20 Cool Infographic Templates to Create Amazing Designs

In the era of internet, the process of learning becomes much more comfortable as it was before. Most people are visuals learners so visual content like infographics, slideshares, and videos are usually great marketing tools. Today I want to focus more on infographics and I want to give you some awesome examples of infographics that you can create.

First things first, let’s see what an infographic is.
An infographic is a presentation of data using different images, charts, graphs, and maps to make this information easy to understand and remember. A lot of companies use infographics as a marketing tool to promote their new products, tell about new features, and notify users about their brand.

In this list, we are going to share 20 cool infographic templates to create amazing designs for your business. You’ll find various maps, charts, bars, icons, titles, pie charts and other elements to help you combine useful infographics!

1. Crooked Stats Infographic Kit


2. Weekdone Infographics Kit [freebie]


3. Infographic template


4. Shopping Infographics Slide Template


5. Circular templates pack


6. Company time line with road


7. Options banners


8. Classic infographic banners collection


9. Education infography in flat design


10. Set of useful infographic elements in flat design


11. Infographic template


12. Nice businessman with speech bubbles


13. World map infographic design


14. Cycle Chart with Four Elements Slide


15. Free Infographic Vector Template


16. Free Vector Infographic Elements


17. Free Flat Chart Infographic Vector


18. Free Vector Infographic Elements


19. Timeline Infographic Vectors


20. World Map Infographic design


Read More at 20 Cool Infographic Templates to Create Amazing Designs

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/20-cool-infographic-templates-to-create-amazing-designs/

25 Free Watercolor Brush Sets to Use in Your Designs

Photoshop tools like icons, brushes, shapes, fonts, help designers and photographers get more work done faster without compromising quality. All of these design elements are available online for free.

In this collection, we have handpicked 25 free watercolor brush sets to use in your designs. You can use them to create beautiful textures, headers, social media images, banners, flyers, posters, business cards and more. The collection has splashes of watercolor with different sizes and shape, so you’ll definitely choose what you need.

1. Watercolor Splatters


2. Dried Blood Splatters


3. 25 Watercolor and Ink Photoshop Brushes No.4


4. WG Watercolor Brushes Vol1


5. 75 High Quality Watercolor Photoshop Brushes (Vol.2)


6. 69 Watercolor Photoshop Brushes


7. 10 Free Watercolor Photoshop Brushes


8. Free Watercolor Photoshop Brushes 6


9. 25 Watercolour and Ink Photoshop Brushes No.5


10. Free Watercolor Wash Photoshop Brushes


11. Free Watercolor Wash Photoshop Brushes 2


Free Watercolor Wash Photoshop Brushes 6


13. Watercolor Mask PS Brushes


14. WaterColor Reloaded


15. WaterColor EXTREMUM


16. Paint Trails brushes


17. watercolor brushes – 1


18. 25 Free Paint Brushes


19. 20 Watercolor Mask PS Brushes abr


20. Watercolor Basics


21. 20 Watercolor Mask PS Brushes abr.


22. WG Dry Paint Strokes


23. Free Ink Splatter Photoshop Brushes 3


24. Free Concrete Paint Photoshop Brushes 9


25. Acrylic Paint


Read More at 25 Free Watercolor Brush Sets to Use in Your Designs

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/25-free-watercolor-brush-sets-to-use-in-your-designs/

25 Creative Business Card Designs for Your Inspiration

These days we are used to meeting people online. However, if you go to any event and want to get your name out there, a business card is one of the best ways to share your contact details with people.

A business card should reflect your branding style and your goals. Creative professionals, such as designers, photographers, artists could use images and some other unusual design layouts.

At the same time, if you re an owner of local car workshop or a teacher, your business card should be more strict and restrained. In this collection, we have shared 20 creative business card designs you would love. Just scroll down and get inspired.

1. iLabs Business Card


2. Florbank – Business cards


3. The Hive


4. Airluxe


5. Ueno Rebrand : Business cards #3


6. Darn Good Business Cards


7. Tom Appleton Design Business Cards


8. Iphone Business Card Vol.2


9. New site!


10. Pasta restaurant business card


11. Veranda


12. Herschel’s Coffee Co


13. Neostalgia


14. Free Natural Business Card Template


15. Sarta Milano


16. Spy Bar Business Cards


17. Sister


18. Work pattern


19. Sara Business Card


20. San Diego Coffee Co.


21. Personal Business Card


22. I/C – Business Card


23. La Glace Premium French Ice Cream


24. Personal business card


25. Lacali – Summer Business Card


Read More at 25 Creative Business Card Designs for Your Inspiration

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/25-creative-business-card-designs-for-your-inspiration/

20 Free Retro and Vintage Fonts to Use in 2018

The memories of yesterday evoke a sense of nostalgia in all of us. Retro years usually refer to the time before nowadays, up to the last century. Images from 1900 up to late 1980 comes to mind first. Retro and vintage designs are determined by typography.

