The rise of the online video opened the doors to endless possibilities for non-static graphics in website design. One trend that has taken web design by storm is website animation. Animating certain elements of a website has the potential to grab user attention, increase engagement, seal more conversions, and increase sales. Explore all the exciting […]
Starting any new business venture is exciting. You’re free from the shackles of corporate life and you’re finally able to control your own schedule, rates, client base, and workflow. Life as a freelance web design professional rocks, doesn’t it?
But what happens when you rock it too hard? In other words, you have too much work coming in and not enough time or energy to throw at it without compromising on quality. You want to be a successful and happy freelancer, but you know something has got to give as your design business grows.
When you’ve decided you’ve had enough of the long hours, perpetually high levels of stress, and waning output of creativity and productivity, it’s time to start hiring. But it’s not as simple as hiring a few contractors to outsource work to. Managing a creative team for your web design business can be difficult if you’re not properly prepared to handle it.
5 Tips for Successfully Managing a Creative Team
So, you’ve decided it’s time to get assistance for your business. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when managing your new creative team:
1. Decide Who Will Manage Them
You run a web design business, which means you need creatives to round out your offering and offload some of your work. This may entail hiring:
Ideally, you should start with hiring people to cover tasks that are not within your wheelhouse. This may include hiring a creative director or production manager if you don’t feel up to the task of managing a creative team yourself. Consider the following:
Do you enjoy building relationships with coworkers?
Do you handle conflict well?
Have you been told that you are a good coach or trainer?
Do you enjoy leading meetings and brainstorming sessions?
Do you give practical, helpful, and positive feedback to others?
Do you enjoy receiving feedback from others?
If you answered “no” to more than three of these questions, then add creative director to your list of new hires. If you answered “yes” to more than three of these questions, then you’ll do a fantastic job managing your creative team and can keep reading for more management tips.
2. Understand What They Do
One of the more frustrating parts about working as a freelancer is when clients—and sometimes managers—claim that the work is “easy”. While it may be true that a design layperson can use a program like Canva and “design” an image for a website, or a manager can craft an op-ed for a blog, the quality of work these untrained individuals produce won’t match the quality of work you get from well-trained and educated creatives.
Of course, you already understand this as a web design freelancer. However, do you really understand what goes into the web development process and why it may take a programmer a month to complete a website? Or how about copywriting? Do you understand the intricacies involved in optimizing content not just for user readability, but also for search engines?
While I’m not saying you need to train in each of these fields, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of what each of your team members do. That way, when they encounter an issue or push back on a request you’ve given them, you understand the underlying reason behind it.
3. Encourage Controlled Creativity
In your line of work, you know that clients don’t always appreciate unique or experimental designs, which can make the management of creative freelancers somewhat difficult. While you don’t want to stifle anyone’s creative efforts, you also don’t want too many deviations from client-mandated guidelines to constantly put you behind schedule or over budget.
In order to pull off this balancing act:
Provide team members with a formal training process that acquaints them with how to use style guides and abide by best practices.
Always give your team clear guidelines and instructions with each new project.
Encourage creative input from your team. You can do this with regular brainstorming sessions that allow them to contribute to your design strategies and plans.
Assign work that challenges their skill sets and provides a more stimulating environment. This will keep them from going too far off the rails if they’re feeling bored.
Just remember that without underlying training or clear instructions, your contractors may feel like they’re free to take their work in any direction they see fit. So, it’s ultimately up to you to create a secure framework they can work within.
4. Streamline Their Workflows
Whenever possible, provide your team members with better, smarter, and faster ways of doing things. Again, this isn’t about snuffing out creativity. This is about freeing them from the mundane parts of their jobs so they can get excited about and have more time for the fun stuff.
Consider investing in:
Project management systems that enable closer collaboration;
Wireframing, storyboarding, and other brainstorming and planning tools;
Design-specific tools for creating mockups, prototypes, and more;
Writing tools for quality checks, headline optimization, SEO assessments, and more.
