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F37 launches a digital playground where designers can explore the possibilities of type

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Award-winning Manchester-based foundry F37 launches a new online tool today, allowing designers to play with its variable and experimental typefaces at the click of a mouse. Founder Rick Banks hopes to inspire others to explore the “more out there” options available and what is possible with type.

Called F37 Playground, the sub-section of the foundry’s website features a number of F37 typefaces that can be tweaked, adjusted and tested in your own browser. Correct us if we’re wrong, but we believe it’s a world-first. “We wanted to try out new tech to see what is possible,” Rick tells Creative Boom. “Variable fonts aren’t new, but they’re amazing. We’re not the first to use this technology in sliders, but we believe that we are the first the create a space on a website dedicated to exploring the new and exciting ways variable type technology can be utilised and pushed,” says Rick.

Of course, in future, the F37 Playground will also contain some of the foundry’s former concepts and routes that have since been abandoned or placed “on the shelf” for now, along with some of its more display, graphic and experimental fonts. The F37 foundry library, meanwhile, will continue to focus on the more “serious” text or body typefaces.

F37 Picard

F37 Apex
F37 Apex

Overall, Rick wants the new platform to be a place to “inspire and educate graphic designers, motion designers or anyone else in the sector” about the creative possibilities of Variable, Color Font and OpenType technology. “Type technology is becoming more versatile while type design tools are becoming more powerful and efficient, and this combination is quickly opening up the creative potential of type,” Rick adds. “Along with this, independent type foundries are becoming the pioneers of challenging the traditional idea of type as a passive and static product.”

This shift to more experimental typefaces could also be blamed on platforms such as TikTok, which has quickly transformed the way in which a brand can differentiate and display its messaging. “Brands aren’t as afraid to be playful themselves, as pictures and videos disappear instantly after consumption, and trends come and go much quicker,” Rick explains. “Whilst we have huge respect for the now decreasing print medium, we also have to react to the market and the desire to have something unique and playful for digital applications.”

F37 Corrupt
F37 Corrupt

F37 Split

But F37 Playground isn’t just for other designers; Rick and his team wanted a platform where they could also develop their own ideas. “A place without the same focus and finesse we apply to the typefaces found on F37 Foundry,” he says. “These fonts are developed rapidly and with play in mind. No Specimen. No mini-site. No blurb. It’s crazy to think that ten to twenty years ago, these fonts would have taken a considerable time to create or would not have been possible at all. With type tools today, we can ideate, develop and test purely playful concepts much faster, allowing greater creativity alongside our development of more traditional typefaces.”

It feels like the new platform is launching at just the right time, too. “Following the last couple of years which we’ve all had to experience, we feel an injection of fun is needed, and we hope to be a small part of that greater movement,” says Rick. “It only takes us to look at our children playing to realise how much fun we used to have, and at work, we often forget to give ourselves time to revisit that feeling of euphoria. Progressive companies over the last decade or so have recognised this, and hence why we now regularly see a slide, table tennis and football nets at offices. Obviously, there is a time and place, and everything in moderation, but finding this new way to promote fun has been extremely rewarding for all of us at F37.”

F37 Uncouth
F37 Uncouth

F37 Kinetic

Spend a happy half hour on the F37 Playground, and you’ll enjoy making loads of adjustments to the variable type options on display.

You can take a look at and also purchase anything you like. Typefaces on display and ripe for experimentation include F37 Apex, F37 Boost, and F37 Corrupt. Prices start from as little as £15.

If you are interested of original article by Katy Cowan you can find it here

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The 5 Best Resources for Web Design Inspiration

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If you’re a web designer or just appreciate website designs, here are the five best resources you can use to find inspiration.

There are more websites available on the internet than any one person could ever search through. But if you’re a web designer by trade or just someone who enjoys it as a hobby, then you no doubt want to see the best of the best.

Fortunately, there are better ways than just browsing the internet and hoping that you stumble across something fantastic. Here are some of the best websites to inspire your web design journey.

1. Web Design Inspiration

First up on this list comes Web Design Inspiration, a website which does pretty much exactly what you might expect from its title. It’s a website full of inspiration for web design.

Web Design Inspiration’s landing page features a huge list of different web design ideas for you to use as inspiration. Each image links you to a different website that has been hand-chosen for being outstanding in one respect or another. These are the types of websites that impress your clients.

If you click on the title of the link, you’ll find yourself on a page with extra information about the website, instead. This will give you information about the predominant colors that the website features, the styles, types, industries, CMS, programming languages used, and more.

This is super handy because Web Design Inspiration also lets you filter by a wide range of different categories. You can use most of the tags above to filter, so if you’re looking for inspiration for an interesting way to make use of a green color scheme, Web Design Inspiration is a great way to do that.

If you use WordPress, you can also find an entire section dedicated to WordPress themes and sites that help you work on WordPress as well. You can search through any of these the same way you can any of the main page inspiration.

2. Best Website Gallery

Next up on this list is Best Website Gallery. Best Website Gallery is a great resource to discover new and impressive websites on a regular basis.

Best Website Gallery is, at its heart, a visual bookmark collection for the creator. Luckily for you, it’s made entirely public and is incredibly accessible.

