Dealing with the Isolation of Freelance Life

For over two decades, I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home. No maddening commute and all the coffee I can handle. Sounds pretty cool, right?

And, even when a pandemic sent the world scrambling to work remotely, things stayed relatively the same here (save for my child enrolling in online school). Being in a familiar environment, away from all the chaos, is a true blessing.

But even blessings have their downside. For all the benefits of working from home, there’s also a real sense of isolation. You may go days without leaving home or seeing anyone outside of those you live with. A public health crisis only serves to amplify the effect.

This is a heavy burden for freelance web designers. Life seems to consist mainly of work. It’s something many of us have learned to live with. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to thriving.

While there’s no easy fix, there are some ways to decrease the negative impacts of isolation. The following are tips for beating those stuck-in-your-home-office blues.

Find Comfort in Nature

You don’t need to live on the edge of an enchanted forest to enjoy the outdoors. Nature, or some form of it, is available to just about all of us.

For instance, I live in a small town. We have some lovely parks to visit. But even if I can’t get to the park, I still enjoy the natural elements in my own back yard. I’ve set up some bird feeders and enjoy watching the cardinals, finches and chickadees peck away. They are calming and sometimes even comical. I spend a lot of time enjoying them – particularly in the warmer months.

Wherever you happen to be in the world, admire the nature right outside your window. Maybe birds aren’t your thing – that’s OK. You could find comfort in watching squirrels climb the trees or telephone poles. Even caring for a houseplant or two can be effective.

Most importantly, get outside for at least a few minutes each day. Grab some natural light and feel the breeze against your face. These things are both good for you and free – so take advantage!

A bird sits on a tree branch.

Participate in the Design and Development Communities

We humans are social beings. And, even though in-person interactions are difficult to come by, there are still opportunities to connect with others. This is especially so within the web design and development communities.

Social media is still buzzing with activity, if not more so than before. There are some great Facebook pages and groups that cater to specific tools like WordPress or even languages such as CSS. Twitter has plenty of relevant hashtags, such as #WebDesign and #WebDev, among others. They are great ways to expand your knowledge and get to know some cool people.

Virtual events are also becoming quite common. Several in-person meetups have switched to Zoom during the pandemic. It seems like there are always online get-togethers being held, so be on the lookout for ones that are of interest to you.

None of this fully replaces the fun of being out amongst the crowds. But you can get creative. Participating in a virtual event from a place that isn’t your office (your living room, back yard, etc.) can at least make it feel like you’re out and about.

A person typing on a smartphone.

Take Time Off

Working from home often brings with it the temptation to put in extra hours. With such easy access to your office, spending some nights and weekends at your desk can seem like a positive. It helps you cross some tasks off of your to-do list – reassuring in its own right.

Doing this once in a while is fine. But spend too many hours working and you risk becoming overwhelmed. Both your body and mind can suffer the consequences. Suddenly, it becomes harder to focus and sit still. Continuing to grind out those hours only makes it worse.

Taking some time off may be just what you need. Even if it’s not a traditional vacation, the mere fact that you are away from the office is beneficial. Whether the distance is ten feet or a hundred miles, it’s worth doing.

If your situation prevents you from taking in the tourist sites, there’s still plenty to do at home. Tackle an improvement project you’ve been putting off or take the dog for a walk.

And, for goodness sake, turn off your email! The constant buzz of new notifications is pretty much the opposite of relaxation. Let your clients know that you’ll be unavailable, then chill out as best you can.

People relaxing on a bench.

Find Little Ways to Break Free from Isolation

Being (mostly) confined to your home office can really take its toll on your well-being. Therefore, it’s vital to try and stay connected to the world around you.

Spend time in nature to clear your head. Participate in personal and professional communities to reinforce a sense of belonging. And take some time off to refresh your creative spirit.

None of these things may be as profound as, say, going to a packed concert or travelling to your favorite vacation spot. But they can add up to make a positive difference in your life.

The post Dealing with the Isolation of Freelance Life appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Oops! Dealing with Your Freelance Mistakes

Among the harshest realities of being a freelance web designer (and a human) is that we’re bound to make mistakes. None of us can escape that fact. Therefore, we may as well accept it.

Still, there are major differences in the severity of the mistakes we make. A small misspelling isn’t quite the same as bringing down an entire website with a buggy piece of code. The same goes for the construction worker who merely forgot to install a light bulb, rather than failed to shore up that wall. Some are easier to correct and, thus, more easily forgiven.

Then there is the way we handle a given faux pas. Do we own up to it? Do we pretend it never happened? How do we react when a client calls us out?

Learning to deal with mistakes is part of the secret to long-term success for web designers. And, as someone who has made more than their fair share of mess-ups, I can attest to what works and what doesn’t.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about making things right again.

First, Understand What Happened

The funny thing about mistakes is that we don’t always immediately recognize them. It may be hours, days, weeks or months before one makes itself known to you. Therefore, its origins may be difficult to figure out.

When it’s something simple like a misspelled word, you’ll likely be able to track down what happened (Side Note: It’s always a good idea to proofread what a client sends you). But other issues can be much harder to trace. You may have to pore over code or user logs to get the necessary clues.

Why is it important to gain an understanding of what happened? For one, this information can help prevent a similar event in the future. That’s why we talk about learning from our mistakes, after all.

On the other side of the coin, it’s also worth knowing just whose mistake it was. In some instances, you may be the culprit. But clients and software vendors may also be to blame.

To be clear, it’s not really about assigning blame to someone. Rather, the idea is to simply understand the problem. That way, you can take preventative measures. It’s also useful in the event you have to defend yourself against an accusation.

Best of all, you’ll sleep better knowing exactly what went wrong. This type of knowledge is crucial for getting some peace of mind.

A Website 404 Error

To Report a Mistake…or Not

Honesty is generally the best policy. And, let’s face it, there are certain mistakes that you couldn’t hide if you wanted to. A mishap that causes a site to go down isn’t so easy to sweep under the rug.

That aside, not every single mistake is worth reporting. This is particularly the case when the issue and impact are relatively small.

Consider an update to an eCommerce website where you’ve posted the wrong product image. If you immediately discovered the mix-up and rectified it, you probably don’t have to worry about letting your client know.

