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Nine Helpful Links that Will Save Your Life (Part 2)

internet, browsing, friends

Easy to use websites!

Do you want FREE Kindle books? Do you need an online grammar checker to scrutinize your manuscript? This guide will help you with all those and more. Like in the previous post, there is NO need to sign up for most of the websites listed. These links are guaranteed to help you in getting things you want without having to register and submit any personal information.

    • Dot Epub – Are you going to be traveling? Do you do need to read a whole web page? Save a particular page to an .ePub file so that you read it while you are on the road.
    • Google Images – Reverse image search using this tool. We usually search for images. Hey, guess what? You can now search using images. Simply upload a photo and get results pertaining to that photo.
    • Hundred Zeros – How will this save your life? This is will save you from getting broke. It is pretty much the same thing. This site is dedicated to eBooks. The creator collated a list of free Kindle books in this simple site. You can browse through a vast selection. Once you have chosen one, you get redirected to the Amazon page of the book. If you are a veracious reader, do not miss this hidden gem.

 

      • Adobe Color – If you are a designer (whether a web designer or an interior designer), this tool is really helpful. You can experiment on color palettes here. You are given a guide to the different color rules -complementary, analogous, triad, compound, etc – so you will not end up mixing and matching the wrong colors!
      • Copy/Paste Characters – Do you want to insert special characters to a document you are type? Maybe you wish to use emojis in a presentation? (Life is boring without emojis, right? ☺) See what I did? You can get them all in one place. As the name suggest, you just have to copy and paste.
      • Random.Org – Number generators are helpful during giveaways. If you are planning one soon, just go to Random.Org. It will generate a number for you. You do not need a bunch of paper strip and a fishbowl. Drawing winners are now made easy! Everything that concerns randomness is here. There is an Integer Set Generator, List Randomizer, Clock Time Generator, Geographic Coordinate Generator, and so on.

     

    • Polish My Writing – Need help with your writing? Polish My Writing will do it for you. Just paste your document on the text box and it will check your writing. Spelling errors are in indicated red, grammar corrections are in blue, and style suggestions are in color green.
    • E.gg Timer – Timers are not for baking only! You can need a two-minute timer for brushing your teeth or a timer for doing 8 reps. Health is wealth after all. E.gg Timer has every timer you can think of. You can even make your own customized timer.
    • Every Time Zone – As an online gamer, my face lit up when I saw this website. I am never good at math. I hate doing calculations. I have missed multiple online events because of the differences in time zone and  I am never good at remembering all the dates. Whether you are scheduling a meeting with overseas clients, you have a multi-city flight to familiarize, or you need to attend a game event like me, this site really simplified everything about time zones!

 

Missed the previous post? You can catch up here. If you want more helpful links, you can visit this link.

Nine Helpful Links that Will Save Your Life (Part 1)

browsing, internet, google

Life made easy!

Do you like to take notes while browsing? Do you want to create a private chat room for you and your friends to discuss a surprise party? Perhaps you want to create complex flowcharts without downloading a gigantic program? This guide will help you in doing simple things without complications. There is no need to sign up for most of the links listed below. These no-nonsense links will surely help you in getting things done.

    • SumoPaint – This is an image editor with an extensive array of brushes. SumoPaint is packed with the wackiest effects and unique tools to enhance your photos. It is like a portable Photoshop. What more can you ask for?
    • Kleki – An online editor similar to SumoPaint. This is a more simplified version. On the plus side, the site also provides guides and tutorials on creating colored drawings with the basic use of layers.
    • WhatTheFont! – Have you ever seen a font you like on a television show? Want to know what it is? Well, you now can upload a photo and WhatTheFont will search the specific font for you. If there are no results, there is also a forum for font enthusiast to help you out.

 

      • Paste Bin – This was originally made so that programmers can easily share their codes. Now, anyone can type, or paste large .txt files for easy sharing. You can also set an expiration for the notes you made. No need for you to register to use it and the recipients of your notes do not need to register either.
      • NotesIO – If you need an online notepad while you are researching, this for you. Unlike Paste Bin, notes on NotesIO are for your personal use, and not for sharing. It is a simple yet reliable personal notepad.WhatTheFont! – Have you ever seen a font you like on a television show? Want to know what it is? Well, you now can upload a photo and WhatTheFont will search the specific font for you. If there are no results, there is also a forum for font enthusiast to help you out.
      • DrawIO – Do you need to create flowcharts? DrawIO is your all-around online diagram software. You can save the charts on Dropbox, Google Drive, and your local device. You can start from scratch or you can use premade templates. They have a wide variety of templates from business to software layouts. It is definitely helpful to computer programmers, engineers, and architects.

