Amfas Tech | Technology, Blogging & Internet Marketing: Web Development

6 Tips To Improve Your Website And Make It Stand Out

Keeping your website fresh and up to date with current trends and technologies is essential for your search engine ranking and UX. If you don’t pay enough attention to your website’s design and functionality, a high bounce rate is an inevitable outcome, and your conversion rates will drop immensely. If this is the kind of situation you are facing, then it’s time to implement some changes and test them out. Here are 6 tips on how you could do that.

 

6-tips-for-creative-web-design

 

1. Use quality images

It is always a good idea to refresh your site with a set of new and quality images that give the wanted mood to your website. Rotating images on your website is a good way to make sure that your users are returning, as well as that your new visitors have a good first impression of your website. In order to have a perfect user experience, you should avoid generic stock photography, and use images that convey your own services and products in a sincere way that will increase brand loyalty. Keep in mind that your images need to be optimized in format and size, so that your website’s performance is unaffected. There are various image optimization plugins that can help you do this.

 

2. Make attractive CTAs

The visual cues on your website are important, since they help your users determine and find what they are looking for. Coloring is essential, and bold and unexpected color moments are bound to bring attention to where it’s due. Mark your calls to action with appropriate action words in order to make sure that your users know exactly what they will achieve by clicking on them. They should include verbs that invite them to take a wanted action, and they should be called to do it right away. Keep in mind the psychology of color and the words that you use, in order to incorporate the appropriate psychological triggers for your visitors to identify with your website’s content.

 

3. Use customer testimonials to your advantage

Customer testimonials are a kind of social proof of your competence and the quality of your products. Presenting this form of trust signals on your website is a good way to increase conversions on your sales, because it gives your brand a more favorable perception. The customers’ patience for sleazy marketing tricks is really low, so building trust with your customer base in a constructive way is extremely important. A large number of satisfied customers has a substantial influence, so make sure that you incorporate testimonials and reviews from your most loyal customers on various sections of your website: your product pages, landing pages, pricing pages and your home page.

 

4. Take care of your 404 errors

If not a warrant for a search engine penalty, landing on a non-existing page is a certain path to throwing away your visitors. Next to slow loading speed, there’s nothing worse than piquing your user’s interest with content, only for them to face a 404 error instead of what they were looking for. The problem with 404 errors is that they aren’t always your fault. It happens that pages change and URLs shift, and often you don’t even know that it happened. You need to optimize your 404 pages, or you can use some of the existing plugins that help you check for broken links and fix them right away.

 

5. Use WordPress

It is essential that you incorporate a good CMS for your website. WordPress is often recommended as the best solution, as it is very SEO-friendly due to a good semantic markup, and comes with a lot of customization options and plugins, which can help improve your website’s appearance and functionality. A good plugin you should try out is WordPress SEO by Yoast, which includes a complete website optimization package, allowing you to add open graph meta data, publish XML sitemap, do page analysis and more. Another one is W3 Total Cache, which optimizes your website’s speed and performance with browser caching and compresses pages for faster downloading.

 

6. Pay attention to detail

One of the most basic tips is to check your website’s content for improvements and pay attention to the smallest of details.Go through your website’s content and implement some on-page optimization methods, like writing meta-descriptions for your pages, adding alt and title tags to your images, using appropriate headings and subheadings, performing keyword analysis, etc. Paying attention to such details can go a long way.

 

In the end, it’s important that you test the improvements and tweaks to your website, and always make sure you’re ahead of what your users expect from you. A properly designed website is both pleasant to the eye and at its best functionality. Make sure to never focus on one aspect at the price of another, and you’ll be good to go.

 


Author Bio:

Steven Clarke is a web entrepreneur and a business consultant. Whenever he gets the time, he likes to write about his ideas and share them with the world. He is currently advising WordPress Development companies from Sydney. You can find him on Twitter.

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Breathe New Life To Your Website By Using Animations

We are starting to see more and more animation being used in web design. One of the best advice one can get when it comes to using animation on their websites is moderation. Simple and small animations can be fun and engaging and when done right, the average user might not even notice them. This is considered to be the holy grail of animation use as they should be a part of a good design flow and not a hindrance or an eye sore.

 

What makes animation so useful in today’s web design trends is the effect of realism they provide. Most websites rely on flat, minimal design style, so the average user needs more visual cues in order to fully understand how to use the website. Simple animation is used to direct the user to a certain part of the website without drastically changing the overall aesthetic of the website. They should provide clear instructions and order to types of design that are too visually simple to be able to provide sufficient direction for the users.

