Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: February 2016


  

Since seven years, we welcome the new month with a collection of unique desktop wallpapers. And it’s not any different this time around. Created by designers and artists from across the globe, they are just waiting to give your desktop a makeover and provide you with some fresh inspiration.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: February 2016

This post features their artwork for February 2016. Each wallpaper comes in two versions, with and without a calendar, and can be downloaded for free. Now you only need to decide which one will accompany you through the month — and that won’t be easy given all the creative ideas the community has come up with. A big thank-you to everyone who participated!

The post Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: February 2016 appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Source: Smashing Magazine

The Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

This article was originally published on the Single Grain blog.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of link building and SEO guides focus on creating high-quality content. There’s a good reason for that: it’s far easier to build links to top-quality content because that’s what gets shared. Businesses and individuals are in search of quality material to link to so that they have something of value to offer their website visitors, and if you’ll notice, few people link to a homepage, product page or shopping cart.

Of course, there’s a difference between creating content that is simply stuffed with keywords and links, and creating top-notch blogs and articles that are specifically geared towards helping you build authoritative links to your website. And just to be sure that we are speaking the same language, here are two important definitions:

Content marketing is when you create and share content (articles, blogs, infographics) for the purpose of driving traffic to your website and navigating visitors through your marketing funnel in order to acquire new customers.

Link building is when you get other websites or blogs to link to your web page in order to improve your search engine rankings. The engines crawl the web looking for links between your web pages and other websites to decide how valid your content is and thus where your page should rank in their search results.

As far as the search engines are concerned, if your website or blog contains a lot of authoritative links plus receives a lot of links to it, then you are not only considered popular, but valid, too. And search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms to discern the spammy links from the trustworthy ones, which means that valuable content and inbound marketing are more important than ever.

Because 93% of marketers use content in their marketing strategy and 42% of them regard their content marketing skills as effective, this is an area where you don’t want to get left behind! In this guide, we’re going to share tactics that will help you create linkable high-quality content for your website as well as use that content for link building to your website.

Part 1: Creating Linkable High Quality Content

In the introduction, we explained that linkable, well-crafted content is that which is specifically geared towards helping you build links to your website. But let’s step back for a moment and explain what exactly quality material is.

High-quality content is made up of:

  • Well-researched and accurate information
  • Extremely valuable material designed for your target audience
  • Impeccably-written copy
  • Supplemental images, graphs, videos or infographics
  • The most complete and up-to-date information at the time of publishing

By incorporating these five points, your work will stand heads and shoulders above the crowd.

The first thing to do is start the process with in-depth research. Find the top pieces of content about your subject and determine what each one of them is missing. You’ll probably find that out of ten posts, each one covers something different. If you combine all those ideas into one piece of content with your own unique take on the subject, you’re already well on your way to success!

In addition, aim for meaty posts with over 1,000 words. Studies from analyzing a million articles have shown that content that is 1,000+ words tends to get the most social shares and backlinks.

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. There are plenty of freelance writers that you can hire to create content for you. Just be sure to find someone who is an expert in your particular niche and who loves writing (trust me, you’ll be able to tell the difference in the finished product!). The fastest way to do this is to look at the top online publications in your niche and see if any of the bylines belong to freelancers. Or just do a search like this on Google:

Google search (freelance writers)

This search will give you the top writers in your niche along with some samples from their portfolio, which you should definitely read to ensure that their style of writing is appropriate for your brand. Run the search for sites that produce the type of content you are looking to create in order to find writers who already have a handle on the topic and are experts at crafting high-quality content.

Once you have hired someone to create some really cream-of-the-crop writing, it’s time to add the elements that will transform it into linkable material. Here are the elements that you will need in your content and how each will help you get links:

Research

It’s one thing to say that Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, but without the numbers to back it up, it just comes off as opinion. But when you write that with 1.55 billion active monthly users, 83.5% of which are outside of the US and Canada, Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, this is no longer opinion; it’s fact-based writing with the statistics to back it up. This is what separates the experts from the amateurs.

Research stats

Cite specific sources for every one of your claims throughout your article so that readers instantly get that they are looking at a well-researched piece of content. This gives them a reason to trust you and link to your content rather than content written by others. It also allows the readers to dive deeper into the subject to which you sourced if that interests them.

Expert Opinions

Another way to add credibility to your writing is by using quotes. For example, I could say that link-building methods of the past will no longer help your website. But again, that’s just opinion, and unless you already consider me an expert, you won’t necessarily pay heed to it.

