Select One Of The 5 Best Hosting Services For Your Website

When a website has been built exactly as specified what could possibly go wrong? It’s further assumed that the product the website promotes should draw large amounts of traffic.

Yet its expectations somehow fall short.

There are a few reasons that could cause that to happen. A common one is a performance issue that you can trace back to the web hosting service.

The website owner pays a big price when the hosting doesn’t do what it should. For example, when it cannot deliver adequate page loading speeds. Or when it doesn’t handle the information capacity a website requires.  Also, when it’s not reliable and/or offers substandard support.

It’s no secret that few website owners understand the impact a hosting service can have on a website’s performance.

There are plenty of hosting services that would like the opportunity to serve you. Some are better than others in terms of the services they provide.

Here are 5 sure winners.

SiteGround

SiteGround is highly reliable, performance optimised and secured hosting platform with nearly perfect 99.99% Uptime. They are in the web hosting business for 13+ years with a global operation supported by five data centres located on three continents. They offer handy features to enhance Designers and Developers workflow like automatic WordPress updates, WP-CLI, Drush, SSH, FTP and staging for WordPress and Joomla.

Their in-house and proactive server monitoring system helps to nip problems in the bud, without having to go through a fire drill when a server disruption occurs. When a server disruption takes place, it’s immediately addressed and fixed. Also, their own backup system creates copies with minimal resource usage which allows rapid restore in times of need.

It seems that almost every week companies are a victim of security breaches. However SiteGround has gone the extra mile in producing innovative measures to  protect their clients. Each account on SiteGround’s shared hosting platform is protected in critical situations via account isolation through a chroot environment. SG Site Scanner is another tool crafted by SiteGround and powered by Sucuri. It detects and warns you in the case of a malware issue. Their support is very fast and knowledgeable in questions that go beyond hosting. All that is noticed by WordPress.org where they officially recommend SiteGround as one of the brightest hosting providers.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting’s brand is centered around speed and performance. Today’s website users barely tolerate moderate page loading times. They quickly go elsewhere when a site’s page loads take more than a few seconds. This premier web hosting service lets you put behind you whatever problems you may have experienced with website server speed or performance.

You have multiple server options open to you as well; one or more of which should admirably address your needs. They include Cloud VPS hosting and managed VPS hosting. Select a private server option if that will best suit your needs, or opt for a managed or unmanaged dedicated server.

Whatever your choice, you’ll be pleasantly rewarded with page loading that is not only fast, but “screaming fast”; and A2 Hosting can offer something even faster. Their Turbo server and SwiftServer capabilities can produce page loading speeds that exceed what most hosting services provide by a factor of 20!

99.9+% uptime is routine, plus you can expect to receive speedy around-the-clock support 24/7/365.

WordPress VIP

Website hosting fee structures that are subject to change with changes in website traffic or capacity can sometimes create unanticipated problems for the website owners. The WordPress VIP team believes that owners should not be penalized for running a successful website by being required to pay more due to increasing web traffic or a need for more capacity. Their flat fee structure lets you avoid these issues. WordPress VIP also provides other helpful services.

GlowHost

If you’ve outgrown the limits of your present shared hosting plan, and your hosting service has recommended upgrading to a managed VPS plan, a better solution might be to consider GlowHost as a replacement. Their Elastic Sites Plan (actually 3 different plans), provides the dedicated resources you require, it’s reliable, and from your perspective, it’s just as easy to manage as is a VPS service.

Pagely – Premium WordPress Hosting Solutions

Pagely’s premium Managed Hosting service caters exclusively to large WordPress sites and is a solid solution for publishers, universities, and enterprise level companies. Pagely is a market leader in speed, scalability, & security, and as a top-tier host they provide tech-focused support plus their own security suite, CDN, and caching system. Fully revenue funded, with no outside investors to answer to, their team’s first priority is always the customer.

Follow These Tips for Choosing a Web Hosting Service

One or more of the 5 hosting services discussed here should more than meet your needs. Making a wrong choice on your part is highly unlikely; but by following these few tips, you should find it easier to choose among 2 or more solid candidates.

  • The first thing you should do is to explain to yourself what your website does, what its purpose is, and the type of website it is. A hobby website, or a blog or personal site,would typically have quite different hosting needs than a company site or an online store.
  • Where is your website heading; or where do you want it to go? If it will grow because your business is expanding and you’re getting more and more traffic and customers every day, you might eventually find yourself having to change hosting options or services. Keep this in mind as you choose a host.
  • Pay close attention to what a potential host says about its customer service. Being able to rely on a knowledgeable and highly responsive support team is especially important if down-time or technical issues could have an adverse impact on the service you’re providing to your own clients or customers.
  • Read customer and professional reviews. They can often give you a good picture of the pros and cons involved in selecting a web host. Be on the lookout for issues users may have had with a host’s customer support team.
  • Don’t make price your key factor in making your choice. The cheapest price may be enticing, but you could end up depending on slow or unreliable servers, substandard customer support, or having to share time with unprofessional, resource-hogging websites.
  • As distasteful as it sounds, you should make a point of reading a web hosting service’s Terms of Service. Don’t simply scroll to the bottom and place a checkmark in the box to indicate your agreement. See what the host’s refund and upgrade policies are.
  • Don’t sign up for any hosting service that doesn’t have a clearly spelled out backup plan. A disruption in service can be annoying, but a permanent loss of data or of your website is far worse.
  • If security features are not spelled out, you should ask about them. Those things happen, and you want to make sure any private information you have about your customers and their transactions will always be kept safe.

Summarizing

These 5 hosting services are the best that money can buy. At least one of them, and probably more, should fully meet your needs; both now and in the future. Each offers superb customer service, or they wouldn’t be on the list. We still suggest checking out the reviews before you make your final choice.

Read More at Select One Of The 5 Best Hosting Services For Your Website

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/select-one-5-best-hosting-services-website/

20 Examples of Creative Graphic Designers’ Resumes

We all know the creative industry is a special one, characterized by more competitiveness than any other industry. Especially since the use of the Internet has broken down the geographic boundaries, making possible the collaboration between the customers and the designers worldwide. But with so many creative graphic designers around the world, just getting noticed is extremely difficult, not to mention getting customers – if you work as freelancer – or being hired – if you want to work in a company.

Just having a brilliant portfolio is not enough anymore to stand apart from your competitors. You need something extra, in order to get the full attention of your potential customers or employers. Therefore, the designers around the world have found and have been coming up with unusual and creative resumes to stand out of the crowd and gain an edge in the hunt for getting hired.

We searched around the internet and compiled for you twenty great examples of graphic designers’ creative resumes you can get inspiration from, and that will help you to reinvent your resume.  

1. Livia Natalie

 

Livia Natalie (www.behance.net/livianatalie) is an Indonesian multimedia graphic designer, with expertise in branding, illustration, motion graphic, and UI/UX. Maybe for some people an animated CV could be a little bit risky proposition, but she really did a great job with her resume. It’s funny, playful, beautiful animated and it covers all the essential points the employers need to know about her. And the best part is that it takes just one minute to see it, making him more likely for people to go through the whole thing.  

2. Benjamin Benhaim

Benjamin Benhaim (www.behance.net/benjamin-benhaim) is a Paris-based art director and motion designer whose resume was inspired by the Jimmy Raheriarisoa’s flat CV. Being created using Cinema 4D, Octane and After Effects, this resume covers all his bases skills and has a plenty of playful touches. Not just the renderings, but also the combination of bright, light and lambent colors are the elements that draw the viewers’ eyes and makes them look for more.        

