Category: SEO

DevelopmentInsightsSEO

Turn Website Visitors into Loyal Paying Customers With These Tips

E-Commerce has established successful businesses that are now ruling the world. From Amazon to the renowned Alibaba, the magic of e-commerce can be seen from many inspiring businesses. But, It’s not always easy to set-up an e-commerce website, engage the audience, and maintain them.

Extra-ordinary customer services, quality products, and, most importantly, a well-designed e-commerce website is what keeps the business going.

Many businesses fail due to lack of absence, poor website design, and the conventional way of selling. A website that is not intuitive, SEO-optimized, rich in graphics does not attract viewers, and they prefer to click the ‘CLOSE’ button. But if you have an understanding of your visitors, their buying patterns, you can design a website that will turn browsers into regular paying clients.

Brands hire SEO professionals and website designers, who work with them to build an engaging, user-friendly, compelling website.

They are aware of the local audience preferences, their buying behavior, and help in e-commerce development. Here are some e-commerce website design tactics that capture customer attention and urges them to shop.

Make Your Website Fast

According to various case studies, most shoppers don’t complete the purchase because of delayed website response. And that’s not shocking. With most people having an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish, it’s not hard to understand why one-second delay can cost a significant percentage of sales.
So, make your website faster and responsive. You can increase the page loading speed by:

  • Ditching budget web hosting.
  • Reducing HTTP calls.
  • Enabling compression.
  • Enabling browser caching.
  • Optimizing on-page elements.

Focus on Product Pages

No matter how compulsive your homepage is, the product pages are where visitors become shoppers. Make sure the product page has all the information about the product. Include high-quality product images editing. You can also try motion images, including interactive functions that show products up-side-down (360°) views, zoom-features that show fine details.

Write an excellent, compelling product description.

You can also experiment with on-screen videos.

Include Live Chatbots

Chatbots are quickly becoming a talking point. Thanks to the wide range of use cases in many industries, they’ve become a major communication channel with customers.

This is an interactive way to engage with customers as they feel more comfortable when communicating with and getting new information from chatbots.

It might be, the viewer has specific requirements about the product that can’t be described on-page. A little help with live-chat will resolve the problem, and the customer will happily buy the product.

Easy Check-Out Process

An abandoned cart is the most common problem e-commerce businesses face. It is because of the long contact forms, shipping details, and payment options. 

So, reduce the ordering process to 2 to 3 clicks. Moreover, make the online payment easier and convenient by introducing payment options which the majority of customers use. 

Design A Thank You Page

It’s a page where visitors go after they shop from the website. Creating a thank-you page provides a great opportunity for you to express gratitude and encourage them to sign up for your newsletter.

When designed skillfully, these pages can keep your leads engaged and promise secondary conversion opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Excellent website design, informative product pages, user-friendly interface, and simple check-out process, are the main pillars for e-commerce business. So, if you focus on the above-mentioned points and hire the best firm of public relations, your website will attract visitors and turn them into paying customers.

What are the current strategies you adopt to convert your visitors? We’d like to know in the comment section below.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Best Google Chrome Extensions for Small Businesses

Google Chrome has arrays of extensions that you can use to scale your business. You can use them to send emails, automate tasks, and safeguard your documents online. The extensions work on your PC or Mac once you have downloaded them. Here are the top applications that are of immense benefit to your business.

1. Todoist

Todoist is a useful tool that will help you organize all tasks in your organization. You will work with other workers as a team to complete all the jobs. Plus, you can assign individuals to work based on their skills and talents as well. As the boss, you can track the tasks regardless of your location. The highlight is that you can set reminders via Todoist so that you won’t miss out on significant job events.

2. Helium 10

Helium 10 is an Amazon Chrome extension for sellers that help them check prices on various items. You can keep tabs on the cost of specific products in your line of business. Once the prices drop, Helium 10 will alert you so that you can set competitive rates. This way, you will generate profits based on the trends that come with the cost of goods. The best part is that you will get data on Amazon and other global online sellers. You will be ahead of other businesses that trade in the same products as your enterprise.

3. Grammarly

The app is essential since you need to create content from time to time about your company. On that account, Grammarly removes typos and grammar mistakes that make online content appear unprofessional. Once you install it, it automatically corrects all errors when you write to attain polished posts. Your emails will be easy to read and have the correct spelling as well.

