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Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

Designers use wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to speed up the design process as a whole. These three design aids can be a source of confusion. They are not one and the same thing, yet their names are often used interchangeably.

To set the record straight:

A wireframe is a low-fidelity representation of a design. It is static, and provides little substance. Wireframes can be helpful when an early look at the proposed design concept is in order.A mockup provides a mid- to high-fidelity representation of the proposed design. It is more detailed, and it can provide a good source for feedback – but it is also a static A prototype is a dynamic model of the proposed design. A working prototype can simulate the look and feel the designer is working towards. Prototypes make excellent usability testing platforms.

Building a prototype is generally done in three steps.

Sketch out the navigation flows for each of the pages.Create low-fidelity prototypes of the pages to test usability.Build a high-fidelity prototype for further usability testing and to verify the UX.

Solutions to Your Prototyping Needs

InVision

Upload your design files, add animations, and let InVision transform your static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes. You can put together a prototype to test your web and mobile product designs in mere minutes, and without any need for code whatsoever.

This prototyping tool has been recommended by Forbes. Forbes has also pegged InVision as one of the premier cloud companies in the world, joining companies like MailChimp, Slack, Dropbox, and other notables.

What is it designers like best about InVision? There are a number of things; but one would be the fact that it’s always-on working platform speeds up the entire prototype building, collaboration, and usability testing process. Version control tools are in place too, so your efforts won’t come to naught during a flurry of test results, recommendations, and changes.

There’s a pair of nice freebies as well that are worth a look. A free trial version is yours at no charge if you sign up (there’s no obligation), and once you start using InVision, you can conduct an unlimited number of usability tests for free.

Pidoco

            Pidoco is so easy to use that you’ll start being productive from the very first minute. This easy-to-learn feature makes it ideal for design teams that are in need of a powerful prototyping capability and would rather avoid taking extra time to become familiar with the operational characteristics. Pidoco is also a good choice for individuals or teams that are simply looking for something better.

Most users rely on Pidoco for their fully-interactive UX prototyping activities; but this tool will also come in handy for any wireframing or low-fidelity prototyping requirements you might have.

Whatever the level of detail and interactivity you look for, Pidoco’s smart template system, with its building block approach, ensures that your prototype-building activities will move along at a fast pace.

This versatile tool can also be used to create specifications to use as blueprints for team members, or as project sign-off documents for clients.

Proto.io

Proto.io is a world-class application prototyping platform, empowering designers, entrepreneurs and developers with everything they need to validate their ideas early, spending the least amount of time and with minimal effort.

Proto.io is ideal if you want to use a single platform for all your prototyping needs: designing, previewing on a mobile device, sharing, collaborating, user testing, getting feedback. It’s packed with lots of valuable features, one of which is importing from Sketch and Photoshop that basically lets you transform your designs into interactive prototypes.

No design or coding skills is required. And if you consider that 340,000 users and the world’s hottest startups and Fortune 500 brands already trust Proto.io, then it’s certainly a great choice.

You can see how Proto.io can help you reach your goals, by signing up for their free 15-day full feature trial.

PowerMockup

PowerPoint users love the many extra benefits PowerMockup provides. PowerMockup is a PowerPoint add-on that turns PowerPoint into a powerful prototyping tool. The first thing new users will note is this add-on’s shallow learning curve, which allows them to create professional-looking presentations from scratch within minutes.

No coding is necessary to create a slideshow of animated, interactive screens that present a storyboard-type of prototype you can use to collaborate and share with others. Since PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office suite, your prototypes can even be embedded into Word documents, while keeping them fully editable.

Webflow

There are several things you can do with Webflow. You can design, prototype, develop, and launch. A fifth capability well worth noting would be collaborate. When you create any design or prototype with Webflow, what you have built is powered by production-ready HTML/CSS and JavaScript.

Once you have a pixel-perfect, interactive prototype that exhibits the look and feel you’re seeking, it’s a simple matter to seamlessly transform your prototype into a fully-developed, responsive product. You can of course do any necessary tweaking prior to launch; but imagine the time you can save! Sign up today and start for free.

HotGloo

Take a learning curve so low that no one will realize you’re a new user, add the ability to collaborate with co-workers in real-time, and top things off with a tool that practically breathes UX, and you have HotGloo.

If you feel you are the slightest bit UX-challenged, this is a tool that can make your day! HotGloo was developed with teams in mind. Up to 100 team members can be accommodated with a single license, HotGloo runs on your browser, and you can try if for 15 days at no charge. Why wait?

Lucidchart

            Lucidchart makes a handy addition to any designer’s tool kit with its ability to quickly create professional-looking charts and flow diagrams, and do them right. A hastily-sketched flow diagram may get your point across, but there’s really no place for rough, hasty sketches in a formal presentation, or anytime you want to make sure that the information being presented is correct and understandable.

With its extensive library of design elements, Lucidchart can serve as a solution to your website and mobile app wireframe and mockup needs as well.

A few ending words

These prototyping tools are not a selection of tools with identical features and capabilities. They serve a wide range of uses, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one just right for your needs, or possible two.

Most of them have what it takes to build high-fidelity, pixel-perfect, interactive prototypes. Several may fit your needs better. If those needs center around wireframing, prototyping, or diagramming.

