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A HostGator Holiday 2012

Written by Sean Valant

Monday, December 24th, 2012

As the year comes to a close, not only should we all reflect upon the successes and any failures of the year in order to grow from the lessons contained in each, we should also set aside some time to simply celebrate.  Celebration has manifested in multiple forms here at HostGator this year, and we’ve had a lot to celebrate.  It had been a truly great year, full of very positive change and we’re all looking forward to what the new year will bring.

We had our annual holiday party recently, but before we get into those pictures I wanted to share with you the tree that was set up in one of our Houston buildings last week:

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This tree clearly has some atypical decorations.  I mean, that is a jack-o-lantern in there, right?  Let’s start at the top and work our way down:

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Every tree needs a topper; some sort of symbol or designation that sets the tone for the season and for the tree itself.  Apparently for a HostGator tree, that symbol is Darth Malgus, of “Star Wars: The Old Republic” fame.  It’s starting to look like this tree was decorated by, well, nerds.  There’s the aforementioned jack-o-lantern again.  Also, we see an Ethernet cable and a network switch; further supporting this nerd theory.  And is that a telephone receiver?  Let’s take a further look:

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Yes, that is indeed a telephone receiver.  We also now see a couple of HostGator lanyards.  No tree would be complete without Snappy, but is that also a more realistic gator there on the left?  Yes, it does appear so.  Below, we’ll find a rubik’s cube and a keyboard:

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And what nerdy tree would be complete without a couple of O’Reilly books underneath; always give the gift of learning:

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Now that you’ve seen this amazing tree, we’ll move right along to the company party.  The Houston party was held at Dave & Busters, a Texas-based restaurant and entertainment complex.

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The series of pictures will best tell the tale of the company party; we ate, we drank, we played games.  It went something like this:

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holiday06 It’s safe to say that a good time was had by all.  We came together as a company to celebrate our successes and share some time together.  Thank you, from the bottom of our collective heart, for allowing us to have such a great year and we look forward to serving you for many, many years to come.  Have a safe and happy holiday and new year from all of your friends here at HostGator!

Happy 10th Birthday, Snappy!

Written by Sean Valant

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

HostGator.com was registered on October 22nd, 2002; Ten years ago today.  A lot has happened in that time, but we have remained true to the initial vision for the company throughout. It is with great pride and a strong sense of achievement that we acknowledge this anniversary.

Customer Service remains king here at HostGator.  It is the foundation upon which the entire company has been built.  We have had our growing pains, and learned the inherent lessons therein, but we have never wavered from that initial desire to provide outstanding Customer Service.

As we leave our single-digit years behind and walk confidently into our double-digits, we are stronger and more ready to take on the future than ever before.  We thank every single one of you who have allowed us to serve you over the years, and we welcome everyone to continue walking with us on this amazing journey.

Do you follow us on Twitter and Facebook? If so, you could win free hosting or even one of our infamous and coveted plush Snappys!  We will be doing random give-aways all day today in celebration of our anniversary.  Like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter for your chance to win!  In fact, leaving a comment on this very blog post could potentially be worthwhile as well, but be sure to use a valid email address.

And without further ado: Happy Birthday, Snappy!

Tattooed Gators

Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

In 1936, Life magazine estimated that 6% of Americans had a tattoo.  Undoubtedly, this was mostly comprised of sailors or other military personnel and likely also a carnival sideshow entertainer or two.  In March 2005, The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology determined that 24% of the general U.S. population had at least one tattoo.  HostGator presently has about 850 employees in Texas.  We were able to wrench 619 of those Gators away from more important tasks in order to survey them.  We found that 244 of the 619 had at least one tattoo.  If we guesstimate the math to the best of our ability, we find that just over 40% of HostGator employees are tattooed.

In recent years, there seemed to be more and more professional athletes turning up with visible tattoos.  Of the 431 players in the NBA, 233 (or roughly 54%) have tattoos.  Aside from the NBA, there seems to be very little statistical information regarding tattoos as related to various industries.

In 2008, seventy percent of tattooed Americans needed to hide the ink for their jobs.  Visible tattoos are essentially a non-issue at HostGator; we have non-tattooed as well as heavily-tattooed people throughout all levels of the company.  You’ll find tattoos on our front-line Jr. Administrators as well as members of upper Management.

Some other interesting statistics: 17% of those who have a tattoo have considered having it removed and 5% have subsequently covered a tattoo with a different design.  When broken down by political party, 15% of Democrats, 13% of Republicans and 13% of Independents are tattooed.

The Pew Research Center, in February 2010, stated that 15% of 18-25 year olds think that the increase in people being tattooed has caused a positive impact, while 60% of 18-25 year olds think that the increase in people being tattooed has caused no discernible impact.  It’s been said that the only difference between a tattooed person and a non-tattooed person is that the tattooed person doesn’t at all mind that the non-tattooed person doesn’t have a tattoo.

Whether you view tattoos as an art form, a tool of rebellion or a downright disgrace it’s clearly something that is forever etched in numerous cultures and shows no sign of declining in popularity.  Tattoos aren’t just for sailors, rock stars and the yakuza anymore.  The doctor or EMT that saved your (or a loved ones) life might very well be tattooed.  Also the police officer who pulled you over for speeding, but let you go with just a warning (this time!).  The judge you had to stand before last time when the police officer wasn’t so understanding about your speeding… possibly even the lawyer who was in the courtroom that day.  We now know there is a 40% chance that the HostGator System Administrator who resolved your last issue and brought your server back to life from the brink of certain death is tattooed.

Several Gators decided to share some of our tattoos with you.  Please enjoy the following slideshow containing actual tattoos of actual HostGator staff, from our Houston and Austin offices:

 

Tour Du Rouge 2012

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:

 

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