So, if you are going to work on some vintage-inspired project in future, you need proper fonts in your designer’s arsenal. In this collection, we have handpicked 20 retro and vintage free fonts which you can use for postcards, websites, mobile app, t-shirts, logos, badges, and branding identity. It’s all up to you.

1. High Life


2. Frontage


3. Banana Yeti Typeface


4. Sonder


5. Besom


6. Garment


7. Monthoers Free Font


8. Endoell


9. Bough Typeface


10. Old Growth


11. Phalanx


12. Henrik


13. Berg


14. Brilon Font


15. Ansley Display


16. Cornerstone


17. Streetwear Font


18. Streamster


19. Bukhari


20. Paralines – Free Font


Read More at 20 Free Retro and Vintage Fonts to Use in 2018

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/free-retro-and-vintage-fonts-2017/

We Studied Our Top Social Media Posts of 2017. Here’s What We Learned.

We are grateful for people who share what worked (and what didn’t) for them on social media. And we’ve learned a lot from their experiences.

With 2017 coming to an end, I thought it might be helpful to do a review of our social media performance and share the findings with you.

In this post, you’ll find our top five posts of the year of each of our social media profiles and what we’ve learned from them. Plus, you’ll also learn about our top 100 most shared blog posts of 2017. I hope you’ll find this information helpful!

Best of 2017: Our Top Social Media Posts, Most Shared Blog Posts, and Key Takeaways

Our top social media posts of the year

We think social media is becoming more for engagement and brand building than referral traffic and revenue. So a top social media post to us is one that generates the most reach and engagement.

These social media posts are ordered according to their reach rather than engagement as it’s easier to get that data. Having said that, we found that the higher the reach, the more engagement a post likely gets.

Let’s jump right in!

Top 5 Facebook posts

Our Facebook Page Likes grew from 79,152 to 105,835 so far this year. Here are our top five Facebook posts:


  • 803,196 people reached
  • 9,100 reactions


  • 732,863 people reached
  • 4,300 reactions
  • 364,000 video views


  • 492,821 people reached
  • 2,900 reactions
  • 190,000 video views


  • 468,920 people reached
  • 7,400 reactions


  • 334,516 people reached
  • 644 reactions
  • 34,372 link clicks

Our learnings:

One key lesson, which will come up a few times in this blog post, is the power of social media for engagement rather than traffic or revenue. Four of the five top posts were meant for purely driving reach and engagement. And they performed incredibly well.

That isn’t to say social media cannot be used for driving traffic and revenue. One of the top posts drove a decent amount of traffic to our blog (with the help of Facebook advertising). But Facebook is becoming less effective as a referral source.

Parse.ly tracks the referral traffic to more than 2,500 online media sites and found that referral traffic from Facebook has been declining this year.

Parsely referral traffic trend - Facebook

For us, Facebook brings in only about one percent of our blog traffic.

The second lesson is the effectiveness of curating popular, relevant posts. Our top four Facebook posts are all curated content. They are content that has proven to be popular on social media, and they also resonated with our target audience. They helped us reach many people who haven’t heard of us before and converted them into our Facebook Page fans.

The final lesson is that boosting Facebook posts that have performed well organically worked great for us. When those posts perform well organically, we know that our Facebook Page fans loved them. By putting a little advertising money behind them, we were able to show them to people who are similar to our existing fans and who will very likely engage with those posts.

Our top 5 tweets

We grew our Twitter following from 732,467 to 920,480 so far this year. Here are our top five tweets:


  • 175,752 impressions
  • 868 link clicks


  • 126,390 impressions


  • 123,904 impressions


  • 102,123 impressions


  • 101,695 impressions

Our learnings:

The power of engagement over traffic comes up again. Even though the best tweet was seen more than 175,000 times, it led to only 868 link clicks. That’s about 0.5 percent clickthrough rate. Hence, we have been experimenting with more on-site content, such as videos like this. This way, without having to leave Twitter, our followers are still able to get valuable information from us and engage with us.

The second lesson is the power of re-using top content (occasionally). For example, we tweeted a video four times over four months. Here are the second, third, and fourth tweets. While the subsequent tweets had less engagement, we almost doubled the amount of engagement.

The power of re-using top content

One last thing I noticed is the percentage of organic reach. With around 900,000 Twitter followers, our best posts only reached about 10 percent of our followers. With Twitter’s recent introduction of new ad formats, will it become a pay-to-play channel, like Facebook? Will you pay to play?

Top 5 Instagram posts

Our Instagram following grew from 19,600 to 33,200 so far this year. Here are our top five Instagram posts (sorted by engagement level):


  • 1,697 engagement
  • 47 saved
  • 7,848 reach


  • 1,605 engagement
  • 25 saved
  • 9,790 reach


  • 1,202 engagement
  • 30 saved
  • 7,608 reach


  • 1,189 engagement
  • 35 saved
  • 8,640 reach


  • 1,173 engagement
  • 8 saved
  • 5,327 reach

Our learnings:

Being a fully-distributed company that sells a software, we don’t have a product or an office to take photos of. We had to be creative with our Instagram marketing strategy. So we adopted a user-generated content strategy, and it worked brilliantly. When we started this strategy in mid-2016, we only had about 4,000 followers. Now, we have over 30,000 engaged followers who would like or comment on our posts and watch our Instagram Stories.

