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I bet you didn’t know that WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder and content management system (CMS).

Just kidding…of course, you did! But that’s not all there is to know about WordPress, so take our ridiculously challenging WordPress quiz and see how much of an expert you are…

(Scroll to the bottom for the correct answers.)

1. What is WordPress?

  1. SEO plugin to check your keyword density
  2. AI tool to create illustrations
  3. Online software to create websites
  4. A coffee shop in Canada

2. What is the number of websites using WordPress?

  1. 75 million
  2. 1.3 billion
  3. 2 thousand
  4. 7.1 billion

3. WordPress has a tradition of naming its major releases after:

  1. American presidents
  2. Famous jazz musicians
  3. British kings
  4. Heavy metal bands

4. How many websites are created on WordPress per day?

  1. Two websites
  2. 20,040 websites
  3. Over 500 websites
  4. 60-80 websites

5. What is the correct WordPress website address?

  1. WordPress.org
  2. WordPress.us
  3. WordPress.com
  4. WordPress.au

6. Who is the WordPress CEO?

  1. Elon Mask
  2. Bill Gates
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio
  4. No CEO

7. Which US government website is using WordPress?

  1. WhiteHouse.gov
  2. U.S. Embassy Websites
  3. State.gov
  4. All of them

8. How many languages is WordPress available in?

  1. 21
  2. 72
  3. 78
  4. 1

9. What is the most downloaded WordPress theme of all time?

  1. Divi
  2. Gutenberg
  3. WoodMart
  4. Astra

10. How many Fortune websites are using WordPress?

  1. 11
  2. 25
  3. 90
  4. 78

11. What is the average salary of a WordPress developer per year?

  1. $100k
  2. $56k
  3. $24k
  4. $201k

12. When was the first WordPress version released?

  1. 1999
  2. 2010 
  3. 2007
  4. 2003

Answers

1. What is WordPress? – 3. WordPress is online, open-source software that you can use to create websites.

2. What is the number of websites using WordPress? – 2. In 2021, WordPress powers over 1.3 billion websites all over the web, and this number continues to grow.

3. WordPress has a tradition of naming major releases after – 2. WordPress has a habit of naming its big releases after famous jazz musicians. For example, in the first version of January 2004, they called 1.0 (Davis), named after American trumpeter Miles Davis. Another version of May 2004 was named 1.2 (Mingus).

4. How many websites are created on WordPress per day? – 3. Over 500 websites are created on WordPress every day. At the same time, only 60-80 sites are built on popular platforms like Squarespace and Shopify. Besides, every second, 17 new blog posts are published on WordPress!

5. What is the correct WordPress website address? – 1. The fact that always confuses beginners is that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are entirely different companies that provide separate services. WordPress.org is the real WordPress everyone talks about that helps you to build websites. While WordPress.com is a hosting provider created by Automattic, the co-founder of WordPress.

6. Who is the WordPress CEO? – 4. WordPress is a free, open-source project. That’s why it does not have a CEO; volunteer developers run the project from all over the globe. This is the reason anyone can submit a report about a bug or suggest features.

7. Which US government website is using WordPress? – 4. The correct answer is all of them. All major websites of the US federal government use WordPress for their websites. The list includes all government sites of big and small cities, counties, universities, and high schools.

8. How many languages is WordPress available in? – 2. The Default WordPress language is English; however, the platform provides a fully translated platform with plugins that allow you to change your site’s language in seconds. The software has been successfully used in over 72 languages and can be modified for more!

9. What is the most downloaded WordPress theme of all time? – 4. Astra is the most downloaded WordPress theme of all time. Astra is claimed to be the most potent and fast theme trusted by many popular brands. Besides, the theme earned over $30M.

10. How many Fortune 500 websites use WordPress? – 1. 11 Fortune websites, such as Walt Disney Company, ABM Industries, and 21st Century Fox, use WordPress.

11. What is the average salary of a WordPress developer per year? – 2. The average WordPress developer earns $56,000 per year, according to Payscale.

12. When was the first WordPress version released? – 4. The first version of WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, which makes WordPress much older than Twitter and Facebook.

 

Featured image via upklyak on Freepik

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There are a lot of dark, retro vibes trending in website design right now. Although there are still some light projects popping up – including a pastel trend below – a lot of what we are seeing has a quite moody feel.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

Pastel Color Palettes

Let’s start with the trend with a lighter feel – pastel color palettes. While much of the web is trending toward dark aesthetics, there’s a segment that’s going in the exact opposite direction. Those sites feature soft, pastel color palettes that serve as a balance to all the super dark websites out there.

One thing about this website design trend is that it jumps out because of the stark contrast with all of the dark color palettes out there.

Each of these designs seems to use a pastel color palette as the basis for a background. A blur effect is paired with the colors to use pastels in a way that has a natural feel without appearing too feminine or light.

Robust uses blue and earth tones for a pastel background that feels modern and strong when paired with the hard-edged headline font.

