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Posts Tagged ‘web development’

Software Development in Argentina

posted by admin
Miércoles, diciembre 16, 2009
Buenos Aires Unviersity - Exact Sciences Faculty

Buenos Aires Unviersity - Exact Sciences Faculty

Argentina, and particularly the City of Buenos Aires, is worldwide known for its high-quality universities and academic institutions. In the last few years, especially since the Argentine currency devaluation, more foreign students have enrolled on Argentine universities, mainly from Latin American countries who come to start or continue their university studies in Argentina. Therefore, they take advantage of the favorable exchange rate while they benefit from the high educational level.

No doubt this instructional demand has created an excellent professional base for argentina technology companies to harvest their personnel, and Proyectos Informaticos is not an exception. Our team is composed of excellent systems engineers and analysts with experiencie in software development, website development and systems support in Argentina.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in lowering your software cost by outsourcing in Argentina. Software development in Argentina is an excellent experience and opportunity, and we can be your definitive  partners for this.

to return to  ”Website Development With WordPress: Installing your chosen design theme” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

One of the main reasons to choose a CMS (Content Management System) as one like the WordPress platform is it’s search engine friendliness. Making wordpress search engine friendly is, basically, to improve search engine readability. The reasons for you to make this changes are so to improve this friendliness, and this is not a minor thing to consider.

A word about search engines: google.com is the ultimate search engine website. With almost 98% of all search traffic being routed via their website and their automated advertisment campaigns (aka. adwords) we want to be google friendly. In fact, most other search engines (as Microsoft’s bing, Yahoo, etc) make use of google to feed their own systems. So, google.com is the place to be. We will make our website the more “google friendly” we can. And, luckily,  this can be made with very little effort.

Permalinks

First, let´s change the way your URL’s show in the address toolbar of your web client (internet explorer, google chrome, firefox, etc.) By default, the wordpress instalation uses interrogation symbols and a lot of numbers to reach each page in your website. This is not so friendly to search engines. In fact, a simple “houses.html” would be more useful if you wanted to be placed in the search engine directory under “houses” keyword. And what would be great would be to simply use the post title as a url address. So, if you made a post under tha title “Nice Houses”, then this post page could be reached via “www.yourwebsite.com/nice-houses”.

In wordpress this is a very simple configuration. Please go to “Options>Permalinks” and change “Common Options” selection to “Date and Name” and save your changes. Once this is done, the whole database will be updated, and from now on, your pages will be reachable in the form “http://www.yourwebsite.com/2009/11/02/sample-post/”.

All in One SEO

Now, we will wan’t to prepare our webpages (not only the page address) for google indexation. This is not a complex process. I personally recommend a wordpress plugin named “All in One SEO”. This plugin will allow you to customize your keywords, title and description (and other meta tags) in an every page and a sitewide basis.

To install this plugin, simply download it from the author website and copy it into the /wp-content/plugins/ folder. Then goto the plugins section and activate this plugin.

Once active, you will be able to access a link under “Options>All in One SEO”. Please enable it, and change the home title, description and keywords to convenience. Make sure Canonical URLS and Rewrite Titles are checked. The rest should be left more or less the same.

That’s it. If you followed every step, your website should be up and ready to be google indexed in no time. A final word: allthouhg indexing is a fairly straight forward process, ranking (google placement of your website in a visible, reachable, searchable position) is not. On the contrary, usulally this is a very complex and lengthy process that requires analysis and a good strategy for your website to be properly placed in google. If you’d like further information on this process please contact us, we sell SEO services and would like very much to assist you anyway.

We hope this helped you making wordpress Search Engine Friendly.

to continue to  ”Website Development With WordPress: Adding WordPress Plugins You Will Need” please click here.

Castel Telecomunicaciones

posted by admin
Martes, octubre 27, 2009
Castel Telecomunicaciones

Castel Telecomunicaciones

Database driven website for chilean company Castel Telecomunicaciones. Programming, graphic design plus desktop back end software to feed the database. Everything done in php, Mysql for Apache.

This client was, and still is, a friend. We worked to develop a tech-like very simple design for his online catalog and to promote his image in the internet. This was an exciting and very good process. He now conducts most of his international sales via de website and has entered various new markets and exported to other countries due to this technology.

to return to  “Website Development With WordPress: Installing WordPress” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index
please click here.

