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Web Development

The most exciting new open-source blog platform this year, Ghost 0.3 beta has finally been released to the public and is ready for you to use for your own new blog. It’s not 100% finished yet, but it’s already good enough that Envato has used it to launch the new Inside Envato blog — and it’s a great platform for you to start a new Markdown-powered blog that gives you an easy way to share your thoughts with the world.

Ghost is a bit more involved to get running than, say, WordPress, but we’ve already covered everything you need to get a new Ghost blog running. And once it’s running, Ghost is insanely easy to use. You’ll likely find yourself writing more than ever when it’s this simple to publish.

But what good’s a new blog without a shiny new theme? The default theme’s pretty nice, but if you want more than that, you’re in luck. There’s already dozens of beautiful Ghost themes online, ready for you to add to your Ghost blog or tweak to look just like you want, including over 30 on the ThemeForest Ghost marketplace, a handful of nice themes from the new Theme Spectre and Polygonix teams, and free themes on GitHub. Here’s our dozen favorite Ghost themes from across the web:

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At AppStorm, we love fonts. In our spare time, we talk about fonts and typography with each other on Twitter and App.net. Sometimes, when we feel too geeky and really want to discuss ligatures in a meaningful way without being mocked, we jump ship and start talking about it in emails and private messaging.

The bottom line is, we’re type geeks. It’s a serious problem. I own books on it. And like many people, we also have websites to justify our inflated narcissistic sense of self-importance. We want to make sure that we use the right fonts on our websites — after all, we’re the sort of crazies who believe fonts are extensions of our own personalities. Here are some great places to start next time you’re looking for high-quality web fonts for your site.

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If you’re planning on starting a new eCommerce site, there’s a ton of different tools you can use today to start selling stuff online. There’s the biggest names in eCommerce: Magento, Shopify, and OpenCart. Then, there’s the WordPress eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, which have gotten very popular lately. There’s also a ton of smaller eCommerce solutions that you might have never heard about.

If you look for eCommerce themes on ThemeForest, the theme and site template marketplace by our parent company Envato, you’ll find that the designers there have started making themes for quite a number of different eCommerce solutions. Two that have just recently started getting popular with theme designers are Zen Cart and osCommerce. They’re both opensource eCommerce tools, powered by PHP and MySQL, and just might be what you’re looking for in your next eCommerce solution.

Let’s take a look at some of the best themes on ThemeForest for Zen Cart and osCommerce, all of which have been released in the past couple months.

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A big part of development, coding, or web design is repeating yourself. No one likes to admit it, but a lot of the work we do is repetitive. A great way to reduce the number of times you have to write something is to save it to use again later using code snippets. Snippets are little bits of code that you have written before that you think you might find useful again later, they could be a specific way to show images on a site, the SQL to create a handful of tables in one stroke, or an entire class for the backend of an ASP.NET web application. Whichever it is you need a place to keep the snippets so that you can get to them when you need them.

This is where the cloud based snippet storage comes into its own. You can access it from anywhere that you have an internet connection, which is everywhere these days. It saves you messing around with memory sticks with your code in text files on, or sending yourself snippets by email (we’ve all done it!) and allows you to find what you want when you want it. I’ve compiled a list of 17 super slick snippet storage sites below in no particular order, check it out, you might find the perfect one for you.

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If you’re looking for a great place to start a blog online, and you want to keep things simple, Tumblr’s definitely one of the first places you should consider. Its continued to make its platform one of the easiest to use, with a newly revamped dashboard and posting tools that make it even easier than ever to share with your readers. Plus, it’s full of creative people that make it far more fun than tweaking WordPress settings.

It might not be as powerful as WordPress, but that hasn’t stopped theme developers from putting together some amazingly creative themes. Our parent company Envato’s theme marketplace, ThemeForest, has a number of Tumblr themes that looks so nice, they’d tempt anyone to start a new blog. If you’ve been looking for a new theme for your Tumblr site, or want some inspiration for a new Tumblr blog, here’s some themes to get you inspired to start blogging!
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About a month ago, I rounded up a set of 10 tiny but really useful free web apps for designers. Given how well the app ecosystem on the web has evolved over the years, there’s no reason to stick with the theme of designers, so here’s a list of 10 similar apps, but for web developers.

Made by one of the most prolific community of professionals on the web, for themselves and other like them. All these apps are simple, focused on doing one thing and doing it right. If you are a web developer, they all might come in pretty handy at some point or another.

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There’s many ways to sell stuff online, but if you’ve decided you want to sell stuff directly from your own site, you’ve still got to figure out how exactly to do that. You could run a dedicated eCommerce platform on your site, or perhaps add it with a plugin like WooCommerce. The simplest way, though, is with a hosted shopping cart service.

In this roundup I’m going to look at three of the best hosted shopping carts available: eJunkie, AmberCart and Cashie Commerce. Each one has its own pro’s and con’s, and hopefully though this article you’ll be able to find the one that is right for you. Let’s dig in.

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Blogger is one of the original hosted blogging platforms, from the guys that went on to start Twitter after Google bought it out. Blogger is where many of us cut our blogging teeth, and was the first place many people moved after leaving their old Geocities sites behind. Today, though, Blogger’s popularity has been eclipsed by WordPress.com, Tumblr, and social networking in general which has kept many from focusing on writing a full blog.

Blogger seemed to stagnate for years, but in the past year, Google has done a lot to make it a much more modern blogging service. Let’s take a look at the new Blogger and its improved default themes, then check out 8 of the best new Blogger themes from our parent company Envato’s ThemeForest. (more…)

If you’ve wanted to start an online store, there’s never been a better time to do so. Today, there’s so many different tools you could use to build a high-quality online store, you might have trouble picking which one would work best for you. From hosted options like Shopify to plugins for your WordPress blog to a dedicated eCommerce CMS, there’s options for every need.

PrestaShop is one of the emerging popular eCommerce systems that lets you make the online store you’ve always dreamed of. It’s also started to attract attention on ThemeForest, the site for themes and more from our parent company Envato. Keep reading to take a look at what PrestaShop offers and some of the best themes you can get for it to make an eCommerce site quicker than ever. (more…)

Magento is one of the best open-source eCommerce CMSes out there. It offers webmasters a ton of features and plenty of flexibility with which to create online stores. It’s infinitely customizable and there are plenty of great themes available to make your site look professional and welcoming to your customers.

I’ve picked out some of the very best Magento themes that you can find in the ThemeForest marketplace, the marketplace for website themes and templates run by our parent company Envato.  Each of these themes is unique and can make it easier for you to design the perfect eCommerce site for your business, so let’s dive right in! (more…)

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