OUT OF THE BOX

OUT OF THE BOX

Is Gutenberg the End or a New Beginning for WordPress?

A thorough analysis of the impending Gutenberg editor and its impact - particularly on agencies and others who develop Wordpress sites, themes and plugins. We're still formulating how we're going to handle the update here at Brown Box, and this article will certainly help.

I’ve been loosely following the noise and #wpdrama surrounding Gutenberg for as long as it has been around and honestly for the most part I’ve had negative feelings around it (I don’t like change at the best of times). However, I recently dived in and tried it out and you will never guess what happened next! But seriously. I came to two conclusions: 1. It’s a lovely piece of software 2. It does not belong in WordPress. (Yet. Or WordPress as we know it today) Let me explain.

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Netflix’s new font could save the company millions of dollars.

For larger corporations, font licensing can definitely be expensive! Check out the new font Netflix's just recently created to redefine their brand and save some money.

Bespoke fonts are all the rage recently. IBM, General Electric, Intel, and Coca-Cola have all designed custom fonts in an effort to unify branding and make a more cohesive look for their companies’ products.

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The Current State Of Email Marketing Programming: What Can And Can’t Be Used

Email marketing is a great way to connect with your audiences - learning what tools you have at your disposal is a great way to ensure you're getting the most out of your email marketing strategies.

Many people want to create the best email campaigns possible, and this goal can be realized by following best practices for email design and coding and by implementing advanced techniques correctly. This comprehensive guide, for novices and pros alike, delves deep into the nitty gritty of email marketing.

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User-Centered Design Is Everyone’s Responsibility: A Launch Checklist

When nearing the end of a project,  having creating a strong launch User-Centred check-list is a great way to ensure your entire team is able to jump in and help make the launch phase as smooth as possible

I cannot count how many large-scale projects my team has been a part of where we’re scrambling last-minute to take care of some seemingly small but integral task necessary for launch. I’ve talked to others in the web design and marketing industry; my team is not alone in this launch frenzy. But does that make this odd ritual okay or even acceptable?

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Liquid Web has acquired iThemes

You may have never heard of either of these companies, but we certainly have. Liquid Web is a Wordpress-focused hosting company, and iThemes are a plugin developer whose products have long formed a significant part of the Brown Box ecosystem. We recently moved away from using iThemes Security, but BackupBuddy is still very much our preferred backup plugin. Hopefully this change won't have a negative effect on the development of BackupBuddy - indeed the added knowledge and different perspectives that come from being part of the larger organisation may well be a benefit! Either way we'll be watching closely.

Liquid Web has announced the acquisition of iThemes in an all cash deal that includes the entire iThemes team moving over to Liquid Web as an independent unit, and iThemes products will be included in various Liquid Web offerings.

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Google’s mobile-first search index has rolled out to a handful of sites

This move from Google is a pretty significant change in the way they index sites - but a logical one, since stats show that over 60% of searches are now done from mobile devices. The good news is that if your site is mobile responsive you shouldn't need to do anything - in fact you may even see your rankings improve as sites that aren't mobile responsive drop down.

Just over a year ago, Google announced a major change to the way its search index will rank sites: it will go mobile-first. As the company explained at the time, Google’s algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a website’s content to rank its pages, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from the site in its search results. This week, Google said it has begun to make this shift – and has already transitioned a handful of sites to the mobile-first index, which are now being monitored by the search team.

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Introducing a New and Improved Campaign Builder

If you haven't already checked out the changes MailChimp have made to their campaign builder, check out this article to find out how their improving the experience.

When we talked with customers about the step-by-step process, we learned that it wasn’t the right solution for everyone. “The campaign builder makes us finish steps we’re not ready for,” is something we heard a lot. So, we decided it was time to update the way emails are built in MailChimp. Here’s how we redesigned the campaign builder to look and work like a checklist, giving you the power to create an email in any order you want.

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Examples of Print-Inspired Website Designs

Drawing inspiration from other media is a great way to ensure your website stands out from the pack. Check out these print inspired web designs!

Web design has always drawn inspiration from print. Whether it’s content layouts, typography, or image placement, print is always a worthy point of reference given its longevity. Websites today continue to be inspired by print design, with many shifting to text content-heavy designs as opposed to the more visual approaches we have become so accustomed to. There’s also a rise in websites using a palette of simple blacks for typography and off-white for backgrounds.

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Happy Birthday Wordpress!

