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Each one of you working in the software industry has been in a situation where a particular bug ruined your app’s user experience. Ever wondered why these things occur? The answer is straightforward: the lack of proper website QA testing. The website QA testing phase is a crucial aspect of app development through some developers tend to overlook it. The issue is that the chance of a bug appearing increases with every line of code and the time and resource cost of bug fixing increases with time. But, optimal website testing can help you mitigate these problems before they occur. Hence, if the application testing runs without any glitches, the app can be launched sooner than expected without major bugs.

If you follow the Agile methodology, it is critical to combine the web QA testing phase with the development phase efficiently. In this blog, we are going to discuss the unavoidable steps to be included in the Web Application Testing Checklist. But, first, let us understand what web testing is?

What is Web Application Testing?

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Website QA testing is a software testing process to test websites or web applications to look for potential bugs. It is thorough testing of web-based applications before going live. Ideally, a web application needs to be thoroughly tested from end to end before it goes

live for end users. Web testing looks for functionality, usability, security, compatibility, the performance of the web application or website. By executing web application testing, a business can ensure that the web-based system is functioning well and will offer an optimum user experience for the end-users. The UI design and functionality are the main pillars of website QA testing. 

What are the advantages of web application testing?

1. Browser Compatibility

The practice of web app testing assists the apps to be compatible with all web browsers. End-users use various types of browsers while surfing the web. The web app testing efficiently assists the apps to function the same for every user using different browsers.

2. Enhances Website Performance

The method of website QA testing helps to overcome the slow app performance. Apps with slow performance are not the choice for search engines or for the end users. Web application testing helps to recover the load time delays due to the graphics, code etc. and maintain a quality application.

3. Secures App from Issues

Security is one of the main concerns for every application or website. Every day we keep hearing about websites being hacked, hence there is an immediate need for every small and large enterprise to practice web app testing to make sure that the applications are free from various types of security issues.

4. High-Quality Application

The end-to-end user testing efficiently assists in improving the performance and functionality of the application. This type of testing helps to find and resolve the bugs at earliest. Hence, a high-quality application will be achieved before the release.

5. Saves Time and Money

The end-to-end web app testing through automation tools decreases the occurrence of mistakes and the performance of repetitive test cases. This will assist the enterprises to get quality results with reduced time and cost.

Web App Testing Checklist for App Quality Assurance -

If you wish to make the application right, you must go through these 6 steps of the testing process. We will now take a look at each of these steps in detail:

 - Functionality Testing

Now you know what a web application and web application testing are so let us get started. The first phase of testing is to ensure that the web application is functionally appropriate. Functionality testing is focused on the database connectivity, all links in the web pages, cookies, forms used to get user info etc. This should be done early in the development phase to speed up the entire app-building process and reduce risks towards the end of development. 

It all comes down to a set of tasks that can be performed both automatically with the use of a software program or manually. Once the results are out, you just compare them with the expected output. You need to perform functionality testing multiple times with a set of different data. If the accuracy is the same every time, the app is functionally right. It is not possible to get rid of each and every bug, though frequent testing offers a better opportunity to develop apps that are as functional as possible.

 - Usability Testing

The second phase in web testing is usability testing. This kind of testing combines functionality testing along with user experience. However, it is not the same as User Acceptance testing since the focus is completely different and also the stages of app development. Usability testing can be performed by getting external testers that stimulate your expected user base, or by the developers themselves. If you are looking to perform external testing but don’t know where to start, you can start with the following 4 steps:

  • Develop the testing strategy in a way that all functions are examined including the navigation and content.
  • Recruit internal or external test participants
  • Run the test with a team of professionals
  • Analyze the results and improve your app accordingly.

 - Interface Testing

The Interface testing phase comes after successful completion of the functionality and usability testing. This testing phase looks for a smooth interaction between the app server and the webserver. Along with the communication process, the displaying of error messages needs to run too. Moreover, this test is used to determine whether the interruptions by the server or by the user are handled appropriately.

 - Compatibility Testing

Fourth on this list of web testing phases is compatibility testing. In this digital world, compatibility testing is more important than ever to make sure that your web application looks as good as it should on all types of devices. The developers need to run the browser compatibility test to check if the app is displayed correctly in multiple browsers. You can run another alternate test which is the browser compatibility test which confirms that the application is displayed appropriately across all the mobile browsers. Various operating systems display specific elements differently. Hence, it is critical to run the compatibility tests with different operating systems, especially the popular ones like Windows, Mac, Linux along with different browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox etc. 

 - Performance Testing

Once the application is functional and responsive, you need to check if the performance is under a heavy load. Performance testing means testing under distinct internet speeds along with normal and peak loads. In a broader context, it might be a better idea to test your web server performance on a basic level, through a website speed automated test because page speed impacts user experience and also affects your website’s SEO. You can perform a basic speed test with the help of free tools and use that data to prepare an optimization plan.

It is not a proper in-depth performance and stress testing, but a good starting point. Stress testing is used to identify the breaking point of the app which includes putting the app under increasing amounts of stress until it stops functioning. You will need to identify your app’s breaking point before the users do. Bear in mind that you need to figure out how your application recovers from crashes. If the recovery is messy, you will have to work on its enhancement.

 - Security Testing

Once the web application is developed, it needs to be tested for security. This kind of testing has all types of processes to identify the application’s weaknesses and enhance them as much as possible. Generally, a number of fake malicious attacks are used to test how the application responds and performs under these testing times. If security issues are found, it is crucial that you find a possible solution to overcome them.

Some of the basic steps of security testing are:

  • Understand the security goals and plan the test by thinking about the security needs of each of them.
  • Determine the application’s security requirements.
  • Collect the information about the elements used to build the app like the operating system, hardware, technology stack and more.
  • Determine and list all possible threats and issues.
  • Make a threat profile based on the listed threats.
  • Make the test plan.
  • Automated testing along with manual testing.
  • Make the security tests case documentation
  • Perform Security test case execution, fix identified defects and retest
  • Prepare a comprehensive report on security testing with solved issues and possible threats.

Conclusion:

In this article, we looked at the importance of this phase of app development along with the crucial steps you need to take to test your app efficiently. Regular web application testing reduces the chances of bugs spoiling the customer experience and it also provides a better overall idea about how your app performs, the strengths and the hidden weaknesses. If you enjoyed reading this blog on web application testing, you must check out this blog on web design and development. What do you think about the importance of web application testing? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Converting web design files into HTML, CSS, or JavaScript is the norm for all front-end developers. However, a part of this work doesn't necessarily fit into a tutorial on any topic. A front-end developer breaks down a design and figures out how to turn it into a proper build. It may not be necessarily included in any course curriculum but is meant to be learnt while on the job. 

Learning how to code a website can be an overwhelming task. It is even more challenging if you are not comfortable with programming languages. However, learning how to code a website is simple if you use the right guide. In this article, we will look at simple web design for beginners with an HTML page template. It is one of the easiest ways to code a website. This process will help you save time when trying to develop a dynamic website for your visitors. 

Design Evaluation

Before we start coding, let us try to understand the ideas instilled in the design. Ideas can further divide into a few segments, and we want our final product to showcase all these ideas. The segments that we commonly use are:

1. Layout-level patterns - replicating layout ideas and the entire grid.

2. Element-level patterns - headings, text sizes, fonts, icons, button sizes.

3. Colour palette - the name is enough

4. Structural concepts - the organization of sections apart from the layout.

5. Everything else - ideas present in a single component. 

Illustrating the patterns in this manner is essential to understand our CSS approach. It also helps choose suitable HTML elements and start conversations with the designer or other team members. Accessing the design source files, sections, and layers will help you understand the designer's thinking. It will come in handy when you want to discuss particular areas. 

A step-by-step guide to turning design into codes:

This section will show how you can optimize your design-to-code process and make it easier for your team to follow the process. We have listed the process to assist designers design for the end-user and the developers to get their work done in the most efficient way possible. Let us find out how:

1. Dev Team Inclusion from the Beginning

We are not saying that developers should interfere with everything going on in the design phase. But, including just the lead developer from the design phase is enough. In this way, the designer will be aware of the limitations depending on the technology used and the timeframe available. For instance, it isn't easy to stick to a single design in Android applications. The designers have to be reminded to think about Android specifications, so there is minimal design rework. Or, the final result will be an application that doesn't look and feel right when compared with the original design.

Some frameworks include pre-existing font icons with set components and distinct layouts along with margin settings. For example, the dev team will use Bootstrap and as a designer if you start working on the design without this information. This means there will be inconsistencies like margin settings in your artboard that are different from the margin set in Bootstrap. The designer must know which framework will be used to develop the code to make appropriate design decisions.

2. Responsive Templates

For all new projects, designers must always have three different templates for mobile, tablet and desktop. This is the least that any design team could do. Sometimes, a developer gets a design with single screen size, and the requirement is to build a responsive website. This will waste precious time of the development team, and it will not go well with your client. 

At Nimblechapps, we design on a grid system, as you can easily create multiple screen breakpoints. Simultaneously, it enables you to respond to screen sizes slightly smaller or larger than your breakpoints. If you want to take this one step further, you can start using Auto Layout. It is an essential Sketch plugin that will be a blessing in disguise for your design team. The tool enables you to design responsive layouts for all screen sizes by changing pixels into percentages, which the developer can export into HTML. 

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3. Create a Design System

If you do not have a design system, it indicates that your design will have some irregularities to an extent. The unclear design will not please the development team, as they will have to build messy, complex components to honour that design. This also means that you are wasting the development team's time which could be used better. Moreover, further development changes will be complex, and you will need to maintain a heavier code base. Alternatively, a uniform design system will help you keep the design and development team on the same page. 

A design system is an extensive list of the reusable components and layouts organized, each serving a specific purpose. It helps ease out the future UI and UX changes too. These are the things you should pay attention to when creating a design system:

  • Style Guide - It is the canvas on which a design system is built. It consists of a colour palette, fonts, icons, CTAs etc, in your design. Without the style guide, it will be challenging to develop a uniform design for the project and add to the development team's frustration. 
  • Naming Conventions - Each layout, component, asset and file should include a uniform label. It is best to avoid using generic names and labels. It is better to name the labels based on their function.
  • Offering all possible states - It is good to ask instead of guess. Check all the error states, validation messages and disabled states for inputs and buttons that a user can come across. 

4. User Flow

You are not just handing off the design screens to the development team; you also hand over the user flow. If you are not able to do it, it means you are making their work harder. If a designer is lost in the design, the development team will share the same feeling too. Story narration means informing the group what happens when a user clicks on a button, why they do it, what happens when they do it etc.

The development team will use this story to plan their strategy to build the app features. Hence, the design team must link all the screens together. You must not think that the development team will figure it out. If it needs to be done in a particular way, then they will need to be told as they do not mind readers. For design, tools like Figma or Sketch can be used to link your screens and create a working prototype.

As a developer, you will hardly get any animations that go along with the design. It is crucial to understand that animations are not an add-on but are an essential part of usability. Developers can use CSS animations instead of JavaScript ones as they are lighter and perform better. 

5. Auto- Generate Visual Specifications

For a developer, it is always tough to imagine why a designer would hand off a project without using a tool that enables them to see the specifications for a particular component like margins, paddings etc. It is easy to auto-generate these specifications in a tool like Zeplin or InVision. It is easy and assists the developers in not wasting time doing pixel-distancing. And it is pretty common not to use this option or to forget about providing them proper access to see those specifications. 

5. Assets

A designer should consider two things when it comes to assets:

  1. Store assets in a single place using a tool like Zeplin.
  2. Add SVGs whenever and wherever you can.

6. Maintain a Checklist

Many times, a product manager has to remind the development team about the last-minute design updates. It can be avoided by making a list of all the features and case scenarios included in the design. This happens when it is not adequately documented in the user flow or the design system. 

Conclusion:

If you can't follow all or any of the above steps, it is not the end of the world. You can start by implementing some of these methods in your projects (one at a time). Even a single good practice will improve the collaboration between a designer and a developer. The guide has been created for ease of translating the design into code. A final recommendation from our side, we at Nimblechapps love doing post-handoff meetings, including all the stakeholders. This includes the project manager, the developers and the design team. 

