Let’s Clean-up Email!

spamI’ve been searching for something that combined what most folks wanted – a quarantine (one of the most requested features!), a good whitelist, and free. Fortunately, I found MXGuardDog which fits the requirements. If we pool our resources, it can be free for any and all FlockHosters!

The service uses “Tokens” that you can earn or buy.  In our case, I’m hoping we can all pool our tokens. I am currently using the number of website projects I have out there to earn a bunch of tokens (Currently earning 30+ and only using 8!). Earning tokens is as simple as putting a link at the bottom of your website. Here’s an example:

Image 2015-06-26 at 1.14.20 PM

This is at the footer of a website! Easy right? From there you can even set things up to automatically sync up with cPanel to ensure it has all of your new accounts. You’ll never have to go in and add a batch of folks to ensure everyone gets filtered!

If you would like to join in on our pool of tokens, simply open a trouble ticket and I’ll help you update your MX Records to have MXGuardDog filter your email and link up your cPanel account with their service so anything you add will be automatically synced!

If you would prefer to do this on your own, open a ticket as well and I’ll help you make the needed changes to get your email filtered!

How’s that for good news on a Monday? Have a GREAT week!

 

2015 Mid-Year Check-in!

summertimeSummer is Here!

And we are at the halfway mark for 2015! Hard to believe we’ve come this far this fast! Seems like just the other day the new year was here, but while I don’t care to believe it, it is indeed here! So let’s do a quick rundown of where we are at in these 6 short months, and what’s to come!

Dreaded Spam

Spam has been kicked around and kicked back, and currently sadly we are in a mode of its kicking back, even some of our new filtering isn’t doing as great as I’d like, but spammers are clever and they find new ways to get their garbage into our emails!

So what’s the plan? Well I’m trying out several systems – one of which is showing an amazing set of results! Out of all the mail scanned it did ding 4 false positives, easily whitelisted & released from a quarantine! One feature many customers have been asking for to return from the ASSP days – now this is an external service, and thus it has a cost, but it’s a minimal one, basically $0.25/user/month, and I must say, very pleased.

I am still testing, but if all goes well I’ll be HAPPY to help folks get things setup on their domain, and work out all the pricing and such (hoping to make it FREE!!) Hang tight, less spam may be in your future!

Church Hosting

It keeps going and going and going and going! Still have some folks in the queue for nearly a week, it’s taking a bit longer to fill orders, between fraud orders, and too orders which have domains that don’t seem like the name of the church, joesplumbingsupply.com – churchy right? (not a real domain I’ve gotten, just a random similar example).

Aside from the delay in orders, we are quickly filling the server to its final spot – in about 15 church hosting spots I’ll be suspending sign-ups until I can get another server lined up, and as always I’d appreciate your help! I’m not going to beg, and I’m not going to push, but if you have any desire to donate, please check the old Crowd Funding site and you can donate – thanks to those of you who have, some even have picked up a monthly $1 donation during hosting sign-up! Very cool, thanks to everyone who has supported so far!

PHP & MySQL Upgrades

We have come to a crossroads, PHP is needing to be upgraded, as is MySQL, so what do we do? We upgrade – July 31st all servers fleet wide will be making an upgrade to newer PHP and MySQL, this is a must for security & safety’s sake.

If you have old software which can not be safely upgraded, please contact me – there are options on Grace currently which would allow you at your own risk to use older PHP at the very least – so be in touch, this warning comes over a month ahead of time, so please be aware this must happen.

Use an app you are unsure about? Check with the software provider or open a ticket and I’ll assist you further in figuring out where you stand!

Server Migration & Upgrades

I’ve been looking at servers honestly – currently Lilly and Grace are two of the highest density servers we’ve had in the history of FlockHosting, Ruth on the other hand really never has been highly used, there are a handful of customers on the server in comparison to others, so what do we do?

Let’s give it a fresh breath of life. Slated for August 31st there will be new hardware, new software, a fresh rebuild to provide even better support than ever before for all customers, and hopefully a new home for newer customers moving forward! Keep your eyes on your inbox for heads up on times, and things to be aware of in the move!

Upgrades are also slated for Lilly, some additional hardware and software upgrades, Grace will get some software upgrades too – but all in all the fleet is performing great!

and more to come…

So much more I have planned, but some I want to finish the planning before, like changes to security when it comes to you getting your IP blocked, FlockHosting Design, FlockHosting Code (Custom Programming & Mobile App Design) and a slew of other products I hope to get done, now if a certain 10 month old allows it, we shall see :-) but hang tight as we get going into this second half of the year! Let’s make the last half of 2015 awesome!

