FlockHosting Blog

Fellowship Migration to Fellowship

While I’m still accepting transfers from Fellowship -> Matthew, I am moving forward with a migration of Fellowship -> Fellowship. Yes, the same name. I know. Confusing.

Matthew was deployed and took the load off, however, the attacks are continuing, and Church Hosting is continuing to grow so Matthew actually has brand-new churches online! So things are continuing to grow! But the last two days showed another range of attacks on the server hitting WordPress sites pretty hard, plus the usual crawlers coming to index for Google and Bing – so busy mornings took the server to the brink.

I hate having you guys losing access to mail and other resources you rely on day-to-day for Church Use! Prayer requests boards, email, a website with CRM data, etc. you guys do some amazing things with the hosting and I hate for it to be offline while you are in most cases starting your day! And not to mention I do like to sleep now and again¬†ūüėĄ

So to that end, Fellowship is going to be moving this ASAP. I’d love to just push a button and have everyone be done and moved, however, this move can potentially¬†break things for churches and create more problems, so the goal is very few problems.

What will happen that you might need to make changes on? IP Address – that’s it.

For most of you, you have bookmarked fellowship.flockhosting.com URL’s for Webmail, cPanel, and in your email configuration for IMAP/POP3/SMTP – so you have everything in place, but if you do manage your own DNS you will need to make a change of IP to keep your domain/email alive and functioning.

I’ve created a discussion thread if you want to ask questions in the migration and to track whats happening!¬† Right now I’m planning on the migration starting Monday Night (09/03/2018) but if you are worried about stability for this coming Sunday please open a ticket today¬†and let me know, we can move you to Matthew and give you greater stability so you’re not having issues on Sunday Morning!

Update: Church Hosting & IP Blocks

First things first – Matthew is doing great! Performance has been awesome for most, some sites we are having to adjust a few minor things to improve performance greatly with improvements in load time and overall server performance, it’s been a great first day, and there is still room for more Church Hosters to make their way over! Doesn’t matter if you are on Fellowship or Church – have about 10 spots left! Open a ticket and you could be moved over in tomorrow’s batch @ 5PM (Pacific)

Onto one other thing….¬†IP Blocks.¬†

I can hear the collective groan of “WHY DO WE GET BLOCKED!” well login failures and such happen, sadly I can’t tell if its from a legitimate¬†IP or an attacker, so for your safety and server safety – IP’s do get blocked – well if you are a customer, you can now unblock yourself! Simply login to https://secure.flockhosting.com¬†and look under the support drop-down. That’s it.

It’s that easy. It will populate your current IP so you can have it check for blocks on the server your site resides. No more tickets, live chats, etc. to try and track down an IP and get unblocked. It’s just that easy.

Now Matthew won’t be able to do this till tomorrow, still fine-tuning¬†its link up to the customer zone, but hopefully, tomorrow fine tune a few more settings and have it linked up as well!

Lastly – Church Hosting has grown, and with very soon 4 servers there should be even more options to choose from, namely – Email Hosting Beta. Yes, Beta. Why beta? It’s an un-tested idea which may honestly end up costing even more than I can currently handle! But in good faith that God’s in control, funds will be there and it will be a blessing to folks, I’m going to take a leap forward and begin working on the service and hope for a launch by September’s end (if not sooner) so stay tuned!

More tomorrow (or nearly today as it’s almost midnight) but prayerfully the moved accounts should help keep the old church hosting servers running smoothly! Few more to allow the attacks to not be as load heavy would be great! Please get in touch if you’d like to move, its pain free and quick! Average transfer time is around ~35 Minutes and 5 minutes then for DNS to cut over if you are using FlockHosting Nameservers. Good night!

Hello Matthew!

It’s time to welcome a new member of the Church Hosting server family, Church, Fellowship, and Matthew is the latest in the Church Hosting Fleet.

The naming convention suggested by¬†Keith M. on Facebook, it’s one of two new servers coming to serve churches, and it’ll be ready for use technically today. I had planned to really dig into it and fine tune another 24 hours, but another outage on Fellowship is kicking those plans into action now. This does not mean the server is not ready, just means some performance improvements will be done over a 24 hour period as we settle in – it actually helps give a more realistic¬†set of stats to tune up with – so really a good thing.

All the services and features you know will be there – packages have been copied over from Church & Fellowship so all your features and functions work, software like Softoculous, Sitepad, Let’s Encrypt etc. have all been installed and ready for your use! Even some new performance/security tweaks which were slated for upgrades to all servers the first part of 2019, will be added, so more secure, fewer headaches. Good stuff.

So in an effort to keep folks running smoothly, I’m looking for a max of 20 sites who are up for moving to this new server, that means leaving Church or Fellowship behind for Matthew – the move is painless and simply requires a quick swap on your DNS, if it’s hosted with FlockHosting’s DNS servers even easier still! Looking at maybe a 5-minute window and you’ll be 100% migrated to the new server.

Want in? Quite simply open a trouble ticket and let me know you’d like to move! However, once I hit 20 sites, that’ll be it. I want to keep the moves simple and clean. Now there are more moves in the future – another server is planned (Code Name: 1 of 4 Gospels, leaning towards Luke) + Fellowship and Church will also be re-created so, in the end, you’ll move eventually and things will balance out across all 4 servers – so hang tight! My hope is these 20 will help lighten the load we are having lately and keep things running as smoothly as possible for those remaining on Fellowship/Church for the time being.