Now we have reached a fully working wordpress installation. So, let’s make it look as it should. Remember that when your design was chosen, in the website you did your search, the design should have a wordpress version compatibility note. For example, the original design applied to this website you are reading was 2.7, meaning that the version for wordpress you should installed is 2.7. Please don’t disregard this recommendation.

First: Download your theme of choice
To install a wordpress theme, we will need to download it first. There are thousands of themes in the web, and in our personal wordpress template store we carry some of the best. A wordpress theme is a set of files usually compressed in a single zip file. It has a style.css file containing the name (unique to the directory), tags, version (in the format of x.x or x.x.x and be unique to the theme) and classes: .alignright, .alignleft, .aligncenter (see http://codex.wordpress.org/CSS for more details). It includes a screenshot file, screenshot.png, and be a real screenshot of the theme, not a splash screen. A GPL compatible license. It exposes RSS feeds, it support Gravatars and widgets, it shows (usually in side bars) post categories and tags, the blog title and tag line.

Once downloaded, the files should be extracted into a directory under the themes name. For exmaple, if the theme is called “theme 987” then the directory for the files should be “theme 987”.

Second: Upload the theme directory to WordPress
With your ftp file transfer program of choice (please see our previous post for a recommendation), upload the decompressed directory into /wp-content/themes/ directory. This should leave you with something like a /wp-content/themes/theme987 directory.

Third: Activate the theme within your WordPress admin panel

Wordpress Theme Selection

Wordpress Theme Selection

Login to your WordPress admin panel, and navigate to the Presentation tab. In the center you will find the “Current Theme”. This is the theme wordpress is configured to use right now. Below it, the list of “Available Themes”. These themes are themes you can use but aren’t configured as “Current” right now. To activate our desired theme simply click on any miniature in the list. The theme will enlarge and in the top right angle of the screen an activation link will present itself. To continue please press this link. Once this is done, this selected theme will turn into the “Current Theme” and if you go to your wordpress site (leave the administration area) will see your newly chosen theme.

If you don’t like this option, you can still change this theme anytime with the same process described in this third part of the article.

to continue to  “Website Development With WordPress: Making wordpress Search Engine Friendly” please click here.

to return to  “Website Development With WordPress: Chosse a hosting service” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

Ok, by this moment you have already chosen a design and a hosting service where to place your website. So, finally, let’s begin installing the software.

Important, when your design was chosen, in the website you did your search, the design should have a wordpress version compatibility note. For example, the original design applied to this website you are reading was 2.7, meaning that the version for wordpress you should download to work with is 2.7. Please don’t disregard this information, as some versions of wordpress may have no compatibility issues in your design (for example a 2.7 version may very well work in 2.8), but if they do, you’ll find yourself hacking into the design to correct this issues.

Finally, let’s download the corresponding version. To do so, please click here (when this tutorial was published, the wordpress current version was 2.8.4) . The file you will download is a .zip compressed format file containing all the WordPress Software. This software has to be unzipped and transferred to your hosting service. By the way, our article consideres you have registered and delegated a domain for your future website. If not, please read our article about “Choosing Domain Names to tackle this issue.

Once downloaded the wordpress zip (in our case wordpress-2.8.4-zip), please feel free to decompress the zip file. If you don’t already have a winzip or a similar sofwtare installed, maybe consider 7-zip. 7-zip is an excellent full compression solution, it’s open source and it’s free. You can visit their website by clicking here. Download, install, decompress the wordpress zip.

FileZilla WordPress Path

FileZilla WordPress Path

Now, upload the decompressed folder structure to your hosting. To do this you will need a ftp transfer program. Personally, and after using various ftp software programs, I can recommend filezilla ftp client. This software it’s also open source and free, multiplatform and very reliable. In our development team it has wide acceptance. To download filezilla please click here. To simplify things, I recommend you put the folder structure under your web root directory (the web directory that will show when you type http://www. yourwordpresswebsite.com/), this will make things a lot simpler when search engines start to crawl your website and visitors want to remember links. In linux based hosting services, this would be the inside the public_html directory, and so, for example, the path to your wordpress index.php would be /public_html/index.php (see figure).

Once you’ve copied all the content into the hosting directory, let’s start installation.

