10 Free Plugins for Customizing the WordPress Dashboard

The WordPress administration area (aka the Dashboard) can be customized in many ways. Menu items can be added, hidden, or rearranged. Access to settings can be set for specific user roles. Custom widgets can be added to help guide or pass important information on to users.

No matter what kind of tweaks you’re looking to make, there is most likely a WordPress plugin available to make it a reality. Let’s explore 10 WordPress plugins you can use to personalize the Dashboard to meet your needs.

White Label CMS

A stock installation of WordPress doesn’t feel very personal. That’s why White Label CMS exists. It allows you to integrate your brand into various areas of the back end.

It starts with a custom login page, then moves on to the admin header and footer areas. But it doesn’t stop there – you can also choose which admin menus to display, and create a completely custom dashboard. As a bonus, it also works with page builders such as Beaver Builder and Elementor.

Remove Dashboard Access

Remove Dashboard Access offers a solution for those who want to keep certain user roles from accessing all or parts of the back end. This is great for membership sites, where users typically have a front-end profile (optional back-end profile access is possible).

In addition, the plugin lets you redirect users to a custom URL and display an optional message on the login screen.

Remove Dashboard Access

Widget Disable

Widget Disable works on both the front and back ends of your WordPress website. It allows administrators to easily turn off access to specific widgets.

With regards to the dashboard, it’s a great way to remove clutter for your site’s users. Too often, plugins litter the screen with widgets that are little more than advertisements. Widget Disable helps to make for a cleaner back-end experience.

Widget Disable

Catch IDs

There are times when you need to access the ID of a particular post, page, category, or user. Catch IDs is a simple plugin that makes this information readily available.

Once installed and activated, the ID number is displayed within the various admin content and user listings. Oh, and it also works for media attachments!

Catch IDs

Admin Columns

Admin Columns is a commercial plugin (with a free version) that enables to you add custom columns to page /post listings and more.

There are over 160 columns to choose from. For example, you can easily add a featured image column to the post listing. Not only can you display various columns, but you can also sort and filter posts by them as well. It works with all content types and can integrate with lots of plugins, including Advanced Custom Fields and WooCommerce.

Simple History

Simple History doesn’t add some major functionality to the WordPress dashboard. But it sure is helpful. A widget is added to the dashboard home page that shows you which users recently added or updated posts when a widget has been added or removed or even uploaded an image to the Media Gallery.

It also tracks things like plugin activations, user profile updates, logins, and more. Very useful for administrators who want to stay on top of whom is doing what.

Simple History

Admin Menu Editor Pro

While somewhat similar to Adminimize, Admin Menu Editor Pro does have some unique features worth checking out. For instance, not only can you hide dashboard menu items in general or by user role, you can create your own items as well.

Those custom menu items can point to any internal or external URL. The plugin also lets you move individual items to different submenus, change titles and even icons. A free version is also available.

Admin Menu Editor Pro

Custom Dashboard Widgets

The WordPress dashboard can get a little cluttered. Custom Dashboard Widgets helps alleviate some of that clutter by allowing you to replace all the standard home page widgets with simpler versions.

Consisting of a label and a FontAwesome icon, each widget can be displayed or hidden based on a user’s role. You can also add your own custom links as well.

Custom Dashboard Widgets

Ultimate Dashboard Pro

Ultimate Dashboard Pro lets you take control of the WordPress dashboard homepage. You can easily disable any and all default widgets, as well as those from third parties.

Create your own simplified widgets with either text-only or icon-based options. The plugin is compatible with WordPress Multisite. A free version is also available.

Nested Pages

A seemingly ignored part of WordPress is the cumbersome approach to managing large amounts of pages or posts. Nested Pages is a plugin that aims to fix this by turning listings into interactive tree-style menus.

It also allows you to add pages in bulk, right from within the page listing. The slick drag-and-drop interface helps to make repositioning content less stressful. A native WordPress menu is also created and updated to match your nested structure.

Nested Pages

Make it Your Dashboard

The main idea behind tweaking the WordPress administration area is to improve your workflow. By adding helpful information and streamlining what gets displayed (and to whom it’s displayed), we’re making site management that much easier.

The plugins above feature creative and practical ideas for lessening the learning curve for new users and saving administrators loads of time.

If these plugins don’t help, you could try these 20 Snippets & Hacks to Help Make WordPress Easier for Your Clients.

The post 10 Free Plugins for Customizing the WordPress Dashboard appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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25 Tutorials for Mastering Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is a powerful video editor, but it can be a little intimidating to learn. On top of that, it has tons of features that can help you take your videos to the next level.

However, knowing where to go to find quality tutorials for Adobe Premiere Pro is time-consuming, which is why we’ve done the work for you. In this collection, you will find the best Premiere Pro tutorials suitable for intermediate users.

You might also like our collection of free Premiere Pro templates. And if you’re looking for After Effects tutorials we have those as well here.

Multi-Camera Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro

Want to get the most out of a multi-camera setup? Then this step by step video tutorial is all you need! Get ready to make videos that truly wow with multiple camera angles that can drive your message further.

Color Grading Using the Lumetri Color Panels

Lighting is often the bane of videos. Too much or too little lighting and it makes the subject matter to see. Learn how to get the most out of the available light with this step by step tutorial using color grading curves for your lighting corrections.