The second lesson is the (very) high organic reach percentage on Instagram. Our best post has an organic reach of about 26 percent – unmatched by other social media platforms. That said, in terms of absolute value, the organic reach is much lower than other platforms for us as we started growing our Instagram following much later than our Twitter and Facebook following.

The final lesson is the importance of photo quality on Instagram. Instagram is a highly curated platform. Facebook found that Instagram users prefer beautiful visual content and often post such high-quality content themselves1. To engage our audience on Instagram, we post similarly high-quality content.

Top 5 LinkedIn posts

Our LinkedIn Company Page following grew from 12,771 to 16,343 so far this year. Here are our top five LinkedIn posts:

Top LinkedIn post 1

  • 56,869 impressions
  • 130 social actions (likes, comments, and shares)

Top LinkedIn Post 2

  • 54,961 impressions
  • 219 social actions

Top LinkedIn post 3

  • 20,520 impressions
  • 41 social actions

Top LinkedIn post 4

  • 16,784 impressions
  • 88 social actions

Top LinkedIn post 5

  • 15,196 impressions
  • 77 social actions

Our learnings:

One thing that stood out to me is that our LinkedIn followers love data and statistics. And I think that makes sense. LinkedIn is a more professional social network than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and people are there for informative, educational content.

That might also be why our post on LinkedIn algorithm resonated with our followers.

Something else I noticed while going through our analytics is the high impression rate. For our 10 most recent LinkedIn posts, the average number of impressions (around 6,500) is about 40 percent of our total followers (around 16,000), without any advertising money. Since someone can see a post more than once, the number of unique followers reached is likely less than 40 percent but perhaps not too far off.

This is great news if you want to boost your brand awareness through LinkedIn.

Finally, we also noticed that LinkedIn has quietly grown their member base to 500 million, and we feel that LinkedIn will become an even more promising marketing channel going forward.

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100 most shared blog posts

Apart from top social media posts, let’s also take a look at our most shared blog posts — blog posts that performed best on social media. Using Buzzsumo, I was able to easily find our most shared blog posts in the past year.

Here are the top five (with the remaining in a spreadsheet):

1. Why I Think Social Media Is For Branding and Engagement, Not Traffic or Revenue

Most shared blog post 1

  • 1,884 Facebook engagements*
  • 2,022 LinkedIn shares
  • 2,286 Twitter shares
  • 99 Pinterest shares

*Instead of shares alone, Buzzsumo also includes Likes and comments for Facebook.

2. 20 Creative Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

Most shared blog post 2

  • 1,802 Facebook engagements
  • 1,113 LinkedIn shares
  • 2,369 Twitter shares
  • 102 Pinterest shares

3. The Simple Facebook Posting Strategy That Helped us 3x Our Reach and Engagement

Most shared blog post 3

  • 2,055 Facebook engagements
  • 1,225 LinkedIn shares
  • 1,729 Twitter shares
  • 63 Pinterest shares

4. 11 Storytelling Formulas to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing

Most shared blog post 4

  • 5, 052 shares
  • 1,346 Facebook engagements
  • 1,560 LinkedIn shares
  • 2,049 Twitter shares
  • 97 Pinterest shares

5. Why There’s No Perfect Time to Post on Facebook

Most shared blog post 5

  • 2,733 Facebook engagements
  • 999 LinkedIn shares
  • 983 Twitter shares
  • 48 Pinterest shares

If you’re interested in checking out our 100 most shared blog posts and the number of shares each of them has received, you can find them here:

Buffer’s 100 Most Shared Blog Posts in 2017

Buffer's 100 Most Shared Blog Posts in 2017

Our learnings:

Based on our most shared blog posts, it seems that two types of content are widely shared on social media by our audience. The first is opinionated, thought leadership content such as the first and the fifth most shared blog posts. The second type of content is blog posts that focus on actionable tactics.

To understand why they are so highly shared, I turn to Wharton professor and author of Contagious, Jonah Berger. According to Jonah Berger, there are six key ingredients to make something viral2:

  • Social currency
  • Triggers
  • Emotion
  • Public
  • Practical value
  • Stories

STEPPS Contagious Framework

While our most shared blog posts don’t have all six ingredients, they do give our audience social currency and practical value, which likely helped make the blog posts highly shared.

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If you also want to get your best of 2017…

Reviewing your social media performance is great for learning what has worked (and what has not) and how to improve going forward. If you would like to find your top social media posts for 2017, I want to quickly share a way to do that with your Buffer dashboard:

First, select the social media account you want to review. Then, go to the analytics in your Buffer dashboard, and click on the “Posts” tab. Here, you’ll see your recent posts.

Buffer dashboard 1

Next, sort your posts according to your preference, such as most popular, most clicks, or most shares. If you wish to, you can also filter by post types, such as image posts, video posts, or link posts.

Buffer dashboard 2

Finally, set a custom timeframe — from Jan 1, 2017, to today’s date.

Buffer dashboard 3

Voilà! Here are your top posts for 2017. What can you learn from your top posts? Do you notice any trends in your top posts? Does any post stand out to you?

Tip: You can quickly reshare a top post by clicking on the “Re-Buffer” button on the right of a post. You’ll be able to edit the post before adding it to your queue or scheduling it for a particular date and time.


If you are not yet using Buffer for Business, we would love for you to give it a go and experience it!

Section separator

What do you want to see from us in 2018?

It has been fun looking through our top social media posts for 2017. I hope you find our learnings beneficial for your social media strategy.

Looking ahead into 2018, we would love to continue sharing content that you love on our social media accounts. What do you want to see from us? Is there any particular type of content you want us to share? Let us know!

Image credit: UnsplashJonah Berger

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from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/top-social-media-posts-2017

20 Creative Free Christmas Labels to Download

This holidays you can create postcards, flyers, invitations, and gift tags yourself. Just use these fantastic Christmas labels we have collected for you. This way you can add a personal handmade touch to your gifts and cards. Besides, it will help you to save money.

These incredible free Christmas labels can be downloaded, print and used for your postcard or gift tags. Here you’ll see Christmas labels with various decorations, snowflakes, trees, stickers, bells, and flowers. Just scroll down and choose which one you like.

1. Beautiful Christmas Label Set


2. Free Christmas Vector Labels


3. Typographic Christmas Label Set


4. Pack of elegant christmas stickers


5. Christmas logo collection


6. Cute Hand Drawn Christmas Labels


7. Merry Christmas Background


8. Hand Drawn Marker Pen Style Christmas Labels


9. Merry Christmas Greeting Labels


10. Creative christmas tree design made with dots background


11. Free Vintage Hand Drawn Christmas Ball With Lettering


12. Free Vintage Hand Drawn Christmas Card Background


13. Christmas Chalkboard Labels


14. Ornamental Merry Christmas Template


15. Christmas Vector Badges And Labels


16. Free Vector Christmas Floral Background


17. Free Vector Christmas Tree


18. Free Vector Christmas Bell


19. Retro Merry Christmas Illustration


20. Free Christmas Deer Vector


Read More at 20 Creative Free Christmas Labels to Download

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/free-christmas-labels-download/

7 Tips for Building a Career in Marketing (Advice and Insights From Top Founders and Investors)

“How did you get into marketing?”

At Buffer, members of our marketing team are often asked this question. And the truth is, the path looks different for each of us:

  • Alfred was in the army
  • Arielle was a health coach
  • Kevan, our Marketing Director, was a sports reporter

But for those of you out there who want to start a career in marketing or maybe build from where you are in 2018, we’d love to help you figure out:

  • How can you transition from your current role into marketing?
  • What should you focus on learning?
  • What skills do you need?

To help answer these questions (and more!), we’ve teamed up with Product Hunt, who recently published their first book on careers. The book highlights the best insights from top founders and investors on mentorship, overcoming challenges, and the best and worst career advice they’ve received.

In this post, we’ll share some of the insights from Product Hunt’s book — including lessons from Tim Ferriss and Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian— as well as some advice on building a career in marketing from the Buffer marketing team.

Ready to jump in?

7 Tips for building a career in marketing

1. Form habits around your strengths

You are the average of the five people you associate with most. Also, you don’t need to get much right to be and feel successful. Just form habits around one or two strengths.

Tim Ferriss

In Product Hunt’s book, Tim Ferriss’ #1 piece of advice for anyone looking to kickstart their career is to “Form habits around a few strengths.”

And at Buffer, we’ve built our marketing team around our individual, core strengths. For example, as an Editor, I focus mainly on my strengths in content marketing and SEO:

As Kevan explains in our t-shaped marketer post:

Generally-speaking, everyone on the Buffer marketing team will have all the base knowledge and marketing foundation skills; plus, each teammate will have chosen at least one main channel in which they are an expert.

Try to form habits around whatever discipline of marketing you’re most excited about:

  • If you’re into video, download some stock footage and start editing it
  • If you want to become an SEO master, try reading as much content as possible from places like Moz, Ahrefs and Backlinko
  • If writing is your thing, set aside time in your calendar each day to sit and write

It can be daunting to look at marketing and think you need to fully master: analytics, data, CRO, SEM, advertising, copywriting, SEO, community and more.

But in reality, to be a successful marketer, you don’t need to be an expert in every channel: one or two areas of expertise will be enough.

However, before diving right in and choosing an area or two to focus on, experiment with a bunch of different skills to see what’s the best fit for you.

2. “No” is just a starting point

The best piece of advice I ever received was that “No” is often just the starting point, and most careers worth having involve a fair amount of determination, grit, and just general “try, try again”-ing.

