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  • HostGator Announces 2018 Scholarship Winners

    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by
    Internet Education Scholarship We just wrapped up our second inaugural scholarship and are excited to announce the winners! We had over 200 applicants from colleges and universities across the country who answered the question, "How has the internet impacted your education?" Three winners were chosen to receive a $1,500 scholarship to be used towards their education expenses. Our business relies on the internet, and we understand how impactful it can be. We wanted to provide a platform for students to share their experiences on how the internet has influenced their education. The following winning essays were chosen by HostGator staff based on the quality, originality and creativity of their answers.  

    Katie Holmlund, Morningside College

    Katie HolmlundThe internet; one can’t escape it anymore. There are those who view it as a corruption and there are those who view it as a godsend. I, for one, am one of those who consider the internet a saving grace. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to go back to school. The internet has given me the ability to be who I really want to be and not be stigmatized by judgmental teachers who are only in the classroom to gain a paycheck; I have had this happen at my previous university. In the traditional classroom, college level, I suffered tremendously. The constant lectures would lull me to sleep. I wasn’t able to absorb any of the material presented. Needless to say, I did not do very well in my courses. I passed, but barely. There was so much pressure to be on time to class, to sit still, and pay attention to the monotone professor speaking about complex equations that Einstein would only understand. And the note taking was insane! I received carpal tunnel from having to write down everything that the teacher put on the board. No note sheets were handed out. The notes were pointless anyway since it was all done in my sloppy handwriting that I couldn’t read to save my life. With the internet, learning comes easier. The material is still in text form and most classes require textbooks. But, note taking isn’t required. The teachers present material in PDF format or attachments that can be read over and over again and are legible, unlike my repulsive handwriting. Another great thing about online education, the grades are reported much faster and feedback is constant. The assignments, I found, are more challenging than any traditional classroom test. The assignments also allow me to demonstrate my knowledge using various platforms. I’m not doing strictly paper and pencil tests. The internet allows me to use PowerPoint, videos, Prezi, and other methods that can deliver my full potential. With these assignments, since they require a lot of work, we get extended work time. In my previous college experience, we would be assigned an eight page paper and it would be due in two days. With the internet, since information can move a lot faster, that eight page paper would be due in five to six days. There is less of a time constraint using internet education. The internet has also the amazing bonus of flexibility. Being a single mom, flexibility is a must when it comes to education. Internet, or online education, allows me, and other students, to complete courses at our own pace and on our own time. This, in a traditional setting, would never happen. The internet has revolutionized education. It has made it a lot easier for anyone to advance themselves and provides a lot of opportunities for those wanting to make that advance. Without the internet, I would not be able to go back to school to gain my Master’s degree and provide a better life for my son.  

    David Ledo, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College

    David Ledo The word “impact” does not give justice to the mark that the internet left on my education. The internet has dramatically changed my life. I was born in 1989 to Vietnamese immigrants who knew nothing about technology. Two years later the internet also came into the world. I was not able to see the internet at its infant stages because I myself was an infant. However, I was alive and fortunate enough to see the internet become commercialized and accessible to everyone. My parents were refugees from the Vietnam War so they could not afford the internet or even a computer when they were starting to get popular. However when I enrolled in public school, I was able to use a computer for the first time in the library. That is the first time in my life where I connected to the entire world. That moment would forever shape the course of my life. The internet changed my landscape, gave me access to infinitely valuable resources, and fueled my imagination for the rest of my life. The first time the internet shaped my education was when I was in kindergarten. I was having a hard time adjusting to school because I did not know the language. My parents barely spoke any language when they first came to America. They had full citizenship but they struggled to learn a second language at their age due to the lack of resources. However, I was more fortunate since my school started their first “ESOL” program. The English teachers were able to teach me English for the first time simply by emailing people for hand typed resources. Things like Google Translate did not exist back then. Thanks to the internet, I went from a kid of an immigrant who spoke no English to being one of the brightest students in the school. As soon as I was able to grasp English, I was able to understand complex concepts and ideas that made school actually enjoyable for me. For the first time in my life, I could understand the other kids. This event may seem small and insignificant but it opened a very large door for me that I could not open on my own without the help of the internet. The second time the internet surged my education was when I was a bit older. I was around seventeen when this happened. By this time, there was a large increase in the amount of typing, programming, and computer science. I took a typing class and after one year, I was typing at around ninety words per minute. During this period, I found out my dad had lung cancer. I was the oldest so it fell on me to be the man out of the family and go to these doctor appointments with my dad because my mom did not understand much English. Within three months my dad died. My mom could not make ends meet on her own so I quit school to take up two jobs to help pay for bills so that my two younger siblings could have an education and future. The irony is that I had one of the highest graduation test scores before I dropped out. I was convinced I could not do anything else in my life until someone recommended to me that I get my GED. I did not have any books or the means to buy them. My entire paycheck was going to my mom to help us survive. That is when an old school guidance counselor told me to check out the internet. She told me that there a vast number of test prep and academic self-study tools online. I went to my local library and checked out the website links that she sent me and within a month, I had my GED. I was overwhelmed after that honestly. I never thought that I would be able to go to college. I realized if this was on the internet, what else would there be. The next thing I know I was applying for college through the internet. This is extremely cliché and kind of embarrassing to say but I have to say it. The internet gave me hope. It gave me a future. Older generations do not realize the impact of the internet. They feel like technology is making people distant and is the cause of social decay. The reality of that situation is not true. A creation is not responsible for its creator’s faults. If you read the classic English novel of Frankenstein, you would realize the dilemma and principle that it presents. The internet allowed me to learn English. The internet gave me a second chance at education. The internet connected everyone on the planet on one virtual common ground. You can reach anyone with the stroke of a keyboard through email. We are not only able to spread our ideas and opinions across the planet, but even students who have a failing immune system who could never be in a classroom is able to have perfect attendance through a webcam. The internet did not impact my education but instead saved it.  

