CMS Web Design Solutions – Joomla Or WordPress?

These days there are so many factors to have a look at when it comes to a perfect web design solution for your business. From look and feel all the way to practicality, implementing and maintaining your website. This is where a CMS (Content Management System) is very useful to meet all these prerequisites.

A CMS web design solution will make anyone’s life easier whether you are a beginner or novice when it comes to creating a web site and maintaining it. And to make it even more sufficient these CMS platforms comes with loads of plugins, including plugins to better SEO and so many more features.

The two CMS platforms I myself use and specialise in is WordPress and Joomla. Below I will go in a little more detail on each of these CMS web design solutions, laying out there benefits and most important features.


Joomla CMS is specialised for easy management of many different type of content in many different positions on a website whilst making it all look good and perform fast. When it comes to a blog it would be best to run Joomla with a WordPress installing on the same domain and sharing the same MySQL database.

Joomla Pros

Installation size on server is roughly 30MB and with working Template and site results to about 100MB
Friendly for all different users including Developers, Designers and Administrators
Huge resource based community for support and help with developing websites
Is growing rapidly and improving itself for over more than 3 years now

Joomla Cons

Still lacks when it comes to user friendliness for the novice to average computer user
Not best CMS when it comes to blogging
Does not work well on linux server not SuPHP enabled


This is the best solution for bloggers and blogging websites and as you know Google loves blogs. With the latest WordPress 3 and a WordPress 3 template you also have multiple menu positions and layouts as Joomla and one can create a web site with a static home page and much more.

WordPress Pros

Very simple to use as it is right out of the box with no modifications
Best for blogging or sharing your experiences and thoughts in a sequential matter
Even the most non computer friendly users can get the hang of it quick and easy

WordPress Cons

Not developer friendly
Upgrades can bring more bugs and incompatibility issues with other plugins than fixes
For some reason the WordPress community complains the most

So in conclusion whether using WordPress or Joomla it depends what your specific needs are, but I would suggest using them both together for best long term ROI and ensuring great rankings in Google and other search engines.

Blog Pages As An Essential Part Of Good Web Design

Good web design should not only appeal to the aesthetic. More importantly, it should appeal to the hearts and minds of your users. Their needs, wants, feelings and delights are what matter and your web design should be able to satisfy all these desires after a great user experience with your website.

With the advent of the Internet, almost all business transactions are done online. Ecommerce, online shopping, online clubs and memberships and even virtual meetings and seminars are fast becoming standards for doing business. Effective communication had to be established between people on opposite sides of the globe. The website is now a must for every business and blogging is a great way of building meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues.

As a business owner, it is important to always be aware of trends in terms of how customers want to communicate and how competitors do it. Your blog page, therefore, must not only contain words and sentences just to fill up the page but must have useful features like the following:

Quality Content.

You must prove to your readers that you are an expert in your field so that they will be convinced to do business with you. Blogs that you publish must be of the highest quality by containing relevant and fresh information and adhering to the standards of good grammar and spelling. Unintentional typographical errors are forgivable but glaring grammatical errors are blunders of copywriting. For effective SEO, information and keywords you use must be related to your line of business and your keyword density must have a ratio of 1 keyword or keyword phrase for every 100 words.

Regularity of Blog Posts

Posting of blogs in your website must be done regularly so that your readers will always learn something new about your business and your products. Regular blog posting also promotes your expertise and solidifies their trust in you as a supplier of their needs. To further enhance your SEO with search engines, blogs that you intend to post in other websites should contain back links that can direct your readers back to your website.

Comments Portion

At the end of your blog, encourage your readers to give their comments by providing a specific space for this purpose. Comments of readers serve as a feedback mechanism so that you will be able to know what readers like or dislike. Some readers may even be able to contribute suggestions to improve your products and services.

Web Designers – Ways to Keep Oneself Busy

The current demand for the work of web designers is on a dramatic rise. Sometimes it is also possible, mainly because of competition, that the designer does not have any work or the designer would like to take a break and do something other than the usually web designing work that he/she does.

If you are a web designer, here are some ways to keep yourself busy.

