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Web Lingo for the Internet Illiterate

August 10th, 2018

When setting up your website or internet marketing campaign, it can sometimes get confusing when you hear all of the “techie-jargon” that web-developers use. Even that word – web-developer… what does that mean? At Butler, we always want to make it simple for our clients. This is a quick guide to help the website-illiterate understand some of the lingo used in the web world.

Building a Website is Like Building a House

When building a website, it’s helpful to compare it to building a piece of real estate property. When you buy property, you need an address that identifies the property’s location. You also need a lot – which is an empty piece of land that you can start building your property on. Once you have your address, and you purchased your lot, you can start building the actual property. Now incorporate that same process into building a website, just using different lingo:

URLYour URL is like your home address – it’s your websites identification on the internet. Your URL is how people can locate your website online. URL’s go by many names: domain name, web address, internet address, link, etc… they’re all the same thing.

HostingYour Hosting plan is like your property lot – it’s your space on the internet that you can start building on. If you have a URL but no hosting, you basically have an address without any land that it’s pointing to. If you have hosting but no URL, you basically have a piece of land that no one can locate.

Web DevelopmentWeb Development is like building the actual property – it’s the procedure used to create your website. It’s the process of creating a tangible product. Just as it is with building a home – you start with a design concept, and then you start building with wood and nails, so it is with web development. However, instead of blueprints, wood and nails, web development involves designing the look and feel of your website, and then building it with HTML code.

Websitea website is like the finished product of building a home – it’s the thing you see when you go to a web address. Just like when you go to a home address and see a house; when you go to a web address you see a website.

Webpagea webpage is like one of the rooms of a home – each webpage is different and serves a different function, and all of the webpages collectively make the entire website (just like all of the rooms collectively make the entire home). There are usually several web pages for every website. Just like you have several rooms for several different functions in your home (the kitchen is there to cook food, the dining room is there to eat food, the bedroom is there to sleep, the living room is there to relax); so it is with a website – there are several different webpages serving several different functions (the Home Page is there to grab the viewer’s attention, the About Page is there to tell the viewer more information about your website, the Contact Page is there to give your viewers the ability to reach you, etc.).

HTML CodeHTML is like the wood and nails used to construct the property – it’s a code that the internet recognizes and translates into images and text. Its one thing to design what a website should look like… it’s another thing to convert that design into a code that the internet recognizes so that it can display your design online.

Other Important Web-Terms

The above terms explain the basic elements involved with creating a website. There are a ton of other important words to know regarding your website, and internet marketing. Here are a few:

Informational Website – an Informational Website is a website in which its primary function is to display information to its viewers.

E Commerce Website – an E Commerce Site is a website in which one of its functions is to sell products or services directly from your website. E Commerce sites require a shopping cart, a product list, and some form of merchant interface (such as PayPal) that allows customers to spend money on your website.

Search Engines – A Search Engine is kind of like a phone book – it’s a directory that helps you find the websites and information that you’re looking for on the internet. If you are looking for a plumbing company in your city, you could go to the phone book and flip to the “P” section for “Plumbing” and get a list of different businesses that do plumbing. You can do the same thing online by going to search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing, and typing in “plumbing companies in my area” and it would pull up a list of different websites and information dealing with plumbing companies in your area.

SEO – SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is like a paid listing in the phone book – it helps you get seen in a higher rank on search engines. Just like there are different types of paid ads in the phone book, there are different types of search results in search engines. Search Engine Optimization is the process used to get higher rankings on search engines.

Social Media – Social Media sites are like online social clubs – you can connect with people who are interested in the same things you are. Social Media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, and others. Social Media sites are open for everyone to join, and since so many people are connected to Social Media sites, businesses have learned that they can act as great marketing tools to promote their business.

CMS (Content Management System) – a CMS is a computer program that allows you to publish, edit, modify and manage content on your website, without having to modify the HTML code, because the HTML code is already created for it. Basically, if you want to be able to make minor changes and updates to your site, such as adding or removing text or images, or updating your events calendar, without having to know HTML coding, it would be beneficial to have your website setup as a CMS.

