Free Pretty Pink Black and White Desktop Background

Free Pretty Pink Black and White Desktop Background
Sometimes I sit at my computer and stare at the screen feeling overwhelmed at the amount of tasks before me, and sometimes hours go by before I do anything beyond just thinking about those tasks and feeling overwhelmed. A natural stress reliever for me is to create, or shop online, so I chose to create because I feel like it’s a much healthier outlet 😛 Here is a Free Pretty Pink Black and White Desktop Background download for you. Click the button below, then right click on the image and save. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to see your desktop background through the millions of files you need to sort through, organize, or trash. I think that may be what I do next 😉 For more free downloads, sign up for our newsletter here and you will gain access to our free downloads page full of stuff including a planner (weekly and monthly!). Happy Day! xo Lindsey

obligatory disclaimer:

This desktop background is not to be sold, claimed as your own, or redistributed in any way. It is simply a free download I created for you fabulous friends of PDCD.

Click Here to Download

10 Reasons WordPress Will Always Be Better Than SquareSpace

10 Reasons WordPress Will Always Be Better Than SquareSpace

10 Reasons WordPress Will Always Be Better Than SquareSpace

Full disclaimer: I design and develop for WordPress, but I have a choice, I can design for anything I want. I choose WordPress. I also choose the Genesis Framework.

WordPress + Genesis + PDCD Theme = Unlimited Opportunity

I’ve been designing websites for 10+ years, and continue to do my research on all available platforms. WordPress is still the absolute no brainer for everyone. Because the bottom line is, you have complete control of your website. You’re not renting space from Blogger, or SquareSpace or whatever other trendy platform pops up on pinterest. WordPress is a content management system, meaning it organizes your files and provides the foundation for you to build whatever your mind can dream up. I think the biggest misconception is that the two are even on the same level, one is a content management system, the other is a drag and drop website builder. That said.. Anything SquareSpace can do, WordPress can (and does) do better. (You sang that.)

10 Reasons WordPress Will Always Be Better Than SquareSpace

  1. Full control of your site, with SquareSpace you are renting.
  2. Unlimited opportunity to expand
  3. Access to every single file
  4. You own your website in it’s entirety. If SquareSpace goes down, your site goes down. If they decide to close one day, you close. Whether you like it or not. You choose the quality of your website host with WordPress, and can opt to have your very own server.
  5. More ability to customize your design
  6. Full control of SEO with WordPress. You can have what you believe to be the best site ever in the history of the internet, but if you don’t have control of optimizing your site for search engines, it may as well not exist.
  7. Cost. WordPress is free. SquareSpace charges you a monthly fee. Any money you spend on WordPress will be on hosting, a theme, or possibly a paid plugin, and you get to shop for whatever best fits your needs.
  8. Function. WordPress offers thousands of plugins to add whatever function you can possibly imagine. SquareSpace? If you want to add function you’ll have to wait for what their in house developers create, or choose from what they have already created. WordPress is open source so developers create (thousands of plugins!) plugins for others to use all the time. SquareSpace is not open source.
  9. Community. The WP community is amazing. A simple google search for any question related to WordPress will turn up thousands of results. You can find support for plugins, themes etc. usually from the developers themselves. SquareSpace currently has 285 squarespace employees to serve ALL of it’s customers. 285. Spent 40 million on ads last year, but only employs 285 people to care for their customers?
  10. You won’t see CNN, People magazine, The New York Times or any Fortune 500 companies currently using WP switching to SquareSpace anytime soon. Because, you do not own your SquareSpace website. Remember when Facebook was ad free? And you had control over what you saw in your news feed? One day they decided to change that, and you couldn’t do a darn thing about it because you do not own your Facebook. Think about that.

Bonus Point: Who wants to rent and have to ask permission to paint the walls, when you could own and remodel your kitchen for free? You’re never limited with WordPress. If you decide you want to completely transform your site one day, you have millions of WordPress themes in every price point (including, some for free.) online to search through instead of the limited amount SquareSpace has to choose from.

I could go on and on, but everything boils down to one central point: control. And you know how I feel about taking control of your business: “It’s Good to be a Control Freak.”

I normally tend to sugar coat things, but this is one subject that gets me all Mama Bear. WordPress is leagues above all the other options available, and I cannot let my cubs fall victim to the new shiny thing being promoted with careful calculation and backed by millions of dollars. In 2014 alone SquareSpace spent 40 Million dollars on advertising. Do you know how much WordPress spends on advertising? $0.

I’ll leave you with this, words from the WordPress.org website:

From WordPress.org
“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.”

“WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

Everything you see here, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your recipe site to a Fortune 500 web site without paying anyone a license fee and a number of other important freedoms.”