Of course, the bigger the impact, the more compelling a case for filing a report. If it’s something that a customer may have noticed or has the potential to hurt sales, that information should be shared.

It’s also worth considering both your own conscience and your client’s personality. Some people want to be informed about every step (good or bad), while others aren’t so concerned. At the same time, you might find yourself wanting to tell every detail just to make sure things are out in the open.

Ultimately, this is a judgement call – choose wisely!

Letter Tiles

Dealing with the Aftermath

Cleaning up after a mistake can be a multifaceted process. What’s involved really depends on the type of issue and the impact it has had on your project.

First and foremost is rectifying the design and technical aspects. Hopefully it’s something you can fix-up without too much trouble. At the very least, you should have backups of all key files on hand. This will allow you to revert to a previous version should the situation call for it.

The scariest part can often be discussing the issue with your client. No one likes to get called out. But, in my experience, most people are both understanding and forgiving. You just need to give them a chance.

The best approach is to calmly explain what happened in layman’s terms. You don’t have to go into every last detail unless your client asks. A general overview will usually be enough.

From there, mention any steps you can take to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again. Sometimes a client has a role to play as well. For example, if their request wasn’t immediately clear and you changed the wrong thing – let them know. Better communication (not to mention asking questions) is often the best way to avoid mishaps.

Overall, this is an area where a strong designer-client relationship can make a difference. Mutual respect and trust enable you to work through these inevitable ups and downs.

A Vacuum Cleaner

Take Charge of Your Mistakes

Perhaps the biggest lesson here is to take charge of whatever situation you find yourself in. This will demonstrate both character and competence. Clients will respect you for it and you’ll gain some inner peace as well.

When you’re in a position to impact a project (positively or otherwise), a certain amount of leadership is required. Therefore, stand up and take the appropriate actions when you make a mistake. By rising to the challenge, you’ll gain the confidence you need to keep moving forward.

The post Oops! Dealing with Your Freelance Mistakes appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


An Early Look at Full Site Editing in WordPress

Here’s an existential question for web developers: How much separation should there be between a website’s content management system (CMS) and its design?

For a lot of the DIY services out there (Wix, Squarespace, etc.), just about every facet of a website can be edited visually. Whether it’s content, design or layout, you can tweak to your heart’s content. And you don’t need to understand code to do so.

But, save for some code-free page builder products, WordPress has traditionally stayed away from a full-blown site editor. The theme customizer allows users to change certain aspects of a theme – but only those defined by its developer.

That’s about to change. Full site editing (FSE) will allow the Gutenberg block editor to be used for editing the entire website – theme and all.

This newfangled feature may just revolutionize what is possible with a WordPress theme. With that, I wanted to take an early look at what it can do. Here’s what I found…

Setting up Full Site Editing in WordPress

As of this writing, full site editing has not been merged into WordPress core. It is a beta feature available through the Gutenberg plugin. So, I’ll grab the plugin and activate it first.

Then there’s the matter of finding a compatible theme. Q is the first WordPress theme that supports FSE and will serve as a canvas for this experiment. Having installed and activated the free theme, we can now take a look at what it does.

One other item to note: I’m doing this all on a local install of WordPress. There’s quite a lot to be tested and bugs to be fixed when it comes to full site editing. Therefore, it’s not ready for a production environment just yet. Test accordingly!

Initial Observations

Upon activating the Q theme, there are a couple noticeable differences in WordPress. On the back end, there is now a Site Editor entry on the menu. And when browsing the front end while logged in, an Edit Site link is displayed on the admin bar. Oh, and there’s also a warning notification about full site editing being experimental (we’ll just ignore that one).

The Site Editor link in the WordPress dashboard.

The theme itself is pretty barebones – which is ideal. This provides us with an easier path to customize. When you think about it, you probably wouldn’t want to tear down an intricate design, only to build it back up into something else. Less is indeed more.

A front-end view of the WordPress Q theme.

Peeking Inside the Site Editor

Now, about that site editor. Clicking into it opens up the Gutenberg block editor. But this time it’s more than just a standard blank page. Instead, I now have access to everything – header, navigation (through the experimental Navigation block), content area and footer.

As expected, making changes to any of these items is a matter of clicking into a block and getting to work. Individual blocks can be transformed to something else, edited or even deleted. Blocks can also be repositioned. Placing the navigation menu above the site’s title, for example, was a breeze. The same goes for replacing the single-column title heading with a multi-column layout.

Editing a website template inside WordPress.

But there’s more. Click on the WordPress logo on the upper left of the screen and you’ll open up the site editor’s sidebar. There, you can view and create theme templates (like the site’s index or posts template) or template parts (such as the header and footer). Note that you can also get to these items through the Appearance menu within WordPress. There’s also a way to get around to the site’s pages, posts and taxonomies.

The WordPress Site Editor sidebar.

What’s really nice here is that you have the option to isolate just the template parts you want to edit. If I pull up the header from Theme > Template Parts, that’s all I see in the block editor. But if I’d rather edit it within the context of the entire theme, I can just stay on that initial site editor page.

Editing the Header template part in WordPress.

Creating New Templates

If you’re familiar with the Gutenberg block editor, creating new theme templates will be rather simple. The process is very much the same as crafting any other page or post. Create your desired layout using the available blocks and save – that’s it!

One thing to note is that, at this point, it appears custom templates will need to follow the WordPress template hierarchy naming conventions. That is, the slug of a custom template should match the name of its corresponding purpose within your theme (without the .php at the end).

For example, if you want to build a template to be used on your home page, its slug should be named front-page. Want to target the About Us page (yoursite.com/about-us/)? A template with the slug of page-about-us will do the trick.

Creating a Home Page tempalte in the WordPress full site editor.

The templates are available for download via the settings menu in the upper right of the editor. This allows you to manually save templates to your device and then upload to the server, protecting you from any potential mishaps.

A listing of website templates.

Utilizing Template Parts

As previously mentioned, WordPress full site editing lets us edit and create template parts. This includes the site’s header and footer, but there are plenty of other possibilities.

Template parts can be created and then included into any template via a block. You can also add a template part to a specific page or post as well.

The Template Part block.

This might come in handy for times when you want to add a specific bit of content across several pages or posts types.

For example, think about a featured posts block that you want to display on both your individual posts and archive pages. Or perhaps there’s a navigation menu that you only want to appear when one or more specific templates are used.

