Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for July 2012

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/visualswirl/~3/k285KixL9do/

July desktop calendars are hot off the press. 2012 is halfway gone but these fun and inspiring calendar wallpapers will surely help you get through the dog-days of summer. These fine wallpapers have been hand-picked from talented artists and designers from around the web. Feel free to share your favorites and check back next month for some great new desktop calendars. As always, if you’d like to include your own design in future roundups, let me know.

5 Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for July
Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

Sandy backgrounds and a retro color scheme comprise this beautiful wallpaper. The script font matches nicely with this “made for the beach” design.

July 2012 Desktop Calendar

Wallpaper by Webgranth

Rainy days may be a title better served for the spring (depending on your location) but regardless, this illustrated desktop calendar provides some optimism for what is typically a scorchingly hot time of year.

Wallpaper by Studio of Mae

Studio of Mae  has another nice  patterned wallpaper ready for July. As always the fonts and minimal calendar go nicely with the lovely background. Enjoy!

Decorative July Desktop Wallpaper

Wallpaper by Kriegs

This darker, grunge based design has some nice inkblot/rorschach digital art working for it. Do you see anything in the ink blots?

July Desktop Wallpaper Calendar

Wallpaper by Cromoart

Abstract shapes bursting from an evening view of the shade tree on a farm. I absolutely love the color scheme. There’s also iPad and iPhone versions available.

Abstract July 2012 Desktop Calendar

That’s the roundup. Please let us know which calendar is your favorite by leaving a comment below.

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for July 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

25 Examples of Super Wide Website Designs

Original Source: https://line25.com/articles/25-examples-of-super-wide-website-designs

As monitor resolutions become larger, websites tend to become wider. This showcase features 25 awesome website designs over 1000px in width.

Many of these super wide website designs are built as responsive layouts, which allows the designer to accommodate even the largest of screen sizes with the max-width property without chopping off elements on smaller resolutions.

Want more similar website designs for inspiration? Check out these Fullscreen WordPress Themes! 

Michela Chiucini

This is the portfolio of an Italian designer and art director. It makes use of the popular flat design trend and focuses on typography rather than images.

Michela Chiucini Wide Website Designs

Dave Gamache

Dave is a designer & builder based in San Francisco and this is his portfolio website that features a fullscreen layout and cool effects.

Dave Gamache Wide Website Designs

Miro Hristov

This is an exceptional portfolio website with an interactive layout that will definitely get your attention.

Miro Hristov Creative Portfolio Design

Michael Schmid

Michael Schmid is a German Digital Designer & Developer and this is his monochromatic, minimalist portfolio design. It has some nice transitions, so make sure you check it out.

Michael Schmid Wide Website Designs -

Studio Airport

This is the website for a creative design agency. It includes useful info about the services they provide, team members, a blog, contact, etc.

Studio Airport Graphic Designer Portfolio Website

Tommy

This is the presentation website of an independent digital agency. It has a fullscreen layout and bold, large typography to catch your attention.

This Is Tommy Wide Website Designs

HatBox

This website fills up your whole screen with info. It has a minimalist design and a simple layout.

Proven user experience design consulting

Carter Digital

This is the presentation website of a usability, service design & user experience agency that creates ideas and products that transform and grow businesses.

Carter Wide Website Designs

Lounge Lizard

This is a creative web design with a fixed menu design, beautiful fonts, full-screen layout, high-quality images, and more.

Lounge Lizard Portfolio Website

Andrew Revitt

Andrew Revitt is a freelance designer with 15 years experience working in web, graphic, branding, UI and UX design and this is his extremely straightforward, minimalist portfolio.

Andrew Revitt Wide Website Designs

Jeff Broderick

This creative wide website design includes a parallax effect, lovely fonts, a beautiful transparent header with a menu and more features.

Jeff Broderick Portfolio Website

Forefathers Group

Forefathers Group is a global design conglomerate that builds responsive branding systems, web design, and web development for brands and businesses. This is their website. It has a wide layout and some vintage-inspired graphic elements and fonts.

Forefathers Wide Website Designs

Adhemas Batista

This is a creative portfolio website with a full-screen layout which takes up the entire space of the browser.

Adhemas Batista Creative Portfolio Design

Information Architects

iA creates digital products and offers strategic design and consulting services through their UX studios. This is their simple but very effective website design.

Digital Product Studios Wide Website Designs

Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is a website for web designers and developers. This is the layout they use for the posts section of the site.

Smashing Magazine Wide Website Designs

UPPERDOG

Upperdog is a solutions focused web design and digital marketing agency in Bournemouth, Dorset. They have a very wide website design with large graphic elements and images.

 Wide Website Designs

New Adventures in Web Design

This website covers the whole area of your browser with its extremely wide slider and content block.

 Wide Website

Meltmedia

Meltmedia designs and develops websites, web apps, and mobile apps with robust CMS platforms and web technologies. This is their colorful website with a wide layout and a blend of high-quality images.

meltmedia Wide Website Designs

Electric Pulp

Electric Pulp is a digital agency focusing on Responsive Web Design, Web Development and Mobile eCommerce. They put an accent on large fonts, with bold features and solid color blocks.

Electric Pulp

Jeremy Sallee

This is a great portfolio website with a simple, wide layout design. It uses a full-screen layout with a transparent header design.

Jeremy Sallee Website Design
CSS-Tricks

You all know this website. It offers tips, tricks, and techniques on using Cascading Style Sheets. They have a grid layout design that covers the whole browser area.

