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Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

Medusa – Headless Open-Source Ecommerce Platform

28 Free Website Testing Tools

Google Search Finally Has a Dark Mode

Top 10 Good Website Designs

A Minimal Image Viewer for Windows

PHP is Still The Most Used Server-Side Language

22 Best Typeform Alternatives In 2021 (Free & Paid)

Grainy Gradients

25+ CSS Page Transitions (Free Code + Demos)

Doodle Ipsum – The lorem ipsum of illustrations

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: September 13, 2021 – September 19, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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In my experience, the biggest challenge that freelancers face — more than winning clients or setting prices — is project management; take on too much work, and you’ll start missing deadlines, take on too little, and you’ll start missing your rent.

Some people are naturally organized; they rock up at their desk at 08:59, fully confident in what they will spend the next 8–12 hours working on. Let’s be kind and say that I am not one of them, and leave it at that. The only way I have managed to survive the industry is by self-consciously micro-managing my schedule on a daily basis.

When I worked in an agency, I knew what I would be working on days in advance. Now, I know 90% of what I’ll be working on, weeks in advance.

That level of organization requires very, very, very careful planning. I hold team meetings at the end of the day, yes, “team” meetings of one person. To do that I use a number of tools that suit me.

How to Choose a Project Management App

The most important aspect of any project is the end. That’s when the client will assess your work, and that’s when you get paid. So when you choose a project management solution, make sure it gives you a clear path to the project conclusion.

I know one freelancer who sets himself a hard stop at 7 pm every day. At 7 pm, he downs tools switches off, and walks away. I once heard him end a client call at 7 pm because he’d reached his cut-off point. It made me wince — I would have stayed on until the call concluded — but it hasn’t affected his business.

I know another successful freelancer who works on a budget. When she has earned the money she needs for that day, she stops. She bills by the hour to make this work, so when she sits down in the morning, she knows exactly what time she’ll finish.

Personally, I prefer a task-based approach. I know what I have to get done; if I can get ahead, then great, but my main focus is ensuring I don’t fall behind. I believe that if you hit your deadlines, everything else will take care of itself. Admittedly, there have been a few late-nights (and all-nights) over the years, but thankfully they’re less common these days.

No one style of project management suits everyone. And it doesn’t matter what approach you take, provided you take an approach.

8 Best Project Management Apps for Freelancers

As a freelancer, the most important thing characteristic you can have is reliability. Cultivate a reputation for delivering on your promises, and you’ll become invaluable to your clients. The best project management app is the one that helps you keep your promises.

There are some excellent tools on the market that facilitate project management, but most are aimed at SMEs, or project managers running a team of freelancers.

The tools here are listed from least, to most useful for the average freelancer. I’ve avoided too many time-tracking apps because I find these tend to encourage billing by the hour, which is potentially damaging to your business long term. If you do need pure time-tracking, check out Harvest. I’ve also avoided solutions that are too large-scale to benefit freelancers. If you’re looking for a project management tool for teams, then Basecamp, Jira, Project.co, and Redbooth are all worth considering.

Sadly none of these apps are perfect, and there’s a good chance you’ll need to use two or three to manage your projects.

8. Todoist

Todoist is hands down the best to-do app on the market. The downside is that its feature set is minimal.

Todoist really excels at lists. You can break down tasks into sub-tasks, and sub-sub-tasks. The downside is there’s no real scheduling or comparison of multiple projects in a single view.

The mobile apps are great, and Todoist recently introduced boards, a form of kanban board that gives you a good overview of everything. If it introduces a gantt chart, I can see myself relying on it more.

Todoist has a free forever plan that is fine for most freelancers, and the paid plans start at just $3 per month.

7. Bonsai

Bonsai is an excellent service for freelancers that grew from a simple invoicing app to include proposals, contracts, time-tracking, and more.

I used Bonsai for invoicing for a couple of years, and it does everything it claims to do. However, there are a couple of significant areas where it falls down. Firstly, its invoicing is super-aggressive and cannot be customized — make sure you’re on friendly terms with any client you send a Bonsai invoice to. Secondly, while it does a good job of tracking what you have done, it doesn’t help you plan what needs to be done beyond a formal proposal.

If you’re running a few simple projects, then it’s possible Bonsai is right for you. Pricing starts at $19 per month.

6. Monday

Monday is one of the biggest players in the project management market. It offers a dizzying array of options, and if this list were aimed at project management for agencies, Monday would be further along our countdown. Monday may suit freelancers, particularly those who have migrated from agency work, but for most, it’s more than we need.

There is a free-forever plan that covers almost everything you could want. However, if you need to view your projects as a gantt chart — and I strongly suggest you do — then you’ll need to update to the standard plan, which starts at $8 per user per month, with a minimum of three seats, meaning at least $24 per month when billed annually.

5. AND.CO

AND.CO stands out as a slick, easy-to-use option for managing a freelance business. Like Bonsai, it allows you to manage proposals, invoicing, time-tracking, expenses, and more.

AND.CO also has extremely well-liked customer support. An underestimated consideration when you don’t have your own accounts team to resolve problems.

As with other solutions of this type, the task-management is lacking. It does include a simple to-do list, but in my opinion, it’s not sufficient, and you’ll need to supplement it with something that supports gantt charts.

There’s a free forever plan, but it’s barely more than a free trial. Pricing for full-featured access starts at $18 per month when billed annually.

4. ClickUp

ClickUp is a SaaS that aims to replace just about everything else you could need. Unlike some options on this list, it includes a CRM, which is a bonus because there’s nothing worse than relying on the search function in your email to track down someone’s contact details.

ClickUp also offers a genuinely free-forever account with enough features to make it usable. If you choose to upgrade to a paid plan, it’s just $5 per user per month, which is excellent value.

If anything, there’s just too much in here. If you’re someone who considers themselves a power-user who enjoys digging into every nuance of a UI, then ClickUp could be for you. But, if, like me, you favor a simple tool that does what it’s told and gets out of the way, then there are better options.

3. Asana

Asana is probably the best-known project management tool on the market. It offers a tremendous number of options and is flexible enough for any style of project management.

There’s a free forever plan that is ideal for getting started and offers you most — you may be sensing a theme here — of the features you’ll need. But Asana’s best feature is its excellent timeline implementation of the gantt chart, for which you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan costing $10.99 per user per month, with a minimum number of 2 seats that translates to a rather expensive $21.98 per month.

2. Trello

Trello is famous for its kanban boards, and many people prefer them to gantt charts, which has helped the app grow rapidly in the last few years.

If you’re prepared to pay $10 per user per month, Trello actually offers gantt charts as well, in the form of its timeline feature.

Trello is mainly designed for teams, not freelancers. However, if you do have the budget for a premium plan, Trello gives you an enviable ability to switch project management styles on a whim.

1. Toggl

Toggl is perhaps the perfect balance of time-tracking and gantt chart that is ideal for freelance projects.

As with most tools, Toggl is designed for teams, with billing starting at $8 per user per month. However, it offers a solo plan, designed for freelancers, that is free forever.

