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HostGator Announces 2019 Technology Scholarship Winners

The post HostGator Announces 2019 Technology Scholarship Winners appeared first on HostGator Blog . HostGator is pleased to announce the winners of our 2019 Technology Scholarship competition . Supporting education has always been a foundation of HostGator, particularly since HostGator was founded in a college dorm room back in 2002 . More than 300 applicants answered the essay question – “In what industry or area do you see technology making the largest impact in the next 10 years?” Our business relies on technology and the creative minds of tech-savvy individuals who have ideas for websites. That’s why we’re so proud of these three winners and their innovative ideas for the future of technology. HostGator staff selected the top candidates based on the originality, quality, and innovation of the ideas in their essays. Three winners were selected to receive a $1,500 scholarship. HostGator is pleased to announce the following winners: Sara Guerry, Radford University, studying social work Nathan Schams, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, studying finance Anita Whittner, Nassau Community College, studying psychology Enjoy reading their essays, and drop us a comment at the bottom of the page to let us know what you think about the impact of technology over the next 10 years. Sara Guerry, Radford University In the next 10 years, technology is going to make the biggest impact in the field of mental health. It already is. And we will see the results of that impact in the coming years; both in positive and challenging ways. I’ve been really curious about the development and success of app-based app based therapy such as TalkSpace. In this time of Millennials and Generation Z, people are not connecting as much face-to-face as we used to, but our fears and anxieties are still present. TalkSpace allows clients to reach a therapist any time in a way that works for them – text, video, or phone. Life is always on the go and not many people have time to dedicate to sitting in an office talking about their problems for an hour. Additionally, services like TalkSpace are affordable. With the rising costs of medicine and the uncertainty of insurance and policies governing our health, mental health is the first thing to be cut out of most budgets. These types of applications allow anyone to afford mental care and seek help in an ongoing manner. We also live our lives more externally now. There is still a stigma around mental health and seeking help. But now there’s also a stigma around wearing the same thing twice or tripping on the sidewalk or any other number of things that can be photographed, videoed, snapped, and put on the internet for time immemorial. The perceived shame of being ‘caught’ going to a therapist or talking to one in person can be a major barrier to seeking help. When siloed into our own heads and seeing the posts of our friends on social media, it’s easy to get perceptions misconstrued. Social media is media of choice and permanency on a very minute level. Everything we post is archived. And, for that reason, there’s a lot of stress involved with marketing oneself just-so 24/7. One thing that excites me, however, is technology’s opportunity to shift the paradigm. Just as many people see technology as driving a wedge between us as people, it also stands to be the magnet that brings us all back together. Right now, at this moment, I can talk to someone on the other side of the world via a free app. High-speed trains are connecting cities at greater and greater distances, bringing cultures together. What’s on the horizon next? How can technology reprogram us to being more social in person? How can it help us gain greater appreciation for those around us? What is the potential for finding our way back to each other? Where technology started this challenge, it can also rise to the occasion and redefine the results. In bringing ourselves back to the physical world through technology, we can center our minds on our environment, on each other, on ourselves. Our mental health can be more focused on our well being. This is why technology is going to have the greatest impact on us in the next 10 years.   Nathan Schams, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse In the short time that I have been alive, I have seen the dramatic effects technology has on the world. It is easy to see how technology has inserted itself into our modern culture. From our phones to our cars, technology leads the way. However, there is one industry that technology has left almost untouched, and I believe that is the construction industry. We have seen how things like self-driving cars and iPhones have changed everything from how we take notes to the way we farm, yet we have not seen near enough of this technology implemented into the methods of building our infrastructure. I believe that in the next ten years especially, the construction industry will evolve into something even more phenomenal than it currently is. Of course, some may say “well Nathan, construction companies have already adopted technologies like Global Positioning Systems and have even gotten complex systems of sensors to control the Los Angeles stoplights to decrease emissions.” However, this is only the tip of the iceberg for construction companies. Could you imagine a world where road construction lasted only weeks not months, and cost less than a quarter of what it currently does? This does not have to be just some crazy dream; in the next ten years, self-driving construction equipment could be working day and night to set up and take down construction barrels, reroute traffic, tear up old road, and pave the new. Just the self-driving capability of construction equipment alone would save $50,000 per year in labor and would also be able to more than double the speed of the actual road work meaning less traffic jams and delays, less injured construction workers, and much less road work.   