Nashville Web Design | Programming | IT | Atiba.com

WordPress Vs. Drupal: What’s The Right Choice For Your Business?

overhead of docked boats with some empty slips

Drupal and WordPress are both excellent Content Management Systems (CMS) to use as a foundation for a business website. But there are differences. If you are looking to build a new business website, you might be wondering which platform is right for you.

man looking at his phoneWordPress started as a blogging platform and is a great choice for most basic websites that need robust content and navigation, need to look good, and might need to be updated by you or a non-technical team member at your company quickly and easily. Good examples are tourist attractions, law firms, non-profits, event websites like music festivals or a beauty and fashion website. Those are just a few examples. Most basic businesses that need a website to get information out about what you do should consider using WordPress.

Drupal is the platform to use if your website is going to do a lot of heavy lifting. If your site is going to be very complex with a lot of content, like an eCommerce marketplace with a million items (SKUs), Drupal is probably the choice for you.

Similarly, having individual users on your site can be a very complex management task, especially if the user base is expected to be large and will need to be sorted by many different data points for different functions.

A lot of enterprise projects use Drupal, like government and school websites, because you can program several different sites (for different departments) with different databases, but still use the same Drupal base code.

This is a simple explanation to get you started thinking in the right direction. If you’re unsure, talk to a company like Atiba, with experts on staff in both WordPress and Drupal, to find out the best way to build a site for your business.

World Backup Day

satellite dishes

lighthouse in a stormIt is estimated that 32% of all critical data loss is because of human error and 44% is from hardware or system malfunctions. No on expects massive data loss, and it can happen at any time and bring your business to a standstill.

Since 2011, March 31 has been declared to be World Backup Day. Now, we obviously recommend you backup your business data more often than once a year, but having a yearly reminder of the importance of backing your data up is never a bad thing.

If your data is stored on some type of hard drive, back it up to a separate physical drive, preferably in a different location, and as an additional safety measure, use a cloud based backup service. Also, you might consider migrating to the cloud entirely, where a company like Atiba that offers Network Management Services will make sure your data is always secure and available.

Atiba is Hiring: Sharepoint

Atiba is looking for a top Sharepoint developer to join our team. If you have experience in Sharepoint programming, email an inquiry to info@atiba.com.

Five Key Attributes To Look For In A Custom Software Development Company

There are a variety of reasons people seek out a custom software solution for their business, and it is sometimes the biggest decision a business might make. The most common reason is that there is no software solution that solves the problem(s) they are trying to solve. It could be that there are software solutions, but they have poor functionality or just don’t fit exactly what they’re trying to do. It could be that there is a solution out there that is prohibitively expensive with many features the company would never use. If you find yourself starting on the journey to find a software development company, here are five thoughts to keep in mind as you get started.

1) Communication Is Key

Rare is a software development project that doesn’t require consultation and advice along the way. Look for a software development company that has been around a while and has the battle scars to prove it. And make sure they are good communicators so that if you request something they have tried in the past and found doesn’t work, they will not hesitate to communicate that experience to you. They should also be able to  recommend ways to solve your specific requirements. If you lay out your vision and come away thinking, “I have no idea what they are talking about, I guess I’ll just have to trust them,” you’re setting yourself up for possible trouble down the road.

2) Experience Counts

hands typing on a laptop keyboardIf you’re looking for a custom software solution, you’ve probably reached your last nerve trying to deal with all the available product that don’t quite solve your problem. That means you need software that will do exactly what it is you want it to do. This is where experience is an advantage for a software development firm. A company with leadership who have solved a variety of problems over the years bring institutional knowledge and wisdom to the table that greatly increase the chances that your new software will be successful. They don’t necessarily have to have already built exactly what you want for someone else, but they may have experience with some of the components and processes you are requesting. Plus, if they’ve been around, it shows that they’ve encountered plenty of problems and been able to come up with solutions.

3) Look For A Strong User Experience Development History

A user-friendly interface is vital to your new software’s success. The backend can function beautifully, but if users can’t figure out how to use it, the software is useless. Make sure the software development company you choose places an emphasis on user experience (UX), which includes rigorous quality assurance (QA) all along the development cycle.

4) They Have A Clear Support Policy

You’re getting a software solution that is being built from scratch, so you need to expect some bugs and quirks upon deployment. Make sure the company you choose gives you a clear picture of what support is included, and how much support that is not included is going to cost.