Color Grading Using the Lumetri Color Panels

How to Make Your Audio Sound Incredible

Get professional audio results for your videos with this step by step video tutorial. Learn how to mix and master audio so that it has cinema quality sound throughout the video without being overpowering.

How to Make Your Audio Sound Incredible

Working With Proxies in Adobe Premiere Pro

Speed up your video editing workflow with the use of proxy files. With this step by step tutorial you will learn how to create, edit, and get your videos ready for publishing by using proxy videos.

Working With Proxies Adobe Premiere Pro

How to Create Credits in Adobe Premiere Pro

Add your very own scrolling credits to all your videos with this handy step by step tutorial. By using this technique you will give your videos a more polished look and better overall quality .

How to Create Credits in Adobe Premiere Pro

Using Warp Stabilizer for Shaky Footage in Premiere Pro

Get rid of minor camera shake by using the built in warp stabilizer during your post production editing! This video tutorial will show you how to minimize camera shake and make the video look great.

Using Warp Stabilizer for Shaky Footage in Premiere Pro

Adding Markers in Premiere Pro

Markers are an editor’s holy grail, especially when doing collaborative works. With this step by step tutorial you will learn how to maximize the potential for markers from segmented production or a single render for multiple videos.

Adding Markers in Premiere Pro

How to Clean Up Noisy Video in Premiere Pro

Learn how to clean up grainy subpar videos and make production worthy videos. With these skills, you will worry less about the camera or video age because you can give them the facelift they deserve in no time at all.

How to Clean Up Noisy Video in Premiere Pro

The Fastest Way to Edit Video in Premiere Pro

When editing your videos, you can quickly and easily use sections of clips to fill your timeline after watching this step by step video tutorial. Shave, trim, or extend your clip needs with these techniques.

The Fastest Way to Edit Video in Premiere Pro

9 Cuts Every Editor Should Know

In this video tutorial, you will learn about 9 essential cut styles that every editor should know how to use. From the montage to your J and L cuts, these styles of cuts will help you tell your story fluidly.

Cuts Every Editor Should Know

How to Create Looping Animated Backgrounds in Premiere Pro

Learn how to make a background that is animated and loops seamlessly in your video. This tutorial includes sample material to help you get started.

How to Create Looping Animated Backgrounds in Premiere Pro

How to Adjust Colors and White Balance in Premiere Pro

Get all the color and white balance you need with this handy video tutorial. By the end of the tutorial, you will turn your videos into a cinematic masterpiece.

How to Adjust Colors and White Balance in Premiere Pro

How to Create a Photographic Background for Green Screen Footage

Green screens allow you to make wonderful custom backgrounds. Follow this tutorial to learn how to use those backgrounds to take your video production to the next level.

How to Create a Photographic Background for Green Screen Footage

How to Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro

Shortcuts make everything easier to manage. Making your own shortcuts has never been easier with this video tutorial. You will learn how to create your own shortcuts that match your workflow.

How to Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro

How To Make Your Text Look Better In Premiere Pro

Want to get your text to look as good as possible? Then this video tutorial is for you. Get perfect text for your videos when using correct contrast, correct sizing, and learn exactly how much text to use, all at once.

How To Make Your Text Look Better In Premiere Pro

How to Make L and J Cuts in Premiere Pro

Learn everything you need to know about L and J cuts with this video tutorial. Learn what they are, why they are important, and how to correctly get them done to make the most out of your videos.

How to Make L and J Cuts in Premiere Pro

How to Make a Cinemagraph in Adobe Premiere Pro

Making a cinemagraph is truly easy in Adobe Premiere Pro. All you need is a small clip to use, a little time, and this step by step video tutorial. You’ll be making your own cinemagraphs in no time at all.

How to Make a Cinemagraph in Adobe Premiere Pro

How to Improve Contrast with Color Correction

Get the colors you need with no effort at all with this step by step tutorial. Give your video a high end polish with color corrections and making stark contrasts when and where you need them.

How to Improve Contrast with Color Correction

How to Reduce Output File Size in Premiere Pro

File sizes can make or break your upload times and render times. The smaller the file size the faster everything goes. With this step by step video tutorial you learn how you can reduce your file size so that you can port them anywhere.

How to Reduce Output File Size in Premiere Pro

How to Create a Montage in Premiere Pro

A great montage shot can show goal progression better than anything else. With this video tutorial, you will learn how to put yours together as well as add impact to your videos.

How to Create a Montage in Premiere Pro

How to Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro

Glitch effects have become quite popular and for good reason. They can make transitions between scenes and blocks of text memorable, and with this tutorial you will learn exactly how to do it in Adobe Premiere Pro!

How to Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro

How to Create Animated Presets

Animate your creations inside Adobe Premiere Pro! With the techniques learned in this step by step video tutorial, you will become a master at manipulating keyframes and animating your projects!

How to Create Animated Presets

How to Edit Vertical Videos in Premiere Pro

In today’s age, vertical videos are not so uncommon. But, watching videos with black bars on the left and right is not the best experience. Thanks to this tutorial, you’ll be able to edit your vertical video to look great and without the black bars.

How to Edit Vertical Videos in Premiere Pro

How to Create a Clean Cinematic Animation Title

Master the techniques needed to create cinema quality title screens and animations with this handy step by step video tutorial. Make perfect transitions on each and every video.

