Pro’s and Con’s of Using WordPress

WordPress is the most popular platform for building websites and powers millions of websites. WordPress is very user friendly, simply put, it makes website building easy. WordPress is great because you can customize with thousands of website templates and design that you can choose from. Each template/design comes with different options for customizing which allows the user to create very unique websites.

131From experience working at a wordpress development company, Highlighted in this article are some of the pro’s and con’s of using WordPress.

A few WordPress Pros:

1. User Friendly CMS. WordPress is extremely simple to organize content without having a background in website management. It’s easy to navigate through content and the pages on a WordPress site.

2. Plugins. A major bonus for WordPress is that there are over 50,000 mostly free and paid plugins that are available to users. These plugins help the users customize and enhance any WordPress site.

3. SEO. SEO is now more important than ever so best SEO practices follow suit. WordPress does a good job of promoting best practices and offers a wide variety of plugins to optimize content, keywords, and meta tags.

A few WordPress cons:

1. Vulnerability. One major con for WordPress is that’s it’s extremely vulnerable and easy to hack into. Someone was able to hack into our website that we built on WordPress using our website.wp-admin and logged in. Since it is an open-source platform this makes it attractive to potential hackers.Being an open-source platform, WordPress is attractive to potential hackers.

2. Many Updates. Of course, everyone needs to install updates and its important to your WordPress site’s health. That being said, it can also be annoying because there are constant updates.

1323. Customization. If you aren’t a WordPress expert and one didn’t build your website, customization can be an issue and become expensive. Mentioned above with the updates, it can cause some problems on your site if they aren’t fully functional.

With any platform or website builder there will inevitably be pros or cons. Many of the cons listed in this article can be resolved with the right ux design agency or person managing your website.

Looking for more insight on UX services or a wordpress theme development company? Are you wanting to develop an app or website and you need to know more information or need a web development agency chicago based? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

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Pro’s and Con’s of Using WordPress

Development Approaches: Waterfall Versus Agile

Web design and developers in Chicago and all over the world will tell you how important it is to come up with a game plan for how a project process will go. Agile and Waterfall are potentially two very different ways of delivering project. As an agency that specializes in UX services, we’ve learned time and again why these two ways are very important to understand.

The choice you make on which to use of course impacts how your team will operate, and while it totally depends on the project and requirements you should understand the difference between the two.

Waterfall has been known as the traditional methodology for software development and its rapidly losing popularity as agile methodology is increasingly being adopted by companies.

121Agile methodology follows a linear sequential approach while providing flexibility, waterfall is a sequential model where software development is segregated. This agile methodology provides flexibility in a way that as project requirements change so does the methodology approach.

So what are some advantages and disadvantages? This is a great way to put these two models into perspective.

Advantages of the Agile model:
This is focused on client process which in turn keeps them involved at every stage.
Agile teams are motivated and self-organized which is likely to end in a better result.
The process is totally based on the incremental progress.

Advantages of the Waterfall model:122

  • An easy model to manage with each phase having specific deliverables and a review process.
  • Results in a faster delivery of the project.
    Works well for smaller projects with easy-to-understand requirements.
  • And, of course, there are some disadvantages.

Disadvantages of the Agile model:

  • Agile only works best when members of the development team are completely and totally dedicated to the project.
  • The involving nature of Agile development may lead to a frequent rethinking if the full scope of the system is not accounted for in the initial architecture and design. Without this rethinking, the system can suffer from a reduction in overall quality.

Disadvantages of the Waterfall model:

  • It can be time consuming to gather and document requirements on each step since its difficult to assume things about the project at the beginning.
  • In general, the risk is higher with the Waterfall approach because the scope for mistakes is higher. If something goes wrong, fixing it can be hard because you have to go through a few steps back.

