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HTML5, CSS, CRM, CMS, and other out of the box (or not) content management systems. Infrastructures

Speed: A Prerequisite for Delighting Customers and Boosting Sales

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In the world of online commerce, we hear a lot about to how to sell more and earn more. We worry about website design, testimonials, product descriptions and great graphics. We stress about copywriting and customer security and the color of our “buy now” buttons. All of this is important, to be sure, and it all comes down to one thing: creating that elusive “delighted customer.” Yet customer delight isn’t always created on the customer side of the website. There’s one critical element to your customer’s experience that can be made – or broken – before they ever get to your site.

Does happiness matter in business?

Before we get into the technical side of customer delight, let’s talk about the real value of that delighted customer.

As Peter Drucker famously said, “The purpose of business is to create a customer and grow that customer.” So if we look at our marketing and customer acquisition efforts strategically, then the purpose your business should be to build a higher lifetime value (LTV) for your customers. The LTV is basically an estimate of how much you expect a given customer to spend with you over the months or years you do business together. The higher the LTV, the more money you make against the cost of acquiring that customer.

Kissmetrics has a great infographic that helps explain the variables that go into determining your customer LTV:

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10 tips to improve Joomla site performance

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We all know that speed is one of the most important factor for the success of a website but why?

A faster website helps to improve the conversion rate, reduce bandwidth cost, increase your site ranking in search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc), improves user experience as well as user retention on your pages.

How to improve your Joomla site speedHow to check your site performance? Is it well optimized?It’s quite easy to check how your site is performing, if your site loading time is high then the performance is bound to be low. However, loading time can be affected by many things even the internet connection of yours can make a good site load slow. Best is to choose online tools to check such parameters, there are lots of such tools, I select Google PageSpeed insights. The tool provide the overall status of your site, analysis in provided in detail and even the suggestions to fix the found issues.

Check your site performance with Google PageSpeed insights

Tools and tips to check Joomla site speed tutorial →

Here are the tips the help improve your Joomla site performance.1. Enable Joomla cache

When a visitor loads a page in Joomla site, Joomla fetches content from database, loads extensions (modules, plugins, components) required in that page and template files, which then renders as a single page, thus the whole process takes time. Those things can be solved by Joomla caching system. Once the plugin is enabled, the first time someone loads a page, the result from the process above are stored and the visitors then get the stored version of that page instead of repeating the whole loading process.

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How to build faster websites

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Ahead of his talk at Generate London on 21 September we caught up with Patrick Hamann, a web performance engineer at Fastly, who is on a mission to build a faster web for all. 

What does your role at Fastly involve?Patrick Hamann: Fastly is an edge cloud platform that underpins some of the world's largest brands. My role predominantly focuses on R&D; working with teams within Fastly to utilise client-side technologies and web standards to improve the performance and delivery of our products and – most importantly – our customers' services. Some current projects include initiatives around browser performance monitoring, metrics and Service Workers.

Before you joined Fastly, you spent time at both the Guardian and the Financial Times. How did they approach web performance?PH: Performance is no longer a post-deploy add-on or checklist item. It needs to be a constant effort that every person in the organisation considers, from design through to delivery. This is something these news organisations realised very early on, introducing practices such as building monitoring infrastructure to measure and compare performance against competitors, prioritising the delivery of content over other features and utilising technologies like Service Workers. 

What's the biggest obstacle to a fast experience online right now?PH: One word: JavaScript. I guess I should elaborate on this slightly: The web is at the peak of a JavaScript obesity crisis. The average web page now delivers around 500kb of script. Script which takes more than a second to just parse – let alone execute – on a low-powered device and greater than five seconds to get to a state which the user can interact with the page. Therefore, the only way to improve the user experience of our sites is to measure, optimise and reduce our JavaScript – above all else.