And be sure to have documentation created for each role. This will streamline the on-boarding and training process and serve as a good future reference point.
5. Schedule Regular Meetings
Whether you hire full-time employees, part-time employees, or contractors to fill your roles, these individuals are now valuable members of your team and need to be treated as such. Of course, applying the above principles to your management style will support that type of working relationship. However, you will also need to go beyond that and dedicate time each week, month, and quarter to check in with them.
These check-ins are up to you to define, but should serve a clear purpose. They shouldn’t just be to say “hi”, to micromanage, or to compromise your relationship in any way. Here are some ways in which you can use these regular check-ins properly:
A weekly meeting to discuss projects in the pipeline and any questions/concerns with deliverables or timelines;
A monthly meeting to talk about wins as well as areas for improvement;
A quarterly meeting to review individual goals and to devise a plan for meeting them;
A yearly meeting to review overall performance and discuss future goals and career tracks for the team member.
“No Man Is an Island”
…and when it comes to the world of web design, that statement has never been more true.
While the beginnings of your business may find you working solo, you will eventually need to hire others as you scale. Just be careful about how you manage them. There’s a fine balance to be struck when managing creative individuals and the 5 tips above will ensure that you keep everyone’s best interests in mind as you do so.
My PC has a small hard drive, so I have only allocated 25GB of space to the C drive (system drive) and store all my data in other drives. Everything works fine – except for Chrome. In case you don’t know, Chrome gives no option to install it on any other drive except the system drive (i.e. the C drive). And even if you move the Chrome application to a different drive, its data is still recorded in the system drive which easily accounts for GBs of space over time.
After a bit of research and experiments, I managed to find a simple method to beat Chrome in its own game. With the help of junctions in Windows, you can make Chrome think it is still on the system drive even though its content will be on a different drive.
If you are also looking to move Chrome to a different drive, then keep reading and I’ll show you how to do it.
In the above location, replace Your Username with your actual username. In my case, it’s Administrator.
When you reach the Google folder, delete the Chrome folder inside it. Make sure you don’t delete the Google folder.
Afterwards, go to the drive where you want to install Chrome and create a folder in which you want Chrome to reside. I have created a folder with the name Chrome in D drive.
2. Download and install the Junction app
Although junctions is a Windows built-in feature, but Windows natively doesn’t ship with an application to create junctions. You’ll need a third-party junction app available on Microsoft website. Here’s how to install it.
It would be in ZIP format. Open the zip file using your preferred extraction tool (like 7-zip) and extract the junction.exe (or junction64.exe if you have a 64-bit system) file in C:\Windows\System32 folder.
Make sure you install it in the System32 folder inside the Windows, otherwise it won’t work.
3. Create junction using the Junction app
Now you need to create a junction to redirect data from the default Chrome destination to the new one. It’s a command line tool, so we’ll have to use Windows Command Prompt to create the junction.
Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog and type cmd in it to open the Command Prompt.
Here you need to enter the below-mentioned command accordingly.
junction.exe "Default location of Chrome" "Your destination location"
You need to replace the locations accordingly in the above command as I have mentioned and make sure you add the quotes (“”) as well. In my case, the actual command looks like this:
Hit enter and you will see a confirmation that the location has been targeted.
4. Download and install Chrome
Now go to the Chrome website and download and install Chrome as you normally do. The Chrome application will be installed in the default location in the system drive, but its data folder will be made in the new location that you created in a different drive.
There is no need to move Chrome application to the new destination as well. It is hardly 300MB in size after installation and will not grow in size over time. However, if you don’t want the Chrome application on the system drive as well, then follow the below instructions.
Go to C drive > Program Files > Google. Here right-click on Chrome folder and select Cut.
Now move to the destination folder where you want Chrome and paste the Chrome folder.
Note: If you’ll move the Chrome application, its desktop shortcut will become unusable. You’ll have to create a new desktop shortcut from the new location of Chrome.
To remove the junction
In the future, if you need to install Chrome again in the default location, then you’ll have to remove the junction first. Here’s how to do it.
