Tag Archives: IIS

3 mail hosts in a week

Switching hosts was a matter of necessity. Running an entire site on wordpress on IIS was ridiculous. It’s fairly irrelevant to compare easyCGI and BlueHost, since anyone else making the choice will be choosing based on IIS vs. Apache, not a feature comparison or better support. However, i’ve very nearly gone back to easyCGI’s email hosting.

It’s not that easyCGI has great email hosting. their webmail is workable at best (better, since the last upgrade). they only provide POP3, not IMAP email. The reason i wanted to switch back? BlueHost doesn’t provide a catchall address. Apparently doing so would cripple their servers, because your email server is the same as your web server. and ‘all that spam‘ would bring the server to its knees. i’ve posted about this in their forums, but apparently all that does is bring out the idiot fanboys saying ‘your spam is everyone’s problem’. no, bluehost’s poorly configured servers are everyone’s problem.

Having had a catchall email for archgfx.net for 4 years on 2 webhosts, this seems bizarre to me. there’s no reason that one email couldn’t receive more spam than all the uncreated addresses put together. This is exactly how my email is set up. i have specific junk addresses: crappy, crapmail, webmaster, sales, etc. They come from using throwaway email addresses to sign up for things, and from standard addresses that bots think will reach the site owner. They all route to a yahoo inbox that i can dumpster dive for registration emails if the need arises.

The rest of the email to archgfx lands in my main inbox. this includes emails to sunburntkamel, adam, afreetly, af, and other addresses that were either easier to pronounce over the phone, or that people have erroneously remembered. I can’t possibly remember all of them, or attempt to generate all the possible misspellings and misrememberings of my name. so not having a catchall is a dealbreaker for me.

Back when it was first opened, i read derek’s post, and signed up for gmail hosted. I found out then that i couldn’t set up email aliases to non-archgfx.net addresses. at the time, that was a big enough pain for me to not bother using the service. now, having to keep two gmail windows open (one hosted, one standard) is less of an issue than losing mail that i’ve depended on arriving for 4 years. So i changed my MX records again, since hosted gmail beats the $3.95 a month for easyCGI.

I can’t set up email aliases on hosted gmail, but i can forward email. so i have one junk box (crapmail), that forwards its contents to yahoo. the other ‘big spam’ addresses are aliased to that one. it works, more or less. i have to think it would be easier on google’s servers for them to just let me alias to yahoo, but functionally, it’s about the same. and i doubt google’s servers are going to buckle under the strain.

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Changing Hosts the hard way

In case you’re wondering where this blog dissappeared to today (and i knowyou weren’t), I finally got tired enough of dealing with PHP 4/IIS/the lack of REQUEST_URI that i changed hosts. Thusly, the CNAME record for this blog dissappeared for a few hours.

The main reason i switched was that i wanted was to be able to move wordpress into the top level directory, from /blog/. so i figured i’d try and do it all in one fell swoop. what’s more fun than trying to do something “mission critical” in a language you’ve just learned? so here’s what i added to my .htaccess file:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RedirectMatch 301 /blog/index.php/(.*) /blog/$1
RedirectMatch 301 /blog/wp-content/(.*) /wp-content/$1
</IfModule>

the first line is for old URL’s. the second line is for anything i uploaded and referenced in a post (especially images). so far both seem to be working. (i found the RedirectMatch example on this page). And, since you’re reading this, the CNAME record seems to have been set up, although i had to file a support ticket for that.

UPDATE: i forgot that i’d also added a prefix to my permalink structure (/blog/) so my redirects were all failing. should be fixed now (code updated)

Hosting Recommendation

Apparently affiliate links are semi green-lighted. and since certain friends of matt have had (a truckload of) them for a long time, i figured i should point out who my host is, that i post about here (my easyCGI tag). It’s not that they are the easiest host. it’s one of the least tested setups you can run wordpress on. but they do give you insane amounts of storage and bandwidth. and their tech support reads the wordpress forums. and they’re more responsive than wordpress support (that’s not a dig at mark, it’s just my experience. wordpress has great support). This link makes saves me money if you sign up through it: $10.00 Domain Registration – Free Setup!
but i wholeheartedly recommend them. if the TOS here haven’t swung far enough for this kind of post, i’ll change it to a standard link.

that time again

i’ve been resistant to upgrading for the last few releasetuneupreleasetuneup cycles. Upgrading (at least on IIS) is always a matter of crossing my fingers and praying, so i try to avoid it, unless there are clear security reasons for doing it. 2.0.6 seems to have some, though. and since my database decided to hose itself last night, i’m all set on sql/wxr backups (h/t to mark for explaining where the import function is on aging versions of phpMyAdmin). so if archGFX disappears tonight, you’ll know why. alex’s fingers crossed

UPDATE:
the cycle continues.  fortunately i had friends in, and didn’t upgrade until just now.  looks like everything’s still in working order.

Deprecated

Since it looks like the release of WP 2.1 is in the immediate future (as opposed to the nebulus ‘soon’ timeframe it’s been in since august or so), i tried upgrading one of my test blogs on archgfx. I didn’t realize that the MySQL upgrades they keep announcing only apply to new signups (makes sense, that way your apps don’t just randomly break), so the new minimum SQL requirement causes massive breakage on the front page.

So, i just sent easyCGI an email asking them to upgrade my site from MySQL 3.23.49 to whatever the latest version is they’re running (a thread in the forums says it’s 4.1.21 at time of writing). looks like this will also upgrade PHP from 4.3.1 to 4.4.1 (still no option to upgrade to go to PHP 5). *fingers crossed*

After that, i’ll be trying to get REQUEST_URI working, so that i can use a static front page, rather than a static HTML front page, and be completely done with needing FTP to edit anything on archGFX. of course, i have to convince my CFO to part with $50+ to do so. After rereading ComputerGuru‘s post based on his comment, it seems his request_uri.inc is LGPL, not CC-by-nc-sa as the post is. So i need to pay $25 to easyCGI for a security audit and script installation, and it seems ridiculous not do drop at least an equivalent amount in ComputerGuru’s tip jar.

UPDATE:

support ticket opened: 12/26/06 11:23:42
support ticket closed: 12/26/06 14:39:47

a quick edit to my wp-config.php file (to reflect the address of the newer sql server), and i’m good to go. 2.1 runs fine, as do my 2.0.x blog and testblog. PHPinfo() still shows me at 4.3.1, which is fine by me.

UPDATE 2:

I checked further down the PHPinfo() page, and found that it still claims to be running 3.xx. logging into the aged (2.6) version of PHPMyAdmin shows MySQL 4.1.21-community-nt, though.