Category Archives: Technology

Understanding your Demographic and what business can learn from the iGaming

Probably the two most hotly contested spaces on the internet right now are Dating and on-line gaming and gambling. Tapping into the strongest of human emotions is clearly a winner especially where money comes into the equation.

What can other businesses learn from the experience of the successful on-line gaming businesses and their drive to win new clients and steal those of their peers?

Developing strong brand identities

Strong brand identities and the ability to have that brands URL stick in the minds of the potential new user are one, admittedly very important, thing, but it’s the way that iGaming companies target their specific demographic that is usually the key strength of the most successful players in the space. The top brands employ teams of data scientists who live and breathe the data coming from their sites. They aren’t just looking at age, gender and the usual residential address factors. They are analysing spending patterns, which slots games the players are wagering upon the most and the frequency of visits to each area of the site.

Developing a precise marketing plan with the data

With the magnitude and quality of that data, they are able to coalesce the perfect marketing plan for users in a specific demographic. Scott Manford the CEO of Wizard Slots, a leading UK based online casino, says “It’s imperative that we understand not only what slot and table games each of our players prefer to use, but also the time of day, and indeed days of the week they like to play and what interests them in new games and concepts”.

Indeed, getting into the players head and understanding what they like, and don’t like about a site is critical in a successful online gaming operation. “We assess heatmaps for a broad section of our player base and analyse what areas of our sites are causing blockages or bounces for different groups of players and in turn which promotions or new features draw the attention of players. Allied to significant A/B testing we then trial new concepts across wide demographic groups before we fully roll out any new games or promotions”.

These operators also analyse the retention of players, understating the motivation to either leave the site, or where a boredom threshold is reached.

Ultimately their plan is to never lose a player, as Manford goes on to say “The cost of acquisition for us is very significant, so we always adopt a philosophy of your best customers being your existing customers, and hence we strive to retain players for as long as possible, by giving them the utmost in customer care and attention and gifting them with free spins, promotions and even things like claiming special bonuses on their birthday etcetera” . So more than just understanding what slots games their players like – it seems the casino operators ty to understand the life cycle of a player and the motivations to play, wager, and indeed grow bored with each and every aspect of the interface.

Deciding on your marketing channels with this data

This depth of understanding means that new promotions might only be marketed on targeted social media for instance, or on TV adverts at a specific time on a specific channel, all with the objective of getting the maximum exposure to the precise demographic who have already demonstrated a receptivity to the messaging of that promotion in a controlled environment.

The ultimate goal is to try and ensure that not a single cent of marketing budget is spent on speculative or “brand building” exercises – but rather delivers a targeted, attributable and maximised Return On Investment for the Online Casino operator. Whilst some brands do combine some overall brand messaging in their marketing messaging you can be assured that they are also measuring the efficacy of this.

So what can businesses in other sectors learn from some of this behaviour and experience. Well aside from the usual platitudes of “know your customer” and “your best customer is your current customer” possibly the biggest take away is that you need to try and target your marketing message to the groups who you most want to attract, and more importantly knowing who those people are by analysing the current profile and conversion of your existing customer base. Once you understand what parts of your offering appeal to the subtle variations in your customer demographic you will be much better placed to target your marketing spend to the areas where you will get the best ROI.

Broadening the Boundaries of Education – The Learning Benefits of VR & AR

Both Virtual reality and Artificial reality are set to change the future of higher learning thanks to the countless practical training applications. The augmented and virtual reality landscape is not set to be an asset for only academia, but skills development, risk management construction and training.

Educators are quickly learning that any subject can be paralleled within virtual reality. The safety of such training alone is reason enough to begin relying upon immersive simulations. Here we’ll be taking a closer look at the benefits of virtual reality within all levels of education and across all sectors. We are seeing exactly how and why the industry will be worth an estimated 40.4 billion US dollars by just 2020.

