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how to improve your website for free
The internet has a whole world of great free resources for your website

If someone told you that you could quickly and easily improve your website and that it wouldn't cost you a penny, what would you say? Probably something like "what's the catch?". Well no catch here as I highlight 10 great (and free) website add-ons that can immediately improve your website.

Signs that you need to update your website
If your website matches any of these signs then it needs updating

The internet is a dynamic and rapidly changing place. It is not enough for a business to simply have a website. In fact your website needs to be fast, attractive and effective for it to be worthwhile having. Here are 5 quick things to check to see if your website is performing or whether it is in need of an update.

A Strong, Distinctive Logo will represent your brand as strong and distinctive

Strong Logo, Strong Brand

Many companies out there require a strong logo to discern them from all the others out there. One of the best ways to do this is to create a powerful logo that engages people and serves as a recognizable symbol of your brand. If you have this, your customers can easily identify your products or services from those of others.

The right logo is an essential part of branding. Think about all the biggest brands: Nike, Apple, Starbucks - they all have great logos that prove their success and make them stand out even when there is no context around them. A great logo will allow you to instantly capture a user’s attention, and let them understand what your brand represents.

Look at the Nike tick. What does this tell you and what can one learn from this logo? It’s certainly recognizable and only created using two skewed lines, so its simplicity is the key to its design. The design indicates a strong sense of positivity and motion that is synonymous with this brand, and its ethos of providing the best sporting equipment. This logo has survived the test of time and has become affiliated with all aspects of transcendence through sports – from basketball to running. Nike and its tick have penetrated all sports markets and much more.

So what is the right logo? You’ll need something that can represent your brand in a visual way, whilst also embodies your company ethos without sacrificing its visual appeal in any way. How can one work to create this perfect logo? We’ve come up with five key tips to help you out.

1. Simplicity Is the Key

Clever design can allow a very simple logo to be effective

Good logo design means that your logo should be kept simple. Too many distractions for the eye and too many things for the eye to focus on will serve to not recognize the logo, not remember it and not let it represent your brand as easily as possible. Try and represent your brand as best you can with a punchy and simple logo. Why is design so difficult when it should be so simple? Your logo should be able to thrive in a variety of different contexts, just like Nike’s logo, through pure simplicity.

If you’re coming up with a logo from scratch or redesigning an outdated but effective one, you should keep it simple and in tune with your brand. Keep things appealing visually, whilst also retaining a clean and simple design. A good design tip is to make sure your logo appears strong in black on a plain white background, or with a duo-tone. As an example, consider the Windows logo - what is it about this logo that retains the brand image over time, even as the logo has undergone several design changes? 

The simple and digital feel of two windows shows that the brand is at the forefront of the digital age, and will continue to be through the rest of time. It’s a statement that is easily read from the logo in its simplicity. A simple logo will also fit harmoniously with other materials that your company produces.

2. Where Will the Logo Go?

Your logo will appear is a wide variety of locations, it's important to have it right

As a part of the design process, one needs to consider just where the logo will go within your brand, and how this will appear among other materials? You may have a logo that would look great on a poster, but wouldn’t work well on a business card, so you’ll want to think it over to visualize where your logo will be. Think about flexibility and where your logo can work, and where it can’t.

Deliveroo recently took major design steps to simplify and more accurately represent their brand story given that most of their users work with smartphones. This is a good example of thinking about where your logo will go - failing to grasp this, as your brand is growing, can lead to difficulties further down the line. Deliveroo may have been thinking about the fact that their logo would have looked good on a delivery motorbike bag; however, most people are seeing it online via their phone and app. 

The result of their change was to take a complex drawing of a kangaroo carrying food to a much more minimalist abstract shape depicting the kangaroo’s face – this can work well and be placed in all sorts of places now that it is a whole lot simpler. Something may look good on a motorbike bag that might not necessarily be appealing on an app - redesigning for a smartphone use was the clever solution. If you fail to grasp this at first, this could result in a lot of future failure for your brand further down the line.

3. A Design that Lasts Through Time

A logo should not be designed to be trendy, it needs to be timeless

The best thing one can do is try and stick to a design that lasts through time - something iconic and timeless that people can remember forever. A common mistake is that brand's design logos are trendy, but these trends won’t last forever. The best approach is not to go down a trendy feel and look because it won’t work over a long period of time, and we can expect that you’re in it for the long haul. However, you’ll want to pay close attention to the fact that if you choose something too classic and timely, there is a good chance that a lot of other brands have also used a similar design and also it may not fit in with your brand value. Think about your brand and its message more than what the trends of the year are. You will want your logo to shine and engage through every year.

