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Modern Web Design Trends For WordPress Bloggers

Working on a website’s design, many people use a large background image to impress the audience at the first sight and convey their business purposes more efficiently.

As web technologies are constantly changing, designers apply new techniques to give a contemporary touch to their sites. Following modern web design trends, they can make their platforms more effective and appealing, which will catch fancy of every visitor. Some designers resort to creative details like circles or ribbons while others try to achieve a desirable result with a proper color scheme, e.g. polychromatic, one-color or black and white. Many of them also focus on adding a large background image to designs of their platforms.

Formerly, the latter tactic was primarily avoided, as it took too long for a page to load. It pissed off many people, and they left a site before it could load. For the reason of traffic losses, many designers refused from the idea to attach large images to backgrounds of their web resources. Now, everything has changed due to high-speed Internet and screens with ultra-high resolutions. Loading a page with big pictures is much faster today than it used to be a few years ago, that’s why this trend is getting more popular in the web design community.

If you are considering an idea to give large background images a try, but still can’t make up your mind, find out below how you will be able to benefit from this tendency.

Create a Favorable First Impression

One of the most important goals pursued by every designer is to produce a great first impression on the target audience, as it determines a further course of events. Guided by this influential factor, customers decide whether to deal with a certain service provider or to search for someone else. Choosing the right background image, you’ll have an opportunity to emphasize the imagery of your website and, therefore, impress everyone who takes a look at it. Thus, visitors of your platform will have a wish to linger there and look through your offerings.

Boast of Your Products and Services

By means of large background images, it’s easy to deliver an instant message before people even proceed to reading the first line of your text. For example, you can effectively introduce your company to the audience and show your products to their best advantage. In such a way, you will intrigue customers with your offerings, which will increase a chance that they’ll decide to acquire something in the end.

Motivate Customers to Read Your Content

Using big pictures in the background, you can also drop a hint at what your content is about, which will stimulate visitors of your site to read your posts with greater curiosity. In a large image, it’s easy to accentuate some minor details that are vital for promotion of your business. With a picture spreading throughout the entire layout of your site, people are likely to examine its every corner so that nothing important goes unnoticed.

All the mentioned pros have turned usage of large backgrounds into one of the most popular trends in web design in 2014. If you believe it’s about time to use big pictures on your platform, but need some inspiration, here are some fabulous designs that will excite your imagination and help you come up with brilliant ideas for your resource.

Travel Agency

Another example of successful implementation of large backgrounds can be seen in this Travel Agency theme. Travelers who like spending their vacations at the seaside will be excited to resort to its services after they take a look at an inspirational image of starfish and seashell under the azure blue sky.

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Dating Agency

Featuring ingenious drawings, the background of this Dating Agency theme targets singles who appreciate traditional values of rendezvous like sitting on benches or walking arm in arm. The picture can add a classic touch of romance to the image of any dating organization.

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Beach Volleyball Club

The background of the Beach Volleyball Club theme will arouse enthusiasm of everyone keen on this game. Looking at a large picture reflecting fun in the sun, people will be motivated to put on shorts, take a ball, and go play with it on the golden sand.

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Night Club

Loud colors of this Night Club theme’s background can let people feel the drive of a nonstop party before they even step over the threshold of the place where it’s held. Staring at this image, clubbers will be energized to visit the promoted establishment to plunge into the atmosphere of boisterous fun there.

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Photographer Portfolio

As black and white designs will never go out of date, this color scheme has been added to the background of the Photographer Portfolio theme. Due to its successfully chosen palette and image, artists will accentuate their professionalism so that customers would think of them as of photography masters.

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Wedding Agency

To plan their wedding days, couples resort only to the agencies that can organize unforgettable marriage ceremonies. The Wedding Agency theme can easily create such an impression with the help of its beautiful background image of elegantly adorned settings.

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Premium Water

The Premium Water template is also remarkable for its fantastic background picture. Aimed at promoting water cleaners, the theme can create an impression that the company behind it offers sophisticated technology providing crystal clear water. Thus, it’ll be easy to produce a favorable first impression on the audience.

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Sea Restaurant

The last example of implementing a big picture in the background is the Sea Restaurant theme. By means of its seafood drawings, people will get an idea about the dishes served at the promoted place once they enter its web resource.

