website speed

Reduce the number of HTTP requests and speed up your WordPress site

Although all it takes to load a website is a click of the button for you, there’s much more for computers to handle. That one click and one second that will take until a page is displayed in front of you may hide dozens if not hundreds of HTTP requests to the server. Obviously, the more information goes back and forth, the longer you will have to wait for a site to load.

One of the easiest things you can do to speed up your site is to have a good hosting company. But when you decide to go even deeper to speed up your WordPress website, you should take care of HTTP requests.

For starters, you should test your website to see how many requests does it take to load a particular page. There are different ways of testing that. Instead of showing you all the possibilities, it will suffice to enter an URL in the HTTP Requests Checker. You will get the results immediately, and hopefully, you won’t have more than 30-ish requests. If you do, it’s time to reduce the number of HTTP requests and speed up your WordPress site.

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augmented reality advertisement

15 Cool Augmented Reality Advertising Campaigns

Today, Virtual Reality is mostly associated with games, but its scope is not just limited to the aspect of gaming. In fact, Virtual Reality technology is put to best use in various industrial sectors to educate people and train employees for providing them with a unique experience by integrating virtual real world.

Certainly, there are numerous other interesting applications of virtual reality. Here are ten fascinating uses of Virtual Reality other than video games…

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VR

10 Uses of VR Technology Other Than Gaming

Today, Virtual Reality is mostly associated with games, but its scope is not just limited to the aspect of gaming. In fact, Virtual Reality technology is put to best use in various industrial sectors to educate people and train employees for providing them with a unique experience by integrating virtual real world.

Certainly, there are numerous other interesting applications of virtual reality. Here are ten fascinating uses of Virtual Reality other than video games…

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mars mission

Everything SpaceX revealed about its updated plan to reach Mars by 2022

SpaceX founder Elon Musk laid out some exciting changes to his vision for helping make humans an interplanetary species, with a presence on Mars and potentially beyond.

“The future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we’re a space-faring species than if we’re not,” Musk said as he took the stage. “It’s about believing in the future and thinking the future will be better than the past.”

This plan will obviously be very expensive, and Musk led with that since it was a considerable criticism of what wasn’t addressed in his last talk at IAC last year. Musk said that he believes SpaceX has figured out how to pay for it now, and much of his talk was given over to what SpaceX intends to do to achieve cost efficiencies, and potentially open up new revenue streams to fund Mars missions.

One big part of the plan is to essentially render all current SpaceX vehicles redundant by focusing in the so-called BFR rocket. This will be scaled down from its initial huge concept design, and will instead be one booster and ship that replaces Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon, with capabilities both in terms of servicing the International Space Station and SpaceX’s current Earth orbital satellite customers, as well as reaching Mars and helping establish a moon base.

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machine learning

An absolute beginner’s guide to machine learning, deep learning, and AI

Meet Samantha. She’s your friendly assistant from 2025. She sorts your mail, sets up your meetings, and orders groceries. She paints and writes poetry. She’s your best friend. She’s also an artificial intelligence from the movie Her, which imagines how a juiced-up Siri will change our lives.

Now, tech companies large and small are racing to make this a reality. You’ve read the news. You’ve heard the jargon: AI, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, natural language processing.

Maybe it’s all a little confusing. So here’s a primer on these concepts and how they’re interrelated.

What is artificial intelligence, or AI?
AI, simply put, is an attempt to make computers as smart, or even smarter than human beings. It’s about giving computers human-like behaviors, thought processes, and reasoning abilities.

There are two kinds of artificial intelligence:

Narrow, or weak AI
That’s AI focused on one narrow task. Weak AI is already all around us. It has beaten us at chess, Jeopardy, and most recently, Go.

Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana are giving us the weather, and self-driving cars are on the road. But they have limits. A self-driving car can’t play chess. Siri can’t read and delete your unimportant emails. Weak AI has a narrow scope: It can’t go beyond its original programming.

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Transfer Wise

TransferWise sets up Singapore office to serve as Asia-Pacific HQ

Online money transfer startup TransferWise announced today it is setting up its Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore.

The Singapore office will be in business by next week, starting with eight employees. The company hopes to have that number up to 30 by the end of the year. It will be hiring for a variety of roles including engineering, operations, customer support, and regulation.

This gives Transferwise a central location in Asia-Pacific, allowing it to reach more customers in the region. The city-state’s progressive central bank and fintech-friendly regulations make it an ideal place for the UK-headquartered startup to be closer to its local users and address their specific needs.

“Whenever we launch somewhere, we make sure we build in very good feedback loops, conduct lots of research,” TransferWise co-founder and CEO Taavet Hinrikus tells Tech in Asia. The startup also places great emphasis on word of mouth, which is still a major driver of new sign-ups to the service – over 60 percent of them.

TransferWise allows its customers to send and receive money across borders for a fraction of the charges imposed on bank transfers.

