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  • 8 Tech Gifts for Your Online Valentine

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 by
    Tech Gifts for Valentine's Day Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just chocolates and rose petals on the bed. Although many have criticized the holiday as being another excuse to go out and spend wads of cash, it can also be an excellent opportunity to provide your significant other with something both useful and close to the heart. If you know your SO to be digitally savvy, then surprising them with the right gadget can be far more meaningful than flowers from the grocery store. We’ve hand selected gifts for a variety of budgets that should be able to satisfy anyone with an affinity for cool stuff. Most importantly, they’ll show how creative and thoughtful you are! HostGator Website Builder  

    Valentine's Tech Gifts Under $50

    For those of you with a budget in mind, do not panic! These three gifts under $50 will seem like you splurged, yet they’re incredibly practical.  

    1. Tile Mate - Key Finder, Phone Finder, Anything Finder ($24.99)

    Tile Mate Valentine's Tech GiftFor those of you with an iPhone, there may have been a time (or two, or three) when you were delighted to find your phone using Apple's Find iPhone feature. If your partner has a reputation for losing other important items, namely their keys, wallet, or dog, then that little fantasy you’ve always had about built in GPS has finally come true. Tile comes in a variety of sizes and quantities, providing a discrete homing device that won’t become detached easily. The Tile app works both ways as well. For instance, if you have your keys but can’t find your phone then you can press the Tile to sound off where your phone was put. We love this gift because saving yourself from moments of stress when you're running late can really have a positive impact on your life. Available on Amazon.  

    2. 365 Day Custom Tearaway Calendar - Social Print Studio ($40)

    Valentine's Day Photo CalendarDoes your Valentine love Instagram? How about photography? Maybe just photos of the two of you, every day of the year? Social Print Studio has developed a web page that easily imports your social media photos and turns then into a tear calendar for the entire year. Several companies have already offered Instagram booklets and keepsakes, but considering most avid social media users have over 365 post-worthy photos, it’s a glorious idea to be able to reflect on all your best moments over the course of a year. What’s more, Social Print Studio uses a thicker paper weight, so if you'd like a more permanent keepsake than a tearaway calendar, you can tear and place the photos on your wall in a mosaic of memories.   Available on SocialPrintStudio.com.  

    3. Google Chromecast ($35)

    Google ChromecastTechnologically speaking, we’ve gone from large bulky devices down to compact smart phones, and now we've found ourselves desiring the capability to watch streaming content on bigger screens again.  Google saw an easy opportunity to bridge the gap between devices large and small. With the Google Chromecast you can stream any content from your smaller devices right to your TV using Bluetooth and an adorable device the size of a fifty cent piece. Available in coral, lemonade, and black. Available on the Google Store.  

    Valentine's Tech Gifts Under $100

    $100 is stepping into a price range with wide open possibilities, but for the sake of thoughtfulness, we honed in on a couple items we think have a particular relevance to couples and the time of year.  

    1. Fitbit Fitness Trackers ($79.99)

    FitbitIf there’s one thing tech enthusiasts find sexy, it’s well organized data. Pair that with body sculpting fitness motivation and you have a Valentine’s Day gift beneficial to both partners. Sleek in design and function, Fitbit has a dominant stake in the fitness tracking industry. Some of its popular features include measuring steps, duration and quality of sleep, heart rate, and calories burned. Plus, it pairs with your smart phone to display caller ID, texts, and reminders, so you don’t have to pull your phone out in the middle of exercising. This gift is perfect for the active, or seeking-to-be active, couple. Having just started a new year it can be very easy to lose the fitness motivation by February 14th. Don't be a cliché - keep up with your New Year's resolution for a healthy 2017! Available on Fitbit.  

    2. Portable Cell Phone Charger - Mophie Powerstation ($60)

    Mophie Portable Phone ChargerIt's not uncommon for your cell phone to die with regular use over the course of a business day, and what says I love you more than “I want to be able to call you no matter what!”? Portable charging devices have been on the market for some time, yet their popularity has been underwhelming at best. Having just gone through the most brutal January of my life in Lake Tahoe, with an unusual abundance of power outages, I can personally testify to the usefulness of this device. Spare your SO the hassle of being without mobile connectivity and give them some backup power. Available on Amazon.  

