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Question You Should Ask Before Hiring a web development services company

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Always important to choose the right web development services company:

It is difficult to imagine the word without blog and websites. Whether you are about to invest in a new business or making money through blogging, a website becomes the essential one. When it comes to determining the company’s credibility, the website’s design is the number one criterion. Hence, you should be careful while hiring a website company for your projects. Well, it can be daunting and make you feel overwhelmed as you will be able to see hundreds of thousands of web development services at one go. It needs effort and persistence to choose the best one of your choice.  Here are the four questions that you should ask before hiring a web design company.

Web-DevelopmentWhat is the approach of the company?

If your website is slow, chances are that the visitors will migrate to the next possible site for their business. People don’t have to spend their precious time navigating the website that acts slowly than usual. Recent research states that about 40% of internet users will close the website which takes more than 3 seconds to load the content.  In this way, you will be more likely to lose your business. The usability and user experience matter that most.  To better understand the company, you are going to hire, you can put forth some kind of questions related to the opinions, experience, research designs etc. More importantly, they should be open to answering these questions.

Web design services provided by them:

A good web designing company should be equipped with a team of an experienced web designer to handle planning, development, marketing and much more. Web developer at Miami ensures that the web designs are trendy and up-to-date. The talented team should be qualified to produce expected results. Here is what a well-rounded web development service provides

  • Comprehensive web design, planning, development strategies that should meet industrial standards.
  • Compelling web content to allure the clients and get them glued to your content.  A well-organized team of experienced Search engine optimization experts.

Nowadays, search engine optimization becomes the key to revenue no matter what kind of business you are doing. If your website ranks low, the user will not be able to browse your website, which leads to loss of revenue, trust, and outcome. So, a good web designing company should take care of the SEO as well. Just make sure that web development service you are dealing with is reliable, well-established and trustworthy.

Their credentials and qualifications:

It is essential to know about their credentials and qualifications to ensure that they are perfect. They should be able to give you some of their previous examples and their success stories. Apart from that, you can ask about the types of client that have worked in their past. By asking such questions, you will be able to analyze their qualifications, web designing skills.

You search for the best web designing service ends at Simplio Web Studio where You can check their website’s credentials, qualifications, success stories that beyond your expectations.  Just hire them and get your clients glued to your website.

How to Find Content Ideas for a Keyword?

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The importance of keywords in any content can be related to the importance of a lady in any family. Like the entire world inside a house revolves around the lady of the house- similarly any content revolves around a relevant keyword or a set of keywords.

While developing any sort of content or thinking about the content ideas, it is very crucial to keep in mind that the main or the core keywords must reflect the voice of the content and vice-versa. The two must complement each other from the beginning to the end of the content.

Image: Markgrowth.com

At times, we often come across various contents or articles where the meaning and the tone of the article is not in sync with the core keywords.

Sometimes the task of finding the right set of keywords and developing the exact content in accordance with the same isn’t easy. Often, the content ideas you come up with, are unable to quantify the idea behind main keyword. Well, don’t worry. Following points will surely help you to find great ideas for a keyword.

  1. To start with, make full use of the recommendations provided by Google. You don’t need to copy anything but taking recommendations expands the room for great ideas.
  2. Be a watchful competitor, in your concerned field. Be it the content for a marketing website or a simple blog content, it is very important to be aware of your fellow competitors and their work. It would be great if you focus on collecting unique ideas about the content for a specific keyword, something is which is entirely different from what your competitors have already done. It is also a good SEO strategy in the marketing world.
  3. The best way to find good content ideas for a keyword is to read, read and read as much as you can. The reading part must be done on the topic specified for the content.
  4. While compiling the ideas of the content make sure to put in some catchy subtopics along with a topic which should contain the main keyword, if possible. It is recommended to play with some out-of- the box words for a subtopic in the content. It would be better if those words have some relevance to the keyword.
  5. Once you have come up with the rough ideas for a content it is the time to edit them nicely. This part must be done with utmost care and all the flaws must be removed. Read and re-read it, as an audience and see if the keyword and the content are going hand-in-hand.
  6. You can use various apps and websites during the entire process. To name a few:
  7. Marketing calendar- It helps you to transform your beautiful ideas into something really good.
  8. SpyFu- It helps to keep you updated about the contents and the keywords your competitors are coming up with.