4. Buffer

It is a widely used Google Chrome extension that links all your social media accounts. You can advertise your products via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn with one click. The posts become automatic, making social sharing a seamless thing to do. The highlight is that you can track and analyze results to see the number of likes, shares, and comments.

5. Boomerang

Boomerang is the best extension for your email account since it manages the messages that you send or receive. It can delay texts until when you are ready to view them in free time. In addition to that, Boomerang can help you schedule when you want to send emails. You can track messages if you don’t get feedback from your clients. The best part is that you will know if the recipient has read the content or not, thanks to Boomerang.

6. Click & Clean

As part of technology, your business will face risks such as cyberattacks and other cybersecurity breaches. Therefore, you need to protect vital information that you have searched via your browser. Click & Clean is the ideal mechanism to clear history and cookies. It gets rid of cache and typed URLs so that no one can have a wind of what you are doing as part of your venture.

7. Fakespot

If you buy products in bulk online, you need to know if they are authentic or not. Fakespot allows you to determine genuine and fake reviews from customers. This way, you can purchase items that will not discredit your business. The extension pans out the difference between honest and untrue comments about specific goods. You will view the real grades from A to F that show the value or worth of the items that you intend to buy.

DevelopmentMartechSEOStartups

Why San Diego is a Great Location for Tech Startups

Tech startups are some of the hottest companies in existence today. However, there’s always the question of where they should be located. For 2020 and the future, let us take a very close look at why San Diego is an excellent location for tech startups.

Great Location with Relatively Lower Costs

To start things off, San Diego features relatively low costs compared to the rest of California. Let’s not get confused, the price of living is still high. But it is moderately affordable, especially for a startup. An office can be rented at a reasonable price. If you’re willing to commit to several years of rent, these deals are even better. Utilities also aren’t extremely high. On a day to day basis, tech startups will find that they pay less than their counterparts in other cities with a large tech presence. As for your employees, they’ll be spending less as well. Food and transportation costs are very affordable in San Diego. This means that more people are flocking to the city, and your employees will be set up for success in financial regard.

A Strong, Supportive Tech Community

Next in line, San Diego features a strong tech community. There are already many tech startups in the area that make for high competition. In particular, this is a friendly sort of competition. While companies in some industries are fiercely at war with each other, this is not true for the tech industry. Many of these startups work alongside one another and even bounce ideas off each other. As the company across the street makes progress, you’ll want to achieve the same. There are tech festivals and celebrations throughout the year that feature the latest developments. These are fantastic ways to stay up to date with the newest tech and look toward the future. When your startup wins an award or recognition, other businesses throughout the city will respect this achievement for what it is worth.

A Rich Talent Pool

Another factor that is similar to a strong tech community is the number of tech graduates. Thousands of students from nearby universities are looking for internships or their first job out of college. They have completed all the relevant coursework and are more than qualified to take on a startup job. Moreover, they are hungry and have a genuine interest in tech. If you situate your startup in San Diego, you’ll be able to work with all of these graduates. It’s a relationship that goes both ways. You’ll have the best workforce at your fingertips, and your startup will surely see success. At the same time, these graduates will be able to work for a promising startup instead of a company that doesn’t fit their interests.

A Diversity of Resources

Last but not least, the diversity of resources is phenomenal, from San Diego water purification resources like Rayne Water to San Diego billboard companies like Lamar. Solar energy is a thriving business, as well, because San Diego is a city that is highly focused on renewable energy. In particular, solar panels are commonly found on the roofs of many downtown buildings. The Southern California climate is perfect for generating these sorts of renewable energy. It will lower the cost of your electric bill and help the environment at the same time.

That Perfect Weather

Northern California draws a lot of people in the tech industry, but unless you like wearing a jacket most of the year, there’s no comparison to the weather in San Diego. Every few years, another news publication writes an article about how San Diego is the finest place to live. Maybe that’s why the city’s motto is: “America’s Finest City.”

When all is said and done, San Diego is an excellent location for tech startups. It’s nearly the perfect environment for a startup looking to make waves in the tech industry. Take all of the above factors and more into consideration!

DevelopmentInsightsSEO

How to Work With an Outsourcing Company as an In-House Developer

As a developer, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to check every item off your checklist. When these small tasks and items snowball over time, projects end up delayed, things are overlooked, and mistakes are made.

