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WordPress Speed Optimization with Custom Social Sharing Icons

hongkiat.com - di, 07/07/2015 - 17:01

It may seem to be an easy task but adding well-behaving social sharing buttons to a WordPress site can be a hassle. When I say well-behaving I mean simple, lightweight, resource-friendly, fast – most social sharing plugins out there are not like that. They tend to eat up resources like crazy, and why would anyone want to increase the plugin load time by 25-35% just to display some icons on their site?

The good news is that you don’t necessarily need a plugin to accomplish this task. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can easily add custom social sharing buttons to the end of the posts on your WordPress site with just a few lines of code.

IMAGE: pixabay Step 1: Generate the Social Sharing Buttons

We will use the Simple Sharing Buttons Generator, a handy and easy-to-use web tool to generate the sharing icons. The main advantage of this app is that the buttons it generates run on the frontend, therefore they won’t burden your server and you can also keep your users’ activities private.

To generate your custom buttons, go here and press Begin. Choose 1 from the 6 different button styles. Click next and tick the social networks you want to add to your site. When you are finished, you will have to fill your website’s info.

On this screen (below), you will find two options: ‘No JavaScript’ and ‘JavaScript’. Tick JavaScript, as it will enable the browser to detect the URL dynamically therefore your visitors will be able to share each post individually not just the URL of the home page.

Finally take a look at the live preview, download the chosen icon set, and grab the code you generated.

Step 2: Create a Child Theme

Now you will have to add the generated icons and code to your site. First of all you will need to create a child theme.

You can easily create a WP child theme with the help of our tutorial, or you can follow the steps of this WP Codex article. If you already have one, you can jump to Step 3.

The child theme relates to the theme you currently use – in a somewhat similar way as a child relates to his parents. It inherits everything (style and functionality) from the parent theme but you can add extra functionality to it.

In our case the extra functionality will be the custom social sharing buttons.

Step 3: Create a Custom Function that Displays the Icons

We will add a custom function to the child theme’s functions.php file.

With the help of this function you will be able to add the social icons wherever you want on your site by using a custom action hook. If your child theme doesn’t have a functions.php file yet, create a blank text file in your child theme’s root folder with the name functions, and change its extension to .php.

Insert the following line of code into this blank file:

<?php

When your functions.php file is set up add the following code snippet to it:

/* * Adds the custom social sharing icons */ function add_social_sharing() { ?> <h3>Share this post<h3> <!-- Comment: here comes the generated HTML code --> <?php add_action( 'custom_social_share', 'add_social_sharing' );

Finally delete the line of the HTML comment from the code snippet above and replace it with the HTML code you generated in Step 1 with the Social Sharing Buttons Generator.

Step 4: Copy the Appropriate Template File to the Child Theme Folder

By default, single posts are ruled by a template file called single.php. Sometimes – especially in more modern themes – the structure of single.php is more complicated, as it also loads additional template files. In this step we need to find the appropriate template file where we can add the icons later.

To locate the right spot for the social buttons we need to find the template file that contains the function that loads the content of the single posts.

Let’s open the theme editor in the WordPress admin dashboard under Appearance > Editor. On the top right hand corner you find a dropdown list where you can select your parent theme. Below the dropdown you can see all the template files your parent theme contains. Scroll down until you find the Single Post template (called single.php) and open it.

If the parent theme uses the get_template_part() WP function in the single.php file that means it uses an additional template file to load the content of the single post.

First you have to find out which one is this. The name of the additional template file is the first parameter of the get_template_part() function.

In Twenty Fifteen it looks like this:

get_template_part( 'content', get_post_format() );

The first parameter is ‘content’ which means we look for the template file called content.php. You need to copy this file from the parent theme root folder to the child theme root folder so as to modify it.

Step 5: Add the Action Hook to the Right Template File

We created a function called add_social_sharing() in Step 3, and we attached it to a custom action hook called custom_social_share. Now we will have to add this hook to the spot where we want the function to be executed.

Here is the code snippet you will need to insert to the right place:

<?php do_action( 'custom_social_share' ); ?>

Next, let’s find the right place.

Open the template file you added to your child theme in Step 4 in a code editor or inside the theme editor of the WordPress admin dashboard, and look for the the_content() function.

Check if there is a wp_link_pages() function right after the the_content() function. If there is, then the code snippet above comes after that; otherwise it follows the the_content() function.

Step 6: Add the CSS Code to the Child Theme

Open the style.css file of your child theme either in your code editor or in the theme editor of the WordPress admin dashboard, copy the CSS code you generated in Step 1, paste it to the end of the file, and save it.

We will add two extra lines to the CSS file to make the social sharing icons properly display in each theme. Copy and paste the following code snippet to the end of the style.css file:

ul.share-buttons li a { border: 0; } ul.share-buttons li img { display: inline; } Step 7: Upload the Social Media Icon Set to the Server

Upload the chosen social media icon set you downloaded in Step 1 to your child theme folder. Connect your server via FTP, create a new folder called images inside the root of your child theme folder (/wp-content/themes/your-child-theme/images) and upload the icon set here.

We name the folder images because this is the default name of the image folder the Simple Sharing Buttons Generator uses.

Step 8: Check the Path of the Icon Files

After you uploaded the social media icons to your server in Step 7, it’s important to check the path of the icon files to make sure they will be loaded.

The path of an image file gives a hint to the browser about its location on the server. Let’s check the image paths inside the functions.php file of the child theme. Open the file in your code editor, and navigate to the add_social_sharing() function where you need to check the HTML code you generated with the Simple Sharing Buttons Generator.

In the HTML code you will find an <img> tag with an src attribute for each icon. Check if each src attributes points to the exact location where your icon set was uploaded in Step 7.

The Simple Sharing Buttons Generator adds relative paths to the <img> files. Sometimes browsers can’t render the images if you use a relative path, so it’s a good idea to use absolute paths instead. This way each browser potentially used by your visitors can be dead sure about the location of the required icon files.

The relative image path added by the generator looks something like this:

<img src="http://media02.hongkiat.com/wordpress-speed-optimization-social-sharing-icons/flat_web_icon_set/color/Twitter.png">

Let’s change the src attribute of each icon to an absolute path which means it will include the full URL of the file.

The URL path above will look like this:

<img src="http://wwww.your-wp-site/wp-content/themes/your-child-theme/http://media02.hongkiat.com/wordpress-speed-optimization-social-sharing-icons/flat_web_icon_set/color/Twitter.png"> Step 9: Upload the Modified Files and Activate the Child Theme

Connect your server via FTP and upload all files we created in this tutorial that you haven’t uploaded yet: the functions.php, the style.css, and the appropriate template file (in this tutorial either the single.php or the content.php).

Finally activate the child theme in the WP admin dashboard under the Appearance > Themes menu.

Now you are ready with your super-lightweight, resource-saving, customized social sharing icons. You can go online and check it live on your site.

Conclusion

In this tutorial I showed you how to add the custom social sharing buttons to the end of single posts. You can add the sharing icons to any other locations on your website with the help of the action hook we created.

Just add the code we used in Step 5 to the spot where you want the buttons to be displayed:

<?php do_action( 'custom_social_share' ); ?>

You will also have to find the right template file if you want to place the icons somewhere else. Single pages are ruled by a template file called page.php, while media attachments like images are loaded by attachment.php.

If you wish to display the social sharing buttons on a different spot on your website, you can use the WordPress Template Hierarchy to find it.










10 New Features Coming to Windows 10

hongkiat.com - di, 07/07/2015 - 15:01

The changed interface known as Modern UI, the decision to discard the “Start” menu and numerous other gaffes and blunders in Windows 8 has earned itself the record of being the Windows version with the slowest adoption rate in its history. So it’s all eyes on Windows 10 to take back some of the glory lost.

Windows 10 is built to work across a wide range of devices; phone, tablet, TV, Xbox, as well as Microsoft’s very own wearable device, Hololens. There are plenty of improvements, new features, new interface, and a much-needed new browser.

I’ve been using Windows 10 for a while now through their Windows Insider program. And here are 10 key features I found most exciting to share about.

1. New Start Menu

The Start menu is finally back(!) with an overhaul that converge classic desktop with the Modern interface. At least, this time, it is a familiar design. It appears at the left corner of the screen, like in Windows 7, showing a list of your most frequently used applications with a menu to find all of your installed applications, sorted in alphabetical order.

On top of that, you will find an extra panel, similar to Windows 8, where you can pin favorite apps for quicker access. You can drag the start menu to resize the panel to contain more apps. The apps can be arranged in a group, and the icons can be resized and set to be static or alive.

If you are used to the Windows 8 way of life, Microsoft provides the option to display the Start menu in full screen. This can be enabled through the Start > Settings > Personalization > Start then turning on the Use Start full screen option.

2. New Window

File Explorer (which was known as Windows Explorer) as well as the app windows have been improved. Some apps will have a color that matches the app’s brand identity, while a few apps comes with dark- and light-mode windows. Mobile apps get an additional button to push the window full screen, as if they were in a mobile device.

The Snap View is still there, with some slight enhancements. In Windows 10, you can now display the app at half of the screen or a quarter of the screen (by dragging the app to the corner of the screen).

As you have snapped the first app, Windows 10 will show you all other active apps in thumbnails, allowing you to switch or “snap” to the next app quicker. It’s also a feature found in OS X but only with the most recent version, El Capitan. Now, if only Microsoft could provide the option to switch the scrollbar off like in OS X.

3. Multiple Desktops

Windows 10 comes with the Multiple Desktop mode, a feature which users of Linux and OS X (it’s called Spaces there) had been enjoying for some years.

To create a new Desktop in Windows 10, click the Task View icon (two overlapping rectangles) in the taskbar or press the Windows + Tab keys. Then, click the New Desktop button at the bottom right of the Task View.

You can have unlimited desktops for grouping or arranging different apps. You can move apps through the Desktops by drag-and-drop as well. The full screen app, however, will not be treated as a new Desktop, unlike in OS X. Also, the active apps will only appear active in the Taskbar of the Desktop where the app is opened.

4. Hey Cortana!

Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now – it is a personal digital assistant. Cortana could help you manage tasks such as organizing schedules, reminding you of an important event, giving suggestions based on your preferences, and even reply emails. You can also search files, folders, and apps with it much like the Spotlight feature in OS X.

Previously Cortana was only available in mobile devices. But with Windows 10, Microsoft brings Cortana to the desktop as well. You can now wake Cortana up with a voice command: Hey Cortana! or simply hit the Speaker button on the Taskbar if that is more convenient to you

At the time of this writing, Cortana "speaks" English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, and German, keep in mind that it might not be available in all regions just yet.

5. Microsoft Edge

What was previously known as Project Spartan became Microsoft Edge, which is a good name although not unique — the same could be said of its logo. Nonetheless, Microsoft Edge is far more capable and than its predecessors in many aspects, which is what we are more interested in.

Edge has nicer, sleeker interface. The window has two color modes, Light and Dark, which can be switched through Settings. Edge is integrated with Bing and Cortana to deliver an interactive experience. As you type in the address bar, it will show you a list of keyword suggestions; typing “weather in Chicago" will immediately show the weather forecast in the city; AAPL will return the current stock price of Apple.

Under the hood, Edge uses a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML, replacing Trident which was used in Internet Explorer. This new engine allows Edge to run faster and render web pages more consistently by leaving behind all the bottlenecks that are of Internet Explorer’s legacy.

Plus, we will finally be able to install third-party extensions like in Chrome and Firefox.

6. Action Center

For those of you who come from Windows 7, the Action Center is there but only limited to computer updates and security type of notification. In Windows 10, the Action Center has been upgraded to adjust to our modern digital worldly needs, where information flow in an endless stream.

You can now find anything you might have missed like emails, news, calls, texts, and software updates. You can also access shortcuts to your PC Settings. The Action Center can be accessed through the bubble talk icon at the bottom right side of the Taskbar.

7. Universal Apps

Microsoft is on a mission to unify their ecosystem with Universal Apps. With Windows 10, Developers now can now write a single codebase that could run and scale in a phone, a tablet, and even a Hololens.

