Brexit, Northern Ireland, and the return of extortionate roaming charges

Brexit is infinitely complicated, but it starts to make sense when you think about it as someone reinstalling a computer’s operating system from scratch. All the existing programs and files (or in the case of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, trade deals and international agreements) are gone. In 2016, 52 percent of British voters chose to reinstall Windows. Tabula rasa. A casualty of this is the UK’s membership in the EU Digital Single Market, which permits fee-free roaming across all the EU’s member nations. After 11PM on March 29, 2019, Britain will no longer be party to this agreement.…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web

The Best Website Designs of 2018

Website Designs

2018 seemed to go by so quickly! But, that doesn’t mean that there’s any shortage of great website designs out there. With more and more websites joining the web every day, it’s actually really hard to find one that stands out. So, for your viewing pleasure, we put together a quick list of the best website designs that stood out to us in 2018. Some of these you may already know, but a  few of them might be a surprise.


Anywhere you go on Epicurence is simply a visual delight. The site is packed with fun animations and unique transitions. Not to mention the beautiful colors and eye catching images. It’s hard to pick one single part of Epiccurence that’s better than the other. Well done!

Eleven Plants For Dum-Dums

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t some super hipster design studio. Eleven plants For Dum-Dums is literally just a website that lists 11 different kinds of plants. What makes it stand out is the use of animation and the color green. It’s a really fun website to visit, and they make each section about each plant so unique, that it’s impossible to look away.

Hello Monday

As much as we all probably dislike Monday, Hello Monday the website is a welcome site. On the main page, the way they transition from story to story is super clean. The transitions are also timed really well. They give you enough time to glimpse the story and click if you want, but they don’t stay up too long and make you feel like you’re staring at a wall.

Feed Music

Feed Music’s main page captures your attention instantly. So much so, that you almost don’t want to click on anything else. The animation is smooth and the colors are beautifully balanced. To top it all off, if you scroll down through the content in the middle of the main page, you feel like you’re watching to intro to a Star Wars movie.

The Sum

Just in case you haven’t read anything else on our blog, we love custom graphics. The Sum takes a very minimalistic approach, but wow are the visuals amazing. Combine that with a sense of humor, and a fast functioning website, and you have yourself a winner.


Let’s take a dip into more familiar territory, shall we? Zillow is a pretty common name to hear nowadays, especially if you’re in the real estate business. It’s safe to say that they’re really good at what they do. Another thing that they really  nailed is the design of their website. The best website designs are the ones that serve their purpose and look good doing it. Zillow is not only visually appealing, it functions like a champ, and it’s easy to use. What more could you want?


Here’s another big name you hear about a lot. What makes Toggl so mind blowing is their weirdly entertaining animations on almost all their pages. Each page provides soft and relaxing colors, and the oever website has such a friendly and helpful tone to it that it’s impossible not to feel at home.

Distance to Mars

Distance to Mars was designed to educate people in a clever way. The website is dedicated to one purpose, showing viewers the distance to mars. Along the way, they’ll provide some scientific facts that are quite entertaining. If you have a few extra seconds, it’s definitely worth checking out.

World of SWISS

World of SWISS is a website dedicated to SWISS airlines. The website i beautiful and clean, but most of all, it perfectly tells a their story. On the main page, you’ll find no shortage of articles and videos describing what it’s like to fly with them. The website’s function is smooth and the visuals are crisp and perfect for the brand. This is a great example of how simplicity and functionality can go a long way.

Juliana Bicycles

As a bicycle site just for women, Juliana Bicycles delivers clean and vibrant images, and outstanding functionality. They take advantage of responsive interactions, and it really works well for the site. It’s colorful, clean, and really really cool.

Guillaume Tomasi

Guillaume Tomasi is a photographer in Montreal that has built a portfolio that’s quite impressive. Both according to its contents and the beautiful manner at which he pulled it off. The website is simply beautiful and is a great example of both how to design a website and portfolio. The interactions are simple but fun, and definitely get the job done. Never once will you feel inconvenienced by the way the website works. It’s simple, but it’s different for sure.


Crypton is a robot accountant that helps you buy and sell cryptocurrency. The site uses the best of the best AI to help you predict changes in values for all kinds of cryptocurrencies. Since its creation, it’s been given quite a few awards for its design and development, and you can see why from the moment you click on it.


If you want a website with superb images, nice interactions, quick functionality, and delicate story telling, then look no further than JOHOs. The website tells the story of the brand’s coffee beans. You get to travel along with them from the growing process all the way to the brew. It’s like a mini movie and it’s so mesmerizing to watch.


We’ll end this list with Apple, a company that has been notorious throughout its existence for creating sleek and functional products, and their website is no different. It’s packed to the brim with high quality imagery and super modern style. The iPhones displayed on the main page all but jump out at you.


The best website designs are not good at any one particular thing. But rather, they’re great at many different things. Each website on this list of best website designs of 2018 showcase many strong advantages that they have over other websites.

Some of the names in this list you may have already been familiar with, and some are probably new to you. Regardless of whether is new news or old news, these websites are simply stunning, and the design teams behind each one have something to be extremely proud of. Go ahead and click on the links are check them out for yourself!

