Many potential clients have been asking us for some independent reviews on Agriya Infoway and Ahsan Technologies. We think it is important to point out here that Ahsan Technologies is the parent company and Agriya is now just the trading / brand name so when you see us refer to ‘Agriya’, we are talking about the brand name, but the actual company is called Ahsan Technologies.
Infact, Agriya have over 650 independent reviews from happy, satisfied customers and that number grows day by day. So why are people leaving so many positive Agriya and Ahsan reviews like this one:
Rare do you find such professionals in this day and age. With Agriya I didn’t have to do the typical running around looking to find them online, trying to extract updates etc. For me, being professional and timely with your client is equally important to the quality of the work. If not more important. Agriya has both. The professionalism that dovetails with their impeccable quality of work is what guarantees them many more jobs from me in the future. ‘navarino’
It has been a pleasure working with Agriya. Highly recommended. True to their rating, was awesome in finishing the work on time. This gem of a web development team can implement any project. Excellent Communication. Perfect Support. Fast and Reliable. Thank you. ‘christobal’
Great people there! They made a perfect work! All my requests were satisfied, got very good suggestions & nice solutions. They aldo made a great job after first releases in fixing all the issues and bugs without questions. I strongly recommend AGRIYA as the perfect partner for any web needs. ‘valerio71′ from Italy
The answer is simple, we only take the projects we know we can complete, we don’t under-sell ourselves just to win the project and we have an entire team of Client Relationship Managers whose only job is to make you happy and ensure you are pleased with the progress of the site.
If you have tried outsourcing in the past and are looking for an Agriya review to ensure that we deliver on our promises, let us give you some reasons why you should be choosing Agriya for your next project:
- We only take projects that we know we can handle
- We don’t undersell ourselves to win a project
- We see each project through to completion
- We don’t say “Yes” to your every request if we know the reality is different
- You will be assigned a dedicated CRM who will be your point of contact in the company who can speak and understand fluent English
- You will be able to contact us by phone, Skype, email, Instant Messenger, telegram, pigeon carrier or any other method that you like – we work to your hours
- You will be kept in the loop 100% of the time. Sometimes web development projects can hit unexpected problems, we know that for a client the worst thing is not being told what is going on
- Agriya has over 200 employees, we have a big salary commitment (not to mention many families relying on us) and we can only do that by ensuring every customer is kept happy – if we screw up, we screw up for our employees too
- We have been developing websites for over 10 years
- We have worked with thousands of clients from around the world and have an equal number of Agriya reviews praising our company
- We use open source solutions to keep your costs as low as possible
- You will get 3 months support and maintenance for each project as part of the cost
Quite a list we’ve got going on there! Do you need some more reasons? Then give us a buzz and let us convince you why you should be choosing Agriya for your next project.
Read more Agriya reviews and find out more about our projects on our portfolio page. To get in contact with us please use the Live Chat button at the top of this page to instantly chat to a customer rep, call us on +1 773 358 2979 (US) or +44 20 3287 5567 (UK) or shoot us an email by filling out the contact form here.
Agriya has just released two fantastic new templates for Volume that are sure to take your music portals to the next level. Elegantly designed, excellent choice schemes and easy on the eye, I’m sure people are going to be snapping up these designs.
The first design is a floral concept in nice earthly colours and a subtle mother earth feel about it – perfect for any chilled out or new age music portals! Full details on this template can be found on Rayzz.net
The second design is called The Wall, because the background incorporates a brick like design. Perfect theme for some urban beats music portal. Full details on this template can be found on Rayzz.net
The templates cost $127 each and they are currently available under our Made to Order service, which means that it could take up to 10 business days from the time of your purchase to integrate the design in to your site so please be aware of this before you order.
Tell us what you think of these designs! What other template themes would you like to see for Volume?
