Ken Sheppardson Subscribe to RSS Feed archives home

Cleaning House

01/04/2009

The year end break finally gave me the time and motivation to take care of something that’s been nagging me for some time. For the past five or ten years, I’ve been hosting a dozen or so random little sites for friends and family. If you’re reading this, you might just be in the same situation: the friend whose theater production needed a site, your family member’s band, another friend’s pre-Flickr site for publishing kid pictures.

Each one of these sites was a quick little side project, and a great excuse to try out [insert neat new technology]. In my case I’ve accumlated a standalone Perl CGI site, a Gallery photo site, a Mason site for a band, not to mention my own WordPress blog. Of course web hosting has evolved quite a bit in the past decade, so each of these sites was originally built on a different host. MSEN back in Michigan, Aimnet here in the Bay Area, then stints on Lunarpages, Bluehost, and most recently MediaTemple’s GridService. Different sites on different servers, MX records pointing all over the place, a mix of registrars…it was ugly.

So to start off the new year, it’s time to start fresh. All the sites have been consolidated, refreshed, archived, backed-up, validated, and otherwise cleaned up. In the process, I replaced a number of services and tools that just weren’t working for me the way they used to. Here’s what’s in my toolbox at this point:

OK, I’m old school. I was sold on straight LAMP, sendmail, RedHat derivatives (CentOS/Fedora), vi, etc. almost ten years ago, they’ve worked for me, and I had better things to do than reconsider those choices. But I was really just stuck in a rut. Times change, tools evolve, the web isn’t what it was 10 years ago, and now is as good a time as any to re-examine what’s in your tool box.

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