First we need to create a database in the webserver. As explained before, we recommend a cpanel enabled website, so this article will explain how to do this with the cpanel software installed, but you can do this with any software your host provides, as long as you can create an empty datababase and a user with priviledges to create, edit and delete all structure and data in that database.

In case you have cpanel, goto http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/cpanel and login with the user/password you were provided upon subscription to your hosting service. Look for the Database section of the cpanel screen and choose the corresponding MySQL icon.

MySQL Cpanel Icon

MySQL Cpanel Icon

Keep in mind that your Cpanel account may be using a skin or different theme, so it will not always look exactly like the screenshot above. Now you will be introduced to athe MySQL database admin area of cpanel. The first step in the process will be to create the database.

Create Database

Create Database

My recomendation is to choose a simple name, as WP or wordpress. Enter the name in the form and click on “Create Database”. This process will create a database in your webserver, tipically, under the name “username_databasename”, so for example, if your cpanel username was “johnuser” and you named “wordpress” the database you created, your datababse will have to be addressed “johnuser_wordpress”. This is because in shared hosting environments the database name has to be unique and so the software will always append the username to the database so to guarantee this. Now we should create a user for the database.

Database User

Database User

Choose a simple name, easy to remember, for example admin. This will not make your security vulnerable, as the real trick for not easily being hacked is a good password (Please see our section about password selection to deepen this particular issue) and lets simply say that the password must be at least 10 characters long, should have numbers and alphanumeric symbols, and must evade dictionary words. Now enter both, and press “Create User”. This will create a user that can be assigned, with certain priviledges, to your newly created database.

Assing User to Database

Assing User to Database

In the future, this same user can perform tasks in other databases. In MySQL, as in various database server softwares, users and databases are independent entities that relate themselves according to privileges. Privileges are what a user can do in the corresponding database. So, simply choose your new user and database from the drop downs and click on the “Add” button. Now you will be taken to another sreen to choose what privileges should the user you’ve created have in this database.

Choosing privileges

Choosing privileges

Simply select “All Privileges” to ensure wordpress will be able to perform all tasks needed in the database.

Once the database is created, the rest is quite simple, go into your ftp software and rename wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.

Edit this file with a text editor (Important: never use a word processor like Microsoft Word for editing WordPress files!) and fill in your database details by replacing the default values in your in this file with your own specific database settings.

Set Database Name:  Replace putyourdbnamehere, with the name of your database, e.g. MyDatabaseName. The line should read … define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘MyDatabaseName’); // Example MySQL database name
Set Database User: Replace usernamehere, with the name of your username e.g. MyUserName. The line should read … define(‘DB_USER’, ‘MyUserName’); // Example MySQL username
Set Database Password:  Replace yourpasswordhere, with the your password, e.g. MyPassWord. The line should read … define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘MyPassWord’); // Example MySQL password
Set Database Host: Replace localhost, with the name of your database host, e.g. MyDatabaseHost. The line should read … define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘MyDatabaseHost’); // Example MySQL Database host

Finally, when this is done, save the file to your server, and if you copied the wordpress files directly under your web root, run the WordPress installation script by accessing http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/wp-admin/install.php. If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php.

Finally, you will be directed to the administration login, where you can enter the user/password you provided during the installation and start the configuration process.  There are many options to configure, and we will start by installing the chosen designer theme. Please continue to next section now.

to continue to  “Website Development With WordPress: Installing your chosen design theme” please click here.

to return to  “Website Development With WordPress: Chosse a design that fits your needs” please click here.
or to the tutorial index please click here.

Ok, now, you have chosen your design and we will have to select a vendor to host our wordpress based website. But … what is a web host, at least, what is a web host ideal for our needs ?

A web host is a place in a public computer (available to anyone in internet) where your website contents can be stored. Understand that any website (yes, the sum of pages you explore via your internet explorer, mozilla firefox, google chrome, apple safari, etc.) is simply a group of files that are stored in this public computer (aka. “host” or “webhost”) and delivered to your computer upon your request (when you tipe google.com and press enter in the address bar of your web surfing software).

