Divi Design Showcase: New Submissions from February 2021

Divi Design Showcase: New Submissions from February 2021

It’s that time again for our monthly Divi Showcase, where we take a look at ten amazing Divi websites made by our community members. Each month we showcase the best Divi websites that were submitted from our community and today we want to share with you the top ten websites for the month of February. Throughout the post, I’ll point out some of my favorite design features that draw me to each of the websites.

I hope you like them!

Divi Design Showcase: New Submissions from February 2021

1. University of Me

University of Me

This site was submitted by Eric Wils. Red highlights throughout the site appear within the menu, in buttons, navigation, borders for images, circle patterns in the background, and the scroll bar. The hero section displays a full-width background image with a button and a video that overlap the next section. CTAs display images on one side and information on the other in an alternating layout. The testimonial slider is interesting. The navigation arrows appear at the top of the slider. Testimonial cards are large and elegant. I also like the blog section, which displays a single post. The featured image is short and wide and the excerpt is placed within a box that overlaps the image. The blog page follows this design. Even the product pages follow the site’s design.

Visit University of Me

2. mcitycreative

mcitycreative

This site was submitted by Scott Alberti. It has a simple design that’s clean and interesting. A background pattern gives this site some visual texture while highlighting the content. Orange highlights appear throughout the site including the headings, menu, icons, and clickable links. The hero section shows a message in a large text followed by blurbs to showcase services. Information about the company is introduced with a logo and divider, while the information is displayed in a resume-styled layout. The footer repeats the logo and provides clickable contact links. Each of the pages follows this same design and includes a styled pre-loader.

Visit mcitycreative

3. SO SIGHTY

SO SIGHTY

This site was submitted by Naïm Boughattas. This one has lots of large blocks of bright colors and sliding animations throughout the site. The hero section a title with several buttons on one side and animated circles on the other that help set up the rest of the site. Most of the sections include a large background pattern on one side with large titles and animated blocks. Information and CTAs are provided within blurbs of various shapes. A slider shows examples of work with slides that blend with the rest of the site. I love the section about clients. An airplane flies through the circles and changes color in every circle. The blog page follows a similar design but uses the colors in the featured images.

Visit SO SIGHTY

4. Wonderland Childcare

Wonderland Childcare

This site was submitted by Camiel Bos. This one uses lots of bright, but not primary, colors for backgrounds, shapes, buttons, and text to create a site that promotes the topic of childcare and is sophisticated at the same time. The header includes a logo and a section of buttons that overlap the header. Colored shapes scroll and animate apart from the rest of the site. The hero section displays an interesting design with a background color and styled section separator, an image within a shape with other shapes around it on one side, and CTAs on the other side. Several sections include a similar background color with styled section separators. I especially like the gallery section which displays slides with styled images.

Visit Wonderland Childcare

5. Z Shere

Z Shere

This site was submitted by Justin Arcara. This one has a one-page design that makes excellent use of color and layouts. The hero section displays a full-screen background image with a blue/green gradient overlay. Text and graphical elements follow the blue/green color scheme throughout the site. Several sections have embedded videos that blend perfectly with the content. I especially like the section of blurbs that displays a graphic in the center with blurbs surrounding it. The gallery is also interesting. The title of the section slides into place on scroll behind the gallery. Many sections include a similar sliding title in the background. Many of the elements have box shadows to stand out from the background.

Visit Z Shere

6. Željko Škipić

Željko Škipić

This site was submitted by Željko Škipić. This one has lots of animated black and white elements and green highlights throughout. The hero section displays a black background with a large title on one side and an image of the site owner on the other that blends with the background. Button animations either show a green or white background. Sticky social icons sit on the left side and a fixed navigation menu sits on the right and shows the name of the section. Both are either black or white depending on the color of the background. Blurbs display large icons behind the text. I especially like the section of the latest work. It shows work within cards that include a large image, description, and a button. The cards are animated and show a box shadow on hover.

