1
Will Donald Trump End Outsourcing In 2017?
2
Can Startups Rely on a Remote Team?
3
How to Manage Micro-sites with Drupal 8?
4
How Drupal 8 Can Boost Your Business?
5
WordPress Vs. Drupal: Which Content Management System Is Right For You?
6
Decoding The All New Laravel
7
How to Choose Between Symfony, Laravel or Yii?
8
Meta Descriptions – The 160-Character Secret Weapon for your Website
9
A Deep Dive into HTML5 Videos
10
ad:tech Australia: Ad-ding more tech to our advertisements

Will Donald Trump End Outsourcing In 2017?

With Donald Trump finally making it to Presidency, there has been a lot of turmoil and panic in countries such as India and China with the threat of ending outsourcing to these countries. At first glance, it seems quite impossible since all major American corporations have utilized this resource as a long-standing practice, outsourcing their manufacturing to  China (notably tech firms such as Apple and Hewlett-Packard) or customer service/data management jobs to India. For years, outsourcing has been the norm in the world of American corporates and now, it appears that President Trump is threatening to bring it all down. He has already started working on doing a complete overhaul of the H-1b visa system, which has left the fate of hundreds of Silicon Valley workers hanging in the balance. Among the widespread panic that it has caused, aspersions are being cast regarding the steps that would be taken with regards to putting a stop to outsourcing.

A lot of company spokespersons are trying to assuage fears by stating that it would be next to impossible because manufacturing goods in the United States would mean a hike in the cost of production (owing to monumental labor costs), and thus cutting down on worldwide profits significantly. According to Andrew Rassweiler, Director of Materials and Cost Benchmarking at IHS Technology, products like an iPhone (Apple is one of the most prominent firms to engage in outsourcing) would cost around $2000 if all its components were to be individually manufactured in the US. That, needless to say, is far beyond what most people would be able to afford. Apart from the production losses that Apple would incur, it would also lose a lot of the political goodwill it enjoys from its consumer base worldwide.

From this alone, it is clear that it would be next to impossible to put a total stop to outsourcing (or to describe the term more precisely, offshoring). However, it is definitely possible to resort to protectionism. Tariffs and import duties can easily be imposed upon Chinese-made mobiles or automobiles made in Mexico  (Ford, to be precise).  That would set the US back 100 years as far as economic development is concerned; setting aside the fact that it could likely create trade wars with countries like China. This action could create political instability worldwide. the process has already kick-started with the US, under Trump, withdrawing from the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership that had been inked between a host of countries with the aim to lower tariff and nontariff trade barriers. On the domestic front, too, the scenario would not be too cheerful with widespread unrest owing to a 30% dip in consumer spending on electronic and other goods of daily use.

Plus, here’s another point: The “rust belt” of the United States (i.e. states such as New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois) were the primary swing states (a few of the aforementioned ones) that voted in favor of Trump. So, it’s not surprising that his administration would rush to fulfill its promise. However, this isn’t the fifties when the bulk of the American middle class were working in the manufacturing industry as a primary livelihood. Ever since the base of manufacturing shifted to China, rust belt workers have had to find alternate ways of living.There is a portion of this society who sustain their livelihood through assistance programs such as food stamps and others have joined the service industry. It’s an unfortunate fact that workers who do not have a college education/degree aren’t in great demand any longer in the United States. With technical degrees not as highly sought after by current American college students, there is the question as to who would be able to fill the ranks of the new (technical) jobs created by automation in various fields. The only option that companies may have is to either hire from abroad and pay relocation expenses for these skilled workers  (and let’s not forget that H-1b visa is already in the eye of the storm), or simply remain to outsource them to IT hubs abroad. Forcing these companies to get back to the pre-automation period and rely on unskilled laborers is simply not possible anymore. Manufacturing is all but dead in the USA; there’s simply no demand for home-grown workers in this field anymore. Reversing this is not just difficult, but simply impossible.

What the future holds remains to be seen, but with very real and practical concerns that surround the thorny issue of outsourcing. Considering all the facts, there’s little chance it will be stopped soon. Already a lot of foreign Silicon Valley professionals are boarding flights back to their home countries because of the new measures were taken regarding the H-1b. If outsourcing is targeted next, Trump will surely risk his credibility and respect as a president, and may possibly even have to contend with the threat of being impeached due to corporate lobbies alone in Congress who may push for his removal.

Can Startups Rely on a Remote Team?

