Building WordPress Websites With Zurb Foundation or Bootstrap: Comparisons and Starter Themes

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

WordPress is super versatile. You know that. I know that. But sometimes this can be an overwhelming prospect. How on earth will you get your site up and running? What platform will you use? Zurb Foundation and Bootstrap are two options but which is best?

Here, we offer up some side-by-side comparisons as well as suggestions for starter themes to use for both Zurb Foundation and Bootstrap. With all the info on the table, you can plan your site’s launch ASAP.

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Comparison articles

Take a look at these comparison articles to get a sense of how these two platforms stack up.

Should You Use Bootstrap or Foundation?

foundation or bootstrap - treehouse

Bootstrap vs Foundation Compared: Who Has an Upper Hand?

Foundation or Bootstrap - Template Toaster

Foundation 6 vs Bootstrap 4

Foundation or Bootstrap - Dash

Bootstrap vs Foundation: Which One is Better?

Foundation or Bootstrap - Azmind

Foundation WP Starter Themes

If you’re thinking of getting started with Foundation, you should definitely consider using a WordPress starter theme. The following are all solid options:

JointsWP

Foundation or Bootstrap - JointsWP

JointsWP is a nice starter theme for Foundation that’s blank and ready to be molded into whatever you’d like it to be.

Rich Modern Foundation 6 WordPress Theme

Foundation or Bootstrap - Zurb Rich Modern

Rich Modern is another Foundation starter theme that offers a basic template on which to build your WordPress website.

TotalPress

Foundation or Bootstrap - TotalPress

TotalPress is another starter theme that’s actually based on the Underscores theme. With it, you can create any type of layout you want.

WP-Forge

Foundation or Bootstrap - WP-Forge

WP-Forge is a basic starter theme for Foundation but it’s so flexible you can use it to build any kind of site you want, with the latest features, too.

Reverie

Foundation or Bootstrap - Reverie

Lastly, there’s Reverie, a stylish starter theme for Foundation that’s mobile friendly and includes custom menus, captions, and pagination.

Bootstrap WP Starter Themes

If Bootstrap is more what you prefer, then we have some Bootstrap starter themes for you as well. These are all well reviewed and nice to look at, too:

UnderStrap

Foundation or Bootstrap - Understrap

UnderStrap is a Bootstrap starter theme that’s responsive and includes theme options for heavy customization.

Sage

Foundation or Bootstrap - Sage

Sage is a WordPress starter theme based on Bootstrap 4 that makes it easy to write stylesheets and Sass for your site without complicated backed customization.

Bootstrap WordPress Starter Theme

Foundation or Bootstrap - Bootstrap Starter

The Bootstrap WordPress Starter Theme is actually a tutorial for creating a Bootstrap theme from scratch.

Silencio

Foundation or Bootstrap - Silencio

Lastly, Silencio is described as a “content-first” starter theme for WordPress. A solid choice if you want to create an online publication or blog.

So Which is It? Foundation or Bootstrap?

Whether you choose Foundation or Bootstrap will ultimately be up to you and the needs of your website. But hopefully this collection of comparison articles will help you first figure out which platform you want to you and second, which starter theme you want to use as the base of your site.

Whichever you choose, it’s certain to be great!


2019: A Smashing Year In Review

Original Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2019/12/a-smashing-year-2019/

2019: A Smashing Year In Review

2019: A Smashing Year In Review

Rachel Andrew

2019-12-31T13:30:00+00:00
2019-12-31T21:06:19+00:00

2019 has been quite a productive (sometimes challenging, but ultimately very successful) year for the Smashing team. In this annual round-up, I’d like to share some of my thoughts and those of some of the Smashing team, as we look back on the past year as well as look forward to 2020.

Travel And Friendships

As always, my 2019 has involved a lot of travel. In addition to my conference speaking engagements and travel to W3C meetings, I attended all four of our Smashing conferences; I ran CSS Layout workshops in Toronto, New York and San Francisco. The conferences are a time when most of the team is together in person.