Typically, the project manager and the development team conduct timely meetings, but they focus solely on meeting the deadline. The design team in this meeting can compare each product build against the final design. Moreover, they can also identify what practices could be implemented in the future. Let us know what you think about this guide? Do you follow a specific design to code guide in your business? We would love to hear from you. 

If you trust our judgement, you don’t want your website visitors and Google to hate your website. Thankfully, you can now easily reduce your image’s file sizes to help enhance your website performance. The main issue with formatting images for your website is that updates generally reduce the quality of your website. It is typically not a bad thing as long as you make them look professional. There are some strategies that enable you to reduce the file size of your images and still make them look pretty on your website. 

Image optimization is an easy process of decreasing the size of an image to suit your website without ruining its quality. It is critical for the success of your website as it enhances your conversion rate, website speed and SEO. Images make upto 75% of total page weight on most web pages and hence it is important to ensure that you are displaying images in the right way without affecting the website speed. Website visitors would quickly leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. This will significantly increase your bounce rate and reduce your conversion rate if the visitors leave your website quickly. In this blog, we will take a look at how to efficiently optimize your images without affecting the quality along with optimization for website conversion and SEO. 

2021 - Image Optimization tips

We will now list the most promising tips for Image Optimization in 2021 and beyond. 

1. Choose The Right Format

Choosing the right image format means a lot in the optimization process because each format is meant to deliver a particular requirement. 

  • JPEG - Ideal for still images, real-world images and complex colors.
  • PNG - Ideal for web images like logos and complex images like pictures.
  • GIF - Ideal for low-resolution images, animated graphics, tiny icons and simple images. But, it is not advisable to use the GIF format, instead you can use webp format.
  • TIFF - Ideal for high-quality images and large-size print graphics.
  • WebP - A new image format that provides great compression along with superior quality. 

Selecting the right format decreases bandwidth consumption for an enhanced page loading speed. But, a new format has been introduced, known as AVIF that covers the best properties of all the above mentioned formats and provides better results than WebP too. Moreover, AVIF offers more than 50 percent reduction in size when compared with the JPEG file format. These days, more and more businesses are publishing images in file formats like AVIF and WebP.

2. Lossy Vs Lossless Compression

It is crucial to understand that there are two major types of compression like lossy and lossless. 

  • Lossy -  It is a filter that gets rid of some of the data. Hence, it will reduce the image quality so you will need to take care when you reduce the image size. The file size can be decreased by a significant amount. For this purpose, you can use design tools like Adobe Photoshop or any other image editing softwares. 
  • Lossless - It is a filter that reduces the data to an extent without affecting the quality much. This compression type doesn’t hamper the quality of the image but it will want the images to be uncompressed before it can be rendered. You can make a lossless compression on your computer with tools like Photoshop, FileOptimizer or ImageOptim.

It is ideal to play around with your compression techniques to see what works for each image or format. If your tools provide you the option then ensure that you have the image for the web. This is possible in most image editors and will provide you with quality changes so you can achieve optimal compression. You will lose some of the quality, so work around to find the best compression balance you can without affecting the image quality.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) 

Image compression and image CDNs work in tandem. Website images not only have to be optimized but have to be delivered quickly too. An optimized image is not useful if it cannot be transported instantly. An image CDN will take care of this requirement as it makes instant delivery of optimized images feasible by decreasing the distance between website visitors and the servers. 

The global image CDN serves a variety of purposes and added advantages including:

  • Allowing fast global reach via cloud acceleration.
  • Audience segmentation was made easy.
  • It helps you save money by reducing the need to invest in server providers around the world.
  • Brings down the load on the server to achieve low delivery cost.
  • Offers secure storage capacity.

The cautiously engineered image CDN from ImageEngine separates itself from the others due to its distinct features like:

  • The optimized images are delivered 30 percent faster than other CDNs.
  • It is quite easy to integrate and configure ImageEngine CDN.
  • The images are instantly optimized to the relevant format according to the user’s viewport size.
  • All images can be delivered in new formats like WebP and AVIF.
  • The images have a significantly reduced size and excellent image quality too.
  • It offers support for HTTP, HTTP/2, WAF and DDoS protection.

Browser Caching

The “Leverage Browser Caching” warning shown on the Google PageSpeed Insights tool when there is no caching in place has been set quite low. In basic terms, the warning is a suggestion to enhance your website speed. Browser caching shows the user’s browser to save some particular files on their local system instead of downloading the files again. For instance, a user is required to download the logo of a website on the initial visit. But, after the initial visit, a user would be able to load the logo from the local cache only if browser caching has been enabled. This will lead to faster loading as the user is no longer needed to get everything from the website’s server. 

Browser caching can also be used for not just images but various other kinds of files including object data and other resources. There are multiple ways to use browser caching but just adding the below lines of code to the .htaccess file is the most popular choice.

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Browser caching stores the images for a dedicated time for ease of accessibility. You can also follow industry standards for this very purpose. The timeline for the above code is around one year. The .htaccess file is found using the FTP program for connecting to the root directory of the website’s server. 

Get Rid of Hotlinking

Hotlinking is when an individual or a business copies an image URL and embeds it on their website. Due to this reason, the image being displayed is shown as an owned content. Hotlinking is a common practice for websites and often plays with copyright infringement. In most cases, hotlinking can be unintentional but it can definitely impact the original owner and may also cost them money. It can further impact the website’s performance if there is a drain of the server’s resources.

Flaky Connections

If a website contains too much content with rich images and the users do not have a stable internet connection, then it will be difficult to convert these users. This situation can also be called a lost business opportunity. Not all website users have access to fast and stable internet and hence it is advisable to optimize images for flaky connections.

A good practice to optimize images for slow internet use is to compress the images in real-time. But, it is crucial to determine the network speed of users before compressing the images. It is best to categorize the users into segments depending on connectivity like 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G. 

What is the impact of image optimization?

Now, let us discuss the positive impact of image optimization on your website.

Enhanced Page Load Speed

Page load speed is the actual time taken by a web page to load on the user side. It is based on multiple factors like your website host to website design and layout. The websites with less than three seconds page load speed are loved by the users. Hence, if you are optimizing your website images, you will be helping your website speed. This offers a great user experience and hence more people would love to interact with your website. There are various tools which can help you in optimizing your page load speed like Google’s PageSpeed Insights which will provide an overview of your web page. 

Improved SEO Ranking

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In 2010, Google made it clear that page load speed is an essential ranking factor. Just like the users, even Google hates slow websites. Google published an update in 2010 in its Webmasters Blog which states, “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed - that’s why we have decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings”. Hence, it is evident that faster websites would rank higher in search engines than slower ones. 

Every website development company understands the relevance of search ranking along with digital marketers. Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google and image optimization will surely take you there as it will significantly reduce your page load speed. 

Increase Conversions

If your search engine ranking goes up, you can get more users and possibly get more conversions. Page load speed directly affects the SEO ranking and website conversions. There has been ongoing research into this correlation by industry experts like Moz and Kissmetrics. According to Kissmetrics, around 79 percent of users who are not satisfied with the web page speed or performance do not wish to buy from the same website again. 

Better User Engagement

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A happy customer is just not a myth especially for websites that are offering an exceptional user experience and this can be true for your website too. All that needs to be done is to optimize the website images, work on the page load speed and hence offer an improved user experience. If your page is loading fast on any device, a visitor will  definitely spend more time on the website. 

It has been mentioned in various studies that visitors are likely to leave websites that are too slow. The web pages which load in less than 3 seconds have a bounce rate below 25%. Your page load speed also improves the returning rate. This means that customers will keep visiting your website and buy from you if they are happy with the page load speed. Hence, user satisfaction also depends on page load speed which can be enhanced by optimizing the web pages. 

Wrapping Up

In a digital world, each and every factor linked to your website performance matters. The expectations of visitors are definitely going to change with time. As a business owner, you can not afford to ignore the benefits of image optimization. The advantages are just not limited to the page load speed and SEO ranking. Image optimization as we have seen above is also responsible for boosting your website conversion. In the coming posts on image optimization, we will talk about alternate techniques for image optimization in detail along with relevant examples so please stay tuned. Do share your thoughts and experience of image optimization in the comments section below. 

The most recent advancements in mobile app and web development have provided a ray of hope for increased sales and revenue of a business. It is one of the most essential steps in business expansion. A business can thrive in multiple ways with improved online services that alleviate customer engagement. Your business acumen can be established by how attractive and reliable your website or web application is at the moment. Hence, building the right website or web app is key to building a thriving digital presence. The technologies like CodeIgniter, etc., that work in the background can make it happen.

PHP is the most commonly used programming language which is used to build a robust, secure and scalable web application or website. In relation to this, CodeIgniter is one of the best PHP frameworks that enable developers to utilize integrated toolsets and functionalities to build delightful websites. CodeIgniter also remains to be a popular choice for multiple businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. It is used to build all-inclusive web solutions. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the best practices to follow when using CodeIgniter. It will also include points explaining why you should choose CodeIgniter for custom web development. 

What is CodeIgniter?

PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages that is used in multiple web solutions. CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP MVC framework. MVC means Model View Controller, a logical architecture of the application that has the following:

  • Model - The model includes business logic using efficient functioning through computations and databases among others. 
  • View - View represents the data offered by the models.
  • Controller - Controller serves as a connector between the above two components.

The CodeIgniter framework includes a wide range of libraries and packages that allow developers to integrate databases to perform multiple tasks. These tasks include session management, file uploading, sending and receiving emails etc. HireCodeIgniter developer to build dynamic and robust web applications. 

What are some of the advantages of using CodeIgniter Framework?

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CodeIgniter is one of the most commonly used PHP frameworks generally used to build fully functional and fast web applications. Let us now focus on some of the best advantages of using the CodeIgniter framework for integrated web app development.

1. Pre-existing App Structure - 

The CodeIgniter framework is made up of pre-built application frameworks which enable web developers to use pre-existing libraries and packages to build feature-rich applications in a short period of time.

2. Bug Handling -

If you are looking to build flawless websites and provide exceptional design, you need to check out CodeIgniter. A simple user interface is available that facilitates bug finding and eventually impacts the user experience. The errors in the code are easily displayed and it is one of the main reasons why developers prefer to develop a website using the CodeIgniter framework.

3. Ease of Configuration -

CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP framework and hence it is quite easy to configure by downloading and installing the framework. After initial installation, you will notice effortless loading of the libraries, arrays, databases and various other elements.

4. It is Lightweight -

CodeIgniter is the lightest PHP framework that doesn’t require much space. It requires only 2MB of download space and is able to provide super-fast web development.

5. User-Focused Interface -

It is a treat to build a great website using one of the finest interfaces provided by CodeIgniter. Whether you are looking for a website with dynamic functionality or are looking for a platform that can offer you the best responsive website experience, CodeIgniter is the answer. You simply need to focus on finding the best CodeIgniter web development company that can provide you with business needs. 

6. Pre-existing Components -

CodeIgniter is made of pre-existing components of already built apps like email and database management, session management etc. It enables CodeIgniter developers to build fast and scalable web apps taking less space compared to other frameworks.

7. Minimum Code Requirement -

Due to pre-existing components and libraries, CodeIgniter assists in creating new libraries and packages by using the minimum code requirement. 

Best Practices To Follow For CodeIgniter Web App Development - 

Get CodeIgniter web services to build a result-oriented app faster when compared to other frameworks. There are multiple best practices of CodeIgniter that should be followed to build custom apps in a seamless way.

  • Make Use of Default App Structure

It is ideal for developers to make use of the default MVC structure that assists in establishing a strong connection between the database and loading proper views through modals. Moreover, it allows you to finish the project with striking outcomes. 

  • Make Use of ORM Library

As you already know that CodeIgniter is made up of pre-existing libraries and structures to build a dynamic application. One more best practice for custom web development is adding a third-party or ORM library without any issues. By doing so, it is possible to extend your app features as per your needs. 

  • CodeIgniter Form

You can use the CodeIgniter validation library that assists to provide the set of rules, run validations and shows clear messages. 

  • Rectify the Inputs

It is always advisable to safely rectify your inputs before submitting them to the database. The application should avoid Structure Query Language (SQL) injections and stores only valid data into the database. 

  • CI-Preferred Styling and Commenting

CodeIgniter offers a wide array of styles and comments to format the code accordingly. It also helps programmers to understand the code swiftly. 

