Skype Now Free for Group Video Calling

Skype Free with Group Video Calling

Good news everyone – Skype Group Video Calling is now free! This is the second big news from Microsoft that I hear lately, the first one being that Microsoft Windows is free for Smart Phones and Tablets under 9 inch. Looks like the giant corporation is now adopting a friendly policy in the effort to compete better with Google – with this measure is competing directly with Google Hangout.

Features offered

  • Talk with up to 10 people (although 5 is the recommended number of persons);
  • Screen sharing;
  • Available for Windows Desktop, Mac and Xbox One platforms (no mobile devices yet).

Being far away from my family, I use Skype a lot, so on my behalf: Thank You Microsoft! :)

The Must-Haves Elements in a Product Page in an E-Commerce Web Site

The must haves elements in a product page in an E-Commerce web site

I hope this article will help people that are thinking of starting an e-commerce web site. It is very important to begin with a good basic product structure. Even though these elements can be easily identified by analysing a popular e-commerce web site, I think it is better if you have them structured in one place. Also, I will comment a bit about the importance of each element (from SEO and Usability point of view). Click the picture above to see a graphic structure.

Product Title

Usually reflects the official name of the product. However, for a better understanding, you can include more elements here.

Composed from: [Brand name] + Product name + [Code] + [Attribute] + [Collection] + Category name

  • [Brand name] – Can be omitted if you are selling one brand or if you do not want to disclose manufacturer’s name;
  • [Code] – Product’s unique identifier (like SKU). More details below;
  • [Attribute] – An identifier which helps the user to identify user’s needs. If it is a clothing product for example, attribute can be the genre or colour: “Men’s Running Shoes” / “Red Dress”;
  • [Collection] – Optional attribute, present for items belonging to collections;
  • Category name – Like the attribute, adding category’s name in product’s title will help the user to understand if this product is what is he looking for. Also, useful for SEO.

Usability: The customer will understand from the beginning if he is on the right page.
SEO: You are building a powerful long-tail expression.

Tip: In an e-commerce web site, most of the URLs are built using the Product Title

Model identifier

Unique code used in your web site to identify the product. Can be the SKU (stock-keeping unit) code.

Usability: In case of phone orders, this is the quickest way to identify a product.
SEO: By adding manufacturer’s SKU, the Search Engine will identify your product and will be easier for data consolidation.

Breadcrumb

Path used for user’s navigation. Like in Hansel and Gretel’s story by Brothers Grimm, you can trace your way back home.

Usability: Reconstructing user’s path while browsing your web site. In case of landing on a product’s page from another web site, you will be suggested a default breadcrumb (home page > category 1 > category 2 > product).
SEO: Developing a good path can also be useful for Search Engine Crawlers to understand your web site’s tree structure.

Manufacturer / Brand

Link where you can browse all products from the same manufacturer.

Usability: Some people (including myself) have favourite brands. This will help in cross-selling various items.
SEO: By adding this field to your product’s details you will make things easy to crawl and consolidate.

Description

Details used to describe all product’s features. Can be split in two: short description (used for listing the basic details) and long description (here you can write everything about the product, use it to convince the customer to buy it).

Usability: Like described above, customer will have all details listed here.
SEO: By doing a keyword research and after a good copywriting, with the description you can generate on-target relevant content, which will help you rank higher in SERP.

Images / Video

Product’s photos and videos. Better if present with captions and in hi-resolution.

Usability: A picture is worth a thousand words. Until you see it, you won’t buy it, right? By adding images of your product, even pictures for additional finishes, variants or close-ups, you can convince further more the customer to make up his mind. A short video demo can improve a lot the conversion as well.
SEO: Especially good for Image Search. For popular searches, SERP will include results from Images.

Shipping and availability information

Another factor that can be decisive for buying on-line. It is important to let customers know long will take until the product will arrive or how much they will be charged for transportation.

Usability: A factor in greater conversions.
SEO: With the introduction of Microdata, the Search Engine will offer this information directly to the end customer.

Price

Maybe the most important factor of all, here you can include information about RRP (Recommended Retail Price), VAT, Sale etc..

Usability: By displaying price and availability information you show transparency towards the customer.
SEO: With the introduction of structured data / product schema / rich snippets, this field became very important cu SEO. Your products will convert more likely in SERP.

Buy / Add to cart / Add to favourites / Add to wish-list

This button provides great utility. You can place your order via phone or by visiting the physical store if any, but this is not how e-commerce is suppose to work.

Usability: The core button of e-commerce. Enough said.
SEO: No importance.

Other important entities

Social media sharing, product reviews, stock, cross-selling products, awards and certifications, warranty, FAQ, returns etc..

Five Free Applications That Every PC User Should Use

Please note that this article was written on April 2014 and it will not be updated on a regular basis. These applications are free to use for home users. Please check the web site for licenses if you want to use them at work.

Notepad++ (notepad-plus-plus.org)

Notepad++ logoAn improved copy of the classic Windows’s Notepad. Why do we want to use that? For a lot of things like: spell check, character count, auto-completion etc..

This should be the primary tool of any web programmer, and not only that, has support for a lot of programming languages. And if that doesn’t work, then you can define your own set of rules while writing code. And if you will configure it, this app will have automatic back-up like Microsoft Word.

Compatibility (according to Notepad++ manufacturer): Works only Microsoft Windows (all versions) environment. Sorry Mac users, you are missing a great application!

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 5/5
Usage for common users: 3/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 5/5 (daily use, I am writing my article with Notepad++)
 

Faststone Image Viewer (faststone.org)

FastStone Image Viewer logoEveryone uses an Image Viewer, right? You will want to use Faststone because it has support for all major graphic formats used. And you can resize / resample, rotate / flip, crop, sharpen / blur, adjust lighting / colors / curves / levels and many many other things you can do with images :) I am using it for batch processing: changing resolution, renaming files, adding a fixed size to all images. Sometimes I prefer Faststone instead of a graphic editor because it is faster to operate.

Compatibility (according to Faststone Image Viewer manufacturer): Microsoft Windows (all versions).

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 5/5 (daily use)
Usage for professionals: 4/5 (daily use)
 

Jing (techsmith.com/jing.html)

Techsmith Jing logoThis application saves a lot of time and it is easy to use. You can capture your screen and make your own video demo in a matter of seconds. You will get a flash file which you can share quick and easy with ScreenCast.

Compatibility (according to Jing’s manufacturer): Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) and Mac (OS X 10.6.8 or later)

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 3/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 3/5 (occasional use)
 

TeamViewer (teamviewer.com)

TeamViewer logoTalking about life saving applications, TeamViewer saved me a lot of times. I am using it in personal purposes, to assist my family and my friends with small computer issues (Yes, my mother is one of those persons that owns a computer and often gets in trouble). But this application can do so much more, it is very useful for professional users to remote control other computers or for on-line meetings and presentations.

Compatibility (according to TeamViewer manufacturer): Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile (Android and iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch))

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 2/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 5/5 (daily use)
 

Dropbox (dropbox.com)

Dropbox logo This application is already well known by a lot of people. With Dropbox you can back-up, share, sync your files in cloud (2 GB). This application provides a lot of utility and you can get even more free space until 16 GB if you refer it to your friends. And it is totally secured!

Compatibility (according to Dropbox manufacturer): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and mobile (Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone)

Meisio’s Rating:
Stability: 4/5
Usage for common users: 3/5 (occasional use)
Usage for professionals: 5/5 (daily use)
 

Bonus application: Prey Project (preyproject.com)

Prey Project logoThis anti-theft application is useful especially for laptops or mobile devices (phone, tablet etc.). Can help you recover the data from it or you can play with the thief’s mind, I will let you discover for your own the features :). Better safe than sorry, right? Get it while it’s hot!

Compatibility (according to Prey manufacturer): Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Ubuntu and mobile (Android and iOS)

You are welcome!

How to Peel Easy an Avocado and a Pomegranate (Video)

I had the pleasure to live in Barcelona, Spain for more than one year. Besides the weather, what I love there is the excellent food. As a vegetarian, it is important for me the diversity and the taste of vegetables and fruits.

While I lived there, I rediscovered the taste of avocado and pomegranate. They were always nice to eat, but I often ended up choosing something else, because I thought they were very hard and messy to peel.
The peeling process is not that hard once you know few tricks! I have discovered on Youtube some interesting techniques which I would like to share with you:

How to Peel an Avocado

How to Peel an Avocado on YouTube published by gogardener couk on December 19th, 2010

Tip: Video – How to pick an good avocado (by the way, this guy is sick :)): Top 5 Tips on How to Pick an Avocado

Nutrition data on avocado:

This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate.
Read More on Nutrition Data
 

How to Peel a Pomegranate

How to peel a pomegranate without loosing juice on YouTube published by Gogardener Couk on January 8th, 2012

Nutrition data on Pomegranate:

This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Folate, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
Read More on Nutrition Data

Enjoy!