CSS Tricks Wide Website

Trent Walton

This is the portfolio of a designer and web builder. It has a white, clean background and a wide layout for the content area.

Trent Walton Wide Website

Tuts+

This is the website to find videos and online courses to help you learn skills like code, photography, web design and more. Their website layout is wide and contains grid sections as well.

How-To Tutorials & Online Courses Wide Website

Björn Meier

Check out this creative website design which makes use of large, bold fonts to catch the visitors’ attention. It has a fullscreen layout.

Bjorn Meier Graphic Designer Portfolio Website

Mariusz Cieśla – Web & Mobile Interface & Experience Designer

This is a creative portfolio website with  an interactive design and a unique, wide, animated background.

Mariusz Cieśla Web & Mobile Interface & Experience Designer

The post 25 Examples of Super Wide Website Designs appeared first on Line25.

The Critical Request

Original Source: https://css-tricks.com/the-critical-request/

Serving a website seems pretty simple: Send some HTML, the browser figures out what resources to load next. Then we wait patiently for the page to be ready.

Little may you know, a lot is going on under the hood.

Have you ever wondered how browser figures out which assets should be requested and in what order?

Today we’re going to take a look at how we can use resource priorities to improve the speed of delivery.

Resource priority at work

Most browsers parse HTML using a streaming parser—assets are discovered within the markup before it has been fully delivered. As assets are found, they’re added to a network queue along with a predetermined priority.

In Chrome today, there are a number of asset prioritization levels: Very Low, Low, Medium, High and Very high. Peeking into Chrome DevTools source shows that these are aliased to slightly different labels: Lowest, Low, Medium, High and Highest.

To see how your site is prioritizing requests, you can enable a priority column in the Chrome DevTools network request table.

If you’re using Safari Technology preview, the (new!) Priority column can be shown in exactly the same way.

Show the Priority column by right clicking any of the request table headings.

You’ll also find the priority for a given request in the Performance tab.

Resource timings and priorities are shown on hover

How does Chrome prioritize resources?

Each resource type (CSS, JavaScript, fonts, etc.) has their own set of rules that dictate how they’ll be prioritized. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of network priority plans:

HTML— Highest priority.

Styles—Highest priority. Stylesheets that are referenced using an @import directive will also be prioritized Highest, but they’ll be queued after blocking scripts.

Images are the only assets that can vary priority based on viewport heuristics. All images start with a priority of Low but will be upgraded to Medium priority when to be rendered within the visible viewport. Images outside the viewport (also known as “below the fold”) will remain at Low priority.

During the process of researching this article, I discovered (with the help of Paul Irish) that Chrome DevTools are currently misreporting images that have been upgraded to Medium as Low priority. Paul wrote up a bug report, which you can track here.

If you’re interested in reading the Chrome source that handles the image priority upgrade, start with UpdateAllImageResourcePriorities and ComputeResourcePriority.

Ajax/XHR/fetch()—High priority.

Scripts follow a complex loading prioritization scheme. (Jake Archibald wrote about this in detail during 2013. If you want to know the science behind it, I suggest you grab a cuppa and dive in). The TL;DR version is:

Scripts loaded using <script src=”name.js”></script> will be prioritized as High if they appear in the markup before an image.
Scripts loaded using <script src=”name.js”></script> will be prioritized as Medium if they’re appear in the markup after an image.
Scripts that use async or defer attributes will be prioritized as Low.
Scripts using type=”module” will be prioritized as Low.

Fonts are a bit of a strange beast; they’re hugely important resources (who else loves the “‘I see it!”, “Now it’s gone”, “Whoa, a new font!” game?), so it makes sense that fonts are downloaded at the Highest priority.

Unfortunately, most @font-face rules are found within an external stylesheet (loaded using something like: <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”file.css”>). This means that web fonts are usually delayed until after the stylesheet has downloaded.

Even if your CSS file references a @font-face font, it will not be requested until it is used on a selector and that selector matches an element on the page. If you’ve built a single page app that doesn’t render any text until it renders, you’re delaying the fonts even further.

What makes a request critical?

Most websites effectively ask the browser to load everything for the page to be fully rendered, there is no concrete concept of “above the fold”.

Back in the day, browsers wouldn’t make more than 6 simultaneous requests per domain — people hacked around this by using assets-1.domain.tld, assets-2.domain.tld hosts to increase the number of asynchronous downloads but failed to recognize that there would be a DNS hit and TCP connection for each new domain and asset.

While this approach had some merits, many of us didn’t understand the full impacts and certainly didn’t have good quality browser developer tools to confirm these experiments.

Thankfully today, we have great tools at our disposal. Using CNN as an example, let’s identify assets that are absolutely required for the viewport to be visually ready (also known as useful to a someone trying to read it).

The user critical content is the masthead, and leading article.

There’s really only 5 things that are necessary to display this screen (and not all of them need to be loaded before the site is usable):

Most importantly, the HTML. If all else fails the user can still read the page.
CSS
The logo (A PNG background-image placed by CSS. This could probably be an inline SVG).
4(!) web font weights.
The leading article image.

These assets (note the lack of JavaScript) are essential to the visuals that make up the main viewport of the page. These assets are the ones that should be loaded first.

Diving into the performance panel in Chrome shows us that around 50 requests are made before the fonts and leading image are requested.

CNN.com becomes fully rendered somewhere around the 9s mark. This was recorded using a 4G connection, with reasonably spotty connectivity.