The main thing you miss out on with Toggl’s Solo plan is team timelines, which you won’t need unless you’re outsourcing work. One other obvious omission is unlimited planning boards, which you may find yourself paying for sooner or later.

But for a mixture of simplicity and powerful features available for $0, Toggl is hard to beat.

 

Featured image via Pexels

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The post 8 Freelance Project Management Apps for 2021+ first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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Since school is back in session, this month’s roundup has a learning focus. In addition to tools, many of the resources include guides, tutorials, and cheat sheets to help make design work easier.

Here’s what’s new for designers this month.

ScrollingMockup.io

ScrollingMockup.io generates high-definition, animated scrolling mockups in minutes. All you have to do is paste your website URL, select from the expanding template gallery, add some music and post. You can create three mockups for free, and then this tool comes with a subscription model. The paid model allows for custom branding for mockups and more.

FilterSS

FilterSS is a curated collection of CSS image filters for use in projects. Upload an image, sort through the list, and then copy the code for the filter you want to use. It’s that easy!

Buttons Generator

Buttons Generator is a fun tool with so many button options in one place. Choose from three-dimensional, gradient, shadow borders, neumorphic, retro, animated, ghost, with arrows, and more all in one place. Click the one you like, and the code is copied right to your clipboard and ready to use in projects.

UI Cheat Sheet: Spacing Friendships

UI Cheat Sheet: Spacing Friendships is a fun – and memorable approach to figuring out spacing. This guide shows how close or far away elements should be based on “friend” circles with a couple of relatable instances. It’s one of the most relatable examples of this concept out there while emphasizing the importance of spacing in design.

PrettyMaps

PrettyMaps is a minimal Python library that allows you to draw customized maps from OpenStreetMap data. This tool can help you take online map design to the next level with cool, unique map visuals. It’s based on osmnx, matplotlib, shapely, and vsketch libraries.

Card.UX/UI

Card.UX/UI is a card-style generator with more than 20 templates and elements to create custom cards. Use the on-screen tools to design it the way you want and then copy the code for easy use.

Couleur.io

Couleur.io is a simple color palette builder tool that lets you pick a starting color and build a scheme around it. One of the best elements of the tool might be the quick preview, which shows your choices using the palette in context and in dark mode. Get it looking the way you want, and then snag the CSS to use in your projects.

CSS Accent-Color

CSS Accent-Color can help you tint elements with one line of CSS. It’s a time-saving trick that allows for greater customization for your brand in website design projects. Plus, it works equally well in dark or light color schemes. It supports checkboxes, radio, range, and progress bars.

Vytal

Vytal shows what traces your browser leaves behind while surfing the web. This scan lets you understand how easy it is to identify and track your browser even while using private mode. In addition, it scans for digital fingerprints, connections, and system info.

Imba

Imba is a programming language for the web that’s made to be fast. It’s packed with time-saving syntax tags and a memorized DOM. Everything compiles to JavaScript, works with Node and npm, and has amazing performance. While the language is still in active development, the community around it is pretty active and growing.

SVG Shape Dividers Creator

SVG Shape Dividers Creator is a tool that allows you to create interesting shapes with SVG so that your colors and backgrounds aren’t always rectangles. You can adjust and side, change the color, axis, and flip or animate it. Then snag the CSS, and you are ready to go.

Image Cropper

Image Cropper is a tool that allows you to crop and rotate images using the flutter plugin. It works for Android and IOS.

Noteli

Noteli is a CLI-based notes application that uses TypeScript, MongoDB, and Auth0. The tool is just out of beta.

Yofte

Yofte is a set of components for Tailwind CSS that help you create great e-commerce stores. The UI Kit is packed with components with clean and colorful designs that are customizable. The code is easy to export and clean. This premium kit comes with a lifetime license or a monthly plan.

UI Deck

UI Deck is a collection of free and premium landing page templates, themes, and UI kits for various projects. This is a premium resource with paid access to all of the tools. It includes access to more than 80 templates.

Star Rating: An SVG Solution

Star Rating: An SVG Solution is a tutorial that solves a common design dilemma: How to create great star rating icons for pages. This code takes you through creating an imageless element that’s resizable, accessible, includes partial stars, and is easy to maintain with CSS. It’s a great solution to a common design need.

Designing Accessible WCAG-Compliant Focus Indicators

Designing Accessible WCAG-Compliant Focus Indicators is another convenient guide/tutorial for an everyday application. Here’s why it is important: “By designing and implementing accessible focus indicators, we can make our products accessible to keyboard users, as well as users of assistive technology that works through a keyboard or emulates keyboard functionality, such as voice control, switch controls, mouth sticks, and head wands, to mention a few.”

Blockchain Grants

Blockchain Grants is a tool for anyone developing blockchain applications and in need of funding. It’s a database of grants from a variety of organizations for different applications. Start looking through this free resource to help secure additional funding for your projects.

Basement Grotesque

Basement Grotesque is a beautiful slab with a great heavy weight and plenty of character. There are 413 characters in the set with plenty of accents, numbers, and variable capitals.

Gadimon

Gadimon is a fun, almost comic book-style layered script. The font package includes a regular and extrude style.

Lagom

Lagom is a sleek and functional serif typeface with 16 styles in the robust family from ultralight to extra bold italic. It’s readable and has a lot of personality.

Striped Campus

Striped Campus fits our back-to-school theme with a fun, scholastic look and feel. The block letters have a thick outline stroke and some fun inline texture.

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The post Exciting New Tools for Designers, September 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

7 Free Javascript Effects for a Truly Interactive Site

Responsivize – A Must-Have Tool to Develop Responsive Websites

12 Graphic Design Memes That Will Make You Laugh (or Cry)

Why Do People Hate Redesigns?

Why Should Designers Learn to Code?

12+ CSS Text-Stroke Examples

20 Best New Sites, August 2021

8 CSS & JavaScript Snippets for Creating Hand-Drawn Elements

Ten Years of Bootstrap

A Complete Introduction to Web Components in 2021

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: August 23 2021 – August 29, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Landing pages are crucial for conversions. User-friendly landing pages rank higher in the search engines and generate the maximum leads.

Interestingly, user behavior changes every year, and new website design trends should be kept in mind to continue acquiring sales from your existing landing pages.

If your high-performing landing pages in 2019 have suddenly started underperforming in 2021, then it is a clear indication that your landing pages need a strategic revamp to record higher conversions.

Landing page revisions are necessary for reduced bounce rate, more visitor time on the page, and better user actions.

This article will discuss some of the top web design trends of 2021 that brands have adopted to revamp their landing page designs. You can learn from the trends and apply your own custom design intelligence to redesign your landing pages for 2022 and convert the maximum number of visitors.

Let’s begin…

Why Landing Page Design Is Crucial For Conversions

Landing pages are the first stop on your consumers’ online buying journey and the first chance to put an impression.

People on the internet are becoming less patient. It takes only about 50 milliseconds for a visitor to form an opinion about a brand and decide whether they want to stay or leave the website.

Convincing modern customers to buy products or fill up query forms on a landing page is not easy with traditional website elements.

