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  • 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!

  • 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