– Enhancing or upgrading the knowledge
Reading books is one way of enhancing or upgrading your knowledge about anything. For the designers and developers of today there are many books, tutorials and resources on the internet. When you invest your time in these sorts of activities you get good returns in the longer run. The technology related to designing and developing is constantly evolving. To keep up with the changes in the technology one needs to read books, follow the tutorials or attend to other workshops and training sessions.

– Writing
In your spare time you can write blogs or submit your writings to any magazine. There are two types of blog writing. One is writing blogs for your own website and the other is writing blogs for other website. When you write it for your own website you increase your network and get paid over a prolonged time. On the other hand when you write blogs for other website you are paid lump sum and do not have to wait for its final results. You can also keep yourself busy by writing articles to be submitted to the magazine. When your articles are published in the magazines you get recognition for your contribution. This sort of work not only increases your credibility but also increases your network.

– Try something new
Most of the designer and developers after getting used one content management system, do not find any need of learning other content management systems. It is possible that the CMS that you know may not be the best fit for the current project that you have at hand. In these sorts of circumstances it is better to try some new CMS. Knowing something new never goes in vain. If the new CMS is not useful in the current project it may be of help in your later projects. This can save your time and resources too.

– Building relationships
Whenever you are free, try to contact your earlier clients and maintain relations with them. Offer them help if needed. Even if you are not offering the service they need try to convince them that you can arrange those services from reliable sources. The more the network you have the more work you can have. When you maintain relations you can also seek references and recommendation from them. This can make your services known to a lot of people. Your network can also be increased through active participation on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Web Design: Color and Contrast and How Young Guns Abuse It

People are generally obsessed with colors. When the first color television was introduced to the market in 1953, people from the upper class promptly (and without hesitation) disposed of their black and white TVs. Although the technology was not as perfect as expected and unlike how it was mentioned on print ads, consumers gladly embraced it for one simple reason: having 5 primary colors on your traditional entertainment set is better than 2.

Color has become an important element in media since the early 1950’s and ever since people understood its importance to everyday living. Even Web design professionals cannot imagine a design without color, or designing with only black and white (and its lighter and darker hues) – although there are special projects that require only these two mundane colors-as their staple option for every project.

Now that the Color TV’s bright history is not as fascinating as it first happened, people from the design industry seem to be showing little respect for it. Designers-especially the young guns-have been abusing its importance, which resulted to hundreds of color-sick and contrast-ill websites. Even young pros like Jacob Cass and David Airey have blatantly showed their ire and concern for these designers on their blogs. Some Saul Bass protégés also say that these designers have been ruining the colorful industry for years. They should go back to design school to [at least] understand the basics of the Color Wheel and learn how it works. Literally, there is one big alarm shocking the modern web design industry today.

Reading design blogs and magazines for years have opened me to a realization that web design is slowly transforming into a fad. Just like photography, writing, and painting. At this point, the ubiquitous YouTube videos on the Web is a cheaper-the cheapest, the most accessible-way of learning codes and all the basic things about designing. Yet, what people would hardly learn on these free videos, blog posts, and magazines are the basic and deep understanding of colors. It requires vast experience to understand how colors intertwine with each other, says one French contrast expert. That is why colors are superbly abused these days. Because of these ever-present lousy tutorials on the Web, aspiring designers are too apathetic about going to a formal school or approaching a seasoned mentor to learn the basics, the real rudiments of Web design, including the importance of color and contrast, not only to modern media but to our daily lives as well.

Improve Yourself And Become A Great Web Designer

There are many things that you must know in order to improve yourself in web design industry. You must know all the methods through which you can have a command over your work as a web designer.

1. A Tutorial a Day – Tutorials are one of the best tools to polish your skills. You can set your own goals, which you will finish, a particular task in some time and you can accomplish it within the time you have decided. This way you can learn a lot of things. There are many free and good content tutorials available these days on the internet, that you can follow them and learn a lot from them, just by sitting at your own home and surfing through your laptop.

2. Do What They Do – If you have anything favorite in your list, then go for it. Search for your favorite design and buttons, icons etc and try recreating them. You can use adobe Photoshop or HTML or PHP or any web development tool for sake of fun and from this you can create wonders from it. First you need to learn development and then you can go for the quality, which comes at the next level.

You can start it by redecorating your personal work space on your desktop, then you can share it in different communities and then you will be able to develop yourself more in this field. A web designer always needs motivation for recreation and showing something creative.

