Category Archives: Web Development

Switching to HTTP/2 & what it means for the SEOs?

According to Barry Schwartz, Google’s John Muller said that GoogleBot would be supporting the HTTP/2 by the end of this year or the next early year. What happens is that the https provides a tremendous speed increase, making for an extremely fast user experience along with the other online factors.

 

What Is HTTP/2?

 

Http/2 is the latest update done by the internet engineering task force made to the HTTP protocol. This protocol is the successor to the HTTP/1.1 drafted in 19999. HTTP/2 is a much-required refresh, meaning that the site has changed over the year. This update brings different advancements with it, in addition to the security, speed and efficiency.

This update was based largely on the Google’s own protocol SPDY, which is going to be deprecated in 2016. This protocol has a lot of features made already in HTTP/2 and has been managed to improve the data transmission while keeping backward the compatibility. SPDY has also proven a lot of concepts used in HTTP/2.

What Http/2 is about?

 

Major Improvements in HTTP/2

 

Single Connection

There is just one connection used for loading a site and this connection remains open as long as the site is open. This reduces the round trips required for setting up the multiple TCP connections.

Multiplexing

There are multiple requests which are allowed at the same time and one the same connection. The HTTP/1.1 was transferred to wait for the transfers to complete.

Server Push

The additional resources are sent to the client for the future use.

Prioritization

The requests are assigned dependency levels, which the server can use for delivering the highest priority resources quickly.

Binary

This HTTP/2 makes it quite easy for the server to parse, for a more compact and the less error prone. There is no additional time wasted in translating the information, from text to binary, the computer’s native language.

 

Header Compression

There are a lot of demos out there where you can see the difference in action in the tiled images. It appears that as the latency increases, the speed also increases from the HTTP/2 and becomes even more noticeable, which is great for the mobile users.

HTTP/2 also uses the HPACK compressions, reducing the overhead. This means that there are a lot of headers which are sent with the same value in the request in HTTP/1.1.

 

Who Supports HTTP/2?

 

You’ll also find that most major server software — such as Apache, NGINX, and IIS — already supports HTTP/2. Many of the major CDNs have also added HTTP/2 support, including MaxCDN and Akamai.

HTTP/2 is supported by 75% + browsers in US and 67.78 % globally. There are also a couple of caveats to these numbers, as the IE supports the HTTP/2 in windows 10, chrome, Firefox and opera to support HTTP/2 over HTTPs. You can always check how this would affect the site visitors in analytics by going to the audience -> technology -> browser & as compared to the supported browsers.

 

HTTPS with HTTP/2

 

While the HTTP/2 supports both the insecure and the secure connections, both the Firefox and Chrome would support HTTP/2 over https. This means that sites which want http/2 would have to be served over https.

There are new initiatives such as encryption, going into the public beta on Dec 3, 2015. Let’s encrypt is a certificate providing free security certificate for the sites, as it’s a great initiative towards the secure web.

 

How would it improve?

 

This would offer extreme speed for the user experience. As time goes on, people would also learn the limits of the new protocol, making the users see increased speeds on the HTTP/2 connections.

 

What it Means For Developers?

 

For developers this means that following:

 

Domain Sharding

You can load the files from the multiple subdomains for establishing more established connections. This increases the parallel file transfer adds to the overhead server connection.

Image Sprites

The image file would have to be loaded before the images are shown and the large image file needs to tie up RAM.

Combining different files

JS and CSS are found combined for reducing page requests. This makes users wait and also consumes additional RAM.

 

What it Means For SEOs?

 

With GoogleBot adding support for HTTP/2, websites that support the protocol will likely see additional rankings boost from speed. On top of that, with Chrome and Firefox only support HTTP/2 over HTTPS, many websites that have not yet upgraded to HTTPS may see an additional boost in rankings when they do.

 

The problem that SEOs would face is the switching of http’s with redirects, as all the 302a instead of 301s, additional hops, chains and cleaning up old redirects would become important. There are various items which have to be first cleaned such as the external links, internal links, duplication issues, mixed content, canonical tags, sitemaps and other tracking systems which have to be changed.

