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What is Laravel? Everything you need to know about the PHP web framework

Laravel is a web framework that supports the PHP programming language. It is still the most popular PHP framework despite its youth. Taylor Otwell Laravel in 2011. Laravel 8 was released in September 2020.

Laravel’s Making

Taylor Otwell created Laravel using Symfony, an existing web framework. This new development was made to enhance the functionality of CodeIgniter, a PHP framework. Laravel, unlike CodeIgniter, was already able to support authorization and authentication in its first version (Laravel 1).Otwell spent much time documenting his framework. Laravel is a well-documented PHP framework, and this contributed greatly to its popularity.

Licensing and Development

The framework’s source code is available on GitHub. It is licensed under the MIT License. This permits use in non-open-source software.

Laravel Version 4 was the beginning of major improvements to the web framework. It was important to integrate the PHPUnit tests. To ensure functionality, it was important to improve the testability of Laravel functions. To simplify the installation of packages, package management systems were also introduced. This included the use of Composer, an application-oriented package manager system, which is the gold standard in PHP development.

Laravel in web development

Laravel, a PHP framework, is what we have already mentioned. Bundles are useful functions that can be used to customize a framework’s functionality. In programming language, this bundling is known as a library. Laravel’s web framework aims to make your website design and development easier under PHP. Some modules don’t need to be created in-house but can be accessed and used at any time. Laravel also provides a structure and a basic system. Laravel provides functions that allow data transmission using switching technology and routing, for example. There are also functions that allow for database connections (ORM), job queues, and an architecture default called MVC.

Laravel can be used in combination with other software. You can use the web-specific library to program WordPress websites.

WordPress is a content management platform that was built on PHP. It is very simple to use thanks to its graphical interface. WordPress is easy to use even for those with less technical skills. The application is limited in its ability to design websites that can be programmed.

Laravel and PHP are also useful here. Because the framework was designed for website development, there are many useful components that can be drawn from it. Laravel is a great choice for specific, individual solutions. This is especially true for the development of business customers.

Laravel Features

The MVC pattern

This architectural pattern is used to represent the program code in a logical way. This is done using the model-view-controller pattern, hence the name MVC. The program code can be logically broken down into data (model), controller (controller), and display logic (view). This allows for data integrity and clear separation between access options. Laravel has ready-made modules available for each of these areas. Model classes allow for connections to databases, relationships, and attribute management. Controllers can be integrated in the routing to provide validation and authentication. Laravel provides many simplifications at the view level with its own template language Blade.

Routing

Already PHP provides an easy to understand implementation of URL routing. Laravel allows you to separate the routing logic from the rest. It also provides a better readability and offers a variety of configuration options.

Job Queues

Complex web applications require complex calculations that can be performed asynchronously. Laravel provides an easy-to-use job queue to ensure page views are always optimized. Developers can create jobs that are processed using a variety of parameters by queue workers.

Security

Laravel makes it easy to integrate security features. This framework supports salt cryptography and hash functions for passwords. This makes it impossible to store passwords in plain text. Laravel also prevents SQL injections. This is because SQL functions have been designed so that they are not vulnerable to attack. On-board resources can be used to prevent CSRF attacks or XSS injections. Also, sessions and cookies can be encrypted automatically.

Database Connections

Laravel allows you to connect multiple databases. This is especially useful when data is pulled from multiple databases or when different database types are used. This could be done by using MariaDB and MySQL on the production system and an in-memory sqlite on the test system.

Test

Laravel provides two types of testing. By extending PHPUnit, you can easily test individual modules. Feature tests on the other hand test the whole lifecycle of a query, and simulate full access by a visitor. Laravel also offers a ready to use test suite that can easily be modified.

Laravel ecosystem

What is the Laravel ecosystem? It is basically a framework that supports Laravel. To make Laravel more user-friendly, different packages and applications were combined.

This ecosystem can host applications like Vapor, Forge, and Envoyer. Vapor is a serverless platform that allows you to quickly and easily deploy your Laravel application on Amazon Web Services. Forge and Envoyer make it easy to deploy to traditional servers. You can also find extensions, or “boilerplates”, that allow you to deploy to other servers. There are already pre-made program sections that you can use in certain cases.

Laravel: the summary

The web framework provides all the necessary functions to create secure and quick websites. Laravel is a pioneer in PHP frameworks, thanks to its many testing options and ability to avoid common security attacks. It is ideal for web development due to its simplicity, job queues, and support for MVC software architecture.

Types of Web Portals: Overview

You may have heard the old adage—all rectangles are squares, but not all squares are rectangles. Websites and portals are like this. Not all websites are portals, but all portals are indeed websites. Portals are sites that are often personalized to you. Two people can have access to the same exact portal, yet see different things when they log in. Portals are also able to serve a wide array of its users’ needs.

The internet has come a long way since its birth in the 80s. Portals came about ten years after the internet’s genesis in the iconic era of the 1990s. The word portal has its roots in the old Latin word portale, which roughly translates to English as “city gate.” As you learn more about what portals are, and what they can do, this terminology will begin to make perfect sense to you. Portals really are doors that open to an entire universe.

A one-theme universe of related systems and tools—that is. Portals provide users with a way of taking care of interconnected tasks all in the same corner of the internet. There are far too many types of portals to walk through every single one of them here. This article will provide you with some examples of the most popular portal types, though. Additionally, it will walk you through the pros and cons of creating one for your own business. And, if you decide that you want to, it gets you started on how to do this.

Most Popular and Common Types of Web Portals

If you asked a layperson you stop on the street what a web portal is, they likely will not be able to give you a comprehensible definition. Yet, odds are, they have used tens, if not hundreds of them before! Most people are familiar with the concept of a portal and are just not aware that it exists as separate from that of a website. The following is a list of some of the most recognizable portal types:

  • Customer;
  • Employee;
  • Research;
  • Patient;
  • Education;
  • Intranet; and
  • Government.

Most people with access to technology have used at least one, if not several, of these portal types before. They are great ways to cut down the amount of time it takes for people to do tasks all related to one entity. The following section will walk you through defining features of each, and, what they are most commonly used for.

Customer Portals

Offering a customer portal on your company website is a great way to incentivize brand loyalty. They also pair great with reward programs! If you visit almost any famous retailer’s website, you’ll see a little button in the right-hand corner that says log in. After logging into your account, or creating an account if you do not have one, you will be able to view all of your personal interactions with that company in one place.

Most of them have tabs such as “view your most recent orders” and “register a return.” Many of them will also have a section where you can “view your rewards.” The companies will provide buyers with points that they can watch add up on some type of visual bar graph. Then, when they reach a certain level, such as 10,000 points, or gold status, the customer will get a certain percentage or dollar off of their next purchase.

Portals thus incentivize customers to continue buying merchandise at that store, that way they can keep adding to their rewards status. They also reduce the effort that it takes for them to keep shopping with the same person. And, it can lead to habit formation that works in the company’s favor.

Employee Portals

If you run a large business, then it probably makes sense for you to build an employee portal if you do not already have one. Some examples of huge businesses that could benefit from a portal include, but are not limited to:

  • Major law firms;
  • Accounting companies;
  • Marketing research firms;
  • Medium to large retailers;
  • Chain restaurants;
  • And more!

Examples of systems that are utilized in these portals are requesting time off, submitting weekly time cards, and reaching out to human resources with a question, amongst others. Having a portal also enables management to send messages to all of their employees, or large groups of their employees, at once. If a company wanted to close the office for a holiday, all they would have to do to alert their employees is enter a brief message into their own portal and hit send. Many firm portals also have a chat feature that enables workers to talk amongst each other.

Research Portals

Research portals are popularly hosted by institutions of higher education. However, they do not have to be. Most of them require their user to either pay tuition at the school the research portal is attached to, or pay a subscription fee to access the content on the site. Some of them are indeed free though and exist as non-profit entities to further the education of the public.

An example of a public research portal is a public university’s archive. The archive is typically linked to its library. The archive can contain anything from videos of historical footage of revolutionary marches to artwork and poems written by names that have long been forgotten.

Google Scholar is often thought of as one of the best research portals around. Its slogan—stand on the shoulders of giants—is representative of its existence. Anyone can type something they would like to learn more about into the Google Scholar search bar and view thousands of published results related to their topic of interest. The results can be in a variety of forms, from books to podcasts and digital articles. The beauty of portals is that they are amazing at mixing platforms.

Patient Portals

Gone are the days when a mother with a sick child would call the home telephone number of the neighborhood doctor, who would proceed to make a home visit. These days, the mother would visit the portal of her local hospital system, such as that of the Mayo Clinic or Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Then, she would enter her personal username and password to log in to her account. In her account, she would likely see the health records of everyone in her family. And, she’ll easily be able to click a button to make an appointment in the soonest slot available with the doctor she has taken her child to many times before.

Healthcare portals also allow service providers to communicate with patients about test results, medication directions, and more! It can even process user data and allow customers to view their health information in amazing ways. For example, if a patient gets bloodwork done every six months, a portal can store this data and create a chart showing the user their blood results over time.

Whether the portal is for a surgery center, a cancer specialist, or psychological services, it will enable a patient to take care of all of their health needs within the one webspace.

Government Portals

Governments were actually one of the earliest adopters of the web portal. Nearly all national governments that exist have one today. The United States of America’s portal can be found here, for example. If you were to navigate to it, you would find that you could do everything from learning how to file your taxes to beginning your process of migrating to the United States, and everything in between.

Federal governments are not the only ones that utilize this webspace. State and local governments do as well. For example, if you have ever had to pay a pesky parking ticket that was left on your windshield, you likely did this in a local government portal such as this one.

Education Institution Portals

Education institutes utilize portals to centralize all the information that’s important to them into one place. Large higher-education institutions, such as Harvard University, have massive portals that are personalized to different types of students, ranging from undergraduate to graduate students and Ph.D. prospects. At the higher education level, portals are used to apply for a degree, choose classes, and change majors.

However, huge famous universities are not the only ones that have portals. Even many tiny grade schools, middle schools, and high schools have them! At a lower level, these websites may be used to hand in assignments or register one’s attendance. And, communicate pertinent information to students, such as the announcement of a snow day!