Template parts are a means to set this up without the need for advanced techniques like conditional logic.

Inserting a template part into a page.

Questions for the Future of WordPress Themes

Overall, I felt positive about this experience with full site editing. There is still a long way to go in terms of squashing bugs and improving usability. Theme support is also going to be a big hurdle. But this has the potential to be a very useful feature.

Still, there are some questions that come to mind:

Who Is Full Site Editing Aimed At?

One of the overarching arguments for the Gutenberg block editor was that it was necessary to maintain relevance. Competitors in the DIY market have a more visual approach to building sites and WordPress had fallen behind.

With that, it makes sense that full site editing would be aimed at users who: a) don’t know or don’t want to utilize code; and b) want access to most (if not all) elements of their website.

What’s in It for Web Designers?

There are some benefits. Opening up a header, for example, may allow a client to quickly update a new phone number or address. This could save designers from dealing with very basic changes.

Yet there are going to be some things web professionals will want to lock down. Client-proofing a site is often done to protect against breakage. Layouts and functionality are essentials that we’d rather not take chances with.

Let’s hope that there are ways to easily exercise fine-grain control over what can and can’t be edited in the back end – like the existing theme customizer does. Otherwise, this is going to be one more potential nightmare to worry about.

How Will Full Site Editing Affect the Commercial Theme Market?

This will be fascinating to watch. Right now, it appears that very few themes have even been customized for Gutenberg. They are still relying on third-party page builder plugins for advanced layouts. And some products, like Divi and Beaver Builder, already have their own full site editing capabilities.

Therefore, don’t be surprised if adoption of full site editing is slow. Theme developers are unlikely to jump on the bandwagon until there is both demand and a clear indication of how they can benefit. Not to mention that a lot of existing features will need to be refactored.

In my view, developers will need to implement this in a way that increases flexibility for users while also minimizing risk of breakage. That could take the form of offering premade (and partially locked down) templates and letting users select which ones they want. But we are still very early in the game.

A More Seamless WordPress

So much of the WordPress ecosystem is piecemeal. Grab a theme from here, a plugin from there (and there and there) and try to make it all fit together. This is part of its appeal and has worked remarkably well.

But the design experience hasn’t quite benefitted from that flow. The look and layout of a theme has always been separated in some way. Whether it means hacking templates or using the theme customizer, there is a lot of running around involved.

Love it or hate it, full site editing is a step towards unifying the design process. With it, everything can be crafted in a single location within a single UI. It’s a more seamless experience, and one that should benefit a lot of users.

The post An Early Look at Full Site Editing in WordPress appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


The Deadly Communication Sins Freelance Designers Commit

Alright, freelancers – it’s time to confess! How many of you are guilty of not communicating regularly enough with your clients? Maybe you’re running behind on your deadline, and you’re too embarrassed to let your client know in a timely manner. Or maybe the client has done something to upset you, and you refuse to reply to one or two of their emails.

The truth is, people with poor communication skills often don’t even know they have them. A designer can be technically excellent, but if they fail to communicate with their client, they will not continue to get work.

1. Resentfulness

Let’s face it – being a freelancer is a tough job. Sometimes your clients can aggravate you to the point where you want to punch them or worse. However, if you’re on a job, it’s still your responsibility to keep the client up to date on your progress. If you don’t, you’re essentially stooping down to whatever level of immaturity you think they’re guilty of.

Remember that you have to earn your client’s trust, and regular communication is often the quickest way to do that. Many clients would much rather work with a so-so freelancer who is reliable and consistent, than a brilliant freelancer who can’t be counted on to communicate regularly.

If you’re upset with your client for some reason, the best response is to request some sort of change in the terms of the project. Not getting paid enough? Ask the client if you can transition to a project or position that pays more.

Simply want to quit? It’s better to cut your losses early and find a new client rather than suffer through a horrible project that will leave you drained of time, resources, and energy.

Resentfulness

2. Making Them Think Too Much

Your client is paying you to think for them. Even if they don’t specifically put it in those terms, your goal as a freelancer should be to make the experience of working with you as painless and simple as possible.

For the majority of back-and-forth correspondence with your client, all they should have to do is say “yes” or “no.” People get confused when they have too many options, so don’t make the client pick or choose or decide anything that’s unnecessary.

They can – and will – always let you know if they have any feedback or additional comments. If it’s within your ability, and you can use your professional experience to simply make an executive decision, do it for them.

This includes things like scheduling meeting, sending reminders, taking notes, following up with members of the team, and anything else you think might make your client’s life easier. Presenting your client with a clear option to approve or deny allows them to maintain control of the project without having to worry about the details.

Talking with Tin Can Telephone

3. Under-Communicating

When you’re doing a job for a client that lasts longer than a week or so, it’s absolutely imperative that you keep them up to date on your progress. I’ve worked with many people over the years, when I emailed them with a status check, told me they hadn’t wanted to “bother” me with too many emails. Nonsense!

Over-communication is always, always, always better than under-communication. Your client should never have to check in with you to see where you are and how your work is coming along – that should be your job.

You can establish a rhythm of regular updates – an email every Tuesday and Thursday, a weekly update to a Google Doc, or check-in with someone you know reports to your client.

Of course, some clients may not want you to communicate with them so regularly (though I have yet to meet one who didn’t prefer it to weeks of silence). If that’s the case, they will let you know. The absolute worst that can happen if you communicate too much is that the client will simply ask you to cut back. That’s it.

They won’t yell at you or deduct from your fee – and if they do, they are a terrible client and should be fired immediately. Quality clients always appreciate your effort to keep them informed of your progress.

Under-Communicating

4. Not Being A Consultant

As a freelancer who works with many different clients, often in different sectors of an industry, you have an intimate knowledge of the best practices and successful initiatives of multiple clients.

Especially as you gain years of experience, you know what works and what doesn’t, and you are in a unique position to offer your expert opinion to any new client you work with. However, many designers ignore this golden opportunity, preferring to keep their ideas to themselves and just complete a project without any feedback.

Being a trusted advisor or consultant for your clients will open doors that you never even knew existed. Your clients will value you not only for your technical skills, but also for the valuable advice that helps them increase their profits or avoid costly mistakes.