3. Books, Magazines, Interviews – You can get much value able and useful information through books and magazines. You can take a quick review of any book regularly and it will enrich you with many creative ideas.Addition of books in your book shelf means addition of knowledge in your brain and ideas. Reading interviews can also be helpful in learning a lot in your particular fields. Many web entrepreneurs share their views with others, which can help in motivating others.

4. Build Relationships – Relationship building is an important part in any business. Try to involve in conferences, events, seminars and workshops and interact with people more and more. When you increase the list of your contacts, it means you are increasing the business partners. Stay online and try to create a strong web presence.

5. Grab a Moleskine – When you start working on any web project, first try to write your ideas on a paper. It can help your project to go more smoothly and in an organized way. It also helps you to do brain storming and improve the level of your work and creativity.

6. Read Design Blogs – Blogs are everywhere and there is a huge audience of blogs these days regarding any topic of the world you could ever imagine. They give great ideas and insights and you can able to learn different opinions of others. Blogs are an interesting and inspirational source of motivation and it develops interest in making your work more creative.

Why Is WordPress So Awesome For Web Design?

After attending a web design-related event about the up-and-coming WordPress website/blog building platform, I decided it would be a great idea to give a basic introduction and explanation of what WordPress is and why it is becoming so popular. During the event, the speaker talked about how many designers, and even their clients, ask for websites made in WordPress without knowing exactly what it is and what having a WordPress website means for the client or backend user.

WordPress is the result of the collaboration of developers from all over the world. They have created and continued to build what is now a highly successful, user-friendly blog and website building software. It can be used to create a free, hosted blog on or a non-hosted website (not free since one must pay for selected hosting services), which is supported via When creating the blog and/or website, the user is able to select pre-made templates, also known as “child themes.” These themes are very basic and can be altered by the user through an extremely easy to use, back-end interface called the “dashboard,” which is very similar to the interface of Blogger. New posts, media (photos and videos), pages, sub-pages, widgets and plug-ins can be added without the help of a developer/coder, making updates to a website or blog easy and fast for both the designer and the client. Not to mention a decent amount of built in security, search-engine-optimization (SEO), globalization capabilities, CSS coding options, and many more fun and helpful tools.

Another benefit is the ability of WordPress sites and blogs to utilize widgets and plug-ins. These enable the designer to pull in information from other websites or databases for display and interaction on the designed website, i.e. Twitter, news feeds, and anything that is updated frequently, plug-ins will serve as a window to those updates on the website. This makes sites more functional and because many of the WordPress templates are already designed with places for widgets and plug-ins, adding them to the site often does not interfere with the overall website design.

The Key Elements Of A Nonprofit Web Design

For a humanitarian organization to generate donations and encourage everyone to pay a visit, it is very important to create a website which has an effective and a creative nonprofit web design.

With today’s modern society, almost everything is possible specifically when it comes to the growing number of possibilities in the virtual community. However, the best thing about having the internet is the long list of advantages it brings that is why creating a nonprofit website is helpful.

Below is a list of the key elements of an effective nonprofit web design.

1. A Button For Web Donations

One of the most important elements of a nonprofit web design is a donate button. Every nonprofit organization is in need of donations to continue with its cause. There are donors who give cash to nonprofit organizations, while others prefer to lend a hand by giving in kind donations such as foods, school or office supplies, clothes, and even services. No matter what type of donation donors give, it is very important to note that a donate button must be placed in a certain area where visitors can see it easily.

2. A Blog Section

Another important element to consider is a section where articles and stories can be posted. A blog section is one of the factors that can keep everyone informed of the latest events that the organization had done recently. Just remember to keep the blog section updated. It is also a helpful idea to include photos along with every blog post.

3. Video Stories

Aside from the blog section, donors and volunteers will be encouraged to lend a hand if nonprofit organizations will post video stories on their website. Interviews with the volunteers and donors are a helpful way of encouraging more people to lend a hand. In addition, it will be more helpful to include interviews with the organization’s recipients. Videos and other documentaries are pretty helpful in promoting the organization online.

4. A Call-to-Action Page

Every nonprofit website should have a call-to-action page where people may be able to know what the organization is up to.

5. Be Media-Friendly

Nonprofit website surely needs the help of the media to be able to reach out to a wider audience more effectively. With this, a nonprofit web design must have a downloadable media kit available on the site so that the press and bloggers can easily get the needed information about the organization.

