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Web design and development training

The world of websites is a world of endless possibilities and challenges in terms of technology and creativity. From a simple, light basic website to a grand, colourful design with Flash: the choice is yours. Whether you want to develop websites with Dreamweaver, create online image content with Photoshop or write commercial texts: Learnit Training offers web design training tailored to your needs, both individually and for large groups.

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Writing a blog with WordPress

With WordPress you can create all kinds of things on your website, including blogs. In fact, blogging was the very first function of the system. Yet writing a blog in WordPress can be difficult if you have never worked with WordPress before. The system has so many functions that many people find it overwhelming. We will tell you step by step how you can put a blog online on your WordPress website!

1. Dashboard. When you are logged into your website, you are taken to the dashboard. There you can find general information, which you do not need to use. On the left you will see the menu in the black bar, with settings for your WordPress site behind each page. To write a blog, click on 'Posts'. You are now on the posts page.

2. Create a WordPress post. The posts page contains all posts on the WordPress site. You can add posts in two ways: by clicking on 'New post' in the left-hand menu, or by clicking on the blue 'New post' button at the top of the page. At 'Add title', you can enter the title and the content of the message below the title.

3. Format text. It is easy to format text in WordPress. Select the section you want to format, which will cause a bar to appear. Here you can choose to make the text bold or italic, for example. You can also add a link to a word here, so that readers can click on the word to go to a specific page.

4. Create a headline. Creating a subtitle is not difficult either. Just click on the black square with the plus sign, then click on "Header" and write the subtitle. By giving the subtitles a heading element (H2, H3, H4...), you can divide the text in an orderly manner.

5. Add image. You can also add an image to your blog by clicking on the black square again and then selecting 'Picture'. In the block that appears, you can insert an image. Click 'Upload' to directly add a new image to your blog. If you have used an image before, choose 'Media library'. If the image is already online somewhere else, choose 'Insert via URL' and enter the URL of the image. Add a subtitle by clicking on the image.

6. Add a list. Via the black square you can also choose 'Video', which will allow you to add a video to the blog. This is done in the same way as adding an image.

7. Add video. Cultural differences can also cause a lot of conflict, because you don't share and understand each other's norms and values. Remember that there is not only a difference between Moroccan and Dutch culture, but also between people from Drenthe and Groningen. In a conflict, it is important to try to put yourself in someone's place.

WordPress training

Did you know that Learnit offers a training about WordPress? During our training WordPress you not only learn to build the website from scratch, but also to maintain it during use and keep it up-to-date. Click here for more information about the training or to register directly.

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The 5 biggest advantages of Google Analytics

Most people have heard of Google Analytics and some have linked their website to it. Yet not everyone knows how it works and what benefits they can get out of it. With Google Analytics, you can measure all activities to, on and from your website and form a clear picture of visitor flows and profiles, among other things. This information can help you set up targeted marketing, in order to increase the flow of visitors and therefore your profits. Google Analytics is therefore a handy and effective programme; the following five advantages demonstrate this further!

1. Insight into traffic sources. Visitors arrive at a website via various routes and channels. This could be via a search engine, an advertisement or social media. If you know more about where visitors come from, you have a better idea of the effect of the marketing activities.

2. Keywords report. The keyword report allows you to see which keywords brought visitors to the website. You can then see which keywords are the most searched for and which generate the most website traffic. With this information, you can optimize the website by changing keywords.

3. Image of visitors. As mentioned before, Google Analytics offers insight into visitor profiles, which gives you information about where your visitors come from, how often they visit your website and how many new and returning visitors the website has. You can also see on which device visitors visited your website. All this information gives you a better picture of your target group, allowing you to apply targeted marketing.

4. Understanding bounce rate. The bounce percentage tells you more about how your web pages are doing. Which pages do visitors stay on and which do they click through quickly? A bounce is when a visitor leaves immediately after having visited one page on your website. A high bounce rate means that a landing page is less relevant to visitors. If you know which pages have a high bounce percentage, you can take targeted actions.

5. No obligatory costs. Google Analytics is a free programme from Google, but in spite of that it has as many functionalities as other programmes.

Google Analytics training

Did you know that Learnit offers a training on Google Analytics? During our training Google Analytics Basics you will learn the basic principles and how to use them in the right way to get clear insights. Click here for more information about the training or to register directly.

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Creating dynamic websites with JavaScript

JavaScript is a widely used scripting language that is mainly used to create dynamic web pages. In other words, it is a language that enables interaction with visitors and users of a website. JavaScript is used via a browser and is also read in that way (just like CSS and HTML). The code contained in JavaScript is executed by the browser and is actually plain text. A word processor such as Word cannot be used in this case! However, editors such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Gedit or Notepad++ can read this unique code.

The many possibilities of JavaScript

Any web page that you can use interactively, where for example a menu scrolls out, uses JavaScript. Pages that adapt themselves without you having to do anything, or Instant Search on Google, where all possible search results appear even before you press search: these are all examples of applications where JavaScript is used. It is therefore a scripting language that is widely used.

With this language, anything is possible, even creating real 3D games (although this is of course a very complicated process)! However, smaller tasks such as building a Mario game, an auto-checking website or customising advertisements are much easier to create with JavaScript.

Some important tips when using JavaScript

When managing, writing and modifying JavaScript, numerous elements are used to write the code language. The following overview gives some tips to get even more out of JavaScript:

1. Use ===, not ==

There are two equality operators available in Javascript, both of which consist of equality characters, exclamation marks and dashes. It is recommended to use the triple one as you will not get problems when working with different types. If you use == and != you will have problems, because the JavaScript engine automatically converts those values.

2. Avoid 'eval'

The 'eval' function in JavaScript gives you, the user, access to the JavaScript compiler. So if you enter a string as its parameter, the compiler will execute it as JavaScript language, making execution much slower (and more dangerous)!

3. Place your script at the bottom of the page

When you develop a web page, you want it to load as quickly as possible for each visitor. However, if you add an external script, the browser cannot continue loading until the complete file is loaded. The consequence? The user has to wait longer for his page!

If you use JS files with extra functionality (e.g. event handlers for certain buttons) then it is best to load them at the bottom of the page, before the end of the body tag.

More about JavaScript

JavaScript is an indispensable and important language when developing web pages that visitors can use. However, the world of scripting languages is not an easy one, precisely because there are so many different ways to make the visitor experience of a website unique. So the more you know about it as a beginner, the better you can apply that knowledge to get the best out of your website!

Our three-day training course introduces you to JavaScript. The training forms a solid basis for follow-up courses on JavaScript-based techniques and toolkits, such as jQuery. Professional trainers will guide you in working with JavaScript so that it does not remain a theoretical concept, but so that you can learn in practice what unique results you can achieve with this scripting language.

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What's new in Adobe Dreamweaver 2021?

Adobe Dreamweaver has been around for a while as web design software. It is used to develop websites, platforms and systems and can make small adjustments to major changes. The software has made great strides in recent years in meeting the needs of web developers. Nevertheless, Dreamweaver continues to improve. We will discuss below which changes Adobe Dreamweaver 2021 has.

1. Support and bug fixes

Adobe Dreamweaver 2021 can also be used on new Apple and Windows systems. Problems with the compatibility of the program have been solved. The program is up-to-date for the newest versions of Apple and Windows.

