The I-Magento Just Got Bigger and Better: New Features and Major Benefits of Magento 2.0

Advantages of Magento 2.0

When Magento 2.0 was released in November 2015, the industry showed an initial reluctance towards the adoption – they were already using a very powerful eCommerce development tool in Magento. As such, the idea of migration to its newer version appeared more as a technological vogue.

The timeline enters into 2016, and encouraged by the migration success of early adopters—your Venroy, Alcatel, Scuf Gaming, etc.—the ecommerce industry endeared the practice.

Today, thousands of businesses worldwide are using the technology of Magento 2.0 to help manage and grow their eCommerce stores, after leveraging the platform to initially build one.

What accounts for this wide scale adoption?

We called in our research miners to explore the reason.

Magento 2.0 is Simply Much Faster

It has been found that Magento 2.0 runs 20 percent faster than its predecessor. Faster means, better site uploading and navigation speed, which accounts for improved online consumer experience. And, when you talk about operating a business in the digital world, the difference in performance can make a big difference.

According to Kissmetrics, a 1 second delay in page response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

The team at Magento verifies the improved performance metrics declaring that the platform is able to process one hundred and thirty-five thousand more orders per hour, with the most noticeable improvements found during the uploading of catalogue pages and checkout processes.

What Makes It Faster?

The platforms default characteristic of full page cache, in addition to its ability to utilize open source distributed memory object caching system, improves the website’s pages uploading speed.  Furthermore, the platform only supports modern Javascript framework, the JQuery and Knockout JS. This further reduces the processing complexities, which previously slowed the uploading speed in the older versions.

Magento 2.0 Helps Your eCommerce Website Rank Higher on SERPs

For B2B and B2C industry players, it is very important to get themselves ranked as higher as possible on SERPs to help generate organic online traffic. It creates revenue generating opportunities.

The new Magento upgrade helps address this.

Serving as one of the key Magento 2.0 improvements, the platform comes equipped with some amazing features that allow webmasters to leverage solutions in order to get their websites ranked higher on SERPs.

What are These Features?

Magento 2 comes with default SEO features that can help your e-store rank better on Google. Some of these include:

  • The ability to design pages on well structured HTML and the feature to optimize content’s meta details and meta data.
  • The freedom to customize flat URLs as per product name and category
  • Integration of product names as alt tags for the images, present on a webpage.
  • Webmasters can execute canonical tagging of categories, which helps avoid the duplication of content, thereby lessening the incidence of thin content.

Magento 2.0 Offers a Comprehensive Ecosystem for the eCommerce Store to Operate In

The Magento development team has focused on integrating all the essential elements that make up a comprehensive ecosystem for the eCommerce store to operate in.

  • Users can establish different data sets for every catalog and content, which accounts for a detailed and customized layout.
  • It offers the flexibility to integrate CMS, CRM, checkout modules and other plug-ins and extensions for convenient operation of the eCommerce store. Plus, if you want to activate or deactivate any of the modules, you can conveniently execute the function without disrupting the code base.
  • It creates a safe and secured environment for conducting online transactions with a robust server validation system and a strengthened hashing algorithm for passwords.
  • An Elastic Search system which enables customers to find products quickly and efficiently.

With the features and benefits mentioned above, it won’t be wrong to conclude that the latest version of Magento, Magento 2.0, has the capability to help structure an eCommerce store that comes equipped with all the necessary value added elements and features, for its operation to be robust and flexible.

Amazing JavaScript Libraries to look for in 2017

Options galore, confusion more!!!

When you are working with JavaScript, you understand how difficult it is to choose JS libraries. You may work with one only to realize it is not as useful as you thought it to be. To save your energy, here is a list of 5 JS libraries to look for in 2017.

1. D3.js

Information is the most asset of your business. And, data visualization is an essential aspect of it. If you want the data to speak to you, then D3.js is made for you. It is free and useful for visuals. It will help you to do a lot many things such as create HTML tables, interactive SVG charts, graphs and more. When you are looking for a library to help you display information on your website, choose it for simplicity and efficiency.

2. Vue.js

Looking for great user interfaces? Vue.js is the option for you. It is useful when you have to manage advanced single-page applications. When you are acquainted with CSS, JS and HTML, handling the library will be a piece of cake for you. Even though Angular, React and Ember are popular choices among developers, Vue.js is fast gaining popularity. It is a great choice for front-end frameworks and will definitely be the #1 choice in the coming years

3. Angular.js

No list is complete without Angular.js. The baby of Google tops the list as one of the best front-end JavaScript frameworks. It is ideal for dynamic web applications because it allows you to use HTML’s syntax with your application lucidly. It helps you to eliminate writing a large part of your code. Quick coding, easy testing and two-way binding have made it a crowd-favorite.

