Remember how it was in the old days, when you wanted to ring up an old neighbor? You had to scour through the phone directory looking for their contact number since you only knew the name. The internet still works in pretty much similar fashion.

You enter a URL in your browser’s address bar or when the search engine redirects a click you made on a particular search result to a URL, the internet has a Domain Name System (DNS) to sort things out. This DNS finds the corresponding website’s IP address and gets you the page or resource you were looking for. For every resource that you need from the internet, your browser must perform a DNS lookup at least once for each domain that supplies you with that resource.

This process of DNS lookup however has a toll on a website’s loading speed. On an average, it takes around 20 to 120 milliseconds for resolving an IP address to a given hostname by the DNS. Your browser is made to wait until this request is completed. However there are ways by which you can speed up this process and hence improve your website’s loading time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Trying alternate DNS servers

Most website owners rely on their ISP provided DNS systems to perform the resolution but you can always try other popular DNS servers such as OpenDNS and the DNS service offered by Google. These DNS services may be faster than your ISP’s DNS service depending on geographical location and can have a positive say in your website’s loading speed.

Go for URL paths rather than hostnames

Most websites face the scenario when multiple properties need to be hosted on the same domain and in such cases they usually place them in different hostnames. Developers can easily assign these properties to URL paths rather than separate hostnames. For example when you have a test site to be hosted, go for hosting on www.yoursite.com/test rather than going for test.yoursite.com. There will not be any additional DNS lookup time needed for users in this case and thus save valuable loading time. Besides there is an added advantage for your browser as it is allowed to reuse TCP connections a lot more than usual. Thus round trip times of service requests are reduced as well since DNS cache hit rates are higher.

Critical path components should be served in the same hostname of the main document

Critical path components i.e. the resources as well as code that form the initial view of a page should have minimal DNS lookups if loading time is to be optimized. External JavaScript files in particular, which are loaded in the head or initial document body, could be hosted in the same host as the main document. This is because most web browsers prevent other downloads as well as content rendering while JavaScript files are being downloaded, parsed as well as being executed. If there is a DNS lookup associated with this initial action, then further delays would be experienced by other components and the whole page faces more load time. So unless it is technically necessary to have these files served in different hostnames, refer from doing so.

Making the choice with resources

Tiny things on your website which might sound very immaterial to your site’s context can be avoided so that it does not create another DNS lookup request. You can analyze your existing site to see which components create DNS lookup requests and make decisions on avoiding them considering priorities i.e. the component or loading speed. A simple tool to help you check DNS lookup requests can be found here. Use it to find resources that could be avoided without impacting your website’s purpose but at the same time improve its loading speed.

In today’s fast paced internet driven economy, even a millisecond makes an impact. So being able to cut out DNS lookup time in your website would reflect on its loading time considerably. So here comes the big question. How do you create state of the art websites that boosts your business interests online while adhering to best development and hosting practices? The answer is just a click away. Visit our website to know how we can help you create the fastest and most reliable consumer targeting websites for your business.

Written by: Prasanth Mathew

This verbat x DressHead Plaid Dress – Round Neckline / Three Quarter Sleeves will really make you comfortable and relaxed each time that you put it on. There are several amazing features with this dress. First, the material is silky smooth. The sleeves are large and oversized. They will actually hang past your wrists. If you want a dress that really has some amazing embellishments then this is the way to go. You will see that the teal green is offset with silver elephants that can be found all over the dress. There are thin strings at the chest of the dress and they cross back and forth like shoe strings. They can be tied at the top if you would like a more conservative look. Leave them open if you want a sexier look. Featured DressHead x verbat

Written by: Prasanth Mathew

Seamless connectivity has become an unavoidable requisite.  As the technology advances people are getting more and more allured to be in its cobwebs. One area that is attracting huge investments to nurture this love of technology is In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI). Millions of dollars are spent every year to get the best of technology to your vehicles. But the innovations in mobile and internet is making the efforts taken by many of the automotive majors futile. Though many of the major brands have made available features around audio, video and navigation to the IVI, the users are more inclined to using their smartphones. Using mobile devises on drive raises serious concerns about road safety; though the drivers are seen more open and curious about mobile technologies in cars.

The faster pace in the technology advancements and the need for constant connectivity has lured information technology giants making IVI a hot new segment. The majors like Microsoft and Blackberry have made their presence early with each partnering with automotive companies bring out MyFord Touch and QNX. While MyFord Touch by Ford Motor Corp. and Microsoft helps connect the mobile devise to the Ford cars, BlackBerry’s QNX software helped few other car brands.

An aggressive leap was seen last year from Apple to capture the dashboard with its introduction of Siri Eyes Free. Siri can be controlled using the steering  wheel buttons and is currently available for certain car models like Chevrolet Spark, Spark EV and Sonic.  By 2014 Apple is planning huge with Siri making it available for drivers to do majority of the task they do with the smartphones without taking their eyes off the road.

Apple has also plans to integrate entire iOS 7 to vehicles and is already in talks with automotive majors including Nissan and Mercedes.

