With the recession taking over the majority of economies across the globe, securing your job has become the topmost priority. The scenario is the same across different verticals and for programmers, it is even worse. As the resource pool of PHP developers is expanding, the crunch of right projects and jobs is also deepening. Organizations are paying emphasis on quality rather than quantity. It’s all about the survival of the fittest.
Getting your hands on a handsomely paying project is not just a matter of luck. It also readily depends on the quality of services rendered by you as a developer. A PHP web development project requires you to have in-depth knowledge of the language and deploy industry best practices. As you scan your clientele in hope of grabbing onto the next breakthrough project, here are some coding best practices that can get you through the stringent quality evaluations of even the daintiest clients:
- Get Friendly with Single Quoted Strings: Using single quotes over double quotes gives you a marginal performance benefit, especially if you are coding some intricate project. A PHP string that is surrounded in double quotes is misinterpreted as variables and special characters by the PHP interpreter. If you want a single-string output, it is best to use single quotes. It enhances the performance of your PHP application as the string doesn’t get parsed.
- Don’t Use Regular Expressions Unnecessarily: Keep a safe distance from ereg and preg function groups as and when possible, especially if you are performing basic string operations. When str_replace and strtr functions are faster than preg_replace, why do you wish to stick with old school functions? Move on and save your application from those crunch cycles.
- Short Open Tags are a Big No-No: Are you still torturing your PHP application with short tags? It’s time you show some mercy. <? Is just a bad code form and creates conflict with XML parsers. It will also annoy people who will try modifying your code in PHP directives. So, you won’t find even a single justification for using open tags. Use full tags instead and let your application breathe.
- Keep Functions out of Loop Declarations: Using functions inside loops is not a great idea. It is annoying to see how some developers stake the performance of the application to save an extra line of code. If you use a function inside a loop, it will get executed as and when iteration initiates. If you have a bigger loop, this will mean you are increasing the execution time, which is not a bit user-friendly.
- Document Your Code: You might have heard it a hundred times, but it by no means depreciates its value. Documenting your code means you value your hard work as well as your client’s investment in the programming phase. Many organizations will hire you just on the basis of your documentation habits.
- Variable Initialization is a Must: If you don’t initialize a variable, PHP will create it automatically, but it is best not to rely on this feature. The code becomes sloppy and God forbids if you have to track down the initiating point of the variable, you will have to scan through the entire code. Moreover, incrementing of an uninitialized variable takes more time than that of an initialized variable. So, it’s best to initialize a variable.
PHP web development can be a tricky job, especially when so many others are keeping a watch, waiting to grab any opportunity that comes their way. It is best to follow best practices and adhere to stringent quality standards, to rapidly increase your client base.
Author:- Steve Graham is an expert in PHP Web Development, who has been blogging on the niche for the last 6 years. Currently, he is associated as a freelancer with a PHP development firm that deals in PHP Development Outsourcing.
10 Steps to Evaluating and Measuring Your Marketing Strategy
When you are trying to market a product, the product or service is only as good as the potential clientele think it is. You need to get them to buy or use the item or service before you can tell if it really works for them. How can you go about evaluating and measuring your current marketing strategy?
Input vs. Output
Check your financial statements. Are you spending more money than you are making? In a strong marketing campaign, this should not be the case. You want to tweak your plan to make more money than you are putting into the project.
When you sell a product, include a survey along with it. Ask the customer to rate different qualities of the product that directly relate to the market. For example, ask them how they heard about the product and if the visual appeal of the item had anything to do with its purchase.
Distribute flyers, pamphlets and other coupon offers to people and see if they call back. You’ll know if the marketing works based upon how many people call. When they do call, ask what elements of the flyer or other item made them want to call you.
Before you send a new item onto the market, have a test group to evaluate your marketing. For example, you might bring in a section of the company that has never seen the ad. Ask them what they think and if they would buy the product.
What about you? Try to separate yourself from the ad as much as possible. Imagine that you were walking down the street and saw this advertisement. Would you feel inclined to purchase it or use the service? What elements of it are captivating and visually appealing? What elements turn you away?