Uninstall Chrome and open the Command Prompt. Afterwards, enter the below-mentioned command as described.
junction -d "The default location of Chrome where you created the junction"
Fill the required field accordingly. In my case, it looks like this.
The above process might be a little cumbersome, but it will surely be able to fool Chrome and make it work from a different drive. It’s good to know that you can also use the above method to move Chrome to a different drive instead of installing it from scratch.
To do so, instead of deleting Chrome’s data folder, cut it and move it to the new location and then create the junction. Do let us know in the comments if you have any questions.
If you ever come across a link in email or on a website, always hover your mouse cursor over it to see the destination URL at the bottom of the browser to ensure it’s safe. But, this trick doesn’t work with shortened URLs that are quite common these days on social media websites.
However, this also doesn’t mean you have to facecheck every short URL and risk your security. There are multiple ways to check what’s behind a shortened URL without opening it. And in this post, I’ll show you how to do it on your PC and your smartphone.
Most of the popular link shortening services let you preview the link by tweaking the shortened URL. Just memorize these simple tweaks, and for most short URLs you won’t have to depend on a third-party service. Below is the list of preview tweaks:
Add preview before the tinyurl.com part of the link. For example:
convert https://tinyurl.com/2loblt to https://preview.tinyurl.com/2loblt
Add + (plus sign) at the end of the original URL. For example, convert goo.gl/0WhZa7 into goo.gl/0WhZa7+.
Similar to Goo.gl, add a + at the end of the URL.
Add - (hyphen) at the end of the URL. For example, convert https://is.gd/1j6nkF into https://is.gd/1j6nkF-.
Add ~ (tilde) at the end of the URL.
Add ? (question mark) at the end of the URL.
Use an online service
If you don’t deal with short URLs often, then an online expander may work better for you. For this purpose, I like GetLinkInfo for its extensive support of URL shortening websites and detailed information about the link. Just paste the link on the website and press enter.
GetLinkInfo will tell you the main title of the page, starting description, exact long URL, and any external links on the page. It also uses Google to check the safety of the website content.
Use a browser extension
In case you deal with short URLs frequently, then a dedicated browser extension is a better choice. Unshorten.It! is a good extension for this purpose that is available for both Chrome and Firefox.
The cool thing about Unshorten.It! is that it doesn’t depend on the URL shortening service’s API, therefore, it can expand almost all types of short links. Once the extension is installed, right-click on any short link and select Unshorten it from the menu. The extension will expand the link in a new tab and also show safety information based on the Web Of Trust score.
I also really liked the non-intrusive nature of the extension as it allows you to choose which links to expand and which to leave.
Expand short URLs on Android
On Android, you can use the free URL Manager app. This is actually an all-in-one link manager, but we will only be Looking at the expanding feature of the app. Here’s how to expand a link:
Copy the short URL that you want to expand.
Tap on the + icon in its main interface and select Expand.
Now paste the URL into the text field and tap on Expand. The original link will be shown below.
You can also share a link directly from your browser to expand it in URL Manager.
Expand short URLs on iOS
On iOS, you can use the free URL X-ray app. Although URL X-ray is popular for its web service, its iOS app does a fine job of expanding URLs. Once installed, you can copy/paste the short URL in the URL X-ray interface to expand it. It also adds a button in the share menu to let you directly share URLs from other apps.
You should be very careful while opening short links and always check what’s on the other side before opening, especially if you received them via email or a direct message. Memorizing short URL preview tweaks might involve some work, but it will make the process very easy if you deal with short URLs often. But of course, you can always get help from a third-party app when you are in doubt.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects to a business’ success. Not only will it help build brand awareness, it will also help you get more sales and grow your business. You may have the best products and services, but you won’t be able to make a sale, let alone thrive in the business […]
For filmmakers everywhere, spreading awareness about your movie is one of the most important parts of your work. Unfortunately, make independent filmmakers looking to make it to the major leagues of Hollywood fail to realize that websites are key to conveying a film’s idea.
