FlockUpdate: July & August 2016

 

Show Notes:

  • The Recap from Last FlockUpdate.
  • FlockHosting – Out of Date. Updating soon!
  • Got a review of FlockHosting? Testimonial? Tell me!
  • Need help? Need something more? Get in touch!
  • Jonah! It’s free, it’s fancy, want to move over? Learn more about it!
  • Getting rid of External Forwarding by the end of 2016.
    • Using Gmail? Want to check your email from Gmail? Create an account and set it up
  • WordPress Hosting – It’s ready to speed up your WordPress Site!
  • Spam Experts – Enhanced Filtering and Outbound. Interested?
    • Need a Mailing List App? Few options out there, get in touch!
  • Unsure the next step on your website? Need Help? Pick my brain!
  • Let’s keep growing!

Meet WordPress Hosting!

So here we are with another new product offering. Now you may be saying to yourself:

Self, doesn’t FlockHosting already do WordPress Hosting?

And if you are familiar with how hosting works, the answer is yes, but this new product (which will be on the new FlockHosting.com as soon as I can) will be different, as the ONLY thing it will host is WordPress. That’s it.

The server is specifically configured to get the most performance out of WordPress, and throw in a few plugins and even better still. Let me show you with a real-world example, mainly my blog:

before_wordpress_hosting

Now you’ll note it’s definitely not perfect, but as my own little slice of the world, it’s an outlet to relax and write, not out to win awards for speed. But I took a copy of the site, moved it to the new configuration and saw a big jump with only a small bit of effort:

after_wordpress_hosting

Now you’ll note the URL is different, which is where the test site resides, and it’s pretty snappy. Quite the difference indeed! A 34 point jump in performance! And with some fine tuning I could do even more just using Plugins for WordPress!

Combine this with our Managed WordPress Plugin, we’ll help you stay up to date, secure, and offer some great plugins in that’ll help make your site fly at only the cost of hosting.

Now the kicker is the price:

  • $10/monthly -or- $100/yearly (saves $20)
  • 5GB Storage
  • 50GB Monthly Bandwidth
  • 30GB Email Access on Jonah
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • SFTP File Access
  • FlockHosting WordPress Management
  • WordPress Plugins for Streamlining
  • Help Integrating Piwik or Google Analytics

This is a specialized realm of hosting, it does not include the pile of options a system like cPanel offers, but with this package, you don’t need that complexity. I can migrate over your site, or if you are starting fresh you can sign-up and WordPress will be configured and deployed quickly!

If your WordPress install is important to you, let FlockHosting improve it’s performance and get you on track. I look forward to serving you!

Meet Jonah!

I’d like to introduce you to Jonah, the latest server in the fleet which has a singular task – Email.

Over the last few months, email has had some issues, from the outages, to blacklists from major providers due to the nature of how hosting has always been setup. In a shared hosting world everything is on the same server, and one ruins it for everyone.

fh_meet_jonahJonah is a great email server which will still allow you control of your accounts like you did in cPanel – and in some areas more control than that of cPanel in which you can manage:

  • Whitelists
  • Blacklists
  • Accounts
  • Aliases
  • Aliased Domains
  • GreyListing
  • Throttling
  • and more!

The server is a labor of love for all FlockHosters, and it is 100% free of charge. That’s right, no cost. I’m finalizing the SSL services but as it stands all general settings are in place to function and manage email!

If you are having problems and need help open a ticket and I’ll gladly help deploy you into the new server but please bear in mind:

  • Jonah is NOT for Newsletters
  • Jonah is NOT for Application Sending (WordPress/CMS type scripts)
  • Jonah IS for daily email
  • Jonah is NOT for forwarding your email to Gmail or another provider.

Now if you have your Blog, Shopping Cart, or other system using your SMTP email, the next step is to get you to a transactional email service. Only use Jonah for your emails that you write, and I can help you do that again – free of charge as there are some free services that will make your blog/newsletter more deliverable.

If you are interested please open a ticket, and let Jonah help deliver your messages!

FlockUpdate: May & June 2016

FH-BusinessManSo no video you may notice first things off. The first half of the year has been non-stop. Oh and this past week hasn’t stopped either, it keeps going and going and going.

I picked up some continuing education on actually bolstering some advertising and marketing know-how, as well as a possible new revenue stream or two – things are changing so let’s get right into it:

It’s June!

May was busy, and now here we are in June, a lot has happened since our last three month in one update, but some quick recap:

  • No new news on sysadmin job.
  • Weebly is still there, just not much draw.
  • Grace & Church moved over nicely! Minor Hiccups
  • Big Social Network Run – Mixed feelings from visitors.
  • FlockHosting has a newer look, fine tuning. Publishing soon.