Sites that are impressive to Best Website Gallery’s creator are picked and added as he discovers them, and users can then vote on the design of the site on a one to ten scale.

You can view more details about each site in-depth, and each link even includes an impressive number of different screenshots if the website ever goes down or changes for whatever reason.

The filtering system here is really impressive as well. It looks gorgeous, for one, but is also incredibly intuitive and easy to use. You can filter by website color, CMS, style, or framework here. Mix and matching is also possible if you’re looking for something really specific.

3. CSS-Tricks

Now, if you thought that long lists of websites were the only way to get inspiration, then you’re sorely mistaken. CSS-Tricks is a blog dedicated to different web design elements, namely CSS, a staple of just about all responsive web design.

All you need to do with CSS-Tricks is scroll down to look through the various articles. There’s a section dedicated to articles that are popular this month if you’re looking for something in particular, but that’s not the only way to browse.

You can look for videos that CSS-Tricks posts to their website and to YouTube, or sort by the various guides that are available. You can even search up the CSS-Tricks almanac, which should help to explain just about any CSS property that you could imagine.

What’s great here is the variety. You might see one article talking about a certain effect that you had never thought about before, and once you see what’s written, realize is much easier to achieve than you had ever thought.

4. Webdesigner Depot

Next up on this list, we have Webdesigner Depot. If you’re looking for more general design tips or don’t personally touch much CSS yourself, then this blog is probably the better resource for you.

Webdesigner Depot is a blog dedicated to all aspects of web designing such as workflow, UI concepts, news, and more. If it relates to just about web development tool used by professionals, it’ll be here.

Important posts appear near the top of the website, and below that, you’ll find the section dedicated to popular posts.

There’s an impressive amount of variety here in the types of articles that you’ll find. Quizzes and polls can serve to keep you entertained, while informative posts about UI and UX are abundant.

If you adore the website, you can even subscribe to a newsletter to make sure that you’re updated whenever new articles go out, and you can even get access to various freebies. If you’re looking for new fonts, icons, and more, then this is a great resource to have.

5. Reddit

Finally, we have Reddit. Not the entire site, but rather two Subreddits that are incredibly useful. Firstly, there’s r/web_design.

r/web_design is a great subreddit for anyone who is interested in web design. It features interesting concepts, new ideas, and plenty of other users showcasing their cool designs.

Secondly, we have r/webdev, which as you might have guessed has a larger focus on the development side of webpage creation. Despite this, r/webdev has a lot of useful resources regardless of how much development you actually do.

The great thing about these Subreddits isn’t just that you’ll find things that you would never see anywhere else on the internet, but also that you yourself can participate.

If you ever have any questions about a project or concept that you’re struggling to execute, you can go to the Subreddit for feedback or help. This is an invaluable resource for any of you who work freelance.

Take Your Web Design to the Next Level

As you can see, web design inspiration is only ever a couple of clicks away. Hopefully, with this article, you’ve found something that really speaks to you and some new ideas for your next website.

If you’re just a hobbyist or hoping to evolve your skills even further, there’s no need to stop with just inspiration, however. You can always learn more in the world of web design or development, and knowledge can be your most powerful weapon.

You can find full article by Jack Ryan here

Simple Website Templates You Should Use For Your Next Project

9 simple website templates you should use for your next project

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Sometimes, less is more. Here are 9 stunning, simple website templates you should use for your next project.

Whether you’re a freelancer, startup founder, or a small business owner — in today’s digital landscape, you absolutely need a website.

There’s simply no way around it. 

Yet, this doesn’t mean you need something overly elaborate or complex in nature. Like one-page websites, HTML templates allow you to design a stunning website without compromising on web design or functionality. And with the right website builder, you can create a gorgeous website – complete with animations, parallax effects, and spellbinding transitions – without having to write a single line of code.

These web templates speak for themselves, so let’s just get right into it. Here are 9 simple HTML website templates to consider for your next project.

1. Fitnesso by Uros Mikic 

The Fitnesso website template. The headline reads "Your go to online fitness trainer and nutritionist."

Fitnesso is a free website template made in Webflow. This ecommerce solution is ideal for any fitness coach or influencer looking to bootstrap their small business beyond the confines of social media. 

Getting your online fitness coaching website set up is a breeze, as Fitnesso gives you the ability to sell premium fitness packages, schedule bookings and calls, and more.  

2. Yonk by Djaya de Vries 

The Yonk website template by Djaya de Vries. It features a large image tilted on its right side, a section for a headline on the left and a rectangle navigation n the upper right hand side.

Yonk by Djaya de Vries is a bold and beautiful landing page template perfect for bars and restaurants alike. Yonk’s stark lines, chunky layout, and dreamy pink color scheme make this affordable one-page template a total standout for your new website.  

This minimalist, single-page website maximizes its space and design – complete with a homepage, about section, a full menu with pricing, contact form, and hiring section. This is where minimalism meets maximalist design.

3. Trönic by Deni Bozo 

An image of the Trönic website template. It features a giant H1 in the middle with a description on the upper left hand corner. The website is simple with a hidden navigation and small icons for social media.

Creative freelancers, startups, and small business owners — do we have a treat for you. Trönic by (the incredibly talented) Deni Bozo is modernism meets total functionality.

