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Web developer vs. Web designer

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Do you know the difference between a web designer and a web developer? Here at Simple Solutions we have the best technology developers to make your idea a reality but first we need to create the visual concept of your website.

Even though aspects of a developer’s job may be very close to that of a designer, they are very different.  A web designer uses graphics and graphic design software to create the physical look of the web. This design is then paired with the coding that we are experts in doing to bring to life your idea. The designers job is creative, they use both intuition and imagination to create the image of the idea presented to them.

On the other hand, a web developer builds the backbone of websites, from the ground up and knows the languages specific to the web. Among the tools to create a website, developers use HTML, Javascripts, jQuery and CSS. They never focus on making something look visually appealing but creating a clean code that will make the website efficient. The best developers are often detail-oriented and are keen on specifics..

At the end of the day both web designers and web developers work towards a singular goal, to create a website that attracts users. In order to do this, the designer and the developer must work together to make a site that looks good and works properly.

So these are the main differences:

A web designer:

  • Focuses on look and feel of a website
  • Uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Creates a great user experience
  • Strong intuition, creativity, & imagination

A web developer:

  • Creates the inner workings of a website
  • Is competent in programming languages (PHP, .NET, Python, C, Ruby)
  • Develops the user interface
  • Logic, linear thinking, technical

It’s important for you to understand what we do here at Simple Solutions and how we do it. We are tech developers and we have a combination of the best web designers and web developers and without them we could not do our magic.

Sime MIA 2015

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To keep our tech fans up to date with our adventures here at Simple Solutions we would like to talk to you this week about our amazing experience at Sime MIA 2015.Sime MIA

It was our second year attending, which means the first time was incredible and we were expecting more amazing things this year.

For those of you that are not aware, Sime MIA is a two-day conference in South Florida about technology, media, arts and business. A conference were the brightest minds in the digital world come together to facilitate and exchange ideas, promote business deals and provides networking opportunities.

However, there is something special about this event, considering it includes yoga, live music and DJs. The most interesting and amazing part about this is that it all has a meaning and a message to it.

The main focus of this event is to add passion and a unique flavor to innovation and opportunities. We participated in engaging discussions and workshops around the latest trends in tech, arts, media and business as well as some themes relevant to the local community.

As a tech development company in the heart of Miami, we were pleased to be part of such an event that opens opportunities to anyone wanting to learn about the most influential tech people nowadays.
There is no doubt that Simple Solutions will be attending next year to meet new people and of course, learn new things!

Simple Solutions recommends listening to Andy Miyares present.

 

Angry BirdsSime MIA

 

 

 

Is your WordPress plugin causing your website to crash?

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With WordPress you need to be very careful! The problem is that at some point or another, a plugin is going to cause your WordPress site to crash. So, how do you deal with a problematic plugin that may cause a crash in the future? The answer is BACK UP!wordpress crash

Remember to always backup before making any changes. This is in your best interest because if something goes wrong, you know that the backup is always there. Cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox are perfect for storing files. Use a backup service to make sure you store your plugin files, do the backups regularly and make sure it’s done before you update WordPress.

 

Do you really know why this plugin crash is happening? There are a number of reasons:

  • Clashes with WordPress
  • It’s badly coded
  • Conflicts with another plugin
  • Conflicts with your theme

Because of one of these reasons, when you update WordPress there is a high risk that a plugin will conflict with WordPress itself.

However, you should be able to fix this through the admin area. If there is a crash after you update WordPress, you need to figure out which plugin is causing the problem. The solutions is first deactivating all of your plugins. If the error is still there, then the problem is caused because of a conflict with a theme. If not, then the problem lies with a plugin and probably an old one. So start activating one by one until you figure out which plugin is causing the problem and then deactivate it.

It’s never exciting to see errors on your website and worst if it’s causing it to crash. Don’t stress, it’s something normal! Just make sure you have everything backed up and find the plugin or theme that is causing the issue.

Remember always to backup before updating WordPress!

