Trends – Envato https://envato.com Design & creative inspiration Thu, 26 Apr 2018 06:54:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 https://assets.wordpress.envato-static.com/uploads/2016/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Trends – Envato https://envato.com 32 32 Best WordPress Blogging Themes https://envato.com/blog/best-wordpress-blogging-themes/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:54:01 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68395 Blogging is a powerful form of personal and commercial representation online. Whether it involves establishing a brand, authoring editorials on lifestyle topics, driving traffic to earn affiliate income, or really anything regarding creating content, WordPress offers the most efficient method of creating blogs. And WordPress themes make it easy to enhance your blog with professional-level […]

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Blogging is a powerful form of personal and commercial representation online. Whether it involves establishing a brand, authoring editorials on lifestyle topics, driving traffic to earn affiliate income, or really anything regarding creating content, WordPress offers the most efficient method of creating blogs.

And WordPress themes make it easy to enhance your blog with professional-level designs. The following 10 WordPress themes are a great place to start if you’re looking for a theme for your new blog or want to give your existing site a new look.

What Features to Look For in Blogging Themes

So, what do you expect from a theme? And what do you intend to do with your WordPress site?

Answering these questions with a few tips on what makes a great wordpress theme, will allow you to make the best decision. There are some features that might help you decide if the theme is right for you.

Plugins

Some themes come bundled with plugins. This can be extremely helpful when building a blog from scratch. For instance, Visual Composer allows you to create your site using front-end editing. WooCommerce provides for e-commerce integration. Ultimate Addons offers various design tweaks. And so on.

Looking at the scope of plugins allows you to pick a theme specific to your needs. No need for dedicated e-commerce features? You can skip WooCommerce. Need a lot of assistance with the design of buttons, tabs, colors, or anything else? Make sure the theme has Ultimate Addons. You get the idea.

Social Accessibility

Making sure a theme provides all the elements necessary for sharing your content is an indisputable feature. Certainly something to note, I’ve made sure the 10 blogging themes selected are up to par with the most common social venues (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).

Ease of Use

The whole point of WordPress is a streamlined, front-end experience that doesn’t require a curriculum of study for you to use it. With this in mind, a WordPress theme, regardless of the depth it offers, should be optimized for ease of use. You can have a tremendous amount of customization options and utility, however, these features need to be presented in an accessible and organized manner. You shouldn’t be digging for ideas from a theme, they should pop-out, and be something that naturally connects to your ideas.

Demos

This term refers to that of a pre-built web page. The ability to create said page in a single click makes this method very attractive. As someone who works in the music industry, creating a beat or sound clip every single time would be an unnecessary workload. Demos allow you to create your WordPress site as streamlined as possible giving you the ability to focus on your actual content.

Top 10 WordPress Blogging Themes

Newspaper is the ultimate theme for creating an electronic newspaper. You will have access to all the tools you need to create and customize your blog. Every facet is covered from typography to customizable layouts, including those for magazines. One-click demo pages are also included so you can focus on the content. The theme’s optimized design and excellent customer support round off the feature set nicely. If you’re building any high-volume news blog, you can rest assured all the features are up-to-date, and social media integration ensures you can get the word out.

Other features include:

  • Ultimate Typography
  • 400+ templates
  • Unlimited sidebars
  • Custom widgets
  • Custom page builder elements
  • Google Adsense
  • Built-in review system
  • BuddyPress, and bbPress support
  • Built on TagDiv framework

This expansive theme offers grand variety and is loaded with features. With a wide selection of layouts to choose from for news, magazine, and contemporary editorial and blogging layouts, this theme is a one-click solution for instantly creating pages. You also have support for the top plugins and the theme is optimized for SEO.

Some notable features include:

  • 650+ Google Web fonts
  • 40+ shortcodes
  • Built-in review system
  • Free premium plugins, iLightBox, Instagramy, Taqyeem
  • RTL and WPML support
  • 35 custom widgets, including social counter widget, weather, newsletters, banners, and much more

If highlighting the latest scoop is your thing, or you just want space for editorials, SimpleMag is the best theme for feature articles. Focused on layouts befitting magazine articles, you get access to one-click demos for instant pages, with post layout design options to make your blog posts defined their topics. SimpleMag includes several features to make sure your blog stands out:

  • AJAX mega menus
  • SEO optimized
  • Full WPML support
  • Multiple Ad placeholders
  • bbPress
  • Responsive design

Norge offers ease of use and a feeling of space. With it’s attractive web design, you get several options to brand a unique-looking blog, including:

  • 5 different post types
  • 15+ content elements
  • An array of widgets to choose from
  • Retina-ready
  • Responsive design

A personal blog needs to be unique and convey your identity. Versaille approaches this concept with a beautiful, artistic design, built on natural curves, flowing connections, and an all around organic, yet contemporary feel. A design great for guiding the visitor eye toward your content.

Built to catch the eye, this fashion-oriented theme is perfect for offering highly captivating pages that give equal footing for text and Images. Katharine offers some great features including:

  • 600+ Google web fonts
  • Plugin support for Contact Form 7, MailChimp, and WPML
  • Retina-ready
  • Friendly 5-star support

The minimalistic design of Richter allows for a modern and content-focused presentation. Developed with SEO in mind, along with a decent amount of customizability, Richter is perfect for blogs focused on presenting high-quality Image galleries, lifestyle content, or any info that needs a crisp, fresh feel.

Soledad is a massive multi-concept theme. Hosting a wide breadth of features and utilities, I can only scratch the surface here.

One of my favorite features is the one-click demo installation. This allows you to literally make a homepage with a single click. 2000+ demos are provided, which can be edited to your liking. Some other great features include:

  • 800+ slider, blog, and magazine layout combinations.
  • Support the most essential plugins
  • Optimized for responsive design
  • Excellent page speed.
  • Mega menus
  • 400+ utility options
  • 32 premade slider styles,
  • Fully supported AMP

With both a light and responsive design, Rosemary is elegant. The five layouts offered give off an air of sophistication. With great post layout capabilities, you will be able to create a contemporary blog with a sharp look.

The simplistic and mature design of Hemlock is geared toward keeping focus on your actual content. Built as a single column design, the eye natural stays attuned to what your want your visitors to see. This theme is always being updated and provides great customer support.

Wrapping Up

All of these themes offer massive potential. But in the end, it’s the content you create that decides your journey. Even so, picking a solid blogging WordPress theme can help launch your next venture most effectively. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, a personal blogger, or a collaborator, the right blogging theme offers many advantages. Pair your theme selection with confidence and you will have taken the first step toward achieving your goals.

Now, find your perfect blog theme and start that journey!

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10 Best WordPress Themes for SEO

The streamlined versatility granted to you through the use of WordPress, in it’s simplistic and accessible approach, is one of the primary reasons for its

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10 Best WordPress Themes for SEO https://envato.com/blog/10-best-wordpress-themes-for-seo/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:39:44 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68379 The streamlined versatility granted to you through the use of WordPress, in it’s simplistic and accessible approach, is one of the primary reasons for its extensive use. Building on this idea through the use of WordPress themes, allows you to achieve success more readily. So today, I’ll be presenting the top 10 WordPress themes that […]

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The streamlined versatility granted to you through the use of WordPress, in it’s simplistic and accessible approach, is one of the primary reasons for its extensive use. Building on this idea through the use of WordPress themes, allows you to achieve success more readily. So today, I’ll be presenting the top 10 WordPress themes that emphasize SEO, in that they are optimized to give you a stronger presence in search engines, and to grant better visibility to potentially millions of users, daily.

These themes were designed to enhance your SEO presence, giving you a competitive advantage, while being more cost effective than hiring someone to manually achieve the same results. You’ll find these themes span the gamut of sub-specialties from portfolio sites to fundraising, so you’re certain to find something that works for you here.

Now, without further delay, here is our list: 

This theme is oriented toward websites looking to expand their potential in marketing. Both small and mid-sized businesses can benefit as well as growing brands, niche ventures, and the SEO industry itself.

With access to over ten optimally designed templates for a variety of needs including blogs, agencies, conferences, social media, and general marketing to name a few, this theme is built to be highly customizable. By using Visual Composer (one of the 72 free plugins included), you can drag-and-drop whatever you need, and manipulate the theme to your specifications, all while keeping it simple and without excess workload on your part.