  • Query Caching

The database class is used to cache the queries and significantly reduce the load time. With CodeIgniter, you need to manually cache the queries and it will load the classes automatically. 

  • Prepare Helpers

There are multiple functions in the architecture of CodeIgniter that are most commonly used by developers. For this, develop the helpers as a set of instructions or functions. Once developed and load the helpers because they cannot be loaded by default. 

  • Config Directory with Appropriate Information

It is customary for the CodeIgniter developers to store all the configuration files under the config directory. It might be tricky to find them if these files are outside. 

FAQs Related to Codeigniter Web Development -

There are multiple questions related to the CodeIgniter platform and we would like to cover some of the most commonly asked questions.

- What is CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP framework that comes with an existing library and package for custom web development. Similar to any other framework of PHP, CodeIgniter is the one that has a difference of faster loading time and scalable web app development.

- How is CodeIgniter useful in developing a web application?

The CodeIgniter framework is made up of pre-built components like the elements of prior apps, libraries and pre-written codes. These components are typically useful for programmers to develop a robust web application in a quick time when compared with other frameworks.

- How much does it Cost to build a CodeIgniter Web app?

The total cost of any CodeIgniter web app development depends on multiple deciding factors: its features, size of the app, complexity, number of resources being utilised etc.

- What are the benefits of using CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter has multiple advantages like large community support, structured documentation, primary routing method, MVC support and more. It is an object-oriented framework among other advantages.

- Should I use CodeIgniter?

Every PHP framework has some advantages and disadvantages. The choice of using a framework varies and it depends on the project requirements. CodeIgniter is a great framework suitable for multiple projects. You can select CodeIgniter website development services if it meets your business requirements. 

- Is CodeIgniter dead in 2021?

The answer is a big No. CodeIgniter exists and is here to stay as it is used in almost all types of web solutions. The harsh reality is that there are multiple frameworks that are trying to take the market share but it is still relevant for most web solutions in 2021.

- Is CodeIgniter suitable for large apps?

Yes, a number of PHP frameworks are well suited for large apps and CodeIgniter tops that list. It is a great framework for both small-scale and large web solutions. 

Final Thoughts

CodeIgniter is a PHP framework mostly used for custom web development by utilising the MVC framework. CodeIgniter provides integrated functionalities and pre-built components, libraries and more to the developers for ease of development and documentation. It also includes various best practices followed by programmers to develop a robust and scalable web application with minimum efforts in a record time. To know more about the service, you must get in touch with Nimblechapps, an aspiring CodeIgniter development company that provides custom web development leveraging the skills and experience of seasoned CodeIgniter developers. 

Determining the most prevalent programming languages over the next couple of years is a challenging task. More often than not, bold forecasts about the supremacy of a language is not feasible and then there are some languages that seem to come out of nowhere to gain a significant niche. 

Interestingly, an increase in a language’s popularity enables you to predict a clear picture. In this post, we will discuss the languages that will dominate in 2021 and do an in-depth analysis of JavaScript and Python before providing our recommendations. Essentially, the fundamentals of the programming language will remain the same whether it is 2020 or 2030 but there will be improvements and updates which can make a huge difference. 

Difference Between Javascript and Python 

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JavaScript is a superior, interpreted language that is well known as a scripting language for web pages. This means if a web page is not just existing and showing static information then JavaScript is definitely the reason behind that. Apart from that, there are some advanced versions of JavaScript like Node.js which is used for server-side scripting.

JavaScript is a prominent programming language and has been accepted by the developer communities throughout the world. According to StackOverflow Developer Survey Results in 2019, JavaScript is the most popular programming language which is used by 69.7 percent of developers worldwide. It has been crowned the undisputed king of programming languages for seven years in a row. Moreover, the most widely used Web Frameworks are jQuery, Angular.js and React.js which use JavaScript. 

Why is JavaScript so Popular?

  • JavaScript is generally used in both client-side and server-side applications. It means that it can simply run everywhere from web browsers to some of the most powerful servers. Due to this reason, JavaScript has a slight edge over other programming languages that are not so flexible.
  • JavaScript enforces various paradigms from object oriented programming to procedural. Hence, developers have the freedom to innovate and experiment if they feel the need to.
  • It has one of the largest and most supportive communities of programming enthusiasts that back the language. If not for these developer communities, it would have been difficult for JavaScript to strengthen the number one position it has over the years. 

On the other hand, Python is an interpreted, general-purpose programming language with various uses starting from web applications to data analysis. Due to this reason, Python is often present in complicated websites like YouTube or Instagram, a common language for cloud computing projects like OpenStack and in Machine Learning. Python has been rising in popularity such that it is one of the fastest growing programming languages in the world. 

Why is Python catching up with other programming languages?

1. Easy to Use -

Users simply do not like complex things and hence Python is rising in popularity because it is extremely easy to learn and implement. It is basic with an easily legible syntax and hence it is loved by experienced professionals and students both. Apart from that, Python is highly efficient. It enables developers to accomplish more tasks using significantly fewer lines of code. 

2. Supportive Community -

Python has a supportive community and it is quite known because it has been used since 1990 and 30 years is a significant time frame to build a supportive community. Due to this support, new Python learners can definitely enhance their programming skills which again increases the popularity of the programming language. There are multiple resources available online to boost Python’s popularity, starting from initial documentation to YouTube tutorials that are a major help for inexperienced learners. 

3. Libraries and Frameworks -  

Python is a fairly popular language and hence it has hundreds of libraries and frameworks that can be leveraged by developers. These libraries and frameworks are more than useful to save time which makes Python so popular. Some widely used Python libraries are NumPy and SciPy for scientific computing, Django for web development, BeautifulSoup for XML and HTML parsing and nltk for natural language processing.

Why is Javascript programming better than Python?

Now that we have seen the difference between JavaScript and Python and how each programming language is useful which makes them so popular, let us now discuss why JavaScript programming language is better than Python.

1. JavaScript is ideal for website development

Without a doubt, JavaScript is definitely better than Python for web development for a primary reason that JavaScript runs in the browser whereas Python is a prominent server-side programming language.  Now, Python can be used to develop a website but it is not used alone. Python has to take support from other platforms to reply to requests that offer HTML, CSS and JavaScript. 

Moreover, using Python to develop a website is a complex process. Frameworks exist to make your job simpler like Flask and Django even then Python is not an optimal choice for web development. JavaScript is the perfect choice for mobile websites and desktop applications. JavaScript offers multiple opportunities for web development in JQuery, React and Angular. 

2. Professionals are Used to JavaScript

When a business hires a developer for a project, the business would definitely prefer to hire an experienced developer for success. The issue with Python programmers is that you never know their real-life experience. It can be said about JavaScript developers because it is much easier to find experienced JavaScript developers as it has been a standard programming language since ages.

Though Python was launched in 1990, almost six years before JavaScript, it never gained popularity until Google took it under its wings and invested further. It means that most experienced programmers who started in the 1990's are likely to be experienced in JavaScript over Python.

3. JavaScript is the Direct Link to the IT world

Some Python experts will always support Python and claim it to be one of the best programming languages. But, if you want to make it big in the technology world, JavaScript is the norm. As JavaScript is an integral part of front-end web development, you will have the expertise to generate income either as a freelance developer or working in an IT firm.

Even if you browse major job sites to look for development opportunities, you will find that there is a strong demand for JavaScript developers. It is understood that some businesses may not have an idea about the ideal programming language for their project but if they are developing a front-end website then they will definitely need the services of a JavaScript Developer. 

4. JavaScript is Simple to Learn

Though various people say Python is easier than JavaScript, it is not at all true for users with a programming background. JavaScript basics are simple and can be mastered in a few months and if you give it a year, you can make good money with your coding skills.

5. JavaScript Performs Better than Python

There is no secret in the fact that JavaScript is the faster language between the two languages. That is because JavaScript is developed on Chrome’s V8 which is a lightning fast engine in the world. Due to this inbuilt speed, Node.js is the desirable language when you think about developing real-time applications. 

6. JavaScript is historically more popular

Since its initial release in 1995, JavaScript has been widely used by developers and it is unlikely to change in the coming years. The key designers at JavaScript believe that it is important for every developer to understand the intricacies of JavaScript, Java and Python.

Though Python is a great programming language to have under your arsenal, it is not the only solution for web development. Python is a reformative addition to current web development languages but not that effective by itself.

It is safe to say that JavaScript is better than Python because it has been extremely popular for a long time. That is because if a programming language is popular for a long period of time, there must be a logical reason for that. The key reasons are functionality, dependability and ease of use and JavaScript fulfills all these requirements with finesse. 

Conclusion

Every time a new programming language is introduced, the aim is to enhance its features like effectiveness, debugging and memory management. It is a reality that some of the older programming languages are still pretty helpful but there are major drawbacks when compared to the more recent languages. Irrespective of whether you are biased towards JavaScript, Python or any other programming language, each language serves a definite purpose. 

There are certain languages that have overlapping functionality whereas other languages are robust and offer enhanced debugging. It is a fact that you should focus on programming languages which are in high demand and provide better functionality. It can be overwhelming to select a programming language if development is not your forte and if that is the case then you can contact Nimblechapps, a JavaScript development company for your website development needs.

Software development has been one of those few industries that experienced a consistent growth in the past decade but now it is facing its own challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a constant struggle for developers working in the industry along with the recruiters. But since the pandemic started, the value of developers has increased a lot due to the overdependence on software in our day-to-day lives. Due to this reason, more developers have been working more hours than usual and they were the first to adapt to the work from home environment.

Having said that, the pandemic has greatly affected our lives and has taught us many key lessons on survival and growth. Work from home (anywhere) is the new normal and businesses are adapting to this to make sure they enjoy a better reach. This post is the perfect place to start with for your web development company if you are still scrambling to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic. Due to digitalization, businesses are looking for novel ways to hire designers, developers and other staff to work from home leveraging the available resources in place. 

Guide to Recruit a Web Developer

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Recruiting a remote development team is not an easy task and hence it is better to plan a stepwise approach in the hiring process of web developer recruitment. You must bear in mind that it is crucial to integrate your business goals with the skill set of the developers. Instead of looking for specific skill sets, it is advisable to have a broad radar to identify people with sharp development focused minds. Some recommendations to keep in mind:

Robust understanding of Fundamentals

In this section we are trying to focus on the core part - fundamentals. It is understandable that languages can become obsolete, technologies can change from time to time and trends can die soon but the fundamentals keep on thriving. A developer who knows what helps a great design, an expandable architecture will just change tools that assist with goal accomplishments. Essentially, a good developer will always prioritise the usability of the software over other goals. 

Teamwork is Key

This might sound like a cliche but there is a reason why it is important to keep the team-building principles away from the developer community. A high percentage of developers feel that Scrum is a limitation and deadlines are just another way of limiting the developer’s freedom. And in simple terms, developers who feel trapped and under pressure will always deliver a substandard product. 

As you hire a developer, re-engineering the concept of teamwork can be a master-stroke you never knew you needed. At Nimblechapps, we use and advise a strategy that is a combination of personal freedom and restrained supervision. It is advisable to look for developers with:

  • Inclination to use Slack - there are clearly no plans to change solutions so a developer must be completely confident with the platform.
  • Knowledge of Github - the developer should have basic knowledge about Github and should be ready to upload the code on the shared repository so their line manager knows what the developer is working on.
  • Compliance with Style Guides - developers should be ready to use style guides as the ones who code as they want can sometimes be an issue in terms of scaling. 

Having said that, personality traits are not something that we focus on. Web developer recruitment is not about whether you would like to treat them as a friend and hang out after work on a friday night. It is more about workplace efficiency and it is good to have an eccentric team. The sooner businesses and developer recruitment agency understand that, the better it is for their business. 

Love for Technology

One of the most exploited terms is “passionate developers” which developers have to go through. By being passionate about technology it means that you:

  • Follow industry trends and blogs on web development.
  • Programming is a hobby (passion).
  • Engross in discussions on Reddit and various forums.
  • Consider software development as a career and not looking to switch fields.
  • Work longer hours.
  • Even be happy to do the routine tasks.
  • Consider web development as an absolute hobby.

What did you understand from the above points? It is critical to find people who are looking to take on the learning curve and are happy to update with changing trends. Try not to look for developers who just code and talk about coding all the time. It is difficult to find a balance but if you try harder, you will find passionate developers. 

