web designers

Migrating To A New Cloud: Tips For Minimizing Your Downtime

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At some point in the current era of technology, it will become inevitable for your company to migrate its cloud system from one server to another, or to adopt a cloud strategy for the first time. That may entail moving completely to an external cloud, migrating from old to new hardware, or anywhere in between. Cloud migration is an essential part of keeping a business or company competitive, since migrating to better and more efficient systems can lead to faster and more convenient processes, among many other benefits. However, migrating a cloud system may still prove problematic, as an incorrect installation could lead to lengthy downtime and less reliability.

Knowing when a Migration is Needed

It’s important to recognize when it’s time to migrate to a new server, as migrating too early will not yield enough benefits to make the move worthwhile. One of the biggest reasons for migration is to replace legacy or otherwise old hardware with a state-of-the-art infrastructure. You’ll know it’s time for you to migrate to newer software if one of these situations occurs:

  • Your cloud has progressively gotten slower as a result of increased load due to newer, more resource-intensive software
  • Your cloud is struggling to keep up to date as a result of a lack of new features
  • It’s become too expensive to maintain legacy hardware
  • Security has improved and your business needs to ensure that only authorized agents can access the cloud

Migrating To A New Cloud: Tips For Minimizing Your Downtime

Being Aware of the Tasks Ahead and Possible Pitfalls

With the knowledge of why you would migrate a server, it’s important to balance the potential gains with the amount of work that will be required. As mentioned earlier, a server migration will usually involve a move to better-equipped or more suitable hardware, which would cut costs, help with scalability or both. Additionally, newer servers usually have stronger security features that are important for keeping your company’s information secure and private.

However, migrating your cloud involves a possibly long period of downtime while data and services are transferred to new hardware or a new location. During this time, your company won’t be able to access information, which would critically hamper company activity. In the current IT era, it’s critical for your company to be working at maximum efficiency for as long as possible, and a migration, despite the benefits, may ultimately be too detrimental for your business.

Beginning the Migration Process

To start a cloud migration, the first thing to take do is to keep backups and double-check processes. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing data was lost or deleted in a transfer. Taking some time to make backups and prepare the system thoroughly will save much more time and money in the long run as you maintain the new system, such as a hosted Windows cloud service. After the files are migrated to the new server, don’t immediately cancel or shut down the previous server until the new server is up and running. This will ensure that if problems occur, you’ll still be able to revert back to the working model.

Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well equipped to migrate your server to new and better hardware. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to stay current on technology, and migrating your cloud will likely help your company maintain standards of efficiency.

What Plugins Are Helpful For Business?

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WordPress is a valuable tool that businesses can use to create a blog or even a website. However, the most basic version of WordPress doesn’t provide all of the features a business needs to create a fully functional website. In order to create a more advanced website, businesses can install some of the many plugins WordPress offers to increase functionality.

What Plugins Are Helpful For Business?

Beneficial WordPress Plugins

Some of the WordPress plugins that are most helpful for businesses include:

· Broken Link Checker: Checks the website for broken links and images.

· WordPress Live Chat: Adds a live chat box to the site that the business can use to communicate with users.

· WPtouch: Transforms a desktop website into a mobile version in a matter of minutes.

· 404 Redirected: Eliminates 404 pages from the website by redirecting users elsewhere when a page isn’t functioning properly or doesn’t exist.

· ShareBar: Incorporates a toolbar on the page that allows users to share content via social media websites.

· Contact Form 7: Allows users to contact the business using a simple online form.

· Ninja Pop-Ups: Allows a business to create its own pop-ups that will appear to users at times the business designates.

· Google Analytics: Keeps track of search traffic, page views and other valuable information the business can use to gauge the effectiveness of its website.

· Related Posts by Zementa: Places a footer on the webpage that directs users to related articles or pages on the site.

Are these Plugins Necessary?