On the other hand, if I say that John Mueller of Google suggests that webmasters should focus less on link building as it’s been done in the past and instead focus more on creating high-quality content that is easy to link to, I have now added expert opinion from Google, a source that most people trust. All the better if I can use word-for-word quotes that are hyperlinked to the source.

Even if someone has never heard the name John Mueller, the fact that he is from Google makes him an instant expert in the area of SEO. When you can’t find specific research or statistics, expert quotes are the next best thing to back them up.

In addition to making your content higher quality by adding in expert opinion, you have also added influencers to the article who might actually help you promote it. Even if Mueller doesn’t link to your content, he might share it with his 14.4k Twitter followers, which may in turn prompt one of his fans to share it with their own audience or link to your content.

Resources

Last, but not least, are resources. Look for opportunities throughout your content to mention specific resources. For example:

Better yet, don’t just include links; include images that show what people will find when they click through to one of your recommendations, like this quick peek at a report from SEMrush.

SEMRush reports

For the average reader, this adds more value to your content because you are giving them additional resources that provide substantial information. Remember, you’ll stand out from the competition by doing this because so few people take the time to give their readers this kind of value.

You have also added more opportunities to connect with people to let them know that you have featured them, their resource or their product in your latest piece of content. Resulting shares based on “ego-baiting” (creating content that features an influencer for the purpose of getting a link or share from them in return) have the potential to result in links.

Continue reading %The Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content%


Source: Sitepoint

The Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content

This article was originally published on the Single Grain blog.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of link building and SEO guides focus on creating high-quality content. There’s a good reason for that: it’s far easier to build links to top-quality content because that’s what gets shared. Businesses and individuals are in search of quality material to link to so that they have something of value to offer their website visitors, and if you’ll notice, few people link to a homepage, product page or shopping cart.

Of course, there’s a difference between creating content that is simply stuffed with keywords and links, and creating top-notch blogs and articles that are specifically geared towards helping you build authoritative links to your website. And just to be sure that we are speaking the same language, here are two important definitions:

Content marketing is when you create and share content (articles, blogs, infographics) for the purpose of driving traffic to your website and navigating visitors through your marketing funnel in order to acquire new customers.

Link building is when you get other websites or blogs to link to your web page in order to improve your search engine rankings. The engines crawl the web looking for links between your web pages and other websites to decide how valid your content is and thus where your page should rank in their search results.

As far as the search engines are concerned, if your website or blog contains a lot of authoritative links plus receives a lot of links to it, then you are not only considered popular, but valid, too. And search engines are constantly evolving their algorithms to discern the spammy links from the trustworthy ones, which means that valuable content and inbound marketing are more important than ever.

Because 93% of marketers use content in their marketing strategy and 42% of them regard their content marketing skills as effective, this is an area where you don’t want to get left behind! In this guide, we’re going to share tactics that will help you create linkable high-quality content for your website as well as use that content for link building to your website.

Part 1: Creating Linkable High Quality Content

In the introduction, we explained that linkable, well-crafted content is that which is specifically geared towards helping you build links to your website. But let’s step back for a moment and explain what exactly quality material is.

High-quality content is made up of:

  • Well-researched and accurate information
  • Extremely valuable material designed for your target audience
  • Impeccably-written copy
  • Supplemental images, graphs, videos or infographics
  • The most complete and up-to-date information at the time of publishing

By incorporating these five points, your work will stand heads and shoulders above the crowd.

The first thing to do is start the process with in-depth research. Find the top pieces of content about your subject and determine what each one of them is missing. You’ll probably find that out of ten posts, each one covers something different. If you combine all those ideas into one piece of content with your own unique take on the subject, you’re already well on your way to success!

In addition, aim for meaty posts with over 1,000 words. Studies from analyzing a million articles have shown that content that is 1,000+ words tends to get the most social shares and backlinks.

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. There are plenty of freelance writers that you can hire to create content for you. Just be sure to find someone who is an expert in your particular niche and who loves writing (trust me, you’ll be able to tell the difference in the finished product!). The fastest way to do this is to look at the top online publications in your niche and see if any of the bylines belong to freelancers. Or just do a search like this on Google:

Google search (freelance writers)

This search will give you the top writers in your niche along with some samples from their portfolio, which you should definitely read to ensure that their style of writing is appropriate for your brand. Run the search for sites that produce the type of content you are looking to create in order to find writers who already have a handle on the topic and are experts at crafting high-quality content.