Atmos uses a light pastel theme that takes you through the clouds with blues, and pinks, and purples. The pastel color scheme works well with the content which is airline-themed and makes you feel like you are flying through the sky. The colors are also soft enough to provide an easy reading experience.

Klezma is another design with the same pastel background with graduated color. The peach tones are fairly neutral and give plenty of room to the content.

Fonts with a Distinct Retro Look

Every one of these websites uses a typeface with a similar look and feel. This retro headline style is trending in a major way.

The best way to use this design element is for short words. This typeface design isn’t meant for a lot of words or when readability is a high priority.

This style is all about creating a specific kind of vibe for your website. The typefaces in this trend have a quite retro look and feel with an almost 1960s or ’70s feel to them. The rest of the design mimics this feel as well with colors and surrounding elements that contribute to the overall look.

A couple of common elements here include the use of all capitals font sets and letterforms that include odd shapes and lines.

Sretks not only uses a retro typeface but bends and twists it a bit too to add to the old-school feel. The background color helps add to the groovy vibe.

Barge 166 uses a retro typeface with the same design feel as the other examples but with a sharper, more serif-style edge. It’s easier to read but still carries a retro look and feel. Use a typeface similar to this if you want to capture that retro font style for a trending look while maintaining as much readability as possible. This option works best for multiple lines of words in a large size.

Picky Joe uses a retro typeface with rounded letters and a bit of a tilt to the characters to create a distinct feel. This is definitely a style that has to be used sparingly but can be a fun option, depending on the content of your website design.

Dark “Product” Sites

Dark mode design is probably the biggest design trend of 2022. Everywhere you look, websites are using dark color palettes and styles. Designers are creating more projects with a dark/light toggle so users can control their experience.

This visual concept is carried over to website designs that feature products as well. This is one of the last places the dark aesthetic had not touched. It’s been a bit of an unwritten rule that product images should be on white or light backgrounds to help make them easy to see and inspect digitally.

This design trend bucks that idea and features products on dark backgrounds – some with so little contrast that you almost have a hard time seeing the products. (Maybe these brands are banking on the idea that you already know them or are selling a lifestyle product.)

HQBC sells bike accessories such as glasses and helmets and the site has a sleek look and feel. You know it is cool from the second you land on it. The question though – is there enough visual information with the dark background to help you make a purchase? This design probably works because it only encourages you to find a physical location to make a purchase rather than buy online.

Doggystyle Shop also banks on the idea of you knowing the shopping experience or brand when you arrive. What the design does do though is put products on white backgrounds after you have clicked through far enough to make a commitment to buy. This helps you see the product well one final time before making a purchase. (The challenge is that it is three to four clicks in for the most part.)

FirstFit uses the design trend in a way that’s similar to the first example. They are showing a product, but not actually trying to convert sales on the website. Other links take you to more product information and content – using a lighter background and color scheme – and the dark background with the product serves mostly as a highly visual landing page that will help entice users to learn more. When it comes to dark mode and products, this seems to be the best option for most website designs.

Conclusion

The state of the world around us and our emotions can play hard into websites and other design projects. Some of the darker elements that are popular now may be a reflection of that or it could be more of a lean into dark mode schemes.

Either way, the web has a pretty dark feel right now.

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Automation is the theme of this month’s collection of exciting new tools for designers and developers. There are tools to make your images better, tools to create illustrations, and tools to make your workflow more efficient. Plus, a whole host of tools that are just plain fun.

Here’s what is new for designers this month…

designstripe

designstripe lets you create beautiful illustrations with no design skills. Drag and drop different elements into place, then customize them for your brand.

DesignMaestro

DesignMaestro is a free keyboard extension app that lets you automate the tasks you repeat daily. Set up a macro with a keyboard shortcut, and tap the shortcut to perform the action.

Ghost 5.0

Ghost is one of the best personal blogging platforms around, and version 5 enhances it with custom code, support for video, and performance upgrades.

Yep

Yep is a new search engine from the makers of Ahrefs. Built from the ground up, Yep will give 90% of its ad revenue to content creators.

The CTO Field Guide

The CTO Field Guide is a free ebook for anyone newly promoted to a technology officer role or looking for a tech leadership role. It’s a simple guide to making the most of your first 90 days on the job.

ASCII Art Paint

ASCII Art Paint is a free, open-source web app for creating images made up of text characters and hieroglyphs. It’s a great way to add pictures to text-only formats.

Effekt

Make your own fun, wallpaper art at up to 8k resolution using Effekt, a mix between an image editor and a visual toy.

Animatiss

Animatiss is a fantastic collection of CSS animations that you can use for free. Tailor the speed of the animation, preview it, then copy and paste the code into your project.

Skiff

Skiff Mail is an email app that features end-to-end encryption. This means your email stays private and secure, so you’re free to discuss sensitive matters.

Super Designer Tools

Super Designer is a collection of design tools for performing simple tasks. There’s a background generator, a pattern generator, a blob generator, and more—all free to use.

Web UI

Web UI is a collection of UI kits and templates for Figma and Adobe XD. Most designs are free to download and use for projects, and some require payment.

