New Hosting

Well, as my Azure credits will surely run out sometime soon from my MSDN account, I needed to find new hosting.  After a lot of searching for the right place, my new home is at TMD Hosting.

I didn’t want a full host to manage, and reading the reviews these are some of the best.  The import took a bit longer than anticipated (issues with the Softaculous script), but so far so good!

Next steps are to enable HTTPS via Lets Encrypt.

CloudFlare

I was using CloudFlare for awhile, but realized it was causing a few issues.  In practice it sounds like a great idea, essentially the same as any CDN, but free.  However, when editing posts on other websites, WordPress was never able to adjust the ajax to format the  text in the visual viewer.  It wasn’t really that it didn’t render it, it was more that it would take until a timeout is hit to render anything in the body field.

Simply not acceptable.  As soon as I deactivated CloudFlare, it worked great.  Needless to say, it’s not something I really need, so I just removed it.

Migration to WordPress Network

Well, the migration to a WordPress Network is nearing completion.  All sites, except for my largest (in terms of uploaded content) have been migrated, and figuring out what I’m going to do with my Director install.  This will save me so much time with upgrades and various other maintenance from now on.

I know that I had a post about this earlier, specifically how to do this on Dreamhost, but I thought I’d provide a few additional insights.

  1. If you are using subdomains instead of folders, do not have Dreamhost tack on www to the root Network domain until after you’ve migrated all sites over.  If you aren’t migrating, but simply setting up all new sites, then you don’t have to worry about it.  This causes issues because it tries to resolve subdomain.domain.com to www.subdomain.domain.com, which doesn’t exist.
  2. I am using full domains to map to the subdomains via the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin.  If you want to have non-www resolve to www, make sure www.notnetworkdomain.com is your primary and notnetworkdomain.com is also listed.
  3. If you have the Domain Mapping already setup to point to your www.notnetworkdomain.com during the migration, when you try to hit subdomain.networkdomain.com, it will redirect you to www.notnetworkdomain.com.  That is, reverse mappings happen also, which is cool.
  4. Depending on when you setup your domains at Dreamhost, it is possible their A records point to different IP addresses.  Mirroring only works when they have the same A record IP.  This happened to me on quite a few domains.  To fix, simply delete the domain from Dreamhost, then recreate it as a mirror.  Once the mirror is created, re-setup your custom MX records or any other DNS records you originally had.
  5. Don’t import entries on a crappy network connection.  It doesn’t work and continuously times out.

Outside of those issues, it went fairly painlessly.  It also helps if you have someplace that has quickly updating DNS.  I can’t tell you how many times I saw the “bad_http_conf” error, while I was waiting for DNS to propagate.

I’m also amazed at how easily most of the plugins have worked with the network config.  I was really expecting more pains in that area.

WordPress Network on Dreamhost

I’m just copying these instructions here, since I can’t seem to reliably access the website they are currently hosted on.

I think I’m going to change a few ways things are hosted here on my collection of sites.  It is a pain to keep them all updated and managed.  Therefore, I am looking into migrating to a WordPress Network (Multi-Site) setup.  However, using subdomains doesn’t work with Dreamhost because of Dreamhost not allowing wildcards.

Here is the work-around (verbatim) from a fellow Dreamhost user.

  1. Fol­low the direc­tions for set­ting up your Word­Press mul­ti­site (I will assume that you already know or have found the direc­tions to do so).
  2. Pick the sub­do­main fea­ture while in setup.
  3. Ignore the mes­sage you get say­ing that things may not work prop­erly because of the Wild­card missing.
  4. When you’ve fol­lowed all those won­der­ful instruc­tions, cre­ate a test blog. You may end up with a URL like domain.comdatabase_name. I did, and con­tinue to do so. Just edit that blog’s set­tings (Super Admin -> Sites -> Edit) so that the Path field only has a / in it. I’m unsure if this is a prob­lem that user’s at other hosts have, or if it is exclu­sive and will soon be fixed, but once it is changed all is well.
  5. Go to your Dreamhost Web Panel and mir­ror a sub­do­main for the blog you just added to the domain you set the mul­ti­site up on. NOTE: If you cre­ate blog.domain.comin Word­Press mul­ti­site, you must cre­ate the same sub­do­main in your Web Panel — blog.domain.com. Visit blog.domain.com and ver­ify that it leads you to the new blog you created.
  6. If that works, then you need to install the Domain Map­ping plu­gin for multisite.
  7. This gives you a new menu to add a domain to your net­work and “park” it over a subdomain.
  8. All you have to do is fol­low the direc­tions there to add the domain, and you are set.
  9. Just mir­ror that same domain to the mul­ti­site domain in your Dreamhost Web Panel, and every­thing should be in work­ing order.

