This morning I took my website down to migrate it from the OpenBSD built-in webserver to Apache as I needed something with more horsepower to make my website work better. Apparently some of my writing has attracted the attention of some PhDs in psychology and sociology as some professors from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, and Boston University have written to tell me that they would like to use some of my content and wanted to advise that my website was running slowly. The built-in basic webserver for OpenBSD is fantastic but it does not seem to handle higher server loads quite as well. This is what Apache is designed for. I never thought my blog would garner this kind of attention.
Despite having the interesting problem of moving my WordPress blog to a new server platform and having it down while I figure out a few things, the extra interest has been a boon to my mood. Now that the migration is complete and things seem to be going an order of magnitude faster, I can rest on my laurels for a few. I only know the basics behind Aache so this forced me to learn a lot very quickly because I did not want an extended outage. The migration did not go very smoothly because of one little feature that I could not figure out how to enable and what was blocking it. One reason for moving to Apache was for the ability to have true WordPress permalinks which require Apache to rewrite a URL on the fly.
I had the rewrite module properly enabled but Apache was still ignoring the directives to rewrite meaning that only the front page of the blog would load. If you were to click on an article, you would get basically a 404 Page Not Found error. It turns out that there is a little line called AllowOverride wich was set to none in the main configuration file. It did not occur to me that this was causing the problem. Setting it to a value other than none suddenly made WordPress permalinks working again. Hooray for that!
The last and final things to do were to lock down the WordPress includes directory and lock down the administrative control panel with an additional username and password prompt. The additional username and password prompt is designed to thwart the bots trying to brute force hack the blog. I have no idea why some bots would be interested in my little blog but they probably seek to attack any WordPress installation without knowing the content. I surmise that they hope to gain usernames, passwords, or sensitive information that can then be sold on the black market. Little do they know that I have nothing of any value to them. Moreover, I have stopped the bots from potentially assimilating my website into a botnet that attacks other websites.