Why I chose HostGator and Optimized Wordpress

Posted by & filed under Life.


 
Since I’ve been self-hosted, I’ve used HostGator for my website hosting needs. I never found the need to really mention that backend jibberish on the blog, because it’s not the most intellectually or emotionally stimulating piece of literature to read, I’m sure. But after having a few truly outstanding customer service experiences with the HostGator team, I saw the opportunity to give back to them with a lil’ Coming Up Roses love and I couldn’t say no.

host your website with HostGator and Optimized WordPress

I knew virtually nothing about anything web-related (besides surfing the web) upon starting a blog, so a friend who helped me make the switch to self-hosted recommended HostGator and I went with it. I’ve got the “Hatchling” plan; it’s the most basic plan, but since I only have one domain at this time, it was the right choice for me. I paid $15 to have my domain name (cominguprosestheblog.com) registered for one year, and then $3.96/month on a 3-year hosting plan. Some quick math will show I spent $142.56 to ensure my site was hosted and registered for three year’s time – a totally worthwhile purchase in my book!

HostGator also has one click WordPress installs (so no messy downloading and uploading of packed files! Woo!), one click easy-to-use web builder with drag and drop building tools, design services from pros, marketing services, and – you guessed it – domain hosting from the best. I reckon outstanding customer service is just a free perk.

Enter HostGator Customer Service Story Numero Uno.

I had a post go viral.

Fabulous, except the bandwidth on my plan apparently isn’t fit for extreme, sudden jolts of atypical website traffic. Aaaaaand my website went down, blacklisted. Of course, nothing being “blacklisted” is good. And in the excitement of having a piece reach virality, it was countered by sheer panic: All of these people are coming to my site for the first time, and they’re going to see nothing! Crap. I called HostGator in sheer panic mode. They’ve got 24/7/365 help, which was such a blessing since I was calling them near midnight and feeling desperate. I explained the situation, and without hesitation, the guy on the other end of the phone – Kevin, I think! – was completely chill, whitelisted my IP on the spot, and provided some backend support in preparation for continued increased traffic. Within 10 minutes of hanging up the phone, my site was back up and running as normal, and it was all good for the remainder of that crazier time.

Flash forward to a few months later.

Am I the only one who gets what feels like way too many site lockout notifications of IP addresses from foreign countries with failed login attempts on your website? I mean, no one from China or Russia has any need to be trying 20 times to get onto Coming Up Roses, and – spoiler alert! – no top-secret government intel or money here. #sorrynotsorry, hackers. After monkeying around with my security settings, I ended up getting a few unfamiliar notification emails that files were being changed on my website. Naturally, I freaked out. I called and spoke to this kind and patient woman, which was SO appreciated. Here I thought my blog was potentially hacked; turns out, I got an email update on some caching that had occurred and it just registered as “file changes.” Good one, WordPress.

Speaking of WordPress. HostGator has a new Optimized WordPress hosting platform that’s all the rage now (get the full scoop here). It’s specifically built for an optimized and managed WordPress environment. HostGator handles ALL of your core, theme, and plugin updates without any need for action from you, and can integrate your various control panels so there’s no need to switch back and forth between panels to get the job done. With Optimized WordPress, you get automatic updates of plugins and themes, Sitelock malware scanning and removal (which would’ve been helpful in preventing my nervous panics, right?), the Sitelock Content Delivery Network (a CDN), CodeGuard daily backup and restores of even individual files, and then some. Access to some of these product offerings exists without Optimized WordPress through HostGator, but OW ties it all together with a nice alligator bow. There aren’t many times when I feel so compelled to tweet my love for online customer service, but this was an exception.

Who hosts your website? What do you like and dislike about the service?

I’d love to hear from y-o-u, especially if you’re with HostGator and have had similarly stellar experiences! Let’s chat in the comments below, and then let’s get you on your way to winning $60 to Ulta, OK? OK.  

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

MONISTAT Time for TMI campaign on yeast infections

Posted by & filed under Health&Beauty, Life.

*This post has been sponsored by MONISTAT®. As always, all opinions and thoughts presented are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!

MONISTAT Time for TMI campaign on yeast infections

Alright, chicas. It’s time for some TMI.

You know TMI, right? Too much information. And we’re about to get all TMI on a topic I never in a million years (or at least the two years of having this pink space) thought I’d talk about on le internet. Vaginas.

Specifically, yeast infections.

Now before you go all “Oh my gosh Erica, you’re seriously writing about yeast infections right now?!?!?“, the answer is yes, I’m seriously writing about yeast infections right now. No, I wasn’t struck on the head nor was I driven by money, nor did I run out of things to share or lose my mind. In all honesty, when MONISTAT® approached me to collaborate, I was thinking “Heck no heck no heck no run far and fast, never will you talk about down undah on dah blog.” 