 

html5-animation-with-WebDesign

 

When should animation be used?

The primary goal for animation use must always be the increase in usability. Small bits of animation can be an excellent tool for providing the user with additional contexts, such as what a specific button does or where to head next on the website. They should highlight the specific action available to the user and create an overall flow to the way a website is used. Of course, usability isn’t the only reason for using animations. They can be used to embellish and decorate the content provided on the website, help tells a specific story or simply invoke an emotional response from the visitor.

 

Small vs. Large animations

Small animations should be looked at as bits and pieces the users discovers when they interact with your website. Whether it’s a simple hover animation, usability guide or an ornament, they should accent the overall look and feel of the website and not be the emphasis of the design. Larger animations have a scale to them. They fill most of the screen and often have the characteristics of a short clip or a movie. They should be used as the main focus of the overall design where the user doesn’t have to perform an action in order to see the actual animation.

 

Loading animations

This is one of the oldest use for animations. Their sole purpose is to distract the average user from long loading times. Even a short loading animation can add some sophistication, or simply entertain the user during the wait. They are very popular for use in flat and minimal designs, sites that have only one page and portfolios. But you need to remember, best loading animations are the simplest ones. If you ever need to use additional audio and visual effects, make sure they match the overall “personality” of your website.

 

Non-scrolling menus and navigation

One of the recent trends used by web designers to save screen space is hiding the navigation menus. They remain hidden until the users hover their mouse over the button or actually click it. The most used example is the “hamburger icon”, or the three small horizontal lines stacked on each other which hide the navigation portion of the website. The recommended animation for this kind of menus is either the pop-out or a simple slide in and out of the picture. These aren’t the only options, of course, designers also use sticky bars and sliders to make the transition animation of the navigation elements look familiar, but fresh at the same time.

 

Hover animations

Hover animations are the most used form of navigation in today’s web design. This is mostly due to their practicality, as they familiarize the user with all the interactive elements of the website. Most often, hover animations are the only visual key that a part of the text, a button or a sign are in fact clickable. If the user is unsure how certain elements function, chances are they’ll hover their mouse over that specific element anyway, which makes this kind of animations very intuitive and natural to use.

 

Animated galleries and slideshow

Gallery and slideshow animals are often misused and poorly executed, despite being used literally everywhere. This is due to two main reasons, with one of them being the extent of animation used for such a simple matter, i.e. overly complicated design. The other is messing around with the rate at which the images change and giving your site that “rushed” and unfinished feel. The actual design should always be minimal, with the average time for showing each picture never being shorter than 5 seconds and longer than 8-9 seconds.

 

Scrolling animations and page motion

Scrolling animations give the user some form of control over the way they consume content by dictating the pace at which they consume it. The key to having a great scrolling navigation, whether it’s short or long, is the quality of used animation. If the user has to scroll for a longer period of time, then chances are they could get bored at some point, or simply lose focus. This is where scrolling animations come into play and the web designer must use them to entertain the user using an interactive element during the scrolling process. Page motion is mostly used to make the site a little more enjoyable and interesting, they don’t have too many practical benefits.

 

When it comes to using animations on your website, make sure you remember that good animation should always enhance the user experience. Whether it’s by helping them understand what each part of the website does, guiding them through the content or simply eliciting an emotional response. Animation needs to have a concrete purpose, which should always be to breathe life into otherwise flat and two-dimensional design. Animation is becoming a standard for a large variety of applications, websites and marketing strategies and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Be moderate with their use, make sure you know why you are using them and always make sure they are there to provide the visitors with the best user experience possible.

 

Author Bio

John Stone is a web entrepreneur and SEO Consultant. Through years of experience, he became a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur. He currently advises companies about Web Design in Sydney. You can find him on Twitter.

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Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate for my E-Commerce Store?

If you are one of those who is planning to launch an e-commerce website, then you already might have heard the term "SSL" a dozen times. And as I guessed you might be confused since you are not familiar with the term and several questions like what is it, how does it work, why is it so crucial, and blah blah blah might be going on your mind.

 

Relax, that is why we are posting this article. SSL initially may seem as a complicated topic but once you understand what exactly it is and why you need it, it doesn't seem any more like rocket science.

 

So let's start with an introduction to SSL, why you need it, and how you can get one for your store. By the end of this article, your confusion should be gone.

 

What is an SSL and What Does it Stand for?

First of all, SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it is also sometimes called as Transport Layer Security (TLS). SSL is a protocol used to protect sensitive information to be private. It basically establishes an encrypted connection between the web browser and server by exchanging a symmetric key.

