Monday, February 3, 2014

Google and other tools for business

Google offers a complete solution for our businesses. They started 2013 as far as I remember to offer such solution under your own domain name. Google is still organically growing and finding its way. So what are the tools and services Google offers and how to combine them to get a business solution?

1) When you register you get an e-mail address. Gmail is the central point for your messaging. When you are there you can send and receive instant messages from Google+ (Hangout)

2) Google+ is a social network. Allows us to create circles and do micro blogging. Follow and be followed. It  is integrated with Google Hangout. You can start a hangout with a friend exactly the same way you do it in facebook.com

2.1) facebook.com - the most popular social network. I can create very easy a pages and applications (page tabs with the use of Google Sites or another pages). A very good tutorial on How to Create Apps for Facebook Pages. It is a bit outdated but you can figure out the differences. The guy is using Google Sites to create pages for his "Page Tab" apps.
2.1.1) developers.facebook.com - the site where you create your facebook apps.


2.3) twitter.com - One of the most important social networks on the planet.

3) Google Hangout and Google Hangout on Air. I see only Google Hangout on Air as a separate product. Google Hangout is for me mostly a part of Google+.

3.1) Google Hangout on Air is very well integrated with YouTube. You can invite up to 9 atendees to your hangout. It gets broadcasted live and recorded in HD (720p) in your YouTube account. It is like a dream. Unlimited amount of people can watch it live. All your friends in Google+ get notified you just started a Hangout on Air together with a link to it. You have your broadcast TV studio. You can have your own TV show. And on top of that can be found and watched later. It stay in the archive. What else can we ask for? :) Maybe there is much more to ask, but for now it is OK.

4) YouTube allows us to upload the videos from out phones cameras etc. I use Camtasia to record tutorials (screencasts) and upload them to YouTube organizing them in Play Lists.

5) Blogger is another service used by me. Even this post is there. I can add pictures very easy. Convert a draft to publication and vise versa. I can create posts at will in very user friendly environment. Adding media is a very easy. You get your blog under the google domain. (myblog.blogspot.com). You have integrated analytic tools. You can change the design in a blink of an eye. You have a lot of gadgets (widgets) and many more. Just start your own blogs very easy.

5.1) Talking about blogs I think we have to pay attention to "Wordpress". They offer hosted solution for their popular Open Source Product. This makes it very easy and conveniant to use. You can create a blog under their domain name (e.g. myblog.wordpress.com). So you have the freedon of choice and self host it or use the hosted solution. Most of the hosting providers allow you to install Wordpress trough "Softacolous" or manually. All you need is a host with a web server (e.g. Apache) PHP and MySQL. You can insytall it in another configuration as well.

6) Talking about business we can not avoid Google Webmasters. It allows us to analyse the traffic optimize the site. As they say "You want to be found in the network? We want to help you. Get data, tools and diagnostics for a well working and searchable by Google site."
All you have to do is just verify the site is yours or you are in charge. You do that by uploading a "html" file (e.g. google3427C326BA324.html) to the root of the site you want to take care of. Somehow without adding code to any pages Google Webmaster gives you useful data. All you have to do is just click "Add Site" button, add the URL, download the verification file and upload it to your site to verify you are the webmaster. The tools helps you build better searchable by Google sites. It is very well integrated with Google Analytics . As a webmaster you can add as many site as you wish all you have to do is verify you are the webmaster by uploading a file given by Google. This is a one stop shop for all webmasters.

You link the webmasters tools to a property in Google Analytics.


7) Google Analytics allows us to be better marketer. It can be integrated with Google Webmasters.
As Google says:
"Why Google Analytics?
Whether you want to boost sales, find more visitors or improve your mobile app, Google Analytics has the answers and insights you need to improve your business."
You have to add Java Script code to your pages or template of the site to gather the information about the visitors. You can see where they are coming from, how did they found you etc. All sorts of useful information.
If you want to add a new property:

For each property you get an unique identifier (e.g. UA-432442342-1). Use this identifier when you create a site in Google Sites. In other cases you just copy and paste the provided JS code.

7.1) statcounter.com is an alternative. You have to add a Java Script code to the template or the pages of the site

8) Google Sites allows us to create sites of type brochure on a very easy and intuitive way. It is so east to add content, change the design etc. It looks like blogger but it is for more static sites.
It is like Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal or any other Content Management System you can think of. But it is already hosted for you. Perfect for building single pages or small sites. For example pages for facebook can be build in Google Sites.


