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How To Diagnose Common Networking Problems

A computer network is bound to have network connectivity related issues, which is why every network user should be familiar with at least a basic level of network troubleshooting. Sometimes the issue can be resolved by simply tweaking a wire or typing a command, saving you hundreds on calling in an IT expert each time something goes wrong. The following simple guidelines take you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to diagnose and solve common networking problems:

  • The first thing to do should be to make sure the physical condition of the network, i.e. the network cable is intact.
  • Next, execute a command prompt with IPCONFIG /all. Make sure that the IP address, default gateway, and subnet mask are correct. If there is any error at this stage, modifying it should bring the network back online.
  • If that doesn’t work, the next step should be to use the PING command to ping the servers by IP address. This is one of the simplest commands to diagnose networking problems and is present in almost all operating systems. DNS issues should be ruled out by pinging the server’s name.
  • If these commands do not work, the issue usually lies in the internal DNS. Pinging a website like www.yahoo.com tests external DNS resolution.
  • If the DNS resolution is fine, you need to run NetStat ‘’’’a to rule out a Trojan or virus having infested the machine.
  • If no viruses are detected, a pathping or tracert run between the machine and the internet can help to identify any pending network problems. For instance, you might notice another computer using the same IP address and host name as your network. The solution for this is using Angry Ipscanner.exe to identify the host name or query the IP address. If you are working on a Linux or MacOS machine, you can use a similar tool known as traceroute.
  • If none of these techniques diagnose a network issue, this usually indicates that there is no problem in the machine, but the issue lies in the network itself. For this, try firing up Wireshark to listen to all the traffic and responses for your network. If you are not familiar with how to decode the data at this stage, you can make use of one of the many useful online resources available to get help with that.

Centex Technologies is a leading IT support and networking company providing complete computer network installation and repair services. We serve Dallas, Killeen and other surrounding areas in Central Texas. For more information, call us at - (972) 375-9654

How Gaming Has Revolutionized Marketing Strategies For Businesses

With one out of two adults in the United States owning a handheld device with internet access, it is becoming more important than ever for businesses to tap into the advertising potential of smartphone apps, a major part of which includes games. Smartphones have led to a boom in the online gaming industry, with an estimated 126 million Americans playing a game on their smart phone every month, making chances of you reaching prospective customers through gaming app marketing increasingly high.

The marketing strategies through smartphone games are countless, ranging from pop-up ads to marketers placing themselves in gaming apps. This marketing strategy is especially useful for businesses targeting the middle-aged demographic, which as per a recent survey by Flurry, are the leading users of game apps. Marketing through gaming apps helps you enter into the personal space of a user, with most users treating their smartphones as extensions of themselves. This makes it a lot easier to establish a deep connection with the user, which would previously be possible only through personal interaction.

However, when advertising in the gaming market, you need to have a thorough understanding of the math of the app business, where installation is not the end of the game. The real question that needs to be asked is not how many people are installing the gaming app that you are advertising on, but how many are actually retaining it. While advertising through gaming apps, you can choose between the following two options- advertising on someone else’s app, and creating your own app.

The first option makes sense for small businesses that have found a gaming app that targets their market. An example of this form of marketing is gaming companies that allow you to send coupons to smartphone users of their apps. Creating a marketing app for your business, on the other hand, is more challenging in terms of choosing the right nature of an app. “Gamification” of apps is being viewed as a great way to engage users and increase retention of the app. Your goal should be to find a way to merge your market with the kind of gaming app you choose.

A key marketing lesson to imbibe while creating a gaming app to market your business is to understand the power of free. Keeping your app free will entice more people to play your game by eliminating the risk involved in making a purchasing decision.

Centex Technologies provide Mobile Application Development Services to its clients. We also assist clients in planning and executing mobile ads and SEO.

Benefits Of Member Management System

Having a well-structured member management system can be highly beneficial to organizations, serving as an efficient means to record and manage membership data. This is especially important for organizations with sparse resources, such as non-profit organizations, where lagging behind on registrations and payments can cost the company heavily. With a modern membership management system in place, you can track payments, registrations, contact details, membership renewals, and more, in a single click. This is also a great way to distribute information among members, saving on time and other resources.

