Tips for Web Development in 2016

Over the years, the way web development has changed drastically. Looking towards the future, we can expect for this trend to continue. For this reason, developing new tactics for the new year is the best way to ensure your website will be effective throughout the year and into the future.

Here are a few tips to get your started:

Tip 1: Focus on Mobile

The need for mobility has been on the rise for several years now. But, during 2016, this is expected to become even more important. When looking at your web development tools for the coming year, make sure you make sure your site is mobile ready and accessible. Spend time developing the mobile aspect of your website. Many sites are built with different options for their visitors so that everything is easily readable regardless of the device the site is being pulled up on.

Tip 2: Look at Search Engine Changes

 

One trend that is interesting is the fact that many search engines are developing ways to answer direct questions. When asked a question, the search engine will answer the question without actually pulling up a specific website. Instead, it will pull up the question among the results of the search, which helps searchers avoid the need to visit a specific website to search for the answer. What this means for web developers is that if you have a great amount of content on your site that is designated for answering questions, you may need to rethink your approach. Creating content that cannot be answered quickly is the best option to go with when you are creating your content.

Tip 3: Consider a Flat Design

Your visitors should enjoy staying on your site because it is easy to navigate and read. The content should be valuable and correlate with the products and services you have to offer. To help with this, make sure you are avoiding a lot of clutter on your pages. Instead, keep a simple design that won’t distract from what you are offering.

One item that has been shown to improve this issue is a flat design. This is something that is becoming more and more popular each day. While it was not created by Microsoft, it was definitely made more popular by the design of Windows 8, which is built around a flat design concept. With this idea, focus is placed on making the site easier to use. It has been shown that this design helps readers to find what they need faster than ever before.

Tip 4: Increased use of Video

The constant need to be on the move has decreased the amount of attention span that we have. Because of this, customers are looking for content that is easy and fast to digest. One way many web developers are creating this type of content is through the use of video. Video is something that helps put faces behind the services and products that are being offered, which can make the message even more powerful.

While developing your videos, keep in mind that there will also be some pretty significant changes to the screens that people are viewing them on. You should expect them to grow and shrink at the same time. This is because of the decreased prices of technology, which allows businesses and home-users to purchase bigger screens for their computers and for the increased popularity of smaller devices, like the Apple Watch. Producing quality videos that can easily be viewed, regardless of the device, is now more important than ever for these reasons.

These are some of the biggest trends you can expect to see surface during 2016. While some of them have already been on the rise, you can expect them all to become even more popular in the coming year. Putting these tips into action during 2016 is a great way to make sure your website stays strong and powerful now and in the future.

jQuery Date Time Pickers: 31 Options for You to Try

When you hear the words, ‘DateTime Pickers,’ what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Did you imagine someone pulling their hair out? If so, you are not alone.

DateTime Pickers are positioning tools used to help ensure the accuracy of the data on web forms. Sounds good in theory right? But, the truth is, many of the DateTime Pickers available are quite tedious and some are just plain old counterintuitive.

And with so many options to choose from, how can you know which one is best for your needs? Never fear, we’ve compiled a list of 31 of the best, free jQuery DateTime picker plug-in available to help you narrow down your options.

1. jQuery UI Datepicker

This is jQuery’s default Datepicker and it is tied to a standard form input field. Plus, it comes with a variety of options that include icon trigger, formatting date, and min and max date settings.

2. gIDatePicker

Dark Neon

This customizable and lightweight date-picker is only 7kb when compressed. It gives users the choice to style date range, special dates, current date, and more.

3. jQuery UI Bootstrap DatePicker Theme

This lightweight jQuery UI bootstrap theme is relatively easy to use. Simply add the theme CSS to change your date-picker style and you’re done.

4. DateBox

This jQuery Mobile plug-in supports a variety of different styles, like slide style, Flip style, Full Calendar display, and Android style. Plus, not only is it fully localized, it supports over 40 languages as well.

5. Clockface

Using Twitter Bootstrap? This clock-style time picker can be attached to any component like div, button, or input. It also comes with built-in support for events, methods, and options.

6. JalaliJSCalendar

One of the unique aspects of this date-picker and calendar widget is that it supports the Persian calendar. It also supports all the major browsers and is released under GPL stipulated terms.

7. DateTimePicker by Curious Solutions

This plug-in was created works excellently on both mobile devices and PCs. Plus, it has a flat UI and gives users the ability to change values by editing the textbox directly or by using the + or – keys.

8. Any Time

This easy to use date-picker gives you the ability to format both the date and time in any way that you choose. It was designed with speed in mind and supports both the 24-hour and 12-hour clock.

9. BeatPicker

This simple, but powerful, date-picker requires jQuery 1.8+for optimal operation. It can be customized with several options and detailed documentation is available as well.

10. Mobi Pick

This Android-style date-picker widget uses the XDate date library and was designed for use with jQuery mobile. Plus, it uses Modernizr to allow progressive enhancement of date input fields.

11. Clockpicker

This clock-style date picker supports all the major browsers. It works great on both desktop PCs and mobile devices and provides you with 15 options to customize the plug-in.

12. Calendar Picker

This lightweight calendar has built-in internationalization as well as the ability to use the Next and Previous arrows for easier navigation. Plus, it lets you change the current date.

13. Minical

This lightweight plug-in consists of a mere 300 lines of coffee-script but features over 10 customizable options and 3 API methods. It also comes with full keyboard support.

14. Timeframe

Marketed as a better calendar, this plug-in is not only draggable; it lets users select a date range as well. Plus, when you set the corresponding option, multiple months can be shown at a time.

15. Rome

Although this plug-in doesn’t need jQuery, it’s still worthy of your consideration. It supports both time and date picking and lets you select the start day in the calendar.

16. Pickadate

jQuery 1.7+ is required to run this lightweight and mobile-friendly date time picker. It is available in over 40 languages and has a number of features, like month/year selectors, that come in quite handy.

17. Timepicki

There are a ton of Datepickers on the market, but time-pickers are a little harder to find. Timepicki is a lightweight time selecting plug-in that also allows you to set a time limit for your project.

18. PickMeUP

This simple date-picker plug-in can also be used as a calendar. It also gives you the option to select a specific date range or a special event.

19. Zebra Datepicker

Made by Stefan Gabos, this compact date-picker comes with two themes and can be easily customized with CSS. Plus, its user interface makes picking select months and years quick and simple.

20. ptTimeSelect

This plug-in needs both jQuery and dimmention.js to function and is purely for selecting the time. It is also highly customizable and comes with 10 options for you to choose from.

21. Zebra Datepicker

Not to be confused with the date-picker from #19, this plug-in is made by Stefan Petre and gives you the ability to place several calendars on one page. Plus, CSS makes it easy to customize the style and it is great for responsive designs.

22. jdPicker

When in its default state, this plug-in works like a simple date picker. But, it features many customizable options that enable you to perform more advanced functions.

23. jQuery Date Picker

This unobtrusive jQuery plug-in was designed to be extensible and flexible. It gives users the ability to easily add date picking functionally to their pages and web-forms. Plus, it can be used in a multitude of ways to can add calendar widgets to your website.

24. Responsive Calendar

This fully responsive calendar lets you add or remove events relatively easily. It uses CSS3 with backward compatibility and HTML5, but it is not free for commercial use.

25. Bootstrap DatePicker

This bootstrap styled date-picker has 2 dependencies, jQuery, and bootstrap. The picker can be activated by either calling plug-in API function or using data attributes.

26. Calendar

Like Rome, Calendar isn’t a jQuery plug-in, but it’s still worth a gander. It was created with validation, usability, and accessibility in mind and will add an unobtrusive date-picker to your form elements

27. jQuery DatePicker

This MIT licensed plug-in gives you the option to display the calendar box as an inline or pop-up. It also features an option for selecting either a date range or individual dates.

28. Tigra Calendar

This JavaScript calendar tool helps improve the user experience and is perfect for beginners with no programming knowledge. CSS makes it easy to customize and style, plus it works great in mobile devices as well.

