The blog just got a new home, because my emails kept bouncing.
Huh? What? How does that work?
Well, until yesterday, all our online stuff was hosted at a bog-standard Internet hosting deal. Think, 20G of disk and a CPanel for twelve bucks a month kind of thing. But I kept having on-again off-again issues with our email. Random bounces sometimes, from outside email coming in. Outbound email that had been fine for years winding up in recipients' spam folders out of nowhere. Then not. Then again.
This kind of flaky behavior speaks of issues with the DMARC and the SPF and the DKIM and... and it's all just too much. Sysadmin is my hobby, not my trade. And better hobbyists than I have thrown in the towel when it comes to email. So why do I keep trying to push this noodle up a hill?
Enter FastMail. They make it easy to host your custom-domain email, with full control, and they have enough of an "in" with the SpamHauses of the world to keep my IP off the blacklists and my messages flowing. I'd been hearing about them for years but I assumed it would be too expensive. Then I realized I don't need to pay them a monthly click for every email address, of which there are nearly 100. Just for every email recipient. Well, that's just me and Jill! Easy-peasy lemon squeezy I signed up for FastMail and a little bit of painless migration later we're all set. Didn't even have to change mail client programs, just point them to new IMAP servers.
Meanwhile I had already switched off Wordpress for the blogs after the 49,873rd "Critical! Emergency! Patch the day before yesterday!" bug was announced. I am not really aware of another tool that is such a mess, and is not made by Adobe. I am now using Publii, a wonderful efficient little tool that lets me write blog posts in a WYSIWYG editor and then turns them into new pages on a static HTML website. For lay folks reading this, "static HTML" is Internet for "too simple to be of much use to cybercriminals." There's (almost) no functionality to the website anymore: it just renders in the browser and sits there for you to read. Which sounds to me like, more than enough for a blog. Hey, I'm not trying to replicate eBay over here, right?
It turns out that FastMail throws in 10GB of file storage as a sidecar to your email account. And they also built a sweet little "click, click, done" tool on top of that to let you point a domain name at a directory in that storage. Well, sign me up! So now this blog (along with Safer Computing) is happily hosted at FastMail.
Since switching to Publii, I have gone to something of a very... simple theme. (Some would say, "boring." Some would not be wrong.) I may spice that up a little in weeks to come, but the blog will still be this static HTML and nothing more.