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5 Tips on Selecting a Custom Software Developer

| Business, Technology | No Comments

Custom software helps companies set themselves apart from the competition. Outsourcing your development needs to a third party can help streamline processes, track workflows, and increase productivity.

You want a product on your terms that meets your requirements. There are certain things to look for in a software developer:

1. What experience do they bring?

This means not just how long they’ve been in the software business, but what kind of experience they have with the type of software you’re looking for. Quality development requires programming from the ground up, not just patching together code snippets behind a user interface.

There’s a lot involved in this, such as data integrity, security, error handling, and cross-platform compatibility. The more experience a development team has in customizing a certain type of system, the higher the quality of their product. Be sure to ask about past development in similar projects, as well as the experience of the programmers involved.

2. Do they understand your industry?

Outside developers also need to be familiar with your industry. They need to be aware of current trends, regulations, common service issues, and customer expectations. For example, the requirements for a healthcare system will be very different from those of a construction company.

Ask just how much industry knowledge your developers bring to the table. They should at least be willing to learn whatever information you can give them. Instead of being focused on the latest technology or flashiest interfaces, they should deliver a solution that supports your brand within your industry.

3. What do they recommend?

An experienced agency should have clear ideas on how to best meet your requirements. Their developers should determine quickly what frameworks, protocols, and platforms will deliver the best value. They should be able to explain to you the current technical standards, understand exactly what needs to be done, and outline the steps they’ll take to get there.

Be wary of developers who try to sell you an out-of-the-box solution without taking the time to understand your company and your needs. If you’re pressed for time and money, an existing solution with a few minor changes may work. But the best value will come from a software vendor with a solid grasp of your operations and your expectations.

4. Can they provide accurate price quotes?

The pricing for software development can vary widely, depending on the vendor, the scope of the project, plans for integration, or future maintenance. You want a developer that will give you a fair and comprehensive estimate of your costs. However, if there’s a chance that you’ll be initiating changes mid-project, you should be flexible on your budget.

Custom software can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may run out of funds if the agency requires further compensation as projects become more complex. Both sides should be clear on the pricing structure.

5. What level of testing do they conduct?

Thorough testing is necessary to identify and avoid potential failures and security vulnerabilities. They should explore a variety of likely use cases. Checks, including user testing and real data, should be done at every phase to ensure you have the desired speed, capacities, and functionality.

This should include full documentation and accountability on all discovered bugs and fixes. Marginal or no system glitches are rare, and such claims should be viewed with suspicion if adequate testing hasn’t been done.

Even for smaller companies, customized software tools can provide a distinct advantage. Whether it’s a mobile app for customers or in-house analytic tools, only experience and careful attention will ensure that it fits your unique operations.

 

4 Killer Tips For Students To Stay Productive

4 Killer Tips For Students To Stay Productive

| Education | No Comments

In this world where quality education plays an integral role, securing shinny grades has become extremely necessary for students, especially at college level.

But unfortunately, due to immense hard work and untiring study routine, maintaining the same productivity level is nearly impossible for students.

In result, they realize a drastic decline to their overall academic grades.

Being a Student Counselor, helping out students by resolving their issues is my passion. Therefore, I have decided to reveal some of the most astonishing productivity tips for students.

I know that sometimes it really gets complicated for a student to produce the same level of result due to drowsiness and lack of interest.

However, after practicing the below mentioned killer tips, staying productive to generate remarkable results would no more be a daunting task.

So, let’s get started…

  • Start Slow, But in an Effective Way

Remember, if you want to attain satisfying marks, then you need to follow a systemic approach. Instead of getting into a panic situation, start your study sessions with a slow pace.

This way, your mind will stay rejuvenated and you will have enough time to concentrate more on your studies.

And to be honest, it is a proven way that assures complete success at all academic levels.

I have seen a majority of students who actually get mad when they hear of exams schedule. But practically, it is not a smart way to welcome exams.