When an in-house team can no longer handle the amount of work and needs extra hands to get projects completed on-time and within budget, it’s time to partner with a software outsourcing provider.

Outsourcing software development helps companies of all sizes and industries accomplish their goals in the most time and cost-efficient manner possible. It also helps relieve some of the stress put on in-house developers by providing them with an external resource and the additional manpower required to get things done and increase overall productivity.

Outsourcing teams act as an extension of your in-house talent to supplement when niche skills, extra developers, or specific expertise is required. However, as a developer working in-house for a company, partnering with an outsourced team may feel like a world of uncertainty even if the help is totally welcomed. After all, you are working closely with a team of strangers from sometimes thousands of miles away (or even on a different continent) on important projects.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. When done correctly, software outsourcing is a great way to help your company grow, succeed, and accomplish more with the help of a third-party team.

Tips for Working with an Outsourced Team

Before beginning any project with a software development outsourcing provider, it’s important that your team sets themselves up for success and fully defines a few items before bringing the new virtual team members into the working environment. While the work is going on, making some simple adjustments and changes to your normal development routine can help make it a smoother process for all involved.

Below are just a few tips for setting your in-house development team up for success when working with an outsourcing company:

  • Before your team starts to work with the outsourced team members, it’s a good idea to establish a leadership hierarchy. This will let your in-house devs know who is responsible for formally checking in with the team on items, who they should go to with questions, and a general game plan for management.
  • You should strive to treat your offshore developers just like an in-house coworker. When you begin working with an offshoring company, employees from that company become your virtual partners. Make the effort to make them feel welcome and like a part of the team. Not only does this boost the overall work morale and foster co-working relationships, but it will also boost productivity levels across the board.
  • Communication is, without a doubt, the backbone of a good outsourcing partnership. Without strong, effective communication from the very start of the working relationship, you are setting yourself up for failure. All project requirements must be set and clear from the beginning. However, just handing over a project explanation and having a few meetings isn’t enough. Daily communication between in-house developers and your outsourcing partner is important to help keep things on track.
    Programs such as Slack and Skype make it easy to communicate in a quick fashion to answer questions in real-time. The programs are a big help when challenges or problems come up as they allow for a timely response. Weekly meetings via voice or video calls are a great way to help bring your team back together for status updates and such. Making communication a top priority when working with an outsourced provider is one of the top ways to be successful in your software development projects.
  • Project management tools are a great way to keep things organized and visible to all team members at all times. When working with a development team that is not fully in the office, it can be difficult to know the status of each individual task for the current project. With a project management tool, such as Asana, Trello, or Basecamp, it’s easy to clearly communicate and assign tasks, determine deadlines, arrange meetings, and set goals or milestones for the projects. These tools help keep questions and answers, comments, and attached files organized and in one place for all of your team members to see. 

As an in-house developer or development team leader, working with a software development outsourcing firm may seem like a daunting task at first. However, these partnerships are incredibly beneficial for your team in terms of both efficiency and productivity. By setting yourself up for success with the right tools and effective communication methods, as well as clear and concise planning, your teams will be able to work together to knock projects out and achieve success.

DevelopmentInsightsSEO

10 Things to Consider When Outsourcing Quality Assurance

If software or website development project is to be successful, it has to go through rigorous quality assurance and testing to ensure that it’s ready for the market. However, this is a tedious and rather time-consuming part of the overall development process. For this reason (and many more), many organizations choose to outsource their quality assurance needs. 

What is quality assurance? One of the most important parts of the software development process, quality assurance (QA) is the process of identifying and maintaining set requirements for the development of reliable products. QA helps to boost a company’s credibility, improves overall workflow efficiency, offers a competitive advantage, and helps boost the customers’ product confidence.

QA outsourcing is when an organization chooses to partner with a third-party QA outsourcing company to handle all of their quality assurance needs. This process not only helps bring a fresh perspective and eyes to the project but also helps expedite the process and ensure that nothing goes unanalyzed. It cuts costs, improves efficiency, and provides organizations with access to quality assurance expertise without the expensive costs associated with hiring in-house.

Many businesses, however, get stuck on how to get started with third-party QA companies. They may know that the process is beneficial and that partnering with another company is something that they should do, but don’t really know where to begin or how to organize things.

