Kotlin vs. Java for Mobile App Development – A Brief Comparison

It’s that time of the year again. One of the major computing firms has put its weight behind yet another programming language and you are wondering why.

Kotlin – Google’s new Love

Meet Kotlin – Google’s new love . Its main development is run from a team of JetBrains developers based out of Russia. Kotlin version 1.0 was released on February 15, 2016 which is really recent. This is considered to be the first officially stable release of the language. Kotlin has since then been gaining support and is now, one of the official Development languages for Android.
This is what Google Developer Product Group had to say about Kotlin: “We believe Kotlin is an excellent fit for Android not only because it gives developers what they want, but also because it matches the spirit of Android.”

Kotlin was announced as an official Android development language at Google I/O 2017. It has became the third language fully supported for Android, in addition to Java and C++.
Android mobile app development company, Kotlin, Java

The first thing to remember is that the key phrase here: “one of the”. So it’s not as if someone is taking away your choice to code in Java or C++. In fact as you will see below – choice and flexibility has actually increased.

Android App Development with Kotlin ?

We asked our developers to look at Kotlin , talk around and discuss among peers and ask what folks make of Kotlin.
We actually found that those that have used the language didn’t find the learning curve steep at all.
And that Kotlin added some capabilities which Java didn’t have, saving them time and effort.
Some of these capabilities were:

  • Null safety through nullable and non-nullable types, safe calls and safe casts
  • Extension functions
  • Lambda expressions or Higher order Functions
  • Data classes
  • Immutability
  • Co-routines
  • Type Aliases

Kotlin works fully on Android Studio IDE and very importantly has full Java compatibility. This makes learning and getting used to it really easier and speeds up development. Any Java developer can get used to Kotlin within a matter of hours and you can even use both Kotlin and Java files in the same project.
Using Java libraries with Kotlin-based projects works flawlessly as well. The reverse is also true.

Kotlin for android app development – features

Null Safety: Null safety is an interesting aspect of Kotlin where references that can be null have different type , thus enforced only during compilation. We get Null Pointer Exception free code and no run-time overhead due to extra Option wrapper.

Extension Functions: Extension functions are a feature that was missing in Java. With Kotlin, you can add behaviour to a class without directly extending it or using a design pattern like Decorator.

Data Classes: Let’s face it. No one likes creating classes with only properties (and many of them repetitive), to hold data. It can be tedious and boring but needs to be done for most business apps. But in Kotlin, you can declare the class and all it’s properties in a single line of code.

Higher-order functions and Lambdas: Lambda functions are something you may have seen in C# or in javascript, but are not available in Java. But now with Kotlin, Lambda functions allow advanced transformational business logic and brevity in code and functions can be stored inside variables, passed around as an expression or created in another function. Result: Less code to do more.

As another example specifically for Android, Kotlin also allows you to call reference to view implicitly to an activity which reduces boilerplate code. For example the code:

TextView text = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.myTextView); text.setText("Hi Folks");
can become
myTextView.setText("Hi Folks") showing the brevity it brings

Cons with Kotlin for Android

There aren’t many cons with Kotlin, especially due to its inter-operability with Java. The only ones that one can think of are maybe the larger file package size than one built purely on Java – because of it’s own standard library. But also, Kotlin is little slower on Android studio.
The other issue with Kotlin is that it’s developer community and help resources are somewhat lesser currently, although this will definitely increase in the future.

SO should you use Kotlin or Java for Android app development? Our thought is Java will be there for a long time to come but that Kotlin can be a good second language to master for android developers. From the user point of view both would be pretty much equivalent , but it may be time saving for developers to code in Kotlin once they get used to it.

This article was contributed by a developer from a rapidly growing mobile app development company in India: Creative Spark Solutions
Posted in Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

How to get the best Recruitment Agency Website Design in 2017 ?

Recruitment agencies are in a sector where one really needs an elegant website design. A recruitment consultancy’s website should positively showcase its brand identity and specialisation. Equally important, it should provide interactive functionality and features – for candidates as well as employers.

Recruiters should be able to interact with prospective talent through their website, and display the openings available. Candidates should be able to apply on the recruiter’s website itself or through a job portal such as Naukri.com.

