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I archived this blog using HTTrack for a few months because it was killing my tiny (256MB) improperly-configured slice and I was considering switching my blog engine. It worked surprisingly well, except I couldn’t write new posts. My blog is still #1 for my name on Google and I didn’t detect any broken links. It wasn’t the first time I used HTTrack; I also used it to download a couple websites.

During this time I’ve been posting to tumblr and posterous. I had a short info page linking to both of these blogs and my then-archived WordPress blog, which was previously at http://benatkin.com/weblog/. During this time I’ve been following WordPress and watching it grow, and wanting to get involved with it. I still want to use other CMSes, but I decided that I would switch benatkin.com back to WordPress and explore other CMSes on different sites.

For several months I’ve had a slightly beefier CMS that I prepaid a year for. I got two extra IP addresses on it so I can run more than one web server and have multiple SSL sites. I’m running both Apache and nginx so I can learn both of them. I’m using Apache to host this blog, and nginx to redirect to it from the www and blog subdomains.

It feels good to be back on WordPress. Many friends have benefited from WordPress’s customizability and ease of use. I also like it from a software freedom perspective. I tend to favor non-copyleft licenses to copyleft licenses like the GPL, which WordPress uses, but the bottom line is that people are in control of their site and their data. They are free to switch hosting platforms and even export their data to another CMS and set up URL redirects if needed. Finally, there are many great plugins and themes available, due to the size of the WordPress community. I hope one day to go to a WordCamp.

If you’re thinking about setting up your own custom WordPress.org blog, I encourage you to give it a shot!

Some configuration details follow.

Configuration

I bound nginx and Apache to different IP addresses using these configuration file options:


# in /etc/apache2/ports.conf
Listen 64.27.57.181:80

# in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
listen 68.71.141.194:80;

I moved my blog root from /weblog to /, first by moving my subdirectory, and then by setting up rewrites. At first I was moving it to blog.benatkin.com and had some permanent redirects going there so I also set up rewrites from blog.benatkin.com just in case. I set up a redirect from www.benatkin.com to benatkin.com to get consistent URLs. Here are the relevant snippets from Apache, which redirect from /weblog to / and removes index.html which got indexed when I had made my site static, in .htaccess of my blog root:


# rewrite old weblog/ path
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule (.*)index.html$ /$1 [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

# rewrite old weblog/ path
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^weblog/(.*)$ /$1 [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

Here are the rewrites in nginx, to go from www.benatkin.com and blog.benatkin.com to benatkin.com:



http {
    # ... server-wide config options ...
    server {
        listen 68.71.141.194:80;
        server_name blog.benatkin.com;
        rewrite ^(.*) http://benatkin.com$1 permanent;
    }
    server {
        listen 68.71.141.194:80;
        server_name www.benatkin.com;
        rewrite ^(.*) http://benatkin.com$1 permanent;
    }
}

A note about my Apache redirects: they interfered with WP Super Cache‘s rewrite rules, causing the path to the WP Super Cache files to appear in the browser’s address bar. I switched to W3 Total Cache and the problem went away!