4. Ember.js

Ember.js is a popular JavaScript framework. It provides you with several features that enable you to manage high-feature applications and complex websites. It is ideal for quick user interactions. The auto-updating handlebars templates guarantee that your HTML stays updated even with a miniscule change to the model.

5. Three.js

For all you 3D animation lovers, Three.js will help you to bring your projects to life. Even though web animation is still in its nascent stage, Three.js is helping developers across the world experiment with it. You can work with motion-sensitive backgrounds, 3D animation effect, personalize web graphics and make your website fun and interactive for the users.

Conclusion

Choosing a JavaScript framework is a big task. And, you should not rely on the list of features that each library offers. Think about your business, its requirements and consider how a framework can fit into your business goals.

PlatinaIT is the web development company when you are looking to establish a stellar online presence. Call +1 (866) 602-8909 (US) or +1 (416) 273-7206 (CANADA) and let’s discuss your IT needs today.

Know which WordPress Plugins to pick for a Trendy Website

Anyone remotely associated with website designing knows WordPress. Its glory is spread far and wide. Today, hundreds of sites are built with WordPress because of the ease and convenience that it offers to its users.

When you talk of WordPress, discussion of the plug-ins becomes imperative. You can classify the several different plugins in two categories: 1) Plugins that take care of aesthetics and 2) Plugins that manage the SEO structure of the website.

When you want to create a visually pleasing website, you have to think about plugins that are classified in the first category. Here are a few plugins to keep your site trendy and beautiful:

1.  Masonry Layout (Pinterest like Grid)

If you like the Pinterest layout for your eCommerce website, you can get it easily with the Masonry Layout. It is perfect for magazines, blogs and more. It lets you to avoid the boring design and breaks the clutter. And, the good news is that with the use of short-codes, you can finish it in less than 5 minutes.

2.  Two-tone FX

The plugin is ideal for giving duotone to the pictures.  It helps you to edit and apply the same filter to any picture you want.  Currently, you can edit the pictures in the following two ways:

  1. ImageMagick – It provides optimum performance and most designers prefer it.
  2. A GD Graphics Library – It is a fallback option and should be used with caution because its intensive features can consume memory.

3.  Parallax Scroll

You can make a unique webpage with the help of the plugin. Even though adding depth to a 2-D image is an old technique, it is still in fashion like the little black dress! You can incorporate several backgrounds and give incredible depth to the images creating a 3-D effect.

4.  Animate It

The plugin is famous for providing quick animation solutions.  It will enable you to use incredibly pleasing CSS3 animation on WP posts. It will help you in applying animation on Hover, Scroll and Click.

5.  Uber Menu

A responsive option for all designers looking to make their websites trendy! The plugin makes professional navigation possible for every website. You will be able to do unbelievable stuff such as add maps and customize HTML in the menu. With the dynamic layout, you can play with different combinations and customize the menu according to your requirement.

The Final Word

Making your website trendy and cool requires the knowledge of using the right WordPress plugins. As a business owner, you must consider your plans and then, choose plugins that help you to create a stunning as well as practical website. It is always essential to hire an experienced IT team to help you actualize your dream website. It will allow you to focus on the core business and enable you to own a trendy website as well.

If you are looking to build a beautiful, trendy website, your search ends with us. PlatinaIT is a premier WordPress web design company for small business as well as large multinational corporations.  Call +1 (866) 602-8909 (US) or +1 (416) 273-7206 (CANADA) to discuss your IT needs today.

Familiarize yourself with CSS new Font-Display Property

In the beginning, each web browser controlled the settings of font faces and styles. You could not control font display and customizing your web page according to your needs was difficult. But, today, the options are endless.

If you are a designer who loves using web fonts, remember that there are a few issues with it such as un-styled text or invisible text on the web page. Also, your customers may be forced to look at blank pages because the text takes a lot of time to load.  So, when you want to create a pretty yet performant website, you need something that maintains the performance of the website without damaging its aesthetic appeal. And, there is where the new CSS font-display property comes into picture. You can use it with Opera, Opera for Android, Chrome, Mozilla and so on.

Font-Display for a Pretty and Performant Website

You have to use the font-display property inside @font-face rule. It means that it will not work with third-party font providers. The property accepts the following number of values:

  • Auto

It is the default value of the property. Here, the usual behavior of the browser will occur which means it will act as it does when you do not use the properly. It will hide the typefaces until the fonts are loaded properly in the browser.