 

ssl

 

Every message that transmits should pass the internal inspection for the uprightness of this encryption before it works. And by any chance, if the check fails, the encrypted information will be safe. We use SSL almost every day when we browse sites like LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and other e-commerce stores like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. The encryption used restricts hackers and eavesdroppers who steal sensitive information like credit cards or user credentials.

 

How Important is SSL to Websites?

Any website which wants to secure its transaction details, it will have to acquire an SSL certificate for that domain. The SSL certificate utilizes the encryption to all the website activities from page and form submissions and product pages to financial transactions. Hence, this restricts hackers from stealing your valuable data and other such attacks.

 

SSL for E-Commerce Websites

Because of its data protection nature, SSL is extensively used by almost every e-commerce store which collects customers' private and payment-related information. There are 2 main reasons behind the usage of SSL certificates

 

Data Protection

The very first reason for using SSL certificates is to keep sensitive information safe by sending them with an encrypted connection. Usually, e-commerce websites need customers' private information like user credentials, credit or debit card details for payment, etc. which could easily be stolen by thieves during it is sent by the customer to the server or the other way around if there are no encryption methods employed.

It is completely your responsibility to keep your customers' information safe and confidential. By utilizing an SSL certificate to enable SSL encryption not only makes your website's data but also your customers' private information well encrypted and thus becomes unreadable to anybody to steal your data.

 

Customers' Loyalty

The security of the private information especially credit or debit card details has always been the biggest concern of e-shopping customers because of the hacks and identity thefts happen every day. Consequently, customers are being quite careful while making online purchases which ultimately leads to the sales of your e-commerce store. If you are not able to convince your customers that their payment-related information is protected, then how can you expect them to trust you and buy products from your e-store?

 

With SSL enabled, your customers will feel a sense of protection and thus end up coming back to your website for future purchases.

 

How to Know if a Website Uses SSL?

There are 3 instant ways to find whether a website has an SSL certificate or not.

 

1. Look for a green colored "lock" icon in the address bar

2. The website URL starts with "https" instead of "http"

3. You can also check using SSL Installation Checker tool

 

Depending on the usage of SSL by a website, the above points may not be applicable to every page. Earlier, this wasn't the scenario. The Internet Standard was that the SSL certificates were limited to domains or certain pages where private information like payment-related data is sent or received.

 

But, when in 2014 Google announced that as the website security is a top priority for them that is why they had started using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Which means that a website having an SSL certificate had a greater opportunity at ranking higher for a search compared to the website not having one.

 

This has changed the whole picture of having an SSL certificate. Instead of securing just one page, store owners have started encrypting their websites with full SSL certificates, replacing their URLs from "HTTP" to "HTTPS."

 

How to Know if You Need an SSL Certificate for Your Store?

Well, by now you might have understood the need and importance of an SSL certificate for an e-commerce store. But, how to know if your store needs one? It's simple if your website doesn't require any kind of sensitive data then you may not really need one. Because the only thing that excludes store owners from having SSL certificates is the usage of offsite payment processors like PayPal.

 

If someone or you making a payment through PayPal then PayPal is responsible for keeping your financial data secure and safe. In such scenarios, you don't need an SSL because the information is never stored in your database for someone else to steal it.

Usually, offsite payment processors often have their own security systems and methods to safely process the transactions. Hence you don't need an SSL because they will have it covered.

 

Another scenario is if you don't allow your customers to create accounts (no username & no password) of any kind on your website then in that case too you wouldn't be needing an SSL. Which means unless you disable this account functionality on your website, you will need an SSL certificate to secure those accounts.

 

How to Get an SSL Certificate?

Well, there are lots and lots of websites who provide SSL certificates within no time. Some of the popular ones are GeoTrust, Comodo SSL and RapidSSL, There are different plans and pricing for certificates so before you purchase one , spend a few minutes correctly choosing the one you need.

 

To protect your customers' data and expand your business, it is extremely important to use an SSL certificate. As there are many providers of SSL, we recommend you to choose a reliable web host at an affordable price.

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Get 50% OFF on Tesla Themes

Tesla discounts are here!!

 

Telsa, the website theme cart website offers 50% OFF on all themes on the occasion of their 3rd anniversary.

 

Tesla themes are neatly designed, SEO optimized, responsive and fast loading. There are whole 50+ templates on the website to grab from.

 

If you are a blogger or an internet marketer, this is time to grab a few wonderful themes with 50% anniversary discount. This offer can be claimed till 31st of May of 2016.

