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How to Use WordPress Action Hooks in Theme Customization - 7 uur 10 min geleden

WordPress child themes give a relatively easy way to customize the look and feel of a theme. If the theme’s options don’t provide you with adequate design choices, you can just add a new rule to the child theme’s default stylesheet file called style.css. But what happens when you also want to modify the theme’s functionality? That is one of the cases when WordPress actions come to your help.

WordPress has become so popular partly because of its high customizability. The WordPress Core is loaded with different hooks that enable developers to modify or enhance the default functionality. Moreover, we are allowed to include custom hooks in our themes and plugins to help other developers to easily adjust our code to their needs.

About WordPress Hooks

WordPress hooks work somewhat similar to real-life hooks in the sense that you can catch the fish you want at the right spot if you properly use them.

You can remove a caught function (e.g. you can remove the WordPress admin bar for low-level users), you can leave it intact and enhance it with your own functionality (e.g. you can add more menus or widget areas to a theme), or you can override it (e.g. you can modify the behaviour of a core function).

There are two different kind of hooks in WordPress: actions and filters. In this post we will take a look at how we can make use of action hooks in theme customization.

How WordPress Hooks Work

To use a very simple language, actions indicate that something has happened during the WordPress page lifecycle: certain parts of the site have been loaded, certain options or settings have been set up, plugins or widgets have been initialized, and so on.

Filters are different from actions in their nature. They are used to pass data through, and modify, manage or intercept it before rendering it to the screen or saving user data into the database.

At every significant landmark of the WordPress page lifecycle there is either an action or a filter hook to which we can add our custom code to modify the default behaviour to our needs.

The certain actions and filters running during a request depend on which page was requested by the user agent: for example in a single post request hooks related to single posts are available, but hooks related to other parts of the site (e.g. the admin area) aren’t.

Find Action Hooks

The Action Reference of the WordPress Codex gives a detailed overview of the actions running through different requests. The important thing is that if we want to accomplish a task we need to hook into the right place, not before or after it, otherwise the action won’t be completed.

So for example if we want to add our Google Analytics code to a site we need to hook our action right before the footer is loaded.

If we speak about theme customization, action hooks can come from two different places: from WordPress Core and the theme itself. There are themes that don’t have hooks at all, but others provide developers with some or many – it’s always the theme author’s choice. The default Twenty Fifteen Theme has only one action hook for footer customization under the name of ‘twentyfifteen_credits’.

If you like to browse source code, you can also find action hooks easily. Action hooks are added to the code with the do_action() WordPress function.

If you run a quick search for the expression ‘do_action’ in a more advanced code editor – like I did in Eclipse below – you can see a list about the spots where you can hook your custom functionality into the core. I searched in the /wp-includes/ folder, but you can also run a search for the /wp-admin/ folder that contains the action hooks related to the WordPress dashboard (admin area).

The good thing is that the names of the action hooks are usually pretty self-explanatory, but there is usually a nice comment inside the code that can give you more knowledge whether the given action hook is good for the reason you want to use it for.

For example the code comment before the ‘widgets_init’ action hook says that it “fires after all default WordPress widgets have been registered”. If you take a peek at the code before this action hook, you can find all the default WP widgets’ initialization before it – so you can be sure that the comment didn’t lie, and if you want to register your own custom widget, this will be the right spot.

In many cases the source code provides us with much more information than the Codex, so it can be a good idea to learn how to quickly navigate in it.

Add Your Own Actions

When you want to add your own action, you need to create a custom function and bind this function to a specific action hook by using the add_action() WordPress function. Custom actions added with the add_action() function are usually triggered on the spot when the core calls the appropriate do_action() function.

Let’s see a simple example.

How To Find The Action Hook You Need

Let’s say you want to add your custom favicon to your site. First, you need to find the right action hook you can bind your own functionality to.

Let’s think. If you wanted to add a favicon to a plain HTML page where would you put it? Of course, you need to place it inside the <head> section of the HTML file with the following markup:

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/" type="image/x-icon" />

So the action hook you need must be related to the loading of the <head> section.

(1) Open the Action Reference, and see what it has to offer. We are lucky, as if we browse through the actions, we can only find one, wp_head, that based on its name has the possiblity to be related to the loading of the <head> section.

(2) To be sure, let’s check the documentation in the WordPress Codex. The Codex advises that “you use this hook by having your function echo output to the browser”, so right now it seems to be perfect for us. But let’s check it in the source code.

(3) As this hook is not related to the admin area we will need to run our search in the /wp-includes/ folder. If we search for the word ‘wp-head’ we will get many results as this specific action is used by WP Core many times.

We need to look for the spot where it gets defined, so search for the expression do_action( ‘wp_head’. Note that we didn’t finish the parentheses, as we can’t be sure yet if this action has parameters or not.

Eclipse returns only one result that can be found inside the /wp-includes/general-template.php file. The comment before the action hook definition says that it “prints scripts or data in the head tag on front end”, so now we can be dead-sure that wp_head is the action hook we need.

Checking For Parameters

When you add your own actions you also need to be sure if the hook you want to use takes parameters or not. You can easily find this out by looking at the do_action() function.

The syntax of the do_action() function is the following:

do_action( 'name_of_action'[, $parameter1, $parameter2, ...] )

Only the name of the action is required, the parameters are optional. If you find arguments in the relevant call of the do_action() function, you need to include them in the declaration of the custom function you create.

If you don’t find any, then your custom function must work without arguments. In the do_action() definition of the wp_head action hook, there are no parameters.

Let’s compare it to an action hook that takes a parameter. The action hook called ‘wp_register_sidebar_widget’ takes one parameter that you always have to pass to the custom function you bind to the hook.

Let’s see the difference in the do_action() syntax of the two cases:

do_action( 'wp_head' ); do_action( 'wp_register_sidebar_widget', $widget );

In the first case there’s no parameter, so the custom function will use the following syntax:

function my_function_without_parameters() { ... }

In the second case there is one parameter that you always have to pass as an argument into the declaration of your custom function:

function my_function_with_parameters( $widget ) { ... } How To Hook Your Custom Function In

Now we know everything we need. Let’s create our custom function that will display a favicon on our site.

First, create a new function without any arguments, then bind it to the wp_head action hook with the help of the add_action() WordPress function.

function custom_add_favicon() { echo '<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/" type="image/x-icon" />'; } add_action( 'wp_head', 'custom_add_favicon');

You need to pass the name of the action hook to the add_action() function as an argument first, then you need to add the name of your custom function.

These are the two required parameters of add_action(). It has two optional parameters too, priority and accepted arguments. Let’s see how to use these.

Define Priorities

It happens in many cases that there are more than one action bound to the same hook. So which one will be executed first? This is where we can use the $priority optional parameter of the add_action() function.

We add the priority as a positive integer, the default value being 10. If we want an action to be executed early, we give it a lower value, if we want it to be executed later, we give it a higher value.

So if we think that the favicon needs to be there early, we can enhance our previous add_action() call in the following way:

add_action( 'wp_head', 'custom_add_favicon', 5);

Please note that the priorities always have to be set relatively to the other custom functions that use the same action hook.

Add The Number of Accepted Arguments

You are required to add the number of accepted arguments in case you use an action hook that takes parameters. Let’s see the example we used before.

The action hook ‘wp_register_sidebar_widget’ takes one parameter, so when we bind our custom function to this hook, we also need to include this as an argument when we call the add_action() function.

Our code in this case will look like this:

function my_sidebar_widget_function( $widget ) { // Your code } add_action( 'wp_register_sidebar_widget', 'my_sidebar_widget_function', 10, 1);

Note that we must also add the priority (we chose the default 10 here) to make sure that WordPress knows what each parameter means. If we omitted the priority, WordPress could suppose that 1 is the priority which is not true, as it indicates the number of the accepted arguments.


You can make many experiments with action hooks in theme customization. For example you can add your custom scripts (JS) and styles (CSS) with the wp_enqueue_scripts action hook, or your Google Analytics code with the wp_footer action hook.

You not only can add your own actions, but you can also remove complete functionalities from the WordPress core with the use of the remove_action() function that uses the same logic as add_action().

If you are a theme author, and you want to make an extensible theme, it can be a good idea to add your own custom action hooks to the appropriate template files with the do_action() function.

If you want to do so, think carefully about parameters that other developers who will use your theme will have to pass as arguments when they want to hook in their custom functionalities.

While designing the locations of your theme’s custom action hooks don’t forget that it does not make much sense to include custom theme hooks on the same spots where the WordPress Core itself has its own hooks.

Fresh Resource for Web Developers &#8211; October 2015 - ma, 05/10/2015 - 17:01

Last month, we have featured a couple of new tools, libraries, and apps which are aimed to improving your workflow and productivity as web developers. This month, we have a few more to share with you.

This round, we have a trendy beautiful forum software, a jQuery plugin to build a fancy circular progress bar, and a couple of free handy apps for further improving your productivity – plus one which may hinder it, but you’d probably still get it.

Let’s check them out.


WP-Papi is a collection of Classes that allow WordPress developers to create custom page types. As we create a new page, WP-Papi will display options of the types we have registered through WP-Papi Classes and APIs. Users are able to select which type to use prior to creating their pages. These classes also make it really easy to add custom meta boxes as well as remove existing ones in the Page Type.


Flarum is a new open source forum software built with PHP and Laravel. Flarum is still in its early stages, but it has been gaining traction in Github and is becoming one of the most popular PHP projects. Unlike many of established forum softwares which usually comes with a terrible-looking default theme, Flarum is simply beautiful and it is responsive. Try it out for yourself.


Percircle is a jQuery plugin to build a circular progress interface. This plugin is customizable through some drop-in HTML classes. For example, to make the circle big you can add the big class; if you want it in Pink, add the pink class. Percircle has been made very easy to deploy, even for novices.


ScreenCat is a free remote collaboration and screen sharing app for Mac. Though ScreenCat is still in the alpha stage, at the time of this writing, it works as well as some of the popular apps, and in fact is downright easy to use. As you launch the app, it serves you with secret codes, which you can share to your colleague to give them access to your screen.


Here’s a Node.js module to beautify CSS output. With this, you can automate your CSS formatting output. Perfectionist can be used as a standalone module, in conjunction with PostCSS, or as plugin of Sublime Text and Atom. A great tool for anyone whose CSS write formatting is one of their top concerns.

CSS Grid Polyfills

In CSS3, the display properties have been extended with new values including the grid. The value does exactly that, to create a grid layout made by rows and columns. This value is experimental, and as with many other experimental features, the grid value does not work in some browsers. That’s where this polyfill comes in. You can refer to our previous post, HTML5 Shiv and Polyfills, to deploy a polyfill library.


Helium is a unique floating browser for OS X. It will remain visible on top of other active apps and windows. For instance, if you like to watch a video on Youtube while working on something, this browser will certainly come in handy. It also has a translucent mode that will not "intercept mouse clicks", allowing you to interact with what is in the background (behind the browser).


In Windows, you can snap the app window to the corners to split the windows to cover half of your screen, vertically or horizontally. Mac does not come with such functionality built-in (the Split View in El Capitan is a different concept). Spectacle is a free app that allows you to bring this function to OS X. You can drag or use shortcuts to organize your window apps ala Windows.