As you see, large backgrounds can dramatically enhance the visual appeal of your platform as well as communicate your message to customers more clearly. Just add a catchy picture to the background of your site, and it will ideally highlight your content. If you have any remarks about this web design trend, feel free to drop a line in the comments below.

3 Management Hacks to Prevent Employee Burnout

Every manager knows the constant struggle of keeping employees happy, motivated, and productive. Furthermore, they also know how hard it is to jumpstart a burnt out employee. Staff suffering from burnout are far less creative, driven, or productive, because they’re dealing with a frustrating and long-term emotional ailment.

Thankfully, burnt out employees don’t have to stay that way. In fact, they don’t even need to switch jobs or take time off to shake their burnout. A lot of the power to eliminate burnout lies in the hands of the manager.

Use these three strategies to keep your employees from getting burnt out and to revive those who already are.

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Give Back Control

While part of a manager’s responsibility is to oversee employees’ work, taking too much control can make for low quality work and aggravated staff. Everyone needs a little control and autonomy in their professional life, even lower level members of your team. Put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll quickly understand.

Make an effort to give each employee some independence. A little bit of extra breathing room can go a long way toward keeping everyone happy and avoiding workplace burnout.

Set Attainable Goals and Reasonable Expectations

There’s a fine line between being ambitious and being unrealistic. Granted, managers should want the best from themselves and their employees, but aiming too high can be a real detriment.

Setting goals for employees that exceed their abilities isn’t effective at motivating or inspiring them. On the contrary, it makes the work feel unattainable, too big to conquer. Consequently, working toward those goals quickly becomes a tiring, discouraging endeavor, one which will eventually lead to severe burnout.

Avoid the pitfalls of overly ambitious goal setting by keeping your expectations realistic and your goals attainable. By making each goal a little easier, employees get to taste victory in their positions a little more often – great for morale and even better for productivity.

Acknowledge Hard Work

Nobody likes being unappreciated. Regardless of working conditions – fun, glamour, pay (or lack thereof) – occupying a thankless position can quickly cause employees to feel burnt out.

A thoughtful “thank you” is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of cultivating positive manager-employee relationships, boosting productivity, and combating burnout. In fact, research has shown that employees who are recognized for their accomplishments tend to have lower levels of burnout. There’s really no excuse not to show some appreciation for the hard work your team puts in every day. Take the time to acknowledge it.

Use these three tips along with your existing management knowledge and expertise to keep your team happy, emotionally healthy, and motivated. The difference they can make might surprise you!

Image credit: Magnus

About

Carrie is an avid writer, who spends her spare time biking and hiking the Appalachian Mountain trails near her home.

Blog Engage Profile Page Improvements

I am very happy to announce the upgrade and redesign of the Blog Engage profile pages. You will find the pages are now easier to navigate and present your profile data and information in a much more attractive way. Overall it’s been a complete redesign and I’m sure you’re going to love it.

We have also integrated the Status Wall Module into the profile page unlike past options which found the data at the bottom of your profile making it inconvenient to use and enjoy.

First look to the top right hand screen of Blog Engage for the Howdy, your name link. This drop down will have a link name profile, click it and you will be sent to the all new Blog Engage profile page and design. The changes are really fantastic I’m sure you will really enjoy them.

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The idea here is to allow users to easily connect with one another. I find the status wall integration will help us achieve this goal. Similar to Twitter you will only see updates in this area if you are actually following users on Blog Engage. Updates on this page will include latest comments and story submissions of status updates from users you followed or added as a friend. Users you send @messages to will in fact get e-mail notifications with a link to the status update and their profile pages.

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profile-info

One of my personal favorite upgrades is how our stories, comments, votes etc are being displayed. You will find ti all under the same area, this helps for loading pages and easier navigation while looking at your online activity. I’m sure you will also be very impressed with the new layout of our stories submitted onto Blog Engage.

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About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Boutique WordPress Theme by Elegant Themes

Last Wednesday I introduced you to the Argentum Theme by Woo Themes as a good choice for an ecommerce theme for your WordPress site. If this isn’t a good fit for your site, I have found another great theme that might work for you and its by Elegant Themes.

