Thursday, 6 February 2014

Top 10 Things to Look for When Choosing a Web Developer.

1) EXPERIENCE – An experienced designer will have more skills to create a sophisticated looking and functioning web site. They will have more tools and tricks and knowledge to help you accomplish your business goals.
Here’s 101 questions (well almost) you can ask your potential web developer.
  • Can you see their design portfolio?
  • Do you like the designer’s own business web site?
  • How long have they been doing web site design?
  • How many web sites have they developed?
  • What areas of web development do they specialize in?
  • Do they know how to hand code HTML or do they only use an HTML editor? Hand coding can allow for an extra level of precision that may be difficult to achieve with various HTML editors.
  • Do they know Javascript?
  • Can they do database work?
  • Do they have a professional graphic design team or do they create the graphics themselves?
  • Will they help you market your web site?
  • The whole process of interviewing the designer will not only give you the answers to those questions, but gives you insight as to who the designer is, their level of expertise, and how well you can work together.
    2) TOP QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE
    Equally important to experience is quality customer service. After all, what good is having a top designer if they are too busy to answer your emails and jump in during an emergency? Ask for a list of references, and CALL them! Don’t be afraid to ask them if their web developer is responsive to their needs and assists them in a timely manner.
    3) PROFESSIONAL, ORIGINAL WEB SITE GRAPHICS
    The ability to create professional, original web graphics will quickly distinguish the Cousin-Jim-Bob-amateur-designer-wanna-be’s from the pros. Anyone can put words on a page and create links. But, only a skilled designer will have a good sense of page layout, how to create a good color scheme, and be able to create tasteful graphics that will enhance the web site.
    Take a look at other sites the designer has created. Do they demonstrate a considerable range of “styles” or do they use templates? Do the web sites feature original web graphics? If you want a one of a kind web site to brand your business, you must insist on original graphics for your web site. Can they create “extras” such as flash, animation, or mouseover effects?
    4) MARKETING SAVVY
    Having a crme-de-la-crme web site will do you no good unless you can build a steady stream of traffic to it. Here’s some questions to ask your designer to determine what level of marketing assistance he will provide you: –
  • Will they help you create meta tags for your web site?
  • Will they register you with the search engines?
  • What search engines do they submit to?
  • Do they mass submit, or will they hand submit your site to the important search engines?
  • NOTE: If they claim to be experts in search engine positioning, check first to see how highly listed THEIR web site is, it’s the proof-in-the-pudding to whether their techniques work!
    5) CREATIVENESS
    One thing you’d better know up front is how involved your web developer will be in the creative process. Unless you are an experienced marketer, you probably will need at least a little help writing web copy and planning the layout of your web site. Will your web developer help you develop content?
    Writing for the web is a little different than writing for a print marketing piece. By using someone with experience in writing web copy, you can ensure that the message as well as the look of your site is geared to sell. Also, be aware of over-creative know-it-all designers who won’t listen to your input. It’s your web site, and you should have creative input. The key is to finding a developer that will listen to your suggestions and work WITH you offering ideas and advice when planning your site.
    6) PRICING
    The cost of a professionally designed small business web site can run anywhere from $500 to $5000. To ensure you don’t overspend your budget, you need to get a written estimate. Depending on the complexity or your project, you may even have to pay to get an estimate. To get a complete picture of all costs involved, have them break out costs for domain name, hosting services, graphics, web development, and marketing fees separately.
    Will you be required to put down a deposit? Some firms may ask for half of estimated fees up front as a deposit. What methods of payment do they accept? Will they accept credit cards or do you have to pay by cash or check?
    Do they charge a flat rate or by the hour? Typical hourly web development fees can range from $30 to $200 per hour. But beware: cheaper is not always better! Whatever the hourly rate; make sure it is justified by the amount of experience and skill set they bring to the plate. While a designer who charges $30 an hour might seems like a deal at first, it might take them twice as long to accomplish a task.
    What items will cost you “extra”? If there are items that will NOT be included in the estimate which will be additional, make sure to get the ala carte pricing. And finally, find out what the costs for web site maintenance will be when the site is complete. If you will be updating your site frequently, this ongoing cost is an important one to keep in mind.
    7) COMMUNICATION SKILLS
    How easy is your designer to talk to? Do you trust them? Can you understand what they are explaining to you or do they use techno-babble. Do they take time to listen to your needs? If you are going to have a good long term working relationship, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable with one another and can communicate clearly.
    8) TIME FRAME TO COMPLETION
    Ask how long the web development process will take. And then you may want to ask their references how close they came to completing the project on target. A simple web site could be developed in one or two weeks, while a larger more intense site could take several weeks or months. Knowing what to expect can help you manage your expectations.