Therefore, I would advise you to get on the track slowly in order to ensure high productivity level.

  • Keep Yourself Away from Distractions

Whether you are studying individually or with a group of students, it is extremely essential for you to stay away from all types of distractions.

Believe me or not, but the biggest distraction that doesn’t allow a student to increase his productivity during study is technology.

Yes, you heard me right. I know that smartphones, tablets and all other technological devices have become the necessities of life. But, if you want to focus on study in a proper way, keep yourself miles away from such devices.

I am sure that you will certainly feel a positive difference.

  • Create a To-Do-List to Prioritize Your Tasks

In this tech-savvy world, creating a to-do-list is no more a big job, right?

If you are curious enough to make the most out of your day, then use your smartphone wisely. Schedule your intended tasks on your phone’s notepad every day before going to sleep.

It is just an incredible way that will remind you of all the important tasks you have to perform in a day.

And trust me, after practicing this habit for a couple days, you will see a prominent change to your study pattern.

  • Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

Apart from living a robotic life throughout a four-year degree program, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

You don’t need to push yourself extra hard to enhance productivity. In fact, take some time out of your study schedule for your family and utilize it to freshen up your mind.

Concluding Thoughts:

So, what are you waiting for? If you want to be known as the bright student of your college, then implement the above mentioned tips to your life.

Author Bio:

Alice Cerys is a dexterous writer and website content developer of a leading academic analysis firm. Currently she is helping students who look encounters and need expert essay service writer assistance in their educational semester.

5 Tips For Purchasing An Investment Property

| Investments | No Comments

Real estate is almost always a solid investment. With the potential for rental income and the future resale value, you can make a significant amount of money investing in real estate. Yet you can also lose money if you do not invest carefully. Here are some tips to make your investment a profitable one.

  1. Choose the Right Property

Price is important, but the property is almost more so. Choose a property in an area where people want to live, that is in good condition and that is priced at or below market value. Putting some money into repairs is fine, but only if that money is not going to cost more than the house is worth. Do not purchase in areas you are not familiar with, because you may be purchasing a home you cannot sell or rent.

  1. Work with Cash

If at all possible, enter the market with cash in hand to make your purchase. A cash offer will put you in the strongest possible negotiation place. Even if you need to pull out equity in your existing residence or other investments to get the cash, consider doing so to make your offer more appealing.

  1. Find an Investor-Friendly Bank

Even if you are paying cash, you will need a bank to show that you have the funds ready to go. Find a bank that is friendly to real estate investors. Talk to your real estate agent or another investor to see what bank they recommend.

  1. Use the Right Realtor

All realtors can sell houses, but only some understand the needs of investors. Choose one that has sold many investment properties, understands return on investment and net operating income and has a list of satisfied investment clients. Interviewing real estate agents will give you a good feel for which ones have these qualifications.

  1. Aim for the Right Return on Investment

The old adage says to look for rental income that is 1 percent of the sales price. So, if you are buying a home that costs $100,000, aim for rental income of $1,000. However, if you are in an area where prices have dropped significantly, aim for even more than this. In some areas where foreclosures are high, you can expect yields closer to or even exceeding 10 percent. Know the market, and make sure you are getting a good return on your investment.

Investing in real estate can be profitable, if you are a wise investor. Take the time to get to know your market, and start investing. Then, sit back and watch as the returns start rolling in!

Top Tips For Small-Business Online Marketing

| Finance | No Comments

Small-business owners are often short of two things – time and money. So when it comes to maintaining an effective marketing strategy for their online presence, this can often slip down their list of priorities. These tips will help focus on the key aspects of the task and will help it seem more manageable. They will lead to better online presence and performance for any site.

Plenty of Content

Search engines are now geared up to scan the content of a site rather than just meta tags. Users also enjoy interesting and relevant content relating to the product or service on the site, which helps ensure they come back again and again. It needn’t be long or complex – just a few facts or tips about your product category or industry sector can be sufficient.

