You want good clients and not bad clients, but how can you tell the difference?
If you’ve been a freelance web designer for a while (and especially if you have a strong online presence), this has probably happened to you. Out of the blue, you get an email asking about your web design services from someone you have never heard of working for a company you have never heard of.
Yay! You might think it’s time for a celebration. But as an experienced freelancer, you know to be careful. You know that it’s important to evaluate prospective clients. You shouldn’t agree to work for every single prospect who contacts you.
First of all, you want to make sure that their inquiry is legitimate. And you should also consider whether they are the right client for you.
In this post, I’ll list five steps to help you evaluate a prospective client. At the end of the post, share your tips about how you evaluate clients.
If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform to use for an upcoming website, Shopify is an excellent choice. Shopify is a hosted system that makes it easy to get your online shop up and running very quickly. Part of the appeal of Shopify is the selection of beautifully-designed themes that are available. Although custom design is always an option, it’s not a necessity with the quality templates that are available for reasonable prices.
Shopify includes a wide variety of features, including a powerful content management system, blogging engine, integration with more than 70 payment gateways, unlimited hosting, coupon codes, and more. They also offer 24/7 support and since they provide the hosting you won’t have to worry about things like security and PCI compliance.
Shopify is also a great option for designers. They have a partner program that allows designers/developers to make money by creating themes and add-ons, and by referring clients to Shopify.
Here you’ll find a collection of 40 themes that are available for Shopify users.
For many freelancers, especially beginners, a very real fear is to fall victim to a scam job. Once you have been around awhile, you automatically can recognize scams. In fact, freelance graphic designers and web developers can get to a place in their career in which they acquire most of their work by referrals, and the freelancer is almost the one who does the "interview" to see if this is a client worth their limited time.
However, you could be a seasoned freelancer whose client list has become stale, which finds you looking for jobs to bid on in the marketplace – you may have forgotten what scam jobs look like in this case. And, of course, for very many graphic design freelancers new to the business, scams can be quite common.
Like many web surfers, I could waste a lot of time browsing through infographics, especially if they are insightful or funny. In fact, infographics are becoming a popular way of providing information, creating awareness, or simply attracting attention with some humor. As such, infographics are a design speciality that should be added to any designer’s list of skills. The benefit? You will always find businesses needing an infographic for their blog. The drawback? Infographics can take a long time to create.
However, just as with any other design skill, becoming faster and better at creating infographics is as simple as researching and practicing. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun along the way. So, here for both your entertainment and education are 10 humorous infographics that are quite beautifully designed. Some are thigh-smacking hilarious, a few clever, and others a little odd in a funny way. Take a look, enjoy, and be sure to let us know which of these are your favorite.
Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics
This incredible web-based infographic designed by NeoMam Studios presents reasons why infographics are so popular in a brilliant paralax scrolling effect. The team designed the entire infographic using HTML5 and CSS3, and while more informational than humorous, it still includes some funny illustrations that will produce at least a giggle in most viewers.
Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.
The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of “white space”. The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, without strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.
Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention “free for commercial use” are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.
A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.
Udemy offers the best in online education for creative professionals. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors around the world, enabling you to get there faster.
Udemy’s team recruits the world’s top experts, including New York Times best-selling authors, CEOs, celebrities, and Ivy League professors. These instructors have taught over 500,000 students on Udemy, helping them learn everything from programming to photography to design to yoga and more. Founded in 2010, Udemy is funded by Insight Venture Partners, Lightbank, MHS Capital, 500 Startups and other investors who previously foresaw the internet giants YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon and Yelp. Udemy is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Today for only 8 more hours our users have been offered 75% off of any single course. If you have been thinking about trying out their training now would be the perfect time to get the best deal we’ve ever seen them offer. Here are a few suggested courses for you to check out.
USE CODE: DISCOVER775
Creating Responsive Web Design
Could your profession as a web designer be making you sick?
You may not realize it, but your work habits can make a big difference in how you feel. If you don’t believe me, think about how much time you spend at work.
If you work full time, you probably spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week on your web design projects. Add it up and that’s a significant chunk of time.
Bad work habits can lead to poor health. Poor health can hurt your profitability. If you’re not working and you freelance, you’re not earning money. So, the best thing to do is make sure that you don’t have unhealthy habits.
In this post, I’ll identify seven common health problems many web designers and other freelancers face and explain how you can safeguard your health (and your business) against each one.
Note: I am not a doctor. This post should not be considered medical advice. If you experience pain or health problems that will not go away, you should see a physician.
If you’re looking to get into the web design/development industry there are loads of resources and courses to help with your education, but deciding which route to pursue is not easy. There are two basic approaches: going to a university for a formal education, or taking a self-taught approach and learning on your own. In recent years a growing number of colleges and universities have added degrees specifically for web design and development, and of course a graphic design/arts degree is also an option.
In this article we’ll take a look at the arguments for both approaches, and we’ll also provide information on plenty of resources to help you get started with learning on your own if that is the route that you choose. If you’re considering a career as a web designer/developer, you’ll want to take some time to educate yourself on the options that are available and see what is the best fit for you personally. There is no right or wrong approach, but following a path that isn’t the right fit for you can result in a lot of wasted time and money.
Pros of Being Self Taught
When it comes to web design and development you’ll often read or hear of someone being “self taught”. What this usually means is that this person did not receive a formal education in the field of design or development. In reality, being “self taught” typically involves things like reading books, following online tutorials, watching videos, and plenty of experimentation. The self taught designer still learns from others who are willing to teach, but it’s usually by way of informal articles and tutorials rather than a classroom setting. So don’t be intimidated at the phrase “self taught” as it does not mean that you will need to figure everything out on your own. With that in mind, here are some of the most convincing reasons why you might want to skip the formal education and just learn on your own.
There are a number of different ways to earn a living as a designer or developer. Of course, you could work as an employee for a design studio, you could work as an in-house designer for a company, you could freelance, or you could start your own studio or agency. While those are the most common approaches, they are not the only options. With loads of competition for client work, a growing number of designers are actually using a combination of a few different sources of income in order to earn a living.
You may have heard or read about earn passive income as a designer. In this article we’ll take a detailed look at the opportunities to use your design skills for passive or recurring income.
What is passive income for designers? Well, there are a lot of varying opinions and different definitions out there. For the purposes of this article we’ll be looking at things aside from client work or work that you would do as an employee.
With client projects, whether you are charging an hourly rate or a flat fee for the project, you are essentially exchanging your time for money. The amount of money that you can make will be limited by your rates and the amount of time that you can work. The approaches that we’ll be looking at in this article are not passive in the sense that they require no work, but the amount of money that you can make is not limited to the number of hours that you are able to work. In most cases you’ll be putting in the majority of the work upfront, and then you’ll (hopefully) be able to continue to make money from that work well into the future. And you may be able to make money repeatedly for the same work, which is where the recurring aspect comes into play.
AJAX is an extremely powerful tool for bridging the gap between your server side code and your client-side code. It enables you to not only make better interfaces and more useful tools, but to lower your bandwidth usage and optimize your code while you’re at it.
While AJAX can be implemented freely anywhere, WordPress has built-in support for it, and there is a standard way to use it in your themes and plugins. Let’s take a look at the steps necessary to get going with AJAX.
The AJAX Flow
As you may well know, to create something useful using AJAX you’ll need a few things:
- An action which triggers the call
- An AJAX call
- Server side code which is executed
Not all these steps are required all the time, but in general this is how it goes. Let’s continue by thinking up a scenario where AJAX would be useful.