Featuring design freebies, our favorite websites, and cool wallpapers all from our local design studio in Raleigh, NC.
10 Top CDN Plugins, Providers, and Tips
If you’re minding your pageload times, then your probably already familiar with CDNs. We’ve collected the top cdn plugins, quality cdn providers, and a few tips for handling cdn on cms.
Let's start by briefly addressing how a cdn functions and then take a look at the best ways to utilize them. In it's simplest form a CDN is provides performance through using multiple servers. By using multiple servers to deliver content, your website is placing a lighter load on each and cutting down the distance needed to travel in almost all circumstances. These benefits are folded into your site by rewriting resource urls to your CDN service provider, but it's not really as complicated as you may think. Since you need to select a provider, lets start by identifying a few quality CDN providers.
Wordpress Htaccess - A Wordpress Security Tutorial
Your WordPress htaccess is one file you should be taking seriously. It can boost your security, performance, and seo without a ton of effort. Take a couple minutes and learn a few WordPress htaccess tricks of the trade.
One of the aspects that makes WordPress so valuable is the carefully curated plugins that are so easily installable. In the case of security though, you don't want cookie cutter... You want bulletproof - and using htaccess effectively is as bulletproof as it gets. While improving your website's security in just a few easy steps, I'll also explain a few easy htaccess additions that can have your website running faster and more efficiently. If you're not already familiar with handling htaccess files, you've found a gold mine my friends. If you've got a few years of experience under your belt, hopefully you'll see a couple nuggets of code you don't have lying around that you may want to keep.
Top 10 Favorite Inspirational Websites
Inspiration comes in many forms - When it comes to web design, These are our top 10 favorite inspirational websites.
There are several important aspects to a quality inspirational website. You need high quality project pieces, an interactive community, design freebies, and cohesive overall presentation. With several years in the industry, it's safe to say inspiration drains out of the best of designers from time to time. Here are a few sites that should push you past that occasional "writer's block" and inspire your next portfolio worthy project.
10 Responsive Frameworks You Need
Bootstrap vs Gumby vs Foundation - We take a look inside all the popular frameworks on the market and find the 10 Responsive Frameworks You Need.
Responsive Frameworks are springing up everywhere lately, but crowding the market occasionally leads to confusion. Whether you call them responsive grid systems or a css responsive layout - they are a web designer's best friend and we love them as much as anyone. The only issue we have with responsive frameworks is that there are just so many out there and Bootstrap vs Gumby vs Foundation 4 vs every thing else, can be a tough decision to make. With that in mind, we'll try to save you some time (and give you a few more tools)... because these are the only tools you need to provide good responsive design to your clients.
Optimizing Development Workflows
Efficient workflows and workflow patterns are key to effective web development. Learn how to streamline your workflow with this web development tutorial.
Most developers I know are "hands on learners". The type of people who take things apart to understand how they work. While that approach is useful for garnering a deep understanding, it's not very conducive to retaining a comprehensive development approach. If you pick up tools here and there, you may eventually end up with an amazing array of tools... but you probably also have a messy workbench. Rethinking and refining your workflows and workflow patterns will ultimately give any developer a framework in which they can work most efficiently. And ultimately when your dealing with lots of code on a regular basis, Efficiency is the name of the game.
This Stitch Wallpaper is a simple stitched Apple Icon... A Mac wallpaper tribute.
This months submission - Stitch Wallpaper is simple, wintery in color, and a great way to coordinate your new tech gear ...especially since Santa is gonna be late with the new MacPro's.
Dropbox Database Sync for Testing
Database management is very important, but it's always presented a problem.
Keeping computers in a local testing environment in sync can be a nightmare. Creating a Dropbox database sync is an ingenious, often overlooked approach to this daunting problem.
Pinterest Branding and Marketing Strategy
This Pinterest tutorial will help build your Pinterest marketing and branding strategy... and also has a few tips for using it effectively.
Pinterest continues with steady growth in the "Social Networking" market. With 2.5 billion unique page views per month, this is an audience you need to convey your brand to and a site that can help you build that audience... as long as you address it properly.
Pacman Fever Wallpaper
Pacman Fever Wallpaper - Giving your halloween season desktop a little retro-awesomeness.
This months submission - The Pacman Fever Wallpaper is proof that Halloween should be approached with class and dignity. Let's be honest, nothing says "dignity" more then Pac-Man... The classiest of all retro video games.
Terminal Icon Vector (AI)
This Terminal Icon Vector is a free layered download instantly available for all of you coders and command line fans out there.
High quality icons are a necessity for designers. This vector version of the famous Terminal application should more then exceed any project standards that you may have.
Calvin Power Wallpaper
Calvin and Hobbes are American heros. This months HD Wallpaper is a simple tribute to them and the amazing powers of the imagination that they advocate.
Scottish naturalist John Muir once said "The power of imagination makes us infinite" and to me nothing embodies that feeling more then Calvin and Hobbes. I remember Spaceman Spiff, the endless shenanigans, and the tolerant folks. The seed that was planted in millions of kids minds from one frame to the next, was that imagination makes all the difference... I couldn't agree more.
Free Site Ranking Utilities
Free site ranking utilities provide easy ways to measure how your site's doing (and usually easy ways to fix them)
Tracking your website's metrics can be an overwhelming task. Gauging results through analytics is one thing, but actually tracking a specific page's performance can be a nightmare. Traffic only covers one aspect. How are the page's being disseminated online? How is your page's "meta" working? You usually have two choices - hire a SEO company or purchase a pricey programs to run the numbers for you (usually w/ a monthly fee attached). As with most computer nerds, I hate paying for something I can do for free... That's why our Design Concepts, Design Theory, Design Inspiration, and Design Heros all have one thing in common... This is our web design and development blog added a few free SEO tricks along with a few free site ranking tools that are absolutely invaluable. So in the interest of sharing, here are a few sites with a free site ranking checker for you to use.
Be Frank Wallpaper
Frank Lloyd Wright is a god to pretty much every designer I know.
Frank Lloyd Wright is an american hero and idol to every designer I know. This wallpaper is an homage and features his quote - "The truth is more important then the facts".
Raleigh Food Bank Charities and Local Farms
Give the triangle community a hand by supporting Raleigh food bank charities and local farms.
There have been substantial cuts in government assistance and in this time of need, providing food for our community should be at the top of our priority list. Sometimes that means volunteering at local food charities, but it can also mean simply supporting our own local agricultural industry. Here are a few ways that anyone can help out.
Can't Stop / Won't Stop Wallpaper
It's neither hyperbole or sarcasm that allows me to say - Puffy Combs is a veritable fountain of wisdom.
OK... It's probably my sarcastic nature that makes mocking public figures so enjoyable. I will however say, I have adopted his "Can't Stop - Won't Stop" mentality as a mantra.