There are various options for storage that you can aquire for hosting a wordpress solution, but we will mainly focus on shared hosting – sometimes called virtual hosting – which is usually the cheapest form of paid hosting available. Your site sits on a single web host with sometimes hundreds of other sites. The service is usually pretty reliable and you don’t have to worry about tinkering with the server. However those hundreds of sites can put quite a load on the server, resulting in a slow site at peak times, and you don’t have much control over the server should you need to install and customize complex Web applications. Many shared hosting plans also limit the usage of resource-heavy Web software such as forum scripts. There are also security issues to think about – if the Web server is compromised, all the sites on that server may be affected.

To be prepared for this we will take into consideration mainly four factors:

Technical Aptitude

We need our server to be prepared for hosting a wordpress backed website and this implies various things to be present: the web host must run an Apache Web Server. The web server is the software in the web host that runs it all, shows your files, executes your scripts, balances visitor demand and traffic load, etc. Remember, Apache is a must. The web host must also run PHP. Php is a web scripting language used to program in web servers (well, it’s more than that, but let’s keep it simple).  Also, the web host must have a database, MySQL is prefered, as all information you put into your website (for instance, this article you are reading right now) will be stored in this database.
Additionally, web hosts charge not only for the server configuration, but for space and other services they provide. You should be considering a storage space of at least 25mb and a transfer quota of at least 10 times that. The storage space in the web host is the space needed to store your content in their computer. 25 mb is pretty slim if you are going to host lots of media (like pictures and audio), but for a start up you should be ok. The transfer quota is the amount of information being delivered by your website to the visitors. If a visitor takes a look at a 0.1MB picture or listens to a 2.5 mb audio file, the transfer quota is affected.

Cpanel Main Screen

Cpanel Main Screen

Usually, when more space or transfer quota is required, you can upgrade your plan in the web host, and the problem should be solved.
finally, the hosting should provide a way for you to create mail accounts, manage your backups, even provide good visitor statistics (althouhg we will configure a plugin directly in wordpress for this). A complete cpanel solution is a good recomemdation, as cpanel allows you to manage all of this and more in your server from anywhere.

QoS and Uptime

These to factors are a must for you to consider. QoS (Quality of Service) is very important. In the computer world things go wrong, this is normal, and you must learn to live with it. But the best solution for this problems is a good technical service you can count on. Remember, IT (information technology) is a relationship of trust, and if you can’t trust the hosting company in which you are placing all this effort, this is a major setback. The web host should have a simple orgainzed way in which you can address any problem you have in your hosting experience. Ticketing system (a support form where you explain your problem and receive a solution via mail) is usual stuff. If you have an online chat support or similar, better. If you have a 24×7 phone support, it’s ideal. But remember, usually the faster the service the more expensive it gets. Anyway, besides the support system, if the hosting company is prompt to answer and eager to solve your problems, that is your hosting company!

Uptime is another issue. Your hosting company can usually predict, considering their experience and equipment, a projected uptime. The uptime is a percentile figure expressing the relationship of your site showing / not showing for technical reasons. Say that the host company projects a 99,95% uptime, this means that in a calendar year you may have your website nearly 2 days offline for techncial problems in their service. This can be a lot altogether, but this is usually spreaded along various incidents. All the same, please look for a 99,98 or better uptime projection.

Hosting Lag

Do you wan’t your visitors waiting for your webpage to come on screen? Since you type the website address till it show in your computer there is a usually small time space. This time is what we call a lag. This lag can be due to several reasons. For example a slow internet connection or an old computer can produce lag in website showup. But to simply differentiate your website lag from general equipment and internet lag, compare your showtime with other websites (as this one for example). If it’s similar, then you are ok, if it is faster, much the better. But if it is slower, consider finding another host.

Cost

Finally, the bottom line. It all comes down to money. Usually a commercial reasonable cost for an average website that can cope with all this needs should be around u$30 monthly. In my experience, chaper hosting will have more downtime and a very bad service.

There are endless considerations about the parameters to judge a hosting company, but this four should get you up and going with minimum hassle.  Consider this: a problematic host can cause you a real headache when your website goes down and nobody answers for this !. It is VERY important that the domain registration and delegation is done by yourself, not by the hosting company. You should be in control of your domain registrar account. Please see our article about domain registration to understand this.

to continue to  “Website Development With WordPress: Installing WordPress” please click here.

to return to “Website Development with WordPress: Foreword” please click here.
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

Wordpress, when first installed, comes with a very basic design, clean and concise, ideal for blogging and online publication. But you don’t wan’t the wordpress desing, as you need something more fit with your website needs. Personally, and mostly if this is your first attempt at website development in wordpress, you’d be better to choose from a place like Template Monster or something similar. In fact, this website is a modified version of a Template Monster template. This website designs are inexpensive and easy to add in your installation.

