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Understanding Copyrights - What Every Designer Must Know

Copyright basics to help keep your royalty-free designs lawsuit-free.

We have all heard the story, the ‘selfie-taking monkey’ that is pitting the entire internet against itself. We are here to explain it all, and help you avoid all this ‘monkey business’. (Sorry, we had to!)

Royalty-free images exist for a number of reasons—chief among them, to keep designers (and the income they earn from designing) safe from copyright claims.
Still, it’s important to understand a few rough concepts surrounding ownership before sharing or selling your artwork.

How to Protect Your Designs: An Introduction to Copyright

As an overarching guideline, you own the sole right to works of art that you create. Just as strangers don’t have the right to enter your home and take possession of your family photos, they’re generally prohibited from taking possession of your digital artwork online (posting them to websites, using them to advertise products, etc.).

Draw a portrait of your dog and hang it over the couch in your living room, and no one has the right to just walk in and take it—regardless of how cute your dog is. Post a photo of your dog—or a photo of the portrait—to your website, and the same rules apply: if the image ends up in a magazine without your permission, you’ll have the right to claim damages for unauthorized use.

Of course, the reverse holds true. Use someone else’s imagery in your work without express license, and they’ll have the right to claim damages from you. This applies not just to people’s work, but to the mere “likeness” of their work—meaning you’ll still risk litigation for tracing someone else’s pet photo or turning it into a vector image.

Such is the reason we’ve done the work for you:

Expert Tip: You don’t have to actually register a copyright in order to establish ownership over your work—just like others don’t have to register their work in order to
block you from reproducing it; a copyright exists automatically the moment you or they create something. Registering a copyright just makes that ownership easier to prove and litigate, as it generates a public record.

You can register a piece of artwork through an attorney or through the U.S. Copyright Office for as low as $35—but save yourself the postage and ignore any advice to beat the system by employing what’s often called a “poor man’s copyright,” i.e., sending yourself a copy of your work via certified mail. It won’t hold up in court—no matter how well you seal your envelope.

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How to Fix Your Website If You Violate Google's Quality Guidelines

About a year ago, we received an ominous message in our Google Webmaster Tools. We learned that our site violated the Google Webmaster guidelines in terms of backlinks to our webpage. In short, because there was a large number of links to us in abandoned forums and even, gulp, porn sites, we were flagged as spam and our Google ranking plummeted.

Why did we get banned?

Good question. We aren’t sure. We know we were flagged as having bad links, but none of us were posting our link to such nefarious sites. We found our link on many dust forums – abandoned forums where spammers post thousands of links – potentially put there by a competitor.

We also found we had created unnatural links, due to a lack of understanding the guidelines. More than anything, algorithms are changing all the time; and, what we thought was good in 2011, became problematic in 2013.

Google offers the following link schemes that, intentional or not, can negatively impact a site’s ranking:

  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank
  • Excessive link exchanges (“You link me, I link you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
  • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
  • Using automated programs or services to create links to your site

Add to these, many unnatural links you can find yourself linked to.

So, by several different methods, you, like us, may find yourself in a situation where you don’t know why you are banned, but you just have to eat those sour grapes and dig your site out of that hole.

How did we get the Scarlet S removed?

We started by making a list of the red letters. Meaning, we had to identify as many “bad” links as we could detect and either try to get the links removed or apply “nofollows” to them. Below is the account of how we did just that.

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Hiring an Experienced and Professional Website Development Company

Hiring an Experienced and Professional Website Development Company

Deciding to hire a professional website development company or a freelancer is not an easy task. We'll provide you with useful information based on our experience which may help you make the right decision.

It is easy to hire website developers who not only promise great results, but may also have a great website portfolio of past projects. In such a case, what would make a business or individual settle for an experienced and professional website developer instead of a freelancer? Here are some profound reasons why.

1. Major Complex Projects

Some websites require specialized skill and support to manage. This is true with  solutions such as those offered to gaming clients, financial service providers and dynamic e-commerce online stores. As a result, it is important that such projects are outsourced to companies that can guarantee high levels of quality service and after sales support that in most instances is beyond the ability of modest freelance outfits.