Visit Željko Škipić

7. Media Cows

Media Cows

This site was submitted by Wouter Hendrixen. This one uses lots of white with shades of red and purple throughout the design. The hero section plays a full-screen background video with styled patterns on both sides and a message in the center. Several sections include red text, icons, buttons, arrows, and background elements such as blurbs, headings, buttons, and a background gradient. The pages for case studies show the case details in a single column and include a styled sidebar with case details and a contact form to works perfectly within the sidebar. The Crowd Communication page adds more styling and elements that include multiple sections of information and a slider that tilts the slides on the sides. Purple backgrounds and red highlights make this one pop.

Visit Media Cows

8. Webaas

This site was submitted by Daniel Aaserud. This one has a clean layout with blue highlights. The hero section includes a blue gradient background with a CTA in the overlay and a styled section separator to divide it from the next section. A CTA for a quote displays a graphic on one side and information on the other. The latest work shows projects within cards in three columns. The center column includes a dark background to stand out. Pricing tables include blue highlights with the most popular option in red. I like the testimonial section, which displays cards from Google reviews. The footer is also interesting. It shows information in three columns that include a sign-up form, the menu in a large colored block, and the latest blog posts within a different colored block. I like the references page that shows projects with large images and links to the websites.

Visit Webaas

9. TrueCare

This site was submitted by Nicolle Principe. This one uses lots of bright colors in the backgrounds, buttons, text, icons, and more. The hero section displays a full-screen image with a CTA in the overlay with a bright background. Links are placed within boxes that overlap the hero and next section. Several CTAs display information with blocks of color, images, blurbs, stats, and buttons. A section for services displays sidebar navigation with links over a background gradient. A section to meet the team members displays images on one side and links on the other. Several of the CTSs include overlapping elements. I also like the footer that displays 4 rows, each with a different colored background. The blog page is interesting. It includes a styled search feature with a dropdown that covers one side of the screen.

Visit TrueCare

10. Willflies

This site was submitted by Vilém Nečesaný. This one makes interesting use of color and the layout. The hero section displays an image that overlaps the background color on one side, while a description followed by a strip of links sits on the other side. Information is provided with text, images, and a stat counter. My favorite section highlights what’s trending. It displays a three-column grid with an image of a location and information. This alternates from showing the information on top of the image to the image on top of the information. each includes a link to see more details. The blog section overlaps the background, while a large map showcases locations. I also like the email subscription form that’s styled to match the rest of the website. Each of the pages follows the same styling elements and adds even more. It also has a styled scrollbar.

Visit Willflies

Wrapping Up

That’s our 10 best community Divi website submissions for the month of February. These sites look amazing and as always we want to thank everyone for your submissions!

If you’d like your own design considered please feel free to email our editor at nathan at elegant themes dot com. Be sure to make the subject of the email “DIVI SITE SUBMISSION”.

We’d also like to hear from you in the comments! Tell us what you like about these websites and if there is anything they’ve done you want us to teach on the blog.

Featured Image via Mascha Tace / shutterstock.com

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Sucuri WordPress Security Plugin Overview & Review

Sucuri WordPress Security Plugin Overview & Review

Sucuri sits at the top of the hill when it comes to WordPress security plugins. Every WordPress website should have a security plugin installed, and you can’t go wrong by installing the Sucuri scanner plugin. The company offers a premium subscription to those who need additional coverage, but many WordPress users (800,000+ at the time of this review) find the free version to be adequate at keeping their sites locked down. In this post, we are going to walk you through the major features of Sucuri and review the overall status of the plugin to help you determine whether or not it’s the best security plugin for your site.

Setting Up the Sucuri Security Plugin

sucuri scanner review

Installing Sucuri is as easy as it can get. Head to the Sucuri’s page on the WordPress.org plugin repository and download it. Or go straight to Plugins – Add New in your WP admin panel. When activated, a new menu option appears titled Sucuri Security with a pop-out menu.

sucuri menu item

Sucuri’s First Review of Your Site

First thing, we suggest taking a look at your Dashboard. Before altering any settings, we feel it’s a good idea to check out your dashboard first to see what Sucuri tells you about the base security of your site.

sucuri dashboard

The image above is a kind of worst-case scenario. Sucuri immediately noticed issues with the installation (1) that have been in place since 2011 (2). Big yikes. Luckily, (2) tells us that our server’s PHP and WP version are up-to-date.