As a result, this would decrease the cost and the time investment to build an app for Windows. Mail, Calendar, Calculator, Music, and Photo are a few examples of Universal Apps shipped with Windows 10. You can also install phone and tablet apps installed from Windows Store and use it like a desktop app.

8. Continuum

Continuum, not to be confused with Continuity, is a feature designed for a hybrid device, like Surface, to allow a seamless shift from desktop to tablet mode. But, you can also activate the tablet mode on a regular desktop in case you prefer the tablet experience.

In the Action Center, click the Tablet Mode shortcut. Once you enter the tablet mode all apps turn full screen including File Explorer. Continuum also works on Windows Phones. By connecting your phone to a a screen or a PC you can have the full experience of a PC, and use apps in your phone like in a regular desktop with a keyboard and a mouse.

9. Say Hello to Windows Hello

Windows Hello is a unique feature coming to Windows 10. It is a new, additional way to sign-in to Windows 10 aside from using a password, PIN or picture. Windows Hello works by recognizing your face and fingerprint (for laptops that have a scanner) and allows you to login to your PC by "looking" at your face (with a camera).

Upon setup, animated eyes will appear on the lock screen looking around to find you.

10. More Capable Command Prompt

Compared to Linux or OS X’s Terminal, the Command Prompt for Windows is an antique, stuck in the 80s. You cannot, for example, select the text and perform copy and paste.

Luckily for Windows users, in Windows 10, the Command Prompt has undergone a number of improvements. You can now select lines, text, drag-and-drop folders or files to reveal their location path.

You can also change the color and adjust the windows transparency. All new options can be found in the Command Prompt Properties.










10 Most Useful Atom Packages for Web Developers

hongkiat.com - ma, 06/07/2015 - 17:01

Have you tried Atom? Although it is quite new, many have fallen in love with Atom, a text editor made by GitHub that offers many advantages and above all is free for use. Atom comes with a few built-in packages, such as integration with Git and tree-view. However, for the purposes of development you will definitely need other packages.

In this post we have picked a few packages that a web developer must have. Some are great to help organize your messy code, others to help you have better access to your files without leaving Atom. Here are your 10 must-have Atom packages.

Color Picker

As the name implies, this package lets you pick colors, and it is as easy as a right-click and choosing ‘Color Picker’. Alternatively it can be done by pressing CMD/CTRL+SHIFT+C. Color Picker works if your cursor is on the text on CSS/SASS/LESS files that contain one of the following color formats: HEX, HEXa, RGB, RGBa, HSL, HSLa, HSV, HSVa, VEC3 and VEC4, or color variable on SASS or LESS. It also has the ability to convert between the formats.

Emmet

Emmet seems to be a plugin that you need to install, whatever your text editor environment is. The main features of Emmet such as expanding abbreviations and wrapping with abbreviations, allow you to work quickly when writing HTML, CSS, Sass / SCSS and LESS syntaxes. For example, in HTML, type p>a.mylink then tap on TAB key to get a complete HTML tag <p><a href="" class="mylink"></a></p>. The Cheat Sheet will helps you to quickly learn Emmet’s abbreviation syntax.

Minimap

If you are accustomed to Sublime Text, you may be familiar with the mini preview on the right side window. That feature is useful to quickly scroll through source codes too long for the window height. With Minimap, you get this for Atom. You can even set the position to be on the left or right, turn on/off code highlights, and more. Minimap even comes with some plugins to extend its functionality, such as color highlighter.

Beautify

Beautify will turn your messy code neater and more readable. It has great support for programming languages, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, C, C ++, C #, Objective-C, CoffeeScript, typescript, and SQL. After installing this package, to run it, just right-click and choose ‘Beautify editor contents’, or via Packages > Atom Beautify > Beautify.

Atom Linter

Atom Linter comes as a ‘house’ of linting plugins for major languages, providing the top level API for linters. There are available linters for JavaScript, CoffeeScript, CSS / SASS / SCSS / LESS / STYLUS, Ruby, Python. In one language there are can be more one plugin available, such as JSHint, JSCS and JSXHint for JavaScript.

After installing this main package, you need to install the specific linter for language you work on, for example if you are on JavaScript and choose JSHint for linter then you can install it by running $ apm install linter-jshint on Terminal.

File Icons

File Icons add icons to a filename based on the corresponding file type. It will add visual improvements when you open a file on tab or on tree view. The file icons are customizable: you can add your own icon and change the color through the LESS files in the packages/file-icons/styles directory. The default icon comes in 8 colors and 3 variants (light, medium and dark).

JavaScript Snippets

JavaScript Snippets lets you quickly write a portion of JS source code. With defined abbreviation you don’t need to write code word for word, for instance just type cl to make console.log and gi for getElementById. This functionality is similiar to Emmet, but it runs on JavaScript code. This Atom package provides many of the JavaScript syntax like the function, the console, and the loop.

CSS Comb

CSS Comb makes your stylesheet code formatted consistently, looking neat and beautiful. You can use pre-made sorting preferences based on Yandex, Zen, or CSSComb itself, or you can even use your own preference to make sorting rules. After installing this package, the sorting job can be done by pressing CTRL + ALT + C or accessed from the context menu via Packages > CSS comb > Comb.

Git Plus

Git Plus allows you to work with Git without leaving Atom editor. Within the editor you are able to make a Git commit, checkout, push/pull, diff and other git commands. You need to setup your user.name and user.email on your git config file to make all functions work. To access all git command, open the palette with CMD + SHIFT + H or choose Package > Git Plus.

Remote Edit

Remote Edit helps you to see and edit your remote files without leaving the editor or with the use of other ftp applications. To start, firstly create a new host, then add via menu Packages > Remote Edit > Add New Host and insert your login information. Now you can browse to your remote files, use CTRL + ALT + B to browse registered host and see the files.










Video Games: Are They Doing More Harm Than Good?

hongkiat.com - ma, 06/07/2015 - 15:01

Games have taken the world of entertainment by storm. What used to be a pastime for geeks and nerds in the early 90’s has now surpassed Hollywood movies in terms of revenue. But that doesn’t change the fact that many people, especially parents, think that playing games is just a waste of time or that it makes impressionable people (and kids) dumb.

The fact that there are games that display violence, sex, gambling, and drugs doesn’t really help the case. But what if I told you that playing games actually has several positive benefits for the mind and the gamers’ psychosocial development at least, according to Science. Let’s take a look at the postive influence video games have on us.

Why Playing Games Carry A Bad Reputation

Games of all sorts can be pretty addictive; you don’t need to read a 100-page study just to verify that. I am certain that you know at least one person who is addicted to games; he’s weird, he never hangs out with his old friends, he’s probably single, and isn’t getting far in life. And aside from his gaming habits, you know nothing else about him worth noting.

Undeniably, it is very easy to get addicted. And that’s a big problem.

IMAGE: Picjumbo

Performance in school or work may suffer. It is not an exaggeration when I say that many gamers (from simple puzzles down to MMORPGs) even dream of playing games, literally. While at work or at school, thoughts are riddled with games, and in some extreme cases mental images too, while fully conscious — this is known as the Tetris effect. It is distracting and it can cause serious performance issues.

On the other hand, mild addiction to games can also cause social isolation, which could lead to relationship issues. Taken to the extreme, it can lead to health problems. One highly publicized instance of gaming addiction was the death of Lee Seung Seop who played Starcraft for almost 50 hours straight. He died on his chair due to heart failure caused by extreme exhaustion.

But believe it or not, the benefits of playing games outweigh their negative effects.

Gaming In Moderation Isn’t Bad At All

Like everything else, gaming has its own good and bad sides. Everyone knows that there are several kinds of computer games. From simple board puzzles down to the most complex of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs).

Many computer games require arduous thinking and strategizing, teamplay, and patience. These kind of games are prevalent today for those reasons and more.

IMAGE: Sean Dreilinger

Mark Zuckerberg, became a programmer because of video games (and he wants kids to play video games like he did too). His father taught him Atari BASIC Programming at the age of 10. He was eager to learn because, according to him, the games available then didn’t satisfy him. He wanted to make them better.

Another staunch supporter of video game playing is Guillermo del Toro, a film director best known for Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim. He absolutely loves video games, which he deems “are the comic books of our time.”

Perhaps Mark and Guillermo is on to something, that playing games can not only inspire people to become great programmers but possibly even improve their problem solving skills and their creativity.

How Video Games Positively Influence The Mind

A study conducted by Andrew K. Przybylski, PhD suggests that video games are quite similar to the traditional ways children played before electronics were used for entertainment. It so happens that video games help the psychosocial development of children from an early age.

But that doesn’t mean it’s safe for parent to just leave their children alone to play all day long, since that might lead to addiction, and to the shortening of their attention span. A study by the American Psychological Association suggests that video games and social media are directly responsible for the impulsiveness and short attention span of kids (which isn’t really much of a surprise, really).

What is a surprise though is that while playing games on excess shortens the attention span of people, it ironically improves the short-term visual memory.

Better Motor Skills

Another study done at the Max Planck Institute found that gaming is beneficial for the brain. In the study, participants were asked to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day over 2 months.

After the experiment, the gamers’ brain were found to have shown an increase in their grey matter, specifically the areas that are involved in spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, and motor skills involving the hands.

A New and Accepted Form Of Socializing

For adults, gaming is no longer just a form of entertainment to while away their time — it is a new form of socializing. In fact, games help people interact with others in a more natural way. From playing multiplayer games, talking on chatrooms, and attending public gaming events, it’s not a secret that many friendships and relationships have begun and blossomed through games.

Video Games Can Help Fight Depression

One of my most favorite thing about video games is that they can be designed in a way that can help with fighting depression. In a research involving 15 year olds, a videogame designed to help treat depression was shown to be at least as effective as counseling is when treating depression and anxiety. It fares better than regular treatment in reducing symptoms of depression.

Conclusion

We now live in a world where playing games is no longer the "nerd" thing to do. It has become an acceptable way of life just as much as how we are glued to our smart devices. While more upcoming studies will reveal the emerging effect games have on the mind, society, health, social lives, developing skills and more, like everything we are exposed to in life, we shouldn’t take things to the extremes.

It’s not just games that are susceptible to this. Religious, political, economical beliefs, taken to the extremes will definitely end up with someone on the losing end. But back to the question, are video games really bad? Arguably, the answer is no, so long as it is played in moderation. What about you? What do you think?

Now Read:
Evolution of Home Video Game Consoles








50 Freelance Job Sites For Designers &#38; Programmers &#8211; Best Of

hongkiat.com - vr, 03/07/2015 - 13:01

Being a freelancer can be extremely advantageous and is probably a dream for many designers and developers who are tired of the cubicle lifestyle. Not only do you get to choose only the jobs you are really interested in, you also have total flexibility in terms of time, whom you want to work with, and where you want to work at.

The problem now is where can you go to find work that will help you sustain your freelance lifestyle? To help you with this we have listed the best 50 freelancing job sites to help you in your project search. If you a company or individual looking to outsource or hire a freelancer, these sites will be able to serve that purpose as well.

Freelancer

Find or post a project or post on this platform to get the best bids from a gamut of skilled web designers, copywriters or freelance programmers.

Elance

A popular online portal for freelancers, this is the ultimate place to meet professionals with business, technical and marketing expertise to get work done at an affordable price.

Upwork (formerly oDesk)

The average budget size of a job here is around $5,000! It’s no wonder that this online marketplace is a great asset for both service providers and employers.

Toptal

Toptal is a hiring marketplace for developers of (almost) all programming languages; it provides “A”-level developers who truly skillful in their fields. You can apply as a freelance developer with the possibility of working with top tech companies or a cool startup.

99designs

99Designs is where companies go to get their logos, banners and websites designed. Designers are awarded a pre-determined amount of money if their design is chosen.

Envato Studio (formerly FreelanceSwitch)

A house for creatives and developers of many fields to find freelance gigs from all over the world. Apply as a service providers and once you are accepted, you can name your price for your service.

Fiverr

Want to test the waters of freelancing? Give Fiverr a shot. Projects go for between $5 and $10, and this is a great place to gain some experience to add to your portfolio.

StackOverflow Careers

StackOverflow is not only a solution-churning site, it also provides job listings of tech companies from all over the world. To apply for the job, you will need a Stack Career Accounts (you’ll need to be invited first).

