Tag Archives: business

Why is Whitespace So Important in Web Design?

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Many web designers still consider whitespace with negative space while the fact is whitespace is an important element of design for good reason. In fact, if used well and correctly, it can provide many advantages to your website and transform a design. What are the advantages of using whitespace? Read the points below.

  1. Increased Content Legibility

It is important to give a clear description to users about where they should be going and reasons to keep reading. For instance, by applying whitespace between paragraphs and around blocks of text and images, one can help people understand what they are reading and as a result, it can produce a better user experience.

  1. More Interaction

If you wish to increase visitors’ interaction, you can apply a good amount of whitespace that can prevent distractions that can slow the visitor down. Besides, a slight padding around objects will help draw attention to a specific area on your site. In fact, according to research conducted by Human Factors International, whitespace increases comprehension by almost 20%.

  1. Ability to Highlight Call to Actions (CTAs)

In order to highlight something, usually designers will make things bigger. However, you can also try other tricks, such as surrounding the item with whitespace which works effectively to highlight things.

  1. A Tidy Site Equals an Impressive Site

People say that first impression matters a lot and it’s true. You can apply great solid layouts, good color schemes to add the impression, but whitespace is important as it indicates finesse and ingenuity. Some people think that whitespace will make your website look bare and minimalistic. However, with the right usage, you can add a sense of elegance and superiority to your website.

  1. Creating Balance

Knowing how to apply the right amount of whitespace is absolute, since having too little whitespace causes confusion, disorganization and unreliability qualities, which you surely don’t want to associate with your site’s brand. Oppositely, using too much whitespace could highlight a lack of content and a lack of user guidance. Hence, balancing your whitespace design is the best solution for an easy accessibility and improved user experience.

  1. Acts as a Separator

Another benefit that is offered by whitespace is that it separates unrelated elements in a design. It can be used to separate images/graphics from each other and improve your overall visual layout. However, above all, whitespace helps to produce clearer communication or ideas and effective designs.

Things to Consider when Using Whitespace

After knowing the benefits that whitespace may provide you with, now you have to learn on how to apply it the best way. Sometimes, whitespace can often be crowded out of a design, so to prevent this thing from happening; you need to know how to resolve it. Take a look at some ways below:

  1. Designer vs. Developer

Designers and developers often work together in a project. Usually, the layout is passed on to the developer who hands it back to the designer. After that, the layout looks will totally be different compared with the first design. Therefore, to avoid making lots of change, it will be better for designer and developer to collaborate and discuss layout concepts/wireframes, highlight and emphasize padding, as well as plan out margins and line heights and all the other design details of your site to avoid any misunderstandings and confusion.

  1. The Fold

Not many designers know how to maximize the usage of whitespace, in fact they insist on squeezing as much content as possible high on the page, which, as a result, takes too many spaces on the page. It is important to remember that we do not know the point where users have to start scrolling. Since it is impossible to know the fold lies on viewer‘s screen, it is not worth worrying about.

  1. Explaining Your Design

The last stage is to discuss with your client and explain your motive and principle. In this case, make sure you use easily understandable words or conversations rather than make fluffy generalizations. Moreover, it is important to back up the choices and stay clear of vague arguments that may make little sense to others.

From the explanation above, we can see that whitespace has lot of advantages and functions more than we might know. It doesn’t only create harmony, balance, and help to brand a design, but it is also used to take a reader from one element to another. Furthermore, nothing can beat whitespace in terms of producing simple and uncluttered look that delivers better information that your readers will surely enjoy and appreciate.

Knowing What’s Missing in WordPress Functionality

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WordPress has become one of the most well-known website platforms in the world. Many people love this platform because of its flexibility, security and ranges of plugins that one can install to provide additional functionality. However, with many benefits that it offers, WordPress still lacks with many things. If you are a web developer, the information below can be beneficial for you. Here are a few requests for the missing functionality in WordPress; and some workarounds for the meantime.

