All posts by Miley Dowling

DevelopmentSaaS

Serverless Computing vs. Containers – Which one to choose?

Over the last couple of years, there has been a significant rise in the adoption of serverless computing. And the adoption of Containers is also growing at a rapid pace. And this probably brings you to the question – should you choose Serverless or Containers. This is because both these technologies have something in common.

 

The similarities between the two:

 

Serverless is a good option for microservices. Containers is perfect for microservices as well. They both have a modern architecture that can cater to your requirements in the future as well. And they both possess skills when it comes to leveraging the most strategic innovations in distributed systems, and they let you develop and deploy large-scale applications. But yes, there are slight differences in the way the deployment is made.

 

What is serverless?

 

Serverless computing is called so because enterprises do not have to purchase servers for operating their backend code. It is not that there aren’t any servers, the servers are there, but they are managed and handled by the third-party vendors who are fully responsible for the working of the servers. When AWS Lambda and Azure Functions were launched as cloud based services for serverless computing, they instantly became a hot trend.

 

What are the containers?

 

Containers are an operating system virtualization method whereby you have everything to run and deploy an application without any hassle. It has all the elements like system settings, system libraries and all other elements to run the application. Therefore, you can use the containers to deploy any type of application. All the Container needs is hosting and they can run anywhere in a single package. It can run consistently and quickly without worrying about the deployment environment.

 

It is important to conduct an educative assessment between Serverless and Containers. This is because Serverless is not suitable everywhere and a wrong choice can break everything. Hence, it is important to determine what kind of architecture you need, the application it has to host and the steps to be taken for successful deployment.

 

Image source: Pexels

 

Here are some situations where you can use serverless computing.

 

To process real-time data streams and uploads – Serverless functions make it easy to transfer resource intensive real-time processes away from the main applications. So, it is perfectly capable of parsing and filtering incoming data streams, manage input from real-time devices, manage both intermittent and high-throughput data streams and process uploaded files.

 

It can manage high-volume background processes – Serverless makes it possible to move data at high volume to an analytics service. This could be very beneficial in point of sale services where serverless makes it possible to coordinate inventory, manage different databases including order and transaction databases, and even intermittent tasks like restocking.

 

It can manage backend tasks of mobile/web applications – Serverless takes a request from the frontend (of the website or application), retrieve the information and then hand it back to the front end. The billing for this kind of tasks will be based on the backend tasks that it does; all other times it is idle.

 

Containers can fill out the limitations posed by serverless computing

 

Serverless computing does come with its share of limitations, so you do really need something to counter that.

 

Earlier, it was mentioned that Azure Functions and AWS Lambda services were hot trends when they were released, but there are limits that inhibit their full functionality. There are restrictions on memory use, size, time available for functions to run and so on. Hence, vendors take care to keep the functions small so they don’t take too much of the system’s resources. Imagine the situation wherein a small number of high demand users block everyone else out or at worst, overload the systems. That could be really bad, right?

 

Similarly, debugging and performance analysis are also restricted because they are too primitive. It is also difficult to use several of the monitoring tools with serverless functions because of the lack of access to the function’s container management system.

Image source: Pexels

 

A few areas where serverless computing loses out to containers

 

(1) Easy for large and complex applications

A container-based application can be large and complex and it is possible to tailor the new architecture as per the redesigned system. If you try to apply the same through a server less application, you may still be able to do it, but you would have to encounter several bottlenecks as there would be size and memory constraints.

 

(2) The developer gets full control

Another advantage of a container-based application is that the developer gets full power and control of the containers. The developer can debug and test with the complete set of resources at his disposal, perform in-depth monitoring, performance tuning on a microservice by microservice level. Microservices are applications that can be broken into smaller, scalable and deployable components on an independent level.

 

(3) Makes migration easier

It is easier to migrate your applications in containers, taking the pain out of deployment. It is also easy to move the apps between servers.

 

Closing Thoughts

 

Containers would be a good choice if flexibility during installation is more important for you, especially with software that has specific version requirement. It gives the developer control over the installed programming language and runtime version.

 

However, more of manual intervention is needed with Containers, when you compare this with serverless computing. This makes serverless computing a better option, especially if you want automatic detection and handling of traffic pattern changes. It is also a good option when you don’t want to be bothered about administration of the underlying infrastructure, because all you need to do is worry about the business value and the quality of code.

 

Choose Containers:

When flexibility is more important to you, and when you need easy migration between legacy services.

 

Choose Serverless:

When you prefer automatic scaling of apps, want speed of development to be accelerated and would like to lower runtime costs.

 

 

Author Bio:

Digital Marketing Manager with 7 years of experience. Passionate about the latest trends in Digital Marketing, Technology and App Development.

DevelopmentInsights

Bitcoin Investment: Tips for Maximizing Returns

If there is one alternative investment that has been solidly gaining traction in recent years, it is bitcoin. A lot of people are now taking advantage of the potential of this cryptocurrency to deliver profitability. However, there are also uncertainties that could make some proceed with hesitation. That being said, the rest of this post briefly outlines some of the best things that can be done to maximize the return of your bitcoins.

