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wordpress-arturo

WordPress 6.0 ‘Arturo’ Is Here With Nearly 1,000 Changes

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WordPress 6.0, code named ‘Arturo,’ is rolling out with nearly a thousand improvements and new features.

WordPress 6.0, named ‘Arturo,’ is launched and ready to go. This update introduces nearly 1,000 updates and enhancements that make WordPress more intuitive to use for both developers and end users.

Several notable updates, which you can read more about in the following sections, include:

  • Faster website performance
  • Page creation patterns
  • Block locking
  • Stack & row variations
  • Global style variations
  • Ability to select text across multiple blocks

Some of the changes, like faster website performance, will be felt immediately. Others, like the brand new page creation patterns, are features for theme developers to roll out.

Every update to WordPress is named after a jazz artist. This version is named after the Grammy-winning jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill. He is associated with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

The official WordPress announcement explains:

“The latest version of the software takes full site editing one step further and looks to consolidate the ‘no code’ experience for site-building, expanding upon the existing customization tools, bringing new blocks, and focusing on the writing and design workflows.

An example of this is the new style switcher for block themes, one of the most anticipated features for the flexibility and creative opportunities it introduces without having to switch themes.

‘With thoughtful updates to the writing experience, building better block functionality, and adding a new intuitive style switcher, I’m really proud of the work that’s been done in this release to make a great site editing experience,’ says WordPress’ Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.”

WordPress 6.0 Is An Incremental Update

WordPress 6.0 is the culmination of the work of over 500 people in at least 58 countries, encompassing close to 1,000 improvements.

Ordinarily when a product undergoes a version change, like a new Android phone model, end users expect to see dramatic changes. That’s not really the case with WordPress version changes.

While this is a “dot 0” release, version 6.0 is best understood as part of a series of incremental improvements meant to preserve backwards compatibility while also introducing improvements.

WordPress 6.0 is a version number change but it’s not on the scale of a revamp. The publishing experience between versions 5.9 and 6 are improved.

According to the official WordPress announcement, there is no need to be wary of updating, encouraging all site owners to update now in order to enjoy the many benefits of this release.

“Site owners and administrators should upgrade to take full advantage of the many stability, performance, and usability enhancements today.

WordPress content creators will enjoy a suite of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences.”

A spokesperson from WordPress shared with Search Engine Journal:

“This release picks up right where 5.9 left off – focusing on bringing full site editing further into view and improving the overall experience of the block editor, wherever you might use it.

6.0 has a collection of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences shared by most WordPress users.

Of course, like all recent WordPress releases, this one includes performance enhancements, your typical stability improvements of the core code, and a lot of small improvements that enhance the site-building experience.”

WordPress Performance Improvements

WordPress 6.0 ships with performance improvements that will contribute to making WordPress faster for site visitors.

There are improvements to how queries are executed against the database and also to how caches are managed.

This means fewer numbers and types of database calls resulting in greater efficiency that translates to faster performance.

New Features That End Users Will Love

Page Creation Patterns

One of the most important changes is the Page Creation Patterns feature.

Ordinarily, when creating a web page a publisher might start with a blank layout. Page creation patterns is a way to select from multiple layouts as a starting point.

The WordPress core itself won’t ship with the layouts, this is something that theme developers need to build into their themes.

Block Locking

Block Locking is a feature that prevents an end-user from accidentally deleting or moving an important block. The new feature is available through a block settings drop-down menu.

Andrew Wilder of the WordPress support company, NerdPress (@NerdPress) offered his opinion that while 6.0 ships with “tons” of improvements that end users will like, he believes that the page creation patterns feature is one that they will most appreciate.

Wilder said:

“For many of our clients, the Page Creation Patterns will be really helpful, especially once plugins are available to pre-built patterns that are specific to their content. That could be a huge time-saver!

I’m also glad to see the new Block Locking feature – right now it doesn’t let you lock changes to the block content, but it can stop you from accidentally moving or deleting a block.”

Stack & Row Variations

A useful addition is the ability to create dynamic flex-based containers by stacking blocks into a column or a row layout.

A flex-based container is so-called because it is flexible and automatically adjusts to viewport, shrinking for smaller mobile devices and expanding when necessary.

Multi-Select: Select Text Across Multiple Blocks

In the new blocked-based WordPress editors, creating a web page layout is done using what’s called blocks, building blocks, so to speak.

