Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top 3 Open Source CMS Platforms Developed in PHP

CMS or content management systems have changed the way websites are developed and maintained. In fact a lot of credit for the popularity of websites among medium and small businesses has to go to CMS web development solutions. The main reason for their popularity is the fact that they make sure a user can update the website using a web based interface. Most of the popular content management systems have been developed in PHP. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are the three most popular CMS. In fact Joomla development, WordPress development, and Drupal development account for a substantial market share of the CMS development.


1. WordPress – It is undoubtedly the most popular content management system in the world. Initially developed as a blogging platform WordPress development finds its usage in a wide range of websites. It is easy to install and allows you to build websites in a short time span. The ease of use makes it the first among the equals when it comes to PHP based open source content management systems. An average user can manage a WordPress website using the web based interface without touching the codes.    

There are a lot of themes and plugins which make this an ideal platform to manage corporate website or a blog. These allow you to get the exact look and functionality that you wish to have in your website. Alternately one can easily develop unique websites using PSD to WordPress development technique.  The only drawback, WordPress was never meant to be used to manage complex websites and for such website you will have to look beyond this amazing CMS solution.   

2. Joomla – If you are looking to develop a website with advanced functionality look nowhere else. No matter what your business demands are, Joomla development will have the perfect answer for your needs. Though the learning curve may be steeper than WordPress but Joomla generate cleaner codes. It is modular in nature which makes it highly scalable and being object oriented that serves ideal for all.   


It allows you to develop highly customized website with the use of modules or third-party plugins. This open source CMS is backed by a strong and active community of developers who constantly scrutinize this platform to improve its stability and performance. Joomla is high on the security features which add to its advantage.   

3. Drupal – What is it that separates Drupal from WordPress and Joomla? It is the scale at which this CMS solution performs. If you are planning to build large website with numerous sections and a wide range of functionality Drupal development is the perfect choice for you. It is loved by many developers as it can run from any computing platform that supports both a web server and a database. It also allows third parties to add applications and is often referred to as content management framework.    


The complex functions can be achieved easily in Drupal as most of the coding process is automated and this brings down the time required to develop a website. Unlimited user permission can be created in Drupal which isn’t possible with Joomla and WordPress. The only lack side is the fact that you don’t have that many options with themes as you get in WordPress and Joomla.


To draw maximum mileage out of these CMS web development solutions you need the services of a web development company which has expertise in these territories. Make sure they can build websites from scratch and use manual coding methods as this will give you an edge when it comes to search engine visibility of your website.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Anybody who is aware about the world of website design and development, must have come across the term Landing Page, a tad too often. But have we ever wondered, what exactly does a landing page means? Even more so, how is it different from the other pages of the website and most importantly, why does the web design and development experts emphasis on developing a landing page, optimizing the same for better results.

In this write up, we shall understand the meaning of the landing pages, differentiate it from the other website's pages and learn the importance of the same.

A business website is a collection of pages

A complete business web design comprises of various pages. If you own a complete website, you must have various pages in it, for instance the homepage, the about us page, Products and Service page, and the page addressing Frequently Asked Questions etc.

Landing page is a single page

Straightly put, landing page is just one of the pages in the website. It is a single most optimized page which is being strictly designed to cater one specific purpose and has a single goal. This goal could be to sell the products and services, to push sign ups, to address various inquiries etc.

Homepage also acts as the landing page

The homepage of the website, by default acts out to be the landing page as well. However, it is not necessary that the landing page, shall always be the homepage of the website. In fact, in practice, the price and services or the products and services page is the landing page for a website. By targeting the same page through various paid and unpaid optimization methods, one can direct the visitors to land on the landing page and directly do what is anticipated from them.

However, a user may reach the website through various sources. You cannot target each and every source to direct the users towards the landing page. Thus, even if you are not targeting at your home page, it still acts like the landing page. It is in most of the cases, the first page any of the user would see and hence it must contain the precise and effective summary of the entire business undertakings.

Thus, not only you need to optimize the landing page, but also make the homepage of your website effective, enriched with keywords and key phrases, and optimize the content so that all of the business activities are mentioned in it.

Landing page could be a single page or multiple pages

Undoubtedly the homepage is the page where most of the users are expected to land. However, the landing page could be a single page of the complete business web design. As told above, it is usually the products and services page, or the price and sign up page, whose major task is just to generate more leads and call for instant action on the parts of the users.

However, it is not required that the landing page could be a single most page. A business website design may consists of a collection of landing pages. For instance if some one is dealing with cars, he may have two separate landing pages – one dealing with the sale of cars and other dealing with car repairs and maintenance etc.

Developing a good landing page

A good landing page is what gives the customers with complete information, so that they would not have to look any further. It must be concise, meaningful and specific in purpose. You may hire a custom web development company, to build glorious websites, with highly effective and action oriented landing pages.

By Pixelcrayons
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Which Ecommerce service you should choose for your store?

Getting an online store in the present time is imperative. The wide spread popularity of ecommerce portals and stores have now provided the business owners an easy and superlatively cost effective way to market and sell their products online. However, the problem creeps in when the online store aspirants have to make the choice between which service to choose. We have break the problem down for you and have reviewed 4 of the top ecommerce website development platforms. Check out the positives and negatives of the same and make the right choice for your online store.

1. OsCommerce

http://www.oscommerce.com

OsCommerce is a preferred choice for a lot of online store owners and the list of noteworthy users includes – LinuxUk and TruffleShuffle.

The impressive features of OsCommerce includes multiple payment options. It supports a variety of payment gateways including – 2Checkout.com, PayNova, PayPal, Authorize.Net, TrustCommerce, SecPay, PSIGate, ChronoPay and iPayment etc.