Dribbble

Sign up for a Dribbble Pro account and show the “Hire me” button on your profile page or scour the job board for companies looking for freelancers.

Behance Job

Productivity and creativity go hand in hand at the job list section of this site. This exclusive site is known to convert creativity into lucrative services or products to promote unique ideas.

WordPress

This is the official WordPress job board. Herein you can find some jobs surrounding the WordPress ecosystem such as plugin development, theme customization, or WordPress-site optimization.

LinkedIn

A site for every professional. Once you sign up for LinkedIn, you can start lookign for freelance jobs of your interest in the LinkedIn job board.

Smashing Jobs

A nice job portal to find programming and designing jobs, among many other job opportunities.

Guru

Here’s another spot to find the industry’s offering of professionals from all over the world. The Escrow payment gives this site an edge over many other freelancing sites.

Krop

Krop is a job board and career resource website for creative professionals. Whether you’re looking for job, or hunting top-notch talent, Krop’s simple and powerful tools are geared towards connecting the worlds brightest minds with the best companies.

MeFi Jobs

Search and share jobs with other members of the site and mark the distance of your job from you, based on the latitude/longitude entered in your profile.

Coroflot

Coroflot is an employment site for creative professionals: design firms post job openings and designers post portfolios – Coroflot makes the connection.

Problogger Jobs

Blogging enthusiasts and professional bloggers who wish to explore the income potential of this fun-filled hobby of ‘blogging,’ will like this site. The job section of this blog can land you with a few blogging jobs.

Dice

Dice is a job search engine dedicated to only finding technology jobs. It offers a targeted niche space for finding the exact technology position you might be looking for.

WPHired

WordPress developers can find big opportunities in WPHired for a WordPress-related project, as a freelance, an intern or a full-time position.

WeWorkRemotely

As the name suggests, this is a site where you can find jobs which you can do from the comforts of your home, or wherever you like. Jobs range from design to programming and development to executive positions.

Hirable

Hirable is a social site where freelancers and employers can meet. Get a free account then follow peers that share the same skill with you. Indicate your availability with a "Hirable" status, and opt to the "Busy" status when you are not.

Crew

Crew opens up opportunities for freelancers to apply to work on projects. It focuses on web design, app development, and brand identity project.

Gun.io

Gun.io has been successfully delivering freelancers for companies like Amazon.com, Zappos and LonelyPlanet. To apply as a freelancer in Gun.io, you would need a Github account, filled with great codes and repositories, to be qualified.

LocalSolo

LocalSolo is a site to find local freelancers in many countries from a wide range of expertise including design, engineering, copywriting, photography, and even analyst. You can sign-up as a freelancer or an employer for free.

OnSite

OnSite is a place where designers, developers, and copywriters can find many opportunities for freelance jobs. Applicants are carefully curated. Once accepted, freelancers can show off their portfolios, set the price rate, and manage their availability.

Folyo

Folyo is a curated list of designers available for freelance jobs. It matches freelancers to the employer’s expectation and requirements. If you want to be on the list, you may apply to be a Designer.

Gigster

Gigster is a site for companies to find developers in a team; companies range from a startup to top tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and eBay. If you want to work there you can apply as a Gigster.

HireMyFriend

A personalized site for friends to endorse their friends for freelancing jobs from startups. Once accepted, you can get an anonymous profile and showcase your skills, experience and jobs you are interested in. Interest companies will contact you.

YunoJuno

Another great site to find freelance gigs, YunoJuno connects freelancers with employers, and also provides tools for generating contracts and invoicing.

Crowdsite

On top of the design contests to try out, if you are an established designer or developer, you can also negotiate for a private project with clients on Crowdsite.

Joomlancers

Joomla professionals can now jump with joy as this site caters to different work aspects of Joomla. Come and find work that adds to your credibility as a Joomla professional, and reward you with a great sum.

GetACoder

Save costs and enhance efficiencies by outsourcing your programming, writing and web designing jobs to the right people at this famous online freelance portal.

JavaScript Ninja Jobs

A great site to apply for jobs in US, UK, Canada and other such developed countries. You may also find freelance work here in the fields for developers, designers and writers.

GigScribe

GigScribe is subscription service that curates available freelance jobs based on your skill and hourly rate, and send them to your email daily. Subscription is $4/month or $3.3/year.

Localancers

Localancer is a site to find freelancers in creative and IT fields within the client’s reach. Clients can sort options down to the location, skill, timezone, countries, and the price. To be listed as a freelancer, there is a sign up cost of about €17.

Sologig

Bridging the gap between experienced employees and qualified employers, this site is known to have the best talent in varied industries. You can seek both part-time and full-time contracts as well as consulting opportunities.

Authentic Jobs

Creative and web professionals can seek reputable full-time and freelance opportunities here and get associated with well-known names in major industries like Sony BMG, HBO, HP, Facebook and many more.

People per hour

Based on the simple bidding system, you can hire efficient freelancers here and enjoy the on-demand flexibility while saving money at the same time. Marketing, legal, accounting, writing, programming are some of the most common industry types covered by this site.

CrowdSPRING

What makes crowdSPRING different is that instead of outbidding and competing with someone with a larger portfolio, how you approach a project and your level of creativity is what gets you that project.

DesignCrowd

DesignCrowd is a graphic design marketplace that gives creative people opportunities. Businesses can post requirements or request quotes for logo design, business card design, advertising artwork and website design.

Simply Hired

This online job portal allows you to find all kinds of jobs, whether freelance or full-time, based on your location, skills and experience in the field.

TheShelf

TheShelf is a site where bloggers and freelance writers, covering fashion, lifestyle, food, and travel, connect and collaborate with brands to reach the right audience.

Working Nomads

Working nomads are freelancers who travel from city to city, coutnry to country, and still working their jobs as they travel. They find remote jobs on site like this. Job categories include Design, Development, and even Management.

Bark

bark is a marketplace for almost any kind of work field from painter to photographer to party caterer. A great site for regular people to find local professionals. If you are a Pro, sign up.

Matchist

Matchist helps companies hire qualified developers, based in the US. If you are living in the US, you can go ahead and sign-up to be on their developer’s list.

CampusJob

More suited for students who are looking for a partime job to gain experience or spending cash, jobs available range from graphic design to bartender to DJ.

AirPair

AirPair is a community site where developers meet other developers to seek advice and mentorship by sharing their experiences. It isn’t a freelancing job site but having a good network may help you land a job or possibly a career down the road.

Traction

Traction is a site for freelance marketers to meet with brands and advertisers. If you have a popular blog, or are a social influencer, you can sign-up in Traction as a “Marketing Partner” and start earning.

Juiiicy

Juiiicy is an invite-only site for designers. Here designers can post or refer a job, or apply for a job referred by other peers. Some designers are said to have earned thousands by just referring jobs.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version which reflects the changing landscape in the field of freelancing. We have removed sites that are no longer operational, updated sites that have undergone rebranding, and included new and emerging sites that will be great hunting ground for new jobs and freelancers for hire.










Fresh Resource for Web Developers &#8211; July 2015

hongkiat.com - do, 02/07/2015 - 17:01

Web developers are blessed with free tools and resources found online, which we dutifully collect in our Fresh Resources series every month. If you missed last month’s batch, revisit it here or check out the rest of the fresh resources compiled in the early part of the year.

For the July 2015 batch, we are highlighing fresh tools and resources that would facilitate your tasks, ranging from WordPress plugins that allow you to deploy plugin updates privately to a JavaScript library to add engaging animations.

Aladdin

This plugin adds extra functionality to WordPress administration which is similar to OS X Spotlight. With it, you get to quickly access files and folders in your Mac. Once installed, hit the Shift twice, then type in what you would like to access. It makes WordPress administration more accessible with the use of the keyboard.

SiteOrigin CSS

SiteOrigin CSS is a robust WordPress plugin to customize any theme appearance in real-time. The plugin adds a new panel under the Appearance > Custom CSS menu. Therein, you can write custom CSS rules to overwrite the CSS of the theme you are using, or you can also use GUI panel to add the CSS rules intuitively.

DynamicsJS

DynmaicJS is a library to apply physics-based animation. I’m not a Physic expert but the examples here in this menu look really cool. It can animate HTML and SVG elements, and it gives you fast performance without any dependency. DynamicJS has been tested on Safari 7+, Firefox 35+, Chrome 34+ and IE10+.

Airplane Mode

This plugin will prevent several WordPress external HTTP requests such as to Google Fonts, Gravatar, and WordPress updater from attempting to connect to plugins and themes repositories for updates. It’s a useful plugin for local development to suppress errors from occurring when these calls fail (which usually happens when you are developing locally under exceptionally slow Internet).

Coverr

A collection of videos that are great for your website headers. All videos are free, licensed under Public Domain. Don’t forget to check out the “How to Use” section to learn how to add the video to your web page.

VibrantJS

VibrantJS grabs prominent colors from an image. It also exposes a few APIs that allow you to process the obtained color, such as switching the color format and deciding the proper composition for background and text. You can use it to improve your website interface with dynamic color generation, use the color as a placeholder image when the image is not fully loaded yet, or create a web application for generating a color swatch.

GradifyCSS

This library grabs two prominent colors and generates a CSS gradient out of the obtained colors. Similar to VibrantJS, You can apply the gradient as the image placeholder for when the image is not fully loaded, or as an overlay color.

PurifyCSS

PurifyCSS cleans up unused CSS rules out of your stylesheet. You can use this to trim down stylesheet sizes of large frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation by up to 40%. PurifyCSS is available as a Grunt and Gulp plugin.

Title Capital for WordPress

The name has said it all. This WordPress plugin will turn titles as well as the headings within the content into proper capitalization upon saving or publishing the post and page. I find this plugin useful for websites with multiple authors to retain consistency for their website’s content.

GitHub Updater

This plugin allows user to install and automatically update WordPress plugins hosted in GitHub. Despite the name, the plugin also supports Bitbucket and GitLab, including one in a private repository. It’s a useful plugin for developers who develop and distribute their plugins or themes exclusively only for their clients.

Code Examples

A collection of code examples from WordPress Theme Review Team. At the moment, the example consists of codes to build Theme Customizer components using the Customizer API including to create the Section, Settings and Panel. More codes examples of best practices added in the future.










How to Use MutationObserver API for DOM Node Changes

hongkiat.com - do, 02/07/2015 - 15:01

Here’s a scenario: Rita, a magazine writer is editing an article of hers online. She saves her changes, and sees the message "changes saved!" Just then, she notices a typo she missed. She fixes it and is about to click "save", when she gets an angry phone call from her boss.

After the call is over, she turns back to the screen, sees "changes saved!" shutdowns her computer and storms out of the office.

Apart from my ineptitude for story-telling, we noticed from that short scenario what trouble that persistent message brewed. So, in future we decide to avoid it when possible and use one that either prompts user to acknowledge by clicking it – or vanishes on its own. Using the second one for a quick messages is a good idea.

We already know how to make an element disappear from a page, so that shouldn’t be a problem. What we need to know is when did it appear? So we can make it disappear after a plausible time.

MutationObserver API

Overall, when a DOM element (like a message div) or any other node changes, we should be able to know it. For a long time developers had to rely on hacks and frameworks due to the lack of a native API. But that had changed.

We now have MutationObserver (previously Mutation Events). MutationObserver is a JavaScript native object with a set of properties and methods. It lets us observe a change on any node like DOM Element, Document, Text, etc. By mutation, we mean the addition or removal of a node and changes to a node’s attribute & data.

Let’s see an example for better understanding. We’ll first make a set up where a message appears upon button click, like the one Rita saw. Then we’ll create and link a mutation observer to that message box and code the logic to auto hide the message. Savvy?

Note: You may at some point or have already asked me in your head "Why not just hide the message from inside the button click event itself in JavaScript?" In my example, I’m not working with a server, so of course the client is responsible to show the message and can hide it too easily. But like in Rita’s editing tool if the server is the one which decides to change the DOM content, the client can only stay alert and wait.

First, we create the setup to show the message on button click.