3. Robby Leonardi

Robby Leonardi (www.rleonardi.com/interactive-resume) is a New-York based multidisciplinary designer. Specialized in graphic design, illustration, animation and front-end development, he worked for companies like Fox, Speed TV, FX Networks, myNetworkTV, and G4 and won multiple awards. His incredibly funny and interactive resume definitely draws the attention not just of the potential customer and employers, but also shows his incredible talent and creativity. It’s a real pleasure to keep scrolling it over and over again!

4. Vincenzo Castro

 

 

Vincenzo Castro (www.behance.net/vincenzocastro) is a young Italian graphic designer based in Milan, whose work is focused mostly on user interface, digital art and illustration. His schematic CV looks clean and simple, almost like and assembly sketch and highlights all his basis skills.        

5. João Martins

 

Look at this creative resume! João Martins (www.behance.net/joaocrmartins) is a young Portuguese graphic designer based in Lisbon, who focuses on graphic design, motion design in television and User Interface design! His resume is absolutely visual. By combining photography and graphics, the CV not just highlights his skills, experience and the strengths of the designer, but also makes anyone wanting to keep reading.

6. Evelin Callens

(www.behance.net/EvelienCallens) is a Belgian graphic designer and illustrator. Her love for minimalism and geometric shapes is also highlighted by her resume. She keeps things short and nice with a clear design. Evelien has chosen to use a mint-moss green color that works very well with the organization of the information from her resume and her title branding. Also, the origami elements added here bring an interesting dimension and personality to Evelien’s resume.   

 

7. Alysa Choudri

Things almost get crazy with this extremely creative and psychedelic Alysa Choudri’s (http://alysachoudri.tumblr.com/ ) resume. If you take a closer look, she managed to give a lot of information without being boring and cramped. Graphic designer, photographer and illustrator, Alysa loves colors and uses them to add a new dimension to her resume.

 

8. Chuck Lay

 

 

You might think this is an add page from an old newspaper, right? Well, no! It’s Chuck Lay’s (http://chuckdlay.deviantart.com) resume, a Dallas-based graphic designer. A lot of his inspiration comes mostly from the comic books and you can see this not just in his work, but also in his CV. And as the vintage design is one of the hottest trends for 2017, Chuck Lay’s resume for sure draws the eyes and stands out from the crowd.   

 

9. Zhiyang Lim

 

Zhiyang Lim (www.behance.net/limzhiyang) is a Singapore-based designer and front-end developer who always tries to think outside of the box. Believing the design can transform the world, Zhiyang has chosen a creative, playful and colorful version for his CV. Based on the concept of his working place, the resume has a cartoon-like design. Even if there are almost 15 design elements there, you can still say a lot about his experience and skills. This is a great example of the expression “an image worth more than 100 words” and of how you can tell a story without actually saying anything.

10.Steve Fraschini

With this resume, Steve Fraschini (https://dribbble.com/novagraphix) – graphic designer based in Paris – proved that the classic black & white still play the game in the design world and can win it. With a simple and clean design, having the information very well organized and some design elements that draw your eyes to every section, this resume is a good option for those who love the minimalism and classic.

 

11. Eric Ghandi

This smart and creative resume was created by Eric Ghandi (www.ericgandhi.com). Starting from the belief that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, his CV just shows us this. It’s simple and it’s brilliant! Nothing more than a couple of Google fonts, Google logo, a great idea and a lot of creativity!

 

12. Kelly Weihs

Kelly Weihs’s (www.behance.net/KellyWeihs) resume stands out from the crowd thanks to its vintage and western style design. Starting from the idea of creating a CV that is different from everyone else and loving the historically inspired designs, Kelly had a lot of fun while designing this resume. And she did a very good job!

13. Omondi Abudho

Omondi Abudho (www.behance.net/pixcaliba) is a Kenyan art director and photographer, based in Nairobi. Picking up a bit of attention for his resume, Abudho has designed his CV as an unfolded box. So, if they want, all the potential employers can cut it out and following the die, can fold it into a box, completed with the creative “nutrition” facts.

14. Amber Van Mieghem

Amber Van Mieghem (www.behance.net/amberlink) is a young Belgium graphic designer. Named “Take a look inside”, her resume is creative and compact. Designed as a flyer and playing interesting with the folding lines and shapes, Amber’s CV is reveals all what a customer or employer needs to know about her skills and experience.  

15. Ada Napiorkowski

Ada Napoirkowski (www.behance.net/napiorkowski) is art director and illustrator based in Heidelberg, Germany.   Instead of designing just a resume, she created a whole self-promotion pack, in order to respond to her style and personality. And do you know what is the best part? It’s all hand-made and printed using a normal domestic printer.

16. Kevin Fernandez

Kevin Fernandez (http://nikond50.deviantart.com/) is photographer and designer based in Santa Clara, California. Fernandez used his skills also for creating his own resume. The bright colors, shades of purple, the typography and the contrast used exactly where it’s necessary to work incredibly well together, creating an eye-catching resume!

17. Ed Hamilton

 

Ed Hamilton is a London-based designer and copywriter who developed a creative way to stand out to prospective employers. Using Google Maps’ My Maps feature, Hamilton mapped his resume using different colored pins in order to create personalized placemarks. Each pin has an explanatory text, including information about the place he lives, his interests and work experience.

 

18. Michael Anderson

 

Michael Anderson’s (www.flickr.com/people/lunyboy/?rb=1) resume was born from an epiphany. As he realized suddenly a resume is just tagged temporal data, he decided to treat it as such, in order to convey much more information. His resume is creative and colorful, bringing the standard display of data to another level. Even if Michael is now working in his family’s business, his resume still draws a lot of attention online.

 

19. Chen Zhi Liang

Chen Zhi Liang (www.behance.net/zhiliang) is a young designer based in Singapore. He accepted the challenge of his graphic design tutor to create an inventive resume that would make him to stand apart from the competition. So, he decided to go minimalist and designed this creative infographic resume in which he says a lot without using practically to many words. Just graphics. And he did a very good job.  

 

20. Scott Duffey

 

The British designer Scott Duffey (http://www.scottduffey.com) created this work place scene in order to use it as resume in the back of his portfolio. “I wanted to end my portfolio in a way that would leave an impression,” explains . “I wanted to be remembered by my interviewer, so I needed to deliver key information whilst also giving a feel of my personality.”

 

 

Read More at 20 Examples of Creative Graphic Designers’ Resumes

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/20-examples-creative-graphic-designers-resumes/

On Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Social Media and Becoming a Better Marketer – Paul Jarvis [SSM047]

For all of history creativity has, in a sense, been taken advantage of by business.

Look at any musician’s record deal. Or any painter who has found someone to represent them and put their work in galleries. Or the author whose book you see atop the NY Times Bestseller list.

It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship. Well, that is, until recently.

Over the last decade, there has been a sharp rise in creatives as business people. But how can you, as a business person or marketer, learn to hone your inner creativity to thrive in today’s market?

Paul Jarvis, one-time touring musician, veterinary assistant, and paperboy turned full-time entrepreneur shares his insights into how many brands and marketers may be looking at social media all wrong. He also shares how creativity and human connection on social media might be easier than you think.

A huge thank you to Paul for packing episode #47 of The Science of Social Media full of inspiration and actionable takeaways for marketers looking to hone their inner creativity and drive real, human connections on social media. (Part of our brand new podcast series!)

