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what is affiliate marketing - How to get started in affiliate marketing

How to get started in affiliate marketing

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.

Making money

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.

Reverse engineering

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?

Social Media

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.

Content sites

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.

Shopping services

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. 

Email newsletters

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…

top 10 best seo resources1 - The Importance of SEO in the Gambling Industry

The Importance of SEO in the Gambling Industry

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.

Web Design Glasgow

7 Factors to improve website usability

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
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • 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.

Navigation

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.

Algorithms In Computer Science 1170x400 - Algorithms and Data – the Cornerstone of the Gaming Industry

Algorithms and Data – the Cornerstone of the Gaming Industry

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.

Blog8 1170x400 - 8 Common Programming Languages Used by Web Developers

8 Common Programming Languages Used by Web Developers

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

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

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

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

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.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a high-level programming language that is basically everywhere. This language allowers developers to add interactive elements to their sites. JavaScript is also one of the main core technologies of the WWW content production. Thus it supports functional, imperative and event-driven programming styles.

prog - 8 Common Programming Languages Used by Web Developers

PHP

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

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

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?

Blog7 1170x400 - 8 Cool Websites That Can Teach You How to Code

8 Cool Websites That Can Teach You How to Code

If you are a beginner in the world of web development, you might want to improve your coding skills. There are various online platforms that provide free tutorials and lectures. Check out these 8 amazing websites to learn how to code:

Codecademy

Codecademy is one of the best places to learn on how to code for free. Codecademy is driven to give the best learning experience through their customized platforms. This group realizes that programming is not a conventional thought for many when studying in public school education, thus, they look for a way to make education more interesting and that is through bringing the classroom online. They have over 24 million users that strive to learn to code.

img7 - 8 Cool Websites That Can Teach You How to Code

Code Wars

Code Wars introduces a fun and interactive way of learning how to code. Their martial arts-themed site provides programs from advanced to more difficult lessons. Students can decide on their desired coding language to learn including C++, Java, JavaScript, Rust, Ruby, SQL, PHP, Swift, TypeScript, and Crystal, among others.

Free Code Camp

The main objective of Free Code Camp is to teach students how to code so that they can help non-profit organizations. With their passion, they have solved over 30 million coding challenges and has donated more than $1.4 million in developmental projects.

Udemy

Udemy was founded in 2010 and has helped individuals improve their job skills. They offer various programs which include a small selection of free programming courses. They have thorough video lessons that you can watch. There are also special lectures which you can pay to avail.

EDX

EDX is among the leading online learning platforms that are not for profit. It was founded in 2012 and has over 90 partners all around the world including universities, institutions and non-profit organizations. They provide courses in computer science and engineering. Further, they have a wide variety of subjects you can learn from.

img6 - 8 Cool Websites That Can Teach You How to Code

Coursera

Coursera is one of the largest for-profit educational and technological companies in the world. They offer more than 1,000 courses that come from a total of 199 institutions. They offer data science and computer services. Some of their advanced lectures are available for a fee.

The Odin Project

This website offers free web development tutorial services to students. They will help individuals build their portfolio so that in the future, they will be easily hired. Students will learn various lectures including an introduction to web development, programming, JavaScript and more.

img8 - 8 Cool Websites That Can Teach You How to Code

Code Avengers

In Code Avengers, students are exposed to the professional world of experienced web developers. They will be provided with step-by-step instructions, series of quizzes and assignments. They can also meet some experts through a community of learners and educators. Now, there are over 1 million satisfied students from almost 200 countries across the globe.

Visit these websites and start coding. Good luck!

jcr content.img  1170x400 - Tips to Reduce the Running Costs of Your Tech Business

Tips to Reduce the Running Costs of Your Tech Business

When starting a business, there is normally one thing at the forefront of our mind, profit. Sure, there will be companies who are looking to make life easier for others, but this is only possible if we’re able to maintain the cash flow of a business.

To some, this may be easier said than done, and there’s no denying how expensive the running of a business can be. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some cutbacks we can make that won’t affect the business.

Do Some Comparisons

Whether you’re looking to outsource work or keen to get a competitive rate on business broadband, the benefits of shopping around are not to be underestimated. Of course, this can take an investment of time initially, but it’s certainly something worth considering if you’re current expenses are becoming a worry.

There are many comparison websites available when it comes to comparing prices for business communications and Internet. You can also make use of freelancer sites to find the most cost-effective price for a project. You could even look at how much the current hosting plan for your business website is, and determine whether the package you have is the best one for you, if not the check out this site which has the best web hosting list . In some instances, you could be paying too much because you don’t make use of the features being charged for. You can also read the latest reviews for some of the best hosting providers here https://companyreviews.com/web-hosting

To get the best deal in either instance, it can be useful to make a list of what you’re looking for. There will be very little point in paying for a service if it’s not going to serve you well, simply because it was cheaper.

Going Green Can Help with Your Profits

Does your business use regular light bulbs for the business? Or maybe it sends out a series of paper-based invoices each week? Making a few changes in the way we work can mean that we’re not only saving money, but we’re also looking to reduce the carbon footprint.

If you send out paper invoices, why not offer an electronic version? You could opt for a software solution, or simply attach the invoice as a PDF via email.

Although regular light bulbs are cheap to purchase, they can be costlier when it comes to the electric bill overall. Investing in energy-saving light bulbs can help reduce your energy usage, while reducing unnecessary landfill, so everyone’s a winner.

You Don’t Always Need a Bigger Premises

When a business is looking to expand, it’s not unusual for the it to move premises to ensure there’s more room for employees. In some instances, this can be a necessity, especially if your business is a manufacturer of a product. However, not every business will need to seek out larger premises.

If you’re only looking to take on more staff, then why not look at the other options available. Technology nowadays means that employees working from home is more common now than they’ve ever been.

There are plenty of options available to businesses when it comes to communicating and checking the work being carried out, plus it’s a more attractive proposition for employees, giving your business more scope when it comes to finding the right candidate for the role.

Embrace Technology

When dealing with tasks such as accountancy and payroll, there will be many who will rely on more old-school methods. However, this can be a great hindrance on your time, which means that other aspects of the business are being neglected.

Of course, the completing of tax returns and paying employees is one of the most important aspects of an any business, so it’s not something we can put off, so what is the answer?

Technology is evolving faster than ever, whether it be the software available, or the hardware that runs it. As such, many developers have been able to create programs and apps that can make light work of your financial affairs. In some instances, it can be easy as allocating payments as business or personal. What’s more, you’ll find that the processing of VAT, PAYE and Corporation Tax is much easier, meaning itj’s completed on time without any surprise fines.

Pay Your Invoices and Bills on Time

While this may seem like a no-brainer, the payment of invoices and bills can be overlooked if the business has recently been through a busy period. Many businesses may presume there’s not much harm in paying a bill a few days later than it should be paid, but there is the potential to be charged late fees. While these may not seem like much in the interim, they have the potential to become costly if you’re continually paying invoice late.

In some instances, certain providers will offer a discount if an invoice is paid on time or early. Again, the reduction may be small, but as the months go on, you will see the savings.

Get Rid of Services You Don’t Use

When we first start out in the world of business, it can be something of a guessing game as to what we will need. As such, it’s not unusual for us to invest in services that we assume will be of some use, only to find that they’ve hardly been used.

As a rule of thumb, you should look to cancel any service that hasn’t been used within the last 90 days. Again, if you’re only paying a small fee, you may wonder what the point is. But over a tax year, cutting back on unused services will ensure that your cash flow is maintained in a more positive way.

Reducing the running costs of our business can be as easy as taking a step back and looking at the current operation. As soon as you’re able to ascertain as to what cutbacks and reductions can be made, your business will be a in a much better financial condition.

Blog10 1170x400 - 8 Amazing Video Conferencing Software You Can Use

8 Amazing Video Conferencing Software You Can Use

Businesses use collaborative management tools to maximize their time in producing quality services. One of these is the videoconferencing software which allows members from small to large groups to huddle as one. Here they can conduct meetings and seminars, among others. Whether your global supplier of steel banding products or small PR agency, video conferencing is one of the best ways to keep in contact with your clients and suppliers.

Here are some of the most commonly used videoconferencing software by businesses:

Zoom

Zoom is one of the most widely used web conferencing software which can be used for online meetings, training, and technical support. Businesses can have webinars that can cater up to 100 participants.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a middleweight conferencing software targeted at small to medium-sized businesses. It is supported by both Windows and OS devices. This software can start meetings, integrate outlooks, record, dial and organize conferences. Its meeting component offers easy switching between the kinds of meetings you are holding.

Google Hangouts

A fun and interactive software which allows you to bring conversations to life with photos, emojis and even group video calls for free. It is available for Apple and Android devices.

skype - 8 Amazing Video Conferencing Software You Can Use

Skype for Business

Apart from Skype, they also have a videoconferencing software designed for business customers. It is supported by Windows, OS and Android devices. It can do what Skype does like video calling, messaging and screen sharing, among others.

LyteSpark

This software offers effortless browser-based videoconferencing. Their core aim is to remove the complexity of hosting a meeting. There is no need to download certain applications or circulate dial-in numbers. You just have to send the ‘room’ and invite your colleagues to join the conference.

Join.Me

This software has all the core features you need to provide you the best video conferencing experience. It is supported by Windows, OS and Android devices. Apart from the video calling, they also have internal applications that allow you to document, make presentations, schedule and many other functions. Join.Me is recommended for smaller businesses.

HipChat

HipChat is a private online chat and instant messaging application that enables you to video calling with groups. It is supported by Windows, Mac, and Linux and can be downloadable in Android and iOS smartphones. It features messaging, 5GB of file storage, image sharing, and searchable chat history, among others.

WebEx

WebEx is perfect for online meeting and personalized videoconferencing. This software is aimed at larger businesses, although it can be used in smaller groups for free. It is also supported by Windows and OS devices.