     

    • PrivNote – Remember those Mission Impossible movies where messages self-destruct after being delivered? You can send notes using PrivNote and it will leave no trace. It will automatically get deleted after being read. It is definitely great if you are exchanging secret information with someone.
    • NilTalk – If PrivNote allows you to send disposable notes , NilTalk allows you to have an instant and disposable chat room. There is no need to register and your messages will not be recorded. You just need to input a password for your private chat room. After, you can send the unique link to the selected participants. They can join in and the chat room will end after 120 minutes.
    • LMGTFY –  When your friends are too lazy to search, Let Me Google That For You will do the search for them. It is also a great tool for teaching someone on how to search things online. Despite the name, the search is NOT limited to Google only. You can use other search engines like Yahoo, Aol, Bing, and Ask.

More helpful links regarding number generators, time zones, and an online grammar checker  are found here. If you want links about file transfers, and internet security, just click here.

(MORE) Website Blunders to Avoid

accident, mistakes, be careful

Careful on making these mistakes!

There is nothing more frustrating than finding your way through a convoluted website. Satisfy your customers. Show them that you care for their needs by not driving them away.  Clearly, you would want a smooth transaction online and withdraw from anything annoying. Here are MORE blunders to avoid that may help you in achieving that functional website:

  • Tiny Pagination

Pagination is a type of navigation that provides users access to multiple pages of a certain website. When you search terms on Google, numbers 1 to 10 appear at the bottom of page. A next button is also visible for you to click and to navigate your search results. Same is true on websites that have a lengthy list. In some forum sites, the pagination provided are microscopic and insignificant. Help your users by not wasting their time. These list of pages numbers are necessary!

For example, the products on an online shop are divided into several pages. Pagination helps on making your website load faster because not a lot of items are displayed all at once. Thus, your users are satisfied because they can conveniently browse your website.

  • Complicated Sign Up Forms

Certainly, you have visited Facebook during the 24 hours. I am sure you noticed that if you need to create a profile, you just need to fill in a few text boxes. You only need a name, an email, a password, birthday, and gender. Viola! You can now access the whole of Facebook.

Time to ditch long and boring forms! You are providing a hindrance for people to access your website. Keep the forms short and brief. In some online shops, you can even buy items without registering. There is no need to ask for heaps of information because you might end up saying goodbye to potential clients.

  • Too Many Animations

Do not bombard your main page with moving images. Viewers of your website will not know where to look first. Focus on specific products that you want to display first. Utilize the use of pagination. It is exceptionally hard to direct customers to a particular product and also, numerous shifting images can be truly irritating.

  • Bizarre Font Styles

Reading a lengthy text with unconventional typefaces can be frustrating. (Oh, hello eye strain!) Typography is the central part of designing. Do not make reading a painful task to do. Make your website easy to read and to navigate. If possible, use San Serif typefaces.

  • Not Mobile Responsive

People are always on the go. They probably will not leave their mobile phones behind.  It would be a huge loss if you ignore the effect of mobile users. Choose a website design that is responsive in all platforms, whether your website will be browsed on a desktop computer, a tablet, or a mobile phone.

 

Perfection is hard to attain, but these tips will definitely improve the performance and the conversion rate of your website. When designing your website, always put yourself in the shoes of your viewers. Because if they had good experience on your website, they will patronize it and they will tell their friends about it. You will gain rewards in multitude of ways.

Eight Free Fonts

writing, keyboard, typing, fonts

Where to get FREE fonts?

Whether you are doing a school project or designing a website, finding the right font is tough. There are a lot of choices out there and those innumerable options tend to confuse users.  Read this guide for a list of FREE (Yes, free!) Open Type Fonts that you can use and the links on where to get them.

  • Butler by Fabian De Smet 

    This is a serif typeface that is free for both personal and commercial use. (In case you are wondering what a serif typeface is, you can review this article.) Butler is great for books, and other printed materials. Most of all, Butler supports different languages. When you need special characters, it has glyphs to display them properly. You can download the .zip file of the font here.

  • Ostrich Sans 

    The League of Moveable Type has made several free and open-source typefaces that everyone can download. I will list a few of their works. The first of many fonts is Ostrich Sans. It is one of their san serif typefaces. The long and slim design is perfect for subtle titles. Download it here.

  • Eau Sans 

    Aside from The League of Moveable type, fonts by YOfonts will be featured. Eau is French for water. It is a sans serif typeface and it has three variations. You can choose between proportional, lining and old-styled figures. You can try them out by following this link .

  • Melma Font by Rafa Miguel 

    This free for commercial use font includes three varieties: Melma Black, Melma Line, and Melma Cracked. This collection is great for banners, placards, and signboards with its bold and chunky letterforms. For free download, click this link.

  • Opuscula Sans, Serif , and Script 

    When in doubt, try all the types of font. Opuscula can be serif, sans serif, and script. It is very flexible to your needs. The sans and serif are the condensed and thick kind, but if you want an italicized variety, try the script. All three open type fonts are created by YOfonts and you can download them here.

  • League Script Number One 

    If you are looking for a script style typeface, this is for you. Thanks to people of The League of Moveable Type for this modern script font. League Script Number One is fitting for notes, scrapbooks, or even invitations. You can download it here and start writing those personal letters for that someone special.

