19 October 2014

How to Find Good School Website Design

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If you simply have a brochure design for your school website that provides static information, you are missing out on so many advantages.

These days, you can have mobile friendly websites viewable on multiple devices, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) built in, complete with multiple tools to enhance communication, and many more features.

So how should you go about searching for web designers to create the modern and functional website you need for your school? Here are a few things to consider.
Good School Website Design
Image Courtesy: centralmaine.com
Experienced designers
There are many web designers to choose from, but not all of them specialise in school websites, nor can offer a quality solution mindful of limited school budgets. So find a company that specifically works on schools or has a department dedicated to schools. A service like schoolscool.co.uk will know about the unique requirements for school web design and interactive software compared to commercial websites for companies.

User friendly design
School websites should look clean and simple. You want your website to be easy to navigate and to use, and you have to consider this just as carefully as a company that is trying to sell its products online.

Make sure you discuss this with your designer, and if you can find a website design for another school that you like, inform your website designer so they can use this as a guide.

Option to include a VLE
A VLE is often considered essential for educational websites these days. This can convert your website into a community hub, and it includes tools that allow the sharing of information and resources to enhance the educational experience. Some of the many features include:
  • teachers can add notes regarding lessons that students can access from home;
  • parents can see their children's school reports;
  • students can report bullying confidentially;
  • parents can pay for school trips and meals online;
  • information about important events can be shared;
  • teachers can share lesson plans with colleagues;
  • important updates can be sent electronically.
Whatever type of school or educational establishment you run, a VLE can be incredibly useful. So make sure your designer is familiar with these and can build one into your website.

Optional extras
When you choose your school website designer, you may also want to look at the extra features they could provide. For example, some designers may also be able to provide you with an app.

Apps can be incredibly useful because they can be used to send push notifications, which will reach the users wherever they are. This can also be a cost-effective way to contact parents and students with important updates – such as if a school is closed due to bad weather.

People are also very familiar with apps, and most people know how to use them and to access their features almost intuitively. Indeed, more people now prefer apps compared to going online.

Other extras could involve offline marketing through the design of print materials like brochures. These are just as important for your school, and by using a designer that offers both online and offline design, you can ensure your branding is consistent across all your marketing platforms.

Launch your new school website
These are some of the things you should be looking for when you decide to find a designer to create a new school website. Consider all the options available to you, and choose a designer who can create a website that does everything you need it to.

You can leave your comments and suggestions below.
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:

This article is posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world.

The Key to Education Web Design

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Web design for educational establishments does not simply involve designing a site that looks good: it involves creating something that is genuinely useful for staff, students and parents. A school's website is the perfect online tool that can be used to do far more than provide simple static information. It can be a place where information is exchanged and through which people can communicate. The benefits for a school can also be enormous in terms of time and cost savings.
Image Courtesy: stjosephshighschool.in
Incorporate a VLE into your school website
The key to a successful educational website is to incorporate a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is a set of tools that can be built into your website and which allow people to not just visit your site and access basic information, but to also perform various actions.
Teachers, parents and students can all make use of it, and it can help you to achieve far more through your website.

Benefits of a VLE
There are numerous benefits that you can enjoy through incorporating a VLE. Some of these include:
  • your school can save money by reducing administration costs and the cost of sending physical notifications to parents and students;
  • staff can save time performing repetitive tasks that can be completed electronically;
  • teachers can send resources and notes to students out of school hours;
  • teachers can also share information amongst each other, such as lesson plans and resources;
  • students can access grades and test results online, and their parents can also check the progress of their children;
  • secure areas can be set up to communicate privately between teachers and students;
  • registration can be taken electronically, simplifying the tracking of truancy;
  • parents can check homework requirements for their children;
  • they can also submit consent forms, book meetings, pay for trips and request holidays;
  • students can access information relating to extracurricular activities and events.
Focus on ease of use
When you choose a designer for your website and VLE, make sure that the website will be easy to use. If the VLE is too complicated, slow or clunky, people will be put off from using it. Specialist school website designers like those at schoolscool.co.uk will know just how important this is Teachers need to be able to upload class notes and test results without having to go through a whole set of advanced tech features.

It needs to be user friendly for everyone, so that parents and students without technological knowledge will not find it daunting, otherwise it will defeat the purpose.