The plugins listed above may not be appropriate for every business website. However, by incorporating a selection of these plugins, a business can transform a basic WordPress blog into a full-service website with a professional appeal. For example, the incorporation of WordPress Live Chat and Contact Form 7 make the site more engaging to users by encouraging them to connect directly with the company. Likewise, social plugins like ShareBar encourage users to share website content with friends, which increases their level of involvement and invites other users to visit the site. Furthermore, adding other plugins like Google Analytics allows the business to evaluate and increase its website traffic, while plugins like 404 Redirect and the Broken Link Checker can be used to prevent malfunctions and keep the site running smoothly.

The importance of a Good Foundation

Although adding these plugins to a website can increase its appeal to users, the site won’t be a success unless it’s built on a solid foundation. Websites that malfunction frequently become inaccessible on a regular basis or load slowly will drive users away before they have a chance to enjoy the benefits of any installed plugins. For this reason, it’s essential for businesses to choose a reputable Web hosting company capable of managing all of the site’s traffic with minimal downtime.

To thrive in today’s world, businesses need a high quality, professional website capable of answering users’ questions and encouraging them to connect with the company. By building a WordPress site on a solid foundation and adding the right plugins, businesses can enjoy all of the advantages of a full-service website.

Why You Should Develop With Joomla

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Why You Should Develop With JoomlaJoomla! is an award-winning content management system (CMS) with more than 35 million downloads, thousands of extensions and designs built on an open source platform. With advantages like that, it’s easy to see why the software is so popular.

A major advantage to using a CMS is the ease-of-use. There’s almost no technical skill required to build Web sites and powerful online applications. The software is incredibly user-friendly and mobile ready, and since it’s open source, makes a great solution for almost any business, from the largest corporate enterprise to the smallest personal web page.

Joomla can be used for almost any type of web site: corporate Web sites or portals, corporate intranets and extranets, online magazines, newspapers, and publications, e-commerce and online reservation systems, government applications, small business web sites, non-profit and organizational web sites, community-based portals, school and church web sites or personal or family homepages.

As Rackspace’s Joshua Hatfield says, “You can customize Joomla into anything that you need it to be. There are thousands of templates, components, plugins and modules that help you make your site unique. Whatever you need to do, you have the ability to do it.”

Who uses Joomla in the real world? Joomla is behind businesses of every size, shape and kind, from MTV Networks to IKEA, eBay, General Electric and Citibank to McDonald’s restaurants to Outdoor Photographer magazine.

Joomla is designed to be easy to install and configure, even for novice users. Many Web hosting and cloud services providers offer a single-click Joomla installation option, which can help get your site up and running in no time.

“Whether you run a Windows or Linux environment, you are able to deploy Joomla. Within a matter of minutes you can get your Joomla site up and running, ready to serve up your content to your users,” Hatfield said.

And since Joomla is so easy to use, it can significantly shorten the sales and delivery cycle for Web designers or developers whose clients need a site fast.

Joomla also offers a wide variety of specialized functionality, most of which are free under the GPL License. You can check out the list of available extensions here, in the Joomla Extensions Directory.

Since Joomla is based on PHP and MySQL, you can use it to build almost any kind of applications, from inventory control systems, data reporting tools, application bridges, e-commerce systems, reservations systems, powerful communication tools and more. And since the framework is open, anyone can use, share, and support the software. To find out more information on leveraging the Joomla framework, visit the Joomla Developer Network.

Joomla also has a proven history. It branched off from the Mambo project in 2007 and has been steadily growing and attracting its own devoted following ever since. “In that time it has evolved into a very advanced and stable CMS that is used in schools, corporate intranets and small businesses, among others,” Hatfield said. “If you need a website, Joomla will be there for you.

And if you’re worried about support, consider this: Joomla has a dedicated, passionate community of users and developers who are constantly working to improve the software, offer support, and add new and improved functionality. Should the free support not meet your business’s needs, there are paid support services available from third-party consultants, developers, and designers.

