So, I feel like I have to explain myself to the entire audience of my blog (hi Mom!… I’m kidding, I don’t even think my Mom reads this) for essentially tossing the bulk of my previous blog into the trashbin and starting over. I feel like I have to do this because I have a very good reason for doing it. In “Real Life” I am someone who is considered an authority on computer security. Not that you’d have heard of me and not that I’m that important. I’m just a minor functionary who doesn’t have an effect on the life of anyone except for the small percentage of the population who work with me… or are… customers of myself and my co-workers (you know who you are).
Nevertheless, I am for all of my co-workers: “The Computer Guy”. Empowered to make recommendations, and decisions, and generally responsible for keeping things running and secure. So, as I extolled my co-workers on the dangers of the Internet, particularly hacked small-business websites, there was no small amount of cognitive dissonance regarding my own, neglected, occasionally hacked, website.
For all I knew, every time I warned folks to be careful in their wanderings on the web, knowing full well that these days it’s often just the luck of the draw that means that your favorite small knitting website that was perfectly safe yesterday is now a malware-ridden Internet hole due to their poor choice of advertising network, I could have been describing my very own website. Not because of my advertising choices (I don’t) but because I hadn’t obsessed over keeping my site software up to date.
It’s a real concern because, even though I have no illusions about the number of people reading this, my site has been hacked at least twice in the past. SQL Injection attacks are a bitch.
So… What I really wanted to do was take all of the content on my blog and “compile” it in some fashion so that it was actually just a bunch of static pages (as FSM intended for the web to be) and call it a day. Of course, the makers of my particular blogging software, being perfectly rational human beings (probably… they might be cabbages for all I know) didn’t support that. On the other hand, other people did.
So, I mucked about with various options (as detailed in a previous post) and finally found one that I liked. I exported all of the old content of my old blog, imported it into the new blog, read it and promptly threw most of that crap in the garbage and started over. Partially because I didn’t feel like groveling through all of that old content to be 100% sure that all the bad stuff had been removed and mostly because… well… it was crap content.
So. Now I’ve scrubbed a bunch of old folders full of PHP errors off of my site, deleted a bunch of MySQL databases I no longer need (and mostly didn’t even recognize) and use some software that is designed precisely to do what I wanted to do with my old software: compile my pages into static HTML which can then just be rsynced to my site. Also, this means that I write my content in VIM because I’m weird that way and I like it.