How to Create a Clean Cinematic Animation Title

5 Little Video Editing Tricks for Premiere Pro

After watching this step by step video tutorial, you will be using them every time you go to edit a video. These tricks save time during the editing process and produce quality effects.

5 Little Video Editing Tricks for Premiere Pro


Once you master the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro, it’s time to take your skills to the next level. The tutorials in this article will help you get there, and you will learn a variety of ways to speed up your workflow and new editing tricks. We hope you enjoy them and put your new knowledge to good use.

The post 25 Tutorials for Mastering Adobe Premiere Pro appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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Weekly News for Designers № 613

Xplorer – This cross-platform file explorer software works via web technologies.
Example from Xplorer

Changing Hands: Should You Worry When a WordPress Plugin Has a New Owner? – Why a change in ownership can be a reason for cautious optimism.
Example from Changing Hands: Should You Worry When a WordPress Plugin Has a New Owner?

Flowrift – Check out this library made of beautifully designed Tailwind CSS UI blocks.
Example from Flowrift

Using Modern Image Formats: AVIF And WebP – A compression and performance comparison of old-school and modern image formats.
Example from Using Modern Image Formats: AVIF And WebP

Access Guide – Bookmark this friendly resource that walks you through various accessibility guidelines.
Example from Access Guide

What’s the right font size in web design? – Things to consider when setting the size of your type.
Example from What’s the right font size in web design?

10 Free InDesign Templates for Creating Professional Resumes – Stand out from the competition by using one of these excellent resume templates.
Example from 10 Free InDesign Templates for Creating Professional Resumes

How I Make CSS Art – A look at how you can express your creativity through CSS.
Example from How I Make CSS Art

10 Free WordPress Plugins for Adding jQuery Effects to Your Site – Leverage the power of jQuery on your website without having to write any code.
Example from 10 Free WordPress Plugins for Adding jQuery Effects to Your Site

How a Designer Might Create Timeless Designs – Exploring what makes a design “timeless”, and how you might go about creating one of your own.
Example from How a Designer Might Create Timeless Designs

Kinetic Typography Page Transition – Build a UI where background letters come into the foreground and reveal a new content level.
Example from Kinetic Typography Page Transition

goodbrief – This design brief generator can help to get your creativity flowing.
Example from goodbrief

The Impossible Question: How Long Does It Take to Build a Website? – Exploring some factors that can impact your project’s launch date, with tips for making more accurate projections.
Example from The Impossible Question: How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?

DashNav – Grab a copy of this free dashboard navigation kit based on Bootstrap 5.
Example from DashNav

Creating the Perfect Commit in Git – How to make commits that are both clean and granular in focus.
Example from Creating the Perfect Commit in Git

The 15 Best Free eCommerce & Shopping Themes for WordPress – Take your online store to the next level with one of these free WordPress themes.
Example from The 15 Best Free eCommerce & Shopping Themes for WordPress

The post Weekly News for Designers № 613 appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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Want UX Inspiration? Look To Classic Video Games

Web designers are always looking for inspiration. Something that will jumpstart our creativity and lead us to reach new heights.

Quite often, we find what we’re looking for by studying other websites. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Design communities such as Awwwards and Behance offer plenty of worthy examples. The very best of these websites is something we can learn from and aspire to.

But it can also be beneficial to explore other forms of design. Websites may be the most relevant, but they certainly aren’t the only creations that can inspire us.

Take classic video games, for example. Sure, they may not be much to look at in terms of graphics. Those pale by today’s standards.

But they do have something to say about usability and intuitive design. And those are lessons that web designers can take to heart.

Press Play for Hours of Fun

Some of my fondest childhood memories were made in the arcade. For a small-town kid, the arcade was a place to explore the world (along with a few outer galaxies).

By dropping my quarter into a game’s slot, I could be anything and everything. A pilot, racecar driver, athlete, or commando. The only limits were the number of coins in my mother’s purse (or those she was willing to part with, at least).

Much to the chagrin of dear old mom, I could turn just a few of those quarters into a whole lot of playing time. I can still recall her walking up to me in the middle of an intense game, tapping my shoulder and asking when I was going to be done.

My response? “Aw, can’t dinner wait? I’m winning!”

This brings a smile to my face – but also a thought. How was I able to make those coins last for so long? I wasn’t a particularly skilled player. For sure, there were other kids who stretched their minuscule allowances even further.

What was the secret to my hours-long gaming sessions? Maybe it had something to do with how those games were designed…

The Challenges of Arcade Game Design

One can imagine the challenges faced by game designers – especially in an era when technology wasn’t so advanced. Chief among them was creating a game that anyone can reasonably master within a few minutes.

This was vital in a fast-paced arcade environment. The machine not only had to grab a potential player’s attention, but it also had to quickly educate them in the quest to create a loyal customer.

Regardless of the game’s premise, there were a common set of usability concerns to think about:

  • Instructions for play had to be minimal. They were either printed in tiny fonts directly on the machine or displayed on the screen. Either way, designers couldn’t expect players to spend a lot of time reading. Therefore, only the basics could be covered.
  • Controller options were limited. In many cases, a couple of buttons and joysticks were the main instruments. Steering wheels, pedals, and trackballs were also possibilities. Designers had to work within these limitations without making things too complex.
  • The game needed to guide players. Since there were no detailed instruction manuals or online resources, the game had to lead users in the right direction. This was often done through the demo mode that was displayed before players inserted a coin. It helped attract people to the game and show them how it was played. In-game helpers like arrows or other visual cues also played a role.

These could be monumental challenges for game designers. But the most enduring games seem to be the ones that got it right.

One shining example is the longtime favorite PAC-MAN. There’s no big secret as to why it has endeared itself to gamers for over 40 years.

By watching the game’s demo mode, a player could gain a clear understanding of what it was all about. The dead-simple joystick control required very little physical skill.

Within a couple of minutes, you could find your way around the maze, elude a few ghosts, and conquer that first level. Even as subsequent levels became harder, it always left you wanting more.

That sounds a little bit like what web designers strive to accomplish, no?

PAC-MAN's "Game Over" screen.

What Do Websites and Video Games Have in Common?

Perhaps websites and old-school video games are a few lightyears apart in terms of technology. But many of their end goals are strikingly similar.

In both cases, designers have very little time to make a first impression. If a website doesn’t provide users with an immediate path forward, it’s likely “game over.”

Games drew attention with flashing screens and loud noises. That was necessary for a busy, competitive environment. Websites have to be a bit more subtle. But the desired result is the same – to entice users to stick around and keep coming back.

And, just as with classic games, a simple UI tends to work better on the web. A website that is too hard to navigate or fails to meet accessibility standards will not become a fan favorite.

The worst games tended to be the most overwhelming to play. The same can be said for poorly designed websites. No one wants to waste their time and money on something that isn’t enjoyable to use.

Then there’s the challenge of educating users on completing specific tasks. In the world of web design, visual cues like onboarding UIs and microinteractions are the name of the game.

Arcade machines.

Learn from the Classics

Back when I first became a web user, I experienced feelings of awe and wonder. Never being one to pick up on the obvious, it took me a few years to realize when and where I’d felt that way before.

Just as the arcade could easily transport me into a scene from Star Wars, the web took me to all kinds of places I’d never been. Once again, it felt like the universe was at my fingertips.

And now, in the same spirit of game designers from back in the day, being a web designer means guiding users. It’s about building an interface that takes people where they want to go.

The details of the mission may be different. But the goal is still to get users on to that next level.

The post Want UX Inspiration? Look To Classic Video Games appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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The 10 Best Templates for Creating Business Brochures

A business brochure is an important marketing asset that can help get your business noticed. You can hand them out during networking events and leave them in local cafes’ to raise awareness about your products and services.

In this post, we’ve rounded up the best business brochure templates that are easy to edit and customize. You can use them as a starting point, add your information, and customize the colors and fonts, or you can use them as an inspiration to create a unique business brochure design.

We also have collections of the best poster templates, social media kits, flyer templates, business card templates, stationery templates, and project proposal templates.

Square Brochure Template (By Ashuras Sharif, Adobe Photoshop Format)

This Square Brochure template starts off the roundup strong with a modern and high-end design. It includes 16 unique page layouts and comes with defined character and paragraph styles.

Clean & Modern Multipurpose Brochure V2 (By Pro-Gh, Adobe Photoshop Format)

This clean and modern multi-purpose brochure is a perfect choice for any type of business. The template comes with paragraph and character styles, swatches, styles for your spreadsheet / financial info, block quotes, key figures layout, and much more.

Clean Modern Multipurpose brochure business template format

Royal Red Business Brochure (By LeoneDanieli, Adobe Photoshop Format)

Consider the Royal Red Business Brochure if you’re looking for a cutting-edge design. This template for a creative business brochure is perfect for corporate or other business promotion with 22 pages, clearly defined character and paragraph styles, and premade color palette.

Royal Red brochure business template format

The Corporate Brochure (By Graphix Shiv, Adobe Photoshop Format)

The Corporate Brochure template is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a clean and modern design. The template includes 20 pages and was designed in A4 and US letter size format. You’ll also find paragraph styles and a color palette that’s easy to customize.

Corporate brochure business template format

Creative Brochure Template Vol.03 (By RahardiCreative, Adobe Photoshop Format)

This creative brochure template is perfect for any type of creative business such as designers, illustrators or artists. The template includes 12 pages and you can easily customize fonts and colors to match your brand.

Creative brochure business template format

Business Brochure (By Voltury, Adobe Photoshop Format)

The Business Brochure template features a modern and trendy design. With over 20 pages that include everything from company introduction to services overview and contact information; you’ll find everything you need to create a powerful brochure for your business.

brochure business template format

Minimal Brochure Vol II (By sz81, Adobe Photoshop Format)

Try the Minimal Brochure Vol 2 template if you’re looking for a minimal design style. This template was designed in A5 size and includes 18 pages. You’ll also find a defined character and paragraph styles and a pre-made color palette that’s easy to customize.