<div id="msg"></div><br /> <button>Show Message</button> var msg = document.querySelector('#msg'), SUCCESSMSG = "Changes Saved!"; /* Add button click event */ document .querySelector('button') .addEventListener('click', showMsg); function showMsg() { msg.textContent = SUCCESSMSG; msg.style.background = 'teal'; }

Once we got the initial setup running, lets do the following;

  • Create a MutationObserver object with a user-defined callback function (the function is defined later in the post). The function will execute on every mutation observed by the MutationObserver.
  • Create a config object to specify the kind of mutations to be observed by the MutationObserver.
  • Bind the MutationObserver to the target, which is the ‘msg’ div in our example.
(function startObservation() { var /* 1) Create a MutationObserver object*/ observer = new MutationObserver( function(mutations) { mutationObserverCallback(mutations); }), /* 2) Create a config object */ config = {childList: true}; /* 3) Glue'em all */ observer.observe(msg, config); })();

Below is a list of properties for the config object identifying the different kinds of mutations. Since in our example we only deal with a child text node created for the message text, we’ve used the childList property.

Kinds of mutations observed Property When set to true childList Insertion and removal of the target’s child nodes are observed. attributes Changes in target’s attributes are observed. characterData Changes in target’s data are observed.

Now, to that callback function which gets executed on every observed mutation.

function mutationObserverCallback(mutations) { /* Grab the first mutation */ var mutationRecord = mutations[0]; /* If a child node was added, hide the msg after 2s */ if (mutationRecord.addedNodes[0] !== undefined) setTimeout(hideMsg, 2000); } function hideMsg() { msg.textContent = ''; msg.style.background = 'none'; }

Since we’re only adding a message to the div, we’ll just grab the first mutation observed on it and check if a text node was inserted. If we got more than one change happening, we can just loop through the mutations array.

Every mutation in the mutations array is represented by the object MutationRecord with the following properties.

Properties of MutationRecord Property Returns addedNodes Empty array or array of nodes added. attributeName Null or name of the attribute that was added, removed, or changed. attributeNamespace Null or namespace of the attribute that was added, removed, or changed. nextSibling Null or next sibling of the node that was added or removed. oldValue Null or previous value of the attribute or data changed. previousSibling Null or previous sibling of the node that was added or removed. removedNodes Empty array or array of nodes that removed. target Node targeted by the MutationObserver type Type of mutation observed.

And… that’s it. we just have to put the code together for the final step.

Browser Support

IMAGE: Can I Use.Web. 19 June 2015 Reference








50 Creative Cookie Cutters for People Who Love Baking

hongkiat.com - wo, 01/07/2015 - 15:01

Baking cookies is so much fun! You don’t need a special occasion to make cookies for dinner but if you want the occasion to be extra special maybe some of these out-of-the-ordinary baking stamps may be of some help.

Why stick to the regular shapes when you can have cookies baked in the form of old cassettes, dinosaur fossils, Star Wars characters, batman’s logo, game controllers or even clouds. After cutting cookies with stamps and baking them, you can add some personality and paint them with food colorings, top them off with sprinkles, spread frosting on top and more.

Note: Follow the link to the manufacturer or store to find out pricing details and availability.

Baking with My Homies Cookie Stamps

These gangsta-inspired cookie stamps will make your baking even more fun.

R & M Moustache Tinplated Cookie Cutter

The fashion for wearing mustache may come and go, but everyone may seem to love "trying on" cool mustache cookies. [$4.40]

Holiday Cast Cookie Stamps

These baking stamps will surely bring in festive holiday cheer to your ordinary cookies whatever the season.

Cassette Cookie Cutters

If don’t know what these are, people can guess what your age is. For the rest of us this nostalgic item had been what music was all about. Relive the ol’ days of the past with these cassette shaped cookie cutters.

Dinosaur Fossil Cookie Cutter/Stampers

There’s a kid in all of us who is screaming with delight at these dinosaur fossil cookies. Munch on a Triceratop, a Stegasaurus or the big T-Rex for tea.

Letter Pressed Type-Style Cookie Cutter/Stampers

Create your own custom message using these baking stamps.

Camera Cookie Cutters

These cookies stamps are a great way to treat your family, friends and co-workers with a true taste of photography.

Cloud Cookie Cutter

You don’t have to be a fan of Carly Simon to enjoy clouds in your coffee. These baking stamps will help get you to seventh heaven.

Panda Sandwich Cutter

This set includes a bread cutter and three stamps which can be used for both bread and cookies.

Pig Pancake Pan

With this pancake pan you can turn your ordinary pancakes into a cute pig face.

Cookie Cutter Puzzle

Your kids like playing with puzzles? Do they like to play with their food as well? Then, try to make your cookies into puzzle shapes, with these creative stamps!

Batman Logo Cookie Cutter Stamp

The cookie stamp bearing the shape of the original Batman logo, is going to make your homemade cookies look more "deserving" than ever.

Classic Game Controller Silicone Mold

These silicone shapes in the form of classic game controllers can be used for baking, preparing ice or even making chocolate.

Star Wars Press-and-Stamp Cookie Cutters

Perfect for Star Wars fans, these cookie cutters let you have Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Stormtroopers over for cookies and tea.

Gingerdead Men Cookie Cutter/Stamper

Full skeleton cookie stamp helps you bake delicious cookies perfect for Halloween. [$6.91]

FRENCH TOAST Bread Stamper

Love make French toast? Get this "Bonjour" french baking stamp and put the Eiffel tower on your morning toast. This is as close to a romantic breakfast as most of us can get.

Safari Animal Cookie Cutters

Make 3D cookies by pieceing together safari animal parts. All you need to do is bake the parts of animals separately and then put them together when the cookies are done.

Homemade Cookie Stamper

With these stamps you can point out that your cookies are homemade.

Queen Cookie Cutter

Have tea with the Queen! Sort of. Ok, maybe not.

Customisable Cookie Stamp

Create your own cookie stamp with your customized lettering.

Undead Fred Zombie Cookie Cutters

Have you seen the series Walking Dead? These cookie stamps will help you to cut perfect zombie cookies. You may color them to make them even more fun.

Fred and Friends ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutter

A quick reminder that gingerbread men (and women) are created to be chewed.

Star Wars Gingerbread Cookie Cutters

This set of 6 cookie cutters includes Star War heroes such as Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Yoda, C-3PO, and a Stormtrooper.

Dog Paw Cookie Cutter

Create some cute dog paw prints using these cookie stamps.

Totoro, Chu, Chibi Cookie Cutters

The baking stamps can be used to make Totoro, Chu, and Chibi cookies.

Button Cookie Cutter

Cute as a button, that’s what these cookies are.

Peppa Pig Cookie Cutters

Create Peppa Pig cookies for your little fans using these cookie stamps.

Laser engraved rolling pin

This rolled pin can be used to create a breathtaking pattern on your cookies. This one comes with a beautiful floral pattern.

Snowflake Cookie Cutter

Christmas in July, why not? Have some snowflake-shaped cookies while you celebrate.

Oups Cupcake cookie cutter

Boy, does this cupcake look surprised.

Film Camera Cookie Cutter

These are dedicated for all photographers and vintage lovers. Lights, cookies, action!

Baking Cookie Cutter Set

Create cookies that look like potholders and a cute litle apron using these plastic food-friendly stamps.

Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter

Hey Mickey! Want some Cookies?

Sunbonnet Boy & Girl Cookie Cutter Set

These baking stamps can be useful for wedding and anniversary celebrations. With their help you can tell a story about boy and girl.

Giraffe Cookie Cutter

These oh-so-adorable giraffe cookies are made with stainless steel cookie cutters and a whole lot of additional decorations.

Cookie Cutter High Heel

These romantic hills cookie cutters can be used to make cookies for a little girl’s birthday. Colored with pink or red they look even better.

Owl Cookie Cutter

This cookie stamp in a form of owl is made with food-safe plastic.

Camera Cookie Cutter

This camera-inspired cookie stamp is great for photographers or for serving at various photography events.

Cookie Innovative Cookie Cutter and Freezer Container

This cookie cutter and freezer container is the best way to cut and store your dough. Not exactly for baking but still it helps with the process.

Snack Attack Cookie Cutter Set of 3

You’ll need a sense of humor to enjoy this particular snack attack. The set contains a shark, a surf board and a lady missing a leg. JAWS – the teatime version.

Munchstache Cookie Cutters

Hipster mustache cookie cutter can be used to make cookies and play with them. Err… your mustache is showing.

Muncha Libre Cookie Cutters

These baking stamps will help you to make Muncha Libre cookies and bring out the Mexican wrestler in you.

Tough Cookies – Cookie Cutters

Bake cookies with some classic anchor designs using these cutters.

Cookie for Two Cutter Set

Use these baking stamps to make two cookie-parts of a heart. They are perfect for Valentine’s day.

Party Animals Sandwich Cutters

These cutters can be used for both to cut dough or sandwiches to create cute pigs.

Pie Top Cutters Set

These cute cutters can be used for making cherry pie or cupcake toppers.

Skeleton Cookie Cutters

These cookie cutters can be used to create skeleton body parts: skull, ribcage, pelvis and an individual bone you can pass off for the limbs. Great for Halloween.

Tetris Cookie Cutters

These baking stamps are made special for all fans of the retro game Tetris. Create some parts of this game using the cutters then add your own coloring.

Giant Valentine Cookie Cutter Heart with Cutouts

With help of this baking stamp you can create a giant heart cookie.

Angel Wings Cookie Cutters V.I.P IV

These cute angel wings cookies can be attached to a mug or a glass.










6 Organizations That Secretly Run The Internet [Infographic]

hongkiat.com - wo, 01/07/2015 - 12:01

The Internet is a connected network of billions of devices and people, and has no single central governing body to control what goes on in this vast network. But it does have a few organizations that help it operate smoothly, for instance ICANN, which is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The non-profit is basically the reason we know who or where we are on the Internet – it puts everyone in their "place", so to speak.

In this infographic by WhoIsHostingThis?, we take a look at ICANN and 5 other organizations, (most of which you probably don’t know) that are secretly running the Internet – and no, Google isn’t one of them.










10 Interesting Talks Designers Must Watch

hongkiat.com - di, 30/06/2015 - 15:01

Design conferences are fun. They are full of energetic, creative people exchanging ideas and giving brilliant talks. But these events can also be rather expensive. Luckily, there are lots of amazing content from the world’s best web conferences available online. All you need is to take some time out of your busy schedule to watch and listen to what the experts have to share.

Here are 10 amazing presentations on topics dear to every designer’s heart, covering everything from dealing with clients to web typography, responsive web design to impostor syndrome. They may not be the most recent of talks but what is important is the message the talks are trying to deliver.

1. On the craft of design and working with clients

by Mike Monteiro at Interaction 15

"You have been lied to! […] Does good design sell itself? Fundamentally, NO."

Designers are, by default, amazing at pushing pixels on a screen and creating beautiful, thoughtful designs. Presenting those thoughtful solutions, however, can be a stressful experience. If you’re working at an agency or studio it can be especially tempting to just have your creative director show the work to the client. You might tell yourself that he will do it better, because he’s a better speaker, with more experience – but no one can explain your design decisions better than you.

In his funny and informative talk, Mike Monteiro reminds us why selling is a core design skill: because a good designer who can sell his work is more valuable than an amazing one who can’t. The whole talk is more than an hour long but you can start at around 18:00 for 13 mistakes designers make during client presentations; see if you’re guilty of any (and ways to improve, if you are).

2. F* You, Pay Me

by Mike Monteiro at CreativeMornings 2012

"You’re at the point where you need a lawyer when you’ve decided to stop being a design amateur and become a design professional."

Have you ever worked on a project without getting a contract first? A lot of designers who are just starting out might have done this at one point. Contracts do seem intimidating, especially at first. The great thing about them is that they help you and your client have clear expectations about the job. They protect you both if something goes wrong. If a client decides to pull the plug on a project that’s only halfway done, would you know what to do or expect? You should.

In this half-hour breakfast talk Mike Monteiro and his lawyer Gabe Lavine talk about contract-writing and getting paid, and get lots of applause. They name a few worst-case client scenarios, things they don’t negotiate on and why, and really show why having a lawyer in your corner can save the day.