If you are wondering whether to choose PHP to develop your next website in and want to know what benefits PHP has over other languages, then this article is for you. I’ve compiled a list of reasons why PHP is so great and the benefits using PHP can bring. Most of them can be boiled down to a time / cost saving theme.
So here you have it, 15 unbeatable benefits of PHP…
Free – Like Totally Free
You can’t get a better price tag for the language. PHP is completely free to use, free to download, free to distribute. The actual language has zero upfront costs and zero ongoing costs
PHP is a royalty free license. This means that you don’t have to pay anyone to use it and no one can demand a fee to use it later on. Infact, using the language has no direct costs at all.
Free From Restrictive Licenses
There are no restrictive licenses detailing what you can and can’t do with the language, anything goes, you can even fork the language yourself and create your own version of PHP. You can let others download it from your site, you can use it for personal or commercial purposes, it can be used in any country and for any application you want. That’s some serious flexibility when you compare it to proprietary languages like Java and ASP.NET!
Massively Reduces Your Server Bills
While PHP can run on your Windows based server, it’s mostly designed to run on Linux and Apache, which are both open source software which have zero upfront costs and zero ongoing costs – you even get future updates free of charge. This can cut your server maintenance bills to a fraction of what you might be paying for your Windows servers (which will include on going maintenance and upgrade costs).
PHP has been actively developed for over 15 years, which makes it the same age as many languages seen as ‘commercial’ like Java, ColdFusion and ASP.NET. Just like these other languages, PHP is a proven technology but without the costs.
The PHP language is kept up to date by a team of global experts who ensure that the language is always relevant to the requirements of todays websites. In 2009 alone there were 3 major updates to the language and there have been 2 major updates so far in 2010. If you choose to develop your next site using PHP you can sleep well knowing that you’re not going to be left with an abandoned language.
Works With A Number of Databases
While most people know that PHP can work with mySQL (another open source language which keeps your costs down), it can also work with a number of ‘enterprise’ databases like Oracle OCI8, MSSQL and IBM DB2 so even if you want to migrate just the programming language to PHP to reduce your costs, you don’t need to spend any more money transferring your database to another platform.
Very Easy To Learn
The basics of PHP are very easy to learn. Agriya can take a college fresher and with no prior experience in coding we can get them up to speed on client projects within 3 months. There are not many other languages that have that kind of pickup time!
Huge Amounts of Free Professional Integrated Developer Environments
An Integrated Developer Environment (or IDE for short) is a piece of desktop software that gives a developer all the tools they require to develop a project. An IDE can be anything that is as simple as Notepad all the way up to Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010. PHP has dozens of fantastic open source IDE’s to help make your job as a programmer much easier. Even if you are a business, this can benefit you because you don’t have to spend money on expensive software just to let your programmers do their work! This is also true if you outsource your development to a company like Agriya, we don’t have to spend money on IDE’s or keep spending money to upgrade to the latest version.
Runs On Over 90% of Web Servers
To be honest, we’d say that PHP runs on more than 99% of Web Servers since it works on just about every operating system available, but we like to err on the side of caution
PHP is a 15 year old language built specifically for the Internet. It is a proven technology and used by the number one visited website in the world: Facebook. In the top 20 websites ranked by traffic, four websites use PHP. Other notable sites include Wikipedia, Yahoo, Digg, Flickr and WordPress. All of these are proof that PHP isn’t a language for the small business or for businesses looking to save money.
Thousands of Support Businesses
All around the world there are tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of web development companies who can provide support, training and maintenance for your PHP driven website. These companies are experts in PHP can help with all your support requirements. Agriya is one of these companies with over 200 PHP developers and 10 years of experience, many companies rely on Agriya to keep their websites up and functioning correctly.
Hundreds of Thousands of PHP Developers
Since PHP is so easy to learn there are hundreds of thousands of PHP Developers who can work with you to build, maintain and improve your PHP driven website. While you could hire a freelancer to help you on as and when required, many businesses choose to have a higher level of support by taking out a retainer contract with Agriya which guarantees a developer can work on any issue at a moments notice. If you choose PHP you know that you can get professional backup and support whenever you need it.
Huge Database of Ready Made, Royalty Free Classes
PHP is an open language and it inspires many other people to be just as generous with their time. There are now thousands of code snippets freely available on the Internet that help do certain functions or provide a more optimized way of doing things. With so much help, advice and code examples available for free (and even free for commercial use), even if a developer gets stuck, a quick Google search is likely to give dozens of solutions to a problem. Reusable code also makes for faster development – cutting your costs if you are outsourcing your web development to a company like Agriya.
Ready Made Frameworks
Keeping with the spirit of open source and free unrestricted distribution, there are many PHP frameworks available that take care of many of the regular functions like member management, admin back end, search function, content management etc. which allows the php developer to focus on building the site your requirements rather than re-creating code over and over again. Just like all the code libraries, these PHP frameworks like Cake PHP, Code Igniter and Symphony reduce the amount of time it takes to build your website, hence reducing your costs even further.
15 Fantastic Benefits of PHP
So there you have it. Conclusive evidence that PHP beats just about everything else out there. Or am I wrong? Or maybe I’ve missed some blindingly obvious PHP benefits. If so, tell me in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply.
If you’re convinced enough that you want to do your next project in PHP, then Agriya has a number of very talented PHP web developers who I’m sure would love to work on your project!
Oh, and by the way, incase you are wondering what PHP stands for, when Rasmus Lerdorf first developed the language back in the 90′s, he said it stood for Personal Home-Page. However, since then the language has grown up and it is now referred to as PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it!
Believe it or not, Agriya has been involved with web development for global clients since well before the dot com bubble burst in 2000. Even way back then we were building dynamically driven websites, although we tended to use CGI instead of PHP which was still in its infancy.
It’s also a testament to how much PHP has grown and come along in the last 10 years as now CGI is reduced to obscurity – a language that couldn’t cut it for the web. Around 85% of our clients opt for PHP development over any other language.
Before the mid-nineties, no one had even heard of a web developer and you would have been forgiven for thinking that a webmaster was a spider. Two years ago you would never have heard of the job title “Social Media Manager”, yet today everyone from small businesses to fortune 100 companies are scrambling to hire someone like this. It begs the question; what jobs will the Internet create in the future.
Even in its short 20 year history, the World Wide Web has gone through many phases of web development. In the 90′s we saw a rush of people wanting static websites, by the late 90′s things had evolved and people wanted e-Commerce websites.
Around 2004 the Web 2.0 trend hit and businesses started to want dynamically driven websites that was user focused and allowed them to interact with the websites. Then we shifted to social network development and now our web development teams are working flat out on various group buying and micro-job type sites, like our Groupon Clone and Fiverr Clone scripts.
With each passing trend, the web has evolved. Our web developers take elements from all their past experience to help build the latest websites, so we see e-Commerce turn in to group buying with a healthy dosage of web 2.0 features and social networking ability.
So what does the future of web development hold? What is a web development company like Agriya focusing on? What are going to be the next trends after group buying and micro-jobs?
This is a difficult one to answer, but without a doubt it’s going to be a mashup between mobile, web and location based services. You can already see how sites like Foursquare are really blurring the lines between real world, web world, mobile and Internet. I’m sure we’re going to be getting a lot of requests soon from people asking for a Foursquare clone and customers asking to integrate or build brand new location based services in to their sites which interact with their users mobile devices via an application. So it may be that soon our web developers have to learn new skills to become mobile application developers.
What do you think is going to be the future of web development is going to be? What is going to be the next trend? Am I right in saying that the future is mobile based? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.
So your website is looking a little bit dated, your company focus has changed, it’s not as easy to update as you might have liked, the branding consultant is recommending an overhaul of the way you present your business.
In short, your website needs to be redesigned. Not touched up, not modified slightly, but totally revamped.
This was the case with the old Agriya website. Over time the site grew and we added more and more elements to the page that caused it to slow down considerably, the front page was made up of a large Flash element and the bounce rates were getting higher and higher.
If this sounds familiar to you, you need to take action and not ignore what your analytics are telling you. The bounce rate is one of the most important metrics because it tells you how many visitors you are losing before you really get a chance to sell to them. Although site speed isn’t the only factor, it does have a major impact.
Consider this, if your site has a bounce rate of 65% then for every 100 visitors coming to your site, you are losing 65 of them straight away – you are then trying to convert the remaining 35 in to leads and customers.
Our website had quite a high bounce rate and some customers also complained that it was slow to navigate, so this was a major factor when we decided to do a redesign.
Remove The Bloat
Another area that we felt was of some concern was the amount of ‘bloat’ that was occuring to the site. We were steadily adding more and more pages – before we redesigned the site I believe that there were over 500 pages of content, a lot of which were not focused around selling our services.
While some people say that a large site is a good thing because it captures a lot of long tail visitors from the search engines, feedback from the customers was that they often found it difficult to find the information they wanted.
For this reason we decided that a much leaner site was required, something that focused on selling our services rather than providing too much background information.
Don’t Forget The Blog
A company blog can be considered an essential tool for marketing your business online and shouldn’t be overlooked in your site revamp. It should form an integral part of your site and should have a design continuation from your main site.
Your company blog serves as a platform to announce news and information about the company, its products and services. It is far more effective than having a ‘News’ page on your site because it becomes more sociable where people can comment on the blog post, share it with friends and subscribe to the RSS feed so they get the latest updates.
It also serves as a repository to put all the content aimed at long tail searches and ‘informative’ content rather than sales content.
For example, we used to have a page about the Benefits of PHP, it brought in a lot of traffic, but the conversions from visitors to leads was fairly low and it may have served as a distraction to some visitors.
Instead of putting content like this on our website, we’ve decided to put it on our blog. Not only that, but we intend to expand upon this content to the point where it encourages people to naturally link to it because it is so useful.
Be Very Available
As a business the worse thing you can do is make it difficult for your visitors to contact you if they have any questions. If you simply list an email address, the visitor has to copy the email from your site, open up their webmail or email client, paste the email address and then write their question – too much effort!
As part of our redesign, we wanted to make the contact options very clear and visible no matter what page or what part of the page they were on.
We decided to put our phone number and live chat details at the top of the website as many other corporate sites are doing this by convention. We also located the search bar in the top right as our research showed that virtually all corporate sites with a search fuction had the search box located in this position.
However, since some of the pages are quite long, we decided to create a static CSS bar which ‘sticks’ to the bottom of the page. This concept was first popularized by the CNET website, but is yet to become a feature of many corporate sites. However, we decided to use it because it means our contact details are visible no matter where on the page a visitor is.
Although we have a contact form on each page and a full quotation form available, the vast majority of people prefer to use the Live Chat function to make enquiries about our products and services due to the instant response that they can get, not to mention the feeling that they are being personally dealt with.
In our research we found that so many other companies fail to offer any kind of Live Chat or if they do have the function it’s perpetually offline. In the case of Agriya, we find that for every one person that uses our contact forms, up to eight people will contact us on Live Chat. So if 100 people fill out our contact form, up to 800 people will contact us on Live Chat to make an enquiry.
We also offer phone numbers for visitors to call, since most of our customers come from US and Europe we simply buy a telephone number in these countries and it is routed to our number in the office. Although not many people call us, you often find that the bigger clients still prefer to use the phone as a method of communication.
Finally you can’t discount social media in this day and age. For this reason we have set up a Twitter account and Facebook page for current and prospective clients to get in touch. However, make sure you monitor these accounts as it can look very unprofessional if customer questions are going unanswered!
Choose Your CMS Carefully
There are so many content management systems available, from commercial to open source, it makes sense to check out everything on offer before you start to build your site – and you definitely need to research ready made solutions before you embark on creating your own custom CMS!
Agriya has tried a number of CMS’s over the years, from Drupal to WordPress, each had their advantages and disadvantages. For our last site we were using SilverStripe, but after further research we decided to build our new site using an up and coming open source CMS called ModX.
Obviously you shouldn’t be choosing your CMS on who’s got the best marketing message so we spent some time “playing around” with ModX and comparing it to SilverStripe in a number of different ways. In the end we decided to go with ModX because:
– Lighter CMS
– Easier templating system and easier to customize
– Built with SEO as a major design feature
– Our non-technical content writers and data entry operators were able to learn the back end system very fast and create new pages easily
– Our SEO analysts were able to tweak the site content very easily
– Our tests found that a ModX site loaded slightly faster than SilverStripe
Test, test, test and then test again
There’s nothing worse than going live with a website that has broken links or worse, links still pointing to your ‘development’ site. Use automated tools if necessary – there are plenty of free website spiders on the net that will check for broken links. Also try and get as many of your staff to go through the site while it is on the development server because 10 pairs of eyes are always going to be better than one!
When we were ready to take Agriya’s new website live, nearly every person that checked the site found some small issues – even things as small as missing punctuation. Try and make sure the last person to check the site is the boss because who knows what they might think about your capabilities if they find any problems!
301 Redirects For Dummies
If you are completely revamping your site like we have done then it’s likely that you are going to lose or move many pages, sometimes a few, in our case over 300 pages! Now if we are going to go by the book, then we should leave all those pages where they are, but there are so many times when it just needs to be removed. In our case the old CMS we used, SilverStripe, had a problem using slashes ‘/’ in the URL so we couldn’t create a nice looking hierarchy in the URLs. ModX can handle this, but it meant changing all the URL’s.
A 301 redirect tells the search engines that an old page has moved to a new location and it should look in the new location from now on. It also redirects any visitors to the new page. If you don’t include the 301 redirects, search engines start to find lots of missing pages which seriously affects your search engine rankings and visitors could become annoyed by finding lots of errors.
There are several ways to do 301 redirects, the most common is to put them in the .htaccess file if you are on a Linux server.
Flipping the Switch
When it comes to switching your site from the old site to the new one there are several ways you can approach it. If you have a particularly strong site that gets indexed very frequently you need to be ultra-cautious on how you do the change over as the IT guys at Disney found out once.
While they were uploading the new website, they put a “Disney is down for maintenance, please try again later” notice on their website. This was on a Friday. Now although the message was up for a couple of hours at the most before the new website was fully uploaded, Google came along, indexed their website and moments later, anyone searching for ‘disney’ in Google saw the message “Disney is down for maintenance”. Needless to say traffic plummeted over the weekend and the IT guys were offering prayers to the Google Gods to re-crawl their site and replace the maintenance message!
To stop this happening to your site, you can try using a 503 status message. This tells Google that your site is temporarily down for planned maintenance and it will be back up shortly. Google knows not to index anything and comes back later.
The way Agriya switched to the new site was we actually uploaded the site to a different IP address. We then updated the domain DNS (sounds a bit technical!) so slowly the new site went live throughout the Internet and Google didn’t notice a moment of downtime.
Analytics and Tracking
The aim of your new website should be to increase the number of leads you get from the people visiting your site. Ideally you should be tracking the number of people that contact you (and how they found your site) using something like the Goals function in Google Analytics. You should know what conversion you are currently getting so that when you change over your website to the new version you can see what effect it is having on your conversion.
Hopefully your planning and research means that the conversions increases, but if you find that your conversions and leads are down, even several weeks after launching the new site, you may have to consider changing back to your old site. After all, you can have the best looking website in the world, but unless it’s driving business then it’s not much use.
