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Industry FAQs

Here we tackle some of the questions that are raised in technology and digital - from which platform is right for you to definitions and more.

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SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of altering (or optimising) your website in order to improve its organic ranking on the search engine results page, also known as the SERP.

Search engine optimisation can take many forms, as Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to determine the order of results. Here are a few ways SEO managers can improve a website’s rankings:

On-site SEO

  • Keywords: Populating online content with keywords, or words and phrases people often search for online, can help search engines identify your content as useful.
  • Internal linking: Linking between the pages of your website helps to establish an information hierarchy, spreads link equity, and makes it easy for users to browse the rest of your site.
  • Metadata optimization: Metadata is information stored in the coding of your site that helps search engines determine the relevancy and quality of your content. This includes meta-titles, meta-descriptions, and meta-keywords.

Off-site SEO

  • Guest blogging: Contributing content to other sites (which includes links back to your site) can drive referral traffic. This is especially beneficial from a higher authority site, both because they’re likely to have more traffic to direct to your site, and Google will value their content highly.
  • Link building: The more links pointing to your site, the more authoritative and trustworthy Google will deem it, so building a steady stream of off-page links will help to boost your rankings. This can be done organically (other sites link to your content as a reliable source because of its high quality) and manually (you contact a site that mentions yours and ask them to input a direct link).

Local SEO

  • Making the most of local searches such as “sweet shop near me” will help to improve your presence within the locations you operate in.

Technical SEO

  • Site load time: A lagging site will put off users, so optimising your load times will encourage them to stay on your site.
  • Mobile SEO: Many modern searches happen on handheld devices, so your website needs to be easily accessible on mobile devices.
  • Crawl Error Identification: Regularly investigating your code, header tags, metadata, keyword cannibalisation and more will help you to fix any bugs before they interfere with your rankings.

Cloud computing is fast becoming an integral part of many businesses' IT services. Purely on-premise IT is now a rarity, especially in medium to larger businesses, and you’ll more often find one or more of the three most popular cloud systems instead - SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. These systems aren’t purchased, installed, and maintained on-site like a traditional IT set-up, but rather paid for on a subscription-like basis and maintained via the cloud.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS) are the three most common cloud platform services, each providing IT infrastructures, platforms, software and applications via the internet. But what’s the difference between SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS? And which should you choose?


What is SaaS?

‘Software as a service’ is the most popular cloud system, and delivers software over the internet using the provider’s infrastructure. The application - and everything required to maintain it - is managed by the vendor.

Common SaaS examples: Dropbox, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx


What is IaaS?

‘Infrastructure as a service’ provides businesses with a cloud-based pay-as-you-go infrastructure system, as an alternative to on-premises hardware. It delivers a raw infrastructure that a business can then build upon to suit its own needs.

Common IaaS examples: DigitalOcean, Google Computer Engine, IBM Cloud


What is PaaS?

‘Platform as a service’ gives businesses access to a cloud-based platform upon which to build software or applications. The vendor provides the tools and framework for developers to collaborate easily via the cloud.

Common PaaS examples:  AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Google App Engine, Heroku


As for which is the best pick, it depends on your business and the projects you’re working on, and many larger companies will use two or even three of these systems. If you want out-of-the-box software that you can get running quickly and easily without spending time monitoring, then SaaS is a great choice. PaaS, meanwhile, provides the perfect platform for a development team to build upon and collaborate via, and IaaS gives you access to development tools without the need for a local infrastructure.

Looking for an IT role in DevOps or Software Engineering? Applause IT can help. With over 20 years of experience in specialist recruitment, we’ve got everything you need to find your dream role. Click here to find out more.

You may have heard the terms UX designer (user experience designer) and UI designer (user interface designer) used interchangeably, especially in smaller businesses. While the two roles do have some overlap, and the work in each will have a clear impact on the other, there are some clear and discernible differences between the two.

What’s the difference between a UX and a UI designer?

