I often find it necessary to setup a temporary server for testing web applications. The easiest way to support this is often to create an integration (beta) test server that can be configured to support multiple hosts.
sudo apt-get install apache2
sudo a2enmod proxy
sudo a2enmod proxy_http
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo chmod 755 /var/www
To add a new site:
sudo cp 000-default.conf yourdomain.com.conf
sudo vi yourdomain.com.conf
(change values as appropriate)
sudo chown -R YOURUSER:YOURGROUP yourdomain.com.conf
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/yourdomain.com
sudo chmod 755 /var/www
sudo vi /var/www/yourdomain.com/index.html
(add some fluff)
sudo chown -R YOURUSER:YOURGROUP /var/www/yourdomain.com
sudo a2ensite yourdomain.com
sudo service apache2 reload
sudo service apache2 restart
NOTE: replace YOURUSER and YOURGROUP with appropriate values for your server.
Regardless if you host your own websites, or pay to have them hosted elsewhere, up-time, availability and network performance metrics are important to your visiting guests.
Here are two free services that I’ve found useful for monitoring, notification and reporting.
BTW, you can even use these to watch competitors or sites that you frequent.
Best practices for web applications often call for the use of a CDN. Those of you that have worked with YSlow! are likely very accustomed to seeing warnings for this reason. I’ve found that CloudFlare is very easy to setup, and for basic services costs absolutely nothing. In addition to the obvious performance advantages of using a CDN to offload much of your network traffic, it also has the advantage of improved security.
CDN’s work by caching a copy of your static content at several locations around the world, making it closer and faster for your users.
Implementation takes only minutes as it requires that you:
- create a (free) account,
- retrieve your existing DNS values from your current provider,
- determine direct vs. CDN “cloud” routing for each subdomain,
- change your DNS records to point to the CloudFlare DNS servers
Some additional advantages I’ve seen since implementing:
- Site remains available in limited capability to users during server outages or upgrades.
- Simplified network configuration as all requests can be sent outside of the LAN for users local to the servers
- IPv6 dual-stack support
Browsers tend to evolve quickly, but they often do not offer the same capabilities cross-platform. As a result of this, there are many standard tests available to the developers of browser software to test for compliance with modern web standards.
Before making use of a specific capability in your web application, it’s often best to determine which browsers can support it.
As many people and businesses have come to depend on Google for their services ‘in the cloud’, it becomes difficult to know what is really going on when something is ‘down’ or unavailable. The following link may prove useful in such cases.