Always back up your opinion with hard evidence and numbers whenever possible. It makes for a more compelling argument and reinforces for your client that they made a good decision in hiring you.

Not Being A Consultant

5. Being Uninspiring

For all you designers out there who made the switch to freelancing from working in an office, think back to when you first decided to become a freelancer. What, specifically, made you want to strike out on your own and never set foot in a cubicle again?

Perhaps you wanted to set your own hours or control the flow of your own income. But chances are that you also felt uninspired working for someone else. Your boss and co-workers simply showed up day after day and ground out work that had no passion or emotional drive whatsoever.

If you’re not challenging and inspiring your clients with each project you take on, you’re essentially doing the same thing you attempted to escape in your day job. Don’t just be an employee who shows up and gets paid. Send new ideas your clients’ way – be a constant source of inspiration. Challenge them to consider their own business in new ways.

Share your research with them and point out ways they can reach their customers that will make them stand out from their competition. Providing inspiration can be a form of consulting as well, and you can use both in tandem to guarantee your clients will be buzzing about you to anyone within earshot.

Being Uninspiring

6. Not Managing The Project

Even if you’re not an official project manager for your client, it’s still part of your job duties as a freelancer. Let me explain what I mean. Say a client needs you to finish a website design by next week, but still hasn’t provided you with the copy.

You’ve asked them repeatedly to send it over, but they simply keep forgetting. Frustrated, you continue to pester them and wait.

Eventually, the deadline comes and goes, and, predictably, your client is furious. You show them all the email correspondence you collected over the last several days, which may embarrass them and make them apologize for holding you responsible for their slip up.

The client-designer relationship may have been saved but the bottom line is: this scenario is avoidable far more often than many designers think.

Instead of simply waiting around for the client to get back to you with important data, you can often take the approach of simply going forward with your end anyway.

Send the client a quick, polite message explaining that you understand they’re busy, but since you know this deadline is important, you’re just going to go ahead and fill in the missing info yourself, contact someone else in the company who might be able to help you, or simply omit it and be ready to fill it in later when the client has more time.

It may seem presumptuous, but this technique works wonders in a lot of cases. As they say, it’s often easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, and clients love freelancers who take initiative and help them be more efficient. If something’s not right, the client can always ask you to fix it later, but that’s nearly always preferable to missing deadlines entirely.

Not Managing The Project

7. Not Asking for Feedback

Every freelancer should be constantly asking for feedback from as many clients as possible, whether past, present, or future.

Feedback is what allows you to adjust your approach to design, marketing, and self-promotion, and it is the key factor in growing your career to the heights you desire.

It allows you to incorporate new ideas you learn from others, improve something you weren’t aware you were doing wrong, and confidently raise your rates and narrow your client base when the time is right to do so.

Ask for and incorporate as much feedback as possible, from wherever you can get it. Client surveys sent through email, or collected through your website or blog are crucial, as well as simple questions throughout your entire experience with the client. Don’t forget to leave your ego and defensiveness at the door!

If you keep getting the same kinds of critiques in a particular area from many clients, that’s a good sign that you need to reevaluate your approach in that area. Lastly, regular feedback allows you to not only track your own progress and growth but also that of your clients.

Always be asking questions that determine your clients’ specific fears and challenges they have with their businesses, and incorporate their answers into your killer problem-solving strategy.

The post The Deadly Communication Sins Freelance Designers Commit appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Why Web Design Client Referrals Aren’t a Slam-Dunk

For a freelancer, referrals can be an essential ingredient to a successful web design business. Booking new clients this way can allow you to forgo at least some of the costs involved with traditional marketing. Plus, there’s something to be said when an existing client goes out of their way to tell a friend about you. It means a lot.

However, it’s not all rainbows. Just because a prospective client came to you via a referral doesn’t mean they’re a great fit. Even so, you might still feel an obligation to work with them anyway. Therein lies the rub.

Maybe it’s because I think too much about these things. But it seems like there is a super-delicate balance here. Do you take on a new client just because you feel like you should? What’s the etiquette? What does it all mean to your relationship with the existing client who was trying to do you a favor? Should I just hide under a blanket until this all blows over?

Yeah, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

Not All Referrals Are Destined to Succeed

First of all, each and every referral should be appreciated. And I genuinely do feel a sense of gratitude when a client takes the time to do this.

Still, it’s important to understand that a web design referral is a bit different than in other industries. For example, it’s not the same as sending someone to your favorite electrician or real estate agent.

In those businesses, it’s a bit more cut-and-dry. The electrician will gladly fix whatever is going on with your wiring. The real estate agent can show you a variety of homes that fit your budget. In either case, those professionals provide a service and then are probably out of your life until you need them again – which could be years from now.

Web design is unique in that it is both highly-specialized and often entails a long-term relationship. Thus, it’s not just a matter of making a sale and being on your merry way.

Project Needs vs. Your Specialties and Preferences

Sometimes, whether or not a referral is a good fit comes down to code. If you specialize in Drupal and the prospective client requires WordPress, the writing is pretty much on the wall. Easy enough.

It’s not always that simple, though. For instance, I’ve had a number of businesses referred to me who just needed someone to take over maintenance of their existing website. In addition, there have been a few cases where a website wasn’t completely finished and the client needed someone to step in and tie up the loose ends.

This clashes with one of my core policies – to avoid maintaining websites built by someone else. There are occasional exceptions, but I’d prefer to build something from the ground up. It’s just a more comfortable situation for me, one where I feel more confident in my ability to provide great service.

Perhaps it’s a guilty conscience, but the fact that these were referrals complicated my decisions. The idea of potentially letting down an existing client who went out on a limb for you is a powerful thing. Whether that is a realistic view is another subject altogether.

Code displayed on a laptop computer.

Relationship Matters

Just as your specialties may differ from a client’s needs, the potential relationship may not always be so promising. This is something that needs to be carefully considered before signing onto a project.

Again, a referral can cloud things a bit. It’s possible to give someone that extra benefit of the doubt, even when all signs tell you to do otherwise.

I’ve found myself in this situation a few times over the years. Ignoring the red flags, I booked projects and almost immediately regretted doing so.

At the same time, I’ve also had referrals that have worked out wonderfully. The lesson? Scrutinize a referral just as much as you would any other prospective client.

