FlockUpdate: August 2015

Show Notes:

Meet Lilly 2.0

So this past weekend Ruth & Lilly 1.0 customer all moved to new hardware, it was a pretty painless migration some minor hiccups with MySQL passwords, but easily fixed by simply re-setting it and new password format takes hold and things work!

But you may not be aware of all that’s new for you on this new box, you may just skip over what new functionality you have to work with so I am going to cover 5 new things on Lilly 2.0!

Restore Manager



Restore Manager has been something I’ve wanted to add for a while, and it’s actually just come online today, and is exclusive (at the moment) to Lilly 2.0! It allows you to restore your data, as needed! If you messed up by deleting a file, or somehow got hacked, you can roll back your files with no need to contact me!

It’s quick and easy, and I highly recommend taking a look around the feature, it’s super helpful, easy to use, and provides quick access to the backup server for your files!

SSH Access


A sometimes requested feature is SSH access or Secure Shell, is an alternate way to securely connect to the server. As many of you have seen FTP access has gotten sketchy with a huge Filezilla issue on FTP, well now you can use FileZilla (or your favorite SCP/SSH Client) to get access to your user directory to work on your site if you are a SSH junkie or simply use FileZilla to SCP over and securely access your files.

All users are Jailed to their home folder and prevented from wandering the server much like FTP, but for developers and linux junkies, SSH gives a more robust access to all things their website. If you’d like access (Again Lilly 2.0 only!) please open a ticket and I’ll be happy to enable your access.

PHP Selector


Some folks prefer running the latest and the greatest, for others turn the site on, and just let it ride! Well no more worries about upgrades to PHP working against you, if you prefer an older version (even though that’s scary!) you can now switch backwards to PHP 4.4 but also up to PHP 7!

RemoteMX Wizard


The need to change your MX records always comes up, but even a single period can break your attempt to switch to Google’s mail servers, Office 365, and others – well for now all it has support is for Google, but in time I hope to add as many external mail providers as needed to make your transition as easy as possible.

DNS Editors (Simple & Advanced)

cPanel_-_Main 3

Sometimes you need to create say a link to another service, or for verification create DNS record, well now you have full control, enabled in all accounts is the ability to edit your DNS, two modes are included, but if you ever have concern about how to change your DNS, please feel free to open a trouble ticket.

That’s it!

Well for now anyway :-) More good stuff coming but for now enjoy the 5 new features, more goodies in there, be sure to look around!


Church Hosting Final 5

So we are coming to the last 5 seats for the server Church. Over 100+ sites on the single server, and while we could build it denser, and add another 100 people, let’s leave some room to breathe, and allow churches to upload photos, bulletins, sermons, videos and more.

Church Hosting’s 2nd server – few things we need to get rolling:

  • A server name! Current server is simply named Church, what is a good name for this 2nd server?
  • 1 year of funding for the hardware & software.
  • More churches!

When I originally put this project into motion I put it on a simple VPS server Koinonia it did the job, and thinking this would grow slowly-ish I figured it’d give me time to research new hardware, new configurations, but Koinonia very quickly got filled, overloaded, and while VPS tech let me upgrade it, obviously VPS wasn’t the fit, another VPS Fellowship came online to fill in the gaps as we needed power. Shortly there after the current server came online to house both servers with plenty of resources, CloudLinux to help balance out the load. A great start, but let’s do more.

I recently announced a server to replace Lilly’s current hardware – I want to do a similar configuration for Church Hosting’s new server – but there is a cost, about $4,000 a year to do the dream configuration I’d love to see (Raid10 Storage, 32GB of Ram, Newer CPU, Better Network), I can do a simpler box with a little less for around half of that cost, but at this point I’m working out the budget to accommodate.

There have been a handful of you who have donated money towards Church Hosting, not sure if you want your names publicly mentioned, but thank you! Hopefully others out there can chip in too, I really still want to do crowd funding, but I don’t have the time now with standing projects – but if you want to help, please visit: https://crowd.flockhosting.com

No matter what Church Hosting will continue to take orders, once we are full, the order form will note a longer-delay, once I have enough funds to deploy the new server (hopefully very soon) I’ll get it deployed and configured, maybe 2-3 weeks at current project load, but if you have any wish to help, like those who’ve donated before, I appreciate it greatly!

Stay tuned Church Hosting isn’t stopping or going anywhere! Contribute a server name if you like, would love for FlockHosters to pick the next name!

Lilly 2.0

A little over a year ago (July 2014) I posted about the new server Lilly coming online during a busy summer. The name as most know was a hint about my daughter Ms. Lilly Grace coming to join us soon, and join us soon after she did!

Well as she’s gotten a year older this past weekend reaching the big 1, It’s time for Lilly the server to get to 2.0, and this launches this Friday.

