KillerSites Blog

Design

Top 3 Reasons to Use WordPress to Build Websites

February 5, 2019

WordPress, is the most popular CMS in the world … and for good reason.

Spoiler Alert: Yes, WordPress did approach us to do this.
Also, SPOILER ALERT: we don’t know how to use spoiler alerts…
It’s not selling out or corporate schilling because we actually believe in and love this product, and are happy to tell you guys about it. It works for us and we hope it works for you, if you need something like this; plain and simple. Yes there are other platforms comparable to WordPress and if you are happy with them, more power to you. But if, you’re curious about it, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for, whether it be style or function.

We could list all the amazing functions and plug-ins right here but it’s easier to just watch the vlog.
That way you can see my awesome sweater-jacket too 🙂

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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UX Principles in 2019: Art, Science & Common Sense

January 19, 2019

These days, UX and UI are by far the most important aspect of any web app and perhaps, most software written. At least any software that has a visual component.

Let’s get down to it! For those of you on the fence about becoming programmers and are reading this and breathing a little shallow because you have no idea what we’re talking about, “and oh my god, I can’t do this, I don’t know anything…” Breathe, my friend… You are welcome here and all is revealed to those who ask…

UX = User experience. Essentially how a client/customer “experiences” a website. IE: are the articles too bunched up that it hurts the eyes? Are all the buttons the same color? Is the “BUY NOW” button right under the product so you can see it and not have to go looking for it? Etc.

UI = User interface. What the user interacts with to “experience” your product. IE: Touch screens, laptops, phones, etc

I’m not going to lie, these things do overlap sometimes and the blurred lines can make even the most seasoned programmer start muttering curses under their breath, like Yosemite Sam. But instead of separating the two, let’s lean into it. Let’s look at a set of principles that will make all your work in UX (with a dash of UI) streamlined, simple and elegant…

I really recommend watching the video for further explanation because, “there’s a certain set of rules but there’s also a bit of an art to it. …I’m going to teach you some of the rules that I’ve learned over the last few years in terms of designing UX for user interfaces whether it be websites web apps or mobile apps…” …and also I want you to watch the video. Enjoy!

PS – As always, stick around after the chat for a soothing ride that ends up…in a cemetery!!! I know, right?!

 

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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What is Best in Website Creation

December 7, 2018

These days we have many options when it comes to building websites, but which is the best way to build in 2018?

Let’s talk websites and the building thereof… So, you’re a small business owner or an aspiring website creator? Maybe you’re just interested in what goes into building a website. Well, there are many options and each has their PROs & CONs:

HTML & CSS
The traditional way to do web design coding, these would be the two “languages” you’d have to learn and they can (theoretically) build any type of website. “There is literally no limitations, in terms of what you could build if you got into the nuts & bolts: the basics of building a website.” However, the downside is that you’re going to have to learn it; that is to say time investment, theory, practice; all the stuff that goes into learning a skill. But that being said, you know how to program!

Web Design Programs
These can range from programs where you have to know a little bit of code (Dreamweaver, Brackets, etc.) to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, down to easy site builders like WIX, for example. All are very different approaches (which we will touch on in the video) and vary in the amount of control you will likely have…

The key word here is control. As we go from straight up coding down the line, we lose flexibility and versatility; it goes from creating the very thing you see in your mind’s eye, to “what you see is what you get” on the building sites. And of course, that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong or lazy with building a “wham-bam” website if that’s what fills your needs, but check out our video and you might get an idea of how to better fill those needs. And check out the links at the bottom if you’re curious about the aforementioned web design languages. Mastering the code of website creation does have it’s perks…

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/complete-freelancer

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?

November 15, 2018

Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?

So you’ve got a client; maybe they’re your first, so you really want to do a good job and WOW them. Maybe they’re not but you’re a professional and always putting your best foot forward. But these clients are asking/demanding something that you’ve never really had to deal with before. They want you to prove the efficacy of your work. They want a tangible return on investment. Maybe you want this job so bad that you decide offer a guarantee that few others in your field can offer…

Can you/should you offer web sales?

Short answer: No. Why would you? That’s not really your job. General rule of thumb: “If you have to convince a business that a website is good for their business, then you probably should move on to another business.” “It’s like convincing a business that having a telephone is going to be good for business, so that the client can call them”. In short it a little crazy, bordering on unreasonable and not you responsibility.

On The Other Hand…

If you’re positive you can deliver on this promise (maybe you’ve even negotiated a tidy 25% of the sales generated from the website on top of your fee), then provided things go smoothly, Cha-Ching! But, would you be about to watch this video if you were 100% sure things were going to go smoothly? All sorts of problems can arise from you not being an expert in the client’s; not knowing what drives sales or their model, to your client booting you and you having no recourse, just to name a few…

We’re gonna look at some of the challenges facing web sales for clients and throw a few tips and strategies your way. And just in case you’re feeling a little anxious by all of this, stick around to the end of the vid where we’ve got a nice little view and a moment of serenity to keep things in perspective. For some of you already in the middle of a bad client web sales drama, take a breather.