In 2021, it is now harder to impress visitors landing on your website than in 2019. Keeping in mind the audience of 2021 and beyond, an ideal landing page should be user-friendly, engaging, innovative and should encourage users to take action.

Here are some of the top reasons why landing page design is so crucial for conversions:

  • You get barely 7 seconds to create a strong impression. It is a time span in which visitors roughly scan the page and make their decisions.
  • Publishing 40+ effective landing pages at regular intervals can generate 12X more leads.
  • The average conversion rate from the landing page across all industries is only 2.35%.
  • Using the right types of targeting and testing can boost landing page conversion rates by up to 300%.

Considering the above stats, it can be easily said that a landing page has to be impressive and quick enough to impact the visitors positively.

7 High Converting Landing Pages & Lessons You Can Learn From Each

Below are some of the best high-converting landing pages, which were just updated recently in 2021. For each page, we list a lesson you can learn to inspire your next design revision in 2021 and ahead:

Example #1 – Replace Boring Customer Info Forms With An Interactive Quiz

Landing Page: Nextiva’s Unified Communications Readiness Quiz Landing Page

Industry: Voice Over IP software

Conversion Measured By: Leads fill out a form if they are interested

Redesign focus: Improve the quantity and quality of leads

Solution: Substitute online form with an interactive quiz

In 2019 and even 2020, many businesses were practicing the trend of including a customer form on their landing pages as a call to action to initiate a quick customer action.

The customer information form was useful for businesses because it helped them generate quick leads. However, at the same time, there was no real reason pushing the customer to fill in the lead forms especially if it consisted of more than 2-3 fields.

Nextiva used its creativity to replace boring lead forms with interactive quizzes. In its 2021 page design, the company added a quiz for visitors to participate in.

The aim is to have interactive pages to keep visitors engaged and persuade them to stay on the page.

Here are the comparisons of both the designs:

2019

2021

Key Takeaways:

  • The 2021 landing page now has a free Unified Communications Readiness Quiz that allows business owners to fill the form interactively. Adding a quiz with the number of pages mentioned at the top tells the user how many steps are left to complete the quiz, making their waiting time easier.
  • The background image is replaced with communication icons to simplify the message of the kind of services they offer.
  • The page looks neater and appears to be easier to scan at a glance.

Example #2 – Emphasize Strong Visuals and Copy that Stresses on Product Details

Landing Page: Western Rise Homepage Variation

Industry: Ecommerce

Conversion Measured By: Apparel purchase

Major redesign focus: Improve the number of leads

Solution: Improve the copy and visuals

Western Rise, a clothing eCommerce company, realized the importance of having impressive images and detailed product information on its landing page.

The 2021 page replaced ordinary product images with strong visuals of the models wearing Western Rise clothing. Also, the product image includes extensive product details, which were missing on the older page.

Here is a clear comparison of the 2019 vs. 2021 landing pages of Western Rise:

2019

2021

Key Takeaways:

  • The new landing page has a powerful headline – Performance Clothing for Travel, Work, and Play. In just a couple of words, the brand tells everything about itself. ‘Performance Clothing’ is their unique selling proposition (USP) that tells the customers that their product is durable. Besides, the caption ‘Travel, Work, and Play’ tells what the product is about. Modern customers like products that fulfill a particular need, and Western Rise made it easier for the users to realize the importance of their products which fulfilled their specific needs.
  • The bold visuals in the new page capture contemporary shots of the models that put a strong impression on the audience. Every image is clicked mindfully to explain the style and quality of the Western Rise clothing line.
  • The products displayed on the new page include every minor detail and feature that often other clothing brands ignore, such as the specialty of the product, occasions to wear, and weight other than colors, fabric, fitting, etc.

Example #3 – Use Strong Social Proof To Increase Conversions

Page: Aura Save 50% Landing Page

Industry: Identity Theft Software

Conversion Measured By: Online registration or an inbound call

Major redesign focus: Improve the number of signups

Solution: Add strong social proof

It is a known fact that social proof on sales pages is essential for increased conversions. But in 2021, the importance of social proof has gone too far.

Aura is an identity theft protection service that aims to build trust with its prospective customers when they first browse their landing page. Take a look at how Aura displays customer reviews above the fold to catch user’s attention.

Unlike others, Aura combined the rating stars and the review to prove customer satisfaction and emphasize their expertise in the field.

BONUS:

Another example of using strong social proof is the Exploding Topics newsletter landing page.

Exploding Topics is a newsletter with a pro subscription for content marketers and anyone interested in trending topics about any topic. It’s an excellent example that uses a lot of social proof on landing pages that give something away for free, like a weekly newsletter or an eBook.

If you could notice, the latest landing page below has multiple forms of social proof on a single page. First, they feature a list of brands that trust Exploding Topics. Secondly, they quote Wired Magazine founder Kevin Kelly’s feedback, followed by the logos and tweets praising the newsletter.

Key Takeaways:

  • Exploding Topics uses several different types of social proof that appeal to different demographics.
  • Their “trusted by” logos of world-renowned companies stand out to potential B2B subscribers.
  • Kevin Kelly’s quote is catching the attention of tech-savvy readers.
  • Despite packing the page with social proof, the opt-in form is still well above the fold. It is the best landing page practice that applies to nearly all pages.
  • The landing page uses actually embedded tweets (not screenshots), which help demonstrate that the tweets are legit.

While Exploding Topics have smartly used social proof on its page, the ideas of leveraging social proof are not limited to this only.

Example #4 – Focus On Visually Appealing Above the Fold Content

Landing Page: Perfect Keto Homepage Variation

Industry: Supplements

Conversion Measured By: Online purchase

Major redesign focus: Improve the number of purchases

Solution: Improve Above The Fold Content

Above the fold content greatly impacts customer’s decision-making. Perfect Keto lacked that appeal on its 2019 landing page design.

Hence, the 2021 design was revamped with better visuals and more professional looks.

The 2021 page received major changes in above-the-fold content, such as the top menu bar with the brand name not losing the user’s attention anymore and an additional menu bar giving a quick overview of what the brand offers.

The older page did have many social proofs, but those were limited to customers only. The 2021 design also highlighted the publications where the brand appeared, which proved exceptional in building customer trust.

Take a look at the two landing pages of Perfect Keto in 2019 and 2021:

2019

2021

Key Takeaways:

  • The 2021 landing page heading is more compelling because it clearly conveys what their product is all about. The older page was missing the actual purpose of the product.
  • An additional section on the new page to educate customers about the Keto diet and how to start it helps visitors understand the product even better.
  • The inclusion of a product image above the fold attracts user attention and makes the product trustworthy. People now know what they will be buying right at first sight of the page.
  • The new page proudly displays the products featured in the publications, such as Women’s Health, Healthline, Reader’s Digest, and Popsugar, which again helped customers trust the brand.
  • The page also features a video of the Perfect Keto founder that is brilliantly working in gaining visitor’s attention and faith.

Example #5 – Make The Call to Action More Compelling

Landing Page: Zendesk HelpDesk Softwage Landing Page

Industry: SaaS

Conversion Measured By: Online registration

Major redesign focus: Improve the number of registrations through the website

Solution: Make The CTA More Compelling

Zendesk did a clever job by replacing the sign-up form with a single button. On the older page, it was unclear to the user if the company has a trial option for free unless they move to linked pages. Such confusions often resulted in traffic bounces.

