Setting Up Subdomains in Linode and Apache

I’ve been using Linode for a few months to host about a dozen websites and I’ve been very happy with the experience. I have found the documentation at Linode to be clear and concise, especially when it comes to setting up multiple sites using a standard, Ubuntu-based LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) configuration.

I decided to take one of the sites to the next level and add a subdomain. (An example of a primary domain is davidpodley.com while a subdomain would be the ‘blog’ in blog.davidpodley.com.) Unfortunately, Linode’s library and other documents was less than clear about all of the steps.

My goal here is to explain, step by step, how to add a subdomain to your Linode service. I suppose this could work for any Ubuntu-based LAMP stack, but this may have some Linode-specific information.

URL Shortener

If you use Twitter or Facebook, you’re probably familiar with services that shorten a URL, turning something like

http://www.website.com/this-is-a-test-and-it-is-a-lot-to-type-into-a-browser

into

http://pod.li/abcd

For many years, a site called TinyURL.com managed this quite well, and as far as I know, it still does. But as Twitter has taken off, the number of characters in link has become more important. Twitter’s 140 character limit on posts has driven people to use sites such as http://ur.ly or http://bit.ly for their shorter domain names.

I recently bought the domain name http://pod.li and installed an open source domain name shortening program on it. (In case you’re curious, the .li in http://pod.li is based out of Liechtenstein.)

Book Recommendation for Facebook Development

Over the last year I’ve bought a handful of books that help with Facebook application development. Although I’ve yet to release an application into the wild, I’ve had fun putting some applications together for my own use.

When I came across Essential Facebook Development by John Maver and Cappy Pop, I figured I’d give it a try because it’s the newest book in this field.

The book is well written and leads the reader through a clear path toward not only building an application, but understanding how an application is built. It uses quite a bit of object oriented PHP, so for someone new to programming, it might not be the best resource, but overall it’s a great book.

The bulk of this post is about two other issues, though. First up is the speed of changes in Facebook’s application development API. The second point is the responsiveness of authors and the value it adds to readers in niche markets.

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