Designed to optimize your SEO potential in the digital marketing field, it’s highly compatible with a wide variety of powerful plugins, and the coding is as clean and efficient as possible to allow greater speed grades (98% with Pingdom and 96% with GTMetrix). You get access to 12 distinct homepages, too.

Some stand-out features include:

  • Plugin compatibility with SEO in mind, to make sure the most powerful means of optimization are there. These include All-in-One SEO, Rankie, and Yoast. Compatibility is also available with general plugins including Visual Composer, WPML, Revolution Slider, and WooCommerce.
  • Numerous optimized layouts, that can be imported in a single click. Coded for page to page responsiveness. Large collection of homepages, SEO, and marketing pages.
  • Social sharing functionality and optimization, including widgets for the most popular sharing options, like Twitter and Instagram.

Built with a multipurpose design in mind, Digital Agency does excel in SEO considerably. It is highly customizable and easy to use. It is also highly responsive. But my favorite feature is its case studies template, allowing for great versatility in design that can be used with portfolios for impressive presentation.

Digital Agency features many great assets like Revslider, WooCommerce, Visual Composer, and Ultimate Addons which is optimized for SEO and gives you the ability to create any page you want. This, coupled with the provided customization utilities, allows for a totally custom look.

A theme with marketing and finance at the forefront, Markety can fill several needs when it comes to the online marketplace.

The design and graphics provided by Markety have an attractive and modern flair but it still feels organic and colorful. This theme provides a lot of features, giving you a rather versatile way of designing your website.

  • Over 100 shortcode elements, over 100 pages.
  • SEO optimized for all device platforms, with a responsive framework.
  • Cross-browser support.
  • Retina-ready graphics
  • Access to the most popular marketing plugins
  • Translation ready
  • Sidebar generator
  • MailChimp support
  • Great for beginners to WordPress, with helpful customer support

This theme is built on Bootstrap 3 and acts as a wonderfully responsive and optimized portfolio builder. With numerous one-click demo templates, 700+ Google fonts, translation-readiness, SEO-optimized coding, and a custom CSS field for controlling the appearance of HTML elements on your web page, Vivian makes it easy to achieve the look you want.

Oriented towards fundraising, Fundrize gives you access to development tools for many page types. However, there is a unique focus on tools meant for things like donations and fundraising. You can create fundraisers, community start-ups, and charity programs with the templates and custom widgets provided. SEO optimization makes it easier to get the attention of donors. All-in-all, a great theme to start your movement.

  • Responsive and retina-ready
  • Provides essential plugins, like Visual Composer, Revslide, and Contact Form 7.
  • Child theme compatible
  • Smooth Parallax functionality
  • Envato Toolkit Updates
  • And tons more.

Making sure your blog is SEO optimized means it’s going to be viewed more. The Writers theme does a good bit of this work for you. There are plenty of great blogs out there that get overlooked because they don’t rank well. You get all the essential features needed for both beginner and professional bloggers here including a collection of popular SEO plugins, more than 70 utility settings, and four widget areas.

An excellent theme focusing on parallax design, clean code, fast loading times, and a responsive layout. Great for agencies, portfolios, and personal, or corporate presentations. Candy is a great theme that focuses on a modern look.

Some features include:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • 3 unique layouts
  • Magnific popup
  • Ajax portfolio
  • Contact Form plugin
  • Beautiful templates representing quality and professionalism
  • Integrations with Google Maps, retina display.
  • Font Awesome & ionicons support

As the name suggests, this theme is certainly a gem, as it is packed with content and features. It comes with over 150 ready-to-use demo pages, eight ways to integrate navigation with 20 styles, and over 60 elements in over 250 styles. This allows for a multitude of layouts, including those specifically designed for blogs, portfolios, and more. This is just scratching the surface.

The Gem is optimized for SEO with clean code, responsiveness, and extensive plugin compatibility. Some great content includes:

  • 2500+ customizable font icons
  • 20+ custom widgets

The7 theme comes with a great front-end page builder, featuring content for launching many types of sites. You get 30 (and growing) pre-built sites that can then be customized to your liking, along with over 750 templates and over 250 settings for page building. A microsite template is also included to create landing pages and, one page sites.

The7 is SEO optimized, made to be lightweight and compatible with the most popular plugins, and is responsive across all media platforms. You also get six premium plugins including: Ultimate Addons, Convert Plus, WP Bakery, and Go Pricing.

Let’s face it: there are a lot of WordPress themes out there. But if you really want your site to have a strong chance at ranking well, considering an SEO-optimized theme is a worthy decision. Afterall, a SEO theme can put you shoulder to shoulder with what may be larger or more entrenched competitors, by giving you access to the same successful approaches they use.

Did you spot your favorite SEO WordPress theme on the list? If not, feel free to share it below.

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How to Increase ROI Through Your Website’s Footer https://envato.com/blog/how-to-increase-roi-through-your-websites-footer/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 01:48:47 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68369 Return on investment, or ROI, is a crucial component of any successful business strategy. It’s a calculation of how much you’ll benefit in return for the cost of a specific investment or venture. Although it may be simple to understand and calculate, it’s not quite so simple to achieve. To ensure you maintain a viable […]

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Return on investment, or ROI, is a crucial component of any successful business strategy. It’s a calculation of how much you’ll benefit in return for the cost of a specific investment or venture. Although it may be simple to understand and calculate, it’s not quite so simple to achieve. To ensure you maintain a viable ROI, you need to keep customer engagement and revenue as high as possible. In the modern world, engagement and revenue ratings are much more complex — even more so when you focus on the digital aspect of it all. For marketers, web designers and developers, the focus should always be on boosting engagement and conversions. Traffic matters, but not if you don’t have the sales or interactions to go with it. The beauty of web design is that there are many elements you can configure and optimize to boost total ROI. One particular element is the footer, or bottommost portion of your pages. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can make this happen.

1. Decide What You Want to Accomplish

Ask yourself this: What is it you want to achieve with your footer? Do you want to use it as a secondary call to action? Do you need an additional layer of navigation options? More importantly, how does it relate to your overall business goal? If you would rather build brand recognition and goodwill with your audience over making a sale, then it can offer another section to do that. There’s no wrong or right answer. It’s all about what you want for your design and audience, and what it is that you’d like to accomplish. Furthermore, by sticking to a main goal, you can keep your mission aligned across the board. Your site will offer one seamless, user-friendly experience. Creative agency Bluestag’s footer is a great example of this. It employs a minimal design, with just a single point of focus. The agency wants you to hire it, so that’s exactly what is proposed in the footer, along with information to make it happen. It’s simple yet elegant, and it works.

2. Include Your Must-Haves

These days you have to include a number of disclosures or credentials by default to build trust or to protect your company. This includes things like your terms of use, privacy policy, copyright notice, ad or affiliate link disclosure, and much more. If you don’t already have another place to display these, then so be it. Get them out of the way first, so that you can add a little more color to your footer. One of the best ways to incorporate them is to use a multilayer footer, so they have their own segment apart from everything else.

3. Mirror Your Primary Call to Action

Along with deciding what you want to accomplish with your footer, consider what you’re trying to do with your site. Do you want to sell a product or service, or would you rather boost exposure? Use this information to mirror your call to action. It might entail adding an inline contact form in your footer, adding an email submission or sign-up button, or even encouragement to visit your brick-and-mortar store. Whatever the case, the footer is another great place to include a secondary call to action. For instance, Reynolds Solutions has its 24-hour emergency number in the footer — it’s elsewhere on the page, too. This ensures that anyone spending time on the bottom still has access to the most important information.

4. Organize Your Items Logically

Whether you have a lot of elements in your footer or only a few, the structure is going to influence how effective your content is. If it’s all jumbled and confusing, you might as well have ignored the footer altogether. Organize your footer in a logical way so all the items and elements are paired and segmented appropriately. Most website themes and design tools already include some form of division for the footer area. Each section may be layered, or there may be dividers and segments included already. You see this a lot when a footer is used as another navigation menu. The hyperlinks are generally organized in various sections such as physical locations, services, contact info and more.

5. Get Social

Social media icons — with links to your active social accounts — are the obvious choice here. However, you can also include embed social feeds, recent comments or reviews, press mentions or anything else media-based. The idea is to boost ROI through social engagements. You can also embed social feeds in your footer, so audiences can see what you’ve posted recently or even interact with your social content. In the Behance footer, you can see all the social networks the brand participates on listed openly. This provides customers and visitors with an additional channel to interact with and follow news from the company.