Once you have hired someone to create some really cream-of-the-crop writing, it’s time to add the elements that will transform it into linkable material. Here are the elements that you will need in your content and how each will help you get links:

Research

It’s one thing to say that Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, but without the numbers to back it up, it just comes off as opinion. But when you write that with 1.55 billion active monthly users, 83.5% of which are outside of the US and Canada, Facebook is the most popular social network on the planet, this is no longer opinion; it’s fact-based writing with the statistics to back it up. This is what separates the experts from the amateurs.

Research stats

Cite specific sources for every one of your claims throughout your article so that readers instantly get that they are looking at a well-researched piece of content. This gives them a reason to trust you and link to your content rather than content written by others. It also allows the readers to dive deeper into the subject to which you sourced if that interests them.

Expert Opinions

Another way to add credibility to your writing is by using quotes. For example, I could say that link-building methods of the past will no longer help your website. But again, that’s just opinion, and unless you already consider me an expert, you won’t necessarily pay heed to it.

On the other hand, if I say that John Mueller of Google suggests that webmasters should focus less on link building as it’s been done in the past and instead focus more on creating high-quality content that is easy to link to, I have now added expert opinion from Google, a source that most people trust. All the better if I can use word-for-word quotes that are hyperlinked to the source.

Even if someone has never heard the name John Mueller, the fact that he is from Google makes him an instant expert in the area of SEO. When you can’t find specific research or statistics, expert quotes are the next best thing to back them up.

In addition to making your content higher quality by adding in expert opinion, you have also added influencers to the article who might actually help you promote it. Even if Mueller doesn’t link to your content, he might share it with his 14.4k Twitter followers, which may in turn prompt one of his fans to share it with their own audience or link to your content.

Resources

Last, but not least, are resources. Look for opportunities throughout your content to mention specific resources. For example:

Better yet, don’t just include links; include images that show what people will find when they click through to one of your recommendations, like this quick peek at a report from SEMrush.

SEMRush reports

For the average reader, this adds more value to your content because you are giving them additional resources that provide substantial information. Remember, you’ll stand out from the competition by doing this because so few people take the time to give their readers this kind of value.

You have also added more opportunities to connect with people to let them know that you have featured them, their resource or their product in your latest piece of content. Resulting shares based on “ego-baiting” (creating content that features an influencer for the purpose of getting a link or share from them in return) have the potential to result in links.

Continue reading %The Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Content%


Source: Sitepoint

Retro Revolution: Building a Pong Clone in Unity

Before starting you can view the game at itch.io

Analyzing Pong

Pong was one of the first video games ever made and was the first successful commercial game. When Pong was first created the developers most likely struggled with the logic for the code, however, nowadays you can make a simple two player Pong with one method call, colliders, and sprites. Pong gets harder to create once the decision to make a one-player Pong is made. In this tutorial, we will create the base gameplay for Pong and break down a very simple AI alternative that still adds to gameplay value.

We must ask, what are the core elements of Pong gameplay? Here is a list with the answer to that question:

  1. Player Input – We want the player to be able to move their paddle up and down so that they can hit the ball.
  2. Ball Collision – When the ball hits the paddle or boundaries it can’t be allowed to lose any speed.
  3. Boundary Collision – The ball has to be able to bounce off of the top and bottom part of the screen so that it doesn’t leave the play area.
  4. Enemy AI – The gameplay value of the game would be next to zero if the enemy sat on the opposite end of the screen and didn’t move.
  5. Spawning the Ball – When the ball hits one of the boundaries behind the paddles we need it to respawn so that we can continue the game.
  6. Ball to Paddle Hit Area Detection – This allows for the ball to bounce off the paddle at unique angles so that we are able to to better aim the ball when it is hit with the paddle.

With this list we can beginning programming the game.

Note that any numbers used relating to a game object’s location, rotation, scale, etc are relative and may need to be changed for your specific setup.

Continue reading %Retro Revolution: Building a Pong Clone in Unity%


Source: Sitepoint

Appserver – Server Configuration, Dir Structure and Threads

In the first part of our Appserver series, we discussed the very high level differences of Appserver’s architecture to standard web server stacks and got you up and running with an Appserver instance. If you missed that part, please take the time to read it.

Appserver node diagram

In this part, we will be exploring the Appserver architecture a bit more in depth. We will go through the concepts of the different contexts and the parts of Appserver you get out of the box, which cover some of the ground most of the popular PHP frameworks offer. We will also configure the web server and look into an application’s structure. Once we are finished, you should have a fair understanding about Appserver’s contexts in relation to threading, the web server, and its setup.