Read More at The Best Website Designs of 2018

from Web Design Ledger

The UK government’s settled status app for EU nationals is an embarrassment

Brexit is imminent. While the debate around the terms of the UK’s departure from the European Union is framed as a battle between “leavers” and “remainers,” it’s often easy to forget that there are over three million EU citizens caught in the middle. Some of these people have lived in the UK for over 40 years. They’ve bought homes here. They’ve raised kids here. And now, freedom of movement, the very mechanism that allowed them to make Britain their home, is being removed. The British government has pledged that those currently living in the UK can apply for something called…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web

6 Powerful Psychological Biases and How They Influencer Human Behavior Online

A large majority of marketers wouldn’t consider themselves psychologists. Yet understanding the growing field of marketing psychology can help persuade and influence audiences in powerful ways online.

Great campaigns happen at the intersection of marketing and psychology. The sweet spot where your content and messaging connects with your audience on a deep, human level.

Which, in a sense, makes all marketers aspiring psychologists at heart.

This week on The Science of Social Media, we’re exploring six powerful psychological biases and how they influence human behavior online. Knowing the factors that affect decisions will help take your social media marketing to the next level.

Let’s dive in!

Marketing Psychology: 6 Powerful Biases That Influence Human Behavior

What follows is a lightly-edited transcript of the Buffer Podcast episode #130 for your reading pleasure.

Table of Contents

Hailley: Let kick off the show by quickly exploring how a psychological bias is defined. In this case, we’re talking about cognitive biases:

Cognitive and psychological biases are defined as repetitive paths that your mind takes when doing things like evaluating, judging, remembering, or making a decision.

Just like instincts, they evolved so that we don’t have to think as much for every decision that we make and they help us conserve energy.

Brian: More than knowing these for marketing, it’s also really interesting to be able to pinpoint your own cognitive biases to be aware of what goes into your decisions, judgements, and opinions.

Let’s get started looking into each of the biases we’ve identified and how they relate to marketing. And just a note that there are a lot of cognitive biases in our brains, these are just a select few that we found particularly useful for marketing but this is in no way a complete list.

Psychological Bias 1: The Bandwagon Effect

Hailley: Let’s start with one that most people have probably already heard of, it’s called the bandwagon effect. You’ve probably seen the expression “they jumped on the bandwagon” and that’s what this cognitive bias is referring to.

The idea is that the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others.

In other words, the bandwagon effect means that it’s more likely for someone to do, say, believe something if a high number of other people have already done so. This is sometimes also called groupthink or herd behavior.

Marketing Psychology - The Bandwagon Effect

Brian: In social media I’ve seen this happen before where maybe a new social network opens up and then it feels like everyone, celebrities, other marketers, friends, are all joining up so you end up joining to.

It’s pretty easy to imagine how helpful this can be with marketing. If it feels to a new users like everyone loves your product then they’re more likely to love your product too.

Some of the ways we can work to use this perception to our advantage are for example testimonials. If you have a lot of testimonials it might feel like everyone loves your product, company, or business.

Hailley: Exactly. And it’s interesting because I really think user generated content can help a lot here, if you share photos on Instagram of all the other customers enjoying your product for example.

And even influencer marketing can add to this effect if it starts to feel like a lot of influencers love your product then people are more likely to jump on the bandwagon.

Ultimately, this cognitive bias is all about critical mass so you have to have the numbers for this feeling to really take root.

Psychological Bias 2: Zero Risk Bias or the Certainty Effect

Brian: Next up let’s chat about zero risk bias or the certainty effect. It is exactly what it sounds like. Essentially our minds have a tendency to favor paths that seem to have no risks, they are certain.

This is why you see many brands and businesses offer money-back guarantees and risk-free trial offers. This feeling of zero-risk is really appealing to customers especially when it’s a new product or service that they’re experiencing.

Zero Risk Bias

Here, the more you can reassure customers and potential customers of limited risks, the more they are likely to feel better about their decision and that decision will even come to them more easily.

Hailley: I’ve seen this done in a lot of great Instagram video ads recently where on top of showing the product there’s always text that says “money back guarantee” or “risk free.” Or in social media posts with a photo of your product you can also play to the certainty effect in your text as well.

While it’s easy to use this one on your website for copy it’s also definitely possible to use it in your advertising and social posts as well and that will really help leverage the zero risk message to your advantage.

Psychological Bias 3: In-Group Favoritism

The next bias on our list is in-group favoritism. This means that people prioritize products and ideas that are popular with a group they’ve aligned themselves with.

Brian: It really makes you realize how powerful your identity is. Let’s say you’ve aligned yourself with a certain sports team, well the data shows that you and everyone else who identify with that sports team are more likely to buy similar products and use similar services. Essentially, you and the others who identify as a group favor specific things.

However, experiments have suggested that group identities are flexible and can change over time so keep that in mind as well.

One really good example of a company leveraging this was Apple. They really built an “us vs. them” mentality among their customers with their marketing campaigns and essentially created their own in-group.

Marketing Psychology - In-Group Favoritism

Hailley: What this means in terms of marketing psychology is that if you can find these identity markers and you know what in-groups your customers and potential customers are aligned with you can choose your marketing strategy accordingly.

For example, you can join a bunch of communities where your ideal customer hangs out to learn more about their identifiers or create surveys among your current customers to learn about identifiers. And it might take a bit of work but you can also create your own community and in-group if that’s a good fit for your social media marketing!

Quick shout out, check out if you want to join our Buffer community on Slack.

Psychological Bias 4: Confirmation Bias

Brian: Another really popular bias is called confirmation bias.

This is the effect where our mind searches for, interprets, favors, and recalls information that confirms or amplifies beliefs that we already have.