Ability to Duplicate Posts

WordPress is equipped with completely redo settings to get the desired output which can be unnecessarily time consuming. This functionality on WordPress is limited to the use of a plugin: Duplicate Post.

With a duplicate post plugin, you can “clone” a post or “create a new draft”. The latter copies the post and opens it in a new window for editing. On the other hand, the former creates a new post entirely.

Moreover, you can also edit settings that let you do things like copying with this plugin:

  • Original date,
  • Original status (saved to draft, published, pending),
  • Original excerpt; original attachments,
  • Children of the original page,
  • Taxonomies/custom fields.

You are also able to work with custom post types in this plugin. Unfortunately, not all plugins are compatible and doesn’t necessarily call out these incompatibilities on the front end. As a result, it can cause worst scenario, such as complication from using this plugin can crash your website, so it is important for you to have a backup.

Bundle Settings and Plugins for New Installs

If you are planning to create multiple sites in WordPress, it would be particularly helpful to have some functionality that combines all the desired features into a file that could be uploaded to the site you’re building. If you work with clients in a similar industry, you will see that many WordPress websites have the same base features. However, installing /activating the launch list plugins one by one is tedious, so as a solution, you can install WordPress Install Profiles plugins. Once installed and activated, Go to Plugins > Bulk Install Profiles.

Furthermore, you can easily add or remove plugins from the list with a default list of plugins. Use the name on the plugin’s URL to add a new plugin, after that, give the list profile a name and download it to your computer.

You’ll need to have the WordPress Install Profiles plugin installed and activated on that site, then import the profile you want to install on another website. However, since this plugin hasn’t been updated in many years, there may be compatibility or security issues associated with its use.

SITE CACHING

Site caching supports your site to load faster by storing the website processes in an HTML file to be loaded as needed. That is why page loading is a major factor for ranking in technical SEO. To avoid any server calls, developers wish that WordPress had site caching.

Even though you cannot find site caching built into the platform, there are many plugins that can initiate this process, like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Actually, there are some WordPress hosting companies that offer site caching. However, many find that site caching offered through a web host is more efficient than these plugins, so if that’s an option, don’t install a caching plugin.

Built-In Form Builder

You can find a lot of form builder plugins, but since most businesses use forms anyway, why not add this functionality to the WordPress core code? Rather than waiting for this functionality missing in WordPress, try an all-purpose contact form plugin like Contact Form 7. With contact Form 7, you can manage multiple contact forms, and you can easily customize form and email content with simple markup. Besides, Contact Form 7 supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, and other important security factors. Another benefit that you can get is the simplicity to set-up, flexible, as well as it offers customizable default messages, and easily-defined mail messages.

Improved Theming System

In terms of the theming system, WordPress still needs lots of improvement. There are still “sloppy code” and “disastrous mix of business and display logic”. In the current version, you can see that template hierarchy does not take plugins into account. As a result, the plugin has to override the template system, or create a workaround to provide a default template for displaying this custom post type if you have a plugin with a custom post type for movies.

The more complex the code base, there is a greater opportunity to improve code practices, eliminate short codes, and fix template hierarchy for a more efficient base theme.

Custom User Permissions

In general, WordPress serves its users with 5 roles:

  • Administrator
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Writer

In terms of managing tasks, each of these roles has their own specific limits. Many developers suggest it, so that WordPress could allow users to set, specify, or limit what each individual user can do, especially for a multi-author/user site.

To overcome this functionality missing, you can use Advanced Access Manager plugin; which manages both frontend and backend access.

File Browsing Interface

Even though you can find various plugins available, you have to be careful in choosing the right plugin for your website, since certain plugins may cause your website to slow down. By having an error code, you can identify this, but when it does not, then you have to manually deactivate all files, and then reactivate them one by one in the admin area to determine what is causing the error. However, you have to use a File Transfer protocol (FTP) like Firezilla to backup all plugin files if the error does not allow access to the admin area.

Besides, developers can quickly fix issues without needing cPanel/FTP access since you can access files directly from WordPress.