Adding the start free trial button on the 2021 page makes it easier for the users to understand that the product comes with a free trial. At the time, it helps the user take quick action.

Similarly, the ‘Get started’ button at the top was replaced with ‘Free trial’ with the same intention.

Moreover, chat support was added to guide users at any stage of the buyer journey. Live chats are vital to help visitors better understand the product and move a step ahead in the customer journey.

Take a look at below two images:

2019

2021

Key Takeaways

  • The CTA buttons have more actionable text and look more prominent.
  • The color choice for the button is in contrast with the background but matches the page theme.
  • The older page missed sales support, which is included in the new page for a better customer experience.
  • The tabs in the menu bar were reduced to four to make the page simple to use for users.

Example #6 – Use Contrast To Highlight Specific Copy On The Page

Landing Page: GetResponse Website Building Landing Page

Industry: Online Software

Conversion Measured By: Online signup

Major redesign focus: Improve the number of signups

Solution: Use contrast around important copy on the page

GetResponse focuses on attracting visitors’ attention towards the offerings from their business. Starting from above the fold section, the landing page highlights the texts that are important and need the visitors’ attention.

The infographic on the landing page is the next thing that promises to grab user attention while beautifully describing how this website builder works and is useful to the user.

Key Takeaways:

  • The text highlighted on the landing page draws the user’s attention towards what the business has to offer or unique selling points.
  • The infographics briefly explain the working of the tool in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • The Yellow color is used prominently on the landing page to attract user attention and persuades users to try the tool by listing its advantages.

Summary

Landing pages provide the first opportunity to create an impression in the minds of the consumers. A well-structured and mindfully designed page sets the right tone for your brand message and encourages users to choose your business.

However, the strategy for landing pages needs innovations from time to time for better results. The examples and tips shared above prove how landing pages in 2019 have seen significant improvement in 2021.

In the coming year, use these ideas to create landing pages that influence customer decisions and encourage them to take quick actions.

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The post 7 Landing Pages Comparisons To Improve Your Conversions in 2022 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.


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In the information age, time is a valuable commodity and something people don’t want to spend too much of. As a result, the average visitor only reads about 20% of the content of a page

For web designers and developers, that means a few things: first, you need to ensure that the web pages you create are as engaging as possible; secondly, you need to find a way of making the critical information on any page stand out; thirdly, every modern designer needs to create assets that are easy for today’s fast-paced customers to use. 

Making websites more scannable is how you do your part as a designer to ensure that the customers who come to a page get the quick and convenient experiences they need. 

So, how do designers embrace scannability?

Designing for Scannability: An Introduction

At first glance, the concept of creating a website for scannability is strange. 

Most designers start their projects with the aim of making customers stay on a page for as long as possible. So it’s odd to think that you would want to make it simple for end-users to skip from one page to another on a website in a matter of seconds. 

However, scannability isn’t just about delivering information and getting users off a page. When sites are scannable, they make it quicker and easier for customers to slide down the purchasing funnel. A quicker and more convenient customer journey leads to a stronger user experience and more conversions. 

Look at Netflix, for instance. It doesn’t give interested users a ton of information on its homepage. Instead, the key USPs of the product are laid out bright and bold in the middle of the screen, along with one simple call to action: Get Started.

Designing for scannability means making it easy for users on a page to glance at a screen and instantly access all the information they need to take the next step in their buyer journey. 

There’s no needless scrolling or wondering what to do next. 

According to analyst Jacob Nielsen, scannability is essential because people look for specific things on every page they visit. 

Customers don’t read through web pages word by word. Instead, they scan through the content, plucking information out that serves their requirements. 

Questions to Ask When Designing for Scannability

So, how do you know if your web pages are scannable?

Start by asking the following questions:

  • What’s the intent of the people who arrive on this page?
  • What kind of information needs to be conveyed instantly?
  • Can the visitor see the next step in their journey immediately?

For instance, when someone arrives on the Evernote homepage, you can assume that they want to:

  • Find out about Evernote
  • Learn how to sign up
  • Jump to other pages to find out about features, and contact details

That’s why the designer behind the Evernote website placed an immediate piece of useful information at the top of the page: “Tame your work, organize your life” tells customers exactly what the entire product is all about. The brief paragraph of information underneath can provide a few more details if customers need it, then there’s an immediate call to action: Sign up for free. 

Not only does the call to action tell users what to do next, but it tells them the most important information they need straight away: it’s free. 

Scannable pages like this are useful because:

  • They help users complete their tasks quicker: Whether you want to sign up or learn more about the product, everything you need is available instantly, with no scrolling required. 
  • The bounce rate is reduced. Customers don’t get confused and hit the back button. That’s good for your client’s SEO and their bottom line. 
  • The website looks and feels more credible: Because customers get all the answers to their questions immediately, they’re more likely to trust the website. 

So, what are some of the best things you can do to make your sites as scannable as possible?

Use Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is a way of organizing the content on your website in a way that adheres to how people use the website. For instance, if you land on a blog page, you expect to see the headline first, maybe some information about the writer, and any other essential information, followed by the body content. 

Although it’s tempting for designers to try and surprise users with new visual strategies, the best way to make your content more scannable is to give end-users precisely what they expect. 

If you’re not sure what a page should look like, try checking out the competition. 

One of the most obvious visual hierarchy rules is that the main navigation should always go at the top of the page. 

Customers will expect to look at the top of the page to find navigation. They don’t want to have to scroll through your website, searching for a way to get to another page. If you want to make it as easy as possible for end-users to jump from one page to another, you can pin the navigation bar to the page so that it stays with users as they scroll. 

Maintain Negative Space

White space, negative space, or whatever you call it – is the part of your design that’s left empty. 

White space is crucial because it gives all of the objects on your page some much-needed breathing room. Without enough negative space on your pages, it’s impossible to embrace scannability because there’s too much information for a customer to take in at once. 

For instance, notice how there are big gaps of space between every element on a Forbes website post. A proper amount of negative space on your site ensures that users can quickly take in chunks of information and use that information to decide what to do next. 

To ensure there’s enough negative space on your website pages, ask yourself what the key elements visitors will notice when they come to a website. The essential items should be:

  • A title or header to confirm that the user is in the right place
  • A CTA that shows your user what to do next
  • A navigation header or menu
  • Critical information includes an introduction to what a page is about or an excerpt from the blog post they’re about to read. 
  • A visual component: A picture or image that gives context to the page. 

Anything else can usually be removed. So, for instance, if Forbes wanted to make the page above more scannable, they could easily remove the ads and social media sharing buttons.

Make the Next Step Obvious

Every page on a website exists in a hierarchy within the customer journey. 

A homepage leads customers to product pages, which leads to a checkout page, which connects to a thank-you page that sends the visitor back to another product page, and so on. 

When designing for scannability, it’s crucial to make the next step in the journey as obvious as possible. Usually, this means placing the call to action “above the fold,” where the customer can see it immediately.