Still not sure on which to go with? Think long and hard about your project requirements and what the best possible outcome could and should be. Looking to work with a ux company or a mobile app design and development agency in Chicago? Are you wanting to develop an app or website or simply want more information on our UX design agency? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

Development Approaches: Waterfall Versus Agile

What Will IoT Be Like in 100 Years

The Internet of Things (IoT) is something more than a hype that will fade away. The IoT has already changed how we work, live, and play! It is being used across all industries; real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, education, and more. According to Statista, by 2025 there will be over 75 billion connected devices, and according to McKinsey, by the same year, IoT could have an annual, global impact of $3.9 trillion.

This is a large impact on society’s economy, and over the next 100 years, we will start to see these changes in action and truly evolve. As a ux ui design company and a IoT mobile app company chicago based, we have to stay on top of trends and statistics within the world of IoT in order to provide our clients with the best business solution possible. Two areas where we can expect to see great changes in IoT are with smart homes and agriculture.

b111Smart Home
App developers in chicago have seen a major boom in the need for mobile apps where Internet of Things is changing real estate with HVAC systems and smart devices. HVAC systems and smart devices now can respond to the presence/absence of occupants and can adjust air conditioning, heat, and light. When someone lives in the home for a long period of time, the system starts to pick up on usage patterns and find the best way to cut down on energy costs and maximize performance.

For example, having a smart home device such as a wifi enabled water heater gives homeowners the control to choose how long and when the water heater runs during the day. This device provides hot water when it’s needed the most by optimizing water temperatures.
As a home ages, of course maintenance and issues are unavoidable. But, what if homeowners could see these problems and fix them ahead of time? IoT predictive analytics enable homeowners to identify issues and address system failures even before they happen. Through this idea of predictive maintenance, there are sensors and real time energy monitoring that can keep track of any irregularities and have the power to alert you when it’s time for maintenance, when an issue is about to occur, and can predict a maintenance schedule by knowing how much energy has been consumed.

In 100 years, all homes will be smart homes, this will be part of everyone’s daily lives. The technology will of course improve and evolve. This IoT technology will become more mainstream in the future.

b112Agriculture
IoT livestock management solutions are changing the livestock management paradigm. Livestock wearables are used for monitoring heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, blood pressure, and even digestion. These monitors also track the location of an animal. This data gathered is sent to the cloud which allows farmers to identify and fix problems in their livestock via user interfaces. As a mobile app design and development and a ux design services agency, we’ve seen the rise of these interfaces and it will continue to grow.

Modern farming involves heavy machinery and equipment to perform a variety of farming operations. The farming sector is continually struggling because of a shortage of skilled workers and also lacks people’s interest in working on a farm. IoT helps farmers in this situation with automated tractors, plows, cultivators and other machinery to meet the need for minimum or almost no human dependency. Just like smart homes, the agriculture industry will continue to advance with technology and you can expect to see many advances in 100 years.

Looking for more insight on UI design services, UX services, or a mobile app design company? Are you wanting to develop an app or website and you need to know more information on how this web development agency chicago based company is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

What Will IoT Be Like in 100 Years

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring Your Websites UX

Web and app developers in Chicago and all over the world will tell you how important it is for users to have a great experience on your website. As an agency that specializes in UX design services, we’ve learned time and again the reasons why your website’s UX should never be ignored. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t be ignoring your websites UX.

1) First impressions are everything. Good design and first impressions are important and visuals make up for much of that. In terms of user experience design services, its very crucial to not let your design get in the way of how the user interacts with the site.

b1012) You want your site to be trusted. The last thing you want your user to feel is uncertainty or ask if they can trust your site with their information. If a user is asking themselves questions and is unsure of the answers they think in their head, they probably want to get far away from your site and won’t want to ever come back.

3) Slow loading site. It’s more than frustrating when you come across a website that takes forever to load. It’s a frustrating experience for the user and if they were unsure about your product/service and wanted more information on it, this is a sure way to make them turned off. UX research services have proven there are numerous ways you can speed up your website even if you have tons of imagery and multimedia or are making it very creative; there’s always a way to speed it up.

