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 “Best of 2017” round up blog posts online.
Here’s our list of HostGator’s top blog posts of 2017. Enjoy!
For domain names, as in real estate, having the right address can make all the difference. Before visitors see your site layout, content, and branding, your domain name is the first impression they have. Whoa, that’s a lot of pressure! Fortunately, these ten tips for picking your domain name should ease the process.
As intuitive as WordPress is, for anyone using it, it’s useful to have more information on the possibilities available on the platform and the resources out there you can take advantage of. For that reason, a number of WordPress blogs have risen to prominence that all provide a wealth of useful information on how to get the most out of the popular platform.
When you select a hosting environment, many of the hardware components will be the same, but if you run a larger site, then you’re going to need to focus on the scalability of the server resources. Here are the common hardware specifications you’ll need to look for when choosing a web host, including the amount of RAM and CPU you’ll need.
When you own a domain there’s a lot of things you’ll be able to do with it, beyond building a website on the domain. Naturally, talking about domain name transfers and name servers can get a bit technical and overwhelming, so we bring the process down from the clouds for you.
People sell websites for a variety of reasons, but they don’t always know where to start. We walk you through the process of selling your website. The more prep work you do, the smoother the sales process will be, and you’ll also improve the chances of selling your site for a larger payment.
cPanel can be used to accomplish a lot of website-related tasks. Uploading files, creating a domain email address, adding more domains to your hosting account, and installing WordPress can all be done in your cPanel. We dive into cPanel and walk you through accomplishing a variety of hosting related tasks.
A lot of gaming servers end up being limited. Instead of playing the kind of game you want to play, you’re stuck playing in the customized environment that’s required for massive server play. Sometimes you just want a little more customization and control over your gaming environment. This is where dedicated gaming servers come in.
As average internet connection speeds increase around the world, web users are becoming less and less tolerant of slow load times. At the same time, Google has stated unequivocally that it prefers to reward fast sites with higher positions in the natural search results. To take advantage of these dual benefits, you need to make site speed a priority on your site.
Local retail shops, DIY craft makers, and even bloggers are starting to sell their merchandise and services online. What separates the successes from the failures? Among other things, a strategy and a good website. Without these, you may be setting your e-commerce site up for failure.
As a website owner, is there anything more terrifying than the thought of seeing all of your work altered or entirely wiped out by a nefarious hacker? You’ve worked hard on your website (and your brand) – so take the time to protect it with these seven easy steps will help keep your website safe.
Thank you for reading the HostGator blog! We wish you a happy holiday and a merry new year!
In honor of our fifteenth birthday, we present to you a timeline of our favorite milestones in HostGator and Snappy's history.
A birthday gift for you!
Did we mention we're hosting a BIG sale on our cloud, shared, and managed WordPress hosting plans today? Head over to our home page to enjoy your special birthday discount (ends Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 at 11:59pm Central).
October 22, 2002
HostGator is founded in a dorm room at Florida Atlantic University.
Fun Fact: The company was almost called gatorhost.com instead of HostGator.com!
Snappy is born.
HostGator celebrates our 100th customer in February.
Snappy celebrates his first birthday and says his first word: “web site.”
Just one year later, HostGator reaches 1000 customers.
Snappy reaches his terrible twos and accordingly has his first temper tantrum when he loses his favorite stuffed teddy bear. Order is restored once he realizes it was hidden under the covers all along.
HostGator gains customers in the tens of thousands, and gets recognized for our award-winning reseller hosting with a Best Reseller Hosting Award from Hosting-Review.com.
At age three, Snappy starts riding a tricycle around his neighborhood. This will come in handy later when HostGator sponsors the Tour du Rouge for five years from 2010 to 2014.
HostGator launches our first international office in Toronto, Ontario. Oh, Canada!
The company relocates our headquarters from Boca Raton, Florida, to Houston, Texas, where we've been ever since.
Now four years old, Snappy learns how to tie his shoes and discovers his favorite candies are blue M&Ms. He also adopts his first dog!
The HostGator blog publishes its very first post. In international news, HostGator opens an office south of the equator in Brazil!
Five-year-old Snappy graduates from kindergarten, where he quickly became the class pro at playing leap frog (the big alligator tail helps).
HostGator reaches our first 100,000 customers in the summer and starts offering unmetered space and bandwidth as part of all hosting packages.
Snappy joins a Little League team. The six-year-old loves playing shortstop!
Just a year later, HostGator reaches 200,000 customers. We also begin offering toll-free numbers with all Business-level hosting packages for no additional cost.
Now aged seven, Snappy gets into comic books and decides he wants to be a superhero when he grows up.