5) Check Their Work

A good indicator of future success is a rich history of past success. Take time to have them show you custom software development projects they’ve done in the past, explain the process and problems they went through, and, if possible, show you the end result. Not only is this an important step in your due diligence, it will give you peace of mind moving forward that your project is in the right hands.

Your email is an easy target for hackers — here’s how to secure it…

In this week’s USA Today / Tennessean column, Atiba founder JJ Rosen provides tips on how to secure your email.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/tech/2017/05/15/email-easy-target-hackers-dont-make-easier-them/319953001/

Contact info@atiba.com as needed for your security needs.

It’s Getting Hot in Here… 3 Ways Heatmapping Can Improve Your Site Content

If you’ve never used a heatmapping tool (like the ones offered at CrazyEgg or HotJar) you’ll probably be surprised, and maybe a little overwhelmed, at the amount of insight you can glean. Being able to see and digest user behavior, whether it be how far the average user scrolls or where most clicks are happening on a particular page, can be invaluable in understanding the effectiveness of content placement or calls-to-action.

These tools typically display data in a few ways. Areas of a web page that get more activity, whether it be through user scrolling patterns or actual click behavior, will be colored to help visualize the activity. Orange and Red are typically used for areas with more activity. Blue and Black are for “colder” areas that garner less attention from users.

We typically utilize heatmapping tools before a client’s website redesign, mostly because they can offer insights that may be harder to detect from Google Analytics. But there are also other reasons why this can be an incredibly effective tool.

Here are a few ways that these tools can offer actionable insights of your web page:

Deciding on most effective placement of key calls-to-action

Seeing the scrolling patterns and click behavior of users is usually pretty eye-opening. It turns out, that call-to-action below the fold that you thought was beautifully written and incredibly intuitive? 90% of your users never see it. Understanding the placement of calls-to-action is just as important as how they are written and/or designed.

Ensuring the best possible user experience

We often find that our clients are surprised when they see where clicks are happening on their site. Things like images, addresses, and phone numbers are usually assumed by the average user to be clickable. Using imagery and higher value content pieces as gateways into a conversion funnel can help nudge your user toward the end goal you’ve setup. Seeing content pieces of a page (such as images or text) that are being frustratingly clicked on over and over that don’t link anywhere usually has the effective of jump-starting an audit of all page content.

Understanding the highest value referral sources

Though this information is available through Google Analytics, it can sometimes also be helpful to see the exact actions taken by users from a particular referral source. For instance, being able to visually map the users coming from Google as opposed to Bing, or your preferred paid marketing channel over organic traffic, as it relates to activities or clicks on a call-to-action can sometimes offer insights that are a little harder to deduce from looking at hard numbers or graphs in Google Analytics.

In summary, any tool that helps us gain actionable insight into user behavior for our clients is incredibly valuable to us. We’ve found that heatmapping tools can be an incredibly helpful resource in helping understand user behavior and assist our clients in making the necessary changes to raise conversions or meet marketing goals.

5 Benefits of Outsourcing IT Through Managed Services

In an ever-growing world of technology, it can become overwhelming trying to keep up with the myriad of changes and risks involved with “doing it yourself”. That is why more and more businesses and organizations are outsourcing their IT department to a Managed Services company. As National Director of Business Development for Atiba a Nashville Managed Services company, here are my top 5 benefits that can immediately be gained through outsourcing your IT through Managed Services.

1. Controlling Costs

Outsourcing allows you to budget effectively by only paying for what you use when you need it. Also, rather than having a full-time IT staff that may or may not have “enough work” to justify their compensation, outsourcing Managed Services allows you to focus your resources where you need them most.

2. Reduce Risk

No matter the business, there is sensitive data and information that needs to be protected. Are you positive that your current firewall, servers and security measures are up to date and doing their assigned tasks? A Managed Services company who is familiar with the requirements and standards needed to stay compliant will allow you to minimize the risk associated with maintaining sensitive information.

3. Experienced and Qualified

If the HR department is hiring the IT staff, how do they know that they have the experience truly needed to meet the needs of the organization? Would you go see a doctor if you were the only patient, or would you want one that has seen and diagnosed many issues before? The same is for your IT department. Trust the experts that are seeing more “patients”.