Payment methods can also be brought into these portals. And, let’s say a student doesn’t pay their tuition, but rather, their parents do. No problem! Third-party access can be given to people’s portals to enable a parent to pay for a child’s tuition and allow the child to use the site to register for classes, all at the same time.

Intranet Portals

Intranets are similar to what employee portals or educational portals would offer a user. However, they are different in the sense that they are typically completely private. This means that for a user to access it, they need to be invited by a host and allowed to create an account. Then, to visit the site, they need to input their login information every time.

There are tons of relevant examples of intranet portals out there. Some popular ones are group scheduling sites where multiple people can input their availability, and a manager can book a meeting that everyone can make. Another one might be a company’s group calendar, where people post upcoming events that everyone in the private portal is invited to.

Now that you have a better idea of what portals are, you may be wondering about the answer to a new question. Should you construct a portal for your own company? If you want to, how should you go about it? Doing it yourself? Or hiring someone to do it for you? And, will it cost a lot of money to build and maintain? If you are wondering about these questions, then jump down to the next section. It will walk you through the reasons you may want to create a custom web portal for your business, and how to do it as efficiently as possible.

Why You Should Create a Custom Web Portal for Your Business

Not every business has to have a custom web portal to be successful. However, having one typically can only help a company. The beautiful thing about portals is that they are also helpful in virtually every field. Some reasons to create a custom portal for your business, no matter its size, are the following:

  • Creating a smoother experience for your users;
  • Combining your business systems onto one portal;
  • Making it easier to collect more data from your users;
  • Being able to contact related parties easier and all at once;
  • Allowing your customers to do more on your site; and
  • Having all of your information in the same place.

 

The above reasons are only the tip of the iceberg. Having a web portal will also help your business come across as more professional. And, it will make it easier for you and your customers. The better your portal is, the easier it will be for your users to find what they are looking for on your site. And, the easier it will be for you to organize your site in a way that elevates your search engine optimization (SEO) and sales. The better your business is, the more resources you will have to dedicate to your online presence. It’s a never-ending positive feedback loop!

Businesses do not have to net millions of dollars every year to be able to afford a top-tier portal. Even small mom-and-pop shops can have portals! While they can be expensive to start up and maintain, they don’t have to be. It all depends on the help that you get.

If you try and build a portal yourself, it will likely take up a lot of your time and money. And, you may be left with a sub-par product. By enlisting the assistance of honorable web portal developers such as AppKong, you will be able to build your dream portal at a comfortable price.

AppKong offers flexible packages that can help a business with any budget generate a portal. And, the developer enables you to be as involved or uninvolved in the process as you would like to be. If you want, you can ask for our turnkey services to have a fully finished portal in an unbelievably small amount of time. Reach out to one of our customer service representatives today to get started on a plan that works best for you. Your employees and customers will thank you. Heck—you’ll thank yourself!

What Is An E-Commerce Website & How Does It Work?

E-commerce, sometimes strung together as one word—Ecommerce or eCommerce—is the modern way of saying electronic commerce. While the word may sound complex or confusing, all it means is the process of buying and selling on the internet. It is a broad definition that includes products, services, and anything else you can conceivably put a price on.

While it is easy to build the bare bones of an online store, though, it is much harder to make it successful. There are a large variety of factors that go into setting up a digital selling space that actually makes a profit. If you want to learn how to make money in online sales, you have come to the right place!

The Main Goal of the E-Commerce Website

The main goal of an e-commerce website is to make its owner money. In addition to this main goal, though, there are a series of smaller goals that make it easier for the site to generate profit. These smaller goals include:

  • Marketing your brand.
  • Collecting data.
  • Reaching new customers.
  • Building loyalty.

These four micro-goals come together to make your brand stronger and your business more popular. First off, having a digital space where people can get exposure to your brand will increase your brand awareness. The more people that know about your business, the more people are likely to shop there.

As more people visit your business, you can collect data to learn about them. This data can be used to improve your site and business generally. For example, if you know the times of the year your site’s sales fall, you can then try and boost sales during this period with a coupon or promotion. Or, if you learn that your target market is actually a few years older than you expected them to be, you can better tailor your product to suit customers of an older age.

Once you know more about your customers, you will be able to reach them better. And, if you are giving them what they want, then they will eventually become loyal to your brand. Instead of wasting time searching for the best retailer on the internet, they will use heuristics to take a shortcut to your website and place an order for whatever it is they need.

Striving for the above four micro-goals will help you achieve your overall goal of conducting a profitable business. Eventually, you will be able to sit back and relax as your e-commerce website does all the work for you.

How E-Commerce Websites Should Work?

There are four great features that every e-commerce website should have. They are, in no particular order:

  • An efficient and effective search bar that produces accurate results;
  • Great security for both you and your site users;
  • Comprehensive customer service;
  • Organized data collection methods.

The following section will walk you through why these elements are important. And, how you can implement them into your own store. If you lack the expertise to do so yourself—no worries! There are trained professionals out there, like AppKong, that are happy to assist you.

Great Search Features & Rapid Loading Speed

Depending on the size of your site, the importance of having a top-tier search bar will vary. If you sell less than twenty products, likely, you will just need a landing page that showcases these products well. As you get above twenty and into the higher numbers, though, you will need to have a search bar where people can type in what they are looking for.

The results from their searches should be accurate and load very quickly. If people have to wait more than a few seconds for their search results to load, they will lose interest and likely trust in you as a seller. Then, they will look elsewhere for what they need.

There are great artificial intelligence (AI) tools in cyberspace that can help you improve your site’s search bar. And, you can make sure that your site is operating at top speeds by employing the latest and greatest programming technology on the market.

Top-notch Security

Many people’s biggest fear about online shopping is that they are going to have their credit card information stolen. That is why you must employ the best possible security systems for your e-commerce page. You will need to walk a fine line between making your customers’ shopping experience convenient and pleasurable and making sure there are implemented safeguards to protect them.

For example, you should probably have a space on your site where people can choose to save their credit card information. This will reduce the friction they feel when spending money on your site. And, save them time when they would like to make another purchase. However, allowing people to save their payment information places a higher security burden on you.

One common solution to this problem is going through a third party such as Stripe or PayPal. However, professionals can help you build a secure in-house payment system as well.

Customer Service Essentials

These days, customers want to be able to reach you quickly, in the manner of their choosing, and at the time of their choosing. The boomer generation may want to be able to call you. Millennials may want to email you. And, Gen-Z may want to text you. Depending on the generation(s) your company serves, you need to have the proper customer service options that satisfy your customers.

Pop-up chat boxes that ask your customers if they need help are one great way to meet shopping assistance needs. Having transparent pages explaining return policies and complaint processes are also key. There is AI out there that is perfect for solving these problems as well.

Data Collection

As briefly mentioned above, having a website is an amazing opportunity to collect precious data that can help your company thrive. Of course, data collection is not as easy as it sounds. For starters, you need to have the appropriate disclosures and legal documents to do this. And, engage in the process ethically.

You also need to have a quality data collection program that is obtaining the right kind of information from people. And, storing it in an organized manner so that your marketing department can easily analyze the results.

These results, such as hot shopping times or information about the type of device customers are viewing your shop on, can translate into changes you can make in your manners of conducting business that will increase your bottom line. For your convenience, there are actually data collection programs out there that will organize your data for you as well!

How to Build an E-commerce Website

There are two approaches you can take to building your e-commerce website. You can opt to do it yourself. Or, you can retain the help of experienced professionals. If you choose to go the first route, you might save a bit of money initially. However, the opportunity cost of you developing your own site in-house will be incredibly high. After all, your company resources, such as your time and money, would be better spent improving your business model and products or services.

To assemble a professional-grade e-commerce website, it is best to loop in professional developers to help you achieve your goals. Then, you can work with them on choosing the platform you would like to operate on. Lastly, you can work with your team on the processes you plan to use to get people their purchases and deal with unhappy customers or supply chain issues should they pop up.

HRetain the Assistance of a Developer

There are so many developers out there advertising custom and high-quality e-commerce creation. It can be difficult to sort out genuine pros from scammers. Some qualities you should look for in the developer you end up hiring include:

  • Trustworthy customer testimonials;
  • Employees with years of experience;
  • Ability to communicate in your native language;
  • Proficiency in developing both websites and matching apps;
  • Flexible pricing packages that suit your needs.

Finding the right developer may feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, you don’t have to look any further! AppKong has all of the above essentials and more. Whether you are just starting out from scratch on your e-commerce journey, or need some help picking up where a different developer left off, AppKong has you covered. We can help you create your dream online store!

Choose a Platform

Once you retain a developer such as AppKong, you can communicate your needs to them. If you are interested in starting a business behemoth, it may make sense for your developers to build you a brand-new site of your own with programming from scratch. Or, you can take a convenient shortcut through a development tool such as WordPress to get you to your end result quicker.

Alternatively, if you are just looking to create a small e-commerce site for something like an online garage sale, or to get rid of some old clothes, it might make sense for you to get a page on someone else’s e-commerce site. Your developer, after hearing you describe what your unique needs are, will recommend the path that suits you best.

Create Delivery Processes

Once your e-commerce site is up and running, you will need to have ways for people to get their products or services once they pay for them. If you plan on offering returns and reimbursements for any reason, then you will need supply chain processes for these tasks too.

If you plan on selling products in relatively high volume, one way to make this process smoother for you is to schedule daily or bi-weekly pick-ups from a shipping company such as UPS. There are also options out there that will even pack your items for you if you don’t want to do it yourself! If you are selling services, then perhaps you will have to hire service providers that will stay on alert for bookings.

These days, people expect to receive what they purchase relatively quickly after sending in their payment. So, if you are shipping, you want to make sure that your products are in your customers’ hands within 7-10 days maximum.

Conclusion

There are a lot of seemingly small things that can end up making or breaking your e-commerce site. Looking at them all together in an article such as this one can feel overwhelming. Fear not though. While starting an e-commerce website seems impossible to do successfully, you must remember that millions of people just like you run profitable e-commerce shops every day.

To recap the content in this article, you must remember that there are 4 sub-goals that go into your overall goal of turning a profit. They are marketing your brand, reaching the right customers, collecting usable data, and building customer loyalty. Once you nail all of these things, the money will follow. Retaining the help of professional developers such as AppKong will help you achieve your goals most efficiently and effectively possible.