Remote hiring is something which is slowly being accepted more and more as we edge into the future. Shunned earlier by many companies owing to the lack of clarity regarding the entire process, remote workers are now gradually being inducted into the workforces and task teams of various companies. This is contributing to the growth of workplace expansion beyond the physical confines of the office. What’s even more encouraging is the fact that this trend is being quickly adopted by smaller companies, especially start-ups.   

There’s good reason behind people getting excited about remote offices. It is, first and foremost, quite cost-effective, saving money by not having to invest in the physical expansion of the workplace. The cost of office furniture, broadband internet connection, computers, air-conditioning, etc., is really difficult to muster for most start-ups. So, it is logical that the trend of remote working from different locations would come as a blessing in disguise for them. There are plenty of jobs that do not require the daily physical presence of workers in the office. A few examples would be a biochemist, a biomedical engineer and construction engineer. If you are planning to set up a firm that is primarily centered around these (or similar) jobs, then you’re at full liberty to forgo the office set-up. Instead, you would conduct business from your own home (or any other ‘headquarter’ location you choose). and a few decentralized locations scattered across various geographical locations.

Now, the question that arises out of all this is: Is it possible for start-ups to completely bank upon a remote team instead of an office team?

The answer is multi-layered. There are several things that ought to be kept in mind while beginning to work with a remote team. The first thing is the culture of the workplace. Remote workers that are being hired should first be tested for cultural compatibility as well as the speed of task completion and work ethics followed. The second thing is the structure of management. If you have a work supervision and employee productivity tracking system that depends on the physical presence of the employee in question, then problems are bound to arise. As I’ve mentioned previously, there are certain kinds of jobs that people can hold without having to actually travel to an office. If a start-up is made up of people who would be working chiefly from home or other remote locations, then an office would not be required in the first place. On the other hand, if a huge part of the company’s staff consists of people in traditional office-based roles, then that company would need a separate work building. It really depends upon the kind of industry the company is part of, and the type of work the company does.

Here’s what you can do if you’re a start-up and want to utilize a remote office:

  • Don’t use e-mail for communications; make use of Skype or Slack. The only place where you should use e-mail for communications is when you are notifying your employees on an official communication made with another organization. Another instance would be when you’re sending out official invites for a conference call. If you have a very small staff, you may have no need to communicate via technology.
  • You could make use of, as we have already stated above, real-time communication technology such as Flow, Skype, Skitch or Slack. These not only help in interpersonal and inter-group communication but also have live video chats and can also be used to keep track of employee progress. When it comes to keeping all work progress recorded centrally, there are few alternatives to cloud storage mechanisms such as Dropbox. It not only keeps all files stored in one place, sorted according to size, date, priority, and employee, but it also has the provision to bring back a deleted file by clicking the “undo delete” button (Note: This can be done within 30 days of deletion).
  • Create a position that is Two-in-One: Office Assistant and Manager. You could have the same person who has the responsibility of office secretary also carry the responsibility of the event scheduler. They would not only assign you the tasks to be completed but also fix meetings, book flights, carry out transactions with banks and other similar work. Thus, you could have a person handling your projects who knows the details and schedules of the company inside out. Having a position like this can help with better task coordination and optimization time. This position, acting as a schedule manager, is also an able observer of the company’s progress. Owing to their deep knowledge about the work mechanism and schedules of the company, they would be able to provide valuable inputs regarding the work to be completed.

In general, there are many good reasons for a start-up to go completely remote. It is definitely worth the time and effort to explore this as a possibility if nothing else.

How to Manage Micro-sites with Drupal 8?

Numerous situations might come about where you may be tempted to create a series of microsites for the organisation or business you own. It can be anything—launching a new product, starting a new service, advertising an event etc. And when you’re with Drupal, the list of benefits and advantages are endless. Below are the detailed advantages of launching and running microsites with the help of Drupal.

Ever since its original version came out Drupal has ingrained a feature for the sake of running multi-sites. This involved the running of many sites from one single code-base installation, which means that they share the same core system and contribute various themes and custom modules. Every single multi-site has a database, configuration, settings, content etc. This means that it is possible to carry out more than one update. Therefore, multi-sites could actually be an option.

There are reasons micro-sites should be used. For example, it is quite a compelling option to have a single database to maintain. It would be useless to use forked codebases since they would become unloved too soon. Also, using multi-sites would imply that only a single hosting platform needs to be maintained. This also construes a huge advantage.

Secondly, if you do micro-site installations,  they would be able to make much better use of resources in the server, physical, personnel, and the financial fields. Because micro-sites of a single entity would share a common core and other modules, that code would only need to go once into the Op-code cache. By this, server resources are saved to a greater extent.

