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8 Awesome Black Friday 2020 Deals for Designers (Up to 94% Off!)

If you’re interested in a sneak peek of this year’s best Black Friday deals, stick around. You’ll find a few web designers’ favorites, including a stellar deal or two.

This year, more than a few of the popular retail outlets are shifting away from the traditional “camp out all night and bust open the doors when the store opens” shopping model. You might just prefer this less chaotic, ecommerce approach.

All of us are trying to adjust to what may eventually become a “new normal”. We may not like some aspects of this new normal, but there are bright spots as well.

More shoppers are likely going to shop online because of the coronavirus. That means you don’t have to fight the crowds while desperately attempting to socially distance. The shelves aren’t as apt to go bare, and shopping is easy, convenient, and safe.

1. Slider Revolution

You will find the Slider Revolution plugin incorporated in a host of WordPress theme tools and products. This premium plugin can in fact boast of more than 7 million users around the globe.

What you may not be aware of is that it is much more than just a WordPress slider. With it in your web design toolbox, you can in fact create just about anything you can imagine.

Expect to find:

  • A stunning selection of elements including sliders and carousels;
  • Attention-getting hero sections designed to make your home pages really stand out;
  • Single-page websites with layouts unlike anything you’ve seen before;
  • Modular structuring that allows you to rearrange and reuse sections however you choose and the ability to mix and match modules with any WordPress content;
  • Add-ons whose cutting edge features push the boundaries of web design possibilities.

There’s more of course. To celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can NOW get any Slider Revolution subscription plan or one-time payment at a 33% discount.

Just click on the banner and use the BLACKFRIDAY code at checkout.

2. Amelia

When done manually, booking and managing appointments can be tedious and subject to mistakes and errors. Amelia provides an automated booking process that is oh-so easy to work with and is error free; just what you need to help you acquire more happy customers.

Key features of Amelia’s fully responsive design include:

  • A dashboard system that enables you to track approved and pending appointments, booking changes, and revenue;
  • Zoom Integration, Google Calendar, and Outlook Calendar sync;
  • The ability to accept and easily manage recurring appointments that customers can schedule;
  • Front-end customer and employee appointment and event managing and backend appointment adding, editing, and rescheduling;
  • Email notifications for pending and approved appointments and events.

And much more that will save you loads of energy and a ton of time. Give Amelia a try, and if you like what you see (and you will), take advantage of the 30% Black Friday discount.

3. wpDataTables

wpDataTables 3.0, with its fresh, new look, gives you a host of different ways to generate attractive, customizable, and responsive tables and charts, and a host of different ways to present them.

  • Tables can be created from most data sources, the most common being MySQL query, PHP array, Google Spreadsheet, Excel files CSV files, and JSON and XML inputs;
  • A working knowledge of SQL is not required!
  • Addons include Gravity Forms, Formidable Forms, Report Builder, and Powerful Filter;
  • wpDataTables users can generate Tables and Charts quickly from massive amounts of data (saving hours of effort);
  • Tables and charts are customizable and maintainable (editable once placed in use);
  • Tables can be created manually if you wish.

Click on the banner now and take advantage of wpDataTables 30% Black Friday discount on all licenses and addons.

4. TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

In TheGem, the ultimate WordPress multipurpose toolbox, you will find:

  • A rich selection of 400+ premium pre-built multi-page and one-page websites, all available for Elementor and WPBakery page builders;
  • The ability to mix and match any of this demos, layouts and page sections to create your own unique look;
  • Extended WooCommerce layouts & tools for making online shops, which convert better;
  • TheGem Blocks: an ultimate tool for building webpages at the speed of light.

And much more. Just click on the banner and check this 5-star product out.

5. Mobirise Website Builder

Creating a Google-friendly can take time, unless you have Mobirise at your fingertips, in which case you have a number of helpful tools to speed things up.

  • No coding, it’s all drag and drop;
  • 3,600+ website templates are at your disposal plus sliders, popups, forms, and more;
  • Many eCommerce features, including a shopping cart;
  • Latest Google Amp and Bootstrap4;
  • You can download Mobirise for free.

And, because it’s Black Friday, everything is yours at a 94% discount!

6. Get Illustrations

Get Illustrations offers royalty free and landing page Illustrations ready to drag and drop into your web design. You’ll have access to:

  • An extensive library of 4000+ illustrations with more added every week;
  • A wealth of design formats, including AI, PNG, SVG, Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch;
  • Free updates and new illustrations weekly (included in the bundle).

Click on the banner and use the Coupon Code BLACKDEAL for your 30% discount.

7. XStore | Responsive Multi-Purpose WooCommerce WordPress Theme

For anyone planning on creating an eCommerce store, the XStore name says it all. Key features you’ll find in this powerful and flexible WooCommerce theme include:

  • More than 95 good-to-go-shops plus a full AJAX shop to get you started;
  • 300+ pre-defined shop/page sections, a header builder, and a single product page builder;
  • Elementor, WPBakery and $510+ worth of premium plugins.

Click on the banner and sign up to become one of XStore’s 55,000+ happy customers.

8. Kalium – Creative Theme For Multiple Uses

Kalium is an easy-to-use, easily maintainable multipurpose theme for WordPress users that is always updated to use the latest WordPress standards.

  • Kalium provides its users with a host of professionally-designed pre-built demos and elements;
  • Many plugins such as: Slider Revolution, WPBakery, Elementor, Layer Slider, Advanced Custom Fields PRO, Product Filter for WooCommerce, Product Size Guide,WooCommerce and other premium plugins are included.

Kalium is responsive, GDPR compliant, and gives you full eCommerce and top-quality customer support. It has a 5-star rating after 36k sales on ThemeForest – seriously impressive!

***** 

If you hit the retail stores remember to social distance.

Or, if you would rather take a brief break from the demands of Covid-19, take advantage of one or more of the above ecommerce sales. As you can see, there are some excellent ones!