An illustration of Topple the Smashing Mascot cat networking while sitting in a comfortable couch with its laptop placed on its lap holding a cup of coffee or tea, who knowsThe home of Smashing is in Freiburg, Germany, and before SmashingConf Freiburg, we held a big team meeting, with almost everyone who is involved with Smashing able to take part. There have been many changes in the Smashing Team this year, and that meeting in Freiburg was a chance for us all to come together; I believe that it was one of the most valuable things we have done this year.

There are many challenges in doing all of the things we do as a small (mainly part-time and remote) team. However, if we keep talking and keep the Smashing community at the heart of everything we do, the past year demonstrates that we can achieve amazing things!

The Conferences

The SmashingConf team of Amanda Annandale, Charis Rooda and Mariona Jones are a force of nature. They seem to achieve the impossible and (as Charis told me) still have time to enjoy the surroundings of the places they visit.

The team in front of the Toronto sign

The SmashingConf team in Toronto

I’m always blown away when I walk into the venue and see what has been achieved — even before the event starts. Artwork created by the very talented Ricardo Gimenes is everywhere — such as the movie posters from Toronto, and the artwork in the theater we use as a venue in New York.

Movie posters features Topple the Smashing cat

Our movie posters in Toronto (Photo credit Marc Thiele)

A large theatre sign featuring Topple the cat

The signage in the theater in New York (Photo credit Drew McLellan)

One of my favorite things to do at the conferences is to lead the Smashing Run which we normally manage to do on both conference days. This is becoming quite a fixture, with several attendees and speakers running and chatting for half an hour before breakfast. I’m already looking forward to our inaugural run in Austin in 2020, although it may be a bit of a warm one!

I sometimes help the conference team out when words need writing or editing, and sometimes when the legality of balloons is called into question. As Amanda Annandale (Senior Event Manager) remembers:

“September marked my third year at Smashing, and while it provided a whole new set of challenges, it also provided a huge sense of accomplishments. The conference team sat down at the end of 2018 and was able to make some big plans for the future.

“It’s been amazing to see these plans (from organization to side-events to new locations), and our team, come together. But, new tasks can bring about some hilarious roadblocks. Smashing is on a long and necessary quest to reduce our carbon footprint. BUT, Vitaly is rather partial to balloons.

“For those who may not know (because Rachel Andrew and I were shocked to learn), foil balloons are heavily regulated in the state of California. This (we discovered while spending a disproportionate time researching eco-balloons over plastic balloons) is obviously bad for the environment. We’ve never been so happy to find a company making fully eco-friendly balloons, that are fully biodegradable in a very short amount of time! This experience definitely strengthened our resolve.

“We are now working with a company out of Austin to improve our printing processes to be more eco-friendly, and working with each of our caterers to reduce our waste. We still have a way to go, but we’re aiming for a Smashing impact in 2020!”

Conference attendees standing up throwing balloons

The (eco-friendly) balloons are deployed in San Francisco (Photo credit Marc Thiele)

Conferences are expensive to produce and we are fortunate to have some wonderful partners who help us to create these events. They are looked after by our partnerships manager, Mariona Jones, who has been joined this year by Esther Fernández. Between them, they are working to bring together all of the Smashing properties in order to create new partnership opportunities. Mariona told me,

“The most exciting moment this year has been to be able to create together with the whole team the Smashing Media platform bringing together events, magazine, publishing house, membership and Smashing TV. The highlight of the year is undoubtedly the birth of the partnerships and data office and the addition to the Smashing Family of my dear colleague Esther.”

Esther adds,

“Joining the Smashing team has been one of the highlights of the year. It’s been a pleasure to enter this community and to make the Smashing conferences happen.”

I’m looking forward to working together with Mariona and Esther this year as we open up new opportunities for partnerships that cross the boundaries of the different parts of the platform!

Smashing Magazine

Topple the Cat wearing its Thinking HatThe heart of what I do at Smashing is the online magazine; as Editor in Chief, my role here is to try to bring you web design and development content that will inform you, help with your day-to-day work, and also make you think. We publish almost every weekday, so always have a large list of articles moving through the writing, editing and publishing process.