Here is a look at some of major features that make a member management system an indispensable component of every member-based organization:

  • The easy-to-search member database makes it possible to retrieve information regarding any member instantly.
  • The built-in email function helps to contact entire membership in a single go. This tool is great for sending invites, event confirmations, renewal reminders, etc. in bulk.
  • The members also have access to the member management system, which makes it possible to access information of groups joined by them, purchase products, and update contact information.
  • The member management system can also be used for event management. You can set up an event with information such as date, venue, capacity, etc. You can also control the number of registrations, send reminder emails, send invites, accept registration payments, etc.
  • New members can submit membership applications and make payments online on the system.
  • Such a system is scalable, hence making it easy to remove and add new members into the system.
  • The system can also be used to manage attendance and enable real-time tracking of the number of members attending a particular event, meeting, activity, etc.
  • A member management system is particularly useful for non-profit organizations, where these can be used to report extensively, hence meeting all the statutory needs of such an organization.
  • One-click view of current members eliminates duplication.
  • The fully-automated system makes it easy to activate new member accounts as well as deactivate old ones.
  • Along with managing membership data, the member management system can also be used for visitor management, maintaining details of every visitor on your premise.
  • The system also doubles up as an attendance management system, through which you can record attendance of members by member name, member number, units, etc. The attendance can be updated and tracked instantly through this system.

We at Centex Technologies, Dallas TX provide customized Member Management Software System to our clients. For more information call us at - (972) 375-9654

Benefits Of Cloud Applications

Cloud computing is a technique that is rapidly gaining popularity with SMEs, with an estimated $100 billion predicted to be spent on cloud computing services by 2014. Put simply, cloud applications are software apps that are based on the internet, as opposed to conventional applications that users would access through software downloaded or installed on to their computers. Cloud applications extend from software like Google Apps, Salesforce, etc., which are basically service providers, to everyday applications of common use, like Microsoft Office or accounting software.

Here’s a look at some of the major benefits offered by the use of cloud applications:

  • Cloud services are very easy to manage for businesses providing applications to number of users across different locations.
  • Another advantage offered by cloud computing is the simplified disaster recovery that it offers. While the average disaster recovery time for businesses that did not use the cloud was 8 hours, this was reduced to 2 hours through the use of cloud applications.
  • A significant amount of time and resources spent on managing on-line security can be saved through the use of cloud computing. This is because cloud hosting companies carry out automatic security updates and server maintenance.
  • The start-up costs involved in cloud computing are minimal, since this is essentially a pay-as-you-go service. Switching to cloud applications is a quick process with predictable ongoing expenditure, making these ideal for SME projects.
  • These applications offer an increased amount of collaboration and coordination among employees. It is possible for workers to sync the data they are working on, and work on apps of documents simultaneously. This form of collaboration technology is found to boost productivity at the workplace by a whopping 400%.
  • Through the use of cloud-based applications, employees can work from anywhere where they have internet connectivity. This helps businesses to offer flexibility in work schedules, and work-from-home options, which are desirable to achieve a work-life balance and hence have higher productivity.
  • Cloud applications make it possible for people in different time zones and locations to work on the same document simultaneously. It eliminates the need to send the document back and forth through email, with a different name each time. Instead, the document is stored at one central location, helping in a higher level of collaboration.
  • All the data remains stored in the cloud, which means that businesses do not have to worry about losing important data if the device on which it was stored gets stolen.

Centex Technologies develop cutting edge software applications for its clients. For more information, call us at - (972) 375-9654

How To Merge Google Plus Business Page With Google Places Listing

In an interesting feature introduced by Google, business owners can now merge their Google Plus business page with their Google Places listing. While this may sound a little confusing because of the similar names, it is actually as simple as merging any of your social network profiles with your Google Places listings. This means that whenever anyone views your listing on Google Places, you can further market your business through your Google Plus business page. Interestingly, Google allows you to merge only if you have a physical address where you service your customers. Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to carry out this merge:

  • The first step is to of course, create a new Google Plus page if you don’t already have one. Start by clicking on the Google+ link at the far left of your Google account. Next, click on the Pages icon, and then on “Create New Page”.
  • It is important to select the “Local Business or Place” in the next page that pops up, since you shall not be able to merge unless you choose this option.
  • Pay special attention while entering your phone number. You want to make sure that it is a local phone number, and the same one as is listed on your Google Places profile.
  • Upon entering the same phone number as that in your listing, you will see a pop-up from Google saying that it has found a matching phone number. This should be your Google Places listing.
  • Next, click on this listing and enter your actual business name and website, and then click on continue.
  • The final step is to click on the “Verify Now” button, and finally on the blue “Request postcard” button. This is the only option for Google Places-Google Plus merges.
  • The postcard usually takes around 7-10 days to arrive. Once you receive it, you need to click the “Enter PIN” button to complete the verification. You can request another PIN if you do not receive the postcard in 14 days.
  • Once your Google Places listing is merged with your Google Plus business page, you can make the most of this merge by uploading a cover image, writing a longer business description, and including links. Add to this your reviews and social updates all being listed on one page, and you have the much-needed competitive edge for your business.

Centex Technologies provide SEO, Google Places Optimization and Internet Marketing Services to its clients across Dallas and Killeen areas in Texas. Call Centex Technologies today at (972) 375-9654.

Tips On Optimizing Google Places Listings

With local search queries dominating Google, optimizing your website or local business on Google Place listings is a strategy that you cannot overlook. Ever noticed how local maps sit right at the top of search results on Google? With the relatively scarce competition in local search, it is a realistic aim to have your business showing in those very maps when users perform a local search for your business on Google. Take a look at these simple tips to optimize your business on Google Places listings-

  • Upon creating your listing, you shall need to furnish information regarding your business in various fields. Make sure that you fill all those fields with accurate and detailed information. Do not leave any section unfilled- right from business hours to additional services provided- it’s all important when it comes to Google Places listings.
  • It is a good idea to provide a keyword-rich description for your business. Subtly include the keywords that you want to be found for in the description, without distorting its sense.
  • It is also important to ensure that you are consistent in the information provided. This means that you should provide the same information regarding your business on all your social media profiles, as well as your website.
  • Regularly including special offers or discounts in your Google Places description could help in encouraging users to actually click on your listing when it appears in search engine results. Remember to regularly update these offers and offer users what you promised when they actually land on your website.
  • Including pictures in your Google Places listing is a good way to attract users, and to stand out in Google’s search results. This is especially true for businesses in which customers need to see a product before buying it, or where the name of the product being sold is not common enough for users to directly search for it.
  • Google Review is one of the most useful tools for webmasters seeking to optimize their Google Places listings. Encourage your loyal customers to write reviews of your company and include these reviews on your listing. You could also consider uploading video testimonials, or asking clients to upload pictures of them at your establishment. User generated content and positive reviews are amongst the most powerful tools when it comes to local search engine optimization.
  • Google itself also encourages its users to post reviews, by giving star ratings on map listings.

Benefits Of Optimizing Photos On A Website

No matter how amazing your web design is, it is of no use if users have trouble loading your page and the images on it when they visit your website. Lagging speeds and images that refuse to load are every web user’s pet peeve, and as a web master, the simplest thing you can do to make sure your website loads quickly, is effectively optimizing the photos on it. While faster loading time is a key benefit of photo optimization, here’s a look at some of its additional benefits-

  • Photo optimization for your website is that it is a way to promote your products discreetly by actually showing them to your users.
  • Optimizing photos on your website also helps you to figure in image search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This could be a great advantage considering the significantly lower competition in image search.
  • Having a compelling image could make all the difference when it comes to getting noticed among a pool of search results. This is because people are generally more visually stimulated, because of which a picture, of say, home décor, is likely to catch one’s eye much quicker than a block of text on how to decorate your home.

So how exactly can you optimize photos on your website and ensure a positive user experience? Here are a few simple tips-

  • The first step is to resize your images by choosing PNG and JPG files over GIF files, and further compressing these images. This results in images that load a lot faster when a user visits your website, yet look just the same as their heavier versions. The key lies in striking the perfect balance between compression and quality.
  • You could also make use of the various image optimization tools available online. These include tools like Shrink O’Matic, Smush.it, GIMP, RIOT, ImageMagick, etc., all of which are easy to use, and help save a lot of time and resources for image optimization.
  • Renaming your images with keyword-rich and descriptive titles is also an effective photo optimization strategy that could help you rank higher in image search results. The titles should be brief and concise, and should be an accurate description of what the image is about.
  • Adding an alt-text and defining the height and width of the image in its HTML code is also instrumental in boosting loading speed.

Centex Technologies, Dallas provides faster loading websites for its client across Texas. For more information, call at - (972) 375-9654

Elements Of Website Design For Smartphones

With mobile devices accounting for a major and growing percentage of website visitors, it is becoming necessary for business owners to think of ways to make their websites suitable for these devices. Right from the iPhone to Android and iPads, there is a huge market to cater to when it comes to mobile users of websites. If you are ready to make the big switch, and introduce your website to the league of responsive websites, discussed below are a few key elements of website design that are worth bearing in mind.

The three principle challenges while designing a website for smart phones are- screen resolution, screen view (portrait/ landscape), and flash support. Responsive web design provides a ready solution structured around these challenges, by creating a website that responds to user behavior. The key element of such a website design are-

  • Flexible grids and layouts- This ensures that the various elements of a website design fluidly adjust depending on the resolution of the screen they are being viewed on.
  • Flexible images- These enable viewing smaller versions of the same images on smaller screens.
  • CSS3 media queries- These decide whether or not to display certain elements depending on the display device being used.