 

[– This is a sponsored post –]

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Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Popular Design News of the Week: November 16, 2020 – November 22, 2020

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers.

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

15 Best Illustration Tools in 2020

 

Slidepage 1.0 – Create Engaging and Swipeable Stories-on-the-Web, for Free

 

Notion Timeline – More than Gantt, for all your Projects

 

Unslack

 

UX Lessons from Big Sur

 

Pattern Collect

 

Apple Silicon M1 Chips and Docker

 

Difference Between UI and UX Design

 

How Many WordPress Plugins Should You Install?

 

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Design System at Spotify

 

8 Pure CSS Games You Can Play in your Browser

 

We Can do Better than DuckDuckGo

 

Fulljar – Simple and Privacy Focused Analytics

 

Accessibility in User Experience: How to Include People with Disabilities

 

9 Common WordPress Myths Debunked and Explained

 

Impressive Pure CSS Drawings

 

I Took 21 Online Courses, Here’s What I Learned

 

User Experience: Insights into Consistency in Design

 

How to Use Emotion to Make your Brand’s Content More Compelling

 

25 Free Icon Sets You Can Download and Use Today

 

6 Ways 2020 has Changed the Landscape of Design

 

25 Inspirational Quotes for Web Designers

 

9 Tips to Keep You Sane When Working with Multiple Clients

 

Write Code like You Write a Recipe

 

UI Coach – UI Design Challenge Generator

 

Want more? No problem! Keep track of top design news from around the web with Webdesigner News.

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Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Top New CMS Plugins, November 2020

Since there are so many CMS plugins out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the best ones for your website. We’ve done the research for you; this list contains the top new CMS plugins for November 2020. You’ll find useful plugins for WordPress, Craft, Shopify, and Joomla.

Let’s get started…

WordPress

404 Page Editor

404 Page Editor is a simple WordPress plugin that helps you add custom text to the default 404 page on your website. The plugin comes with seasonal and industry-related 404 templates. One useful feature of the plugin is that it backups your current 404 page before changing it. So you can restore the backup page anytime you choose. The plugin duplicates your current 404.php page to wp-content/uploads/404-page-editor/ so you can easily find it. You can also change the text on the plugin to fit your local dialect. 

UnusedCSS Power-Up

Most WordPress themes and plugins load their CSS in the wrong areas of your website. This can slow down your site. A slow website will reduce user experience and lead to increased bounce rates.

UnusedCSS will help reduce the size of your website’s CSS files by up to 95%. The best part is that the plugin works automatically. It will remove any unused CSS when visitors view any page on your website. UnusedCSS will automatically reduce your website’s load times by reducing your CSS files and page size. The plugin also optimizes the performance of other WordPress plugins and extensions. UnusedCSS also works with WooCommerce themes and plugins.

Simple Redirects

Simple Redirects is a WordPress plugin that helps you to automatically redirect requests to another page on your site or any other place on the web. The plugin allows you to easily redirect users from your old web pages to new pages using 301 or 302 redirects. You don’t have to worry about losing backlinks or page rank. Any incoming links to the old web page will be automatically passed along to the new page. The page rank on the old page is also transferred to the new page. The plugin is useful when migrating a WordPress site when don’t want to retain the URL structure. 

HTML Validation

HTML Validation plugin helps you identify any HTML validation errors on your website. The plugin works automatically in the background of your website and will send you regular reports. There is a progress bar on the report screen to show you the progress of the scan. The plugin uses WordPress Cron to scan the content of your website. There is also an option for the plugin to automatically fix any HTML validation issues on your website. You can also choose to fix the issues manually. 

Just Highlight

Just Highlight is a simple WordPress plugin that helps you highlight text in your posts or pages. You can use this plugin to highlight any portion of the page you want to draw the reader’s attention to. You can highlight the background of the page and also add animation to the highlighted text. In the WordPress admin area, you can change the speed and color of the animation. The plugin is compatible with Gutenberg, and the WordPress classic editor. 

DeviantArt Embed

DeviantArt Embed is a simple plugin that helps you embed any work from Deviant Art into a post. The plugin provides a block for the WordPress block editor so you can easily embed the image. It uses a DeviantArt oEmbed API to pull the images and their descriptions, and creates an embedded image. 

Static Optimizer

Static Optimizer is a static file optimization plugin that serves and optimizes static files on your website. The plugin will help you increase your website speed by automatically compressing your static files. It is easy to set up, you just need an API key to get started. Other useful features that the plugin offers include automatic JS and CSS minification, automatic image optimization, and processing of responsive images. You don’t have to worry about losing your files if their server is down. The plugin automatically backs up your files and will load your original files when their servers are down (either because of an upgrade, maintenance, or outage).  By default, only images are compressed when you activate the plugin; you can also choose to optimize fonts, CSS, and JS files. 

RankBear

RankBear is a keyword rank tracker plugin that helps you analyze your SEO efforts. With RankBear, you can track the keywords for each of the posts and pages on your site. While the plugin has a paid plan, you can track up to five keywords for free. On the free plan, you will receive weekly reports on each keyword you are tracking. You can search for the rank and volume of a keyword in every location supported by the Google search engine. RankBear is a lightweight software-as-a-service plugin hosted by Amazon Cloud Services. The plugin also offers the option to download the keyword reports to CSV. 

Table of Contents Block

Table of Contents Block is a plugin that allows you to easily create a Table of Contents for your WordPress posts. The plugin is lightweight and will automatically add a Table of Content in your website’s posts and pages. You can select the heading tags you want to add to the Table of Content. It also has a dedicated support team to assist you. The plugin works fine with all standard WordPress themes. 

Markease For WooCommerce

Markeaze is an all-in-one communication plugin that allows you to add live chat to your online stores. The plugin will help you improve your customer service by decreasing your response times. With the plugin, you can collect your visitor’s contact information via a widget. This feature is useful in building a subscriber database. You can also use the plugin to track customer behavior on your site, inform customers about new products, help customers with active orders, and collect customer feedback. You can also use the auto-reply function to answer commonly asked questions. 