    9) FULL RANGE OF SERVICES
    Does the developer offer a full range of web site services? Will your web developer help you: acquire a domain name, set up a web hosting account, market your web site, write copy, and/or provide cgi and database programming?
    Working with a developer who can handle all these details will save you time, money, and frustration. You can rely on their expertise to handle some of the more technical questions that may arise. If they don’t provide these services, then ask if they have companies that they recommend. Be sure to get prices from those vendors too so that the total web sites costs don’t sneak up on you.
    10) AVAILABILITY
    Are they a full time web developer or is web design a moonlighting job for them? A full time developer will probably be able to complete your site in a shorter time frame than someone who is squeezing you into his or her spare time. What are their hours? Are they open to you calling with questions? Can they start your project right away? If you need maintenance down the road, how soon can you expect changes after you submit them?
    DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU GO TO A WEB DEVELOPER
    If you want an accurate assessment of what your web site will cost, you must have a clear idea about what you need. Take some time to answer these questions BEFORE you talk to a developer.
    1) How will my web site function?
    a) As an online store where actual product is sold?
    b) As an online brochure to inform the consumer
    about your company or services
    c) As an online community
    2) What will your web site look and feel like? What will be the corporate culture of my site? Will it be light and fun, or hi-tech looking, or business-like and professional?
    3) How many pages and what specific pages do you need for your web site? Here are some typical pages to think about for starters:
  • Home
  • About
  • Products/Services
  • Order
  • Contact
  • Resources
  • Free Newsletter.
  • 4) What is my budget? 
    Be reasonable, if you only have $500 you won’t get too much out of your web site. There are affordable designers who can design a small business web site ranging from $700 to $2500 in price.
    5) What is your deadline for project completion? 
    Are you pressed for time or do you have several weeks to play with? If you need your site in a hurry, you may be able to get it sooner by paying a “rush” fee.
    6) Will you require any specialized programming such as a shopping cart, a database or a contact form?
    If you need these items, make sure your web developer has the skill set to meet these requirements.
    7) What level of assistance do you need in development?
    By knowing in advance how much and what kind of help your project requires, you can confirm that the developer your are considering can (and will) provide the level of service you need.
  • Do you need full site design & concepting?
  • Do you have the concept and just need it created into HTML pages?
  • Do you just need some new graphics and a web site makeover?
  • Do you have an existing logo or will they need to create a new one?
  • 8) Find samples of web sites you like!
    Create a listing of URLs for sites that you like and note what you like and why it appeals to you. By showing this to the designer, it gives them a better idea about what you are looking for. This can better assist them in providing a quote and in concepting a graphic design to match your vision.
    WHERE TO LOOK FOR A WEB DEVELOPER
    Once you know your project needs, you can start your search for the ideal candidate to develop your web site. Here are a few places where you can look to find a web developer who meet your specific needs.
    1) Web Developer Directories:
    A web developer directory offers searchable listings of web developers. By just typing in your project specs, price range, and technical needs you will be matched with some developers who meet the criteria you provide.
    2) Authors of Web Development Articles in
    Web Developer Communities: 
    If you go to these web developer communities, you’ll find articles written by designers who are some of the most savvy state-of-the- art designers in their field. By reading their articles, you’ll get insight into who they are and their level of experience. Just check the author’s bio at the end of the article to see how to contact them.
    3) Get a Referral
    If you see a web site you like or know someone with an online business, ask them who their developer was
    4) Go Local
    Let your fingers do the walking thru the yellow pages or search in Yahoo local web directories for your major metropolitan area. This will allow you to find a developer who is located in your local geographic area.
    5) Search in the Search Engines
    Search your favorite search engine and look under web developer, web site design, web designers, web development firms etc.
    READY, SET, LET’S GO!!!!
    Since your web site will serve as your online business, it’s crucial to find the right developer to help you create it. Having a customer friendly web site with attractive graphics, a clear marketing appeal, and easy navigation is key to online success! With a little luck and searching, I hope you can find a web designer whom can work with you to make your online dreams a profitable reality! Who knows, maybe customers will be checking out YOUR web site to see who the savvy designer is that created it!
    Kristie Tamsevicius, is the author of “I Love My Life: A Mom’s Guide to Working from Home”! Thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs have used her step-by-step home business system to earn money working from home. Get a free ecourse Home Business Success Secrets athttp://www.webmomz.com/ilovemylife1.htm