Of course, all of these surveys and questions are important; however, you must generate quantitative data from all of them. For example, calculate the percentage of people who learned about your company from the Internet, paper flyers, word of mouth, and so forth. Put the information into charts.
After you have put the information into charts, you should start comparing this year’s findings to last year’s findings. If you find that a larger percentage of people are using the Internet than last year, you will have gained valuable insight into the company’s advertising.
Targeting the Many…
Once you find where most of your patrons are coming from, work to keep up steady advertisements in that domain. If most people are finding your company through Google searches, maintain fresh SEO strategies throughout the year to keep generating customers in that manner.
…And the Few
Let’s say that very few people are finding you from paper advertisements in the local department store. If this is a new trend, give it another shot to try to keep those few customers that you have. If it’s a continuing trend, you may want to put that money into another avenue.
Keep It Up
Don’t let your evaluation and measuring strategies fall to the wayside. You need to keep using them to ensure constant success for your company.
Evaluation and measurement strategies can bring both good and bad news to you about your marketing strategy. Be sure to use all of the information to generate more positive outcomes.
Thaddeus McGregor writes about business, marketing & finance at
Top 8 popular WordPress plugins of all the time
The WordPress plugin repository has 54,000+ plugins. That’s like a lot. These plugins are used to complement the core WP installation. In other words, it improves a user’s experience on WordPress. They handle certain features and functionalities that WP cannot do by itself.
Choosing the correct plugin is vital for your website’s security, user-friendliness, and speed. Else you can take WordPress support from a good team.
We have listed down the top 8 popular WordPress plugins. Let’s discuss first what WP Plugin is.
WP plugin is defined as a software tool that is scripted in the PHP language. It includes additional features on your WP website. The plugin provides a simple process to add features to your website without writing a single code.
The API of the plugin provides an effective hooks’ and filters set. This robust set enables developers to modify or add new functions with WordPress.
8 Popular WordPress plugins
Search Engine Optimization is necessary to boost traffic to your website. Without any doubt, Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin. It supports you to add Meta tags, connect your website with Google Search Console, etc.
The plugins provide you with a complete solution to improve on-page SEO. The features of Yoast SEO are as follows:
- Readability check
- Internal linking suggestion
- Access to create custom Description/Mets Header
- XML News Sitemaps
- Quickly build 301 directs with the Redirect feature
- Optimize for synonyms, keywords
- Update as per Google’s algorithm
The plugin makes sure that your site meets the top-most SEO principle. It provides the tools to optimize your content for overall readability and SEO.
Every day it is not easy to filter out spam that is either irrelevant stories or promotional links. Automattic developed a tool called Akismet.
It is known as the godfather of comment spam reduction plugins. The plugin works great to track back spam and filter out most comments. It reviews all your contact form submissions against their global spam database. This WordPress Premium plugin provides advanced security solutions along with spam protection.
To use the plugin, you will need an API key that is free for non-commercial use. It is beneficial if you receive at least ten comments daily.
The Automattic company built another top-most WordPress plugin called Jetpack. It is a versatile tool with numerous features. The plugin supports you with design, marketing, and security. Among its multiple features, you can perform the following-
- Spam filtration
- Malware scanning
- Find site analytics
- Login security
- Automatic social media posting
- Slow image loading
- Multiple WordPress themes and more.
How can we miss WooCommerce among the list of popular WordPress plugins? An e-commerce plugin enables you to sell anything on the web simply.
The plugin has an abundance of themes, easy customization options, and much more. Therefore, it stands unique among the list of WordPress plugins.
Wondering why WooCommerce is best for you? The plugin provides features such as adding product variation, extensive payment methods, etc. The developer community creates extensions to make online selling as smooth as possible.
WPForms is a fantastic plugin that allows people to create popular forms with simple and easy steps. The form is created by using a simple interface of drag-and-drop. This plugin enables you to create contact, subscription, payment, survey, and other forms. It doesn’t require you to put in a great effort, as you can create forms with just a few clicks.
