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These Magento Extensions Will Boost Your Sales - Part One
  As one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, Magento empowers retailers to build engaging, shoppable customer experiences in the digital world. By leveraging next-generation technology and a massive extension library, Magento helps B2B and B2C organizations create highly personalized shopping experiences for their customers.  Since the level of customization is so high for Magento users, they can often find it hard to choose from so many options and decide which plugins and extensions are truly efficient for their business needs. That's why we've created this article, to shed a light on some of the most useful and reliable Magento extensions that can help you make the most out of your Magento eCommerce website.    Magento plugins for marketing    Facebook Pixel for Remarketing This Magento extension collects data from your customers that browse your products and then runs your ads to those users when they enter the social media platform. You want to keep your product in front of your customer's eyes and here's where retargeting and remarketing play a crucial role.  Benefits: Automatic. Collecting user details is done automatically by Facebook Pixel—no installation is required on your end.  Easy exporting. Facebook Pixel lets you easily export products you want to promote on Facebook. Event tracking. You can personalize the way your customers interact with your brand and content by tracking events in your store and sending that information to Facebook.    Omnisend If you're searching for an all-in-one omnichannel marketing automation tool, then this suite is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that this is not a typical email marketing tool. Omnisend allows integrating multiple channels (email, SMS, web push notifications) in the same automation workflow. This extension can be integrated via an open-source plugin developed by a 3rd party.  Benefits:  Robust automation. In the era of digital workspaces, being able to bring all your channels together and integrate several channels in the same automation workflow is a must.  Easy message building. The visual email composer offered by this extension allows users to use a template or build their content from scratch in minutes. Streamlined targeting. By using segmentation based on profile data, shopping behavior, and customer engagement, targeting is much easier to manage.  Contact capture. With the help of landing pages, embeddable forms, and dynamic pop-ups, you can capture contacts more easily.    Mconnect Customer Specific Product & Price Personalization is a big deal in today's digital world so this extension should be part of your arsenal. How does it work? Let's say you want to personalize a particular segment of customers to receive a specific sale. With this extension, you can update it so only particular customers see your sale prices. The same way goes for on-site product listing so you can show customers only the products they are interested in.   Benefits: Persoalization, personalization, personalization. If you want to thrive in today's competitive digital landscape, your site content and your omnichannel campaigns must respond to your customers' needs. Customization. With Mconnect Customer Specific Product & Price, your customization capabilities are endless and will allow your store to respond to customers with products, prices, and relevant content.  Priority for prices. You have the power to decide which price gets priority for a particular segment.   Magento extensions for user experience   Yotpo Reviews According to a recent study, 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customer product reviews are an invaluable resource for developing customer trust. Yotpo's Magento extension supports you in collecting and publishing reviews on your website from customers that have made a purchase from your store.  Benefits: Social media integration. You can easily share your reviews on social media. Product images. Any customer can upload images with the items they've purchased for more credibility. SEO boost. Use snippets, Google Seller Ratings, and Product Listing Ads to boost your reviews index.   LoyaltyLion Any successful eCommerce marketer knows that a loyalty program is essential to transforming customers into a community. This Magento extension improves the customer experience by allowing you to provide referral codes and rewards to your customers thus encouraging them to share your services with friends and family. Benefits: Loyalty points. With this extension, your loyal customers have the opportunity to earn activity points which they can use later to claim special rewards. 100% customization. You can personalize your shopping program so that it fits your business and customers. Loyalty tiers. Your most loyal users will earn the best rewards which will motivate your shoppers to interact with your brand on a constant basis.   These are the most powerful Magento extensions for eCommerce websites that target marketing and user experience. We'll be back with part two of this article to discuss more details about Magento extensions for payments, shipping, analytics, and security. If you want to expand your Magento web development capabilities and empower your website to build robust digital experiences, check out Optasy's leading services in developing thriving web experiences.   Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay. ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 16'2021
7 Tips from Experts on Magento Web Development