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

This episode is available on:

In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Paul Jarvis shares his journey from one-time touring musician to full-time entrepreneur. We dive into the intricacies creativity and the important role that it plays in social media and marketing success as well as how you can hone your inner creativity. We also get into some other great things like:

  • How the best career moves can happen by accident (and often do)
  • Why the “clutch” factor has been key in Paul’s career success
  • How passion often follows expertise, not the other way around
  • The importance of following market demand for your brand
  • Why human connection is the most important factor for social media success
  • The essence of creativity and how we’re all capable of being extraordinary

On Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Social Media and Becoming a Better Marketer

Why being human is one of the most important things your brand can do to connect

In Paul’s words…

“There are a lot of things that are dehumanizing in the marketing and corporate world today. There’s chatbots, and AI, and corporate jargon everywhere you look – even landing pages of most major companies! People create “humanity” in everything that they do, but that’s silly. We’re all surrounded by humans. People simply crave real connection with other people.”

A Great Moment

Paul Jarvis - Quote from The Science of Social Media

“Social media is the hook. People aren’t going to see your Twitter account and instantly buy something. But it’s a great place to give people a micro taste of your brand.”

– Paul Jarvis

Awesome People and Stuff Mentioned in the Show

Favorite Quotes

  • Being an entrepreneur and in my business specifically, I see social media as the hook. People aren’t going to see my Twitter account and then buy something from me, but they are getting micro tastes of my brand (of who I am).
  • Most entrepreneurs super powers come from their ability to not be afraid to look silly or stupid and just try things.
  • Content marketing is built around trust because sales and audience growth can’t happen without trust. You can’t fake it and you can’t build it immediately, it happens over time.
  • Things start to go well when brands truly begin question how they can connect with their audience as real human beings. If you’re engaging, human, real, and interesting then that’s a massive benefit to your audience.
  • I don’t build software companies, make courses, or write books because I feel like it. I would rather sit and watch Netflix. But when I start to notice that more people want something specific from me, that’s what I let drive me. In other words, I let market demand dictate what I do next.
  • There gets to a point, in the path of many careers, where you realize that you’re not doing what you want to do. And it took me a long time to understand that passion follows mastery. In looking at people who are happy with their jobs, they tend to have mastered them.

How to Say Hello to Paul (and us)

Pau Jarvis is one of my personal favorites to follow along with online and on Twitter. And he would love to say hello to you! You can find Paul on Twitter here. And if you’re interested in checking out more of Paul’s incredible work or podcast (or anything else), head on over to www.pjrvs.com.

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter 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 Show

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 strategies 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 10,000+ 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 https://blog.bufferapp.com/paul-jarvis-show-notes

Hiring And Employee Engagement Tools To Connect Today’s Generation

Millennials represent the largest living segment of the U.S. population and are already the largest labor force in the country. They are thought to be “job-hoppers” and quick to jump to the next place that piques their interest. Some, however, think the opposite.

Whether it’s true or false, millennials are increasingly important part of today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. And job-hopping is becoming the norm for the average twenty-something. So it’s crystal clear that this generation’s preferences will shape the future of the modern workplace, as well as talent source and hiring processes in general.

We looked around and gathered some fresh and most interesting recruiting and employee engagement tools that aim to connect today’s generation. Below are displaying the TOP 10:

 

Hundred5

 

Hundred5 is a hiring tool that checks candidates’ skills at the very beginning of the recruitment process. It saves company’s time by using an automatic system for separating fortune-seekers from skilled people you actually would love to hire. Replacing traditional hiring workflow for an engaging experience addresses today’s youth and attracts a greater number of candidates.

 

Clanbeat

Clanbeat is a blend of a team calendar and 1-on-1 meetings scheduling. Regular entries from all team members help to reflect company’s overall shape and advise how a manager could help everyone to improve. They also give valuable insight and meaning to monthly 1-on-1’s. Altogether, Clanbeat helps to keep teams happy by providing structured conversations everyone will look forward to.

 

Duuoo

Duuoo helps managers plan and run 1-on-1 meetings with their team members. It supports both sides by providing talking points and automation of the documentation so that managers could focus on having relevant conversations. All in all, Duuoo gives managers the tools they need to lead productive, engaged and motivated team.

 

Homerun

Homerun is an all-in-one tool for companies to hire great people. It helps to build branded career sites, create targeted job posts and track applicants with beautifully designed system.

 

Intrideo

Intrideo allows job seekers to send 20 second introductory videos to potential employers. It gives the candidate the opportunity to make a strong first impression. And for employers, it gives useful insight into applicants before dedicating valuable time to interviews.

 

Found

Found is a fully mobile recruitment platform, connecting candidates with local employers quickly and efficiently. Instead of people writing long-winded descriptions, Found asks them simple questions so that the database could match people based on location, education, certificates, previous roles and more.

 

Cocoon

Cocoon is a Tinder for jobs. Once a person’s profile is completed, matching algorithms suggest jobs that fit that specific skill-set. And if a company likes the person back, both sides could easily connect and see if they could create a sustainable working relationship. Applying for jobs is as simple as that.

 

Google Hire

 

Google Hire is an application tracking system that helps to post job listings and manage company’s recruiting process. It’s currently available only to a handful of companies in an invite-only beta. And at this point, it’s unclear what the current state and future of the product is. But despite that, Google Hire is already considered one of the best platforms around.

Google for Jobs

Google for Jobs is a jobs search engine in the U.S. It will recognize when users are typing job search queries into Google Search, and will then highlight jobs that match the query. It will be rolled out in the coming weeks, with more countries added in the future.

 

Jobkitten

 

Jobkitten is a simple job application tracking system for small businesses. It gives a unique link for each job opening, which can be added to any job ad as a way to apply. Later on, it’s possible to invite colleagues to review different applicants and find the right candidate together. Jobkitten is a good alternative to bouncing resumes and comments around chat and e-mail.

 

Have we missed your favorite tool? Let us know in the comments bello and we’ll review it!

Read More at Hiring And Employee Engagement Tools To Connect Today’s Generation

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/hiring-tools-and-employee-engagement-tools/

20 Examples Of Beautiful Graphic Designers’ Portfolios And Their Work

If you are a graphic designer or an artist, the Internet is unlimited in terms of the audience that can see and appreciate your portfolio or follow you on social media networks, being a great place to showcase your work. But when it comes to creating a graphic design portfolio, there is not a right or a wrong way for doing this. And this is good because you can also express your creativity in designing your personal website or in creating your profile on different communities that house graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and other artists who are encouraged to share their best work.

In the same time, designing the perfect portfolio could be tricky and overwhelming, because, having so many possible avenues to follow, it could be difficult to find the right direction for you. Therefore, it can be helpful to see what other designers made with their portfolio. Of course, you don’t need and you don’t have to blindly copy them. But you can see what they’ve done and what has worked for them, and this can be a starting point for you and a source of inspiration.   

In this article, we’ll present twenty graphic design portfolios for your inspiration. All of them have that magic combination of images, attitude, and language that characterize a great portfolio, sell the designer’s work (and also the designer) in a very short amount of time.   

 

  • David Sierra

 

David Sierra (www.behance.net/davidsierra) is a Spanish illustrator who approaches his branding and graphic designs from the folk point of view. Regardless if it’s about logo designs, business cards, posters, calendars or other illustrations, each of his designs is characterized by primary colors and playful sensibility, conveying that special feeling of belonging to some story-book world. The world where, somehow, the lines and curves harmonize effortlessly both with each other and with bright and bold colors.   

