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Web Server Struggles

Posted Saturday, October 21st, 2017 07:34 pm GMT -6 in Housekeeping, Technology

It’s been a long time since I wrote a longer post here, which actually wasn’t caused by being busy. I’ve been battling technical issues with my web server for months, which is a co-located Mac mini in Las Vegas (now at MacStadium since their merger with Brian Stucki’s excellent Macminicolo). I created my own perfect storm by trying to remotely upgrade the OS (which was two versions behind) *and* moving it from the old Macminicolo data center to the new MacStadium data center across town. Somewhere along the way, I also ended up corrupting my database backups and discovered my old backup processes weren’t working the way I thought. Thankfully I didn’t lose any data, but it wasn’t the best example of being a good sysadmin.

With work being work, I haven’t had time to focus on fixing these issues, so it’s been little bits and pieces here and there to finally get back to a semi-functioning site. I messed with moving to AWS for a little while, but decided to just rebuild my mini server from scratch. I use Homebrew versions of Apache, MySQL and PHP for the core stack, which I’m now familiar with enough to mostly breeze through those configs. I learned that over the years, my MySQL data got split into MyISAM and InnoDB islands, which caused some major problems with restoring the InnoDB side. Then I found out that I had MySQL collation setting issues, which created a bunch of weird characters (and a loss of emoji support).

This site uses a number of WordPress plugins to help automate things and several of those plugins stopped working due to the issues mentioned above. I needed to blow away both WordFence (security) and Intagrate (Instagram integration), reconfiguring both from square one. I’ve also had some general response issues with the server, which was mostly fixed with an ARP patch from MacStadium. I still need to go through the web server error logs to clean up a few other performance issues, but those are a little harder to research and isolate (wordpress termmeta doesn’t exist, anyone?).

So now that I can reliably post from the mobile app and have Twitter and Instagram integration working again, it’s almost time to get back to my enhancement wish list:

  • Recreate my Coda web development environment on the new iMac
  • Add Backblaze support to the server
  • Rewrite and test my database backup scripts
  • Move to https with Let’s Encrypt (this should help)
  • Create data entry screens for golf scores and runs
  • Make my default theme more mobile-friendly
  • Add a video post type
  • Make my header photos retina-ready
  • Update the about and biography sections
  • Bring back more of the old photo gallery pictures

As always – thanks for visiting!

Originally published by DK on October 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm

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Husband, dad and stadium IT director

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Marathon - 3:43:32
  • 2017 Mileage: 222.2

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