Craft CMS

Image Toolbox

Image Toolbox is a Craft CMS plugin that offers image-related tools for your templates. The plugin will automatically create a WebP variant of the images you upload. It also has a fallback for browsers that do not support WebP images. Other useful features the plugin offers include automatic creation of placeholder images and generation of responsive images with multiple variants. The plugin also supports Imager-X (or old Imager). 

Element Panel

Element Panel plugin allows you to add elements and an eager-loading panel to the debug toolbar. This feature will help you benchmark your templates in Craft CMS. For elements, the panel has a dashboard that shows how many elements are populated. It also shows how many elements are duplicates. The plugin also shows you how many eager-loading elements are detected. Duplicate elements are grouped by field name. 

Shopify 

VStore Shoppable Videos

VStore Shoppable Videos is a Shopify plugin that allows your customers to shop directly from your videos. The plugin allows you to embed your products into any video. Since videos have a high engagement rate, this plugin will significantly improve your store’s conversion rates. 

ProofMotion Video Testimonials

ProofMotion Video Testimonials plugin helps you to easily collect video testimonials. The plugin sends an automated email or SMS requests to customers asking for their satisfaction feedback after making a purchase. The responses are analyzed to determine whether the customer had a negative or positive experience. Customers that offer negative feedback are sent to customer care to help them with the problem they encountered. Happy customers are prompted to make video testimonials of their positive shopping experience. ProofMotion guides the customer through the interview so they can give the best testimonial. They also offer an on-site widget so you can easily share your testimonials. 

Real ID

Real ID is a Shopify plugin that allows you to verify customers’ real identity using a photo ID and facial biometrics. The plugin is perfect for orders that have an age restriction, verifying flagged fraud goods, and selling expensive goods. Real ID will help you identify whether a government-issued-ID is fake during fulfilment. All the customer needs to do is take a selfie on their phone. This way, even if a customer has access to a stolen physical ID, they won’t still be able to make any purchase. The plugin can verify documents such as passports, visas, national IDs, driver licenses, and more. Real ID will help you handle GDPR compliance. The plugin is available in hundreds of countries around the world. 

Joomla

Accessibility

Accessibility is a Joomla plugin that allows your website visitors to easily access your website content. The plugin will remove any barrier between the visitor and your Joomla site. There is no coding required and you can customize the plugin directly from the module manager. The plugin has a useful feature called Dyslexic Readability; this feature allows your visitors to set the entire document font to a dyslexic-friendly font. Visitors can also grayscale the page, resize the fonts, and resize the word space. From the backend module, you can add any custom CSS and JS. The plugin is also available in 12 different languages. 

Reading Time

Reading Time is a simple plugin that will help you easily show the reading time of your Joomla articles. The plugin is easy to set up and does not require any coding. You can customize every parameter, including the text, in minutes. You can also choose to exclude categories, articles, and menu items. Reading Time also allows you to easily add custom CSS code from the plugin parameters. 

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Exciting New Tools for Designers, November 2020

In the spirit of fall feasts, this month’s collection of tools and resources is a smorgasbord of sorts. You’ll find everything from web tools to icon libraries to animation tools to great free fonts. Let’s dig in.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

The Good Line-Height

The Good Line-Height is the tool you won’t be able to live without after using it a few times. The tool calculates the ideal line-height for every text size in a typographic scale so that everything always fits the baseline grid. Set the font size, multiplier, and grid row height to get started.

Link-to-QR

Link-to-QR makes creating quick codes a breeze. Paste in your link and the tool creates an immediate QR code that you can download or share. Pick a color and transparency, plus size, and you are done.

Quarkly

Quarkly allows you to create websites and web apps both using a mouse and typing code – you get all the pros of responsive editing, but can also open the code editor at any time and manually edit anything and it all synchronizes. The tool is built for design control and is in beta.

UnSpam.email

Unspam.email is an online spam tester tool for emails. Improve deliverability with the free email tester. The service analyzes the main aspects of an email and returns a spam score and predicts results with a heat map of your email newsletter.

Filmstrip

Filmstrip allows you to create or import keyframe animations, make adjustments, and export them for web playback. It’s a quick and easy tool for modern web animation.

CSS Background Patterns

CSS Background Patterns is packed with groovy designs that you can adjust and turn into just the right background for your web project. Set the colors, opacity, and spacing; then pick a pattern; preview it right on the screen; and then snag the CSS. You can also submit your own patterns.

Neonpad

Neonpad is a simple – but fun – plain text editor in neon colors. Switch hues for a different writing experience. Use it small or expand to full browser size.

Link Hover Animation

Link Hover Animation is a nifty twist on a hover state. The animation draws a circle around the link!

Tint and Shade Generator

Tint and Shade Generator helps you make the most of any hex color. Start with a base color palette and use it to generate complementary colors for gradients, borders, backgrounds, or shadows.

Pure CSS Product Card

Pure CSS Product Card by Adam Kuhn is a lovely example of an e-commerce design that you can learn from. The card is appealing and functional.

Free Favicon Maker

Free Favicon Maker allows you to create a simple SVG or PNG favicon in a few clicks. You can set a style that includes a letter or emoji, font and size, color, and edge type and you are ready to snag the HTML or download the SVG or PNG file.

Ultimate Free iOS Icon Pack

The Ultimate Free iOS Icon Pack is a collection of 100 minimal icons in an Apple style. With black and white version of each icon and original PSD files, you can create sleek icons for your iPhone screen in minutes. And it’s completely free! No email address or registration required.

Phosphor Icon Family

Phosphor is a flexible icon family for all the things you need icons for including diagrams and presentations. There are plenty of arrows, chats, circles, clocks, office elements, lists, business logos, and more. Everything is in a line style, filled, or with duotone color. Everything is free but donations are accepted.