Friends don’t let friends stay in the dark when it comes to what’s best for their business, share the pinnable image below and help spread awareness.

10 REASONS WORDPRESS WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN SQUARESPACE

10 REASONS WORDPRESS WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN SQUARESPACE

Move to WordPress

move to wordpress

We’ve made it easier than ever to move to WordPress by teaming up with the fabulous folks at ClickWp!

Your migration through ClickWp is a separate purchase from our WordPress setup package, but we work with them to keep your move as smooth and simple as possible.

“We’ll move your blog quickly and expertly from Blogger, SquareSpace, TypePad or even WordPress.com so that PDCD can setup one of their beautiful themes on your site.”

Move to WordPress

And if you’re just wanting to move to WordPress, not purchase our setup package, you can (and should) use them for all of your migration needs. Click the button below for more information.

Ready to Make Some Money?

PDCD has officially opened our long awaited affiliate program. I know a lot of you already tell everyone you know about our themes, and I thank you so much for doing so :) Now go sign up for our new program and start making 35% of each sale. With our products being $49-$59 each, sales reaching an all time high this year, and around $20 commission for each referred sale, you could cover the cost of your theme purchase in no time. AND you know I’m always working on something new, that you’ll *need* as soon as it’s released 😉

Click Here to Apply

Surprise Giveaway on Instagram

And the winner is….
Melissa Waller!
https://instagram.com/melissawallerphotography/
Melissa wins every PDCD theme, and a lifetime subscription to the TADA! video series.
Melissa – send us an email (support@prettydarncute.com), and we’ll get you set up!
Thanks everyone for entering!

 
Surprise Giveaway on Instagram

To celebrate the brand new official PDCD Instagram account I have decided to host another Surprise Giveaway, sight unseen! The prize for our Surprise Giveaway on Instagram is impressive, that’s all I’m going to say. Entry is simple, go follow our brand new Instagram account and like the giveaway post, and tag a friend to enter! More details surprise giveaway. xo – Lindsey

@prettydarncutedesign

How to get more post views on Facebook for Free

In order for the people who have already “liked” your facebook page to see your posts more consistently, it seems you have to pay to boost either your page or your post. I do this regularly to ensure I get announcements out, and to promote Pretty Darn Cute Design.

I am always trying new things out on Facebook because it is the social media platform of choice for the majority of my customers. I’m not active on twitter, and I use instagram more for fun and sometimes business, same with Pinterest. I’ve grown my email list to far surpass facebook, but I still want to connect to those who may only be on Facebook, and not subscribed to my newsletter.

Do you have an email list? Read this: Why you cannot rely on Facebook


How to get more post views on Facebook for Free

All of that to say, there’s a feature that snuck it’s way in recently and it’s called “saving”. At first, I saw it as a way to just bookmark a post to go back and read later, then I saw that on each individual page I visit there is also a save option. I clicked the save button on a storm chaser’s page one night when we were having some

How to get more post views on Facebook for Free

Once I saved that page I wasn’t sure what would happen, besides seeing it in the sidebar of my Facebook dashboard, but to my surprise I saw several of their posts pop up in my feed more regularly with a little note saying “Saved”. Nice! Try it out by clicking the save button on the Pretty Darn Cute Design Facebook Page.

How to get more post views on Facebook for Free

Recommended Reading

Did you find this post useful? I highly recommend reading this article next: 10 Important Tips for Bloggers.

Obligatory Disclaimer: As of today, this method actually does work. We all know how frequently Facebook changes up their algorithm, subscribe to the PDCD newsletter for updates.

 

Please feel free to share the photo below on your facebook page to instruct your followers how to save your page. Just right click to save.

How to get more post views on Facebook for Free

How to Resize Images for Your Website

It’s so important you resize large images prior to uploading them to your blog. I could give you the mile long list of reasons, but just trust me. Nothing above 1000px wide is usually ever necessary, and will kill your load time.

(if you do not have photoshop, you can download a free trial at adobe.com)

Sign up for TADA! Online and take this a step further! Learn how to resize lots of images at once with a click of your mouse!

How to Resize Images for Your Website

First, you’ll want to download and open this action:
http://mcpactions.com/product/high-def-sharpening/
(If you download all of their free plugins, you’ll want to open the one titled “High Definition”)

Once opened, it will take you directly to Photoshop.

Open the photo you would like resized, and then click on the action in your actions panel.
(Window>Actions)

How to Resize Images for Your Website

Boom, image resized in the blink of an eye.

Click File > Save for Web. Choose your file type and quality level.

Want to know how to manipulate actions and use only parts of them? Sign up for TADA! Online to learn how now!

