Monday, April 27, 2015 by Tarun BhattiAre you ready, friends? Mobilegeddon is upon us.Don’t worry, your new smartphone hasn’t finally become sentient (that we know of), but there are big changes ahead. Before you reach for your tinfoil hat, there are a few things you should know. Google tweaked its search algorithm on Tuesday. From now on, sites that aren’t mobile-friendly -- meaning ones that have text that's too small, take a long time to load, or are generally hard to navigate -- will see their search rankings plummet. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re about to experience a huge drop in search traffic. Not great, obviously, but here’s why it’s a very big deal: Approximately 86% of all U.S. smartphone users search via Google. There are 177 million websites covered by Google search. If you’re not optimized for those mobile users, you’re going to get lost in a very large crowd. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Sunday, January 25, 2015 by Brandi BennettSubscription 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 StartedYou'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! Ready to start your subscription business, but don't have a website yet? Get one up and running fast with one of HostGator's reliable web hosting programs.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by Jeremy Jensen
Amidst our globalized world where everything and everyone is getting connected online, it's easy to get caught up in cyberspace and forget that you are using a technology barely fifty years old. That’s right, the Internet originated in the early 60’s and yet the Web seems to now infiltrate every facet of our everyday lives. Be it in your content consumption, your car, your home, or even your own body.
Integrating growing technologies and the best methods, the Internet is truly evolving faster than we could ever have imagined, not just becoming a larger part in our lives, but life itself. And thus, I dare introduce to you, the latest prediction as to the Internets next grand step — Web 3.0.
“Wait,” you’re thinking “so when did Web 2.0 happen?” Believe it or not, you’re reading this on 2.0 right now. Although Web 2.0 leads you to believe that you somehow downloaded some official upgrade from the 1.0 static version without knowing it, be informed that there is no formal patch or update.
Rather, Web 2.0 is a blanket term for the generation of interactive social media functions on most modern sites. Instead of a basic webpage that only allows passive content viewing, Web 2.0 incorporates a virtual community where the user may engage in a dialogue and interact with the site’s creator and others; for example, a 2.0 site could be a product’s site with a review board, a blog with a comments section, or even an Ask-Me-Anything page on Reddit. Also known as the Social Web or the Mobile Web, 2.0 strives to be a communication tool for collaborating and sharing with one another-- people connecting with people.
Web 3.0Building upon 2.0’s notion of connecting people, the next generation will attempt to link us with information and be a “Smart Web.” Though some are skeptical at the very mention of artificial intelligence, most of us subscribe to the idea that technology, science, and people are all working symbiotically at an unprecedented rate to create more efficient tools. Whether or not this means sentient, free-thinking machines and The Singularity one day is up for debate, but what is clear, is that humans are using the Internet much like an extra brain. And this is precisely where Web 3.0 comes in — it’s a “Semantic Web” that would provide a uniform framework so that data could be shared, analyzed, and reapplied across all applications and platforms for unlimited function, maximum effectiveness, and with minimal human interaction. This essentially means that there would be a such a sophisticated element in the web that it could actually “understand” you and interpret what you want.
Sci-fi crazy nonsense? Some may think so, but I think it is closer than most people would care to believe. Take Siri for example. She is a “Knowledge Navigator” that utilizes a natural language user interface that adapts to individual preferences and eventually customizes results for you. Now if you can consider an Internet experience that would combine this technology with all your personalizations collated and surmised from Big Data collection, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. Through the sites that you frequent, the past searches you have made, products you have bought, links you have posted, pages you have liked, personal descriptors you have provided, a semblance of the user’s identity is formulated. It then uses this personalized data as a metric in which to measure, screen, and ultimately select what is best suited to your needs. In layman's terms, Web 3.0 will attempt to be an online version of yourself that does all of your surfing for you.
The Future of the Web
The convergence of emerging and developing technologies will continue to reshape, innovate, and disrupt current web standards; however, it is imperative to remain objective to a point with its role. As technology becomes ubiquitous, it will be increasingly difficult to ask ourselves the hard questions, like are we missing a natural and organic method to our own madness by letting the Internet pervade all stages of humanity?
This is not to say that we should be wary of The Terminator or The Matrix coming true (if it hasn't already), but rather ask if there ever should be lines drawn. In light of Edward Snowden’s leaked government documents on mass surveillance and data mining, it is safe to say that technology is quickly becoming a double-edged sword that every person will have to wield. Will it be the machete that cuts a path or will it be the blade in our own Seppuku? The choice is ultimately ours.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Patrick PelanneTonight Google announced a flaw in the design of SSL v3. We have been tracking this issue after we heard whisperings in private security circles last week. Upon disclosure of the details we began remediating immediately. The vast majority of end users should not experience any issues as a result of the changes we’re making. In fact, Google estimates this change will affect less than 1% of the internet. (The SSL 3.0 protocol is almost 15 years old but has remained in place to support users running older browsers.) The attack vector for this vulnerability has prerequisites and is very sophisticated. As such, the real world severity is far below the recent Heartbleed & Shellshock vulnerabilities. Check out Google’s Security blog for details. If you would like to be 100% protected, you can disable SSLv3 in your browser settings. Information on how to do this in a few popular browsers can be found here.
*****Patrick Pelanne is Endurance’s Vice President in charge of System Operations. Previously he has served as HostGator’s Chief Operating Officer and HostGator’s Deputy Chief Technical Officer.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 by Sean Valant
The bad guys are unfortunately at it again. Today the Internet lit up with news of a new vulnerability, officially named "CVE-2014-6271," but more widely-known as "Shell Shock," a reference to the environment exploited, known as a shell.. The shell in question is called BASH, itself an acronym for Bourne Again SHell. Nearly all Linux servers in the world have BASH installed; it is the most common shell in use today. A shell itself is what is used to interact with the operating system via command line.
Before we proceed, you should know that all HostGator servers have been patched as of this writing. We identified the issue very early-on and developed the necessary solution for our environment. We are, of course, continuing to monitor the situation and will react appropriately should the need arise.
As with any security or vulnerability risk, it is important to reiterate the importance of practicing good security to the extent of your ability as an end user. Always use secure passwords (you know the drill: upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters), always keep any third-party scripts (such as WordPress, Joomla, etc.) up-to-date, and always uses the latest version of any software that you utilize... because the truth is that often software is updated strictly for security patch purposes.
Should the need arise, we will update this blog post accordingly. Otherwise, stay safe out there on the Interwebs!Try HostGator Today!