Looking through our analytics, I pulled up a list of the most popular articles published in the last year. The range of topics making it to the top may surprise you, and demonstrate the wide range of subjects we cover here. We have the Front-End Performance Checklist, an article comparing Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD, and two articles about designing tables: Table Design Patterns On The Web and How To Architect A Complex Web Table. HTML and CSS are always popular with How To Align Things In CSS, How To Learn CSS and HTML5 Input Types: Where Are They Now? —all getting a top spot. They are joined by Styling An Angular Application With Bootstrap and Using Vue.js To Create An Interactive Weather Dashboard. That’s quite the range of subject matter!

Covering such a broad spectrum of web design and development is certainly a challenge and one I couldn’t do alone. My subject editors Alma Hoffmann, Chui Chui Tan, Drew McLellan and Michel Bozgounov bring their expertise to the topics they help curate. Copy editors Andrew Lobo and Owen Gregory help preserve the tone of voice of our authors while ensuring the content is easy to understand for an international audience. Cosima Mielke ensures that the newsletter is well researched along with many other roles (including eBook production), and Yana Kirilenko does a great job of getting articles from Google Docs, Dropbox Paper and various Markdown apps into the CMS. Senior editor Iris Lješnjanin does an amazing job of keeping everything on track, fielding the email, hitting publish on most of the pieces, and making sure that we are all using smashingly correct punctuation! I am very grateful for all of their work.

Vitaly and I are well-known faces in the web community, however, there is a whole cast of folk working behind the scenes to keep the magazine running successfully. I don’t say thank you enough, but I sincerely appreciate all the work that goes into the magazine across the team.

Smashing Magazine turned 13 this year to which I shared personal stories from the team — you can read more about the people behind the Smashing scenes over here.

This year, I’ve tried to bring the various facets of the business into the magazine. For example, each conference results in a set of high-quality videos of the presentations which was hidden away on Vimeo. This year, I’ve published a write-up of each event, listing all of the videos. I hope that this means more people can benefit from the wisdom of our speakers and also shows the brilliant work the conference team does in curating and putting on these events.

SmashingConf San Francisco 2019 (videos & photos)
SmashingConf Toronto 2019 (videos & photos)
SmashingConf Freiburg 2019 (videos & photos)
SmashingConf New York 2019 (videos & photos)

Something that I really enjoy is to publish articles by folks who have never written for a large publication before and to help their articles go through the process. Earlier this year, I wrote an article on Pitching Your Writing To Publications. If your 2020 goals include writing for Smashing Magazine, drop us a line with an outline of your idea. We would love to work with you!

Smashing Books And Our First Print Magazine

In 2019, we published two printed books, plus our very first print magazine. Art Direction For The Web was published in the spring, and at the end of the year, we began shipping Inclusive Components.

In the middle of the launch of Inclusive Components, we welcomed a new team member, Ari Stiles. She told me,

“It was challenging and fun to start working on the Smashing Library right after Heydon’s book was released, when promotion was already in full swing. A bit like stepping in front of a firehose — but in a good way! It helps that Inclusive Components is a well-written, timely book. I love helping people discover new and helpful resources like this one, and I’m excited about all of our new books for 2020.”

Topple the Cat presenting the Smashing Print coverSelecting a topic for our first print magazine was tricky. We wanted these magazines to be a snapshot of the industry at a certain time, but also to have a longer shelf life than tutorials on topics that will be out of date in a few months. Ultimately, for issue one, we chose a subject that was at the forefront of many minds in 2019 — that of ethics and privacy. The collection of essays I commissioned is designed to make you think, and we still have a few print copies and the digital version, if you would like to read them.

🎉 We’re currently in the planning stage for issue 2 — watch this space!

All of our books come with an eBook version, and one of Cosima Mielke’s many roles is to produce this version from the final manuscript. Memories of working on these projects were her response when I asked her about her 2019:

“As an eBook Producer, the moment when you’re being handed over the proofread manuscript to get started with eBook production is always a special moment. So many people — reviewers, proofreaders, and most importantly, the authors themselves, have already invested so much time and efforts into the manuscript, and now it’s your turn to put it into its final shape: the eBook that people are going to download and read.

