Although the file format M4A is great in terms of quality, it is less great in terms of storage. So in the following post we will highlight some of the methods you can use to convert M4A files into MP3s that take up more space.
Although the format M4A is not exactly the most popular or commonly used one, it is far from irrelevant. For example, on the iTunes store there are M4A files that are DRM-free, so you are quite likely to have one or two tracks in M4A that you want to be able to play in other places as well as iTunes.
Below you will find three different ways to convert these files into MP3, so that you can listen to your music anywhere you like.
Using iTunes for Windows And Mac
While it is true that there are other desktop-based applications that can convert M4A files into MP3s, as iTunes is still the most recognisable and in many people’s opinions, the best of the available options, we have decided to feature this as one method.
Step One – Open Up Import Settings
Click on the menu titled Edit from the top of the screen and click on Preferences. By default, the tab titled General will open. Click on that and then click on the Import Settings’ OK button to proceed.
Step Two – Adjust the Import Settings
Next, click on the drop-down menu that sits to the right of Import Using and click on MP3 Encoder. Choose the desired bit-rate. Remember, although the higher the bit-rate, means the better the quality; it also means the larger the files will be. So if space is not a commodity you have, we advise that you select 128kpbs.
Step Three – Convert The File
After you have applied the new settings for importing, you are now ready to convert the files of your choice. Pick one of the files you want to convert and select it. Now, click on Convert from the File menu and click on Create MP3 Version. iTunes creates an MP3 of the file and places it below the original.
Converting M4A to MP3 using Windows
If you are looking for a method that is not web-based and works with Windows, iMedia Converter is a great piece of software to try.
Step One – Open And Select To Convert
Once you have downloaded iMedia Converter Deluxe, open it up and click on Convert, found to the far left of the toolbar at the top of the screen.
Step Two – Select Your Files
Now choose the M4A files you want to convert, from the storage options of your choice.
Step Three – Change Output To MP3 And Select Appropriate Sound Quality
After selecting the files you wish to convert, you next have to select Choose Option and from the Audio section select MP3 from the top of the list.
Step Four – Convert Your File
Click on Convert and then try out the converted file. You are always given the chance to test it to see if it has worked successfully.
Using Web-Based Cloud Convert
The site called Cloud Convert enables you to convert M4A files without the need to install new software or pay for anything. All you have to do is upload the M4A files you want to convert and the site will handle it for you. You are then able to download the MP3 files, without the need for fussy add-ons or toolbars.
Along with M4A files, this handy site enables you to convert most format types including word documents, videos and various other audio. Cloud Convert uses a similar process to other web-based conversion sites so if you decide to use a different service, our guide might still be useful.
Step One – Select The M4A File You Want To Convert
Go to the Cloud Convert site and click on the grey button marked Select Files, and select the files you want to convert. You could do that or you could do it by clicking a file and dragging it into the conversion window.
When you click on Select Files, you will be taken to an opened File Explorer of your system. From here you can choose the files you want to convert. There are a number of different options, including URL, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive and DropBox.
Step Two – Choose The Appropriate Output
After you have chosen a file, you are given an options screen. You need to click the arrow marked file format and choose MP3. Unless you specify anything different, Cloud Convert by default will convert it into an MP3 that has a 220 kbps to 250 kbps variable bit-rate.
Similarly to iTunes, you are able to select the wrench icon that sits beside the drop-down style menu to adjust settings related to the file’s output. It is from this area that you can alter the sampling frequency and the audio channel number. Once you have finished selecting the settings you want, you just need to click Okay, found in the bottom right of the screen.
Step Three – Convert The File
To start the process, you need to click on Start Conversion, the red button found to the right hand side of the screen. Conversion takes around ten seconds for the majority of files and when it has finished you will be able to select your converted file to download.
Step Four – Download Your File
When the green Download button is click-able, it means your MP3 is ready. By clicking on the button, your converted file will be saved into the designated downloads folder on your computer. Options are available for downloading your converted file onto a smartphone or similar device via a QR code. When you click on
There you go, a few easy to follow and quick processes for converting your M4A files. If you would like to convert YouTube videos to MP3 though, you should also check out https://audioham.com/.
