What is Web 2.0 – A Definition

Web 2.0 is as yet something of a nebulous term, with as many different definitions out there as people defining it. This naturally can lead to some confusion. O’Reilly Media, an American company who have been one of the leaders in web development book publishing since the internet was in its infancy, came up with the term in a 2003 meeting. Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty, the founders of the company coined the term.

You can find a technical definition of Web 2.0 on Tim O’Reilly’s blog, but most will be left more confused than before upon reading it. O’Reilly has taken this five page definition and put it into (somewhat) simpler language:

“Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantage of that platform; delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.”

The advancements that have been made in computing over the last 25 years are astounding. From DOS to today’s portable devices, Web 2.0 is just another step along the same path; one which promises to make the web a more interactive place and more fun to visit. The transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 can be likened to this – with the web the way it is now, we are like spectators at a football game. In Web 2.0, we will be active participants; as if we were on one of the teams playing the game.

What are the differences between the two? For one, Web 2.0 will look different, with bright colors against white backgrounds, rounded fonts and an all over easy to read format are predicted to become the norm. Arial Rounded and Tahoma will replace Times New Roman and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) will be more heavily used to keep websites more streamlined.

The functionality of Web 2.0 will also be different. MySpace, Twitter and the like are a glimpse at the future, with interaction between user and site being possible. The Web will continue bringing people together to interact and communicate.

Social bookmarking as well as networking will be a big part of Web 2.0. Yahoo Answers is a good example, with people having to ask questions about anything, with users earning points for their answers.

Blogging is something which is often thought of in connection with Web 2.0. Just like a diary, blogging lets people write about anything they like; with the difference being that anyone can now read it. A blog can of course be kept private, but most bloggers prefer to share their thoughts.

The exchange of information between web users overall is a big part of what Web 2.0 is about. Article writing has become a popular activity, with people using them to promote websites or provide information to the public as a whole.

Flickr and YouTube have ushered in an age of picture and video sharing, with interaction possible between poster and viewer.

All this of course is only a hint of things to come. As we see an increasing number of websites moving towards the Web 2.0 standard, there will be uses for the internet which we haven’t even thought of yet. And who knows what Web 3.0 will bring….

Tips To Improve The Performance Of Responsive Web Design

Be it a desktop or a mobile, their expectations of site loading and the interface does not change. Thus, it is significant to offer the users the best of website designs and surfing experience. Simply getting a website re-sized by a software development company will not solve your problem. If your users have to toggle between mobile device and their desktop, it is a sign that you need to improve on the website design. Below are a few tips that will help you in making an outstanding responsive website to gain maximum conversions.

1. Optimize Images – Images are responsible for the slow page loading and also, the fact cannot be ignored that the users look for high resolution images. To solve this problem, you can use the services such as Adaptive images. The service is a small PHP script that resizes and automatically scales down the images by identifying the screen size.

2. Enable Compression – Use Gzip to compress your resources. It reduces the number of bytes a single page sends across the network. Also, by removing unnecessary line breaks, and white spaces, minify CSS and JavaScript. This will reduce file size and increase downloading speed. With a better loading speed, the performance of the site is likely to be high.

3. Delete Unnecessary Page Elements – Identify elements on the web page that are contributing least to bring traffic. For example: If your site has more than one SignUp form, find the form which is providing very few sign ups and remove it. Also, if you have social sharing button on the web page which are not productive, it makes sense to remove them as it may consume large volume of bandwidth.

4. Quality Hosting Solutions – There is a variety of hosting solution that may satisfy a cheap budget, cloud computing and those that may be worth million dollars. Depending on your budget, choose the best hosting solution, but do not go for cheap solutions as they may not be reliable. Analyze your competitors who are doing well, find out which hosting provider they are using and you can too invest in that robust server to achieve high performance.

5. Usage of Content Delivery Network – Consider speed and bandwidth while choosing a network. The provider must have locations nearby your maximum target audience. MaxCDN and Cloudfare are both affordable and popular Content Delivery Networks.

Include the above described tips and achieve high rates of customer satisfaction and conversion. Consult a web development company for any other assistance.

Web Design – To Be Cheap Or Not to Be Cheap? That is the Question

Think a new Web design (or an overhaul of your existing site) is too expensive of a proposition? The “Miami Herald” begs to differ. In an article titled “Web design doesn’t need to be expensive,” the newspaper debunked the myth that only those individuals and businesses that have a lot of excess cash lying around can afford an updated Web design.

Here are some of the cost-effective Web design options the article offered.

1. Customize a Web template. – With the bones of your site already established, you can save both time and money. To ensure that the customization you apply to a template doesn’t look amateurish, hire a Web design expert to give it some upscale finishing touches. The design and development of a website is the marriage of art and science. A professional Web development firm can effectively integrate the aesthetic design-the user experience-with the invisible but crucial programming that makes it all work.

2. Watch out for templates that offer free trials. – Although they afford you an opportunity to see what your site will look like before you shell out any major cash, after your grace period is up, the hosting and tech support costs can often exceed what you’d pay elsewhere. Sometimes, the freebie is just a way to rope you in and keep you paying over the long haul.

3. Consider package deals. – Web design packages give you access to “designers [who] will design your site according to your specs, including e-commerce features that allow you to sell products on your site … at a fraction of what you would have to pay a Web design firm.”

4. If you fall in love with a template and want it all for yourself, you can pay “typically $3,000 to $5,000 to ensure that no one else can buy that design-and it is uniquely yours.” Be aware, however, that this approach will be just about as expensive as having a site custom designed for you in the first place. It also doesn’t guarantee that no one took advantage of the template prior to your staking claim on it. As a result, you always risk the possibility that someone else is wearing the same Web design prom dress you are.

5. Take advantage of money-back guarantees. If you’re the fickle type, or you find out you look too much like a competitor, some template sites will “guarantee to refund your money in the first 30 days if you’re not completely satisfied with their product.”

Building a Website can be done on the cheap, but spending less comes with some caveats. All of the aforementioned advice is not to discourage you from spending top dollar on an expert Web designer, of course. Whether you can afford it now or not, think of Web design as an investment in your future. In fact, in today’s global online marketplace, a professionally designed Website is a must for anyone who is serious about building business relationships via the Internet. Indeed, the cost of Web design expertise can easily pay for itself many times over in the sales it rakes in for you.