Functionally testing your application using MINK

Automated testing is big news these days. There's hardly a PHP conference happening without a talk on testing automation or derivative methodologies. TDD (Test-Driven Development) and BDD (Behaviour Driven Design) are all around us. So why should you care about all this? Well, there are many excellent reasons to do automated testing, including assuring application quality and inspiring developer confidence in a system. If you are a business person, you're most likely to care about the quality; if you're a developer then the confidence aspect is more important.

New relic for PHP: web application performance monitoring

The performance of a web application plays a critical role in how an application is perceived by its users. It is important to measure it, identify the causes if it changes and react swiftly to any unexpected changes. This article describes an industry leading tool, New Relic, and how it can be used to monitor and improve your site performance.

Manipulating HTTP with Charles Proxy

Charles Proxy is exactly what its name implies; a proxy. This proxy is special however, as it is specifically aimed at giving functionality that developers will need. It allows you to view, change and replay the traffic that passes through, and can handle SSL. Charles isn't free, but at $50 (at the time of writing) for a license, it reaps returns from day one. This article will show you how to start using Charles and covers techniques that will help you work with your web and mobile applications; basically anything that works over HTTP.

10 tips for improving website performance

On the Internet nothing causes people as much grief, anger and aggravation as a slow loading website. If a website does not load within the critical first 2 seconds 50% of viewers will click or tap away and most of them won’t return. This means lower conversion rates, lower rankings on searches and anemic traffic. And this rule is not only applicable for small websites. Google saw a drop of 20% traffic because a page loaded half a second slower. Amazon experienced substantial revenue losses because page load speed increased by 100 milliseconds.

6 Tips on choosing a technical partner for outsourcing

Have you decided to get a new website or a mobile app or make your current website mobile friendly? Great. Go for it. That’s the first 20% of your job done. For most of us the biggest challenges are the technical skills needed to pull-off the project allied to a stable delivery that offers businesses value for money. When it comes to designing a serious web application, an iOS app or a responsive website an overwhelming number of companies choose to outsource it to a third party.

Transforming a mobile-unfriendly site with responsive design

SAM Learning is the company behind Penda Learning - a web-based science and math training resource for teachers in the US.   

The challenge  

SAM Learning was receiving feedback from teachers that the Penda Learning website didn’t work when they were trying to access it from a tablet. Teachers found the initial interaction unusable because the homepage was not optimized for mobile devices, and this was affecting sales.  

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