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Convert WordPress To Progressive Web App (PWA) – A Complete Guide

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More than fifty percent of the web traffic is coming from mobile phones these days and at such times if you wish to increase your reach or create a more engaging user experience for your web users, then you should definitely try one of the Progressive Web Apps or the PWA plugins for all of your WordPress websites. A PWA is basically a simple web ap...
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  • Progressive Web Apps are a middle ground between a website and a mobile app. Find out how you can create a WordPress PWA from your site today.
  • Convert WordPress To Progressive Web App (PWA) – A Complete Guide
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Marijuana Website Design - How To Choose A Marijuana Website Designer

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Cannabis web design is booming. Entering the marijuana niche is an exciting prospect and a well-designed website will go a long way in capturing the attention of prospective clients. Finding the best designer for your cannabis website is crucial. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a Marijuana Website Design  for your website...
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  • 10 minutes
  • Want To Choose A Marijuana Website Designer? Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a designer for your website.
  • Marijuana Website Design - How To Choose A Marijuana Website Designer
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NOODP & NOYDIR – A Complete Guide To NOODP 2019

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NOODP and NOYDIR may seem like alien terms to those who have not worked on SEO during the old days of internet marketing where everything had to be done manually. A number of tags including NOODP and NOYDIR were critical to controlling the way search engine crawlers would index and render the web pages. Search engines don't always make use of the t...
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  • NOODP & NOYDIR are essential tags to prevent search engines from showing their own descriptions, instead of your Meta Description.
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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About WordPress (But Were Afraid to Ask)

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WordPress is the most used CMS across the world today. It has attained the number one position because it is so simple to use and maintain, not only from a designer’s point of view, but also from the end user’s perspective.

In this article, we will look at a few different questions people have about WordPress. Some may seem downright silly, some a little technical, and some questions will be the ones that you yourself always wanted to ask!

How did we come up with the questions?

I simply searched for the term “WordPress” and Google suggested what people usually ask in its “People also ask” section from within the search result page itself.

So, let’s get the basics out of the way before we move on:

 

How Do I Start Using WordPress?

To create a self-hosted WordPress site you first need to download a copy of the latest version of WordPress.

Once you have the files, you need a place where you can host those digital files securely. You need a location that is always accessible online, a web server. This is going to be the home of your WordPress/Website files.

If you are just starting out, you can buy shared hosting which is relatively inexpensive. And you can move up to a VPS, Dedicated, or Cloud-based solutions as your needs increase with the popularity of your website.

Next, you need to invest in a domain name. It is the address that users will type to access your website.

Usually, both can be purchased through the same hosting company or through different vendors. Once you have these in place, you can easily install WordPress manually or using the famous 5-minute installation.

If you want to host locally on your computer you will need to download XAMPP on your PC or Mac. It will create the environment necessary to run WordPress locally. Usually, WordPress is set up on your localhost for development purposes only.

If that all sounds too complex, then you can simply create your blog or website on WordPress.com. It may be the best option when you are starting out.

 

Is It Free To Use WordPress?

WordPress is absolutely free to use both for personal and commercial use. As they say on their site:

Beautiful designs, powerful features, and freedom to build anything you want. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

Though the software itself is free, you will still need associated services to put up a site of your own. And those can cost you money.

These associated services include a domain name, hosting, and the time offered by a WordPress professional to design and maintain your site.

This cost can be minimized by not hiring a designer and rather choosing a theme of your own, either free or paid. And investing in a little time understanding how to use & customize it. (Themes control the layout and design of your WordPress site.)

 

How Much Does It Cost To Build A WordPress Website?

As I mentioned in the above point, there are some costs that are incidental to setting up a WordPress site. And these include the cost of domain and hosting.

Domain names cost an average of around $10 per year. And hosting can cost you as low as $4 to $5 per month. All in all, it should not cost you more than $100 per year.

The other one-time associated cost lies with designing the site. If you download a free theme and learn to use it and customize it, then you avoid the most significant cost in setting your own site or blog.

Or you can hire a freelancer who can setup and customize your theme for a few hundred dollars. Of course, there is no upper limit to what you can pay a design agency in developing a customized theme for you.

It all depends on what you want to do with your site, and your budget.

 

How Long Does It Take To Build A WordPress Website?

The answer to this question would depend on the type of website you are building.

If you are just installing WordPress and applying a new theme to a blog and customizing the logo, header, and footer. The whole process could be completed within 4-5 hours’ time.

For a WordPress site, customizations could take longer. As you will have content to be updated for each of the pages too. 10-20 hours should be enough for this task.