2. Total Quality Management

A fully fledged web development company has the capacity of guaranteeing industry standard quality of work as compared to freelancers. Not only do they have a reputation that they need to maintain, but the fact that they have experience in the web development industry means that they have a workflow process that ensures they get their projects done in similar fashion, adhering to quality benchmarks and within the shortest optimal time.

3. Need for Vast Expertise

Teams in professional website development companies practice specialization and task distribution better that in freelance outfits where most tasks are handled by the same pair of hands. In the former case, the quality of work is higher and the teams are able to cover more aspects of website development that are sometimes overlooked such as search engine optimization, social media optimization and web copy writing and quality content creation.

4. Better Technical Support

Technical support is a big challenge even to well established professional firms. Freelance web developers mostly run their businesses on lean budgets, and since technical support is resource intensive, they may not be able to offer support round the clock especially if the website being developed is custom built and has specialized needs that cannot be handled by new technical persons.

5. Time and Money

Most decisions that settle for freelance developers over experienced professional developers cite cost savings. This is regularly discovered to be untrue when the cost of development, re-work and maintenance are considered. In most cases a professional web designer will submit high quality work within stipulated time limits, and the website may not need re-work over the long run because professional developers always work with quality benchmarks in mind.

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How color affects consumer perceptions

From beverages to consumer electronics, marketers are using color in innovative ways. Despite this, little academic research has investigated the role that color plays in marketing.

This paper examines how color affects consumer perceptions through a series of four studies as shown in the infographic below. The authors provide a framework and empirical evidence that draws on research in aesthetics, color psychology, and associative learning to map hues onto brand personality dimensions (Study 1), as well as examine the roles of saturation and value for amplifying brand personality traits (Study 2).

The authors also demonstrate how marketers can strategically use color to alter brand personality and purchase intent (Study 3), and how color influences the likability and familiarity of a brand (Study 4). The results underscore the importance of recognizing the impact of color in forming consumer brand perceptions.

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All New Security Enhancements in Joomla 3.3 for Developers

All New Security Enhancements in Joomla 3.3 for Developers

If there is any free open source CMS platform that can give competition to WordPress, world's most famous content management system, it is Joomla. A lot of businesses and coders place their faith on it. A very important point where Joomla really over takes WP is security.

Since long, coders have been testing its security and it has really outdone Wordpress and thus has come up as a platform preferred by those who like to go for security as compared with functionality (that Wordpress is a master of). Joomla 3.3 has been a revolution of sorts and if you want to know about Joomla web design benefits, a thorough understanding of the version 3.3 is a must.

  1. Security, as we all know it: Joomla is known for its web application security standards. While it has always out done other open source platforms like Wordpress and Magento in terms of security; the version 3.3 has really taken the security of your website to a new level. The version now requires PHP version 5.3.10 or above giving way to fewer PHP security holes and a stronger password encryption.
  2. Power to the front end: Out of all the changes that the new version has brought in, this one is probably the most user friendly (for non-technical people). New powers have now been bestowed to front end, eradicating the need for back end coding for editing modules. Now, administrators can perform various tasks on their own without taking aid of back end.
  3. Hail JQuery: This version has brought JQuery in, replacing Mootools. The core now will use only JQuery and that's why 3.3 has come with an inbuilt JQuery library. This means that the site's speed will be increased reducing various conflicts. It will also ensure better stability and a reduced troubleshooting time.
  4. Speed: The Joomla websites are now faster, thanks to jRouter. jRouter acts as a traffic director and can boost the speed by 10%.
  5. APIs to access cloud storage: Joomla now has APIs that connects its core with your external cloud storage devices, be it Yahoo or Google. Without any need of a third party extension, you can now use this cloud storage as content distribution networks thereby reducing costs on data storage. Such connectivity allows bigger projects to run smoothly. New powers have now been bestowed to front end, eradicating the need for back end coding for editing modules
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