Github Resume

If you want your GitHub profile to be your portfolio, turn it into your resume with this handy tool. This URL generates a resume based on your Github profile. The resume will contain your profile along with your popular repositories, list all your skills in programming languages as well as the Github organizations you are involved in.


Thyme is an OS X app for time tracking. It is useful for freelancers whose service rate is charged on a per hour basis. It has four basic commands, start, pause, restart and finish which you can set shortcuts for. Thyme is free and really straightforward to use.

How to Sync Databases Across Multiple WordPress Installs - ma, 05/10/2015 - 15:01

Previously, we had a look at how to setup staging environment for WordPress development. If you have followed it through, you might find that the process sometimes involves migrating the SQL database to synchronize the discrepancies between the stages. This particular process of migrating database could be tedious.

You will have to export the database from the first site then import it to another one, which could take a couple of minutes or more for a huge database. This process will need to be repeated each time we migrate the database.

If this is something that you have been struggling with, you certainly would find this post useful. In this post, we are going to see how streamline the database synchronization across multiple WordPress installs. This will help us save a lot of time.

Getting Started

To begin with, I assume that you have had the three development stages – Local, Testing and Live – all set up.

Here, I’ve setup a scenario where I have 5 posts published on a live site, and 2 more posts are in a local site (one that is still being developed). In reality though you will be dealing with a lot of posts, than just 2 or 5.

Now I would like to update the local site with the content on the Live site. Having an identical database content as the one found on Live, while developing, is encouraged. This is so we could catch any issues regarding the styles, layout, or any thing that may affect the content early on.

Syncing the Database

To sync the database, follow these steps:

  1. Install the WordPress plugin, Database Sync. Just install the plugin in the websites where you would perform the database migration, let’s say if you were to pull the database from a Live stage into the Testing stage, then you should install the plugin in the site for these two stages.

  2. In the Live site, go to Tools > Database Sync. Then, generate the secret token key.

    You must not share this secret key to anyone as it will allow them to access your database as well.

  3. Add the token in the Tools > Database Sync of the Local stage site.

    As the Token is added, you will find the Sync next to the linked site, as shown in the above screenshot.

  4. Click the Sync button to start synchronizing these two sites.

  5. Click the Pull button to pull the remote site database down and replace the local site.

Keep in mind though that the process of pulling and pushing may take minutes, or longer, depending on the size of the database. Once the pulling process is complete, you should see a success message on the screen. And the local site should now have the exact same posts, pages, and settings as the Live site.

Alternatively, click the Push button if you would like copy the current site to remote websites. Install this plugin in multiple web sites as needed and add the tokens to link to their database.

This plugin makes database synchronization seamless and sound. I hope that the plugin developer would improve it further with some additional features, such as:

  • Selective Table Sync, which basically enables sync for particular tables in the database. For example, as we only need to copy the post content, it would be better to Pull the wp_posts rather than the whole database. This will tremendously speed up the process for most cases.
  • Media Sync, to synchronize WordPress media file uploads like for images and videos.

20 Creative Wedding Cake Toppers For Your Inspiration - vr, 02/10/2015 - 17:01

Weddings in general is a serious matter. There are vows and commitments, tears of joy and sadness, and for most it is a promise for the future that is cemented in that one special day. Then, there are these newlyweds who let loose their sense of humor and have fun with their creative wedding cakes and more adorably their wedding cake toppers.

Today we’re going to showcase not the typical, average, cut from the cookie-mold bride and groom toppers, but 20 funny, hilarious and creative wedding cake toppers. Personalized and custom-made cake figurines showcase the love-and-hate relationship between the bride and groom, which helps get the marriage off on a strong footing. Just have a look and you will see what I mean.

Hooked on Love

Just Married (With Wedding Car)

Gamer Addict Groom

Balloon Ever After

Workaholic Bride

Biker Newlyweds

Hot Air Balloon

Plane Wedding Topper

Weight Lifting

Romantic Dip

Drunk Wedding

Golden Retriever Cake Topper

Bride and Groom, and Vintage Bicycle with Banner

Couch Potato Groom and Exasperated Bride

Western “Roped” Groom

Bride Kissing A Frog

Accoutrements Unicorn and Horse

Zombies Bride and Groom

Runaway Bride

Drunk Bride & Groom


Here are more related posts you may be interested in:

10 Best Accessibility-Ready WordPress Themes - vr, 02/10/2015 - 15:01

Building accessible websites that don’t exclude people with different kinds of disabilities has become more of a requirement in web design in the recent years. These days it’s hard to get a government contract without taking care of digital inclusivity, and many well-known companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google also treat accessibility as a priority.

WordPress as a leading content management system and blogging platform is on the frontline of accessibility development as well. The WordPress A11y (Accessibility) Team is busy making the platform available to as many people as possible, and they have even published a great Handbook on WordPress Accessibility for developers.

The Accessibility Review

The accessibility review is an optional stage in the WordPress theme review process. If a submitted theme uses the accessibility-ready tag, the review team will check it against the accessibility guidelines to ensure that themes promoting themselves as accessibility-ready are really so.

In this post we will take a look at the 10 best accessibility-ready WordPress themes to help you build digitally inclusive WordPress sites.

The Best Accessibility-Ready WP Themes

In this collection we did not only pay attention to whether a theme had the accessibility-ready tag in the WordPress repository, we also took into consideration whether it met the main principles of accessibility design.

We omitted some (otherwise great) themes that used too low colour contrast ratios, hamburger menus on desktop size or other visual design practices that may affect accessibility for certain groups of disabled people.

1. Unlimited

Unlimited is a carefully designed, general purpose WordPress theme with a right sidebar. It loads quickly and uses a high colour contrast ratio (white & light gray versus dark gray) that matches the needs of visually impaired users.

The sidebar widgets are smartly highlighted by dark gray top borders. Subtle visual design elements help users to quickly make sense of the content; just take a look at the smartly emphasized meta information (date, author, number of comments) at the bottom of the featured image at each post.

On its demo site you can see how Unlimited looks like when it’s fully set up.

2. Simone

Simone has a quite straightforward design with huge images and screen-focused, scalable typography that is easy to read on every screen size. The theme helps physically disabled users access navigation via their keyboards.

You can customize many features of Simone such as sidebar position (left or right), header, background, link colours and many others. It’s also translation-ready, and is already translated into many languages

Read more about Simone on its demo site.

3. Accessible Zen

Accessible Zen is a minimalistic, one-column theme that reduces the number of distractions as much as it’s possible, and puts the content in the focus. The author shared on his blog the colour palette he used. It meets the AA level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

The unique thing about this theme that there’s no main menu in the header section, so visitors can get to the content at once – that can be an ideal solution for screen reader users. The hyperlinks are smartly underlined with dotted lines and turn solid on hovering, which is also a great accessibility solution

If you are interested in a content-focused, minimalistic blog theme, check out Accessible Zen live.

4. Stock

The Stock WordPress theme has an elegant black and white header that includes a centered main menu . Pairing black and white is always a great choice for accessibility-ready sites, as these two colours have the highest colour contrast ratio which is 21:1.

The design is quite minimalistic, and the theme is translation-ready and offers RTL (right-to-left) language support, so it can be a good canditate for being a parent theme of an accessible child theme.

You can check out the current stage of the development on Stock’s Github page.

5. Apex

Apex engages visitors with a logically structured content and huge featured images that make the site look impressive and professional. The top navigation consists of a main menu on the left hand side, and a social media menu on the right, which makes it easy and straightforward to navigate through the site for both disabled people and assistive devices.

The excerpts on the home page are followed by user-friendly "Continue reading" buttons that are beautifully highlighted and entices readers to go on. You can see how Apex looks like on its demo site.

6. Tiny Framework

It took no less than 9 months for the author of the Tiny Framework to create this engaging, accessibility-ready WordPress theme. The Tiny Framework is flexible enough to be used as a parent theme if you want to quickly develop a reliable child theme that pay attention to the needs of disabled people.

The Tiny Framework theme uses a high contrast colour palette with black, orange and green colours. Blockquotes, headings and links all have different colours, which increases the legibility of the content in a significant way. Buttons are also easily noticeable, and the theme overally has a quite energetic and vivid look, but not in the obtrusive way.

7. Kuorinka

Kuorinka loads really fast and doesn’t only offer accessibility support but also includes microdata. It uses breadcrumbs to support the main navigation, which is always a good idea in accessibility design. Kuorinka allows the user to add short information to the top of the page that can help visitors understand the most important message the site owner wants to convey.

The headings of the sidebar and the footer widgets are highlighted with a light-blue background that greatly helps the visual segmentation of the content. On the demo site you can see other cool features such as a user-controlled slider, 3 different layouts (one column, left sidebar, right sidebar), and many others.

8. Aaron

Aaron is a great choice for an accessibility-ready company website. It has a huge call-to-action button on the home page that grabs the visitors’ eyes at once. The theme has a high colour contrast ratio, but you need to pay attention to carefully choose the background image on the home page to keep the readability of the highlights and the buttons.

Aaron has a keyboard-friendly menu on the top of the site that is supported by a handy search box on the right hand side. The theme can be used for an e-Commerce site as well, as it works well with the WooCommerce plugin.

9. Storefront

Storefront is a flexible e-commerce theme offering WooCommerce integration and high customizability. The most important information, the purchased products in the cart and their prices, are right next to the main menu on the top of the site which makes the theme incredibly user-friendly.

On the demo site you can see the optional header image that contains a highly visible call-to-action button. The products are assorted into different categories that helps disabled visitors using screen readers and other assistive technologies quickly understand what is on sale on the site.

Storefront has an elegant child theme called Boutique for featuring more prestigious products that also has accessibility support.

10. Author

Author is a beautifully designed, fast and accessibility-ready WordPress theme with a left sidebar. The sidebar uses a dark background with white letters, which ensures the high colour contrast ratio. The hyperlinks are underlined so it’s easy to recognize them.

The headings use a serif typeface that facilitates readibility. On the single post template the previous and next posts are highlighted with a light gray background that encourages users to read more posts on the site.

How to Deploy SSL &#038; HTTPS in WordPress for Free - do, 01/10/2015 - 15:01

Deploying SSL will provide several advantages to your website. Aside from improving website security, SSL would also help users gain trust of a website as well as increase its overall rankings in Google Search results.

When deployed, your website will be running under https with the green padlock badge in the browser address bar.

However, having SSL in your website would traditionally cost a couple of hundred per year depending on the Certificate type. It also inevitably requires technical installation to your server which is often a tedious process.

But, what if I told you now that you can deploy a valid SSL for free with less of a pain to setup your WordPress site? Here’s how.

Getting Started

CloudFlare, one of the leading CDN and Internet security services, has now advanced their feature with SSL to all their customers even for those with the Free Plan. We will be using theirs to deploy SSL for free.

Here’s where you sign-up for an account. Next, add your website to CloudFlare. You will be prompted to replace your NS (Name Server) with the ones provided, for example:

The process to do so will be varied depending on your hosting provider. So, please consult your hosting customer support. Once you have changed the DNS, your website will run through the CloudFlare infrastructure. Your pages will be cached and served through their CDN, which subsequently will boost your page load performance.