2. Image optimisation

Adobe Dreamweaver 2021 now lets you use images even faster and better, making work on applications, websites, and systems faster, too.

3. Expired APIs

Because Adobe Dreamweaver is subject to all kinds of updates and security updates, certain APIs are no longer supported. This means that certain procedures are also renewed, which means that you can no longer use an unsafe method. Here you can find the list of Adobe where the expired APIs are.

4. Optimisation

In Adobe Dreamweaver 2021, the updates of recent years within the programme and the working methods of the Adobe programmes have also been transferred to your laptop or computer, so that you can create websites even faster.

These changes in the latest update make Dreamweaver easier to work with. You can create a website faster and work better with other programs. Would you like to learn more about Dreamweaver CC? You can!

Dreamweaver CC training

Did you know that Learnit offers a training on Dreamweaver CC? During our 3-day training Dreamweaver CC Basics you will learn to apply the basic principles of web development within Dreamweaver CC and start creating your web content! Click here for more information about the course or to register now.

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Creating animations: six tips for the best video!

It is impossible to imagine life without animations and they are used by many organisations as promotional videos or marketing messages. Everyone will recognise how difficult it can be to get a message across to the target group in a catchy, original but clear way. Explaining something properly by means of a text on a website seems almost impossible nowadays, which is why animations offer a solution! But how do you make sure that your animation attracts attention and achieves what you want? We have put together a number of tips for you!

1. Choose a good design. There are many different designs to choose from, but it is important to think carefully about which design suits your company and target group. The design of an animation attracts the viewer and creates a first impression. Viewers often decide within 20 seconds whether they continue watching, so the design is essential.

2. Use storytelling. Storytelling is the narrative form of the message. A story provides structure and context for the target audience so they can better understand your message. First, outline the context and make it an interesting story. Stimulate the viewer by asking questions or sketching situations they can identify with.

3. Keep it short. It is essential to keep the animation short, because viewers' attention is scarce. It is important to find a balance between the full explanation you want to give and the length of the video. The longer the video gets, the faster people will stop watching even though you give the full explanation. As a guideline, it is useful to stick to a maximum of 90 seconds.

4. Use humour. Humour makes an animation more interesting for the target group and more people will continue to watch and listen. So look for a good combination of a clear message and a good dose of humour. Humour can be used a lot in animation, because you can portray things in an exaggerated way.

5. Use audio. Not only the visual explanation is important, the audio should not be underestimated either. Audio really brings the animation to life and helps to highlight specific parts. Audio also makes the animation more interesting to watch.

6. Choose a good voice actor. A good voice actor can make all the difference to the professionalism of your animation. Viewers will take the video seriously more quickly if it comes across as professional and a clear voice will ensure that the message is told clearly.

Training Animate CC Basic

Would you like to learn more about creating animations after reading this blog? Then take a look at our training Animate CC Basic. In this training you will not only learn about Animate CC, but you will also learn how you can easily create professional animations and multimedia content! Click here to read more about the course or to register now.

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HTML and CSS: what is it all about?

You will probably have heard the words HTML and CSS before and have associated these words with "Isn't that something for programmers?". That's right! HTML and CSS are used to build and design websites. While HTML allows you to determine the content and layout of a web page, CSS is used to give the web page design. In this blog you will read how HTML and CSS work.

HTML in full stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and can be seen as a language to create a page. Actually, HTML is not really a programming language, it is more of a mark-up language. With HTML you can determine which element appears where on your web page, so HTML is actually indispensable for an orderly page. But why was HTML created in the first place? In the seventies of the last century, internet users ran into a problem: a document that was made on one computer was not readable and understandable on any other computer. A solution had to be found to ensure that documents could be viewed on any computer system; the development of HTML was born. At that time, the Internet was still in full development and nowadays HTML is even used for every web page you come across on the Internet.

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and, like HTML, it is not really a programming language. CSS can rather be seen as a "style sheet language". So what exactly is a style sheet language? It means that by using CSS you allow certain style elements to be applied to selected parts of your HTML web page. CSS was introduced some 20 years after HTML, to make web pages look aesthetically pleasing. For instance, with CSS you can change the font or colour of your text to make a web page look more pleasing to the eye.

HTML/CSS training

Are you interested in creating your own web pages in the future? Learnit offers a training HTML and CSS Basics in which you learn all basic techniques to get started with both languages. Amongst other things, the setup of a website is discussed, as well as working with hyperlinks, text and images and for example a subject like search engine optimisation. For more information about this training, click here.

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What types of cloud storage does Adobe Creative Cloud have?

Adobe Creative Cloud is becoming increasingly popular with graphic design organisations because of its many applications. With Adobe CC you can edit photos, edit videos, design logos and illustrations and create websites and apps. The amount of different apps ensures that you always have something that fits the needs of you and your organization. Adobe Creative Cloud offers different types of cloud storage: cloud documents, libraries and Creative Cloud files. All three have different benefits and uses.

Cloud documents

Working with cloud documents has many advantages; it is automatically saved in the background and is therefore always up-to-date. The problem of losing work because you forgot to save it is now a thing of the past! Previous versions can also be retrieved at any time. If you open a file on your device you can also work on it offline at a later time and it will be automatically synchronised when you are connected again. In addition, Cloud Documents makes it possible to switch between devices and different apps without any intermediate steps.

Libraries

Libraries offer the possibility to collect and share design elements that are for a specific project or a specific client. These design elements can be anything from images to illustrations and drawing styles to colour palettes. Collecting and sharing makes it possible for a team to all use the same elements for documents and projects.

Creative Cloud Files

Creative Cloud files are synchronised files. Like cloud files, they are stored in a cloud and can be edited on any connected device. Changes are automatically saved, so you won't lose any more pieces. The documents are managed on the Creative Cloud website, where you can also upload other files for the project. This way, you have all resources together in one place.

Trainings Adobe

Did you know that Learnit offers a wide range of Adobe training courses? From the Adobe Creative Cloud DTP training to Adobe After Effects and from InDesign CC Basic to Illustrator CC Advanced, Learnit has it all! For a complete overview of our Adobe training courses, click here for more information.

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15 indispensable Photoshop tips

drawing photoshop

Photoshop is an overwhelming programme with endless functions. In the beginning, many people get lost in the many possibilities. Recognisable?

Of course, a good course is the real solution. But for those who don't have the time or money, we have listed the 15 most important tips below.

After hundreds of training sessions for thousands of students, we have a pretty good idea which options the average user needs, and how to quickly learn to find and use them. No endless manual, no complex tutorial, just get started and see results.

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Tip 1: Transform

Rotate or change an image
transform transform from context menu

If you want to change the size of a photo, rotate or distort it, you can do so by clicking on edit, then transform and selecting the desired action. There is an easier way to do this. Press Ctrl + T and a box will appear around the image indicating the distortion. This means you can change the size of the image. The best way to do this is to place the mouse on one of the corners and then drag while holding down shift, so that the height and width keep the same ratio. Press Enter when done.

