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review 2019-05-23 17:56
Outstanding LGBTQ novel encompassing immigration, grief, PTSD, and has a sci-fi twist; this debut is an easy 5-star
The Grief Keeper - Alexandra Villasante

I can already say that this will be on my list as one of my top and most impactful reads of the year (and it’s only May). I’ve not read too many books lately that can bring me to shed both happy and sad tears, as well as make me drop my jaw, and cause me to put the book down for moments so I could collect my thoughts. And although the title would suggest that ‘The Grief Keeper’ is filled with sadness, it also brings with it a bright message of love and hope.

 

The novel opens with seventeen-year old Marisol being interviewed in a federal border detention center, having just crossed into the U.S., after fleeing El Salvador with her younger sister Gabi, afraid for their lives after the death of their brother Pablo. She has dreamed for years for a life in the States, perfecting her English, and getting lost in the imaginary world of her favorite TV show ‘Cedar Hollow.’ When it looks like her asylum request will be denied, and a new and curious opportunity to have it granted arises, Marisol will do just about anything for her and her sister to make that happen. And that’s by becoming a ‘grief keeper.’

 

Debut author Alexandra Villasante has written an expertly crafted novel about the complexities of immigration, grief, sexual orientation, PTSD, depression, and, new love. There are even more nuanced topics woven in  such as attitudes towards immigrants (legal and otherwise) being hired to do menial jobs in this country, our political climate, and how the LGBTQ community suffers in other countries (ie which would cause a young girl like Marisol to flee her home).

This story gives so many deep, complex topics to talk and think about but at the core there is this beautiful story about Marisol and Rey (grieving her own brother) who are discovering their relationship with each other, including Marisol who would never have been allowed to explore this part of her back in the country she has fled. Persecution of LGBTQ youth and ‘conversion by rape’ is brought into the spotlight and from this story of family and migration, I was enlightened and educated.

 

This is a novel about connections as well as grief, and Villasante sheds light on PTSD, and gives new meaning to the idea of taking someone else’s pain away so they don’t have to suffer. There are serious moral and ethical questions to the procedure that’s used so that Marisol will absorb Rey’s grief and pain (this actually brings quite a futuristic aspect to a very realistic story, which I really liked) and shows the extent that Marisol will go to gain entry to the U.S., and it’s heartbreaking.

 

I read this book and I felt so many different emotions, and the very fact that it’s able to envelope immigration criticism, discussion on sexual identity, loss, classism, plus a loving sister relationship, AND a sci-fi twist, make it a VERY special book. I think it belongs on every school and YA library shelf everywhere and I hope many people will pick it up, even if it’s initially because of the insanely gorgeous cover (thanks to Kaethe Butcher and Kelley Brady), and that they end up holding it close to their hearts.

 

*Trigger warnings/mentions: sexual assault, suicidal ideation, violence, bombing, PTSD

 

RELEASE DATE: 6.11.19

 

 

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/34522727-the-grief-keeper
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text 2019-05-10 06:50
7 Things to Consider for Before Hiring a Magento Developer

hen you are looking to create an ecommerce store, there are a number of steps that you have to go through. You have to figure out what you are going to sell, where you will source it from, who your shipping partner will be, how much you can spend on the whole operation, how many staff members you will need, how to build the e-commerce store, etc.

 

It can be overwhelming when you figure out that you have to go much deeper into each of these steps to get the value for your buck.

 

Once you have done all the ground level work, you have to turn your attention to your website.

 

While it is not your main product, it enables the selling of your products. Therefore, it is important to make it efficient, user-friendly and multi-device responsive.

 

All of this sounds pretty normal, but to execute it, is much more difficult.

 

Out of the many options you have of the e-commerce platforms, like Odoo, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc., Magento is the top of the class.

 

 Magento platform can be utilized according to their available editions. Magento 2 community edition is free of cost and is an open source which is available for all. On the other hand, there is a Magento 2 Enterprise edition for which you will have to spend a lot of money.  If you can invest that much money, then you should definitely go for the Enterprise edition.

 

When you are done deciding the edition you are going with, the next natural step is to hire a Magento developer to accommodate some customizations for your e-store.

When you are hiring a Magento developer, you can go many ways. A freelance developer, a firm that has more than one developer, and a firm that has Magento certified developers.

 

Of course, the Magento certified developers are the best option, and if you can go along with them, then they can use their expertise in Magento to help you with your e-store.

You can explore various companies that have certified developers and pick the one that is giving you the most services at a reasonable price in their bundle. At the end of the day, a good web solution shouldn’t empty your pocket. So let’s look at which developers to avoid and what are the positive signs to look for when hiring a Magento developer:

 

What kind of developers should you avoid hiring?

 

The wrong kind of developers will charge you exorbitant prices for very little work, try to impress you with a flashy pitch that promises you much more than they can deliver. They will either not honor the timeline they have given for delivery, or not be ready with the full work at the said time. They often lack the necessary team or expertise that they promise.