Next time you want any help, the above mentioned points will help you to come up with the extraordinary content ideas for a keyword.

Google Maps Gets More Social

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We cannot deny the convenience Google has brought to us when they launched Google Maps 13 years ago. Surely enough, navigating the world became a whole lot easier.

On October 24th, Google made an announcement on their blog stating that a “Follow” button will start to appear on business listings in the Google Maps app on Android (there’s no news on iOS implementations just yet). Here’s a snippet of the announcement on Google:

Image courtesy of Google.com

Those using Google Maps for Android can now follow places right from the app. Rolling out now, just search for that coffee shop you love or that clothing store you’ve been meaning to pop into and tap the “Follow” button. Once you’ve followed places, news from them—like events, offers and other updates—will appear in the For you tab (where available, with more countries coming soon!).

Aside from this, just a few days ago, Google has started rolling out the new messaging feature to Google Maps. The feature will appear as a new “messages” button, which will be rolled out gradually to iOS and Android app users. You will find these messages in the side menu of both Google Maps for Android and iOS. Customers can use this messaging feature to directly ask the business about certain questions.

Image courtesy of Google.com

With these recent updates, Google Maps makes users experience better and more social. Google says it will be gradually rolling the feature out to countries beyond the U.S.

What is Meta Tag Truncation and Why Should You Avoid it?

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A Meta tag description refers to a one hundred sixty characters extract which is generally used to summarize web pages content. These snippets are used by the search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the likes to make the visitors aware about the content of a page. Google itself is one of the best examples of Meta description.

  • Optimal Length

Generally, Meta descriptions can be of any length but Google has recently truncated its limit to three hundred characters. It is also recommended to keep the Meta descriptions length between fifty to three hundred characters.

Optimal length of any Meta description varies depending on numerous factors including the content, the object, and the target audience. To keep it short and simple, one should provide values and add drive clicks to the Meta descriptions.

  • Optimal Format

On one hand, Meta Tag Descriptions are web masters’ chance to advertise content available with them to the searchers whereas, on the other hand, it is a chance for the searchers to decide whether the content provided by the webmasters is relevant and matching the information they are seeking. So, it would be no wrong to say that Meta description serves a dual purpose and holds its significance for both the searchers as well as the advertisers.

Image: jacobstoops.com

Points To Be Taken Care Of While Writing the Meta Descriptions

Avoid the use of duplicate Meta descriptions as it is more effective to publicize your message with a unique content because that would help attract more and more traffic to your pages and ultimately help in increasing the click through rate.

  • Obsession with the character count is another problem created by the users while framing a Meta description. An ideal Meta description can be in between one hundred sixty to three hundred characters and one having short descriptions should not go for squeezing more characters into it.
  • Not using keywords is one of the other mistakes initiated by the webmasters while framing the Meta descriptions. The use of the right keywords is very essential for a page’s content and meeting the searchers demand. So, it is of paramount importance to ensure that your Meta descriptions are oriented to page’s title and its content.
  • Unimpressive copy in the Meta description is another common mistake that the webmasters do. To increase the traffic, Click through rate and conversions at your page, it is essential for you to be uniquely creative with your Meta description.
  • Avoiding the use of direct HTML tables is also essential for a proper framing of Meta description. As Google’s mission is to organize world’s information and make it universally accessible, then it is quite obvious that it will give preference to websites that provide the users with the direct and most relevant answers to the users.

So, it is very important for the website masters to identify the questions based on searches and prepare a detailed answer by implementing HTML tags and understanding its basics.

Do Metas Even Matter?

A lot of large websites do not even use the Meta tags at all and yet they rank perfectly well in search results. Wikipedia is one of the biggest examples. So, we can conclude that Meta tag is not the oxygen of the webpage to increase its SEO. However, we cannot ignore the fact that it definitely is a critical component of the webpage that cannot be completely ignored.

Massive WordPress Infections Reported!