But then I got to thinking.

Coming Up Roses is meant to be this hub of inspiration and funny and pretty things, but at its core, I really hope that it helps you. I always hope that with every post, you leave this space (after having clicked around, read a few posts, and clicked a few affiliate links for a grand total of $0.05) feeling like it was a benefit to you and an uplift to your day.

Here’s the thing about yeast infections.

3 out of 4 women experience at least one in their lifetime. And from MONISTAT®’s research of 1,000 women aged 16-25, over half of these chicas have no clue what to do about them if/when they come along.

Let me tell you something – I’m in that 75% who has been graced with one before, and it sucks. It sucks so much, and I can’t even share with you the analogy that I told my momma that had us both in stitches, because future employers might pop by this space from time to time. All I can say is it involved fireants.

Besides the slue of women who don’t know what to do about YI’s when they come along, 60% of women who can name or know at least one symptom don’t know the actual causes of why the heck it happened in the first place. And these facts need changing, so that’s why Coming Up Roses is coming to your rescue. After personally dealing with them before and having friends and family who have also dealt with them, I can speak for everyone in saying that yeast infections suck, and having no clue what to do or why it’s happening all. just. sucks.

So I want to help decrease the sheer unpleasantness and hopefully shed some light on the matter, so that approximately 75% of you blossoming people who will likely get one at some point or another will at least be able to not full-out panic while furiously scrolling WebMD. Instead, you can just focus on furiously instructing your significant other, mom or best friend to drive faster towards the drug store to go pick up MONISTAT®. HA.

Now.

This infographic should clear a few things up:

Monistat TMI Campaign yeast infections

 

OK, did you know all of that? So before you go freaking out and trying to put yogurt where it seriously doesn’t belong, breathe a sigh of relief and know that a.) you’re not alone, b.) you can hop over to the closest drugstore and get relief fast, and c.) even if you’re never had a yeast infection before, it’s probably going to happen to you, but you’re not alone so it’s OK and you can still be prepared.

Yeast infections manifest themselves in the form of itch. Lots of itch, where you’ll likely feel like there are literally fireants where there should not be fireants if ya catch mah drift. So if you’re menstruating (or even ovulating!), getting over being sick, switching medications, going in hot tubs or taking long baths…you’ve been warned.

If you want to test your own know-how and figure out whether or not you’re really prepped on YI’s, head to ItsTimeforTMI.com and take the TMI quiz, gets tips from a leading OB-GYN, and get a free sample of the Chafing Relief Powder Gel®* from MONISTAT®Complete Care™ (*while supplies last). And a fun sidenote, I just read the other day that this Chafing gel is supposedly a *perfect* dupe to the Smashbox Pore Perfecting foundation Primer. So if you made it this far into a blog post on vaginas, that is your prize. (;

MONISTAT® is the #1 doctor-recommended over-the-counter, antifungal yeast infection treatment that relieves symptoms and cures the infection. The brand offers a portfolio of cure products, including 1-, 3- and 7-Day treatments, which are available in three forms – ovule, cream and suppository – and are designed to help women confidently address their vaginal health needs on their terms. Regardless of the dose (1-,3-, or 7-day treatments), it will take up to seven days to fully cure the infection. The brand also offers the MONISTAT® Complete Care™ line, which includes an Instant Itch Relief Cream, Vaginal Health Test, Stay Fresh Feminine Freshness Gel, and Chafing Relief Powder Gel®. I’m a fan of the 7-day treatments myself, just because ain’t nobody got time to be wasting on these little devils and it’s best to be 100% sure you stop it in its tracks.

Now I’m not quite sure we want to swap yeast infection stories as our little conversation starter here, so instead, can we share…

What’s something you learned from this that you didn’t know before?

Now I’m off to grab coffee and not have a yeast infection. signature

 

Meeting Carly from The College Prepster

Posted by & filed under Life.

*This post has been sponsored by Amtrak and Her Campus Media. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!

Ever since the infamous Amtrak accident this past year, you could say I wasn’t the most eager to hop on a train and travel. So as I started this post from a stopped Amtrak car as engineers worked on an outed motor, my new friend Sarah was the calm, cool, collected one as I just sat chugging iced coffee and talking all apocalyptically. Not helpful, right?

But lo and behold, the situation was handled in stellar fashion, and we were on the tracks safely moving back towards PHL in no time. And let me tell you. As a frequent commuter via SEPTA, there’s really no comparison. From comfortability to the peace and quiet and storage of your bags (plus the fact that there’s a café car amiright?), Amtrak is the *nice* way to travel.

Back from where? NYC. Le Big Apple, where I spent the weekend. Remember when I said I was packing up and heading to a blogging conference? It was Her Conference 2015, and it. was. awesome. The whole thing was this mass of pink and pop music and Chipotle and inspiration, so ‘twas a grand time.

