Ways to develop cross-platform desktop apps with PHP

So far, we have been creating only the web-applications using PHP but with the growing usage of PHP-GTK, we are now also able to develop cross-platform desktop applications using PHP. By ‘Desktop applications’, we mean the applications that are neither dependent on webservers such as IIS, Apache, nor on the web browsers. At present, JAVA and .Net are using the same technology wherein using virtual machine, these can optimize the code, execute according to the respective platforms. With PHP however, you will be able to work more independently and plan focally towards desktop presence to develop better cross platform apps representing your individual business needs. So, now we can build cross-platform desktop applications using PHP as well, with the help of PHP-GTK.
We can download the version of PHP-GTK currently in use from http://gtk.php.net/download.php
Nightrain is compatible with different PHP frameworks and applications which is still in process. So, in the near future, we can expect to be able to incorporate more features and aspects for developing complex applications. However, managing to work with it can also be a bit challenging for beginners or amateur developers.
WXPHP, also said to be the ‘wxWidgets for PHP’ is referred to as the PHP extension. Multi-platform desktop applications can be developed using the existing graphical components with various platforms. Using WXPHP, you do not build a regular website the way you do generally but you rather actually bring together different wx widgets from the library and put them to work for you, while working online. WXPHP helps you create your cross platform Desktop Application with the least technicalities involved and doing the least amount of experiment.
TideSDK is different from both the optioned mentioned above. We have to install sdks according to the different platforms. Once we install sdk, the helpers will enable us to arrange the applications ease of distributions and allow the development of the cross platform web applications with much ease. The helpers make use of the command line to enable building the applications easily.

Not sure if your business needs Cross-platform Desktop App with a Responsive Design?

We are one of the leading PHP Development Company with 13+ years of Combined experience, our Team of talented PHP Developers can help you devise design strategy for your business right from ideation, design, development and deployment up to the marketing and analytics of your app.

Using CDNs for a Faster Website

Demand For a Faster Web

It is truly the epitome of the advent of information age when everyone from the tech savvy new age marketers to the way less tech savvy laymen stereotypes are seen on the streets tapping on smart phones, and talking rather enthusiastically and knowledgeably about dropping 3g internet rates. But it does not stop there, they want information and they want it now, on the go. People do not wait for your precious little website to load, they want it loaded and ready at the click of a button or the tap of a finger. To cater to the voraciously increasing demand for the huge reserves of information available through the internet in a fast and efficient way, an effective mode of content distribution called content delivery networks were designed and implemented.

Content Delivery Networks

CDNs are a method of providing content to end users in a fast and efficient way. CDNs or Content delivery networks use large networks of servers placed strategically around the world to remotely store data and provide it on demand to end users. The operational hierarchy is as follows: The various content rich websites and clients employ CDNs to distribute their online content effectively to their audience around the world. CDNs in turn employ ISPs, network carriers etc. and use data centers provided by them to host servers.

CDN

Types of Files That Can Be Stored in a CDN

Usually using a CDN, static files such as CSS files, Javascripts, images, videos, and audio files are stored for efficient and fast sharing. Files that do not undergo dynamic changes are preferably stored using CDNs.

Advantages of Using a CDN

Ease of access for data across the globe

Distribution of data and content using CDN has resulted in the starting of an age of faster and easier internet access. The time required to access data from a website that was established across continents and oceans has been reduced drastically through the introduction of CDNs. A series of signals that had to make the journey across land and sea could now be stored in remote servers and accessed on demand.

Decreases Server Load on the Main Infrastructure

Using the CDN distributed model of remote servers, the total load on the content provider owned IT infrastructure is drastically reduced. Instead numerous servers placed closer to the end users, shares the load and can alleviate network issues like bottlenecking and server overload.

Reduced Bandwidth Costs

Using CDNs the bandwidth costs accumulated by the content provider can be reduced.

Easy delivery of content rich media

Media such as audio and video files that require large bandwidth could be distributed faster and effectively through CDNs

Increased efficiency and higher revenue

Increase in response time for your websites and portals ensures a higher return of investments and furthermore it ensures customer satisfaction, effectively.

Manageable and efficient scaling

Your online business presence can be scaled up efficiently and effortlessly on the content distribution front using CDNs. This is especially effective in the case of e-commerce portals.

Easy management of traffic peaks

Traffic peaks can be easily manageable using CDNs due to its distributed nature and the availability of multiple sources for the same content.

