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Planning the content for your blog can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, whether your are a novice or experienced blogger.  

Below are four resources that you can use to gain helpful tips and hints to help you plan, organize and deploy your content!

 




According to MarketingLand.com, 56% of traffic to the top websites is now via mobile devices. So is YOUR website responsive, and looking great while being so?

Here are a few ways to find out.

1 – Check on your own phone or tablet – this is an invaluable way to make sure that your mobile users are seeing your content the way you want it seen. Make note of any oddities such as cut-off text or images, menus not behaving properly or forms that are, for lack of a better word, wonky and send your findings to your web designer.

2 – Have a select group of friends test the site. Ask your friends and family to have a look at the site on their various devices and have them make the same observations as above. This way, you can see how your site responds to different devices and types- i.e. OS X vs Android  Have your friends give you their impressions as if they were customers/readers/prospective clients.

3 – Use your browser in Responsive View Mode. This feature of Firefox, Safari & Chrome will give you an idea of how your site will behave across different screen sizes so you can ensure consistency of design and content.  

In Firefox, go to Tools >> Web Developer >> Responsive Design View

In Safari, go to Develop >> Enter Responsive Design Mode.

In Chrome, install the Responsive Web Design Tester app.

These are just three of the ways you can test your site’s responsiveness before you go live. Once you have done your own testing – and BTW a true pro web designer will have done extensive testing BEFORE they make your site live, it’s always good to test yourself. Make careful notes about any issues and let your designer know ASAP of any issues encountered so your mobile site looks, and functions, just as well as your desktop site!

source: Marketingland.com

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One of the most important parts of the design of your website is the colour scheme.  A site with a cohesive look won’t distract your readers, allowing them to concentrate on your kick-ass content.   So does your colour scheme help or hurt your website?

Here are 3 things that guarantee that your colour scheme sucks.

  1. You don’t have a SINGLE main colour – Your website is full of brightly coloured things that clash or bash your readers eyes when they arrive.  Instead of using a riot of colours, choose a single main colour, either your favourite or one related to your site title, like my LusciousLime.com colour – #F2F5DB – a light lime green.   Having a SINGLE MAIN COLOUR gives the eyes of your readers a rest, allowing them to concentrate on your content.
  2. You think every element should be it’s own colour – H1 titles should be hot pink, H2 titles should be orange, links should be bright royal blue and all pictures should have a 10px giant brown border.  You get the idea.  In my opinion, you shouldn’t use more than three colours for your site to help you keep the visual distractions minimal.  A site with a multitude of non-complementary colours will only serve to confuse readers as they try to find the content in which they are interested.   Choose only TWO secondary colours using a colour scheme generator like the Paletton tool.
    • Use the Paletton colour wheel tool to develop your own colour scheme.  With it, you can create:
      • a monochromatic colour scheme – a variety of shades of one main colour
      • an adjacent colour scheme – uses colours adjacent to your main colour on the colour wheel
      • a triad scheme – the tool uses your main colour as the starting point and then gives you two other colours equally spaced out on the colour wheel
      • there are two other options, but I only recommend using 3 colours max!
  3. Ignore white space – In conjunction with a pleasing colour scheme to help readers focus on your content, you should also have plenty of white space to give the readers eyes a rest.  Having a zillion items crammed into the space on your webpage only serves to further frustrate readers and prevent them from coming back.  Judicious use of white space allows the eyes to relax and can help highlight the important content you are trying to have read!

A well-though out colour scheme will encourage your audience to focus on your content.  By choosing a single main colour, two complementary colours and using lots of white space, you will create a better experience for your readers, which will encourage them to come back time and again for your great content!

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I saw the most brilliant subscriber confirmation page this morning when I followed a Pinterest link.
I subscribed to a free report and was inspired by the confirmation page and it’s content. I’ve set up a my own page to show you what it looks like, but I won’t share the URL of Rebekah’s site since it contains a download link and it’s not fair to show the actual page from SimplyRebekah.com.
I created mine using the W4 Post List plugin to show a bulleted list of 4 posts to promote my latest content.
Here is my confirmation page – minus the download!
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[et_pb_section][et_pb_row make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” use_custom_gutter=”off” padding_mobile=”off” allow_player_pause=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” make_equal=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]In December of 2013, ElegantThemes.com released a theme called Divi and it was truly a game changer.

I jumped on the bandwagon in June 2015 with Divi 2.4 and I love it so much I’ve moved my two major sites (www.lusciouslime.com and www.lusciousplanner.com) to it and am moving my personal site (www.jillchongva.com) over as well.

I had been using another framework/child themes combo for years, but was never truly faithful to it.  When new themes like Avada, Enfold or X came along,  I gave them a try.  I wanted to be able to use a builder system that I could control (I’m a control freak!) and I loved the fact that I could create all sorts of page configurations that would highlight the content I wanted to showcase.

But I was always concerned about the “bloat” I saw in these themes.   One in particular added huge numbers of custom fields to enable their functions and it just didn’t sit well with me.

Enter Divi.

Well-coded and relatively easy to learn, I’m in love.  I have all the functionality of a builder system that I can control and though Divi has it’s hiccups, like all themes, it has literally thousands of options that allow me to fine-tune layouts, colour schemes, typography, video, audio and so on and so on.

There is also a great user group on Facebook, giving support for both experienced and novice users of the Divi builder.  There are over 5ooo members in the group who are more than willing to step in and share their knowledge of the builder, css, plugins, tips and tools for extending Divi even further.

You can see the Divi theme at ElegantThemes.com [affiliate link] and you can see some examples of it in use at Divi Theme Examples.

Overall, Divi is a great choice for those who want the flexibility of a builder while incorporating styling like some of the most popular themes on Theme Forest.

Interested in seeing what Divi can do for you? Fill out the form below and we can schedule an appointment to chat!

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My two new Divi sites ⤵︎
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I’m a font geek – no bones about it. I’ve loved text and type since I first got my mitts on my grandmothers typewriter in her home office in the 70’s – she was a girl ahead of her time for sure!

For the curious, here’s a great video called “The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing.” Indulge your inner typography geek!

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Are you a real estate agent who needs to give their website an update? Why not jazz up your real estate website with the AgentPress Pro Theme [affiliate link] from Studiopress.

AgentPress helps industry savvy real estate agents like you build a better business with its intuitive design, powerful functionality, and smart listings.

~from StudioPress.com

agentpressmobileThis full-width theme includes:

  • 4 different colour styles (blue, green, gold & red)
  • 6 layout styles
  • a mobile responsive layout
  • featured images
  • custom headers and backgrounds
  • a sidebar block gives you a place to collect leads
  • a block to engage with your prospective clients with a profile of you and links to your social media profiles

This beautiful theme will definitely boost your agency’s profile and allow your clients to engage with you easily and on their chosen platform.

 

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These are the kind of things that make designers want to stab themselves in the eye – a cornucopia of vague requests that make the skin of designers crawl!

10 – “Jazz it up!”

9 – “This will give you great exposure and bring in lots of business, so can you do it for free?”

8 – “It looks so easy it should only take you five minutes!”

7 – “Can you send me a high res image?” and the client sends a 150px x 150px jpg

6 – “Can you just remove the watermark from these images so we can use them?”

5 – “Can you just copy everything from website x and put our logo on it?”

4 – “But the website doesn’t look right when I print it!”

3 – “Can you rotate that image so we see the peoples faces instead of their backs?”

2 – “I don’t like it.” “What specifically don’t you like?” “I’m not sure, I just don’t like it!”

1 – “Make it pop!”

With much love to ClientsfromHell.net for their continued inspiration 🙂

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Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.

~via Smashing Magazine >> READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE

So what that means is that we, as web designers, are moving toward making sites all inclusive and more functional for mobile browsing. This means that when planning a layout, we take into account that some will view our site on a large desktop monitor, and others will view it on an iPhone. We create code that will scale images and text to fit a smartphone, while creating a layout that is pleasing on a wide screen monitor.

In WordPress, there are a couple of solutions.

First, adding a mobile theme. There are some themes available that produce a mobile version of your website for iPhone/Smartphone users. Simply add the theme to your site and fill in all the details.

Second, WordPress theme creators are now taking “responsive” layouts into account and are creating themes that do the heavy lifting for you. In the next few months I think we will start to see themes that are created with that specific agenda – being well done when viewed on a desktop or smartphone – in mind to make them more attractive to the forward thinking designers.

Your thoughts?