4) A positive user reaction. Safe, comfortable, happy; these are the feelings you should want your user to have when they see your site. The user should feel comfortable that they’ll find what they’re looking for on your site and that you’re the website that will make everything good. Feeling validated, that you’ve done the right thing and made the right decision in your click.

b1025) Lack of contact information for next steps. Picture this, a user ends up on a site that has the products/services their looking for, they go through product information and details and are meticulous about what they’re searching for. They believe the information satisfies their needs so they search for the business’s contact information but its not there. No form to fill out, no physical address, no phone number, no email. This makes the UX crash down.

If you’re a beginner just getting into UX design, or a seasoned vet who’s forgot what the basic tools are, these are some good examples of what you should never ignore in your UX design.

Looking to work with a ux company or a mobile app design company in Chicago? Are you wanting to develop an app or website or simply want more information on our web design agency? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring Your Websites UX

Is the Future of Shopping VR?

Going to a store to shop or even browsing online may soon come to an end. Virtual Reality (VR) technology has the power to transform, and is starting to change consumers shopping experience. Working at an ecommerce mobile app development agency we constantly see new technologies changing the way people shop.

b61Not only does VR let consumers view products in a unique way, in some cases it takes them to another world. These are some examples of how the future of shopping will be changed and transformed by VR, as well as some of the brands that are already testing the new waters.

Some car companies like Lexus are now allowing customers to use VR to test drive a car around a race track. Instead of sitting in the actual luxury car behind the wheel, VR lets the customer see how fast the car goes, look at the interior/exterior and learn about features. This is a great, convenient way for customers to see new models, test them out, and see what the car has to offer.

Trying on or testing merchandise using VR helps customers see product in context. One area where VR is impacting the eCommerce industry is by helping customers visualize the product their looking at and how much physical space the product will take up. Ecommerce web design in usa like IKEA has a VR app and website that helps shoppers visualize how the furniture would actually look in their living room, bedroom, office, etc. Through this app shoppers can change products, switch colors and sizes, and see how different pieces of furniture will complement each other. Because of this, VR can help consumers in their product searches and speeds up the purchase process.

VR helps customers be able to take creative reign and make custom orders based on their imagination. In past years, creating a custom order used to be a time consuming task. Nike’s Makers’ Experience combines AR, object tracking and AI and IoT as well as digital signage to allow a customized, unique design to appear on a pair of shoes that the customer designed. As soon as an hour later, the customer can even go pick up the finished product and walk away with a totally customizable product.

b62Lastly, Tommy Hilfiger has recently been making headlines in VR through letting customers experience the high end runway show via virtual reality. Not everyone, barely anyone actually can afford a front row seat to a popular fashion show in real life. Through VR, people have been able to explore backstage, see the models up close. This experience is only available in a few Tommy Hilfiger stores for now, but guests can see clothes virtually on the runway before the hassle of trying them on in a fitting room in real life.

In a few years, AI tech will completely change the way that people shop for specific items (if it hasn’t already). Consumers will virtually be able to “try before they buy” making it easier and more efficient to online shop.

As a ux design company and mobile app development chicago based agency, we have seen many instances of VR and AR coming into play. Virtual reality can be used in so many ways to alter how customers interact with products and brands and its really starting to take off. As technology continues to develop, we’re definitely going to see more and more ways that VR transforms future shopping experiences for consumers.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app or website and you need to know more information on how this web development agency chicago based company is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

Is the Future of Shopping VR?

4 Ways To Make Your Business’ Shoppable Instagram Successful

Say you’re an eCommerce merchant that has been wanting to advertise your products through social media. In a culture dominated and shaped by social media, this can be a great way to reach potential customers and raise awareness about your business.

Now, you have quite a few different options to choose from. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, the list goes on. However, if your product can be showcased visually and it is appropriate for your target demographic, a great choice for social media marketing is Instagram.

Instagram has been on the rise as a photo & video sharing application. Some users have already begun to assert that Instagram is replacing Facebook as their dominant form of social media. The New York Times reports that roughly 700 million users access Instagram each month, with roughly 400 million users logging onto the app daily.

If you are an eCommerce business owner that has been looking to expand your reach, Instagram could be an untapped market for you. Multiple eCommerce stores and social media influencers are already capitalizing by engaging their users through this social media forum.