The Growth of AR & VR 

From roughly the start of 2016, virtual reality was estimated to bring in $2.7 billion in revenue whereas just one year later its earnings skyrocketed to $7.2 billion. AR Games such as pokemon go android have also help establish AR as part of the mainstream tech world.

This massive growth has even impacted the artificial intelligence sector, as virtual reality hinges on it for efficient delivery of an automated experience.

The Global X Robotics and Artificial Intelligence fund alone, just one major player in the industry, has grown over 30% in a little over six months. All these movements are doing is highlighting the massive impact which virtual reality is beginning to impress upon our lives. As the technology becomes more commonplace there is a higher availability of developers and interest in simulation for training, distance learning and skills development. Let’s see which industries are showing the most significant expansion within education.

Distance Learning and Virtual Worlds

Virtual reality learning environments (VRLE) are excellent for long-distance learning. Never before has an educator been given the opportunity to share an interactive space with their learners in this way. Social virtual reality learning simulations allow for collaboration of various educators and students all within the same rendered classroom.

With the cost of entry-level smartphone based virtual reality being extremely low, devices such as Google Cardboard afford the disadvantaged an opportunity to receive proper education. The most basic example of affordable VR learning is the 360 degree videos available on free platforms such as YouTube. The chance to be walked through a battlefield or escorted through the Whitehouse while being narrated your syllabus fascinates learners. The knowledge retention of virtual reality-based education is outstanding.  These videos are only beginning to show what is possible given a bit of innovation and creative thinking.

Combat & Military Training in Virtual Reality

Whereas cutting edge military simulations are understandably not common knowledge, the public has been made aware of a few leading exhibits. VIRTSIM is a prime example of a military technology which has been shown in glimpses to the public. Developed by US defence contractor Raytheon, VIRTSIM uses full-body motion tracking to facilitate a massive virtual reality world which is used for military and emergency personnel education.

Their simulation includes muscle-stimulation via electric shock and full free and natural movement within an area comparable in size to a basketball court. With completely custom software and a hardware cost of over $100,000, this is high-end virtual reality. The University of California, Los Angeles is even promoting military developments for the US using VR. Their recently released 360-degree video entitled ‘Leaders Made Here’ allows prospective cadets to become immersed in a glimpse of training from the first-person perspective of a US Army officer.

Virtual Reality & PTSD

Realistic training simulations are not the only benefit which virtual reality holds for the military. Psychology has also found its uses through the treatment of PTSD, or posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Albert “Skip” Rizzo, has been successful using this technology to assist those returning from war.

His virtual reality-based exposure has successfully treated those suffering from all forms of trauma, PTSD and both sufferers of cognitive and motor decline. Once more psychologists grasp the potential of virtual reality and the scope of treatment available in a custom-created environment, it becomes inevitable that we will see great therapeutic value from this technology.

VR for Healthcare

The healthcare training functionality of virtual reality technology is invaluable. Surgeons and other medical staff are given the chance to carry out dangerously precise procedures with no risk to human life. Similarly, complex operations such as organ transplants can be simulated and practiced by the operating surgeon beforehand.

Developments such as Medical Realities for the Oculus Rift offer a full range of cost-effective surgical and medical training solutions. Access to a safe training environment of this calibre is a rarity in underdeveloped areas. This technology also allows surgeries to be broadcast via the virtual landscape. For example, the Royal London Hospital pioneered the way when Dr. Shafi Ahmed live-streamed a cancer surgery in 2014 via Google Glass. Today the practice is far more commonplace.

Medical students can study seasoned professionals from every angle, viewing the procedure as if they were present in the room. The newly launched HP Z back is a new technology which allows for full roaming in a virtual environment. The relatively low cost and across-the-board capabilities are toted to make it perfect for job training with telemedicine a prime application. We are soon to experience even more complex procedures at higher levels of immersion than ever before seen.