Web Templates – A Web Template is like a CMS in that you can add, edit and modify content for your website without having to know HTML code, but they are inferior because they are very basic, not unique, and hard to be found by search engines. You can get web templates for free online from several places – but it’s always preferred to have a custom site built.

Summary

There are a ton of other techie-jargon words used for web development, but these are the basics. The good news is that even if you are still a little confused, it’s okay – we’re here to help! At Butler Web and Design we handle all of the above services, and more! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact us at http://butlerwebanddesign.com/contact.php

Top 4 Benefits Of Hiring An Experienced Laravel Website Developer

August 9th, 2018

The ever-growing demands of the web market are not easy to entertain, especially when you do not have relevant expertise in your web development team. To make a balance in this field, it is mandatory to stay updated with ever-changing trends in the web world. The growing standards of the IT world have encouraged us to think for an out of the box solution to meet the market standards. For this purpose, an effective framework is utmost important to be used. Using an advanced framework, you can certainly deal with the changing needs of the market. Here comes the role of an expert Laravel website developer who utilizes unending research and makes innovations to be in sync with the enhancing technological conditions across the world.

There are countless benefits that you can have by hiring an expert Laravel website developer for completing your website development projects with perfection and advancement. To learn how a Laravel website developer works, first get a clarity with what Laravel actually is. So, basically, Laravel is an open-source web-based PHP application. PHP developers use it for the development of multiple web development projects and for varied purposes. So, here are top 4 benefits that many companies have experienced after hiring an expert Laravel website developer in their companies.

#1 – Laravel development is adopted by numerous people for their PHP-based web projects. Though finding a highly proficient Laravel developer is not that easy as you may think because it is actually a complex platform and to get the best use of it, you have to find someone who has excelled in the Laravel development. There are so many things that a Laravel developer has to develop like routing, middleware, views, blade templates, eloquent models, responses, requests and several others. So, it is crucial that the developer you hire should have clarity of the architecture of this framework.

#2 – The Laravel developers possess an advance knowledge about multiple services related to Laravel like cache, elixir, hashing, helpers, billing, artisan console, package development, queues etc. With full knowledge of these subjects, they create a flawless application using Laravel framework.

#3 – By hiring an experienced Laravel website developer, companies get unexpectedly impressive results. This PHP framework utilizes a simple yet expressive language to describe various aspects of the web project. The Laravel development is truly developer-friendly and the syntax and codes inclusive to it are easily manageable by the developers. Moreover, with years of experience, they gain that much knowledge about customization using Laravel platform.

#4 – Using Laravel technology, the developers get the confidence to make the edge touching development through the expressive syntax and codes, modular packaging system and multiple ways to reach local as well as global databases. Being highly skilled in Laravel development, the Laravel website developer knows the right way to use these features to deliver and maintain a complete development package.

So, with their knowledge and experience, the Laravel developers get succeeded in delivering amazingly seamless web projects to their clients. Whether it is a big project or a highly complex one, the Laravel developers know how to justify with the expectations of their clients.

Do You Need to Know Everything About Hybrid App Development?

August 8th, 2018

Hybrid mobile applications are like any other applications you will see on your mobile. They get easily installed on your mobile device. You can look for these apps in the App stores. By using these apps, you can engage your friends via social media, play games, track your health, take photos and much more.

Hybrid mobile applications are developed using a combination of web technologies like CSS, HTML, and JS as same as websites on the internet. The major difference is that hybrid applications are hosted inside a native app which further uses a mobile platform’s WebView. Here, WebView is a chromeless browser window which is typically configured to run fullscreen.

In fact, hybrid mobile apps enable you to access various device capabilities viz. camera, accelerometer, contacts, and much more. However, inside mobile browsers don’t allow you to access these capabilities from it. Furthermore, hybrid mobile applications include native UI elements in those situations where it is necessarily required, as proved by Basecamp’s approach towards hybrid mobile application development.

