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Designing websites have become a trending topic in the design circles across the globe. Not only has the technology reached a point where VR and AR can organically be implemented into the web, but the basic website building has also become easier than ever before.

While professional web designers might still prefer coding and designing everything from scratch, step by step, there are ways for everyone to pitch in and design beautiful and useful websites no matter their skill level.

  1. Weebly: Starting off our list, we have Weebly, a platform that allows you to fully build and customize websites. Not only does Weebly help you design blogs and forums; it can also turn your site into an eCommerce platform with the push of a button. This in an all-in-one service that can be used by anyone who ever had a chance to solve a simple puzzle game since the actual process of designing a website looks very much like that. The platform itself offers a trial period after which you need to pay in order to complete the website you have in mind.

 

  1. Paper: This application is built with sketching, brainstorming and simple coding in mind. Every web designer needs a place to put their thoughts on paper, literally and figuratively. Paper is designed to do just that and works best when used on tablets with bigger displays. The intuitive interface allows even amateurs and passionate designers to solve creative problems and come up with fantastic web design templates in a matter of hours.

 

  1. iFontMaker: Creating custom fonts for web design has always been a chore for many creators. For one, they have to hire a professional typographer which can be hard and expensive at the same time. Not only that, but the end product is hardly ever what they initially had in mind. That is why iFontMaker is the perfect tool for web designers that want to add an extra flavor to their creations. The simple interface will shape all the letters according to the one you are currently modifying, allowing for seamless design changes and creative freedom.

 

  1. Blueprint: A web page is nothing without quality UI to back up the data stored there. Blueprint is an app that allows users the freedom to create their own UI elements and shape them in a web-based working environment. You can easily mix and match elements and add new stylistic choices without worrying about the end product. Blueprint allows you to export your creations and transfer them to your PC or Mac and continue designing the web page using the professionally crafted UI elements you just created.

 

  1. Wordpress: You will be happy to know that Wordpress has moved into the application ring and created a dedicated app that allows you to access and modify your websites on the go. Wordpress is an intuitive app that focuses on the most popular form of free domain blogging and web design – best of all, it’s completely free to use. In order to create more complex and plug-in-heavy websites, you will have to buy a custom domain and create a design based on the premium build of Wordpress.

 

  1. All Top Reviews: Anyone with the background in web development can tell you that good web design is nothing without quality content. All Top Reviews is an app that allows you to hire professional writers who specialize in different copywriting fields. Many of them are focusing on content creation in web design. This is a great way to come upon risk-free and expertly crafted content that will easily attract visitors and make your site viral.

 

  1. Google Analytics: Creating a web page worthy of your visitors is one thing, but attracting those visitors is another matter entirely. Google Analytics is an app that allows you to review and follow visitor patterns on your website and determine whether or not your current design solutions are working. Following these patterns can use several purposes, not the least of which is what type of content actually works with your brand and readers. Being smart about using Analytics can often make or break a website, so make sure that you consider using this app.

 

  1. Wix: Wix is a website builder made with templates in mind. Chances are that whatever template you sketched or drew on your computer screen might already exist on Wix. All you have to do is select it and start adding your content in order to shape the website. Wix is very easy to use and offers free and premium template solutions, depending on your needs and budgetary restraints.

 

  1. Blocs: Did you ever wonder how web designers are capable of coding HTML, CSS, Java or any other programming language so easily? You can do the same with Blocs. The app is designed for casual and beginner web designers in mind, allowing for easy and modern web design without the need to know the languages beforehand. The app holds your hand closely as you work towards a website design together, just like you would with a partner.

 

  1. Affinity: Speaking of web content, Affinity has quickly shot to the top by giving designers around the world an affordable and professional substitute for the now-standard Adobe programs. You can have a fully equipped photo and vector editing software available at any time at a very low cost compared to Affinity’s counterparts. Whatever content you are creating for your website, you are surely going to need a creation and editing tool for it.

Boosting your web design creation cycle is all about finding tools that suit you personally. These are some of the most popular industry choices and are very likely to transform your design practice into something else entirely. Never be afraid to experiment with new tools and thinking outside the box – it’s what web design is all about.

WordPress is the best platform out there. It’s user-friendly, incredibly malleable and has so nearly 50,000 plugins to make it do whatever you want it to.

 

If you’re considering what platform you should use as a back-end solution for your well-designed website consider no longer. The answer is obvious. You should use WordPress. It is by far the best platform for creating an online website. I’ve been using it for years and it has served me very well indeed.