3. "We’re Not Worthy:" Impostor Syndrome

by Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci, Amy Silvers at Conference: Madison+ UX 2014

"It’s the sense that you’re a fraud. That you don’t deserve any of the success that you’ve achieved."

Do you ever feel less knowledgeable or less accomplished than your friends? The phenomenon called impostor syndrome is common among designers, UX professionals, and other creative people, though perhaps not widely known. We have a tendency to compare ourselves to the best: see their beautiful websites, their insightful blog posts, big name clients – then think we fall short.

Lori and Amy’s session is drier than the previous ones on the list, but it’s only 26 minutes long, and what it has to say is something very important. A feeling that many of us struggle with. A feeling of not being good enough. Skip to 13:00 if you just want to see survey results from a study among designers and how they feel about their skill level.

4. 10 Commandments Of Web Design

by Jeffrey Zeldman at Conference: An Event Apart Austin 2013

"Often overlooked: the idea that a website should be an entertaining and delightful experience."

Jeffrey Zeldman starts his presentation by promising it will help web designers get from pretty good to awesome. When it comes to web design, there’s so much to think about and it’s easy to get caught up in the technical stuff sometimes. There are some big-picture things we might overlook because of that, like that websites should be fun.

"Thou shalt entertain" is his first commandment. A boring website will not hold anyone’s attention for longer than a couple of seconds. To get (more) awesome, check out the full 1-hour talk and get a full list of commandments, including "test everything (including assumptions)" and "thou shalt ship."

5. Responsive Web Design Is Hard / Easy! Be Afraid / Don’t Worry!

by Dan Mall at SmashingConf Freiburg 2013

"Photoshop comps don’t cut it. At least not in the way they used to."

Is the design process broken? Dan Mall says yes and sees it as an opportunity to change the way we work. The old method of web designing – plan, design, develop, launch – doesn’t work as great as it used to. With the proliferation of responsive design, he’s discovered new processes that can help designers work better with clients.

He advocates for style tiles, element collages and showing the clients what a site will feel like rather than a pixel-perfect psd every time. This is meant to save time and facilitate a good dialogue with the client. The whole presentation is 45 minutes but if you want to skip the intro, start at about 8:50 to hear about his approach or fast forward to the style tile talk at 16:20.

6. Your CSS Is A Mess

by Jonathan Snook at Conference: SmashingConf Freiburg 2012

"Use class over id – don’t use a grenade to dig a hole when a shovel will do"

In this talk, Jonathan Snook talks about the importance of clean and easy to understand code. The beauty of CSS lies in its flexibility, but that’s also when things can get complicated. Have you ever been in a situation where you worked on a project started by someone else and it took a while to figure out how it was coded? Or had some random class names you couldn’t figure out?

The speaker advocates for clarity in naming conventions and making sure we don’t needlessly complicate things. Even though the presentation is from 2012, all the concepts presented in it are still relevant today. It’s roughly 33 minutes long and is a great reminder about mindfulness and making things understandable.

7. Top 10 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People

by Susan Weinschenk at Conference: DIBI 2012

"It’s really easy when we are designing something […] to get all caught up in the design and to even forget that at the other end of this thing we’re designing is a person who has to use it"

This is a fascinating presentation on why people do what they do, backed by the science of psychology. We work hard designing websites for people to interact with – but so much of what they do is dependent on their un- or sub-consciousness. This amazing talk gives us tools for our designer toolbox to help us better influence people’s actions. It explains, among other things, why are humans attracted faces? (and how can that help a website?)

If you have 44 minutes to spare, this is a must-see. Want to dive deeper into learning about people’s online behavior? Alternatively, you can read about 6 psychological reasons of why people act the way they do online.

8. Content First! Everything We Know Is Wrong

by Jeffrey Zeldman at Conference: An Event Apart Boston 2012

"Our designs are often hostile to content."

Have you ever designed a pixel-perfect website just to have a client add a tiny new piece of content to it? And that new content frustratingly breaks the flow of the design somehow? Jeffrey Zeldman tells us that a website is not a brochure. A website is never final; it is a living, flexible, constantly changing medium that needs to be mindful of the user’s goals. It should accommodate various scenarios.

It’s easy to forget sometimes and this presentation, which shows examples of sites that got it right (and wrong) is a good reminder of why it matters. The whole thing is close to an hour long but worth spending your time on.

9. Design Principles For A Better Mobile Web

by Jennifer Gove at Conference: Google I/O 2014

"There are more mobile devices and mobile device subscriptions than there are toothbrushes in the world"

Mobile experience can be an afterthought, or not even thought of at all. But, as statistics show, it cannot be ignored. To make things easier for designers, Jennifer Gove gives us 25 principles for building better mobile websites in less than 45 minutes.

Because Jennifer Gove is a UX researcher at Google, they’re all based on data from a large usability study rather than expert opinions, which is interesting. Start at 8:25 for a list of the principles and see all the good (and bad) examples that illustrate them.

10. The State Of Web Typography

by Bram Stein at CSSconf EU 2014

"Are there any type designers in the audience? No? Good. I’m gonna say some horrible things about OpenType features"

Web fonts are awesome. They make the world a little more beautiful and websites have more character. Gone are the days of web-safe everything. Whether you’re just beginning with using web fonts or quite an expert in what they have to offer, this talk is for you. Everything you ever wanted to know about web type – kerning, hyphenation, OpenType features and more is covered in this 26 minute talk.

Wrap Up

There’s lots of amazing presentations on the web. Some are just funny, others will present amazing new developments happening in the industry, yet others help us be better designers. Do you have a favorite talk on the web? Share in the comments! For more insightful talks for designers, check out these 10 unmissable TED videos.

Editor’s note: This is written for Hongkiat.com by Magdalena Kacicka. Magdalena is a web designer and developer by day, Internet and candy enthusiast by night. She loves inspirational posts and beautiful design. Check out her portfolio or contact her on Twitter.










15 WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Search Function

hongkiat.com - di, 30/06/2015 - 12:01

One important element of any website is the search feature. With this, people can find for what they’re really looking for through your site, instead of just getting the information from the links you gave them, such as category, tags, featured post, etc. If your website is on WordPress, the search feature already exists by default. But it is still too stiff to use and not flexible enough to customize.

One available option you can use to improve the search feature on your site is by using plugins. These 15 plugins will help you make your searches on your site easier and faster to run. Some allow different methods to run searches, helps you track what users are searching for, lets you customize your search results or disable search altogether.

WP Extended Search

WP Extended Search plugin allows you to set the search results based on Post Meta, Taxonomies (category and tags), Post Type (post, page, and media) and author name. You can also customize SQL relation (AND/OR) between search terms.

Instant Search Suggest

With this plugin, just typing several letters into the search field will make it return suggestions for related tags, categories, or title. This plugin should work for your current theme and just need a slight configuration to work.

WP Search Suggest

WP Search Suggest adds a suggestion based on sthe earch term that a user enters on the search form. It will make an AJAX call then return the matching search query from the database. This is currently available in English, Deutsch and Czech language.

Jarvis

To use Jarvis, just hit the / button, and a search bar will show up. Enter your search term and Jarvis will suggest you available options related to your keyword. Arrow up or down the list to quickly navigate and pick the best search query for your search, then press enter to go to that result list.

Search & Filter

For a more narrowed scope, Search & Filter lets users add filters to refine their searches. Fields can be added under the Search form and displayed as dropdowns, checkboxes, radio buttons or multi-selects. You can add filter by Category, Tag, Custom Taxonomy, Post Type, Post Date, or any combined form.

Voice Search

Need a different way to search on your site? Use this plugin Voice Search which allows you to search things on the site through (what else?) voice. It currently works only on Chrome for both mobile and desktop version; for desktop, you must have a microphone installed for this to work.

Disable Search

If for some reason, you want to deactivate the search capabilities on your WordPress site, this is the plugin to do it. Disable Search will hide the appearing of the search form, disable the search widget, and prevent any manual search request or give a 404 Not Found response on submitted search attempts.

Auto Search Suggestion

In the WordPress dashboard, admins can use this plugin to search any content from page, post, or custom post type, all in one place. It also has auto suggestion so you can search faster.

WP Lucky Search

It’s similar to the ‘Im feeling lucky’ feature on Google, but for your site. When your visitor clicks the lucky search button, plugin will redirect to one random post based on the search term.

WP Live Search

WP Live Search returns the search result for page, post, and post type, as the user types the keyword on the search form. You can simply run this by add shortcode [wp_live_search] on page or any part of your site. You can see available options on documentation.

Search Redirections

Search Redirections is a plugin that allows you to redirect to a specific page or site when a user tries to search a specific word. For example for ‘CSS’ you can set that when a user searches with this word, it will redirect to google.com/search?q=css.

Rocketbar

Rocketbar works just like OS X’s Spotlight, allowing you to get around in the WordPress dashboard using keyboard shortcuts. To open Rocketbar simply use the keybind SHIFT + SPACE, then enter your keyword.

DuckDuckGo Search Widget

DuckDuckGo is search engine that doesn’t track you. If you encourage untrackable searches, you now can add its functionality to your site. This plugin adds duckduckgo as a widget and searches your site when a search query is punched in.

Curated Search

Customize what results your users can find by pinning your article to show up as the top search result for specific keywords, or creating alternative keywords or possible typos for search queries. Alternatively you can also redirect search terms, or make these searches contextual. Lastly, you can also limit the search results users can see or even hide specific content.

Quick Search Widget

Quick Search Widget lets your visitor see the search result immediately on their keypress. There is no need to wait for the site to load whole pages. Users are able to get search results from pages, posts, or products, if available.

Now Read:
12 Essential Plugins for WordPress Developers








9 Coolest Kids That Will Definitely Inspire You!

hongkiat.com - ma, 29/06/2015 - 17:01

Kids always amaze me with their brutally honest opinions, their no-nonsense approach to what’s black or white with little to no care for what falls under the shade of grey, as well as their unflinching need to see justice done, where and when it is most needed. These days, kids not only ask the questions adults don’t dare to ask or think about asking, they also get their hands dirty, getting help to where it is most needed.

If you have ever felt powerless against society’s concepts of "this is how things work", let what these kids did remind you of what you can do if your heart is in the right place. These kids do their bit to help the homeless, cancer patients, hospitals and victims of natural disasters – and the most amazing thing is that the oldest kid in this list is only 12.

Hailey Fort 9 years old – Builds Shelters and Feeds the Homeless

Hailey Fort is no regular 9-year-old – you just need to look at how she handles herself around power tools to know that. Having befriended Edward, a homeless guy, Hailey felt that he should get a roof over his head. That’s why she built him (yes, she actually built it with her own hands) a mobile shelter, an 8 by 4 feet "house" complete with windows and insulation to keep out the cold.

Hailey is no stranger to helping out the homeless. Before the house-building, Hailey also tended a garden, the produce of which was donated to the local food bank to help feed the homeless. In 2014, her garden produced 128 lbs of food. You can follow Hailey’s efforts and more at her Facebook page, Hailey’s Harvest.

Christian McPhilamy 8 Years Old – Donates Hair For Child Patients

Kids get bullied in school all the time for the pettiest of reasons. Christian McPhilamy was also bullied in school, for growing out his blond hair for two years, but he stuck with it because he was doing it for a good cause. After seeing a commercial about paediatric cancer and later on stumbling upon a hair donation ad, Christian, who was 6 at the time, decided that he wants to donate his hair for the sick children.


IMAGE: Today

In the two years he spent growing his lovely blond hair, he endured teasing and bullying in school, and comments about what a "lovely daughter" his mother has. He ha sjust recently cut off his hair: 4 ponytails, close to 12 inches long, to donate to the Children with Hair Loss organization, a charity which provides free wigs for for children who suffer from cancer, burns, alopecia or other conditions.

Gracey Chafin 8 Years Old – Fundraises Toys For Children’s Hospital

Eight-year-old Gracey Chafin had also donated 10 inches of her hair to a classmate who had leukemia but she was bent to keep on giving. At a shopping trip to the mall with her grandmother, she learned about the Children’s Hospital through a donation drive. That gave her the motivation to start a fundraiser at her own school (never mind that she was just 7) where she collected 1300 items, including toys, books and games, to give to the children’s hospital.


