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February 14 2014

09:00

Get Prepared: 40+ Top Free Vectors for Spring Holidays


  

Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving (in the US) are such big holidays in the winter that it can be easy to forget the smaller holiday that occur at the end of winter and into spring. Valentine’s Day is today, so we are little late for that, but we still have St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and even Memorial Day at the end of spring.

December 25 2011

17:06

Happy Holidays from Tuts+!

The holidays are upon us, and we’re feeling festive at Tuts+ this weekend! We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge Christmas thank you to all our readers, and wish you a very Happy Holiday. Read on for a video message from the HQ team, and a few freebies from around the Tuts+ and Envato network!


A Message from Envato HQ

Although the Tuts+ team is spread over the globe, Envato HQ is where much of the Tuts+ magic happens! It isn’t looking traditionally Christmassy in Melbourne at the moment, but we have a special holiday message from everyone at head office:

From everyone at Envato we want to wish you a Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you all refreshed and ready for another big year in 2012! From Envato HQ to the community, we’ve created a little video to share the holiday cheer. Enjoy!

Music is Kids Holiday Theme by AudioJungle Author CraigHall


Gift Guides & Freebies!

Wondering what to buy your fellow geek this Christmas? Never fear! You may have left it it a little late, but our holiday gift guides can still come in handy. Here are a few great places to start:

We also have a couple of exclusive freebies and discounts, just in time for the holidays:


The Christmas Freelance Freedom Comic

The “holiday jingle” comic encapsulates everything that we love and hate about freelancing. Don’t forget to sing along to the “Jungle Bells” theme music as you read it…!

You can also enjoy the whole back catalog of Freelance Freedom comics over at FreelanceSwitch.


AppStorm Giveaways

We have two fantastic competitions running over at the AppStorm network over the holiday period, and there’s still time to get your entry in to stand a chance of winning:

  1. Business Productivity Bundle Giveaway —Each bundle includes a license to Daylite and Billings Pro – it’s the perfect combination for getting your business organised and making money!
  2. The AppStorm Holiday ’11 Video Game Giveaway — In the spirit of this season we’ve hand picked a few critically acclaimed, and award-winning, games released over this year to give away to our readers!

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

All that’s left is to wish you a very happy holiday on behalf of everyone at Tuts+! We hope you’ve enjoyed everything that we’ve had to share this year, and look forward to publishing thousands more top-quality tutorials, articles, freebies, and resources in 2012.

Here’s to another exciting year at Tuts+, and thank you for joining us on the journey!


December 13 2011

10:00

Wield The Powers Of Holidays To Increase Website Traffic

Are you looking for new ways to increase traffic to your website? Holidays provide a great opportunity for website owners to increase traffic. Over the years of managing multiple websites I’ve seen big traffic spikes on sites that I’ve published articles geared toward an upcoming holiday. Another thing that I’ve noticed is that no matter what your website is about, you can usually come up with a blog article or contest idea that’s relevant to an upcoming holiday. In this articles we will review why holidays lead to increased website traffic, the best holidays to focus on, how to plan for taking advantage of holidays, and provide a few holiday content ideas for your website.

5 Reasons Why Holidays Lead To Increased Traffic


There are a number of reasons why holidays lead to increased website traffic, but here are the top 5:

Holidays are fun


Holidays are fun events for people. Fun leads to people being happy. When people are looking forward to fun things then they tend to spend more time focusing on those things. For most people, holidays are fun days throughout the year that they look forward to. When people look forward to something thye tend to spend time online looking for ideas on how they can get the most out of their holidays.

Time off from work


I think we can all agree that the more free time someone has the more likely his or her time spent online will increase. These days many of us work so much that we don’t have a lot of free time to spend searching the internet. All of that changes around holidays. Many people have time off from work, which allows them to spend more time doing other things, one of which is searching the internet.

Get together with friends and family


The holidays provide an opportunity to get together with friends and family. Whenever friends and family get together it usually means that they’ll be spending the day together, possibly eating, drinking, playing games, etc. When people get together a lot of times each person or family brings something to the party. If you’re in charge of one aspect of the party, then you might spend time online researching how to make that aspect of the party the best it can possibly be. If you need to make a certain dish for dinner, you may search for a recipe. If you’re in charge of entertainment, you may search for fun family games to play. The list goes on…

Planning leads to researching


Holidays require planning. Whether that means buying presents, decorating, preparing food, etc. many people must plan for upcoming holidays. Anytime someone needs to plan for an event like a holiday it usually leads to increased time spent online.

Traveling makes people look for something fun to do


Have you ever been on the road on or around the holidays? Traffic is horrible! That’s because many people travel on the holidays. When people are traveling, especially long distances or to places they have never been before, they usually spend time online researching their trip. It could be that they are looking for fun things to do near the place they are traveling to. It could be that they want to find places to stop along the way. Whatever it is that people are looking for, the key is that they are online looking for something. Knowing this provides an opportunity for website owners to capture some of that search traffic.

Now that we know the reasons why holidays can lead to increased website traffic, let’s review the best holidays for generating more website traffic.

3 Holidays To Take Advantage Of


ideas for increasing website trafficAll holidays provide an opportunity to generate more website traffic. With that said, over the years I’ve seen that some holidays provide better opportunities than others. Below are the top 3 holidays that you should take advantage of for driving more traffic to your website.

Christmas


Christmas is the number one holiday for organic search. People are performing searches to look for gift ideas, for travel, to find fun things going on in their community, etc. Be sure to have your Christmas content up no later than December 1st. Usually people start searching for Christmas-related information right after Thanksgiving.

Independence Day


Independence Day is a HUGE website traffic driver. Friends and families are always looking for fun things to do on or around Independence Day. A big factor is that July 4th is a Summer holiday and people love to spend it outside with friends and family. People are searching for fireworks displays, fun local events, holiday sales opportunities, and much more. Coming up with a fun July 4th promotion, giveaway, or even a safety tips blog article would do wonders for increasing your website traffic.

Halloween


Halloween is another fantastic holiday that should be leveraged to increase your website traffic. Being that it’s a holiday for young children you get a lot of parents searching the web for the latest costume ideas, hayride and haunted house information, events, ghost stories, and much more. Halloween is relevant to so many different types of websites that it’s almost impossible not to be able to come up with some sort of tie-in. If all else fails, just come up with a spooky story for your blog.

All holidays present a great opportunity to increase your website traffic, but Christmas, Independence Day, and Halloween are the top three holidays to take advantage of based on my analysis over the past few years. If you cannot come up with content ideas for ALL holidays be sure that you at least take advantage of these three.

Planning For An Upcoming Holiday


In order to capitalize on holiday web traffic, you must come up with a solid plan for how you will go about capturing some of that traffic. It’s important to start your planning well in advance of the holiday. Here are a few questions that you should answer when planning for an upcoming holiday:

  • How can I tie-in the upcoming holiday to my website topic?
  • What type of person am I trying to attract to my website?
  • What can I create on my website that might interest the type of person I’m trying to attract?
  • What keywords should I use within my holiday-related website content?
  • What other tools can I use to attract more website visitors (ie. social media)?

By answering these questions you will start to form ideas for what promotions or content you’ll produce for the upcoming holiday.

10 Tips To Boost Traffic During Holidays


grow website traffic

Understanding that holidays are great for increasing website traffic is important, but now that we know that, it’s time to start coming up with ideas for taking advantage of holidays. Remember, with a little creativity, almost ANY website (no matter your website topic) should be able to come up with ideas for taking advantage of holidays. Below are 10 ideas for taking advantage of holidays to help get you started. Not all of the ideas below will be relevant to your website, but you should be able to take advantage of a few of them OR modify any of them to work for your website.

  1. Simply offer a holiday discount on a product or service
  2. Run a holiday-related contest. If you don’t sell a product or service you can buy a Visa or American Express gift card (or any other cool prize that you think your readers will value) to give to the winner.
  3. Write a story on your blog about the upcoming holiday. Ideas include, but are not limited to, the history of the holiday, a little known fact about the holiday, a personal experience, etc.
  4. Provide a list of fun things to do with friends or family during the upcoming holiday.
  5. Write a short E-Book about the holiday and make it available for free download in exchange for readers’ email addresses and an opt-in to your newsletter or for future email communications.
  6. Publish a favorite holiday recipe.
  7. Gather Sales information from local retailers and publish it to your website as a ‘Savings Guide’ for your readers.
  8. Partner with another website to run a contest or giveaway. This cross-promotion technique can attract organic search traffic, but it also allows both you and your partner to share website traffic (increasing traffic for both parties).
  9. Publish a list of local events going on in your geographic area related to the holiday.
  10. Create a list of volunteer opportunities that people can participate in during the holiday. Volunteering information attracts a lot of website traffic around the holidays and you can definitely take advantage of some of that traffic by coming up with a list of volunteering opportunities that’s relevant to your website topic.