Find the Right Trading Platform

One of the best ways to earn money from bitcoin is through trading. Basically, what this means is that you will buy the cryptocurrency at a low price. When the price is high, you can now sell it and earn a profit. To do this, you need the right bitcoin trading platform. Find one that is reliable and trusted by many, making it possible to have lots of buyers when it is time to sell.

Host an ATM

There are tons of ways to maximize profits from bitcoin, including offering complementary services. A bitcoin ATM is one of the perfect examples of the latter. They even offer an online bitcoin ATM locator, which will make it easy for users to find an ATM that is nearest their current location. Almost any existing space can be used for the ATM machine.

With the variety of the options for a bitcoin trading platform, one of the best that you should not miss is https://www.coincloudatm.com/.

Short Sell your Bitcoins

Shorting bitcoin is one thing that can work when the market is down, and you want to earn a profit. Although, it should be noted that this is a strategy that is best done only by the more experienced investors since it is quite complicated. Many exchanges are already making this possible, but a lot of novice investors may end up doing it incorrectly, which makes the risks high.

Hold on for Dear Life

It is inevitable that there will be a crash in the cryptocurrency market, especially in bitcoins. When things go south, this does not mean that you should lose hope. In one article from Forbes that tackles how crypto investors can profit from a crash, the Hold On for Dear Life strategy has been recommended. Also called HODL, this simply means that you should wait and see. You do not have to do anything in your bitcoin. Let it become idle in your chosen platform and hope for the best.

Conduct a Thorough Research

This is perhaps the most important from the points that are raised in this post. You need to be knowledgeable about the ins and outs of bitcoin to make it a profitable alternative investment. When you are armed with the right knowledge, it will be a lot easier for you to grow your cryptocurrency.

While there are lots of people who are investing in bitcoins, not all of them are fortunate enough to craft their own success stories. With this, take note of the things that have been mentioned above to increase the likelihood of maximizing returns.

DevelopmentInsightsProductsSaaS

How Robotics Is Improving Businesses

The impact of robotics on modern manufacturing is immeasurable. Though industrial robots have seen use in factories for decades, their capacity for complex tasks have grown by a considerable margin, and they’ve continued to develop at a steady pace. Manufacturing aside, other industries have enjoyed the benefits as well.

In the hospitality, food and customer service industries, robots have proven indispensable in the day-to-day responsibilities of employees and business owners. Additionally, many executives in management positions use today’s technology to delegate their smaller duties, allowing them to focus on more pressing matters.

So how do these changes manifest? What do modern robots look like, and how are they improving businesses across the country? In this article, we’ll explore the subject in greater detail, touching on three different industries and how they’ve implemented robotics in their current practices.

Robotics in Hospitality

Customer service has always been the keystone of the hospitality industry. After all, the definition of “hospitality” is the warm, friendly reception and entertainment of guests. With this in mind, it seems strange and somewhat counterintuitive to replace a hotel’s staff with cold, unfeeling robots.

Yotel has shown this isn’t the case, and their use of robotics doesn’t substitute staff but supplements them. When a guest walks into the lobby at their Times Square location, a team member helps them with a touch-screen kiosk. After checking in, a robot takes and safely stores their luggage.

Robotics in Manufacturing

When most people envision a production line — such as those in automotive factories — they often picture pneumatic robot arms. While these robots have applications in the auto industry, they see use in many different factory settings, making a broad spectrum of everyday items.

While their functionality is impressive, how they function is just as extraordinary. Check out the following infographic.

Infographic source: https://www.quincycompressor.com/how-a-pneumatic-robot-arm-works

Robotics in Food Service

Automation has streamlined the food service industry for business owners and customers alike. Beyond self-serve kiosks, new machines have replaced outdated dishwashers, saving almost 10 hours of labor per week which employees would have to spend cleaning spatulas, bowls, and other food prep utensils.

Fast food chains have also found a use for robot arms, similar to those employed in manufacturing, but repurposed prepare meals. Little Caesar’s recently patently a robotic arm which can spread the dough, add toppings and place a pizza in the oven. It’s safe to speculate even greater changes are on their way.

The Future of Robotics

It’s challenging to grasp the influence of modern robotics on the enterprise. In hospitality, manufacturing, food service, healthcare, agriculture, and even law enforcement, technology has simplified and reshaped the responsibilities of the American workforce. Moving forward, one thing is clear.

The current trajectory of robotics has placed us on a path toward even greater and more inflexible reliance on technology. While it represents an incredible opportunity for growth, small businesses and large corporations should consider the implications of automation. It might have unintended consequences.

That said, it’s important to approach the future with optimism. Technology is evolving in new and exciting ways, and it’ll be exciting to watch what happens.

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Why Manufacturers Should Move to the Cloud

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are digital software packages that facilitate with the integration of business operations and departments to provide shared data, reports, and other resources. They’re essential to streamline processes, improve productivity, and reduce costs. Clearly, then an ERP system is a necessary tool for manufacturers to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. A software package that utilizes cloud computing capabilities – even more so.