Along with self-driving capabilities, there have been many advancements in the realm of artificial intelligence in the last decade, all of which could be applied to the construction industry. Take for example the surveying of a road and the ground on which it lays. For an actual person to survey a road, it could take days and be inaccurate whereas by using AI with the help of certain sensors, we would be able to design an exact model of the current road and use the terrain and topographical maps to plan out what the most efficient way to level the road will be and how to prevent cracks and crevasses from forming. Having roads lasting longer, and people riding smoother, the price of doing road work would decrease significantly making it just as profitable as today: it would just be much more cost effective for our great states. With AI helping build, our highways, interstates, county, and residential streets would be much more straight, flat, and more durable than they had ever been before. This is just a small sampling of technologies that could make an immense, lasting impact on the construction industry, and it is obvious that construction will be greatly impacted by technology in the next ten years.   Anita Whittner, Nassau Community College I believe technological advancements will have an impact on every aspect of our lives, and I expect the greatest impact will be in the food service/concessions/hospitality industry. In the next ten years, the hospitality industry will begin to modernize. There will no longer be keys at hotel rooms, and they will begin to use touch ID. At check-in, each member of the room will register a fingerprint, and to get into their room, they put that finger onto the scanner. This will eliminate the risk of stolen, lost, and missing keys, and the hassle of trying to fix them. Of course, a key will still be able to open the door, maids will need to enter and exit, and will be offered to anyone who is uncomfortable with the policy. Another way the hospitality industry will be able to accommodate its guests is through apps on mobile devices that will allow you to check in, check out, and even order room service without having to wait on lines or call anyone. Just like hotels will use apps on smartphones for check-in, out, and room service, the concessions industry will use similar technology to promote online ordering. McDonald’s, Starbucks, and many other chain foods currently have their own apps to order from. With growing technology, McDonald’s has decided to utilize self-order kiosks. These kiosks will take over most cashiers. According to businessinsider.com, McDonald’s has decided to put 1000 in their stores every quarter until 2020. In the next 10 years, I see this growing substantially, spreading outside of fast food to stadiums and arenas. In stadiums and arenas, they have even more ways to deliver meals. At certain venues, you can order food through an app, and the food is run to you, called “in-seat” ordering. This allows guests to order while in their seats and the food be brought to them, making their experience more enjoyable. Another way that the concessions industry will change in 10 years from now is due to facial recognition technology. Large companies are trying to take advantage of this technology, especially stadiums and concert arenas. The facial recognition technology work as so: when you give the venue your credit card information once, you will never have to use it in the venue again. You will simply look at the back of the register where there will be a scanner and it will link your face to your card, making purchases faster and simpler. This would eliminate time spent giving change, and waiting for the chip to process on credit and debit cards.   I see the concessions/hospitality industry changing the most in the next 10 years, as it has the most room for improvement. At my job, I see the company constantly changing. As we reduce the need for cashiers, we have implemented a stand called the “grab-n-go”, where concertgoers can just walk into a small area filled with refrigerators, take whatever they like out, pay, and leave, eliminating the need for cooks, food runners, and cashiers. This type of innovation is what leads me to believe in the next 10 years, this industry will modernize, and begin to take advantage of many future technological advances.      What Are Your Thoughts? Do you agree that technology will have a huge impact in the areas of mental health, construction, and food service & hospitality? If you were answering the essay, what industry do you see technology making the largest impact in the next 10 years? Drop your answer in the comments below!   Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Install a WordPress SEO Plugin

