Migrations are Done!

work-n-manSo welcome to your new homes! There has been some slight confusion about these migrations and folks having issues connecting – I do apologize for all the confusion please know you are not alone, these were some really large moves, and some of you have been used to your server names for some time and you have email apps, smartphones, and bookmarks which take you to a certain place, you just don’t worry about it, it works! Of course until the move!

Server names have indeed changed with the migrations and as they are complete you may need to do some adjustments to your links and apps, and here’s the breakdown:

If you were on: solomon.flockhosting.com — Your new server name is: lilly.flockhosting.com

If you were on: faith.flockhosting.com -or- shepherd.flockhosting.com — Your new server name is: grace.flockhosting.com

If you were on koinonia.flockhosting.com -or- fellowship.flockhosting.com — Your new server name is: church.flockhosting.com

Please address your URL’s for bookmarks to the new name, and with your email app, smartphone, etc. please ensure that you are using these new names as your incoming/outgoing mail server.

As always if you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

State of the Server Address

What a week! For me aside from the setup of Grace, I’ve built out 8 additional servers for a long-time server customer (rebuilding his fleet) and still have Church Hosting hardware coming along,  it’s been a whirlwind! Migration

So what’s this post about? Well it’s a way for me to apologize for hiccups folks had, some had issues with email, some with versions of PHP, some with MySQL, wasn’t a flawless move, but never is in some areas when it comes to upgrading software, but the email and password issues, just did not foresee happening, in any migration we’ve never had these sorts of issues, but smoother sailing is here! I’m sorry you guys had issues, and I’m sorry where things just completely fell flat, but working to ensure things like that don’t happen again!  For now, here’s a quick rundown with all the migrations where we stand with hardware:

Server: Grace

Grace is up and running, we had some minor hiccups with the migration for folks using older scripts, we are using some newer tech, and older scripts aren’t playing nice – working on getting everything running smoothly, if you are having issues please let me know!

A few folks have reported password issues, cPanel works, FTP doesn’t, unsure of the cause, but if you are having this issue open a ticket and I can reset your password across the board, if wanting a quicker fix and can login to cPanel, simply change the password should update FTP.

Lastly Email filtering, this has been a big issue for everyone lately spam is horrible right now, and even FlockHosting Servers are getting blocked for legitimate email! I’m working on a few options to try and get things running cleaner at no cost, so hang tight! If it’s really bad please open a ticket and I’ll help however I can!

Server: Lilly

Lilly is running great, it’s been online since late July, and problems have been very few, additional memory and alternative MySQL configuration have run very smoothly, but too like other servers in the fleet some issues persist with spam, but all in all this new kid on the block is running great!

Servers: Faith & Shepherd 

This weekend (Saturday) these servers will be retired and shutdown. They have served FlockHosting well for a LONG time! I’ll be pulling one last backup tonight just-in-case, should anyone be coming late to the party of migrations and saying “BUT CHUCK! IT’S ALL BROKE!” I’ll have one final snapshot of what was, but moving forward Grace is your kid!

Server: Church

Now this is the latest in the works, I am hoping to have the hardware at some point soon! This will combine Fellowship & Koinonia into a single server which will have even more power and storage!

Server: Ruth

Ruth isn’t going anywhere, running on some newer hardware itself, it will be the last of the low-volume servers on-network, customers should expect any migration plans for this server, you are safe! :-)

Thank You!

I really appreciate everyone’s patience in these moves! I know not always easy to have your site be in-transit, or email issues, password issues etc. but as always I’m working to ensure you are having as few issues as possible! Stay tuned, Church Hosting likely moving this next week! So new IP, new hardware, stay tuned & Have a BLESSED weekend!

Church Hosting On Deck!

So paid customers this past week got a taste of new hardware and improvements to the servers, hopefully you are all enjoying it! And while Crowdfunding for Church Hosting really didn’t take off sadly, that doesn’t change that I still have a view of Church Hosting growing.

So why stop growth? Two servers both really just maxing out and filling up – well it’s time to kick it up a notch while I’m at it, let’s make a new server and we will call it simply…

Church

We’ve had Fellowship and Koinonia both servers are nearly full – I try to keep some room but when the demand keeps up at on average 2-4 accounts a month sign-up, it’s time to really buckle down and make a way for Churches to Grow. More room for Email, more room for MP3 sermons and much much more! Let’s just be honest, I haven’t given up my dream of a big Church Hosting platform that rocks! Here’s still my dream list:

  • Email Only Service (similar to Google Apps)
  • Massive Storage
  • Video Streaming
  • Audio Streaming
  • Windows Hosting
  • Help Making Apps for Android/iPhone
  • Logo Design
  • Custom Programming
  • Pre-Fab WordPress Setup (fill in the blanks!)