IMAGE: wxfg.com

This year, she did it again, and collected 2000 items. Her next goal is to breach 3000 items in the next fundraiser. Her gifts are used in the hospital to comfort and reward child patients who sometimes have to go through taxing and painful treatments and life-saving surgery.

Robby Eimers 12 Years Old – Feeds The Homeless Every Weekend

Every Friday, 12-year-old Robby Eimers and his grandmother, Cindy Kostukoff, will gather clothing, toiletries, water, and food to give away. Together with 8-year-old Emma, Robby’s sister, they then make their way from New Haven to Detroit, Michigan to set up tables and serve food to the homeless. Robby used to wash cars to pay for the items but his cause now gets the support and some donations from Wal-Mart, the Detroit Red Wings and kind samaritans.


IMAGE: NBC News

The boy not only has a big heart, but big dreams too. He wants to be President one day and vows to get homeless people off the streets. Robby and his grandmother has since started the Eimers Foundation. You can visit the Eimers Foundation Facebook page to follow his activities or if you are looking for ways to help.

Neev Saraf 8 Years Old – Raises $28,000 for Nepal Earthquake Victims

Neev Saraf might be at an age where you don’t expect him to know the value of a dollar but that doesn’t stop him from being a serial philanthropist. Every time he turns a year older, he donates to charities; he had previously donated to Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army. This year however, he decied to do more for a different group: the victims of the Nepal earthquake.


IMAGE: NBC Washington

Neev started a drive by throwing in his piggy bank savings, all $384 of it. His parents, both from Nepal, helped him spread the word on social media and before long, Neev’s crowdfunding efforts helped raise more than $27,000 in just 10 days. The donation was forwarded to American Nepal Medical Foundation to assist in rescue and recovery work in Nepal.

Xavier Elliot 10 Years Old – Makes Clothes for the Homeless

Xavier Elliot is 10, and on a mission. After moving through 6 different homeless shelters, Xavier felt that he could do more for homeless children, so he decided to make clothes for them. He picked up some sewing skills from his mom and bought his own fabric with his allowance then just got down to making clothes. And he’s pretty good too.


IMAGE: Facebook

His mother, a veteran advocate, has been very supportive of her child’s work and has set up a Facebook page to share Xavier’s work and campaign. Donations have been pouring in to help with sewing and fabric supplies.

Noah Hall King 7 Years Old – Raises Donations for Neonatal ICU

Noah Hall King was only turning 5 when he raised $1200 for his local fire department; and on his 6th birthday, he raised $1,800 for the local police department. For his 7th birthday, he went door to door, and even started a website to ask for donations for the Neonatal ICU at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. All his efforts paid off when he raised $7000, all of which he gave to the hospital.

The hospital has decided to use that donation to buy a piece of equipment for breathing support that will help their little patients. So what’s next for his 8th birthday? You guessed it. He’s going to help the homeless.

Nate Dreyfus 9 Years Old – Donated Coats to Homeless Shelter

Seeing someone stop his car, get down and give his own coat to a total stranger on the street, made Nate Dreyfus feel like doing the same thing. And he isn’t going to let his tender age of 9 stop him. Nate started putting donation boxes in his neighborhood and with his mom’s help, spread the word, asking for coats that are no longer needed or used, to donate to the needy.


IMAGE: CBS

The drive worked, and the Director of Project Home, a homeless shelter for families received 79 coats and a $262 donation in time for the holidays. Nate has since returned to Project Home with more coat donations.

Josiah Duncan 5 Years Old – Fed Then Made Homeless Man Cry

Sometimes a small act of kindness is all it takes. Our pint-sized hero for this story is Josiah Duncan, who one day saw a homeless man outside a restaurant, and began asking his mom questions. Troubled to find that the man had no food, among other things, he urged his mother to buy him a meal.


IMAGE: wsfa.com

His mother, Ava Faulk, obliged and asked the man to come in, sit down and order anything from the menu. Josiah even asked the man if he wanted a menu because "you can’t order without one" when no one waited on him. Right before eating, Josiah asked the man to join him in saying the blessing (which he sung at the top of his voice) and leaving everyone at the restaurant in tears.

Wrap Up

There are so many more kids out there doing things you would probably expect the grownups to be doing, it is impossible to name them all. From collecting food, shoes, blankets and other items to donate to the homeless, to forgoing toys and birthday gifts to give to another less fortunate child, these kids are showing the adults that you are never too young to give back.

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404 Not Found &#38; 9 Most Common HTTP Errors Explained

hongkiat.com - ma, 29/06/2015 - 15:01

Apart from the 404 error, how many other HTML error pages do you know about? Have you ever thought about what happens in the background when you see any of these HTML error pages on your screen?

Those codes are meant to convey important information to the user. It can be useful to know them better, especially if you are a website owner. Using them properly reduces your bounce rate, improves your search engine ranking and gives you knowledge on the performance of your site.

Understanding Status Codes

Behind every error page you see on the web there is an HTTP status code sent by the web server. Status codes come in the format of 3 digit numbers. The first digit marks the class of the status code:

  • 1XX status codes have informational purposes
  • 2XX indicates success
  • 3XX is for redirection

None of these three classes result in an HTML error page as in this cases the client knows what to do and goes on with the task without hesitation. What we usually see are the 4XX and 5XX kind:

  • 4XX represent client-side errors
  • 5XXs indicate problems on the server side

HTML error pages are displayed in these cases because the client has no idea about what how to move on. Let’s see what happens in the background when something goes south and what you can do about it.

Client-Side Errors (4XX) 1. 400 – Bad Request

Whenever the client sends a request the server is unable to understand, the 400 Bad Request error page shows up. It usually happens when the data sent by the browser doesn’t respect the rules of the HTTP protocol, so the web server is clueless about how to process a request containing a malformed syntax.

When you see a 400 error page the reason is most likely that there’s something unstable on the client side: a not sufficiently protected operating system, an instable internet connection, a defective browser or a caching problem. So it’s always a good idea to test a bit your own PC before you contact the owner of the website.

Open the same webpage in a different browser, clear the cache, and check if you are due with security updates. If you regularly meet the 400 error on different sites, your PC or Mac is awaiting a thorough security checkup.

2. 401 – Authorization Required

When there’s a password-protected web page behind the client’s request, the server responds with a 401 Authorization Required code. 401 doesn’t return a classical error message at once, but a popup that asks the user to provide a login-password combination.

If you have the credentials, everything is all right, and you can go on without any problem and get access to the protected site. Otherwise you are redirected to the Authorization Required error page.

If you are a website owner, you can add the same password-protection to your site or a part of it through your cPanel account.

Click on the “Password Protect Directories” submenu inside the “Security” menu box and choose the web folder you want to protect. It can be a good security layer to restrict access to your admin area like the wp-admin folder in a WordPress site.

3. 403 – Forbidden

You can encounter the 403 Forbidden error page when the server understands the client’s request clearly, but for some reasons refuses to fulfil it. This is neither a malformation nor an authorization problem. By returning the 403 status code the server basically rejects the client with a big loud “No” without any explanation

The most common reason is that the website owner doesn’t permit visitors to browse the file directory structure of the site. When this kind of protection is enabled you can’t access folders directly on the website. The other frequent reason is that the specific file the client requested doesn’t have the permission to be viewed from the web.

You can set 403 protection for security reasons on your own site. It can be useful to harden your site against being hacked by hiding the directory structure or files that contain vulnerable information.

Luckily many web hosts provide this service to their clients by default, but if you want to add an extra security layer, open your cPanel account, navigate to the Advanced menu box, and click on Index Manager.

Here you can customize how your visitors view a specific directory on your site. If you choose No Indexing the client will receive an 403 error page if it tries to access the given directory.

4. 404 – Not Found

404 is the most well-known HTTP status code out there, and you have surely read many great posts about how to customize 404 pages. The browser returns a 404 HTML page when the server doesn’t find anything on the requested location.

There are two main scenarios that can result in a 404 Not Found page. Either the visitor mistyped the URL, or the permalink structure of the site has been changed and the incoming links point to pages that were moved to different locations. 404 error pages sometimes can appear on top level URLs too. It usually happens when a site has recently moved to another web server and the DNS still points to the old location. This kind of problem usually disappears after a short time.

You can find SEO experts on the web who claim too many 404s have a negative effect on your site’s search engine ranking, but Google claims that “404 errors don’t impact your site’s ranking in Google, and you can safely ignore them” as 404s are seen as a normal part of the web by the search engine.

You may want to reduce the number of your 404s because they increase the bounce rate (people who leave immediately) of your site. The most common solution for this is using 301 redirects for permanently removed pages, and 302s for those that are temporarily unavailable.

5. 408 – Request Time-Out

When the request of the client takes too long, the server times out, closes the connection, and the browser displays a 408 Request Time-Out error message. The time-out happens because the server didn’t receive a complete request from the client within the timeframe it was prepared to wait. Persistent 408 errors can occur because of the heavy workload on either the server or on the client’s system.

In some cases both ends of the connection work properly but a temporary internet surge slows down the delivery of the message. Bigger websites tend to customize 408 error pages just like most of you do, in case of 404s. 408 errors can usually be fixed by reloading the page with the help of the F5 button.

6. 410 – Gone

The 410 Gone error page is very close to the well-known 404. Both mean that the server doesn’t find the requested file, but while 404 suggests that the target file may be available somewhere on the server, 410 indicates a permanent condition.

410 shows the client that the resource was made intentionally unavailable, and the website owner wants incoming links to be removed from the Web. 404 is used when the server is unsure if the unavailability of the file is permanent, but 410 always indicates a complete certainty.

If you are in charge of your own server, it’s important to understand how 404s and 410s are treated differently by Google crawlers. In this video Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam explains the gist of this distinction. It’s a good idea to distinguish between 404 and 410 to enhance your Google-friendliness.

Server Errors (5XX) 7. 500 – Internal Server Error

Internal Server Error is the most well-known server error, as it’s used whenever the server encounters an unexpected condition that prevents it from fulfilling the client’s request. The 500 error code is a generic one, it’s returned when no other server-side 5XX error codes make any sense.

Although in this case the problem is not on your end, you can do some things to resolve it such as reload the page (as the error may be temporary), clear your browser’s cache (as the issue may occur with the cached version of the site), and delete your browser’s cookies and restart the browser.

You can also contact the webmaster (like in case of any other server-side problems) – they may be grateful for your contribution but there’s also a chance that they are aware of the problem and already working on it.

If you encounter the 500 error page on your own site, it will be wise to contact your hosting provider. The reason is most likely a permission error, a corrupt .htaccess file or a too low memory limit. If you have a WordPress site, the 500 error can also caused by a third party plugin; you can test this by deactivating your plugins, one by one, until the culprit is found.

8. 502 – Bad Gateway

The 502 error message represents a communication problem between two servers. It occurs when the client connects to a server acting as a gateway or a proxy that needs to access an upstream server that provides additional service to it. The other server is located higher in the server hierarchy. It can be for example an Apache web server that’s accessed by a proxy server, or the name server of a large internet service provider that’s accessed by a local name server.

When you encounter the Bad Gateway error page the server receives an invalid response from an upstream server.

In most cases it doesn’t mean that the upstream server is down but that the two communicating servers don’t agree on the protocol about how to exchange data. This usually happens when one of the machines is incorrectly configured or programmed. Contact your hosting provider if you see 502 on your own site.

9. 503 – Service Temporarily Unavailable

You see the Service Temporarily Unavailable (sometimes Out of Resources) message any time there’s a temporary overload on the server, or when it’s going through a scheduled maintenance. The 503 error code means that the web server is currently not available. This is usually a temporary condition that will be resolved after some delay.

If you are a website owner it’s important to have appropriate knowledge about the 503 status code to properly handle scheduled maintenance. If you don’t handle scheduled maintenance in the correct way, you may hurt the search engine ranking of your site.

Learn how to do this via this tutorial on Yoast’s SEO blog or this one on moz.com.

10. 504 – Gateway Time-Out

There is a server-server communication problem behind the Gateway Time-Out error message, just like behind the 502 Bad Gateway error code. When the 504 status code is returned there’s also a higher-level server in the background that is supposed to send data to the server that is connected to our client. In this case the lower-level server doesn’t receive a timely response from the upstream server it accessed.