If you are building a theme from scratch, I would break it up like this:

Approximately 24-30 hours for designs for the homepage, internal page layout, archive pages, and the blog page. Coding the theme would take another 40 to 48 hours For testing and final touches, keep aside 10 more hours.

(If you are building a larger site, it would inevitably take longer.)

Keep in mind that these are only estimates. And when working with a real client these estimates could be stretched beyond your wildest imaginations. No joking here.

 

What Are The Benefits Of Using WordPress?

There are innumerable benefits to using WordPress over other Content Management Systems. Listing a few of them briefly below:

Easy and intuitive to use: Using WordPress is easy and involves very minimal learning curve if any at all. And if you are a designer or a developer, the same holds true for you too. You will be up and running with the necessary skills to service your clients in no time at all. Easy to setup: You will be surprised with the fewer steps you need to set it up on your web server or localhost. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to do this. Lightweight and speedy: WordPress is lightweight right out of the box. It is around a 10MB download when you first download it from WordPress.org site. And therefore, very easy to handle in terms of uploading it to your server, backing it up, moving from one server to another, it occupies less space, runs faster etc. Highly scalable: With the right infrastructure and resources you can scale it up to several hundreds and thousands of users at the same time. So, no surprise that some of the most used sites like TechCrunch, The New Yorker, Sony Music, Time Inc, and many other significant names use WordPress. Most popular CMS: When it comes to its popularity, it is the number one. Today it powers 32% of all sites on the internet. This far exceeds the market share of any other CMS available today. Easily add features and functionality: WordPress can be easily extended to add more features and functionality as per your need. And you can do that easily with the help of plugins without knowing how to program or code in WordPress. Plugins are bits of software that can be easily installed on your existing WordPress site to add additional features and functionality.

The other advantages of using WordPress include a thriving WordPress community, active development of the product, free software (also for commercial use), easy to find answers to your WordPress questions, active support through community Forum, a mature and stable product etc. The list of advantages goes on and on.

 

How Do Beginner Blogs Make Money?

I doubt that you would start making money as soon as you start a blog. If you are just starting out, then, of course, there is a long way to go for you.

The process of generating income from your blogs would generally be in this sequence:

First, you would have to start a blog. You buy a domain and hosting and install WordPress. You choose WordPress as it is the best blogging platform out there. Then you choose a theme of your liking and your blog is ready.

But a blog is not a blog unless you have some useful content there. So, you have some niche or demographics that you want to cater to. That is a good strategy because then you would know exactly what type of content you want to create. Ideally one should focus on creating content that solves some problems and helps change the lives of your audience for the better.

Next step would be to get your content in front of your audience. Sharing on social media, engaging with your audience, a bit of on-page optimization, a bit of SEO, and lots of time and patience.

Once your blog starts to become popular. When the readership increases with time, it is time to start monetizing now. Monetization could be in the form of advertisements, AdSense from Google, affiliate marketing etc.

It is not easy. But nothing worthwhile in life ever is, right? It takes a lot of hard work, learning, and patience to create a sustainable income stream from your online blog. But it is totally doable if you are up for it.

 

Do I Need Hosting For WordPress?

All websites need hosting to be accessible over the internet. Therefore, yes you need hosting for WordPress.

If you sign up for a blog or a website at WordPress.com, then the hosting is already configured for you. You don’t have to buy your own hosting separately. You simply register a subdomain with them as part of the signup process and start treating it as your own blog or website.

However, for the self-hosted option, you need to download the WordPress files from the WordPress.org site. You are more in control of your website with this option, and therefore, you are responsible for everything that is needed to run your website.

And that includes Hosting.

 

Is WordPress A Website Builder?

WordPress is not a website builder. It is a Content Management System (CMS).

Website builders are more like visual editors. You drag and drop an element on a page, and you can see exactly how the page is going to look. While with WordPress the design is already set. The theme you have chosen for the site will control the appearance and layout of the site.

With a site builder, you expect to be able to change the site design as you deem fit. But with a WordPress site, this expectation is not there. It is understood that the design is already in place. You focus more on the content part of it, i.e. adding and editing content on the site.

Site builders are easier to use in terms of design changes, but site builders are less flexible in terms of what they can accomplish. WordPress, on the other hand, is very flexible and can be extended in many ways to add more features and functionality through programming & plugins.

However, if you like the idea of the convenience of a site builder, you might enjoy WordPress’ latest innovation: Gutenberg. Gutenberg is a completely new way to design WordPress sites, along the lines of a site builder.

 

Is WordPress Good For SEO?

It is indeed the most SEO friendly CMS out there today. It takes care of so much of the SEO stuff just out of the box that you don’t really need to be an expert to create SEO friendly pages and posts on your blog. They are automatically created for you.