    Richard Wu, University of Chicago

    Richard WuIt’s hard to overstate the internet’s prevalence in education. The sharp tap-tap-tap of keys replace what was once the scratching of pens on paper in my university’s musty, old lecture halls. Notes are now passed around in the cloud on a Google Doc shared with ten other classmates. The professor stops mid-lecture to play a Youtube video. Come finals, I hit the books. At least, online textbooks, which are open alongside Quizlet, CourseHero, and Facebook, where my study group anxiously exchanges practice problem answers. The courses aren’t easy, but studying sure is. I can click from Youtube video to video before I find the perfect tutor (thanks, Khan Academy) and review lecture notes stored on Dropbox. But for my grandparents in Inner Mongolia, education growing up was inconceivably inaccessible. My grandpa, or yeye, had to join the military to receive a free education. Every morning in military school, the chalkboard was erased. Without an iPhone to take photos of lecture notes, yeye covertly carried the clunky chalkboard from classroom to quarters for additional study time. That’s how he learned how to write. In the States, to realize my passion for social businesses, I applied to HBX CORe, an online business certification. Students from nearly 40 different countries logged in at our convenience, easily looking back on coursework days after lecture. My nainai, or grandma, picked flowers under an open window of the elementary school she couldn’t afford to attend. By ear, she memorized the poems being recited in an unsuspecting classroom. When class dismissed, nainai accosted strangers to briefly lend her their books to match the phonetics with written characters. That’s how she learned how to read. In sharp contrast, I learned my first Spanish words with Duolingo, the gamified language app. With beginner spanish under my belt, I was able to pursue my interests in NGO consulting hands-on, booking a flight on Expedia and living in Peru through AirBnB. I had Google Translate to buoy my speaking abilities and digital Lonely Planet guides to direct me through historical sites. I still chat with friends made there on Whatsapp, where we exchange bits of both English and Espanol. The tools and resources available in the cloud have bridged access and brought ease to the previously unimaginable. My interest in NGO consulting wasn’t bound by case studies. With powerful language-learning apps, I could actually go to Peru and work alongside an NGO. To realized my passion for social entrepreneurship, I didn’t wait to earn a MBA. Rather, I could access a wealth of business courses anytime, anywhere. With internet access, there are no longer barriers to knowledge. Chalkboard notes can be revisited at the tap of a finger; poems overheard can be stored in an audio clip. The tenacious desire for education of my yeye and nainai compel me to never take my education and what I can make of it for granted. I will continue to grow and learn: to do right by them and to do right by me.
  • HostGator History Quiz

    Monday, November 20, 2017 by

    Think you know everything about HostGator? Time to put your skills to the test. Brush up on your HostGator history with this quiz!