What is your favorite software?

Blog6 1170x400 - 9 Steps You Should Do Before Buying Software

9 Steps You Should Do Before Buying Software

To help with your operations, a company shall invest in a software that can improve your productivity and competence.

Here are 9 steps you should consider in buying a software:

C2 - 9 Steps You Should Do Before Buying Software

Assess your needs

The first thing to do before buying a software is to know the needs of your company working with IT support Edinburgh could really help you understand what are the solutions needed to make your business more efficient. Identify the functions that must be performed by the software you are going to buy which will contribute to the productivity of your operations. Establish a clear understanding of the specifics, features and other requirements you want. This will allow you to determine the type and classification of the software that you are going to purchase.

Make a list

Sort out a list of the brands of the software that correspond to your needs. Search the web to know their functions, performance abilities, features and other specifications. It is also better to compare software to software to determine the special qualities that a software has that other do not have. Check for their reviews from trusted clients with experience of the software. Also, make sure you know when are these software established or if the software has history of reliable performance.

C1 - 9 Steps You Should Do Before Buying Software

Consult existing users

One of the most important steps you have to do is ask the first-hand users. You can consult companies or clients who are using the software that you are targeting to buy. You have to ask them about their experience with the software. Inquire about the software’s strengths, weaknesses and edge among other software.

Use the software

After asking the first hand user, experience the software. You should use the software to check if it matches your preferences of the features, specifications and other special qualities. You have to make sure that everything you need is provided by the software.

Always look for alternative options

Do not stop at one. Make sure you have backup choices. Do a careful study on each software so that you can have alterative options when buying a software.

C3 - 9 Steps You Should Do Before Buying Software

Talk to your employees

Apart from you, it is your employees who will be the primary users of the software. Ask about their preferences as well. You can also present to them the software with their specific strengths and weaknesses and consult to them on what among the software choices best suit their needs to fulfill their functions effectively.

Consider how it benefit your customers

Think about your consumers. Remember that you are providing services for the benefit of your customers. Ask yourself if the software you want to buy can increase productivity and maximize efficiency in providing services to your customers.

Quality over price

Do not compromise the price of the software over the quality. Some software are being sold at a lesser price, however, they may not satisfy your needs. Further, cheaper software may increase your risk to future glitches and other security threats.

Check the service level agreement

According to Forbes, one should “always check in detail the contractual service level agreement” before signing the contract. SLA defines the specific services the vendor will deliver. IN this stage, you should clarify the threats and how your business can be protected by validating how licensed are defined.

There are also other factors that you should consider in buying software. In the end, the software shall help you with your company operations.

Blog5 1170x400 - What are the advantages of microservices?

What are the advantages of microservices?

Microservices refer to the architectural pattern of a software which involves breaking apart larger codes into smaller ones so that they can be independently developed. This service-oriented architecture began in 2011 and has helped various enterprises better their web application services.

Here are some of the advantages of utilizing microservices:

More productivity

Microservices are built on loosely coupled modules which enable easier communication through simple APIs. Individual modules are designed to discrete tasks and communicate with other modules. Through this, developers do not need to rewrite whenever changes will be applied to a web application. The larger application can remain unaffected by single alterations or a failure of a single module. Thus, this will lead to stability of the software as features are more likely to solve their own issue themselves without interdependency. This creates productivity which can be improved more through specialization of the development team.

Less complexity

Microservices are relatively easy to build and maintain even by smaller teams. It can help any system as a whole to become more stable and productive by providing cleaner interfaces that are manageable. Encapsulation of knowledge can decrease the number of bugs and failures because modules become simpler to consume and understand. Further, because microservices has smaller codes that can interact with each other, it is not a problem to rewrite codes whenever there are certain arising issues. Microservices naturally suit within a data pipeline-oriented architecture in which each data pipeline handles one small task in form of a microservice.

Improved Scalability

Through the encapsulation of knowledge in each microservice, the developers are better able to allow more technologies to interconnect through common formats. It will upgrade legacy systems which will be easier since the ramifications of changing legacy parts of a particular system have a lesser impact. Moreover, it will be easier for scaling code and software services that are written into microservices as developers only need to scale what is needed without altering anything in the entire infrastructures.

MICRO - What are the advantages of microservices?

Rapid Growth

Microservices can enable data and code reuse thus it will be easier to deploy more data-driven use solutions for added business value. The service reuse feature of this variant of architecture does not just promote better productivity, but also growth in the efficiency of solving certain issues in the internal and external of the particular application. Further, data sets are presented in various ways to different audiences, so microservices simplify the manner in which the data can be extracted for different end users.

Higher-Quality Code

Microservices simplify the overall coding and testing process through modularizing the overall solution into discrete parts which helps the application developers to focus on a small part at a time. Further, microservices eliminate lengthy commitment to a single technology stack. There will be lighter dependency concerns in microservices compared to monolithic designs. Further, rolling back changes is much easier. The lesser the codes in play, the more flexible the application will be.

Tell us what you think about microservices.