Note that this plugin can integrate with all the primary payment and marketing platforms.
- Compatible with cloud flare
- Improve user-end browser caching
- Quick Load images while scrolling down
- Support WordPress Multi website
- Incorporate caching solution along with a CDN
- Load images on request
- Facilitate slow loading to boost page load time.
Page builder aids you in creating more complex designs as you don’t need to use coding. The most popular page builder plugin as per WordPress.org is Elementor. The plugin has quickly shot up the rank with over 1.2 million active installs. It offers a free package to build complex designs with a drag-and-drop interface.
You must think of installing this plugin on your website. This will support you to have full control over your design.
Migrate Guru is a specifically designed, fully automated plugin for WP migration. It offers you the fastest, easiest, and most reliable method to migrate your WordPress website. The plugin runs on an external server named BlogVault’s server. You can quickly transfer large sites without any issues.
There is a choice to save the migration setting and remove the unnecessary files during the migration process. This allows you to repeat the migration with a single click in the future.
The plugin has the following feature:
- No overload on the website
- No requirement for storage space
- Easy to use
- Build for large websites
- One-click migration
- Fully automatic, replace & built-in-search
Large images slow down the loading of websites. Therefore, it is crucial to optimize every file image to improve speed. Optimizing every image manually can be a tedious task.
For this, you can apply the Smush plugin. It is a simple way to compress and optimize your WP website images. The plugin compresses images all over your website automatically. You will need to upload images to your WP website media folder.
The plugin provides no interruption in your workflow and improves website performance.
A WordPress plugin helps you to quickly and smoothly run your website. It improves user experience and supports websites to reach a wider audience.
No need to get confused about which plugin is best for your website. We have mentioned 8 of the pre-eminent WP plugins of all time. These plugins are accessible in free as well as paid forms.
Jinny Sarah Jacob is a Sr. Technical content writer at 24×7 WP Support, a leading WordPress development company that supports WordPress themes, plugins, and errors. She is a passionate technology geek and loves to write blogs on marketing, technology, B2B, big data/analytics, business strategizing, etc.
Increase Traffic with Comments
We all want to read comments, especially if these comments praise us or show that many people value our posts on our blog. Therefore, those valuable comments you can have on your blog can generate a lot of qualified visitors in your blog traffic.
Your website, more significantly, your blog posts can generate traffic. if you can improve the search traffic, you have the help of the things below.
Learn ways – How to Increase Blog Traffic with Comments
- Ask or Request Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions tend to prompt a lot of engagement that includes comments. However, it only means that when you allow the recipients to express themselves, they will provide you with complete and meaningful answers.
One of the main reasons there are a lot of blog posts that are not generating loads of traffic with comments is because the questions they have are close-ended. These close-ended questions can only be answered by a yes or a no or with a direct answer that does not leave anything else that will run for longer and more comments.
- Write A Post On the Top List
If you wish to improve your search traffic and generate powerful comments about the user experience on your blog posts, you should consider writing a post that falls on the top list. Unfortunately, many people struggle to gain online transactions from when they first opened their blog until they have discovered the importance of having a content marketing strategy.
To gain comments, you should add keywords wherein people are searching for the headline that you have. It would be best if you did not try to sound like an English professor to have one. The things that you need to do are to make your headline appear relevant for it to attract attention, comments as well as a load of traffic.
- Do Some Influencer and Expert Name Dropping
Name-dropping is a term that refers to the practice of attributing names of famous experts as well as bloggers to your content. Using this strategy, your blog posts can generate a lot of comments that would, later on, create loads of traffic for your website.
Generating comments for each blog post is one of the best ways to get a lot of traffic to your website. This way, you can make your content more valuable because some people seem to appreciate the things you have written. Therefore, if you wish to gain loads of traffic for your website, you should first work on generating comments with the help of the tips stated above that are very easy to do for your content. This, in turn, will increase Blog Traffic.
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