16 7 / 2014

Design and development community has extremely tough competition, that’s the reason why designers jump out of their pants trying to create something unusual and sophisticated. That’s not just about templates or site designs, it’s about everything: icons, sliders, various UI elements. Probably you have noticed that standardization became the new sensor of web design, nothing but flat is appropriate. That’s why “flat became the new black”. Someone may consider this design technique advanced or perfect, but still there are a lot of things that can be created in a unique and unusual manner.

But what about WordPress themes? Google this phrase and you will see about 89,300,000 results. Quite a lot, huh? That’s the result of work of thousands of freelance designers, design companies and enthusiasts, who would like to share their achievements and ideas with the whole world. WordPress themes have another side which is also really popular among regular Internet users and site owners – that’s the free WordPress themes.

If you ever seen examples of these freebies there can be found really awesome items. All you need is a bit of patience and you’ll be able to find a free theme that will be both aesthetically appealing and functional at the same time. Such themes are divided into three groups: website themes, blog themes and eCommerce (that are created specifically for WooCommerce or Jigoshop-powered stores.)

Generally speaking, free WordPress themes became the new coliseum for web gladiators (that’s a cool name for designer’s, isn’t it?) and they’re trying to make their brainchild better than anyone else’s.

In this compilation I’d like to share most creative and outstanding free WordPress themes that I’ve found on the I-net.  Feel free to try out these freebies for your own projects, or just share with your friends via social medias, probably some of them are looking for a cool freebie.

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Cubby WordPress Theme

Demo Download

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Tarali

Demo Download

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Catch Kathmandu

Demo Download

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DW Timeline

Demo Download

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Hemingway

Demo Download

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Radiate

Demo Download

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Split Me

Demo Download

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Infinite

Demo Download

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Start Point

Demo Download

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Circumference

Demo Download

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Corporate

Demo Download

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Blogger

Demo Download

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Elegant

Demo Download

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Bizz

Demo Download

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Adapt

Demo Download

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WPTuts Free WordPress Theme

Demo Download

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Pytheas

Demo Download

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Photo Free Responsive Gallery

Demo Download

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Tetris

Demo Download

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Flatolio

Demo Download

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JustWrite

Demo Download

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Thoughts

Demo Download

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Resolution

Demo Download

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Musica

Demo Download

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Author’s BIO: Walk with me to learn all you wanted to know about philosophy, psychology and aesthetics of modern web designs. How to find me? Katarina Klementi on .

16 7 / 2014

Development of big-screen devices has given rise to the tendency of filling websites with images excessively. And this trend isn’t relevant only to photographers whose business is based on displaying their artworks. In fact, visuals can help any enterprise showcase the best moments of its work to potential customers and, therefore, fascinate them with the top offerings.

Trying to astonish your audience at the first sight, you may find it difficult to add a distinctive flair to a homepage using only one image. In this case, it’s a good idea to put multiple pictures together in a slider. It can create an engaging experience for visitors of your site and, therefore, keep them there longer.

To achieve such a beneficial effect, you’ll need proper WordPress slider plugins. These tools give a perfect opportunity to introduce your company to clients in an appealing way and emphasize the most important content, particularly special offers and updates. Displaying products and services in a slideshow, you’ll be able to take potential customers on an entertaining tour through your company online.

Surfing the web in search of the best WordPress slider plugin for your platform, it may take a while to find the right one. To help you save time for more useful activities, we’ve made up a set of free plugins that hold top positions in terms of usability and popularity. Look through these tools and select the one that will present your business in a favorable light and generate more sales in the end.

WOW Slider

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WOW Slider is considered to be one of the best WordPress plugins due to its numerous templates and effects such as collage, domino, rotate, blast, blinds, cube, blur, and others. Comprising such a wide variety of options, it can absolutely match any web design. So, if you’re eager to demonstrate your visuals in a creative way, this WordPress program is surely a safe bet. Characterized by a responsive nature, the plugin will give an appropriate look to a website slider regardless of the devices your audience may use.

