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:
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!
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!
Greetings FlockHosters! One of the common questions that come through lately is “How do I secure my website?” so let’s dive into some options on how you can better secure your website and access to it!
Let’s Encrypt SSL
Off that bat let’s add a padlock to your website, and let’s do it for free. Yes free.
I have mentioned Let’s Encrypt certificates on the blog a few times, we are actually listed on Let’s Encrypt’s site as a provider (We are famous!) however not until the new build of the site will it be listed as a feature, but it is active on all accounts now. How do you enable it? Well good news, there’s a new video for that:
So it’s that easy! Still, if you have a question on adding this, don’t hesitate to ask for more help! But if you just walked through this – your site is a bit more secure now you are using SSL based content! If you are using WordPress and want to make the entire site over to SSL, just try the Really Simply SSL Plugin a great plugin to make all of your content SSL based. If you are getting some content that is not all going SSL try Why No Padlock – A great site to diagnose what’s not entirely secure.
Site File Management
Now if you are familiar with cPanel you’ll know there is a web based file manager but for most of you, it’s using FTP. Be it FileZilla, CuteFTP, SmartFTP, Transmit, Cyberduck you can quickly and easily migrate to the SSL version of communication so your content isn’t flowing over plain text. How do you do this? Look for an SSL option for starters, for most this should work just fine, however, if you hit any snags it will become a little bit easier this month using SSH Keys & SFTP – I’ll have a full guide on this walking you through it on Windows and Mac.
Now if you are using a CMS for site management, please make sure you use a plugin or adjust your configuration over to SSL as well so the easy option is in your site configuration where it lists your URL, likely something similar to this:
Site URL: http://mywebsite.com
Simply change it to:
Site URL: https://mywebsite.com
A lot of difference a simple S can do 🙂 This will force most of the common URL’s for your site to using the SSL login for your administration and keep things you do from writing an article to logging in all done over a secure connection.
If you are on a connection at your favorite local spot (I’d say the coffee shop, but honestly just about anywhere – McDonald’s, for instance, has access!) be sure you are logging in securely and your connection is secure!
If you are a Chrome User, I highly suggest checking out some of these options may offer a free browsing security, there are commercial options out there too like Private Internet Access which offer some great features for when you are browsing in less than safe options.
If you want to, however, have a browser set aside for secure browsing, Opera has you covered and even has an Android App & iOS App to secure your mobile devices too!
Now last on my list is auditing. Your site may not be the first thing in your mind on a day to day basis, but to hackers and bots it’s a spot it can get its grubby little fingers into and do some damage, so why not set up a bit of free auditing on your site for some of the most common issues by using Gravity Scan.
Gravity Scan is a great app which you don’t even have to install anything on your site to get a scan! In a few minutes, it will scan and review all your visible URL’s and give you a run down if it finds anything.
Now if you want it to go deeper, it provides a single PHP file for you to download, then upload into the main folder of your website and it will deep scan, every file & folder gets a once over – now as you can see here on the blog on the right-hand side – I’ve got mine scanning daily and as proof of security it shows up with the last date things were scanned.
And that’s it!
While this isn’t maybe the most comprehensive article that could be written and fine tuning system security, etc. it will help get your feet wet! If you have any questions beyond what is covered here please do not hesitate to reach out! Here to help!
Summer Break is Here! Update your profile and add contacts! (Quick Video Coming Soon)
New FlockHosting getting closer!
The Winners Are:
Here they are! Get in touch to claim your prize! Just shoot me an email or use any of the methods in the communicate page! Final day to claim your prize is June 30th, and prizes will go out by end of July!
Google Home – Katie A. – Burbank, CA
Amazon Echo Dot – Chris M. – Burbank, CA
Video Projector Setup (Projector + Chromecast) – Terrence F. – Byron, MN
$5 Starbucks Gift Cards – Brenten G. – Gainesville, VA
$5 Starbucks Gift Cards – Dell L. – Katy, TX
$5 Starbucks Gift Cards – Karen P. – Langhorne, PA
$5 Amazon Gift Cards – Bonnie H. – Versailles, KY
$5 Amazon Gift Cards – Victoria M. – Grove City, OH
$5 Amazon Gift Cards – Cheri F. – Grand Rapids, MI
$5 Redbox Gift Cards – Thomas S. – Mount Joy, PA
$5 Redbox Gift Cards – Francois G. – Orangeville, ON (CA)
$5 Redbox Gift Cards – Joseph M. – Broomfield, CO
15 Years Hosting – Ron K. – Eureka, MO
And if you have made it this far just a heads up – there are still Founders Club Spots left! 😀