Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

6 Powerful PHP Frameworks To Work With In 2019

Guest Post

Creating a website from scratch requires a lot of work, which is often tedious. In several cases, you will need to recreate the functionalities that you have built thousands of times. This recreation of functions is equal to reinventing the wheel. This is where software frameworks come handy, you can utilize such frameworks as the foundation for you application and build your program upon it. After using software frameworks, you don’t have to recreate the functionalities again and again, instead you get a prebuilt structure for building your whole software application.

PHP Frameworks

PHP is a popular open-source server-side scripting language which is widely used to develop varied web solutions. Building a complex application in PHP, which uses hundreds of functionalities, can be quite challenging when started from the scratch and also it is a time-consuming process. However, by using any popular PHP framework, you will not only reduce a great amount of time, but also simplify the development process. If you want to work with a PHP framework, then you may get confused with so many choices. You have to choose the right PHP framework to complete your project. Following are some popular PHP frameworks to choose from:

1. Laravel

Laravel

Laravel is a free and popular open-source PHP framework which has gained prominence in a short time. As compared to other frameworks, Laravel is capable of handling complex web applications at considerably faster pace in secure manner. It simplifies the process of development by easing common tasks like caching, routing, sessions, and authentication. It offers powerful and easy tools to build high-end web applications.

It is suitable for creating small or large apps where complex back-end is required. Laravel comes with a myriad of features which are handy in customizing complex apps. Some of these features include MVC architecture support, seamless data migration, view template engine, routing, security, and authentication. It is one of the best frameworks to choose to build modern web apps with speed and security.

2. CakePHP

CakePHP

Want a simple and elegant toolkit for your PHP development, look no further than CakePHP framework development. CakePHP is a robust PHP framework that enables to develop web applications in a faster and simpler way. It is a reliable framework to develop feature-rich and visually impressive websites. It is easy to learn especially due to its CRUD (create, read, update, delete) framework.

CakePHP is easy to install and requires only a server and a copy of this framework. It has robust features such as prevention from SQL injection, Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) protection, input validation, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) protection. Plus, it provides proper class inheritance, modern framework, great documentation, support portals, and more.

3. Symfony

Symfony

Symfony is nowhere behind Laravel and CodeIgnitor in terms of popularity. It is a flexible framework that provides a component and bundle system that allows you to easily pick any PHP function or use the entire framework. It also comes with an in-built testing functionality to let you check whether the applications you build run perfectly. Being a popular PHP MVC framework, it is widely used for the web development. However, it has a steeper learning curve and doesn’t have the best performance.

Due to the high flexibility, you can easily set up a single component with this framework. The built-in testing functionality allows app testing. It’s a good choice for creating large-scale solutions. Plus, one can easily install and configure this framework. But, its security mechanism is difficult to use.

4. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is acknowledged for its small footprint as the whole framework is about 2 MB in size along with the documentation. This framework is best suited for developing dynamic websites and applications. Due to the availability of several pre-built modules with this framework developing reusable and robust components is easy. Unlike other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter is lightweight, faster, straightforward and quite easy to install and configure.

Its key features include high-quality error-handling, MVC architecture, built-in security tools, easy and illustrated documentation. It is useful for developing lightweight apps that are to be run on the modest servers. CodeIgniter doesn’t provide regular releases, so it may not be ideal for apps that require high-level security.

5. Zend Framework

Zend Framework

Zend is an absolute object-oriented PHP framework and uses of features like inheritance and interfaces, makes it easily extendable. Built on agile software development methodology, this framework was created to provide high-end solutions to enterprise clients. Being highly customizable Zend framework follow the best practices of PHP development.

Zend is a perfect choice for developing complex and enterprise level applications. Some of the key features of this framework include session management, simple cloud API, data encryption, and MVC components. It enables you to use the components that you want and can be integrated with external libraries. However, there is steep learning curve for Zend for mobile app development.

6. Yii

Yii Framework

Yii stands for “Yes It is!”, and it is a revolutionary and simple PHP framework that comes with exciting features. It is useful for developing modern web applications as it provides high-performance and component based framework. This is a good framework to develop highly secure projects like e-commerce, web portals, CMS and other projects. It offers excellent speed and reduce SQL repetitions by database data into objects. Being highly customizable, you can even modify a single piece of its code in core. However, it has a steep learning curve.

Final words

Being a robust server side scripting language, PHP has become a leading tool for creating high-end web applications. PHP frameworks are providing an easy and quick way to build those applications as they reduce a lot of time and provide an efficient ready-made framework to work upon for the developers. A developer does not need to create the same functionalities again and again but they can reuse components with the PHP frameworks. It reduces the time and effort spent on building solutions from scratch and expedite the development of web applications. There are lots of PHP framework each with distinctive qualities, you can choose the best PHP framework that meets your project requirements.


About the Author

David Meyer

David Meyer is a PHP developer at CSSChopper, which is a leading PHP web development company providing high-end PHP development services across the globe. He has a passion for PHP and likes to write various informative blogs and articles for the readers to keep them informed and educated.

8 Must-Have SaaS Tools For Your Ecommerce Business

Guest Post

It’s sometimes said that getting ahead in business (as opposed to, say, academia) comes down to who you know, not what you know. Things are different still in ecommerce. When you’re selling online at scale, success is more closely linked to the tools you use. Everyone has access to the same research and networking resources, and the software you rely on determines everything from the amount of free time you have to the quality of your work.

Ecommerce Apps

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s suppose that you have ambitions to achieve great things in ecommerce. Perhaps you’re already running and trying to grow a store, or maybe you’re contemplating running one and trying to get prepared. No matter your situation, there’s great value in having a solid lineup of SaaS tools to help you along the way. Here are 8 must-have tools for ecommerce that are praised by most ecommerce agencies.

Salesforce

Salesforce

The real long-term value in ecommerce comes from loyal customers. They visit unprompted, spend more, and contribute additional traffic through recommendations — and to win (and keep) loyal customers, you need to stay connected with them. CRM (customer relationship management) software is key to this, and Salesforce is the industry leader.

With Salesforce configured, you’ll be able to monitor everything that’s going on with your customers from a single dashboard: how much money each customer is spending, how long they’re spending on your site, what support issues they’re facing, etc. This data will help you improve your store. It is a paid solution, but $25 per month for the essentials isn’t bad.

Prisync

Prisync

Knowing how to price your products is a persistent challenge in online retail. Go too low, and you’ll destroy your profit margin — and potentially induce a comparable reduction from your competitors, making things tougher for everyone. But go too high and you’ll price yourself out of contention. How do you get the balance right?

Prisync is a price tracking service that helps you maintain an advantage over other stores. It checks industry prices several times each day, so you can always keep up, and it integrates readily with all standard ecommerce platforms. It’s not cheap, starting at $59 per month for 100 products, but it may be worth it — particularly if your products are relatively expensive.

Easil

Easil

The importance of promotion through social media and blog posts is not to be underestimated. Getting a glossy ad in the right place at the right time can make all the difference — but if it’s going to get attention in the fast-paced stream of social updates, it needs to look the part, with strong visuals and sharp design.

While Canva may get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to design tools, Easil has some major advantages. For instance, it supports text shadowing by default, allows you to set per-pixel positions, and has a native service for consulting a professional designer should you decide that you need some assistance. Use it for free, or pay $7.50 per month to get a greatly-expanded range of templates plus a variety of new options.

Tawk.to

Tawk.to

Strong support is more of a priority today than ever before. The number of people viewing your store can fluctuate wildly, and there may come a time (during a sale, for instance) at which you’re getting far more interest than you can handle over the phone or through an email ticketing system. Fail to answer an important question when it’s posed and the person asking will likely just decide to seek assistance elsewhere.

Tawk.to is a free service for adding a live chat service to your online store. When someone has a question, they can simply type it in and wait for a reply. And because one person can handle numerous simple support conversations roughly simultaneously, using live chat both increases convenience for customers and saves you time.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books

Keeping your accounts tidy is a core demand of running a business of any kind, and since ecommerce leaves a minimal physical trace, it’s even more important that you log everything carefully and maintain in-depth records. The more easily you can tell where all your money is going, the better equipped you’ll be to reap efficiency gains.

Zoho Books, part of the broader Zoho suite of SaaS tools, comes well-recommended as an accounting tool for its ease of use and reasonable pricing (starting at $9 per month). It doesn’t do payroll, but that’s becoming a rare native feature anyway, so don’t let that dissuade you. Give the trial a try and see what you think.

Freshmarketer

Freshmarketer

The ease of A/B testing is one of the greatest advantages of digital content. If you’re not sure whether a particular change is worth making, you can simply run a split test to directly compare the two variants before keeping whichever one comes out on top. It’s particularly handy when you’re lacking context — for instance, if you buy a ready-built store and don’t know why the design choices were made, you can use A/B testing to gauge the reasoning behind them.

Now, you’ll hear (and read) a lot about Optimizely for A/B testing. It’s the most popular option by far, and typically the most highly-rated. However, it uses a pricing model shrouded in mystery, which may be because it tends to be very expensive. For that reason, I suggest trying Freshmarketer. It’ll easily integrate with popular platforms, creating heatmaps and split testing (complete with a WYSIWYG page editor), and it costs just $99 per month for 50,000 monthly visitors with all features available.

Segmentify

Segmentify

Online customer experiences need to be personalized wherever possible if you want to exceed expectations. After all, everyone has different product and offer preferences, and a shopper will be more likely to buy if they find a page catered to their needs instead of something generic.

Segmentify is all about nailing personalization for product recommendations, marketing emails, and push notifications. It collects visitor data, adjusts content accordingly, then repeats the process — this ensures ongoing optimization that should keep value going up. It is somewhat frustrating that the pricing model is quite opaque (you need to request a quote if you want a meaningful figure), but used at scale, it could be a game-changer.

Super Monitoring

Super Monitoring

In general business, they say time is money — but in ecommerce, uptime is money. You can’t sell when your website isn’t live, and every moment of inaccessibility contributes to a negative perception of your business. Who wants to frequent a store that clearly isn’t reliable? So you need to know when your store is down — otherwise, you can’t do much about it.

The value of Super Monitoring, then, is quite clear. It not only loads your website at regular intervals to confirm that it’s responsive, but it can also run through set routines (e.g. filling in specific forms, such as at the checkout stage) to confirm that everything is working as it should. And with every fault corroborated from multiple locations, you don’t need to worry about false alarms. The tier best suited for ecommerce is $29.99 per month, but there are plenty of options, so see which one is right for you.

Work these 8 SaaS tools into your ecommerce strategy and you’ll see a range of benefits. Your monthly expenses will go up, of course, but the value you’ll receive over the coming months will more than justify that investment.


About the Author

Ecommerce TipsEcommerce Tips is an industry-leading ecommerce blog dedicated to sharing business and entrepreneurial insights from the sector. Start growing your business today and check out the latest on Twitter @myecommercetips

Why Web Apps Are Exceptional Choice To Surpass Competitive Era?

Guest Post

It’s been a while when advanced applications were introduced to reduce businesses hassles. But still, there’s an issue which bothers individuals’ minds that how do they develop a website, should they move to the mobile application or should they choose between promoting a website, web app or mobile application?

web apps

Most of the people must have heard about native apps that these are the powerful application programs that are particularly built for specific platforms or devices. Built with robust features, the apps are user-friendly and winning the arguments with optimized performance.

It’s an advanced era where businesses wish to connect with their prospects directly and more personally. They strive to ensure a better experience to them while they come to your brand. The best way they chose is to develop web apps that are intuitive and reflect a first copy of the existing website. Users’ will hardly find the difference between the website and an associated web app. Web apps are especially built to be accessed on different platforms and devices. This is the reason people are admiring the way web apps are running flawlessly and without trouble.

Building blocks for web apps

Today, developers are turning to build high-end apps. No matter, these are mobile apps or web apps, they seamlessly develop it with the same enthusiasm. But, do they know about the building blocks needed to appropriately carry out the web app development process?

The web apps building blocks are based upon a few mandatory factors. One of the first is, one should deliver something to attract customers or which seamlessly meets their requisites. You should also take care that additional features should not hinder the application’s existing functions. Developers can take their web app development with module development implementation.

Maintaining optimum security for web app is another factor from the list of building blocks. Keeping the site or an app safe is your prime responsibility. It is vital from both app owner and users perspectives. If your web app is not safe you may lose the data or if users feel so, they will not turn to use your web app. So, implement proven tactics to make your web app secure.

A speedy web app is the requirement of every web explorer. He always finds something best to use in a speedy manner. Therefore, focus on integrating the app with functions that provide ultimate speed to a web app. Remain updated with the market’s trends and new implementations enable you to make this happen with finesse.

Today, the debate is all about which one to choose web apps or native apps. If web apps, what are the applauding facts that make them powerful and worth embracing. Native apps have been in the market for so long and unquestionably offering the best and optimized performance. But, today we bet that web apps are rendering a few stunning advantages that a native app can’t approach.

Let’s discover what are these:

Web App Advantages

Introduction of new technologies

In this technological world, you can experience different new technologies that outstandingly support web apps and their functionality. WebAssembly and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the major ones that top the list. These are the powerful platforms that operate simply like regular web apps. Above all, these types of apps also possess app-like features including device hardware access and push notifications that make them a complete package to ensure better user experience.

Apart from the elaborated ones, there are other technologies that have proposed to take web apps towards a bright future. These comprise React360, AFrame and WebXR are a few advanced and widely used tools that are available through the browsers and also powered by AR & VR features.

Utilization of new skill set

The invention of new development technologies made it possible for developers to take their knowledge ahead to get better development results. Business enterprises now encouraging developers to use their advanced skills and integrate responsive sites with cutting-edge technologies. They motivate them to implement Artificial Intelligence and get deep insights into the proposed system. Also, businesses are developing solutions that are integrated with machine learning and provide accurate measures of a user behavior.

Additional benefits one can achieve with advanced web apps

  • Web apps are conveniently accessed by users via different browsers and also through a variety of devices operate on Android, iOS and Windows operating system.
  • These apps don’t create troubles during update and maintenance. Whenever someone wants to make updates in content or app design, he/she can simply publish the updated version to the server. The changes will immediately get reflected in the existing web app’s layout.
  • Such web apps are easier to discover as these are light weighted and visible on the search engines on the top. It is said that major search engines like Google & Bing also prefer web apps to list them on the top of the list.
  • Visitors who frequently use your website will automatically get redirected to the web app if they are accessing the site with a handy device like smartphone or iPad.
  • Web apps or mobile apps work exactly like a standard website and developed by integrating the sole database. The best part is that these somehow also perform like native apps.
  • Business-oriented web apps considerably take more time, developer base and cost but, above all these ensure better performance and improved user interaction.

Ending Note

You must have got an idea that which one is better to embrace in this trending era. It’s nothing that you can’t use native apps as these provide better and improved performance. It’s your choice what you want to choose for your business growth. But, you should give a look to the web apps as these are in trend and satisfying customers with the improved user experience.


About the Author

Tom HardyTom Hardy author is a dexterous UX designer at Sparx IT Solutions. He is passionate and accomplishes every project with sophistication. Having years of experience in the same domain, he gathered the courage to accept even challenging task and get it done with professionalism. He is also a professional writer and tries to impart his knowledge among people by drafting informative blogs on UX improvements.

How to Improve Conversions by Localizing a Website

Guest Post

With the advent of social media platforms and accessible smartphone devices, the world has become smaller than ever before. This has lead websites and online services to the obvious necessity of localization. Translating an entire website into numerous languages, coupled with constant updates needed to make them relevant has led many companies to concern.

website localizing

According to data, 62% of companies deem localization too complex and too manual to be worth their while. However, not everyone who visits your site will necessarily speak your native language, let alone make a purchase or convert of their own volition. In that respect, localization can undoubtedly affect your website’s performance for the better. Let’s take a look at several noteworthy factors in regards to improvement of conversion rates through site localization.

Why Localization Matters

Greater SERP Presence

In terms of online visibility, SEO can make or break your website. Localization plays a big part in whether or not your site will show up in search engine queries across the globe. After all, people who don’t speak German won’t find German websites on the first pages of their search results. By introducing numerous languages to your site, you will ensure that your site shows up much more frequently whenever someone searches for a term present in your industry.

Access to a Global Audience

It goes without saying that localization opens a lot of potential for international expansion. Content in Spanish, Chinese or Greek will be attractive to people who speak those languages more than the traditional English offering. Meeting your future audience halfway through localization will raise your chances of converting them into followers, subscribers and customers.

Variety of Revenue Sources

Lastly, conversion is only one of the ways in which you will be able to monetize your site through localization. Potential business partners, investors and third parties will undoubtedly take notice of your localization efforts.

These stakeholders can be approached with projects and collaboration opportunities which can serve both parties equally. The more languages you have present on your site, the better your odds will become at growing and expanding your business.

1. Choose Crucial Languages

Once you settle on localizing your website in different languages, you should plan your next steps carefully. Make sure to choose the languages which are present in your industry without following global trends and expectations. For example, culinary blogs are attractive to worldwide audiences, but a site dedicated to Italian literature or Scandinavian folklore might not be.

It’s important to go into localization one step at a time without biting more than you can chew. In that regard, opt for language-by-language localization instead of pushing several languages at once. That way, you will gradually expand your site’s content and raise the SEO ranking organically. Don’t expect results to come overnight and give the localized content some time to breathe before it begins to attract new leads.

internationalisation

2. Language-Specific SEO

When it comes to SEO, it’s worth noting that all of your languages should be optimized individually. It’s only logical that English keywords don’t hold much levity in Japanese or French translation of the same words. Platforms such as SEM Rush and Google Adwords are great tools in terms of keyword optimization and trend research. Use their databases to determine the best course of action for your content’s SEO localization.

Avoid DIY keyword optimization, especially without an in-house writer and translator onboard. Once each language is optimized in its respective way, your site will show up in local search pages across the world depending on the language in question. Failing to add this important ingredient to your localization process will make the entire translation effort in vain as a result.

3. Mind the Text Encoding

No matter the care and effort you put into your content’s localization, it will all be in vain if it doesn’t display properly. Depending on the CMS you use for your website, you should change the text encoding to reflect your recent localization efforts.

Alphabets in English, Greek and Chinese vary drastically, especially if you add even more languages such as Russian and its Cyrillic lettering. Unicode text encoding formats such as UTF should be enabled on your site as soon as the first additional language hits the live server. Don’t make the mistake of placing localized text on your language domains without the encoding it requires to show up at all.

4. Site-Wide Localization

Partial localization doesn’t make much sense in the grand scheme of things. Audiences who visit your website from abroad will expect the same level of quality and curation as your native followers. This means that you should be prepared for site-wide optimization and ongoing localization of every new piece of content.

It’s often a good idea to consider outsourcing a part of your localization process to a third-party service since it will be difficult to maintain the pace internally. However, once you begin publishing content in different languages in parallel, your conversion rates will see a considerable rise as opposed to the previous, single-language content creation.

Mistakes to Avoid

Mistaking Translation for Localization

It’s important to distinguish translation from localization in terms of content optimization. Translation represents direct, technical translation of original content into another language.

Localization on the other hand takes cultural, social and lifestyle choices of the target audience into consideration. This is highly important in terms of boosting conversion rates since you don’t want to alienate someone based on accidental confusion.

Lack of Multimedia Localization

Every image, video or audio piece of content on your site should be localized as well. This is important for ecommerce sites and company fronts above all else. Blogs usually use images in terms of adding visual fidelity, while the former rely on images much more directly.

Any chart, infographic or demonstrative piece of content must be localized based on the previously chosen languages. That way, no visitor will be left out and be able to engage with your products and services fully like everyone else.

No Multilingual Customer Support

Localization also requires the presence of multilingual customer support to be present on your site. For example, a German customer might have a problem and your French support agent might not be able to help them due to obvious reasons.

If you don’t have the resources to hire in-house agents, chatbots offer a great alternative to the problem. While not as comprehensive as a real-world agent, chatbots can indeed help your localization by communicating on your behalf in dozens of languages.

An Ongoing Effort (Conclusion)

As mentioned previously, localization isn’t a “one-and-done” affair. You will constantly have to monitor your site’s performance for potential bottlenecks and needs for additional languages.

However, the role of localization in your conversion rates is obvious from the get-go, meaning that the time and resources invested in the process won’t be wasted. Approach localization with an open mind and you will be surprised with the amount of options it presents to your website in terms of growth and expansion opportunities.


About the Author

Elisa AbbottElisa Abbott is a freelancer whose passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools and valuable university experiences – she has got you covered;) When she’s not engaged in assessing translation services for PickWriters you’ll usually find her sipping cappuccino with a book.

Using CoSchedule to Run Your Blog

Guest Post

Most blogs fail in the first 100 days, and one of the main reasons is disorganization. Successful blogs post new content frequently and consistently. But if you aren’t organized, you won’t be able to do either.

How do I keep my blog organized? CoSchedule. It’s an excellent tool which allows you to plan, assign, write and share content on social media–all in one place.

coschedule

What Is CoSchedule?

CoSchedule is a web application designed to make blogging easier and more efficient. CoSchedule provides you with a calendar to plan your content and syncs with your WordPress and social media accounts, so you have all your blogging tools at your disposal in a single window. CoSchedule also allows you to communicate with everyone on your blogging team, send them assignments, and set deadlines for them.

Using CoSchedule to Plan Your Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar helps you set deadlines for yourself and for your team, and ensures you are putting out content consistently. An editorial calendar is also a great tool for planning your topics in advance, so you never find yourself in a situation where you run out of ideas.

The first step in using the CoSchedule calendar is brainstorming topics. A good keyword tool is useful in this process. Once you think of an idea for a blog post, create it as either “content” or a WordPress post. Creating the WordPress post right in CoSchedule will save you an extra step later. Place that content on the day you want to publish it. Repeat that process until you have a full calendar.

When you are ready to actually write the blog post, simply click on the calendar entry, and you will find a link to edit your blog post in WordPress.

Try to plan your content as far in advance as possible. You always want to give yourself enough time to research, write, and create visuals for the post. You can set deadlines for these parts of the blogging process using the “tasks” feature in the calendar.

coschedule1

Using CoSchedule to Connect to Your Team and Assign Content

If you have a team of bloggers, you can use the tasks feature in CoSchedule to send assignments to them. Simply click on a calendar entry, create a “write draft” task on it, and assign it to the writer. The writer will then get an email that they have been assigned a task. You can also do this for photo sourcing, and any other part of the blogging process.

CoSchedule also has a “comments” feature, which you can use to write a more detailed description of the assignment. The writer can also ask questions in the comments. If your writer has access to WordPress, he or she can go straight to WordPress from CoSchedule to write the post. If your writer does not have WordPress access, he or she can easily attach a word document to a comment in CoSchedule.

Using CoSchedule to Manage Social Media

Many blogs use Hootsuite to manage their social media accounts, but Scribblrs now uses CoSchedule. CoSchedule allows you to access your social media accounts from your Coschedule calendar, or from the WordPress “Edit Post” page.

When you schedule social media posts, CoSchedule will show you a dropdown menu with all your social media accounts. Select which accounts you want to share your content to (you can easily do them all at once). CoSchedule will then automatically pull photos from the article, and fill in the text of the social media post and meta description. All the hard work is done for you, but you can also easily customize the fields.

CoSchedule gives recommendations for how often you should share your posts on social media. With CoSchedule, you can easily create social media posts for one day from now, and one month from now. If your content will stay relevant for a long time, you can schedule more social media posts for even further in the future.

coschedule2

No matter what your goals are, good planning will set you up for success, and poor planning will set you up for failure. CoSchedule provides you with the organizational tools you need to build and maintain a successful blog. It’s definitely a worthy investment.

  • Plan and Manage your social media posts better with @CoSchedule coschedule.com/ via @supermonitoring

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About the Author

c1fa872eadf6a23b44ab469e63b95d0fEric Brantner is co-founder of CutCableToday.com, a blog that sees hundreds of thousands of hits each month. He now seeks to help others start their own blogs on his newest site, Scribblrs.com.

Take Your Task Management to a Whole New Level with Insightly

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Modern business organizations understand that they need to find good tech solutions in order to be efficient and competitive on the market. One of the areas in which a lot of business try to improve is their communication both external and internal.

All business organizations need to have contact with their employees and clients. More importantly, there is a huge need for data concerning previous conversations, when they happened and what they were about. A regular business person cannot remember so many things and this is why businesses use CRM tools.

Today, I will talk about a CRM tool called “Insightly” and I’ll try to tell you about the impression I got, based on its upsides, downsides, price and features.

insightly

Pricing

There are 5 package options you can get for Insightly, and these are Basic, Free, Professional, Plus and Enterprise. It is also possible to get a 14-day free trial for any of these options. The completely free option allows for two users and you cannot sync the app with anything.

At $15 per month, you can take the Basic package that has unlimited users. It includes lead management with 25,000 records and 1GB of storage space. With Plus, the price is $29, and the capacity is significantly higher; up to 2,500 emails on daily basis, 10GB of space and 100,000 records with 250 added customer fields.

If your needs are even bigger, you can get the Professional package for $49. It has 100 GB, 5,000 emails, and around 500 custom fields with 250,000 records.

If you need even more, you can get the Enterprise package that costs $99 and gives you 10,000 emails, 1,000 fields, and 500,000 records, with 150GB of storage.

Whatever the needs you have, with Insightly, you can get an appropriate package for your business and they are all quite cheap for what they offer.

insightly1

 

Insightly is easy to use

Most business organizations don’t have time to work and learn to use complicated CRM tools. Insightly is truly a simple user-friendly piece of software and even those people who have poor technical skills can get a hang of it quickly. When you first log into Insightly, you will instantly like the intuitive and clean dashboard. With the left sidebar, you can find all the functions you need and they are divided into several categories.
There is one feature I liked particularly. At the top corner of all sections, you will find a toolbar that allows you to find the things you need. This toolbar has a search bar and the only thing you have to do is type in the first three letters of what you need and you will find what you’re looking for. If not, you can add filters or sort items for better search results.

Exceptional project management capabilities

A single feature I, as a small business owner, liked the most about Insightly, is the project management capability. This software can help you save a lot of time, as it provides an automated, all-in-one place for task managing, project and event managing. This eliminates the need for using multiple tools.

The project management option also has features such as email, pipeline and task tracking, project reports, automatic reminders sent by email, and you can create milestones. It is also possible to link projects to team members or contacts if you need a quick reference.

insightly2

 

Other interesting benefits

All modern business organizations rely on more than one app. One of the greatest benefits of Insightly is that it can integrate with a lot of useful small business tools. Insightly is a CRM with integrated Gmail, Google Apps, Google Drive, Outlook, and QuickBooks Online.

It also integrates with various file-sharing and cloud storage options, such as Dropbox or Box.

  • Great on-line #CRM, especially for for smaller organizations: insightly.com/ @insightlyapp via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

In my opinion, Insightly is a great CRM you can use for your business, although I think that smaller business organizations would make much better use of it than big ones.

About the Author

MarkoMarco is a professional writer and blogger. He will help you understand the power and reach social media for your blog or website. You can find him on First Site Guide and tweet the First Site Guide team @firstsiteguide.

 

Google PageSpeed: Improving Website Performance

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Google PageSpeed helps you to optmize your web design in order to improve both your users experience and your sites SEO ability due to faster page loading times. It’€™s a solution and set of tools that analyze the way websites run, enhancing operation and loading times significantly.

PageSpeed

The Internet has become a day to day survival tool. Whether it’€™s for business or personal usage, people around the world are using the web to get a message across or to promote a product or service. It has become a vital component in marketing. Fast, optimized web pages are essential to getting high visitor engagement, conversion and retention. PageSpeed solutions can identify practices that should be applied to any site and aid in automating the process.

What Does PageSpeed Do?

Google PageSpeed captures content on servers and rewrites them. It does this by applying the best practices in web performance and provides that to end users through Google’€™s servers. Google doesn’€™t need specific information, administrative access or confidential data to effectively analyze a website. Instead, site traffic is directed through Google servers, allowing the analytical process and improvement to take place.

PageSpeed tools like Insights are an excellent way to examine websites and receive recommendations for manual improvement. It caches portions of HTML, grabbing non-cacheable components from original servers as needed. This takes place while other parts render to the user’€™s browser. PageSpeed prioritizes content above the fold of the browser.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Insights measures web page performance on both desktop and mobile devices, looking for ways to increase page speed loading time. Utilizing agents for each device, PageSpeed Insights scores individual web pages on a series of criteria. Insights will provide ideas for increasing the score and page optimization. Regardless of how high or low the score, if there’€™s room for greater performance, Insights will offer suggestions on what enhancement steps can be taken.

When assessing the speed of any web page, PageSpeed considers that the network connection always has an impact and differs from user to user. PageSpeed only factors in independent criteria in regard to page performance, including:

  • Configuration of the server
  • A page’€™s HTML structure
  • Use of external resources
    • Images
    • JavaScript
    • CSS

While the performance of any web page will ultimately depend on the individual user’€™s network connection, Google PageSpeed offers solutions for improving the overall relative performance of web pages. The platform bases its suggestions on:

  • Elapsed time between a user’€™s page request and the moment the browser renders the above the fold content.
  • Elapsed time between a user’€™s request for a new page through the moment the page is rendered fully by the browser.

Once Insights has assessed the performance, its offered suggestions are graded on a priority basis. Red exclamation points indicate important fixes for optimizing page performance. A yellow exclamation point is a low priority suggestion, a fix that can be implemented if so desired. Green check marks means no major issues were found and no action needs to be taken.

PageSpeed Insights Mobile Analysis

While some might argue that the difference between a three second and one second load time isn’€™t significant, they would be mistaken. A faster load time indicates efficiency and professionalism and a user always takes note. Research shows even the slightest delay can interrupt the user’€™s train of thought. Google PageSpeed looks to hold user engagement, delivering pages rapidly, regardless of type of network and device.

What Insights does is allow users to interact with any given page sooner by delivering and rendering any above the fold content in under a second. This way, the user is already viewing content as the rest of the page is delivered in the background.

Engineering a one second above the fold page load is a unique challenge. It’€™s not only a matter of different browsers and devices, there’€™s also a variety of networks in play like 2G, 3G and 4G. 4G deployments is easily becoming the dominant network connection for mobile devices, but there is still plenty of market for the slower ones.

With that in mind, PageSpeed takes into account the communication sequence between servers and browsers. It looks to budget the milliseconds that occur between user requests and page loads. It gauges render response time, execution of client-side application and browser layout with content rendering.

Server response time is that time the initial HTML’€™s return takes. Redirects can add unnecessary hundreds of milliseconds to a page request, especially on a slower network. PageSpeed encourages minimizing redirects or eliminating them completely.

Another consideration is round trips to the first render. For the sake of speed, these should also be minimized. Often, a new TCP connection may not use full available bandwidth between server and client right away. This can result in the server sending almost 10 TCP packets for a new connection in the first trip. Now it will wait until the client acknowledges this action before delivering additional data. Fewer round trips can significantly decrease the render delay.

Optimizing content to minimize round trips is critical to the delivery of necessary data for that first render of the web page. Any content under 14kb can get a page painted after a single trip. Also, before browsers render pages, it has to parse that web page. Unfortunately, each time that happens, there is another network round trip which delays the page render time. PageSpeed can offer potential solutions to bypass these issues and get the average page loading time down to a single second.

PageSpeed2

Using PageSpeed Insights

For now the service is invite only. Fill out a form and request access. Once your registration has been approved, log in and agree to the Terms of Service.

On the Google Developers website, go to the main PageSpeed tools. From here, click on the Analyze Your Site Online option. Now, this does not mean the site in question has to be yours. PageSpeed will analyze any website that allows it. This means a site that is publicly accessible.

Enter a URL and select Analyze. The platform then provides a ‘€œdesktop’€ and ‘€œmobile’€ analysis of the site’€™s web pages. It will provide a score between one and 100 for speed and performance. This number doesn’€™t reflect actual load time. It indicates how the page could go faster.

One doesn’€™t need to be an ace webmaster or developer to work with PageSpeed’€™s results. The results suggest changes for site optimization ranked by scales of High, Medium and Low. There will be links like Learn More for gathering helpful information. There is also an option called Already Done! that shows what has been accomplished to improve performance.

Google PageSpeed attempts to keep its suggestions as simple as possible. It might suggest Leverage Browser Caching or Combine Image into CSS Sprites. If one isn’€™t clear about the procedures, the link will definitely help.

What’€™s best about the process is nothing is required of you. If one is comfortable with the way their website is running, any PageSpeed suggestions can be taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, only suggestions with the red exclamation points need serious consideration if one is interested in improving web performance. Yet, even then, ignoring the suggestion won’€™t impact any part of the site’€™s current performance.

Google strongly suggest any changes be thoroughly tested in development before final application. One should also familiarize themselves with terminology by reviewing the Google PageSpeed Insights guidelines.

Conclusions

Site optimization is critical to maintaining one’€™s presence on the Internet. The tools provided by Google PageSpeed analyze and offer suggestions for optimal performance. Currently, PageSpeed is a free trial. One can test its potential on your own website or any other public website, getting a strong idea of how it works. It won’€™t take long to see how Google PageSpeed can effectively and efficiency improve the performance of a website and one’€™s overall Internet presence.

About the Author

James Patterson is Simple iD’s lead online marketing consultant. Simple iD is a full service online marketing agency that offers clients everything that they need to succeed online, from web design and development to a complete tailor-made online marketing package. Come and check us out on Facebook.

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