People having a discussion.

So, What Are the Obligations?

Even if a referral should undergo equal scrutiny, there is a case to be made for giving one preferential treatment. These folks are already “in the club”, so-to-speak.

That doesn’t mean that you have to work with them. But it does compel us to at least listen to what they have to say. After all, there’s no real harm in saying “no thanks” if need be.

Maybe the only exception is if you aren’t actively taking on new projects at the time. If you’re simply too busy, it’s probably more polite to say so rather than to waste anyone’s time.

On the other side of the equation, I think there is an obligation to thank your existing client. That should be the case whether you end up working on the new project or not. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate – just a simple thank-you note will do.

And what of the potential impact of turning down a referral on your client relationship? That can be tricky. So much depends on the personalities involved. But honesty really is the best policy. If things didn’t work out, it’s okay to share the outcome if asked.

Appreciate Referrals While Understanding the Reality

A client referral for your web design business can be a blessing. It has the potential to increase revenue and help you gain valuable experience.

But it’s also worth remembering that there are no guarantees. Just because you’ve been connected with a prospective client doesn’t mean you’re required work with them. In fact, the process doesn’t have to be any different than it is for a prospect that contacted you out of the blue.

Regardless of how a project comes to you, it’s really about determining whether the opportunity is right for all stakeholders. If so, your business will be in a better position for it. But if things don’t work out, not to worry.

At the very least, one of your clients was pleased enough with your work to spread the word to others. That is always a positive development.

The post Why Web Design Client Referrals Aren’t a Slam-Dunk appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


How Freelance Designers Can Thrive in a Tough Economy

Economies rise and fall. It’s a cycle that can impact all of us in both positive and negative ways. But freelancers can be particularly vulnerable to these shifts.

Working as a solo web designer means that you’re always fending for yourself. Still, an economic downturn makes survival all the more challenging. Things can become precarious before you know it.

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, though. Tough times can actually be a great opportunity to experiment and find (or redefine) your niche.

Whether the economy has your business sputtering or not, it’s important to think about ways you can kickstart growth in your own little corner of the web. And we’re here to help. Today, we’ll offer up some ideas that empower you to do more than just weather the storm.

Look for Problems to Solve

The head-spinning pace of web development is one way to ensure that we remain essential workers in the online space. Something as (seemingly) simple as your favorite CMS upgrading a JavaScript library can cause all sorts of havoc.

Of course, there are plenty of other examples. Websites running any sort of legacy code are likely going to face incompatibilities at some point. Not to mention that plugins, themes and other tools we rely on don’t last forever.

Proactively looking for these types of issues on your client’s websites can be a solid source of revenue. This is a subject we should be thinking about anyway, as being inattentive to this evolution risks that something will break.

But it’s not just a matter of fixing old code. You might also explore other challenges your clients are facing. Perhaps there was a feature they really could have benefited from that wasn’t feasible a few years ago. Maybe it’s time to revisit the subject?

The main idea is to look for areas to repair or otherwise improve. It’s more than likely you’ll find a few things to keep your business going in the short-term.

A person using a laptop computer.

Revisit Your Finances

Whether you’re already feeling the pinch of a downturn or want to be prepared just in case, it’s a good time to look at your money situation.

The first thing to review is your expenses – especially recurring ones. Are you spending money wisely? Things like web hosting, marketing services or even software licensing may be bleeding your bank account dry. When you have less money coming in, some of these items could be seen as unnecessary.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to cut out each item completely. There may be some cases where simply downgrading an account level can save you some cash while still providing value.

It’s not always about cutting back, though. This could also be an opportunity to invest in areas that could make you more money now and in the future. Tools or even online educational courses have the potential to do that.

The most important part of this is knowing where you stand. From there, you can make decisions that can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Financial information displayed on a computer screen.

Explore Opportunities for Recurring Revenue

Recurring revenue is something that can carry you through tough times. It’s money you can depend on – bringing at least some level of certainty to your business.

Among the most common ways to gain recurring revenue is to partner up with another firm on a freelance/contract basis. Maybe it’s another freelancer who could use some extra help, or an agency that needs someone within your specialty.

These opportunities may start on a trial basis – which is smart. It’s always best to see what type of synergy the relationship brings. If things work out, you could have a long-term partner that provides a steady stream of income.

Then there is also the possibility of selling a product or service with some recurring revenue. A downturn could be the perfect chance to finally build that app or plugin you’ve been thinking about, or write the eBook that has been rattling around in your head.

What’s more, you can take on these projects in a way that suits your needs. You could, for example, provide regular updates to that app or even spruce up your writing as technology changes. Or, it might simply be a case of bringing in some passive income from your hard work.

Ideally, this will allow you to diversify your earnings. The more reliable sources of money you can procure, the better you’ll be able to maintain economic certainty.

A neon sign depicting a handshake.

Stay Patient

Maintaining patience may just be the hardest thing on this list. Especially so in the face of a downtrodden economy. Yet it is no less vital.

Mind you, we’re not talking about just sitting around, waiting for things to happen. Rather, it’s a matter of carrying out your vision and not wavering in a challenging time.

In practice this means going after the types of clients that are the best fit for you and your business. If you’re looking for a certain sweet spot when it comes to project size and revenue, don’t be afraid to seek out the right opportunity. That is, as long as you can afford to do so.

Avoid settling for projects you don’t want to do – unless it’s an absolute necessity. Otherwise, you may book yourself into a corner and not be able to take advantage when the perfect fit does come along.

A person wearing a wristwatch.

Look Beyond Mere Survival

A difficult stretch for the economy doesn’t have to be a bad omen for your freelance web design business. While the potential for a negative impact is there, you may not feel the effects nearly as much as a larger business would.

Why is that? Freelancers have a level of flexibility that makes it possible to adjust as needed. So, even losing a big client is something you can recover from. That might not be the case for big companies with physical locations and employees to account for.

It’s an opportunity you need to seize. If something’s not working, change it. Take it upon yourself to be proactive and develop symbiotic relationships with other firms. Help your existing clients up their game.

There are so many ways to keep bringing in much-needed cash. Do it well and you may even find yourself ahead of your previous earnings pace.

Yes, it’s a challenge. But it’s one you can meet head-on.