Kathryn Minshewf, Founder of The Muse

When it comes to kickstarting a career in marketing—or even climbing the ladder, you’ll likely hear “No” and a lot more than “Yes”.

From pitching editors content ideas to applying for various roles and freelance gigs, throughout my career, I’ve been told “No” plenty of times.

But what I learned along the way was that each “No” was bringing me a step closer to a “Yes”. For example, each article pitch I had rejected helped me to eventually land my first paid writing gig with Crew.

And When I landed my role at Buffer, it was actually the second time I applied — Kevan, who’s now our Marketing Director, was also unsuccessful in his first Buffer application

Kevan used the above note as motivation and failing to land his dream job helped him to realize where he could focus his energy to improve.

Treat each “No” as an opportunity to learn and refine your skills.

3. Focus on timeless skills

Write every day. Even if you’re not a writer, I find this practice to be clarifying for many things.

MG Siegler, Partner at Google Ventures

There are certain skills that will never become outdated in marketing. To name a few:

  • Communication
  • Writing
  • Storytelling

These skills will always be valuable.

For example, whether it’s a blog post, copy for a landing page or captions for a video, writing will always be a key skill for marketers to have.

And before joining Buffer, Kevan used to write 2,000 words minimum every day to help improve his craft. Alfred also challenged himself to write every day before he worked at Buffer and again when he first transitioned into a content-focused role.

Try to find opportunities in everyday life where you can practice these timeless skills.

For instance:

  • Treat every tweet or email you send as a chance to improve your writing skills
  • Next time you’re speaking with a customer service agent, think about how you can make your communication really clear and easy to understand
  • The next time you compose a Facebook status, think about how you can effectively tell the story you’re looking to share (these storytelling formulas may help)


4. Pursue side hustles

If you’ve got things you want to build, just build them for the sake of learning a new thing.

Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit

At Buffer, we love side projects.

And when it comes to marketing, side projects can be a great way to learn new skills and embrace areas you’re passionate about.

For example, when our content crafter, Alfred, was keen to learn more about design and coding websites, he set out on a mission to redesign his personal site and code the changes himself.


This side project enabled Alfred to level up his skills and now he can even commit changes to Buffer code:

Without taking on this side project, Alfred may not have had the opportunity to learn about design and development. But through a side project he’s picked up some skills that are invaluable to our team.

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, side projects are a great way to learn and level up your skills.

When it comes to thinking about a side project, I love the three rules for side projects that Hiut Denim Co shared on Medium:

  1. They don’t have to provide you with a living. You can still eat if they fail.
  2. They don’t have a deadline. And as there is no time pressure, you don’t revert to your usual formula. You try new things. You experiment. You take risks.
  3. This is a Labour of Love. You provide the ‘Labour’. And you provide the ‘Love’. So when you spend time on it, it is because you really want to. That keeps you coming back and pushing it on. That’s important. This thing will require you to keep plugging away at it, maybe, for years.

And across the Buffer marketing team we still embrace side projects that help us to level up our skills in marketing and other areas:

5. Embrace the industry

I truly believe that to excel in a specific industry if you are a creative, you need to live and breathe the industry.

Helena Price, Photographer

Marketing is an ever-changing industry.

The platforms we use to reach our target audiences, like Facebook, Instagram and Google are constantly evolving and the tactics that deliver results one day, don’t the next.

Often, the most successful marketers succeed because they love what they do and always keep on top of the latest trends, news, and developments.

Marketers at all stages of their careers can benefit from following industry blogs, publishers and leaders.

Here’s a quick list of sources I’d recommend following:

Marketing industry blogs

  • AdWeek: a leading source for news and insight for marketers
  • AdAge: daily news and updates from the marketing and media landscape
  • CMO: insights, expertise and inspiration for and by digital leaders

Individuals to follow

6. Help others

Figure out what you’re good at and start helping other people with it—give it away. Pay it forward.

Naval Ravikant, Co-founder of AngelList

One of the best ways to progress in your career is to help others.

When you take the time to help others solve problems and offer feedback, you get the chance to showcase your skills and build your network at the same time.

When it comes to finding people to help out, you could start with answering relevant questions on communities like Inbound, GrowthHackers and Quora.

For example, early in his career, Hubspot’s Director of Acquisition, Matthew Barby, searched the internet for marketing questions he could answer in order to help others:

I scoured through online forums and communities to find questions that I could answer, and when I did answer them, I’d go into great detail.

Keep your eyes peeled across social media for opportunities to help people in your niche, too. Often individuals will turn to Twitter and other online communities when they’re looking for some feedback or help.

Creating content is also a good way to help other marketers. For example, Kevan shares frequent insights about marketing at Buffer in his Medium publication, Crumbs:

And SEO consultant, Dan Shure, takes people behind the scenes of life in the SEO world with his vlog:

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to help others. 

7. Think like a journalist

The most important thing about being a good journalist is the ability to think critically. A good journalist asks the right questions, finds the truth in a story, and tells the reader what matters.

David Ewalt, Author of Of Dice and Men

With the above quote in mind, marketers and journalists are much alike.

