If you are reading this, chances are you've been hearing a lot about cookies, GDPR and ePrivacy. And yes, it can be confusing and even frustrating at times, we know. But if you have a website these days, you should be familiar with those terms and there's no way around it. That is why we did our best to collect everything you need to know on the subject in a single, simply written article. Hopefully it can help you make more informed decisions about your website.

What are cookies?

You have probably noticed that since May 2018, a notification shows in nearly every website you visit for the first time. It informs you that the website collects information using cookies and asks you to allow that. But what exactly does that mean?

Cookies are small text files that websites place on your device as you are browsing. They are processed and stored by the web browser. Cookies are essential for every website to function properly, improve user experience and collect data for marketing and statistics purposes. If you consent to the Cookies policy, you agree on being tracked while browsing or having your data saved for the next time you visit the website. However, by law every website user must have the right to choose their “cookie preferences”. Besides some exceptions described later in this article, user data can't be collected or used without the user’s consent.

Types of cookies

There are three classes of cookies, depending on their specifications:

  1. Duration
    • Session cookies - these are temporary cookies that expire once you close the browser or your session ends.
    • Persistent cookies - the duration of these cookies may vary, depending on the expiry date set into their code. According to the ePrivacy Directive, they should last for at most 12 months.
  2. Provenance
    • First-party cookies - these are the cookies saved to your device directly from the website you are visiting.
    • Third party cookies - these cookies are saved to your device by a third party website (e.g advertiser)
  3. Purpose
    • Strictly necessary cookies - these are cookies which are essential for the purpose of the website. Such cookies hold your items in the shopping cart of an online shop, for example. As they are strictly necessary, the user does not have to consent to their use, but still needs to be informed about their existence and the way they work.
    • Preferences cookies - when you save your username and password for future visits of a website, or select your preferred language, this data is stored in preferences (functional) cookies.
    • Analytics cookies - the purpose of these cookies is to measure the performance of the website. While this includes third party cookies that track your activity on the website, the data can only be used by the sole owner of the website. The collected information is anonymous and therefore can not identify you.
    • Marketing cookies - these are mostly third-party cookies, used by advertisers to provide more relevant advertising or to control how many times a user sees certain ad. These are persistent cookies and the collected data can be shared with other organisations.

GDPR and ePrivacy directive

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not say much about the cookies:


“Natural persons may be associated with online identifiers provided by their devices, applications, tools and protocols, such as internet protocol addresses, cookie identifiers or other identifiers such as radio frequency identification tags. This may leave traces which, in particular when combined with unique identifiers and other information received by the servers, may be used to create profiles of the natural persons and identify them.”

Simply put, this means that companies do have a right to collect and process personal data, as long as they get consent or they have legitimate interest.

As a website owner, violation of GDPR may cost you a fortune, so it is essential that you don’t collect data illegally.

ePrivacy directive

The purpose of the ePrivacy directive, also known as the Cookie law, is to secure the user’s privacy through data protection. It is all about what companies, website owners and service providers can do with your consent and what they are not allowed to do without it.

Unfortunately, a lot of the websites only inform you that they use cookies and the single choice left to the user is “OK”, meaning that your data will be used in any case.

How to be cookie compliant?

If you are a website owner, you must make sure that the following requirements are covered by your website’s cookie extension:

  • You need user’s consent to use any cookies except strictly necessary cookies.
  • You have to provide clear information about what information is being collected through each cookie and how is the data used.
  • You need to store all users’ consents.
  • You should still allow your users to access your website, even if they did not agree on the use of cookies.
  • You should provide as easy way for the users to withdraw their consent as it was when they agreed on the cookies.

Conclusion

Many companies have already suffered the consequences of cookies not being compliant. While some websites only get a request for adding the cookie pop-up, others get fines which are not to something to underestimate. Besides, your website’s visitors thrust you when they visit your website - why punish them by stealing their data?

Now that you’re aware of how important cookies and their proper use are, you have no excuse but to make sure you are all set cookie-wise. The good news is that we at boldit.studio have a solution to that and if we are going to build your website, it will be 100% cookie-proof. Because, well, we love cookies 🙂

“People have got to learn: if they don't have cookies in the cookie jar, they can't eat cookies.”
~ Suze Orman, personal finance expert

On this day 18 years ago WordPress was released for the first time. Let’s look at some interesting facts about the world’s most used website building software.

The Predecessor

You probably haven’t heard of b2/cafelog - a blogging tool created by the French programmer Michel Valdrighi in 2001. It was designed for writing blogs by generating pages dynamically, which was a major innovation 20 years ago. Besides that, b2 is both the predecessor of WordPress and the reason of its existence.