While paying for professional development services will require an initial investment that may make you uncomfortable, it will be worth it. After a few years or even months, you will watch your investment pay for itself ten times over. Don’t believe us? Contact a customer service representative at AppKong today and learn about our affordable pricing and revolutionary development first-hand.

You are sure to be impressed by our genius and dedicated team members, globally competitive development skills, and flexible packages available to meet your needs. So what are you waiting for? Reach out today and thank yourself tomorrow when you are on your way to having the online store of your dreams.

The 8 Factors For A Successful Small Business Website

What does it take to make your business website successful?

In reality, nearly all companies desire a website that is successful. However, for many companies, this goal is not easy or quick to attain.

Entrepreneurs often put in a lot of work, money, sweat, and tears to gain attention online and win new customers.

Good news is that you can get more done online with a simple strategy and steps that are easy to implement than large budgets. This article will explain how to control the success of your website while it is being built and how to increase its effectiveness after it goes live.

These aspects are logically and chronologically related. Therefore, the order does not reflect success potential.

And here are the 8 most important success factors for a successful business website.

1. Define clearly the goals of your website

Clear goals are essential to determine if a website is a success or failure. These goals are a result of the corporate and marketing strategies. It is actually quite easy. This is however where many problems begin in practice.

To put it simply, companies that cannot deliver a product/service and satisfy the needs for the target audience will face economic problems sooner or later. This is independent of the website.

Clear and unambiguous websites have many advantages. It is easy to identify your company’s goals and compare them to the needs and wishes of the target audience.

Companies that make the most of their website are those who do everything right. It’s more than just about gaining new customers.

The data can be used correctly, and the company can better align itself to the needs of the target audience if it is properly used. Pure added value.

2. Increase user trust

We have established the essential prerequisites through step 1. How do you gain the trust of users?

Transparency, honesty, competence, and transparency are the hallmarks of this website.

Website visitors should not be confused about the offerings of your business. It is important to clearly understand the information, products and services offered by your website.

Websites must be able to trust their target audience. You can only demonstrate relevant competence by knowing the problems and topics of your target audience.

Even if your visitors are familiar with the company, trust can still build up. They want to know the intentions of the company. It is important that they know the company’s intentions not only abstractly but also personally. This is why “About us”, page is so important.

This is especially true for online shops. The likelihood of you disclosing your credit card information drops exponentially if there are any doubts about whether the business is legitimate.

3. Analyze keywords – from user relevance to search intent

Relevance of content is crucial for the success of your company’s website. Relevant content is available at every stage of the customer journey.

Trust is built when you provide relevant information to your visitors in the very early stages of product search. This is why business blogs are so effective.

This raises an important question. Which content is most relevant? A good keyword analysis will often provide the answer. This simply means that you need to find out what your target audience is searching for on Google. It is also important to clarify the target group’s search intent for each keyword.

My personal view is that there is no other approach to data-based marketing. It is becoming harder to understand the intent of users in niches that are not understood by “common sense”, but there is still enough search volume to create successful websites.

But you still need common sense. You will need to interpret the data correctly from the keyword tools. The luna-park keyword analysis tutorial provides a detailed and more in-depth introduction to the topic.

4. Outstanding Content

Now we have a solid understanding of our target audience, potential users, relevant keywords, and search intentions. These are the best preconditions for creating high-quality, relevant content.

Excellent content will be a key factor by 2019, at the latest. It all comes down to creating value.

Other requirements include a high-quality presentation and perfect formulation. If the content is useful for visitors, it can only positively impact the success of a website.

Content that adds value is a magnet for website visitors and readers.

Google is increasing this attraction at an astonishing and growing rate. This is not because of self-interest. Google is a big company that provides useful content.

There are many ways to provide excellent content online with added value. This sounds complicated. This is not the case. It is actually quite easy after the preparatory work (steps 1, 2)

Hosting providers can offer added value to users by writing about server problems.

It makes sense when organic food manufacturers publish online tutorials on healthy eating.

It is a smart idea to think outside of the box in your company. It is not easy to convert visitors into customers if you exceed a certain threshold.

5. Usability and user experience

Usability and user experience are key success factors. Visitors can find interesting content quickly on a company website that is well-designed.

You need good information architecture and well-thought-out navigation to achieve this. You can also have a good understanding of your identity and the things you wish to offer others.

Users should be able access videos tutorials relevant to their needs as soon as possible if the company’s goal is to generate revenue via video tutorials.

You should ensure that users have access to your products and services with as few clicks as possible.

Navigation must be responsively designed and work on both the desktop and mobile phones.

Your website’s usability and user experience will impact many other aspects. There are many connections between web design, web programming and search engine optimization.

6. Appealing web design & responsive design

What makes a web design attractive? This is the conclusion of many studies and surveys that have been done in the field e-commerce.

The following three aspects are what I find most remarkable about the beautifully prepared infographic by Justuno/BargainFox.

93% of consumers consider appearance to be a major factor in their buying decision

Online shoppers abandon 52% of their sites and never return to them because they don’t like the overall design.

42% of users base their overall opinion on a website solely on its design

This evaluation is not a complete one. You can’t convert users into customers if they leave a website with a bad design. Learn more about Designdriven – Why design matters.

Another one. Google tracks user signals extremely precisely. Websites with a high bounce rate will rank lower. This is the exact opposite of a business website that has been successful.

Web design is more than aesthetics. It’s almost all about functionality.

7. The right content management system

Google is the best place to find successful websites. Google loves fresh content, and it is important that the content be updated regularly.

It is important that you are able to publish relevant content on the internet with minimal effort. Content management systems are here to help. They also allow non-programmers create and maintain content.

This requirement can be fulfilled in principle with web construction kits (Wix and Jimdo), etc. ).

There are some things you need to keep in mind before choosing a content management software.

  • Are lightning-fast loading times possible?
  • Do you have the ability to design title tags, meta descriptions, URLs and other elements? ?
  • Are multilingual SEO and the correct setting of HREF long text possible?
  • Is the client site javascript not required to display links and content?
  • Are you able to control the design and functionality of your product?
  • Are you in complete control of your data?
  • Do you have tools that allow you to modify the layout?

Ahrefs has done a comparative analysis of Wix and WordPress to show the importance of the right CMS in order for a website’s success starting June 2019.

We compared the success rates of WIX and WordPress domains.

The result can be seen above. WordPress has 46.1% domains that receive organic traffic. 1.4% of domains that were created using the WIX modular system receive organic traffic via Google.

This survey could not resolve the issue in detail. I can’t either. I recommend that you use a content management system. You can easily set up your CMS in just minutes. This is possible without programming knowledge.

8. Search Engine Optimization – Being found online

We now move on to a more exciting topic. It’s about long-term sustainability and success for your company page.

We have therefore focused from the beginning of this article on your ability to attract organic traffic from Google & Co.

Google should show the website in the top ranks for relevant keywords starting at step 3.

At the beginning, you need to put in the effort to create and, if needed, advertise high-quality content that has added value. The content can then be discovered and used for marketing purposes.

Everything would be perfect right now. Unfortunately, Google isn’t as smart as your visitors. It is therefore important to optimize your website for real users (UX, usability) and Google.

You should use as little on-page SEO as possible on your homepage to ensure that it tastes good to Google technology. How this works will depend on how your content management system is set up. Other homework like setting up HTTPS or converting to it, is also important.

Summary

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to create a successful website for your company. It is more important to make the right initial considerations. It is important to keep your goals and the target audience in mind. No matter if you are starting a new website or moving forward with a website redesign or relaunch, it doesn’t matter.

Provide added value and avoid technical and creative pitfalls when designing web pages and using content management systems. Google and your visitors will both be happy.

These success factors will be your key point of reference throughout all phases of your project.

 

TOP 10 Web Development Trends in 2022/2023

Web design and development trends change very quickly. This is due to technological advances and user expectations. Companies are unable to pick up on all of these trends.

Not all trends are equally relevant or appropriate for every business. Still. You can’t make the internet successful if your website design is outdated.

Every day, customers visit different websites. It is therefore important to draw positive attention to your web presence.

Visitors should be satisfied to return to the site and stay on it. This is possible with a web solution that is as simple and attractive as possible.

Two ways can companies achieve their web design goals:

1. Take it easy:

There are some styles that have remained relatively constant over the years in web design. This includes minimalist design that focuses on the essentials.

2. Take advantage of trends by recognizing them early.

This is especially important for companies who set their own trends and use their own products. Your web design should reflect your brand’s innovative, exploratory, or freedom-loving personality. It is crucial to be aware of the latest web trends early in your project.

The question is: Which exciting trends are out there, and above all, which ones do you want to follow?

Let’s now take a closer look to some of the top design trends, currents and tendencies in 2022/2023.

1. Gradients

Color gradients are a way to replace flat colors. Each individual color can be represented in hundreds of different shades. This is true not only for design but also for painting. Web designers will continue to play with color and use gradients in 2022.

Liquid forms are also very popular and create interesting combinations that give off a surreal sense of spatial depth.

Gradients have been trending in the last two to three years. Why is this?

There are many reasons to use color gradients in art or design.

  • Gradients in the background add visual interest.
  • They can be used in a way that draws the attention of the viewer if they are done correctly.
  • Natural color fading and fading is natural.
  • Images allow for the company’s color scheme to be displayed.

In general, color gradients allow for a lot of creativity, excitement, and individuality in your design. Gradients can be used to create both minimalistic and complex web designs with skillful use.

Finally, color gradients give off a sense of dynamism. These color gradients share many of the benefits of animation, but they are also much more simple to implement.

2. Animation

Animation is almost impossible to imagine in modern advertising. The element is not possible for traditional direct mail or print. This trend is growing in all forms of modern advertising. Animation is almost a requirement on websites of high quality, mobile apps, and digital advertisements.

Animations communicate dynamism in a metaphorical sense to users and visitors. This is especially important in a constantly changing environment.

Unique animations are becoming more popular among companies. What is the reason for this increase in animation creation? Animations are more emotionally engaging than simple images. This is not possible with GIFs that run in an endless loop.

We see a growing trend towards video sometimes. Designs that look very familiar can be made using 3D effects and worlds. It is all about objects that can be understood. We are familiar with them because of our three-dimensional world. As I am currently working on our 2021 design portfolio, I will show you my trailer video as an example of animations.