Free Online Background Remover

Use this free online background remover to quickly and easily delete the background of photos, leaving you free to paste the foreground over flat colors, gradients, or even different backgrounds.

Untitled UI Icons

Untitled UI Icons is a set of clean, consistent, and neutral icons made for Figma in Figma. There are 3,500 icons in total. The line style is free to download.

OS

Turn your Mac or iPhone into an old-school Macintosh with this retro wallpaper and icon set, and transport yourself back to 1984. OS is a premium download.

Shrink.media

Shrink.media is a free app for web, iOS, and Android that lets you reduce the size of your image file size and dimensions to reduce its footprint.

3D Avatars

This big library of 3D avatars is perfect for any project that needs staff images. There are different ethnicities, clothing, facial expressions, and accessories, so you never run out of options.

Felt

Felt is a modern map maker for the web that gives you more control, more design options, and easier sharing than Google maps.

SureScan

SureScan is a helpful app that hunts through terms and conditions for dubious conditions on your behalf, so you can spend your time doing something less boring.

Reform

Reform is a no-code form builder that you can use to create clean, branded forms for your business without any design or code skills.

Copy Foundry

Discover how the best brands evolve their messaging over time with Copy Foundry, a brand positioning, and copywriting library to help your products stand out.

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When you hear the word “leadership,” do you think of a particular person?

If you’d been asked that question anytime before the 1900s, chances are you’d think of an accomplished politician or a battle-tested general. These were the people leading society for most of recorded history. Today, you might have someone else in mind.

Since the industrial era, the US has birthed a pantheon of founders who’ve arguably led our society as much as any statesman or president. We put Rockefeller and Ford right next to Lincoln and Jefferson. Think about it; these guys haven’t just changed the US; they’ve changed how the entire world lives and does business.

Founders of successful companies today command even larger amounts of capital and power than JD and Henry. With the rise of social media, they are often thrust to the forefront of their brands and the public, whether they like it or not. Some manage the responsibility better than others.

In my opinion, the best businesses use all that capital, manpower, and name recognition to do more than simply make a profit. By leading with authenticity, inspiring positive action, and influencing their brand’s vision for innovation – they try to make a change.

I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some modern founder-led brands I think are doing a killer job of creating unique, world-changing businesses and company cultures. I also want to discuss the lessons I have learned from them.

Elon Musk – Tesla

When talking about founder-led brands of the 21st century, it’s hard to pass over electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla and its outspoken CEO, Elon Musk. Love him or loathe him, he belongs in any conversation on influential founders.

While Musk isn’t technically the founder of Tesla, he is one hundred percent responsible for the company’s direction over the past decade. I think two of the strongest leadership points for Musk are his focus on branding and innovation.

Tesla created showrooms and charging stations long before his business had the sales to justify the expense. People saw the name Tesla everywhere, got curious about it, and now that’s paying off big time. Tesla today is at the forefront of the EV industry while all the other car companies play catch-up.

Behind the scenes, Tesla was also early to create a vertically-integrated supply chain – giving it almost complete control over its product and logistics. That’s another feature with a hefty upfront price tag but paid off when the pandemic hit. Now the biggest automakers in the world are rushing to copy that model.

Musk arguably even convinced China to deregulate foreign ownership of automotive companies. That’s hard to prove. However, China changed its rules around foreign ownership of EV companies shortly after he refused to enter the country.

Arguably, Tesla today is one of the frontrunners in redefining how traditional companies run. Musk is known to hate bureaucracy and traditional hierarchies. He hires other people to take care of bureaucratic processes for him.

Musk is also known for hiring relatively young, hard-working employees into high-power management positions in the company and letting them prove themselves. That inspires extreme loyalty from his employees from an early age. Musk’s focus on efficiency and rejection of traditional hierarchies has sparked a small revolution in tech companies.

Finally, I respect Musk because he has goals beyond showing year-over-year growth to shareholders. That’s hard to do day in and day out.

Sara Blakely – Spanx

Sara Blakely is an example of a founder with her hands in every part of her business, from product creation to sales. Most importantly, she created an authentic company culture with values she felt the business world lacked.

For those who know her story, Spanx very nearly didn’t happen. Blakely pitched her slimming undergarment to multiple women’s brands run by men. Most told her it would never work.

It might seem silly now, but men used to think they knew women’s fashion better than women. It wasn’t until one executive gave Blakely’s product to his daughters to try out that he agreed to start stocking Spanx. It’s a great example of how businesses can make a lot of money by listening to their customers.

Besides founding a women’s clothing company that sells products women want, Blakely strived to bring “feminine energy” into the workplace. I saw this poignant quote from her in an article:

“Twenty-one years ago when I started Spanx, I ended up in the paper in Atlanta, and I was at a cocktail party and a couple of guys came up to me and they said, ‘Sara, we read about you. Congratulations! We heard you invented something.’ And I said, ‘Yes I did, I’m so excited.’ They said, ‘Business is war,’ and then they pat me on the shoulder and they kind of laughed at each other. I went back home to my apartment that night. I was 29 and I just thought, I’m not going to war. I’m going to do this very differently. I’m going to honor a lot of feminine principles — intuition, empathy, kindness. Just allowing myself to be vulnerable through this process. And of course, a lot of the masculine energy has helped me also — it was a balance. But I wasn’t going to do it by squashing the feminine.”