Don’t get me wrong, Woo Themes is a great product but their themes may not work for everyone. If this is the case and you are looking for a WordPress powered online store for your site, you might want to take a look at the Boutique Theme by Elegant Themes.

Boutique Features

The Boutique Theme is a powerful online storefront that can be integrated with some of the most popular ecommerce plugins. This great for those that already have a ecommerce plugin in place and do not want to switch to theme that is only designed to work with one ecommerce Plugin.

Unlimited Color Schemes

The themes come with several background textures and adjustable background and font colors. With these options, your color scheme will only be limited by your imagination.

Choose a Different Font

If the default fonts aren’t your favorites, then change them! The Boutique theme comes with a variety of fonts to choose from for the body of the text and the header.

Alternative Blog Layout

If you want to run a blog in addition to the product pages, you can run a blog that does not include product info.

Automated Thumbnail Resizing

The theme uses timthumb to automatically resize your images.

User and Author Ratings

Boutique has the option for users and readers to rate each product in your collection.

Advertising System

The theme also comes with an advertising management system. You can add 125×125 banners and the sidebar and 468×60 add in your post pages.

What eCommerce Plugins Work With Boutique?

The boutique works with wp-ecommerce, shopp, eshop, cart66, and simple paypal shoopingcart.

For more information or to test drive the Boutique Theme, check out Elegant Themes’ information page.

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Another One Month DTFP Giveaway

Hi everyone, I’m happy to announce the winner of our One Month DTFP giveaway.

The winner is Jackson Nwachukwu from WorthBlogger. This marketing package has a lot of value to it including some of the following.

Featured Spotlight: We will write about you and your blog, feature you here on Blog Engage in front all our blog readers.

Direct To Front Page: 1 post every 24 hours will be syndicated from your blog, direct to the Blog Engage home page.

Banner Ad Rotation: We will create banners for your blog and include them into our banner ad rotator exposing your blog to tons of direct traffic from Blog Engage.

Newsletter Marketing: Blog Engage will send your featured spotlight article to our entire mailing list of over 3000 bloggers.

We are also hosting another contest for another lucky member or blog visitor to win. This giveaway will be offering the winner 1 month of our Direct To Front Page Marketing Package. This is one of the most unique online marketing strategies for bloggers, whoever wins this will see a large benefits directly to their blog readership and blog traffic.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter for your chance to win all you have is follow the guidelines above and your name will automatically be entered for a chance to win. Make sure to post a comment, say hello and what this contest could mean for you, and your blog.

Best of luck everyone!

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

Memoir by Elegant Themes

Looking to create a personal blog? You want something more than a basic free theme? Maybe a premium theme that still has the features of a premium theme but doesn’t have all the extras that comes with professional CMS styled themes?

If you are wanting a theme like that, then you are in luck. Elegant themes offers a great looking theme that is simple, elegant, and full of style. That theme is Memoir .

Memoir Features

For a basic WordPress theme, Memoir still has a lot of great features to go with its good luck. It includes features such as multiple color schemes, page templates, image gallery, portfolio, thumbnail resizing, and a few others.

Four Color Schemes

The theme comes with four color schemes. If you don’t like the default one, then you have three other ones to choose from.

Page Templates

Memoir comes with pre-made page layouts and utilities. The templates can be used for individual pages to make your life easier when creating new pages.

Automatic Thumbnail Resizing

The theme uses timthumb to automatically resize thumbnail images. with this feature, you won’t have to worry uploading multiple thumbnails. All you have to do is upload one image and it resizes to whatever size the theme requires.

For more information about Memoir and to try out the demo, check out the information page.

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.

5 of Southwestern Virginia’s Best Wineries

Despite the fact that Virginia is producing fantastic wines, it might not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of wine country. Of course, Virginia won’t be competing with the Napa Valley or Tuscany as a wine destination any time soon, but that doesn’t mean the region can’t produce great wine. It would behoove East coast wine enthusiasts to take a closer look at the small, boutique vineyards that have popped up across the state, especially those in its southwestern region.

We’ve rounded up five of southwest Virginia’s best wineries for your next visit down south. Do yourself a favor and give Virginian wine a chance. We doubt you’ll be sorry.