In marketing, it’s important to always have a critical eye and question everything. For example, if traffic on your blog has increased, you might ask yourself:

  • What’s caused the increase?
  • Where is the traffic coming from?
  • Why has this happened? And can we repeat this success?

It’s also important for marketers to find the truth in what we’re sharing. Often, marketing content will reference data or studies and it’s up to us as marketers to fact-check what we’re sharing and ensure we attribute the correct sources.

As Smooch. Editorial Director, Dan Levy, explains on Moz:

I once had a blog post queued up and ready to go live first thing the next morning until our eagle-eyed social strategist recognized one of the case studies cited in the post and noticed that the author had completely misinterpreted the results. In a small industry, examples and stats often get recycled from one blog to the next. The result is a case of broken telephone where the facts get muddled in transit. Proper attribution makes it easier to track where the breakdown occurred and to set the record straight.

In marketing, it’s a good practice to approach everything with a curious eye and look for the “why” and “how” behind every piece of data.

As Brian Balfour shares on his blog:

Real insights do not happen by scratching the surface. Real insights come from digging to the deeper layers.

Over to you

Thanks so much for checking out this post. If you’re interested in some more career advice from uber-successful founders and investors, you can check out Product Hunt’s book here.

I’d love to continue the conversation with you below, too.

What would your advice be for someone looking to build a career in marketing? Or if you’re trying to break into the marketing industry, feel free to ask any questions below in the comments.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/career-in-marketing

30 Stunning App Icon Designs You Need to See

Creating a good app icons design is challenging. The icon is a key visual element and it’s the first thing the users interact with. It should be beautiful, memorable, detailed, and the most important, it should reflect your design style. App icons is not a logo, but it has branding purposes. App icons should be placed into a square-canvas with specific size and context.

Here we have put together 30 stunning app icon designs which you would love to see. Some of them are simple and witty while other are complex with various design elements. Which one is your favorite?

1. Children’s help center — App icon


2. Bear Icon Design


3. Gallery Doctor app Icon


4. Love and Rockets icon design


5. Balloons design icon


6. Big boys play at night icon


7. Red Hills App Icon


8. Scary stories app icon


9. Teepee App Icon


10. Hatch app icon


11. New fork app icon design


12. Bag app icon design


13. Icon for Music Video


14. Monster Trucks Icon


15. Loose Leaf app icon


16. Electric range app icon


17. Cinnamon Roll App Icon


18. Pastry Icon


19. Pancakes App Icon


20. Electrics Old Fashioned Hot Dogs Icon


21. Egg icon design


22. Fried Egg Icon


23. Pizza app Icon


24. Bacon app icon


25. Krispy Kreme Icon Concept


26. Heineken Icon design


27. Heinz Ketchup Icon Design


28. Jack O’ Lantern icon design


29. Boxing glove app icon design


30. Oreo app icon design


Read More at 30 Stunning App Icon Designs You Need to See

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/30-stunning-app-icon-designs-you-need-to-see/

What is a CDN and why does your website need it

Both as a web designer, and as a user of the internet, you know that a fast website is a good websiteSpeed of a website is something which you don’t notice, until it’s missing that is.

Then it becomes frustrating. A bad user experience. A reason for bouncing off a website never to return.

If you want visitors to enjoy their experience on your website, you don’t need to think only about the design of the website, but how fast the website performs for ALL of your users!

Because good design is only one part of a good user experience.

After website design, the speed of page-loading is one of the most important factors which contribute to the success of a website. Besides that, it’s also a ranking factor.

Why is speed so important?

The necessity of having a fast website is a factor has been studied time and time again.

A negative experience is created in the mind of the user who is perceiving a site as being slow. A site’s conversion rate is also affected very negatively by slow performing websites.

Have a look at the graph below by research firm Soasta

Loading time vs conversion rate

Loading time vs conversion rate study


As can be clearly seen from the graph above, as load time of a page increases, the conversion rate drops drastically. The best conversion rates actually happen when pages take less than 3 seconds to load. Unfortunately, very few websites are actually able to provide such a fast user experience.

Is your website one of these slow-loading sites? Are you killing conversions and are not even aware of it?

But there are solutions which can help boost your website’s speed.


What is a CDN?

The term CDN is an acronym which means content delivery network. That is a fancy way of saying, a network of servers which are optimized to deliver the content (of your website) in the most optimal way.

But how does this content delivery network provide benefits to my website and how does it make the website load faster?

The CDN’s network of servers is an infrastructure which is designed to handle the load of traffic of a website better than that of generic hosting services.

Hosting services, especially the ones aimed at generic websites are geared at creating a stable but generic environment, at a low cost to both the hosting service and the client. These websites typically run on generic environments, such as Apache, PHP, MySQL and other stacks of popular hosting frameworks.