 

Also, another thing which people don’t realize is that the referral data in the headers in dropped when switching from a site using security to the one without the security. This also means that more traffic is attributed to the direct when it must be attributed to the referring sites. HTTPs also prevent ads from being placed on the sites.

As Google has officially made speed a ranking factor, it would be quite interesting to see if the HTTP/2 it becomes a ranking factor and how much of an additional weight would be placed on the additional speed.

In short, switching from HTTP to HTTP/2 is beneficial for the users, developers, server admins, sales teams and everyone else involved in the web business. There is no downside to upgrade this and if the users are not able to load over HTTP/2, they would load it like they always have.

 

Also, according to Bill, a lot of ad networks don’t support https, which means that Google is looking to have more ad space in the market through this protocol.

Stay tuned to the blog of medialinkers.info for more interesting and inside news on SEO.

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Up Your Blogging Game with Facebook Author’s Tag

Up Your Blogging Game with Facebook Author’s Tag: Looking to up your game with blogging? Well, Facebook has released a new “authorship” feature powered by Author Meta tag. It is somewhat similar to Google’s Authorship, but that was discontinued last year.

By implementing a line of Meta tag, the publishers and writers can indicate the author profile, including the publishing page regarding any topic. With the help of this tag, your name would be shared along with the blog post, giving users the ability to follow you as the author.

This would surely add an incredible power to your blogging work. Also, if you are not willing to share your name with the post, you can always link to a brand or a page instead of a personal profile. If you want to build your brand name and don’t have the right bloggers, you can always hire professional bloggers from digital marketing web agencies such as Medialinkers.

Enabling the Facebook Authorship

To make your Facebook audience know who is behind the written posts on your blogs, you can easily add the code “<meta property=”article: author” content=”https://www.facebook.com/medialinkersllc” /> in the  header section of your HTML page and that would do the job for you.

With the help of it, your website would now automatically populate the existing content, along with the future posts.

In case, you are using a CMS such as Drupal or WordPress for running your blog, you would have to include the Facebook URL in the Meta Tag URL. The SEO/ Social plugin you would be using for the platform will give you the option for doing it.

 

Testing the Facebook Author Implementation Setup

In order to verify whether the site has correctly implemented the article: author tag, you can open one of your pages and see the browser’s view source option for checking the generated HTML code. This way, you would be able to see the new Meta tag within the other lines of code. However, make sure that it is added only once, as otherwise it’s possible to have multiple plugins or modules installed which would create the tag. However, Facebook considers it draw back in case there is more than one tag present there.

You can also check by running your blogs through the Facebook debugger for clearing the Facebook’s cache for the content. All you need to do is to go to the Debug tool, enter the article URL and click on the Debug. It will show a preview of what the content would look like when shared on Facebook. However, if it doesn’t look right to you, all you need to do is to click on the Fetch new scrape information button again and again to ensure correct preview.

How will it help the Bloggers, Business Owners?

The Facebook author tag will go a long way in building your personal or brand name on the world’s most popular social media network. They have added this to their engine for helping people spend more time at their site, in the meanwhile also helping the publishers of great content.

Facebook is looking to further strengthen its position as one of the most linked to and shared network for information and news. So with this author tag, the users would be able to follow them just like they do on the regular blogs to learn and read more of their future articles.

As a blogger, you can surely make use of this new yet great marketing tag for your content to reach your targeted audience in a much better way.

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Cherrypickprices.com

CherryPickPrices.com is Now Live!

Cherrypickprices.com was a six month project which has successfully been launched thanks to long hours, and intense dedication from all parties. Looking to save time and money within his own business, Dave DeSantis, CEO and Founder of Cherrypickprices.com and local business The Jammin Pie, decided to develop a macro interface that allowed him to analyze and determine the best price of his regular inventory purchased. This proved to be exhausting and extremely time consuming.

 

“The worst part about the four hours it took just going through two vendor lists, was knowing that when Friday came, most of the prices would change based on market fluctuation,” said DeSantis.