Deploying SSL

Now, follow these steps to deploy SSL to your website:

  1. Login to your CloudFlare account. Go to the Crypto page and set the SSL (with SPDY) to Flexible.

  2. Login to your website Dashboard. Install and activate CloudFlare Flexible SSL. This plugin will fix issues including the “redirect loop” that will occur when we force a website address to use the https protocol.

  3. Our website is now served through the CloudFlare network which now allows it to redirect every visit to HTTPS as well. To do so, go to CloudFlare Dashboard > Page Rules and turn on the Always use https option.

  4. Now, we need to set the URL Pattern that should be served through HTTPS. You might want to set it to, for example, or to all pages instead with*.

  5. Remember to click the Add Rule button to apply the rule.

Wait for between a few minutes up until 24 hours for the setup to affect your website. Only then will your website be redirected to https, like so:

A Few Things to Note

The way we deploy https to our website without having to acquire an SSL Certificate, has been made possible with an SNI or Server Name Indication. SNI allows HTTPS to be served to multiple hostnames, IPs, or websites under a single IP number; in this case, CloudFlare serves to many of their customers with its HTTPS.

If you inspect the certificate information, you would find that the SSL is assigned to CloudFlare still.

Also, SNI only works with modern browsers – basically browsers that are not more than 6 years old. You should also note that this SSL will only secure connections between your visitors to CloudFlare, while the connection between CloudFlare and your server is not secured.

If your website will be taking payment or handling sensitive data, you must opt for Full SSL which requires SSL installation in your server. But, for most blogging sites, the Flexible SSL should be adequate.

70+ Photoshop Mistakes That Makes You Facepalm - wo, 30/09/2015 - 15:01

The celebrities you see sprawled across the pages of glamorous magazines and on tabloid papers give us unrealistic expectations of how the body of a woman or man should look like. The pictures of course have a secret ingredient: Photoshop.

The problem is sometimes Photoshop sucks the reality out of a shoot, and you get misplaced limbs, elongated necks, minute waists, and sometimes "warped space" around the subject.

Here are 72 of the worst Photoshop mistakes ever found on magazines and advertisements and posters. For more Photoshop mistakes, check out:

figure.entry-image {margin-bottom:50px;}

Is her head even attached?

When you focus on just one arm at the gym.

Who is holding the girl in red’s waist?

There are three women here and only 5 legs.

Where are Kim and Kanye’s reflections?

Leave it to Photoshop to distort the space continuum here on Earth.

The diet "secret" of celebrities.

Something is wrong with this boob job.

Kiera looks awesome on her own but they still had to make alterations.

Isn’t her waist a little too slim to be human sized?

Apparently, Kylie has feet she can tuck away for a photoshoot.

… while Kirsten has limbs she can tuck away.

Where they are going, do they need to powder up that much?

Warp the walkway! Seriously, check out the floor carpet pattern.

Sometimes it’s the thighs that become the center of attention.

Everyone wants to be Barbie in real life.

They might have chipped off too much from her thighs.

Eminem’s face got the Ken doll treatment. Don’t think he likes it.

Fergie’s thighs get an extreme makeover.

Some people take that thigh gap challenge too seriously.

Even Paris Hilton prefer taking the Photoshop route for a waistline.

The rails are curving from the irony.

Her tattoo got cropped, in the same magazine.

The model on the right got an extension on her neck.

Her fingers are far too long to be human.

Poor thing has a hand growing from the back of her head.

Michelle’s head got far too much of the Photoshop "goodness".

Zahara has a twin we don’t know of?

Is the Barbie treatment an automatic Photoshop action designers overuse?

Jessica must be having a terrible time contorting her body and hand for this shoot.

The more hands, the merrier?

Which American Idol finalist has too many fingers? This one!

Ghostly hand on the left shoulder. Freaky.

Someone messed up her right shoulder and tried terribly to cover it up.

The aprtment is so big, it spans across two suns!

Reflections tell a different story.

Apart from the lame car door shadow, the designer also forgot which direction the sun was shining from.

Three arms are always better than two , I suppose.

Yikes, Mandy’s got an extreme hair parting treatment right there.

You have to wonder if anyone actually bought tickets to this match.

Can someone explain why this girl only has an elbow?

Run! Evil baby strikes from behind.

I’ve heard of dance contortions but this is getting ridiculous.

Oh no, you didn’t.

Smile for the camera.

How does this ad compel anyone to buy their product, we may never know.

If that is yoga, no one wants to do yoga.

Ouch, that must have hurt.

Worst crop job ever?

With equipment like this, no one is going to exercise.

This is all kinds of weird.

Not only is it humanly impossible to be carryign that many bags, but her forearm is uncomfortably long.

How about NO?

Ok, before I buy this, let me see if I have anymore of these detachable thumbs lying around.

Does that coke cup look plastered in?

Her waist is missing.

Not sure who this is, but she isn’t Kerry Washington.

There is no way that a neck can be that long without health concerns.

A fatal error has occurred near the waiste region.

How is that girl in the back standing upright with no feet?

Guess she has some feet issues to take care of.

The guy lost half his body trying to take this shot.

One of her legs is missing and even the text can’t hide it.

The only way you can fit into this line of underwear is with Photoshop.

That can’t be right.

Now that’s something you don’t see everyday.

Unimaginably long legs sell dresses designed for inducing nightmares.

There is something unnatural about her leg(s).

Let’s curve everything.

They took the "nothing to hide" quite literally with this one.

Yeah, something is definitely wrong with this model’s legs.

… and this model’s missing feet.

Now Read:
10 Sites to Get Useful Photoshop Actions

Holiday Email Marketing: 6 Tips to Getting It Right - di, 29/09/2015 - 17:01

As email continues to be one of the leading methods of reaching out to a wide majority of consumers, most consumers have even adapted themselves to look out for offers and promotions while checking their email. A recent Consumer Views of Email Marketing study by Bluehornet from Digital River, has released the 2015 edition of its survey, which includes almost 2000 consumer insights into how they perceive and engage or ignore marketing emails.

The survey also reveals that over 71% of email users don’t have any junk account that is dedicated for filtering out marketing emails, and nearly 40% of users routinely check an email account that receive moderate to high marketing email traffic, ideally 5 a day. The study also suggests that almost 35% of email users are actively checking their mail.

Email Campaigns for the Holiday Season

Anyone involved in the email marketing industry will know that the holiday season is a time that almost guarantees enormous revenue payoffs for most e-Commerce traders.

And instead of going about sending mailers like every other digital marketer, even the slightest added features or improvement will translate into a drastic improvement in the overall effect of your email marketing program. This ensures online success and higher revenues.

Another recent study by global data solutions provider, Return Path, has hinted that the frequency which stimulates the most responses without much complaint is unique among brands and account categories.

Another great way you can increase the efficiency of your email programs is by creating responsive emails that certainly helps to improve your ROI. Email marketing software, GetResponse suggests that companies lose 42% of their audiences if the email isn’t responsive.

Horses for Courses – Adjusting Campaigns In Sync With Business Practices

If you think that your business doesn’t depend on the holiday season but some other, then you can do it in accordance with the season that your industry has the potential to drive up sales, for example, when the telecom sector launches a new model in the first quarter of a year, and then another in the final. Those who offer financial services are usually at their peak during the first quarter of the year, up until the end of March.

The big question, then, is – how does one prepare to create some magic with holiday season marketing email campaigns? We have the answers.

1. Extend Your Marketing Email Content

With the introduction of the smartphone, receiving, checking and even sending mails has grown exponentially and remained strong on mobile. Conversely, data also suggests that clicks from mobile devices are significantly lower than those made via a desktop or laptop computer.

If your business is app friendly, you can use it to your advantage, especially if you can predict subscriber behaviour and find out why they don’t click on links on their smartphones or tablets.

The most successful tactic has always been to expand your marketing email’s content, enabling it to function almost as an entire site or even as a landing page. The biggest advantage if doing this is that shoppers can browse your entire collection of offerings without having to click a single button.

2. Implement Vendor Changes ASAP

You might have already dealt with a number of new email partners over time, and its common knowledge of how changing a vendor usually ends up in a long and tiring process. Yet changing partners or vendors might improve the quality of your overall marketing program in the long run.

While most companies change vendors for improved features or better functionality that their current partner, others might shift because of changing environments or to meet certain budget restrictions. The availability of sophisticated software system with better integrations might also prompt a change in vendors.

3. Adding Triggered Emails

Triggered emails that allow marketers to send personalized and timely automated messages are a great way of picking up easy to reach and highly-motivated customers who will increase engagement rates from recipients, and lead to higher conversions from shoppers.

By adding a new email to your existing program before the season peaks, you can let your customers be privy to some pre-season discounts or other offers. Triggered emails are also a good way of filling out multiple gaps in an email marketing program and will also diversify the overall email strategy.

4. Arrange Your Data

Any seasoned email marketer knows that an email program is only as effective as the data by which it is backed up with. And today’s programs have to have much more detailed information than just email addresses, and can include all types of transactional and online customer behaviour.

The new KYC norms also enable access to physical mailing addresses of your customers.

5. Emergency Templates

Having a last minute insertion or request for change in template is a common problem faced by the email marketers. This not only leads to the entire strategy getting messed up, but can also end up being a colossal waste of time.

The best way to prevent such a situation from ever occurring is to develop a versatile template that adheres to very specific restrictions, yet allows for maximum design and content flexibility.

The whole point is to have a backup template that can be sophisticated and personalized, by just adding a couple of images and changing a bit of the design assets.

6. Set Personal Time Buffers

Another common mistake that many email marketers do is not set buffers in their time, causing them to have to deal with impossible deadlines and crazy requests. The worst part is that the number of last-minute requests often seems to double as the festive or peak season approaches, and they all have to be done or it will really be bad for business.

IMAGE: Cui Lin Systems

Creating a bandwidth of time buffers will help you stay on track as well as give you a realistic idea of the amount of time it will take to deliver on your services. Creating a time buffer for your schedule will also help you better manage all those ad hoc requests.

7. Gantt Chart

The holiday season is a time when random people who you might have never met before, come up to you and tell you that you need to make a last-minute change because of some random life-altering rationale.

A scientific and highly effective method of preventing you entire campaign from ending in disaster is to build a personalized Gantt chart, which would typically list all the email or bundle that have been drafted for customers to read, its core features, audience segmentation, and even the size of the campaign.

IMAGE: rfflow

When it comes to holiday season email marketing, timing is critical and preparing yourself and your site well in advance will go a long way in streamlining the process of incorporating last minute email campaign changes.

Other Data Improvements

Email Verification – Routinely verifying your email data base will help your business Identify spammers or any email leeches that could bog down your campaign.

Change of Address – Data mining reports have indicated that email addresses can have a churn rate of nearly 20 percent annually, which means that routinely executing an email change of address will help you pick out addresses of all the new subscribers on your marketing list.

Data Enhancement – You can effectively enhance your program by adding new data to fill in any gaps that might exist in your current database. Alternately, you could enable customer segmentation that is based on fresh subscriber data, including personalized birthday and anniversary notification emails.