Worth noting: A JPG is going to load quicker than a PNG. I recommend playing with the JPG quality level on your images and using the lowest possible number. 6 is the most commonly recommended, but some images will not look so hot at that level, so just adjust that accordingly.

A Cup Full of Sass Branding and Luxury Customization

We have a new package available here at Pretty Darn Cute Design, The Luxury WordPress Customization Package.

This package is a study of your likes, an integration of your style. We take a PDCD theme and transform it to look like “you”.

The Luxury WordPress Customization Package
I had too much fun putting together a new look for Amy of A Cup Full of Sass. Amy sent over an inspiration palette that included pink, gold glitter, and cake. I recently decided to open my schedule back up for branding projects, this project was my first in a long time, and such a fun one to start with.

Pink Gold Logo Branding

Once I completed her logo design, I switched her site over from the Adorable Theme to our newest, Fun WordPress Theme. Amy wanted to use the home page of fun to display various graphics that linked to pages throughout her site. What a fun way to add some color, and pretty yet functional, imagery. I love how it turned out, and more importantly, so does Amy.

before and after web design

a-cup-full-of-sass

Would you like your theme customized? Click here!
In need of a new look for your brand? Click Here.

Google Chrome’s Device Mode

I wanted to pop in here and tell you about something simple that you may find incredibly helpful. Did you know you can actually see how your site appears on any device using Google Chrome’s Device Mode? Other functions of device mode, from Google:

  • Test your responsive designs by emulating different screen sizes and resolutions, including Retina displays. (Sweet!)
  • Evaluate your site’s performance using the network emulator, without affecting traffic to other tabs.
  • Visualize and inspect CSS media queries.
  • Accurately simulate device input for touch events, geolocation, and device orientation.
  • Enhance your current debugging workflow by combining device mode with the existing DevTools.

It’s super simple. Chrome developer tools is especially helpful for customizing your site, but equally helpful for testing the responsiveness of your design. A big theme customization tutorial is headed to TADA! Online soon, but for now here’s a handy little graphic.

chrome device mode

Do your normal right click on whatever element you’re exploring, and then click the device mode icon (looks like a little phone) and a frame and dropdown with various devices will appear at the top of your page. I will say I’ve had small fluctuations of design elements on the actual device compared to the simulator at times, but for the most part it’s accurate. You can also inspect elements in device mode which is super nice. Read more about Google Chrome’s Device Mode. When you’re done, just click that little phone icon again and the frame will disappear. Pretty neat!

Is My Site Mobile Friendly?

Is My Site Mobile Friendly?
This just in, from Google:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results…”

 
If your site is not mobile friendly, we need to do something about that. See the definition of significant to understand the urgency..

Significant : very important

 
See? Ok, now lets be proactive! Check to see if Google views your site as mobile friendly by taking their Mobile Friendly Test.

Is My Site Mobile Friendly?

All of the Pretty Darn Cute Design Genesis Themes just so happen to be completely mobile friendly. If you’re not sure what “mobile friendly” means it’s often referred to as “responsive design” or “mobile responsive design” but will soon become known as just “design” as it is so important a website have the ability to adapt to all screen sizes.

When you search on a mobile device you’ll see under the site name whether or not the is mobile friendly.

mobile friendly search results google

A little sidenote about our Adorable WordPress theme, I will be taking it off the market in the coming days. If you want to grab it, now is the time. Adorable is mobile responsive, but is no longer up to the standard we wish our customers websites to be held. It’s a fantastically whimsical theme, with great features, but the code is semi-outdated. That said, if you’re using it now there’s no need to worry about a thing. The theme still functions like a champ, and we will always offer support for Adorable (and MomPreneur which we recently stopped selling for the same reason). The rest of the PDCD Themes collection is all very much up to date, and has the latest and greatest in web standards. Hooray!

My promise to you is to always keep our feminine wordpress themes up to date in every way, and on top of coming trends in a way that your design still remain timeless. It may sound like a sales pitch when I say to think of me as your friend in the web design business, but that is truly how I think of all of you. I want to make sure that everyone “wearing” a PDCD theme stands out above the rest.

Is My Site Mobile Friendly?

You can find the entire google announcement on their blog, here. If you have any questions at all about your website being mobile friendly I’m happy to answer them in the comments below. Have a fantastic Friday!