I’m going to step out in faith and KNOW that God is GOOD! Let’s get things setup for a bigger Church Hosting and take that step and see where God leads the next one!

The new server Church will bring the latest tech, the latest security enhancements, and even more room for growth as you need it! More CPU dedicated towards your websites! Let’s me be a good steward with the resources we have at hand, and toss as much as I can at the server to ensure your websites load quickly, safely, and have the latest and greatest!

So all sites are moving! I don’t have a date just yet, waiting for word on the new hardware in the morning from the Data Center – Likely Monday, but don’t quote me on that just yet! Fellowship & Koinonia will both re-locate! If you are managing your own DNS stay tuned, I’ll get a new IP to you!

Why?

Because I do have a vision of Churches saving money on hosting – saving the church even $50 a year is $50 to feed a family, fill a gas tank, you name it! Let the funds of the church be used to serve the community around it, and let me serve them on the web! Sadly I don’t always get every church to believe this is a free service, nor does every church see the self-hosted platform as the best way to get online, very few take and utilize the help I have offered! It’s not just a free lunch, dinner is included too!

Recently a church came on board, then when they found things to be difficult they just said “Point my domain at XYZ” and then even after that they were back a week later because they saw that service XYZ was charging for every.. little.. thing. I’m not.

So let me help you get your website online! I have been helping churches set up something that may not be a multi-million dollar website theme, but some great options out there for getting a great looking website, and many churches are having a great time making a website!

More is coming after the Church Migration, including easy upgrades and management by FlockHosting at again no cost! Things are getting good!

Stay tuned for more, I’ll newsletter on this and the next post coming Friday about a new service called FlockHosting Design! Stay tuned! Have a blessed night all!

FlockUpdate: News Edition

The idea of the FlockUpdate is still alive and well in my book, but first year of marriage, big life changes, big business changes – a guy gets busy! But I wanted to get out some news on recent happenings and some changes still in motion!

First things first – a hot topic in tickets & chats… oh we are going up a font size for this one:

SPAM!

Oh yes, the dreaded canned meat of email (then again there are some which enjoy a good bit of spam… ) – anywhoo, it’s been bad! While ASSP did an amazing job of blocking, it really BLOCKED everything, let’s be honest, you were likely like some missing email entirely! Never fear, Cleaner is still learning, I’ve been training, today fed it over 20,000 pieces of spam, and about 10,000 pieces of good mail! It’s learning!

That’s not all, I’ve added a new firewall in front of Cleaner which blocks known spammers & abusers, and since the log is quickly filling up with notices of connections blocked! So hopefully over the next few days those of you using Cleaner will note a reduction in spam! If not do open a ticket, let’s find a way to fix that!

Now if you want to help, create a folder in your mailbox (only works if you are using IMAP or Webmail) called “spam” no upper case anywhere, just “spam” (no quotes either) copy or move any and all spam that gets by into that folder, with that I’ll monthly grab everyones spam folders, and use it to further train the filter what is getting by and needs to be cleaned up! On the other side if you have mail that keeps getting caught and is good, create a folder called “ham” and add a copy in there, it will allow me to use mail you find to be good to train the system further what’s good!

Now that we’ve covered a big topic, let’s go bigger still!

Grace

Things are going good! I got the hardware provisioned this week with this 8 core beauty, 32gb of ram, and 1 TB of storage-goodness running on the latest CentOS 6 running Cloudlinux! *taps the mic so the tech white noise fades from your ears* – The new server is running a lot of good software to give each of you the MOST you can get out of your website! Security is a big jump too running a system called CageFS which helps lock down each user even further for safety’s sake! Should eventually make SSH a option for some folks should they want it!

Final kicking of the tires tonight and tomorrow, moving sites starting on Sunday/Monday with Faith & Shepherd – should be a painless move! Rolling some moves tonight to get things started in the realm of testing and ensuring everything is running smoothly!

Website Building Services

Not sure how to get your blog, business, personal or family website up and running? Look no further! Next week I hope to unveil the new FlockHosting Web Page Building Services! It will help you leverage the power of FlockHosting’s easy to use auto-installed apps with great themes and even helping build it out initially & include some education on how to update what is setup! This service will start at $100 flat + cost of theme (there will be free and paid themes) – so in need? Now’s a perfect time!

The process will be simple, up to 10 pages you can upload text for, a few choice photos, a logo, and you’ll be off and running! Full details will be posted online next week, if you are interested please don’t hesitate to communicate with me!

All in all….