Well, I think that’s about all there is to it, relaunching a website is a huge task, even a small site can take many weeks of planning and development. It’s not uncommon for a new site design to take months and months. However, follow the steps I’ve outlined above and you should see a smooth transition from the old to the new.
It’s a confrontation that pre-dates the dawn of time (that would be 00:00 GMT on 1st Jan 1970 to you and me), the constant struggle and battle of wills between the web designer and the web developer. As the web designer creates beautiful sites, the web developer bangs her head against the wall as the designer has told the client that they can easily include some function that is stupidly complex to create.
Or maybe it’s the other way round? The web designer declares he is giving up because once again the web developer has failed to create a certain function in the way it was intended or has ignored part of the design and created their own layout to fit around the programming that they are doing.
Sound familiar? Depending on whether you are a web developer or web designer reading this you are probably agreeing to one of the scenarios! All around the world, right this very moment, you can be sure that web designers and web developers are tearing their hair out and blaming the other person for “putting that stupid design feature in” or “ruining a perfectly good design”.
But does it have to be like that? Can web designers and web developers work together in eternal bliss? Or at least amicably co-exist until the clients have left the office?
At Agriya, we try as hard as possible to make web designers and web developers get along, and here are some of the things we have learned…
1. Familiarity is key
Our programming teams are made up of designers, developers, CSS coders and QA testers. In as so far as is possible, we ensure that the same teams stick together and are all located together. This not only builds the team bond but also allows each team member to quickly learn the limitations and potentials of web design and web development.
For example, one area that our designers are learning about is the role and capability of AJAX. We don’t need to take up much space for a login form when a simple bit of CSS and / or AJAX will allow a person to click a button and make the login box appear. However, the web developers need to know what the login box will look like or they’ll come up with something themselves!
2. To walk a mile in your shoes
Although we don’t expect our designers to be able create layouts in Photoshop or for web designers to start messing around with lines of computer code, we do ensure that there are regular knowledge transfers between the designers and programmers. Every few months the entire company is formed in to teams and asked to create a fictitious project with various other team members acting as the clients. The most recent project was for an eCommerce store selling women’s fashion.
The ‘clients’ (other members of staff) would have to explain what they wanted and how they wanted it and the rest of the team have to work together to build it. By doing this everyone gets to understand not just what each person can and can’t do, but also get to experience how it is to work as a client.
3. Education, education, education
We have an internal system a bit like Digg (using our MarkIt software actually) where designers and developers alike are encouraged to share interesting new trends in web design and web development. The staff can then add comments and discuss how new trends and techniques will affect future web design and web development.
With the onset of HTML5 and CSS3, both web designers and web developers in our company are actively discussing how the new technology will change the way they do things. For example recently an article was published on SixRevisions about how to make a gradiented call to action button entirely from CSS3 code. This new way of doing things means that a web designer may have to change the way they do things and provide colour references, or maybe the web developer needs to learn how to find out what HEX colour the designer has used in the Photoshop file.
4. No contracted, freelance or outside designers
As far as possible we try to handle the design requirements inhouse as we have some highly skilled designers who all understand what can and can’t be done functionality wise. However, occasionally a client will submit a design that they got an outsider to do, which is fine, but we work with the client to understand if functionality should over ride any design or vice versa.
I remember where we worked on one website and the designer had created a title header using some Photoshop blending effects on the text. When our web developers created the website, the title headers were done in plain text which made them look slightly different to the original Photoshop image (they weren’t as smooth and didn’t have a drop shadow). The designer the client used was very upset that we had ‘changed’ the look of his design, but since the text was dynamically generated from the database there was no way the web developers could use an image instead of plain text!
In this case, the outside designer the client used wasn’t aware of the limitations of what you can do with programming.
So in conclusion, we think it is possible for web designers and web developers to get along. But don’t get us started on what happens if you throw a usability expert in to the mix
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