This effect is even stronger when it comes to emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs so in those cases instead of looking for new information people stick to what they already believe.

It’s easier and less work for your brain to stick to your current beliefs than to have to go through the decision making process and choose a whole new set of beliefs all over again.

Instead your brain is looking to back up your current beliefs and reassure you that it was a good decision.

Marketing Psychology - Confirmation Bias

It’s interesting to note that even scientists fall prey to this bias, it is very common.

Hailley: When it comes to confirmation bias, it also tends to contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs.

When it comes to leveraging this type of marketing psychology there are a few things to consider.

First and most importantly you really need to know your audience and what their existing sets of believes are. You can do this by checking out a few of them on social media and looking for articles they share, or asking them if you’re in touch with customers often. There are quite a few ways!

From there, you can share information from your brand that they already believe to be true. And if you do that well, they’re going to already agree with the content that you’re sharing and they’ll put more trust and belief in your brand as well.

Brian: Another way to incorporate this is to have really detailed product descriptions that assure people of the things they likely already believe about your product or business, maybe related to the quality or customer service, or value.

Psychological Bias 5: The Endowment Effect

Hailley: We have two more cognitive biases for you today. One is called the endowment effect and this is already quite popular among marketers.

It’s the idea that people assign more value to things merely because they own them.

So as marketers there are a lot of ways to play to this effect. Think of free coupons, free trials, and sample products.

All of those experiences create a sense of ownership that people are less likely to want to give up.

Focusing on marketing psychology, we offer free trials at Buffer and once someone has spent the time importing their social media accounts and incorporating Buffer into their routine they are less likely to want to give up the ownership they feel over their account when the trial ends.

Marketing Psychology - The Endowment Effect

Brian: The strange thing about the endowment effect as well is that people tend to pay more to keep something they already own than to get something new that they do not own—even when there is no cause for attachment, or even if the item was only obtained minutes ago.

If you’re in a mall and you buy an expensive sweater and then go to the store next door and see another nice sweater for even less money, you’re more likely to keep the original expensive sweater because you’ve already claimed ownership over it.

This point in marketing psychology is also related to status quo bias. This bias talks about how people like things to stay the same. So it sort of works in tandem with the endowment effect because once you have ownership over something you want that to stay the same, you don’t want to give it up.

Psychological Bias 6: Not Invented Here

Hailley: Let’s talk about something called “not invented here.”

Not Invented Here is the aversion to use products or accept ideas that are developed outside of a group. As a social phenomenon, this can manifest as an unwillingness to adopt an idea or product because it originates from another culture.

If you as a customer don’t recognize, identify with, or understand a product or service you’re less likely to use it.

Marketing Psychology - Not Invented Here

Brian: Exactly, and a very common way to overcome this bias is for newer companies to align themselves with well-known brands in content partnerships or swaps.

We do a lot of those at Buffer and they are effective for so many reasons and it seems like this could be one of them.

Say you’re a product from another part of the world and you’re trying to get U.S. customers, maybe you align yourself with a few U.S. companies on social media to help overcome the “not invented here effect.”

Another common way to use this marketing psychology is to feature the logos of well-known media companies on your website because if someone trusts the opinion of a place like.

FastCompany for example, and you’ve been featured in FastCompany, then that person is more likely to trust your brand because you’re associated with them.

State of Social Media 2019 Report [New Research]

Get the inside scoop from more than 1,800 marketers across the globe think about social media, what’s working, how the industry is changing, and more in our brand new State of Social Media 2019 Report.

Buffer State of Social Media 2019 Report

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 20,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Social

Slack Changes Their Logo and Designers Disapprove

slack new logo

Is it just me or are there other people who taught for a second that they accidentally downloaded a new game on their phones? Slack decided to evolve, but is it really an evolution? Let’s find out.

Over the past few years, Slack has gone through a few, very minor logo changes. All of them, however, had their iconic hashtag icon as its centerpiece. As of January 16, 2019, slack has announced another logo change, but this one is a little more drastic.

slack new logo

Why did it change?

As I said earlier, the Slack logo was well known among the digital community. It was easily recognizable. Slack starts their announcement by stating that they loved the old logo, but explained that they’ve, “Decided to evolve.”

The reason behind the change seems quite sincere. In the announcement, they explained that the logo was just hard to get right. With the large variety of colors, the logo had to be placed carefully, as any color background except white would absorb some of the colors in the logo.

They went on to explain that they tried to develop many different varieties of their famous logo, but that meant that they had many different app logos, and that simply didn’t sit well. Each logo looked great by itself, but when compared to each other, they almost looked as if they each represented a different company.

slack new logo

The backlash

Since Slack has a very, and I mean very large user base, it makes sense that there would be a response from them, and well, it’s not great. The logo went from a colorful, perfectly designed masterpiece that made so much sense for the app, to a standard, run-of-the-mill logo that can easily get lost in a sea of apps.

The team at Pentagram that helped design it had this to say:

“After exploring a wide range of possibilities, the designers decided to retain the equity of the hashtag, or octothorpe, rebuilding it with two basic geometric shapes, a speech bubble and lozenge, that can be extracted and used as graphic elements.”

slack new logo

There was a lot of thought that went into this new logo. There are many elements that make sense. Even the speech bubbles were a clever idea. But the reality is, it’s nothing but a fancy Google logo, and they thought of it first, thus the criticism. 

