Rebuilding our website: 2019 edition

It’s been too long. Back in 2013, I wrote about moving Publishing@SFU’s web infrastructure off of physical servers in my office and onto nice virtual servers on SFU’s shared hosting service. It was so nice to not worry about power outages and other physical-world hassles. It was as though those servers didn’t even exist anymore. Out of sight, out of mind.

The problem with “out of mind” is that it really is that. So over the intervening years, while our website chugged along and gathered a lot of content, we probably didn’t spend as much time keeping it all tuned up and upgraded as we should have. The inevitable would happen… and it did.

We got hacked last Thursday. Or probably at some point well before that, but the site went down on Thursday. Juan and I had a good look at the back end of the site, wondering if we could recover from it. But that server install was fully six years old, well past its upgrade lifespan. So we pulled the plug. Well, virtually we did: we requested a service ticket for someone to pull the plug. Metaphorically, I mean; really, what happened is someone at SFU IT typed some keystrokes and publishing.sfu.ca ceased to exist.

We are back, a week later, with a properly managed and backed-up host on Reclaim Hosting. Interestingly, if you read that same post from 2013, in which I talked about moving to new server infrastructure, I also remarked that we were excited about working with Reclaim Hosting for our (then) new PUB101 course. So after six years of absolutely stellar service from Reclaim on behalf of our students, we are finally moving our own stuff onto their planet as well.

As always, I can’t say enough good things about Reclaim. They are completely on the ball, their priorities are right, and they just keep getting better. Jim & Tim & crew, you’re the best!

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