 

3 years tesla

 

The popular themes on Tesla like Megalith, Hotelia, Narcos, E-Event, Daily Post are even available for 50% cut off prices.

 

How to buy Tesla Themes for 50% Off

Go to TelsaThemes.com and search for your favorite theme. Enter the following coupon code while checking out. The offer will then be applied to your cart price and the total price will be shown. Checkout paying the half amount shown.

 

Coupon Code: TESLA3YEAR

 

Note: This offer will be valid till 31st of May 2016. If Tesla Themes extends this offer, we’ll let you know.

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How to Install Xamarin to Microsoft Visual Studio

The announcement of third-party mobile application development platform, Xamarin as open source is buzzing around the .NET developer forums and discussion boards now.

This mobile application development platform can be used integrating with the Visual Studio IDE of Microsoft for free now. There won’t be any trial period to expire or it won’t ask for commercial license to continue in any future. All you would need to have is the latest version of genuine licensed Visual Studio IDE software installed on your computer.

Installation of Xamarin will be executed in three phases. They are,

1. Installation of Java JDK
2. Installation of Android SDK
3. Installation of Xamarin libraries

1. Installation of Java JDK

In this phase the Xamarin installer will download and install the latest version of the Java JDK which is needed for the Android app development.

Java is platform independent and it will be installed with out any intermediator interpreters on Windows.

2. Installation of Android SDK

Installation of Android SDK is the 2nd phase of installing Xamarin to Visual Studio. Android development is all managed by this Android SDK from Google. To develop the android apps with Java, you would need to download and install complete android studio but as we are aiming to develop the android apps using .NET technologies like C# and F#, we only need the core layer, the Android SDK.

installing-android-sdk-platform-6

This android SDK will integrate into the Visual Studio allowing us to develop right from the VS IDE itself. This is another reason why Android SDK don’t need another IDE (android studio) for developer interface coding.

3. Installation of Xamarin libraries

Xamarin acts as intermediator interpreter for .NET technologies C#/F# and Java. The coding conventions of .NET will be translated into Java native coding using the Xamarin libraries. This is the third and last phase of installing Xamarin to Visual Studio IDE.

Let the Xamarin installer install the libraries needed for the integration with Visual Studio.

After installation, open Visual Studio > File > New Project. You would find the Android and iOS project options to continue. Go to Xamarin University and learn how to program with Xamarin on Visual Studio with .NET technologies.

That’s it! Enjoy Android and iOS app development from Visual Studio.
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Xamarin is Open Source Now; Available Free for Visual Studio

Xamarin, the third party .NET app development platform for Visual Studio announced as open source platform which now will be available for free for Visual Studio. The Microsoft has acquired this company recently to bring the better and flexible development options for the .NET developers.

 

Xamarin provides the rich mobile development offering that enables developers to build mobile apps using the C# technology to deliver the native mobile app experience on major devices like Android, iOS and Windows Phone. This development add on for Visual Studio had been released as a commercial version by the company before merging into Microsoft. After signing the acquiring contract, Microsoft announced this leading mobile development platform as open source for the commercial license holders of .NET development environment, Visual Studio.

 

Xamarin has 15,000 customers in 120 countries which includes 500 fortune companies and 1.3 individual developers who have taken advantage of this offering.

 

Microsoft has longstanding partnership with Xamarin in building the integration with Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobile Suite to provide developers with an end-to-end workflow for native, secure, app cross platforms.

 

Xamarin-logo

In this regard, Nat Friedman of Xamarin writes in their blog about making Xamarin an open source.

 

On March 18th, 2016, Microsoft’s acquisition of Xamarin officially closed.

 

We love C# and we want every developer to be able to take advantage of the power of .NET in every app, on every device. Being part of Microsoft makes it possible for us to do some incredible things, and today we are announcing several big changes to the way we ship our products.  -Nat Friedman

 

With this announcement, Xamarin will be included in every edition of Visual Studio including free developers edition. With this integrated, an average .NET developer can develop native apps using C# and F# technologies for Android, iOS along with Windows without any app size restrictions.

 

“So we are announcing today that we have contributed the Mono Project to the .NET Foundation, including some previously-proprietary mobile-specific improvements to the Mono runtime. Mono will also be re-released under the MIT License, to enable an even broader set of uses for everyone. In addition, to help clarify users’ rights to Mono under Microsoft patents, Microsoft has issued a broad patent promise for Mono. Miguel has posted more details to the Mono Project blog.