  • Swap

Experts consider it the most popular value of the font-display property. It will help you to use the next available font (fallback font) when the custom font is not loaded in the browser completely. And, when your custom font loads, the browser will display it by replaying the fallback font quickly.

  • Fallback

When you want something that minimizes the difference between Auto value and Swap value, you can choose Fallback. When you use it, the text will be invisible for 100 milliseconds. After the time period, if the custom font is loaded in the browser, it will be displayed to the user. But, if it is not loaded, the fallback font will be shown to the users until the custom font is loaded.

  • Optional

It operates in the same way as Fallback but it gives power to the browser of making a decision with the custom font. The browser may decide not to load the custom font if there is an issue with the user’s internet connection. It is useful when the user’s internet connection speed is very slow and it creates a problem in loading the main fonts selected by the designer.

What Option is the Best Choice for your Web Pages?

Do you want the users to experience your chosen fonts? Do you think it will create an impact on them? Do you think the fonts are necessary for building your brand? If perception is not a big deal for you, font-display: Fallback can be a nice option for you.

And, if you think displaying your custom font is necessary, choose the Swap or the Optional value. No matter what you use, remember to test it adequately so that it doesn’t give you any problems in the future.

When it comes to your IT needs, trust PlatinaIT. We will help you develop your website the way your business needs it! Trust us for giving you quality results. Call on +1 (866) 602-8909 (US) OR +1 (416) 273-7206 (CANADA) to discuss your online business needs with us.

The Importance of Security Testing in your Business

In this age of internet, the threat of security breach is becoming larger day by day. Do not think that just because you are a small business, hackers will ignore you and let you do your business in peace. As a business, your customers trust you with their private information such as their banking details, social security number, credit score, credit card numbers, etc. And, when data is considered as the largest currency in the economy, the risk associated with it increases manifold.

It becomes critical for every business owner to ensure total security of the IT infrastructure of his business. No matter the size of your business, you must conduct security testing for applications, websites and others digital aspects of your business.

Why to adopt the Security Testing in your Business?

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) for 2016, web application attacks are the number one source of data breaches. If you do not take care of the IT infrastructure of your business with proper security testing, you will end up damaging its reputation as well as its revenue.

Security testing is not only important for the initial design phase but it also crucial for each and every phase of the SDLC. It will ensure total protection of your business. If you are still in doubt about conducting security testing in your business, here are a few compelling reasons that will help you make the decision:

  • Risk management becomes easy.
  • Assurance of your customer’s safety.
  • Minimize security breach issues.
  • Adequate protection of all entities involves in your business.
  • Taking care of cloud-based attack paths becomes simple.
  • Uninterrupted business growth becomes a reality.

You can avoid cyber-attacks on your business and ensure satisfactory service to your customers. It will result in higher revenue and a better business growth. So, it is essential that you do not avoid security testing in your business.

How to undertake Security Testing?

There are a few fundamental stages of security testing that you should incorporate in your business. They are listed below:

  • Discovery – It involves identifying the scope of the security testing.
  • Vulnerability Scanning: Automated software is used to scan a system for known vulnerability signatures.
  • Vulnerability Assessment – After the completion of the first two stages, the next task is to identify security vulnerabilities and decide risk levels in the context of the environment.
  • Security Assessment – It has a broad scope and covers every part of the systems under the test. Although, there is no emphasis on a specific vulnerability.
  • Penetration Test – It involves simulating an attack from a hacker and detailed analysis of the system.
  • Security Audit – It has a narrow scope meaning it is used to study a specific issue for vulnerabilities.
  • Security Review –Under it, you will have to verify and ensure that the security standards are applied to the system.

Many business owners understand the important of security testing but they face one major problem: finding experienced testers. If you are facing a similar problem, consider hiring a managed IT services provider. The company will take care of the security of your business. It will conduct complete security testing of the systems to keep your customers safe.

When it comes to security testing, PlatinaIT is first choice of business owners. Hire the reputed managed IT services provider company by calling on 416-273-7206.

Magento 2.0.6 Security Update

Magento is one of the best ecommerce platforms for businesses to take their business online! The best thing about it is that the company regularly introduces security patches and takes care of the safety and security of its users.

Recently, it introduced the Magento 2.0.6 security update for the Enterprise Edition as well as the Community Edition. It includes multiple security enhancements as well as a few functional ones. If you have not downloaded the Magento 2.0 release, you must skip downloading it and go for the Magento 2.0.6 update.