    Difficulty Level: HARD

      [qzzr quiz="451177" width="100%" height="auto" redirect="true" offset="0"]  
  • How To Create Your First Facebook Ads, Step By Step

    Wednesday, December 7, 2016 by
    Create Facebook Ads Step by Step Starting your first Facebook ads can be a daunting task. With so many steps, and so much to account for, it can seem a little overwhelming. But don't fear! Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide to create Facebook ads. HostGator Website Builder  

    Creating Your Facebook Ad Campaign

    Step 1: First, you’ll want to make sure you’re logged in under your business account. In the upper right hand corner under pages, select Ads Manager. Facebook Ads Manager   Step 2: You’re now inside your Facebook Ads Manager account. Select Create Campaign. Create Facebook Campaign   Step 3: You now have the option to set the goal of your campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Get people to visit your website? Or boost sales in general? Choose whichever selection best fits your goals for the campaign. Facebook Ad Goal   Step 4: Finally, set your Campaign Name. If you plan on running the same campaign throughout the year with some changes, you might consider putting the date in the name. Facebook Ad Campaign Name  

    Creating The Audience For Your Facebook Ad

    If you have previously created an audience, just used the ‘Saved Audience’ tab, select your audience and proceed to our Placements Section. Step 1: Determine if you want to use a custom audience. The Custom Audiences box allows you to include or exclude audiences you have previously built. You might find this useful if you want to target only potential new customers and exclude your current customers, or include/exclude any audience lists you already have saved. Create Facebook Audience   Step 2: Next you’ll want to choose the locations you want your ads shown to. If you are a local business you can select to show your ads only in your city. You can also exclude certain locations if you choose. Create Facebook Audience   Step 3: Fill in the applicable Age, Gender and Language information for your business. Create Facebook Audience   Step 4: Determine your Detailed Targeting Detailed Targeting is where you’ll target people with interests similar to your business. Facebook compiles the information people put on their profiles, so you can reach the best audience for your ads. For example, if you run a computer repair service based out of Dallas, you might want to add: computers, computer repair, technology, shop local and Dallas. Facebook Detailed Targeting Now Facebook is going to target people that match ONE of those things; so if you want to be more specific you can choose to narrow your audience. Then Facebook will target people who are interested in one of the above AND whatever else you include. Facebook Targeting  

    Building Your Ad Set:

    Step 1: Choose the Placement of your ads. You can do this manually if you know specifically, or you can let Facebook choose for you with their new Automatic Placement Feature. You’re determining where on Facebook you want your ads shown and if you want them shown on Instagram as well. Facebook Ad Placements   Step 2: Set your Budget and Schedule. Select your budget per day.  You can also choose to schedule the ad’s start and end date or have it run continuously. In this area, you’re able to adjust the optimization and delivery choices. Facebook presets them for you based on what they think is the best. You can go in and change them if you’d rather. Feel free to play around with these settings as you become more comfortable in Ads Manager. Facebook Ad Budget  

    Creating the Ad (or Ads):

    Step 1: Add your Media. This is your ad image or creative. Make sure it’s inviting and has a clear call-to-action. Facebook also has a 20% text rule for images meaning your ad has to have less than 20% text in it. Facebook will also give you some Instagram specifications if you selected Instagram placement in the ‘Placement’ category. Set up Facebook ad   Step 2: Write your Headline and Description. Does your headline encourage people to click on your post? Does the description explain your business or promotion? Does it offer a call-to-action?  You can utilize your headline and description to explain anything you couldn't include in the creative. Facebook Ad Headline   Step 3: Choose your Destination. This is whatever website you want viewers to go to when they click on the ad. Now this can be your website, an event’s website, or a landing page with a special promo. Make sure to UTM tag this URL so you can monitor the traffic and sales in Google Analytics. Facebook Ad Destination   Step 4: Add your Pixel Tracking. Ensure you’re tracking the sales and traffic you get from these ads through Facebook using your Facebook pixel.  Facebook Pixel Tracking   If you have not yet set up your Facebook pixel, follow these steps:
    1. Go to the Pixel section of your Ads Manager Account.
    2. Click Create Pixel.Create Facebook Pixel
    3. Choose a name for your Pixel, and hit Create PixelCreate a Facebook Pixel
    If you manage your website yourself, choose the Install Pixel Now button. If you have a developer, choose the Email Pixel Code option. Facebook Pixel If the Pixel is working, you should see your website’s activity in the Pixel Page of Ads Manager.   Congratulations! Your first ad has now been created! Optional Step 5: Create additional ads. You can choose to create similar ads using the same Ad Set settings. This can be useful if you want to play around with different headlines and descriptions. Create Facebook Ad  

    Analyze Your Facebook Ad Performance

    Go to Your Account Overview. There you will see your list of campaigns. This is also where you’ll be able to monitor the results of your ad; for explanations of each result, click on the “i” tooltip next to their names. This is also where you can turn off entire campaigns, ad sets, or individual ads. To do so, simply use the blue toggle bar shown below. Facebook Ad Analytics   How'd your ad perform? Share your experience in the comments!
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  • How To Run A Successful Facebook Contest In 5 Steps

    Friday, November 18, 2016 by
    how to run a facebook contest Chances are you’ve seen or been involved in some sort of Facebook contest. They are fun for the participants, but why do businesses host them? Not only are they great for branding, but they can also be an integral part of your social media strategy. HostGator Website Builder  

    Step 1: Determine your goals

    Before you make any other moves, you will want to figure out what you hope to get from the contest. Are you hoping to get more likes? Make sales? Improve engagement levels? Gather content for future use? Depending on the goals you set for yourself you will want to approach the setup of the contest differently:

    More likes:

    Ensure contest participants like your page for their entry to be valid. You can also make a play on this by having participants like your page and tag their friends in hopes of them also liking your page.