 

These changes to Mono remove all barriers to adopting a modern, performant .NET runtime in any software product, embedded device, or game engine, and open the door to easily integrate C# with apps and games on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and any emerging platforms developers want to target in the future

 

But wait, there’s more!

 

In addition to these important steps, we are announcing today our commitment to open source the Xamarin SDKs for Android, iOS, and Mac under the MIT license in the coming months. This includes native API bindings and the basic command-line tools necessary to develop mobile apps. It also includes our popular cross-platform native UI toolkit, Xamarin.Forms.

 

With these changes, .NET is now open source and native on every single device, from mobile to desktop to cloud. This is a proud moment for all of us who have invested years into making .NET the best platform, and we know that this change will make it even easier for developers to invest their own time into building great software in C#.

We look forward to building a true open source community around Xamarin, and eagerly await the first pull requests.” Nat Friedman adds in the Xamarin blog post.

 

The bottom line of this business activity is that the .NET developer can now develop Android and iOS apps on Visual Studio. What are you waiting for? Give your ideas a shape.

Snippet sources:

http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2016/02/24/microsoft-to-acquire-xamarin-and-empower-more-developers-to-build-apps-on-any-device/#sm.00001tvnthsi9wcvbwbiqyr5n52c9

https://blog.xamarin.com/xamarin-for-all/

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WixStores - An efficient eCommerce website builder for non-programmers

From the ages, online store creation has been a programmers’ job. Each and every element of the website has to be coded, making it difficult to look after. Fortunately, over time, the possibilities also grew bigger. WixStores identified such a possibility and created an environment in which a non-programmer can himself create and manage an eCommerce website without needing to write a single line of code.

 

Today, I am going to try my hands on WixStores and will show you how you can build an online store easily.

 

Signing up with WixStores

To create your own store, you should have an account on Wix. From WixStores, click on the ‘Create Your Store’ button. Then, it will pop up a sign in/create a new user box using which you can create a new user with your email/Google+/Facebook.

 

signing-up-as-new-user

 

Creating a new eCommerce website

After signing up, you will be taken to a page that guides you to create your WixStores online store. Click on ‘Start Creating now’ to get started.

 

start-creating-websites

 

You will then be shown a lot of templates under a lot of categories to choose from. You can also select the sub-category to build your online store.

 

wix-templates

 

Choose a template that suits best for your design needs and click on ‘Edit’ button to open it in the Wix editor. You will be shown a video tutorial as you are a new Wix user. I recommend you to not skip it at any cost.

 

 

 

As shown in the video, you can drag and drop elements, click-to-edit the text on pages smoothly. Take a look at this screenshot for better understanding.

 

editing-elements-on-wixwebsite

 

After you are done with editing elements on the template, click on ‘Publish’ to take your website live.

 

publish-website

 

It is always better to save the changes before publishing. Also, it is always much better to preview before publishing.

 

Creating a mobile friendly website

Mobile friendliness is a ranking signal now. Search engine giants like Google have started considering it after seeing the rapidly growing mobile internet users. So, if you are planning to create a website, mobile-friendliness must also be taken into consideration. When you create your eCommerce website, a mobile optimized version of your store will be automatically be generated. Keep in mind that you can only edit the layout of your mobile site. Basically your mobile site will be an optimized version of your desktop site.

 

mobile-screen-template

 

Upgrading to the premium plans…

You might be amazed to know about the awesomeness of WixStore’s online store builder so far, but the best is yet to come.

 

upgrade-premuim

 

Benefits of upgrading

You will get your own domain for your Wix site. That means, your website will no more be addressed as user-name.wix.com/site-name anymore. You will be able to choose your own domain name, and register it with Wix.com.

 

There will no longer be Wix ads on your website if you decide to upgrade.

Your site will be loaded with unlimited bandwidth and will be given extra storage to publish as much information as you want.

 

You can connect your site to Google analytics and track your site stats easily.

And you will get a bonus of $75 gift voucher right on upgrading. Here are the best upgrading plans on Wix

 

premium-plans

 

Select a best one among the above and make your online store look like a true professional business.Remember that the only plans, which include WixStores are the VIP and the eCommerce plan.

 

WixStores’ Online store

Every person wants a website these days just like a personal phone number. Every business wants an online store to extend their reach. But the knowledge of web programming stood as a barrier in this evolution. WixStores is a wonderful tool to create websites and online stores. You can display your products in beautiful galleries and offer a secure checkout for your customers. You can manage orders; keep track of your inventory anytime. Amazingly, no commissions will be deducted for the sales made through your website.