Ready to Adapt

One of the poorest decisions to make when you hire developers is looking for people who are suitable for a particular project. That is because, over a period of time you might want to change the number of developers working on an assignment and want to include more developers in a new project. Now, it is imperative that you know whether a developer can unlearn and relearn, learn new tools and still manage to work efficiently. What are the indications of developers who are interdependent?

  • Acquainted with multiple project management styles like Waterfall, Scrum, Agile and more.
  • Comprehending the differences and the vital areas of object-oriented and functional development. 
  • Knowledge of test-driven programming.
  • Understanding the distinction between different types of languages and their applications.
  • Thorough understanding and command over MVC.
  • Knowledge of RAD and loose coupling.

This is not a final list but verifying how well a programmer is informed in high-level concepts, confirming a few things from the above list is usually a good starting point. 

Recruitment trends to follow in 2021

With the pandemic looming over us, it is important to understand what 2021 has to offer when it comes to recruiting trends. Some of the best recruiting trends to actively participate in are:

1. Remote Work

Remote Work has been one of the top trends since last year and it continues to be on top in 2021. Though work from home was compelled due to the pandemic, it is definitely here to stay even after the pandemic. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of the traditional work culture. To keep employees happy and productive, businesses must provide them the option of remote work in 2021. We understand that remote work is a novel idea but it has multiple benefits over the traditional approach. 

2. Use of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Artificial Intelligence is definitely the future of everything and recruitment is not new to that. As it is new and hence unknown to many recruiters, it can be used to your advantage by using systems that will offer more data and improvements. Sophisticated technological systems will start taking over the traditional approach of recruitment. 

3. No Conventional Approach

Recruitment trends changed 360 degrees in 2020 by a forced change in the conventional approach. With the onset of virtual events and job fairs, the recruitment procedure and hiring became quite different from what it was before 2020. Various key job fairs around the world took the digital route by accepting innovation as recruitment trends. It is safe to say that recruitment is not a linear process anymore where you will only get a job if you have a particular degree. The focus now rests on communication skills along with the eagerness to learn, ability to adapt and more. 

4. Mobile Recruitment

Mobile recruitment is on the rise and has been a go-to strategy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report, more than 90% of people use smartphones for job search along with 45% of them looking everyday. They are not to be blamed as it is convenient and quick for most users as the smartphone is easy to access. Mobile recruitment is to hire people using a handheld device like an iPhone or an Android phone. Good user experience enables the users to search and conveniently apply for jobs instantly. In the same manner, it also enables a developer recruitment agency to find their ideal candidate. Channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer the most data in terms of recruitment where LinkedIn is the undisputed leader of recruitment. 

5. Multi-Diversity

Diversity is not something new, it has always been there but still there is always a chance of improvement. A trend that includes gender and ethnic equality will enhance the workplace and make it profitable. Apart from workplace efficiency, diversity should always be motivated for a fair society devoid of discrimination and hate. 

6. Freelance Opportunities

If there is one industry that has gained a lot from the pandemic is the freelance industry and specially from IT related projects. Now, freelance opportunities have seen a steep rise in the last decade, post 2020, there is a significant boost in recruitment trends. Freelance offers multiple advantages and new opportunities to people who don’t want to do a fixed job and are eager to adapt too. 

Conclusion

Recruitment pattern is constantly evolving and is now at an interesting juncture with incoming trends which needs more encouragement. As we get to know the most important recruitment trends, you must look to utilise them to get the most out of your recruitment process. And if you are looking for a web development company, then feel free to get in touch with Nimblechapps today. 

If you are planning to launch your own eCommerce store, then it is possible that you have already gathered some information about the platforms which can allow you to build your own online store. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more companies have gone online from a brick and mortar store and the trend will just continue to grow with time. The world has now got an idea about the advantages and simplicity of online shopping and eCommerce is becoming the most sought after option for new-age entrepreneurs. So, if you can sell your products or services without renting or owning an expensive office or warehouse, why not invest the same money in different areas like R&D or marketing.

There are multiple tools available in the market which enable you to build an online store with convenience and at an affordable price like WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento etc. Today we are going to dig a little deeper and solve this question for you. WooCommerce vs Shopify? And also give our thoughts on why you should aim to pick one over the other in 2021. So, let us delve into the mysterious world of eCommerce platforms and simplify it for you. 

What is the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce?

Before we start with an in-depth analysis of two of the most commonly used eCommerce platforms out there, it is essential that we discuss the basic differences between both these platforms and what makes these platforms unique.

What is Shopify?

 

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Shopify is an all-inclusive eCommerce platform that enables you to create an online store, accept payments and handle your inventory from a single platform without getting into the details about the technical side of handling a website like a web hosting, data security, caching and more. 

What is WooCommerce?

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WooCommerce is an open-source platform in WordPress that enables you to take advantage of a dynamic content management system and use it to run an eCommerce store. Due to the open-source nature of the platform, it is easy to customize each and every element of the store along with building custom extensions as per your business needs. Now the choice between these two heavyweight eCommerce platforms relies on your business requirements and skills to implement. 

Importance of WooCommerce over Shopify

What you should be looking for in your eCommerce platform?

Certain things to bear in mind when choosing an eCommerce platform are as follows:

  • Budget - The cost of developing a completely functional eCommerce store.
  • Ease of Use - It should be simplistic and easy to use for beginners.
  • Payment Options - There should be external support for various payment modes like Stripe, PayPal and more.
  • Scalability - It should be easy to scale as and when your business needs it.
  • Integrations - A variety of services and third-party tools to be integrated into the store. 

The above-mentioned points are very basic requirements that all eCommerce stores should keep in mind. But, based on your business requirements, you may definitely want to check out other factors like inventory management, shipping, invoice management, taxes and more. We aim to do an in-depth analysis on Shopify and WooCommerce and which platform should be your preferred choice in 2021. 

WooCommerce is the default eCommerce plugin that can transform a WordPress website into a dynamic eCommerce store. It is an open-source framework and hence free to install which makes it ideal for users looking to control their costs. The only thing you will need to pay for is things like web hosting and data security etc. 

By using WooCommerce, you can build a dynamic and custom eCommerce store if you know how to code or you can hire someone with experience in eCommerce development. 

Shopify, on the other hand, is a reliable and powerful tool providing beautiful templates and excellent customer support. The drawback with Shopify is that you will be entitled to pay a monthly premium for a dynamic platform. Shopify could have just won the battle if it was an open-source platform. 

User focus for WooCommerce and Shopify

In this section, we aim to discuss both the eCommerce platforms on a number of factors like ease of use, build time, pricing, payment options and more as discussed in brief in the above section. Let us look at these points in detail. 

Pricing

Shopify has fixed pricing but WooCommerce has a flexible pricing structure that depends on your requirements. The pricing in Shopify ranges from $29 to $299 per month. WooCommerce is essentially free but you need to pay extra for add-ons like web hosting, domain registration and data security. The set pricing of Shopify allows you to stay on top of spending. However, WooCommerce offers these options in an open-source option, which makes it free. But, you will have to pay for the following add-ons:

  • Hosting ($30 - $60 per month)
  • Security ($0 - $200 per year)
  • Domain ($10 to $30 per year)
  • Extension charges (Free to $100 per month)

It is important to note that the above fees will be included in your Shopify premium plan. So, basically, your pricing for add-ons depends on the type of hosting you choose. 

Ease of Use 

There is no question that WooCommerce needs a bit more learning than Shopify for first-time users and from testing, Shopify is convenient to use for a novice business owner. Most users feel that using Shopify, they were able to develop a cleaner website that made their products stand out. Moreover, Shopify is a hosted eCommerce framework which means it solves the technical issues of operating an eCommerce store. Apart from that, it also takes care of domain name, web hosting and any security issues. 

In WooCommerce, you will have to do a bit more groundwork in handling add-ons like domain name, web hosting and security issues. So, in our experience, WooCommerce is easier to use if you have an experienced development team but if that is something that you are lacking, then it is better to use Shopify. 

Payment Methods

When you have a digital business, you need to include all the possible options for your customers to pay. Interestingly, Shopify and WooCommerce both have access to more than 100 payment gateways. It can either be an in-built integration like Shopify or an add-on like in WooCommerce. Some of the most common payment gateways are:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Square
  • Apple Pay

All the above payment gateways have a different transaction fee so it is ideal to inform your customers about the same at the time of checkout. For instance, Shopify has a flat 2% transaction fee if you use a third-party payment gateway. If you are looking to reduce the transaction fee, then it is advisable to opt for an enhanced Shopify plan or by using Shopify Payments. 

There is a big difference between Shopify and WooCommerce when it comes to transaction fees. The benefit of using WooCommerce is that you will not be charged a transaction fee for using a third-party payment gateway. Please bear in mind that the bank charges will still apply along with the charges from payment gateways like PayPal. Hence, it is better to opt for WooCommerce if you have a significantly higher volume of products and is beneficial for sellers who would like to choose their own merchant account. For ease of payments and low transaction charges, we would highly recommend using WooCommerce over Shopify. 

Performance and Scalability

Performance has always been a key issue for online buyers. If it takes longer to open your website, read a longer description or make a purchase then there is a high probability that the sale might not happen. WordPress has a fast CMS by default but adding plugins for WooCommerce and multiple other extensions can increase the page load time. 

Sometimes, adding too many products to the eCommerce site can significantly increase the page load time. When you add more products to your eCommerce store it can be overwhelming to handle the performance and scalability but it is feasible. The main idea should be to use a hosting provider equipped with CDNs and maintenance providers that can enable you to optimize the store. There are a large number of free WordPress optimization plugins and the other add-ons will add to the cost of development. 

As per Shopify, the eCommerce platform has already figured out its performance issues and it offers unlimited bandwidth, CDN and almost 99.9% uptime guarantee. But this doesn’t mean that you will get the desired speed. An online store with thousands of products with multiple variations and images will slow down the store for the users. 

For that, you can use performance optimization applications to improve scalability. Apart from that, as and when your business grows, you can upgrade your Shopify plan to an advanced version. It is important to factor in the costs involved in Shopify Plus plans when you are trying to choose between both the platforms and hence WooCommerce emerges as a clear winner. 

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Integrations

By installing applications and plugins you can include more weapons in your eCommerce armoury. On both platforms, you can install applications to add extra functionality in all areas like SEO, marketing and shipping. However, which platform has a better range of apps to choose from?

There is no doubt that WooCommerce depends on plugins and there are more than 50,000 plugins to choose from.  On the other hand, Shopify has only around 1200 free plugins and it may not be as reliable. This is one more reason why WooCommerce is ideal when you think about including plugins and integrations. 

Differentials stats of people using each of the platforms 

Now we will get to the data which gives us an indication of the popularity of WooCommerce and Shopify. 

WooCommerce

There are more than 5 million eCommerce stores around the world using WooCommerce currently as per a 2021 report. After the latest update, there were more than 4 hundred thousand downloads of the plugin through automatic updates. This throws some light on the total number of active stores, though the number of stores will be way higher. We keep checking the WooCommerce.com website to track the total number of downloads which includes plugin updates and new installs.

It is estimated that WooCommerce is used in approximately 68,000 of the world’s most popular million websites. It is a significant number, 0.2% of the total websites and around 6.8% of the top websites around the world. Moreover, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in 2021. It is used in around 40% of the world’s eCommerce stores, whereas Shopify is used in 26% of eCommerce websites.

Shopify

Shopify on the other hand is another eCommerce giant and it is responsible for the growth of global eCommerce. The eCommerce has industry from $3.5 trillion in 2014 to around $5 trillion in 2021. Shopify’s customers include a list of popular brands like Pepsi, Nestle, Tesla, Red Bull, Unilever and more. To date, more than 25 million apps have been installed with more than 80% of the merchants using third-party apps. Overall it has been used in 26% of websites in 2021 which means it still has some ground to cover. 

Final Thoughts

We have listed the major differences between WooCommerce and Shopify. Now we hope you will be able to make an informed decision for your online store. If you are someone who is looking for an independent project with loads of customization, large scale operations and are technically sound then you can go with WooCommerce for its personalization. And if you are someone who is looking for 24*7 support, ready to pay for a website and don’t have enough technical expertise, then you should definitely go for Shopify. If you need help with WooCommerce development, then feel free to get in touch with Nimblechapps, a WooCommerce development company. 

Each one of you working in the software industry has been in a situation where a particular bug ruined your app’s user experience. Ever wondered why these things occur? The answer is straightforward: the lack of proper website QA testing. The website QA testing phase is a crucial aspect of app development through some developers tend to overlook it. The issue is that the chance of a bug appearing increases with every line of code and the time and resource cost of bug fixing increases with time. But, optimal website testing can help you mitigate these problems before they occur. Hence, if the application testing runs without any glitches, the app can be launched sooner than expected without major bugs.

If you follow the Agile methodology, it is critical to combine the web QA testing phase with the development phase efficiently. In this blog, we are going to discuss the unavoidable steps to be included in the Web Application Testing Checklist. But, first, let us understand what web testing is?

What is Web Application Testing?

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Website QA testing is a software testing process to test websites or web applications to look for potential bugs. It is thorough testing of web-based applications before going live. Ideally, a web application needs to be thoroughly tested from end to end before it goes

live for end users. Web testing looks for functionality, usability, security, compatibility, the performance of the web application or website. By executing web application testing, a business can ensure that the web-based system is functioning well and will offer an optimum user experience for the end-users. The UI design and functionality are the main pillars of website QA testing. 

What are the advantages of web application testing?

1. Browser Compatibility

The practice of web app testing assists the apps to be compatible with all web browsers. End-users use various types of browsers while surfing the web. The web app testing efficiently assists the apps to function the same for every user using different browsers.

2. Enhances Website Performance

The method of website QA testing helps to overcome the slow app performance. Apps with slow performance are not the choice for search engines or for the end users. Web application testing helps to recover the load time delays due to the graphics, code etc. and maintain a quality application.

3. Secures App from Issues

Security is one of the main concerns for every application or website. Every day we keep hearing about websites being hacked, hence there is an immediate need for every small and large enterprise to practice web app testing to make sure that the applications are free from various types of security issues.

4. High-Quality Application

The end-to-end user testing efficiently assists in improving the performance and functionality of the application. This type of testing helps to find and resolve the bugs at earliest. Hence, a high-quality application will be achieved before the release.

5. Saves Time and Money

The end-to-end web app testing through automation tools decreases the occurrence of mistakes and the performance of repetitive test cases. This will assist the enterprises to get quality results with reduced time and cost.

Web App Testing Checklist for App Quality Assurance -

If you wish to make the application right, you must go through these 6 steps of the testing process. We will now take a look at each of these steps in detail:

 - Functionality Testing

Now you know what a web application and web application testing are so let us get started. The first phase of testing is to ensure that the web application is functionally appropriate. Functionality testing is focused on the database connectivity, all links in the web pages, cookies, forms used to get user info etc. This should be done early in the development phase to speed up the entire app-building process and reduce risks towards the end of development. 

It all comes down to a set of tasks that can be performed both automatically with the use of a software program or manually. Once the results are out, you just compare them with the expected output. You need to perform functionality testing multiple times with a set of different data. If the accuracy is the same every time, the app is functionally right. It is not possible to get rid of each and every bug, though frequent testing offers a better opportunity to develop apps that are as functional as possible.

 - Usability Testing

The second phase in web testing is usability testing. This kind of testing combines functionality testing along with user experience. However, it is not the same as User Acceptance testing since the focus is completely different and also the stages of app development. Usability testing can be performed by getting external testers that stimulate your expected user base, or by the developers themselves. If you are looking to perform external testing but don’t know where to start, you can start with the following 4 steps:

  • Develop the testing strategy in a way that all functions are examined including the navigation and content.
  • Recruit internal or external test participants
  • Run the test with a team of professionals
  • Analyze the results and improve your app accordingly.

 - Interface Testing

The Interface testing phase comes after successful completion of the functionality and usability testing. This testing phase looks for a smooth interaction between the app server and the webserver. Along with the communication process, the displaying of error messages needs to run too. Moreover, this test is used to determine whether the interruptions by the server or by the user are handled appropriately.

 - Compatibility Testing

Fourth on this list of web testing phases is compatibility testing. In this digital world, compatibility testing is more important than ever to make sure that your web application looks as good as it should on all types of devices. The developers need to run the browser compatibility test to check if the app is displayed correctly in multiple browsers. You can run another alternate test which is the browser compatibility test which confirms that the application is displayed appropriately across all the mobile browsers. Various operating systems display specific elements differently. Hence, it is critical to run the compatibility tests with different operating systems, especially the popular ones like Windows, Mac, Linux along with different browsers like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox etc. 

 - Performance Testing

Once the application is functional and responsive, you need to check if the performance is under a heavy load. Performance testing means testing under distinct internet speeds along with normal and peak loads. In a broader context, it might be a better idea to test your web server performance on a basic level, through a website speed automated test because page speed impacts user experience and also affects your website’s SEO. You can perform a basic speed test with the help of free tools and use that data to prepare an optimization plan.

It is not a proper in-depth performance and stress testing, but a good starting point. Stress testing is used to identify the breaking point of the app which includes putting the app under increasing amounts of stress until it stops functioning. You will need to identify your app’s breaking point before the users do. Bear in mind that you need to figure out how your application recovers from crashes. If the recovery is messy, you will have to work on its enhancement.

 - Security Testing

Once the web application is developed, it needs to be tested for security. This kind of testing has all types of processes to identify the application’s weaknesses and enhance them as much as possible. Generally, a number of fake malicious attacks are used to test how the application responds and performs under these testing times. If security issues are found, it is crucial that you find a possible solution to overcome them.

Some of the basic steps of security testing are:

  • Understand the security goals and plan the test by thinking about the security needs of each of them.
  • Determine the application’s security requirements.
  • Collect the information about the elements used to build the app like the operating system, hardware, technology stack and more.
  • Determine and list all possible threats and issues.
  • Make a threat profile based on the listed threats.
  • Make the test plan.
  • Automated testing along with manual testing.
  • Make the security tests case documentation
  • Perform Security test case execution, fix identified defects and retest
  • Prepare a comprehensive report on security testing with solved issues and possible threats.

Conclusion:

In this article, we looked at the importance of this phase of app development along with the crucial steps you need to take to test your app efficiently. Regular web application testing reduces the chances of bugs spoiling the customer experience and it also provides a better overall idea about how your app performs, the strengths and the hidden weaknesses. If you enjoyed reading this blog on web application testing, you must check out this blog on web design and development. What do you think about the importance of web application testing? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Converting web design files into HTML, CSS, or JavaScript is the norm for all front-end developers. However, a part of this work doesn't necessarily fit into a tutorial on any topic. A front-end developer breaks down a design and figures out how to turn it into a proper build. It may not be necessarily included in any course curriculum but is meant to be learnt while on the job. 

Learning how to code a website can be an overwhelming task. It is even more challenging if you are not comfortable with programming languages. However, learning how to code a website is simple if you use the right guide. In this article, we will look at simple web design for beginners with an HTML page template. It is one of the easiest ways to code a website. This process will help you save time when trying to develop a dynamic website for your visitors. 

Design Evaluation

Before we start coding, let us try to understand the ideas instilled in the design. Ideas can further divide into a few segments, and we want our final product to showcase all these ideas. The segments that we commonly use are:

1. Layout-level patterns - replicating layout ideas and the entire grid.

2. Element-level patterns - headings, text sizes, fonts, icons, button sizes.

3. Colour palette - the name is enough

4. Structural concepts - the organization of sections apart from the layout.

5. Everything else - ideas present in a single component. 

Illustrating the patterns in this manner is essential to understand our CSS approach. It also helps choose suitable HTML elements and start conversations with the designer or other team members. Accessing the design source files, sections, and layers will help you understand the designer's thinking. It will come in handy when you want to discuss particular areas. 

A step-by-step guide to turning design into codes:

This section will show how you can optimize your design-to-code process and make it easier for your team to follow the process. We have listed the process to assist designers design for the end-user and the developers to get their work done in the most efficient way possible. Let us find out how:

1. Dev Team Inclusion from the Beginning

We are not saying that developers should interfere with everything going on in the design phase. But, including just the lead developer from the design phase is enough. In this way, the designer will be aware of the limitations depending on the technology used and the timeframe available. For instance, it isn't easy to stick to a single design in Android applications. The designers have to be reminded to think about Android specifications, so there is minimal design rework. Or, the final result will be an application that doesn't look and feel right when compared with the original design.

Some frameworks include pre-existing font icons with set components and distinct layouts along with margin settings. For example, the dev team will use Bootstrap and as a designer if you start working on the design without this information. This means there will be inconsistencies like margin settings in your artboard that are different from the margin set in Bootstrap. The designer must know which framework will be used to develop the code to make appropriate design decisions.

2. Responsive Templates

For all new projects, designers must always have three different templates for mobile, tablet and desktop. This is the least that any design team could do. Sometimes, a developer gets a design with single screen size, and the requirement is to build a responsive website. This will waste precious time of the development team, and it will not go well with your client. 

At Nimblechapps, we design on a grid system, as you can easily create multiple screen breakpoints. Simultaneously, it enables you to respond to screen sizes slightly smaller or larger than your breakpoints. If you want to take this one step further, you can start using Auto Layout. It is an essential Sketch plugin that will be a blessing in disguise for your design team. The tool enables you to design responsive layouts for all screen sizes by changing pixels into percentages, which the developer can export into HTML. 

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3. Create a Design System

If you do not have a design system, it indicates that your design will have some irregularities to an extent. The unclear design will not please the development team, as they will have to build messy, complex components to honour that design. This also means that you are wasting the development team's time which could be used better. Moreover, further development changes will be complex, and you will need to maintain a heavier code base. Alternatively, a uniform design system will help you keep the design and development team on the same page. 

A design system is an extensive list of the reusable components and layouts organized, each serving a specific purpose. It helps ease out the future UI and UX changes too. These are the things you should pay attention to when creating a design system:

  • Style Guide - It is the canvas on which a design system is built. It consists of a colour palette, fonts, icons, CTAs etc, in your design. Without the style guide, it will be challenging to develop a uniform design for the project and add to the development team's frustration. 
  • Naming Conventions - Each layout, component, asset and file should include a uniform label. It is best to avoid using generic names and labels. It is better to name the labels based on their function.
  • Offering all possible states - It is good to ask instead of guess. Check all the error states, validation messages and disabled states for inputs and buttons that a user can come across. 

4. User Flow

You are not just handing off the design screens to the development team; you also hand over the user flow. If you are not able to do it, it means you are making their work harder. If a designer is lost in the design, the development team will share the same feeling too. Story narration means informing the group what happens when a user clicks on a button, why they do it, what happens when they do it etc.

The development team will use this story to plan their strategy to build the app features. Hence, the design team must link all the screens together. You must not think that the development team will figure it out. If it needs to be done in a particular way, then they will need to be told as they do not mind readers. For design, tools like Figma or Sketch can be used to link your screens and create a working prototype.

As a developer, you will hardly get any animations that go along with the design. It is crucial to understand that animations are not an add-on but are an essential part of usability. Developers can use CSS animations instead of JavaScript ones as they are lighter and perform better. 

5. Auto- Generate Visual Specifications

For a developer, it is always tough to imagine why a designer would hand off a project without using a tool that enables them to see the specifications for a particular component like margins, paddings etc. It is easy to auto-generate these specifications in a tool like Zeplin or InVision. It is easy and assists the developers in not wasting time doing pixel-distancing. And it is pretty common not to use this option or to forget about providing them proper access to see those specifications. 

5. Assets

A designer should consider two things when it comes to assets:

  1. Store assets in a single place using a tool like Zeplin.
  2. Add SVGs whenever and wherever you can.

6. Maintain a Checklist

Many times, a product manager has to remind the development team about the last-minute design updates. It can be avoided by making a list of all the features and case scenarios included in the design. This happens when it is not adequately documented in the user flow or the design system. 

Conclusion:

If you can't follow all or any of the above steps, it is not the end of the world. You can start by implementing some of these methods in your projects (one at a time). Even a single good practice will improve the collaboration between a designer and a developer. The guide has been created for ease of translating the design into code. A final recommendation from our side, we at Nimblechapps love doing post-handoff meetings, including all the stakeholders. This includes the project manager, the developers and the design team. 