Blakely worked hard to create a sales-oriented company culture that was purposely welcoming from that point forward. She regularly scheduled “oops meetings” where employees could stand up and say how they messed up and turn it into a funny story. At Spanx, it was okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

Blakely wanted everything about her product to be fun, including the way it was sold. She created a mandatory boot camp for salespeople, which, among other things, requires employees to perform standup comedy. Little things like that resonated with people and made Spanx synonymous with “fun.” Even famous actresses were flashing their Spanx on the red carpet.

The lesson we can all learn from Spanx and Blakely is that fun and positive energy are great marketing tools for any business. Many companies try to push a fun culture publicly without any authentic leadership that genuinely exemplifies that narrative, they won’t have the same effect. Blakely’s story of Spanx is not just a story of the brand but a story of her life and the experiences that shaped her vision and goals.

Jack Dorsey – Block (FKA Square)

While better known for founding Twitter, Jack Dorsey has recently been in the news for his move to solely running payment processing business Block. I admire Dorsey because he radically encourages his teams to think differently about how they work.

Dorsey is known for optimizing ways to stay productive and focused throughout the day. He manages through unconventional tactics like communicating only through voice memos on his phone that he runs through transcription apps. He says this prevents him from being sidetracked by distractions on his computer. I think that kind of mindfulness is necessary now more than ever.

Dorsey tries to bring this level of focus to his interactions with his employees too. I saw a great quote from him in this article discussing computer-less meetings at Block.

“When phones are down and laptops are closed, the team can discuss any issue at hand without distraction. We can actually focus and not just spend an hour together but make that time meaningful — and if that time is 15 minutes, then it’s 15 minutes and then we move on with our lives.”

Besides limiting distractions, Dorsey is known to walk five miles to work daily, theme each day, and create detailed agendas and goals for each team meeting. In his former company, Twitter, the culture was frequently described as a space where employees could speak freely to management about things they wanted to change.

On that subject, Dorsey has been known to push hard for employee control in his companies. Perhaps ironically, he was also quoted saying he wants Twitter to break away from its co-founders’- vision and control, calling founder-led companies “severely limiting.” However, it still seems he has some sort of vision for the world that he wants to bring around via Block.

His business goals are visionary, pushing the boundaries of innovation in the financial world.

Dorsey is a known cryptocurrency enthusiast but had pushback from the Twitter team, including his CFO, about making a crypto-centric product. His move to payments processor, Block, seems to be a bid to follow his passion and exert his vision on the world.

Block has since made headlines for being extremely bullish on cryptocurrencies, while many have expressed doubts. Dorsey even changed the business’s name to Block to better reflect its focus on blockchain and famously purchased $50 million worth of Bitcoin in 2020. All the while, Dorsey has been quietly creating arms of his business in the hopes of improving BTC’s usefulness. That may pay off down the line.

Melanie Perkins – Canva

I identify strongly with Melanie Perkins, co-founder of graphic design SaaS, Canva. Besides being roughly the same age, we both came from nondescript beginnings with no background in entrepreneurship or tech.

Canva is an excellent example of a business created by becoming intimately familiar with a customer problem and executing. Perkins spent years teaching people how to use design platforms like Adobe Creative Suite because they were so complicated. Taking that knowledge, she started a simple product to help customers create high school yearbooks. That expanded into a super app covering every aspect of design.

This super-app has unlocked a way for millions to learn design and produce high-quality content at any skill level. The cost to use Canva is many times lower than anything else on the market.

While Canva is an amazing product, what I like most about Perkins is that she believes business serves a higher purpose than maximizing profits.

When she was suddenly thrust into the limelight with a $40 billion valuation, people were even more impressed by Perkins’ philanthropic goals. She vowed to donate a 30 percent stake in Canva to a charity dedicated to eliminating poverty (about $12 billion). She is also known to regularly fundraise for 25,000 different nonprofits through her app. She doesn’t just inspire people with words, but by actions, she’s actually taking.

Canva is very public about its ethos. I like their values because they are general yet avoid the jargon many companies fall into. They are:

  • To be a force for good and empower others;
  • Pursue excellence;
  • Be a good human;
  • Make complex things simple;
  • Set crazy big goals and make them happen.

Besides revolutionizing how modern businesses design and harness goodwill marketing, Canva was also one of the forerunners of the remote work trend.

Most of Canva’s “Canvanauts” worked from homes worldwide even before the pandemic. Canva showed a lot of tired old businesses that you could still run a successful company without having employees in the office 24/7.

