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What’s in your bag? | Top 5 tech gadgets for back to school 2014

Written by: Sadhvi Alam
Courtesy of: antoineguilbert

The days of summer are passing and the beginning of school is drawing near. Whether you’re in college or university, preparing for school can be a daunting task. One of the stresses that most students face is the items they should carry at all times on campus. Questions like:

  1. Will this fit in my bag?
  2. Do I need this?
  3. Will this be helpful for today?
  4. Do I have enough space for everything?

These come into mind and can keep a student awake for the whole night. Fear not as the following should give you a good indication on what to bring to your classes on a daily basis. It is good to note that most of these items have been rated to be the top of their categories and are only based on popularity and portability so the choice is yours whether you want to go for the devices in this list or not.

School supply essentials

External Battery Pack for mobile devices
image courtesy: LifeHacks

Let’s get this out of the way. Essentials such as writing tools, notebooks, erasers and etc. are always important and very handy to carry at all times. Even if you’re a heavy tech user, what will happen if your devices run out of juice? Also it isn’t a bad idea to practice your penmanship. What you could add to that list is an external battery pack. A good way to choose one is to know how many MAh each of your devices carry then you’ll know which battery pack to choose. In addition, having the right, durable usb cables will help you connect your devices to other different medium whether it’s to charge them or share content. 

Mac or PC?

Having a laptop is such a huge importance in the class room these days that most of your lectures and books can be accessed through the internet. It’s your source of notes, Facebook, youtube, mail, and etc.

microsoft's surface pro 3
Courtesy of: WP Central

If you’re a PC user and are looking for a tablet combination then you’re in luck. Microsoft’s Surface or Surface Pro line has been touted to replace any laptop and still give you that value-to-performance ratio. It’s thin and light, has an amazing kickstand for the perfect viewing angle, a high resolution screen, a precision stylus and so much more. Did we tell you that it’s a full-fledged pc? You would think that being a tablet device, the Surface would aim at Apple’s iPad but it’s instead going against the MacBook Air.

Apple's macbook air 13
Courtesy of: TechVault

On the other hand if you don’t like the Windows 8 Metro UI and prefer Apple’s OS X ecosystem, the MacBook Air is a real contender. Not only is it packed with powerful, quality hardware without any compromise to its beautiful design but has been rated to have the longest battery coverage in its market. Though it is a bit pricier than most laptop solutions, Apple’s line of computers have been known to be on top and can bring you excellent value, performance and portability. 

Android or iOS?

Let’s just say that any smartphone you choose is like having a second computer but obviously with the means to communicate over a signal under a monthly plan. Now your options might be limited to which devices your carrier might provide but the following choices should be available everywhere.

Apple's iPhone 5S
Courtesy of: TechnoBuffalo

Apple’s iPhone line up has always been a dominant force in the mobile industry and the iPhone 5S is no exception. It’s not only popular because of its look or specs but it’s so easy to use and access that almost any user can be a pro in no time. One of the main things that make this device so useful for any student is its app store. With a huge library of apps to choose from different categories like social and productivity, the iPhone 5S is the swiss army knife of smartphones. 

Google's LG Nexus 5
Courtesy of: CNET

Don’t think that the above is your best option. Google has come a long way with its Android operating system and its Nexus line. The Nexus 5 is not only FAST but very affordable at MSRP compared to the iPhone. With its simple user interface and hardcore specs, there is a definitely good value to performance ratio. One of its main features is the high quality 1080p display which provides a pleasant viewing experience. You do have other manufacturers like Samsung, LG and HTC building amazing smartphones with Android OS but if you’re looking for something that’ll give you a good bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with the Nexus 5.

The middle-man

Tablets are essentially devices that can mimic both a smartphone and laptop due to its size and software. We already mentioned that Microsoft’s surface line up is a tablet-computer combination but Apple and Google provide excellent tablet options which are both simple and powerful in hardware and software. 

Apple's iPad mini with Retina Display
Courtesy of: TechCrunch

Apple’s iPad line up is a very popular choice and an excellent reading tool if you don’t want to carry your heavy books everywhere you go. We recommend students go for Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display as it has a super sharp screen and is amazingly portable. It isn’t heavy and can carry a lot despite its size. With the addition of Apple’s university apps, the iPad mini is an excellent educational tool for any student at any level.

Google's Nexus 7 2013
Courtesy of: Engadget

Google has already replied to Apple’s tablet with its own: the Nexus 7 (2013). Just like its little brother, the Nexus 7 carries a 1080p screen with a slim and smooth design. It also has a simple interface that is easy to access. It’s easy to customize the UI and will have some apps that aren't available to the iPad. Most people prefer to go for android since it doesn't need an iTunes app on a desktop to sync music, videos and documents. In addition, this tablet has an exceptional battery that will eventually be improved with google’s upcoming Android L update.

