Venngage – Free Infographic Maker

Venngage is one of the major players in the Infographic maker business and has become a favourite with many users due to its high level of features and the availability of a free account with not too many restrictions attached to it.Venngage Infographic maker templates

Of course we all know the value of using images to explain something, to educate your audience or just to pass on information. The problem has been that in order to make a decent looking job of it you needed to pay a graphic designer – and the good ones don’t come cheap.

As the web has developed it has become even more important than ever to provide your website visitors with a choice of information in a variety of formats including text, video, audio and as images. Yes, of course you still need those well-written articles, after all that’s what Google and the other search engines use to work out what your webpages and your website is all about. Text based content however is no longer enough in itself and websites offering a strong graphic and video content tend to do much better in search results.

Infographics have become poplular because they are, in effect, an article in an image. The infographic layout presents data in a graphical way that enables people to take in what is being said quickly – reducing the amount of time they have to spend reading text based content.

I am no graphic artist but I’ve managed to produce a number of very good quality infographics using the completely free of charge templates that are supplied by Venngage, even with the free account.

The finished article can be published in various different formats and sizes and used as required. Formats supported include .pdf, .png and interactive .pdf (paid accounts only).

As to the cost of Venngage, it is realistically priced and if the free account doesn’t work for you then it is not too big a jump onto the Premium account at $19 per month. If you want to unlock all the toys in the toy cupboard that’ll cost you $49/month but it is a powerful tool and highly recommended if you need that level of functionality. There are discounts for paying quarterly or annually.

All in all, Venngage is probably the main player in the infographic maker marketplace, alongside Piktochart perhaps, and I would recommend that you take a good look at both before jumping in with a paid plan.

 

 

https://venngage.com/

Venngage

Where To Find It
https://venngage.com/
Product Type
Infographics maker
Paid/Free
Paid with limited free option
Free Trial Available
Free account available
Price
$19/month entry level.

Ashampoo Snap 10 – Screen Capture and GIF Maker

Ashampoo Snap 10  lets you capture and edit any screen content to create screenshots and videos.

Ashampoo Snap 10

Using Ashampoo Snap 10 you can capture and edit anything you see on your screen. There’s also an animated GIF making tool included, as well as movie editing facilities.

The latest version of Ashampoo Snap 10 features many significant improvements and clever enhancements. The new video editor can trim recordings to size without any loss of quality and helps split longer clips into individual episodes. Web site captures can now be orgsnised more easily by including their URLs. It’s a brand new experience with enhanced sound recording, video watermarking and smarter editing tools. It’s true to say that Ashampoo Snap 10 probably has everything you need in a single program!

There is no shortage of software to do this kind of thing, much of it available for free, so although Ashampoo Snap 10 is a top end package with many features, you probably only need it if the features it offers are so important to you that you need a paid-for package. We suggest taking the free trial to find out more before making up your mind.

One of the most recent additions to Snap 10’s lineup is the ability to create screenshots of 3D fullscreen games. Now if you need to do that it’s probably worth the asking price on its own – but do you really need it or do you just want to play with it?

The software seems to be well supported and there is an informative website to provide support. However, the lack of training videos on the site is noticable and is something that we almost take for granted these days – particularly strange with Ashampoo being a company that specialises in supplying video related software; practice what you preach and all that.

Having said that, a trawl of YouTube will probably get you going and there are very good help files available online via a link in the package so I wouldn’t let the lack of training videos necessarily put you off. Ther’es no doubt that Snap 10 is a well produced and well-supported piece of software.

Ashampoo Snap 10 is available for $49.95. There is a free 10-day evaluation period, which can be extended, so it is well worth taking time to check it out before deciding whether or not to buy it. It will probably do everything you want and more – but can you justify the price, only you can decide!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashampoo Snap 10

Where To Find It
https://www.ashampoo.com/en/gbp
Product Type
Animated GIF builder/video Editing/Screen Capture
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes
Price
$49.95

Snappa for Great Looking Graphics

Snappa is a graphics toolkit that makes creating great looking graphics simple, quick – and free!

I suppose it is inevitable that Snappa will be compared to the mighty Canva, probably the market leader in this field. That would be a fair comparison and there is no doubt that, point for point, feature for feature, Canva does just have the edge – it has more facilities and templates included in its free subscription.

Canva does still require a reasonable grasp of graphics in order to get the best from it though and many people who need graphics for their website just don’t have that skill set. It is for those people that I think Snappa is probably a better fit. It really is possible to churn out great graphics for almost every online purpose, very quickly and easily.

There is a template in Snappa for just about every purpose I can think of, including Ad layouts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on, as well as blog post images and a range of popular banner sizes and styles.

Snappa graphics tools

There’s a really useful video on the Snappa website that shows how a typical graphic can be produced in less than 60 seconds – it may take you a while to get to that level but the point is that really professional looking graphics can be quick and easy with Snappa. Here’s the video – judge for yourself:

Snappa is free to use and, although there is a Pro upgrade most people wouldn’t need it in order to create the kind of graphics that most of us need regularly. Even if you did decide to go Pro it only costs $10/month and gives you some nice additional features including access to a very comprehensive image library.

