The holidays are one of those unique times of year where we spend a lot of our time shopping for ourselves and those close to us, but we also donate our time volunteering to causes we care about and people we may never meet.
At HostGator, things are no different. Our team has been up to some pretty impressive volunteering work lately, if we do say so ourselves. Check it out...
Local Food Drives in November
Last month, our Houston and Austin offices organized food drives for our local food banks, Houston Food Bank and Central Texas Food Bank.
To make it fun, we split the offices up into teams. A little competition never hurt anyone, right?
In Austin, eight teams donated food items to the Central Texas Food Bank. Our total donation came to 532 pounds! According to the Central Texas Food Bank, that equals...
532 pounds of food = 444 meals!
Even better, the winning purple team chose to forego their prize of unlimited gloating and an exclusive pizza party to donate the $250 budget to the Central Texas Food Bank, which is another 2,000 meals!
Thanks to all of our generous employees who donated to families in need, and especially to the winners of the purple team: Robin, Robert, John, Guadalupe, Thomas, John, Aspen, Thomas, Jeremy, Brandon, Lindsay, Gary, Ross, Bajram, Tom, Rowina, David, Michael, Nicholas, Xaviar, Kaneko, Joseph, Morgan, Jonathan, and Amy!
Take a look at the pictures below:
Clothing and Toy Donations in December
The November food drive was just the beginning. We had caught the volunteering bug!
Last week, HostGator staff teamed up with some of our fellow colleagues at Endurance International Group to volunteer at Operation Blue Santa. We spent an afternoon packing toys and food donations for Austin families in need.
Next up, we're collecting donations for Toys for Tots and Front Steps, an organization which provides clothing to homeless living under the I-35 bridge in Austin.
To learn more about these non-profits and how you can help, please visit one of the links below:
Have you ever been typing away, had your fingers slip on your keyboard, and stumbled upon a new trick or keyboard shortcut? These happy accidents are one way people find easter eggs in websites, software, or video games. Now Easter eggs have become so well-known, that people regularly look for them. One of the most popular ways to find them is by using the Konami Code.
What Is The Konami Code?
In case you don’t know, the Konami Code made its debut in the 1985 Nintendo arcade game Gradius. Entering the code, which is up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, gives the player a boost of power-ups or some kind of bonus. The guy who invented it, Kazuhisa Hashimoto, was in charge of developing and testing the game. The only problem was, he wasn’t any good at playing it. So he created something that would be easy to remember and give him power-ups so he could continue playing and testing. The Konami Code is legendary even today, and the fun has extended from the video game console to the desktop computer, with many websites revealing a song, a free download, or a funny redesign of the page upon entering the code. Mashable has a list of their favorites, and you can view a complete list of all websites that feature the code on KonamiCodeSites.com.
HostGator Hides An Easter Egg
We know a lot of you love digging into code and are experienced gamers, so we at HostGator felt it was about time we hid an easter egg on our own site. Kyler Patterson from our Marketing team joined up with Isaac Acuna from our Customer Experience team and they hid an easter egg on the registration page of our site. They figure it would be fun to have the Konami Code activate a surprise 80% discount for one lucky visitor.You may have seen Snappy in his Easter Bunny garb before… so we knew he’d approve of us hiding some eggs on the site.They deployed the code on June 21st and started to wait. When would someone discover it?
The Egg Is Found
One day in early August, Andrew Bonar, founder of EmailExpert.org, was looking to purchase a reseller hosting package. How did he know to look for it? Andrew explains, “I found it as a result of poring over your code. I was trying to identify how you verified and applied your discount vouchers quickly and seamlessly without a page refresh and how that then got applied to the package choices.”After he selected his hosting package and added it to his cart, he continued playing around. Finally, he decided to try the Konami Code. The next thing he knew, this popped up on his screen:Bonar admits he was surprised it wasn’t a gimmick. “I was not certain it would be honored and half expected an email advising the offer was not applicable due to whatever series of terms and conditions. Had I been more confident I may well have taken the offer up on a multiyear basis!”[bctt tweet="Congratulations to @AndrewBonar on finding the @HostGator Konami Code Easter Egg!" username="hostgator"]
The Hunt Continues… Will You Find The Next Easter Egg?