Typically, the project manager and the development team conduct timely meetings, but they focus solely on meeting the deadline. The design team in this meeting can compare each product build against the final design. Moreover, they can also identify what practices could be implemented in the future. Let us know what you think about this guide? Do you follow a specific design to code guide in your business? We would love to hear from you. 

If you trust our judgement, you don’t want your website visitors and Google to hate your website. Thankfully, you can now easily reduce your image’s file sizes to help enhance your website performance. The main issue with formatting images for your website is that updates generally reduce the quality of your website. It is typically not a bad thing as long as you make them look professional. There are some strategies that enable you to reduce the file size of your images and still make them look pretty on your website. 

Image optimization is an easy process of decreasing the size of an image to suit your website without ruining its quality. It is critical for the success of your website as it enhances your conversion rate, website speed and SEO. Images make upto 75% of total page weight on most web pages and hence it is important to ensure that you are displaying images in the right way without affecting the website speed. Website visitors would quickly leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. This will significantly increase your bounce rate and reduce your conversion rate if the visitors leave your website quickly. In this blog, we will take a look at how to efficiently optimize your images without affecting the quality along with optimization for website conversion and SEO. 

2021 - Image Optimization tips

We will now list the most promising tips for Image Optimization in 2021 and beyond. 

1. Choose The Right Format

Choosing the right image format means a lot in the optimization process because each format is meant to deliver a particular requirement. 

  • JPEG - Ideal for still images, real-world images and complex colors.
  • PNG - Ideal for web images like logos and complex images like pictures.
  • GIF - Ideal for low-resolution images, animated graphics, tiny icons and simple images. But, it is not advisable to use the GIF format, instead you can use webp format.
  • TIFF - Ideal for high-quality images and large-size print graphics.
  • WebP - A new image format that provides great compression along with superior quality. 

Selecting the right format decreases bandwidth consumption for an enhanced page loading speed. But, a new format has been introduced, known as AVIF that covers the best properties of all the above mentioned formats and provides better results than WebP too. Moreover, AVIF offers more than 50 percent reduction in size when compared with the JPEG file format. These days, more and more businesses are publishing images in file formats like AVIF and WebP.

2. Lossy Vs Lossless Compression

It is crucial to understand that there are two major types of compression like lossy and lossless. 

  • Lossy -  It is a filter that gets rid of some of the data. Hence, it will reduce the image quality so you will need to take care when you reduce the image size. The file size can be decreased by a significant amount. For this purpose, you can use design tools like Adobe Photoshop or any other image editing softwares. 
  • Lossless - It is a filter that reduces the data to an extent without affecting the quality much. This compression type doesn’t hamper the quality of the image but it will want the images to be uncompressed before it can be rendered. You can make a lossless compression on your computer with tools like Photoshop, FileOptimizer or ImageOptim.

It is ideal to play around with your compression techniques to see what works for each image or format. If your tools provide you the option then ensure that you have the image for the web. This is possible in most image editors and will provide you with quality changes so you can achieve optimal compression. You will lose some of the quality, so work around to find the best compression balance you can without affecting the image quality.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) 

Image compression and image CDNs work in tandem. Website images not only have to be optimized but have to be delivered quickly too. An optimized image is not useful if it cannot be transported instantly. An image CDN will take care of this requirement as it makes instant delivery of optimized images feasible by decreasing the distance between website visitors and the servers. 

The global image CDN serves a variety of purposes and added advantages including:

  • Allowing fast global reach via cloud acceleration.
  • Audience segmentation was made easy.
  • It helps you save money by reducing the need to invest in server providers around the world.
  • Brings down the load on the server to achieve low delivery cost.
  • Offers secure storage capacity.

The cautiously engineered image CDN from ImageEngine separates itself from the others due to its distinct features like:

  • The optimized images are delivered 30 percent faster than other CDNs.
  • It is quite easy to integrate and configure ImageEngine CDN.
  • The images are instantly optimized to the relevant format according to the user’s viewport size.
  • All images can be delivered in new formats like WebP and AVIF.
  • The images have a significantly reduced size and excellent image quality too.
  • It offers support for HTTP, HTTP/2, WAF and DDoS protection.

Browser Caching

The “Leverage Browser Caching” warning shown on the Google PageSpeed Insights tool when there is no caching in place has been set quite low. In basic terms, the warning is a suggestion to enhance your website speed. Browser caching shows the user’s browser to save some particular files on their local system instead of downloading the files again. For instance, a user is required to download the logo of a website on the initial visit. But, after the initial visit, a user would be able to load the logo from the local cache only if browser caching has been enabled. This will lead to faster loading as the user is no longer needed to get everything from the website’s server. 

Browser caching can also be used for not just images but various other kinds of files including object data and other resources. There are multiple ways to use browser caching but just adding the below lines of code to the .htaccess file is the most popular choice.

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Browser caching stores the images for a dedicated time for ease of accessibility. You can also follow industry standards for this very purpose. The timeline for the above code is around one year. The .htaccess file is found using the FTP program for connecting to the root directory of the website’s server. 

Get Rid of Hotlinking

Hotlinking is when an individual or a business copies an image URL and embeds it on their website. Due to this reason, the image being displayed is shown as an owned content. Hotlinking is a common practice for websites and often plays with copyright infringement. In most cases, hotlinking can be unintentional but it can definitely impact the original owner and may also cost them money. It can further impact the website’s performance if there is a drain of the server’s resources.

Flaky Connections

If a website contains too much content with rich images and the users do not have a stable internet connection, then it will be difficult to convert these users. This situation can also be called a lost business opportunity. Not all website users have access to fast and stable internet and hence it is advisable to optimize images for flaky connections.

A good practice to optimize images for slow internet use is to compress the images in real-time. But, it is crucial to determine the network speed of users before compressing the images. It is best to categorize the users into segments depending on connectivity like 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G. 

What is the impact of image optimization?

Now, let us discuss the positive impact of image optimization on your website.

Enhanced Page Load Speed

Page load speed is the actual time taken by a web page to load on the user side. It is based on multiple factors like your website host to website design and layout. The websites with less than three seconds page load speed are loved by the users. Hence, if you are optimizing your website images, you will be helping your website speed. This offers a great user experience and hence more people would love to interact with your website. There are various tools which can help you in optimizing your page load speed like Google’s PageSpeed Insights which will provide an overview of your web page. 

Improved SEO Ranking

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In 2010, Google made it clear that page load speed is an essential ranking factor. Just like the users, even Google hates slow websites. Google published an update in 2010 in its Webmasters Blog which states, “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed - that’s why we have decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings”. Hence, it is evident that faster websites would rank higher in search engines than slower ones. 

Every website development company understands the relevance of search ranking along with digital marketers. Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google and image optimization will surely take you there as it will significantly reduce your page load speed. 

Increase Conversions

If your search engine ranking goes up, you can get more users and possibly get more conversions. Page load speed directly affects the SEO ranking and website conversions. There has been ongoing research into this correlation by industry experts like Moz and Kissmetrics. According to Kissmetrics, around 79 percent of users who are not satisfied with the web page speed or performance do not wish to buy from the same website again. 

Better User Engagement

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A happy customer is just not a myth especially for websites that are offering an exceptional user experience and this can be true for your website too. All that needs to be done is to optimize the website images, work on the page load speed and hence offer an improved user experience. If your page is loading fast on any device, a visitor will  definitely spend more time on the website. 

It has been mentioned in various studies that visitors are likely to leave websites that are too slow. The web pages which load in less than 3 seconds have a bounce rate below 25%. Your page load speed also improves the returning rate. This means that customers will keep visiting your website and buy from you if they are happy with the page load speed. Hence, user satisfaction also depends on page load speed which can be enhanced by optimizing the web pages. 

Wrapping Up

In a digital world, each and every factor linked to your website performance matters. The expectations of visitors are definitely going to change with time. As a business owner, you can not afford to ignore the benefits of image optimization. The advantages are just not limited to the page load speed and SEO ranking. Image optimization as we have seen above is also responsible for boosting your website conversion. In the coming posts on image optimization, we will talk about alternate techniques for image optimization in detail along with relevant examples so please stay tuned. Do share your thoughts and experience of image optimization in the comments section below. 

The most recent advancements in mobile app and web development have provided a ray of hope for increased sales and revenue of a business. It is one of the most essential steps in business expansion. A business can thrive in multiple ways with improved online services that alleviate customer engagement. Your business acumen can be established by how attractive and reliable your website or web application is at the moment. Hence, building the right website or web app is key to building a thriving digital presence. The technologies like CodeIgniter, etc., that work in the background can make it happen.

PHP is the most commonly used programming language which is used to build a robust, secure and scalable web application or website. In relation to this, CodeIgniter is one of the best PHP frameworks that enable developers to utilize integrated toolsets and functionalities to build delightful websites. CodeIgniter also remains to be a popular choice for multiple businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. It is used to build all-inclusive web solutions. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the best practices to follow when using CodeIgniter. It will also include points explaining why you should choose CodeIgniter for custom web development. 

What is CodeIgniter?

PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages that is used in multiple web solutions. CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP MVC framework. MVC means Model View Controller, a logical architecture of the application that has the following:

  • Model - The model includes business logic using efficient functioning through computations and databases among others. 
  • View - View represents the data offered by the models.
  • Controller - Controller serves as a connector between the above two components.

The CodeIgniter framework includes a wide range of libraries and packages that allow developers to integrate databases to perform multiple tasks. These tasks include session management, file uploading, sending and receiving emails etc. HireCodeIgniter developer to build dynamic and robust web applications. 

What are some of the advantages of using CodeIgniter Framework?

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CodeIgniter is one of the most commonly used PHP frameworks generally used to build fully functional and fast web applications. Let us now focus on some of the best advantages of using the CodeIgniter framework for integrated web app development.

1. Pre-existing App Structure - 

The CodeIgniter framework is made up of pre-built application frameworks which enable web developers to use pre-existing libraries and packages to build feature-rich applications in a short period of time.

2. Bug Handling -

If you are looking to build flawless websites and provide exceptional design, you need to check out CodeIgniter. A simple user interface is available that facilitates bug finding and eventually impacts the user experience. The errors in the code are easily displayed and it is one of the main reasons why developers prefer to develop a website using the CodeIgniter framework.

3. Ease of Configuration -

CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP framework and hence it is quite easy to configure by downloading and installing the framework. After initial installation, you will notice effortless loading of the libraries, arrays, databases and various other elements.

4. It is Lightweight -

CodeIgniter is the lightest PHP framework that doesn’t require much space. It requires only 2MB of download space and is able to provide super-fast web development.

5. User-Focused Interface -

It is a treat to build a great website using one of the finest interfaces provided by CodeIgniter. Whether you are looking for a website with dynamic functionality or are looking for a platform that can offer you the best responsive website experience, CodeIgniter is the answer. You simply need to focus on finding the best CodeIgniter web development company that can provide you with business needs. 

6. Pre-existing Components -

CodeIgniter is made of pre-existing components of already built apps like email and database management, session management etc. It enables CodeIgniter developers to build fast and scalable web apps taking less space compared to other frameworks.

7. Minimum Code Requirement -

Due to pre-existing components and libraries, CodeIgniter assists in creating new libraries and packages by using the minimum code requirement. 

Best Practices To Follow For CodeIgniter Web App Development - 

Get CodeIgniter web services to build a result-oriented app faster when compared to other frameworks. There are multiple best practices of CodeIgniter that should be followed to build custom apps in a seamless way.

  • Make Use of Default App Structure

It is ideal for developers to make use of the default MVC structure that assists in establishing a strong connection between the database and loading proper views through modals. Moreover, it allows you to finish the project with striking outcomes. 

  • Make Use of ORM Library

As you already know that CodeIgniter is made up of pre-existing libraries and structures to build a dynamic application. One more best practice for custom web development is adding a third-party or ORM library without any issues. By doing so, it is possible to extend your app features as per your needs. 

  • CodeIgniter Form

You can use the CodeIgniter validation library that assists to provide the set of rules, run validations and shows clear messages. 

  • Rectify the Inputs

It is always advisable to safely rectify your inputs before submitting them to the database. The application should avoid Structure Query Language (SQL) injections and stores only valid data into the database. 

  • CI-Preferred Styling and Commenting

CodeIgniter offers a wide array of styles and comments to format the code accordingly. It also helps programmers to understand the code swiftly. 