There’s a clear mismatch between the requests that are required for viewing and the requests that are being made.

Controlling resource priorities

Now that we’ve defined what critical requests are, we can start to prioritize them using a few simple, powerful tweaks.

Preload (<link rel=”preload” href=”font.woff” />) instructs the browser to add font.woff to the browser’s download queue at a “High” priority.

Note: as=”font” is the reason why font.woff would be downloaded as High priority — It’s a font, so it follows the priority plan discussed earlier in the “How does Chrome prioritise resources?” section.

Essentially, you’re telling the browser: You might not know it yet, but we’re going to need this.

This is perfect for those critical requests that we identified earlier. Web fonts can nearly always be categorized as absolutely critical, but there are some fundamental issues with how fonts are discovered and loaded:

We wait for the CSS to be loaded, parsed and applied before @font-face rules are discovered.
A font is not added to the browser’s network queue until it matches up its CSS rules to the DOM via the selectors.
This selector matching occurs during style recalculation. It doesn’t necessarily happen immediately after download. It can be delayed if the main thread is busy.

In most cases, fonts are delayed by a number of seconds, just because we’re not instructing the browser to download them in a timely fashion.

On a mobile device with a slow CPU, laggy connectivity, and without a properly-constructed fallback this can be an absolute deal breaker.

Preload in action: fonts

I ran two tests against calibreapp.com. On the first run, I’d changed nothing about the site at all. On the second, I added these two tags:

<link rel=”preload” as=”font” href=”” type=”font/woff2″ crossorigin />

<link rel=”preload” as=”font” href=”” type=”font/woff2″ crossorigin />

Below, you’ll see a visual comparison of the rendering of these two tests. The results are quite staggering:

The page rendered 3.5 seconds faster when the fonts were preloaded.

Bottom: Fonts are preloaded — The site finishes rendering in 5 seconds on a “emerging markets” 3G connection.

<link rel=”preload”> also accepts a media=”” attribute, which will selectively prioritize resources based on @media query rules:

<link rel=”preload” href=”article-lead-sm.jpg” as=”image” type=”image/jpeg” media=”only screen and (max-width: 48rem)”>

Here, we’re able to preload a particular image for small screen devices. Perfect for that “main hero image”.

As demonstrated above, a simple audit and a couple of tags later and we’ve vastly improved the delivery & render phase. Super.

Getting tough on web fonts

69% of sites use web fonts, and unfortunately, they’re providing a sub-par experience in most cases. They appear, then disappear, then appear again, change weights and jolt the page around during the render sequence.

Frankly, this sucks on almost every level.

As you’ve seen above, controlling the request order and priority of fonts has a massive effect on render speed. It’s clear that we should be looking to prioritize web font requests in most cases.

We can make further improvements using the CSS font-display property. allows us to control how fonts display during the process of web fonts being requested and loaded.

There are 4 options at your disposal, but I’d suggest using font-display: swap;, which will show the fallback font until the web font has loaded—at which point it’ll be replaced.

Given a font stack like this:

body {
font-family: Calibre, Helvetica, Arial;
}

The browser will display Helvetica (or Arial, if you don’t have Helvetica) until the Calibre font has loaded. Right now, Chrome and Opera are the only browsers that support font-display, but it’s a step forward, and there’s no reason to not use it starting today.

Keeping on top of page performance

As you’re well aware, websites are never “complete”. There are always improvements to be made and it can feel overwhelming, quickly.

Calibre is an automated tool for auditing performance, accessibility and web best practices, it’ll help you stay on top of things.

As you’ve seen above, there are a few metrics that are key to understanding user performance.

First paint, tells us when the browser goes from “nothing to something”.
First meaningful paint, tells us when the browser has “rendered something useful”.
Finally, First Interactive will tell you when the page has fully rendered, and the JavaScript main thread has settled (low CPU activity for a number of seconds).

Here, we set a budget on CNN’s “First meaningful paint” for <5 seconds.

You can set budgets against all these key user experience metrics. When those budgets are exceeded (or met) your team will be notified by Slack, email or wherever you like.

Calibre displays network request priority, so you can be sure of the requests being made. Tweak priorities and improve performance.

I hope that you’ve learned some valuable skills to audit requests and their priorities, as well as sparked a few ideas to experiment with to make meaningful performance improvements.

Your critical request checklist:

✅ Enable the Priority column in Chrome DevTools.
✅ Decide which requests must be made before users can see a fully rendered page.
✅ Reduce the number of required critical requests where possible.
✅ Use for assets that will probably be used on the next page of the site.
✅ Use [Link: <https://example.com/other/styles.css>; rel=preload; as=style](https://www.w3.org/TR/preload/) nopush HTTP headers to tell the browser which resources to preload before the HTML has been fully delivered.
🚫 HTTP/2 Server push is thorny. Probably avoid it. (See this informative document by Tom Bergan, Simon Pelchat and Michael Buettner, as well as Jake Archibald’s “HTTP/2 Push is tougher than I thought”)
✅ Use font-display: swap; with web fonts where possible.
⏱ Are web fonts being used? Can they be removed?
If no: Prioritise them and use WOFF2!
⏱ Is a late loading script delaying your single page app from displaying anything at all?
📹 Check this great free screencast by Front End Center that shows how load webfonts with the best possible fallback experience.
🔍 View chrome://net-internals/#events and load a page — this logs network related events.
No request is faster than no request. ✌️

The Critical Request is a post from CSS-Tricks

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for August 2012

Original Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/visualswirl/~3/mPdgqux3QOM/

August desktop calendars just a couple days late. This collection of desktop calendar wallpapers will help keep your desktops fresh as we roll through the rest of the summer. As always, I’ve hand-picked wallpapers from talented artists and designers  around the web. Feel free to share your favorites and check back next month for some great new desktop calendars. As always, if you’d like to include your own design in future roundups, let me know.