Minimal brochure business template format

Burst Brochure Corporate (By Dirtylinestudio, Adobe Photoshop Format)

This 16-page portfolio and brochure template is perfect for designers working on interior design catalogs, product catalogs, product/graphic design portfolios, and other creative projects. Simply replace the information with your own, customize the visual styles, and the template is ready to print.

 brochure business template format

Impala Brochure Template (By Dirtylinestudio, Adobe Photoshop Format)

The Impala template is a modern brochure template that includes 16 pages in was designed in A4 format. It’s perfect for product catalogs or any other type of creative business brochure. You can easily add more pages or adjust the paragraph styles to match your brand.

Impala brochure business template format

Sport Square Brochure (By Kahuna Design, Adobe Photoshop Format)

Try the Sport Square Brochure if you’re working on a sports brochure design. This template includes well-defined character and paragraph styles. It also includes a well-organized structure with images and text on separate layers.

Sport Square brochure business template format


You can easily design a gorgeous brochure for any business, thanks to creative and modern brochure templates. Start by browsing through our collection of best brochure templates and use them to get your creative juices flowing so you can design an attention-grabbing brochure for any industry.

The post The 10 Best Templates for Creating Business Brochures appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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10 Free WordPress Plugins for Adding & Extending Google Maps

Adding basic maps to your WordPress website is a breeze. With Google Maps, you’re able to copy and paste the provided embed code into your page or post using the Gutenberg block editor or the Classic Editor.

But if you want to add some more advanced functionality, you can look to some outstanding plugins for help.

Here are 10 free WordPress plugins that will allow you to both add and extend map functionality on your website:

WP Google Maps

There’s plenty of flexibility with WP Google Maps. First, you can choose between Google Maps or OpenLayers APIs. From there, you can create a map with one or more markers and theme it to match your website.

As if that’s not enough, the plugin works via old-school shortcodes or via a custom Gutenberg block. The pro version adds useful features like directions, display templates, and KML/KMZ file imports.

Map Block for Google Maps

If you’re looking for a simple way to add maps to your WordPress website, Map Block is worth a look.

Working in conjunction with the Gutenberg block editor, it lets you quickly add a Google Map to any page. Options are limited to zoom level, map height, and (of course) the address you want to display.

Map Block for Google Maps

WP Google Map Plugin

Use WP Google Map Plugin to create custom categorized maps for your website. Add your own touch by uploading a custom map marker, set a custom zoom level, and choose between four map styles.

The map’s information window can also be customized with your message. Pro users get the ability to cluster map markers, display map listings in grid or list formats, and more.

WP Google Map Plugin

Maps Plugin using Google Maps for WordPress – WP Google Map

WP Google Map helps you build custom maps that can be embedded into your content via a shortcode (if you’re using the Classic Editor, a button is added to the toolbar).

The plugin lets users drag map markers around the canvas, and switch their region/language. A premium version adds the ability to create unlimited maps and markers, along with adding custom images to a location’s info window.

Maps Plugin using Google Maps for WordPress – WP Google Map

WP Map Block – Gutenberg Map Block for Google Map and OpenStreet Map

Tired of messing around with API keys for Google Maps? WP Map Block doesn’t require a key, as it displays custom maps via an iframe.

Add multiple markers, set the desired zoom level and size – that’s all there is to it. If you don’t need the extra features that come along with the API, this is a great alternative.

WP Map Block – Gutenberg Map Block for Google Map and OpenStreet Map

MapPress Maps for WordPress

MapPress features a popup editor that makes creating custom maps easy. Maps can be created directly within the Gutenberg block editor (the Classic Editor is also supported), with plenty of custom settings.

In addition, you can save maps to a “library”, which allows you to use them repeatedly throughout your website. A pro version offers support for custom markers, templates, and a “mashup” block.

MapPress Maps for WordPress

WP Store Locator

If your business has multiple locations, use WP Store Locator to add user-friendly, interactive maps to your website. Users will be able to filter locations by their radius and get driving directions to each location.

You’ll be able to add vital info like phone numbers, business hours, and other custom meta information to each location. The look of your map is also customizable.

WP Store Locator

Google Maps CP

Google Maps CP offers a way to add location data to a WordPress page or post. It’s an interesting concept for news-based sites that have reporters in various locations or even a travel blog.

Users can use this data to find related posts from the same area. Locations can be defined either by a physical address or point coordinates.

Google Maps CP

Google Map with FancyBox Popup

Rather than displaying Google Maps within your content, Google Map with FancyBox Popup allows for display inside a popup window.

This can be a nice solution for sites that need to show multiple maps without affecting performance or don’t want them to distract from other content.

Google Map with FancyBox Popup

GeoDirectory – Directory Plugin

Use GeoDirectory – Directory Plugin to create a global (or regional) business or member directory for your website. The plugin supports CSV import (and export) to allow for fast directory building.

GeoDirectory – Directory Plugin

Do More with Maps

Adding maps to your WordPress website can go well beyond the basics. With the plugins above, you’ll be able to add more detailed information and elements of interactivity. Maps are also easier to create and customize than ever before. Use these tools to add a truly useful dimension to your site.

The post 10 Free WordPress Plugins for Adding & Extending Google Maps appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Pondering the Future of the WordPress Sidebar

The WordPress sidebar has been a mainstay feature of both free and commercial themes. It seems that, no matter how the content management system (CMS) evolves, the sidebar has triumphantly (and, perhaps defiantly) come along for the ride.

