Author Archives: Anwar Baksh

Attractive, Modern, and Customizable Restaurant Templates

Wp Theme


The website of a restaurant is a direct insight into it’s quality and experience.

Having a bad website will not produce anything meaningful for your restaurant. The best restaurant themes made for WordPress can provide exactly what is required in quality and experience right out of the box.

Any level of customization is possible including custom CSS and JavaScript, without compromising the integrity of the theme.

Therefore, when building your restaurant’s website, it’s important to select from the best WordPress restaurant themes to find the right design to represent your restaurant or bar.

No one ever liked picking a restaurant that looks good on the outside only to hate the food and experience inside. I know I don’t. And how often have we missed great food and experience because the outside was miss-judged?

Traditionally people get recommendations from friends and family, and more recently they started to look up where they want to go online directly. They often do several points of research before choosing one.

According to a survey conducted by Read more »

Is the Tesla Powerwall Overpriced?

powerwall


What is the Powerwall?

The Powerwall is a new commercial battery pack powered by solar energy and made for the common home. It will be produced by Tesla Motors Inc. and can be reserved on the Tesla Powerwall Website.

Powerwall batteries are made from lithium ion, available in 10kwh and 7kwh capacity, and outputs 350 to 450 volts. These units are mounted on the wall and are rechargeable. They require installation by a trained electrician and do not come with an AC-DC inverter.

What are some alternatives to Powerwall?

Cheap silicon batteries are in abundance these days. China produces millions every month. One example is deep cycle 6V lead calcium batteries which you can buy on Amazon. These can be combined with 120 watt solar panels and a 1700 watt inverter and produce more power than one Powerwall.

One drawback to using what’s currently available is performance and lifespan. The Powerwall is designed to last over ten years, something many batteries cannot match. These batteries also cannot regulate their own recharge cycles which helps save money by charging when costs are lowest.

How can the powerwall change the world?

Changing the world is a big claim. But this battery might very-well do that. It’s a bit premature – but Elon Musk explains how people in remote parts of the world can skip over existing power systems and adapt this technology faster.

Is the powerwall overpriced?

The Powerwall battery is priced very high at $3000 and $3500 for the 7kwh version. Compared to the currently available batteries and additional equipment cost, this product does come at a premium.

Regardless, when comparing performance and lifespan, this product promises to last as much as 20 years and performs very well if not better than other options.

I don’t think the Powerwall is overpriced – in fact it may be perfectly priced.

How to Use Established Standards to Create a Great Website


building a siteIgnoring standards in Web Development is like raising a child in the jungle. That child will not perform well in normal society when mature.

When you build anything, it must be adapted to the fundamental features of similar products. At least to some degree.

When I started building websites over 15 years ago, it was mostly by trial and error.

Like many Professional Web Developers who are self taught, I didn’t know much about conversion optimization, typography, vertical spacing, and the countless other ingredients that make a great website.

These are some of the standards that are critical to the success of a modern site or application.

Design and programming best practices were developed mostly through testing, experimentation, and analytic reviews. This is what gives it strength.

Industry tested approaches and techniques that are proven to work should be fairly reliable, right?

Most big companies didn’t know much about this as well, and many still don’t. Back then there were no major college level programs focusing on website development.

Don’t get me wrong, there Read more »

Save your Data and Sanity with an External Drive


One day just like any, you open your favorite browser and the screen goes blank. You press a bunch of buttons hoping it’s just a glitch, but nothing happens.

After several minuets of waiting, you decide to restart the computer. On start up, you get a blue screen displaying an error message. In short, your computer has crashed, taking thousands of family photos, videos, prized music, and even movie collections.

Even worse, your tax, other important documents, business related data, shortcuts, favorites, bookmarks, applications, and software are all gone.

You can try a data recovery service, but there is no guarantee the files can be retrieved.

You can get Read more »

5 Downloadable Logo Creation Software


Great logos are like super talented people. Many will be loyal to the brand becuase of it, and this can equate to millions of additional revenue for a company.

That’s why this list of the best logo creation software was assembled. Crafting a top performing asset that represents your company is not always easy.

The Logo, is the most powerful and dynamic attribute of a business. It can be central, or foundational. If the company is lucky enough, their logo can even become a pop culture icon.

Everything must be considered when designing a logo. Everything! From the name of your company, the uniqueness of the logo, various media type compatibility, and the future use of the logo. It’s like a face.

People get it wrong all the time, including me.

Logos are not always good as Read more »

What is SharePoint?