So that’s the recap from the last update on things, but let’s head right into what’s happening now.

Email Issues

Some servers were having issues getting on blacklists, and my way of monitoring which required manual checking was simply not working well. So I went with Plan B a service called RBLTracker which has a subscription service for check all servers against IP Based RBL’s, and URI based RBL’s to make sure that servers are not blacklisted. Works great!

Sadly the biggest issue lately is Microsoft (Office365, Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, etc.) they are blocking and not letting up easily. They have no great way short of paying a HUGE fee for a subscription to monitor mailing or blacklisting – you get blocked, you submit, and within two days you are supposed to be removed, but honestly I’ve never had that happen, so fighting currently to get Church & Grace removed.

Now I have a solution in the works, and I’m trying to do this without too many issues, I want to create a separate mail server for customers, but the issue is cPanel does not link to it. So that leaves either giving manual control. However, my mail server doesn’t do that it requires me to make the changes, or give out admin access to everyone but then they’ll have access to everyone.

I’m working out a solution for the long term. Tomorrow during the start of a vacation (more on that soon) I’ll be deploying a SmartHost to route all mail from Grace, Lilly, Church, and Fellowship. Doing this will create a clean mail path, and hopefully, make things run smoothly for a few days till the Microsoft Issue repaired.

If you are having a problem, please don’t hesitate to open an email but hang tight till tomorrow, the change is transparent, won’t make any modifications for you – just a quick server configuration change. So hang tight.

Weebly Packages

In July along with a new base package, I’ll be officially launching Weebly plans. Now some of you have not liked the Weebly platform, but I am hoping it will be an area of growth for FlockHosting for those who aren’t wanting to sign-up for some long-term high-cost commitment elsewhere, hoping to build an excellent package which includes all your hosting and email needs.

Do you know someone who would benefit from a website creation tool like Weebly? Don’t forget once we launch we have an affiliate program; you could earn cash for sending people our way! I’ll have some intro incentives so stay tuned!

Upgrades Galore!

The other day I noted the quick update to our billing system, but too cPanel has undergone some upgrades including an HTML editor update, security improvements, and some performance updates – all quite nice!

The billing system has some cosmetical tweaks to the templates for email, and new rich text editor so I can do some bold, italic, etc. So I can spice things up a bit in my email replies! If you open a ticket, I do hope you like the improvements.

Live Chat is changed up. Tawk.to was a nice idea, but sadly it always disconnected, never integrated 100% and folks emailed in and said: “I left a message, did you get it?” I didn’t. So I went back and spent a little investment back to Olark the previous live chat which does a fantastic job and sends me emails quickly when folks leave a message! Too I’ll be monitoring it here this next week so keep an eye out for me!

Vacation

Exhausted. Tired . Shot. Done. Need a nap. Told the guy at Target when asked: “Can I help you find anything?” I answered “My sanity.”

A break is needed, and while a week would be nice, I’m going to settle for three days. I’m loading the fam up on the train in about 6 hours going South. Train means no crazy Southern California driving! Kiddo gets to see the Zoo and such, and maybe, just maybe – a nap for me.

I always appreciate those of you who say things like “Worry about my ticket later” and some of you have given me a TON of room to relax in the midst of some crazy days. I appreciate it greatly – this has been one of the harder years on record, just seems like there is never a chance for a real downtime. So as soon as I hit publish, I’m off to bed. I will, of course, be on-call so to speak; response time may be later in the day as I wind down, I’ll review tickets & emails, if anything is dire, please use the priority system on tickets accordingly.

What’s Next? Growth.

Next month I hope to be rested a little, at which time I hope to unveil some options on the site, some new steady content on the blog (I know I always say it, but this time, I’m buckling down to steady writing days!), some improvements to FlockHosting.com, and looking towards building a growing FlockHosting.

I appreciate you taking the time to read and find out what’s going on at FlockHosting! Stay tuned for more great things! Hope you’ll stick around and watch things grow into the 15th year of service!

fh-gift

And the winners are….

I missed yesterday by 4 minutes! But better late than never with a free prize or 6 at stake! 🙂

So the winners are [Insert Drumroll]:

  • Jarryd G. – 1 Year of Hosting
  • TJ J. – 1 Year WordFence
  • Jerry M. – 1 Year Email Server
  • Gary V. – 1 Year 512 VPS
  • Michael R. – ASUS Chromebook
  • Katie A. – Amazon Tap

There we have it! I’ll be opening a ticket with each winner here shortly – for goods; I’ll need to confirm addresses, and for those who got services, we’ll work it out!

Thanks again everyone for 14 great years! It feels like it was only yesterday this journey started! Looking forward to next year, and many more fun things to come in this year! Stay tuned!

Have a Blessed Week All!