If you want to get to the comparison of stats, network, and such well here’s a snapshot of what the current Lilly server has to offer:

CPU model : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5520 @ 2.27GHz
Number of cores : 6
CPU frequency : 1600.000 MHz
Total amount of ram : 10240 MB
Total amount of swap : 2048 MB
Download speed from CacheFly: 17.2MB/s
Download speed from Coloat, Atlanta GA: 1.95MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, Dallas, TX: 15.6MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, Seattle, WA: 11.5MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, San Jose, CA: 7.18MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, Washington, DC: 9.93MB/s
I/O speed : 51.5 MB/s

Well the new version 2.0 kicks things up a bit, here’s what folks using Lilly & Ruth will have to look forward to:

CPU model : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E31230 @ 3.20GHz
Number of cores : 8
CPU frequency : 3192.810 MHz
Total amount of ram : 15892 MB
Total amount of swap : 8031 MB
Download speed from CacheFly: 105MB/s
Download speed from Coloat, Atlanta GA: 55.6MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, Dallas, TX: 106MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, Seattle, WA: 36.9MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, San Jose, CA: 46.1MB/s
Download speed from Softlayer, Washington, DC: 21.8MB/s
I/O speed : 62.6 MB/s

Better CPU, More Memory, More Swap, More Speed – This server is a great upgrade, which customers should benefit from greatly! It includes as a standard now CloudLinux – which with cPanel offers folks the ability to roll back PHP versions, MariaDB which shows some great speed improvements, and did I mention speed? :-)

The plan as it stands (and direct customers on Ruth & Lilly will get emailed later tonight) is as follows:

  1. Monday – Email all customers on Ruth & Lilly about migration.
  2. Tuesday – Address any and all DNS & Software Issues with Customers.
  3. Wednesday – DNS servers adjust TTL to reflect a 5 minute refresh – this will make the move super fast (If you manage your own DNS, contact me for how to adjust these similarly)
  4. Thursday – Final Checks on Lilly 2.0
  5. Friday – Migration begins at 11PM Pacific.
  6. Saturday – Final review & TTL reset to standard 4 hour value.
  7. Sunday – Chuck Rests.

This will be like all migrations quick and painless, but as always if  you notice even a HAIR out-of-place, open a ticket, and let’s get it reviewed, as the spin-down time for this old server is fairly quick, I don’t want to keep the hardware online for longer than needed.

If you have ANY questions about this move, please get in touch. For some customers this won’t mean anything, you just want your website hosted and online, however for others it does mean the extra tools like SSH access, git, and a few other developer requested goodies, so hopefully everyone will get something that is a great addition to their website.

That’s it for now! Have a BLESSED Monday!

Let’s Build a Website: Planning

Welcome to the first part of a series of posts on building a website – Now these are not a complete and comprehensive resource, there is always custom coding, advanced elements you could do, but this is more of a guide in getting starting and publishing a simple website that will get you online and give you some basic learning in the process. So let’s dive in!


If you want your site building no matter how you are building it – you need to plan it out. The idea of just buying a domain and suddenly you are “Online” is one which as I’ve seen time and time again bring a site to be done about 25% of the way then you are unsure where to go, and you simply walk away, to “Work on it another day” and we all know how that goes 50% of the time.

I’ve done it so many times with my project websites, I have a rough plan for 45% of the site, and the rest will “get done” as I go along, but so far there is a project or three that I need to finish, and I’ve settled to working on continual Google Docs to work on it on the go, while I’m trying to get a baby to sleep, or when I’m in a resting spot with a project.

So how to do it? Well I’m going to use one way that’s free, but again feel free to adapt as you see fit.

Using Google Drive

I love Google Drive, if you have a Android or iOS Smartphone you can get the Drive application from Google and in your Gmail account you can create a folder of all your content. So if you are unsure, login to http://drive.google.com and you’ll do the following steps:

My_Drive_-_Google_DriveMy_Drive_-_Google_Drive 2


1. Create a new folder and give it a simple name, I used “My Website” but if can be anything to identify what your website information.


2. Now you have your new folder, its blank and ready to create some written information.



3. Create a document, rename it based upon the page you want to create: for instance, I made homepage.


4. Build your Pages! A separate doc for each page you want to create!

Homepage_-_Google_Docs 2Homepage_-_Google_Docs 3

5. Have others help with editing, just share to an email, and give them permission to edit with you! You can both work on it in real-time if needed!

Now the great thing about Google Drive is you can drag in ANY file, so if you have more resources to add in like photos or a logo, just drag them into the folder you created and it will all be there when you are ready to go!

Explore in this what works for you, some folks use Folders to build out sub-pages like About Us folder = all sub pages in About Us like maybe Company Information, or Contact Us, build those pages out however you like, but don’t be afraid to try something different! This is again just a guideline not a “DO THIS OR YOUR SITE WILL FAIL!” — Everyone is different and there are plenty of options!


Part two in two weeks! Stay tuned!