SharePoint is a collaboration software platform used by more than 75% of all Fortune 500 companies. This according to Microsoft who publicly launched it in 2001.

In those days it was used for intranets and managing documents. Today, its capabilities goes significantly beyond the original core features. This is possible because SharePoint is an Application Platform. This means third party developers can create plugins for it.

I must admit, I have very little experience with this software. So this article is mostly an exploratory piece. I want to examine it from the perspective of a Newbie and give you my initial review without bias.

What are the main features of SharePoint?

Cloud Collaboration: This software is a Read more »

How to Create the Best Social Media Campaigns on Google+

Vintage Ad


300 million active monthly users are on Google+, but who are they, and how do they actually use this network?

Well, 30% earn over 60 thousand a year, which is an interesting piece of data. I’m almost certain your customers are on this social network and 1/3 of them are not doing too badly.

Almost 50% are over 18 and under 25 years old. I want to know if this where the youths congregate now?

Think about this for a second. The young teens are primarily on mobile chat apps now, the “real” adults are traditionally on Facebook, and it seems folks between those two age groups are comfortable on Google Plus.

Google+ may not be Read more »

Does Google treat Social Pages Differently?


Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, recently addressed the question of how social network pages are handled by the search engines in a video posted on YouTube. His answer was a bit misleading in my view.

So are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social signals part of Google’s ranking algorithm?

This is a very informative video that addresses several concerns including how social pages are crawled, and if likes, followers and links in posts affect search rankings.

Check it out here

To sum it up, he’s broadly saying social signals have no real impact on search results. What!?

But he did mention that some types of social network pages are crawled and ranked. This we already knew. The real issue he addressed was about links on those public social pages.

He claims this does not affect rankings of the social pages or the linked page. I’m not so sure if I heard that correctly.

I’m not sure what Matt is talking about. I find it hard to believe that social signals are not factors in their algorithm.

I can believe however, their of lack of access, privacy concerns, and I can understand their limitations in this area as a result.

What do you think? Is it smoke screens or the real deal?

How to Increase Your Website Traffic by 2000%


179,000 plus impressions in Google Search and barely 500 clicks! That’s the worst I’ve seen.

It’s like tending a Gold Mine and coming up empty everyday. This is the slow strangulation happening to a site I recently did some work on. I’m so unhappy about this, I decided to write this post to help other site owners avoid this problem.

Low CRT Serp Listings

At site launch these basics must be addressed

Do you know how to access your Webmaster Tools Account (WMT)? Do you even have an account?

A standard inclusion on any new website that I develop is WMT setup, XML sitemap creation, sitemap submission to WMT and ongoing site monitoring through the platform.

These simple set of tasks can Read more »

A Basic yet Essential Tutorial on Web Hosting


Web Hosting is a term for the service of storing and serving up the files of a website. The service provider is referred to as a Web Host. Godaddy, Blue Host, and Hostgator are examples of website hosting service providers.

So how exactly does web hosting work?

Well it’s very simple. A website is a collection of files. These files need to be stored on a computer’s hard drive.

Not only does it store the files, it must process and present the files after a request for those files has been made. In other words, they’re Read more »

Why Should I Buy an Ipad?


Over 100 million unites sold within 24 months. And we still have to ask this question?

The world went crazy for the Ipad Tablet. Except me of course. Yet it seemed like everybody wanted to buy one of these things. That’s why Apple Inc. moved so many of them when it was first released. Now that’s an impressive launch.

I don’t think people are still as excited for that particular product as they were a few years ago. With respect to it’s place in history, there are other options on the market now.

You can’t release a ground breaking product like the Ipad and not expect Read more »

Features of the Best Web Hosting Companies Reviewed

Hosting servers


Would you build a house on land that was unstable? I’m guessing the answer is no.

This same principle applies when reviewing services and looking for the best web hosting company for your website business.

Think for a moment if a server has a hiccup and the entire website is wiped out. Will the host be able to help?

A few years ago websites went down constantly whenever they were promoted on Digg. This happened because of the sudden spike in traffic that came from this site.

How will the host handle a similar problem if it was your website?

These are just two common problems. But don’t underestimate them. Having an established site crash while money is being made and customers are using the site is the worst case scenario. And this alone can drive a person crazy.

So it’s critical that you choose the right host from the start. Because Read more »

10 High Quality Webcams for Streaming

Logitech C920 Webcam


Buying a webcam is like buying a used car. It can turn out to be a lemon or your “old reliable”. Even if you bought a used cam, my list of the best webcams will not include any lemons.