“My personal highlight (and biggest challenge) this year was to turn the monumental opus that Andy provided with “Art Direction for the Web” into an eBook. The assets included almost 600 images — most of the designs created by Andy from scratch — and turning these into an eBook that does justice to the author’s meticulous work, provides a pleasant reading experience (given the rather limited possibilities that eBook reading devices usually offer), and has a reasonable file size at the same time, was quite a balancing act. Looking back, it was the most challenging eBook I have worked on to date — and, naturally, these kinds of projects make you feel proudest once you’ve accomplished them. I’m already curious to find out what 2020 will bring.”

The Smashing Podcast

Smashing Podcast moderated by Drew McLellanFor the first time this year, Smashing Magazine has a podcast. Hosted by Drew McLellan, this bi-weekly show interviews someone from the world of web design and development. We hope to bring you some well-known names, but also speak to folks doing interesting things across the industry.

In addition to having a very broad base of subject matter, Smashing has a global audience; we’d like to reflect that and bring you interviews from people all over the world. I asked Drew for his thoughts on these first few episodes:

“I was really pleased to be able to launch the Smashing Podcast this year. We spent quite a bit of time in development with it, trying to work out what the best format and tone to take would be. We tried to make it sound like Smashing and embody the same values; a good place to learn and stay informed, but with a sense of fun.

Our early guests have included experts such as Jina Ann, Liz Elcoate, and Jason Pamental. And we’ve spoken to authors of Smashing books Andy Clarke and Heydon Pickering.

The reception so far has been great, and you can always let us know what you think via the contact page. I’m looking forward to releasing episodes with the guests we have lined up for 2020!”

If you haven’t listened to an episode yet, you can catch up by subscribing here, or check out the individual episodes and full transcripts.

Smashing Membership

Topple the Cat showing off its ice skating skillsWe love our Smashing Members! This year you have continued to sign up and support the publication of independent content. We’ve been running webinars (with the help of Scott Whitehead and Bethany Andrew where members get to chat with one another in our Membership Slack, while enjoying free copies of our eBooks, plus a copy of the print magazine! We’re really keen to build on and evolve membership over the next years, and we sincerely thank our members for their support.

We have been running a membership table at our event, where members and prospective members can chat with the team. Our partnership manager, Mariona Jones remembers,

“While running the membership table at SmashingConf, I met a group of attendees who shared their passion for many things, among them open-source, stickers, code, and caffeine while browsing together through the first-ever Smashing print magazine on ethics and privacy and conversing about the relevance of this important topic.”

That’s enough from me! Still, we can’t wrap up 2019 without some thoughts from Vitaly, without who Smashing would not exist at all.

Vitaly on stage in front of a slide saying Welcome

Vitaly opens a SmashingConf (Photo credit Marc Thiele)

“It’s common to think that it’s all about the achievements or goals that make a year special, but for me, this year was full of meeting wonderful people. So, so many people. I’ve had a chance to speak with hundreds of people all around the globe, learning from their experiences and sharing mine. I was lucky to travel to over 40 places this year, from Albania, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Kyiv, Sweden and Budapest. I vividly remember some of the stories and experiences I shared over a fire in the evening, in cars on the way somewhere, and in buses talking to strangers I’ll never see again. These were extremely rewarding, valuable and precious moments for me. They are the ones that I’ll be looking back to years from now. In essence, it’s all about people in the end.

“It was wonderful to connect with some of our readers at New Adventures in Nottingham, InfoShare in Gdansk, Poland, BTConf in Dusseldorf, FrontEndUnited in Utrecht, Netherlands, YGLF in Vilnius, Lithuania, perf.now in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and so many others! That said, travel is not without drama. When I was on a short vacation in Albania, I ended up getting lost in the woods in the middle of nowhere at midnight. That was quite scary, but thanks to 6% on my phone and a hardly visible, remote McDonalds sign, I was able to get out in a few hours, returning to the hotel around 5 AM.

“I think that this year at Smashing we’ve learned what it really means to be a team. We had tough and difficult situations, but we pulled together in a respectful, kind and very supportive way, and we kept strong and we made it. It was a year full of challenges and adventures, but in the end, we’ve grown even closer together, and I’m very proud of our team for getting there. I’m also very proud of the fact that we have been exploring topics that are often not seen as particularly interesting nor trendy — accessibility, ethical design, privacy. At our conferences, for example, we’ve looked into common problems and issues that developers and designers struggle with, and tried to find solutions and common techniques to tackle them. It’s something that I strongly believe is important for the health of our industry, and I’m happy to see more discussions around these topics this year.