That not impressive enough for you, then consider the following websites, taken from a WordPress for beginners list: Techcrunch, the New Yorker, BBC America, and – of course – the official Star Wars blog.

Impressed yet? Well, you should be because these sites receive millions of visitors and yet they think that WordPress is still the best platform for them. So yeah, when you’re world famous and everybody is coming to your website to find out more about you, WordPress will still be a great platform! Neat right?

Here are some more reasons:

 

It is easy to use

First of all, WordPress is incredibly user-friendly. Sure, you can use HTML and other programming languages on the platform, but at the same time, you don’t have to. That’s great, as it means you don’t immediately have to jump off the deep end and learn a new programming language.

In fact, you can pretty much build your entire website by clicking, dragging and typing a few lines here and there (like your site’s name).

 

It has a huge amount of apps and plugins

wordpress plugins

Because it’s the biggest platform out there, with it apparently underlying an impressive 25% of the web (the two closest competitors account for 5% together). That means there’s a huge amount of support for the platform.

This not only means that whatever problem you’re having has been had (and written about) before, but it also means that there are literally thousands of plugins out there that you can add to your website, which will let you do anything from sending out newsletters to protecting your website from hackers.

 

It lends itself well to blogging

As you no doubt are aware, content marketing is the ‘new’ buzz word of the online marketing community. That’s where you create content to draw people to your website, where they might then buy your stuff.

To engage in content marketing you obviously are going to need to have a place to put that content. The most natural choice for that is a blog. Now it so happens that WordPress is incredibly useful for blog creation. No, they won’t quite write the text for you (check out this list of best websites page if that’s what you’re after), but they’ve got a huge number of plugins that will make it immensely easy.

 

Google likes it

And that’s important. After all, if Google doesn’t like a platform, you can be sure that you won’t actually rank well on their algorithm and that means that the huge pool of organic traffic out there won’t ever reach your website.

Now that would be an incredible loss, as at least some of those people are desperately looking for what you’re offering.

Even better, there is now a great free plugin in called Yoast that will allow you to optimize your blog posts and websites for search engines. That will make it far more likely that Google will know what your websites are about and what kind of people it should send there.

 

Everything can be customized

Everything I’ve outlined above might make you think that there is only one way that you can use Wordpress and that you’re straight jacketed into it. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, every aspect of Wordpress is entirely customizable, from where the lines move, to how you log in.

That means that you can begin with something that is pretty basic and straight word, then – as you learn and improve your understanding of how the platform works – you can customize whatever aspects of the website that you want. And that will save you a huge amount of time somewhere down the road.

 

Bringing in new people is easy

If you’ve got a website and you want to add a new contributor, that’s really easy in WordPress. All that you need to do is create a new account, decide what they can’t and can do, and send them the details.

Hey! Presto! You’ve got a new contributor.

What’s more, because the platform is so well known, almost anybody who’s been creating content online will be familiar with it. That means that you don’t need to spend a huge amount of time teaching them the ropes. Quite often they can start working the moment that you give them the login details.

In fact, that’s a two-way street. If you’ve got your own website and you’ve been asked to contribute to another website, that’s generally quite straightforward if they’re using Wordpress. That will mean you don’t have to learn some new platform either.

 

It’s very scalable

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 10 pages or 10,000, Wordpress won’t slow down because of it. That means that if you’re launching small but expecting to expand quickly in the years to come, you won’t have to worry about your website not being able to keep up.

Just add the pages, alter the structure and boost your visitors. It’s all possible, doesn’t require much work and makes for a hugely flexible system.

 

You can get started in an hour

And the best part? If this text has convinced you that Wordpress is the way to go, then all you need is about an hour of time and you can have a website up and run. Sure, like I said, it might not be hugely advanced, but that’s okay. At least you’ll have something. And once you’re there, it is far easier to keep going, build more, learn more and make your website bigger, better and prettier as well.

Really, quite often the problem is getting started. Not on Wordpress. Here they’ve done everything in their power to make it as easy as possible.

 

Last words

There is a reason that Wordpress is the biggest one out there. It really is a fantastic platform that can be used by beginners and experts alike, as it’s both user-friendly and immensely malleable – in large part because of the huge number of plugins out there.

So yeah, if you’re thinking about what website to use, go with WordPress. It is really is the best one out there. That’s why its market share has been growing steadily over time. That’s a bigger achievement than you may think, as WordPress is open source and therefore has no dedicated marketing team out there.

It’s just people like me (and soon you) talking about their experiences and talking up the platform that gets the word out there. Not bad, right?  So what are you waiting for, go out there and get it already!

(Note, this whole article has been about wordpress.org, not wordpress.com. They might sound like the same thing, but they’re not. The first is the open-source, adaptive platform, while the second one is far more restrictive and means you’ll have the ‘WordPress’ in your URL).

Creative Online Resume Design

People who work in creative or technical fields are continually finding new and creative ways to get the attention of hiring managers. They create personal websites and blogs to share their expertise, build online portfolios, and work hard to develop an online presence that speaks to their talents and experience. These efforts have now expanded to include resumes.

 

Rather than creating simple documents to highlight their qualifications, creative job seekers are creating interactive, visual, and multimedia experiences for hiring managers. If you haven’t received an interactive resume yet, you might in the future. Keep reading to learn more about this new trend.

 

What is an Interactive Resume

 

The tools and techniques that people are using to build creative resumes vary widely. Because of this, it is difficult to precisely define the interactive resume. One job seeker might opt to share an interactive infographic to display their accomplishments. Another might refer hiring managers to their Pinterest where various boards represent education, experience, and even work samples.

 

Here is a great example of a web designer who put his talents on display by creating an interactive website that manages to be a fun tribute to Super Mario Bros. while also showing off his design skills. Another job seeker received all kinds of social media attention when he got a job at GQ by submitting a very creative resume designed as a copy of the companies magazine.

 

The common feature among interactive resumes is that they involve the use of visuals and other creative elements to create something that stands out.

 

Handling The Interactive Resume

 

If you are in the business of hiring creative and technical types, it’s quite likely that interactive resumes are something you will have to consider. Now, you could take a hard line stance against these. There certainly is an argument to be made that applicants should stick with submitted resumes in the format that employers request them.

 

On the other hand, by failing to be open minded about this, you could risk losing great talent to your competitors. In addition to this, interactive resumes can give you insights into applicants that go beyond their education and experience.

 

Your best bet may be to get ahead of things and include guidelines about interactive or other creative resumes when you advertise job openings, and on your company website. You can even use this as an opportunity to share a bit5 of your company culture to job seekers. Here is a sample:

 

Resume Submission Guidelines: Thanks for your interest in working for Acme Designs. Recently, we’ve been receiving a variety of creative resumes. We really appreciate the thought and creativity that has been put into these. Many of you are doing an amazing job of showcasing your talents.

 

If you have an infographic, video, or other creative resumes, please provide a link to it below. However, we’ll also need you to send us the boring version of your resume as well. PDF or Word is preferred. Think of it this way, it will be your chance to dabble in some arcane skills such as letter writing.Thanks in advance. Now, show us what you’ve got!

 

Of course, you might want to take things a step further, and encourage these types of submissions. You might get the attention of some truly talented folks, and inspire them to put some real effort into their resumes.

 

The Downside of Interactive Resumes

 

As one top british essay writing service says, it’s important to acknowledge the downside of these resumes. If you are an HR manager with dozens of resumes crossing your desk each day, speed is your friend. You might be used to scanning through resumes in just a few seconds. That’s not something you can do when it comes to creative resumes.

 

In a perfect world, this is a good thing. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to carefully consider each resume you get? Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have the resources for this. So, you might need to establish some best practices on reviewing these resumes. For example, you can’t hit ctrl-F to search for keywords in a video, but you can make it a policy to click out of any that don’t say something compelling within the first 45 seconds. Eventually, savvy job seekers will learn to tailor these resumes to hiring manager’s preferences.

 

The Upside of Interactive Resumes

 

Presumably, when someone takes the time to create a visual resume, they are showing the best of what they can do. Knowing this can help you to learn a lot about your candidate. Not only is that resume showcasing where they have worked, their schooling, and their hard skills; it illustrates soft skills and artistic abilities. After viewing one, you might know:

 

  • The Applicant's Design Preferences
  • Their Personality
  • How They Enjoy Applying Their Creative Talents

 

Mostly, you’ll gain an understanding of things that simply cannot be spelled out in a traditional resume. This might include the kind of sense of humor an applicant has, or simply how they view the world in general. These are the types of things you don’t learn about people until after you hire them in most cases.

 

Conclusion

 

If you really think about it, interactive resumes were inevitable. People are already connecting with companies that they are interested in working for on social. They’re also using a variety of tools and techniques to present their skills and talents to the world. It’s only logical that this method of communication (the resume) follows suit. It will be interesting to see how technology and creativity impacts the hiring process next.

As you might know, the only to prove that you are a great web designer is by showing the job you have already done off. Your university degree or any other qualifications that you might have won’t be enough to get you any job in any company or as a freelancer.

And this isn’t just because certifications don’t really matter in your line of work. But because having the skills won’t make anybody sure that you can create anything special. The only thing that can prove it is a killer portfolio.

If you know exactly to each industry you are going to apply for, it will be easy to decide which kind of work will be available in your portfolio. But what if you don’t? What if you are creating something that will be online to anybody see? Or more than that, what if you are new on the field and don’t really have anything to show, but you want to create some mock-ups just to prove what your skills?

Then you will have to decide which projects you should add to your portfolio, generally speaking. And here is what you can’t miss.

 

# 1 – A complete online branding package

If you are a web designer, designing a website is basic for you. It won’t prove that you are any better than your competitors. But what if you go further and create a complete online branding package?

Here you should include a logo, cover photos/profiles for social media, icons for apps, and anything else that comes with it. Think about anything that the company might need for their digital marketing campaigns and get it done. It will prove that you understand your industry but also the needs of your clients (and the clients of your clients).

 

# 2 – A stock theme for a blog or website

What about creating a stock theme for a blog or a website for WordPress or any other Content Management System? It is a great addition to your portfolio as it will let people know that you can create some versatile and flexible.

To get it done, just check the themes already available in the market. Look for those that are more popular or considered as the Editor’s Choice. Then you can decide and what you can offer that is unique or that is going to solve a specific problem for one of your favourites target audience.

And the best thing about it is that you still can sell it as a premium theme and get some money from it later on.

 

# 3 – An innovative mobile app concept

The world is going mobile so your portfolio should have something related to this industry. However, adapting a website so it can become more responsive or redesign an app that is already available will not make you look any special.

What you will need to do here is to create a new mobile app concept from scratch(That’s what helped a lot while I was creating the Rated By Students Mobile App). Yes, it looks like a big thing, and it is. But you can see why it will make you stand out from the crowd.

So, start by learning all the rules involved in this kind of business, if you haven’t done anything like this before so that you won’t break any rules and sound like an amateur. Check App Store and Google Play guidelines for starters.

Of course, the app doesn’t need to be developed, you online to create the design concept. But do come up with something that you can look innovative as much as well-designed.

 

# 4 – An engaging 365 project

If you think, you do not have the skills yet to create something big, what about starting a 365 project that can be improved over the time?

It can be an icon or a poster that get different backgrounds, colors or messages every day of the year. It can do something that you draw or a cover photo for every day. Maybe a daily menu for your portfolio?

Anything can work here, really. Just look for something that you could become passionate about (as you will have to deal with it for a year) and start working on it on a daily basis – and don’t forget to keep publishing the results on your portfolio.

 

# 5 – Your own portfolio

It is funny how so many web designers get lazy when it comes to creating their own portfolio. But you can certainly guess how employers and potential clients feel when they want to get to know more about you and come across a poor online display of your work.

It certainly doesn’t give any reassurance to anybody that you can get the job done. A web designer with a badly designed portfolio is like a barber with a bad haircut – you wouldn’t try them, would you?

So make sure that your portfolio itself shows your skills and expertise to the best possible. And as you are completely free to design it, be creative to the maximum.

 

To Sum Up

If you want to be noticed, you should go and try to create the best portfolio that you can. It means choosing the right projects to add to it, as it might be impossible to design a bit of everything.

In addition, your client of a potential employee might think that you are not really good at doing anything in special or feel overwhelmed by so many options.

So make sure that you know have projects that are aligned with the latest digital marketing strategies, and that can prove that you understand of mobile applications. Show your persistence, time management skills, and improvement over the days with a 365 project and let them know that you can manage a theme for a blog or website (and still make money out of it).

But, above all, make sure that your own portfolio reflects the person that you are on every inch. It will act as your business card and will have a much more definitive effect than your CV, so make sure that it is of high quality and engaging

As a designer, you are probably intimately familiar with the feelings of boredom and frustration that take over when you are at a loss for inspiration. Sometimes, it seems as if one project after another comes and goes without requiring any creative thought. On the other hand, it’s equally frustrating to encounter a project that does require a creative approach, only to find yourself unable to come up with anything new or exciting.

 

Here’s the thing about inspiration; It doesn’t have legs. Inspiration cannot come to you. Instead, you have to seek out inspiration, and then use it to create amazing things. To get started, check out these ten tips.

 

1. Find an Inspirational Design And Try to Duplicate it

 

Designers are visual thinkers, and great observers. We notice photographs, pictures, textures (manmade or natural), colors, advertisements, magazine covers, signs, even food packaging. The next time something stands out to you as an example of great design, capture it. Take a picture, bookmark the web page, buy the book, etc.

 

Then, try to recreate the design yourself. You don’t need to make a direct copy. In fact, you don’t even need to use the same medium. In fact, you should avoid doing too much research. Just dive in with your paintbrush, web design tools, charcoal pencils, whatever you want to use, and get to work.

 

2. Look at Some Awwward Winning Websites

 

The Awwward website is dedicated to the art and science of web design. It highlights designers, websites, and techniques that are trendy, exciting, and inspirational. At the same time, it also manages to be a bit controversial. Chances are, you won’t agree with all of the awards given out or the criticism some designers receive. In spite of this, you will find plenty of information and inspiration between the websites features, the articles, and the community forums.

 

3. Engage in Other Creative Hobbies

 

Out of web design inspiration? Then it’s time to exercise your creative muscles in other ways. Most designers tend to have creative hobbies outside of web design. If you do, consider picking one of those hobbies back up. Painting, sculpture, knitting, model making, sketching, it doesn’t matter. Engaging in a creative pursuit can help your brain function better, and think more creatively. If you don’t have a creative hobby, now is the perfect time to pick one up. Your local arts center or community college might have inexpensive art classes for adults if you are not sure where to begin.

 

4. Visit Art Museums And Galleries

 

Take a day trip to the nearest art museum or galleries. Bring along your notepad, and take notes on what you see. Be specific. Note how certain brush strokes create a layered effect, take pictures of textures and save them to your phone, and pay attention to the use of color. Jot down what you see that inspires you, but most importantly write down why. Then, save your notes to refer to later. If you need help or advice on taking and organizing notes, a resource such as SupremeDissertations can help. Whatever you do, don’t stick to only the sleek modern stuff that seems like it will translate onto a computer screen. Check out the primitive art, fibers, and other media as well.

 

5. Revisit an Old Design Project And Modernize it

 

If you have a repository of old design projects laying around, you’ve got a veritable playground. Go back in time, and pull one up. Then, think about what you would do if faced with the same project today. Put a new spin on it. Add new features and update the page layouts. Try to use a few new tools while you’re at it. It can be interesting to see the difference that a few years of experience can make in a signal project.

 

6. Get Inspiration Globally

 

Most web designers only work on websites that are going to be used by people within the boundaries of their own country. Even if you do work on international projects, these are usually for multinational companies, and the necessary redundancy doesn’t allow for the exploration of web design from other countries. That’s a shame, because you can find some great inspiration in websites designed in countries such as Mexico, Poland, The Netherlands, China, and Saudi Arabia. Do some exploring and discover how different cultures approach design.

 

7. Put Pen to Paper

 

You probably have all of the latest and greatest design tools available to you. That’s great! These tools help us to create top quality web pages quickly and efficiently. In spite of that, there is something special about starting a design project with nothing more than your sketchpad and a pencil.  Yes, you’ll eventually turn to modern technology, but the truth is writing, sketching, and drawing actually has an effect on your brain that you cannot get by  using digital tools.

 

8. Read Comic Books

 

If you’re really struggling to think outside the box, check out a few comic books and graphic novels. Pay close attention to the action lines, and the ways that panels are laid out. If you are bored with standard, grid design, you may just pick up a few new things to try. This is, of course, in addition to the inspiration you will find in the artwork and storylines.

 

9. Get to Know Other Web Designers

 

One of the best ways to find great design inspiration is to simply find some great designers. Get online and join up with other web designers. Forums like Designer Hangout, Coffee Cup, #FrontEndDevelopers are all very active. These are great places to discuss design projects, share your work, and get a bit of feedback from other people in the design field.

 

Conclusion

 

There you have it, ten easy to follow tips that you can use to help reignite your creativity, and find the inspiration that you need. Keep actively searching for sources of inspiration, and your creativity will be reflected in your web design projects.