If you are new to Instagram and are unsure how to sell your products, have no fear! Codal has worked with countless eCommerce merchants to assist them in achieving their goals. As a writer for an eCommerce web development company, I have compiled a basic how-to guide for selling on Instagram.

Providing Humanized Content

So, you have decided to take the plunge into the world of Instagram. Aside from the obvious housekeeping tasks— choosing your username, picking a profile picture, writing a description—your content plays a huge role in your account’s success.

Instagram is a visual app; therefore, you need to be providing material that is visually engaging through your profile. Ritual is a great example of this aesthetically pleasing and intriguing content.

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(Screenshots from Ritual’s Instagram Page)

Although they are a vitamin company, their page seems almost artistic. Thus, it makes it interesting for the user. They are showcasing the vitamin in a new way and it is working— Ritual boasts 63.5k followers with 584 posts.

Ritual is also successful because of how they make their product seem tangible. Due to the fact that their product is intended to be for people, they have people marketing and showcasing their vitamin in their content. Ritual humanizes their page through their product representation.

Aside from this human connection, Ritual makes their product’s intention straightforward in their posts. The average user can understand what the vitamin is for upon first glance at Ritual’s page. For example, their page shows their vitamins being balanced on someone’s lips. If I am a user that knows nothing about their product, I assume that it is meant to be ingested— no caption needed.

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(Screenshots from Ritual’s Instagram Page)

In order to sell your product through Instagram you need to make your content seem tangible and your intention be straightforward.

Ritual is just one great example of a brand using Instagram to sell products well. But follow their lead and you can also see yourself gaining user engagement insta-ntly.

2. Exhibiting Quality Marketing Techniques

The developers at Instagram recognize that their platform is being used to sell products, so they have made it nice and easy for merchants to be able to promote their products through advertisements.

If you fork over a little cash, you can purchase photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and sponsored Instagram stories. This can assist your business on extending your reach beyond your profile. With these ads, you can customize the particular demographic of users that you would like to target.

These ads might be brief, but with your demographic parameters set- they can be funnelled straight to the users that are the most compatible. Now that’s what I call marketing.

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Although these ads are great, a drawback would be your inability to directly link your product in the caption. If users want to learn more they can, through ‘swipe to learn more’; however, you are still unable to link to your company website.

A way around this minor roadblock would be putting your company site in your business’ Instagram biography. That way, if a customer wants to find out more about your products, they can have a set place to look.

Furthermore, you can send a customer your company link through a direct message (or a DM, as the kids call it these days). For example, you can post on your Instagram story an advertisement, and tell your users to “DM you for more information.” Now, with that sidestep, you can link the user to your company homepage directly.

3. Providing Shoppable Instagram Posts and Including Instagram Influencers

Recently integrated into Instagram is the ability for users to check out products through ‘shoppable Instagram posts.’ Sephora integrates this ability into their page with ease. If a user likes the way a product looks- a simple click, and they have the information at their fingertips.

A savvy way of selling your products, a user can browse products from your business without ever leaving the app. This feature prioritizes the importance of providing ease for your user.

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In addition to making shoppable posts, it can be great marketing for your business to team up with a social media influencer. As an influencer, these individuals have access to a vast number of users.

If these users agree to work with your company, it can increase the amount of site traffic for you and your social media mogul. A win-win.

4. Your Page’s Cohesiveness

When making a successful Instagram brand, it is important that your brand’s flow be seamless. Anyone who provides solid ui design services would stress that your color, logo, and aesthetic should match on both the website and the Instagram page itself.

Therefore, if a customer clicks on the company site while on the page, the brand seems to extend itself beyond these two forums. A user should never feel like they are looking at two different brands when they are looking at your site and Instagram side by side.

With your website and Instagram page, cohesiveness is key.

Do It For The ‘Gram

As you are developing your business’ Instagram presence, don’t forget about the other parts of your eCommerce business. As an eCommerce web design company in Chicago, Codal is committed to helping you achieve your eCommerce goals.

Contact us today for help in developing your business further!