Virtual Reality – Evolving the Study of Art

Every area of arts, culture and education has been touched by the deployment of virtual reality. Recently the University of Virginia started up revolutionary art history classes, headed up by instructor Eric Hupe. This resourceful Italian renaissance art and culture instructor has begun including virtual reality in his classroom. He allows students to explore custom-created renderings of frescoed walls and art found in early renaissance Italy. The ability to show art students the magnificence, detail and beauty whilst standing before perfectly recreated inlaid wood panels and elaborate frescoes from the 14th and 15th century is unmatched by any other art class. Yet despite being unique in the execution, many other art instructors are turning to virtual reality to expand their creative horizons. Google has even released what is termed the ‘Tilt Brush’ to assist virtual artistry. Granting a glorious canvas in full virtual reality, this tool allows you to paint in or on a full 3D room. The entire area is available to your imagination. The possibilities are near endless. This marks just the beginning of artistic innovation within education and expression.


How VR Development Impacts Corporate Infrastructure

As one looks closer at the impact of virtual reality, it soon becomes clear that corporate enterprises have long been looking for this technology. From aviation to motor manufacturing and even natural resources, every industry can find practical training benefits by integrating virtual reality.

Fuel giant BP recently partnered with Igloo Vision to lower their risk at the Hull, England-based refinery. By running emergency procedures in a VR simulation maximum safety is guaranteed. Even the titan of aviation, Boeing, has begun investing in virtual reality.

Their venture capital arm Horizon X has poured over $3.5 million into an augmented and virtual reality start-up named C360 Technologies. They hope to facilitate improved employee training as well as an upgrade to their autonomous systems. These are but two of the many examples of how much change VR research and development brings. The European sector alone has grown to 487 companies as of midway through 2017. This number will continue to rise as the industry surges forward around the globe.

Public Virtual Reality Education Platforms

Expeditions VRGoogle Expeditions VR is a premier virtual reality learning experience which transports learners through guided educational 360-degree 3D tours. It allows students from around the world to visit historical landmarks while connecting multiple people to the same lesson through either Google Cardboard or a Daydream headset.

ClassVRClassVR is a highly flexible virtual reality platform which allows educators to develop their very own virtual reality classrooms and simulations. It gives easy access to an interface which makes over 500 preset subjects and their learning material available to be compiled into custom VR lessons. It even allows you to capture your own scenes and other multimedia content. Remote learning is made easy and cost-effective through this innovative development.

Virtual SpeechVirtual Speech has a singular focus, the development of public speaking skills and interview training. It is a great example of how virtual reality can be used to deliver specific training to remote learners. A better correspondence course on interpersonal communication is hard to find. Training real life skills in a virtual environment relieves most of the inhibiting pressure, while leaving just enough realism to simulate speaking in front of large amounts of people.

KinfulKinful is a platform which describes itself as a social-emotional learning curriculum. This setup encourages students to exchange interactions regarding their life and learning experience. The intercultural benefits of connecting learners from around the world are invaluable to long-term growth. Using Kinful, students can literally view the world through another’s eyes, in addition to meeting their peers in a virtual classroom.

The Future of VR and Education

Virtual reality is expanding in all areas.  Yet it is said that while virtual reality may be big, augmented reality has an even larger role in training and skills development. The ability to superimpose objects, people and machinery within a true-to-life environment grants immersion like no other virtual experience can.

Students will soon be capable of interacting with virtual objects and learning implements. This concept, termed embodied learning, grants far more potential than conventional means of education. Students are no longer forced to rely on interpretations of academic descriptions but can instead observe a rendering which looks and feels authentic.

Life is a journey of experience and both virtual and augmented reality allow for experiences which are normally out of reach of most individuals. By broadening the boundaries of our perceived reality we are extending the limits of education, innovation and inspired creation.

How to stay motivated while working remotely

Working from home is great, but it can come with its challenges. One of the biggest hurdles that you can face is making sure that you stay motivated and work productively despite not being in an office environment.

For some people this comes relatively easily, although for others they may need a bit of an extra push to get going.

