About Moving My Hosted WordPress Site to Static HTML on AWS

Until recently, this was a WordPress site running on a traditional web hosting service with no SSL certificate. It’s now a collection of static files sitting in S3 buckets in AWS fronted by Amazon’s CloudFront CDN behind an HTTPS URL, with email handled by Amazon WorkMail. My web life has gotten much simpler, I have a lot more money left over, and my security posture has dramatically improved, to say nothing of the radically improved load times making both Google’s algorithms and human visitors happy. Read more

How to Forward Ports on a Watchguard Firebox

Firewall appliances can be notoriously confusing to set up when it comes to something that should be relatively simple, that’s one of its most commonly performed tasks, like port forwarding. Perhaps the most confusing box I’ve come across is the Watchguard Firebox XTM21, which works great once you decipher the confusing way it expects you to configure it. Here’s what always works for me if I want to, say, forward all traffic coming in on port 41000 to an internal machine at IP address (I’m sure this procedure (or something like it) applies to other similar Watchguard models as well.)  Read more

Firefox Bookmarking Isn’t as Bad as You Think

Mozilla’s Firefox may simultaneously have the world’s easiest and most cumbersome bookmarking system. On the one hand, it’s much slower and less intuitive than other browsers in the way that you have to click the “star” icon to bookmark something, and then go out of your way to put it where you want and rename it, by either clicking it a second time, or finding/moving the bookmark in the Unsorted folder. On the other hand, they have a less well-known drag & drop system that Just Works (a very high compliment indeed).   Read more

Is Your Site’s .htaccess File Being Used to Its Potential?

Every web site should have a file called .htaccess at the root folder for the domain.  You can leave it blank, but why do that, when there’s so much good stuff to be done with it? Over the last year or so I’ve spent a lot of time researching the latest, best ways to secure & optimize web sites, as well as redirect visitors in both VPS & Shared environments, and I’ve compiled a few of my favorite .htaccess tricks here in one place, which you’ll hopefully find as useful as I would have before I spent hours researching & testing it all! Read more