Things are going well, just wanted to update you guys on things moving forward, a lot of these upcoming changes should be pretty much transparent, no need to do anything on your end, email is the only change where if you are using say:

shepherd.flockhosting.com / faith.flockhosting.com

Once your migration day has come then you simply change the entry in your Smartphone/Email Client to:

grace.flockhosting.com

But don’t do it just yet! Still in the works – keep an eye out for an email! Changes should be happening fairly quickly! So stay tuned! Have a BLESSED Thursday!

Server Fleet, Growth,Crowdfunding & A Deal

Greetings! So it’s been 9 days since I said:

screenshotBetter late than never?

Server Fleet Changes

Well as of late my hours have been upside down and backwards, some days I honestly feel like I haven’t slept at all! A lot going on, but more on that area of my personal life another day, but a lot to talk about when it comes to services here at FlockHosting, things are going to be changing.

Many of our servers in our fleet work without issue, however they are growing older and software is getting to End of Life (EOL) and with these additional EOL deadlines coming up, but in some cases while core software is supported with updates, other softwares NEED a more modern version of the OS to give us the best features – So if you are saying “tech talk… ah the lovely sound of whitenoise!” let me break it down — It’s like our servers are running Windows XP, but the software I want to run for best features and growth require Windows 8.

I need to upgrade.

The fleet was originally built with the idea of specific resources to fit 50 customers per server, this allowed for low volume servers so folks all got the best performance, and use of resources they could ever need – however as customers come and go, we have hit a problem, many servers half filled, and not even reaching all the use of resources.

I need to cut the fat.

So with these two ideas in mind it’s time to retire some additional servers similarly to what I did with Solomon, and produce another set up like Lilly to better suit what FlockHosting needs moving forward. Room for growth.

A new server is being prepared called Grace. Hoping to have it’s hardware online by the end of this week and configured with the latest tech, and like it’s partner Lilly it will have gobs of storage, memory, and latest tech to ensure customers get a fair shake for their websites – this server will completely absorb the customers on Faith and Shepherd, two long-time standing servers which have served FlockHosting well, but it’s time to move forward and build the future!

A 3rd server will be coming online within the next 2 months called Church, and it’s use is to consolidate the Church Hosting servers into something more powerful and stable.

Another thing on-going are the following server changes which will become fleet standards:

  • NGINX installed in front of Apache to improve overall server performance.
  • Removed ASSP Filtering – Too many issues lately, if you feel too much spam is coming through now and Spamassassin isn’t doing a good job, open a ticket to get added to Cleaner or have Spamassassin tuned up a bit!

More things are on the way, but enough about fleet changes, onto…

Growth

Has been slow, summer is a 50/50 time of the year, either you have folks being homebodies and staying home to work on new project ideas, or you have everyone out and about – away from the computer and no new projects start up, so it’s been on the side of slow this year, apparently some great summer fun was had :-)

But I need your help to really get things spreading the word abou FlockHosting services! While Church Hosting has never shown a real sign of slow down, I need your help to bring folks in to get the standard packages for their everyday needs! Here’s a few ways you can lend a hand:

  1. Share the FlockHosting Facebook page to your friends!
  2. Give FH a shout out on twitter!
  3. Give FH some love on your website, maybe say “Powered by FlockHosting” or maybe “Powered by powered-by-fh” make people wonder what powers your website!

I’m working on other things too, just only so many hours in the day, just a lot to do with everything above so if you guys can help spread the work as my marketing team a bit, that would be incredibly helpful!

Crowdfunding

So the option for Crowdfunding didn’t go as well as expected:

screenshot 2

Just never took off, had some fair traffic and folks visited, but never a single donation. It doesn’t mean the end of Church Hosting, just means growth is a bit slower than I’d like, but hey maybe God has a better plan than I do when it comes to how quickly Church Hosting should grow!

I will be giving things another go, maybe a bit more polish if time allows for a video, marketing a bit more, and see what we can drum up, but with the growth mention above if you have the desire to donate just to donate with no prize options in return, you can visit the site and donate using your Credit Card or PayPal!

A Deal

It’s been a while since there has been a deal posted, so why not now? Let’s “GETTALKIN” – spread the word about that coupon code, share GETTALKIN on your favorite social media outlet and be sure to tag FlockHosting with a hashtag or @flockhosting – lets spread the word about FlockHosting with a deal that gives anyone 50% off their first invoice! So a great way to get online and get a great savings on hosting! Doesn’t apply to domains, can’t be combined with any other offers, but a perfect time to sign-up for say two years for the price of 1! A great savings and it lasts through the remainder of this month!

Share it around, hopefully with your help we can shake off the summer and get speeding forward with the remainder of 2014!

More on the way!

There is a LOT going on behind the scenes, hopefully if all goes well (and I do things like sleep and eat) things will get done and online sooner than later and FlockHosting will continue to grow! Have a BLESSED Week! If you guys need anything at all, may be a little slow to reply, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!