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The 14th Year Fun!

Let the Fun Begin!

So I tried to sneak in some fun. However, my weekend got away from me, and posts, contest, etc. all didn’t happen, so let us start the week off right, here we go!

Giveaway Goodies

This was completed by Marvin C. which decoded the message offering a free year of service, however, Marvin is a Church Hoster who had no further hosting needs, so that leaves a year of hosting up for grabs, so it’ll be going into the pot of prizes which includes:

  • 1 Year of Hosting (New $7 package)
  • 1 Year of WordFence Premium
  • 1 Year of Email Server Hosting (25gb package)
  • 1 Year of Linux VPS Hosting (512 Package)
  • 1 ASUS Chromebook
  • 1 Mystery Gift TBA Friday

How do you get one of these? Comment/Tweet/Post to anywhere you see this is posted! So you can enter for G+, The Blog, Twitter, and Facebook! Just post a hello, a mini-review of FlockHosting, you name it! Post something between now and Friday, May 6th, 2016 and I’ll be picking some winners!

All winners will be announced May 9th, 2016. You MUST have active FlockHosting service to take part, no outside entries, these prizes and specials are for FlockHosting customers only, they are meant as a THANK YOU for another great year!

Special Hosting

Now for those of you who want a deal have I got one for you! $50 for one year of service for one of the following:

Email Server (Normally $600/yr)

  • 50GB of Storage
  • Webmail
  • Your Domain(s)
  • Your Email Account(s)
  • No domain limit, no account limits.
  • Full DKIM & SPF Support
  • OwnCloud for File, Contact and Calendar Sync

VPS Account (Normally $300/yr)

  • 50GB of Storage
  • Your Choice of Linux (Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu)
  • 512MB Memory
  • 4 CPU
  • 1TB Bandwidth
  • Choice for Upgrades

There will be 14 total of these for the $50/yr rate, and this rate goes with you, not a promo of “Here today, Gone tomorrow!”. You get it for the life of your account. So once 14 total sales are had these deals are gone!

All promos and giveaways are for active & in good standing FlockHosting customers! (Including Church Hosters!) So if you want these specials, you must have an account. If you sign-up and are NOT a FlockHosting customer you order will be rejected.

Thank you all for a great year! Can’t wait to celebrate our 15th year next year – hope to make its giveaways and specials the best yet!

State of the Server (2016)

I was asked recently as things calmed down if I could do a “State of the Server” address, and you know what? Sure thing. It’s been about two years since the last one, let’s talk about where we stand!

Server: Grace & Church

This past weekend Grace & Church got their migrations completed, customers are moved over, and backups from the previous are still in place for about another week then I’m going to purge and free up space once we are in the clear 100%.

So what did we do in the realm of an upgrade? Well, we went from a Xeon L5420 series of CPUto an Intel Xeon E3-1230 v3 – definitely a more modern CPU! The memory we are still at 16GB, but I’ve been working to fine-tune the CloudLinux Setup.

Upgrades to Network too – a completely different path out of Dallas vs. Atlanta, but too 1gbps ports vs. 100mbps ports.

Server: Fellowship & Lilly

These two kids have been on their newer hardware for a while now, still rocking the Xeon E3-1230 – just the v1 not the latest v3, but still running like a champ with 16GB of memory, and a fairly well tuned CloudLinux setup to ensure everyone is getting fair use.

Server: VPS Servers

All private VPS and Mail Servers are still using the older network and provider. The move is not as easy as packaging up a pile of accounts, doing this is going to take more time and will come likely in July/August. I am looking at if we continue using OpenVZ (which has served us well) or make the jump to KVM.

If you use the VPS or Mail Servers and have a thought – drop it in the comments below!

Server: Name Servers

Still running DNS spread out in 2 locations and clustered – I will note Grace and Church are not yet linked into the cluster just yet, but they will soon, and no matter where you are – we have a name server that is close and ready to respond!

Server: Managed WordPress & Backup

Managed WordPress just did a BIG upgrade, invested a lot into the system which helps keep your WordPress Blogs up-to-date! Includes some features which I’ll be rolling out in weeks to come including Wordfence & iThemes Security scans on a regular basis, as well as some spring cleaning of your databases to make sure your websites run smoothly!

We now have 3TB of storage across three separate backup servers – this is a continual upgrade and looking at adding at least two more TB of storage before years end! Staying ahead of the growth not just in Church Hosting, but too folks in paid hosting, and with the $7 package coming soon I’m betting, even more, growth!

That’s it! I am always looking to improve, grow and expand services, more goodies are coming as we grow this year! Stay tuned for more!

Announcements!

Happy Monday FlockHosters! First things first, a follow up on the server migrations, they went smoothly! Getting data moved around is time-consuming, and some minor hiccups with DNS and reverse DNS caused some minor headaches for a few customers, it was all quickly resolved and as it stands things are running smoothly!