Blocks are like containers where content can be inserted. Content can be images, text, whatever.

An example of an incremental but exciting change in WordPress 6.0 is the ability to select text across multiple content blocks.

This allows a user to select the content within multiple blocks without selecting multiple blocks themselves. This gives publishers the ability to write and control content in an expected manner, contributing to a more intuitive writing experience.

Wilder of NerdPress tested this new feature ahead of time and is enthusiastic.

He says:

“I’m pretty excited about being able to select text across multiple blocks.

That sounds like a small detail, but it’s something that’s been frustrating for me at times — and these kinds of little details really add up to make a nicer, easier editing experience.”

Style Variations

Another exciting new feature is called Global Style Variations.

Style variations allows theme authors to provide their customers a way to easily change the look and feel of their website without having to edit CSS or HTML, dramatically speeding up the process of getting a website up and running.

This is a feature that is implemented on the WordPress theme developer side which improves the WordPress publishing experience for end users.

The WordPress team shared with Search Engine Journal:

“The introduction of style variations in block themes allows theme authors to provide multiple options for folks to switch up the look and feel of a site all with a few clicks in a single theme.

This means you can quickly change things like font weights and default colors in a cohesive way without editing CSS.”

Noteworthy Changes For Developers

I asked the WordPress team what the most important changes that developers should know about.

They responded:

Accessibility Improvements To WordPress 6.0

There have been many improvements to WordPress accessibility which have been documented here.

Among the highlights are:

Aria-Related Accessibility Fixes To WordPress 6.0

RichText: Reverse disableLineBreaks to determine aria-multiline state.

Remove role attributes on SVGs meant for “decoration.”

This is how WordPress described changes to how media is handled in 6.0 for accessibility:

  • “Preserve attachment properties on cropping custom logo. This means that the alternative text, title, description, and caption of an image will migrate over to the cropped copy of the image after cropping.
  • Stop arrow keys switching media if URL focused.
  • Add a “Copy URL to clipboard” function to the list table view.
  • Set break-word on sample permalink so the full permalink will be visible on mobile devices in posts, media, and comments.
  • Remove target blank attribute from media uploader edit links.
  • Remove target=”_blank” from the link to change permalink structures and change link text to clarify link purpose.”

The official WordPress announcement states:

“Accessibility is an integral part of the WordPress mission of fostering an inclusive community and supporting users of all types around the world.

With this in mind, WordPress 6.0 includes more than 50 updates specifically focused on enhancing the accessibility of the platform. You can read about these updates and learn more about the accessibility initiatives that are ongoing.”

WordPress Full Site Editor Beta Label

Something that may be useful to consider about WordPress 6.0 is that the Full Site Editor (FSE) is still labeled as Beta.

WordPress 6.0 improves the editing experience for the end users by making the process of writing easier as well as making it easier to dream up unique website layouts without having to deal with code. But FSE is still considered as a Beta product.

The good news, according to what the WordPress team shared with Search Engine Journal, is that the full site editor will see continued improvement.

The WordPress team shared:

“While 6.0 moves WordPress in the right direction, there’s more work to be done around creating a cohesive site editing experience, so if you’re waiting for full site editing to feel more intuitive, expect that to come in 6.1 and beyond.”

If you are interested in original article by Roger Montti, you can find it here

5 WEB DESIGN RESOURCES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOUR WEBSITE

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The appearance of a website plays an important role in any business whether it is big or small.

The website of your business interacts with the prospects on your behalf. That is the reason why people judge the credibility of your business by its design. While designing your website, keep in mind that your website should be well equipped to cater to a good user experience. A good layout, images, and typography matter more than we usually think.

A study by Stanford found that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. In short, the design of your website:

  • Sets a good first impression
  • Builds credibility
  • Projects authority
  • Proves legitimacy
  • Highlights your expertise

Building a website from scratch can be a daunting task. When you fall short of ideas, take inspiration from others. Make them your muse. When you look at the work of others, you gain a new perception of looking at things that might have been missing in your own work. Also, this way you keep pace with the latest trends. 

In this article, you will find places to look for the best website designs in the world. There is a massive amount of resources available on the internet to get inspired from. But it can be overwhelming. So without any delay check out a concise list of the top five best website designs to seek inspiration for your ideas. 

1. Awwwards.com

Awwwards.com_1.jpeg

Awwwards.com_2.jpeg


Awwwards
 showcases the website designs by freelancers, agencies, and studios. It has many filters to narrow down your search to your specific needs. Awwwards has assembled a proper jury of web experts to award the best and deserving works on the basis of their design, usability, creativity, content, and mobile friendliness. The submitted works are awarded scores and the ‘site of the day’ makes it to the home page. This makes it easy to find the best examples of website design on Awwwards. They have also categorized websites as the most awarded profiles. You can even check out the works of their nominees. 

2. Dribble

Dribble.jpeg

Dribble is home to the best website design professionals. Here you will find many website designs for your inspiration. By the way, dribble is not limited to website designs. It has a large resource of designs from print, product designs, and typography along with web design. The best thing about dribble is that it doesn’t allow everybody to post their work on their website. Only a selected number of people who receive an invite can showcase their work. So check out dribble for quality assured inspiration.

3. Abduzeedo

Abduzeedo.jpeg

Abduzeedo is a community of individual writers who regularly share their ideas related to photography, design, and UX. It is your one-stop destination for daily tutorials of design and UX. Abduzeedo educates about all the design-related topics, may it be architecture or photography. This increases the horizon of your inspiration and you get to know the latest trends being followed in the realm of web design. 

4. Behance

Behance.jpeg

Behance is a large and diverse community of designers who are highly active in making their contributions to the world of design. You will get immensely inspired by the diverse range of designs available on the Behance discover page. Not only this but there are so many filters at work to make your search highly specific. As Behance is a part of Adobe, you can choose websites designed from various Adobe tools. There are so many options in the creative fields to choose from. Behance has unique website designs to fuel your inspiration.

Behance_2.jpeg

5. Siteinspire

Siteinspire.jpeg

Siteinspire has a heavy collection of websites to choose from. If you have a clear idea in your head about how you want your website to look, the multiple tagging at Siteinspire will help you find the closest idea. It is best for searching for specific industry-related ideas. 

Siteinspire_2.jpeg

Siteinspire has multiple categories to refine the style search. If you are confused and looking for a miscellaneous idea, then categories like ‘unusual layout’, ‘unusual navigation’ can offer you some random ideas to increase the scope of inspiration. 

Conclusion

You can also seek inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram web design pages. All of us have come across this quote- “your limitation, it’s only your imagination”. So there should be no limit to your imagination. Your website is the most important selling tool, so be patient with your website design to bring in higher ROI.

If you are interested in original article by Anuja Lath, you can find it here

https://theconversation.com/digital-inequality-why-can-i-enter-your-building-but-your-website-shows-me-the-door-182432

Digital inequality: why can I enter your building – but your website shows me the door?

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When people hear the term “accessibility” in the context of disability, most will see images of ramps, automatic doors, elevators, or tactile paving (textured ground which helps vision impaired people navigate public spaces). These are physical examples of inclusive practice that most people understand.

You may even use these features yourself, for convenience, as you go about your day. However, such efforts to create an inclusive physical world aren’t being translated into designing the digital world.

A large wheelchair sign is visible to the left of a wheelchair ramp.
New buildings are required to comply with a range of physical access requirements, which may include tactile paving (seen in yellow).

Accessibility fails

Digital accessibility refers to the way people with a lived experience of disability interact with the cyber world.

One example comes from an author of this article, Scott, who is legally blind. Scott is unable to purchase football tickets online because the ticketing website uses an image-based “CAPTCHA” test. It’s a seemingly simple task, but fraught with challenges when considering accessibility issues.

Despite Scott having an IT-related PhD, and two decades of digital accessibility experience in academic and commercial arenas, it falls on his teenage son to complete the online ticket purchase.

Screen readers, high-contrast colour schemes and text magnifiers are all assistive technology tools that enable legally blind users to interact with websites. Unfortunately, they are useless if a website has not been designed with an inclusive approach.

The other author of this article, Justin, uses a wheelchair for mobility and can’t even purchase wheelchair seating tickets over the web. He has to phone a special access number to do so.

Both of these are examples of digital accessibility fails. And they’re more common than most people realise.

We can clearly do better

The term “disability” covers a spectrum of physical and cognitive conditions. It can can range from short-term conditions to lifelong ones.

“Digital accessibility” applies to a broad range of users with varying abilities.

At last count, nearly one in five Australians (17.7%) lived with some form of disability. This figure increases significantly when you consider the physical and cognitive impacts of ageing.

