11 things we improved within a year

Like any other year for a web development company, a year went with a lot of learning. Not even a single day left without the impact of technological advancements and new techniques to learn. At Macronimous, we always try to let our clients know what we learned: jQuery/HTML 5 instead of Flash, Ajax-driven forms, Mobile and Tablet interfaces for websites, Security for WordPress blogs & sites and social networking integration are some of the key considerations for improving the deliverable. Few things were challenging and few attempts didn’t turn up well. At the end of the year, it’s the summary of things that helps any business to focus or rethink to make the new year better for us and most importantly for our clients.

1. Social Marketing:
Facebook and Twitter will rule over the next few years. Every SEO company which helps their client to succeed online should help them by letting them consider these technology giants, which might take them to the next level. Social media optimization will not replace Search Engine Optimization, but social media optimization should go in parallel with SEO.

2. Cloud applications and hosting:
We started using invoice applications first (Fresh books) and it ended up with cloud hosting. We moved our sites to the cloud. Also helped clients to taste the flavor of clouds. Web hosting with Amazon web services was a very different service we offered to our clients. Setting up their sites and web applications with EC2  initially needed some learning with Amazon, but it became an expert service at the year-end. Next year we will be providing setting up applications in the cloud as a key service.

3. Social Media integration:
We learned FBML, Facebook SDK with PHP and started offering business pages and applications with Facebook, which will continue next year. Marketing those pages is another fruit to reap. Similarly, Facebook Like button integration and Twitter API integrations are two important promotional services clients will require.

4. Blogging:
Is blogging dead? No, it has come out in a different format. Twits and Facebook status updates are microblogging and people who do not want to write much or those who like to share instantly use them. But, still, business blogging isn’t dead. Macronimous helped several clients to start blogging. WordPress helped us much. We provide SEO friendly WordPress blogs by adding SEO plugins and basic SEO readiness set up as a mandatory feature along with every blog.

5. Search Engine friendly coding:
SEO readiness is no more a value addition. Every site we develop should be ready for Search Engines. It begins with lightweight coding and ends with Keyword setup. Making dynamic sites such as CMS driven content, ECommerce sites and Flash sites with PHP and .NET are offered by us as an expert SEO service.

6. HTML5 for Flash:
We started offering HTML5 based presentations and sites. Flash was replaced by jQuery for many clients and they were happy too. By 2011, HTML 5 should be the standard, and Flash will move for interactive applications. The test results made at RWW in March 2010 was an eye-opener. With full-fledged CSS3 and HTML5, easy to create interactive web applications without Flash should be feasible.

7. Rich Internet Application
– Flex was used much in few projects this year. We look forward to work on RIA based frameworks, such as Sencha.

8. PHP Frameworks:
We used Codeigniter very much. But MVC is still not very popular, and framework based applications are relatively lower than non-MVC-based solutions like WordPress etc.

9. Smartphone and Tablet applications:
We did much with iPhones this year (including 2011 World Cup Cricket app), moving to iPads. Android development for Smartphones and tablets will be our important strategy next year. By the end of this year, we see more Tablets, and thanks to iPad, which regenerated the new platform of business. Building portable applications for the mobile and tablet browsers is another channel. By providing mobile-friendly websites we help clients become accessible everywhere. Sencha Touch and DHTML X’s JavaScript mobile UI APIs will be a part of the development.

10. Security for Opensource applications
: Many of us believe that Opensource application based development cost is almost nil. This is a lie. The initial cost of a WordPress or Joomla based application/site development might be relatively lower than a closed, custom application development. But the real cost of ownership is affected by the security issues that come with the open standards, mainly when they are affected by security attacks. We will work hard on providing secure web applications when we develop them with open source  now on. Even this year-end, we have an important announcement with a  major security fix from WordPress.

11. Remote project management:
Managing projects across the globe was a real challenge a decade ago. Using standards and web-based project management tools we provide hassle-free project management. Tools like Basecamp, dot project, and Eventum helped us much, and we are working with few cloud-based PM and collaboration tools, GitHub etc. Apart from this, our agile based PM methods have had some customization. Part of that is a project closure questionnaire.

Overall, many easy and hard ways of learning helped our team to build the next year strategy very much. Leave your comments if you had such learning to share with others. Looking forward to another technologically challenging year which helps us to help our clients.

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