WebPageTest runs a free website speed test from multiple locations around the globe using real browsers and at real consumer connection speeds

What are your favourite tools to optimise web performance?PH: I am a strong believer that you cannot optimise what you haven't yet measured. So my toolbox is heavily weighted to measurement and profiling tools. For synthetic measurement, I’ll always reach for WebPageTest and browser developer tools (network and performance panes) first. However, nothing beats measuring real user experiences too (R.U.M), so a good knowledge of the browser performance timing APIs helps as well.

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Want to Learn PHP? Here are Tips and Sources to Start

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What is PHP? And why should I learn to use and where would I begin once I decide to use it? To start, PHP stands for ‘PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor’, and it is one of the most common server-side languages in programming today. The reason it is so popular is the fact that it is completely open sourced, which means anyone with access to the internet, is free to complete access to everything PHP has available to them. There are obvious reasons why a programmer should, and would, want to learn this language on that basis alone. Not only is it a programming skill you can use and implement free of cost, but there are a vast number of employers who incorporate this language on that basis alone.  With the ease that it can be embedded into HTML, it won’t be long before you start seeing professional web development come to life in front of your very eyes.

Just like with learning anything new, one of the hardest things to determine is where to start. In most endeavors, it is that initial fear of thinking you are in way over your head that will hold a person back. The platforms and/or products I list in the following summary, are programs I use personally. In no way am I advocating they are the best ones, they are just what I have found work the best for me and once I find a program that I like I tend to quit looking for better options, that being said, feel free to look around, and explore other possibilities.

To start we obviously need PHP itself to be downloaded onto your computer. Just go to download PHP and download it to your computer.

Now that you have PHP successfully installed, we need somewhere we can actually write the code. I use Visual Studio Code. Once it is downloaded and installed, it is as simple as saving a blank notepad document, but instead of saving it with a ‘.txt’ extension at the end of the file name, use a ‘.php’. Now when you right click on that file and go to ‘Open With’, select Visual Studio Code, and it will open up to you a blank template to use. In order to write PHP code, it needs to be within PHP tags. The starting tag looks like ‘’. Anything in between these tags will be read as PHP code.

Now that we have PHP installed, and a place to write our code, the next thing we will need is a software that will allow us to run the code so we can see our work come to life. I use Xampp. Once it is downloaded there are some slight modifications needed to make it run, but not that many. If you don’t alter any of the steps in the Xampp installation process, Xampp will be saved within your C:\ (Local Disk C:) file path on your computer. If we go there and click on Xampp, it will open into many different options. Now it is the ‘htdocs’ folder where you will want to save all your projects of work. For example, go inside the htdocs folder and save an empty document called ‘hello-world.php’. Now find where Xampp is on your computer and run it. You will get a pop-up that looks as follows except you won’t have any messages displayed yet I am sure.

When you click on run next to Apache, you should see two numbers under ports that appear. Usually, these numbers will be 443 plus a second one. It is this second one that we are interested in, as you can see in my image I am using 801(Yours most likely will vary). Now open up a web browser and type in localhost:801/hello-world.php (insert your number for 801). When you hit enter you should be brought to a blank white page since we have not yet placed any code yet into the file.

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Tricks of the travel trade: creating the best user experiences for your travel website

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By providing robust tools that greatly simplify user experience, a travel website will give customers an easy user experience and journey when they are using your site, making them more likely to book through you in the future. Here are some of the best user experiences, which you can provide for your end user.

Be the best in customer satisfaction

Do all that you can to provide the ultimate customer satisfaction and that can include website layout and the booking process. Just recently, Journey Latin America (JLA) won an Best Travel Digital Experience award for their new website that ‘more thoroughly represented the brand, was a more engaging customer experience and increased levels of enquiry, sales and customer service.’

Thematic search functionality

The best travel websites allow you to search for travel accommodation by theme, which could be based on locations or amenities like beach and spa hotels, while others are tailored to specific groups of travellers like family and business hotels. Additional search criteria, including specific dates and hotel ratings, can be added to speed up the process of finding the perfect place to stay.

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