This mesmerizing HTML template is one of those website templates you just have to check out on your own. Delight yourself using this stunning website template – complete with a homepage, about, pricing page, blog, and contact form – without sacrificing page speed or load time.

Trönic uses tastefully placed animations and parallax effects throughout each page design to create an immersive and interactive online experience that surpasses the standard portfolio template. Along with its dark, mystic color scheme and chunky font type, Trönic is truly a gem. 

4. Satoshi by JP 

An image of the Satoshi website template. It features lots of white space with a headline, subhead, and CTA on the left hand side. Above, there is a simple navigation and another CTA.d

Meet Satoshi, the multi-page, multipurpose, all-in-one Webflow template suitable for just about any small business or startup, but most specifically financial services. 

Cut hours of time fumbling with WordPress themes or plugins, and start setting up your new website with ease with Satoshi. Designed for banks, as well as credit card, crypto, fintech, digital payment, and insurance companies, Satoshi comes complete with 20 unique landing pages and 35 multi-use flexible elements.

From landing page templates to login and account creation functionality, blog templates, FAQs, testimonials, and contact forms – Satoshi is the bootstrap template for financial services.  

5. Aspire by Daywork 

An image of the Aspire template by Daywork. It features a simple blog section that serves as the home page, along with an a

Next, we have Aspire by Daywork. This minimalist blog template is perfect for bloggers seeking functionality. 

The website design incorporates subtle animations and transitions throughout, creating a fluid and immersive experience for each page layout. 

Aspire is timeless. With its stripped-down, bare-bones design and illustrative page headers, this modest, yet beautiful blog template puts your work front and center – allowing you to focus solely on content creation and SEO.

6. Better Half by Flowyak 

An image of the Better Half by Flowyak website template. It features a large H1 in black, serif type on a cream background.

Better Half by Flowyak is the perfect template for photographers and creatives alike. 

The parallax animations unveil the website’s narrative flow on scroll, creating an immersive user experience that can only be described as spellbinding. It’s enthralling, hypnotic, and gorgeous. 

Whether you’re a beginner or fully-fledged professional with decades of experience, if you’re in need of a website template that feels distinctive and goes beyond your client’s expectations, Better Half is your template.   

Do yourself a favor and check out the projects page in dark mode — the opening page header is astounding. 

7. Mercer by Medium Rare

An image of the Mercer template by Medium Rare. It features a large image, in this case, a modern house. Mercer — the headline — is in small font in the upper left hand corner.

Real estate agencies and brokers, rejoice, this one’s for you. Going with the theme of aesthetics and beauty, we have Mercer by Medium Rare.

Mercer is the complete package for your real estate website. Not only is it beautiful, but it also comes equipped with a homepage, properties page, agency about page, blog, and an inquiries page. 

In Mercer’s own words, “Mercer offers your real estate agency a prestige façade with the appropriate grace to match the caliber of high-end properties you represent” – just make sure you invest in a decent DSLR camera. 

8. Opus by Flowbase

An image of the Opus website template by Flowbase. It features a prominent H1, an announcement bar above,  and a simple navigation

Like Satoshi, Opus by Flowbase is a multipage, multipurpose HTML5 template designed specifically for startups or small to medium-sized businesses.  

With over 30 pre-built web pages and its extensive library of fully customizable Webflow components, Opus is not only aesthetically pleasing, but is also incredibly functional – the perfect starting point for simple, yet complex business websites. 

Eliminate hours of stringing together your new website from scratch and do yourself a favor by checking out Opus. You’ll thank yourself later. 

9. Vet X by BRIX Templates 

The Vet X template by BRIX templates. It features bright colors on a muted beige background with a prominent H1 and CTA.

Vet X by BRIX templates is a fun and trendy HTML website template designed specifically for veterinarians and veterinary practices of all sizes. 

Vet X comes fully loaded with a homepage, about page, services page, blog, shop, product, contact form, and more. If Vet X is anything, it’s comprehensive to say the least. Give your veterinary business a head start and impress your clientele with this colorful HTML template. 

You can read full article by Naja Wade here

Elementor Websites of February 2022

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February’s showcase adds some much-needed color and excitement to the long wintery season. From high-end business technology and creative NFTs to underground urban paintings and community arts and so much in between, these websites offer something for everyone.

This year’s second showcase is a testament to the diversity of what Web Creators can come to expect as every client comes knocking with unique needs. This month’s websites include fairytale-inspired NFTs, a cutting-edge supply chain management company, a variety of creative web agencies and studios, an English language school, a graffiti artist, a waxed cotton manufacturer, and a proud community theater.

Take notes on how best practices for mouse, hover, and scroll effects; study how color combinations can be used seamlessly across texts and backgrounds; understand how micro animations bring life to a website; see how text sizes and layout styles affect the atmosphere of a service; and experience how clever copy breathes life into any piece of website content.

Check out a fabulous February showcase that celebrates originality!

10.Aldam Street Art

by Giuseppe Cangiano

Inspired by hip hop culture, Aldam founded a crew, consolidating his desire to dedicate himself to an artistic-musical path. Armed with spray cans, a microphone, words, and paintings, he converts feelings such as anger, frustration, and sadness into creative artworks.