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Tip 2: Change the unit of measurement

Switch between centimetres and pixels
Units of measurement in menu

A short and quick way to change the unit of measurement is to place the mouse on one of the rulers (press Ctrl + R to show or hide the rulers), right-click and then choose a unit from the displayed menu. You have a large choice of units: centimetres, pixels, millimetres, points, percentages, etc.

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Tip 3: Magnetic Lasso Tool

Detach an image from its background
use magnetic lasso

This is an easy selection tool that helps you trace part of the outline of the image. It allows you to easily separate an object in the image from the rest of the image and perform certain actions on it. For example, you can separate a product from its background.

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Tip 4: Magic Wand Tool

Remove a consistent background
magic wand tool magic wand tool

The Magic Wand Tool is another background selection tool, ideal when working with a monotone and consistent background. If you want to choose a clear colour in an image, this is the tool for you. For example, the Magic Wand Tool is suitable for a white background or a clear blue sky.

Choose the Magic Wand Tool from the tools panel and click on the part of the image you want to select. Make sure you switch between the "add to selection" option in the top row (icon of two squares) so that you can continue to add colours and shades to your selection.

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Tip 5: Custom Shape Tool

Choose from a huge range of shapes
custom shape tool custom shape tool

The functions panel gives you all the basic shapes you need, such as a square, a line, a circle, an oval, etc. However, if you want more options, use the Custom Shape Tool. Its icon looks like the first pancake (perhaps this was not Adobe's intention).

The Custom Shape Tool is easily found in the Options bar. After selecting the Custom Shape Tool, a large number of shapes appear. To the right of the Custom Shape Tool icon is a small thumbnail. You can access more shapes by clicking on the small arrow on the right-hand side of the panel. If you are looking for banners, talking bubbles or all kinds of arrows, this is the tool for you.

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Tip 6: Adjustment Layers

Work in a separate layer
adjustment layers adjustment layers

Whenever you use Photoshop, for whatever purpose, to change the colours of an image, to make a contract sharper or better, always remember to use Adjustment Layers. The big advantage of Adjustment Layers is that it doesn't make a change on the image itself, but on a separate layer. This way you can easily adjust your operations to see what works best. The Adjustment Layers can be found at the bottom of the layers panel (a black and white circle icon).

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Tip 7: Layer Styles

Give an effect to your image
layer styles

This is a simple and easy way to add some spice to an image. Layer styles are a special effect that you can easily add to individual layers. All you have to do is double click on the layer and choose the effect you like.

You can choose from a whole range of functions; add a glow, add shadows and much more at the click of a mouse. Be careful not to overdo it. These effects tend to look cheap if you use too much of them.

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Tip 8: Healing Brush Tool

Remove imperfections
healing brush tool

This is a very useful tool for somewhat advanced photoshoppers. You can use it to repair the image of imperfections such as scratches and stains. Choose the brush size, hold the Alt key and select a nice clean area of the image. Release the Alt key and paint over the bad area. Basically, this function copies a piece of the image from the first position to the second.

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Tip 9: Spot Healing Brush

Remove blemishes and pimples
spot healing brush

Yes - it is indeed exactly how it sounds, this tool makes everything a lot more beautiful! If you have a spot, blemish or mole, this tool can remove it immediately. It can also be used to remove a pimple.

Place the brush on the area you want to "fix", make sure the brush is a little larger than the spot, and click. Photoshop automatically makes the retouched area beautiful so you don't have to do anything else.

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Tip 10: Dodge Tool

Remove red eyes
dodge tool

The Dodge Tool makes pixels lighter in colour where you use it. This is a good solution to the well-known red-eye problem. Set the Dodge Tool to a soft brush, go to Range settings in the menu bar and choose highlights, set the Exposure to about 20%. Then gently run the brush over the red area.

Do not overdo it, otherwise your model will look unrealistic. A few simple strokes should be sufficient.

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Tip 11: Blur Tool

Blur small imperfections
blur demo

A simple and fine way to remove small wrinkles is to blur them a little. Use the Blur Tool to smooth out small imperfections, such as wrinkles around the eyes or mouth area, you simply blur them into the background. Again, be careful not to overdo it or the image will blur too much.

The Blur Tool can repair imperfections, but the Blur Tool is also used for more artistic purposes. So it is important to build up some dexterity with the Blur Tool.

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Tip 12: Move Tool

Moves selections
move tool

This is a simple but useful tool. The Move Tool is used to move selections or layers, including to other images. It is usually used to move the layer after it has been placed in the image. Hold the shift button to move only horizontally or vertically.

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Tip 13: Clone Stamp Tool

Make an exact copy
clone stamp

This tool is similar to the Spot Healing Brush Tool (see above). You use it in the same way, but this tool does not blend in at the end. It is an exact copy of the information from the first selected area to the second selected area. So you use it to correct small mistakes or to make manipulations.

Select the Clone Stamp Tool and set the desired brush size. It is best to set the flow to 50%. Hold down Alt and select the area you want to clone. By clicking and then dragging, you can move the clone.

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Tip 14: Crop Tool

Delete part of the image
crop tool

The Crop Tool (hotkey C) allows you to remove parts of an image to focus on a particular area. To use the Crop Tool, select part of the image and press Enter. You can move the selection by dragging it with the left mouse button.

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Tip 15: Gradient Tool

Fill a background with transition colours
gradient tool

The Gradient Tool can be used to fill an area with transitional colours, for example, to change an image from orange to grey. There are also more advanced gradients available with multiple colours that include transparency, for example.

Other functions of the gradient tool include placing coloured backgrounds behind objects, creating shadows or adding depth to an image. However, these are options for more advanced photoshoppers.

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Extra: Save for the web

Save the image for the web
gradient tool

Finally, it is important to save the image in the correct format. If you want to use the image on the internet, it is important that the loading of the image does not take too long. To do this, use the File > Save for Web & Devices option. In the settings you can choose the file format and the quality, the higher the quality the larger the file.

Within the Save for Web window are a number of tabs, including 2up. 2up can be used to split the window; the left-hand side shows the original, while the right-hand side contains the new settings.

You now know the basic tools of Photoshop, congratulations and good luck!

Would you like to become even more proficient with Photoshop and edit images in a professional manner? During Learnit's Photoshop courses you will learn how to work efficiently with Photoshop. You will learn the intricacies of Photoshop and receive active support during the training. Read more about these courses!

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Top 10 most popular programming languages

At the end of last year, a list of the most popular programming languages of 2020 was announced. Not entirely surprisingly, as ultimate favourite, C was still on top of TIOBE's index. This year, Python did manage to surprise us: for the first time in history, Python overtook Java and we find Python on place 2 and Java on place 3 in the top 10. Besides Python, also R, Perl and Go are gaining popularity. R even ended surprisingly on place 9 in the top 10 list; TIOBE has therefore labelled R as 'programming language of the year 2020'.

Why is Python gaining popularity?

The CEO of TIOBE's INDEX Paul Jansen said about Python catching up with Java: "Some time ago I had a flat tire and called the road patrol to help me out. The mechanic asked about my living and when I used the word 'software' in my answer, he smiled and started talking very enthusiastically about his own passion: programming in Python. From that moment on, I knew Python would become ubiquitous." Whereas ten years ago it was mainly software engineers who were concerned with the various programming languages, nowadays you see that more and more people on the shop floor have programming skills. This has everything to do with the fact that there is a shortage of classical programmers. Moreover, a programming language such as Python is relatively easy to use when you want to work with large quantities of data. Would you like to work with data yourself, but do you have little or no knowledge of a programming language? Then take a look at our courses Python programming basics or Python for data analysis. Do you already have a fair knowledge of Python? Then the course Python programming continuation course is really something for you!