It is not easy to answer the question how a mobile app is built. Similarly, hybrid mobile apps are no different. A well-written hybrid application should not behave or look any different than its native equivalent. However, users don’t care about it as they only want an app that works well. It is what actually matters to them. If you are trying to figure out whether a mobile application is hybrid or native, it would be like you are trying to differentiate rare grape varieties of wine.

Unless you are the one who really cares about this, it is not terribly important. What all matters are how your hybrid mobile application development is going to work in the long run as no one will care about how it was built. A hybrid mobile application is said to be good if it performs well for its users.

How are hybrid mobile applications built?

Like other websites are built, hybrid mobile apps follow the same manner. Both are built with a combination of technologies like CSS, HTML, and JS. Generally, a hybrid app targets a Web View which is hosted inside a native container rather than targeting a mobile browser. This allows its users to access various hardware capabilities of the mobile device.

Many hybrid mobile apps today leverage Apache Cordova, a simple platform that consists of a set of JavaScript APIs for accessing mobile device capabilities through plug-ins that are built with native code. These plug-ins include APIs in order to access the device capabilities like contacts, accelerometer, camera, and more. In fact, a huge number of plugins are built and maintained by mobile app developers community-at-large which is can be found in the Apache Cordova Plugins Registry. A group of plugins that have been properly tested, documented, and extended can be found at the Telerik Verified Plugins Marketplace.

If we talk about Apache Cordova, it was actually started as a project named PhoneGap. But nowadays, PhoneGap is considered as a distribution of Apache Cordova which includes additional tools. To know more about its history, you can check out Cordova, PhoneGap and what’s in a name?

Various application assets like CSS, HTML, JS are packaged via tooling through Apache Cordova for targeting platform SDKs. Once a hybrid app is built, it can be run just like any other app on the mobile device. Apache Cordova provides the tooling that is highly driven by a command line interface. However, mobile app developers can still leverage IDEs such as Visual Studio and effective solutions like the Telerik Platform to further increase productivity.

Since mobile app developers don’t want to be getting locked into proprietary platforms, so hybrid mobile apps give a way to mobile app developers for re-using their existing skills in web development. This mainly includes SDKs provided by platform vendors and the programming languages.

Hybrid mobile app development somehow looks appealing to a company’s bottom line such as Why hire a developer for each platform when you can hire one developer and target all of them through CSS, HTML, and JavaScript? But, the reality is actually a bit more complicated to accept.

Obviously, it’s true that mobile app developers become able to target multiple platforms with hybrid mobile app development. But when it comes to WebView or web runtime, each platform comes with a set of caveats. This is more true for Android and not consistent between OS versions.

Furthermore, there must be some unique capabilities of platforms to which a mobile app developer may wish to target. In such cases, a combination of platform-specific code and plugins must be utilized which will take advantages of those capabilities. Optionally, mobile app developers can take advantage of 3rd party web runtimes such as Crosswalk which can be further embedded into your hybrid applications.

When should you build a hybrid mobile application?

It is the foremost concern of every mobile app developer who wants to build a hybrid mobile app. The first thing you should do is to check your mobile application’s requirements. Before committing to a platform strategy must evaluate the technical merits as well as non-technical merits of hybrid mobile apps over the web and native mobile apps. You should first consider the following questions before developing a hybrid app:

– What are the technical abilities of your mobile development team?
– Which mobile app platforms do you wish to target?
– Are you looking to use the multiple capabilities of the mobile device?
– Do you want to distribute your apps through the app stores?
– Does the hybrid approach really live up to its promise in the coming years?

The above questions are needed to be answered properly before the development of mobile apps. You may further evaluate more questions in detail.

WHICH MOBILE APP PLATFORMS DO YOU WISH TO TARGET?

You may have a number of choices if you want to target more than one platform. This is because the web offers a highly interactive solution for this purpose. However, the mobile browser is your target. HYbrid apps lend itself to this due to its reliance upon the WebView.