It should be noted that several proposals have already come forward to decrease support for micro-sites in Drupal, maybe even eradicate it completely. The basic argument is that micro-sites are old-fashioned. However, this is rarely true, especially where the developments by Git and Composer are concerned. This is the modern approach to multi-sites: The same code with different sites. This is what makes them so popular with website creators.

However, using Drupal is not completely free of problems. It is difficult to handle traffic spikes in one channel when it spills over to the others. Micro-sites usually make use of a common database server which often tolerates a huge amount of load. If one database is heavily loaded, then it may cause a domino effect, slowing down other databases. Running updates is also an issue. However, there are a lot of mechanisms to mitigate those. They are as follows:

  • Do not employ or use a code which has not been tested out in a full-fledged manner.
  • Always include staging and quality assurance phases as part of the release process. By following these two phases, you allow yourself more opportunities to detect and correct errors.
  • Whether it is a shell script or continuous integration tool, it is always the best idea to automate every tool.
  • The database codes should be designed so that they would be able to take care of the intervals before the database is updated. With more volatile updates, it is important that the time and day of the week are chosen carefully.  
  • Every single micro-site would require a different database, so you really could not manage all the content from a single site. That would involve a lot of posting and pulling of content from one place to another.

As we near the end of this article, we might just want to take a look at the other kinds of approaches to micro-site building using Drupal. A few are as follows:

Domain Access: To define the ‘domain access’, it is a collection of modules that arm the user with the right tools to run a group of affiliated sites from a single Drupal installation and one shared database. By using this module, you would be able to share content, configurations and user activity across a collection of sites.

Organic Groups: “Organic group” is a tool that allows a person to build a group within the Drupal site. Each such group would have its own user, moderator/s, administrative group, thread list, menu, and content.

Git: This is the best option so far and will give you innumerable advantages, such as independence of sites, design, single codebase and much stronger control over the updates.

Overall, it remains to be seen whether the trend of micro-sites endures the test of time in the near and distant future.

How Drupal 8 Can Boost Your Business?

Drupal is an open-source software used for the purpose of creating and managing content across a variety of websites. It is used for the creation of forums and message boards, blogs, administrative panels, government information portals, etc. As far as Drupal development companies go, Drupal’s features can all be estimated. One of the greatest advantages of Drupal is that it can update itself with time and make itself suitable for the present day and period. Two years back the most recent version of Drupal, Drupal 8.0, was released. This update has ushered in a sea of new improvements as far as content management is concerned. These are:

  • What-you-see-is-what-you-get type of editing and previews.
  • Modeling content in a comprehensive fashion by making use of fields, views and entities.
  • Content page customization, form customization and customization of most administrative pages by making use of the interface.
  • Translatability and localization in a complete out-of-the-box manner.

Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Another question is: What are the advantages of building a site by employing the service of Drupal?

  1. The first answer is that you would be able to acquire huge mobile responsibility by it. The themes of Drupal are responsive by default; therefore it doesn’t matter whether the sites are being viewed by means of a PC, tablet or Smartphone. Thus, for any website that is thinking of launching mobile versions of their websites, Drupal 8 is a must-have.
  2. Secondly, you get to speed up. Using Drupal would give you good page load speed which would assist you in improving the rankings of the website in Google SERP.  Once the page has been viewed by the users, there is no need for the pages to be reloaded again and again. Because the system of caching is completely automatic, all the content that you view would be automatically shifted away from the cache and the load would decrease to a great extent.
  3. You also garner more security by becoming more hack-proof. The 8th version of Drupal includes the Twig template engine and the Symfony PHP, which can serve to eliminate any code that might be phishing for your password or may be serving to disfigure/disrupt the site. By using Drupal, hackers would be prevented from intruding into the layer of the theme and encroaching into the database of the company. Since Drupal is an open-source platform, it can detect and remove threats much faster in comparison to paid platforms.
  4. With greater complexity and interactivity, Drupal 8 is far more customizable in comparison to other open-source software. But since the eighth version of Drupal is equipped with good caching, which enables it to run on hardware specifications of lower caliber. Because of this, it is able to handle tremendous amounts of traffic, even when it comes to micro-sites. And this is a huge advantage that it can claim over other systems. The eighth version has the greatest ever automated testing system. It has tests pertaining to PHP units and integration, which are useful for solving the bugs that Drupal previously harbored. Once you run the automated test, these fixes are implemented.
  5. You can forever stay integrated with the help of Drupal 8. Where content management and digital management are concerned, Drupal 8 is right at the top. You can choose and implement whichever technology you desire; it is that flexible. It is also great as far as customer relationship management (CRM) is concerned.
  6. With Drupal, you have built-in user interfaces which could be read and used in any language you program the site to recognize. This is especially beneficial for those businesses that need to have a localized website and the pages need to be translated into numerous languages in accordance with the geographical region in which the business is being advertised.