Many wordpress themes in Templamonster to choose

Many wordpress themes in Templatemonster to choose

Please consider your needs when choosing the design as adapting a design is not that simple. Consider that all the website intelignece has to be adapted to fit this design, so any change matters !. The idea is to remain as faithful as possible to the original chosen design, so to minimize changes later ! Template Monster and other wordpress template websites have thousands of options to choose from. If you think your website is going to need a contact section, verify that the design has a place for a contact section, if you are going to offer a service, choose a desgin that clearly is service oriented, not product oriented, etc. I think you get the point.

If you searched thoroughly, but did not find what you need, or have any questions, please mail me, maybe I can help you.

Now, suposing you found your design, let´s move on.

Continue to “Website Development with WordPress: Choose a Hosting Service” please click here.

Website Development with WordPress: Foreword

posted by admin
Miércoles, octubre 7, 2009

So, you’ve been thinking on how to get your products / services online, but you understand this is not an easy task. In fact, once you’ve conceived a starting website design, adapted the logo and other miscellaneous in your corporate image to a website design frame, you’ve decided to start coding your html pages. You know you will have a tough time with forms, as you want people to contact you, and if you want lot’s of pages explaining your products or services individually, you will have to redundantly copy your website heading, footer and common content in all this scheme. Maybe, if luky, you also know a little PHP, and you decide to include your header and footer pages as common content, and script them into other pages, so to somehow modularize your work. But you also need a balanced webpage as you wan’t it to rank. also, if your code is too complex, no one will be able to get content into the webpage but you. And to be properly indexed, robots, sitemaps, crawlers, multilanguage !!! this is a very big and complex task. But, on the other hand, I think something like WordPress can help you. In fact, all this website is made in a hacked version of wordpress.

Wordpress may be a website development solution !

Wordpress may be a website development solution !

You may not think of wordpress (yes, the Blog Tool grown to CMS ), or any other blogging tool by the way, as a good starting point to build up a website, but in fact, it is. Website development is a complex technique involving marketing, corporate image, technology and commercial intuition. Yes, it’s seriously multidisciplinary. Any help you or your company can get in this task is welcome, and wordpress is an excellent starting advantage to muster.

I’ve always believed in practical example, so, to illustrate my article, I will explain how this website was built from “head to toe” so to provide with all the insights this process will have. We’ve done this process several times for many of our clients, and all have been very succesfull. So if you are up to it, please follow me and let’s develop a website!

Ok, we will start by describing the main issues involved in this process:

  1. Choosing a website design
  2. Choosing a hosting service
  3. Installing WordPress
  4. Installing your chosen design theme
  5. Making wordpress Search Engine Friendly
  6. Adding Plugins You Will Need
  7. Planning your strategic sitemap
  8. Adding your first Entry
  9. Hacking WordPress Entry Pages
  10. Making a Contact Us Page
  11. Hacking WordPress Main Page
  12. Working on SEO
  13. Final Word

Ok, now, let’s get into more detail.

Please click here to continue to the next article of this tutorial.

Premio Periodismo Accenture .es

posted by admin
Viernes, octubre 2, 2009
Premio Periodismo Accenture

Premio Periodismo Accenture

Accenture Consulting requested a website for her Spanish contest on journalism. The website hast a aspx .net – Sql Server administrative back end for all the candidates and evaluators to perform their discharges and a system to determine the contect winner. The challenge here was the delivery date, we did this project in weeks.

My Special Book.com

posted by admin
Martes, septiembre 29, 2009
My Special Book Website

My Special Book Website

My Special Book .com was a website designed to service informational purposes. The software for the website was written in php. The design was demanding as the client is very graphically oriented and although it should remain simple it should allow to provide a lot of information.

The challenge in this case was to obtain a well designed modern looking website with minimal coding and a GUI oriented to people that are not usually web surfers. The clients of My Special Book are usually mid aged and are not from a computer generation. We are currently working with the client to improve it’s internal systems so to provide a more amicable experience via internet to it’s clients.