The Birth of WordPress

In the end of 2002, Valdrighi stopped maintaining b2/cafelog without any notice. Matt Mullenweg, who was actively using Valdrighi’s software for his travel blog, was concerned about the lack of developer’s support:

“My blogging software hasn’t been updated for months, and the main developer has disappeared, and I can only hope that he’s okay... Fortunately, b2/cafelog is GPL, which means that I could use the existing codebase to create a fork, integrating all the cool stuff that Michael would be working on right now if only he was around…”
~ Matt Mullenweg

On May 27th 2003, WordPress 0.7, the first version of WordPress was released by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little

The Jazz

As a student, Matt studied jazz saxophone. His love to jazz music resulted in the famous “Hello Dolly” demo, which can be seen in every release since 2004. The plugin serves as a tribute to Louis Armstrong:

“Hello Dolly symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong.”
~ Matt Mullenweg

The Leader

Today, 18 years after its first release, WordPress is powering 41% of all existing websites. With its countless features and plugins, it has become the most preferred website builder all around the world. WordPress has won a number of awards and is continuously extending its functionalities and support.

Here at Boldit Studio we follow the latest trends in web design and do our best to create unique online identities for our customers, making sure their presence will not be left unnoticed. This would've been much harder and not so much fun without the flexibility, reliability and user-friendliness of WordPress. So cheers to that and happy 18th birthday, WordPress!

If you are tired of all the undesired information you are slammed with every day, you might already know why less is actually more. Minimalism is aimed to bring pleasant, effortless and time-saving experience to your website visitors, by eliminating useless visual elements and focusing on flat design.

Simplicity is the key

Simple websites with fewer but meaningful options can bring much more value than a page full of non-functional distractions. A minimalist website is elegant, contains only essential information and is easy to navigate.

Focus on the purpose

An important principle of minimalism in the web design is focusing on the main content. This means that when a user enters your website, they should instantly understand what is its purpose. You might have already experienced that when entering our boldit.studio website.

Negative space

One common element of the minimalism is the negative space. This is literally the empty space between elements. By using negative space, the most important features of your website can easily be recognised by the user.

Limited colour palette

The less is more rule is also valid when it comes to the choice of colours. While it might be difficult to stick to just a couple of colours out of the vast variety we have at hands, that is a crucial part of the minimalist approach. Like images and graphics, colours can add visual satisfaction and bring attention to your content. Moreover, we have to choose carefully and focus on high contrast and excellent content readability.

Fewer images - better user engagement

Images are a great way to present a product, idea or just to engage your audience by bringing certain emotions or memories. However, according to the minimalist ideology, images should be picked wisely. They have to be consistent with the overall style and purpose of the website and must not dominate over the rest of the content. You don’t want your visitors to overlook important information. Too many images can also slow down your website’s performance.

Don’t underestimate typography

No matter how awesome your website design is, inappropriate font can easily damage the good impression. Typography can grab even more attention than images when combined with the negative space, so we should not undervalue its power. Needless to say, the font should be readable and not too sophisticated. A good example of minimalistic font is Helvetica - one of the most widely used.

While we follow the above-mentioned (and more) minimalism guidelines for our designs, there are multiple other factors that need to be taken into account. At boldit.studio, we build unique minimalist designs tailored to your needs, following the latest web design trends.

There is a common thread about design in general, and web design in particular - is it art or is it science? Should the form and appearance prevail, or should functionality and usability define it? We have gathered our thoughts about this and decided to share them so you know better how we approach the matter.

Graphic, or Visual design often looks like a piece of art and can easily be mistaken for one. But is it really?

Purpose

Design, unlike Art, is created with the purpose of solving certain problems. Art often has goals too, but in order for something to be considered as a piece of art it usually has to transcend far beyond daily purpose.

Design also needs to have a clear message. What-is-the-author-trying-to-say question might come as a good sign for art but it’s definitely bad when it comes to design.

Even more so in Web Design which has some Visual design in it, yes, but it also incorporates:

  • communication design;
  • user interaction design;
  • information architecture design;
  • etc.

Because of all these Web design success can be measured and is more or less objective while art remains subjective.

Recap

  1. Visual design is closest to art, but it’s not;
  2. Visual design is just a small part of Web design;
  3. Web design is objective, while art is subjective.

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.”
~ Cameron Moll, UX leader & strategist

OK, but does all that mean websites should not necessarily look beautiful? Of course they should! Part of their purpose is to provide satisfying user experience after all. But a website visual look should mostly help users get the right message and interact with the content in a meaningful way, not interfere with that. That is why we like to build well thought out minimalistic designs, with nice details and less visual noise.

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