Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Please gather ’round as I tell a tale to rival the greatest tales ever told! Think of it as Lord of the Rings and Lord of the Flies mixed with Don Quixote with a hint of Robinson Crusoe and a splash of Gulliver’s Travels. Pretty much exactly like that, anyway. More or less.
Our story begins, not unlike The Canterbury Tales, with a job interview in early February of 2010. Was that The Canterbury Tales with the job interview thing? I forget. At any rate, I have a discussion about websites I had previously built, the related technologies, and how I might handle different interactions with different types of Customers… things of that nature. I pass the interview and am informed that I would begin training the following Monday.
So on that sunny Monday morning in February of 2010, I began my career at HostGator as a front-line Technical Support Representative; officially referred to as a ChatTech at the time. ChatTechs no longer exist, they have gone extinct and evolution has provided us with Jr. Admins to fill that role. Granted, this may just be semantics, but I was hired and spent my first seven months at HostGator as a ChatTech.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will state that I had virtually no real webhosting experience at that point; I’d never heard of cPanel, WHM or WordPress. I have now grown to become a huge fan of all three of these fantastic tools; a process which began on that fateful first day of training.
Training was very educational; it’s a ton of information in a relatively short amount of time and serves the dual purpose of ideally teaching you, if not everything you need to know then at least a solid foundation, while also conditioning you to most effectively find answers to the questions that you don’t know. As an aside, our training program is constantly being refined and improved upon and remains very dynamic in terms of staying abreast of the constant change that is fundamental to this industry. Our trainers are like highly skilled knowledge ninjas who judo chop knowledge into all those who would join their fellow Gators here in the swamp.
Or maybe they’re more like Jedis… though Jedis are kind of like just fancy, space ninjas. Please don’t barrage me with emails about how I misrepresented Jedis, I know how territorial you Star Wars fans can be. I digress.
I remember a distinct feeling of needing to absorb all this new information as quickly and thoroughly as possible. We are not only taught general troubleshooting for a myriad of technical issues, but also the ins and outs of HostGator policies, procedures and Terms of Service. Truth be told, I did a fair amount of studying over the weekend between the two full weeks of training. Ultimately I completed training and found myself on the chat floor taking real live calls and chats from real live Customers.
When next we speak on this subject, I’ll talk more about my early days at HostGator and some of the more interesting Customer interactions I had at the time. Also, the path I’ve followed since those early days and hopefully share a lot of what the actual experience of being a Gator is all about. Perhaps, along the way, I can talk some genuine brand new Hatchlings and some other veteran Gators into sharing their thoughts about their first few days as well.
I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments section about our Jr. Admins or the hiring/training process, really anything at all related to what we’ve addressed thus far. Also, if there is any aspect of HostGator that you would like for me to expound upon as I tell this tale throughout additional posts, please leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to oblige.
Written by Sean Valant
Monday, June 11th, 2012
HostGator is proud to have presented the 2012 Tour Du Rouge, benefiting the Gulf Coast chapters of The American Red Cross. The ride traversed five hundred and twenty-six miles, beginning in Houston on May 6th and ending in New Orleans on May 11th, at an average of 88 miles each day. HostGator designed the awesome jerseys visible in the images below, as well as t-shirts and lots of other event graphics. Allan, one of our Admins who participated in the ride this year, was kind enough to share some of his experiences with us.
The morning of the ride began with a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner, followed by a group prayer. After the ceremonies, a police escort (complete with horse-mounted officers) accompanied the riders from the starting point in Northeast Houston through to the first major freeway, about five miles away. Beaumont would be the destination for day one. Allan completed this 88 mile trek in just under 5 hours, despite some rough patches of road along the way. The image below is from the starting line, with Allan front and center, notice those stylish HostGator jerseys!
Day two would take the riders from Beaumont through Port Arthur and ultimately over the bridge, across the state border into Louisiana. The group stopped for lunch on Holly Beach before hitting the road again and enjoying the scenic Gulf Coast view; finally bedding down in the city of Sulpher, Louisiana. Allan would traverse these 93 miles once again in just under 5 hours.