The post How to Install a WordPress SEO Plugin appeared first on HostGator Blog . Ranking in the search engines can be a powerful way to grow your site. By using a WordPress hosting plan you’re already giving yourself a head start, as it’s pretty well optimized. However, if you want to take your onsite search engine optimization even further, then you’ll want to use an SEO plugin for WordPress. Part of on-page SEO success is adhering to best practices to help your WordPress website rank. This includes optimizing your pages and other content the right way. The other aspect is offsite SEO, which involves things like building strong and relevant backlinks to your site . This post will focus on the first part of that equation, optimizing your site’s content for relevant keywords to help you rank. Luckily, this process can be simplified by using a WordPress SEO plugin. Below you’ll learn why you’ll want to use a WordPress SEO plugin, which plugins for WordPress are worth using, and finally, how to install a WordPress SEO plugin on your site. Why You Need a WordPress SEO Plugin As we mentioned, choosing WordPress as your CMS already puts you ahead in the SEO game. But, optimizing your WordPress site the right way still takes time and skill. So, if you don’t want to spend months learning the ins and outs of on-page SEO, you can rely on an SEO plugin for WordPress to guide the way . There are dozens of little tweaks you’ll need to make to properly optimize your site .  By using an SEO plugin you’ll save time and make your life a lot easier. Plus, if you want to rank in the search engines, then there are a lot of other, offsite SEO tasks you’ll need to be doing . Spending all your time on onsite SEO just doesn’t make sense. With the help of an SEO plugin you’ll be able to quickly optimize your content, so you can focus on the quality of your content, and other offsite factors that’ll really help your WordPress website rank.   Which WordPress SEO Plugin Should You Choose? Hopefully, by now, you understand why using a WordPress SEO plugin is essential. Now, it’s time to choose the best SEO plugin for your site . There are dozens of different SEO plugins for WordPress you can use. However, instead of diving into every plugin here, we’ll focus on the best one you can use: Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is one of the most useful and comprehensive SEO plugins for WordPress on the market. Plus, it’s entirely free. With Yoast, you’ll get access to features like: Post title and meta optimization Keyword analysis and expert SEO recommendations XML sitemap creation and integration Taxonomy creation Google Webmaster Tools validation And more! It’s a feature-packed free plugin that will actually educate you about SEO-friendly practices as you spend time optimizing your site and your content.   How to Install a WordPress SEO Plugin Below you’ll learn how to install and configure Yoast SEO on your WordPress blog or site. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re assuming you already have WordPress installed on your site. If you don’t then follow this tutorial and do that first. For those who are already rocking WordPress, let’s dive in!   1. Install and Activate the Plugin First, you’ll need to install and activate the Yoast plugin to make your site more SEO friendly . To do this navigate to Plugins> Add New on your sidebar. Next, search for Yoast SEO and install the free plugin that looks like the one below. Now, click ‘Activate’ and the Yoast plugin will be installed on your site. With the plugin installed it’s time to start configuring the settings. You’ll probably notice that there are a ton of different settings you can play around with. Instead of focusing on every aspect of the tool, we’ll only focus on tweaking the settings that are most relevant towards improving your rankings. With that being said, click on the new ‘SEO’ tab on the left-hand sidebar of your WordPress dashboard. This will open up Yoast SEO.   2. Using the Configuration Wizard The easiest way to set up WordPress Yoast SEO is by using the configuration wizard. Click on the link that looks like the picture below to get started. Select Your Environment. The first step is easy. Click the box that says ‘Option A’. Unless you’re building a site that isn’t quite ready to launch to the world. Select Your Site Type Next, you’ll select the type of site that best matches your site. Choose Company or Person. Next, you’ll choose whether this site will represent a person or a company. This will help when ranking and displaying your site in the Google Knowledge Graph. If you choose ‘Company’ you can also add your logo during this step. Add Your Social Profiles. If you have any existing social media profiles, then you’ll want to enter those URLs now. This will help the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin provide more details about your site to Google. You don’t have to enter every single profile you have, just the ones you use most often and are actually related to your website. Select How You Want Your Site to Appear in the Search Engines. Now, you’ll decide if you want both your posts and pages to show up in the search engines. You’ll probably want to leave these default settings and allow the search engines to index your entire site. Determine Authorship. If you’re going to be the only author for your blog, then you’ll want to select ‘No’. This will help you avoid any duplicate content issues that can reflect negatively on your rankings. However, if you will have multiple authors on your site then choose ’Yes’. This will create individual archive pages, so people can access posts written solely by that author. Integrate Google Search Console. Google Search Tool is a valuable tool that will provide you with relevant search information about your site. To configure this you’ll need to have an existing Google Search Console profile. If you don’t have it set up already, then this post will show you how to do it . You can always set this up later if you don’t want to go through the process at this time. It isn’t necessary for the proper functioning of Yoast SEO. Choose Your Title Settings. Your title is the main headline that will appear in the search results. Here you’ll choose your website name and the separator you want to use. There are a few more sections to click through, which will ask you to sign up for their newsletter and upgrade to the premium version of Yoast. However, you don’t have to do either of these if you don’t want to. Just keep clicking through until you get to the ‘Success!’ page. Congratulations! Y ou’ve now properly configured the Yoast WordPress plugin for your site.   Optimizing Your Pages and Posts One of the coolest features of the Yoast plugin is how easy it is to optimize your pages and posts. To do this open up one of your existing posts or pages. Towards the bottom of the page (underneath your content), you’ll see a box labeled Yoast SEO. Here you can change your title , meta description , URL, and enter your focus keyword.  Then, you’ll get a score and recommendations for how you can improve that score based on search engine optimization best practices. For every page and post on your site, you should aim for ‘Green’, which means that your content is properly optimized for your chosen keyword. If for some reason Yoast WordPress SEO plugin isn’t the right one for you, then spend some time finding an SEO plugin that works better for you. The installation process will be the same as the first few steps above.   Start Optimizing Your On-Site SEO Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to install a WordPress SEO plugin on your site and set it up the right way. Finally, it’s important to note that your host can actually have an influence on your rankings, so make sure you choose a quality hosting environment . If you have any more questions about how to install a WordPress SEO plugin , please contact us at HostGator today! Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Vulnerability ‘Venom’ Affects Millions of Servers, Allows Access to Entire Data Center Network