Digital Time

Pebble's smart watch and Pebble steel
Courtesy of: Pebble

With the introduction of smart wearables not too long ago, companies like apple and samsung are building smart watches to reach the next level of consumer technology. There is one company that isn't as big as those two and provides the best in usability and battery life. Pebble has been successful with its Kickstarter campaign and continues to be a popular choice when considering smart wearables. So far, they provide the affordable pebble watch and professional looking pebble steel. Both of which are different in size but identical in software. They provide amazing battery life due to the use of E-paper instead of a coloured display. We recommend this device because any student will find the pebble useful with its many functions that involve smartphone linking, vibrate-on-alarm and more. Compared to popular options like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear which can only be used with a specific Samsung smartphone, Pebble allows their users to connect their smart watch to any tablet/smartphone. How’s that for universality? 

What you just saw is only a glimpse of what can make your school semester a breeze. These tools provide everything and anything a student would need. There are alternatives that can differentiate in price or quality but that’s why its up to you to choose. What we mentioned won’t fail you and will take you far ahead any other student on campus.

Have a great semester!



Don’t forget to check out SEOMWORLD for more info on how to optimize SEO and become an expert. For anything related to tech or gaming, keep it tuned here!

How to Change a Site from HTTP to HTTPs | How will that Impact SEO


How to change your site to HTTPs Properly?

How to successfully install a SSL Certificate?

Is installing a fully HTTPs site good for SEO?


Here are some of my tips to making 100% SSL successful


  1.     Make sure all content is loaded over SSL to avoid mixed content warnings
  2.     Any third party code should use protocol relative links or HTTPS directly
  3.     Edit your htaccess files to 301 redirect all traffic to HTTPS
  4.     Use relative internal linking or ensure all internal links start with HTTPS
  5.     Check all pages for any SSL errors or warnings!

Loading Speed

Is https good for seo - search engine optimization
Source: flickr.com

The server hosting that your website is hosted on needs to be able to cope with the additional demand of HTTPS, this is because Google values the loading speed of a site as a ranking factor. A SSL secure site will use more resources than a normal site as connections have to be encrypted, so it is important to make sure you have accounted for this change in demand.

301 Redirects


Google values unique content within a website, so it is important to make sure anything that was previously on the HTTP site of the site, is redirected using a simple 301 redirect to the HTTPS equivalent page. Failure to do so could result in a Google penalty as it will see the pages as two different sites, but using identical content.

Webmaster Tools


As we just mentioned above, Google sees the HTTP and HTTPS sites as completely different, so they also need to listed separately in webmaster tools.

To summarise, if implemented correctly using a SSL secure site should not have any negative effect on Search Engine Optimisation. Just make sure you have followed the tips listed in this post. You have to think that using HTTPS shows that a website is secure and can be trusted, spam sites would not be able to use this protocol.

http://www.seosilly.co.uk/the-effect-of-https-on-seo/

Duplicate Content


The main one is the issue of duplicate content (canonicalization), Google punishes websites for this as they value unique content. Make sure that you redirect all website addresses from http to https, for example don’t have the same page accessible on both http://www.servertastic.com and https://www.serervetastic.com. There are many ways to do this but make use of 301 redirects to tell Google that you are moving an old domain to a new one.
SSL will slow down the website and add overhead to the server resources

This may have been true in the early days of the web. However with modern day servers and browser technologies the overhead is tiny potentially 100ms or less. The benefits of using SSL outweigh the potential reduced performance.

100% HTTPS will have a negative affect on SEO


This was recently discussed on Search Engine Land. After 5 years of SSL on ServerTastic this is utter rubbish. In fact moving to 100% SSL reduced our bounce rate and increased conversions. This had a positive affect on search engine performance. The fact we use an EV Certificate means that for IE users the address bar goes completely green and for the majority of other browsers partially green. This generates instant trust with visitors leading to lower bounce rates.


Posted by Tarek Riman

HTTP vs HTTPS | Which one is better for your website?

FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT IS HTTPS?

The HTTPS is a the secure version of the HTTP platform. It’s commonly used for online payment transactions and online banking. Basically, on HTTP, the information you send to the website can be seen by other people. This is why you should never enter, for example, your credit card number in an HTTP website. When a HTTPS website is used, a Digital Certificate is used to encrypt the session.


But that’s not the only information that keeps from being passed on.
Its https better than http for SEO


Related read: Tips for changing from HTTP to HTTPS http://www.seomworld.com/2014/08/how-to-change-site-from-http-to-https.html

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HTTP AND HTTPS: REFERRED DATA AND KEYWORDS


When you go from one website to another, your browser will share information of where you came from with the second website. It does this through an HTTP header called ‘the referrer’. That information is used by Analytics packages for quite a while now: they keep a list of websites that are search engines and then pass the referrer data for visits from those search engines to get the keywords from the searches. So, that referrer is really important for your Analytics to understand which keywords were used to get to your website. When it comes to Google though,  it redirects you to another URL, so the site visited will show the user came from Google, but it won’t show the keywords, since they say iut’S privet data. They’ll still send those keywords to Ad Words advertisers though!