7 Beautiful Desktop Wallpapers for August 2012
Wallpaper by Call Me Victorian

August Flower Calendar Wallpaper

Wallpaper by Paper Leaf

August Desktop Calendar

Wallpaper by Oana Befort

August Blue Whale Wallpaper

Wallpaper by Kriegs

Vintage August Wallpaper

Wallpaper by Kinnon Elliott

Wallpaper by Sarah Hearts

Wallpaper by Happy Serendipity

 

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for August 2012 appeared first on Visual Swirl Design Resources.

Free Graphic Design Vector Icon Pack

Original Source: http://justcreative.com/2017/07/19/free-graphic-design-icon-pack/

Get your hands on these 15 design themed icons, including the pen tool, Venn diagram, Pantone color book, paint brush, eraser, magic wand, scalpel, ruler, spray can, camera and printer.

They are available in color and black and white for easily editing, in AI, EPS, PNG and SVG formats.

» Download Free Graphic Design Icon Pack (5.5mb)

Free Graphic Design Icons EPS Vector Pack

» Download Free Graphic Design Icon Pack (5.5mb)

This pack was exclusively designed for JUST Creative by Vecteezy. Check out their site for more awesome free & premium resources.

8 Winning Instagram Tips for Your Business

Original Source: http://justcreative.com/2017/07/31/8-winning-instagram-tips-for-your-business/

This article was contributed by Mark Velarga.

You have an amazing brand, and you want to maximize your customer engagement via Instagram. But how should you go about doing it?

With over 700 million monthly users, Instagram is a veritable gold mine for engagement, helping businesses to connect with their customers and increase sales without having to fork over a fortune for travel and paid advertising. But how?

The task may seem daunting at first, but with the right plan of attack, anyone can get results. If you’re looking to increase your following, engagement and customer base on Instagram, check out the following 8 steps to build a roadmap for Insta-success!

Create an Instagram Business Account

Phone on Desk

Did you know that Instagram’s engagement rate is about 2.26%? That’s over 2% higher than both Twitter and Facebook! Obviously, there’s tremendous potential on the platform that growing businesses would be foolish to ignore.

So where to start? Like any other successful endeavor, it begins with building a solid foundation, and the first step involves creating a business account.

You have two options: either convert an existing personal account or start from scratch. With a business account, you’ll be privy to business features and free analytics through Instagram Insights (more on metrics later).

Here are some helpful tips for creating a business profile:

Complete your profile (Don’t leave unfinished!)
Make sure it is public
Use business name
Upload branded profile image
Include a compelling bio statement (update frequently!)
Provide a link to your website

Consistency and recognizability are key to success. You’ll want to ensure that your brand’s name, image, products, services, etc. are presented with clarity in purpose and focus.

Make sure that your message is clear and consistent. The last thing you want to do is confuse viewers and lose potential customers.

Remember: This is not about you personally.

Focus on an approach that showcases your company and save the selfies for your personal account.

Establish your business goals from the beginning, and your experience will be much smoother!

Take Followers on a Journey

Phone in Hand Bushes

For most product-based companies, the general practice is to turn to generic product content. Don’t do it!

It’s important to add a bit of personality to your Instagram account. When you know your audience, it can help you develop a narrative, style and tone — this is your chance to share your brand story.

Instead of uploading dry or disconnected content, think of it like a scrapbook. By adding interesting photos and videos periodically, you paint an ever-growing picture your followers can connect with and be part of the journey.

This is not limited to images and video. You can also provide dynamic and engaging captions that appeal to your viewers. This will not only enhance their experience but will increase the chances of them becoming loyal customers.

People are also interested in how products are made. To satiate this curiosity, take them behind the scenes. This can be done through factory tour videos, sketches and diagrams, and anything that you think would be interesting to share. Remember to tell a story that’s fun, informative and provides a glimpse into your company’s inner workings.

By sharing everyday moments in a candid (and sometimes quirky) way, your company will appear more approachable to your followers. This is what separates winning businesses from the rest. 

Provide Quality Content

Strawberry Pancakes 

A poor image or video can be a big turn-off. If your content is not high-res and interesting, don’t upload it! Great content should be the cornerstone of your strategy. (Of course, if you’re going for a more lo-fi aesthetic, incorporate what best serves your vision.)

Quality, for example, can be developed through thoughtful direction of content, editing apps and positioning. Whether service-oriented or product-based, your content should be relevant to your viewers and convey the focus of your business. Also try experimenting with videos and creative captions.

Another good tip is to vary your product content creatively. This will ensure that your followers won’t get bored. Your audience will thank you!

Whatever approach you plan on implementing, make sure it’s consistent and attracts your intended audience. And don’t go for the hard sell. Ultimately, this will lead to followers who embrace your brand and purchase your products.

Inspire, Connect & Follow Back

Woman Playing with Hair

Many Instagram users love to be inspired. And who doesn’t? When viewers connect with your content emotionally, they will keep coming back for more. Leave behind the cut-and-dry and offer your followers images, videos and captions that truly resonate.

