Thanks to the modern cloud, where it's very easy to build a replacement server (5 clicks) and move everything across to it, killing the original, I revisited the stuff I set up a year or so ago and made it a lot better.
It turns out that I couldn't really do a huge amount for my friend above what he could have had without myself. The end result of me redoing a lot of my own stuff, in response to the problems I found trying to help him, is that I'm a lot happier with my own websites. I think I did my friend as much of the favour that I offered as I could reasonably do, so he benefited. It turns out, I'm the main beneficiary.
Does anyone care what I changed? If not, then stop!
Things that happened:
- My webserver was on an older version of the operating system and so could no longer install software updates, so I switched over to using a new operating system where updates work
- I took the opportunity to move the server from Amsterdam to London - I don't think London was an option a year ago - it's nearer to my target audience though.
- I experimented with reverse proxying so that www.incredible.org.uk actually appears to be my blog, even though the blog is hosted at blogspot. You can seamlessly navigate from blog pages to real pages and the address bar is happy. The blogspot-generated links are absolute, not relative, so eventually something will give the game away!
- I've enabled http content compression, so now pages load awfully fast
- I fixed some server aliases, so now people who forget the www actually still get a page!