However, the environment has not been specifically optimized and tuned for website speed. Shared hosting services are typically quite slow, particularly in their initial response. The fact that each environment is hosting multiple websites simultaneously means that they suffer from a resource bottleneck problem. Essentially, each website is hosted on the same server as many others, they are “sharing” the same resources. But while the term used is sharing, in reality, they are competing for the same resources. To keep costs low, this sharing creates a situation where each request sent to a website has to wait before it can be served.

Have a look at the below. One of my websites, which is aimed primarily for ecommerce (dronesbuy.net) is hosted on a shared hosting environment, without a CDN.

Have a look at the following waterfall graph:

Load time without CDN

Load time without CDN


Can you see the waiting time above of 1.26 seconds?

This is the time it is taking for the server to start “working” on the request sent to it. Essentially, at this point, my website is queued up, competing for resources with other sites hosted on the same server as mine.

This is an implicit delay in created by using a shared website hosting service

Bear in mind, that this delay is before the server event starts to send any kind of content back to the user.

With a delay of 1.26 seconds, you can forget having a page-speed load time of less than 3 seconds.

This is a problem. So how do we go about solving this problem?

On the other hand, a CDN’s primary function is to make websites load fast. Their actual infrastructure setup is designed such that they help deliver a lightning fast website.

But how does a CDN actually speed up my site?


How a CDN speeds up your site

There are a few reasons why a website can load slowly:

  1. the shared hosting server has a lot of websites (to keep the price cheap) and is thus overwhelmed. The response times are therefore slow.
  2. Images and other large content of the are not optimized and take a lot of time to download.
  3. The website has installed many different WordPress plugins which are generating many CSS and JS files and other resources
  4. The hosting server is located geographically far away from the actual visitors of your website (think website hosted in the US, with readers mostly in Europe)

There are other reasons, but these are the main ones which generate the largest loading time hits.

You can take mitigating steps to fix each of the above-noted problems individually, but we’ll focus mostly on the last two in this article.

Your shared hosting is overwhelmed and slow

Shared hosting servers are by their definition – slow, especially if they are cheap. It’s just the economics of it.

When a hosting company rents or buys a server, they need to share that cost with their clients.

Put simply, and for the sake of example, if your server costs $100/month and you want to price your plan at $10/month, you need to host 10 accounts to break even.

If you want to price your plan at $5/month, you need to host 20 accounts to break even.

You get the gist. The cheaper the plan, the more the accounts you’ll need to host on the same server.

If a hosting service is advertising itself as cheap, and you want your website to be fast – run a mile!

So what happens, on shared servers, each time somebody visits your website, the server is (at the same time) handling the websites of all of the other users / accounts on that same server.  

With shared hosting, it can take more than a whole second to even start working on delivering your website’s contents.

You can clearly see that delay on the screenshot above.

VPS vs Shared hosting environment

VPS vs Shared hosting environment


If you want to make a website fast, this delay of one second in response time is creating a serious issue for you.

Here are our first recommendations

  1. If your website is using WordPress as the CMS, choose from the best WordPress hosting companies, the ones with known good service and great reviews. Stay away from cheap hosts.
  2. Going for the highest plan you can afford, a Virtual Private Server is a good balance between a (cheap but slow) shared hosting site and a dedicated server (fast but expensive). With a VPS, your site will have plenty of resources to deal with the load and respond within a few milliseconds, rather than a whole second.


The images of your site are not optimized

Images are one of the primary reasons why websites can be slow to load. 

It’s always great advice to use images in your articles. They help to create a break in large pieces of text. Images are also great for readability.

“An image is worth a thousand words” or so they say.

But images can also create problems.

Primarily, images which are not optimized for speed can have a serious negative effect on the loading time of a website.

It’s actually quite a laborious process to remember to save each file in a speed-friendly format, and compressing them to a size which is small enough but which does not lose any of the quality of the image.

Besides being labor-intensive, some people are simply not aware of the need to optimize images.

So what’s the solution to this problem? We need to find a method which will automatically optimize images.

Here’s where a CDN comes to the rescue. CDNs are designed to address this problem without requiring any manual intervention

This is because image optimization (including lossless compression) is typically a built-in feature of most CDNs

That means you don’t have to worry about the images. While you handle the design and creation of a website with awesome imagery, the Content Delivery Network will automatically compress and optimize the images.


The website is using a lot of scripts

This is another factor which has a bad effect on the speed of a website.

Almost all plugins which are installed on a website have an impact on the loading time of your website – each plugin adds more and more assets to the site, making it slower and slower.

Each plugin which is used to create a specific piece of functionality is also slowing down the site.

Some plugins create more JS files, CSS files, and other assets, so some are worse than others, but all of them have at least a bit of an effect. The fewer plugins you install – the better. This is a golden rule.

Each plugin also adds overhead in the form of requests.

Have a look at the following screenshot from a site which has not been optimized for speed. You can see that the performance scores are very slow, whilst the fully loaded time is horrendous.

Slow loading time due to many requests

Slow loading time due to many requests


Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate these problems:

  1. Install as little plugins as possible on any website
  2. Combine the files created by all the plugins into a few files only
  3. Enable HTTPS and then HTTP/2 on your website for better overall loading times

Once again, a CDN can help with the combining the files into fewer files and delivering that content over HTTP2.

