Improvements: Hidden, But Real

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but since Friday, the speed of the web site has improved tremendously, with much faster page loads. I haven’t been writing, but I have been busy. For many, many years—since about 1997, in fact, the web site has been hosted at the same place. In all of the incarnations it’s been through, my web host hasn’t changed.

The old technology was good for its time.Technology, however, has. The last time I changed the server on which the site resides was way back in 2002. I was very big into the whole .NET deal, so I switched the site over to Windows Server with ASP.NET.  A while after that, the server was upgraded to Windows server 2003. I used this site, in fact, to develop the ASP.NET blog software that ran QandO.NET from 2004 to 2009, and is still running to maintain the archives.

Here, at my site, I started off in plain HTML. Then I moved to a self-hosted installation of Blogger. Then went to Movable Type. After than, it was an ASP.NET installation. Then, in 2010, I started the motorcycle blog I ran here, and ran it off of WordPress. In all that time, I kept the site on the same Windows 2003 server.

But, WordPress, being a PHP software product, runs pretty slowly on Windows by modern standards. The old Windows technology was good for its time, much like the Apple II displayed above. But its time was 2003. A lot has changed since then, and it was time for a move.

Happily, my web host moved into the Cloud Hosting space a while back. As part of the Cloud hosting setup, they offer full-on Linux servers, happily running PHP and MySQL at modern speeds. So, last evening, working far into the night, I downloaded all of my content to a local hard drive, set up a new Cloud Hosting Account, migrated the MySQL database to the new server, then uploaded the old WordPress site to the new server, and turned it on.

This afternoon, after I was sure the site had migrated properly and was working well, I shut down the old site, turning off the box on which it has been running for well over a decade. Good riddance. In the new environment, while it may not look any different, it’s now running at what seems like breakneck speed. Windows Server is good for a lot of things, but WordPress…not so much. And I’m happy that I didn’t have to start all over again from scratch.

I hope you notice the speed and response improvements, and it makes using the site less tedious.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.