In conclusion, using Drupal 8 would definitely make you stand out from among your competitors and provide you with plug-ins, additional features and tools. The cutting edge design of Drupal-powered websites is truly what sets it apart from its competitors, as well as the numerous other things mentioned here.

WordPress Vs. Drupal: Which Content Management System Is Right For You?

If you are building a website or a blog, the most crucial decision that you make is choosing a content management system. As we know, content is king in the digital world. Thus, content creation and modification are prime factors in making your website or blog a success. A content management system offers many advantages like control over content publishing, visibility and supporting multiple users. Content management systems, or CMS, are extremely beneficial,  especially because they need very little to no prior experience in programming. Consequently, performing administrative tasks is made easier.

Out of all the CMS platforms offering a wide array of features, WordPress and Drupal are powerful platforms. The ease with which they provide their users with customization and content updating processes makes both WordPress and Drupal popular and widely used platforms. If you are out there searching for the right CMS platform for yourself and are confused about which one of the top two you should choose, then keep reading!

WordPress

Although it started as a blogging platform, WordPress has come a long way and become a full-blown site framework.  It is powered by AJAX, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and plenty of plugins, widgets, and themes. You have access to help from skilled developers in WordPress for theme customization, complex builds and setups and installation. The developers will ensure that your site is always installed with the latest updates. There are many advanced custom plug-ins available if you choose WordPress. Walt Disney Co., the LinkedIn blog, TechCrunch and BBC America are some of the popular sites that are powered by WordPress.

Drupal

Drupal refers to itself as a “content management framework” and is a very powerful CMS platform. It allows the user to launch, scale and manage websites and applications.  Drupal is the perfect fit for ambitious and larger projects. Powered by PHP, it requires no programming experience to set-up functionalities at lower levels. There are some extended features that include blogging, contact forums, forums and other types of community-style features. These features are an elaboration of Drupal’s core package but need the assistance of Drupal developers.  The Economist, Weather.com, some of the US government’s websites and NFL team’s websites are some sites that are powered by Drupal.

WordPress Vs. Drupal

Although there are many similarities between WordPress and Drupal in terms of features, responsiveness, SEO, and APIs, they do have certain differences which you need to consider.

Complex build

WordPress is easier to learn and use, while Drupal, on the other hand, is complex and might take longer to get used to. This complex build of Drupal makes it perfect for larger level projects.

Updates

WordPress updates are released every few months and the code is easily upgradable. The upgrade takes place in the background and that can be a useful feature if you are not a developer. WordPress plugins do not need frequent updates.

Drupal makes comprehensive updates and might be labor intensive as they are not code based. You will have to redesign your website for a particular update. This can be difficult if you are not a developer.

Security of plugins

Drupal is famous for its security which can be a valuable feature for enterprises or government sites. On the other hand, security is offered by a third party in WordPress, and your site is vulnerable to hacking attacks if you do not update regularly.

Make a List and Ask Some Questions

Before you finalize a platform, you need to make a list of your needs. If you are clear about what you want, making a decision will be easier.  Ask yourself the following questions:

What Kind of Website or Application are You Building?

Think how you want your site to perform. Is your site going to be a complex site with many pages and will it be getting a high volume of traffic? This will help you to decide which one of the two websites will suit your needs.

Budget

This is one of the crucial factors as well. The budget may vary, and the development of the site on Drupal can be more expensive than with WordPress.

Users, Templates, and Security

You must think how many users will access the site. Users need user permission and WordPress allows adding users with standard roles and permissions. When you are choosing a CMS you must ask yourself how many different templates you might need to match the different types of content you might have on your site. If your site is more complex and you need different templates, Drupal’s robust features might be suitable for you. Security is an important aspect that you will have to consider, especially, if your website is an enterprise level website.

In conclusion, WordPress is technically easier and Drupal, though more complex, offers amazing features. You can choose which CMS platform to use based on the needs of your project.

Decoding The All New Laravel

Laravel is the most popular PHP framework in 2016. It’s free, open-source and built for MVC architecture. It mainly focuses on elegance, simplicity, readability and relies on modular packaging system and utilities that help in database and application maintenance and deployment. Its source code is hosted on GitHub and can be used across all operating systems.

The latest stable version Laravel 5.3 is now available and the Laravel team has added a lot of features for improving developer speed by adding additional out of the box improvements for common tasks.