4 Ways To Make Your Business’ Shoppable Instagram Successful

GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you have undoubtedly heard of the passing of the GDPR on May 25th, 2018. As a web development agency in Chicago, Codal has been acutely aware of this legislation and its breadth. Yet, this astronomical legislation was a long time coming- the GDPR’s construction started in December 2015.

The General Data Protection Regulation, or most commonly referred to as the “GDPR,” is a European Union privacy and security law. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does this impact my business if I am in America and my business is based in the U.S.?

Since GDPR involves any personal data that EU citizens provide, its reach is far beyond Europe. Thus, if your business operates in the European Union, offers services/goods to EU citizens, or essentially accesses any part of the EU- you must be in compliance with the GDPR.

The GDPR is the largest cybersecurity update in the past two decades: giving data control back to the user and limiting the extent that businesses can use this information.

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The price for not complying? Lawsuits and fines galore. Now, that’s scary. And for the sake of user cybersecurity, it’s meant to have that fear factor. As a web application development agency in Chicago, that works with a number of companies that are affected by these laws- I understand the unease that you must being experiencing. However, we are going to delve into this cryptic legislation together and determine what it means for your business.

Taking A Bird’s Eye View

If your business falls under the breadth of the GDPR, the first thing to do would be to take a step back and look at the data being collected holistically. What are you collecting this data for, and are your users aware of these uses?

The GDPR emphasizes that users have control over their “personal data.” Forbes simplifies and lays out what this would encompass: personal identifying data (name, address, date of birth, web-based data (location, IP address, cookies), health/genetic data, biometric data, racial/ethnic data, political opinions and sexual orientation. That’s a lot of data.

If your business is using any of this information, it is pertinent that you check your privacy agreements to be in accordance with the GDPR (Article 7 in the legislation). Are users explicitly agreeing to the following ‘terms and conditions,’ that would allow you to use this data? If the answer is no, your privacy agreement may be due for a facelift. No matter what your answer is, GDPR is a reminder that your privacy agreement could probably use an update.

This is why so many users have been receiving emails asking them to review changes in these privacy agreements. I would recommend following suit: once you update the agreements, let users know of these changes and require them to re-agree.

If you’re looking for an example of GDPR compliant privacy agreements, Google has a good example of their user policy here or here.

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Review. And if necessary, be sure to revise promptly.

Hire A Data Protection Officer

In addition to a potential update in privacy agreements, a business should consider hiring a data protection officer, or a “DPO” for short. A data protection officer ensures that a business is adhering to all aspects of the GDPR. DPOs also work on data protection strategy and the implementation of new security protocols.

Additionally, a DPO has to conduct audits of a business’ security, train other employees about data processing, and more. Depending on the amount of data your business processes, GDPR may require you to hire a DPO.

We recommend taking a look at the GDPR legislation to see how your business fits into this requirement. Who knows, your new DPO might become your right-hand man.

Plans And Records

As the GDPR is put into effect, businesses also need to create a Record of Processing Activities (RoPA). The RoPA includes: information about the data controller, purposes of processing, and the security measures put in place. Article 30 details this portion of the GDPR in further detail.

Another important addition to the GDPR is its policy regarding data breaches. The GDPR requires companies to report breaches within 72 hours of the incident occurring. That’s a quick turnaround.

This short timeline means that companies should create policies on how they might handle a data breach. The quicker breach plans can be implemented, the sooner a business can minimize the damage and lay out its next steps – all while fitting in with the GDPR requirements.

However, if a company fails to report a data breach, they will face hefty fines. Better safe than sorry, make sure your business is in line with the GDPR requirements.

What Next?

The bottom line is that you should get your business to be GDPR compliant as soon as possible. Though the full GDPR requirements are much lengthier than this article, it’s a good starting point to refining your business’ data protocols. This includes advertising and the social media realm! Prevent the excessive fines and lawsuits – get on board with the GDPR.

And while you’re in the mindset of updating your business, get in contact with an eCommerce web design company to help your users find your security policies and privacy changes with ease.

GDPR: What It Means For Your Business