6. Make It Useful

If your footer is just tacked on, with nothing useful or relevant, then it’s certainly not going to contribute anything to your bottom line. Using it for an additional navigation menu is one way to make it useful. You should also include important links and details. Another way to make it useful is to implement a unique content feed. You could deliver tips, advice and even small tutorials in your footer. What this does is draw attention to that area, while providing actionable information for your audience. Eye tracking studies show website readers pay closer attention to images such as infographics. In fact, they spend more time looking at the info-laden images than the text on the page. Use this to your advantage! The Spruce chose to include a secondary navigation menu, albeit with a custom theme and setup. Notice how the menu separates content into various categories? You can also see some of the other elements discussed in this guide, such as social icons, and the important links below the navigation buttons. On the right hand side of the footer is an animated GIF, following the unique content idea.

7. Shift the View

One element commonly found in footers is an option for audiences to return to the top of the page. It makes sense, considering they’ve likely scrolled quite a way down and the navigation option will jump you instantly to the top again. What if you structured your site so the focus shifted back to your call to action? Better yet, what if you used this feature to shift focus to an important section of your page? This highlights the idea that you can use the footer to shift the view of your customer to wherever it is you want them to be.

Keep It Simple

Most of these ideas align with a single concept: adhering to a simple, user-friendly element that doesn’t take away from the rest of the page. You’ll notice that a lot of sites that do it right tend to use minimal design techniques. There’s nothing wrong with being a little flashy, but you definitely don’t want to take away from the rest of your design. The art of using your site’s footer to boost ROI calls for a well-positioned, well-organized footer that enhances the user’s experience. You can do this by adding an additional navigation menu, by including your call to action another time, or even by providing direct links to social networks. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you follow this one basic rule: Keep it simple.

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10 Best PowerPoint Templates, April 2018 https://envato.com/blog/10-best-powerpoint-templates-april-2018/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:51:41 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68329 Here's our selection of the 10 best PowerPoint templates available right now. Whether you're doing a business or creative presentation, we've got you covered with this short list.

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Hello, and welcome to Envato’s list of the 10 Best PowerPoint Templates for 2018.

A clean, minimalist template, Mina comes with over 80 unique slide layouts in full HD resolution. It’s perfect for displaying design portfolios, and clean, professional business presentations.

  • Clean, minimalist design.
  • 80+ unique slide layouts.
  • Full HD resolution.
  • Good for design portfolios, and clean business presentations.

Universe is a striking dark-themed template set that will catch the eye. It comes with over 100 unique slide layouts with customizable shape colors, sizes, and positions. It also includes elegant transitions, and animations, company profiles, data-driven charts, and maps.

  • Striking dark-themed templates set.
  • 100+ unique slide layouts.
  • Customize color, size, and position of shapes.
  • Includes elegant transitions, and animations, company profiles, data-driven charts, and maps.

Vigil is a great presentation pack for any business. With over 500 editable font icons, drag and drop picture placeholders featuring auto-adjustment, team templates, iPhone, and iPad mockups, maps and more, you’ll find it worth considering for your next professional presentation.

  • 500+ editable font icons.
  • Drag and drop picture placeholders featuring auto-adjustment.
  • Team templates.
  • iPhone, and iPad mockups.
  • Map templates, and more.

Dream is an exciting new template pack that features a modern, and unique design. It’s very visual, bringing images to the forefront of your presentation. It’s great for creative portfolios, branding, and advertising presentations.

  • Modern, unique design.
  • Brings images to the forefront.
  • Great for creative portfolios, branding, and advertising presentations.

This presentation pack takes inspiration from the layouts of magazines, and breaks the mould of your typical PowerPoint presentation. Drop Creative is made up of unique layouts with elements like photos, and titles overlapping. The use of white space provides a freshness to the look, and makes your images, and text the star. And, the addition of gradient highlights add some welcome playfulness, and color. It’s a fantastic template pack for graphic, and photography portfolios. Good for creative presentations in general.

  • Takes inspiration from magazines.
  • Breaks mould of typical PowerPoint presentations.
  • Unique layouts with photos, and titles overlapping.
  • White space makes images, and text the star.
  • Fantastic for graphic, and photography portfolios.

With pastel gradients, layouts that space out elements, and astute use of white space, Creativa is modern, and calming. It feels youthful in the colors it uses, and finds a great balance between showcasing images, and text. It features computer, iPhone, and Samsung mockups. It also features unique layouts like pricing charts. I can see this working well for a presentation showcasing a new, youth-focused app.

  • Pastel gradients.
  • Spaced out elements.
  • Astute use of white space.
  • Modern, and calming.
  • Youthful colors.
  • Balances images, and text really well.
  • Computer, and phone mockups.
  • Pricing charts.
  • Would work well for showcasing a new app.

Business Proposal Pitch is one of the most comprehensive Corporate PowerPoint templates around. It includes over 120 slide layouts with templates for almost everything. It features graphs, tables, diagrams, maps, pricing pages, team pages, product mockups, and much more. It’s everything you need to slap a professional looking presentation together in no time.

  • 120+ slide layouts.
  • Graphs, tables, diagrams, maps.
  • Pricing pages, team pages, product mockups, and more.
  • Everything you need to slap together a professional presentation quickly.

Epic Presentation features 104 unique slide layouts, a wide range of color customization options, and some impressive animations. It comes with some different theme options, including a dark version, and provides templates for everything from infographics to calendars. Your presentation will be in vogue with this pack.

  • 104 unique slide layouts.
  • Wide range of color customization options.
  • Impressive animations.
  • Theme options including “dark version”.
  • Templates for everything from infographics to calendars.

Triangulum is a bold set of templates whose design centers mostly around its triangles. It features large, eye-catching headings, placeholders for charts, and infographics, and unique animations.

  • Bold template design centered around triangles.
  • Features large headings.
  • Placeholders for charts, and infographics.
  • Unique animations.

And finally, Simplicity is a comprehensive template set that features truly breathtaking design. With a simple, restrained color palette, a focus on high resolution images, and tidy layouts, it succeeds at being beautiful, and highly functional. There are 450 unique slide templates. It comes with layouts for almost everything. It also features a set of minimalist icons. With this pack, your presentation will be incredibly modern, and elegant.

  • Comprehensive template set with breathtaking design.
  • Simple, restrained color palette.
  • Focus on high resolution images, and tidy layouts.
  • Beautiful, and highly functional.
  • 450 unique slide templates.
  • Layouts for almost everything.
  • Minimalist icon set included.
  • Will make for a modern, elegant presentation.

That’s our list of the 10 Best PowerPoint templates for 2018.

You can find links to each one of them in the YouTube description. And you’ll find more PowerPoint templates on GraphicRiver.

Video credits

Music

Background footage

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Back in 15 Minutes: Best Practices for Closing Down Your Site For a Day https://envato.com/blog/back-in-15-minutes-best-practices-for-closing-down-your-site-for-a-day/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 05:56:23 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68045 Whether you need to perform site maintenance, close for the day for religious practices, or you just want to take a vacation, there are times when you might need to temporarily shut down your site. We analyze the three simple options available to ensure your site’s search presence isn’t affected by doing so.

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In today’s 24/7 digital world, even online businesses need to take a break once in a while. Whether you need to perform site maintenance, close for the day for religious practices, or you just want to take a vacation, there are times when you might need to temporarily shut down your site.

Sort of like putting a “back in 15 minutes” sign on the door of a physical store.

You might be wondering how shutting down your site might impact your SEO. Fortunately, according to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, there are three simple options available to ensure your site’s search presence isn’t affected:

  1. Block cart functionality
  2. Always show interstitial or pop-up
  3. Switch whole website off

Let’s look at these recommendations in more detail, and tools available in the CodeCanyon marketplace you can use when temporarily closing your site.

Image: Tim Mossholder.

1. Block Cart Functionality

If you run an online store but just want to stop customers from making purchases, the simplest approach is to disable your shopping cart. While there’s no simple way to disable cart functionality for a WooCommerce store, WisdmLabs offers a neat solution using the is_purchasable() function in WordPress.