Joomla is the most popular open source CMS currently available as evidenced by a vibrant and growing community of friendly users and talented developers. Joomla’s roots go back years and, with over 200,000 community users and contributors, the future looks bright.

Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from holistic veterinary care to data center technology and occasionally blogs for cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.

Cloud Block Storage: How Can It Benefit Your Business?

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As a business’s data requirements become more extensive, its storage demands increase as well. Cloud block storage maximizes the efficiency of a server for maximum data storage and scalability. Although the concept may seem abstract, it has concrete implications for data management and file storage.

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An Overview of Cloud Block Storage

Blocks are the lowest level of data storage, residing on a server beneath the level of file storage. Because they’re relatively simple, blocks offer an independent storage method that can be scaled as needed in a number of ways to keep costs low. Blocks accommodate a wide range of data types, including databases, files and virtual machine file system volumes. Compare this to a file-level storage system, which only accommodates files. Although you might be able to store spreadsheets, marketing PDFs and images on a file-based storage system, you can’t store other types of data.

As you fill the block with data, you can expand to an additional block without disturbing other data on the server. The data is stored independently from the hardware, so you can move the block storage from one server to another without disturbing the hardware. Think of it like a separate hard drive on a server: You can remove the hard drive from one server and take it to another without disturbing the files.

Block storage is more challenging to administer than file-level storage, since administrators need to manage storage per server, track device performance and set security and protection levels. With cloud block storage, the cloud vendor takes on all the maintenance and administration of the storage server, so you don’t have to worry. You can connect to the cloud storage through an easy-to-use graphical user interface. Many common applications use block-level storage, including Microsoft Exchange and VMware, so you may already be taking advantage of block storage in your business life without even realizing it.

Block Storage’s Benefits

If all you need is a place to put files, TechRepublic recommends file-level storage, but if you’re looking for extensible storage options, cloud block storage can’t be beat. It offers faster speeds, greater reliability and faster performance than a file-based storage system. Block storage can also be formatted differently to accommodate a range of file systems that might be required by an application.

Consider these applications of block-level storage:

  • Move stored data to your block storage and then delete the contents of your server. Since everything is on the block storage, costs are kept down by paying only for the capacity you’re using.
  • Lend more storage to applications and databases that demand a high level of space, freeing up room on your solid state drive (SSD) for other applications.
  • Enhance the storage space of a cloud server without paying additional costs for cloud space.
  • Use the extra space to increase system speed and performance.
  • Keep computing costs low by paying only for the resources you need at any given time.
  • Use block storage for databases, applications, files or a combination.

A reputable cloud company can help you get started with block storage, monitor your block storage and perform all the necessary system maintenance and upgrades. See for yourself why businesses have taken to block storage to increase capacity and lower costs.

What are The Things You Need To Notice In A Web Designer?

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More and more companies now are creating an online presence to attract customers. With the increase of online shopping, websites are becoming more relevant. Customers are now sitting in the comfort of their homes and searching online for goods and services that they want to buy. To ensure that a company doesn’t lose its customers just because it lacks a website, companies are looking for professional and reliable web designers.

A web designer is an individual who will help the company create an alluring website that will list its products or services. It will simultaneously allow customers to easily purchase their desired products or services online. There is a wide array of companies working to help organizations with their online needs. But the real question is how to choose a web designer who will meet all your requirements and create a perfect website for your company. There are certain things you need to look for in a web designer portfolio before you can hire him or her. This is the purpose of this article. It will delve into these considerations that allow you to hire someone who will be ideal for your website creation.

Clients

The web designer portfolio will basically allow you to know about previous clients. Knowing about the web designer’s clients will be of paramount importance. Clients have different needs, and how these needs were met will tell you more about the professionalism and technical prowess of the web designer. Try to measure yourself against the web designer’s clients. See how their websites were made. This will tell you how your needs will be met and what you need to ask from the web designer. If you are a small company and the web designer has been dealing with large corporations, it is a better idea to forgo it. The web designer will charge more and create a website for larger audiences. Try to find someone who has worked predominantly with smaller companies so that you can easily get your needs met.

