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  • 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!

  • Celebrate Programmers’ Day!

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016 by

    Programmers Day

    What do computer programmers do? Computer programmers spend a lot of time at their desks. They must be doing something, but most people have no idea what that something is. International Programmers' Day is a great time to learn what programmers do on a day-to-day basis, and to celebrate everything they do when they create software that assists us with numerous activities.

    The History of Programmers' Day

    The history of Programmers' Day begins in Russia in 2002. There, two men, Valentin Balt and Michael Cherviakov, worked for a computer software company called Parallel Technologies. In 2002, these two men decided to gather signatures on a petition to the government of Russia, proposing that there be an official holiday to honor computer programmers and everything they do. Approximately 7 years later, on July 24, 2009, the Ministry of Mass Media and Communications of Russia agreed to announce an official Russian holiday to honor computer programmers. This body of the government drafted an executive order hailing the new holiday.

    Finally, on September 11, 2009, the president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, signed the bill that made Programmers' Day happen. It took some time, but Balt and Cherviakov's idea finally became a reality. While Programmers' Day is not an official holiday in the US, it is none-the-less a day observed by programmers and non-programmers alike.

    When Does Programmers' Day Take Place?

    Programmers' Day is celebrated on the 256th day of each year, which is September 12th within a leap year and September 13th within a general year. This is significant for programmers, as Wikipedia explains:

    "The number 256 (2 to the eighth power) was chosen because it is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, a value well-known to programmers. 256 is also the highest power of two that is less than 365, the number of days in a common year." In binary code, the day is read as 1111 1111.

    If you are a programmer, you will notice that 1111 1111 is really 255 rather than 256. However, the code is correct because it is the 256th value. According to ProgrammerDay.info, "January 1st is 0000 0000 so if you celebrate Programmer Day on the 255th day you're guilty of an off by one error."

    What Kind of Work Do Computer Programmers Do?

    So what are we celebrating when we honor our programmers on International Programmers' Day? Well, we need to know what programmers do in order to celebrate everything they do. Sokanu.com tells us that "[a] computer programmer, or coder, is someone who writes computer software," and also that "[a] computer programmer figures out the process of designing, writing, testing, debugging/troubleshooting and maintaining the source code of computer programs. This source code is written in a programming language so the computer can 'understand' it. The code may be a modification of an existing source or something completely new." So let's take a closer looker at each of these jobs from the prospective of someone learning why we celebrate Programmers' Day.

    Designing

    There is some debate regarding whether or not the design element of the work of a programmer is an art or a science. In reality, as Sokanu.com reminds us, it is both. An effective programmer must be able to see the aesthetic value of a design in order to properly engineer the code for the design. Then he/she must make sure the design makes sense to the average software user.

    Writing

    Writing the code itself is the meat-and-potatoes of what the programmer does. Writing binary code can be challenging and grueling, so it takes a decent amount of stamina to look at and arrange those numbers all day long. But programmers' writing is what allows us to have all those phone apps and computer functions with which we interact daily.

    Testing

    When writing, a programmer must constantly go back and test what he/she has written. The design, of course, is not worth much unless the program functions correctly.

    Debugging/troubleshooting

    A programmer must know how to fix errors in a timely manner, often under the stress of tight deadlines, since many people wait for a new program to be debuted. People become impatient when things don't work properly, making the debugging/troubleshooting function a key part of what programmers do.

    Maintaining the source code

    Since elements change so rapidly in the world of computer programming, a programmer must keep his/her software up-to-the-minute. It is particularly important to keep software up to date within the competitive world of computers, where everyone is constantly racing to stay ahead of the game.

    Ways You Can Celebrate Programmers' Day

    So, we can see that there are many reasons to honor your favorite computer programmers on Programmers' Day. And what can we do to celebrate? ProgrammerDay.info has some suggestions:

    • Speak in code (or pseudocode) all day. Okay, this might be tough if you are not a programmer. Come to think of it, this might be tough even if you are a programmer. Certainly, very few people would understand you.
    • Decorate a tree with zeros and ones to make a binary tree. This could be fun. At least this is something the whole family can do together.
    • Make Happy Programmer Day cards using ASCII Art. This takes a bit of knowledge about ASCII Art, but one could use a different application if necessary.
    • Have a contest for the best binary pun/programming joke. This could be great for a bunch of programmers at a party. "A programmer walks into a bar…"
    • Have a programmer-themed cocktail. Binary punch, anyone?

    Thus, Programmers' Day is definitely a day to be celebrated. All over the world, we should show our appreciation for programmers this September.

    Are you a computer programmer? Let us know in the comments how you'd like to be honored on this special day.