  Magento is a versatile content management system (CMS) that offers outstanding mobile-friendly configuration and easy third-party integrations. As one of the most popular platforms for medium and big eCommerce businesses, Magento provides excellent flexibility and a wide range of integration and features that take customization to the next level.  However, working with Magento might come with some challenges like: Slow loading times Data security issues Poor Google search visibility Extension conflicts   While dealing with these issues is not uncommon in today's dynamic digital environment, there are ways to avoid regularly facing these challenges by implementing solid web development strategies and following specific steps. This article will give you key insights to better understand the process of building and managing Magento websites. It will also include expert tips and tricks from leading professionals in the web development industry.  If you are looking to fully exploit Magento development and get the most out of your web development plan, here are some tips and tricks that might help you.   1. Select your hosting provider carefully and make sure they provide reliable hosting services. When running an eCommerce website, connectivity issues are the last thing you want. The hosting server your website runs to can make a difference in your website's responsiveness and functionality.    2. Provide customized alerts that apply to the specific needs of your customers. By doing this, you'll not only ensure that your users are kept informed, but you'll also make them feel more connected to your brand. Basic alerts include alerts about price changes, and you can take it a step further by notifying customers when desired items are in stock.  Again, you'll kill two birds with one stone by following this practice, as it will contribute to your digital marketing efforts as well.    3. Add responsive parts and create a customized site that allows your audience to become more intimate with your brand. At this stage, you want to establish your brand and craft cohesive design schemes for all the elements that form your eCommerce website. Creating a responsive design element for mobile will allow you to build stronger customer relationships and satisfy your users' demand for accessibility.  As mobile devices are becoming the primary tool that connects your audience with your brand and content, you want to make sure that this connection is streamlined and effective.   4. Focus on selecting the best functions and features to suit the specific needs of your business. To set your website apart from your competition, you must choose Magento's features and plugins wisely. Spend some resources on finding out which functionalities speak to your customers specifically and add the most significant value to your website.  Your choice of Magento features should always reflect your business objectives and match your brand strategy, not the other way around.    5. Use tier pricing and group pricing to set your eCommerce business to success. How? Reward your regular customers and those who buy more inventory in bulk with incentives to stimulate and keep them coming back for more. Magento's tier pricing feature is a reliable tool that can help you manage this financial aspect by allowing you to price items differently and offer incentives.  The feature doesn't require any edits, and it will show your customers exactly how much they save when shopping at your store.    6. "Make SEO a priority" should be the motto of eCommerce businesses. When optimizing your Magento website for SEO, you should focus on boosting your product pages.  Firstly, ensure that your content is straightforward, concise, offers the exact amount of data needed to inform customers, but do not exaggerate at this point. Secondly, you should pay attention to updating the URL key to create a search engine-friendly link to your products.  Lastly, fill in your metadata section of each product in detail and include a minimum of five relevant keywords in each description. This should make your website more visible on search engines and allow people to find your online store more easily.    7. Don't forget about images, as eye-catching photos are often the first item on a website that catches the visitor's attention. Also, ensure that you use relevant names for your images, describing them as accurately as possible. SEO-optimized photos attract more visitors and help your website rank higher on search engines.    Magento is a winning choice for eCommerce   Magento web development may be tricky sometimes, but it's worth investing your resource in building and managing your eCommerce website with this reliable CMS.  Magento provides a wide variety of features that meet specific business needs, and the platform is developed for secure and functional web development.  When it comes to SEO, Magento won't disappoint you. On the contrary, the platform is an excellent choice for beginners as well, offering advanced SEO features that maximize your chances of ranking high on search engines and attracting more potential customers.  See how Optasy can support your business by creating and optimizing your Magento project to match your objectives and your customers' needs.  Photo credit: Megan_Rexazin on Pixabay.       ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 14'2021
5 Steps to Migrate Your Drupal Website to Another Host
  At some point in their business journey, every website owner can encounter the need to migrate their web host. As more lucrative hosting options are making their way in the industry–VPS, shared, or dedicated hosting—it's no surprise that many website managers choose to perform host migration.  This article provides support in handling one of the most popular DevOps services, hosting server migration, by outlining five essential steps that help you complete a successful migration.   When is the time to move your Drupal website to a new hosting server? The decision to switch web hosts is not an easy one to take. The good news is that there are multiple signs that can make it clear that your website requires hosting updates if you know where to look. It won't be comfortable to acknowledge them, but as soon as you start on this journey, you are transforming your website for the better.  Let's have a look at how you can spot these signs on your Drupal website.  Downtime has become a recurrent issue.  Your customers demand availability and speed, so every time your website is down and unavailable for users, you risk building a bad reputation of unreliable and low-quality services. Your server can impact your site's availability if your hosting equipment’s quality is low or your host's security features and plugins provide poor protection capabilities, as cyber-attacks can often lead to downtime.  