Security benefits

Malicious attacks like denial of service (DoS) attacks can be contained and managed through the extensive network infrastructure offered by various CDNs.

LIST OF FREE CDNs

1. jsDelivr

An open source project, it is one of the most efficient and comprehensive options available online for developers. It hosts more than 1000 open source projects and provides the amazing service uptimes.

jsdelivr

2. Cdnjs

With just over 900 open source projects hosted on cdnjs, it is another big time player providing free CDN services. It supports numerous plugins and extensions making it a very reliable resource for developers.

Cdnjs

3. Microsoft Ajax CDN

Largely unnoticed and overlooked, Microsoft operates a fully functional and efficient CDN. Microsoft Ajax CDN supports numerous open source projects such as jQuery, Bootstrap, and respond.js Security and reliability is a guarantee from this open source project maintained by the tech giant.

Microsoft Ajax CDN

4. Open Source Software CDN

OSSCDN, as it is otherwise known, is an open source project maintained by MaxCDN and supported by jsDelivr.

Open Source Software CDN

5. Google Hosted Libraries

Another open source project by the tech giants, Google hosted libraries hosts numerous popular JavaScript frameworks such as AngularJS, jQuery, and even old ones such as MooTools and prototype.

Google Hosted Libraries

 6. Bootstrap CDN

Bootstrap CDN is a project specific CDN which can be used to serve the Bootstrap core, Fontawesome and Bootswatch.

Bootstrap CDN

7. jQuery CDN

This is another project specific CDN for jQuery projects.

jQuery CDN

How to build traction on your website?

When someone lands on your website for the very first time, exactly what happens?

That’s the most crucial point of conversion for any website: That moment when a new visitor takes their first look into your page and makes a decision whether or not they’ll stick around a little longer to learn more. I hope that they do. But what then? Are they totally absorbed and compelled to go deeper and take the next step to subscribe, get in touch, or even purchase something?

The goal of any kind of website you design is always to build traction with your target audience. Whether you’re designing a site for a client, or you’re designing one for your own startup — whether it’s a site for a product, an event, or a service — if it’s not building traction, then it’s not assisting your business move forward and grow. In this article, I’m going to share a few simple, but important tips to help you design a site that performs its primary duty: Build traction with your audience and also convert them to customers.

Know your target audience

Hopefully, you know who your website’s intended target audience is. And hopefully it’s very specific. For example, rather saying your product is targeted at small business owners, narrow it down even further: “It’s a product for small business owners with 10 to 20 employees working primarily within software as a service.” Don’t be afraid to niche down to the point you’re excluding periphery users. You’re better off focusing your message on your primary audience, as this will allow you to resonate with them. The others will discover ways to fit your product to their use if it really provides the solution they need. But knowing who your audience is only the first step. You also must know them. What do they care about? What is challenging them? What are their goals? How can you produce a “win” for them?
Through in-depth audience interviews, and keeping tabs on the common questions that are raised — either through support, your contact form, or in person — you can get to know your audience on a deep level. This helps you craft a website and message that cuts straight to the things that matter most to them.

 

Speak to one person (not many)

We all want to design websites that receive a large number of unique visitors per day. So the common mistake that I see website owners make is they write their copy as if they’re speaking to a crowd of individuals. That might make sense from your perspective as the website owner who sees thousands of hits in analytics. But to each individual visitor, your message feels impersonal and bland. A much better approach is to speak to one individual person — your target customer — and write as if you’re having an intimate one-to-one conversation. This is how you develop a deep relationship and build trust with your audience.

By speaking in terms they relate to, and talking about things they care deeply about (you know what those things are, don’t you?), you’re setting the stage for a successful visit or transaction.

Focus on a single call-to-action

You’ve seen those sites that bombard you with popups, slide-ups, sidebar opt-ins, bottom of page opt-ins, and oh-by-the-way — like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and while you’re at it, would you like to chat with us live right now? If your visitor’s attention is pulled in too many different directions and none of those are the actual content of the page, you’re in bad shape. Very few people will decide to opt in or buy right away without reading something of value first. And those that do are not highly qualified and likely won’t ever purchase from you.

A more logical approach is to keep the focus on your content first. Clean, unobstructed views, with a limited number of callouts, links, and action buttons around. With highly compelling content comes engagement. That implies that once a visitor reads something thought provoking from you — it could be an article, an overview of a product’s benefits, a video, whatever — then they’re ready to take the next step. In fact, they want to.
That’s when you present one single, relevant, call to action. For example, if it’s a blog article about the latest CSS3 technique, the single call to action on that page could be a newsletter opt-in with a free email course about CSS3 essentials.