The product is also proved to work flawlessly in all the browsers while its SEO-friendliness will have a positive impact on conversion rates of your platform. Due to a point-and-click wizard, neither coding nor editing images is necessary to apply WOW Slider to WordPress sites. As a bonus, users can share sliders in one of social media giants, Facebook, with its aid. Are you looking for a truly versatile plugin? Then, you should consider an idea to try out this offering.

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Page Flip Image Gallery

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Page Flip Image Gallery is another WordPress software component delivering bloggers from the necessity to create long posts that bore readers with constant scrolling down. If you embed it in your CMS, you’ll be able to present multiple pictures in a slider that resembles a compact photo album in its look. Turning pages with a double click, your visitors will be overwhelmed with pleasant memories of the good old days when paper albums were in enormous demand.

As the plugin is optimized for mobile viewing, you won’t lose traffic from tablets and smartphones. Although sliders are placed on the top of homepages, this WordPress program will let you embed them anywhere you like due to its easy shortcodes. Do you want to create a memorable presentation of your portfolio? If the answer is ‘yes’, Page Flip Image Gallery is definitely what you need.

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WP Parallax Content Slider

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WP Parallax also belongs to the best WordPress slideshow plugins available for free on the web. Its peculiarity of easy customization allows for automatic addition of a content slider to sites. Using this product, you’ll be able to configure various aspects to display, particularly the type of content, number of slides, interval between them, auto-switch mode, graphic theme, etc. Simple configuration is possible due to the plugin’s feature to insert its admin page into the WP administration section.

Against the background of the other products in our set, this one is notable for a parallax effect displayed between slide transitions. It enjoys wide popularity among web designers thanks to the ability to add a sense of depth reminding of a 3D effect. Using WP Parallax, you’ll give a special touch to your platform and engage your audience to a larger extent.

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Meta Slider

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The next plugin that will help you create SEO-friendly and responsive slideshows is Meta Slider. It boasts of 4 jQuery slider types with various opportunities. They are as follows: Flex Slider 2 (responsive, 2 transition effects, carousel mode), Nivo Slider (responsive, 16 transition effects, 4 themes), Responsive Slides (responsive, lightweight), and Coin Slider (4 transition effects).

The procedure of creating a new slider is extremely simple. Just choose pictures from WordPress Media Library, drag and drop them into the desired place, set slide captions, and choose one of the four slider types. Then, the plugin will provide a short code to embed into the WP panel of your site. More than 887.000 people have set their choice on this product, and it’s undoubtedly a good idea to enlarge their ranks.

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Smart Slider 2

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Smart Slider 2 is another great plugin with a user-friendly interface, rich functionality and responsive nature. It will let you create eye-catching sliders by taking a few easy steps. At first, you’ll need to add a new layer to the WP canvas and, then, drag and drop some items there. Well, that’s all. A new slider is ready to impress your readers with its visuals.

Using this plugin, you’ll be able to benefit from various options such as image, layer, gallery, full-page, full-width and dynamic sliders. Moreover, there’s no need to be competent in HTML and CSS when it comes to modifying different aspects of the slider, particularly changing its colors, fronts, backgrounds, dimensions, etc. If you take advantage of this free offering, you are guaranteed to remain delighted with your choice.

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Cyclone Slider 2

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As designers strive to give a distinctive flair to their projects, they highly appreciate customizable products. And one of the top-rate plugins belonging to this type is Cyclone Slider 2. Its operation is based on using a template system that allows for modifying the appearance and behavior of slideshows to meet requirements even of the most demanding customers.

With the assistance of this plugin, you’ll have an opportunity to create a limitless number of sliders, and all of them will have a flawless look on screens of mobile devices due to its responsive essence. Supporting image, video and custom HTML slides, it provides maximum flexibility for your undertaking. Don’t hesitate to use Cyclone Slider 2 in order to update pages of your website with an interesting touch.

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Smooth Slider

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The last WordPress plugin featured in our set is Smooth Slider that assists in making a dynamic presentation of featured posts on a website. Being ideally optimized for search engines, this product is just the job for bloggers who want to drive more traffic to their platforms.