Engage with your customers through commenting and liking other pages, especially when you are starting out. It shows you aren’t just trying to get them to follow you. Go that extra mile, and you we’ll be rewarded with a loyal fan!

The focus doesn’t always have to be on products or services. For example, you can showcase employees, company activities and fun events. Creating this type of environment will help cement your bond and gain trust even more.

Another good practice is updating your bio section. A mistake many users make is to put up a boring blurb, add the company link and leave it at that. What you need to do is update it frequently. It provides the only clickable link, so get creative with its use. Think about how you can drive traffic to promotional events, registration, sales, etc.

The value of the Instagram page is typically measured by the number of followers versus those you are following — the more followers, the better. However, it is essential that you also follow back influencers and others who provide value for your business. This could lead to some great opportunities and collaborations in the future.

Build a Following

Chess People

So, the all-important question: How do you get more followers?

The process is not exactly easy, but with patience and creativity, you can create a buzz that will lead to greater click-through rates and amazing sales growth. Put in the work, and it will be well worth the effort!

Here’s a list of things you can do to build a massive following:

Use Hashtags: Makes it easier for people to find and follow you. Use a mixture of company-specific and universally popular hashtags.

Content Marketing; According to PakFactory, a custom packaging company, one way you can enhance your business’s brand is by creating valuable & quality content. Elevate your expertise and become a guest contributor for other related blogs.

Make sure to have a link to your instagram because if that particular content gets noticed and becomes viral, you might be receiving more followers than you imagined.

Get Mentioned: Instagram offers one of the best ways to spotlight collaborators and customers alike. Share your photos with other notable instagram accounts and get them to mention you. You can also give shout-outs through tagging (@tags).

Host Contests: Everyone loves a giveaway, right? Be creative and have fun with how you present your contests. They will come in droves if executed properly.

Offer Exclusivity and Create Anticipation: Keeping viewers interested is important. Upload teasers and offer your loyal followers rewards in the form of exclusive content.

Collaborate: We all can’t do this on our own. Search out for companies or individuals that align with your mission and create a project together that will help each one’s brand.

Explore Instagram Stories

Typewriter on Desk

What’s better than one powerful image? How about a slideshow filled with dynamic content?

Instagram Stories allows you to string together your images and videos to create even more immersive content that your followers can experience at their own pace throughout the day (all content disappears after 24 hours).

Since this has become a prominent feature, more and more businesses have started experimenting with it. Other than its sheer engagement potential, the feature offers several benefits:

Share as much as you want (displays in chronological sequence)
Offers text, face filters and drawing tools
Provides more dynamic value to your followers
Higher discoverability through Story Search
Showcase a more comprehensive story
Stories are displayed at top of follower timelines

Go ahead, get creative and see what you can do with Instagram Stories! Your followers will be more enthusiastic and want more. It’s an addiction that we can all get on board with. 

Post on a Regular Basis

Instagram on Phone

You may one day come up with the perfect Instagram post that garners thousands of likes, but if you aren’t posting regularly, it won’t make a difference.

Consistent content is the name of the game. If you want to grab and hold your audience’s attention, you need to employ content scheduling.

Fortunately, there are several tools that can help keep track of your visual campaigns. These include Schedugram, Autogrammer, Later and Planoly, among others. If you decide to forgo these options and go old school, make sure that you use a method (calendar, notebook, etc.) that keeps everything organized and easy to work with.

Harness the Power of Metrics

Man on Computer

Let’s face it, if you are using Instagram and want to capture as much value as possible, you need to embrace metrics. Relative to other social media platforms, it can seem like there aren’t as many options in this department. But don’t worry. Thankfully, there are several instagram metrics that can help you figure out what’s performing well and what’s not.

Instagram Metrics

Most people would assume that the number of likes would be the most important metric, but once you delve into the data, you’ll find that comments received is a better signifier of overall engagement. Once you get a feel for analytics, you’ll be able to focus on the information that gets you results.

There are some handy (and free) analytics tools to assist you, including Instagram Insights (through Instagram business account), Socialbakers, Simply Measured, Union Metrics and SquareLovin.

With these tools, you’ll be able to analyze essential data, not only from yourself but from your competition as well, and improve the performance of your business account.

And there you have it!

By establishing these steps from the beginning, you will greatly increase your chances of success and limit the headaches associated with shoddy strategy. As you become more comfortable with the basics, stretch out creatively and experiment a little. Remember to also have fun while your posting. Good luck!

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #34

Original Source: https://webdesignledger.com/my-journey-of-learning-programming-through-flatiron-school-34/

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

Today I would like to deviate from code review and talk about something a little more important, time management, and how I have been able to envision an end point with the school. The Flatiron school, in a simple sense, is huge especially the online course that I am involved in. It is very expensive and you have to be very involved in the school to really be invested and take full advantage of the extent of knowledge that is available to you. I did not realize this until I officially began working full time in the school.

With this understanding of what was to come, I was able to provide myself with safe goals to complete per day to view an endpoint in the future. This was going well, I did not set goals that were too high, but were tangible to compete with everything else going on with work and so forth. Upon finishing the material that was mandatory to enter into the full school lesson program I was ready financially to begin working through the course material full time, all day every day. But then, as it always does, life happens….

