I've had my share of of hosting providers and I've registered a number of domains, but I've never properly carved myself a slice of personal space on the web.

I'm going to change that.

After some bad downtime with a shared box, I decided I needed a dedicated box. Nothing high spec, just something I had more control over. So I found a cheap box - Kimsufi from OVH - and I've been able to use some of the technologies I'd only played with on my home server.

OVH set it up with a base install of Ubuntu server and I pulled in whatever technology I wanted on top; Node.js, Apache, HAProxy :)

I now have a box that I fully control;

  • My personal page runs on Apache (maybe sometime I'll invest the time in nginx) with some .htaccess rules to keep all the domains pointing to the same place.
  • This blog runs on Ghost which is a blogging platform for Node.js
  • And in front of it all sits HAProxy, which forwards blog traffic here and site traffc to apache.

The power of HAProxy means that running multiple systems which appear under the same domain is really easy. It also gives me power to do things before the traffic hits the service; I can add authentication, headers, but most important for me was that I could decrypt HTTPS traffic before routing to apache.
I'll probably write a short entry here about the resources I used to get it done, but needless to say, SSL support in HAProxy is great.

The next step is to move the personal page routing out of .htaccess and into the HAProxy config. I have a single endpoint which all of my personal domains should route to; https://www.alistairjcbrown.com - note the sub-domain and the secure protocol.

The short URL (ajcb.co), the .co.uk variant, all root non-www versions and finally anything not using the secure protocol should be redirecting to the single, encrypted, www subdomain of the .com - https://www.alistairjcbrown.com