Clients are also a good way to gauge the reputation of the company. A web designer company is as good as its clients. If it has worked with large organizations, it has an excellent reputation. If it has numerous clients, it means it has a capable work force that allows it to work with numerous clients at one time.

Its work

The portfolio of a company represents its existing or prior work. This means that, when you are in the hiring phase, you can check out the company’s previous work online. You will easily find all its websites and its designs and learn how the company works. It will tell you about its capabilities and potential. If you see meticulously-made websites with brilliant designs, you can enjoy the same benefits by hiring the company. On the other hand, if you find websites that are made with simplistic designs, it means the company is still learning or happens to have employees that are not well versed in excellent or intricate website designing.

The Proper Balance

Many web designing companies found in Toronto don’t have the right balance when it comes to artistic, marketing and technical expertise. To find out whether they will be able to deliver websites that have all these three qualities or elements, it is important to see their portfolios. Only then you will know how well these companies will be able to help you with your website.

In summation, it can be said that understanding a company requires you to understand and comprehend their portfolio. This will allow you to know about their weaknesses and strengths, and you will know what you are paying for. On the other hand, when you get your hands on the portfolios of different companies, you can compare them, as well. Put portfolios side by side and understand what each company is offering you. Then choose a company or web designer that will be able to deliver the promised results. Always remember, it’s your money, and you have every right to take your time, do your research and then choose any company or web designer that suits your needs best. It is important that you settle for substance and not just affordability.

Author bio:

Jane Jones is an artistic web designer residing in Toronto. She learned web designing while she was attending college and now is one of the foremost online authorities on website designing. She is known for her vast knowledge on the subject and writes extensively about it online. Jane is constantly followed by Toronto website designers for her expertise and ideas.

Learn from the Best: The Leaders of Web Design

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Creating a quality eCommerce site can appear deceptively simple. With just a few images, descriptions and a shopping cart, it is possible to immediately begin selling online. However, with millions of competitors out there, the process of creating a site that customers will actually seek out and use is significantly more challenging.

Top Design Companies just released its list of Best eCommerce Web Design Trends for 2013, where it notes five eCommerce websites that set the bar for what is possible in eCommerce web design. These companies demonstrate how important quality design is, and they give a glimpse of some of the expected web design trends for the coming year.

By taking note of companies that are leading the way in eCommerce web design, and attempting to apply some of the same concepts to their own company websites, business owners can help ensure that their own websites will be competitive.

Top Design Winners

Some of the sites noted by Top Design included Reebok, Sony and clothing retailer Uniqlo. Top Design noted that each excelled at ease of navigation, as well as the clarity of their calls to action.

Reflective of Trends

Recently, Amber Leigh Turner published an article at The Next Web discussing the 10 web design trends expected for 2013. Many of the trends predicted by the writer are already in use by Reebok, Sony and Uniqlo, and are worth taking note of.

Responsive Design

Responsive design refers to creating sites that are viewable across many different devices, sites that are easy to navigate and require little to no resizing. This means users encounter no road blocks when accessing the site from their tablets, desktops or smart phones.

All three of the sites listed above utilize responsive design because it works. For instance, potential customers can quickly view Sony’s newest offerings and make a purchase, regardless of what device they happen to be using.

Large Images for Impact

One of Turner’s predictions for 2013 websites is the use of large, screen-size images for impact. These images can be truly powerful in creating a unique feel for a website.

Consider Reebok’s home page. Most of the initial screen space is taken up with a rotating banner of high-quality photos. Each photo is related to a particular product line Reebok wants to showcase. The images set an undeniable mood, allowing the viewer to feel a little of what it might be like to be trail running, doing yoga or dancing.