 

  • Mucho

 

Mucho (www.behance.net/muchodesign) is a visual communication and graphic design studio that offers creative strategy and design for a variety of clients worldwide. Their approach is driven by strong ideas and the desire to create relevant and unique work, exemplifying the global sophistication. With offices in London, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, New York and Newark (Nottinghamshire), their portfolio is extensive. Being influenced by different cultures with a fresh perspective, each of their designs has a clean and ultra-sophisticated vibrancy that express a gold standard in high-end contemporary branding.    

 

  • Maria Groenlund

 

Maria Groenlund (www.behance.net/MariaGroenlund) is a Denmark graphic designer, whose work is characterized by clean and brilliant colors; and classical simplicity design sense that stand her designs apart. Even if she is specialized in logo design and branding, her whole work express a sense of fairyland that somehow is purely modern at the same time.

 

 

  • Steve Simpson

 

Originally from Manchester, UK, and living in Dublin, Ireland, Steve Simpson (www.behance.net/stevesimpson)  is a graphic designer who brings a fancy, outside-art sensibility to his work. He is renowned for his hand-lettered packaging design, whimsical characters and illustrated barcodes, Steve’s distinctive style is inspired by the arts & crafts movement, 50s advertising, and folk art.

 

 

Part-time lecturer for Shillington in London, Emma Stokes (www.behance.net/EmmaTalbot) is absolutely in love with art. She directs and creates brand identities and web designs for a range of clients across the UK. With a strong focus on typography and simplicity, her designs will appeal to the minimalist in you, conveying the visual message in the most direct way possible.

 

  • Shanti Sparrow

 

Shanti Sparrow (www.behance.net/shantisparrowdesign) is an Australian graphic designer and illustrator living and creating in New York, who works both independently and partners with an amazing Sydney boutique studio called Bug Communication. She enjoys branding and typography, building some great identities from conception through to expansion, both for non-for-profit organizations and corporate, finance and conference companies. Sparrow has a vibrant and bold approach to design, creating brands filled with individuality and personality. As an illustrator, she has a unique illustration style that involves scanned textures, vector patterns, and digital collage. 

 

  • George Simkin

 

George Simkin (www.behance.net/georgesimkin) is an Irish graphic designer and illustrator, who works and lives in London. With over 10 years’ experience in the design industry, he brings a bold and playful approach to typography to both branding and editorial work. His work is very varied, from branding, editorial, retail design, typographic work and also fun illustration, being in the same time lecturer of Shillington’s.

 

  • Spencer Harrison

 

Spencer Harrison (www.behance.net/spencerharrison) is a graphic artist, designer, and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. Behind his vivid creations is a playful imagination and fascination with daydreams, adventures, nature, and fun. Aside from creating his own works he also collaborates with brands, companies and passionate individuals producing illustrations, objects, and murals in his playful style.  Specialized in vibrant, energetic pattern design and illustrations, he is also a lecturer at Shillington.

 

  • Saxon Campbell

 

Originally from Oklahoma and currently residing in Brooklyn, New York, Saxon Campbell (www.behance.net/saxoncampbell) is a designer, creative and photographer. Campbell has built quite a reputation for his branding work for fashion and retail brands with clients including P&Co, Frockhub, and The Monster Cycle. He runs his own studio, being in the same time a part-time lecturer at Shillington on Madison Avenue.

 

  • Smack Bang Designs

 

Smack Bang Designs (www.behance.net/SmackBangDesignsSyd) is an acclaimed, tight-knit team of creative experts who provide empowering branding solutions to new and existing businesses across Australia and the whole world. They have set as primary goals a clear visual communication of the brands’ messages they work for, Smack Bang Designs team deliver robust, cohesive brand identities that clarify and communicate what your business stands for. They’ve also written for Shillington’s blog and have an array of inspiring projects to peruse.

 

  • Jessica Walsh

 

Jessica Walsh (www.behance.net/jessicawalsh)  is graphic designer, illustrator & art director working as a partner at renowned NYC based design creative agency Sagmeister & Walsh. Born in NYC and raised in nearby Ridgefield, Connecticut, she began coding and designing websites at just 11 years old and went on to study graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Walsh has worked on projects for clients including Levi’s, Aizone, Adobe and Colab Eyewear. Her work has won numerous awards from major design competitions including Type Director’s Club, Art Director’s Club, SPD, Print, New York Festivals, D&AD, TDC Tokyo, and Graphis, among many others. 

 

  • Jon Contino

 

New York-based graphic designer Jon Contino (https://dribbble.com/joncontino) is known for combining old with the principles of new world aesthetics, the result being a modern and minimalist style that defines his whole work. The historical New York, contemporary street art and hand-drawn lettering influence his designs. Jon Contino leads his own studio that has produced award-winning work for some of the world’s top agencies and brands.

 

 

  • Ryan Bosse

 

Ryan Bosse (https://dribbble.com/rdbosse) is a graphic designer born and raised in Kansas City, who lives and works at Stout. He loves to craft identities with “beauty and brains” for large and small brands, to design thought provoking packaging, and to indulge in a little illustration. Ryan Bosse’s work has been recognized by Communication Arts, How Magazine, Print Magazine, Logo Lounge book. The Dieline, Creative Bloq and Grain Edit. 

 

  • Kristian Hay

 

Kristian Hay (https://dribbble.com/kristianhay) is a graphic designer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, who currently works at Native Shoes. Being specialized in art direction, brand development and visual design – whether it’s print and digital – he has a great love for all creative things. With a strong focus on creating clean and modern images, Kristian Hay is dedicated to his work, whether it be crafting a brand piece by piece, or trying to capture the perfect sunset.

 

  • Riley Cran

 

Riley Cran (https://dribbble.com/xelent) is a designer based in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in identity, packaging, and illustration. Riley Cran aspires to create characterful and functional work, merging historical influences with modern, contemporary solutions. He is also one of the original founders of The Lost Type Co-Op, which has had a huge impact on the graphic industry over the last few years.

 

  • Lydia Nichols

 

Lydia Nichols (https://dribbble.com/lydianichols)  is an east-coast based illustrator, designer, and anthropomorphized who boasts an impressive CV. As she describes herself, she spends her days doodling for Google and nights drawing anthropomorphic objects and animals for anyone interested! She has also verified redhead with a penchant for simple, quirky things, who likes to make whimsical, shape-based works with meandering line work here and there.

 

  • Scot Hill

 

Scot Hill (https://dribbble.com/ScottAllenHill) is Design Director at OCD Agency, New York, that is specialized in brand identity and pairing beautiful images with relevant messages. His Dribbble boasts an array of branding beauties, including this one for Mule matches.

 

  • Studio Muti

 

Studio Muti (https://dribbble.com/StudioMuti) are in fact, Clinton Campbell and Min Jonker. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the duo combines their creative talents to provide a broad spectrum of illustration, typography, and design. Their illustrations are fun and eye-catching whilst still maintaining a professional approach.

 

  • Lorena G

 

Lorena G (www.behance.net/lorena-g) is a graphic designer and illustrator specialized in attention to detail, based in Barcelona. She loves geometry, bold colors, top-notch vectors and tuna makis.

 

  • Sebastian Bednarek

 

Sebastian Bednarek (www.behance.net/SebastianBednarek) is the brain behind SB-Brands, a creative agency in Warsaw, Poland that he launched in 2011. Specializing in brand identity design, packaging and website development – his slick designs have captured the attention of the global Behance community.