 

The successfulness behind his initial experiment led to savings of over $12K for the first year, approximately 12% in his supply costs. Realizing the additional benefits that occurred from competition, and the basic economics behind supply and demand, DeSantis ventured out to find a web development company who could replicate and improve his spreadsheet on a BIGGER scale.

 

After talks with various web development companies, MediaLinkers Web Design‘s small business approach appealed to DeSantis.

 

“I realized a lot of different companies are overpaying for goods.” DeSantis worked alongside MediaLinkers‘ Chief Technical Officer M. Sajjad in improving his original spreadsheet, and converting it over to an easy to use web interface. Profitability can be achieved much easier with technology and competition working for you. There are various ways that Cherrypickprices.com can benefit your business; don’t miss out on the free trial from now until the end of June 2015.

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ecommerce sales

eCommerce Sales

Thinking about starting an eCommerce website, but afraid it might not prosper? Or do you already have a website, but having doubts on whether starting one was the best idea? Analysts over at The Custora eCommerce Pulse, a free online dashboard that tracks online transactions in real-time from over 100 million retailers, definitely seem to think so! Most online retailers rely on “Cyber Monday” sales to help finish out the year on top, and with the exception of last minute gifts, sales trends tend to drop off in the final stretch of the holiday season. This year, however, the growth of US eCommerce sales hasn’t slowed; it has grown.

 

The holiday shopping season typically lasts from November 1st until December 14th. For 2014, eCommerce revenue has grown by 15% over the last year. Lower gas prices and bigger sales may have triggered the rise, but in either case, consumers are spending more online. Also increasing in strength this holiday season is mobile sales. Mobile shopping, which includes both tablet and phone orders, accounted for approximately one-fourth of online shopping in just the first two weeks of December alone. This is a big skip from sales in the same period last year.

 

The popularity of Apple’s mobile products has continuously increased, as well as the amount of online transactions performed on Apple devices. Android devices are surely catching up, but the bulk of sales is still is ruled by Apple. This also supports the importance of making sure your eCommerce website is also “mobile-friendly,” meaning your website is optimized to display correctly on any mobile device. It should be realized that a potential customer will become frustrated, and as a result, not purchase from your site, if they experience difficulties while using the site on a phone or tablet.

 

Email marketing, usually in the form of subscribed advertising, as well as search engines, still leads the industry with marketing related online sales. Free searches (or organic) through sites such as Google, was the largest means by which companies showcased their goods for sale. This is another reason to increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) quality and rank, which will direct more traffic to your site.

 

The staff at MediaLinkers understands the constant change of the online world, and works hard to make sure that you do too. While custom websites are our specialty, eCommerce websites, SEO, and payment integration (which is a vital tool in business automation), are a part of the wide range of services we offer. We can schedule a free consultation to go over any and every need for your business, and get you on your way to increasing your profits for your e-commerce website. Using our ability to work with any industry, we can make your online business a success! Contact us today for a FREE quote at (678) 369-6000.

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automating your business

Automating Your Business

One move that you, as a business owner, should make is automating your business. Whether it’s approving time off, or sending mass marketing emails, there are tools available to do it all for you. Some require little to no setup effort, while others require a lot initially, however, once the automation is enabled, you have the ability to sit back and watch the process happen with no work from you. We have gathered a list of tasks that a business owner might need to complete, and the most successful way to automate it. Each tool has been previously built and tested through our own experience, so knowing how each one works is MediaLinkers‘ talent.

 

The most widely used form of automating your business is Human Resources related. From vacation and PTO requests, to timesheets and hiring, the majority of HR processes can be automated. Every employee at a particular company follows the same general process for each desired outcome. If hired, each employee fills out the same paperwork, trains under the same modules, and, registers for the same credentials needed in order to do their job. MediaLinkers has the ability to create a database to store and organize employee info so that management can easily and readily have employees to fill out, and able to access those records. This also opens the door for employee requests to be sent to the designated supervisor for approval. Eliminating the need for additional employees, this frees up capital for other ventures, as you do not have to designate human resource tasks that can be automated.