Around this time, I had received a phone call from my mom and she told me she was diagnosed with cancer. Because of the severity of this cancer that she was diagnosed with, they said they would begin chemo that night. So off to Tucson I went, scratching all my study plans. For the next week, I stayed at the hospital with her, all day for roughly 15 hours per day. Only leaving to eat and sleep at my parent’s house. Through this time, it was hard…. And if anyone of you has had this happen to you I know from a viewer standpoint of how nasty cancer and treatment really is. Once the initial shock of the stark turn my life just took, I began thinking about school again. I began taking my laptop to the hospital every day with me.

My mom was unable to really talk through this time, it gave me a large window to make real progress with the coursework provided by The Flatiron School while being able to be there for the family to do whatever they needed me to do for them to help in any way I could. So this was my new normal, living in Tucson, Arizona hanging out at a hospital all day, helping with my mom and setting aside anytime I could to be there for her.

This was the next 5 months of my life, working and caretaking. Being there for my mom, while working through this cancer together and working through school when I had the time. This set me back in school quite a bit. I was not making the progress that I had, but still slowly inching my way forward.

During this time we got connected with M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas. So off to Texas we went. This past month and a half I have spent in Houston, preparing for the stem cell transplant that was approaching.

Every day in Houston I would wake up, pack a lunch, be at the hospital from nine o’clock to three o’clock. Then head to the gym, eat supper, and head back to the hospital until 12 o’clock. My time spent at the hospital I would work on school, it being really the only time I had. On July 4th, 2017 was the big day, my mom was ready for her stem cell transplant, her new birthday. If any of you know this is a big deal. Basically, it is a restart of her immune system, so when she gets to come out of the hospital she will have the immune system of a child, no vaccinations, and susceptible to anything that the average person would be able to fight off with a built up immune system.

For the next 15 day, she was unable to eat and could not leave her bed. So I sat with her, day after day, working on school, and helping with mundane things like plugging in her phone or ordering food on the phone. Things that you don’t think about until you are unable to do them. As well as making sure she was all caught up on the new season of The Bachelorette, which I hate to say, but it’s actually pretty addictive haha.

Though this time, I completed Ruby, built my first gem, ran business meetings, as well as had interviews with the school upon completing a major portion of the class work all from a hospital room at M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas.

On July 20th we found out that is could be the cure, and she could possibly be cancer free and was released from the hospital.

We were headed home!

I do not mean to write a post about how I was able to complete all this school work, how I am this great guy, or a sob story. And I hope you don’t take it that way because that is not how I intended it. But things happen in life and you have to adjust. I set aside this time for myself to really progress in school, and with one phone call that all changed. I did not plan on moving to Houston for a couple months, nor spending long extended time in Tucson, but life goes on. This time with my mom has given me the strength to push through emotionally, has created a closer bond with my family than I have ever had. It has given me the time management skills to always know that I actually do have time to get what i needed done, even though it’s not quite the way you wanted that time to look.

My mom is cancer free, and I am more than halfway done with school. Which in a warped way, feels pretty good.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #34

Web Typography Fundamentals with Jason Santa Maria

Original Source: http://justcreative.com/2017/07/21/web-typography-fundamentals-with-jason-santa-maria/

In this brand new Skillshare course from award-winning designer, author, and type expert Jason Santa Maria, you will learn what makes a great online typeface, how to know when a font works and other advice for how to design with fonts.

This is a perfect class for designers, marketers, and everyone writing on the web!

In 9 clear lessons, Jason breaks down every aspect of online type, from practical design considerations to cultivating a discerning, artistic eye. Packed with examples and inspiration, this class is a rich introduction to the limitless world of typography.

» Watch Introduction Video for Free

Web Type Fundamentals

Key lessons include:

Understanding key terms and typographic elements
Choosing specific typefaces for different projects
Pairing typefaces to create a personal webpage
Layout basics: sizing, spacing, and proportions

Whether you use typography in professional designs, meeting presentations, or personal projects, this class will change the way you interact with type.

By the end, you’ll have a new arsenal of skills to help you see type in a whole new way — empowering you to use type intentionally, better communicate your ideas, and bring your words to life.

2 Free Months of Skillshare Premium!

Get unlimited access to this class and 16,000+ more with Skillshare Premium.

» Click here to get started

10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses: Learn, Design, Earn!

Original Source: http://justcreative.com/2017/07/24/best-courses-to-learn-code-online/

This article is written by Henry Rise, the CEO of ThemeRex, Power Elite Author on Themeforest, with 140+ WP themes.

When newbies ask about the best places to learn code online, the correct answer is… it depends. It depends on many different factors.

Your background is important, what you want to get out of the experience, and what your end goals are, make different resources better or worse fit for you.

But what skills to learn? We suggest learning HTML and CSS first. You should also pick a programming language. Any programming language works, most people choose JavaScript, but we think Ruby is a better idea for a first programming language to learn. Don’t overanalyze, just pick stuff and learn it. And have fun!

10 Best Free Online Web Development Courses

We don’t necessarily suggest using all of these resources. Pick some of them and give them a whirl. Some you may love, others you may hate. Worst case scenario, you’ll waste a bit of time and learn what doesn’t work for you.

Launch School

Launch-School

This program isn’t for everyone. That’s why you can take their free prep courses and then make a decision. No matter your experience, you should start with the free prep courses, and get a feel for the format. If you are able to finish the prep courses and enjoy that experience, you may consider registering for paid courses. If you can’t finish the prep courses or didn’t enjoy the experience, then you probably shouldn’t take the Launch School program.

