Articles by ‘Steven Snell’

Should I Use a Hosted E-Commerce Platform?

When you’re trying to decide what platform, shopping cart, or CMS to use for an e-commerce site the options can become overwhelming. You could go with an open source option, a simple shopping cart for selling digital downloads, an enterprise system for large shops, create your own custom system, or choose a hosted platform.

In recent years several hosted e-commerce platforms have gained in popularity, partly because they are very easy to setup and use. Every option will have pros and cons, and in this article we’ll take a detailed look at hosting platforms to help you decide if this is the right option for you or your client.

What is a Hosted E-Commerce Platform?

A hosted e-commerce platform will provide you with web hosting as well as the e-commerce functionality. You’ll pay one monthly fee that will cover all aspects of the service, and you’ll get support from one company for both the hosting and e-commerce. A company like Shopify has created their own e-commerce system and it can only be used on their own servers. You can’t use a traditional web host and use Shopify on your site, it must be hosted with them. Of course, there are pros and cons of doing it this way, and we’ll look at them in just a minute.

Shopify

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New PSDs: UI Kits and Web Elements

New in the Shop this week are all kinds of bright and bold PSDs to help you up your design level. Web Elements PSD Pack Brand spankin’ new to the site today is this Web Elements PSD Pack! With bright corner ribbon PSDs, image viewers, and a even world map navigation PSD, you’ll have more […]

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Ultimate Collection of Free Photoshop Styles

Photoshop users can save time during the design process by making use of layer styles. Whether you are saving your own custom style to be used multiple times throughout your design, or using pre-made styles created by other designers, taking advantage of this feature in Photoshop can greatly speed up your workflow.

In this post we’ll link out to hundreds of useful Photoshop layer styles that can be downloaded for free. Many of them have been created especially for text, others for buttons, and some are more general. Download the styles and apply them to your layers for instant results.

8-Bit Photoshop Styles

8-Bit Photoshop Styles

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25 Beautiful Calligraphy Fonts for Designers

Having the right fonts is critical to successful graphic design. Fortunately, there are a lot of quality free fonts that are available for use. In this post we’ll feature 25 calligraphy fonts for download. When you’re in need of a script or calligraphy font, the choices showcased here will provide plenty of variety. Although they are all calligraphy-style fonts there are different styles represented.

Be sure to check the restrictions and license details before using any free font to be sure that you are using it according to the terms.

Champignon

Champignon

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All About Contract Templates

This week in the Shop we’re all about contract agreements. We know as designers, you hardly have enough time to finish your work before the all-approaching-deadline, much less have time enough to write up a contract for each job. Enter these new contract templates! Outsourcing Agreement Contract Template All too often we take on multiple […]

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60 Photoshop Tutorials for Photo Touch-Ups

Photoshop has tons of potential for improving photos in one way or another. Even subtle improvements can make a big difference in the end result. Whether you are interested in touching up your own photos or doing professional photo editing for clients, Photoshop can allow you to get the job done.

This is a categorized collection of tutorials that will show you some new tricks for photo touch-ups. You’ll find tutorials for working with skin, eyes, teeth, nose, hair, body, colors, lighting, and more.

How to Touch Up Skin in Photoshop:

Really Cool Digital Make Up in Photoshop in 10 Minutes

Photoshop Touch-Up Tutorials

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This Week’s Newest & Popular Premier Files

Hope everyone had a Happy St. Paddy’s Day! This week sure is flying by, so to slow it down a bit, let’s take a look at some of the new premium files added in the Shop this past week.

Blue Flash UI PSD Kit

UI kits are just about the all around, catch all, perfect resource for web designers, and this new Blue Flash UI PSD Kit is no exception. Download and see for yourself how simple creating user interfaces can be.

Blue Flash UI Kit

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35 Beautiful and Free Thin Fonts

Typography is a critical aspect of web and graphic design, but finding the right font can often be a challenge. If you’re looking for a quality thin or light font, this post should be an excellent resource for you. Here you’ll find 35 free thin fonts.

These fonts can help you to create elegant, high-quality designs that feature beautiful typography. When you’re using them to design something for yourself or for a client, they can prove to be extremely useful. If you find yourself looking for fonts frequently, bookmark this page so you can reference it the next time you need to find a thin font.

Most of these fonts allow for commercial use, but as always when dealing with freebies, be sure to check the license before using it in your own work.

District Thin

District Thin

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40 Beautiful and Effective Responsive Navigation Menus

Ease of navigation is one of the biggest keys to the usability of a website. If visitors can easily find what they are looking for they will be more likely to stay on the website rather than leaving and going to some other site. Effective navigation can help to increase pageviews, improve the user experience, and even increase revenue and profit.

As more and more users are accessing sites via mobile devices, responsive web design has continued to increase in popularity. One of the challenges of designing and developing responsive websites is to create a user-friendly navigation menu that works equally well for visitors on all types of devices.

While a few years ago navigational menus were a primary visual element in almost every web design, many responsive websites are now opting for a navigation menu that is much less dominant visually. These sites typically use a familiar icon of 3 horizontal stripes to indicate that a menu will be opened on click. Of course, this is only one approach and other websites use totally different approaches.

In this post we’ll showcase 40 different navigation menus of responsive websites. This will showcase many different styles and approaches, and should provide some inspiration that can be put to good use in your own design and development work.  The best way to experience these navigation menus is to click through and see how it works in the browser.

Grain & Mortar

Grain & Mortar

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