This is the same time-out problem that occurs in case of the 408 Request Time-Out status code, but here it doesn’t happen between the client and the server but between two servers in the back end. The Gateway Time-Out error page usually indicates slow communication between the two servers, and it can also happen that the higher-level server is completely down.

As 504 is a network problem in the background only people who have access to that network can solve it. As with other server-side HTTP errors, sometimes it’s enough to refresh the page a few minutes later to tackle the issue – of course only if the service providers work on the problem meanwhil.

Editor’s note: This is written by Anna Monus for Hongkiat.com. Anna is a web developer and code writer with an interest for science, artificial intelligence, and disruptive technologies.

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20 Free VPN Services &#8211; Best of

hongkiat.com - vr, 26/06/2015 - 15:01

For anyone surfing the Internet, personal safety and security is one of the most important things at the back of their heads. For instance, we know better than to make transactions via mobile devices or when connected to an unsecured public hotspot, or to click on a suspicious-looking link.

For some people, they prefer to use VPN or a Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a technology that adds an extra layer of security while you browse the Internet. It creates safe tunnels that won’t be accessible by anyone but you. It also helps you cross boundaries or restrictions imposed by authorities (your employer, ISP or government), allowing you to access content from anywhere in the world.

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the best free VPN services that will allow you to browse the Internet with less worry on your mind.

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield protects your online privacy, and lets you bypass Internet censorship and access any website or service. It secures your Internet sessions using HTTPS encryption and protects your personal information from hackers. Its malware protection and compression technologies can protect you from malicious websites and reduce the mobile data usage on your mobile devices.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

Spotflux

Spotflux is the world’s most advanced VPN that works on all devices. It protects and enhances your Internet connection, and lets you use the web with total peace of mind. It performs millions of cloud-based real-time calculations, encrypts and compresses your mobile web traffic – thus reducing your mobile data costs and allowing you to browse the web securely, even on public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

Psiphon

Psiphon lets you go beyond borders. It gets you past the borders of your campus, corporation or country, and lets you safely access censored knowledge and ideas in freedom-restricted countries. It’s a circumvention and online security tool that uses VPN, SSH and HTTP Proxy technologies for a complete, open and unrestricted access to the Internet.

Platforms supported: Windows, Android

Betternet

Betternet provides an Internet with peace of mind – a web without hackers and blocked websites. It’s a totally free service that lets you access any website from any country. It allows you to surf the web anonymously without leaving a trace and protects your data from malicious attacks and interested parties such as hackers and government agencies.

Platforms supported: Firefox, Chrome, iOS, Android, Windows

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN is one the most trusted secure VPN service online. It’s easy to install and provides you a safe and unrestricted browsing experience. It can unblock any content on the Internet for you even if you live in the most restricted part of the world. It offers top-notch security and anonymity without compromising your online privacy or slowing down your connection.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android

TunnelBear

TunnelBear provides simple, private and free access to the global, unrestricted Internet. It offers 500 MB of free data usage per month that is enough for light browsing requirements. It lets you browse the web privately and experience the Internet without censorship and having to skip blocked websites. It can even block creepy trackers like ads, analytics, scripts, etc that tracks your moves on the Web.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

SurfEasy

SurfEasy VPN unblocks the Internet and secures your web connection. It lets you surf safely on any network with any device at any location, and allows you to enjoy any website without restrictions or censorship from any governing bodies. It offers you identity and privacy protection so that you leave no online marks, and even protects your web activities on public Wi-Fi hotspots and unsecured networks.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

Hide.me

Hide.me makes you truly anonymous on the web by hiding your identity or location on the Internet. It encrypts your activities to protect you further from hackers and other malicious activists. It circumvents censorship and opens all locks on the Web so that you can browse websites without restrictions. You can also watch global TV from anywhere in the world at the fastest possible speeds.

Platforms supported: Windows, Android

FinchVPN

FinchVPN is a feature packed and extremely reliable free VPN service. It offers an easy to use control panel and lots of VPN servers at different locations in the world. It save no logs and claims to encrypt everything – your activities, your sessions and your web connections.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android

proXPN

proXPN protects your online freedom and privacy. It secures your Internet connection from being a victim of eavesdropping, and masks your identity and location from hacks and other malicious attacks. It relieves you from censorship from your college, corporation or government, and lets you access the Internet as is, with every website and content open to your fingertips.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS

ZenMate

ZenMate encrypts and secures your Internet connection to protect your internet privacy while browsing. It leaves no chance of compromising your data via tactics such as tracking, wiretapping, etc. by snooping bodies and malicious criminals. You can browse the web anonymously without leaving any traces and browsing any content of your wish, any website from anywhere in the world.

Platforms supported: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, iOS, Android

ZPN

ZPN is a reliable and fast VPN service for everyone that encrypts your Internet connection for safe transactions and online activities. It offers free usage of 10 GB per month and claims to create no traffic logs, and act as a virtual firewall, making you completely anonymous on the Internet. You can confidently connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots securely without the fear of hackers and trackers.

Platforms supported: Windows, iOS, Android

SecurityKISS

SecurityKISS secures your Internet connection with its tunnels. It protects your privacy, ensures anonymity and bypass Internet restrictions posed by your ISP or country. It offers free usage of 300 MB per day which is sufficient for moderate Internet usage. It claims to offer high anonymity by logging only the minimum required information, and guarantees high speed by using data compression technology.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android

Hideman VPN

Hideman VPN offers anonymity and data encryption for your Internet sessions and activities. It offers free usage with connection and traffic restrictions, but is suitable for moderate usage such as browsing and light downloading. It tunnels your Internet traffic through various server locations in around 20 countries, thus making it hard for anyone to guess your true information.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

ZenVPN

ZenVPN offers a secure and uncensored Internet – a fast and affordable yet secure access to the web. It protects your identity and hides your web activities from interested parties like hackers and spying people or government bodies. It logs nothing about your traffic usage and thus, offers a complete privacy solution with no trackable history. Its free package comes with 250 MB per day traffic usage.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

GetPrivate

GetPrivate makes sure that all of your Internet connections go through secure tunnels and superfast servers located worldwide to provide a smooth and private Internet experience. It provides unlimited bandwidth for all your web surfing, and opens all censored content and websites for you.

Platforms supported: Windows

Hola

Hole is not a usual VPN but a peer-to-peer VPN much like other P2P networks. It’s a community-powered service where users help each other to make content on the web accessible for all. It encrypts your data and routes your traffic through other nodes (peers) to provide superior anonymity. It can even stream torrents instantly and play videos directly without downloading.

Platforms supported: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android

Datho VPN

Datho VPN lets you stay safe online and stop websites from tracking you. It protects your privacy by hiding your online traffic from potential attackers and unblocks restricted websites. It uses a shared IP address and keeps no logs to give you the highest level of anonymity. Its network consists of 70+ servers in 17 countries with unlimited P2P traffic allowance. Its free pack limits speed to 800 kbps.

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android

VPN Defender

VPN Defender provides a simple, secure and fast solution to protect your privacy and identity while online is challenging. It keeps you and your data safe from probable attackers and watchers. It encrypts all your data, yet provides a fast and unrestricted Internet that’s well-protected even on public Wi-Fi.

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

GoVPN

GoVPN lets you access the web your way – access any content, open restricted websites and watch region-restricted videos or TV shows from any country. It secures and hides your private data and online identity while browsing the Internet, and even encrypts your VoIP services. It claims to keep no logs of your browsing history, thus making you more anonymous!

Platforms supported: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android








Why You Should Go on a Tech-Free Vacation [Infographic]

hongkiat.com - vr, 26/06/2015 - 12:01

We have previously written about the need to disconnect from our gadgets and gizmos for our personal well-being. At the very least, removing our dependence on tech, at least for the family holiday get-togethers, will help us reconnect with the people we hold dear.

To add to that pile, we have here an infographic by Modis which is trying to make a case for a tech-free vacation, the kind that can really help you recharge properly. Apart from that, it also carries a few tips you should follow should you take heed and decide to take a break from it all, for instance, letting people know you are going to be unreachable during your vacation period, before you take off.

And best of all, it mentions a few vacation spots (where it is is geographically impossible to stay connected to the Web) which can give you the silence and relaxation your body has been craving for, and so sorely deserve.








8 Classroom Management Apps for Tech Savvy Teacher

hongkiat.com - do, 25/06/2015 - 15:01

For teachers, the calling to make a difference in a student’s life is strong. But for many, the workload and burden overwhelms their ability to deliver a strong impact. Fortunately, education technology is here to lend a hand.

In this post we will be looking at 8 apps tech savvy teachers can use to better manage their classrooms. These apps give the teachers a leg up in helping to keep track and be aware of each of their student’s progress, to help them get the students more actively involved in class, to better plan and create their lessons and a whole lot more.

Most (not all) of these apps are available for free, and most (again, not all) are available as mobile apps (for Android, iOS and beyond). If you have used any other classroom management tool, do let us know in the comments.

1. Class DOJO

Class DOJO is a very helpful tool for teachers to gather and generate data on the behavior of students. This information is shared in real time with the administration and parents in order to update them quickly about the progress and status of a student in class.

By using this tool, a teacher has a number of predefined behavior options under the categories of positive and negative behaviors. A teacher can also add new behavior options to the list as well.  Every time a teacher clicks on a positive or negative behavior option of a student, a +1 or -1 is added to the student profile in that class.

The app also provides a secure communication method for teachers to send feedback about a student to their parents, similar to a continuous progress report on how the children are doing. The app is free and also available on Android and iOS.

2. Google Classroom

Google Classroom for anyone with a Google Apps for Education account. It is very easy to setup and to add participants. With Google Classroom, your students don’t have to be in a physical classroom to receive your assignements; all they need their phone. Create paperless assignments for your class to solve, then grade their submissions on the app itself.

Students not only can find all their homework in the same place, but also be more organized when prioritizing their homework. Changes can still be made to the assignments before the given deadline. Graded assignments can also carry comments by the teachers to help students improve.

Because of the nature of the medium, assignments can involve sharing links, recording media, making videos and more. Google Classroom is available for free to schools. There is an Android and an iOS app version available.

3. Socrative

Socrative is an instant response system for students. The teacher can design a quiz and release it to the students, and the students can use their phones to input their answers. Their answers will be displayed to the teacher in real-time, allowing them to have an in-depth understanding of how well all of the students in the class is grasping the concept tested.

Quizzes come in multiple-choice question, True or False, or short answers, the type of quick questions one can easily enter via mobile device. This helps teachers gather feedback on a lecture at then end of a session, aka Exit Tickets. The quizzes can also be shared among the teachers.

This free app is available in two forms, one app for the teacher, and another for the student. Both versions are supported on multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Amazon, Chrome app). In June 2014, Socrative was acquired by Mastery Connect.

4. Plickers

If you teach a class of students who do not have their own mobile devices, then Plickers is a great alternative. It allows teachers to conduct formative assessments using coded cards, the only mobile device needed is the teacher’s own smartphone or tablet.

The app can be used to generate multiple-choice questions before class starts. During class, teachers can ask a question and students are asked to hold up their answer. With a quick scan with the app and the camera on the teacher’s phone, he or she can get an instant tabulation of everyone’s answer in class.

More impressively, the app can tabulate which student gave which answer, so the teacher can know if everyone has understood the topic of the day. Everyone’s answer will then be depicted on the board. It is available for free, on Android or iOS

5. Engrade

Engrade is an online toolset powered by McGrawHill Education. It is designed to help teachers plan, teach, improve and assess their classes.For classroom management, the app helps students keep track of attendance, the gradebook, class calendar, discussions, turn-ins, seating charts and more.

The best and most powerful feature of Engrade with a variety of options is grading students while managing student’s gradebook efficiently. By using Engrade, you can define a grading scale (manual or automatic), define assignment categories such as quizzes, exams, projects and class participation.

You can then define the weightage of each assignment category, the sorting method for assignment, or even the rounding off scheme. There is a free web version, and is available on Android and iOS. There is also a pro version that is a full solution for school-level administration.

