PHP vs. Java

PHP vs. Java

PHP or Java—which language is right for your software project?

PHP is one of the most mature, ubiquitous server-side scripts on the web. Java is a general purpose, compiled programming language designed with one mantra in mind—”write once, run anywhere.” Both power dynamic web applications and sites, with their own strengths and nuances.

Once you choose a language for your software project, it can be pretty difficult to change gears unless you perform a major overhaul down the line. That’s why choosing the right language up front is imperative to building a scalable, successful site that accomplishes your business goals.

You’ve probably done a little research into the right language, but it can be difficult for someone without software development expertise to determine which one is right. Here’s a look at two of the most popular programming languages, Java and PHP. A software developer can help you best decide between the two based on your project, but here are some basics to help you make the right decision.

What is Java?

Java was designed as a general purpose programming language for building standalone applications. When Java was released by Sun in 1991, it was initially being used to program consumer electronics like VCRs.

Java is a compiled language, so when you compile the code it’s turned to intermediate binary for the specific operating system running your software. Its applications are compiled into bytecode that can run on implementations of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM helps bridge the gap between source code and the 1s and 0s that the computer understands. Any machine that has the JVM installed can run Java.

In development, Java is primarily a server-side language for the web and the programming language of choice for mobile development on the Android platform. It also still has a decent presence on the front-end as a Java applet, although this is falling out of favor due to security concerns.

What is PHP?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a general-purpose scripting language that quickly became the de facto server-side language of choice for web developers after its initial release in 1995. It’s got an advantage in that it was designed and created for the web, versus languages that were adapted to the web (like Ruby or Python). Today, a majority of websites run on PHP, and PHP programmers are still in high demand thanks to its role as the foundation for content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla and a number of modern frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, and CakePHP that have accelerated development with this mature language.

PHP and Java Differences

Let’s take a closer look at some of the major differences between these two languages.

  • Compiled vs. Interpreted. Java is considered a compiled programming language. This allows it to run on any operating system regardless of where it was written. The difference is in the implementation: Java is compiled into bytecode and run on a virtual machine. PHP is what you call an interpreted language, or “script”—the code can be run as-is in their respective runtime environments (i.e., the server). While there’s a lot of nuance to the compiled vs. interpreted debate, it is generally true that scripts are much easier to use and favor programmer productivity.
  • Memory safe. Java is a memory-safe language, which means if you attempt to assign values outside of the given array parameters, the programmer receives an error.
  • Static vs. Dynamic Type Checking. Java uses static type checking, where the type of a variable is checked at compile-time. The programmer must specify the type (integer, double, string, etc.) of any variable they create. There are many pros and cons for these two paradigms, but the primary advantage of static type checking is that type errors are caught early in development, and because the compiler knows exactly what data types are being used, code typically executes faster or uses less memory. The primary advantage of dynamic type checking is programmer productivity—you are free to assign types at your leisure.
  • Concurrency. This is the language’s ability to handle the execution of several instruction sequences at the same time. Java makes use of multiple threads to perform tasks in parallel. PHP, like most server-side languages, uses multi-threaded, blocking I/O to carry out multiple tasks in parallel. For most use-cases, both methods work just fine, but Java is generally faster because thread to thread memory sharing much faster than interprocess communication (IPC). PHP has been around the block for a while though and has found its own way to achieve asynchronous processing—most notably through the HHVM project released by Facebook.
  • Class-Based vs. Prototype Based. Java follows class based inheritance—a top-down, hierarchical, class-based relationship whereby properties are defined in a class and inherited by an instance of that class (one of its members).

PHP vs. Java: Major Similarities

Let’s take a closer look at some of the major similarities between these two languages.

  • Back-End Development. Both languages are used on the server-side. Java has long been used to power back-end technologies like Apache, JBoss, and WebSphere.
  • Syntax. Looping structures, classes, defining variables, and conditional operators are very similar in both languages. This makes it easy for developers to work cross-platform should you have several projects that use both languages.
  • Entry points. When your program starts, the compiler or interpreter looks for where it needs to begin execution.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). Neither language is “fully” object-oriented, but both languages have access to techniques like inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism. The benefit? Object-oriented languages make your program much more modular so you can reuse code for other programs.

Should I Use PHP or Java for my Next Project?

As with all languages, the choice really boils down to what you’re trying to build and what resources you have at your disposal.

You should consider Java if your project involves…

  • Android Apps
  • Enterprise Software
  • Scientific Computing
  • Big Data Analytics
  • General Purpose Programming of Hardware
  • Server-Side Technologies like Apache, JBoss, Geronimo, GlassFish, etc.

You should consider PHP if your project involves…

  • Software stacks like the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
  • CMS’s like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla etc.
  • Servers like MySQL, SQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Sybase, and Postgresql etc.

Both Java and PHP are excellent foundations for a wide variety of software. Which language you choose to use will be determined by what you want to be developed.

You can manipulate hardware with Java, but it’s not a common language for low-level programming since it’s a “safer” language. Because Java won’t allow you to perform certain functions to protect the PC, it’s preferred for higher level applications.

