25 of the Best Websites for Educational Institutions

Educational institutions like schools, colleges, and universities can use an attractive and effective website in several different ways. Quality websites can be helpful for attracting applications from new students, and the websites can also be useful for communicating information to existing students, parents, and even donors.

In this post we’ll feature 25 well-designed educational websites. Many of them are from universities and institutes of higher education, but other types of schools are represented as well. Hopefully this collection will provide some inspiration that can be put to good use in your own work.

Biola Undergrad

Biola Undergrad

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5 Quick Marketing Tips to Keep the Client Pipeline Flowing

Does this sound familiar?

You’re busy with web design work, so busy that you don’t have time to market your freelancing business. You have multiple projects going on at the same time,so many that you can barely get them done.

Then, when you’ve finished your last project, there’s a deadening silence. Projects aren’t coming in. You aren’t hearing from potential clients. And you’re starting to panic.

quick-marketing-tips1

What’s happened is simple. Your web design client pipeline has simply dried up. Seasoned freelancers refer to this as the feast or famine cycle.

The fact is that your slowdown happened because you stopped marketing your business while you were busy.

You may think that you don’t have time to market your freelancing business, but you can continue to market your business when you are busy without spending a lot of time. In this post, I’ll share five mostly quick marketing tips that you can use even when you’re very busy. By using one or several of these tips, you can keep your client pipeline flowing.

If you liked this post, you may also like Facts About Marketing for Freelance Designers.

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Using Parallax Scrolling without Overdoing It

Parallax scrolling has been around since the 80s when video games used the effect to make foreground images move at different speeds than background images. It wasn’t until about 2011, though, that parallax scrolling became popular on the web after Nike released its Better World microsite in January of 2011. At that time, parallax was new and exciting. It made a huge impression on first time visitors because of the stunning effects. Now, it has become an overdone effect that is (hopefully) slowly dying down.

Just because an effect has been abused, however, does not necessarily mean it should be thrown to the wind. Some websites use parallax scrolling in just the right amount and the right way – to pique the interest of viewers but point them to the right places. Even ecommerce sites can create some pretty excellent parallax that lends, rather takes away, from conversions. For other websites, parallax scrolling ruins the entire experience of the visitor, turning their site into something very un-usable and confusing. So how do web designers know how to correctly implement this effect?

The first bit of advice to remember is that there are plenty of other ways to make a site stand out and draw visitors in to an experience without parallax scrolling. But if you must use it, then make sure to keep the following points in mind.

Use It for the Right Website

Not every website will benefit from parallax scrolling. In fact, parallax is not beneficial for any website on which users want fast information. Parallax requires scrolling patience, especially if in between helpful information are a bunch of added graphics and cutesy animation. These distractions will usually end up annoying visitors who are in a hurry.

Storytelling websites, however, can benefit greatly from parallax scrolling. Again, you don’t want to create so many extras that getting to the right information is almost impossible. But a parallax effect can really add to the experience and emotional response of a story.

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This Week’s Newest & Popular Premier Files

As you have probably noticed by now, we have shut down VandelayPremier.com and moved everything back over to this domain. With so much new content being added each week, we are going to start highlighting our newest and most popular items added to the shop from the previous week. Every Tuesday, expect to see what all our members are downloading in our Shop each week.

Be Mine, Valentine!

With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, you’re sure to need high quality, professional graphics that still have a lovey-dovey feel for yourself and your clients. Use this subtle blue Valentine’s Day vector background to share your love with the world on the 14th.

Be Mine Valentine Vector Background

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7 Top Tips for Balancing Multiple Web Design Clients

Being a freelance web designer can be a bit like being a juggler. By that I mean that most of the time you have more than one web design project you are working on. You have to keep all of your projects going and on schedule. The juggling act can be a real challenge.

Juggling Multiple Clients

If you come from traditional employment background, balancing multiple clients is probably new for you and it will probably require you to change your attitude and your work habits.

In traditional employment, the employer assigns projects to you based on your current project. They also tell you which projects are most critical and which are not. If they’re a good employer, they’ll also make sure that you’re not too overloaded and provide you with constructive feedback.

