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Gaming Servers

Written by Brandi Bennett

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

minecraft

Gaming servers are servers that are used to host games. If you have played an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game, then you have connected to a gaming server.

A gaming server is a dedicated server or server cluster with the requisite amount of hardware and resources to be able to run the game fluidly. Most games, like Warhammer and Minecraft, will not allow a person to charge people to play the game, as the game is the property of the gaming company itself, however you are generally allowed to charge them to play on your server. You can, of course, simply setup a server to play with your friends.

 

Why Would I Do This?

Well, to put it simply, these games are fun. Warhammer is a strategy game and Minecraft is like Legos for adults. The more people playing, the more fun it can be, but in order to have multiple people playing these games with you, you either need to have a LAN party and a server at your house, or you need a dedicated server – with that you can play with your friends no matter where they are, as long as they have their computer and an internet connection!

 

You’ve Intrigued Me… Now What Do I Do?

Well, if you already have a dedicated server, great! Go ahead and install your game of choice and go to town. If you don’t have a dedicated server, you can certainly acquire one here.

Many gamers are also getting back into playing older games due to recent nostalgia levels rising, so now is a great time to take advantage of those gaming skills you cultivated as a child! And don’t forget: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start!

 

Image Source: YTimg.com. (2014). Minecraft. Retrieved from http://i.ytimg.com/vi/yUnsOEh6PVc/maxresdefault.jpg

Subscription Boxes: The Next Big Thing?

Written by Brandi Bennett

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

subscription_box

Subscription boxes, if you’re not presently familiar with the concept, are boxes sent out monthly to individuals who’ve subscribed for the service. While this definition is accurate, it doesn’t exactly provide a lot of information on what the product is, or why a person is selling it to another person. A subscription box contains a random set of items that differs every month. There are different types of subscription box services, providing shaving accoutrements, beauty products, video game related items, baby items, geography lessons to children, and just about everything in between. If you can come up with an idea and there are enough products of that category to keep your subscription box going, that’s all you need. Prices for these subscription boxes generally range from $10 to $40; however, there are specialty boxes with much higher price tags as well.

 

What makes A Successful Subscription Box?

As with any business, the key to starting a successful subscription box service is a combination of the right products, high quality service, and prompt attention to customer feedback. If a customer complains that they don’t like your offerings, that’s fine, it may not be their thing, but if ten or twenty people complain about the quality of the items you are providing, then maybe it’s time to look into what you’re doing. Offer higher quality items, offer a discount as an apology and don’t use that supplier anymore; do something. Make it right.

 

How To get Started

You’ll need to find a supplier (or several) for the products that you want your subscription box to contain, setup a method for you to purchase those items, and setup your website. You need storage space for all the inventory, and you need high quality customer service to deal with new subscriptions, cancellation requests, kudos and complaints.

You will need a storefront on your website, as the best subscription box services offer samples at a low cost and then sell full sized versions of their products in their store, or additional items associated with the goods in the subscription boxes in their store. And you will need a boxing service. You can either box these items yourself, or you may decide to hire people to do that for you. You can now purchase the standard subscription box sized boxes online by simply Googling “subscription box boxes.” You’ll also need an SSL (to make your site secure). Once you have that, you’re all set and ready to start accepting customers!

This is a type of business that is quick and easy to setup, but it moves fast, so be sure to have your site setup, your storage, your inventory, and be ready to go before you make your subscription service live. Waiting lists prior to the service being started tend to make people want to cancel. If, however, you have more sign ups than you do inventory your first month, you can waitlist those while you wait on a new shipment (this is a good sign). Don’t be surprised, however, if you don’t have a wait list until a few months in. This is normal. This is one of the easiest business models to setup, and quite frankly, people love them. It’s like getting a present in the mail every month, a random surprise.

If you’re still not convinced – I personally know someone who spends over $200 per month on subscription boxes, and I subscribe to $50 worth of subscription boxes on a monthly basis myself. Not all are gems, but I constantly try new ones. I’ve stayed with a box for months before I decide if I want to cancel it. Two of my current favorites are Birchbox and Escape Monthly – they’re very well setup if you’d like to check their sites to get ideas on how to setup yours. It’s a great way to try new things, things that you would never buy for yourself, and once you get hooked on a product, it’s easy to just keep going back to that company to buy the full sized items. Check it out! It’s an easy business model to jump right into, and it’s taking off fast!

 

Image Source: Salazar Packaging. (2014). Subscription Box Packaging. Retrieved from http://blog.salazarpackaging.com/wp-content/uploads/One-color-reverse-printed-on-white-die-cut-mailer.jpg

More Gator Art

Written by Sean Valant

Friday, July 19th, 2013

It’s been a little while since we shared some good ol’ gator art with you.

We received this drawing from a customer following us having assisted them with a support issue.  They were so pleased with the resolution that they emailed us this one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn image of a gator apparently drinking a cocktail on an island.  Of note are the nice boat there in the background, which likely served the cocktail to the gator, as well as the beautiful sunset that really brings the whole image together.  The artist did not sign their piece of art, so we can only thank them anonymously:

island_gator

 

From time to time, as seen in our Office Art series, some of our own staff will get a creative inclination and produce some impressive HostGator-themed art.  One of our support staff created the following shirt, featuring a blinged-out Snappy!

bling_snappy

 

Let’s take a closer look at this shirt, as it truly is a remarkable piece of bedazzle-y craftsmanship:

bling_snappy02

We would love to see any HostGator-themed art that you produce!  If you’re feeling gator-art inspired, please send us your creations at feedback@hostgator.com ATTN: Blog and we can share your art with the world!

The New & Improved Snappy

Written by Sean Valant

Monday, July 1st, 2013

It has been historically noted that Snappy hasn’t always been in the best of shape.  To be fair, eating up the competition can create a caloric surplus, resulting in excessive weight gain.  Also, those long hours sitting in front of a computer can negatively impact one’s physique.  Snappy was once even compared to a blue salamander, which is clearly an insult to a proud gator.  At any rate, Snappy has been in the gym, working on his fitness.  It’s likely that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the new and improved Snappy in recent weeks on this very blog, but let’s revisit Snappy’s look over the years, and touch on some of the highlights.

It is a rarely-known fact that Snappy threw out the first pitch at a Houston Astros game a few years ago:

 

Every now and again, we’d see Snappy roaming around the HostGator offices and rubbing elbows with his colleagues:

 

Truth be told, Snappy has even been spotted on the roof of the Houston office:

 

As Snappy began to see more and more pictures of himself, he began to really consider getting into better shape. The HostGator Austin building has a pretty stellar gym, Snappy was seen hitting the treadmill in there more and more. It seems like all that hard work has finally paid off, because this is what Snappy looks like today!

snappy_today

 

Clearly this is a far more fit gator, ready to take on the world! Snappy has never felt better, and with summer now upon us, Snappy intends to take his fitness to the next level, perhaps even participating in an Ironman triathlon… assuming there’s no Irongator triathlons he can enter. Snappy would also like to get out and about. Maybe you know of some location or function at which Snappy could appear, if so be sure to let us know by emailing feedback@hostgator.com ATTN: Blog