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PublicWWW finds the most common patterns of this malware on thousands of sites:

Database Injections

Multiple variations of the injected scripts have been found. For example, when the attackers have access to the WordPress database, they inject the following script into blog posts (wp_posts table):

It loads an obfuscated script, which then loads a sequence of scripts from hxxps://www.learningtoolkit[.]club/link.php, then hxxps://mp3menu[.]org/mp3.js, and eventually redirects to tech support scam sites.

 

Reinfections of the Same Posts

On some sites, hackers aren’t even bothering to remove older versions of their scripts. You can find multiples scripts injected into the same posts by different waves of the malware campaign.

 

Malware in wp_options Table

The obfuscated learningtoolkit[.]club script that begins with “var _0xfcc4=” can also be found in the wp_options table. This happens when hackers exploit vulnerabilities in certain themes and plugins. The most common victims are sites with old tagDiv themesor unpatched versions of the Smart Google Code Inserter plugin.

In the latter case, the malware is injected into the “sgcgoogleanalytic” option where the plugin stores the Google Analytics tracking code.

 

Backdoors

If the attackers manage to get access to the file system, after uploading backdoors, they try to infect .php and .js files of the compromised sites.

The infection process begins with uploading a backdoor. We find them in site roots, in wp-content/uploads, or within other directories where the exploited vulnerability allows it.

Here are some typical names and paths of the backdoors:

The backdoor saves base64-decoded contents of the “q” parameter into the “cleartemp” file, then includes it to execute. It then immediately deletes the created file.

All the backdoors have similar content, just different parameters and names of the temporary files: cleartemptempotempltempleb, fgdfgdfg. Sometimes, the temporary files are created in /tmp or /var/tmp directories.

 

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Second Level of the Backdoor

The code of the temporary files described above is another level of the backdoor. This time, it loads the content of a remote file (p4.txt or tpn2pp.txt) from a server with the IP address 190 .97. 167. 206, and saves it to yet another temporary file with name hjghjerg or minteasd.  It then includes the saved file to execute its base64-decoded code and deletes the file. For some reason after that, the backdoor executes the same code again, this time using the eval function.

 

Malware Injectors in Hjghjerg

Code in the hjghjerg file is responsible for injecting malware into website files. Over time, we have collected quite a few variations:

Currently, the most common version of the new infection injects the “var _0xfcc4” script into all files that have the <head> tag (for example, header.php in WordPress themes or almost any .html file).

The script is injected right after the opening <head> tag and right before the closing </head> tag. A side effect of this attack is that permissions of the infected files are changed to 777 (full permission for everyone). Keep this in mind when cleaning sites – you might want to revert their permission back to something like 644, or even a stricter file permission.

 

Payload to Infect JavaScript Files

Here’s another variation of the hjghjerg file injecting the same script into any JavaScript files with names containing jquery.

In this case, the malicious script is injected at the very top of the files immediately before their legitimate content.

The find command for the jQuery-related .js files has improved since the August version where we reported a bug that resulted in malware being injected into non-.jsfiles, including WordPress core CSS files.

 

Coding Style and Dealing with Reinfections

The coding style is very sloppy. There are no checks for errors or any fallback mechanisms.

Note: These versions try to inject new scripts into all suitable files. They don’t check if they have previous versions of the malware, which results in multiple infections of the same sites. Sometimes, the hjghjerg file contains code to replace previous payload with a new one. e.g. the examhome[.]net script to the learningtoolkit[.]club script. However, even in this case, it only takes care of one specific variation of their previous injection and neglects all other waves that used different scripts.

 

Hotopponents Version of the hjghjerg File

Some versions of the hjghjerg file inject different variations of the scripts.  In this case, it’s an external script from hxxps://hotopponents[.]site/site.js?wtr=1injected into files with the <head> tag and an obfuscated code that loads “hxxps://hotopponents[.]site/site.js?wtr=2” injected into jQuery related JavaScript files.

 

Cross-site Infections

As you might have noticed, the injector uses the find command that starts searching for victim files from the server root level: “find / …”. This means that if the site and account isolation on the server is not good enough, even one compromised site will be enough to infect all sites that share the same account – or even the whole server, in a worst-case scenario.

