Discover Design Tech Archives - Designerly Digital Design + Marketing Magazine Thu, 28 Sep 2023 21:20:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Discover Design Tech Archives - Designerly 32 32 186359583 How to Impress Users with Your Dashboard Mobile Design Wed, 04 Oct 2023 14:40:14 +0000

Your dashboard’s design elements should be understandable at a glance, look visually appealing, and fit within the bounds of a mobile device’s screen. Making everything work together can feel challenging, but it’s much easier when you have help. Here’s how you can elevate your dashboard with mobile design tips. 1. Understand Your Objectives Before creating…

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Your dashboard’s design elements should be understandable at a glance, look visually appealing, and fit within the bounds of a mobile device’s screen. Making everything work together can feel challenging, but it’s much easier when you have help. Here’s how you can elevate your dashboard with mobile design tips.

1. Understand Your Objectives

Before creating your dashboard’s mobile design, you need to determine your objectives. The purpose of data aggregation and visualization determines the dashboard’s overall appearance. First, you must decide if yours is operational or analytical. 

An operational dashboard focuses on quickly delivering as much relevant information as possible. For example, if you were displaying information on stocks or traffic, you’d want the UI to be simple and easy to understand because the situations are time-sensitive.

On the other hand, an analytical dashboard provides an overview of the most critical information available. This kind includes things like marketing trends or key performance indicators. The data you display and its purpose will determine which type you should use. Consider who your audience will be and how they need to be able to view it.

2. Prioritize Your Data

A mobile user should be able to view everything important right when they open the dashboard. Since you likely can’t fit everything on the first screen, you must choose only relevant information and prioritize your findings. Everything should have a clear purpose and connect to your objective.

For example, if you were designing your dashboard to display audience statistics, it would be more important to include demographic data over the number of premium subscriptions they’ve bought. Even if the information seems important to you, it might not be relevant to the dashboard or your audience’s objectives.

Consider what’s most important to your users, then incorporate it. Your aim shouldn’t be just to include the most critical data right away since everything should connect. Think about how everything relates to each other before you settle on something.

3. Choose Relevant Visuals

There are dozens of kinds of tables, charts, and graphs, so you need to determine which fits best in a dashboard with a mobile design. For example, while a pie chart and bar graph could both display demographic data, the first option is the clear choice. On top of being more visually appealing, it’s much easier to read.

However, you’re not bound to charts and graphs. Although they are a great way to deliver information, sometimes simplicity is key. For instance, if you had a statistic as simple as new users, you could just display the number on its own. 

You can get as creative as you want as long as your objective and design elements remain clear. That being said, it’s best to stick to the classic mobile design rules. Keep things simple, flat, and easily translatable. Users should be able to instantly recognize what your graphics mean and how to read them.

4. Determine the Layout

When making a dashboard with a mobile design focus, the right layout is critical. It’s one of the most essential parts because it determines many other visual decisions. Even after determining which data you’ll prioritize, you must still choose how to display everything. 

Most people block each statistic into separate spaces to make things easier to navigate and read. While you could technically put anything anywhere, your dashboard will be much more effective if it is cohesive. Users should be able to see the relationship between data points at a glance. 

The size and spacing of each design element affect how users view and interpret the data. Since visual hierarchy simplifies navigation and information absorption, it’s crucial to consider it when constructing your dashboard’s layout. The best approach is to draw up multiple layouts to compare which ones work best.

5. Figure out Your Design

The color, contrast, and saturation of your dashboard in a mobile design can make or break it. Unappealing visuals can throw users off, even if you have a solid layout and easy-to-understand statistics. Try to make your design elements look simple and appealing.

The regular graphic design rules bend at this point since you’re dealing with data visualization. While a purple monochromatic chart may look great, it makes the information more confusing to the user. You have to use unique colors that contrast well so they can immediately see the distinction between data points.

Design elements and graphs should be consistent with one another. If everything looks visually connected, the user understands the UI better and can adapt faster. For example, if you expand a chart when they tap on it, they’ll expect other things to behave the same way. It’s important to understand their expectation and design your dashboard accordingly.

6. Incorporate White Space

Although it’s good to show the user as much relevant information as possible when they first open the dashboard, filling all of the available room clutters it. Even if you have white space between each design element, the charts and graphs can get confusing to interpret if they don’t have enough.

Make sure you include plenty of empty space throughout your dashboard. Finding the best balance on mobile can be challenging when you have so much information to display, but it’s necessary. Even if you can’t fit everything where you want it, the user won’t mind scrolling down to see the rest.

7. Include Supporting Design Elements

Tooltips display relevant information to help users. If you include them in your dashboard’s mobile design, they can elevate it. The ability to have hidden clarifying details is vital when you’re working with limited space. Since they only appear when a user interacts with something directly, they’re a fantastic workaround to clutter and blocking. 

Although dashboards are for showing the maximum amount of relevant information as quickly as possible, some users might want to immerse themselves more. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include tooltips to give them the option.

Additionally, it’s wise to include small, subtle graphics to help the user understand the visuals better. While a bar graph counting new customers normally takes a second to interpret, a small arrow representing gains or losses makes it understandable at a glance. Feel free to experiment with icons, animations, and graphics until you find something useful.

8. Implement Tactile Feedback

As of 2021, over 63% of people use their mobile devices to go online. Most have grown to expect standard features like tactile feedback, meaning you should implement it in your mobile design. You can integrate it with tooltips for a more engaging experience.

Even if you don’t want to create custom visuals or animations, you can still slightly darken what they engage with or vibrate their device. If they know the dashboard recognizes their input, they’ll feel much more involved. This feature aims to make the user feel like their interactions matter and they’re being heard.

No matter what approach you take, every button or interactable design element should be large enough so the user can read it properly. Additionally, their placement should reflect how mobile focuses on actions like swiping and tapping.

Enhance Your Dashboard Design

A dashboard has to simplify complex information to be easily understandable by everyone. It’s a big ask, but it gets much easier once you know the right tips and tricks. People will appreciate additions like tooltips or tactile feedback since they improve the user experience.

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A Deep Dive Into What an AI Model Is Fri, 22 Sep 2023 04:00:00 +0000

With the introduction of ChatGPT, many people are trying to understand more about artificial intelligence. They are interested in knowing how it functions and how it is connected to machine learning (ML). Here is a deep dive into AI models and how they work. What Is an AI Model and Why Is It Important? Artificial…

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With the introduction of ChatGPT, many people are trying to understand more about artificial intelligence. They are interested in knowing how it functions and how it is connected to machine learning (ML). Here is a deep dive into AI models and how they work.

What Is an AI Model and Why Is It Important?

Artificial intelligence generally refers to a machine or program that can replicate human intelligence. All of this happens in real-time. An AI model is a program that can analyze data to identify patterns it can use to make decisions and predictions.

Naturally, if the model has more data, the accuracy of the predictions is better. While AI has undoubtedly advanced in recent years, true artificial intelligence has not been created yet.

AI models are important because they help people or organizations solve problems. Many models can automate tedious, time-consuming or dangerous tasks and allow humans to focus on other essential operations.

These models can solve intensely complex problems if they have access to large data sets. To aid with identifying patterns to form assumptions, AI models use different technologies such as machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing.

Is an AI Model and a Machine Learning Model the Same?

An AI model and a Machine learning model are not the same. ML is an area within artificial intelligence. As mentioned, an AI model is a program that analyzes a database to form predictions. As the name would suggest, ML is a series of algorithms with the ability to teach itself.

In other words, one is a machine that replicates human intelligence behaviors and the other one is a machine with the ability to teach themselves how to learn and operate. The difference between these two is very important.

