How to freeze-dry a website

DALL-E 3 gets most of the credit (or blame?) for this.

It hardly seems possible that it’s been nearly sixteen years since I pressed publish on my first Technologizer post. Back then, the iPhone had been on sale for less than a year. Android phones, Chrome, Bitcoin, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Oculus, and the iPad didn’t exist yet. The current version of Windows was Vista, Circuit City and CompUSA were still in business, and Elon Musk was not yet CEO of Tesla, let alone Twitter.

Another thing that’s happened since 2008 is that the some of the software I used to build the site—and later to update it—have long since tumbled into the abyss of obsolesence. It’s not just that the WordPress theme I chose and customized in 2008 no longer works with modern versions of PHP. Even the more modern one I used for new posts from 2014 onward won’t.

My webhost has been letting me use an ancient version of PHP, but they now charge me a monthly fee for the privilege and their dunning letters have grown only more urgent. Along with knowing my themes were obsolete, I also grew worried that the site’s many venerable plugins might stop working, which led me to put off critical WordPress updates.

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