Virtual private server hosting is a dubious joy. While it offers a lot of flexibility it also assumes you are something of a geek. While this is true with me, it is not true that I am the sort who likes to revel in the mysteries of Apache httpd.conf files in my spare time.
Since I rehosted about a month ago, I have been trying to get my blog entries to publish dynamically on this new host. In frustration, I went back to static publishing, which means every page is stored as a file on the server. Since I have dynamic content on the sidebars, this meant rebuilding 600+ entries every time I published, a process that took 20 minutes or so. I took dynamic publishing for granted on my old web host, so I assumed I could do it here.
I tried to find a solution through free support through the MovableType forums and knowledge base, but nothing worked. So yesterday I did what I should have done a month ago, but was reluctant to do: dug out my credit card and spent $49.95 for paid MovableType support. Thankfully their support is good.
My problem turned out to be a default setting for how my web server processes those mysterious .htaccess files. These hidden files control who has access to a web site. The files were there and I could set them any way I wished, but the setting in my httpd.conf file ensured that Apache would blithely ignore them.
Thanks to MovableType support, this problem is solved. In case you need to do something similar, look for that first instance in httpd.conf and change this:
Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride None
Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All
And then restart Apache.
Now I can really enjoy my holidays. I don’t return to work until January 8th. I will truly have a Merry Christmas though if Google decides to put my site back in its index by Christmas.
Ho! Ho! Ho!