How has it survived this long? For one, it continues to serve a useful purpose. It houses various widgets that can be consistently displayed throughout a website. Through the help of a plugin or theme, you can even display a sidebar or specific widgets based on things like the current page, post type, and user login status.

And, despite its name, a sidebar can be placed virtually anywhere within a template and arranged vertically or horizontally. Not only will you see them on the left or right side, but within footers and content areas as well.

But things are changing. Now that the WordPress Widgets screen has adopted a UI similar to that of the Gutenberg block editor, it’s worth wondering what the future holds for this theme staple.

Today, we’ll take a quick trip back in time and examine what has made the sidebar so special. From there, it’s on to some potential ideas for a new era. Perhaps there’s a little life left in this old friend, after all.

The Most Flexible Part of a WordPress Theme

For many years, the sidebar brought something unique within the confines of WordPress. Namely, it was the antithesis of the old Classic Editor.

Whereas the Classic Editor was a basic WYSIWYG experience, the Widgets screen almost seemed futuristic. You had the ability to drag and drop individual widgets, reposition them however you like, and add new ones with a click. This was miles away from simply typing content into a box and formatting it.

Then there was the advanced functionality. Want to list all of the tags on your site? You can use the Tag Cloud widget. Want to curate a list of recent posts? It’s easily within reach – without having to utilize a single bit of code.

It was like blocks before there were blocks, people. And, while I’m not aware of any direct correlation, it’s not hard to see at least some philosophical similarity between the “classic” Widget screen and the block editor.

During its heyday, the sidebar ended up being the most flexible part of a WordPress theme – and it was built right into core. If you wanted that sort of functionality in the editor, it would require the use of a page builder plugin. That is until Gutenberg came along.

Blurring the Lines between Widgets and Blocks

There used to be a clear separation between widgets and other WordPress content types. Widgets looked and worked like nothing else in the back end. But that is no longer the case.

Now, virtually any Gutenberg block can be used in a sidebar. On the one hand, it adds a layer of flexibility that was missing. Sidebar content is no longer limited to just a list of posts, a search field, or login form.

At the same time, the block editor makes it possible to use content that was previously limited to sidebars – anywhere within a page. The result is that you no longer need a sidebar in order to add widget-like functionality.

The line has become blurred, if not altogether erased. Not to mention the fact that Full Site Editing (FSE) allows headers, footers and everything in-between to be tweaked via the editor.

This begs the question: what, if any, role does the sidebar have in modern WordPress themes?

The new, block-based WordPress Widgets screen.

Going Back to the Original Strength of the Sidebar

When you think about it, the WordPress sidebar has served as both a standalone feature and a workaround. It provided a way to do something that wasn’t possible with the Classic Editor.

However, the need to use it for workaround purposes has all but disappeared. At least, in the case of adding content or functionality to specific pages. That can be done just as well in the block editor itself.

You won’t, for instance, need to register a sidebar if you want to display a list of recent articles on a single page. Adding a block will accomplish the same thing, only easier.

Otherwise, the sidebar still remains relevant for niche use. Consider it for a situation where a consistent set of content needs to be displayed throughout a website or post type.

For example, if you want to provide users with a multicolumn area where they can log in, view the latest blog headlines and get the weather forecast, a sidebar may be the perfect solution. Users will have access to this content no matter where they are on your site. And you’ll be able to make edits in a centralized location.

And perhaps that’s more in line with the original idea of what a sidebar should do. We may have used it in all sorts of hacky ways, but that’s no longer necessary. Now, it’s just another tool that can be reserved for a specific use case.

A person uses a laptop computer.

The WordPress Sidebar Lives On

Maybe we can start likening the WordPress sidebar to the cockroach. Much like the pesky bug, sidebars are survivors – no matter what evolution throws at them.

The big difference is that the sidebar isn’t likely to be used as often as it once was (roaches, however, don’t appear to be any less prevalent). That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Sidebars will still be there for the times when we need them. And they’ll still be good at what they do. Best of all, we no longer need to bend and shape them to fit an unintended use.

Instead of being a way to get around a limitation within WordPress, they’re a means to achieving a specific goal. That sounds like a pretty noble existence to me.

The post Pondering the Future of the WordPress Sidebar appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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35 Popular Forums for Web Designers and Developers

Web designing and development are one of the most widespread professional careers. These are also rapidly emerging fields that require one to be up-to-date with the latest advancements. And what is a more better way to keep yourself updated than through discussion forums and professional communities.

This post lists some of the best and most reliable forums and communities for web designers and developers. Professionals from all around the world gather on these platforms to share ideas, seek solutions, and help resolve problems. Read on to know about each platform in detail.

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30 Books For Web Designers and Developers

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1. Designer Hangout

Designer Hangout is probably one of the most active communities for UX designers on the web. It has over 5000 members and a quite strict vetting process as they expect high-quality discussions.

2. #frontendDevelopers

#frontendDevelopers is an awesome place to find new gigs. Apart from that, you can get feedback from like-minded developers, learn the latest trends and share ideas on this forum.

3. Digital Point
Digital Point

Digital Point is the largest webmaster community in the world with a huge forum. There you can find discussions on various topics, such as search engines, business and marketing, design, development as well as buying, selling, and trade.

4. Coffee Cup
Coffee Cup

CoffeeCup Software was started in a real coffee shop in 1996 with a simple HTML Editor. The forum is aimed to help web designers create better websites. You can search forum discussions with the search box or via the categories.