An Update on Chuck

Some of you may of seen the Facebook Post:

On Thursday morning after trying to feel better I ended up getting sick so bad that there was what appeared to be dried blood coming up so a trip to the ER was set – my internet access was sluggish inside the hospital and not really prepared for a hospital stay, I didn’t even have a charger to my name! Thankfully I eventually got one of those, but still no solid internet access aside from being able to have server monitors text in if anything went down.

As I know some have told me many times in the past decade:

This is just my website, take care of YOU

For some of you your website is your business, it supports your family, it supports community outreach, and I know it’s important, so I continued to monitor through every 6 hour blood draws, and even after being put under for a procedure I was told that I still looked at my email (mind you I don’t remember this) and was upset someone was having email issues – FlockHosting is a priority to me, but for me to keep it a priority I do need to take care of me.

Diagnosis is Esophagitis (more info) which could be a number of causes but in the coming weeks with my GP & now new GI guy, I’ll be exploring how I can ensure this doesn’t continue to happen, sleep is one thing I’m working on but a 9 month old doesn’t always like to keep similar schedules :) diet too is going to need to change-it-up a bit, but not too afraid of that, but change can be good.

Thank you to all of you for your patience and prayers, and I’d ask for your continued prayers over the next few weeks and months as things change and improve! I’m going to do my best as always to ensure you guys are all up and running and services work smoothly!

If you have any issues still going and you’ve not brought them to my attention because you don’t want to overwhelm me, please open a ticket and set the priority appropriately, I’m slowly working through 250+ emails in total, so I’ll get there, but tickets are the easiest way to track what you guys need help with, so don’t feel it’s too much, I promise not to do more than this body can handle right now, because even now I think I simply need to get a prescription into the pharmacy then I’m going to get a few more hours of sleep. :-)

Thanks for reading & praying! More updates soon!

New FlockHosting.com!

FlockHosting.com has been updated! Fresh look, some new services, and more on the way! For now though I’ve added a few new add-on’s for current customers to, when you order a new account or when you check the available add-on’s in your account you can now choose from these two options:

Image 2015-05-01 at 11.23.27 AM

Managed WordPress is here! For $10 a month FlockHosting will fine tune and secure your WordPress based site, see the new site for details! But too if you are wanting you can sponsor a church by adding $1 extra to your monthly bill!

Other new additions such as Email Servers is a great new addition, and Reseller Access to manage and create your own accounts without a need to sign-up all of your accounts, you become your own hosting company!

More is on the way, but going into the month of May I do need to ask for some help!

What’s Going On….

What started out as a simple idea “Hosting Churches for Free…. I can do that” has grown! With even the new hardware I’ve reached the point where when I get 2-3 orders a week and currently 5 orders pending free domains & free hosting – I need help.

The thing about doing a ministry to churches like this is everything else is going to come under attack, and while I’ve had a church or two get hacked, my business as a whole has seen a huge increase in attacks, one this past weekend took out an entire server for one of my customer’s for several hours, not good – My primary computer is starting to get glitchy, and finances are tight (9 month olds are expensive!) :)

So if you could lend a hand, here’s the list in priority:

#1 – Prayer

I need your prayers, if you could tack Me, My Family, & Business into your prayers, I could use it! Try juggling a 9 month old & trying to deal with an outage, stressful for sure.

#2 – Promote

I don’t have a huge advertising budget and I’d love if you could help promote FlockHosting and help really bolster things up to where I can build up Church Hosting, and provide a new batch of customers with great hosting!

#3 – Donate

Yes it’s actually #3 on my list, while I would love for someone to just donate $10,000 and really fund Church Hosting for this entire year & growth of it – I’d love for that need to be on someone’s heart and it just happen as God see’s fit, if you’re that person then please by all means feel free to donate and lend a hand to grow past 200 churches hosting!

More to come!

I’ve gotten a few requests for SSL Certificates, Dedicated Servers, and Website Design, more is on the way, I just wanted to get the new site online and really put out the note that FlockHosting could really use your help!

The Wrap-up!

fh-giftAnd the winners are:

  • Brenten G. wins a ASUS C200MA-DS01 Chromebook
  • Mike S. wins a Chromecast
  • Gordon D. wins a Chromecast

Which means we had 1 leftover from each event, I still have a Chromecast in reserve & we didn’t see the final spot for the Founders Club taken – but never fear! More fun things are coming with a new attempt at Crowd Funding for Church Hosting & our usual fun with customer appreciation, and other goodies I have floating around in my head :)

Thanks to all our new founders & Brenten, Mike and Gordon for having some fun on Tax Day with Me!