zondag 23 april 2017

Project Hours available on Google worldwide!

Multi-language site

So far, Project Hours was only available in the Netherlands. The English language was supported, but in a way that Google did not like, and therefore there was no real presence in the rest of the world.

I finally managed to sort out this issue. The most important fact is that a multilanguage site only works well in Google if the url contains the language of the site (i.e.  https://projecthours.net/nl)  and the web pages must contain certain tags that indicate in what (other) languages the page is available.

Project Hours now works as follows:

Simple, but it took me a while to get it right. The pages must contain the following tags so Google knows what the language scheme of the site is so the appropriate language versions of the site can be returned in Google search results.

The following tags are included in every page for every language:

Visibility on the Internet

To attract more potential customers, I created Google advertisements for each language with Google Adwords Express. The ads link to the appropriate language url (/en or /nl).  This is important, ads will never work with generic urls that display either Dutch or English! The ads are displayed according to regional language, so in Engish-speaking countries people will see the English ad, NL users see the Dutch ad of course.

Mind you, this is not for free, makes one realize how powerful Google is.. You pay and you are visible on the web, or you do not pay and it is very difficult to be visible..

With my Google account I can check user statistics for these ads.
This sunday morning, there was one click on the Dutch ad and 80 (!) clicks on the English ad.

Also note that all clicks come from smartphones!
That's all for now, hopefully Project Hours will have some international customers soon!

vrijdag 7 april 2017

Projects and Activities sort order Added

On request of a customer  it is now possible in Project Hours to set the sort order voor project lists and activity lists that are displayed on web pages and in phone apps. This is configurable for each organisation:

Options are: Unsorted (order as in db), Ascending or Descending.

That's all for now,

zaterdag 1 april 2017

Mobile app development, challenges..

The past weeks I have worked on new versions of the ProjectHours mobile apps (new Timer page and multilanguage support).

Updating the Android app went well. The new version is available in the Google Play Store and I am happy with it. Windows app will follow, had one issue where the tap gesture (touch) did not work immediately.

The iPhone/iPad app is more of a challenge. There were some setbacks:
- The Xamarin forms controls are not so easy to manipulate for some reason in iOS so it is difficult to build an acceptable UI in a short span of time.

- I had problems with provisioning certificates that are necessary to deploy the app. It works fine now, but took a lot of time to figure out how provisioning of apps works.

- There was a compiler issue with linking the code, it turned out that if you choose the option 'link all assemblies' some code (default constructors) is removed in an attempt to optimize, but it breaks the app. Unfortunately this did not occur immediately in the virtual environment that I use to build and try out the app, it only happens on physical devices when deployed via the Apple Test Flight beta program. Took a long time to figure out.

But finally I got the iPhone app working. There is a Beta version available online.. click the link to try it out if you want. After a little bit of testing I think the apps functionality works ok but the UI is horrible, especially the Timer page:

More work to do..