A website that lets you play with colored spray paint as you hover? What else would be more appropriate for a graffiti artist website! Aldam Street Art is a fun interactive website that creates a fun youthful vibe with a dynamic touch. Animated streams of spray paint can also be seen shooting out of the spray can periodically.

The button menu uses icons that correspond to the toolkit of graffiti artists with the same four colors used to highlight each category utilized across the website. There is also a nice sticky effect on the doodles page where each doodle neatly stacks beneath the newer ones.

There is a nice use of asymmetry when displaying the painting page’s second section. Hover effects are used on each of the main paintings which open up within a specific popup. There is also a slide that moves diagonally across the page.

Aldam’s work is given a fitting website that captures the essence of urban art and underground street culture.

Design & Development: Giuseppe Cangiano

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Dynamicooo

See Live Website

09.Percy & York

by Percy & York

Percy & York is an advertising, creative, and digital agency that prides itself on being an out-of-the-box thinker. They get personal when it comes to topics such as communication, campaigns, corporate design, and brands because their passion is to find the best concept for their clients, every time.

The website’s color scheme is perhaps inspired by the agency’s German roots, borrowing black, red, and yellow along with a touch of blue, all with a minor twist. The contemporary color tint is utilized equally on large-sized texts and backgrounds. As is the use of horizontal scrolling which nicely shows off their best work.

The sidebar features a hamburger menu (interestingly shaped like a hamburger) and includes a link to the agency’s Spotify podcast which is something rarely seen. It is also noticeable that there’s some photo editing using the color schemes on different employees, including the company dog, Matilda.

The text also crosses across background colors yet doesn’t affect the reading experience. This is down to the careful color combination which works and blends well with each of the theme’s colors. There is also a nice font pairing of large upper case letters for titles set over smaller lower case letters for descriptions. 

Just like the cuckoo delight on the homepage’s footer, Percy & York will have potential clients say, “We like that” before getting in touch.

Design & Development: Percy & York

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Borlabs Cookie – Cookie Opt-in, Code Snippets, Essential Addons for Elementor – Pro, Instagram Feed Pro Developer, MailPoet 3 Premium (New), OoohBoi Steroids for Elementor, WP Rocket, Rank Math SEO Pro

See Live Website

08. Halley Stevensons

by Liam Bonar

Halley Stevensons is the world’s leading manufacturer and innovator in waxed cotton and weatherproofed fabrics. As an independent firm with over 150 years of expertise, the organization has amassed unique technical knowledge and manufacturing experience.

The legacy of the company is woven into the fabric of the website with snippets of the past, present, and future visible on the homepage. Even when using a full-width layout, the website still feels elegant due to its light pastel-colored backgrounds.

Hand-drawn images give the look and feel of a high-end fashion designer’s workshop, as does its no-nonsense, clean, conventional style. The monochromatic color scheme also allows the patterns to speak as the design doesn’t distract from the content.

The mega menu cleverly uses the waxed cotton material with droplets sitting on top that show off its weatherproof selling point. This is a nice way to highlight the uniqueness of the product.

With products exported around the world and showcased each season at London, Paris, New York, Munich, and Milan, Halley Stevensons rightly lets its world-class products do all the heavy lifting using a simple interface to complement it.

Design & Development: Liam Bonar –

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Yoast, WP Rocket, Autoptimize, ACF, Imagify

See Live Website

07. An Grianán Theatre

by Tommy Callaghan / Manna Design

An Grianán Theatre is distinctive amongst regional venues for its success as a theatre producer actively celebrating its rich Irish cultural heritage. It has staged many full-scale productions over the years. Its creative partners to date have included Yew Tree Theatre Company, Cork Opera House, Pavilion Theatre, Civic Theatre, and The Lyric, Belfast.

Celebrating local, national, and international arts and entertainment events, the theater also prides itself on supporting local artists who are featured throughout the website. A website that has been rebuilt using Elementor, that is minimalistic, easy on the eyes, effortless to navigate, and resembles a cultural magazine or blog.

The flatminimalist, black and white design ensures the attention is solely on the latest news and content which adds color and vibrancy to the page. Using thin newspaper-like typography the website’s information-heavy approach makes it easier to digest and is perhaps catered to older audiences who might be less technologically inclined.

This is a website that serves its local community audience by keeping elements in check without going overboard. Proudly displaying its wide-ranging support from famous institutions on its footer, the theater is a focal artistic and cultural point for its community.

An Grianán Theatre is a flagship website for a flagship venue in the North West of Ireland.

Design & Development: Tommy Callaghan

Theme: Astra

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Advanced Custom Fields, JetEngine, JetSmartFilters, WooCommerce, WP Rocket

See Live Website

06. Studio Grit

by Chris Forsyth

Grit brings together a band of creative specialists; copywriters, illustrators, video producers and animators, photographers, and digital experts who work closely with clients to deliver meaningful and impactful creative solutions.

Utilizing an unusual Rangoon Green color for its background, and unique fonts, the website features pockets of scroll animations and hover animations that keep viewers’ attention active. The dark background also gives the website a high-end look and feel, with a nice serif and sans serif pairing ensuring the copy has a nice hierarchy.

The use of scrolling effects gives the feeling the viewer is being taken on a journey similar to an exhibition, with each project acting as a showcase and not following a typical symmetrical design. The clickable project pages themselves are intricately detailed. In fact, the website interestingly mentions its latest big project, Momentum Podiatry, within the hero itself.

The minimalist take allows the projects to speak for themselves with larger projects receiving more real estate than smaller ones. Visitors also have the ability to view the studio’s entire portfolio on its index page, turning their full portfolio into a standalone page.

While Grit might consider itself a small studio, its website highlights big capabilities.

Design & Development: Chris Forsyth

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Code Snippets, Extras for Elementor, Custom Post Type UI, Piotnet Addons for Elementor Pro, Simple Page Ordering, SVGator, Yoast SEO

See Live Website

05. Studio DoublePoint

by Nicolas Meyer

Studio DoublePoint works with clients from all walks of life for users around the world. Whether it’s optimizing current websites or creating a new website, their web services allow clients to increase their audience and obtain better engagement rates with customers.

Using strong colors, scroll effects, and GIFs, the studio showcases its projects in a fun way. The subtle use of zoom-out effects with images growing as we scroll down is a nice way to bring attention to the studio’s success stories. There is also a nice soft Sans Serif font which helps accentuate the contemporary look and feel of the website.

The background color changes from beige to orange changes as you scroll down just as attention is brought to the rotating emblem. Orange is a recurring color to highlight key areas. There is also a nice hover effect on the rotating contact CTA as well as the email and phone contact options. The colors of the project pages similarly borrow from the projects themselves.

The menu uses a nice modern font style with hollow outlined text when hovered over, while the studio page uses the Graphic & UI Designers still facial images that change based on the accompanying text. This shows a little bit of his personality too, making the website more relatable.

Studio DoublePoint creates unique identities for projects and makes them live and grow on the web.

Design & Development: Nicolas Meyer

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro, JetEngine, Premium Addons, WP Rocket

See Live Website

04. Logico

by Haim Benisty

Logico provides business consulting based on business intelligence. They combine reliable and comprehensive data with the most advanced optimization tools in the world and let international experts accompany the application process.

Built by Haim Benisty, whose portfolio website was featured in last month’s showcase, Logico’s high-tech website sets the tone using a high-end background video, drawing in visitors and highlighting its cutting-edge technology. The use of the color blue likewise conveys a message of technical and technological advancement and is popularly used by startups.

The use of scrolling effects takes us inside the distribution center and offices while highlighting several international shipping companies the organization utilizes. Each room appears as a 3D model and highlights its supply chain management services, highlighting its operational excellence.

Robots are seen transporting objects as the video demonstrates how the organization works with the most advanced optimization tools. The use of scrollytelling is beautifully applied and gives the page an almost animated movie-like effect. Each of the pages opens using a wipe effect inviting the viewer in, while the “g” of “Logico” acts as a consistent transition effect.

Logico is a company with an energetic and young spirit that brings a refreshing approach in the field of operational consulting and its world-class website effectively showcases its strongest points.

Design & Development: Haim Benisty

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro

See Live Website

03. Chalk Talk

by Addictive Design Creative Studio

ChalkTalk is a joint venture of two longtime colleagues who were inspired by many years of experience and success working with students. The duo came up with the idea to create an environment where students not only learn the language but also exchange their ideas without fear and pressure, and enrich their knowledge of other people and cultures.

The website intelligently uses four colors throughout each of its pages. With Global Styling, this can be updated and altered seamlessly. Using combinations of Porcelain, Naples Yellow, Faded Green, Eminence (Magenta), each section of the website’s background changes as you scroll.

Similarly, hover effects are used to capture attention by utilizing colors and animation. There are seamless segues from section to section with subtle transitions, doodles, as well as quotation marks which are used as a motif. Emojis can also be seen which would indicate the website’s younger target audience.

Looking closely, it is evident the illustrations are tied to the text with copy that is more personal used to engage the audience. The menu too resembles an old-school chalkboard that opens with a micro animation.

ChalkTalk sees itself as a slightly different school of English, and with a website that breaks convention, the school definitely sets itself as a class apart.

Design & Development: Marko and Marija Djurdjevic

Theme: OceanWP

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Ocean Extra, Quiz And Survey Master, MouseWheel Smooth Scroll

See Live Website

02. Eyepples

by General Condition & Milkink Creative Studio

Eyepples are a collection of hundreds of unique NFT collectibles inspired by fantasy-world, fairytales, darker aesthetics, classical art, and photography. It is a unique magical project built around the Ethereum blockchain where digital art, photography, and illustration merge together almost as an alchemist’s potion.

You might recognize the unique fingerprints of General Condition, our End-of-Year Showcase 2021 Winner, on this fairytale-inspired website design. The fabled apples resemble that often seen in the portrayal of Snow White and evoke feelings of childhood nostalgia as does the center alignment of the text that looks like a storybook.

There is a very effective use of copy to sell the product. With feelings of magic and fairytales, witty phrases, and a touch of marketing nous, the design and copy blend beautifully to bring together a unique world that looks something out of a Disney movie.