Quite many publications wrote about the new logo and, oh man, it’s bad. Here are some: writes: “It’s… well, it’s not great! The jaunty angle is gone. The colors are still there, but suddenly it would be hard to pick out Slack in a sea of same-y startup logos.” says: “It went from a unique, quirky logo to something that looks like it belongs at your local pharmacy. Or maybe a Web 2.0 law firm or bank. Perhaps a summer arts program at the local middle school?”

Erin Scott Johnson went viral on Twitter with an eye-opening tweet: “The negative space in the new Slack logo makes it look like a whimsical swastika. Thank you for coming to my TED talk about how the internet has ruined my brain forever.”

slack new logo

And from there, the new Slack logo that was supposed to be a symbol of the tool’s evolution becomes a meme.

 tweets: “ has a new logo that I’m pretty sure is actually four ducks sewn together in an uroboros human/duck centipede. You add eyes and you can’t miss it.”

slack new logo

What do you think about the new logo? Let us know in the comment section below.

Read More at Slack Changes Their Logo and Designers Disapprove

from Web Design Ledger

The Most In-Demand Skills of 2019 (According to LinkedIn), YouTube Advertising, Our Ultimate Facebook Engagement Guide, and More!

Each week on the Science of Social Media we cover some of the most important trends, news, research, and insights in social media marketing.

In episode #129, we discuss the most in-demand skills of 2019 (according to LinkedIn), why we’re bullish on YouTube advertising, a brand new guide on Facebook engagement, Instagram’s latest feature, and much more!

Whether you’re just getting started in social media or a seasoned marketing veteran, you’re sure to learn a few tips and tricks to help take your social media to the next level.

Let’s dive in!

The Science of Social Media: Episode #129

What follows is a lightly-edited transcript of the Buffer Podcast episode #129 for your reading pleasure.

Table of Contents

Hailley: Recently, LinkedIn released some brand new research from their platform.

The most in-demand skills of 2019 (according to LinkedIn)

Cloud computing.

That is the single most in-demand skill for 2019, according to LinkedIn’s latest research.

Linked pulled data around both the hard and soft skills that companies are working diligently to fill right now. Cloud computing came in at number one.

Brian: While we all may not be cloud computing experts, you may be surprised to find what skills companies are looking for this year.

And just for a quick refresher, hard skills are defined as specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured. You know, things like typing, writing, math, reading, etc.

Hailley: On the other hand, soft skills derived from the right side of the brain, are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as communication skills, empathy, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk.

We’ve found that having a framework in place allows us to identify opportunities for growth and skill development at Buffer. We call it the T-Shaped Marketer Framework:

Buffer T-Shaped Marketer Framework


Here are 10 of the most in-demand hard skills:

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. People Management
  4. UX Design
  5. Mobile App Development
  6. Video Production
  7. Data Science
  8. Social Media Marketing
  9. Animation
  10. Digital Marketing


Here are the top 5 in-demand soft skills of the year:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Time Management

Brian: I really agree with the fact that creativity was at the top of desirable soft skills.

Businesses and brands everywhere need people who can innovate and conceive fresh ideas and solutions.

Time management is also a big one as I think that as the world becomes more connected and remote work continues to rise, time management and productivity skills are crucial for professionals.

Brands’ YouTube advertising opportunity in 2019

Hailley: Let’s talk about why we think YouTube advertising is the next big opportunity in social media, well, advertising in general.

As you might know, YouTube advertising is very different from running a PPC or paid social campaign.

Brian: Which could be a positive or negative, depending on who you ask.

Either way, there’s no arguing that YouTube is a behemoth of a platform:

  • Nearly 2 billion monthly users
  • 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube every month
  • Second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook

Yet for some reason, YouTube ads rarely seem to be talked about.

Hailley: I think it’s one of those things where businesses aren’t quite sure how to approach YouTube advertising and businesses seeing success with YouTube ads aren’t sharing their secrets.

And if you’re comparing to something like Google AdWords, keywords are relatively less expensive to target on YouTube than in traditional search.

Views cost an average of $0.06 per click on YouTube, compared to the average Google Search cost per click, which is estimated to be between $1-2.

YouTube Advertising 101

Brian: I think the bigger question is how YouTube advertising performs vs. Facebook ads, which most marketers are used to.

Our friends over at Agora Pulse ran a pretty interesting study testing the two and found that not only did YouTube drive more traffic to their website, but that YouTube traffic converted 66% better than Facebook traffic.

Hailley: Exactly and when comparing costs of video views, believe it or not, YouTube also came in lower than Facebook.

While everyone seems to be flocking to Facebook advertising because of these success stories you hear, many forget about YouTube and AdWords, and many other advertising networks that have always gotten results.

Brian: Obviously we could and probably will dedicate an entire episode to YouTube advertising. Actually that’s a good idea!

But in the meantime, a few quick things to know before you go.

First is that there are lots of different YouTube ads that you can run, giving you some flexibility like video TrueView ads, In-Stream Ads, Discovery Ads, and Bumpers.

Hailley: Second is that there are a ton of targeting options available, just like within Facebook. You can target folks based off of options like gender, age, and parental status. You can also target by their interests, such as beauty mavens, cooking enthusiasts, comedy movie fans, etc.

Lastly, if you want to learn all about YouTube marketing and how we grew our channel by 59% in 30 days, go check out episode #95.

Our ultimate guide to Facebook engagement in 2019

Brian: One of the biggest questions on all marketers’ minds in 2019 is, “How do we get more engagement for our brand on social media?

And how do we do that on big, but competitive platforms like Facebook?

Hailley: Though there’s probably no silver bullet to success, there are some things to know if you want to increase your chances.

Remember that BuzzSumo study we chatted about last week in episode #128?

Well, there’s more to the story…

Brian: Yes there is!

These are the more technical aspects of our findings. Starting with the fact that, and we mentioned this last week, but it’s worth mentioning again, video posts get at least 59% more engagement than other post types.

Best Facebook Post Format - Facebook Engagement

Although photos are widely accepted by marketers to be one of the most successful post types, video outperformed photos by 73%.

Hailley: Wow.

We also have some brand new stats for you as well. When it comes to Facebook post timing, posts published between 9pm-11pm EST seem to perform the best.

Try saving some of your best content for those hours and see how they perform against other hours of the day. Your audience may be different, so be sure to consider their daily routines and cater to the times when they may be surfing their social feeds.

Brian: Speaking of daily routines, according to the data, Saturday and Sunday are the best days to post to Facebook engagement.

Many businesses take the weekends off and therefore may be choosing to only post Monday through Friday.

Which of course, might be a mistake. And we’ve found this at Buffer on our own Facebook page as well. Saturdays and Sundays always seem to perform better than during the weekdays.

Hailley: How about caption length?

Well, if you want the best chance of engagement, keep your Facebook posts no longer than 50 characters. Characters, not words. Which is super short.

But I think this makes sense — Facebook consumption is extremely passive, and attention spans are short. You need to be able to grab people’s attention quickly and effectively if you want to be noticed.

Brian: Shorter the better!

Let’s talk Facebook video marketing specifics.

This first one was really surprising to me..

The data showed that the optimal length of a Facebook video is between 3 and 5 minutes.

Hailley: Wow. That’s a lot different than some of the stats that we found last year.

And just to get specific here, the most effective videos were between 3 minutes and 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

However, looking at the data, videos between 20 seconds and 2 minutes are still super effective. I have a feeling that there were a few larger pages skewing the results there.

Best Facebook Video Length 2019 - Facebook Marketing

Brian: The takeaway is that no matter how you look at it, video works. 20 seconds 3 minutes, you name it.

In terms of the topics that worked best, no surprise here:

  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Animals
  • Beauty
  • DIY
  • Humor
  • Gaming
  • Technology

Which leaves the table pretty wide open for brands creating video in 2019.

Hailley: Agreed, no matter what kind of brand you are or product you sell, video can absolutely be the focal point in your 2019 Facebook marketing strategy.

And last, but not least, one of my favorite parts of the study talked about why people share online. According to a study from The New York Times, people share:

  • To delight others with valuable & entertaining content
  • To identify and present ourselves to others,
  • To foster relationships
  • For self-fulfillment
  • For spreading the word about issues, products & brands

And we talked about this in episode 128, but essentially, people are using social media to reflect who they are – or who they want people to think they are.

Seems intuitive, but I think sometimes as brands we share content that we ourselves like. Not what our audience likes and resonates with. If that makes any sense at all!

How brands can use Instagram’s new Close Friends feature

Hailley: To end the show we have a fun new social media strategy to try. Shoutout to Social Media Examiner for this one.

Some of you may have heard about Instagram’s latest “Close Friends” feature. Well, a few savvy brands have started to use that new feature to their advantage.

The Close Friends feature allows you to share Instagram stories with only a select group of people from those you follow.

Instagram Close Friends Feature

Brian: To set up your close friends list from your profile settings, go to your profile on Instagram and tap on the three-line button in the top-right corner. From the menu, select Close Friends.

The close friends list will open, providing you with recommended users to add.

You can also use the search field to find specific users to add to the list. Simply tap the green Add button to move that user to your close friends list.

Hailley: Once you have your Close Friends list set up, you’re set to go. Now as you are probably already thinking at this point, brands can get super creative with their close friends list. You can use the new feature to:

  • Add top customers or influencers to the list.
  • Host a social media contest
  • Stream live or private events
  • Engage with your most active followers
  • Share updates with your employees to add to their own stories
  • and more!

The possibilities to get create are endless.

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

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About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 20,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Social

Looking for a Change in 2019? Any of These Best-Selling WordPress Themes Can Make It Happen

Have you made up your mind that 2019 is going to be a breakout year for your web design efforts? Then, the best way to start is by using the WordPress CMS as your design platform.

Unless you’re already using WordPress, the next step involves the choice of a WordPress theme. It will help you to get the New Year off to a roaring start. We mean selecting one or more themes that will best suit your needs. You can go from building better than average websites to building awesome ones.

Our short reviews are designed to make your search as easy as possible. We’ve selected the best and brightest WordPress themes for 2019. They range from multipurpose and creative themes to specialty themes. Latter are loaded with features you won’t find elsewhere.

Let’s get started with –


  1. Be Theme

We’ve started with Be Theme for a reason. This multipurpose WordPress theme is big, brash, and bold in its approach to website design. Its powerful set of core features (40 of them) provide all the tools, templates, and design options you need to create any type of website you can think of and do so without the need for a single line of code.

Be Theme’s design flexibility and ease of use are due to several factors, the primary one being its library of over 400 pre-built websites. These pre-built websites, any of which can be installed with a single click, address more than 30 different website types and industry and business sectors.

Furthermore, they are professionally designed, customizable, responsive, and feature functionalities that enable you to create websites that lead to UX solutions compliant with the latest industry design trends and standards.

