Seeing packages in the mail is probably one of the most underrated and exciting things that happen to us in our digital world. You may know them as the guys on Shark Tank that ripped off their pants. Foot Cardigan is a sock subscription that sends you random socks once a month. From holiday themed to socks covered in sushi, be sure to be surprised every time. Their fun, colorful Instagram feed is a small taste of what you will receive. We interviewed the founder of Foot Cardigan, Bryan Deluca, about how the company got to where they are today.
How did Foot Cardigan get started?
We fell in love with the subscription model after seeing that viral Dollar Shave Club video in 2012. Socks are a commodity so we knew we had a shot at having some success within the space if we came at it from a different angle, you know, like a subscription. Et voila!
The ‘fun, crazy, fashion’ sock trend was just getting going, so we kind of were at the right place at the right time. I had a little experience in sourcing so I was able to find our first factories and get that going. But I really loved the idea of taking this historically boring product, like a sock, and making buying/receiving it fun.
What makes your socks different from competitors?
Over the last four years, I think we’ve created our niche within the larger sock industry. Of course I think our product is as good or better than other brands out there, so when you’re competing, you have to make sure there’s just a quality standard there, or people won’t buy your stuff. But beyond that, we’ve really separated ourselves with our design aesthetic. The words ‘whimsical’ and ‘fun’ are probably the most circulated within our design team. But really, it goes beyond the socks. It’s the brand. The tone. It’s unique to our industry.
Describe your subscription service.
Most people don’t think about buying socks until they have to. They’ve got holes in their current ones, so now they’ve got to go to the store to buy new ones. It can be a hassle. But with Foot Cardigan, we give you something you need (socks), and we give you an experience you wouldn’t expect for such an historically mundane product. You get a random pair of fun socks in your mailbox every month. You don’t know what you’re getting until you open the package. That’s one of our customers’ favorite things about us. We make the decision for them, and they get the surprise in their mailbox. No one gets fun mail anymore. And we’re proof that people still crave it.
Tell me about your team.
It’s really a privilege to work with them every day. They work really hard and are really smart. About half our team is operations and customer service and the other half is marketing/web. It’s a good blend of creative people. When I say creative, I don’t mean just the designers. We need every position to be creative, with how we respond to customers and how we ship out socks.
Describe your company culture.
It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from us. Meaning, if you’ve been to our site or received our socks and you walked into our office, it would make complete sense to you. A lot of laughing. A lot of energy. Whimsical decor. Every person on our team is empowered to do their jobs. And they’re encouraged if they make mistakes, because when we make mistakes, we learn and get better. We love taking risks. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. We give our team the freedom to think about how to do things better, without the fear of judgement. That matters.
How has being on Shark Tank and HSN affected your business?
The’ve both been really great. Both are experiences that you never expect to happen, but when they do, you’re kind of like ‘WHAT?!?! Did that just happen?’ But yeah, our business greatly benefited from both experiences.
Do you plan on expanding your product line?
I’m so excited about this. Over the last four years, we’ve launched four products. In the next 12 months, we have plans to launch almost double that.
What inspires you?
My family. They are my rock. My three-year old doesn’t care that I was on Shark Tank and she doesn’t care if I had a challenging day at work. She just wants daddy to cuddle her and play Candy Land. That’s really refreshing for me. I thrive off seeing my friends succeed. I have a lot of friends in different industries that are so damn good at what they do. When they have victories, we celebrate, and when they fail, we cry. Being around people who challenge themselves to be the best they can at what they do. That gets me every time.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
To soak in every single moment of this ride. I find moments every single day to be thankful. I often find myself saying ‘I can’t believe I GET to do this every day.’ Because I’m not guaranteed this will last forever. So I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Tomorrow, the world could decide that socks are terrible inventions and we’re going barefoot, and we’d be done. Unless we made socks that looked like people were barefoot….I’ll be right back….
What are some obstacles you’ve come across?