So with things on the up and up, let’s move forward. A few announcements today:

Pricing

So I’ve hinted around at the changing of pricing to skip the whole business vs. personal packages, why have two? Why make it complicated? Let’s stop. Here’s the new pricing:

1 Package – Business or Personal:

  • $7 a month
  • $6 a month (Semi-Annual)
  • $5 a month (Annual)

Obviously, the savings is in pre-payment of a year, but even at $7, you can do any application, business or personal! Church hosting remains free, and with this change, a few other perks come into play for ALL customers (Church Hosting too!)

The actual plan will be announced May 2nd, with (Lord willing!) a new FlockHosting.com update! So stay tuned to what it will include, but for everyone here are a few more things to enjoy!

Enhanced Managed WordPress

Continuing to be a free add-on, this has just gotten a HUGE update, over the weekend I’ve deployed over 2TB of backup storage off-site, no longer are backups stored on your hosting package + some new security plugins as well as general maintenance scripts which will help automate and streamline your WordPress Installs.

You’ll also note it in your WordPress plugins as Managed WordPress now. Upgrade has allowed a lot of goodies. I’ll be working them into production over the next few weeks as the backup system takes hold and a few other things come into play including security added in for you and regular scans to alert me to problems.

Affordable VPN Add-on

While this is slated to launch June 1, I’ve settled on this idea as an add-on for not just this new package but any active customer at a yearly fee of $12. A dollar a month – and with a quick install of software, you’ll be running securely at your local coffee shop on shared network as you are traveling. Completely secure to help keep peering eyes from peeking in. 

If you do a lot of work at Coffee Shops, Traveling, or in general away from your home network, this will work great to help keep you secure!

Free SSL Certificates

As of today, all customers can find a Let’s Encrypt icon in their cPanel; this allows you to setup SSL on any of your configured domains at no cost what-so-ever. $0. Now these certificates only last a few months, then get auto-renewed – If you want a traditional certificate I do provide them at $30/yr but if you want a secure link to log in and manage your blog over SSL, it’s free, it’s quick and easy.

The certificate is also secure enough for taking online donations and will pass PCI compliance, so if you are running CloudFlare or similar applications for their SSL system, take them out of the loop and do it yourself! It’s free, and the system will keep you current and secure!

Prayer Board

Going live on Friday, I’ll make an official post then, but as I said in the previous video updates, I do want to have a strong community here at FlockHosting.

If I can count on you as a prayer warrior, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Last but not least…

T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Key Chains – I want to get you guys decked out with FlockHosting gear.  I used to have a CafePress store ages ago, but never took off. I’m looking for some new designs, as well as building up a stock of goodies to give away.

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Migration Friday (Church & Grace)

I noted in the most recent FlockUpdate that there would be a migration on Friday and it’s nearly here!

I’ve moved a few accounts already and they have gone over smoothly (Thanks to brave testers!) the only in-between issue at this point is the hostnames. Since “grace.flockhosting.com” and “church.flockhosting.com” – still point to the active servers, and since folks check their email this way – it creates an issue for making this move quickly.

Grace Settings:

If you manage your DNS – the new IP is: 107.158.235.202

Simply point your A records to this new IP where you used to have: 107.189.34.98

Church Settings:

If you manage your DNS – the new IP is: 50.2.187.106

Simply point your A records to this new IP where you used to have: 107.189.33.250

For most of you thankfully it should not be an issue what-so-ever! Things are coming along awesomely, and performance has already improved since the cut-over as it stands, even with just a handful of accounts!

The official move is April 22, 2016 @ 10PM Pacific 

Some news is coming on Monday! So stay tuned! A sneak peak may be posted on Facebook or Twitter, so if you aren’t following, please do!

FlockUpdate: February, March and April 2016

Show Notes:

  • Busy 2016!
  • Outage in Feb [Link to Post]
  • Security Updates!
    • WordPress 4.5 is Here – Update! [Link to Post]
    • Managed WordPress – Create a user, open a ticket, paste in the login info and I’ll do the rest! (FREE!)
    • Wordfence Big Update! Worth adding! [Link to Post]
    • Update your Apps! If you installed via Softaculous choose update from within it!
    • AntiVirus Mac [Avast, Avira]
    • Anti-Virus PC [AVG, BitDefender]
  • Secure Email – Use Hostname vs. YourDomain.com
  • Yearly VPN Service – ~$12 a year for secure access for FlockHosting Customers
  • Social Network Posts – Uplifting Posts & Fun is coming very soon!
  • Weebly Updates Soon!
  • New FlockHosting.com is coming soon!
  • Non-Profit or No Non-Profit? Have any tips? Suggestions? Pros or Cons? Would love your feedback!
  • Server Revamps for Grace & Church – April 22nd
    • MySQL Databases in basic testing not coming over easily due to old password format. It’s an easy fix simply change the password back to what it was originally.
  • System Administrator Side-Gig may be a big benefit to us soon! New Server Options!
  • Having any issues on Grace? Get in touch on your original ticket, just reply and it’ll re-open!
  • April Celebration of Year 14 years! Some cool things are coming towards month’s end!
  • Prayer Board coming to FlockHosting.com
  • Building Community @ FlockHosting
  • I like HotPockets!
  • My YouTube Channel [Link]