Ideally, scannable pages should have just one CTA. This will stop your audience members from being confused or overwhelmed by choice. 

However, if you’ve got multiple CTAs, think about the average customer’s journey and what they’ll want access to first.

If those buttons don’t appeal to the customer, they can scroll a little further and see other “next step” options, like shopping for “self-isolation essentials” or browsing other popular product categories:

Test Every Page

Testing for scannability means examining every page and making sure that it’s as easy as possible for customers to move through the buying process as fast as they want to. 

Visit each page you design in a buyer journey and ask how quickly it would take end-users to get from point A to point B and beyond. Here are some of the common issues that might slow the customer’s journey and harm scannability:

  • Readability: Is the font legible? Is it large enough to read on all screens, including mobile devices? Legibility in the design world measures how quickly and intuitively your users can distinguish what’s going on any page. Remember that the color of the background, the amount of negative space around copy blocks, and even font pairing can impact the readability of the content. Show your pages to multiple people and time how long it takes for them to grasp the message that you’re trying to convey. 
  • Fluff: Fluff and extra features can make your pages more intriguing, but they can also slow users down. For instance, one picture at the top of a blog page can add context to the article. A slideshow of pictures stops the customer from progressing and keeps them stuck at the top of the page for longer. 
  • Words instead of numbers: According to Nielsen, eye-tracking studies show that numerals often stop the wandering eye. Numbers are compact and more regularly associated with statistics and facts, so they’re more likely to grab attention. If you want to get important points across to end users fast, use numbers, not words. 

Creating Scannable Pages

Scannability is becoming an increasingly important concept in today’s busy landscape. 

Now that more customers are browsing websites from their smartphones or checking out products on the move, designers need to think more carefully about adjusting to this agile environment. 

Scannable pages that move visitors along the buying cycle and into the next stage of the funnel will deliver better results for your clients, and therefore better outcomes for you. 

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Choosing to work for free, pro bono, gratis, without charge is something that most of us find ourselves doing at one time or another. Whether we’re filling a hole in our portfolio, there’s a friend or relative we feel beholden to, or because there’s an opportunity to aid a cause we value.

Recently, I agreed to take on some work, free of charge, for a charity whose goals I share. Because it’s a cause I believe in, I enjoyed the idea of being able to contribute in a more meaningful way than donating money. But my initial goodwill rapidly diminished as the project spiraled out of control, leaving me resenting the time I spent on it.

No one should feel obliged to give away their time for free, but if you do choose to, there are rules you can apply to ensure that everything runs smoothly and you’re left with a positive experience.

1. Be Specific in What You’re Donating

The most obvious problem with working pro bono is that there is no correlation between cost and value.

Budget reins in project ambitions in a regular designer-client relationship; the more you ask for, the more it costs. Everyone encounters clients who want an ecommerce store “just like Amazon,” only to then rapidly downscale their plans when the actual development cost of a site on that scale is made clear.

working pro bono…there is no correlation between cost and value

But when there is no development budget, ambitions quickly escalate. Clients do not necessarily understand the work involved, and if they’re not footing the bill, there’s no incentive to learn.

As the professional, you need to guide them. Set limits on what you’re expecting to donate, and use that to frame what is reasonably achievable.

“I’m donating 40 hours of my time, which normally costs $3000.” Or, “I’m donating my SEO package, which is enough to meet your initial goals as discussed.” They are both perfectly fine.

The purpose is not to highlight your generosity; it’s to establish clear boundaries to prevent scope creep.

2. They’re Not Doing You a Favour

Any client who suggests that their project will be good for your portfolio or gain you “exposure” knows they’re underpaying you. When you hear it from a pro bono client, walk away immediately.

The client needs to understand you are donating your expertise, not because you need to, not because you’re expecting something in return, but because you’re an awesome human being who wants to make the world a little better.

A client who thinks you’re getting something out of the arrangement does not understand your commercial value and will treat you as a novice. Your evidence will become guesses, your decisions will become suggestions, and the client will have little faith in the project outcome.

Clients, whether paying or not, need guidance. If they don’t respect you and believe in your guidance, they will start to cast around for other opinions to the detriment of the project outcome and your relationship.

This brings us neatly on to…

3. Everyone’s an Expert

Q. What’s the difference between an amateur and a professional? A. Professionals get paid.

You’re not getting paid, so in the client’s eyes, you’re now an amateur. Hey, guess what? Their 12-year-old daughter is an amateur too, and her views are now equally valid.

When you’re working pro bono, you can expect a lot of “help.” You’ll find that someone’s niece is planning to major in graphic design…when she graduates high school…in four years. You’ll find that someone’s partner has a hiking blog, read an SEO article, and is happy to “give it a try.” You may even find that the client themselves fancies a career switch to web design and doesn’t think it looks too hard.

Shut that **** down immediately. Smile, be gracious. Explain that, of course, you’re happy for contributions, and then avoid them like the coronavirus.

You’re donating a professional service that you’ve spent years developing, and you’re donating it to a cause that you value. You’re not there to increase someone’s chance of getting into college or to distract someone from their boring day job. If you do want to mentor people, there are places you can do that.

Everyone Actually Is An Expert

The nature of pro bono work is that more often than not, the people involved actually are experts. The simple truth is that people who aren’t experts in something tend to be in low-paying employment and are too busy trying not to be in low-paying employment to donate their time.

Like you, the people volunteering their time are doing so because they can afford to. For example, you may find that the organization’s head of accounts spends Monday–Friday as a tax advisor; the head of outreach is a project manager at a construction firm; the head of safeguarding is a school teacher.

People bring transferable skills to pro bono roles. Be sensitive to the fact that just as you are an expert in your professional context, so may they be. Simply not being an expert in design does not make them an idiot.

4. Do Not Foot the Bill

It’s tempting to simply donate everything to do with the project: the domain name’s going to cost $10? Well, it’s only $10; hosting’s $5/month? Well, it’s not too arduous to set up a small space on your own server.

imparting your experience sets the organization up for future success

However, when you give everything away, the client doesn’t understand the cost or value they’re receiving. As a professional, it’s part of your job to educate the client on the costs of a project like this; imparting your experience sets the organization up for future success.

Be clear at the start of the project that the client will be responsible for all expenses.

If you wish to — and you should not feel obliged — you are always free to make a financial donation equivalent to the expenses.

5. Stick to Office Hours

When you agree to do pro bono design work, the chances are that you know the person or organization you’re doing the work for. There’s almost always a personal connection of some kind, which means that the person or organization doesn’t see you in the professional context that normal clients see.

All good clients will respect the fact that you don’t answer emails on a Sunday morning. Not so the charity client. Not only will the charity client assume that you’re available outside of office hours, they may even think they are doing you a favor by not disturbing you during your regular office hours.

It’s important that you find some downtime outside of work to live your life. If you don’t want your evening out with friends to descend into an impromptu planning meeting (you don’t), set clear boundaries about when and how you’re prepared to work on the project.

Unless you’re self-employed, you can’t donate time when you should be working; what you can do is append pro bono work to your paid employment — do an hour after work, on weekday evenings, for example.