Millions of servers are affected by the security flaw discovered Wednesday by Jason Geffner, a senior security researcher at CrowdStrike Senior Security Researcher. Named ‘Venom’, an acronym for “Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation” this vulnerability allows access to a host machine that can allow code execution and gives criminal the… Continue reading

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Can Inbound Marketing Work For Your Business?

The post Can Inbound Marketing Work For Your Business? appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing . If you’ve been doing business online for any time at all, then I’m sure you’ve heard of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is also commonly referred to as content marketing. The old days of outbound marketing are fading into the wind. The older, often ineffective outbound marketing methods include: buying print ads, purchasing email lists, buying TV slots, or other generally invasive ways to market and reach your customer base. On the other hand, inbound marketing starts with creating value from the very start of the interaction.   What Is Inbound Marketing? As we stated simply above, inbound marketing is using content to provide value and educate your readers before they become customers. Inbound marketing is all about creating and sharing content around the web. The main methods used in this style of marketing include creating content and distributing it to the people who are going to benefit from it the most. This style of marketing is more helpful instead of being disruptive like most other methods. If done properly people will actually be happy to hear what you have to offer.   The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing Inbound marketing helps you to become an authority within your industry. It might be a slow climb, but it’s a climb well worth it. When people need information about your industry they’re going to start coming to you due to your high quality content. Inbound marketing allows you to connect with and gain valuable information from your customers via social media platforms. When you distribute your content across these platforms you’ll also be growing your authority. Beyond the content creation aspect of your inbound marketing strategy the costs are usually much lower. After all, if you create evergreen content which is valuable for a very long period of time, you’ll get an almost infinite amount of value from a one-time investment.   The Journey Of Your User One of the most important elements of building a successful content marketing strategy is understanding the route your customer takes. When a person comes across a piece of your content they’re going to be at a certain point along the engagement spectrum. Below you’ll find a breakdown of each phase. You’ll want to create content that addresses readers across each part of their journey. 1. The Attraction Phase During this phase you’ll want to attract the right customers to your business. You’ll do this through blogging and other content outposts, SEO, having your website in alignment and executing a social media strategy. 2. The Conversion Process Once you’ve attracted the right visitors to your website you’ll want to convert them into loyal customers or subscribers. The most common ways to do this are through optin forms on your website, effective calls to action, and using other elements like landing pages. 3. Closing The Deal After you’ve attracted the right readers through content and social outposts and converted them into subscribers, it’s time to close the deal and turn them into happy customers. There are several ways to track what’s working, but the most common are as follows: Use the power of a CRM system to keep track of customer data so you can optimize the sales process over time. Use an email autoresponder system with calls to action, and analyze data to increase your conversations over time. Use the power of marketing automation to feed different styles of content and information to users depending on how they found your company. Continuing The Interaction Inbound marketing really shines in your ability to delight and astonish your users. A lot of companies simply forget about their customers the moment they make a sale. However, once the sale is complete this can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. You can use inbound marketing methods to continually educate your customers and find ways to serve them in deeper ways. For instance, you can use surveys to uncover hidden niches within your current market. Inbound marketing covers the entire life cycle your customer, from attraction all the way through building a lifelong relationship, and it all begins with quality content. web hosting Continue reading

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Working with Customizations within a Cloud-Hosted Environment

In working with a cloud provider, an organization must first establish what they will be hosting (websites, virtual machines, data bases, or all of the above), how this environment will be accessed and to what amounts. Continue reading

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