There are several choices in enterprise resource planning systems out there, and Sage provides a varietyof top-selling solutions that help discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing companies do more for less. Hiring more staff and purchasing additional hardware to handle larger capacities is only going to balloon costs. Cloud-based ERP software helps save while streamlining. Here, you can learn about the latest business management software options available, and why manufacturers should move to the cloud today.

Sage Business Cloud combines multiple integrated products that can help small businesses to enterprises with their management needs. It can be customized to suit your specific needs and it can be adapted to change with you as your business expands and evolves. Expert consultants can assist with the installation, adoption, and training processes, so your teams know how to integrate and use the new system right from the start. Plus, helpful and responsive consultants like IWI Consulting Group provide extra self-teaching resources and ongoing customer service that is personalized to your current and future needs.

A cloud ERP solution allows manufacturing and other types of businesses collect, analyze, and access company-wide data remotely. Manage inventory, sales, and orders. Increase insight into the supply chain and see where there are inefficiencies. The cloud allows for increased accuracy because data is saved, shared, and backed-up in real time. Executives to agents on the ground have access to the same information, and sales teams can work from anywhere there is connection. Sage Intacct specifically allows for accounting, financial, and operational insights.

Some other ways cloud ERP systems can help include:

Adopting a Lean Manufacturing Philosophy. Your business operates within a flood of spreadsheets. Every department has their essential data to track and utilize on-the-job. Managing this volume of data in multiple places can go beyond a hassle and take up precious time.Printing sheets, hand-tallying, re-entering data, and handling a physical volume of information produces even more waste (some of it environmental).

Cloud ERP automates data entry and shareability and helps you scale and shift production. View customer orders in the same place and batch quicker. Cut the fat and move to lean manufacturing processes with better use of equipment, staff, and materials. Overtime is slashed with ERP adoption, and unexpected orders and other changes can be quickly processed. 

Lower IT Costs. Keeping antiquated systems and maintaining an IT department to do so is costly. Updating and upgrading old hardware systems and paying the staff to handle it is unnecessary with cloud ERP. Free yourself with cloud software that updates itself because it is managed by third-party providers like Sage. Don’t sit idly by waiting for patches and updates to download. And stop trying to troubleshoot an old, buggy system.

Increased Security. Cloud-based systems provide increased security versus on-site systems and servers. Professional third-party vendors are required by law to protect the security and privacy of its clients. There is no need to run in-house security audits. Sage ensures your system is running at peak efficiency as part of the package and contract. 

Save time and money, increase efficiency, cut waste, and open your manufacturing business up to new opportunities and growth with a cloud-based enterprise resource planning system.

InsightsSaaS

Azure Certification from Microsoft – Benefits and Learning Path

The recent developments in large-scale cloud services have changed the modes of IT service delivery to a large extent. Well, known cloud platforms from the world’s leading providers like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are constantly evolving, which has a big impact on the IT industry as well as the IT professionals.

When it comes to information technology businesses or other sectors dependent on IT, any decision to adopt technology or upgrade it has an immediate impact on the performance, cost, security, delivery, and customer satisfaction. High level of decision making, design, and implementation, and administration skills are required to manage these sophisticated IT-centric industries. The frequent and fast changes in technologies are creating skill gaps in the IT marketplace, which is the major problem enterprises are finding while tapping the opportunities.

Lately, with a large number of organizations across the globe adopting cloud technologies, there is a huge demand for skilled professionals in it. One can enjoy high salaries and a wide range of opportunities in cloud computing if they become experts to manage the fast-changing cloud computing environments. For the cloud career aspirants, MS Azure certification is one great way to achieve this necessary skill-set.

About MS Azure

As admired by the industry, one specific skill which recruiters are looking for while hunting for cloud computing specialists is Azure Certification from Microsoft. Owing to the growth in the cloud sector, job opportunities for MS Azure certified professionals had increased drastically over the last couple of years.

  • As per a press release by Microsoft, nearly 1000 customers are signing up for Azure suite daily, which can be projected as about 3,65,000 organizations adopting the technology each year.
  • Considering the Fortune 500 companies, about 57% of them have implemented Azure.
  • The cloud revenue of Microsoft had increased by 104%.
  • UK government had given an official accreditation to Microsoft Azure, and US government also backed it for government offering.

All the points towards the future potential of Azure to create a huge number of job opportunities in the coming years. It is easy to learn and adapt, and also a highly efficient tool to handle the traditional tasks like designing, deployment, and management as well as to meet the needs of the future big data environments.

Azure in business IT

As we have seen, Azure is a cloud computing solution and to be more precise, and it offers an advanced cloud platform which helps the organizations to build, deploy, and operate managed services wherever they want to. The major competitors of Azure are AWS (Amazon Web Services), and Google Cloud.

There are two handy models of Azure services as:

  1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), in which you let the provider (Microsoft) handle your networking and computing needs.
  2. Platform as a service (PaaS), where you add the cloud capabilities as a platform only to your existing network and manage it your own.