 

The following things to check for while hiring Magento developers:

 

Magento developers that provide more than just basic development services are more valuable for the cost you are paying. There are various services you will need in association with your Magento store.

Here are a few of the things you should make sure to check before signing any deals with the Magento developers:

  • The right Magento developers will be able to understand your business and build your website accordingly.
  • They will not hesitate to show you their portfolio and the cases that they have already worked on. This will help you see what they are capable of and their way of working with clients.
  • You should hire Magento developers who are transparent in their way of working.
  • The right Magento developers will also be able to help you migrate to updated versions whenever necessary.
  • You should make sure to hire Magento developers who will provide the necessary maintenance and support.
  • They should also be able to handle customization of Magento according to your requirement.
  • E-stores generally require some extensions, so it would be beneficial if the developers are able to develop those extensions for your store or integrate ones that are already available on the market to make them work seamlessly for you.

 

If you take care of these points, then you will have nothing to worry. You will be looking at a long term, supportive partnership with them. And in the grueling world of e-commerce, that goes a long way.

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text 2019-04-06 07:13
A Comprehensive Overlook of Magento Migration Process

If you are the owner of an ecommerce store that is built on the Magento platform, then you must have already heard that the company is ending support for Magento 1 in June 2020. And it is a necessity to migrate your web store from Magento 1 to Magento 2 before the big change. It must seem like it’s away in the future and you have the leisure to pursue this matter later but understanding the migration process, choosing a Magento migration service provider, etc can take a few months.

 

But worry not, we are going to guide you through the whole process in this article. It will tell you why you should migrate, the difficulty of the migration process, how to migrate and finally, the benefits of migrating to Magento 2.

 

The major difference between Magento 1 and Magento 2 we have highlighted in this article is the ability to run PWA (Progressive Web Applications) in Magento 2. And we assure you that this feature is worth all the trouble.

Let’s start with the problems you might face if you don’t migrate your web store to the latest version of Magento.

 

Possible Threats of Not Migrating:

 

Regular updates in software make sure that all security threats are addressed to keep your site safe from cyber attacks. The updates keep everything running smoothly making sure that there are no data leaks or malfunctions of these sorts.

 

And as an ecommerce site, the data you have is extremely sensitive because it is your users’ personal data. And loosing that data could cause a catastrophe for your business. Additionally, if the users feel that their data is in danger, they might not feel safe sharing their personal information with your business. Indirectly, you could lose a major chunk of your business.

 

And I am sure no business owner wants that.

 

Migrating to a newer, better version of Magento will continue protecting your site against all these threats. But it isn’t just about threats. There is more to this migration process.

 

Hassles of migrating to Magento 2:

 

But migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 will not be easy. The first thing to note is that it will be more expensive than Magento 1. It will also take a few months for a Magento 2 development company that provides Magento 2 migration service to transfer everything to the new platform.

 

Also, the themes that you used for Magento 1 will not work for Magento 2. So, you will have to build or purchase new themes. The same goes for the extensions. Because the themes and extension data cannot be migrated, you will have to build them from scratch.

These are the possible difficulties that you might face after taking the decision of migrating your store to Magento 2. But after reading the next section of our article, your frown would be turning into a smile.

 

Reasons to migrate to Magento 2:

 

Why should you migrate to a new platform though? Magento 1 is familiar ground and migrating is a hassle. So, what do you get out of migrating?

 

The new things that Magento 2 has to offer are worth this hassle.

 

After migrating to Magento 2, you will be able to integrate Artificial Intelligence in your Marketing and Sales strategies and target your audience more effectively. You can use chatbots to automate your customer service saving the resources, efforts and the time of your Sales and Support team. Feature-wise Magento 2 brings with it more speed, added security, increased SEO friendliness and an easier to navigate dashboard.

 

And the most talked about feature that Magento 2.3 will offer is PWA (Progressive Web App), which means you can provide a mobile app like an experience of your webstore to your customer without actually having a mobile app. You won’t have to invest a big sum of money in developing a mobile app but you will be providing a necessary mobile app feature to your customer base.

 

Talk about a win-win situation.

 

However, that is not it. Using PWA feature, the customers will be able to add a shortcut of your web store (mobile experience) on the home screen which will enhance your customer life cycle. Additionally, PWA also have push notifications, just like apps.

 

Mobile app like features without actually having to put the efforts in developing one. Amazing, isn’t it?

 

Winding up

 

It is a long, cumbersome process, and if you own an ecommerce store that is built on Magento 1, migrating to Magento 2 should be your priority. It will save your store from a lot of avoidable issues, and give it a revamp that can elevate the customer experience on your store.

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text 2019-04-04 12:38
Magento Migration Development - Seasia Infotech

As we know Magento 2 is more powerful than Magento 1 and most the merchants are converting their store to magento 2. Migrating the Magento store from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is not an easy job. While migrating the store we need to consider various inspects like products location, website design impact, SEO campaign impact etc. While we planning to Magento Migration Development then should be consider all possible impacts and should hire professional company or an agency to overcome the traffic loss. 

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video 2019-03-25 06:40

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