Sometime back, the idea that people had of drones was that they were similar to the toy choppers that kids would fly using a remote control. It was purely child’s play and was a reserve for the kids.
In recent times, the table has turned. Drones such as the Sky Viper which we recently researched as part of our sky viper drone review have become more than children’s toys. They are now being used by corporate entities. They have even found utility with scientists and military generals. They have evolved into useful aviation navigation tools. They are being utilized by not only consumers but businesses too.
How are they being used in modern times? Here’s a consideration.
Capturing Live Events
Capturing live events was every camera man’s nightmare. To pull this off, they often had to hang their cameras using cables from elevated places in order to get some aerial footage of live events. It was such a difficult task and only the smart and experienced ones were able to do it. Drones have however eased this activity.
Concerts, political addresses, sports events, demonstrations, businesses events and others are now being captured as they happen conveniently and excitingly. Drones have been used to give a real-time perspective of ongoing events.
With drones, one can steer the camera in any direction that they wish and at the comfort of just a small controller.
Drones are being applied in modern day agricultural activities. Smart farmers have a field day literally by implementing the use of drones in their daily activities. Farmers can be able to track and monitor farming conditions. They have also been able to irrigate their crops and to ascertain if irrigations systems are working effectively. Drones have also been greatly used when administering pesticides and fertilizers to plants over a wide area. Farmers have used drones to observe their farming work. It has proved to be cost-effective especially in cases where they own vast tracts of land.
No happier lot have enjoyed the advent of drones than journalists. News coverage, reporting and journalism are about catching the action live as it happens. Journalism has quickly adopted the use of drones and students are even learning how to use them to perfect their reporting. Modern-day reporters are reportedly using drones to capture the day’s news as opposed to hiring choppers.
Disaster Assessment and Relief
When disaster strikes, infrastructure cripples and it proves hard for people to move around. More so, the disaster relief agencies are rendered immobile in times of severe weather and when transport systems are down. With these, they are not able to perform their duties efficiently. However, drones have come in handy in such situations. They have been used to save lives in disaster-stricken areas. Drones have been used in monitoring and disaster response by various entities such as the Air Force and the army. NGOs have also employed them as an indispensable tool in providing relief operations. Search and rescue teams are also achieving success in their activities by using drones to help them navigate through debris and affected areas. Some relief agencies have even gone to the extent of delivering food, medication, and necessities in remote areas.
Insecurity has been a menace in most societies. Some planned crimes happen swiftly. Thus, it becomes highly impossible for businesses and security agencies to respond.
However, drones are making real-time security surveillance a possibility. Businesses can monitor operations within and outside their facilities in the real time. Security agencies are also able to survey for security threats and crimes within a locality. All this makes them set to respond swiftly to distress calls. Also, it enables businesses to forestall the possibility of theft by employees as they can be able to monitor them.
Law enforcement officers have used drones to identify the location of criminals, terrorists and other demented characters. They help them plan the right course of action when criminals strike and are possibly holding hostages. More sophisticated drones are also known to fire bullets at criminals when the need arises.
Drones have been used significantly for the protection of wildlife. This is true especially in protecting endangered species against the activities of poachers. Some countries have employed the use of drones in wildlife protection, for example, drones are used to give real-time footage of the animals and the potential threat such as poachers. This footage is sent to rangers who are on the ground who respond swiftly to the threats.
The present-day construction sites are filled with drones. They are used to inspect tall structures and get close-up images of buildings.
When surveys are being carried out, drones have been used for this work. It has saved surveyors the bulk of dangerous work that usually characterizes surveying.
Drones have significantly reduced the costs, resources and efforts expended in surveying the progress of construction work. For the longest time, construction supervisors have had to hire pilots to survey this progress especially when the construction is vast. This usually took time and a lot of resources. With drones, there is minimal expenditure and better data collection.
This is one of the most recent ways that drones are being used by modern day businesses. Companies such as Amazon, Walmart and UPS in the United States are trying to redesign their package delivery process to factor in drones. They argue that more efficiency will be achieved when drones are used in place of delivery vans and people. They can be flown off the warehouses and delivery vans to deliver the packages to designated locations. Many companies the world over are similarly trying to introduce drones in delivery services.
