Well, “fun” isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind right now. In fact, the primary purpose of this post is a test to track down gremlins around redirecting incoming HTTP requests to HTTPS.

Since I was rebuilding the webserver from scratch anyway, now would be a good time to get it set up with a shiny new SSL certificate. I never could quite figure it out with the old system. Plus until fairly recently it meant significant cash to buy a cert from a reputable source.

But thanks to Let’s Encrypt, everybody can get one for free. It’s awesome. Random people using encryption for whatever random thing they are doing is effectively herd immunity. People who really need the protection of encryption to, say, not be murdered by their governments, no longer stand out in the crowd. And it makes it much, much harder for those trying to enact mathematically-challenged anti-encryption laws.

So this is a good thing. And I could make it easier by configuring my sites to switch incoming visitors over to HTTPS. Except my webserver configuration is thwarting me: HTTP connections are rejected rather than nicely switched over. (And I don’t know enough about HTTP/HTTPS/Apache yet to even explain it properly. I’m working on that.)

If you got a weird message when you tried to access the site, that’s what it was about. In the meantime, I’ll be over here buried in configuration and log files.

Finally the blog is up and running. I had it all working nicely last night and then somehow apache decided it liked “500 Internal Server Error” more than WordPress. The problem was that it wouldn’t allow access to either index.html or index.php, which I thought I had already taken care of with DirectoryIndex.

After mucking about with the conf files, I finally went back to Server Admin and did it from the GUI. Which, frankly, I still don’t really trust. Sure, the new Leopard version doesn’t totally eat my configuration any time it touches it, but it still does weird things I don’t understand. DirectoryIndex “index.php” “New”? Well, if it somehow decides to break later, I still have the backup copy of the configuration.

Spoke too soon. The damn thing changed AllowOverride for every single one of my sites, causing WordPress permalinks to break. I should file a bug, but I don’t feel like setting up a test server to reproduce and document.