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Joomla or WordPress? Finding the right script to power your website.

WordPress and Joomla are both content management systems, and while both have been around for years, WordPress has surged ahead of Joomla in popularity and add-on functionality.

Look at the numbers. With nearly 2 billion (that’s billion with a B) sites online, WordPress controls 30% of those, and approximately 60% of sites built with content management systems. Where is Joomla? In second place at 7%, followed by Drupal at 5%.

Both are available for quick installs via Softaculous.

Softaculous is a great auto-installer having 446 great scripts, 1115 PHP Classes and they are still adding more. These scripts cover most of the uses a business owner or entrepreneur could ever use. It covers a wide array of Categories so that everyone can find just the right script to power their website.

Why Joomla? How will it help your business?

Joomla is an open source platform on which Web sites and applications can be created. It is a content management system (CMS) which connects your site to a MySQLi, MySQL, or PostgreSQL database in order to make content management and delivery easier.

Joomla 4 new features:

  • Bootstrap 4 Integration
  • More friendly Back-end User Interface
  • Coding improvements
  • New front-end template and back-end template
  • New Media manager
  • Simplified installation process
  • Faster page loading times
  • Features to improve Search Engine Optimization

Why we recommend WordPress.

WordPress was designed for everyone, not just developers. That’s HUGE! You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use it, so forget stressing over learning code. Do you want the ability to tweak your website after its initial development? Compared to Joomla, WordPress shines in this department. It’s user friendly, it’s versatile and it flat out works. One word of caution – hackers love WordPress, so keep those themes and plugins up-to-date, and install some sort of security software.

 

WordPress 4.9.8 Features

The talk of the day is Gutenberg (a new editing environment) and while it still doesn’t hold ground against Elementor, prepare yourself as it is soon to become part of the WordPress core. Gutenberg lays the groundwork for incredibly exciting developments.

Gutenberg is at stage one of a three-pronged roll-out strategy. First, WordPress will get a redeveloped editor, and after that the project will focus on page templates, then in the final stage it will become a full site customizer. As you can imagine, this will empower developers with endless possibilities.

Two free Softaculous scripts that will make your life easier

Softaculous V3Open source software, like the scripts offered by Softaculous, is widely used by companies in a broad range of industries from retail to wholesale, and from finance to automotive. Why? Obviously free helps, but many of these scripts are used by millions of businesses for reasons other than cost. They improve productivity, workflow and a myriad of assorted value-add functionalities across multiple industries.

Over 400 free scripts are available via Softaculous

No, you don’t need to know any code to install these scripts. Softaculous scripts can typically be installed with just one click. We obviously can’t review 400+ scripts here, but we will discuss a couple of popular scripts that are designed to make your life much easier (more in future newsletters).

If you’d like a full list of the scripts that are available via Softaculous, head on over to our Cloud Website page. We’ve divided these scripts into categories like e-commerce, blogs, gaming, ad management and others. Each of these categories can be expanded to display the scripts that are in that category. Each of those is linked to extensive information about that script, including reviews, screenshots, ratings and features.

1First up, an e-Commerce script called PrestaShop

“The PrestaShop e-Commerce Solution was built to take advantage of essential Web 2.0 innovations such as dynamic AJAX-powered features and next-generation ergonomy. PrestaShop guides users through your product catalog intelligently and effortlessly, turning intrigued visitors into paying customers.”

We’ve selected to feature PrestaShop based on it’s popularity and rating, as it has scored 4.52 stars out of a possible 5 from 2452 voters. What we hear quite frequently from entrepreneurs/solopreneurs are queries about launching online stores. What differentiates PrestaShop from other shopping programs is its front and back office features. 

Front-office

  • Featured products on homepage
  • Top sellers on homepage
  • New items on homepage
  • ‘Free shipping’ offers
  • Cross-selling (Accessories)
  • Product image zoom
  • Order out-of-stock items
  • Customer subscription & user accounts
  • Payment by bank wire
  • Google Checkout module
  • Cash-On-Delivery (COD)
  • Pre-configured for Paypal
 Back-office

  • Unlimited categories & subcategories, product attribute combinations, product specs, images, currencies, tax settings, carriers & destinations
  • Real-time currency exchange rates
  • Inventory management
  • Unlimited languages & dialects
  • 100% modifiable graphic themes
  • Newsletter contact export
  • Alias search
  • SSL encryption
  • Visitors online
  • Customer groups

Of course, if you’re selling to a local market, you wouldn’t need unlimited languages and dialects, but good to know that’s available. Being pre-configured for PayPal is huge, simply because PayPal is a highly recognizable payment solution trusted by millions worldwide.

On the flip side, you’ll likely have to purchase several (often expensive) add-on modules to integrate different software programs to add functionality to Prestashop. If you have limited tech knowledge, you might consider investing in a web developer to help you through the rough spots. The good news is that once it’s set up, day-to-day operations are a breeze.

2Next up is a customer support script called osTicket

“osTicket is a widely-used open source support ticket system. It seamlessly integrates inquiries created via email and web-based forms into a simple easy to use multi-user web interface. Easily manage, organize and archive all your support requests and responses in one place while providing your clients with accountability and responsiveness they deserve.

osTicket is an attractive alternative to higher-cost and complex customer support systems; simple, lightweight, reliable, open source, and easy to setup and use. The best part is, it’s completely free.”

osTicket ranks 4.6 stars out of 5 based on 225 voters, essentially because it simply works AND it’s free.

Its features:

Web-based Platform : osTicket is a web-based multi-user customer support platform. No local installation required. Access it anytime – from anywhere.

