This month marks 11 years since we started our monthly donation initiative. To date, Sidnet has donated more than 130 times to open-source projects and charitable causes nominated by team members.
The campaign’s initiator, Michał Wojciechowski, renews his choice from the first edition of #SidnetDonations, supporting FreeBSD and Przystan Ocalenie. Our CEO stresses that these two foundations have been constantly operating since we included them in 2012, persistently pursuing their goals.
The FreeBSD Foundation has been in operation since 2001, developing the operating system of the same name. While FreeBSD as an open-source system remains in the shadow of the hugely popular Linux, its existence was instrumental in the birth of many other operating systems popular today.
Systems such as macOS and iOS used in Apple devices or TrueNAS (a free system for managing network disk resources) are based on FreeBSD’s source code.
“In our company, we have been using FreeBSD on several servers from the beginning, providing basic services needed for daily work, such as e-mail and LDAP.” – Michal emphasizes.
Przystan Ocalenie Foundation
Przystan Ocalenie (Harbour of Rescue) is a shelter for horses, farm animals, and many others. The foundation’s dedicated team works tirelessly to provide care, shelter, and the proper treatment for Poland’s abandoned, injured and abused animals.
The foundation’s activities and the pursuit of its mission to save animals’ lives are based solely on donations and the work of volunteers. On the Przystań Ocalenie website, there is an active store. Anyone can contribute to help the animals get the necessary vitamins, feeds, or vegetables. We encourage you to support them – spending even a small amount can improve their living conditions.
Let’s see–your website is already running in the top search results. Your site’s visitors increase monthly, but user engagement is surprisingly low.
Many websites, web apps, and online shop owners face the same problem–insufficient user engagement. The growing number of potential customers browsing your website does not translate into the desired activities, such as leaving a comment, rating a product, sending an inquiry, or purchasing.
If you want to increase user engagement on your website–we will tell you how.
Why Is User Engagement so Meaningful?
The answer is simple: every interaction users have with your website builds your relationship. The better your users feel about your website, the better their experience of that interaction, translating into favorable opinions about your company, product, or service.
You can benefit from such positive feedback from your website users and soon-to-be customers. They wish to communicate with your brand and are looking for various ways to interact with it. As they visit your site more often, you can find ways to dialogue with your company, express an opinion, and feel an important part of the community created around it.
If you enable them to engage, users will likely be eager to spread good word of mouth about your brand. It usually results in a growing number of visitors to your website, as well as committed users and spokesmen of your brand.
This ideal scenario–getting visitors who actively spend time on your site and recommend it to others–is achievable in any industry and for any website, app, or online shop. How do you make it happen? Continue reading.
Make It About Your Users
When users have problems, they look for a quick fix online. If you know how to solve them, share this on your website.
Be user-centric. Be helpful and share your knowledge. Provide your users with solution-oriented content to address doubts regarding your brand. If the users find your content useful and valuable, they will share it.
Regularly publishing valuable content is the fastest way to elevate user engagement on your website. After all, you decide what is worth posting on your page or through your web app. However, well-tailored content is sometimes enough to keep your website visitors involved.
Keep Your Website Easy To Use
A well-designed website is easy to navigate, well-designed, and allows reactions and interactions intuitively. To make the experience of users gushing through your site the best it can be and translate into higher engagement, mind these factors:
Easy access to information is the key to attracting and increasing user engagement. Your website’s proper arrangement allows the user to reach the desired content quickly. If you design the information architecture correctly, users will move through web pages smoothly. They will keep track and save time.
Furthermore, when you plan the user flow poorly, visitors will leave immediately. Good content is crucial, as it can convert first-time visitors into loyal customers. Ensure that the most relevant content is close to the users. If access to the information the user seeks is challenging, they will return to the search engine and probably your competitors’ websites. Accessibility of data is the key to attracting and increasing user engagement on your site.
We all know how important the first impression is. The better your site looks, the more reliable and trustworthy it will appear to the users.
The visual aspect of your website should be consistent with your brand. Ensure your content and graphics are readable and clear so the visitors feel safe. Large blocks of text, low-quality photos, and unclear navigation can discourage users from interacting with the website.
Thoughtfully planned website content is a must. If you present it properly, it will be effective and increase user engagement. Therefore, add hints and tips on your topic to make it work. That will help the users learn about your brand.
