Recent Articles

What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) & Why Do You Need It For Your Website?

cdn, content delivery network

Understanding what a Content Delivery Network or CDN is and utilizing it properly are key features in determining the success or failure of your website. Having a CDN has become essential to survive on today’s ultra competitive web and not having the type of support offered by a CDN can seriously inhibit your ability to develop a loyal following.

Some of you are probably wondering what in the world a CDN even is. Let me just make it clear that it is something that you need to become knowledgeable about so you can better utilize it on your website. If you don’t, well…be prepared to suffer the consequences of a much lower pageview number. Let’s take a look into exactly what CDN is and why it’s necessary that you have it for your website:

What is a CDN?

A CDN, or a content delivery network, is a large group of servers setup and deployed throughout multiple data centers throughout the world. It’s goal is to provide the fastest, most efficient delivery of information possible for internet users.

There are many CDN providers located throughout the world, with Points of Presence (POP) in most major continents. The United States has the most CDN providers and POPs, with locations in major markets like Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, San Jose, and many more.

Why Do You Need a CDN?

Well, first and foremost, speed. Because you don’t want visitors to mistake visiting your website with having dial-up. Users aren’t patient and attention spans aren’t what they used to be. If your page is taking more than 3-5 seconds to load, you’re going to be well behind the eight ball as far as keeping those visitors on your page.

This is especially important for any website that displays photos or videos on their website, or even those that embed them. One of the worst things for a viewer is to have to sit there and wait before they can begin to scroll down to look at whatever they’re trying to look at. Yes, you’re right, that’s a first world problem that shouldn’t be complained about. But it is a problem nonetheless and, since it is, you need to take notice of it and do something about it.

A CDN is also important to help prevent crashes, as the large mass of networks makes it much less likely for your site to breakdown due to high activity. CDNs have also much better optimized for SEO, as Google has constantly maintained that sites with higher speeds rank higher on their search engines than those that rank in the lower tiers.

All of this makes the use of a CDN especially important for e-commerce sites who are placing a premium on getting users from the product or service page to the checkout page as quickly as possible. There is a good chance that any e-commerce site that doesn’t use CDN is going to have a tough time competing with other online competition.

Best Motherboards in 2014

msi, mpower max, motherboard

The name of this component tells you a great deal about what it is. Motherboard is indeed the mother of a computer, and it is what takes care of all the functions of your business or personal computer. Building one’s own PC can be both fun, cost effective, and most importantly, help one get what he wants from his computer.

Hence, if you are someone looking for the best motherboard for your computer, you need to consider quite a lot of things, in order to make sure you get yourself the right one.

You first need to select your central processing unit and ensure that the motherboard you are considering to get supports it and also see to it that it can handle the speed of the processor. Then you need to decide what use your computer would be put to. If it’s something related to gaming, be prepared to lighten your pocket quite a bit.

Now though choosing the best motherboard is a rather subjective topic, there are some boards out there that can impress all types of people, and are the best in general. Some of them are:

MSI’s MPower Max

Well, if you are someone looking to build a overclocked, tricked-out system based on an Intel 4th-Generation core processor and would like your motherboard to come with tons of features, the MSI’s MPower Max board wouldn’t disappoint. It is indeed loaded with features, some of which you may never need or use, and pleases system tweakers and overclockers all the same, besides booting directly into the BIOS, with a second, spare BIOS too. This means you wouldn’t have to worry about those annoying problems related with the system getting down. It’s thus great for gaming as well. However, all these features don’t come cheap but costs a hefty $249.99.

Gigabyte’s GA-Z77X-UD5H

Coming with a complete set of features including an onboard solid-state drive (SSD), video-output support, four different kinds of video connectors, and so on, the Gigabyte’s GA-Z77X-UD5H manages to stand out from the lot.

However, it’s not just its features that’d leave you with raised eyebrows, but the price that it comes at. With a motherboard loaded with so many features and its counterparts coming at a much higher price, the $199 price tag it holds is certainly something capable of delighting the customers.

The P9X79 Deluxe

The P9X79 Deluxe is a well-equipped motherboard, with support for 10 SATA/eSATA drives and four PCI Express (PCIe) x 16 slots. It also comes with a massive eight USB 3.0 devices. Pairing up this deluxe machine with Intel’s super powered Core i7 processors and 64 GB of quad-channel memory doesn’t leave much room for improvement.

