App the Ante:8 apps to consider using for your website
Development of web content has grown competitive over the years, with developers continuously gathering the latest trends in graphic design, marketing statistics, and innovations in information technology to come up with substantive and interactive material for their users. This is also driven by the multitude of platforms and devices being introduced to the market at a pace faster than ever before. In just November of 2015, InternetLiveStats reported that the number of global internet users has passed the 3 billion mark while in January 2015, GSMA Intelligence determined that the number of active mobile subscriptions now exceeds the total world population of 7.28 billion. We Are Social also published a report saying there has been a 12% or 222 million increase in the use of accounts across social media platforms in the past year alone.
The world’s attention to the advancement of technology suggests that these figures are only bound to increase further in the coming years. The challenge for developers now is to make sure that their content can reach as many users as possible and anticipate the technology necessary to cater to the needs of the future. One way to address this is by considering which applications for your website are fundamentally beneficial and viable for upcoming innovations. Integrating additional services into your website can result in a vast improvement in the visitor’s experience, business management, and solving problems. Below are eight applications that can help you raise the stakes and the rewards of your website:
A free and open-source web application framework, Django encourages rapid development and creation of a clean and pragmatic design. It is built by experienced developers and therefore capable of handling the difficulties of web development, reducing the complexity of creating database-driven websites. It’s also exceedingly scalable, quick and flexible to meet the heaviest traffic demands.
Django comes with an object-relational mapper for you to describe your database layout in Python code. Upon installation, run the Django command-line utility to create the database tables automatically. The migrate command looks at the available modes and creates tables in the database for whichever tables do not already exist, as well as optionally providing richer schema control. With that, you’ve got yourself a rich Python application programming interface (API) to access your data. There is no need for any code generation. Once your models are defined, Django can automatically create a professional, production ready administrative interface. This interface is a Web site that lets authenticated users add, change and delete objects. It’s as easy as registering your model in the admin site. This allows your site to be edited by a staff member or a client, or if you simply don’t want to deal with creating backend interfaces in managing content.
A typical flow in creating apps with Django is to come up with models and get the admin sites up and running at the soonest possible time to enable population of data by the staff or clients. After which, you can develop the way data is presented to the public.
Some popular sites that use Django include Instagram, Mozilla, Pinterest, and Disqus. You can find everything you need to know about Django from installation to other core functionalities here.
An app that serves a basic function can go a long way. UpTo App is a modern calendar that gives a complete view of events and reminders coming up, without the clutter. It is both visually appealing and interactive. UpTo aims for a social and engaging experience, letting customer and visitors share events and save them to their personal calendars. UpTo app is also accessible anywhere, with apps on iPhone and Android allowing users to view their own calendar alongside the website’s whenever and wherever. Easy to update, UpTo doesn’t require an IT department to keep the posts timely. You can add events through your online account and they will sync seamless across your mobile app and web calendars.
The app comes in three plans, namely Standard, Premium, and Professional. Available for free, the Standard plan allows you to create unlimited calendars and publish them for other UpTo users to follow. However, you can only embed one calendar to your site at a time. It also enables custom event photos and offers multiple website calendar layouts. The Premium Plan costs $9/mo and allows embedding of two calendars on your website. It also enables customization of colors and font size, ticket and registration links, and combination of multiple calendars. Lastly, the Professional plan has all the mentioned features plus an unlimited number of allowable calendars for embedding. It also removes the Powered by UpTo logo from the bottom of the calendar and costs $29/mo. Both Premium and Professional plans have free 30-day free trial.
An open source application like Django, AWStats is a web analytics reporting tool that generates advanced web, streaming, ftp or mail server statistics, graphically. Working as a CGI or from command line, it’s a log analyzer that shows all possible log information in just a few graphical web pages. It also uses partial information file to process large log files often and quickly. Data is visually presented within reports by bar graphs and tables.
AWStats is written in Perl and can be deployed in almost any operating system. Its full log analysis show a huge amount of data including number of visits and number of unique visitors, authenticated users, domains/countries of hosts visitors, web compression statistics, HTTP errors, and other personalized reports. It also supports a multitude of features such as analyzing Apache NCSA combined log files (XLF/ELF) or common (CLF), IIS log files (W3C), WebStar native log files and other web, proxy, wap or streaming servers log files (but also ftp or mail log files).
You only need a couple of things to be able to use AWStats. First, your server must log web access in a log file you can read. Second, you must be able to run Perl scripts (.pl files) from command line and/or as CGI (Perl 5.007003 or higher to run AWStats 6.9 and up).