  • Marta by Michael Chereda 

    Marta is your all-around font. You do not have to worry if you need to type in figures, symbols, and ordinals. This diverse serif font collection supports languages like German, Czech, Russian, and even Latin, and Cyrillic ligatures. You can download the bold, regular, and italic versions for free.

  • Blackout 

    If you want to make a statement, you can be loud with Blackout. This is another creation of The League of  Moveable Type. With this font, people will surely notice what you want them you see. Want to try it out? Click here for more details.

Website Blunders to Avoid

website, failure, mistakes

Avoid these mistakes!

Practical and functional websites make profit. They win the hearts of the customers.  How can you make profit if your website looks awful? Your website should have a clear structure and uncomplicated navigation. The last thing you want to do is to chase away potential customers. Check out this list of mistakes that you should definitely avoid.

  • Broken Links
    In the world of online shopping, broken (or dead) links should be avoided. You will use a potential customer if your website links do not redirect to the desired product. People are always searching for things to buy and the links you provide are important in helping them to get the products they want. You can check for broken links using this free link checker. Avoid the “page not found” error at all cost!
  • Small Font Sizes
    How can you invite people to buy your products when they cannot even read product descriptions clearly? Customers like to search and browse for new items so verify that these texts are readable and the search results are understandable. The longer they are, the harder they are to read.As I have mentioned above, links are important to get to a specific product. Make sure these links are clear and legible. Customers should be able to distinguish the link and the description where it leads to. Same is true with buttons like Shop Now, Add to Cart, etc. Make sure these buttons, links, and search results are large enough for customers to read.
  • Unclear “Contact Us” page
    I can personally relate to this. I am really particular in shopping for books. It should be in this edition, under this publisher, and so on. Rather than rummaging through over a million books, I usually contact the website and have them search for me instead. Some websites do not even have a clear phone number and email address for inquiries. I get the generic website email that probably will not get opened in a few days. I do not mind waiting, but it is not always the case. Usually, customers are impatient. They will find another website that will cater to their needs. Provide contact details that will guarantee a response. Most importantly, do not generate an automated response. It seems very impersonal and it will drive people away.
  • No (or inactive) social media accounts
    This is related to the mistake above. Everyone now has a social media account. Advertise your official accounts together with your contact details. People tend to search for your business and inquire online. Answering questions quickly means good customer service. You give a positive impression that you want to help out customers and you care about them. You create that inviting atmosphere that will surely get loyal customers. Engage with people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and those people will spread good things about your website in return. You can repost or retweet the positive feedback you got and certainly, it will encourage other people to shop at your website.
  • No search boxes
    Most of the time, customers know what they want. Give them an easy access to that product. Whether you have five or a million products, always provide a way to search and to refine the existing search results. Prevent Choice Paralysis. It is always good to provide your customers many options, but when there’s just too much, customers get confused.

Need more? There is another list here!

Four Things You Should Know Before Building a Website

computer, internet, website

What makes a good website?

Websites are not only about codes, images, and latest designs. You are building a place for visitors to know more about the products and services you offer. Everything you put into your website should be essential towards a certain goal. Like in any project that you do, it requires extensive planning. You would not want to waste money on something you would never use.

  1. What is the purpose?

Define your goals. What do YOU want? Do you wish to sell online? Perhaps you want to inform people? Or maybe you just want to share your hobby and entertain your readers? Write everything down. Put your thoughts on paper first. You do not have to make a website right away.

  1. What to put?

Every single element you will include in your website should coincide with your identified goals. It is important to know what information will your website’s visitors find relevant. Of course, you would want to show the world your work! Think also of what your audience needs. Do not exhaust them by letting them read long and boring paragraphs. Give them value. So, if you own a business, do not just put the photos of your products. Provide information on how and where to avail these products. Add other significant information like email and contact number. They can just call you if they have questions or if they wish to make reservations. If you have a physical store, provide a detailed map. Content should always be informative!

  1. What photos to use?

Aside from great content, using the right images also help. Gather photos by utilizing free stock photos or you can even use your own photographs. You want those images to make a mark and you would want it to have a lasting impression. You can always buy photos, but purchase only photos when needed. There are already tons of free photos out there. This list of websites may help you.

  1. What design to use?

You are very happy to have created a visually appealing design, but when you previewed it, it causes eye strain. You have allocated days to create that perfect design, but then, I am sure it will be outdated in months. Learn the fundamentals of design and typography. Remember, you do not have to need to fill every corner of your website. Design is more than the visual aspect.

Consistency is key. Do not use all the colors of the rainbow. When in doubt, use white space. Highlight the important details. Make text larger so it will be easy to read. Choose a set of fonts and stick to it. Lastly, the design should be flexible. It should be viewed properly in all browsers, and in all devices. Plan what works for you and what does not. This will help you narrow down your choices rather than changing deigns from time to time.

Making a website should NOT be expensive. This is still the initial phase. You should be well geared before starting that website you have been dreaming of. Having the content, images, design you need will help you get there faster. Chances of everything crashing down are higher if you are not prepared. If you are ready to take that leap and move on to the next level, this guide will surely help you!