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Portugal investigating fraud linked to Venezuela PDVSA funds, PDVSA says

CARACAS (Reuters) – Portugal is investigating alleged appropriation of funds belonging to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] that were channeled through now-defunct Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo between 2009 and 2014, PDVSA said on Saturday.

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Google DeepMind is giving the NHS free access to its patient monitoring app (GOOG)

The financial terms of Google DeepMind’s partnership with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation have been disclosed for the first time.
Google’s artificial intelligence lab DeepMind is currently allowing the Royal Free to use its patient

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Oil's drop could leave a stain on earnings

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Heading into second-quarter earnings season, investors are looking for a continuation of strong U.S. company results to justify high stock valuations, now trading near their loftiest levels since 2004.

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THE ANDROID MESSAGING EVOLUTION: How Google is responding to messaging app dominance (GOOG, GOOGL)

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
The communications market is in the midst of an all-out war. The

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Toshiba asks regulators for extension on financial filing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp said on Friday it has asked regulators for an extension for filing its annual financial statement by over a month as it has not been able to obtain approval from its auditor.

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10 WordPress Themes for Your Web Design Business

One of the sad ironies of being a busy web designer is that you make time for everyone’s website – except your own. So it stands to reason that many of us could use a little head start when developing our own business sites. Certainly, a WordPress theme can do just that.

While you may be thinking, “I’m a designer, I don’t need to use a theme…” try to think of this in a different light. A theme can be a great launching point for your site building process. Find one that has features that will make your life easier – and then customize it to suit your specific needs.

So, while all the themes in this collection will look great with a default setup, they also offer you the power to add your own mark. You’ll be able to change various settings through the WordPress Customizer or through a bundled page builder. If you want to take things even further, create a child theme and make changes to both templates and CSS.

Let’s take a look at 10 WordPress themes that may just be the right fit for your web design business:

Smoothly

Smoothly is a portfolio-style theme that includes six unique concepts. The looks are all quite stylish with features like video backgrounds and on-scroll animations. There is lots of functionality via a vast collection of bundled plugins – including several exclusives.

The bundle covers things like Google Maps, social sharing, filterable post grids, along with ways to display your portfolio and team members. Visual Composer is added for easy page layout creation. You’ll also find an included child theme to allow for advanced customizations.

Smoothly WordPress Theme

Hoper

Hoper provides a simple and attractive theme that can serve as a vehicle for your online portfolio. Use it as either a single-page or multi-page site.

Based on Bootstrap, the theme can be customized through the Redux framework and the Unyson page builder. A filterable portfolio is included to display your work in style. The overall look and functionality are exquisite.

Hoper WordPress Theme

Minify

As the name may suggest, Minify is a minimally-styled WordPress theme. The result is a look that makes content quite easy to digest. It utilizes Bootstrap, which provides both a solid foundation and an opportunity for customization.

There are a variety of home page, header, portfolio and blog layouts to choose from. Under the hood, you’ll find well-commented code to help guide you in making tweaks. Visual Composer is also included.

Minify WordPress Theme

Ana

Ana is a cool and modern theme aimed at creative professionals and agencies. It sports multiple demo site variants, six home page layouts, two types of navigation and six single portfolio styles. The included AJAX page transitions provide a unique way to keep visitors engaged.

There are lots of settings available to tweak in the WordPress Customizer. The package includes a copy of Visual Composer.

Ana WordPress Theme

Mochito

Mochito is a slick, one-page theme that utilizes AJAX for smooth scrolling and some excellent animation. You’ll find a hero image area that can display as a standard rectangle or take on a variety of attention-getting shapes.

Or, take it full-height to really wow your visitors. You’ll also find a copy of Visual Composer, custom Shortcodes, multiple page templates and Google Maps integration.

Mochito WordPress Theme

Eurybia

Your business is different, and so is Eurybia. It’s clean, but with a side of dark and disturbed mixed in for good measure.

There are some nice touches added in, like multi-column mega menus, smooth scrolling, lots of grid styles and some really attractive WooCommerce product layouts. It uses the Redux framework and a copy of the ubiquitous Visual Composer is bundled in.

Eurybia WordPress Theme

Minimus

If you really want your work to be front and center, check out Minimus. While the theme includes four demo home pages, the full-width “Portfolio Showcase” is a great choice for designers who want their portfolio to do all the talking.

Bundled plugins include Essential Grid, Slider Revolution and Visual Composer. Also check out the variety of menu styles, custom Shortcodes and parallax scrolling.

Minimus WordPress Theme

Gravity

Gravity aims to focus on typography, usability and UX. From the looks of things, they hit the mark. The layouts are pixel perfect and text is very easy to read.

