Designers: Pay Attention to Your Business Card Design

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 by HostGator India

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As a designer, freelance or otherwise you’re expected to churn beautiful designs on a regular basis. If that wasn’t challenging enough you’ve got the trouble of landing clients. Freelancers and Design Agencies can relate to the pains they need to go through while roping in a new client. So many variables to consider. You’ve got to have the price right, your portfolio, matching the clients design ethos are super critical. But allow us to tell you a little secret, all that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Those are obvious things, important but not necessarily clinchers. You need to do more and in these times of stiff competition you’ve got to shine baby!

One key item that a client, at times even unknowingly considers is your Business Card. It’s the first look at your operation. When you pitch to a client it’s expected that you’ll put your best foot forward. Wear your best attire, bring the best designs, talk the talk about delivery deadlines and so on. But all that can go bye-bye if you don’t pay attention to the details.

Imagine a designer with a bad looking website, criminal mistake no? A shabby Business Card is no less. Businesses get pitched everyday, they’re not inclined to give you their business if they don’t trust you enough. Think of a barber with bad hair. Bad for business right? No ones going to trust him with their mane. Apply the same principle here. The expectation is you’re going to do your best on yourself. If you’re site, card or any such collateral is not 100% then you’re not going to land that big client.

It’s all about looking the part you want to play. You want to be a designer make sure your designs, wherever visible are nothing short of awesome. Spend time on it – they’re yours in the end. Here are few tips to help you beautify your cards:

* Content comes first, design later: Structure design around content and not the other way around. Focus on what works for your brand ethos. Don’t go with flat colors only because it’s cool these days. Do what works for your brand.

* Pick the right Printer: Just because there’s one close to your office doesn’t make him good. Spend time finding the right guy, do trial runs and go with the one who’s got the best finished product. Take into account everything, starting with the actual

* Talk to the Printer: A good printer will be able to help you pick the right material, suggest things basis new trends/techniques.

* Be careful with Fancy Materials: If you’ve decided to go with metal, plastic or any other fancy material be extra careful with the details. Make sure you get enough samples, verify colors are right, consistency and so on. Details are often missed when working with fancy cards.

* Some potential Options:

Letter-pressed Cards
Metal Cards
Scented Cards
Plastic Cards
Foil Stamped Cards
Plexiglass Cards

Options are plenty but we’d always suggest going with the one that creates the best output and not just because it sounds cool. Let your creative juices flow and chalk out a beautiful card for yourself.

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Adobe Rocks the show with a Major Update

Monday, June 22nd, 2015 by HostGator India

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Adobe rolled out a major overhaul to it’s Creative Cloud suite. This update brings in new features to all apps including the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. Here’s whats new:

Photoshop CC 2015: 

The flagship product see’s a bunch of really cool additions including an overhauled export process and a revised live preview. Our favorite change is the new support for Multiple Art Boards. If you’re like our in-house designers you’ve battled the limitations of working with a single board when designing for multiple screens. The other big thing is, a actually a new addition. Say hello to a new design mode called Photoshop Design Space. It is crafted specifically for web & UI designers. This mode removes redundant panels and functions to give you an interface focused primarily on web & app design.

Adobe Stock:

Be afraid Shutterstock ‘cuz Adobe just entered the stock images game with Adobe Stock. Just launched with over 40 million images, courtesy of their recent acquisition of Fotolia. What makes this is a super duper move is you can now bring in low-res (water-marked) images straight to your design and if you’re satisfied, you can purchase the image straight from the app. The low-res version automatically changes to high-res once the purchase is complete.

That’s Not All Folks:

Illustrator got a dedicated design focused on charts & info-graphics.

Dreamweaver got a responsive built-in design which makes it’s code production-ready. It’s a potentially great update for mocking up responsive designs.

What’s more is some of these cool apps available earlier only on iOS are finally out on Android. Another cool update is, all of the Creative Cloud suite now features linked assets in CC Libraries. This means you can update a logo and choose to update it across all the files that use it.