There’s something for the PowerPoint user as well. And one tool that can do it all, from design, to prototype, to development and launch. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that your selection will be among the tops in its class.

This post Valuable Prototyping Tools That will Speed up Your Work was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

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WordPress 4.7 is slated to arrive in early December 2016. While a lot of new features will roll out with the latest version of WordPress — the new Twenty Seventeen default theme, thumbnail previews for PDF uploads, and more — it’s the custom CSS editor added to the WordPress Customizer that caught my eye.

The question this new feature raises is this: can WordPress users stop using child themes now that CSS customization is built right into the WordPress core?

I took WordPress 4.7 beta release 3 for a spin and tried out the CSS editor so that I could answer this question. I’m happy to report back that the answer is, maybe.

To get the full scoop, read on. I’ll explain the purpose child themes serve, show you how the CSS editor built into Customizer performs, and help you decide if WordPress 4.7 is the version that will finally let you stop worrying about using a child theme.

Let’s get to it.

Why is Using a Child Theme Recommended?

Anyone who knows anything about WordPress development recommends using a child theme if you plan to tinker with your WordPress theme, and we’re no exception:

Child themes allow you to add custom code to a WordPress theme while simultaneously protecting that custom code from being overwritten the next time your theme is updated. If you don’t use a child theme but modify your theme files directly instead, then the next time you update the theme all of your changes will be lost.

So, how does the custom CSS editor in WordPress 4.7 play into the equation?

As soon as you update to WordPress 4.7 you will have the option to add custom CSS to your WordPress website using the custom CSS editor in the WordPress Customizer. In theory, if you only use a child theme to edit CSS you could just do away with your child theme entirely.

However, before you run off with that idea, we need to check two things:

The experience of editing CSS with the custom CSS editor in the WordPress Customizer must be as good or better than the experience of using a child theme.
The way custom CSS is loaded must be at least as efficient as the way child theme CSS is loaded.

A quick walk through the custom CSS editor will help us answer both of these questions, so let’s do that now.

Using the Additional CSS Menu in the WordPress Customizer

The new custom CSS editor can be found by going to Appearance > Customize, and then selecting the Additional CSS option from the Customizer menu.

Clicking on the Additional CSS menu item opens up a new menu with a text area in which you can type custom CSS.

The custom CSS editor works quite nicely. Pressing tab creates an indent rather than jumping to the next field. So you can actually indent your CSS properly for easier reading. In addition, all CSS edits are rendered automatically. In other words, the Additional CSS feature is a live CSS editor — no refreshing, your changes are previewed immediately as you type them.

Additional CSS Menu: User Experience

So how does this user experience offered by the Additional CSS Customizer menu compare to the experience of using a child theme to edit CSS?

Frankly, there’s no comparison. The Additional CSS Customizer menu is a hands-down winner in due to three factors.

1. Using the custom CSS editor in the admin area is just easier.

Editing CSS in a child theme involves the use of an FTP client and local text editor or the file editor built into WordPress. Both of these options offer a far less polished experience.

2. Using the custom CSS editor is safer.

Editing a child theme often involves making edits to the live site. On the other hand, the Additional CSS menu keeps those edits safely in the confines of the Customizer so that your changes won’t be seen by users until you hit Save and Publish.

3. Using the custom CSS editor is faster.

The live preview feature built into the custom CSS editor will speed up your development work since you don’t have to wait for page refreshes to view the effect of each change.

It’s clear that the experience of using the Additional CSS menu in the WordPress Customizer is a vast improvement over using a child theme to add custom CSS, but what about the way the custom CSS is loaded?

Additional CSS Menu: Custom CSS Loading Mechanism

Suspecting that the custom CSS would simply be inlined in the head of the web page HTML, I added a comment to the custom CSS to make it easy to spot. Sure enough, when I viewed the page source code I found the custom CSS right where I expected to find it: inlined just before the closing head tag.

The fact that the custom CSS is added to the head of the website HTML has at least two implications:

No additional HTTP requests are required to fetch the custom CSS. This is in contrast to CSS added to a child theme which does require an additional HTTP request unless the file is combined with other resources.
The custom CSS will not be cached but will have to be downloaded, processed, and rendered by the browser on every page load.

What this means is that the method used to load the CSS added to the Additional CSS menu is ideal for relatively small amounts of CSS — a few dozen or even a hundred lines of CSS will load just fine this way. However, this method is not ideal if you’re going to be writing hundreds or thousands of lines of CSS to customize your theme.

Inlining CSS into the head of an HTML document is a double-edged sword.

  1. It removes the CSS as a render-blocking resource and eliminates an extra HTTP request — both great things.
  2. It increases the size of the HTML document and means that user browsers won’t cache the custom CSS — both not-so-great things.

If we’re talking about just a little CSS, then this arrangement is perfectly fine and may even produce a modest boost in overall site performance. However, if we’re talking about loads of CSS, then this method is not perfectly fine and should be avoided.

Who Can Stop Using a Child Theme With WordPress 4.7?

Let’s pull together everything we’ve learned to draw some conclusion.

