Market Research

When conducting market research businesses need to take risks and may be uncertain on the performance of those risks, however market research allows businesses to minimize the risk.

Market research in a dynamic market can be difficult as it can be hard to gauge what is an acceptable metric and one that will not change or become inaccurate. Businesses invest thousands in trying to calculate what the next big trend will be and even more in advertising.

  • Selling Products is the ultimate goal for market research, however it may allow a business to better define its product for market
  • Dynamic markets can provide access points for rapidly growing start-ups
  • Markets can be dominated by Oligopolies, Monopolies or have low demand, which can mean that a business will struggle to set-up there
  • Market research could be very expensive for a business and it has many pitfalls and benefits

There are a number of techniques that businesses can use to identify if they should set-up a business.

  • Competitor Analysis, anything that allows a business to know what the otherbusiness competing are up to is competitior analysis.
  • Crime Levels, Crime can ruin a business so it is important that a business is in a safe loaction, a jewlers in a poor area won’t do very well.
  • Average Wage, wages could contribute to the staffing levels available for the businesses.
  • Footfall, people who walk past the business.
  • Client Need, Some business may setup new premisises as a client has created a demand.
  • Overhead, a rented building with too high overhead may not be viable as a solution.
  • Start-up Cost, some businesses cannot create a start-up without initial funding, especially if their project has great risk.
  • Population/Target Market, local area business may not be able to set-up a business because the demand is so low.
  • Public Opinion, some people may not like the idea of a business setting up in a particular area.
  • Local Economy, the local area may not be affluent enough.
  • Building Space, some business premises may not be large enough.

Some Market Research Techniques

Businesses can use multiple techniques to find out these aspects, such as:

  • Internet
  • Survey
  • Observation
  • Landlord Conversation
  • Questionnaire

market research creative study

Market research does have limitations,

  • You cannot constantly keep asking the same customers
  • You cannot ask some questions
  • Data could be inaccurate
  • It is expensive
  • It is not always your own data
  • It product idea could be stolen
  • The market could be fast changing
  • There could be leading questions or biased interviews when asking individuals

 

 

Using Hashlib to Securely store user passwords and credentials.

What is hashing?

Hashing a password means that users cannot have their passwords compromised when a database engineer is reading cleartext in user databases (to a degree, the passwords could be decoded, but hashing them makes them illegible to someone who is not doing anything extensive). And also prevents hackers from reading passwords in plain text and can be compromised by collision attacks.

Additionally when hashing a password a salt may be added to the password, this prevents a database from being attacked by dictionary attacks.

Why Hash Passwords?

Storing User credentials in Plain Text is generally as bad practice as it allows anyone who reads the file (or computer) to see the password, username or any other credential without any sort of protection, In some cases it is against the law, such as PCI SSC Data Security Standards which handles debit and other card types. The solution to this is to Obfuscation in the form of hashing. Hashing a password makes a standard password seem completely random.

How hashing works

When a user signs up for a website or any other form that requires secure credentials, such as a password, username, email address or address, that user will fill in a form that will ask these credentials, then the web server will both hash and store the hash, the server will ‘throw away’ the original password and keep the hash. In a more secure environment the user may also be given a salt, this may be unique to the user or unique to the application (The user will not know the salt, the salt is owned by the server and will be kept secret.). When hashing both the password and salt will be combined and hashed.

How to hash a string in Python

This tutorial uses Hashlib as its hashing encoder which uses the ever bug free OpenSSL…

First we need to import hashlib and encode the input, then finally we need to check for a match.

How to Configure Apache to use Virtual Hosts

Using Apache is Good, but for one website is limiting its potential you can create multiple websites, domains and sub-domains with Apache, see below.

 

 

First you need to stop your server, you can do this on lunix by entering
[box type=”shadow”] $ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop [/box]

into your terminal, this allows you to make changes to files in your server without breaking it, for windows you need to stop Apache using Xammp, see below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Enable Mod_log_config browse here

[box type=”shadow”]xamppapacheconf[/box]

and in httpd.conf remove the # from this line

[box type=”shadow”]#LoadModule log_config_module modules/mod_log_config.so[/box]

to look like this

[box type=”shadow”]LoadModule log_config_module modules/mod_log_config.so[/box]

 

next using an FTP program or other method, go to your website’s root directory such as

[box type=”shadow”]/home/*/public_html/cgi-bin/[/box]

 

Or for windows

[box type=”shadow”]C:xampphtdocs[/box]

This is the base of your web server, and probably where your Index.html is located, create two folders, Domains and Subdomains, this is where your domains will be stored. See below

Domains, Subdomains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Domains, Place the dome of your website, replacing dots with hyphens like so

Domains, if

 

 

 

(Also add any other websites that you plan to host on the server)

Then copy the data that was in your root of the server into the domain folder on the server like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

then paste  into your domain folder like this

 

Paste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So your Server should now have the ‘root’ of the server in

[box type=”shadow”]WEBROOTDomainsinfinityflame-co-ukindex.html[/box]

or subsequent folders in Linux.

now you need to redirect traffic from your website to the correct folder, this is done with virtual Hosts’s, and is also how you add sub domains see below

browse to your Apache installation folder and go to httpd-vhosts.conf

[box type=”shadow”]apacheconfextrahttpd-vhosts.conf[/box]

 

and at the bottom add the following code replaceing my domain, with yours.

now test the website, start Apache and browse to your domain, you should see your site as you did before, you have now configured your website to use Virtual Hosts

now you need to add other domains and subdomains, See Here

Xampp and Apache

I recently played around with Apache and fond it incredibly educational.

I used Apache for multiple websites and sub-domains, and its a great web server. and I like Xampp’s user Interface, allowing me to edit, configure and Error check my site.

Xampp Control Panel
Xampp’s user interface, server side

 

Don’t get me wrong though, there are some downfalls when putting it through its paces using Owncloud I discovered that php supported was only allowing 2GB uploads, because it is 32Bit, I later discovered that Xampp is only 32Bit for Windows. This was a major disappointment for me, but I still found workarounds.

Apache is great and easy to use with Xampp, I recommend that anyone wanting to get into web servers and general Web hosting try it out first. I hosted it on my Windows Server, But using a server is completely unnecessary, I was also able to run it on my Laptop.

 

For a test Environment or to start out on Web Servers, I recommend Xampp. Its a trade up over usability and performance on Windows.