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Archive for August, 2019

The Role of JavaScript in Web Development

Web development is a broad field, bringing with it an enticing array of different challenges. Indeed, I think my peers would agree that one of the role’s many appealing qualities is its inherent variety. On any day a developer might be tasked with: building the layout of a new web page, requesting and manipulating data from a server, coding interactions and animations, or one of any number of other interesting challenges. That mix of responsibilities requires a developer to understand and implement a range of different mark-up, scripting and programming languages.

For the uninitiated, a quick primer:

First of all, and essential to the web, is Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) which provides the semantic structure and content of each page. HTML is the heart of a web page, allowing us to inform the browser that we intend to display a paragraph, a list, an image, or one of a number of other content elements. Moreover, the HTML contains the specific content that each of these elements should show to the visitor.

Following on closely behind are Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which allow us to style the aforementioned content. Using CSS we can make the paragraph a different colour, adjust the spacing of the list, or increase the size of the image, amongst myriad other possibilities. Background colours, rounded borders, shadows, spacing between elements; all these things and more are specified with CSS. HTML tells the browser *what* the content is, and CSS tells it *how* it should look.

Furthermore, as websites increase in size and complexity, we typically make use of a database to store content and other useful data. This is where “back-end” or “server-side” languages enter the picture, so named because they run on the server rather than in the visitor’s browser. For this there are a range of choices — including Perl, Ruby and ASP — though we do the majority of our work in PHP, which powers platforms such as WordPress, Laravel and Drupal.

With the aforementioned covered in brief, today I would like to focus on Javascript (JS), a very useful and increasingly flexible language. Like HTML and CSS, JS typically runs in the browser and, traditionally, has been used somewhat sparingly to enhance the functionality of a page. This might mean powering a carousel of images or displaying an interactive calendar. However, more recently the development landscape has exploded with front-end JS frameworks such as Angular, Vue and React whose purpose is to provide a more convenient and structured way of implementing JS in the browser. Practically speaking, this means a smoother, more interactive experience for the visitor and, in theory at least, a neater, more logical approach for the web developer.

As if that wasn’t enough, JS has been broadening its horizons and, like PHP or Ruby, it can also be used as a server-side language via applications such as Node.js. These developments have opened up the potential to have entire web applications written in JS. This rapid growth has seen a surge in demand for developers with deeper and broader JS knowledge. With many of the web’s biggest players (such as Facebook and Netflix) using frameworks like React, it has become clear that JS is here to stay.

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7 Reasons Marketers & SEO Pros Should Use Social Media at Work

Over the years, I have worked with companies who block access to all social media platforms within their network.

This move was probably intended to keep employees focused on their work.

However, the marketing, HR, and sales teams really needed access to these networks!

No, I’m not talking about encouraging everyone to go waste their days on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. I’m also not counting the necessary marketing tasks of running advertising and content campaigns.

I’m referring to those of us in marketing and search roles who don’t have a perceived good reason to be on social media daily – as well as those managers or decision-makers who direct the time and activities of their teams.

Social media has matured into a major digital marketing channel. It shows up in attribution models and customer journey maps in nearly all industries.

While arguments can be made about niche and old school industries, it is hard to ignore.

Using social media at work is a positive thing for marketing and SEO professionals.

We should be encouraging social media use in our companies.

When given direction and focusing on the seven reasons marketers and SEO pros should be using social media, we can leverage its power and accomplish things that wouldn’t be possible from the brand’s profile and perspective alone.

1. Company Branding
The more content employees share about their work, role in the industry, involvement in their company, and engagement in their community, the more a brand can benefit.

As long as guidance is given on how to ensure profiles are tied to the company and the content is tasteful, employees can serve as brand ambassadors on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

We have all been to the stale and sterile profile of a brand that doesn’t showcase what employees are doing and isn’t connected with the people that make up that company.

If your employees are doing awesome things in their circles, make sure they are encouraged and empowered to talk about it on social media.

2. Personal Branding
Years ago, I had a client’s HR department worry that marketing’s encouragement of employees and sales team members to be on LinkedIn and engaging in their industry would make them ripe for recruitment by competitors.