In subsequent parts, we’ll continue to go over the servlet engine in more detail, the persistence container, beans, the messaging system and the timer module. (Note: as this series evolved, the direction also changed, in order to include more practical information to break up the dry theory.)

The Contexts and Threading

As we had discussed in the first part, in today’s standard web server scenario, you will have a web server and either a web server module (mod_php) or a php process manager (PHP-FPM), to serve the PHP scripts/applications. The web server and the PHP process manager or module both handle their own work and threading to serve either the web page or the PHP application.

Server module gif

In this same respect, Appserver also handles threading for the client developer. However, the usage of the threads is somewhat different. The contents built within a thread aren’t constantly built and destroyed during the time appserver is running. In other words, as long as the appserver is running, the code you have given it to run, will continue to run (stay in memory) for each request. This fundamental difference is being repeated, as it is very important for understanding everything else we’ll be diving into.

Continue reading %Appserver – Server Configuration, Dir Structure and Threads%


Source: Sitepoint

Master Essential Copywriting Skills With This $30 Bundle

Master essential copywriting skills with this $30 bundle

Whether you’re looking to jumpstart a new career, need the flexibility to work from home, or just want to become a stronger writer, we’ve got a course bundle that can help you do all three. Save 96% on the Essential Copywriting Bundle and get five courses for $29.99.

This bundle will show you the path to becoming your own boss, working remotely from anywhere in the world, and marketing yourself. Not only will you master essential copywriting principles and learn how to break into the lucrative world of white papers, you’ll get guidance on building your freelance copywriting career from scratch. The courses cover every step of the process, from creating a portfolio and finding clients to marketing yourself and choosing the right projects.

This bundle usually goes for $905, so don’t miss your chance to pick it up for $29.99 at SitePoint Shop.

Continue reading %Master Essential Copywriting Skills With This $30 Bundle%


Source: Sitepoint

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

One of the challenges of writing articles focused on web development and software development is making sure anyone and everyone who wants to learn a skill is able to do so.

When you provide as much content as Envato, it can often be a challenge to make sure you’re educating everyone. This includes people who are already somewhat educated in the field of development and want to pick up a new skill, or those who are looking to start something at the ground level.

In these How To articles, we’re looking to provide tutorials that give beginners the essential steps to get started with a piece of software, a framework, or a programming language. Further, we’re looking to make sure the information we’re providing works well with software available in Envato Market.

For those who are interested in WordPress, you’ll recall from the previous post in the series:

If you’re interested in building a website with WordPress, then it stands to reason that you should have a working definition of what a WordPress theme should be as well as a working knowledge of how to install a WordPress theme.

But what happens once you have WordPress set up and a choice theme installed? Next, many people turn to WordPress plugins.

Understanding WordPress Plugins

We’re going to walk through the various ways to discover and install WordPress plugins, but before doing that it’s important to understand the purpose of what WordPress plugins are, what they should do, and how they can be dangerous.

What Are WordPress Plugins?

Throughout this article, we’re going to be basing our definition of WordPress Plugins on the information provided in the WordPress Codex:

Plugins are ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress. The core of WordPress is designed to be lean and lightweight, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins then offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.

It’s pretty easy to understand, right? In short, it’s a way to add functionality to WordPress. When you think about it, that’s a really broad statement.

For example, what constitutes functionality? Is it adding a simple notice when a second user has signed in to the website, or is it something that introduces an entirely new database table and adds a plethora of screens to the administration area of WordPress?

Simply put, it’s both.

Anything that extends WordPress functionality beyond what the core software does is a plugin.

What Should WordPress Plugins Do?

With that said, it’s natural to ask what should plugins actually do? Perhaps another way of looking at this is in contrast to themes: If themes are meant to provide the look and feel of a website, what do plugins do?

As the definition states, plugins add functionality to websites. That is, they introduce something new that you can do with your site. This doesn’t mean there won’t be a visual element to what the plugin may provide, but a single theme can run with many plugins, and many plugins can run alongside many themes.

At least, that’s the case in an ideal world.

Can WordPress Plugins Be Dangerous?

Unfortunately, there are malicious programmers who release plugins that do malicious things. Before jumping to conclusions that WordPress plugins are inherently bad (because they aren’t), it’s important to note that problems are often caused based on where you get the plugin.

For example, if you end up going into Google and searching for a free WordPress plugin that will do something specific, you have a higher chance of finding something that’s more malicious.