Why is 'R' gaining popularity?

Big data is a term that most people undoubtedly hear more than once. Programmes such as R are perfect for converting these so-called big data into useful information for organisations, and R is also a lot easier to use than a language such as 'C'. For example, did you know that R is one of the programming languages that was used to find a COVID-19 vaccine? In addition, you can see that universities and colleges are increasingly exchanging static programmes such as Stata, SAS and SPSS for static programming languages such as R. Professional groups in which many static analyses occur are also increasingly using R. Think for example of data analysts, mathematicians, econometricians but also marketers. The advantage of a programme like R is that it costs nothing: it is an 'open source' project, which anyone can use and improve. In addition, R is known for the fact that you can easily visualise data with packages such as 'ggplot2', with which you can make a graph, for example.

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Why you should switch to Affinity today!

If you are familiar with editing photos or designing images, then Adobe programmes will undoubtedly be familiar to you. Photoshop and InDesign (both by Adobe) are the most popular programmes when it comes to photo and video editing. Since a few years, however, Adobe has had a formidable competitor: Affinity.

Affinity's software was marketed by the British software company Serif Europe. For the first time in history, this company came up with an equivalent answer to the Adobe software. Affinity Photo can be compared to Adobe's Photoshop whereas Affinity Designer is the answer to Adobe's InDesign. You may be thinking why would I switch to Affinity if I am already used to Adobe's software? By now we can give you plenty of reasons to do so. Take a look at all the benefits of Affinity below and who knows, you might find out if the software is for you!

  • Buying the Affinity software is a lot cheaper. People who use Adobe software will undoubtedly know that the prices of the various Adobe programmes can be quite steep. This has to do with the fact that you have to pay a monthly fee to continue using the software and to be able to open your documents. The software from Affinity, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper to buy. At the moment you can buy Affinity Photo for the one-off amount of €27.99 (because of corona). For this price you will always have access to the program, you do not have to buy a subscription or something like that. The same goes for Affinity Designer, which you can purchase for a similar price.
  • The Affinity software is user-friendly. If you are used to working with Photoshop or InDesign, you will have no trouble switching to Affinity's software. This is because the programmes are very similar and Affinity has added a number of features that make them easier to use. For example, Affinity makes it possible to quickly look back at the history of your project, even up to the beginning of the project. In addition, you can easily zoom in or out of a photo with one button using the 'move' tool, whereas in Photoshop you need several buttons to achieve the same result.
  • Affinity has new features. For example, the ability to edit raster and vector layers together, to edit PDFs or to exchange files effortlessly between different applications. Another useful feature that Affinity has is called personas. These are workspaces that are linked to specific tasks. Within these workspaces you can easily switch to different workspaces so that you can keep an overview for yourself. Adobe Photoshop also has workspaces, only they work differently and are somewhat more difficult to use.

Free webinar on Affinity

Did you know that Learnit will soon organise a free (introduction) webinar about Affinity? Subjects that will be covered are: a short introduction about the different Affinity software, the differences between the Affinity and Adobe software, exchanging files between Affinity and Adobe and reasons for switching to Affinity or not. So are you still in doubt if Affinity is right for you? Sign up for the free webinar on April 15th between 11:00 - 11:30 and find out! Click here to register.

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How do you prepare for an online 2021?

In the meantime, it is slowly becoming clear that most of us will be sitting at home until at least the middle of 2021 and will therefore have to work at home. This means that for the coming year, too, there will be many online work activities on the agenda. How can you best prepare yourself and your organisation for an online 2021? In this blog, we will explain which training courses are the perfect fit for online work!

1. Search engine optimisation (SEO). How do you ensure that you attract as many visitors as possible to your website? Search engine optimisation, also known as SEO, is the solution! Learnit offers a course in which not only the basic principles of search engine optimisation are shared with you, but in which you also work on your practical skills. For example, learn how to analyse and optimise your own website. This way, you can get the most out of your website and web traffic in 2021!

2. Online marketing. Developments on the Internet are taking place at a rapid pace. Online marketing is a theme that played an important role for many organisations last year, and the expectation is that online marketing will possibly play an even bigger role in 2021. Can your organisation still learn a thing or two when it comes to online marketing? Then take a look at our new 7-day online marketing course. During this comprehensive course, you will learn all the skills necessary to put your organisation firmly on the (online) map. Topics that are covered during this course are: search engine optimisation, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, e-commerce, social media marketing and content marketing.

3. Power BI Basics. Now that we (almost) no longer see or speak to each other physically on the work floor, it can sometimes be difficult to convey certain information to colleagues. Think about financial reports for example. For this kind of information, it can be useful to use a visualisation tool that allows you to easily show colleagues what is going on from a distance. One of the most popular visualisation tools is Power BI. Learnit offers a 2-day Power BI course, in which you learn to create effective management reports using your Excel data. In this way, Power BI allows you to create an interactive management dashboard, in which you can easily visualise and share data with your colleagues. Ideal for transferring information!

4. Agile Scrum Basics. Scrum is nothing but an Agile framework, which stands for more effective and flexible work. The Agile way of working allows for working in self-managing teams, which is extremely useful for planning more complex projects. The focus of Scrum is on the communication within these projects, but also on the interaction between departments and towards customers. Now that online working is the order of the day, you see many companies making use of this structured way of (online) working. Are you curious whether working according to this style is something for your organisation? Then take a look at our Agile Scrum Basic training. During this training you will not only learn the theory around this method, but also the skills that come with it play an important role. Did you know that there is the possibility to take an official exam after the course, after which you can call yourself Scrum Master or Scrum Product Owner? Click on the training course or inquire about the possibilities.

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Black Friday: 4 tips for online marketers

Friday 27 November is the day again: Black Friday is just around the corner! In recent years, people have been shopping in large numbers on this day: almost every shop offers its products at a discount on Friday. Weeks in advance we see all kinds of advertisements and make lists of what we are going to buy this time. That Black Friday is advantageous for consumers is obvious. But what can Black Friday bring for companies? And how can you as an online marketeer contribute? Read 4 tips below that will help you make your company's Black Friday actions a success:

1. Gather additional leads

The number of conversions only increases over the course of Black Friday. If you are smart, you can get potential new customers to leave their details on your website and at the same time be triggered to buy a product from you. For example, advertise 'leave your email address and get a sneak peek at our Black Friday range' or 'get free shipping when you sign up for our newsletter'. These deals make it attractive for new customers to leave their customer details on your website. You can use these details for email marketing, for example.

2. Increase customer loyalty with exclusive deals for existing customers

Many companies will realise that discount offers are a good way of attracting new customers. It is more difficult to ensure that existing customers do not go to the competitor when they also offer discounts. One way to prevent this is to offer existing customers exclusive deals in your system, for example, extra discount on top of the normal discount or a free product when purchasing an item on Black Friday. This increases the chance that existing customers will just buy their products from you. Existing customers will appreciate such actions, which will increase customer satisfaction. In the long run, this will lead to more loyal customers for your company.