The plugin has 2 sections such as Left Slides Section and Right Navigation Pointers whose width and height can be easily customized. Furthermore, an admin panel boasts of a live preview option to modify dimensions, fonts, borders, and colors of sliders before their implementation. You can also make a transparent background to emphasize your images while 6 transition effects will help you set more engaging intervals between slides.

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Providing striking visual opportunities, WordPress slideshow plugins offer many other things to benefit from. First of all, your site will load quickly, even though there’ll be an excessive amount of pictures on its homepage. Then, the majority of these tools don’t require changing the whole HTML code, that’s why there’s no need to be proficient in programming in order to implement them properly. Moreover, plugins of this kind are also extremely advantageous in terms of search engine optimization, which will secure high rankings for your resource.

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AUTHOR’S BIO: Nick Campbell, an author of this article, is fond of writing posts on various subjects, particularly web design, e-commerce, social media, marketing, business, and education. He has been involved in the content creation sphere for more than two years. Nick is primarily focused on covering modern trends of a certain industry to help his readers keep abreast of the latest news. If you don’t want to miss any brand new achievements in the mentioned topics, follow Nick Campbell on !

10 7 / 2014

10 Best PSD to WordPress Conversion Services to Turn Your Design to Reality
Maria Mincey, designsmag.com
Observing the continuously growing popularity of WordPress, it’s not surprising to see majority of webmasters investing in their time and money in WordPress website development. However, in today’s web world full of dozens of websites, having a si…

10 Best PSD to WordPress Conversion Services to Turn Your Design to Reality
Maria Mincey, designsmag.com

Observing the continuously growing popularity of WordPress, it’s not surprising to see majority of webmasters investing in their time and money in WordPress website development. However, in today’s web world full of dozens of websites, having a si…

10 7 / 2014

Download Perfect Effects 8 Free Photoshop Plugin
Enrique Flouret, photoshoproadmap.com
Perfect Effects 8 Free Edition gives you the best way to add subtle to striking effects to your photos instantly or take complete creative control and transform your images into uniquely stylized images. It’s also the easiest and most versatile wa…

Download Perfect Effects 8 Free Photoshop Plugin
Enrique Flouret, photoshoproadmap.com

Perfect Effects 8 Free Edition gives you the best way to add subtle to striking effects to your photos instantly or take complete creative control and transform your images into uniquely stylized images. It’s also the easiest and most versatile wa…

10 7 / 2014

The Ultimate Incredibly Useful Web Design Checklist
uzra mohiuddin, techmagnate.com
Web design­ing can be a com­pli­cat­ed process, even for sea­soned vet­er­ans. There are sev­er­al things you need to keep in mind, and sev­er­al bases that have to be touched before the design is cal …

The Ultimate Incredibly Useful Web Design Checklist
uzra mohiuddin, techmagnate.com

Web design­ing can be a com­pli­cat­ed process, even for sea­soned vet­er­ans. There are sev­er­al things you need to keep in mind, and sev­er­al bases that have to be touched before the design is cal …

23 6 / 2014

Today there is a whale of WordPress sites on the net. This number has been increasing through the years, and keeps on going in the same direction these days. Want a bit more accurate data? 34% of all websites are powered by various CMS, and WordPress sites are the half of this amount. Does it sound impressive to you? Ease of use and developer support – these are two main factors that have rushed WordPress to the top of most used CMS.

Using WordPress, you’ll never be alone. If you got stuck or need help, big WordPress community (designers, developers, writers, users) can always help you find answers for all questions. This community is a powerful force that pushes WordPress forward on the market.

WordPress is a tool for both amateurs and hobbyists who want to get a blog or a website up and running quickly. Medium or even less design or development experience is enough to create a site on WordPress.  

One more pleasant fact about WordPress is a number of free themes that constantly appear on the web. They are a perfect solution for creating a desired site without extra money investment. Of course, you can find a number of premium variants all around the web, but in focus of our attention are free themes today. The list below will show you the freshest themes that are completely free. The scheme of starting a site on their basis is extremely easy: choose the free theme you like, customize it according to your needs and get your site up and running.

No outdated designs in this compilation! We keep track of the latest and greatest Free WordPress Themes, so welcome the collection of cool freebies. Prepare for getting your inspiration flowing and check out all items from collection below.