As screens increase in size and resolution, large images will only become more useful in setting the tone of a website.

White Space

Another predicted trend for the coming year is the increased use of white space. A white background is surprisingly effective in making product images pop off the screen, especially when those images are high quality.

Clean design continues to be appealing to the majority of consumers. Apple has been riding this wave for years, and customers are still loving it.

Uniqlo uses white space to great effect. When color does appear, either in backgrounds for clothing models or in the clothes themselves, it is set off by the surrounding white space. This creates an emotional response. Potential buyers can feel the impact they might make wearing those same clothes.

Use What Works

Taking note of what works in website design is worthwhile for business owners. Today, every business needs a web presence. Fortunately, businesses do not have to settle for a generic and unappealing site. With the help of a quality web design company, business owners can utilize the design trends that work to help develop a powerful brand, and help encourage the conversions that will come along with it.

 

 

A perfect web design – One of the most necessary things to remember for making a website

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Website design has become one of the most important parts of modern business, as through websites you can actually show your customers about the products of your business. A well designed website can attract more customers and it creates the first impression of your organization to your customers. Therefore, as a businessman it is now necessary to give more time on designing your website properly.

web designHaving a worldwide business is quite common now. However to make a worldwide business successful it is necessary to attract the Global customers. Creating a perfect website can be a wonderful idea to grow your business. This is the most modern way of advertising of your business. The website should be able to provide relevant information on your business to the customers.

Information is no doubt the most important thing which you must provide to your customers through websites. The search engine must be good and user friendly. The get up of the website is an additional thing but it is extremely necessary to make the web designing properly as it will become the outlook of your business.

If a website only provides the information it is not complete. Web designing becomes very much important as if it is not done properly, the customer will not be able to find out the information easily. Therefore, your time and money which you have spent for your website will be spoiled.

Therefore, it is necessary to build an attractive and user friendly design for your website. You can only say your web design perfect, if the customer feels good with it. There is no doubt about the fact that customer satisfaction is the most essential thing in any kind of business.

It is necessary to choose the proper web designer for designing your website. There are some web designers who try to work very quickly. Well, when you are making your website, you should take your time. You should choose the group of designers who will understand your requirements and will do the website designing accordingly. Good web-designers will be aware of the fundamental requirement of a website. They must be creative so that they can give the website a perfect look.

The design should be perfect at the very first time. The latest technologies are to be used for making your website. Sometimes the client can advise the designers to use the proper new techniques whenever and wherever it is necessary. However, the designer should not cross the boundary set by you as only you know what you want to show your customers through the website.

Customer’s feedback takes an important part in web-designing. Sometimes, the client remains specific about his requirement. If the client is not sure or certain about the techniques of building a website, or the web design, a good web designer will be able to handle the situation by asking the right questions to the client.

The web designer and the client should have a very good relation to make the website a perfect one. It will be commonly profitable to both of them.

Some Great Ways of Adding Worth To Your Website Designing Endeavors With CSS

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A huge majority of experts are of the opinion that CSS lies at the core of contemporary website designing industry’s fast pace towards further evolution, defying every odd that comes across it on its way to constantly expanding the horizons. As a matter of fact, this is quite an authentic and valid proposition. Today, it has become possible to design almost everything in the browser by virtue of CSS, which could not have been done without Photoshop and Fireworks’ assistance just a few years ago.

With designing in the browser becoming more viable for contemporary web designers, there are a few things that can prove extremely helpful in such a scenario, such as:

1) Realistic Fonts

The contribution of the element of display in success of any idea/project has become very significant in present times. No matter how effective, helpful, and efficient an idea is; unless it is not displayed to the audiences with due effect, success is hard to come by. Internet hosts some aesthetically great fonts nowadays and people are greatly compelled to employ those new and unique fonts to impress their visitors. However, aesthetic appeasement is not the only thing that today’s users ask for, they also search for convenience and high readability. Therefore, make sure your web designing endeavors include those fonts that contribute towards increased usability. This can be done best by choosing fonts that can conveniently be recreated by HTML/JS/CSS.