Again, not all of the ideas above will work for your website, but there should be a few that do. The important thing to remember is that holidays are great for increasing your website traffic. With a little planning and creativity, no matter what your website topic is, you should be able to take advantage of one or more holidays throughout the year in order to increase traffic to your website.

Are you currently using holidays to increase your website traffic? What are some of the things that you do in order to capitalize on holiday website traffic? Leave your comments below.

December 09 2011

21:00

20 Emergency Holiday Gifts For Geeks

Have you been naughty or nice this year? The holidays are just around the corner; we can even smell the mistletoe and your grandma’s eggnog in the air. The holidays are the perfect time for loving and sharing. Gift giving has long been a tradition associated with the holidays. What are you planning to give to your family and friends?

Designers and artists, and geeks in general, can be nitpicky when it comes to gifts. Most often, they don’t like gifts that are uncreative and uninspiring. If you want to make an effort this year by giving the best gifts for your designer friends, stop shopping at local shopping stores and malls. Sure, designers and creative types are easy to please–gift them with the latest iPad, smartphone, or a state-of-the-art Wacom tablet and you’ll be BFFs. But if you have a tight budget, better be creative! Explore unique gifts by going online.

We provide you the list of the best holiday gift ideas for designers and creatives. Gift this for your fellow designer friends or for yourself. If you don’t want to receive crappy, generic gifts from your friends again, you can share this link and hope they can get the hint. Enjoy!

1. Black and White Clock

The Black and White Clock is designed by Vadim Kibardin. The minimalist aesthetic is clean and beautiful.

2. Unique Coffee Cups

Coffee and designers have always come hand in hand. Sure, coffee mugs are often seen as generic gifts, but a one-of-a-kind mug will make it any designer’s best friend.

Slim Coffee Cup by Sharona Merlin

Mustache Coffee Cup by Peteri Bruegger

Mugs that are useful too, like this self-stirring mug is sure to quickly warm a recipient’s heart.

3. Lego Rings

Lego Rings are adorable for the female population of web designers. Their geeky, fashionable and whimsical. I would love to have one of these. Rock the look in the retro geek style. Get one from Skinny Bitch Apparel.

4. Cast Iron Ampersand

Designers love good typography. The Ampersand is a piece of work, and this cast iron version will work well in any designer’s home or office as a bookend, door stop, paperweight or simply as a sculpture. Each model is numbered & signed by the artist.

5. Nomad Brush

The Nomad brush is made of natural and synthetic fiber that allows you to paint on your iPad. It creates a more realistic experience of digital painting, as compared to using your finger or a stylus.

6. Star Wars Plush with Sound

Galactic and huggable friends from Think Geek are available in all sizes(4-inch, 9-inch and 15-inch). Darth Vader has never been this cute.

7. 8-bit Oven Mitt

Even designers have to do household chores (i.e. cooking). Give them the more reason to enjoy cooking and baking with this ultra geeky 8-bit oven mitt. Another great gift item from Think Geek.

8. 8-bit LED Holiday Wreath

A geeky holiday wreath to decorate your doorstep. One look at it and it screams: Mario Lives Here!

9. The Creative Sleep Pillows

After hours staring at the screen and working on Adobe Photoshop, wouldn’t it be nice to lie your head on one afterwards? Pillow logos are available for the Ps, Ai, Fl, Id, Dw and more. Grab these comfy Creative Suite pillows at My Suite Stuff.

10. DIY Mighty Wallet

The DIY Mighty Wallet has it all–it’s thin, it’s strong and it’s green. And it gives you total artistic freedom to draw on your own wallet. Now who wouldn’t want that?

11. Geeky T-shirts

There’s no place like 127.0.0.1. Or in layman’s terms, There’s no place like home!

The t-shirt speaks for itself. We may love computers, but we certainly have better things to do than fix other people’s computer.

A reference to the simplest markup knowledge that every web designer knows. The opening and closing tags are printed on the front and back of the shirt, respectively.

Ironman Light Up Shirt from Think Geek.

And finally, Threadless has many creative and inspiring t-shirt designs!

12. Ray Solar Charger

The Ray Solar Charger is a great gadget present for designers on the go. It charges your electronic gadgets as long as there is ample amount of sunlight. Now you’ll never go powerless again.

13. Geek Statement Socks

Celebrate geekiness and be proud of it with these adorable socks! Another awesome product from Think Geek.

14. Come In / Go Away Ambigram Doormat

The Coir Doormat has a unique ambigram design of ‘Come In’ and ‘Go Away’, depending on the direction you are looking at it. Welcome guests with the ‘Come In’ sign as they come in, and surprise them with the ‘Go Away’ sign on their way home. A great doormat to welcome guests during Christmas and New Year. Get this from Amazon.

15. Bose QuietComfort

Many designers don’t have their own office where they can work in peace. Instead, they have to deal with busy coffee shops and noisy environment. Now designers can get rid of that inconvenience and get rid of unnecessary noise and distractions with the Bose QuietComfort headphones.

16. Brookstone Wireless Key Finder

We all love items that are unique and useful. This Wireless Key Finder is a classic ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ item. You would never lose your keys again. The key finder works up to a 60 feet range.

17. Be A HeadCase iPhone Hard Case & Bottle Opener

The iPhone case offers protection to your phone, and an extra-handy beer opening feature for beer nights!

18. IdeaPaint Dry Erase Whiteboard

Every artist has that unfulfilled fantasy from childhood to draw on walls without being scolded. Now you will have that artistic freedom to draw on walls through IdeaPaint!  It can turn any wall into a dry erase surface, the perfect wall to any artist’s studio, home or office.

19. Star Wars Hans Solo Ice Cube Tray

Men (particularly Star Wars fans) will enjoy this present–it’s so geeky it’s just awesome. Aside from ice cubes, it works well with chocolate, too.

20. Mobile Office by Tim Vinke

Tim Vinke has created a clever design for a mobile office, which he calls the Kruikantoor. It has wheels to easily transport the office anywhere and everywhere. Plus it has all the necessary features for any office, such as a desk table, chairs, light, electrical connection and storage. It’s like an office on wheels!

January 08 2011

10:00

Holiday Inspired Freebies: 50+ Templates, Fonts & Icons

Hello there in winter – it’s cold out there, icy and everybody needs to put on their warmest coat, but here comes bright side! People are decorating and beautifying their homes, stores, cars, hotels – just anything they own or walk into are inspired by the holidays. Especially on the internet where anything is possible and quickly can be implemented and changed.

People go crazy on Christmas inspired/related designs, where nothing is over done or too subtle. After all, Christmas is about love, peace & joy!

In this article, I will be sharing tons of resources & images to all the bloggers, readers and everybody who’s reading this with theme of Christmas and Holidays.  You may say it’s too late for this kind of article – but I am saying, while there is winter in the weather and people are still trying to get over New Year and start working – it’s not too late!

Christmas Templates

1. Merry Christmas

2. Christmas Eve

3. Metamorph Xmas

4. Metamorph Christmas

5. Christmas Website Template

6.Happy Holidays

7. Christmas

8. Gift Blog

Holiday Fonts

1. 4YeoXmas

2.Xmas Tyme

3. Xmas One

4.GE Christmas Joy

5. Christmas Wreath

6. Xmas Promotions Symbols

7. Typographers Holidayfont

8. Faux Snow

9. Xmas Batzz

10. Christmas Time

11. PC Snowballs

12. PF Wreath

13. JS Snowbiz

14. Mickey’s Merry Christmas

15. Santa’s Sleigh

16. Christmas on crack

17. Candy Cane

18. Bonnet

19. Santa’s Big Secret

20. Kringle

Christmas Icons

1. Archigraphs Christmas Dock Icons

2. Christmas Feed Icons

3. Free Christmas Icons for You

4. Christmas Icon Set

5. Santa’s Set

6. Christmas Buddy Icons

7. Christmas XP

8. Christmas Icons 2007

9. Christmas icons

10. Christmas Dock Icons

11. Christmas icons

12. Xtal Icons

13. Christmas Icons

14. Christmas pack

15. Christmas Icons

16. Xmas pack

17. Adobe CS3 Icons – xMas style

18. Christmas Dock Icons

19. Christmas Icons

20. Something For Christmas – Win

21. The Day before Christmas

22. Christmas Set

23. Christmas Holiday Icons

24. Happy Holidays 2005

25. Christmas icons

Christmas Photoshop Tutorials

1. Christmas Wallpaper

A nice glowing tree-top for the Christmas tree gives it a nice highlight to the image.

2. Merry Christmas Tree

This tutorial teaches how to make a Christmas tree made up of glowing stars.

3. Photoshop Christmas Tree

This Christmas tree is almost life-like, this tutorial is great for Christmas cards.