3,000 Hands

3,000 Hands is a kit of hands that includes plenty of gestures and style in six skin tones and with 10 angles of every gesture. They have a 3D-ish shape and are in an easy to use PNG format. This kit has everything you need from a set of hand icons.

Radix Icons

Radix Icons is a set of 15px by 15px icons for tiny spaces. They are in a line style and are available in a variety of formats including Figma, Sketch, iconJar, SVG, npm installation, or GitHub.

Deepnote

Deepnote is a new kind of data science notebook. It is Jupyter-compatible with real-time collaboration and running in the cloud and designed for data science teams.

ZzFXM Tiny JavaScript Music Generator

ZzFXM is a tiny JavaScript function that generates stereo music tracks from patterns of note and instrument data. Instrument samples are created using a modified version of the super-tiny ZzFX sound generator by Frank Force. It is designed for size-limited productions.

Image Tiles Scroll Animation

Image Tiles Scroll Animation is a different type of scrolling pattern using Locomotive Scroll. The grid creates a smooth animation in a fun and modern style.

Bubbles

Bubbles is a Chrome extension that allows you to collaborate by clicking anywhere on your screen and then dropping a comment to start a conversation with anyone. This is a nice option for work from home teams.

Tyrus

Tyrus is a toolkit from the design team at Airbnb to help illustrators make the most out of their design businesses. It is broken into sections to help you with design briefs, originality, deadlines, and feedback.

PatchGirl

PatchGirl is an automated QA tool for developers. You can combine SQL and HTTP queries to build any possible state of your database.

Apparel

Apparel is a beautiful premium typeface family with plenty of versatility in a modern serif style. It is a contemporary, classy, and fresh serif typeface with a laid-back. Its medium-large x-height makes it ideal for headlines and brand identity design.

Christmas Story

Christmas Story is a nice solution if you are already starting to think ahead to holiday projects or cards. The long swashes and tails are elaborate and fun.

Nafta

Nafta is a fun handwriting style font that has a marker-style stroke. It’s a modern take on the popular Sharpie font. It includes all uppercase letters.

Safira

Safira is a wide and modern sans with ligatures and a stylish feel. The rounded ball terminals are especially elegant.

Shine Brighter Sans

Shine Brighter Sans is a super-thin sans-serif with a light attitude. The limited character set combined with its light weight is best for display use.

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Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

10 Reasons Your WordPress Site Will Get Hacked (and How to Stop It)

A hacked WordPress site is as damaging as having your home burgled. It can completely shatter your peace of mind and adversely impact your online business. 

Why do hackers target WordPress sites? The answer is relatively simple: WordPress is the single biggest platform for website creation these days, so there’s a larger base to attack; this attracts the attention of online criminals. 

So, how can a hack impact your website? 

Depending on the type of attack, your website could suffer any of the following:

  • It could be defaced completely;
  • It could load or operate very slowly on any device;
  • It could completely crash and malfunction;
  • It could display the dreadful “White Screen of Death”;
  • Its incoming visitors could be redirected to other suspicious websites;
  • It could lose all your valuable customer data.

This list is not exhaustive but you get the idea.

Now that we know how a successful hack can impact your website and online business, let us look at the top 10 reasons behind WP hacks and prevent them.

1. An Insecure Web Host 

Like any website, WordPress is hosted on a web host or server. Unfortunately, most site owners do not pay much attention to the web host they select and choose the cheapest they can find. For example, it is more affordable to host a website on a shared hosting plan — one that shares its server resources with many other websites like yours.

This can make your site vulnerable to hackers as a successful hack into any website on the shared server. A single hacked site can consume the overall server bandwidth and impact all the other sites’ performance.

The only way to fix this problem is to opt for a reliable host and a virtual or dedicated server.

Pro tip: If you’re already using a shared hosting plan, check with your hosts if they offer VPS hosting and make the switch.

2. Use of Weak Passwords

Weak passwords are the main reason behind successful brute force attacks that target your account. Even to this day, users continue to use weak and common passwords like “password” or “123456”; if you’re one of them, your website could land in trouble!

Guessing weak passwords allows hackers to enter the admin accounts where they can inflict the maximum damage.

How do you fix this problem? Simple, ensure all your account users (including admin users) configure strong passwords for their login credentials. With at least 8 characters, passwords must be a mix of upper- and lower-case alphabets, numbers, and symbols. 

For added safety, install a password management tool that can automatically generate and store strong passwords.

Pro tip: You can use a plugin to reset passwords for all your users.

3. An Outdated WP Version

Outdated software is among the most common reasons why websites get hacked. Despite being free to download, most site users defer updating their site to the latest version, for fears of updates causing their site to crash.

Hackers take advantage of any vulnerability or bug in an older version and cause issues like SQL Injections, WP-VCD Malware, SEO Spam & other major issues like website redirecting to another site.

How do you solve this problem? When you see a notification about an update on your dashboard, update your site as soon as possible.

Pro tip: If you are worried about updates crashing your live website, you can first test the updates on a staging site.

4. Outdated WP Plugins and Themes

Similar to the previous point, hackers also take advantage of outdated, unused, or abandoned plugins and themes installed on websites. With over 55,000 plugins and themes that are available, it is easy to install a plugin or theme, even from unsafe or untrusted websites. 

Plus, many users do not update their installed plugins/themes to the latest version or do not find the updated version. This makes it easier for hackers to do their job & infect sites.

How do you avoid this problem? As with the core WP version, update each of your installed plugins/themes on your site regularly. Take stock of all the unused ones and remove them or replace them with better alternatives.

You can update your plugins/themes from your hosting account.

Pro tip: We suggest setting aside time every week to run updates. Test them on a staging site and then update your site.

5. Common Admin Usernames 

In addition to weak passwords, users also create common usernames that are easy to guess. 

This includes common usernames for admin users like – “admin”, “admin1”, or “admin123”. Common admin usernames make it easier for hackers to get into admin accounts and control backend files in your WP installation.