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Mixfolio

Looking for a perfect option for a blog or portfolio? Consider this clean modern theme with responsive layout. Notice that this design allows to select any post format you need.

Demo Download

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Tribbiani

A bunch of powerful features like embedded search engine optimization tools, supporting galleries and comments, CSS transition effects, social media sharing options make this theme a good basis for your blogs with a lot of images.

Demo Download

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Fancier

Choose this masonry-styled theme with a cutting-edge look to start a creative blog. Its well-structured design puts emphasis on images, so you can present content illustrated with photos in the most favorable manner.

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Sixteen

Image-heavy blogs will find this responsive theme extremely useful. Easy on the eye layout, a variety of customization options, CSS transition effects, great galleries – find these and much more features in it.

Demo Download

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Openstrap

Here is one more responsive modern theme with a bunch of features: 11 widget and 3 menu options, 6 layouts and 2 front page templates.

Demo Download

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Church

This responsive template is tailored for a variety of websites (business, personal). Customizing with ease its color scheme, header/footer, menus, adding necessary widgets you can get the site you need.

Demo Download

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Adelle

Feminine bloggers will find this minimal design with a nice pink header a perfect fit for their online projects. Responsive layout makes it possible to browse this theme on various browsers. By the way, it was successfully tested across the most-used browsers. Custom menu, blog categories, Twitter and Facebook feeds are a part of design.

Demo Download

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Asteria Lite

Enjoy elegant theme with responsive layout, image & text top slider, Ajax pagination (allowing smooth navigation through posts without a need to refresh the page), also it’s fully translated into several languages.

Demo Download

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Theron Lite

Looking for user-friendly WordPress themes? Consider this stylish responsive template with awesome fonts, easy to use theme option panel, 3 widgets and 5 shortcodes to start a good blog online.

Demo Download

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ButterBelly

For the fans of latest design tendencies, here is a theme to enjoy – clean & clear fully responsive lightweight template offering customization options for logos, backgrounds, intro texts. It also supports several widget areas. Business or whatever blogs can make use of this design.

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Flounder

So flat and so stylish! It’s all about the next free WordPress theme. By the way, it’s responsive and goes with a colorful support for featured posts and a number of other customization options.

Demo Download

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Inkness

This fully responsive premium looking theme can be used for a variety of business websites. It’s retina ready, with 2/3 column layout, features full-screen slider, CSS transition effects and a lot of other useful features.

Demo Download

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Codium Grid

The following highly customizable theme features clean design, wisely arranged content in grids. Built-in SEO tools and Instagram widget make it even more attractive for those who are seeking for a good blogging theme.

Demo Download

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WP Jurist

If a website for law companies is a matter of interest for you, have a look at the ready-made free WordPress theme to start such a website. Simple and effective design with top slider, widgets and a long list of customization options will help you get a project up and running in no time.

Demo Download

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That was the last item in this compilation, but you can be sure that plenty of them will be launched in the nearest future. I promise to share the best of them with you. Stay tuned!

Author’s BIO: The author of this post is Katarina Klementi, a freelance writer with 5 years of experience in web design industry. Visit her to find inspirational collective posts with freebies, design goodies and a lot of creative and useful stuff.

06 6 / 2014

What are all those images on the site for? They illustrate everything that can’t be said with words and constitute a good half of the site content. When chosen correctly, they cohesively play with the written content, highlighting its most important parts and visualizing the main idea. Herein works the rule “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Therewith, text that is enlivened with images looks more appealing for the site visitors, since it’s easier for a person to perceive information of various kinds.

How are all those images organized within the site? Let’s see the most typical places to find them.

Full-width images. They can be found in the top sliders, on background, or a part of ambient video backgrounds. They set the right tone, look impressive and make the whole design look appealing for the viewers.  Using them in modern designs, it’s possible to grab visitors’ attention as soon as they enter the site. Photography and art, fashion, beauty spheres are the first to make use of such images, so as business, architecture and a number of others that want to be presented in never-to-forget way.

Textures, patterns, etc. Most often they are used as a part of background making it sound more cogently. And again, they are atmosphere setters here that work for better design perception.