How I Try to Learn From the Best

Finally, I want to talk about what I am trying to contribute to my team and society with my current business, startup acquisition marketplace, MicroAcquire.

As I’ve mentioned, I think it is very much on myself as a founder to set the tone of my business – and that starts with who I hire. When I’m searching for new employees to join the “#Micromafia” I not only look for productive workers, I look for people I genuinely enjoy spending time with. It’s the best feeling in the world to go to meetings where you leave thinking, “That was really fun.”

Besides creating a great team, I’ve tried to address another problem I see again and again at major tech companies: employee burnout. There’s a reason the average tenure of a tech employee is three years.

I love working on startups. It’s like playing a video game for me, and it’s probably why I’m a founder. That said, I know my employees don’t always feel the same way. As CEO, I make sure my team knows I want them to live their lives outside of MicroAcquire.

On the business side of things, I take cues from the best. Like Musk and Dorsey, I want to preemptively create features that I know our customers will love. I knew people wanted an easy way to sell their startups because I wished I’d had one back when I was doing it.

Like Spanx and Tesla, I also strongly believe in the power of innovative branding – and I make sure we spend in areas that will give us significant returns down the line.

For example, we’ve made it easy to get MicroAcquire merchandise online completely free. The extra exposure we get from tech people rocking MicroAcquire t-shirts is more than worth the cost. We also created our own media publication Bootstrappers.com to tell the founder stories we thought major publications had missed. That’s been a huge hit with our customers, who also happen to be founders. These people traditionally have had to spam inboxes and pay for press because they didn’t raise billions in funding.

Finally, like Blakely and Perkins, I also want to actively listen to customer feedback and make sure we create a necessary and desired product. That’s why I make sure we’re constantly engaging with our community both on our website and social media. Many of the features we’ve added are just things we’ve heard mentioned multiple times from customers.

So far, I love the community we’ve created online and in the office. I don’t claim to have the winning formula, but I feel we are making a real difference out there. We’re lucky to live in a world with so many smart people getting their ideas out and making a positive change in the world.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Having the right WordPress plugins on hand can do wonders for your business or online presence. WordPress offers a vast collection to choose from.

There are so many of them. However, finding those that get the best reviews and can do the most for you can be a challenge.

A plugin can give you additional functionality. It could otherwise be difficult or overly expensive to realize with your website by itself. A glance at the 10 top WordPress plugins described below can provide a powerful case in point.

Your website’s purpose or niche will usually dictate the types of essential WordPress plugins you would do well to invest in. The right ones can make your website a genuine powerhouse and, by extension, your business as well.

1. Amelia

Amelia is an excellent choice for beauty, healthcare, fitness, consulting, and businesses that might be saddled down with a manual or semi-manual booking system by saving them and their clients time while eliminating booking mistakes that often occur in those manual systems.

  • Clients can book appointments online 24/7, change or cancel their appointments, and receive reminders of upcoming appointments and other notifications via SMS or email.
  • Amelia enables business owners or department managers to track and manage employee schedules and time off.
  • Amelia can manage bookings for appointments, book tickets for events, and manage group bookings, all at multiple locations. There are no limits on the number of appointments that can be managed.
  • Booking forms can be customized to best serve a business’s needs and match its brand.

Amelia fully supports WooCommerce with PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, and RazorPay payments. Click on the banner to learn more about this time and money-saving plugin.

2. wpDataTables

wpDataTables is a premier WordPress table and chart building plugin that features virtually everything you are apt to need to build any table or chart you want.

Creating a table that is by any definition complex often requires tools that may not necessarily be easy to come by. wpDataTables uses four chart-building engines, one or more of which should suit you perfectly.

They are:

  • Google Charts
  • Highcharts
  • Charts.js
  • Apex Charts

For both table and chart building, wpDataTables can connect you to multiple database sources, including –

  • MySQL
  • MS SQL
  • PostgreSQL

wpDataTables can process data that exists in the commonly used formats and features various sorting and filtering options that allow you to create a host of different table types.

Both tables and charts are editable and responsive and, thanks to the wpDataTables conditional formatting feature, can highlight and color-code critical information.

Click to learn more.

3. Site Kit by Google

While your website’s performance might exceed your wildest dreams, it is more likely that there are areas that need improvement before your wishes can be met. 

Determining those areas can be a challenge, but Site Kit offers a one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make your site a success by making those critical tools available to WordPress.

They provide:

  • stats displayed on your WordPress dashboard from multiple Google tools
  • quick Google tool setup without your having to edit your site’s source code  
  • key metrics and insights for your entire site and individual posts, and
  • easy-to-manage, granular permissions across WordPress and different Google products

Site Kit shows you how many people have found your site, how users navigate it, etc.

Click on the banner to learn more about what Site Kit could do for you.

4. Tablesome –  WordPress Table Plugin With Form Automation

Tablesome is a WordPress form database and form automation plugin that you can use to store entries from WordPress forms to a database. It can be integrated with popular forms – Contact Form 7 DB, WPForms entries, Forminator database, Elementor Form submissions, etc.