 

Read More at 20 Examples Of Beautiful Graphic Designers’ Portfolios And Their Work

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/20-examples-of-beautiful-graphic-designers-portfolios/

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #27

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

So if you have never used GIT or Github, then get ready for a headache. Or at least it was for me. First, assuming you are all familiar with simple command line operations in your terminal, go ahead and open up your terminal environment.

In this post, I will mainly cover definitions.

GIT Repository Basics

$ mkdir < file folder name > : creates folder

$ cd < file name > : navigates to that folder

$ ls : shows files in set location

(remember don’t type the dollar sign)

So here we go….

Typing $ git init will initialize a new GIT repository in your current directory, by typing $ git init form within your < file folder > project directory. This creates a hidden GIT folder within < file folder > which created a new repository within the GIT folder. This is what GIT uses to keep track of all the versions of your code.

$ touch < file name > : creates new file

$ git status : checks the current status of project/repository

$ git add : adds file to current git repository

If you would like to capture all the changes in a directory, the standard method would be to type < $ git add . >, where the period (.) refers to the entire project.

A commit is like a frozen copy of your code at a given point. Once you have made a commit, you can always revert to that version of your code as it existed at that exact moment. This also must also supply a message describing the version of commit using $ git commit -m “message” where the -m represents a commit message.

The best way to capture all outstanding changes in a commit is with $ git commit -am  or -a -m which can be combined as -am. This will add and assign a commit message

With the information provided above, you should be able to see what will be used in the next post. In the next post, I will set up a GIT repository from start to finish. It will show you how to create it locally then connect it to Github. This will allow you to store your code online and it will be accessible anywhere you have an internet connection. Please bare with me, GIT took me a while to grasp and a lot of the shell command you will see in the future post, you just have to flat out memorize. Above are the simplest most well-used GIT commands, and many I use all the time.

Thank you for you time and please comment if this was helpful. The Flatiron School does an awesome job at explaining GIT and GitHub and I am hoping I can provide an overview that is as well readable and applicable.

 

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #27

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/my-journey-of-learning-programming-through-flatiron-school-27/

Defining and Measuring Usability and UX. The Big Difference Between Usability and UX

Everyone knows that user-friendly websites and apps are vital for the overall success of a business. We know that design quality indicates credibility and trust and that those things drive results.

We know this.

So how do you know that your site or app is easy to use? What steps do you take to know for sure that your design is driving those results?

This guide will define what usability and UX are (as these terms are often confused) and this guide will also show you how usability and UX can be measured.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Usability is Not UX

We hear the terms often: usability, UX but let’s admit it – although we know they are both important in the design world, we often confuse them.

Usability is about task-based interactions such as navigating a site, filling out a form, checking out at an online store, etc. It’s the ability to do something intuitively and easily.

UX is about how a person feels when they interact with your site or app. Are they encouraged to sign up to your newsletter? Are they moved by the design in the front page? Is the copy engaging or dull?

Let’s dive into some of the details.

What Exactly is Usability?

Designers, developers, and usability experts have racked their brains trying to define usability. The truth is, there is not a universal definition. There are many books and resources on the topic and not one of them is the same.

Jakob Nielsen describe usability with these five qualities or as he calls them, “Usability Goals.”

  1. Usefulness. Although it may seem obvious, you should always be curious and ask: Is this feature useful? Is it redundant? Will it help the user accomplish a task?
  2. Learnability. When a new user comes to your website or app, you want them to easily learn how to get around. What are you doing to make this happen?
  3. Memorability: When users return to the design after a period of not using it, will they remember it?
  4. Errors: What happens when uses make an error? How many errors do users make, and do they eventually find a solution?
  5. Satisfaction. How pleasant is it to use the design? Are users sharing the website? Have you delighted them or did the whole experience cause them frustration?

How Do You Measure Usability?

Trying to test the site or app yourself is not going to work.

The usability.gov website suggests testing to measure usability. You do not need a formal lab, a room with the necessary equipment will suffice. This can also be done remotely.

Here is a list of tests for measuring usability:

Baseline Usability Testing. Baseline usability testing involves watching as people go through a series of steps to use either a website or app and jotting down any problems and their overall satisfaction. The best way to start is by putting together a test plan. With a plan in place, you’ll be able to properly determine what is working and what needs to be changed.

Your test plan should include the following:

  • Scope and Purpose of the Test
  • Schedule and Location
  • Information about the Sessions (Length of session, number of days, etc.,)
  • Equipment (Laptops or mobile devices)
  • Information about the Participants
  • Roles (Who is doing the testing? What is their role?
  • Information about the Tasks (What tasks are you testing?
  • Qualitative Metrics (Here, you should survey participants before and after they perform tasks)
  • Quantitative Metrics (How many successful tasks?)

Other usability tests suggested are:

Focus Groups. Gather a demographically diverse group of people and begin a discussion about your design, it’s features and the overall ease of use.

Interviews. One on-one interviews are beneficial because they offer feedback that is not influenced by the opinions of those in a focus group.

Card Sort Testing. (A method used to help design or evaluate the organization of a site)

Wireframe testing. Wireframe testing evaluates navigation on a site or app.

First Click Testing. By looking at where users are clicking you can make sure they go down the right path.

Surveys. The old-fashioned satisfaction surveys will help you see how the site or app fares in the real world.

And that’s it for usability. Now onto UX.

What Exactly is UX?

The interest in UX has grown heavily in the past couple of years. Research has discovered that the more user-centered sites and apps are the better. Information architects, designers and people in related fields have found out that there is more to the usability of a website or app. Like we discussed before, UX refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes.

The overall user-experience goes beyond practicality. UX involves not only usability, but also marketing, accessibility and more.

Peter Morville, creator of The User Experience Honeycomb explains UX with this diagram:

Useful. Like, Nielsen, Morville agrees that usefulness is important.

Usable. Morville also agrees with Nielsen that usability is needed, however, he argues that usability is not enough.

Desirable. The way something looks to people and how it makes them feel is part of the user-experience. This is where identity, brand and other elements of emotional design.

Findable. Morville advises us to create navigable web sites and locatable objects” to make the-user experience a positive one.

Accessible. Are websites made to be accessible for everyone? Just like buildings are made with ramps and elevators, websites and apps also need to be made for people with special disabilities.

Credible. Credibility is important because it is what leads-users to trust you. This mainly falls into the marketing involved in the website (brand, identity, copy). But this is important because this is where people either trust and believe what we tell them or don’t.

Valuable. Providing value to users helps build trust and strengthen loyalty. Users are skeptical and by delivering value you are telling pulling them in.

In short, UX it’s not just about whether something is practical and it works, but it’s also about whether people have an enjoyable experience.

How Do You Measure UX?

“As practitioners, we can’t be content to paint within the lines drawn by managers. We must have the courage and creativity to ask whether our products and systems are useful, and to apply our knowledge of craft + medium to define innovative solutions that are more useful. – Peter Morville

UX measures the overall satisfaction of the user and their feelings about their experience on your site or app.

Do you remember visiting hosting websites five years ago? Do you recall ever becoming lost in the sea of technical information? More and more hosting companies are beginning to value the importance of UX by making their sites welcoming and user-friendly. These companies understand that with hosting being something so technical and obscure to the layperson, it should be balanced with a pleasant and inviting feel to draw them in. UX is about considering people’s feelings.

