Friday, March 28, 2014

Inspiring Speech of Sam Pitroda at the Telecom Leadership Forum




Today I get a chance to watch below video showing an inspiring and interesting speech of Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister of India at Telecom Leadership Forum(TLF).

I found this video, while I was searching Quotes of Sam Pitroda for updating list of Sam Pitroda Quotes in our Motivational Quotes Site TheQuotes.Net, otherwise it is very difficult to find this video. I think media should focus on spreading this kind of inspiring speeches. I am not sure whether any of Indian media covered this speech in their news or articles.





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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Let us make the Hash Tag #40SecretsForHappyLife as Top Twitter Trending Topic




I am planning to promote this page   "40 Secrets for Happy Life" on twitter by making the Hash Tag #40SecretsForHappyLife as Top Twitter Trending Topic.

"40 Secrets for Happy Life" page is the most shared web page in our  www.TheQuotes.net website. And, I came to know that most of the people in the world are giving more priority for being happy than any other thing. That's why I decided to choose this hash tag which can be easily made as trending topic.

I have gone thro' various articles about making a hash tag twitter trending topic, and implementing their suggestions one by one. I am sure that it will be the twitter trending topic soon. Let us work together to make it happen soon. Based on my understanding, the earlier adopters of any trending topics are getting more exposure than anyone who try to use trending topics to promote their tweets or accounts once after seeing them in the trending list.



If you want to make use of this hash tag, you have to add this hash tag whenever you tweet any related content. It will help you get some re-tweets. Because "40 secrets for Happy Life"  is making people to spread this message. For example, yesterday I added an album at imgur , and it got more than 8K views within few hours.

 And, I will be re-tweeting some of the tweets with this hash tag from our Twitter accounts (e.g @MedicalFeed) which are having more than 5K followers.  

Once it becomes Twitter Trending topic, it will give more exposure so that we can gain more twitter followers.

If you have your own blog or website, you can embedd this video in your blog and tweet your blog post with the hash tag #40SecretsForHappyLife

You may use this video also.  And, You can share your suggestions thro' the comments for making this hash tag as twitter trending topic.



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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Released Timesheet 3.1.4 with Bug fixes and Uniform Naming



 As specified in my previous blog post, I have decided to focus on few products that  solve people's problem, instead of spending time on many products.  Since our Time Sheet Software is useful for solving the productivity issues of start-ups,  I am planning to develop it further and promote it rigorously.


Today, we are releasing new version (i-e  version  3.1.4) of this timesheet software for fixing few bugs and for using users name in all pages uniformly.  i-e Now our Timesheet software will  show First name and Last Name of the Employees, in addition to Username in various pages. And, we fixed a validation bug in daily time status entry screen in this version.

And, we made these changes in our Timesheet Demo page also. Let me know if you find any error when seeing the demo. And, send me your suggestions for improving it further. I will address them in the next release.

You might have noticed that I am still giving the offer for this timesheet software. Yes, I have decided to extend the offer price few more days or weeks. It is true that previously I wanted to give this offer for few days only.

But now I got many Entrepreneurs and Startup guides as my twitter followers. I believe they will tell about this offer to their fellow Entrepreneurs and therefore I can sell the timesheet without running Adword campaigns.  So, I will be happy to give the money saved by avoiding the Adword Campaign, as the Offer Price for our Timesheet Software.

Few months back, I created below video "Why some start-ups fail? " for promoting our Timesheet. You may match this video to know about the reasons for start-ups failures.






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Friday, March 14, 2014

Now showing "Related Quotes" in our Motivational Quotes Website


As explained in my previous posts, we are taking lot of steps to add many useful features to our Motivational Quotes Website TheQuotes.Net

 But it is not yet getting Search traffic from Google.  According to Google Analytic Report, the search traffic from Google to the TheQuotes.net website got reduced significantly on May 25th 2012 and September 29th 2012. These dates correspond to the Google Algorithm updates dates. So,  It seems the site got affected by both Panda and Penguin Updates of Google.

For recovering from Penguin attack, I am taking steps to remove links from low quality websites and from  footer of our other websites.


For addressing Panda related issues I am taking steps to  correct "Thin Content" issues. For example, I have added "noindex, nofollow" meta tag to many pages like greetings cards editing pages, and search results page.

And, I removed some adsense units from some pages to keep good "ads to content " ratio.

For example, this page was having only one sentence as content. Initially I thought of adding "noindex, nofollow" to these kind of pages. But I changed my decision as these pages are getting few visitors from other search engines such as Bing.

http://www.thequotes.net/quote/9-Unknown-Courage-A-ship-is-safe-in-harbor-but-that039s-n.html


So, I decided to show  "Related Quotes" in this type of pages. i-e Showing few other quotes from the category of the quote displayed on that page.

