FlockHosting Blog

Some Updates on Projects!

Good Afternoon!

It has been a busy couple of weeks, and some things have been going on behind the scenes! What you may ask? Well, a few things are wrapped up:

  1. Full Rollout of Full Metrics Monitoring – Gives me an overview of server resources/usage and helps me plan a bit more! Also alerts me on spikes/etc. very handy tools in place!
  2. Migration of FlockHosting.com to new hardware, running smoothly!
  3. Building out John & Noah – New hardware will be noted below, but servers are still behind firewalls only viewable to me, but looking good!
  4. New Hardware Provisioning this week for Grace, Lilly, and Church!

So that’s a pretty full list! So what does that mean you to? Let’s go over it:

The Review!

#1: This is general upkeep, these new monitoring tools give me a great overview of servers, and allow me to make thresholds which alert me when say a CPU is maxed out and help get the server before it’s overloaded! Also with migrations, it’s done great to keep me aware of how fast things are going and load impacted as more users are migrated, let’s me know if more memory is needed or CPU long-term great for growth.

#2: The site had no problems, just was on a server that needed some upgrades, more of an FYI than anything, but helps keep the primary website secure, safe and running smoothly.

#3: John & Noah. What are these? John is the 4th Church Hosting server and will be the final for a while, stretching the budget a bit to build these out but I wanted one more box to really balance out hosting, some heavy hitters are on Fellowship and Church, wanting to move some sites around to allow things to run smoother for everyone, and avoid the continued load issues.¬†Noah follows the same idea except for balancing things out from Grace & Lilly. So If your site is running a bit hot, once other migrations are done you’ll be notified and data migrated – this is a case-by-case basis, so don’t expect you will be included, but if you feel you may benefit? Leave a comment/Open a ticket and let me know.

#4: Grace, Lilly, and Church! This is the one folks have been asking about, it was mentioned and nearly a month went by without any update. The server hardware should be ready to go on Friday. I’d love to make the move on Friday if at all humanly possible, but realistically and allow things like sleep it’s going to be next Friday. So 10/19/2018 things will move off the older hardware. The move is super simple and if you have purchased your domain or use FlockHosting’s DNS you’re done. Nothing to do – if you don’t you’ll need to change an IP or two in your configuration.

All in all, this should make this month a tad busy too! BUT it should simplify things, and improve performance overall across the board! Tie in the audit I’ll be starting soon, hopefully clearing off any old accounts which missed the cancel request for clearing, it should give us a lean, mean, hosting machine ūüėÄ

So I’ll be emailing folks too regarding the migrations, but for now, that’s your quick update! Have a great rest of your week!

FlockUpdate for September 2018 (Quarterly)

 

Show Notes:

  • Unblock IP Feature
  • Hardware/Software Updates
    • Backup System Upgrades
    • Software Enhancements (NodeJS/Python Selector)
    • Fresh Network & Hardware
      • Migration of Current Servers -> New Hardware (Schedule coming soon!)
    • Monitoring/Alerting
    • Church Hosting Status
      • Migration of Church to New Hardware (Schedule coming soon!)
  • BIG Audit
    • Billing Audit
    • Services Audit
  • Thanks for watching!

 

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!

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!