I am sure this article did provide some ideas to get started. We are not that far away from holidays so the preparations need to be started soon. Do you have any other ideas for holiday marketing? Please share in your comments below.

Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Joydeep Bhattacharya for Joydeep Bhattacharya is an inbound marketer and author of seo blog He has been associated with the field of internet marketing since 2009. Besides serving his passion for SEO, SMO and PPC marketing he loves to read books and spend time on social media sites. You can find him on G+.

Using High Colour Contrast For More Accessible Design - di, 29/09/2015 - 15:01

A high bounce rate is frequently caused by the poor visual accessibility of a website. When fonts are too small, or they are hardly legible, when there are too many distractions or not enough whitespace, many people just leave the site without a second thought.

One of the most frequent reasons for early abandonment is the poorly selected colour schemes that decreases the readability of the content.

According to the statistics of WHO, there are about 285 million visually impaired people around the world, many of whom are partially or fully colour blind. Visual disabled people see colours differently, so avoiding low colour contrast in our designs is inevitable if we want to provide our customers with an accessible and user-friendly website.

IMAGE: KQED Science Web Standards For Colour Contrast

Colour contrast ratio measures the difference in contrast between two colours. The higher the value is, the easier it is to distinguish the object (text, image, graphic) in the foreground from the background.

Colours can contrast in many different ways, such as in hue, value and saturation. Colour contrast ratio is calculated by a formula provided by W3C, the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web.

It can take a value between 1:1 (no contrast at all, the foreground and the background have the same colour) and 21:1 (the maximum contrast that only exists between black and white).

W3C’s lastest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 provides web developers and content creators with benchmarks for
the minimum (Level AA) and the enhanced (Level AAA) value of acceptable colour contrast ratio.

Level AA requires at least 4.5:1 ratio for regular text, and 3:1 for large text. It’s much easier to read large text like subtitles, that’s why it needs a lower colour contrast.

If you want to reach Level AAA which is the enhanced level, you need to design your colour scheme with a greater care, as it requires at least 7:1 contrast ratio for normal text, and 4.5:1 for large. If a text is part of a logo or a brand name, there’s no minimum colour contrast requirement at either WCAG level.

We can only call a website visually accessible if the colour contrast ratio between every foreground object and its background reaches at least Level AA.

IMAGE: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Trace Center Benefits of High Colour Contrast Ratio

By ensuring better readability you don’t only engage visually impaired users, but also people who read your content on a small screens such as on a smartphone or a smartwatch, among bad lighting conditions, and on lower quality monitors.

People also read faster when there’s higher contrast between the text and the background, so it will most likely take more time for them to get bored with the content of the site.

If you worry that applying higher contrast ratio will have a negative impact on the aesthetics of your design, you need to check out the Contrast Rebellion web project which proves, with real-life examples, that sticking to the high contrast ratio rules can still result in attractive and cool designs.

IMAGE: Contrast Rebellion Apps For Checking Colour Contrast

There are many great free tools all over the web that can help designers check the colour contrast ratio of their website.

The easiest way of testing your design for colour contrast is to pick the main colours with either Photoshop or a suitable browser extension like this one for Firefox, and copy the values into one of the apps below.

The most important thing to remember is that you always need to compare the foreground colour such as text colour to its surrounding area (background colour).

1. WebAim Colour Contrast Checker

WebAim (Web Accessibility In Mind) is an organization promoting web accessibility that offers developers a simple but reliable colour contrast checker among many other great accessibility tools such as Wave, a general accessibility evaluation app that can help you quickly assess your site’s accessibility issues.

WebAim’s Colour Contrast Checker tells you if your colours pass the WCAG AA and AAA tests, both for normal and large texts.

2. Snook Colour Contrast Check

Jonathan Snook, currently working as lead front-end developer at Shopify, has been hosting his handy colour contrast check tool for over a decade. Snook’s app allows you to change the HSL and RGB values of the foreground and background colour one by one by using convenient range sliders until you reach a result that is compliant with the WCAG 2.0 benchmarks.


CheckMyColours created by Giovanni Scala allows you to check the colour contrast ratio of all foreground-background colour combinations on a live website.

It calculates luminosity contrast ratio, brightness difference, and colour difference, and provides you with a full report about the results. CheckMyColours’ report can significantly facilitate your understanding of how you can improve the visual accessibility of your site.

Color Scheme Designer

Color Scheme Designer is not particularly a colour contrast checker, but a tool for designing complete colour schemes.

We include it in this collection, because it has a feature that allows you to see how your colour scheme is perceived by people with different types of visual disabilities. You can test your colours for full colour blindness, protanopy, deuteranopy, and many other visual impairments. The app has a newer version called Paletton that makes even a more sophisticated vision simulation possible (you can also test for things like lousy LED display or weak CRT display).

W3C also provides you with a huge Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List where you can find many other colour contrast tools such as this helpful Accessibility Color Wheel.

Tips For Creating Visually Accessible Websites

If you want to create a visually accessible website, it’s always a good idea to avoid using colour alone to convey functionality or meaning. Icons that change their colour based on their current state are typical examples for this.

If it’s possible, always design additional visual cues that assist people who see colours differently in understanding functionality.

Never forget to pay extra attention to the colour contrast of buttons, links and menus, as they are the means of navigation on your site. If users can’t navigate easily on your site, you’ll quickly lose them. Accessible colours for call-to-action buttons are also crucial for good conversion rates.

It’s a good workflow practice to test colour contrast ratio as early as possible in the design process as it will be hard to persuade your client to change the colour scheme of the site later on down the design process.

Now Read:
Practical Approach To Choosing Website Color Scheme

The Day When Web Design Gets Boring - ma, 28/09/2015 - 17:01

Nothing can escape the iron teeth of time, and the day when web design gets completely boring and finally fades away will sooner or later come… or perhaps it has already happened? In an online world full of grid-based hero blocks, and yawn-inducing call-to-action buttons, we can’t be sure of anything anymore.

The best thing we can do is to approach the problem rationally, as it can be expected from good professionals.

In this post we try to figure out the time when the web will be fully deprived of creativity, and web designers won’t be anything more than framework-configuring bots. The clock keeps ticking, the dark times are coming, but don’t worry, if we know the schedule we can better prepare for the change.

First of all though, we need to take a look at the bigger picture, and understand how the field of design has managed to survive this long.

The Oldest Profession In The World

Design has been the oldest profession in the world. Have you heard it otherwise? Most likely those were just urban legends, dirty jokes or evil gossips.

Goods, products and everything that can be sold or bought need to be first designed. Money or other valuables that were offered in exchange for the service that is mistakenly considered the oldest profession also needed to be designed well before anything could have happened.

If you want to understand the impact design has had on humanity just quickly look around yourself wherever you are. Everything you see right now, other than natural forms and living creatures – objects, buildings, furniture, vehicles, clothes, your tea infuser and coffee mugs – first existed as ideas in designers’ minds, then were smartly prototyped by them.

The global influence of design is so enormous and has so many dimensions that it’s hard to grasp.

So how has the oldest profession in the world managed to survive this long? Throughout the neverending need for change, the constant diversification of the field, and via the theoretical and practical conflicts that have never ceased to exist.

Conflicts That Can Never Be Solved

Any domain that requires at least an ounce of creativity are full of conflicts. As design is creation per se, it is naturally loaded with a lot of dissent.

The questions have always been there: how to provide the best solution, what are the rules, are rules needed at all, along with many other debates and uncertainties. As this post is nothing more than an investigation about the final days of web design as we know it now, we will focus only on the conflict that has had the most impact on our field.

This conflict in design – and generally in art – began when mass production became widely available, around the beginning of the 20th century. Since then creators have been trying to comprehend how they can the best serve human needs while still coming up with creative and unique solutions that fill the void not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.

The opposition of Art Deco and Bauhaus – the handcrafted for the few and the functional for the masses – in the early 20th century excellently represents the nature of this conflict.

IMAGE: DieselPunks

IMAGE: Art Deco Collection

Both produced elegant solutions on their own way without invalidating the existence of the other. Something similar happens these days in web design.

The Ever-Expanding Online Universe

When the World Wide Web was created it was hard to figure out how it would finally look like, just like we are right now struggling with finding the magical date when web design will turn insufferably boring. It’s more and more sure though that the web formed a virtual world parallel to the physical one, that needs to be populated with virtual objects that we know as applications and websites.

The number of things from the physical world that get a representation in the virtual one is growing every day: we buy cool stuff from e-shops, our personalities are represented online, and fabulous solutions for our burning problems are also stored on the web. But not just that.

The rapidly emerging hardware technology also expands our opportunities both as users and creators, just think about the rise of wearables and other smart devices.

The Gray Side of The Early Web

A more complex online world naturally requires more solutions and a wider approach than a simpler one that was mainly about creativity and fun. Or was it? What if there have always been a gray, boring side of web design?

We are lucky, as with the help of the Wayback Machine we can easily get an accurate reply at least to this question. Let’s go back to the beginning of the new millennium to see if this frightening assumption can really be true.

IMAGE: Web Archive

IMAGE: Web Archive

IMAGE: Web Archive Wait, What?

Yup, this is how the most part of the web looked like in the year 2000. Business sites that had to make profit and web pages of organizations that required easy usability chose the straightforward, simple designs that didn’t leave too much space for imagination, even back in the good old days.

The tools have been constantly changing though, so at least the coding part has never become boring: back then devs used HTML tables, transparent gifs and other sneaky techniques to achieve the logical, easy-to-understand layout; these days we tend to use frameworks like Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation.

Tools Are Just Tools

Tools are just tool; it has always been the client and the designer who decide what to achieve with them. It’s possible to build beautiful, award-winning websites with Bootstrap, but of course aesthetics is not always the primary consideration.

User Experience and Usability are more of a concern these days for business clients who need to provide accessible websites for a wide user base. Luckily
clients who want artistic websites are also out there, like they have always been – just think about the needs of a music band, an art gallery or a conference organizer.

IMAGE: Elephant Restaurant The Final Date

As it has just turned out, web design has always had a functional side that can only use subtler visual elements. We unfortunately run into an infinite loop that will hardly come to an end.

The conflict between functionality and aesthetics is not simply a binary question; it exists on a spectrum that is influenced by more and more factors, as the online world becomes more complicated. Web designers need to reconcile newer and newer needs.

As we exist within an infinite loop that can only be solved with formatting the whole system, it doesn’t bear much sense to stare at our clocks, and worrying about the time when our field will be deprived all of its creativity.

The best thing we can do is to get rid of our annoyingly ticking clocks, and replace them with perpetuum mobiles. Gazing at them with an open mind can be a good meditation practice that can help us understand how we personally can contribute the best to the ever changing world of web design.

Now Read:
Changing The Face Of Web Design: A Case Study Of 25 Years

Bootstrap 4: New &#038; Cool Features You’ll Love - ma, 28/09/2015 - 15:01

The next major release of the Bootstrap framework is around the corner. The alpha version can already be downloaded from Bootstrap’s development website, and the source code is also available on Github.