Click on the Review False Positives link in (1) and compare it to the list in (3). For us, they match up. Which means the files are (likely) not malicious since Sucuri’s database has them flagged as false positives that also hit criteria for their scan (modified WP core files).

sucuri false positives

In this case, most the modified files are from the TinyMCE plugin (which is the base software for the Classic Editor before the introduction of Gutenberg/the Block Editor). With that in mind, we felt it was okay to delete them. Especially since the dates for modification were so long ago.

After that…voila! Sucuri then lets you review everything that just happened.

clean site

You should see a clean and secure site and what files were removed. You will also see specifically Sucuri scans for and that your site is not blacklisted by any services because it was compromised. This is the best-case scenario. Thanks, Sucuri!

How to Use Sucuri

After becoming comfortable with the dashboard, it’s time to run a full site scan. You will need to generate an API key. The button for which is found at the very top of the Sucuri dashboard.

api key

You then need to review and confirm your information for Sucuri to generate the key.

api key confirm

With that done, your site will be registered into their database, and your dashboard will update accordingly with Sucuri’s key verification.

api key

You can then click on the Refresh Malware Scan link in the dashboard to recheck the last scan, but for a new scan, you will need to go to Sucuri’s SiteCheck website. As long as your API key is active, you can enter the matching URL to start the scan.

sucuri review

Note this is a remote scan and Sucuri only has access to your files via API. This isn’t like a server-side scan or a scan in that it can access all the files locally. But it is incredibly thorough and picks up on major and minor threats to your site health.

sucuri website remote scan

Because of it being a remote scan, Sucuri does offer premium complete scans from their team of experts. That is definitely an upsell, but the free scan is absolutely safe and deep enough for most website owners.

Reviewing Sucuri’s Advanced and Essential Features

Let’s review other major features users can get from the free version of Sucuri. Login Tracking is absolutely at the top of those. Brute force attacks are common against WordPress sites, and compromised passwords and usernames are just as dangerous.

login tracking

You can find the login protection and tracking under Sucuri Security – Last Logins in your WP admin panel. Keeping an eye on this is absolutely essential for full security.

Additionally, Website Hardening is incredibly useful at preventing unwanted intrusion and malware injections. Basically, Sucuri writes ruls into your site and .htaccess codes that prevent potentially dangerous actions from taking place. Such as PHP files in your /wp-content directory.

website hardening

Hardening isn’t the same thing as a Web Application Firewall (WAF), where external intrusions are blocked and filtered, but it does basically put a shell around your website that prevents potentially dangerous stuff from just slipping in unhindered. Plus, if it causes a problem, you can revert the hardening whenever you want.

Premium Sucuri Features

The primary benefit for purchasing a subscription to Sucuri is the Web Application Firewall (WAF).

sucuri firewall

A WAF is the primary defense most sites use against hackers and attackers, being a ruleset and reactionary plugin that prevents unwanted access in real-time. Sucuri doesn’t offer this for free, but includes it with their Premium platform or as a standalone subscription. Solo, you can get firewall support for $9.99 to $19.99.

waf pricing

Though the $9.99 tier doesn’t include SSL support, so nearly every site will need to bump to the $19.99 Pro subscription because SSL certificates are all but required for every site these days.

Additionally, for other premium features such as CDN integration, malware removal and cleanup, 6-12 hour scan intervals, and reputation monitoring, the price increases to $299.99 per year. While Sucuri offers a $199.99 annual plan, it also doesn’t support SSL certificates, which we feel makes it a non-starter.

sucuri pricing

Keep in mind that if you pay for the WAF monthly, you will be paying approximately $240 where as an annual payment with increased protection for ~$60 extra dollars per year. That, we feel is a worthwhile increase for the additional features included.

Who is Sucuri For?

