Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Kristen Hicks
Top Tech News of June 2017While school kids across the country take their break for the summer, the tech world keeps moving at the fast pace it’s known for. For any business owners that try to stay on top of what’s happening in tech, you shouldn’t take a break either, and we can help. We’ve rounded up the top tech stories expected to make a splash this month.
Businesses and Governments Alike Scramble to Prepare for Cyber Security ThreatsThe biggest tech story of May was the global WannaCry cyber attack, which infected over 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries. Cyber security isn’t a new problem, but it’s one that seems to only become more widespread and common every year. WannaCry’s impact was ultimately minimal – it caused a scare for a temporary period of time, before Windows provided a patch and systems quickly recovered. Even so, it served as a reminder for businesses and government institutions around the world of the importance of keeping their systems and data safe against the growing threat of cyber attacks.
Google Offers Easy GIF MakerBusinesses frequently struggle with finding good images to accompany their content. Google’s just made the job a little easier, at least in some cases. The Google GIF maker lets you plug in a couple of terms with related data and immediately produce a GIF that shows the data in an intuitive, visual way. The tool’s simple and will only be useful for fairly basic data visualizations, but for businesses who want to add a visual representation of a simple data set to their website and don’t have much in the way of web skills, it’s a handy tool to have.
Governments Target Online ExtremismOne of the many topics tackled at the G7 summit that brought together leaders from around the world last month was how to address online extremism. With a growing number of terrorists being radicalized by information found online, representatives from the countries gathered agreed that it’s important to find a solution that minimizes the influence hateful materials online can have. Attendees of the summit therefore called for internet providers and social media companies to crack down on and remove extremist content as it’s discovered on the web.
Microsoft Mixer Broadens Game Streaming CapabilitiesMicrosoft is rebranding its online gaming service both in name and functionality. They’ve ditched the old name Beam in exchange for a new name, Mixer, that the company says better communicates how it brings players together. The new name comes with new features and functionality, including compatability on new platforms, faster speeds, and the ability to stream multiple games side by side.
Appian Launches IPOIn a year where more tech IPOs have launched than usual, the app maker Appian has just joined the mix. The company launched in late May and their stocks immediately took off, rising 25% on day one and putting the company’s valuation at around $900 million. In a world where mobile rules, perhaps such a strong showing should be no surprise for a company that helps businesses develop their apps.
Google’s AI Gets SmarterOne of Google’s many tech projects is developing artificial intelligence that will improve their search results and the functionality of various other products they provide. They announced last month a move from a mobile first approach in their business to an AI first one. Their commitment is already showing results. Last month alone, their AI efforts made news for making never-before-heard sounds possible and winning a game of Go against the world’s best human players. And on top of all that, they just launched a venture capital program focused on AI. The company’s throwing a lot at developing in this direction and the results are likely to have a big influence on all of us in the days and years to come.
Thunderbolt Ports Becoming the NormAnyone that’s bought an Apple computer in the past couple of years has been faced with a new sort of a port that doesn’t look anything like the standard USB ones. Thunderbolt ports offer faster transfers, which made them an easy sell for Apple, but the technology has taken longer to win over other computer providers. A recent announcement from Intel suggests that’s about to change. The company has committed to including Thunderbolt ports in its upcoming computer models. More and more computer users will be saying goodbye to USB and hello to Thunderbolt. While we can make some assumptions about what’s coming based on what’s happened recently, June’s sure to throw some surprises our way. Check back next month to get a new dose of tech information so you don’t fall behind.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by Jeremy JensenYou'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 FoundationIt'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?
Finding Momentum In The 20th CenturyRather 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 MeansAsk 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-PageThe 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/
Friday, April 12, 2013 by Sean ValantIt 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, email@example.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!
Monday, April 16, 2012 by Sean ValantThe 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
265,572 TicketsWe 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