Monday, October 26, 2009 by Chad BeanIt looks like GeoCities, the Free Web Hosting service owned by Yahoo!, is officially ending service to website owners today. I'm sure many of you have used their service at one point or another, so it's kind of sad to see them go down with all of the web sites they hosted. My first web site was on GeoCities, complete with a looping, low-quality instrumental midi file, and animated graphics. Many other free web hosting services like GeoCities have risen and fallen over the years because the free hosting business model just doesn't seem sustainable. It's amazing how many web sites with no business model or profitability sunk during the .com internet bubble. Internet businesses, like any other company, aren't immune from the age old philosophy of "you need to make money to stay in business". Now there are a few exceptions to this rule. It's still possible to come up with a great idea for a web site and receive funding from a venture capital firm (read: Twitter), but for the everyday web business owner, they understand the need to make a profit. Many GeoCities refugees have migrated over to HostGator, and we want to welcome you all with open arms. We can assure you that HostGator won't have the same fate as GeoCities because well, we're a profitable company. If you have a site with GeoCities and need a new home, post a comment and we'll try to throw you some free months worth of Hosting at HostGator.
Friday, January 2, 2009 by Chad BeanIn October of 2008, Google announced a new feature known as SearchWiki. SearchWiki allows anyone with a Google account to change the order of search results and make notes about each result in Google. Once logged into a Google account, you'll notice that the search results have two small icons next to the listings that can be used to promote or remove a result. By promoting a result, you can bring the site above other results on the page. You can learn more about the SearchWiki by watching the Google SearchWiki team's video. Now, this is hardly news to many of you out there. We covered Google's Promote Feature in early December. What is interesting though, is the idea that Google's index of results will be swayed by user input on the SearchWiki. On Google's Official Blog announcement for SearchWiki,it mentions that: "The changes you make only affect your own searches." While this is true directly, it's not hard to imagine that Google will collectively use user input to influence search results and page ranking. Currently websites are listed in order on Google's web page according to their super-duper secretive algorithm. Those in the search engine optimization industry have been trying to figure out this algorithm for very obvious reasons. If you can cheat the search engines and get a website listed on the front page for certain keywords, than you are able to get more traffic to your site, which generally equates to more revenue for web site owners and businesses.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 by Douglas HannaI’ve known about Twitter for a relatively long time, but could never see myself using the service. I just couldn’t grasp the idea of saying something meaningful in 140 characters or less, but as I started working at HostGator and our social media outreach programs, I found myself thrown right into the Twittersphere (if that isn’t a word already, I just made it up). A couple of months later, though, I’m happily Twittering from the web and from my ever trusty BlackBerry. A majority of our presence on Twitter is aimed at addressing customer concerns and feedback in what is essentially real time, but our presence on Twitter is also about reaching out to customers through a different medium and in a unique way. We already reach out to those who blog or post about us, so Twitter seemed like the next logical step. So far, it’s been incredibly successful. We have over 275 followers on Twitter (the number increases daily) and I have personally reached out to and helped a lot of existing and potential customers through Twitter. We’ve also gotten some great ideas and some excellent feedback that we’ve taken seriously. To get an idea for yourself, check out our favorites and see what people have been saying. Some excerpts:
LOVE LOVE HostGator! Have hosted at many places. Couldn't dynamite me out of HG! - WordPressWizard Thanks for awesome customer service, that's how it's done. Will remember when someone is asking for a hosting company. – KatjaPresnal