As Mueller explains, shopping cart pages are usually blocked from search engine crawlers thanks to robot.txt files or blocked from indexing with a robots meta tag. This means that search engines won’t see or index products pages, so you don’t have to worry about any negative impact on your site when disabling your cart, displaying messages that inform customer about why they can’t make a purchase, or if you decide to switch out your cart page for a landing page that explains why your site is closed.

Image: Online shopping concept.

2. Always Show Interstitial or Pop-Up

If you want to shut down your whole site for a period of time, it’s a good idea to display some kind of “We’re closed today!” message, informational page, or pop-up. In this instance, Mueller recommends that your server should return a 503 HTTP result code, i.e. your site is down temporarily and will be back after some delay.

The 503 result code ensure that Google doesn’t index temporary content you’re displaying for users. For example, if you display a pop-up on your homepage that explains to visitors why you’re offline and features a funny gif, that content would be indexed as your website’s content. And you don’t want that!

InMotion Hosting explains how to return a 503 result for your server in this helpful post.

 

  1. Create a 503.php file that includes the following PHP code: 

header(“HTTP/1.1 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable”);
header(“Status: 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable”);
header(“Retry-After: 3600”);
?>

 Lines 2 and 3 define the 503 code. Line 4 defines when the site is expected to be back online. In this case, the number is given in seconds – 3600 seconds is one hour.

 In some cases, you might want to give a specific date, so use the following line of code instead:

header(“Retry-After: Fri, 27 May 2016 12:00:00 GMT”);

If you’d rather not mess around with code, you might want to check out WP Maintenance Mode / Coming Soon Page Builder a free plugin that lets you enable an HTTP 503 header for your site. Alternatively, WP Maintenance Mode can add a maintenance page to your site that lets visitors know it’s down for maintenance.

For more on how to use the HTTP 503 header when temporarily disabling your site, check out Yoast’s excellent guide to handling site maintenance.

Displaying a pop-up on your site is an easy way to quickly inform visitors to your site without changing your existing page content. I recently looked at plugins that meet Google’s guidelines for mobile interstitials:

Popup Plugin for WordPress – Ninja Popups by arscode

Ninja Popups is the most popular pop-up plugin in our marketplace with 30,000+ sales. With this plugin, you can easily create gorgeous looking pop-ups to inform visitors that your site is temporarily closed and when they can expect it to be back online. There are 70+ beautiful themes you can choose from to get you started.

Master Popups – WordPress Popup Plugin for Email Subscription by MaxLopez

Master Popups’ powerful and easy-to-use visual editor lets you create stunning pop-ups in no time, which you can use to provide up-to-date information for site visitors as to when your site will be back online. A particularly useful feature is the fullscreen pop-up options, which, if you’re taking your site offline, would allow you to easily hide your homepage or other content.

3. Switch Whole Website Off

Lastly, you can simply turn your server off. This might be the right option if you’re physically moving your server to another location.

For this option, Mueller recommends setting up a temporary server to serve a 503 HTTP result code for all URLs on your site (don’t forget to set up informational pages or pop-ups for those pages!) and switch your DNS to point to the temporary server.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set your DNS TTL to a low time (such as 5 minutes) a few days in advance.
  2. Change the DNS to the temporary server’s IP address.
  3. Take your main server offline once all requests go to the temporary server.
  4. … your server is now offline …
  5. When ready, bring your main server online again.
  6. Switch DNS back to the main server’s IP address.
  7. Change the DNS TTL back to normal.

Conclusion

Closing down your site or making pages offline temporarily doesn’t have to be an additional headache when you need to take time off from your online business. Following the steps above, you can step away from your site and ensure your search presence isn’t negatively affected.

One last thing Mueller advises for physical stores that go offline: Don’t forget to update your opening hours in your Google My Business account settings.

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How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming WordPress

Whether you’re on Team Zuckerberg and support this futuristic technology or you’re on Team Musk and want to ban killer robots, artificial intelligence has already crept into the world of web development. In fact, there are many WordPress plugins that are using artificial intelligence.

The post Back in 15 Minutes: Best Practices for Closing Down Your Site For a Day appeared first on Envato.

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What Makes a Good Font in 2018? https://envato.com/blog/what-makes-a-good-font-in-2018/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 03:32:53 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=68034 In today's design industry, it’s not just the visual elements, like photos, accents, and icons, that matter. Typography can affect everything from capturing attention to ease of use. In this piece, we take a look at a handful of guidelines and tips that can help you choose the right font for your next design.

The post What Makes a Good Font in 2018? appeared first on Envato.

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It’s not enough to make a statement with words alone. You must also use bold visuals that steal your audience’s attention. That’s exactly why UX and modern design are such integral parts of web development these days.

But it’s not just the visual elements, like photos, accents and icons, that make a difference — typography is just as important. If you choose an ugly or hard-to-read font, your audience is going to lose interest fast.

We’re going to take a look at a handful of guidelines and tips that can help you choose the right font for your next design.

1. Stick with Typefaces That Match Your Personality

Quite a few designers feel every new design should have a unique typeface. This is somewhat true. You don’t want to choose a typeface that goes against the style, theme and colors you have set up.

However, the typefaces you use should follow the same theme, as well. Think of your collective works as something of a modern signature. By sticking with six to ten typefaces total — even fewer is better — the fonts you use can make you instantly recognizable. Plus, fewer fonts mean you can build a more intimate relationship with each style, so you know what suits a particular element best.

The trick is initially choosing versatile fonts that match a variety of styles and themes. Graphic designer, Ade Mills, did an excellent job choosing a typeface that matches her personality, sense of style and site theme.

2. Weight, or No Weight?

Quite a few fonts are only available in one weight, which sets strict limitations on how your text can be displayed. We recommend staying away from these font styles if you can help it. Some of the more common offenders include Roman capitals, as well as stencil and pixel styles.

Outside of choosing one of the aforementioned fonts, you’ll want to double-check the weight types before settling on one. This is especially true if you’re designing for a content-heavy or collaborative site. You may not be using certain weight types, but others in the community will. The final product can end up looking shoddy if you don’t take weight into consideration when choosing.

Pay attention to how the eyewear company Ditto balances the weight of fonts on their landing page. The larger titles pull just enough attention away from the visuals, so you know what’s happening, but not so much that it takes away from the overall design. The subtitle also uses a lighter weight, but still stands out.

3. Application Matters

Are you deploying a print or web font? Are you using a combination of them? It matters, and it may completely alter how your design turns out.

You see, web fonts are designed from the ground up for screen reading. They tend to be sharper, more vivid and easier to read on a computer or display, such as a mobile phone. Often, they employ sans serif, although there are serif variants.

Print fonts, on the other hand, were designed for use with traditional print materials such as paper, cardstock and more. They often follow a more classic appearance and tend to be a bit heavier in weight, with more curves and wider spacing. Some look great on modern displays in their native form, while others need a few tweaks.

Pay attention to this trait when choosing a font and stick with something that matches the medium you’re using.

4. Mind the Outliers

Typically, when you choose a font, you pay the most attention to the standard content — letters, numerals and some of the more common symbols. You should never forget to preview and consider the outliers, too. These can include anything you wouldn’t normally use, like symbols, ligatures, wingdings and more.

More importantly, some fonts are incomplete in this regard and do not include all the necessary elements. You’ll be kicking yourself if you choose a font that doesn’t have something you need, only to discover it later.

5. What’s the Mood of Your Design?

Mood and tone are exceptionally important when putting your design together. You want everything to be seamless, and you want your visuals to evoke the right emotions. Are you going for a silly, more comedic approach, or do you want your design to be professional?

Some of the more gimmicky fonts can look great for upbeat, personal designs, but when you get into the enterprise and business territory, it’s better to stick with something bland.

Take a look at how Wing Tactical has used their strong, modern font to provide a more authoritative voice to their site.

6. Consider the Audience

Who is your design for, in the end? If you’re speaking to a professional and authoritative audience, it’s no time to experiment and use something quirky. Serif fonts tend to look more traditional, so it’s probably best to opt for one of those with a professional design.

Your font ties into the color and visual style you choose for your overall design, as well. Professional and enterprise sites tend to use more common, structured colors like white, black and blue. Color choice can alter the appearance of your font and design, believe it or not, because some fonts are harder to read in bright colors, and vice versa for dark colors.