Rounded Search Input Border in Safari and Mobile Devices

This is a tiny something that drives me absolutely bonkers. I cannot handle the way a search box renders on most mobile devices, and in Safari. More specifically: The Rounded Search Input Border in Safari and Mobile Devices. I *know*, you know what I’m talking about. Those perfect little input forms look magnificent on your desktop, then you visit your site on your phone or iPad and you see this…
 

Rounded Search Input Border in Safari and Mobile Devices

Rounded Search Input Border in Safari and Mobile Devices
 

( Check out our FUN! WordPress Theme here )

I realize this may not make a normal person’s skin crawl, but it’s the web equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me. Please do yourself me a favor and add this little nugget to the stylesheet of whatever theme you are using (check to make sure it’s not already there, first):

input[type="search"] {
	border-radius: 0;
	-webkit-appearance: none !important;
}

 
Did you hear that? It was the sound of me taking a deep sigh of contentment, as I hop off my soapbox. Thank you.
While writing this blog post I also struggled with the usage of “off of” or just “off” (see above sentence). Google says I’m correct, but I just do not know 😛 The struggle is real and has migrated from input boxes to grammar. Send help.

Oh and please pin this to help spread the word so we can all I can sleep a little more peacefully at night. 😉
 
Rounded Search Input Border in Safari and Mobile Devices

10 Important Tips for Bloggers

10 important tips for bloggers
 
I’m going to make this list short, sweet and easily implemented. I’ve been in the web design business for 10 years and thought it appropriate to start a top ten series here in honor of that milestone. I really love any reason to celebrate, and when I can do so *and* share some of the most important things I’ve learned over the past decade, bonus! Without further ado, I bring you…

10 Important Tips for Bloggers.

1. Load time.

Statistics show the longer it takes for a site to load, the higher your bounce rate.
action: image optimizer, and google page speed.

2. SEO

All of that writing, time and effort you’re putting into your site may be for a very small audience if you haven’t taken the time to optimize your content.
action: Yoast SEO Plugin

3. Analytics

Know your audience.
action: google analytics

4. Responsive Design

This is an absolute must. Statistics show the majority of web browsing is now done on mobile devices.
action: A PDCD responsive WordPress theme

5. Build Your Email List

We’ve been hearing this shouted from the rooftops for years, but have you begun growing your list? From marketing, to remaining engaged with your audience, the list of benefits is a mile long.
action: MailChimp (I’ve tried them all, trust me.)

5. Engage

Talk to your readers, encourage commenting and respond to those comments. Add polls to your posts, host giveaways, find ways to involve your audience and keep them interested and entertained. It helps to think of your blog as an ongoing party at your house, you’re the hostess, keep the party going 😉

Tweet This

Think of your blog as an ongoing party at your house, keep your guests entertained.

(Learn how to post “tweet this” boxes like the one above with The TADA! Workshop.)
action: Disqus

6. Learn some photoshop basics

Internet marketing is almost 100% necessary to gain traction these days. Back when I began, a good article would sell itself when posted on facebook. Now that facebook has started charging for your page “likes” to see status updates, you’re going to need an eye catching graphic to help gain organic referrals. Purchase a stock photo (as I did for this post), and slap some text on there. Then pin, tweet, post and promote like there’s no tomorrow.
action: photoshop tutorials

7. Have a Call to Action

You’ve written the most amazing post, and it’s gone viral. Millions of people visit your website that week, and the next week? Crickets. You need an after post widget area, as seen in our FUN theme and others, to place a subscribe widget or “shop now” link if your goal is to convert your traffic into sales.
action: enews extended plugin

8. Keep it Organized

Get rid of the distractions. If that ad in your sidebar isn’t 100% necessary, toss it. I would even go so far as to say the benefits of having one less ad will provide you a better return than the possible ad revenue. One ad, or two, tops. That’s all you need. Anything else is overkill. How do you feel when you visit a site full of graphics and ads galore? Provide your audience with a relaxing place to focus on your content.
action: Read This.

9. Free Stuff

We all love a good freebie every now and then! I love to add free printables to the “free stuff” section of this site as a thank you to all of you. In order to access those freebies you have to sign up for my newsletter (which is very rarely sent out, and always informative 😉 ) Password protect a page on your website and have the password sent via email to your subscribers (see link to MailChimp above). Check out how mine is setup below.
action: free stuff for subscribers

10. Social Media

Link to your various social media accounts, stay active and consistently post. This is another area you can (and should!) engage. Treat your readers like you would your friends, keep them updated on what’s going on with you. You don’t have to be too detailed, or overshare, but a simple instagram snap and short caption does wonders towards connecting with your audience.
action: Simple Social Icons

Bonus Tip:

Don’t forget to have fun! Just because your blog is a business, doesn’t mean it can’t still be enjoyable to work on. Sure, there will be those days where you have to handle the business end of things, and that may not be nearly as fun as writing about your passion in life, but I’ve been known to throw some confetti on my desk when I have a day of paperwork ahead of me and believe me when I say it helps!.
action: Gold Confetti 😛

I hope you found this list both useful, and actionable! Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments!