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We've moved!

The Charlbury Website is now hosted on a new, much better, much more reliable server.

The site should be the same to all intents and purposes: it's still at www.charlbury.info and the links still all do the same.

That said, the new server doesn't work in exactly the same way as the old one so there might be a couple of teething problems. We've tried to keep everything the same as before, but if you encounter any unexpected problems, please do send an e-mail to info@charlbury.info explaining the problem and we'll try and look at it.

(Technical details follow for those with an interest...)

Up until now we've been hosted on a "personal hosting" account at 34sp.com. Unfortunately 34sp's servers have been repeatedly hacked, seemingly because of the large number of off-the-shelf PHP applications (Wordpress, phpBB etc.) which people install on their shared hosting accounts. The Charlbury Website is written entirely in bespoke Perl and it's getting quite annoying to suffer downtime and various inconveniences (e.g. FTP locks) because other users on the same server have more easily exploitable code.

34sp also recently migrated our account to a new server and that caused any number of problems: MySQL field type incompatibilities, uninstalled Perl modules, reset permissions, and so on. This took the best part of a day to sort out, and even a month later the server logs still weren't working. The most recent 34sp hack (29 Dec) was the final straw.

So we've now moved to a Bytemark virtual machine - like having our own server, but scaled to fit. This is much more flexible: for example, I've been able to install the excellent Perl Imager library for image resizing (for news/events/ad postings), rather than relying on the common but slow ImageMagick library.

In the coming weeks I hope to remove the tedious redirect to the index page and use mod_rewrite to abbreviate URLs for individual items. We might be able to add live train departures, weather information, and much more to the homepage - there's a lot more open to us now. The new server is more expensive (£160pa rather than £30) but should prove worth it.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 31 Dec 2010, 00:26 · Link


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