Features Overview:
  • The features of OsCommerce includes:
  • Unlimited support to products and categories
  • Multiple currency support.
  • Back end supported by sturdy object oriented PHP
  • Support both the products – the ones which are downloaded / virtual and the ones that are shipped / physical. 


The problem with using OsCommerce is that the front end of OcCommerce is not developed using CSS (cascading style sheet language) and thus it is a huge problem to skin and reskin the pages. However if you are more comfortable with using tables in the website development, OsCommerce is for you.

Another advantage of OcCommerce is that it is immensely popular and thus you get support of the online community backing up OsCommerce.

2. ZenCart
http://www.zencart.com

Getting straight to the point, ZenCart may not support as many payment options as OsCommerce, but when compared to the above ecommerce publishing solution, Zencart turns out to be a more mature and functional solution. Where OsCommerce takes a lot of time to fix certain necessary issues requiring immediate attention, ZenCart fixes the same on an urgent basis. One of these issues is safety of the online store.


ZenCart is basically an extension to OsCommerce, thus the users can expect a kind of similar features and attributes. When it comes to payment gateways, ZenCart supports – Authorize.Net, LinkPoint and PayPal etc.

Features Overview of ZenCart:

  • XHTML 1.0 Transitional validation to the user front end
  • The coding changes being conducted in PHP are completely protected during upgrades via in built protection system, which is integrated with phpBB.
  • Integration with phpBB
  • Controlling the Meta Tags and descriptions at the “per product” level. 


3. VirtueMart

http://www.virtuemart.net

vitrueMart is perhaps the best solution available to you in case your web applications are based on Joomla or mambo for that matter. Both Joomla and VirtueMart are built with PHP, and thus VirtueMart works wonders in a PHP / MySQL platform.


Features Overview of VirtueMart
  • control the Products and Items at the stock level
  • Products overview is powered by AJAX and thus the new products can be easily and immediately added to the cart.
  • You can add the Product Attributes such as Size or Color to the Products
  • Easily Manage multiple States, Countries and Currencies
  • Demonstrate availability of the products
  • Multiple Payment Gateways Support.
  • Easy Integration with Joomla – if you have a functional Joomla website, Integration is done within or less than 5 minutes.

4. Magento

http://www.magentocommerce.com

Magento is the dedicated piece of work of Varien, a web development firm situated in Los Angeles, and if we may so say, what a marvel they have produced. It is by far the best open source ecommerce web development platform and has certain really exciting features. It is evident that the developers at Varien have thought of each and every anticipated attribute and contained it in the website design. Price and product comparison, wishlists, shop by category and price etc, these are the certain much sought after features and you get the same in Magento.

Features Overview

  • Really, it was overwhelming to include all the features of Magento in the list, however we have mentioned a few essentials. For a detailed look, flock the website.
  • Google Analytics Integration
  • Options for Multiple images per product with a refined Zoom in viewing
  • Addition to the wishlists
  • Catalog importing and exporting in a batch
  • Checkout in a single page
  • Multiple language and currencies support

The Ultimate Choice:
Let us begin with a disappointing answer – the best choice is dependent on your own requirements. Disappointing as it may sound, it is true nonetheless. Clearly Magento wins over the rest of the platforms, but for a specific requirement, go with the specific solution. Like if you have a Joomla website, you know the solution is VirtueMart.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

When it comes to creating a website, it is imperative to pay attention to the quality of web design. After all, a design is the soul of the site. It gives a site its identity and helps in establishing its brand value. Therefore, it should be ensured that you have a quality business web design. When going for custom web development, it is important to ensure that the web design company offers all the requisite and latest features. This will guarantee a highly attractive, interactive and user friendly website. Mentioned below are some of the most  important features which you should not forget to include in your website.

1. Content: When designing a website, you must adhere to the saying- content is the king. One of the most important features of a quality web design is a relevant and fresh content. Content plays the pivotal role of conveying to the visitors about your website and its purpose. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to have a design with  informative, well written and fresh content. With quality content, you can expect good search engine visibility and a good volume of traffic.

2. Easy Navigation: Navigation can prove to be the lifeline for your site. An easy and user friendly navigation ensures more visitors and a longer stay at your site. It also helps in enhancing the user experience. In fact, without a good navigation, no web design can be termed as good. Most of the times, it is observed that websites have poor navigation. This annoys visitors and leads to confusion. Consequently they eave the site and it only contributes in increasing the bounce rate of your site. A simple and clear navigation can prove to be the strength of your site.

3. User experience: When designing a site, you must pay heed to user experience. After all, a website is designed to cater to users. And it will fail if it does not take care of the user experience. You must ensure that your design is user friendly and is easy on eye. The colors, font size, and images should be such that they help in enhancing the overall user experience. You must ensure the right and appropriate use of the white space, correct graphics etc.

4. SEO: Another very important feature of a good web design is quality SEO. Your design should be search engine friendly and should help in proper search engine optimization. For this, a web design should have proper meta tags, title tags, links and header tags. Image files should be named correctly. It is better to name them with a main keyword. All these things will ensure that search engine spiders are able to crawl on your site and index your pages.

5. Quick Downloads: When designing a site, you should also include the facility for quick downloads. Do not include heavy graphics, images, videos and irrelevant sound files in your design. They only increase the download time of your pages. And if you make your visitors wait for too long, they will definitely switch to some other website. Hence, do not include any irrelevant file or  image in the design.

6. Sitemap: Sitemap is a very important part of a good web design. It serves a very important purpose, that is to familiarize the visitors with the structure of your site and also help them to find out quickly what they are looking for. With a good sitemap, you can rest assured that visitors will never lose their way on your site. Therefore, it is mandatory to have a good sitemap included in your design.

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