Here’s the bottom line. Whether or not you can stop using a child theme when WordPress 4.7 rolls around depends on what you’re using child themes for. There are generally three types of child theme users, and only one of these three types of users will be able to stop using child themes when WordPress 4.7 rolls out.

1. The Developer: Keep Using a Child Theme

This type of user uses child themes to create custom page templates, implement custom functions, add JavaScript and jQuery, and write custom CSS. This sort of user will need to keep using a child theme since the custom CSS editor can’t be used to create page templates or write anything other than CSS.

2. The Website Builder: Keep Using a Child Theme

This type of user often uses one basic parent theme that they know quite well along with hundreds or thousands of lines of CSS and JavaScript to create a wide range of websites. This type of user will also need to keep using child themes. The custom CSS editor does not provide a way to add custom JavaScript, nor is the CSS loading mechanism the ideal way to load hundreds or thousands of lines of CSS.

3. The Theme Tweaker: Can Choose to Stop Using a Child Theme

This type of user writes a few dozen lines of code to make minor styling adjustments — a little padding here, a new font size there, a little margin over here, and so forth. This type of user is a perfect candidate to discontinue the use of child themes and use the new custom CSS editor to make minor styling adjustments.

Wrapping Up

When WordPress 4.7 arrives like an early Christmas present during the first week of December there will several new features worth checking out. Not least among these is the new Additional CSS menu added to the Customizer.

This new live CSS editor makes it easier than ever to add custom CSS to any WordPress website, and users who use child themes purely for minor CSS edits will be able to drop that practice and use this new core feature instead.

Related posts:

  1. How to Create a WordPress Child Theme WordPress themes can be amazing but there are so many…
  2. How to Automagically Create Child Themes in WordPress Make it is as easy as possible for theme users…
  3. How to Add Custom CSS to Your WordPress Site: 3 Methods Explored There’s more than one way to add custom CSS to…
  4. 5 Free CSS Plugins for Live Editing Your WordPress Site Fine-tune the styling of your WordPress website with live editing….

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If you have limited internet data plan or have an old PC that can’t handle your browsing needs, then you could try make your browser more resource-friendly. This means there are tweaks you can do to make your browser use less resources.

10 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Opera Browser Right Now

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10 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Opera Browser Right Now

Opera is one of the most underrated browsers out there. Even though it usually pops up in the…Read more

I’m using Opera browser to demonstrate how to do this, but the tweaks below can also be done in other popular browsers. You just have to search for the options yourself and may also have to get help from third-party browser extensions.

Good To Know: Do keep in mind that a resource friendly browser is snappier and also loads webpages faster. If you are looking for faster browsing instead, then the below tips will be helpful.

1. Disable images

I always keep images disabled while browsing and there are many good reasons to do so. Images are heavy and use loads of internet data, most of them are only for attraction, they reserve huge space on web pages (more scrolling) and I also personally find most images to be distracting.

Focusing on the resources side, an image heavy page is usually of 2-5 MBs. By disabling images, you can make that webpage use only 200-300 KB. Of course this will lead to using less internet data and also speed up page loading time.

Both Opera and Chrome have this setting built-in, but you may have to use a third-party extension in other browsers.

In Opera:

  1. go to “Settings” from the main Opera menu and move to “Websites” section
  2. Here, under the “Images” heading, select the option “Do not show any images".
  3. You can also click on the “Manage exceptions” button below to whitelist websites you want to see images on.

2. Make plug-in content “Click to play”

Embedded videos, widgets, and other flash-based content you see on webpages are all plug-in content. These contents are heavy on both PC and internet resources — and they are not always useful.

Set plug-in content to “Click to play”, and no plug-in content will be loaded automatically on web pages; a simply click on it will play it. This option is available in almost all browsers.

In Opera:

  1. Go to “Websites” section in the “Settings“.
  2. Select the option “Click to play” under “Plug-ins” heading. Now you will see a play button on web pages with plug-in content.

3. Compress Internet data

Opera has a built-in data compression system that will compress unencrypted webpages (HTTP) to decrease their size. Thus the webpages will eat less internet bandwidth and also load faster.

From the main Opera menu at the top left corner, select “Opera Turbo” to turn on this feature. In Chrome and Firefox, you can use the extension Data Saver for Chrome and Google DataSaver for Firefox.

Note: While using this feature your unencrypted data goes through the service provider’s servers (Opera or Google in this case). Privacy conscious people may not be comfortable with this approach.

4. Disable JavaScript

All the cool things you see on websites, such as drop down menus, smooth image transitions, moving text, content revealing as you scroll, changing text and everything that makes you go wow are thanks to JavaScript.

However, these cool things also eat up a lot of resources. You can disable JavaScript to sacrifice all these cool functions. While this isn’t a recommended option for daily browsing, your browser will use less resources.

To disable JavaScript in Opera:

  1. Go to “Websites” section in the “Settings”
  2. Under “JavaScript” heading, select “Do not allow any site to run JavaScript".

Most other browsers also have this option baked into settings.

Disabling this might not affect your experience but it could possibly even break the site you are visiting. It all depends on how much JavaScript the site uses.

5. Block ads

Ads power the free Internet we get to enjoy today, but when you have to budget the resources your browser can have access to, ads are probably top on the list of things that have to go. You can use the popular Adblock Plus extension that supports most popular browsers.