4. But... Update the Design When it Needs to Be

The ford logo has evolved over time, most noticeably twice in 1912 as the initial redesign was not well received.

Your company may change over time and even though you want your logo to be timeless, it won’t last forever. To stay as up to date as possible, whilst also keeping your theme current, one needs to occasionally change their logo to keep up with the times. If your logo has been rather successful in the past, it’s not ideal to significantly change from the design you’ve already been using for a whole, so sometimes just a simple change of type or a slicker icon will make your logo more appropriate for the current times.

A good example of this is with Marriott hotel’s recent shift from an old to a newer look, whilst also refraining from giving into current trends. The logo was redesigned, keeping their giant “M” but also making the other text within colored black as opposed to red. This logo is now a whole lot more modern and wasn’t a great shift from the original, but it certainly packs more of a punch. 

5. Don’t Copy Clichés

All these company logos are too similar for any of them to stand out from the crowd

When designing a logo, one should make a serious effort not to use clip art or copy other people’s work. The final approach to any logo design should be that you don’t copy cliché work and come up with something unique; otherwise, your logo will look like someone else’s and won’t help cement the brand image. You’ll need something that’s instantly recognizable and not confused with someone else’s brand.

Your logo should have some form of original art that tells the audience what the company is and how their ethos shines through. Sure, you can draw inspiration from other logos, but make sure your work is unique and not just a copy of something else.

Definitely, don’t try and emulate commonplace forms of art in your logo such as clipart. This will cause your logo to have an amateur and childish appearance, without being special in any way at all. If you want something that’s memorable, it needs to be special. Your logo will want to make an instant click with whoever is looking at it. Make it stand out from your competitors in an instant – don’t make your audience have to think about how your logo is similar to something else. 


Approaching a logo designing process isn’t a walk in the park, it’s a walk along several different paths in one’s mind, exploring different possibilities whilst always trying to channel the audience into the direction you want them to go in. Take note of the five tips above to help you do well on your way, ensuring that you have a cutting edge and unique design that will engage your audience in an instant.

Remember that your design should aim to depict your brand and ethos in a way that is instantly recognizable without any thought. You should have a logo that packs a punch but is also simple and visible, wherever you decide that you want to use it.

We hope that you have fun in your creative process and create a logo that your company can look back on with pride through the ages.

About the Author:

Richard Nolan is a professional educator and team building coach, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship, web design and psychology. Currently, Richard works as an editor-in-chief for essaywritersite.com. Follow him on Facebook

Why Your E-Commerce Business May Be Losing Customers
This article and connected infographic will highlight how to solve the problem of losing customers

In the earliest days of online shopping, selling to customers via the Internet was a novelty. Simply offering customers the ability to buy anything online was enough to drive new business to many retailers.

Today, things have changed. What was once revolutionary is now commonplace, and e-commerce is something most shoppers expect retailers to offer.

One of the biggest reasons why e-commerce sites fail is related to simple design flaws...other times, e-commerce businesses stumble because their sites ask for too much information

In this new landscape where e-commerce is the norm, it takes more than a website to get people interested in buying from a retailer. Understanding visitors’ behaviors and what makes them choose one website over another is critical for any e-commerce business, especially when it comes to reasons that drive away customers.

For instance, one of the biggest reasons why e-commerce sites fail is related to simple design flaws. Whether the website is too confusing to navigate, too buggy to function properly or simply visually unpleasant, bad design can ruin an e-commerce business faster than almost anything. E-commerce businesses need to invest in high-quality web design to ensure that customers don’t have an excuse to go with a competitor.

Other times, e-commerce businesses stumble because their sites ask for too much information. People often are sensitive about the amount of personal information they put out online, and an e-commerce site that asks for too much information can be a turn-off. If e-commerce businesses simply removed one field from their online forms, for example, it could make a tremendous difference in the number of customers they retain.

E-commerce isn’t the future anymore — it’s here and now. The novelty of online sales is no longer a selling point, and e-commerce businesses have to be willing to put in the hard work necessary to make their sites the best they can be. This infographic contains the most common problems e-commerce businesses have — and what they can do to solve them.

