https://vontikakis.com Latest blogs posts on vontikakis.com https://vontikakis.com/articles/rss Speeding up your website using gulp.js to combine css stylesheets When someone visits your website is important to have quick loading time on desktops and mobile phones, this  for two reasons the first one is for a good user experience, visitors doesn't have to wait a lot on first page loading or through navigation on various pages. Second page loading speed is one the factors that impacts the seo ranking in google. One technique for high speed page loading is to combine all js files to one and same goes for the css files.

The previous task is possible to achieve by using a task runner like the gulp.js , we can install gulp through the nodesjs package system the npm. We will assume that you already have installed npm in your computer, the next steps is the installation of gulp.

npm install gulp-cli -g or sudo npm install gulp-cli -g

if you find any problem run the command with sudo

npm install gulp -D or sudo npm install gulp -D

in the top your project directory create a file a with the name

gulpfile.js

In css directory there three css files we want to combine in one, the bootstrap.css, boostrap-theme.css and main.css for this we have to install all the gulp contcat module and  the gulp order module

npm i gulp-concat-css or sudo npm i gulp-concat-css
npm i gulp-order or sudo npm i gulp-order

in gulpfile we insert the following code

var gulp = require('gulp');
var concatCss = require('gulp-concat-css');
var order = require('gulp-order');

gulp.task('css', function(){
         gulp.src('css/**/*.css')
         .pipe(order([
          'css/bootstrap.css',
          'css/bootstrap-theme.css',
          'css/main.css'
        ], { base: __dirname }))
    	.pipe(concatCss('all-static.css'))
        .pipe(gulp.dest('t/'))
});

gulp.task('default',['css']);
And then in command line run the command
gulp

This will combine the three css files in one, and will output a new file named all-static.css in directory t this speeding up our website because now the webpage has to load 1 file instead of three and we have 2 less http requests in our web server.

You can down the sample files from here to test your self sample files

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=139 Sun, 15 Jul 2018 00:00:00 +0000
How to Build a Growth Team That Will Take Your Company to the Next Level Regardless of size or industry, growth is a key objective for most companies. When you look at startups, you see organizations where growth is at the core of their strategy, even if there is no formal management of it.

For a business to have success with a growth strategy, they first need to recognize the type of growth they are trying to cultivate. Many firms make the mistake of defining growth as making more sales or increasing revenue. However, a successful growth strategy will focus on developing and refining products to offer more value to customers. In this model, sales and revenue are the result of the growth initiatives, but they are not necessarily the direct target of any growth-focused project.

When it comes to building a growth team, some of the key factors include A/B testing, machine learning, UX design, and data analytics. A growth team will work cross-functionally to break down barriers. This allows team members to gain a greater perspective of how different departments contribute to the overall success and growth of the company.

What is a Growth Team?

When a company brings together people of varying backgrounds and skills to develop data-driven growth initiatives, they?re leveraging the power of a growth team. A growth team is going to be a customer-focused enterprise that will look for new ways to drive customer acquisition, retention, upsell, and revenue.

Growth teams can vary significantly depending on the size of the company and the goals it's trying to reach. A small startup that is still trying to establish itself is going to have a growth team that is drastically different than that of a large company with stable revenue and an established reputation.

Different Types of Growth Teams

To build a growth team that will best serve the needs of your company, you have to recognize the stage of development your company is in and identify the goals you are trying to achieve. The following are general guidelines for growth teams that may work at different stages of a company's growth.

Startup

Startups are smaller companies that are generally working hard to get the early stages of the company going. Usually there is a limited number of employees, and people often have to take on multiple roles in order to reach objectives.

At this stage, you generally want to select one or two people to focus on growth. Give them access to company leadership and have them focus on goals that will get products ready for release. They can also look to improve the overall customer experience. For example, a Facebook advertising agency still at a startup stage may have the same team members that are on the growth team assisting with business development efforts. Others may also be part of the Facebook ad creation side of operations. At this stage in a company?s development, a growth team needs to be flexible, dynamic, and willing to juggle roles.

Mid-Size

Once a company is more established and has customers, the idea is to find ways to acquire more. A team of about half a dozen to a dozen professionals should be right for this stage.

Usually, you will want to focus efforts on product managers and designers. These team members have a better understanding of customer needs and will have the most useful information for customer acquisition. As the company grows, you may also want to consider adding data specialists and engineers to the team.