With Azure, Microsoft provides the clients with access to the service directory which is constantly building. This now includes:

  • Virtual machines – You can use the pre-existing templates or create your machine images to prepare Windows or Linux virtual machines and host any apps and services in these virtual machines.
  • Application services – Deploy new enterprise applications and gain instant and scalable access to it with minimal risk of downtime or data loss.
  • Active directory – Better manage the authentication, group policy, and security settings, etc., remotely.
  • Storage – Secure your critical business data with the solid infrastructure by Microsoft, all at an affordable cost.
  • SQL DB – Enjoy unlimited SQL relational database from Microsoft without the need for any on-premise software or hardware.

Why use Azure?

The primary benefits of hosting critical business solutions using Azure as SAP Business One include:

1. High flexibility

In fast-changing market conditions, you may experience a positive spike in your favor with a demand for more efficient technology solutions at any time. In such situations, Azure has it all covered well. You may design and launch innovative services at any time in lightning speed with the scope of scaling up storage and processing capabilities instantly.

2. Save cost

There is a very limited upfront cost for migration, and when it comes to maintaining hardware and that of energy consumption, you will reduce the overall costs. As the cloud providers offer security administration, the security costs are also covered. With enterprise-grade cloud services, you need to pay only for the availed resources, which can be scaled up or down at any point.

3. Services to meet any needs

Azure offers a huge number of à la carte services. You may search the Azure service list first when you have the need of any service or business app next time. Even on thinking of a customized app, there is no need to start from the very scratch as many of the apps can be integrated into the already existing framework and custom tailor meet specific needs.

Apart from the above, Azure also features fully managed services, quick disaster management, remote access management, etc., which makes it a highly flexible and user-friendly platform for business administrators. As the adoption rate of Azure is going up, the industry requires more skilled and knowledgeable Azure experts to handle the tasks at various types of IT settings.

Azure training

For beginners, Microsoft Official Curriculum could be a good option to start with the basics of Azure. Microsoft directly offers some support to IT professionals with some eBooks etc. through the MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy).  Over time, Azure certification had undergone several improvements too. Now, the certification path of MS Azure is more modular with the need to develop IT infrastructure management skills, especially Windows Server. Some exams aimed at Azure certifications are:

  • Exam 70-533 – Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
  • Exam 70-532 – Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
  • Exam 70-534 – Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

You will also find many other certification exams closely related to it like Exam 70-473, Exam 70-475, Exam 70-744, Exam 70-413, Exam 70-414, Exam 70-246, Exam 70-247 related to public and private cloud administration and Windows server infrastructure administration, etc. to hone your skills.

DevelopmentInsightsSaaS

How Is It Possible To Create A PHP Development Environment In Androids?

Google offers the open wide space for the web developers to let them provide their applications on Google play for public downloads. However, in the case of Apple, it is totally under firm guidelines and there are many requirements to meet. However, people, most of the developers’ think that only ios can help them to do the best kind of coding. But what if Apple comes with a lot of restrictions whereas Google offers ease? One should prefer the option that comes with ease. All there is a need is to create an atmosphere which let the PHP develop enabled in Android applications.

Moreover, we all are well known to the fact that there are approximately 5 million web developers who are well-versed with PHP and can work with PHP at the utmost level. So, why to not to give it a try to convert those web developers into potential Android app developers by enabling just creating the perfect environment for PHP development in Androids. Besides that, while creating the environment-friendly for PHP you ought to have the software that is helpful for the coding. For instance- Termux that lets you run all the terminals.

Here are the few ways to create your android app using PHP

1. Editing the text is the mainspring

The foremost step is to choose the best text editor as it is the foundation for the developer’s community. Although, there is a presence of many text editors but finding the best is no so hard. But the most popular two are the Emacs text and Vi/Vim, which are often competing with each other. However, the most preferred is Vim due to its existence for a long time in the market.

Not just the existence decides everything when it comes to making a choice for the text editor. The other impressive factors comprise of reliability gained by the years of excellence, the charityware, and it highly customizable and extensible. Besides, due to its numerous plugins, it is highly handy to edit the codes on the text editor.

What can be expected from a text editor? In addition by all these valid features, it is way better than Emacs, so the editor war is of no use when the best is known.  So, use Vim for the androids where it is called as Vim Touch.

2. A help for PHP developers-

It is undeniable that Java has been and still continues to be the most predominant language for development of Android applications. Even though there are various ports present for app building like Python, HTML, and Ruby etc, but the Java gives outstanding performances that are not reachable by other ports.

But when it comes to using PHP in android, it will facilitate the best PHP developers who are keen to bring PHP into androids. Besides, it can compete with the development environment of Microsoft Windows 8 that has multiple programming languages enabled to build apps. Therefore, it will be really intriguing to see developers having a PHP enabled environment for native apps in androids.

3. Use lamp as server configurations

For your information, the lamp stands for the Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP which comprises together and make the LAMP. The lamp is really popular among the PHP web applications and PHP developers. However, you must choose the appropriate server like one is Palapa web server. The main perk of such a server is it handles the weedy CPUs very well and keeps their functioning top-class. Besides, all the constituent part must be current and up to date for the best experience.  While considering Palapa as the desired server, you will get a web interface that can enable to find out various aspects of web server eventually. Basically, you ought to find the best server just like one Palapa that comes with all the latest versions.