Prioritize your navigation

If you’ve put together a site map, prior to designing and building out your site, you may find there are many different sections, with many pages within each section. From your product tour pages, to pages about your company, contact pages, and so on. Don’t try and include every page in your main navigation. Split up your navs and prioritize. In your main navigation, I like to include what I call “mission critical” pages. These are the pages that contribute to making the sale. For example, I consider a page about the product and its benefits a mission critical page. The pricing page is mission critical. A contact or signup page is mission critical. The goal is to tone down the number of pages included in that primary navigation. Why? You don’t want your visitor scratching their head, asking themselves “where should I go next?” Make that decision easy and give them only a few choices.

The rest of your pages, such as your About page, frequently asked questions, and team bios, can fall into a secondary navigation, somewhere out of the way. Sure, these might be necessary pages to include in your website, but they don’t need to be front and center.

Jees

Going mobile- The new age of mobile web design

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The new age of mobile web design

 

Today there’s no doubt that mobile devices are having and will continue to have an impact on web browsing, especially when it comes to online interaction between businesses and consumers. For your site to work well on a mobile handset, it must follow the accessibility design guidelines for building mobile Websites which are set by the W3C. In mobile phones, the technology called the WAP is used for browsing. Because of the limitations of WAP browsers in terms of screen size and allowable download, you will need to strip down your current design. The easiest way to build your mobile Website is to modify your existing Internet site to make it compatible for mobile handsets. If you decide to do so, expect that there will be big changes in terms of layout, design and construction. Some of these are-

 

Design, content and more-

Leverage the intuitive power of touch UI by minimizing interface chrome (buttons, tab bars, checkboxes, sliders and so on) wherever possible and putting your content on the space available. Responsiveness is of prime importance when dealing with design for a website based to be run on mobile devices. If your user does something, your app needs to acknowledge the interaction instantly.  Avoid scrolling. I can assure you that ‘below the fold’ exists for mobile. Also, having a non-scrolling screen has a more solid and dependable ‘feel’ than a scrolling view because it’s more predictable.

Size

As for general website design, you can have a large screen size of 14 or more bur for mobile, you have limited size which users can see to view your website. So designing mobile website, size should be the main concern and you must arrange and placed things which are most important and which are most needed.

Platform

You must have to consider mobile device properly. What resolution, common screen size, the way they can access the website. Touch screen phones doesn’t have much problem viewing website from different view whereas for mobile devices with keypad, it has one single button to access and view different portion of website. You must think about this while designing the layout.

Accessibility

The file or object you use for mobile websites, must be compressed one and can be loaded quickly without making the extra load on the viewer’s GPRS plan.  The website should be prepared in a way that promotes thumb use. According to a recent survey, mobile internet users use their thumbs for browsing through websites. So create a website that is “thumb friendly”. Also, typing stinks even on the best devices, so you should do what you can to make it easier for your users.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before designing and building a mobile website. The principles of mobile design are different than those of conventional Web site design. If you do not have the time or patience to learn new coding practices, then consider hiring a firm that specializes in mobile Web site design. ColorCuboid offers complete mobile web design and development solution to clients across the globe. Contact us today!

Jees

The importance of Web development

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Nowadays, no company can think about making it big without having its very own website to get in touch with the global client base. While bigger businesses and MNCs can afford to have their own web development team to meet the needs of internet marketing requirements, small businesses cannot go for it. In such type of companies, the work associated with Web Development is taken care of by webmasters or graphic designers. Majority of them outsource their requirements for such type of services on a contractual arrangement. You will discover a lot of web development companies and qualified professionals who have been into Web Application Development, Software Development and Website Development for several years. Such type of companies enjoys an outstanding status as a reliable service provider. One has to communicate with dependable Web Development agencies to generate the perfect type of website to publicize their business. Contact ColorCuboid today for your website requirements!

Right from the development of world-wide-web by Lee Berners in the 1990s, the entire world has now been minimized to a marketplace in which all of the nation’s regardless of dimension as well as spectrum of operation are participants in the internet marketing discipline. With the surge in the amount of web development firms this sector now produces revenues in billions of dollars. Owing to the most recent technical advancements in IT, Web Development is now ever so active as well as demanding market. Pros associated with crucial areas for example Web Application Development , Software Development or Website Development have the option to either work as a freelancer or alternatively, be employed in reputable companies to earn substantial earnings .