Of course, it’s hard to break out of the account level using this approach, even if the find command locates files that belong to different accounts (which doesn’t happen on most properly configured shared servers). Most likely, the script will not have sufficient permissions to modify them – unless the files had too broad permissions (e.g. 666 or 777) in the first place. This could happen, for example, if those third-party sites had been infected with the same malware and then cleaned without restoring the original permissions (remember, the injector changes permissions to 777?).

Another approach used by the same campaign can theoretically be successful in breaking out of the compromised account on a small number of misconfigured shared servers since it only needs read permissions.

 

Database wp-config.php Vector

The following code is also found in some variations of the hjghjerg file.

This injector searches for all wp-config.php files on the server and then reads database credentials from them. After that, it connects to the mySQL database, searches for the “wp-posts” tables there, and appends the malicious scripts at the end of WordPress posts (post_content field).

On most modern shared servers, the scope of this injector will also be limited to the compromised account. However, if the account isolation is not properly configured (which still rarely happens on some servers of small/amateur hosting providers), all WordPress sites on the server can be infected because of just one vulnerable site.

 

Conclusion

This long-lasting malware campaign demonstrates that all aspects of website security matter. Hackers don’t go for just a single vulnerability. They use a constantly updated kit of tools and exploits that help them maximize the effectiveness of their attacks.

Fully patched themes and plugins, strong passwords changed after any compromise, correct server configuration and site isolation, strict permissions of files with sensitive data – missing any of these components increases chances of a website compromise.

If you believe your site has been compromised by this attack, we can help. Contact us immediately at (888) 766-3315, or send an email by clicking HERE.

If your website is very outdated it may be for the best to do complete redesign sooner rather than later. This should also improve your security immensely. Visit THIS page to learn more and get a quote. We have special offers in store for our repeated customers.

10 Best Websites to Source Stock Photos

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In today’s dynamic world, no one likes it black and white, be it a newspaper, project report, any blog and so on. All of us prefer attractive stuff, full of colorful content, pictures, videos, and graphs. We come across so many blogs and articles full of pictures which are both appealing and easy to understand.

Now, the question that arises here is that do the bloggers click those pictures for themselves or hire those high charging professional photographers for the purpose? Well, sometimes they do but most of the times, they do not. So from where do, they get what exactly they need? No, Google is not the answer this time.

Stock photos are high resolution, properly clicked, professional photographs of the most common landmarks, places, people, events or nature that can be used for both commercial as well as non-commercial purposes. The ownership lies with the photographer or the distributor, as the case maybe. Stock photography is one of the most cost efficient ways of yielding high quality photographs, one doesn’t require to spend that large sum of money which we usually pay to the professional photographers.

Here is a list of top 10 websites from where one can source stock photos:

1) Flickr Commons

If you are searching for free images having some set quality standards, then this is the site for you. The cherry on the cake is the Spokal attributes that it provides. Find the relevant image and apply Spokal, it will fix all the legal gibberish on your behalf which is simply awesome.

2) Negative Space

The limelight of this website is that it offers the photos without any copyright restrictions, implying you can use them as per your whims and fancies. It’s an ever growing collection of photos and just the right spot for you.

3) Pixabay

With a collection of around 42,000 images and counting, it is one of the top go to websites whenever you need stock photos. The image licenses are least confusing and therefore you can use the pictures without any hassle. The pictures are available for both commercial and personal use.

4) Stocksnap

Well, who would like to get into the complicated copyright agreements for using just a few photos? No one. This site not only offers the images without any copyright obligations but also keeps a tap on the most trending images that updates you about the most popular photos on this site. Also, it keeps a count of the number of views and downloads of every image.

5) Unsplash

This is the site that delivers what you need at your doorstep. You can subscribe to receive 10 new images every day which will be mailed directly to you. Although, we love to give the picture courtesy on social media but when it comes to work, we like to steal it and keep it to ourselves. This site lets you copy, download, alter and distribute the pictures without the need to give the credit.

6) Death to Stock

Ever been a part of a cool club at a minimal fee? No? Well, this is the site for you. It offers you membership, both normal and premium at reasonable rates. A new set of photos will be delivered straightaway to your mailbox every month if you become a part of this club.

7) Startup Stock Photos

Startups are common nowadays. With hundreds of startups beginning daily, they hit the right spot with a catchy name. This website offer a plenty of professional options irrespective of the industry the startup belongs to.