How do you avoid this problem? If you are using any such usernames that are easy to guess, change them immediately to a unique username. The easiest way of doing it is through your hosting account’s user management tool, by deleting the previous admin user and creating a new admin user with a unique username.

As the first step, change the default username of your admin user and limit users who have administrator privileges.

Pro tip: WordPress has 6 different user roles with limited permissions. Only grant admin access to users who really need it.

6. Use of Nulled Plugins/Themes 

Coming back to the importance of plugins/themes, users have access to many websites that sell nulled or pirated copies of popular and paid plugins and themes. While these are free to use, they are often riddled with malware. They can compromise your website’s overall security and make it easier for hackers to exploit. 

Being a pirated copy, nulled plugins/themes do not have any available updates from its development team, hence will not have any security fixes.

How do you fix this problem? Simple, for a start, only download original plugins and themes from trusted websites and marketplaces.

Pro tip: If you don’t wish to pay for paid or premium plugins and themes, opt for a free version of the same tools that will have limited features but are still safer to use than the nulled version. 

7. Unprotected Access to wp-admin Folder

To take control of your site, hackers often try to break into and control your wp-admin folder in your installation. As the website owner, you must take measures to protect your wp-admin directory.

How can you protect your wp-admin folder? First, restrict the number of users having access to this critical folder. Additionally, apply for password protection as an added layer of security for access to the wp-admin folder. You can do this using the “Password Protection Directories” feature of the cPanel in your web host account.

Pro tip: Besides these fixes, you can also implement Two Factor Authentication (or 2FA) protection for all your admin accounts.

8. Non-SSL Website

You can easily migrate your HTTP website to HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate on your site. SSL (or Secure Socket Layer) is a secure mode of encrypting any data transmission between your web server and the client browser.

Without this encryption, hackers can intercept the data and steal it. Plus, a non-secure website can have many negative implications for your business – lower SEO ranking, loss of customer trust, or a drop in incoming traffic.

How do you fix this problem? You can quickly obtain an SSL certificate from your hosting company or SSL providers. It encrypts all data that is sent from and received by your website. 

Pro tip: You can get a free SSL certificate from places like Let’s Encrypt, but these provide limit protection that will only be sufficient for a starter site or small site.

9. No Firewall Protection

Lack of firewall protection is another common reason why hackers can bypass website security measures and infiltrate the backend resources. Firewalls are the last line of defence against hackers and work like the security alarm installed on your house. Firewalls monitor web requests coming from various IP addresses, including the suspicious (or bad) ones. 

They can identify and block requests that are known to be malicious in the past, thus preventing easy access for hackers to your website domain. Web application firewalls can thwart various attacks, including brute force attacks, XSS, and SQL injections.

Pro tip: A firewall provides much-needed security and is  your first line of defence. But it’s important to also have a malware scanner installed.

10. Lack of WordPress Hardening Measures

Typically, hackers target the most vulnerable areas or weaknesses within a WP installation, to illegally access or damage the website. The WordPress team has identified these vulnerable areas and has devised a list of 12 hardening measures recommended for every website.

A few of these include:

  • Disabling the File Editor;
  • Preventing PHP execution in untrusted folders;
  • Changing the security keys;
  • Disallowing plugin installations;
  • Automatic logout of inactive users;

How do you implement these hardening measures? While some steps are easy to understand, others require the technical expertise of how WordPress works. 

Pro tip: You can implement hardening measures on your own. However, some measures require technical expertise so in these cases, it’s much easier and safer to use a plugin.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

The Latest Research for Web Designers, August 2020

While a lot of the research for web designers that’s come out this year has to do with COVID-19, we’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Many of these reports aren’t just looking at the effects of the pandemic on business and marketing today. They’re now looking at what consumers plan to do once the pandemic is gone.

So, I have some very interesting research for you here today. Three of the reports have to do with coronavirus side effects — pertaining to ecommerce, market research, and freelancing — and one of them is just a really great argument against using PDFs on websites.

1. The Digital 2020 Survey Says Ecommerce Growth Will Continue Post-Coronavirus

Obviously, everyone is paying close attention to COVID-19’s impact on the world. For the purposes of the work you do as a web designer, you should be clued into what it’s doing to the business and marketing fields. Because, if those opportunities dry up or companies begin to pivot, you need to be ready to adapt.

The Digital 2020, a joint monthly report from we are social and HootSuite, brings interesting news about the state of ecommerce thanks to COVID-19.

Because the pandemic has forced consumers indoors, online shopping has increased. But, according to about half of those surveyed for this report, this isn’t some temporary solution. They plan on doing more online shopping even after the pandemic ends.

This means that web designers are sitting in an enviable position now and for the foreseeable future. If you’re not already helping businesses sell through their websites, now is the time to do so as more and more businesses are going to need reliable online stores to sell their offerings through.

2. eMarketer Shares Data on Social Listening

When conducting research at the beginning of a design project, what kinds of sources do you turn to for quick and reliable information? Your client provides you with information on their business, industry, and the competition, of course, but what else?

You can conduct user surveys and interviews, but those take time and resources. It also usually means working with clients who have existing businesses and user bases to tap into. Unless you’re working as a UX designer where that’s a big part of the work you do, you might not have the ability to do that level of research.

As reported by Gartner (via eMarketer), leading marketers are now learning about their target audiences through the following channels:

Thanks to the surge of traffic online right now, social listening platforms have become really useful resources for learning about one’s users, with 51% of marketing leaders using them.

If you feel as though your initial research and planning phases could use a boost, I’d recommend taking advantage of one of these social listening tools now.

If you build websites for a specific niche, you can set up keywords/hashtags that are universally relevant to (most of) your clients. By listening in on these conversations regularly, you can become more attuned to what the visitors of your websites actually need and you can proactively build better experiences for them as a result.

