Web Design

Using free resources like icons, logos and infographics as linkbait

Linkbait

It’s pretty much exactly one year since I started working on my WHCompare.com website. It is a site with details about web hosting plans for easy comparison of plan vs plan by different web hosting companies based on set filters – So far I’ve been failing!

However, now I am at least satisfied with the web design and the site has enough content to be a bit useuful I belive, so I won’t give up on it yet. At the moment it only gets about 1 organic search visitor a day though. If any of the following tactics to get links will succeed it should get a boost in traffic over time!

Infographic as linkbait

One of the stategies I had for getting links and a little boost for the website initially and over time also was to create an infographic that I thought I could use to get backlinks to with cold e-mail outreach.

I am not sure exactly where I went wrong. I thought the infographic was pretty useful and good looking. I only got one backlink for it so far and now it’s been a year and it would need to be updated. At least I got one link so it was not a total failure!

Free icon graphics as linkbait

Another way I was hoping to get backlinks and some referral traffic was to release free web hosting icons. I got help from an amazing designer that created 29 smooth style web hosting icons. I have been sharing these on various free resources sites that gives backlinks. Including on IconFinder, IconStore, and on All Free Download.

I was hoping to get a backlink from each of these sites, and also some from other sites that wanted to share the link to the original resources used when using the icons or wanting to share them with their own visitors.

The icon pack is pretty much buried on All Free Download and at least SEMRush has not found it and listed it yet, neither are links from the 2 other sites. I got a link from another logo website though: Icon-Icons.com. That looks like an IconFinder clone.

The biggest reason that the icon set is hard to find on All Free Downloads is my own and that I did not enter enough descriptive tags for the icon set. And I can’t find a way to edit the upload now unfortunately.

The guys over at IconFinder has told me though that they will implement backlinks from the pages with the icons sometime, but that they’re a little busy right now so it could take some time. I just hope those will be dofollow and also that they will count for something and not be regarded as spammy once all or most of their ~3 million icons get external links.

Logo templates as linkbait

The same designer that made me the icons has agreed to make 5 web hosting logo templates that should be ready soon. I will use the same strategy when sharing those as with the icons.

Will double down

I have not given up though and I guess it could take some time for people to start finding, using and linking to these resources. I have decided that I will double down and hire 2 more freelance designers to create 2 or 3 more icon packs that I hope will get more traction.

I will create another post regarding this as I learn and experince more regarding building links for this website.

Where to get stock photos, graphics, images and icons for websites online

Photo Camera

If you write your own blog or have other kind of websites where you publish of refurbish content you will most likely often be looking to for images online. There’s lots of websites offering different kind of image files, including photos, illustrations, icons and other image files that you can use for free or by paying a small fee for the standard license.

I myself have long been mostly using free websites for the graphics that I need. However I recently decided to use payed stock photo sites to get a better selection of resources to use for my web publishing.

Stock photo sites

I started out using Dreamstime and that is a really nice site because of the huge selection that they offer at a really cheap price. I used it for about a year on and off, as I neded images. I was dissapointed to find that when I cancelled the recurring membership that the unused credits I had left dissapeared.

Currently I’ve got a yearly memebership for Adobe Stock, I really like how it integrates with Photoshop CC 2019 and lets me search for images right within the software. Also, the fact that they’ve got lots of templates for easy editing with Photoshop was another reason I changed from Dreamstime to Adobe Stock.

Free icons and small graphics

Another resource that I use a lot is IconFinder. It is packed with free icons. many of which are available in 512x512px PNG and vector formats, which can make them useable for illustrations in blog posts as well. However, each of the icons available for download on IconFinder has different licenses. You can filter the search results to only include free icons, but some will require you to link back to the authors website. You can also select to only include icons that do not require you to link back. I use those two filters all the time and usually find good icons for most of my needs.

When using the icons you should check what the license says. Many of the icons says: “Free for commercial use”, some says “Free for commercial use with a link back to the authors website” and some use other licenses like MIT and CC.

FREE tools to minimize the size of your images without loosing quality

Sqeezing a lemon

I first heard about TinyPNG on a podcast. I think it was on a Growth Everywhere podcast where Eric Siu (the host) asks the guests for their best new tools that they’ve started using recently.

I have been working a lot over the last year with trying to optimize the loading times of the different websites of mine for SEO benefits as well as for user experience.

Smaller file size – same image quality

I was really amazed to see that the TinyPNG tool quickly, for free, and easily minimized some of the image files on my websites by up to 75%. After reducing the quality of images only to gain a few percentage points of savings with the save for web feature in Photoshop I was really pleasantly surprised at how much some of the images could be optimized without even noticeably loosing any quality.

Little to save for some images

I’ve found that JPG files that has been saved for web with Photoshop CC 2018 and reduced in quality has only 1% – 2% room for savings with TinyPNG. High resolution JPG (60 quality) files can save more though, about ~15%. PNG images and especially those with only a few colors seems to be the image files with the most room for improvement using TinyPNG. The lemon squeezing photo above was saved with PS CC 2019 in PNG-8 format and was reduced from 14.8 KB to 12.3 KB using TinyPNG.

Free vs Pro version

You can use the tool for free for as many images as you need to optimize. However, you can only add up to 20 images at once, after that you need to refresh the site and to reset the counter. There’s also a max filesize of 5 MB.

If you need to optimize more images at once and also increase the maz filesize limit to 25 MB you would need to pay for the pro version. It is currently available for $25/year.

Squoosh app by Google

Google recently also developed and published their own free tool called Squuosh.app. This web application is a little bit different than TinyPNG in that it only lets you minimize one image at a time.

At doing that though it is even better than TinyPNG and it lets you compare the original image with the new minimized one. You can select between 6 different image file formats, as well as setting your desired quality vs file size. Also, there’s lots of advanced options.

14 Great free web design tools

I was looking around for some web design tools to help me create some nice backgrounds for our free WordPress Theme, EasyTheme, when I stumbled across a great free and very easy to use collection of web design tools. These tools will enable you to easily design high quality web 2.0 striped backgroundsimage reflections,glossy navigation tabs and tartan patterns online without having to know anything about CSS. I hope these online web design tools will provide as useful to you as to me!

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6 Ways to code CSS buttons

Stylish buttons can be created by CSS 3. The first ones are pretty simple to code and the latter buttons become more advanced. Bear in mind that older browsers will not display these correctly so be sure to check with your preferred browsers how these will display.

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