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  • Top Tech Trends to Watch in August 2017

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by
    Tech News August 2017

    August 2017's Top Tech News

    The month of August looks likely to be a big month in the tech world. Many of the biggest players in tech are making big announcements and moving forward on anticipated projects. To help you stay on top of this month’s tech news, here are a few main stories to look out for. Dedicated Server

    Google Announces Facebook-Like News Feed

    Google has announced that its feed feature, which is already available to anyone using the company’s mobile app, will be moving to the desktop homepage for the site.  The company hasn’t said exactly when this change will happen, but for people who pull up the site every day (which is most of us), the change may have a big effect on how we interact with the service. Instead of a primary focus on the search box,  people will see a collection of suggested news and culture stories based on their interests.Google news feed  

    Facebook Launching Facebook TV

    If you were concerned that there just aren’t enough places online to watch TV, Facebook’s got you covered. They’ve partnered with a number of other media properties to start developing shows that will become available to users this month when they launch Facebook TV. Including original TV shows in the Facebook feed provides the company a new format for displaying ads, and could potentially give people a reason to spend more time on the site.  

    Hyperloop May Be Moving Forward (Maybe)

    Elon Musk has talked before about the possibility of a hyperloop – a type of transportation technology that can move people very quickly from one city to another. He shook up the tech news world last month with a Tweet suggesting a hyperloop project had received government approval. In a later tweet he verified that the verbal approval was preliminary and there was a lot of work to do before any project would receive the formal go-ahead, yet even the level of approval he’s got now feels like a big leap forward in the likelihood of seeing this ambitious project realized.  

    Debates Rage Over AI Concerns

    Another day, another example of Elon Musk in the news. Not content just to shake things up with hyperloop talk, he also made headlines last month by expressing his fear that AI posed a threat to humankind. The comment has set off a battle of ideas between Musk and other prominent techies who have criticized his concern, including roboticist Rodney Brooks and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.  

    Amazon Launches Spark and Pay Places

    Because Amazon can’t go a month without some big news, they’ve recently launched not one, but two new services. Amazon Spark is an Instagram-like feature for app users that will provide photos and other product-related content from customers and influencers with similar interests to yours in the app’s feed. In addition, they announced Amazon Pay Places which will allow people to use their Amazon account when shopping at brick-and-mortar businesses. While the option is only available at a few TGI Fridays locations so far, if you were worried about Amazon taking over the world of commerce, this is a step that seems poised to make that more of a possibility.  

    Release of Samsung Galaxy Note

    After a high profile mishap, with the Note 7 becoming the butt of many jokes when it famously burst into fire for some customers, Samsung is ready to try again. The company has announced that they’ll be releasing the Note 8 later this month. The recent release of the Galaxy S8 went off without a hitch, so the company is surely hoping to accomplish the same with the Note 8. galaxy-note-8-concept

    Google Analytics Offers Voice Navigation

    Google Analytics is joining the list of services that offers users the option of using voice-activated commands to navigate the service. If you use Google Analytics (and you should), the feature could add some efficiency to the process for you.  

    Lyft Joins the Ranks of Self-Driving Car Developers

    Lyft is throwing their hat into the ring of companies working to develop the technology for autonomous cars. They’ve stated that they expect a majority of their rides to become autonomous over the next few years, so they’re making a move now to be one of the players in developing the technology their business is likely to be dependent on.  

    The Dark Web Takes a Hit

    The dark web – sites where people can buy illegal materials – is under attack. The U.S. government shut down AlphaBay, a site considered to be the biggest online market for illegal drugs last month. They followed that up with the shutdown of Hansa, a popular AlphaBay alternative. Each time one market goes down though, another one manages to open up. Nonetheless, the government has made its intentions clear with these moves and there’s reason to expect they’ll continue to follow the illegal trade to shut it down wherever it goes.  