Growth. While it’s really exciting to be growing, it’s also really challenging. 2/3 of our team have been here less than a year. We’ve had to create things like an organizational structure, training, etc. Navigating inventory management with our model can be tough, but we’re getting there. Oh, and things like at the beginning when we had to figure out how to tell people to buy something that they didn’t know was a thing. That was strange.
What was the proudest moment for Foot Cardigan?
It had to be the first customer who bought a subscription that none of the co-founders knew. We went ballistic over the fact that someone who wasn’t obligated as a friend or family member bought a subscription because they just loved the product. I’ll never forget that.
What is some advice you can give to someone building their own startup?
Get over that fear of failure. I see that the most from people. They work on their thing for a couple years and it never sees the light of day. No one will ever care about your thing as much as you do. We had the idea and launched in 2.5 months. It wasn’t the best first site, but it sold sock subscriptions. We tweaked it from there. So yeah, just get your thing out into the world. Don’t waste time and money building something people don’t want. The sooner you push it out there, the sooner you’ll know if it’s going to work or not. That’s invaluable.
Top 10 Shared Hosting Companies
According to Google, if your website takes more than 10 seconds to load, people are 123% inclined to leave your site. That’s why you need excellent hosting service to prevent that.
Dedicated hosting services can help ease that pain, but it can break your bank. So, it’s best to go for an affordable option so you can save up on the things that matter. That’s why you should consider going for a shared hosting service to keep your site running smoothly.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 shared hosting companies on the internet.
Features include the following:
- SSD Space
- Free Domain Transfer
- Free Website Transfer
- Unlimited bandwidth
The regular price for their FastCloud plans starts at $9.95/mo, while the most expensive one, FastCloud Extra, is $19.95/mo. At the time of writing, all plans are 70% off with FastCloud at $2.95, FastCloud Plus at $4.45, and FastCloud Extra at $5.95.
FastComet users may experience faster loading times boasting speeds at 200 milliseconds. Not only that, but users get a 99.99% uptime. So, website visitors don’t encounter any site downtime. Plus, according to Website Host Rating, their shared server is secure for all users, which is why it’s one of the top 10 shared hosting companies on the net.
According to Blogger Sneed, there’s no dedicated IP address for the shared hosting server. While FastComet has better loading times and even performance than its competitors, the FastCloud plan may not load faster than usual. So, it’s a much better option to upgrade to the higher plans.
Potential customers of ChemiCloud can choose among three plans on the site. It’s on sale at the time of writing, so the most affordable plan is the Web Hosting Starter for 3.95/mo for three years. ChemiCloud priced it originally for $7.90/mo. Their most expensive plan, the Web Hosting Turbo, is for $7.66/mo for three years. It’s 10x faster than its two other plans.
Some features of the ChemiCloud plans:
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Different server locations
- Free migrations
For some experts, uptime is one of the many pros of the ChemiCloud hosting service. Rare are downtimes with using ChemiCloud, and there’s a 99.98% of uptime most of the time. Another thing is you can migrate your site for free within 24 hours, WP Glossy says.
According to Host Review Now, ChemiCloud can be difficult to navigate since there’s no FAQ or guides. Billing may become an issue for many users due to its billing cycles.
For many users, iPage is one of the top 10 shared hosting companies. The cost for an iPage shared hosting service is $1.99/mo (regularly $7.99/mo) for the first term of service. Users get some of the following features:
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited disk space
- Shopping cart integration
One pro of the iPage hosting service is its user-friendly cPanel that even beginners can use easily. It’s great for small business owners that need a domain quickly. TechRadar also noted that it has incredible performance even during the testing period.
Even if the starter price is lower than most hosting services, iPage tends to upsell to their customers. Another con for using the iPage shared hosting service is there’s no cPanel. Besides, users have mixed reviews over their support. Also, if you’ll have to migrate a site, you’ll need to pay $150.
Hostpapa offers three shared hosting plans for potential customers: Starter, Business, and Business Pro. The hosting site recommends that its customers go for a Business plan. Its regular price is $12.99/mo, but they have a deal that is $3.95/mo for three years. The most expensive subscription is $19.99/mo (regular price), and their most affordable is $7.99/mo.