In Opera you can take advantage of the built-in ad blocker that is lighter than any other third-party ad blocker. Go to “Basic” section in Opera “Settings” and enable “Block ads” option.

Just like other ad blockers, you can create custom block lists and whitelist website.

Blocking ads is a great way to save resources, but do remember to whitelist websites you care about as they depend on the ad revenue to offer their services.

6. Block cookies

I’m not recommending that you disable all types of cookies as cookies allow websites to identify you when you revisit them and help you easily login or continue where you left off.

However, blocking third-party cookies can be good as they are usually used by third-party websites to track your activity for analysis and advertising purposes. You can disable third-party cookies in all popular browsers.

In Opera, move to “Basic” section in the “Settings” and select the option “Block third-party cookies” under “Cookies” heading.

Of course, you can also completely disable cookies from the same options, but it will surely affect your browsing experience.

7. Use Opera battery saver [Opera Only]

Opera has a built in battery saver mode that puts less pressure on the CPU and makes other tweaks such as pausing theme animations, reducing background tabs activity and pausing unused plugins to increase laptop battery life up to 50%.

This mode will not save RAM or Internet resources, but making less use of CPU is a good thing as well. In my normal Opera usage without battery saver mode, my CPU spikes to as high as 36%, but with battery saver the highest spike was 14%.

Also, the spikes were less frequent while in Battery saver mode compared to normal mode.

To enable Opera Battery saver, go to “Basic” section of Opera “Settings” and check the checkbox next to “Enable battery saver“.

If you have a laptop, Opera offers different trigger options to automatically enable battery saver function.

8. Disable hardware acceleration

When hardware acceleration is enabled, your browser will take advantage of your PC GPU to play browser-based games, videos and other heavy media content. Of course this means that hardware acceleration will put pressure on the GPU (video card).

Hardware acceleration should be disabled if you think your PC GPU should be used for more "important" things (like PC games) than the content inside the browser.

All popular browsers support this feature, in Opera you will find this option in the “Browser” section of the “Settings“. Under System, disable "Use hardware acceleration when available" to save PC resources. Enable it if you want to speed up the browser.

9. Delete unrequired extensions

Extensions use a lot of PC and internet resources as they continuously work in the background to provide their services and also exchange data. Try to keep only the important extensions in your browser and remove all the unrequired ones.

I also recommend you disable the extensions that you use infrequently. Whenever you need service of such an extension, just enable it, use it and then disable it again.

10. Ditch your VPN for built-in VPN [Opera]

If you use a VPN service to browse anonymously and access blocked websites, then Opera’s free built-in VPN might entice you.

VPN software are usually heavy on your PC resources and slow down browsing by a lot; and not to mention the monthly fee you have to pay. Opera’s built-in VPN is extremely light, has very small impact on browsing speed and it is completely free without any strings attached. If you will use Opera’s VPN, you are saving resources and money!

Go to “Privacy & security” section in Opera “Settings” and check the checkbox next to “Enable VPN” to enable it.

Now you will see a “VPN” at the start of the address bar that you can click on to enable/disable VPN and choose virtual locations.

This tip will only be useful for you if you are already using another VPN service. If you don’t use a VPN service (and don’t know its caveats), then enabling Opera VPN will actually lead to slowing down your browsing a bit and putting more pressure on your PC.

A good practice

Along with all the above tips, you should also make a habit of cleaning browser data every now and then to keep your browser light. Too much browsing data will make your browser slow and heavy on the PC. All browsers have options to clear browsing data.

In Opera, you can move to “Privacy & security” section in “Settings” and click on “Clear browsing data” button under “Privacy” heading.

You will see all the data that you can delete, just check the checkbox next to what you would like to delete and click on the “Clear browsing data” button below to delete it.

I don’t recommend you delete passwords and form data as it is important for automatically logging into websites and filling forms.

Is your browser lighter now?

After following all the tips above, your browser should be light as a feather. These tweaks do lead to sacrifices in features, but in most cases it should not affect your browsing too much and you should be able to browse smoothly. Do let us know in the comments which tips you followed and how they worked out for you.

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The best designers are lifelong students. While nothing beats experience in the field, the amount of helpful online resources certainly helps keep our knowledge sharp.

In this post, I’ve rounded up some useful e-books that provide excellent UX advice and insights.

1. Bright Ideas for User Experience Designers

This is a free e-book by usability consultancy firm Userfocus. The best part of this book is its casual tone. Acronyms like "the CRAP way to usability" and The Beatles analogies make remembering the book’s lessons a lot easier, and makes for an interesting read. That’s why this book is one of my favorites.

2. 50 User Experience Best Practices

As the book’s title implies, 50 User Experience Best Practices delivers UX tips and best practices. It delves into subjects such as user research and content strategy. One of the secrets to this book’s success is its creative and easy-to-comprehend visuals. This e-book was written and published by the now-defunct UX design agency, Above the Fold.

3. UX Design Trends Bundle

Over at UXPin, my team and I have written and published a lot of free e-books. For this post, I’d like to specifically highlight our UX Design Trends Bundle. It’s a compilation of three of our e-books: Web Design Trends 2016, UX Design Trends 2015 & 2016, and Mobile UI Design Trends 2015 & 2016. Totaling 350+ pages, this bundle examines over 300 excellent designs.