For example, it creates pretty permalinks for all posts and pages. It also gives you the option to manually alter the URL yourself, so you are in full control. When you have a meaningful URL, both humans and bots can understand better what the page is all about.

Image resizing and optimization is also handled by WordPress. It takes care of URL canonicalization and other necessary HTML markups so that you won’t have to worry about them.

It would also generate a page title automatically for you. However, there are numerous SEO plugins that you can install that can handle this process in a smoother way.

All in all, WordPress today is one of the best SEO friendly Content Management Systems out there.

 

Final Thoughts

In this article, I have answered many of the questions that people frequently ask on WordPress. As you know, it is an overwhelmingly popular CMS and people have many questions about it.

Did I answer your question? I hope so. If not, then feel free to ask them in the comments below. I look forward to answering them for you.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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  • 5 minutes
  • In this article, we will look at a few different questions people have about WordPress. Some may seem downright silly, some a little technical, and some questions will be the ones that you yourself always wanted to ask!

  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About WordPress (But Were Afraid to Ask)
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How to Take Your Website Viral

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It’s no surprise that some businesses are convinced that all they need is a Facebook page and some awesome paid posts in order to go viral. I get it. It’s relatively cheap. It’s easy. And they see it as a faster way to success than taking the time to build a website, grow an audience organically, and wait.

But social media virality is hard to come by and, when it does happen, can be short-lived.

Now, making a website or blog go viral? That can have long-lasting results for a business. But what exactly does it mean to make a website “go viral”? And is this something you need to worry about as a web designer?

 

A Word About What It Means to “Go Viral”

On the Internet, going viral happens when something — a social media post, a blog post, a video, a website — becomes so popular that word of it spreads like an actual virus. It almost becomes infectious, like anyone who comes in contact with it can’t help but be affected.

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6 Tips For Tackling Inherited Code

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When you’ve worked in the digital industry for long enough, eventually you’re going to have to work with code that you’ve inherited from someone else. Whether this is part of a handover process from another company, written by a developer that has since moved on or written by a freelancer, sooner or later you’ll find yourself sifting through line after line of code that you didn’t write.

When this happens it’s easy to slip into a negative mindset. It might be using a structure you are unfamiliar with, seem over complicated, disorganized, or just different to your regular development approach — it’s rarely plain sailing.

Something built using a slightly different approach can quickly become unmanageable

“It’s not my fault, It’s already a mess” – letting yourself off easy with this type of attitude can create a Frankenstein’s monster of a website if you’re not careful. Something built using a slightly different approach can quickly become unmanageable if every developer who works on the project adds their subjective approach. Whether it be naming conventions, class identifiers or even JavaScript functions.

Below are some tips to help you prepare for and manage inherited websites and see them as something to nurture rather than dread.

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  • When this happens it’s easy to slip into a negative mindset. It might be using a structure you are unfamiliar with, seem over complicated, disorganized, or just different to your regular development approach — it’s rarely plain sailing.

  • 6 Tips For Tackling Inherited Code
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20 Best New Portfolios, May 2019

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Hello all, as Justin Timberlake once predicted, it is now May. Now that I’ve subjected you to the latest and greatest in boy band jokes from the ‘90s, let’s check out this month’s portfolios.

It should be noted that as I write this, I am working with Internet that I borrowed from my new neighbor (yes, I did ask) and the speed is fairly slow. That’s not a complaint; it’s a warning. It means I’m going to be a lot happier with portfolios that load fast and don’t make me wait behind a preloader…Just sayin’.

Note: I’m judging these sites by how good they look to me. If they’re creative and original, or classic but really well-done, it’s all good to me. Sometimes, UX and accessibility suffer. For example, many of these sites depend on JavaScript to display their content at all; this is a Bad Idea™, kids. If you find an idea you like and want to adapt to your own site, remember to implement it responsibly.

 

Up Late

Up Late is the one of the best neon-soaked portfolios I’ve come across, because it combines those bright and occasionally-flashing colors with considerable restraint in the rest of the design. The one-page portfolio is going to stick in your head for a while.

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Popular Design News of the Week: April 29, 2019 – May 5, 2019

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By Cameron Chapman  |  6 days ago

Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

 

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15 Unmissable Web Design Podcasts for 2019

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Web design gets broader everyday, with new technologies entering the field on a seemingly weekly basis. As a web designer, you need to stay on top of these technologies, and upgrade your skills, or you’ll become obsolete. But it’s tough to keep up when you’re reading countless Medium posts, and scouring the latest ebook for tips.

That’s where podcasts come in. The (usually) short episodes are like talk radio for the web, and are a great way to keep up to date on new technology and ideas.