    Valentine's Tech Gifts Over $100

    Sometimes it’s fun to buy a gift not just for your partner, but for the "us," if you catch my drift. These gifts are perfect for unique couple experiences, and those who like to travel light.  

    1. Portable Mobile Projector - RIF6 Cube Mobile Projector ($275)

    Valentine's Tech Gift Mobile ProjectorNothing says James Bond more than pulling out a mini projector in times when you want to cozy up to your movie buddy. Two inches square and powered by 50 lumens, this projector is capable of screening full 1080p with 90 minutes of battery life. The RIF6 comes with HDMI and MHL connection cables, a USB charger, Remote control, flexible mini tripod, and a comfortable 1-year warranty. Potential uses include movies in the backpacking tent, screening parties in your hostel abroad, or impressive client displays for your business life. Available on Amazon.  

    2. Portable Photo Printer - HP Sprocket ($129.99)

    Valentine's Tech Gift Portable Photo PrinterNowadays we’re taking more photos than ever before thanks to smart phone cameras, but how often do we print our photos? A portable photo printer makes it easy. Snap a photo on your smart phone, and then print it out immediately for your loved one to put on the fridge. The photos print at 2” x 3” on sticky back paper via Bluetooth. What’s nice is you don’t have to make the extra investment buying a new-age Polaroid. All you need is a smartphone! Available on Amazon.    

    Bonus Gift: A Brand New Website!

    Sure, the gadgets above are neat, but if you want to really impress your valentine, consider getting them a gift that's all digital. How about powerful web hosting that includes a free website builder, one-click script installs, and 24/7 support? We may be biased, but we love the idea!

    Get Started with HostGator!

  • Top Tech News of January Roundup

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by
    January 2017 Tech News Roundup The tech world moves fast. To help small business owners like you keep up with the most important news in tech, we’re starting a monthly roundup of the tech stories that people are talking about the most. Here’s a roundup of the top tech news of January 2017. HostGator WordPress Hosting  

    New Products and Updates Introduced at CES

    The International Consumer Technology Associate Conference (CES) met from January 5 to January 8 and gave many of the world’s tech companies a chance to show off new products, updated versions of familiar products, and exciting advancements they’re working on for the future. Conference attendees witnessed a ton of new gadgets, too many to talk about here, but there were a few main highlights that got a lot of attention. Drone cameras that can capture pictures of your travels for you, robots for home use, and cars of the future (including several looks at self-driving cars) all made an appearance. All in all, CES gave people a glimpse of a pretty cool possible future.  

    The Country’s Biggest Corporations Commit to AI

    While large companies conducting AI research isn’t in itself a shocking development, some big players in the tech space did make some significant moves signaling their commitment to developing artificial intelligence. Earlier this month, Microsoft acquired a Toronto startup called Maluuba, a company that focuses on AI research, specifically on natural language processing. Their AI system has reached the point of being able to comprehend writing at a level comparable to humans – a big step forward in AI research. Just last week, Apple moved to join the Partnership on AI, a group devoted to instituting best practices in AI research. This group already includes many of the largest tech companies in the world, including Google, Microsoft, and IBM.  

    The End of Vine

    Remember when you were reading articles about how to best use Vine in your social media marketing? If you hadn’t quite gotten around to using the popular Twitter video feature, no need to learn it now. Twitter decided to shutter the program in October and this past month was the last chance users had to save their old vines before the feature went away. If you were using Vine and are worried you’ll feel its lack in your social media marketing efforts, don’t worry too much. Twitter plans to replace it with a feature called Vine Camera that’s relatively similar in functionality.  

    Social Media Channels Begin Working Against Fake News

    One of the biggest news stories of 2016 was the rise of fake news. That wouldn’t likely be a tech story, except that one of the primary ways people were exposed to fake news was through the social media sites we all know and love. In response to criticism, Facebook is making moves to reduce the reach of fake news by working with journalists and outside groups to fact check stories that show up on Facebook’s feed and help bring more attention to legitimate journalism. On Twitter, some individual accounts have made waves by providing facts and definitions in response to inaccuracies shared in the press. The Merriam Webster Twitter account was one of the most talked about of the month for its clever posts sharing dictionary definitions of words used (often inaccurately) by politicians and media throughout the month. And a number of rogue social media accounts have popped up that are presumably run by people working in government agencies that no longer feel they can share facts about issues like climate change on the official government accounts. While not a social media platform, it’s worth also mentioning that Google itself joined the fray by instituting a policy to kick publishers off one of its ad networks if they were found to be spreading fake news.  