After saving, you can:

  • Edit, auto-delete, and export entries to tools such as MailChimp, Google Sheets, Salesforce, etc.,
  • Display WordPress form entries on frontend pages
  • Automatically export contact data using the Mailchimp WordPress Integration

5. TheDock

TheDock eliminates the need to search for just the right WordPress theme by enabling you to create your own – which can be more fun anyway.

Among TheDock’s many features, a few key ones include –

  • A comprehensive, option-rich Design System
  • A responsive design system that ensures your site looks great on all screens.
  • Designer, developer, and editing collaboration support. 
  • Clean, readable code.

6. Slider Revolution

Beginners and mid-level designers can sometimes have difficulty finding ways to WOW their clients with professional-level visuals.

Slider Revolution changes all that by bridging the gap between what clients want and what you can provide with its –

  • 200 designed-to-impress website and slider templates
  • 25+ powerful addons and brand new WebGL slide animations
  • ability to import dynamic content from WooCommerce and social media outlets.

7. LayerSlider

More than a simple slider-builder, LayerSlider is an animation and website-building tool you can use to improve any website’s look and feel through eye-catching animations, contemporary graphics, and interactive features.

This is made possible in part through the use of –

  • 160+ website, slider, and popup templates
  • LayerSlider’s modern and intuitive editing interface

Plus, you can count on professional one-on-one customer support.

8. Download Monitor

The Download Monitor plugin helps you sell your digital products by offering a ready solution for tracking file downloads, gating content to generate leads, build your audience, and ask users for personal information in exchange for valuable content.

Download Monitor lets you –

  • add any type of file you need to your website
  • link a page to all your channels and promote your social media networks
  • place ads – and more.

9. Ads Pro – Multi-Purpose WordPress Ad Manager

The biggest ad manager for WordPress, Ads Pro gives you everything necessary to manage and sell ads.

Ads Pro’s admin panel makes managing ads straightforward for you and your users.

  • Key ad features include 25+ ad templates and 20+ ad display options.
  • CPC, CPM, CPD billing and PayPal, Stripe, and bank transfer payment methods are built-in.
  • Geo-Targeting lets you show/hide ad spaces based on countries, provinces, cities, and Zip Codes.

10. Ultimate Membership Pro

If selling content is your objective, Ultimate Membership Pro is the tool you’ll want to take your website and convert it into a powerful content selling platform.

The Ultimate Membership Pro plugin enables you to –

  • Create unlimited subscription levels, including free, trial, and paid member subscriptions
  • Control customer access to content based on their subscriptions
  • Send emails to welcome new members and send notifications and reminders to regular subscribers.

The WordPress plugin directory is already stuffed with almost 60,000 plugins. This guide has been published to narrow things down to 10 top WordPress plugins for your use.

We consulted with experts to create this list of excellent plugins for WordPress. It can help you with content strategy, SEO, site security, and even social media marketing.

Installing plugins and getting the functionality they provide can add immense value to your use of WordPress.

 

[- This is a sponsored post on behalf of BAW Media -]

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The underlying theme of this month’s collection of new tools and resources is development. Almost every tool here makes dev a little easier, quicker, or plain fun. There are a few great tutorials in the mix to help you get into the spirit of trying new things and techniques.

Here’s what is new for designers this month…

Cryptofonts

Cryptofonts is a huge open-source library of icons that represent cryptocurrencies. There are more than 1,500 CSS and SVG elements in the collection. Cryptofonts includes all scalable vector icons that you can customize by size, color, shadow, or practically anything else. They work with Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD, Figma, and Invision Studio, and there’s no JavaScript.

 

Reasonable Colors

Reasonable Colors is an open-source color system for building accessible and beautiful color palettes. Colors are built using a coded chart. Each color comes in six numbered shades. The difference between their shade numbers can infer the contrast between any two shades. The differences correspond to WCAG contrast ratios to help you create an accessible palette. This is a smart project and a valuable tool if you work on projects where color contrast and accessibility are essential (which is all of them).

 

Chalk.ist

Chalk.ist is a fun tool to make your code snippets look amazing. Add your code (there’s a vast language selector), pick some colors and backgrounds, and then download it as a shareable image. Your code has never looked so beautiful!

 

WeekToDo

WeekToDo is a free minimalist weekly planner. Improve productivity by defining and managing your week and life easily and intuitively. Plus, this tool is focused on privacy with data that is stored on your computer (in your web browser or the application). The only person who has access to it is you.

 

Bio.Link

Bio.Link is a tool that collects all your links – from social media to blog posts to any other kind of link you want to share. It’s free to use, includes 15 design themes, visitor stats, and is super fast.

 

Spacers

Spacers are a set of three-dimensional space characters that you can use in projects. Characters are in multiple poses and ultra high-def formats to play with.

11ty

11ty is a super simple, static website generator. Try it for small projects and read the documentation to see everything you can do with this tool.