Drone technology is improving every year as evidenced by the yearly expos and conferences where inventors showcase their innovations. The above consideration is just of some of the popular use of drones by businesses. There are many novel uses of drones in the world amongst businesses. They are bound to even be more sophisticated in the future. We can only wait and see!
The best things in life are free and these things can be found on the internet. Check out these 7 very useful software that you can download for free on the internet:
BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition
Basically we wanted to protect our computers with antivirus software. However, they are very expensive to purchase. Lucky you, BitDefender Antivirus has a free edition that can be easily downloaded. It protects your PC from viruses and malware. You can detect and eliminate those threats immediately.
WPS Office Free
Microsoft Office is definitely one of the most popular tools used by many in word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. However, for those who cannot renew their purchase or are still suffering from the outdated editions, you can download for free a very similar software which is the WPS Office. It does exactly what Microsoft Office does.
Despite various web browsers available on the internet, Chrome stays as the most trusted web browser by internet users. It is very flexible and stable in providing results. It is also user-friendly. Its integration with your Google account makes it easier for you to access your YouTube and other accounts.
If you cannot afford to buy music at iTunes or even get Spotify Premium, you can download MusicBee, a free music player. It has a huge collection of songs from various artists of all the ages. It offers smart tagging and hardware optimization for best playback quality.
Freemake Video Downloader
If you want to download videos for free, download a free video downloader. Freemake Video Downloader has more than 93 million users worldwide. It has features that allow you to save, convert, crop and play videos.
If you are fond of creating video contents but cannot afford to buy an Adobe Premier license, you can download Lightworks for free. It lets you edit videos and save them on high definition. Believe it or not, some Hollywood films are produced through this software.
Foxit Reader is a free PDF reader that allows you to view, edit and create PDFs. It can also convert Microsoft Office files and scanned documents to PDF.
Which among these free software is your favorite?
If we have something to promote online, we need to use a process that allows our product, service or blog to be found. While the posting of links on certain websites can have some effect, it’s not a process that’s going to serve us well in the long-term. This is why search engine optimisation is so important for those looking to make the right impression online.
The truth is that SEO can be a time-consuming endeavour, and not everyone will have the time to contend with such a task. Therefore, many people will employ the services of an SEO agency, but how should we go about finding one that’s right for us. So here are a few tips that you should follow on from one SEO company in Glasgow.
Look for Value
When looking at SEO agencies, it can be tempting to go with the company that is offering the lowest price, but we really need to look at what we’re getting for the price we’re paying. For example, more unscrupulous companies may offer a price that seems like a bargain, but only carry out very basic SEO, or underhand practices. When choosing an SEO company, you need to ensure that you are paying for the right kind of service, while ensuring that the processes being carried out are all above board. Using a company that’s not able to contend with this could mean that your website has a series of ramifications moving forward.
Avoid SEO Agencies Offering Guaranteed Rankings
There’s no denying that the job of an SEO agency is to improve the search engine rankings of a website, and the right kind of agency will be able to do this. However, a company that states they can guarantee first-page placement on Google for the long-term will need to detail how it plans to do this.
While an SEO agency will look to optimise your site, there’s no real way of guaranteeing where a business will show when it comes to search engine results. Therefore, keyword research is so important, as simply guessing can mean that we’re losing out on several demographics.
This isn’t to say that SEO can’t deliver first page rankings, and in many instances it does, but as more and more people adopt the Internet as daily life, then several factors can change in the space of a day. This is why ongoing work is needed to ensure that your website is able to contend with the changes that can occur within the Internet.
Ask for Reviews or Testimonials
While an SEO agency may proclaim to be the best option, if it’s not able to back up its claims, then it could be overpromising when it comes to results. Those who have found success thanks to the service an SEO agency will only be too happy to leave an online review, or provide the agency with a testimonial.
As such, you can read reviews on several different platforms to ensure that the claims of an SEO agency are backed up by their customers. If a company is a little reserved when it comes to offering such information, then it may be worthwhile looking elsewhere.