Can you imagine if Void Watches used a more colorful or cartoony typeface for their site? It would detract from the elegant and sophisticated style the brand exudes.

7. Test Extensively

Most designs incorporate multiple fonts, but even when they don’t, there are elements that may not mesh with your existing theme. That’s why it’s important to test your typefaces rigorously. If you are using more than one font, pair them together to see the result. You may find the fonts you chose don’t mesh well.

You’ll also want to test using different sizes, colors, layers and more.

8. Check the Leading

Leading, as you may know, is the distance between lines of type. It has a direct impact on how readable and attractive your typeface is. Bad leading, or spaces that are too big or too small, can create an ugly appearance, ruining an otherwise beautiful design. Conversely, good leading can sometimes make even bad fonts look good.

Yes, you can alter and set the leading using CSS, but many fonts come with pre-designated settings.

The Pen Is Mightier…

With modern web design, the age-old saying is only relevant if you choose the appropriate font and typeface for your design. This is important, especially when considering the personality, style and mood of the site you’re trying to match. So long as you follow the tips discussed here, you should have no problem creating something truly unique and captivating.

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The post What Makes a Good Font in 2018? appeared first on Envato.

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41 Premiere Pro Templates to Animate Your Next Video https://envato.com/blog/best-premiere-pro-templates/ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 22:55:48 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=67893 Increasingly, it's expected that videos include animation. These skills don't come naturally for everyone. But they're becoming a necessary part of sustaining viewer attention. We've launched a new category on VideoHive for Premiere Pro Templates. Here are some of the best.

The post 41 Premiere Pro Templates to Animate Your Next Video appeared first on Envato.

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What are Premiere Pro Templates, and who are they for?

Expectations on video content creators are rising.

It’s no longer enough to have your content beautifully shot and edited. Increasingly, it’s expected that it will include elements of animation.

These skills don’t come naturally for everyone. But they’re becoming a necessary part of sustaining viewer attention.

Vox videos are a great example of this done well.

Each one seamlessly blends footage with animations that emphasize the content.

Vox, like a lot of publications producing this style of video, have a team that works on this stuff. That’s not going to be the case for most video creators.

So, with animated titles and graphics becoming more of a standard, what should you do?

For a long time there have been After Effects templates. These work well, but for filmmakers the program can be daunting to use. It also means you’ll be going back and forth between your editing program and After Effects for each animation.

These are issues Adobe is attempting to solve.

The company recently announced a new file format called Motion Graphics Templates. These allow you to edit a graphic template entirely within Premiere Pro, Adobe’s popular film editing program. Meaning, it’s now a lot easy for filmmakers to include animation in their projects.

Accordingly, here at Envato, we’ve launched a new category on VideoHive for Premiere Pro Templates.

To give you a taste of it, here’s our list of some of the best. 

Openers, Transitions, Titles, Sound Effects Packs

This is a huge Premiere Pro Pack contains more than 200 creative assets. From transitions, to animated titles, to sound effects, it’s got all you need in one toolkit.

Want to add a bit of comic book flair to your video? This pack by Recarto will deliver what you need. With 20 smoke explosions,  electrical discharges, animated transitions, and templates, you’ll be able to apply the characteristics of The Flash, or Back to the Future to any element in your project in seconds.

The BOXD line of products is very well known to VideoHive customers, and now they’ve made a Premiere Pro version of their popular Titles and Lower Thirds pack. These work extremely well for autoplaying videos that use a lot of captions. They’re minimal, yet bold enough to look modern, and funky, yet not distracting. Highlights of this pack include the fact that the boxes are self-sizing, meaning no tricky adjusting of the boxes to fit the amount of text you want to insert. There are 20 templates included. You get color control. And it’s really easy to use.

Bold, smooth, and simple, this opener by Power_Bank is versatile. With large text that inhabits the screen in a commanding way, transitions and animations that make use of contrasting colors, which you can customize, and animations that use the entire canvas, this well organized project makes it easy to take your video to the next level.

This beautiful drawing opener allows you to turn your photos and footage into a stunning animated sketch book. It features 17 text holders, 15 placeholders, and runs at 01:35.

This titles pack stands out from the pack because of the spin it puts on otherwise pretty standard templates. The animations are also unique. There are 25 ready to use titles and lower thirds included. Plus, a video tutorial to help ease you into the workflow.

If you’re a YouTuber who wants to stay on brand with the video platform then this may be a good promo pack for you. Featuring a cube animation which you can insert your videos into, plus an avatar and channel name template, you’ll find it easy to promote your channel no matter where this video is consumed (even on Facebook!).

This bunch of eye popping, creative transitions may be the perfect detail to add to your video. They’re all very cute, and some are pretty unique in their design, colors, and animation. These would be a great fit for videos targeting a millennial Snapchat generation audience.

Slideshows

This slideshow template is fresh and comes with everything you’ll need to create a great video. There are no plugins required. It includes 12 media placeholders, and text placeholders. It also features a well organized, easily customizable modular structure.

This slideshow template is easily editable featuring drag and drop functionality. It features a punchy urban style and is full HD. To get it working it comes with a video tutorial. It’ll take your project from being a basic photo slideshow to being an engaging video experience.

This beautiful template pack comes in two versions: a 1 minute version, and a longer one at 2 minutes and 10 seconds. The short one includes 13 media placeholders, and the long version includes 32. It uses a modular structure which allows you to freely change the duration of each scene. Its drag and drop functionality makes it easy to insert your videos and photos, and change the text. A detailed video tutorial is provided. And this template is well suited for romantic projects like weddings or anniversaries.

This template has an awesome look, great design and clean titles. It features photography animated in a creative way, has easy to use drag and drop functionality, and works with photos and videos. It includes 25 media placeholders, and 6 text placeholders.

Set within the context of opening credits, this template will compile your photos or videos into a unique slideshow. Your media will appear as polaroid photos, and projections of the reel. It also comes with the sound effects you can hear in the demo, and a video tutorial.

This slideshow opener is perfect for films, documentaries, corporate presentations, and travel slideshows. It’s offered in full HD, with 13 image/video placeholders, 10 text holders, 1 logo templates, dust and light details and more. It also includes a video tutorial to help you use it.

This slideshow template feels fresh and, as the title suggests, elegant. The wipes from shot to shot, and ripple effects on the footage along with that glisten make it feel cool but not cold.

Modern Slideshow template offers 17 photo/video placeholders, 12 editable text layers, and one logo placeholder. It’s a good fit for fashion, sports, or travel products. It’s fit for use on TV shows, commercials, and online videos. Its quick, energetic feel captures the eye.

Get emotional with this template. This beautifully crafted aged film template will showcase your photos in a way that feels authentic. It comes in a longer version, (2:10) and a shorter version (1:10). And it includes 35 photo/video placeholders, as well as 35 text placeholders.

This stunning ink slideshow will lift your media into something impressive. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping your footage and changing the text. It includes an easy to understand video tutorial covering how to use this template. 11 photo/video placeholders are offered, including 11 text holders.

Corporate

This Premiere Pro template is tidy and creative. It features an elegant collage design that can be customized in just a few clicks. It contains 18 text placeholders, and 10 media placeholders. No plugins are required, it renders fast, and all combines to allow you to create corporate videos quickly.

This clean, professional, and modern template is great for modern corporate videos. 10 photo/video holders and included, as well a PDF and TXT tutorial.

This template is a good fit for professional presentations, although a little unconventional. It’s ultramodern, features a unique, colorful design, and clean animations. The drag and drop functionality makes it simple and fast to create something amazing. It’s well suited to slideshows, promotions, events, commercials, and more.

This is a universal Premiere Pro template featuring a clean design with smooth animations. It’s fantastic for business presentations, corporate slideshows, promotions, and events.

Looking for a stylish, elegant slideshow templates with simple text animations? This template is a great choice. It contains 10 image/video placeholders, 9 editable text layers, and 1 logo placeholder. It also uses a modular structure, making it easy to customize.

Fashion

This template commands attention. Its clever use of zoom and parallax effects help it engage the eye. These effects, when mixed with other elements like text, really pop. With no plugins required, and fast rendering, it’s a great experience to use.

This pack is a powerful slideshow template with a retro looking design. It features elegant text animations, and smooth transitions. It comes with 5 editable text layers, 6 image/video placeholders, and 1 logo placeholder. It’s easy to use, and makes for a delightful video opener.