 

Isn’t that cool?

 

In addition to that, you can create, manage and share promotional coupons to keep your customers coming back for more. Also, you can manage the shipping fees and taxes based on the location you have to send the products to.

 

Verdict

You might see another online store builder to build their eCommerce website, but you won’t find one like WixStores. As you have seen, it has the all-in-one easy and enhancing features, which you can manage your website/online store at one place.

 

So, if you are thinking to startup an eCommerce site with your own hands and with zero programming knowledge, it would be better to start it up with WixStores … that way you can get started with your online business real quick.

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Responsive Blogger Template Not Showing Up On Mobile? Here Is The Simple Solution

A responsive template should blend your blog’s layout mobile friendly. It should cuddle itself within the screen size and give the user an uninterrupted experience.

 

Many bloggers who had their blogs on ‘blogger’ platform, though installed responsive templates, couldn’t get it displayed on medium and small screens.

 

The reason for this glitch is caused due to two major reasons.

  1. No responsive code related to the size of the screen you are using.
  2. Wrongly setup settings in your blogger dashboard.

1. ‘No responsive code’ issue:

This occurs because of the lack of necessary code to blend the layout according to some sizes of the screens.

 

Solution: There is an easy solution for this problem. Simply add the screen resolutions in the media screen CSS rule. You can use the following abstract responsive code in your template if you want.

 

media screen and (max-width:524px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:720px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:1080px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:320x){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:480px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:620px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:800px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

media screen and (max-width:960px){

/** YOUR LAYOUT CODE HERE **/

}

 

 

You can also add up any screen size and add the respective layout code.

 

*Layout code – Nothing but the code consisting of header, body, sidebar, footer and other elements of the template.

 

2. Wrongly setup settings

This is one of the silly reasons why bloggers even change templates without checking. Sometimes, even having a responsive template installed on your blogger blog, you can’t see it rendering properly on mobile screens.

 

This is because you might have left the setting to default. Let’s take a tour of template settings in blogger and see how effective they can be.

 

mobile-friendly-template-settings

 

Selecting ‘Yes, Show mobile template on mobile devices’ will show the mobile version of the template. You can only select some simple pre-existed blogger templates if this option is selected. No responsive template is effective here.

 

Selecting ‘No, Show desktop template on mobile devices will show up desktop template on small screens. As the blog is already installed with responsive template, it will automatically render properly from now on.

 

Hope it helps! Share your thoughts about it.

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Create Beautiful Web Forms with Adobe Forms Central

As you know, generally we need to have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS to design beautiful web forms. Isn’t it? Wouldn’t you be amazed if say that there is no need of extra bit of any web programming knowledge except the knowledge of internet?

 

The tool I’m going to introduce to you is the one you had it for years along with the CS version of Adobe Photoshop. If you are using Adobe Photoshop already on your computer, you don’t need to install any other program again.

 

If you are not a Photoshop user, you should install Adobe FormsCentral program alone at least.

 

After downloading and installing it on your computer, run the program.

 

running-adobe-central

 

Click on ‘Create New Form’ to create a new form.

 

creating-new-form

 

You will be shown various form creating options like as shown below,

 

formscentral

 

You may choose a PDF form or a ready-made pre-formatted form templates that are available online. Or else you may continue with a new blank form.

 

If you choose a new blank form, you will be asked to add items on the form. Take a look at this following screenshot,

 

sample-form-forms-central

 

Add required form items > Go to File > Save the form.

 

Now switch to Collect Responses Online tab and sign in with your Adobe ID to create a hyperlink to the form.

 

Once you are signed in with your Adobe ID, you would see the tab Collect Responses Online tab turning its name into My Forms.

 

You would see the list of forms created by you in My Forms. Click on the form you wanted to create link for > Click on the hyperlink icon > Copy the URL > Publish it.

 

hyperlink-creator

 

Just a second more

Adobe FormsCentral is not available for free. You should signup for their premium plan which actually don’t cost high. As everyone today is aware of basic programming today, one would not prefer to signup for a third party form builder software.

 

If you are a busy person and you don’t wanted to waste your time on building forms and connecting them to database to collect responses, Adobe FormsCentral is for you.

 

Adobe FormsCentral is retired due to the lack of support from users. Check out the retirement FAQs about FormsCentral.

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Complete Guide on Using Eclipse for Android App Development

victorial 2This article is submitted by victoria Brinsley, a veteran developer who works for one of the leading Android development companies-Appsted. She’s open to provide best advices on android app development. You may contact her if you need any help regarding the same.

