admin_menu Failure, pathauto Success
First thing's first: Had to set my "Trusted host connections" in settings.php. Drupal 8 displays an alert about this failure on the status page /admin/reports/status.
I noticed that for my first post, the URL resolved to the embarrassing /node/1 - and we can't have that now can we. As I clicked on the Configuration menu, I remembered what a pain in the ass it is to not have admin_menu installed. Seems like a pretty basic thing, right? It's hard for me to imagine a world in which people want to navigate page by page to find the location of a single module's configuration settings. Yet, the default administrative menu is only the top level directories. Have fun exploring!
I'm done exploring, okay? I am old and tired and just want to see the directories and their child elements while hovering my cursor like a spy drone. Is that so much to ask? WELL... as it turns out, clicking the "bar and arrow" in the upper right hand corner, will reposition the admin menu to the left side of the window, and that view shows the child elements on-click, at least, so that's something. The stylists were even kind enough to indicate which have children and which don't. Thanks pals.
Still, to be able to flit about and quickly traverse to a fourth or fifth-tier menu item becomes commensurately more helpful the more modules that are added.
So, I tried to drush dl admin_menu, which I quickly regretted. Actually, the dl was fine, it was the en that got me. Oops. I did do some cursory Googling to see what is the most popular administrative menu enhancement, and I found this page, but sadly, I did not scroll all the way to the bottom where it says quite plainly, "April 2017 update: don't install this module at D8! It's break the site and nobody cares. If you got to this problem find solution here.
"No more Admin Menu for Drupal 8. Use Admin Toolbar instead."
This is a bummer because I did go find this page advocating for the aforementioned Admin Toolbar, but something about that steampunk moustache made me recoil and I foolishly tried Admin Menu instead. It's my own damned fault.
Enabling Admin Menu turned my entire site into this:
"The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later."
That was it! I cleared some caches, "hard refreshed", picked it up and shook it. The uninstall commands didn't work at first, drush pm uninstall admin_menu nope. drush cache-clear drush nope. drush pmu admin_menu nope. So, I got mad and rm -rf admin_menu. Further cache clearing brought the site back to life. Now, there are some bits still stuck in my database somewhere, but I'll get those buggers later.
Since support for using Composer to get contributed modules from Packagist is still pretty slim, (no CTools, no Token, obviously no Pathauto,) I decided to use my old pal drush to download Pathauto into /modules/contrib (because everyone knows to have a contrib and custom folder in the modules directory, right? This tidbit is noted in the README.txt in the modules/ folder, lest ye forget.)
Enabling each of these modules again turned my site into nothing more than an error. But clearing the cache after each brought the site back. However, even when they were all ostensibly installed, I could not find the configuration page for Pathauto, so I did what a smarty pants would do, I Googled my error.
Via this page the most recent comment WAY at the bottom, but from two days ago, reads, "Using this "drush watchdog-show" command in drush, identified that the curl wasn't installed. After installation of the curl now am able to access all the pages."
Well holy smokes, after recreating an info.php file and perusing, it seems I did not have php curl enabled. Since I'm on Ubuntu 16.04 and using PHP 7, I got my next clue from this page which was, surprise, sudo apt-get install php-curl. Restarted Apache. Is it time for joy? Not quite.
The status page showed that three entities needed to be installed. I ran drush entity-updates but that did not quite do it. Then I remembered, always run update.php after you've installed a module, right? I guess so. FINALLY I see tabs for Patterns, Settings and Bulk Generate on the URL aliases page
Configuration > Search and Metadata > URL aliases
That's it folks. If you look closely, you'll see Pathauto mentioned on these tabs in a couple places, but unless you know what you're looking for, it's not super obvious that success has occurred. Anyway, then I configured my alias patterns the way I like, and this time, for once, I am not excluding stop words.
SEO for Google now allows more natural language rather than robotic keyword speak, and I found this post and this post advocating to stop stopping stop words, so I'm going to try it out. I do like to be able to read a URL, and sometimes the missing stop words can significantly alter the meaning. Google is looking more and more at things like meaning and intent in the language it ... reads. More on SEO later. Love that stuff.