“My sincere hope is that we’ll establish an even stronger team filling in the gaps we currently have, and we’ll manage to create a very strong alignment within the company. I hope we’ll be able to reach out to more people — especially the new generation of designers and developers — and connect with them. I can’t wait for the books that we’ll be releasing next year as well! I have a number of ideas in mind of things I think we could do, but before jumping there, I want to make sure we are stable, healthy and strong. No rush — I’ve been patient my entire life.”

Onwards To 2020!

The whole team is looking forward to seeing what 2020 brings, and to sharing that with the Smashing Community — wherever you are in the world. Thank you for being part of our journey!

A lineup on stage in front of a screen saying Thank you

The Smashing team on stage in New York (Photo credit: Drew McLellan)

Smashing Editorial
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Best Laptops for Graphic Design: The Top 10

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/UDiFn5PhpH8/best-laptops-for-graphic-design

If you are interested in graphic design, you need a laptop that can help you create your favorite projects and edit existing ones. There are a lot of different laptops on the market, and some of them are better for graphic design than others. Don’t be overwhelmed by your options. Take your time so you can […]

The post Best Laptops for Graphic Design: The Top 10 appeared first on designrfix.com.

The Art of Persuasion: How to Handle Clients With Mad Ideas

Original Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2019/12/the-art-of-persuasion-how-to-handle-clients-with-mad-ideas/

We’ve all been there. It’s 4pm on a Friday afternoon, you’re already in your “weekend outfit” (underwear and hoody combo) and you get an email. It’s Client X: Hey, erm, I’ve just had a couple of thoughts, can we talk?

Wearily, you reach for the phone.

Sure enough, the “couple of thoughts” become a rambling monologue on the virtues of asymmetric grid layout, mouse-controllable content and parallax scrolling (“that shouldn’t be too hard, right?”) which lasts for 90 minutes. They basically want this, on their budget of $1200.

If that wasn’t bad enough, of course you also know that what they’re asking for — even if you could deliver it on time and in budget — will make no sense at all to their users.

Don’t panic, here’s what you can do.

1. Make a Connection

Believe it or not, from a certain angle, there’s probably method to their madness. By discovering it, you’ll not only unlock ways to solve the problem, but develop your working relationship in a positive direction too.

Have you ever wondered why Client X wants their app to auto-play “We are the Champions” every time it loads? Maybe they’re trying to send a positive message about their company or looking for a lighthearted feel. Have they seen something similar that actually works? Are they trying to express their personality through the work they’re asking you to do?

In his book Nonviolent Communication, psychologist Marshall Rosenberg argues we can find resolution to any conflict by addressing the needs that underlie it, and urges us to start by acknowledging the other person’s reality.

Here’s how it works: don’t argue. At least not yet. Let them talk. Ask questions. Acknowledge what they’re saying. Listen. At the same time, try to build up a picture of what’s important to them at the emotional level. When you do talk, reflect back what you’ve understood. You’ll probably find the situation calms right down.

Maybe this seems time consuming. It is. But then again, so are those rambling “wouldn’t it be great if we…” phone-calls. You may as well put them to some use…

2. Sell Your Vision

From another perspective, in trying to persuade someone out of their mad idea, you’re really trying to sell them your own. As such, the psychology of selling has a lot to offer you, if that’s your cup of tea. Just remember: Your ability to sell is only as good as your understanding of the client. If you try to use a one-size-fits-all approach, it will sound naff. Invest time and effort in understanding what they really want, then find ways to link your sane ideas to it.

Be honest. Don’t try to sell something that isn’t going to satisfy. Most people will see through it, and the ones that don’t will leave the interaction feeling bitter.

Appeal to Emotion

Client X isn’t going to change their mind because of logical arguments. They’ve made their decision on a whim, a feeling. You can only really address it at the same level. Maybe they want people to respect their business: If so, use words and examples that evoke respect for your preferred idea: “Have you seen the Armani website? They’ve used more of a symmetric grid and it looks pretty strong don’t you think?”.

