KillerSites Blog

Web 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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The More You Learn, The More You Earn! How Much Money do Developers Make?

December 18, 2018

…Fair warning: this may get a little depressing but it’s worth it; promise…

Chances are at one point or another you’ve felt the itch. That feeling of wanting a change of [job] scenery, maybe even a new career path. Some of us grab opportunity by the horns and just make that switch, others make a more calculated move that usually involves taking some courses, making some phone calls and waiting for the right time to jump and land on the “terra-firma” of a new career.

Much to the utter amazement of the last group of us who unfortunately feel like there’s no chance; maybe we feel like we’re under-educated, maybe our present job has sucked all the motivation out of us or maybe we’re just scared to fail and fall behind on payments (mortgage,bills,etc.).

I’d imagine the issue becomes especially worse when you’re looking into technology jobs, like a software developer. Our insecurities about our own skill and ability to learn can be almost crippling. We may even ask ourselves what are real benefits of investing myself in this field? Not to mention the time/energy commitment and how much money are we really going to make?

Short (and admittedly somewhat vague) answer: lots of things. But right after job satisfaction, let’s face it: it’s money. How much will do I stand to make? Check out this video and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…

Also, if you’re wondering how stable a software development job is, check out this page.
The good news is, the more time you invest in learning new skills and competencies, the more money you can charge knowing that you are fully worth that amount <the more you learn, the more you earn>. So get out there and absorb all the knowledge you can. It may take time, it may take more energy than you thought, but it’s worth it and so are you!

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/stefanmisch…
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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Let It Flow: 5 Things that will Speed up your Web Workflow

October 30, 2018

Applies to web design and just about any type of programming too!

A HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!

Let’s start off with a scary premise… You’re starting a project or maybe you’re knee deep in the middle of one and you just feel stuck, or trapped. You’ve become mired in details and trying to be a programming hero, and you feel like you’re going in all directions at once! You need a better way to manage your workflow, young padawan…

In this video we lay out 5 steps to speed up your workflow whether a web designer or a programmer you be! Without too many spoilers, I’ll give you a little taste of what I’m talking about with tip number 4: Get the UI in front of the client ASAP. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t…) how many programmers and designers want to have this almost completed, work of DiVincian (yes that’s a word now) art to show the client. Nope, “You can mock all this up in HTML and you get the feedback from your client as quickly as possible.” Wouldn’t it suck to build something up and then have to change “…core behavior in your application because the client didn’t quite know what they wanted until they saw it?” Check out this video and free up some more time, money, and sanity for yourself.

 

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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Shamelessly Self Promoting my Web Design Training Package!

August 27, 2018

Hi!

I come from a family of teachers, and in carrying on the tradition, in 2002, I started creating web design and development courses for all those non-nerds out there.

The average person is socially more adept than your average nerd – this is true. But unfortunately, this typically means the average individual needs a more ‘human’ explanation of the languages of web design and development. If you are not aware, here they are:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • PHP

The problem with so many code courses out there, is that they are ‘taught’ by nerds who don’t know how to teach. Yes, you are right, teaching is a separate skill from coding. Imagine that!!

🙂

Teacher + Programmer = rare combo

Fortunately, my experience teaching, and 20+ years experience as a coder/programmer, gives me the right mix of skills that allows me to create learning experiences that are fun, easy and very effective. You will learn more, and faster with my web design and development training package.

… But don’t take my word for it, here is an email I recently got from a student:

Hi Mr. Mischook,

Your courses are amazing. I can’t thank you enough.

I had tried a few other online programs (free and paid), without success. I felt like I just couldn’t hack it after trying those resources, and that maybe learning to code wasn’t for me after all. But I still had a deep desire to learn how to program.

I went back to work on my first (and so far, my only) webpage that I started in CodePen when I was attempting to learn to code through other sources. I left the page in complete shambles, until I found your courses on StudioWeb via your YouTube videos. Now, it looks presentable (in my opinion). I couldn’t be happier.

