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Web development

  • 5 hot tips for turning browsers into buyers

    It’s the blight of every ecommerce site. Spend huge amounts of money on attracting visitors. The visitors look around for a while, click on a few things here and there and then move on without buying a thing. What a waste! But what if you do something so interesting or so outrageous that a passing visitor has no choice but to put down some cash and have a piece of it. Here’s an attempt to move out of being deserted by site visitors and moving into being actively courted by them. 1. Lure them with window merchandising This may seem like a no-brainer,...

  • Just Drake it: could this awesome new search engine give Google a run for its money?

    Have you ever thought of a search engine that you would rather use than Google? I mean there were a lot of search engines in the 90s that tried to keep up with the trend like; HotBot, AltaVista and AskJeeves. And at present there are plenty of attempts to provide a viable alternative to the world's largest search engine. But let's be honest, when's the last time you actually used DuckDuckGo? But there's a new player that, if nothing else, is immensely entertaining to use. Let Me Drake That For You is a new search engine that will tell you...

  • HTTP is getting its first upgrade since 1999. Here’s what you can expect

    While the web has gone through a lot of changes since it first came into existence in the early 1990s, the fundamental tech behind it hasn't changed since 1999. That's until now with the introduction of a fresh new upgrade to HTTP 2.0 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), spelling faster page loads, more mobile-friendly and more encryption. HTTP is a big deal. It's the application that makes the web what it is -- enabling the transferring of packets of data between the user (your browser) and the server host (the website). Before recently confirming that the second version of HTTP, Mark Notingham --...

  • 6 things to consider when investing in an enterprise CMS

    There comes a time when all companies realise the value of investing in a good enterprise content management (ECM) solution. This normally means a big investment, not only financially, but also in terms of time, resources, disruption and the risk that it might fail. A well-implemented ECM solution makes a big difference in the way that organisations do business – not only by providing knowledge workers access to relevant information at the right time, but also protecting the digital assets of the company. Organisations start to experience problems where access to relevant information is a problem as unstructured content normally...

  • A 6-step approach for creating user friendly and rewarding websites

    An increased number of businesses have recognized the importance of having an appealing, informative website for promoting and boosting their business. Sites that can be easily searched by the users and which provide them with useful information for addressing their main points will be greatly benefiting the involved businesses. They employ sites for highlighting, marketing and selling their products, services and for various other purposes. In order to build a site that is able to clearly convey a business’s message to its audience and invoke users to take a desired action requires deep thinking, consideration of its needs and interests....

  • Mozilla Firefox might be coming to an iPhone near you

    It looks like Mozilla is planning on bringing its Firefox web browser to iOS. If current mobile and browser stats are anything to go by, this would be a smart move if the fiery fox is to dig itself out of a hole in terms of gaining market share. Firefox release manager Lukas Blakk said that “We need to be where our users are so we're going to get Firefox on iOS." According to TechCrunch, Blakk was quoting Mozilla’s VP for Firefox Jonathan Nightingale. Mozilla Firefox is currently available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. iPhone and iPad users are...

  • Here’s the real rationale behind ‘good enough is better than perfect’

    The ‘good enough’ principle has been around for a few years now, especially in the software development world. It’s part of the agile approach and is one of the secrets behind the successes of giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. In many ways, the approach is counter-intuitive. Most of us were brought up to strive for perfection, but the fact is that it takes a lot of time and energy to achieve perfection, and the risk is that by the time you do, the thing you have created is out of date. The quest for perfection the first time round...

  • The whats, whys and hows of building a good inbound marketing site

    Amplifying your impact through targeted content is the cornerstone of a successful inbound marketing website. With consumers actively conducting extensive online research, the modern marketer’s task has shifted from finding leads to helping leads find you. While inbound is a powerful marketing tactic, it needs to be combined with the overall marketing mix to achieve increased revenue, shorter sales cycles and an improved marketing ROI. What is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is the process of helping potential customers find your company before the purchasing decision, and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and ideally into revenue. Relevant and interesting...

  • 6 top SCRUM tips for wannabe agilists

    It is always delightful to find and work with high performance teams. In one of our recent business endeavors, I met an exceptional web and software development company. Experts in Drupal and related web development technologies; its delivery methodology of choice is Agile, and more specifically, the SCRUM methodology. Anyone involved in the systems development life cycle will confirm that beyond the methodology and tools, and myriad of awesome technologies applied in systems or web development, people are, without a doubt the core focus of the work environment. And people are naturally dynamic and, therefore, a variable...

  • HTML5 gets its final stamp of approval

    It's been a long, hard, winding road for HTML5 but the development language finally has an official stamp of approval. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)has put out a statement recommending the fifth version of the hypertext markup language. "For application developers and industry," the consortium says, "HTML5 represents a set of features that people will be able to rely on for years to come. HTML5 is now supported on a wide variety of devices, lowering the cost of creating rich applications to reach users everywhere". "Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing...

  • Things will never be the same: the shifting role of the developer

    Today’s competitive business landscape is calling for a shift in the role of the software developer as we currently understand it. Increasingly, businesses are looking towards a particular hybrid of software developer and business analyst – someone who can scope and design software architecture while simultaneously considering business and stakeholder needs. The modern business analyst should be able to speak the same language as developers, as one of the biggest of their duties is relaying information between stakeholders, developers and programmers. Somebody with a developer background will most likely know how to best translate a client’s needs into a...

  • Personalisation should always be the number one goal in all your digital marketing efforts

    In a 2013 SAP-sponsored, Forrester thought leadership paper "Delivering New Levels Of Personalization In Consumer Engagement", it was stated that: “Personalisation will enable firms to achieve their future strategic marketing goals.” It's a short message with so much depth. Isn't that the goal of all firms? Of yours? Picture this. You've been invited to the grand opening of the Amazon Rainforest Cyber Cafe, where fresh, hot meals are delivered to customers via drone. After your first 10 meal orders, the cafe's digital servers will have developed a pretty good knowledge of what your dining habits are. As your visits to the diner...

  • Business at the heart of the arts: what we can all learn from the new National Arts Festival site

    Just like the National Arts Festival itself, the new festival website has plenty of colour and personality. The site got a much-needed makeover just in time for the 40th edition of the Festival, held in Grahamstown 3 – 13 July 2014. And, again like the event, under all the colour, images and nifty transitions, there is a business basis making this a site that does more than entertain. Look and feel Blame Medium.com and the one-page app sites, but bold width-spanning images and scrolling central blocks of text are certainly have their moment in the sun in terms of web...

  • 4 reasons why you should find your next designer in South Africa

    Thanks to technologies like email, Skype and Google Docs, offshore outsourcing is easier than ever before. Owing to the ubiquity of sophisticated communications technology, doing business with people situated on the other side of the world is almost as easy as doing business with someone down the street. This means that if you’re on the hunt for a website designer, you needn’t limit your search to web design companies in your own country. There are some instances where you might have good reason for preferring to use a local web designer. Most obviously for South African businesses, one of these...

  • Screw rich media, I just want to read

    There seems to be an assumption among a lot of websites nowadays that their content has to fill of "rich media". I'm talking about animations galore, sound playing, videos auto-starting (really?) -- and I'm having a sort of backlash reaction to all of that. This belief that everyone wants to watch a video, interview, programme, screencast and much more comes from seemingly nowhere. No -- no no no. Yes, at times, but to me at least, the vast majority of the time I just want to read. I want to be able to skim through an article, focus on what I...