16
Feb

IGHhub Platform Launched

We’re proud to announce the launch of our latest project, The Institute of Global Homeless Hub (IGHhub) website. Backed by The Institute of Global Homeless, the Hub is designed as a multi-purpose platform to serve researchers, practitioners, and policymakers across the globe and it addresses world-wide audience. It helps connect ideas, effective practice, policies, data and more in an admirable effort to eradicate street homelessness at a global level.

The platform is powered by the powerful Drupal content management system, it incorporates the latest tech features for advanced flexibility and usability and uses a custom, responsive design which renders perfectly on laptops, desktops and mobile devices, on virtually any screen size and resolution.

The IGHHub features a friendly back-end user interface, which allows administrators and editors add tons of content, media items, files and more with a few clicks. The large database is easy to manage and a custom search engine, based on Solr, grants quick access to any piece of content.

Moreover, the content adding, editing and deletion system is optimized for fast publication and updating. The entire content and user database is highly protected and backed up regularly to prevent data alteration of any kind. VerticalWave Solutions also provides ongoing maintenance and support for the entire project.

We’re sure that with a powerful tool like the Hub platform to serve their needs, the guys at The Institute of Global Homeless will be able to fight homelessness in a much more efficient and productive way.

3
Apr

E-Mentoring Halton Online Collaboration Platform Launched

The VerticalWave Solutions team is proud to announce the launch of E-Mentoring Halton, a new generation type of collaboration platform, dedicated to provide online mentoring partnerships for residents of Halton Region. It is a complex program, designed to bridge the gap between established professionals and professionals immigrating to the Region of Halton in occupational-specific mentoring relationships. Moreover, the platform is engineered to facilitate communication between program participants, across the world at any time zone.

This is a scalable system, tailored to put the most efficient collaboration, communication and sharing tools at the fingertips of e-Mentors and e-Mentees. The challenge was to merge all functionality features with an intuitive and easy to use design for the end-user and for system administrators.

Using the powerful Drupal CMS, our team successfully implemented a wide variety of functional features and a modern responsive design, combining state of the art mobile and desktop UI and UX into an interactive and secure specialty platform.

E-Mentoring Halton boasts an innovative resource sharing system, which provides users with access to documents, videos, links and notes. Users have the possibility to communicate via comments or the integrated instant messaging system. At the same time they can schedule meetings and calls to enhance their collaboration and reach the end goal easier, while a built-in notification system alerts users and administrators of various activities via email.

System administrators can easily designate groups and associate users with them and create specific modules, tasks and evaluations for each group and user. Moreover, the content and user management system is designed to provide easy admin access to all resources and user accounts. Administrators control the back-end and entire collaboration system in a very straight-forward way to ensure the lowest interaction latency time possible.

As said, the E-Mentoring Halton platform is based on custom functionalities and employs many features, but using the latest Drupal 7 installment, combined with custom built modules, a clean and well-structured programming code and a solid database system, our team has delivered a modern, customizable and reliable solution for the client.

19
Dec

Chatbots – Modern AI for the Modern Web

Chatbots start to represent the next generation of web services for the modern Internet environment. Chatbots interact with real users, simulating (or should we say emulating?) real people. The code behind a chatbot is complex, and based on AI-related technology. This code allows a chatbot to intelligently interact with a multitude of users via a specific chat voice or text enabled platform, behaving in a human-like way. Technology is advancing fast, and even applications in which two chatbots can communicate with each other emerge.

One of the best things about chatbots is that they can be integrated with virtually any chat system or website, as long as they are designed and programmed accordingly. Important social networking platforms, companies and portals have already embraced the chatbot system. Although the technology is rather incipient, the results are outstanding and users interacting with chatbots show a growing interest in this kind of service.

More precisely, one of the usual chatbot applications is to guide visitors of a particular site or portal throughout its content. They can provide answers and solutions to questions like what product or service best suits a person based on certain requirements. Another useful job a chatbot can accomplish is to make the browsing experience more intuitive and enhance the user’s experience or provide selective advice. Chatbots can also collect data based on user preferences for future website improvements. Chatbot applications cover a wide range services, from sports and weather to complex industry sectors like banking and finance.

As said, chatbots behave in a human-like way, based two distinct technologies: pre-programmed sets of rules and machine learning. Machine learning is an advanced tech, using dynamic AI systems. Chatbots based on this tech are intuitive and can understand language (spoken or written). Since they can “learn” certain user patterns from conversations, they develop new “skills” and can adapt to various situations and resolve particular tasks on the fly, therefore can be integrated with almost any type of website across all popular operating systems, like Windows, Android, iOS and more. Moreover, the code behind chatbots is flexible and can be integrated with the majority of content management systems: Drupal, Joomla, WordPress and others.

