Now with SSL

I’m a couple of years behind the curve on this, but Ideapad (and all of netwert.com) is now running securely. I had a joyously simple SSL setup courtesy Pair Networks, my longtime web host: a couple of clicks, a sub-$10 annual fee, and instant-on https.

This is really a post about service more than security. Pair has run my various websites for as long as I can remember, and I’ve never seriously considered moving. Over the years, their services have broadened, their prices have actually dropped on occasion, and their customer service accessibility has never wavered. For all the posts I see on Twitter and elsewhere complaining about hosting services–whether it’s “seriously considering a new webhost; mine messed up [X] and I’ve had enough” or “AWS is amazing and then you get the bill”–I’ve never once gotten fed up with the folks at Pair.

I have a tendency to get loyal when I find something good, and why not? Variety is good but consistency deserves to be rewarded. Pair gets the little things right. And for that, you and I get a more secure blogging experience.

About those archives…

As an early web design and usability practitioner, I have a long held a strong principle against linkrot, and maintaining the past for future appreciation. This is not a universal tenet. Some of the world’s best websites have been lost to history, which is a shame. Great examples of website preservation do exist—look up a late-1990s topic on cnn.com, for example, and you’ll get the original layout, which is amazing. (And, of course, Space Jam.)

The difference between those sites and mine, of course, is that mine contains, well, a lot of mildly embarrassing stuff. I’m not the same person I was when I started blogging as a 25-year-old web designer. Still, I’ve never taken anything down; most of what’s gone missing is due to poor database management.

Occasionally, this makes for fun reading. Tonight, discussing a written school assignment with my 11-year-old son, I started digging around my archives to show him examples of how writing could be fun. And it was: in my archives are all kinds of expositions, from travelblogs of places he’s been with me to ridiculous stories of my experiences and my childhood. We both laughed a bunch while reading.

So, dear reader, while this site is not as busy as it used to be, rest assured that it’s not going anywhere, either. My archives will stay where they are, and the old page layouts will stick around, too (not least because they’re hard-coded). New posts will appear as they may, as they always have. And someday, probably fairly soon, my kids will discover the really cringe-worthy stuff in my archives, and I’ll have some explaining to do… but it will be worth it.