But the Job Post should definitely be available on the website. Otherwise, it’s an opportunity lost to connect directly with applicants.

Website Design for Recruitment with Job Board

The right website for your Recruitment Agency- can increase your revenue by 50%

Let’s look at how we are helping recruitment agencies with website design in 2017 by providing the latest features.

Continue reading

Posted in Ecommerce Guidance and Tips, Website Design Tips | Tagged , | Comments Off on How to get the best Recruitment Agency Website Design in 2017 ?

Time for Human (NOT just SEO) friendly Pages ? Let’s stop pleasing Google

The other day i was frustrating about the work we have to put to keep pace with Google and its ever increasing tally of SEO tweaks named after colorful specimens of the animal kingdom.

We have the Panda, the Penguin, the Hummingbird, the Pigeon updates… and there’s no sign of stopping, or slowing down.

Google Seo Updates to keep you busy

Google’s Idea of keeping everyone busy

As an e-commerce development and web design company whose current client list is less than the who’s who and more composed of SME’s, startup’s (not even micro unicorn’s) and small operations looking for SEO, how do I put the effort and steps required to optimise their sites. And keep track of the same regularly ?

These steps require discipline, time and effort. The tips, hacks, techniques are being provided thanks to industry experts like Neil Patel, Aaron, Glen and others. But there remains a basic problem.

The Race for SEO Friendliness

Every question , every discussion generally begins with the phrase – ‘SEO friendly Pages’ OR ‘google friendly’ web pages .

IN our race to make our pages SEO friendly, we actually made them unfriendly for us humans in the past.

In early days of SEO there were multiple instances of making pages look like directories (by trying keyword stuffing), and so many other hacks.

Folks tried doorway pages, content stuffing, footers which looked like link farms and so on and so forth. Sure, google penalised sites, but many escaped. All in all it felt like a dog chasing it’s own tail.

Today, most digital marketing experts are already talking about depth of content, conversion metrics from your website pages and other aspects such as bounce vs. stickiness of a person to a specific page.

But, there is still a tug of war between these newer and older factors.

Perhaps it’s time google added to it’s console something called as an Human Friendliness Rank , like the Page Rank of long ago. We have indexing tools in Google webmaster Console, We have the google Page Speed Insight tools and we have scores of (in total we have hundreds of tools) of tools for measuring one or the other (or multiple ) aspects of SEO Signals ranging from content depth to on-page factors, off page factors, links, mobile friendliness etc.

Time for a Single On-page Official metric from Google ?

I think it’s time for a single score / rank to be assigned to Human friendliness which automatically collates and takes in account, content readability, call to action, arrangement of content. The HF Rank will tell whether the site is human friendly or not. Period

It would be a summed up factor of all on-page aspects including how mobile friendly the site is.
Yes, there are many many metrics and many aspects that are available using various seo tools such a Moz Pro, SEM Rush etc. but there is no official single metric (so far as i know of) , since page rank lost it’s relevance which average Joe at the neighbourhood can count on, easily understand and work towards. Keeping it simple and democratising search should actually be the core objective of google and this may be just a move for that.

This may of-course sound a little hypocritical for someone who has just categorised this very post into ‘SEO’ but you never know with google – they may very well come up with a major surprise like this next !

Posted in Miscellaneous, SEO | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Time for Human (NOT just SEO) friendly Pages ? Let’s stop pleasing Google

On Page SEO Tips and Techniques for your website or ecommerce store

What is On-Page Seo All About

SEO is increasingly becoming a very deep topic with hundreds of factors in play and hundreds of tools also available to analyse, monitor and assist you in managing SEO for your website.
One of the things which has remained more or less same since the last 10-12 years however is the fact that SEO can still be divided among on page SEO and off page factors.

On Page SEO as the name suggest is focused towards elements of SEO which are on the page or URL that you wish to optimize and in your direct control. These typically include the title tag, the description tag, other meta tags (the keyword tag is not supposed to have any impact now) and various elements of your content and the web page’s structure.
Considering the vastness of the subject we are only going to be talking about the On-Page factors which are relatively easier to examine and fulfil. We will look at these both from scenario of a plain html site or a CMS, shopping cart powered site.