4. UX Storytellers: Connecting the Dots

Published in 2009, UX Storytellers: Connecting the Dots, continues to be a very insightful read. This classic e-book stays relevant because of its unique format: It collects stand-alone stories and advice from 42 UX professionals. At 586 pages, there’s a ton of content in this book. Download it now to learn about the struggles — and solutions — UX professionals can expect to face.

5. The UX Reader

This e-book covers all the important components of the UX design process. It’s full of valuable insights, making it appealing to both beginners and veterans alike. The book is divided into five categories: Collaboration, Research, Design, Development, and Refinement. Each category contains a series of articles written by different members of MailChimp’s UX team.

6. Learn from Great Design

Only a portion of this book, 57 pages, is free.

In this e-book, web designer Tom Kenny does in-depth analyses of great web designs, pointing out what they’re doing right, and also what they could do better. For those that learn best by looking at real-world examples, this book is a great read.

The full version of this e-book contains 20 case studies; the free sample only has 3 of those case studies.

7. The Practical Interaction Design Bundle

I’ll end this list with another UXPin selection. This bundle contains three of our IxD e-books: Interaction Design Best Practices Volume 1 and Volume 2, as well as Consistency in UI Design.

Interaction Design Best Practices Volume 1 covers the "tangibles" — visuals, words, and space — and explains how to implement signifiers, how to construct a visual hierarchy, and how to make interactions feel like real conversations.
Interaction Design Best Practices Volume 2 covers the "intangibles" — time, responsiveness, and behavior — and covers topics from animation to enjoyment.
Consistency in UI Design explains the role that consistency plays in learnability, reducing friction, and drawing attention to certain elements.

Altogether, the bundle includes 250 pages of best practices and 60 design examples.

Did I leave out your favorite UX e-book? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Jerry Cao is a content strategist at UXPin. In the past few years, he’s worked on improving website experiences through better content, design, and information architecture (IA). Join him on Twitter: @jerrycao_uxpin.

Read Next

Quick Overview of User Experience for Web Designers

Creating a Timeless User Experience

10 Free Web Design Books Worth Reading

10 Awesome UX Podcasts

The post 7 Free UX E-Books Worth Reading appeared first on Six Revisions.

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iOS device owners may want to be very careful about the links they receive as users are reporting that a video is going around that will crash iOS devices when viewed through Safari.

What the Dropbox Hack Can Teach You About the State of Web Security

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What the Dropbox Hack Can Teach You About the State of Web Security

In the past week, Dropbox had been making headlines over a hack which saw the email addresses and…Read more

First reported on reddit, it appears that this particular MP4 video causes a memory leak of sorts that would eventually result in a frozen device once viewed through the Safari browser.

This video will cripple any device that runs on almost any iOS version, beginning with iOS 5. This means that your iPod, iPhone and iPad are equally susceptible to the memory leak caused by the video. If you would like to see this problem in action, here’s a video of it by EverythingApplePro.

Fortunately, the damage the video does to iOS devices seems to be limited to a frozen device. No known backdoors or malicious code were installed by this video, so it appears that it is more of a nuisance rather than an outright sinister attempt to compromise your devices.

If you rather not be affected by the memory leak, the easiest thing you could do to prevent it from happening to you is to not click on unknown links that are provided by strangers.

Currently, the video is known to be hosted on vk.com and testtrial.site90.net, so ignoring unknown links from those addresses would be a good idea.

In the event that you’ve stumbled upon the video completely by accident, all you really need to do to unfreeze your device is to hard reset it. Once done, you’ll be able to use your device as per usual.

How to Secure Your Computer from Identity Thieves

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How to Secure Your Computer from Identity Thieves

Identity theft is a nightmare everyone could experience. It can affect individuals, businesses and even government agencies that…Read more

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Image 0585-01-filezilla.png

Transferring files to and from your web host or server is best done with what’s commonly known an FTP client, though the term is a bit dated because there are more secure alternatives such as SFTP and FTPS.

When I was putting together this list, this was my criteria:

Supports secure file transfer protocols: FTP isn’t secure. Among its many flaws, plain FTP doesn’t encrypt the data you’re transferring. If your data is compromised en route to its destination, your credentials (username and password) and your data can easily be read. SFTP (which stands for SHH File Transfer Protocol) is a popular secure alternative, but there are many others.
Has a GUI: There are some awesome FTP clients with a command-line interface, but for a great number of people, a graphical user interface is more approachable and easier to use.

1. FileZilla

Topping the list is FileZilla, an open source FTP client. It’s fast, being able to handle simultaneous transmissions (multi-threaded transfers), and supports SFTP and FTPS (which stands for FTP over SSL). What’s more, it’s available on all operating systems, so if you work on multiple computers — like if you’re forced to use Windows at work but you have a Mac at home — you don’t need to use a different application for your file-transferring needs.

Available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux

Download here

2. Cyberduck

Cyberduck can take care of a ton of your file-transferring needs: SFTP, WebDav, Amazon S3, and more. It has a minimalist UI, which makes it super easy to use.