Author bio: Matt Wollersheim is Vice President of Sales at Performance Card Service, where his focus is on general marketing, client relations and development of new processing channels.  

These series of updated articles aim to provide you with everything you need to know about on 3D modelling and graphics. In 3D graphics, elements are visualized by creating three-dimensional models out of them. The final image is rendered from a virtual scene that utilizes several elements which are familiar from real life such as lights, materials and cameras. 3D graphics can be seen in multiple different forms such as an image, an animation or real time visualization inside of a computer game. If you are interested in a career in animation or gaming then this series is especially relevant for you!

We recommend reading this articles in the order presented if you are a beginner, however they are designed in such as way as that they are relatively independent of each other.

Select an area of 3D modelling to get started...

The creation of 3D graphics is a complicated process and therefore is, in my opinion, easier to understand when discussed in small pieces, hence this 8 article series. we hope that you find it useful and as always we welcome your feedback.

There is more to web design than just code

Once you’ve created the perfect looking website, the next step will be to get traffic to it. It must be very frustrating to have a unique site without any visitors, but one needn’t worry about this. This could only be the result of you not applying techniques that are essential to you having a successful website. In order for your website to flourish, consider some of the following key tips to get traffic moving just the way you’d like it.

1. Have an SEO Strategy

For you to generate traffic, web users need to find your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boosts the ratings of your site on Google, pushing it higher up the electronic hierarchy to make it among the first websites to pop up when someone searches for related keywords. Without an effective SEO strategy, users won’t be able to find your page when they enter relevant queries in a search engine. 

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results which makes SEO very important – if you’re not part of this first page, how will potential viewers find your webpage?

Keywords are important i.e. you need to know what keywords and terms your audience will be searching for. It is important that you are aware of target keywords and how to link them with relevant pages on your site. Make sure that these keywords are relevant to the page that they’re on, because relevance scores in Google and other search engines will affect your page ranking. Overuse of certain keywords will have your readers lost and Google will penalize you in their ranking system. Google Analytics and Keyword Discovery websites are amongst some of the useful tools that will help with keyword phrases for your website.

Posting content that is relevant to your target audience is also vital. You can use blog posts, articles, videos and eBooks material for this. However, don’t let Google notice that your writing is purely geared for search engines. Google have developed algorithms that can spot automated and inorganic content from a mile away, so it’s important to keep your content organic.

Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO. You can link to your own content but you can also have external websites that link to you (inbound links) or links on your webpage that direct users to external sites (outbound links). The correct use of internal and external linking tells Google and other search engines which pages on the internet are more important and relevant. Try to get other websites to link to your own content and try to provide links on your website to other domains to boost your SEO. 

Be smart about how you do this – you’ll get more SEO ranking benefit when you have both inbound and outbound links to or from authoritative websites rather than sites that no one cares about. People care about what authoritative websites say and do, and people value their content – websites that receive more inbound links from these sites will rank higher in search engines. However, if you completely flood your website with links to authoritative sites, this will be obvious to the SEO algorithms and your website may not rise to the top of the ranks as a result. Also, it may be very time consuming to acquire good inbound links, so prioritise your efforts. Pay attention to your variety of inbound and outbound links, where the links and going and where they are coming from.

2. Navigation

Make your site easy to navigate for your users. Design the site so that a reader will access the content fast. Do not clutter your homepage with so much content that hides the vital information. Keep in mind that the attention span of a viewer is only a mere eight seconds, so once they visit your site you need to capture their attention immediately. A great way of doing this is to include icons that will direct a reader to the information they desire such as a video, photo or article. Your page should not overstretch in terms of content length, scale it down to what is relevant. Remember the phrase “Quality, not quantity”.

Also, make sure your site is easy to navigate by search engine programs that determine your SEO. Paying attention to the names of your URLs will also allow search engine Spider programs to “crawl” through your pages better. Make sure you structure your URLs so that these Spider programs know where they’re going, for example:

Unstructured URL:


Structured URL:


If a website is easier to navigate for search engine programs then you’ll move higher up in ranking systems. To create better navigation you can also find and delete broken links, generate sitemaps and use online tools to assess crawling ease.

3. Research

Research is key
Know who your target reader is, what they want and how to get them to your site. What is your target reader’s demographic? Are they teenagers, middle-aged or elderly people? What is their field of practice? Do they like controversy and scandals or are they into love stories? Answering these questions will help you to develop an effective online strategy. Stick to one type of reader because if you target them all, you will end up losing all of them.