Enterprise

Growth can get more complex once a company reaches a certain size. With large companies, you have a lot of employees that work in different departments; interaction between these groups might be limited. At this stage, you want to take representatives from different departments and bring them together as a team that focuses on growth.

The Typical Structure of a Growth Team

Depending on the type of business and its goals, there are three general models that most companies will follow.

Independent

In this model, there is a growth team leader that reports to the CEO while also keeping the team focused on its goals. This team would include a product manager, designers, and data scientists. The team will set specific goals and work toward finding improvements for them.

Metrics-Focused

Structurally, this team will be very similar to an independent growth team. The key difference is that a metrics-focused team puts a much greater emphasis on data. These teams may also include marketing professionals and engineers, and they will operate by selecting key metrics to analyze and improve.

Functional

Here, you have different departments all focusing on their key functions. The leaders from these departments will report to the VP of product or a specified growth manager. Every team follows its own path in regard to analyzing data and achieving growth, but the growth manager or VP sets the objectives for each group.

Regardless of which type you choose, building a growth team is one way to set yourself apart from competition. By coming up with innovative ways to manage your companies advances, you?re sure to see positive results at all stages of growth.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=138 Tue, 26 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0000
App Store vs Google Play, How Video Marketing Matters. The first impression is the last impression.

The saying may or may not be true in day to day life, which is up to debate, but mobile app marketing companies know for sure this saying quite literally applies to app stores.

Why?

Because visitors to your app store page are quick to judge and exit if they don't like what they see.

According to this article, there are two different types of visitors: explorers and decisive thinkers. Out of these, 60% won't explore past the first impression. In order to not lose the lead, your app store page needs to tell the visitor what it does in a period of 3 seconds.

Your mobile app marketing campaign needs to capture the visitor, and it needs to be done fast.

What better way than video?

There are two app stores: the Apple store and the Google Play store. Putting videos on each store is a different experience. How can your mobile app marketing strategy create a great first impression on each store?

To find out, we need to differentiate between two first.

Autoplay

As soon as the visitor finds you in the search results, the video starts to autoplay without sound on in the apple app store, unlike play store. moreover, you can have a maximum of three videos on your page, each of which auto play when you swipe.

Perhaps it is something to keep in mind when creating a mobile app marketing plan?

Approval

The Apple app store is strict about what you post on your product page. For some, it can be constrictive especially if you are not well versed in what Apple wants.

For starters, you need to make sure you follow the guidelines set out for app previews. The preview should be device specific, meaning it must have the same orientation as the app on that device. Similarly, the visual content must lean towards captured footage. You can?t show live action, any device, or create a video purely consisting of animations and not the app itself.

On the flipside, Google offers a lot of freedom. Your video opens up on YouTube, so it always performs better in landscape orientation. You don't have to get it approved first unlike in iOS, and you can put up any type of content you want.

(Not sure if your video will be approved? Get in touch with a mobile app marketing agency to help you out!)

Tip: make sure your videos for Apple app store aren't of more than 30s in length. There is no video restriction on Google play store, however.

The differences between iOS and Google play store are striking. Mobile app marketing services and mobile app marketing agencies can assist you in making the perfect first impression video for your app.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=137 Tue, 05 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0000
Delivery Drivers Now Have A New Option There are new options available to delivery drivers who want to earn a little extra money for themselves. They have mostly been limited to Uber and Lyft until recently, but now a delivery driver app that has just been released is changing the name of the game.

Enhancing Delivery In General

For whatever reason we as a society have limited the number of products that we receive via delivery to handful of things. Food delivery is common and package delivery is starting to get better, but many other products are not included in the list of things that we can have delivered directly to our homes.

What is a person supposed to do when they have an impulse to purchase an item but also do not particularly feel like leaving the home to go get it? That is where the new app comes in.

How It Works

It is a pretty simple system once you start to see it in action. Basically, a person places an order via the app to have something delivered directly to their home. They place the location of their home in the app and then see a list of competing offers for delivery pop up. They choose from those offers to find either the best price or the fastest delivery time or some combination of the two.

Once the customer has selected the Udely proposal that they want to go with, they place the order and then wait as they track the order through the various stages that it goes through until it reaches their door. They can see it moving closer and closer to them on a real-time map. Before you know it, the package arrives at their door.

Making Money With This App

On the flip side of this transaction are those who do the actual deliveries. They are there to help fulfill the orders that are placed by those on the driver delivery app. They want to sell some products or at least deliver those products in order to earn some extra money.

Many of the delivery drivers actually sell their own products, but some are simply operating as carrier services for other companies that are in need of someone to deliver the products that they have to customers. Either way, the driver earns some money for the work that they do, and the customer receives what they have ordered much more quickly than they would under normal circumstances.

Delivery times are shortened using this app because a lot of times the products desired are nearby the people who are placing the order in the first place. Thus, it becomes simply a matter of connecting buyer with seller. After that is done, the delivery can be made right away.

The customer has full control of the process in terms of accepting bids. Meanwhile, the driver has full control of his or her business as they operate as an independent contractor and can set their own hours, rates, and delivery times.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=136 Wed, 02 May 2018 00:00:00 +0000
From the Present to the Near Future of Blockchain Apps  

With the rise of dApps and their prospects for making our lives easier across the globe, at least as means of financial transfers, many app developers are fully invested to work on the decentralized networks. Blockchain development is more popular, despite concerns by disbelievers that dApps have limited potential and that they are not likely to produce significant breakthroughs. Killer apps show up to contrast the opinion; we are seeing the success of tokenization and micropayments, as well as the combined application of blockchain development and neural networks to create predictive artificial intelligence.

For future-oriented blockchain developers, 2018 seems to be a promising and (again) a challenging year. New projects keep piling up at the end of where we 've come so far. We are looking into a period where blockchain development will be more about digital identities and voting, decentralized registries and smart contracts.

 

Starting with Basic Blockchain Apps

If you don't want to leave it to the blockchain app market to make the decisions without your input, there are already some well-established players: it would be hard to miss on the challenge of developing or at least experimenting with the Ethereum blockchain. Have you thought of chipping in your first ether? By starting with this platform, chances are you may quickly continue by helping someone else (a client) accrue a nice cryptocurrency amount. With the developer community support, learning resources for solidity development accumulate fast. If it seems less and more complicated at the same time to start using Ethereum, maybe you haven't touched on its potential yet. There are at least a handful of languages you can go for; not to mention video tutorials, informal online courses and even an official Ethereum "university" - EthAcademy.

 

Ethereum State and Accounts

Learning Solidity is necessary for delving into blockchain development to build dApps within a short time frame and multidirectional interaction. Whatever you choose, Ethereum is "the" platform to hone your dApps coding skills. It works by using a Turing-complete programming language; with sufficient memory you can apply sophisticated coding logic to solve the majority of computational problems. This includes performing looping and branching statements and local state storage.

The state in Ethereum consists of accounts. These accounts have a 20-byte address and state transitions that are direct transfers of information and value between Ethereum accounts. Each account is made of four fields. The first one is called a nonce, which is a counter implemented to assure single transaction processing. The other three fields are the current ether (Ethereum cryptocurrency) balance, the contract code and the storage.

Ethereum accounts typically exist as externally owned accounts and as contract accounts. The difference is that externally owned accounts are controlled by private keys and have no code. Contract accounts, on the other hand, are controlled by their contract code. You can send messages from external to contract accounts by creating and signing transactions. The code in the contract accounts activates once it receives a message from the external account, and can, in turn, create new contracts or read and write to the internal storage.

 

Tokens, Derivatives and Smart Contracts

Ethereum is pretty simple for tokenization and making financial derivatives, allowing users to manage their money in new ways and enter into numerous contracts. If you are planning to begin with blockchain development son, smart contracts are a good place to start.

For example, financial derivatives require simple coding but come with challenges of their own, such as the need for reference to an external price ticker. Although some suggest solving the ether or other cryptocurrency volatility problem in an old-fashioned way, Ethereum provides an option with hedging data-feed contracts connected to volatility indices on other stock exchanges. This type of contract includes an option for updates, as well as a message interface for communication between the contracts.

Using a trusted central authority as a price ticker is not perfect for full decentralization, but it still provides and option for an additional input to cut down costs of the infrastructure and guard against fraud.

Ethereum is in the initial stages, but its open-source simple structure is continually being updated to provide a strong base layer for blockchain development. As a mix of a financial platform and advanced decentralized computer protocols, it influences the nature of the web and the money as we have come to know it by now.

 

Disclaimer: It should be noted that financial derivatives are products that engage risk in investment, and the mention of financial derivatives in this article should not be considered as advice to buy or sell them.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=135 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000