Stay Fresh

Search engines also track how old the content is on your site and how frequently it changes – so keeping it up to date is vital. Just setting aside an hour a week will keep it looking well maintained.

No Shortcuts

Some companies will promise to be able to get your site to the top of search results overnight. Unfortunately, the search engines know when shortcuts are being employed and are constantly fighting to stamp them out – so you may well find that you have paid for a high rank which only lasts a few weeks.

Relevant Links

Yet another element of your site that the search engines will examine is the number of links per page, as well as who your site is linking to. They do not like pages with lists of links, or links that are irrelevant to the content on a page.

Be Organized

This is important not just for search ranking but also for your users – a well structured, logical, easy-to-read site with plenty of clear headings and sections will keep everyone happy.

Make It Accessible

Everyone should be able to access your site, including the visually impaired or colour-blind. The Web Accessibility Initiative provides guidelines on this for site managers.

Good Coding

Although many small-business owners won’t be directly involved in the coding of their site, it is something to be aware of. It needs to be compliant and error-free for search engines to correctly assimilate it. It is possible to run a check on your website using online tools provided by a standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium.

Get Help

Even if you don’t have a lot of spare cash, you can get professional help with your online presence. It’s a good idea to use a fairly local firm so you can discuss your requirements face to face – for instance, if you were looking for website design in Swansea, then a quick search should bring up relevant results such as Swansea web design by Accent-ADC.

Pictures Are Key

Our final tip: whatever you are hoping to sell through your site, high-quality photographs are vital. They’ve got to compensate for the fact that your customers can’t see or touch your product in real life.

Three essential PPC tips

| Finance | No Comments

Image Credit

PPC is one of the most enduring digital marketing tools available to businesses, enabling even small firms to improve their online presence, generate clicks and stimulate sales with both short and long term benefits to be reaped.

But even with the relatively maturity of the PPC market, the fact that search trends and user habits are changing means it is important for companies to stay on top of things and keep a keen edge on their AdWords abilities.

For many a PPC campaign will be the launch pad for their entire digital marketing assault, but experts argue that without a thorough understanding of how to go about this effectively, a lot of damage can be done in the early days.

You might choose to benefit from the expertise of a London adwords consultant, or pick an agency like elevate UK to guide you through the process. But by taking the following tips onboard, you should have a solid grounding in how PPC works today.

Avoid landing page limbo

Even if you have manage to bid on keywords and secure a paid ad that is visible to the right target audience, this is only a portion of the battle you need to fight to boost sales. And impressive CTRs are useless unless you can back them up with conversions; if you cannot then that is ad spend simply going up in smoke.

Web design is critical at this point, although it is important not to place too much emphasis on the layout of a page and forget to spend time making the marketing copy shine. Mobile optimisation is also vital, not only for conversions but also as part of a parallel SEO strategy to win organic impressions.

Fostering early leads

A good reputation is worth an immense amount in the world of e-commerce and if you are starting from scratch then your well planned PPC campaign will only get you so far; you need to present people with a compelling reason to trust your firm over established rivals which is why you need to make those early leads count.

To help with this it may be worth basing a campaign around a free trial of a product or service you offer, because this allows people to engage with your organisation without having to take any risks on their own behalf.

Digital diversity

Online marketing success is only attainable if you are capable of looking at the bigger picture, rather than getting bogged down by the idea that PPC is the be all and end all of your marketing strategy. And so while running campaigns and concentrating on maximising the impact of ad spend is important, it also crucial to consider what else you can be doing to complement this work.

Aside from organic SEO, it may be useful to work on your firm’s profile in the world of social media, as lacking any kind of presence in this area is a huge faux pas.

