Thursday, November 24, 2016


Page Loading: 4 Ways To Decrease Load Time

In the age of big data, data analytics has become a core business activity, with endless different metrics to monitor. These varied numbers help us track conversion rates by platform, measure employee performance through calling data, and determine if our content is performing to its highest potential. With so much data to sift through, it’s not surprising that some numbers, such as page load speed, slip through the cracks.

Why does something as small as page load speed matter for your business? A slow website is one of the surest ways to lose customers. Simply put, your clients aren’t going to wait around for your landing page to load.

According to Google resources, if your site takes more than 2 seconds to load, in the world of ecommerce, that’s too slow. Here’s what you can do to speed things up.

Check Your Pages

Your standard site analytics software may give you an average page load speed as part of its overall output, but don’t rely on that data alone. Instead, run your pages through a site analysis using Pingdom, Speedtest, Yslow, or one of the many other site speed testers. These sites will not only tell you how long it takes your website to load from both desktop and mobile platforms, but also make suggestions as to what you can change to make them load more quickly.

If your tests reveal that your mobile pages are especially slow, you might want to test out Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP strips down websites to their necessities and these pages load 85% faster than standard mobile pages. Customers don’t need all the bells and whistles on a mobile page, they just need a site that functions well and quickly.


Ultimate List of HTML5 Resources for Web Designers and Developers


Boost Your Hosting

There are a lot of different options for hosting a website, and many people choose the cheapest option, a type of shared server plan. This can significantly slow down your website depending on the other sites sharing that server. To boost your page speed, switch to a dedicated server or to a virtual private server. This will help your page move much more quickly.

Weed Your Website

If you’re using a WordPress site, one common cause of slow page load times is overuse of plugins. In fact, you don’t even need to be using that many plugins for them to become a problem. Instead, the simple fact that you once installed a plugin and left it to languish somewhere in your site’s code is enough to cause your site to lag.

Take some time to uninstall old WordPress plugins that you aren’t using and to reconsider the ones you keep active. Are these actively improving your website or are they simply slowing things down? The fewer unnecessary plugins your site uses, the faster it will load.

Photo Finish

Finally, large photos are a leading cause of slow site load times, so take a look at your website’s media choices. Optimize your image formats using both PNG-8, GIF, or JPEG formats and implement GZIP compression if possible. Not all sites support GZIP, but compressing photos is a great way to maintain image quality without sacrificing space and speed.

When it comes to site load times, every millisecond counts. That’s why you should put in the time necessary to speed up your site as much as possible. As many top websites prove, it’s possible to create an effective, aesthetically pleasing site that’s also faster than the competition.

The post Page Loading: 4 Ways To Decrease Load Time appeared first on SpyreStudios.

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10 Tutorials That Can Get You Started With Sketch

Sketch app is famous for being one of the fastest growing design tools in the industry. But its fame and glory didn’t go without a few hitches. Despite being an undeniable winner on the vector design scene, it’s also infamous for making its users pay for tutorials.

The Twitter discussion, featured at SketchTalk puts some light over the myths behind this statement but the question remains – are there any good SketchApp tutorials that users can use for free?

Free Beginner Tutorials for Sketch

The users’ undisguised disappointment doesn’t mean every single SketchApp tutorial will cost you an arm and leg. In fact, there are hundreds of free tutorials that can get you started with Sketch 3. And believe me, once you get a hold of the basics, you’ll learn that your time, efforts, and eventual expenses for migrating to Sketch will be significantly outrun by the advantages of this new design software.

To provide you with a better understanding of the techniques and principles of the Sketch design environment, I’ve prepared you a list of handpicked design tutorials. They will guide you through the fundamentals of the software and aid you in completing tasks as simple as setting up your workboard or as complex as creating a whole new design project from scratch. Let’s get started.

