Tuesday, July 18, 2017

ASP.NET Controls

UI controls can help developers quickly build web apps. That is why such kind of library, suite, components get popular. There are many open source libraries, but commercial licenses usually provide more features, more controls and premium support.

.NET controls not only enable developers to build applications with intuitive user interfaces but also enhances productivity. While Microsoft provides standard set of controls with Visual Studio, third party suites contain numerous controls with wide range of unique features for the development of applications for PC and portable mobile devices.

Here is a list I am aware of:

Familiar API, design-time support, app templates and more, using Kendo UI

300+ Controls For Mobile, Web & Desktop.

Infragistics Ultimate UI for ASP.NET includes over 60 controls to help you create high-performing, full-featured enterprise apps that look great in any browser.

DevExpress provides best in class user interface controls for WinForms, ASP, MVC, WPF and Silverlight.

More than 800 controls and frameworks for web, desktop and mobile development.

ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC Controls and Components integrating the Sencha Ext JS JavaScript Library.

ASP.NET WebForms/MVC Components for Enterprise Apps, 50+ components with built-in AJAX support for desktop, tablets and phones. It is built based on jQuery with high performance and high quality, very popular in China.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 101

Here is a quick summary regarding how to increase search engine ranking and indexing for website. This is a learning note from https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo 

Indexable Content
Provide alt text for images. Assign images in gif, jpg, or png format "alt attributes" in HTML to give search engines a text description of the visual content.
Supplement search boxes with navigation and crawlable links.
Supplement Flash or Java plug-ins with text on the page.
Provide a transcript for video and audio content if the words and phrases used are meant to be indexed by the engines.

Crawlable Link Structures
Submission-required forms
Links in unparseable JavaScript
Links pointing to pages blocked by the Meta Robots tag or robots.txt
Frames or iframes
Robots don't use search forms
Links in Flash, Java, and other plug-ins
Links on pages with many hundreds or thousands of links
Nofollow instructs search engines to not follow a link

Keyword Usage and Targeting
One of the best ways to optimize a page's rankings is to ensure that the keywords you want to rank for are prominently used in titles, text, and metadata.
Keyword density is divorced from content, quality, semantics, and relevance.

Title tags
The title element of a page is meant to be an accurate, concise description of a page's content. It is critical to both user experience and search engine optimization.
Search engines display only the first 65-75 characters of a title tag in the search results

Meta Tags
Meta Robots
The Meta Robots tag can be used to control search engine crawler activity (for all of the major engines) on a per-page level

Meta Description
Search engines do not use the keywords or phrases in this tag for rankings, but meta descriptions are the primary source for the snippet of text displayed beneath a listing in the results.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally will cut snippets longer than 160 characters, so it's generally wise to stay within in these limits.

Meta Keywords:
The meta keywords tag had value at one time, but is no longer valuable or important to search engine optimization.
URL Construction Guidelines
Employ empathy
Shorter is better
Keyword use is important (but overuse is dangerous)
Go static
Use hyphens to separate words

Link Building Basics
"Natural" Editorial Links
Manual "Outreach" Link Building
Self-Created, Non-Editorial
Five Samples of Link Building Strategies
Get your customers to link to you
Build a company blog; make it a valuable, informative, and entertaining resource
Create content that inspires viral sharing and natural linking
Be newsworthy
Canonical and Duplicate Versions of Content
Use the canonical tag within the page that contains duplicate content. The target of the canonical tag points to the master URL that you want to rank for.
<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/master-URL"/>
Rich Snippets
itemscope, itemtype, itemprop datetime

How scrapers steal your rankings

you'll need to use absolute, rather that relative links in your internal linking structure. This way, when a scraper picks up and copies the content, the link remains pointing to your site.
How to Judge the Value of a Keyword
Search for the term/phrase in the major engines
Buy a sample campaign for the keyword at Google AdWords and/or Bing Adcenter
Using the data you’ve collected, determine the exact value of each keyword
Understanding the Long Tail of Keyword Demand
popular search terms actually make up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lie in what's called the "long tail" of search.

Google search console
Bing webmaster
others including moz products

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Amazon Shopping Tips and Tricks

I shop online with Amazon.com very often, so summarize some tips and tricks regarding the shopping experience.

Amazon prime
Suggest to enroll with your friends to split the cost for FREE 2 days shipping for all primary members. The account owner also gets unlimited video streaming service.

No-Rush shipping reward
If you buy something and choose no-rush shipping, you will get credits for Digital, prime panty or prime now. The rewards have expiry date, usually 3 months. You can check the balance from https://www.amazon.com/norushcredits

Amazon Smile
Always shop through https://smile.amazon.com to donate to your selected charity (like home school, your church etc) while you are shopping with Amazon.

Amazon Assistant
You can install "Amazon Assistant" browser extension to quickly access Amazon, search product, track your orders, see today's deals, and add product to your wish list. This is a very handy extension to help you shop with Amazon.

Return your purchase
Amazon only provides 30 days return window, so act quickly if you don't like the purchase. For prime member, the return shipping is free as well. When you return something, select a reason which does not cost you shipping fee. Drop to UPS is a convenient way as they are many UPS stores.

Price Match
Amazon doesn't provide price match. The easiest way is to buy a new one, then return the old one if it is still in return order. I usually chatted with their support, they can provide price adjustment, but recently they change this, and prefer buy-and-return flow with extra shipping cost. I guess Amazon shipping cost with UPS or USPS is very low.