Available on Windows and Mac OS

Download here

3. FireFTP

This Mozilla Firefox add-on gives you a very capable FTP/SFTP client right within your browser. It’s available on all platforms that can run Firefox.

Available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux

Download here

4. Classic FTP

Classic FTP is a file transfer client that’s free for non-commercial use. It has a very simple interface, which is a good thing, because it makes it easy and intuitive to use. I like its "Compare Directories" feature that’s helpful for seeing differences between your local and remote files.

Available on Windows and Mac OS

Download Here

5. WinSCP

This popular FTP client has a very long list of features, and if you’re a Windows user, it’s certainly worth a look. WinSCP can deal with multiple file-transfer protocols (SFTP, SCP, FTP, and WebDav). It has a built-in text editor for making quick text edits more convenient, and has scripting support for power users.

Available on Windows

Download here

Honorable Mention: Transmit

For this post, I decided to focus on free software. But it just doesn’t seem right to leave out Transmit (which costs $34) in a post about FTP clients because it’s a popular option used by web developers on Mac OS. It has a lot of innovative features and its user-friendliness is unmatched. If you’ve got the cash to spare and you’re on a Mac, this might be your best option.

Source: panic.com

Available on Mac OS

Download Here

Which FTP client do you use?

There’s a great deal of FTP clients out there. If your favorite FTP client isn’t on the list, please mention it in the comments for the benefit of other readers. And if you’ve used any of the FTP clients mentioned here, please do share your thoughts about them too.

Jacob Gube is the founder of Six Revisions. He’s a front-end developer. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post The 5 Best Free FTP Clients appeared first on Six Revisions.

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Image 0595-01-excuses-for-not-having-a-website-infographic.jpg

With 84% of American adults using the Internet, it’s surprising to think that many organizations today, particularly small businesses, still choose not to invest a bit of time and resources towards building their own website.

The following infographic reveals common excuses why 46% of small businesses still don’t have a website, with counter-arguments for each excuse.

If you need to talk to a prospective client who has apprehensions about having a website, why don’t you show them this infographic?

View Larger Version

This infographic was first published on RapidWebLaunch Blog. It has been republished here with permission from the creator.

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Patrick Antinozzi is the owner of RapidWebLaunch. Follow his journey to build a location-free business on his blog and newsletter. When he’s not building things online, you’ll find him playing hockey or ranting about the Montreal Canadiens.

The post The Excuses for Not Having a Website (Infographic) appeared first on Six Revisions.

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Image deposit-photos.jpg

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily

Whenever I need an image for a blog post, I immediately start looking at free stock photo sites. There aren’t too many good ones out there, but it’s worth a shot to save a little money.

If my efforts fail, I then move onto the paid, royalty-free stock photo sites, where I utilize some of my subscriptions. The only thing is that I’m a writer/hobbyist developer. Therefore, my need for photos is not nearly as thirsty as someone who actually makes money as a designer.

Regardless, most paid stock photo sites make it difficult for designers, since you generally end up getting far too many photos for a subscription, or the on-demand plans drain your wallet.

Most stock photo companies don’t have that in-between plan with reasonable monthly rates for maybe a few dozen photos per month.

Until now.

The Depositphotos.com website recently came out with a Flexible Plan, which is far more suitable for mid-sized companies and designers.

The company seems to have talked to some of its customers to understand what they are looking for, and I’m certain they discovered a group of users who are unsatisfied with the current price offerings of most stock image sites.

Therefore, keep reading to learn a little more about the new Flexible Plan, along with which industries and companies might find it useful.

How does the New, Flexible Pricing Help Designers?

Here’s the deal: The Flexible Plan from Depositphotos.com goes for $29 per month. With that, you gain access to 30 high-resolution photos, all of which you can immediately download at any size or resolution.

In addition, you don’t have to utilize all of your downloads each month. So, if you have a slow month and leave five or ten of the images undownloaded, these roll over to the next month, saving you even more money.

Since some folks might go over the 30 image limit, the charge for going over is $1 per photo. This is far better than most on-demand plans in the industry, and you still receive access to the same library of over 50 million royalty-free options.

Furthermore, the Depositphotos.com library includes other items like vectors and videos. All of the photos and videos on the site have no expiration date, so you can log into your account and find your past purchases in case you need to download them again.

Oh yeah, and if you decide to pay for an entire year upfront, you save $49 overall.

How Does This Compare to the Other Plans?

Here’s where the true benefits come into view. The on-demand pricing starts at $99 for 25 images. On the other end of the spectrum you can choose a monthly subscription for $69 (giving you 75 images). Those are the lowest priced plans in those categories.

It’s easy to see that many designers and brands might not like this setup, considering a regular freelance designer might not ever use more than 30 images per month. On the other hand, you end up paying an insane amount of money per image if you go the on-demand route.

That’s why $29 per month for 30 images makes more sense. Heck, when you compare this to the $99 for 25 on-demand images, it’s pretty much a no-brainer.

Does the Depositphotos.com Library Have Worthwhile Photos and Videos?

As we talked about above, the Depositphotos.com site provides over 50 million images, vectors and videos. This is a solid selection, but what do the images actually look like?