An effective, secure WordPress websitehelps you set the tone for your creation and reach your market(s). Think of your film site as an extension of your creative product. It needs to represent and inform, and you should be just as proud of the film’s website as you are with the film itself. Here are five ways to flaunt your films with a WordPress site:
1) Use A Film-Inspired WordPress Theme
If you don’t have a design background, no worries. One of the best things about WordPress is that there are thousands of theme templates to choose from. With the right theme, you can create a stellar first impression for your movie. To steer you in the right direction, try looking into WordPress film themes. These themes are custom built for your use case and carry several design and features that make it simple to show your film in the best light.
The responsive Visual themeis a great example of themes designed specifically for movies. The landing page features a full-screen trailer, and when visitors scroll down, they’ll see movie-like credit font with information about the production. A slider menu bar leaves space for information about the cast and crew, a gallery, news, and purchase opportunities.
2) Remember Important Features
Think of your trailer as the business plan of film. It should be front and center, not buried among other pages. Otherwise, your visitor may have to click through to view it and you could easily lose them in the process. Additionally, when it comes to film, there are several other features you need to consider, such as a press kit.
According to film festival Raindance, this is the most important element of the filmmaking process. The press kit gives your film marketable value, and is used to send to journalists and acquisitions executives. Of course, as a filmmaker, you’ll be sending a lot of these out yourself, but you should be sure to include it in your WordPress website, too. You’ll also want to list any awards or nominations you’ve received.
3) Design On Brand
Your website should be on brand with your film. Even pre-made movie themes are customizable enough to change the aesthetics of the design. One theme has plenty of branding potential, and can easily be altered to create dozens of different visions. For example, if it’s a horror film, the design should be dark and brooding. Take a look at existing video websitesto help you understand what others are doing to achieve film branding on their sites. For example, James Franco’s “The Disaster Movie” has a great website with interactive elements and does a phenomenal job with telling a story.
4) Add Reviews & Screening Times
Your website should be informative and engaging. Any piece of information your visitor might want––whether they’re a potential viewer or industry insider––should be readily available. Take advantage of WordPress plugins like Theatreto help display showtimes and locations. This is particularly important for independent filmmakers who might have limited showtimes and ticket availability. Check out the “Upcoming Screenings” portion of this film siteto see how other filmmakers are listing their screenings. You’ll also want to show reviews for your films, especially if the movie has been garnering a positive reaction from viewers.
5) Monetize Your WordPress Site
Lastly, there are different ways to monetize your WordPress site for films, and these are areas you should consider. Filmmakers already have it tough enough trying to produce art that sells, so when an opportunity comes along to monetize work, you should certainly look into it.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to do this is to ask for donations. Setting up a donation button is extremely simple, and doesn’t hurt to incorporate. This will allow visitors to help support the film, whether they’re a family member or friend, or simply a film enthusiast looking to contribute to a cause. If you do plan to accept donations, be sure to tell your story and explain what you intend to do with your donation funds.
You can also sell relatable products on your site. This includes film memorabilia, DVDs, or digital downloads. A quick search on Etsy of the indie film “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” shows different products surrounding the film theme.You can do the same for your film and generate additional revenue.
Trust is hard to build yet necessary for any great website. If you can’t generate trust with your readers then why would they come back to your site?
Whether you run a blog, a SaaS product, or a client agency, it’s not easy to develop trust. Usually, it just takes time to build a rapport with your audience. Still, there are some design techniques you can use to increase the likelihood of building trust.
In this guide, I’ll cover some basic tips you can follow to add elements of trust to your website and build a stronger connection with new visitors.
Trust creates an environment where users want to engage with your website. It also gets users in a state of mind to consume and act upon your content.
This is why many of Google’s first page results lead to powerful .com domains and large authority sites, rather than lesser-known Blogspot blogs.
However, your domain is only one part of branding, so don’t assume a great domain is all you need. There are many factors that can sway a website into a trusted authority, but perhaps most important is content quality and user experience.