In short, a user experience designer is focused on the technical experience of using a product. They focus on interaction and will construct the pathways that the user navigates in order to operate the product. A user interface designer, on the other hand, takes this technical architecture and makes it pleasant and easy to use, altering things like graphics, typography, and layout. Both are important to the success of a product: for example, if an app is intuitively laid out with clear graphics and a pleasing colour scheme, then the user interface designer has done their job. But regardless of how the app looks, if it has a poor loading time and buttons can lead to dead ends, then the user experience is not going to be positive. The same works in reverse too, so it’s important for both the UI and UX to be well thought through.

What is a UX designer?

A user experience designer is responsible for the technical navigation through the product. They want the user to have as pain-free an experience as possible and will map out the customer journey to make sure that all the technical elements work towards this goal. The UX designer is also responsible for ironing out navigational issues or pain points, with the end goal of giving an easy and enjoyable start-to-end experience. UX designers can work on physical products as well as digital ones.

What is a UI designer?

A user interface designer is responsible for the aesthetics of the product. Decisions around the typography, graphics, layout, colour scheme, and more must all be made with the user in mind, to create a pleasing and pain-free journey. The UI designer is also responsible for user interactivity - making sure that buttons and calls to action are clearly presented and journeys are easy to follow. UI designers will only work on digital products. 

DevOps is a methodology that bridges the gap between the development and operations teams - hence the portmanteau. This means that a DevOps engineer oversees projects across the ideation stage through to delivery, for a smoother process and slicker problem resolution.

A DevOps engineer would be responsible for automating and streamlining the entire software development process, from development to production, and would be the main custodian of the health and performance of the infrastructure. Their main goal is to ensure that software is developed, tested, deployed and maintained in an efficient and effective way.

If you’re looking for your next DevOps role, we can help. At Applause IT, our specialist DevOps and Infrastructure consultants have the technical knowledge and connections to match you with your dream role. To get started, speak to one of the team today.

JavaScript, or JS, is one of the most common programming languages in the world - it’s used as a client-side programming language by 98% of all websites, and it’s known as one of the main building blocks of the web alongside HTML and CSS. It’s a scripting language that can be used to create dynamic and interactive web components like animated graphics or interactive maps.

But what is a JavaScript Framework? In short, a JavaScript Framework is a pre-structured template that you can customise, as opposed to constructing the infrastructure from scratch. As for which JavaScript framework is the best, there's no easy answer - it depends on the project you're working on, and the technical experience of the developers. Here's a breakdown of the most popular frameworks, and the best use for each.


A front-end framework developed by Facebook

Best for: designing user interfaces on single-page applications (SPAs)

Key features:

  • Server-side rendering: reduces load time to boost SEO and improve efficiency
  • Virtual DOM (Document Object Model): gives a sleek UI experience and allows fast updates without the need for a full refresh
  • JSX: the easy-to-use syntax simplifies sub-component rendering


An open-source framework for programming dynamic SPAs, maintained by Google

Best for: building smart but lightweight dynamic applications

Key features:

  • Two-way data binding: synchronises data between the model and view components to reduce manual work
  • Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture: create dynamic web applications easily
  • Leverage HTML language: use directives for succinct and easily-readbale code


An open-source progressive framework

Best for: prototyping and small projects

Key features:

  • Lightweight: small in size and easy to learn
  • MVVM architecture: the UI is separated from the application logic for more intuitive front and back-end development
  • Progressive: build up additional functionalities with detailed official libraries


Component-based client-side framework designed to make development more productive

Best for: PWAs and SPAs

Key features:

  • Components: break complex code into smaller sections
  • Routing: map URLs to templates so that when a user visits a URL, the corresponding template is rendered and displayed
  • Opinionated: Ember functions on a series of conventions for consistency across teams

If you’re looking for your next JavaScript Developer job, or you’re hiring a developer to join your team, Applause IT can help: we have over 20 years of experience pairing top tech talent with the perfect role. Get in touch today to speak to one of our team about working with us, whether you’re looking for your next role or your next hire.