To do that, it uses a peer-to-peer system that matches users according to the currencies they want to send and receive. Users’ money is credited into bank accounts the startup operates in each market so that corresponding payouts are made without funds ever actually crossing borders.

The service has been available in Singapore for some time but due to regulations, users had to verify their identity by contacting TransferWise and doing it manually. Now, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has approved online verification for the startup. This means that people in Singapore will be able to prove who they are as easily as snapping a selfie with their phone through the TransferWise app.

“This is super cool and shows how the regulator is very responsive and really thinking about how to develop the local ecosystem,” says Taavet.

While MAS is embracing tech like the blockchain for money transfers, TransferWise isn’t jumping into it just yet. “We’ll use whatever enables us to offer the fastest payments for the lowest cost,” Taavet muses. “We’ve looked at bitcoin and the blockchain but we haven’t seen how we can use it yet.” If the opportunity arises, the startup will move quickly to use it, he adds.

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design cost

How to Charge For Your Graphic Design Work (& Get What You Deserve)

Earn Your Worth!

Over the years, we’ve had so many designers come to us and ask, “What should I charge?” Back in 2007, Bill shared A Designer’s Guide to Pricing, one of our most popular posts to date, which shares many of his thoughts on this subject. Since then, our Cleveland Design Firm has learned a lot more about pricing. And as always, we’re happy to share our latest insights with you.

Graphic Design Pricing Guidelines

Determining your fees can be tricky. There’s a fine line between too much and too little. You want to be competitively priced while also ensuring profitability (we are in business to make money, right?).

So, we wanted to not only update Bill’s post, but also share some graphic design pricing insights from our designer friends Jennifer Cirpici, Sophia Chang, Lenny Terenzi, Mike Jones and Scott Fuller.

We’re also eager to share valuable tidbits from Bill’s book, Drawn to Business, and from Go Media’s own Project Manager and Account Manager, Sarah Traxler and Lauren Prebel.

Choose Flat or Hourly Billing.

The first step in determining your fee structure is deciding whether a flat rate or an hourly billing system is right for your business.

Hourly Billing

Here at Go Media, we work with hourly billing (although we used to work on flat rates). As Bill notes in Drawn to Business, “At its core, our system is hourly billing. I call it “hourly billing with caveats.” If a client asks us: “How do you derive your estimates?” we will tell them: “It’s based on hourly billing rates.” But we no longer give the client a line-by-line breakdown of how we’re adding up those hours. We also stopped showing them the hours we’ve actually worked, which we used to do. Sometimes we eat hours. Clients don’t like it when you go over budget. If a client stays “on scope” and we just go over budget because we misquoted, or the client was a little pickier than we expected, we will eat a number of hours to try and close out the project on budget. I think we would be willing to eat up to 20% of the project’s hours to try and come in on budget. This puts a little pressure back on us to work efficiently and to quote accurately. However, we make sure to let our client know the value they’re getting. We’ll trumpet the fact that they just got X hours of free design services so we could stay on budget. However, if the client is going WAY over budget, then we start billing them again, but at our hourly rate.”

In Drawn to Business, Bill stresses the importance of communicating policies before the project kicks off (even though most clients nod their head and tend to ignore the information). Putting things in writing always helps! At Go Media, that statement looks something like this:

Our quote is an estimate based on an hourly rate. If your project goes over budget we will be billing you at $XX dollars an hour. We are going to work very hard to stay on budget. Our quoting is typically very accurate, but you need to be aware of this policy.’

Now, this isn’t to say that Go Media wouldn’t work with a client who wants a flat rate. Should this be the case, we would be sure to discuss all of the project details and manage expectations at the onset.

Flat Rate Billing

Some of our designer friends who freelance prefer to bill based on a flat rate system.

Here’s a few words from Jennifer Cirpici on her billing system, “I don’t often work with hourly rates, I mostly work with fixed prices. I’ve worked with hourly rates in the past and it usually scares the clients off. They often ask for more hours to put into and in the end it’s a ridiculous amount of money I have to ask them to pay. The amount you know they won’t pay anyway. In my fixed prices I include the amount of rounds of feedback we would do, the copyright (will it be a year, two years, or a buy out? Will it be for a magazine, commercial or the web? Will they sell it to someone else? etc.), how long I think I’ll work on it and the deadline. It’s a different price when they want a project done within 24 hours or when they want me to have a lot of freedom and the deadline is in 3 months.”

Lenny Terenzi, also a freelancer, notes, “I always bill flat rate. It seems to make it easier for my clients to digest. If I go over, I go over and know to charge more next time. If I go under by a large amount I adjust the final bill to reflect that though by the time all phone calls, and email and project management and file prep and all the little things that so many people do not account for come into play, I rarely am under by much.”

On the other hand, Scott Fuller says his billing practices can ebb and flow based on the client. “I want to know, do they need X amount of options? What’s their budget? Will they still be around to pay me?”

He notes, “I’m not above charging a ‘Put Up With You’ fee. It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into.”

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