If you are the type of person who needs some extra motivation, then it may be a good idea to take a look at some of the following ideas and gadgets that can really help boost your productivity. They may sound simple, but they are often things that are overlooked, and if put in place can really give you that push you need.

WiFi Baby Camera

Do you cram in your work whilst your little one sleeps? This is common for a lot of people who are running their own business. The trouble is that you may then be tempted to run backwards and forwards to their room checking on them. Having a WiFi Baby Camera means that you can be comfortably sat in another room, working away, whilst still being able to keep an eye on them and make sure that they are okay. It really does offer the best of both worlds.

Amazon Echo

Find that you are sometimes distracted by looking at the news or finding out about the weather, what you need is Amazon Echo. This amazing little gadget is entirely voice activated and can give you all the info that you need. Best of all, you don’t even have to lift a finger.

Roomba

A gadget that you can link to your Echo, the Roomba is a robot hoover. It is ideal for those remote workers who find that they become more than just a little bit distracted by the idea of hoovering and cleaning their home. Best of all, you can use your Echo to plan in when Roomba needs to get busy cleaning!

A coffee machine

We all need coffee or tea to get us through the day, but the trouble is that getting up to make endless cups can take a toll on your working time. Rather than having to head to the kitchen when you need a top up, why not invest in a coffee machine? It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or flash, just a way to whip up a brew quickly when you are really focused on your work.

A comfy chair

There is nothing worse for your motivation then being uncomfortable, as this is going to make it much more likely that you will get out of your chair and talk a walk. Taking a break, of course, is good for you, but if you are finding that an uncomfortable chair is causing you to want to go for a wander more, then you might need to rethink your seating arrangements.

Headphones

Working from home when the rest of the family are around? This comes with its own set of hurdles. Noise distraction has to be the biggest though, particularly if your kids (or your partner for that matter) find it hard to be quiet. A good pair of headphones are ideal, they will not only cancel out the noise around you, but can also play you some soothing (or not so soothing) music which will make sure that you are focused on the work you need to do.

RingSmart Doorbell

Do you find that during the day you are interrupted by people knocking on your door? If you do, then it might be time to invest in this RingSmart Doorbell. It allows you to see who is actually at your door without you even having to leave your desk. Which is ideal if you are expecting a delivery or have clients that visit you at home.

Equil Smartpen

Taking down notes or jotting down ideas is great for those who work in creative jobs or who need to attend lots of conference calls or virtual meetings. The thing is, these scribbles may then need to be typed up or can get lost. This is where the Equil Smartpen is going to be a gadget that you just have to have. It allows you to take down notes in the old fashioned way, but then these notes can be transferred from the pen to your smartphone, ready for you to save. Pretty impressive!

A good old fashioned to do list

Now this last top tip may not be packing a techy punch or be a newcomer to the block, but a lot can be said for simply having a to do list. It is a place whereby you can write down all those things that you need to get down, as well as have the satisfying feeling of being able to cross off or put a tick against the things that you have finished. The great things about to do lists is that they don’t have to cost the Earth and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also fully portable, which means that you can take them with you when you head to the coffee shop to work or perhaps back to your office to get things done.

As you can see, there are a huge number of gadgets and accessories that you can have in your home office to help you to work better and faster. That said, the best tool to make sure that you get your work done is you, so make sure that you are aware how important it is to be motivated and you will soon feel the benefit. 

Real Estate and Virtual Reality: When Worlds Collide

If you’ve been in a shopping centre lately (yes there are still a few around) you’ve likely seen folks queuing up at what seem like video game booths. Except there’s no video game screen or steering wheel or any other type of controls to be seen. Just some chairs and some strange looking boxes that those people are strapping to their heads. Welcome to virtual reality.

Virtual reality as a concept has been around for decades although it wasn’t able to migrate very far from the labs in which it was born until recently. As the amount of computing power available to consumers in PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones has grown exponentially in the past few years this long-time fringe technology has burst out into the open and with it an almost unlimited array of possible applications from medical to cinematic and everything in between.