As a freelance web designer, things are completely different. You’re responsible for finding projects to work on. It’s very easy to accidentally overload yourself. In addition, many clients do not provide feedback. And not only do you have to keep one organization happy–it’s likely that you will deal with multiple clients, often at the same time.

If you’re having trouble balancing multiple clients, this post can help. In it I provide seven tips to help you work more effectively with multiple clients.

If you liked this post, you may also like 7 Tips for Prioritizing Tasks Effectively.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-Commerce Platform

Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your website is now easy task. There are hundreds of different options available with options in all different price ranges and with varying features. If you’re overwhelmed at the process of choosing the right platform for your site, or for the site of a client, the decision usually becomes much clearer once you’ve determined what is most important for your site. In this article we’ll look at some specific questions to ask yourself, or your client, to help lead to the right choice. Make sure that you take the time to make a wise and informed decision, because changing platforms down the road can often be a time consuming and costly experience.

General Categories of E-Commerce Options

Before we look at the factors that you need to consider, let’s first take a look at the general categories of e-commerce platforms. Most of the hundreds or thousands of e-commerce platforms out there will fall into one of these six categories.

1. Enterprise E-Commerce

Enterprise e-commerce systems like Magento’s Enterprise Edition are feature-rich and robust systems that are typically used by large or fast-growing companies. Of course, with the advanced features and capabilities comes a higher price tag.

Magento Enterprise

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Personal Websites: 25 Examples for Your Design Inspiration

Personal websites are becoming increasingly popular. They can be used effectively for promotion, job searches, personal branding, and just for communicating with friends and family. These personal websites can often serve as a creative outlet and allow the site owner more freedom than they would have with a website that is tied to their business. Personal websites also allow the owner to change directions easily if their interests or purpose for the site changes at some point in the future.

In this post we’ll feature 25 examples of well-designed personal websites. This showcase presents a variety of different styles. You’ll see mostly blogs and/or social streaming sites, but there are a lot of different approaches and design styles. Some are minimal and clean, some use bright and vibrant colors, and others use more artistic and eye-catching designs. Hopefully this showcase will serve as great inspiration if you are considering designing a personal website of your own.

Brady Williams

Brady Williams

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10 Signs That You Bring a Business Mindset to Your Freelance Web Design Business

You have the web design skills. You have the knowledge. You have the experience. Yet, you could still be missing a critical element that is crucial to your success in running a freelance web design business.

Having a business mindset means that you treat your freelance business like, well, a business.

Freelancers who don’t take care of the business end of things often face obstacles and struggles as result. Sadly, some freelancers who lack a business mindset wind up paying for it in the long term when their web design business runs into trouble.

attitude is everything - motivational slogan on a napkin with a cup of coffee

Fortunately, there are some pretty easy signs to tell whether you bring a business mindset to your work. In this post, I’ll identify ten such signs. If you find that you lack a business mindset, it’s not too late to make a few changes.

If you liked this post, you may also like 7 Ways to Kill Your Freelance Career Before it Starts.

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Is Responsive Design Still King in Today’s Mobile Age?

Asking the question, “Is responsive design still king in today’s mobile age?” requires some explanation. The first bit of information necessary for this question to make sense is the fact that mobile device use has increased exponentially in the last few years. According to an infographic from DigitalBuzzBlog, in May 2011 only 35% used a smartphone and 17% still had no cell phone, but by May 2013, these numbers had increased to 56% smartphone users and only 9% without a cell phone. In fact, mobile web use is growing 8 times faster than use in the 90′s and 2000′s. And half of average global mobile users access Internet primarily or exclusively on a mobile device. So a website that works for a mobile device, which include tablets, is necessary for any company to remain accessible and competitive today.

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30 Beautiful Corporate Websites

In today’s marketplace, every company needs an effective website. Of course, the purposes and needs of each company’s site will be unique, but every company should have a site that presents a professional image to visitors. That image should also be an accurate representation of the company and should work with other branding efforts to present consistent messages to customers.

Portfolio websites, blogs, and e-commerce websites often get attention as sources of design inspiration, but today we’re focusing on corporate websites. The purpose of these sites is to provide information about the company and its products or services. Here you’ll find 30 excellent examples that should serve as some inspiration for your own design projects.

Journey Group, Inc

Journey Group, Inc

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