Your host is hard to reach. As a website owner, you want to ensure that the communication with your web host is fast and streamlined. There may be times when your server crashes or you a server error, and you need to get in touch with your host as soon as possible to provide troubleshooting guidance and get your site up and running.  An unreliable host may not only affect the functionality of your website but can also cost you customers. Getting the support you need when it comes to your hosting account is paramount to provide high-quality user experiences. That's why making sure that you have a solid customer service team at your side at any time is good for the business. Your current host costs you too much. Web hosting can sometimes be the most significant investment when running a website. It's a recurring expense, so you want to ensure that you choose the best option. However, expensive web hosts aren't always necessary. You have to figure out if the features and the amount of server space that your host provides are a good fit for your site. You don't need to break the bank for hosting servers that don't serve your current needs. You can always review your needs and upgrade to a more expensive plan. You don't get the security you need. As far as investments are concerned, paying extra for a secure web host is worth it. A host that takes security seriously will bring significant benefits to your website.  By investing in a secure hosting server, you'll avoid losing data and parts of your website, having user data compromised, and losing credibility in front of your audience.  When choosing your web host, watch out for features and plugins like Secure Sockets Layer certificates, malware scanning, or server firewalls.    How to switch to a new hosting provider Migrating your Drupal site to a new host is a process that involves contacting your current host, performing database backups, connecting to a new server, and uploading your files. It's not uncommon for issues like corrupted backups to appear during the migration process. Consider this when planning your migration, and think if you can save some resources by hiring a professional agency like Optasy to complete this process for you.  There are a few essential steps to follow when migrating to another web hosting server. Let's explore some of them.   1. Turn Drupal caching off. This is the first step to take in order to avoid potential disruptions. Go to your Drupal admin dashboard and: Click Configuration - Performance - Caching - Select "No Caching.” Uncheck "Aggregate CSS files" and "Aggregate JavaScript files" in "bandwidth optimization" and click "Clear all caches.”   2. Backup your Drupal files. Connect to your remote server - Enter the connection details - Hit "QuickConnect" and connect to the remote server that hosts your website.  In your main site's folder, download the content on your local device, and you've done backing up your Drupal files.   3. Export your Drupal database. Go to the phpMyAdmin on your server's control panel in the Database section.  Click "Check all" on your Drupal site database, then "Export method and the SQL.”   4. Migrate your Drupal database to the new host. Create a new MySQL database on your target server. Click "Import" at the top of your database, then "Choose File,” and press "Go.” You've now restored your site on the new hosting from the backup.   5. Turn on Drupal caching. Go to Configuration - Performance - Enable Drupal caching. Kudos to you! You've officially migrated your Drupal site to another host.    Conclusion Building and managing a Drupal website is a complex process, and hosting is one element that can be pretty challenging to handle. There are plenty of hosting options available on the market, and you might find it difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your website needs.  If you're considering server migration or just need some professional advice on how to handle your hosting server successfully, our team of Drupal experts at Optasy is glad to help.    Photo credit: bsdrouin on Pixabay.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 12'2021
Drupal Commerce vs. Magento - Who Wins the Battle for eCommerce?
  In 2021, it is expected that about 27.2% of the world population will shop online at least once.  A lot of potential customers out there, right? As eCommerce is becoming the new norm, digital businesses seek out ways to thrive in this competitive landscape and position themselves as leading trend-setters.  To do that, companies need to realize the power of digital transformation and how they can embrace it in order to support the modern demands of speed and accessibility that customers require today.  This starts with leveraging the right tools for building robust digital assets. One of these tools is represented by eCommerce platforms, which are getting increasingly popular for businesses that seek to deploy an eCommerce system.  Drupal Commerce and Magento are two of the leading eCommerce solutions on the market and are often seen as direct competitors in the industry.  This article provides a side-by-side comparison of these two platforms in regards to technical capabilities, development, costs, scalability, security, and mobile responsiveness. Hopefully, this information will help you narrow down your choice in order to ensure that you choose the best fit for your business needs.    Key eCommerce Capabilities Enabled by Drupal and Magento Drupal Commerce was released in 2011 and offers an open-source application framework that supports retailers in building and managing inventory, track orders, or handle payments.  Magento's initial release was in 2008. This PHP-based eCommerce site provides high levels of PayPal protocol integration and supports 12 worldwide payment gateways.  