The Real Estate and home buying industry too has seen great potential in virtual reality, for example home reports glasgow could actually carry out a full home report without actually having to visit a location. Also, VR with the Internet will allow clients in every corner of the world to experience a property without ever setting foot in it. Below we’ll explain how they’re going to do that.

Virtual Real Estate

The real estate industry is a forward thinking industry populated by men and women who make it their business to know what’s going on in the world. As such when new technologies are introduced real estate companies are typically some of the first to make use of them. So it is that as virtual reality (VR) has gained traction in the marketplace real estate companies have looked for and found new ways to put this breathtaking technology to work. To understand why VR would be attractive to real estate companies you only have to consider two of the biggest problems they typically face:

  1. The time required to make physical visits to sites to show prospective buyers and
  2. The fact that photos often don’t give a realistic idea what a property is like.

VR presents an ideal solution to both of these problems while also allowing a company to expand their potential customer base. Here are several ways real estate companies are employing VR to do that.

  • Augmented Reality Tours – This is the most common type of 3D virtual tour currently in use and is often mistakenly labelled Virtual Reality. With AR guided tours the entire home is shot in 360 degrees and then a dedicated web page is created where the ‘tour’ video file is available for viewing. If a home or commercial property is as yet unfinished the tour can be further augmented using models and/or 3D computer graphics. Narration and on screen notes describing various aspects of what the viewer is seeing can also be added in post-production. This type of augmented video is the first step in the direction of true VR and has become increasingly popular as a promotional device.

 

  • True VR Tours – The next step up is to actually immerse the viewer in a virtual environment created entirely in the computer and then uploaded to the Internet and linked to a VR headset. This provides the viewer with a level of interactivity simply not possible using a linear augmented reality video tour. In true VR if the client looks left they see what’s to the left in the virtual room. If they look down they see the floor and so on. Like the AR tour the VR tour is uploaded to the real estate company’s server and the dedicated URL given to prospective clients. Of course not everyone in every corner of the world is going to have the requisite VR headset to view this type of content and so each visitor is given the option of taking the standard AR tour described above or to view the true interactive VR tour using their Oculus Rift or other VR headset.

 

  • Unprecedented Interactivity – The level of interactivity possible with true VR is mind blowing. The client can proceed with the tour at their own pace concentrating on the things that interest them the most and “moving” back and forth, left and right within the virtual space. Hot spots can be created within the virtual environment that appear in the client’s field of vision. Using their VR controls they can access the information available at these hotspots. The info can contain wallpaper options, flooring options, upholstery options and much more. With true VR there are no distractions, no extraneous visual clutter to block out. The client feels as though they are in the room and they’re able to navigate as if they are.

The Benefits

  • For the Real Estate Company – The benefits of VR are enormous and include the aforementioned ability to drastically reduce the number of site visits that need to be made as well as the ability to showcase properties to potential clients all over the world. Your client from Dubai will be able to get a feel for what it’s like to actually walk through the property at their own pace taking their own route. It’s like bringing the model home or condo unit to the client instead of having to have the client come to the model home. That also means of course that developers may no longer even need to build model homes or condo units. Instead they’ll simply direct potential clients to the web page where they can access the VR tour. The potential savings are enormous.

 

  • For the Client – Clients stand to gain just as much or more than the real estate companies as they’ll be able to take hyper-realistic, virtual tours of an unlimited number of properties worldwide while sitting at their kitchen table wearing their VR headset. No more time and money spent doing the open house shuffle. No more wondering what the floor might look like if you ripped up the tiles and installed hardwood. It’s all right there at your beck and call through the VR software.

 

Virtual reality is taking the world by storm and is set to revolutionize how people buy and sell real estate. Whether you’re a buyer, a seller or an agent you stand to benefit from the VR revolution.

How Cryotherapy Start-ups Are Changing Health Industry

Cryotherapy (also known as cryo sessions or cold therapy) is a rather unusual medical treatment because many people have a very inaccurate view of what it actually is. The popularity of science fiction in all its forms have built a very advanced image of cold therapy when it’s real-world uses are actually far more on the mundane side.