Security Enhancements mean a Safer Environment for your Business

Magento has addressed several security issues with its new update. It involves the following:

  • It blocks unauthenticated users from executing PHP code on the server via REST or SOAP API. It means it has become even more difficult for hackers to cause problem to your business by running a malicious code on the server.
  • The company has made the installation code inaccessible after the completion of the initial installation process. The /app/etc directory is not left writeable after the installation which makes remote re-installation of Magento impossible. It means that no cyber-criminal can cause harm to your website.
  • Anonymous users cannot obtain private information of registered customers. The company doesn’t include the cart_id_mask value in the quote_id_mask table making it difficult for hackers to obtain information.
  • Even authenticated users cannot change customer information via SOAP or REST calls. It requires matching of the customer ID with the authentication token to ensure that neither a spiteful employee nor a malicious hacker edits customer information and causes problem to your business.
  • It has resolved a vulnerability that involved cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks in the Authorize.net payment module making the ecommerce platform a better place for its users.
  • Previously, an application error message showed the path of the file where the problem occurred.  But, now Magento doesn’t disclose sensitive information of the file because such information was used against the business by hackers.

If you are downloading Magento 2.0.6, make sure that you are first implementing it in a development environment. It will give you ample time to check whether the update works as per as your expectations. Updating Magento is simpler when you work with it on a regular basis. If you find it time-consuming, consider hiring a managed IT services provider for your day-to-day IT operations. The company will update security patches regularly as well as protect your business from unauthenticated access. Also, it will ensure data back up and proper functioning of the IT infrastructure of your business.

When you require a Magento developer for your business, trust PlatinaIT. We are a premier managed IT services provider for businesses across America. We will protect the IT infrastructure of your business like no other. Call (416) 273-7206 to discuss your IT needs today.

Google Shopping: Improve your Sales with Google AdWords

More customers mean more business! And, who doesn’t want that? Every online retailer wants to increase his sales and grow his business. To increase your visibility among customers, you need them to visit your website and check out your product pages. But, it is difficult to achieve the goal amidst heavy competition. Also, text-based PPC ads do not fare well in this context because they are unable to showcase your products properly. So, what is the solution?

The answer is Google Shopping. Craig Nevill-Manning invented it to enable easy shopping experience and simple price comparison for buyers.  How is Google Shopping different that the traditional text-ads that you use for your business? Well, when you create text-ads, you focus on the keywords and then determine the campaign and ad group. But, with Google Shopping, Google determines when to show your Product Listing Ads or PLAs. It will analyze your website, your feed and your bids among other things to display PLAs.

Why should you consider Google Shopping for your Business?

Online marketing is the future of every business. And, if you want to sell more, earn more and stay in the business for a long period of time, you need Google Shopping. If you are thinking about making a decision, take a look at an important snippet of information from Merkle. According to the company’s Q3 2016 Digital Marketing Report, Google Shopping (PLAs) spending increased 36% year-on-year on a 59% rise in clicks. On the other hand, Google text ad spending hiked 9% on 11% higher clicks.

  • Create Brand Awareness

Out of sight is out of mind! When you want to conduct a long-term business, you need to capture the mind-share of your customers. And, with Google Shopping, you can do the same easily. When your product comes up in the relevant searches, it will capture the attention of users and make them aware of your brand.

  • Grow Revenue

By placing your products in the right place, Google increase the visibility of your business. It shows your PLAs to the customers when they are looking for a similar product. It means it helps you to convert visitors into buyers and increases revenue.

  • Rise in Traffic

As Google Shopping helps you to reach a large amount of people with PLAs, it results in more people landing on your product pages. It leads to more traffic on your website without undertaking any massive SEO expenditure.

How to use Google Shopping to your Advantage?

PLAs are now integrated in Shopping Campaigns and it makes things easier for online retailers. Here’s how you can use Google Shopping to increase your business:

  • Set up Merchant Centre to begin with the process of creating successful shopping campaigns.
  • Build a link between website and Merchant Centre so that all the products in your inventory can be linked to Adwords.
  • Set up a connection between Merchant Centre and Adwords to build campaigns.
  • Make sure that you use high-quality pictures and submit relevant SKUs for quick identification.

With proper understanding of campaigns, you can start advertising your products with Google Shopping. If done right, it will improve brand visibility and result in revenue growth. But, for most businessmen, it becomes difficult to manage the operations of business and take care of online marketing. If you think you need help, consider hiring a reputed internet marketing company. It will ensure that your online marketing budget is put to good use.

PlatinaIT is an X-Cart website design service provider for small business as well as large multinational corporations. We are a one-stop solution for all your IT needs. Call (416) 273-7206 to discuss your IT needs today.