  1. Impact of Your web page’s URL on On-Page SEO

    IN the case of shopping carts or CMS, your product page url is typically automatically pulled off the page title that you input in the CMS post or page. Some carts may NOT have what are called seo friendly urls by default and in this case you should use plugins or tool (most likely available for free ) which converts the product and category pages url to search engine friendly urls.
    As an example of SEO friendly Url: Let’s say you have a page for XYZ Brand Denim Shirt with product id no. 9129 in a typical e-commerce store. Your url generated will have the product no. in it, maybe something like: www.yourbestshirtstore/product/view/id/9129/category/16. However it is more meaningful for google and even for the user if your url is something like www.yourbestshirtstore/mensshirt/xyz-denim-shirt . Note that for best result even the extension (html/ php etc.) would be removed. In Magento for example, you can customize this in Admin -> Marketing -> SEO & Search -> URL Rewrites .

    SEO page url tip:
    Remember that whether it is a CMS like WordPress or a shopping cart you need NOT have your url exactly like the title or page heading. This is because whereas title has generally has 50 to 70 characters; the url should not have more than 6-7 words otherwise it really does not remain very friendly. And remember to use the actual keywords in the url.

  2. Your websites title and description tag

    IN the top of your page are two tags which since last so many years have been sending an important signal to google of what your website page is about.
    The title tag is the most important tag for SEO purposes and should contain the keyphrase you are targeting for that page. Since the title tag should not be more than 50-75 characters you should choose your keyphrase(s) carefully as you cannot have many.

    Example: Let’s say you are an e-commerce development company and you find during your keyword research that the keyphrase “ecommerce development company” is something you wish to target for. Your title tag for this page should contain this keyword and the description should emphasise this as well as any USP of your offering related to that page.

    title description tag usage example seo

    Example of using Title and Description Tag

  3. Use of heading tags, bold content in page

    Heading tags are typically the page subsection etc. headings enclosed in:< h1 >, < h2 >…… < h6 > tags.
    These tags send signal to google about what the sub-topical content is about and should be naturally peppered with your keyphrase variations. Do NOT force the key-phrases into the headings however. Google also places emphasis on text which is bold. Though some SEO experts do not consider it harmful, it is always better to have Only one h1 tag. You can have multiple other tags.

  4. Use of Image Tags for better On Page SEO

    There are two basic tags we’ve to consider when adding images in a page. One is the alt tag and the other is the title tag. The ALT tag is important not only for on-page SEO but also accessibility point of view for if the image is not visible as is in case for visually impaired then the text contained in this tag tells what the image is about through the reader software. Also if the image is not rendered due to any reason, this text shows instead. So this tag should tell what the image is about. The title tag is basically the title of the image and if you point the mouse at the image it appears as a tool-tip text. These tags are also available in CMS like WordPress and in even in your e-commerce stores there are plugins / tools to optimise these tags. While adding an item into your wordpress media gallery you can set these tags.
    As an example of using image tags in media gallery in wordpress, have a look here
    Example of how wordpress allows title and alt tag on images The alt and title tag have been described above. The caption text actually appears generally below the image (depending on your theme) , if filled.

  5. Quality of Content, Keyword Density and Natural flow of Content

    During the early days for seo, there used to be specific guidelines for keyword density in your content and in-fact during the very early days, this was exploited as well to a certain extent by ‘keyword stuffing’ . Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs but do make sure that the content in your web page contains key words and semantically and logically relevant variations of key-phrases in a natural way. Forced usage of keywords / phrases will break the flow of content and even if you rankings get a slight positive impact – user friendliness and hence conversion metrics will get negatively impacted.

    Broadly since 2014 onward, with the Panda etc. updates one of the factors that google has been talking about is related content, topical authority and how especially for newer domains- that would matter. What this means in real plain speaking English is that if you writing about something in your web page – Lets say you’re writing about the Real Estate Service you provide to Tenants – Try and cover it topically keeping in mind the key-phrase you are targeting and related keyphrase variations. Break it down in sub-headings. If the topic is large , divide it amongst multiple pages and inter-link the pages with maximum links flowing back to the main page.

  6. Speed and Mobile Friendliness of the Page:

    Mobile friendliness is a relatively new factor which has gained a lot of importance since the last 2-3 years (major change around April 2015). Google has made it very easy to check whether your site is mobile friendly or not. In 2013, Matt Cutts of google was NOT very committing towards the positive impact of mobile friendliness of your webpage. But cut (pardon the pun) to 2015-2016 things changed rapidly in favour of responsive websites. On a side Note, Matt Cutts himself quit Google to serve in US Digital Services after an extended leave of absence , but that of course is an entirely different story. Coming back – yes mobile friendliness of the page is very important and not just due to SEO but due to simple fact that no amount of seo can help you if the user coming to your website bounces off it in seconds because it didn’t render properly in their mobile device.

  7. Cross Linking and interlinking with Page and Structural elements:

    I am combining this point although there are two different aspects being considered here and both equally important. While it is not totally clear how google does it but sites which are user friendly and have above the fold (before scrolling) and below the fold (after scrolling) elements correctly placed and lower bounce rate are likely to rank better. This is what we mean by structural elements which do Impact the on-page seo.

    Lets come to the cross-linking aspect. The more the pages of your website or e-commerce store interlink with each other, the better it is. Ideally the full URL’s should be used while interlinking. This helps google crawl your website better and discover the relation between pages.
    The header and footer are of-course the main areas where content is linked within a site but various pages can be referenced by sidebar and links within the content. If the link is through a keyword or targeted phrase every now and then, this is also quite helpful.
    If you want to check out some deeper insights into search engine ranking factors and not specifically on-page factors you can refer to the moz biennial search engine ranking factors survey last held in 2015.

And now for some shameless bit of self promotion: We when we develop your website, we do keep the on-page factors in mind and do spend at-least some minimum amount of time in considering your keywords and how the page content, heading and title etc. tags must be structured. So when you order our wordpress web designer services or use our e-commerce website development services, we will definitely try our best to ensure your site has these aspects in mind.

Posted in Ecommerce Guidance and Tips, SEO tips for Websites | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

6 Tips and Tricks to improve e-commerce store conversions in 2017 and beyond

Hi folks, as a beautiful spring dawns on 2017, I thought it’d be great to re-visit some of the stuff we’ve discussed and gone over in the past which would increase your e-commerce site’s conversion metrics. You can use these tricks as practical starting points and find the relevant tutorials to actually implement easily on google.

1. Make sure your site loads quickly, whether on a computer or a mobile device
A typical user does not wait more than 5 seconds for the site to load on his screen. Using optimized jquery and css and through minification, caching and other tweaks you can make sure that your site will load quickly. Verifying the loading speed issues of your ecommerce site on free tools like GTMETRIX.com is extremely helpful. Extra tip: Keeping the Javascript at the bottom of the page makes it more user-friendly, but make sure there is no error displayed in browser console due to the ordering of javascript. You can ask your developer to take care of all this as part of the project implementation.

GT Metrix tells where your e-commerce store is slowing down.

2. Don’t forget about Site Search
Customers should be able to easily navigate an e-commerce store’s website. For this you need to invest in good site search technology. The new version of most shopping cart platforms include auto-complete search which should be used to make it easier for the user to find your products. Site search also includes site filters and apart from filtering by date, brands, Price , other kind of filters can be set-up especially on prestashop , opencart stores with lots of product.
You’d be surprised to know that even many e-commerce stores with multi-million dollar investments have neglected site search and result filtering leading to lowering of conversion rates.

3. Great Quality Product Photos with Zoom or detail feature
Don’t underestimate the power of high quality photographs of products, In addition, give shoppers the ability to zoom in and see multiple angles and views of products (if relevant). This is mostly relevant in all B2C e-commerce stores. E-commerce product photography need not involve paid photo shoots. In-fact using simple tools and apps or settings of your smartphone you can click high quality images and with minor re-touching provide effects such as mirror and shadow effects. One such app for photography for e-commerce is the VSCO app available on google play store. In e-commerce sites for fashion and apparel retail, at-least 3-4 images with zoom-able option should be provided for. Having the right images of your offerings could be the difference between someone becoming a customer and deciding to move on to another website.