The best way to make a firm decision is to post your project and ask developers for their opinions. They can tell you which language is right for your project to help guide you to the right solution.

Why Investing in SEO Makes Good Business Sense

Why Investing in SEO Makes Good Business Sense

As Google continues to unhinge marketing models everywhere, companies are increasing spending on digital marketing services. If you are considering investing in search engine optimization (SEO), it may be hard to decide where to spend money, especially when marketing budgets are always tight. Still, SEO firms can potentially bring a lot of value to your business, and many marketers are taking the plunge. According to media analysts at Borrell, SEO spending will reach $80 billion annually by 2020.

If you are considering hiring an SEO agency for your company, it’s important to understand what you’re buying. In general, SEO work falls into three main buckets:

  1. Keyword research and optimization

This is what most people think of when they think of SEO. “Keyword research and optimization is about defining the audiences you want to reach online, then communicating to Google where you want to meet those people,” explains Andy Kerns, Content Strategist with Digital Third Coast, a Chicago-based digital marketing agency. Kerns continues, “The where in this equation is represented by specific keyword phrases, like “’running shoes’ or ‘payroll software. People search a specific term, and your company shows up in the search results. Then the searchers click on your link — and you meet a new prospect!”

  1. Technical work on websites

This is work you might not associate with SEO, but it is often essential. “The algorithm Google uses to assess and rate all websites is very sophisticated and very picky,” Kerns says. “It has to work extremely fast, in nanoseconds. If you want to meet folks searching for keywords relevant to your offerings, your website needs to be a well-oiled machine that communicates quickly and clearly with Google, at all times. This is not as simple as it sounds. There are literally hundreds of technical considerations when optimizing a website for SEO purposes.”

  1. Link building campaigns

This is an aspect of SEO that might surprise you if you are new to the game — and it’s a game changer. “Consider the hundreds of technical tweaks that need to be made when optimizing a website.There’s a single consideration for Google’s algorithm that rises above all others — we call it links.” Kerns says. “Links from other websites to your website, are what Google counts, and cares about more than anything else. If your website is associated with other important and popular websites, Google will automatically like you more — and display your company much higher (closer to the top of Page 1) in search results.”

The hard part is getting those links in a legitimate way using keywords you care about – and that is where an SEO firm can be invaluable. “If you develop first-class content that is educational, entertaining, or both, and you make a concerted effort to share that content with the world, the world will link back to you. We promise. We do this every single day for our clients.,” Kerns notes.

While often at least some of the work can be done yourself or with in-house staff, the truth is that letting experts do it for you more than pays for itself, and here are several reasons why: 

  • True SEO work is systemic. “If you don’t address everything—technical issues, keyword optimization, link building—it’s highly unlikely you’ll get the results you want,” Kerns warns. “This work is systemic, it’s on-going, and it requires a broad range of skills that would be very tough and costly to add to your existing team.” Hiring an expert or, better yet, a firm of experts, can streamline the process and maximize the ROI —Return on Investment. 
  • Fresh perspective is your friend. “A common challenge we have is helping clients understand when their keyword strategy needs to shift to meet prospects where they are. We also need to clarify the kinds of link building content that will attract attention from journalists without seeming promotional.” Kerns says. “It’s extremely difficult for most people to see beyond the boundaries of their business, to understand where they need to fit in to the larger picture, We can do that for them.”
  • There are no guarantees. You can spend a great deal of time getting educated about SEO and setting yourself up to give it a go on your own, using internal resources. And you may well be successful. But it’s a long shot. SEO is relatively new and it’s a delicate, esoteric trade. Finding a dedicated team with a proven track record and good recommendations is usually the smarter play here.
  • Get access to the coolest toolbox. “Think of someone trying to build a house with an old school toolbox versus the tools professional contractors bring to the job. A great SEO team comes with a remarkable array of software tools,” Kerns notes. “These are the essential tools of the SEO trade. Even if you knew just what to source, they’d cost you tens of thousands of dollars to purchase, much less use.”

So, if you have a product or service that’s ready to go to the next level – especially one that has national appeal – strongly consider hiring an SEO firm as part of your growth plan. It’s a smart move for those who are ready for the big leap!

Site Traffic Low

Free eBook on How to Increase Website Traffic sign up NOW

Improve you Traffic

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

5 Creative Ways to Integrate Social Media Into WordPress

5 Creative Ways to Integrate Social Media Into WordPress

Once you’ve started your WordPress blog, your next task is to drive traffic to it and get your content in front of your audience. One of the best ways to do that is to use social media. When you create a social media strategy for your blog, you can effectively drive more traffic to it and reach a new audience for your content. Naturally, a nicely designed exit-intent popupwill help you make use of all that new traffic and help you grow your email list.

If you have been using WordPress for awhile, you probably know that there is a myriad of plugins that allow anyone to quickly share your content on almost any social media platform imaginable.

However, sharing is not the only way to integrate social media into WordPress. With a little bit of creativity, you can make use of social media in more than one way and get more eyes on your posts.

Grow Your Social Following
To drive traffic to your site, you first need an audience. The easiest way to grow your audience is to tap into your social media profiles and start connecting with others in your blog niche. The more followers you have, the easier it is to send them to your website.