However, despite all the unique features it comes with, the P9X79 Deluxe still seems quite expensive, coming at a $100 premium over its other basic P9X79 models. There are obviously considerable amount of additions to this version, but whether they justify the high price gap or not is something for the users to decide.

MSI Z97S SLI Plus – The magic option in the low priced range

When it comes to finding the most affordable motherboard, you can probably go with the AMD AM1 boards starting under $35 or the MSI AM1l coming at around $34, as priced on Amazon. There are some more boards that can be added to this list, but they are far from what you would call the best motherboards.

However, MSI has still managed to come up with a masterpiece in the low priced range, with its MSI Z97S SLI Plus coming with a balanced mix of useful features and affordable price. For those not obsessed with overclocking, the board offers a great value for one’s money. It supports all the existing 4th-Generation :Haswell” chips, and it is even believed that it will support the company’s next generation CPUs as well.

The board also surprisingly supports up to three graphics cards. This is indeed something considerable in its price range. You will have to compromise a bit on the speed front though, but it’s probably not much when compared to the chunk of cash you would save.

Why Magento is The Best E-commerce Solution

magento, seo friendly, best e-commerce solution

There are numerous E-commerce platforms you can use to build an efficient online store. Of all these solutions, Magento is something considerably popular and widely used, as it is believed to be the best E-commerce solution by many throughout the world.

Magento is an open source platform helping developers create a great shopping cart experience for their customers. It is due to this feature that this E-commerce solution manages to cater to the business goals of enterprises around the world quite effectively. If you are someone looking to build a brilliant online shopping experience for your customers but confused whether or not to go with Magento, given below are some of the reasons which may help you reach at a decision on the matter:

SEO-Friendly Framework

Well, as online businesses continue to reach new heights, the importance of Search Engine Optimization or SEO keeps increasing many folds. Using a platform offering a SEO friendly framework is something that will definitely help you get that much need edge your business needs to thrive online. This E-commerce solution comes loaded with tons of tools which helps greatly in achieving a higher search engine ranking and thus boosting your business. Some of these important tools are:

  • Automatically generated XML Sitemaps
  • Search engine friendly canonical URLs and Rewrites
  • Content Management System pages
  • Control on Meta Tags for categories, web pages and product field, helping avoid over optimization.

Wide Range of Highly Useful Extensions

One of the most popular reasons why so many businesses throughout the world prefer this E-commerce solution is due to its wide range of highly useful extensions. They make everything so much more customizable using popular frameworks like the PHP. The products and categories too can be customized quite easily as per the user’s requirements, all thanks to these highly innovative extensions. Some of the most popular extensions it has to offer are:

  • Sweet Tooth
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Google Analytics Tools
  • AvaTax

Working with Multiple Sites Simultaneously

Magento also comes with an excellent feature which allows operating multiple sites or stores under it. You can run as many sites as you want using the Magento’s admin panel. All your products, services as well as orders can be managed quite easily from one site only. This is indeed one of the useful features that help the solution get around one of the most common drawbacks associated with such E-commerce platforms of having difficulty to manage multiple sites.

High Security

Unlike some of the other E-commerce solutions, Magento comes with an excellent level of security, with a super Secure Payment gateway and a considerably high level of protection from threats like interception. Hence, you can ensure top level of security for your data by going with this popular E-commerce solution.

User-friendly Interface

Well, not all such E-commerce platforms come with an interface as user-friendly as the one offered by Magento. Its well-knit architecture can be used to highly customize both the back and the front end. Even uploading tons of images and managing different layouts is not much of a problem when you are using this E-commerce platform.

If you are someone looking for a long term E-commerce solution you can use to base your online store around, Magento is something you should look forward to.

Best Gaming CPUs in 2014

Best Gaming CPUs in 2014

The CPU, or the Central Processing Unit of a computer is its most important part, as it is usually referred to as the “brain of the computer”. It indeed instructs the machine on how to run and function. The performance and speed of all the activities and tasks you do on your computer largely depends on this component.

When it comes to gaming, you can simply not compromise on the quality of your CPU. If you are a serious gamer, you would need something really powerful and high quality. Hence, going with a random CPU is not an option at all.