One way to encourage even more use is to launch an app along with your website. An app is even more user friendly and most people have smartphones these days so they know how to use them. They can use your app to get access to information, and you can also send out push notifications to alert parents to important details.

Your website is not just a brochure
A brochure website is the most basic form of web design, but your school website should go way beyond this. By making it a place where people can go to access and share information and to learn, you can get much more from it.

Your website can become a hub for the whole education community, bringing people together, saving time and resources, and saving your school money. Overall, it should improve the learning experience and make it more efficient, benefiting the whole community.

Leave your comments and suggestions below.
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:

This article is posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world.

14 October 2014

PS4: The Most Powerful Games Console in the World

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Sony and Microsoft have been in a fierce competition to dominate the universe of gaming consoles for quite a while now, and their latest products – the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One – have only toughened the competition. However, Sony took things a bit further with one of their ads for the PlayStation 4, claiming that the console is “the world’s most powerful console.” The question is: were they right? Is the PlayStation 4 really the most powerful game console out there, or was it all just marketing hype? Let’s have a closer look.

Under the Hood
Up until the last second, Sony and Microsoft have been on a close race to come with the most horsepower from their hardware, and the best proof is Microsoft’s last minute change regarding their processor. Even though both consoles feature an octa-core custom AMD processor that was designed to run at 1.6 GHz, Microsoft pushed the clock further, so at the time the Xbox hit production its processor was clocked at 1.75 GHz, giving it a 10% advantage over the PlayStation 4.Be that as it may, the PlayStation 4 has the upper hand on pretty much everything else.

One of the most important areas in gaming is graphics performance, and that’s a segment where the PlayStation 4 leaves the Xbox in the dust. Despite the fact that the processors in the consoles are fairly similar, and both come with integrated graphics, the actual graphics chips are very different. The chip present in the Xbox One comes with 12 compute units, whereas the one in the PlayStation features 18 compute units. In terms of performance, this translates into a maximum peak performance of 1.31 TFLOPS for the Xbox, and 1.84 TFLOPS for the PlayStation.

System memory is another segment where the PlayStation takes the lead. While both consoles come with 8 GB of RAM, the PlayStation 4 uses GDDR5 memory, as opposed to Xbox’s DDR3 memory, which results in a significantly better bandwidth, and thus a boost to the overall performance of the PS4. It’s not all about the type of memory either – it’s also about how the memory is managed, and how much is made available to the developers to fiddle with.

The Xbox uses 3 GB of memory for the operating system, leaving developers with 5 GB of memory to play around with; Sony’s operating system uses 3.5 GB of memory, leaving the developers with 4.5 GB of memory to work with. There’s a catch, though: the PlayStation 4 can dynamically a lot another 1GB of memory if a game requires it, totaling the amount to 5.5 GB.

In-Game Performance
In terms of specs it’s quite clear that the Xbox lags behind the PlayStation 4, but gamers don’t necessarily care about numbers as long as the gaming experience is satisfactory. Unfortunately, that’s another chapter where the Xbox falls behind. Don’t get us wrong – the games still run and look decent on the Xbox as well, but while some games can only run at 30 frames per second at a 720p resolution on the Xbox, they have no problem running at 30 or even 60 frames per second at a 1080p resolution on the PlayStation 4.

A lot of popular titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Thief or Call of Duty: Ghosts fall into the above mentioned situation, while titles like Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition enlarges the gap between the platforms by running at 30 fps and 720p resolution on the Xbox and 60 fps and 1080p on the PlayStation. In some cases the differences might seem minor, but a hardcore gamer’s trained eye will definitely notice them.

Drawing the line
At this point it’s pretty clear that the PlayStation 4 is indeed the most powerful games console of the moment. It didn’t win by miles, and the fact that it beat the Xbox doesn’t make the Xbox a bad console – it just makes the PlayStation 4 better. Be that as it may, it’s worth keeping in mind that the differences in specs are not tremendous, and with some very well optimized games, the Xbox might just have a chance. At the moment, though, it’s PlayStation 4’s time to rule the kingdom of game consoles.

This is the guest post by Jason Phillips and www.armygames365.com
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:

This article is contributed by Jason Phillips and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to Gaming, technology, gadgets etc.