This was backward thinking and thankfully, they learned to embrace the power of what their employees’ personal brands could do.

By building personal brands through sharing content, building larger networks, and engaging others, they found that individual employees were able to establish their own thought leadership and personas in the industry. This could mutually work for the employee’s career benefit as well as the company’s overall profile.

Read more: 7 Reasons Marketers & SEO Pros Should Use Social Media at Work

Revolutionizing the web development sector

IoT is undoubtably a big tech-wave in the web development landscape. It clearly defines the smart and well-connected devices. Whenever any new technology is introduced, it definitely impacts the tech world. Similarly, IoT has profoundly impacted every sector – be it web design, development, or mobile app creation. All of these sectors are affected by this latest technology.

Understanding the impact of IoT on web development

It is entirely the responsibility of web development services to ensure that the complex architecture of IoT functions smoothly without a glitch.

Web developers are required to have an in-depth knowledge of programming and database management. They’ve to stay abreast with the modern tools and technologies by bidding farewell to the traditional web development services. This contributes towards the overall growth of dedicated programmers.

IoT projects have higher turnaround time owing to its complex multi-layered architecture. With the help of competent web and IoT solution development teams, things will be done at a fast pace. You need to adopt a hybrid approach of development for the completion of IoT projects in a timely manner.

Hybrid development teams appear to be a reasonable option compared to the static exclusive teams. They can create clean and user-friendly interfaces so that robust code and hyper-connectivity with multiple operating systems, devices, networks can operate seamlessly in cooperation.

Friendly user-interface: When it is about developing an intuitive web-based UI for an IoT app, it has to be clean, interactive, and fast. Apart from that, designers should deploy the latest web designing practices. One more thing, you should make sure that your IoT based design is mobile compatible, so that smart device users can make the most out of it.

Solid backend: With the help of the robust backend design architecture, the communication between users and IoT devices can be enhanced. Every device has a different set of capabilities, commands, and data that works just the way users want. A good backend transmits and receives information and facilitates clear communication for the users.

Power management: The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about IoT devices is wireless operation or battery-powered devices. This demands an effective power management for them. When heavy programs are running in the backend, they consume maximum battery that leads to less user communication. So, the new layout should have a design that reduces power usage.

With the increasing popularity of IoT in our daily lives, web development has now become the most demanding field in which companies invest in-depth research and development.

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How Much Should You Spend on Social Media Marketing?

Q: When it comes to customer acquisition, how important is paid social media compared with other digital channels? — John L., Houston

Social media has created a beautiful opportunity for entrepreneurs: It’s never been easier to get your message in front of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. But if you want to reach all those people, it’s going to cost a lot.

It’s a simple case of supply and demand, and social media platforms are limiting the supply. Organic reach — that is, your ability to speak directly to the audience that chooses to follow and interact with your business — has dwindled to almost nothing. On Facebook, for example, organic reach touches less than 5 percent of your audience on average. Facebook simply doesn’t show your posts to most of your followers … unless you pay for the privilege. That’s one of the reasons why advertising inside social media has become increasingly expensive, as brands outbid each other in a competition for users’ attention.

Suddenly, social media isn’t such a great deal. If you’re on a budget, all of this can brutally limit your growth and acquisition opportunities.

That’s not to say you should stop using digital platforms altogether. Paid social is a hotbed of marketing insight. With just a small amount of cash, you can easily test headlines, imagery, and offers on different audiences. That’s valuable research. However, if your entire acquisition strategy depends on paid media, you could pay your way right out of business.

But there is another way! You just need to diversify. In the digital world, there are many ways to acquire customers: paid social, paid search, email acquisition, organic social, organic search (earning traffic through content), public relations, influencer marketing, and earned media. Start by identifying a few channels where you want to focus most of your efforts. (Ideally, at least some of those channels will not require the spend of ad dollars.) This way, you can test what’s working while building an omnichannel approach that will pay off down the road.

Read more: How Much Should You Spend on Social Media Marketing?

 

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