The post How Freelance Designers Can Thrive in a Tough Economy appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


What Your Clients Need to Know About a Website Redesign

When it comes to web design, there are a lot of misconceptions. Clients may not fully realize how much work goes into building a great website. Sometimes that leads them to ask designers to do things without understanding the required effort – not to mention the associated costs.

Redesigns are among the toughest concepts for clients to grasp. In some cases, they may believe a website redesign is an easy process (“All of the content is already there, isn’t it?”). That leads to an expectation of a speedy and cheap turnaround.

Of course, we know that’s not how things really work. A quality redesign requires both resources and a commitment to making a real improvement. Both clients and designers have to buy in.

As is often the case, a designer’s ability to educate clients is key. By helping them understand what’s involved, you’ll ensure a better project outcome and a fair payday.

So, what should your clients know about redesigning their website? Let’s take a look at some of the most important concepts.

A Website Redesign Needs a Defined Purpose

To be successful, a redesign project needs a defined purpose. Every so often, you’ll get lucky and your client will be able to tell you what it is. But it’s more likely that you’ll have to help them come to answer by asking the right questions. The more specific the answer, the better you can bring their vision to life.

The purpose for redesigning an eCommerce site, for example, may be to increase sales. A site for a local plumbing company might be looking to boost both leads and brand awareness. A non-profit might hope to recruit volunteers and/or donations.

These are tangible things a web designer can work with. That makes sense, as a client’s guidance is a necessary ingredient in this process.

On the other hand, a client’s reasoning for a redesign can often be vague. It could be that they found a WordPress theme that they like more than their current one. Or perhaps they’re simply tired of looking at the same home page day after day.

Yes, the look is important. But that in itself should be a byproduct of achieving a particular goal. To really get the most out of a redesign, there has be some measurables involved. Otherwise we’re just implementing change for its own sake.

A person pointing to a computer screen.

Content and Code Often Need Refactored

A redesign means more than just changing the header, footer and navigation. Virtually every component of the existing website may need to be rethought as well.

Content is front and center in this process. Typography is likely to be tweaked, if not completely rebuilt from the ground up. The overall formatting and layout can also play a huge part in helping to achieve the project’s defined purpose. In addition, there may be a need to edit and rewrite at least some existing content.

So, while a client may correctly point out that the content is “already there”, that doesn’t take away from the significant work still to be done. That incurs a cost of both time and money.

A similar process goes on behind the scenes with a site’s underlying code. Even if the site is powered by a CMS such as WordPress, there are bound to be areas that need to be refactored.

The existing website could rely on outdated plugins that haven’t seen an update in years. Plus, previous customizations might prove to be incompatible with the latest versions of PHP or the CMS itself. Beyond that, there are often new features that need to be implemented – some potentially being built from scratch.

In some cases, a redesign can actually be more of a headache than building a brand-new website. Taking the existing pieces and refreshing their looks and functionality is a major challenge. To do it right takes a careful and detailed approach. Once again, there is a cost associated with this.

Screens displaying website code.

Accessibility and Mobile Should Be Priorities

The web moves quickly and best practices change over time. A website built even a couple of years ago is likely behind the curve when it comes to both accessibility and mobile device compatibility.

Yet both of these items are crucial. Mobile usage of the web is only continuing to grow. Not only that, but the number of new devices and oddball viewports they bring require extensive testing. Odds are that an older site isn’t going to be optimized for them all. A redesign must take them into account.

Accessibility is also a huge concern. It’s a moral and, depending on where your client is in the world, increasingly legal obligation. No matter how you go about crafting a redesign, accessibility must be baked in from the very beginning.

Technologically speaking, neither of these areas are overly difficult. But they are time-consuming and require some tough decisions to be made. Thus, it’s important for clients to understand their importance and the challenges they bring.

People using mobile phones.

The Results Are Based on What You Put Into the Project

All told, a successful redesign requires a commitment from the stakeholders. There needs to be clear purpose and an understanding of what it takes to build a website better than before.

There are a lot of little details involved. Depending on your client’s level of engagement, some things might be on a need-to-know basis. But the bigger concepts mentioned above are vital.

Still, this isn’t common knowledge. It’s up to us as designers to act as guides. When clients are filled in on what’s involved, they will be better able to justify the cost. They may also realize that the redesign process comes with its own unique challenges. That results in a better outcome for everyone.

The post What Your Clients Need to Know About a Website Redesign appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


Jumping Through Hoops for Prospective Web Design Clients

Booking new clients for your web design business is challenging. First you have to find someone who is interested in your services. Then it’s a matter of hammering out an agreement so that you can start your journey together.

When read aloud, it sounds easier than it really is. The process can feel a bit like being involved in a reality show competition – even if you’re the only designer involved. Once in a while you’ll run into a prospective client who plays the part of the sly host. They’ll test your limits by asking all sorts of philosophical questions and assorted odd requests.

Frankly, it’s a bit unnerving and sometimes belittling. You’re trying to land a new client but have to endure the third-degree. You might start to wonder if you’ll ever just get to the actual project.

It’s worth considering just how much of this you should tolerate. Where do you finally draw the line and say, “Thanks, but no thanks…”?

This is a subject with a lot of gray area. But in an effort to help you decide, we’ll dive right into the heart of the matter. Let’s get started!

Are They Hiring a Web Designer or Performing a Background Check?

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: prospective clients have a right to ask questions. It’s their time, money and reputation on the line. Thus, a designer should always be prepared to answer.

Still, it is very possible to go too far. For instance, being asked if you’re available 24/7. Really? We’re web designers, not all-night donut shops. Many of us have set hours, just like other businesses. If a client really wants that type of availability, they’d better be prepared to pay handsomely for it.

Sometimes it’s not just the questions asked – it’s what they imply. There are people out there that seem to think web design isn’t a serious profession. Their queries sound like something you’d ask a teenager in a job interview, probing to see if you can trust them to mind the shop while the boss is away.

After 20+ years in the industry, I still run into this every so often. It makes me think back to landing my first gig back in the 90’s, when the web was a new concept to mainstream businesses. Whether it’s misunderstanding or mistrust, it can be a bit insulting.

When it gets to the point where you feel disrespected, take a step back and think. It’s certainly possible that you’re overreacting. But if that’s not the case, you’re better off walking away with your dignity intact.

A barbed wire fence.