 

Essential Plugins for WordPress

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Have you ever installed WordPress and thought about what plugins you should be installing? WordPress has thousands of plugins which makes it challenging to choose. Plugins are a software that acts as an add-on feature to your website. In this blog post we want to make it a bit easier for you by giving you OUR list of essential plugins for WordPress.

IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

WP Smush.it – image optimization

It’s an image optimization tool that uses advanced algorithms to compress your images while maintaining their quality and dramatically improving your website’s page speed.

  • Fast load time
  • Flexibility and control
  • Results you can see

SOCIAL MEDIA

WP Social Bar

It allows you to maximize your social media visibility without impacting your site speed.

  • Adds a horizontal share bar
  • Results in increase in social media shares
  • Faster and better than any other

FORM BUILDER

Visual Form Builder – Contact Forms

It allows you to build custom forms which your visitors can use to get in touch with you and send you information.

  • Adds anti-spam verification
  • Include automatic validation
  • Stores submission in the WordPress database

SEO

WP SEO by Yoast

Forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. When writing the meta information, it shows you a Google search result snippet preview, so you can see exactly how your content will look when someone searches for it in Google.

  • Helps create XML sitemaps
  • Notifies search engines when content published
  • Allows to add custom RSS footer

PERFORMANCE TOOL

Jetpack

Adds powerful features including customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools.

  • Simple and concise statistics
  • Social networking enabled
  • Monitor and manage your site’s activity with notifications.

SECURITY

Backupbuddy

It backs up your entire WordPress install and it can do it on a schedule.

  • Remote storage
  • Whole site restoring
  • Trustworthy and reliable

Sucuri  

It is a security suite meant to complement your existing security posture. It offers users four key security features for their website.

  • Security activity monitoring
  • Security file integrity monitoring
  • Security blacklist monitoring

CloudFlare

It’s a service that makes websites load faster and protects sites from online spammers and hackers.

  • Restores the original visitor IP to your WordPress logs
  • Helps optimize your server database
  • You can report spam in the plugin

IMAGES

NextGen Gallery

It’s a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images. It also provides two front-end display styles.

  • Centralized gallery management
  • Thumbnail management
  • Edit individual images

CATCHING PLUGIN

W3 Total Cache

It improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network integration.

  • Reduced page load time
  • Improved web server performance

STATISTICS

Google analyticator

It’s a super easy to view Google Analytics within your WordPress dashboard. It eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging

  • Supports universal (analytics.js) and traditional analytics (ga.js)
  • Supports outbound and download link tracking
  • Support site speed tracking

CONTACT FORMS

Gravity Forms

Build and publish your WordPress forms in just minutes.

  • Allows to export entries to the CSV
  • Conditional logic
  • Routing notification emails

MOBILE FRIENDLY

WPtouch

It’s a mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically adds a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors to your WordPress website.

  • Support for multiple WordPress menus
  • Content-specific featured image slider
  • Previewing mobile theme

MAIL

WP Mail SMTP

It allows you to use SMTP instead of mail and creates an options page that allows you to specify various options.

  • Adds an Options > Email page which allows you to configure the settings from the admin interface
  • Specify an SMTP host and port
  • Choose SSL / TLS encryption

These are our go-to plugins we choose to use when working on a site, always making sure it fits the client’s’ request. We recommend them because they get the job done in the best way possible and some even go further than what they are supposed to do.

Leave us a comment if you think there are plugins that are better than the ones we like!

 

Responsiveness is standard

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Responsiveness is the practice of building a website suitable to work for every device and any screen size. Nowadays, smartphones and tablets have changed the approach towards website design and user experience. Before, the only challenge for website designers was to make the site have the same look and feel in various computer browsers without worrying about responsiveness. However, smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops are not the same and each make websites have a different look.

So, why should responsiveness be standard nowadays?  It should because we are in a time where if you are not up to date with technology, then you are going to end up falling behind every other business. You need to have a website where the laying-out provides optimal viewing experience in any device. Therefore, there won’t be a need for resizing and scrolling.