In the last decade, video chatting and video publishing has skyrocketed. And although most online videos must be downloaded before viewing, live streaming videos are also very popular.

So I started thinking about what are the best webcams for streaming and not just for recording. I’m not referring to Camcorders, but specifically about cameras made for live broadcasting.
So here they are, and in no particular order:

1. Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam

logitech_c920_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 1920 x 1080p. It has Logitech Fluid Crystal Technology and noise reducing dual stereo mics build right in.

It allows uploading to Facebook and YouTube with a single click. It also has 15 megapixels photo capture and is Skype, Yahoo, Live compatible.
-> Buy on Amazon

2. Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam

microsoft_lifecamstudio_webcamThis webcam is made by Microsoft. It’s video resolution is 1920 x 1080p. It has Auto Focus lens, TrueColor technology for any lighting situation and ClearFrame technology.

It also has a high-fidelity microphone and is Skype certified. This cam is also Microsoft Lync ready and has 4 GB of Ram for fast streaming. It’s rated 4.1 out of 5 stars.
-> Buy on Amazon

3. Mevo Live Event Camera for iOS

Mevo webcamThis webcam is made by Mevo. It’s video resolution (VGA) is 720P. It allows live streaming virtually anywhere via Wi-Fi or LTE.

This device is made for iOS devices with iOS 9 or higher, and is the first camera to stream to Facebook Live. It also features built-in stereo microphones with dedicated DSP.
-> Buy on Amazon

4. Logitech B910 Hd Webcam

logitech_b910_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is (720 x 1280p) at 30 fps. It has a 78-degree wide-angle field of view. It also has 5 megapixel photo capture capabilities.
-> Buy on Amazon

5. Apple iSight Video Conferencing Webcam

apple_insight_webcamThis webcam is made by Apple. It’s video resolution is 640 x 480p at 30fps. It has a Built-in noise-suppressing microphone. It only weighs 2.3 ounces.
-> Buy on Amazon

6. uCorder IRDC250 Wearable Video Camera

imgThis webcam is made by uCorder. This is more of a portable device. It’s video resolution is (640 x 480p) at 25 fps. It comes with a built-in Flash memory of 2 GB. It weighs only 1 pound.

 

7. iHome MyLife Notebook Webcam

ihome_webcamThis webcam is made by LifeWorks. It has a 5.0 megapixel max resolution. It also can track motion and comes with a built-In microphone. It weighs 1/4 of a pound.
-> Buy on Amazon

8. Logitech B990 HD Webcam

logitech_b990_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 720p at 30fps. It has a 78-degree wide-angle field of view. It comes with dual mics for natural wide band audio. It weighs 14 ounces.
-> Buy on Amazon

9. Logitech 2Mp Hd Webcam Pro 9000

logitech_9000_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 720p. It has 8 mega pixel photo capture capabilities. It also has a 75 inch wide-angle lens. It has RightLight2, RightSound and AutoFocus Technology.
-> Buy on Amazon

10. Logitech HD Webcam C310

imgThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 1280 X 720p. It comes with a built-in mic with Logitech RightSound technology. It can do up to 5MP photo capture. Another feature is 1-click Facebook and YouTube HD-upload.
-> Buy on Amazon

Compatibility

The biggest problems with webcams is video quality and hardware encoding. These become serious concerns when considering the output of live streaming video for video chats, seminars, and other important broadcasting.

Often the specific problems include speckling and color gradient inconsistencies. These issues are usually a result of severe processing of the video before it gets to the end user.

The processing of these streams includes compression of the video to allow smoother streaming on multiple devices, which is often done by YouTube when a video is uploaded. These types of treatment is done to live video as well.

If the video is low quality at the time of production, then gets processed a few times before delivery, it will produce a very low grade user experience. Try to create the highest quality videos when possible.

There is also potential USB compatibility and performance issues. Specificly with high quality video, the hardware on your computer must be able to handle the device. It’s the first level of processing and critical.

Community streaming websites like Twitch often require h.264 encoding for improved framerates, which cams like the C920 may be perfect for – read more about this here.

The top webcams on the market can do 720+ pixel HD Video at 15-30fps.

And computers have live firewire and live USB inputs to receive the video data. Most computers have USB 2.0 ports, so no need to worry about that.

Firewire based cams are great for streaming and can be used with Camcorders as well.

Check your computer for the Firewire port before buying anything. Check the package of your webcam or camcorder for the Firewire connector, it is often supplied.

No Firewire port? You can install a PCI card with Firewire ports. There must be an available slot on your motherboard for this upgrade.