However, even if you try to do some extensive amount of research, you are bound to get confused with so many options to choose from. Also, what with finding the best price to quality ratio while buying a CPU. Well, don’t worry yet, for we have come up with a list of the Best Gaming CPUs the year 2014 has seen:

Intel Core i5-4690K

Though the Core i5-4690K’s is only 200 Mhz faster than its previous version, it’s unlocked multiplier is something that won’t fail to impress overlockers. Shelling out an extra $40 for this latest version surely wouldn’t harm, given that you are a serious gamer and looking to unleash some significant gaming experience. It is also one of the cheaper ones out there, with the other offering hardcore gaming experience costing tons of money. However, if you are not a serious overclocker, then it would simply make sense to go for the Core i5-4430 over this one.

Intel Core i7-4790K

This processor has benefited greatly from the improved thermal interface material Intel has come up with. Running at a base clock rate of 4 GHz and ramping easily to 4.4 GHz using the Turbo Boost, it’s certainly one of the best gaming CPUs out there. It also comes with a better cache compared to Intel’s cheaper alternatives, and the Hyper-Threading technology is a considerable plus. Despite coming with such enhanced features, Intel maintained the price tag of $340 on it, making it an obvious choice for people considering its counterparts in the similar price range.

Intel Core i7-5930K

Take the $1,000 giant Core i7-5960X, cut two CPU cores out, get rid of the 5 MB of L3 cache and increase the base clock rate by a considerable 300 Mhz and the turbo one by 200 MHz, and the Core i7-5930K is what you will be left with, along with a huge $400 in cash!

The fact that you would be benefiting from a 20 MB of shared L3 cache over 15 MB is quite impressive indeed, given that you are still spending less. You would also still be getting the 40-lace PCI Express 3.0 capable controller and the four-channel memory subsystem. The games you place too would respond extra fast to the Core i7-5960X’s, and you would get all this with an extra $400 in your pocket.

These 400 bucks can fetch you a feature loaded motherboard, leaving you with a combination that’d be capable of providing an exceptional gaming experience. Hence, if you are thinking to go for the Core i7-5960X, think again, for the i7-5930K seems to be a magic substitute for it.

The Best 5 Free Open Source E-Commerce Platforms

Top 5 E-commerce Platforms

Finding a quality and trustworthy e-commerce platform can be incredibly confusing. With the rise of e-commerce has come an enormous amount of options for users to choose from. We’ve provided a list that breaks down the sites that we feel are the best open source e-commerce platforms on the internet.

Let’s take a look at our top five list below:

Magento

Magento comes in at number one because of its use by some of the top brands in the world. Their customer base includes mega brands like Nike, Samsung, and Olympus, making it a true heavyweight in the e-commerce world. While it will cost you quite a bit to get the maximum features that Magento have to offer, their free system is still a great starter for a brand that is looking to get off the ground.

osCommerce

osCommerce is one the most popular e-commerce sites on the web, powering stores for over 200,000 users. They have been around for quite some time, which is evident by how simple their setup is. The ease of use for osCommerce makes this a tremendous option for anyone that may not be entirely acclimated with the way their site and site design work.

The only major issue with osCommerce is that there aren’t a whole lot of options as far as exactly how you set your store up. This leads to you having a setup similar to thousands of other stores throughout the web, which can be an issue if you’re trying to express your own creativity.

OpenCart

For those looking to make sales internationally, OpenCart is one of the better options on the market. They have an extremely diverse amount of options, which can be confusing at times but a blessing if you have a good idea of what you’re doing. They’re one of the newer e-commerce sites, originating in 2009, but they have certainly quickly made a name for themselves as one of the heavyweights of e-commerce.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is the go-to e-commerce solution for over 150,000 users. They have a ton of different features and options, which have the potential to be a bit intimidating at times. The thing that really separates PrestaShop from many of it’s competitors is the ultra powerful analytics system that they provide for you. Understanding your store’s statistics can be a big part of succeeding in e-commerce, and PrestaShop does a great job at helping you do that at a high level.

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is actually a spin-off site of the already popular osCommerce. Their major advantages include the use of gift cards, coupon codes, and sale options. They also allow you to regulate and send out a regular newsletter to email subscribers, which is something that very few sites can do for you. The one downfall of Zen Cart is that they offer a very basic design for users. If that is something that you’re looking for, however, than Zen Cart could be your best option.