We’ll end this with one of our favorite features from this update. You can now sync your work across all devices and work from anywhere. We think these are great updates to an amazing suite. Tell us what you think and if any of you have tried it out, do share your experience in the comments below.

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Must have plugins for your WordPress Website

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 by HostGator India

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WordPress would have never made it big if it wasn’t for the ease of use and most importantly the availability of thousand of plugins. These plugins have made it possible to add so much functionality to your WordPress site and that too without the need of technical expertise.

We got our hands dirty and managed to circle in on 8 must have plugins for your WordPress website. Let’s take a look

  • BulletProof Security: You can’t deny the fact that you need to take measures to pump up the security of your website, after all it’s your hard work that’s at stake. BulletProof security is an easy to setup plugin that will literally shield your website from malware and sql injections. You need this.
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast: This has got to be one of the most used WordPress plugins till date. You can quickly setup the plugin to optimize your website to be more SEO friendly.
  • Backup Buddy: No matter what system you work with, a backup is always important. For WordPress, you can rely on Backup buddy plugin to create backups of your website. You can setup the plugin to automatically backup your website to the cloud.
  • Disqus: The default commenting system of WordPress is easily receptible to spam. Disqus is a third party commenting system that not only reduces the load on the website but also has some great anti-spam filters.
  • Floating Social Bar: This is a no nonsense social media sharing plugin that every WordPress website should get. It only consists of the top social media icons which in turn reduces the load on your website.
  • W3 Total Cache: If you want to see your website in the top spots of the search engine ranking then you will need to give equal importance to the speed of your website. W3 Total Cache helps you to setup browser caching, compress files for quicker downloads and so much more. We highly recommend that you install and activate this plugin on your WordPress website.
  • Optin Monster: If you want your visitors to turn into subscribers then this is the plugin you will need. You can create beautiful optin forms and pop-ups that will help you in your lead generation efforts. It comes packed with features like page-level targeting, Analytics and split testing.
  • Table Press: Our constant complaint with WordPress was the lack of adding tables to a post. But thanks to Table Press, we can now create and add tables to a post with ease.

We hope you find these plugins useful. If you know of any other plugins that deserves to be on this list then just mention them in the comments section below.

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5 ways you can make a living off the Internet

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 by HostGator India

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So you’re on the web and you’ve heard stories of people making decent bank of it. So how do you get to join the party? We’ve got the answers right here. We’ll be honest, there’s no such thing as easy money but this is as easy as it can get.
  • First things first: Get yourself a half decent website. This is key, become a publisher of content. This is going to be your home, your starting point, the game will be to drive tons of traffic here eventually.
  • Use Social Media: There was a time when discovery of content was difficult, but Facebook, Twitter and gang have changed that. Be sure to share your story via these channels. Build a base and serve them with valuable content regularly
  • Monetize traffic: Once you’ve started driving traffic to your site, the fun part begins. You can start monetizing it with Google Adsense. All you have to do is place a small little code snippet on your site and almighty Google will start placing ads relevant to your content. You will earn money whenever someone clicks on these ads
  • Become An Affiliate: Once you’re fairly confident about your traffic and understand its behavior, you can start placing affiliate ads. These are, in most case, Pay per Sale which means you make money only when a visitor clicks on the banner and makes a purchase on the merchants website. While this isn’t as simple as the Adsense, there is a significantly higher amount of money to be made.
  • Curate Content: Once you start playing this game, you develop the most valuable asset; Insight. You understand customer behavior, you become a name, a credible source. At this point, your visitors buy in to what you suggest/recommend. Advertisers love curators. They pay a pretty penny to credible taste-makers to recommend their products or to just review it. You know you’ve made it big when this happens.

This my friends, is how you make money on the internet. Sure it sounds easy but remember, there are atleast a million players in whichever field you choose. So remember these golden words “Add value to your visitor’s lives”, people will give you their most precious commodity, TIME.

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