Clean Slideshow is a beautiful Premiere Pro template with a minimalistic, eye-catching design. Everything from the images, to the text and colors is editable. It’s the perfect project to display your photos for weddings, anniversaries, vacations and more.

Glitch

This pack features a versatile set of glitch effects and sound effects to make your video seem either futuristic, or retro. With more than 60 transitions, 50 titles, 200 sound effects, and 60 overlays, you’re well catered for. It uses a modular structure, no plugins are required, and it’s in full HD. It stands out from other glitch templates out there.

This powerful template features a retro design, and elegant text animations, and transitions. It includes 9 image/video placeholders, 7 editable text layers, and 1 logo placeholder. It’s a great opener for corporate presentations, promos, and more.

Inspiring Glitch Opener is a stylish and modern Premiere Pro template. This project is perfect for your promo, opener, showreel, slideshow or special event montage. Create your next inspiring video in only a few minutes. It’s simple to use with 14 image/video placeholders, 8 text placeholders, 1 logo placeholder, and more.

Glitch opener makes for a perfect intro. It’s great for a photo/video slideshow, tv-show or any other media product . You can use images instead of videos in all the placeholders. You can easily change the colors in just one simple step. It features drag and drop functionality for inserting your media and audio. After that you hit render, and you’ll got yourself a video. It features 10 text placeholders, 18 photo/video placeholders, and 1 logo placeholder. It’s easily editable with just a few clicks.

This stylish, professional glitch opener is perfect for movies and commercials and more. It features drag and drop functionality, and contains 10 different scenes you can use and order as you desire. A full video tutorial is included for you to use the product with ease.

Color Grading

This enormous library of motion design tools will help any video creator. It provides an plenty of tools and controls to enhance the final look of your project. It’s easy to use with drag and drop functionality. Plus video tutorials are included.

Urban

RVGanimation’s Urban Intro feels unique among urban packs. It has a nice mix between using text, footage, and aged film filters. It feels like a cohesive assortment of elements that is ready and waiting for you to insert your footage. It includes 14 media placeholders, 9 text placeholders, and more.

With a mix of ripple effects on the footage, as well as select areas of color grading to and from black and white, and the addition of small details like the + and o signs, this pack gives you a lot to customize and work with. It has a modular structure, includes 34 image or video placeholders, 40 title placeholders, and 1 logo placeholder.

This template really fits the YouTube trend of the moment, featuring 29 photo/video placeholders, 17 text placeholders, a modular structure, and an easy to use UX.

Modern

Modern Opener is really effective in how it plays with the whole canvas of the screen. The way each template animates either zooms out from that borders of the screen, with the text following the movement, or slides from the side of the screen, again the text not following far behind. It simultaneously creates a sense of space and depth, and attracts the eye, feeling immersive. It includes 38 photo/video placeholders, 15 text placeholders, a modular construction, and a video tutorial.

Short and sweet, this opener is simple and effective. The elements fill the screen, and the way the boxes, the text, and the footage marry together is something special. It’s fantastic if you’re looking for a slick, clean design. 4 media placeholders are included. 8 text placeholders.

Clean and elegant, this intro template is wonderful for a modern and professional project. Featuring placeholders for your footage or photos that glide in a unique way across the screen, accompanied by a soft blue color scheme, and simple text placeholders, it’s easy to see how this pack could work well for a variety of projects.

Modern and professional looking, yet uniquely versatile, this pack provides a fully realized concept that’s tidy and fresh. With 12 media placeholders, 12 text placeholders, useable by dragging and dropping your content into them, it’s perfect for corporate presentations, promos, news explainers, and much more.

This pack gives you what you’ll need to create fresh, modern looking titles and lower thirds all within Premiere Pro. It’s a similar concept to the popular BOXD version of this product, but a little more unique in some of its layouts and animations.

This striking pack of minimal titles are clean and dynamic in their design and usability. They’re ideal for everything from high quality videos on culture, technology, or even corporate topics. They’re easily customizable, and require no plugins.

These templates and so many more are part of our brand new Premiere Pro Templates category on VideoHive. It’s ready for you to explore, now. 

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How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming WordPress https://envato.com/blog/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-wordpress/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:53:16 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=67887 Whether you’re on Team Zuckerberg and support this futuristic technology or you’re on Team Musk and want to ban killer robots, artificial intelligence has already crept into the world of web development. In fact, there are many WordPress plugins that are using artificial intelligence.

The post How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming WordPress appeared first on Envato.

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Artificial intelligence is no longer in the realm of sci-fi movies and TV shows like Star Trek or Westworld. It has well and truly jumped into the mainstream news headlines.

And the headlines are often contradictory. AI is either a technological leap into a prosperous world filled with sophisticated tools enhancing human endeavor. Or mass unemployment in a society where robots rule, reminiscent of Skynet in the Terminator movies.

Whether you’re on Team Zuckerberg and support this futuristic technology or you’re on Team Musk and want to ban killer robots, artificial intelligence has already crept into the world of web development. In fact, there are many WordPress plugins that are using artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is technology that enables machines to carry out tasks that humans need intelligence to do. There are plenty of examples of AI in real life – self-driving cars, smart home devices, and music and movie recommendation services.

Most AI examples you hear about rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, machines can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in it. This subset of AI is known as machine learning,

Before machine learning came along, computers could only be given a set of rules to follow and operate within a defined set of parameters. Now, thanks to AI and algorithms, machines can learn from data and adapt to the environment they’re operating in.

This means that the more data fed to a machine, the more it learns and improves.

Unlike humans, AI doesn’t have to sleep and won’t make the same mistake twice. It can also access vast amounts of digital data in seconds, while our brains cannot.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. AI is being used in productive ways to improve how we use and manage WordPress websites.

WordPress Plugins That Use AI

While AI is certainly an exciting field of technology, it’s still pretty new. As such, there are few plugins that use AI and machine learning. The ones listed below are still fairly experimental but do provide advancements in SEO, customer service, and security.

WP A.I ASSISTANT

Like a shop assistant in a physical store, this plugin lets you add a virtual assistant to your website that can help guide customers and sell products. This plugin provides a smart visual tool, kind of like mind mapping, that helps you easily create complex AI for your assistant so you can pre-program actions and interactions on your site.

Facebook Messenger Chat with Bot

How can you be in two places at once? Easy. With this clever plugin that hooks into Messenger. Create a bot that can automatically answer your visitors’ questions instantly in real-time, even when you’re not online. With this plugin, visitors can ask your bot questions about products and support, ask for blog posts published on your site, and even search for information on your site.

WordLift

WordLift is marketed as “A WordPress Plugin that does what an SEO expert would do.” But what is that exactly? Basically, this plugin analyzes the articles and words on your site, transforming your text into machine-friendly content that helps to improve audience engagement and increase your organic traffic.

The plugin builds an “internal vocabulary” for your site, which acts as both a reference and a search magnet for your visitors. And for content creators, it suggests contextual facts, links and media for creating richer and more engaging content, all while optimizing it for search. A win-win if you want to better organize your content and improve your visibility in search.

Aimojo

This cloud-based, AI-driven plugin creates new taxonomies for your site that enable information to self-organize based on contextual value. This makes link lists and menus contextual and dynamic, making your site “sticky” and visitors more like to convert. The plugin author claims it improves search results by 10 times.

Aimojo is a redesign of Affinitomics and hasn’t been updated in two years, so if you decided to use this plugin, try it out on a local development or staging site first.

Kindred Posts

Kindred Posts uses artificial intelligence to learn how your website visitors use your site and recommends content based on their interests. It requires next-to-no setup – simply activate the plugin and drag a widget into your theme to start recommending content.

While there are plenty of decent (and not so decent) related posts plugins around, what sets Kindred Posts apart is how it uses AI to learn how your visitors interact with your content and suggest posts they are more likely to want to read.

A cool feature of this plugin is the ability to integrate it with Google Analytics. Simply add your tracking code to the settings page and you can start monitoring what recommendations visitors are reading.

Watsonfinds

Watsonfinds uses “sentiment analysis” to provide detailed insight into the emotions your content may elicit in visitors. The plugin adds an icon to the WordPress text editor so you can scan your pages, posts, product descriptions and comments. Each scan offers insights into how your content evokes joy, sadness, anger, disgust and fear in your visitors, along with a percentage score for each emotion. You can then use these insights to modify and improve your content so that it conveys your intended message.