How to Build a Pattern Library in Sketch

Tutorial link: CreativeBloq

Created by: Richard Child

What you’ll learn: 

In order to ensure your website design is consistent and easy to change, you need to know how to create your pattern library in Sketch. The pattern library is a collection of design elements, like navigation, headings, forms, etc. that can be reused to design pages. When changing the qualities of repeatable components of your design in other conventional design software you’ll need to make separate changes to each object. What Sketch’s Symbols feature does is allow you to create a library of reusable elements that you can change simultaneously. The designer Richard Child will guide you through the fundaments of working with the Sketch pattern library.

Draw in Sketch With a Limited Set of Shapes

Sketch tutorial

Tutorial link: Medium

Created by: Yuki Erqiudao

One thing that makes vector design software so incredibly easy to use is the freedom it provides users in terms of content creation methods. Yuki Erqiudao, designer at Mind Labs shared his insights on creating illustrations in Sketch only with the use of rectangles, circles, and lines. Once you get familiar with the vector design environment, you’ll notice that it’s actually ridiculously easy to create illustrations with a flat design approach. This article will get you through all the basics, including a good load of shortcuts, to help you design your own illustrations in Sketch.

Guide to Login Form Interface Design For Beginners

Sketch tutorial

Tutorial link: Web Design Tutsplus

Created by: Armando Sotoca

Creating a login form is on the to-do list of almost every designer but that’s not the reason why this tutorial is so special. Armando Sotoca took the time to explain in detail every small step of the design process. From creating an artboard to managing the Inspector panel, and designing the basics of the layout, the author will guide you through every single action you need to take to create your own login form without leaving your questions unanswered.

Organizing Sketch 3 For iOS

Sketch 3 Tutorial

Tutorial link: Medium

Created by: Timur Nurutdinov

Since its initial launch, Sketch has developed tremendously. Its newest version has introduced numerous innovative features that allow users to take advantage of a bitmap design environment, use Symbols to facilitate the design of repeatable elements, export design files in an effortless way, and more. Timur’s Sketch tutorial will guide you through all of the above and go beyond that, providing you with valuable tips on managing your creative workspace with Sketch 3 for iOS.

Other honorable mentions:

Design a Colorful Switch

Sketch tutorial

Sebastien Gabriel‘s detailed tutorial will show you every single step of the process of creating a colorful switch icon in Sketch. You can check out his tutorial at Google Design.

Use Magic Mirror to Create a Poster Mockup

Sketch tutorial

In his tutorial, Marko Vuletič shows the basics of creating a fully-functioning poster mockup in Sketch. He will teach you how to use Magic Mirror, an image perspective transformation tool for Sketch and make your realistic poster mockup in just a few steps.

Create Your Own Sketch Plugin

Create Sketch plugin

Liu Liu, a UX designer at Google, shares an inspiring story and a whole tutorial on how he made his own Sketch plugin without being a code guru. He claims anyone can do it, as well, so why not give this one a try? You can read his tutorial here.

Best Practices for Using Sketch

Best practices for Sketch

Nick Woodman’s article is an honest and insightful guide through the fundamentals of using Sketch. Check out his seven best Sketch practices at his Medium blog.


Design Data With Sketch

Design charts and tables with Sketch

Ivo Mynttinen shares some time-saving techniques for designing tables and charts in Sketch. You can read his tutorial here.

Resizing Symbols in Sketch

Sketch tutorial

Jérémy Paul‘s handy tutorial will teach you how to rezise symbols in Sketch like a boss. His tutorial is especially useful for resposive web design as well as millions of other purposes. Read it here.

Craving more design tutorials? Read these:

Everything You Need to Know About Adobe Creative Cloud in 7 Tutorials


The 10 Best Parallax Design Tutorials Ever




The post 10 Tutorials That Can Get You Started With Sketch appeared first on SpyreStudios.

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Geek deals roundup: Black Friday deals are now live

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Black Friday deals are flooding in from every corner of the web, we’re sifting through it all, and compiling the very best discounts right here. Many retailers have already released their deals early, […] Read more