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Blog Note: Site Updates
Thursday, 2005 August 11 - 12:21 am
Oh, I'm gonna be really dangerous now.

Look out world... I've finally figured out how to make GoDaddy serve up dynamic web page content properly. (For those of you who are into the geek-speak, the technical details of my struggles are at the end of this article.) Over the next few weeks and months, you'll see all kinds of fancy new features:

- Registration and login
- More user-customizable preferences
- My own custom comment management system

It'll be a regular carnival of PHP and MySQL. Clowns welcome... Clowns welcome...

Right now, I haven't changed anything; I'm still testing stuff. And when I do start to make changes, they'll be subtle at first. You might not even notice anything. But I'll drop a few bombs on you every now and then, like a little custom section that changes depending on what Google search terms you used to get here. It's gonna rock, I promise you.

See, here's a little secret I have. Despite my occasional efforts to distance myself from geekishness, I still love coding. I love the creative process of putting something together, making it work, and making it beautiful. Yeah, sure, it means sitting in front of my computer for long periods of time, when I should be out drinking and socializing... but I figure it's okay as long as I'm not doing it all the time.

Oh, and you know what else? Eventually, when I've got this whole blog packed with all my custom features, I'll be happy to set up anyone else's blog with my system. It might be years before it's all done, and by then all the kids will be video-blogging... but maybe some of you old-time bloggers might still find it useful.

The technical details:

The biggest problem I had today was trying to get the server to serve up dynamic (PHP) files when people load my existing ".html" URLs. See, I didn't want the URL scheme to change, since lots of folks have links to particular pages already.

Most of the time, you could just create a .htaccess file with this:

  AddHandler x-httpd-php .html .php .php3
  AddType application/x-httpd-php .html .php .php3

But GoDaddy didn't like that. Another solution is to use rewrite directives, like this:

  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteBase /
  RewriteRule ^index.html$ index.php

But that didn't work either. When I searched the Internet, a lot of people seemed convinced that GoDaddy wouldn't let you do mod-rewrite stuff at all. But after a bunch of trial-and-error, I hit upon this:

  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteBase /
  RewriteRule (.*)index.html$ $1index.php

Note the slight regular-expression change. This seems to work!
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

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