A vital concept to understand is that all ML models are artificial intelligence, but not all AI is machine learning. To make this easier to understand, try to think of it in terms of vehicles. For example, all cars are vehicles, but not all vehicles are cars — trains, bicycles, motorbikes, tractors and buses.

When ML is added to AI, the machine becomes inherently smarter. It now possesses the ability to learn for itself. Machine learning is not a program but a series of algorithms that work together.

A machine with an ML model will learn from past experiences and decisions. This allows it to increase its intelligence the more it learns from data and these experiences.

4 Different Types of ML Models

Knowing the various machine learning types is essential to understand the different AI models. Many AI systems are based on these ML models.

1. Unsupervised Learning

Unlike other machine learning models, this one does not require people to train it. Instead, it uses software. The machine or algorithm seeks to identify patterns in data to learn from. This learning type is excellent for discovering patterns and using data to form conclusions or decisions.

2. Supervised Learning

This learning model is not trained on its own but through a human who teaches it what to look for. This model gets its name from someone supplying the algorithm with data — meaning it is supervised.

This learning type is frequently used for predictive analytics. This a popular model and many algorithms use it, such as linear regression and decision trees.

3. Semi-Supervised Learning

This model combines the two learning methods discussed above. A human trains the algorithm and then software takes over. The software continues from where the person stops. In general, this learning model is suited for descriptive and analysis operations.

4. Reinforcement Learning

In this learning type, the algorithm learns by interacting with its environment. Based on this process, it will receive either a positive or negative reward. This model requires more computing power and is not as frequently utilized as the others.

6 Different Types of AI Models

There are many various AI models. While some of these share similarities, they are not the same. All of them have their unique advantages and disadvantages. While there are many models, here are the six most common ones.

1. Deep Neural Networks

As machine learning is a part of AI, deep neural networks (DNN) are a part of ML. DNN closely resembles a human brain with its neural network. This model has multiple layers where it assesses various variables.

DNN utilizes these layers to combine the variables to form a single conclusion or value. Deep neural networks are one of the most popular models within AI and ML.

It is responsible for making AI technology more intelligent. DNN is also the leading candidate for getting humans closer to developing true AI.

Deep neural networks are particularly good at solving complex problems. They can provide excellent performance in the applications they work with. For example, DNNs can provide great value in mobile development in terms of speech recognition and image classification.

There are also three types of deep neural networks.

  • Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)
  • Multi-Layer Perceptrons (MLP)
  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN)

2. Linear Regression

Linear regression is another popular AI model that seeks to find a connection between input and output variables. Data scientists frequently use this model. This is because linear regression is suited perfectly for work with statistics.

Linear regression utilizes independent variables to calculate the value of dependent variables. The dependent changeable is the response variable and the other is the explanatory variable.

Linear regressions follow the supervised learning model. Many sectors, such as banking, health care and insurance, utilize this model.

3. Logistic Regression

This model is similar to linear regression but has some notable differences. Logistic regression is also used for finding a connection between dependent and independent variables.

However, what sets it apart from linear regression is that it makes assumptions around categorical variables instead of continuous ones. This model is primarily used in solving classification-based problems.

4. Decision Trees

This model gets its name due to the way data is categorized. The divided data resembles the outline of a tree, hence the name. Decision trees are a very common AI model and follow a simplistic process.

Decision trees form predictions based on the data on it’s previous decisions. This model starts with a root node and then, with the help of branches, forms other decision/internal nodes. Decision tree models are great for solving classification-based or regression problems.

5. Random Forest

The best way to describe this model is to envision multiple decision trees within each other. A random forest model creates various decision trees. Each tree is made up of its own data it trains itself on and then combines all of them to arrive at a calculated conclusion.

In other words, it considers all the trees to form decisions and predictions. Like regular decision trees, this model solves regression and classification-based problems.

6. Naive Bayes

This AI model is based on a mathematical formula from the 18th-century — Bayes Theorem. It is named after the mathematician Thomas Bayes. The formula is for calculating conditional probability — the chance of an outcome occurring based on past events under the same circumstances.

The Naive Bayes AI model follows this principle to a certain extent. For example, it assumes that the appearance of one feature does not affect the presence of another one. In other words, the model thinks all predictors are independent.

This is why the model is called naive because most of the assumptions are almost always false. Hence the name. The Naive Bayes is simplistic and particularly good for solving classification problems.

The Power of AI Models

AI models assist humans in solving tasks. They make life easier for us and can help to solve complex problems. As this technology advances, it will become more widely implemented in industries.

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5 Best Platforms to Create Apps for Free Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:29:40 +0000

As a small business, it is essential to create apps for free with little to no hassle. It seemed an impossible feat until now. Before, you had to hire a developer skilled at coding. They needed to work around your preferences and determine a strategy to meet you and your audience’s needs. Additionally, you would…

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As a small business, it is essential to create apps for free with little to no hassle. It seemed an impossible feat until now. Before, you had to hire a developer skilled at coding. They needed to work around your preferences and determine a strategy to meet you and your audience’s needs. Additionally, you would have to wait weeks or even months before the final product was complete. Building a mobile app took time, precision and money. 

However, all of that is irrelevant today, as you can now create apps without code and with tight budgets. Coding is a complex task within itself — however, these platforms allow you to create custom-made apps with quick-start templates and drag-and-drop functionality.

1. Appy Pie

Appy Pie is one of the most popular app builders among developers. It’s a cloud-based, no-code development platform that allows you to create mobile apps without coding knowledge. 

One of the reasons users love Appy Pie is because of its drag-and-drop functionality. A feature like this in your app-building platform makes product creation easy and intuitive.

Appy Pie also features lots of templates, so you have a library of pre-built apps ready to help you get started in your app creation journey. Just choose a template that aligns with your business’s objectives and customize it to your liking. 

Once you’ve finished building your app, you have various publishing platforms, including Google Play and Apple. So, you have opportunities to reach a wide audience from these top app stores.

Key Features of ApplyPie:

  • Drag-and-drop design interface
  • Variety of app templates
  • Monetization options
  • Real-time app updates
  • Integrated analytics 

2. BuildFire

BuildFire makes mobile app creation easy with its versatile and scalable platform. Whether or not you know all about coding, this app creator caters to your needs. You can either create your new app with its drag-and-drop interface or build it just the way you like using your developer skills. With this kind of flexibility, you can create something that easily suits your needs. 

BuildFire also has over 150 plugins in its marketplace to add to your app’s functionality. So you can build one with the top integrations for more powerful creations. 

Moreover, BuildFire lets you monetize your platform in any way you want. You can enable in-app subscription plans or sell physical products through your Shopify store. It also allows you to send custom notifications to push users through every step of their journey.

Key Features of BuildFire:

  • Plug-and-play functionality
  • High customization through coding integration.
  • Real-time preview
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Push notifications
  • E-commerce integration

3. Adalo

Adalo is the perfect app builder for anyone who wants to create their apps for free and pay to publish them. It allows you to create visually stunning and interactive applications without coding requirements. 

What makes Adalo unique is its focus on creating database-driven apps. Users can craft databases from scratch and use its internal builder or third-party integrations like Xano. 

Another part of Adalo is its emphasis on design. When your goal is to build beautiful apps, this platform allows for it. You can easily customize your product through numerous themes, colors, typography and layouts. The more customizable options you have, the better — since you can create something that aligns with your brand and user experience.

Key Features of Adalo:

  • Visual design interface through drag-and-drop actions.
  • Built-in database creation
  • Custom actions
  • Pre-built components marketplace
  • Native and web apps
  • Third-party integrations

4. Google AppSheet

Google AppSheet is another great no-code platform that lets you create apps for free. While it enables you to develop tailor-made apps for your business, one thing that stands out about AppSheet is it lets you build apps using data. AppSheet captures data using barcodes, photos, forms and more, which is useful for making the right app for your audience. This focus on data-first app building ensures your products are relevant and responsive to changes in real-time. 