ecommerce zoom and multiple image feature

Example of E-commerce Zoom and thumbnail features

4. Include Reviews, Sharing and other Social Indicators.
According to many consumer outlook sites, consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than any promotional PR release etc. or piece from a marketing agency. It makes sense for large sites to provide for customer review and moderation facility. But what do you do if you are a new site and do not have customer reviews ? In such a scenario we suggest that you rely on other social indicators such as likes, tweets etc. gathered regarding that product. Have a mechanism by which you can get reviews and quotable compliments from your customer. You can gently ask this verbally to a client once their project is complete and they complement you, and update them on the storefront.

5. Upsell and Keep the fast moving products in Limelight
Whether it is a woo-commerce store, prestashop, open cart or the larger storefronts based on magento – all of these have widgets, modules and features for product promotion. They are the Bestsellers, the Featured products and New products section plugins. The other used modules are the Daily Deals, Upsell plugins etc.. Your home page slideshow should also be changed frequently to reflect the main product you are promoting. If you’re using woocommerce, Beeketing for Woocommerce is one such plugin. There are obviously similar others for Prestashop, Opencart, Magento Store Design.

6. Easily understood navigation
Good navigation helps new shoppers find what they’re looking for without hassle. On the other hand, poor navigation frustrates them and may even lead them to abandon your store. If you’re seeing too many abandoned baskets, poor navigation could be one reason. Have a friend, co-worker or relative who is not part of your team try the storefront from the web and mobile (both) and ask him whether it seems intuitive enough to browse – and most importantly checkout. No matter what page a visitor initially lands on, they should be able to quickly find their way around your site without having to ask “how do I…?” Also have a 404 (error page) ready which is able to redirect them to search and just doesn’t show a bunch of garbled code etc.

Ecommerce Navigation Example

For good navigation lay emphasis on the following as well:

  • Breadcrumbs – Not only for navigation, breadcrumbs also help for great SEO as well.
  • Mega Menu and detailed menu with clickable top levels if you have a big store. Also check the menu loads immediately on page load and is clickable, tap-able.
  • Footer should have the Privacy, Terms, FAQs etc. Link but FAQ particularly should also be available elsewhere on top.
  • If support/chat etc. Is available they should also be placed.
  • Provide both grid and list arrangement of products – this option is available in most shopping carts. Shopping cart basket with item and quantity should be available on top and ideally updated via ajax on any update.

These are by no means exhaustive or even arguably the ‘most important’ tips but perhaps the easier ones to start with. We will be back with more soon so keep checking for more. Check out our ecommerce web design packages for more information.

Posted in Ecommerce and Online Marketing News, Ecommerce Guidance and Tips, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on 6 Tips and Tricks to improve e-commerce store conversions in 2017 and beyond

How to Choose asp.net Developers Resources in Delhi Noida Gurgaon

dot net developers for hire in Delhi NCR

Dedicated mvc , dot net resources available

Many corporates and startups are waking up to the benefits of temporary resourcing and outsourcing technical developers rather than permanent hiring.

Even for bigger technology projects and assignment, technical resources are generally only required for a few months to an year. Permanent hiring for assignments is prone to risk, cost and time constraints.

Continue reading

Posted in Asp Dot Net Development, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , | Comments Off on How to Choose asp.net Developers Resources in Delhi Noida Gurgaon