A part of the content. As it was mentioned beforehand, being harmoniously applied within text area, they illustrate, accentuate it and give a rest to viewers’ eyes in the upshot.

A part of navigation. Icons and various larger images with neat hover effects over them call to action and help to lead the viewers throughout the site seamlessly.

Being an integral part of a site, they become the front points of online shops. What can show a product better than its professional picture? Galleries, sliders, categories, video parts – any online shop can’t live without images. The most used way of presenting them is a slider, and that’s the point of this post which features the most desirable sliders that are completely free and ready to go.

The most common answer to “what’s the best slider to choose for my site?” will be “the one built with jQuery”. They are in a great demand because of small size that gives an opportunity to be loaded faster in a website. Being responsive is another requirement for a good slider. Choosing this one you can be sure that such adaptive slider will be correctly displayed on various mobile and tablet devices.

In the compilation below you’ll find various free jQuery sliders featuring so many useful options. You’ll be able to add some captions, images, whatever transition effects, etc. They come with detailed documentation, so it will not take you much time to customize the chosen one.

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Slippry

This modern responsive slider goes with jQuery functions, CSS3 tricks and HTML5 elements. Captions, pop-ups - you can easily make it look as you need it.

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AnoSlide

Here is a lightweight jQuery carousel plugin you should consider if looking for a well-done responsive slider for your project. Using it, you can implement a carousel that will be viewable from desktop and mobile viewports.

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CraftySlide

The next item is 2kb slideshow built with jQuery. You’ll certainly like an easy way of working with it and a bunch of options like custom width and height, various pagination types, fade time, delay number, etc.

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Orbit Responsive Image Slider

Easy and powerful. What’s more important for a good responsive jQuery slider? It requires minimal HTML markup to function, and Javascript takes care of most of the heavy lifting.

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Triple Panel Image Slider

If you need something original, try this slider with a triple panel. When all its panels are rotating, it creates a 3D look. This effect was created by means of applying CSS 3D transforms with perspective and CSS transitions.

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Simple Multi-Item Slider

This slider will come in handy for all content heavy sites that need a well-done categorization. It will help viewers browse a bunch of products in one place (minimal jQuery slider) with easy on the eye effects created using CSS animation.

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Owl Carousel Image Slider

Nice carousel slider can be done on the basis of this easy-to-work-with plugin. You can choose the desired layout and options that you need, and be sure that this responsive light slider will perfectly work on your website.

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Full Screen Responsive jQuery Image and Content Slider

To arrange everything within categories wisely and present it via slideshow, try this easy-to-construct responsive content slider.

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Modern Slide In

Here is one more solution for showcasing products. This horizontal slider with pagination is fully responsive, so it will be nicely displayed on various handheld devices.

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Glide

The next slider is a great contribution to web design community. It pleases the viewer’s eye with efficient CSS3 transitions and works on all possible devices.

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Responsive jQuery Any Html Content Slider

With 4 transition effects, 3 built-in themes, pager, thumbnails and arrows navigation, this jQuery responsive slider offers everything you need for showcasing visually-appealing images with captions.

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Vertical Showcase Slider with jQuery & CSS Transitions

Whether you have online store or portfolio, this vertical full-width slider will present all images in the best possible way. The items move in opposite directions within this slider. Just enjoy the way it works, and you’ll certainly like it.

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Fullscreen Slideshow with HTML5 Audio & jQuery

This slider comes with embedded audio playback. Choose it to get a wonderful slideshow that can be empowered with the desired audio.

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Awkward Showcase

jQuery plugin for a slider where you can add tooltips, enable thumbnails, activate dynamic height and lots more.

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Slider JS

The last item of this compilation will be a responsive jQuery plugin. It goes with touch and CSS3 transitions.

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If you still hesitate which one to choose, look through their demo versions one more time. It can happen that cool visual effects of the one will grab your attention. Hope, this compilation will help you find the one that is the most efficient for your website.

Author’s BIO: Walk with me to learn all you wanted to know about philosophy, psychology and aesthetics of modern web designs. How to find me? Katarina Klementi on .