The major benefits of creating a responsive web design for your website are-

  • You do not need to spend money on creating multiple versions of your website.
  • Your web design is future-ready, as it shall be compatible with any new smart phones or mobile devices introduced in the market.
  • Users shall have a positive experience of visiting your website irrespective of the device they use.

Some useful tips that can help to make your website smart phone ready include-

  • Try to adopt the design of native smart phone applications, such as action buttons, and back buttons in your web design.
  • Set the “viewport” default to “zoom” for modern smart phones, to ensure that visitors to your website experience maximum text clarity with a 200% increase in readability.
  • Integrate your mobile web content with native apps like mail, maps, YouTube, phone etc. for an enhanced user experience.
  • Ensure enough space between all clickable elements on your mobile website, to make them easily “tappable”.
  • Be clear about what most smart phones support and what they do not, when attempting to embed media into your website.

We at Centex Technologies provide Web Development & SEO Services in Dallas TX. For mobile friendly website design, contact us at Dallas TX office - (972) 375-9654.

Tips To Plan An Effective Computer Network For Office

Effective computer networking can help to streamline things at the workplace, improving connectivity between different computer systems, while also boosting efficiency through shared auxiliaries such as printers, fax machines, scanners etc. Such a network can either be wireless or wired, depending on various factors such as the number of computers, the budget, and the type of networking desired. The following tips guide you on how to plan both wireless and wired computer networks for your office-

  • Ensure that the wireless router is placed at a location that is central to all the wireless users. This reduces the chances of broken range, as well as external attacks.
  • It is a good idea to change the password of the router immediately when you receive it, since the preset passwords, are usually predictable and easy to guess for hackers.
  • When it comes to a wireless network, it is increasingly important to protect your network using a complex encryption code. This code must be entered on all computers in the network, to ensure limited user access to the internet service as well as company data.
  • In case of a wireless network with a large number of computers, you might need to extend the signal of the router using a network cable that connects additional computers to access points around the office.
  • When choosing between wireless and wired networks, remember that the connectivity of the latter is a lot better in terms of signal strength. However, wireless networks are the preferred option where workstations need to be set up in places where cable connectivity is not possible.
  • When installing cable routing, pay special attention to the proximity of these cables to other wires and cables in office.
  • Think ahead while planning network topography in a wired network. Also remember to keep the number of switches to each user minimal, to maximize network efficiency.
  • It is a good idea to have a centralized backup server to which each computer is periodically updated.
  • Before installing a router for your wired network, you should ask your provider if it supports VoIP. With the increasing popularity of this business phone system, you want to be able to install it at any point that you wish to.

Centex Technologies is a leading IT Support and Computer Networking Company providing computer network installation and support services to its clients across Central Texas including Dallas and Killeen.

Promoting Your Business With Mobile Apps

Having an effective mobile app for your business is undoubtedly one of the most efficient ways to reach out to potential and existing customers in today’s times. With the skyrocketing popularity of handheld internet devices, right from mobile phones to iPads and tablets, any smart business owner would know that a mobile app is a surefire way to keep people hooked to your business in real time. Business promotion through mobile apps has an interesting aspect to it, as it does not require you to blatantly promote, but instead relies on subtle promotion through a positive user experience.
The following tips tell you how you can make the most of mobile apps for business promotion-

  • Whether you intend to use someone else’s app or are willing to create your own, the first step to a successful promotional campaign through mobile apps is to have a clear plan of action in mind. Take out time to outline who you want to target, what effect you wish to achieve, and how you shall monitor your progress.
  • It is a good idea to integrate your mobile app strategy with an existing marketing campaign, such as on social media networks or on your website. This is because having a marketing strategy that thrives solely on mobile applications is less likely to succeed than a campaign that is integrated across multiple channels.
  • Just creating an app is not enough. A huge part of making a mobile app work is promoting it and getting people to download it. Start off by your own online channels, such as your website and social media profiles. Make sure that these pages have a clear call-to-action for users to download your app. You can also engage in an exclusive online marketing campaign, including promotional emails and social media marketing for your app.
  • If it is financially viable for your business, you might want to call in an expert to formulate mobile applications for your business based on the existing material that you have. You can even get an app that serves for face-to-face interaction with clients and customers, which increases customer satisfaction manifold.
  • It is important to have a clear plan in mind to monitor the progress of your app. This should not just be limited to how many people have downloaded the app, but also other vital analytics, such as website visits generated from the app, coupon sales, and general increase in revenue from the app.

Dallas TX based Centex Technologies provide Mobile Application Development services for IPhone, and Android phones. For more information call us at our Dallas TX office - (972) 375-9654.