4. Higher Efficiency

Organizations that turn to the DIY approach can have much higher costs and longer time frames for implementation and fixes, which filters down to their customers. A highly skilled Managed Services team can implement new technology and forecast issues prior to them happening, allowing no downtime and loss of production. This also allows the organization to focus on their core business rather than IT decisions that may or may not be correct or needed at all.

5. Level the Playing Field

Having a Managed Services partner will allow your organization to have access to similar technology and expertise that typically only larger corporations have. This allows you to grow and scale at the pace you want without worrying about your IT keeping up. This is also closely related to the first benefit I listed regarding controlling costs.

Each one of these benefits can easily be dissected further, creating a much larger list of reasons to outsource your IT department to a Managed Services company, but this should give you enough information to start the conversation within your organization of what is best for you and your business. As a Nashville Managed Services company, Atiba are happy to answer any questions you have surrounding this service.

Half Geek…Half Musician

The Atiba Jam Band conducted its initial practice session at JamTech in Berry Hill on Friday.

Our motley crew belted out songs by Bob Dylan (who just won a Noble Prize) and Credence Clearwater Revival (who, shockingly, have not yet won a Noble Prize) and generally just had a lot of fun. Thanks to the folks at JamTech for their creativity, tips and patience. Be on the lookout for an Atiba Jam Band appearance near you!

To selfie or not to selfie? Question sparks spirited family debate

Check out Atiba founder JJ Rosen’s latest column for The Tennessean:

To selfie or not to selfie? Question sparks spirited family debate

“Leveraging a trend, the inventor of the selfie stick saw an opportunity in the convergence of smart-phones and social media to make millions of dollars with a relatively simple idea.   This concept of “trend-based businesses” depends on identifying a need around a social fad and then finding a way to heavily market it — fast.”

Rosen’s column appears twice a month. You can view an archive here.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Atiba serves as a one-stop shop for strategic web design, web development, CIO consulting services and business intelligence, custom software development, mobile app development, IT support, network services and security. Atiba’s service divisions include Atiba Network, Atiba Software and Wheelhouse Marketing.

From New York to Nashville: Atiba Web Designer Jessica Hill

By Jessica Hill – Atiba Senior Web Designer

As a gal who was born and raised in NY, public transportation has always just been a part of my life. I grew up just outside of Manhattan, and I can’t tell you the number of times my mother would tell my sister and I to just take the train if we wanted to get somewhere. I have learned to read just about any bus or subway schedule you can imagine. I know which subway lines are the slowest. I know what a pain it is when you get on a express train or bus by accident and it flies right past your stop. I know what it’s like to fall asleep on the subway heading to Queens, but waking up at the Coney Island stop.

I have also found that many people I know will at some point ask me why I always carry a tote bag with me. My answer is “because I take the bus”. I often carry an umbrella, extra socks, some snacks, bandaids, things like that because I have learned it’s better to be prepared. I also use the tote bags if I have to stop at the grocery store or run errands on the way home. If you have ever had to carry a bunch of heavy plastic bags for more than a block, you will understand why tote bags are so awesome.

Because I had such easy access to public transportation , I never really drove much. I went to college in Philly where I would usually ride my bike, walk, take the train and then take the express bus back to the Port Authority in NY when I would go home to visit. So, again, I just never needed to drive.

When I came to Nashville, I noticed that public transportation was not as widely embraced. And I understand that. It can be a pain. You really have to plan your schedule around it. You have to be willing to wait. Sometimes it is horribly hot outside, other times you are stuck in the rain or freezing cold. But you learn to adapt. It’s actually a skill that has served me well.

But there are a lot of benefits to taking public transportation, or even using apps like Lyft or Uber. The biggest benefit for me is that is helps me actually meet people. I am very lucky to have a career doing what I love, which is web and graphic design. However, this also means I am happy to sit with my headphones in and work. I can easily go days without talking to anyone other than my dog. Public transportation helps me actually interact with people. And I have met some really great folks. Plus, there is a lot of diversity on the bus and it’s great to meet people from other neighborhoods nearby that you may never usually visit.

The other thing I love is that it gives me time to just let my mind wander. It’s nice to sometimes stare out the window, or just take a break from all the other things that are in my head. Sometimes it’s fun just to sit and listen to the many conversations happening. Most of the time, there are some pretty amusing ones going on!

I highly suggest if you have never taken public transportation before that you give it a try. It’s always good to see things from a different perspective. Plus, you won’t have to worry about parking, and who wouldn’t like a break from that?