The inclusion of PHP in android is a perk for the system

Android apps can be developed from various way outs like python, CSS but why not with PHP? This issue was previously addressed well and solved now by the inclusion of PHP has done it. Moreover, it becomes so easy for the developers to take the app development by setting up the android app with PHP.

So, simply replace your Macbook pro with the Android device when you don’t want to carry something expensive or maybe some extra burden. Thus, it can be said without any confusion that PHP inclusion in Android is good and it can facilitate those upcoming or already existing more than 5 millions app developers for the whole system.

Author Bio

Gravatar A/c: https://en.gravatar.com/sonalmehta9

Sonal Mehta is a Content Lead at SoluLab, a leading Enterprise Blockchain, Enterprise Mobile Apps and Web design and development company, started by ex-vice president of Goldman Sachs and ex-principal software architect of Citrix. SoluLab Inc provides full spectrum, 360-degree services to enterprises, startups and entrepreneurs helping turn their dreams into awesome software products.

Social Profiles

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https://twitter.com/ solulab

https://www.linkedin.com/company/solulab/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107379179678816212221

MartechSaaS

How to Effectively Use WhatsApp for Your Business

WhatsApp has taken over social media platform like nothing else. It’s revolutionizing communication by bringing in ease and flexibility, so much so that most of us now prefer to use WhatsApp for regular conversation and messages. All that you require is a stable internet connection like Cox internet and you’re set for smooth sailing. Furthermore, there is a new business application launched by WhatsApp for its consumers. It’s helping business owners around the world in generating profitable business solutions. This app is also extremely user-friendly and small/new ventures can utilize it for free yet effective marketing, making sure that they remain visible.

There are some glitches as its still new and new developments are continuously happening to make it more fruitful. Customers may expect immediate responses due to the mobility of WhatsApp and that may prove to be a hardship for any company/business owner. Regardless of all the pitfalls that one might imagine this app to have, it is the future of all communications. Some ways to effectively utilize WhatsApp to run your startup or running business are discussed below, with the hope that it may help optimize your dealings better than before.

1. Create efficient customer service

While it may seem like a nuisance that customers may need your constant attention but there’s no denying the fact that every business runs on good customer service. The more potent it is, the better are your chances of retaining loyal customers. Since WhatsApp is basically a communication tool, it’s all about connecting with people and that’s the edge that you can have, all for free. Create a company profile and you’re visible to customers everywhere who can view you and then easily get in touch as well. To make it a little hassle-free, there is the option of setting up automated responses that are sent whenever a customer has a query. You can simply give out a timeframe for a personal reply. Customers learn to trust your word this way and know that you are approachable. In short, there’s a lot that is customizable.

If you’re running a buying/selling business, you can create quick replies for whenever an order is received or delivered. Moreover, you can write up a quick policy that refers to the returning of an item and sends it as a “quick reply”, a new option that comes with WhatsApp business.

2. Share promotions, sales, and giveaways

With the status feature, you can share any promotions and sales that you may have going on instantly. Because of its reply feature, customers can present any codes that you have previously given. This can help create excellent sale opportunities since it’s all happening live and customer interaction is on the on the spot. Similarly, you can have giveaways to promote a certain product. Customers/consumers may not need it or be interested but since they can get it free, they are involved in the promotion. After all, who hates a freebie! People will share the product to outside groups, this helps with the marketing and therefore higher profits.

Note that since you’re shifting from a casual WhatsApp usage to a more business-oriented one. Therefore a stable internet connection is a must which you can depend upon. Be sure to check out your local Xfinity internet to get some of the best options available to you.

3. Bring in outer influence through collaborations

Collaborate with other relevant businesses to create a bigger marketing arena. Those businesses don’t have to be ones selling the same products. Let’s take the example of a baking business. Look at a few decor companies that are interested in arranging personalized events. Promote them in your group by showing pictures of an event where you offered the food items with all the décor managed by that company. They can do the same for you in their groups. You both get the benefit of the collaborated efforts and it’s completely cost-free.

4. Receive instant feedback

We’ve all experienced the irritable calls from customer services that ask you a series of questions to help rate a product. Instead of all that hassle and financial investment, simply create a questionnaire or a series of questions that can help say yay or nay to a certain product or service. Send that in your groups and get instant feedback free. The customers may also get some fun out of it if those questions are creative and this helps with the privacy issue that most people have. No one wants an unnecessary invasion of their time; with life so busy, it’s simply not acceptable in some instances. However, if you create a little entertainment, your viewers/customers may be more than willing to invest time. This makes sure that your customers are always aware that they are important to you and makes for valuable relations.