    Slack Introduces Threaded Messages

    On a lighter note, the popular platform for business collaboration responded to customer feedback about the difficulty in following conversations on the platform by releasing a threaded messages feature. The threaded messages are meant to make it easier to separate out and follow a specific conversation happening within the larger public feed. So far response to the feature is largely positive.  

    The Transition of White House Social Media Properties

    Chances are, you’re well aware of the biggest non-tech news story of January, the inauguration of a new president. As the first new administration to take power after White House social media accounts had been established, this was the first time in history that figuring out how to transition social media accounts to a new presidential administration was a story. The White House announced plans in October to make all the White House social media handles available to the incoming president on inauguration day, while archiving all old messages and updates and making them freely available to people in the days and years after. On January 20, the transition was made as promised and the social media profiles of the White House took on new ownership. This month saw a lot of interesting and important technological advancements and stories. Next month’s sure to bring its share as well. Check back for future additions to our new series of monthly top tech news roundups.
  • Top 10 Blogs of 2016

    Friday, December 23, 2016 by
    Top 10 Blogs of 2016 It's the end of the year... that special time we spend spreading holiday cheer with friends and family, reflecting on cherished memories from another year gone by, and, of course, reading round up "Best of 2016" posts online. Without further ado, here's our list of HostGator's top posts of 2016. Enjoy!  

    #10 Ultimate WordPress Plugins for E-Commerce

    Best Wordpress Plugins for eCommerce

    WordPress started as a simple blogging platform, but has since grown into a full-fledged website building machine. Whether you're just selling a few products on your WordPress site or building a full-fledged e-commerce store, you can simplify the process with any of these six trusted plugins. Keep reading...

     

    #9 How To Monetize Your Blog in 5 Steps

    How to Monetize Your Blog

    The mere thought of being able to write about something you’re passionate about and have that result in actual money in your pocket is enough to make anyone smile. But making money from your blog doesn't have to be a pipe dream. Let's dive into a process that will help you monetize your blog and turn your passion into a real-life business. Keep reading...

     

    #8 Shared Hosting vs WordPress Hosting - What's the Difference?

    Shared Hosting vs WordPress Hosting

    Hosting is an absolutely critical aspect of any online business. Without the proper hosting, you won’t have a website, it’s as simple as that. However, choosing the right kind of hosting package for your needs is another thing entirely. In this post we review the key differences between two popular options: managed WordPress hosting versus a basic shared hosting plan where you’re just using WordPress as a CMS. Keep reading...

     

    #7 Happy Birthday, Snappy!

    History of HostGator This year we celebrated another year of being in business! In honor of our fourteenth birthday, we present to you a timeline of our favorite milestones in HostGator and Snappy’s history. Keep reading...  

    #6 Introducing Cloud Hosting from HostGator

    HostGator Cloud Sites Banner In January, we launched our cloud hosting platform. The platform offers customers increased reliability, scalability and performance while still giving them full access to the cPanel features they know and love, in the cloud! Built on pooled compute and storage resources with features that allow us to respond quickly and easily to any hardware issues that arise, our cloud platform also includes a fully-redundant storage array with three copies of your data mirrored to ensure optimum data integrity. Keep reading...  

    #5 Best WordPress Plugins for SEO

    Best WordPress Plugins for SEO

    If you want to get organic traffic to your site, optimizing your blog posts for search engines is critical. WordPress SEO plugins can really help to simplify and speed up this process. However, with the myriad of SEO plugins available, it can be overwhelming to know how to choose the best one(s). Keep reading...

     

    #4 No Motivation To Blog? 4 Habits To Keep You On Track

    No Motivation to Blog

    Blogging can be incredibly valuable, whether you’re writing for yourself or trying to bring additional traffic to your business. However, it’s easy for the initial burst of inspiration to die off, and you’re left with the long work of building a popular blog all on your own. It can be very hard to stay motivated, especially in the early stages when your blog is getting little to no traffic. Here are a few tips for how you can stay motivated when you’re feeling discouraged. Keep reading...

     

    #3 Make Your Own Minecraft Server

    Setting Up a Minecraft Server

    If you’ve been gaming online for anytime at all, then you’ve probably been drawn into the world of Minecraft. Playing Minecraft is fun, but what about when you want to customize the rules of the game and have your friends join in on the fun? The answer is running your own Minecraft server. Keep reading...

     

    #2 Top WordPress Plugins for Sending Push Notifications

    Push Notifications From WordPress Push notifications are simple alert messages that inform you about the latest entries from the platform that you signed up for, whether it be the latest blog articles, new feature releases, or straightforward ‘special’ offers for you to take advantage of. Getting your latest blog posts out to users’ mobile devices as soon as they are published via push notifications is a sure way of keeping your audience engaged. Keep reading...  

    #1 The New cPanel Paper Lantern Theme At HostGator

    HostGator cPanel dashboard In fall of this year, we announced the launch of the new HostGator Paper Lantern cPanel theme, with the goal of providing a better user experience to our valued customers. Explore the key features that come with this release. Keep reading...   What was your favorite HostGator blog of 2016? Let us know in the comments! Thank you for reading and happy holidays!
  • Introducing The HostGator Marketplace – For All Your Website Needs!

    Monday, October 17, 2016 by
    HostGator Marketplace Introducing the all-new HostGator Marketplace! Snappy and his friends have been hard at work creating the perfect place to find what you need for your website. Whether you’re looking to give your new WordPress site a shiny new look with a professional WordPress theme, set up your email with Google for Work or you just need some extra security to ensure your website is locked down, the HostGator marketplace is the place for you. With the new HostGator Marketplace, you can...
    • Shop the HostGator Marketplace right inside the control panel!
    • Keep track of all your websites and purchases in one place!
    • Purchase using your hosting account to make buying a snap!
    • Shop WordPress themes, easy setup services, email, security, plugins and more!
    In addition to the web hosting, domains, script installs and database tools you’re accustomed to, now you’ll be able to easily access a full suite of products to help you build, grow and even protect your websites. We’ve even included business productivity tools and news and how to articles from the HostGator Blog to help you with your day to day.  

    Site Builders & CMS:

    Build your website easily with our simple drag-and drop editor, or use WordPress, the world's most popular blogging platform.

    Site Builders  

    Themes & Design:

    Do you want a beautiful website, but you're not a designer? No problem. Choose from thousands of themes available in Mojo marketplace, or have one of our experts design your site for you. You can also request one-off graphic design projects.

    Website Themes  

    Productivity Tools:

    Take your business to the next level with our productivity and growth tools. With Google Apps, you can collaborate seamlessly with your growing team and share documents with clients. goMobi makes your website responsive, so your site still looks good and is easy to use whether someone visits from a desktop computer or mobile phone. Supercharge your social media with Facebook advertising.

    Website Productivity Tools  

    Security & Backups:

    If you have an online business, it's essential that you secure your website, both for yourself and customers. Protect your site from hackers with SiteLock and save copies with CodeGuard. eCommerce site owners can keep customer data private with a SSL certificate.

    Website Security Tools  

    Email & Online Marketing:

    Grow your blog subscriber list or notify customers of new promotions with email marketing from Constant Contact. Our SEO services will help you get found online.

    Email Marketing Tools  

    Plugins:

    Whether you want to incorporate Google AdSense, add a contact form, or personalize the shopping cart experience, you can customize your ultimate website with plugins from WordPress, Magento, and other software.

    WordPress Plugins  

    Professional Website Services:

    Looking for an out-of-this-world web designer? Need help boosting your local search results? Transferring from another host? Whatever it is, our team is here to help with all your website needs.

    Professional Website Services   We hope you enjoy the new HostGator Marketplace and find it convenient and useful. Have feedback, requests or suggestions? Let us know in the comments or contact our support team

    Get Started With HostGator!

     
  • IT Professionals Day: Honor The Techs You Work With!

