Time To Abandon Social Sharing Icons?

After reading the following article, I realized that I too have witnessed social media sharing icons on many a website never gain any traction. It is as if they are completely ignored. I went on and removed them on this website moments ago.

Why I’m Done with Social Media Buttons

As someone mentions in the article’s comments section, there are certain instances where social sharing buttons are a good idea, and you should definitely make them look nice and work well when they are useful. However, sticking them at the end of every blog post just because some SEO-grading web tool says you should is not necessarily a good plan, based on the evidence.

Keep in mind, I’m referring to sharing icons, not follow-me icons (those which take visitors to your social media page).

Free Stock Photos: Many Resources

2014-02-08_10-09-19Thanks to a thread over on Reddit, I have discovered a world of free, use-for-anything stock photography resources. They range from websites where you can sign up for free photos to be delivered via email to those where you can search and browse, and they all tend to not be very crappy!

While I’m not a fan of smiling faces on websites because of the impersonal feeling, and the fact that Google might soon penalize you for using stock photography, I do like the idea of having free resources available which can be used for compiling visuals that help narrate a story on your website. The following links are full of such images, and much more.

Disclaimer: Always read the fine print, just in case, to make sure you are allowed to use the image you are downloading without attribution or payment! Whenever possible, it’s still a good gesture to give credit where credit is due, even if you don’t have to legally.

Google Image Search for Commercial Reuse

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot search Google Images and simply use any photo you find in your project. This specially crafted search, however, produces images that are OK for commercial use and modification:
Google commercial reuse image search

Note: It is possible for images found here to have been reposted by someone who copied it from the original source. Just because you find it on Google Image search for commercial use doesn’t mean it’s absolutely OK to use without proper credit/compensation. 

Flickr

Similar to the above Google Images search, you can browse Flickr using a similar technique:
Flickr Creative Commons license photo search

IM Free

This site lets you search a collection of curated photos for commercial use:
http://imcreator.com/free

Gratis Photography

While not easily searchable, there are some great photos on this website.
http://www.gratisography.com/

Photo Pin

Here you can search for “free photos for bloggers and creatives”. Enough said.
http://photopin.com/

Creative Commons Search

“Find content that you can share, use and remix.” Just make sure you leave checked the checkboxes for ‘commercial purposes’ and ‘modify, adapt…’
http://search.creativecommons.org/

New Old Stock

Some amazing photos from times gone by, this site pulls from the public archives.
http://nos.twnsnd.co/

Pic Jumbo

Another site with free photos for you use.
http://picjumbo.com/

SplitShire

This fellow asks for attribution or a donation for coffee via his website if you want to use the photos he offers. He has some great images that would be well worth it.
http://splitshire.com/

Pixabay

A repository for free public domain images.
http://pixabay.com/

Little Visuals

You can sign up via email to get 7 free images delivered to your inbox so that you can start building your own library of stock photography.
http://littlevisuals.co/

Unsplash

Similar to Little Visuals, except that this site sends you 10 photos a day. They all tend to be on the awesome side of great.
http://unsplash.com/

Fin

Speaking of free coffee, if you enjoyed this blog post and would like to see more like it, send me a little donation!




Find The Perfect WordPress Theme

If you are not a fan of making your own theme, you can use the nifty Find Themes website to pick one that suits your needs. While I have built many a WordPress theme from scratch, on this site, I tend to try out different themes other people have made so that I can learn more about the whole process. Now that I’ve found Find Themes, you may be seeing the theme here change again very soon.

Responsive Design and WordPress

This year we have seen the dawning of the responsive design craze amongst web designers and developers. I remained skeptical about the trend, primarily because I was raised in the world of good usability and accessibility, and breakpoints and adaptive images seemed incongruous and presumptuous with the foundations of those schools of thought. While responsive design proponents like to say that multi-device adaptation is providing good usability, I disagree.

Relating to my favorite CMS, WordPress, the whole responsive design trend has rubbed me in even more wrong ways. I’ve watched designer after designer dive into responsive WordPress themes, and I’ve even tried using a few myself, only to leave me wondering…why?

This article has some great analyses on this exact topic, and it provides some good food for thought in regards to responsive design and WordPress. From the article:

My biggest issue with responsive design is that it is a reactive client-side approach which, in the context of a server-side content management system like WordPress, seems completely unnecessary.

What are your thoughts on responsive design and WordPress?