MyCurator

This content curation plugin lets you quickly discover interesting content and customize it to suit your niche before publishing it on your site. MyCurator’s cloud AI module searches RSS, Twitter and Google alert sources for content and classifies their relevance to you after some simple training. This means you can weed out 90% of topics that you’re not interested in or might think are irrelevant. You can also train this plugin by upvoting or downvoting the posts it finds.

QUTTERA WEB MALWARE SCANNER

With Quttera Web Malware Scanner, you can scan your site in one click for malware, trojans, backdoors, worms, viruses, shells, spyware and other threats. Using cloud technology and AI, this plugin uses machine learning to get better at recognizing threats to your site over time. It also recognizes JavaScript code obfuscation, exploits, malicious iframes, malicious code injection, malicious code obfuscation, auto-generated malicious content, redirects, and hidden eval code.

Primal for WordPress

Similar to related posts plugins, Primal helps you display relevant content to your visitors. Using AI, it collects information about your content and pulls in pages from across the web, including news and videos, that are tailored to each page you create. Using machine learning, this plugin learns the interests of your visitors based on their clicks so it can deliver more relevant and engaging content over time.

Conclusion

AI isn’t about to steal web development jobs any time soon, but you can certainly make the most of how it can provide better contextual content, help your visitors and protect your site against security threats with the plugins listed above.

Don’t forget to check our plugin marketplace for more AI plugins, code and scripts.

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The post How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming WordPress appeared first on Envato.

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10 Best WordPress Themes for Sporting Clubs and Organizations https://envato.com/blog/10-best-wordpress-themes-for-sporting-clubs-and-organizations/ Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:58:58 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=67871 There's nothing like the adrenaline of kicking a goal or scoring a touchdown. Sports is something that touches millions of people around the world. Which is why in every city, there are organizations built around encouraging people to take part. And a good website is key to that.

The post 10 Best WordPress Themes for Sporting Clubs and Organizations appeared first on Envato.

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Playing team sports isn’t just about having fun with your friends, it’s also great exercise. Plus, there’s nothing like the rush of adrenalin when you score a touchdown, kick a goal, or hit a home run.

But team sport isn’t just about winning. It’s about bringing people together. It’s about teamwork and camaraderie. And for teams and leagues that have websites, celebrating coming together as a team is just as much off the field as much as it is on.

With a great website, sports teams and leagues are able display team and player profiles, publish upcoming game details, and leaderboards. Most sophisticated sports websites often sell merchandise via WooCommerce.

For players, being able to access all this information online, especially game day highlights and photo galleries, allows them to share links with friends and family and encourage others to join in their sport.

Here are 10 of the best WordPress themes designed especially for sports clubs and leagues. Each theme offers a modern design and many include features like fixtures lists and scoreboards, team and player profiles, and WooCommerce integration.

Splash is one of the most fully-featured sports themes available. Designed with basketball, football, soccer and baseball clubs in mind, it comes with four well-designed and fully customizable templates.

With Splash you can:

  • Create team and player profiles with photos, detailed descriptions and stats.
  • Manage team fixtures, display upcoming games, and show past game results.
  • Manage and display statistics for your teams, and where they sit on your league’s ladder.
  • Display game day highlights, team victories and players interviews in high quality video.
  • Embed audio commentary or your league’s podcast.
  • Get your fans excited with a countdown clock that ticks down the minutes until your next game.
  • WooCommerce integrates with Splash out-of-the-box so setting up your online store for team merchandise is easy.
  • Raise much-needed funds for your community sports club, accept donations via PayPal and display a fundraising progress bar as you work toward your goal.
  • Choose from the included presets or build custom equations using player metrics, events results, custom scoring, player performance and more.

This theme is also fully compatible with SportsPress, the most popular sports data plugin for WordPress.

This responsive sports theme has been designed specifically for football, aka soccer, clubs and leagues. It comes with some solid features, including player profiles, player lists, league tables, fixtures and results, and match reports.

It’s fully customizable via the WordPress Customizer, so you can update colors and fonts, and even use Google Fonts. There’s also full compatibility with WooCommerce if you want to sell team merchandise online.

Real Soccer is compatible with JoomSport, a plugin for managing sports leagues and tournaments.

Sport is a flexible WordPress theme designed for sporting clubs and grassroots community groups. With its modern design and modular layout, this theme is easy to customize and comes with lots of great features, including two pre-designed demos, an intuitive admin panel, gallery options for display game day highlights, header builder, support for touch devices and a great built-in page builder.

Other features include advanced blog option, custom widgets, shortcodes, video embeds and WooCommerce compatibility.

Gameday is a responsive sports media theme, so it’s not just for teams but for displaying news too. It features WooCommerce integration so you can quickly set up a store and start selling sports gear and team merchandise. There’s also a custom-built scoreboard for league leaderboards, a drag-and-drop homepage, and a slider on each category page so you easily display game day highlights.

For sites that advertise, this themes includes four different ad units (including a wallpaper ad).

Champion is a football/soccer theme designed with lots of fantastic sports-specific features including five header types, fixtures management, a points table manager, WooCommerce integration, a custom blog, video and parallax backgrounds, social network integration, team and player management, club trophies, and partner logos.

This theme includes other great features like WPBakery Page Builder for easy drag and drop customization, different gallery options so you can display game day photos, a responsive design, wide and boxed options, and one-click demo import.

Sporty is an all-rounder sports theme that can be customized for a range of sports, including football/soccer, American football, basketball, baseball, rugby, volleyball, ice hockey, handball and cricket. It’s compatible with the SiteOrigin drag and drop page builder, so customizing this theme is easy. There are also five custom widgets in addition to the 20+ that some with SiteOrigin.

Better connect with your fans with Oxigeno, a theme designed to help you display team information, publish details of upcoming games, and sell team merchandise. With its comprehensive options panel, unique page transitions and distinctive typography, this theme offers plenty of customizations so you can personalize it to suit your team. It also comes with a cost calculator, page builder, and shortcodes.

This soccer/football-centric theme has a stack of features that make it easy to set up and run a sports website, including:

  • Match fixtures and details
  • Points tables
  • Recent results
  • Upcoming matches
  • Club rankings and listings
  • Club profiles
  • Player listings and profiles

This theme also comes with advertising blocks so you can promote club sponsors and partners. Other features include WooCommerce, WPBakery Page Builder, and Themeum Soccer integration.

Sports Club is a great option, whether you’re setting up a club website, sports event site, sports news website or children’s sports club page. It comes with a stack of shortcodes to help you display game shorts, videos, showcase your players, publish sports stats, and sell equipment and gear.

This theme is ideal for:

  • Local sports club that wants to display news and upcoming match details
  • Sports news sites that wants to publish articles
  • Sports equipment and merchandise stores that wants to sell gear online
  • Sports events that need advertising for upcoming dates

Xtreme Sports club is a creative, modern and responsive design that is ideal for any kind of sports website, extreme sports, sports club or online sports shop. It features a stunning fullwidth header slider. But mostly isn’t best suited to sports groups that want to sell merchandise and gear online thanks to its compatibility with WooCommerce.

There are three different homepage layouts so you can choose which one best suits you. It also comes with WPBakery Page Builder and Slider Revolution.

Conclusion

Whether you want to set up a simple website for your football team or a comprehensive online home for your league and all its teams, you’re bound to find the right theme in this list. And if not, check out our theme marketplace for more.

When choosing a theme, keep in mind what features you need. While all of the themes above offer different combinations of features such as scoreboards, team and player management, and even scoring calculations, each theme does it differently.

And don’t forget you can customize the look and feel of these themes with plugins like WPBakery Page Builder, which is often bundled with themes.

Recommended

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Why UX Writing Is a Thing Now https://envato.com/blog/why-ux-writing-is-a-thing-now/ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 02:24:43 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=67764 If you work in design, you’ve probably noticed by now the wave of “UX writer” jobs being posted online over the past couple of years. From Google to YouTube, Dropbox, Amazon and PayPal, every big tech company now has a team of UX writers. But what is UX writing? In this article, you'll find out.

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If you work in design, you’ve probably noticed by now the wave of “UX writer” jobs being posted online over the past couple of years. From Google to YouTube, Dropbox, Amazon and PayPal, every big tech company now has a team of UX writers.