  • Query Caching

The database class is used to cache the queries and significantly reduce the load time. With CodeIgniter, you need to manually cache the queries and it will load the classes automatically. 

  • Prepare Helpers

There are multiple functions in the architecture of CodeIgniter that are most commonly used by developers. For this, develop the helpers as a set of instructions or functions. Once developed and load the helpers because they cannot be loaded by default. 

  • Config Directory with Appropriate Information

It is customary for the CodeIgniter developers to store all the configuration files under the config directory. It might be tricky to find them if these files are outside. 

FAQs Related to Codeigniter Web Development -

There are multiple questions related to the CodeIgniter platform and we would like to cover some of the most commonly asked questions.

- What is CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP framework that comes with an existing library and package for custom web development. Similar to any other framework of PHP, CodeIgniter is the one that has a difference of faster loading time and scalable web app development.

- How is CodeIgniter useful in developing a web application?

The CodeIgniter framework is made up of pre-built components like the elements of prior apps, libraries and pre-written codes. These components are typically useful for programmers to develop a robust web application in a quick time when compared with other frameworks.

- How much does it Cost to build a CodeIgniter Web app?

The total cost of any CodeIgniter web app development depends on multiple deciding factors: its features, size of the app, complexity, number of resources being utilised etc.

- What are the benefits of using CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter has multiple advantages like large community support, structured documentation, primary routing method, MVC support and more. It is an object-oriented framework among other advantages.

- Should I use CodeIgniter?

Every PHP framework has some advantages and disadvantages. The choice of using a framework varies and it depends on the project requirements. CodeIgniter is a great framework suitable for multiple projects. You can select CodeIgniter website development services if it meets your business requirements. 

- Is CodeIgniter dead in 2021?

The answer is a big No. CodeIgniter exists and is here to stay as it is used in almost all types of web solutions. The harsh reality is that there are multiple frameworks that are trying to take the market share but it is still relevant for most web solutions in 2021.

- Is CodeIgniter suitable for large apps?

Yes, a number of PHP frameworks are well suited for large apps and CodeIgniter tops that list. It is a great framework for both small-scale and large web solutions. 

Final Thoughts

CodeIgniter is a PHP framework mostly used for custom web development by utilising the MVC framework. CodeIgniter provides integrated functionalities and pre-built components, libraries and more to the developers for ease of development and documentation. It also includes various best practices followed by programmers to develop a robust and scalable web application with minimum efforts in a record time. To know more about the service, you must get in touch with Nimblechapps, an aspiring CodeIgniter development company that provides custom web development leveraging the skills and experience of seasoned CodeIgniter developers. 

Determining the most prevalent programming languages over the next couple of years is a challenging task. More often than not, bold forecasts about the supremacy of a language is not feasible and then there are some languages that seem to come out of nowhere to gain a significant niche. 

Interestingly, an increase in a language’s popularity enables you to predict a clear picture. In this post, we will discuss the languages that will dominate in 2021 and do an in-depth analysis of JavaScript and Python before providing our recommendations. Essentially, the fundamentals of the programming language will remain the same whether it is 2020 or 2030 but there will be improvements and updates which can make a huge difference. 

Difference Between Javascript and Python 

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JavaScript is a superior, interpreted language that is well known as a scripting language for web pages. This means if a web page is not just existing and showing static information then JavaScript is definitely the reason behind that. Apart from that, there are some advanced versions of JavaScript like Node.js which is used for server-side scripting.

JavaScript is a prominent programming language and has been accepted by the developer communities throughout the world. According to StackOverflow Developer Survey Results in 2019, JavaScript is the most popular programming language which is used by 69.7 percent of developers worldwide. It has been crowned the undisputed king of programming languages for seven years in a row. Moreover, the most widely used Web Frameworks are jQuery, Angular.js and React.js which use JavaScript. 

Why is JavaScript so Popular?

  • JavaScript is generally used in both client-side and server-side applications. It means that it can simply run everywhere from web browsers to some of the most powerful servers. Due to this reason, JavaScript has a slight edge over other programming languages that are not so flexible.
  • JavaScript enforces various paradigms from object oriented programming to procedural. Hence, developers have the freedom to innovate and experiment if they feel the need to.
  • It has one of the largest and most supportive communities of programming enthusiasts that back the language. If not for these developer communities, it would have been difficult for JavaScript to strengthen the number one position it has over the years. 

On the other hand, Python is an interpreted, general-purpose programming language with various uses starting from web applications to data analysis. Due to this reason, Python is often present in complicated websites like YouTube or Instagram, a common language for cloud computing projects like OpenStack and in Machine Learning. Python has been rising in popularity such that it is one of the fastest growing programming languages in the world. 

Why is Python catching up with other programming languages?

1. Easy to Use -

Users simply do not like complex things and hence Python is rising in popularity because it is extremely easy to learn and implement. It is basic with an easily legible syntax and hence it is loved by experienced professionals and students both. Apart from that, Python is highly efficient. It enables developers to accomplish more tasks using significantly fewer lines of code. 

2. Supportive Community -

Python has a supportive community and it is quite known because it has been used since 1990 and 30 years is a significant time frame to build a supportive community. Due to this support, new Python learners can definitely enhance their programming skills which again increases the popularity of the programming language. There are multiple resources available online to boost Python’s popularity, starting from initial documentation to YouTube tutorials that are a major help for inexperienced learners. 

3. Libraries and Frameworks -  

Python is a fairly popular language and hence it has hundreds of libraries and frameworks that can be leveraged by developers. These libraries and frameworks are more than useful to save time which makes Python so popular. Some widely used Python libraries are NumPy and SciPy for scientific computing, Django for web development, BeautifulSoup for XML and HTML parsing and nltk for natural language processing.

Why is Javascript programming better than Python?

Now that we have seen the difference between JavaScript and Python and how each programming language is useful which makes them so popular, let us now discuss why JavaScript programming language is better than Python.

1. JavaScript is ideal for website development

Without a doubt, JavaScript is definitely better than Python for web development for a primary reason that JavaScript runs in the browser whereas Python is a prominent server-side programming language.  Now, Python can be used to develop a website but it is not used alone. Python has to take support from other platforms to reply to requests that offer HTML, CSS and JavaScript. 

Moreover, using Python to develop a website is a complex process. Frameworks exist to make your job simpler like Flask and Django even then Python is not an optimal choice for web development. JavaScript is the perfect choice for mobile websites and desktop applications. JavaScript offers multiple opportunities for web development in JQuery, React and Angular. 

2. Professionals are Used to JavaScript

When a business hires a developer for a project, the business would definitely prefer to hire an experienced developer for success. The issue with Python programmers is that you never know their real-life experience. It can be said about JavaScript developers because it is much easier to find experienced JavaScript developers as it has been a standard programming language since ages.

Though Python was launched in 1990, almost six years before JavaScript, it never gained popularity until Google took it under its wings and invested further. It means that most experienced programmers who started in the 1990's are likely to be experienced in JavaScript over Python.

3. JavaScript is the Direct Link to the IT world

Some Python experts will always support Python and claim it to be one of the best programming languages. But, if you want to make it big in the technology world, JavaScript is the norm. As JavaScript is an integral part of front-end web development, you will have the expertise to generate income either as a freelance developer or working in an IT firm.

Even if you browse major job sites to look for development opportunities, you will find that there is a strong demand for JavaScript developers. It is understood that some businesses may not have an idea about the ideal programming language for their project but if they are developing a front-end website then they will definitely need the services of a JavaScript Developer. 

4. JavaScript is Simple to Learn

Though various people say Python is easier than JavaScript, it is not at all true for users with a programming background. JavaScript basics are simple and can be mastered in a few months and if you give it a year, you can make good money with your coding skills.

5. JavaScript Performs Better than Python

There is no secret in the fact that JavaScript is the faster language between the two languages. That is because JavaScript is developed on Chrome’s V8 which is a lightning fast engine in the world. Due to this inbuilt speed, Node.js is the desirable language when you think about developing real-time applications. 

6. JavaScript is historically more popular

Since its initial release in 1995, JavaScript has been widely used by developers and it is unlikely to change in the coming years. The key designers at JavaScript believe that it is important for every developer to understand the intricacies of JavaScript, Java and Python.

Though Python is a great programming language to have under your arsenal, it is not the only solution for web development. Python is a reformative addition to current web development languages but not that effective by itself.

It is safe to say that JavaScript is better than Python because it has been extremely popular for a long time. That is because if a programming language is popular for a long period of time, there must be a logical reason for that. The key reasons are functionality, dependability and ease of use and JavaScript fulfills all these requirements with finesse. 

Conclusion

Every time a new programming language is introduced, the aim is to enhance its features like effectiveness, debugging and memory management. It is a reality that some of the older programming languages are still pretty helpful but there are major drawbacks when compared to the more recent languages. Irrespective of whether you are biased towards JavaScript, Python or any other programming language, each language serves a definite purpose. 

There are certain languages that have overlapping functionality whereas other languages are robust and offer enhanced debugging. It is a fact that you should focus on programming languages which are in high demand and provide better functionality. It can be overwhelming to select a programming language if development is not your forte and if that is the case then you can contact Nimblechapps, a JavaScript development company for your website development needs.

Software development has been one of those few industries that experienced a consistent growth in the past decade but now it is facing its own challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a constant struggle for developers working in the industry along with the recruiters. But since the pandemic started, the value of developers has increased a lot due to the overdependence on software in our day-to-day lives. Due to this reason, more developers have been working more hours than usual and they were the first to adapt to the work from home environment.

Having said that, the pandemic has greatly affected our lives and has taught us many key lessons on survival and growth. Work from home (anywhere) is the new normal and businesses are adapting to this to make sure they enjoy a better reach. This post is the perfect place to start with for your web development company if you are still scrambling to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic. Due to digitalization, businesses are looking for novel ways to hire designers, developers and other staff to work from home leveraging the available resources in place. 

Guide to Recruit a Web Developer

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Recruiting a remote development team is not an easy task and hence it is better to plan a stepwise approach in the hiring process of web developer recruitment. You must bear in mind that it is crucial to integrate your business goals with the skill set of the developers. Instead of looking for specific skill sets, it is advisable to have a broad radar to identify people with sharp development focused minds. Some recommendations to keep in mind:

Robust understanding of Fundamentals

In this section we are trying to focus on the core part - fundamentals. It is understandable that languages can become obsolete, technologies can change from time to time and trends can die soon but the fundamentals keep on thriving. A developer who knows what helps a great design, an expandable architecture will just change tools that assist with goal accomplishments. Essentially, a good developer will always prioritise the usability of the software over other goals. 

Teamwork is Key

This might sound like a cliche but there is a reason why it is important to keep the team-building principles away from the developer community. A high percentage of developers feel that Scrum is a limitation and deadlines are just another way of limiting the developer’s freedom. And in simple terms, developers who feel trapped and under pressure will always deliver a substandard product. 

As you hire a developer, re-engineering the concept of teamwork can be a master-stroke you never knew you needed. At Nimblechapps, we use and advise a strategy that is a combination of personal freedom and restrained supervision. It is advisable to look for developers with:

  • Inclination to use Slack - there are clearly no plans to change solutions so a developer must be completely confident with the platform.
  • Knowledge of Github - the developer should have basic knowledge about Github and should be ready to upload the code on the shared repository so their line manager knows what the developer is working on.
  • Compliance with Style Guides - developers should be ready to use style guides as the ones who code as they want can sometimes be an issue in terms of scaling. 

Having said that, personality traits are not something that we focus on. Web developer recruitment is not about whether you would like to treat them as a friend and hang out after work on a friday night. It is more about workplace efficiency and it is good to have an eccentric team. The sooner businesses and developer recruitment agency understand that, the better it is for their business. 

Love for Technology

One of the most exploited terms is “passionate developers” which developers have to go through. By being passionate about technology it means that you:

  • Follow industry trends and blogs on web development.
  • Programming is a hobby (passion).
  • Engross in discussions on Reddit and various forums.
  • Consider software development as a career and not looking to switch fields.
  • Work longer hours.
  • Even be happy to do the routine tasks.
  • Consider web development as an absolute hobby.

What did you understand from the above points? It is critical to find people who are looking to take on the learning curve and are happy to update with changing trends. Try not to look for developers who just code and talk about coding all the time. It is difficult to find a balance but if you try harder, you will find passionate developers. 