Provide blog articles with a table of content for easy reading, link articles on similar or trending topics, and create a know-how page or a FAQ section. Make each ‘call to action’ visible (e.g., newsletter subscriptions, ebook, or report download), and add ‘click-to-call’ buttons. Verify if the content is displayed correctly on every laptop, tablet, and mobile device.
Let the Users Interact with Your Brand
Website users love expressing their opinions–prepare places where they can comment or react to your content. It would be wise to find some room for them to do so on your websites. You can quickly propel their engagement by adding a comment section and a share button at the end of each blog article.
If you manage an online shop, allow users to review and rate the products. It may also be a good idea to create a separate platform for the users if it fits your brand’s character. A forum or a fan page could be a perfect place for users to share their emotions and interests. Built-in live chat will also increase user engagement on the website.
Once you have addressed the ‘front-end’ issues, let’s look at the website backstage and see how you can increase user engagement and make it user-friendly overall.
Does Page Loading Speed Affect User Engagement?
Statistics show that 90% of the users will leave your website if it loads for 5 seconds. If it takes even more time for your page to appear on the screen, the users will simply give up browsing it.
In May 2021, Google updated its algorithm for Core Web Vitals. The improved algorithm is expected to assess better the quality of the user experience of any website and rank higher sites that:
Quickly display elements such as text, images, or videos
Allow users to navigate the site efficiently
Avoid sudden shifts of content on the screen
Again, page speed influences the website’s usability. It is significant in the same way as the page navigation pattern. A well-designed website will address the mentioned metrics and focus on improving the user experience by shortening the page loading time. Quick access to information is crucial for users and can significantly influence their commitment to the brand. If you care to increase user engagement on the website do not make them wait!
Check If Your Activities on Increasing User Engagement on the Website Are Effective
To audit the effectiveness and usability of content implemented on your website, you can track simple metrics with free website statistics analysis tools. When you want to measure the increasing engagement of the users on your website, it would be helpful to define events or activities that are strategic for your business and the type of website.
Suppose you are a pro in your industry, developing a corporate blog. In that case, you should regularly check the following:
The bounce rate
The average time spent by a user on a given page
The number of comments
Shares for your articles
For large e-commerce websites, you will recognize user involvement by tracking the shopping carts, interactions with product pages, and the growing number of ratings and reviews.
The array of handy metrics to assess your on-site actions is much more significant. If you plan to engage the users even more, also check the following indicators:
Number of visits
Number of page views
Number of unique users
Number of active / returning / registered users
An adequately connected analytic tool can provide valuable insights into your online activities. You can quickly assess what content your users like and what is not interesting for them. You can identify sub-pages that engage users poorly or cause them to abandon further action on the site.
Well-designed Website Increases Satisfaction and User Commitment
Creating a user-friendly, intuitive, and visually appealing website can improve your online presence, reach more customers and ultimately grow your business. It takes expertise and time to design such a website, app, or online shop that is effective for business.
Outsourcing this part of the job may be a good idea. It helps business owners and retailers who, knowing their industries, are aware of the benefits an online presence will bring. A well-designed website will reduce frustration and improve user experience, increasing user satisfaction. Furthermore, it will translate into more satisfied users who will spend more time on the site, return to it and recommend it to others.
If your company does not have a trusted web development partner, when choosing one, pay attention to their:
Range of the services provided
Understanding of the business side of the project
High communication skills
Portfolio of completed projects
If you like what you see, they may be an excellent technological partner to develop your website.
You may already have a website or online shop operating for a while now, and neither needs any significant amendments. In this case, look for a development team that provides consulting services like website audits. After carefully examining your page, they will suggest necessary modifications, e.g., increasing the efficiency and security of the website or improving its visual side.
As you can see, increasing user engagement on your website is a process. Constant testing and monitoring of implemented changes and user reactions allow you to find and fix the weak points of your website. Expert data analysis makes finding promising or innovative ways to activate website users easy. Tasks related to increasing user engagement also involve teamwork. You provide business insight. We at Sidnet provide skills and knowledge on how to build engaging websites.
Contact us today, and let’s create a great website together!
Contributions to an open-source project can take many forms: bug reports, code fixes, documentation updates, etc. But for our PHP developer, Gabriela Walczyk, the best way to give back to the community was to choose Git–an essential tool for developers to support financially this month.
In addition to the open-source projects, we donate monthly to charity. Gabriela aims to make a positive impact as effectively as possible. For this reason, The Hunger Project–fighting hunger and poverty–seemed an obvious choice for her, so it will also receive our support.
Git is an open-source project and a tool allowing developers to manage changes to a source code and collaborate on software development projects.
“It’s a vital tool for programmers,” says Gabriela, adding: “Git enables multiple people to work on the same code simultaneously. It also allows us to go back through the history of changes and makes completing tasks less stressful. If something goes wrong–changes can always quickly roll back. Once you start using it, you can’t imagine working without it.”
The key feature of Git is the ability to work offline. Each developer has a local copy of the repository to work on independently. Later changes can be merged back into the main repository when they are ready to be shared.
Some other Git features include:
Support for multiple users
Built-in conflict resolution tools
Support for annotated tags
The ability to manage large files
Git has become a popular choice for version control in the software development industry. Companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft and open-source projects use it. However, many available tools and services integrate with Git, such as GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab.
The Hunger Project
The Hunger Project is a global organization fighting hunger and poverty across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Its mission is to provide those in need with the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to achieve sustainable progress.
“According to UNdata, from early 2022, 850 million people are at risk of dying of hunger, and this number has been increasing instead of decreasing over recent years. Martin Caparrós tells the story of many of these people in his reportage, ‘Hunger.’ He looks closer at the causes and consequences of extreme malnutrition and gives the problem the face of suffering people. After reading this book, my choice of organization was obvious. The Hunger Project considers the broad spectrum of the problem and seeks to eradicate the root of it through its actions.”, explains Gabriela.
There are three pillars of The Hunger Project:
Mobilizing communities for self-reliant action
Supporting effective partnerships with local government
By engaging communities, the organization helps to identify their needs and aspirations and works with them to develop strategies to achieve their goals. The organization also provides training and resources to help individuals and communities build the skills and knowledge needed to take action. Finally, The Hunger Project works with other organizations, governments, and the private sector to create a global network of supporters committed to ending hunger and poverty.
There is a saying popular in the IT world: “There are two kinds of people: those who make backups and those yet to start making them,” and it did not come from nowhere. Those who understand the importance of creating backups know that data loss can occur anytime. Those who have yet to realize the importance of it, and therefore the risk of losing essential data, may simply be unaware of how to create them. The loss of customer data can be costly and troublesome for a company. It can also be painful for a private individual. That is where backups come in.
What Is a Backup
A backup is a copy of important data or files you can use to restore the original data in case of loss or damage. You can do a backup on physical media or online. It is a security measure that can help protect critical information and prevent catastrophic data loss.
How to Make Backups
There are several ways to create a backup, depending on how the copy is stored and the data type. A few popular methods you can find below:
External Hard Drive
Connect an external hard drive to your computer and copy the files you want to backup onto it–that is a simple and relatively inexpensive backup method.
Use a cloud backup service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive to upload your files to the cloud. That provides remote access to your data and can be helpful if your computer is lost, stolen, or damaged.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
A type of storage connects to your home or office network, allowing multiple devices easy access to your files and folders. The NAS is accessible from the web, and you can use it as comfortably as local data.
Disk imaging software backs up your entire computer system, including the operating system, installed software, and all files and folders. This method is helpful if you must restore the system during a catastrophic failure.
You can back up files by copying them to an external drive or burning them to a DVD or CD. This method is time-consuming and less reliable than the others but can be helpful for small data.
Whichever method you choose, it is crucial to set a backup schedule and stick to it. In this way, your data is always protected and up-to-date.
How to Automate Backups
Backups do not have to be overseen by yourself. Life-saving automation solutions use software to regularly and automatically back up data at scheduled intervals, usually daily or weekly. You can configure it to run in the background without user intervention, making it a convenient and reliable way to ensure a constant backup of your data.
Automatic backups have several advantages over manual methods. Firstly, they save time and effort by eliminating the need for manual backups, which can be time-consuming and prone to human error.
You can choose from various solutions: cloud-based services and local backup software on your computer. Some may offer additional features like encryption, versioning, and automatic data synchronization between devices. When choosing among them, consider your needs, budget, and security (redundancy) required to protect your data.
Why You Should Make Backups
Backups are only sometimes thought of and can significantly increase the demand for disk space. However, it will pay off greatly in case of a failed system update, unexpected data loss, or even hardware destruction. In such a situation, restoring data from a backup saves time, money, and stress.
Protection Against Data Loss
Backup is a safeguard against unexpected data loss due to hardware failure, human error, or malware attack. Losing important data can be devastating, and having a backup will allow you to avoid the considerable time and expense of trying to recover lost files or restore lost data.
Business Continuity Assurance
If you run a business, backups are essential to ensure business continuity in the event of data loss. With a backup, you can quickly restore data and continue your business without major disruption, minimizing downtime and loss of productivity.
Many industries have regulations regarding data storage and protection. By creating backups, you can ensure that you comply with these requirements, avoiding costly fines and penalties.
Knowing that you backed up data can provide internal peace of mind and reduce the stress and anxiety associated with potential data loss.
In summary, backups are a simple but effective way to protect valuable data and guard against unexpected events that could lead to data loss. They provide peace of mind and can save both time and money in the long run.
Not sure which backup method to choose? Call us at +48 22 120 17 00 and tell us about your needs.
A professional website is much more than just a showcase of online business activities. It is a useful tool that helps sell products or services and gain a positive customer experience. From this article,you will learn why your company should develop a website from scratch rather than use one of the ready-made templates offered by popular website builders.
Benjamin Franklin once aptly stated that only death and taxes are certain in this world. In business, we would add, the proven figures are equally certain. Let’s take a look at what they say about the dynamics of e-commerce growth. They will show why you must stay active with your business in the virtual world.
Online Sales in Numbers:
In 2020, 256 million Americans shopped online. By 2024, this number is projected to grow to 278.3 million and the value of products and services sold online could reach $6 trillion annually.
Nearly three out of four internet users in the European Union shop online. Almost every second of these people spent between 100-500 euros on online shopping in the three months preceding the survey.
Why is the Popularity of Online Shopping Growing so Fast?
There are several reasons for this. Over the last decade, we have become accustomed to convenient, cashless, and time-saving online shopping. The market is changing all the time to make the whole process even easier and more pleasant.
Today, as customers we appreciate:
Access to a larger range of products and services
The possibility of deferred payment or 0% installments
Free shipping and returns
Exclusive online offers
More convenient return policy
Price comparison websites
Real-time availability of products and services
The opportunity to find out others’ feedback as well as to give your own product rating.
Additionally, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a strong impact on our shopping habits and decisions. During this period a large percentage of traditional consumers have had the opportunity to benefit from the convenience of online shopping and be convinced by it. Certainly, this time and money-saving shopping is here to stay with us and on a scale, we never even dreamed of a few years ago.
E-commerce Website from a Wizard vs Website Built From Scratch
The internet has a global reach which means that an online business can potentially meet millions of customers around the world. This is particularly important for businesses that offer niche products or services as it can be difficult to find a large customer base in a specific geographical area. To run a successful online business having a user-friendly website is key. It can help increase engagement and improve customer satisfaction.
An effective website for selling products and services should be responsive, fast-loading, attractively designed, and intuitive for the user. An optimized website is a must for almost any business activity today. With this in mind, it is time to face the title question. Is a website built from scratch much better than a ready-made template from Wix?
As is often the case in the IT industry: it depends.
It depends on the purpose of the site, its size, and the direction of business growth. Is it just a simple showcase of your online business or something more? Let’s say we run a small florist. If we want contact details, an access map, and a gallery kept up to date along with a social media presence–a ready-made template from the website creator will work just fine.
Things are different when a small florist is just the starting point for a larger brand that will transform over time into online sales and a florist’s center with a wide range of products and services. The same applies when we intend to acquire new customers mainly online. If the project is to be large, flexible, and SEO-friendly we will need functionalities that website builders usually don’t offer for free.
Do you already know that you need a bigger project? Great, let’s move on.
The Main Advantages of Building a Website From Scratch
Undoubtedly, a great advantage of a website builder is its low price, especially compared to the expense of a complete website development. There are, however, considerable limitations behind the attractive rate. When building a website using available templates, we usually have only basic-level functions at our disposal and only the provider has the possibility to make major changes. When we build a bespoke website we have the ability to manage every element of it from content and the admin panel to decide how it looks in the browser.