Another highlight is its workflow automation. You can use bots to automate repetitive tasks through triggers and established workflow rules. If you build more apps than you can count, workflow automation becomes invaluable since it streamlines your development processes.

Key Features of Google AppSheet:

  • Data integration
  • Easy-to-use platform with drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Responsive design
  • Offline access and syncing when reconnected.
  • Custom branding
  • Rich UX components

5. Thunkable

Thunkable has everything you need to create an app for free. This block-based app builder was designed to empower non-developers to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android without code. With its intuitive interface and drag-and-snap functionality, you can easily piece blocks together to define your app. 

Thunkable stands out as a free app builder because of its focus on the user. The company wants a seamless experience building native apps and providing high performance for customers. Yet, if you find yourself having issues developing your app, Thunkable has tons of free learning materials and a large community for questions and tips. 

Pre-built templates are excellent for giving you ideas on how to get started. However, templates can sometimes limit your creativity and prevent your business from reaching its full potential. That’s where Thunkable makes a difference. You can start with a blank slate and build anything you desire without being confined.

Key Features of Thunkable:

  • Drag-and-snap features into place.
  • Live testing
  • Extensive library of UI elements and functionalities
  • Cross-platform development
  • Customizable design
  • Extensions through third-party apps

Create Apps for Free With the Right Platform

Choosing the right app builder is essential for creating the right app that fits well within your budget. While all of these apps are free, some require you to pay for extra capabilities. 

With that in mind, be sure to look at whether you need to create an absolutely free app. You should also choose a platform based on your other needs. For instance, if you need something with easy data integration, then Google AppSheet would be more suitable. Yet, if flexibility and pre-built components are a priority, BuildFire may give you just what you need. 

On the other hand, Thunkable is easy to use and lets you create apps from scratch or start with a template. Whichever functionalities you prefer, list them and choose one you believe is right for you.

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5 Types of Hosting for Every Website and Budget Fri, 25 Aug 2023 13:00:00 +0000

There are several types of hosting to choose from today. How do you find the right one for your website? This guide explains the basics.

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There are several types of hosting to choose from today. How do you find the right one for your website? What if you need a free web hosting service? 

This guide covers the five basic types of web hosting available right now, including entry level, low-cost options. With a quick overview of all the hosting choices on the market, you can find the one best suited to your website’s unique needs. 

1. Shared Hosting

One of the most common types of hosting is shared hosting, which most websites and developers start with. Shared hosting is usually the most affordable and accessible web hosting option, making it a great fit for individuals, small businesses and other small to medium sized groups and organizations. 

As the name suggests, shared hosting gives users access to servers they share with other websites. The exact amount of space a website has varies depending on their plan and hosting provider. However, shared hosting always uses shared server space. 

The main benefit of shared hosting is accessibility. Most free hosting options are on shared servers. This is a great entry level hosting option, especially for new developers. 

The main drawback of shared hosting is security. Shared hosting isn’t inherently vulnerable to cyber attacks, but the fact that servers are accessible by numerous parties does make it less secure than some other options. If you use shared hosting, you may want to choose a provider with robust security features or add your own third-party tools. 

2. Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is one of the most expensive types of hosting and considered the gold standard by many. Websites have their own completely private servers that aren’t shared with anyone else. 

This type of hosting is typically only an option for large organizations that are getting a lot of traffic on their website. For instance, a retailer whose website gets 50,000 monthly visitors would most likely want dedicated hosting. 

On one hand, only large organizations can afford the cost to purchase and maintain dedicated web hosting. Of course there are exceptions to this. For instance, you could have a popular online-only small business that gets a lot of website traffic. Dedicated hosting providers typically offer pricing on a custom quote basis, meaning businesses in this position may be able to get a more affordable price for their unique needs. 

On a practical level, large organizations are also the only ones that typically need their own private servers. If your website is getting a lot of traffic, it’s more effective for everyone if you have your own server. On shared hosting, one popular website can slow down performance for every other website trying to use the same computing resources. 

3. VPS Hosting

A VPS or Virtual Private Server blends the traits of two other types of hosting. Providers use a type of application called a hypervisor to virtually segment their shared server, creating simulated private servers. 

VPS hosting can be thought of as mini dedicated servers within a shared hosting environment. Your website uses a private partition of computing resources in a larger shared server system. It’s a bit like a duplex house – two people can live in the same structure without having access to each other’s private areas of that structure. 

VPS hosting is a good option if you want more privacy than traditional shared hosting but can’t afford or don’t need dedicated servers. It’s not ideal for those on a tight budget, though, since it is typically more expensive than shared hosting. VPS hosting can be thought of as a mid-range option between shared and dedicated servers. 

4. Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting has boomed in popularity over recent years with providers like Google and AWS becoming leaders in this niche. It can include the above three types of hosting. The main difference is the type of server that hosting is based on. 

As the name suggests, cloud hosting uses cloud servers. There are two main types of cloud hosting: public and private. Public cloud is the equivalent of shared hosting while private cloud is the equivalent of dedicated hosting. You can have a cloud environment that mixes the two in a “hybrid cloud”, as well. 

Flexibility and scalability are the main benefits of cloud hosting over traditional options. In the cloud, your website’s data isn’t tied to any specific physical server resources. As a result, it’s easier to upscale or downscale as needed. This makes it more resilient to cyber attacks and natural disasters, as well. 

Unfortunately, cloud hosting can be quite expensive. Most providers only disclose pricing on a custom quote basis, but will only charge you for exactly what your website uses. So, compared to dedicated hosting or VPS hosting, cloud hosting may be more cost effective for a high-traffic website. It isn’t usually ideal for small websites or new developers, though. 

5. Managed Hosting

With managed hosting, users create or migrate their website to the provider’s servers and the provider does the work of updating, monitoring and maintaining it. Managed hosting can offer any of the above types of hosting. 

The most well-known example of managed hosting is WordPress’s in-house hosting service. It includes a mix of hosting options, including shared, VPS and dedicated hosting. For instance, you can use WordPress’s basic shared hosting service for free. At the same time, they offer full-service dedicated managed enterprise hosting for thousands of dollars per year. 

Managed hosting is more a category of hosting providers than a type of hosting itself. The defining feature of managed hosting is the ability to outsource server updates and security. You can do these things yourself, but it may be convenient to have someone else take care of them. 

Wix, Weebly and other website building services also offer managed hosting. WordPress is generally acknowledged as the industry leader in this niche, though. 

Understanding the Types of Hosting

Finding the right hosting option is a crucial part of starting and running a website. It can be confusing at first, but it’s really about matching your traffic and budget to a certain hosting option. 

Shared hosting is best for those on a tight budget or with low-traffic websites. VPS hosting is a middle ground between shared and dedicated servers. Dedicated hosting is mainly for large enterprises with high-traffic websites. Cloud and managed hosting offer a mix of services for a range of budgets.

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What Is Colocation Hosting and When Should You Use It? Mon, 14 Aug 2023 18:28:54 +0000

Effective website hosting makes the most of many technical considerations. One of the most critical of these decisions is deciding how to approach data center management. Many businesses frame this consideration as a choice between private, on-premise hosting and entirely outsourced services, but colocation hosting is an option, too. Colocation doesn’t receive as much attention…

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Effective website hosting makes the most of many technical considerations. One of the most critical of these decisions is deciding how to approach data center management. Many businesses frame this consideration as a choice between private, on-premise hosting and entirely outsourced services, but colocation hosting is an option, too.