Taking Advantage of Your Precious Time

Going beyond the interrogation stage, you might also find yourself caught up in long, drawn-out conversations with a prospect.

Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with engaging in such banter. It can be a nice way to form a relationship, which is beneficial when working together. But that’s not always the case.

In some situations, a prospective client may (figuratively) chew your ear off in an effort to get free advice – even if they have no intention of working with you. Whether it’s constant phone calls or emails, this can quickly get out of hand.

There’s a fine line here between demonstrating common courtesy and allowing someone to waste your time. If a prospect crosses that threshold, it might be wise to politely push back. You could say, for example, that you’re happy to give advice, but to go in-depth you’ll have to charge an hourly fee. This should get the message across.

A clock.

Looking for Free or Cheap “Favors”

Another approach taken by some prospects is in angling for free or deeply-discounted work. While none of us like to pay full price (and everyone loves a sale) there aren’t a whole lot of benefits for web designers to play along.

Think of it this way: if someone isn’t willing to pay you what you’re worth, they’re not really valuing what you do. All of your hard work, the successful portfolio and hours of learning don’t particularly matter to them. They simply want something for nothing – or almost nothing.

Early in my career, I fell into the trap of giving away freebies. What I learned is that the working relationship with a client tends to get stuck in a vicious cycle. They start to expect that you’ll leave money on the table in order to please them. And you, being fearful of losing a client, don’t want to push the envelope.

It’s important to remember that you don’t owe a prospect anything at all. Even if they’re friendly and complimentary of your work, it’s unlikely you’d call them an actual friend. Therefore, don’t be sweet-talked into any arrangements that won’t result in your being fairly compensated.

This is one of the more difficult aspects of running a business. You want to offer great service that meets the needs of your clients while attaining your own financial independence. Even if it goes against your nature, you really should make decisions with this philosophy in mind.

Coins spilling from a jar.

Sometimes, a Web Design Project Isn’t Worth the Hassle

Over time, you can develop a keen eye with regards to prospective clients. You’ll start to spot those red flags for projects and people you want to avoid. All told, it’s about understanding the types of clients you want to work with.

One of the telling signs of a project is how you’re treated during that initial process, before you come to any agreements. While perfection shouldn’t be expected, there are some basic tenets that a client should follow.

Are you being valued and respected? Is the person on the other end listening to what you have to say? Pay careful attention, as these characteristics will help you make the right decision.

The post Jumping Through Hoops for Prospective Web Design Clients appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


The 12 Best Double Exposure Effect Photoshop Action Sets

When you’re working on post-production for your photographs, it’s vital to have some time savers on hand. With this in mind, Photoshop actions are the most likely choice for achieving the end results you want.

So, if you want to create cool double exposure effects without having manually captured this via camera settings, Photoshop action sets can help you out tremendously. They’re time savers and can help to streamline your workflow.

What we’ve put together here is a set of double exposure effect Photoshop action sets that stand to change your process and help you achieve new looks that might’ve otherwise taken hours.

Advanced Double Exposure Photoshop Action

The Advanced Double Exposure Photoshop Action is easy to use and established in well-organized layers so you can undo your work should you need to. This set comes with 18 mixable color presets and provides a text guide for use.

Advanced Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Double Exposure Glow Photoshop Action

Another option is the Double Exposure Glow Photoshop Action. This action makes it easy for anyone to add a glowing double exposure effect to their photos with one click. The action has organized layers and comes with full documentation.

Double Exposure Glow Photoshop Action

Double Exposure Photoshop Action

This double exposure Photoshop action seamlessly combines two photos to create a beautiful finished product. It’s customizable, includes a vintage effect, light leaks, and color grading options.

Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Four Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

Another Photoshop action you might want to consider is this, which includes four variations. It ideally works in medium to high exposure photographs, comes with a help file, and is generally designed to be used quickly and efficiently.

Four Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

Double Exposure Photoshop Action

This Double Exposure Photoshop Action is a fantastic effect for your photos. After making that one click, you can add color tone, gradient, and more. It’s easy to use and can make a lasting impression by means of the end result.

Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Double Exposure Photoshop Action Kit

The Double Exposure Photoshop Action Kit allows you to create double exposure effects in a wide number of ways. With just one click, you can adjust the brightness, opacity, dodge, masks, gradients, and more. Plus it comes with 30 textures and 1- double exposure gradients, to boot.

Double Exposure Photoshop Action Kit

Trendy Double Exposure Photoshop Action

This trendy action set is super easy to use and yields results you’re sure to be proud of. It has organized layers for easy use, comes with an illustrated guide and video tutorial, and is all around pleasant to work with.

Trendy Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Double Color Exposure Photoshop Actions

Another great option is The Double Color Exposure Photoshop Action set. This one makes it possible to add colorful double exposure effects to photos, type, graphics, and more. With one click, you can transform an image using seven different color styles.

Double Color Exposure Photoshop Actions

Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

This set of double exposure Photoshop actions includes a video tutorial and documentation that make getting started using it easy. It comes with several actions for blending two photos together, for adding effects to a single photos, adding depth of field, and adding chromatic distortion. It also comes with 235 light effects, 33 textures, and more.

Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

80 Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

Another choice to consider is this set of 80 double exposure Photoshop actions. All of these work with a single click and the set comes with instructions for their precise use.

80 Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

Color Double Exposure Photoshop Action

This set of color double exposure Photoshop actions uses well-organized layers and is easy to edit and use. It’s also non-destructive and comes with 50 color presets so you can readily achieve the effect you’re looking for.

Animated Parallax Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Here’s another great choice. The Animated Parallax Double Exposure Photoshop Action creates a parallax shift effect using two photos. It comes with four different shift styles and can be implemented with just a couple of clicks. It’s also fully layered and can be customized to suit your specific needs.

Animated Parallax Double Exposure Photoshop Action

AI Modern Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

You might also want to consider the AI Modern Double Exposure Photoshop Actions set. This set makes it easy to create any kind of double exposure artwork. It uses AI to detect faces and creates stunning results. It uses well-organized layers that are completely editable, you can swap textures, and it comes with 30 high resolution textures.

AI Modern Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

Premium Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Another option is the Premium Double Exposure Photoshop Action set. Everything is separated and has grouped elements for easier use. And the end result is stunning, offer a professional look that’ll make it seem like you spent hours trying to achieve it.