Wordpress last week celebrated 15 years since its inception. Originally a blogging platform it has grown to a full-blown CMS used by more than 1 in 4 sites on the Internet today!

Thank you Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little for creating WordPress, its contributors for keeping the ball rolling all these years, and providing opportunities for so many people. Happy birthday WordPress!

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13 Ways to Speed Up WordPress Site

Some great tips for speed here - we especially love using CloudFlare!

Improving your website’s speed is something you should worry about the most when optimizing your site, and there are many tools you can use to improve its speed!

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Tips & Resources for Using WooCommerce Hooks

Here are some resources and tips to get you started with working with WooCommerce Hooks!

WooCommerce has proven itself to be a popular and formidable WordPress e-Commerce plugin. Its biggest strength is the fact that it can be customized in so many ways. There are a massive amount of free and paid extensions that can do everything from integrating third-party services all the way to allowing for complex products and orders. The following are some basic examples of hooks that will demonstrate just a tiny bit of what they’re capable of. Then we’ll share some excellent resources where you can find useful code snippets and advice.

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What I know after a decade in design

With milestones come a time for both celebration and reflection. Finding mentors in your career path is a fantastic way to constantly improve and develop. Some great lessons for both old and new designers alike!

2018 will be the year that marks my first decade as a designer. Wow… crazy. Sometimes I still feel like a junior designer, but when I look back on myself ten years ago, I can see just how much I’ve learned. I want to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years. As it turns out, many are not so much about design, per say, as about mindset and attitude.

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It’s Easier to Find a Solution (With Someone Else)

Really this article could be about almost anything, not just programming. Especially here in the Western world we tend to want to be independent and do everything by ourselves, but sometimes you just need to ask for help from someone who isn't already buried in the problem.

One of the most frustrating aspects of programming is working on a solution to a problem and bumping up against something that we should know how to do or be able to figure out how to do, but we’re unable to do so.

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12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations

Love this infographic from Campaign Monitor with some really easy steps to focus on improving your online donations

Accepting donations online is a no-brainer for nonprofits and their donors. Giving online is easy for donors, as they can contribute anytime they find convenient, instead of relying on an ask through direct mail or at an event.

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9 Design Tips For Email Marketing

In the digital world of today email matters more than ever! Here's some design tips to make them look amazing.

Email marketing allows you to reach your target audience right in their inboxes. And it can earn your business an incredible ROI— up to $44 for every $1 you spend! But creating a campaign can be frustrating if you’re worried that a lack of design skills is preventing you from getting the results you want. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a designer to create killer emails. Most email marketing platforms, like MyEmailFX, allow you to choose from an array of pre-designed email templates. However, you’re probably still going to need to select some design elements like your colors, fonts, and images. In this post, we’ll cover nine tips to help you create emails that look great and earn your business more revenue online.

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The total list of domain extensions (2017 Infographic)

While this infographic may be outdated now that we have moved into 2018, It's surprising to see how many domain extensions their are currently available.

You surely know .com, .net or .info domain names. You have probably also heard about – or even registered – domains ending with .de, .fr and co.uk. You might even be aware of the new breed of domain extensions such as .club or .marketing. But did you know that the total list of domain extensions is 882? 882! The infographic below is a timeline from 1985 to 2017, which lists the birth year of every domain extension since .com in 1985.

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Does Anyone Use Social Sharing Buttons on Mobile?

Whilst social sharing buttons are a great addition to desktop design. Mobile users seem more likely to use be using native sharing features than clicking on the sharing buttons built into your website. Definitely check this article out.

Visit a lot of websites, and you’ll see precious screen space dedicated to social sharing buttons on mobile websites, imploring users to share the content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social networks. At first, this seems like a good design choice: social media usage on mobile is huge. Pinterest relies on mobile browsers for 64% of its referred traffic. And over half a billion people access Facebook solely through mobile – a 78% year-over-year increase. Overall, sixty percent of the time consumers spend on social media is on mobile.

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How debugging can make you a better developer

I don't think I've ever met a developer who enjoyed debugging code - especially someone else's code! But this article makes a very strong case for how important debugging is to improving your programming skills.

Whether you’re a WordPress developer or not, you’re always looking for ways to improve yourself. That’s the nature of our profession. We’re always looking for ways to improve ourselves. That said, it’s not uncommon for developers to hate debugging. They’ll get a bug report and cry in exasperation, “I want to build stuff! Not fix bugs!” But that’s not the right attitude to have towards bugs and debugging in general.

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