Scrollex

Scrollex is a react library that lets you build beautiful scroll experiences using minimal code. You can create scroll animations in all kinds of combinations – vertical, horizontal, almost anything you want to try. The documentation is fun and easy to understand if you’re going to see how it works.

GetCam

GetCam is an app that lets you turn your smartphone into a webcam for your computer. It works with any iPhone and a Mac or Windows computer. It works with most video conference and streaming tools as well as browser-based apps.

Flatfile

Flatfile is a data onboarding platform that intuitively makes sense of the jumbled data customers import and transforms it into the format you rely on. You won’t have any more messy spreadsheets or have to build a custom tool.

Loaders

Loaders is a collection of free loaders and spinners for web projects. They are built with HTML, CSS, and SVG and are available for React and copypasta.

Lexical

Lexical is an extensible JavaScript web text-editor framework emphasizing reliability, accessibility, and performance. It’s made for developers, so you can easily prototype and build features with confidence. Combined with a highly extensible architecture, Lexical allows developers to create unique text editing experiences that scale in size and functionality.

Picture Perfect Images with the Modern img Element

This tutorial is a primer on why the img element is such a powerful tool in your development box. Images are so prominent that they are part of the most important content in over 70% of pages on both mobile and desktop, according to the largest contentful paint metric. This post takes you through how to better optimize and improve core web vitals simultaneously.

Building a Combined CSS-Aspect-Ratio-Grid

Building a Combined CSS-Aspect-Ratio-Grid provides two solutions for creating the title effect. You can define an aspect ratio for the row or use Flexbox with a little flex grow magic. Learn how to try it both ways.

QIndR

QIndR is a QR code generator made for events and appointments. The form is designed to capture your event information so you can quickly build and use a QR code for listings and even allow users to add it to their calendars! It’s super quick and easy to use.

On-Scroll Text Repetition Animation

On-Scroll Text Repetition Animation shows you how to create an on-scroll animation that shows repeated fragments of a big text element. This is a fun and easy lesson that you can use right away.

Eight Colors

Eight Colors won’t do anything for your productivity, but it is a fun game that you may not be able to stop playing. It is a block-shifting game with the goal to shift circular blocks to reach the target given.

Creative Vintage

Creative Vintage is a pair of typefaces including a thin script and vintage slab serif (with rough and smooth styles). The pair is designed to work together for various uses or can be used independently.

Hardbop

Hardbop is a vintage-style typeface with a lot of personality. It would work great for display, and the family includes seven full-style character sets.

Kocha

Kocha is a funky ligature-style typeface perfect for lighter design elements, including logos or packaging. It includes clean and rough versions.

Magnify

Magnify is a large font family with 16 styles and plenty of fun alternates. You can use it straight or with the more funky styles that create less traditional character forms.

Stacker

Stacker is a fun and futuristic style font with a triple outline style. Use it for display when you really want to make an impression.

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A career as a web designer can be extremely lucrative. The average web designer in the US makes around $50-55,000 per year, equating to an hourly rate of around $25. Of course, not every designer will automatically get a full-time, high-paying job as soon as they earn their web design credentials.

Sometimes, you might need to generate a little extra cash, perhaps to supplement your part-time income or keep the lights on while you’re taking some new courses. You can even use your web design skills to earn some extra money on the side while working a standard 9-to-5.

Today, we will be looking at some of the most effective ways to make extra cash on your web design skills.

1. Freelance

Starting with the simplest option, working as a freelancer is one of the best ways to start making cash with your design skills. There are dozens of websites out there to help freelancers find clients these days. Some of the best options include:

  • Toptal: For web developers, designers, and software experts;
  • Upwork: For all kinds of design freelancing;
  • 99Designs: Excellent for selling your designs whenever you like;
  • Dribbble: Display your work and find new clients;
  • Behance: Sell everything from animations to videos;
  • Envato Studio: Sell packages for web design.

As a freelancer, you’ll be able to choose which hours you want to work, and which projects to work on. You can make money from all kinds of design skills this way, from making pages for a website to designing widgets and applications.

However, you’ll also be responsible for tracking down potential leads, building your portfolio, and managing your own taxes, so keep this in mind.

2. Sell Design Assets

As a web design professional, you’ll end up with a lot of assets over the years. Whether you’re working freelance or full-time, not every asset you create is going to be picked up by your customers. Sometimes, you’ll end up with unused content sitting on your computer.

Fortunately, you can leverage these assets for some extra cash. You can sell things like icons, backgrounds, UI assets, and more. You can even sell themes on sites like ThemeForest if you’ve built something your clients weren’t happy with.

There’s a market out there for just about every asset, from icons and PSD templates to documents, fonts, UI assets, backgrounds, and brushes. You might even build your own website where you can sell assets in the future.

3. Design and Sell NFTs

Feel like getting in on the cutting-edge of a new marketplace? NFTs are probably one of the hottest topics in the digital world today. As concepts like Web 3.0 and the metaverse gain traction, NFTs will only become more valuable.

Countless companies and innovators are looking for people to design their NFTs for them these days. If you don’t mind dedicating some of your free time to creating digital graphics, you’re in for a significant amount of earning potential.