  • Laravel Scout – New driver based solution for adding advanced search and full-text search to Eloquent models. It automatically keeps the search indexes in sync with Eloquent records by using model observers. It currently ships with an Algolia driver, however, can be easily extended with other search implementations.
  • Laravel Passport – Native OAuth2 server and API authentication package built on top of the League OAuth2 Server maintained by Alex Bilbie.
  • Laravel Mailable – PHP classes for sending emails.
  • Laravel Notifications – API for sending notifications across a variety of delivery channels, mail, SMS (via Nexmo) and Slack.
  • Laravel Echo – A Javascript package installable via NPM which provides an API for subscribing to channels and listening for server-side events in client-side JavaScript application. It includes support for Pusher and Socket.io.
  • Laravel Elixir – The new version (6.0) contains baked-in support for the Webpack and Rollup Javascript module bundlers.

Few of the upcoming features in next version (5.4) of Laravel are:

    • JSON Based Language Files – For better support and handling of multilingual project requirements and applications.
    • Laravel Blade Components & Slots – Ability to add Components & Slots to Blade templates.
  • Higher Order Messaging For Collections

Compared to Laravel 5.2, there are few changes also in Laravel 5.3 which are worth mentioning:

  • In Laravel 5.2, the routes file (routes.php) was in the Http directory (app\Http\routes.php) whereas in Laravel 5.3, routes is a new folder (top first level) which contains two files namely web.php and api.php. Thus there is no routes.php file in Laravel 5.3 and you can set up routes for web and API separately using these two files.
  • The middleware group registering file (app\Http\Kernel.php) contains separately defined middleware group for web and API in Laravel 5.3. Similarly in route service provider file (app\Providers\RouteServiceProvider.php) also, web and API specific routes are defined separately.
  • The app directory in Laravel 5.3 is more simple. In Laravel 5.2, there were folders like Events, Jobs, Listeners and Policies which were not always used by default. In Laravel 5.3, these folders are not available natively and you have to run associated commands to create that on-demand.
  • The Fluent Query Builder in Laravel 5.3 now returns Collection (Illuminate\Support\Collection) instances instead of plain arrays.
  • There is a new cache() global helper in Laravel 5.3 which can perform three primary functions – get, put or return an instance of the backing service.
  • While using the for each and for else Blade directives, $loop object is available for each iteration.
  • A new toggle() method is available on all belongsToMany relationships which solves the issue of deleting an existing pivot table record or adding a new one.
  • The uploaded File instance has a new store() method for storing files on the server including S3.

Laravel’s modular packaging system, user-friendliness, and elegance have generated huge interest among developers and customers worldwide and it is expected to continue staying at the top. The main benefits which this framework offer are:

  • Fast and secure development.
  • Well-organized, reusable and maintainable coding options.
  • Scalability of web apps.
  • High level security.
  • Follows the OOP (Object-Oriented Programming), MVC (Model-View-Controller) patterns and security which ensures the separation of presentation and logic.
  • Promotes advanced and modern web development practices.

Because of its simplicity, easy learning curve, and rapid application development support, we at  Capital Numbers are extensively using Laravel to develop large, robust and efficient web applications and customized solutions, REST API (using Lumen which is a stunningly fast PHP Micro-Framework by Laravel) and deliver bug-free codes by performing unit tests.

How to Choose Between Symfony, Laravel or Yii?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose server-side scripting language that is especially suited for web development. With the latest introduction of PHP7, a revolution has been created in the way we deliver applications that power everything from websites and mobile to enterprises and the cloud. PHP7 has brought explosive performance improvements, drastically reduced memory consumption, and a host of brand-new language features to make your apps soar. 82% of the websites are developed using PHP and few of the most popular websites are Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Flickr, Tumblr, and WordPress. It is with this, that we come straight to the point. Programming is an art and using a framework streamlines application development by automating many of the patterns employed for a given purpose, adds structure to the code, prompting the developer to write better, more readable / maintainable code and ultimately makes programming easier since it packages complex operations into simple statements. The top 3 best PHP frameworks are Laravel, Symfony, and Yii Framework. Our task is to make an educated comparison between the three and decide on the best choice out of these.

How Should We Compare?

Before we get down to actual comparison, we need to look at the criteria, based on which, we need to weigh the platforms:

  1. Which framework would offer me the greatest functionality in the context of my work?
  2. Is the framework scalable at all? If so, to what degree?
  3. How long does it normally take to get comfortable with each of the three frameworks?
  4. Of the three, which framework provides LTS or Long Term Support?
  5. Does the framework have strong community support?