After all, I’ve seen some huge libraries, but sometimes the stock images seem outdated-looking or corny.

However, that’s not the case with Depositphotos.com. I made a few simple searches for keywords like “office,” “tree,” “camping,” and “party.” The results were relevant, and I would be more than happy to use most of them for blog posts, ecommerce promotional banners, slider images and more.

Although I’m not as experienced with vectors and videos, these collections seem intriguing as well.

One of the things I noticed was that Depositphotos.com provides lists of popular searches, along with categories and collections. this way, designers can go in there to view pertinent collections, like for holidays and such.

Some Standout Features

My favorite part of the Depositphotos.com interface has to be the ability to Favorite certain photos for later use. An account must be created for this, but you can list and categorize your favorite images, just in case you’re preparing for a project into the future.

The lightbox preview of each image lets you share the item with friends. Not to mention, it displays a wonderful view of the image for seeing if you actually want to buy it.

It’s also nice that you receive an incredible amount of picture information from each option. For example, you can look at related photos for each one, while also searching for similar photos with the same models in them. The resolutions, sizes and formats are mentioned in the lightbox as well, along with a large Download button for when you’re ready to buy.

Finally, you do have the ability to create folders and share them with people in your organization. For example, a design company might have a group of people working on an email marketing campaign. If that’s the case, they’ll need to select certain photos to break up the text.

Instead of opening a Google Drive file, you can keep all of the photos on the Depositphotos website for quick and easy viewing. That’s all there is to it.

Who Should Consider Signing Up For The Depositphotos.com Flexible Plan?

I really like the Depositphotos.com Flexible plan for medium-sized companies and designers. Some bloggers might find it reasonable for their budgets as well.

The only reason I would go with a monthly plan is if my photo usage was far higher than 30 images per month. The on-demand plan doesn’t make any sense to me unless you’re only grabbing less than a handful of items per month.

Feel free to try out the new plan here, and let us know in the comments section if you have any thoughts about Depositphotos.com in general.

This post Depositphotos.com Gives Designers a More Affordable and Flexible Stock Photo Solution was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

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Image add-video.jpg

I am a photographer, a videographer, a designer, a writer, a marketer. I am not a developer… and I’m freaking out because I just finished building a WordPress theme from scratch – without writing a single line of code – with Upfront Builder.

Most people I know have no clue what it is that I actually do. They know it has something to do with websites, so I get asked to “develop” websites for family, friends, small businesses and nonprofit organizations all the time.

After about 15 minutes trying to explain that I am more of a WordPress implementor than a developer, I get nods that say “I have no clue what you’re talking about” followed by “So you can build me a site, right? Great!”

So it goes without saying that I’ve used just about every WordPress page builder and WordPress theme framework out there to create websites for needy entrepreneurs and great organizations looking to spread a message about a worthy cause. For my latest creation, I found myself diving head-first into Upfront with Builder and I can honestly say Upfront Builder needs a whole new WordPress theme category of its own.

Check out my site! It looks pro, right? Upfront makes it easy to add videos, contact forms and other elements from the drag-and-drop front end visual editor.

Upfront Builder Is One-Of-A-Kind

I know what you’re thinking: every time a WordPress page builder or WordPress theme framework gets an update it’s “revolutionary,” “a game changer” and “WordPress will never be the same again!” In great anticipation, we install whatever new earth shattering innovation we’ve stumbled upon and to our dismay we discover it’s just another take on front-end drag-and-drop customization for WordPress themes. Maybe a pretty new UI. Maybe a more intuitive user experience. But almost every WordPress theme framework lets you do some form of front-end customization now.

We could get into a spitting match over who did it first and best, but WYSIWYG customization is already here to stay and the competitive space is just making visual WordPress theme customizers faster, better and easier to use.

As for Upfront, we are thankful for the role it has played in driving WordPress front-end theming forward, but the truth is Upfront was never meant to be a WordPress theme customizer – it was built to be something completely different.

Front-End Customizers Vs. The Upfront Builder

So what’s the difference? Upfront Builder not only lets you design, style and customize your WordPress theme from the Upfront drag-and-drop live preview visual editor, but when you’re finished you can bundle, export, and share (or even sell!) your Upfront theme – styles, formatting, embeds, images, copy, menus, layouts – the whole shebang.

Start from scratch, package and sell a final product without writing a line of code. Simple.

How I Built My First WordPress Theme Without Writing a Line of Code

Let me paint a picture for you. To start my new WordPress theme I gave it a title and clicked “Start Building.” That’s it!

Give your WordPress theme a title and click “Start Building”.

Upfront generated everything I needed to get started and took me to the editor so I could start creating using all the Upfront elements available in the visual editor. (Developers, think boilerplate – this is not just individual pages in a page builder.)

I then set my default color palette, fonts, and font sizes. It really helped speed up development when moving between page layouts.

Set global styles and regions to save a bunch of time.

I customized the pages I needed and created my own page templates – still no code. As I was laying out my home page template I found that I could make any region a global region that would populate across my entire site. This was another real time saver for things like headers, footers, and menus that needed to remain consistent across the entire site.

Tip: Keeping your regions organized can really speed up development and make later customizations easy.