You can get the following features in all plans:
- SSD Storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free domain registration
- Choose between a Canada or US server
Hosting Facts says that small businesses can get a bang for their buck on the Starter Plan. They offer essential features even on the plan, so it’s good value for money. Another reason why small businesses could go for Hostpapa is because of the performance and speed it gives to their sites.
Arvixe has two plans with two categories for its shared hosting service. You can choose between a personal or business plan and a Linux or Windows shared hosting one.
Their most affordable shared hosting service is the PersonalClass Linux shared hosting service that starts at $7.70/mo. You can get a PersonalClass Pro starting at $11.00/mo. You can upgrade to more features for $20/mo.
Some features of the PersonalClass plan are:
- Unlimited disk space
- Free domain name
- Use of cPanel
Arvixe isn’t just a website hosting site. You can build a site and get excellent uptime during the testing period, according to PCMag. Plus, you may get a 60-day money-back guarantee if you want to try out Arvixe for a while.
One disadvantage of using Arvixe is that you’ll need to buy an SSL certificate for $25.00 a year. You might want to consider other hosting sites if you need support often since many users across different review sites aren’t pleased with them.
If you want to avail of a Namecheap shared hosting server, you’ve got three options and two servers to pick from before you purchase a plan. You can opt for a Stellar, Stellar Plus, or Stellar Business plan. Meanwhile, the two data center locations available are US and UK.
Small businesses can get more out of a yearly subscription on a US server since it also includes cloud storage. The price is $52.88 for the 1st year and $104.88 a year ($8.88/mo). They do recommend availing of the Stellar Plus subscription. You’ll pay $29.28/yr for the first year, and it renews at $57.88/yr ($4.88/mo).
Some features you get on the Stellar plans are:
- 50GB SSD
- Unlimited websites
- Free one domain name
According to WhoIs Hosting This, your account and data are secure on Namecheap because they enable two-factor authentication. The cPanel is also something many find an advantage against its competitors. It’s because of the ease of use and design.
Some experts note they face issues over uptime. They found that it has less than 99.99% uptime, which isn’t a good thing. Plus, not many are satisfied with the support given by Namecheap.
Hostinger recommends that small businesses go for Business Shared Hosting for $3.99/mo for four years. It will renew to its regular rate of $15.99 after that period. Its most affordable plan, the Single Shared Hosting Plan, is at $0.99/mo for four years. The Single Shared Hosting plan is limited, so it’s best to opt for a Premium Shared Hosting plan or higher to get more features.
Here are some features you get if you choose a Premium Shared Hosting plan and above:
- Free SSL certificate
- Free domain
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited number of websites
If you want to save money, you’ll need to avail of a 1, 2, or 4-year plan.
Experts notice that support is one of its main issues because you can’t call their support. Otherwise, many do like that support is responsive online, so that’s a plus. That’s why users do find that Hostinger is one of the top 10 shared hosting companies.
For KnownHost, they present you with three options (prices discounted for three years only):
- Basic ($3.47/mo)
- Standard ($6.47/mo)
- Professional ($9.97/mo)
KnownHost promises unlimited bandwidth for all tiers and free SSL certificates.
Experts and users alike report that uptimes are as advertised. It seems many find satisfaction with support also. One downside about using KnownHost is that it hosts using Linux only. Otherwise, it’s an excellent service overall.
Like most of the shared hosting companies on this list, they also offer a 1, 2, or 3-year subscription. But if you just want to test the waters on Hostens, you’re free to opt for a monthly subscription paying their regular price.
Their most affordable plan is the S10 plan for only $0.99/mo for three years. They do suggest you avail of their S20 plan for $1.80/mo for three years. Their most expensive shared hosting plan is $3.60/mo for three years.
Common features of the three plans:
- Free website builder
- Different server locations
Aside from its affordability, Website Planet finds that there’s the ease of use and the one-click installer for programs. One main disadvantage of using Hostens, though, is it doesn’t offer DDoS, and it could affect your website. Despite such, it’s one of the top 10 shared hosting companies on the list.