 

Great Gadgets For When You Visit The Great Outdoors

| News | No Comments

It can be difficult to strike a balance when it comes to camping. On one hand, you want to truly get back to nature, and so it can be tempting to live in the wild, building your own shelter out of leaves and sticks, catching animals with your bare hands and cooking them on an open fire. There are also those of us who want to experience the great outdoors without giving up any of our creature comforts, so we jump in the RV and head into nature driving what is suspiciously just like our living room at home, because sometimes a plasma TV is necessary to enjoy camping. Let’s face it- human beings have become indoor creatures, and we’re no longer attuned to living outdoors without a little help. And it’s always a great idea to bring a little modern help with you when you go camping; it makes the experience more enjoyable, as well as safer for you and your family. So what are some gadgets and tools that shouldn’t be left at home when you venture into the great outdoors?

Great Gadgets For When You Visit The Great Outdoors

Stay Charged

It might seem like you’re defeating the purpose of getting away from it all if you need to take your smartphone with you, and yet a smartphone can be very handy when it comes to camping. You might not get much of a signal, depending on where you pitch your tent, but you can still dial emergency services and even use GPS to ensure you stay on track. In order to keep your battery charged, you might want to invest in a solar powered USB charger, or even a Camping Stove USB Charger that keeps you warm.

Stay Warm

When camping in cooler parts of the year, it can be a struggle to pull yourself out of your sleeping bag and enjoy the scenery. But now you can enjoy the scenery, even move around and explore things, all without getting out of your sleeping bag. The Sleeping Bag Suit means that your sleeping bag is wearable, and if you like to actually sleep under open skies, you can basically fall asleep in your clothes.

Stay in the Light

Flashlights are mandatory camping gear, but they can often be slightly neglected- we all know that we need one, and so when the time comes to go camping, we pull that old flashlight out of the garage, thinking it will do the job, only to find that the batteries are dead or the bulb has burnt out. Invest in a good quality flashlight that contains a LED bulb- the energy efficient bulb will last much longer and uses far less battery power, giving you some insurance in case you forget to change them.

Stay Awake

It’s kind of sad to admit, but no matter if we’re at home, at the office, or camping in the middle of nowhere, we simply can’t get started in the morning without having a cup or coffee or five. While Starbucks seem to be sprouting like weeds, you’re unlikely to find one in the great outdoors, so why not bring a portable handheld espresso machine, or if espresso isn’t your thing, you can also invest in a propane powered portable coffee maker.

It’s really an individual decision about just how much you want to rough it when you go camping, but there really are some gadgets that need to be brought along simply for safety purposes. You might even consider a portable coffee machine to be a safety gadget- especially if you get really cranky without your morning coffee.

Use Social Media For Instant Success

| News | No Comments

What is it with teenagers and technology and their ability to become famous (or more famous) seemingly overnight? Take Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus for example, who seem to gather media attention around them (for better or worse), and boost their careers regardless of their boisterous actions. How is it that these teenyboppers have total control over their popularity in the media, while other stars fade in the limelight? The key is in how they manage their social media, and you can use the same techniques to market yourself successfully as well. No, you don’t need to twerk or carry around a confiscated monkey with you, but hey, these methods seem to work!

Use Social Media For Instant Success

Do as Miley and Justin do, and always Stay Relevant

Sure, these stars may use crazy antics to always remain in hot conversation, such as wandering around shirtless or constantly posting selfies on Twitter and Instagram, but these few seconds of self-promotion leads to tons of gossip, more twitter and instagram followers, and media attention. If you want to market yourself successfully, post yourself in the spotlight often using your own quirky image or personality to make yourself (and your company) worth talking about.

You don’t have to slobber on a sledge hammer to get attention, but you do have to make yourself a product or brand worth talking about. So pick something about your business that you want to promote and post it- often- to social media sites. The more you post and connect to your fans and followers, the more memorable your business becomes, and this equals profit in the long run.

Be Exciting, or at least, Different.