Both platforms offer, through native features or third-party add-ons, the following benefits: Intuitive, easy-to-use user interface and control panels. No technical knowledge is required to customize and edit basic features. Full-featured CMS that supports social sharing. Business-centric structure for online stores. Native integration of inventory-driven advertising material Integration capabilities with third-party analytics, invoicing, or quoting solutions One thing to keep in mind is that neither of these eCommerce platforms is a "plug and play" solution and making the most out of their potential may require further expertise.    Headless eCommerce The headless version of Drupal Commerce has been in the spotlight in the last few years. This new initiative is an eCommerce solution that stores and delivers content without a front-end delivery layer. It's an API-driven implementation that transforms eCommerce functionality, making it available across a wide range of potential host environments.  A headless eCommerce model inclines towards a more SaaS-oriented, platform-agnostic solution that allows for better employee adoption and considerable time savings across IT departments.  When it comes to Magento, the open-source eCommerce platform, headless eCommerce is equally prioritized. Both Drupal Commerce and Magento are supporting headless models as the future of eCommerce.    Pricing Drupal eCommerce's technical cost of entry is free. However, depending on scope and scale, the costs of developing and maintaining performant and secure eCommerce servers might reach tens of thousands of dollars.  Drupal Commerce project costs are directly proportional with a business needs for specific development architecture, module integrations, custom theme styling, or particular feature integrations.  Magento's newer modules are not offered as open-source and upgrading from Magento Open Source to Magento Commerce might be challenging.  From this financial point of view, Drupal Commerce seems to be a clear winner.    Scalability Drupal Commerce has relevant capabilities of staying highly performant at scale. However, this CMS platform does not provide out-of-the-box database sharding and it can only be implemented on a third-party basis.  Drupal Commerce has lower requirements than Magento Commerce when it comes to the web server—the minimum required RAM for PHP is 64 MB and production systems usually require 128 or 256 MB.  Drupal Commerce-based implementation splits the eCommerce experience across three related Drupal domains. As a result, scaling is better, bottlenecks are eliminated, and the content and purchasing experiences are efficiently separated.  On the other hand, Magento's cloud hosting solves a large number of scalability issues, although at a higher price. The minimum RAM requirement of 2 GB will probably not scale well and distributed networks or caching may need to be deployed with greater care to keep up with the heavy load.    Security Drupal is proven to be the most secure CMS and Magento's infection rate is much higher than Drupal's. From the point of view of security, Drupal Commerce is a winner for businesses that want to prioritize secure platforms.  Source: Sucuri.net   Mobile Responsiveness As most websites transition to a mobile-first approach, eCommerce platforms that prioritize mobile responsiveness are a must.  Fortunately, both Magento Commerce and Drupal Commerce provide robust mobile capabilities to satisfy the need for accessibility and performance.  Drupal Commerce's themes allow building a fully responsive design for eCommerce websites and offer screen flexibility for creating versatile experiences. The most popular themes like Corolla or eStore provide: Multi-level responsive header menus Custom layouts and color options Box shadow and background textures Custom field additions Magento Commerce is close to Drupal when it comes to mobile optimization capabilities. Its responsive web design features help users create optimal viewing experiences for multiple devices. Magento Blank or Luma are out-of-the-box themes that deliver a fully responsive design.   Who's the winner for eCommerce? While both Drupal Commerce and Magento Commerce are reliable options for a digital company that wants to thrive in the eCommerce market, every business has its own unique needs and requirements. Choosing the software that best supports these needs is a process that involves a lot of research and planning.  If you want to speed up this process and ensure that you reach the right decision, don't hesitate to contact Optasy for professional advice and support.  Discover which platform is most suited to provide a robust eCommerce experience for you and your customers.  Photo credit: Mark Konig on Unsplash.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 06'2021
Drupal DevOps Best Practices for 2021
  Today, businesses interact with their customers in many forms of digital services on all kinds of devices. As the digital world is more and more present in our lives, delivering streamlined experiences at the tip of your customers' fingers is the key to success.  A vital role in delivering rapid, accessible IT services is played by DevOps, a set of practices that brings software development and IT operations together. And when it comes to Drupal web development, DevOps represents a valuable instrument that can maximize the potential of Drupal-delivered projects.    How does DevOps work and what benefits does a DevOps model deliver? DevOps, the culture that encompasses most digital businesses today, uses automation and advanced tech stacks to add a new layer of velocity to a company's infrastructure. “DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective”. - Gartner, Inc. Businesses that incorporate a DevOps model into their workflows see benefits like:   Scalability. Fundamental processes like infrastructure and development are operated at scale, which allows for a more efficient approach to developing, testing, and producing environments in a repeatable and streamlined way. Faster and more reliable delivery. The modern customer's need for speed is real, and DevOps can support organizations in their quest to speeding up feature releases, bug fixes, and other types of upgrades. Continuous integration and delivery are two critical practices that can automate the release process. High velocity. Adopting an efficient DevOps model allows professionals to build digital innovations faster and keep up with the trends imposed by ever-changing markets. Security. When adopting DevOps, you don't have to compromise on safety as DevOps models provide automated compliance policies and configuration management mechanisms.   