Similar to other hosting companies, you have three plan options that would best suit your small business. Their recommendation is the Business Plan priced $4.95/mo, while the regular price is $7.95/mo.
You can get the following perks when you use TMD Hosting:
- Unlimited SSD space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Plesk Control Panel
Website Planet finds that free daily backups are helpful. Another point goes to TMDHosting because they have servers in different locations. However, there are frequent complaints about billing from users. Other than that, TMDHosting is one of the top 10 shared hosting services for some users.
Top 10 VPS Hosting Companies
Looking for the best VPS is what probably got you here, read on to get to know ten of the top hosting companies this 2020. Finding the lovely blend of reliability and affordability can be a daunting task, so we scoured around to give you the rundown and help you make an informed decision.
What is VPS Hosting?
Publishing a website online means having to upload your files to a web server. Typically, you purchase this service from a hosting provider. This is what is known as web hosting. Think of this as cyber real estate. Shared hosting means renting a portion of the space, and dedicated hosting is where you have space all to yourself. This is what makes VPS (Virtual Private Server) special.
Shared hosting is perfect for simple websites, but as your website’s needs grow, this type of hosting won’t be enough. A dedicated server would be ideal but can be expensive. Then comes VPS that’s almost the same as shared, but faster and cheaper than a dedicated one. You still share a server with other websites, but with less population, which is what makes it better and inexpensive.
The bigger question now is, what VPS hosting do I go for? With the multitude of choices out there, we made choosing simpler for you. Here are the top 10 VPS hosting companies we think are the best and the brightest:
1. InMotion Hosting
One of the strongest and most deserving of the top spot on this list, InMotion Hosting has smart features at a fair price. A few of these are its 75GB SSD storage, 4TB bandwidth, 4GB RAM, and free SSLs, among many others. They also provide shared and dedicated hosting as well as web design and tools to help with site maintenance.
They provide three hosting plans with a price range from $29.99 to $83.99 per month. These come with a 90-day money-back guarantee and chat support that’s available 24/7.
Boasting of a VPS hosting service that mimics a dedicated server, Hostinger offers one of the most affordable in its class. Starting at $3.95 a month for its basic plan of 1G bandwidth to $29.95 with 8GB bandwidth. Each plan is broken down by storage, memory, vCPU, and others.
All of their plans include IPv6 support, a dedicated IP, 100 Mb/s Network aside from the usual Ubuntu, CentOS, and Suse hosting services. Along with their fully refundable plans that allow you to try them, they also have 24/7 customer support.
A VPS hosting that has one of the best uptimes and feature-packed plans, HostGator is also one of the most popular and reliable. It provides flexible hosting solutions that include full root access, one-click upgrade system, development tools, and offsite backup.
Prices start at $29.95 for the basic plan, which comes with 2GB RAM to $49.95 with 8GB of RAM per month. You’ll get all the services of a typical hosting service, but you can also avail of their SEO services, PPC advertising as well as web design services.
If you’re looking for a VPS hosting company that gives out free domain permanently, Bluehost is for you. It lets you add more space to your account any time with their multi-server management services. Their main selling points are their 8GB of RAM and 4 CPU cores, plus their unlimited email accounts.
Their Standard plan costs $19.99 with 1TB bandwidth and 30GB of SSD storage while their Ultimate plan will get you 3TB bandwidth and 120GB of SSD storage.
Offering unlimited email accounts, domains, and monthly data transfers, Hostwinds truly deserves this spot on the top 10 VPS hosting companies. They have several VPS hosting plans from Fully Managed Windows to Unmanaged Linux VPS, all aimed to provide specialized services.
Their Managed Windows basic plan starts at $7.99 with 1GB of RAM and 30GB of SSD disk space. The premium plan goes for $26.79 per month, which comes with 6GB of RAM and 100GB of space.
6. A2 Hosting
For newbies in the VPS hosting scene, A2 Hosting provides intuitive service and the best speed for your website. It also has features that even the experienced will appreciate, such as their Railgun Optimizer and preconfigured server caching. They are one of the few that take speed seriously, with an average load time of 99.99% at 424 ms.
Their plans’ prices range from $25 for their Power+ plan that includes 4GB of RAM, 75GB storage space, and 2TB transfer rate. The Pinnacle+ plan is at $50 per month of 8GB RAM, 150GB space, and 4TB of data transfer.
Probably the least expensive on this list, or anywhere else on the web, iPage offers great value for your money. Their unlimited disk space, scalable bandwidth, free site backups, and superb customer service are just but a few wonderful features. With an above-average uptime of 99.96% over 24 months and an average of 746ms page loading time, this is pretty fast for something so cheap.
Their one and only plan will cost you $1.99 a month, so what’s not to like?
8. Liquid Web
From hardware management to proactive service monitoring, Liquid Web will do almost all of the work for you. Boasting the best customer service around which they named “Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®,” they are a solid choice. With 99.999% uptime, they will assure you of top quality service at $15 to $95 a month.
Although one of the costlier choices, they match it with services that are unparalleled in the industry.
With unmetered bandwidth, stable and fast hosting (99.97% uptime, and 554ms average), GoDaddy is also one of the most well-known choices. This hosting provider allows you to integrate with 125 popular web applications. Just one click installs WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more.
The Economy plan is worth $7.99 per month with 100GB of storage space, while the Ultimate plan is at $16.99 per month and the Maximum plan at $24.99, which includes twice the memory load speed and free SSLs.
One of the oldest in this list, DreamHost, hosts more than 1.5 million sites, proof that it’s also one of the best. Its above-average uptime of 99.94% and page load speeds of 648ms is practically still the same as the day they started, some 25 years ago. They have a few unlimited features, which include cloud hosting services and data transfers.
The price starts at $10 for their Basic plan, which gives you 1GB of RAM and 30GB of SSD storage. The most expensive plan, the Enterprise costs $80 a month with 8GB of RAM and 240GB of storage space.
Top 10 Highest Rated VPN
Internet security and privacy must be taken seriously now more than ever. With millions of people using the internet, wide-scale cybercrimes are also likely to happen. This includes fraud, hacking, identity theft, scams, and malware attacks, to name a few. And if you do not have an added protection over your internet usage, you could be the next victim. This is not to scare you but rather to emphasize how these cyber criminals work. They will use every opportunity and it doesn’t matter who you are.
This is where a VPN can help you.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an extra layer of protection that allows users to create a secure connection to a different network over the internet. This means that everything you do over the internet will be encrypted. No one (not even the government) could track your online activities. Additional benefits of a VPN is that you can access websites that are restricted in a particular region.
So the next question is: Who should get a VPN?
Back in the day, big companies are the common clientele of VPN providers. But as we’ve mentioned, the number of individual internet users surged over the years. It goes without saying that the rate of cybercrimes could go up too.
10 Best VPN for 2020
If you Google ‘free VPN’ right now, you will be overwhelmed with hundreds of providers to choose from. It is tempting, but we do not encourage free VPNs. Frankly speaking, these do not guarantee a high level of protection. Thus, our list only includes paid VPN providers that have passed our high standards.
In the last 6 years, NordVPN’s team of engineers, designers, and system administrators worked hard to create a tool that will bring them closer to their vision – Having a more open, yet private and secure internet.
With NordVPN, you can safely transact online even on unprotected Wi-Fi. Your online activities won’t be tracked as well because basically, it’s nobody’s business. And since they have more than 5600 servers in 59 countries, you can access your favorite websites, streaming services, and messaging apps anywhere in the world. The best part is, it works on all devices.
We recommend that you take advantage of their 3-year plan where you get to enjoy the VPN services for only $3.49 per month. In our opinion, it’s a cheap price given its features.
Aren’t you interested to see Netflix libraries from other countries? SurfShark has 15 different libraries to choose from. But of course, there is more to love about SurfShark.