So, let’s begin the comparison:

As far as Web 2.0 applications are concerned, all three frameworks are equally efficient. Templating engines are chiefly used to make the job of coding easier (especially those ends, which are front-end in nature). These engines provide the feature of automated HTML muting and filtering, which is yet another reason for an average programmer to desire a PHP framework, with the best templating functions.

  • Symfony: Symfony uses Twig which is a flexible, fast and secure template engine  for PHP. This template engine compiles templates down to plain optimized PHP code, so the overhead compared to regular PHP code is reduced to the very minimum. Twig has a sandbox mode to evaluate untrusted template code. This allows Twig to be used as a template language for applications where users may modify the template design. Twig is powered by a flexible lexer and parser. This allows the developer to define its own custom tags and filters, and create its own DSL.
  • Laravel: Laravel uses Blade which is simple, yet powerful templating engine. Unlike other popular PHP templating engines, Blade does not restrict you from using plain PHP code in your views and driven by template inheritance and sections. In fact, all Blade views are compiled into plain PHP code and cached until they are modified, meaning Blade adds essentially zero overhead to your application. Blade view files use the .blade.php file extension and are typically stored in the resources/views directory.
  • Yii Framework: Yii doesn’t utilize any third-party templating system by default, which means that the choice of template is flexible and changeable to a great extent, depending on the convenience of the development team. Generally, users are offered a choice between Twig and Smarty, both of which are fairly popular.

Main Differences Between the Frameworks:

The chief differences which exist between these three frameworks (other than the ones described above) lie in the strength and resilience of each framework.

  • Symfony: Symfony framework is built on top of the Symfony components. These components are a set of decoupled and reusable components on which the best PHP applications like Drupal, phpBB, eZ Publish, Joomla and Magento are built. Even Laravel Framework uses few of these components. There are about thirty-four such components in Symfony. Also, recently Symfony achieved 100% PHP7 compatibility.
  • Laravel: Laravel is a full-stack framework because it handles everything from web serving to database management right down to HTML generation. It comes with an excellent command-line tool named Artisan that can be used to generate skeleton code and database schema stubs. Artisan handles everything from database schema migration to asset and configuration management. Laravel differs from other vertically integrated environments in its strong preference for convention over configuration. Whereas some Java, Python or PHP frameworks often require lots of XML configuration, Laravel requires almost none (or perhaps only a few lines of PHP) to get started. This aversion to configuration files makes for a very distinctive and recognizable code structure that is the same across all Laravel apps.
  • Yii Framework: Yii is a pure OOP framework, and takes advantage of some of PHP’s more advanced features, including late static binding, SPL classes and interfaces, and anonymous functions. Virtually almost every component of this framework is highly extensible. It has one of the most powerful tools called ‘Gii’ which is a web-based and highly configurable code scaffolding tool which allows to quickly create code templates for models, controllers, forms, modules, extensions, CRUD controller actions, and views. It is also tightly integrated with Codeception that helps simplify the process of creating unit, functional and acceptance tests for your application.

Now, we come to the installation part. A huge advantage here is that all three frameworks can be installed via the use of Composer, and hence, is all hassle-free to install. Still, let the differences be underlined:

  • Symfony: It uses the Composer PHP dependency manager which plays a pivotal role in correctly installing and managing the components of the Symfony framework. Symfony version 2 assists the users with a demo app for proper and immaculate guidance.
  • Laravel: Beside Composer, this framework can also be installed via the Laravel Installer.
  • Yii Framework: This provides the user with a template to follow and a web application after you install it; thus, making your work a smooth-sailing one, if you choose to work with Yii. In this way, Yii is an improvement on Symfony.

As far as performance, development, learning curve and database/community support is concerned, we have to look at the following:

  • Symfony: Symfony framework supports all PDO-supported databases including NoSQL and Graph databases.
  • Laravel: This one is simply outstanding as far as the ‘learning curve speed’ goes. Coming complete with installation guidelines and user manuals, it is the greatest when it comes to providing users with a clean and complete view of how to use it. And hence, the learning curve is the least when it comes to Laravel. Its performance, however, is a low point. It provides the slowest speed, where real-time data collection and response communication is concerned. It also supports fewer databases compared to Symfony.
  • Yii Framework: This one is the most high-performance framework of the lot, and hence, ideal for designing mobile apps and social networking sites. It supports six databases, the same as Laravel.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can only say that all three frameworks have uses and applications of their own, which no other framework can possibly match up to. Symfony offers LTS release, is the most stable out of the three, is component-based and has great learning resource. Yii has Ajax support, is great for developing real-time applications, and is the best when it comes to creating Restful Web Services. Finally coming to Laravel, it is currently the most popular (’15-’16), offers the best support to Composer for package management, has the best packages and deals for framework functionality extension, and is great for unit testing. So, study all the merits of each one carefully, and take your pick.