3. Upwork Reports Increasing Numbers of Freelancers Entering the Market

The main focus of the Upwork 2020 Future Workforce Report is on how employers are changing their approaches to hiring now and in the near future. And the basic premise is this:

  • It’s long been predicted that more and more of the workforce would be allowed to work remotely.
  • COVID-19 has escalated those predictions to the point where most of the workforce is remote right now.
  • Businesses see the value in remote work arrangements, especially if it enables them to get work done more quickly and cost-effectively by freelancers.

While this is certainly great news for web designers looking for new clients, the report also provides us with this data:

64% of professionals in the top of their field work independently. That statistic alone means you’re up against some tough competition. But there’s also the 50% rise in signups on freelancer marketplaces that should have you worried.

Even though business demand for freelance talent is growing, this unprecedented rise in freelance competition may pose some problems. So, if you’re not already doing everything you can to position yourself as the web designer in your niche, get going on that now so you don’t get drowned out by the rising number of competitors.

4. NNG Says That PDFs Are Unsuitable for the Web

While I don’t have statistics to share with you from the Nielsen Norman Group’s post on why the PDF is “Still Unfit for Human Consumption”, I do have a ton of usability arguments against them that are worth summing up here:

  1. PDFs are written in the style of print documents, which means that strategies we use to design content on websites — like making a page scannable and accessible — don’t apply.
  2. They’re not designed to be as concise or attractive as a web page.
  3. They don’t operate like a website, which disrupts the seamless experience you’ve worked so hard to create when one is opened up from your site.
  4. The website navigation disappears and any sense of orientation (besides the browser “Back” button) goes out the window.
  5. There’s no way to build an internal navigation in a PDF document, save for internal linking or a table of contents.
  6. If they’re formatted for paper sizes, scrolling through them can be difficult for mobile users.
  7. They load more slowly the bigger they get, so unless it’s something like a small and optimized menu, expect visitors to wait for the download to appear.

And those are just the arguments that came from NNG’s researchers. Take some time to read through real user complaints about PDFs and you’ll never want to include one on a client’s website again.

Wrap-Up

Thankfully, the research for web designers and marketers is finally starting to move away from the confusion and speculation we saw a lot of earlier this year.

Just as with anything we do on the web, the more time you give it, the more data you can collect. And, luckily for us, the data suggests that there’s a pretty positive outlook for web designers if they position themselves the right way now.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Exciting New Tools for Designers, August 2020

The common theme in this month’s collection of new tools and resources is “things that help you show off your work.” Many of these tools are made to help you better web products or apps or showcase designs with others.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

Naturaltts

Naturaltts is an online text to speech converter, that allows you to download an mp3 recording. The tool has more than 60 voices to choose from in six languages. There’s a free plan for personal use (based on characters converted) and affordable paid plans for higher volumes and commercial users. One application of this tool is voiceover for videos or tutorials.

Handz

Handz is a library of hands with different gestures in three-dimensional shapes. The collection includes 12 gestures with nine skin colors, and three different sleeve types. Put all that together and you have 320 potential combinations that you can use for projects. The library is completely free and works in a variety of formats with different tools.

Isoflow

Isoflow allows you to create isometric diagrams for presentations and illustrations with ease. You can edit and then export diagrams for print or website use, thanks to vector rendering.

Device Shots

Device Shots is a small web app that helps you generate a high-resolution device mockup using a screenshot of your website or mobile application. It supports almost every device type you can think of and resizes for social media platforms.

Barchartrace

Barchartrace is a simple MIT open source bar chart generator. Use it to create some of the animated charts you see on social media. Just insert your information (upload via CSV file), choose animation settings, and go.

Zettlr Markdown Editor

Zettlr is a free and open source markdown editor for Mac OS. Zettlr supports simple notations, references, includes a dark mode, and tagging. It’s made for note takers who need a tool to amp up their projects, and is used primarily in higher education.

CSS Leaning Card Effect

The CSS Leaning Card Effect replicates the bookshelf feel you get when rectangles lean with a shadow against planes. Lynn Fisher does it in the pen with code that you can see and work on with your own images.

Lemon.io

Lemon.io is a tool that matches you with freelance developers to get projects moving more quickly. You are guaranteed a match in 24 hours and there is no risk if the match doesn’t work out. Just tell Lemon.io what you need and the algorithm will match you with a dev from the database. Prices for development through the platform start at $35 per hour.

Papercups

Papercups is a customer messaging tool that lets you chat in real-time. The customizable widget works with your favorite tools, such as Slack and Gmail, and is free to use. Chat apps are one of the most in-demand website features right now.

CSS Click to Animate Gif

Christian Heilmann has created a great guide/experiment in pure CSS that adds a play button on top of animated GIFs so that users can control the motion. He developed the concept because GIFs can get overwhelming and annoying. Learn how he did it and see it in action.

3D Book Image Generator

Here’s another little bit of CSS magic with a 3D Book Image Generator. Just input your image and set some specifications and get a 3D book cover image that you can use in projects. (There’s also an accompanying tutorial if you want to learn how to generate the CSS on your own.)

Luckysheet

Luckysheet is an online spreadsheet – it’s a lot like Microsoft Excel – with powerful data functions and tools. It’s user-friendly and open source. It even has quite a few built-in mathematical formulas and supports various table types.

RevKit

RevKit is a design system UI kit that works with Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD. It includes plenty of organized components that you can pop right into designs to help get them started faster. It also includes a style guide, elements, and form controls. The download is free.

Card

Card allows you to store social media profiles, websites, and files in a customized profile. Share it in one click. Replace awkward contact exchange and multiple usernames with a simple QR code or link.

Scale Nucleus

Scale Nucleus helps visualize data, curate interesting slices within your dataset, review and manage annotations, and measure and debug model performance. This tool claims to be “the right way” to develop ML models.

Previewed

Previewed is a mockup generator to create beautiful promotional graphics for your app. Browse a variety of templates, pick one, customize, and download your design to show off.

NSFW Filter

NSFW Filter is a browser extension that blocks images that aren’t safe for work. The best part is that it runs locally in-browser and doesn’t access any of your data. Plus, it saves you from on-the-job embarrassment.