29. Pikaday

Unlike the other choices on this list, Pikaday is a pure JavaScript date-picker and has no dependencies. This lightweight tool provides easy styling options because it was designed with modular CSS classes and is little more than 4kb when minimized and zipped.

30. DateRangePicker

By default, this plug-in displays two calendars for users to select the proper date range. It features several events, functions, and options that you can customize and is dependent on jQuery, Moment.js, and bootstrap.

31. Foundation Datepicker

This feature-light date-picker supports different date formats, like combinations of D, M, DD, MM, and YYY. It also has built-in methods to place, show, and hide the picker.

There are literally thousands of date-pickers to pick from on the internet, but they aren’t all created equal. Using the above list will help you narrow down your options so you can choose the best option for your needs.

 

15+ Best Responsive HTML5 Frameworks

Across the internet, website design and design platforms are being continuously revitalized. One example is HTML5. HTML didn’t have any numbers behind it to begin with, so the 5 is a great indicator of the transformations this design convention has undergone in recent years. HTML5 frameworks in 2014 have proven exceptionally versatile in the design of a website’s front end. There is more than one HTML5 platform that was made available in 2014 and each is packed with a smorgasbord of features, but what people are primarily interested in is the time-saving convenience of this platform. One of the ways HTML5 does this is through the reduction of CSS/CSS3 repetition. Cutting out these programming tasks saves a lot of energy. Making a website responsive and cross-browser compatible has never been easier. Besides offering a high degree of customization and clean coding, it offers styles that are getting more and more prevalent among design platforms. Finally, HTML5 isn’t large size-wise, so it will not slow websites down.

Following we will examine the best HTML5 platforms.

Twitter Bootstrap

An extremely popular framework, it has an intuitive and sleek front-end design platform engineered to facilitate easier website development. It includes all of the essential components which have come to be expected in the development of responsive websites; things like responsive grids of the twelve column variety, jQuery plugins that can be custom designed, and much more.

HTML5 Boilerplate

Boilerplate aids in the facilitation of quick web apps that are easily adaptable. It also allows for the fast design of websites. Site performance is exemplary, and server configuration can be independently maintained. A great platform for newer projects.

Gridless

An exceptionally option-rich platform, this HTML5 and CSS3 boilerplate is geared at helping users design responsive websites of the cross-browser variety that are optimized for mobile use. It also features extremely aesthetic typography.

Less Framework

Less Framework is a modern platform that provides a front-end framework for the construction of designs that are exceptionally responsive. It’s CSS grid system is specifically geared toward making websites that are adaptive. Less Framework has four layouts and among typography presets there are three different sets; all of which are base on one grid.

Kube

Kube Framework is, thankfully, not overblown as far as CSS frameworks are concerned. It features a variety of layouts and styles while using only one CSS file. Simplicity brings beauty, and this HTML5 platform provides fewer files so that processing gurus can enjoy the work.

CreateJS

This is a suite of libraries and tools of the modular variety which enrich content so that it is interactive. Enrichment is primarily done through the suite of tools working together.

Zebra

Not merely how a Frenchman refers to a brazier, Zebra provides fresh possibilities for web development via Rich UI applications. Any imaginable UI can be designed, as its approach rests above the canvas element in HTML5. It’s a purely web-based alternative to Applet or Flash tech and doesn’t need plug-ins on the client side for installation.

52Framework

This framework aims to give programmers a building methodology that’s responsive and less complicated in the incorporation of HTML5 and CSS3 while simultaneously supporting “modern” browsers. It comes packaged with HTML5 video players, canvas examples, validation forms, rounded corners, and more.

Layers CSS

This lightweight framework of the CSS variety actually refrains from an emphasis on design and instead focuses on primary structure. Fluid grids and simple classes help support responsive layouts.

Montage

For building modern web apps, Montage is bar none. It aids in the construction of scalable, maintainable applications of the HTML5 variety which have been enhanced for modern devices. Reusable components and HTML templates make this HTML5 framework stand out.

Base

Base is a lightweight framework that’s semantic and extendable. Designed for the powering of the next generations websites, responsiveness is key with Base.