This is just a small glimpse of what’s happening in web video. Combining modern JavaScript and WebGL technologies allows for much more appealing moving image integrations. For example, WebGL video transitions can be used in full-screen mode to create a background for a website. We’ll get to this later.

Animations look best when combined with interactivity. You can embed JavaScript animations and CSS into your website to create unique user experiences. The possibilities of web design are virtually limitless.

Different animations will be available to your customers in 2022. Storytelling is enhanced by the skillful juxtapositions of elements, frames and sequences.

3. Page Transitions

Animations are of paramount importance, as I’ve already mentioned. The special case of page transitions is one that closely links web development and design. It’s the animation of transitions using internal links. This includes navigation.

Traditional websites have individual web pages that reload. This causes visual continuity breaks that are not desirable. The best websites use AJAX and PJAX technology to ensure consistent brand experience and smooth page navigation.

This sounds complex, and it is. You can see the Edeldark Showcase to understand my point. You can see the effects in real time there. There is no interruption to the user experience when you use Edeldark’s navigation or internal links.

The page transitions are the most important aspect of web design and development. They differ greatly from any average website in German. There are few web designs that don’t implement smooth page transitions, which is a rare quality among award-winning web designs. As examples, Aristide Benoist and Homunculus both from Japan are worthy of mention.

Conclusion: Page transitions can be a great way to stand out from your competitors for high-quality websites. They can give you the app feel of native apps. These are a great way to demonstrate that your company is adept at technological development and digitization.

Technologies: Single Page Application Frameworks, PJAX or AJAX Frameworks like Highway.js and Barba.js

4. Interactive and intelligent web applications

This web design trend goes beyond just looking good. Intelligent ways to interact with visitors is the key.

The web is becoming more important in every aspect of our lives. This has been true since Corona. Websites are being increasingly asked to organize these areas in a meaningful manner. Web apps can help you organize communication into intelligent interactions.

Particularly in the business sector, companies are realizing that websites offer more design options than traditional design guidelines or advertising media. Artificial intelligence will play an increasing role in this context. Websites are being increasingly integrated with intelligent interactive apps (applications).

Interactive quizzes (which is probably the correct plural), surveys, and self-tests are other examples. These are used to organize communication and identify trends within the target audience. Search engine optimization is another benefit. These tools can sometimes double the page’s time by 20.

Technologies: Angular, React, Vue, Svelte

5. Scroll animations and smooth scrolling

Scrolling animation effects are a web design trend that is becoming more popular on award-winning web designs by 2021, especially on desktop devices. Scroll speeds can be adjusted in the context of parallax effects, or integrated horizontal scrolling. Scroll animations can be used for scrollytelling, which is a combination of visual effects and scroll animations. These animations are intended to increase the user experience on the website. Many times, they are playful. They are therefore suitable for infotainment.

These effects are implemented in a way that replaces standard browser scrolling with your own animation. Although Javascript libraries are an option, I have found that native implementations work best. Linear interpolation methods, also known as LERP in computer science, are used to create smooth animations.

6. Photographs with graphic inserts

This design trend might be a good fit for you if you are willing to take risks with your design. A hand-drawn element can be used to add mood to a design with photography. Photos can be used to illustrate a design.

These mixed techniques are a great way to express your creativity and create unique designs that stand out above the rest. These mixed techniques can be used in many different ways.

In the realm of product advertising, you can make it seem playful. You can also use the techniques to increase seriousness and depth of meaning.

What about 3D? The graphic representation of digitization with few polygons (lowpoly) can be used to address the topic. This is in conjunction with photography. Particularly, the interaction between machine and man. However, this is only one possible interpretation.

This is a great web design addition to the saddest of many similar websites for law firms.

This mix allows you to express your brand’s personality in a unique way and set certain accents. It takes courage.

Technologies: CSS 3, SVG or GIMP.

7. Artistically prepared product photographs

The days of realistic and classic product images are gone. Embrace a new UI/UX design trend – surreal object photos. It is now expected that it will spread to all eCommerce platforms and online shops by 2022.

This trend has a hypnotic effect on those who follow it. This trend focuses attention on interesting and seemingly unreal elements.

It’s all about stimulating imagination of visitors. The conversion rate should increase if consumers are forced to spend time on a website.

8. Bold Fonts

It’s not a new trend, but it was already popular in 2018. It is because it is so solidifying that it’s so appealing for modern web design. This is why it works. Website titles are often the most important thing to users. Apple is a good example.

This trend has been growing since 2021. The fonts are becoming larger and more prominent. In our showcase 2022, you can see an example of large font sizes and modern web designs.

Technologies: CSS, web fonts.

9. Combining digital and natural elements

Since Corona, most of us have lived in both a digital and natural environment. This is reflected in modern, high-quality designs.

This trend is characterized by the merging of mathematics with nature. Logarithmic spirals are found in sunflowers and in the form of nautilus shells. They also appear as weather phenomena during low-pressure turbulent.

Concepts such as the golden ratio use the consistency of mathematics and nature in architecture and design. Complex 3D models based on mathematical principles are a new way to realize technical possibilities. These interesting shapes are being increasingly used in high-quality web designs.

The combination of the right software makes it possible to create modern, expressive designs in a natural, creative way.

10. Neumorphism

The term neumorphism has been discussed in design circles for some time. This is an artificial word composed of the terms “new” and “skeuphomorphism”.

And that is exactly what is reflected in the nature of the design. Basically, it is about very soft surfaces, which are often reminiscent of an extruded plastic in their appearance.

Some UI elements look like they are connected to the surface, while others appear to be sucked from the surface by a vacuum pump. Sometimes, they hover above the surface.

The design concept of floating elements with soft shadows in the design is not new. It can be found in Google Material Design. This is all from 2014.

The new thing is the significant increase in popularity of designer circles and associated frequency at Dribble or Behance of design concepts. Neumorphism is a controversial topic that has divided opinion.

Neumorphism has the disadvantage that people with poor eyesight may have trouble discerning subtle differences between the elements. Accessibility is obviously a key factor.

We are still seeing neumorphism in UI design increasingly. Personally, I love the look. There are two advantages to this trend: the first is that it is not often seen on any productive websites, and the second is that it is largely unexplored. This is especially true in the German-speaking region.

Neumorphism should be minimalistic, clean and tidy. The digital world is also connected to our physical and plastic reality via the spatial effect and shadows.

This web design trend will be more prominent in digital products and modern websites in 2022 and 2023.

Conclusion

The web design and development trends for 2021 are diverse, inspiring and impressive! Design, web development, technology, web applications and graphic design are increasingly merging into one and increasing the variety of possibilities for impressive websites.

What is SDLC? Software Development Life Cycle Phases

SDLC stands for system development life cycle and is the acronym used to describe the construction and integration of information systems that store, process, and output data. This niche of work rests between information technology (IT) and engineering. It utilizes tangible hardware and intangible software elements to create the best systems possible for personal and professional uses.

The term originated in the 60s with the flower child generation. Originally, it was created with very large businesses in mind, such as large universities and famous companies like Microsoft. However, as the technology was improved and spread, it became more accessible to smaller businesses and start-ups.

SDLC requires several general stages of development in order to create a system for an individual or entity. Is it worth it for you to engage in this process?

Is SDLC for You?

SDLCs can be molded to work for the capacity and budget of entities that are of any size. A good rule of thumb is this—if a core part of your company revolves around software development, then you need SDLC. So, farmers, for example, may not want to waste their time and resources on this process. Neither would small coffee shops or boutique retailers.

However, accounting firms and technology companies likely would gain value from learning about and going through the SDLC process for their own system. Or, making sure that they are outsourcing their IT work to a company that knows about and prioritizes this system.

Main Phases of SDLC

SDLC work is typically outsourced to third parties when it is not the core service of an entity. The person performing the task usually has the title of “Software Tester” or “Quality Assurance Analyst,” and is hired by a person with money and idea, but limited tech experience.

There are seven generally accepted phases of SDLC:

  • (1) Planning;
  • (2) Analyzing feasibility;
  • (3) Designing;
  • (4) Coding;
  • (5) Testing;
  • (6) Implementing; and
  • (7) Maintaining.

The following section will walk through what each of them entails. Pay special attention to phases 1 and 5, as this is where your participation will be most required. Clients can also take on more responsibility in stages 6 and 7, although this is completely optional.

Phase 1: Planning

When a person has an idea that requires a software system, they can reach out to developers such as AppKong to have the system made for them. Then, together, they will embark on planning. During this stage, the client will explain to the developers what their end goal looks like and what their expectations are.

The third party can also help their client develop reasonable expectations by taking advantage of the opportunity to present novel ideas and possible complications. Here, a potential budget and timeline can be discussed. However, these factors will not be confirmed until Phase 3 once the details are better carved out. By the end of this phase, both parties should have a good idea of what will be produced and when.

Phase 2: Feasibility Analysis 

Once the project’s planning is taken care of, it is time for the person or entity in charge of the SDLC to walk through feasibility analysis. This essentially means that they will check what is possible and the extent in a large cost-benefit analysis. Some of the factors that should be considered in this stage include:

  • The legality of the project;
  • The project’s cost compared to its potential ability to save/earn;
  • Is the client asking for something that can actually be designed; and
  • The realistic timeline for completing the project.

If an issue is uncovered pertaining to one of these prongs, it does not mean certain death for the project. It just means that someone—typically the developer—must go back to the drawing board and find a way to tweak the plan in order to solve the problem. For example, if the existing plan is too expensive, the developer will need to find a corner where costs can be shaved.

Phase 3: Design

Once a feasible plan has been created, it is time to get to work on turning the magnificent idea into reality. This begins in the design phase. Here is where specialists will sit down and write out everything that is going to go into creating the system. For example, the required tools will be ascertained, as well as the steps that need to be performed to make the actual build.

Think about this stage like it is the planning stage of an essay. It is an outline of everything that has to be done with important steps to follow and tidbits of information to include. However, it is not the actual writing process. That is what comes next.

In addition to collecting and recording information in an organized manner, this is also a stage where the creation of flow charts will be very helpful. By the time this step is complete, the developer should have a master flowchart of everything that the system is going to be able to do and how it will do it all in the proper order.