First, I used below query to show 5 random quotes from the specified category.

"select distinct q.id,q.category_id,c.category ,q.author_id,q.quotes,a.author from quotes_text q, quotes_author a , quotes_category c where q.status='active' and q.category_id=c.id and q.author_id=a.id  and q.category_id=$category_id and q.id not in($id) order by rand()limit 5"
 It was working properly. But this approach had two issues. The pages took more time to load, because of the use of random in the query. And, I am not sure how Google will treat the frquently changing content.

So, I decided to show the quotes without using random. If I show first few quotes from the category, all the quotes of that category will be having same set of quotes. It will again create the duplicate content issue. To handle this issue, I decided to use the below query so as  to show the few quotes  from below and above the current quote. I thought it will solve the page loading time issue as well as duplicate content issue.

select distinct q.id,q.category_id,c.category ,q.author_id,q.quotes,a.author from quotes_text q, quotes_author a , quotes_category c where q.status='active' and q.category_id=c.id and q.author_id=a.id  and
(
q.id in (select  id from  quotes_text where  status='active' and category_id=$category_id  and id>$id  order by id  asc limit 3)

or q.id in (select  id from  quotes_text where  status='active' and category_id=$category_id   and id<$id order by id desc limit 3)
  )
But this query didn't work. Mysql server was giving below error message.

#1235 - This version of MySQL doesn't yet support 'LIMIT & IN/ALL/ANY/SOME subquery'

So, to solve this error I have rewritten the query as below, by following this suggestion.
select distinct q.id,q.category_id,c.category ,q.author_id,q.quotes,a.author from quotes_text q, quotes_author a , quotes_category c where q.status='active' and q.category_id=c.id and q.author_id=a.id  and
(
q.id in (
select * from
(select  id from  quotes_text where  status='active' and category_id=$category_id  and id>$id  order by id  asc limit 3) as t1)

or q.id in (
select * from
(select  id from  quotes_text where  status='active' and category_id=$category_id   and id<$id order by id desc limit 3) as t2)
)
Now I hope everything is working fine. Let me know if you find any issue when using our motivational quotes website TheQuotes.Net.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The 4 Things Every Entrepreneur should Follow.









 Yesterday, I got a chance to see this tweet which lists below four things as "MBA in Tweet".




 I believe every Entrepreneur should follow these 4 things to achieve success in their mission.




  1. Sell products/services that solve people's problems.
  2. Serve customers well.
  3. Hire great team.
  4. Spend less than you make.


We can find lot of articles giving various advices for Entrepreneurs. For example, this article is listing 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs.

But, I can say that remembering and following just these 4 things is enough to succeed in our business. I realized this fact from my personal experience.

I have started our company "QualityPoint Technologies" in the year 2008 with great vision of "To be the Global Technical Leader by using latest technologies effectively and also by introducing innovative solutions while keeping Employees and Users happy"  and values of "Honest and Hard work. Delivering Quality Product on time cost effectively".

We have done lot of things to develop our company. We have successfully completed more than 120 projects for our clients, and the happy customers are willing to give more work. And, as explained in  this blog post, we have taken lot of initiatives to develop our own products and web portals.

But still we are NOT seeing the expected growth. So, I am doing lot of analysis and study to understand the reasons for the delay of our company growth. Based on this study, I came up with list of things that need to be addressed immediately with high priority to accelerate the growth. And, I addressing those things step by step. When I saw this "MBA in Tweet"  tweet, I felt that these 4 things are exactly matching with my list of  findings.
So, I wanted to share this fact to my blog readers through this blog post. I believe every one will accept the importance of these 4 things. Share your thoughts through the comments if you have different opinions.



Let me explain how I am addressing these 4 things to accelerate our growth.  Let me start explaining from the bottom. i-e 4th point "Spend less than you make."

I wanted to start from this 4th point, because it subsequently affect other things also.
I agree that it is important to do investment for starting any business. But if we are not making money more than our spending (without including initial investment) within few years, it clearly indicates there is some issue in our business model. For example, our Chennai office was making less than the expenditures for long time irrespective of the fact that we had enough work to do. The obvious reason is high employee attrition rate. So, I closed our Chennai Office as explained here. After closing our Chennai office, I am having enough time to focus on lot of other things that are required for our company growth. So, addressing 4th point will help to accelerate the company growth apart from helping you to save money.

Don't confuse this 4th point with the intentional/planned spending. For example, I am spending lot of money and energy to develop and promote our motivational quotes website TheQuotes.net for many years without getting any returns. It doesn't mean that I have  to stop spending further. Because, I am spending for this site intentionally/knowingly with clear plan and strategy. Based on my study/analysis, similar Quotes sites are earning in millions. And, I believe I can make our site to bring on bar with those sites using our Development and SEO skills. So, I can say that I will be getting all my spendings as returns within few months once our site starts earning money. This plan is not having any major risks. So, we should not confuse these kind of situations with the 4 th point. Anyway, unless you are having any specific reason for your spending, always Spend less than you make.



 The next important thing is "Hire great team." Everyone will agree with this third point. But implementing this point in practice is bit difficult. Previously we had many great Team members in our Chennai Office, but the overall Team performance is not up to my expectation. The reason is, we had some team members with  average performance. It affected entire team performance even if we had excellent team members. So, hiring few great team members is not enough, we have to hire Great Team i-e All Team members should perform well, and they should have Team Spirit.

So, give more importance for hiring great Team. If you couldn't find great Team members, it is better not to hire any one instead of hiring some average or low performing candidate. I have learned this lesson with great expense. For example, my wrong hiring of few candidates  resulted in Penguin attack of our Motivational Quotes website TheQuotes.net. I am still working hard to recover from this Penguin attack for more than a year. But still not seeing significant improvement in the search rank. So, now I am very specific about hiring good team members. One employee from our Ottapidaram office had resigned two months back. Still I am looking for suitable candidate to replace that position. I don't want to compromise this great advice "Hire great team."

The second point is "Serve customers well." I need not explain this one. Wal Mart founder Sam Walton says, There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

So, we need to serve  customers well. It will be possible only if you have a Great Team which follows your instructions about taking care of customers.

The first thing is "Sell products/services that solve people's problems." Yes, your product should solve the actual problems of the people. There is no use if it doesn't solve people's problems even if you have excellent products and great team to support the product. Initially I did lot of initiatives and plans to develop lot of  products. And, I had more than 25 web sites. Now closed many websites and dropped many products. Right now I am focusing on few products that really solve people's problems. For example, I focus on selling our Timesheet  which will be very useful in solving employee performance and productivity issues of any start-up. And, I am planning to focus on our AutoResumePost product soon. It will help candidates to save lot of time when doing job search.

So, personally I strongly believe in all these 4 things and I am seeing good changes after start implementing these 4 things strongly.  I recommend the budding entrepreneurs to follow these things. You can share your experience thro' the comments.

And, watch below the video showing amazing business motivational quotes that are useful for the budding Entrepreneurs. And, you may be interested in my previous post Why some start-ups fail



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Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Improve Web Page loading Performance?



Past few weeks I was spending lot of time in improving page loading performance of this blog as well as our other websites such as TheQuotes.Net.

I would like to share my experience of improving web page loading speed in this post.

Let us first see why we need to improve the page loading speed, and what are the things we need to consider while taking steps for increasing web page performance.

The very first reason is, people will like to stay more time on any website only if the web pages of the site load  faster. If it is slow, people will move on to any other competitor website. i-e High performance web sites lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions.

Another equally important reason is, Search Engines will give importance or priority for the fast loading websites when displaying search results. Google has declared that it is incorporating site speed in search rankings.


These days, creating excellent website is not a big deal. We can develop amazing websites with lot of features within few minutes by using CMS such as wordpress which allows us to choose our design and features from huge collection of free Themes and free Plugins. But really challenging task is, bringing visitors to our websites and keeping them engaged with our site.

It is true that "Content is king". But, creating quality content is not enough to bring visitors. In other words, people will come to know about your quality content only if they get a chance to visit your website.

So, it is very important to improve web page loading performance which can help to bring Search traffic. Now, let us see how to improve page performance.

Web page loading speed depends on various factors. For example, if you want to see the home page of our motivational Quotes website TheQuotes.net, you will be typing the URL as TheQuotes.net in your browser address bar. And, you will be noticing that it is getting changed as www.TheQuotes.net in the browser address bar. We added this redirection in .htaccess file of the server to get SEO benefits. But this kind of redirections will affect the page loading speed. So, we should avoid unnecessary page redirections to improve the page loading speed. For example, instead of redirecting the mobile users to mobile version of your site, you can have responsive design so that both mobile users and desktop users will see the same URL while seeing respective layout/design of the page. For example URL of this page will not be changed even if you are seeing different page layouts in mobile and desktop.

Hosting Server performance will also affect page loading speed. So, make sure that you are hosting your website with good hosting which provides good server speed. Based on my experience BlueHost and Hostgator are providing good server response speed at affordable price. For example, I have noticed good improvement in page loading speed after moving our website from previous hosting to BlueHost as I explained in my previous post.

Even if we host our website at good hosting server, there is no guarantee that our web site will be getting loaded quickly when we access the web pages from various places in the world. For example, if the server is physically located in United States, visitors from united states will be seeing quick loading of the site, but people from India will be experiencing slow page loading. So, to handle this issue, we can go for CDN (Content Delivery Network) which loads static contents such as images from various data centers located at various places. i-e people accessing your website from India will be getting the images from server hosted at Hong kong. This CDN approach will help to provide good loading performance for the visitors throughout the world. We can take advantage of this CDN approach easily by implementing CloudFlare.

Anyway, the dynamic contents should be still loaded from the original server only. So, it is important to force your server to create and deliver the content of the page quickly. For example, whenever you request home page content of motivational site TheQuotes.net, your browser has to receive the html content from the original server only. The CDN will deliver the static resources such as Images, Javascript files and CSS files from nearest CDN network server.

TheQuotes.net home page html has to be generated by taking two random text quotes from huge Quotes list in the database and by taking one random images quotes. And, it has to fetch last two blog posts, list of Quotes topics, list of blog categories, list of recent posts, etc. Definitely all these things will take significant time. If 10 people are requesting this page, it is unnecessary to allow the server to repeat all these things for all the 10 people.

So, we have to use cache system for storing the dynamic content (e.g php pages) as static pages (i-e HTML pages) and delivering those static page during subsequent requests. We use "wp super cache" wordpress plugin for implementing cache for TheQuotes.net website.

And, we have to make sure that our web pages are not having any unnecessary content, especially in header part of page. It is better to compress the pages by activating gzip so that size of the page will be reduced for the fast transfer. In wordpress, we can use minify plugin to implement it. And, size of images can be reduced by doing loss-less compressions.

We can combine all javascript files into one file to avoid unnecessary multiple HTTP requests to get all javascript files. And, we can do the similar thing for CSS files also. And, it is better to avoid using multiple hosts or domain names for getting the resources like javascript and CSS files. For example, if you have your CSS file in one host and Javascript files in another host, you need to put both of them in one host only to save time taken for unnecessary DNS resolving (i-e translation of domain name into IP address) of multiple hosts. It is better to keep all your resources in your main server. For example, I am keeping all js files and css files of thequotes.net in thequotes.net server itself. But it is not always possible. For example, for this blog is a Google Blogger blog. So, I don't have any control to save javascript files and CSS files there. But I needed to add some custom code as explained in my previous post. I had to put all my custom javascripts codes and CSS definitions in Blogger template itself. But it will increase page size and therefore affect the loading speed of all pages. The only option is, I have to put the js and css files in any other host such as thequotes.net. While doing this, we need to make sure that we put it in only one server to avoid unnecessary DNS resolving.

And, we have to make sure that we leverage browser caching. i-e Setting an expiry date or a maximum age in the HTTP headers for static resources instructs the browser to load previously downloaded resources from local disk rather than over the network. For example, I have added below lines of code into the .htaccess file of TheQuotes.net for enabling browser caching.

<ifmodule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 2 days"
</IfModule>

But adding this code is not enough for TheQuotes.net site which is having cloudflare. So, I had to do cache expire settings from cloudflare dashboard also.

We can test the page loading speed/performance using various Tools. Google's PageSpeed tool is an excellent way for measuring and improving the page speed for both Mobile and Desktop. For example, you can view the Page speed score for TheQuotes.Net here. Apart from giving page speed score, it will give suggestions for fixing the issues that are reducing your website performance. And, pingdom is the suitable tool for viewing your website loading speed from various locations. And, it reports DOM loading performance. You can see the pingdom report for TheQuotes.Net here. And, we can use yahoo's Firefox Addon YSlow to see the page loading performance report of any web page you visit on your browser.

Whenever using any widely-used common libraries such as  jquery library, don't link them from your own server. Instead, link them from Google-hosted servers. By doing this, you will get two advantages. one is, Google servers will deliver them fast. Another important advantage is, mostly libraries linked to Google-hosted servers will be already available in user machines. It will save the library download time.

And, make sure that you use asynchronous version of Google Adsense and Google Analytics code so that the visitors can start seeing the main content of your page even before the Adsense and Analtyics related scripts are not getting loaded fully. It will help to improve the user experience.

And, we should make sure that our efforts for increasing page loading speed will not affect user experience and SEO things.