Nowadays, WordPress is still the most powerful platform on its own. No wonder there are various plugins that have been developed to support the functionality missing in WordPress, even though many developers are still hoping that the issues will immediately get built-in solutions.

Ways to Make your Apps Serverless

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The rise of a new buzzword has made many people think that servers no longer exist, but the fact is, a server is still needed somewhere. This is why the “serverless” term may mislead many people. What makes “serverless” term is that you can successfully build your applications without deploying code to your own servers. Therefore, as a web developer your dream of spending less time worrying about servers and more time for building software will come true.

Serverless in Action

When your site serves many readers a month, it means that the traffic that comes to our scale is significant and sudden, as articles can go viral at any moment. As a result, you may have trouble keeping up and our engineers are spending too much time on operations. Therefore, as a solution, you can take a look at serverless platforms which offer you a complete success of your projects, such as more maintainable, easier to operate, and cheaper.

Amazon Web Services

Serverless has a close relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS). In fact, AWS is the answer for one critical question; where does the custom code go? The concept of using third-party services and platform is not new, with database, you can push notifications, caching, and many other layers of an application have all been available ‘as a service’ for a while, but they sat on the edge of your application. Therefore, a server is still needed as a place for core application code, which is usually a server responding to external requests. Through AWS Lambda and AWS API Gateway, you can deploy custom application code without the overhead of managing your own servers.

AWS Lambda

Applying Lambda is quite simple, you only need to write code and upload it. Lambda is Amazon’s version of functions-as-a-service (FaaS). Then, as a response to events including HTTP requests, S3 uploads, DynamoDB updates, Kinesis streams, and many others, AWS will run the code. Since scaling happens automatically, you are only charged when your functions are running.

None of these features are strictly a requirement for serverless, but AWS has certainly set the bar high. Any serverless platform will likely to have a stateless FaaS offering with very granular billing because of the precedent set by AWS.

Other Platforms

Right now, Amazon may still be the first competitor in the arena, but other providers are showing up quickly. All the major cloud platforms have recently launched services targeted at serverless applications. Here are a few of them:

  • Google Cloud Functions: Still in alpha, having almost the same functionality to AWS Lambda and can also be triggered by HTTP requests.
  • Azure Functions: This platform is still relatively new and similar to Lambda. Other benefits are Azure has a pleasant UI and makes it easy to expose functions over HTTP without needing a separate routing service.
  • IBM OpenWhisk: This is the only open source platform. You will want to investigate this, if you are interested in deploying your own serverless platform or just curious with how they work under the hood.

Challenges

If you think serverless is the solution of every problem, you might be wrong, for serverless does not come without its challenges. In fact, the community is still discovering best practices, especially when it comes to operations as the space is new and as such. In fact, this platform still requires tools for deploying, maintaining and monitoring our applications. However, many believe that there will be many new startups’ third party services targeted at solving these problems for serverless developers.

Tools

With lots of open source community, it is possible to manually build and deploy serverless applications yourself, but we suggest that you use the existed frameworks, since a few endpoints, building, packaging, zipping, uploading and versioning all become difficult to manage. Here are some frameworks that you might want to consider:

  • Serverless framework: This framework has a robust plugin system and integrates with many community developed plugins with many community developed plugins. Its stated goal is to eventually support deployment to any of the major cloud platforms.
  • Apex: Even though it is written in Go, it supports Python, Node.js and Java runtime languages. Furthermore, the inventor of this tool, TJ Holowaychuk, is a well-known fixture in the open source community and has a great sense of what makes for good developer tools.
  • Chalice: it is the only framework created and maintained by AWS and currently supports Python.
  • Shep: If you are looking for framework that can be used for all our production services, Bustles’ own open source framework can be a great choice. It focuses on the Node.js runtime and strives to be opinionated about how you should structure, build, and deploy applications.

 It seems that in 2017 “serverless” technology will keep growing and you will see rapid adoption from startups to fortune 500 companies. This is because many developers have realized that the serverless movement is the best way to build better software.