8) Snapwire Snaps

Who doesn’t like the free dessert along with the dinner? Snapwire not only offers the free dessert, here the dinner is only free. Not only does it deliver free images to your mailbox but also gives new offerings daily. The images are highly creative and are of every possible variety. No restrictions on the use is another plus point.

9) Pexels

With a constant addition of almost 10 new high resolution pictures on a daily basis, Pexels is rising up the ladder at a fast pace. Not only is their collection, highly customized because the team hand-picks almost every image that you see. And all this, without any restrictions on the usage.

10) Splitshire

Last, but definitely not the least, in this list is Splitshire that provides tons of amazing free images that you are allowed to use without any hassle or commercial restrictions. From some awesome portraits to amazingly sleek workstations, this site offers the perfect photo that you need without any trouble.

What is Structured Data for SEO?

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We come across so many questions from different people in our day to day life like can you help me with the meaning of this word? Have you heard about that new website or did you check out that new restaurant.

And if the answer comes out to be a ‘no’, it comes with a ‘but let me Google it’. Google and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc. have become our saviors.

But have we ever thought why a list of options does come up when we type a word or a phrase in the search box and hit the search button? Why is it that there’s something on the top while the others follow? Well, here comes the concept of ‘Search Engine Optimization’, popularly referred to as SEO. In simple terms, SEO is the process of enhancing your online content in an effective & attractive way so that it becomes the part of the top results for searches of a certain keyword.

Knowledge Graph box

Google uses structured data to populate the Knowledge Graph box as shown in this photo. (Source: Moz.com)

So, if SEO is the recipe that would put your content on the top searches list, ‘Structured Data’ acts as a salt to that recipe. Now, search engines act just fine in interpreting the general context of any website. However, they don’t perform well when it comes to analyzing the detailed specifics of a particular website or webpage.

In such cases, they need help and that is where Structured Data comes into picture. In day to day language, any data which is organized in a way that makes it easier to interpret and analyze, is called as Structured.

Technically, Structured Data is a markup on the webpage that assists the search engines to better intuit the information and the data presented on the webpage, and thereby use the same to improve the page’s search engine ranking.

For example, if you have a company website and you use structured data to present the online content, it will make it easier for web crawlers (an internet program for browsing the World Wide Web in a systematic way and returning the information so obtained to the search engines) not only to interpret the company’s basics, including the Name, Place, Address, Contact Details, etc. but also it will help analyze the more complicated information such as production schedules, recipes, events, etc.

(Source: www.horuswebx.com)

To present the online data in a structured format, you will have to implement a markup on your webpage. There is a dire need that this markup is clearly interpreted in a suitably consistent manner not only by the search engines but also by the people. And therefore, there are a set of protocols, in the form of standardized implementations (commonly called as formats or syntaxes), classification of relationships, conceptualizations, and finally terms (often referred to as vocabularies) that one must follow.

Apart from optimizing the web content for enhanced search results, there are a various other uses of structured data which include providing additional context for articles, recipes, products, star ratings and product reviews which presents the website as a rich snippet. It can also be used to present your AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in rich results. It will also assist in the Social Media Marketing of your product or website.

To conclude, in a world full of cut throat competition, where everybody is willing to go that one extra mile to surpass their competitors, people must not ignore the importance of structured data in SEO and the other benefits that comes handy with it.

E-commerce SEO: Writing Meta and Product Description that Sell

E-Commerce, SEO Tips No Comment
seo-for-ecommerce

Image from: Webappick.com

The field of e-commerce has become quite massive in the last few years. Almost every business nowadays tries to have an online platform so that they can easily interact with and attract a huge audience who can be their potential customers.

Now, we all are aware of the fact that day by day competition is becoming tough and surviving in this market of e-commerce is becoming difficult. If you want to stand on the top, then you got to have top-notch SEO tactics for your business.

Yes, the success of any e- business primarily depends on the SEO tricks it opts and among all the tricks, writing a creative as well as apt Meta and product description is something very crucial.

Meta description is a synopsis of the content of the concerned website or web page. In the case of e-commerce, it must contain a short and to the point description of your business. It must not exceed a limit of 320 characters, though earlier it was 160 characters only.