5. Stay updated

No business can become an overnight success. You need to review your services or products constantly for optimum results and that can take time. It is absolutely necessary that you know where your business is going if it’s expanding or you need to downsize. An extremely essential part of running a successful business or company is having the statistics and data. Keeping a record of your sales, profits and losses go a long way in ensuring your chances of survival in a competitive business world. WhatsApp now allows the recording of data and tracking of your progress.

In the menu, go to settings, then business settings and then look for statistics. You can view all your messages, including delivered, read, failed and replied. This can help you improve upon the customer experience and understand what they require or do not like. Moreover, you realize the number of efforts required to bring about a change for better future prospects.

6. Get the better of two worlds

Since Facebook owns WhatsApp, you can use both in accord to broaden your marketing scope. Sending and receiving messages is far easier through WhatsApp so using them both together helps you deal with the not so good messaging option on Facebook. You can receive notifications on both simultaneously. Create an ad on Facebook, you can also choose any of the existing ones that you may already have. Select the boost advertisement option and remember to select “Engagement” as your primary objective to receive the send to WhatsApp button.

There is still a lot of available space for improvements but there’s no denying the fact that WhatsApp will soon become the go-to thing for more businesses in the coming years. Startups and small setups can especially reap these benefits because there’s no need to invest some very precious greens in the beginning years when you require financial stability to actually produce/deliver products and services.

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10 Tips for Choosing the Best WordPress Hosting Provider

WordPress is an open source software that has caused an internet storm in the recent past due to security, robustness and its simplicity to set up and customize. WordPress has been beneficial for many content management websites, e-commerce stores, blogger websites and other website development needs. Businesses from many different industries have adopted the use of WordPress, including  Shopify, TechCrunch, Mashable and New York Times.

As often as businesses may be shifting to WordPress because of the earlier mentioned benefits, whenever it comes to WordPress hosting, each business takes a different route. Businesses have different needs, and there’s no one-fits-all solution for their WordPress hosting needs.

The WordPress Hosting business is very competitive. Despite the intense competition, some WordPress hosting companies will offer average service while others are remarkably good service. To settle for one may be daunting. In this article, you will find 10 tips you should consider when choosing the best WordPress hosting provider.

Security

Security is at the top of the list. Cybersecurity should be your first consideration when faced with a challenge of choosing a WordPress hosting provider. You will need to do a background check on their security history and protocols. A good WordPress hosting provider shouldn’t have a history of DDOS attacks and phishing. They should ensure they use the latest internet security measures, such as encryption and web application firewall.

For instance, CanSpace a Canadian WordPress hosting company offers web application firewall across its entire packages for WordPress hosting. The company is also GDPR compliant, meaning that any information you share with them cannot be shared with non-compliant third parties.

Support

Support is an important factor to consider. For any unexpected reason, your website may experience challenges or even go down temporarily. Since the servers aren’t physically near you, you may need the support of a WordPress host to troubleshoot the problem. The level of support that a host provider accords to a customer will matter at this moment. A 24/7 customer support, available in different languages, is highly recommended.

Additionally, your hosting provider customer support needs to be proficient in WordPress, and able to provide you with solutions within the shortest time possible. To gauge a WordPress host company’s level of support, check their help documentation.

Speed

Server performance has a direct impact on the speed of a website. A server with inadequate RAM space or that experiences a lot of load from other websites may affect the speed of a website that shares the same server. Slow speed has an impact on the page ranking of a website on search engines. A slow website doesn’t attract visitors, since they are prone to bypassing the content.

  

Photo by StockSnap on Pixabay

Scalability

The success stories of many businesses have similar properties, such as limited resources, few employees, minimal web traffic to business conglomerates, a high number of employees, high revenues and so on. Therefore, a WordPress hosting company should offer room for business growth by providing an allowance of infrastructure resources. Jankus from cmswire argues that it is important to have a partner that supports your growth.

Hosting features

The list of features that your WordPress hosting provider accords you plays a role on how convenient you will rate their service. You should consider the number of domains and email accounts with which they provide you. A WordPress hosting provider that gives you multiple email address and domain names would be preferred over one that gives you a limit. There are hosting companies that will give their customer a free domain name for a year, which is a good offer. Other things to consider are storage space, bandwidth and backup policies.

Type of hosting

In deciding the type of hosting you need, you will be required to choose between WordPress-managed hosting and self-managed hosting. The latter is when the host provider distances himself and only does the hosting for you, assuming that you will handle the setup side yourself. This means you will need to configure the mail server to FTP, handle the server’s operating system and much more.

With WordPress-managed hosting the host provider will handle every aspect of your WordPress from configuring your email server, backups, WordPress updates, server operating system and more. You will need to do very little when setting up WordPress. CanSpace WordPress managed hosting would best suit busy businesses that would like another entity to handle their WordPress hosting and businesses that are looking for secure WordPress hosts.

Uptime

Website downtimes are annoying, and you wouldn’t like your business to fall under that category of websites that have frequents downtimes. Therefore, your WordPress host should have robust checks and balances that ensure that there is no server downtime, and monitoring is on a 24/7 basis.