2) Imageless Buttons

Majority of developers never seem convenient enough in playing with buttons. They can be eased out a lot if designers choose to go for designing buttons that can conveniently be created with the help of CSS or JavaScript. It can be very helpful in many ways, such as:

  • Helps in getting live text
  • Buttons are more adaptable
  • No need of loading distinct images for such buttons
  • Helps in getting rid of button sprite

Now, all of these benefits serve as a great cushion for developer, saving him a lot of development time and effort for Imageless Buttons. Therefore, website designers should think whether or not a fantastically designed button in Photoshop can be produced in CSS to make it easier for themselves and concerned developers.

3) Variable Displays

Today, there seems no dearth of display devices. Now, this means that designers should be designing websites in such a way that the problem of varied sizes of display devices (ranging from 320 x 480 to 2560 X 1440) no more remains a problem. One of the biggest allies that hold the potential of liberating professional web design services in this regard is none other than “Responsive Web Design Approach”, which induces fluidity into web design layouts, making them highly adaptable to different screen sizes.

Conclusion

One of the reasons why web designing has become such a successful contributor to overall evolution of internet experience is its amazing ability to swim across any challenging waves that try to hinder its progress. It has added so much colors and life to primitive dullness of virtual world that people all around the world feel greatly gravitated towards it and seem to come up with ingenious solutions to all challenges that could hinder its significance as a distinct domain. The tips mentioned above also provide web designers some really good ways of coping with the challenges of web designing.

Should A Website Designer Go For Improving Coding Abilities As Well?

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Businesses definitely need to promote themselves among their potential target markets, so that more and more people get to know how products/services of a particular business can add ease and convenience to their lives. Many experts believe that users are more concerned about high utility of a product/service in catering their need as compared to their concerns about high quality of the product or service.

It is for reasons like these that internet has emerged as one of the most effective mediums assisting millions of businesses all across the world to pursue their targets of growth and development successfully. Internet enables businesses to showcase their strengths (in their products as well as services) to a wider range of targeted audience, so that they are exposed to maximum number of people. For this purpose, critical role of web designers is unquestionable.

In fact, website design has become one of the most sought after web based careers. This also makes it a highly competitive field where web designers have to serve the industry with their best or they could simply perish at the hands of sheer competition. Now, many experts believe that a website designer can enjoy better rewards if they improve their coding (developing) skills as well. Though there are many who might not be very convinced with this opinion; so, this article sums up the major benefits of sprucing up coding ability of a web designer. This would definitely help readers better make up their mind in favor of or against the above mentioned statement.

Killing two birds with one stone – One certain benefit of being able to code for a designer is getting independent of outside assistance to seek betterment in their designs. For a designer who is not well with coding, resorting to a contractor is the only option, which might not be very much feasible for them in various aspects.

Better design solutions – A designer with better understanding of coding would be able to tweak his best website design solutions much better than a designer not expert in that region. This would definitely add to diversity and flexibility of design solution.

Added affordability – Web designers good at coding can also sometime cut any extra costs they might have to pay to any outside contractor for taking care of certain aspect of their design solutions. This means saving money for them.

Improved communication –Sharpening coding skill does not entail designers to switch trades with website developers; instead, it would help them better communicate with clients and other people while making business for themselves.

Better client response – Believe it or not, every single one of us wants to find multitalented people who are capable and skilled enough to take care of multiple aspects of our businesses and projects. Amid such potential clients, the probability of getting better client response for a web designer also equipped with coding abilities is much more as compared to one who does not hold such distinctions.

Conclusion

Perhaps, there would always be a division among people; some of them calling for designers to improve coding skills as well, while some of them advising website designers to stick to their primary expertise. However, the benefits stated above make this option seriously worth considering for a web designer.