4.Christmas Tree Ornament

Add detail to your Christmas ball ornament images with this tutorial.

5. We Wish you a Merry Christmas

This tutorial makes a jolly image with snow and a bright-colored snowman.

6. Holiday Wreath

Make your own holiday wreath, this tutorial will show you how.

7. Christmas Shiny Background

Create that glossy background effect to your Christmas wallpaper to make the image pop-out.

8. A Great Holiday Wallpaper with Christmas Balls

Christmas balls completes a Christmas image. Just because they add that jolly feel and aura.

9. Night Before Christmas

A great combination of shapes, light & gradient effects. This tutorial would really help you create a very warm and calm Christmas wallpaper.

10. Christmas Ornaments Lights Balls

The lighted Christmas balls is an exquisite touch to the image. Make one yourself with this tutorial.

11. How to Create A Christmas Wreath

This tutorial will help you create a more realistic image of a traditional Christmas wreath.

12. New Year or Christmas Card

This tutorial will teach you how to make a simple greeting card, good for Christmas & New Year greetings.

13. Christmas Stars

Create a glowing Christmas star images with this tutorial. Make the brightest star possible!

14. How to Create A Christmas Card in Photoshop

This tutorial will teach you basic techniques on how to make your very own personalized greeting Christmas cards.

15. How to Create Xmas Balls in Photoshop

Create colorful and stunning Christmas balls to complete the Christmas touch to your greeting cards and wallpapers.

16. Xmas Tree Wallpaper in Photoshop

The glowing Christmas tree makes a great concept and the additional glittery highlights makes a perfect Christmas touch. Learn how to achieve this image with this tutorial.

17. Xmas Wrapped Text Effect

Learn how to create colorful gift-wrapped letters with this tutorial.

18. Make a Sketchy Wallpaper

Sketchy drawing effects never get old. Learn how to make one with a Christmas inspired theme with this tutorial.

19. Christmas Glass Ornaments

This tutorial will teach you how to create a realistic Christmas ball ornament with light effects.


20. Decorate with Colored Lights

Colored lights says everything about Christmas. It gives it the final touch to Christmas trees and lights up the town. Learn how to make one using Photoshop.



December 28 2010

10:00

50 Heart-Warming Greeting Cards for the Holidays

“It’s the thought that counts” – may sound cliche, but it’s true. It makes one feel bubbly to realize that there are people who have thought of them in such special holidays & occasions. Especially at this time of year, when people give gifts, attend to parties here and there. Even to some who annually makes a Christmas wish-list, receiving something more personal and intimate creates a very warm and heart-felt smile. Reading love one’s thoughts and wishes for you makes you feel warm & fuzzy all over. It’s amazing how simple things in life can give joy to others. The best way to do this is by sending personalized greeting cards.

Here’s a collection of very inspiring holiday greeting cards for you. Happy Holidays!!

1. Multilingual

2.  Happy Holidays Card

3. Holiday Photo Greeting Card

4. Everything in its place

5. Holiday Greeting

6. Holiday Card

7. Where My Hos at?

8. Natal

9. Ready for Santa

10. Christmas Card ’07

11.  O’ Christmas Tree

12. Holiday Card 2

13. Holiday

14. Christmas Tree Card

15. Hour Media Holiday Card

16. Xmas ’06

17. Flowery Xmas

18. Xmas Cards

19. Festive Joy

20. Christmas Card

21. Chill Wishes

22. It Keeps Getting Warmer

23. Love, Peace, Rock N Roll

24. Christmas Card 2007

25. Christmas card no.1

26. Christmas Present

27. Holiday Card Design

28. Snowman Hugs

29. McGee Holiday Card

30. Holiday Card Series

31. New Year Card

32. Happy Holidays to All

33. christmascard 06

34. Holiday Card

35. Christmas 2003

36. Fal la la la

37. Christmas Card 2006

38. Holiday Card

39. Merry Christmas 2007

40. 2008 Holiday Card Front

41. New Year Greeting Card

42. Happy New Year

43. Corporate Holiday Card

44. Holiday Card Project 2

45. Card 3

46. A Little Holiday Magic

47. Personal Holiday Card

48. Mecha Nut Cracker

49. The Magical Christmas Tree

50. Merry Christmas

* Now the next thing you need is the finishing touch. Put your thoughts and sweet wishes in words and send it to your loved ones. That would surely melt their hearts and put the sweetest smile on their faces. Happy Holidays and have a kick-ass New Year!

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