If you are literally doing this in your spare time, then allocate a specific time slot, such as a Saturday afternoon, and stick to it.

7. Stick to the Plan, and the Deadline

It is a universal truth that projects run better when there’s a structured approach. It doesn’t matter if it’s lean, agile, waterfall, or whatever you want to dub it. What matters is that you have a plan that works for you and is suitable for the project goals.

A structured approach, especially one that includes a timeline, will combat most disruptions. On the project I was working on recently, I was preparing for final sign-off when one volunteer announced it was time to “start thinking about what pages we need on the site.” 🤨

Discipline is crucial in pro bono work because different stakeholders will have different levels of commitment; some people will be full-time volunteers, others will be donating an hour per week. What matters is that the project that you are responsible for runs on your schedule.

8. You Have Zero Availability

Non-profits tend to talk to one another. When your friends and family see what you’ve done for Joe’s startup, they will start having ideas of their own. The client you’re completed the project for will have other projects lined up. When you aren’t charging, there’s no shortage of clients.

be prepared to say, “no,” at some point

Before you agree to do any pro bono work at all, be prepared to say “no,” at some point.

The simplest way out is to say you have zero availability: you’re already booked up with paying work, or your boss has let you know she needs you for overtime next month.

Don’t feel bad about it. It’s probably true. There are only so many hours in the day, and even if you do have some time to spare, doesn’t your partner, dog, or social life deserve some attention?

There’s No Profit In Non-Profits

Working for free is not transactional. It probably won’t benefit your portfolio. It definitely won’t lead to paying work. Any skills or experience you acquire probably won’t be transferable. (It might give you the topic for a blog post.)

If the work were meant to benefit you, it would be called personalis bono.

Nevertheless, many of us will find ourselves agreeing to do pro bono work, either out of obligation or idealism. It’s not something to shy away from; changing the world — whether for a group or an individual — is a noble pursuit.

The key is that while you will not profit, neither should you suffer a loss. Volunteering your time, skills, and experience should be a sustainable process. One that you will not come to regret.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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It’s almost time for another season of change. Although the temperatures might not reflect it, this is the time of year where most of us start thinking about what’s next.

This collection of tools and resources for designers is just the spark to propel you forward with work as you think ahead. Here’s what’s new for designers this month.

Gradient.Art

Gradient.Art is a CSS-based gradient generator that’s packed with functionality and customization options. It’s more than just a color selector and is an actual gradient editor that allows you to work with a variety of controls to get just the color variations you want for projects. Create illustrations, patterns, icons, and more with this layer-based tool that’s still in beta.

Wicked Backgrounds

Wicked Backgrounds takes some of the headaches out of creating just the right background for website design projects. It’s another easy and customizable generator designed to help create backgrounds with great color, depth, and balance for various project types. The makers promise more features in the future as well.

Typedream

Typedream is not what you might expect from the name; it’s actually a website-building tool. It’s designed to help put the focus on the words of a design with a simple interface that most people can figure out. You can connect your own domain and then optimize for search with built-in SEO tags. It’s a zippy tool for simple sites.

Orbital

Orbital is a zero-friction, super-interactive, customizable place to gather online. Pop in for meetings, quick chats, open-door office hours, or cowork together through the day – all using the same link. This premium tool has super fun backgrounds and meeting spaces.

Access Guide

Access Guide is your one-stop guide to accessibility information for the web. It’s packed with articles and information to help you understand parts and all of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, the official standard for accessibility online. (Plus, content is sorted into neat cards that make things easy to search and find.)

InLine

InLine is a free JavaScript library built to create a simple text editor for web applications and mobile apps. The tool claims to be the smallest WYSIWYG editor designed to fit into any layout. The plugin allows you to edit and customize text elements practically anywhere.

3D Bay

3D Bay is a collection of free three-dimensional stock images that you can use for various projects. Collections are searchable. Most of the images are actually 3D scene illustrations, a popular design element with many SaaS website designs.

MeisterNote

MeisterNote is a writing tool for teams. (It’s perfect for the new remote working world.) The interface is sleek and intuitive, and you can create customer workspaces for notes and teams to collaborate. One of the best functions might be the search feature, allowing you to find information in notes easily.

Shapecatcher

Shapecatcher solves an interesting problem. Have you ever visualized an element but don’t know what it is called or how to find it? This tool has a “drawbox” where you can sketch the element, and then it visually searches a database of 11,000-plus Unicode characters in multiple languages to find a close match that you can use online.

Batch Image Processing

Batch Image Processing allows you to edit, crop, and style or add watermarks groups of images all at once. It’s a web-based tool that does everything in a flash and allows you to redownloaded processed images for quick use. (It’s great if you need multiple photos with the same crop or size!)

Integrately

Integrately is an integration automation tool designed to help your apps, tools, and web elements talk back and forth. Connect apps to make tasks run on their own in ways that native software might not do alone. (Pro tip: Use it to connect with your email to send notifications or reports automatically.)

Vechai UI

Vechai UI is a set of high-quality, accessible React UI components with built-in dark mode using Tailwind CSS. Components include pre-designed headless UI and Radix UI.

Style Free HTML Bootstrap 4 Template

Style Free HTML Bootstrap 4 Template is a simple and minimally styled website template for a variety of project types. It’s a great website starter if you need to get a site up and running quickly.

Glass UI CSS Generator

Glass UI CSS Generator helps you create trending neumorphism/soft UI/glass UI style elements. The tool is a CSS generator that allows you to add some of your own elements and then pick styling options while outputting CSS and HTML.

Lineicons

Lineicons is a collection of more than 5,000 line icons that you can use for various projects. Every icon comes with free CDN, regular and light variations, an editor, and more to make it browsable and easy to use. The set has high legibility, and the free set of icons includes more than 500 options.

Carrd

Carrd is a simple, free, and responsive one-page website builder that you can do pretty much anything with. It’s perfect for personal profiles, landing pages, or one-page websites. All it takes is a little imagination.

AdonisJS

AdonisJS includes everything you need to create a fully functional web app or an API server. So stop wasting hours in downloading and assembling hundreds of packages and do it all with this framework for Node.js.

Eastman Condensed

Eastman Condensed is a beautiful and functional sans serif that’s easy to read. The demo version is free for personal use, but a commercial license for the full family is available.

Peachy Rose Font

Peachy Rose Font is a fun novelty option that is fun and light. Plus, it is free for any use, even commercial. The set is fairly large for a free option, with 233 characters.

Selga

Selga is an expressive and complex display font with a retro feel. The swashes and tails are especially nice on this typeface, which is free for personal use.

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One of the most challenging stages of a design project is laboriously producing all those assets that bring it to life.

Whether you’re a web designer in need of icons, or a brand designer looking for mockups, it’s a smart move to fall back on stock assets to speed up your turnaround, reduce costs, and enliven your designs.

With so many stock sites to choose from, which should you opt for? Today we’re going to take a look at DesignBundles.net and ask if it’s the right choice for your project.

What is Design Bundles?

Design Bundles is exactly what it sounds like: sets of design assets that you can download for free or at huge reductions on RRP.

