About the site

blogs.waddingtons.info is the new home for the blogs formerly (since 2012) at pennine.ddns.me.uk/blogs/…. If you have bookmarks or links to the old site, please update them. The two sites for Andrew and Sarah Waddington (mainly about our outdoor activities) have migrated to blogs.waddingtons.info/andrew/ and blogs.waddingtons.info/sarah/ whilst the family Christmas letters have moved here (see menu above). The 2017 letter is missing as we didn’t manage to find photos for it before time ran out. I was hoping to rectify that, but the 2018 letter was more urgent and that never got done, either and the series has kind of fizzled 🙁 New sites for technical content and some of our conservation activities may be in the pipeline. The family history stuff (not part of the blog site) is now at familyhistory.waddingtons.info.

The reasons for the move are technical, and some are quite arcane. One problem was that our domain registrar had a major database crash and pennine.ddns.me.uk simply disappeared for a while, which was very disruptive. Another is that our original site was not a proper WordPress multisite, but had been kludged so that it worked like a multisite WordPress, with only one copy of all the code, but could be hosted in a subdirectory of the main website. This was done by some clever scripts which mounted the individual site content over the base site using Linux’s unionfs. It was very effective, but did mean that WordPress didn’t really understand the environment in which it was running, and broke if we let it try to do automated updates (which it wants to do for security fixes) because it was essential to back out the unionfs mounts and do a single code copy (WordPress thought it was three separate sites and would try to update each individually). Because this delayed security updates, one site got temporarily hacked (luckily the exploit they were seeking was in a plugin we don’t use, so very little damage was done). It was clear that our clever solution to “multisite not at the top level directory” had drawbacks we hadn’t foreseen. In 2018, it was time to move our webserver to a new Long Term Support Linux distribution (as happens every two years) and we keep downtime to a minimum by building and testing the new system in a virtual machine in-house. This means the new system gets commissioned without significant downtime on the “live” system. This was the ideal opportunity to move to a proper multisite WordPress using the new, hopefully more reliable, domain name. There’s quite a lot of rationalisation of our main web site behind the scenes, too, so there may still be a few links that I’ve broken. If you find something like this, please let me know ! There’s a Feedback page if you don’t know our email address(es).