Andy Heathershaw

Welcome to the personal website and blog of software developer – Andy Heathershaw.

I’m a commercial Microsoft .NET developer and open-source PHP developer based in Tamworth, England. I live with my husband and I’m daddy to a four-year-old Labrador called Mickey.

Check out About Andy Heathershaw to read more about me, or browse my blog posts below.

Encrypt your database with MariaDB encryption at rest

The new EU data protection legislation, GDPR, mandates that every reasonable effort and technology is used to protect personal data. It even goes as far as specifying encryption. The open-source database MariaDB (a drop-in, compatible replacement for MySQL) has supported “encryption at rest” since version 10.1.

Use MariaDB encryption to satisify the GDPR recommendation of using encryption to protect your personal data.


DevOps Read more


Top 10 things to do in Florida

Florida is my go-to destination for a holiday. I’ve been several times since our honeymoon in 2012 and yet I still manage to find something new to see or do each time. When I fly into MCO airport and walk through the stunning atrium, I know I’m back in my happy place!

Disney, Reflections Read more


Install a LAMP stack (Apache, MariaDB, PHP) on Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server is a Linux distribution that is ideally suited to server workloads. For example: hosting websites and web applications.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install a LAMP stack – that’s Apache, MariaDB (in place of MySQL) and PHP – on Ubuntu Server using the latest available releases, and how to keep it up-to-date.

Software Development, DevOps Read more


Brexit forced me to change my identity

… but I’m OK with it.

A few days ago I sat in an airport lounge in Gatwick, waiting for our flight to Florida. I had finished a diet Coke

and was chewing on a piece of yoghurt-covered honeycomb (which was delicious, FYI) when I read a news article about Brexit that stunned me.

Reflections Read more


Redirect all visitors to a primary domain in Apache

There are several scenarios in which you may want to redirect all your website visitors to a single, primary domain in Apache.

I have recently implemented this on my own website, and I would like to share this Apache trick in this article.

Software Development, DevOps Read more


Why I prefer self-hosted Git repositories to Github, Bitbucket, etc.

It’s the year 2018 and it’s impossible for a software developer to have not heard about (or used) Github, or a variant like Bitbucket. Even self-hosted Git evangelist GitLab is a popular choice.

However, at the start of February 2018, I provisioned a new Cloud VPS to run my website and other apps. I also chose to migrate all my private Git repositories to it and cancelled my paid Github subscription.

Find out why in this article.

Software Development Read more


The Great Big Cloud Hosting Speed Test 2017

2017 was an exciting year for the bigger players in the cloud hosting arena.

With several improvements launched by the big cloud hosting players, I thought it would be interesting to focus on a key metric of hosting providers that many overlook: network speed.

Most modern cloud hosting providers give your dedicated server or VPS a 100Mbps or 1Gbps network connection. But how close can you actually get to that speed?

Software Development Read more


Content Delivery Networks can improve your website’s performance

Content Delivery Networks were created for one reason: to speed up your websites and web applications. In this article, I explore how you can take advantage of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to improve your website performance for a small cost.

Software Development Read more


Daughtry performs Demons in The Passion

Earlier this week, I couldn’t sleep. So I did what I normally do when I can’t sleep – I watch music videos on YouTube.

The first video in my “here’s what YouTube wants you to watch” list caught my eye. I immediately thought I had missed a piece of new music from one of my favourite artists of the last 10 years: Chris Daughtry.

Reflections, Entertainment Read more


Upload photos to Blue Twilight PHP photo gallery from your new iPhone

Did you know that you can capture a photo and upload it straight into your Blue Twilight photo gallery directly from your new iPhone or iPad device?

Software Development Read more