How to Take Back Control of Your Website

As your company grows, you take on IT experts that immediately start telling you what to do. The loss of control may have even started before that. It is possible that you were convinced that producing a website would be too hard, and that you were unqualified to deal with it. If you turned the creation of your site over to a consultant during its embryonic phase, then you never really had control of your site in the first place.

No worries. It’s still not too late to take back control of your site. Here’s how:

Trust Your User Instincts

You don’t have to be a professional web designer to have a worthwhile opinion about your own website. Often, web designers are in a bubble that keeps them from understanding how regular people use the web. User experience is everything. You may not be an expert designer, but you are an expert user. Your user experience can inform about aspects such as:

  • Home page attractiveness
  • Choice of images
  • Impression of clutter
  • Navigation simplicity

Your judgement about these things is valid. Take control by using your valid judgements as a user, to guide the decisions shaping your website.

Make the Decisions that Matter

It’s your site. You can and should take control of making all the important decisions regarding how that site runs. After all, the responsibility is yours whether or not you outsourced the decision making. There is plenty about your site that requires executive control.

  • What kind of ads are you going to run? To the user, there is no distinction between an ad on your site, and the sites content that you create. You need to decide everything from how salacious you want the ads to be, to how many and how aggressive they are.
  • What is your mobile strategy? Is your desktop site mobile responsive, or will you have a separate mobile site? Will you provide an app for an even better mobile experience?
  • What platforms will you cater to? Are you targeting iOS only, or iOS and Android? Which Androids? That can be a real problem for developers. What are your plans for Windows Phone and Blackberry?
  • When it comes to ecommerce, do you want to be able to take Apple Pay, or just accept whatever the web host provides?
  • This list goes on…

Know What You Don’t Know

A little humility goes a long way. Of course it is your site. Everyone knows that. And there is plenty that you can and should control. But you are not a technician or security expert. There are things that you don’t know. And you need to be well aware of what those things are. You don’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t know what you don’t know, and makes of mess of everything in your zeal to make things better.
Once you know what you don’t know, outsource that part to a trusted company. Even then, you never take your hand completely off the wheel. The support staff answers to you, even if that support staff is a third-party. For example, you make look to an IT support company like Firewall Technical for managed services, but still retain full website control. Speaking in general, they describe one of the benefits of such a service this way:
It does not take long for a business to fall behind on IT maintenance. If a business fails to keep up with things such as patches, backups, upgrades or security it can quickly result in numerous issues. IT outages, or other costly IT issues can seriously harm a business. To give an example, a faulty email server or network failure can result in a loss in income and a loss in productivity.
By outsourcing daily IT duties, a business will free up its internal resources and reduce the number of IT-related business interruptions.
When you know what you don’t know, then you can free up resources to do what you do best.
You wouldn’t let your marketing run amuck without supervision. So why would you do that for your website? Now is the time to take back control of one of the most important aspects of your business.

 

How To Create a Great Website That Attracts Customers

Your website design can be a powerful tool to attract customers. Many businesses, however, face intense competition for clients. Without a well designed website, customers may not find you. Use these tips to create an engaging website that your clients and prospects will love.

Your user’s experience

To create your website, think about what you want the user’s experience to be:
Home page: Searchbloom reports that 75% of website searches never go past the first page that is viewed. Make the look and feel of your home page a priority.
Images: Images make your website more interesting, but they also slow down the time it takes for pages to load. You need to balance these two factors when you choose website images.
Clutter: A clean look is more appealing. Make sure that your pages have some blank space. Your type font should make the page easy to read. Don’t crowd too much text on a page. A web page is a lot like a page in a book. In either case, you don’t want the page to look cluttered.
Simple navigation: If you do entice a viewer to click through to other pages, you want to make page navigation simple. Make sure that tabs and buttons are easy to see.

Using WordPress

WordPress is an online website publishing platform. This software powers more that 23% of the websites on the Internet.
You can choose from hundreds of themes to use on your website. A theme is a specific layout for your site. You can search for themes based on your industry, or they the type of site you want to create (blog, ecommerce, etc.). If you change from one theme to another, WordPress can load your website data into the new theme.

Mobile friendly websites

The HostGator blog points out that, in 2014, a majority of website searches were completed using mobile devices. Because of the convenience of mobile phones, the trend toward mobile use will continue.
To address this shift in technology, you need a website that looks great on mobile devices- and is easy to navigate. Your site should encourage a viewer to navigate your mobile site.
Here are some useful tips to become mobile friendly:
WordPress theme: When you’re checking out themes, see how each theme looks on a mobile device. You want a theme that is described as a responsive layout. This term means that the website pages load quickly.
Hosting company: A hosting company stores your website and ensures that the website loads properly. You’re looking for a reliable hosting company. That means that the firm keeps your site up and running at all times.
Finger friendly: Your website layout should allow the user to navigate easily with the touch of a finger.
Text size: Make sure that your text size is large enough to be viewed on a mobile device.
Content marketing
Google has changed their search engine to put a greater emphasis on useful content for readers of websites. Adding relevant content to your site can keep viewers engaged.
If a reader likes a post that you wrote, they may look for more interesting articles on your site. The longer they stay, the more likely that they will buy your product or service.
Use all of these tips to create a compelling website. Your website can help differentiate you from your competitors.

 

Mobile Website Designing Examples

Google recently updated their algorithm to favour mobile friendly sites which makes complete sense because 80% of internet users are using their smartphones to search online.  This means that many businesses who don’t already have a mobile friendly site are rushing to get their websites updated so that they’re compatible with smartphones and tablet devices before they start dropping down the rankings

This leads to the topic of what makes a good mobile website design.  It’s all fine well getting a mobile friendly site but you need to consider what design features it should have to ensure that it does the job that it’s set out to do and gives internet users a high-quality experience.  There are some good examples out there and we’ll show you some of the best that we’ve come across.

1. Google Maps

Where would we be without Google Maps?  Probably lost in the middle of nowhere!  What’s really great about this mobile site is that it looks exactly the same as their app.  Not only that but it has the same speed and functionality as the app. If you are using a Symbian Belle mobile then check out our Maps app that uses Google Maps API

2. Amazon

If you haven’t shopped on Amazon before, where have you been?  What we love most about this retailer is that they sell everything under the sun.  You name it they have it!  There are two types of shoppers who visit Amazon. There are the people who know exactly what they’re looking for and there are other people who just want to browse through certain categories.  The design of this website caters for both types of shoppers.  There’s the search bar for people to type in what they’re looking for and there’s a list of categories that you can use to narrow down your search.  Shopping has never been easier!  What’s also good about this mobile site is that you can check out customer reviews before you buy and if you don’t have the money to buy the item there and then you can just put it in your wishlist until payday.

 

3. S1 Jobs

S1 Jobs is one of the largest recruitment sites in Scotland and their straightforward design makes it easy for job hunters to search and apply for jobs.  Job hunters looking for the next step in their career can store their CV so they can apply for jobs anytime anywhere.

 

4. Casino Juggler

There’s not a better way to keep you entertained on that long bus journey home from work each day than by playing casino on your smartphone!  Casino Juggler is your one stop shop for all the best games around and the best places to play them.  It’s really easy to navigate your way around this site and the best part is that it offers you mobile casino free spins.  What more could you ask for?

 

 

Each of the mobile sites we have listed is significantly different from each other, but they’re all good examples of mobile website design.  So, when you’re creating a mobile friendly site you should consider the design features mentioned above and think about what ones will fit in with the needs of your business.

 

How Couponmachine.in Helped me – My attraction for Jewellery

I belong to a middle class family with modern outlook having more emphasis on studies and higher ethos and moralities. I do not know where from this maddening craze for the jewelleries has come within me as even my mother as well as my sister find least attraction for the jewelries. As a result I had to keep this passion deep under my soul knowing well that at any opportune moments it may surge out in the form of a volcano.

 

As per the guidelines of my parent and the family traditions I had to continue with my studies at schools and colleges and ultimately landed into the IAS cadres of the Government of India. Now I found myself independent and able to take my own decisions. Last night one strange thing happened in my dream in which I found myself in the wedding attires standing with all smiles alongside my silent lover Aneesh. Neither he nor I have ever spoken anything about this kind of love that has been expressed in the peculiar dream of mine. But leaving aside this I found myself heavily decorated with various kinds of ornaments all over my body.

 

I knew immediately that the suppressed passion sown deep inside my soul have found its way out and will not stop poking me till I satisfy it. As an administrator subjected to various issues to solve I took it up psychologically in order to soft play with my passion. The famed website coupon machine is my pet web site for finding any items that I desire. As I was browsing through the site it referred me to shoppers stop offers store page and that was giving attractive discounts in their jewellery collections. I was spellbound looking at their collections as all the items were matching with the ones that I wore in my dream wedding except a few that flashed vividly still in my memory.

 

The other web page about which there was a reference in the couponmachine site was of Americanswan deals section. Suppressing my excitement I started browsing the web site in order to find the rest of my dream ornaments. To my surprise I found the exact copies of the rest of the same ornaments that I wore in my dream wedding night before.

 

I had the privilege of studying the book on dreams written by Sigmond Froid. I thought there must be some connection between my dream and the ornaments displayed in the shoppers’ stores. But now I had to douse the flame of the passion raising its head within me. So without any delay I ordered all the ornaments with the shoppers that carried quite a good amount of discount which along with the fall in the gold prices happened to be quite cheap for me.

 

By psychiatric treatment of my deep soul I could get rid of the unwelcome passion sowed deep inside my psyche leaving me completely logical and upstart as I want myself to be. But one point I must confess here that the dream fetched me my love.

 

Beefing Up WordPress Security

If you are serious about your WordPress-based website, then you should also be serious about WordPress security. A search for WordPress at the National Vulnerability Database shows that WordPress has had an increasing number of vulnerabilities each year, with a whopping 342 in 2014. The number of vulnerabilities has decreased significantly for 2015, but the number is still fairly high.

This means that if you use WordPress, and you are not taking extra security precautions, your site could be vulnerable.

Luckily, there are some fairly quick and easy ways to beef up your WordPress security.

Address WordPress Vulnerabilities

You need a database to use WordPress; but if you share that database with other web applications, it will make your site more vulnerable. Instead of using a shared database, create a database specifically for WordPress so that your data is compartmentalized and contained.

You should also create a user account specifically for this database, and make this the only account that has access, and has limited access to the SQL commands. Do not use the default admin username because that would be too easy to crack.

You also need to create a strong passphrase for this account rather than the usual password. Passphrases are often easier to remember, and they can be harder to crack. To be most effective, use a phrase that is unusual, but has meaning to you.

You should also lock down your index and protect your WordPress Admin files by editing the .htacces file.

To lock down the index, making it invisible to browsing you would add the following line to the .htaccess file: Options All –Indexes.

To protect your Admin files, you can allow access for a specific IP address, or range of addresses, and deny access to everything else. You need to put a .htaccess in the wp-admin with the following lines:

  1.  Order Deny, Allow
  2.  Allow from ##.##.##.## (where the “##”s are the numbers in the allowed IP address or range)
  3.  Deny from all

You can also set a user name and password combination for an extra layer of security.

Address Vulnerabilities on Your Computer

Creating a secure database is all well and good, but you will still be vulnerable if your computer isn’t protected. PC users have been using antivirus and internet security products for years, while Mac users have historically lagged behind due to the Mac’s perceived invulnerability to viruses and attacks. Unfortunately, hackers are now writing viruses and other malware to target Macs, leaving many Mac users vulnerable.

While Macs do have some built-in security features, industry leaders like Trend Micro have developed internet security and antivirus software for Mac operating systems.

You should also make sure that your operating system is up-to-date with the latest security patches, as well as the WordPress software.

These are just a few of the ways that you can beef up your WordPress security and give your site an extra measure of protection.

WordPress also provides a lot of information on security and maintenance, as well as updates for the latest version of WordPress.

 

5 Reasons You Should go to School for Web Design

Just as the name suggests, a web designer is a person that technologically and creatively designs websites and other digital platforms that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The purpose of such design is to help communicate with seekers and convert action. Although the profession has been around since the arrival of the internet, web designers have been getting a lot more attention over the last few years.
Digital media continues to grow in relevance, which has inspired many prospects to hone their web designing skills. The fact that web design is trending, and that the profession makes geekery look cool are reason enough to seek this path. However, there are many other valuable reasons to consider learning the skills of web design, below are just five.
5 Reasons You Should go to School for Web Design:

  • Learn new skills:Web design degree courses offer students a wealth of knowledge that can advance their skill set and open the door for more opportunities. As a student, you will learn web design production (HTML/CSS) as well as an overview of SEO, animation, knowledge of WordPress, graphic design, javascript and a whole lot more.
  • Express your creativity:Choosing the perfect colors, fonts, layout and structures to fit the messages of the project and your client’s needs is an artistic process. Each new project you develop will allow you to express your creativity as ideas and concepts turn into living websites and digital media.
  • Web design will always be in demand:There are literally millions of people surfing the web at any given moment – these people are either seekers or givers. Seekers are people that visit websites to find information and givers are the entities that supply it. Web designers are the invisible glue that keeps the flow of seekers and givers in balance. Because the web is so authorized, web designers will always be in demand.
  • Versatile career opportunities:Many career opportunities can stem from holding a degree in web design. Almost every company has a web presence nowadays, therefore, knowledge of programming language and design is highly valued. You can also choose a career as a general web designer or web content specialist, game designer or as a multimedia designer just to name a few. Additionally, with web designing, you can either choose to work for a company or freelance on your own. And because the process is mostly virtual, you can telecommute and choose to work in your comfortable in your own home.
  • Rewarding career choice:Web designing is rewarding on many fronts. If you master your skills and promote yourself effectively then you can land quality clients that pay lucratively. In addition to funding financial security, building your portfolio of past design project and happy clients will give you a sense of personal satisfaction that can enhance your self-esteem and self-value.

If you enjoy technology and creativity then web design may be a great fit for you. Most high-quality web design schools offer financial aid to help curb the cost of tuition and flexible classes to complement your schedule.

 

Computer Science .NET mini-project – Car Rental Management System

This is a database driven mini-project written in VB.NET implementing a simple Car Rental Management System. The project uses embedded SQLite database and is lightweight and has good UI.
The software lets the user manage fleet of vehicles, dispatch them to customers, reclaim a vehicle and generate invoices. Download the source code from the link below.

Screenshots

Car Rental Management System Screenshot
Read more…

 

Change color of status bar in android apps programmatically

Android Lollipop brought with it the ability to change the color of status bar in your app for a more immersive user experience and in tune with Google’s Material Design Guidelines. Here is how you can change the color of the status bar using the new window.setStatusBarColor method introduced in API level 21. Changing the color of status bar also requires setting two additional flags on the Window; you need to add the FLAG_DRAWS_SYSTEM_BAR_BACKGROUNDS flag and clear the FLAG_TRANSLUCENT_STATUS flag.

Working Code :

Window window = activity.getWindow();

// clear FLAG_TRANSLUCENT_STATUS flag:
window.clearFlags(WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_TRANSLUCENT_STATUS);

// add FLAG_DRAWS_SYSTEM_BAR_BACKGROUNDS flag to the window
window.addFlags(WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_DRAWS_SYSTEM_BAR_BACKGROUNDS);

// finally change the color
window.setStatusBarColor(activity.getResources().getColor(R.color.my_statusbar_color));

Keep in mind that using this requires an API level of 21 at least.
The color my_statusbar_color needs to be defined in your color resources

 
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