Today we’ve collected 15 podcasts that are worth trying, if you’re not already addicted. Download a few, and listen to them on your commute, you’ll arrive at work inspired, more knowledgeable, and ready to go.

 

1. Responsive Web Design Podcast

The Responsive Web Design Podcast is brought to life by Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane. There are currently over 150 episodes, and still counting. Ethan and Karen conduct discussions and interviews centered around responsive design, and well-known sites that have implemented it.

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Design Your Website to Sell While You Work

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Design work is very time consuming. But it’s not just the labor you put into building websites that takes time and concentration.

Because the projects you work on typically have a short shelf life, you’re constantly having to find new gigs, woo potential clients, and sign them onto your service — which is like another job in and of itself. So, when do you find time to look for more work when you’re so busy actually doing it?

You could set aside time on the weekends to work on drumming up new projects, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Imagine spending that time booking new business and then being too burned out to get started with any of them? That’s no good.

You could, of course, do it during the workweek. It would just require you to dedicate otherwise billable hours to non-billable work and cut into your business’s profitability.

Without hiring someone to handle sales for you, what’s the solution?

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5 Signs That Web Design Is Reaching Its Own Industrial Age

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The Internet as a concept, and as a community, is much like a teenager: it’s struggling to establish its identity, everyone is trying to tell it what to do, and it tends to lash out at both people who deserve it as well as those who don’t. It does so at random, and you’re not its real dad, anyway.

The practice of designing websites, however, has gone right past the teenage years and blown past the whole human-life-span metaphor entirely. Web design is, in my opinion, reaching an industrial age, of sorts. You know, the era of smokestacks and Charles Dickens’ really depressing novels.

Let’s see how:

 

Increased DIY Capability

The sewing machine was invented in 1755, about five years before the “official beginning” of the industrial age. This machine, and others like it, heralded the beginning of that age and the massive machines that would come after, but they also drastically expanded the production capabilities of individuals working at home, or in their place of business.

It started with software like FrontPage and Dreamweaver, and now we’ve got Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Duda, Webflow, and a host of other options. They’re all designed to enhance the output of the individual, the hobbyist, the business owner, and the freelancing professional. Work that once might have taken a very long time for one person, or a reasonable amount of time for ten people, is all being done by one person, in a lot less time.

And if you’re a purist, you can always sew the buttons onto your web page by hand.

 

Increased Automation At The Professional-Level

Think of the massive looms in old factories. Now it’s not particularly easy to automate creative visual work, as such. Most of the automation in web design is done at the coding stage, in both front and back end. But even with such simple tools as Symbols in Sketch or Affinity Designer can drastically reduce the work required to produce a large number of designs.

Or at least something like a large number of buttons. It’s not a perfect analogy to the factories of old, but the tools we have are making it consistently easier to produce designs of consistent quality, even if they also have pretty uh… “consistent” layouts and aesthetic styles. This sort of drastically increased output is the very definition of industry.

 

Expansion Of The Digital Middle Class

Increased DIY capability and automation in the industrial age led to a dramatic expansion in what people could afford. The increased amount of work in general meant that more people could afford that stuff, and thus, the middle class was born.

The same thing is happening in web design. For the hobbyist or professional building sites on the cheap, shared hosting can cost as little as a few dollars a month, and code editors are free. For less code-focused hobbyists and business owners alike, code-free website builders are attractive and largely affordable options, too. Plenty of platforms offer a straight-up free plan.

Getting a web presence of some kind has literally never been easier, and it’s going to keep getting easier.

 

Outsourcing And Subcontracting

Then, of course, there’s outsourcing and sub-contracting. These come in two major forms: software as a service, and labor. SaaS in particular has become exceedingly popular as a way to build a product that constantly pays for itself, leaving you to focus on maintenance, and improvements. The train engineers of old wish they could have worked on their trains while they were still running.

While few websites are, I think, built by orphans trapped in smoke-filled factories, we should not ignore the fact that there is a lot of cheap labor out there. And you know what? A lot of them are actually really good, and are only cheap because of the economic disparity between nations. This actually leads me to my next point…

 

Poor Enforcement Of Industry Standards

One of the downsides of industrial ages as they happen all over the world is this: the constant push for progress sometimes leaves much to be desired in the way we treat our fellow humans. Of course, this isn’t happening to web designers in a bubble. The “gig economy” is often used as an excuse not to provide benefits for employees. Cheap labor is often taken advantage of in the worst ways. Overworking people to near-death is accomplished not with whips, but with Instagram and Twitter feeds praising the eighty-hour work week.