In the future, the range of web development services will certainly spread out to modern horizons with customer orientated strategy as well as cut throat levels of competition. Round the clock customer care support, outsourcing, online banking, payment of bills, online sales and purchases are the result of customer needs and comfort .Financial transactions are performed within just minutes be it, payment, receipt or simply transfer to and from any region across the world. Automation and swiftness are paramount to the triumph of Web development in promoting internet business. Customers are able to log onto the website and browse through variety of stores, products and solutions within just an hour or so and also get a lot more value for money spent.

Lowered price of web hosting as well as web development seems to have opened up business locations for everyone i .e. It no more remains the right of large businesses. Anybody can find web development sites who provide free of charge platforms, web development resources as well as other systems to novice as well as skilled clients.

With over 13 years of expertise in the IT Industry, we have carved out a niche for ourselves to become an enterprise class solutions provider.We started providing Ruby On Rails development and ruby on rails consulting services through Railscarma in 2006 when it was still in its nascent stage. We also provide web design and development services through QatarCarmatec ( web design Qatar Company).

Jees

Some hard hitting facts about HTML5

HTML5 is the hottest topic in web development! As we have already discussed the advantages of HTML5 in the blog “HTML5- The new era has arrived“, it is time to discuss its shortcomings.

Browser compatibility issue

A comparative image showing HTML5 compatibility for different browsers.Image courtesy-http://shabirgilkar.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/html5-tags/

A comparative study image showing HTML5 compatibility for different browsers.
Image courtesy-http://shabirgilkar.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/html5-tags/

If we say that it is meant for modern browsers, it won’t be a wrong statement. There are few legacy IE versions which do not support the current HTML5 standard. However, the major browsers like the recent versions of Internet Explorer have HTML5 support.

No URI

URI was introduced to display the web pages properly even if the browser was having a hard time understanding a few elements of the coding. HTML does not have any URI which means that it won’t work with the browsers that are not compatible with HTML5.

HTML5 is a spec

Although parts of the language are very stable, the language itself is considered a work in progress, so there is a chance that any of the elements may change at any time. The language is not expected to be completed for several years, which complicates matters further.

Some old elements are retained

HTML5 retains a few old elements such as presentational elements which is not a sensible idea for practicing coding as it can appear very sloppy.

HTML5 is considered to be a great enhancement in the web development world. Obviously it consists of a few weak points but they are being worked on to make HTML5 perfect and compatible with the modern needs.

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

Website Performance Testing

Most web audiences relish fast performance times as much as they have a distaste for poor performance. Speed is king in the land of web browsers. Not only will web users often navigate away from sites that take an average of 3 seconds or longer to load, they often do something that can cause sleepless nights for marketing executives, they tell others of their experience. The following free, web-based tools can be used to measure the time it takes to load your existing website or application:

 

Web Site Performance Test

A real-time site performance tool displaying information on things such as DNS lookup, time and connection time.

 

Page Speed

Created by Google, this web-based tool evaluates the performance of web pages and gives detailed suggestions for improvement.

 

Website Speed Test

It provides plenty of data on page speed, including estimated load times for various types of Internet connections.

 

Pingdom Tools

A free online tool to test the load time and analyze a given web page from the perspective of a first time visitor. It presents you with several reports such as a breakdown of how long each web page object (e.g. images, style sheets and JavaScript libraries) takes to download and performance grades for things like browser caching.

 

Show Slow

Show Slow allows you to add a URL to be monitored (publicly) and regularly captures results from three popular testing tools: YSlow, Page Speed and dynaTrace.

 

Google Analytics

The Site Speed report allows you to measure the page load time across your site. It was introduced with the latest release of Google Analytics, so be sure you are using the newest version.

 

YSlow

 

A free tool created by Yahoo!’s development team. It analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance based on a set of rules for high performance web pages.

 

Here are some of the main contributing factors to consider when looking at performance:

Back end

  • Server infrastructure
  • Database
  • Back end coding

Front end

  • Secure Socket Layer  (Most pages load slower under SSL)
  • Front end coding
  • External resources (images, style sheets, scripts)

 

Remember that a well designed, well performing website, that loads quickly is one of the best ways to improve conversions and overall customer satisfaction.

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

The Best Tools for Usability Testing!

