Welcome to 2023 OnMSFT.com

Kip Kniskern

As you’re probably aware by now, OnMSFT.com has a new look for the new year. Apologies for the “soft launch,” but as you may also know, we’ve had some setbacks getting this theme off the ground. The root of our problems turned out to be a strict cross origin policy set in Nginx, and our new Gutenberg Block based theme conflicting with that policy, along with Cloudflare Firewall settings in our Pro OnMSFT.com account blocking those conflicts after they’d reached a threshold.

Our staging sites, either on our production VM or on another VM, don’t use the same Cloudflare firewall settings (paid, w/ firewall vs free), so everything was fine in staging. Once we moved the theme to our OnMSFT.com domain, though, we ran smack up against the firewall settings and were unable to edit our Gutenberg Blocks theme elements.

Kinda frustrating, until we finally figured out what was going on and how to configure the firewall. Anyway, that’s done, and in the meantime while digging through logs we were able to clean up a few more config issues on the server, meaning we’re running a bit more smoothly than ever. (Lots of) lessons learned.

As we’ve said before, we’re really happy to be on Azure (on an Ubuntu 22.04 server VM running the latest PHP and MySQL). We were able to spin up a complete clone VM in minutes, both for testing and for getting back on stable ground. As Windows users, it’s nice to have the Azure Portal, a familiar interface that makes a lot of configuration and firewall settings easy, although we’re getting better at command line Linux, too ????.

Anyway, we’re getting close to working out the inconsistencies, and we’re on solid ground code-wise (some of the code/plugins we were using from GeneratePress is now outdated and we needed to move to the latest version, which was the real reason for the theme update). Speed tests and Google Lighthouse performance tests are looking good, and it looks like this ol’ blog will keep on running.

We still do this mostly for fun – we have been following Microsoft since pre-Windows Live days, and while the landscape has changed, there’s still lots to talk about. Hopefully you’re still interested, too. Thanks for reading OnMSFT.com, and happy 2023!