Category Archives: WordPress

Big Changes Afoot!

Hello, Black Chicken Host Family!

Holy cow, folks – we’ve been working on some supercool things behind the scenes, and we’ve been gradually rolling them out over the past two months. Now that we’ve gotten everything running smoothly, I’m ready to tell everyone what we’ve been up to, and what our customers’ new options are.

Moving Away from cPanel

People on our newsletter list, or who have recently been working with our intrepid support administrator, Melissa, have probably heard we are urging our customers to move away from cPanel entirely. This likely comes as a surprise to hear from a web hosting company, as cPanel is one of the biggest control panels out there, and moving away from it is a pretty big deal.

While we are not eliminating cPanel servers entirely, we have found a much better alternative that is not only faster, but also less expensive. We really recommend moving to this new, non-cPanel solution for anyone using WordPress.

With the launch of our WordPress-Only package (just $5.99 per month per WordPress install,) we have brought Black Chicken Host customers onto the leading edge of web hosting technology.  We have seen sites’ load time decrease radically with this product (up to 50% in some cases,) and our WP-Only customers are really happy with the performance they’re receiving.

The only drawback to the WordPress-Only product is there are no email addresses available with it: Customers on that service must host email elsewhere, and we’re strongly recommending G Suite (we use it ourselves.) We have a separate post about Why G Suite  is Better Than Hosting Email on Your Web Server – feel free to check that out to see why we’ve become such advocates for the service.

See for yourself!

To demonstrate how amazing this product is, we put together a really, really bad website – on purpose. We threw the most terrible plugins on there, and plenty of them, to see if we could bog the server down – and we couldn’t! You can see that site and read why we made it so bad here: https://wp.blackchicken.host.

In a Nutshell: Focusing on What Our Customers Want

Moving away from the “jack-of-all-trades” cPanel product allows us to focus upon what 99.95% of our customers really want – a fast WordPress hosting experience, like those offered by some of our competitors. We really, really found a great solution – send an email to our support team if you’d like more information!

Changing Datacenter Providers

This is another major change for Black Chicken Host. Since our inception, we have run our servers out of the same company’s facilities – a hosting provider who used to be absolutely wonderful. However, they have experienced many changes these past two years, and we can no longer rely upon them for their previous excellence. This has adversely impacted some of our customers on occasion, and we can’t have that. Thus, we are moving to a better, faster, more modern provider – DigitalOcean – for all of our servers, both cPanel and non-cPanel.

As we retire our existing servers, we’re getting in touch with our customers to arrange the free migration process. We hope to have moved completely away from our current datacenter by the end of June.

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have any questions or concerns about your hosting experience with us, or if you’d like to sign up for service, just let us know! Our contact form will get you in touch with our support team.

 

Change in Our Terms of Service

The nature of technology is growth and change – what’s super-hot and super-fast one minute is obsolete and out-of-date the next. It’s a perpetual learning curve for people who want to stay on the latest and greatest hardware or software platforms, and a constant source of frustration for people who just want to write a blog without worrying about the tech.

As a web host, it is our duty to provide secure, stable, and user-friendly environments and features for our customers, so you can do what you do best – get your content out there!

Toward that end, we are adding the following verbiage to our Terms of Service, effective immediately:

“In order to maintain a secure and stable hosting environment, Black Chicken Host reserves the right to update without notification any code on our servers to its most current supported version, including, but not limited to:

  • Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, et cetera)
  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Scripts
  • All packages offered by the Softaculous installer”

We realize keeping your software up-to-date can be a time-consuming task, but it is so very important to the security of your account. Thus, we decided to take it upon ourselves to do it for our customers.

We have seen some nasty malware put into place due to out-of-date plugins (RevSider, Gravity Forms, et cetera) which have had effects ranging from having the server’s IP address black-listed at Google and ATT to destruction of account data.

Going forward, we will be finding all outdated software on our servers and updating everything to the most current version. In almost every case, this should be completely transparent to you and your readers. In very rare cases, updating a theme may cause your site’s appearance to change. In other rare cases, updating a plugin may cause it to not function correctly in conjunction with the other plugins on your site.

While we don’t ever want to interfere with your site’s functionality, it behooves us all to keep everything on its current, most secure version, and it is incumbent upon BCH to keep you all as safe as possible.

We’ll have another blog post soon about what kinds of security exploits can happen as a result of outdated plugins – it’s scary stuff! – but that’s all for now.

Please do let us know if you have questions or concerns!

Analytics Boot Camp Day 4: Technology

Howdy, Boot Camp Attendees –

Get this – we’re almost halfway through the Standard Reporting tab! Soon, you’ll be a total pro at Google Analytics (GA.)

Tonight’s installment covers the Technology, Social, and Mobile menus, which we find under Standard Reporting, Audience.

Continue reading

Boot Camp – Understanding Google Analytics

Well hello there, Google Analytics Boot Campees!

When you look at your Google Analytics Dashboard, does your heart sink, your eyes glaze over, your brain feel a little overwhelmed? We completely understand. There is a metric honkload of information presented, and not always in particularly intuitive ways. Too, we find much of Google’s Help section for Analytics pretty unhelpful for beginners.

That’s why we’re here!

Continue reading

Monetization Boot Camp Day 5: Advanced Topics & Wrap-Up

Howdy, and welcome to the final day of our Personal Blog Monetization Boot Camp!

We hope you’ve found the information we’ve present a useful starting point for earning income with your blog or website.

Today, we’re going to cover some advanced topics, balancing life with blogging, and summing everything up. If you’ve made it this far into the camp, we salute your attention span! There has been a lot of information presented this week.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Continue reading

Monetization Boot Camp Day 4: Social Networking

Ahoy, Boot Campees!

Welcome to Boot Camp Day Four – Leveraging Social Networking.  Today’s camp is less technical than previous days, because social networking is much like having a conversation in different venues – not many technical skills are required to be successful.

Our focus today for social networking is to drive traffic to your site by engaging your audience.

Continue reading

Monetization Boot Camp Day 3: Ad Programs & Placement

Howdy Bloggers!

We’re already at day three of our boot camp! Thus far, we’ve taught you to produce quality content and some basic concepts in Day One, and all about affiliate programs in Day Two. Day Three is all about ads, ad placement, product promotion, and additional important terminology.

Continue reading

Monetization Boot Camp Day 2: Affiliate Programs

Welcome back to Boot Camp, attendees!

Today’s topic: Affiliate Programs.

We’ll talk about finding programs, signing up, inserting links onto your blog, publicizing your unique URL, and more. While the financial results will vary from site to site, the underlying principles are the same.

Continue reading