Tools include the popular MuffinBuilder page builder, a powerful Admin Panel, Layout and Short Code generators, and Be’s new and improved Header Builder. This WP theme is a great way to get the New Year off to a blazing start.


  1. Bridge

If it’s a WordPress theme that’s oriented toward creative website designs you’re looking for, Bridge is worth checking out. This best-selling creative theme gives you loads of website building options to work with, and due in large part to its open-ended customizability, Bridge can lay claim to be the most popular creative WordPress theme on the market; that is if 100,000+ satisfied customers who’ve given it a 5-star rating have a say.

Selecting among Bridge’s library of 376 (and counting) pre-made websites will get any project off to a quick start, and this theme’s modular design approach makes it easy for you to maintain your momentum.

You’re given the tools you need to build a blog, create listings and design a magazine or an online store without any need for coding. Visual Composer, Layer Slider, Revolution Slider, and Timetable Responsive Scheduling come with the package.

Browse the pre-made websites. Then, sit back and think of the possibilities.


  1. Brook

It’s not solely the features that make a WordPress theme like Brook a ThemeForest best seller, it’s the great performance resulted from the theme’s flexibility, usability, and compatibility as well. Brook’s authors have made enormous efforts to ensure that their work is pixel-perfect and squeaky-clean enough to run smoothly & seamlessly.

Brook offers a huge collection of homepage layouts, which are continuously updated to ensure they’re always in sync with the latest web design trends and standards. You’ll also benefit from the diverse styles of blogs, portfolios, and custom pages included in the theme package.

As for the tools, powerful plugins like WPBakery Page Builder, Slider Revolution, WooCommerce, Font Awesome 5 Pro, etc. all of these will be more than enough to keep your workflow moving, and most importantly, to ensure a UX that will engage new site visitors and keep them coming back for more.


  1. Kalium

This WordPress theme’s impressive array of layout designs and drag and drop content elements allows you to showcase your work just as you’ve always envisioned doing so, whether your new at website design or a pro.

Kalium’s secret lies in its unique and well-organized assortment of demos and premium bundled plugins and fonts. Kalium always maintains compatibility with the latest WordPress updates and versions and is always in sync with the latest web design standards and trends.

  1. TheGem

According to most users and reviewers, TheGem is the most amazing multipurpose theme on the market and the most beautiful as well. This high-performance multipurpose theme, created by the Behance network of top designers, is modern in its design, extremely flexible, and responsive.

TheGem is a complete website-building toolkit you can use for everything from businesses to non-profits, from online shops to blogs, and everything in between.


  1. Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

With Uncode, it’s only a matter of choosing a template and customizing it any way you wish to build an attention-grabbing portfolio in a few short hours. This premium WordPress theme is flexible, extremely user friendly, and it features all the design options and functionality you’re ever likely to need.

This theme’s showcase of user-created websites is a genuine source of inspiration, plus it clearly demonstrates what you could accomplish by buying into this theme.


  1. Grenada – Creative Ajax Portfolio Showcase Slider Theme

You’ll like what this innovative and elegant theme has to offer if your objective is to create websites that feature the same characteristics and are distinguished by fast performance as well. Grenada’s super-fast Ajax page load feature accounts for the speed, plus this WordPress theme is responsive and totally compatible with the latest WordPress version – 5.0

It’s also worth noting that Grenada is fully compatible with Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor.


  1. Houzez – Highly Customizable Real Estate WordPress Theme

Businesses really like website and app features and functionalities that perfectly fit their business models. This is definitely true of real estate agencies that have their own unique business models to design to.

Houzez is a highly flexible specialty theme that, in addition to its advanced property search and listings functionalities, unique property management system, and many other features, can easily be customized to fit any realtor’s business model and meet any realtor’s business needs.


  1. Avada WordPress Theme

Avada not only makes it possible for you to create virtually any design style; it also makes it almost ridiculously easy to do so since there’s never a need for custom coding to achieve what you want.

Avada has been atop the best-selling list for the past 5 years and shows no sign of settling for anything less. Its users particularly like Avada’s unlimited design capabilities, responsive framework, multiple design options and tools, and excellent support.

  1. Real Homes

A significant number of Real Homes’ community of 17,500+ customers have, in their reviews of this specialty WordPress theme, given it a 4.66/5-star rating. Customers seldom rate a theme this high unless it offers excellent support, is easy to work with, and provides them with a set of features that more than adequately address end user needs.

In Real Homes’ case, these features include customizable property search and listing functionalities and property submission and payment gateway options.


  1. Schema

With Schema in your design toolbox, SEO just got a lot easier. This WordPress theme deciphers the mysteries of what search engines look for in a website by guiding them through your website one content element at a time to help them find the features they’re looking for.

Schema takes into account page load times, code quality, and Google algorithm friendliness, and leads to both UX improvement and higher website rankings.


  1. Pofo – Creative Portfolio, Blog and eCommerce WordPress Theme

Pofo focuses on three areas, ties them neatly in a bow, and presents you with the ingredients to build the type of website creatives love to have; a website that combines a stunning portfolio with an engaging blogging section and an eCommerce store.

This modern, creative theme is ideal for artists, agencies, creative teams, businesses, and bloggers. The package features 150+ pre-built design elements along with an excellent assortment of home and one-click demo pages.


  1. ForumPress

The features and functionality to create a website forum is non-existent in most WordPress themes and is even lacking in most of the premium themes. The ForumPress WordPress theme is powered by the bbPress plugin, which makes it super-easy to set up a forum in seconds.

Then, it’s simply a matter of fitting your forum design the community you wish to reach, and tweaking it to match your brand.


  1. KnowAll

KnowAll provides the perfect solution if your business isn’t prepared to provide customer support 24/7, or when you happen to be away from your office. This #1 in its class WordPress theme answers questions customers are most likely to ask, and even provides suggestions in those cases where a customer doesn’t know quite what to ask about.

With KnowAll, customers are not kept waiting, and the number of problem tickets to be managed can be significantly reduced.


  1. MOVEDO – We DO MOVE Your World

This best-selling WordPress theme is noted for its cutting edge designs, mind-bending parallax effects, unique animations, and other attention-getting and engaging special effects.

The highly-rated MOVEDO design team recognized early on the power of movement in website design, whether that motion is real or illusionary. This theme would be worth looking into if you’ve been looking for some ideas that might add a little spark and some zest to your websites.



Picking a premium WordPress theme can be a problem since there are so many to choose among. After a while, they start looking the same, and you risk selecting one that doesn’t quite fill the bill.

We’ve made it easy for you with this list of 15 of the very best.

Choosing among the very best can still take a little time. But not all that much, and you’re sure to find one to carry you through 2019 and beyond.

Read More at Looking for a Change in 2019? Any of These Best-Selling WordPress Themes Can Make It Happen

from Web Design Ledger

Jonnah Moreno’s Artwork Will Make You Use More Color In Design

Jonnah Moreno

Jonnah Moreno caught our eyes and made us fall in love with his art from the first sight. The richness of colors, diversity of textures and variety of shapes all make Jonnah Moreno’s art stand out in the crowd. Let’s find out more about the designer together.

  • Tell us something about you (a short bio).

Hi, it’s me Jonnah Moreno, and I am Graphic Designer from a small town in Chihuahua just north of México called “Ciudad Juárez”. 

I think that burrito is the most delicious thing.  I love to create using many colors.

  • Your work is based mostly on “designing humans.” What or who inspired you to focus your work on this specific niche?

Because I am a Photographer too, and I love to shoot Portraits, so for me mixing things gives me everything. I can mix my photo, my design, and my art with color.

Jonnah Moreno

  • We love the abundance of color you use in your designs. What makes you choose bright colors over black and white designs?

Thank you! Actually, it’s funny because I do not prepare a palette of colors to create the artwork, just work in black and white, the piece is giving me the color solution. It’s weird, but I like to work under the taste of the moment.

  • What is your design process like?

First I choose my muse to work on, then I imagine the shapes that I want to give in it, from texture, accommodation, composition, and then I begin to give color to my artwork. Something that works for me a lot is to use pure colors and mix with them together.

Jonnah Moreno

  • How do you stay updated with what is new in the design world?

I love being in all possible networks, and following people whose work I love and inspire me.

I also really like to be surprised by new artists and designers, which I can find anywhere from Instagram to behance.

  • Have you worked with any major brands? Describe your experience. What have you learned from them?

Not so many, I would love to do more, but with brands that embrace what I believe.

Jonnah Moreno

  • What is your favorite piece of work and why? How did you create it?

It is a very difficult question because in each of my projects I give 100% of me, so each one represents a stage and evolution of my work.

  • Who are your favorite 3 designers?

Ufff…. 1. Rik Oostenbroek 2. David Milan 3. Erik Jones and PLUS 4 Rodolfo Baquier.

  • What is something new that you learned as a designer in your past experience (jobs & internships)?

Never stop learning, always keep the desire to see something that blows your mind, challenge yourself every day, and never stop creating things.

Jonnah Moreno

  • Do you have enough free time for your family, friends and for your (other) hobbies?

Yes, I do. I like to have balances in my life, but if I were honest, I love creating all the time so for me, being out of my work area helps me to clear up to create new things.

  • Do you remember about your first project? Tell us about it.

Yes, it was in 2009 for a new magazine in the city, and I had already worked on things, but not on something like that. I made interiors for the cover of a magazine, and there I started to create and fall in love with the colors.

  • What do you think the future of graphic-design holds?

I do not know, every year it grows, it transforms, it evolves, I do not know what to expect from it, it’s something that excites me.

Jonnah Moreno

  • What are the technologies you think will stand out in the next few months and years?

The iPad for sure, and any device like that, because life becomes more simple, and we need things that come to make it so.

  • What were your biggest accomplishments in graphic-design?

Every year I’m surprised by new things, and I always want it to be that way. I’ve worked on projects that I never imagined doing, and I never want to lose that.

  • Novice designers go through a hard time when their work is not appreciated by the clients. What do you do if your client is not satisfied with your work? What would you advice beginner designers to do in such circumstances?

1. Know how to choose your clients well, know if you are what they need.

2. Get as much information as possible from the project to have a bigger picture.

3. Discover why you do not like it, and if it really communicates.

4. It’s not bad to erase everything and start over, but make your time worth it.

Jonnah Moreno

  • How do you achieve and maintain creativity?

uuufff … creating new things in general, creating phrases, ideas, projects, jokes, solutions, these are all for my creativity in an exercise of life.


Read More at Jonnah Moreno’s Artwork Will Make You Use More Color In Design

from Web Design Ledger

Visual Composer’s New Name and the Confusing Story behind It

The Visual Composer users have found themselves quite confused lately, and we are here to clear the things up.

You have probably seen two new names in our offer; WP Bakery and Visual Composer Website Builder.

So the big question is

“Which one is the original Visual Composer?”

If you think that the WP Bakery is a new product while the Visual Composer Website Builder is just the new name behind which is the old Visual Composer – unfortunately, you are wrong.

We admit that the whole thing is quite confusing and we understand why so many of our users, as well as long-term partners, are upset with us.

Which brings us to the reason we decided to publish this post in the first place. Above all, we want to apologize for the confusion around Visual Composer, and we want to explain the whole story of what happened here.

We are sorry for the mess we have created around Visual Composer.

We admit that we should have explained what caused this situation at the very beginning before it escalated.

So let’s finally do that and dive deeper into the mind-twisting story behind this huge mess that got even worse as we tried to fix it along the way.

It all started with one thing that caused a big domino effect of issues that went down one after another:

Changing the name of the Visual Composer Page Builder

On every major WP theme, you have probably noticed the name above. After all, it was included as a premium plugin in the majority of the all-time favorite WordPress themes.

So the big question is: Why would we change the name in the first place when it was so well-known and easily recognizable?

The truth is – because we had to; we did not have a choice.

If you want the whole story, check out the video below.

It all began with our new product, the Visual Composer Website Builder. It is worth mentioning that the Visual Composer Page Builder and the Visual Composer Website builder are two entirely different products used for different purposes.

The Page Builder is an Envato-exclusive product with a lifetime license (like all products sold with Envato). The Website Builder, on the other hand, was meant to move away from the lifetime license model. We wanted to create a product much more complex in features and specially designed for the users whose building needs have rapidly evolved.

However, the new features came hand in hand with much higher development costs which that could only be sustained with a yearly license model. In addition to that, we wanted to be in the direct touch with our users because we recognized the need for the best support we could possibly provide.

However, our plans took a wrong direction because

We overlooked a crucial detail that forced us into a difficult decision

And that detail in question was the contract we signed with Envato and all its limitations.

Long story short, we were not allowed to sell another product under the Visual Composer name outside their platform.

At that point, we had to choose our next step. We had two options:

  1. We could adjust our new product to fit the lifetime license model and put it up on Envato.
  2. We could change the product name to lift the contractual limitations.

It was not an easy choice to make, and we knew that both options had significant downsides. We weighed our two options over and over again, and eventually, we decided to go with the option 2. We decided not to compromise the quality of our new product, and this was the only way to do it.

And that is how the Visual Composer Page Builder became WP Bakery

And that is where the whole confusion started. Not only were we buried in the developing process of our new product which required our full attention, but we also had to deal with a whole new set of unplanned changes.

Dealing with all that work, we did not immediately notice the vast confusion we created.

Not only were people confused about the name change, but they also didn’t understand what our new product, Visual Composer Website Builder, was. Was it a new product or just a rebranding of the old one? And what about WP Bakery?

So let’s take it step by step and explain the difference between the two once and for all.

What is Visual Composer Website Builder and what does it do?

The Visual Composer Website Builder is a live-preview editor with drag-and-drop features. It is not the same thing as the Visual Composer Page Builder. It is an entirely new tool. It comes in two versions; the free and the Premium version.

There are hundreds of ready-to-use content elements to choose from that will help you turn your ideas and visions into reality. It is easy to use thanks to the drag-and-drop features, and you can see all the changes instantly.

It can be used with any theme, including your existing themes. On top of that, you can choose from a variety of WP templates for different types of pages (landing pages, portfolios, corporate websites, product pages and many more).

Page editing works in two ways; frontend editor and tree view. With the tree view, you can navigate through the elements available on the page which will save you a lot of time during the process.

One big perk of the Visual Composer Website Builder is the fact that there is a header, footer, and sidebar editor available in the Premium version of the product.

In addition to that, you can access numerous useful add-ons that you can get from the third-party developers or the Visual Composer’s dedicated Hub.

Are Visual Composer Website Builder and WP Bakery the same thing?

Short answer: No. These are two entirely different tools. Let’s take a moment to explain the main differences between the two.

Some people believe that the Visual Composer Website Builder is merely a premium version of the WP Bakery. It is not.

Visual Composer Website Builder’s code was built from zero with React.Js. It does not use any of the WordPress shortcodes. It was developed using the feedback from our users to offer them the best experience possible.

However, the most significant difference between the two products is that WP Bakery is only for the content part, while Visual Composer Website Builder allows you to build a complete website (with Headers and Footers).

Like mentioned before, Visual Composer Website Builder does not use any shortcodes, while WP Bakery is shortcode-based.

In practice, this means that the VC Website Builder:

  1. allows you to generate clean code
  2. doesn’t get messy if you disable the plugin (like it happens with shortcode-based plugins)

On top of that, VC Website Builder comes with a cloud-based Hub from which you can download all the elements you find useful. Basically, you can handpick the elements you need and download only them rather than bloating the website with a bunch of unnecessary assets.

There’s a full list of difference between the two products that you can check right here.

That being said, we also have to point out that WP Bakery is still getting the same amount of work and attention as it did before we developed VC Website Builder. Both of the products are equally as important to us, and we want to offer the best user experience possible.

Thank you for taking a moment to go through this story with us. If you have any additional questions regarding our products, please leave a comment, and we will try to give you the answer as soon as possible

Read More at Visual Composer’s New Name and the Confusing Story behind It

from Web Design Ledger