6. Be Updated

Nonprofit organization should always keep everyone updated with its activities and mission. In order to do this, the site must encourage visitors to register online. Donors, volunteers, and the site’s users must be provided with a weekly newsletter via email. With this, everyone will be kept informed of the latest activities of the organization itself.

Portfolio Basics for Web Design Students: Writing Effective and Convincing Copy

Writing effective copy for your portfolio can help turn it into an effective lead generation tool. Usually, your portfolio will be viewed by others without you present, meaning the viewer will have to make assumptions about you without any other outside information. Writing copy for your portfolio can be hard, but if you understand the target market you are trying to attract with your web design portfolio, you can become more effective at enticing the right people to contact you.

Defining Your Target Market

Building your online portfolio is very much the same as working for a client, except the client is yourself. Just as with a client, you need to ask yourself, “Who is my target market?” Below, we will have a look at the different types of web design portfolios and how to write persuasive copy for each.

Web Design Portfolios to Get Hired

Your target market for this category is potential employers. Most likely, these employers are designers themselves who have a good idea of what they are looking for ascetically. Keep in mind that employers usually see hundreds of portfolios in a given time. Writing good, convincing copy about why they should hire you may be the difference in standing out from your competition.

Put yourself in the position of the person who is searching for designers. What would they want to see? They would most likely want to see someone who has potential and passion for what they do. Explain to your potential employer what the benefit will be for them if they hire you.

Copy: “I’m proud to say I love designing for the web and print.”
Why this works: By clearly stating his passion for designing for the web and print, he has also subconsciously revealed other facts about his personality. This could also translate into works well with others, is eager to learn and adapts quickly to new technology.

Web Design Portfolios to Get Clients

A portfolio that is used for garnering more client leads should always follow the “What’s in it for me” approach. Clients are going to hire you because they are looking for a solution to their problem, which in most cases is building them a web presence. Chances are, these leads are very uncertain about whether to hire you or not. This means that keeping copy short and sweet will give prospective clients an idea of what problem your services solve.

Be aware that some clients might not know what they want. Even if they do, they may not be aware of what they could have. Providing a more detailed explanation of the process and the desired outcomes will help these types of clients get a solid grasp on how you work.

Benefits vs. Features

It is important to distinguish the difference between a benefit and a feature. A benefit is the positive outcome a client will get when they invest in your services. Such as, receiving a well-tailored website design that will convert visitors into customers. A feature is the process or tools you use to achieve the said result. In most cases, many clients won’t be interested in this step in your design process. For example:

Service: SEO Specialist/Content Specialist
Feature: These services can provide you with high-quality, well-written articles that are high in traffic and low in competition
Benefit: Clients will receive higher rankings in Google, therefore more traffic directed to their website rather than their competitors. Ultimately, this leads to more business online through search engines.

Copy: “We create digital solutions that transform how you connect with customers.”
Why this works: Some businesses may not have any idea of how to connect with their customers online. This headline assures them that this company knows how to provide them with that service.

Writing Focused Portfolios

These types of web design portfolios are used more for building reputation within the industry. Blogging has many economic benefits as a web designer, even if you are just starting out in the industry as a student. Writing consistently on a blog reveals a lot about your character and personality. To clients, blogging demonstrates you have a good handle on your practice and know what you are talking about. To employers, writing proves that you are always looking to increase your knowledge base by keeping up to date with the industry.

If you are struggling with topics to write about, browse other designers blogs and see what they are writing about. I personally love bloggers such as Owltastic who often write about personal struggles as a designer and how to overcome them. Don’t feel like you have to be an “expert” on a certain subject to write about it. Sometimes the best way to learn it yourself, is to teach someone else. Writing tutorials for beginners is also a good topic that many other student designers could appreciate.

Things to Avoid:

Information Overload

It can be tempting to cram as much information as possible into our portfolio. If you try to overload your visitors with too much information, it can appear cluttered. The fact is, employers or clients only need to know the essential qualities about you pertaining to business upfront. Keep your copy to the point – don’t use 20 words when 10 words would convey the same message.