 

 

Snappa

Where To Find It
https://snappa.io
Product Type
Grphics platform
Paid/Free
Free plus paid upgrades
Free Trial Available
Yes, unlimited
Price
$10/month opens up more options.

Flickr – Free images for your website

Flickr is a very popular site for finding royalty-free images and boasts of having over 13 billion photos in its library and a community of over 120 million users.

That’s a lot of photographs, and a lot of people!

Well I, for one, have no reason to doubt the good people at Flickr, and even if the above are rough estimates one thing is for sure – they sure do have a lot of images! Here’s one I found, by a photographer called Zolakoma, which I really like. Here’s the link if you want to see more of this photographer’s work: https://flic.kr/p/ag4sP7

6077633884_7751f7b713_z

Flickr is owned by Yahoo and in order to use it you have yo sign up for a (free) Yahoo account. That’s all easy to do and well worth the effort because there really are a lot of very good images in there. However, if I have my super-critical hat on, there is a lot of not-so-good stuff in there too but try to bear in mind – it’s FREE.

Don’t expect a Shutterstock-like selection of top-quality artwork and images, Flickr is really all about photographs that have been submitted by its community and who do not get, or expect, and remuneration. Some of them are very good and the search facilities are very useful in finding what you want. For anyone that needs a lot of images for their blog or website, Flickr images could save you a lot of money.

You can download the images you want, for free, and use them, for free – what more could you need? If you do use Flickr images on a website, Flickr ask that you post a link back to them plus an acknowledgement of where the image is taken from, all of which is fair and reasonable.

There is a Pro version of Flickr, priced at just $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year, which gives you a few extra goodies but does not change the availability of the images that you need.

All in all, Flickr images are a welcome alternative to the library images you get from the other, paid for and often quite expensive, image libraries – why not give it a shot?

Flickr

Where To Find It
https://www.flickr.com
Product Type
Image library
Paid/Free
Paid/Free, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – its always free
Price
Pro version $5.99/month.

Pixlr – Photoshop type graphics, for free!

Pixlr is a free to use graphics service that gives you Photoshop-like graphics capability to create and edit images in most popular formats.

Pixlr graphics software should be taken very seriously, despite its free-of-charge status, for one very important reason – it comes from a very highly respected and long-established software house called Autodesk. Autodesk are the creators of many industry standard software packages for the design and manufacturing industries, most notably, “AutoCad” which is the de-facto standard for CAD software throughout the world.

For those who want a bit of extra functionality there is an optional upgrde to the Pro version for just $1.99/month or $14.99 for the year. If you are serious about your images then the extra few pence a day is well worth it, but, I stress, not necessary for general everyday image editing work.

So what’s in the Pixlr toolkit? Lets take a quick look:

Pixlr Image editor

As you can see, the core of the Pixlr graphics software is a comprehensive image editor.

Pixlr image enhancement options

More than just image editing though, you can enhance you images, add effects and, as you can see from the graphic above, there’s a neat “vintage” effects tool as well.

As you have absolutely nothing to lose I strongly recommend that you get yourself a copy of the free version and play around with it. If, like us, you find that it has everything you need for day-to-day photo editing and other general purpose image work, then make it your standard and invest the $14.99 a year to get the extra twiddly bits.

Speaking as someone who, not so long ago, spent over £600 on a full blown copy of Photoshop, (which is brilliant, by the way, IF you need all that top-end functionality – at the time , I did), I think that most people would find the tools available in Pixlr more than enough. For those that need a bit more, then Photoshop can now be purchased on a low monthly subscription from Adobe.

Pixlr

Where To Find It
https://pixlr.com/
Product Type
Graphics Software
Paid/Free
Free, with a Pro version for just $1.99/month
Free Trial Available
Free always
Price
Free or $1.99/month for Pro Version

Icomoon – Icon Library

IcoMoon is an online icon library that supplies collections of icons to suit many different purposes.

There are free and paid versions of IcoMoon; the paid versions being more comprehensive and including more icons but my guess is that most people, us included, would find just about everything they need in the free version.

IcoMoon is, however, more than just a symbol library. One very useful tool is their (free) app which enables you to, amongst other things, create customised symbol fonts.

In other words, if there are a few symbols that you use over and over again just put them into your custom symbol font and use them as you would any other font – the symbols scale up and down depending on the font size that you stipulate.

Saves time spent searching through long lists of symbols, many of which you are never likely to use.

IcoMoon symbols

Free or paid?

I suggest trying the free version first as most of what you need is likely to be there. If you do opt for a premium version this can cost as little as $9 for 30 days access.

 

IcoMoon

Where To Find It
https://icomoon.io
Product Type
Symbol Library
Paid/Free
Free & Paid Options
Free Trial Available
Yes – fully free version available
Price
From $9/month.