28 5 / 2014

We are all sick and tired of all those best-trends-of-2014 posts with long enumeration of the same points that we’ve been talking about for half a year. Sigh with relief, ‘cause this article will not get into the cliché territory. Describing the major trends is just the top of the iceberg, and it’s much more interesting to delve into the question deeply. I want to show you the evident tendencies that are clearly seen in most current designs, but for some reasons are omitted in the list of main trends. For sure, your subliminal perception has caught these modes, and now let’s talk about them overtly. Subliminal, implicit – let’s define these trends in such a way because of their unapparent nature.

With your favor, I’ll give a quick view at all-know-about trends before shifting to the implicit ones. Skip this paragraph, if you’re already drugged with pleasure of reading the same collations, and move to the next one with a list of subliminal trends. So, what are the most obvious of these days?

  • Responsiveness. It’s a must have feature of modern designs in the age of progressive mobile technologies.
  • Cross-browser compatibility. Your clients may prefer any browser of these: IE, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Android, and your site compatibility with all of them should be positive.
  • Minimalism. Actually, it’s the main direction of today’s web space. People are tired of flowery imagery and designs. If you want to make them interested in what you say, use laconic style.
  • Flat design. It springs from the previous point – minimalism. Being clean & clear, flat design approach wins the hearts of millions of designers and their viewers.
  • Content centric design. You appeal to the audience by means of your site design and the information it presents. Put emphasis on the content, make sure that it is readable and well-organized, and it will always be pleasant to read it.
  • Storytelling. Captivating way of presenting your company drives people in. Sites with parallax effect or seamless scroll with Javascript animation offer enjoyable journey around.
  • Vibrant typography. All that headings sticking out the page layout facilitate readability and work for visual division of the content.

The list can be continued with a couple of minor trends, but let’s stop and focus on the key point of the post.

Subliminal Trends of 2014

Hipster Elements

The omnipresent hipster culture couldn’t come by the web space and assumed the shape of hipster designs that you can easily notice among a number of others. They are hyper-trendy, cutting edge, stylish, never dull and extremely popular for today. You can discover that design is a hipster one due to the following markers: mustaches/glass/arrow/bicycles/beard/pointers vectors, washed out colors, vintage elements, styled ribbons. Elements that are widely used here are black & white layouts, large logos, focus on typography and Instagram-like photos. Talking about hipster design I should mention crossed X logos as its most peculiar element. You’ve seen a number of such crossed logos that look like a big X with objects and types arranged around it. In the examples below you’ll see how it’s realized on live sites.

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Buffalo Dandy

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Herrlich Media

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James Pedrazzini

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Muriel Labro

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Oxydo

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Horizontal Projection

Plan view designs or horizontal projection is a noticeable trend of this year that makes a site look like your desktop. Designs with such background photos remind so familiar for all of us workplace with objects scattered around it. It can be various phones, tablets, watches, mugs, pens, and other office stuff of this kind. Such designs communicate a cozy atmosphere and make people feel comfortable and relaxed, like at their own desk at home. These pleasant feelings make visitors return to such sites most of which deal with business, food industry.

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Designabile

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MIJLO

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The First Time

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The Oven

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Gnosh

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Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian design with its cold refined pastel wins millions of designers’ hearts. It comes from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland countries where nature and weather conditions predetermine culture, art and design. Most of the latter are noticeable for austere tone and “cold” colors. Functionality, timeless aesthetics, clean minimalism are the three characteristics of Scandinavian web design. Uncluttered layouts with simple forms, negative space and focus on the content – this is how Scandinavian hazy designs look like. Blue, green, gray, beige are most used colors in such layouts. You can easily notice them by simple typography, neat logos, light vintage tone.

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This Exquisite Forest

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Colin Grist

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Sydney Copywriter

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Umbruch

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Hello Monday

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Pastel Layouts

Shifting away from gaudy coloration of websites is the most evident trend of today’s designs. Pastel colors take center stage and turn the web into elegant, sophisticated and dreamlike. What’s implied under the term “pastel colors”? These are low saturated designs without strong chromatic content. You can call them soothing, neutral, milky, etc. Being used in website design, they create soft and friendly atmosphere, arousing calm feelings of the viewers. You can see them on background textures and photos, on logos and tiny icons, fonts, frames. It’s a wrong assumption that they are perfect for feminine sites, ‘cause a number of business, personal pages with a strong masculine nature make use of pastel color sophistication.

