FlockHosting Blog

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!

Founders Club + Church Hosting + Tax Day!

Here we are on Tuesday morning-ish, drawing closer and closer to the 15th and the end of a 10.4% discount code (1040EZ) & the Founders Club’s final 2 spots coming to a close, not to leave out Church Hosting which is continuing to grow… grow… grow! Few things to go over so let’s break it up

Founders Club

2 spots remain to join the ranks of this exclusive club, why do I call it “Founders Club” well it’s been part of a long-time idea for FlockHosting, to have a group of folks who help build FlockHosting, and $200 while gives lifetime hosting, it does bolster funds for FlockHosting in the short-term to build services and grow things like Church Hosting!

So if you’re dragging your feet because $200 is a lot of money, well think of these perks in addition to not having a hosting bill for your hosting:

  • 15% off all domain renewals & future hosting services (Email, VPS, Dedicated, You name it!)
  • Exclusive Free FlockHosting Gear – Shirts, Mousepads, and Hats planned.
  • Early Beta Access to New Services at No Cost.
  • Special Package Upgrades (More Storage, New Services, All at no cost!)
  • Random Perks Applied to other hosting accounts in your account, for instance Brenten may not of noticed that his other hosting account received a year renewal – No Cost – who knows what I’ll do next, maybe a mail server? VPS for a Designer who is in the Founders Club? Possibilities are endless!
  • More planned down the line!

It may not seem like much but those of you signing up for what seems like a spectacular deal of Lifetime Hosting – you are helping lay the foundation of FlockHosting today, for a stronger FlockHosting tomorrow, and if I can help build up your website be it a ministry, business or even a personal blog, let me return the favor!

Now I am not sure Founders Club spots will return, this time around was for a big foundational need, still not completely met, but it’s helped out a TON, so get in on this amazing deal to help not only you with your bottom line, but too help build FlockHosting’s services like Church Hosting to support even more churches! We nearly need another server… more on that next!

Church Hosting

It’s a passion of mine. I’ve greatly enjoyed the over 100+ churches who currently utilize Church Hosting, some are a delight to work with, while others are so self sufficient I don’t even know they are there except for the fact their website is getting traffic!

So it’s getting time to grow again, the current server while could likely handle another 100+ websites, it’s getting crowded, and I want Churches to enjoy speed not clogged lines. Let’s keep the message flowing free! Can you help raise some funds for a Server + Backup?

If you are not up for the $200 price tag of the Founders Club, then maybe a $10 donation? The donation buttons are still up on the old Crowd Funding Site, it’s secured with SSL, so feel free to donate, it’s not pretty – but never fear a full crowd funding plan is coming!

Tax Day!

For most you wouldn’t think this is a day of rejoicing – oh but it is 🙂 So to that end instead of being someone posting “Ugh Tax Day!” share a little joy – Post something uplifting and you can get a chance to win one of the following:

  • A Google Chromebook
  • 1 of 3 Google Chromecasts

It’s Google Tastic I know! But first thing in the morning (as in I’ll have it scheduled for 12:01 AM) a post will go in how you can share positivity on a day which can be stressful! Not creative, never fear, I’ll have formatted posts you can share from FlockHosting on Twitter & Facebook, you tag FlockHosting back – and you’re entered to win! Want to be sure I got it? You can always email the special address noted in the contest post.

Normally this is open to FlockHosting Customers only, but this time that’s different, FlockHosting’s going to spread a little joy too – ANYONE may post! Winners will be randomly selected and if at the end your Facebook or Twitter account is selected then I’ll get some details for shipping (United States Only) – so this time around maybe a few more folks will join in the fun to make Tax Day a little less depressing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more! Have a BLESSED Day Today!

2014 Mid-Year Rundown!

So, here we are at the 6 month mark, and it has been a busy first 6 months of the year! The last post was posted with some of the usual “goals” that FlockHosting has. The big deal that is coming up is change. What will the last half of the year bring? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on-going and coming up!