The CDN actually performs compression and minification of JS and CSS files; this makes the overall size of your site’s resources smaller and therefore, faster to load.

Setting up of HTTP/2 in also highly recommended. HTTP2 is something which is a whole topic of its own so we’ll recommend a couple of great articles on WebDesignerDepot and on CollectiveRay blog which we’ve already written.

HTTP/2 has been created specifically to make improvements in the loading time of websites. It is designed to address certain shortcomings which older technologies did not deal with.

CDN services typically can enable HTTP/2 on your website, simply through the flick of a switch. HTTP/2 requires that HTTPS has been enabled on your site. Once again, CDNs typically have built-in support to serve content over HTTPS. Thanks to the CDN, you can enable HTTPS without incurring the cost and complication which is associated with secure website certificates. A CDN is also able to improve the overhead associated with the SSL/TLS handshake (which is a heavy operation). This ensures that even with HTTPS enabled – the site incurs no overhead.

There’s still one problem which we haven’t addressed which can slow down the loading speed of your website.

What is it and how can we fix it?


The geographical location of your website server

There is one thing which can negatively your website’s loading speed, even after you’ve performed all sorts of speed optimizations mentioned above.

Have a look at the following diagram.

Hosting server location vs visitor location

Hosting server location vs visitor location


This shows the typical time it takes for web data to travel from the one side of the Atlantic to the other. You can see that loading a website hosted on a different continent that your website is visiting from, is a problem. If your website is hosted in the continental US, any visitor outside of the US will experience this problem.

Of course, this applies all over the world. It can even happen within continents if the visitor is located far away from the hosting server.

The distance your website’s content has to travel has a direct (and negative) effect on how fast your website loads.

If your website has a localized audience, choose a good hosting service which is physically close to your target audience. If you are targeting users in New York, choose to host your website on a good server in New York.

However, what do you do if your website caters to an international audience?

You can’t choose a server which is located close to the visitors of your website.

However, there is a solution. As you might have guessed, the solution involves a CDN, because a CDN service specifically addresses this problem.

Let’s see an updated version of the previous diagram, this time we see how the loading time is affected if we use the services of a CDN such as Incapsula CDN, one of the largest players in the CDN industry.

Without CDN vs with CDN

Without CDN vs with CDN


Just like we discussed at the beginning of this article, a CDN service is designed to shorten the distance that content has to travel to reach the visitors of a website.

A CDN service is set up by creating a network of hundreds of servers in different locations in multiple countries and geographies. These servers, known as caching servers or edge servers, each contain a local copy of the images and files which your website needs serve.

When a user accesses your website, these files are served from the nearest physical to your visitor.

This reduces the problem of distance and makes a website much faster to load compared to if a website was not using a CDN.

Have a look the following diagram, which shows the geographical distribution of caching servers around the world – making it possible to always serve content from a location which is physically close to your visitor.

CDN global server map

CDN global server map


How to set up a CDN for free

The great thing about CDN services is that they operate on a freemium model – typically they offer a free plan. This free plan provides the localized caching functionality we have shown above.

If your website grows beyond the limits of the free plan, you can then move to a higher plan which suits the needs of your website better.

The easiest way to implement a CDN does not even need a plugin, it’s done by what is knows as a reverse proxy.

This only requires you to perform some changes to the DNS settings of your domain. You’ll find exact guidance for most hosts from the CDN you will opt for, or you can ask for support from the CDN’s support staff.

You can see below how your website together will work together with the CDN to send content to visitors. The origin server is your website’s server.

CDN setup using proxy server

CDN setup using proxy server

The CDN server actually receives the hit when a user visits your website. It then sends the request to your site, such that any necessary dynamic content is generated. Once it gets a response, the CDN sends the dynamic content and all static resources to the visitor.

This removes a lot of load from your hosting server – making your website load faster and able to handle much more visitors simultaneously.


Conclusion – are you ready to make your website faster?

As we’ve seen in this article, setting up a CDN can start from the very cheap price of free! Besides not having to spend anything, the loading speed of your website will be much-improved giving your site’s visitors a better user experience for your visitors.


If you’re looking to have a fast website, a CDN is a must.


Read More at What is a CDN and why does your website need it

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/what-is-a-cdn-and-why-does-your-website-need-it/

Coders are moving to Edinburgh because it’s a nice place to live (and not London)

Stack Overflow today released its Q4 Developer Ecosystem Report, which highlights some surprising changes in the UK software development landscape pertaining to both employment trends, and the popularity of individual technologies. The report draws comparisons between major UK cities. One surprising finding is that Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, has the fastest growing tech hub in the UK. Edinburgh’s developer community grew by eight percent in the second quarter of 2017 and software engineers now count for seven percent of the total labor force. Interestingly, the number of people employed in data science-related roles grew by 20 percent Over the…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/dd/2017/12/05/coders-moving-edinburgh-nice-place-live-not-london/