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Should You Release Your Software Project to the Open-Source Community
Open-source software has traditionally been personal projects for developers. The Linux operating system is open-source, and it’s free to download. The “free” part of open-source projects is what turns off many developers. You need to make money on your work, so your first thought is to sell compiled code. However, providing the community with open-source code has several advantages. Here are some reasons why you should consider releasing your source code to the public.
By deploying your code as an open-source project, you get free advertising. The open-source community is much larger than it was years ago. You immediately get recognition from developers looking for their next contribution. If you get enough developers interested in your code, your project can go viral. Before you know it, you have several coders hacking away at your source code contributing more features and adding to its functionality.
If you already have a business and make money on other software, providing open-source code to the community can help bring attention to your brand in the development community. It’s especially beneficial for developers that sell a product that’s used by other developers. When you get their attention with an open-source project, they are more likely to check out your paid projects.
In most development environments, your coders work together to brainstorm ideas. If you’re the only developer on your project, it’s difficult to come up with every possible error and every possible feature that your users would want. After you launch, you get user feedback and develop changes as ideas roll in.
With open-source code, you leave your project open for brainstorming. Any coder can contribute to your project, and you’ll find that plenty of other people come up with brilliant ideas that you never would have thought of yourself. With repositories such as Git, coders can follow other coders. As you get more contributors, your project will be seen by other coders who will also contribute ideas.
Linux is a good example of the possibilities that come from contributors. The operating system started as just a simple command-line engine, but it’s now a full GUI platform with several distributions and versions from contributors that took the main code base and customized it into their own project.
Easier Hiring Options
As a software developer, you eventually need another developer to help you create software and maintain your current platforms. What better way to find another developer than reviewing contributors to your current open-source application? You can contact developers who provided the best features and ask them if they’d be interested in working with you.
By hiring from your pool of contributors, you know that you’re getting a capable developer who already knows your code base and doesn’t need much training. Many large brands hire this way, and some of the most brilliant coders dive into open-source projects in their spare time.
One issue with closed-source code is that no one but the inside developers know the code. You might have three coders on your project, so it’s highly possible that they miss a security flaw. Attackers will run scripts on your code and find flaws before you do, and this can cost your company millions in damages.
With an open-source project, you have several security experts that review your code and make changes to help improve its defense. You will still have attackers that will try to find vulnerabilities in your code, but you also have several other “good guys” looking at your code that will fix issues and even quietly send you a warning if they find any major flaws.
Distributing to the Open-Source Community
If you’ve decided to work with open-source code, the major repository for managing revisions and uploading your software versions is GitHub. Git is a change control repository you run on your local computer, and then you upload your Git repository to GitHub. You’ll need to sign up for an account, but it’s free. After you have an account, you just need to upload.
You can get attention from other coders by going through the community and contributing or just follow other coders to see what projects they are interested in.
It takes some time for your code to get noticed, so be patient. You can market your project and ask for feedback from the community. Once you get some interest, your project will take off and you might find some great additions to your code. Some great features could be added to your code that would never happen if you kept it closed-source.
5 Tips for Successfully Reskinning Your Next App Template
Starting an app from scratch can be an exhausting and daunting task. Not only will you have to brainstorm and come up with multiple ideas to create your initial app, but you will also have to find ways to keep the content updated and fresh for users. Since building a new app from scratch can be a significant drain on time as well as finances, reskinning an app template has become an attractive alternative in the app world to be able to utilize the original coding of a different app and alter the graphics, images, etc., to essentially turn the existing code into an entirely new app.
While reskinning existing code may be an easier task, it is important to be sure to follow a few tips to make sure that your new app will be the success you intend it to be.
1. Know Your App’s Target Market
One of the most important parts of successfully marketing any new product is firmly establishing your target audience. By defining your customer’s needs and wants you will be able to more successfully tailor the app towards them. Once you have defined what your user looks like, how they will mostly use the app, and what their future needs may be, it is time to scout the competition. You will want to know who your competitors are as well what applications are most successful. Research apps that are most commonly downloaded and check out reviews of apps similar to yours to find out what the concerns are that users have encountered. This will give you a sense of the trends and styles that most users are searching for as well as areas that you will need to improve upon.
2. Make Functionality a Top Priority
When deciding which app to reskin, it is most important to choose your app based on its functionality. A common trap many reskinners fall into is choosing apps that have a better appearance but may have difficulty with their functionality. Many app users, while attracted by graphics at first are much more likely to tolerate poorer visual quality as long as the app functions well. When choosing the app, find one that has good functionality that you can improve upon and make it more attractive for users. One of the most important things to remember is that if a customer has difficulty with operation or use, they will be less likely to make a purchase.
3. Make Sure it Does Not Get Rejected
Even though you are reskinning a current app, you will want to do your research and make sure that your reskin follows all the policies and procedures so that it does not get rejected by the App Store or all your hard work will have been for nothing. Some of the most common reasons that an app will be rejected from the App Store include sounds or images that have been copyrighted, titles that appear to be duplicates, inaccurate descriptions, and use of celebrity or famous names. While it may seem like the easy route to throw in a few copyrighted images or sounds, it is likely to get you into trouble down the road. So don’t take any short cuts and make sure to research any information you do use to make sure there are no copyright issues or concerns.