Twitter Bootstrap is currently the most popular frontend framework out there. It enables developers to build mobile-first and responsive websites, quickly. Bootstrap makes it possible to smartly make use of the standard HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript frontend trio. It’s currently utilized by more than 6 million sites on the web.

Although Bootstrap 4 is still in the development phase (so don’t use it on a live site yet), the developers have done a fabulous job. In this post we will take a look at the new version which includes many great features that will surely streamline and improve the frontend development workflow.

1. Sass Instead of LESS

Until now Bootstrap has used LESS as its main CSS prepocessor, but for the new major release, the style rules will be refactored to Sass, which is much more popular among frontend developers, has a huge contributor base, generally easier to use and offers more possibilities. Thanks to the powerful Libsass Sass Complier written in C/C++ Bootstrap 4 will compile much faster than before.

IMAGE: Google Trends 2. New Grid Tier for Smaller Screens

Bootstrap has a sophisticated responsive grid system that allows developers to target devices with different viewports. Bootstrap 3 currently has 4 grid classes for columns, .col-xs-XX for mobile phones, .col-sm-XX for tablets, .col-md-XX for desktops, and .col-lg-XX for larger desktops. Bootstrap 4 will enhance the grid system with a fifth one that will facilitate developers to target smaller devices under 480px viewport width.

The new grid class has taken the name of the previous smallest one, and pushed the current names of the grid tiers upwards by one notch. In Bootstrap 4 the large desktops will use the .col-xl-XX class selector. It’s important to know that despite the new name they didn’t add a new class for extra large screens but for extra small ones.

IMAGE: W3C Schools 3. Introduces Relative CSS Units

Bootstrap 4 finally drops the support for Internet Explorer 8. That’s really a smart step as it allows them to get rid of pesky polyfills, and convert to relative CSS units. Instead of pixels, the new major release will use REMs and EMs that make it possible to implement responsive typography on Bootstrap sites. This will also increase readability, and make sites more accessible for disabled users.

If you want to try out how relative units work with the new Bootstrap 4, check out this demo on Codepen.

IMAGE: barssala on CodePen 4. Brand New Bootstrap Cards

The development team decided to unify some previous elements of Bootstrap’s user interface, so they decided to introduce a new UI component called Cards. Cards will replace the former wells, thumbnails and panels, and will provide users with a more streamlined workflow. Don’t worry, cards will keep familiar elements, such as titles, headers and footers of wells, thumbnails and panels.

As cards will be more flexible than the current UI components, they will allow a bigger space for creative implementations. There are some pioneers out there who have already conducted experiments on Codepen with Bootstrap Cards. You can check them out, or create your own cards.

IMAGE: Thomas Ingall in CodePen 5. New Reboot Module

The new Reboot module replaces the previous normalize.css reset file. It doesn’t ditch it; on the contrary, it builds more rules upon it. The goal of the move was to include all generic CSS selectors and reset styles in a single, easy-to-use SCSS file. You can take a look at the source code here if you want to better understand how the new module works.

It’s good to know that the new reset styles smartly set the box-sizing CSS property to border-box on the <html> element, which is therefore inherited by each child element on the page. The new style rule makes responsive layouts more manageable. If you want to experience the difference between the content-box and border-box layout types, take a look at this handy demo provided by (it wasn’t created for Bootstrap 4, it just shows how box-sizing generally works).

IMAGE: tsmith512’s Github.IO 6. Opt-in Flexbox Support

Bootstrap 4 makes it possible to take leverage of CSS3’s Flexbox Layout, however – as Internet Explorer 9 doesn’t support the flexbox module – the default version of Bootstrap 4 rather makes use of the float and display CSS properties to implement a fluid layout.

Flexbox has an easy-to-use layout that can be excellently utilized in responsive design, as it provides a flexible container that either expands or shrinks itself to fill the available space the best way. Only use the opt-in flexbox feature if you don’t need to provide support for IE9.

7. Streamlined Variable Customization

All Sass variables used in the new Bootstrap release are included in a single file called _variables.scss, that will significantly streamline the development process. You don’t have to do anything else apart from copying the settings from this file into another one called _custom.scss to change the default values.

You can customize many things such as colours, spacing, link styles, typography, tables, grid breakpoints and containers, column number and gutter width, and many others.

IMAGE: Bootstrap 4’s development site 8. New Utility Classes for Spacing

Bootstrap 3 already has many practical utility classes such as the ones that change floating or the clearfix, but Bootstrap 4 adds even more. The new spacing classes allow developers to quickly change paddings and margins on their sites.

The syntax for the new classes is quite straightforward, for example adding the .m-a-0 class links a style rule that sets margins to 0 on all sides of the given element (margin-all-0). While margins use the m- prefix, paddings are styled with the p- prefix. In the development docs you can take a look at all the new spacing utility classes.

9. Tooltips and Popovers Powered By Tether

In Bootstrap 4 tooltips and popovers makes use of the supercool Tether library, a positioning engine that makes it possible to keep an absolutely positioned element right next to another element on the same page. This means tooltips and popovers will be automatically placed properly on Bootstrap 4 websites.

Don’t forget that as Tether is a third party JavaScript library, you need to separately include it in the HTML before your bootstrap.js file.

IMAGE: Github Hubspot 10. Refactored JavaScript Plugins

The development team refactored each JavaScript plugin for the new release using EcmaScript 6. With the smart utilization of the latest specificatons and the newest enhancements they intend to improve the frontend experience.

The new Bootstrap 4 has also undergone through other JavaScript improvements, such as option type checking, generic teardown methods, and UMD support, that will all work together to make the most popular frontend framework run more smoothly than ever before.

Now Read:
10 Lightweight Alternatives To Bootstrap & Foundation

5 Things You Should Know About Mobile Advertising - za, 26/09/2015 - 15:01

App install advertising is on fire. BI Intelligence predicts that US mobile app install ad revenues will top $4.6 billion this year and grow to $6.8 billion by the end of 2019, growing by 14% a year from 2014. Beyond quantity, there’s also quality with the best ROI of all mobile ad formats.

IMAGE: Business Insider

A key development driving the surge in app install budgets involves the ability to properly measure app install campaigns, overcoming the lack of cookies and the inherent fragmentation in the mobile ecosystem with its different environments (mobile web and in-app), different platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), and different devices (smartphones and tablets).

Furthermore, advertising analytics enable marketers to move towards a pure performance model in which an install, important as it is, is only the first step to success. What happens after the install is what matters. By connecting in-app actions to a network that drove an install, the marketer can pinpoint the networks that can deliver the specific type of users that drive value to his business.

1. Driving Installs

In order for your app to be noticed, and stand out from the other million apps in the mobile space, it’s essential to generate a volume of installs from both organic and non-organic sources. What’s the difference you ask?

I – Organic Installs

Well, organic installs are installs that are mainly the result of app store exploration and organic search.

This means an application is discovered and installed after a keyword or brand search i.e. after a recommendation from a friend, looking at top apps per category, or being exposed to an app through an app store’s own featured recommendations.

II – Non-organic installs

Non-organic installs, on the other hand, are driven to the app store by active promotions outside the app store whether via a paid advertising campaign, or any other marketing campaign on owned channels (such as email, push notification, SMS or QR code).

A Successful Mix

In mobile app install advertising, it’s essential to make the most out of both routes. Driving the highest number of organic installs involves using App Store Optimization (ASO) tactics (which is is basically the app world’s equivalent to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)).

There’s a short list of factors that can either make or break your ASO ranking, i.e. title, keywords, number of downloads, ratings and reviews, screenshots and icons, etc.

Since the number of installs is a major factor in ASO, paying for new users will not only increase the number of non-organic installs, but more importantly the number of organic installs. In fact, our research has found that 1 paid install drives 3 more organic installs.

Paid app install campaigns are also a way to stand out in a saturated marketplace (there are over 1.4 million apps on both Google Play and the App Store!). In its recent report, eMarketer went as far as saying that it is a must.

2. Business Models

Four business models should be considered for app install advertising: CPA, CPC, CPI, and CPM. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore this:

CPM (Cost per Thousand)

Payment Terms: Pre-determined price for every 1,000 impressions (cost per millemille being the Latin term for one thousand).

Pros: Maximal brand awareness, reach, lower cost

Cons: Non-performance model, greater chance of non-transparent networks sending low quality impressions.

CPC (Cost per Click)

Payment Terms: Paid every time a user clicks on an ad.

Pros: Easier to analyze user engagement through ad creative A/B testing.

Cons: Fat fingers phenomenon means you risk paying for unintended clicks and damaging your brand name with awful user experiences; Higher cost than CPI if you don’t have the resources to optimize click-to-conversion path, lack of robust analysis tools, vulnerable to fraud.

CPI (Cost per Impression)

Payment Terms: Pre-determined price paid every time a user installs the application.

Pros: Performance model, lower cost, low risk.

Cons: Risk of non-transparent networks driving a high volume of low quality or incentivized traffic to drive installs.

CPA (Cost per Action)

Payment Terms: Pre-determined price for every in-app action defined by advertiser (revenue or engagement related).

Pros: Pure performance model adopted by the savviest data-driven advertisers.

Cons: The cost is often higher but so is the value generated so ROI only grows with higher LTV of acquired users.

3. a good place to start

If you’re working under a budget and you are aiming for maximum impact based on what you have to work with, here are a few big guns to start with:


If you’re trying to target specific user personas while maintaining a strict budget, Twitter and Facebook are great places to start for their almighty data and in-depth demographics information about their audiences.

With superior targeting capabilities and unrivaled scale, it is no wonder that these networks command such a large chunk of app install ad spend. However, know this: there are only two ways to get analytics on your app install campaigns running on Facebook and Twitter:

  • by adding their SDK to your app
  • by using the SDK of a certified measurement partner (a handful of tracking providers that have a Facebook and Twitter’s official stamp of approval)
Google AdWords

Google AdWords app install campaigns can also be great when working with a tight budget. Here you can focus on your keywords – tapping into user intent as a powerful indicator – and invest more incrementally until you’ve achieved optimal keyword optimization.

This is great for longer campaigns that are intended for a large audience.

YouTube TrueView Ads

If budgets are higher, YouTube features TrueView ads which can be a great option. Particularly if you have a video preview of your app that you’d like to expose to a targeted and engaged audience.

4. Spread your wings

To maximize reach and the ability to find the media sources that can deliver specific users you are interested in, adding other ad networks to the mix is an important step. But with hundreds and even thousands of them out there, how will you find the best network for your app?

At any given time a typical app could be working with anywhere from 5-10 different mobile ad networks. Big apps work with dozens at the same time. It’s therefore essential that you allocate your budget responsibly so you don’t wind up wasting it on publishers that are unable to meet your acquisition goals.

How to Pick the Right Mobile Ad Network

With so many mobile ad networks working with different traffic types, unique verticals, and specialized clientele, you need better methods to avoid poor performing publishers.

When approaching a network, here’s what you should inquire about:

1. Experiential Questions

Ask for testimonials, case studies, and personally reach out to companies with similar target audiences to drill them on their experience with the network

2. Pain Questions

How are you different from your competitors?
Can you give us an example of what you’ve done for one of your advertisers in our particular vertical?

3. Questions to ask yourself

Where do you wish to be at the end of this process? What are your goals you want to achieve by working with this ad network?