A great way of knowing what your readers want is to see what kind of viewers are coming to your site. If you know who’s coming, you’ll be able to adapt your website to suit their needs. Once your website is up, use free tools from Google Analytics in order to track your viewers. You’ll be able to see many things such as who is visiting your website, where these people are coming from, how they are getting there and what devices they’re using. 

Knowing this information will allow you to find out if you’re attracting your target audience or not. If you find out that you’re not attracting the right target audience, you’ll want to understand why that is and make changes to correct it. You’ll be able to develop better strategies and ideas to be able to attract the correct audience you want.

4. Be Professional

Let your website reflect its developer and designer. It goes without saying that each site should be professional, so pay attention to detail. It should not look like everything was thrown together in a hurry. A reader will immediately skip your site if the first thing that they see is poor layout and design. 

The theme color, font size, and content setup should look like the work of a professional. A reader will not take your site seriously if they think that no time, money or effort went into creating it.

Once you have a specific target audience in mind it can also be helpful to research websites that are similar to yours. Assess your competition – who are your main competitors and what have their websites got that you don’t have? Looking around at what else is available will give you some interesting insights and ideas about how to improve your own website. Go further than a short Google search – dig deep online!

5. Avoid Sales Jargon

Yes, of course, you want to make money from your site but do not make it too obvious for your readers to see. What is written for sales on the print will not work for web content. “Order our product here” is more acceptable rather than “our products are the best.” A reader will switch from your website immediately if they notice that it’s more of an advertising site and not the informative one that you had promised. 

Some words and phrases are also just not understood by anyone, or worse, they don’t mean anything to the viewer at all! Think carefully about the meaning of the language you’re using. If you sound too smart or if people can’t understand the meaning there will be less interest.

6. Mobile Friendly

Mobile optimization

Mobile users log on to websites with their phones more than their computers. 80% of the internet users own a smartphone making them an excellent target for online content. Tailor your website to satisfy the needs of all its visitors. Once a reader has a problem accessing your site through any of their devices, they will visit your competitors instead. Google’s own research has found out that 61% of users feel this way.

It’s easy to make slight changes to your site in order to make it mobile phone friendly. With a restricted amount of space, it will be important to simplify your site so that things can easily fit on a mobile screen. If you’ve got small fingers it’ll be much harder to tap a small text on a small screen. The amount of white space is also important. When designing a website you can have a tendency to squeeze in as much information as you can, but this won’t look good on a tiny screen, so keep plenty of space in the design. 

Try not to use any pop-up windows because these will come up in new tabs that will take up the whole of a mobile device’s screen space, which can be off-putting to a viewer. If you do decide to use such pop-ups, make sure you give clear instructions to users about how to navigate their way back to the page they linked from. Also keep in mind to match the branding of your standard site to that of your mobile site because even though your site will be “moving” to a smaller screen, you don’t want it to lose its touch.

7. Focus on the Readers

If your content is interesting to your readers, you’ll increase the chances of them visiting your website and linking to it. In turn, such linking will boost your SEO. Do not focus too much on the technical side of the site but also think of your visitors. Write keyword phrases so that they are recognized as part of the topic and not just to boost your SEO rankings. Don’t fall into the incorrect practices such as using a single keyword more than twice in one paragraph.

With a large amount of content already out there, “quality content” should be the number one focus.

It goes without saying that all content needs to be properly proofread to ensure there are no mistakes, by reputable editors if necessary. As the focus has to be on your viewers, don’t try and accommodate all viewers’ needs and make sure you don’t lose your voice and message. Make content shareable but also consistent with the message you’d like your site to bring.

Once you have some decent content, you can diversify the next batch available to give your viewers something new to look forward to. Diversity will also allow for more ways to reach potential viewers. If you’ve been writing a lot of blogs, try publishing a few infographics on Twitter or other social media with clear links to your website or even some videos. Add a bit of variety and spice to your website through a variety of content. Your existing viewers and new viewers will be sure to appreciate it!

8. Update your Content Regularly

Ensure that the website uploads new content on a regular basis, but not just anything, real engaging content that adds value and is of use to the reader. When a visitor finds no recent posts in a while, they will go and look for information elsewhere. If you’re in need of ideas, research trending topics and emerging issues to get ideas on what to write about. 

