Hey! all you software development folks out there. If you are into website development and design, and have been looking for icons for long now, you know that there are quite a few available online but most of the good ones come for a price. You may find resources to free ones as well but usually the quality is not all that impressive.
Recently Abdylas Tynyshov of the User Interface Icons has floated for free download and usage, varied icons numbering a total of 560. All the icons have the PNG format and they are available in four different sizes such as 24/24 Pixels, 32/32 Pixels, 48/48 Pixels and 80/80 Pixels. As far as the license is concerned, they have been shared under the Creative Commons License. You can get the icons for download from User Interface Icons website.
The total number of icons for download are indeed 560, however that’s not the number of unique icons. It’s the availability in four different sizes, that makes them 560 (140 X 4), the distinct ones are only 140. The different sizes should fit the bill for many users and uses. It would perhaps save a lot of time consumed in resizing the images, and a possible loss of quality in doing so. Here are some icons
You can preview the whole set at User Interface
The icons are all available in the PNG (‘ping’) format and have a nice transparent background. However the truly unique designs of the icons amount to only 75, the rest 65 are variations of the first 75. Variations include different connotations such as Add/Remove/Edit etc. They can be quite helpful for representing different status of an entity (printer, fax, clock, lock etc.)
The download of the icons should be fast even for an average Internet connection as the file has been zipped. So the total size is just 1.46 MB. Three clicks from the home page and you are already downloading the stuff.
The icons have been released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This license basically allows you to copy and store the icons on your PC, and even use them for commercial software development and design. As far as sharing the icons is concerned, you are totally free to do so however you’d need to let the the terms of usage file (Use.txt) remain as it is.
Then there are things however, that you cannot ignore about the license. You are not allowed to say that they are owned by you, the only owner of the icons is Abdylas Tynyshov. You can’t sell them to others in anyway or even compile them into a bunch and offer as a free gift. Besides, it might be a good idea to credit the author, for being nice and making the icons available for free.
So good luck for your projects!
Here’s a collection of catchy and fashionable web badges for free usage by Web20Badges. You might wanna use some of these to make your website more attractive and impressive.
Many times we want to have graphics on our web pages, but the dilemma sometimes is that we either do not have the access to swanky image editors (viz. Photosho, Corel, etc.), or we might not even want to pay that hefty fee for getting it done professionally. But you know that when it is to be done, the work needs to be done (at any cost!, did I say?). Web20Badges allows you to do just that and produce professional looking badges at no cost (if you skip the cost linked to browsing the Internet). You can create great badges using the 20 badge templates available, that are fairly customizable in terms of colors, font size, orientation, etc.
See some sample templates below:
In order to make your badge, you need to first select any badge design. There are in all 20 designs of different shapes and sizes, to choose from. When you click on a particular badge design, it would show on the small window on the left that promptly reflects the changes as you make them. See below:
You can easily customize your composition by maneuvering and manipulating the controls pertaining to Text, Fonts (CoolVetica, Runnings, StylPlain, Unconform, Ariel, and Verdana), Font Size, Font Colors, X Coordinate, Y Coordinate, Angle, and switch between Normal and Emboldened text.
See the controls below: Try out different text, fonts, coordinates, angle, etc. In order to see the changes simply click on apply after you’re done.
There are in all six fonts to choose from. The X,Y coordinates let you place the text of your badge across the shape of the badge. It is also easy to vary the angles and eventually hit on the one that seems to be the most appropriate for your purpose. Perhaps the most customizable feature is color. You can drag the pointers on the gradient controls till you find the most attractive and apt color combination.
While all this lets you try many different combinations, however the choice of fonts is a bit limited. Similarly manipulating the coordinates might entail a lot of guess work initially, but with some trial and error you should find your way with it. One aspect that stands out as a sore is that, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get a line break. It would hit those users the most who have many words to incorporate in the badge. Similarly there doesn’t seem to be a way to resize the badge there itself. So for all these missing features you may have to take the help of other image editing utilities (Paint, Photoshop, or as you may please!)
However the missing pieces should not dishearten you. While there might not be much professional scope online (i.e. on the website itself), you could very well make use of some image editors, and make some glamorously mind blowing badges. See below what all can be achieved with the help of the templates. The example badges are also links to websites (“text and video tutorials” as the website refers to them) that offer advice about how to unleash the true potential of Web 2.0.
