If you want to get into the eCommerce business, you are going to have to have to have a means of receiving payment. PayPal “Buy Now” buttons are one option, but if you plan on growing a big business, you are going to have to invest in a shopping cart. Shopify and Magento are two of the most popular choices, but which platform is best for you? Let us go over some of the features of each, and weigh the two options.
What Both Platforms Offer
To be fair, we will first look at what both Shopify and Magento offer potential users. As any good eCommerce platform should, both shopping carts are capable of factoring in shipping fees. Any profitable online store will have to attract customers as well, and both platforms offer powerful SEO tools to get your shop to the top of the search results. While these two juggernauts of the eCommerce battleground do offer the same basic functionality, they differ in many ways.
Shopify is probably the most popular eCommerce site builder at this time and for good reason. With over a hundred customizable templates, building an online store using this platform gives its users a wide range of layouts to choose from. Shopify can be set up almost “right out of the box”, and there is a large online community as well as 24/7 support to make things even easier.
To top off all of these great features, Shopify also offers hosting, so users will be able to simply connect their shops to their domain names without having to purchase hosting from a separate provider. Users that do not know much about Web design will be able to set up their online shops quickly by following the numerous tutorials about the platform.
One downside to Shopify is that the basic edition (which costs $29 per month at the time of this writing) only allows users to have twenty-five items in their stores at any given time. More advanced packages offer more inventory space and other additional features, such as coupon codes. Luckily, the first two weeks are free, allowing shop owners to test the waters before they commit to paying for a plan.
Another downside is that while Shopify is indeed a flexible platform with numerous modern themes, premium themes come at a hefty price. The free themes work fine, but business owners that want to soup up their presentation will be paying a pretty penny, along the lines of $80 for a responsive premium theme. Setting up Shopify in a language other than English may also require third-party add-ons, so it may be a challenge to reach customers outside of the Anglosphere by default.
Magento is a free, open-source shopping cart solution, which may make it appeal to users at first. However, unlike Shopify, Magento requires quite a bit of technical know-how in order to get it off of the ground. Although with that said, there are lots of tutorials around to assist you. Business owners that do not have this technical knowledge will have to invest in hiring people that do, and can get things set up. Users will also have to have their own hosting plan and know how to install Magento on their servers.
After surmounting these technical hurdles, Magento becomes a more powerful and flexible tool than Shopify with thousands of themes and apps. The platform lacks flexibility when it comes to integrating payment solutions, however. Shopify, by default, can easily connect with about seventy payment gateways, while Magento would require setting up third-party apps to do so.
Setting up shop with Magento also allows greater ease of attracting non-English-speaking customers than Shopify. By default, the platform supports multiple languages and can easily be customized to support more.
Magento’s free themes are not as modern as Shopify’s, but its premium themes are quite nice and are far less expensive compared to its competitor. To top this off, Magento does not force its users to pay to increase the size of their shop inventory, meaning that there is less overhead for store owners that have a plethora of items to sell.
Magento offers greater flexibility and power than Shopify, but these benefits come at the cost of a much steeper learning curve.
As we can see, both shopping cart solutions have their pros and cons. Objectively, we cannot say that one is better than the other; if this were the case, it is likely that one would have gone out of business a long time ago.
What we can say is that Shopify is probably the better solution for those that want to set up shop quickly, without having a high learning curve. Magento may appeal to users with a more technical background that want to have their own hosting plan and don’t want to fork over additional monthly fees.
Do your research and weigh your options when investing in a platform. Only you can decide which shopping cart is best for your business!
There are literally thousands of devices in the market from which people are browsing the Internet. I’m not talking only about Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows phone, laptop, and things like that. I’m talking about all the devices that run on Android. Think about Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G2, Google Nexus 5, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, HTC One and so on and so forth. Think about all the devices running on Windows. HTC Windows 8X, HTC Windows 8S, Nokia Lumia 525, Samsung Focus Flash, etc.
There are an insanely huge number of devices out there. And people are using them to visit websites. Hence you should prepare your website accordingly. One way to solve the problem is create apps for your site. You can create an Android app or an Apple app or both. Though there are other app markets too but these two are the most popular
But as technology is advancing more and more mobile operating systems are arriving in the market. You can’t create an app for every different operating system that pops up out there. And here is where a responsive web design steps in. A responsive web design means a design which responds correctly to the resolution of the screen on which it is viewed. It will automatically readjust itself and spread itself to match the screen size of the device the user is using to view it.
This has advantages over an app because you don’t need to write the code separately for all the different operating systems. One solution will fit all. While creating the website you will also need quality images and so you may check out Depositphotos for that.
Besides, not everybody who uses a smartphone or a tablet uses apps to visit websites. Many of them simply browse the net through the mobile web browser. Therefore you need to have a responsive website.
According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of tablet users prefer reading news on the mobile web rather than an app. Additionally responsive website is good for SEO. Google has clearly said that responsive design “is Google’s recommended configuration”. Do I need to say more? Responsive design also helps in link exchanges. Think of it this way. Suppose I’m browsing the Internet on my mobile and then I find a story interesting and want to share it with my social media followers.
If the site is not using a responsive design and is using a mobile site then the link shared will be to the website’s mobile version. Hence anyone who clicks on that link on his desktop will be taken to the mobile version of the site. No one is going to like the look and feel of it on a desktop and hence he will hit the Back button, while cursing me during this time.
With a responsive site you don’t need to worry about any future technological innovations. Suppose tomorrow a new browser or a new OS arrives, and if you are using responsive, your site will automatically adapt to it.
Let me know what you think about responsive sites in the comments below.
There are many causes for slow page load times in websites, and many of of them are completely avoidable. Slow page load times come with far-reaching implications that spread their tentacles into your revenue and brand. Long story short, this is not good for business as many customers will look for alternative providers of your service if you force them to wait for more than 2-3 seconds for your page to load.
A slug in the general performance of the site generally means you are worse off in other areas not visible to your business associates and customers. Before delving into the price you actually get to pay for slow loading times, it’s probably a good idea to understand some of the most common causes of slow page loading time.
Below are some of the major causes of slow loading time.
Poor Hosting Choices
One of the common causes of slow website loading is poor hosting services. However, in most of the cases the users choose low value hosting packages significantly affecting the efficiency of the website. The many versions of hosting products often come with varying resource allowances, which should be in line with your needs as client. An example of a high-end managed provider that offers support for things like NGiNX, Varnish, and Memcached is EuroVPS.com. Make sure you choose a managed hosting provider with experience in web performance optimisation services as this can drastically reduce your stress levels in debugging performance issues.
Server-Side Intensive Scripts
Too Much Flash
Too much flash and memory-intensive shockwaves slow down the loading time of the website especially for users with slow internet. The solution is to utilize XML to load external data or just ride on HTML5 and CSS3 as it is by far lightweight. This will also help you to load minimalist versions of your website on mobile browsers thus increasing visitor satisfaction. Flash should only be used when you are certain of your visitors’ rapid internet connection.
Images that have not been optimized for web are often hard to load in slow internet connections. The clarity levels of JPEG images for optimized images is always 60%, meaning the image that loads is blurred though the original copy in the server is very clear. PNG images are often antialiased, so that they can load in stages as opposed to one-off loading. Using images un-optimized can cause serious speed problems.
Non Compression Of Web Pages
Web pages can be compressed into a gzip using a unique algorithm then decoded at the browser. This has been used by major tech firms delivering heavy content and it can save considerable load time. If your pages are slow and you feel they are bloated with necessary media, you should consider compressing them at the server level.
Bulk code refers to unnecessarily long lines of code that clog a server. This may be in the form of the following un-smart coding practices.
Use of unnecessary white spaces
Deep nesting of HTML tags
Implicit declarations and ambiguous code on the backend code
The solution lies in use of tact while doing the front end and the backend of the pages. It can save considerable load time that will in turn make some extra million dollars yearly for your company.
Basing Design On Tables And Frames Instead Of CSS And DIV
For the designers, the pages’ themes must be rendered in the HTML as CSS styles, and DIV segments as opposed to complicated tables and Framesets. Frames are an archaic way of expressing a theme and often lead to too many parameters in the design. This bloated way of coding can be avoided by using DIV tags as dividers and using CSS to define the size, formatting, rendering and orientation of the dividers.
Embedding External Media
Another related cause to slow loading is sourcing external media from third party websites. Depending on other hosting providers for core content in your site is not a great idea at all. For instance, if you load a video from YouTube, there is a great possibility that your visitors will have trouble loading pages when the YouTube servers are down. Keep everything local as far as you can.
Spamming From Your Forms
A whole lot of spam comes from users and engines actively spamming your servers with illegal requests and submitting multiple forms with illegally auto generated data. This is a common World Wide Web ill that is basically launched by competitor sites or sabotage hackers. The first thing to do here is to lock your forms on the client side using anti-spamming scripts. Plugins like Captcha will come in handy here and help your capture spammers on the act.
Limit visibility of classified pages that may expose your scripts to hackers. Finally use anti-spamming software at the gateways of your servers to limit multiple requests from one client.
With little luck, your pages are bound to load faster once you explicitly deal with these common sources of the slug. The trick is to do all of them as none will work in exclusivity.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) is the Internet giant’s answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles, and to Apple’s Apple News. Apple and Facebook are able to provide fast-loading content on their closed platforms.
Google joined the move to provide mobile users with content that load faster through its Google AMP project. Unlike Apple News and Instant Articles, Google AMP is open-source. That means that everyone will be able to provide a better surfing experience for mobile users as they transition to AMP.
An In-depth look on Google AMP’s mechanism
A lot of technicalities are involved on how Google was able to resolve the problem areas, ending up with fast-rendering web pages. The following is a technical discussion on how Google AMP makes web pages load faster than ever:
First, Google AMP makes use of AMP HTML, a restricted subset of HTML. AMP HTML corrects the problem areas that make rendering slow, significantly improving web performance.
AMP HTML and AMP runtime restricts content through the following ways:
iFrames are not allowed.
Form elements, except for buttons, are not allowed.
Tags for images, videos, and audio are replaced by AMP versions. These are controlled by AMP runtime.
CSS must have only a single
Although there are lots of restrictions for Google AMP, it is at least available for other websites (contrary to what Facebook and Apple did for Instant Articles and Apple News). You will be able to AMP up your website, making it load faster, for a richer mobile surfing experience.
But how really does Google AMP make loading faster?
Google AMP really put web performance on its focus. The AMP HTML was built to really hasten rendering of pages.
Here is how the aforementioned technicalities make page rendering faster:
There is only a small number of initial server request.
Priority is given to above-the-fold content.
Dimensions of resources are known by default so there is no need for recalculation.
You might be worried that maybe the real reason why Google AMP is able to offer fast-rendering pages is because that will leave you with basic HTML and CSS only. Don’t worry because you will have widgets at your disposal, only that these are pre-approved.
Currently, there are 12 approved components which include amp-img, amp-ad, and amp-video, amp-anim, amp-pixel, and amp-twitter. Image carousels, maps, social plug-ins, and data visualization are expected to be supported sooner or later.
For now, it can be presumed that any component can be added to the list of approved components for as long as the minds behind the Google AMP project will be able to optimize them.
Google AMP is still on its early ages and we can expect a lot more from it as it develops further. A truly faster and richer mobile surfing experience await for us all! Let us all look forward for the development of Google AMP.
Kenneth Sytian is the head honcho of Sytian Productions Web Design Philippines. His no-nonsense approach to design coupled with his vast creativity is a winning combination for his clients.
The World Wide Web is evolving on an almost constant basis. New technologies are enabling site owners and content producers to deliver richer, more immersive content without hampering user experience. In fact, sites are now focusing on user experience for all the right reasons. Search engines prioritize websites that offer good UX, while users now have shorter attention span and demand better experience in general.
There is no doubt that speed plays a big part of that user experience. A site that is well-designed will only do so much if it fails to load in a timely manner. Fortunately, there are several great tips that will help keep your WordPress site fast and optimized. We are going to take a closer look at 5 of those tips in this article.
Use Browser Caching
Browser caching, when implemented correctly, can help reduce the time needed to load a page by a substantial amount. You can cut away more than 2 seconds off your page loading time just by caching static elements that get loaded frequently. The upper logo and those big photos you display in a slideshow at the top of the site don’t always have to be loaded from the server.
There are several ways to handle browser caching in WordPress. You can rely on plugins such as the W3 Total Cache to configure how different elements are cached. You can also set up your server to handle caching configurations for you. Speaking of servers….
Use WordPress-Optimized Hosting
A lot of websites, even some of the more extensive ones, are run on a shared hosting plan; there is actually nothing wrong with this choice, because WordPress is a fairly light platform that doesn’t use a lot of server resources. That said, there are ways to configure the server to match the needs of a WordPress site better.
Simple tweaks such as better database query handling and integration of Nginx caching can really help improve the speed of a WordPress site by a whopping 80%. This boost in speed alone is worth opting for a WordPress-optimized web hosting service for your website.
Despite the extensive resources on how to handle images on a website, mishandling of images and photos is still the most common optimization mistake made by a lot of site owners. I even came across a blogger who uploads full-resolution photos from his camera directly to his blog at one point.
Images processed specifically for websites are small in size, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize them even further. By removing unnecessary metadata, colour profile and other information that are irrelevant to the site, you can save an average of 30% off the size of your images. That once again translates to a nice boost in speed for the whole site.
Structure Your Content
Always focus on loading the main contents first. The basic wireframe and navigation of the site, the main body and essential images must be programmed to load first. You can then load additional elements, such as images placed below the fold, in the background while visitors are already started with reading the main content.
WordPress isn’t primarily designed to handle this type of structuring, but modern themes and some of the latest plugins can help optimize your entire site in just a few clicks. There are even plugins designed to lazy-load larger images.
Use a Local Server and CDN
Last but not least, try to get closer to your viewers whenever possible. If you’re targeting viewers in the UK, using a UK-based hosting service is the way to go. You can then add a Content Distribution Network or CDN to get closer to users in other parts of the world.
CDNs are basically mirror servers that are used to widen the reach of your site. When a user from a particular location access your domain name, the CDN system will determine the closest server location and automatically point the user’s request to the nearest server. It is like hosting your site on multiple servers, but only static elements get stored across the globe.
These 5 tips will help speed up your WordPress site considerably. Make the necessary changes and use benchmarking tools – Google PageSpeed is a good start – to help you measure the impact of each optimization. Speed up the site without ruining the user experience or breaking the user interface if you are serious about gaining the most advantage from speed.
In this post we have collected 11 awesome mobile apps for soccer fans. All these apps are must have for any soccer fan to get updates on the go.
Live scores directly from the source, the 1st live score service on the Internet, powered by LiveScore.com since 1998.
This application comes directly from LiveScore Ltd., the leaders and inventors of real-time delivery of live sport data and owners of the no.1 ranked football / soccer web site globally.
Live scores and push notifications, opinion polls and video highlights for more than 560 football leagues and cups around the world. As well as being a live score app known and loved internationally, Forza Football is simultaneously changing the face of football by liberating and sharing the collective opinion of fans from all over the world.
Stay in touch with everything you love about sport. With the FlashScore app, you are always just one touch away from the fastest possible LIVE scores, stats, competition tables and draws from nearly 30 sports and 5.000+ competitions worldwide.
Goal Live Scores brings you reliable, live, real-time football scores and goal alerts direct to your phone. Brining you quick access to the best content in world football, covering Premier League, La Liga, Champions League and more.
Team Stream: Sports news, scores, & highlights
Get all your team’s news and scores from across the web in one easy place with personalized streams that sends alerts as soon as stories break. Be the first to know all your team’s news!
The internet has become the most powerful communication and learning platform ever created. Despite this, many online users don’t take advantage of the resources that are readily available to them on the internet, which can help improve your life in many different ways. Below are some of the most effective ways the internet can help you develop as a person
Online Education and Training
When it comes to education and work, many people have low self-esteem and get stuck in a rut for their whole career. However, more and more recognized educational institutions like Villanova University are offering an online version of their most popular courses like the online master of science in analytics course. A popular, high-quality course like an online MSA degree would have been out of reach of most people a few short years ago, but this is no longer the case.
You Have Easy Access to Self-development Information
A little knowledge can make a big difference to some people’s lives and the way in which they view the world. A wide range of personal development experts are using the internet to reach a much larger audience and you can benefit greatly from this.
Self-development professionals provide valuable tips and advice through online videos, audio files and digital textbooks. In many instances, this information is given away for free or sold for an affordable amount.
You Have Endless Networking Opportunities
Every day, millions of people go online and login to their favorite forums, social networks and other online community websites. This gives you a unique opportunity to make new friends with people who have the same interests as you. You can ask for advice and give advice on these websites, and this can help you to improve many of your communication skills along the way.
You’re not confined to communicating with people who live a long way from you either. Many localities and local groups have their own online get-togethers or meetings and often meet up in person, too, which can be an extremely effective way to contact and communicate with people who you may not be able to approach in other ways.
The Internet is the Perfect Place to Carry out All Types of Research
With millions of web pages filled with useful content, the internet is the perfect research tool for people who want to find out more about themselves, about other people, about their local area, and other information that can enrich their lives. A simple search on one of the main search engines like Google can quickly give you the same information that could take many hours, days or even longer to find in books or through other offline methods.
Everyone should try to keep learning and improve their skills and increase their knowledge. Unfortunately, most people live busy lives and it’s not always easy to get the time to do this. However, the internet has all the resources you need to make this task much easier and you should use it in the ways mentioned above, to enrich your life even more.
Small businesses are up against some pretty large competitors and if you are amongst those who feel there is no budget for a website, it’s time to rethink your budget. It doesn’t need to cost a small fortune to get online and the benefits you can derive by doing so will more than pay for itself – if done right!
One thing you may want to consider in the very beginning is consulting with a pay monthly web development company such as http://thewebsitegroup.co.uk/ based in London. If you are looking for a true ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your web development and hosting needs, you might start there. At any rate, here’s why you can’t afford not to have a website for your small business.
You Only Have a Local Establishment – So What?
Did you know that most people now find new businesses to deal with online? Yes, local businesses are found more often online than through any other means and what is even more astounding is that they are most often found on mobile devices. That’s why Google put mobile friendly algorithms to work last year and wow, are they paying off! Since Google mandated that websites be made accessible on any device, no matter how small the screen, people can find you if you have a mobile-friendly (called responsive in the business) website developed for you.
Why Should You Care if Mobile Searchers Find You?
Here’s another titbit you might want to know. Most people searching for a local business are already mobile! Yes, that’s right. Telephone books are a thing of the past because no one stays at home long enough to browse through those dreaded yellow pages. Now you will find someone looking for a Christmas gift, for example, already on the train headed in your direction. They search on their mobile phone for something you sell, plug in the location and voila! Their search yielded your shop in the first position on the first page of the Google SERPs. That’s Search Engine Results Pages, in case you hadn’t heard. They get off the train a stop early, pick up the gift, and continue on their way with gift in hand. That’s just a far-fetched example, but you get the picture.
Time Is Money So Why Waste It?
Then there is the small business owner who says they have no time to build a website. That’s what web development companies are for and why you should seriously consider investing in one. Whilst there are those out there that charge thousands of pounds in setup fees, you can find monthly ‘pay-as-you-go’ web development companies that do everything from helping you choose a name for your site to designing your site to keeping it mobile and SEO friendly. The right web development team also hosts your site for the same price and over time, as you become more successful, you can add features to your baseline product you’ve started with.
A Parting Few Words of Wisdom
The long and the short of it is that you cannot NOT afford a professionally designed and developed website for your small business. If you want, you can even convert to an ecommerce site where customers can conveniently buy online instead of journeying to your shop in the cold of winter, the dead of night (when of course you aren’t open anyway!) or in the midst of those heat waves that have been cursing the country these past few years. Pay-as-you-go, pay-monthly websites are affordable and the revenue you begin generating almost immediately will more than pay for going online.
Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator. It takes a template directory containing raw text files in various formats, runs it through a converter (like Markdown) and our Liquid renderer, and spits out a complete, ready-to-publish static website suitable for serving with your favorite web server.
CSS or ‘Cascading Style Sheet’ tells how HTML elements are to be displayed on the web page. It’s an easy way to control the style of a web page, as at once you can change all the paragraph styles, font style, the headers, background colors etc. CSS has come in many different versions over the years. The first level (level 1) was released in 1996 and then built on with level 2 which came out in 1998. Level 3 is being developed at the moment.
In essence CSS is a freely available standard, sticking to W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) rules and describes a document’s presentation using a markup language. It is now incredibly popular with website owners for creating a page that looks great. The main idea behind it is that the presentation of a site is managed and coded separately from the content of the site which has a major time advantage of being able to change the presentation of multiple pages in one single process.
The roots of the idea of formulating CSS go back to a proposition by Håkon Wium Lie on October 10, 1994. Lie was working with Tim Berners-Lee at the time at CERN. There were several other styles that were suggested but CSS became very popular. In all the discussion about different styles, the ‘cascading’ approach in CSS let page managers change multiple sheets or pages at the same time.
There were indeed other models that other people were trying to develop at the time. Pei Wei developed a language that derived from the Viola browser and Robert Raisch who worked for the publishing house O’Reilly had managed to put another model together. DSSSL was another model that was a possibility at the time. However, the beauty of the idea of CSS was that it was a partnership between the reader and the web writer. In other words it was the idea that the style of the document could not just be designed by the writer or the reader by themselves, the needs and wishes of both had to be taken into account. The capability of the device that was displaying the content was also absolutely vital in the design.
Robert Cailliau, who also worked at CERN with Berners Lee and Lie, wanted to separate the structure of a page and its presentation from its content, by which a main principle of CSS was made.
Lie however worked principally with Bert Bos, who worked on the Argo browser, trying to implement his own proposal of SSP (StyleSheet Proposal), to implement and fully develop the CSS standard. In 1994 there was a conference in Chicago called the ‘Mosaic and the Web’ conference. Lie presented his proposal of CSS here and again a year later in 1995 which was a bit more political. Bert Bos presented the support for style sheet in Argo and Håkon in Arena. A huge discussion about the ‘balance’ between author and reader ensued especially regarding the legalities of who should or would be in control. There was seemingly no conclusion made at the conference itself. Nonetheless, the technical developments had to continue behind the scenes, despite any political problems or disagreements.
The W3C took a keen interest in CSS from the start and was keen to learn more from Lie and Bos. This resulted in a special workshop on the subject which was chaired by Stephen Pemberton. A project board was established, with Lie and Bos at its heart and things began to grow and develop. Thomas Reardon of Microsoft also joined the team at this time. In December 1996, after a great deal of work by all concerned, CSS1 became official and was launched. Earlier that year, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 3 had been released and it offered some form of limited support basis for CSS. There was however several bug issues for a few years after the launch of CSS. In fact it was not until the launch of Internet Explorer 5 for the Macintosh that full CSS support was achieved (this was released in March 2000). However, in some ways the whole system remained fully open to bugs and other problems which resulted in the W3C moving ahead with CSS2.1 which fixed the errors in CSS2.
As of June 2012 there are more than 50 CSS modules all published from the CSS working group. There is still great need however for more development to take place moving ahead into the future. 2016 is a bit of a milestone year as it is 20 years since CSS level one specification was completed. Today, CSS level 3 contains advanced features such as flexible layout and animations. The industry is moving very quickly today and there is a need for the language to adapt as requirements change. The newest specifications – Flexbox and Grid Layout – are looking at how best to tackle layout in the future such as scaling and vertical and horizontal alignment. Grid layout especially will allow layout to be far more complex. Getting CSS right in the future is vital as it has a huge impact on the beneficial experience of the end user who should always be at the centre of concern.
This programming essay is prepared by WriteMyEssays custom writing organization.