SproutCore

SproutCore is the first open-source framework on this list and builds quick, innovative experiences for the user on the internet. Incredible speed is intended for diminished wait-time on a given server. SproutCore is accessible anywhere.

Groundwork

It’s responsive and relies on HTML5, CSS, and Javascript frameworks. It has a grid system, is customizable, and much more.

Skeleton

As the name implies, this is a bare-bones system designed to rapidly develop sites. It operates from three main principles: responsive grids in the mobile sphere, quick starting, and exceptional style.

Pure

Pure is a small, responsive conglomeration of CSS modules usable in any web project. This framework is exceptionally minuscule; the entire set of modules is only 4.4 Kilobytes which have been gzipped and minified. Mobile devices were obviously in mind when this framework was put together.

HTML5 Kickstart

Ultra lean, this framework is an HTML5, CSS, and JS building machine capable of rapidly producing websites. It incorporates a ubiquity of features in one package; things like responsive grid layout, slide-shows that are touch-enabled, and much more.

Ulkit

This is a modular front-end framework that’s lightweight and designed for the development of powerful web interfaces that are also fast. It provides a collection of HTML, CSS, and JS components that are comprehensive, simple, extendable, and easily customized.

Foundation

One of the most advanced front-end frameworks of the world, Foundation makes the use of HTML frameworks simple for the building of small websites. Designed for websites that are flexible and responsive.

Gumby 2

Gumby 2 is a CSS Framework that is exceptionally responsive. It can also be customized with ease. Built with the power of Sass, this framework is designed to be downloaded, tweaked, and deployed!

Web design in modernity has never been easier and HTML5 platforms only serve to increase the possibilities through convenience. Try any of these platforms and see which one best fits your needs. There are several that will doubtless blow your mind–but in the good way!

Best JQuery Lightbox Plugins

Let’s face it, there are an endless number of competitors vying for the website creation market. In order to stand out from the crowd, you must go above and beyond by creating an extraordinary website not just a nice-looking websites. That is where plugins can help. With the correct plug-ins, you can create a visually stunning and immersive websites. Here are some of the best JQuery Lightbox plugins that will help you create a website that will keep them coming back for more:

1. Chillbox – Allows you to overlay a main image with a second one. This works great for rendering text, but could take more time than you’d like getting the transparency optimized.

2. jQuery lightGallery – Creating picture galleries and YouTube videos is easier with this plug-in. The number of effects is small but the quality is wonderful.

 

3. JackBox – Responsive Lightbox – The JackBox stylesheets and scripts will only load into your web page if the page contains a lightbox item. This means that on the pages where no lightbox items are used, no unecessary plugin files are loaded. When JackBox CSS and JavaScript filesare loaded, they load asynchronously, helping your web pages to load faster.

4. MetroBox – Responsive LightBox – MetroBox is a jQuery plugin for displaying photos/videos or anything you want with visitor/user comments ( like social network features ). This plugin does not have comment system. It only show comments you have.

5. Visual LightBox – This wizard creates pop-up galleries without needing to know code. The free version is limited, however, and you need to renew your license for the business version yearly.

 

6. Smoothbox – This plugin makes CSS3 transitions smoother. The only con is that there are no options related to javascript so you have to work with what is there.

 

7. Fancybox – Creates a floating “box” to display pictures and other media. This can be good for showing detailed images, but can potentially slow down loading time for a page.

 

8. Image Lightbox – A no-frills lightbox that works well with touchscreens or keyboards. It only works for images, however, not other media.

 

9. Tosrus – Creates slide galleries that are very easily accessed on desktops as well as portable devices. This only works on Windows 8 or above, however.

 

10. Colorbox – This slideshow creator is dependable and is in use on two million websites, The learning curve can be strong, but help files are available.

 

11. Nivo Lightbox – One of the most advanced lightbox plugins, this integrates easily with a variety of other plugins. It is free to use but the support license is a bit pricey.

 

12. Venobox – This plugin is responsive to the maximum width of an image and makes it possible to scroll and see the entire height. Other than that, it doesn’t have any stand-out differences.