Even though you’ve made an educated decision about which networks to run with, it goes without saying that you must monitor their performance at all times. You should feel comfortable saying to the network, "hey, publisher number 4 is operating poorly compared to number three, please allocate more budget to number 3."

The network doesn’t have the same level of data that you have as an advertiser so it’s important to help them complete the larger picture. Stay in the loop and inform them when you see something going the wrong way.

5. Measure, measure, then measure again

Measuring app install campaigns involves two critical and intertwined parts: attribution analytics and advertising analytics.

Attribution Analytics

Attribution analytics tell us the channel/source that delivered each app install, whether organic, social, paid or owned. The mechanism is mostly based on the last click model – the last touchpoint a user clicked on before installing (and launching) an app (within a grace window of 7 to 30 days).

This model dictates that the advertiser only pays the network that delivers the last click (if engagement with a another non-paid source like email or organic search follows, the ad network doesn’t get paid).

Unbiased attribution companies serve as an impartial judge – trusted by both advertisers and networks alike to make a ruling. The fact that they are integrated with hundreds of networks means that they have a bird’s eye view of the entire conversion path.

As such, they can make a decision that sticks while preventing advertisers from being double or triple charged by networks a user clicked on but were not the last click.

Advertising Analytics

Advertising analytics takes it one step forward. By measuring what a user does after the install and connecting it to the acquiring source (paid, social, owned or organic), you can view aggregated data and pinpoint the networks that delivered the best users.

For example, if a gaming developer knows that passing level 10 is a strong indication of high lifetime value, he can measure this in-app event and find out which networks delivered the highest number of these players at the best rates, and which did not, then optimize accordingly.

In an app environment dominated by the freemium model, delivering quality users who drive real revenue is an absolute must. After all, you can’t go to the bank with installs.

The Bottom Line

The digital environment is not only mobile first – it is app first. However, its big numbers have also created a hyper competitive space in which few apps make it, and most break it.

To succeed, marketers must run app install campaigns and make smart, data-driven marketing decisions to break away from the crowd and ensure their budget is maximized to its full potential.

Editor’s note: This guest post is written for by Ran Avrahamy. Ran is the Head of Marketing at who is managing a complicated relationship with mobile. He also loves being an entrepreneur though he hates the word "entrepreneur". Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

20 Free Icon Sets For Minimalistic Designs - vr, 25/09/2015 - 17:01

These days minimalistic design is popular in all areas of our lives: in package design, interior design and, of course, web design. If you’re going to achieve aesthetic minimalistic design you need to use simple design elements, such as light fonts and line icons.

So, here we have put together 20 sets of light and thin icons which will help you in your quest to create minimalistic designs. In this collection you’ll find office, travel, sports, weather, and food icons for projects of any kind.

All of these icons sets are free to download and use. Just click on the link to go to the primary source.

Free Icon Set (AI File) by Pawel Olek

Financial Icons (Sketch file) by Alexandre Naud

Wilderness/Camping Icons (AI files) by Anita Peeples

Smart House (SVG, EPS, PNG and Sketch files) by Roman Malashkov

Tourism icon (EPS files) by Polyarix

Freaks (Dropbox link) by Nuria Madrid

Outdoor Icons (Sketch file) by Vincent Tantardini

Sports icons (EPS files) by Polyarix

Mall site icons (AI files) by Madalin Dragnea

Free Glyphs (AI files) by Airytram

Icon a day by Arvind Kumar

One Line Icons (AI files) by Differantly Studio

50 free Icons (PSD files) by Balraj Chana

Food Icons (Sketch file) by Sergey Zolotnikov

Thin Icon (PSD file) by Vivek Ravin

80 Thin Icons PSD (PSD file) by Rovane Durso

ICONSET (PSD file) by Pal Tsin

Fitness Line Icons (AI, EPS, PNG files) by Chris B.

41 Thin Line Animated Icons by Alexei Petrovykh

30 Transport Icons (PSD file) by Graphics Bay

Now Read:
20 Free Multi-Purpose Vector Icon Sets for Designers

How to Enable Split View in OS X El Capitan - vr, 25/09/2015 - 15:01

One of the most anticipated feature in apple's latest os x, El Capitan is probably the Split View. This new feature allows you to focus on two apps simutaneously, side by side, without the distractions of any other apps you have opened on your Mac.

To put this into perspective, you can:

Code with your favourite code editor on one side, and preview the changes on the browser on the other side.

Or like what I personally often do – have the browser on one side, and Inspect Element on the other for code inspecting and debugging.

How to enable Split View in El Capitan

There is a video tutorial at the bottom of this post that you can skip to, but if your Internet connection leaves a lot to be desired, then here are the steps:

  1. With your first app already open, click on the green button on the top left corner of the app to get it into fullscreen mode.

  2. Next, hit the F3 key to go into Mission Control.

  3. While inside Mission Control, drag the second app and release it into the thumbnail of the first app.

This will give you a full screen mode of both the apps, with a 50-50 split. You can drag the middle divider to re-adjust how much space you want for each app.

How to exit Split View

To exit split view, or remove one app from the split view so you can add another, just hit the Esc key or click the green button on the top left corner of the particular app to restore it to its original size.

That’s it.

Video tutorial

MathML &#8211; The Markup Language For Math Notations - do, 24/09/2015 - 15:01

MathML is a markup language that can be used to display mathematical notations. You can use MathML tags directly from HTML5. It is useful for when you wish to show more than simple notations of Math in your web pages, and it’s quite easy to use due to its simplicity and resemblance to HTML.

MathML has two types of markup; presentation (for layout) and content (for meaning). Since only the presentation markup is supported by browsers, that’s the only markup type that can be used with HTML. You can also use CSS and JavaScript on it just like you would on HTML.

Let’s take a look at MathML.

Understanding MathML

There’s a list of present MathML elements in the Mozilla Developer website. I’ve also listed the elements used in the examples at the end of this post for quick reference.

The top level element in MathML is the <math> element, When you write MathML code in the HTML, remember to put them inside the <math> tags.

<mi>,<mo>,<mn>,<ms> are the basic elements representing an identifier ,operator, number and string respectively. Note that all the MathML elements below start with the letter ‘m’.

Here are some simple examples.

How to Display Superscript & Subscript

The <msup> element is for displaying superscript. There’s an <msub> for subscripts.

<math> <msup> <mi>n</mi> <mn>7</mn> </msup> </math> How to Display Fractions <math> <mfrac> <mn>7</mn> <mn>26</mn> </mfrac> </math> How to Display Root Integers

Here’s one more simple example for displaying root integers.

<math> <mroot> <mn><mo>-</mo>678</mn> <mn>5</mn> </mroot> </math>

For only square root, there’s <msqrt>.

Now let’s move on to more complex notations, the matrix.

How to Display a Matrix

To construct a matrix, we will need to have a table structure for rows and columns. For this, we use <mtable>, <mtr> and <mtd>.

Apart from that, we’ll use the <mo> tags to add the operators [ and ] around the matrix, and finally put them all inside the <mrow> element, an element that groups expressions.

Here’s the end result:

<math> <mrow> <mo> [ </mo> <mtable> <mtr> <mtd> <mn>0</mn> </mtd> <mtd> <mn>4</mn> </mtd> <mtd> <mn>10</mn> </mtd> </mtr> <mtr> <mtd> <mn>5</mn> </mtd> <mtd> <mn>2</mn> </mtd> <mtd> <mi>X</mi> </mtd> </mtr> <mtr> <mtd> <mn>9</mn> </mtd> <mtd> <mn>11</mn> </mtd> <mtd> <mn>1</mn> </mtd> </mtr> </mtable> <mo> ] </mo> </mrow> </math>

Also, let’s throw in a bit of CSS to make that ‘X’ stand out in the matrix.

mi { color:red; } How to Display Integral Equations

Below is an example of a basic type of integral equation. The <mmultiscripts> is used to add the limits to the integral.

Like HTML, MathML also has characters and entities, one of which is used in the example to show the Greek phi symbol. Here’s how to display the integral equation above:

<math> <mrow> <mrow> <mi>f</mi> <mo>(</mo> <mi>x</mi> <mo>)</mo> </mrow> <mo>=</mo> <mrow> <mmultiscripts> <mo>&Integral;</mo> <mi>a</mi> <mi>b</mi> </mmultiscripts> <mrow> <mi>K</mi> <mo>(</mo> <mi>x</mi> <mo>,</mo> <mi>t</mi> <mo>)</mo> </mrow> <mrow> <mi>&phi;</mi> <mo>(</mo> <mi>t</mi> <mo>)</mo> </mrow> <mi>d</mi> <mi>t</mi> </mrow> </mrow> </math>

For a list of MathML character entities, click here to find them on the W3C website.

MathML Attributes

Apart from attributes that are are the same as HTML’s (like id), MathML also has a set of their own attributes. The Mozilla Developer site has a collection of MathML attributes for your reference. For fallbacks, you can use the JavaScript library MathJax. If you need more tools, check out this link here.

I take my leave with this codepen containing all of the examples above, for your easy reference.

See the Pen MathML Examples by Preethi (@rpsthecoder) on CodePen.

Reference List of MathML Elements Elements Definition <math> Top-level MathML element <mi> Displays identifiers (variables,constants,function names) <mn> Displays numeric literal <mo> Displays operator <ms> Shows string literal <msup> Attaches a superscript to a base <msub> Attaches a subscript to a base <mfrac> Used to display fractions <mroot> Displays radicals with indices <msqrt> Displays square root <mtable> Displays a table or matrix <mtr> Row of <mtable> <mtd> Column in <mtr> <mrow> Groups sub-expressions <mmultiscripts> Used to add superscript, subscript, presuperscript & presubscript

20 Wireframe Designs for A Minimalistic Lifestyle - wo, 23/09/2015 - 17:01

If you’re not sure what wireframe products are, imagine a regular box with a special design: you get only the frames, no sides, tops or bottoms. The more common wireframe products you might know are probably dish dryers, clothes racks or lampshades, but nowadays there are more products that adopt the minimalistic approach to design.

The product designers are therefore dependent on their vision and creativity to give the design a shape, support at the right places and functionality based on its frame and the strength of the material.

That said, wireframe products have room for manipulation, are airy and see-through, and lighter than the full-spec counterparts. Here are 20 modern-looking attempts at minimalistic wireframe design.

Geometry Lamps

This is a simple and stylish set of lamps designed by Micro Makro.

Wall Shelf

This awesome wireframe wall organizer can be used to showcase your favourite things such as books, souvenirs, and plants. [£40.00]

Desk Organizer

Organize your pens and pencils using this cool wireframe desk tidy. It’s available in orange, black, blue and red. [£24.00]

Coffee Table

An elegant wireframe wooden table will be a nice addition to any interior. You can keep your books and magazines inside and keep them visible at all times. [$399]

Multi Photo Display

With this frame you can create a unique 3D layered photo collage and put your favourite pictures there. [£40.00]


This nice, modern wireframe chair is easy to clean and maintain. [$3,200]

Wine Rack

Keep your wine bottles with style using this wireframe wine rack. Just place your bottles in the holes. [£65.00]


This metal structure is a lamp. It can be hung up or placed on any surface. Available in four colors. [$93]

Table Bookshelf

A table that is also a shelf, the wireframe aspect allows you to keep your books by hanging it over a frame, while you do your reading on the table surface.