ColorFlick for Dribbble

ColorFlick for Dribbble is another browser extension that makes it easy to copy hex codes from the tool to your clipboard with ease. You can also create palettes you can share from your favorite shots using Coolors.

Tabler Icons

Tabler Icons is a collection of more than 550 SVG icons that you can customize. Change the color, size, or stroke width with on-screen controls and then click to copy the icons you want to use. It’s that simple!

Teenyicons

Teenyicons might be some of the cutest icons out there. This collection includes minimal 1px icons in outline or solid fills. And there are plenty of icons to choose from. Adjust the size and grab the ones that you need for projects.

Basicons

Basicons is a set of simple icons for product design and development. Plus, they are updated weekly.

Chozy Mermaid

Chozy Mermaid is a super funky novelty typeface to close out summer. The characters feature beach themes within slab characters. It might be hard to find an application for this one, but it is too fun not to share.

Dotuku

Dotuku is a dingbats font with a back to school theme. The limited character set features filled and outline styles that are perfect for classrooms.

Margin

Margin is a fun retro style typeface with a 1970s vibe. It’s a “chubby serif” with 60 characters and 58 glyphs.

Rollanda

Rollanda is a signature-style script with a thicker weight and rough stroke. The character set is pretty robust.

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How to Improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and SEO

Contentful; Webster’s Dictionary defines “contentful” as… not found. Clearly someone made up this word, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The world of user experience metrics is moving quickly, so new terminology is needed. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of a number of metrics measuring the render time of content on a web page.

What is Largest Contentful Paint?

Google defines LCP as “the render time of the largest content element visible within the viewport.” For what we are talking about in this blog, we will consider “content” to be an image, typically a JPEG or PNG file. In most cases, “largest” points to a hero image that is “above the fold” and is one of the first images people will notice when loading the page. Applying optimization to this largest content is critical to improving LCP.

It is probably more instructive to view LCP relative to other metrics. For example, First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Visually Complete book end LCP.

Each metric has its pros and cons, but LCP is a happy medium. LCP marks when web page loading starts to have a substantial impact on user experience.

In Google’s opinion, to provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading. Poor values are anything greater than 4 seconds.

How Does Largest Contentful Paint Impact Lighthouse Scores and SEO?

LCP is now part of several “Core Web Vitals” scores that Google will measure in its ranking algorithm. Each of the Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience, is measurable in the field, and reflects the real-world experience of a critical user-centric outcome.

In the case of the overall Google Lighthouse score, LCP represents 25% weighting on the performance score of Lighthouse version 6.0. This makes LCP the most important Core Web Vitals metric in determining the performance score.

While Google has indicated that content is still the most important factor in SEO ranking, a better user experience (as measured by Core Web Vitals) will generate higher rankings in a crowded field. If there are many websites competing for the top search engine spots, then Largest Contentful Paint will play a critical factor in rankings.

How to Improve Largest Contentful Paint

Now that you know that LCP is important, what can you do to improve it by making content load faster? Google provides a number of suggestions, but the most effective technique is to optimize content for the device requesting it.

For example, a website includes an 800kb JPEG image that is intended for high resolution desktops. On a smartphone, that would be optimized down to less than 100kb, with no perceptible impact on quality. LCP can improve by more than 60% — or several seconds — through this single optimization.

Find Savings in Largest Contentful Paint by using Image Speed Test

Image Speed Test is a great tool offered by ImageEngine.io that provides an analysis of LCP improvement opportunities. Just paste in the URL of the web page you are interested in optimizing, and the test will show you:

  • Image Payload Reduction
  • Speed Index
  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • Page Load Time (Visually Complete)

It also provides a video of the web page loading with and without optimizations. Finally, it analyses each image to provide an estimate of payload savings. In this case, the “largest content” on the page is this image. With optimizations, the image payload is reduced by 94%. That delivers a huge improvement in LCP.

How Does ImageEngine Improve LCP

ImageEngine is an image content delivery network (CDN) service that makes image optimization simple. Basically, for each image on the page, the image CDN will:

  1. Detect the device model requesting the web page;
  2. Optimize the image in terms of size, compression, image format;
  3. Deliver via a CDN edge server that is geographically closest to the user.

ImageEngine improves web performance for every image on the page, including the largest. You can learn more about ImageEngine here, and also sign up for a free trial.

Best Practices: Preconnect

In addition to using an image CDN like ImageEngine, a few other best practices can improve LCP. Using the resource hints to provide a preconnect for your content can streamline the download process.

For example, putting the following link statement in the HTML will accelerate the download process. The link statement will make the browser connect to the third party as early as possible so that download can start sooner. ImageEngine’s optimizations make each image download smaller and faster, but preconnect save time in the connection phase.

Best Practices: Minimize Blocking JavaScript and CSS

When JavaScript or CSS is “blocking” it means that the browser needs to parse and execute CSS and JavaScript in order to paint the final state of the page in the viewport.

Any website today relies heavily on both JavaScript and CSS, which means that it is almost impossible to avoid some render blocking resources. On a general note: be careful with what kind of CSS and JavaScript is referenced inside the <head> element. Make sure that only the strictly necessary resources are loaded in <head>. The rest can be deferred or loaded asynchronously.

When looking to improve the LCP specifically, there are some practices worth looking into more deeply.

Inline Critical CSS

It is not an easy task, but if the browser can avoid making a request to get the CSS needed to render the critical part of the page – usually the “above the fold” part – the LCP is likely to occur earlier. Also you will avoid content shifting around and maybe even a Flash of Unstyled Content (FOUC).

The critical CSS — the CSS needed by the browser to set up the structure and important styles of the part of the page shown above the fold — should in-inlined. This inlined CSS may also refer to background images, which of course should also be served by an Image CDN.

Do Not Use JavaScript to (lazy) Load Images

Many modern browsers natively support lazy loading, without the use of JavaScript. Because images usually are heavily involved in the performance of LCP, it is best practice to leave image loading to the browser and avoid adding JavaScript in order to lazy load images.