Put your blog to use and add links to your social media profiles to your sidebar, footer, or header of your website. This will help your profiles get noticed and make it easy on your followers to follow you on their preferred platform.

A plugin like Social Media Flying Icons is a very popular and highly-rated plugin that can help you grow the number of your followers.

Use Social Logins For Commenting
There is no better way to encourage conversation on your site than comments. They show that you are willing to engage with your readers and help you develop a loyal community of readers and visitors. And once they know you care about your community, chances are, they will follow you on one of the platforms.

Follows aside, the commenting process on your site should be a quick and painless process. Do away with a comment form that asks for an email and password and opt for one that allows visitors to use one of their social media profiles. Most of us use social media on a daily basis so it makes it that much easier on your readers to log in with a website they’re already logged into, rather than a separate email and password.

Automate Your Content Broadcasting
Sharing your post on each and every social media manually can turn into a time-consuming process. While you can schedule your posts in social media management tool of choice, you still need to ensure your posts get shared immediately after you publish it. However, with the amount of tasks on a blogger’s plate as well as real life duties, it’s all too forget that scheduled post that was published this morning..

Make your life easier and consider using a plugin that will automatically share your post the minute it goes live. From Jetpack’s’ Publicize module to NextScripts: Social Networks Auto Poster, there is no shortage of plugins for the job. You can connect Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and many other services. In most cases, you will also be able to use a URL shortener to make those long links fit into the content of your social media post.

Alternatively, consider using a plugin like Click to Tweet to create tweets and embed them into your post so readers can share them directly from your post.

Hide Some of Your Content Behind Social Media Buttons
Consider hiding some of your longer posts behind social media buttons. This will make the content hidden from your visitors and if they want to see it, they will have to share it first. This can help generate interest for your content and increase the number of shares on that particular post. You can also use this method to promote a download of an ebook or a workbook and ask your readers to follow you or share the content in exchange for the download.

However, as effective as this method it is, it can also backfire if you use it too much. Rather than hiding everything, experiment and use it only for your best content that deserves extra attention.

Social Media Feeds
If you don’t have enough of content on your website or don’t have time to publish on a regular basis, put your social media feeds to use. This will allow you to nurture the relationship you have with your audience and still provide them with some form of content. You can use feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other networks. Aside from generating content, it can also encourage your readers to follow you on either one of the social media platforms.

You can manually insert a widget from almost any social media network, simply by generating a small snippet of code and pasting it into your site where you want the feed to appear. From Pinterest boards to Facebook Pages, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, the choices are endless so why not take advantage of them?

Make Your Website More Social
Sharing plugins are not the only way to make your site more social. From adding your social media profiles to sharing your social media feeds, there are various ways you can make use of your social media presence and grow your followers. Whether you use plugins or add the code manually, your website will transform into an inviting community, encourage people to follow you, and that in turn will lead to more readers and a bigger audience for all the great content you put out there.

Divi 30 from Elegant Themes Is a Marriage of Power and Simplicity

Divi 30 from Elegant Themes Is a Marriage of Power and Simplicity

If you’ve ever created a website, you know there’s a fine line between ease and power. Simple website design platforms like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace allow for simple drag-and-drop editing, but they don’t offer much power or flexibility. They don’t have the massive plugin library of WordPress and you’re forced to work within the rather strict limitations of the platform. WordPress offers maximum flexibility and plugins, but it lacks the simplicity of drag-and-drop editing.

What if there were a way to combine both simplicity and power?

Now there is with the new Divi 3 theme from Elegant Themes.

A True WYSIWYG Experience

Divi 3 is a WordPress theme built using React and Flux, which allows it to be customized using a robust visual builder. When you activate the visual builder, you can instantly make changes to your site and see them exactly as they’ll appear live.

No more working in cluttered style sheets or digging through files. The visual builder truly is a WYSIWYG interface which allows you to instantly drag, drop, type in new text, resize, copy, paste, delete and duplicate. It’s as if the page itself is alive.

Additionally, Divi 3 includes 40 modules which can literally be dropped anywhere on a page. These elements include bar counters, blogs, audio, buttons, blurbs, and a rich variety of others. These elements don’t need to be dragged and dropped from a dock because they are always available and easily accessible. You are in complete control of the content and layout of your site and you don’t need to be a web developer to customize the look and feel.

Blistering Speed

The Divi 3 visual builder is also one of the fastest website building experiences you’ll find. There are almost no page refreshes or Ajax loading bars. In fact, no traditional loading of any kind is used, and all changes happen almost instantly.

Additionally, thanks to the “Invisible Interface” design of the visual builder, you work in a clean, open space, uncluttered by unnecessary lines, headers, or grids. There are no floating headers or sidebars to obscure your vision or screenspace and some people don’t even realize they’re in the visual builder when they initially load it.

Committed to The Future

We are committed to the future of the web, which is why we spent time building this theme from the ground up using React and Flux. Being committed to the future means building truly elegant themes that are both powerful and simple to use. We believe we achieved that with the Divi 3 theme.