Finally up and running again

Well still kind of a mess, but tongfamily.com now safely lives on a DigitalOcean droplet. It did crash once and I had to restart the Droplet, but hopefully that was because I’m munging on other things. If you have your own wordpress installation, here are recommendations:

  1. If you want simplicity, find a WordPress hoster that does it all for you. WordPress.com is not a bad choice. After all, they make it and having a complete solution is nice. I haven’t really looked at these, but it is the simplest choice for simple site.

If you are hacker geek (me!) and want to play, here is what to think about it is to have a production site, a hot backup and an experimental one. And if you are a nerd, you make your DNS server pop out the right stuff (but that’s another post). But basically, I can now reset tongfamily.com to point to whatever is the active site and still have addresses for each:

  1. Richtong.com (aka droplet.tongfamily.com) For your core site, use what works and is easy. I’ve tried two and they work. The first is DigitalOcean Droplet, they have a server that is WordPress aware, you do have to configure things and their certbot is a bit of a pain. The other alternative is Amazon Lightsail, but this doesn’t charge on demand, so you can’t suspend something, it is cheap and easy at $5/month. A Droplet is about the same.
  2. Richtong.org (aka bluehost.tongfamily.com) If you are DYI kind of person, then at $6/month for a 3 year plan, Bluehost isn’t a bad choice, it does now feature full WordPress installations, but the nicest things are unlimited sites and sharing. You get what you pay for though. I’m currently using them as my “hot backup” site.
  3. Richtong.net (aka kubernetes.tongfamily.com) The experimental one right now I’m trying to get working is WordPress and a Kubernetes cluster. This is actually very much the bleeding edge, but it’s a good learning tool. DigitalOcean makes it easy with their command line and setup, but the tricky parts are figuring out to make Let’s Encrypt work with it and also Helm is really pretty mysterious and not super secure when you look at.
  4. Backup. Updraft Pro is really awesome, it let’s you backup to a Google Drive. With unlimited Google Drive storage, you really are not going to be out of date.

The things left to do:

  1. Site synchronizer. I really want to just publish at the core site and have slaves pick up the changes, so that I have one data source.
  2. Analytics and SEO. I’ve never installed Google Analytics or even looked at it, but Monster seems to have a good package
  3. Repost to other sites. This used to work and I need to fix.
  4. Migrate to Ghost and Jam. This will be a big project and I have been unsuccessful so far, but the idea is to eventually move to a git repo scheme and get rid of the mariaDB that stores posts. My stuff isn’t complicated and the idea of checking in a post and then using Github pages or something to show it all is pretty cool.
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