If you don’t deliver great content you’ll never build trust with users. This is just a given. But, if you have pretty great content and a solid branding you’ll have a much easier time selling trust with these design techniques.
TechCrunch is a great example of something that was just a blog and over the years has scaled into a massive authority website. Their newest design reflects more of an online magazine, which builds a lot more trust in readers.
I encourage you to look around and study other websites in your niche. Study their color choices, typography, layout styles. See what works and what best conveys a sense of authority to the visitor.
Showcase client brands
One clear way to show you mean business is through other trusted third party brands. For instance, adding logos to your page tells the user that your company is trusted by other large companies—always a good sign.
This might be considered gaudy but it’s also a great way to convey trust right off the bat. If your homepage sells a service/application you’ll want to let visitors know that other big companies are happily using your product.
InVision has this on their homepage and it works very well. Almost everyone recognizes these brand logos at a glance. Twitter, Airbnb, Netflix, Dropbox, all very large companies relying on the InVision prototyping tool.
Notice these logos don’t need to be large or flashy. Most of the time they blend into the layout with a somewhat faded color scheme. This is perfect to draw some attention, without being too noticeable or obnoxious.
If you have a lot of brand logos you might even add a custom carousel rotator. You can see an example on the pCloud homepage. You’ll notice a small section labeled “used by” with two arrows to switch between corporate logos. These represent teams within the companies who use the pCloud security features.
People who don’t know about pCloud have no reason to trust this site. But, after seeing that Uber, Nike, Ikea, BMW, and Adobe all use this product, it may be worth testing them out.
People usually trust other people’s opinions. This is why testimonials are like a fast-acting glue to build trust with visitors quickly, even at a glance.
You can do testimonials however you want, such as direct quotes, video recordings, user ratings or something else entirely. The goal is just to have other people vouching for your service to build immediate trust.
Spot Daycare does this with each individual daycare center. Each location includes a five-star rating feature, embedded alongside the main image which links out to Yelp reviews.
Because these reviews are from Yelp, they’re generally trustworthy. Anything that comes from a third-party looks like a genuine endorsement and it helps build trust with reluctant customers.
You still need to add these testimonials to the page without being obnoxious. I find the homepage is the best place to grab attention and you can nestle these testimonial widgets anywhere.
The Jazz HR homepage is really interesting because it uses client logos, along with user testimonials. When you’re looking at a glance, this immediately builds trust because there are so many reputable people clearly using this service. How could all of them be wrong?.
You’ll also see how each testimonial has a pithy header with 2-5 words, followed by an actual quote. This is another solid design technique to grab attention with shorter writing.
If you like this idea you could even try combining the client logos and the testimonials together, into one widget. Desk has this on their homepage and it’s a brilliant example of how far you can take this trend.
Just remember that people trust other people, so get testimonials that feel realistic and offer value to potential clients/customers.
Consistent brand design
If readers can grow familiar with your branding they’ll be far more likely to trust your website. A great brand makes your site feel more like a company. The information is then assumed far more trustworthy and you’ll get a lot of repeat visitors.
Take, for example, the design of AdEspresso. Most of their layout borrows colors and ideas from Facebook’s branding because the site is a direct Facebook advertising partner.
By keeping with this same branding across the whole site, it builds trust quickly. This design keeps you engaged and reading to see what the site actually offers.
Even if you’ve never heard of the AdEspresso brand in your life their site oozes a consistent theme and it all feels very trustworthy. The illustrations, the brand logos, the colors, everything.
You can also design your own branding with similar page elements such as icons and vector illustrations.
For instance, Skurt uses engaging graphics on their homepage to visualize the essence of their car booking business. These smart illustrations can work well to guide visitors through the features of the site.
Find whatever branding ideas work best for your site and try them out. Run split tests for different ideas to see which ones perform better than others.
There is no foolproof method of branding, so it’s mostly trial and error, with lots of user testing.
Professional UX work
The idea of “professional UX” may seem a little vague but it’s a crucial aspect of building trust. Your website should work just like all the other “trusted” websites online. This is why so many designers study other websites and restyle their layouts based on existing ones.
Search Google for websites similar to your own. What features do they have in common? How do they handle different page elements? Specifically, make note of these points:
By applying great UX, you can increase engagement and build more trust just by making a site that functions properly.
One great example is the TechTarget site that pops up for a lot of definitions when researching tech terms in Google. I don’t know much about the domain or the brand itself. However, their website design is exquisite and it breeds trust right from the first pageload.
This makes it seem far more like an authority with great content. It’s not just the typography or the colors or the branding. It’s the entire composition and how it all works together to create a trustworthy user experience.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with UX design. Instead, just follow whatever seems to work for others and put your own spin on it. Search the web and find well-designed websites. Make note of the features you like and why they work.
Over time, you’ll pick up some great design trends and you’ll learn how to replicate them properly.
Here are some galleries you can browse for design inspiration:
Whether you want to better your online privacy, or need to remove some embarrassing footprints, deleting your online presence can be a bit difficult. Remembering everything you have done online and removing it is quite close to impossible.
Don’t worry though, if you want to completely delete yourself from the internet or even minimize your footprint, then keep on reading and find out how to find and delete online information about yourself.
Note: The complete deletion process can take quite some time, at least a few days. Even then, there is a chance some of the undeletable information about you may lurk around. Keep these shortcomings in mind before moving forward.
Many websites force you to sign up to use their service, so it’s common for people to sign up for a one-time-use service and forget about it. You might think you only have an account with just a few of the services, but the truth could be eye-opening. I personally thought I only have an account with hardly 10-12 services, but it seems I have signed up to over 140 services!
deseat.me is a great online service that shows you almost all of your online accounts that you created using a specific email address. You just need to provide your email address and it will automatically show all the websites you have signed up to and will also show how to delete your account there.
Unfortunately, the service is only available for Gmail and Outlook users. If you have an email account with a different user, then jump to the next step where I’ll help you find your accounts as well.
To start using deseat.me, click on the “Get started” button on the main website and provide your Google or Outlook account. You will have to give permission to read your emails in order for deseat.me to work. Hope you are okay with that, as we will remove deseat.me in the end anyway.
You will now start seeing your signed up accounts on top, but only 3 at a time. If you want to delete a specific account, then click on “Delete queue” account to add it to delete queue below.
And if you want to keep an account, then click on the “Save” button to add it to the save queue. The items in the “Delete queue” will have a delete button next to them that you can click to directly move to the respective service’s account deletion page.
Note: There is a chance deseat.me may list websites where you may not actually have an account. I scorched through over 70 websites and deseat.me only made one mistake. So I guess the chances of this are quite low.
This whole process can take quite some time as each account may have different demands to be deleted, and some may take 14+ days to completely delete. So hang in there and deseat.me will keep track of your queues even if you sign out, and you can continue where you left off.
When you’re finally done deleting your online accounts, scroll to the bottom of the deseat.me page and click on “Delete this account“. Next, confirm that you want to delete the account and all the collected data and your account will be deleted.
This step is important if you want to leave no trace of yourself online.
Track & delete your online accounts manually
If you don’t have a Google or Outlook account or don’t want to use deseat.me, then you are pretty much on your own. You will have to recall all the websites you have signed up for and then delete your account from there.
The best I can do is give you some pointers to jog your memory. The easiest thing you can do is to go through all your mails since the beginning and see which websites you have signed up for. All website send a confirmation message to your email when you sign up, so you should be able to find all your sign ups.
However, if you have a habit of deleting unrequired emails, then you can check out AccountKiller and justdelete.me that list some of the most popular websites along with links to how to delete your account from those websites.
Just go through the list and you may remember creating an account with one of these websites. If so, click on the website’s name to find out how to delete your account.
Now that the bigger hurdle is aside, it’s time to clean the scraps. You can check which information about you is public and then try to remove it. Google Search is probably the best point to start your search.
Enter your name in Google Search and put quotes around it like this; “your name”. This will force Google to search for pages that contain your name as is.