    Make sales:

    Generally speaking, just by putting out active and engaging material on Facebook you will be encouraging people to purchase your product. The idea is to drive people to your website to buy your product. A great option for this is to create your contest form using Survey Gizmo. After participants complete the form, you can set it to send these potential customers directly to your website. You’ll be surprised how many people end up purchasing! Alternatively, if they don’t purchase right then, you can use one of Facebook’s pixels in your survey to create an audience of these participants for future retargeting ads.

    Improved engagement levels:

    Engagement levels improve the more people click and interact with your social content. A contest is the perfect medium to engage with your customers and increase your engagement. Bonus engagement points if your contest involves commenting on your post as part of their entry.

    Free content:

    Contests are the perfect way to get user-generated content. Think photos of your customers with your product, customer testimonials, and blog posts. A contest is the perfect incentive for customers to send in their content for you to use in the future on your site and social.        

    Step 2: Think of a Theme

    Try to be as creative as you can. Customers, followers and potential customers will be more likely to interact with your contest if it has a unique and creative theme. Tie the prize into the theme of the contest. For example, our latest HostGator contest was a video game-themed contest. Our creative and copy were video game-themed and our prize was a HostGator branded xBox One. Contests are not only more fun and engaging this way, but they are easier to keep track of. HostGator Facebook Contest  

    Step 3: Choose your prize

    When deciding on a prize determine how much work a participant must do to enter. A good rule of thumb is the larger the prize, the more work you should expect them to do. A good place to start is by giving away one of your business’ products or services. This creates a great gateway for new potential customers to fall in love with your business. [bctt tweet="Rule of thumb for contests: the larger the prize, the more work you can expect participants to do." username="hostgator"]  

    Step 4: Advertise

    Facebook ads are the perfect place to start the advertising for your Facebook contest. If you’re planning on advertising your contest or boosting it in any sort of monetary way, you will want to make sure it’s running for at least two weeks. This gives ample time for the ads to reach their target audience and gives your participants time to participate. HostGator Facebook Advertising  

    Step 5: Analyze your results

    Facebook has a lot of really great tools in their “Insights” section that can tell you information like post engagement, page clicks, and page likes. You can also see your top posts based on engagement level, date or reach. These are great ways to determine the success of your Facebook contest, but you’re not limited to just these factors. Check your survey to see how many people entered. Was the content they submitted good? Take a look at the Facebook ads you ran in Ads Manager and see how many sales were a result of the contest. Determine if the cost of the prize and the ads is worth the likes, engagement, or sales. If the contest resulted in more revenue than money spent the decision is obvious. Other times you have to put a value on likes and engagement and weigh it against the money you spent on the contest.   There you have it - your five step guide to running a successful Facebook contest. To participate in future HostGator contests, be sure to follow us on Facebook! What are your tips for running a Facebook contest? Please share in the comments!
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  • Starting a Website: Linda’s Story

    Monday, June 6, 2016 by
    Starting a Website When we think of the World Wide Web, we often think of buying and selling online. Consider retail and wholesale sites, as well as sales and marketing sites for services. However, not all websites need to have ecommerce as their primary function. In fact, websites can fulfill a number of other functions.  At HostGator, we think everyone has something worth sharing on the world wide web. But starting a website can be intimidating. Maybe you’re not sure what topic you should focus on. Maybe you’re not sure it will be successful. Or maybe you’re not sure you would attract an audience. Our recent Facebook contest winner, Linda, has proven that taking a risk can have a large reward. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    Linda's Story

