FlockHosting Blog

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!

FlockUpdate for February 2017

Show Notes

The Outage… Oi!

Where to begin? Firs things first: All Services are now 100% online.

Where we stand:

Here’s where we are with things right now:

  • Chuck is Incredibly Tired (and a little bit hungry)

The outage has brought about some interesting things, though:

  • Increased followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+
  • Huge increase to the trouble ticket list (largest ever in 10+ years!)
  • Clients were updating their details.

So one bad thing, three positive things. God’s got it all figured out.

Where we are going:

Outages are never fun, and you can plan and plan and plan some more. However, things like a data center wide power outage aren’t something planned for. The current provider has had problems with power in the past (back in 2014) but since has been stable.

Now I’m not a fan of just running when something goes wrong. I mean we serve God. He’s all about forgiveness and redemption! So forgive and forget right? Right. But that does not mean I will stay at the full capacity I have been.

Grace and Church are the two remaining stragglers, it’s been part of my plan for a while now to move them, and I’ve already got server hardware delivered. Biggest servers yet.

The Plan:

Migration. I’ll post more once I have a tad more rest under my belt. The long-term goal is to move Grace and Church sooner than later. Now with next to nothing in sleep for well over a week I need rest. So if I can wing some rest soon, I’ll work likely one or the other this weekend or next.

Apology:

I’ve been blessed with amazing customers. Go ahead, high five yourself from Me. While I do understand those customers who are frustrated¬†(you are no less awesome)¬†are upset because they are using hosting services and they are down, I appreciate all of you for sticking it out.

As always, I own up to this, as a one man show I could say “Oh the datacenter dropped the ball! Wasn’t me!” but let’s be honest. I chose this company. I placed your sites on these servers, they failed. That’s my bad. I chose to forgive and forget but I must build things back up and keep them stable.

I am going to do more, and do some contests with some prizes as well as my way of saying thanks – the cool thing is all active and current customers are entered! So hang tight, by FlockUpdate time in a few weeks I’ll have more on that and more about stabilizing everything.

Thank you all for sticking with me! Appreciate everyone’s support! Hopefully we’ll have all things cleared up very shortly!

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!

Billing Forgiveness

As a kid we tend to have our church teach us the “Lord’s Prayer” which is found in Matthew 6:

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

‚Äú‚ÄėOur Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’

nomoneyWell today I’m going to practice this¬†prayer – all overdue invoices older than 2015,¬†canceled. cleared. done. Many reasons going into this, but the biggest is I don’t want to accuse a brother or sister in the Lord of lack of payment and there was a PayPal error where it didn’t report back paid. So today, those are CLEARED.

I’ve done cleanup too as some of those were simply abandoned accounts where folks just stopped paying, and I highly doubt the contact information I have on file is correct any longer and thus, it done. Cleared. Poof!

Moving forward with only 26 invoices to clear up, a new policy is going into practice – no more outstanding invoices!

While I will still practice grace as led, FlockHosting also will be¬†a good steward itself and really make best use of servers. If customers are not able to pay, I’ll work with payment plans, optional discounts from pre-paying for even quarterly pre-payments – but the goal is I need to make use of what God has given me and that’s a business & ministry, and my goal is to let it be successful, cutting off the dead branches and truly letting God continue to grow things this year!

Another post is coming later this afternoon about some more changes, stay tuned!