Remember, it takes lots of CPU power to encode videos in real time for good quality streams.

You should review the detailed technical specifications of these cameras on retail websites to make the best choice for your situation.

Conclusion

These are some of the best webcams for streaming, but there may be better cams on the market. I didn’t personally try all of these webcams. Based on the specs, user feedback, and my personal experience with webcams, they stack up well against lesser quality/cheaper devices.

The device you choose to go with is based on your situation. I guess the only way to find out is with trial and error.

Remember, choose a cam that is compatible with the provided input of your computer.

H.264 video compression is the popular encoding format today, so make sure your camera can do this as well.

How to Growth Hack with Published Content

Search Traffic


When the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed, it powered the migration of thousands of people and the growth of countless towns and cities.

If you want to increase the traffic volumes your website is getting then consider these early railroads.

If there is a faster and easier way to get to a destination, people will use it. Even though they might not have thought to go there before. And if it cost nothing, the choice is almost a no-brainer.

These early migrants were already in America. Similarly, the pageviews you desire will be created by your site’s current user base, or your extended community.

More pageviews = more opportunities to convert sales.

There are lots of easy ways to improve a website’s pageviews. I will tell you what they are. These tips are not blackhat or unethical. These are simple solutions that are also force multipliers. They call this Growth Hacking today.

With the expense and time involved in driving new visitors to your site, you need one time fixes and updates that allow your site to capitalize on it’s current user base over time.

What usually stimulates multiple page views is Read more »

The cost of ignoring On-page SEO


Cost of No SEOThere are only so many things we can control. Algorithmic updates is not one of them. But what about ON PAGE SEO?

There are people who work very hard to solidify standards that even the Search Engines must adhere to.

Of course standards may only be enforced if there is true habituation by the masses.

So what’s costing you thousands of dollars every year?

Missing Sitemap

Your Website might have many pages with plenty of text content. If you’re still not receiving significant traffic, then perhaps your site is not properly indexed by Search Engines.

This could be caused by bad site navigation structure, lack of a Read more »

5 legitimate home based business ideas


work areaWe all know there are countless work at home scams shamelessly being pedaled online and even offline. A legitimate home based business can seem like a pipe dream to someone who has never ran one before. Often seeding these ideas require a lot of connections, capital and ground work. But I can propose some options that don’t require a big network, large amounts of money or years of ground work.

I”ll share with you three jobs I’ve tried my self. And two others I firmly stand behind. They require little to no money to start. But please take note, they do require a little bit of skills and training. So if you decide to try any of these, expect to put in at least one month of training. Also, try to have Read more »

How to Create a WordPress Template in 5 Minutes


To create a WordPress template (theme) in 5 minuets you will not start from scratch. There is no need for that when you want to quickly develop themes. The purpose of this article is to outline the fast track to theme creation (Not theme design, that is a different thing).

The benefit is a new theme ready for styling within minuets. It’s a jump start for designers and folks with low tech skills or interests. In other words, if you don’t want to deal with complex code. And you just want to spend time designing or making minor changes.

In many cases you are the developer for someone else, and a client wants something original. Or you want to sell templates to make some cash. This should be Read more »

How to use Gimp to Create Logos


logo example

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you think a good logo is worth? And if it’s going to be worth anything, you can bet it will cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to create a logo.

This is a relatively small investment for something that may help catapult your business to success. But you don’t have to spend anything to make a good looking logo for your website. Gimp is the Freeway to a professional looking Logo where you can do it your self and it cost nothing but your time.

If you’re interested in creating logos using Gimp, let me first introduce you to this program then I will walk you through the basic steps. Gimp is a free image editing software that runs on almost any computer and operating system.

This software can be used to retouch photos. It can be used to crop, re-size or optimize images for use on the web. Best of all it can be used to create custom text or graphic art.

I’ve used it for a number of edits on my own and client projects and find it very effective in providing the features now considered standard for Graphic Software. If you don’t want to pay an outside person or company to do your logo, you will find this software very useful for creating professional looking artwork.

What kind of logo can you create?

In this guide I will show you how to create simple text logos using Gimp. You’ll learn how to Read more »

HTML5 Audio Tag Tutorial


Two SpeakersHTML5 is here and so is the long awaited Audio Tag. They said it would take a decade or more, but it’s quickly being adopted by popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Although it’s not a W3C recommendation yet (at the time of this writing), there is enough support to start experimenting and developing websites and applications with the new elements. I’ll cover the HTML5 Audio Tag specifically in this article.

The plain Audio Tag looks like this: Read more »

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