Things to Keep in Mind When Outsourcing Quality Assurance

  1. The lowest rate doesn’t mean the lowest total cost nor the best services. – When it comes to outsourcing vendors, sometimes rates sound too good to be true. Unfortunately, it’s likely that they are, in fact, too good to be true. Inexpensive rates and the promise of an enormous virtual team may sound rather enticing, but it’s important to consider all options before signing on the cheapest dotted line.
  2. A thorough and comprehensive Service Level Agreement is a must-have. – A good SLA describes the level of service that an outsourcing vendor will provide in detail. This includes client satisfaction, on-time delivery, the volume of work, system downtime, availability, reporting, project management, timelines, and so on. The SLA should also include the company’s quality assurance process and measures so that organizations know what they are paying for.
  3. Industry experience means a lot in QA. – Every industry vertical has unique business processes and procedures. If a tester or testing team doesn’t have any experience with the industry at-hand, they may slow down QA efforts. A team of professionals who understand how the industry works will not only improve efficiency but also help focus quality efforts to ensure that the areas with the most business impact get the top priority testing slots.
  4. Engagement model selection is important. – During the development of an outsourcing plan, one of the most important decisions for an organization to make is the selection of an engagement model. The main point of this choice is for organizations to decide whether total outsourcing or incremental outsourcing is the right decision. Incremental outsourcing is the process of outsourcing smaller projects to make things more manageable while total outsourcing includes multiple projects with the same vendor.
  5. Communication is everything. – Communication is the key to success with any sort of outsourced project or team, something that’s especially true when it comes to QA outsourcing. Hiring organizations should strive to ensure that they have open channels for any questions that need answering and provide effective, responsive points of contact within their organizations. Factors such as escalation, issue resolution, and reporting are all important aspects of the communication process for QA.
  6. Make sure the culture fits. – A good cultural fit with an outsourcing partner is also very important. The outsourcing team needs to get to know the hiring organization as a whole, the employees, how everyone works together, and other vendors that may work on the project. They should understand the pace at which the team works and how they need to fit within it as well.
  7. Make IP protection a priority. – Companies must ensure that all personally identifiable information is never duplicated, distributed, disclosed, or made available to third parties in any manner. Any outsourcing partner needs to have security testing standards that will prevent any unauthorized access or misuse of data for hiring companies.
  8. Ask about the technology framework and best practices. – Before hiring a QA outsourcing provider, every organization should ask about the unique intellectual property and best practices that the provider offers. This helps give insight into the methodologies, tool kits, and success rate of the provider.
  9. Learn about flexibility and scalability options. – To guarantee an effective and efficient response to any work fluctuations, hiring organizations should ensure that their chosen outsourcing provider offers flexible options. This means scaling the team up during peak times and scaling down during a lull. A good outsourcing partner should have adequate infrastructure and resources available for their clients.
  10. Learn about the provider’s methods and tech. – A good outsourced QA provider uses the latest technologies and methodologies to keep up with the times. This is an obvious item, but also commonly overlooked.

By keeping these 10 notes in mind during the process of finding and hiring a software QA outsourcing company, organizations are set up for success before the projects even begin.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Visuals in Landing Pages: Using Them Right

Tapping on the emotional instinct of your prospects and customers is imperative if you want your landing pages to convert and bring you better sales. Visuals can be a powerful element that can make your visitors smile, share valuable information, inspire the readers, and encourage them to make the purchase.

Take a look at this landing page inviting the visitors to a webinar that would discuss the future of retail-borderless commerce. It has perfectly combined text, visuals, and CTAs to encourage the readers to take action. 

That said, let’s move on to exploring the world of visuals in landing pages. 

1. Use relevant imagery

When your content is accompanied by relevant images, readers find it easier to grasp the message and make up their mind to complete the purchase. The key to using imagery is that if a message can be conveyed with the help of an image, there is no need to have a wall of text to explain it. 

Moo has gone a step ahead and incorporated the principle of storytelling in their email landing page. 

While the email shows an interesting GIF of a toaster with the CTA “Push the lever”, the landing page continues the story and displays a toast with toaster marks of 15% to promote their 15% off and coupon code.

2. Grab attention with GIFs

GIFs are the perfect substitute to videos as they emulate a video-like experience without any major impact on the loading speed of the landing page. According to GIPHY, 500 million active users spend close to 11 million hours in viewing GIFs on their channel which demonstrates the love for GIFs.  

Just make sure that the size of the GIF does not go over 1MB so that your page does not take too much time to load. 