3. Use hashtags

The number of conversions, or web traffic, increases considerably in the run-up to Black Friday. Not so strange when you consider that people often find out in advance where they can get the best deals. As a company you can take advantage of this by using hashtags in your social media posts. #Hashtags ensure that your posts are classified into a certain category. For example, if you advertise with #BlackFriday and #sneakers, your feed will reach people who are looking for new trainers faster. For your business, it can be useful to advertise with multiple hashtags to find out which hashtags generate the most conversions for your business.

4. Analyse your discount actions

Participating in Black Friday seems important for many companies, but it is especially so if you gain insight in which actions are valuable. Often customers postpone purchases just before Black Friday, which makes you wonder if Black Friday compensates for this. Besides that, a part of the consumers will already make purchases for Sinterklaas or Christmas during Black Friday. After all, consumers can now purchase these products at a discount, but for you as a company this might be at the expense of your purchases later in the year. In addition, it is also important to look at what new leads bring in, for example. Do new customers still read your newsletter the week after Black Friday or did they unsubscribe immediately? One way to gain insight in your (discount) actions is to analyze your conversions of the month of Black Friday but also of the month before and after. You can do this for example by using Google Analytics.

Online marketing training

Setting up Black Friday promotions, advertising for these promotions and analysing the data resulting from these promotions are examples of the tasks that an online marketeer might encounter on the shop floor. Other activities that an online marketeer is involved with include: search engine optimisation, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, E-commerce, social media marketing and content marketing. Did you know that Learnit offers a 7-day online marketing training that perfectly covers all these subjects? Do you want to expand your skills or develop yourself in the field of online marketing? Then this training is for you! Click here for more information about this training.

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What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

How do you ensure that you attract as much traffic as possible to your website? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the solution! SEO can best be described as the sum of all activities that you undertake to make your website better findable in online search engines, such as Google.

SEO explained

Translated into Dutch, SEO means "search engine optimisation". This term actually covers SEO completely. For example, by ensuring that your products or services appear high on the list of consumer search results, you can ensure that you drive more traffic to your own website. The advantage of attracting these types of consumers is that you already know they are looking for your product or service, as they are already purposefully searching for your product or service in a search engine. This also means that the chance of conversions or perhaps even purchases increases when you attract these types of visitors to your website.

How do you make sure your ranking goes up?

Now the big question is: how do you make sure you are at the top of the search results? Three aspects play a major role in this: content, technology and authority. Content is of course about the information you share on your website, for example information about the shoes you sell. Have you mentioned the size, for example, or the colour? Technology is about how your website works and how user-friendly it is. Authority has to do with external links that can be found from your own website, also called link building. If a party like bol.com (which is ranked high itself) has the link of your website on their website, this is a huge advantage for your own website. If you have many of these kinds of links, your own domain value increases, as it were.

Below, we have listed a few important advantages of SEO for you:

  • Your company's name recognition goes up. An additional advantage of appearing high in the search engines is that consumers will see your company name more often. The more often your company name appears, the greater your brand awareness will become. A win-win situation!
  • 24/7 promotion. Another advantage of being high up in search engine rankings is that people can literally find you more easily at any time. Even if you are not busy promoting a certain product or service, it is, as it were, done for you.
  • Relatively low costs. If you have ever promoted an advert via Facebook or Linkedin, you probably know that advertising via social media can be expensive. The problem with this type of advertising is that you have to pay for each new advertisement. The advantage of SEO is that investing in it is a lot more sustainable. Once you have good texts on your website, they remain for a long time. You don't have to invest in it again.
  • Visible in multiple search engines. When you invest in your visibility in one search engine, it is good to be visible in the others as well. The advantage of SEO is that the basis for ranking in all search engines is the same. So, if you manage to rank high in Google, this will also automatically apply to Bing or Opera.
  • Insight into your conversions. Did you know that with the help of Google Analytics, you can see exactly how many conversions your website traffic generates? So if you are wondering whether your SEO tactics are actually paying off, it is useful to have a look at the statistics of Google Analytics.

Learnit course

Are you interested in SEO and do you want to learn what SEO can do for your company? Then take a look at our course Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Get to know the basics of online search engines and learn how to get your own website noticed!

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Photoshop: a tricky programme or a windfall?

Is Photoshop really such a difficult programme, or is it not so difficult once you know the basics? And when can it be useful to use Photoshop? After reading this blog, you will know exactly which advantages Photoshop has to offer.

Brief history of Photoshop

In 1987, the foundations for the Photoshop programme were laid on a Macintosh Plus by student Thomas Knoll. Three years later, the first version of Photoshop for Mac users made its appearance and since then, the photo editing programme has rapidly become popular among professional users. Especially the function that makes it possible to work in different transparent layers is typical of the programme. This allows you, for example, to superimpose text and colours, while the original image remains intact.

Photoshop quick and easy webinar

Although Photoshop has become more accessible to the non-professional user over the years, it is recommended that you first take a course or purchase a textbook to get started with the basic functions. Are you interested in Photoshop and would you like to follow a short introduction webinar? Then sign up here Sign up for the free webinar Photoshop quick and easy, which will take place on Thursday 27 August. Are you interested in a Photoshop course as well as this webinar? Then register for here Then register for our 3-day Photoshop CC Basics course. Furthermore we also offer a Accelerated basic course course and a advanced course course. During our Photoshop CC Basics course you learn how the programme works and afterwards you are able to edit your own images. You will also notice that Photoshop is not such a difficult programme as often thought, with the right knowledge and skills Photoshop is also accessible for you!

Practical reasons for using Photoshop

Here are 4 important reasons why people use Photoshop:

  • Polishing photos: probably the most obvious reason. You can remove redness from faces, remove objects, add and subtract, focus and blur areas, and many other possibilities.
  • Photoshop Lightroom, a special component of Photoshop CC, lets you keep a nice overview of all your photos. You can easily group, tag and archive them.
  • Photoshop makes it easy to work with 3D graphics as well as 2D images. You can create and edit 3D animations as well as 3D objects in Photoshop.
  • To make working in Photoshop just a little bit easier, you can easily save your favourite settings in a "workflow", so you don't have to reinvent the wheel with every photo.
  • In short: Photoshop is the programme for everyone who wants to get creative in 2020!

    link]

    Prevent problems: How to make a backup of your WordPress website

    Oh no, website lost or compromised! Couldn't that have been avoided? Definitely. Having a backup of WordPress websites on hand is important in several situations. For example, if you have to deal with a hack and want to prevent your website from getting lost. Or if there are updates waiting for you, but there is a chance that you run into an error. In such situations it is useful and sensible to have a backup. You can do this in several ways, such as a backup to Installatron, Google Drive or to Dropbox. We will explain these three ways for you below and you will also find several links to useful pages with manuals and useful tips. We also tell you what you can do to improve your WordPress skills!

    Backup to Installatron

    When testing source files or updating, there is always a chance that problems arise. Making a backup to Installatron does not prevent these problems, but at least ensures that your website is not affected. This option is available to you if your web hosting provider supports Installatron. The backup process is easy to carry out. It is almost impossible to make a backup in a simple way: you only have to click on 'Backup'. You must have sufficient space available on the server, because it takes some time. This is because a backup is made of everything.