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Image courtesy- recruitmentbuzz.co.uk

A poor user experience can ruin a product launch and the reputation of the company behind it. There are many great options to perform quick and easy usability tests using a variety of online tools. Here’s a list of top online tools for tracking your website’s usability-

Feedback Army

By charging a decent 15$ for 10 reviewers to answer around 4 to 6 questions on a URL, Feedback Army is the answer for getting a quick test done. This is basically a good option for starters who are interested to get a simple review at a nominal price.

UserFly

Whether it is mouse movements or page scrolling or maybe typing, each and every action a user performs on your website can be tracked and recorded through Userfly. All it takes is pasting a single line of JavaScript to your header and the rest of the work is handled by UserFly, you just log in and check the replays. There is a free plan option where you can try out their service with 10 recordings a month. The cheapest plan being $ 10 per month for 100 captures! That’s a steal, right?

UserTesting.com

A video recording of people using your website! Now that’s cool! Moreover, there are filters through which you can choose your target audience, this includes the option to choose their gender, age, country, household income and technology (browser,OS,etc). Wow that’s comprehensive! The prices are a little steep, with the starting price of $39. But, try it as it is really good!

Clixpy

A simple tool that captures mouse movement and actions as they happen, by loading a simple JS file in your header. They are cheaper than UserFly, as in $5 you get 100 captures! That’s really cheap!

Crazy Egg

Heat seeking missiles firing away and heat signals being monitored. Is this about a Hollywood movie? NO! that’s Crazy Egg for you. The most popular service that helps you track where your users click using heat maps! Prices start at a nominal $9 per month, making it an affordable option.

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

Benefits of using CSS

Cascading Style Sheet or CSS is a format that allows designers to create websites in accordance with the designed layout and graphical effects. The prime objective of having websites is to entice the customers so that they spend maximum amount of time going through the contents of the websites.

One of its key benefits is the way it allows the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation (written in CSS).

If you already have a website that was designed using tables, you may be reluctant to make the switch to CSS, which will require some time and effort. However, the benefits of CSS are the same for new and old websites alike. So why wait? Here are 5 great reasons to ditch those pesky tables and turn your website into a CSS success story.

Google on your side!

Google gives more weight to content closer to the top of your HTML document. Search engines spider the content that comes first in your source code. With CSS you can easily structure the content to appear first with the rest of the source code following it. This will help outrank your competitors who may have their navigation appear first and their content last.

Browser Compatibility

The recent arrival of Google® Chrome is further evidence that today’s Internet users have more browser options than ever before, which makes browser compatibility a major issue for your website. CSS stylesheets increase your website’s adaptability and ensure that more visitors will be able to view your website in the way you intended.

More flexibility

CSS also allows flexibility, considering the effects during presentations. Color, border, background, margins may be a few such presentation effects. A number of testing tools are offered by CSS which are helpful when you decide to make the website attractive.

Bandwidth Reduction

When CSS separates your website’s content from its design language, you dramatically reduce your file transfer size. Your reduced bandwidth needs will result in a faster load time and could cut your web hosting costs.

Stylish Appearance

CSS makes it easy to improve the appearance of a website by allowing you to create a much more stylish website. With CSS, you will actually obtain more control over your website’s visual aspect. Now, designers can orchestrate the styles and design of several web pages in a flash.

With so many advantages to offer, CSS is a wise choice for web design. If you’re interested in making your website load faster, look better and rank higher, consider using CSS to create a new website or improve an existing website with us!

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees

What in god’s name is UX design???

Today I ran across this fun video from UXmastery that digs deeper into the definition of UX design.  Check it out-

User Experience Design (UXD, UED), Interaction Design (IxD), User Interface (UI) Design and other web/application design professionals use the term User Experience Design to refer to the judicious application of certain user-centered design practices, a highly contextual design mentality, and use of certain methods and techniques that are applied through process management to produce cohesive, predictable, and desirable effects in a specific person, or persona (archetype comprised of target audience habits and characteristics). All so that the affects produced meet the user’s own goals and measures of success and enjoyment, as well as the objectives of the providing organization.

One of the main tenets of User Experience Design is simply incorporating user feedback in to the design evolution process. That is, co-evolving the system with its user’s. If the design process is not managed for timely collection, experienced interpretation, and judicious application of user input in to the system’s design revision cycles, then it is not a User Experience Design process. In my view this is the most difficult aspect of User Experience Design. It cannot be achieved without consistent management support. And it is why UX Management, and management by any name, is tightly coupled with UX Design.

In our next blog we will try and explain UX design logics a little further.

ColorCuboid Designs offers the best Web Design and Development Services. Tell us your requirements now!

Jees