DevOps best practices To make the most out of DevOps, there are some key practices to follow when implementing your model:   Leverage microservices architecture, which allows breaking down large systems into more specific, independent projects. As a result, developers and architects have more flexibility over managing these projects, and applications are more pliable and allow faster innovation. Install minor updates on a regular basis to solve issues and fix bugs quicker. The DevOps model aids companies in deploying updates more often and constantly optimizing their ongoing processes. Use continuous integration and continuous delivery to overcome operational challenges in complex development workflows.  Don't forget about infrastructure as a code, as automating your infrastructure provides better computing resources and higher responsiveness to possible alterations.    DevOps for Drupal development Implementing a DevOps model into your Drupal development workflow will not only accelerate your development cycle and delivery but will also contribute to better user experiences and business outcomes.  As more companies are adopting DevOps models (according to a recent report, 60% of businesses are using or are considering DevOps for their organization), it is expected that DevOps will gradually become even more essential for any digital business. With this growth will come better opportunities for building future-ready Drupal deployments and web experiences suited for the modern customer’s complex needs.    Wrapping Up DevOps continues to grow in new industries, opening possibilities for enhancing security, product monitoring, development, and cluster computing. As it will become the new norm, DevOps will continue to integrate more departments, improve solutions and designs.  As we've seen, DevOps models can also support a Drupal development team that focuses on improving project timelines and delivery. Optasy is the right partner for fostering digital innovation and can help you create customized Drupal digital experiences.  What do you need support with?  Photo credit: PCB-Tech on Pixabay.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 02'2021
8 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Better UX
  Modern WordPress web development screams: plugins plugins plugins! How do you respond? Which are the best plugins that can provide better user experiences (UX) to support your website's success? How can you choose wisely when there are hundreds of them available on the market? You're in luck! This article highlights seven UX-enriching plugins that must be part of your WordPress arsenal. But first, what are these plugins, and how can they benefit your website? WordPress plugins or extensions are a great way to customize and personalize your website to improve your SEO and UX capabilities. Plugins extend existing website functionality and enhance your site's performance. You can opt-in for minor tweaks, or you can go the extra mile and perform massive changes to your website with the use of various extensions.    8 Top WordPress plugins that deliver streamlined user experiences   1. Backup Buddy Backup is not an option if you're looking to succeed in properly managing your website—it's a necessity. Backup Buddy works as a classic backup, and it allows users to store data from multiple WordPress sites.  This plugin is known for being safe, quick, and reliable, which ensures user satisfaction. BackBuddy comes at affordable rates and can be upgraded according to the needs of each business.     Source    2. KeyCDN Another WordPress extension that works in your visitors’ favor is KeyCDN, a winner when it comes to WordPress plugins that speed up your website's loading time. This plugin helps your site perform better without compromising on ease of use or simplicity.  In the modern era, digital consumers are used to fast, streamlined experiences and don't settle for less than this standard. That's why supercharging your website with a speed-enhancing extension will add value to your brand and meet your users' need for speed.  Source     3. WPForms WPForms is the best WordPress contact form plugin. The features that make this extension a user-friendly and powerful WordPress form builder are:   Pre-built form templates that save time Mobile-friendly and responsive on tablets, desktop Drag & drop form builder without writing code Easily collect payments and online orders Spam protection Easy to embed in other pages like blog posts This plugin lets you build online forms faster, and it is a must for any site that puts the user at the center of the business.   Source   4. Yoast SEO Since 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, you want to take SEO seriously. The most popular WordPress SEO plugin is Yoast SEO. You can use it for on-site optimization and for enhancing your online presence. This extension allows you to change a page's meta description, add additional information on your content, and optimize for high-performing keywords. In this digital marketing era, SEO-friendly websites perform better, attract more visitors, and boost engagement—install your WordPress SEO plugin now and improve your online posture.   Source   5. WPtouch Speaking of trends, mobile usage is gaining traction, and businesses need to adapt to this new reality. More precisely, by 2021, the number of worldwide smartphone users is expected to reach 3.8 billion. In this context, mobile optimization is a requirement for any brand that wants to build long-lasting business relationships. A WordPress plugin that can make your site mobile-friendly is WPtouch. This popular mobile solution provides a simple and elegant way of optimizing WordPress sites for mobile. It enables a mobile-friendly version of your website that passes the Google Mobile test and ensures your SEO rankings do not drop due to not having a mobile-friendly website.    