Your courses are so well-done and the sequence makes perfect sense. You fill in all the gaps, and I feel like I actually understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, which is very important to me. (I like details.) I purchased your book Web Design: Start Here as a reference manual. I’m looking forward to your entrepreneurship course once I complete your web developer course.

Forgive me if I’m over the top or inappropriate. I just appreciate your efforts, and I hope that your websites gain many new subscribers.

Cheers!

Stacey Nash

Stacey was nice enough to give me permission to use her email. Thanks Stacey!

If you would like to learn web design and programming as quickly as easily Stacey has, check out my courses.

Stefan

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Core Programming and Coding Concepts Outlined

August 27, 2018

Some of the most important things programmers need to learn, are the foundational concepts and techniques I refer to as the ‘core’.

Here are few examples:

• consistent and proper naming conventions.
• code formatting.
• simple modular code.
• using accepted design patterns like MVC.
• importance of being consistent with the way an apps’ codebase is structured.

Sadly, fundamentals like these are omitted by most online courses. These lessons should be interwoven within the context of any good programming course.

The ‘core’ principles are soooooo important, because they not only provide a solid foundation, they actually speed up the process of learning.

Check out my popular web design and development training package:

https://shop.killervideostore.com/

Stef

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Talk on Optimizing a Website’s Performance

June 9, 2018

For database driven websites (web apps,) typically the biggest bottleneck is the database. So be sure your database is optimized. With SQL based databases, that starts with proper table design and smart indexing. That will handle 98% of websites performance needs.

In terms of client side code (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript,) it comes down to lazy loading strategies, the use of CDNs, and being sure you don’t have boatloads of JavaScript slowing everything down.

How about image optimization?

Back when I started building websites, in the day of the dinosaurs (1990’s)we used to be concerned about image size, and how ‘big’ the webpages were in terms of kilobytes … but we live in the YouTube generation now, with high speed mobile internet, HD and 4k video being watched on smartphones. That means that a data limitation is typically NOT the bottleneck anymore … it’s processing (of code) on both the client and server.

If you are reading this, you probably want to learn modern web design and development, or you may already know how to build websites, but you want to become really confident in your web skills … just like all my students who took my unique web design and programming training course.

After you take my course, you will be amazed at how much you know! Below, you will find a few student quotes, screen captured from YouTube comments.

Thanks!
Stefan

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Will Wix Kill Web Design?

June 1, 2018

Evil, evil, evil Wix!! That is the cry of many web designers. Will Wix kill web design? Short answer: nope.

Why won’t Wix just kill web design?

Simple answer: Wix doesn’t do it all, and frankly, professional web designers should just embrace Wix as an optional tool. Yes, some small business will opt for Wix (or some other web builder,) but many will realize sooner or later, that it does have its’ limits. When small business owners figure this out, in comes the modern web designer of 2018 and beyond!

Consider this:

There has always been an evolution in the software field. What I have seen over and over again in the last 23 years, is the promise of amazing leaps forward, where we ONLY end up with gradual improvement.

These days we can produce web apps and websites in a fraction of the time it used to take us, but the work for well trained web developers is still there, because the bar for modern websites is just simply higher today. The tools, push the bar up. Which is good!

So yes, some older practices/jobs go, but they are just replaced with new specializations in the field. To point, Wix. Yes, a non developer / amateur can put out a basic site with Wix, but they will often lack good UI, and especially UX skills, that make sites successful.

… Wix cannot account for good UX. Yes, Wix can make a site look good. But any experienced designer knows that UX is far, far more important than UI.

In terms of extended functionality, Wix now has a programmatic JavaScript layer for more advanced website customization. But you have to know JavaScript. So here is an example of how a good JavaScript coder who has UX skills, can work (and bill) in the Wix world.

For me, Wix is just another tool of the trade that smart web designers embrace.

If you want to learn web design and programming in record time, take my IWD course! It will make working with Wix, WordPress and vanilla web design, as easy as slicing an apple pie.

Stef

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