    Backup to Google Drive

    A backup to Google Drive can also be made automatically if you use the free UpdraftPlus plugin. Do you already have a Gmail account? Then you have 15GB of free storage space at your disposal and this is sufficient for the average WordPress website. You can get extra storage space at Google Drive, but there is a charge for this. After installing the free plugin it is possible to make a backup. It is also possible to restore a backup. You install the plugin via WordPress and then click on the UpdraftPlus plugin backups via 'Settings'. You then have the possibility to set a schedule with for example a daily backup for all files and the database. You can also set the schedule per month or per week.

    Backup to Dropbox

    Last but not least: the backup to Dropbox! Another easy and frequently used way to make a backup. For this you can use the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin. There is a free and paid version available. It is also possible to open a manageWP account to take advantage of even more functions. After installing the plugin and selecting the desired settings, the MySQL database is backed up periodically. The handy thing is that this automatically ends up in your Dropbox.

    More WordPress

    Building and managing a WordPress website obviously requires more than knowledge about how to make a backup. Practice makes perfect, so to become a real expert a training is perhaps not a bad idea. Learnit offers a three-day WordPress training, covering the most diverse topics related to this extensive tool. Not sure yet if this is something for you? In our free webinar WordPress you will be introduced to WordPress and some of the training topics. Read more about this webinar and watch it again via this link.

    link]

    A professional website with only basic knowledge of HTML: it can be done!

    In these modern times, when your presence online is just as important as in the real world, it is important to appear professional online as well. But how do you do that if you don't have enough knowledge of HTML to be able to build a professional website with it? Of course, you can have a professional website built by a professional web designer, for example, but this usually comes at a considerable price. An investment you might not want to or be able to make at this moment. In this case, it is wise to look at free alternatives. But don't they often look rather amateurish and have few options for making adjustments? Not always...

    Free templates

    There are many websites online offering free ready-made templates. You can usually choose from dozens of variations and styles. This means that you can always find a design that suits your product. If, for example, you have a company that repairs smartphones, then you might choose a template that is clean, well-organised and businesslike. If you have written a children's book, you should choose a colourful design that appeals more to children. In this way, you have the look for your page already in place based on your target group and style.

    Functions

    These ready-made HTML websites often have most of the functions found on a typical website. For example, you can easily create or delete multiple pages for your site. You can also choose different fonts and sizes and there are simple ways to insert photos or videos. Things like a contact form are also easy to set up. Often you can change the design of it, as well as the fields that can be personalised. There are also plugins that link to all your social media.

    HTML improvements

    As mentioned earlier, there are many variants online of easy-to-fill templates that do not have to cost you anything. Here is a good example of such a site, where an extensive range of templates is presented. It also explains what type of design they offer and what functions are available. Often, you can also purchase a hosting package from these providers for a small additional fee. This means that you can get a domain name, some e-mail addresses and a hosting package consisting of all the various ready-made sites they offer. This way, you arrange everything in one go.

    Learn it yourself

    The above options are of course very convenient and easy, but if you want to make your website heavenly the way you want it, you can also just acquire the knowledge about building and designing it yourself. This way you can design the website much more specific to your own wishes. This is possible at Learnit in only three days. With this training HTML and CSS you learn from beginning to end how to construct your own website. Perhaps another training will better suit your needs. For an overview of all training courses in the field of web design and web development , click here.

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    The power of Adobe Illustrator

    Designers and professional illustrators use it constantly: Adobe Illustrator. Whether you want to make a cartoon or a professional background illustration. You can do it all with Adobe Illustrator. It is not for nothing that the programme is in the top 3 of most used design software. The programme lends itself perfectly to the creation of professional illustrations, logos and icons and ensures that no quality is lost when you change the format. With a little basic knowledge, anyone can get started with Adobe Illustrator because the programme is very user-friendly. But what exactly is the power of this advanced software? We list the most important features and tips for you.

    The best colours for your design

    Before starting a design, it is important to consider what it will eventually be used for. If the image will be displayed on screen, choose the RGB colour mode in the document settings. This will prevent the colours you have chosen from being displayed in a way other than intended by you. If you have created images to be printed, such as a poster or a flyer, make sure the colour mode is set to CYMK. Where can you find this? When you have opened Illustrator, go to 'File' and then to 'Document colour mode'. Here you can choose between RGB or CYMK. The correct colour mode is guaranteed with Adobe Illustrator!

    Simple but effective

    Adobe Illustrator has been available on the software market since 1987 and to this day provides pixel-perfect illustrations. The programme works with vector graphics: simple basic forms such as points, lines and geometric shapes, which are eventually combined into a complex end product. You can't think it or make it in Adobe Illustrator. An advantage of the design software is that you can divide the illustration into layers. These layers ensure that you can work on the part of the illustration you have chosen and that the rest remains unprocessed. Did you make a mistake by accident? No problem! Press CTRL + Z (for Windows) or Cmd + Z (for Mac) and you can pick up where you left off.

    Perfect lines and 3D

    You can create clean lines quite easily with Adobe Illustrator. But what if you want to make a 3D drawing? The programme has a useful tool for this too, namely the perspective grid. With this grid, you can choose the perspective from which you want to draw and you can draw the lines over the grid, so that they are perfectly straight and completely according to your wishes. You can find the perspective grid under "View" where you will see "Perspective Grid". Click on this to see a choice of one-, two- and even three-point grids. Once you have clicked on it, you can always choose to lock or rotate the grid. User-friendliness at its best!

    Illustrator CC Basic course

    Do you want to learn what is possible with Illustrator? In our three-day Illustrator CC Basic course you will learn the basics of drawing in Illustrator and get to know the most impressive features of the software. Because the course is taught using the Open Learning Method, the content and depth of the topics can always be tailored to your personal learning goals and learning pace.

    link]

    Content marketing: what is your story?

    In content marketing, advertisements are still present, but there is no push to choose a certain product. By offering creative and valuable content to (potential) customers, an attempt is made to bring about a change in behaviour. With content marketing, we are actually trying to circumvent people's natural defence system against advertising by moving the commercial aspect into the background. We turn the whole marketing model around. First of all, we are going to look at what people are searching for in order to find out what is in demand. These questions are answered and that is how you try to attract them to you.

    Why choose content marketing?

    On today's Internet, the Web 2.0, a remarkable change is taking place. There is more and more interaction and people easily judge brands and organisations. When surfing the web, people are not looking for advertisements, but for information. The trick is that you have to become the one who provides valuable information. Marketers would like to believe that people talk about brands all day long, but this is of course not the case. Traditional marketing is sprinkled over people, while nobody is waiting for that. Content marketing works exactly the other way round. The target group plays a very important role.

    Target group is central

    If the target group is too large, this strategy will not work. You have to work with a specific person in mind for whom you are going to start the campaign. Take your audience into account and enter into a conversation to find out what exactly it is they are looking for. This can sometimes be quite complicated, because often you do not know in advance who exactly your target group is. So think carefully about who you are writing for. This is also called buyer personas: the specific description of the target group. It is, as it were, a fictitious person who meets various characteristics and who then becomes representative of your target group.