Phase 4: Coding 

Once designing the system, the hardest part, of the cycle is finished, it is finally time to actually construct the system into something tactile. Here, the developers will turn the design that they came up with into coding. The coding will then act as an instruction manual for the process that the system is running on.

There is no one correct way to engage in this part of the cycle. There are tons of different codes that developers can choose from, such as:

  • Java;
  • Python;
  • R; and
  • PHP.

What the developers choose to use is entirely dependent upon the unique call of the project. For example, codes with better security tools may be more suited for a system, whereas a different system may be fine trading in security for cost efficiency.

This stage and the one that comes right before it—design—are the two that should take the longest amount of time if the developers are doing their job correctly. This is where the most costs are incurred though. Expenses include the developers’ labor in addition to the tools required to actually build.

Phase 5: Testing

Once you make it to this stage, you will officially have a system. In a perfect world, the cycle could stop here. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in. Even the best developers will still likely not be able to design and build a perfect system for their client or clients on the first try. So, they need to test it in order to check for:

  • Bugs;
  • Mistakes;
  • Weaknesses; and
  • Opportunities for improvement.

From the end of phase one until now, the client has likely been waiting by the phone for the occasional update on how their project has been coming along. Here is the first stage since then where it makes sense for the client to get back involved.

After the developers edit the code so that there are no obvious errors, they can give the system to their client to test. The client will be in the best system to identify possible errors since they will use the system during testing as they would in real life.

Phase 6: Implementation

Once testing is completed, there are two routes that can be taken. Either the developer can implement the system for their client. Or, the developer can implement the system with their client. This depends on how tech-savvy their client is, and what their clients’ preferences are.

For example, if the client has an IT department, it would be the most efficient for the IT department to help implement since they are their own internal divisions’ experts. Chances are though, if a client is paying for development, they will likely want it implemented for them as well.

Implementation will involve incorporating the newly developed system into the client’s existing digital presence and processes. Because this stage has already been outlined during the planning, feasibility, and design stages, the implementation should be fairly easy.

Phase 7: Operations and Management 

Finally, we arrive at stage 7—operations and management—which is a fancy way of saying system maintenance. Once the developer has completed the project for their client, the client can choose to keep on the developer for help if anything goes wrong in the future. Or, the client can study their system so that when issues arise, such as bugs, or when it is time for an upgrade, they can do it themselves. Again, this stage will vary greatly based on clients’ individual needs and desires.

Something that clients should make sure to talk to their developers about before the project is sealed is scaling. If the owner plans on scaling their project and hiring the services of their developer to do so, they should ask the developer to hang on to their systems’ data. That way, instead of starting from scratch for scaling, the developer will simply be able to pick up where they left off.

Agile Methodology for SDLC

There are different methodologies to choose from when engaging in SDLC. The following section will review the different options to choose from. Then, it will break down the details of one of the most common methodologies that you will probably want to use when it comes to building your system.

There are over 10 different models to choose from to follow the SDLC process when developing your new system. Some of the most popular options include:

  • The Spiral Model;
  • The V-Model;
  • The Incremental Model;
  • The Waterfall Model;
  • The Big-Bang Model; and
  • The Agile Model.

All of these methods were developed because someone thought they were better than one of the alternatives available. It is wise for you to learn about all of them before officially deciding which one you prefer. The Big-Bang method is better suited for small projects, for example, and minimizes the planning stage or cuts it out completely. In contrast, the Incremental Model heavily focuses on planning.

AppKong personally believes that the Agile Method is best, and will explain why below.

Why the Agile Methodology is Best 

The word agile is defined as “able to move quickly and easily.” If you already know about the methodology, then you will find this name perfectly suited for what it represents. The defining feature of the Agile Method, also referred to as AM, is that it consists of building systems in small steps; then, those small steps are tested individually before being added to the system as a whole.

Conceptualize this process as the building of a home. Sure, you can throw the plumbing and HVAC of a home together quickly, and tell your client that if things leak or fail to work later, they can just fix the problems as they arise. However, if you are more careful while building and testing everything to make sure it works before installing it, the chances that problems arise later are reduced.

If this method is utilized, the chances of running into use problems during the main testing stage are significantly reduced. This method places the greatest emphasis on the jobs of the developers and the testing process. And, its goal is to proactively prevent problems as opposed to reacting to issues that arise, which ends up saving resources—especially money.

Chances are, you as a client will not want to deal with the constant headache of unexpected problems popping up because your developers were not careful the first time around. It is best to walk through the SDLC process as meticulously as possible to limit the amount of time and money that will be spent dealing with the problems later on.

Conclusion

Following the SDLC process is the best way to ensure that the creation of an information system runs as smoothly, effectively, and efficiently as possible. If you think that you have the expertise required to do it yourself, more power to you.

However, usually, it makes more sense for an individual or entity to contract out the system construction process to developers who specialize in SDLC. Even if you know how to create your own system, it would probably be a better utilization of your resources to have professionals do this for you while you dedicate your time and energy to managing and scaling your business.

Enlist the Help of AppKong

If you are in the market for a talented development team, look no further than AppKong. AppKong is a Ukraine-based development company that employs some of the most talented software developers in the world. Our employees are fluent in English and can cater to the communication needs of our clients. No matter the size of your business and budget, we have a plan for you.

System development is one of our specializations. And, our employees have been practicing SDLC since before some of you were even alive! If you need more convincing, just take a look at some of the customer testimonials on our website. Hear from our clients how reliable and talented our staff is.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact AppKong today to get started on Stage 1 of your system development life cycle—planning!

What is PHP, and How Is It Used in Web Development

PHP, or Hypertext Preprocessor, is a coding language that is helpful in website development. It is used by lots of well-known companies, such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and Harvard University. It is trusted by these major entities, so you can feel comfortable giving PHP your own green flag.

The acronym originally stood for Personal Home Page. However, when the coding language was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, its new meaning took off. Since its genesis, the language has been improved and updated. Today, it looks very different than it did the first time it was used in the mid-90s.

The following article is going to teach you all about what PHP is, as well as why it is still used in 2022 despite all of the other amazing coding options out there. It will also review the pros and cons of utilizing the language in your custom web development. Finally, it will cover AppKong’s experience with PHP and what we can do for you regarding your development. By the end of this article, you will be an expert on the subject.

PHP and HTML

You now know what PHP stands for and what it is generally—a coding language. Now, it’s time to review the specifics. One of the key things that helps the language stand out amongst the crowd is that it can be directly embedded into HTML (hypertext markup language). This means that you can write them at the same time side by side and they will work together perfectly.

Integrating HTML and PHP is done using the keyword “include.” By putting “include” in your PHP coding in the proper manner, the word will instruct the program to use whatever HTML data file you want it to in conjunction with what is already written. For example, you may want to write HTML for side banners on your site, and then include these in your PHP code. Fortunately, this is possible.

Website development is not as complicated as it may seem. Basically, programs such as Safari and Google Chrome are interpreters of code. If you were to click the button “see source code” in your browser, you would be able to see all of the code that went into creating the web page you are viewing. Much of this would likely be PHP code! Browsers just translate code like PHP to make it visually appealing and understandable to the average layperson.

Getting Started with PHP

There are a bunch of different places you can download the necessary tools to begin programming with PHP. And, they are nearly all free due to the fact that PHP is an open-source language. But, more on this later. For now, know that you just have to download a few files, and then you can get started using it.

Once you download the necessary files, you will want to choose a text editor. This is the space where you will actually be typing in your code and will allow you to save a .php file. Then, once you have a place to code, you can begin working on your site development. PHP allows coders to use many of the techniques they are already familiar with. For example, if statements, loops, checkboxes, and arrays can all be worked into PHP. You do not need to have a coding background or technology degree to learn how to use PHP, though it would be extremely helpful.

Why PHP Is Still Popular in 2022

Though this particular coding language is not amongst the ones that are raved about today, it flies popularly under the radar. Just about 80% of sites that are live today utilize PHP, with its most popular version being the 7.3 version. This means that millions of sites are relying on PHP on their hidden back-ends. The language is what professionals refer to as server-side language. Server-side languages aid in making languages more powerful and facilitating user interactions so that it goes more smoothly.

There are a plethora of reasons that PHP is so popular today. The primary reasons are as follows:

  • PHP is an open-source coding language;
  • It is easy for beginners to pick up;
  • The language is incredibly versatile and compatible with HTML;
  • PHP was designed for website development; and
  • More!

This section will unpack the above reasons, explaining why they make modern-day development a breeze.

Open-Source

Open-source is also sometimes referred to as OSS (open-source software) and means that it is publicly accessible software. Anyone who has access to a computer, or even a smartphone or tablet can start using PHP. Individuals can use it as is, or they can modify it if they would like to. All you need to get started is the proper software to begin coding.

There are many places you can download the free necessary coding tools to begin putting PHP to work. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Laravel;
  • Symfony;
  • WordPress; and
  • CodeIgniter.

Of course, any free software you find will do. The one you choose will be based on your individual preference. Because it is free to obtain and use, PHP is the preference of many developers. Some examples of private languages include Gravity and Imba. While these languages are not necessarily less effective than PHP, they are less popular due to the barriers to access.

Easy and Quick to Learn

Do not worry if you have not had formal training in software development. Professional training or years of experience are not prerequisites to mastering PHP! There are a ton of super helpful guides that you can find online for free in either text or video format. Many famous YouTubers actually have entire courses online that will teach you everything there is to know about PHP from start to finish. And, they will walk you through how to use the language while coding your websites for personal or work purposes.

Most of these available courses do not extend beyond 5-10 hours. This is really all it takes to learn the basics. It is so easy to learn that many people teach themselves PHP just for fun! Its ease of use is just one of the reasons and the limited time dedication it takes to learn it contributes to why the language is so popular.

Designed Specifically for Site Development

PHP Version 1.0 was born when Rasmus Lerdorf was writing codes to maintain his own personal homepage. He wanted his code to be compatible with website forms and databases. He initially called his finished product “Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter.” Rasmus wanted to recruit others to assist in identifying the language’s bugs and accelerate the improvement of the language, so he posted it online. From then on, early adopters took to using PHP to manage their own personal homepages. And then, they began using it in all types of website development.

Because PHP was specifically designed for website development, it has grown over time to master the task. It has just about every tool you could ever need to develop a full site. Think about it in terms of tradesmen.