    Tuesday, 4 February 2014

    10 Ways to increase speed of Torrent downloads

    bittorrentlogo   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads
    Imagine being on the autobahn with the accelerator down and then you realize that you are driving a wrecked car. The plight is not so uncommon on the information superhighway too.

    Torrent users would attest to the fact that half of our time is spent looking for ‘healthy’ torrents and the other half trying to download (and a bit of upload too) at the maximum speed. The former is mandatory; the latter thankfully is within the realm of tweaking.
    If you are the one who thinks that your torrent download speeds could do with a boost then keep reading. Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to speed up torrent download speed. And if you’re new to Torrenting, don’t forget to check out the official MUO Torrent guide.
    1. Your ISP is where it starts

    2. Check the maximum download and upload speeds allowed by your ISP. Most ISP’s have specific bandwidths for both uploads and downloads. Obviously your torrent download speed won’t cross the cap set by the ISP. Go over to this article on Speed.io for broadband speed test and this one by Tina on ways to increase your connection speed. There are many other bandwidth testers like DSLReportswhich is included in the speed test within uTorrent.
    3. Choosing the right BitTorrent client

    4. Use the better clients out there like uTorrent, Vuze or the BitTorrent client itself.Wikipedia lists about 51 of them supporting the BitTorrent protocol. The choice of client used should always be updated to the latest version. The screenshots here depict uTorrent. The settings should be similarly configurable for other clients too. Mac users shuld also check our Transmission vs. uTorrent post

    5. Go for healthy seeds and peers

    6. A peer is any computer participating in the download and upload of a torrent file. A seed (or seeder) is anyone who has one complete copy of the file being shared across the torrent network. A leech (or a leecher) is the person who does not have the complete file yet but has joined the network to download it. A leecher becomes a seeder when he downloads the entire file and then shares it across the network.
      healthy seeds   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

      For high torrent speeds, the best bet is in numbers. The greater the number of seeders, the healthier the torrent and the better the chance of higher speeds. The rule of thumb says to choose the torrent files with a high number of seeders and preferably lesser number of leechers i.e. a higher seed-leecher ratio.
    7. Get through the firewall

    8. Firewalls can block all incoming BitTorrent connections coming through. To ensure otherwise, a firewall should be manually configured to accept the connections and let it through the client. Windows XP has the Windows Firewall. Configure the firewall installed to accept the connections by checking the BitTorrent client on the allowed list i.e. Options – Preferences ““ Connection – checkAdd uTorrent to Windows Firewall. Also, check the Windows Firewall exception (if you keep it enabled) in your client too. Shutting down the firewall is not recommended as it leaves the computer open to attack.
      windows firewall   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

      Note: If the home computer is behind a router, it also should be configured through the feature called Port Range Forwarding to enable torrent traffic. The router documentation should have specific information on this.
    9. Limit your upload rate

    10. A peer to peer network is all about sharing alike, but an unlimited upload rate hits the download rate too. Using the speed tests, find out your maximum upload speed and then set your client’s upload rate (Global Upload Rate in uTorrent) to about 80% of your maximum upload speed. You can also try varying your upload speeds ““ keep it high initially and then gradually bring it down towards the middle of the download.
      Note: Mind the speed units ““ it may be given in kilobits per second (kb/sec) orkilobytes per second (kB/sec). 1 kilobyte = 8 kilobit
    11. Go to a different port

    12. The default port for the BitTorrent protocol is any between port numbers 6881-6999. ISPs throttle traffic on these ports as BitTorrent sharing involves high bandwidth usage. It’s easy to configure a different port in your torrent client. Use some number above 10000 to get around ISPs and also avoid problems with other applications. By default, the uTorrent port is randomized each time it starts. Set a specific port by not enabling the Randomize Port setting.
    13. Increase the number of Max Half Open TCP connections