3. Let videos do the magic

So many companies have started using videos in their landing pages to make the message more impactful for the readers and showcase your products or services effectively. You can either use the videos in the background or have a different section for the video followed by a sign-up form and CTA. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can even try out personalized videos on the landing pages. These videos can be easily created with the help of tools like Hippo Video in which you create a video template with placeholder text and then edit it with tailormade content according to the reader’s preferences.

4. Take help of illustrations

Illustrations are way more convenient to create when compared to videos or GIFs. Another advantage of these modern images is that they have a great visual appeal too. They can be used to symbolically represent an idea through graphics and explain your offerings to the visitor.

5. Harness the power of graphs

Often, marketers need to showcase complicated statistics on a landing page. Graphs can help you with this.

Here are some ways in which you can use graphs to their maximum potential.

i. Take help of scatter plots and treemaps to display huge set of information.

ii. If you want to show trends over a decade or two, use line charts or bar graphs. 

iii. Pyramids and pie charts work well if you want to show the proportion of elements.

6. Choose the right colors

Whenever you sit to strategize your landing page design and visual elements, pick the right colors according to your business type and industry. For example, if you are a premium brand, black and white would be the perfect choice for you. Remember Apple?

On the other hand, if you are an FMCG brand, red would work better for you. (Example: McDonald’s)

Green stands for tranquility, health, and good luck which makes it a good choice for brands that are related to growth.

To learn more about how to use the appropriate visuals, colors, and CTA in your landing pages, head to the insightful infographic by Email Uplers: A deep dive into “the use of visuals in landing pages”.

IMAGE EMBED CODE 

<a href=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/” target=”_blank”>

                  <img src=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/images/embed.jpg” alt=”How to Use Visual Elements in Landing Page to Boost Conversions” /></a>

                 Source:<a href=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/”> How to Use Visual Elements in Landing Page to Boost Conversions </a>

About the author

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

SEO

This Is How SEO Reviews Will Benefit Your Business!

Those who are in the field of business, promotions, and marketing know the importance of SEO for their business. And, they also know how much SEO reviews can affect their business in a good and a bad way. Every business that wishes to go digital, SEO plays an important role. Seo ranking today gives utmost importance to consumers’ user experience and what they have to say about the brand.

It is because of the practice of SEO that the website of the businesses gets maximum and good quality, i.e., organic traffic that will eventually turn into their profits. With the right strategies of SEO, increases the user experience, conversion rate increases, money is saved, the brand becomes credible, and brand awareness improves along with various other benefits. SEO review not only creates a great online reputation but also impacts search engine ranking.

And, as we are talking about SEO, professionals in business need to know that SEO reviews are also important for their business. Where good reviews can do wonders for them, some bad reviews can affect their reputation in the market. Also, both types of reviews can help them in creating the best SEO strategies. 
Most consumers today want to read online reviews before spending their hard-earned money to know about the experience of other consumers, also about product efficiency.

Ways Reviews Can Benefit SEO

1. As you are going through the reviews given by the customers, you should not just see them as good reviews or bad reviews, but you should see them as content for your growth. Read them carefully and you will come across different useful keywords that can help your business and the content on your website. They can have the keywords related to the services you are providing, so see them as content apart from seeing them as feedback. Moreover, it also helps in SEO for local ranking. Customer reviews may contain concerns of customers how effectively and quickly brand deal with them creates a positive impression among consumers.

2. As we carry forward to talk about the SEO reviews, you should know that positive reviews are very important for your business if you want to see your brand grow. It is because of the good reviews that you will eventually start appearing at the top search results on the internet. Google always values the brands with good services and reward them by offering enough exposure to a higher conversion rate.
Businesses who have a customer-centric approach can only survive in the competitive global business environment.

3. If you are concerned about SEO reviews, another thing you can do is to quickly respond to the feedback. Google values those brands who value their customers. Responding to the reviews means that you care about your customer and you are trying your best to offer them the best services. And you know that a good brand is always rewarded by Google. 

4. To talk about the reviews, we all know that the more there will be genuine reviews, the lesser will be the bounce rate. Customers prefer to go through the reviews of the products and then decide to make the purchase. If the reviews are good, the bounce rate will be low and there will be chances of higher Google rankings. And if the reviews are not good enough, the situation will reverse. 