We say that it should be standard because website designers should not be offering any other service than making the website responsive. There is no “desktop-version” and “mobile-version”. There’s just one version that will look the same in all the devices.

Let’s look at the advantages of having a responsive website:

  • Responsive websites are fluid, meaning that all content moves freely across all screen resolutions and all devices.
  • A good website is that, that enables visitors to consume content through a device of their choice. Thus, responsive design is about providing the best user experience in any device.
  • It is much more cost effective than having two separate websites that suit each device
  • Easier to manage one website than having to manage two

Responsive design isn’t a trend it’s a must. Being able to offer consumers a beautiful optimized experience regardless of their choice of device means you will expand your reach and have more chances of engaging your customers.

alepel monitoralepel ipadalepel iphone

Custom web design vs. website template

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As a business owner you are always looking for the best way to promote your company. The online presence of your business is very important and it needs to project a professional image. The more professional looking your business appears, the more reliable it looks and therefore more clients will like it.

It is hard for many business owners to understand the difference between a custom web design and a website using a template.  Let’s look at both so you can have a little understanding of the challenges and the benefits of both.

CUSTOM WEB DESIGN

Many people think that having a custom website is very expensive and it’s not necessary but that isn’t always true. Look at the benefits of having a custom web design:

  •      Unique design only available for your business.
  •      Influence over search engines
  •      More adaptable to your company’s needs.
  •      Scalability

However, if you are planning to maintain the website yourself you should ask for a content management system to be incorporated so you can make adjustments. In our last post we talked about our Small Tea project, which was custom designed and you can see how we created an editing tool for the user admin.

WEBSITE TEMPLATE

There is a misconception on how beneficial a template can be and how much easier is to work with them. Sometimes using a template can even be more costly than having it custom designed. However, let’s look at the benefits of it:

  •      Give ideas of colors, layouts and features
  •      If your budget is low using a template might be the best idea
  •      Shorter development time

However, the main disadvantage of using a template is that many other websites are using it too, so you are not unique.  Also, if your coding skills are not very extensive, your customization will be limited to the website template.

 

When deciding what to choose, you need to keep in mind that you want your website to stand out and be memorable. So our advice to you is let us do the work this way we can transform your idea into reality.

tuxpi.com.1437436594 tuxpi.com.1437598670

 

 

 

 

jQuery and Ajax

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As technology evolves and we as developers learn new things, we have come to realize that the combination of jQuery and Ajax is one of the most powerful unions available.

The question is, how has jQuery made Ajax development easier than before?

  • Ajax is a Javascript that has helped websites evolve by allowing sites to make requests to web servers without the need to reload the page. It’s a web development technique that by combining a number of separate technologies, it allows us to exchange information between the server and client.
  • JQuery on the other hand is a cross-browser JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side script. It is a perfect tool to making web applications more dynamic. With jQuery you don’t have to think about creating XML objects, everything is done for you.

When both of these come together, jQuery is able to leverage Ajax with very little effort. It puts together all the properties of Ajax into one application programmer interface (API) so you can control everything and even synchronize all from one declaration.

Without jQuery, Ajax coding can get a little confusing because different browsers have different syntax for Ajax implementation. So the combination of both is just a matter of making everything simpler for the developer.

On top of that, our team of developers used this combination to create an editing tool. We were able to create a direct access to the client from the front-end so they can edit their websites directly. The result of this is closely related to the results you achieve when using WYSIWYG editor. Our developers designed this for the clients’ benefits so at the same time you update the site you can see the results.

We recommend you to use this combination because it’s very powerful. It makes calls shorter and therefore easier for the developer. It’s functionality is probably some of the most proven code on the web and finally it guarantees to work across browsers.

jqueryajax

 

Small Tea Project

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It has been a year since Small Tea opened its first tea shop in Coral Gables, Miami. Since then, it has gained a lot of popularity and of course the only essential thing that they were missing was an awesome website. We offered to do the website because we wanted to create something from scratch and Small Tea’s project was the perfect opportunity.
The decision was to make a customized site that fits this clients needs. The project involves the following:

  • The frontend contains pure Javascript, CSS and HTML. JavaScript is used to control the behavior of different elements, it allowed us to create an interactive site. CSS is used to control presentation, it gives style to the website. HTML provided the basic structure of sites. The point of using all of these three elements in the frontend was to make sure that the site was fast and precise.
    Additionally, we also used Ajax and jQuery in the frontend. One of the reasons was to facilitate the user admin by creating a look-a-like WYSIWYG editor but designed by our team of developers. This benefits the admin because it allows them to update and edit the website directly from the frontend.
    We took care of all the details for the front end of the website including making it responsive and adjustable for the mobile version.

small tea motnaje

  • As part of the backend, we used software design patterns such as DAO and controller in order to facilitate integration of different data bases. Our developers also included jQuery in the backend to create a fast and effective system to upload products. This way the user admin can add or remove products on their own.

The project involved the creation of a whole new platform that is available to any website and our team of developers worked towards creating different tools to benefit the admin user without the help of an open source framework. It’s not something easy to do, but our team did it and the results were amazing.

Magento or WooCommerce?

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E-Commerce has become a very important tool for small, medium, and large businesses. Choosing the correct tool for creating your online store can become a difficult task. There is a wide selection of free and paid systems to choose from. The following aims to compare two of the most widely used scripts for achieving a properly created online store.

  • Magento: A PHP/MySQL developed framework that is focused to deliver e-commerce perfection. Magento aims to attack every area of the store allowing your online business to be focused on selling and scaling.
  • WooCommerce: Built as an extension (Plugin) for the widely known WordPress CMS, WooCommerce brings the simplicity of configuration to building an online shop. As such, WooCommerce tends to be relatively basic to eradicate confusion and eliminate user errors when working with the tool.

The following is a strong comparison between Magento and WooCommerce that will hopefully assist in understanding the most relevant pros and cons of both platforms:

landing-magento-logo x-home-5-woocommerce-logo

Architecture

E-commerce Framework

E-commerce Plugin for WordPress

Plugin Availability

Paid and free plugins are available

Sub-Plugins are available (mostly paid)

Performance and requirements

Resource intensive. Requires a strong web host, preferably virtual machine.

Uses the same resources as WordPress. WordPress optimization recommended.

Main Strength

Focused solely on e-Commerce.

User friendly, easier to manage

Theme Availability

Available

Available

Open Source

Yes

Yes

Scalability potential

Very scalable from small to large shops. Magento will support growth from the sales point of view to the reporting capabilities.

Issues with reporting, not allowing to scale to larger shops. WooCommerce will present issues with discounts, taxes, sales reports, etc.

Examples vittorium1 scalise

For everyone out there that is still looking for the correct e-commerce tool, both Magento and WooCommerce meet the standards of any business. However, we are experts in Magento and we believe that if its a scalable business, Magento will support the growth from sales in a more positive way than the way WooCommerce would.

3 reasons to use AngularJS for your projects

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AngularJS is Javascript front-end framework typically used to make single page applications inside the browser. It is very good because it allows us as developers, to have our codes organized and to reuse codes. Here we give you 3 reasons why you should consider AngularJS as your framework:

  1. Google developed it – this framework is built and maintained by dedicated and highly talented Google engineers. This means that the skilled and available engineers are there to help you get your Angular questions answered. It also offers a large open community for you to learn from and you can be sure that you are dealing with efficient and reliable codes that will make your project scale. It is quickly becoming known by the web development community as a viable framework for client-side development.
  2. It’s comprehensive – it is a solution for a rapid front-end development. You don’t need other plugins to build a data-driven web application. As long as you can store data, AngularJS does everything else, while providing a rich and fast experiences for the user.
  3. Easy start – getting started is as easy as adding a few attributes to your HTML and you can have a simple Angular app very quickly!

If you are looking for a powerful, efficient and well-maintained framework for any project, we strongly recommend that you take a look at AngularJS.

Happy developing!