Apples (or should we say Eyepples) are prevalent throughout the website, from the use of hover effects on the hero down to the footer. Although not every element of the website is yet live, such as the shop, Eyepples Apples does enough to create great enthusiasm and anticipation due to the high-quality illustrations and storytelling.

All that’s left is to pick our Eyeplle and simply enjoy the magic.

Design & Development: Jovan Lakic and Stefan Kokovic

Theme: Hello

Plugins: Elementor Pro, Jet Elements, JetEngine, Premium Addons Pro, The Plus Addons for Elementor Pro

See Live Website

01. Barrel Marketing

by Barrel Marketing Ltd.

Barrel Marketing is a marketing, video production, and web development studio helping businesses grow by authentically telling their stories and producing unique and creative experiences. They turn big ideas into beautiful things that connect brands and customers.

This is actually the second time the website is featured in our showcase following a redesign. The first time was back in September 2019. The website looked vastly different then and the new design is likewise up to the mark.

The use of punchy copy paired with a gorgeous video covered in mask shapes captures the attention immediately. The minimalistic look and feel of the website, highlighted by the use of white space give it a modern vibe. The meet the team page too shows the company has a fun vibe and a warm and inviting personality.

The composition of real images paired with colors effectively uses zine design to give the website a fun, relatable, and friendly feeling. Displaying its big-name clients is also a great way to achieve social proof, particularly high up on the page which also adds credibility.

On project pages, there is a nice system of presenting the challenge and the solution which helps potential clients understand Barrel Marketing’s process. The background images and colors also come from the projects themselves, indicating the level of detail that went into the website. Similarly, the contact page also creates a great visual language such as the cat reaching for the phone.

Barrel Marketing helps businesses grow by telling their stories with creative and strategic solutions and with a website that’s equal parts creative, fun, and informative, clients will be quick to click “send”.

Design: Daniel Fexa

Development: Shayne Plesa-Naden, Daniel Fexa, and Sebastien Ringuette

Theme: Hello

Plugins: JetEngine, JetSmartFilters

See Live Website

You can find original article by Jude Abraham here

WordPress Releases a New Performance Plugin

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WordPress announced an official plugin that helps speed up websites. Publishers can test the new beta features and offer feedback

WordPress announced the release of a plugin called the Performance Lab plugin. It was developed by the WordPress performance team that is designed to help WordPress sites speed up. The plugin gives publishers the opportunity to use new improvements now before they are included into the core of WordPress itself.

The WordPress performance team, consisting of WordPress core developers, developed the plugin in order to receive feedback on new features developed for inclusion into a future version of the WordPress core.

WordPress announced the release of a plugin called the Performance Lab plugin. It was developed by the WordPress performance team that is designed to help WordPress sites speed up. The plugin gives publishers the opportunity to use new improvements now before they are included into the core of WordPress itself.

The WordPress performance team, consisting of WordPress core developers, developed the plugin in order to receive feedback on new features developed for inclusion into a future version of the WordPress core.

WordPress Performance Team
The WordPress Performance Team was created in November 2021 with the purpose of coordinating performance improvements within the WordPress core. The team is made up of WordPress developers, with some of the team members developers from Google and Yoast.

From their initial meetings they drew up a list of performance projects to work on and this plugin, called the Performance Lab Plugin, is one of the results from the performance team.

Performance Lab Plugin

The Performance Lab plugin provides access to improvements to WordPress that are designed to help publishers speed up their websites and also to diagnose issues that may be slowing their websites down.

The plugin itself is designed in a modular fashion so that publishers can pick and choose which improvements they want to use.

The new features in the plugin are intended to eventually make it into a future release of WordPress.

WordPress hopes that by releasing these new features early through a plugin that they can receive feedback on any potential issues.

New features are normally released as separate plugins.

WordPress decided to group all the new performance features into one plugin which will allow publishers to pick and choose which new features to enable from one central location, within a single plugin.

Performance Lab Plugin Modules

The new Performance Lab plugin has four modules.

The four plugin modules are:

  • WebP Uploads
    Converts newly uploaded JPEG files to the faster WebP format. The functionality is dependent on server support for WebP.
  • WebP Support
    This is a site health module that checks to see if the server supports WebP and shows a warning if WebP is not supported.
  • Persistent Object Cache Health Check
    A site health check module that may suggest the use of object caching. Object caching is a way to speed up the amount of time it takes for the site to respond, helps reduce the database load and speeds up the website for site visitors.
  • Audit Enqueued Assets (experimental)
    Provides an audit of CSS and JavaScript files enqueued on the home page. This helps to identify unnecessary CSS and JavaScrip files that might slow down a website.

Enqueued Assets Module is Experimental?

The Audit Enqueued Assets module is labeled as experimental. The developers chose to label it as experimental because the module itself will be improved.

The developers discussed this, with one developer noting on a discussion in the official Github page:

“To clarify, it’s not that there is a problem with the module, it’s more about that it doesn’t feel as polished yet, hence marking as “experimental” for this first release – as it sees more refinement over time, we could then mark it as non-experimental.”

He later followed up with this reason why it’s labeled as experimental:

“Indeed this wouldn’t break anyone’s site, but IMO the main point for marking this as experimental is that it’s still in an earlier stage of development compared to the other modules.