Being Negative

Remember that you are marketing yourself as a business, so don’t be “spammy.” It is not a good idea to come off as condescending. It’s great that you have confidence in your work, but if clients or employers perceive you as cocky, it can be a turnoff. Persuasive copyrighting is not about lying to get clients into hiring you or being overly aggressive. This won’t get you very far.

Never Updating

Once you’ve completed the copy for your portfolio, don’t assume it’s set in stone. You should revisit your portfolio every once and a while to keep your content fresh. Maybe your target market has shifted or your objective as a web designer has changed. Either way, updating your portfolio to reflect these changes will help realign you with appropriate leads.

Not Having a Call to Action

Effective copy will ultimately persuade your visitor to move forward with contacting you about a project or a job. Enable your potential leads to contact you with ease. Nothing is more frustrating for employers who are interested in hiring you, and they can’t locate an e-mail address. This might lead them to pick someone else over you, simply because you didn’t provide sufficient contact information.

Nothing is more frustrating for employers who are interested in hiring you, and they can’t locate an e-mail addr

Web Design, Websites and Starting Your Own Business

Making money online is a dream for many people. With the way that the economy has taken a turn for the worst, many people are scrambling to find ways to stay employed. Over the last few years, companies have steadily downsized their employees, which means that people are looking for other employment. This is why working online has gained popularity. For some it is their only form of income.

There are many different ways to make a living online. It does not matter if you are an affiliate marketer or a freelance writer. You will need a website or webpage in order to do business. Unfortunately, this scares many people. They do not know the first thing about building a website. However, this should never deter you from creating an online presence. Years ago it might have been difficult to start your own business and create a website. However this is not the case anymore.

There are many different places where you can create a website and be up and running in a matter of minutes. If money is a problem for you, then don’t worry. There are many free options as well. Blogger is a free blogging system that Google absolutely loves. Setting up a Blogger blog is very easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. There are other websites such as HubPages and Squidoo that will allow you to create webpages on any subject that you like. This is a great option for the person who has something to say, but doesn’t want to devote an entire blog to it.

These are all good free options for starting your own webpage or website. However, please be advised that you will never own a blog or webpage that is free. These types of blogs are owned and hosted by another company or person. Unfortunately, if you do anything that goes against their terms and conditions, your free blog can be taken down immediately.

However, if you want to start out with your own domain, then WordPress is probably the right option for you. This blog would be owned and hosted by you. As long as you pay the monthly hosting fee and don’t let the domain expire, it will be yours forever. It is very user friendly and has plenty of plug-ins that are helpful for getting you online and found by the major search engines. Getting a WordPress blog is normally the first step that affiliate marketers will take when they want their own hosted blog. There are many different templates that you can use to customize your blog. There are even plenty of companies that are always developing new themes for you to choose from.

However, there are still those who want to have their own unique website. They eventually hire someone who specializes in web design in order to get a customized design that no one else has. There are many companies that offer small business web design services. Maybe this is the route that you want to take.

Freelance Web Design Jobs! Creating WordPress Themes

The usages of internet is growing fast. The demand for creating dynamic websites is also increased. There are plenty of web development languages to create dynamic websites.

PHP has become popular server site scripting language and now it is most widely used programming language for web development. Different CMS(Content Management Systems) come into existence with help of PHP. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are examples of CMS that are made with help of PHP.

WordPress is popular blogging platform which is created in PHP. With help of WordPress, you can create your own blog though you don’t have any programming skill. You can create any type of CMS with help of WordPress. It is open Source CMS which is based on PHP.

So there is always a demand for Skilled PHP coders and freelance web designer for WordPress customization work and other content management systems. Many website owners need custom design for their new blog. WordPress Customization and CMS customization in a new field in the area of web development.

So if you are a creative designer and want to take part in this new web development field then you must learn PHP and learn how to create custom themes for WordPress. Plenty of online tutorials are available on “how to create a WordPress theme” or “how to convert PSD to a WordPress theme”. It is just like converting PSD to HTML or creating a custom website design for a static website. Only difference is that you will convert your PSD to a PHP file which will be used as Custom Design for blog. Drupal and Joomla are also theme based CMS’s that need Web Site Design work.

As a freelance web designer, you can earn sufficient amount of income, if you learn WordPress customization. WordPress is most widely used open source CMS throughout the world. There is plenty of web design work with related to other CMS also. So I suggest web designers to learn PHP.