Reputation

A WordPress company that has been offering excellent services for a substantial time is most likely to have good reviews and a stellar reputation. Although this shouldn’t be the only parameter to consider, it at least sheds some light on which host provider you should trust. The level of customer satisfaction as manifested on independent online forums will give you a clue of what to expect.

Pricing

In deciding which WordPress host provider you will choose, you may need to consider the pricing. “You get what you pay for” is a phrase that perfectly applies in the web hosting industry. It is so common for WordPress host companies to advertise cheap plans, only for clients to end up frustrated after subscribing to a plan. Avoid falling into the trap of cheap service, resulting in frequent downtimes, lack of support and other letdowns. Conduct a proper scrutiny of what is entailed in every price package.

Ease of installation

A WordPress host company that gives its users a one-click installation would be ideal for those who are new to WordPress. It gives users time to focus on other elements of the websites.

The factors mentioned above are important when assessing a service provider you might want to use for your WordPress hosting service. The true judgment of the level of service offered can be measured best by actually trying the service. Therefore, if a WordPress host offers a trial period, consider it before subscribing for their premium services.

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Earn Millions by Becoming an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. Here’s How

When we talk about the leading cloud service provider, Amazon Web Services is an example that makes our mind tick.

These services act as building blocks to be used when building an application in the cloud. Since these services work in association with one another, cloud-based applications turn out to be organized and advanced.

The demand for AWS services has grown worldwide and, therefore, this realm has opened up new opportunities for cloud practitioners. If you really want to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certifications are the best IT certification to scale one’s career. Though there are other cloud service providers, for example, Google Cloud Engine, Microsoft Azure, and Salesforce, AWS is the leading cloud service provider that involves a secure network of security.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification Exam is all that you need.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a certification exam for cloud enthusiasts who really want to unlock the potential of the cloud to global business. This exam is for practitioners who are aware of technicalities of cloud and can convey the complete discernment of AWS Cloud. This exam allows you to test how strong AWS concepts are so that you can plan on your career ahead. Moreover, the AWS CCP certification is recommended by cloud experts to excel in Big Data and Advanced Networking.

Eligibility Criteria

The right criterion is mentioned below to appear in the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification exam:

You should have a minimum of six months experience of AWS cloud concepts no matter in what field, for example, sales, managerial, technical, financial or purchasing, etc., you have been working in.

You should be aware of IT services and what the different ways are to deploy them to implement in the AWS Cloud platform.

Exam Pattern

You would answer two types of questions in the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification Exam. First, the paper would consist of multiple-choice questions which have one correct option and three incorrect options that can distract you and the second type of questions is the multiple-response question which involves more than one correct response out of five options.

You can even select more than one response but make sure that both answer to your question well. Focusing on unnecessary topics of AWS can become your downfall as you may choose distractor options and lose your potential marks. What you need to note here is you can guess answers, and no negative marking will be there; however, if you leave a question unanswered then deduction of marks will be there.

Exam Objectives

Clearing this exam highlights your skills at

  • Understanding of AWS cloud and its infrastructure.
  • Well aware of account management, billing, and pricing
  • Convey AWS cloud values
  • Follow and implement the basic principles of AWS Cloud Architecture
  • Understanding of shared security model, security and compliance concepts
  • Need for technical assistance or documentation
  • Can deploy in the AWS Cloud

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification Subjects

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification exam comprises four subject areas you need to study. Each of the subject areas includes particular topics.

Here are the four domains that the exam consists of:

  1. Technology
  2. Billing & Pricing
  3. Cloud Concepts
  4. Security

1. Cloud Concepts

The knowledge of cloud concepts is critical to passing the Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification exam. 28% of the exam includes cloud questions related to

  1. High Availability
  2. Fault Tolerance
  3. Elasticity
  4. Scalability

2. Security

No matter whether you have worked on infrastructure or not, security is always the main concern. Therefore, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam usually tests the knowledge of candidates by asking questions about security, acquiescence, and culpable management. About 24% of the exam involves questions about different security models, DDoS Protection, IAM- Managing users, Password policies, MFA, etc.

3. Technology

When it comes to security, the exam does not refrain from asking highly technical questions. Being an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, it is expected of you to have a handful of knowledge of EC2, RDS, SNS, ELB, S3, Lambda, etc. Do not skip this section as it covers 36 % of this certification exam.

4. Billing & Pricing

Though the section carries 12% of the content, you cannot afford to take it lightly as you will be answering questions related to the business application of AWS that includes Billing & Pricing. Furthermore, your competence in general account information, AWS support, billing, cost calculation will be tested. Keep your pool of knowledge widen enough to accommodate other exam domains, for example, AWS Cost Calculator service.

Final Words

Using shortcuts for clearing the exam won’t make sense in the long run. It’s not rocket science to pass this exam; however, your sincere approach is critical to fill gaps in knowledge. Tons of books and podcasts are available online if you are a beginner and want to dive deep into AWS Cloud. Make sure you acknowledge each subject and solve test papers to know the level of your preparation.

Good Luck!