Mesh Basket

This is a 3D printed mesh basket made in wireframe. You can keep your keys, wallet, coins and other small items here. [£32]

Magazine Rack

A magazine in a form of a house will be a great place to keep your magazines. [£18.50]


V4 is an elegant and airy vase for flowers. It’s available in black and white.

Metallic Fruit Bowl

This great fruit loop bowl is made from a single length of steel wire. It looks airy, futuristic and stylish. [£28.00]

Office Chair

This metal wire chair will be the perfect fit for any modern office design. [£253]

Fruit Bowl

These animal-inspired wireframe fruit bowls bring some cheer into the room. There are more different animal designs at the site. [$160]

Wall Vessel

This amazing Umbra Trigg Wall Vessel inspired by geometric forms can be a nice decoration for your wall. [£30.00]

Book Shelf

This romboidale shelf is the perfect play at geometical harmony right in the middle of a modern living room design. The metal frame comes in 3 different finishes.

Portable Lamp

Rong is a lamp with really long wiring, allowing it to be moved anywhere, even taken outside of the house for some backyard camping.

Fire Basket

This Skargaarden Boo fire basket is the perfect modern fire pit. [$288.00]

See-Through Vase

These see-through wireframe vases are a Japanese creation, best for planting water-loving plants or maybe to showcase plants with beautiful roots. Find more here.

Now Read:
20 Exceptional Furniture Designs For Your Inspiration

How to Design For People With Accessibility Needs - wo, 23/09/2015 - 15:01

The people who use the web are not a homogeneous mass but rather a huge group with incredibly high diversity. Many of them are not native English, or highly educated city dwellers with excellent health conditions. When we design for the public we need to pay attention to this fact; otherwise, we miss out on many potential users, as well as a great possibility to boost the search engine rankings of a site.

Universality and inclusivity are in the focus of the Accessibility web standards that are one of W3C’s web design related standards. The final goal of the Web Accessiblity Initiative (WAI) is to design a web that works “for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability”.

IMAGE: Freepik

When we think about accessibility the most important thing we need to understand is that a user doesn’t need to have full loss of a sense or an ability to be in need for accessibility support. People who have problems such as partial sight loss, or mild hearing impairment also have acessibility needs.

Now let’s see who are the main groups, how they use the web and how the careful designer can improve their user experience.

Visual Impairments

People in this group can have mild or moderate vision impairments in one or both eyes, colour blindness, low vision, blindness or deaf-blindness

In many cases there is a need to change the presentation of the web content to adapt it to their needs. They require the ability to resize text size and images, and to customize fonts, colours, and spacing to increase readability. It’s also a good idea to ensure that people who can’t see the mouse-pointer can navigate through the content using only their keyboards.

Many visually disabled people use screen readers that only work properly if the frontend is semantically coded, otherwise their special assistive softwares can’t identify the structure of the web page and users would hardly be able to make sense of the content.

We need to provide these pages with proper descriptions for hyperlinks, icons, images, and other media types with the help of explanatory alt and title HTML attributes. The rule of thumb here is to make an equivalent text alternative available for each non-textual element.

IMAGE: Mashable

It’s also important not to stop users from configuring their own browser settings, so if it’s possible, specify everything in relative units (ems, rems, or percentages) instead of exact sizes.

In fact, the bots of Google and other search engines can also be thought of as visually disabled agents, and keep in mind that everything that is good for visually impaired humans also pleases the bots thereby improving the SEO ranking of a site.

Auditory Disabilities

Web users who suffer from hearing impairments of different grades can’t always understand speech, especially when there is a background noise. The most frequent use case here is video content, that needs to be made accessible by adding visual assistance to the audio part.

According to the Media Access Group of the WGBH Radio “an estimated 24 million Americans have enough of a hearing loss that they cannot fully understand the meaning of a television program”.

Using closed captioning in which background noises such as music or explosions are also captioned can help them a lot. Providing options for captions and transcripts can also significantly improve the experience of people who are not native speakers of the recorded language.

We also need to be careful when designing web and mobile apps. If users have to rely solely on interactions using voice, people with auditory disabilities or those without proper audio hardware or software will be excluded from the usage.

App designers also need to pay attention to always adding options to stop, pause, or adjust the volume. Apple TV is an excellent example of a device designed with the deaf and hard of hearing in mind, as it provides them with a nice user interface to customize subtitles and captions to their individual needs.

IMAGE: AudioPerception Cognitive and Neurological Disabilities

Disorders related to the brain or the peripheral nervous system impact how people move, see, hear and understand things. There are many people who need to process information slower than others, so we need to provide them with clearly structured content that facilitates orientation.

It can also help if we offer different ways of navigation: not only one huge dropdown menu, but also tag clouds, search option, breadcrumbs, and other smart and easy-to-understand solutions.

Enhancing the content with visual cues is crucial when we want to enable people with cognitive and neurological disabilities to understand the information we want to convey to them. Images, graphs, illustrations, and smart typography such as avoiding long paragraphs can do a lot for them.

Reducing the number of distractions like flashing or blinking ads and annoying popups can keep many of them on our sites, just think about those with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or autism.

If you want to see an example of carefully designed, logically structured content with accessible navigation and descriptive visual cues, take a look at the U.S. government’s Social Security Administration site.

IMAGE: Social Security Administration Physical Disabilities

Physically disabled people can have motor disorders, limitations of sensations or muscular control, joint problems, missing limbs, and can face many other physical impediments.

Probably the most important thing related to them is always providing full keyboard support, and giving enough time for them to complete tasks such as filling online forms, replying to questions or editing their previous content in comment sections.

Offering keyboard shortcuts, especially on touch-enabled devices can be godsend for this group.

Physically disabled people can face with difficulties when clicking small areas, so we always need to make sure that we design large enough, clickable areas like buttons.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many of them use assistive hardware or software. They can access the content with the help of an on-screen keyboard navigated through with a trackball, or they can use voice recognition or eye-tracking softwares.

Because of this, just like in the previous cases, it’s crucial to build logical, coherent navigation and a well-structured site without too many distractions.

IMAGE: AllThingsErgo.Com Conclusion

Creating web experiences for disabled people is an excellent design practice. If we build a site that takes the needs of the sensory impaired into consideration, we design a product that is logical, well-structured and easy-to-use. This is not only good for the disabled, but for every single user, as they have the same need for an intuitive and customizable website that is easy to understand.

If we give users a choice about how they want to consume the online content, and carefully think about all the possibilities they might interact with our site, we increase the overall user experience of our design in a significant way.

Now Read:
10 Assistive Tech for People With Disabilities

10 Numeronyms Web Developers Should Know - di, 22/09/2015 - 17:01

Developers and tech-savvy people have always been attracted to numbers, so it’s just a matter of course that numeronyms, or number-based words have become quickly beloved by them. Numeronyms are used to abbreviate long words that would be too cumbersome to accurately type all the time. We can call an abbreviation a numeronym if it contains both letters and numbers.

There’s no strict rules about how to create a numeronym, but they usually use the following formula: you take the first letter and the last letter and count how many characters are in between them.

Probably the most well-known numeronym in tech circles is i18n for internationalization. It’s i18n because the first letter is -i, it’s followed by 18 characters and finally the letter -n. First it can seem crazy, but in reality numeronyms can be fun and you can even generate your own.

IMAGE: The Origin of Numeronyms

According to online rumours the first numeronym dates back to a DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation – later merged with Hewlett-Packard) employee named Jan Scherpenhuizen whose name was found too long to be an account name, so the system administrator gave him an email account with the username s12n.

The approach was found humorous, and DEC began to use the formula to abbreviate long words. i18n for the word internationalization was supposedly used as early as in the mid 1980s, and it was followed by many others – both in the tech and non-tech world.

Now let’s see what are currently the 10 techiest numeronyms out there:

1. i18n For Internationalization

i18n refers to the development of a software or an app that makes later localization possible for different target audiences around the world.

i18n doesn’t mean that the product is actually translated, but it’s about adding to the possibility of a later translation, and other adjustments to a different language. In the process, i18n developers provide features that may not be used until the localization actually happens. The goal of i18n is basically to make the software adaptable and usable in other parts of the world.

2. l10n For Localization

The twin term of i18n is localization, represented by the numeronym l10n. l10n happens when a software or an app is adapted to a specific culture.

l10n can be easily added to products that have been internationalized before. L10n doesn’t only mean translation; it also refers to things like the use of the specific currency, timezone, collation, legal requirements, symbols and many others local characteristics.

If you want to understand the difference between i18n and l10n, read the guide of W3C (which also uses a numeronym for the abbreviation of its own name: W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium). Here’s an example of how international symbols for pedestrian crossing was localized for Portuguese people.

IMAGE: Flickr 3. m17n For Multilingualization

M17n takes place somewhere between i18n and l10n. We talk about it when an app or software is localized to multiple languages and cultures. A multilingualized software supports many languages at the same time, and also other local features of the supported languages such as timezones, date, time, and currency formats.

When we speak about m17n, we also need to mention the need for the support of other writing systems that don’t only use ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters.

WordPress for example provides us with a beautiful multilingualized interface, as it allows us to choose the language we want to use during the installation process and later on the user interface.

4. a11y For Accessibility

a11y has become a popular term in web design, especially since W3C released its accessibility web standards. a11y supports people with different kinds of disabilities or sensory impairments, as well as those with kinds of disadvantages such as the elderly and people in rural areas with low bandwidth.

a11y covers a quite wide area. Visually impaired people who can hardly distinguish colours need high colour contrast ratio; people who cannot use a mouse need to be provided with all functionalities via keyboard; people who can’t hear need transcripts, etc. There are many other use cases of a11y that product designers need to solve.

5. c14n For Canonicalization

C14n occurs when certain data have more than one representations, and you need to convert them into a standardized format. These days you can see this term most frequently in SEO best practice guides like this one from Google, which advises webmasters and website owners about the usage of canonical URLs.

In search engine optimization, c14n is needed when an individual web page can be loaded from more than one URL, as this practice is frequently penalized by search engines. In Google Webmaster Tools you can set your prefered domain format (with or without the www subdomain). Yoast has some great advice about SEO and c14n, too.

As a web developer you can also see the term within XML where c14n ensures that an XML document follows a specific format.

6. i14y For Interoperability

i14y refers to the portability and compatibility of the components of a system or a product. As more and more things exist as a part of a network, i14y has lately become a marketing buzzword in product descriptions in the IT sector.

The term i14y has also appeared in the world of web design when designers began to talk about interoperable CSS, a standard for loadable and linkable CSS. Cloud computing also uses the concept of i14y, as it’s a field where there’s a high need for building systems from reusable components that are able to work together under many different circumstances.

7. P13n For Personalization

p13n refers to the adaptation of products to the needs of different individuals. Real-time personalization of websites is a concept in online marketing and a task for web developers to solve.