If you learn enough about the NFT landscape and blockchain, you could even create your own NFTs. However, this would probably require a lot of time and research. You can learn more about the NFT design and art landscape here.

4. Become a Consultant

Don’t have time to build endless new websites right now? No problem, just help other people build their sites instead. Consultants are people in any industry with expertise and insights they can share to support other people. As a web design consultant, you can offer your expertise to other upcoming freelance designers or business leaders.

You’ll need to invest some time into building your personal brand as a consultant. This means developing your social media pages (like LinkedIn) and creating a portfolio. It also helps to have an air of thought leadership. This usually means you’ll need to share at least some content online.

Consulting can be an excellent way to share your skills with other people without having to do all the work of building a design course.

5. Teach Web Design

On the other hand, if you like the idea of being a teacher, you can make money almost passively with web design courses and webinars these days. While you do have the option of selling one-on-one education to students, this will usually take up a lot of your time.

If your focus right now is on a side hustle to increase your earnings, it’s often much easier to use a site like Udemy or Skillshare. The great thing about teaching web design these days, it’s much easier than you might expect. The majority of solutions on the web allow you to drip content to your clients automatically. This means you only have to create the content once.

You can create a handful of videos, quizzes, and downloadable assets, and make money off your educational resources while you sleep.

6. Create a Web Design Blog

Blogging is still a surprisingly lucrative way to make money. If you have a creative streak and you know how to write about web design in a way other people can understand, you can turn this into an excellent side hustle.

Start by building your own website using your design skills, then start publishing regular blogs with the content you know your customers would be interested in. It’s a good idea to cover a range of topics, from Photoshop, to how to design widgets and more. You can even share reviews of various web design tools and add affiliate links to earn money that way.

Make sure you use SEO strategies to improve your chances of customers actually seeing your blog and promote your content as often as you can across social media. Once you have your blog, you can make money from it by:

  • Working as an affiliate and promoting design products;
  • Showing banner ads or sponsored posts on your website;
  • Selling digital products through your blog (like themes).

If you decide to take the affiliate route, here are some excellent programs to consider.

7. Contribute to other Websites

If you don’t have time to launch your own website and build a following for your blog, you can still make money from writing in other ways. Becoming a freelance web design writer means you can sell your blogs and content to other leading publications.

Many popular websites are constantly looking for new content to add to their blog. If you develop a strong relationship with some of these site owners, you could get yourself a regular gig.

Contributing to other sites as a writer helps you to develop your thought leadership. Many companies will even allow you to link back to your social media pages or profile.

At the same time, you get to earn some extra money writing about things you enjoy.

8. Sell Themes and Templates

A lot of web designers today rely on other themes and templates created for WordPress to help them build their websites. Access to themes and templates can make building a new website a much easier, straightforward process.

If you’ve got some excellent coding prowess, you can develop and sell a host of website themes and templates, and sell them wherever you choose. As mentioned above, there are a number of websites available for selling web design assets. Alternatively, you can sell your own packages and templates on your website, depending on your needs.

If you create a particularly valuable theme, you can actually earn a full-time passive income over time. Placing your themes and templates on marketplace sites will also get you a lot of attention from potential clients in the future.

9. Flip Websites

If you’ve ever seen one of those shows where someone buys a house, makes it look great, and then sells it for a higher price, you’ll understand the basic premise of flipping websites. The idea is to purchase an existing website for a low price (preferably with a good domain name), then fix it up to sell on a website selling directory.

If you want to earn a decent amount of money for your website, you’ll need to dedicate a decent amount of time to building traffic, improving the appearance of the site, and so on. However, it can be fun to take on these projects in your free time if you’re looking for a way to hone your skills.

You might learn some important lessons about how to make websites more profitable while you’re flipping your various sites, which could make you more appealing to customers in the long term.

10. Write a Book

Similar to flipping websites or producing an income from a high-traffic blog, writing a book isn’t something that’s going to give you a lot of extra income overnight. However, it can be an excellent source of passive income in time if you know how to use this strategy correctly.

If you have a specialist skill in web design, or you serve a specific niche, you can generate a lot of attention for an eBook or physical book sharing plenty of accurate and specific information. Remember, writing about web design, in general, will usually make it harder to earn money because there’s already a lot of competition out there.

Writing a book is a fantastic way to create a possible extra source of income as a side hustle, and it can also make you more credible if you decide to go full-time with your web design skills in the future. It’s definitely more impressive to present yourself to clients as a published author.

Remember to advertise your book whenever you can to improve your chances of additional sales.

Find Your Side Hustle

Web design skills are highly sought after in various parts of the digital world. If you’re willing to devote a little time and creativity to exploring the various avenues above, they can all deliver an excellent source of income to you and your potential business. All you need to do is figure out which side hustle makes the most sense for you.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all. In some cases, you might even be able to run multiple side hustles at the same time, particularly if you’re using strategies for passive income, like writing your own book or selling your own course.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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