Meta description can also contain keywords which are often searched by the site visitors. On the other hand, as the name suggests product description is a small and the required information mentioned about the particular product of a website.

As an owner of any e-commerce, it is very crucial to understand the importance of these two things. An exceptional meta-description helps various search engines to fathom the aim of the concerned web page, and then provide it with the required search results. Similarly, it is recommended to provide an exceptional product description so that it helps the e-commerce business to attract a good sale.  Here are E-Commerce SEO tips on how to write meta and product description that sell.

How to Write a Proper Meta Description?

  • It must be unique and should provide the three basic information- the brand name of your business, about your online store and a unique feature related to it.
  • Don’t exceed the required limit of characters, which is 320 characters per description.
  • Do remember to mention the USP or the main feature of the products you sell. Try to write in a way that attracts the potential customers in the first look.
  • Pay special attention while mentioning the keywords. It would help your site to get a better ranking on the search engines.
  • Try to write those specifications, which the customers look for.

How to Write a Proper Product Description?

  • Mention about the product your website sells in a way that it addresses the ideal buyers.
  • Try to avoid useless phrases like- yeah, of course, etc. These phrases make you sound less appealing to your customers.
  • Mention genuine stats related to the products you deal in, and use superlatives while writing so.
  • Try to provide a better, large and clear pictures or videos related to the product. This is a part of the product description only, and visual appeal contributes a lot towards attracting the sales.
  • Avoid writing a story kind of description, as it just makes it less rational and less appealing.

Thus, if you want your e-commerce business to touch heights and survive in this cut throat competitive market then do make use of the above mentioned suggestions.

 

The 10 Best Note Taking Apps (Evernote and OneNote Alternatives)

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best-note-taking-appsTaking important notes at crucial times is often the hardest part of someone’s work. Gone are the days when people used to carry small writing pads. Now, people refrain from using the conventional pen and paper and use the new technology to jot down important notes.

When you are at the office or at your home, the closest thing you have is either your smartphone or your laptop. So it is essential that the device is equipped with a good app that would help you take down notes quickly. We all know of Evernote and OneNote, they are the two giants when it comes to note-taking. But did you ever wonder if there are other good note taking apps out there?

Here are the Best 10 Note Taking Apps- (BEST Evernote and OneNote Alternatives)

  • Google Keep

Another quality product from Google, Google Keep allows you to quickly take down notes. The app is quite lightweight and requires less RAM. However, it is loaded with features. You can create checklists and even record audio for transcription. Like all Google Products, Google Keep works with your cloud storage. So all your data is automatically saved.

  • DropBox Paper

Available only to web users, this app quickly allows you to scribble ideas. Then you can attach photos or videos with your idea and then export it as a full-fledged PDF.

  • Bear

This application is exclusive to Mac users. One of the few apps in this sector that offer Mac support, Bear works well for people who keep getting phone calls. You can easily write down notes on your Mac. It is available at $1.49/mo and gives high storage.

  • Box Note

Available across web, Android and iOS, Box Notes offer basic editing tools. Also, it comes with a toolbar, so you can easily edit or organize the written data. This app offers cross-platform synchronization.

  • Apple Note

The best notes app for iPhone users. This app is widely available on iOS, Mac and Windows devices. Windows users can access the Apple Note through the web. It uses your iCloud credentials to sync data across all devices.

  • Quip

This app is available across all the platforms. The application boasts of a simple user interface. It gives you the option of adding another person to the note, so you both can edit it later. However, this app isn’t free and comes at a price of $30/mo.

  • Penultimate

Exclusive to iPad users, this app allows you to scribble and doodle on your iPad. This app was recently acquired by Evernote.

  • Squid

Available for android and windows users. Squid allows you to scribble notes onto your device. Also, it gives you the option to type in the notes using the keyboard. When you are done noting down, just export the file as PDF and view it later.

  • SomNote

Easy note app that allows you to sort your notes according to color. Also, it comes with password protection and encryption. Costs $39.99/mo but also offer a free version.

  • Paperwork

A free open source app that allows you to run your own server. So you can control what you want, when you want. However, it is not easy to execute and is best suited for people who have familiar knowledge of the coding.