Another important thing to have in mind is that an HTTP webpage won’t receive any information from a HTTPS, but an HTTPS will receive information from an HTTP or another HTTPS.
will https or http affect my seo ranking
Source: chriztymonicaz.blogspot.com

BUT THE QUESTION THAT NEVER GOES AWAY IS

Is changing my website to an HTTPS platform going to affect your ranking on Google?


No need to panic. Let’s get it from an expert:



Going from https to http, or the other way around, generally won't noticeably change your pages' ranking. HTTPS-only sites are fine, there’s absolutely no need to shy away from that if you implement it properly. There’s certainly no penalty involved with running your site on HTTPS-only when done right. And there is no penalty. Essentially, it’s the same as any other site-move in that it can take a bit of time to be processed (depending on the site), and that you might see fluctuations while it’s moving all of the signals over to the new URLs.
- John Mueller of Google





And there you have it, SEOholics.
HTTPS is, indeed, safe - even from bad Google ranks.


Looking to change to HTTPs? Here is where and How to do it.

SOURCES:
http://www.seosilly.co.uk/the-effect-of-https-on-seo/
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-https-rankings-18122.html
https://blog.servertastic.com/switching-your-site-to-100-https/
https://blog.servertastic.com/does-https-damage-seo/
https://yoast.com/web-https/
(extra - just a suggestion)



Posted by Jessica Carmona

Best Books to Learn About Online Content Management Tools | Top 5 Books on Digital Content Management

Best Books that are associated with Online content management
Top 5 Books on Digital Content Management


As 2014 kicked in, marketers and site managers realized that there is no true success without good content, and that without a structured content management system, it is impossible to run a site or blog properly.


As a digital marketer I had to read a lot of books before landing any success in the field. Yet there is a lot of books that ended up being a waste of time.
So to save you the hustle, I listed down the top 5 books that I would recommend every digital marketer or content writer to check out, I hope it will give you a good insight on the most useful tools for content strategies, content tools, CMSs, and Platforms.


1.    WordPress: The Missing Manual (Matthew MacDonald - $18.22 )

It is really helpful for all web marketers, web designers and web builders who are intending to use WordPress as their platform.

Giving a great insight on the utilization of :

1.    Themes
2.    Widgets
3.    Plugins
4.    Features
5.    Tools
6.    Mobile optimized sites


How it helped me: 

This book helped me understand how to use WordPress as holistic tool to get more visits, attract the right audience, fine tune content, and mix the right features together.


Check it out 

WordPress: The Missing Manual

Learning wordpress - best books for CMS
Source: pixabay.com



2.    Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition  (Kristina Halvorson - $23.58)


According to this book a better content management means better business, which every successful digital marketer will agree with.



This book will help you:


1.    Make better decisions based on measurements and numbers, and create achievable goals for yourself and your business.
2.    Match your business strategy with your business strategy
3.    Understand how successful people ran proper content campaigns
4.    Understand that content is a strategy and not a set of tactics



This book helped me run a lot of campaigns for a lot of small companies, and answer a lot of questions to the board of directors.



Check the book out and tell me what you think:

Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition





3.    WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (3rd Edition) Matt Beck $24.79   


This book is more about introducing tools that will allow you to add functionality, user experience and beauty to your site. 


Google consider usability, time spent on site, and relevancy as major factors for ranking, and that is the advantage of building a user friendly site.


This book with its ample examples and screen shots, will allow to use WordPress to its full functionality and take advantage of all the amazing tools that it offers; even if you are a beginner.

This book helped me know more about using

1.    Audio on my blogs properly
2.    Video on my sites in a more engaging manner.

3.    Utilize images and other media in a representable and organized form.
 


How to run a content strategy on a wordpress blog
Source: www.flickr.com

Check the book out and I hope it helps you a lot, but mind you if you are already a WordPress I wouldn’t advise it for you.

WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide

 

 

4.    Joomla!® 3 Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide (2nd Edition) (Joomla! Press)

Well even if joomla is not my favorite platform, I still find it technically superior to a lot of other platforms, it is more flexible, it is responsive, powerful, fast and secure.

This book will allow you to create a site from scratch using Joomla even if you are a beginner.


It helped me master joomla in a couple of weeks, due to its great examples, and easy visuals, friendly demonstrations. Also it showcased all the popular problems that users might face.





Check out the book and tell me what you think:

Joomla!® 3 Explained



5.    Drupal 7 Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide (Stephen Burge - $28.50)


Drupal is not a walk in the park, it is like a paint ball game unless you’re expecting to get hit a couple of times you wouldn’t go!


Best books to learn about drupal and cms
source: fwallpapers.com

But this book makes it look easy, introducing site construction, programming and scripting simplified.


It will walk you through from A to Z, from installation to finalization.
If you are intending to start working with Drupal, this is your best bet.



Check it out:

Drupal 7 Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide 

 



Posted by Tarek Riman

A Beautiful Tribute from Apple to Robbin Williams

Robbin williams ad apple - tribute


We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."

"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."






Source:
Dead Poets Society Movie






Posted by Tarek Riman

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