The smooth scrolling animations make for an elegant experience. Included are copies of the Slider Revolution and Visual Composer plugins, along with an advanced portfolio system.

Gravity WordPress Theme

Dieter

Show off your artistic side with Dieter. It includes several customizable layout options, various headers and a mega menu. The theme can be used for landing pages or full-blown multi-page websites. There are a large collection of custom Shortcodes for adding design and functionality features.

Overall, the design’s use of whitespace and color bring a very modern and appealing look. Copies of Slider Revolution and Visual Composer plugins are included.

Dieter WordPress Theme

Horizon

Horizon features a horizontal slider/portfolio that will certainly get a users’ attention. With large, muted photos and bold typography, you’re sure to get your message across.

Also included are some lovely page transitions, multiple blog layouts (including a really nice masonry grid) and optimization for touch-enabled devices. Quite a unique theme compared to the usual portfolio fare.

Horizon WordPress Theme

Show Your Design Business Some Love

While finding the time to take care of your own website may be difficult, it’s vitally important. The types of design work clients look for changes with the times. You certainly don’t want them looking at an outdated site.

The themes showcased above will give you the opportunity to start fresh while saving you some time. Your business will be better for it.

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10 things in tech you need to know today (GOOG)

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. Tech investor Bill Gurley is leaving the board of Uber. Gurley will be replaced with Matt Cohler, another partner at Benchmark Capital. 
2. Snapchat reportedly

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Eyes on AirAsia as Airbus looks for airshow comeback: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus has seen its rival Boeing grab most of the headlines at the Paris Airshow this week, but it could turn to AirAsia – one of its largest customers – to narrow the gap after the launch of a new Boeing plane, industry sources said.

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10 Beautifully Designed Examples of Split Screen Layouts in Web Design

Split screen layouts break the oldest and most critical UI design rule of all by giving equal importance to two primary areas of a site. It’s common practice to give each element of a site a priority level in relation to the structure of the design, yet split screen layouts completely ignore those rules.

And strangely, it works.

With a split-screen, you can give prominence to both elements and enable the user to choose between them. You can quickly convey dual importance. For example, if you want to communicate to your visitors that your core strengths are both your digital products as well as your talented staff, you can place one on the left side, and the other on the right side.

On your portfolio website you can position the identity of your brand on the left, and a list of the sites you have built on the right. If you are designing a restaurant or coffee shop website, you can use one side to feature some company or contact information while showcasing photos of customers enjoying the locales on the other side.

Split screens provide lots of ease to users, especially if they are potential customers. Thanks to the reduced clutter and the more streamlined appearance of split screen layouts, users will spend less time trying to find the information they are looking for.

Below you will find a selection of beautifully designed websites that have successfully implemented split screen layouts.

Hello Monday

Hello Monday split screen web design layout

Thalida

Thalida split screen web design layout

Studio Meta

Studio Meta split screen web design layout

F L P L N Y

F L P L N Y split screen web design layout

Primal

Primal split screen web design layout

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall split screen web design layout

Studio Meta

Studio Meta split screen web design layout

Ocean Resort Residences

Ocean Resort Residences split screen web design layout

EngineThemes

EngineThemes split screen web design layout

Roman Kirichik

Roman Kirichik split screen web design layout

Huncwot

Huncwot split screen web design layout

Angel Martínez

Finished!

In contrast to many other layout types, a split-screen layout design gives a website an edgy look – big and bold, yet oozing with simplicity and power.

However, you have to exercise lots of caution when working on a split screen website. If you are not careful, your overall design may look like a cheesy before and after photo, and nobody wants that.

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Better, Faster, Stronger WordPress Hosting with Kinsta

Web developers and designers unfortunately don’t have the kind of job where they can remain effective or efficient in the face of continual disruptions. These jobs are also so highly specialized that, while it’s great to have a basic understanding of how other things work, it doesn’t make that much sense to be a Jack-of-all-trades.

As a WordPress developer or designer, you know there are certain things you absolutely need in order to properly manage the backend of your site. Regular backups, security, a reliable and fast network – these you can’t compromise on. But managing them takes time away from everything else you do, including trying to run and scale your business.

While you could hire another developer or implementer to help with this aspect of your work, why not outsource to a reliable third party? Better yet, why not consolidate your need for managed WordPress services with your web hosting plan? This will ensure that everything server-side remains in the hands of one provider.

Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting services would be the perfect solution for the designer/developer who wants to spend less time worrying about what’s affecting their site’s performance on the backend and more time on the work that’s going to make them money.