Day three held the longest single stretch of the tour; just over 100 miles, from Sulphur to Abbeville. The day began around 6:30a, in order to get a head start of the inevitably blaring sun. Unfortunately, Allan experienced a flat tire around mile 3 on a particularly bad patch of road. This day would turn out to be his most difficult, as he also suffered a knee injury fairly early in the day. Things began to turn around during the lunch stop in Mermentau, though and Allan was able to finish the day strong. He made it to Abbeville in about 6 1/2 hours; 30 minutes before the pouring rain. The weather would prove to be more of an adversary as the tour continued, though.
Day four would deliver the riders into Morgan City, Louisiana. Breakfast at a local café that morning included an a capella performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the café owner’s son. Later in the day, the riders paid a visit to Avery Island for a tour of the famous Tabasco factory and it’s attached store, which reportedly had some rarely-seen, but absolutely amazing Tabasco chipotle raspberry ice cream. Allan spent just over 4 hours on this 78 mile trek; by this point, the riders had now covered a total of over 360 miles.
Day five took the riders across the Mississippi River and into Gonzales, Louisiana. All told, this would be the least eventful day for the tour. The highlight was the lunch stop at St. Joseph Plantation that included some log cabin style, old-timey school houses. In hindsight, it would be the calm before the (quite literal) storm that would rain down upon the riders on the final leg of their journey.
The final day of the ride would prove to be a fitting end of a long journey. Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana! Following a slightly confusing (and last minute) re-routing of the riders’ path, Allan and the others would battle fierce wind and sudden downpours as the weather finally decided to let loose on the riders after many threats earlier in the week. Allan would cross the finish line having spent just over 4 1/2 hours on the final 84 miles of the tour.
With the ride now behind them, and the riders now in dry clothes (at least temporarily), the group gathered at the New Orleans Police Department for an escort into downtown ‘Nawlins. Despite the continuing wind and rain, the riders were warmly greeted by not only a cheering crowd, but also an impressive live band.
Clearly at this point, the only reasonable thing left to do was spend the evening on Bourbon Street in celebration of a ride well ridden. We’d like to share a picture from Bourbon Street, but to be honest, they’re all a little bit blurry for some reason or another… All told, Allan’s GPS reports a total of 532.7 miles covered, with a total ride time of 29hrs 43mins 30secs over the course of six days. The 2012 Tour du Rouge was now in the history books.
Our sincere appreciation to The American Red Cross and all those who took part in the 2012 Tour du Rouge, especially the riders themselves and our very own fearless Admin Allan who was kind enough to not only share his experience with us, but also the following pictures:
Written by Chad Bean
Friday, July 9th, 2010
Our Reseller Hosting clients might be happy to hear they have a new feature awaiting them in the form of over 400 brandable, support video tutorials.
For awhile now, HostGator has been using similar video tutorials to assist us in supporting our clients. Now our resellers will be able to access these tutorials in their Web Host Manager (WHM) and be able to:
- Install the tutorial system on any subdomain.
- Brand all the tutorials with your own company logo.
- Choose from 7 different portal themes.
- Customize your settings easily from WHM.
- Voice narrated and non-voice versions of each video.
- Generate the code to embed each branded video in your existing website or knowledge base
The videos cover many different topics to assist your own web hosting clients including:
- cPanel (w/ multiple skins)
- Domain Management (Various registrars)
- SiteBuilder & SiteStudio
- FTP (Multiple FTP Clients)
- E-mail (Multiple clients) & Webmail
- MySQL /phpMyAdmin
- WordPress, Joomla, Shopping Carts, etc.
Whether you’re a new reseller hosting customer, or an existing one, you can take advantage of these tutorials for free, no charge whatsoever.
To get started, please login to your Web Host Manager, click “Plugins”, and then click “Client Tutorials”.
You can get more information on how this works from the following video:
We will update these videos with newer versions as they become out-of-date at no additional charge. Video updates will be automatic and will not require any effort from the reseller. In the future, we have plans to expand the library to include more topics, a female narration option for each video, and more themes. We also plan on releasing packages tailored for our VPS and dedicated customers as well within the upcoming months. …