Meta Descriptions – The 160-Character Secret Weapon for your Website

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Before you roll your eyes at the term – let’s stop you right there and tell you that this is not some over- complicated nerdy concept that you would have a hard time understanding; meta descriptions are in fact something that you come across all the time.

What are Meta Descriptions?

They are simply the snippet of information displayed under your link in a search result.

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You may have heard some people use the word “meta tag”, meta tags are often synonymously used with meta descriptions. It’s because the copy is not a part of the existing website, but is rather ‘tagged’ onto it. You can write meta descriptions / meta tags for almost everything that you publish on a website – be it blogs, e-books, new services etc.

Why do we need Meta Descriptions?

It’s pretty simple really.

Imagine a situation (you might not even have to imagine it, might have happened to you already)

You have a kickass website, with great visuals and content; a website that’s responsive and everything that one wants it to be, but then you are not really getting the number of fresh leads that you would imagine.

Sounds familiar?

Well, one of the reasons might be your not having an optimized and well thought of meta description.

Just think as a user, think back to the decision making process that you undertake while choosing a link. We bet a router that you always take a quick read of the meta tag to know what the website / blog is about.

Whilst you might have let yourself not care about meta tags that much, Google (The God of all that is internet) has always loved them.

The reason is fairly obvious. User experience is Google’s hallelujah, a heroine and reason to breathe, and meta descriptions exist so that people get a fair idea of what they are getting into without clicking on a link.

Let us try and list down a set of objective points that tell us how important Meta Descriptions really are:

1. SEO benefits & Advanced Searches

Google’s latest announcement tells you that meta descriptions are very much in the mix of your SEO jigsaw. So they very much indirectly affect your ranking position in search engines.
Google is also known to use meta descriptions to return more relevant results to users who use advanced searches.

2. Increase CTRs, Organic Visits

If we set the SEO factor aside, meta descriptions can very well be considered as the last chance that you get to convince a user to click onto your link. Especially if you link is low down the order, they become more important in attracting relevant users.

3. Drives social traffic

Social media platforms extract meta descriptions to display whenever someone shares your link. Without a meta description, they might just pick up the first chunk of text that they find, that will not make for a good user experience.

How to write a good meta description?

We hope that we have already got you paranoid about getting your meta descriptions right. (Don’t be guilty if you’ve already performed various searches on Google and look at what your meta descriptions are like)

If you are not being able to decide whether yours is good enough, here is a list of things that you meta descriptions should have/be.

  1. They should be clear and compelling (for obvious reasons)
  2. They should have a couple of keywords (we will just say SEO, and leave it at that)
  3. They should be between 155-160 characters (so it fits the certain width, Google doesn’t measure chars, it measures pixels in this case, thus the range)
  4. They should have a subtle CTA (what is it that you want the user to do, let them know before they get in)

Going a step further…

They should appear to be the solution to the problem that made a person use search engine in the first place.

Such a small thing and we have been rambling about it for the last 670 words, so you get how important it is. The point that we are trying to drive here is that things like meta descriptions are the little things that make all the difference and can help you edge past your competitors.

There are many such things that can help you revive your online presence with a few little tweaks here and there… talk to us about the kind of business you own, and discuss in detail about the kind of online face that you want to be, we’ll make it happen. Drop us a quick word at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/contact_us.php and we’ll get back to you.

A Deep Dive into HTML5 Videos

HTML5 _A Deep Dive into HTML5 Videos

It’s a fact that web developers have been fraught with browser compatibility when it comes to embedding videos in their content. Besides knowing the right HTML5 syntax, you have to determine how legacy browsers implement HTML5 video web standards.

However, the fact that you’ve known the right syntax and which legacy browsers supports and implements HTML5 doesn’t make you a better web developer. For you to develop a modern, responsive and usable website which contains videos, you’ve to understand not only the right syntax but also best practices of embedding videos in web pages in HTML5.

In “A Deep Dive into HTML5 Videos” we explore how video content streaming works, how to prepare videos to be embedded in HTML content and the procedures of adding video content to HTML documents. So, let’s get started

 What is video streaming?

The video content that you watch on the internet whether from YouTube or any video streaming website comes in a smaller portion of videos. However, when you’re watching this content, what you don’t know is that the video being displayed has been encoded using different bitrates and resolutions produces the smaller chunks of data that you see on your browser, a process known as video streaming.