Android app development has always been an enticing experience for individuals with a creative bend of mind. If you too are soon going to work on a new Android app development project, it's high time for you to explore the varied components of an app that's specially been designed to run on all Android powered devices. Eclipse can serve as the perfect environment for developing Android applications. Through this blog, I'll be offering you a comprehensive guideline on the steps that are involved in using Eclipse for development of outstanding Android applications.
Step 1:  Initiating a new Android App Development Project
As one of the most powerful, open source IDE(Integrated Development Environment) Eclipse offers you the flexibility of creating applications for mobile, desktops and the web. The easy-to-adapt nature of Eclipse makes it the perfect tool for developing applications that can operate flawlessly on a range of platforms including: Android, Blackberry, Windows and many more.

For creating a new project, just go to Eclipse's main menu and choose File > New > Android Application Project. On this screen, fill out all the fields including package name, application name etc.
 
Once you're done with the same, click on 'Minimum Required SDK' drop-down and choose a suitable value. The value you choose here will determine the kind of features that you'll be able to program within your Android application.

Step 2: Use the Package Explorer judiciously
If you look towards the left side of Eclipse IDE, you'll notice Package Explorer feature which displays the basic structure of the Android application. While a majority of Package Explorer items are pre-generated for you, there are many others that you'll need to work as you create the Android application. Here, just double-click the src folder and its sub-folders to view the HelloWorldActivity.java file which contains the code that's used for creating activity's functionality.

Step 3: Configure the emulator
Hoping that by now you'd have gathered a detailed understanding of the Eclipse IDE, you're almost on the threshold of creating your all-new Android application. Setting up the test environment is the next step that would enable you to tell Eclipse how the respective app needs to be executed.
 
You can either opt for testing the Android app using the emulator that's provided by Eclipse IDE or you may choose an entirely different Android device. If you're opting for the former testing method, then make sure to test the Android application on a variety of real device prior to publishing the same on different mobile app stores. The reason for this being that real devices usually perform differently when compared to an emulator.
 
Hence, if you ignore testing your Android app on a real device, you'll likely have to face an unpleasant feedback from the app users. Just follow the below mentioned steps for configuring the emulator:
  1. Set up an Android Virtual Device(AVD) which serves as a software replication of multiple Android devices. For this, you may use the AVD Manager by selecting Window > Android Device Manager which will display different Virtual Devices tab. Now, simply click on 'Device Definitions' tab and scroll through the device configurations to check the number of devices your app could run on. Finally, press the Device Definitions tab and hit the 'New' button. A 'Create New Android Virtual Device(AVD)' window will be displayed. Just fill in the fields, followed by clicking on the Device drop-down. 
  2. Check the Wipe User Data box - This needs to be done for wiping out any data that has already been created in a previous app testing session. I would recommend you to leave all the entered data intact as this would prevent you from re-entering the data each time you intend to test a specific aspect of the respective Android application. 
  3. Click 'Launch' to open the Start Android Emulator window - On hitting the 'Launch' button, the Start Android Emulator window will be displayed on your screen and it will start loading the Android Virtual Device(AVD). This loading speed will be determined by the speed of your computer system. Once the AVD has been displayed, you can choose to close the Start Android Emulator and AVD(Android Virtual Device) Manager windows, with the AVD still running in the background.

Wrapping it all up

So, with that its a wrap on this blog which offered you details about the simple-to-follow steps involved in creating customer-driven Android applications using the intuitive Eclipse IDE(Integrated Development Environment). So, try these steps for yourself and see how things go for your Android app development project.
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Microsoft Makes .NET Open Source and Adds Cross Platform Development Capabilities in Visual Studio 2015

Microsoft Corporation has reinforced its commitment to make .NET a cross-platform developing environment by open sourcing it to run on Linux and Mac OS platforms. Hereby, Microsoft announced the next version of Visual Studio environment, Visual Studio 2015 and also announced Visual Studio 2013 Community that provides access to the Visual Studio core toolset recently this week in its connect(); event.

 

“With billions of devices in the market today, developers need tools that target many different form factors and platforms. Through Visual Studio and .NET we are committed to delivering a comprehensive end-to-end solution for developers to build and manage applications across multiple devices and platforms.” says S. Somasegar, corporate vice president, Developer Division, Microsoft.