5. Webdeveloper.com Forum
Webdeveloper.com Forum

Webdeveloper.com is a forum about general web development and programming. The site is separated into sections: client-side development, server-side development, and site management.

With over 39,000 posts and 2000 users, this forum is one of the most popular ones. You can get feedback on your work, find tutorials, ask questions about web design, SEO, photography, tools, business, freelancing, and much more.

6. Talk Graphics
Talk Graphics

Talk Graphics is a community for graphic designers and 3D artists. The registration process requires your date of birth, username, and email address. They have a lot of information about Xara products.

7. Graphic Design Forum
Graphic Design Forum

GDF is one of the biggest and oldest graphic design forums around with over 20k members. The community is active, large, and consists of a variety of general categories about web design, business, tools, and more.

8. Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow

It’s one of the most popular developer’s community sites with questions and answers. You develop a reputation by answering questions and through upvotes. Users with a higher reputation can comment, vote and even edit comments of other people.

9. Graphic Design Forums (UK)
Graphic Design Forums (UK)

Graphic Design Forums is a friendly community for designers of any kind and level. With over 18,000 users, the oldest message was posted back in 2008. Here you can share your ideas, ask questions and get answers.

10. Larachat

Larachat is a Slack channel devoted to learning about Laravel – a PHP framework. Talk to some of the best minds in Laravel in this supportive community full of experienced Laravel pros ready to help.

11. Bootstrap

Bootstrap is an HTML, CSS, and JS framework for popular UI components and interactions. You can join their great community of over 7,000 members and learn the latest Bootstrap tips and trends.

12. Webdesignforums.net

Webdesignforums.net is a huge community for designers with over 55,000 members. You can find answers to your questions in the following categories web design, design software, programming and development, web marketing, hosting, and server setup there.

13. HTML Forums
HTML Forums

HTML Forums is dedicated specifically to HTML and the logo says there are “electrifying discussions” there. Also, you can find information on traffic and links sale, domain names for sale, server administration and much more.

14. The SitePoint Forums
The SitePoint Forums

The SitePoint Forums is a great place to find answers on your questions about HTML, CSS, Marketing, JavaScript, PHP, .Net, Database, design and UX, hosting, and more.

15. Webdevforums

On Webdevforums, forum you can get feedback about your website, find useful tutorials, ask questions about marketing and SEO. Use categories at the bottom of the page to navigate the website.

16. Make WordPress
Make WordPress

Make WordPress is a Slack channel where everything about the WordPress open-source project is discussed which includes the project of the plugins, themes, translations, events, and the Core itself. Everyone can join the Slack channel and jump into the discussion.

17. Laminas PHP
Laminas PHP

Laminas is a collection of PHP libraries and framework that allows makes PHP application faster and easier. Shall you ever have a problem with these libraries, join the forum to get help from the helpful community or professional Laminas developers themselves. You can also have your work built the framework or provide feedback to improve the library.

18. Dev.to

Dev.to is not a forum per se technically, but it feels like one. It’s a free community blog where people can share their knowledge, ask questions, and join the discussion. It covers almost everything of software development from the language, the industry, career, tutorials, tips, and much more.

19. Laracast Discuss
Laracast Discuss

Laracasts is a popular video learning source to learn Laravel. You can join this forum for free and ask anything about the Laravel framework. The entire community is active and helpful.

20. Ghost Forum
Ghost Forum

This is the official forum of Ghost – a beautiful, free, and open-source CMS built on top of Node.js. In the forum, you can join the discussion on the development, news, post an idea or feature request, or buy and sell stuff related to Ghost.

21. Hacker News
Hacker News

In HackerNews, you can share and find the latest news from tech and anything related to entrepreneurship. It’s more like a mixed social media forum where users can chime in the discussion and vote or downvote the shared news. And the users are very active. If you get your site on the top page of HackerNews, be prepared to go viral.

22. Indie Hackers
Indie Hackers

A forum where developers share strategies, tips, and revenue numbers behind their companies and side projects. If you’d like to run your own digital business as developers or seeking advice, this one of the places you can join in for jus to be inspired.

23. ProductHunt Discussion
ProductHunt Discussion

Technically, ProductHunt is not a forum, but it gives the sense of community as in a traditional forum as you can jump in to discuss with other peers on the latest product thread, giving feedback, upvote or downvote product.

24. Symfony Devs
Symfony Devs

This is the official Slack channel of Symfony to connect with other PHP developers. You can join the community (of more than 600k members) from hundreds of countries for anything related to the framework of PHP development in general.

25. Figma Forum
Figma Forum

The forum where designers connect to help each other with issues, tips, and tricks to use Figma – the modern application design product – collaboratively.

26. HashNode

This is a platform for developers to share knowledge on various topics of web development (front-end to back-end, design, mobile apps, and desktop apps). It is an overall great place to connect with fellow developers and improve your skills.

27. Vue.js Forum
Vue.js Forum

Official Vue.js forum connects passionate Vue.js developers from all over the world. Here you can get help for the problem encountered in Vue.js, post or looking for a job, or simply share your work. Also available rooms in Vietnamese, Japanese, and French.