And the actual standards meant to ensure the quality of the product are often ignored. The W3C does a lot of good work, but they don’t actually have the power to enforce HTML validation. Well… that’s probably for the best, all things considered, but as we’ve seen, governments are also poorly equipped to provide QA for the Internet as a whole.

However, I should note that I greatly appreciate some of the government-led work done in the field of accessibility, particularly in countries that require WCAG compliance.

 

Fear Of Obsolescence

The proliferation of industry created a lot of jobs, and killed a lot of others. Design, however, is still a creative discipline, and thus there will always be room for good designers. Even so, automation and code-free design tools have people worried, and I can understand why. That said, lots of people will actually hire you to use Wix for them, so… shrug.

People outsourcing relatively easy tasks might save us, yet.

 

It’s Not All Doom And Gloom…

We call hand-crafted websites… well… that. Sometimes “bespoke”. Perhaps a better word would be “artisanal”, and we should just get used to being hipsters. I’m only mostly kidding.

In every industrial age we’ve witnessed, things got bad, and then they got better. We haven’t gotten rid of all the smoke stacks yet, but the world is in most ways a much better place than it was, and the Internet is developing faster than the rest of the world. It may be an industrial age now, but imagine what it will be like when they invent computers.

Wait…

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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  • The practice of designing websites, however, has gone right past the teenage years and blown past the whole human-life-span metaphor entirely. Web design is, in my opinion, reaching an industrial age, of sorts. You know, the era of smokestacks and Charles Dickens’ really depressing novels.

  • 5 Signs That Web Design Is Reaching Its Own Industrial Age
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3 Essential Design Trends, May 2019

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Sometimes designs are of an acquired taste. That’s our theme for this month.

Each of the projects and trends featured here are things that you’ll probably either love…or hate. But wait to judge these projects until you navigate through them; most of them seem to grow on you the more you dive into the content. Here’s what’s trending in design this month:

 

Chaos by Design

Have you ever looked at a design and wondered “what were they thinking?”

But then … “that is actually pretty nice.”

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Popular Design News of the Week: April 22, 2019 – April 28, 2019

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Every week users submit a lot of interesting stuff on our sister site Webdesigner News, highlighting great content from around the web that can be of interest to web designers. 

The best way to keep track of all the great stories and news being posted is simply to check out the Webdesigner News site, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the most popular designer news that we curated from the past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that were posted, so don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter and follow the site daily for all the news.

 

UI Design Inspiration – Apr 2019

 

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How to Make Gamification Work on the Web

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The somewhat controversial topic of the usefulness of gamification in business has been sparking debates recently.

One claim is that it’s a great business tool that helps engage and retain clients, as well as lead them in the right direction. The opposite view holds that there are few real successes in gamification.

Today we’re going to the consider the case for gamification in interactive design, and illustrate it with some great examples.

 

The ABCs of Gamification

Gamification applies game elements, game mechanics and game thinking into non-game processes, like apps or websites, in an effort to make them more fun and engaging. However, it’s important to point out that gamification does not equal gaming or creating games for businesses. It simply borrows game features.

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  • 5 minutes
  • One claim is that it’s a great business tool that helps engage and retain clients, as well as lead them in the right direction. The opposite view holds that there are few real successes in gamification.

  • How to Make Gamification Work on the Web
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10 Real-World Reasons Designers Should Know SEO

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For web designers today, creating a website can mean a whole lot than just functionality, usability and aesthetic appeal. Today, every new-born website requires a thorough integration of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) protocols to become crawlable and get indexed by search engines such as Google.

A good website can attract great amounts of traffic. However, to make sure your traffic is relevant, geo-specific, and hails from the target segment, you must utilize SEO properly. According to one piece of HubSpot research, 77% of people research a brand before getting in touch with it. This means your site design, structure, content, and marketing practices must be spot on if you want spectacular search results!

Both off-page and on-page SEO are imperative to the ranking process for any website on Google. Here, we are going to discuss why web designers should know about on-page SEO well enough to create a website that not only attracts visitors, but also ranks on top of Google search engine result pages (SERPs).

 

1. Higher Rankings

On-page SEO involves many elements such as HTTP status code, URLs and their friendliness with the search engine. Other aspects include the correct addition of meta tags, descriptions and further heading tags on your search link on Google SERPs. All of these elements make a huge difference in on-page SEO. Therefore, a web designer who knows these details must know when to apply them in the right order so that the website receives higher rankings on Google.

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  • 10 Real-World Reasons Designers Should Know SEO. Higher Rankings. On-page SEO involves many elements such as HTTP status code, URLs and their friendliness with the search engine.
  • 10 Real-World Reasons Designers Should Know SEO
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