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.
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- Making the most of local searches such as “sweet shop near me” will help to improve your presence within the locations you operate in.
- 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?
‘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.
SaaS examples: Dropbox, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx
‘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.
IaaS examples: DigitalOcean, Google Computer Engine, IBM
‘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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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A front-end framework developed by Facebook
Best for: designing user interfaces on single-page applications (SPAs)
- 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
Best for: building smart but lightweight dynamic applications
- 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
- 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
Best for: PWAs and SPAs
- 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
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