Reference: https://aws.amazon.com/training/path-cloudpractitioner/

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Essential Social Media Metrics You cannot Afford to Ignore

Statista predicts that the number of social media users will reach 3.02 billion by 2021. Therefore, not using these channels to connect with your audience may hurt your branding efforts on multiple levels. However, as the number of your competitors investing in social media marketing (SMM) keeps growing, just creating a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account for your business is not enough.

To rise above your rivals and improve your customer relationships, you need to set the right SMM metrics and track them regularly.

What are KPIs and why are They Important?

Do you know which social media marketing practices bring you the highest ROI? Statistics show that 90% of marketers don’t know what their most profitable SMM tactics are. This probably means that they either rely on the wrong KPIs or don’t track any KPIs at all.

Your social media KPIs (key performance indicators) are basically the values you set to monitor the performance of your campaigns. Focusing on engagement, conversions, and branding efforts, these metrics help you make wiser decisions, refine your tactics, and improve your ROI significantly.

Now, if you’ve hired a digital marketing agency to handle your social media campaigns, you’re golden. In this case, digital marketing professionals will track the right KPIs for you and build your campaign around the results they get. However, if you’re building your SMM campaign all by yourself, measuring its performance may be overwhelming for you. As there are numerous metrics to track, you first need to learn how to choose the ones that really matter.

This is the basis on which you will further build your success in the overcrowded social media landscape.

Brand-Related Metrics

When building your social media marketing campaign, your goal is to raise brand awareness and connect with the right people on a personal level. This is why you need to track brand-related KPIs, as they help you understand how strong your brand is.

1. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness tells you how many people know about you. To measure it, you first need to determine the timeframe within which you want to measure your brand awareness and determine the brand awareness metrics to track (mentions, shares, etc.) This is where social media monitoring tools can help you, as they let you find both @direct and indirect brand mentions.

2. The Reach of your Posts

This KPI shows how many users have seen your piece of content since it was published. As such, it heavily depends on the relevance of your post, as well as when it was published.

How to measure: (the reach of a post/the number of your followers) x 100

3. The Growth of your Following

This KPI tells you at what speed your follower base expands on social networks. It doesn’t focus on how many followers you attracted within a certain timeframe, but on how quickly you gained them.

How to measure: (net new followers/the total number of followers) x 100

Engagement Metrics

Relying on your brand reach is not enough. Having thousands of followers is purposeless if they don’t communicate with the content you share. To measure the true impact of your campaigns, you need to track your target audience’s engagement, too.

By engagement, many marketers mean likes, shares, and comments. However, these are vanity metrics that make you feel special about the performance of your posts but tell you nothing about how your followers engage with them. This is why you need to put them in a broader context by combining them with the following KPIs:

1. Applause Rate

Likes are important because they indicate how many of your followers have seen your post and liked it. However, monitoring the number of likes doesn’t tell you much about people’s engagement with your content. This is why you need to keep monitoring your applause rate that shows what percentage of your followers considers your posts relevant.

How to measure: (the number of likes per post/the total number of followers) x 100

2. Amplification Rate

Your social media shares tell you how many people consider your content valuable enough to share it with their network. However, what if one post performs significantly better than the other? What you can you conclude from these numbers, except that one is more popular? You’re right, nothing. This is why you need to track the amplification rate or the average number of shares per social media post.

How to measure: (the number of shares per post/the total number of followers) x 100

3. Virality Rate

What is better- a post with 15,000 likes but poor virality rate or a post with fewer likes but a higher virality rate? The latter one, of course. Precisely because of that, you need to measure the virality rate. This metric shows you the number of users that shared your post, compared to the number of its unique views.

How to measure: (the number of shares/ the number of impressions) x 100

Conversion Metrics

Calculating the engagement metrics is only half the equation. The other half is to understand how many of your followers are eager to convert. This is what conversion metrics are for. They are critical for the performance of your campaign, as they directly indicate the effectiveness of your social media engagement.

4. Social Media Conversion Rate

This metric represents the total number of conversions arriving from social networks. It helps you understand the effectiveness of your posts and see how well your social media content resonates with your target audience.

How to measure: (social media conversions/the total sum of conversions) x 100

5. Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate (CTR) shows you how often users hit the CTA link in your posts. Similarly to other conversion metrics, its goal is to show you whether you’re targeting the right audiences and whether your posts resonate with them.

How to measure: (the number of clicks on a post/ the number of impressions) x 100

6. Bounce Rate

Calculating the CTR alone is not enough. You need to know what happens once a user lands on the page. And, this is where your bounce rate steps in. The bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors that click on the link in your social media post, land on the page, and leave it immediately, before taking any further action. If your social media bounce rates are high, this only means that you’re either targeting the wrong audience or that your landing page doesn’t meet their expectations.

How to measure: This is where Google Analytics can help. Choose Channels> All Traffic> Bounce Rate and the tool will rank your digital marketing channels by their bounce rate.

Over to You

Boosting your presence in the competitive social media sphere doesn’t happen overnight. To succeed, you need to choose the right metrics and track them regularly to measure the performance of your strategy. This will help you make wiser decisions and take your strategy to the next level.

What social media marketing KPIs do you track?