HostGator opens our second Texas office in the state capital, Austin. We also win a Customer Service award from The Best Web Hosting Service.
At age eight, Snappy spends a lot of time building forts with his friends and learning to play basketball.
HostGator reaches over 500 employees and our support team receives its 5 millionth LiveChat. HostGator India launches!
Nine-year-old Snappy goes to his first summer camp and discovers his passion for painting. Check out his self-portrait below. (Just kidding; this was drawn by a child of one of our customers.)
HostGator is acquired by Endurance International Group.
Snappy reaches his double digits and throws a pool party in honor of his tenth birthday!
Endurance International Group, HostGator's parent company, goes public.
Aged eleven, Snappy debuts a new look at the Houston Aquarium. He found the stingray exhibit fascinating.
HostGator stretches its global reach, launching HostGator China and HostGator Russia.
Snappy stars in his first live-action advertisement!
HostGator launches managed WordPress hosting and integrates MOJO Marketplace into our QuickInstall platform.
A teenager at last! Snappy gets his first cell phone.
HostGator announces our cloud hosting and website builder products.
Now that he's fourteen years old, Snappy suffers from teenage angst. He regularly puts a KEEP OUT sign on his bedroom door. We think he's developed his first crush, but he's too busy Snapchatting to let us know who it is he's dreaming of.
HostGator launches an upgraded dedicated server platform and is putting the final touches on our new customer portal.
Snappy starts high school and is now the big man on campus! He even made the Junior Varsity football team.
Bonus Offer! Get Your Free Snappy Gift Today!
The coveted Snappy plush.
It's our most requested item on social media. Customers and Snappy fans often tweet us asking for their own.
In honor of Snappy's birthday sale, we are giving away free Snappy stuffed animals for a limited time!
Note: This giveaway is closed! Thanks to everyone who participated!
HostGator's annual scholarship program aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs pay for their education, while sharing their thoughts and visions for a world shaped by the internet. HostGator itself was founded in a college dorm room back in 2002 (shout out to Florida Atlantic University!), so we’re happy to announce this year's Website Scholarship program for college students!
Having been in the web hosting industry for over 15 years, we know firsthand how the internet has impacted the business world. Now we want to hear from you how it's impacted the world of education.
Three individual students will be selected to receive $1,500 in scholarship funds based on their winning essay responses to the question,“How has the internet impacted your education?”
A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to three individual students who write the most compelling essays as judged by HostGator staff. Scholarship funds must be used to pay for qualified expenses, including tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Your completed 500-word essay response to the question "How has the internet impacted your education?" (Copied and pasted in the body of the email, or attached as a Word or Google doc)
Your college or university
Your expected year of graduation
Your intended major or area of study
The deadline for submissions is November 30th, 2017, and winners will be notified individually and announced on or about January 14, 2018.
Applicants must be enrolled in an associate's degree, bachelor's degree or graduate level program at an accredited 2-year college or 4-year university during the 2017-2018 academic year. Students of all majors are encouraged to apply.
Employees of or immediate family members of employees of HostGator or Endurance International Group are ineligible for this award.
Digital Rights Agreement:By submitting an entry to this competition, you agree that all essay and content submissions will become the property of HostGator and may be used in marketing materials, reposted or displayed online in whole or partial form without notification.
For more information on HostGator web hosting, please visit our home page.To learn more about last year's program and read the winning essays, click here.
Today we're proud to announce the winners of the HostGator Small Business Scholarship. Of nearly 100 applicants from colleges across the nation, three winners were chosen to receive $1,500 in scholarship funds to help pay for their education expenses such as tuition, fees, books and on-campus room and board.
We launched our scholarship programin May of last year. As a leading provider of web hosting and related services for small businesses, we wanted to provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs and tech professionals to share their ideas for advancing the future of small business development.The following three students were selected by HostGator staff based on their essay response to the question, “What is the biggest tech challenge facing small businesses today, and what is your proposed solution?”
Logan Miller, an undergraduate student at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, discussed the uphill battle many local businesses face when trying to compete with large national businesses in online search results. He suggested small businesses come together to develop a mobile app that would enable business owners to network with each other and make it easier for consumers to shop local.
Chelsea Sumner, an undergraduate student at Wagner College’s Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing, recounted the steep online marketing learning curve she faced when founding her small business. Her solutions included rate-based advertising determined by business tenure and more educational programs for small business owners surrounding online search marketing and business negotiations.
Raquel Solares, graduate student at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, also highlighted the disadvantages small businesses face when it comes to budgeting for Search Engine Optimization and paid Google advertising. She proposed a new section on the right-hand side of Google search results that would be dedicated exclusively to small business listings.
