Generate Images From HTML With AWS Lambda

A common requirement is to generate images from HTML or CSS code e.g. for barcodes or embedding contents into emails. Running this job on a dedicated server environment often results in over-provisioning the ressources that’s why AWS Lambda is the perfect solution for that task.

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing service which means you do not need to take care of provisioning your hardware, updating the software and upgrading CPU ressources because Amazon does all that for you – without you even noticing that. Therefore it is an awesome use-case for “on-off” workloads. In this blog post we will walk through the different steps that are necessary to run the wkhtmltoimage tool on AWS Lambda to generate images from HTML.

Generate Images From HTML With AWS Lambda
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WordPress Cache Busting – or what to do if my design changes do not appear?

As the owner of a WordPress website or blog you may know the situation: you artificially made some design changes in the admin area and as soon as you preview the page the changes are simply not there – no matter how hard you try. That’s when a technique called Cache Busting is required.

Cache is in the Way

One of the many reasons for this behaviour may be the browser’s caching mechanisms. Basically it makes a lot of sense for the browser to not reload all the Stylesheets and JavaScript files each and every time that a user visits your page because the frequency with that these files change in general is very low. That’s why a lot of websites instruct the browser to cache static files like CSS and JavaScript for e.g. 1 year. Therewith lots of bandwidth and downloading power on the browser side and requests on the server side is saved and the website can be rendered dramatically faster.
A good in-depth explanation of various browser caching mechanisms can also be found here.

WordPress Cache Busting – or what to do if my design changes do not appear?
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How to Correctly Evaluate Magento Extensions?

The Magento Marketplace consists of thousands of individual extensions from lots of different vendors for all kinds of use cases. This blog post discusses the topic of how to correctly evaluate Magento Extensions regarding their quality.

Each of these steps is meant to be executed sequentially and the extension should not be used if one of the steps cannot be finished successfully.

How to Correctly Evaluate Magento Extensions?
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How Personalization Will Look Like in 2025?

Personalization techniques are trending these days and experts predict, that businesses will increase their profit by up to 15 % in a few years with the help of smart personalization. So let us take a short, highly subjective look into the near future of how personalization will look like in 2025.

How Personalization Will Look Like in 2025?
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The Difference Between Recommendations and Personalization

In lots of articles on the web about recommendation engines the terms Personalization and Recommendations are used equivalent whereas they are definitely not.
This blog post will shed some light on the difference between recommendations and personalization and how to distinguish both.

The Difference Between Recommendations and Personalization
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How to Build an Alexa Skill for your Online Shop with Recolize in 15 Minutes?

Building an Alexa Skill is very easy if you combine it with Recolize personalized product recommendations. In the following I will describe the required steps and during the course of this blog post we will develop a sample skill that you can use as a starting point for your individual skill. The sample skill is available on our Github account.

We will create a so-called Custom Alexa Skill that will be able to simply answer the question “Alexa, open Recolize and ask what can you recommend to me today?” or “Alexa, open Recolize and ask what is the recommendation for today?“.
Therefore we need the Skill definition and additionally a AWS Lambda function that will trigger our Recolize recommendation API. The beauty of AWS Lambda is that you do not need to provision any servers but the so-called serverless framework will only be active if someone asks Alexa to trigger your skill. For more information on AWS Lambda functions see the official documentation.

We use the official Ask CLI commands to easily deploy both the skill itself as well as the Lambda function that will call the Recolize API.

How to Build an Alexa Skill for your Online Shop with Recolize in 15 Minutes?
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Show more with the Recolize Carousel

The recommendations generated by our Recolize Recommendation Engine are delivered in the form of a carousel by default:
Recolize Karussell

A carousel is a component that contains a list of elements (preferably images) that can either be horizontally or vertically displayed. The navigation works in both directions (left-right or top-down) and may additionally be created with or without an animation, e.g. a blending effect.

(Source (German))

The carousel is nowadays used on a variety of websites as preferred display format (e.g. the Facebook Carousel).

Show more with the Recolize Carousel
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