In order to really understand any tool – Rails, Angular, React, etc – you have to start with the first principles. First, you have to learn basic problem solving with a programming language. Next, you have to learn the intricacies of that language. Then, you have to learn web development, which includes HTTP, front-end vs back-end, SQL, relational databases, etc. Finally, you can start to peel back the conventions in a library or framework.

In short, this school program is geared towards those who are serious about getting a job with a time horizon of 12-14 months for the transformation.

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Build Your First Laravel App

Build-Your-First-Laravel-App

This is a free 5-day video course with lessons that will teach you how to build your very own, first Laravel PHP web application, step by step. They will walk you through the process and show you how to code everything. There’s no guesswork for you, and each lesson is short and easily-digestible.

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Bento

Bento

If you don’t know where to start, Bento offers a free full stack web development curriculum created by top engineers. Deep dive into the tech you’re passionate about. Bento found the best tutorials on over 200 different web technology topics. Share your own finds and tutorials on learning the newest technologies and see what other engineers are excited about.

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Code4Startup

Code4Startup

Leo Trieu designed and coded the Code4Startup platform with Ruby on Rails in 3 days only but it took him almost 2 and half months to create just 5 hours of video for his very first two educational courses ever, Zero and Ninja. Why? Because he is not a native English speaker and he had to practice and repeat hundreds of times. But he kept trying and never gave up. He bootstrapped this startup with a dream of educating millions people from around the world. Code4Startup is not just about learning how to code, it’s also about inspiring people to create something meaningful, something they are excited about.

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CodeAvengers

CodeAvengers

Code Avengers offers classes for web designers, web developers and software engineers. At Code Avengers you learn by doing. Learn from step-by-step instructions combined with 1000s of code challenges, videos and quizzes with support from expert educators and an enthusiastic community of learners. You also build your portfolio. You’ll start off learning to build simple apps and websites, but quickly progress to building real-world applications you can show-off to friends and future employers. Whether you want to land your dream job, start your own tech company, or build technology that changes the world, the Code Avengers team are dedicated to helping you get there faster.

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Codecademy

Codecademy

Codecademy is an education company. They’re committed to building the best learning experience inside and out, making Codecademy the best place for their team to learn, teach, and create the online learning experience of the future. The company is rethinking education from the bottom up. The web has rethought nearly everything – commerce, social networking, healthcare, and more. They are building the education the world needs – the first truly net native education. They take more cues from Facebook and Zynga in creating an engaging educational experience than they do from the classroom.

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CodeCombat

CodeCombat

CodeCombat was created to give learners the feeling of wizardly power at their fingertips by using typed code. As it turns out, that enables them to learn faster too. It’s like having a conversation instead of reading a manual. They want to bring that conversation to every school and to every student, because everyone should have the chance to learn the magic of programming.

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Codementor Learning Center

Codementor-Learning-Center

Codementor connects you with expert developers for live 1:1 help. At first you post your request. Get help for 800+ categories including JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, CSS/HTML, iOS, Android. Advanced topics include big data, machine learning, and more. Then you connect with a Codementor. Instantly connect with an online expert or schedule for a later time. Mentor’s rate starts at $10 for a 15min session. Get 1:1 expert help. Work 1:1 with an expert mentor for debugging help, code review and pair programming via screen sharing, video, and text chat.

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Coder Camps Free HTML/CSS

Coder-Camps-Free-HTML-CSS

Since 2013, Coder Camps has been preparing students for successful, rewarding careers in the field of software engineering. Through accelerated and immersive courses led by expert instructors, their students become accustomed to thinking like a developer and adapting to the dynamics of working on an Agile software team. As technology continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid rate, students need more than a kick-start to a good job, they need a persistent career development partner. That’s why Coder Camps graduates are encouraged to return as often as needed, free of charge, to refresh their knowledge, learn new technologies and find new opportunities. Their coding bootcamp centers on the needs of today’s hard working software teams and hiring managers. From learning to code, creating a fully-functional web application, interview readiness training and so much more, their focus is preparing students to meet the demands of employers.

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iLoveCoding

iLoveCoding

iLoveCoding provides the simplest path to becoming a Front-End and Full-Stack Developer, they provide Video Based Training + Mentorship for their programs. They focus on Javascript Stack and its related technologies. Training is self-paced, and mentorship is available online via Student Area + Office Hours. iLoveCoding is a coding bootcamp alternative but better in value (cost), in effectiveness (they keep it real, vs hype or pushing things down your throat).

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Summary

I hope you will pick out the resource that will teach you all necessary skills to start developing your templates, websites, applications and making money on your passion. Have you already tried any of them? Do you have any additions to this list? Please share them as well as your success stories with us at the comments section. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.

More? Browse 35,000+ Courses on Udemy

From programming to photography, Udemy has it all! Check out their online courses.

Udemy Courses

Have any other free (or paid) online web development courses you recommend? Let us know!

10 Business and Startup WordPress Themes For A Better Website

Original Source: https://webdesignledger.com/10-business-startup-wordpress-themes-better-website/

Today, we live in a highly competitive world. Thus, it is very important for your business to have the advantage to survive.

How to make your startup or small business stand out from the competition? One sure way is to have an award-winning website to promote your goods or services.

Building a business takes careful planning in many different areas. Moreover, executing those plans can take time. Yet, once a content of a company’s website has been determined, building the website can be done in short order. This is quite easy when the right tools for the job are at your fingertips.

Whether you’re simply looking for inspiration, or ready to get started, you are in the right place. You’re sure to find one or more out of the following collection of WordPress themes to be helpful.