At the same time, Australians are becoming increasingly reliant on digital services. According to a 2022 survey by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, 45% of respondents in New South Wales and Victoria increased their use of digital channels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In contrast, research undertaken by Infosys in December 2021 found only 3% of leading companies in Australia and New Zealand had effective digital accessibility processes.

But have we improved?

Areas that have shown accessibility improvement include social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, food ordering services such as Uber Eats, and media platforms such as the ABC News app.

Challenges still persist in online banking, travel booking sites, shopping sites and educational websites and content.

Data from the United States indicates lawsuits relating to accessibility are on the rise, with outcomes including financial penalties and requirements for business owners to remedy the accessibility of their website/s.

In Australia, however, it’s often hard to obtain exact figures for the scale of accessibility complaints lodged with site owners. This 1997 article from the Australian Human Right Commission suggests the conversation hasn’t shifted much in 25 years.

A rendered illustration of a disabled man in a wheelchair and woman with a hearing aid lifting weights.
It’s a human right to have fair and equal access to the web and all its services. Shutterstock

There are solutions at hand

There’s a clear solution to the digital divide. The World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standard has been widely adopted across the globe. It’s universally available, and is a requirement for all Australian public-facing government websites.

It guides website and app developers on how to use web languages (such as HTML and CSS) in ways that enable end users who rely on assistive technologies. There are no specialist technologies or techniques required to make websites or apps accessible. All that’s needed is an adherence to good practice.

Unfortunately, WCAG is rarely treated as an enforceable standard. All too often, adherence to WCAG requirements in Australia is reduced to a box-ticking exercise.

Our academic work and experience liaising with a range of vendors has revealed that even where specific accessibility requirements are stated, many vendors will tick “yes” regardless of their knowledge of accessibility principles, or their ability to deliver against the standards.

In cases where vendors do genuinely work towards WCAG compliance, they often rely on automated testing (via online tools), rather than human testing. As a result, genuine accessibility and usability issues can go unreported. While the coding of each element of a website might be WCAG compliant, the sum of all the parts may not be.

In 2016, the Australian government adopted standard EN 301549 (a direct implementation of an existing European standard). It’s aimed at preventing inaccessible products (hardware, software, websites and services) entering the government’s digital ecosystem. Yet the new standard seems to have achieved little. Few, if any, references to it appear in academic literature or the public web.

It seems to have met a similar fate to the government’s National Transition Strategy for digital accessibility, which quietly disappeared in 2015.

The carrot, not the stick

Accessibility advocates take different approaches to advancing the accessibility agenda with reticent organisations. Some instil the fear of legal action, often citing the Maguire v SOCOG case, where the 2000 Olympic website was found to be inaccessible.

In a more recent example, the Manage v Coles settlement saw Coles agree to make improvements to their website’s accessibility after being sued by a legally blind woman.

Screenshot of the top of Coles's 'accessibility' section on the company's website, with a red Coles logo on the top-left.

After getting sued by a legally blind customer in 2014, Coles made improvements to its website’s accessibility features. Screenshot/Coles

In the Coles case, the stick became the carrot; Coles went on to win a national website accessibility award after the original complainant nominated them following their remediation efforts.

But while the financial impact of being sued might spur an organisation into action, it’s more likely to commit to genuine effort if this will generate a positive return on investment.

Accessible by default

We can attest to the common misconception that disability implies a need for help and support. Most people living with disability are seeking to live independently and with self-determination.

To break the cycle of financial and social dependence frequently associated with the equity space, governments, corporations and educational institutions need to become accessible by default.

The technologies and policies are all in place, ready to go. What is needed is leadership from government and non-government sectors to define digital accessibility as a right, and not a privilege.

If you are interested in original article by Jo Adetunji, you can find it here

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The Horrifying Problem With the Way Web Design and Development Is Taught

The Horrifying Problem With the Way Web Design and Development Is Taught

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Most professional feedback on how to improve your website focuses on the technical, because that’s what’s taught. However, until your website communicates extremely well, the technical part doesn’t matter.

I heard something horrifying at a networking event. This particular event focused on having website designers and developers help answer questions from business owners and non-technical people seeking to, well, have their own website. While the idea of such a tech-savvy bunch might be horrifying to some, that wasn’t what horrified me.