These chatbots, based on machine learning technology, are a new niche in today’s Internet environment, but store infinite potential in terms of technology and productivity and definitely represent the future of human-computer interaction.

7
Nov

Shopify vs. Magento vs. WooCommerce 2016

With the rapid rise of online shops and stores in the internet environment, it was only a matter of time before the market became saturated with all sorts of eCommerce platforms, more or less reliable, created to enhance the experience of users and owners alike.

However, only a few such platforms are indeed ready to meet modern security and usability demands. As a matter of fact, WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify dominate the industry, accounting together for around 70% of the market share. Statistics show that Shopify registered a significant growth in the market share in 2016, while Magento and WooCommerce registered a slight decline. A closer look at the pros and cons of these three platforms will showcase the market’s fluctuation.

Shopify is more than a simple eCommerce software bundle. It is an all-in-one turn-key solution for starting and managing online commerce business generic lexapro. It can be used out of the box, or customized according to specific needs. Shopify is suited for businesses of all sizes, as it is very cost-effective and easy to manage, granting users total control over all buy and sell options.

Pros:

  • Enhanced security
  • Enhanced speed
  • Easily integrates with various CMS platforms like Drupal, Joomla and more
  • Various theme options
  • Easily integrates with most payment gateways
  • Provides physical and digital goods inventory management
  • Intuitive inventory import and export options
  • SEO friendly
  • Intuitive administration panel
  • Easily integrates with third party services (email services, site metrics and more)
  • Offers mobile-ready commerce out of the box
  • Analytics support
  • Social media integration

Cons:

  • Special customization requires development and coding skills
  • Built-in blogging feature is not very well polished
  • Initial setup can require a bit of tech knowledge
  • Shopify integrated payment system works for a limited number of countries (US, Canada, Australia and UK), but this does not apply to the other payment options
  • The Lite plan does not offer very rich online store features

Magento represents a suite of eCommerce platforms, solutions, and CMS software that can be used individually or as a bundle. It can be considered a CMS only to a certain extent, although not as widely used as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla, as it has a specific target audience. Written in PHP, it is strongly focused on e-commerce and used by retailers and online shops.

Pros:

  • E-Commerce ready solutions
  • Support for multiple stores, carts, languages and currencies
  • Good SEO options
  • Shipping and tax calculation options
  • Flexible template options
  • Easy administration panel management
  • Easy product creation

Cons:

  • Slower loading speeds
  • Needs extra customization out of the box
  • Paid Enterprise and Premium Enterprise versions
  • Potential server hosting issues due to size and loading speed
  • Rather difficult development work to enable specific features and options
  • Potential update issues
  • No default omni-channel option

WooCommerce is a customizable platform designed in form of a plugin. It is the most widely used solution mainly because it is free and it integrates seamlessly with WordPress based sites. WooCommerce offers various extensions and themes specifically built for WP, but it does not work with sites powered by other content management systems.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Flexible product configuration options
  • Integrates perfectly with WordPress
  • Various payment options
  • Provides good control over taxes, inventory and user accounts
  • User review and rating system
  • Lots of themes available
  • Great option for basic stores

Cons:

  • Does not work outside of the WordPress framework
  • Custom functionalities coding is costly
  • Maintenance and security depend on the site/store administrator/owner
  • Compatibility issues when updating site/plugin
  • Visual editor is not extremely efficient
  • Premium themes and extensions are costly
  • No hosting options

Taking into consideration these facts, we believe Shopify to be the most balanced eCommerce solution in terms of scalability and cost efficiency. As WooCommerce is exclusively built for WordPress and Magento offers more expensive business plans, there’s no wonder that Shopify has gained consistent percentages in market share in 2016.

25
Oct

Drupal vs. WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Web Based CMS 2016

Today’s content management systems are built to adapt to various industry needs and provide the developer and end user with lots of tools for creating and managing websites and web apps. There’s a wide array of content management systems available on the market, but only a handful of them are widely used and extremely popular.

Drupal, WordPress and Joomla alone power more than 70% of all websites across the globe, from simple, personal websites, to enterprise portals, advanced apps and more. Each of these CMSs have pros and cons, based on their scalability, cost efficiency, ease of use and other features. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them, from both the point of view of the developer and of the end user.

 

Drupal is by far the most versatile CMS when it comes to building complex websites and apps, with lots of custom features. It is extremely scalable and extensible, perfect for corporate websites, intranet solutions, e-commerce sites, NGO websites, mobile apps and more.

Pros:

  • Various APIs and third party service integration available out of the box
  • Powerful multilingual and translation options
  • Intuitive content and user database management system
  • Mobile-ready
  • Enhanced security and regular updates available
  • Modern UI and UX
  • Developer-friendly engine
  • Feature rich and powerful publishing system
  • Content revision system useful for rollback
  • Open-source
  • SEO-friendly

Cons:

  • Requires good server system resources
  • Requires good development techniques for optimal customization and configuration
  • Some scripts can take longer time to load if not tweaked properly
  • Compatibility with older and obsolete systems (hosting server versions, browser versions) requires extra development

 

WorDpress is the most popular CMS to date, mainly because it is very easy to use thanks to its friendly, blog-like interface. However, WordPress is basically suited for simpler applications, which do not require advanced features, like personal and presentation websites with less content.

Pros:

  • Lots of themes available
  • Simple publishing and editing system
  • Does not require advanced development skills to manage content
  • Fast market entry for SMBs and other entities that don’t need a strong online presence
  • SEO-friendly
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Integrated blogging platform

Cons:

  • Paid extra features (additional storage space and more complex features)
  • Most WordPress sites look the same, with minor differences
  • Not enough flexibility to implement specific features
  • Compatibility and security issues with several plugins
  • Requires numerous updates to prevent security issues

Joomla is another popular CMS. It packs more options in terms of scalability compared to WordPress, but it is still less feature-rich compared to Drupal see it here. Joomla is built on a model–view–controller web app for better flexibility and usability.

Pros:

  • Open-source
  • E-Commerce oriented
  • Flexible in terms of content and structure
  • Simple administration interface
  • Does not require advanced development knowledge to configure

Cons:

  • Limited number of modules and templates available, which equals less possible customization options
  • Requires extra server resources
  • Paid plugins for extra options
  • Plugin compatibility issues
  • Limited options in terms of feature development

 

Wix, Weebly, Webs and others can be considered content management systems only to a certain extent. Wix, Weebly, Webs and other similar solutions (Jimdo, Squarespace) are in fact website building platforms, designed like web based CMS, with ease of use in mind. All of these platforms share virtually common strengths and weaknesses and are targeted towards non-tech savvy users, as they do not require any coding skills or much training to work. These platforms are mostly used for building personal websites, SMB websites or even small online shops, but are not suited for complex solutions.

Pros:

  • Out of the box features
  • Easy to use drag and drop web-based admin interface
  • Fair SEO options
  • No technical skills required to set up or work with
  • Fair amount of templates available
  • Possible integration with third party services

Cons:

  • Lack of flexibility in terms of custom features
  • Paid subscription plans for extra features
  • Ads included with free plans
  • Limited template customization and configuration options
  • No real control over databases and server configuration
  • No extensibility

 

Drupal remains the top choice for building complex and powerful, yet user-friendly websites and apps, as it is highly scalable and offers a comprehensive set of tools and features for both developers and end-users. It is designed to offer flawless digital experiences across all industries. However, WordPress, Joomla, Magento and web based platforms all have their advantages. The key aspect to consider when building a website remains its purpose and array of functionalities. Defining the end goal is decisive.

9
Feb

The eXchange by YouthREX Has Been Launched

We are proud to announce the launch of YouthREX new research and evaluation platform, ‘the eXchange’. This is a complex site that aggregates and highlights research and evaluation resource and tools in support of all youth sector stakeholders, acting as an extension of YoutREX purposes.

Together with the YouthREX team, VerticalWave Solutions designers and developers created the eXchange platform from the ground up, implementing all the necessary functionalities and tools required by a modern, interactive hub click to read more.

The site features a responsive design and it’s packed with lively visuals like dynamic featured content, interactive tools and media embedding. It hosts a well structured and extensive library, which provides accurate and easy accessible data for users, as well as intuitive browsing.

Moreover, advanced filtering capabilities allow users refine their search based on custom input. A secure back-end management system allows administrators to handle users and resources quickly and precisely.

A custom publishing feature ensures that all the relevant content is available almost instantly, while the blog section lists the latest news and updates. All of these features are powered by the Drupal CMS.

VerticalWave Solutions provides ongoing support and maintenance for the platform and actively adds new functionalities, according to YouthREX requirements.

2
Feb

Shopify – All-in-One E-Commerce Solution

Shopify is the all-in-one solution designed to make e-commerce better for everyone, from merchants to customers. One of the most versatile features of Shopify is that it can be easily used in online environment, as well as in real retail locations lexapro 5mg. Shopify software is on the market for more than a decade and has been successfully implemented over a wide range of platforms. A huge number of retails stores and e-commerce portals use it to offer innovative and secure ways to sell and buy worldwide.

Some of Shopify’s powerful features include:

  • Mobile commerce ready
  • Secure shopping cart using 256-bit SSL certificate
  • Compatibility with external payment gateways (70 gateways, including PayPal, Bitcoin and other popular ones)
  • Shop integration with credit card payment: MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Visa
  • Tax calculation based on client location
  • Advanced store management, including customer profiles, refunds, dropshipping and more
  • Advanced product management, including inventory management, import and export features, product variations, tracking and more
  • Easy to use Marketing, Analytics and SEO options

VerticalWave Solutions experts have extensive experience in integrating Shopify with the Drupal CMS to create powerful and secure e-commerce and online store platforms. From setting up a store and organizing products and payments to enhanced customer experience, we offer complete, custom-tailored Shopify e-commerce solutions, fit for the modern market. We provide turn-key integration with all the necessary features to ensure a reliable, secure and robust functionality for your platform whether you want to build it from the scratch up or it’s already set up and needs tweaking.

VerticalWave Solutions is a Certified Shopify Partner with more than 8 years of experience developing e-commerce solutions.

29
Oct

C.D. Howe Institute website has been launched

The Vertical Wave Solutions team is proud to announce the launch of C.D. Howe Institute’s new website. With the mission to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies, the C.D. Howe Institute is a prestigious, independent not-for-profit research organization, considered by many to be Canada’s most influential think tank.

According to the Institute’s requirements, our VerticalWave Solutions team migrated the original website content from an old platform to Drupal CMS, created a fresh and modern look for the new website, as well as improved the administration and content management procedures for the client. The challenge was to create a new, visually appealing website, rich in features and easy to manage, while staying true to CD Howe Institute’s brand and substance. Our team successfully delivered a website that met all these principles.

The new website features a modern, responsive design, which renders perfectly on desktops, laptops and mobile devices, boasting a user friendly front end interface which makes browsing simple and intuitive, and provides fast access to content. The C.D Howe Institute website now integrates complex features like subscription system, advanced search, structured library, event management platform, third party service integration, dynamic featured content and more.

Backed up by a user-oriented and easy to use back-end administration system, as well as by an organized structure, the site can be easily managed without advanced technical skills. We are proud to have put technology in the right form, right at our client’s finger tips.

VerticalWave Solutions also provides ongoing support and maintenance for C.D. Howe.

15
Dec

Drupal – A Multi-Browser and Multi-OS Solution

 

Benefitting from a large support community, Drupal is one of the most widely used content management systems today. It is the perfect CMS for personal, corporate or government sites and has multiple uses, from simple presentation websites to custom community or e-commerce platforms. Drupal is intuitive, highly secure, SEO-friendly, mobile-friendly, easy to integrate with existing code and more.

One of the major advantages of using Drupal as your content management system is that it can adapt to virtually any browser and operating system without hassle. It saves you time and money when it comes to render your site’s content on all popular browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and on the widely used Windows, MacOS and Linux OS platforms. It also works perfectly on less known and used browsers and operating systems.

The great thing about Drupal is that it is backwards compatible. That means that it can easily adapt to previous versions of a particular browser or OS. Other CMSs have the same feature too, but their compatibility can be limited and require longer development time to adapt to older OS and browser versions. On the other hand, Drupal offers a perfect browsing experience (both in terms of graphics and functionality) with just minor tweaks.

It is always recommended to use the latest OS and browser version available, but many users ignore this recommendation. The use the systems they are accustomed with their favorite plugins to or are not interesting in upgrading. This is why Drupal comes in handy and helps you reach a wider audience. And remember that Drupal offers a superior and user-friendly browsing experience on mobile devices running Android and iOS too.

2
Dec

Who Uses Drupal?

As Drupal is one of the most versatile content management systems today, it is widely used for corporate, e-commerce, government and a wide range of other projects and sites. Drupal is a highly secure, highly scalable CMS which empowers web presence for a multitude of projects.

Flexibility, easy administration, possibility to integrate with existent and future modules and pieces of code, intelligent web publishing, mobile friendliness, huge support community and multilingual capabilities are just a few of the features that make Drupal such a popular and widely used CMS.

Let’s take a look at who uses Drupal:
– The White House: www.whitehouse.gov
– The Economist: www.economist.com
– Oxfam: www.oxfam.org
– The French Government: www.gouvernement.fr
– Eric Clapton: www.ericclapton.com
– Fujifilm: www.fujifilm.com
– The British Government: www.direct.gov.uk
– The Louvre Museum: www.louvre.fr
– Ikea: www.ikea.com
– Chris Rock: www.chrisrock.com
– ING: www.ing.com
– Rafael Nadal: www.rafaelnadal.com

And the list goes on. As you can see, governments, major institutions and corporations and famous artists use and trust Drupal. This makes it one of the most legitimate and trustworthy CMSs on the market.