FlockHosting Blog

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 🙂

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!

FlockUpdate for June 2018

Show Notes

  • The missing April Episode.
  • Podcast version? Would it work for you? Leave a note on what service & method you use to listen!
  • Mid-Year Check In – Visit https://secure.flockhosting.com – Make sure everything is up to date.
  • Billing System to begin suspensions for lack of payment.
  • Backup Check In – The backup system has been tuned up and running smoothly! More backup redundancy coming soon!
  • MX Guard Dog – Need a great spam filtering option? It is free. Please let me know if you’d like a free account on our package, if not you can always sign up at http://mxguarddog.com and manage it all yourself.
  • Promo Gear Updates – While I have some basic materials for giveaways and such – I don’t have anything geared towards talks, looking at making some goodies for you guys! What do you need/want and let me know if you do intend to do a talk so I can let you know when goodies are ready!
  • Website Building Course – In the works still bear with me, hoping to start production this week but there are a lot of things on the docket this week so might not be a reality.
  • Wanting Slack? You can sign-up here: https://chat.flockhosting.net/
  • Like Forums? http://discuss.flockhosting.com
  • Vacation! While I don’t get to take a non-working vacation I do have a few more mini family trips this summer so please bear with me as I work to relax! 😀
  • Health Update – Working to eliminate stress and trying to keep sugars in normal range.

Need anything else? Visit the Communicate Page!

Church Hosting Outage Update

It has certainly been quiet on here, but a post about an outage was not my plan for a first post back, and while I could have posted the FlockUpdate first, an explanation was due – So let’s get to it.

Thursday afternoon there was an outage which affected Church Hosting and a few other server customers. Immediately the DC was reached and they began a review of hardware and services to see what was going on, and they began researching the cause.

We had some radio silence from them as usually means they are working on a problem if they’ve found one, but it appears it was an issue that expanded to more customers in the data center than just FlockHosting assets.

Upon finally talking with a tech as things were wrapping up it seems the data center had an HVAC failure which began to endanger customer servers and they were required to shut things down to keep the heat down and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

The crews did an amazing job, no data loss or issues.

The secondary outages were caused by many folks who’d been patiently waiting for your Church sites to come back up. The servers were blasted with activity which caused 2 additional web outages as to allow the servers to fully boot & get caught up a little, the web servers were halted briefly, this allowed email to start flooding in, server startup scripts to process boot up processes, and do so and not bring servers offline due to the sheer load of WordPress doing catch-ups like wp-cron running backup scripts at the same time to do backups which were to have been done during the outage.

DC has made repairs for now, but they may do additional maintenance in the coming weeks to ensure this doesn’t happen again so if there are any additional maintenance windows I will post that as soon as possible.

I do apologize for outage, I wish they could be avoided but thankfully God is Good and we don’t see these type that often if at all, so thank you guys for your prayers during the outage, kind words in tickets/live-chat – there are some things coming in July which will continue to expand Church Hosting so more good things are coming!