Category Archives: Blog

Want Load Times Like These?


We can help.

Load time for Black Chicken Host website

I'm Their Web Guy website load time

Intelligent web design, coupled with some fancy, behind-the-scenes technology, can mean incredibly snappy load times like these.

In these two examples, what you don’t see is that FaceBook plugins were responsible for over half the load times – they’d be even faster if we didn’t muck about with good old FB.

We can work with you to reduce your website’s overall load time to ensure a swift, smooth experience for your readers. We’ll provide you with content management pointers, caching technology, and more so you and your readers can have the best web experience possible.

Take a look at this website, which was regularly taking between 30 and 60 seconds to fully load prior to our optimization process, which dropped to 3.13 seconds after we worked with our customer:

Website load time optimization

We like helping people – don’t be shy about asking for an optimization consultation anytime.

Another Reason to Eat Locally-Sourced Foods

Linked below is quite a disturbing report covering how massive quinoa production has decimated portions of South America. We sometimes have quinoa in our house (I’m one of those who loves their little curls and flavor,) but not often. It won’t be difficult for us to eliminate this choice morsel from our diet, but I know many whole foodies who rely heavily on this amazing grain.


Image from The Kitchn –

I suppose the question becomes, do those of us who eat a lot of quinoa care enough about people so many thousands of miles away to stop buying it?

Finding healthy, sustainable food continues to be a challenge, unless we follow a fairly strict rule: Eating locally. That unto itself causes a dilemma for people in areas which are not able to produce much food for itself.

What do we, as concerned citizens of the world, do?

I suppose, though, the question really is, “what do we, as concerned, compassionate, yet SPOILED citizens of the world do? Indeed, what are we willing to give up so others may simply survive? So our global environment may carry on, un-obliterated?”

Are you willing to give up quinoa? Soy? Coffee? Tea? Mass-produced beef?

I’m going to link two articles here: The second one, I’ve linked previously on Facebook, but it bears repeating. It is deeply disturbing, but so important.

The Unpalatable Truth About Quinoa

The Animal Lover’s Dilemma

I would love to hear any thoughts you may have about either article.

Internet Confessional & A New Love

Dear Internet –

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written; sorry about that. Life gets so busy from time to time, and I hope you’ll forgive me.

There’s this addiction I wrestle with: Peanut Butter. Specifically, sweetened peanut butter. Give me a jar of Peter Pan and a spoon, and I’ll probably stand there eating it until I throw up. I realize it’s horrible and full of things which are bad for me. Sometimes, I just don’t care – I know, that’s terrible. I’m working on it! Continue reading

Homestead Host Will Soon Be Black Chicken Host

Black Chicken Host is now almost one full year into operation! We have grown and added servers, services, and customers, and it’s been a lot of fun and hard work. Recently, it has become necessary to change our business name and domain, however, due to issues beyond our control. It’s been a crazy two weeks here, coming up with a new business name, logo, domain, website, et cetera, but it will be done soon.

Thus, I’d like to introduce you to Black Chicken Host! The only things that are changing are our name, domain, and website – we’re still the same people, same infrastructure, and same fantastic technical support you’ve come to know and love.

Our customers will be receiving individual emails in the coming days to let you know how the change will affect you personally, and whether there are changes we cannot make on your behalf.

The most important item is email addresses associated with will become The prefix, (support, sales, payments, et cetera) will remain the same.

We have changed our Facebook and G+ pages, as well as our Twitter account. If you liked or followed us there, you don’t have to do it again on the new page, but the URL’s to access our feeds have changed:


Google Plus:

Twitter: (the full name, BlackChickenHost, was one letter too long, so we had to drop the “e.” Silliness.)

Due to the short time frame we’re working with, redirects and forwards will only work for a limited time (until December 7, 2012) once we have them in place. We hope our new website will be up and running within a day or two, and the new email addresses are currently working.

At this stage in our development, a rebranding is just a small bump in the road. We liked Black Chicken Host as a business name, but Black Chicken Host is going to be great, too.