Pain, Problem, Solution

As any good salesperson will tell you, Client X’s unhinged desire for parallax scrolling arises first and foremost from pain, as in: “Jeez, this design is boring!”. They formulate this as a problem: “There’s not enough movement”. A (naive) solution follows: “We need more animation”.

You can use your understanding of the deeper need (more movement) to highlight the advantages of something simpler: “Yeah I see your point. We can also look at the colors and typefaces. Do any of these look more dynamic?”

Offer Choices

Sometimes, clients are challenging because they “want to be involved”. You can help them scratch that itch by offering choices, like the example above.

Tell a Story

Story is the difference between the value of my autograph, and the value of Neil Armstrong’s. You can dramatically increase the appeal of your vision by finding preferred brands that use it, or examples of work which went really well because of, say, grid layout.

3. Full Charm Offensive

Although you might feel like throwing your phone (or possibly them) out of the window, by giving Client X short shrift, you’ll probably dent their ego and leave them plotting ways to get revenge.

The more you nourish and protect your relationship with clients, the more they’ll respect and respond to you, and the easier your life will be. Here are some suggestions:

Put Your Effort in Early

By getting it right at the briefing stage, when the train-smash moment arrives, you can steer it towards a reasonable outcome.

Don’t be a Prima Donna

The days of the genius designer toiling away in secret are over: Clients want to be involved in the creative process and probably have a right to be. Co-creation in the planning stage will give the client ownership, and a warm feeling about you for letting them experience it. Once they’ve seen how complex the work is, they’ll probably be less inclined to chuck it, or haggle over the price as well.

Compromise

If the client insists on something that really won’t work, and won’t listen to your carefully crafted vision, you know what? That’s on them. You don’t need to fight it. If it involves extra work that wasn’t in your brief then say so, explain, and suggest alternatives. Work with the client. Find ways to identify what their real needs are, and work towards those. Keep track of decisions that are made, and who made them in case of blowback.

Over Deliver

Use your knowledge of the underlying (often unconscious) desires of the client to completely wow them. Go the extra mile in areas which will likely have big impact, even if these aren’t core priorities from a pure design perspective. Try to understand the client’s expectations and exceed them in any way you can.

Be Confident, not Abrasive

In most situations with clients, you genuinely are the expert. Share stories about your experiences in a lighthearted way, explain why you think that something will or won’t work. Smile, relax. Don’t be like Sheldon.

4. Be a Proper Professional

Painful as it may be, challenging clients, like plagues of fire-breathing locusts, are an unfortunate part of life as a web designer. Get prepared up front.

Nail the Brief

As well as specifying the finished product, do yourself a favor by going beyond it: discuss brand strategy. Get the client talking about their target market, and where this project fits into their global vision. Use mood-boards, even a design principles framework, to nail down hard evidence of what you’ve both agreed are the priorities. This will be important later on!

Establish a Point of Contact

Find out who will be the decision maker(s), and who will be communicating with you. Then you know who to contact when the project starts to drift towards fantasy land. If you’ve ever found yourself on a call to client X’s great Aunt Lilly who “went to design school once” and “knows all about UX”, you haven’t done this right!

Be Organised

If you’re not using a project or client management tool, you’re probably making it hard for yourself to keep track of things. With challenging clients, you’ll often need to quickly find that email where “he literally said the exact opposite of what he’s saying he said”, even if just for your own sanity.

Be Firm

Be flexible, but set limits. Use the evidence you’ve collected to make your points. Negotiate a budget increase if the work is out of spec, or politely say no if you need to. Give reasons and alternatives.

The Real Secret: Know Your Customer

It’s a cliché, but an important one: The better you understand the mad behaviour you’re seeing, the better you can influence it.

The fact is, everyone, even Client X, is coming from somewhere. Sure they’ve got a bit lost, but at the end of the day, just like you, they’re trying to reach their goals.

If you can bring yourself to find out where they’re coming from and where they’re going, you might be able to help. At the very least, you’ll keep your phone, and also yourself, the right side of the window.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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12 Free and Premium Online Invoicing Apps for Freelance Web Designers

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/1stwebdesigner/~3/El1HbIw3Ygo/

When you work as a freelance web designer or developer, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day functions of your business and forget about some of the administrative tasks you need to attend to. Invoicing comes to mind.