…e.g. we haven’t fully defined what the thresholds should be, and the approach to gathering the assets is known to be not yet reliable for certain environments.”

An example of the kind of improvement needed for this one module is to make it more useful by identifying which plugins or themes are bloating the website with unnecessary CSS and JavaScript files.

Should You Download the Plugin?

The plugin download page states that the plugin has been tested and should be okay to be used on a live production site.

While at least three of modules are not labeled experimental and all of them are considered stable and probably won’t break a site, the main purpose of the plugin is to provide publishers with the opportunity to provide feedback about the modules before they are integrated directly into the WordPress core.

In terms of stability, the official plugin page notes:

“…unless a module is explicitly marked as “experimental”, it has been tested and established to a degree where it should be okay to use in production.”

In terms of guarantees, it also says:

“Still, as with every plugin, you are doing so at your own risk.”

A best practice for WordPress websites is to add new plugins on a staging site first and test it there first before updating the main website.

Another best practice is to save a backup of the website before installing the plugin. The backup will make it easy to roll back the website to its original version should the plugin conflict unexpectedly with another plugin or theme.

The plugin delivers clear benefits that may help speed up your website. But it’s provided by the WordPress Performance Team as a way to receive feedback on brand new improvements that will eventually make it into the WordPress core.

WordPress provides a Performance Lab plugin support forum and a GitHub repository where feedback can be given to WordPress.

You can find original article by Roger Montti here

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

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You’ve done everything the right way to get your website found by search engines.

You’ve created relevant content rich with keywords, added the right metadata, and ensured your layout is optimized for crawling by search engine spiders.

You should be at the top of search engine results – but you’re not.

What’s going on?

Believe it or not, your backlinks may be working against you.

The good news is that you can run an analysis of your backlinks to find the bad ones that may be bringing your website’s rankings down.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The basics of backlinks.
  • How backlinks can both help and hurt your SEO rankings.
  • Ways you can identify and remove toxic backlinks with WebCEO.

Let’s start at the beginning and take a closer look at backlinks, how they work, and how they affect SEO rankings.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks, which are also referred to as incoming links or inbound links, are connections between one website and another.

Search engines, like Google and Bing, treat them like a vote of confidence from the referring site.

In other words, the more websites that are linking to a specific page, the more confidence the search engine has in the quality of that page’s content, which in turn plays a major role in determining where your site will be ranked.

This makes backlinks a vital part of off-site SEO practices.

Link building is so important, in fact, that there is a specific type of SEO professional who is known as a link builder.

Link builders spend their entire workday building and maintaining backlinks to increase traffic and boost page scores.

All Backlinks Are Not Created Equal

You didn’t think every incoming link was as good as the next, did you?

Of course not, you’re a savvy SEO specialist.

And you already know some backlinks are more valuable than others – and not just because of the traffic they send to your website.

Because we know link quality can vary, it’s time to look further into what separates a good or “safe” link from a bad or “toxic” one.

What Are Good Backlinks?

Quite simply, good or “safe” backlinks help your search engine ranking.

Search engines keep the exact details of what makes quality links under wraps, but good backlinks tend to share the following traits:

1. Good Backlinks Are From Authoritative Sites

Backlinks from popular and trustworthy sites are very useful for boosting your search engine rankings.

This concept is known as “domain authority,” and sites with a high level of authority can pass that “juice” on to your site.

On the other hand, bad backlinks from spammy, low-authority sites can have the opposite effect.

Think about it this way, which would you trust more, a link from the Wall Street Journal or one from a site advertising off-brand Chinese prescription medications?

Search engines feel the same way.

2. Good Backlinks Use Specific Anchor Texts With Your Target Keyword

Anchor text is the word or phrase users click on to visit a linked URL. (For example, “anchor text” in the previous sentence.)

Concise anchor text using your target keyword has a correlation with higher rankings as it gives the search engines a better idea of what type of content is on the linked page.

3. Good Backlinks Are From Sites Related To Your Page Content

Because Google seeks relevant content that provides supplemental information, the search engine values links from related sites over those from un-related sites.

This helps ensure queries are answered with helpful content, rather than random links from sites with no clear connection.

So, while your One Direction fan page may be a must-visit for Harry Styles fans, linking to your used car dealership’s website from it isn’t doing you any good.

And in fact, it may raise red flags and hurt your ranking. But more on that later.

4. Good Backlinks Are Dofollow Links

Make sure any relevant, good backlinks to your site are marked as “dofollow” links.

Search engine spiders track “dofollow” links from one site to the next.

These are the ordinary links you’re used to.

Conversely, search engines ignore nofollow links, or those with explicit instructions to crawlers to pass them by.

These nofollow links are commonly found on things like press release pages and paid advertisements and are not considered when determining your ranking.

That’s not to say nofollow links without their value. Just being mentioned on a high-quality site can give your brand an awareness boost.

However, that nofollow link will not boost your rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Nofollow links are basically the digital equivalent of Kylie Jenner tweeting that she loves your jeans.

But for SEO purposes, they’re not doing you much good.

So, where possible, aim for dofollow links.

We’ve covered what good backlinks look like, now it’s time to examine the flip side: bad backlinks.

What Are Toxic Backlinks?