    14. This figure specifies how many connections a torrent client should attempt to establish simultaneously at any given time. Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or newer, limits this to a default of 10 as a barrier against virus multiplication. But that’s a bummer for torrent speeds as torrents too need a large number of simultaneous connections.
      A patch has been available for a while from LvlLord which modifies theTCPIP.sys file in Windows to allow a higher number of TCP connections.
      tcpip patch   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

      After running the patch, you have to set the number of connections in your torrent client. For example, in uTorrent go to Options ““ Preferences ““ Advanced – net.max_halfopen. Set any number from 50 to 100. But see that net.max_halfopen is set lower than the value set in TCPIP.SYS. Always check if it is still patched because Windows updates sometimes overwrite it.
      max half open tcp connectio   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

    15. Experiment with Protocol Encryption

    16. Some ISPs love to act like Big Brothers and constrict bandwidth for P2P protocols. Protocol Encryption in most of the torrent clients helps to override this bandwidth shaping. Enable outgoing protocol encryption and put a checkmark on Allow Incoming Legacy Connections.
      protocol encryption   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

      With protocol encryption, ISPs find it difficult if not impossible to detect that the traffic is coming from BitTorrent. Experiment with enabled, disabled and forced options because you could be getting better speeds with encryption disabled. Non-encryption makes a torrent connection compatible with someone who is not using encryption but as a minus it makes the torrent detectable to an ISP with a bandwidth restricting policy.
    17. Bandwidth and connections

    18. Your BitTorrent client’s settings options will let you enter figures for ““
      Global maximum number of connections gives the maximum number of connections that a BitTorrent client can make for any P2P exchange. Setting this too high does NOT mean higher speeds. Setting it too high would take up useless bandwidth and too low a figure would miss out on peers. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 130.
      Maximum number of connected peers per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client can connect to for any P2P exchange. Experiment by setting this number close to the available peers for a particular torrent. For my 256kbps connection, I have a default setting of 70.
      Number of upload slots per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client will upload to for any P2P exchange. A low setting may affect downloads. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 3.
      bandwidth   10 Ways To Speed Up Torrent Downloads

      uTorrent has a Speed Guide which handily calculates the figures for a particular connection.
    19. Some common sense

    20. Most BitTorrent clients allow us to view the individual files in a download. You can selectively disable the download of files you don’t think necessary.
      Familiarize yourself with the customization settings of your particular client available in the Help files or at the website FAQs.

    Some useful resources:

    BitTorrent User Guide
    uTorrent FAQ
    Vuze FAQ
    Optimizing the speed of torrent downloads is a lot of trial & error and a bit of patience. Do you have some tips to speed up torrent download speed? Any that you have successfully tried out? Maybe we can put some wind beneath the wings with your comments.

    Sunday, 2 February 2014

    How to access YouTube via Tune.pk in Pakistan Without Any Proxy Software

    It’s been more than a year since YouTube banned in Pakistan and all you have to do is to use VPN/Proxy services but not anymore. A group of Pakistani developers came up with a unique Chrome extension that lets you play any YouTube video in Pakistan without connecting to any VPN/Proxy service. Want to know how?

    How to install and use Tune.pk Chrome extension.

    Step 1:

    Download Tune.pk Chrome Plugin file from here. This extension of Tune.pk only works with Google Chrome and not any other browser.

    Step 2:

    Now open your Google Chrome Browser and go to Tools >> Extensions (Fig1), now when the extension page is opened all you have to is drag the downloaded file in Extension Manager page and your Tune.pk Chrome Plugin will be added and ready to work.

    Figure 1:


     Step3:

    Now that the Tune.pk Chrome Plugin is installed in your Chrome browser, open anyYouTube link of the video in Chrome browser and magically you will be redirected to theTune.pk and after processing of few seconds the video will be at your disposal to watch and share. It’s that easy and simple. The processing time can be increased depending on the duration of the video though.
    In the end I would like mention few steps you can follow to initially test the plugin.
    1.       Open Google.com
    2.       Search “funny cat videos” on Google(Fig2) for example
    3.       Click on any video link and you will be redirected to tune.pk straight away and video will be available after processing (Fig3 & Fig4)

    Figure 2:

    Figure 3:

    Figure 4:

    Hope this article will help you installing the plugin, if the screenshots are confusing please also watch the below video. If still facing problem installing, leave your comments down and we will address your issue.

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