Let us say your Toyota car engine is having trouble. If you go to see a general autobody car mechanic, he will be able to fix up your car to an average standard. However, he will not be able to do as good of a job as an engine specialist at a Toyota car dealership service garage. PHP is like a website developer specialist, helping you to do not just a good job on your site, but the best. This is why people choose PHP over the other available languages.

PHP Benefits

There is no shortage of benefits when it comes to developing online presences with PHP. A few of these benefits have already been mentioned above as the primary reasons that PHP is so popular today despite the recent tech boom making other languages obsolete. The following section will walk through some major benefits of utilizing PHP, as well as why they outweigh the cons.

Continuously Improving Thanks to Being Open-Source

It is amazing that PHP is open-source because this allows lots of people to work on improving the code simultaneously. Remember when Rasmus posted the first version onto an online forum in 1994? This means that since then, thousands of brilliant minds have touched the raw materials of the code.

As a result, the coding language continues to get more and more useful and high-quality as time passes. In contrast, private tools that have to be paid for often stand stagnant where their original creators left them, and fade into history. Not only does this help weed out errors and make the language itself better; it also ensures that the language remains compatible with the other modern options.

Compatibility

Because PHP is continuously being improved alongside other types of site-developing tools, coders are always working on making the tools compatible. PHP’s compatibility with HTML has already been discussed at length. However, this is not the only way in which the language is superiorly compatible. It is also compatible with:

  • All types of technology, from laptops and desktops to smartphones and tablets;
  • Virtually every browsing program on the market;
  • Popular processors like Apple and Windows; and
  • Many different types of coding text windows.

The versatility of PHP increases its widespread use since it can be used by anyone anywhere. Even if they do not have technology at home, they likely have access to a public library with free computers and the internet. And, this versatility means that you will not have to worry about replacing technology with a different brand, or switching your web browser and having to learn an entirely new coding language.

Scalable and Easy to Maintain

There is no size limit on the text and development that you perform with PHP. Thus, you can start out with a small, one-paged website, and grow it to as many pages as your heart desires, and your broadband allows. Coding with scalable text is important even when you are maintaining a personal blog. When it comes to coding for professional reasons, though, such as running a site for a business, it is pertinent.

As they say in business, if you are not growing, you are slow. Unfortunately, as businesses grow, sometimes, their websites become unable to handle the increased traffic. With PHP, you can constantly be modifying your site to accommodate new products, services, and information.

You can also increase your site’s ability to handle more daily users and more intense communication. And, it is super easy to go in and edit the coding whenever you would like to. Having scalable and easy-to-maintain coding is essential in website development.

Plus, multiple people can edit the same website code so long as they use the same software and login information. Thus, PHP is great for teamwork! Or, as you will learn, it enables you to hire teams to do your development work for you.

Cons and Alternatives

Like everything in life, PHP does have its cons. Some of the cons include the fact that it is not as secure as some other private languages. The open-source nature of PHP means that people know how it works, and how to hack it. That being said, there are still ways to code securely to minimize this risk.

Another con of PHP is that it is less conducive for sites that are heavy on content such as images and videos. It might load slower than some alternatives, and/or take longer to code. Lastly, PHP has fewer error-identifiers and “debuggers” than some other types of languages. Other types of popular languages include:

  • Java;
  • Python;
  • Kotlin;
  • Swift;
  • Go; and
  • C.

These programming languages all have their own pros and cons as well. It is up to you to weigh the benefits and cons of each language against your own unique needs, and choose the option that makes the most sense for you. That being said, PHP is a great first option to experiment with, as it is free and easy to learn. If you do not like it, then you will not have wasted any resources testing it. However, chances are you will love it and continue to use it.

How to Understand if PHP Is Good for Your Project?

Wondering if this coding language is going to be a good option for your upcoming or existing projects? The short answer to this question is that if you are performing website development, then yes—this instrument will be helpful to you! It is used in 80% of sites for a reason. Thanks to its ease, flexibility, and widespread use, there is no limit on the tasks that it will prove helpful for.

If you do not have at least a little bit of previous information technology (IT) experience, then it may be hard for you to pick up PHP overnight. That is why AppKong is here to help! AppKong has a large team of technology experts, many of whom have been taking advantage of PHP since it came out. Whether you already have an online presence that needs a tune-up, or you are starting from scratch, AppKong is here to help.

PHP allows AppKong to give you the biggest bang for your buck since it is fast to write and is extremely compatible with other development techniques and tools.

Conclusions

Now that you know more about what PHP is, as well as the pros and cons of using it, you probably want to try it out. If you are an expert coder, you may as well get on your merry way. However, if you are primarily a business owner, do not waste your valuable time and resources working on your own code. Let AppKong help you!

AppKong can handle all of your PHP coding for you, that way you can focus on improving your business and raking in more revenue. Though hiring AppKong will cost an initial investment, you will save money down the road by utilizing your resources more efficiently and letting experts do your PHP work for you. Fortunately for you, AppKong has packages that work for all sizes of business because it believes that everyone deserves custom webwork.

Reach out to AppKong today to get your PHP site development into motion. Your future self will thank you!

Web Design And Web Development: What’s the Difference?

Designers and developers often work together. Designers offer designs and images that are attractive to guests. The developer then combines all visual elements into one website and ensures that all features work properly. But otherwise, these terms refer to two fundamentally different aspects of the website-building process and require two distinct skill sets. It is important to know the differences when you are looking for someone to develop and design your company’s website.

Website design is the process of creating websites and web designers need to understand the user. Developer – on the contrary, it is a more technical occupation.

web developer - web designer

 

This article will explain the differences between web designers and web developers so that online business owners can better understand each profession.

What role does the web designer play?

Web designer is an artists. His work is often considered a digital piece of art. That’s the basic profile. Your job is to transform ideas into images.

Designers can be consulted on all aspects of website branding, including logo, color palettes, fonts, images, and overall visual experience.

The web designer is not responsible for the functionality of an online shop. Web designers are responsible to create the website’s visual and aesthetic elements.

They also control what users see on their screens, both mobile and desktop. Web designers design the layouts and can help you choose the right colors or fonts for your images.

Their knowledge of UX/UI is a key part of their expertise. They can help you design a landing page or home page that will keep your users coming back to your site, and possibly convert them.

What skills a good web designer should have?

It is not an easy job. You need to be creative, inspired and able to comprehend what your customers want. This requires imagination and creativity, which can sometimes be difficult.

Design requires an in-depth understanding of proportion, whitespace, balance, visual hierarchy, as well as extensive experience with digital media as both a creator or user.

These are the skills that web designers who have been successful:

  • Understanding sales and marketing strategies is key to understanding how they can be translated into design work.
  • Strong basic art knowledge and good aesthetic sense.
  • The ability to recognize the latest design trends and to make informed decisions about when and how to use them.
  • Pure designers should be able to comprehend the basics of the languages used for implementing designs, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

What are the various design tools?

Web designers can use a wide range of design tools. Adobe Creative Suite is the most used. Our AppKong’s designers use these tools, for example:

  • Adobe Photoshop for creating and editing graphics
  • Adobe InDesign for layout and typesetting
  • Adobe Illustrator for creating vector illustrations

There are many other drafting software options, both paid and free. These are some of the most popular:

  • Sketch is a vector drawing and animation program that many app developers use.
  • CorelDraw is a CorelDraw program for photo editing, layout, and typography
  • Adobe XD is used to design website mockups, apps, and content graphics.
  • Affinity Designer is a vector graphics and illustration software
  • Adobe InDesign and Affinity Publisher are available for eBooks, digital magazines, interactive PDFs, posters, and digital marketing magazines.

What is the role and responsibilities of the web developer?

The web developer creates all functionality for the website. Developers write the code that provides the server and browser with all the instructions necessary for the website to function. You can click a button to open a page or retrieve data using an SQL query. This is all part of the daily work of a developer.

The technicians are developers. Web developers can be classified into one of three professional groups depending on their role in building websites and the languages they use.

  • Front-end Developer
  • Backend developer
  • Full-stack developers are rare in their true form.

Let’s take a look at these roles.

Front-end Developer

The user interface developer is also known as the client side developer. The person who stands between a designer, and a backend programmer. Front-end developers created all the visual elements of the websites we see.

Designers work closely with front-end developers. Designers help choose colors, fonts and graphics, and offer guidance on user experience best practices. The front-end developer then applies these elements to bring the website to life. Front-end developers style these mockups to be used as website interfaces. Designers create static images.

The WordPress front-end developer works primarily with the theme of the site and can also create custom themes to meet the client’s requirements.

These programming languages are used by front-end developers:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • JavaScript (JS)

Backend developer

Backend work can only be seen by website visitors as data. This includes a button’s text and post headings. The backend work is responsible only for the data, not the appearance of the website button. The job format of the backend developer is what allows this data to reach the user. Analyze, analyze, change, save.

Back-end developers also manage the user management system. This is where users can be authenticated and data stored. Third-party APIs can be created, which makes it easier to register users.

You can sign up for a newsletter by entering a website. Your email address and name must be entered. The front-end developer and the designer have created a form for you to fill out your information. This information must be stored on the server and can be retrieved later. A backend developer does this.

Back-end developers are responsible for maintaining WordPress’ core code. It is free to download and use. Developers use the WordPress core code as a base and create plugins or theme functions using it.

The most popular backend languages include:

  • PHP
  • Java
  • C#
  • C++
  • SQL
  • Python
  • Ruby

PHP and SQL are the most common languages used in WordPress. JavaScript, a new trend in the WordPress world, is also used more often on the server side to manage WordPress content and display it.

Full Stack Developer

A full stack developer is someone who knows all aspects of a website, both the front-end and back-end. Full-stack developers are not able to build everything. It can be difficult to master and learn even one programming language. Developers often pick one or two programming languages and concentrate on them.

Full-stack developers must also choose a specialty, but he should be able to understand and know all the steps involved in building a website.

Conclusions

Web designers and web developers play very different roles, as you can see. However, they must work together, especially on large-scale projects.

It is crucial to have a high-quality design and front-end as well as back-end work when you are looking for an online business solution that will generate millions of views. A professional agency like AppKong can be your best option if you dont have have any development or design team that could help you build and scale your projects.

Steps of Web Portal Development Process

A web portal is a web-based interface that allows various participants in a business to access data according to their requirements and positions. An institution’s data and information traffic may be better handled with increased efficiency using a web portal.