Read the winning submissions below. Congratulations to Logan, Chelsea, and Raquel!
HostGator Small Business Scholarship Winning Essays
What is the biggest tech challenge facing small businesses today, and what is your proposed solution?
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
[caption id="attachment_15936" align="alignright" width="300"] Logan Miller[/caption]
In this rapidly evolving world of tech and social media, small businesses find themselves out of place. No longer are traditional forms of advertising such as TV and radio ads effective. Even a well-designed, money-intensive website proves to be lackluster when it comes to attracting new customers, especially younger generations. In today’s economy, word is spread via social media. Whether that is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, the world sees trends through these outlets. Rather than focusing on promoting links on Google or ceaselessly renovating their webpages, small businesses should turn to private partnership networking apps.
The value of private partnerships can be seen in many places. For example, in Tucson, Arizona, several downtown businesses collaborated after the Great Recession to revitalize the downtown area. In promoting and networking with each other, businesses such as the Rialto Theatre and Club Congress brought in new customers and helped spur economic recovery in a hurting economy.
Now, the first step in promoting these private partnerships, wherein small, local businesses promote each other, is to display these partnerships and the services or goods these businesses offer in a clear and concise way. This can be done simply through an app! Imagine you’re traveling to a new city, and you want to find a local bookstore. You go into your phone, download said app, enter the locality you’re visiting and voila! A listing of local businesses in the region pops up. What’s even better is that the stores themselves offer up suggestions for other businesses customers might enjoy or need.
One possible downfall for this plan is the cost of developing the app. Many small businesses are already strapped for the cash and manpower needed for a project such as this. However, there is a rather simple and innovative solution. Who is spearheading new development in tech while writing the rules of social media? The youth.
In partnering with local schools, small businesses would be able to capitalize on the technological prowess of the youth. Many schools already have Career and Technical Education programs in place to provide students with real world job experience. Auto repair and biotechnology are taught in schools, and since the technological sector is one of the fastest growing, most profitable industries in the world it would make perfect sense to provide students hands-on, real world experience in that job market.
The development of this networking app will serve several purposes. It will provide local businesses for an easily-accessible display for their businesses, attracting customers through the conveniency of their phones. Secondly, it will provide local students hands-on, readily applicable job experience while possibly opening them up to internships or job opportunities with the businesses they are working with. Furthermore, the app’s creation will spur connectivity between local businesses, helping them to organize together to prevent large-scale, national chains from out-competing them. Finally, by partnering with local schools, local businesses will help spread their names throughout the community in which they reside. Word of mouth is still important today, especially in the age of social media. By integrating themselves with the students designing the app, their parents, and the teachers, the businesses will greatly expand their customer base.
Wagner College, Evelyn L. Spiro School of NursingA year ago, if someone were to ask me if I wanted to go to a room escape, my first question would be: What’s that? To which this person would respond something to the extent of: It’s a room where you and a group have sixty minutes to try and escape -- At this point in the conversation, if you were to slice my brain in half you would probably only find words like escape and stuck and panic nestled within every sulci. I am sure that many would share these sentiments that I once had. Before doing my first room escape, the prospect of being locked in a room did not sound like an ideal Friday night.Fast-forward to just a few months ago and I can be found painting blue and orange fluorescent paint on dozens of fake flowers to use as decoration for an awesome new escape room. When I was helping create the room, I had no idea how difficult and expensive online advertising would be. As a small business with a new brand and no followers, we had to take on the task that all new small businesses have to tackle: finding customers. Although I am a nursing student, I never considered myself illiterate in the world of business --At least not until I became part of a team that started a small business. My great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from Armenia and started his own business. Watching my mother and her entire family be involved in a business made me feel prepared to take on my own. I quickly learned that starting a new business was a task I did not know anything about. In 2016 online advertising is a huge tech challenge that small businesses have to face because it is absolutely necessary for success. Virtually every industry relies on some sort of online advertising or online presence and many small businesses are quick to get their name out there in any way possible. Naively, I presumed that online advertisement would simply consist of social media venues, a website for the business, coupon sites and business rating sites. I quickly learned that this was a huge tech challenge for our new business. Since every business is essentially different, there is no “how to” guide when it comes to online marketing. The first task was to create a website and learning about keywords. That is, trying to get your site to pop up when a Google user searches anything remotely related to your business. The second task was much more daunting than we had ever expected. With one popular site, we signed a deal that would charge us two dollars every time someone clicked our advertisement. Unfortunately we did not read the fine print and the price said that it was “subject to change”, and of course we saw a steady increase before cancelling the deal. We were so excited, and somewhat desperate, to get started in online advertisement that we were not cautious. In this case, it was our fault for not reading the small print and it was a lesson well learned. In our next advertisement deal, we negotiated percentages with the site and actually ended up with a better deal. Through trial and error, we were able to work through this tech challenge. A proposed solution to this tech challenge could be creating online advertising tools and deals specifically priced at the age of the business. For example, a business that has been opened only one month could be quoted differently than a business that has been open for two years. This gives new small businesses a chance to get on their feet before paying a fortune in advertising. A less costly and more reasonable solution would be to educate small business owners on how to negotiate in online advertising and how to use keywords so potential customers are able to find the business on search engines.
Arizona State University, Thunderbird School of Global Management
It seems as though local small businesses are being replaced by standardized chain businesses at a rapid rate. Even worse, finding an organic search on a search engine for small businesses can be difficult or next to impossible. This is worrisome for those small business owners looking to expand their clientele. Small businesses are important to our economy and they need to be a priority when considering new methods of advertising, especially with the current US consumers’ reliance on technology.
Small businesses have shown to be important for driving economic growth. According to The Washington Post, during the US economic downfall of 2009, entrepreneurship decreased, however, it has yet to recover to post 2009 rates. Even more alarming is, since 2008, more businesses are exiting than entering business. Studies have shown that young businesses are important for creating net new jobs in the US. This job creation feeds the economy through job recipients becoming consumers, returning money to businesses and continuing the economic cycle.
Due to paid advertisements, larger businesses can afford to promote their businesses more effectively. Larger business can afford to pay for more time for SEO experts to work on their sites and make sure organic searches remain at the top level. All the while, small business owners may have to compete with less desirable search terms when receiving work done by SEO experts, due to pricing and inability to penetrate typical searches effectively.
While working at a hosting company, I frequently experienced customers wanting a higher ranking on Google. After discussing their type of business, the investment in SEO, the cost, and the lengthy amount of time it would take to increase the ranking, the small business owners usually felt discouraged. For some business owners, it is financially impossible to compete on the online platform with the big players in their industry. (Due to differences in industry, some businesses must pay substantially more because of higher competition)
Redesigning a search platform (preferably Google) to include small businesses as a priority ranking will help the economy grow. It will give local small businesses a new platform to compete on rather than fighting a losing battle against chain businesses. Currently after a search is done in Google, the right side of the browser screen is completely blank which leaves plenty of space for a local small business section. With growing reliance on organic searches, small business owners need a platform where they have the ability to compete appropriately.
We'll be announcing our next scholarship in early 2017. Subscribe to our blog to be the first to know!
This Facebook Live occurred on January 25th, 2017. Thanks to everyone who joined us!
Here are the links we promised and additional resources to help you get started on a stress-free sales tracking solution!
Original post below:
Think back on your most recent sale and ask yourself the following questions...
How did it go?
Which channels did you use?
Which ones performed best? Which performed worst?
What do you need to replicate next time?
What should you not do again?
It’s easy enough to answer the first question. If you aren’t able to answer the rest, or you find yourself just answering from your gut, that’s a sign that you need to be using sales tracking.
Fortunately, we've got an upcoming webinar designed to help you do just that. Drawing on our own experiences at HostGator from managing the sales tracking for our weeklong 2016 Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, we'll share how to easily and systematically identify your marketing channels and track which sales come from which channels.
How does this knowledge help you?
You'll plan future sales better because you'll know which channels perform best.
You'll devote more energy and spend to your higher-performing channels, and waste less money in your underperforming ones.
You'll have more time to spend strategizing and building your business because the tracking will be taken care of.
Most importantly, you'll make more money and grow your business faster.
Join us Wednesday, January 25th at noon Central on Facebook Live for a FREE webinar. You'll leave feeling energized, motivated, and excited for better sales performance. We promise.
Meet Your Hosts:
About Amelia Willson
Amelia is the Content Marketing Manager for HostGator. Her areas of expertise include content development and strategy, SEO, and online reputation management. When she's not helping entrepreneurs with their online marketing needs, you can usually find her running around Austin with her dog or blogging about Disneyland.
About Kyler Patterson
Kyler is the Customer Growth Manager for HostGator. He has been featured in Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, and other industry publications. When he’s not working his 9-5, you can probably catch him playing with his Facebook ads.
Discover the simple solution to sales tracking. Join us Wednesday, January 25th at noon Central for a FREE webinar hosted on Facebook Live. We'll reveal how we manage our sales tracking at HostGator, and provide you with free plug-and-play resources so you can do the same. See you there!