Lazy loading driven by JavaScript will add additional latency if the browser first has to load and parse JavaScript, then wait for it to execute, and then render images. This practice will also break the pre-parser in the browser.

If an image CDN is used to optimize images, then the benefits of lazy loading become much smaller. Especially large hero images that are above the fold have a large impact on LCP and will not benefit from being lazy loaded with JavaScript. It is best not to make JavaScript a blocking issue for rendering images, but rather rely on the browser’s own ability to select which images should be lazy loaded.

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of ImageEngine –]

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Exciting New Tools for Designers, July 2020

Some of the changes we are seeing with where we work are starting to pop up in the type of new tools made for designers and developers. More tools with remote collaboration as a key feature are increasing in popularity. (You’ll find a few of those here.)

Here’s what new for designers this month.

Webdesign Toolbox

Webdesign Toolbox is a collection of tools, apps, and resources all in one location for designers and developers. The best part of this resource is that it is human-curated, so every tool is quality checked and makes the list because it has been tested and researched. Search the collection by design, dev, stock, typography, UX, or workflow tools (and more) and use them to help create more efficiently. The collection is constantly growing, too.

CodeStream

CodeStream might be the new-world workflow tool for web designers and developers. It is made for remote teams to review code right inside your IDE without breaking from development flow. You can post and review changes and comments are all independent of the code itself, even though they link to it.

Litur

Litur is a color management app for iOS. Use it to find and collect color swatches, create custom palettes, and even check color combinations against accessibility standards. The app can even generate color codes for you from swatches you find from a photo or image upload or create. The app works on mobile and desktop Mac devices and is a paid app.

Editor X

Editor X, which is still in beta, is a website building tool that combines advanced design and prototyping capabilities with secure web hosting and integrated business solutions. Go from an idea straight to production in a highly intuitive design workspace. The best feature might be exact design precision tools.

Grid Cheatsheet

Grid Cheatsheet is a visual and code-based set of “cheats” based on the W3C CSS Grid Specifications. What’s nice is it makes these guidelines easier to understand and use if reading through them makes you a little uneasy.

Tutorialist

Tutorialist brings together some of the best development tutorials on the web. All of the tutorials are free videos available on YouTube, and this project collects them all in one place.

Pure CSS Halftone Portrait from JPG

Pure CSS Halftone Portrait from JPG is a beautiful pen from Ana Tudor that shows how to change the visual representation of an image. The examples are brilliant and in true halftone fashion. The code snippet works with color, or black and white images as well.

VoiceText for Slack

VoiceText for Slack is another work from home productivity tool. Integrate it with Slack and send messages with text that’s transcribed right in your channels. It’s a free integration and supports 18 languages.

Feature Peek

Feature Peek is a developer tool that helps you get frontend staging environments on demand and gather team feedback earlier in the development process. It’s made for use with GitHub and works with a variety of other tools as well.

Formbutton

Formbutton is a simple and customizable pop-up form. (And we all know websites have plenty of them right now.) It connects to other services you already use, such as Google Sheets and MailChimp, and is simple to set up.

Blocksy Theme

Blocksy is a WordPress theme that’s made for non-coders. It’s a zippy and highly visual theme made for Gutenberg. It works with other builders and allows the user to customize pretty much everything visually. (There’s even a dark mode.) The theme is packed with tools and options and is a free download.

Oh My Startup Illustrations

Oh My Startup Illustrations is a set of vector illustrations in several categories featuring a popular style on many projects. Use the characters and scenes to create a semi-custom story for your startup project.

1mb

1mb is a code editor and host where you can create a static website with a custom domain and SSL included. The editor works in-browser and everything is saved in the cloud.

Linear

Linear is an issue tracking Mac app for teams. It’s designed to help streamline software projects, sprints, and tasks, and can integrate with standard tools such as Github, Figma, and Slack.

Hosting Checker

Hosting Checker solves a common issue – a client wants you to work on their website, but has no idea who hosts it. Hosting Checker shows the user hosting provider and IP address the website uses, along with where its server computers are located and the host’s contact details. It also claims to be 82% faster than other similar tools.

Spike

Spike alerts you to website incidents before customers. Create alerts and get a phone call, text message, email, or Slack notification right away. The tool provides unlimited alerts and integrations to you can stay on top of issues before they become real problems.

Magnus UI

Magnus UI is a framework that helps you building consistent user interfaces in React. It comes with plenty of components ready to use and you can customize the theme.

SpreadSimple

SpreadSimple uses data in Google Sheets to create styled websites with features such as filtering, search, sorting, cart, order collection via forms, and much more. Update the sheet and instantly see changes on the website.

WebP vs. JPEG

Google is starting to suggest using it’s WebP image format to decrease load times, because of the lighter file size. But is WebP better than the traditional JPEG? Developer Johannes Siipola tested the file types at different sizes to answer the question. The answer is a bit complicated, but sometimes it might be better; read the full analysis for more.

Oh Dear

Oh Dear is a website monitoring tool that can help you keep a check on websites. Monitor uptime, SSL certificates, broken links, and more with notifications that come right to you if there’s an issue.

Airconnect

Airconnect is a Zoom video conferencing alternative that you can use for your brand with a custom header, colors, and portal for clients. The tool includes video calling as well as the ability for customers to access their data and automate your onboarding process.

Free Faces

Free Faces is a curated collection of free typefaces that you can browse and use in projects. Search by type style with visual results that include a download link.

All the Roll

All the Roll is a fun novelty font for just the right type of project. It includes 167 characters with swash characters that can be added before or after certain letters.

Backrush

Backrush is a handwriting-style typeface with easy strokes and a pen-like feel. It includes thicker letterforms with nice swashes and a full character set.

Thuner

Thuner is a slab display font with interesting quirks. It’s made for larger than life designs. It includes a full uppercase character set and numerals.

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