  • Farewell Enhanced Email  ….  Greetings Enhanced Email! Confused? Let me explain. For years we’ve used another provider to provide the service for our Enhanced Email product. However, due to some changes in their system between billing and security, that system will be retired and our new system brought online. If you currently use the service, more information will be coming to you via email by month’s end with full instructions on how I plan to make this migration quick and painless.
  • Email Filtering Service is coming back! While you’ve probably read posts or managed your ASSP settings, Spamassassin Settings, and more, you’ve likely never heard of the original email filtering service, but it’s coming back! Using the great platform from Mailcleaner, one server has been deployed and has been actively tested in relaying clean email. It quarantines and filters email easier than ever! Gone are the days of complex filtering options. Now, you can view your quarantine of spam, viruses and exploits and choose how you want to proceed. Interested? Open a ticket and it’ll be added; because the service is 100% free, it simply needs to be requested!
    quarentine report
  • New Servers are on their way! Why? Security with up-to-date software! While PHP, Apache, nginx, SSH, kernel versions and such may not mean much to you, for me I want to ensure you have the latest and safest to use with your websites! I want to also add new features that come with newer software & hardware. How do you get moved over? Just hang-tight because servers will be spun up and folks migrated slowly but surely. One is coming soon named “Lilly.” This new kid on the block is already rolling with some big specs! Lilly has more RAM than any server to-date!
  • Crowdfunding for Church Hosting is coming… no really. Launch date: June 20!
    fh-crowd
  • Plan Upgrades will be launched the first of July! More storage will be automatically added to your account and free enhanced email filtering will be offered as a free upgrade at sign-up! These upgrades will be passed on to all of you at no additional charge.
  • Plan Pricing is getting a touch-up. For years, I’ve always offered low monthly options starting at $5! Cheaper still if you go for a year! Previously, it was $54/year for Personal and $108/year for Business. Today? Shave it down a bit to $50 a year for Personal and $100 a year for Business! Let’s make it even more affordable to get hosted for a year! Pricing starts Friday on all new accounts! There’s no better time to get started with hosting!
  • Backups, Backups, Backups! Safety of data has always been a concern, so I’m evaluating some backup systems. I hope to have by year-end a new backup system that you will have complete access to! If I have a backup, you’ll be able to see it from cPanel and restore/manage files! No more are the days of sheepishly opening a ticket asking, “Uhm Chuck… I deleted file XYZ.ABC, can you restore it?” You’ll have access to what I have!
  • WordPress Themes are a staple for a lot of FlockHosting customers, so I’m going to be updating the KB, which has been long silent, with a list of great themes and plugins. I’ve considered a wiki or a forum to let others contribute, but previous attempts have fallen flat. If you would like to contribute a theme or plugin for inclusion in the KB, just email me!
  • FlockHosting.com will be 100% completed by Friday. It will further match the blog and have the latest information, look, and feel. So, stay tuned! Thanks for reading! Stay tuned… more great things are coming very soon!

So, there you have it… the run-down of what is to come! I know it’s a lot to read; it was a lot to write. 🙂 I hope to get back to the usual FlockUpdates soon, either via audio or video, but getting some regular info flowing to you guys can be difficult when you’re the Server Guy, Billing Guy, and Designer. Things tend to get busy! So lend me a hand while you’re reading – head over and be 100% sure your account information is up-to-date! Helps make my life easier!

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned… more great things are coming very soon!

FlockUpdate 2014 – Episode #5

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140554819″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

Show Notes:

  • Dental Work Woes
  • Getting LLC’d!
  • Website Nearly Done!
  • Support Support Support – Comment on how you’d like to be supported!
  • WordPress Login Attacks! Update Update Update!
  • Got limit login plugin installed? Forward us the IP addresses in it’s blocklist and help keep the attacks down!
  • Help me build a cookie cutter Church Theme! Leave a comment about what you would look for/want in a Church Website
  • Always remember Communicate Page for easy ways to get in touch! (Faxing on new website!)
  • Want to help test support? Post a comment or get in touch and I’ll let you know how you can help test the flow of support!

Church Hosting Expansion!

The time has come… the server is to the brim! It’s time for another Church Hosting Server!

free-churchIn 2011 Church Hosting started and to be honest, it’s been a bit of a climb! Some folks even to this day think there is some catch, some “gotcha!” waiting for them in the wings, and yet those who’ve signed up (now over 40 churches!) are seeing the blessings of Church Hosting! No overages, just church hosting and support for their websites!

Where are we going from here? Bigger and Better! I still have been researching the idea of mass-storage for sermons, some churches are growing their audio archives, and still my desire for Video looms in the sidelines, I want it to be done right, and that’ll come with the launch of Crowd Funding, it will help really launch Church Hosting into a true Version 2.0!

For now Koinonia is FULL!  We have some very active churches right now and I don’t want to try to put my usual max on the server – this way all churches get the perfect use and room for growth long-term! So folks on Koinonia, your safe! Nothing’s going to change anytime soon (unless you get insanely popular, in which case you’ll move to the new server!) and I’m going to actually improve upon Koinonia with some more resources by the end of March which should give that some more wiggle room in case current users need more resources!

The new server (Named Fellowship) is being provisioned right now in which case should be online by by day’s end at the latest Friday if some software licenses are delayed, but hopefully sooner as for now if any new Church Hosting orders come in they will be placed on hold until the new server is stable – additional software licenses will roll in as they come, so advanced anti-spam may be slightly delayed a day or two.

So THANK YOU! Thank each and every one of you for spreading the word about Church Hosting! It’s exciting to see what it’s doing! The Church Hosting part of FlockHosting will be tuned up over the next few months so stay tuned for great things coming!