Creating a web gateway reduces reliance on traditional means of transmitting critical information, such as phone calls, faxes, and even emails. Depending on the objectives you want to achieve, several iterations of portals can be developed to serve your specific functions, spanning varieties like customer portals, vendor portals, partner/associate portals, affiliate portals, and more.

Although the terms “website” and “web portal” are sometimes used interchangeably, there are important distinctions. Building a web portal differs from developing a website.

We will talk about developing web portals, as well as varying types of web portals, to understand not just their purpose but also the potential applications for a variety of users.

What Are the Types of Web Portals

There are several types of web portals with different purposes. Each purpose defines how we build web portal functionality and the result. Let’s talk about the most recurring portals:

eCommerce portal

B2B and B2C eCommerce portals are created to make interaction and payments between merchants and buyers easier and faster. These portals are sales, marketing, and customer/client support tools. They are incorporated into the company’s digital infrastructure and supply chain process.

B2C portal
B2C portals are popular and quite common. In contrast with simple online stores where customers can browse the product categories, buy something, and go, B2C portals give users more features to promote customer retention and improve the user experience.

The extra features include e-Wallets, offers, discounts, an account to manage aspects like rewards and order history, among other eCommerce-oriented tools.

B2B portal
A B2B eCommerce portal is a self-service portal that allows businesses to purchase and buy items while also managing connections with suppliers and associates. Wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and other firms wanting to minimize costs, improve the purchase process, and boost efficiency are increasingly turning to vendor and partner portals.

Health/hospital portals

eHealth portals for patients and physicians have had a significant impact on healthcare performance, particularly in terms of patients’ satisfaction and outcomes.

Patients can use patient web portals to gain safe access to their data, including test results, medical history, appointments, and more. It also enables connection and communication with healthcare practitioners such as physicians, clinics, and hospitals. Making appointments, checking medical history, communicating, and refilling prescriptions are the most prevalent patient portal services.

Doctor portals serve as an online hub for medical practitioners to access vital information about their patients and business functions. It is frequently combined with web EHR (EMR) and practice management systems as part of a wider healthcare management system.

Finance/banking portal

Banking portals are some of the most commonly used portals these days. They provide users with an account to manage their banking services and facilitate fast and efficient transactions. The portals may be made in different ways to cater to different parties in the financial business.

For instance, investors and brokers have their own portals for tracking the markets, news, and analysis.

Student portals

Student portals are among the most common web portals used in online learning. Colleges and universities use them to offer students important information regarding curriculum and academic programs and assist them in organizing the educational experience and monitoring their progress.

Employee portals

Employee portals allow employees to quickly access employment information (such as skills training, calendars, and process data), as well as project management and collaboration tools. B2E portals, like other forms of web portals, are often incorporated into a company’s infrastructure and, in some situations, are only accessible through private corporate networks.

Community portal

Community portals are not all the same but are built with the same intent for different purposes. They can organize the community, inform members of crucial developments, manage assets, and more.

Public/government portal

Across the world, governments have transitioned from using paper processing to offer services or enable access to public resources. They can be used for accessing and interacting with essential information like employment, taxation, law, immigration, and more.

Common Features Included in Web Portal Design

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it contains features that are often part of the web portal development process regarding design.

Personalization

Personalization is critical to the web portal’s effectiveness and the delivery of pertinent information to users. Personalization enables users to view just the information that they require in a web portal when access is restricted according to their function.

Navigation

Any program, including a web portal, has to have intuitive or easy-to-use navigation. By including this functionality in your web portal development, you can encourage individuals to interact with the portal more frequently by making it simple to understand.

Notifications

Push notifications act as reminders that show up on a user’s desktop without opening up the portal and checking constantly. It assists the user in receiving or knowing about the most recent changes or information given in the web portal while the user is not actively using it.

Responsiveness

The web portal should be able to respond to changes in the environment. The user may not utilize it if it takes too long to load. It should be fast and easy to use. This isn’t a fad but a requirement in any portal.

Step-by-step process for Web Portal Development

As we have seen from the types of web portals available, what they can do, and why they’re built, it is time to talk about how to develop a web portal. In the development world, templates work just fine, but only up to a point. Developers are well-placed to remove these limitations.

When building a portal, we have an exhaustive process that can be condensed into the following steps:

Web portal planning

Like any other development process, we start by planning out the project. The process has to consider several crucial things to properly cater to the target audience and serve the objectives for which the portal is built.

In our planning stages of how to create a portal website, we consider:

The primary purpose of the portal

It is critical to analyze the underlying problem and fix it for your web portal to deliver the most value and achieve its purpose. While your motivation for developing or purchasing a gateway may arise from a specific problem, this is likely a side consequence of a larger problem.

When dealing with this ‘symptom’ on its own, you wind up with an inflexible solution that may have trouble merging with other components or operations.

Delving to the root of the problem allows you to see what other aspects of your company are affected. This increased visibility will enable you to develop functionality encompassing the whole problem, lowering the danger of neglecting any associated challenges.

The desired outcomes

Setting goals is a crucial part of creating a successful web portal. Ultimately, your solution’s results should be in line with your goals. You want to be as straightforward as possible when establishing your build goals, comparable to how you would achieve those goals for your organization.

First, identify the essential measures that will be used to assess the project’s performance. Using quantifiable qualities ensures that your solution directly tackles challenges.

The audience

Polling users is a great way to find out what they expect to use frequently, to form a baseline of features and functionalities to include. It’s crucial to remember that not all of your users will require the same features from your online portal. Take notice of these distinctions to ensure that your functionality is accessible to your whole user base.

Potential integrations

A major benefit of using online portals is combining data from many sources. The smartest approaches take into account essential systems and your whole data landscape.

Mapping all of your company’s current legacy systems, apps, data warehouses, and technologies will aid in determining integration needs beforehand.

Web portal architecture

At this point, we have learned how to make a portal site through careful planning and determined your business and technical needs. After that, we detail the high-level and low-level portal design stages.
An overview of high-level and low-level portal architecture
The high-level portal design explains the system’s architecture and the foundation for the solution’s low-level design. Furthermore, the high-level design must explain a logical architecture that fits the specified business and technological requirements.

The logical architecture is divided into sections based on the different applications that make up the system and how users interact with it.

The high-level design is the initial iteration of an architectural strategy to satisfy business and technological needs. The high-level design considers issues like:

  • Is the suggested architecture capable of meeting both commercial and technological needs?
  • Is there any way to improve this design?
  • What is the system’s physical structure?
  • What is the relationship between the components and their interconnection?
  • What is the logical definition of the various kinds of users and the systems and applications they have access to?
  • Are there any other architectures that could achieve this?
  • Is there room in the architecture for more hardware to be added to the system as web traffic grows over time?

The low-level design specifies the methods and standards we’ll use to develop the portal as well as the solution’s actual hardware and software components, such as:

  • The portal complex’s connection to the “outside world.” We also look at security concerns, protocols, bandwidth, and links to other programs or external sites.
  • User interfaces, content presentation and categorization, data sources, feeds, and all parts of the information architecture.
  • Organizational, sub-organizational, role, group, and user strategy and design crucial to long-term success.
  • The portal’s integration approach, including how it works as a hub for aggregating and integrating different types of data and bringing people together in innovative ways.

In simple terms, this level entails laying out the design of things like a contact form, a search bar, fonts, images, colors, and more.

Web portal development

Developers concentrate on creating a web-based platform that consumers may utilize to control various functionalities as needed. There are several tools and platforms used in the development of portal solutions and apps, including:

  • MySQL (SQL), Cassandra (NoSQL), Oracle (SQL), and AWS are examples of databases (cloud).
  • Amazon Kinesis, Azure Stream Analytics, and RabbitMQ are examples of real-time data processing solutions.
  • Back-end technologies like Node.js, Python, and.NET are supported by cloud platforms like AWS, Rackspace, and Digital Ocean.
  • Mobile platforms such as IOS, Android, Flutter, and Cordova.
  • Front-end technologies such as HTML5, Meteor, and Angular CMSs such as WordPress, Magento, and Salesforce

Your needs and our previous experience developing effective portals will determine the tool or platforms we work with. Our development focuses on proper UI & UX, image placement, optimizing for all devices, intuitive navigation, offering relevant information, and more.

Testing

Testing and maintenance are the last stages of the web portal creation process. Testing aids in the detection of flaws created during the development phase. Conducting a variety of Quality Assurance tests helps to work out minor flaws and faults, resulting in bug-free portals.

Load testing, software testing, integration testing, and other tests can be performed while building a web portal. These tests will determine whether or not your portal is ready to go live and be used.

Before launching a web portal, we do:

  • Documentation testing. The process reviews the documents provided to see the final layout of the site and make plans for further tests.
  • Functionality testing. Functional testing ensures that each website feature works as expected according to the required definition. Testing the operation of the website demonstrates “What the system does.” It focuses on checking things like:
  • Testing links – Outbound links, internal links, self-referencing links, email links, pages referenced, and broken links.
  • Forms testing – Forms are used to interact with users and should be checked for input data validity, allows values for the field, invalid inputs for the field, and option for deleting or modifying form data where applicable.
  • Cookies testing – We test the portal when it has enabled and disabled cookies, verify cookie encryption before writing it on the user’s machine, check security aspects when cookies are removed, and check cookies with a duration of action on whether they are active for the time indicated.
  • HTML/CSS Validation – This phase tests HTML syntax issues, verifies the portal is visible to search engine users, and makes sure the page has an accurate map in HTML and XML format.
  • User experience (UX) usability testing. Usability aims to check that the portal works as intended by availing it to test users who will look at navigation and content, for the most part. For more usability evaluation, check if the portal is understandable and convenient, what impression it may leave on a user, and if it has bloat that needs removing.
  • UI (User Interface) testing. User interface tests to ensure that the graphic user interface achieves the intended effect on the users. We check to ensure that it complies with the best practices, the design elements (layout, font, text, label, colors, font size, buttons, captions, icons, links, etc.) serve the portal, and that different screen resolutions display the portal properly across tablets, PCs, and smartphones.
  • Compatibility testing. Compatibility testing checks for software and hardware configurations, including operating systems, browsers, and databases. This phase includes cross-platform, cross-browser, database, and printing compatibility checks.
  • Performance testing. Performance testing checks how responsive and stable a portal is under various loads. The portals undergo stress, load, stability, volume, concurrency, endurance, page load speed testing.
  • Security testing. Security testing focuses on the surfaces exposed to find and fix every vulnerability that may lead to leaking personal data. For this, testers do penetration testing and vulnerability testing to try and breach the site to identify any cracks.
  • Change-related testing. After all the testing mentioned above, changes to found bugs may not stick and may produce new problems. To hedge against the damage this could cause, the developers do re-testing (confirming fixes) and regression testing (checking for new defects).
  • Mobile-friendliness testing. More people use their mobile devices to check things online than use PCs. For that reason, the portal has to be optimized to work as fast and efficiently as possible on mobile devices. The experience must be checked to ensure that it does not have limitations or cut features and conveniences that PC users enjoy.
  • Beta testing. Beta testing means availing the portal to users who are not part of your team to evaluate it for weaknesses that your team members may not have noticed. It also allows the developers to get feedback on what may need changing in the portal to ensure that when it gets to the users, they have the intended experience.