9) Google Drive - whole new world! It is formerly knows as Google Docs. It doesn't simply stores your files. You can create and edit the documents in your browser. This is what makes Google different. For example Drop Box also offers cloud storage and sharing but you have to download the document before start editing it. In Google Drive you create the document directly in the browser. You don't have to download or upload. It opens the common formats like .doc, excel, Power Point, Adobe Illustrator, PDF etc. There are a lot of applications you can use to create files. And there are a lot of third party applications too.


10) Google App Engine. At Google I/O 2013 Google has opened the Pandora Box by adding PHP to the supported languages in App Engine. Imagine Word press installed on Google AppEngine or Joomla or a ZF2 application. No limits anymore. The PHP developers are unlieshed. You also can use a custom domain name your app on Google App Engine. The prices start from $8 USD. For 10 EUR I have a custom domain. In order to do so on App Fog you also have to pay.
Google App Engine is a product from Google Developers.

Google App Engine supports the following languages: Python, Java, PHP, Go.
It also supports MySQL compatible Cloud SQL.

The URL address where your app is running will look like my-site-app.appspot.com. If you want to have your own domain you have to use  Google Apps for Business

With all Google services we don't need a hosting company anymore to start our online business.


App Engine is free of charge if you don't go beyond the free quotas. Learn more

In Application settings you can find the default URL etc.

You can serve your application from custom domains not only as a sub domain of appspot.com. Learn more about using custom domains. You can use Google Apps For Business to register a domain and use it for your app.

You must sign up for Google Apps for business to register the domain name or prove you own it.

Important: You must Sign Up for Google Apps For Business in order to use custom URL in Google App Engine. You can register a new one or prove you are the owner of the domain name you want to use.

I didn't try with an existing domain name. I have created a new one with Google Apps for Business. I will add in my ToDo list to create a domain name on namecheap.com for example and try to use it with Google Apps For Business. It is a paid service. So another words if you want to use your own domain name you have to pay. You have to pay for such services on AppFog as well.


10.1) Codenvy is an Cloud based SaaS IDE build for Java but supports other technologies also including PHP, Python, Java, technologies we can use in Google App Engine. The most Important for this article is maybe the fact that Codenvy works with many PaaS and one of them is Google App Engine. It is extremely easy to create or pull app from git (e.g. phpcloud.com) and deploy to Google App Engine. We really can have Wordpress, Joomla, Magento etc. on Google.

10.2) phpcloud.com is the Zend Cloud Platform (PaaS) where you very easy can create and deploy PHP Project, ZF1, ZF2, Joomla, Wordpress, Magento, phpBB. You may choose to work on your computer and use git or SFTP to push the changes or you can use some of the cloud SaaS like Codenvy or Cloud9

10.3) Cloud 9 is another cloud based IDE (SaaS)

10.4) Codiad is a self hosted broser-based IDE.  You can read more about such solutions on "13 Cloud IDEs For Web Developers - Hongkiat" or "The Top 3 Browser-Based IDE's To Code In The Cloud - MakeUseOf".

11) Google Developers is the place where you can find everything you need to start developing any kind of application. if you scroll down on the page and click on the "App Engine Console" you will get to your applications. They offer projects hosting, optimization tools etc.


12) Google AdWords allows you to advertise. As Google says: "Want to grow your business? Put your message in front of potential customers right when they're searching for what you have to offer."

13) Google AdSense allows you to display adds on your site and earn money from the visits.
This is what Google says: "Google AdSense provides a free, flexible way to earn money from your websites, mobile sites, and site search results with relevant and engaging ads."

14) Google Calendar helps me to be better organized. It is just great.

15) Google Group - for creating communities (mail lists). For example jQuery first had mail list on Google.

16) PayPal allows you to have a shopping cart or buttons. The easiest and most trusted way to pay and get payed online!

Bellow I describe a paid service, but you get your own domain name. We don't need a hosting company anymore. :)
17) Google Apps for Business Service that allows you to have a lot of services mentioned above, but under your domain name. When you choose your domain name don't use too many words or abreviations. Don't use dashes to separate words! Use simple word or words which is easy to remember and guess. Having a good domain name is the key for SEO.

There are a lot of services available in the apps.


This is how I can compare Hosting Company to Google Apps For Business

17.1) Domain Registration. With Google Apps For Business you create 1 domain per account and you have the entire Google infrastructure under this new name.
17.2) E-mails set up. You can have as many e-mail as you need.
17.2) Sites creating subdomains
17.3) You can use Google App Engine to run your PHP app for example.
17.4) Google Drive is much better than what a Hosting Company can offer.

Summary: With Google we can start our online business without coding skills. It is a new approach and replaces the Services of the Hosting Companies.

ToDo: take a look in "G:\screenshots\google_webmasters_analytycs" and G:\screenshots\facebookCreatePage"






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