According to Coldwellness, one of the industry leading manufacturers of cold therapy chambers, It’s used to treat a wide range of issues most commonly tissue damage, it can also be used in a range of cosmetic procedures as well. It’s a popular choice of therapy for the sports industry because it’s a quick and effective way to decrease inflammation and improve rejuvenation.

And despite its futuristic reputation amongst the general public, it’s a therapy that’s been around since the 17th century. Cryotherapy can also be carried out in a number of different ways at its most simple ice packs can be used, but there is also liquid nitrogen based treatments and whole-body therapy.

While more complex medical producers like cryo surgery are carried out at hospitals whole-body therapy and other similar simple procedures are available in certain spas and gyms. Cold therapy has many uses and has been adapted into a wide range of different treatments and therapies, but while it might have a much early history than many people know it’s the future of cold therapy that’s really of interest.

Cold Therapy Start-ups

The healthcare industry is always changing and cold therapy as shown its self to be a popular choice for start-ups, especially in America in the past few years. Particularly whole-body therapy because it’s a relatively simple variant of cryo therapy with a wide array of uses.

Whole-body therapy uses refrigerated chambers and participants stay inside for a short duration, research on it as shown that whole-body therapy could stimulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS) causing it to help relieve pain and soreness from a wide array of existing conditions. So, there are a lot of potential opportunities for entrepreneurs when it comes to cryotherapy. 

You could become the new manufacturer of the refrigerated units that are needed for whole-body therapy for example? Or you could start your own spar business specialising in different cold therapies, there’s also been a rise in cold therapy based franchising opportunities as well.

Cold treatment start-ups are rising because it has so many different opportunities, whether you want to become the new manufacturer, focus on being a treatment provider, or you want to add it to your existing business there’s a lot of potential opportunities for entrepreneurs. But what impact could this have on the healthcare industry?

Disrupting The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is always changing and as technology advances those changes are going to come much faster. Cold therapy due to its wide array of uses and the ease of access people have to certain therapies as the potential to drastically disrupt the healthcare industry. This could have far reaching implications in a variety of ways.

More and more people could turn to whole body therapy instead of relying on traditional treatments or painkillers. This could mean that more start-ups are founded with the sole purpose of being the manufacturer of cold therapy products and equipment.

Or they could instead focus on training others on how to safely provide a range of different cold therapies.  America’s healthcare industry, in particular, could be hugely affected by the popularity of cold therapies because unlike other countries the U.S healthcare industry does not yet officially recognize cryotherapy for insurance purposes.

Although licensing and training are still needed in order to offer the services outside a hospital or professional medical setting.

Alongside other technologies like artificial intelligence, medical based virtual reality, and 3D printing cryotherapy is predicted to be one of the leading and most disruptive new technologies in the healthcare industry.

With the potential to be adopted by a number of different industries and a wide range of uses entrepreneurs will no doubt be taking a more serious look at the potential of cryotherapy in the years to come.   

The Future of Cryotherapy

It’s sort of ironic that the biggest developments in cold therapy are still likely to come when you consider many people believe it to be an advanced medical practice solely used in sci-fi movies. But while we haven’t quite developed the futuristic stasis technology you see in the movies cold therapy will likely be seeing a lot of development in the coming decades.

Few medical treatments can offer the levels of versatility and flexibility of cold therapy and its popularity in the sports and cosmetic industry, as well as a number of celebrity endorsements, have made it very popular. So, I believe it will be a big name in the future of the healthcare industry.

The 9 steps to perfect WordPress maintenance for your business

“Use WordPress” they said! “You’ll make a great looking site easily” they said! “You’ll feel a bit overwhelmed by trying to maintain your site” they said! Oh, no one mentioned that last bit? Did you think you were the only one struggling? Worry not, if keeping on top of WordPress maintenance is a becoming a bit of a headache then we’re here to help.

The key to the smooth running of a WordPress site is being proactive and keeping on top of the regular WordPres website maintenance. We’ve got 9 fairly simple tips that’ll make sure your site never gives you a headache again…

  1. Backup!

It might seem like a simple and obvious first step but backing your site up is really important and overlooked by a lot of people. The main reason it’s overlooked is because of how infrequently it’s used – but, like lots of other things, you don’t realise how important it is until you need it.

The first step here is to have some kind of cloud-based backup – but be aware, if your site is hacked there’s a chance your backup might be compromised too. The most robust way of backing up is to take 2 or 3 backups over a period of a week, that way you can work on a rolling basis, only ever overwriting the oldest file – meaning if you accidently backup a compromised version then you can step a couple of days further back and restore again.

Make sure you’re not just backing up your database too, get all your files covered. Tedious? Maybe. Will you thank us for the advice if something goes wrong? Definitely.

     2.Moderate comments

Another simple one – keep on top of any comments you have enabled on the site. These are prime real-estate areas for spam bots placing dubious links. It won’t take you long to moderate your comments and it gives the impression of a well-maintained site to legitimate traffic.

     3. Keep your files up to date

Keeping files up to date isn’t dissimilar to backing up, it’s not a glamourous task but as far as preventative measures go it’s one of the best. The priority here are your WordPress core files, this is where big security issues are patched – meaning the big steps toward keeping your site safe are done on your behalf. Most hosting companies will give you the option to automatically allow these updates, so it’s a good idea to opt-in if that’s the case.

If you prefer to keep your hands on the reigns of your site for everything then keep your eyes peeled for core file update notifications and get them manually updated as a priority beyond their release.

     4.Update plugins

Plugins are great at a few things – on the plus side they’ll expand your site functionality way beyond anything the base platform can offer, on the downside, if they’re not properly maintained they’ll be great at causing speed, compatibility and security issues!

Keep on top of updates. If you’re working with plugins from good providers then you’ll find they keep up with your core updates – a good reason to make sure you’re only using resources from reputable sources. If you’ve having problems or you’ve stopped using one, get rid of it.

     5.Update your theme

If you’re one of the millions of people who’ve adopted a third-party theme for your site then you need to be a little careful with theme updates. Chances are you’ve customised colours or layout to some degree – make sure that when you update you’re not overwriting your customisation with a generic scheme.

But, don’t worry if you do, you’ve got 3 rolling backups now haven’t you?! 

     6.Maintain your database

The more you update the more you’ll accumulate MySQL and PHP overheads – in layperson’s terms this is the mess that’s left when database functions are performed, updates are made and so forth. Whether you use the Optimize Table function or use a piece of third-party software to keep things tidy it’s well worth doing – slowing down database queries is to website performance what keeping your handbrake on is to driving! 

      7.Traffic analysis

The only way to know if your site is doing what you want it to is to look at what your traffic is doing. Only you know what your goals are – is it sheer traffic numbers? Time spent on the site? Conversions? Completed transactions?

As a website owner or developer it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, which takes us on to our next tip…

      8.Live the user experience

Your user experience is where your site will live or die. The best sites in the world are those that are a dream to use, simple, intuitive, predictable and understandable. Research shows that people will vote with their clicks if your site isn’t up to par, bouncing somewhere else quickly – and potentially never coming back.

Having others use your site can help with your objectivity, if that’s friends and family then great – but don’t be afraid to get someone on board who’s a user experience professional for a totally objective view.

There are lots of technical things you can check that have a big impact on a visitor experience and can be measured with simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.

  • Does your site work neatly and efficiently over all browsers?
  • Do your forms work as they should?
  • Do all your navigation functions work and deliver users to the right place?
  • Do you have any broken links? 404 Errors?
  • Is your page load speed reasonable?