If, on the other hand, you use something like the WordPress Plugin Repository or the Envato Marketplace then you’re going to be shopping in a safe place because the plugins available have been reviewed and vetted against certain criteria.

With that said, it’s important to note there are times during which some plugins don’t play nicely with other plugins. This doesn’t mean something is unsafe and it doesn’t mean that your site has been compromised, but the plugin landscape is vast and as much as marketplaces will vet the incoming projects, it’s not always possible to check compatibility with plugins against every other plugin.

Generally speaking, though, if you download or purchase a plugin from a reputable place, then you will likely be just fine.

Installing a WordPress Plugin

With all of that said, now we can talk about how to find and install WordPress plugins. Sure, we’ve covered a few marketplaces through which you can access plugins (as well as how to avoid dangerous plugins), but there are other ways to go about doing it as well. 

So we’re going to cover:

  1. Finding plugins from within WordPress.
  2. Installing plugins from within WordPress.
  3. Downloading and installing a WordPress Plugin from a third-party site.

Though it seems as if there’s still a bit of content to cover, these are actually very straightforward, easy-to-follow steps that anyone just starting out with WordPress should know.

The rest of this tutorial assumes that you have access to a working WordPress installation and that you’re comfortable navigating through it via the assistance of following a set of screenshots. 

Let’s get started.

Finding Plugins Within WordPress

Before looking at downloading and installing WordPress plugins, let’s take a look at how we can search for WordPress plugins from within the WordPress administration area itself.

First, click on Plugins then click on Add New. This will load a screen that displays a list of plugins and will allow you to filter by criteria such as “Featured”, “Popular”, “Recommended”, and so on.

Finding WordPress Plugins

You can even search for a specific plugin using the input field in the top-right corner of the screen. This is ideal if you know the name of the plugin you’re looking for, or perhaps the description of functionality that you’d like to add to your site.  

Installing a Plugin Within WordPress

From there, you can actually install plugins from right within the WordPress administration screen. 

Note: All of the plugins that you see and find using this utility come from the WordPress Plugin Repository.

With that said, let’s use Theme Check as an example. If you don’t see it on the Add Plugins screen, then enter ‘Theme Check’ in the input field and hit Enter.

You should then be presented with the following screen:

Theme Check

From here, click on the Install Now button. Immediately, you’ll be taken to the Installing Plugin screen where the plugin will be downloaded and installed.

You’ll then have the option to activate the plugin or return to the plugin installer page. If you know that you want to activate the plugin, then go ahead and click the link; otherwise, click on the Plugins menu and then click on Installed Plugins. This will take you to a screen displaying all of the plugins that you have installed on your system.

Furthermore, you have the ability to activate, deactivate, delete, and generally manage all of these plugins. Assuming that you didn’t already activate the plugin, locate Theme Check in the list of plugins and then click on the activate link.

Activate Theme Check

The page will refresh, Theme Check‘s row will be a different color, and the plugin will now be active.

What this plugin, or any other plugin, does is outside of the scope of this post, but the process for downloading and installing the plugin is the same regardless of what plugin you opt to install. 

Downloading and Installing Third-Party Plugins

As mentioned, there are other ways to find and install plugins in WordPress rather than just using the plugins that appear in the administration area. 

Though this can be used for plugins downloaded from the WordPress Plugin Repository, it’s more likely to be used when you’ve purchased a plugin from another vendor or you’ve downloaded the plugin from another site.

Regardless, all WordPress plugins should be obtained in a zip file. Then, depending on how you choose to install the plugin, you’ll either let WordPress do the work for you, or you’ll extract the contents of the file on your machine and upload it to your WordPress installation. 

Let’s take a look at how to do both of these.

Installing via WordPress

Assuming that you have downloaded a copy of a plugin that’s available for free (or that you’ve purchased), you should have access to the plugins zip file on your machine.

Theme Check Zip File

From here, log in to WordPress and click on Plugins followed by Add New. From this screen, click on the Upload Plugin link at the top of the screen, located just beside the Add Plugins title.

This will take you to a simple-looking page that gives you the opportunity to upload the zip file:

Upload Plugin

Locate the file on your computer, click Install Now and then you’ll see the same image that we saw earlier in this tutorial where you have the ability to activate the plugin or to return to the plugin installer page.

Needless to say, the steps for the rest of working with the plugin are identical to the steps above.

Installing via S/FTP

If you opt to install a plugin via S/FTP, then this tutorial assumes that you know the username and password to your server and that you’re comfortable navigating the WordPress installation’s directory structure.