If you need to have a quality website up and running in nothing flat, you need to look no further.

Be Theme

How is Be Theme good for building startup or small business websites?

Being the biggest has its advantages, and Be Theme is the biggest WordPress theme to date. Bigger means having more tools (features), ideas, and concepts than the other guy.

One of the things that makes Be Theme ideal for startups and small business is its selection of 260+ pre-built websites that address every nook and cranny of the business world. Most pre-built websites are multi-page affairs, all are customizable, and it’s not at all difficult to find one that has the functionality you want your website to exhibit.

Be’s Muffin Builder and Options Panelmake building a website a piece of cake, and having more than 200 shortcodesto work with means there’s no need for coding. A pre-built website can also be used to rapidly create a prototype to share with a client for feedback.

If the thought of being able to start from scratch, and get a website up and running in 4 hours appeals to you, give Be Theme a look.

 

Cribs

Why is The Core a good choice for startups and small businesses?

The Core is a multipurpose WordPress theme that promotes different themes or website examples for different uses. One of these themes, Cribs, is dedicated to creating small business websites. Thus, if you or your client is a small business owner, it makes good sense to invest in a theme that focuses on providing the basic layouts and functionality your business’s website requires.

The Core comes with a visual page builder, and tons of design options. Your website will be fully responsive, WooCommerce ready, and via a WPML plugin, translatable into the most commonly used languages. Discounted purchase plans are available for building a single website, or an unlimited number of websites. For the latter, you can pay either a one-time fee or an annual fee. Either way, you can expect dedicated support along with free updates.

Oshine

What makes Oshine a good choice for small businesses and startups.

Oshine is a creative, multi-layout WordPress theme that comes with 27 striking demos featuring clean and modern designs that are applicable to building any type or style of website. The demos are customizable, and since they can be installed with a single click, you can get started immediately.

Oshine has its own, unique visual page builder, Tatsu. Since it’s a front-end builder, building and editing pages is a snap. The powerful options panel gives you total control over the layout design process, plus you’ll have more than a dozen menu and header options to work with.

For creatives, Oshine offers unlimited ways to create a stunning portfolio, and if you have products to sell, or a service to provide, the theme is WooCommerce and WPML compatible.

Uncode

Why would Uncode be a good choice for small businesses and startups?

Uncode is a popular creative WordPress theme that was handcrafted by an experienced and award-winning team of designers and developers. Uncode is pixel perfect and ultra-professional in its presentation. It’s clean, modern layouts will satisfy almost any need.

Whether your intent is to produce a highly qualified e-commerce website, a magazine-style website, a corporate website, or simply a portfolio, Uncode will be an excellent choice.

Ultra

What makes Ultra by Themify a great choice for startups?

Whether it’s to create a rapid prototype layout, or to build the final product, Themify’sdrag and drop pre-made row designs provides a super-fast and efficient way to build your pages. This modular approach also provides an easy way to update a page in an existing website. There are currently 34 editable pre-designed rows to select from, including FAQ, Banner, and Testimonial sections.

Houzez

How is Houzez good for small businesses?

Houzez may not be the best fit for some small businesses, but this specialized WordPress theme is the best possible choice for creating a realtor’s or real estate agency’s website. The functionality most agencies need is already there, including property search, rate, and review, custom workflows, private messaging, and more.

Add content, and you can have a website up and running in hours, or even sooner.

 

KLEO – Ready To Go Theme For Your Business

How is KLEO a good choice for small startups?

KLEO is a community-focused, multipurpose BuddyPress theme. This is exactly the type of theme for creating websites that many startups, and more than a few businesses, could put into play to grow their customer or user base.

KLEO has plenty of demos, and it’s easy to install the plugins you may need. You can try KLEO for free, and test its options before you buy.

Kallyas

What does Kallyas have that startup and small business websites need?

Kallyas’s reputation speaks for itself. This nearly 5-year-old responsive theme, created by an experienced, customer oriented team, has been a top 15 best-selling WordPress theme since day one.

Kallyas is loaded with features, including 50+ pre-built websites, a simply amazing visual website builder, adaptive images, video tutorials, and dedicated support. Kallyas is a WordPress theme you can have fun with!

Infinite

What makes Infinite the right choice for a small business or startup?

Infinite is a multi-purpose WordPress theme. It was created with a goal of providing a website solution for everyone. All the needed tools are there, so it’s simply a matter of checking out the pre-built website demos.

The demos fall in 4 categories: WooCommerce, Creative, Corporate, and Niche Retail and Services; one of which should fit a small business or startup nicely.

 

TheGem

How is TheGem good for small businesses and startups?

Equipped with flexible features focusing on business, corporate and startup websites, delivered with outstanding designs for 50+ business concepts, and carefully developed by the best designers of the Behance network, TheGem will make your online brands stand out, and take your business to the next level.

The best thing is, it’s extremely easy in use. No coding is required. You can freely combine the pre-made demos per drag’n’drop with one another to create your own unique layouts. The 250+ content element styles, designed to cover the goals of any business or startup website make TheGem a reasonable investment.

To Wrap It Up

Finding the right theme for your small business or startup project can be difficult. However, no with this list of winning WordPress Themes. If there is a problem, it’s that of having to choose among several themes that are obviously just right for the job.

The good news is, you’re unlikely to make a poor choice. We’d like to hear what you have to say, or if you feel we’ve left something out. Happy website building!

Read More at 10 Business and Startup WordPress Themes For A Better Website