Kinsta managed WordPress hosting services featured

Managed WordPress Hosting from Kinsta

Hunting around for the right hosting plan can be tedious. You know what you need, but you also don’t want to get stuck in a plan that limits what your site can do. When you need a high-performing platform to power your high-performing website, working with a provider like Kinsta is sure to give you the results you seek.

So, what exactly do you get from Kinsta’s web hosting plans?

For starters, you don’t have to sift through a variety of plan types. All of Kinsta’s managed hosting plans run on the Google Cloud Platform and come jam-packed with the essentials (and much more).

There are four business plans, ranging from $100 to $400 a month, and four enterprise plans, ranging from $600 to $1,500 a month. The price is based on how many websites you host and the amount of bandwidth utilized on their servers.

Here are some of the core features you should be aware of:

Unlimited Visitors

Because your site is hosted on a cloud platform, you don’t need to worry about caps on site traffic. Kinsta’s plans are differentiated by three factors:

  1. Number of websites hosted on the plan
  2. SSD storage
  3. Server bandwidth

Next-Gen Technology

Even for sites that are brand new, there’s always that fear that a traffic spike or security breach could take down your site and you’d be left having to start all over again.

However, Kinsta relies on top-of-the-line technology to power their hardware, software, and infrastructure, in turn ensuring that your site’s performance remains unaffected regardless of what happens outside it.

  • Server hardware comes from Google Cloud Platform.
  • Software is powered by LXD which keeps every website securely isolated in its own container.
  • PHP 7, Nginx, Ubuntu, and MariaDB to keep everything running fast.

Kinsta next generation infrastructure

Low Latency Infrastructure

Kinsta’s data centers are located around the globe to ensure low latency for their customers’ websites. In addition, they’ve given customers even more control over latency by providing premium DNS services via Amazon Route 53 with every plan. DNS records can easily be managed from the Kinsta admin dashboard.

Top-of-the-line Security

Considering Kinsta works with the Google Cloud Platform, it should come as no surprise that security is of the utmost importance. Each plan includes:

  • Uptime checks every minute of every day
  • Automated daily backups
  • Free SSL certificate
  • DDoS monitoring
  • Hardware firewall

In addition to offering such hardened security features, Kinsta offers to fix customers’ websites for free in the unlikely event that they are hacked.

Kinsta Security

24/7 Dedicated Support

As a managed hosting company, Kinsta’s plans come with 24/7 monitoring of customers’ websites.

They also offer support from their team of WordPress experts who can assist with issues, provide advice, and who also handle website migrations for free.

Kinsta Dedicated Support and Free Migrations

Managed WordPress Hosting Made for Developers

By far one of the biggest selling points in choosing Kinsta to host your website, or network of websites, is their commitment to providing a developer-friendly platform.

Seeing as how the majority of people behind their company come from a web development background, it makes sense they’d want to create a managed hosting solution that would work for an audience they understand.

Here are some of the developer-specific features of their web hosting plans:

Admin Dashboard

You can do everything from this dashboard, including:

  • Add a new site to your network of sites
  • Launch a staging site for testing purposes
  • Clone a site
  • Do a deep-dive into your site’s analytics
  • Contact Kinsta support for questions and help

Kinsta dashboard

One-Click Site Management

You want to be thorough in your work, but you also don’t want to spend time recreating the wheel. Kinsta has a number of developer features that enable you to clone websites, set up staging environments, and more with just a single click.

Instant SSL Certificates

Kinsta provides free Let’s Encrypt certificates which can easily be deployed from the dashboard. This allows you to migrate your WordPress site to HTTPS and take advantage of performance improvements such as HTTP/2, which is enabled on all Kinsta servers. Developers can also upload custom SSL certificates.

Web Development Tools

Finally, we come to the part that every web developer wants to see: the tools integrated into Kinsta meant specifically for them.

  • PHP: You have a choice of which version of PHP you want to use, including 5.6, 7, 7.1, and HHVM. Kinsta also comes with Composer.
  • WP-CLI: Command line tools you can use so you don’t have to work directly within WordPress.
  • Git: Integration with this version control system to automate and improve your workflow.

Wrapping Up

If your goal is to keep a laser-like focus on your workload and your business, then you can’t afford to let sub-par web hosting and the day-to-day hassle of managing the backend of your site get in the way of that.

With WordPress as your content management system of choice, then you know that there’s a multitude of support and complementary solutions available specifically for this platform – and Kinsta appears to be the clear choice when it comes to managed WordPress hosting.

For those of you interested in Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting, just mention 1stWebDesigner within the next 30 days, and you will get the added bonus of 50% off your first month!

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