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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

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Online Advertising And Its Impact On Web Design

In recent years, advertising has become a major revenue source for many websites. Not too long ago, online ads were often met with disapproval from visitors, and advertisers were unsure about their value or effectiveness. Today, most visitors have come to expect ads on commercial websites, and advertisers have recognized the potential of various online ad opportunities. Ads have long been a part of print publications, such as magazines and newspapers, and now they essentially have the same role in online periodicals and publications.

Screenshot

Although advertising is a concern for website owners and those pushing products or services, it is also has an impact on Web designers, because they have to be able to design and develop websites that can produce ad revenue and still meet the needs of visitors. Clients with websites that depend on ad revenue need a design that provides the necessary screen space and a proper layout for selling ads, and advertisers need placement that will get them the exposure they seek.

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100 Free High-Quality XHTML/CSS Templates

If you haven’t taken a look at the (X)HTML/CSS templates that are available for free from a variety of sources, you may be surprised by the quality you can find. WordPress themes tend to get a lot of exposure and attention in the design community right now, but there is also a wide variety of high-quality (X)HTML/CSS templates that are free of charge.

Template Screenshot

In this post, we’ll showcase 100 free high-quality templates. Hopefully some of them will save you some time in your design and development. While they are generally free for personal or commercial use, always remember to check the license first for any restrictions or guidelines.

You may want to take a look at other collections as well (some are from Smashing Magazine, some are not):

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Billboard Top 40 Design Showcase

When searching for web design inspiration it's easy to get caught up looking at the same portfolios, blogs and the typical sites that appeal to fellow designers. However, as a designer there is a strong need to be able to create a website that truly works for the client and their visitors, not simply a site that fits into our ideals.

From time-to-time it's helpful to step out from the familiar sources of design inspiration to see what is being used in a particular industry. The music industry is obviously big business, and as artists and record labels struggle to make the transition from declining CD sales to more profitable uses of technology, examining band and artist websites can be a practical learning experience.

Katy Perry

You can tell a lot about the band or artist's target market based on the style of design. You'll see in the screenshots below that even for those bands with whom you are not familiar, you could probably identify the audience fairly accurately based on the style of the site. Whether the style appeals to us as designers or not is of course not nearly as important as if it appeals to its target audience.

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Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples

News websites can be intriguing to examine from a design perspective. Regardless of what type of news they cover, they all face the challenge of displaying a huge amount of content on the home page, which creates plenty of layout, usability and navigational challenges for the designer. The lessons that can be learned from examining how news websites address these challenges can be valuable for designers who work with other types of websites, including ones with blog theme designs.

NY Times

Monetization is also a major factor for news websites, and it’s interesting to see how they integrate advertisements in the design. In some cases, the ads are somewhat intrusive or excessive, but most news websites are able to use ads without turning readers away, in part because of the content that’s available.

For the purposes of this article, the term “newspaper website” refers to any news-related website that has the editorial focus of an online periodical. Many of the websites mentioned here are the online versions of major newspapers, but others are standard news websites and some blur the line between news website and blog.

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Textpattern Developer’s Toolbox

Textpattern is a PHP-based open-source content management system that is popular with both bloggers and website owners. The system is flexible and can be used for a very wide variety of purposes. Like other open-source CMS options, such as WordPress and Drupal, Textpattern has a strong online community with plenty of resources available. Here you’ll find the most comprehensive collection of resources, tutorials, plug-ins and more for Textpattern.

Textpattern.com

You may also be interested in these related posts:

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ExpressionEngine Developer’s Toolbox

While open-source CMS options like WordPress get a lot of attention from bloggers and designers, ExpressionEngine is a powerful, robust choice that many designers and clients would find more suitable to their needs. And as with the other CMS options, there are plenty of online resources for designers and developers who are working with ExpressionEngine. In this article you’ll find a helpful collection of resources to aid you in your work with EE.

EE blogs

For more CMS Toolboxes, see:

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50 Excellent AJAX Tutorials

AJAX provides Web developers with plenty of opportunities to enhance the user experience and improve the performance of their websites. There are countless ways that AJAX can be used, and fortunately there are plenty of good and useful AJAX tutorials out there to help you with your own implementation.

AJAX

This post serves as a collection of useful tutorials on working with AJAX in a wide variety of ways. You’ll find tutorials on working with forms, building shopping carts, creating chat features, working with log-ins and usernames and much more.

For more on AJAX see:

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Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Best Of: Part 2

It's been about 7 months since the original Illustrator Tutorials - Best Of was published, and in that time there have been many more noteworthy tutorials released. With all of that new content , it's only appropriate to put out a second edition of the best Illustrator tutorials. In this post you'll find some basic tutorials on getting started with certain aspects of Illustrator and some of its specific tools. You'll also find more advanced tutorials that deal with all of the potential that Illustrator brings to graphic design.

blueprint text

Many of these tutorials have been developed by some of the best in the business, so you're sure to find plenty of new techniques and tricks to take your graphic design skills to a new level.

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