Let us refer to the numbers again. One of the most significant trends in e-commerce is the dynamic increase in the use of mobile devices in purchasing processes. As of the last quarter of 2022, smartphones accounted for approximately 74% of retail site traffic worldwide and generated 63% of online shopping orders. Purchases made via mobile devices are extremely popular in Asia. In South Korea, two-thirds of total online transaction value comes from mobile traffic. Why are we mentioning this? Because if we want to play a vital role in the game for customers who make purchases using smartphones, we must have a responsive website, i.e., one that looks as good on a tablet and mobile as it is on a laptop.
The website builder is based on ready-made templates. On the one hand, it favors the quick and efficient construction of the website and on the other–it severely limits the possibilities of a creative approach to the subject. The number of ready-made solutions and templates is limited. It doesn’t always respond to your needs and ideas (advanced work with the creator requires at least basic design skills). It means that your page may not be consistent with the visual identity and character of the brand. Working with a software development company and a professional web designer you will not experience such problems.
Have you ever left the site before it is fully loaded? Exactly. The studies show: a delay of two seconds in loading a site causes almost nine out of ten people to skip elsewhere. The conclusion is obvious. The website must load fast. Sites created using templates sometimes have a problem with the loading speed, especially if they are running on a server alongside hundreds of other similarly built websites, which is often the case. It is much easier to work on website performance with programmers when we give the loading speed a high priority at the beginning.
Speed plays a significant role in the positioning of websites by Google. The mechanism is simple. Silicon Valley’s giant’s algorithms promote high-quality content and websites that pay attention to user experience and satisfaction. In terms of their display, quality, and service as well. With pages from templates, we do not have control over many of the website’s performance parameters. It is difficult to adapt the website to the changing search engine guidelines and thus the website ranking may be lower.
There is a significant difference between a Wix or Element website and one commissioned from scratch. When building a website with a software development company it becomes our property. It means that changing the server provider—in case of dissatisfaction with the services provided—will not be a problem. It is different in terms of websites from the wizard. Usually, there is no way to export the page. You have to start building elsewhere or stay with the existing infrastructure.
Suppose you are unfamiliar with IT, employ few people, or there are no IT specialists on a payroll. What will you do in case of technical problems? We can get professional help at Wix or Elementor but it requires an additional fee. Professional software development companies take care of their clients comprehensively. They help not only to create a website that meets the needs of the business but also take care of its launch and subsequent maintenance on the server.
Develop Your Website With Sidnet
Every business is unique and a website should reflect this. If we operate in the e-commerce sector or are planning an online presence far beyond the traditional business card, it is worth considering building a website from scratch based on a personalized design.
Not familiar with IT? You’ve come to the right place. You can entrust us with a complete set of works on your website.
Comprehensive Website Development Includes, Among Others:
In March, it was Dominika Gajda who selected the non-profit organizations that would receive our support. Dominika is a programmer who mainly codes in Python. She is currently using her skills on a project for the Carlsberg Group.
As an informed Internet user, Dominika supports the Tor Project, which cares about privacy rights and freedom of expression. She also promotes the Empowering Children Foundation–an organization that protects children from violence (also cyberviolence) and sexual abuse.
The Tor Project
Probably the best-known product of the Tor Project–a non-profit organization that has been operating for the past 17 years–is the Tor Browser, which is available on popular operating systems.
“It enables free communication, gives access to censored content in countries that restrict freedom of speech, and helps avoid unwanted advertising,” says Dominika, and adds that the Tor browser “provides a high level of anonymity on the Internet. It allows you to hide your activity, identity or location“.
The Empowering Children Foundation
The Empowering Children Foundation, formerly operating under the name Nobody’s Children Foundation, has been protecting children from violence and sexual abuse for more than 30 years. Above all, it offers abused children professional psychological and legal assistance and introduces the Child Protection Standards in Poland.
It is the largest non-governmental organization in Poland dedicated to protecting children from abuse and providing assistance to children who have experienced various forms of violence and sexual abuse.
Its activities include:
Conducting social campaigns
Educating children on how to avoid violence and abuse
Providing telephone support
Influencing Polish law to best protect the interests of children
Conducting workshops for those working with children to enable them to more easily identify the problem and intervene.
Why is this important? “Proper development in childhood has a significant impact on functioning in later stages of life. Traumas from this period cause changes in brain structure and function as well as increase the risk of problems in the future,” explains Dominika.