Where will the next Easter Egg be? Will it be on our checkout page again? Or maybe hiding on our dedicated server page? Maybe it will only be accessible to current customers in cPanel. It is up to you to find out...
In honor of our fourteenth birthday, we present to you a timeline of our favorite milestones in HostGator and Snappy's history.
A birthday gift for you!
Did we mention we're hosting a BIG sale on our cloud, shared, and managed WordPress hosting plans today? Head over to our home page to enjoy your special birthday discount (ends Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 at 11:59pm Central).
October 22, 2002
HostGator is founded in a dorm room at Florida Atlantic University.
Fun Fact: The company was almost called gatorhost.com instead of HostGator.com!
Snappy is born.
HostGator celebrates our 100th customer in February.
Snappy celebrates his first birthday and says his first word: “web site.”
Just one year later, HostGator reaches 1000 customers.
Snappy reaches his terrible twos and accordingly has his first temper tantrum when he loses his favorite stuffed teddy bear. Order is restored once he realizes it was hidden under the covers all along.
HostGator gains customers in the tens of thousands, and gets recognized for our award-winning reseller hosting with a Best Reseller Hosting Award from Hosting-Review.com.
At age three, Snappy starts riding a tricycle around his neighborhood. This will come in handy later when HostGator sponsors the Tour du Rouge for five years from 2010 to 2014.
HostGator launches our first international office in Toronto, Ontario. Oh, Canada!
The company relocates our headquarters from Boca Raton, Florida, to Houston, Texas, where we've been ever since.
Now four years old, Snappy learns how to tie his shoes and discovers his favorite candies are blue M&Ms. He also adopts his first dog!
The HostGator blog publishes its very first post. In international news, HostGator opens an office south of the equator in Brazil!
Five-year-old Snappy graduates from kindergarten, where he quickly became the class pro at playing leap frog (the big alligator tail helps).
HostGator reaches our first 100,000 customers in the summer and starts offering unmetered space and bandwidth as part of all hosting packages.
Snappy joins a Little League team. The six-year-old loves playing shortstop!
Just a year later, HostGator reaches 200,000 customers. We also begin offering toll-free numbers with all Business-level hosting packages for no additional cost.
Now aged seven, Snappy gets into comic books and decides he wants to be a superhero when he grows up.
HostGator opens our second Texas office in the state capital, Austin. We also win a Customer Service award from The Best Web Hosting Service.
At age eight, Snappy spends a lot of time building forts with his friends and learning to play basketball.
HostGator reaches over 500 employees and our support team receives its 5 millionth LiveChat. HostGator India launches!
Nine-year-old Snappy goes to his first summer camp and discovers his passion for painting. Check out his self-portrait below. (Just kidding; this was drawn by a child of one of our customers.)
HostGator is acquired by Endurance International Group.
Snappy reaches his double digits and throws a pool party in honor of his tenth birthday!
Endurance International Group, HostGator's parent company, goes public.
Aged eleven, Snappy debuts a new look at the Houston Aquarium. He found the stingray exhibit fascinating.
HostGator stretches its global reach, launching HostGator China and HostGator Russia.
Snappy stars in his first live-action advertisement!
HostGator launches managed WordPress hosting and integrates MOJO Marketplace into our QuickInstall platform.
A teenager at last! Snappy gets his first cell phone.
HostGator announces our cloud hosting and website builder products.
Now that he's fourteen years old, Snappy suffers from teenage angst. He regularly puts a KEEP OUT sign on his bedroom door. We think he's developed his first crush, but he's too busy Snapchatting to let us know who it is he's dreaming of.
Bonus Offer! Get Your Free Snappy Gift Today!
NOTE: This promo is now over! Thank you to everyone who participated. Snappy was so happy to receive your birthday wishes! Be sure to share a photo of you with your Snappy when it arrives and tag @HostGator!
The coveted Snappy plush.
It's our most requested item on social media. Customers and Snappy fans often tweet us asking for their own.
In honor of Snappy's birthday sale, we are giving away free Snappy stuffed animals for a limited time!
Did you know July 16th is Love Your Rescue Pet Day?