5. Reviews can help you to know the products or services people like more and more. Then, you can use these reviews to promote those services or products on social platforms and use them for interactions and conversion rates. Your strong presence on social platforms is also important for the best SEO results. SEO reviews can also help businesses to improve the quality of their product and services, which can be optimized to meet the customers’ requirements. 

These are just a few benefits of Supple reviews. Once you will start taking the reviews seriously for the formation of your SEO strategies, you will come to know about more advantages as well. But for now, you need to keep these benefits in mind and grow your business by involving them in your strategies. It is assured that SEO reviews will offer you the desired results and you will be able to earn profits with the quality traffic that you have always desired. When it comes to feedback just be as genuine as possible and you will be rewarded with positive results. 

DevelopmentInsightsSaaSSEO

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN – Which Should You Choose?

If you are seeking to find a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to secure your online activities and protect your data, you are not alone; many other people have intensified their interest in VPNs. We have gone through different VPN reviews websites like VPN Watch, and now we’ll guide you through what to look for in a VPN and explain the key differences between free and paid VPN services.

What Does a VPN Do?

When you decide to find a VPN service, there are a few important reasons behind that, such as:

  • You are a frequent traveler who wants to use public Wi-Fi.
  • You want to surf the internet anonymously by masking your IP address.
  • You are just afraid that someone might try to steal your information on public Wi-Fi.
  • You are afraid that someone is watching your browsing history and activity.

A VPN creates a secure connection to a network over the internet through an encrypted tunnel that hides your IP address. This allows secure and private sending and receiving of data over public or shared networks on various devices, giving you enhanced anonymity and privacy when browsing.

A VPN hides a lot of information, which, if made public, can put your privacy at risk, such as:

  • Your IP address.
  • Your browsing history.
  • Your device details.
  • Your location.
  • Your internet activities.

Choosing the best VPN for you can be a tough endeavor, but it is one that you must conduct if you want to protect your online identity and data. You can choose either a free or paid VPN.

Free VPNs vs. Paid VPNs

The best VPNs keep your identity completely anonymous online, protect your data, shield you from cyber threats, and give you access to geo-restricted websites. Isn’t the thought of getting all that for free amazing?

However, can free be entirely free?

Paid VPN providers make profits from subscription fees. How free VPN providers make money should be a big question for you because, somehow, they have to generate revenue from your usage of their service.

Why Should You Choose a Free VPN?

The first reason for choosing a free VPN is that it is free – you won’t have to pay anything to use it. Furthermore, like any VPN, a free VPN will give you anonymity while browsing the web.

What Risks Are Associated with Using a Free VPN?

Some free VPNs compromise your data security and privacy to make money. How do they do that?

  • They track your online activities and browser history, then sell your data to third parties, such as advertisers.
  • They are inviting malware to your device. That malware harvests your data to facilitate phishing scams and other data breaches.
  • Weak security: free VPNs have next to zero security because of their weak and fickle online security features. This leaves you vulnerable to hackers, cybercriminals, and governmental spying.
  • They interrupt your browsing with ads and continuous pop-ups. This is annoying and may lead you to malicious sites that are dangerous to browse.
  • They redirect your internet traffic without your permission. Browser hijacking is also one of their revenue making streams.
  • You will face significant speed drops. Free VPNs significantly slow down your internet connection.

When Can You Use a Free VPN?

Despite these numerous flaws, some safe free VPNs still work well when used occasionally. For instance, if you are about to travel and want to access a geo-blocked site from home, or if you want a little privacy and protection while using shared public Wi-Fi, you can use a limited free VPN service.

Paid VPNs

The fact is no free VPN will offer you a complete high-quality and safe service without limitations. To get full usage of a VPN, you should opt for a paid option.

Are Paid VPNs Worth the Money?

Definitely, paid VPNs are worth it. With paid VPNs, you get:

  • genuine protection for your private online data,
  • secure protocols with top-notch network security,
  • a premium VPN service that keeps you anonymous and your internet traffic private,
  • access to content that is otherwise geo-restricted, such as streaming services or games, 
  • no bandwidth caps or slow connection speeds,
  • a no-log policy,
  • built-in malware protection and ad blockers to keep you safer,
  • access to more server locations and better server selection,
  • better customer support services.
  • additional security options like double vpn

Bottom Line

To be brief, we strongly advise against using a free VPN service. No free VPN is reliable or trustworthy enough to offer you the level of digital protection that can keep your data safe online.