Colocation doesn’t receive as much attention as other methods but can be the most cost-effective solution in some scenarios. Here’s a closer look at the practice and when it may be right for your business.

What Is Colocation Hosting?

Colocation hosting is a service where clients rent space in a data center they share with other businesses. Unlike a conventional third-party data center setup, however, the clients have total ownership over their own servers and software.

Many companies embrace cloud computing because outsourced data centers can lower IT costs and offer more flexibility. Still, many others run into management or customization issues if they have specific hardware or software needs. Colocation provides a helpful middle ground to balance the flexibility of the cloud with the ownership advantages of an on-premise setup.

In a colocation setup, the data center owner provides the physical space, electricity, cooling infrastructure, backup systems and network resources. The clients then rent this space to host servers they own and manage. 

Advantages of Colocation Hosting

Because colocation hosting combines aspects of on-premise data centers and managed services, it offers a similar combination of their benefits. Here are a few of the most significant advantages.

Improved Security

Security is a top concern for the cloud, with 63% of IT professionals citing cyber threats as the primary barrier to their cloud strategy. Colocation can address those concerns by providing more control and increased physical safety.

In a colocation setup, businesses manage their own servers, so they can tailor their cybersecurity controls to meet their exact specifications. In a conventional cloud environment, companies often have to choose from a vendor’s security tools or turn to another third party for additional protection. By retaining complete ownership over their hardware and software, they can regain control of their security.

Colocation centers also improve security by offering more physical security than on-premise servers can likely manage. Colocation hosts often provide 24-hour surveillance, biometric access and advanced alarm systems to prevent unauthorized physical access to servers.

High Reliability

Another benefit of colocation hosting is that it can improve server reliability. More than half of all data center outages cost $100,000 or more, with some even reaching millions of dollars, so improving uptime is crucial for any business.

In colocation, the host is responsible for all energy, cooling and bandwidth-related concerns. As a result, clients don’t need to manage these complex considerations themselves, reducing the risks of human error-related outages. These data centers also offer advanced infrastructure that smaller businesses may be unable to afford, further improving reliability without excessive costs.

Colocation also enables better disaster recovery systems. Because businesses aren’t hosting servers on their own premises, they can store data in locations that aren’t prone to natural disasters or power grid failures.

Reduced Ongoing Costs

Colocation can also lower an organization’s IT costs over time. Businesses still have to purchase their server hardware and pay an ongoing fee for their space in the data center, but they don’t have to worry about energy or network costs.

Data center energy costs can be astronomical, considering these facilities use 10 to 50 times the power per square foot of a typical commercial building. Providing sufficient network infrastructure to manage all a company’s servers can be similarly expensive. Consequently, by outsourcing these concerns, businesses stand to save a considerable amount.

Colocation also means companies avoid the upfront costs of building a data center they’d have with an on-premise solution. Businesses can also save money in labor costs, as the host will handle all data center staffing.


Similarly, colocation hosting makes it easier to scale up or down as necessary. Effective website hosting requires adaptation to shifting trends, but expanding on-premise data center capacity is a slow, expensive process. Colocation centers offer a more cost-effective solution.

In some colocation facilities, businesses may have to buy new servers to expand. However, they won’t need to spend time and money on additional infrastructure to support this new hardware, as the data center will already have sufficient resources. As a result, they can grow faster and with less investment.

Some colocation centers also offer vendor-neutral services that can connect clients’ servers to other data centers and public clouds. In these cases, businesses can expand without additional hardware costs, as they can use remote third-party services to grow.

Disadvantages of Colocation Hosting

Of course, colocation comes with some downsides, too. It’s important to recognize these to make the most informed decisions about what’s best for your business.

Limited Control

Compared to entirely on-premise alternatives, colocation hosting means a sacrifice in control. While businesses still manage their own servers, they can’t tailor other aspects of the data center — like its power and cooling — to their preferences. That can benefit companies with less data center experience, but others may find it restricting.

Being in charge of off-site hardware can also introduce some unique management challenges. If any servers require in-person servicing, employees must drive to the colocation center to perform maintenance. That can be time-consuming and costly if it happens often enough.

High Initial Costs

Despite having lower ongoing costs, colocation can introduce higher upfront expenses. These are still lower than building your own on-premise data center, but they can be significantly higher than an entirely outsourced operation.

With a managed service provider, businesses only have to pay a monthly fee, but colocation requires the upfront investment of the servers themselves. This does give companies the freedom to look for hardware within a certain price point, but this technology is often expensive. Considering IT spending already accounts for as much as 18% of companies’ revenue, that can be an obstacle for smaller businesses.

When Is Colocation Best for Your Business?

Given these pros and cons, colocation hosting is ideal in some situations but not all. If you’re considering it for your business, start by outlining your budget and specific requirements, then compare those to these benefits and disadvantages.

Generally speaking, colocation is best for medium or large businesses or those experiencing steady growth. That way, the initial investment is less impactful, and these companies can take advantage of the practice’s scalability. Smaller companies or those with less IT management experience may be better off with an entirely outsourced hosting service instead.

Keep in mind that you may be able to take a hybrid approach. As many as 98% of enterprises use at least two cloud providers, which helps manage costs. You could use a colocation facility for some data or sites while using a public cloud or other managed service for the rest to balance costs and performance.

See if Colocation Hosting Is Right for Your Company

Colocation hosting offers a unique approach to cloud computing that many companies may overlook. Depending on your situation and needs, it could be a cost-effective way to boost server performance and expand your digital resources.

Making the best decisions in this area relies on an understanding of all your options. When you know what each path can offer you, you can find the best solution for your specific needs.

The post What Is Colocation Hosting and When Should You Use It? appeared first on Designerly.

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The Best All-in-One Chat Apps for Android, According to Us Wed, 12 Jul 2023 13:22:59 +0000

Over the past ten years, there has been a significant change in how people communicate, with many individuals now preferring different chat apps over phone calls and email. Messengers are now incredibly common and provide a lot more than just a way to send messages. Chat apps for Android offer customers a variety of communication…

The post The Best All-in-One Chat Apps for Android, According to Us appeared first on Designerly.


Over the past ten years, there has been a significant change in how people communicate, with many individuals now preferring different chat apps over phone calls and email. Messengers are now incredibly common and provide a lot more than just a way to send messages. Chat apps for Android offer customers a variety of communication features, including video calling, sharing, and instant messaging, to stay in touch with friends and family. Individuals choose chat apps they feel comfortable using and delete others because they use messengers on a daily basis. We created this article to highlight our selection of the top all-in-one Android messaging apps because not all messengers are created equal.

How Can a Messenger Be Effective?

No one wants to wait for their messages to be delivered; otherwise, they would have sent a letter. A good messenger must be quick and trustworthy. Also, if a program frequently breaks, its installation won’t last long. In order to allow users to customize their experience, the app should also be user-friendly, with an easy design and adjustable features.

Features that Every Good Messaging Software Must Have Crisp, Clear Voice and Video Calls

Messages don’t always express intent or feelings. In order for users to communicate with their contacts in real time, a messenger software must provide high-quality voice and video call capabilities. Everyone should be able to make free and simple calls.

Encryption From End-to-End

Another essential component of a secure messenger is end-to-end encryption. It makes sure that nobody else, not even the app’s administrators, is able to see the messages transmitted by the sender and the receiver. Users of the app who might share private or sensitive information are protected by this feature.


Security is yet another crucial component. Two-factor authentication, which asks users to enter an additional code the app sends to their mobile device before accessing their account, should be a part of every messaging service. Users ought to be able to report shady behavior and prevent unwanted contact. Furthermore, blocking hazardous content, malicious links, and phishing efforts safeguards users.