Web portal management

When it comes to web portals, you can opt to pay a third party to do it for you. However, if you do it yourself or use an in-house team, you’ll need to know a few things about managing web portals.

Let’s go through some of them for your checklist of how to make a web portal work for you.

Choose a favorable solution
Ideally, you want a solution to give you a custom experience tailored to your specific needs. Customization allows a business not to compromise on its processes, customer engagement, or stated objectives since it creates a portal that follows your requirements, with the ability to change to accommodate its own evolution over time.

Ensure you have drag and drop functions
Drag and drop functions allow you to manage the items in the web portal with simple clicks. Changing elements to fit a specific layout require only drag & drop. The function allows the dragging of any CRM field to a form, using point and click editing tools.

Page templates
Page templates allow the admin to apply styles and branding on all pages easily. It also allows for the creation and addition of widgets and other elements to a page, using very little time from start to finish.

Permissions
Security is a big part of the process, so permissions and roles have to be clearly defined from the beginning. For easy management of authentication and data access, use tools like dynamics CRM and Dynamics 365 to control which contacts can see the information and what information it is.

The appropriate tools can also allow you to reset passwords when an account seems suspicious, define user names, define security roles and apply changes to specific pages or individual page elements in the portal.

Forms
Creating and editing forms is a significant aspect of web portal management. Ideally, you should have a drag & drop function to create new forms for purposes like facilitating the creation of user profiles. You should have easy control over the layout and field placements on the forms. The fields on the form and items should also be easy to add or remove.

eCommerce
If the portal is intended for business, adding capabilities like payment gateways is crucial. Along with that, you should build pages for the checkout and product listings. For commerce, you need to define shipping options, automatically calculate the shipping costs calculation and configure payment choices with payment processors.

Final Thoughts

The process is undoubtedly a long one with many challenges to overcome. When followed correctly and by professionals, the process should be helpful and serve to expand the portal’s usefulness.

If your KPIs and criteria are met, you can expand the portal’s user base and track performance in real-time. Working with a good portal application development firm may help you design a portal that runs well without losing time, money, or damaging your user reputation.

When it comes to developing web portals, we recommend using the services of professional developers with the experience to get it right.

How to Build the Best Corporate Website

You have probably come across the phrase “the future is online” several times. Online presence is becoming a necessity to business owners who want to remain relevant as competition intensifies. Although a few businesses choose not to go online, approximately 90% are choosing this route.

Corporate websites were initially used to convey information about the company. Today, it’s different. These websites are used to educate, engage and make conversions from potential customers. To achieve that, building a corporate website that is appealing and highly responsive is critical.

Why Do You Need a Corporate Website?

Some business owners solely use social media to create an online presence for their businesses. The method is effective, especially when yours is a small entity or start-up. The method also has limitations because most people still believe in business websites, especially now that online scammers have also taken advantage of the online boom.

Functions of a Corporate Website

Here are some of the reasons a corporate website is important:

Helps in Boosting Your Credibility
When other people are focusing on creating social media profiles, you can build a corporate website and then connect it with your socials. This way, you will make a great impression on anyone interested in your goods or services.

Most online shoppers have more confidence in a business with a corporate website. They feel safe transacting with you, and it is easy for a person who doesn’t know you to purchase from your company.

It is Your 24/7 Marketing Tool
With a corporate website, you reduce your marketing costs significantly. Why? Because your site works as your marketing tool without rest. So, whether your business is open or is past operating hours, it remains visible to website visitors.

People can make inquiries at any time of the day, and you have flexibility to respond to them during office hours.

Branding
Potential customers have to be reminded about your business. You can clearly establish what you stand for and show who you are by having a corporate website. When potential customers understand what you represent, they will likely buy from you.

Business branding sets you apart from your competitors. With a professionally designed website, customers can always relate to your brand.

Information Gathering
A corporate website can help you gather information about your clients. Where does your traffic mostly come from? What is the age bracket that is most interested in your business? With such data, you can provide better support to your clients.

Other websites, like the sales-oriented ones, focus on driving traffic and promoting goods and services. They feel more “salesy” and have limited information about the business.

How to Build a Good Corporate Website

When considering a corporate website development, you have to consider several factors that will help make the site a valuable tool for your business. Here is how to build a good corporate website that represents your brand:

Consider Your Target Audience Needs

Of course, you will not be building a website for your needs. You already have the goods/ services and want people to know about what you are offering. Understanding your target audience’s needs is the fastest way of identifying them.

But how do you do that? By being specific on whom you want to serve. Sometimes, it seems easy to identify an audience until it is time to create an avatar. That is when you feel as if you want to target everyone.

When deciding how to build company website, your primary focus should be your target audience. Creating a list of as many questions as possible becomes handy. For example, is my audience interested in my business’s news or its growth trajectory? What age bracket I’m I interested in? Once you have answered most of these questions, you will be ready to reach them successfully.

By narrowing down, you do not feel overwhelmed about wanting everyone to visit your site. It means you have a specific group you prioritize, but still welcome others to do business with you.

Targeting can be challenging when done alone, which is why it is recommendable to let your marketing personnel help you. If you are a sole trader, you can consider requesting the corporate website development professionals designing your website to help you narrow down. They do this a lot and have built processes that help their clients identify such groups.

Website as Part of Corporate Culture

A business website helps you remain relevant, especially when competing with other online business owners. However, you should view your website as a multipurpose tool that helps you attract potential customers and convert them into leads.

So, when choosing how to build website, you should cut the obsession with brand promotion. This concept was used in the early days, and using it in today’s robust and informed audience, will make you fail terribly.

Use your corporate website to engage with your audience. They are interested in knowing what you have to offer them and not your brand’s superiority. Otherwise, your business becomes irrelevant to them and resorts to finding alternatives from review sites or even social media!

Also, corporates get websites to build trust with their potential clients even when they do not visit a physical store/office. For this reason, you should consider hiring reputable website builders to help you design and develop a professional-looking website. Make your first impression count.

Modern and Functional Design

Another challenging part of this process is how to design a corporate website. Why is this part challenging? Because you don’t just pick a design and run it. Website designers gradually improve their skills to keep up with the web browsers’ requirements.

To some extent, a web design affects your Search Engine Optimization. Sites that have malfunctioning designs are penalized by the browsers. Usually, malfunctioning designs are slow, which means penalties will prevent them from ranking. This is bad since potential customers will not discover your business.

Besides getting penalized by the browsers, internet users are also not interested in malfunctioning web designs. They leave such pages because they feel it’s a waste of their time. It creates a bad impression that can hurt your business. If you can’t invest in a functional design, how can people trust the quality of goods or services you are offering them?

Also, your website’s design should look modern and appealing. You can achieve it by having beautiful colours, graphics, and fonts. This way, your online visitors will easily remember your site when they decide to come back for business.

Let your website represent your business. Ensure it resonates with modern era clients. People are appreciating beautiful and minimalistic designs. This preference is so because they can get all the business information within a few scrolls, rather than browsing through bulk pages before getting what they want.

Simple and Convenient Functionality

Once you have your website design, a back-end developer has to ensure the technical part is working. You can have a beautiful design, but loading becomes a problem. Your visitors should not feel like they have a problem with their gadgets because they receive broken images or incomplete pages when visiting your site.

So, regardless of the gadget your visitors are using, they should access your site. It creates a great user experience and provides convenience. It also means that people can decide to do business with you from wherever they are. Otherwise, limiting your website’s functionality to specific devices means limiting your business leads.

Unique and Useful Content

Once you are done with dealing with how to build a website for a company, and it has gone live, you need to give it regular maintenance. Simple and basic maintenance is by creating unique and valuable content.

Be careful about the type of content you put for your visitors. You don’t want to bore them to death and have them leave before they know about your business. Provide mind-provoking and fresh content that makes them want to stay and scroll through your site.

The worst mistake you can make is providing your visitors with duplicate content. So, if you are hiring a team or an independent contractor to help you create content, ensure they understand the consequences of plagiarizing. There is also a penalty by web browsers for such.

Content can also help in driving organic traffic to your corporate website. This is where you find your customers. To get this traffic, you can have keywords incorporated in your content for what you want your website ranked. Be careful, though, not to lose the relevance of your content by overstaffing it with the keywords.

Testimonials and customer reviews also count as helpful content. Whenever you deliver to a customer, encourage them to leave a review. Potential customers love this type of information as it helps them in deciding whether to do business with you or not.

Safety

Your website visitors definitely need to feel safe. Online website security is mainly determined by the hosting company you choose. So, it is important to be keen on the hosting provider you are considering. You do not want to expose your clients’ information to online phishers. A strong Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is vital for this protection.

Also, you should consider your company’s security as you take care of your customer information. A Secure File Protocol (SFP) helps you transfer your business files safely without getting stolen. Your host should also provide you with daily backups for your server to ensure your business continues operating in case of data loss.

Besides having these security measures, your hosting company should also have regular security maintenance. It prevents malicious activities from slipping into your corporate website and catches them on time if any has successfully breached the security protocol.

Boost your business today by building a corporate website for it. When ready to expand your reach, we will be prepared to help you grow. At Appkong, we understand different business needs and can advise you on a website design that will help you increase your conversion rates.

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