Customer Portal : All support requests and responses are archived online. User can login using email and ticket ID. No user account or registration required to submit a ticket.

Autoresponder : Configurable automatic reply sent out when a new ticket is opened or a message is received.

Email Integration : Tickets can be created via email, online forms or phone (created by staff). Flexible configuration and mapping.

Role-based Access : Control staff’s access level based on assigned groups, departments and teams.

Collision Avoidance : Ticket locking mechanism to allow staff to lock tickets during response and avoid conflicting responses.

Ticket Assignment : Assign tickets to a staff or a teams. Assignment notes are logged as internal notes.

Ticket Filters : Apply conditional rules to route incoming tickets to the right departments or staff members, and action triggers.

Service Level Agreements : SLA support allow you to track tickets and due dates without the hassle. Get overdue alerts and notices on missed due dates, and priority escalation.

Ticket Transfer : Transfer tickets between departments to make sure it’s being handled by the correct staff.

Due Dates : Set due dates on individual tickets and overwrite default grace period. Get overdue alerts and notices on missed due dates.

Alerts & Notices : Staff and clients are kept up to date with email alerts. Configurable and flexible settings.

Dashboard & Reports : Get system overview and basic historical statistics on tickets count and status per department, staff and help topics.

Canned Responses : Predefined responses for frequently asked questions. Ticket variables supported for personalized responses.

Internal Notes : Add internal notes to tickets for staff. Activity logs let you see events or what actions have been taken, when, and by whom.

Attachment Support : Allow web or emailed attachments. Configurable file type whitelisting to enhance security.

Email Templates : Manage and configure email templates used for auto-reply, alerts, notices and responses. Ticket variables supported for personalized messages.

One review by a Guest says, “It just worked out of the box. It does all the basics extremely well and is highly stable and reliable. I have a small support team (including contractors) and this product does all the things I need and does them very nicely. Highly recommend you give it a try, I am confident you won’t be disappointed.”

Other than being FREE which obviously helps keep your cost down, it offers enough features to run a decent sized business support department successfully.

Why organizations are switching to managed service providers… and why you should too.

According to CompTIA’s 2016 Buying Guide for Managed Services, 64 percent of organizations are using some form of managed services. Often times businesses can find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of IT requests, and projects needed to simply get their team to market. This usually leads to frantic hiring of IT employees, that sometimes aren’t able to keep up with the latest technology trends, or much less even understand the idea that IT is a balance of logic and efficiency. Where there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, but a lot of gray area, where strategic decisions and process must be implemented.

Over the last several years, the business marketplace has become more accepting of managed service providers (MSPs). They turn to MSPs to manage certain aspects of their IT infrastructure. By hiring the MSP, businesses save a lot on time and resources while insuring that certain IT functions are well managed and monitored. In addition to savings, businesses are switching from hiring in-house IT departments to using an MSP, because of the fact that MSPs stay on the cutting edge of technology. Their presence drives businesses growth by allowing the organization to focus on what they bring to their marketplace, instead of being bogged down by the needs of their IT infrastructure.

Here are the top 10 reasons why businesses are switching to MSPs. 

  1. Improve security- With the WannaCry crisis occurring last week, the threat of cyber attacks are stronger now more than ever. Working with a qualified MSP can help ensure a business’s security against damaging cyber attacks.
  2. Proactive approach to IT problems– When working with an MSP, businesses get access to proactive solving strategies that can help save time and resources, by solving IT related issues BEFORE they happen.
  3. Better up time– With a provider focusing on creating efficiency within the IT infrastructure, MSPs can help make a business’s computers run more effectively and efficiently.
  4. Gain access to newer technologies– A good MSP will always be on the forefront of innovation in regards to the newest technologies. It is their focus to help businesses become more efficient.
  5. Cost savings–  When comparing hiring an in-house IT team, the cost of salaries, and benefits are often times much higher than a monthly retainer to keep an MSP managing a business’s IT infrastructure.
  6. Peace of mind– No more fretting, or worrying about security and time that goes into managing and maintaining an IT system or systems for a business.
  7. Frees up the internal staff– With outsourcing IT functions, a business can use their internal staff to work on more strategic initiatives that benefit the business as a whole.
  8. Management of cloud solutions– Businesses are moving towards cloud management at an increasing rate. Using an MSP to help manage a business’s cloud can help with efficient organization that can speed up internal production.
  9. Lack of Internal IT- 38% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Small Businesses that don’t have the budget or knowledge of hiring an in house IT department, can turn to MSPs to help manage their IT needs.
  10. Handle of remote office IT- Leaving MSPs to do the management of a remote office IT helps significantly increase productivity within a business. It allows for businesses to focus on their trade rather than their IT infrastructure.

The competitive marketplace is a huge challenge to any business, in and of itself. By working with an MSP, businesses are able to focus efforts on areas that drive growth. Leaving the day to day operations to a provider. This saves money in the long run, and additionally– many managed services cost less than other traditional services and staff. Engaging an MSP provides businesses with access to a full IT team specializing in all areas of the IT industry. Allowing businesses to focus on what matters.

 

HTTP/2 Has Been Approved!

When the last version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol 1.1 (HTTP/1.1) was approved in 1999, fast computers were running 500MHz Pentium III chips, Bill Clinton was president of the United States, and software engineers were working hard at fixing the Y2K bug. As for the internet, the US Federal Communications Commission defined broadband as 200 kilobits per second (Kbps), and most users connected to it with 56Kbps modems. Things have changed, and HTTP, the web’s fundamental protocol, is finally changing with the times, too.
http2
Read full article here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-http2-will-speed-up-your-web-browsing/