Group Conversations

Users can converse with several contacts at once using group chats. A decent messenger should support a large number of users and have an intuitive interface for forming and maintaining groups. The capability to mute discussions, make polls, and share files with the entire group are other must-have group chat capabilities.


Like a virtual bulletin board, channels are a terrific way to distribute messages to big audiences. This functionality will be included in a good all-in-one messenger app, enabling users to establish and subscribe to channels of interest. This keeps users abreast of news and events.

To ensure that only the appropriate individuals may participate in the debate, it should also offer capabilities for regulating user access and monitoring conversations. Moderators should also have the ability to publish and control content on the channel.

Integration of Chatbots

User conversations are automated by chatbots, who also give them useful information. For consumers to receive prompt responses to their questions, a good messenger offers smooth chatbot connections. Additionally, it should be able to comprehend natural language and respond to queries from people with precision.

Backup and Synchronization of Data

Any messaging software must have data syncing and backup capabilities so that users may view their messages on many devices and maintain a copy of their discussions in case of data loss. Moreover, the software should offer a means to export discussions, so users may save them and view them later.

Edit and Remove Messages

If users want to correct mistakes or erase messages they don’t want to be viewed, messengers should have an opportunity to do so.

Compatibility Across Platforms

A good messenger app should also be cross-platform compatible. Users can chat with contacts who are using iOS or PC on other platforms. This makes it possible for people to communicate with their loved ones no matter what gadgets they use.

Nandbox Messenger


The same firm that created the nandbox native no-code app builder, nandbox Inc., has released its first invention, the nandbox messenger. They began working on the project in 2015, and the app was released in 2016. The company developed the app to demonstrate the power of its app builder. And they succeeded in developing a capable and cutting-edge free chat app. On the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, the app presently has ratings of 4.1 and 4.6, respectively. The app is also accessible through a web browser.

Significant Qualities

Multiple Profiles

Users of the nandbox Messenger can create several profiles thanks to a special feature. This makes it possible for you to have many profiles for various accounts, making it simple for you to swap between them. Users can upgrade the profile photo and description on their work account, where they communicate with their coworkers, for instance, to make it look more professional.

Integration of Chatbots

Businesses are increasingly using chatbots designed for instant messaging platforms to converse with clients and answer their questions. The ability to create and maintain your bot is one of the numerous capabilities of the Nandbox Messenger API/Bot. Moreover, users may select pre-set options from a menu added by bot builders. Moreover, the bot can be set up to filter and edit pointless communications.

Video and Audio Calls With Excellent Quality

Due to the use of WebRTC technology, which improves voice and video communication, and high bandwidth, which expands connection capacity, the voice and video call quality on the nandbox Messenger is great.



I’m sure you’ve heard of WhatsApp by now. It was introduced in 2009 and gained popularity right away, amassing 1 billion users by 2016. It was purchased by Facebook in 2014 and has since been included into its app library. It’s accessible on desktop, iOS, and Android.

Significant Qualities

Although not precisely a feature, consumers enjoy that the software is frequently updated with new features in order to remain current and technologically advanced. It demonstrates that the app’s creators pay attention to and value user feedback.

A Modern UI Layout

Whatsapp offers a user interface (UI) that is unique compared to rivals; the company always makes sure the design is up-to-date. It’s not only simple to the eye, but it’s also simple for consumers to understand. WhatsApp introduced its dark mode in 2022 for those who prefer it to the standard style.



Since its 2013 release, Telegram has grown to rank among the top messenger services worldwide. It was developed as a WhatsApp substitute, providing a trustworthy and secure messaging service. Its attention to security and privacy as well as its cutting-edge features account for its success.

Significant Qualities

Users can send messages that will automatically disappear after a set amount of time thanks to this distinctive Telegram feature. These transient messages are sent by senders to safeguard their privacy and personal information.

Adaptable Themes

Users can alter the appearance and feel of their app with Telegram’s vast selection of themes, which range from traditional to contemporary. Users can also change the text color, background, and font size.


Users can complete a variety of tasks with the help of Telegram’s extensive bot library. Using the Telegram bots, they can automate processes like setting reminders and doing searches for music, news, and GIFs. In order to meet the needs of users, custom bots can be made by bot developers.


The free and open-source messaging program Signal gained popularity after its initial release in 2014. With end-to-end encryption and an extremely secure protocol, it is renowned for placing a strong emphasis on privacy and security.

Significant Qualities of Chat Apps for Android

Obstructing Screenshots

A feature called screenshot blocking enables users to prevent recipients from screenshotting the communications they send. Users that share sensitive information, such as bank information, passwords, or personal information, will benefit from this feature.

Anonymous Keyboard

Signal’s incognito keyboard feature stops the autocorrect and predictive text functions from storing and sharing a user’s private data, such as passwords and credit card details, to outside servers. It’s an additional feature that strengthens the app’s privacy and security.

Messenger on Facebook

The official messaging program of social media behemoth Facebook is called Messenger. Since its 2011 release, it has grown to be one of the most widely used messaging platforms worldwide. More than a billion people use it.

Integration of Chatbots

Users may receive prompt responses to their questions thanks to the easy chatbot integrations in Facebook Messenger. Chatbots are computer programs that can comprehend natural language and give users precise responses to their questions.

Quick Games

Users of Facebook Messenger have access to a huge selection of instant games. Users can easily keep themselves occupied while conversing with their connections thanks to this function. Also, it’s ideal for individuals who enjoy a good challenge.

The all-in-one messenger apps covered in this article provide users with a wealth of tools and features for corresponding with friends and family members as well as a safe, private, and dependable method of messaging.

** The views and opinions expressed in this guest post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Designerly. Any content provided by these guest writers are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individuals.

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Who Should Use Google VPS Hosting? Wed, 21 Jun 2023 13:00:00 +0000

Google VPS hosting provides privacy and reliability but at a lower cost than dedicated servers. Who is it a good fit for?

The post Who Should Use Google VPS Hosting? appeared first on Designerly.


Google VPS hosting is a web hosting service that provides privacy and reliability but at a lower cost than dedicated servers. Choosing a web hosting solution is a big decision. Many people may not be aware that shared and dedicated servers aren’t the only options, though.

VPS hosting can be a great alternative to both traditional hosting approaches. What is Google VPS and who is it right for? This guide covers everything you need to know about Google VPS hosting, its pros and cons, and a few alternatives worth considering.

What is Google VPS Hosting?

Google VPS is a cloud and web hosting service that offers private virtual machines running on shared physical servers. It’s one of a few different web hosting options Google offers today.

A VPS, or virtual private server, is created using a hypervisor, a digital layer added to a physical server to virtually segment it into isolated chunks. So, a VPS acts like a virtual version of a dedicated physical server. 

Google VPS hosting offers many of the same benefits as a dedicated server, but for a more affordable price. Unlike conventional shared hosting, VPS hosting allocates the resources of the shared server to specific, isolated parties. A user in one VPS on the server can’t access or utilize the resources of any other VPS on that same server. 

Google VPS hosting is customized on a user-to-user basis so you’re only allotted the space and resources you need. Google offers a free tier of the hosting service, but users can also get a custom quote for paid tiers, which are priced based on usage. 

Benefits and Use Cases

Why use Google VPS hosting? There are definitely situations where this hosting option would be a good choice. Of course, it’s not right for everyone, but it’s worth considering a few key benefits and use cases. 

Benefits of VPS Hosting

Pricing is a huge plus when it comes to VPS hosting. People who would like the privacy of a dedicated server but can’t afford one can opt for a VPS service instead. Google VPS hosting is a third option for cases where neither shared hosting nor a dedicated server are a good fit. 

There are also some technical benefits of using VPS hosting. For example, a small business owner using shared hosting might find themselves frustrated that other tenants’ traffic is reducing the resources available to their website.