Do you have any other suggestions to improve page loading performance? you can share your suggestions thro' the comments.


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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Moved our QualityPointTech.Com Domain from Net4India to GoDaddy



I registered our domain qualitypointtech.com in 2008 i-e around 6 Years back.

The domain was registered with Net4India (Net4in), and I got server space from Net4in and hosted qualitypointtech.com there.

After launching qualitypointtech.com, I had started lot of other websites (more than 25). I registered all of them with Godaddy and hosted with hostgator and bluehost servers.

Customer support from GoDaddy, Hostagor and Bluehost are comparatively better than net4in. But I kept the domain and hosting with net4india in the past 6 years as I haven't focused much on qualitypointtech.com.


Few days back, I changed URL of this blog as blog.qualitypointtech.com

While making this change, I have noticed that net4india hosted pages are taking more time to load, comparing to our other sites. So, I thought of moving the web page files from Net4In  to Bluehost server while still keeping the domain with net4in. That time, I came to know about some negative review comments about Net4India. I am not sure whether they are valid or not. Anyway, I have decided to move the domain from Net4India to GoDaddy so that I can easily manage this domain along with our other domains.

So, I logged into my Godaddy account and initiated domain transfer process, by making payment for the domain transfer. Initially I thought I need not make any payment for transferring domain as I already renewed it from net4india itself. Anyway, domain transfer payment extended the domain life one more year.

Previously I did lot of domain transfers. But all of them were within GoDaddy only. i-e just domain pushing or change of account which is very easy process.

After completing the domain Transfer Payment, GoDaddy sent me Transaction ID and Security Code which are required for entering AuthCode for Domain transfer.

I loggedin to my Net4India panel and generated AuthCode for the Domain, and entered it in GoDaddy Panel to initiate the Domain Transfer. I thought this transfer will be done in few hours. But GoDaddy status was saying that it is waiting for the approval from the Domain Sender and it will take around 7 days.

I contacted Net4india support thro' their support ticket system to make sure that the domain is unlocked for enabling transfer.

I was very much concerned about avoiding any down time during this domain transfer process. Because this blog has started recovering from some Google search issues in past few days. I don't want this recovery process getting affected by downtime.

So, I wanted to add the CNAME records for this Blogger blog from GoDaddy so that we can avoid any downtime for this blog. But, I came to know that we can not do the DNS settings for the "transferring domain". It seems we can do the DNS settings from GoDaddy  only after the domain got transferred successfully.

To handle this issue, I added this domain as addon domain from Bluehost control panel, and added all the required CNAME records for this blog. And, I copied all the webpages files of qualitypointtech.com site to Bluehost thro' ftp.

i-e My plan is, qualitypointtech.com will be hosted in Bluehost , blog.qualitypointtech.com will be hosted with Google Blogger, and CNAME records for the blog will be kept with Bluehost.
Everything looks good. Only thing is, I need to add the Name Servers (NS) of blue host with the domain provider. Since adding NS records in Godaddy before completing the domain transfer is not possible, I decided to replace the net4india Name Servers with Bluehost name servers from Net4India control panel itself. But I couldn't do it. It seems after initiating domain transfer process we can not make any changes from current domain provider also.

Because of these limitations, I expected some downtime during this transfer, and I thought I need to immediately put the BlueHost Name Servers from GoDaddy once after the completion of domain transfer.

Today I got email from Godaddy about the successful completion of the domain transfer. Surprisingly there is no downtime for both website and blog. Because domain got transferred with all the DNS settings. So, everything was working fine (with old settings).

Then, I replaced the net4india name servers with Bluehost name servers from GoDaddy control panel. For few minutes I kept name servers of both net4india and bluehost to handle the DNS propagation delay. After that I removed the Net4india Name servers. Now the site is getting loaded from bluehost, and I am seeing significant improvement in page loading speed. And, blog is loaded from Google server while DNS resolving will be done by both GoDaddy and Bluehost.

Let me know if you face any difficulty in accessing our site and blog.

Personally, I like Net4India, irrespective of their poor customer support, loading speed issues and slightly high price. Because, Net4India has taken initiative to start the web business in India at the time when the multi national hosting companies are not focusing on their business in India. Net4India will be helpful for Indian users by accepting cheque while other hosting companies and domain providers need paypal or creditcard.

And, I came to know that Net4India is having data centers in India. So, we can give preference to Net4India hosting if our target audience are available in India.

Anyway, right now I have to make this decision of moving away from net4india as our Target audience are outside India.

Have you done any Domain transfer previously? Whether we need to consider any other factor while transferring domains? Can you share your experience thro' the comments?


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