Or, maybe invoicing is just taking you way longer than it needs to. If you’re managing invoices manually, that can take up a lot of unnecessary time. It’s time that you could be spending creating websites and doing client work. You know, the stuff that actually makes you money?

That’s why it’s important to reduce the time you spend on administrative tasks as much as possible. One way to accomplish this is through the use of an invoicing app. Lucky for you, there are plenty of online invoicing apps to choose from, that make it super simple to manage invoices for your freelance web development business.

With both free and premium options available, you’ll be able to get up and running with invoicing automation in no-time – and level up the tools you use as your budget increases.

Free Online Invoicing Apps
AND.CO

Example from AND.CO

AND.CO is a free app that makes it easy to send invoices and proposals with just a few clicks. With it, you can create custom invoices, accept payments, track expenses, track the time spent on a given task, and more.

Invoicera

Example from Invoicera

Invoicera is another free invoicing app option for freelancers that greatly simplifies the invoicing process. Now, the free plan is only available to you if you have three clients or less, but it’s definitely a nice way to get your foot in the door with billing management. A few features include time tracking, workflows, and automatic billing.

Invoicely

Example from Invoicely

Invoicely is a free-to-start using invoice app that makes it easy to not only invoice your clients, but also view business reports, accept credit card payments, as well as track time, mileage, expenses, and more.

ZipBooks

Example from ZipBooks

ZipBooks bills itself (if you’ll pardon the pun) as simple accounting software and it lives up to that description beautifully. This app allows you to send invoices, accept payments, conduct reviews, view reports, and gain access to “smart insights” that help you to make better decisions about the future of your business.

Harvest

Example from Harvest

Harvest is a super simple invoicing app that prioritizes the time-tracking feature above all else. But it does so in an interesting way in that this app applies insights to your time tracked, allowing you to make smart choices about your workflow and time management.

Wave

Example from Wave

The last of the free (or free-to-try) invoicing apps on this list is Wave. This app offers a full set of accounting tools for entrepreneurs of all kinds. With it, you can create professional-looking invoices that match your brand, accept payments, and even organize payroll should your company ever blossom into an agency.

Premium Online Invoicing Apps
FreshBooks

Example from FreshBooks

FreshBooks offers the total package when it comes to online accounting and invoicing. It can be used by any type of small business, makes it easy to organize expenses and track time, and it’s cloud-based so you can access your info from anywhere. And plans are pretty cheap to start with if you have a small client base.

HoneyBook

Example from HoneyBook

HoneyBook is another one-stop-shop sort of invoicing app. It promises to help you manage projects, send invoices, accept payments, and even book new clients, all by using its tools. The project tracking feature is especially nice because it offers a bird’s eye view of where you stand with all of your projects – from concept to payment.

Intuit QuickBooks

Example from Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks has been an accounting staple for small business for years now. But it’s shift to an online app has made it even more beneficial for freelance web developers. Organize your expenses, send invoices, track payments, and more, all for a modest monthly fee.

Plutio

Example from Plutio

Plutio promotes itself as the “one app to manage your entire business,” and from its available feature set, it’s easy to see why they’d make such a claim. This app allows you to track proposals, projects, and expenses; send invoices; and even manage customer relationships all from within a single dashboard.

Harpoon

Example from Harpoon

Harpoon sets itself apart from the other invoicing apps on this list because it not only allows you to track expenses, time, and send invoices. It also offers the ability to predict how successful your business will be in the future. The level of insight it offers makes Harpoon a worthy contender here.

Kiwili

Example from Kiwili

Last on our list is Kiwili. This online invoicing and accounting app strives to make day-to-day management of your business easier. It’s cloud-based and includes invoicing, estimates, CRM, accounting, time management, reporting, and more.

Make Invoicing Easier

As a business owner, it seems like there is never enough time in the day. That’s why apps like the ones in this roundup are so helpful. They can take a task like invoicing and help you get it done in less time.

So, if you’re still doing your books the old-fashioned way, maybe it’s time to level up. You might be surprised at how much time you’ll save.