6. Moodle

Moodle is an open-source PHP-based web application which is mainly used for producing the Internet-based online courses that can be accessed by teacher or students anywhere. There are different learning modes such as instructor-led, self-paced, a blend of both, or entirely online.

Moodle also allows the embedding of assignments and learning material from other websites as well. Teachers can use advance grading methods to maintain gradebook for exams and can use different markers to assess the assignments. It can be used at university level or in schools.

Moodle now has 66 Moodle partners in 43 countries. It is available as an Android and an iOS app. Try out the Moodle demo here.

7. LearnBoost

LearnBoost is an effective and easy to use tool which can be used to manage a classroom. Apart from regular features in a classroom management tool such as maintaining a gradebook, keeping attendance and generating progress reports of students, LearnBoost allows teachers to create multimedia lesson (text, images and video) plans.

A teacher can also view the attendance of students enrolled in a class either in traditional list view or visual seating chart view. LearnBoost provides the option to enable parent and student accounts with a customizable view. The seamless integration of LearnBoost with Google Apps make it even easier for a teacher to manage a classroom. [Free]

8. Stick Pick

Ever asked a question and not have a single student raise their hand to attempt an answer? Stick Pick helps you pick the student to answer your question. It is akin to the popsicle sticks technique, where a bunch of popsicle sticks, each bearing a student’s name, is picked one at a time at random out of the container. The picked name is "it".

Stick Pick takes the tech level higher with this app. Once the app is installed, the teacher can create a class and add student names inside. Shake or tap your screen to pick a student’s name at random. Each student can be categorized based on their proficiency level.

Stick Pick can match a student to the most suitable question for him or her, and the teacher won’t be forced to call the same student over and over again. Questions can be sorted based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, or ESL mode. This is a paid app for Android ($2.99), iOS ($3.99) and Amazon ($2.99).

Bonus: Kathy Schrock’s Bloomin’ Apps

Kathy Schrock is an educaitonal technologist. She compiled a collection of apps that is organized based on Bloom’s Taxonomy (and the Revised version) to help teachers more appropriately use these apps for different skill enhancement purposes. The apps are categorized for the iPad, Android, Google and Web 2.0








CSS Shorthand vs. Longhand &#8211; When to Use Which

hongkiat.com - wo, 24/06/2015 - 17:01

Shorthand and Longhand – one is concise and the other precise. One came to existence out of the want for brevity, while the other stands firm to preserve clarity. Either way, they have their purposes, pros and cons, so to speak.

This post will shine some light on both CSS shorthand notations and longhand notations, while concluding which is best to use for which situation.

What is Shorthand Property?

Shorthand property is a property that takes the values for other sets of CSS properties. For example, we can assign a value for border-width, border-style and border-color using the border property alone.

Basically,

border: 1px solid blue;

is the same as:

border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; border-color: blue;

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

With this, we don’t have to declare individual property values separately (which is redundant, time- and space-consuming). It also resets the left-out properties in the declaration, something which can be taken advantage of.

How does it work?

Like previously mentioned, we write a set of other property values in shorthand, the order doesn’t matter if all the property values in the shorthand are of a different kind like in border. For properties with similar kinds of values like margin, order does matter. When in doubt, remember clockwise!

Now, what if we miss a property or two in the declaration? In the above example, let’s say we ignored border-style.

border: 1px blue;

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

We won't be able to see the borders anymore, not because the shorthand property didn't work but because the border-style which we left out, got the default value none. This is how that shorthand property got rendered.

border: 1px none blue;

Now let’s drop the 1px for border-width and keep the other two:

border: solid blue;

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

We'll be able to see the borders, only with a thicker width and that's because the border-width property got the default value medium.

border: medium solid blue;

This concludes it for us that when a property value is left out in a shorthand declaration, that property takes on its default value (even if it has to override any previous value assigned for the same).

If there is border-width: 1px; for an element somewhere before border: solid blue; for the same, the border width is going to be medium (the default value), not 1px.

Another thing worth mentioning is that we cannot use values like inherit, initial or unset, which are available for all the CSS properties, in shorthand notation. If we use those, the browser won't be able to know exactly which property that value is supposed to represent in the shorthand – the entire declaration will be dropped.

The all property

There is one CSS shorthand property that can set the value for all CSS properties. CSS-wide values inherit, initial and unset are applicable to all of the properties and hence these are the only values accepted by the all property.

div { all: initial }

This will make the div element ditch ALL of the CSS property values it had, and reset the default value in each of them.

⚠ Warning

Let’s not misuse the all property. The need for it may arise only in very rare circumstances, when we are not able to touch any previous CSS code of an element that we wish to apply this property to.

Note: CSS property color takes hexadecimal value with shorthand notation if the two numbers of hex value in every color channel is the same. For example, background: #445599; is same as background: #459;.

What is longhand property?

The individual properties that can be included in a shorthand property are called longhand properties. Some examples are; background-image, margin-left, animation-duration, etc.

Why should we use it?

Even though shorthand alternatives are handy, they do have a disadvantage. Remember in the beginning we saw how shorthand overrides any left out properties with their default values? This can be a problem if the reset isn’t desired.

Take the font shorthand property for example. Let’s use it in the h4 element (which has a default browser style font-weight:bold)

font: 20px "courier new";

In the above shorthand code, no value is there for the font-weight property, hence the font-weight:bold(browser default style) will be overridden by the default value font-weight:normal causing the h4 element to lose its bold style, which may not has been intended.

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

So, for the above example simple two longhand properties, font-size and font-family are perfect.

Also, using shorthand for assigning only one or two property values is not very useful. Why give the browser extra work to interpret every single property (including the left out ones) in the shorthand, when only one is needed to work?

Production aside, during development stage, some developers (especially beginners) may find using longhand notation a lot easier to work with than shorthand for better readability and clarity.

Conclusion

Nowadays with the possibility of fast coding (with the help of tools like Emmet) and minification, a high reliability on shorthand is not needed, but at the same time, it is a lot logical to type margin:0;. The context in which we prefer our CSS notations will vary and all we have to do is figure out what notation will works best for us and when.








Cornerstone: The WordPress Page Builder Web Designers Will Love

hongkiat.com - wo, 24/06/2015 - 15:01

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by theme.co.

"Absolutely Loving It" is just one of the ways in which X Theme users have described their initial impressions of the newly released Version 4.0 that features the new Cornerstone page builder. Web designers who have just recently been introduced to this impressive page builder have been quite vocal in describing this latest enhancement as "awesome", a "masterpiece" and a "game changer".

The authors of this ever-popular theme constantly focus on continual improvement, making some game-changing improvements, including the addition of this new page builder along with several other features in this latest version. The response was far more positive and enthusiastic than anyone expected. Just what is it about Cornerstonen that has created all this excitement about version 4.0?

Cornerstone – Cool, Intuitive, Streamlined

Cornerstone is a collection of shortcodes that can be used to create complex and nearly infinitely customizable page layouts. Despite the complexity of building a layout from scratch, the page builder’s interface creates a more intuitive environment with a streamlined work process to help you deliver your cool results. It is simplicity at its best.

First of all, this is a 100% completely frontend page builder – you can see the changes take effect as you make them. You can essentially editing on the fly, with an over-arching, upclose and personal point-of-view. Your workspace becomes cleaner, more well-organized, clutter-free.

Features Of Cornerstone Page Builder

Cornerstone features an Editor and a Preview area. These two areas work together, but they are viewed separately by the user.

The Editor consists of a sidebar where you can access a Layout pane, an Elements pane, an Inspector (shown below) and a Settings pane that handles a range of miscellaneous options.

The Preview area is where you see where you are at during the page-building activity. It has but a single function, the Inspecting Elements function. If you hover over an element, it will be highlighted in the Editor pane; you can then alter its appearance if you wish.

To get a fuller view of work in progress, the Editor pane is collapsible. Elements displayed in the Preview area can be repositioned on your page via drag-and-drop. You can also edit text on the fly without having to resort to backend manipulations.

Cornerstone has its own Element Library and it is a huge one. The developers refer to it as the Ultimate Element Library, although it can and will always be updated, added to, and improved upon.

If you are a developer who uses coding as a means of increasing a theme’s page-building flexibility, you will love Cornerstone’s Live Code Editing feature. If you are not yet a professional code editor, this Sublime-text-inspired tool can make one out of you.

If you have purchased the X Theme, this intuitive tool will be available to you for free, along with every other premium features this theme has to offer. Gain more control over what you can change, design, envision and create.

Initial Feedback Has Been Positive

A sampling of the testimonials that have been flooding into Themeco’s offices in recent days:

Users are more than pleased. They are excited, and more than a few are simply ecstatic about the features X Version 4.0 and Cornerstone have to offer. When a theme is in many ways nearly as picture-perfect as possible, referring to an update as a game-changer is really saying something, but that is something you can judge for yourself.

Finding a Better Page Builder would be a Challenge

If you have been looking for just the right solution for your page or post building activities, the smooth, streamlined, and intuitive Cornerstone interface has everything you need to build a page in less time that it takes to finish your morning cup of coffee.

You also benefit by having a premium theme with a multiplicity of features to work with, and a best-selling theme. You might even wonder what the next upgrade will feature. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Cornerstone has a bright future in other parts of the WordPress ecosystem that Themeco will be announcing in the coming months. To sum up, X Theme 4.0 is highly recommended.








30 Bizarre Mobile Phone Covers &#38; Cases You Can Buy

hongkiat.com - wo, 24/06/2015 - 12:19

If you are holding a smartphone that is a marvel piece of modern engineering, it’s highly likely that you will need a phone case to keep that phone safe. Phone covers and cases are a dime a dozen everywhere you look, and the market has been so saturated that these phone case designers are forced to think out of the box to create the next eye-catching design.

Sometimes the bet they took delivers amazing results; other times, something weird and bizarre takes form. Each of the 30 mobile phone cases here have their unique selling point which will probably appeal to a small section of the case-buying crowd. That’s why they are all available to purchase – yes, you can actually buy these unusual-looking phone cases online.

iMesha Ice Cream Case – $39.20

Crystal Skull Case – $9.99

Thumbs Up Pill Case – $10.49

Vintage Camera Phone Case – $35

Vintage Rotary Payphone Case – $7.95

Cushi Plus Case – $13.19

Vintage Steampunk Timepiece – $56.95

Willy Wonka Chocolate Candy Bar – $7.18

CaseMarket Switch Chocolate Collection – $24.99

Fried Rice Case – $15.99

Vintage Classic Guitar Phone Case – $4.50

Flirty Eyes Phone Case – $3.63

Red Telephone Booth Case – $1.85

Slipper Design Silicone Case – $19.89

iZERCASE Colorful Watercolor Set – $14.96

Calculator Case – $7.99

Wkae@iPhone 5S Case 3D Catoon Dog Puppy – $6.49

Vuttoo Stylish math Case – $9.99

Wkae@ 3D Nose Solid Color Case – $6.49

Ice Cream Sandwich Case – $6.54

Zenzzle Colored Pencil Case – $11.89

Pastel Mood Case – $10.27

Green Compass Case – $10.27

221b – $13.52

Toch TM Diamond Perfume Bottle Case – $9.99

Luxury Phone Case – $11.97

Marshal Guitar Amp Phone Case – $15.89

Vending Machine Phone Case – $7.90

Classic Retro Camera Phone Case – $35

Stone Phone Case – $35

Hamee Original Dokkiri Hand Case – $56.60








How to Manage Gen X, Y and Z in the Workplace [Infographic]

hongkiat.com - di, 23/06/2015 - 17:01

As baby boomers take up retirement and leave voids in senior positions in organizations to be filled, the Gen-X, Gen-Y and Gen-Z (or millenials) put themselves up on the plate for the picking.

Some organizations believe that these groups of generations have observable characteristics that their generation are accustomed to adhere to, portray and adopt in their way of life at work. For instance, Gen-X are considered the best workers, Gen-Y are the most passionate and Gen-Z are the most connected. Each have their very own strengths and weaknesses, as portrayed by this infographic.

Created by NextGeneration Recruitment, the infographic summarizes how different the three generations are in terms of education level, qualifications, key characteristics or skills, and working motto. Do you agree about what is said about your generation?








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