On the other hand, Native apps find a unique space among this. In fact, you are essentially coupled to this platform if you rely upon platform-specific programming languages and vendor SDKs. For this case, Objective-C or Swift is used for iOS, Java is used for Android and C# is used for Windows phone.

DO YOU WANT TO DISTRIBUTE YOUR MOBILE APP VIA APP STORES?

If you want to distribute your app via an app store, you must build a native or hybrid app. You can not distribute sites through app stores. Hence, browser’s address bar is provided for this. Despite this limitation, whether you build a hybrid or native app, it is strongly recommended that you must have a website available for your mobile app. You need to create this because this will be the first place your app users might expect to go in case if they stuck with any problem.

ARE YOU LOOKING TO USE THE CAPABILITIES OF THE MOBILE DEVICE?

As compared to native and hybrid apps, websites have a limited set of abilities. These limitations are put up by a browser that effectively sandboxing it from mobile OS. A lot more device capabilities are exposed through HTML5 with the help recent developments with mobile browsers which include geolocation, camera, and others.

In spite of these advancements, support for advanced functionality is still limited. For an instance, streaming and media capture are still unsupported in various mobile browsers. Due to these limitations with mobile browsers, there are many mobile app developers who are compelled to evaluate native and hybrid apps as alternatives. These platforms enable mobile app developers to access device APIs. While in case of hybrid apps, plugins support this capability.

It is often said that native app development is best suited for apps where graphics performance is paramount. The best example is the mobile games which completely rely on complex visual interactions on the screen. No matter, how wonderful game app you have developed for your users and how flawlessly it operates from a functional perspective, you can expect this game app to have a very low app store rating if it is lacking energy. Due to these reasons, mobile app developers have long argued for using a hybrid approach to build their game applications.

However, there exist a number of solutions for hybrid mobile apps. This includes WebGL and HTML5 Canvas that are well-suited to build game applications. In fact, these technologies are most preferred and approachable for mobile app developers due to the presence of libraries like EaselJS, Paper.js, and others. This is not limited to game development only. Developers build more traditional, line-of-business apps by using frameworks like Kendo UI and Famo.us.

WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL ABILITIES OF YOUR APP DEVELOPMENT TEAM?

The team’s technical abilities is another major factor when it is about to evaluate development options for mobile. To build native applications, you need to hire developers who are proficient and experienced with the programming languages of every platform that you wish to target and platform SDKs. But for building web and hybrid apps, you need to hire developers who use web technologies like CSS, HTML, and JS. You may also have a team that can target more than one platform with a single set of technologies. So, this is a worth considering when you have to evaluate your opinions.

DOES THE HYBRID APPROACH REALLY LIVE UP TO ITS PROMISE?

Lastly, it is important to know that hybrid is not the be-all and end-all approach for mobile app development. At the initiation of this article, I have thrown light upon the challenges of overcoming the inconsistencies between WebViews. While other challenges still remain. With hybrid app development, you can target the various features of a mobile platform in order to discover if they are inaccessible. This is because plugins used for them can be unreliable, out-dated or missing altogether. This takes you to the dilemma whether to remove an application feature or to write the plug-in by yourself.

You may find hybrid app development model restricted when you have to develop an app that requires numerous native features or an app where performance is critically required for the success of the app. With this situation, you may found yourself to forcefully choose native development technologies. However, these are considered as alternative approaches which let you build performant native apps without having core knowledge of tools like Android Studio and Xcode.

Furthermore, the JavaScript-based NativeScript framework allows developers to build Android and iOS apps that forego the WebView for interactive and enhanced performance. NativeScript provides 100% access to Android APIs and iOS, removing the reliance on plugins which prove limitations while developing hybrid apps. But it is also not the be-all-end-all approach for developing native applications. However, this approach to application development is powerful which become more powerful with a higher learning curve. With NativeScript, you would not be using HTML to build UI. So, NativeScript is seriously considered by app developers if they have to develop an application with non-trivial performance requirements