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur Course: https://www.killervideostore.com/video-courses/complete-entrepreneur

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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KISS [Kode it simple, slick]

November 15, 2018

Super complicated client side JavaScript and CSS, are all too common these days.

Are you being original or just gumming up the works?

A simple -if not a little insulting- acronym. How many times have we come across a co-worker, a manager, or even a boss drooping the old “kiss bomb”. Keep it simple, stupid… easier said than done? Sometimes, YES: absolutely. But other times, when we take a step back and look at the whole picture (maybe even take our egos out of the equation), we come to realize that simplicity can be clean, elegant and best of all easy.

Huge messes of code are a symptom of one or more of the following:

1. bad developers

2. overly complex frameworks

3. coders purposely hiding code …. by making it insanely complex.

At the risk of sounding old, “It’s not cool to write complex cryptic code that nobody can understand. Simple code is the best code”…ya young punks! And really you’re only hurting yourselves… What’s gonna happen when you have to go in 6, 8, 10 months down the road for updates and you have no idea what’s going on?

The pros keep the their work simple and clean where they can and not only do they look good, competent and in control; it saves them time. So get out there make life simple for yourself.

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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You know Code but your Design Skills Suck – what can you do!

October 3, 2013

design skills

Hi,

Based on a recent forum post where someone with code skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) wanted to improve their design skills … and he was not talking about learning PhotoShop … actual design skills he was concerned about. My answer:

To begin with, look to design principles:

– alignment
– whitespace
– font use
– color use

If you have your page elements nicely lined up, don’t use more than two fonts on the page(!), keep your page colors properly matched (no clashing colors) and give the page a lot of breathing room (good use of whitespace) … that will go a long of making the website look good.

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Web Design for Developers – Book Review

February 18, 2010

Hi,

This book’s title does not do it justice – it’s also a great book for intermediate web designers (just out of web design diapers) who want to take it a few steps further.

The book revolves around the redesign of a pretty bland looking web site. You are walked through the whole design process:

  • sketching out the design/layout ideas.
  • interacting with the clients.
  • how to choose colors and fonts for the web site.
  • designing a logo!

Then you get into the coding (HTML, CSS) aspects of the web design process:

  • Why develop with Firefox vs Internet Explorer?
  • Basics of CSS and handling specific CSS tasks.
  • Dealing with browser compatibility issues.
  • Accessibility and usability.

… And a lot more of course.

If you are a web developer or web designer who wants to learn how to put it all together, this book does a pretty good job walking you through the process.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook.

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Book Review: Web Designer’s Reference

August 2, 2006

This book is a mirror image of the book Web Design with Dreamweaver 8 by the same author – except this book is for hand coders.

A good title for people new to modern web design practices that include:

  • CSS for layouts
  • Semantic code
  • Accessibility in web design

The topics are covered within the context of small usable projects, that can easily be adapted to your own web design work.

Though published in 2005, the material is still relevant and still is a pretty good buy.

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Top 7 alternative Image Editors and Converters

April 17, 2006

List of Free Image Editors

A LIST OF FREE IMAGE EDITORS AND CONVERTERS

PowerBatch 2.7 – 1.6MB
– Batch renaming, resizing, converting, printing, rotating, colour adjustment, cropping.
– Crop with aspect ratio confinement.
– Built-in FTP client!
– All program files are contained in a single folder.
– Converts JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BITMAP and JPEG2000.
– Supports animated GIF and multipage TIFF.
– Contact sheets.
– Image effects.
– Add text.

Paint.net – 4.9MB
– In development.
– Clean GUI.
– Developed with help from Microsoft.
– Requires 24MB .NET Framework 1.1 to run.
– Limited layers support (cannot be moved on canvas).

Pixia 3.1 – 3.6MB
– Not much known about this one yet.

Photofiltre – 1.6MB
– Multiple images open at once.
– Many plugins.
– More than 100 filters.
– Feature packed.

FastStone Image Viewer – 2.4MB
– Convert major formats (inc. PSD).
– Lossless JPEG rotation.
– Magnifier viewing.
– EXIF support.
– Resizing, flipping, rotating, cropping, colour adjusting tools.
– Crop with aspect ratio confinement.
– Compare images side by side.
– Batch image converter/resizer.
– Supports animated GIF and multipage TIFF

Xnview – 2.1MB
– Utility for viewing and converting graphic files.
– Imports 400 graphic file formats.
– Exports 50 graphic file formats.
– EXIF.
– Copy, cut and crop.
– Brightness and contrast adjust.
– Modify number of colours.
– Filters and effects.
– Windows print (Contact Sheet) and TWAIN support.
– Supports animated GIF and multipage TIFF.

GIMP – 7.3MB (Windows version)
– Probably the best open source contender to Photoshop.
– Requires GTK+ 2 runtime environment – 3.5MB.
– Layers support.
– Difficult to get used to GUI layout (or so I’ve read).

Thanks to Tim

Stefan Mischook

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