All in all, you have at your disposal is a freely usable online utility to create professional looking badges in a jiffy. While there are many templates available, but the choice may be somewhat limited if you want to play around with designs like professionals. However if you know how to utilize an image editing software, coupled with the templates available online, you can pretty much create wonders out of badges.
Try your hand at it, and see for yourself whether it really caters to your needs or not.
Have you ever wondered what softwares Candidinfo uses to create and complete all our slick projects? No tough job this one, only you need to know that some of the best softwares do not come with a hefty price tag. Also, the best softwares, do not have to be complicated with too many features you know nothing about. Listed below are some of our favorites and obviously the leading Open source programs available.
- We love OpenOffice and its not because its free. While making presentations (spreadsheets) formatting is so simple and this is why most users and not just professionals prefer OpenOffice, for its user-friendly nature. OpenOffice has 6 components â€“ Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calculate and Base and i could not sing enough praises to do justice to this open software. OpenOffice can be used on various operating systems like Microsoft Windows, MacOS X, OpenVMS, Linux, IRIX, Solaris and FreeBSD. Though developed by StarDivision since 1999 it has been owned by Sun Microsystems. Scores more points than its Microsoft created programs.OpenOffice can be downloaded for free from the OpenOffice website.
- ClamWin comes highly recommended compared to most of the other anti virus open source softwares. Besides being non-profit, it is portable and it can be carried anywhere either in your ipod, USB flash drive or a portable hard drive. With a simple interface and no-nonsense user-friendly method of downloading, ClamWin wins big points. So many times, it has automatically deleted virus- infected mail from many an Outlook express account. Now, a software like this truly defeats its competitors. ClamWin can be downloaded for free from the ClamWin website.
- Based on its usability, PS Pad is the best free text editor open software available. PS Pad performs spell checks, operates on plain text files, auto- corrects, user-configurable syntax highlighting feature, handle many languages and can be used on many programming environments. And who needs to download files when you can directly edit it from the FTP server. PS Pad is (human) error- friendly as one can undo and redo as many times as he/she makes mistakes. PS Pad can be downloaded for free from the PS Pad website.
- short for â€œnew viewâ€. With Nvu web authoring becomes simpler as you can do it all without learning anything about HTML and with horrible spellings too (has spell-checker). The purpose of this software is to be the open software replacement for Macromedia DreamWeaver and Microsoft FrontPage and it rightfully can. With Nvu you can switch between WYSIWYG Editing Mode and HTML easily. It has tabs with which one can work on many pages at once. And since it is built on Gecko, everything you create is a preview of how your webpage would look once online. Nvu can be downloaded for free from the Nvu website.
- Blessed with most of the FTP options, faster and advanced with all the features, Firezilla is better than its contemporaries. Its purpose is to serve as site manager, transfer queue, message log, folder view and file. Filezilla is a very robust and powerful software which takes up minimal space in your hard drive but it wins points mostly due to its simplicity. Firezilla can be downloaded for free from the Firezilla website.
- Firefox easily is better than its counterparts specially because of its its multi-tab browsing functionality. Though IE 7 might have it, I don’t see the point in upgrading to a newer Microsoft Windows version everytime Microsoft has a new software. Comes with a search toolbar (Google). Besides, Firefox is also compatible with various other operating systems besides Microsoft Windows like Linux and Mac OS X. Mostly, Firefox’s pop-up blocker is a godsend. Firefox can be downloaded for free from the Firefox website.
- For file archiving, 7-Zip and its brilliant 7z format does it for our office. Extremely easy to use we strongly recommend this software. 7-Zip was created by Igor Pavlov. 7-Zip has a very high compression ratio. Though this free open source program was officially released with Microsoft Windows, it is compatible and works very well with Mac OS too. Its not just me approving this file, research also says that 7-Zip is almost 50% much better than other popular compatible zip files. z- Zip also has the benefit of having CLI added to its GUI. This is more than a 7Z archiver, if you are a Vista fanatic, 7-Zip workds absolutely well with it and think of it it unzips RAR, LZH, NSIS files,CPIO, RPM, DEB, CHM, Z, CAB, ISO and ARJ while also creating and unpacking 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR files. 7-Zip can be downloaded for free from the 7-Zip website.