Because UX deals with more than just usability, it involves the same usability testing methods we mentioned earlier in addition to some additional ones. The usability.gov website suggests the following:

Heuristic Evaluation/Expert Review. This is a website audit designed to identify usability problems in an online product or service. The review is carried out by a small group of usability experts.

Parallel Design. Parallel design is when you have different design teams work on alternative designs at the same time, and see what they come up with. The key here is to create as much diversity as possible and discuss their concepts after they finished.

Personas. Personas are different identities you build or archetypes) for possible users. Write what you anticipate their needs and wants are, and design with them in mind.

Prototyping. Create a prototype or a sample version of the final design, and test it prior to launch.

System Usability Scale. This consists of a 10-item questionnaire with five response options for respondents; from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree.

Tasks Analysis. Task analysis is analyzing what the user is doing step-by-step by simply observing them.

Use Case. A use case is a written description of the steps you predict users will perform tasks on your site or app. After users have completed the tests, you can check your written descriptions for insights.

Wrapping Things Up

It’s a lot to take in. There was a lot covered in one single article.

You will never know for sure what every single user thinks about your site or app. In fact, you will never be able to please everyone.

But what you can do is improve and equip yourself with usability and UX tests and tools to advance your knowledge. These will steer your creativity in a direction that will deliver the best results it can. And, continue asking questions. That’s always key.

Maybe you can’t make everyone happy, but you can certainly delight enough folks to drive the results you’re looking for.

Read More at Defining and Measuring Usability and UX. The Big Difference Between Usability and UX

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/defining-and-measuring-usability-and-ux/

15 Pre-Built Websites for Small Businesses and Clients

Being a freelancer has its definite upside, but it has its challenges as well. As a freelancer, you have a substantial amount of freedom with respect to your daily work habits. At the same time, you’ll sometimes face challenges that office workers are not accustomed to.

You’ll always have deadlines to meet, and you can usually meet them in a timely matter; unless of course you slack off, or fall prey to distractions. We’re 4 tips with you. Follow them, and you’re much more likely to handle whatever challenges that may come your way, and continue to deliver high-quality work; and always on time.

 

1. Take Advantage of Be Theme’s Pre-Built Websites

Don’t start from scratch like these guys who invented a new way of designing websites.

Be Theme’s pre-built websites are designed to help you turn out quality work in a much shorter time than most web designers/developers can do. They are super easy to install, as you will see by viewing this cool 40-second video.

Pre-built websites will also save you tons of time. You can skip prototyping, wireframing, and coding; and you’ll never end up looking like these guys!

 

For Example; See What You Can Do with These 15 Pre-Built Websites:  

 

Be Craftbeer

This Craftbeer pre-built website’s large images helps to emphasize the product; and you’ll find them on every page. Parallax and JavaScript effects are put to good use as well.

Be eLearning

eLearning is one of the latest trends in education. If you have an online eLearning business, a poorly designed website would probably not serve you well. See what this fresh looking, easy to navigate pre-built website can do for you.

Be Tiles

This pre-built website speaks volumes about fine interior design. The product is front and center, the message is crisp and clear, and the layout could well have been done by an architect.

Be Artist

Are you considering revamping your website to give it an enhanced look and feel? Take this pre-built website template as your starting point. You can either keep the dark default background, or use any color you wish.

Be Burger

Here’s the perfect website design solution if you have an online burger delivery service; or any other food catering service. A hip design highlights the product in a way that’s bound to engage the user.

Be Sports club

The Sports Club pre-built website displays a modern design that any fitness center would be willing to spend big bucks for to emulate on their website. Neat special effects add to its clean, cool look and feel.

Be Hotel2

This pre-built website for a hotel will make the viewer head right for the phone to make a reservation; without giving it a second thought. The hero image is stunning, the message is powerful, and all the relevant sections are included.

Be Restaurant

Be Restaurant’s cool and engaging design is made even more dashing and dynamic by the use of this pre-built website’s slider effect. There are not many restaurants, if there are any at all, whose websites can compare with this one.

Be Architect 2

The key to Be Architect2 is its ability to provide such an unusual and compelling user experience. The Muffin Group team combined different perspectives with an ingenious use of design elements to produce this amazing result.

Be Boutique

The background video in the hero section of this pre-built website is used to perfection. You can achieve the same results; plus, the structure of this website is just what you’re looking for to create an awesome portfolio.

Be VPN

There’s absolutely no reason why a corporate website can’t have a friendly look to it. This design for an IT website is well-organized, as a corporate website should be. But, it also includes a casual twist – the human element; which fits in perfectly.

Be Oculist

Spend enough time working in front of a computer, and a visit to an eye doctor is a likely outcome. Viewing these specialist’s website designs may give you pause. Most are horrible. You can do much better with this pre-built website as a starting point.

Be Furniture

This great looking design, complete with striking images and a slideshow approach, is an ideal choice for a client in the retail furniture business. Be Furniture’s judiciously-designed layouts will make getting a website up and running an easy task.

Be Car

The Be Car pre-built website conveys a feeling of luxury. Plenty of white space throughout adds to the elegant look; and the layouts make it easy for you to get your message across and engage your users.

Be Tea

How’s this for a layout when you’re tasked with an assignment to build a tea shop website? Interactions between the image, the typography, and the black menu, combine to produce a vintage look, that is at the same time charming, and luxurious.

 

2. Set Up and Stick to a Regular Schedule

When you’re not working under direct supervision, it’s all too easy to slack off; first a little, and then even more. Creating a work schedule is imperative, and it’s one of the first things a freelancer needs to do. That’s the first rule. The second rule is to stick to it! It may take a while to get into a rhythm; but that’s OK. Make it a point to include downtime in your schedule to avoid burnout.

3. Set Clear Boundaries Between Your Work and Your Home Life

It’s all too easy for a freelancer to blend work in with home life. This is an excellent way to put a dent in your productivity, since blending the two seldom works. To keep this from happening, follow these two guidelines: (1) set aside a separate work space, and (2) make yourself unavailable while you’re working. One more guideline; don’t be afraid to stop work if you’re in the midst of something. You’ll find it’s almost always easy to continue where you left off.

4. Make It a Habit to Take Regular Breaks

Your brain requires periodic breaks. If you don’t make that happen, your productivity is likely to start sliding downhill faster than you realize. The Pomodoro technique; called the “tomato theory” by some, suggests taking short breaks periodically during a lengthy work session. 45 minutes of work, followed by a 15-minute break, is about optimum.  You’ll quickly discover that you’re accomplishing more by taking these breaks than if you insist on working straight through.

 

Summing It All Up

Do These Things:

  • Establish a schedule; and religiously follow it.
  • Save time and energy by using Be Theme’s 250+ pre-built websites.
  • Create a dedicated work space.
  • Make yourself unavailable during your work hours.
  • Review your accomplishments at the end of each day.

Avoid These:

  • Working straight through without taking breaks. It will hurt your productivity.
  • Isolating yourself. Find someone you can talk shop with.
  • Neglecting clients or colleagues. You risk becoming invisible.

 

 

Read More at 15 Pre-Built Websites for Small Businesses and Clients

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/15-pre-built-websites-small-businesses-clients/

7 Social Media Analytics and Reporting Tips for Becoming a Data-Savvy Marketer

How do you know what’s working with your social media? And what’s not working?

The social networks provide us with a ton of data about our posts but it can be hard to distinguish the signals from the noise.

Imagine having a framework to pull out the signals from the noise — a framework that points you to the key information about your social media performance. With this framework, you can easily identify successful posts and understand why they did well.

The key is social media analytics and reporting🔑

In this post, you’ll learn how to analyze, evaluate, and use your social media data to boost and report your social media marketing results — from exporting your data to creating benchmarks, to finding your best times to post.

Learn Social Media Analytics

7 Tips for Getting Better Social Media Results by Using Data

To give you a quick overview of what we’ll go through in this post, here are the seven tips:

    1. Create quick reports with spreadsheets
    2. Set benchmarks for your performance
    3. Measure total engagement
    4. Add context to the data you pull
    5. Find out your best time to post
    6. Reuse your top posts
    7. Engage influencers who shared your content

Most of the tips use data from Buffer, which can be exported with a Buffer for Business plan. We’d love for you to give it a try for free if you haven’t tried it before. You can also get most of the data and graphs for free directly from Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights.

Social Media Analytics and Reporting Tips

1. Create quick reports with spreadsheets

The most powerful tool in your toolbox: The data export

For the longest time, I was scared of a data export. What’s a .csv? What do I do with it once I have it? Exports gave me more questions than answers. I was frozen.

/cue ”Let it go” soundtrack!

Fortunately, my Buffer friends came to the rescue! I picked up some awesome tips from the community on the power of data exports.

I’d love to share the highlights!

First, export your data.
You can get an export of your data from any screen in the analytics section of your Buffer dashboard. Bonus: You can grab data from any date range imaginable; the defaults are 7 days, 30 days, and 90 days, with an option to set a custom date range, too.

Export options

(The Export option is part of our Buffer for Business plan. You can also grab free data exports from Facebook and Twitter themselves.)

Next, import the data into a Google Sheet, or open the data in Excel.

Import to Sheets

Next, calculate total engagement.
We’ll make an extra column in the spreadsheet to track total engagement: the sum of clicks, reshares, comments, and Likes.
Calculating engagement

Next, set a baseline.
Once your stats are out of Buffer, Facebook, or Twitter and into a spreadsheet, the first thing we tend to do is remove any outliers from the dataset.

For instance, in Buffer’s case, we have a lot of #bufferchat tweets on Twitter, and these aren’t necessarily part of the social media marketing posts that we’d love to analyze. We throw out the viral hits, too — yay for them, they just kind of throw off the rest of our averages. 🙂

Then we run the averages and the medians to find our baseline.

Calculating averages and medians

(The median finds the middle value in a set of numbers, which can be helpful if the data still has any outliers.)

Next, find the rates.
There are a couple of rates that are key for us at Buffer: social media stats per impression and per follower.

For instance, is a post a success if it gets 100 clicks? Maybe. Depends on how many people saw it, right! This is where stats per impression comes into play.

We can do the same with stats per followers, which ends up being a useful measure for comparing different networks like Twitter to Instagram. If we have 100 engagements on an average Instagram post and we have 5,000 Instagram followers, that might be an amazing area for us to double-down — especially if we know our Twitter average is 100 engagements per tweet with 400,000 Twitter followers!

Here’s one way that we’ve heard it explained to us:

  • Crawling: Stats per day, e.g. total clicks
  • Walking: Stats per post, e.g. average clicks
  • Running: Stats per impression/follower, e.g. click rate

Crawl walk run

Act now:

Here’re some templates to get you started with analyzing all the stats mentioned here: baselines, engagement, rates, and more.

If you prefer following a video, here’s a quick 7-minute walk-through on how to build a simple social media report with your data.

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2. Set benchmarks for your performance

Benchmarks can be aspirational, earned, traditional, and competitive

One thing we’ll often ask ourselves – just today even – when looking through our social media stats is this:

So … is that good?

We’re always on the hunt for answers here, and one of our latest tactics has made analyzing our social media updates a million times faster and smarter — not to mention saved us an hour a day on our social media processes.

Here’s the key: Setting benchmarks for what makes a good post.

And here’s how we’ve gone about it:

Once you have your social media data in your spreadsheet (steps 1 to 3 of Tip 1), run this formula on each of the stat columns that matter to you; Likes, clicks, comments, etc.:

=AVERAGE(your data).

Calculating averages

Awesome, now that you’ve got your average, we like to bump ours up slightly so that the benchmark is a bit aspirational. To the moon!

=(average)*1.5

Calculating benchmarks

And just like that, you’ve set yourself a benchmark!

Now, when you’re scrolling through your Buffer history, you can see at-a-glance which posts have gone above and beyond your benchmark. You can recognize your best posts in a second or less!
Assess posts

How frequently should you re-examine your benchmarks?

Great question! I tend to rethink my benchmarks anytime I’m noticing that I’m reaching the benchmark more often than I’m not. It’s a rather soft science! I’m sure you’ll have a great intuition on when it feels best to bump the benchmark up. 🙂

Act now:

This all just scratches the surface of what benchmarks can mean for you and your organization. We’ve written a full 2,000 words on the topic in case you’re at all interested in more. Here’s a link to the full article:

So…Is That Good? The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Benchmarking on Social Media

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3. Evaluate your social media performance

Total engagement and other fun social media stats

We all might have our favorite actors, favorite foods, and favorite places. I have a sense the same is true for favorite social media stats!

(For me, it’s Jennifer Lawrence, pizza, the ski slopes, and total engagement.)

Certain stats are more important to some people than they are to others.

For instance, do you care deeply for traffic? Do you feel strongly for building awareness? Is tracking revenue a major key to your success?

I’d love to share a couple ideas here, including the one stat that everyone loves and the one stat that everyone wishes came easier.

The stat everyone loves: Total engagement

Total engagement is the sum of all interactions on your post: clicks, reshares, comments, and Likes. It is the social media analyst’s peanut butter sandwich. Almost everyone loves it.

Finding total engagement is as simple as adding up the interactions on a post. In your data spreadsheet, make an extra column in the spreadsheet to sum the number of clicks, reshares, comments, and Likes of each post.

Calculating engagement

There are several social media analytics tools that automatically calculate total engagement for you, which can save you some time. We’re working hard to show you your total engagement right within your Buffer dashboard. Stay tuned! 🙂

The stat everyone longs for: Revenue from social

It’s our white whale!

How do you even go about tracking revenue from social? It’s not as straightforward as some of the other stats like engagement or clicks. Still, it’s possible! Here’re the tools and steps we’ve found to work:

  • Buffer to set your UTMs
  • Google Analytics to crunch the revenue numbers

Here’s a quick run-through of the steps:

Step 1: Set your UTMs the way you want them in Buffer under Settings > Link Shortening.

Buffer link shortening

Step 2: Head into Google Analytics and set up Ecommerce or Goals.

Setting goals in Google Analytics

Step 3: After a day or two, head back to Google Analytics and get a traffic report by going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Social.

Step 4: Add the conversion goals to your data table, and voila, you’ll see the revenue!

Revenue in Google Analytics

(Our report is showing $0 as we have been using another tool, Looker, instead of Google Analytics, to track revenue from social.)

The Google Analytics stuff can sometimes be a bit tricky for me! Haha, okay – most of the time it’s tricky for me! I’ll often head for help at YouTube. There are some really great tutorials there!

Act now:

And of course, these two ways — total engagement and revenue — just scratch the surface of all that’s possible with evaluating your social media content. We’ve written an article that covers a bit more of the iceberg. We’d love for you to take a peek!