As you might expect, toxic backlinks are ones that hurt your website’s reputation in Google’s eyes.

Many of these types of links have their origin in black hat SEO tactics, unethical attempts to game the search engine algorithm to get higher rankings.

To combat this SEO cheating, Google penalizes sites caught using these black hat tactics.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

While there are a practically endless number of ways SEO black hats will try to get over on Google, there are a few that are obvious clues a backlink may be untrustworthy.

1. Toxic Backlinks Are From Spammy Sites

Most people are smart enough to know a Nigerian prince doesn’t really want to give them $10 million, but are you just as smart when it comes to noticing spammy backlinks?

There are entire websites dedicated to selling illegal or irrelevant products and these sites are usually packed to the gills with spammy backlinks, sometimes to your site.

Not only are these annoying, but they can be downright harmful to your website.

And it’s not because you don’t want them associated with your brand – if you have too many backlinks from spam sites, search engines can penalize you, even though you may be completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

In fact, many times you may not even know that spammy sites have linked to your website.

So, it’s important to always be on the lookout for spammy, bad backlinks.

2. Paid Link Mills Often Produce Toxic Backlinks

Paid link schemes have been around almost as long as search engines, from the first time someone realized backlinks contribute to rankings.

The way paid link schemes work is straightforward: links are sold either alone or as part of a package, to provide backlinks to site owners looking for a quick way to shoot up the rankings.

But search engines are aware of this tactic.

They don’t want top search engine results to just go to whoever bought the most backlinks, so these link exchanges are explicitly against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

As soon as search engines discover a new link mill, they start applying a penalty to sites using it.

3. Toxic Backlinks Can Come From Forum Or Blog Comment Links (Particularly Foreign Ones)

Let us start by stating: not all forum links are bad.

Those from quality sites with established users and with related content are beneficial.

However, like link mills, if you have hundreds of low-quality links coming in from foreign discussion forums, you’ll want to disavow them before they damage the ranking you’re working so hard to build.

4. Toxic Backlinks Are Sometimes Hidden

Possibly the very first black hat SEO tactic developed, unscrupulous webmasters are still trying to flimflam search engines with hidden backlinks, which are exactly what they sound like.

By using text manipulation, background colors, or other means, backlinks are hidden from users and search engines.

This is a clear violation of Google’s policies.

It’s important to make sure any links back to your site are clear, visible, and within Google’s policies.

5. Paid Or Sponsored Links That Pass PageRank Are Toxic

Another backlinking no-no is passing PageRank to the buyer of the ad.

While buying or selling pay-per-click ads is a perfectly legitimate practice, Google frowns upon links that are paid for, rather than organic.

You should always use qualifying attributes (e.g. rel=”sponsored”) to identify these links and avoid being penalized.

Make sure you’re validating link attributes to stay within Google’s policies.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

So, we’ve got it all figured out now: safe backlinks are good, toxic backlinks are bad. But now what?

What’s the best way to check your links and clear out the ones that are harmful?

You could spend hours combing through every page of your Google Analytics account, identifying, visiting, and checking every individual link.

Or you could do it the easy way, with WebCEO Toxic Link Checker.

The most powerful and reliable spam link checker in the SEO sphere, WebCEO is integrated with Majestic, the largest link index database in the industry, which gives us access to data from over 2,371,111,956,878 URLs, with more being added daily.

It’s easy to use:

1. Quickly See All Of Your Backlinks: Analyze Your Backlink Profile At A Glance

Once you sign up for WebCEO, you’ll get a full list of domains linking to your website in a Linking Domains report.

The WebCEO Backlink Checker helps you quickly determine how many backlinks are pointing at your website, identify common anchor texts, check the diversity and authority of linking domains, and view the ratio of toxic/non-toxic links.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

2. Easily Discover Good Vs. Toxic Backlinks: Identify The Quality

WebCEO’s Toxic Pages report makes it easy to determine which backlinks are helping your search credibility – and which are having the opposite effect.

You can evaluate each backlink individually using analysis metrics like anchor texts, Domain Trust Flow, Domain Citation Flow, Alexa Traffic Rank to determine which links to keep.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

3. Instantly See Harmful Links: Which Links Are Causing Your Site To Lose Rankings?

With a proprietary toxicity formula, which can be fine-tuned to your needs, WebCEO helps you spot bad links so you can disavow them and eliminate the negative impact they have on your ranking.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

4. Remove Toxic Links & Stop Them From Harming Your Site: Disavow With Ease

It has never been easier to create, import, and export disavow.txt files.

WebCEO has integrated functionality, allowing you to do it with just a few clicks.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

Screenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

5. Get Alerts When New Toxic Backlinks Show Up: Schedule Automated Scanning & Set Alerts

Once you’ve cleaned all those pesky bad backlinks, you want to make sure they don’t reappear.

And if they do, you should be ready to disavow them.

WebCEO has an automatic toxic link alert feature that can alert you when new links to your website are discovered.How To Check & Remove Toxic BacklinksScreenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

You can set WebCEO to automatically scan websites you want to monitor.

You can also set email alerts to tasks, so you’ll know about changes immediately.

Between managing your website and staying on top of changing SEO algorithms, you have enough to do.

You can read original article by Brian Gareth here