Designing Google sized ads for free using Canva.com
Register a free account with Canva.com or login with your Google.com account
Start a new design
Type ‘ad’ and select from the dropdown your desired ad dimension
Design from scratch or make life easier by adapting an already existing design from the list of freely available templates that Canva provides
After you have finished your design, click the top right ‘download’ button option to export the file to a .png format to your local hard drive
All work is automatically saved to the cloud through Canva
Repeat the process for any other advert dimensions that you require
Other than the templates that you might base your designs upon, make sure to use the other available resources where you can easily find, buttons, backgrounds, and high quality stock images, many of which are completely free.
Maintenance. Now that your site size and akeeba backup file size is decluttered you need to keep it that way. Images are your enemy, they are the cancer that starts of small and eventually metastasize into losing money on avoidable server host changes.
From now on, the images that you use to illustrate your pages and posts throughout your WordPress website need to be appropriately resized and compressed BEFORE they are uploaded to your Media Library (via your post creation).
Processing new images:
No image file should be larger than 90kb filesize
Jpg format only (no png, no gif, no animated gifs, no bmp)
Animated gifs need to be uploaded to a service like gfycat and use its generated url
Choose the option to Resize dimensions restraints (Edit):
The maximum height allowed for Portrait images – height 500px (max)
The maximum width allowed for Landscape images – width 600px (max)
Possible exception to the above dimension restrictions can be: Unless it is a non-post image ie. an ebook cover, your profile page image, something intended to be read when clicked such as a newspaper snippet/cutting.
The right hand side is where you make alterations and see a preview of the image you are about to produce from the original image.
Keep the default settings, but ensure that ‘Maintain aspect ratio’ box is checked.
Click the ‘down arrow’ button that is situated in the bottom right hand corner. This will save the new compressed and resized image to your local hard drive. This newly downloaded image is what you shall use for your WordPress posts/pages.
Whether you are starting out and have never created an online identity before, or you are re-branding, there is no time like the present to make a start.
A clanmate approached me with this age old question. I’m grateful that he solicited advice. I have helped many people in the past before in creating new online names.
Fundamentally and ideally you wish to end up having the same online handle for all platforms, gaming and social media.
Below are suggestions in some resemblance of order you might want to look into ensuring your proposed handle is not taken.
Short and sweet: Try to invent a name that has few characters as possible and also think about the verbal pronunciation of the name. Say it out aloud to yourself in different sentences and settings over and over. This is your name, make sure you’re happy with how it is said and pronounced. People shall be using this to address you!
Creativity (to an extent): Your research will lead you to many dead ends. You’d be surprised how many of your first 20-30 names that you think of are already taken. Don’t be disgruntled. Where possible, be creative, perhaps using numbers in the place of some characters.
However, try to be tasteful and mindful. ie. xxx_MumraMayne_xxx, usage of ‘xxx’ might get you blocked by search engines, limiting your online exposure and also.. it’s rather emo and tacky and dated, right?
Be original?: There’s a great reason that Google is named so. Not only does it have real meaning but also at the time it was not widely used. That said, don’t be afraid to use combination of words to form new names.
One for all and all for one: Lastly and final basic rule is to not create any accounts on any platform until you have ensured that all your main platforms have your decided name available.
You are a gamer. I recently attempted creating a new PSN account. Wow, everything felt like it was taken already. Start your Playstation, go to the relevant menu option on your console and attempt to create a new name that is not already taken. Whatever you find here, will most likely not be taken on other platforms.
There are online checkers that might help you discover if your Twitter is taken.
Facebook / Instagram
Worth creating this, even if only for Instagram.
Back in the day YouTube used to offer creators the ability to create unique urls for their channel if they got popular enough. Research and find out if this is still the case.
Gmail is free, but also making use of their free online tools is great. ie. GoogleDocs, GoogleDrive, etc
You wish to listen to other audio inputs without sacrificing your in-game audio, nor give up the ability to chat with friends via Discord or Skype / simultaneously livestream with your audience etc.
What I use
Astro A40 mixamp, compatible with 3.5mm headsets but I use the headset listed below [black arrow – front & back views]
Astro Wired Headset [green arrow]
Console (PS4) with optical out [red arrow]
Macbook Pro [blue arrow]
Optional: Alternate music source of your choice. Android phone / MP3 player / iPod etc [grey arrow]
Red Arrow: In-game audio is heard via the digital optical port of the console which is plugged in at the back of the A40 mixamp.
Blue Arrow: The mixamp gets its power from USB connection to the Macbook. This connection also allows you to hear input from the Macbook, ie. Spotify, iTunes playlist, YouTube browsing etc. This also allows you to communicate with team mates, but only through VOIP apps such as; Discord, Skype, Mumble.
If you have a capture card system already setup for streaming, having the mixamp connected to your Mac/PC allows for you to have your mic also broadcast your voice to your stream
Grey Arrow: This is optional, but if you have a male-to-male 3.5mm cable, you can plug in external mp3 players of your choice, or your phone etc. The audio from here will only be heard by you and cannot be heard by your stream audience.
Note: This methodology no longer allows you to communicate with players over PSN with your headset mic. You will have to switch to alternatives such as Discord, Skype.
PSN Party Chat: getting the best of all worlds! You can still join and hear other players in PSN Party Chats. However, they will not be able to hear you. If your preference is to still make use of PSN voice chat as well as all the other features addressed in this post, this is achievable through using an external usb microphone and pluging that into one of the free USB ports of your console.
The external mic now allows the PSN party members to hear your voice.
Video editing is a joy. There’s a great sense of achievement in curating and creating montage footage of highlighted moments.
What is the best free video editing software?
There are many free to use options out there for any platform or operating system that you may be working with. The most popular operating systems being Windows on the PC and OSX for Mac. This post does a good enough job listing the many options currently out there: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/best-free-video-editing-software
However, I will focus on the entirely free Professional Editing Software, HitFilmExpress. HitFilmExpress, in my experience, is simple to use with a small learning curve. Simple edits can quickly be achieved. And with the addition of using free presets and plugins created by the community, you are able to create stunning features such as this (see below)
How to get started
Download HitFilmExpress for your platform
Though free, you need only jump through a one-time-only social media related hoop to gain access to the full program. After which, all updates and subsequent upgrades are free forever. Download it here HitFilmExpress.
Install some community plugins
A combination of the above available community preset plugins were used to create the showcased YouTube video above.
Learn the basics, get familiar with HitFilmExpresss
You’ve got a brand new video editing program installed, along with the community plugins, now what?
If like myself you’re familiar with video editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, then the interface and the options to get started should be intuitive.
For those of you who are in need of a crash course in the basics, you can find many tutorials through YouTube searches. I recommend you start with working through some of the official tutorials provided by the makers of the program which can be found here: https://fxhome.com/video-tutorials#/hitfilm-express-tutorials
Click the image above, locate and watch their basic’s video. Then feel free to watch their other tutorials along with finding community created tutorials via YouTube searches.
The basics to getting started for streaming via your Mac.
OBS: Streaming software
This is the basic software which you need. It’s open source and FREE. Download the latest version for your operating system.
Play the above video, follow that video tutorial instructions.
iShowU: incorporate Discord/Skype/VOIP/WhatYouHear
If you want that extra swag in your recordings/livestream I cant recommend highly enough that you include your in-game chat call. Follow this tutorial to get it setup correctly.
Your audio input and output settings should resemble something like the image above if you followed the tutorial correctly.
I’ve not tried any of these (yet) but I hope to one day get around to implementing some of these extras to make my stream more awesome. Check em out for yourself. Have a go!