Launched five years ago, Design Bundles is brought to you by the same team that delivers Font Bundles.

Over two million customers are already enjoying the benefits of Design Bundles’ weekly updates.

What Can You Download From Design Bundles?

There are currently over 800,000 products listed on Design Bundles, and the collection is growing all the time.

The files have been produced by 6,500 of the world’s leading independent designs. Because the products are top-quality, you can really make them work: scale them, flip them, distort them, recolor them; just about anything is possible when you’re using high-quality raw ingredients.

What’s really impressive is the range of products that are in the collection. You’ll find backgrounds, logos, icons, textures, patterns, and clip art. For product designers, there are mockups and web elements. Print designers will love the huge range of cards, invites, flyers, posters, and brochures. And if you’re looking for standard stock images, you’ll find a gargantuan range under popular themes such as technology, architecture, travel, and business.

Because Design Bundles is relatively new, you won’t find its collection padded out with out-of-date Gifs. In fact, Design Bundles is one of our favorite places for free SVGs, the best format for graphics on the web.

All the products are royalty-free and licensed for personal and commercial use, so you can relax knowing that you’re fully covered.

What Makes Design Bundles Different?

There are a lot of design bundles services online, so what makes Design Bundles different? Well, firstly, the quality; Design Bundles has a consistently high level of designs. We love the freebies. They make a huge difference and are great for trying out ideas you might not be ready to invest in.

Design Bundles differs from other stock sites because it offers curated bundles of complementary assets — you don’t just download a vector file; you download a set of vector files. This innovative approach means you don’t have to go hunting for matching images; once you’ve found the right download for your project, you have a whole range to enjoy.

The whole process of using Design Bundles is simple, from browsing through the available assets to choosing a design and through to the fast, simple checkout process. It’s all designed to make including design assets into your projects as simple as possible.

The website is user-friendly, and in the unlikely event that you’ll need them, the support team is friendly, helpful, and prompt to handle queries.

Is Design Bundles Good Value?

We’d be lying if we said that cost wasn’t a big bonus of using Design Bundles. Design Bundles offer up to 96% discounts on regular prices, meaning that you can get the same incredible assets that top design agencies use at a fraction of the price.

In terms of time-saved, inspiration-delivered, and graphics-acquired, your Design Bundles subscription will more than pay for itself.

Alongside the daily and weekly deals, you’ll find products you can try for free. For example, design Bundles provide a whole heap of free SVGs. And not just sample files. There are thousands of files to download and use in projects. You can’t get better value than free!

There are new freebies every week, so it’s worth subscribing just to ensure you don’t miss anything.

For freelancers, the licensing model is particularly attractive. Because there’s no limit on the places you can download design resources once you’ve bought them, you can download files at home, in the office, or at a client’s workspace — whatever is convenient. Meaning you carry a huge library of resources with you wherever you go.

Oh, and if you want to make the most of your new Design Bundles assets, don’t forget to check out its YouTube channel, where you can learn tons about how to create effects, edit images, and complete creative projects.

Should Designers Use Design Bundles?

When you’re designing a project, whether you’re a digital artist, a web developer, or a crafter, the result relies on the quality of its component parts.

Design Bundles offers you the chance to work with high-quality assets from some of the web’s top designers at a fraction of the price of creating them yourself.

We’re confident that if you give Design Bundles a go, you’ll quickly see the benefits for yourself. But if you’re still not sure, why not sign up for its newsletter and check out some of the daily and weekly deals and the freebies that are available to you.

Design Bundles is a recipe for success that you’ll be happy you discovered.

 

[— This is a sponsored post on behalf of Design Bundles —]

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The best free online coding websites for beginners are hubs of education and insight, designed to take your knowledge and career to the next level.

For years, technical careers have been gaining more attention among innovative individuals. In a digital world, people capable of speaking computer language often have the widest selection of job opportunities. However, before you can start leveraging the blossoming job market, you need to hone your skills. That’s where free coding websites come in.

A free online coding website is an environment where you can develop your understanding of various kinds of code, update your programming prowess, and even earn certifications. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the most impressive coding websites on the market.

Coding Careers: Opportunities in 2021 and Beyond

Before we leap into our overview of the best free coding websites, let’s examine why it’s so important to invest in your coding role. Looking at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see that coders earn an average of $89,190 per year.

Elsewhere, CompTIA notes that technology hiring has accelerated since the end of 2020, with up to 391,000 new positions opening in the US during December.

Though coding careers have been popular for some time now, they have particularly high value following the pandemic, as companies worldwide adapt to the changes associated with remote workforces, digital customer service, and ecommerce. The pandemic has made us more reliant on technology than ever before, as a result:

  • Coding skills are in high demand: Coding skills are essential for the newly digital world. Studies find that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation by around 7 years. Companies need coding professionals to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Coding knowledge is becoming more versatile: Companies are looking for coding skills in more than just programmers. They want their data analysts, IT workers, artists, designers, and other professionals to have these talents too.
  • People with coding talent can earn more: Jobs requiring coding skills tend to pay more than those that don’t. This reveals the growing need for coding knowledge in the digital ecosystem.

Coding skills provide an avenue to tech professionals for higher-income jobs, and these careers are growing faster on average than other job opportunities.

The Best Websites for Learning to Code

Learning to code or developing your existing coding skills can help you to unlock a host of new opportunities. Today, you can learn coding online for free, just by visiting the right websites.

Even a basic knowledge of coding can drive a range of results, such as helping to support the better management of websites, reducing reliance on outside developers, and opening the door to app development. So whether you want to start a new career or upgrade your existing knowledge, these sites will help:

BitDegree

BitDegree is a wonderful website for anyone interested in web development, coding, data science, and programming. There are various courses to choose from, depending on the career path you want to take. For instance, you can learn about the AWS cloud or start your journey into gaming development. For coding, BitDegree covers languages like:

  • CSS
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery

The best thing about BitDegree is how it makes learning so fun. There are gamified courses and sections where you can really dive into the essentials of coding. In addition, the online coding course collection often features hundreds of discounted options for people on a budget.

CodeAcademy

One of the most popular sites for learning how to code for free, CodeAcademy is home to over 24 million students who have built their skills. The interactive learning approach lets you apply what you’ve learned immediately. Over 300 million hours of free coding content are available to check out at your leisure. Like most coding platforms, you can learn languages such as:

  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • jQuery
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby

CodeAcademy is particularly effective for beginners because you get instant feedback after submitting your coding efforts. When you make mistakes, you’ll find out exactly where you went wrong, allowing you to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Codewars

Codewars by Qualified is definitely one of the most versatile free platforms for learning how to code. There are dozens of languages you can learn – too many to list right here. Options range from C++ and C# to Ruby, Python, Lean, Java, PHP, Scala, and countless others.

Codewars teaches you your programming language in-depth by selecting challenges designed to put your mind to the test. The goal for each challenge is to help you sharpen your knowledge over time, with tasks that get progressively more difficult over time.

The cool thing about Codewars is it allows you to see how you respond to challenges compared to how other coders have tackled the same issues.