Meerkat is a new app that enables live streaming of video from mobile phones in high quality and for free. It originally served live video streaming over Twitter, sending the video to the user’s Twitter followers. Replies to the tweets are treated as comments and appear superimposed on the video upon viewing. ComputerWorld makes a case for why the app is so appealing—it fixes the stage fright and authenticity problem of pre-recorded videos by being very brief and not allowing a rewind or replay feature. In other words, it makes the streaming feel more engaging and in-the-moment, a rare feature in this Internet age.
Recently, Meerkat officially launched a new service that gives the app users a way to embed their livestreams on a website. This will allow users to show their videos on their own websites, rather than Meerkat’s. The embedded app will show your live stream when you’re live and any upcoming stream that you have scheduled. If you have no upcoming streams, it will display stats from your last stream. If you have yet to go live, it will be visible on your profile. Like with Twitter, the comments feature remains but you will the option of which ones to display. You can even pick the size of the video that will appear on your website.
One of the top platforms for web content management among global enterprises, governments, higher education institutions, and NGOs, Drupal is an open source software that helps build everything from personal blogs to enterprise applications. It contains basic features common to content management systems including account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, taxonomy, page layout customization, and system administration. It’s also flexible and highly scalable, able to publish a single website or share content in multiple languages across a variety of devices.
Drupal has the tools essential for creation and publication of content, like a customizable What You See Is What You Get (WYSWYG) editor for content and marketing pros. It also includes a variety of media types from images to pdfs. Its customizable menus help create a user-friendly experience and create paths to content across multiple devices.
in this year, ZYXWare identified 23 out of 500 the Fortune 500 companies that use Drupal for the websites. This list includes General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Time Warner Inc. As of April 2015, Built With reports the number of websites using Drupal to be nearly 21,000 out of the top 1 million sites.
Sitoo Web is an award-winning software for Microsoft Windows that makes creation and publication of a professional content website with no HTML skills required. It’s very suitable for creativity driven websites, with practically no design limitations. It has a function to address quality and consistence of content, manage color palettes, create smart objects and dynamic menus, and use ready-made combinations of structure and features in layout blocks.
A unique framework included in the Sitoo Web, Sitoo Dynamic enables database-driven features that can bring you website to life. It has Live Edit that allows editing of website directly in any web browser and viewing of the content as it is being changed. Its feature Forms allows your visitors to answer questions, order or contact you as they wish. There is also Guestbook for visitor interaction, Tip a Friend for sharing, Counter for monitoring of activity, and Private Zone for controlling your website’s content and privacy.
Zope stands for stands for “Z Object Publishing Environment” and is a Python-based framework for building secure web applications. It is a legacy framework, meaning it is kept alive to support existing applications built on top of it.
It provides two mechanisms for an HTML template. One, the Document Template Markup Language (DTML) is a tag-based language that enables implementation of simple scripting in the templates. It has provisions for variable conditions, inclusion, and loops. However, DTML tags intersperse with HTML from non-valid HTML documents and careless inclusion of logic into templates results in very unreadable code. The second mechanism, the Zope Page Template (ZPT) addresses this issue by being either well-formed XML-documents or HTML documents, in which all special markup is presented as attributes in the Template Attribute Language (TAL) namespace. A significant advantage of ZPT is that it can be edited in most graphical HTML editors. It also offers direct support for internationalization.
Polar polls dramatically increase contributors, time spent, and more on Web sites and mobile apps. It is the first mobile app that enabled creation of simple and straight-forward polls compared to other polling or survey services. It was originally available only on smart phones but has branched off to be available for embedding on websites. This allowed users to answer Polar polls without leaving the website and witness the voting in real-time as well. Anonymous voting is also allowed.
You can choose out of the three ways to add a poll to their website. First, you can select one from a pre-made poll corresponding to a trending topic. Second, you can search for polls based on a specific interest. And lastly, you can create your own poll based on the content of your website.
Once you’ve accounted for which improvements are suitable for application to your website, look at the bigger picture and consider what else will maintain the accessibility of your content. One of the increasingly relevant debates regarding this aspect is the comparison between Adobe Flash and HTML5. Most of the already existing content is written with Adobe Flash but the latest developments point to HTML5 and EPUB3 as the future of digital publishing. The fifth and final revision of the HTML5 standard has improved support for the latest multimedia. This makes HTML5 relevant because of the trend towards digitization such as in the form eBooks and online databases and enhancement of video, audio, and animation.
With the increasing use of mobile devices that do not support Flash, bridging the gap through a quality HTML5 conversion is becoming all the more necessary. In just a few years, HTML5 is bound to be the most widely supported standard for internet content and it’s best for you and your website to accelerate the innovation of your content by converting to HTML5 sooner than later. In this fast paced environment, getting one step ahead makes a vast difference.
Randolph Hoover and his family were originally from San Diego California but he is currently studying Business Administration in Umea University in Sweden. Aside from being a student, He also helps his parents with their home maintenance business in their home in Umea. He is also one of the marketing guy for SPi Global.