Khurram Aziz is a trained journalist and web entrepreneur. Besides his freelance writing, he spends his time running several online ventures, including UK-based furniture retail store, Quiet Night Beds. He consults on all things related to WordPress and Magento web development.

Khurram's articles

  1. Increase Search Traffic by Getting Your Site Recrawled More Often

    Search engine rankings are vital to the success of your website.

    Because they’re so important, it’s frustrating when you work hard to improve and optimize your site, only to find that your changes don’t show up in Google for days or even weeks.

    This lag is due to the way Google indexes sites on the Internet. It deploys legions of “spiders,” that use a sophisticated algorithm that runs across the entire Internet, examining sites and indexing pages based on keywords.

    However, there is no fixed period as to when Google’s spiders, or “bots”, crawl your site. In fact, it can vary considerably from site to site.

    But you’re not helpless. By taking a few basic steps, you can encourage Google to crawl your site more often–improving your rankings and getting your new pages to show up more quickly.

  2. The Effective Programmer’s Secret Weapon: Time Tracking

    Time is the most precious commodity we have. Anyone involved in a project of any kind must learn to harness its power and be disciplined in its application.

    For programmers, especially those who work as contractors, time tracking is an essential function of billing, and it’s invaluable in helping you maintain focus on projects that want to pull you in all sorts of directions.

    It’s no accident that there are so many different time tracking solutions specifically for coders. In order to get a proper account of the costs incurred during software development, you need to keep track of the amount of work performed and the type of work performed to develop a given solution.

    And it’s not just about measuring cost either. Any practitioner of the Pomodoro technique or Kanban understands that time tracking is essential to streamlining workflow, managing multiple projects and simply getting things done.

    Time tracking concentrates the mind and forces efficiency like nothing else. For coders, the tedium of writing pages of words in an abstract language wears the concentration extremely thin, and working in blocks of time is the only way to stay focused on long and complicated projects.

  3. How to Set Up Table Rate Shipping in Magento

    If you’re running an online business that sells physical products to customers, having a flexible and scalable shipping policy is essential. So it’s important to make sure your eCommerce software provides an easy way to adjust and implement shipping policies over the different regions you intend to sell to.

    Magento, the industry-leading platform for eCommerce, is one of the more expandable and developer-friendly systems for a whole range of business needs–including setting shipment rates.

    In this tutorial, we’re going to look at how Magento uses tables to set up shipping, giving you the ability to charge different shipping rates to individual customers based on their location–from the regional all the way down to the postcode level.

  4. Create a Simple Order Form in WordPress in Under 5 Minutes

    Anyone running an online business will know the importance of offering visitors (read: potential customers) a seamless checkout experience. Aside from your sales copy, it’s the single most important means of generating direct revenue for your online business.

    For WordPress users, a web platform not specifically designed for eCommerce, this will require the installation of a plugin and knowing how to use it.

    In this tutorial, we will be creating a simple order form in WordPress using the Gravity Forms plugin which is commercially available for around $39 for an individual license and up to $199 for a developer license.

    However, in the interest of impartiality, I’d like to point out there are several other free and almost free solutions available which all have their advantages and disadvantages compared to Gravity Forms. Some of these include:

  5. What Is the Best Ad Server for Your Site?

    A growing number of publishers are turning to ad servers to display and manage adverts on their websites. There are many reasons for this. Simply, ad servers allow them to swap adverts without having to go “under the hood” of their websites. All that can be done on the ad server, which will also give you the ability to monitor your stats and tweak your adverts for geo-location and other factors.

    As a website owner, whatever ad server you choose will depend on a range of factors that include price, scalability, ease of use and features. The five ad servers in this list perform the best according to these criteria. They offer something to suit both small and large budgets and are among the most versatile monetization strategies you can employ online.

  6. Adding Configurable Products to Your Magento eCommerce Site

    Building an eCommerce site is a deceptively complex undertaking. Even when using an off-the-shelf CMS solution like Magento, doing something as simple as adding a configurable product requires the setting up of many variables and stock-related options.

    Anything you sell online, whether it’s a downloadable zip file or a shippable item, can be classified as a configurable product if it comes attached with options. Configurable products in Magento need to be assigned attributes, such as size and colour, before they are given prices and descriptions.

    This bottom-up way of creating products in Magento is entirely rational. It’s much easier, for example, to keep stock control and assign SKU’s to individual variations this way.

  7. Upgrade Your Schedule: 5 of the Best Replacements for Your Smartphone’s Calendar

    If your mobile device’s default calendar app is proving limiting, it might be time to invest in an upgrade. Fortunately, there are hundreds of apps out there that can offer more features and better usability. Even more fortunately: we’ve done the hard work for you.

    We scoured the web for the best apps across all operating systems and picked the best based on usability, features, cross-platform compatibility and price. Here they are — the five best calendar apps designed to make your 2014 the most productive year you’ve ever had.

  8. Social Marketing for Ecommerce

    Ask any online business owner and they’ll tell you that marketing is the single most important aspect of driving revenue. The medium itself adds its own dimension to this age-old craft, with social media in particular, offering the marketer the most intriguing opportunities. Unlike traffic driven by search engines, social media obeys its own rules, […]

  9. MySQL Tweaks to Streamline Magento

    Magento is a heavy duty eCommerce solution that promises performance and scalability. This is perfect for retailers looking to grow fast or those who already have a significant presence on the internet. The software provides a complete website solution, together with plugins and extensions, that can grow your eCommerce site with any size inventory. However, […]