     9.Maintain your on-page-SEO

There are few jobs on a WordPress site that will stack up like on-page-SEO. You’ve got a choice – do you want to commit a few minutes each time you post to staying on top of the job, or do you fancy a tedious few hours by letting them build up?! For each page:

  • Make sure your H1 tags are only around your title
  • Make sure keywords are in your page URL
  • Place keywords carefully in the first paragraph of content
  • Include the right kind of outbound links
  • Have the right meta description in place

Prevention vs. the cure

So, you’ve read through – what do you think? 45 minutes to an hour’s worth of work each week? If you’re working flat out you might find it difficult to justify taking that time out – but ask yourself this, would you rather factor in those minutes now? Or be forced to spend hours further down the line to remedy, restore or re-do all that hard work? The most optimal thing you can do if you are trying to save on time is to to search out a WordPress website maintenance service to take care of all of these 9 steps listed above.

4 Top Ways in Which Technology Can Save Your Business Money

Technology is a wonderful thing and it is a great way to save your business money. If you are looking for small ways to cut costs for your business, then consider the following technology practices. You will be surprised at how easy they are and how much you can save. It’s so simple, you will laugh.

 

Telecommute

Telecommuting is something that is becoming more popular and obviously, employees love it many IT support companies are no implementing this technology for business across the globe. Statistics show that employees who are allowed to work from home, have increased rates of production instead of the expected ‘slacking off’ you may expect. Conferencing technology has made it so easy to telecommute and have conferences without the cost of plane tickets, gas, and the wasted time of travelling.

These simple changes in your business will save you a lot of money in the long run. This is the easiest and fastest way to cut costs through using technology in your business.

 

Mobile Payments

Mobile payment systems are a good way to save on banking fees. The fees won’t fall away completely, but most banks will offer a definite reduction in costs. There are different options for these systems and you can choose which one you prefer. Most young people, as well as their parents, will prefer paying with their phone rather than taking out a card or cash.

Electronic Receipts and Invoices

Gone are the days of spending money on paper, ink, and receipt printers. When you use online receipts and invoices, you are saving money and also helping to save the planet. Costs for receipt supplies add up over time and you can save so much of that money by going digital. An added bonus is that you now have email addresses of people who have visited your business or showed interest. They are possible leads for future sales.

Online Advertising

Online advertising and social media advertising are much cheaper than traditional advertising. This does not mean that you should throw out traditional advertising, but to save costs and reach more of your target audience, consider integrating social media and online advertising in your marketing plan. Online advertising enables you to reach your target audience more directly and you can track the effectiveness of your advertisements with stats.

 

 

3 Marketing Technologies That Every Business Needs

The online world is flooding with digital marketing tools. It is no wonder many companies are either hesitant to make use of them or so overwhelmed that they don’t know where to start. I want to share some tools that every business must have. These tools are the best for starting out online marketing and make it successful. The tools are easy to use and often less expensive than traditional marketing tools.

1. Search Engine Marketing – SEO and paid reach are some of the most important ways to get your website seen. If you want your website to show at the top of the search engine results, you need excellent SEO consultant and you need to make use of everything you’ve got. It is of no use if you have a great product and beautiful website if people cannot find you when they search for what you are selling. You can do basic SEO improvement yourself or you can hire professionals to update your website and do all the add-ins needed to rank higher on search engines.

2. Analytics – Analytics help you track how effective your advertisements and other marketing campaigns are working. They give you stats on the number of clicks, conversions, enquiries, page visits per day, etc. It is the best tool to learn about what you are doing wrong and also to see what is working. The most popular analytics tool is Google Analytics.

3. Conversion Optimization – The point of getting people to your website is to try and convert them to take action and buy from you or at least interact. If you use the right marketing apps and other tools, you can get a conversion rate that will make your business grow exponentially. Conversion is a very important goal for any business with a website, so why not put in the effort and money to get them? You can find a few tools for conversion optimization including Landing Page Grader, Unbounce, and Optimzely.

These three tools will already make a difference. There are a few other tools you can use, but we will look at them another day. I will leave you with one last tip: Be mobile-friendly.