Now on to testing!

Moved from EE

My Dreamhost server was upgraded awhile ago, and ever since then I have had nothing but issues with my installation of EE.  A lot of other things had issues too, but I was easily able to reinstall and everything worked.  Sadly, that was not an option for EE as my yearly download had expired.  No way was I going to pay just to get things back to where they were.

Needless to say I have been wanting to migrate over, and just never really had the time to do it.

Well, I did it today because I’ve been wanting to post a few things.  I think everything migrated over fairly well, but there are definitely a few issues.  I really wanted to use some rewrite logic to keep all the inbound links working, but I’m afraid that just isn’t going to happen.

Without further ado, hopefully there were be some fun tech updates soon!

The Site and Other Updates

Ok, so the site is back up.  That was incredibly easy.  As far as I can tell, there was 0 downtime.  The only thing that may have looked strange is that I didn’t have the most current database on the dreamhost server.  But, a simply backup and restore fixed that.  Also, aaron spruit (.com) is up and running on the new host also.  I realized that the two databases could really cause headaches if I didn’t do them both now, especially if I added an entry on both sites.  I’ve updated my registrar with the new name servers, but since that takes awhile to propagate, I updated my current names servers to use the new hosted site, instead of the other one.  That way everyone hits the new site right away, instead of some going one place and others going to another place.

In other news, now that I have this running under Apache, I’m going to start playing with the .htaccess file.  What I’m hoping to accomplish is to get rid of all the extraneous crap on the URLs to this site.  Therefore, if you are reading this through RSS, the feed may go down.  Just come visit the site and grab the new URL of it.  It will probably end up being https://www.rebelpeon.com/rss_2.0/ though, instead of https://www.rebelpeon.com/index.php?/rebelpeon/rss_2.0/.  This should also help with search sites too, since they tend to have a hard time with the URL Query Strings.

Site Downtime

I’m hoping it won’t be for too long, or at all, but I’m going to attempt to finish the migration of my site to dreamhost.  It should progress without any downtime, but knowing my luck, there will be.  However, aaron spruit (.com) will be remain at the same place until everything is working smoothly with this site.  Moving aaron spruit (.com) won’t take much at all as both of these sites run off the same CMS and MySQL database.  It’s just moving the first one that’s a pain.

You’ll know when everything is propagated because there should be dreamhost banner on the bottom of the new site.

CSS Problems

Well, I’ve started a new redesign of the site, but I’m having a few problems that maybe someone could help me with.  Basically, on the title, I can’t get it to sit 5px off the bottom.  As you can see, the title sits 10px to the left like I want, but it won’t sit 10px above the bottom.  If you go to my test page and increase and decrease the size of the page font you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The full CSS for this is available, but the section in question is given below.

#heading .title
{
color:#FFF;
font-size: 2em;
position: absolute;
bottom:10px;
left:10px;
}

Is this a normal feature of CSS?  Basically, I want the text to sit 10px above the bottom of the dark background regardless of what size the font in increased to or decreased.  If you look at an entry at the bottom, that text is always 10px away from the border, why can’t the title section?  Yes, I know that it’s handled differently, but that’s the look I desire.

New Domain

Well, I’ve got it in my mind that I want to redo my website (again).  It’s been awhile, and well, I just feel like it needs a bit of a refresh.  And hey, it’s been awhile.  So, I’ve been freshening up on some CSS, so that I can do it right.  I’m probably going to keep the graphics down to a minimum, like it currently is, just to keep load times, but at the same point, I really like some of designs at CSS Zen Webgarden. 

Anyways, I also want to break the photos off this site and create a new one.  Something similar to Chromasia, or G8, or Staring at the Sun.  Basically, since I’ve been getting better, I want someplace to showcase the best of the best. 

Really, what it comes down to, is that I need something even more to do, right…

So, I’ve registered aaronspruit.com in addition to rebelpeon.com.  However, now I have the dilemma of which site should go where.  I can come up for pros and cons of both.  What are all your thoughts?  Currently they both point here.