There are many great analytic tools for online targeting, so the next step logically is to personalize the content for the different segments of the online audience. The concept of p13n denies the one-size-fits-all approach, as research shows that nearly three-quarters (74%) of online consumers get frustrated when the content that appears have nothing to do with their interests (e.g. offers, ads, promotions).

IMAGE: Freepik 8. v12n For Virtualization

During the process of v12n, developers create the virtual version of an operating system, server, or other network resource. V12n has very simple forms too, such as dividing a hard drive into different partitions.

Desktop v12n can speed up web development process, as you have the opportunity to test your website or web app in different environments. The most popular softwares for desktop v12n are VMWare Workstation and Oracle VirtualBox. We also have many great v12n guides here on, such as how to install Windows on Your Mac, and how to use Vagrant for local WordPress development.

IMAGE: 9. The c10k Problem

The numeronym for the C10k problem was created with a different formula as the others mentioned before. It refers to the “10 thousand clients” problem. The C10k problem is a potential issue in web server administration, it occurs when a web server has to handle 10,000 clients simultaneously.

The need for solving this issue has become increasingly important recently, as websites need to deal with more and more traffic, as the number of internet users, their needs and the number of their connected devices has been quickly growing.

If you are interested in web server scalability, here is a great primer on the C10k problem.

10. The Y2K38 Problem

The Y2K38 problem is the numeronym for the Year 2038 problem that is a time-related data storage issue that will occur in the year 2038. The bug is caused by 32-bit processors that store time values as signed 32-bit integers.

The problem is that the range for these integers is limited, and it will reach its largest positive value on January 19, 2038. When it happens, it may occur that computers will be unable to tell the difference between 2038 and 1970 that can lead to serious disfunctions and crashes.

There’s no universal solution for the problem, but it can definitely help if you begin to use 64-bit systems that will be surely utilized by the vast majority of devices in 2038, but web servers and other backend hardwares may still use 32-bit date systems when the time comes.

If you want to count down to the day the supposed tragedy might happen, you can easily do it here.

IMAGE: Wikimedia

20 Simply Stylish Vintage Packaging Designs - di, 22/09/2015 - 15:01

Back in the old days, manufacturers were more careful with their products, and will put in more attention into the details and packaging quality. Thinking about products and packaging from the past inspired me to create this showcase of retro packaging designs.

Here I have put together 20 creative and inspiring retro packaging designs. All of these vintage packages carry a hint of the vibrant 60s and playful 50s of American History. Despite the fact that these products were made in 2015, they look and feel like something vintage: achieved with retro fonts, colors and illustrations.

So, just scroll down and enjoy the designs.

1. Fossil Watch Tins

IMAGE: Aaron Eiland 2. Recovery Kits

IMAGE: Knock Knock Stuff 3. Chocolates with Attitude

IMAGE: Bessermachen 4. Ricos Quesos T-Shirt

IMAGE: DotHaus 5. Milo’s Styling Cream

IMAGE: Jon May 6. Peepers of the Decades

IMAGE: Laney Fisher 7. Retro branding for ice cream

IMAGE: Getbrand 8. Package Design (Coffee Break)

IMAGE: Phillip Powers 9. Rebel Green

IMAGE: Wink 10. Route 29

IMAGE: Lovelypackage 11. Hectare’s Tune Up

IMAGE: strADegy 12. Purity Beverage

IMAGE: Aline Jorge and Renan Ferreira Venancio 13. Yugoslav film archive

IMAGE: Marija Marković 14. Crisp And Company Dill Pickles Label

IMAGE: David Cran 15. Daytrader

IMAGE: Samir Lyons 16. Amarelli

IMAGE: Angelini Design 17. A KISS FOR PASTA

IMAGE: Jin Kil 18. Rivercity Beverage Boys

IMAGE: Erik R. Johnson 19. Love Saves the Day

IMAGE: Lovelypackage 20. JK’s Scrumpy Package Redesign

IMAGE: Sarah Brockett

DevTools Showdown: Edge&#8217;s F12 vs Firefox vs Chrome - ma, 21/09/2015 - 17:01

The Developer Tools of Microsoft Edge, the new default browser of Windows 10 got a modern design and a few new features compared to its predecessor, Internet Explorer 11‘s F12 Dev Tools.

The question of whether Microsoft Edge’s dev tools measure up to their popular competitors – the dev tools in other modern browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome – naturally arises in the minds of many developers.

In this post we try to answer this question, and figure out if Edge’s F12 Dev Tools are really worth to use. We will compare its features to those of Firefox’s Developer Tools and Google Chrome’s DevTools.

Open the Dev Tools

Pressing F12 opens the developer tools in all 3 cases: Developer Tools in Firefox, DevTools in Chrome, and F12 Dev Tools in Microsoft Edge. This is the keyboard shortcut where the official name of Edge’s F12 Dev Tools comes from.

When you open Edge’s Dev Tools you can experience at once one of its most well-known shortcomings: currently it’s impossible to pin the tools to an existing window. While you can follow what’s happening on the screen on Firefox Developer Tools and Chrome DevTools by pinning the dev tools window to the bottom of the screen, you (currently) can’t do the same with Edge.

Microsoft’s developers claim they will fix this issue in a future update.

Inspect the DOM

The DOM Explorer tool (Shortcut: CTRL + 1) is the first tab of Microsoft Edge’s F12 Dev Tools. Its layout and overall design is quite similar to the Element tab of Chrome and the Inspector tab in Firefox, however the capabilities sightly differ.

In Edge you can take a look at the rendered HTML document, the related CSS styles, and the event handlers registered on each element. You can also find the small graphic about the CSS box model with the computed values, already well known from the two competing browsers.

You can experiment with CSS rules by deleting current ones and adding new ones, and you can see your summarized changes on a separate subtab called “Changes” (it’s located on the left-hand side). This latter is a feature that is not built in Firefox Developer nor Chrome DevTools. It can give a quick recap to the user, so it’s a really useful option.

There are some features in Firefox Developer Tools that neither Edge, nor Google Chrome currently provide, but can significantly help the life of a designer: the Font and the Animation analyzer tools.

In Edge there’s a cool colour picker though that may somewhat compensate the user for it.

Interact with JavaScript

The Console tab (Shortcut: CTRL + 2) in Microsoft Edge allows you to interact with the JavaScript of your site, just like in Firefox and Chrome Dev Tools. All three allow you to follow JavaScript errors in real-time and you can also analyze them by entering your own input.

The Console tool of Edge’s F12 Dev Tools has a nice autocomplete feature that helps you with the commands, however it seems to be less knowledgeable compared to the one in Firefox and Chrome Dev Tools.

Edge separates Errors, Warnings, and Messages which is a big help, though not something that the other two toolkits don’t have.

Firefox’s Console seems to be the most professional out of the three dev tools, as it also separately shows other kind of problems: network, CSS, security errors and logging messages, and allows you to interact with these through the Console interface, not just with the JavaScript errors.

Understand What Your Code Is Doing

The Debugger tool (Shortcut: CTRL + 3) helps you understand what is happening to your code while finding potential bugs. You can set watches and breakpoints, and view call stacks.

The Watches pane displays variable values, the Callstack mode shows the chain of function calls that led to the current state, and the Breakpoints mode shows a list of the breakpoints you’ve set.

Edge’s F12 Dev Tools let you pause your code in the middle of execution, and step through it line by line. You also have the option to improve the readability of a compiled or minified JavaScript file, and you can debug different resources (JavaScript, extensions, etc.) one by one.

Firefox and Chrome DevTools provide all these functionalities, so Edge doesn’t offer an exceptional debugging experience, but it provides the user with a solid and reliable tool that is in par with its competitors.

Take A Look At The Browser-Server Communication

The Network tool (Shortcut: CTRL + 4) has been completely redesigned for Microsoft Edge since Internet Explorer 11. With the help of this handy tool you can follow the communication between the server and the browser, and inspect the individual requests.

You can filter the results by content type such as stylesheets, images, media, fonts, XHR, and many others. You can also debug AJAX with the help of the Network tool.

Edge’s and Firefox’s Network tab offer quite similar capabilities and user interface. Both has a user-friendly sidebar pane that allows you to take a look at the selected resource’s HTTP header, HTTP body, parameters, related cookies and timings item-by-item.

Chrome DevTools’ Network tab doesn’t have a pane like this, but if you click on the requests one-by-one you can see the same information. It’s a less intuitive solution though.

Track Down Slow Pages

The Performance tab (Shortcut: CTRL + 5) helps you understand the reasons behind a slow web page. With the Performance tool Microsoft took a huge leap forward by combining the previous UI Responsiveness and Profiler tools to create an end-to-end view of all your scripting, and visualizing the performance.

This handy tool provides you with reports on different types of CPU usage, gives you insights into your site’s frame paint, and it’s also possible to isolate different user scenarios by setting labels on the timeline.

During the testing process we found that the Performance tool in Edge provided us with more information about speed issues than either Firefox Developer or Chrome DevTools. The user interface of the Performance tab in Edge is quite well-designed, helping us with many visual cues, and it’s relatively easy-to-use. If you want to know more about how to use it, read the detailed Docs.

Diagnose Memory Issues

The Memory tool (Shortcut: CTRL + 6) makes it possible to find memory leaks that can also slow down your web page, moreover can impact the stability of your site.

With the help of a nice graph you can easily understand where your memory usage is growing, and you can make snapshots at specific points that make it possible to analyze the memory use. You can also compare two snapshots made at different points of the page lifecycle to understand the difference between them.

Chrome DevTools also have a nice memory profiler under the Profiles tab, while Firefox Developer doesn’t provide this feature by default, but you can download and install addons like this if you want. The memory profiler of Chrome DevTools is quite advanced and offers more features than Edge’s, for example it allows you to record JavaScript object allocations over time that can help you isolate memory leaks.

Test Your Site On Different Screen Sizes

The Emulation tool (Shortcut: CTRL + 7) enables you to test your site under different circumstances. You can choose from two browser profiles, Desktop and Windows 10 Mobile, and from many different user agents including all desktop and mobile versions of Internet Explorer back to IE6, alongisde many of Edge’s competitors, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.

It’s interesting that you have the option to take a look at your page as a Bing Bot. You can also emulate a GPS, and set different resolutions and orientations.

Firefox Developer Tools doesn’t have a device emulation tool, but Chrome DevTools have such a sophisticated emulator that Edge’s can hardly compete with it.

For example Chrome’s emulation screen has an accurate grid where the emulated view is inserted in, and you not only can choose from browser profiles and user agents, but also from many devices such as the different versions of iPhone or Samsung Galaxy and many others. Chrome DevTools’ emulator also has a handy Zoom option and you can test your site on different networks like 3G, 4G, DSL, WiFi, etc.


On the whole, Microsoft Edge’s F12 Dev Tools seems to be suprisingly good. It provides features quite similar to the popular web development toolkits of other modern browsers. There are two areas where Edge’s F12 Dev Tools is quite strong: the user interface that is really intuitive, user-friendly, and well-designed, and the performance diagnostic tools.

For these two features it may be worth to consider switching to, or at least testing Edge. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of the possibility to pin the dev tools to the bottom of the screen, but let’s hope Microsoft will quickly fix this issue.