By switching to VPS hosting instead, the small business owner can secure dedicated resources just for their website without the high cost and unnecessary infrastructure of a dedicated server. 

VPS hosting is generally more reliable than shared hosting due to the allocation of resources rather than open sharing. This often results in better performance for all tenants, especially when resource allocation is customized. 

Compared to dedicated servers, VPS hosting can be easier to scale. Users don’t have to worry about purchasing more servers or setting them up. They simply contact their hosting provider and request more resources to be allocated to their VPS. If needs change, they can also request to scale down, as well. 

Additionally, VPS hosting allows users to choose their own operating system. This isn’t always possible in shared hosting where a common OS may be required for all tenants on a server. Due to the use of a hypervisor in VPS hosting, though, each tenant can use their own OS. 

VPS Hosting Use Cases

There are many reasons someone might choose to use VPS hosting over shared or dedicated servers. The main benefits of VPS hosting point to a few ideal use cases. 

For example, VPS hosting is a great option for small businesses, especially those that are experiencing or pursuing growth. Scalability can be a challenge for small businesses since purchasing additional equipment and resources is often expensive.

VPS hosting has plenty of flexibility and is much more affordable than dedicated servers. This allows small businesses to only pay for the resources they need and scale up or down risk-free. 

Google VPS hosting in particular is a great option for individuals or organizations that already use Google’s other services. Google’s web hosting platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with other in-house apps and services, such as Google Drive, Google AI tools and other Google Cloud services. For those who already prefer these tools, Google VPS hosting may be a good fit. 

Google VPS is also an appealing option for users who may be new to VPS hosting. It is helpful for users to understand exactly what they need before signing up for any of Google’s paid web hosting services. However, the free trial option for Google’s VPS hosting makes it more accessible to people who may just want to test drive VPS and compare it to their current web hosting setup. 

Users who are concerned about security but have a tight budget can also benefit from VPS hosting. Dedicated servers are generally considered more secure than shared servers, but many people simply can’t afford the cost of a dedicated server. VPS hosting is a great alternative in this situation. It offers the privacy of dedicated servers at a much lower cost. 

Drawbacks of Google VPS Hosting

VPS hosting can be a great option in a lot of situations, but it does have a few drawbacks worth noting. For example, VPS hosting is generally more expensive than normal shared hosting services. This is true for Google VPS hosting as well as most web hosting providers.

The addition of a hypervisor and the extra effort to allocate, set up and manage VPSes results in a higher cost compared to shared hosting. VPS hosting is still typically cheaper than dedicated servers, though. 

Google VPS hosting is also less secure than a dedicated server would be. While VPS is more secure than shared hosting, it is still running on shared hardware at the end of the day. If maximum security is a must, a dedicated server might be a better fit.

Regardless of the hosting service users choose, they should always remember to stick to web hosting security best practices to keep their websites safe. After all, no hosting option is 100% cyberattack-proof. 

Alternatives to Google VPS Hosting

What if Google VPS isn’t a perfect fit but you still want to try VPS hosting? There are other VPS hosting providers you can take a look at and compare to Google’s offerings. This is a good idea for anyone who isn’t interested in using Google’s ecosystem of services. 


Ionos offers numerous services and options for hosting, including VPS subscriptions. This is a fantastic alternative to Google VPS hosting for anyone looking for operating system flexibility. It’s fully compatible with Linux and Windows, which many VPS providers don’t offer. 

Ionos is best suited for small businesses thanks to its combination of unlimited data transfers, OS flexibility and affordable pricing. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. Ionos is not compatible with the popular cPanel web hosting tool, so anyone in need of cPanel may want to look at other providers. 

Additionally, Ionos does have a lot of additional charges for optional add-on features which can increase the cost significantly. Plans start at only $2 per month, though, so Ionos can still be very affordable depending on what you need. 


DreamHost’s VPS hosting plans have some important pros and cons, but this provider is definitely still worth considering. For example, DreamHost’s VPS plans include an SSL certificate, a guarantee of 100% uptime, a free business email and access to 24/7 customer support. Plus, they don’t limit the number of domains you can have. 

The pricing is the main drawback of DreamHost. Their plans are priced across four tiers with different prices for different contract lengths. To get the lowest price, you need to purchase a three-year contract plan. So, the basic plan costs around $15 per month on a monthly plan but only $10 per month if you sign up for three years. 

DreamHost is more expensive overall than most other VPS options. It is a good, reliable provider, though. DreamHost’s VPS services come with a robust set of cybersecurity features, as well. So, DreamHost is ideal for growing small businesses and medium sized businesses that need good security and guaranteed uptime. 

GoDaddy VPS

If you’re exploring web hosting options, you’ve probably already heard of GoDaddy but you may not be aware they offer VPS services. GoDaddy is a great option for VPS hosting, particularly if you need easy web design tools and a strong suite of security features. 

GoDaddy offers 99% uptime, free daily backups, 24/7 customer support, Linux and Windows compatibility, and cPanel and Plesk compatibility. It’s self-managed VPS, so you get full root access and total control over your site. GoDaddy also includes a free SSL certificate and DDoS cyber attack prevention. 

The one drawback of GoDaddy VPS hosting is its pricing system. The monthly fee is fairly affordable, starting at $9.99 per month. However, GoDaddy only offers 3 year terms, which you need to pay for up front. Depending on the plan you choose, you may also need to pay extra for some security features and Plesk/cPanel integration. 

Much like DreamHost, paying for a three-year commitment might sound expensive. It definitely is an investment to consider carefully. However, it is worth remembering that even with a three-year plan, VPS hosting is still less expensive than paying for dedicated servers. 

The physical equipment and expertise required to manage your own servers will usually end up being more expensive per year than most VPS hosting options. So, compare pricing for all of your options carefully and consider what web hosting features you might need in both the immediate and three-year future.

Finding the Perfect Web Hosting Solution

Web hosting can be tricky to navigate at first, but it helps to know all of the options available. Google VPS hosting can be a great fit for many users and organizations.

VPS offers an alternative to both shared and dedicated servers. It is less expensive than a dedicated server but more reliable and private than shared hosting. Google VPS hosting also offers a free trial for users to test out some allocated resources from the hosting service.

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How to Manage Your Cloud Hosting Costs Mon, 19 Jun 2023 12:32:36 +0000

Hosting your website or application in the cloud can provide many benefits for your business, including improved reliability, better scalability, and improved security. However, some company representatives find that cloud hosting costs are more expensive than they imagined. How can you keep costs down? Let’s take a look.  Calculate Your Cloud Hosting Costs With Dedicated…

The post How to Manage Your Cloud Hosting Costs appeared first on Designerly.


Hosting your website or application in the cloud can provide many benefits for your business, including improved reliability, better scalability, and improved security. However, some company representatives find that cloud hosting costs are more expensive than they imagined. How can you keep costs down? Let’s take a look. 

Calculate Your Cloud Hosting Costs With Dedicated Tools

Something that many people overlook is that cloud hosting costs can become complicated. One of the reasons is that individual cloud providers have different pricing strategies and fee structures. 

For example, customers commonly pay based on usage, although some providers have flat fees associated with specific add-on offerings. A related issue is that many customers don’t know how much they’ll rely on cloud services. That uncertainty often leads to billing-related surprises. 

Consider how one study of cloud and IT decision-makers revealed 82% with public cloud workloads identified unnecessary cloud costs. One issue mentioned by 62% of respondents was that they rely on multiple tools, systems, and custom scripts to determine their cloud costs. 

It’s also problematic that 68% of the study’s respondents work in silos, restricting their ability to get the necessary information across various departments. Then, 70% of respondents said infrequent collaboration with colleagues interferes with their ability to adapt quickly for better business outcomes. 

