My 6 Favourite Web Design Inspiration Sites

My 6 Favourite Web Design Inspiration Sites

There are all sorts of different websites and magazines people like to use for web design inspiration, but like most people, I have a few favourites. So, just incase you weren’t aware of some of these sites (which is unlikely), I’ll run through 6 of my favourite sites for web design inspiration (in no particular order). If you know any other websites which are particularly good for this sort of thing, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

  1. Dribbble

    Seeing as this is probably the most obvious site, I’ll show you this one first. Dribbble is one of the most popular places to find inspiration, not just for web design, but for almost anything: graphic design; fonts; icons; drawings; logos – you name it. It’s on Dribbble. What’s more, you can follow users who create things you like, so your Dribbble homepage shows specifically what you are looking for.

  2. CodePen

    CodePen is another great site for inspiration, although not so much for full page designs. This site is focused more towards CSS / jQuery snippets of code, such as experiments or creations people have made. Nevertheless, it’s fantastic if you’re looking for ways to spice up your site or think of creative ideas for templates.

  3. Design Fridge

    Design Fridge is another good source of inspiration for full site designs and snippets, along with articles, tutorials and other resources to help inspire you and improve your website.My 6 Favourite Web Design Inspiration Sites

  4. Themeforest

    The theme marketplace, Themeforest is another great source of inspiration, with WordPress, HTML, eCommerce and more themes available for purchase. As with most other sources of inspiration, it’s important you don’t just copy these themes (especially if you are looking for inspiration in order to submit to the Themeforest marketplace!), but it can be interesting to see the common trends and what sells well in order to give you some starting ideas.

    Of course, if you like a theme you see on Themeforest a lot you can just buy it! (While you’re there please check out my portfolio: themeforest.net/user/Septimus_fossett and Taylor’s portfolio: themeforest.net/user/Singularity_Designs)

  5. CSS Winner

    This site is a collection of websites that have been awarded for good design and CSS – so naturally if you’re looking for inspiration from exemplar, highly commended work this is a good place to start.

  6. CSSDeck

    Similar to CodePen, CSSDeck has a vast collection of user submitted CSS3, HTML5, jQuery and more creations, experiments and demos. It’s a great source of inspiration to scroll through the endless pages of items – you’re bound to come across something interesting!

  7. Cliqued Media

Cliqued Media web design agency Ireland is building best website from the last many years for customer across the Globe they have hundreds of customers in the local market (i.e Ireland, Dublin, Galway etc). They are in the market since 2006 thet have helped businesses of various sizes in Ireland ensuring they get the maximum return from their online activities through their services.

And there you have it. 6 of my favourite sources for inspiration. If I ever get “designer’s block” and am struggling for ideas, a quick trip around some of these sites will soon set me back on the right track, even sometimes improving what I was already working on.

I hope you get similar use out of these sites, and if any of you have a Dribbble invite doing nothing… (joking!)

Finally, if you have any other inspiration websites that you feel should be included on this list, leave a comment below and if I like your sites I’ll gladly update this post!

Where to Find Free Images for Your Themes

Where to Find Free Images for Your Themes

It’s a common problem that faces web designers, especially those who sell themes and templates on sites such as Themeforest. Having decent images will definitely help to sell more copies of your design, but that means you need to find royalty-free images which are safe to use in commercial projects. Normally, for better quality images, you’d have to spend money on sites such as iStockphoto, in some cases having to pay even more for extended licenses.

They’re sometimes hard to find, but there are a few sites which offer royalty-free images for free, with a requirements that you either ask for permission from the authors if you are using the images commercially, or attribute them and so on. These can be useful, but if you would rather have images with no hassle and no copyright concerns, then you can visit some sites that offer 100% free images, for use in anything. In this post, I’ll show you some websites from both of these categories.

Stock.xchng

First of all, let’s take a look at stock.xchng (that’s the name, not it’s web address – see sxc.hu). You have to create a free account, but you can download any of over 400,000 free images available. There’s a huge selection of photos available, and they’re all free. Of course, you get similar images from iStockphoto showing up mixed in with the free results, so be careful. Also, you need to be careful to check the licenses for each photo, as the different authors have different requirements and limits on how you use their photos.

Unsplash

Unsplash is a fantastic Tumblr site, offering 10 new photos every 10 days. Unlike Stock.xchng, you don’t need to make an account, and there are absolutely no restrictions on the images. They’re 100% free, suitable for commercial use, or in other words – “do whatever you want” with them. Specifically, their licensed under CC0 which simply confirms that the images are completely free. You can subscribe on Tumblr to make sure you always get the new images, and you can even submit some of your photos.

Where to Find Free Images for Your Themes

Gratisography

Gratisography is a site with a nicer, more modern responsive design. Once again, all the images are completely free for any use, and “free from copyright restrictions”. You don’t need to make an account, and all the images are even high-resolution. In fact, I was going to use an image from this site for the featured image of this post, but the resolution was too high for this WordPress installation to handle!

InterfaceLIFT

I often use this site to find images. Technically it’s a wallpaper site, but they are free and very good quality images available in almost any resolution for any device. You don’t need an account to download the images, but it is optional. However, you do need to be careful with copyright and licensing as most images require at least attribution and are not available for use in commercial projects – but I have seen some Themeforest themes use images from this site. Even if you don’t use pictures from this site for your theme, the images still make fantastic wallpapers!