Ensure the SEO Agency Gives You Realistic Timelines
When it comes to SEO, it’s not unusual for a business to want to be up and running within a short time frame, but the truth is that SEO can be a large investment of time, and results may not be quickly as you’d like. There are options available if you’d like to get your product in front of people, but this is something an SEO agency can discuss with you in more details. Not only will the right SEO agency be able to advise as to how long results will be seen, but it can also advise on other avenues that aid your business in the short-term.
Avoid SEO Agencies that “Work with Google”
There is a lot of competition within the world of SEO, so it makes sense that companies will try different ways of standing out from the crowd. This may be in the guise of a unique service that’s offered by a company, or offering excellent customer service. Unfortunately, the more unscrupulous of companies may try more underhand methods, such as claiming it works alongside Google in relation to its SEO practices.
While many companies have a great understanding of how Google works, and have managed to create strategies that make an impact, the more reputable of companies do this by using the correct SEO techniques.
It should come as no surprise that employees at Google often must sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure sensitive information isn’t leaked outside of Google, so it’s very unlikely the company would be working alongside any SEO professional, regardless of their reputation.
An SEO Agency Must Understand Your Business
For any form of SEO to be effective, the SEO agency undertaking the work needs to understand how your business works, and the service it offers, otherwise any work carried out could be a complete waste of time.
Companies that state they have a method that can be applied to all websites should be avoided at all costs. Although SEO is an important factor for any website, the process used could vary depending on the goals of the business.
While there are some factors to consider, a business looking to expand shouldn’t undervalue the benefits that SEO can bring to the table when it comes to promoting a business.
Technology is indeed an essential indicator of human progress. Every day, there is a new discovery that would unfold another chapter of the world’s advancement. One of the major breakthroughs in technology is the invention of the computer. Today, the computer has rapidly changed and has developed advanced features that can help humans in their everyday activities.
As computers get smarter each day, it may reach the level in which it may use an artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence is a vision in science in which machines can exhibit intelligence rather than humans. Through AI, computers will become agents to teach humans about reasoning, planning, language and other practical life lessons. It can also aid in the education especially in the fields of math, science, history and more.
Despite doubts about its future existence and various criticisms, there are few advantages AI can offer.
AI can provide a personalized learning system in which the computer or the AI machine can provide much time on the individual learning. The AI can address solely on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Through this, the AI can determine if the individual has really learned.
As a smart and interactive machine, AI can make the learning of an individual much more vivid and creative through various materials including videos, graphs, photos and presentations of the lecture. AI can take the teaching strategy to a whole new level through bringing the experience to the student.
Unlike a classroom setting in which students are obliged to follow a pre-determined syllabus, AI can create customized lecture plan and curriculum. AI will make sure that the student has really understood the lesson before proceeding to another.
Teachers can take time to check the test papers of the students. On the other hand, AI can provide real time evaluation in which it can automatically determine if there are mistakes. It can also immediately assess the problem-solving skills of the individual.
Being an intelligent machine, AI is expected to know various languages. This can be perfect for everyone in the world as AI can manage to adjust to the culture and language of its student. This will address the learning gap between educators and learners with different cultures.
AI can grant education experience to our brothers and sisters who have not experienced education due to cases like oppression, disability, and poverty. Through this, these communities will be empowered and can enjoy the benefits of an educated person.
Do you believe Artificial Intelligence will exist in the near future? Share your thoughts with us.
Making a consistent passive income is the dream for most people.
It could give you the chance to ditch the day job, have a more leisurely lifestyle – maybe even work from far-off white sand beach with your laptop open beside you.
But how do you get there?
Well, for most people, it’s about affiliate marketing.
We’ll explain steps you can take to start making that daydream a reality…
What is affiliate marketing?
Essentially, affiliate marketing is about doing marketing activity on behalf of other people.
When they get the result they’re looking for (because of the work you’ve put in) you get paid. It’s this ‘paid on results’ model that makes affiliate marketing a bit different to standard marketing. I.e. you get to put a load of work in before you’re likely to see any money hit your bank account.
Who and what’s involved?
There are usually 3 parties involved with affiliate marketing:
- The product creator or seller
- The affiliate network
- The affiliate marketer (you)
Now of course, there are customers too – but they’re not guaranteed – so, this is where you’ve got to put the work in.