5 Unique Ways to Measure and Evaluate a Social Media Campaign

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4. Add context to the data you pull

How do you even do that?

Social media be confusing sometimes, especially when you’re down in the day-to-day of it and struggling to see the bigger picture.

Looking at the larger trends of your social performance is hugely helpful for seeing how strategies are playing out.

In particular, there’s this post written by the Intercom team that I just adore when it comes to trends. Here’s a key graphic from the post:

Intercom graphic

The tl;dr – Data is great, especially data with context!

To start with, it’s useful to have the trends data in front of you.

We’re hoping to make this as easy as pie for you and your team with the Analysis Report. To find your Analysis Report, head to the Analytics tab in your Buffer dashboard and click on “Analysis”.

In this report, you’ll see the trend of your key social media metrics such as clicks, Likes, reshares, and followers.

Buffer Analysis Report

Act now:

And then once you’re seeing the trends, there’re a few questions that might be great to ask:

  • What caused any spikes or valleys?
  • When will we reach the next milestone?
  • Where will we be in the next (x) days or months?
  • What factors are we not accounting for?

For example, for the graphs above, the spike in Likes was caused by a tweet that took off while the spikes in clicks were due to the launch of our new online social media strategy class.

Quick tip: You can click on any point on the graphs to zoom in on that date and see the posts published on that date. This is great for finding out which post(s) caused the spike.

Buffer Analysis Report Zoom

I’m just now realizing that it might be a bit hard to answer “What factors are we not accounting for?” Kind of like asking you to know what you don’t know! If it’s helpful, here’re some of the factors I’m often overlooking on accident:

  • Weekends
  • Holidays
  • Seasonality
  • Most popular times to share on social (9 AM to 5 PM New York time)
  • Big announcements or campaigns

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5. Find your best time to post

There’s no one ideal time to post in 2017. It’s all unique to your brand.

We used to think there’s a universal best time to post.

Not anymore.

Instead, we believe every brand has its own set of best times to post. Here’re some tips on how to find time:

How to find the best times to post on Facebook

In your Facebook Page Insights, Facebook shows you when your Facebook fans are online.

With the algorithmic News Feed, the timing of your Facebook post might be less important but I feel there’s still utility in finding the best posting times to generate initial engagement — early signs of a quality content which might cause Facebook’s algorithm to show your post to more people.

There are generally two schools of thought about best Facebook posting times. The first is to post when your fans are most active on Facebook so that there’s a higher chance of them seeing and interacting with your posts. The second is to post when your fans are least active as there is less competition for the limited space on users’ News Feed.

I’d recommend experimenting with both ideas to see which works better for your brand. For example, we have been seeing some success with posting during off-peak hours.

To get this data, head to your Facebook Page > Insights > Posts > When Fans Are Online.

Facebook Insights

How to find the best times to post on Twitter

Since Twitter still uses a reverse-chronological timeline, finding the optimal posting times is still very relevant.

While Twitter Analytics does not provide similar followers’ activity data, Twitter tools like Followerwonk and Tweriod can tell you when your followers are most active.

Followerwonk

It’s generally believed that if you tweet when your followers are most active, there’s a higher chance that they’d see your tweets. Having said that, I’d still recommend experimenting with different times using the data you have.

There’s also a way to find out the best times to post based on how your tweets have performed in the past. It would require you to dig into your Twitter Analytics using spreadsheets. If you’re keen, here’s a guide on how to do that.

Act now:

With these data, you could experiment with different posting times to see if you can achieve better results. An experimental Twitter schedule, with five posting times, could look something like this:

  • Three posting times in the three most active hours
  • Two posting times in the two least active hours

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6. Reuse your top posts

Repeat your successes by republishing them after a few weeks

So, one of your tweets is taking off. Likes, retweets, and replies are rolling in. What should you do?

(First, celebrate, of course!)

To maximize the value of that tweet, you can consider republishing it — ideally with a different copy several days or weeks later. If you repeat this flow for a while, you can build up a nice repository of social media posts — that have proven to be great — to fall back on whenever you are having a social media manager’s block.

It’s good to remember that all networks are different. Generally, you can publish the same content more frequently on Twitter than on Facebook and more frequently on Facebook than on Instagram. For example, you could republish a piece of content a few days later on Twitter but you might want to give it a few weeks on Facebook and a few months on Instagram before republishing.

We’re hoping that one of the fastest ways to find your top-performing posts (across the networks) is in the Posts Report of your Buffer Analytics. At a glance, you can see the various types of engagement generated by each post. You can also sort them by a particular type of engagement such as retweets.

Top posts in Buffer

You can also get similar data from Twitter Analytics (Tweets > Top Tweets) and Facebook Insights (Posts > All Post Published > Sort by Reach or Engagement).

When you are lacking inspirations for new tweets, you can head to your Posts Report and grab a top post from several weeks or months back. For example, here’s what we did:

Step 1: Set the timeframe as 90 Days or set a custom timeframe if you want to go even further back.

Select 90 Days

Step 2: Sort your posts by a form of engagement such as retweets, Likes, or clicks. Here, I chose retweets.

Sort by engagement type

Step 3: Pick a post from a few weeks back and hit “Re-Buffer”.

Re-buffer

Here’s the post we republished (originally published last December). The original tweet received 133 Likes, 135 retweets, and one reply while the republished tweet received 134 Likes, 134 retweets, and 3 replies!

Republished tweet

Act now:

We wrote a full blog post, a while back, on the power of republishing the same content and the ways we reframed our republished content in case you’re interested in more. Here’s the link to the full article:

Why You Should Share Your Blog Post More Than Once on Social Media: The Case for Reposting Content

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7. Engage influencers who shared your content

The tools to find influencers

Here’s a fun thought: At this very moment, an influencer — someone with a significant social media following — might be sharing your content.

Wow, that’d be a powerful bit of information to celebrate with a boss or client or team!

Not to mention a virtual high-five for all your hard work. 🙂

You can find out this information in a handful of ways:

We’re hoping that one of the easiest methods might be the one waiting for you in your Buffer dashboard. We’ve added a new Influencer Report for your Twitter profiles, where you can see who has shared any of your URLs on social, ranked by the number of followers each person has.

Influencer shares

Act now:

So if you published a blog post yesterday and wanted to thank the folks who had shared it since, just plug it into the tool and see the results. You can click on “View tweet” to pull up the tweet and reply the influencer.

(There’s another layer to this, too. If you click the retweets in your Buffer stats, you’ll get a list of everyone who has retweeted you — and you can follow back and click through to their profile right from the Buffer dashboard.)

View retweets

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What is your favorite analytics trick?

There are so many things you can do with your social media data, and I’m sure I barely scratched the surface with these seven tips. I’d love to learn from you and hear about your favorite analytics tip or trick!

How do you use your social media data? How has that helped you with your social media performance?

Image credit: Unsplash

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/learn-social-media-analytics

Twine is the anti-Fiverr for creative professionals


It’s almost hard to fathom. We live in a world where creatives are in demand like never before. Businesses of all sizes, from nascent startups to established industry leaders, need designers, writers, and videographers. They need people to create their ad campaigns, animate their ‘explainer’ videos, and record their jingles. We should be in the golden age of the creative. But that’s not the case, is it? Instead, creative professionals — particularly those at the start of their careers — are treated like a commodity to be exploited. Just look at the prevalence of job adverts on Craigslist that are…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/eu/2017/06/05/twine-is-the-anti-fiverr-for-creative-professionals/