  • The Most Common Words In Website Names Revealed

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016 by
    As a global web hosting company, HostGator supports websites numbering in the millions. We recently analyzed a random selection of US-based domains we host to discover trends among the words most commonly used in website titles. The resulting word cloud (thanks WordClouds.com!) may surprise you. A few notes before you look: These words were taken from the title tags of each domain's home page. We removed common words like "the," "and," and "a," as well as company designations like "llc" and "ltd." And, to keep things simple, we looked at domains isolated to the US so the words are all English. Take a look... what do you see? Most Common Words in a Website These words reveal many things. Here are several we noticed. We care about location, location, location. Words like "nyc" and "usa" show how popular it is to use your location in a company name, and make it easier for customers to discover your local business. We like putting our name on things. Many of the smaller words are first names like "dave," "brian," or "mary," reflecting how common it is to personalize your blog or company name. We have many passions. From "art" and "film" to "crossfit" and "wrestling," our websites reveal what we're blogging about and what we're interested in buying. We're obsessed with our appearance. In a culture like ours that values beauty and youth, this shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's still something to see just how many of the words center around achieving a perfect "look": "hot," "fat," "skin," "face," "diet," "spa," "wax," "self" We need a lot of help with our cars. "Auto" and "car" are two of the most used words. We love our pets, especially the canine variety. "Dog" and "pet" both make a big appearance. We recognize the power of positive psychology. Many website owners promise "fun," "joy," "power" in their website names, along with the sales pitch words like "get," "deal," and "sell." We're not all SEO experts. Two words that surprised us with their popularity were "untitled" and "title." Many of these website owners are missing out on a SEO opportunity by failing to include keywords in the title tags of their page. Most of all, our websites represent our lives. The most popular word was "life," making it clear that we really do see our online world as an extension of our physical world.   What else do you see? Share your thoughts in the comments. Create Your Blog
  • Webinar: Optimize Your Landing Pages for Conversions and SEO!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 by
    Webinar Optimize Landing Pages for Conversions and SEO Landing pages are a key part of any online marketing strategy. They're the perfect spot to send customers to drive sales, generate leads, or build your subscriber list. With typical average conversion rates of 3%, it makes sense that less than a quarter of business owners are satisfied with their conversion rates. You don't have to settle for a 3% conversion rate, though, and you don't need to toil for months over your computer screen in order to improve it. Wishpond has made a science out of optimizing landing pages, and their methods work. They've been able to help their clients achieve average conversion rates from 9.87% (B2C) to over 13% (B2B). That's why we've partnered with them for a free webinar. Please join us for a half-hour where we'll show you just how easy it is to set up landing pages on your website, and how to optimize them for SEO and conversions. If you've ever found yourself asking any of the questions below, you'll want to join us Tuesday, September 20th, at 1pm Central.
    • What is a landing page?
    • How do I optimize my landing pages for SEO to reach more customers for free? 
    • How can I set up my website and create landing pages?
    • What are the best practices for a successful landing page that drives conversions?
    By the end of the webinar, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to set up a basic website, optimize your landing pages for SEO and conversions, and be excited to see the leads start rolling in. Presented by Bree Nakatani, Customer Success Manager for Wishpond and Amelia Willson, Content Marketing Manager for HostGator.

    Register Now!

    Once you register, be sure to enter our contest to win a year of free hosting from HostGator and a year of Wishpond's Pro Plan! Click here to enter.

  • Uncle Carl Creates Blowerz As New Head of Product Development

    Friday, April 1, 2016 by
    HostGator  Blowerz Since we have introduced Uncle Carl to the world, he has become a smashing success. People have absolutely LOVED his unique inventions. For those that don't know Uncle Carl, he is the mastermind behind Waist Holders, Lady Fashion Wallets, Ear Bookz, and my personal favorite, Shabamazama. In fact, because we can't get enough of Uncle Carl's creativity, we have brought him on as HostGator's Head of Product Development! Uncle Carl hit the ground running and has already introduced some revolutionary new ideas! Blowerz, his initial offering, is an ingenious invention that will help keep our servers cool and running at maximum efficiency. He's designed a couple of prototypes thus far. The first was a setup of straws throughout the facility that cousin Jerry would blow into. Unfortunately, this didn't keep the servers cool for long and cousin Jerry started to get light headed more or less right away. Turns out, this was an inefficient prototype. So now we're happy to introduce the new design! HostGator April Fools This state of the art contraption (as Carl calls it) will reverse the flow of a vacuum and push the air right through an industrial pipe system. Our servers will be cool in no time. Currently we are calling many manufacturers about creating this product and nobody seems to be interested in this yet. Uncle Carl believes they just can't understand the nature of the system. However, Uncle Carl is optimistic in his efforts and we fully support his enthusiasm. We will have blowers on the back of all servers by the end of this year! Oh by the way, APRIL FOOLS!