These are the four sites I like to use most often when searching for images. There are endless uses on websites, a good example is fullscreen background images for items such as Under Construction templates. When making themes for commercial sale, you need to be careful. While it’s often fine to use images in the live previews of items, you need to make sure you’re allowed to do this as you are technically ‘selling’ the images although not directly. If you want to be extra careful, I recommend using images from sites such as Unsplash or Gratisography that offer copyright-free images.

Good luck finding images for your themes, and remember to be careful with copyright!

Create a Basic CSS Stitched Effect

Create a Basic CSS Stitched Effect

I know this has been done before lots of times, but this is a quick and easy effect done in CSS, which can help spice up your designs. Although I can’t think of a reason to use it myself in the ‘metro’ and Flat-UI trends of today, but just in case you want to give your DIVs a retro makeover, this is the tutorial for you.

HTML

There’s very minimal HTML for this tutorial. All we need is a DIV, with the class stitch. You can put whatever text, inputs, images or anything you like inside the DIV.

[blockquote]
<div class=”stitch”>
Web, Tech & Gadgetry
</div>
[blockquote]

CSS

Because it is a relatively simple design, there is little CSS needed. Of course, you can customise most of the options, such as the background colour, font styles and more. Also, it’s worth noting that in the featured image of this post and in the downloadable version of this tutorial, a little extra CSS is used to give the paper-styled background image.

Create a Basic CSS Stitched Effect

[blockquote ]

.stitch {
width: auto;
display: inline-block;
background-color: white;
padding: 25px;
margin: 10px;
color: #CCC;
font-size: 21px;
border: 2px dashed rgba(204,204,204,0.5);
border-radius: 10px;
box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px 6px white;
font-weight: normal;
}

[/blockquote]

And that’s it! As I mentioned earlier, it’s a very simple but effective technique. If you wanted to be more adventurous, you could make this effect look much more realistic and ‘retro’, but if you want it to look minimal and keep things simple, this is the best option for you. Enjoy!

You can download this completed tutorial from Dropbox.

Upgrading to PHP 7 on CentOS 6

Upgrading to PHP 7 on CentOS 6

After only recently realising we were running PHP 5.3, a release that came out a good seven years ago, we thought it a good time for an upgrade. Unfortunately due to CentOS’ stance on long term support, rather than the bleeding edge, this task at first proved quite difficult. As of now for CentOS 6, and I believe CentOS 7, there is no readily available package for upgrading to PHP 7.

Much to our luck we eventually came across an article going over the details of setting up PHP 7 on a CentOS Virtual Private Server (VPS), I’ve included a link to said article at the bottom of this post.

Installing PHP 7

Installing PHP 7 went surprisingly smoothly. The first requirement was to remove what was the currently installed PHP Apache module. To do this we entered the following command:

yum remove php*

Upgrading to PHP 7 on CentOS 6

The above command removes all installed packages beginning with PHP, before you do this we do very much recommend you take a backup of everything first just in case anything goes terribly wrong.

The next step involves downloading the latest version of PHP 7, which at the time of writing this article is PHP 7.0.2. The following command downloads the latest PHP repository to your current directory:

rpm -Uvh https://mirror.webtatic.com/yum/el6/latest.rpm

The final step assumes you will be using PHP for a standard WordPress installation:

yum install php70w php70w-opcache php70w-mysql

If everything has gone as expected a simple restart of your Apache server should result in a working PHP installation. To check whether PHP 7 has installed correctly we’d recommend running the phpinfo(); function.

Conclusion

As we use Cloudflare to aggressively cache our blog’s pages, upgrading to PHP 7 had very little impact on our frontend performance. Those of you who aren’t currently using a CDN or some form caching should see their page loading times half.

Having said the above, our WordPress admin is certainly much more responsive.

Links

https://webtatic.com/packages/php70/

Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront

Many of us will have fond memories of growing up with Star Wars: Battlefront on the good old PS2 – and now, with a new generation of Star Wars on the horizon, the legacy (finally) continues. The new first-person-shooter from EA is expected to go on sale around the same time as the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but a new trailer hints at a full reveal of the game at Star Wars Celebration, in April 2015.

Here’s the trailer everyone’s been talking about:

As you may notice, this is exactly the same trailer as the one which was released last year – so don’t get too excited. The only difference is that this latest trailer mentions the reveal date for the new Star Wars: Battlefront, in April 2015.

The game is expected to be available on all major platforms, including PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Here’s another video released by EA, which shows some behind the scenes footage:

This video is a bit more interesting, as it shows the incredible attention to detail which has gone into making the new version of Battlefront. The team has scanned the models used in the original Star Wars films and even visited the locations in order to make the game as realistic and accurate as possible. Judging by the early in-engine footage seen in the video above, the quality looks amazing.

 

“Above all, it is our passion for Star Wars which will bring this legacy to life, like never before.”

Star Wars

As the quote from the team suggests, the passion they have for Star Wars should really help ensure this title is of good quality – hopefully this will make them put in a lot of effort and care to ensure the latest version of Star Wars: Battlefront is a game to remember.

The video ends with a rather fitting quote from Yoda – you guessed it – “Do or do not. There is no try”.

We can’t wait to find out more about this game in April – hopefully our patience will be rewarded.