Code.Org

Designed for a younger community of would-be coders, Code.org is an engaging and highly accessible introduction to coding. With around 60 million students worldwide, the Code.org platform gives you access to a wide range of different learning opportunities intended to suit different needs and learning levels.

The Code.org environment is built on a desire to bring coding into the standard curriculum. You can dive into full one-hour tutorials, or you can experiment with a more structured approach to learning, which is ideal for people with different learning styles. There’s also a huge catalog of courses extending from basic coding for younger kids all the way to University-level education.

Free Code Camp

A diverse option in our free coding website list, Free Code Camp is all about developing your coding knowledge while simultaneously networking with other like-minded people in the industry. The solution allows you to learn coding by participating in challenges – which is ideal if you want to put your skills to the test as soon as possible.

To help you jump in, you’ll have access to a range of courses and tutorials designed to help you understand and overcome each challenge. You can even code for non-profits on the platform and build tradeable projects in languages like:

  • HTML5
  • Javascript
  • Node.JS
  • CSS3
  • React.JS
  • Databases
  • Git

If you’re a little nervous about the concept of coding alone, you’ll have a full community to work within the Free Code Camp. You might even meet someone you can work with in the years ahead.

Code Conquest

Code Conquest is less of a course website and more of a comprehensive guide for beginners diving into the world of code. This amazing platform will help you understand all of the basics of coding in no time – even if you’re brand-new to the landscape. You can find out what coding is all about, learn which languages are best to learn for your needs, and more.

The website is full of resources for all kinds of coders, including comprehensive tutorials, reviews, a knowledge center, training packs, and more. You can even choose from a range of languages like:

  • CSS
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • jQuery
  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • MySQL

To help you figure out where you should get started, the Code Conquest website also gives you recommendations on which tutorials to take next.

W3Schools

One of the better-known free websites for coding on the market today, W3Schools is an environment packed full of example codes, resources, tutorials, exercises, and libraries to help you learn how to code. The site is one of the largest in the world for developers.

To begin coding with W3 Schools, you’ll need to choose the programming language that’s right for you, then either jump into the program immediately or select from a range of learning options. The site comes with a handy quiz to help you define your knowledge level.

Languages range from CSS to SQL, JavaScript, HTML, Python, Java, C++, and many more.

Code Avengers

Code Avengers offers a fun and interactive approach to learning how to program and code. There are various course options to teach you how to create everything from games and apps to entire websites. The good thing about the Code Avengers website is you don’t need a lot of spare time to start learning. Each course takes around 12 hours to complete.

You can choose from languages like HTML, CSS, Python, jQuery, JavaScript, and more, and connect with a wide selection of similar coding enthusiasts, just like you. The biggest downside is that the free trial only lasts for seven days before you’ll need to pay to use the full program.

The Code Player

A simple and effective website for learning how to code and building your existing skills. There are tons of videos and demos to walk you through the process of learning how to code from scratch. All you need to do is click on one of the things you want to learn how to do, like creating a simple web page, and the site will give you a video walkthrough.

Though a little simple compared to other coding resources, the Code Player still has a lot of great video guidance to help beginners jump into various languages. For example, you can learn about CSS and HTML or check out various tools to help you make a more effective website.

CodeGym

If you’re particularly interested in learning about Java, the CodeGym is probably the website for you. This online Java programming course teaches you the basics of Java by allowing you to dive into various tasks. You can get involved with various exercises depending on your existing skill level and play around with games designed to teach you more about the coding landscape.

This website is fantastic for people in all stages of the coding journey. Whenever you suggest a solution to a challenge, the website will give you immediate feedback to learn from. There are more than 500 hours of Java coding exercises and educational resources to explore.

The Odin Project

One of the better-known free coding websites on the market, the Odin Project aims to take the headaches and frustration out of learning web development. If you’re a beginner looking to develop a career in coding, then the Odin Project will give you all the pieces of the puzzle required to decide exactly where you want to go and build the appropriate skills.

This site offers a full-stack curriculum of coding education options, with tons of challenges, tasks, and exercises to help you put your newly gained knowledge to the test. You’ll learn how to program in languages like CSS and HTML, explore the basics of JavaScript and Ruby, and even get tips on how to get hired when your skills are maxed out.

Plural Sight

Previously known as Code School, Plural Sight is a fantastic online learning platform that allows you to build your knowledge through a range of paid and free courses. The comprehensive platform is organized into a wide selection of different learning paths. You can choose how you want to develop your skills based on your chosen language and your existing skillset.

You choose an education path created by professional instructors to achieve specific outcomes, and Plural Sight gives you all the material you need. You can also practice what you’ve learned during the course in your browser and get immediate feedback on what you need to work on. There’s even a gamification aspect that allows you to earn points for every course level you complete.

MIT Open Courseware

Imagine how amazing it would be to get accepted to MIT to learn your new coding skills? What if you didn’t have to go through the headache of an official application. If you have a computer and internet access, you can explore MIT’s course material easily through the MIT Open Courseware website. This dedicated website gives you an insight into all of the courses and materials learned by students at MIT.

You can browse through all the courses available in the programming landscape and filter through results based on things like course features. For instance, you might specifically look for courses with their own online textbook, lecture notes, and videos. It’s a great way to get an insight into how one of the most reputable universities in the world offers coding education.

Web Fundamentals

We’ve already looked at a website offering coding resources specifically for Java, now let’s take a look at one designed for HTML5. Launched about 11 years ago as HTML5 Rocks, the Web Fundamentals website is packed full of tutorials, resources, and insights into the most recent updates to HTML5. This open-source environment allows developers and programmers to really get active with their skills.

You can play around with some of the code already available on the website, and explore tutorials authored by a range of amazing individuals. Although these courses are very comprehensive, it’s worth noting that they might not be the perfect choice for true beginners, as the tutorials can be more complex than most.

Dash General Assembly

If you’re keen to learn the essentials of coding in some of the most popular languages, like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, then Dash General Assembly is the site for you. This website offers fun and free courses which will guide you through the basics of web development. You even get interactive tasks and challenges you can leverage within your browser, with no downloads required.

Users learn how to do a range of amazing things with this website, including how to code HTML5, build a beautiful website, and balance your layouts for aesthetic appeal and usability. You can even design dynamic interfaces where you can add aminations and effects. Dash General Assembly is a fantastic tool for anyone keen to get started in the world of coding.

Codeasy.net

Finally, Codeasy.net promises beginners a fast and simple way to start learning how to code, while having plenty of fun. This exciting website immerses you within a digital story which takes you on an adventure through the basics of coding. You’ll need to learn real-life coding skills to navigate your way through the rest of the story, which means you can develop your C# knowledge as you go.

This is one of the more unique tools for learning how to code that we’ve found so far. It’s a great way to discover the basics of C# without being bogged down in boring lectures. Remember, though, this website is intended for complete beginners, so you might find it a little basic if you already know some of the coding essentials.

Free Websites for Learning to Code

Free coding websites are an excellent way to develop your skills and unlock new opportunities in the world of coding. If you’re keen to jump into a new career as a programmer or coding developer, make sure you check out some of the options above. There’s no doubt you’ll find a site capable of giving you the boost you need.

 

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