I had my site pretty well mapped out, so for each new page I created a new layout. All the global elements would populate and then it was just an issue of dragging, positioning and scaling new elements for each page.

When my site was styled I activated the responsive checker and made little adjustments as needed so my site would look its best on any screen size.

Make sure your site looks great on every screen in responsive mode.

I can honestly say the most time-consuming part of building my first site was gathering the content. No way around it. Taking and editing pictures, writing copy, talking with the client and getting a clearer picture of what they wanted was time-consuming.

But with Upfront, I was able to complete a first draft of my entire website in less than a day of development.

And suffice it to say, my client was impressed with the turnaround.

Builder Magic

That’s amazing, but here’s the magic that really puts Upfront in a new category: when all my pages were formatted, all the images were embedded, and all the colors, and fonts, and forms were in place, I clicked “Download” and the theme package downloaded to my computer ready to share live on my client’s site.

I installed the zip file on a new Upfront enabled WordPress installation through the appearance tab (just like any other WordPress theme), clicked activate, and all my links, custom pages, menus, and styles populated perfectly.

Upload your new theme to any WordPress site.

I could just as easily change the images for stock photos and replace the copy with lorem ipsum and share or even sell my starter theme to other Upfront users. And now that Upfront Builder includes e-commerce integration, the sky’s the limit with Upfront.

It’s seriously a marketplace waiting to happen. Do yourself a favor and give Upfront Builder a spin. It’s included in your membership so you’ve got nothing to lose. Not a member? We’ll let you try it absolutely free. So really, nothing to lose.

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Image in-the-kitchen.jpg

When designing restaurant websites and food apps, you’d probably require using a lot of proper icons. That’s why we have put together a collection of 50 of the best food icons to fit in any design. These awesome icon sets include food, desserts, beverages, kitchen utensils, food items, and cooking tools to satisfy every need.

50+ High Quality & Free Symbol Fonts For Web Designers

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50+ High Quality & Free Symbol Fonts For Web Designers

Impressive-looking symbol fonts have been appearing all over the web in recent times, with the number of fonts…Read more

Here are 50 food and drink icon sets designed in flat, minimalistic and colorful styles. Just go to the primary source of each icon set and download it there.

In The Kitchen – Icon Set

Format: AI [Download]

Food icons

Format: Sketch, SVG [Download]

50 Flat Food and Drink Icons

Format: AI, PNG [Download]

Organic Food – Icon Set

[Download]

20 Food Icons

Format: EPS, PSD [Download]

Set of 30 Vector Line Icons

[Download]

40 Food Icons

Format: PSD, AI, PNG [Download]

Cooking icons set – free

[Download]

30 Foods Icons

Format: PSD [Download]

Cooking Vector Icons

Format: EPS, SVG [Download]

Vector Kitchen Utensils Illustration Set

Format: AI [Download]

Line Kitchen Items Icons

Format: SVG, Ai [Download]

Icons by Hour – 2pm (Sweet Treats)

Format: AI [Download]

Bar Icons

Format: PSD [Download]

Cutlery Icon Set

Format: AI, PSD, PNG [Download]

12 Food icons

Format: AI [Download]

Foodikons

Format: PSD [Download]

Food icon set

Format: AI [Download]

Food Icons

Format: AI [Download]

Retro Mexican Food Vector Icons

Format: AI [Download]

100 Colored Food Icons

Format: PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD [Download]

Italian Pizzas

Format: AI [Download]

Vector Cooking Stuff Icon Set

Format: AI [Download]

Foody Icons

Format: EPS [Download]

Fruity Icons PSD

Format: PSD [Download]

Floating Vector Line Icon Set

Format: EPS, AI [Download]

Colored Food Icons

Format: AI, EPS, PSD [Download]

Food Icons

Format: PSD [Download]

Sweet Treats

Format: AI, SVG [Download]

Picnic Line Icons

Format: AI [Download]

Vector Icons

Format: EPS [Download]

The Cafe

Format: EPS [Download]

Bangkok Street Food

Format: PSD [Download]

Food Icons

Format: AI, SVG [Download]

Beer Icons

Format: AI, SVG [Download]

Kitchen Set Icon

Format: EPS [Download]

Kitchen Icons Pack Vector

Format: AI [Download]

Pizza

Format: AI [Download]

Line Icons – Kitchen

Format: AI, SVG [Download]

Nucleo Food

Format: AI, SVG [Download]

Food Icons For Sketch

Format: Sketch [Download]

Food and Kitchen Supplies

Format: AI [Download]

56 Food Icons

Format: AI , EPS , SVG , PNG [Download]

Sustainable Food Production Icons Pack

Format: SVG, AI [Download]

Simple Food Icons

Format: AI [Download]

Baking Icon Set

Format: EPS, SVG [Download]

Baking Icon Set 2

Format: EPS, SVG [Download]

Vintage Kitchen Utensils Vector Icons

Format: EPS [Download]

Barbeque Icon Vector

Format: AI [Download]

Barbecue Icon Set

Format: EPS [Download]

20 Ultra Light and Elegant Fonts for Web Designers

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20 Ultra Light and Elegant Fonts for Web Designers

Along with color and layout selections, choosing the right font is essential for producing pretty much any good…Read more

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