The complications continue if respondents need visibility across hybrid and multicloud environments. Unfortunately, 86% of those polled said they could not get global cloud cost estimates in minutes. Then, 71% said that problem wastes time and prohibits them from maximizing value from the cloud. 

Solving These Various Issues

These takeaways illustrate how and why cloud hosting costs can quickly get out of hand. If you’re considering becoming a customer of one of the major providers, those companies usually have dedicated calculators to use. Take advantage of them, but only after having detailed meetings with all relevant parties to iron out the expected ways to use the cloud. 

Making the most of those discussions may mean breaking down organizational barriers and having interdepartmental meetings to receive input from everyone involved. Moreover, if your company will use third-party tools to track cloud hosting costs, develop a framework for doing so. Have it in place before or during your talks with salespersons associated with specific providers. 

Consider Your Company’s Current and Future Needs 

Your cloud hosting costs may not stay consistent over the next five years. However, you should at least have a general idea of how your company might change over the next three to five years. How do cloud costs factor into that vision? What might you use the cloud for in that longer-term time frame that’s not part of your company’s workflow now? 

Perhaps your business is only cautiously venturing into cloud computing now. However, you might hope to scale up significantly over the next several years. If so, one strategic way to keep costs manageable is to explore shared hosting. 

It involves several customers sharing space on a dedicated server. Cost management is one of the top reasons why people consider this option. The monthly hosting fees are typically much lower when sharing compared to if customers have private servers. 

However, if you decide on a shared server for now, it’s still useful to briefly discuss your future aspirations with the provider. For example, how easy would it be to transition to a dedicated server once your needs require and budget allows? Knowing some of those details now makes the switch less daunting when it happens. Plus, the talks will help you grasp how much cloud hosting costs would change on a private server versus a shared one. 

Adopt a Multicloud Strategy 

In the early days of cloud computing, many customers decided it was best to try a one-stop approach by choosing one provider to handle all their cloud needs. However, the cloud landscape has changed since then, and it’s still evolving.

Many customers realize they can curb cloud hosting costs by opting for a multicloud approach. It entails working with numerous vendors to create a connected cloud infrastructure comprising multiple products and services. That was one of the takeaways from a study commissioned by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. It showed 40% of respondents cited cost optimization as a driver of their multicloud strategies. That’s because they can tweak how they use services from various providers, thereby cutting expenses in certain areas. 

Another 42% of people mentioned cost optimization as their most anticipated future use case for multicloud providers. The study’s authors also suggested that cloud-based planning from IT departments represents a notable shift in thinking. More specifically, they view multicloud possibilities as avenues for getting ahead of their technology requirements. That was instead of using those options to primarily react to crises. 

Consider, too, that you risk getting left behind compared to competitors by not at least exploring multicloud options. That’s because a whopping 98% of enterprises studied said they use or plan to use at least two cloud providers, and 31% use four or more. 

You may find a multicloud approach more feasible by considering software-as-a-service (SaaS) options. That’s because such providers generally allow people to pay a per-month or flat fee based on usage. It’s then easier for people to budget for cloud hosting costs in ways that make sense alongside their other expenses. 

Keep Cloud Security Tight

One of the reasons cloud computing is so appealing is that it allows companies to store a wide range of data without needing substantial on-site infrastructure. However, the key is keeping that information secure while in the cloud. 

A study of IT and IT security professionals found that the average cost of cloud account compromises hit $6.2 million in a year. Additionally, 68% of respondents said they view those security issues as significant organizational risks. Then, more than 50% said the frequency and severity of those issues had ramped up over the past year. 

Survey respondents revealed room for improvement, too. For example, only 44% had clearly defined the roles and accountability associated with safeguarding sensitive or confidential data in the cloud. Another issue was that less than 40% of respondents said their organizations do cloud app assessments before deployment happens. 

A study conducted elsewhere showed only 39% of organizations felt highly confident in their ability to secure data in the cloud. Then, 40% of those polled said 50% or less of their sensitive cloud-stored data was sufficiently secure. A mere 4% of respondents believed all of their data had appropriate security measures applied to it.

A cyberattack or data breach could substantially raise cloud hosting costs. That’s especially true if the affected parties must scramble to do damage control. Now is a great time to do a comprehensive review of existing cybersecurity practices to identify weak points. Consider hiring an external expert to do that examination. Someone from the outside will often quickly see things people within the company have missed. 

View Cloud Hosting Costs Along With Other Factors

Many people become overly focused on cloud hosting costs without viewing them in the context of how the respective services will help their businesses grow. Consider how a study found 63% of respondents agreeing that cloud computing positively impacted IT expenditures. Interestingly, though, 73% of people in the same survey said it had resulted in higher-than-expected costs.  

One telling finding was that only 20% of those polled had holistic strategies for their cloud transformations. A representative from the company associated with the research explained how unexpected costs can often arise when the people utilizing cloud computing need to be more familiar with how it works.

The cloud computing picture at your company may be more mixed than expected. For example, maybe you have pinpointed how cloud services have supported your bottom line by helping you bring more offerings and overall stability to customers. Then, even if cost overruns exist, they might still be worthwhile when looking at the complete circumstances. 

Curbing Cloud Hosting Costs Is Within Your Control

Keeping cloud hosting costs at a manageable level is not something you can do in a matter of days. However, these best practices will help you maximize your cloud expenditures. 

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How to Design an App: A Beginner’s Guide Fri, 09 Jun 2023 13:06:00 +0000 how to design an app

Do you have an idea worth sharing? Want to promote your business? If so, creating an app is a great way to engage your audience. But if you’re completely new to coding or design, just getting started might be overwhelming. Here are the very basics of how to design an app so you can get…

The post How to Design an App: A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Designerly.

how to design an app

Do you have an idea worth sharing? Want to promote your business? If so, creating an app is a great way to engage your audience. But if you’re completely new to coding or design, just getting started might be overwhelming. Here are the very basics of how to design an app so you can get a feel for the process. 

Draft an Outline

The first step in the app design process is to decide what your app will do. For example, if you’re building a social media app, how will users create an account and log in? Will they use their email address or phone number to help set up their account? 

Flesh out the app’s core features on a piece of paper or in a word processor. Make a detailed list of every main feature your app will support, the ones absolutely necessary for it to work. 

From there, you can write down any secondary features that aren’t as crucial to the app’s functionality. For example, once you decide on a basic login system, you can start brainstorming about letting users log in using third-party accounts like Google or Facebook. Teasing out the primary and secondary features allows you to launch an early version of your app with only the core functions. 

Perform Market Research

Once you have an idea of what your app will do, take some time to perform market research. How old is your target audience? Which genders or social groups are you likely to appeal to the most, and how can you reach a broader user base? It’s crucial to decide what your app’s conversion goals are — are you trying to get sales, downloads, sign-ups or something else? 

It’s also important to investigate your competitors. Are there any existing apps doing what your app will do? If so, how can you differentiate your app so it stands out in an oversaturated market? 

There are roughly two million apps on each major app store as of 2023, so there’s a good chance someone else has made an app similar to yours. But that should encourage you — after all, it shows that there’s a market for it.

Create a Wireframe

Forget about color schemes for a moment and think about the basics. Where will the buttons go on your app? Where will the text appear on the app’s homepage? Your app should be intuitive to navigate and simple to understand. 

A wireframe is like a blueprint for your app. It’s a skeletal framework of the app’s layout, including where a user’s profile name will appear, where the navigation buttons will be on the page and where photos and ads will be displayed. 