Premium Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Duotone Double Exposure Photoshop Actions

The last action on our list here is the Duotone Double Exposure Photoshop Actions set. This one requires that you select two images and then play the actions all at once to achieve the desired effect. It comes with 12 duotone effects, on which you can adjust the opacity. It also allows for balance between layers and is non-destructive so your original images stay intact.

Duotone Double Exposure Photoshop Actions


How to Install Photoshop Actions

  1. Download and unzip the action file
  2. Launch Photoshop
  3. Go to Window > Actions
  4. Select Load Actions from the menu and go to the folder where you saved the unzipped action file to select it
  5. The Action will now be installed
  6. To use the newly installed action, locate it in the Action panel
  7. Click the triangle to the left of the action name to see the list of available actions
  8. Click the action you want to play and press the play button at the bottom of the Actions panel

With this collection of double exposure effect Photoshop actions on hand, you can create a wide range range of stunning effects that will appeal to everyone who sees them. Take your designs up a notch without having to expend additional effort. Sounds like a winning formula, right?

The post The 12 Best Double Exposure Effect Photoshop Action Sets appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.


How to Create a Simple Gutenberg Block Pattern in WordPress

As the WordPress Gutenberg block editor evolves, new features are being added to make content creation easier. And block patterns may just be the most exciting addition for both web designers and their clients.

What is a block pattern? Think of it as a pre-built layout of blocks. They can contain pretty much any design element you’d like. Elements such as columns, images, videos, text, buttons – they’re all able to be placed into a custom block pattern.

Once you create a block pattern, it can be utilized again and again throughout your website. Each instance can be customized with the appropriate content. Plus, you can add, subtract or otherwise edit the included blocks.

They offer a great starting point for building out a page and allow you to craft a more consistent look. Yet they also allow designers the flexibility to make any necessary tweaks.

Today, we’ll introduce you to the concept of WordPress block patterns and demonstrate how to create one of your own. Here we go!

First, Get to Know the Block Pattern API

Building a custom block pattern requires usage of the WordPress Block Pattern API. This allows for adding a pattern to either your theme’s functions.php file or a custom plugin.

Regardless of how you implement it, the API is used for registering both custom block patterns and block pattern categories.

One interesting tidbit when it comes to registering a custom block pattern is that you must use raw HTML within PHP. This means that some characters, such as quotes, must be escaped.

We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of setting things up in just a moment. But it is worth noting that this can be a tedious process, especially for more complex patterns. Hat tip to Rich Tabor for pointing out a tool that will do the hard work for you.

A person with toy blocks.

Build Your Custom Block Pattern

The first step is to build your custom block pattern within a WordPress page or post. This doesn’t have to be carried out on existing content – you could create a draft post for this purpose. In fact, this might be the easier path, as you won’t have to contend with any unrelated bits of content.

Add Some Blocks

In our case, we’ve created a test page that will allow for some experimentation. Inside, there are the following blocks:

  • A cover image;
  • A set of two columns, each with headings and paragraph text;
  • A separator;
  • More paragraph text;

A series of WordPress Gutenberg blocks.

This is something that our fictional website might use throughout each page. A custom block pattern means that we won’t have to rebuild it each time.

We’ve left things pretty barebones here. But you could style each of these blocks up however you like. For instance, you might use the Gutenberg color palette to pre-determine coloring or add custom CSS classes.

Select Your Blocks and Copy Them

Now that our blocks are set up the way we want, it’s time to grab their source code. Thankfully this is easier than it sounds.

First, it’s a matter of selecting all the blocks we want to use in our pattern. The easiest way to do that is to click on the first block (the Cover, in this case), hold down the ALT key on the keyboard and then click on the last block (Content Area #3).

With the blocks selected, click on the “More options” button, which looks like a set of three vertical dots, at the top of the editor. From the menu, click on Copy. This will copy the source code for the entire selection of blocks.

Selected and copied Gutenberg blocks.

Escape All the Things

As mentioned previously, the HTML output will have to be escaped in order to work with the Block Pattern API.

So, we’ll take our code and run it through the JSON Escape/Unescape tool. That results in the following output:

Now that our code is neat and tidy, we can go on to the next step.

Register the Custom Block Pattern

Finally, we’ll need to register this new custom block pattern within WordPress. Using the Block Pattern API, let’s create a custom plugin for the pattern. This will enable us to use the pattern, even if we change themes later on.

Our pattern will be called “Page Intro Blocks”. Notice that we’re placing the block pattern in the “header” category – which already exists by default. If you wanted to create your own custom block pattern category, refer to the WordPress documentation for details.

Create a file with the above code and place it in your site’s /wp-content/plugins/ folder (just make sure to back everything up first).

Once the plugin is installed, head on over to Plugins > Installed Plugins within the WordPress admin and activate it.

Using a Custom Block Pattern

OK, we have our custom block pattern created and implemented via a WordPress plugin. Now we can start using it anywhere we like.

To get started, we’ll create a new page, though you can use an existing page or post as well.

To add the block pattern to the page, click the “Add block” button on the upper left of the editor (a large “+” within a blue box). Then, click on the Patterns tab.

Within the Patterns tab, you’ll see a number of premade patterns that are included with WordPress. Scroll down until you see the pattern we created, “Page Intro Blocks”.

Finding the Gutenberg block pattern within the editor.

Click on the pattern and it will be automatically added to the page. From there, we can tweak the blocks to our heart’s content.

A Gutenberg custom block pattern added to a page.

A New Way to Customize Your Website

WordPress custom block patterns are a huge timesaver. Developers no longer need to meticulously recreate page layouts for use in multiple places. By registering a block pattern, you’ll have a fully-custom starting point anytime you need it. This is also great for content creators, as it takes the mystery out of achieving a consistent layout.

What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to design a custom block pattern yourself. For instance, Gutenberg Hub has a vast template library that you can use to find and implement tons of premade layouts. Of course, you’ll still have to escape and register the pattern. But this opens up a whole world of possibilities.

In all, custom block patterns help to bring a new level of customization to the Gutenberg block editor. Now the editor can be every bit as custom as your theme.

The post How to Create a Simple Gutenberg Block Pattern in WordPress appeared first on Speckyboy Design Magazine.