So here’s the low down. Her Conference isn’t actually all that much of a “blogging” conference persay…it’s more of a life conference for the Millennial woman. While a blogging panel occurred and lots of super relevant-to-blogging advice was passed along, focus is moreso on the media industry as a whole, both digitally and in print. It really becomes what you make of it; you can go session to session just chilling with friends and doodling, or you can carpe diem and meet all of the speakers and panelists, pass around business cards, make valuable connections and sell yourself.

Instead of providing a moment-by-moment re-cap of events, I figured I’d pull as much relevant-to-you info to make sure this is worth your read. Aiiiight?

The very best tidbits of inspiration, tips and advice from my time at conference: first up, notes from keynote speaker Neha Gandhi, VP of Editorial Strategy at Refinery29.

“Your job can’t be solely responsible for your happiness.”

“All feedback has value, but it’s not create equal.”

“Putting your head down and working hard is important, but it’s not enough.”

“You can start anywhere.”

“You shouldn’t stay in a job where you’re not learning.”

“You’ve got to create opportunities to prove your worth.”

“Add value to your mentor!”

“Network, even when you hate it.”

“Ask for more $$$ when you take the job.”

“Take big risks.”

“Fail forward.”

“If something isn’t going to work, say something.”

“Don’t be an asshole. (; “

On Saturday, I was so freakishly excited for one reason: Hilary Rushford. In case you’re unfamiliar, let me clue you in – Hilary Rushford is this musical theatre alum turned rockstar entrepreneur who is making a living off of coaching fellow girl bosses and killing it on Instagram. Her life is a dream, and in taking some of her coaching classes myself, I’ve just always felt like she and I are kindred spirits – like longlost soul sisters. I digress. One of the Saturday panels centered around blogging and featured my blog friend Tilden, Carly from The College Prepster, and Hilary. And let me tell you – what a total powerhouse panel.

And in the wise words of Hilary:

After a 45-minute chat with this chickadee, I admire her all the more. My blog friends around us said we were really weirdly similar to one another, so you be the judge.

 

Hamming it up with my soul big-sister, entrepreneurial #bosslady idol, & spirit human @hilaryrushford. #ComingUpDeanSt

A photo posted by Erica | Coming Up Roses (@ericaligenza) on

 

Then there’s Carly, aka the College Prepster. Blogging extraordinaire who considers herself to be a “professional emailer,” answering nearly every email within 24 hours. #goals, right? I’ve always been a mega-fan of Carly’s personal style – it’s preppy and classy but chic and fun too, and I always thought it resembled my own taste. Turns out, I’d say we were on the same page.

Meeting Carly from The College Prepster

I swear we didn’t plan it. (;

Now for more wise words. A Saturday keynote was Michelle Tan, current Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen Magazine. Her biggest takeaway? “Know what got you here.” Know it, love it, appreciate it, and let it guide you (but not necessarily define you.) And from People StyleWatch Editor Lisa Arbetter comes two key things:

“The work you hate doing is the work you need help with – don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

“Be decisive. You can always change your mind.”

Aaaaaand some pics! Besides Sarah, my other blogging buds Ana and Morgan were in attendance, so we became the fabulous foursome and explored the city, iced coffee and cameras in hand. There were long girl nights with Chinese takeout and wine, and it was grand.

group selfie starbucks0

I also met Larz, my energizer bunny twin with the friggin’ coolest urban chic blog and biz. We clicked immediately and had completely parallel visions and zests for life; I’m tellin’ ya, this girl is going. places. She’s a spitfire, and she always looks like she just stepped out of Vogue.

larz

And for more fun, Morgan, Ana, and Sarah are three of the biggest sweethearts out there, I’m convinced. While there can be come unnecessary cattiness in blog world, these chicas are so genuine and heartfelt. As if I didn’t know they were the real deal before, they also trekked around the city with me in search of the best cupcakes. Yeah.

morgan sarah chipotle ana

By the time the whole thing was over and done, I was good and ready to come home, because my wheels have been turning a million miles a minute and I’ve got some exciting things in the works that I just can’t wait to chat with you about! But before all of that is said and done, I’ll leave you with a fun Amtrak fact (that’s likely to save you a few bucks, too). Since 1971, Amtrak has been America’s go-to for intercity passenger rail services. With more than 500 destinations in 46 states and Canada, Amtrak knows what’s up and ensures that people can be as physically connected as they care to be, beyond this everlasting digital connectedness. High school and college students can save 10% when booking with the Amtrak Student Advantage card. But in the meantime, before your next trek around the world, I want to hear from you.

Have you ever been to a blogging conference? What’ve been your best takeaways from past conferences, or from meeting your own big inspirations?

And until the hump, stay classy, roses! If you’re gonna be live-tweeting along with The Bachelorette finale tonight, let’s get on that bandwagon together, OK?

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