We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.
Time management is one of the most important skills a freelance worker can learn. With a good time management system you can easily find the time to do the things that are important to you, whether in your professional or personal life. Successful time management can be challenging, especially to those who are new to freelancing or being self-employed. When you have a boss telling you what to do and when to do it by, it's much easier to prioritize and figure out what needs to be done and when. [Content Care Dec/11/2016]
But when you're not only dealing with client deadlines but also all of the day-to-day parts of running a business, on top of trying to maintain some sort of life outside of work, time management gets a whole lot trickier.
Below are sixteen tips to help you better manage your time and find the time to participate in the things that are important to you. Also included are some further resources to improve your time management.
Data visualizations and infographics can make complex datasets easier to understand and comprehend. By creating a graphical represenatation of data and statistics, complicated concepts and information can make more sense in less time. Many visualizations focus on representing a specific set of data or statistical information. Others focus on less-concrete topics, providing a visual representation of abstract concepts. Generally speaking, the first type appear more like graphs or charts and the latter are often more creative and imaginative.
But visualizations and infographics can be used poorly, too. Putting in too much information (or not enough), using improper formats for the information provided, and other failures are common. Below are more than 25 useful resources for infographics and data visualization. Most are galleries of effective graphics though some also provide how-to information for information designers.
Wireframing is one of the most valuable parts of any web design project. It can save a designer tons of time by hashing out the details of a site's architecture, functionality, and content prior to actually starting a visual design. But if done inefficiently, it can end up costing more time and can even create bigger headaches for both the client and the designer.
Below are more than 35 resources for creating better wireframes, including tutorials on different methods and a variety of tools available. There’s information on everything from paper wireframing techniques to using programs like Adobe Illustrator for the wireframing stage of your designs.
There are thousands of good websites out there offering web design and development tips. It's a bit much to sift through in most cases. There must be an easier way. Enter the email newsletter. What could be better than sitting back and waiting for the newest design and development news to be delivered to your inbox? Here is a rather short list of great newsletters devoted to web development, design, and related topics.
CSS is one of the most basic building blocks of modern web design. It creates the structure and style that surrounds your content and is capable of making your site a joy to use or a pain in the neck. Mastering CSS is one of the most important things a web designer can do, and has really become an essential criteria for being a successful designer.
In Part 1: Styling Design Elements we covered the basics of web design with CSS. In Part 2 we're offering up some more advanced techniques and effects you can achieve with CSS. Everything from creating your own online apps (like calendars) to styling web pages for use with the iPhone to some basics of working with CSS3 is covered here.
CSS is one of the most important building blocks of modern web design. Standards demand the use of CSS for formatting and styling pages, and with good reason. It's lighter-weight and capable of much more than older methods like tables.
The beauty of code snippets is their ability to save you time when developing a site. Whether you keep a file with your own often-reused snippets or turn to one of the many online repositories, snippets can really speed up your site development.
There are plenty of places online to find code snippets and get answers to your coding questions. And many of these places let you upload your own snippets, either for personal use or to share with the community. They can also be a great place to find inspiration if you're trying to figure out the best approach for any aspect of your site's development.
Be sure to check out some of our previous articles:
CSS is almost certainly one of the best developments in web design since the first graphical web browsers were adopted on a wide scale. Where tables created clunky, slow-loading pages, CSS created much more streamlined and usable web pages. Plus, CSS has allowed designers to achieve a number of different styles that used to only be possible with images.
One of the best parts of CSS is that it's so simple once you know the basics. Where tables used to make incredibly complex and sometimes impossible-to-decipher code, CSS keeps things clean and simple. Add a few comments to keep everything organized and it becomes an absolute dream to work with.
According to Nielsen Online, social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular kinds of online activities. 67% of the world online population are now visiting them and the time they're spending on them is growing by three times the overall growth rate of the internet. Social networks are now visited more often than personal email is read. Some social networks have grown to such enormous proportions that they rival entire countries in terms of population—if Facebook, for example, was a country, it would be the fifth-most-populated in the world (right between Indonesia and Brazil).
There's a lot of variety out there in the realm of social network design. Some sites keep a very professional approach (like LinkedIn) while others have a more organic, free-form look (like MySpace). Most sites fall somewhere in between, mixing professionalism with personalization (like Facebook). But what's the best way to design a social network? What are the elements that make a social network more user-friendly and more attractive to users? Read on to find out.
Designing websites can be a long and complicated process. Dealing with clients, designing prototypes, coding, programming, and testing – there's a lot to keep track of and a lot to make sure gets done. That's where checklists can make your life a whole lot easier. With lists of points covering multiple areas from content to usability to accessibility to standards, you're a lot less likely to overlook important parts of a site. [Content Care Dec/16/2016]
Below are 45 checklists to make your design process easier and more organized. Consider using these checklists as a jumping off point for creating your own customized list, based on your own needs.
Almost everyone out there who runs a website has toyed with the idea of selling ads on their website. So many options are available. Dozens of ad and affiliate networks exist, and you have different ad formats to consider. Should you sell text ads or banner ads? Should you allow Flash ads? What about ads with sound, pop-ups or floating ads? People have so many decisions to make that they often just end up slapping on some AdSense code and calling it a day. And that's fine.
But you have a ton of other options for displaying ads on your website, from using other ad networks to selling and managing banner ads yourself. There are plug-ins for virtually every CMS and blogging platform out there that allow you to rotate banner ads or insert blocks of ad code.
This post is a collection of ad management plug-ins for WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal and Joomla! to get your started. At the end are a few tutorials for creating your own banner ad rotation scripts in PHP and ASP (so that even if a plug-in is not available for your CMS of choice, you'll likely be able to build your own).
Every website has to perform maintenance at some point or another. Whether it's just to upgrade a portion of the site or because of some problem with the site, it's an inevitable fact of website ownership. And in many cases, maintenance requires taking your site offline for at least a few minutes. [Content Care Dec/20/2016]
So what should you do if your site is going to be down for maintenance? You don't want users coming to a 404 or other error page. And hopefully you'd like to encourage them to come back to your site sooner rather than later, right? If that's the case, you'll need to build a custom maintenance page. Below we present a list of best practices to building effective maintenance pages that will help keep your visitors, whether new or returning, happy.