Thank you all again for your patience! More tune-ups are coming too for Lilly & Grace very soon! Plus if all goes smoothly, a much-requested feature will be added called “Church Email Hosting” as some churches have requested email-only, but it’s still in testing, and still trying to stir up some funds to do things like mail deliverability and such and not completely break the bank or leave folks with issues sending. So stay tuned!

Church Hosting Update – Special Edition!

It is Sunday! You’d think that bots would have something better to do than to push an attack at 4:30AM bogging down a server till hanging up, and which is still running a¬†little hot at the moment, but thankfully I’m seeing folks get to live stream URL’s and prayer boards – so PTL! God is indeed good to give the servers grace even in these surges of attacks and legitimate traffic.

But as it is Sunday and I have both Church & Family time ahead of me (and yes it’s going to be a bit sleepy!) I did want to address these continual issues we are seeing lately, sure a day or two working is great and I do say Praise God¬†for uptime, but a more solid full-time solution vs. limping is needed so there is a plan. What’s that plan you may say? Well as I want to do this quick so I can go brush my teeth and get the family in the car to get there before song service starts, here’s the quick version:

  1. Fresh Network. Moving to another network, hopefully avoiding what appears to be, attacks common to this network for starters, but having Church Sites makes us a target too – so new network actually offers some DDoS filtering so should help!
  2. Fresh Hardware. Going to get some new hardware and spread out folks a bit to ensure a better growth plan, adding 2 new servers to make 4 total Church Hosting Servers.

So there is more to this for sure, but I wanted to just let folks know, I do take Church Hosting outages seriously. This is not some sub-standard service I’m just handing out for free and if it crashes it crashes, again I was up at 4:30AM to work on this and have continued to monitor this, but a 4yr must sing – and I have to trust that God can monitor the servers even while I’m at Church & Family time after.

Stay tuned this week for a plan to roll out as well as an early migration options to the 2 new servers which need names (Got any ideas?) thanks for your patience, kindness, and prayers!  Updates coming soon!

The Future of FlockUpdates (FlockUpdate July 2018)

It’s the end of the month and by now some of you enjoy the usual “FlockUpdate” however it’s viewership is limited, production time is a bit consuming (Recording, Editing, Publishing) and while I love reaching even a handful of you, let’s be honest, what your hosting company is doing isn’t a item of time consumption in a day you care to spend – I completely understand.

I’ve been asked to try a Podcast format, and I’ve considered it as well, however, it to would be recording, editing, publishing, then probably re-publishing to post to every service/site folks use as the easiest I found was Anchor but its a service in itself, not sure I can get all of you to download a fresh app to listen to me drone on for a bit ūüôā

So what’s the plan then?

Quarterly.

FlockUpdate 2.0

Starting in September I’ll be publishing a more robust/complete FlockUpdate, it will be a review of the previous quarter + what’s to come in the next – and while I do realize not everyone enjoys this medium, it’s a great way for me to get to “talk” to you guys about what’s happening at FlockHosting.

With this change, my hope & goal is to produce a monthly newsletter + blog articles on a more regular basis – I can cross post these on social networking and with the monthly heads up of things I can pre-write and schedule posting of the newsletter, social posts etc. meaning I can do some leg work and get ahead of things at the start of the month and leave more time for the work at hand of server changes, software upgrades, business growth etc. while not leaving you guys completely in the dark.

So what’s going on this month? What did I miss?

This month has been a busy one. With the release of a new Google Chrome version that now marks domains as “Not Secure” if they don’t have SSL – it’s been fielding a lot of questions about how to make your WordPress & Sites, in general, be secure so folks aren’t scared away by google’s warnings. Happy to report all servers support Let’s Encrypt so you can easily add basic SSL functionality to your site! Easy as pie and at no additional cost! If you get stuck or need help please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Church Hosting delays have continued with a fresh surge of attempts to get free hosting for hackers. This has caused a huge slow down and a big review process, currently at a 7 day wait period sadly on average, and it’s just not an easy thing to sort through and I hate the idea that someone who is really legit might get thrown into a fraud case so manually reviewing to ensure I don’t blacklist anyone who’s genuinely in need. Prayers are appreciated!

Now some of you have graciously offered to help cover costs and grow Church Hosting, I’d love to keep things growing and it’s rapidly approaching the need for a fresh server (or two) so if you’ve been looking for a time to give, never been a better time to visit https://crowd.flockhosting.com¬†– contains several options for donating, including a new one called Ko-Fi which offers just another option for folks looking to give – and this isn’t a “PLEASE DONATE NOW!” type message, just like to update folks who’ve asked for adds like Ko-Fi instead of sifting through emails.

While some of you may enjoy the canned meat, not any of you seem to like the un-requested spam, and to that end, a friendly reminder – MX Guard Dog is 100% free of charge, while I’d add it to every single account as a default the issue is some folks set up accounts, then cut to Google or another email service and MX Guard Dog would use up credits even if the accounts were not in use – so if you need some protection, please just let me know!

Lastly, I’d ask for your help, FlockHosting has seen a huge surge of Church Hosting, however standard hosting has not seen such a huge surge, and I’d appreciate some help with getting the word out to be it on your social media or just a banner on your website! I don’t require this of ANYONE this includes Church Hosting, it’s not a requirement but I’d ask if you feel FlockHosting has served you well please consider helping spread the word!

For now, stay tuned for some more blog posts over the next few months but we’ll have another Video FlockUpdate coming in September! Look forward to talking to you all then!