You can repeat the same process to search for your email address, contact number, or may be your usual account names. You can also pinpoint results by combining these search keyword by adding an “and” between them. For example, entering search keyword “your name” and “your email address” will show results that contain both your name and your email address.
Using Google Search I was able to find a random page where my name, email address, my job, my current city, and the university where I studied was listed. That’s a bit too much information to be listed online for anyone to search through.
Apart from Google, you can also try searching on People search engines. They can spit out a lot of information about you, and can even search for information available on the dark web. My favorite people search engines are Pipl and Peek You.
Both are free and have extensive information about the online world.
If you find any information about you online, then see where it is published and try to remove the information or delete the account if possible. Later in this article, I’ll tell what you need to do about hard to remove information.
Unsubscribe from mailing lists
All websites allow you to manually unsubscribe from their newsletters, but Unroll.me is a great alternative that makes the process very easy.
Just log in to Unroll.me using your email address and provide the required permissions (all email service providers supported). Now move to the “Edit Subscriptions” section and you will see all your subscribed email letters in a list. Simply click on “Unsubscribe” next to each service to unsubscribe.
Delete forum comments
You can either login to your account and delete the comments on any forum or talk to the moderator to delete it for you. If you can’t delete comments yourself or you have already deleted your account on the forum, then send a message to the moderator along with the link to the post and politely ask them to remove it.
Do make sure you give an authentic reason to the forum’s moderator to increase the chances of getting it removed.
To search for your comments, you can search Google with your forum nickname enclosed in quotes. If there is a particular comment you are looking for then try searching for some of its content and put it in quotes.
Content you don’t have control over
There are also some types of content that you may not have direct control over, such as your posts over someone else’s website. In such a case, your best bet is to contact the owner of the website and ask them to remove this information.
You will have to be polite while requesting and give a solid reason why you want the information to be removed. The webmaster isn’t bound to remove any information, so your convincing message is the best way; unless you prefer taking legal action.
What if you can’t delete the account?
There is a chance a service may not allow you to delete your information, and only let you deactivate your account while your information stays on their servers. In that case, you need to replace the information with the fake one.
First, try to delete all the optional information and then add fake information in fields that are mandatory. You can add a fake name, add a fake phone number, change home address and associate the account with a fake email that doesn’t link back to you by any means.
Sometimes talking to the customer support can help in deleting your account, but in most cases, it won’t help.
You should also delete all the cookies set by websites to ensure they can’t link to you by any means when you access them again. All browsers give the option to delete cookies, here is how to delete cookies in popular browsers.
You can also use a cleaning tool like CCleaner to delete cookies from all your browsers in one go.
If you want to completely get off of the internet, then you should delete your email account as well. However, do keep in mind that today email address is required for many legal purposes. So you should at least create a secondary email account to use it when it is absolutely necessary.
The process of deleting your email account depends on your email provider. So it is better to search online for “how to delete (your email service) account”. Here are some quick links to delete Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and AOL email accounts.
The Wayback Machine issue
Wayback Machine is an online internet archiving tool that archives website content and makes it available for anyone to see as it was uploaded. If you have publically uploaded something and then deleted it, there is still a chance Wayback Machine may have archived that page and made it available for anyone to see.
The problem here is that Wayback Machine doesn’t offer any way to delete individual content that is indexed by its bots. In case it did manage to index any of your personal information, then you should contact Wayback Machine support team and give them the URL of the Wayback Machine page that has your information and ask them to delete it.
I can’t guarantee if this will work, but their support team does have the power to delete individual pages if necessary.
Depending on your online activity, it can get quite cumbersome to delete all your online traces. Do keep in mind that it is almost impossible to completely delete yourself from the internet if you have spent enough time on it.
There is a chance your data might be lurking on the dark web, someone might have stolen your data before you could delete it, or simply its stored on a company server and that choose not to delete it.
However, in most cases, you are sure to delete most of the publically available information about you.
Do let us know in the comments why you were looking to delete yourself from the internet.