28. WordPress Support Forums
WordPress Support Forums

WordPress Support Forums is one of the greatest places to learn, share, and ask for help for anything related to run your own self-hosting WordPress, including the plugins and theme. WordPress forum is available in many locale languages.

29. Envato Forum
Envato Forum

Envato forum is a hub for creative people to share their work and learn from the Envato marketplace network. Whether you’re a designer, web developer, or even a photographer, this forum is one of the best places to grow your skill as a professional.

30. Photography Talk
Photography Talk

Possibly one of the long-running forums for photography, this forum is organized neatly into several categories with topics catering to beginners, including tips and tricks, editing, freelancing, and galleries, which makes it easy where you want to navigate in the forum.

31. Krita

Krita is alternative software for photo editing. And this forum is where you can join the vast community whether to find artwork inspiration, asking questions, and learn to use the software from the pros.

32. Graphic Design StackExchange
Graphic Design StackExchange

This forum is part of the network of StackExchange, aimed for designers to get help for anything related to graphic design from software-specific like Photoshop and Illustrator, technical tips to design topic or theory in general.

33. Photoshop Gurus Forum
Photoshop Gurus Forum

As one of the oldest forums for Photoshop, it caters to various topics related to Photoshop, from general techniques to software-related ones. You can also request help from professionals, whether for paid or for free.

34. CodeCademy Discuss
CodeCademy Discuss

People in this forum discuss anything and everything related to software development. You can learn, seek help, or even share your project to get feedback. You can also find opportunities to advance your career development in the software industry.

35. Blender Artists
Blender Artists

There is no better place to connect with Blender users than this forum. Consider this the home for the Blender community – where people come in to find inspiration, learn from tutorials and the pros, and overall to connect for work and fun.

The post 35 Popular Forums for Web Designers and Developers appeared first on Hongkiat.

How a Designer Might Create Timeless Designs

We’ve all seen examples of classic design – work that gets talked about for months, years, and even decades after it has served its initial purpose.

Even people who have no idea what the original design was even used for will discuss its beauty, simplicity, and timelessness.

What goes into creating work of that caliber? Today, we’re going to explore some possible explanations and try to get an idea of how a designer might go about creating timeless designs.

Will It Be Timeless?

Some things might seem as though they will be instant classics. Then, without warning, they fade into obscurity and no one ever mentions them again.

Why does this happen? No one really knows for certain, but there are some possible explanations. The most important, in my opinion, is that the general public – not just the design community – either stopped caring about the design, or never cared enough in the first place.

Design is meant to change the way people interact with one another in the world, not just designers, but everyone. If it fails to do so and generate influence beyond the scope of the original brief, it will never become the classic it could be.

Glitch Mona Lisa by Dan Svetlichnyy

Design Marketing Problems

Public opinion is fickle, but it can be greatly influenced by the right advertisement. Brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Microsoft didn’t get to their current level of market dominance by chance.

Even great art like the Mona Lisa has been heavily promoted to be recognizable to a modern audience.

There were plenty of contemporary works that were just as popular in their day, and even some that were more so. But it was marketing that propelled the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, the statue of David, and other iconic works of the Renaissance to last as long in the public memory as they have.

To Trendy To Be True?

As I’ve said in the past, if something feels like a trend, it probably is. I’m not simply talking about phenomena that are currently all the rage, like neumorphism or previously flat design.

I’m talking about things that merely look cool without any underlying fundamentals to ground them. Such trends are destined to be one hit wonders, fading as the design world moves on to more solid ideas.

A good way to spot a trend that’s being milked purely for profit is to determine what the most respected members of the design community have to say about it.

If the ‘movers and shakers’ of design are constantly lambasting the trend then there’s a good chance it’s simply a throwaway fad. However, if they don’t have much to say or are even incorporating it into their own work, it’s probably a winner.

Neumorphic Radio Player App Concept
Neumorphic Radio Player App by Alexander Plyuto

No Good Designers Left?

A lot of designers complain that the current crop of design professionals are too caught up in trends and technology and are ignoring the fundamental principles of good design.

These designers tend to be older and may even feel a bit left out as the world seems to be embracing a completely foreign approach to design.

This happens every generation, with the old-timers complaining about ‘today’s kids’ and their apparent lack of respect for the profession.

I’m sure the designers from the 1940s and 50s griped about ‘whippersnappers’ in the 70s and 80s with their Rapidographs and floppy disks or…whatever.

It’s true that there are a lot more designers actively working now than there ever have been in the past.

But the number of talented designers who have a solid understanding of the fundamentals has not diminished. If anything, it has increased due to the larger pool of designers out there.

The likelihood that at least a handful of these designers will produce something lasting is very high, even though one might have to wade through a lot of junk to find it.

Rapidograph & Notebook
Rapidograph & Notebook by Harry Diaz

Timeless Doesn’t Equal Boring

Think that classic design is boring and behind the times? Think again. Every single designer is influenced by those who have come before them.

If you choose only recent, contemporary designers to be influenced by, you’ll only be regurgitating the most recent trends, which could hasten their demise and make all of your work look horribly dated.

Try heading to the library and flipping through examples of classic designs by the greats of the 20th century. You might even be surprised at how often (and how badly) those designers were ripped off by later copycats.

The post How a Designer Might Create Timeless Designs appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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