    Your story

    Today, all parties together determine what a brand is. As a marketer, you can create your own story, but it does not have to be the final image that the public has of your brand. Consumers form their own ideas and stories. All these factors fall together like pieces of a puzzle and together determine how people will perceive your brand. Sometimes it gets even crazier and people start creating their own stories based on the stories of other consumers. A lot of different content is created. The whole determines what we think of a brand and its image. So it's no longer about what the brand says it is. The brand is made by what everyone says about the brand. Nowadays it's like a pinball machine: you are the ball and as soon as you shoot it into the world, you lose control and you don't know what will happen. Thanks to content marketing, you can offer (potential) customers content they are actually waiting for. This way, you regain a bit of control.

    Content marketing training

    Do you want to learn more about content marketing? In our training you learn how to use content marketing to achieve your business goals. You learn which content your target audience is looking for and how you can create it. Then you learn various methods for promoting the content created and how you can measure and improve the results. During the training we alternate theory, practical exercises and reflection in a pleasant way. This training can be followed as a separate one-day course, but is also part of our seven-day Online Marketing course.

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    You can learn to program!

    Visit any job site and you will see it immediately: there is an unprecedented demand for programmers. If you are looking for a well-paid job with excellent future prospects, then learning to program is a must. Even for jobs where you do not program yourself, a programming language is an excellent addition to your CV. However, there are countless programming languages, so where is the best place to start? And which languages are interesting for the future? We made an overview of the 10 most important programming languages. Languages in which you can also receive training immediately: let those jobs come!

    Java

    Java was the most popular programming language for employers for many years. Although it has recently been surpassed by SQL, it is still very popular. Java is the standard for many enterprise software, is used by more than 9 million developers and is used to control more than 7 billion (!) devices worldwide. The programming language owes its popularity mainly to the simplicity and readability of the code, which makes it a good starting point for beginning programmers. Also, one of Java's basic principles is compatibility, which ensures that older applications continue to work.

    SQL

    You will find SQL everywhere. Database technologies such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and MicrosoftSQL keep banks, universities, hospitals, small and large companies up and running. It is no exaggeration to say that every computer and person with access to technology has come into contact with SQL in one way or another. For example, iOS and Android devices have access to SQLite, an SQL database, and there are countless mobile applications that use SQL directly.

    C

    C dates back to the early 1970s, when it was developed as a generic programming language. As one of the oldest programming languages in existence, C provides the building blocks for other popular languages such as C++, Java, Javascript and Python. C itself is mainly used for operating systems and industrial applications.

    C++

    C is an object-oriented programming language based on C. Since the language was developed in the 1980s, it has been used to develop Adobe and Microsoft applications, MongoDB databases and large parts of Mac OS/X operating system. It is considered by many to be the best programming language to learn for applications where performance is of great importance, such as games or audio/video editing.

    iOS / Objective C / Swift

    Until 2014, Objective C was the programming language used by the Apple operating system. It plays a role in Apple's OS X, iOS and its APIs. For a long time it was the language in which you as a programmer had to write iPhone applications, until Apple came up with its own programming language a few years ago: Swift. Swift is very similar in many ways to C++ and its predecessor Objective C, but is a little easier to learn for most programmers.

    Javascript

    Javascript - not to be confused with Java - is widely used to add interactivity to websites and is supported by all major internet browsers. Not only can it be used for simple functionality such as pop-ups or simple games, it also forms the basis for Node.js - a server technology widely used in real-time communication.

    PHP

    PHP was actually never intended to be a programming language. Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP in 1994 as a set of tools that enabled him to manage his personal website (Personal HomePage). Today, the meaning of the abbreviation has changed to Hypertest Pre-Processor and the language is used on servers to generate HTML websites dynamically. PHP is easy to learn, but has many advanced features that are of great value to experienced programmers.

    HTML / CSS

    HTML forms the basis for web pages. The programming language does this by basically laying down a structure that can be extended or adapted by other languages. For example, Javascript can be used to add advanced interactivity and CSS influences the presentation, formatting and layout of web pages. Although PHP can generate HTML from a server, knowledge of HTML and CSS is an absolute must for web developers.

    Python

    Python is a server-side programming language for websites and mobile applications. It is a relatively easy language to learn, thanks to the readability and conciseness of the code. In Python, it is often possible to express a concept in fewer lines than in many other languages. Python is used in applications such as Instagram and Pinterest in the form of the Django web framework. Google, Yahoo! and NASA all use Python.

    Ruby

    Ruby is - like Python - a programming language that is very user-friendly for beginning programmers. At the same time, the object-oriented language is very dynamic and therefore popular for developing websites and mobile apps. It is the basis of the Ruby on Rails framework used by Groupon, Shopify, Scribd and GitHub.

    Complete the list!

    Of course, there are many more programming languages. We have listed just a few of the most popular ones for you. Do you have any additions? Are you missing a language that you use really often? Share your knowledge and experience with us!

    Want to learn a programming language?

    Do you want to learn a (different) programming language? Then quickly discover our workshops and courses. Under the guidance of an experienced trainer, you will learn the basics of programming in an efficient manner. Are you a bit further on? Then it is possible to register for an advanced training. You will then go deeper into the subject matter. Such a training course is not only fun, but it is also closely linked to practice. That way, you know for sure that you can put your new knowledge and skills into practice immediately!

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    10 good reasons to use WordPress

    According to a recent estimate, WordPress is now used by more than a quarter of all websites, tens of millions in total. And not only hobbyists use this CMS (content management system), but also big names, including news websites such as those of the New York Times, Fortune and NRC. Why is that? In this blog we will give you 10 good reasons to start using WordPress too.

    1. Ease of use

    If you do not want to make things too complicated, WordPress hardly needs to be more than a Microsoft Word-like interface. Basically, users require practically no programming knowledge at all. That is exactly what this Content Management System is meant for: the user controls the content, WordPress takes care of the rest.

    2. It is open source

    The WordPress programming code is freely available and anyone can tinker with it. And so they do, for free and 24/7. This not only ensures a high-quality and always up-to-date system, but also means that you have complete freedom to customise it. You can customise (or have customised) absolutely everything.

    3. The community

    Because WordPress is used so frequently, almost every conceivable challenge has been encountered before. Most of the problems that new users encounter are therefore already solved online. And if that is not the case, the lively and generous WordPress community is often able to provide it quickly and free of charge, for example through the official forums.

    4. Themes

    WordPress is installed using so-called themes, which determine how your website will look - both at the back and in terms of the actual web design. There are thousands of themes available that allow you to design a website in a professional manner. Many users therefore no longer need a web designer at all.

    5. Plugins

    WordPress installations can be expanded with small programs called plugins. There is a plugin for almost every functionality these days. And the community is doing its job here too: there is an extensive rating system with which you can easily assess whether a plugin is good or not.

    6. Reliable

    WordPress is now more than ten years old, and many thousands of experienced programmers have worked on the project to improve it. This means that WordPress is far beyond the teething stage.

    7. SEO-friendly

    With a few simple adjustments - via a plugin or otherwise - WordPress is very SEO-friendly. Not only users, but also search engines love this CMS.