 

Another great way to benefit from automating your business is by using a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). The benefits of a CRM are tremendous. A successful company is one that is able to streamline a customer’s info, so that any department that requires access to their info is capable of seeing the same info across the board, and in return, able to assist the customer efficiently. MediaLinkers uses its own proprietary CRM to keep record of past, current, and future possible clients, in order to have a more personal relationship with our customers. We can build a custom CRM that is tailored to your needs, as different businesses may require different fields of information on a client or customer. You can use a CRM to track payments, follow-ups, make any notes on comments or promises made, even send invoices or manage emails sent to the client. The possibilities are endless. Creating a database linked to your website that stores potential customers’ contact info is a necessity. Adding this feature, MediaLinkers can program your website to automatically sort and filter leads based on your needs, prevent spam from seeping through, as well as keep the information online, instead of clogging up your email with individual notifications.

 

The third process we wanted to highlight in the need for automating your business is Sales and Marketing related. Setting up goals, and automatic processes for leads will in increase your Return on Investment (ROI). Just by adding Google Analytics to your site and configuring it to track conversions, and other important data, it takes the work out of analyzing your website. This frees up time to focus on how to increase conversions, and fix the issues making customers drop off. MediaLinkers has the ability to create the modules needed to integrate and apply the Google Analytics, or whichever website analyzer you would like to use. Many sites built do not have the ability for the owner (unless they are programming knowledgeable) to simply add the codes to their site. It is a module that needs to be created or modified, so reaching out to someone that can do this for you is a great move.

 

There are tons of other ways you can improve productivity, and benefit from automating your business. Call MediaLinkers today for more a more personalized review of which automated processes would profit you the most. We offer free, no obligation consultations, and quotes, to help you decide what the best move is for you and your business. We look forward to speaking with you!

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Newly Launched Websites

MediaLinkers has been hard at work, creating new designs for their client’s visions. In the last few months, the Project Coordinators and programmers at MediaLinkers had a total of five newly launched websites in Fall of 2014, of which three of those were redesigned websites, and the other two were new to the online world.  The value of your talent to create custom designed websites lies in your ability to work in any field, and MediaLinkers does just that. We worked with non-profit organization Georgia Cares, new author Marilyn Pierce, MacConnell Research, a marketing research firm, JPsBears.com, an online store for state souvenirs and collectibles, and Advanced Ops International, a company that creates less-lethal proprietary weapons and other security devices.

 

MediaLinkers worked with all five clients to find out their individual needs and wants, and created a proposal and quote, free of charge, before drafting a contract and starting on their project. Each client viewed a few custom prototype designs of website layouts, including their choice color scheme, navigational links, and home page features, and they were allowed unlimited changes to achieve their desired look. Once design changes, if any, were made, their prototype went to a short development stage, where our developers created and built the code for all of the needed pages. All of the newly launched websites chose to have some version of a content management system, either our CMS tailored to fit their website needs, WordPress with a design we build and integrate solely for that client, or both.

 

Specific features were requested or included to add flair to each website. Georgia Cares, using a custom content management system, has PayPal integration for their donations. Marilyn Pierce, who has a design with WordPress integrated for her blog, and a custom CMS for the other pages of her site, has a moving testimonial flip book and PayPal integration for purchasing her book. Advanced Ops International has a product setup similar to an e-Commerce website, however we have changed the purchase option to a web form that a potential buyer can fill out to contact them for purchasing, something that is only easy to do with a custom CMS. They also took advantage of MediaLinkers’ content writing and videography services for the content on their site.

 

MacConnell Research opted to have a brand new design to match their brand new office, located in Lenox Square Mall. A custom CMS allows new registration through their website, and the information is sent to their online database. JPsBears.com wanted a redesigned website that included a dynamic U.S. map to showcase their state souvenirs, and their products are easily managed through a  e-Commerce plugin with a custom-programmed design. MediaLinkers was able to then successfully merge the site’s PayPal Pro, security enabled features, and its WordPress CMS together.