 

13. iLightBox – One of the most advanced lightbox plugins out there. This one has all the bells and whistles you could wish for. It may be too intensive for most websites, however, and best saved for media intensive ones.

 

14. Swipebox – Great for touch screen devices but requires detailed knowledge of coding to properly install.

 

15. Magnific Popup – One of the few plugins that allow you to adjust images within the popup itself. Unfortunately, will not work on Windows 7 and below.

 

16. asPopup – Simple and responsive, but brings nothing new to the table.

 

17. Lightbox 2 – Updated version of the original lightbox plugin. Works on newer operating systems but doesn’t have any bells and whistles.

Regardless of your needs, jQuery has a lightbox plugin that will meet your needs. From the minimalistic asPopup to the bells-and-whistles laden iLightBox, and everything in between, you will find something that works to make your website professional-looking and a step above the rest.

You’re Vastly Underestimating the Importance of Color in Web Design

I’d be willing to bet that when you put together a website and are looking to choose a color scheme, you look for something that ‘looks good.’ That’s perfectly fine, but you’re missing an entire area of consideration when that’s the end of your color decision process, and that’s color psychology.

We dipped into this topic not long ago while discussing turning budget web design clients into real money makers, but it’s such an important topic it deserves its own article. It really can make a considerable difference for your client if you understand color psychology and how it affects the browsers, and can even help in the process of conversion.

So what is color psychology? The idea behind color psychology is that every color we come in contact with elicits a response in our brain and gives us an emotion. Managing those responses and emotions to help achieve a goal is a way you can make your web design that much more beneficial to your client.

Let’s look at some examples:

Using Green in Web Design

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Green suggests to us power and growth, and should be used for more than just nature-related sites and environmental sites. It’s also a good color to include in sites such as TD Ameritrade, as it subtly suggests to the browser that the adviser can help their finances grow.

Using Blue in Web Design

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When you think of the color blue on the internet today, one of the sites that probably comes to mind is Facebook. They clearly aren’t strangers to color psychology as the color blue suggests integrity, trust, and friendship, all things the site would like the browser to think of, though perhaps to varying success in their case.

Using White in Web Design

It can be easy to overlook white when thinking of colors, but in color psychology it provides a very important role. It suggests purity, or purity of intention. While it’s likely that many sites use it without color psychology in mind, it’s always a wise color to include in any business website.

Using Black in Web Design

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Exclusivity is what’s suggested by black. This is one of the key reasons why many banks and credit card companies have done away with their platinum cards being without a limit, in favor of the black card. It suggests that getting a black card puts you in an exclusive club. A prime example of this in action is American Express.

Using Yellow in Web Design

img_5643c0c9e9ba3In the right setting, yellow can be a very important color. It suggests intellect and superior minds. University of California, Berkeley, for instance, has several insertions of yellow on their website, as well as blue.

Using Red in Web Design

vanguard screenThose who are versed in color psychology would probably suggest the color red is underused in the business world, as it seems to suggest everything a business should be going for: energy, passion, and action. All good things to look for in a mutual fund, which is why Vanguard mutual uses the color heavily.

 

Other Examples of Using Different Colors

Now that we’ve covered a few specific colors, let’s take a look at a couple websites and see how they put color psychology to use in their own marketing.

Wells Fargo‘s site is almost entirely white and red, with hints of gold which suggests they have a purity of intent and will take action for you. These are great traits someone looking for a bank should keep an eye out for, and they clearly know it.

 

 

reddit screenReddit, for those who aren’t aware, is a niche site, but has a huge audience and a very unique culture. Their homepage, or front page as they call it, is filled with white, blue, and a touch of black, suggesting they’re pure, a place for friends, but also exclusive. Those familiar with the site would likely attest to how accurate that is of the culture.

Putting the mind to use in creating the best site possible for your clients is important. While finding colors that look good together is obviously important, knowing what those colors suggest to the browser can help you go one step further in providing a quality site to the client that will work in ways they never imagined possible.

What are your thoughts about using different colors when you build a site?