If all of the above sounds confusing, no problem. Go ahead and skip to the conclusion of the tutorial; otherwise, let’s proceed.

Before installing the plugin on your server, you’ll need to locate the plugin zip file and then extract it to your computer. This should create a directory with the same name as the zip file that you downloaded.

The Plugin Directory

Next, connect to your server via S/FTP and navigate to the wp-content/plugins directory.

Upload Theme Check

Once there, upload the directory (not the zip file) to the directory. After that, log in to WordPress, click on Plugins and click on the Installed Plugins menu item.

Activate Theme Check

From this list, you should see the plugin that you’ve uploaded. It will not yet be activated. Next, click on the Activate link. After that, the page will refresh and the plugin will be active on your site.

Conclusion

Finding and installing plugins is a relatively simple process, and there are plugins that can do almost anything you can imagine (and if there aren’t, perhaps you can learn to build one yourself or hire a developer to help you!).

Once you have a working copy of WordPress installed along with a select theme and a set of plugins, you can begin to put together a powerful site. Of course, planning can go a long way. So if you’re looking to begin putting together a site using WordPress, try putting your ideas down on paper before taking the leap to just downloading, installing, and messing around with a set of themes and plugins.

Anyway, at this point we’ve covered everything you need in order to select a theme, install it, find useful and safe plugins, and install them, as well.

And finally, if you’re looking for a solid selection of plugins, remember to check out what’s available in the Envato Market.

You can catch all of my courses and tutorials on my profile page, and you can follow me on my blog and/or Twitter at @tommcfarlin where I talk about software development in the context of WordPress.

Don’t hesitate to leave any questions or comments in the feed below, and I’ll aim to respond to each of them.


Source: Nettuts Web Development

Web Development Reading List #122: A Performance Budget Builder, Streams, And The Web Push API


  

This week, Firefox 44 has been released to the public. The new version offers better video support (VP9, WebM in addition to h.264) and adds support for Brotli compression (a new, better compression than gzip) for HTTPS connections. Service Workers are also supported now.

Streams

The new Chrome Beta channel build now includes a security panel in the developer tools. This panel shows you how secure your site is, including details on HTTPS and mixed content warnings. Unfortunately, it’s not super detailed yet, and it also doesn’t provide information like HSTS, HKPK and other security details, but I’m excited to see this and bet that they’ll integrate more features over time.

The post Web Development Reading List #122: A Performance Budget Builder, Streams, And The Web Push API appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Source: Smashing Magazine

Freebie: The Months Of The Year Icon Set (12 Icons PSD, AI, EPS, SVG, PNG)


  

New Years’ Eve is not far past, and yet one twelfth of the new year is already behind us. We think this is a great time to release the first new free icon set of the year. So without further ado, today we’re pleased to release the Months Of The Year icons: a set of 12 images that are all available in EPS, AI, SVG and PNG formats. This icon set was designed by Manuela Langella and is free to be used in personal as well as commercial projects.

You may modify the size, color or shape of the icons. No attribution is required, though reselling bundles or individual pictograms isn’t cool. Please note that this icon set is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. We’d kindly like to ask you to provide credits to the creator and link to this article if you would like to spread the word about the freebie.

The post Freebie: The Months Of The Year Icon Set (12 Icons PSD, AI, EPS, SVG, PNG) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.


Source: Smashing Magazine

Building a React Universal Blog App: A Step-by-Step Guide

When we think of single page applications (SPAs) we think browsers, JavaScript, speed and, in my case, invisibility to search engines. This is because a SPA renders a page’s content using JavaScript and since web crawlers do not use a browser to view web pages, they cannot view and index the content. Or, to better say, most of them can’t. This is a problem that some developers have tried to solve in various ways:

  1. Adding an escaped fragment version of a website which requires all pages to be available in static form and adds a lot of extra work (now deprecated).
  2. Using a paid service to un-browserify a SPA into static markup for search engine spiders to crawl.
  3. Trust that search engines are now advanced enough to read our JavaScript-only content (I wouldn’t just yet).

Using Node.js on the server and React on the client, we can build our JavaScript app to be universal (or isomorphic). This could offer several benefits from server-side and browser-side rendering, allowing both search engines and humans using browsers to view our SPA content.

In this step-by-step tutorial I will show you how to build a React Universal Blog App that will first render markup on the server side to make our content available to search engines. Then, it will let the browser take over in a single page application that is both fast and responsive.

Continue reading %Building a React Universal Blog App: A Step-by-Step Guide%


Source: Sitepoint