 

The option of choosing a CMS built according to your requested features, or using a platform such as WordPress, is always up to the client. Usually, it depends on the budget set for each project, but many chose to use MediaLinkers’ CMS, as it is more user friendly, and can be easily modified, added on to, and programmed to control specific features on your website. No project is too complicated or out of reach for us, and we are completely upfront as to the cost and time involved. Every client that works with us is given a time frame for MediaLinkers to complete their project, and we work hard to stick to it. The owners of MediaLinkers newly launched websites worked together with us, day and night, to make sure everything was perfect and ready when it was time to flip the switch. And the support does not stop when your site goes live; before we even start the design, we include a set term of tech support for your newly launched website free of charge!

 

Striving for affordable, dependable, and one-stop services, MediaLinkers has options for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you want a newly launched website, marketing, or a database,  content writing, mobile app development, or hosting/domain services, MediaLinkers has it all covered. Contact us today for a FREE consultation, and let us show you how we can improve your online business tools!

 

 

 

newly launched websites newly launched websites newly launched websites newly launched websites newly launched websites

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How to Communicate Needs & Expectations to Web Designer

 

You are looking for a designer, before you even had your first meeting about what you want done, the important element is to understand what a designer does. Clash between both parties is majorly because of misunderstanding about roles and false expectations.
 
Designing a logo, stationary, and a business card is quite different than getting them printed. Designers have knowledge and their own opinions in respective area; you want them to help you navigate in waters that you don’t feel assured paddling into alone. You hire development and production people to get something ready in finest and most efficient way.
 
Before hiring a designer, you really need to think about what is needed, what kind of functionality you want your users to get out of the design, what sort of information you want to convey and type of feelings you want to evoke.
 
At times people like some existing websites, and they want same as their competitors. You should always take into account why you like a particular design, how it relates to what you want. Special attention should be given to functionality part of what you like. The most helpful exercise can be asking questions from yourself like where is the logo placed? What sort of navigation I want? Where should be search and button placed? After few such questions, you get a more clear picture of what is required, with better understanding of what you really want.
 
One of the toughest things for a client to do is to give freedom of work, the most basic element is to give the control. This never means you won’t get what you are looking for but micromanaging the process of designing is not a good idea to go with. You hired a designer because you value her skills and expertise. So trust is the key element, trust them that whatever they are designing is according to your initial input and requirement. Designer know the designing part better then you, so its more comfortable and better to get out of the way and let them create with freedom.
 
The worst part of the picture is getting into the middle or end of project and discussing the payment matters. So the key is to discuss such money and deadlines in beginning of the project. Getting everything down on the paper before you start the work is the easiest way out and it avoids later headaches.
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Using PHP for Business Process Automation

In today’s economy improving productivity and cutting costs is essential to business survival. One of the most proven cost cutting and productivity raising activities is business process automation. Business process automation is the use of technology to improve the efficiency of business processes. This typically includes the automation of operations that were previously manually performed. Information technology can be applied to automate many functions by use of software development to integrate various applications. Continuous improvement of business processes is a competitive advantage that a company builds over time. It begins with a thorough examination of a company’s existing business processes. Identifying, analyzing, and improving processes can have a drastic impact on a company’s productivity and bottom line.

Many business process automation efforts are most useful when created as web applications. Many web applications are integrated with the front-end of a company’s web site. A web application can offer access to the application from any location with Internet access, allowing employees to contribute to a project from remote locations. It can also establish a direct line of communication with a business’s current and potential customers. Web applications can be use to collect customer information, create and manage a customer database, track inventory, run reports, and many other processes that would otherwise be extremely laborious. Certainly the effectiveness of a company’s web applications plays a large role in it’s competitiveness within the market.

PHP, a scripting language designed specifically for web development, has quickly become one the most widely used development tools for creating web applications that automate business processes. PHP offers faster development time and more widespread adoption than is typical for other scripting languages. Since it was conceived as a scripting language specifically for the the Internet environment it offers many advantages when it comes to developing web applications. PHP has been used to create millions of web applications, and will continue to dominate web application development projects due to its already widespread adoption and usage. PHP has many uses, from creating a content management system allowing non-technical users to easily manage the content on a website, to creating e-commerce applications allowing one person to easily operate a large eCommerce operation, PHP is easily applied to almost every business process involving information technology.

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