12 Essential Websites Web Designers Must Know

As a web designer, there are going to be various websites that you really should know about that will just make your job that little bit easier. You see, you will be aware of this particular industry being ever changing and that in itself poses a few problems. However, by keeping a close eye on these websites listed below it should, hopefully, make things go more smoothly than before.


  1. TopRatedCompanies.com

This is an absolutely essential list of the top-rated web hosting companies. They use data-based assessments of website speed, uptime and customer service responsiveness in assessing whether a hosting company is actually good…or just looks good from the outside.

2. DomainDiscountCodes.com

You can get your domain name for under a dollar, and yet most people will end up paying anywhere between $10-$20 per year. You can set up a site for your client for super-cheap if you utilize their coupons.

3. Stackoverflow.com

This is a website that is primarily for programmers but it is also a question and answer website that is completely free to sign up for. By joining, you can get help on any areas that you are perhaps stuck on as it is full of fellow designers who may just have the answer that you are seeking.

4. Moz.com

Moz.com is focused on SEO and as a web designer, it is important that you are kept up to date with the latest changes to the world of Search Engine Optimization. This particular website has its own blog that is crammed full of tips and tricks that you might want to put into action and it also warns you against the things that you need to avoid doing as well.

5. Campaignmonitor.com

This website is perfect for any web designer that is being asked to set up an Read the rest

Avada WordPress Theme Review

avada wordpress theme review

The Avada WordPress Theme Review: Is It Worth It?

If you’ve been shopping for a premium WordPress theme for your site, then you’ve likely come across the Avada theme. It’s the #1 selling theme on Themeforest, a popular theme marketplace.

And it’s not difficult to see why: it’s a multi-purpose theme that looks slick, loads fast and seems to be able to do almost anything. The only question here is: does it do all those things well?

Nothing’s worse than choosing a theme that can do everything, and the one thing you need it to do (let’s say, for example, e-commerce) it doesn’t do very well at all. So we’ve decided to take the WordPress theme through the wringer. We’ll test out the various pre-set templates and report them back to you.

The Basics:

Overall, Avada is a fast theme. That’s why it ranked #1 in our rundown of the fastest WordPress themes. First off you’ll be asked to choose between ‘wide’ and ‘boxed’ layouts. We tend to prefer the Boxed look on most WordPress themes, since it keeps the pictures and text in straight lines down the page. But the Wide layout on Avada works with most colors. The wide layout looks natural and the whole website is simple, sleek and cool from the top to the bottom.

Testing Out Templates #1: Avada Cafe

avada cafe theme review
We toyed around the with the Avada Cafe template to see how well it would actually work for an actual working coffee shop or bistro restaurant.
The Good First off, the menu is great: you can essentially fill in the titles and descriptions and voila! You have a menu. You can easily change it as you change the menu itself. The back-end experience of editing the cafe template is simple and intuitive. Even though … Read the rest

The 10 Fastest WordPress Themes

10 Lightning-Fast Free and Premium Themes

Having a fast website is usually one of the most important things webmasters rate as important to them. They will pay hundreds (or even thousands of dollars) on VPS web hosting packages that promise super-quick server response times. They will pay hundreds per year to a Content Delivery Network (like MaxCDN or CloudFlare) to create a super-quick cached-version of your website.

And then they will install a beautiful looking WordPress theme that–while looking amazing–is bloated and slows the entire website down. If the theme itself isn’t coded well, or quite simply has too many features, then no CDN or server response time will make a difference in your website’s load time.

We tested out some WordPress themes, and added a few plugins that are known to conflict and slow-down a low-quality WordPress theme: w3 Total Cache, Ewww Image Optimizer, Plugin Performance Profiler, and Recent Posts with Thumbnails.

1. Avada WordPress Theme

Avada is the ‘king of the mountain’ when it comes to WordPress themes. Why? It can be any kind of website: a news blog, e-commerce store, photography portfolio, fitness website…pretty much anything you can imagine.

With such versatility, you might think that the website is big, bloated and slow. But in our theme tests, we actually found Avada to be the fastest WordPress theme we could find.

Here is a screencap from our test with GTMetrix:

Avada wordpress theme - speed test

As you can see it scored a 90% with GTMetrix. And why did it lose points? It appears that on the demo, the images aren’t compressed. But if you install something like the Eww Image optimizer that we mentioned before, you’re Avada-installed website will likely score even higher.

Bottom Line: This is as good as it gets for lightning-quick WordPress themes. … Read the rest