Modern web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge can play the videos directly. However, the video content has to be presented in standards that are accepted in HTML5. Some of these standards that are supported are: .mp4, .ogv, and .webm.

How to prepare video content for streaming in HTML5?

Before you can embed any video content into a web page, you must first, convert the video content that you want to add to your website into a file format which is supported on most devices and browsers. Some of the common formats include: .mp4, .ogv, and the .webm.

There are a number of applications that can help you convert video content into file formats supported on most modern browsers. For instance, you can use the JW Player.

How to add video streaming content to HTML page

Now that you’ve prepared your video for streaming, it’s now time to add that content to your web pages. In HTML5, you’ll use the HTML tag: <VIDEO>. The basic <VIDEO> tag has a number of attributes that can help you to specify other characteristics of the video which you want to stream. Below are examples of these attributes:

The “src” attribute specifies the URL of the video. Here’s an example:

<video width=”as per need” height=”as per need” controls> <source src=”XYZ.mp4″ type=”video/mp4″> <source src=”XYZ.ogg” type=”video/ogg”> <source src=”XYZ.webm” type=”video/webm”>

Your browser does not support the video tag.

</video>

autoplay. It notifies the browser to start downloading the video and play whenever a web page is loaded in a browser.

preload. It notifies the web browser whether the optimistic downloading of the video’s metadata is important or not.

poster. It indicates the image that should be displayed before the video is loaded on a web browser.

controls. They are used to display the default video controls such as the play and the pause buttons.

height. It specifies the height of the video in pixels.

width. It specifies the width of the video in pixels.

loop. It is used to automatically loop the video, the moment the video has finished playing.

muted. It is used to mute the video initially.

Want to see a quick process in action? Copy and paste the HTML5 code below into your favorite HTML editor and save it as “.html.” Next, open the web page in your favorite browser.

<! DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<title></title>

</head>

<body>

<video width="as per need" height="as per need" controls>

<source src="XYZ.mp4" type="video/mp4">

<source src="XYZ.ogg" type="video/ogg">

<source src="XYZ.webm" type="video/webm">

Your browser does not support the video tag.

</video>

</body>

</html>

There you have it. Feel free to contact us in case you have any query.

ad:tech Australia: Ad-ding more tech to our advertisements

Capital Number_AdtechAUS

We came across this a while back on the ad:tech Australia website

Picture1

You hardly can ignore such persuasive points, though there was this one lingering question on our mind; how many ad:tech (s) should we attend in a year? It’s pointless thinking about it though, because the answer is and will always be as many as possible. Why? Because you can never know enough, that’s why.

The digital marketing paradigm is taking new leaps every second, and though it seems impossible but the wisest thing to do is to keep up and if possible be a step ahead. Platforms like ad:tech provide you with the opportunity to do that. The exposure to diverse minds from all over the world and enhanced knowledge of global practices always hone your perception to broader prospects.

CNites at the ready

The ad:tech Australia was held at the Hilton Sydney on 15th and 16th of March. This was the 10th year and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have our representatives Neil McNulty, Country Head, Australia and Account Manager Shovan Moullick present at the event.

They entertained a good mix of responses from visitors who were quite intrigued by the variety of services we offer.

Conversations between the soul and the self

Events like these start speaking to you. The moment you set your foot in, you get the drift, now it’s one own choice of whether to anchor or flow along. We generally like to have the best of both worlds and thus engaged in a mixture of both. It was astonishing how some of our perceptions about known methods changed considerably after listening to the best in the field talk about them.

We even had lengthy chats with some about how our services can be better aligned with their organizational goals. Here’s what some people had to say

“Our current employment model needs to change and outsourcing solutions are going to be a big part of it”

“We have a skill shortage right now in the Mobile App space. Capital Numbers offering may be exactly what we need”

Never enough

The list of 10 reasons that the organizers enticed us with to join the event actually get lost in thousand others that we discovered while we attended the conference.

One of the significant features of it was that it was so meticulously designed for the digital marketing mind. Each session we were a part of had ready takeaways that we could start implementing in our next ventures. We are not kidding you when we say that it can easily pass of as the coolest crash course that we have even been a part of.

Two days in Sydney passed away in a blur. So many revisits, myriads of new ideas and such brilliant brains, we realize that not even the year would have been enough. But then again, what really is?

We at Capital Numbers believe in providing you tailor made solutions for your marketing goals, and for that we need to keep ourselves abreast with the best that there is. To know more about what we learnt at ad:tech Australia that could potentially help your business, talk to us at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/

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