A wireframe usually lacks any graphics or fancy fonts — after all, it’s just a rough draft. Some people draw the wireframe on a piece of paper. There are also programs like Lucidchart, Whimsical and Justinmind that let you design a digital wireframe to see how it would look on a user’s phone. 

If you need inspiration, one idea is to download several popular apps and look at their layouts. Which features do you like? Which ones would you rather change? 

Creating a wireframe is crucial before you start coding. It’s a lot easier to work out any bugs or realize you’re missing information while you’re still in the rough draft stage. 

Create a Clickable Prototype

Between the initial design phase and the final product lies the prototype. This optional stage is where you turn your design composites into something tangible, something you can actually put on a device and swipe through. At this stage, you can start clicking buttons or swiping images in the app to navigate to different landing pages. 

A prototype is important for showing people how the app will look and gaining the support of stakeholders. However, if you don’t need external backing for your app, you can probably skip this step.

Design the User Interface

This is the fun part! Now that you have a rough draft of how your app will function and what the layout will look like, it’s time to add the user interface (UI). The UI is anything your users will interact with, including animations, buttons, text, graphics, color and other design elements. 

Upload the wireframe to a graphic design program and use it as a template to start creating a gorgeous app. Sketch, Figma and Photoshop are popular for this purpose. 

Right now, you’re just designing the app’s appearance. Focus on accessibility by using contrasting colors, large text and clear fonts. Make sure users can find what they need quickly.

For example, if you’re designing an app for a restaurant, put the business’s address and phone number on the front page. Include photos of food so people immediately know what the restaurant serves.

Add Interactive Elements

Now that your app is nice to look at, it’s time to make it functional. Much like the prototype step, you’ll be making the app clickable, swipeable or even shakeable — depending on your app’s purpose — during the UI animation process. Tools like Mockplus can help you add interactivity to a design you created in Photoshop, Adobe XD or Figma. 

Develop the App

This is where coding comes into play. You’ll use Swift or Objective C to develop an iOS app, and Java if your app is for Android. Frameworks like Flutter or React Native allow you to write a single code base and export it to either Java or Objective C. This process can save you a lot of effort and time you would otherwise spend on writing two separate codes. 

Test and Release the App

You’re in the home stretch now. Beta testing and user acceptance testing (UAT) ensure your app is ready for release. Now is the time to work out any final issues and ask for user feedback on the app’s performance.

Once you have the green light from your users, you can release the app! You can upload an Android app directly to the Google Play store since it has no formal review process. An iOS app must go through a review before users can download it. On average, Apple employees review 90% of app submissions within one day. 

Designing an App From the Ground Up

The basic steps for how to design an app are to draft an outline, create a wireframe, design the user interface and add interactive elements. From there, you have to write code to develop the app and test it before releasing it. These are just the fundamentals of how to design an app, but hopefully, it gives you a better idea of where to start. 

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What Is Shared Hosting and How Does It Work? Thu, 18 May 2023 14:00:00 +0000 what is shared hosting

Shared hosting is when different accounts share space on a server common to them all. The resources and space on the server are limited, so hosting companies typically limit how much bandwidth and heavy resources a customer can access at a given time.  Is shared hosting good? No type of hosting is intrinsically bad or…

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what is shared hosting

Shared hosting is when different accounts share space on a server common to them all. The resources and space on the server are limited, so hosting companies typically limit how much bandwidth and heavy resources a customer can access at a given time. 

Is shared hosting good? No type of hosting is intrinsically bad or good. Which type of hosting you choose depends on the size of your business, how many visitors you have daily and the types of content you wish to share. 

Web hosting is a $90.42 billion industry with an annual revenue growth of 14.1% for all types of hosting. As more companies move into the technology of today, expect to see the share of cloud-based hosting increase, although some shared hosting packages are already considered cloud computing. 

Startups and smaller companies need the flexibility of third-party hosting but the cost effectiveness of sharing resources on the same machine with other business owners. Here are some things to keep in mind when you choose your hosting provider and as you move forward in decisions about whether to stick with shared hosting or try something different, such as a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hosting. 

1. Consider Costs

Shared hosting is often the cheapest option because you’re sharing resources on a single server with other business owners. The monthly hosting fees can be much lower than for other types of hosting.

However, you should also think about  more than just what your monthly hosting fees are. Some hosting companies don’t limit people’s usage on the shared server. This means that a person or two can eat up much of the resources and cause your site to slow down or crash. How much money might you lose if this happens?

Not all shared hosting plans are equal. Read through the fine print carefully before choosing a provider to avoid a situation where your site bogs down due to the actions of others outside your control. 

2. Pay for Speed

Look for a shared hosting plan with turbo boosts or some type of speed enhancement. Around two-thirds of users access the internet via mobile devices. One thing many people complain about is the lagging speeds they experience when accessing a site from their smartphones. 

Now that 5G is in most populated locations, people expect sites to load faster than ever before. Their phone has the capability but some servers seem to have a hard time keeping up. Conduct regular speed audits to ensure your site loads within seconds rather than a minute or more.

The last thing you want is a beautiful site that has perfect calls to action (CTAs) only to lose people because they have to wait too long for the page to load. 

3. Think About Your Knowledge Level

What type of hosting you choose might also depend on your knowledge level. While you can pay for management for any type of hosting, you’ll pay a premium for things such as software updates and troubleshooting. It’s much better to work within a system you’re familiar with than to be at a complete loss when you need to troubleshoot.

Most shared hosting plans run on cPanel, which is highly intuitive for beginner webmasters. You can always begin with shared hosting and then add to your skillset before moving into a VPS or dedicated plan. 

4. Talk About Scaling Up

Talk to whatever hosting provider you choose about how you can scale up as your business grows. Most companies make it very easy to move from a shared plan to a VPS to a dedicated situation. 

Look for a host providing all of these services so you don’t have to migrate your site to a new server. Even for a dedicated package, your current host will typically move your current site over rather than you having to spend hours moving and checking everything. We highly recommend you still check that all files moved properly and nothing is broken.

If you’re using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, you can download a plugin to test for broken links and images, saving you huge chunks of time. 

5. Look at the Perks

There are more than 300,000 web hosting companies at any given time. Choosing the perfect one for your business is challenging. One way to narrow down your options is to look at what extras you get with even the most basic package. The benefits should increase as you slide up the scale to bigger storage and bandwidth. 

For example, you might need an SSL certificate for an e-commerce store to keep everything secure and customer data encrypted. A provider who offers a free SSL certificate can save you money and might charge the same as one who does not.

Other perks might include better customer service, free marketing coupons or software others don’t install for you. 

6. Research Uptime

Why does nearly every shared hosting company advertise 99.9% uptime? Is the number accurate? It’s hard to say for certain. Different providers use different criteria to determine their uptime.

One thing you can do is to look at people already hosted on their site. Punch their address in an uptime monitoring system and watch it for a week or two before choosing a provider. You can see in real-time how often their site goes down or has issues.

While some problems aren’t caused by the hosting company but by whoever is coding the site, you might spot some patterns where several sites on a server go down at once, showing it is a problem on the provider’s end. 

You should also search for reviews of whatever company you’re looking at. You want feedback that isn’t listed on their site, because they’re going to choose only positive comments given a chance. Instead, seek out BBB complaints, look at Google reviews and pay attention to blog posts and complaints on social media.

Nearly every server has issues from time to time. The key is to find one with the fewest issues possible. 

What Is Shared Hosting for the Average Business Owner?

Is shared hosting right for your brand? Only you can decide how much you’re willing to pay for hosting and if shared is speedy enough and secure enough for your needs. Many businesses start with a shared plan and transition up as their company grows. 

You can’t reach customers with your digital presence until you have one. Your best bet is to compare prices and amenities and get your website up sooner rather than later. 

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