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We Are Fictitious

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Tailormade

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Petit Mariage

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Fruute

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RuedaFilm

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Ambient Video Backgrounds

Using video to tell your story, you make it more captivating. Actually, there is no better way for storytelling than a good video sequence. It can stir viewers’ emotions thus creating a closer connection with them. Attention grabbing, vivid, these capturing imaginations and driving conversations can be described in many ways. Vast, complex ambient video backgrounds hold the crown of popularity and are widely used here and there on the web. While watching them, the site viewers stay longer at your page, learn more about your company, and services it offers. Some developers can argue about the complete perfectness of this trend because of long loading time (sometimes), but still the trend is popular and thus is worth your attention.

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eClarify

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The Source

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Frick Marketing

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TAG Interactiva

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Story & Heart

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The recipe of a good design is simple. Good imagination that gives rise to creativity, all that skills you’ve obtained, experience and knowing of all the popular tendencies that turn a site into a cutting-edge one. The major trends sound familiar to everybody, but there are those that are quite evident and for some reason are not spoken about. These subliminal tendencies (hipster, Scandinavian designs, layouts in muted colors, video background) are integral part of modern web design that makes it definitely noticeable.

Author’s BIO: Walk with me to learn all you wanted to know about philosophy, psychology and aesthetics of modern web design. How to find me? Katarina Klementi on .

26 5 / 2014

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Want them? Grab them.

Author’s BIO: Katarina Klementi is an author of this post. Visit her to find inspirational collective posts with freebies, design goodies and a lot of creative and useful stuff.

29 4 / 2014

Broadly speaking there are two types of designs in web design.

One is flat design and the other one is skeuomorphic design.

Tim Worstall defines skeuomorphism as follows:

If you’ve ever used an Apple product, you’ve experienced digital skeuomorphic design: calendars with faux leather-stitching, bookshelves with wood veneers, fake glass and paper and brushed chrome. Skeuomorphism is a catch-all term for when objects retain ornamental elements of past, derivative iterations–elements that are no longer necessary to the current objects’ functions.

Skeuomorphic design intends to help users by explaining to them through graphics what a particular element intends to do. So when you use the Notes app on an Apple device, the background of the screen on which you write, opens up like paper. This sends out the visual signal that the screen is ready to take notes and hence you can start typing.

Hence this type of design not just looks visually appealing but also helps the users of the site.

But it has its drawbacks.

Firstly some people are arguing that skeuomorphism is outdated now. They say, when the Internet was new and people were still learning how to browse websites, then they needed help and guidance, which was provided in the form of three dimensional, real world type of designs.

But now who isn’t familiar with the Internet? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is carrying a smartphone today and hence there is no need for all those glossy reflections and fancy shadows on elements.

They say such extra graphics cause delays in design and can increase the load time of the website. Research shows that even a delay of the order of tenths of a second in website load time can cause the visitor to hit the Back button and switch to a different website.

These are the reasons why more and more companies (read - Apple, Microsoft, Mailchimp) are shifting to flat designs.

A flat design is the one which does not attempt to portray any real world images or icons in the design. As such it is free from any three dimensional images and hence doesn’t use any graphics for fancy shapes or lights.

Take a look at flat images design collection of Depositphotos to see what I mean.

A flat design is a sort of minimalist design. It only keeps those elements which are necessary and avoids the use of any unnecessary pomp and show so that attention is not distracted away from the main design.

A flat design almost every time signifies sophistication. The matter is presented in a simple, professional way. Usually lots of white space is used and only those images, buttons, and forms are used which are really needed.

Since it uses lesser graphics therefore load times of flat designs tend to be much smaller and the websites load much faster and quicker and navigation is easy.

Microsoft was one of the first companies amongst the tech giants to use this flat design on their website. Since then some other top notch companies and many other small blogs and websites have embraced it.

A survey showed that 68% of the web professionals said that flat design is here to stay.