Category Archives: apache

The simplest way to set-up a “we’ll be back shortly” page

If you’re going to have to stop your site for a maintenance or deploy break and care about your users (and SEO!), you should setup a custom 503 page. AskApache provides some documentation on this, but the examples require creating a PHP page. One of the commenters proposed a non-PHP version, but it’s complicated and didn’t work for me.

So, this is the simplest way to set-up a custom “we’ll be back shortly” error page in Apache 2 that also tells Googlebots to retry after 1 hour:

ErrorDocument 503 /503.html
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/503.html$
Header always set Retry-After "3600"
RewriteRule .* - [R=503]

Read on for explanation and a more advanced example.

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Multilingual page caching in Ruby on Rails

There is plenty of stuff written about caching in Ruby on Rails. You can easily cache anything from objects returned by a query to fragments or even whole pages. Especially storing full pages (known as page caching) in a directory when Apache1 can grab them is really efficient. And there are quite decent tutorials about it.

Sadly, most of the tutorials assume that you live in a small, cozy, speak-english-or-die type of world and your only contact with foreign languages is when you order “pommes frites” at MacDonald’s.2 The rest of us, working on multilingual applications, might have a lot of problems with implementing page caching. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult. Read on to see for yourself.

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