Secret’s out. Do not undermine open softwares, they come packed with a whole lot of useful features and more. And most of all they are free, so start downloading.
After many years and 30 million downloads, PHP 4 will come to an end to make way for PHP 5. GoPHP5.org has a nice countdown to the same. With the same announcement comes an announcement from Pear: “the PEAR Project is happy to announce that the next version of PEAR, named PEAR2, is going to aim at being only available for PHP5.2 and newer versions of PHP.
PEAR2 is currently not released but under development with a new installer (Pyrus) coming along the way. Using the benefits of the PHP Archiver (PHAR) and the features that PHP5.2 offers, we can now produce better applications than ever using the PHP language.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“Today it is exactly three years ago since PHP 5 has been released. In those three years it has seen many improvements over PHP 4. PHP 5 is fast, stable & production-ready and as PHP 6 is on the way, PHP 4 will be discontinued.
The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use the rest of this year to make your application suitable to run on PHP 5.”
We at Candid, also decided to introduce PHP 5.2 on all of our linux servers with immediate effect (Gautam you listening!, long live PHP)
Link building simplified
Link building is very simply creating links between sites that have a reason to link to each other. High quality links positive influence the search engine rankings of a website. When the only reason sites link to each other is boosting search engine rankings, it is called spam.
Natural reason to link gets natural links
Now, what other reasons can there be for interlinking? Helping your visitors with useful resources could be one. Let’s say, you have a website about hotels in Greece. It seems obvious that visitors to your website might also be interested in place to see in Greece. So if there is another website which provides such information, it will be only natural to create links with the other website.
One of the other reasons for link building can be boosting visitors. Let’s go back to the above example. The visitors to the hotel site would be interested in the site about places and vice versa. Thus cross linking between the sites would open up channels for receiving visitors. When such links are multiplied in number, they become a considerable source of visitors.
Another reason can be adding to business margins. Going back to the same example, it is only logical that visitors will end up using making reservations in the hotel and using the tour services of the website about attractions. Similarly, we can include car rental websites, e-commerce websites specializing in local merchandise, websites of airlines – all of which fall under the scope of effective, ethical link building. These are commonly known as natural links.
What will not be ethical, effective and might as well be spam, is to link to a website offering web design and development services. This is one service that visitors to both our sites would not require by a long shot. At least, not on a trip to Greece. Therefore, it will not be seen as a natural link.
Reciprocal and non-reciprocal links
Ok, these are the two types of links that you have heard of so much.
As the name suggests, reciprocal links are links that are reciprocated for. That is, if you receive a link from another site you have to link back in return. So these are two way links that benefit both the sites involved. However, as you can infer, these are links which are easiest to exploit thanks to “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” syndrome. That is why search engines are veering away from adding too much importance to reciprocal links in ranking algorithms.
This only means that you can no longer rely solely on reciprocal links for your site’s rankings. But these links still add value to your website and should not be ignored. In fact, they are still an important way of getting traffic.
Non-reciprocal links are one-way links for which you don’t have to offer a link back. Thus, these links are expressions of trust made by others in the value of your website. No wonder, search engines love one way links.
There are two ways of getting non-reciprocal links. One is to pay others for it. Another would be to develop your website into a commendable resource that others can help linking to. One of the finest examples of such resources is Wikipedia. Directory and article submissions are other preferred ways of getting one way links.
Videos and fun games have emerged as a new effective way of getting one way links. For example, the SEO game Search Engine Smackdown created by Neil Patel of Pronet Advertising. Such innovative tactics are known as link baits.
Factors to consider in link building
There are a lot many factors to be considered in an effective link building process. The page that you link to have to have a high page rank and good content. It should not be more than three clicks away from the home page. There should not be far too many links on the page as that might amount o link spam.
In addition, the sites that you link to should not be from the bad neighborhood. As in they should not be related to gambling, pornography, betting or should not have a history of banning for spam activities. There are also directories which use 302 directions for sites resulting in hijacking and should, therefore, be avoided.
More on link spam and prohibited practices next time!