4. Put Emphasis on Your Screenshots
The most important graphic part of your app will always be your icon. That makes your second most important part, your screenshots. Your initial icon will help draw the user in. They will then process your screen shots next to help them make their decision on whether to download or make the purchase. Since this visual piece is so important to finalizing the sale, make sure to use striking graphics, edit them to create the best overall effect, and add some engaging type or banner to help pique the user’s interest to continue. Consider your screenshots window dressing similar to retail. If you don’t entice them with you display they won’t come in.
While making the reskinned app functional and attractive to customers is essential, you will get nowhere with your app if you do not properly market it. With so many apps out there many customers may find it overwhelming when deciding which ones to choose from and will often be persuaded to at least look further with a proper marketing campaign. Try thinking about the marketing campaign the same time you begin your reskin. While there are many ways to market your app for a cost, there are also multiple free ways to create awareness for the app and draw in new customers. You can start with social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Steam, and Pinterest. When creating your marketing content, be sure to make your content SEO friendly and make sure your description will catch your customer’s attention and draw them in to learn more.
While there are many things to consider when reskinning your app, focusing on the five tips above can help your reskin go more smoothly and help you concentrate on the future promotion, download, and purchase of your app. While reskinning is an excellent way to get a new app out there while using already tried and true code, it is important to make your new app is unique so that you can make your app valuable to the masses and avoid any risk of being dubbed a duplicate.
Start browsing our collection of app templates today and use these tips to make your app successful.
6 Questions to Ask When Choosing a WordPress Theme
When you’re creating your web page, it can be easy to rush into picking a WordPress theme. You just pick a free one that looks nice, right? Actually, there are a lot of technical and design factors to consider before picking your theme.
1. Is it SEO Friendly?
Did you know that your WordPress theme can affect how SEO friendly your site is? This is a key factor to consider because search engine optimization plays a crucial role in driving traffic to your page. If your theme is not SEO optimized, you’ve lost the race before it has even begun.
2. Does it Come with Support?
If you’re not a programmer, chances are you’ll eventually run into hiccups with your WordPress theme. Most free themes don’t come with support, so if you run into an issue you can’t tackle yourself, you might have to turn to an outside programmer. Avoid this needless expense by choosing a theme that comes with support options.
3. Is it Mobile Friendly?
A mobile friendly theme, called a responsive theme, is able to expand or shrink depending on screen size. Most people would admit that their smartphones never leave their sight, so don’t miss out on that opportunity to get in front of your audience. If people aren’t able to easily access your page from their phone or tablet, it will make your page look lazy and amateurish.
4. Is it Multilingual Ready?
If you assume that all of your readers or customers will be from the English speaking world, this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not all WordPress themes are multilingual or translation friendly. You should choose a WordPress theme that can easily be translated by your browser to ensure you’re being inclusive and expanding your audience.
5. What’s the Browser Compatibility?
Your WordPress theme might actually look different depending on what browser you’re using. Worse, it might not even be compatible with other browsers. Make sure you ask about which browsers you theme is compatible with. Be careful not to only consider browsers popular in your country.
6. Is it Cohesive?
You want to make sure that your theme matches the content of your page. If you’re writing about nature, a minimalist format might look weird, but if you’re running an online shop, you’ll want your page to be as simple and easy to navigate as possible. Always keep your audience in mind and target your theme towards them.
In short, you have some work ahead of you when choosing a wordpress theme. Aside from aesthetics, consider how the points above fit with your brand’s key idea.
Why the Freemium Model is the Best Option for New App Developers
So you’ve been working really hard for the past few months. You’re ready distribute your app on Google Play or Apple’s App Store. After testing the waters and making sure that everything is working as intended, it’s now time to decide how you’re going to make money off your app.
As a developer, you really only have two choices.
The first option is to sell your app for a fixed price. If you’re doing this, you have to make sure that your app is good enough to justify its price. From the get-go, your app has to be a premium product. Paid apps are usually reserved for developers who already have a portfolio of successful products. A developer’s previous apps are usually used as a reference to determine if his next app is worth its price.
The second option is to offer your app for free. Instead of making money from an upfront payment, free apps make money through the use of in-app advertisements or micro-transactions. While free apps generate less money on the first month of its launch compared to paid apps, the shelf-life of a free app is generally longer. Free apps are also a lot more accessible. Both of these facts factor in to the success of free-to-download apps.
Free apps will always reach a wider audience
Offering your app for free guarantees that it can reach a wider audience. Making your app free enables more people to try out your product. Because your app has access to more users, your app starts to indirectly market itself the moment someone downloads it.
Most developers make use of social media to market their apps. When a person downloads an app, that person’s friends can be notified of the download through Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. Free apps have an easier time going viral because downloading them is as easy as pressing the download button. Users don’t have to hesitate if they should pick up their credit card or not.
Because of this, free apps will always have a bigger presence on sites like Facebook or Twitter. With constant updates in social networking sites, and continuous downloads in app stores, free apps are guaranteed to continue being relevant even months after their launch.
Most of the biggest-selling apps are free
In fact, the most successful and viral apps on the internet are still, to this day free to download. These include popular franchises like Temple Run, Angry Birds and Subway Surfers. Developers who originally only published paid apps have also taken notice of this craze.
“Plants vs Zombies” was originally a game sold for an upfront payment, but its sequel “Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time” resorted to a free-to-play, micro-transaction based business model. This helped the sequel surpass the lifetime downloads of the first game just months after its launch.
For would-be app developers, the free app model is preferable because of reduced risks and an indirect increase in marketability and social media presence. When users purchase a paid app, they expect a premium and flawless product.