In the end, Sucuri is an incredibly solid security platform. The free version of the plugin provides users a scan of their site with all the tools they need to manually remove threats and keep their site running smooth. The login monitoring is a must for almost everyone, and website hardening rules in a click are a rare find in WordPress security plugins. For those who need a quick update and check for their site, Sucuri can do that.

If you have it in your budget, the Sucuri premium platform is definitely worth it. Those who need a full security solution, such as larger sites and ecommerce storefronts, that includes real-time DDoS prevention and assisted removal and improved support will find it with Sucuri. Putting your trust in their team is not going to be misplaced.

Sucuri Review Summary

Every single WordPress site needs security. The CMS is far too ubiquitous and prone to attack to leave yourself unguarded. Sucuri is an excellent choice for people who think they might have had an intrusion already and want to harden the security all around. While the WAF isn’t free to protect against real-time threats, if you set the hardening rules on Sucuri, many threats will bounce right off your website like a rock off a turtle shell.

Let’s review your experiences been with Sucuri. Let us know in the comments!

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Tips for Creating a Successful Brand Campaign

Tips for Creating a Successful Brand Campaign

Featured image by everything possible

Done right, brand campaigns have the potential to lift any business to the next level. However, there are some pitfalls to look out for. A bad brand campaign can be as devastating as a good one can be enriching.

Marketing and self-promotion are vital components for any business to find success. If people don’t know you exist, it is a little challenging to do business with them. The statement, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” has become a cliché in modern times. However, a poorly run brand campaign can severely affect a business.

Here are five tips for running a successful brand campaign.

Be Clear in Your Messaging and Objectives

This is two points in one, but it all stems from the same place. When embarking on the journey of launching a brand campaign, your messaging and goals need to be crystal clear for two fundamental reasons.

First, you need to clearly define the campaign’s goals and objectives, not just for you but for everyone who works at the company and anyone involved in the project. This is imperative because you want everyone to be pulling in the same direction when the campaign launches. More importantly, if you have clearly defined your goals, it will be far more straightforward to tell if the campaign was a success.

Next, make sure your messaging is obvious, because confused customers don’t buy things. If your brand campaign is ambiguous or confusing potential customers might become suspicious that you might be trying to trick them somehow.

Be clear, be straightforward, and you’ll have the building blocks of a successful brand campaign.

Leverage the Power of Celebrity Influencers for Your Brand Campaign

If you can swing it, getting a celebrity involved with a brand campaign can significantly impact the outcome. Famous people are like gold dust when it comes to marketing. And why is that so? It’s because people respond well to seeing a familiar face. They tend to like that person and ultimately emulate their behavior. Seeing them alongside your product in a brand campaign gives the impression that your product is a part of the celebrity’s daily life. It also gives the impression that the product is of high quality.

One of the most recent examples is Brad Pitt appearing as the leading man for Brioni’s Fall 2020 Campaign. With the pictures taken in black and white and Pitt as the face, the clothing line stands out as supremely elegant and timeless.

In another example, this time from the financial services industry, Snoop Dogg teamed up with The General Insurance to create a light-hearted and fun campaign about car insurance.

In the iGaming sector, BetMGM teamed up with superstar Jamie Foxx for its new “The King of Sportsbooks” campaign. BetMGM is one of the most popular sites for online gambling in New Jersey. Foxx is world-renowned for conquering all facets of the entertainment world, including comedy, film, and music. The partnership feels like a match made in heaven.

Integrate All Marketing Channels Available to You

A brand campaign is a significant undertaking, so don’t skimp out on any area where you can gain traction. A study from eMarketer found that up to 80% of small and medium-sized businesses have never used ads on Facebook.

RELATED ARTICLE: YOUR BUSINESS AND THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

When you are marketing a product, especially online, you advertise to a broad and diverse range of people. Your messaging and the platforms you choose to market your brand on should reflect that. Not everyone is on Facebook, and not everyone watches television. Therefore, you need to cast the net as wide as possible. Your intention should be to attract as many new people to your brand as possible.

“Your social audience is not a single undifferentiated blob of people trying to friend others or find deals. They can be divided and defined into distinct behavioral groups with distinct missions when interacting with your brand. The social channels represent a living, breathing group of people voicing opinions and responding to world events,” explains Harpreet Singh, CEO and co-founder of Kvantum.