 

logo_NET_380x215 logo_VisualStudio_380x215_reverse

 

As promised in the previous events, Microsoft provides full .NET server stack in open source that includes ASP.NET, .NET Compiler, .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries thus enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

 

Microsoft will be closely working with the open source community now and will take contributions from the worldwide developers to improve .NET in future through .NET foundation that was announced during the April 2014.

 

What’s new coming in Visual Studio 2015?

Visual Studio was built to support any device taking from iOS, Windows and Android to any other future platforms. Visual Studio 2015 was built to develop any application and service of any device and any platform.

 

Microsoft has also announced the preview of ASP.NET 5.0, a streamlined framework and runtime optimized for cloud and server workloads in the release event of VS2015.

 

VS 2015 comes with new connection manger with which you can easily connect your applications to the line-of-business APIs such as Office 365, SalesForce and others.

 

Visual Studio Online

Microsoft also announced additional features for Visual Studio Online. They are

  • Release Management as a service
  • Cloud Development Projects

Update 4 for Visual Studio 2013

Microsoft in connect(); also released another update(update 4) for Visual Studio 2013 which features productivity enhancements and additional capabilities.

 

You can buy an updates version from here.

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A Complete Tutorial On Selecting The Best XML Parser

This is a guest article submitted by Emily Heming, a savvy writer for a leading Mobile Application Development Company from where you can also avail the facility to hire dedicated iPhone developers with her best assistance.

 

XML parser forms a crucial component of every iPhone app development project. Being careless during the selection of an XML parser can refrain you from developing an outstanding iPhone app. With an incredible collection of XML parsers available for the iPhone projects, it often becomes tedious for the developers to choose the best XML parser.

 

Through this blog, I intend to make it convenient for you to select an XML parser for your iPhone app development project. I'll be sharing tips that would enable you to choose from a million different XML parsers that are available for the iPhone. So, let's know more about these tips and make the most of them.

 

Unleashing the types and importance of an XML Parser

Well, deciphering the XML code included within an app is something that's quite crucial and challenging for the developers who're going to work on the app's development part in the future. An XML parser is the component that does this job well. It offers all the vital information to the program on how it should read the XML code. There are two types of XML parsers, as explained below:

 

sax-parser

 

SAX parser – This is the one wherein the XML code is notified as and when the parser navigates through the XML tree. Here, you need to keep a track of the state and objects that are required for monitoring the data.

 

document-object-model

 

DOM Parser – This is the one that reads the entire XML document and builds up an in-memory representation. While using a DOM parser, you can even construct Xpath queries for pulling out particular pieces of code.

 

And now, XML parser selection tips you can't afford to miss

1. Analyze what you actually want to do with the parser

The selection of an XML parser primarily depends on what you actually want to do with the help of the parser. If you're inclined on just reading small XML documents, then a parser like TouchXML, GdataXML and KissXML can turn to be handy. Similarly, if you want to read extremely large XML documents, then the parser's performance is something you need to be bothered about. Under such a situation, XML parsers like TBXML, LIBXML2 SAX and libxml DOM serve as the best fit.

 

2. Check out the accuracy rate of deciphering the XML code

As one of the commonly overlooked factors for choosing a parser, accuracy of deciphering XML code is something that needs to be paid due heed to. While choosing an XML parser, you need to check whether there are any non-trivial bugs or not.

 

Although no parser is perfect, there are definitely some that turn to be more reliable as compared to others. Two of the commonly encountered bugs in XML Parsers include the ones mentioned below:

  • Failure to report the incorrect syntax used in the code
  • Reporting the correct constructs as errors

Well, it’s actually hard to say which one of the above two is more severe. While the former one causes issues for systems that receive malformed documents which finally get rejected, the latter one prevents you from handling the data efficiently.

 

3. Check out the parsing speed of the shortlisted XML Parser

Before proceeding ahead with the selection of an XML parser, it is necessary to check out the parsing speed of the parser in addition to the amount of memory space that's consumed by it.

 

If you're planning to serve the XML document via a network, then the speed with which data is moved over the network is to be watched out. It is quite essential to buffer your I/O or else it's going to affect your code's performance, irrespective of how fast or how slow the parser is. Talking about memory space, SAX is generally much more efficient as compared to DOM parser.

 

4. Check out the license under which the parser has been published

It is important to check out the license under which the parser is published. While a majority of parsers are available for free in the free-beer sense, others are free in the free-speech sense. Ensure that the license restrictions don't get in your way of selecting the right XML parser for your iPhone project.

 

Wrapping Up

So, with those handy XML parser selection tips, I'm sure it would become simpler for you to choose a relevant and highly useful parser for your next iPhone app development venture.

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