    Linda won our Facebook contest where we asked, “How did your HostGator website change your life?” We received over 100 entries from people all over the world in industries ranging from hospitality to seasoned entrepreneurs to novice business owners. Although all of the entries offered insights to how having an online presence has changed their business, Linda’s story offered a unique perspective. [caption id="attachment_11116" align="alignleft" width="300"]Linda with her son, Colin Linda with her son, Colin[/caption] Two years ago, Linda’s son died from cancer. While this is hard in itself, Linda and her family found it difficult to live with the knowledge that what he wanted most to accomplish in his short life was within reach but denied by poor communication between her son and the medical professionals taking care of him. This was her inspiration for starting her website. Examining the Examiner is committed to improving communication and promoting meaningful dialogue between patients and their health care providers by providing an interactive forum that can be accessed by patients and physicians. Examining the Examiner was created as a forum for patients to share how medical professionals can best meet their needs in communication. Patients and caregivers are welcome to respond to questions and interact within the forum. Linda’s website has not only helped her find closure, but it has impacted the lives of hundreds of other patients. Linda demonstrates that not all websites need to be used for running a business. Websites can be used for blogging, promoting, generating leads or showing off your portfolio. Her advice to us? To take the plunge. She says, “This is one of the best endeavors that I have ever tried to bring to fruition, and one that I was least sure about being successful.” Her site certainly has been successful allowing Linda to help a countless number of people, inspiring all of us to bring our websites to realization. Inspired by Linda? Get your own website today! Not quite sure yet what your website should be about? Check out this list of website types that aren't ecommerce.

    Event Promotion

    You might have a website whose primary purpose is to promote an event. For example, you may promote and offer details pertaining to a public event, such as a fair, a flea market, or a political rally. Or, through a limited access site, your aim might be to promote and offer details regarding a private event, such as a birthday party, an anniversary, a wedding, or a graduation. Your target audience here would be the people attending your specific event, so you may want to put relevant info behind a password wall.

    Blog

    You may simply want your voice to be heard, and one of the most efficient ways to allow this is to blog, which is a great use for a website. You may, of course, blog on any topic, but some of the more popular ones cover such topics as movie and live performance criticism, political opinions, and personal stories. Or you may have a blog associated with a class you teach or a group to which you belong. In the former case, your target audience could be anyone around the world, while in the latter case, your target audience would be more specific, likely members of the group being featured.

    Create Your Blog

    Fundraising

    Fundraising is another great function for a website. Often, non-profit organizations establish fundraising sites. Or, you might set up your own personal fundraising page to seek money for a medical procedure, alimony, child support, student loans, car payments, or other bills. You can target various people with a fundraising site. For example, you might target a social media group, such as all your Facebook friends or all your Twitter followers. Or, you might target everyone who has volunteered for your non-profit organization.

    Portfolio or Resume Showcase

    Another great use for a website is to showcase your portfolio or resume in a place where potential employers and supervisors can have easy access to it by simply going online. Your portfolio might include photos or videos of work you have completed, as well as descriptive or promotional writing regarding your work. You may also include others' positive reviews of your work. Besides potential employers and supervisors, you might target other working professionals who could learn from your work.

    Online Community or Forum

    You might establish a website for social purposes, such as bringing people together. Such a website would offer connection for people with a common ground such as alumnae of a specific college or university or members of a club. This type of site might list member names and contact information and share any announcements that are pertinent to group members behind a password wall.

    Online Magazine

    Sometimes, a website is established to feature magazine articles. Access can be public or private, depending on who the target audience is. This type of website might include information on Hollywood stars, book reviews, or other articles of interest to readers. Targeted readers could be local, or if you are ambitious about distributing your articles, you might target national or even international readers.

    Online Tutorial

    If you have a talent for a specific activity, you may want to establish an instruction, or "how to" website. Maybe you know how to make repairs around the house, launch a boat, build a model, or cook a meal. You can share all of your "how to" knowledge via the World Wide Web, making your website a popular forum for you and other contributors to share and exchange opinions on the best approaches to getting things done.

    News Site

    You might use a website to report news items. This could be an up-to-the-minute report site on world news developments, local news items, weather, traffic, and other relevant information. Your target audience might range from people all over the world to people living on a single block, depending on the type of news delivered.

    Media Gallery

    You might use a website to share your photos and videos. These photos and videos can be family oriented, work related, or home related. You might even share media of your pet. Your target audience might be friends, family, peers, potential employers, or co-workers, viewing media of a family picnic, company meeting, or other events in your life.

    Research Findings

    Perhaps you are a scientist looking to share your findings. A website can be the perfect forum in which to do so. Everyday, medical general practitioners and specialists turn to the web to share their findings and related information. Physicists, chemists, and other scientists can also share their research on the web, with target audiences being their peers and sometimes, the public.

    These are just a handful of the common types of websites out there. As you can see, there are numerous types of websites that are not eCommerce based. Websites are a key method of communication in today's society, and are useful for communicating many important activities and messages beyond simply commerce.

    Get your own domain name and build your website today with HostGator - click here for a great deal!