But what is UX writing?

As John Maeda, Automattic’s head of computational design, pointed out in his 2017 Design in Tech Report, “Words are really important because the graphics don’t make sense sometimes.”

Not long after Maeda’s report came out, Fast Co Design followed up with a piece called Forget Coding: Writing Is Design’s Unicorn Skill.

But this article isn’t about why designers should learn to write better (though they certainly should!). No, it’s about why the task of UX writing shouldn’t automatically fall to designers. UX writing is a skill, particularly as English – especially for those who speak it as a second language – can take years to master.

From word choice to voice and tone, and concepts like cadence, assonance and alliteration, these are elements of English that even native speakers spend years studying at school.

So what should designers and developers do?

In this article, we’ll explore what UX writing is, how to get started finding your product’s “voice” and why getting help with UX writing is a good investment.

What Is UX Writing?

UX writing is still very much an emerging field, but as UX Booth explains:

“UX writing is the act of writing copy for user-facing touchpoints. This copy must not only embody the voice of the organization, but must also be considerate and useful for the user.”

Meanwhile, UX Planet describes UX writing as:

“… the practice of crafting copy which is directly used in user interfaces to guide users within a product and help them interact with it. The major aim of UX writing is to settle communication between users and a digital product.”

Within the discipline of UX writing, there are two different kinds:

  • Copywriting: Whether it’s the text on a 404 page or the copy on a landing page for a product, this type of UX writing tends to be punchy and/or flowery. It’s the language that gets you excited about using a product.
  • Transactional/navigational: These are the words that help guide a user through using a product. According to Dropbox UX writer John Saito, when it comes to this kind of UX writing, “The goal is to not have your words be noticed, so it becomes a seamless experience.”

The copy – i.e. words – created by UX writers is known as “microcopy.” The name refers to the small components of text which serve as prompts and hints to the user. UX writing is not the same as marketing copy, which you would commonly find on a website or in an email.

Microcopy is the interface text you see when using a product, including instructions, buttons, and error messages, as well as product tours and wizards, menus, notifications, labels, links and chatbots. Basically, all the small components of a digital product that has words.

One of the best examples of UX writing is MailChimp. If you’ve ever used this email marketing tool to send an email, you might’ve felt that twinge of anxiety a lot of people feel when they hit send.

MailChimp tackles this mini stress all too cleverly by tapping into its users’ emotions. After you hit “Send,” the success messages work to lighten the mood, congratulating you on a job well done and offering a high-five.

The MailChimp team could’ve just displayed the message “Email sent.” But pairing the animation with simple microcopy makes the process of sending emails much more of a fun task. It also sets MailChimp apart from other email marketing platforms, whose transactional copy might be far from friendly.

According to Chase Curry, a senior product designer at MailChimp, designing the Freddie high-five animation took a couple of weeks, which may seem like a lot of time to dedicate to something as simple as an in-app animation. But, he says, “For us, though, it’s details like this that remind our users who we are, and that we’re all humans.”

Finding and Documenting Your Voice

So by now you might be wondering what your product’s voice is?

It’s important to work this out and to document it, so next time you need microcopy for your product, you have a clear idea of what to write. But also, it’s helpful when reviewing and updating existing microcopy in your product.

Every product, whether it’s a WordPress theme or plugin, has a voice, and that voice might evolve slightly over time.

Most big companies have a style guide or some kind of guiding principles on what their voice and tone should sound like.

Take MailChimp (again) for instance. The email platform has a very distinct voice, which is fun, lively and young. According to the company’s style guide, Voice & Tone, their voice doesn’t change much: “…our tone adapts to our users’ feelings.”

This is typical for many companies – a basic principle of UX writing is that your voice tends to be the same throughout your products, but your tone will change depending on the scenario. For example, the tone you would use for a landing page might be welcoming, whereas the tone for an error message might be more empathetic.

Branding company Larsen outlines how to create the right brand voice in six steps:

  1. Define. Choose three words that capture the personality of the voice you want for your product/brand. Then limit those words with three more words. For example: bold, but not arrogant; irreverent, but not offensive; loud, but not obnoxious.
  2. Differentiate. Check out how your competitors communicate. What’s their voice? Their attitude? What can you learn from them and how can you distinguish your own voice?
  3. Listen. How do your customers communicate? Are they formal and serious? Or casual and conversational? It’s important to consider what kind of voice will be most appealing and authentic to your target market.
  4. Inspire. Your brand voice should be inspiring, bold, and speak directly to your target market. Use verbs and short phrases.
  5. Engage. Don’t try too hard. Let your brand voice relax and be “real.” Even the most serious companies shouldn’t shy away from having a conversational, friendly tone that has loads of personality.
  6. Evolve. Your goal shouldn’t be to create the perfect brand voice, but to create one that works for your product or brand right now. Your voice will evolve over time as your products change and as you keep pace with your target market.

Examples of Brand Voice

Let’s take a look at some examples of different companies’ voices, and how they tackle UX writing.

Google

As part of its Material Design system, Google has published a comprehensive style guide for its UX writing team, and others who might be interested in adopting their writing guidelines and techniques.

Google’s voice is clean, simple and functional. Further, the company’s style guide that: “Text should be understandable by anyone, anywhere, regardless of their culture or language.” In addition, “clear, accurate, and concise text makes interfaces more usable and builds trust.”

The guide addresses language, tone, capitalization and punctuation, and global writing, all with very clear examples.

For example, Google recommends that user interfaces should refer to the user using either “you” or “your” or “I” or “my”:

It’s also recommended that you avoid the pronoun “we”:

And always be concise – write in small, scannable segments to facilitate navigation and discovery.

Facebook

Facebook is home to one of the longest standing UX writing teams around, though they refer to them as “content strategists.” The team works closely with product designers, UX researchers, engineers, data scientists, product managers and others to “identify and synthesize people problems,” according to Natalie Shaw, a content strategist at Facebook.

“We maintain simple, straightforward and human language to talk to our community across all of our products, and to do this we get involved early on in the product design process,” Shaw writes for Medium.

While Facebook’s content strategy team doesn’t publish its style guide publicly, there’s a lot we can learn from simply browsing through Facebook pages.

Facebook’s voice is friendly, simple and conversational. For example, when you log in to your account, you’re simply asked:

Previously, the placeholder copy was, “What’s on your mind?” without the name. It’s a small addition, but the addition of your name makes the message much more personal, like Facebook is talking to your directly.

Whether you realize it or not, there’s microcopy everywhere in Facebook. One very noticeable place is at the top of the news feed when you log in, where Facebook typically places messages recognizing holidays and events:

Facebook’s content strategy team is also tasked with putting words in the virtual mouths of chatbots. Content strategist Emily Konouchi explains how she developed microcopy for Messenger after the platform was opened up to allow advertisers and developers to create bots in this insightful piece for Medium.

Dropbox

Dropbox has had a dedicated UX writing team for years now, at least since 2015. John Saito, who is prolific on Medium, shares his thoughts and ideas when it comes to UX writing for the company.

While Dropbox doesn’t share its style guide (it’s published internally in Dropbox Paper), Saito shares a sneak peek:

Like other big companies, Dropbox aims to be “straightforward, helpful, and human” in its microcopy.

For instance, a great example of how Dropbox handles transactional microcopy is in the “Personal account” section. Under “Notifications” you can update how often you receive emails. The microcopy is concise, brief, and easy to understand. There’s really no confusing what checking each of these options means:

Likewise, when you choose to cancel your account, Dropbox explains in very clear language what will happen next. It’s even accompanied by an illustration of a “pro” fish tank and smaller “basic” tank to help you understand that you’re downgrading your account.

And the button text couldn’t be clearer. But, obviously, Dropbox wants you to click the blue button and not cancel your account.

Conclusion

UX writing is well and truly a thing now and there’s no turning back. Every product and brand has a story to tell and it’s important that you are able to find the right words for your story.

If you’re a designer who wants to learn how to write better microcopy, I highly encourage you to check out Google’s Material Design guide to writing. MailChimp’s Voice & Tone guide is another great resource for learning how to write effective copy.

But if you’re part of a growing team, you might want to consider hiring – or at least contracting – a writer to help with your product UX. Your products will not only be infused with more personality, but your users will appreciate that they’re easier to use and navigate too.

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