    Dropbox Starting to Prepare for IPO

    While the timing on when the IPO would happen is still unclear, Dropbox has made moves that show a plan to go public is in the works. They hired underwriters to help determine their valuation and may make the move later this year. If they do go public this year, they’ll be one of the biggest tech companies to do so in 2017. As full as August is looking to be with tech news, September is likely to be just as busy. Check back for our next installment of the top tech trends to watch for and subscribe to the HostGator blog.
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  • Top Tech Trends to Watch in July

    Thursday, July 6, 2017 by
    July Tech News

    July 2017's Top Tech News Stories

    Every new month brings new tech news with it, and businesses have good reason to pay attention. New technologies, updates to current tech tools, and the moves of the big tech companies are all likely to have an influence on how you run your business. To help you stay in the loop, we’ve scanned the web to bring you the top tech news you should be sure to keep your eye on in July. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    1. Uber Undergoes Big Changes

    The tech news world has Uber on the mind. The company’s not new to scandal, but the past month saw the ouster of the company’s CEO, the continuation of an intellectual property lawsuit against the company, and accusations that they ignored clear warning signs in hiring a driver that allegedly raped a passenger. In spite of all the bad press and big changes in the company though, Uber recently announced that their drivers have provided over 5 billion trips. Even as things get rough, the company still maintains a significant portion of the ridesharing market share.uber 5 million rides  

    2. Amazon Broadens Its Business Empire

    The other big story that got lots of people talking last month was the online giant’s purchase of a giant in an entirely different industry. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods suggests a big shift from the company into an industry they’ve only dabbled in so far: fresh food delivery. People can already order just about anything else they could possible need from Amazon, so why not add grocery delivery to the mix as well? While for some customers this looks like great news, for other companies in the food delivery business it’s troubling. Blue Apron’s IPO launched at about 50% less than the price they’d originally hoped for after news of the acquisition hit the news cycle. As Amazon keeps moving in new directions, businesses in a variety of industries keep having to scramble to compete with the company’s dominance.  

    3. The Petya Virus Reveals Our Cyber Vulnerabilities (Again)

    Last month we saw the WannaCry virus scare businesses and governments around the world into focusing more on their computer security. Without giving us much time to take a breath, the Petya ransomware attack hit a huge number of businesses and organizations throughout Europe and the United States. The malware program demanded $300 in bitcoin for people to save their files. If you’ve ever been lax about the security of your computer and website, these last couple of months have demonstrated the importance of acting to protect yourself. Make sure your website is secure and always back up your files.  

    4. WhatsApp Gains in Significance

    You hear about so many new apps and channels and platforms every day that it’s hard to know which ones are worth paying any attention to. A recent report suggests that WhatsApp is not one to be ignored. The app now trails only Facebook and YouTube in how frequently people around the world use it – beating out the much more talked-about platform Twitter.  If you’ve been ignoring WhatsApp so far, it might be time to familiarize yourself with the platform.  

    5. Twitch Releases Update

    The popular gaming platform has announced plans to launch an update this month that provides many features gamers have been asking for. The mobile update will include the option of streaming games directly on your mobile app, the addition of a “dark mode,” and easier navigation options.  

    6. New Video Conference Camera Goes to Market

    In a move likely to be relevant to a number of businesses, Owl Labs just launched a product specifically focused on improving videoconferencing. The new camera, called simply Owl, will record a 360º view of the room and automatically focus in on the person talking at any given time. For businesses that have a lot of meetings over video, the technology can simplify and improve the experience. And it adorably resembles an owl. owl labs

    7. Facebook and Google Move to Correct Privacy Issues

    Even as Facebook has comfortably dominated the social media space, it has time and again earned criticisms from users concerned about privacy. Google has similarly been successful in a number of areas its ventured into while also facing discomfort at times from users who feel the company goes too far in tracking and using the information they collect. Both companies are showing they’ve heard those criticisms (at least to a degree) and are taking some moves to respond to them. Facebook has released features that allow users in India to protect who has access to their profile pictures. Google has announced that those ads you see when logged into your Gmail account that creepily promote things mentioned in your emails should be a thing of the past, as they won’t have their algorithms scanning email content anymore for personalization. For those concerned about their privacy on these platforms, these steps seem pretty small, but they show that the companies are listening to user concerns to at least some degree.  

    8. Facebook and YouTube Take Steps Against Extremist Content

    Recent months have seen a rise in stories about extremist behavior. A lot of people believe that part of the blame for the rise in extremism is the accessibility of hate speech and other extremist content online. To do their part in helping curb the growth in extremist movements, both Facebook and YouTube are taking steps to identify and remove any content that’s hateful or promotes terrorist activities from their sites.  

    9. Congress Takes Aim At Internet Harassment

    For years, victims of online harassment have been complaining that the law hasn’t caught up to technology. The lack of clear laws or a process for responding to online harassment has given online harassers a lot of power over the lives of their victims, and the victims very little power to fight back. The Online Safety Modernization Act proposed by Rep. Katherine Clark seeks to change that. If the bill passes, it will outlaw abusive online behavior such as doxxing, revenge porn, and swatting. It will also provide funding to train local police in how to handle these types of crimes when they arise. While legislation likely won’t solve all the problems of people behaving badly online, it may well help the internet become a safer space for many of those victimized there now.  

    10. Companies Moving Us Closer to Having Robots in the Home

    Any tech innovation that moves us closer to the cool possibilities we saw in sci-fi movies will always be exciting, and several companies are working to move us toward a future where families can have robots in the home. The toy company Sphero is launching a company, Misty Robotics, that aims to create robot butlers that can tackle some of those pesky domestic tasks humans have to perform now. The home robot Kuri, from Mayfield Robotics, is becoming more advanced as the company continues to hone the technology. They’ve announced it’s now able to recognize pets, as well as humans, it can move around more smoothly, and it can livestream high-quality video. And finally, the German company Kuka that makes the robotics products that help build cars and machines is branching into the home robot field as well. With more and more companies moving into this space, the possibility that you’ll have an (affordable) home robot to help you out around the house in the next few years is starting to seem within reach.  

    11. YouTube Provides Better 360 Video Analytics

    A bit less exciting, but more immediately important to some readers will be YouTube’s announcement that it will be providing better analytics data to users that load 360 videos to the platform. The video platform will now use heat maps to demonstrate to video creators the parts of the 360 video that attract the most attention from viewers. If you use 360 videos in your marketing, this improvement will help you better understand what’s working.   The summer so far has been rife with exciting tech news and updates and there’s no reason to expect things to slow down now. Check back next month to learn the tech news to watch in August.
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  • Building Your Start-Up In An Evolving Technological Era

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by
    startup 01 You've heard it before, “Small businesses have never been easier to start,” or conversely, “Fifty percent of all start-ups won't be around in five years.” The truth is, the resources and information to begin planning a business have never been more accessible thanks to the internet. Everything from marketing to building a web-page equipped with responsive design can be learned from the comfort of home. Business itself, however, has not gotten any easier. If anything, the world of the sale has only become more competitive. In this article we'd like to discuss what foundational steps are still necessary to getting started, while focusing on the possibilities presented with a globalized market-place.  

    Planning A Foundation

    It's important to imagine a business as being a living, breathing organism whose very life is dependent on the planning and investment placed in it. The best business owners make their careers extensions of their personality, strengths and skill sets. Knowing yourself and the lifestyle you like to live is a tremendous first step to developing a service others will respond to. Ask yourself three questions:
    • What skill or product can I offer that enough people need?
    • Does this business already exist? If so, how can I do it better?
    • Will this business still be in demand five to ten years from now?
      A foundation in the business world signifies room for growth, and a stable platform from which sustainability can be achieved. Without one, your business is 50% more likely to fail according to a study written by Paul Tiffany in “Business Plans for Dummies”. To get familiar with the look of a business plan, we'd highly advise checking out the steps involved at the Small Business Administration's website.  

    Finding Momentum In The 20th Century

    Rather than outlining the legal logistics, and discussing what form of business structure you should follow, we'd like to explore how to approach making sales in such a diverse economy. Apparent or not, making money has moved farther away from the cash register every year. According to PR Newswire, 89% of consumers prefer shopping online rather than in a store. A trend that has extended prominently into the mobile market as devices are being optimized to support mobile browsing and e-commerce. It may surprise you to know, but:
    • Four out of five consumers used smart phones to shop in 2013
    • 78% of retailers plan on investing in mobile technology this year
    • Global 3G coverage is expected to be at 21% in 2014, increasing access for mobile users
     

    What This Means

    Ask yourself one more question: Will what you're selling be able to exist in the online market space? That is to say, your service or product can be seen, sold and shipped to anywhere in the world. One of the greatest factors being considered in business models nowadays, is how to best utilize the power of global connectivity. Think about it. What once was a limiting and location based market has now expanded to the eyes of anyone capable of accessing your web-page. Which leads us into the next point. If you're not interested or are incapable of selling your product/service directly, having an online presence is still a must when it comes to how people choose businesses today. The faster your company can establish itself in the search engines, the more likely you will begin to see a profit.  

    Steps To Begin Optimizing Your Web-Page

    The optimizing phase is a great place to be at for a start-up. It means your brand has been developed, you have something ready for sale, and all that remains is allowing your business to be seen by those interested in your trade.   1. Build A Website With A Responsive Design Due to the increasing amount of mobile users, a factor to retaining traffic is whether or not your website will work equally as well from a smart-phone or tablet. Many customers will give up if a page doesn't load correctly, or if it takes too long while browsing on a mobile network. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a way of building your website to adjust gracefully between a computer, smart phone, tablet, or any other device of varying screen resolution. Many hosting sites have RWD built into the newer themes, saving you the extra dollar when it comes to having someone write the code instead. To remain competitive in 2014, it's imperative that your information can be accessed no matter what device it's found on.   2. Make Your Website Visible There's a great deal to be said about how a website ranks in the search engine nowadays. Google, for example, has completely updated their algorithms to allow for more authentic and viable content to appear before any spam based pages. If Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems like an entirely new language, it may be worth the investment to hire a company capable of having your website rank before your competitors.   3. Understand Your Customers With Analytics

    Part of remaining in business is understanding what your customers want. By using Google Analytics you'll be able to monitor how much traffic your site receives, as well as how they move through its pages.

    By knowing what content gets page visits, you can begin to cater parts of your service towards areas of higher demand.

      4. Tap Into Social Media

    It may not be the first stop for new customers, but the advantages of sharing your business and its updates with all of your existing social circles free of charge is unbeatable in the marketing world. Word of mouth is still one of the most popular means of referral, and if someone can recommend your company through Facebook it's more likely an individual will trust your friend than a review left on Yelp.

     

    Many businesses have learned the expenses involved with marketing, and with how much you can benefit from Facebook for free, it's definitely an option you should consider once you're ready.

       
    Image Source: http://www.blog.zapstore.com/2012/04/how-smartphones-change-the-way-we-live-and-interact/
  • April 2013 Newsletter

    Friday, April 12, 2013 by
    It has been quite a while since our last official Newsletter.  The truth is that although we've been incredibly busy, and constantly growing, there hasn't been much news to share; its just been nose to the grindstone around the offices. Having said that, we wanted to take a moment to share with you some account security tips, news about our ever-growing social media presence, and first-up the fact that we're now hiring!  

    HostGator is Hiring!

    The truth is that HostGator virtually never stops hiring.  We are a constantly-growing company in an ever-expanding industry; we are always on the look out for qualified individuals to join us in our myriad of available positions.  From front-line Technical Support, to System Administrators, Billing Administrators, Account Managers, and Verifications Agents... entry-level through industry veterans, we are now hiring for all positions!  To apply, please visit http://hostgator.com/jobs or email us, jobs@hostgator.com. HostGator also has an employee referral program that is open to anyone and everyone; we will pay you up to $2,500 to refer qualified candidates to us for employment!  Full information about the employee referral program is available at http://www.hostgator.com/employee-referral  

    Account Security:

    Did you know that one of the most common causes for a hosting account to become hacked, or otherwise compromised, is also the most easily preventable cause as well?  If you use WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or any other PHP-script, database-driven CMS then it is vitally important that you keep these scripts up-to-date.  Failure to do so is literally an open door inviting hackers to gain access to your account.  Updating these scripts is as simple as logging into the back-end and clicking on any "update" notification that appears therein. If you install any of these scripts via HostGator's QuickInstall tool within cPanel, it will make this even easier for you by automatically updating your scripts!  

    HostGator on Social Media:

    HostGator is active on virtually every social media platform in existence today, from Facebook and Twitter to Google+, Instagram,  Pinterest, and more!  See the entire list, and follow us on your preferred platforms at this link.  

    New Domain Pricing!

    Now is an excellent time to register that new domain name you've had in mind! We've lowered the price to only $12.95 for all new .com/.net/.org/.biz/.info domain registration.  This price is good for multi-year registrations as well, however renewals will remain at the standard price.  Register your new domain now at http://register.hostgator.com!
  • April 2012 Newsletter

    Monday, April 16, 2012 by
    The lack of Newsletters for the past several months has been palpable; we do apologize.  Ideally, this circumstance will not occur again.  It is true that things have been very busy in the Gator'hood, but maintaining  a proper level of direct contact with you fine folks is a priority to us and we genuinely care about presenting information directly to you and interacting with you via this medium. Historically speaking, our monthly Newsletters have occasionally displayed a tendency to place the proverbial cart before the horse, by announcing some things a tad bit pre-maturely, *cough*LaunchPad*cough*!  The fact is that we love what we do and we get excited about new technologies or services and we naturally want to share them with you.  Being more conscious of the potentiality for unexpected delays to occur, from this point forward we intend to not bait you with any "Coming Soon!" things.  Rather, we're going to utilize this time to inform you about what is already available to you and try our best to keep you up on any new happenings around the Company each month.  

    GatorDesk Mobile: A New Way to Get Support!

    GatorDesk Mobile is now live, in beta!  You can fully manage your HostGator support tickets (read, update, create and even add attachments!), completely via your mobile device, at http://mgatordesk.hostgator.com.  This is the first of a series of mobile solutions to better assist you with your HostGator account.  Should you encounter any issues at all while using this new tool, please email us at feedback@hostgator.com so that we can take immediate action to resolve any issues you may experience.  

    Sale on Windows Dedicated Servers!

    We are very pleased to now be offering $100 off your first month with a new Windows Dedicated Server.  Every Windows Dedicated Server includes Microsoft WebMatrix, an excellent tool for creating, customizing and publishing websites!  Visit http://www.hostgator.com/windows-dedicated-servers.shtml to get started today!  

    BaseKit: Have You Used it Yet?

    We are pretty excited about BaseKit!  Many of us have been testing it out around the office, and many Customers have created some impressive sites already as well.  BaseKit's primarily drag-n-drop functionality is super easy to use and includes many powerful widgets and app integration: Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, YouTube and many more!  Also, enjoy the variety of professional templates, customizable designs and full HTML/CSS control for you more savvy web designers, or those desiring to learn more about design! BaseKit is presently available on all Hatchling, Baby, Business & Reseller accounts.  

    Some Numbers:

    Back in December, we announced that on November 29th, 2011 at 9:21:23 CST, we hit our 5,000,000th LiveChat.  That was a milestone of which we were fairly proud.  Here are some of our Support statistics for the month of March, 2012:

    139,012 Chats

    68,362 Calls

    265,572 Tickets

      We will return next month with a new Newsletter, we promise!  Until then, remember: We are always hiring!  For more information, please visit http://hostgator.com/jobs.shtml