HostGator has been a long-time sponsor of local pet rescue organization Austin Pets Alive! (if you love cute puppies, be sure to check out this post). We are so excited to be a part of this year's fourth annual Love Your Rescue Pet Day, which benefits Austin Pets Alive!
At HostGator, we're all about supporting local businesses and helping them get online. We also happen to love puppies, and so does our mascot Snappy. If you don't believe us, just check out the clip below:
What is Love Your Rescue Pet Day?
Love Your Rescue Pet Day is an Austin, TX-wide fundraising event that celebrates the love Austinites have for their rescue pets. Austin has been a no-kill city for 5 years now, and Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) plays a big role in keeping that trend alive. On Love Your Rescue Pet Day, local businesses show their support by donating 10% of the day's sales back to APA! You can find the full list of participating businesses here.
HostGator's Austin office is the proud sponsor of the day's official adoption event at Town Lake Animal Center. Austin Pets Alive! has hundreds of adorable dogs and cats waiting to meet you. Don't miss out on the chance to cuddle with furry friends and find your new FURever friend!
Support Austin Pets Alive with HostGator!
If you stop by on Saturday, be sure to say "hi" to one of our Austin team members! Our trusty mascot Snappy will be there, and he'll be handing out exclusive gator-shaped treats for all the new dog owners. The homemade treats are baked right here in the U.S. and are sold by local Austin business, Grand Dog Bakery.
The day is set to be a fun- and fur-filled event! Happy new pet owners will get the chance to post with their pet and Snappy. During your Snappy meet-and-greet, our team will be asking you all sorts of questions like, "What's your new pet's name?" or "How'd you guys meet?" or "Let's say your pet had a website. What would it be about?"
Admittedly, the last question is kind of kooky, but we ARE a web hosting company, after all. Inquiring minds want to know!
If you won't be able to make the event, we still want to hear from you! Share your rescue pet's story in the comments below and let us know what kind of website she or he would have. You can email me a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll choose our favorites to highlight on HostGator's social media channels.
See you on July 16th!
7/18/16 Update:Love Your Rescue Pet Day was a success!
Austin Pets Alive reported 41 adoptions for the day. Congratulations to all of the new pet owners! Snappy was so happy to share delicious dog treats with his new furry friends.
2016 has been a wet year for Houston.
Like everything in Texas, storms are bigger here. When it rains, it storms.To illustrate, here’s some video of the flooded parking lot in our Austin office from last year’s record-breaking Memorial Day floods:
There has been so much rainfall this year that it could cover the entire state of Texas in 8 inches. Lest you forgot, Texas is a HUGE state.
According to CNN.com, the recent April floods have killed 7 people, flooded 1,000 homes, and caused more than $5 billion in damage. This doesn’t even count the thousands of people who were displaced as a result of the floods, having lost their belongings, their homes, and their cars.
How the Floods Affected HostGator Headquarters
As a Texas-based company with offices in Austin and Houston, HostGator witnessed the devastation of the recent flooding in Houston first hand. While our Houston office was not damaged and the majority of our employees did not experience severe damage, others were affected by the disaster. That April weekend, many of our Houston employees couldn’t make it in to work, let alone out of their homes, so we had long waiting times on support as our Austin office did what they could to address issues as quickly as possible despite being down to 30% of our normal capacity.Senior Developer Eris Caffee lost her home and car. Since then, she’s been temporarily living with family while she travels on foot to and from her home to salvage her belongings and care for her animals. Development Manager Austin Naremore set up a gofundme campaign to help her get her own place and replace what she lost. In under 14 hours, Eris's colleagues, friends, and the broader HostGator and Endurance International team rallied to raise $7500, surpassing the initial goal of $5,000.
We have rallied to support those on our team who experienced great loss, and we wanted to extend that support to the Houston community. HostGator is hosting a promotion June 22, 2016, donating $3 for every hosting plan purchased during the promotion to the Houston Food Bank.
You buy, we give - this is a sale you can feel good about! Click here to get 60% off new hosting plans + $5 on select domains while donating to a great cause!UPDATE! Our promotion has wrapped, and we raised $5,000 for the Houston Food Bank, which equates to 15,000 meals! Thank you to all who participated and helped us provide aid to victims of the flooding.
We've been nominated for the Shorty Social Good Awards! Check out our entry page here.