Why Magento better than Shopify

Why Magento is better than Shopify?

Are you looking to transform your physical store into an online one? Do you want to enter the online market and provide a new avenue for your customers to shop and buy? Giving an online presence to your brick and mortar store is now possible with a plethora of e-commerce platforms, the most common being Shopify and Magento.

Shopify and Magento Community Edition are preferred by a majority to create and manage online stores. When it comes to choosing the best platform for your online store, the competition is tough. But, you can make a decision after understanding various aspects of both the e-commerce platforms.

  • The Cost

A good business owner thinks about ROI because, at the end, it is an important factor that makes a business successful. When you are considering the cost factor, you must know that Shopify is a software-as-a-service (SASS) that you can use after paying money.  The basic Shopify plan starts at $29 per month. There is also an option called Shopify Lite that is available for only $9 per month. There are many different Shopify plans to help business owners choose one that suits them the best.

On the other hand, Magento is free-open source software. The community edition of Magento is free of cost. And, you will only have to pay for hosting your store online. The premium edition of the software, the Magento Enterprise Edition, costs $18,000 per year. If you are not well-versed with PHP, you will have to hire a Magento developer. The cost of hiring a developer varies according to your requirements.

Shopify charges you transaction fees if you do not use their payment gateway and opt for a third-party option. Usually, for the basic plan the charges are 2% of the transaction.  When it comes to Magento, the prices are set according to the payment gateway that you use and the plan you select for your business.

Templates are another important thing that can help you make the decision. While both the platforms offers a wide range of free and paid templates, Magento is a clean winner.  There are more themes in Magento and the paid ones start from as low as $1. If you consider Shopify, paid themes start from $80.

  • The Inventory

As a business owner in today’s world, you know that inventory management is a challenge.  When you are ready to take your store online, you must have one inventory database that allows you to manage different marketplaces and channels easily.

Shopify is useful for managing inventory for your brick and mortar store as well as the online store. The e-commerce platform has capabilities to help you sell on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And, it also has a PoS (Point of Sale) solution for your in-store inventory management.  But, if you are planning to sell on Ebay, Amazon and other online portals, your options will reduce significantly and you will have to rely on extensions.

Magento offers real freedom of customization. You can integrate with a number of channels as well as online portals that you consider ideal for expanding your business. There are several extensions available in the market to help you customize your inventory database according to your requirement. The benefit of working with Magento is that it provides customized integrations. It is useful when you are looking to provide unique personalized offers to your customers on the basis of their purchase history. You can even consider different prices for different locations and introduce flash sales with Magento. When you want complete control over inventory management, Magento is the way to go.

  • The Marketing Factor

Got a great product? If you are unable to market it properly, it is of no use. It will not increase your profit and improve your bottom line. Marketing efficiency is extremely important for an online store. A business owner should be able to edit the content on the website and customize it according to his SEO strategy.

Shopify allows you to edit Meta tags as well as add search engine console tags. However, it not possible to make substantial changes to the online stored created with the ecommerce portal. It allows basic level changes only. And, as you are on the company’s hosting, you cannot edit all the aspects of your online store to optimize your marketing strategy.

If you think that Magento can help you in keeping your SEO strategy on track, you are right. As it is an open-solution, your options to customize the online store are limitless. You can conduct on-page optimization easily and edit the Meta tags without any trouble. You can manage the redirects, nofollow as well as canonical tags efficiently with the software making it your favorite ecommerce platform.

If you are a small mom and pop store looking to go online, you can consider Shopify because it is a rather simple ecommerce portal. Even if you do not have any knowledge about creating an online website, Shopify will make things easier for you. It is user-friendly and convenient to use, whereas you may require a Magento developer to create a fully-functional online store with the software.

Remember that Magento proves to be a bit technical in its approach but once you get accustomed with it, it will not prove to be an obstacle for you.  And, when you want to create a comprehensive online store that includes all your products, Magento should be your choice. It is ideal for large retail stores as well as home-based businesses looking to expand their market.

When you want to choose an ecommerce platform for your business, choose Magento to enjoy true customization. And, if you are going to hire an IT professional or a managed IT services provider, Magento seems to be the logical choice because of the creative freedom it offers to you.

Have you decided on an ecommerce portal to build an online store for your business? If you are worried about making the right choice, consult PlatinaIT. We are a one-stop solution for all your e-commerce website development needs.

Small Business E-commerce Solutions

If you own a small business with or without a store and looking to grow, you need a website. We have helped hundreds of small businesses grow via custom built ecommerce solutions. Here is a small video demo of why you need a website and how can it really make the difference.