07 October 2014

Incredible Ways to Have a Future-Proof SEO

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SEO industry is the one that is always unpredictable. Roll out of Google update is always a puzzle which no can answer. On its unexpected update, many Webmasters will end up with a drastic Google ranking change. Flawed SEO practices will be the only cause to have such a drop. Any SEO strategy that is unsustainable violates the Guidelines of Google Web master is called Black Hat SEO. Getting Google penalties by human activities can be easily avoided. Practicing sustainable SEO will let on the good side in the Google Analysis.
Future-Proof SEO

Here are some best methods based on Google Webmaster Guidelines to follow, so as to maintain the SEO of the website in good range without being caught by Google updates.

Best SEO Technical Factors
On its crawl, Google checks for large number of technical factors such as Customized 404 Page, Broken Links, Sitemap, Site Speed, XML Map and Robots.txt file. Mobile optimization with responsive designs plays a key role, which ensures the site rank at the testing time.  Another important Technical factor is Semantic Markup- Schema.org, which is the language of all search engines to organize the information in the sites.

On Page SEO Factors
The lifetime of a website depends on the quality content in it. It is better to avoid that adds no value to the site, as it let to be in the Penalty zone.  Publishing high good quality content that’s adds worth to the readers is the only way to be on the safe side. Obstacles to the best user experience like keyword stuffing, filling up the site with many advertisements will also be an enemy to in the ranking procedure.

Off Page SEO Factors
Links are the important ranking factor which manipulates the search ranking. Guideline of Google is really much strict, as these linking factors are greatly abused these days. It is much better if we don’t Trade/Buy/ Build links only for the purpose of ranking.  Spammy text in the site should be removed. Good content creation is the simple way to gain quality links.  Natural link building is the key proof of the future. Link penalties are entirely avoidable if they are built organically.

SEE ALSO: Stop Your SEO: Techniques That Can Ruin Your Website

Helpful Tools 
Here is the list of some best third party tools.

This free tool let us connect with Google analytic account and obtain the traffic chart of the site in accordance with Google updates. It is easy to recover a site, if we know which update affects the site actually.

Screaming Frog
It helps find out the error in the site by reviewing all the elements in the site and preparing a report on the basis of SEO practices. Regular checkups can be made to stay on the Google’s side.

Google Webmaster Tools
This tool lets us check the inbound links. Tools like Disavow tool helps to unlink the spammy links in the site. Via Manual action viewer, we can know what affects the site.

If you have any questions or want to ask anything, just leave it in the comments below.
About the Author:

Ashley Bailey is an online consultant and a blogger. She works for Melbourne SEO Services and spends her free time reading stories and novels.

05 October 2014

Going Green with Hosted Telephony

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It is high time that we realize the need to save our environment, not only for our own sake, but for the billions of people who will continue to live on earth long after we are gone. There is no point in leaving behind a world where the air and water is polluted, soil is infertile, and ozone layer depleted. We all need to get more responsible and do our bit in saving the environment. Even a small step like the choice of our telephone systems can go a long way in saving the earth. VoIP or Hosted telephony has to be the natural choice of every responsible business as it helps to cut down the carbon footprint and save the environment from harmful pollutants.
Image Credit: altoafrica.com
Businesses are emphasizing on the need to reduce their carbon footprint and that too by bringing subtle changes in their business practices. Thus, in their bid to remain sustainable in an eco-friendly environment, businesses are fast switching to hosted PBX telephone systems. Hosted telephony can really help businesses go green because of the following attributes:

(1) Using less energy at office: Hosted telephony reduces the consumption of resources and utilities within your premises. The technology behind the functioning of hosted telephony is broadband Internet and this implies that there is no requirement for a separate telephone line. Since the system is hosted by a third party, business will be saved from installing and maintaining servers and other energy hogging equipment. You will also not need to employ maintenance people for these equipment.  Lesser number of people at office will result in a decreased use of water, heating, electricity and other resources.

(2) Reducing large electronics parts that need to be wasted when technology changes – Hosted PBX system is compatible with the exiting telephone systems in a company, so businesses do not need to dump their old electronic equipment. At the same time, the companies implementing their new communication system will not require anything more than telephone sets. No special hardware systems are needed for running hosted telephony.