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016 by

    IT Professionals Day

    National IT Professionals Day, falling on September 20th this year, is the third Tuesday in September. As its name suggests, it is a day to celebrate information technology professionals and all they do for us. According to ITProDay.org, 70 percent of people polled said work productivity would be lost without IT and that technology is the most important thing at work. Meanwhile, 88 percent of people polled do ask for technical help or support from IT professionals. These staggering numbers indicate the important role that IT professionals play in our lives today. Here we will examine the history of IT Pros Day, as well as look at the important things IT Pros do for us, and we will explore some suggestions for what to do to celebrate national IT Pros Day.

    History of IT Professionals Day

    National IT Pros Day is a very new holiday. In March of 2015, fellow Texas-based tech company named Solarwinds submitted the holiday to the registrar of the National Day Calendar, and it was approved. The rest, as they say, is history! Now, we will celebrate IT Pros Day on September 20th of this year, and September 19th of next year.

    What IT Professionals Do for Us

    According to Webopedia.com, "IT (information technology) is the broad subject concerned with all aspects of managing and processing information, especially within a large organization or company." As you can see, this is a wide definition, and IT clearly relates to a breadth of topics. Further, NationalDayCalendar.com tells us that "the IT (information technology) professional is the unsung hero of modern business, but often under appreciated by it. Whether it be desktops, laptops, mobile devices, applications, servers, networks, databases or cyber security, IT professionals keep business humming." Let's take a closer look at each of these specialties.

    Desktops. IT professionals specialize in keeping our desktop hardware and memory devices intact and operating properly. This includes computer repair and cleaning of malware from the desktop. IT professionals are also available as consultants regarding what hardware and software should be used on our desktops.

    Laptops. For laptops, IT professionals do everything they do for desktops, and then some. Because they are portable, laptops often end up with a lot of extraneous files and information, added at various times on the move. IT professionals can clean laptops of those unwanted elements.

    Mobile Devices. IT professionals also keep our mobile devices clean and free of unwanted elements. They help to keep our mobile devices communicating among one another. In addition, since mobile devices often get handled roughly, IT professionals are on hand to fix mobile devices when they break.

    Applications. IT professionals can be application developers for desktops, laptops, and mobile devices alike. These IT professionals function as software engineers who understand basic coding languages and are available to repair malfunctioning apps as well. IT professionals can also work as vendor managers for companies to keep track of how many applications are sold from each specific line of applications.

    Servers. IT professionals can be web developers, working with and keeping track of servers for their clients. These professionals are often fluent in HTML and JavaScript and they often write web- and server-based applications. They keep servers up and running and manage servers to prevent them from becoming overloaded.

    Networks. Those IT professionals fluent in web language and the language of servers are also often fluent in the language of networks. These professionals keep networks up and running, whether they are satellite networks, LTE networks, or wireless networks. As with servers, IT professionals make certain that networks don't become overloaded.

    Databases. IT professionals also keep databases up and running, making sure they, too, do not become overloaded. These professionals also deal with search terms and making databases easily searchable by title, name, location, number etc... In addition, they organize databases and make pie charts, bar charts, and/or graphs with the available data.

    Cyber Security. Those IT professionals who are web developers are often experts in cyber security. They are familiar with coding and with keeping information on the web secure by building cyber walls and by constantly outsmarting hackers. They pay as much attention to keeping important information in as they do to keeping hackers out.

    How to Celebrate IT Professionals Day

    NationalDayCalendar.com suggests several ideas for celebrating National IT Professionals Day. Following are these ideas plus a couple of others.

    • Thank an IT professional. If you work with them, which many people do, tell them how much they are valued and thank them for their efforts and for all they do.
    • Share #ITProDay on social media. This will raise awareness and inform and remind others to thank IT professionals with whom they come into contact every day.
    • If you are a business owner, honor your IT professionals with a celebration. Have a cake or some doughnuts on hand.
    • Invent a drink called the ITPro.
    • Program all computers in the office to say, "Happy IT Professionals Day!"

    As you can see, IT Professionals Day possesses a well-earned place in our national list of holidays. It is a great day to honor our IT professionals and to thank them for all they do for our desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and more. So keep IT Professionals Day on your calendar, and plan your celebration accordingly. You will be glad you did!

    How do you plan on celebrating #ITProDay this year? Let us know on social media or in the comments below!