Ready to Adapt

One of the poorest decisions to make when you hire developers is looking for people who are suitable for a particular project. That is because, over a period of time you might want to change the number of developers working on an assignment and want to include more developers in a new project. Now, it is imperative that you know whether a developer can unlearn and relearn, learn new tools and still manage to work efficiently. What are the indications of developers who are interdependent?

  • Acquainted with multiple project management styles like Waterfall, Scrum, Agile and more.
  • Comprehending the differences and the vital areas of object-oriented and functional development. 
  • Knowledge of test-driven programming.
  • Understanding the distinction between different types of languages and their applications.
  • Thorough understanding and command over MVC.
  • Knowledge of RAD and loose coupling.

This is not a final list but verifying how well a programmer is informed in high-level concepts, confirming a few things from the above list is usually a good starting point. 

Recruitment trends to follow in 2021

With the pandemic looming over us, it is important to understand what 2021 has to offer when it comes to recruiting trends. Some of the best recruiting trends to actively participate in are:

1. Remote Work

Remote Work has been one of the top trends since last year and it continues to be on top in 2021. Though work from home was compelled due to the pandemic, it is definitely here to stay even after the pandemic. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of the traditional work culture. To keep employees happy and productive, businesses must provide them the option of remote work in 2021. We understand that remote work is a novel idea but it has multiple benefits over the traditional approach. 

2. Use of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Artificial Intelligence is definitely the future of everything and recruitment is not new to that. As it is new and hence unknown to many recruiters, it can be used to your advantage by using systems that will offer more data and improvements. Sophisticated technological systems will start taking over the traditional approach of recruitment. 

3. No Conventional Approach

Recruitment trends changed 360 degrees in 2020 by a forced change in the conventional approach. With the onset of virtual events and job fairs, the recruitment procedure and hiring became quite different from what it was before 2020. Various key job fairs around the world took the digital route by accepting innovation as recruitment trends. It is safe to say that recruitment is not a linear process anymore where you will only get a job if you have a particular degree. The focus now rests on communication skills along with the eagerness to learn, ability to adapt and more. 

4. Mobile Recruitment

Mobile recruitment is on the rise and has been a go-to strategy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report, more than 90% of people use smartphones for job search along with 45% of them looking everyday. They are not to be blamed as it is convenient and quick for most users as the smartphone is easy to access. Mobile recruitment is to hire people using a handheld device like an iPhone or an Android phone. Good user experience enables the users to search and conveniently apply for jobs instantly. In the same manner, it also enables a developer recruitment agency to find their ideal candidate. Channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer the most data in terms of recruitment where LinkedIn is the undisputed leader of recruitment. 

5. Multi-Diversity

Diversity is not something new, it has always been there but still there is always a chance of improvement. A trend that includes gender and ethnic equality will enhance the workplace and make it profitable. Apart from workplace efficiency, diversity should always be motivated for a fair society devoid of discrimination and hate. 

6. Freelance Opportunities

If there is one industry that has gained a lot from the pandemic is the freelance industry and specially from IT related projects. Now, freelance opportunities have seen a steep rise in the last decade, post 2020, there is a significant boost in recruitment trends. Freelance offers multiple advantages and new opportunities to people who don’t want to do a fixed job and are eager to adapt too. 

Conclusion

Recruitment pattern is constantly evolving and is now at an interesting juncture with incoming trends which needs more encouragement. As we get to know the most important recruitment trends, you must look to utilise them to get the most out of your recruitment process. And if you are looking for a web development company, then feel free to get in touch with Nimblechapps today. 

If you are planning to launch your own eCommerce store, then it is possible that you have already gathered some information about the platforms which can allow you to build your own online store. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more companies have gone online from a brick and mortar store and the trend will just continue to grow with time. The world has now got an idea about the advantages and simplicity of online shopping and eCommerce is becoming the most sought after option for new-age entrepreneurs. So, if you can sell your products or services without renting or owning an expensive office or warehouse, why not invest the same money in different areas like R&D or marketing.

There are multiple tools available in the market which enable you to build an online store with convenience and at an affordable price like WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento etc. Today we are going to dig a little deeper and solve this question for you. WooCommerce vs Shopify? And also give our thoughts on why you should aim to pick one over the other in 2021. So, let us delve into the mysterious world of eCommerce platforms and simplify it for you. 

What is the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce?

Before we start with an in-depth analysis of two of the most commonly used eCommerce platforms out there, it is essential that we discuss the basic differences between both these platforms and what makes these platforms unique.

What is Shopify?

 

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Shopify is an all-inclusive eCommerce platform that enables you to create an online store, accept payments and handle your inventory from a single platform without getting into the details about the technical side of handling a website like a web hosting, data security, caching and more. 

What is WooCommerce?

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WooCommerce is an open-source platform in WordPress that enables you to take advantage of a dynamic content management system and use it to run an eCommerce store. Due to the open-source nature of the platform, it is easy to customize each and every element of the store along with building custom extensions as per your business needs. Now the choice between these two heavyweight eCommerce platforms relies on your business requirements and skills to implement. 

Importance of WooCommerce over Shopify

What you should be looking for in your eCommerce platform?

Certain things to bear in mind when choosing an eCommerce platform are as follows:

  • Budget - The cost of developing a completely functional eCommerce store.
  • Ease of Use - It should be simplistic and easy to use for beginners.
  • Payment Options - There should be external support for various payment modes like Stripe, PayPal and more.
  • Scalability - It should be easy to scale as and when your business needs it.
  • Integrations - A variety of services and third-party tools to be integrated into the store. 

The above-mentioned points are very basic requirements that all eCommerce stores should keep in mind. But, based on your business requirements, you may definitely want to check out other factors like inventory management, shipping, invoice management, taxes and more. We aim to do an in-depth analysis on Shopify and WooCommerce and which platform should be your preferred choice in 2021. 

WooCommerce is the default eCommerce plugin that can transform a WordPress website into a dynamic eCommerce store. It is an open-source framework and hence free to install which makes it ideal for users looking to control their costs. The only thing you will need to pay for is things like web hosting and data security etc. 

By using WooCommerce, you can build a dynamic and custom eCommerce store if you know how to code or you can hire someone with experience in eCommerce development. 

Shopify, on the other hand, is a reliable and powerful tool providing beautiful templates and excellent customer support. The drawback with Shopify is that you will be entitled to pay a monthly premium for a dynamic platform. Shopify could have just won the battle if it was an open-source platform. 

User focus for WooCommerce and Shopify

In this section, we aim to discuss both the eCommerce platforms on a number of factors like ease of use, build time, pricing, payment options and more as discussed in brief in the above section. Let us look at these points in detail. 

Pricing

Shopify has fixed pricing but WooCommerce has a flexible pricing structure that depends on your requirements. The pricing in Shopify ranges from $29 to $299 per month. WooCommerce is essentially free but you need to pay extra for add-ons like web hosting, domain registration and data security. The set pricing of Shopify allows you to stay on top of spending. However, WooCommerce offers these options in an open-source option, which makes it free. But, you will have to pay for the following add-ons:

  • Hosting ($30 - $60 per month)
  • Security ($0 - $200 per year)
  • Domain ($10 to $30 per year)
  • Extension charges (Free to $100 per month)

It is important to note that the above fees will be included in your Shopify premium plan. So, basically, your pricing for add-ons depends on the type of hosting you choose. 

Ease of Use 

There is no question that WooCommerce needs a bit more learning than Shopify for first-time users and from testing, Shopify is convenient to use for a novice business owner. Most users feel that using Shopify, they were able to develop a cleaner website that made their products stand out. Moreover, Shopify is a hosted eCommerce framework which means it solves the technical issues of operating an eCommerce store. Apart from that, it also takes care of domain name, web hosting and any security issues. 

In WooCommerce, you will have to do a bit more groundwork in handling add-ons like domain name, web hosting and security issues. So, in our experience, WooCommerce is easier to use if you have an experienced development team but if that is something that you are lacking, then it is better to use Shopify. 

Payment Methods

When you have a digital business, you need to include all the possible options for your customers to pay. Interestingly, Shopify and WooCommerce both have access to more than 100 payment gateways. It can either be an in-built integration like Shopify or an add-on like in WooCommerce. Some of the most common payment gateways are:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Square
  • Apple Pay

All the above payment gateways have a different transaction fee so it is ideal to inform your customers about the same at the time of checkout. For instance, Shopify has a flat 2% transaction fee if you use a third-party payment gateway. If you are looking to reduce the transaction fee, then it is advisable to opt for an enhanced Shopify plan or by using Shopify Payments. 

There is a big difference between Shopify and WooCommerce when it comes to transaction fees. The benefit of using WooCommerce is that you will not be charged a transaction fee for using a third-party payment gateway. Please bear in mind that the bank charges will still apply along with the charges from payment gateways like PayPal. Hence, it is better to opt for WooCommerce if you have a significantly higher volume of products and is beneficial for sellers who would like to choose their own merchant account. For ease of payments and low transaction charges, we would highly recommend using WooCommerce over Shopify. 

Performance and Scalability

Performance has always been a key issue for online buyers. If it takes longer to open your website, read a longer description or make a purchase then there is a high probability that the sale might not happen. WordPress has a fast CMS by default but adding plugins for WooCommerce and multiple other extensions can increase the page load time. 

Sometimes, adding too many products to the eCommerce site can significantly increase the page load time. When you add more products to your eCommerce store it can be overwhelming to handle the performance and scalability but it is feasible. The main idea should be to use a hosting provider equipped with CDNs and maintenance providers that can enable you to optimize the store. There are a large number of free WordPress optimization plugins and the other add-ons will add to the cost of development. 

As per Shopify, the eCommerce platform has already figured out its performance issues and it offers unlimited bandwidth, CDN and almost 99.9% uptime guarantee. But this doesn’t mean that you will get the desired speed. An online store with thousands of products with multiple variations and images will slow down the store for the users. 

For that, you can use performance optimization applications to improve scalability. Apart from that, as and when your business grows, you can upgrade your Shopify plan to an advanced version. It is important to factor in the costs involved in Shopify Plus plans when you are trying to choose between both the platforms and hence WooCommerce emerges as a clear winner. 

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Integrations

By installing applications and plugins you can include more weapons in your eCommerce armoury. On both platforms, you can install applications to add extra functionality in all areas like SEO, marketing and shipping. However, which platform has a better range of apps to choose from?

There is no doubt that WooCommerce depends on plugins and there are more than 50,000 plugins to choose from.  On the other hand, Shopify has only around 1200 free plugins and it may not be as reliable. This is one more reason why WooCommerce is ideal when you think about including plugins and integrations. 

Differentials stats of people using each of the platforms 

Now we will get to the data which gives us an indication of the popularity of WooCommerce and Shopify. 

WooCommerce

There are more than 5 million eCommerce stores around the world using WooCommerce currently as per a 2021 report. After the latest update, there were more than 4 hundred thousand downloads of the plugin through automatic updates. This throws some light on the total number of active stores, though the number of stores will be way higher. We keep checking the WooCommerce.com website to track the total number of downloads which includes plugin updates and new installs.

It is estimated that WooCommerce is used in approximately 68,000 of the world’s most popular million websites. It is a significant number, 0.2% of the total websites and around 6.8% of the top websites around the world. Moreover, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in 2021. It is used in around 40% of the world’s eCommerce stores, whereas Shopify is used in 26% of eCommerce websites.

Shopify

Shopify on the other hand is another eCommerce giant and it is responsible for the growth of global eCommerce. The eCommerce has industry from $3.5 trillion in 2014 to around $5 trillion in 2021. Shopify’s customers include a list of popular brands like Pepsi, Nestle, Tesla, Red Bull, Unilever and more. To date, more than 25 million apps have been installed with more than 80% of the merchants using third-party apps. Overall it has been used in 26% of websites in 2021 which means it still has some ground to cover. 

Final Thoughts

We have listed the major differences between WooCommerce and Shopify. Now we hope you will be able to make an informed decision for your online store. If you are someone who is looking for an independent project with loads of customization, large scale operations and are technically sound then you can go with WooCommerce for its personalization. And if you are someone who is looking for 24*7 support, ready to pay for a website and don’t have enough technical expertise, then you should definitely go for Shopify. If you need help with WooCommerce development, then feel free to get in touch with Nimblechapps, a WooCommerce development company.