SEE ALSO: Steps to Set Up VoIP for a Multinational Company

(3) Saving on travel and reducing fuel emission – The latest hosted telephone systems come loaded with advanced telephony and conferencing features. Thus, businesses will be able to cut down on travel. All meetings can be conducted through audio or video conferencing. Employees spread around the world will be able to access the central communication system at any point of time irrespective of their location. Reduced travel will eventually lead to reduced fuel emission – a positive step towards reducing carbon footprint.

(4) Using less paper and going completely digital – The hosted telephony system helps to integrate all communication channels onto a common platform. Thus the use of paper is considerably reduced and businesses are able to go completely digital. There is no need to take out printouts of voice transcripts as the voice messages can be attached in the form of digital voice files and sent to their desired recipients.

(5) Connecting when needed and not have energy burning all the time – This internet based telephone system can be disconnected at will, thus providing an option to use it when required. Unlike their traditional counterparts, hosted telephone systems do not keep consuming energy when not in use. Users of the latest telephony system have the option of disconnecting the power source when no one is using it.  All this finally leads to lesser energy consumption and reduction in carbon footprint of a company.

It is the responsibility of every business to contribute towards the betterment of our environment and opting for the hosted PBX might turn out to be a big stride in that direction.
About the Author:

Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

28 September 2014

GTA VI Fans Features And All News

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Diehard GTA fans and Gamers out there are already geared up for the next big thing in the gaming world. GTA VI is coming to a store near you! Ever Since GTA online debuted in October 2013, there has been an explosion of reviews and suggestions for developer Rockstar to enhance the experience of both GTA online and GTA 5 that has rocked gamers far ahead of expectations. Post GTA online while Rockstar north was still resolving teething issues and compatibility, the blueprint for GTA 6 was already being unveiled with a proposed combination of features found over the years.
Image Credits: dmax.de
Speculation among GTA reviews about the various new features in GTA VI include the possibility of Mercedes Cortez colonel’s Cortez daughter leading the Vice city theme. Fans would also love to see a female protagonist leading the bunch.  Keeping in mind user experience over the years, fans would also prefer phased out earlier features nonexistent in GTA V reintroduced in GTA VI.

GTA V poor health:
Previous health systems were governed by points reducing from 100. In GTAV, you could be susceptible to instant death while just roaming around Los Santos. Fans definitely vote for a review.
Increase of characters and street public:

There is a mixed response to this feature where some feel that GTA V offers an excellent open world experience. The arena of Los Santos, especially provides for ideal racing, helicopter getaways and cop chases. But some are still of the opinion that the game could be more realistic with the appearance of more people. Rockstar needs to include more freaks and weirdoes.

Traditional weaponry and vehicles.
Fans literally fell in love with GTA 1 with the sole single player character and his electrical saw. Sometimes old school traditions breathe more soul into a character. Weapons of earlier versions are not present in GTA V where rankings unlock sophisticated weaponry. But fans feel differently, so bring back that great old hacksaw, tanks and more planes please.

Insufficient cheat codes in version 5:
Cheat codes somehow are too few in GTA V despite the ones allowing invincibility. But there is a noted absence of earlier cheat codes such as the super punch and flying cars which was used quite extensively.

Richer cityscape:
GTA fans are not dumb and robotic. You just can’t expect a serious gamer to be interested in a standalone game without even offering realism. Fans have not forgotten, even the vendor stalls lining Vespucci beach and that’s what breathed life into GTA.

Retain the multiple lead character feature of GTA 5:
Although viewed with initial hesitation, fans found the new multiple hero format in GTA V thrilling to the point that future GTA’s would be incomplete without Tommy, CJ, NIko Bellic and Claude.
Given the above main features missing from the experience, the list could carry on. Although GTA V is a sleek and well programmed version of the Game still it provides an enthralling new experience what with GTA online slowly gaining a foothold. However the multiple player format needs to be explored further by Rockstar to enable groups of friends sharing the experience together rather than the standard stand alone.

Rumors fuelling a speculation of a proposed release date in mid-2017 have turned out false as per gta6grandtheftauto.com. With GTA V still fresh in the mind of fans, Rockstar is definitely in R & D mode and have not confirmed the rumor.

The developers definitely need time to collect data for further improvement taking into account fan reviews across the net. Keeping this issue in mind a possible proposed date could well be in mid-2018.
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:

This article is posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology, games, gadgets, etc.