Please pardon our dust in the coming days, and thanks, as always, for your support!

Boot Camp: Using Your Domain with gMail

Most of us in the internet business want to increase our domain’s visibility in as many ways as possible – getting the word out about our amazing blog, service or product is an important part of our success. One method of ensuring people see our domains is to use a domain-based email address, as opposed to a free email provider address.

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Scrumptious, Warming, Filling, Nutritious – Pumpkin Pie Porridge

Today at The Unlikely Homestead, it is about 40 degrees with a strong wind out of the North. It’s cloudy, thanks to the edges of Hurricane Sandy’s might, and most of the stunning autumn leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving the countryside bare and stark.

This is a difficult transitional time of year for me, going from the radiant beauty of fall to the dingy brown starkness of early winter. Once the snow falls (provided we get any this year,) it will improve things significantly, but for now… it’s dreary. Couple the weather with my best friend moving to England for 5 months this Friday, and we have a recipe for the blues. I’ve been sleeping a lot, and not doing much of anything.

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Finding Meaningfulness in Work

Last week, I spoke with the lovely and talented Chaya of Pantry Paratus over Skype. While she was ostensibly interviewing me for a Pantry Paratus Radio podcast, it was more like a nice conversation with a good friend. We talked about everything from raw milk to website hosting to balancing homesteading with full-time work and all of life’s trials.

One of the not-too-secret secrets I have is that I hate computers. I really do.

It didn’t start out that way, of course. I found myself working in the Information Technology business in the early nineties almost by accident. I hired in as a part-time computer lab assistant at the University of Michigan, worked my way up the ranks, and before I knew it… I had A Career. Geekiness does run in my family; my dad is a computer geek, and his father was an engineer. I come by it honestly.

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Venus Transit Promotional Discount

A true-color photo of the planet VenusWe may be homesteady people here at Black Chicken Host, but we’re also science nerds.

Today, I’ve been glued to the NASA Edge live feed of the Venus transition, and have regularly had my mind blown with not only watching the passage of the planet across the face of the sun, and intense imagery of the highly-volatile surface of the sun itself, but also with pretty amazing historical and astronomical facts such as these:

  •  Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. (Source: Wikipedia)
  •  The Kepler spacecraft monitors approximately 145, 000 distant stars and detects planets orbiting them by minute decreases in their observable light measurements. (Source: NASA Edge)
  •  The pressure at Venus’ surface is about 92 times that at Earth’s surface—a pressure equivalent to that at a depth of nearly 1 kilometer under Earth’s oceans. (Source: Wikipedia)

What blew me away apart from the sheer tonnage of amazing information was that there were many live feeds from around the world of people viewing and talking about this celestial event. People, we’re living in the future! This is amazing stuff.

Most relevant to your interests, however, is perhaps our web hosting special in honor of the Venus Transition.

From now until Saturday, June 9, 2012, we’re offering 10% off all shared hosting packages with a monthly subscription! Just enter promotional code VENUS2012 at checkout. This promotion can be used with your monthly paid subscription for up to 12 months.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, an amazing video of the surface of the sun. Enjoy!

Mondays With Millie: Probiotics in Your Diet- Yogurt

Yogurt Topped with Cashews and Coconut

Have you seen the commercials sharing how eating (a certain brand) of yogurt can improve your digestive health?

It’s true, yogurt is a great way to add probiotics, enzymes and beneficial bacteria to your diet. Unfortunately, most commercial yogurts also add heavy doses of  ingredients that you may be trying to avoid on your real food journey.  Overly processed and GMO laden, high fructose corn syrup is often the sweetener used in flavored yogurts.  Preservatives and natural flavorings, that probably are not as natural as you think, are also common in commercial flavored yogurts.  Plus the fact that it is extremely difficult to find a full-fat flavored yogurt and the low fat products are often made with the addition of powdered milk which is high in oxidized cholesterol which can cause heart disease and cancer.

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