However, you also need to know that all VPN providers can track your online traffic, activity, and browsing data. The question is why or whether they do so. Paid VPN service providers say they don’t. You cannot know, and you have to take their word on that.

We believe that the information in this article can help you make the right decision. If you have any other issues regarding VPN selection, you can alert us through the comments section.

DevelopmentInsightsProductsSaaSSEO

Different Approaches for Test Automation for Microservices

Most companies that use DevOps are turning to Microservices for their code development. Microservices are small-sized parts of an application that are focused on completing one task. They are a subpart of a module. These services are independent of each other. Hence they can be tested separately by QA testing companies without worrying about dependencies. Microservices can also be deployed independently. 

All of those are neat benefits. But not everything is great when it comes to microservices. In fact, one of the downsides is that they are hard to test since each has its own codebase, dependencies management, and database schema. Even for local testing, you have to make sure that you’re using the latest code stack., all data migrations are up to date, and that you’re using the correct code branch. 

Since this can be pretty challenging, here are a few ways through which microservices testing can be automated.

1. Full-stack inbox testing

In this, you create the testing environment on a local system. Then you carry out the quality testing on that local system, by testing each instance one by one. The machine is called a vagrant box, as Vagrant is used to creating that environment. 

Benefits

  • Building your virtual machine will take minutes  
  • Pre-built Vagrant provisioners
  • Anyone can test over the internet by downloading the same machine on their laptop. 
  • QA becomes easier. 

Problems:

  • Spinning the machine locally can have unexpected errors. 
  • This system doesn’t scale. 
  • Trying to replicate a cloud infrastructure environment on a local system doesn’t test the same way. 

2. End to end testing 

End-to-end testing is the Quality Assurance for all the parts of the system i,e, services, integration, interface, and network. This type of testing tests the whole user journey, from start to finish. You can also use the 80/20 rule – that is, not simulating all the parts of a real test, just pieces of it.

Benefits

  • It validates all layers of the service, such as the data layer, integration layer, presentation layer, and business layer.
  • It reduces time and costs by decreasing errors. 

Problems:

  • Many companies don’t believe End-to-End testing is useful for microservices as they are not full applications. Hence there won’t be a workflow that tests all aspects of service. 
  • Testing gets complex every time you introduce a new microservice into the architecture. 

3. Unit testing 

Unit testing is done by writing test cases for a particular unit/part of the code. A unit can be one method or a whole module. The basic idea is to divide the repository into smaller components and to test them individually. 

Ideally, unit testing should be done by minimizing external dependencies. Doing so will ensure quality even if the external environment around the unit changes.

Benefits

  • You can use different development languages or frameworks for unit testing.

Problems:

  • Testers may write wrong tests
  • Debugging unit tests often wastes time instead of saving it.

 4. Documentation first testing

Also called the API First approach. In it, you create the API along with its documentation before anything else. The API documentation is made open-source.

Developers APIs are considered “High-level citizens.” Doing so creates a contract for how to make changes to them.  If anyone wants to change API or create their own based on them, they’ll have to review the document to make sure that the new API upholds the standards mentioned in the Original API. 

Benefits

  • Increases Speed to market 
  • It reduces costs. Well suited for cloud development.
  • Many teams can work parallelly based on API definitions in the documentation. 

Problems

  • Setting up the initial API can be challenging.
  • Testing all parameters in API Request combinations can take long
  • Schema updating of the API may cause downtime because of new parameters. 

5. Stubbed Testing

Used for top-down integrating quality testing. In it, you use small codes called stubs for testing. They behave and handle data like microservices but they are just dummies – small, isolated parts of your application.

Software testing companies use stub tests when they need to do QA after taking input from the user. The system can just mimic user behavior.

Benefits:

  • Can test the primary module without the smaller modules (top-down approach)
  • Reproduce complex modules easily
  • Can test without the required response. 
  • Saves time

Problems:

  • Shallower than other methods. 
  • Static methods cannot be stubbed
  • Pointer method signatures not supported.

You can use different tools software testing companies use to test microservices, such as: 

  1. Goreplay: Open-source, a networking tool that monitors live traffic. 
  2. VCR: a unit testing tool that records HTTP interactions for your test suite. 
  3. Apiary: a documentation tool. It can write, mock, and spin an API in 30 minutes. 
  4. Wilma: Service virtualization tool. Combines Service stubs and HTTPS proxy
  5. Wiremock: HTTP based API simulator. Creates an actual HTTP server and mimics web service. 