Understand the Audience for Your Brand Campaign

It is still essential to do the relevant research and understand who your target audience is. While it might be a diverse group of people from different walks of life, you can’t assume everyone is a potential new customer.

Gaining an understanding of whom you are talking to with a brand campaign is invaluable. This is because it allows you to craft a message that speaks specifically to those people. Once you have figured out who your target audience is, it can also help to create buyer personas. This way, your staff and other people involved with the campaign can keep on top of what their objectives are.

Understanding your audience also allows you to consolidate your brand message and focus on the campaign. Successful brand campaigns are simple for consumers to understand and connect with.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO USE OUTBOUND MARKETING TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS

Spend Smart on Your Brand Campaign — Not Large

Your brand campaign’s aim should be to make waves and be noticed. But that doesn’t mean just throwing more and more money at the situation. Making an impact does not necessarily mean spending more money, especially if you take heed of this list’s points.

Understanding your audience, integrating your marketing channels, and being transparent in your messaging allows you to drill down to exactly what you are trying to achieve. Hopefully, it will also enable you to spend less money in doing so.

An extensive, expensive, garish advertising campaign will mean nothing if consumers cannot understand the message. On the other hand, a well-planned and well-executed project with a small local charity can be inexpensive and gain you a world of goodwill.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO MARKET LIKE AN INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER

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Tips for Creating a Successful Brand Campaign

Working from Home: 4 Habits to Avoid to Prevent Distractions

Featured image by janeb13 from Pixabay

It’s important to focus when you work from home and prevent potential distractions. It’s challenging when you’re around your family since it’s difficult to concentrate on the tasks you have to finish. The good thing is you can do something to prevent these distractions. These are four habits to consider.

1. Work Right When You Wake Up

You have to offer yourself sufficient time to prepare for work before you start working. It’s even better since you don’t have to leave home anymore. You don’t have to rush each day to beat traffic. Despite that, you should still continue your morning routine. 

Get a cup of coffee to wake you up and pick up your morning paper to get read recent news. You can also meditate if that’s part of what you’ve been doing in the past. When you already finished your morning routine, you’re ready to start working.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO KEEP EMPLOYEES CONNECTED IN THE WORKPLACE

2. Using Your Bedroom as an Office Space 

It’s important to have a different office space at home and not use your bedroom. It would be difficult to focus and to prevent distractions if you’re in your bedroom. You also don’t want to confuse the resting space with an exhausting environment. When you see your office area, you feel overwhelmed. You immediately go to your bedroom to relax. 

So, if it’s the same area, you won’t have space to relax anymore. You can work with ahome remodeling company in Houston to help you create a different office space at home. Even if you have a small house, you can still find a way to create a mini home office.

3. Not Having a Door to Separate Your Office Space 

It’s also not enough to have a separate office space. It would help if you also built a door to separate it from the rest of your space at home. You want to concentrate while working, and it would be challenging to prevent distractions if your children are around you. They will come in and out while you work, and it might even disturb you while having meetings.

Again, working with the home remodeling company in Houston will make the job easier for you. Discuss the changes you want to happen at home, and these builders will make them a reality.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO IMPROVE REMOTE WORKING FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES

4. Working Beyond Office Hours 

The problem when you are at home is that it’s easier to go beyond your office hours. However, like on your regular workdays, you only have to work between the required time. You shouldn’t go beyond it. Otherwise, you won’t have time for your family. 

You have a unique opportunity to be with the people you love and spend more time with them since everyone is at home. Also, you may regret it if you decided to keep working even if it’s already beyond office hours. You deserve enough time to rest and relax away from your business. If you prevent distractions throughout office hours, you will not feel the need to make up with it in your free time.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you will feel more comfortable working at home with these changes. You can also note the other problems to experience while working and improve your work habits. The work from home set up will continue for a few more months, and you have to make the necessary adjustments to feel more comfortable.

RELATED ARTICLE: WORKING FROM HOME: HOW TO STAY FOCUSED

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