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Getting your e-commerce site at or near the top of the rankings for your targeted keywords and phrases can lead to a massive increase in sales. The problem is that SEO can be a real challenge for...

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.
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You're too busy to go back to school. At least that's the excuse you give for not pursuing additional training in your field.

Well guess what? That excuse isn't any good any more. In fact, it hasn't been good for some time. And it's a good thing too, because you need stay current in your field if you want to stay competitive.

You can get additional training on web design, web development, and many other topics from the comfort of your own home. You no longer have to go somewhere to take a class.

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Many traditional colleges offer online courses. In addition to coursework available online through the colleges, a large online training industry has sprung up in the past decade.

In this post, I'll focus on online training sites. I'll list 14 of the best non-college online training opportunities for web designers and web developers.

If you liked this post, you will probably also like: Learning Web Design: Self Taught vs. a Formal Education.
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If you're looking to get into the web design/development industry there are loads of resources and courses to help with your education, but deciding which route to pursue is not easy. There are two basic approaches: going to a university for a formal education, or taking a self-taught approach and learning on your own. In recent years a growing number of colleges and universities have added degrees specifically for web design and development, and of course a graphic design/arts degree is also an option.

In this article we'll take a look at the argum
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ents for both approaches, and we'll also provide information on plenty of resources to help you get started with learning on your own if that is the route that you choose. If you're considering a career as a web designer/developer, you'll want to take some time to educate yourself on the options that are available and see what is the best fit for you personally. There is no right or wrong approach, but following a path that isn't the right fit for you can result in a lot of wasted time and money.
Pros of Being Self Taught
When it comes to web design and development you'll often read or hear of someone being "self taught". What this usually means is that this person did not receive a formal education in the field of design or development. In reality, being "self taught" typically involves things like reading books, following online tutorials, watching videos, and plenty of experimentation. The self taught designer still learns from others who are willing to teach, but it's usually by way of informal articles and tutorials rather than a classroom setting. So don't be intimidated at the phrase "self taught" as it does not mean that you will need to figure everything out on your own. With that in mind, here are some of the most convincing reasons why you might want to skip the formal education and just learn on your own.

Smashing Book
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Google+ Communities are a great way for freelance web designers and web developers to connect with others.

Joining a community can strengthen your freelancing business in the following ways:

Networking. As a member of a Google+ Community, you have a chance to interact with others with similar interests and a chance to build relationships.
Reputation. By providing helpful insights and tips to other members of the community, you can enhance your reputation as a professional.
Resource. If you have a problem or question you can't solve, ask the community. The insigh
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ts shared by peers can be very helpful.

Social network or online community concept
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Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.

The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of "white space". The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, withou
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t strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.

Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention "free for commercial use" are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.
UI Kits
A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.
DesignModo Flat UI
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Knowing how to create a strong brand is incredibly important whether you are a freelancer, own an agency, or have just graduated from school. In fact, for many web professionals, their business brand...

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.
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Choosing the right e-commerce platform for your website is now easy task. There are hundreds of different options available with options in all different price ranges and with varying features. If you're overwhelmed at the process of choosing the right platform for your site, or for the site of a client, the decision usually becomes much clearer once you've determined what is most important for your site. In this article we'll look at some specific questions to ask yourself, or your client, to help lead to the right choice. Make sure that you take the time to make a wise and informed decision,
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because changing platforms down the road can often be a time consuming and costly experience.
General Categories of E-Commerce Options
Before we look at the factors that you need to consider, let's first take a look at the general categories of e-commerce platforms. Most of the hundreds or thousands of e-commerce platforms out there will fall into one of these six categories.
1. Enterprise E-Commerce
Enterprise e-commerce systems like Magento's Enterprise Edition are feature-rich and robust systems that are typically used by large or fast-growing companies. Of course, with the advanced features and capabilities comes a higher price tag.

Magento Enterprise

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If you use heading tag properly in your website, it definitely can improve your SEO Ranking. Beside improve your SEO ranking, it also improve the user readability when they browsing your website.
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If your website is having high bounce rate, you may be losing a lot of sales. In order to make your website success, you need to understand what are the dos and dons. There must be a reason why your website is having high bounce rate.
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Lots of things go into websites than you may think. From planning the site to getting all the wording just right, it can be a bit overwhelming if you don't know what you're doing. Use the information in this article to help make an easier job of the process.



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