A reader will log in to your site on a regular basis if they are confident that they’ll be able to access new content that is useful to them. Your content will be great for keeping interest, so keep it informative for your viewers, but don’t lose sight of a call to action – you don’t want your viewers to read your content and then run away. Including links to join mailing lists, subscribe or receive further updates can bring those users back in the future and wanting more.

9. Write for Everyone

The online community is international. Not every person that visits your site is smart. Keep in mind that your website’s viewers understanding of the English language varies. Keep it simple and coherent – do not use complex terminologies and words to impress a few readers whilst potentially losing a whole lot more. You want your users to get what they’re looking for, not to feel challenged by what you present them. If it’s too difficult to understand your message or content, a viewer can always head elsewhere.

10. Include Sharing Options

Include sharing options

Having a reader visit your site and enjoy your content does little. Give your visitors a chance to share your content with their friends and followers on social media. This works well for you as it generates traffic to your website and brings in new subscribers. If you’d like viewers to be able to share your content, you’ll have to do a little research in your own time, but this can bring a lot of benefit. 

If you’re sharing on social media, make sure you send it out at the correct times so that more people can see and share, such as in the evenings during the week. Make sure that your website content includes the relevant social media sharing buttons so that users can share with one click. These buttons to facilitate sharing are slick and easy to implement into a website’s design, at no cost to you.


Knowing how to make a website is only the first step to success. Ensuring that it is successful is the hard part of it. Always test that your website is running smoothly on a regular basis to give your visitors an easy navigation time when they log on to your site. Simple log in errors and lengthy loading times will make you lose readers to your competitors. Use a professional and reliable web service provider to host your website so that you know it’ll be problem and error free. Do your research, determine who your users are, who they will be and what they want – this will allow you to make the changes to your website and design. Time to get to work!

Author's Bio:

Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over eight years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer for eliteessaywriters.com. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Tips and Tricks
eCommerce Conversion Rate Tips and Tricks

The ultimate goal of any online business is to have a great conversion rate. That means to get as many of your visitors to complete a desired action on the website. For example, for online stores, that means to get more people to complete a transaction. That is how you measure the efficacy of conversion marketing.

As an example, if a customer decides to abandon their online shopping cart, the seller would often make some special offers include a discount code or free shipping in order to convert that visitor into a paying customer. Or perhaps the company would try to recover this visitor through another online engagement method, such as reminding her via email or even using a proactive chat to help the customer through the purchase process.

As an online business, this is a long-term investment that you can make to improve your online customer service channels, your site flow, and the entire customer experience.

Additional tips to increase your conversion rates are to keep your homepage simple and the website navigation user-friendly. If you make sure that the structure and the site navigation can be used with minimal effort, you are already doing a great job. Naturally, placing a discount code or two on the homepage itself could also significantly increase your conversion rate.

When a visitor decides to look at the details of a certain item or a certain service that you offer on your website, another great method for increasing your conversion rate is to generate some user reviews of the product or the service that you are selling.

This means that after a customer receives their item or service, they should be able to provide feedback, both on your website and on the purchase that they’ve made. They can write about the quality of the purchase, their shipping experience, the way product that was advertised beforehand and anything else they’d like to include. Then, when another person visits your website and is interested in the same product or service but is not sure whether to make the same purchase, she is going to be convinced by that review that your previous customer left.

Two other extremely important tips to include in your website are a PayPal button and the feature to have customers checkout as guests.

The first one is going to increase your mobile conversions by up to 34% because most of the world uses PayPal already, and the transactions via PayPal are simple and confidential. This also means buyers won’t have to go looking for their credit card and then go through the hassle of inputting all their information to make said purchase. Because if they’re buying something on impulse, research shows that they are likely to change their mind if they have additional steps that they need to do before they finalize their transaction, which results in your business losing a customer. The same idea goes behind allowing people to check out as guests.

See the infographic below for more tips and tricks on how to increase your business’ conversion rate.

Infographic URL: https://websitebuilder.org/resources/conversion-rate-Optimization-Hacks

best free 3d modelling software
The best free 3d modelling softwares available

There are a large selection of quality 3D software packages on the market but unfortunately many of the top applications available cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  However, there are also number of free 3D softwares out there for hobbyists, independent filmmakers and animators, freelance designers, architects and game developers who don't have the budget for expensive software.