

CSS is a powerful tool in your web design pocket. Hopefully, these funny and lighthearted animations can inspire you to go out and create your own awesome concepts.

Always remember that you don’t have to make something just for productivity’s sake! You can create something just for fun – even if it serves no purpose. And who knows, maybe someone else will see it, and become inspired themselves.


How to Run Custom Tasks in Windows 10 with Cortana

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/make-cortana-do-custom-chores-in-windows-10/

Detailed guide to enable Cortana do custom tasks in Windows 10 through some simple steps.

The post How to Run Custom Tasks in Windows 10 with Cortana appeared first on Hongkiat.

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Is the Rise of Millennial Women in Tech Just an Illusion?

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/rise-of-younger-women-in-tech/?utm_source=rss

woman with computer

This article was created in partnership with the Developer Economics Survey. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

The latest Developer Economics survey is upon us again, and as always, we highly recommend that everyone participates. It’s an excellent opportunity to express your views about what’s happening in the world of web development, and it helps paint a cohesive picture about the landscape.

In the last survey, published April 2019, we garnered a lot of interesting insights into the modern dev at work. Of the participants in the last survey, 9% were women, suggesting a global population of 1.7 million women developers versus the 17 million that are men. However, the report also found that under the age of 35, 36% of developers were women, versus 33% of men. Compare this with the survey’s other finding that 37% of male developers are over 35 years of age, as compared to 29% of women in the same age bracket. This indicates that younger generations of women are increasingly moving towards a career in development. Hopefully in the next few years we’ll start seeing parity between male and female developers in more senior roles. Currently men are almost three times more likely to hold senior or C-suite positions than women.

However, as the report also notes, a less optimistic reading of the data may be that women “have always been involved, but tend to leave software development as they get older, either by choice or necessity.”

The post Is the Rise of Millennial Women in Tech Just an Illusion? appeared first on SitePoint.

A Look at WordPress Plugin Ecosystems

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/FpmVc7Ha6k4/

Among the many strengths of WordPress is the massive number of available plugins. There are tens of thousands, and those are just the free offerings. They handle all sorts of functionality, from security to image galleries to forms. Just about everything you could possibly want for your website is only a download away.

But it is the rare plugin that is so well-crafted and useful that it inspires a number of companion offerings to use along side of it. In many cases, they are among the most popular plugins out there. So popular and well-liked, in fact, that they have developed their very own ecosystems.

Today, we’ll take a look at the concept of WordPress plugin ecosystems. Along the way, we’ll show you some examples and discuss the advantages (and disadvantages) that come with adopting them into your website.

Prime Examples

Before we dig too deeply into the pros and cons, let’s see what a plugin ecosystem looks like. For our purposes, we’ll define it as such:

A “base” or “core” plugin that works on its own, but also has multiple add-on plugins available;
Add-ons may be created by the original author, or by outside developers within the WordPress community;
Can be free, commercial or any combination thereof;

In short, this means that the term “ecosystem” is rather flexible. It might be that a plugin’s author has created the base and all add-ons themselves. Or, other developers out there may have decided to build their own extensions. Either way, we have a group of related plugins that can scale up functionality based on need.

Here are a few prime examples we can use to better illustrate the concept:

WooCommerce

Perhaps the most well-known plugin ecosystem, WooCommerce turns your website into an online store. The core plugin adds shopping cart functionality and related features that go along with it for things like shipping and accepting payments. However, it is capable of so much more.

Through the use of add-ons (WooCommerce refers to them as “extensions”), you can leverage the cart for all sorts of niche functionality. Among the more basic features are the ability to work with a wider variety of payment gateways and shipping providers. But you can also add some advanced capabilities such as selling membership subscriptions or event tickets.

Gravity Forms

Here’s a great example of a plugin whose ecosystem has taken a core concept and expanded it immensely. Gravity Forms is a form-building plugin, which already includes a lot of advanced functionality. Yet add-ons allow it to perform tasks well beyond what you’d expect from your standard contact form.

Through a community that both includes and goes beyond the plugin’s original author, add-ons allow for a number of advanced tasks. You can accept payments, run polls or surveys, connect with third-party service providers, view and manipulate entry data and a whole lot more. It may one of the best examples of how an ecosystem provides nearly endless flexibility.

WooCommerce and Gravity Forms

Something to Build On

One of the biggest advantages to buying into one of these plugin ecosystems is that you can add what you need, when you need it. Think of it as a building. The base plugin provides you with a solid foundation (and maybe a floor or two). Then, you can add as many floors as it takes to fulfill your needs.

Sometimes, that first core plugin is all you need. But even then, you still have the blueprints to build upon should you want to expand later.

Another potential benefit is that these plugins tend to have been built with expansion in mind. That means that you don’t necessarily have to rely on official or even community-based add-ons. If you have some programming knowledge, you might be able to add functionality by building it yourself.

Plus, by utilizing a related set of plugins, you can avoid one of the more frustrating parts of WordPress site development. So often, we attempt to bring many disparate pieces together to form some sort of cohesively functioning website.

This often means using plugins that were never meant to necessarily work together, which can lead to problems when attempting to make it all run seamlessly. In theory, this shouldn’t be an issue when you tap into an ecosystem.

A skyscraper building.

Potential Drawbacks

Despite the many advantages to using a set of related plugins, there are some possible downsides to consider. Among the most common:

It Can Get Expensive

For plugins with commercial add-ons, you may find yourself being nickeled and dimed for each and every piece of added functionality you’d like to add. WooCommerce is a classic example, where each official add-on requires a yearly investment. That’s not to say it’s not worth the cost – it very well may be. Rather, it is a potential obstacle for the budget-conscious.

Not Everything You Want Is Available

This is something you’ll want to check before making any decisions as to how you’ll build your site. It may be that a base plugin and a selection of add-ons will get you 90% of the functionality you need. However, that missing 10% could be a big deal.

If a companion plugin doesn’t cover this, you might have to either look elsewhere or build it yourself. That could lead to some unexpected issues when it comes to both compatibility and cost. Short of those options, a lack of that one piece of functionality can result in a long wait in hopes of it being added in at a later date.

Unofficial Add-Ons May Not Keep Pace

Plugins are updated with new features and bugfixes all the time. Sometimes, those updates can be major – and that poses a risk when using unofficial add-ons built by community members. It could mean that updating the base plugin means that you have to abandon a particular add-on.

One way to avoid this potential issue is to stick with official add-ons only. If you do utilize those from unofficial sources, look for plugins that are frequently updated. They are more likely to adapt to any major upgrades.

Broken glass.

A Compelling Option

In the right situation, a WordPress plugin with its own ecosystem can be your best option. This is especially so in cases when you are building a website in which a plugin fulfills the core part of your mission.

For instance, an eCommerce site will want to use a shopping cart that can be expanded to meet the specific requirements of the store. This provides the best opportunity for future growth and will help you avoid a costly switch later on.

Of course, there are some potential negatives to consider. But with some due diligence, you may just find a collection of plugins that will successfully power your WordPress website for years to come.