7 Ways Developers Can Contribute to Climate Action

Original Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/developers-climate-action/?utm_source=rss

7 Ways Developers Can Contribute to Climate Action

Whether you’ve just started out as a software engineer or you’ve been at it for decades, you too can play a role in helping to positively impact climate.

When people first consider this, they tend to think about the impact writing efficient code will have. Of course, you should always write efficient, elegant code. But unless the code you’re creating is going to be used by millions of people, it may not be where you can have the biggest impact from a climate perspective. (Code being used by millions or billions of people is probably highly optimized anyway!)

In this article, we’ll look at seven other ways you can help.

Choose Where You Spend Your Career

Being an engineer means you have one of the most sought after, transferable occupations on the planet. In virtually any city in the world, you’ll be in demand and probably well paid, so you have plenty of options. Choosing to work in a place that’s at the intersection of your cares and your code is one of the easiest ways you can have an impact. Engineering is also one of the few careers where the job can be done remotely, and there’s a growing list of companies focused on hiring people to work remotely.

Find Time to Contribute to Open-source Projects

Open source enables us all to benefit from a collective effort and shared knowledge, so the benefits are already clear. But what you may not be aware of is the mass of open-source projects specifically targeted at helping the environment. Open source also powers some of the biggest sites on the Internet, so you may also find your code being used at that billions-of-people scale mentioned earlier. While it’s easy to find projects you can work on via a quick Google search, this article highlights a few.

Apply Your Skills to Non-profits

A lot of the work being done to combat or deal with the impacts of climate change are being done by the non-profit sector, and the one thing the non-profit sector always has is a lack of capital and a lack of talent. When people think of volunteering, they tend to think of painting a shed or handing out food at a shelter, but you can potentially create a bigger and more lasting impact by applying your skills and experience.

I worked with a non-profit to help design, set up and configure Salesforce’s (free for nonprofits) service, so they could run more efficiently and at a higher scale. Hour for hour this was the best way I could help them to have a bigger impact.

Influence the Way the Product is Designed

With the rise of agile, squads (pioneered by Spotify) and cross-functional teams generally, the dynamic within the team has changed. Engineers now have a seat at the table to drive what the software does, how it works and even the end-customer problems it solves. This means as an engineer you can either walk into the room and be told what is being built or you can stand up and help drive that outcome, by considering the climate change impact of a design decision. A great example of this might be to set default shipping options to a lower impact option in an eCommerce site, or Google maps defaulting to a walking option vs a driving option.

The post 7 Ways Developers Can Contribute to Climate Action appeared first on SitePoint.

Elegant Editorial Design for the Chung Ying Theatre Company 2019

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/abduzeedo/~3/9MxIttVzFYU/elegant-editorial-design-chung-ying-theatre-company-2019

Elegant Editorial Design for the Chung Ying Theatre Company 2019
Elegant Editorial Design for the Chung Ying Theatre Company 2019

abduzeedoDec 20, 2019

Orange Chan Design shared a super elegant editorial design project they created for the Chung Ying Theatre Company 2019 Seasonal Launch. The printed material explores a dark theme with most pages being printed with black background. That alone makes it look awesome, at least for me, but in addition to that they typography and the excellent use of imagery takes the whole design to the next level. There’s also a part that uses just white as the theme and it’s still beautifully done.

Editorial Design

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45 Creative Forced-Perspective Photos

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/force-perspective-photos/

Forced perspective photography is used make us, the viewers believe that certain objects are smaller or larger than they really are. It’s the manipulation of the human visual perception; some…

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10+ Free FTP Clients For Windows and macOS

Original Source: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/ftp-free-clients-and-alternative-connecting-methods/

When it comes to transferring large files over the internet, FTP/SFTP is what almost everyone prefers. Although there are a lot of paid FTP (File Transfer Protocol) applications that are highly…

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Top Conversion Rate Optimization Techniques to Boost your Website Sales

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Designrfix/~3/x8xmKYTxhbo/top-conversion-rate-optimization-techniques-to-boost-your-website-sales

The development of an e-commerce website is mainly dependent on acquiring customers along with most significantly, retaining those customers. E-commerce has grown into a trillion dollar business, and it continues to grow exponentially each year. Therefore, it’s vital for e-commerce business owners to focus proactively on their niche and enlarge it. However, merely spending lots […]

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