In the world of social media, anything that gains you exposure is potentially helpful to you and your business. Use your brand or unique customer appeal to your advantage and blog about your new clothing line, post photos of the lunch special of the day, or to even just brag about your customer of the week. Don’t go out of your way to over-indulge the public with nonsense (this may work with the teen stars, but may make your company look less respectable), but do post often about coupons, new inventory, employees, and even happenings in your business to maintain followers and customer retention.

Miley and Justin know how to remain in the spotlight by creating a brand for themselves as fun-loving rebellious individuals, and you can do the same for your business by reaching out and daring to be different among your competitors. Just be careful of being too out there- in the world of business, bad publicity is not a good thing.

Know your Media Outlets, and use them Well

Finally, as a business owner or manager, you want to know all the media outlets you have available to you in the first place, and which ones are most beneficial to your company. You want to make sure you use the right media tools in the right ways in order to gain popular success locally and beyond.

For instance, Facebook is a common marketing tool for many business owners, but is often used to the disadvantage of the business itself. Too often, business owners abuse Facebook (and other social media outlets) without realizing it by not posting often enough, ignoring their followers, or even by posting negative or irrelevant comments. Combined with the right SEO packages, if you choose the right media outlets to promote your business (there is a reason why Miley and Justin don’t use Facebook but abuse Twitter and Instagram ad naseum) you are on the right track to beneficial promotion.

Technology and social media may take some getting used to, but done correctly can net huge success for your business. In staying relevant, noticeable, and in the spotlight with your customers, you can have the same in-your-face popularity that young teen stars enjoy, and can take pleasure in your own media spotlight.

Why It Pays To Have A Semi-Smartphone

| Gadgets, Mobile | No Comments

For those who really only want a simple communications device, the modern smartphone that costs hundreds of dollars seems really excessive. As a result, it can be really tempting to always go for the basic ‘just calls and text’ type phone, especially since there are often either free or really cheap. But the thing is, by spending only a few extra dollars for a semi-smart phone you will often save a ton of money in the long term when it comes to your phone plan.

Creative Ways to Save

It might seem counter-intuitive that a more expensive phone can save you money. But this is because of the way the Internet is growing. See, there are a large number of free options for communicating with other people now. For example, even something as simple as Facebook will allow you to give simple messages to other people. Just about everyone has Facebook these days, so you don’t need to spend any money on sending a text when you can just send a message that way for free. Facebook also even has the option to record short voice messages these days.

Free Voice

If you want to get a regular voice option that’s free, you really need a semi-smart phone. It doesn’t have to be the ones that cost hundreds of dollars. You can get a low cost smart-phone that just has basic app capabilities. That way, you can fun apps like Skype, Whatsapp, or Viber. Alternatively, you can check out government funded free phone programs too.

whatsapp_icon_vectorText Alternative-Whatsapp

The app Whatsapp looks pretty much exactly like the standard texting program and it has all of the same capabilities. It works on just about any phone including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone and even Symbian.  This app will make you forget that you aren’t just using your regular texting on your phone, except when it comes to the bill at the end of the month of course. Then you’ll notice since the app is totally free to use and you can really cut down on your bill this way if you do a large amount of texting. Even if you have unlimited texting with your phone provider, this feature usually costs a lot of money. You can get a semi-smart phone, kill your unlimited plan, and use texting through a data plan or just at WiFi hotspots instead.

Talk for Free with Vibermzl.pdknnbff

Another approach is to use an app like Viber. This app does everything a basic phone can do, except it does it all for free. You can talk as long as you want with other Viber users, text as many times as you like, transfer photos and even some extra like giving people your current location. All you need for this to work is a 3G or WiFi connection. Many providers will allow you to take a data only plan instead of a traditional phone plan. And data only is often way cheaper as well. And you can always just use it in free WiFi spots and get all of your calls for free!

It costs usually just a few extra dollars to get a semi-smart phone, and you suddenly have access to a world of free and cheaper options.