With them, just one subscription can cover unlimited gadgets in your home. They also have more than 1700 servers in 64 countries.
Let’s not forget their Kill Switch option wherein your connection will be automatically disabled when your VPN drops. Talk about protection all the time.
They have a very affordable package for only $1.99 per month if you get their 24-month plan.
PrivateVPN allows their users to enjoy geo-restricted websites and it will only take you one minute to unleash the internet. With them, expect lightning-fast streaming services and excellent website experience.
The PrivateVPN’s team is particular with their customer service. It’s one of the things they are proud of. For issues, you can directly talk with their in-house developers and it will be resolved the fastest time possible.
To date, they have 100 servers in 60 different countries. You can get their services for $3.82 per month as long as you choose their 13-month plan.
ExpressVPN is almost in every top VPN list. That’s not surprising considering the quality of service you can get from the provider. They have a huge global network in 94 countries, and that means you can expect nothing less from them. You can even use the VPN in most devices and gadgets! It’s pretty hard to pinpoint what’s not to love about it.
What we personally like about ExpressVPN is their split tunneling where you can route some of your app traffic through the VPN while others can be directed to the internet.
Get their 1-year plan for $6.67 per month. This might be a bit steep but considering that ExpressVPN is one of the leading and most trusted providers, the price can be justified.
CyberGhost has 15 years of experience under its belt. We recommend this if your online activity involves heavy streaming and torrenting. With one subscription, you can cover and protect up to 7 devices. Their customer support is also available through chat and email.
As of the moment, they have 6400 servers in over 90 countries. In addition, CyberGhost uses 256-bit military-grade encryption which can protect your data all the time. Get their 18-month plan for only $3.15 per month.
IPVanish provides its users access to over 1400 anonymous servers. You are guaranteed with fast and unrestricted internet access practically from every corner of the globe.
What’s good about IPVanish is that all its services are managed internally and there is no middle man. Having said that, your information and data will be kept safe and confidential.
Lastly, they offer SugarSync which provides file management and encrypted data backup for various devices. It also has a wipeout feature in case your device gets stolen. For $3.25 a month, you can get all of these and more from IPVanish.
UltraVPN boasts its fast internet connection where you can watch continuous videos without the need to pause. Right now, they have more than 50 server locations across the globe.
UltraVPN gives you the access to unlock social media, watch sporting events that are restricted in your region, or check out videos that are only available in certain countries. UltraVPN can give you that power and limitless internet connection that we all deserve.
You can use the VPN for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even for Fire TV. Get their 1-year plan for only $3.75 per month.
ZenMate is easy to use with its one-click connect feature. But even with its simplicity, it delivers an optimal experience to its users. With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from more than 360 reviews on Trustpilot, it is beyond satisfactory. Currently, it has 3800 servers in more than 74 countries.
Affordable rates are also waiting for you. Their package starts at $2.22 every month under their 18-month plan.
9. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is known as the fastest VPN and this has been verified by experts. In fact, the company’s outstanding services bagged them a number of recognitions including ‘the 2019 Most Innovative Security Company’.
To date, they have more than 740M downloads and the number continues to grow. You can install Hotspot Shield in 5 devices, and it detects more than 3.5M malicious websites. For their 3-year plan, you just need to pay $2.99 every month.
Last in our list is PrivateInternetAccess. It has more than 3300 servers in 45 countries. With their services, you can block unwanted connections – thanks to its advanced firewall and filtering features of the Netfilter Project. Without a doubt, it is one of the best VPN providers today.
Its layer of security includes IP cloaking, encryption, firewall, identity protection, and unblocking websites, to name a few. Choose their yearly subscription and only pay $3.33 per month.
If security and privacy matter to you, we encourage that you get the best VPN right now. Think about it. Most of us pay monthly subscriptions for Netflix, Spotify, and other online services. It seems logical that you pay for protection too. Most VPN providers we’ve included in the list offer a money-back guarantee. Use that lead time to decide before actually paying for the services. It’s definitely a win-win if you ask us.