The segment has intrigued another technology major for the dashboard dominance raise. With its success with the Android platform, Google eyes to win a major stake in the infotainment segment by bringing the best of smartphone tasks to Vehicles.  The plan is already on the go with Google teaming up with automotive majors like Audi, Honda, Hyundai etc., forming a group called open automotive alliance.

What can be expected in future is evident by the recent developments in the IVI segment and a gist of it is seen in the next generation cars like Tesla Model S, which has given a major impetus to mobile computing and the 17 inch touchscreen display capturing its dashboard is considered a breakthrough in the automotive industry.

Written by: Shibu Kumar

This is one question you should ask yourself while planning your digital marketing strategies this year. Before you make your decisions, you might want to consider certain areas that are likely to set trends in digital marketing arena in 2013.

Content strategy
There is no doubt that a strategic and well laid out content plan can create and convert leads for businesses. Understanding the importance of content marketing many have already stepped into this bandwagon while few others are still thinking whether to join them or not. It is high time companies started exploring the various possibilities offered in strategic blogging and email marketing.

Mobile
The recent proliferation of mobile devices and tablets encourages companies to invest more in mobile marketing. Marketing will be real-time on handheld devices and this opens more opportunities for businesses to send our targeted messages. People spending more time on their smartphones will continue this year and advertisers should use this opportunity to deliver related ads based on keywords.

Big Data
Being a relatively new concept, many businesses are hesitant and ignorant to use and manage big data. What they don’t understand is that using the volume and variety of information in the right way could lead to better decision making and maximize productivity.

Firstly, you have to define your business goals so that you can plan a big data strategy around them. Those who are managing big data should distinguish important incoming data and discard the unnecessary ones. Once you have a clear plan, implement actions consistently and you can reap benefits. As per the predictions of Gartner the volume of data globally will grow by 59 per cent every year. This means there is no reason to stay away from using Big Data.

Contextual targeting through ad networks
This new form of online advertising is used mainly for promotions and customer engagement. 2013 is going to be a year of contextual targeting for online businesses. Not only is this method cost-effective but it can generate sales. This method searches text on a website for keywords and ads get displayed on webpage associated with the information that a user is viewing. For instance, if a user is surfing for shoes on the internet indexed to a website that is using contextual advertising, then ads linked to shoes appears on the page.

As far as digital marketing is considered, there is nothing called a bad step, as everything generates visibility in some way or the other. However, the freedom when not used properly can create a negative visibility for your brand and business. That is why proper planning is required, whether its content marketing, SEO, email marketing, Contextual targeting through ad networks or mobile marketing.

There is no harm in trying different methods, but you can’t afford to waste time and effort experimenting on inappropriate digital channels and drawing attention from wrong audience.  Every year companies blame their poorly conceptualized and executed marketing plans, let this year be different and bring great value returns to your business.

 

Written by: Nisha Neville

When I was assigned with the task of developing an e-commerce website for the very first time, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task. Previously I had been part of several similar e-commerce projects but I was never asked to take the responsibility of an entire project alone. I was equally excited and anxious, excited about the new things I would learn and explore, worried thinking about the challenges that lie ahead.

Our client wanted a fashion eCommerce site that would increase their overall sales and brand reach. Once the design was completed, I was asked to start the development right away as compromising on the delivery dates was never a choice for us. Within the given time frame I had to complete each module, test and then ultimately hand over the site. With everything set, the initial plan, milestones and the design, I was ready to code the design.

The development process of this eCommerce website became a whole new learning process for me. Every testing was a nightmare for me, with codes breaking apart, features not functioning properly, glitches in security and navigation errors. As I approached towards the completion of the project, the contentment I felt was incomparable. I would suggest everyone trying their hands on developing an e-commerce site for the first time to follow these few basic things.

User-friendly navigation
As a developer, one should stick to the architecture and navigational structure designed by the designer and information architect. A customer visiting the site should be able to view the products, access the product description, compare and buy them quickly.

Add all the store attributes
Make sure that the design has all the attributes like product details, shipping information, confirmation process mail, contact details, payment procedures in place. This will help you actually develop a site taking into account the needs of both the customer and business.

Quick buying process
Once the customer has decided to buy a product, the next thing to do for him is make the payment and checkout. If the checkout process is too lengthy and difficult to make then you will lose customers who have already gone half way through making a purchase. In addition to losing a potential customer, you will have an unsatisfied customer who would go talking negative comments about the site to his friends and family.

Security
Use a secured payment gateway that customers trust. The overall security of the e-commerce site is important as the customer will be providing personal details as well as payment information.

Avoid broken links
During each testing, one should test if all the links are functional. There is nothing as frustrating than getting redirected to a wrong page. All the pages should serve the specific features, if not you would

Don’t miss the relevant details
Customers are looking for every possible detail that will influence their buying decisions. An e-commerce site should have a well defined product categories and price structure.

Plenty of payment options
By understanding the buying trends of the customer, you can add different payment options. This allows everyone to make payments without any hassle.

Test it again and again
On completion of each module you should test so that you are assured that everything is working properly.

Written by: Arathy Vijayan
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