The product creator or seller is someone who’s looking to sell more of their product – which means they approach an affiliate network. The network is a little like a job agency – so, they have a bundle of affiliate marketers that they’ve somewhat vetted and feel are right for the tasks. When an opportunity comes in, they’ll pass it to people on their network.
This opportunity generally comes in the form of a link that’s unique to the affiliate marketer. You put that link out there into the world of customers – and you’re rewarded when people take the action that the product creator or seller is looking for.
That action could be completed sales, it might be mailing list sign-ups, it could be brochure requests – it might even just be the clicks that take someone to their site. They decide what they’re looking for and an amount of money that they’ll pay you for making it happen.
So, people start hitting the link that you’ve put on your site. Nice work. Some of them go on to buy the product. Awesome.
Every time the desired action takes place – bing, there’s a sophisticated tracking system behind the links you’re publishing that sees to it that you make some money. But it’s not just links from a website that generate traffic to the product creator’s site – there’s a ENORMOUS number of other route you could take.
The message is this:
Anything that generates traffic can be monetised with affiliate marketing.
Got a big Instagram following? Run a great blog? Answer questions on Quora? Write e-books? Run a forum? Pretty handy at ranking a site on Google? If whatever you do generates traffic or gets looked at by a lot of people – there’s a chance it could be generating you some affiliate income.
Okay, so, the absolute truth of the matter is – very few affiliate marketers started out by monetising their current internet real-estate. Instead, they see a lucrative offer and create or adapt their infrastructure to push traffic in its direction.
So, instead of creating the demand then sourcing a relevant supply – they find a lucrative supply and work on harvesting a demand that already exists somewhere on the internet. And they do this in some interesting and innovative ways.
With that in mind, what are some of your options for finding people for your offers?
You’ve seen adverts in your social media feeds right? Well, there’s a chance they’re placed by affiliate marketers. When you place advertisements on social media you pay for the amount of impressions you get, i.e. the number of times your advert is shown to the audience you’ve specified.
People love to consume information – whether it’s long form reviews of philosophy books, cat memes – or anything in between. Affiliates often create sites that provide desirable content – then place text links or banners that direct their audience to the offers they’re promoting.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Often, affiliates who concentrate on PPC advertising don’t have their own websites – instead, they opt for platforms like Google Adwords and services that will place your adverts into a vast network of sites.
There’s money to be made helping people to find the right products for them. Comparison sites and review sites are commonly found shopping services that receive a financial incentive when one of their audience goes on to make a purchase from a partner company. Promoting products such as the maclaren stroller triumph are also popular, these products are aimed at the new parent market which is a great niche to be in due to the vast number of baby and children products that you can promote through your site.
If you’ve got a large mailing list – or the means the generate one – then you can place advertisements and links in the information you send out. This is tricky territory at times – as you’ve got to provide value rather than just obviously be marketing – but offers and promotions can work well.
What does it take to be a successful affiliate marketer?
Now, you’re not going to get so far without some technical skills. At the very least you’re going to need to know how to set up basic websites – and optimise the tracking software that you’ll need to monitor all your activity.
Those skills aren’t rocket science to get your head around on a basic level – that said, if it were a real piece of cake to get successful at affiliate marketing the whole world would be working a few hours a day from whichever beach or boutique holiday resort they chose. But they’re not.
Instead, people tend to dip into affiliate marketing, get disheartened and abandon ship – looking for the next ‘magic bullet’ way of making a fortune. Hence, the first characteristic you’re going to need is patience.
No one gets rich overnight at the beginning. You’re more likely to lose the time or money you put it when you’re starting out – and that’s where the second vital characteristic of an affiliate marker comes into play – an analytical mindset.
You never lose in affiliate marketing – you only ever build you data. If you spend a few hundred pounds and only work out what people don’t want – congratulations, you’re one step closer to working out what they do want.
The very best affiliate marketers are self-motivated, smart with their spending, good with the people at the networks that provide the offers, creative and have a head for problem solving – if you’ve got those things – you might have just found your new favourite job…
The past 20 years has seen rapid change within the online gambling industry with the methods of success and value of the market constantly growing and changing. The online gambling industry is steadily growing to a value of £5bn and should surpass this by 2018. This value creates great interest and opportunity in the market and draws many new competitors to the industry.
Few onlookers to the market realise the heavy reliance of SEO that the gambling industry enjoys. Success in an online world is based on web-traffic and google page rankings. Mass competition in the market allows competitors who aren’t among the gambling elite to challenge near the top-end of the industry simply because of SEO.
Scott Manford, CEO of Easy Slots Gambling Site “At Easy Slots our main priority is utilising our SEO strategy to have the greatest benefit on the market. Although we do market ourselves via PPC and affiliate marketing, SEO remains the priority and maintaining rankings at the top of the pile is often a full-time job.”
“In an industry where the stature of your brand holds little to know significance the battles can be won through leading SEO practice and a deep understand of the Google algorithms.”
3 reasons why SEO is vital to the gambling industry
- The culture of the online gambling industry is very different to other markets in the fact that there’s no tangible product to sell. You’re essentially offering an online service. Google’s goal is to create a search engine that gives the most relevant and high-quality results for your search. For gambling companies this is your sole marketplace and the competition lies in looking the best for Google. The web traffic you can generate in being on the first page of google for your key search terms is the difference between success and failure in the industry.
- High-street brand reputation doesn’t necessarily mean success. When many betting operators began to go online, it was assumed that the success and allegiance the big names enjoyed on the street would translate directly to the online space. SEO enables businesses that don’t natural possess the same magnitude of brand identity or funds to compete with the big names in the industry. There are aspects of SEO like domain age and authority but for the most part, remaining at the top of the online industry is down to constantly maintaining and tweaking your SEO strategy to fit the updates of Google.
- It’s not just SEO as a whole you need to consider. It needs to be expert level SEO. Bad SEO can hinder the success of your online platform more than not having a strategy at all would. With the Google algorithms constantly changing its important SEO technicians stay on top of the latest rules and behaviours to assure that a site is not penalised for their actions. Penalisation can occur when you buy weak links or duplicate content. Organic and fresh SEO practice is the number 1 way to find success in the online gambling industry
As the online gambling industry constantly grows and adapts to the new algorithms that Google sets we constantly see new competitors emerging and rising to the top of the gambling pyramid. Your standings in the industry can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis with your place in the market being as volatile as the slot games your players enjoy.
Site designers have their work cut out for them these days, much more so now than ever before with modern technologies and practices making site design cleaner, more functional and generally easier on the eye. While the majority of sites are very easy on the eye, looking good is not always easy – nor do aesthetics alone make a site even remotely usable.
Usability is hands down the most important part of modern web design, with aesthetics coming in second place (there is no point in something looking great if it cannot be used). Usability very often means the difference between a visitor staying and interacting in some way (filling out a form, making a purchase, reading an article etc.) or turning around and walking right back out the digital door again.
There are more than a few things to concern yourself with when it comes to the usability of your website, with some of them depending on the type of website and the services offered.
However, there are factors relevant to every website and some are more ‘crucial’ than others to get right. We recently sat down with the amazing guys at Think Zap who are one Glasgow’s leading web design companies and pioneers when it comes to UX.
Responsiveness is key
Remember the days when the internet could only be accessed via a desktop computer? Well, congratulations because almost nobody else does. There are now scores of different devices that can access the internet now, with even more different screen sizes not to mention the different operating systems.
Just for an example, here’s a (very) small selection of devices – we’ll ignore screen sizes, nobody has time for that:
- Desktop computer
- Smart watch
- Smart TV
- Games console
We could carry on, but these are the more popular ones so we’ll stop there and you probably get the idea. Test out your website on as many different devices and screen sizes as you can before your site goes live, to get a feel of what your visitors will be experience and make adjustments where necessary.
Logically constructed CTAs
It almost makes no difference what the purpose of your website is, you likely want your visitors to make a certain action when they get there. Whether that is buying, reading, downloading or something else entirely like picking up a telephone. Whatever the action happens to be, just like taking payments you should make it as easy as possible for that to happen.
The CTA (call to action) is the part where you convince the visitor to carry out the action you would like them to. This could be something as simple as a well constructed sentence or something a little more ‘standout’ like a button, a pop-up or a banner.
Whichever method you employ, place it in an obvious place and really make it pop… Also, in the case of banners, links, pop-ups and buttons you should probably make sure they work.
Make it snappy
Patience is a virtue but not one that should be tested – nobody cares if your visitors are virtuous or not. There are few things in this digital world of ours that are as annoying or off putting as being made to wait for a web page to load. Even some of the most popular websites are guilty as sin of this major no-no, but they won’t be mentioned – they know who they are.
A Kissmetric study discovered that just under half, 47% to be exact, of consumers fully expected a page to load in 2 seconds or less. There are several ways to reduce page loading times, and to discover just what is holding everything back you can feed individual pages through specialised tools such as:
These tools can identify potential issues so that you can get to work fixing them and improving your page loading times.
Christopher Columbus isn’t the only one to have problems with navigation, site users can easily either get lost in large websites with no obvious way to get back to where they were in previous steps, or can’t find a particular page, category, service or product. Make sure the website is structured logically and that visitors can find everything easily and the rest will follow. Job done.
Make sure every page satisfies a need
User intent is the reason your website attracts visitors in the first place so make sure that the intent is satisfied on the page they visit. Logical categories that easy to find and that the pages being found reflect what the visitor was expecting to find – meta descriptions will help a great deal here and so will manual descriptions when sharing to social media sites.
Menu systems play a role here too, and whatever device your visitors are using these menus and category lists should be easily accessible and arranged.
Conformity is your friend
Website construction is no place for anarchists, conformity to established standards is a good thing in this case. People expect certain things from the websites they visit and those not meeting those expectations are not going to be very popular. Here are just a few things that people expect from a site:
- Navigation is at the top of every page
- Any logo or header links back to the homepage
- Contact / about us pages are in specific places
Sometimes change is good, but not if it confounds and infuriates in the ways that changing the established order of things is sure to do. Others have tried and do you know who? Exactly.
Your content needs to be easily consumed
Do you know why readers like headers? Because nobody likes looking at a wall of text, even walls have windows so break up your text into sections with headers. Think of H2 tags as chapter titles. When you first open up a book, you may want to jump to a specific chapter that interests you, so you flick through until you find it. People do the exact same thing with web pages.
Heading tags also help search engines and SERPs, so there’s another reason to use them. Images and videos work too, in helping break the snoozefest of huge blocks of text, but don’t overdo it and only use images and videos that are actually relevant to the content.
Following these simple guidelines should result in a website that is easy to access, navigate and make use of. Watch those ads too, they really can affect loading times in a big way so don’t be that guy. Nobody likes that guy.
The UK betting industry alone is now reportedly worth over £14 billion per annum, with iGaming representing an ever-growing part of that. Latest numbers put it at 35% and growing, and these sorts of ratios are reflected throughout the bet-loving developed world. Everyone knows however that the “house always wins” – so how can gaming companies ensure that the bet always falls in their favour. Conversely how can players try and beat the system.
Beating the Odds
Players want to find a way to beat the system and develop their own method or code on how to win in specific games and slot machines.
In the distant past, when the machines were mechanical, all sorts of weird and wonderful mechanical devices and magnetic contraptions were developed to try and skew the odds in the players favour and make the slots machines pay out in excess of their programmed ratios. The advent of video slots and then the increasing use of online slots machines and casinos meant that the old methods no longer had any effect. So these inventive types had to try and find new ways to play the system and win the big prizes.
Web based wagering in now estimated to top $100 billion globally so in a market awash with so much cash it was inevitable that a new breed of gamers would be trying to find ways to beat the odds.
An Operators Perspective
Scott Manford, CEO of Wizard Slots, one of the UK’s leading online casino operators says: “Nothing is more important to us that the safety and security of our customers. We want them to be able to play in a safe and trustworthy environment where they know the odds and where they stand. However, it would be remiss of us not to recognise that there are players out there who are trying to beat the system and profit from it. Our systems are therefore managed ad driven by some massively advanced algorithms that are all closely regulated to ensure that the ratios of payouts are fair and representative.”
The algorithms which drive the slot machines and massively complex and mind bogglingly detailed, factoring in all sorts of data and trend analysis in real time to ensure that the mandated payout ratios are maintained and stay within guidelines. So, whilst a player might sometimes think that the reels have suddenly just tipped slightly in their favour – the truth is that there is nothing but science and maths behind the outcome.
Manford went on to say; “Here at Wizard Slots for instance we are constantly working with our designers and the UK Gambling Commission to guarantee that we are always staying ahead of the curve and designing games which are safe and fun to play , whilst maintaining strict standards in payout levels and security , all of which leads to a safe and secure environment for our players ,as this is what keeps them coming back”
Algorithm Design and Implementation
The advent of online slots and table games brought about the need for ever more advanced algorithms to ensure fairness and a guaranteed quality of gameplay.
The very specific term for the type of calculations used in a Gaming algorithm is a “PRNG” (Pseudorandom Number Generator). This all starts with a human generated initial number – something just chosen from the top of the head – this number is called the seed. The seed is fed through a range of complex coding algorithms that produce and endless supply of random and arbitrary numbers which, being so random as to be un-guessable, eventually correlates with the winning line you see on your screen.
No machine or person could randomly guess the same numbers, and no sequences are used to exploit in a method of pattern prediction so any attempt to guess the correct numbers if impossible even utilising brute-force techniques.
So whilst an army of Android and iPhone wielding clients is unlikely to pose significant risk to the game developers – they do remain wary of the undesirable underworld of programmers who are out to try and break in and steal the secrets. To this end, stress testing and penetration testing of all of the Casino sites is a frequent occurrence and a necessary part of the due diligence prior to being granted a Gaming license.
Player fantasy and enjoyment
Some gamers claim to have cracked the secrets of a game , to know when it is “hot or cold” and indeed believe they can manipulate the outcome by placing bets on a pre-determined way, however this is all fantasy. The scale of maths at play is so huge that any pattern would need to be billions of plays long to even have a hope of being repeated.
The entire ethos of these algorithms is to generate unpredictability and randomness, whilst maintaining a targeted range of payouts and the designs are therefore massively complex. This brings with it though an inherent level of trust and safety, albeit the odds are admittedly stacked in the favour of the gaming operators. Even so, the constant stream of big winners means that there is never any shortage of players looking to take their chances against the algorithms.
Today, there is a very high demand for programmers who are experts in different coding languages. Especially in businesses that utilize the internet as a tool to market their product, service or company. If you want to excel in the field, you have to gain basic knowledge about some of the most used programming languages by web developers.
Here are 8 of the commonly used languages of developers:
Java is considered the most popular programming language that is used in building server-side applications, video games, and mobile applications. It’s the core foundation for developing Android apps. It is also known for its “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) program which enables Java code to run on all Java-supported platforms even without the need of recompiling the codes.
Python is a widely used programming language that was released in 1991. As a high-level language, it has a design philosophy that stresses code readability and a syntax that lets programmers express concepts in fewer lines of codes. Moreover, there’s a Python framework for almost everything – from web applications to data analysis. Thus, it is considered one of the easiest to learn.
C is among the first programming languages encountered by web developers. C depends on compilers often used to provide low-level access to memory and language constructs that direct efficiently to machine instructions. C is designed to promote cross-platform programming.
Ruby is a general-purpose programming language that is a major supplier of web applications. It supports multiple programming paradigms such as object-oriented, functional and imperative. Moreover, it has an automatic memory management and dynamic type system.
PHP which stands for Hypertext Preprocessors is usually used in dynamic data-websites and application development. It also provides a ton of power to sites like Facebook and WordPress. A PHP code may be embedded into HTML or can be used in combination with web template systems. As an open-source language, PHP offers free pre-built modules which you can modify or redesign to get ideal results.
SQL or Standard Query Language is a domain-specific programming language that manages data held in relational database management system. SQL introduces the concept of accessing various records with one single command and eliminates the need to determine how to reach the record.
Objective-C is a general-purpose and object-oriented programming language that adds a distinct style of messaging to the C programming language. It was used by Apple for their OS X and iOS operating systems. It was also chosen as the main language to be used by NeXT for their OS.
Do you know how to code using one of these programming languages?