When people would come up and show their websites and ask for feedback, the responses were almost universal from the group of my colleagues. Every single time someone would ask for help, the responses would be about things like accessibility compliance, what plugins they need to be using, why their choice of a particular plugin was good or bad, how they needed to worry about PageSpeed scores and a huge laundry list of deeply overwhelming technical terms for the layman.

This hyper-focus on the technical feedback of websites is precisely the problem with web design and development today. It’s not that things like accessibility, how fast a page loads and how a site is built don’t matter (and frankly, they matter a lot), it’s just that they don’t matter at all when one key component hasn’t been addressed.

It’s the one thing that makes most websites fail before they even have a chance to reach a potential customer: how the website itself is communicating.

Fundamentally, a website is a tool for communication. They serve no purpose other than to help spread information from one person or entity to another person or entity. In other words, without a person on the other end to read, watch or listen to the website itself, it serves absolutely no purpose.

A website’s only purpose is to communicate something to another person

After all, an algorithm really doesn’t care about the contents or nature of a site. The algorithm is just going to do whatever it was pre-programmed to do.

Yet, when it comes to teaching web design and development, very little is actually taught about how a website communicates through both written text and accompanying visuals. At best, there is education about usability studies revolving around UX & UI principles, but rarely are these surfacing for something like a business website, for example.

All of the focus is around the technical crafting of the website — the backend technologies that enable the site to be created, how to do different types of design, structure of programming languages and the like.

Website design and development education ignores communication design

Consequently, because all of the education and knowledge around websites are on deeply technical subjects required to build the sites themselves, and almost none is focused on the communication design of the medium, it’s no wonder that most websites suck.

Further, it’s no wonder that most people are frustrated in seeking out answers to make their websites better. After all, when you Google anything on the topic, you’re only met with more technical answers about things you “must do” to have a good website and none having anything to do with the actual conversation your website is having with someone reading it.

The next time you’re trying to improve your website, rather than focusing on a technical improvement, do this instead: Read it out loud to someone. If it confuses or doesn’t interest the person you’re reading it to, you know you have a communication problem.

So, fix the communication. Write and display better writing, video and visuals to support the communication. Then, you can worry about any technical issues you may have.

If you are interested in original article by Frank Wazeter, you can find it here

wp-pattern-directory

The WordPress.org Pattern Creator Now Open to the Public

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The WordPress pattern directory finally opened its gates to the entire community today. Anyone with a WordPress.org account can log in, go to the pattern creator, and start designing.

For some of us, this has felt like an unbearably long wait. In reality, it took the development team less than a year since the directory launch to put this together. It was no small feat to make it work and put in all the guardrails for such a system in that amount of time.

Some community members have already got a head start. Ana Segota of Anariel Design announced via Twitter that three of her patterns had already landed. “More coming soon,” she said.

Showcase of a specific author's block patterns from the block-pattern directory.  Displays three patterns in a grid.
Patterns by Anariel Design

The pattern directory has the potential to be an onramp for creators who want to contribute to the WordPress project but do not know where to start. The barrier to entry is one of the lowest in the community. There is no requirement to write code or understand all the intricacies of theme design. It is nowhere near as complex as plugin development. It is simply a visual builder that allows sharing art with the world.

I have no idea where this thing is going. I hope to see 1,000s of patterns in the directory a year from now.

I played a small role in building two of the initial patterns from last year. I was excited about the potential for the directory and happy to contribute in any way. However, I was not entirely satisfied with the process because I did not have the creative freedom I wanted.

For example, my vision for an “about me” columns pattern had morphed into something entirely different:

Final about me cards pattern.

By the time it was added to the directory, there was hardly any of myself in it. The first designs that launched were tightly curated, and that was OK. It was more about getting production-ready patterns out to users at the time, and I knew that WordPress.org would eventually open it up.

Today, I started work anew, rebuilding my original “about me” pattern. I have made some alterations because we now have new spacing controls. And the built-in, Openverse-powered search did not seem to locate some of my early images, despite being available via the Openverse site. Nevertheless, it is a work in progress:

Inside of the WordPress pattern creator. The content canvas shows three columns with about, contact, and follow sections.
Building with the new pattern creator.

Users can save draft patterns, too. So, if you want to try your hand at designing one but are unsure if you can finish it in one sitting or do not have a fully-fleshed-out idea, there is no need to worry about losing work. You can save it and pull it up later from your patterns page.

The pattern creator runs Twenty Twenty-One under the hood. The classic theme has a few quirks, CSS that often overrules the core WordPress styles. I would rather have seen Twenty Twenty-Two because it sticks much more closely to the global styles standard. At least people who want to try designing off-site will be able to test with a similar setup.

Patterns should, ideally, be theme-agnostic. However, in practice, the theme that showcases those patterns — Twenty Twenty-One in this case — can make or break a design. Creators should not design specifically for it, but they should at least check its output.

Using the pattern creator is straightforward. It is merely an instance of the block editor with some modifications specific to the directory. It also provides a quick welcome screen:

Welcome popup over the pattern editor on WordPress.org.  It teaches what the creator is.
Welcome screen to the pattern creator.

Overall, my experience with it went reasonably well for a Day 1 launch. Most of the hiccups that I encountered were with the image search. It timed out on occasion, and filtering images was not a perfect experience. Despite being powered by Openverse, it does not offer the same filtering tools.

I hope that the pattern creator will eventually tie into the WordPress photo directory. The built-in search is a neat tool, but you sometimes have to wade through dozens or hundreds of outdated images to find something worth using. The photo directory feels fresh and modern. Plus, we should be prioritizing the work of those contributing to WordPress.

There are still many open tickets for the pattern directory, and it will undoubtedly evolve based on feedback and usage. However, this is a solid launch of the pattern creator. Well done to all the folks who made this happen.

If you are interested in original article by Justin Tadlock, you can find iy here

Web-Design-Mistakes-To-Avoid

Three common mistakes designers make when creating websites for clients

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You can be the best coder in creation, but that doesn’t always translate into success as a web designer. Many freelance web designers and web design agencies struggle because they make the same mistakes over and over again. We spoke with Matt Konarzewski of Vision Marketing to outline three of the biggest howlers.

A website is the beating heart of any business. A well-designed site can help clients grow, attract more visitors and even turn them into happy customers. Get the design wrong, though, and it can spell real trouble for your clients.

To get some insights into how to do it right, we approached Matt Konarzewski of Vision Marketing. His agency recently won a Wix Partner Award for sophisticated code deployment for its client website, Code Zero Yachts.

Read on to discover Matt’s tips and see examples of Vision Marketing’s great work built using Wix, layered with advanced coding.

1. Being too afraid to speak up and challenge the client

We all know that web designers succeed by pleasing their clients. But that doesn’t mean following all their instructions blindly and unthinkingly. It may, on occasion, involve some pushback.

“For example, we’ve found that many clients just have no idea of how to craft their messaging to the public,” he says. “Also, they sometimes think web design is just about making something amazing and sparkling. Instead, as we explain, it’s more about moving the business forward by designing something so simple that everyone in every age group can use it and find information quickly.”

The crucial thing, says Matt, is to understand your client’s needs and agree about the business goal and what the venture should be about.

“Once you’ve done that, you can instil that trust in your client that you can deliver what they need without being micromanaged. And that means you pretty much can start coding and start designing. This approach has worked well for us, and normally we can deliver a website within two rounds of revisions. So that’s a win-win for both sides.”

Real-world example: Code Zero Yachts

By educating the client correctly in the early stages of a project, they’re more likely to give you creative control once the broad principles of the site are agreed upon. And that means you’re more likely to end up with a website both you and your client are proud of.

“Those websites that attract prizes usually happen when there isn’t much interference from the client’s perspective,” says Matt. Take, for instance, Code Zero Yachts, a site that won Vision Marketing a Wix Partner Award for sophisticated code deployment.

Code Zero Yachts is an online directory where you can search, view and book luxury yachts from around the world. It’s a great example of an impactful and vibrant website, showcasing a collection of over 1,000 charters worldwide.

The Vision Marketing team created the website using the Wix platform and then layered some advanced coding over the top of it in a particularly clever way. The yacht data for the site is sourced from an external database, but rather than waiting for live external API calls for every page of data, the team built a dashboard page for the site manager to update the whole database in just one click.

This triggered event harnesses the Wix Fetch API and Wix Data API for database storage and document retrieval. And by chaining multiple API calls per yacht to consolidate data, pre-formatting all image galleries, optimising the data for search, and building the HTML used in the site’s custom calendar feature, the whole operation works like a dream: fast, consistent and reliable. Because let’s face it, people with the kind of spending power to charter a yacht don’t want to be kept hanging around.

“We delivered the branding, we delivered the website and some coding on top of it,” recalls Matt. “And the client was just like: ‘Yes, I love it.’ Indeed, it’s normally the case that when we’re given the full power – full decision making – we end up with websites people love.”

Code Zero by VISion Marketing
Code Zero by VISion Marketing

2. Failing to pivot fast enough

The world of web design has always been fast-moving, and those who succeed are those who don’t stay unduly wedded to a single idea but are flexible enough to pivot at a moment’s notice when necessary.

A famous example is how Instagram began life as an app called Burbn, dedicated to sharing photos of fine whiskeys and bourbons. Just as its founder Kevin Systrom was at a crucial seed funding stage, he noticed that generic photo apps were getting popular, but none of them had social features. So he pivoted his whole operation, Instagram was born, and the rest is history.

During the pandemic years of 2020-21, pivoting came into its own. Small businesses worldwide had to scramble to get online, and consumers needed new ways to access goods and services without leaving the house. Web designers were at the forefront of this revolution and, in many ways, were the unsung heroes of the lockdown era.

The ability to pivot is partly about mindset, but it’s also about having the right tools and technologies to help you move quickly. It’s all very well spending six months painstakingly hand-coding a beautiful site, but if you miss your window of opportunity doing so, you may end up wishing you’d gone a different route.

Real-world example: The Box London

The Box London is a boxing gym set up to help people of all ages and abilities gain a healthier lifestyle through boxing. Founded in 2016 by Ali J Ahmed, it prides itself on being a place where people of all abilities, genders, ages and fitness levels can attend and have a feeling of achievement and self­ worth.

When lockdown closed the gym, The Box London needed an online alternative, and Vision Marketing was able to build one fast. To find a solution, Vision Marketing moved the existing website to Wix and used a range of fitness­-specific tools – Wix Bookings, Wix Payments and Wix Automations – that helped the customers of The Box London quickly join and pay for the classes with minimum administration involved.

“Within one week, we managed to provide The Box London with a solution where they could do online classes with bookings and payments,” says Matt. “And they were in business: it was a real ‘wow’ moment!”

The team created a secure boxing trainer website with a class schedule and online booking system. The website allows clients to sign up for single classes, book personal training sessions or become members without making an appointment, and for The Box London to confirm their classes/memberships. In addition, the website is connected to their mailing system so that clients can be notified of schedule updates, news and events through email.

It all stands testimony to the power of the positive pivot. “We weren’t just sitting there and saying, ‘It’s the pandemic, it’s awful’,” says Matt. “We were more like, ‘Oh, what if we did this? What if we did that?’ And when it worked for year one, then year two, they remained in business.”

The Box London by VISion Marketing
The Box London by VISion Marketing

3. Not using the best tools (for the wrong reasons)

Most of us have had the experience of doing DIY and realising we were making life hard for ourselves because we weren’t using the best tool for the job. So it’s surprising that so many web designers don’t carry that principle through to their own day jobs and instead choose to shun modern design tools for cumbersome hand-coding methods.

That said, Matt believes more and more designers are discovering that web design tools can save them time, money and frustration. “There was a time when I was embarrassed to say I used web design tools,” he says. “But options used to be pretty basic back then. Today, it’s incredible how advanced design platforms have become.

“I’ve been using Wix for six years, and I haven’t looked back,” he continues. “We’ve designed some cracking websites for top agency owners in the UK, and even big agencies such as The Capture are asking us to design websites for them on Wix as a specific requirement.

“So any reluctance to use new tools is quickly disappearing because people realise they no longer have to wait five months for a website, and they don’t have to deal with developers who put obstacles in their way every time they ask to make a small change to the site.”

Real-world example: Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust

Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust is a local charity in Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire, that works to bring the community together and improve people’s quality of life. They needed a digital space to communicate updates and enable the community to learn about the Trust, its history and its members.

Built by Vision Marketing using Wix, the website makes information easy to find, which is crucial for an organisation that needs to reach the entire community, not just the digitally savvy. While it’s colourful and attractive and includes a couple of nice parallax scrolling effects, it’s not overly flashy because that’s not what a community website needs. The focus here is on making communications clear, concise and two-way, and Vision Marketing has done an excellent job of delivering for this local charity.

Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust by VISion Marketing
Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust by VISion Marketing

If you are interested in original article by Tom May, you can read it here