    8. Safe

    A common misconception is that WordPress is unsafe. That is because it is often attacked. But that is only the case because it has so many users: attackers simply go for maximum yield, and focusing on the largest system is a logical step. Users who carefully observe the basic security measures prescribed, such as regularly performing updates, are rarely affected.

    9. Scalable and powerful

    WordPress is often seen as a system for small users. However, this is completely unjustified. Some of the largest websites in the world use WordPress, with perhaps the most telling example being Wordpress.com, the service that offers a hosted version. Although no WordPress installation can cope with such an amount of internet traffic, in principle the system can. So WordPress can grow with you.

    10. It is popular

    The bigger WordPress becomes, the better. This is because it is open source, but also because more and more users are able to help each other. It certainly does not apply to every system, but in the case of WordPress, popularity really is an advantage.

    Do you want to work under the guidance of a trainer? Then sign up for our WordPress training or request a no-obligation quote.

    link]

    Export SQL database to CSV

    PHP allows you to easily present information from your database to your visitors in a CSV file. CSV (Comma Separated Values) is a simple format where all values are separated by a comma. It can be opened with Excel, for example, after which you can use it for data analysis or to create graphs.

    We are going to write a PHP script here that retrieves results from our database and puts them in a CSV file. In our case, the results of course exams.

    The first step is to retrieve the data from the database. For this, we use PDO(5 reasons for using PDO with SQL databases).

    $db_user = 'learnit';
    $db_pass = 'geheim';
    $db_name = 'uitslagen';
    $db_host = 'localhost';
    
    try {
        $db = new PDO("mysql:host=$db_host;dbname=$db_name;charset=utf8", 
                      $db_user, 
                      $db_pass, 
                      // Als een error optreed moet PDO een exception gooien
                      array(PDO::ATTR_ERRMODE => PDO::ERRMODE_EXCEPTION));
    	$query = "SELECT id, naam, email, resultaat FROM Uitslagen";
    	$pds = $db->query($query); 
    } catch(PDOException $ex) {
        echo "An Error occured: " . $ex->getMessage(); 
    	exit();
    }	
    

    We use a try-catch here to catch exceptions that may occur with a connection problem. The result of the query is a PDOStatement Object. We can retrieve the records from here, but first we need to make some preparations:

    header('Content-Type: text/csv' );
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="results.csv");
    

    With the help of the header function we modify the HTTP header. We want the visitor to be able to download the file directly. We do this by specifying in the header that it is a CSV file and that it is called "results.csv".

    Now that we have opened the standard output, we can start writing the CSV file itself:

    $fp = fopen('php://output', 'w');
    fputs($fp, chr(0xEF) . chr(0xBB) . chr(0xBF));
    

    In the CSV file we want to use the UTF-8 encoding. To ensure that Excel recognises that this is a UTF-8 encoding, the CSV file must start with 0xEF,0xBB,0xBF.

    Now we can add the first line to the CSV file. This contains the headings of the data:

    fputs($fp, "id, name, email, result");
    

    The ►C1 at the end of the string indicates a line break. If we did not add it, subsequent data would be pasted behind instead of on a new line. Please note that this only works in strings with double quotes.

    We repeat the following loop as long as records can be fetched. This puts the data into the CSV file.

    
    while($uitslag = $pds->fetch(PDO::FETCH_ASSOC)) {
    	fputcsv ($fp, $uitslag, ','); 
    }
    

    When writing to the file, we are helped by the fputcsv() function. It writes the array to the CSV file. The third argument of this function is the separator. Instead of the comma (,), we could also use another separator, such as the semicolon (;). To finish off, we close the file:

    fclose($fp);
    

    The entire script:

     PDO::ERRMODE_EXCEPTION)
                      );
    	$query = "SELECT id, naam, email, resultaat FROM Uitslagen";
    	$pds = $db->query($query); 
    } catch(PDOException $ex) {
       	echo "An Error occured: " . $ex->getMessage(); 
    	exit();
    }	
    
    header('Content-Type: text/csv' );
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="uitslagen.csv"');
    
    $fp = fopen('php://output', 'w');	
    fputs($fp, chr(0xEF) . chr(0xBB) . chr(0xBF) );
    fputs($fp, "id, naam, email, resultaat\r\n");
    while($uitslag = $pds->fetch(PDO::FETCH_ASSOC)) {
    	fputcsv ($fp, $uitslag, ','); 
    }
    fclose($fp);
    ?>
    

    SQL Basics training

    Are you interested in learning this programming language? Discover with an SQL training course data that previously remained hidden for you. In our two-day SQL Basis training, you will learn all the important ins and outs of SQL!

    link]

    Save visitor passwords safely with PHP? Use Hashing!

    You regularly read in the newspaper or on the Internet that passwords of Internet users are on the street, and that while website creators can easily prevent this. Find out how you can prevent password theft by reading this blog!

    What is the danger?

    Unlike computers, people are not very good at remembering. Yet you have to remember passwords for everything. As a result, many people use one password for several websites. This brings a big security risk. If a password is leaked, all accounts where this password is reused are immediately accessible.

    How do you prevent theft of visitor passwords?

    The best solution to prevent passwords from being stolen is simply not to store them! Instead, we are going to store the hash of the password. A hash function makes a password unrecognisable. Based on the hash, it is impossible to retrieve the input. A hash function always gives the same result for the same input. A strong hash function also ensures that two different texts do not result in the same hash (if this does happen there is a collision). Even if hackers succeed in obtaining a database with hashes, they still do not have any passwords.

    How do you use PHP's hash functions?

    Since PHP 5.5, it has become very easy to hash out passwords using the function password_hash(). This function has one mandatory argument: the password. In addition, the second argument can be used to specify which hashing algorithm should be used. If this is not specified, the strong BCrypt algorithm is used by default. In addition to hashing, this function also adds a Salt which protects against Rainbow Tables. The hash generation is as follows:

     
      $password = 'Secret Password
      $hash = password_hash($password, PASSWORD_BCRYPT);
      echo $hash;
    

    The generated hash is a string of 60 characters and can look like this: $2y$10$Se3mLsHueAYTM3G4Wd9hTuyfzPCRYtafImcOSO2U0H4290jPU.SGO. From this hash, it is impossible to retrieve the password. So you can safely store this hash in your database.

    To check if someone has entered a correct password we use the function password_verify(). We give it two arguments, the password entered at login and the hash we stored.

    
      $hash = '$2y$10$Se3mLsHueAYTM3G4Wd9hTuyfzPCRYtafImcOSO2U0H4290jPU.SGO';
      $wachtwoord = 'Onzin';
    
      if (password_verify( $wachtwoord, $hash)){
          echo 'Correct wachtwoord';
      } else {
        echo 'Incorrect wachtwoord';
      }
    

    In this case, the user password will produce a different hash to the one stored in our database. This way we can check if the entered password is correct, without having to save the original password. Even if a hacker gains access to our database, there is no password to be found.

    Trainings PHP

    Did you know that Learnit offers various trainings in PHP? During our training PHP Programming Basics helps you a lot in the world of PHP with practical examples. In the training PHP Programming Continuation we bring your PHP programming skills to a higher level, giving you a professional programming style and teaching you all the techniques needed for a mature web application. Click here for the complete overview of Learnit's PHP training courses.