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Posts Tagged "Web Development"

Internet Cookies: What are they and why do websites use them?

IT, Web Design, , , , , ,

Internet Cookies: What are they and why do websites use them?

If you browse the internet or work on a computer, it’s likely that most days you come across ‘cookies’. Not the edible kind that may appear on your desk, the ones that pop up when you first enter a website. When cookies were first introduced, there was a lot of skepticism around them with the popular belief they were intrusive spying mechanisms tracking every move you make on your computer. In reality, they are a harmless device that makes browsing easier.

Contrary to popular belief they are not big scary programs eating all your data. They don’t actually do much at all. Cookies are simply ‘text files’ which you can actually read using the ‘Notebook’ program on your PC. They contain simple data usually just the site name and a unique user ID. That’s it.

cookie, website

How do they work?

When visiting a site for the first time that uses cookies you may notice a pop up notice about cookies. Firstly when you visit the site, a cookie is downloaded onto your computer. You may notice that if you visit that site again, the cookie pop up doesn’t appear. This is because the cookie contains relevant information linking to the site, so when your PC checks to see if it has the cookie already, it sends the information back to the site. The site in turn, then ‘know’ you’ve visited before and in most cases, tailors your experience. For example, the site may vary the content you see based on how many times you’ve visited the site. Simple right?

The Good

Some cookies are more advanced. For example, they may record how long you visited the site, links you’ve clicked on and even preferences for layouts and colours. Some also store data on what you may have put into your shopping cart to tailor what you see, making your experience easier. The general role of a cookie is beneficial with the sole purpose of making your interaction with frequently visited websites, smoother. And to no extra effort on your part, what’s the issue?

The Bad

The only issue with cookies is how you feel about organisations and the government storing information about you. There’s nothing secret about the information gathered using cookies, but you may not be comfortable with the idea of your name being added to marketing lists or you being targeted for special offered or tailored online shopping experiences. You have the right to decline if you wish, but if it’s only benefiting your time spent online, let them be.

 

What the law says

The majority of modern websites use cookies and it’s likely you’ve never paid much attention to them running in the background as you browse, which is perfectly fine. As of May 2012, and EU law now requires all sites that use cookies to seek your permission to use cookies and store your data. When a cookie pop-up appears, in most cases you can simply click to say you understand the cookie policy, or ignore it if you choose to.

In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) closely monitors sites to make sure that they comply with this legislation, so there will be no avoiding the regulations. If you wish to make changes to the way cookies are used on your PC, you can. Click on the ‘tools’ menu of your internet browser but there’s no real reason to block cookies as your privacy and data are protected.

Why are they called cookies?

Unfortunately, internet cookies don’t take there name due to their delicious chocolatey tasting nature. The real reason they are called cookies is actually unknown. There are a few theories as to why:

– Hansel and Gretel theory: If you’re familiar with the children’s story you’ll know Hansel and Gretel used cookie crumbs to mark their tracks through the forest so they knew where they had been. This story mirrors the way internet cookies are used to track your activity online

-Magic Ticket Cookie theory: This is another story that refers to programmers years ago, used the name magic cookie to refer to a short piece of data that passed between programs. The contents couldn’t be seen and usually not accessed until the program has passed the file back to the sender. So the file is used like a ticket to identify a particular transaction or information. Similar to the cookies we know today.

cookies, website

-Cookie Monster theory: Another story suggests that when a clever programmer left his company, weird things started to happen with the computers. Every now and again the computer system would stop and the screen displayed a message saying: “Gimme a cookie”. The system wouldn’t return to normal until the person operating the computer would enter the word ‘cookie’ into the system. The root cause couldn’t be changed unless a complete rewrite was done, so it was decided to leave the code where it was. And thus, computer cookies where born.

Whatever the real reason is for cookie, they’re no more harmful than the ones sat in your tummy!

References : www.bbc.co.uk   www.cookiecontroller.com


DATE: Oct 24, 2018
AUTHOR: admin

Tips For Building A Better Website

Tips & Advice, Web Design, , , ,

Tips For Building A Better Website

 

Is your website in need of a refresh? Not bringing in the customers you need? Or just looking on how to improve? Here are some things you can do to improve your website.

Looking for a brand new website? Contact us today.

1. Keep it simple.  The first thing potential customers notice when they visit your website is the design and homepage. Make sure your website isn’t too cluttered or full of clashing colours. Your homepage should be visually pleasing and should answer questions that customers have, such as, who are you, what your business does and what they can find on your website. Consider how you would want a website to look if you were a visitor, what would you want to see and more importantly what would you need to see to make it informative for the customers. Too much text, lots of images and colour can be confusing and take the attention away from the information. Stick to a colour theme, use some images and videos and don’t go crazy on the keyboard, use clever language to make the reader want to learn more.

simple design, website

2. Responsiveness. Websites aren’t just visited on desktops and PCs, avoid designing pages specifically for a large monitor sizes, or including complex features on some pages that make not be compatible with some devices. Keep it simple and clean so your site is optimal for any device a visitor might be using. Unsure on how to make your website mobile-friendly? Consult a web designer for more information as being able to view websites online properly is so important in this digital age.

3. Showcase your products and services.  Your homepage should include what products or services your business offers. This gives the customer an idea of what they can get from you straight away. Including professional stock images and even videos can help make your business look the part. Any images whether they are graphic banners, stock photos or product images, they all need to be high resolution, there’s nothing worse than a blurry image. Text should be concise, explain your product/service simply with keywords to make you stand out and make the best first impression possible. You could have the best website design in the world, but if you have nonsense text paired with blurry images and graphics and images, people with click off your website straight away.

products, services, website

4. Loading time. People are impatient when it comes to tech. So it’s likely that if your website takes more than ten seconds to load, visitors will have clicked off before it’s even had a chance to load up. It can be the difference between a sale or not. Make sure your website hosting is up to date and constantly update your site to improve performance including loading time, site speed, formatting, etc.

5. Accessibility. It’s important to adapt your website for different people with different needs, such as small text for people with poorer vision, colour blindness is something to address too. As well, people in some areas need language options or have poor internet. So go to the lengths of developing your site for different people, and it won’t go unnoticed.

6. User Experience.  When people visit your site, they’re usually looking for specific information. So keeping your site clean and organised and can helo improve user experience when their questions are answered with ease, and in turn, create success for your business.

content, wesbite

7. Content is critical. If your site have poor content, it can drive customers away. Using complex language, repetition or including unrelated topics to increase word count, you’re going about it the wrong way. It’s much more efficient to have less, relevant and quality text than paragraphs of nonsense and words the average person won’t understand. Be sure to keep your content fresh to show you’re up to date and relevant, it’s easy to let the fast-paced digital world go by. Include critical information such as the services you offer, contact info, business hours, a little about you and social feeds as a start.

8. SEO and SEM. SEO and SEM are highly specialized fields and require a substantial time investment to learn. But SEO and/or SEM campaigns can allow your company to grow to the next level and be as successful as possible. It is not something to ignore because it’s complicated and difficult, it is critical to succeeding online. You can easily hire a professional to assist you with this rather than spending time you don’t have trying to learn it yourself.

Following these tips will ensure to improve your website. For more information on creating a website, web maintenance/improvement or anything else tech related then get in touch with The Future Cloud today.

references: https://www.americanexpress.com


DATE: Oct 17, 2018
AUTHOR: admin