Conclusion

Microservices testing can be difficult but is an unavoidable part of development. You can change your strategy as per requirement and situation. There is uncertainty in this type of testing, but if you apply tried and tested theories like Stubbed testing, documentation testing, etc., you won’t face any problems. 

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The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Outsourcing Software Development

When a business needs to create, customize, or manage software solutions for their business, they simply don’t have the time, know-how, or manpower to do so in most cases. Thus, many organizations have made the smart decision to partner with a third-party outsourcing provider for all of their software development needs.

Outsourcing software development has a number of significant advantages for companies of all sizes and specialties. The practice reduces costs by not keeping team members as in-house, full-time employees. As they are part of an external team, the hiring company must only pay a flat monthly or hourly rate or pay for the entire project (depending on the contract). Companies are able to scale the number of people on their teams up or down as well, helping to ensure maximum efficiency and use of resources. 

Outsourcing companies, such as BairesDev, give organizations access to niche skill sets and a wide variety of talent that they may not have been able to access otherwise. (Learn more about BairesDev here: https://www.bairesdev.com/software-development-services/software-outsourcing/) These teams keep costs down while operating at maximum efficiency to help companies stay focused on their core business tasks and still accomplishing their software goals. 

The Most Common Software Development Outsourcing Mistakes

Working with an outsourcing company for software development projects is very beneficial for all kinds of businesses. However, the partnership can go awry when the hiring company makes mistakes. This doesn’t just lead to failed projects, but to loss of time, loss of money, and an indefinitely postponed launch of the final product.

It’s very important that companies understand what it takes to have a good partnership with a third-party outsourcing provider. Not only that, but they should be aware of the common pitfalls and how they can prevent them from happening.

Here are just a few examples of the most common outsourcing problems and how to prevent them:

  1. Choosing an outsourcing company based on the lowest cost. – Most outsourcing companies do exist to help cut down on the cost of developing software. The price of hiring talented developers at an offshore or nearshore development company can be a fraction of what it would cost to hire a developer to work in-house.
    However, saving a few extra dollars overall to hire a more inexperienced development team at the lowest cost could have dire consequences. Obviously cost is a deciding factor in making any business decision, but it should not be the only one. Take experience levels, technology offerings, project examples, communication abilities, and the company as a whole into account in all decision making.
  2. Not making communication a top priority. – Communication makes or breaks an outsourcing project. When working with an outsourced team, communication becomes more important than ever. Before a project begins and an outside team is even hired, companies must take the time to fully establish the project goals, the intended functionality, the necessary requirements, and any other important information that the development team should know. After selecting an outsourcing provider, leaders need to decide on the required communication methods and frequency of communication. Thanks to programs such as Slack and Skype, instant communication between teams all over the world is possible. Regular meetings (via phone or video chat) should occur to help ensure that all team members are on the same page and kept updated on progress throughout the duration of the project. 
  3. Setting unreasonable timelines. – While outsourcing companies are able to expedite timelines thanks to the experience and skill sets of their talent, they aren’t magicians. Timelines must still account for any bugs, issues, or additional development requirements that may not have initially come up. If the hiring company sets a due date that is simply unattainable, the project will fail, not be up to necessary standards, or important items could be overlooked. Instead, companies should work with the development team to decide on a fair time frame that works for both the devs and the end-users.
  4. Not having any kind of in-house tech know-how. – Some companies enter outsourcing contracts without having any kind of in-house technology understanding on their end. While outsourcing companies offer their team leaders, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to fully align their work without being able to discuss the logistics with the in-house team. These in-house employees don’t have to be experts, but just having a tech resource available is helpful and will prevent possible communication issues.
  5. Underestimating the importance of quality assurance and testing. – Again, developers are not magicians. While they are experts in their respective field(s), outsourced development projects are bound to have bugs and errors. This is why quality assurance processes and testing are so important throughout the entire Software Development Life Cycle. Some hiring companies believe that they are hiring experts so they should not have to also hire testers and QA professionals. This is simply not the case. 

Software development outsourcing companies are great resources for companies who need to complete development projects but simply don’t have the time, money, or know-how to do it in house. As long as best practices are put into place from the very beginning of the relationship with an outsourcing company, these costly mistakes are avoidable for joint success.