Source   6. MonsterInsights Many consider this to be the most powerful and user-friendly WordPress analytics plugin in the market. It connects with Google Analytics and supports reliable and efficient website traffic monitoring. MosterInsights can tell you where your users come from, how much time they've spent on your site, or which pages are they most interested in. Measuring different user experiences metrics and working on enabling better ways to keep your visitors happy is an essential element that helps you grow your business. Among the top features are: Google Analytics dashboard Real-time stats Universal tracking across devices and campaigns GDPR friendly Improved eCommerce tracking Google Optimize for A/B testing   Source   7. Defender Cybercrime has risen by 600% in the last year due to the worldwide pandemic. If your security efforts were prioritized until now, that's good. However, with cybersecurity now being constantly threatened, your site's protection should be at the top of the list.  A reliable WordPress plugin that supports and improves your security posture. In just a few clicks, you get closer to stopping brute force attacks, cross-site scripting XSS, SQL injections, and other WordPress vulnerabilities and hacks.  Defender protects your website with the following features: Two-factor authentication  Login lockout WordPress security firewall Geolocation IP lockout 404 detection Login masking Source   8. userTrack One of the most efficient ways to understand your users' needs is by analyzing their behavior. The userTrack plugin is the right solution for that.  By installing it, you can view click heatmaps, mouse interactions on your website, or even complete recordings of user activity on your site. userTrack provides a wide range of useful statistics that help you build your user's persona and profile to deliver better experiences for your audience.    Source   You've made it! You now have a better perspective of which plugin might benefit your website the most, and you can start optimizing your content and strategies to match your visitors’ needs.  Remember, in the era of digital businesses, the winning approach is user-centric. That's why working to deliver better website experiences for your users is so important. Fortunately, plugins and extensions can make the job of optimizing and managing websites much more accessible.  The same can be said about Optasy, a reliable partner in building and maintaining a robust online presence. From web development and digital strategies to design and maintenance, Optasy is here to add digital value to your business.    Photo credit: Markus Winkler on Unsplash.          ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 31'2021
6 Ways to Improve Your WordPress SEO
  Let's imagine you own a project management software solutions business. You want to position yourself as a trustful advisor for your audience so you write industry-related content on your WordPress blog. If people search for "Best Project Management Software in 2021", you want your blog post to appear on the first page of the search engine results.  How do you do that? With a little energy and a few resources invested in this area, you can increase the chances that your website appears at the top of a search engine results page (SERP).   What does SEO mean and why is it important?   Search engine optimization (SEO) is the action of boosting your website's organic traffic on search engines like Google. By increasing your ranking and visibility, your content has better chances of appearing on the top of the SERP that you've optimized it for.  “On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics.” – Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager, Bing Optimizing your WordPress website means that you increase the odds of attracting visitors that are actively searching for products similar to yours. In the long term, this translates to more qualified prospects and improved sales pipelines.  If you want to position your WordPress website as a reliable source of information, creating organic, ranking content is a top priority. Improving your SEO will benefit your traffic, drive more conversions, and help you build long-term business relationships.    6 Ways to Improve Your WordPress SEO   Install an SEO plugin As with any other content management system, WordPress plugins enhance the functionality of a website by providing access to more advanced features and settings. These plugins don't come with the standard version of the software and you can find the best fit for your needs by searching the WordPress plugin library.  There are many SEO plugins recommended by users, such as Yoast SEO, SEOPress, or Slim SEO, but you can always try other options and see which is the one that suits your demands.    Don't forget about categories and tags Tags and categories support your SEO efforts by allowing search engines to understand the structure of your website and the way content is organized throughout your site. Separating your posts and pages and organizing them into specific groups also improves the user experience as it provides your audience with a more accessible way to reach your content.  Categories You can broadly group your content in the form of categories. For instance, if your main product is project management (PM) software, then you may use categories like "software", "project management", or "management software".  Tags  Tags provide more specific information through keywords and are generally more descriptive. Think about your PM software website, what tags could you use to describe what a specific post is about? Keywords like "web-based", "scheduling", or "budgeting" could be used as tags to enhance and support your SEO efforts.    Is your website visible on search engines? Believe it or not, WordPress actually has a feature that allows users to hide their site from search engines. This might sound basic—however, check out this feature and make sure it's not set on hide unless you are building or updating your website and you purposely want to keep it hidden during the process.    Use internal links Internally linking your WordPress site will boost your website's authority and your SEO strategies. The number of internal links that you integrate into your content, pages, and blog is directly proportional to the way many search engines determine your website authority.    Leverage standard security technology Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology controls encrypted links between servers and browsers, ensuring that the data shared between websites and visitors remains secure.  Standard security technology allows customers to complete order forms and provide credit card information in a safe environment, without the interference of hackers.  This will improve your website's ranking as search engine algorithms look for secure and encrypted connections. Fortunately, WordPress.com automatically adds SSL to your website so you don't have to worry about this. However, if you're using Wordpress.org, you are required to manually install SSL plugins to ensure that your website is encrypted.  “Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” – Phil Frost, Main Street ROI   Modify permalinks  Permalinks are permanent URLs that lead to a specific page or blog post on your website and let visitors know exactly what they are clicking on. Why is this relevant to SEO?  Search engines use permalinks to determine whether your website has suitable answers to specific searches. That's why changing permalinks to include accurate descriptions of your content can improve your SEO rankings and also enhance the user experience.    Improving your WordPress website's SEO is not rocket science. You can use the tips highlighted in this article or leverage other strategies to improve your website's ranking on search engines. By doing this, you'll get more out of your site, increase your traffic and your conversions.  Optasy can fuel your web project with advanced tools that support your business now and in the future. Check out how you can enhance your WordPress website's functionality and capabilities in just a few clicks. Optasy will do the rest for you!   Photo credit: Merakist on Unsplash.       ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 29'2021
Tips and Tricks for Building Drupal Websites
  "A successful website does three things: It attracts the right kind of visitors It guides them to the main services or products you offer It collects contact details for future ongoing relation." - Mohamed Saad   When embarking on the quest to building successful websites, developers and website builders face various challenges such as: Crafting the site without coding Designing a good structure and making it appealing to visitors Adding specific modules and features Fixing bugs and disrupted features Connecting your brand new website to services like Google Analytics   Sailing through the rough waters of web development can be tricky at times. However, you shouldn't be discouraged. There are plenty of tools and techniques that can help you navigate website creation more skillfully, and this article will guide you through leveraging some of them. More specifically, we'll focus on Drupal web development and outline some essential tips for crafting more successful Drupal websites.  What types of websites can you create with Drupal? If your new to using this CMS, then you might be asking what Drupal can do for you. Well, Drupal is an excellent choice for almost any type of project: Personal or business websites E-commerce sites Blogs, portfolio, art, social networking websites Forums and news sites, etc. As you can see, Drupal is a versatile software that can address a wide range of needs and requirements. You only have to know how to use it to your advantage.  Keep reading and get more familiar with the world of Drupal web development.   3 Elements to Consider When You Start   1. Drupal modules. From managing user accounts to organizing basic content, Drupal offers a wide range of functional modules. It's important to remember that Drupal is known for its fantastic customization capabilities. Take advantage of the suitable modules to build personalized sites that match the needs of your visitors.    "Optimizing for impact means creating software that works for everyone. In recent years, our community has prioritized accessibility for users with disabilities, and features like lazy loading of images that help users with slower internet connections. Drupal's priority is to continue to foster diversity and inclusion within our community so all voices are represented in building an Open Web." - Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.   2. Web hosting allows all your site content to be seen anywhere at any time. There are some key factors to consider when choosing your web hosting service:               - loading speed: consider a host that loads faster than the current average, 850 ms.               - uptime score: look for hosts that provide high uptime scores, preferably above 99.5%.              - customer support: collaborate with a host that provides high-quality, responsive, and reliable support.              - cost: choose a host that you can afford and count on for reliability and professionalism.   3. Environment. Drupal web development is a complex process that requires focusing on functionality, appearance, or code integrity. Many elements contribute to successful side building and the environment that revolves around your Drupal project is one of them. Good environments can foster growth and are usually dependant on the following factors:                - How big the project is. This allows you to plan more efficiently, especially when dealing with multi-project environments.                  - The size of your company. This is related to the growth of your business and is underpinned by elements like discipline, culture, management, knowledge, etc.                - How skillful your team is. Having a highly experienced team that is reliable and efficient is essential when it comes to the environment.    How to maintain your Drupal website   Proper website maintenance can be challenging. Here are some aspects to pay attention to. Status report This is a feature provided by Drupal that monitors your site's health. It checks folder permissions, disruptive modules, or libraries. The Status Report feature also helps with debugging technical support issues, providing excellent support for your maintenance practices.  