Chateau Morrisette

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Tucked away in the scenic hills off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County, Chateau Morrisette has been producing fine Virginian wines since 1978. Starting from humble beginnings as a family hobby, Chateau Morrisette has grown into one of the East coast’s most renowned wineries.

The vineyard’s acreage is composed of 13 acres of highland meadow planted with American Niagara grapes, a locally native species. Chateau Morrisette uses their small vineyard to produce exquisite Mountain Laurel and Red Mountain Laurel wines along with several other varieties of reds, whites, and rosés.

View a list of wines, full restaurant menu, and more vineyard information at thedogs.com.

Attimo Winery

One of Southwest Virginia’s younger wineries, Attimo was founded by Virginia Tech graduates Rik and Melissa Obiso. The main vineyard and tasting room is located just outside of Blacksburg, and visitors are encouraged to plan their visit around one of the events and live performances scheduled weekly at the tasting room.

Attimo maintains a primary vineyard of 11 acres at their Blacksburg location, and they source grapes from a few smaller leased lots of acreage across the state. All wine is made with Virginian grapes and crafted on-site. Attimo specializes in house blends, but they do produce pure varietals as well.

Find out more about Attimo Winery at attimowinery.com.

Beliveau Estate Winery

Beliveau Estate didn’t waste any time after opening their Blacksburg winery in 2012. The winery has already won several local awards, and they’re continuing to release fantastic new wines as they grow.

The vineyard is located approximately 30 minutes outside of Blacksburg, and it’s accompanied by a sprawling lavender planation, which can be enjoyed to its fullest during the peak blooming months of June and July.

Get a closer look at this exciting new vineyard by visiting beliveauestate.com.

Firefly Hill

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Firefly Hill is a small, family owned Virginia Farm Winery (See section 5) just twenty minutes from Roanoke and Blacksburg. The entire estate is made up of 37 gorgeous acres planted with several varieties of grapes.

The vineyard was planted in late 2006, and the winery consistently produces seven varietals: Chardonnay, Merlot, Viognier, Vidal, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Traminette.

Get to know this genuine Virginia Farm Winery better at firefly.com.

AmRhein’s Wine Cellars

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With a focus on German-influence wines and almost two decades of experience, this family owned and operated winery produces over 15 traditional varietals and several house blends. The winery has won several awards in 2014 alone, including multiple awards at the Virginia Governor’s Cup.

The 40 acre AmRhein’s vineyard is located on Bent Mountain, roughly halfway between Roanoke and Blacksburg, and it’s planted with 20 varieties of grapes. Tasting hours are available most days of the week, although they do change seasonally, and events are held regularly.

View event schedules, wine lists, and more at AmRheins.Thanks!

Photo Credits:

1. Photo by Susan Smith

2. Screenshot via Firefly’s website

3. Photo via AmRhein’s on Tumblr

About

Carrie is an avid writer, who spends her spare time biking and hiking the Appalachian Mountain trails near her home.

Going Green Child Theme by StudioPress

Trying to save the earth, your neighborhood, or just looking for a natural look for your website but not sure what you need to do it? Having a professional website isn’t everything you need to start a healthy related website.

Along with a professional looking website, you need to have the look and feel of a site that is oriented around your going green site. To get that look and still have a professional look can be hard but, StudioPress Themes did it right.

StudioPress created a great looking child theme, Going Green Theme, for those looking to build a Green Website. But the best part is, it can be used by almost any niche. You can use if you have nature site, healthy living site, or any niche you want. If you check out the demo, you will see that it has a vintage look, that would look good anywhere.

Going Green Features

Going Green Theme comes with six layouts, featured images, fixed width, and threaded comments. Plus it compatible with BuddyPress.

In order to use the Going Green child theme, you must already have the Genesis Framework installed or purchased.

For more information about Going Green Theme Child Theme and to test drive the demo, check out the information page.

What is the Genesis Framework?

All StudioPress child themes run on the Genesis Frame. The Genesis Framework is the core files (parent theme) that is designed to add important features to WordPress. The framework adds SEO integration to the configuration pages, additional SEO options on the post pages, plus it makes it easy to install child themes to the framework.

When you purchase the framework, you get unlimited support, unlimited easy updates, and you get lifetime access to the support team and staff.

About

My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I’m a young and upcoming webmaster. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers.