web development

Heat Maps {10}

Heat Maps, What Are They?

You have created this amazing E-Commerce website for you business. You have spent the last month perfecting your SEO and meta tags for optimization. Yet you have not received a single order. What might be causing this? You know the links are all working and your processing information is correct. But have you ever considered the location of your information on your website?  Maybe people can’t see what you want them to see or they are not looking where you want them to look. There are a few tools out there that can help you figure this out. One of these tools available to use is what is called a “Heat Map.”

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Load Time Optimization {3}

Load Time Optimization

A website’s page load time plays a very important role in user and consumer experiences. The faster the page responds and loads to the user, the better the experience will be for the user. In a study, “nearly one-third (32%) of consumers will start abandoning slow sites after one to five seconds” (“Seconds count”, 2010). This means that loading performance on website is very crucial and there are many ways to optimize page load time. One method is to use AJAX to reduce latency over the past years by retrieving bits of web technology code to alter the layout of page rather than re-creating a whole new page with similar content. However, this method is not optimal to provide the best optimization on loading pages as many sites references tons of external objects that are mostly HTTP requests for images, JavaScripts, and stylesheets (Hopkins). Using AJAX does not guarantee that the user does not have to wait (“Best practices for,” ). For this reason, we can look at other additional alternatives on how to optimize page load time to improve a site’s usability and SEO. Many developers focus on the back end of the website to reduce costs but it does little to cover latency. “It seems almost as if the highspeed storage and optimized application code on the back end have little impact on the end user’s response time. Therefore, to account for these slowly loading pages we must focus on something other than the back end: we must focus on the front end” (Souders 2008). Below are suggestions from Hongkiat Lim’s article called “Ultimate Guide To Web Optimization (Tips & Best Practices)”:

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Organic SEO vs Pay-Per-Click {6}

If you have are starting a new website, you want to find some way to generate traffic.  Just telling your friends to tell their friends isn’t going to result in a ton of traffic.  Even worse, it isn’t going to generate much revenue.  There are two important ways to generate traffic.

What are these two ways?

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iOS Applications with HTML5 and CSS3 {9}

iOS Applications with HTML5 and CSS3

Today, mobile application (app) development has become one of the most popular trends in software development as we emerge ourselves into an on the go, handheld device era. “A few short years ago, most mobile devices were, for want of a better word, ‘dumb’” (Charland & LeRoux, 2011). Now, mobile devices have advanced so much that it can take away much of a person’s daily usage of a desktop or laptop. “Mobile apps are currently evolving very rapidly but generally are targeted at a specific task, run on a mobile device, make heavy use of the data network, and have a simple delivery mechanism (i.e., Google Play Store or Apple Store)” (Tracy, 2012). Mobile applications can be used in a variety of operating systems such as the iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, Windows Phone, and much more. To develop a mobile application, a basic knowledge of one or more programming languages is needed. This blog will focus primarily on the development of iOS applications using HTML5 and CSS3. Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the core components in web development that have evolved tremendously over the past years. “Web design is becoming more sophisticated, with new browser techniques and design principles, including fluid grids, flexible images and media queries, making it possible to deliver a quality experience to users no matter how large (or small) their display” (Reyna 2012). The latest versions of the previously mention web development languages are HTML5 and CSS3. With the launch of HTML5 and CSS3, these two languages have opened a new form of computing: the ability to create iOS applications using HTML5 and CSS3 in native and web applications.

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Facebook Open Graph API {7}

Businesses and developers have been trying to jump on the Facebook bandwagon for years.  When Facebook started allowing businesses to have Facebook pages that users could “like”, business had to constantly update their page and relied on the news feed to gain traffic.  However, Facebook kept changing the way content was displayed and taking away traffic from these pages

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Node.js {4}

           (Image obtained from http://nodejs.org/logos/)

 Node.js was developed in 2009 by Ryan Dahl it was created to address issues with efficiency of traditional  platforms which took far too long to communicate over the network, spending magnitudes of more time processing web requests and responses than other parts of applications. “Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices” (nodejs.org, 2013).

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Covering ASP.net in the Curriculum {1}

Colleges need to teach students about new software and how to use them. There can be infinite opinions on the amount of lecturing on old versus new technology, but most can see that a mixture of both new and old is mostly beneficial for the student. The authors recommend instructing on “traditional mainframe as well as the Internet client/server environments.” Both Wallace and Wolf foresee an integration of the mainframe and web based technologies. Although the article is from 2006, it is still relevant today.

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Lead the way to interoperability with APIs {1}

This article talks about the use of APIs and how it has become the standards in what the article would call “interoperability”. The fascinating thing about  APIs is that all business and government entities all share the same common fundamental principle in the age of what we call Web 2.0. The main problem that was prominent in the age of Web 2.0 was how data gathered can be shared through out the web in a easy and simplistic way. Back then, information can only be viewed in a visualization system. This was the only way where different data can be viewed together. However, it generally takes a lot of time to develop and was very expensive. Then a new approach to the problem was mashups, it is  “a way of collating data from multiple sources using the types of API typically seen in applications such as Google Maps and eBay. Information from different databases could be automatically married and presented to analysts and Pentagon officials in the same interface.” This method allows data to be gathered through out different networks. It is what companies such as “eBay, Amazon and Flickr all make their information available in the same way, exposing their data in machine-readable forms that are easy for other applications, or in some cases web browsers, to consume.”

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AJAX {1}

The article that I read was a journal on the effectiveness and responsiveness of ajax. The article talks about how enriched a users experience can be with the use of ajax because it allows for immediate response when the user does something on the web page. The article was a bit older and talked about how at the time google was the main company that was using ajax. Pretty much everything google does uses some form of ajax. The suggestions that come up as your typing in the search bar is done with ajax, Google maps zoom feature is done with ajax. Ajax allows for the specific thing that the user is using to update instead of the entire page having to update. Ajax is a compilation  of a bunch of different languages to make one powerful language.  The article then goes into talking about how older web applications would have multiple interactions with the server and most of the processing was done server-side which made the user have to wait. Ajax adds a middle layer between the user and the server called the ajax engine. The Ajax engine allows the interaction of the users and the applications to asynchronously work so that the user doesn’t have to interact with the server. This means that the user does not have to wait for the server to process the information. The ajax engine will actually do some simple data checking and data processing, ajax will even do some navigation functions. If the Ajax engine needs to gain the new data from the server or loads additional interface code, usually an asynchronous request will be stimulated by the XML form. This basically allows the user to not feel like they are waiting for the request.

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.NET Framework Upgrade {Comments Off on .NET Framework Upgrade}

Microsoft upgraded their .Net Framework and Visual Studio. The upgrade should “‘significantly increase’ scalability of .Net applications for both client and server.” It will allow for applications to be 10 to 20 times larger than they used to be. It also adds extra features including “ASP.Net Dynamic Data. Dynamic Data allows developers to build a data model using Language Integrated Query, the ADO.Net Entity Framework, or LINQ to SQL.” The updated client side’s application’s load time will decrease by up to 45%.

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