Cron  This is an automated task that your Drupal website runs on periodically. It performs scheduled duties like cache clearing, sending emails, or reminders, and it doesn't involve any manual intervention. This tool also performs routine maintenance for the System Module and checks for available updates.  Caching In Drupal web development, there are two modules for caching: The Internal Dynamic Page Cache Module that aims to accelerate site speed. The Internal Page Cache Module which caches pages for anonymous users in the database.  Deployment Drupal deployment allows users to move content from one Drupal site to another. More precisely, when editing your Drupal site, it is helpful to use different environments to modify or test your content without harming the live site's performance. The changes are then deployed through an automated process.    When it comes to Drupal website maintenance, it often saves a lot of resources to hire a Drupal agency to do it for you.  Optasy can help you navigate the sea of challenges that come with your Drupal project. Be it your digital strategy, web design project, or maintenance services, count on us and leave your worries behind! Photo credit: Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 23'2021
Web Apps vs. Cloud Apps - Benefits and Differences
  The world of app development has gained a lot of traction in recent years. A staggering 91% of enterprises have built and deployed mobile apps, and 82% of the worldwide workload will migrate to the cloud. In this competitive environment, making the right choices when it comes to developing your applications is highly important.  As web and cloud apps are fighting in the race of popularity, we've crafted this article to outline some of the benefits and differences of web and cloud apps so that you can gain a clearer perspective on the matter. And reach the right decision. Key benefits of web apps Web apps, which use web browsers and technology to manage tasks over the internet, have several benefits, such as:   Accessibility. You can reach web-based apps from anywhere, at any time, through any web browser. Flexibility. If your browser is compatible, you can quickly and conveniently access web apps. Little maintenance needed. Compared to cloud apps, web apps require less support from the developer's end, thus reducing maintenance costs.  Lower computer requirements. This is very convenient for end-users as it provides greater usability at a lower expense.  Enhanced security. Since client information is not stored on web apps, the risk of threats is reduced for subscription-based web applications.  Compatibility. Web apps are cross-platform compatible and can function on multiple platforms, operating systems, or devices. Easy update. There's no need to reinstall the software on multiple devices when using web apps. They can be updated and managed without any further process in place.   No storage limitations. As web apps can be used without any download or installation, hard drive space limitations are not an issue.  What are the advantages of cloud-based apps? Today, many businesses are already leveraging the power of cloud apps, which offer them the opportunity to work conveniently through on-demand services. Among the essential advantages provided by cloud apps are:   Broad computing capabilities. Cloud apps offer a wide range of computing services, both offline and online. Minimal management effort. Applications that are based in the cloud require little to no management effort or service provider interaction. High customization features. When using cloud software, users and businesses are able to customize on-demand services for their own needs and demands. Having access to their information from any place and device creates location independence that is much appreciated in today's highly dynamic digital environment. Enhanced performance. Cloud-based apps are known for delivering high-quality services and supporting enterprises in their quest to streamline their work processes.  Scalability. Cloud systems support businesses in scaling rapidly outward when it comes to storage, memory, or processing.  Higher transparency. Users can monitor, report, and control resources much easier and in a more transparent way.    How do web and cloud apps differentiate?   From a structural point of view, web and cloud apps are entirely different. Cloud apps' functionality is not dependable on web browsers, and they can be accessed from anywhere without the need for a web interface.  Unlike cloud apps, web apps are not multi-tenant and don't support the diverse demands of different users. Compared to web apps, cloud apps provide a more comprehensive range of customization features. Cloud apps rely on a complex backend to guarantee uptime, security, and system integration. Cloud-based systems also support multiple access methods and scalability and require data mirroring and data synchronization. Web apps are more limited as they are stored on a remote server and distributed online through a browser interface.  Cloud apps provide higher security levels by providing users security enhancements that can be added to cloud environments. Web apps have a different security approach, deriving and verifying user information from an enterprise's data servers.   The future of app development seems to include a multi-dimensional experience. While web-based apps are still helping businesses improve the user experience and convert prospects into sales, the era of cloud computing is here to stay as well.  Digital users require affordable, responsive, and agile apps that meet their complex needs. This is something essential to keep in mind when choosing the way you want to tackle app development.  If you're still deciding between web and cloud-based apps, Optasy is a reliable advisor that can guide you on your development journey. Contact us and let's start making the right choices.  Photo credit: viarami on Pixabay.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 19'2021