How Magento is helping Ecommerce Stores Market themselves in 2016

Magento Powers many of the largest Ecommerce Retailers

Magento Powers many of the largest Ecommerce Retailers

If you are an e-commerce business store owner, marketing your store products is one of the most important tasks to take care of. If your store can appear in search engine results in the top few and present itself positively to the browsing user – then you are quite likely to make the sale.
Today we look at Magento, one of the best open source shopping carts and its benefits from a marketing point of view. Magento stores can be found across the web, and it powers the most merchants in Internet Retailer’s top 1000, more than double of any other provider. Lets see how what makes it so good for marketing.
  • SEO Edge Magento SEO has solved multiple issues by facilitating better optimization of e-commerce sites. Page traffic, duplicate content, landing page, indexing, etc are efficiently managed for a website developed on Magento. Sites built on Magento are considered to be better from organic SEO point of view.
  • Marketing tools Magento e-commerce provides many tools and technologies to promote the business. Options like Private Sales, Flexible Coupons, Catalog Promotional Pricing, Multi-Tier Pricing, Bundled Products, Landing page Tools for Campaigns, etc are among these tools. Most of these tools are available even in the community edition version.
  • Google Services with Magento Many services of Google like Google Analytics, Google Checkout and Google Base can be used with Magento. Magento has many extensions built around use of google features such as Sitemap, Analytics, Login using google etc.
  • Performance Improvements Earlier there used to be some concern about using the community edition and getting good performance and speed but now this issue is passe. Magento allows us to use best practices such as expire headers, output compression and its own settings such as enabling flat catalog, merging javascript to speed it up. And a quick loading speed will certainly help its marketing.
  • M-commerce through Magento Magento shopping cart is well optimized for mobile usage. Yes, the templates do matter of-course but the product architecture and usage of caching, output compression, jquery help as well. And if you’re looking for mobile apps, there are a number of standard extensions which can help.
  • Magento Security Magento has always been considered in the more secure of shopping carts. This has increased with the 2.0 upgrade of late 2015. PCI compliance etc. is now built in for Magento Ecommerce and there is no need to look at extensions.
  • Magento 2.0 Upgrade : Magento 2.0 upgrade in 2015 brought to focus a lot more improvement that’d impact marketing aspect positively. With Magento 2.0 , guest checkout is assumed, resulting in a more streamlined checkout process. If you’re an existing customer, you can login without having to remember the password. Credit card etc. fields have been made less lengthy and time consuming. Add to this the enterprise edition has become even faster than before. Sure there are a few pain points in the upgrade related to extensions etc. but the overall benefits are great and for someone starting out new to Magento – it is all for the better.
Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on How Magento is helping Ecommerce Stores Market themselves in 2016

Must Have Features for your Ecommerce Solution

E Commerce is getting more and more prominent in the modern market. There are lot of business owners who are embracing e-commerce every day. Since it has become one of the major sources of profit in the present day business scenario, entrepreneurs as well as companies are moving away from conventional brick and mortar business and getting into the world of e Commerce. Getting a good e Commerce or shopping portal developed and designed for your product offering, is very essential in this regard.

There are tens of ecommerce platforms that online merchants can choose from. The differences between these carts can be significant, so knowing what features matter is important.
So let’s look at a few, 10 to be exact “must-have shopping cart features” that either improve the shopping experience for the consumer or make it easier for the merchant. In truth, this probably should be a much longer list, since narrowing down shopping cart features to just ten important ones necessarily leaves out a lot of other important capabilities too.

Continue reading

Posted in Ecommerce Guidance and Tips, Marketing your Ecommerce Website | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Must Have Features for your Ecommerce Solution

4 newest ways to market your e-commerce website in 2013

Online Marketing of an e-commerce website is a challenge, especially in the initial period when you have just started it. The source for getting traffic and ultimately customers for your online business is getting more and more diverse and you have to think beyond the obvious to make your online store a success.how to market and publicize your ecommerce websiteOnce a well designed and well functioning e-commerce website is created, the next step is the marketing and PR of the website for which adequate efforts and budget must be available. Lets look at 4 newer ways which go beyond the obvious to market and optimize your website for search engines. Continue reading

Posted in Ecommerce and Online Marketing News, Ecommerce Guidance and Tips, Marketing your Ecommerce Website | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Shopping Cart News Roundup for May and June 2013

Shopping Cart Roundup – What the little Piggies have been up to ?

Well, here it is folks, our very first shopping cart roundup starting June 2013 and available regularly every month from now on. We of course request our great readers and shopping cart users to keep updating us with feedback and news.Shopping cart news in 2013 We are always eager to know what new innovation anyone has seen in any new e-commerce website or heard from industry gossip and what shopping cart was used. Meanwhile lets talk about 4 such shopping carts which have been in the news in May and June 2013 for the right reasons. Continue reading

Posted in Ablecommerce, Ecommerce and Online Marketing News, Magento, X Cart | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments